As part of the build up to my epochal 36th birthday, I've been having special color themed birthday dinners. This started last year on my 34th birthday with my epic green colored dinner party seen here. It was something all right, if a little stomach-turning.
This year was a more appetizing year----red and orange tones. The dinner itself was a little smaller than last year's. We were freshly back from the retreat and all of us were busy playing catch-up, with no time to cook a bunch of stuff.
Even with our time constraints, we still managed to produce a decent, albeit slightly random, meal.
We had spaghetti, sweet potatoes, beets, tomato salad (which was very good), tomato soup, fruit punch, red grapes, and strawberries.
We also had garlic bread sprinkled with paprika as a cheat. It didn't even work. The paprika turned brown in the oven and looked like cinnamon toast.
We sat around eating and enjoying each others' company----right up until I noticed one of my cats was missing. We've had a very sad summer, with two of our kitties going missing, presumed consumed.
I have a pair of great horned owls that nest just across the field from my house. Maybe there's a connection, maybe not. But every evening I make sure all my cats are inside.
But that night I couldn't find Essie. I made a perfunctory check of the house, but moved quickly outside. If Essie was inside, she was safe. Outside was the danger zone.
When I opened the door, one of the owls flew out of the tree right next to the house. I called for Caleb to help me, and we both started making the circuit of our tree line, flashlights shining into the trees. Every now and again, I would scare one of the owls out, but it would only circle around to a different spot, never actually leaving, only shifting position.
I was clear at the back of the property, tromping briskly along in my party outfit and hiking boots. The owl was in one of the trees in the back corner and I hurried over there, intending to scare it away and make a sweep down the side of the property where Essie liked to hunt.
My light was shining through the branches, making sure they were clear when I crashed into a barrier.
A sharp, pointy barrier that ripped and tore.
I knew instantly what it was. I'd forgotten about the barbed wire fence right there. I usually crossed it a little further up where the fence had fallen over. I took stock of my injuries, saw that I had a scratch down my leg, but I still had to get back to the house.
I'm a little past the days where I get to sit down and scream for my mother.
Climbing over the fence was an adventure. My legs were torn and I was feeling poorly, so it was the perfect moment for my skirt to get caught on the wire. I had to laugh as I stood there on one foot, the other balanced behind me on the top wire, blood streaming down my legs while my hand reached back trying to unhook the skirt.
I finally freed myself and headed through the waist-deep brush back to the house. When I was almost there someone shouted out the glad news that Essie had been found.
In the house. Naturally.
But that was OK. As long as she was safe.
There's nothing so cheering as a big, bloody injury when you are hurting. I hate the ones where it hurts like crazy and looks like nothing. Like stubbing your toe. Pure agony, but nothing to show for it but a slightly red little piggy.
Not so this time.
Of course, my family is naturally sympathetic. Tiggy told me, "Well, you wanted a red birthday party...."
Just how you want every birthday party to end....with the first aid kit. Now, if this were Devon's party, you'd sort of expect it.
My mom had made a yummy red velvet cake for desert. Red velvet cake with sprinkles goes a long way towards healing life's little hurts.
Yes, this will be a party I'll remember for a long time. Pretty much every time I look at the scar on my leg. I hope next year's party will involve less bloodshed. But I'm a little worried. We're doing purple and blues for the color scheme.
I hope nobody gets asphyxiated!