Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Jimñata!

My – Oh My!!! The Peaceman turned 40 yesterday!

Since Joanne and I moved in to our new (old) house last year on Jo’s birthday, we figured that it would be a good thing to have our house warming party on my birthday, which we celebrated just a few days ago. I would be surprised if anyone said that they didn’t have a great time! The rains held off – though it was a bit humid and hot, the food was delicious, the drinks were cold and the spirits where high!

Everyone enjoyed taking tours of our house and they all commented that they felt they were visiting an art museum, as the walls are obviously filled with many of my art creations and Joanne’s impressive quilts. But the party was – for the most part – in our backyard.

Joanne’s co-workers and their husbands came out for the afternoon and I had some new friends attending (my fellow guerrilla gardeners) as well as a friend from elementary school and a few other mutual friends.

The Bean Bag Toss Championship of 2010 was the main attraction for most of the afternoon. I was quickly but into the ‘losers’ play-off finals after having been beaten severely.

My guest highlight came when little Noah finally arrived. His parents weren’t sure if they’d be able to make it, because at the time of my invitation little Noah was in a full body cast!!! Yikes is right! About two months ago, Noah and his sister were playing outside after a rainstorm. Noah slipped, twisted and fell and broke his femur bone! That’s the largest bone in the human body – ouch! He just recently, had his cast removed and now just one of his legs is bandaged up, but he still has much healing ahead of him.

Kristen and Mike arrived with arms full of cake, the beanbag toss game and this attractive looking dude. Noah asked his dad what it was and he was told that it was a Piñata that looked like Jim – with a peace necklace and peace earring and a bottle of beer in its hand. Noah laughed and said, “It’s a Jimñata!!!” and so that is what it was called for the rest of the evening!

Noah’s wit and humour entertained many people throughout the course of the afternoon. A little while later, his younger sister Zoey came walking straight up to me and as she smiled and poked me in my belly she said, “Jim… you’re an old man!”, and then she ran away laughing. I gave James – her dad – a look that said, “What are you teaching these kids?” and James laughed, shrugged and pointed at Noah who was splitting a gut in hysterics!

Of course, Koly was there to greet everyone with a bark… and another… and another. In this photo Carolyn was offering Koly a glass of wine. I had to translate his barks so that Carolyn knew that he was saying, “Yo! I only drink beer! Yo!”

It’s too bad that there were no photos showing all the yummy food that was brought. We feasted on veggie and fruit plates, homemade salsas and other dips and Liz brought some of her famous baked fudge and chocolate chip cookies and pecan tarts! Of course, I had the bbq fired up for a while and although it was my party and I shouldn’t have been doing any work at all, I was more than happy to make sure that everyone had a full belly. We had ordered some spiced, homemade burger patties from a local butcher shop – fresh not frozen – that supported local free-range cattle ranchers. No McDonald’s burgers from the Amazon Rainforest here!

After dinner I was called into the losers circle to compete in another beanbag toss game, and this time Joanne was my opponent!

I gave her a kiss and told her that I would try to let her score at least a few points!

And then the game began! After just the first two rounds the score was 10 to 0 in my favour.

Soon, the situation was reversed and I ended up hanging my head in shame as Joanne came back to win the game 15 to 12!!! Maybe next time I won’t boast until after I win… if I ever win!!!

It was getting near sunset and Zoey came to tell me that she had been waiting long enough and that it was time for cake and ice cream. The Birthday song was sung and when they got to the part where they say my name we all had to wait a while, as this took a long time… “Happy Birthday to Jim/Kokes/James/Peaceman/Toxic Clown/Mr. Jim/Mr. Temagami/Kocabeaner…”

While I was cutting the cake I failed to see the slight shift in the surrounding atmosphere. Now, that I see this photo and I can see the mischievous smile on my wife’s face, I wish that I was paying closer attention!

I don’t think I need to say anymore about what happened next!!!! This incident made me feel like I was in a time warp, it happened so slowly and like a bad dream I found myself being unable to move and then – SPLAT!!!! Neal… you are obviously enjoying yourself WAYYYYY too much!

Then it was time to smash the Jimñata! Around and around they spun me until I almost fell over and then they expected me to swing my new gardening shovel! Stand back!

I must have been close many times – every time I swung out I’d hear a few “Ohhhhhs!” from my friends. You can see from my stance that I really meant business. I swung out with the intent of totally demolishing this thing and eventually I did – with one of the Jimñata’s legs sailing almost into my neighbour’s yard.

This is one of my best friends! Dave and I have known each other since grade 3 and it was great having him and his wife in attendance for this celebration. I’m looking forward to seeing Dave again in August for his 40th birthday party!!!

It was getting close to midnight and most of my guests had left for home. Some guests were just arriving. Rob had brought his guitar and a couple of harmonicas and for the next two hours the rest of us had pulled the tables together to sit closer for some homemade entertainment! Of course, I brought my guitar out too!

By the end/end of the night – LOL – or the beginning of the new day there were only five of us left! The guitars were put away as we didn’t want to bug the neighbours, so we sat and sipped on our beers and told stories. These four (although poor Ingrid isn’t totally in the photo – sorry!) may look familiar to a few of you. These are my Guerrilla Gardening friends and I’ve shared several stories over the last few months about our adventures together.

It was a little after 3:00am when I retired to bed and I slipped into dreamland with a huge smile on my face. I had had a totally amazing time! Great atmosphere! Great food! And best of all… great friends!

Thanks so much, to everyone who attended. I am truly blessed!


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