Tag Archives: birthday

Oh yeah…I had a birthday

A couple of days after we picked up and moved to another state, I turned 49. I think this is utterly fabulous, because 4 is my favorite number, so 7 times that must be auspicious, right??

I had a perfectly lovely birthday. I took Ken to work, then came home and did about an hour’s worth of freelance work (finished a design job). I briefly talked to my mom, but had to dash out to meet my glorious friend Val for a ramble through the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. We talked about everything from bad book design to Sasquatch scat. We also played Poohsticks and saw a big ol’ slug (nibbling on a flowery twig) and wee little snake. A volunteer with a really, really good telescope let us look through at a bald eagle. (I love the fact that every time I look at a live bald eagle, I totally see Sam the Eagle from the Muppets. He’s like the best designed Muppet ever.) The best part was that when we hugged goodbye, it wasn’t for six months or a year—I can see her again soon! (And, indeed, there are other nature preserves we are planning rambles and hikes through.)

I was starving by that point, so I came home long enough to grab my laptop and pet Grimoire, then headed off to Panera. Once their steak and blue cheese salad had assuaged my hunger, I did about an hour’s worth of freelance work (copyediting), then headed back home. I grabbed a shower and made a cup of tea, but then Ken called for his ride home, and we ended up going from there out for our evening festivities.

There’s a second-run theatre nearby, the Joy Cinema and Pub, that has just one screen, but on Mondays it’s $2 per showing, plus they have hard cider on tap (as well as beer and wine). So we got ciders and popcorn and settled in to see Big Hero 6, which was a lot of fun. Jupiter Ascending and Birdman are both playing there as well, so we may hit them up again this week.

We picked up a gyro and a falafel to share at the next-door falafel place (where we’d eaten before, a few years ago, maybe?), along with a dessert I can’t pronounce, and came home. After we ate, Ken spent time on the phone trying to set up Internet/cable (I’d say he’s spent more than an hour on this already, because aaargh) and with our Realtor who’s selling our house in CA, we rearranged the living room furniture a bit, and watched the Arthur episode “Falafalososphy” with Neil Gaiman, because I was sad that it was my birthday and he still didn’t show up in my falafel.

Ken said my present was either any book I wanted from Powell’s (but I have a gazillion books to give them for credit, although I really do want Neil’s latest collection, Trigger Warning, even though he still did not show up in my goddamn birthday falafel) (not that I’m bitter or anything) (hint: yes I am), or a massage (but my massage therapist is still in Oxnard…) so we shall see. Honestly, we just moved to a place with seasons and greenery; I’m counting that as a win.  🙂

I find myself wondering: why do we celebrate our own births, when we really had little to do with them? Why are we not showering gifts and praise on the mothers who squeezed us out through their hoo-hoos?

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…