Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday shenanigans & thoughts.

Yesterday, we held a combined birthday party for Cuddle Bear and Snuggle Bug. The boys had a ball playing with balloons as we were waiting for the guests to arrive. Beloved had been nervous and worried that we hadn't enough food for everyone. I, however, was fairly confident that things were going to go fine (after a brief spate of social anxiety driven panic). The weather was beautiful and the park was just lovely.

As the guests arrived, it quickly became apparent that not everyone we had invited were able to make it. I was a little disappointed but I recognize that life will throw curve balls at us and it can be hard to do everything you want in a weekend. (This was a big change from the last time I tried to throw a party and quite a few of the guests were unable to come. Then I got rather upset and felt rejected. It wasn't fun at all.) Even with the smaller number of guests, we still had plenty of folks to eat up the goodies we had there. The rainbow colored goldfish crackers that my MiL brought were especially well liked by the kids.

When the time came for presents, it became obvious that I had hit one out of the park. The firetruck that I found at the thrift store as a last minute purchase was the favorite toy of both boys. Thank goodness that Beloved's brother brought a monster truck for Snuggle Bug. He headed off the screaming fit right at the pass. For a good while, the boys alternated between which truck they were playing with. All of the adults made a point of complementing them on their sharing of the toys.

Amusingly enough, the firetruck was such a big hit that the boys were at first indifferent to the big presents from Beloved's parents. Snuggle Bug, after a while, did finally start playing with his wagon. He seemed to really enjoy picking up gravel and dropping it into it. Then, with some coaxing, Cuddle Bear started to play with his tricycle. He wasn't as excited about it as we thought he would be. Then I remembered, Cuddle Bear gets to use one fairly regularly at preschool.

We had cake but no candles on it. Beloved and I thought it would just be a lot easier that way. We now have half of a sheet cake sitting in the kitchen. Cuddle Bear wanted to bring it down to his best friend, Ladybug* but the weather isn't exactly agreeable to walking down there. I am sure that Ladybug and Wort** will be equally delighted with sharing some cake tomorrow after school.

I was a fool and forgot my camera at home. Thus, there are no pictures of the party this year. I hope to get a good one of the boys playing with their newest toys later. Perhaps I'll get lucky and get a good picture of Cuddle Bear on his new tricycle tomorrow. I think the weather is supposed to be sunny and warm tomorrow. Today, it is raining. I'm not going to complain, however, because the drought still hasn't broken.

The rain we have gotten recently and my diligent watering has resulted in my tomato plant having more then just two tomatoes on it. I'm quite excited. The pepper plant seems to have finished flowering. If I'm lucky, it will have peppers on it soon as well. I am planning on bringing some of my fresh vegetables down to Ladybug and Wort's mother in the coming week. She's been ill and I think some homegrown produce would cheer her up. I may even bring some herbs down.

My marigolds seem to have recovered some from getting so terribly dried out recently. I've started to get blossoms on them. It is my hope to collect some and dry them for making an herbal tea later. The first few blossoms that I had harvested are currently being rained on because I forgot to bring them in. I hope that they'll dry out well for me in the sunny weather to come. I have been reading about how one can use marigold blossoms to dye fiber with a little bit of vinegar.

Some interesting articles about solar dying have had me seriously considering dying some of my fiber from my MiL with this technique. I may even go so far as to save some onion skins and some red cabbage to try dying with that as well. I have a few mason jars free and a gallon of vinegar. If it really is as simple as steeping it like sun tea, then I believe I am going to give it a shot. I like the idea of dying my own fiber with stuff that I have immediately at hand. I may have to do a little bit more reading before I give it a shot. Either way, I hope to get some pictures of this up once I get underway.


* Ladybug is Cuddle Bear's best friend from preschool. She's about a year older then him but they get along like two peas in a pod. Beloved and I got a chuckle out of the fact that they're best friends. That was how he and I started out. If we're at their wedding 20 something years later, Beloved will be informing them that I had predicted it (in jest).

** Wort (from the old middle English word for plant and the nickname for Arthur in Disney's The Sword in the Stone) is Ladybug's little brother. He's five days younger then Cuddle Bug. He and Cuddle Bug play together regularly. Both boys seem to be becoming fast friends as well. It is something that their mother and I would like to encourage.

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