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Today is my birthday.

Yours truly was born on October 25, 1958…making me 56 years old today.

56 may not seem like a very special birthday to be celebrating, but for me it is special. I’ve been dealing with some serious health issues over the past year, which I am still battling. Honestly, there was a time when I wasn’t sure I would make it to this birthday. And considering that I’m still undergoing treatment, the future is uncertain. I’m not going to go into detail here – suffice to say that it’s a serious and life-threatening situation.

That’s what makes this birthday special.

That’s what makes me want to reach out and share it with my friends.

But in this world of modern technology, my friends live all over the country…and indeed, all over the globe. And the majority of us just don’t have the bucks sitting around to come to Kentucky for a real-life party – as much fun as that might be!

So once again I am resorting to the wonders of the internet, and the world of human imagination. We’re throwing a cyber party, and you’re invited to attend.

I grew up in Southern Indiana, and one of my favorite places is Brown County – south of Indianapolis near Indiana University. It’s especially beautiful at this time of the year, when all the leaves change color and the trees provide us with such gorgeous scenery…a perfect backdrop to a party.

Welcome to Brown County

Travel down a country road…

Brown County State Park

Cross over the creek through a covered bridge…

bean blossom bridge

(this is an actual covered bridge in Brown County)

And arrive at a charming old log cabin where we’re all gathering for this birthday celebration.


(this cabin is located in Brown County & can be rented by guests) 

The weather is still gorgeous here in Indiana – a crisp Indian Summer day, with temperatures in the low seventies. Behind the cabin we find a beautiful outdoor patio, complete with a fireplace.

outdoor fireplace

To whet our appetites and keep our tummies from grumbling as we wait for the main course, we can snack on some delicious appetizers…

including Spinach- Artichoke Dip from Gigi. Served with crackers, chunks of bread, and other dippers, it’s a real winner!

Spinach Artichoke Dip from Gigi

Fruit Salad from Dave is a sweet and healthy treat for all…

fruit salad from Dave

and Cucumber Boats from Cedar – stuffed with hummus mixed with chopped cucumber, and topped with mini pepperoni.


Of course I could count on Tara to bring the fondu, since we’re both major cheese lovers. Praise Cheesus!


These wonderful dishes help to get our bash off to a good start!

There’s plenty of mead flowing, compliments of my Spirit Bro Fyre Draconis, who makes his own:

Fyre's mead

And my Spirit Sistah Crystal Dolphin – who doesn’t make mead, but sure knows how to help me drink it! (and also happens to be a big The Walking Dead fan…can’t you tell?)

B Nektar Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser

So feel free to take a dip in the hot tub

hot tub

Or a short hike down to the waterfalls nearby.


Soon it’s time for the main feast!

Due to the generosity of friends who are aware of my love for both steak and seafood, we’re having ourselves a good ‘ole surf and turf dinner to celebrate my birthday. It’s a buffet pot-luck, so just help yourselves to the various delicious dishes brought by friends!

First we begin with a Fall Spinach Salad made by Willow – homegrown spinach leaves tossed with slices of apple, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans. One can also add chunks of blue cheese if desired, and a little helping of a homemade Dijon Vinaigrette.


Then be sure to head over to the outdoors grill where we have ourselves some delicious rib-eye steaks, compliments of Vikee. Our grill masters will be happy to cook your steak according to your preference (make mine medium-rare, please!)

Vikee - Rib Eye Steak

And because Crystal hails from New England, naturally she brought the lobster tails! You will find them on the tables next to the steaks…


Since this is October after all and we will soon be celebrating Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve, my friend Ghostie made her delicious Dinner-In-a-Pumpkin Casserole…made with rice, ground beef, veggies and mushrooms served in (what else?) a pumpkin. Nom, nom!


Just to add a southwestern vibe to the bash, David has brought his delicious enchiladas. Everyone needs a little spice in their life!  


FireSpirit brought a great pasta substitute with this spaghetti squash recipe, made with roasted brussel sprouts and chickpeas. A great dish for the vegetarians amongst us, and delicious for everyone…


One  needs potatoes to go with our meal, and Rachel has provided a bowl of Mom’s Potato Salad – a recipe from her mother that is her favorite food in the world. One bite and I think it might be rank at the top of our list as well!

potato salad rachel

And to round out the vegetable dishes, Hawk has brought his own favorite dish – Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole, with a creamy white cheese sauce and covered in cracker crumbs. Yummy!

broc-caul casserole

From the kitchen we can smell the wonderful scent of homemade bread, made by our baker extraordinaire, Jane. A mouthwatering accompaniment to our meal.


To wash it all down, we have a selection of wines…


all provided by Brown County Winery.

brown county winery

Of course, if you prefer a non-alcoholic beverage we have lemonade, iced tea, soda, and a special treat for this time of year:

Harvest Punch, made with apple cider, cranberry juice, and pomegranate juice, and shared by Kristen.

harvest punchNow it’s time to move on to dessert!

There’s a creamy, custardy strawberry-blueberry trifle brought by Wolf Wind

Strawberry Trifle

And our baker Jane – who knows that Osh is a big pie lover – has made an assortment of pies, including

Pumpkinpumpkin pie




and Apple,

apple pie

All served with cups of coffee or tea.

coffee and tea

Once the feasting is finished, it’s time to move into the living area, where Osh can enjoy the next part of her birthday bash…

opening the presents!

Stay tuned for the opening of the presents, later this afternoon!

presents will be posted here at the Crossroads for all to see and enjoy




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