Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Post-Birthday Post

The insomniac's  60th birthday came and went last month with barely a whimper. Although she wasn't terribly enamored with the thought of turning sixty (other than the Canada Pension cheque which will start arriving after Christmas, and the fact she can now demand a Senior's Discount at all major retail outlets including thrift stores) she was quite excited about her upcoming birthday party, planned by dear friends and involving copious amounts of food and alcohol.

Because she prides herself on her outstanding immune system - the result, she believes, of more than twenty years working retail - she wasn't terribly alarmed when she woke up with a sore throat a few mornings after her last market. “You'll blow this off in a day.”, she told herself. The insomniac  always talks to herself in the third person, which she doesn't consider at all strange. However, should she ever start referring to herself in the past tense, then it might be prudent to think about moving her to a full-time care facility.
 
And that did seem to be the case. But on the morning of her birthday, Friday the 13th, she realized that whatever plague virus she'd been infected with had returned with a vengeance, and she would be forced to miss the festivities.

Cards, presents, leftover food and cake were sent home with the spouse who did attend, remarking to the youngest as he walked out the door, “Just because your mother can't celebrate her birthday, that's no reason the rest of us shouldn't.” And although she did attempt to eat her generous single serving of luscious lemony birthday cake a few days later, she was only able to manage a few mouthfuls. Telltale signs the insomniac  is fairly ill: she hasn't been able to drink coffee in over three weeks; candy is left untouched on the kitchen counter; and cake of any variety is left for others in the household to consume.


Now if you were to look at the birthday gifts the insomniac  received from her friends that night, you could not be faulted for thinking, “Wow! In the short year she's been out there, she's really gotten into rural life. I'll bet she's going to pound back that bottle of wine, take that terribly sharp knife in hand, head out to the forest to kill something, drag it back home and then taxidermy it on the Dining Room Table using her newly acquired information from the guide book.” Well, you'll just have to wait until the end of the post to see whether you're right or not, won't you?

While we're on the subject of presents received, this seems an opportune moment to thank the many people who've sent the insomniac  gifts recently (some as recently as five months ago!) - especially since it wasn't even her birthday. So, in no particular order, a heartfelt thank-you to the following bloggers for their kindness ...

To The Curious Professor Z for a copy of Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing - a most excellent reference book, from what one remembers of it. The youngest, who has come to stay at the Little Gothic Cottage for a while, mentioned that since she'd be out here in the Land of Boredom for a few months, she should probably get her Sainted Mother to teach her how to sew or knit or something to pass the time. Since that fateful comment, the book has somehow disappeared into the room formerly known as the Dark Fairy Princess “Guest” Bedroom, but is now referred to as The Abyss.


To Nightwind for a copy of his newly published (like five months ago!) book of short stories, Tales of Dark Romance and Horror. The insomniac  promised Nightwind she'd review his book on this blog, but has come to the conclusion she's pretty awful at writing reviews. However, she can say she liked the book very much. And apparently the youngest did too, since it also seems to have disappeared into The Abyss.


To Little Gothic Horrors for the beautiful stuffed raven who, quite predictably, goes by the name of Nevermore. The sly thing has developed the bad habit of finishing off any half-consumed bottles of Apothic, then flying erratically around the Little Gothic Cottage searching for a bust of Pallas to perch himself upon, waking us in the middle of the night with his incessant croaking of his name.



To Winter Moon for the perfect vintage copy of The Turn of the Screw, which will be read after the holiday season is over and one is craving a nice Gothic ghost story for those long, winter evenings;  postcards suitable for framing (especially the Lugosi one); a necklace made with a tiny vial of Welsh moss; various charms depicting toxic substances; and a hearse brooch. And although she couldn't have possibly known, the card included with all those lovely gifts is exactly the same as our wedding announcement paper - those same unused announcements one distinctly remembers packing up two years ago, but for the life of her cannot remember which box exactly she packed them in.


To Easel and Quill for her perfect Hallowe'en postcard of a coven of witches (also suitable for framing), sent with a collectible Haunted Canada stamp and containing a lovingly decorated letter inside.



Thanks also to Lucretia's Reflection, who sends the insomniac  beautiful cards throughout the year mentioning that she's thinking of her - despite receiving diddly squat in return.

And lastly to Spooky Moon, who made an amazing trio of stuffed pumpkins for a Hallowe'en swap hosted this year by Ms. Misantropia. When picking up the package from the local Post Office, the clerk remarked, “Oooooh, you have a package from a Spooky Friend!” Yessiree, Postal Clerk Lady ... the insomniac  considers herself blessed indeed to have SO MANY Spooky Friends.



Hopefully, nobody has been forgotten in this list of long overdue thank-you's. And this is what happens when you leave these things for five months - someone is bound to have been missed.

And what exactly did the insomniac  end up doing with her birthday presents? Created a stunning display with her new terribly sharp knife while managing to avoid slicing off any fingertips, poured herself a glass of wine, retired to her overstuffed chair to read Guide to Taxidermy from cover to cover, decided after going over the nasty bits a few times that maybe the dead things in the freezer could stay in there a wee bit longer, and then proceeded to kill the bottle before Nevermore got to it.  


Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.

IA

50 comments:

  1. I envy your lovely knife, but not your death virus. Also, that is a faaabulous raven. Hope you're all better and ready to frighten the masses once again!

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    1. Not gonna lie ... I'm a little scared of that knife, frykitty! I hope you're feeling better these days, too. Any raven is a good raven in my books! LOL

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  2. Aw, Happiest of Belated Birthdays, darling friend! I'm sorry that you've been so sick. BOO! HISS! Sending lots of love and healing mojo.

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    1. Awwww thank you, Professor! I'm going to celebrate some other day, never fear! Anyway, Christmas is coming so I don't feel so bad about missing it all. There'll be plenty of opportunities to celebrate over the holidays! :)

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  3. I am glad you are feeling better and sad that you missed your birthday. You have a marvelous group of friends and the presents were fabulous to see! I am also glad to hear that you have an Abyss also. Mine is what one normally would refer to as the dining room table.

    I suppose next year you will celebrate twice as hard, though were it me I would have thrown a book at hubs as he was walking out my door to go party (probably a good thing I have no hubs).

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    1. I'm happy to be felling better too, Debbi. That was a rough one, or maybe it's just a sign of my age! Ah yes, The Abyss. I'm more scared of going in there than I am of that knife. As for the spouse - well, he got my plague so ... karma? LOL

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  4. No coffee in three weeks???? That must be some virus. Sorry about said virus and having to miss your birthday party, but awesome that the rest of the family enjoyed the party without you.

    Thank you for sharing your presents with us.

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    1. I know, right? For someone who inhales coffee that's a tough one! And likely the reason I had such violent headaches in the first part of the plague - probably due more to caffeine withdrawal than the flu. The spouse did have a good time at the party. The youngest stayed home and tried to take care of me ... Would you like some toast, Mum? A soft-boiled egg? Kraft Dinner? Blrgggggh. Just more ginger ale and soda crackers please, dear. ;)

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  5. Oh, I'm so sorry you missed your own birthday party!! I hope you'll attempt a post-birthday party once you're feeling better, which I hope will be very soon. Sounds like you've got a lot of cake, candy, and coffee to catch up on!

    That naughty birdy! I'm afraid it seems that everything coming out of my household is up for shenanigans! ;D

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    1. Oh yes, a post-birthday party is definitely on the agenda, but I'm not going to risk talking about it beforehand in case it all goes to hell! I've gotten caught up on the candy already, and have been baking up a storm so good there too. Coffee, however - nope, nope, nope.

      So ... all your creations are little mischief-makers are they, Emma? Hmmmmm. ;)

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  6. A birthday party is much spookier if the guest of honour does not attend. But dang, that only applies if the non-attendance is intentional. So sorry to hear of your affliction. May it be banished with a dose of Welsh moss!! And wine. So many delightful gifts!! They are all amazing. Plus, hurrah for seniors discounts!
    I sincerely you hope you feel better soon, at least well enough to eat cake with a cup of coffee. These stubborn viruses. Puh! Hugs to you my friend.

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    1. Hah! I never thought of it as being spooky, but you're right! Maybe I was there in spirit but unfortunately I don't remember any of it. I hope I had a good time. Do you feel I should add the moss to the wine before drinking it? I might try that tonight. Obviously, I AM feeling better or that thought wouldn't have even crossed my mind. ;)

      Great gifts aren't they? Love them all. And senior's discounts - who cares if it's only 10% - I'll take it! Hugs back at ya, Melanie! Hope you've recovered from your fashion show. Man, that was amazing. I really do wish I could have seen it in person. :)

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  7. I do wish you WELL! So sad your wings have been clipped! Great idea to put the dagger under a bell jar, especially if the fever flares!
    Your gifts are all perfect for YOU!
    Re boot this celebration New Years EVE! 60 and Magnificent YEAaH!
    xoDebi

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    1. Thank you, Debi! Only clipped for a short while - I'm baaaaaack! LOL

      I love my gifts AND my friends. New Year's Eve is a great idea! I'll start planning it now. :D

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  8. Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday and I hope you are over your sore throat virus SOON. No coffee for three weeks, Yikes!

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    1. Thank you, Fran! It was a strange one - you'd think it was gone and then it would be back. And repeat. Of course, the spouse has it now. I really miss my coffee and have tried to drink it a few times this past week but it still doesn't taste good. I'll stick to Earl Grey for the time being, I guess. Boo. :)

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  9. Oh just in case you don't recognize me as "Fran", Yours Truly, Gracie O'Tripp.

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    1. I knew it was you from your avatar, Fran/Gracie. ♥

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  10. Wishing you a happy belated birthday! Hope you get better soon! What amazing presents, I'm a little jealous.

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    1. Thank you, Amy! I definitely feel better, but until the day arrives where I'm actually enjoying coffee again I won't consider myself fully over it. ;)

      Weren't they great? Especially that taxidermy guide. It's a reprint of one from 1908 - I knew as soon as I read they were using arsenic and cyanide that I probably shouldn't try that at home. LOL

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  11. A fashionably late Happy Birthday from me, too.
    My mom's looking forward to taking advantage of the senior discounts and benefits. She does lie about her age, though;-)

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    1. Fashionably late is good, Variations on Light! And thank you!

      Good for your mom! I figure there's no point lying about my age. You'd only have to look at the lines on my face and the grey hair to know I'm full of crap. ;)

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  12. Happy belated Birthday! Love the knife, what a cool idea to use it as a decor piece! Hope the " plaque" has passed so you can get out and enjoy all those perks!

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    1. Thank you, Mark! Feeling better every day. But if this is what being sick at 60 is like, I'm not impressed. ;)

      It's a great knife, isn't it? My very first! I believe I'm going to keep it in my car (otherwise I'd have to buy a belt and that ain't gonna happen). Then when I run across roadkill on our rural roads, I can “surgically remove” any parts that I'd like to bring home with me to decorate with. After checking with Fish & Wildlife, of course.

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    2. Know your "concealed weapons" laws if your going to carry it in a car. I'm guessing Canada's laws are significantly different than ours in regard to knives though. Not sure if you do the European Mounts for your taxidermy but saw a very neat paint process video that was done to a deer.. I'll see if I can locate and send to your FB or I may still have your email. Having been around hunters my entire youth and seen lots of different taxidermy, I've liked the change to the European skull mounts that some are doing.

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    3. I actually thought about that (are you surprised?) and was discussing it with some hunters. I think if I keep it in the back of my vehicle where the spare tire is I'm okay, but I am going to check that first. And I'm not just saying that because I know you work for the police department, Mark! It's why I'm in F&W frequently, asking if the dead things I've found are okay to keep. Most aren't, but I'm waiting to unload the contents of our freezer into the forest when I'm really sure the bear family is deep in hibernation. :O

      There are some very cool things being done to skulls these days! If you can find it, I'd love to see it. Another blogger just clued me in to a guy called Chris Haas who does some pretty amazing stuff.

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  13. Happy Birthday! I'm sorry the plague got you on your special day, but it still sounds like had a wonderfully spooky celebration! :)

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    1. Thank you, Lulu M! Yeah, it was kind of a bummer - but the upside is I probably won't get sick for Christmas now! LOL

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  14. Was it Wrong of me to laugh all the way thru a Post that actually had a serious illness mentioned in it? *Winks* You my Friend have such a refreshing sense of Humor even in the face of Adversity, I like that in a person! Belated Happy Birthday and so sorry you missed your party, but still giggling about your gifts and the mental picture I painted of you staggering into the Forrest to kill something and bring it back to stuff! *winks* Your Gifts are Wonderful, the Land of Blog has some of the most Generous people. Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Not wrong at all, Dawn! And I always figure that if you're not laughing at your misfortunes, then you'd be crying - and that's so much worse. Yes, I can see me staggering into the forest, too - waking up one of those bears that aren't fully asleep yet and who I'm sure are hibernating in the big cave on the property next door. Then dropping the knife and fainting. LOL

      Truly, the Land of Blog is a wondrous place. ♥

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  15. A Happy Belated Birthday to you, Insomniac! I'm glad that you and your youngest enjoyed the book. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery from whatever ails you. Once you're feeling better I'm sure that you'll get back to consuming all the goodies you've been missing out on with a vengeance.

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    1. Thank you, Nightwind! We did enjoy the book - and I'd like to enjoy it again, so I will have to brave The Abyss at some point I guess. I'm feeling better but not 100% yet. I guess these things take longer to get over once you reach 60. See what you have to look forward to? LOL

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  16. Well, that's one way to quit the caffeine! Hope you are better soon---glad your husband rose to the occasion and partied for you :)

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    1. Apparently I lost a little weight, too! So I've quit caffeine and lost weight all with one bout of the plague. I'll take it! Hah! Yes, the spouse definitely stepped up to the plate there, didn't he? ;)

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  17. Delayed congratulations, Insomniac!!! I am sorry you felt poorly on your Christmas day, but it is amazing you received so many pretty letters, gifts and good wishes from all the people around the internet. You are definitely loved out there! (Me included, maybe next year I contribute to your special day with some little oblation of my own).

    Anyway, I do hope you feel much better at this point, and send you lots of hugs and good wishes!

    Violette.

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    1. Awwww thank you, Violette! Oh well, I'm kind of glad I've gotten it over with and now hopefully that's it for the rest of the winter and I won't get sick at Christmas. And I feel very lucky to have received all those special gifts over the past few months - and also guilty because now I need to return the favours!

      I am hooked on that tea site, BTW. First pension cheque, I'm going to order a whole whack of teas to try out - especially now that I can't seem to stomach coffee anymore! LOL

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  18. That wine had it coming. I'm glad you got it before it got you... I love your knife, display and all. And your gifts? Yum!

    I hope you are all recovered... at least enough to devour sweets and cake and coffee and stuff... ♥

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    1. Yes it did, Magaly! I like my knife too - I will practice throwing in the spring, when my hands can stay a little warmer. :)

      I'm feeling much better, thank you. ♥ Today I started on the Christmas baking - always a good sign things are right with the world. No coffee yet though. :)

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  19. Belated Birthday Greetings to you, Honey!!!

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  20. I love reading your updates! The presents seem perfect for you! Belated birthday wishes! I hope the plague has left you now! Hugs!

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    1. Awwwww, thank you Laura! It's nice to know you enjoy the updates ... I'm never sure people are interested. ♥

      The presents are perfect, other than I really am terrified of cutting off a finger! The plague has just changed hosts - the spouse is getting over it now. Aren't I the most generous person ever? LOL

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  21. It sucks to be sick on birthdays! I have sadly experienced that so many times that I don't dare to look forward to my own birthdays anymore :'D
    I hope you feel better now so you can eat lots of christmascandy :D

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    1. Oh no! This may be the first time I've actually been sick on my birthday, Lesthi ... which sounds pretty good after hearing you've missed so many of yours! I shouldn't be so whiny. LOL

      Oh yes, much better, thank you. Planning the Christmas baking list right now. Yum yum ;)

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  22. Ok, I think I've got it!
    So, what wonderful gifts you got for your birthday. But are you sure it was 60..? Cause that just doesn't sound right to me. In my head you aren't a a day over 50!
    I am ashamed to say I haven't worked on your mittens at all. As it stands now, I will just have to send you something else - and you might not even get it before the year's end...

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    1. Do you know what caused the problem so you couldn't comment, Ms. Misantropia? I have another reader who's having problems, too. I did read it may have something to do with blocking third-party cookies.

      Yes, it was definitely my 60th - I feel quite FRAIL! I LOVE that word and will never let you forget you said it, you know. ;)

      Seriously, I need nothing. Spend your time on more important things, like schoolwork! :)

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  23. Man I've been such a bad socializer-- I completely missed out on your day =(
    I hope you'll forgive this rather late well wishes and congratulations! Next year I must make it up to you... I must!

    Glad to see you received some might fine gifts from some mighty fine people!

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    1. Well, I can totally relate to being a bad socializer, Madame MM - and thank you for the birthday wishes! I certainly don't expect people to remember my BD, and actually am not sure why I made such a big deal of it this year. I guess because it is such a milestone one - senior citizen and all. But please feel free to forget about my BD next year - I'm sure by age 61, I'm going to want to stop remembering them myself. ;)

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  24. Well, this is very odd. I know for a fact that I read this post before and I'm convinced I left a comment on it but yet I can't see one here. Has early onset Alzheimers kicked in ALREADY? I hope not. Anyway, belated happy birthday, dear Insomniac!

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    1. HAH! If it's early onset then you're in good company, Debra. I blame mine on old age - I know you probably can't use that excuse yet. :)

      Actually, I've had a few people having problems with commenting on my blog - not being able to comment at all mostly. I really don't know what's happening, and because it's something technical I probably never will. Anyway, thank you for the birthday wishes! :D

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