Hoopy birthday to me!

This is me hoop-dancing in my brother’s driveway three years ago and I’m posting this photo to commemorate my birthday because hooping continues to be a gift to my emotional and physical health. I’m on track to hoop 24+ hours this year, the third year in a row.

But I’m not hooping today. Right now, I’m celebrating my birthday with a solo camping trip in Moby (campervan), and it’s no fun hooping outside in winter. Fortunately, it is fun to hike and trail-run and photograph birds in winter, so I’m probably doing one of those things right now. If not, I’m settled inside the cozy van, reading a book or noodling over a new project. (Lucky me, WordPress allows you to schedule blog posts days in advance!)

When I get home, I’ll crank up the music and hoop-dance in my living room while watching birds at the feeder outside the window. That’s some hoopla!

Birthday bird

While many are celebrating another holiday today, I am celebrating my birthday.

The first awesome gift was waking to snow! (We got a whole 1.5 inches on our deck rail yesterday evening! It was the first snow of the season and we’re all hoping there’s LOTS more where that came from so that we avert drought.) The next gift came when I drew Heron from my oracle card deck.

Grey Heron photo by Michel Mayerle from FreeImages

The question I posed before pulling a card: “What do I need to know about my birthday and the coming year?”

Heron’s message: “Let go of convention and follow your own unique path.”

That reminder resonates and I’m going to try my very best to stay true to my authentic self as I embrace the coming year.

#Caturday gift

Tomorrow is our neighbor’s birthday and because B is the kind soul who cares for Loki and Marcel when we’re out camping, I wanted a photo of them for a card. It’s tough getting good photos of a black and a white cat (at the same time) because Loki tends to fade into the shadows. After several unsuccessful photo shoots of them napping on the bed and lounging in their box-condo, I asked Zippy to hold them.

October 9, 2021

It was a full minute of squirming, shedding, feline shenanigans, but I was able to capture this shot. I’m especially pleased Marcel’s looking directly at the camera because B has high hopes that one of these times when she’s cat-sitting, she’ll finally get Marcel to happy-drool. He’s been holding out on her.

Our dear neighbor takes her cat whisperer duties very seriously.

Because she loved sunflowers

Michelle would have been 51 years-old today. Here’s one of the many sunflowers in my yard that remind me of her spirit and generous heart.

July 3, 2021

Thank you for brightening my life with your friendship, Michelle. I’ll keep tilting my face to the sky and endless possibilities.

Birthday gifts

It’s a beautiful day in Colorado on this, my birthday. The snow is melting due to sunshine and a balmy 50 degrees.

August 4, 2020.

Late November always presents a mental health challenge and I struggle to summon the enthusiasm for these days. However, I got up and hoop-danced this morning which felt very good. And, as always, it lifts my spirits to gaze upon a cheery sunflower. This one bloomed several months ago and I award the image bonus points for that busy, busy bee. Happy birthday to me.

Thankful Thursday: Zebu edition

Zebu and Emma. December 30, 2019.

Today is Zebu’s birthday. He is 24 (and so much more). He’s living here as he works from home, saving up money in preparation for a move to Seattle in the next several months. I’m grateful for our solid relationship and the laughter we share. He’s a master of puns and makes me cringe/crack-up on a daily basis, and it’s going to be a major adjustment when he moves out. In the meanwhile, I’m enjoying his company while I can (as is Emma).

Happy Birthday, son o’ mine.

Note: I just downloaded new photo editing software and am facing a steep learning curve. 🙂

It was 20 years ago today

Today is Wildebeest’s birthday (which he shares with his cousin…Happy Birthday again, James!) I haven’t yet talked with Wildebeest today because he’s out doing fun stuff with his camera and friends. But here he was 20 years ago,  making a wish before blowing out the candles.

Wildebeest. November 4, 1999

I don’t know whether that particular wish came true, but I do know that today my son is happy and healthy, which means my wish came true.

Happy happy birthday, Wildebeest!

Martin Luther King Jr.’s roadmap for humanity

We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (excerpt from his “Beyond Vietnam” address on April 4th, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated in Memphis)

Saying goodbye to an old friend

In a few minutes, a kind veterinarian is going to arrive at our home to help us say goodbye to Zoey. She’s lived with us the past 13+ years which is more than half of Wildebeest and Zebu’s lifetimes. This morning Wildebeest said goodbye before  heading back to his home that’s a six-hour drive from here. Zebu will be with Zoey at the end.

Zoey’s last trip to Westcliffe. August 12, 2017

We’d originally hoped to say goodbye to Zoey tomorrow because it’s my birthday today. But when the vet offered to come this afternoon it seemed the best option. Zoey’s tired and has had enough, and it felt wrong to delay the inevitable. We’ve definitely made the right decision for her, but the mood is less than festive.

Rest in peace, our sweet Zotato.

I get to hug my son

Zebu in summer of 1998

Today is Zebu’s birthday and I’m feeling especially grateful. He (and our other son) spent their entire childhoods with Zippy and me and while those years certainly held challenges, we remained intact as a family. The four of us were never forced to seek asylum, we were never denied refuge, and our children weren’t ripped from their parents’ arms. That kind of unspeakable trauma was never part of our lives. Not because we’re exceptional or more deserving, but because we were fortunate enough to be born in the United States. That’s it. Sheer luck.

Today is Zebu’s birthday and I get to hug my son. I’m weeping for those who can’t.

Sunday Confessional: can’t keep my eyes open

Just returned home from lunch and a visit with my mother-in-law who had a birthday yesterday. I sat down at my computer to pick up where I’d left off on my revisions and was hit with a wave of sleepy.

It’s raining outside my window and I’m opting for a nap.

Quiet, please.

Thanks for the memories

Today’s been a difficult day.

I’ve had no energy and stayed in my jammies until 2:30 when I dragged myself off the couch so I could walk Emma and get some sun. Despite the sunshine and blue sky, I felt weepy as we walked, and kept tearing up. And then it hit me: January 23rd…Scott’s birthday. My childhood friend should be making a wish on his candles and eating cake, except that he died almost exactly twenty-five years ago.

Oddly enough, figuring out why I was feeling so down improved my mood. (Well, that plus the sunshine and exercise.) Because then I started remembering. Odd conversations about olive loaf and Salsa Rio Doritos; Scott’s old blue Pinto; the St. Patrick’s Day we spent together; his English class demonstration in which he taught us how to keep score in bowling, but became confused and had to step back from the board to figure out exactly out where the score had gone wrong; the Sears catalog poses he’d do for me whenever I asked; singing Victor Banana songs together; laughing until we cried. Laughing some more.

Here’s the photo I keep on my desk:

Scott’s smiling.
And now I am, too.

Happy birthday, friend.

Happy 88th!

My mom turned 88 today. During our phone conversation just now, she wondered about the significance of “88.” When I wasn’t sure what she meant, she went on to say, “It means something automotive.” After we hung up, I asked Zippy. And being the son of a gear-head, he knew exactly what she was trying to remember.

“She’s talking about the Oldsmobile Rocket 88.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d never heard of this car, but there are LOTS of them out there. Images galore!

This one was an official Indy Pace Car:

 

This one is just pretty:

 

 

 

 

And here’s the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 race car I dedicate to my mother on her 88th:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!

Skee Ball Omen

Last night while on my birthday adventure in Manitou Springs, Zippy and I discovered an old arcade with Skee Ball machines. I love me some Skee Ball. We each played two games (25 cents per game!), and rolled the nine balls. My first game, I only scored 130 points out of a possible 450. But the second game . . .

330 points, yo.

She’s a Skee Ball wizard
There has got to be a twist
A Skee Ball wizard
She’s got such a supple wrist.

How do you think she does it? I don’t know!
What makes her so good?

I’ve decided that my perfectly-respectable-but-not-at-all-astounding score is a sign of good things to come. It’s a Skee Ball Omen.

(Note: That ball on top of the net is from another, less-wizardly Skee Baller.)

The little birthday symbol that could

Today is my birthday and when I woke this morning, I started thinking about what image I’d like to put up here to commemorate the day. The answer came while I was preparing my smoothie: the end from a purple carrot.

This little image feels like a worthy symbol of this day and the coming year. I, too, want to be vibrant and colorful, and shine like a sun bursting through a fiery ring. And bonus points if I also achieve antioxidant status!

Happy birthday to me and my carrot.

Birthday Cousins

Born on the same day, five years apart.

♫   May you smile into the camera
And squint against the sun
May you stay forever fun
Forever fun, forever fun   ♫
May you stay forever fun.

Happy happy birthday to two of my favorite people on the planet!