Thursday – A Little Personal – The Birthday Tree Arrives

Twiggy and Lucy barking

“Lucy. Do you see what I see?”

“I do, Little One. Looks like a monster truck to me.”

“You are right. What the heck is it doing here?”

“Looks like they are going to plant the Boss’s Β birthday tree.”

Tree crew at work

“It is about time. Do they know what they are doing?”

“Yup. Mom went out there and gave them their instructions.”

“Why are they digging so much. The hole was already done.”

“The tree needed to have the best side out. That means making a diagonal hole out of a square.”

Lucy and Twiggy

“Come see this, Lucy.”

“Coming.”

“It looks great, doesn’t it?”

“It sure does.”

“I have to wonder where those guys went.”

“Why? You think they’ll come back, Lucy?”

“You never know. Sometimes they do.”

“Why would they come back?”

“What if they dropped off the wrong tree.”

“You think Mom would allow that?”

“I suppose you are right. Looks like this may be here a while.”

“So we can relax and enjoy the tree?”

“I would say that is the perfect thing to do. After all, it marks the Boss’s eightieth birthday.”

“How much is that in dog years?”

“About eleven.”

“Woo wee. He’s got some mileage.”

“Keep that on the down-low, Little One.”

141 comments

  1. The tree does look great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz.😊 I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John. Will it bloom this first year or not until next year? The magnolias I had in Virginia were very well-established when we bought the houses.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not sure about the blooming, Liz. It was in bloom when we bought it back in May. They are supposed to bloom twice. I think the transplant will have an effect.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’ll keep us posted?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. For sure. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What manner of tree is it, John? Not that I could think of planting anyting that size in my 540 sq ft back garden. I am planning a tricolour dwarf buddleia once the new patio is laid next month. Then I’ll have to train Robbie not to bump into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a southern magnolia. Gets big white flowers twice a year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I shall look forward to seeing it in bloom, John.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too. Thanks, Keith.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You gotta a pretty mature one! Love it. Can’t wait till it blooms next spring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a biggie. After all I don’t have forever to wait for it to grow up. Thanks, Dale. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bite your tongue. But I get it… And hey, if we don’t deserve a biggie at 80, when do we?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ€—

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fine looking tree, John. Is the chair to the right behind it located so you can put your feet up in it’s lower branches? πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think The Producer would not be happy catching me with my feet in the branches. The real answer is the first level of branches are too high for feet resting. 😁 Thanks, Chris.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The tree looks great! That was a big crew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so too. Thanks, Jill. I guess it takes a few to get the tree in place. 😁

      Like

  6. The tree looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joan. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Never any secrets with the girls about is there. All those doggy years eh. The tree looks great there.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thak you, David. I really like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmmm… someone got you a great birthday tree! I wasn’t expecting one quite so large, but it’s a real beauty. It looks like a saucer (or Southern) magnolia. If it is, that thing is going to grow into a real shade provider.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it will. That mountain laurel and the oak will need to be trimmed in about five years. Thanks, Linda.😁

      Like

  9. Ha ha ha! So you are 11? Got a love math. The yard looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pamela. Yes only 11.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ya gotta love the girls – they tell it like it is!
    All the best with your tree, John. Magnolias are outstanding!!

    Like

    1. Thank you, GP. I love it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Head over to celebrate the arrival of a wonderful tree to celebrate the 80th birthday of John Howel.. You will be given a guided tour by two of his girls who might just be hoping for some cake too.. Happy Birthday John.. keep rockin’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sally. What a nice birthday wish. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Love the tree, John – what a great present!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Teri. I love it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations on your BIG birthday, John! (I’ll be hitting that milestone pretty soon, too.) I love your birthday tree! Did you know magnolias have been around since long before people? Fossils have been found from 20 million years ago! How cool to have one in your own backyard now! Can’t wait to see pictures of it in bloom, and I’m sure Twiggy and Lucy will have some delightful commentary when those flowers appear. Lovely post! πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Marcia. Yes they will have much to say when the flowers arrive. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Awesome milestone birthday present. Can’t wait to see how it looks when it blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have photos for sure.

      Like

  15. Betty Smith would approve of your choice. And a magnolia is a much better choice than a chinese sumac, aka tree of heaven. Now it is three fingers time. Cheers !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. Good idea on the three fingers.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Some mileage, indeed, my friend. πŸ™‚ Congrats on finally getting the tree. I had to chuckle at the typical work crew. Two doing the work, the others standing around. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The two were the digger expersts. The others will do the heavy lifting. It makes a funny picture though. Thanks, Jan.

      Like

  17. I’m glad you are still celebrating your birthday, John. Applesauce! That magnolia is huge to plant. Just gorgeous. I hope you get lots of blossoms. I felt stunned when this post made me realize how long we’ve been blog buddies… nearly a decade. You’re still a bright star of my blog family. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A decade???? Wow. This gives rise to the adage, “Time flys when you are having fun.” Hugs, Teagan πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  18. A tree is a great present, and it looks really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Craig. I think it looks healthy too.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Two guys to install and four to supervise!! The tree looks great and will do well. Lots of shade for the pups soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darlene. These guys look like every work crew I’ve seen.😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All over the world too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha. Universal productivity.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. May you have the greatest times under the birthday tree! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Annette. What a nice wish. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Beautiful Magnolia…and it’s perfect for celebrating your well-traveled “mileage.” πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Thank you, Gwen. It has been a wonderful trip. πŸ€—

      Like

  22. The tree is gorgeous, John. And the girls are going to love the shade. I think it was the perfect way to celebrate the “miles.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Staci. I think it is the best way. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Congratulations, John, to your birthday (tree). That Magnolia is magnificent. I hope it will do well. We have a Magnolia as a birthday tree, too. We had it planted last year for Mary’s daughter’s 40th. For ourselves, we don’t plant birthday trees, but a Christmas tree for every year we have been living here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank is a nice thing to do, Pit. This is the first birthday tree but 80 is a good year to do it. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ™‚

        Like

  24. Wonderful birthday gift, John! Now the challenge will be getting enough water to it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it has to have 20 gallons everyother day. We make sure it happens. Thanks, Becky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It will be worth it!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Beautiful tree – I like that it is big enough for you to enjoy now and don’t have to wait around for it to grow. Producer did a great job of having it positioned just right! It is a great addition to that part of your yard. I like the low maintenance of your yard. Happy birthday to the Boss!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo. We are adding one more low. maintainence feature. Artificial Turf due to be installed on 7-22. 😁

      Like

  26. That’s a very nice birthday gift, John. It’s a beautiful tree. Good that Lucy and Twiggy are girls, I’d hate to see how a male dog would welcome it to the yard. I like the thought of you having some mileage, but I hope you still have plenty of miles to go. I’m laughing a bit at them having to dig a different style hole in order to get it just right. Someone powerful is in charge.

    Happy Birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She stands at almost five feet and weighs in at 95 pounds. It’s Super Producer. Thanks, Dan.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tough little number.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When we were dating we were fooling around and somehow the words ,”Go ahead give it your best shot,” came out of my mouth. She knocked me over withone punch to the arm. I never said that again.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hahaha – You learn well, grasshopper.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. alexcraigie · · Reply

    Happy Birthday, John! That presents looks like a considerable improvement on socks and after shave…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes it is quite an upgrade. Thank you, Alex.

      Like

  28. A good looking tree, John, and a beautiful remembrance of your special day. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lori. It is. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Great looking tree!
    Congrats.
    What kind of tree is it?
    And how often will you have to water to ensure it makes the transplant?
    and have the dogs baptised it yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanmks for the questions, Cynthia. It is a Southern Magnolia. It has to be watered every other day with at least 20 gallons of water. We have female dogs so they pretty much ignore the tree. 🀣

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy watering! That’s a great tree to have.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  30. For me, the pups steal the show. Look how curious they are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are very curious. Twiggy is the worst.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Happy Birthday, dear John! Happy birthday, dear Magnolia! Hurrah!πŸ₯‚πŸŽ‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dear Maria. We are all happy the tree and me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope this little tree will bring you a new turn of youth, dear John! The dog inspection is on duty…as usual.😊😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes dog patrol continues. Thanks, Maria.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😎😎😎

        Liked by 1 person

  32. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Yay! It’s beautiful πŸ™‚ Happy birthday tree!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Like

  33. Awesome! πŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆπŸŽˆ HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bette. ❀️

      Like

  34. Ah, ha, ha! Those girls are too cute❣️ The tree looks amazing. It’s big too. How long before it blooms? Remember, eighty is the new fifty!😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some are blooming now. I think this one has to get over the shock of transplant. Thanks, Vashti. I agree on the Eighty is fifty. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good for you. πŸ˜€ ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  35. What a fantastic birthday present, John. The tree looks gorgeous. I love how excited the girls are about it. I’m excited, too! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae. We are all excited here.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    What a great present! Something that everyone can enjoy. Congratulations on making it to a new decade. Well done, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  37. Wonderful present, John. May you and the tree grow old together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that might be “older,” Audrey. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Have the girls watered it yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. They are not much for “open ground” watering. They need to feel the security of the lawn based recepticle. Short answer – no. 😁

      Like

  39. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sharon. 😊

      Like

  40. What a beautiful magnolia tree, John. Happy Birthday. Much ❀ to you and your girls. xXx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane. Much love to you. ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Happy Happy Birthday once again, John! What a gorgeous tree. I know Magnolias can be considered “messy,” but I love them — and this one looks to be in an ideal location. Before long, the girls will have a nice, shady spot to chill in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is rather messy but I love it. Thanks, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. What a fabulous gift to continue your legacy John. Happy Birthday to you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. The idea of a Magnolia is a great one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gorgeous!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Debby.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Welcome John

        Liked by 1 person

  43. What a great looking tree, John, and love the dialogue too! Can’t wait to see the blooms! Happy birthday again! πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‰πŸ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren. I love the tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. A tree for your birthday is the best gift ever. I’ve had three and they’ve all lived and thrived.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is good, Roberta. This is my first and I might be so bold to say, probably my last. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  45. That is one of the all time greatest birthday presents. Genius, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It will still be there when…..oh wait. Let’s no go there right now.Thanks, Marc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We don’t go there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes indeed. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  46. The tree looks great … looks like it was always there! And 🎈Happy B-I-G 80!!! 🎈 But, wouldn’t you be 560 in dog years rather than 11? I always thought you multiplied by 7 … ???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In this case you would divide the human by 7 to get dog. If you wanted to know how many human years a dog has lived you multiply the dog by 7. If you want to know how many generations of dogs a human has lived you multiply the human years by 7 and then divide by life expectance of dog. Let’s say 12 years. In my case then 80 times 7 is 560. Divided by 12 equals 4.1 generations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhhhh … yes … I had it backward! And I’m an accountant??? Thanks, John, for clearing that up for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was a finance concentration in grad school. Being able to find the common units of measure is the hardest part. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Really? I had no idea! By the time I got to grad school I had changed from a finance/accounting direction to Political Science … surprised, aren’t you?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. No surprise there. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  47. LOL!
    Happy 80th!
    Let me rephrase that! Happy 11th! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Of course if I go around telling people I’m eleven someone will start a gofundme given the state of my body. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahahaha!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  48. A beautiful addition to the back yard. However, in the words of Stephen King, “Sometimes they DO come back!” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope not. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  49. It’s a beautiful magnolia, John. Good thing you have the girls on alert. And, happy birthday. 🎈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  50. Happiest of birthday greetings, Butch. Love the tree. β™‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Audrey. 😁

      Like

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