A whirlwind birthday week

The wind is howling outside. Jerry and I walked our daily walk this morning and it was beginning to blow then. Now I see on Nextdoor Lummi Island someone has posted that the gusts are up to 69 miles per hour at the ferry dock and the ferry is riding it out mid channel between runs. I am safe indoors watching the trees whip and thrash in the woods around the house. I like watching extreme weather. I did a tiny bit of tidying outside among my flower pots and plants this morning before it started. Then I painted on my cat pictures — finished one. IMG_0455

This is the finished cat painting. Then I changed sheets and did some laundry. I am almost back to normal. But I am not just recovering from a major operation, I am recovering from a whirlwind of a week.

A week ago Saturday I went to a painting workshop at Lorna’s. There I started another cat  portrait: a cat belonging to a fellow islander. It’s a big, bushy part long haired Siamese with tabby markings. Here’s the unfinished kitty.IMG_0452The workshops are fun, and include a vegetarian lunch with wine and brownies. When I came home I began preparations for my birthday.

On Sunday, my two grandsons, James (from nearby Seattle) and Thomas (all the way from England) were here for a roast beef dinner. Also present were James’ wife, Maria, and their two children, Julian and Allison, and Cat Rodgerson, Thomas’s girlfriend (serious), my daughter, Debbie, her husband, Chris and their daughter, Clare.  Suddenly my slightly crazy friend, Gwen, turned up from Alaska. So I had 12 at the dinner table. The roast was lovely. I thought surely somebody would bring a cake, so I had no dessert. When no cake appeared I sent Jerry to the island store, which has fallen on hard times and has little food, for a dessert. He brought back the only one in the store — a cherry pie and it was good.

I had planned an entertainment for the children because I want them to like coming here. I got them some books full of facts about the world and its critters from the National Geographic. Those great grandchildren revel in facts. The main attraction was a bag of geodes! I asked my 6 year old great grandson if he knows what a geode is. He thought a minute and replied, “It’s a rock with crystals inside.” Imagine his knowing that! The geodes were supposed to be broken open with a hammer, but when I read the reviews on the internet I learned it would be much better to open them with a tile saw. I asked Jerry if he had a tile saw; of course he said yes, and he set it up in the studio with a lubricating stream of water. It made a lot of noise and some mess. The children wore safety goggles while the geodes were sawed in half. The whole thing was a big success. Each child had a bag of half geodes to take home.IMG_0434

On Monday, my actual birthday, Jerry and I took Thomas and Cat (Catherine) to dinner at the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive. The scenery was wonderful, but I was disappointed in the food which used to be really good and is now just barely acceptable and is very expensive. Thomas and Cat left the next day, vacating the our small attached rental and Gwen moved from the loft in our house to the rental. She stayed for a week.

I am fond of her. She is a whirlwind of energy, and being with her is fun but strenuous.  She wanted to catch up with all her old friends on the island that she hadn’t seen for years and she kept inviting them here. She invited her friend Barb up from Seattle to stay with her in the rental. Barb is a sweet and calm person and I was glad to see her, but Jerry and I are accustomed to solitude and semi-isolation; we were flustered at being surrounded by so many people. Gwen took us to dinner at the Beach Store Cafe one evening and I had a group of 6 for dinner one evening. Sunday night I went to a presentation at the school by Sharon Grainger, an old friend of Gwen’s and mine. The presentation was a Kickstarter for a book Sharon is collaborating on about Athabaskans in British Columbia. Sharon is a talented photographer and is illustrating the book with her sensitive photographs.

It was an exciting week. When Gwen left on Sunday Jerry and I flopped. Now we are getting some rest.

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8 Responses to A whirlwind birthday week

  1. marja-leena says:

    Belated Happy Birthday!! Wonderful to have family and friends to share in the celebrations. You certainly had a very busy day and week; even I would have found that exhausting. You do put some of us to shame with all you do.

    All good wishes to both you and Jerry for continued good health and energy!

  2. Happy belated birthday.
    My introverted self would have been totally overwhelmed. Happy, but…
    Love your cat portraits.
    Rest well.

  3. Tabor says:

    Happy Birthday and now go have a nap.

  4. Rain Trueax says:

    Happy birthday. I enjoy your experiences and vicariously especially with a lot of people around. We’ve become rather hermit-like. I keep thinking we should have more people around but for now it is what it is 🙂

  5. Hattie says:

    Sounds like a happy birthday! We are coping with the weather in Seattle, but our tropical blood is pretty thin, and I find it hard to stay awake.
    Your paintings are lovely, and Jerry and the little ones are having so much fun in that picture.
    I’m getting ready to have everyone over for a meal in an hour or so. Big pot of spaghetti and a salad ought to do it. Got to get going.
    Best, Marianna

  6. wisewebwoman says:

    Belated happies and ongoing recovery for you!


  7. Betty Bishop says:

    Love your Cats Anne – hope you are at least 90% you by now!
    take care,

  8. Annie says:

    Hello Anne, I hope you are well? I have returned to my blog after a 3-year absence but you are not blogging now. I hope that is just lack of interest and not something more serious, but I do miss your blog.

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