Wishes really do come true!

sack of tools, that is.
I have wonderful friends. Wonderful, brave, daring, talented, hilarious, engaging, and genuine friends. They are always backing me up, even when my ideas are totally batshit crazy. For example I once ran an impromptu coat drive and they stopped by with hot coffee for me and warm coats for the homeless. This time I sent out the invite to my taxidermy themed 34th birthday party and not only did they show up ready to learn, but came armed with accessories like sun hats and itty bitty cigarettes to create incredible taxidermy pieces while here.

This is the best birthday party I have ever had. I once had a roller skating birthday party that was pretty awesome. We had cake and skated. This, however, trumps any birthday party I or pretty much anyone else has ever had. Why?
Three words: Heirloom party favors.

Oh, and we still had cake. Red velvet cupcakes with rabbit ears on them. Thematically apropos.

Not only did these troopers put aside nerves and queasiness, but they brought booze and food and sweet gifts like Magic 8 Balls and bedazzled satin mesh-back Virgin Mary trucker hats (for real, which likely warrants its own photo post later this week). They also wrote genuine messages of love and endearment in my cards, and let me know how special and precious I am to them. They spent hours reminding me why I have chosen them to be my nearest and dearest. Additionally, they are an aesthetically pleasing bunch to spend four hours crammed in a cold garage with, so there's that.

Speaking of troopers, my boys Cedar and Koa deserve a HUGE hollar of gratitude. They entertained, wrangled, bathed five times, read books to, fed, comforted, watched movies and cuddled with Birch and Aspen through the entire duration of the party, the cleanup, and the time it took Brian and I to have a beer, take a load off, and reflect on how much fun everyone had. It really was a once in a lifetime type of thing, and I am so grateful to know the kinds of people who will step outside their comfort zones--or into them, as the case may be--and do something new for the sake of checking things off of Bucket Lists. Monotony is miserable, and everyone deserves to have an heirloom taxidermy piece to leave behind. Thanks to the assistance of Cedar and Koa, I now have two of them. I'll make sure to bequeath one to each of them.
One very important aside: The guinea pigs and rabbits we used were purchased from a reputable provider of feeder animals for zoos, animal rehabilitation centers, and other agencies across the country. They are bred to be feeder animals, and are treated with the highest standards of care during their lives and processing. Humanely euthanized using carbon dioxide, the animals are immediately frozen and sent out. You may notice the mounts we created use only the pelt of the top half of the animals. Because I love me some philanthropy, the parts you can't see (because my Grandpa reads my blog and I don't want to post a picture of a bloody, earless, footless rabbit here to shock him) are heading to Predators of the Heart, an organization serving wild animals in a variety of ways, and will become food for wolves and cougars. I am thrilled to see the animals go full circle to their destiny as feeders while also being memorialized as a tangible remembrance of one of the best times I've had in a long, long time.

Happy Birthday to Me! 34 isn't looking so bad so far... 

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