Happy belated birthday to me. Happy belated birthday to me. And you know the rest.
That’s right, last week was my birthday. Sorry, my abacus is broken so I can’t calculate how old I am, but I can tell you my birthday is also the first birthday of Tammie & David Beasties as well as Finn McSpool’s third birthday (and I am SO glad we’ve made it past the terrible twos).
Finn was born a nameless Beastie in Dublin, Ireland. His creator (Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties), possibly knowing what a handful he might turn out to be, quickly put him up for sale. After much debate, I decided to make him a birthday present to myself and offered him a home in Portland, Oregon.
He showed up, passport in hand, and I dubbed him Finn after Finnegan’s Wake (he reads the Beastie version called “Spin-agin’s Wake”) and McSpool as a play on that other famous Irish legend, Finn McCool.
Since it was my birthday, I took a rare day off work so we could get to know each other. We hit it off immediately, although I was a bit miffed about having to learn to share…
You can read all about that first day with Finn at the Portland Japanese Garden HERE, but let’s celebrate the birthdays of the most recent additions to the Beastie family before jumping into how we celebrated this year’s trip around the sun.
The More the Beastier!!
Last year, I happened to be in Ireland for my birthday. Don’t worry, I didn’t spend the day doing anything more glamorous than traveling by bus from Kinsale to Cork and then finding out our AirB&B host was really, really weird. Any birthday fun was put on hold until we got to Dublin a week later.
Wait. Dublin? Where Finn was born? Yep, and sure there’s fascinating tourist sights, ancient relics to behold, and cultural stuff to absorb, but the key draw? Meeting Finn’s maker.
Unbeknownst to me, Helen and Mr. Husband had some tricks up their sleeves. We met up then headed back to the vacation rental (because the first thing you do when you meet a stranger off the Internet is invite them into your temporary home, obviously).
There was a confusing exchange of packages and when I peered inside the bag I ended up holding, I found not one, but TWO beasties with oodles of accessories.
Since no one told me what was going on, I thought Helen was being extraordinarily generous.
Then it slowly dawned on me this was a surprise birthday gift from Mr Husband. Give me a break, we had just come from a loooong day of travel and I hadn’t had anywhere near my daily quota of tea!
Once we got it all sorted, it was time for a group photo with Explorer Beastie (Helen’s monster)…with, of course, everyone looking in different directions. Although it does look like Explorer Beastie is eyeing the books Helen gave me.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday in Ireland without some beer, so we headed over Open Gate Brewery (where Guinness proves they can make something other than stout). And since it wouldn’t be an evening out without Finn getting into the act…
If you want to read more about Finn’s Irish Adventures, HERE’S the best place to start.
But Enough of Years Past…
This year’s birthday festivities were held much closer to home, but that didn’t mean Finn wasn’t eager to get started on the fun. This isn’t exactly how you’re supposed to wear a backpack, but you have to give him points for getting his own gear together.
Where were we headed? A whole mile away from the house to the river for our first stand-up paddleboarding run of the year. For a monster who isn’t waterproof, Finn is a fair hand at the watersports and always enjoys taking in the view.
Despite a stiff head wind, things were going smoothly. Then, at about the turn-around point, I realized I was doing all the work in this little adventure. I looked down to see this…
–Really, Finn? Tea time already? You just had breakfast.
–That was well over an hour ago! I’m famished. Now, could you sing “Oh Solo Mio” as you paddle?
–I am not a gondolier!
–You’ll be getting no tips with that attitude.
The only solution to this behavior was to stick Finn in his “travel suit” (a plastic zippie bag) and make my way back to the dock…during which I had to stop myself from humming “Oh Solo Mio” more than once.
Once home, boards put away, and clothes changed (for those of us who wear clothes), it was time to venture off to IKEA. Okay, not the most glamorous of birthday dining experiences, but they offer a free birthday lunch complete with cake, so how could I resist?
Of course, I didn’t get to eat ALL my cake…
–Finn, you just had a sandwich less than an hour ago.
–Yeah, only ONE sandwich. I’m wasting away to nothing!
I should really start leaving him at home.
Those silly Swedes also gave me $15 off any purchase, which I put to good use on a new outdoor chair that cost (wait for it, wait for it) $15!! Birthday serendipity.
Unfortunately, chores still need to be done on birthdays, so it was a little while before I could enjoy lounging in my new cha—
–That’s MY chair. And are you really eating more food!?
–And washing it down with a Hop Monster beer. Birthday calories don’t count, right?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little birthday tour and trip down memory lane. One day I might even get to use my new chair. Maybe.
I’ll see you Wednesday with some updates from my writing world.