Is Starshower the new Honey Cowl? Only time will tell (but it looks good).

All the Cool Kids Are Doing It

babykay.jpg
Dear Ann,
I interrupt this rag-rug joinery seminar to bring you breaking news.
Today I am 50. As in, years old.
You will be happy to know that last night, I marked the last meal of my fifth decade with french fries. (Because everybody knows that Eve’s downfall was not so much the apples, but the french fries.)
I have decided it is not a big deal to be turning 50. It is merely a mile marker on the journey to my true self, which is a Fabulous Old Lady. From the beginning, my life has been rich with old ladies, who have cheered me on, given me excellent tips and just been really great to me. In one Old Lady Episode that still brings tears to my eyes, an Old Lady who was on my side took a big swipe at an old lady who was being mean to me.
I light a candle to those who go before me and light my way: Ste. Meredith of Vieira, Ste. Diane of Keaton, and Our Lady Helen of Mirren. I would not give back one year, so I guess I have to be this age. It’s not a bad bargain.
Beauty Secrets for Aging Gracefully
babykay2.jpg
Two tips for you youngsters out there:
1. There is nothing like a hand-tinted B & W photograph to show you at your best. (The dress was really red. The photographer kept telling me to lick my lips. An imperious old lady was standing behind him ordering me to “Smile!”)
2. Maintain the same hairstyle, with a death grip, as long as you can. In the 47 years since this picture was taken, my only adjustments have been to lengthen the bangs and lose the ribbon. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Love,
Kay

147 Comments

147 Comments

  1. Have a wonderful and happy day. Praise be for birthdays…FAR better than the alternative.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY from a fan!

  2. Happy Birthday to Kay!
    Happy Birthday to Kay!
    Happy Birthday to our favorite knitter,
    Happy Birthday to Kay!
    :-)

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it (and the next 50 or so) will be FABULOUS!

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope it (and the next 50 or so) will be FABULOUS!

  5. I did it on December 30 and it didn’t hurt a bit! Happy Birthday and at least fifty more.

  6. I did it on December 30 and it didn’t hurt a bit! Happy birthday and at least fifty more.

  7. Happy Birthday! Take it from me — 50 is great but 60 is even better!

  8. Happy, Happy Birthday, you fabulous one, you!
    You make Fifty look great! My husband said he loved turning 50, because after that, he really didn’t get a flying patoot (well, he used different phraseology) what anyone thought any more, and it was very freeing. I never really perceived that he DID care what anyone else thought, but apparently there was that little voice in his head, now totally silenced or ignored.
    So enjoy!

  9. And many more!
    Love the hairstyle tip! My mom turns 50 in two weeks (my oldest sister is 32 and I’m 29. I have 26 and 25 year old sisters as well). She had 4 kids between 1975 and 1982 (her age 17-25). She’s got 4 grandkids and I’m adding one to the bunch in July. She hasn’t changed her hairstyle but once in my whole life. The tip works! People are always amazed yo hear that my mother is so young, and they about fall down when the meet her and hear about her “adult” children.

  10. Happy Birthday! I am celebrating my rapid approach to 50 today – I turned 47. May we live long, prosper, and continue to acquire yarn!
    Kathleen

  11. You are my most favorite 50-year old on the planet.
    Have a fan-tabulous day.
    -w

  12. Happy Birthday Big Sister! Did you get my present? xoxo Van

  13. Happy birthday, Kay! Here’s to 50 more fabulous years!

  14. Turning 50 was remarkably painless, and I wouldn’t want to be any younger in years. Wish my body realized that 50 is the new 40 though.
    Many Happy Returns!!

  15. Happy Birthday! May the next 50 be even better than the first 50.

  16. Kay
    You always make me laugh. 50 shmifty, here’s to 50 more

  17. Kay
    You always make me laugh. 50 shmifty, here’s to 50 more

  18. The Happiest of Happy Birthdays ! How fabulous to be fifty. I too am looking forward to old ladyhood when I fully intend to LET MYSELF GO in every sense of the phrase. Some would say I have pretty much achieved this at 41 – it certainly takes a fair amount of polyfilla in the morning in order not to frighten the children. I love the smell of polyfilla in the morning ……….
    On the hairstyle, whilst it suits you perfectly, I can only say this is not a universal truth. And one day I may even publish the photos to prove it :0)
    Heather x

  19. Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday dear Kay,
    Happy birthday to you!

  20. Thatta way to go girl…I’d expect no less from you than to embrace it!
    Happy, happy birthday, Kay. Mwah!

  21. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAY!!!
    I will be “celebrating” the same in November. My mother always had us in pixie haircuts… I had to change!
    ; )

  22. Happy Birthday! I am sure (in the dim and distant very very distant future) when you get there you will be a fabulous old lady! look how fab you are at the moment!

  23. Happy Birthday! And enjoy your journey to being a great old lady.

  24. Happy birthday! Forty was a bit worrisome, but 50 seems to just be an excuse for a party. I’m just a mere 48, so what would I know….
    Isn’t there a song from our youth that goes, “When I grow up I wanna be an old woman”?

  25. Happy Birthday Kay! My (still new) husband’s right behind you. Did you get your AARP card?

  26. Happy Birthday, Kay!
    I’ll be 30 in May and I’m afraid that I’m being very ungraceful about it. Thanks for the tips!

  27. Congratulations, Kay! I’m hitting the big 5-0 in October and frankly, my feelings are mixed. But even if I was dead set against it I’d turn 50 anyways, so might as well have fun with it! And I love the tinted B&W photos. Some of my favorite family photos were in that style.

  28. Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday! Happy birthday!
    And one to grow on: Happy birthday! Proud to be co-blogette with such a dignified and dotty old doll . . .
    Give my regards to General Lee! Git your heart in Dixie or git yer @&# out!

  29. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAY!!
    The pictures are adorable..

  30. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
    looks like a lot of us hit the 50 mark this year- i’m in October. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Sharon Stone….. (not that i am anywhere near as cool as them OR you!)
    Have a great one!

  31. 50 is the new 39. I have embraced it and you can too! As a member of the Southern branch of our family says, “Bad breath is better than no breath.”

  32. Happy Birthday my dear friend! Hope the next fifty are just as much fun!!!

  33. happy dappy day to you
    this is the time we all
    start hand tinting ourselves
    all over our little bodies
    really happy birthday your snippts
    and links have led me to all kinds
    projects and fun thank you
    glad your mom had a happy birth day too

  34. Happy New Decade to you!

  35. Trust me on this one. I know whereof I speak. I hit the exact same milestone on the exact same day three years ago. Fifties are cool.

  36. Oops. Oh yeah, and happy birthday!

  37. Happy birthday, Kay!

  38. Oh Kay, Happy Birthday! I have a feeling it just gets better and better.

  39. Cool we have the same birthday!! Happy Birthday!! I hope your day is filled with lots of fiber (just like mine is)
    =)

  40. Happy birthday!
    I hope you have a tremendous day and many more years of knitting (and crocheting) bliss to come!

  41. Happiest of Birthdays! I’m two years & two days behind you… As I creak and crawl out of bed each morn, I’m reminded of a New Yorker cartoon I saw many years ago: It’s not so much that you’re pushing 50, you’re pulling 49. Or something like that. You can stop pulling now. Cheers!

  42. Happy Birthday to Kay!

  43. Happy Birthday!

  44. Happy Birthday Kay – may this year bring you much happiness and joy :-)

  45. Hippo birdie two ewes! All the best this year, and always.

  46. Happy birthday!

  47. Happy birthday!

  48. Happy Birthday, Kay! Darn shame about the ribbon though. You sure it’s not going to make a comeback somehow?

  49. Happy birthday you cutie patootie! I like your attitude.

  50. Well said! And a very happy birthday to you, Kay! (Sorry for all the exclamation points. Too much caffeine…)

  51. Well said! And a very happy birthday to you, Kay! (Sorry for all the exclamation points. Too much caffeine…)

  52. God Bless You and Happy Birthday, Kay!!! May the year ahead be one of robust good health and much happiness!! You keep us inspired and lighthearted…what a gift!!

  53. I dont believe the 50 bit. But one big happy hurrah for your birthday ma’am! :)
    may we all be as blessed with “old” ladies in our lives…

  54. Happy birthday, you wonderful woman.

  55. Delurking to welcome you to the Fifty Fold, Kay! I got here 6 months ago and it’s a pretty darned cool place to be.

  56. I’m officially adopting your attitude NOW! What a great way to look at it…And happy happy birthday! (50 really is pretty stupendous – says the almost 52-year-old KnitNana!)
    And I agree, too, with the hairstyle tips!
    (((hugs)))

  57. Happy bday! I just turned 50 on the 5th myself, as did my fiance on the 11th. It’s getting crowded! We didn’t do much either. I think maybe I’ll try to knit 50 socks this year or something memorable like that. So far I have 5.

  58. I turned 50 last July and LOVE being a cranky old lady! Have fun with it, and don’t hold back!

  59. I turned 50 last July and LOVE being a cranky old lady! Have fun with it, and don’t hold back!

  60. Happy, Happy Birthday!

  61. Happy Birthday, Kay! My problem with growing older is that pretty soon people will stop saying to me, “I thought only old ladies knit.”

  62. Happy Birthday–you have years but no age.

  63. Happy Birthday. I’m older than you are. And I want to know …. how did you get that picture of me?

  64. Happy Birthday from a not-quite-there-yet (but soon!) fan.

  65. Happy Birthday, may the next fifty be healthy, happy and full of yarn! Wendy

  66. A very happy birthday to you, Kay.

  67. Happy birthday! I dig your philosophy and may adopt it.

  68. Happy birthday, Kay! And what a cutie you were, and are! Many splendid returns on this auspicious occasion!

  69. Happy Birthday, Kay!

  70. 50 bisous for your happy birthday Kay. xoxo

  71. Happy Birthday to us! It’s my birthday, too, only I hit that big number eight years ago. I was feeling a bit down today until I saw your post. Thanks for cheering me up. I hope it’s a great day for you.

  72. Welcome to the 6th decade – it only gets better. Happy Birthday!! And you’re right – don’t fix what ain’t broke.

  73. Welcome to the 6th decade – it only gets better. Happy Birthday!! And you’re right – don’t fix what ain’t broke.

  74. How lovely you were, and how lovely you are. Thank you for everything you give me, not the least of which is a warm and cheerful start to many days. May you have many more wonderful birthdays!

  75. Happy Birthday!! And many many more happy returns. I have always said that getting older is much, MUCH better than the alternative, so I’ll take each and every year I get. Of course, having wonderful Old Ladies to look up and forward to really helps along the way. Enjoy your day :)

  76. Happy, happy birthday.

  77. you are positively a young chicken!

  78. I am printing your age manifesto “I would not give back one year, so I guess I have to be this age. It’s not a bad bargain.” I’m waving it under the noses of every person I hear complain about their age. I’m going to put it on a t-shirt for my 30 year old (and 2 months younger) husband. It’s the only philosophy I’ve never bent on, and hope never to. Every birthday gets a cake, and every year gets counted. Grey hairs…. not so much. Happy Birthday!!!

  79. I am printing your age manifesto “I would not give back one year, so I guess I have to be this age. It’s not a bad bargain.” I’m waving it under the noses of every person I hear complain about their age. I’m going to put it on a t-shirt for my 30 year old (and 2 months younger) husband. It’s the only philosophy I’ve never bent on, and hope never to. Every birthday gets a cake, and every year gets counted. Grey hairs…. not so much. Happy Birthday!!!

  80. Fifty is fabulous! I just celebrated the big 5-2. Welcome to the gang!

  81. Happy Birthday, Kay!
    Don’t worry about the future. You’re already fabulous. Though not old. In the opinion of someone who will be hitting the big 5-0 next year!

  82. oh well said! (from a soon to be 58 year old who has long straight now grey hair parted in the middle ala 1967)

  83. Happy Birthday, Kay!!!
    I can’t wait to be 50. It seems, like you, that many of the best people I’ve known in life have been old ladies.
    Also, Grandma Moses was still 24 years from starting her “life’s work” when she was your age. You’re barely on the cusp!
    Have a wonderful day – – and here’s to 50 more!

  84. Happy Birthday, hope it was great. I plan on throwing myself a big bash at 50. My husband was supposed to do that at 40, but forgot to plan, so I will take matters into my own hands for the next one (or for 45, which is a tad closer).

  85. I’ll emerge from lurker-dom to wish you a very Happy Birthday, Kay. You’re a long way from “Fabulous Old Lady” but there’s no doubt in my mind that you will be one! Have fun! xxx, L.

  86. A very, very Happy Birthday with many more to come!

  87. Dear Kay
    Happy Birthday to us!
    love
    Jane
    xxx

  88. Happy, happy birthday. I’m only six months behind you. Thanks for showing the way with grace and charm.

  89. Hey, fellow-50-er! Welcome to the good times! (Colonoscopy not included.)
    Just remember, the older you get, the more socially acceptable it is to tell people to go to you-know-where. (This IS a family blog, isn’t it?)
    Happy cake day.

  90. *H*A*P*P*Y* *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y* !
    xxx

  91. Happy Birthday!!!

  92. Happy birthday, Kay.

  93. Happy Birthday, Our Lady of Hope.
    I’m just so glad you got there first. Let me know how the water is, mkay?

  94. Happy Birthday!—Amy

  95. happy birthday, kay. You’re not getting older-you’re getting better!
    enjoy this year and many more.

  96. Happy birthday Kay!

  97. Happy birthday Kay!

  98. Happy Birthday, Kay. I hope you had a perfectly wonderful day and that you have 50 more wonderful birthdays.

  99. Happy Birthday! 50’s not so bad, and neither is 51. And I celebrated 50 by getting a discrete, only-seen-when-I-want-it-to-be tattoo. I highly recommend it!

  100. Happy Birthday, Kay, and best wishes for many more!

  101. many many happy birthday wishes are coming your way Kay! when I read your true-self definition, I realized we had yet another thing in common, besides the Guy/cello connection. I too feel a fabulous old lady lurking within!
    We shall have to think of the very best old lady drink and I will take you out on the town and buy you too many of them.

  102. Dear Kay, big happy birthday from a fan in Omaha. My sister Denise will turn 50 this week on the 28th. I’ll say to you what I said to her: Who knew that 50 could be so young? I’ll be celebrating 49 years in June and I couldn’t be happier. Bring ‘em on! I don’t know about you, but I’m getting better at this whole life thing with daily practice! /jb

  103. Happy Birthday! I think any birthday is awesome (and, as my grandmother says, so much better than the alternative).

  104. Happy Birthday Kay – what a great inspiration you are! And I totally agree with the hair thing!I changed my hairstyle 2 years ago, growing it long for the first time in (at that time) 45 years, and 6 months ago I cut it off again, back to my “original” style. I feel like myself again.

  105. A very happy birthday to you! Hope you were surrounded by friends and family. And knitting!

  106. Happy Birthday! And hurray for you — none of this 29 again business — 50 it is and who’d give any back (except maybe parts of 8th grade. . . )???

  107. Well done you! I feel the same – and I’m 18 months away from 60. Love your list of inspirational older women – let’s not forget Ste. Judi of Dench, and Ste. Maggie of Smith – and there are many more. They say we become invisible as we get older. I reckon “they” just don’t know where to look for real treasure.

  108. Well done you! I feel the same – and I’m 18 months away from 60. Love your list of inspirational older women – let’s not forget Ste. Judi of Dench, and Ste. Maggie of Smith – and there are many more. They say we become invisible as we get older. I reckon “they” just don’t know where to look for real treasure.

  109. Get out! Best birthday wishes from your fans at afghans for Afghans. We appreciate you so very much! XOXOXOXO

  110. Ah, 50! That was so two years ago! Many, many happy returns of the day! There’s absolutely nothing to beat being a Fabulous Old Lady with an enduring hair-do.

  111. Happy Belated Birthday dear Kay! On the day after your 27th birthday- even though I didn’t know you yet- I celebrated by giving birth to my daughter Michelle. I don’t have any similar festivities planned for this occasion. Instead, I’ll think of you while I knit a teeny pair of jeans (from Nursery Knits) with den-m-knit for my friend’s new grandbaby. Party On!

  112. Happy Birthday Kay. You will make a fabulous Fabulous Old Lady in training!

  113. Happy Birthday! Thanks for reminding me about hand-tinted pictures. Folks who enjoyed dabbling with color then would be hand-dying yarn today, eh?
    Barbara-Kay, who beat you to the milestone a few years back

  114. Happy Birthday!
    Remember, no matter how old you get, you’ll always be younger than I.

  115. Happy Birthday! I think you’re fabulous and your blog is my absolute favorite. Here’s to 50 more!

  116. Happy Birthday, and may you have many many more, all happy. And don’t worry, life is good after fifty. We fifty-somethings still have a long way to go; another thirty or forty years, with any luck. When I think of what we can do with thirty years — whoo hoo! Roll over Beethoven, and give Tchaikovski the news!

  117. Happy Birthday, Kay! Glad to see I’m in such auspicious company (my 50th is next Monday, the 31st). I’m glad to see you face it with grace and aplomb.

  118. Happy, Happy Birthday Kay!! Whoot it up!! 50 is wonderful…I was there almost 6 years ago…and next week I turn 56!
    Wishing you the best year yet and many many more to come!

  119. Happy Belated Birthday!

  120. Happy Birthday, Kay!
    What a cute picture! I could tell right away it was you–you’re still cute. (And it’s not just the hairdo.)
    Thanks for showing us how to turn 50 gracefully. (I’m not far behind!)

  121. In an earlier post, I forgot to point out that March 24 is Kazimiras Diena, the ancient Latvian holiday celebrating the return of the larks. Or so says Wikipedia.
    Happy happy! Joy joy!

  122. Happy Birthday! March 24th is my birthday too. I hit a milestone as well… 21!

  123. Congrats on the big day!

  124. What a fine example you are for me! I turn 50 later this year. It’s nice to have good role models.

  125. Happy Birthday Kay! Hope all your wishes are granted! 1 Year and counting…

  126. Happy Birthday, KAY!!!!
    The thing about turning 50 is that the day after, you are SO over it.
    Happy day after and congrats.

  127. Happy Happy Birthday Kay!

  128. Happy 50th! Fifty is great (I’m 52), and being a Fabulous Old(er) Lady is my goal too. Love the photos. You should have another series done, same poses, to honour your 50th!!!

  129. Happy Birthday! You’re still a beauty!!!!

  130. Happy Birthday! You’re still a beauty!!!!

  131. Happy Birthday, just a little late. I turned fifty in May 2007 and decided it was just no big deal. You can put more money in your IRA though, so isn’t that a nice little perk? Here’s wishing you:
    May peace break into your house and may theives come to steal all your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become magnets for $100 bills. May love stick to your face like vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be those of joy. May the problems you had when you were 49 forget your home address! Happy 50.
    -From a Teeny Project Runway Loser, but I’m not competitive, really, I’m not.

  132. Happy, Happy Birthday from one who got there before you and has been having the time of my life. If only I had the body and stamina of my youth.
    Oh… and 50 is the new 40… every 50 year old says so!

  133. Happy Birthday! And many more! Hope you celebrate in appropriate “harbinger of spring” style. (We’re getting serious whiffs of spring today, just before the sleet storm heading our way tomorrow. It’s enough to help you keep the faith.)

  134. Well I’ve past the sixty mark and it’s just fine over here! Your attitude is what counts and yours will keep you young. My doctor makes age comments and I remind him that I am not old, and will only consider being old when I get to eighty. Only consider it, then, mind you. :0)

  135. Kay – now that you’re 50 I can tell you a secret, straight from the Old Crone’s Book of Secrets: from today on, EVERY day will be a bit better than the one before. When you pass 55, you notice it a bit more. Pass 60? things REALLY start picking up – and when you pass 65 (as I just did) the WORLD is your skein! I have chutzpah, confidence, contentment, delight, curiosity and joy – all accumulated day by day since *I* turned 50. It’s true, mark my words. CELEBRATE! (oh, and yeah – if you don’t have your AARP card yet get it; it’s a bargain, saves you money and the magazine’s actually fab! Mazel Tov, knitterly sister-girl.

  136. Happy Birthday, Kay!!! =)

  137. Happy Birthday, and *many* happy returns! Thanks for blazing the trail (even if you’re only a few steps ahead of some of us).

  138. Hope you had Great Birthday!!! I turned that 3 years ago..Its just a number!!! Congratulations!!!
    Rowena

  139. Hope you had Great Birthday!!! I turned that 3 years ago..Its just a number!!! Congratulations!!!
    Rowena

  140. Bappy Hirthday!

  141. Happy birthday, Kay!

  142. I celebrated an epiphany on my 50th birthday. I was no longer going to allow myself to NOT do things becuase I was “scared” of them. Now, if it is a truly horrifying thing, then there is no problem. But if it is jsut becuase I am scared of something that will only last a few minutes, no way am I going to allow my life to be narrowed by that. So yes – I have done the Tower of Terror…once, which is all I need…
    Becoming 50 is a totally free-ing experience – rejoice in it! and if you dont believe me, read Andy Rooney’s tribute to women over 40!

  143. You are even more adorable now than you were in the photo! Happy Birthday! xoxoxoxoxo

  144. Happy Belated Birthday, Kay! I’m with you–Helen Mirren is fabulous–I really do hope that someday I will grow up to be as cool as she and you are. God willing and the creek don’t rise…
    xoxJenny

  145. Many happy returns of the day! I’m turning the big five-oh next month.

  146. I turn 50 in June 2008…I also have “the same” picture of me when I was about 3 or 4 years old…same poses! However I have no memory of the day it was taken. I grew up in Wisc.

  147. Aah! Yes! Turning fifty does not hurt. Have been there a couple of years ago and have not looked back. Tinted photos? My graduation picture is tinted. Days gone by. I wouldn’t trade my over 50 years for anything.