Happy Birthday Betty!

Summer of 1955

If you’ve been reading The Art of Doing Stuff for a while, you’re familiar with Betty.  My mom.

Well … Betty’s special day is today.  No, she didn’t “become a woman”.  She became 75.


75 years ago in a small valley town in Ontario, Canada, Betty was born.  And here is a quick rundown of how things have gone since then.

Age 0 – 14

Pretty uneventful.  Sock hops, rolling up the rug, discovering really red lipstick … that sort of thing.

Age 15

Betty becomes a bit high spirited and her parents send her to the local nunnery to get straightened out.

Age 15 and a few days

Betty declares she loves the nunnery and proclaims she’s going to become one.

Age 15 and a few days and a few hours

Betty’s parents squeal into the nunnery parking lot and drag Betty back home.

Age 17

Betty decides to start her own dress shop.  She runs it out of her bedroom.  She is an entrepreneur.  As a dressaholic, she makes the poor decision to buy all the sample dresses in her own size.

Age 17 ¼

Betty’s Dress Shop  goes out of business.

Age 18

Betty meets a boy.  They fall in love, get married, have 3 daughters.


The rest of the stories having to do with Betty involve broken bones, swearing, the odd shotgun incident and a recent Red Bull obsession.  She thinks it’s medication.  As in, she been overheard saying  “Oh!  Shoot!  I forgot to take my Red Bull“.

Betty, as you may have guessed, is still high spirited.  We’re considering sending her to a nunnery.

Please join me in wishing my mom, Betty,  a Happy 75th Birthday!


  1. Kelli says:

    Sheesh, always a little late to the party! So this post must have been before I found you Karen, but I will tell you this: my office moved into one of RED BULL’S former offices here in north Dallas! And did they leave anything behind for us? Cases of Red Bull? Leftover alcohol from all their swanky parties? That gorgeous yellow leather sofa? Those disco ball bulls that hang from the ceiling? Oh hell to the no. They took everything. :(

    What they did leave behind was the most interesting office any of us has ever worked in: funky ceiling lights, tin ceiling, dark wood floors, weirdly angled walls, gorgeous textured glass conference rooms, and an office that has far too much square footage for the number of people we have in the office daily (less than 5; long story). Needless to say, we will probably be moving/downsizing soon. WAAH. RB in the meantime, moved into even cooler, swankier digs closer to downtown Dallas, which you can see here if you (or Betty!) is interested: http://tinyurl.com/ovmp77t (funny…what they call “traditional” WE call “wackadoodle!”)

    p.s. Betty was beautiful (oh, still is!) back in the day and I can see where you got your pretty from! :)

  2. mick says:

    Betty….you and I are much too young to be this old!!

  3. Liz says:

    Happy belated birthday Betty.

  4. kathryn says:

    happy belated birthday Betty! i hope your celebrations are ongoing – for a special occasion, i can thoroughly recommend both Red Bull sorbet and Red Bull jelly (that’ll be Jello in N American rather than English English) – with cute little golden bubbles suspended in it.
    many happy returns and much love & best wishes xx

    (PS which reminds me, didn’t you have a post about freezing wine, Karen? red, white, rose & sparkling all make great grown-up sorbets and i often make mulled wine jelly as an alternative pud at Christmas.)

  5. allison albainy says:

    Happy Birthday Betty!! All the way from JERSEY!!!

  6. Tickled Red says:

    Oh My Goodness!! Happy Belated Birthday Miss Betty :)<3 I think that you are awesome <3 :)

    If your fabulous daughter didn't spoil you rotten you just let me know. I'll call her plumber & let him know that it was her & not the cat.

  7. Sharalee says:

    Happy, happy birthday Betty!!
    Hope you have a fantastic day and here’s hoping your next 75 years are just as great!

    (PS – Betty’s quite a stunner!)

  8. Pam'a says:

    Many happy returns of the day to a woman who has much to be proud of, both in her own right and in the impressive offspring department.

    ‘Hope your day is filled with all your favorite people and things, Betty!


  9. marilyn says:

    happy birth day betty! hope the day was as fantastic as you are…now i know where your daughters get it!so fun karen what a fun birthday tribute to your mom…i enjoyed it immensely thank you

  10. karen n says:

    Happy Birthday Betty! Please make more appearances, I love seeing you!!

  11. Sharon says:

    Happy Birthday much older cousin
    Great summary Karen – she needs a full book to do her justice

  12. Langela says:

    Happy Birthday! I’ve enjoyed all your special appearances here on Karen’s blog.

  13. Zina says:

    Happy birthday, Betty! And many very happy returns.

  14. Kim Norgate says:

    Happy Birthday Betty! Wow 75! You still look beautiful! You haven’t changed since I was a little girl on the other side of the street and that was a long time ago…30 yrs to be exact.

  15. Brittney says:

    How sweet! Happy Birthday Betty. I hope you get all the Red Bull you can drink!

  16. jeanenne says:

    Happy birthday, Betty! Hope the next 75 years are even more marvelous than the first!

  17. Uncle Shifty says:

    I’m not supposed to be using the email here at the facility so I’ll be quick. Happy Birthday Betty you old rascal. There coming. Gotta go. Later!

  18. Denni Harbaugh says:

    Happy birthday, Betty! I sincerely hope you have a lovely day. :o)

  19. mykidzmomnow says:

    Happy Birthday, Betty! *virtual Red Bull toast*
    Graham, NC, USA

  20. Nina Bredell says:

    Dear Betty,
    I hope you have and have had a wonderful birthday !!! Best wishes from Sweden
    / nina

  21. Holly says:

    Happy Birthday Betty!!!

  22. Karen says:

    Wishing the best of birthdays to Betty. Enjoy your day.

  23. Erica J. says:

    Happy Birthday! Have lots of fun!

  24. Leslie says:

    Dear Betty,

    May you have the happiest of birthdays!! You are by far the coolest, funkiest, youngest 75 year old we know!!!

    Love Leslie Dave & Matthew!!

  25. Jan Smith says:

    Happy Birthday, Betty! Don’t let Karen open your Red Bull by whacking it against a tree. Let her serve your cake in a bird bath. I hear she has three of them.

  26. dana says:

    Karen, you and your mom look so alike. And evidently share the same spirited nature!

    Happy Birthday Betty, many happy returns!

  27. Emily says:

    Happy Birthday Lovely Betty and thanks for giving us the art of doing stuff!

  28. Happy Birthday Betty!

  29. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    I want to see more of Betty. Her appearance in the wine/shoe caper was stellar. I love her comments and laughter!

    Betty, hope you have the happiest of days!

  30. Terri-Lynn says:

    Love you lots! Declan, Oliver, and Estelle

  31. Maggie says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETTY! Yum, Red Bull cake, I’m imagining it now, tastes delicious!

  32. Joni N. says:

    Happy birthday, Betty! I hope it’s the best one yet!

  33. nantia says:

    my best wishes for your birthday betty:)

  34. Debbie Doodles says:

    Happy Happy Birthday Betty . . . and many more! Cheers to you as I “take” my Red Bull today. Red Bull Cake? I like it!

  35. Debra B says:

    Happy Birthday Betty, have a wonderful day!!

  36. Fleur says:

    Happy Birthday, Betty!

    All the way from Malaysia – one of Karen’s faithful readers :-)

  37. Susan says:

    Happy birthday, you young’n! Lordy, such a looker (and a determined young lady) and btw, love your jacket in the contest selection spin : )

  38. Kate says:

    Happy Birthday, Betty!

  39. Lynne says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday Betty!!

    I can imagine all the chaos that might ensue from mass consumption of a cake made with the stuff.
    Children, party excitement, ice cream, icing and sugary red bull laced cake = fun for about 15 minutes….maybe.
    After that you’ll all talk about for years to come and no one will ever let you provide the refreshments again.
    If you’re looking for a way to get out of cooking for family functions it might not be such a bad plan :P

  40. Shannon says:

    then again..who needs a bunch of grandkids running around hopped up on sugar AND red bull?

    • Karen says:

      They’re not my kids … what do I care. I think it’d be hilarious! Bring on the Red Bull cake! Excellent idea Shannon!

  41. Shannon says:

    so so cute, you’re a sweety Karen.
    Happy birthday Betty!

    You should bake her a red bull cake! I bet that would work, seriously Karen. Just an ordinary vanilla cake but remove the milk & add red bull.

  42. Lucia says:

    Happy Birthday Betty!!! (and now we know that the apple did not fall far from the tree!)

  43. Shauna Wobeser says:

    Happy Birthday Betty!! May your day be full of happiness, love, laughter and Red Bull :D

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