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.
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.
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.
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.
My handsome fella and his dog. Two happy campers.
Rifle Falls State Park. August 5, 2021
Happy happy birthday to you, Zippy! 🎂 🎉
Here’s wishing for many more such outings (minus the 🦟🦟).
Tracy and Emma Jean-Jean
Zebu’s 12th birthday
Thirteen years ago
birthday pie and toothy grins
slice of happiness
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.
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’s my birthday and I’ll bleat if I want to
Bleat if I want to, bleat if I want to
You would bleat, too, if it happened to you.
Warning: I’m not a kid anymore, but I’ve got plenty of kick left in me.
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!
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)
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.
As proof of how much you’re loved, I just put myself through the agony of looking at cake photos while on Day 5 of my fasting-mimicking diet. Now I’m REALLY craving cake. Please, I beg of you, have a slice or three for me!!!
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.
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.
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:
And now I am, too.
Happy birthday, friend.
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!
A small package arrived for Zippy in the mail today. He held it up and asked, “Do you want a late birthday present or an early Christmas present?”
Birthday, of course.
“Earthly Creature Designs are cast fine silver pewter sculpture and wearable sculpture.”
Zippy knows that the way to my heart is via dragonfly . . .
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.)
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.
Today I celebrate my little brother.
Throughout the years you’ve displayed amazing hair,
a big smile,
and an even bigger heart.
Thanks for always, always laughing with me.
Happy birthday and much love to you.
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!
Because you love all things flora and fauna,
I’m sending you a bee-bejeweled bouquet.
Lots of love and lavender to you on your special day…
Get ready to dance,
and take a cha-cha-cha-chance . . .
On this Sunday, I’d like to thank you for a gift you gave me thirty-five years ago.
(Peace Sunday was a concert to support nuclear disarmament,
and it included an impressive lineup.)
I wanted to attend this amazing live music event, but didn’t have a ticket. You, despite not liking crowds or concerts, said we should go. Right then! So you drove us in your “Blue Goose” from West LA to Pasadena, where 85,000 people had converged on the Rose Bowl. It took us a while to find a parking space and then we walked and walked and walked. Well, meandered was more like it seeing as you had your camera and were being meticulous about noting f-stops and shutter speed for each photo you took along the way.
When we finally reached the Rose Bowl, the concert had started and, of course, there were no tickets available. We needed a hand-stamp to get in. There was a chain-link fence near the entrance and some guys standing nearby had our answer: they licked the stamps on the back of their hands and then pressed them against the backs of our hands. It worked! We had our own hand-stamps and were officially part of Peace Sunday!
Many details of that day are hazy (cough, cough), but I believe our seats were to the side and slightly behind the stage. Wherever we were, we couldn’t see the stage. And the sound was pretty crappy right there. But we’d made it! We were part of the Peace Sunday experience.
I do remember when Joan Baez brought out Bob Dylan. It gave me chills, knowing two of my very favorite singer-songwriters were so close. It was rather surreal, hearing them sing from a stage we couldn’t see.
Joan and Bob’s performances weren’t great, but because of you, I was there! Because of you, I was able to join a swath of humanity that’d come together for an incredible day of music and to say NO NUKES! It was an unforgettable gift. I hope you also have fond memories of Peace Sunday. Thank you again for being my generous and funny big sister who gave me a very special day.
Happy birthday to you.
Last night Zippy and I celebrated my birthday by going to a dive bar to hear local bands. My logic was that I’d feel less old and obsolete if I hung around the younger generation and heard new-to-me music.
The first band was a punk trio that played song after song in what felt like 45 second bursts of sonic-boom fury. People avoided standing in front of the stage because it was SO loud, and if I hadn’t feared for my long-term hearing, I would’ve been out there pogo-sticking. There’s something invigorating about music you can feel in your spleen.
Back at home where I’m modeling my wrist band that proved I was old enough to consume alcohol. I had to show ID for that sucker!
We stayed for two more bands and had a good time. Earlier in the week when I’d told my brother and his girlfriend our plans, she’d approved of my pre-emptive logic but also warned we’d be the oldest ones there. Well, I’m happy to say that Zippy and I spotted five people in the crowd who were clearly older than us. We high-fived after each sighting.
My plan was a success.
Today was another blue-sky-and-sunshine day, so I invited Zippy for a hike up in the open space. It was blissfully quiet out on the trails.
Another good call on my part.
Me meandering ahead of Zippy. We’d just scared up a Red-tailed Hawk, some magpies, and a flicker that’d been hanging out in a tree together.
So now I’m moving beyond another year and another birthday, and looking forward to any-and-all good stuff up ahead.