My niece Jennie Rose, loves celebrating her birthday. In fact, she loves it so much, she calls October her Birthday Month and just finds so many ways to celebrate in 31 days.

I didn't quite do the Jennie Rose thing but I did a pretty good job of stretching out my birthday this past weekend doing all the things I love ... went out to dinner (twice!), shopped (clothing, favorite country stores and antique mall), baked cupcakes, saw a great movie, and spent the actual day with the people I love most in this world.

Turning 62 qualifies me to apply for Social Security. Well, here's the scoop. I'm not. Applying that is.

I love my job and I pray I'll be allowed to continue working for a few more years.

Social Security was begun in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help during the Great Depression, as an attempt to limit dangers in the modern American life, like old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children.

We've been hearing the rumor that Social Security monies will run out in the near future. I'm not worried. When it runs out, Becky has a nice ice floe reserved for Harry and me in that lovely Eskimo senior citizen mecca in the Arctic.

On Saturday, I watched part of the old black and white movie, "Moby Dick" starring Gregory Peck. In one scene, it showed the faces of the families and townspeople sending their men off on a whaling expedition. One of the faces was that of an old woman. What struck me about her appearance were all the long white hairs on her chin that formed quite the lovely little beard. I swear, they were at least three to four inches long, and lots of them. Here's the thing ... if I'd let my chin hairs grow, I think I could give her a run for her money! I must spend at least five minutes every morning plucking those little suckers off my face. Harry's started saving them, planning to have them implanted on the top of his head. He should have enough for a full head of hair by next week.

Tried out a new restaurant on Saturday night, A Ca Mia. Loved it! Great food, great service. I'd recommend the Bowtie Creole. Hmmm hmmm good!

My family treated me to a delicious birthday dinner on Sunday. George made his to-die-for dry rub ribs on the grill. He has that dish down to perfection. Diane made these perfectly yummy dirty green beans that we love at the Pig Pen. She not only nailed them, but hers might have even been better. Mom made her homemade macaroni and cheese, which I love, love, love! For dessert, Diane made my favorite, apple pie. I almost died and went to Gastric Heaven! Ahhh, but what a way to go.

Here's an advantage to turning 62. We can't eat as much as we use to. Whenever we go out to eat anymore, we bring half of our meals home in take out containers. While I've read that's a good thing, it could also be cheaper if we just shared a meal. That sounds good in theory, but it's not going to happen. Harry orders all that healthy crap like fish and steamed broccoli. I don't have any problem with bringing half my chicken parmesan with spaghetti and garlic bread home to reheat for dinner the next night.

Another advantage to turning 62? Harry and I both got into the movies on Monday at the senior discount. Woo hoo! Of course I then spent a fortune on popcorn and a Coke! Which we only ate and drank half of. Love leftover popcorn. Coke ... not so much.

We really enjoyed the movie, "Parental Guidance" starring Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. It was funny and poignant. It's about being grandparents. Which I know nothing about, Becky. I'm just saying. It's getting real hard to get down on the floor to kid level at 62. It'll be worse at 63! (After she reads this, she's probably thinking that ice floe in the Arctic can't happen fast enough.)

Everyone tells me that age is just a number and you're only as old as you feel.

Well, all I can say is, I'm enjoying myself, maybe more now than I ever did. So if this is what 62 is like, bring it on.

(P.S. I know this isn't a cooking column, but whenever I find a recipe I really like and it gets good reviews, I just feel it's my duty to pass it on.

I've been in search of a good recipe for Key Lime Cupcakes, ever since I had some a couple of years ago at a birthday party. Well, I found this one and I baked them to share with my Sunday School class on Sunday, to celebrate my birthday. Everyone loved them, including the preschool and youngsters in the children's class. They wanted seconds!)

Key Lime Cupcakes

1 box lemon cake mix

1 box (4-serving size) lime-flavored gelatin

cup water

cup lime juice

cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). In large bowl, beat cupcake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed two minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Divide batter evenly among paper-lined cupcake pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack.

Frosting

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

cup butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Grated lime peel, if desired

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in vanilla and 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar until mixed; beat on medium speed until fluffy. Frost cupcakes, mounding and swirling frosting in center. Garnish with lime peel. Store covered in refrigerator.