…according to the cake, I’m 10 years old today

Yep, it’s my birthday today. 🙂 The candles were the only ones we could find, and unless we wanted to buy 3 packs of candles, my age is capped at 10. Now, when we were in that predicament in the past we would create a mathematical formula that the blue candles represent two years and the green ones three or whatever, but we couldn’t think of a way to make the candles equal 25, so…

It’s OK, in the end it is WAY easier to blow out 10 candles. No complaints here.

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And looking at the photo makes me wonder: Will I ever buy myself a cake plate? Maybe I’ll ask for one for Christmas.

So far, my birthday bounty is thus:

  • An 18 piece drawing set (pencils and charcoal)
  • A drawing pad
  • A blue fishing-scene tea-for-one teapot/cup set
  • A leather jacket in a color which roughly matches my hair
  • 2 cards
  • An e-card
  • And birthday wishes from Facebook as my stateside people wake up

~BONUS: I think Songza added songs to my favorite playlist. I access it by using an add-on in my browser which changes my IP address so it looks like I am in the states still. 😉

It used to be my yearly tradition to spend my birthday/birthday weekend manning my high school art booth at the Thousand Springs Art Festival. This year the venue was changed to Malad Gorge State park, which, while pretty, is most certainly not Ritter Island–an island surrounded by lazy rivers, towering trees, and cliffs bursting with thousands of springs spouting from the side of the rocks. While you are up on the rim, there is nothing but sagebrush, dust (not even sand), and a few struggling stands of crested wheatgrass. Then you go down the grade, and suddenly there’s green, a valley with trees and lush pastures, and at every pool of water there are blackberries as tall as a house and brimming with songbirds, and the water pouring from the cliff is so clear, so pure, falling in a cascade, following the rivets in the landscape down the the valley bottom, to the river which is deceptively deep and cold. There were places open to rent a small canoe so people could mill about the island, go to check out some of the small falls…

Down the river a little ways, there’s one spot at the base of the cliffs where water bubbles up at the bottom of the river. The water there is so clear the sand at the bottom seems to be only a few feet deep, but is in reality closer to thirty or forty. Now the fascinating thing about that part of the river is that there is a blue heart about five feet across at the bottom, created by a deposit of opal-colored clay and shaped by the natural currents. I remember that place with extreme fondness, though I really have no emotional attachment to it besides the fascination of a child. I felt like it was a sign that magic surrounded us in the real world, that you only had to open your eyes to it, to see that such things existed in more than just books.

So, you see,

the gifts above are really quite perfect. My parents (and brothers) gave me the tools to reveal my artistic inclination. I’ve already used the pencils and pad for drawing: A poppy flower, a page of polkadots I did after having a bit too much cider, and today I was working on one of Utah’s arches (this one, actually )  and I decided on a whim to sketch a small dragon behind one of the pillars. …Now my husband gave me the tools to feel writerly. Sometimes, that little boost is something you need to shine a little extra inside.

Till later,

~Nicolette
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