Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy (nappy) Birthday!

Yesterday was my actual birthday.  I say it that way because my husband persisted in calling it my "fake" birthday, which it was not.  (He's in England golfing and doesn't want to feel guilty.  He phoned me twice and sent flowers, he's got nothing to be guilty about.)  Like the Queen, I am celebrating my Official Birthday on a day unrelated to the anniversary of the actual event.  My Official Birthday is Friday.  My actual birthday was yesterday.

For the record, I am now 46.  I hope this means I'm middle-aged, because I'd like to see the far side of 90 if for no other reason than to admire the view.

One of the things I really LOVE about Facebook is that it tells you whenever one of your friends has a birthday.  Today is my husband's cousin's wife's birthday; I'd never know that without Facebook.  (Happy Birthday, Sarah!)  Tomorrow is my friend Terry's birthday.  She's older than me!  Happy Birthday, Terry!
And, in the true spirit of Facebook love, I got over 70 birthday wishes on my page.  Which makes a girl feel loved.

One of my friends wrote, "Happy wine--I mean, birthday!"  Another wrote, "Nappy Birthday!"  I had to think about that one for a moment to realize it was a typo and not a reflection on my attitude or my hair, but, as a matter of fact, I had a very nappy birthday indeed.

See, my daughter and I got back Sunday night from a long week in Lexington, Kentucky.  After the Monday I already blogged about, in which I did an astonishing amount of work, I woke up Tuesday and did even more.  Early morning chores, a board meeting for Faith in Action, and then hitting the road with two young women, three horses, and, because of the steadily falling rain, no hay.  We preordered hay from the Kentucky Horse Park, where we were headed, by phone.  By late afternoon we'd reached my trainer Betty's place, had some lessons, cleaned off the horses, loaded back up--7 pm now, we got to the horse park to find 1) no shavings and 2) no hay.   We scrambled around and borrowed hay from some nice folks from Memphis, and then we flat-out stole shavings from the company who'd been supposed to leave them in our stalls.  (In the morning, I confessed to the crime.  They didn't blame me.  The KHP stall floors are asphalt.  You can't leave horses unbedded on that.)  Then we went to dinner--crusty with dried sweat, reeking of horse, maniacally hungry but nearly too tired to eat.

Wash, repeat.  The next two days we took lessons at Betty's place and made ourselves useful around the park.  I hitched a flatbed trailer full of bins of artificial flowers to my truck and we drove around decorating the cross-country jumps for five different courses.  The girls were surprisingly artistic.  We got sunburned and fell asleep quickly.  On Thursday night the other two members of their event team arrived, and on Friday morning the pony club rally began, which meant that the girls and their horses and gear were now sequestered away from me.  I took my mare out for a gallop on the farthest-away Rolex cross country field, and she mellowed into the happiest horse in the world, licking her lips and resting her forehead gently on my chest.  I love you, Mom. 

Saturday and Sunday we all competed all day.  My mare was fabulous except that her dressage canter still sucks--nothing but time and work will fix that.  My daughter's little horse was fantastic; she qualified for the East Coast Pony Club Championships, which had been a big goal.  One of her teammates also qualified for championships; another had her horse come up lame, which sucked.  We drove hard the five hours home and unloaded just as twilight was darkening into night.  We were very, very tired.

But.  I'd been reading the most fantastic novel.  (I'm reviewing it, so I can't tell you the name--it's not officially published until September.)  I'd been reading it in bits each night before I fell asleep, and I'd been really frustrated that I hadn't finished it yet.  So I showered, poured some wine, got comfy on the couch with the book in my hand.

I woke at 3 am, lights still on, book unfinished.  Damn.  Turned out the lights. At 5am decided to stumble upstairs to my own bed.  At 6 am, my nose started running like a spring-fed stream.  I got up to blow it, took a roll of toilet paper back to bed with me, and then got up and took an antihistamine.  Fell back asleep.

At 7 am, the alarm clock went off.  It must have been going off every morning while we were gone.  I slammed my hand onto the switch and muttered bad words.

At 8 am, my husband called to wish me Happy Fake Birthday.  We had a lovely chat.  I also talked to my son.  Then I stared at the clock for a few minutes and realized I needed to pick the dogs up before 9 am anyway, to avoid getting stuck with another day's board.  So I did that.  I had some breakfast and looked online at all my birthday wishes, and I was so, so tired.

So I laid back down on the couch, finished my book (STUPENDOUS), took a nap.  Ate some lunch, took a nap.  Received flowers from my husband.  Took care of all animals, took a nap.  Had a very good friend over for a glass of wine--felt embarrassed that I had no cheese to serve her, but she brought a log of chevre with her as a birthday gift--it was awesome.  Ate some on crackers with the wine and then later folded some into the creamy rich garlic sauce I made to go over ravoli from the fridge.  Cuddled with my daughter on the couch.  We ate the last of the Girl Scout cookies while I worked my way through a week's worth of magazines and catalogs and she watched endless reruns of the Big Bang Theory. 

Very happy.  Very nappy.  Happy birthday to me.

PS.  Update on Marian Randall:  She continues to slowly improve; she now can track people with her eyes and has added nods and facial expressions to her repertoire of responses.  Her spinal fracture looks as though it can heal without surgery.  She will probably have a plate put it beneath her left rib cage to support the shattered bones: when they tried to take her off the ventilator last week, the pain from these breaks was too much for her.  She can breathe on her own, but right now it's agonizing.  She will remain in critical care for some time.  Please continue to pray.