Party Hats and Pig Ears

Ray has most definitely had a challenging year, but in the best of ways.  We moved to a new home which fortunately doesn’t seem to stress the dogs out, we had Sugar and her pups here for a while this summer, and Ray had TTA surgery which included a log recovery, so when his birthday rolled around I wanted to make sure we had a nice little celebration of his four years.

  

The day began with his little brother being shipped off to day play so that Ray was able to gnaw on the good antler to his heart’s content.  (Half a dozen antlers in the house but only one “good” one).  He stayed at home with his dad and supervised some trim painting, took a few naps and generally had a low-key kind of day.

After work, Ray got to enjoy a walk with his best gal, Sugar followed by party hats for the dogs who wanted and the cat who couldn’t get away fast enough. 

 

Ray is too cool for a hat.

 
Ray, Julius, and Sugar split a dog bone-shaped birthday cookie and indulged in a nice pig ear party favor and to cap off the celebration, Ray got a new Bumi to destroy chew on.

  

To be honest, we don’t always do a party with all the dog friends but this year it seemed like the thing to do, since Ray now has another friend* besides Julius. 

 

Fun hangover

 
How do you and your dogs celebrate birthdays?

 

*Ray and Chance have only seen each other once and Ray isn’t a huge fan, so Chance stayed at home and got his cookie and pig ear delivered.

Reflections at the Half

 

Not that I actually expect to live to be 100, but this milestone just seems so much more apt for reflection because I don’t remember any other age feeling like this, but that could very well be due to advancing age and declining memory. It does seem to be the point at which the limits of your mortality stare you in the face as in, “I only have x many years to do this,” and x is the variable. X used to be larger than my age, now it is not.

 

How have I arrived here? Old Blue Eyes sang, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.” I’m hard on myself. I have more regrets than “too few to mention” and although I truly believe that each step along our path leads us to where we are, (side note: I once had two job interviews in the same day and accidentally went to the second one first and I was hired on the spot. That is where I met my first husband, Asia’s father. If I had gone in the right order my life path could have been altered in the worst way) there are some things that I would have done very differently.

 

More days I feel old. I read less because I don’t always have my glasses at hand. My body, which I used to push past limits is now more fragile and Mighty Mouse is not so mighty anymore. I thought I’d have a tattoo by now. At this point, I’ve missed some deadlines for goals that I had set, but I guess rather than scrap a worthy project, I will continue on.  My project.  I had a conversation with a friend about kindnesses performed and what I would allow myself to count.  It’s possible I may have reached that goal but haven’t acknowledged it.

I interact more with the help of my fingertips and a keyboard.  I’m awkward in person which tends to make me quiet enough to seem reserved or even stuck up.  I try to be kind but can also be abrasive and cutting.  I don’t take compliments well, nor do I give them freely, so if I pay one I’ve meant it and if I’m given one, I revert to the above mentioned awkwardness.  I love and trust wholeheartedly, but once that is broken it can never again be restored to a pristine state.

I believe in karma and because of all of the  deficits I see in myself, I try to work extra-hard to build my good karma bank.

All of the above was written before my birthday and saved in draft.  I’m glad I didn’t finish it and publish it before my birthday.  I didn’t realize how morose I was feeling as the day approached.

 IMG_5951

 

Remember in Sixteen Candles how Molly Ringwald didn’t feel any different on her birthday than she did the day before?  That’s usually how birthdays are: full of anticipation and a lot of let down from not “feeling” different.  This time it was different.  I feel happy, re-energized and full of purpose.

The hubby and I spent the actual day of my birthday cleaning the house like madmen in preparation for the party hanging out together, followed by dinner out with Asia.  On Saturday morning, I fulfilled one of my bucket list items by volunteering at the Pet Food Pantry for the SPCA at the Community Harvest Food Bank.  What a truly humbling and rewarding experience and a great way to start the day.  In the afternoon friends and family gathered to help celebrate what seems like a “coming of age” type of revelation for me.  While the party wasn’t a surprise, the guest list/RSVPs were withheld, so I had very little idea of who was coming.
What a thrill!  So many neighbors, friends, family, and a huge gathering of staff and volunteers from the shelter who all made connections among themselves to form new friendships.  The comment so many different people kept making to me was, “Your friends are so nice.”  Yeah.  I’ve done something right because I have the best of the best surrounding me.

So, to my husband who worked like a fiend to get the landscaping and so much around the house in shape, to Asia who helped organize everything and ordered the most amazing cake, thank you.  I love you both to the moon and back.