Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today is my younger brother's birthday.  As morbid as this seems, all three of us have outlived our parents' ages when they died.  That used to be a goal, but now I am way past and don't think about it.  I never hear from my brother any more.  He has been mad at me for some time.  But every year I send him an email wishing him Happy Birthday.  He used to always get a chocolate cake.  He doesn't eat sweets, so I never understood the chocolate cake thing. 

Yesterday was Solstice.  Normally I have a simple ritual with candles and I like to cook something special.  Yesterday I had a hairdresser's appointment for a hair cut.  Then I swung by CJE and AE's house.  CJE and I wrapped gifts until we were starving.  Then she drove us to a nearby town to a wonderful new restaurant.  It is run by some Mennonites in town, and the building frame was a really old, old barn from Michigan.  The food was great!

We were seated at a small table by a window, so both of us had a chance to knit while we waited for our meal.  We celebrated with a shared dessert-a brownie with ice cream and chocolate drizzle.  Sigh!

So then we decided to go to a local antique/junk store.  Driving there I saw a sign for the Wildlife Safari drive through place.  So off we go to find that place.  The sun was shining so brightly and gave the illusion of warmth.  We saw tons of animals that I have never gotten a chance to see in real life.  It is approximately 5 miles of driving slowly through different groups of animals. The emus like to run in front of the car.  So imagine the Ozark hills and high plateaus with Serengeti animals.  There was one really cute hippo playing with a big black rubber feeding bowl.  He was tossing it around, rolling it, and pushing it with his nose.  I tried not to think of the big cats in big cages.  They had huge, tall platforms for them to climb on, and there was one tiger way up on his throne.  I thought that surely he could just give one big jump and be out of there.  Oh-there are white American bison everywhere.  Some were really blondish yellow looking, but not albinos.  They were everywhere.  Some of the big guys had really muddy faces that I guess was from wallowing. 

Returning back to our starting point, CJE parked so we could go to the petting part.  They have several Pygmy goats that were expecting any minute, and a tiny donkey that looked pregnant.  So that pen was locked.  We went into the kangaroo section.  I have never petted a kangaroo before.  They have the softest fur that I can't describe as anything but downy.  There were a lot of babies there too.   There were bunnies, chickens, ducks, peacocks, and one big huge turkey.  One chicken followed us around, and a staff member told me he follows her all the time.  She just calls him Red.  We stopped on the highway leaving to see a couple of young camels.  They were expecting a gift (food) and one just made rude noises when we didn't give them anything.  Further down the highway was a huge pasture with yaks, long-horned cattle, and those African cattle with the weird horns. 

Of course our fiber eyes were only thinking of what we could do with all that fiber we were seeing.  CJE is wanting some of the white bison fur. 

So returning home from my day out, my two fur kids were very unkind.  They were "starving", and did I notice I was gone all day.  I had told them I wouldn't be gone long when I left. 

So today we still have a few clouds, and occasional sun.  From this day forward the days will be longer until June 21.  This always works for me until March.  Then I want it to be warm.  I usually tire of winter about the end of January.  February is a short month, and I suffer through.  But by March I am so over winter. 

I am nearing the end of the red scarf.  It will then be time to start the Fair Isle vest.  I haven't been knitting as much as normally.  I am spinning some luscious Polworth roving.  It spins so fast.  I love this fiber.

CJE bought me a beautiful calendar from Quilting Arts.  There is a most wonderful iguana on the front piece.  I love all the embellishments.  It makes me want to get in the sewing room.  I have neglected my sewing for too long.  So.....why am I not in there right now?

Happy Happy Whatever You Believe In!  I am one of the few who loves Christmas, but mostly because of the Solstice thing.  We are now on the side of more light! 

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