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For a Celebration of a Job Well Done: “My Blog’s 5th Birthday Brunch at Clover Club”

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt
I have officially returned to my life although after several hours during these past few days I feel more like taking a nap than anything else. Last week was probably been the worst of my life and I am not exaggerating. Of all of the migraines and stomach issues I had had living as someone with chronic illness I have had more than my fair share of bad days. Days of pure pain that felt more like torture that would not end. There were the times during those many days where I seriously prayed for death as that appeared to be the only thing that would ever rescue me. Then, March 7th happened.

All bets were off. My alleged twenty-four hour stomach virus accompanied by a fever lasted five straight days. When I finally came out of it alive, surprisingly, it took two more days just to be able to live inside my own body and resume “normal” daily activities like watching TV or checking my email. I felt as though I was hanging on by a thread.  I am still living in fear that another bout with this virus is around the next corner. I fear I will not win another battle so soon.

With my fragile state of mind I must turn my attention back to March 5th, two days before my own personal “D” day began. On that Saturday I was out and about celebrating my blog’s fifth birthday. I could not have been happier. I am grateful to have been spared for this day alone.

About a month ago I decided to put together a brunch and within a few minutes, the Clover Club came to mind. It had been discussed on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate- Best Thing I Ever Drank” episode. On it Ted Allen discussed the Clover Club as the place to go when you want a real Gin Blossom. Although I like drinks with cute names I usually do not like the mixture that they are composed of. Hard liquor isn’t really my friend and I cannot bear to drink anything that burns too much going down. It sucks the fun out of it, quite literally.

But I felt I needed some alcohol if for no other reason than a toast. I decided to go with an old standard, a mimosa. This one was particularly strong but after a few sips it started to go down easier and easier. I suppose if I had enjoyed my food more and had more food in my system I would have been able to absorb the alcohol with greater ease.

My huevos rancheros were not at all how I pictured them. I had my heart set on them since I had looked at the menu days before. Prior to this I haven’t had that dish since the first time I visited Philadelphia as an adult ( Those huevos rancheros were muy deliciosa but these were not. I guess the next time I am in Philly those will need to reoccur on my itinerary.

The Clover Club version had a much better presentation but I did not care for their layered approach. There was a hard corn tortilla on the bottom, then a layer of black beans, sunny side up eggs that began to run as soon as you touched the dish. On top was some cheese, sour cream, and fresh avocado. In theory this is what I wanted even if it didn’t look quite right. I gave it the old college try but after a few bites I was mostly just moving my fork around my plate. I did have someone at my table that devoured them pleased with her choice. For me it was a swing and a miss. I honestly don’t know what I should have gotten.

Someone at my table ordered a “side” order of pancakes that were apparently very good. I just don’t know why that wasn’t considered a meal in itself. There was fried chicken that was enjoyed by its owner and an egg sandwich on sourdough bread that looked better than anything else we ordered.

What I really loved most was the atmosphere. I loved the gorgeous hard wood that covered the floor and walls. I loved that the bar looked like an old time soda shop. The couches in the back, that were too small to hold my party, looked like they had been preserved from a bygone era. The restaurant isn’t very big but the open layout gives you that illusion. The staff were all incredibly kind and helpful.

I am glad I got to cross this “off my list” ( even though it really wasn’t on it. I am in the process of posting this year’s to do list and in between that and checking off the prior years list activities off, I constantly come across things I want to do. I am glad when I can get them done before having to add yet another item on my official to do lists. It is all very exhausting keeping track of my progress. It is all worth it though to make sure I am never missing out on something that could be life changing.

Leave it to my girl Eleanor to remind me that there will always be a to do list, formal or not, that I will be aiming towards. Sometimes I feel like the more things I cross off the more I seem to add on the following year. It starts to get discouraging. But reading this quote over and over again has taught me that this is the purpose of life, well my life. Without goals, passion, and joy life really isn’t worth living. Therefore I hope as I move forward in my career and life, my lists continue but with bigger, badder items I am anxious to cross off of my lifetime’s bucket list.

That meal and glorious day I spent celebrating seems like it took place a year ago. For now I am just happy just to be able to finally share the details with all of you. I am moving on to the start of year six, where anything is possible.
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