Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Day After--Basking in the Afterglow of a Milestone Birthday...

My 60th birthday party was yesterday. About 200 Facebook friends sent me well wishes and, here in person, 15 people attended the birthday dinner hosted by Jackie, Wendy and Sue.

The Lineup: Marian Hawkins, Mary Jane Cooper, Penny Howard (childhood friend, daughter of Mary Jane), Betty , Carol Beitz, Sue and George Rebar, Phil, Wendy, Casey and Jamie McNiven, Malia (first grader from across the street and frequent goat-walking buddy and guest when the other kids are here), Andy and Ella Wallace (two of the children I watch in the nursery during church, cousins of Casey and Jamie) and Jackie.

Jackie made Mom's renowned "porcupine meatballs;" Sue made a decadent, world-class chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (did I tell you I like chocolate? If not... now you know!), and we all talked and talked and talked.

Several of the ladies played cards.

Marian and George exchanged some conversation in the Czech language, which was fascinating!  I'm going to try to find a Tacoma-area Czech-speaking local club so Marian can find more locals who speak Czech. She came here as a young girl speaking only Czech, quickly learned English and taught it to her family, but she would love to find someone local who she can practice it with again. 

This is by no means a final tally, but so far I've received $343 for the goat fence. I also got a royalty check from Authorhouse for $136 and a church paycheck for $100, so I'll put that into the pot too. Jackie plans to add another $250, I think... so that's a little over $800. Wowee Zowie!!! If the neighbors still want to borrow the goats, they'll be paying for some posts and panels, too.

In two words: The "Bucks for My Does" campaign has been a phenomenal success. I can't wait to have the panels delivered (next weekend) and get my little darlings out into a "pasture" for perhaps the first time in their young lives. (I believe they were pretty much barnyard-bound with their moms until they came to us last July.) 


I know there is money on the way to me from Afghanistan (unbelievable!) and other far-flung places.  Everyone who donated will find your name on the fence, if you ever come out this way for a visit. 

There is NO WAY my sister and I would have been able to do this in time for spring without your ENORMOUS help.  I'm pretty sure now that we'll be able to erect at least HALF of the total span we'll eventually be fencing in--and in the meantime, we can just plant the stakes all around the perimeter and move the panels as needed to keep the goats within the areas we want them to be munching all spring, summer and fall.

I will take photos (FOR SURE) and videos (PROBABLY) so you can keep track of the fencing process.  And I'll for sure take pictures of Laverne and Shirley in their new pasture checking it out (and probably cavorting in it) as soon as we have enough of it set up to make a grand showing of it.  I hope to have it mostly set up by mid-April. 

My right hand and lower back are beginning to cause me some problems, so I don't know how many fence stakes I'm going to be able to pound in on a daily basis. That's the hardest part of the setup and will take the longest.  I may be able to get some help from Casey and her dad. If so, that'll be a godsend...

OH!  I also got other lovely things for my birthday. The wee ones all made me handmade cards; if they were too young to write notes in them, their moms wrote the notes for them... I treasure them!

Margot sent me $25 for the goat fence.

Edward gave $40 for the goat fence.

Laurel sent $25 for the goat fence and a small keepsake book she made by hand which is FABULOUS!

Casey got me two critter figurines (a lion cub and a dog)

Betty and Carol got me a Subway gift card (YES!) and a box of Turtles (you know, those wonderful chocolate-covered nut candies)Marian's caregiver got me a $25 gift card for another store (non-food)

Mary Jane got me a book I'm very much looking forward to getting into, "The Book of Awakening," by Mark Nepo

And George and Sue got me a frozen Smoothie kit

Phil and Wendy gave me $50 toward the goat fence (paraphrasing) "if you must but we hope you'll spend it on yourself."   News flash: spending it on the goat fence IS spending it on myself!  Nothing will make me happier than getting my girls out into an open area so they can feel deleriously free ! I can already see it in my head; very soon it will be a reality and I will be able to bask in its accomplishment!

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In Other News:

I have a busy work week ahead on Elance. It may actually consume a full forty hours for the first time ever. Now, THAT would be a welcome happening!

Jackie wants to have the desk I've been using in my office as a work desk for her quilting room, so I swapped it out a few days ago for a smaller one that Dad made me 25+ years ago. It's EXACTLY the right height ergonomically and I sit up straighter at it, so it's going to help my back a lot. I'm typo-ing less often too.  I finally have THE RIGHT DESK FOR THE JOB!  (Thank you, Daddy!)

And I got a loveseat from the church for just $20. It matches the rug in my living room much better. (My old couch, a hand-me-down from Jackie, was killing my back.) I also got a storage cabinet and bookcase for my office for $15 from church, so my home and office look SO much better now. (Thank you, George, for delivering them to me!)

I am ORGANIZED!!! When Malia came by yesterday and saw my new office and living room setups, she said, "Wow!  It doesn't look junky in here anymore!!!" (Out of the mouths of babes!) She is absolutely right.  And the good news is, with a smaller desk I'll have to keep things neater: there's no extra room for strewing  or stacking papers, so whatever I have out (visible) will have to be "a work in progress;" ll else will have to be filed away somewhere. WOO HOO! This way my office with stay un-junky!

How cool is that!?

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