Guests and party and food, oh my!

(I wrote most of this on Sunday, but finished it up today…)

I’m the first person awake in the house, which is unheard of. We have two sets of houseguests (they followed us home from Morgana’s party…can I keep them, huh, can I?), and they’re still asleep, and so is Ken, but me? Let’s just say there is a nap in my future today….

But it’s a gloriously overcast morning, my favorite kind, and I have a cup of tea, and…

Well, I never finished my thought, because people started emerging. (Several had, in fact, been awake for awhile, reading or whatnot in their rooms. Quiet little mouses. One couple was in our room and the other on a double-height queen-sized air mattress in the sewing room; Ken and I were downstairs on the foldout sofa in the media room.) Kelly cooked us scrambled eggs and some really nummy refried beans (note to self: get recipe!) and Ken made bacon and toast. I think it was noon before we actually sat down and indulged.

Collette and Rod had to dash off for another engagement, but we were delighted to have Kelly and Richard for a few more hours. We hadn’t seen them in ages, so having quality time was just lovely. They recently moved to the San Diego area and their new house is a Moroccan fantasy. It has two aviaries, one for peacocks. “Will you be getting peacocks?” I asked. “Probably,” Kelly said. Of course.

I spent the rest of the day alternating between catch-up work, exhaustion, etc. At one point, I took the top sheet we’d used in the media room, brought it upstairs to our bedroom, wrapped myself in it (as the bed had been stripped) and took a nap. Four minutes before my alarm was to go off, a phantom cat walked across the foot of the bed. It wasn’t Grimoire (the live cat), nor was it the ghost of Eostre (with three legs, she had a bunny-hop kind of gait). Possibly Charlie, although she left us awhile ago, and this phantom cat didn’t try to burrow under the covers with me, as Charlie was wont to do in the morning. I checked, and it wasn’t a little earthquake, either. So your guess is as good as mine.

Otherwise, I managed to get some copyediting done (although I’m still about two days behind on my schedule), and some crucial email. And I did some futile searching for artwork for my Uncollected Anthology Winter Witches story (October 1 release!).

But you’re really here to hear about Morgana’s 50th birthday Lord of the Rings party, I’m sure.

It was glorious. Both she and Brian looked amazing in their costumes, and I’m chuffed that I had a small part in that (assembly, ironing, etc., plus I embroidered Brian’s sleeves). Their house looked amazing—our artist friend Eric showed up with many hand-drawn maps of Middle Earth, plus Dwarfen runes. The main part of the living room was Hobbiton, the other area was Dwarves, the dining room was Elves, and the family room was Men.

There was ivy everywhere, and hobbit pipes (one for actual smoking, which some folks did on the porch), and bunting and lanterns and handmade fireworks on the porch, and fairy lights, and various books, and drinking horns, and a Dwarfish ax and a Elvish bow.*

All the food (and there was a lot of food) was food actually mentioned in the books. (Ken made Welsh cakes [which served as lembas, even though there was other lembas], and hard-boiled eggs, and seven pounds of bacon that was inhaled). Cheese and roast beef and cram and Orc vitality drink and petty Dwarf root, oh my!

And of course there were many friends and gifts and love for the birthday girl, which is the best part.

I helped clean up afterwards, and got home just before 2 am (I’d already sent Ken and our guests ahead).

I took a lot of pictures of the decorations and a few of the guests, but I was also busy replenishing food and tableware, so I didn’t get as many guest photos as I would’ve liked. I’m giving all of them to Morgana so she can post what she wants—it was her party, after all. But here are a few I’m particularly fond of.





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*A few weeks ago, Ken came in from the garage and said, “Here’s something for your costume,” and handed me a longbow.
“Where did that come from?” I asked.
“The garage,” he said.
“Yes, but how did it come to be in the garage?
“I don’t know,” he said…