I had a birthday a couple weeks ago and some of the incredibly talented and kind people who I've met and taken as friends through this blog sent me a lot of love and appreciation in such wonderful ways...
Sven Bonnichsen and gretchin lair, of Scarlet Star Studios in Portland, Oregon, sent me an extraordinary original painting of Halfland and many of its characters. It sits framed right near me now and will be one of those gifts that is treasured always. I'm tremendously honored to have an artist friend create a piece depicting something that matters to me so much. This was done with minute attention to detail, a micro brush, and a huge heart. Thank you, gretchin and Sven! (Can you spot the Halfland details in the painting? answers: Answer Tree, Writing Mouse's House, Rana's cottage, Rain Barrel, Pink Snail, Time Fly, Bird in Hat.)
And, in what has to be one of the all time sweet heart ideas, Yaz and her big-hearted family threw me a charming birthday party all the way from Turkey! With husband Hakan at the camera and adorable tiny daughter Zeynep stirring at the stove, Yaz goes to the time and trouble to make me a biscuit cake decorated with my name, light the candles, sing and honor me before cutting the cake to enjoy. I was overwhelmed with the gesture of it and have to say the caring and thoughtfulness of it absolutely made my birthday.
I don't know what was sweeter, the delicious looking cake or the generosity of this warm family's hearts. I listen to it sometimes just to hear their sweet voices. Thank you dear Yaz, Hakan, and Zeynep, love from Aunt Shelley.
Many other visitors and friends here shared their hearts, wishing me a good year as well. I find the people here to be utterly remarkable. My humbled thanks to everyone.