Unfocused and Happy

Little Z helped me with the chickens and the turkeys tonight. The young chickens are just starting to lay their first eggs. I snuck into the henhouse and moved all the eggs from the upper nests down into the lower ones. Then she found all of the eggs by herself. Walking back to the house, she was carrying a white turkey feather in one hand and the basket of unusually small eggs in the other. It was foggy and just becoming really dark, and our bats were coming out. She was counting them,

"I see two bats!... I see three bats! ... I see four bats, now!"

It's sort of something I don't want to say. People don't admit this a lot. But it's times like this that my life is some sort of magical lucid dream. I'm, you know, happy.

I had this horrible car accident when I was maybe nineteen, and right after it I truly, honestly wondered if I had survived, or if this was the afterlife. I had trouble relating to people for six months or so. Then I successfully blended back into the day to day worries that people have. I was heartbroken, listless, depressed, I worried about money, etc. I was back in the swing of things.

And then now and then I have these moments. Where I realize. That this is a all a gift. Everyone who saw that car when I was nineteen said, "You should be dead." But truly, everyone lives on borrowed time. I'm not unique. What's amazing is that we're alive at all. Grandma Ruth told me,

"Every day is a gift from god. That's why they call it the present."

I have her on a recording saying that. It's not original, she's the first to admit.

I was mostly worried and stressed all day today, and then that little girl of mine holding a feather and eggs and counting bats just brought me out of myself, and I can't get back into my worries. Tomorrow is the first day of school with students, and I'm not quite where I want to be. But.

It's just going to work out.

Ask, and ye shall receive. Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you...

Before I went in to work today, I went downstairs and brushed off an old chair that the cats had been sleeping on. I put it into the passenger side of my bug, strapped it in, and hauled it into work. When I got to school I saw another woman carrying in a giant pink flamingo, so I didn't feel so terribly odd carrying a large plush red chair. For a moment, I wondered if I was starting to resemble that creepy guy in the basement in the movie Office Space with my irrational chair obsession. I unlocked my classroom door and opened it. Turned on the lights. I saw my desk with the ridiculous "pop art" sculpture that one of my students gave to me. And there, behind my desk, was... wait for it... wait for it... wait for it... a big, cushy, deluxe, adjustable, rolly, blue, tacky, teachery, Global Malaga Series Executive High-Back chair, sapphire.


I feel so appreciated.

Those &%%^#$%#^&& Turkeys!

Tonight was "girls night", meaning BAH went out and Little Z and I were at home. I put her to bed. I said,

"I have to go outside for about ten minutes, while I put the turkeys and chickens to bed."

"But they don't need blankets!"

"No. They just need me to shut the door so the raccoons don't eat them. I'll be ten minutes. God natt. Sov gott."

Ten minutes. Ha!

I went out and shut the chickens in, as usual. But those turkeys!

They were half of them in the Bioturkey 3000, half of them outside of the fence and not knowing how to get back in!

The ones inside the turkey house were gobbling away at the ones outside the fence, and the ones outside the fence were gobbling away saying, in Turkish (of course),

"We don't know how to get back in! How do we get back in? Oh no oh no oh no oh no but how do we get back in?"

Oh, for the love of god, I thought, these turkeys! These ridiculous turkeys! How did they ever get out? And why?

The turkey house is pretty far from the gate. I went back to the gate and then back around, outside the fence, to the turkeys outside.

They seem to view me as their mamma, so initially, I just opened the gate and called them. They all came running, until... there was this point where they couldn't hear their friends in the Bioturkey 3000 anymore, so they turned around and ran back! And then we were back where we started again.

Well, this wouldn't do at all. The turkeys had to go in for the night!

So, I walked over, and picked one up and threw it inside the fence. One down, five to go. But the other five didn't want to let me throw them inside the fence! Turkeys land fine, being birds, but they were scared of me then.

So, I took another approach. I decided to act really scary. I ran after them, towards the open fence. Four out of the five started running. So then I had to run for quite a stretch to that fence! But it was okay. It turned out I can still run. Who knew?

I shut in the four who ran into the fence when I ran like a bat out of hell after them.

Now there was one left.

It kept trying to just run through the fence. Is this how it escaped? I have no idea. I came up behind it when its head was caught and picked it up. Then I threw it over the fence.

After that, it was necessary to wait until they all calmed down and went inside the Bioturkey 3000. Then, finally, I could shut the door for the night. I counted them. All eleven were home.

Dude. All this for Thanksgiving dinner, for us and a few of our friends. I don't know!

They are a bit funny, I have to admit.

Time time time, see what's become of me. When I look around, all my possibilities. I was so hard to please.

When I was in junior high and high school in Sebastopol, California, there was this store called Sprouse Reitz. Ah, Sprouse Reitz. I have no idea if I am even spelling your name correctly! But you were a crappy store. You were the kind of store I was embarrassed to be shopping at. You were the kind of store that sold cheap see-through shirts in the eighties when no one yet did that. No one but you. Because you were classy that way. Lots of people shoplifted there. Our local celebrity, Tom Waits, bought all of his clothes for his children there, and then we talked smack behind his back. Because that's how we were. Or that's how I was, to be more accurate. It was kind of like The Family Dollar is today. It was crap, but you could buy what you needed. I bought fabric there. I'm not ashamed. (That's because I'm grown up now; I was ashamed when I was twelve.)

Fast forward to 2011. All my old friends on Facebook- or, to be more accurate, some people I barely remember from high school on Facebook- are having this conversation on Facebook about how Sebastopol has gone to hell. About how all of the old "good" stores like Sprouse Reitz, like Tuttle Drugs, like AllyOops have all gone bottom up and the only stores in Sebastopol are hippy stores. Sebastopol has always had hippies, mind you, but now it is apparently completely overrun by them.

I participate in the conversation. You see, I'm friends with everyone on Facebook. I don't care. I'm alone a lot and need social contact. I'm friends with everyone except for friends of my mom and people whom I despise. Some of those even pass through. This makes me a part of many a meaningless discourse, the most recent of which is something about Sebastopol. Being taken over by hippies. Like this is a new thing!

"Sebastopol is the place," to quote my favorite teacher Patricia Hertz, "where old Volvos and old hippies go to die." This has always been true. Since to dawn of time. Do not argue. Patty is correct here.

All through this discussion of Sprous Rietz and the travesty of Sebastopol being overrun by hippies, all I can think of is the middle finger. (Is there an emoticon for the middle finger?) All I can think of is when Jen, aka Zgjenyue, worked at Sprous Reitz and she quit, after rising to management and becoming disillusioned with the dream. After she quit, every time she drove past the Sprous Reitz store, she would raise her middle finger quite prominently and shout,


and then she would go on with whatever she was saying.

I don't know what happened there. I don't want to judge. My friends are always beyond my judgements. I trust them with my life.

It was kind of like a facial tick or Tourrettes Syndrome or something. It didn't matter what was happening or what we were talking about. Sprouse Reitz was on the main drag of Sebastopol, so we passed it very often. Whatever we were talking about,

"But I think Derrida really meant that, when you were seeing reality behind this- FUCK YOU SPOUSE REITZ!!!! - third wall, you were seeing reality not as you see it, but through like the veil of the reality that others see and..."

Yeah. That was my dear friend Jen, whom I call Zgjenyue. She knows what happened there. It's all between her and Sprouse.

Facebook is so messed up, actually. If our former selves in high school knew what we were talking about now, the bathrooms of Analy High School would be full of vomiting teens. I'm not so sure about lamenting the death of Sprous Reitz. But I noticed Jen had no comment. Silence is *golden. (No pun intended.)

Jen's last name was Golden before she got married.

Footnote: I seem to be writing about Jen a lot lately. We all go through these stages. I'm sure I'll write about those other good friends sometime. She's easy to write about because she so obviously embraces her freakishness, and she's not especially sensitive. Admit it, my good friends. You are sensitive folk! It's hard to be written of. Count your blessings.

How to Fix an Accordion

First of all, you'll need a cat.

Update: The accordion repair was a success! All six formerly non-functional keys are now working! I could play in any key, If only I knew how to play the accordion...


I've shot two raccoons this week.

I guess I haven't kept you all up with the farm activities much lately. We basically decided that sheep are too much trouble to care for in the winter, so we decided to raise free range turkeys for Thanksgiving, instead. This way, we'll slaughter most of them in the fall and have nothing much to care for all winter.

We kept the turkeys in the barn until very recently. They seemed big enough to go out and take care of themselves. We had ordered fifteen turkeys to start. Two of them died right away, so when we set them out to pasture there were thirteen. This was last week. Now there are eleven. Two were eaten by raccoons!

This week was payback for the raccoons- but I feel really sorry for them, anyway. They were just trying to eat, right? Anyway, I shot two raccoons, and if you can believe it, I kept the fur and tanned the hides because BAH wants a coonskin cap. Seriously. Although, if I keep catching these damned raccoons, we're going to end up like Clan of the Cave Bear around here with animal skins covering every surface in the house. How could I shoot two raccoons in two days? Is there just an endless number of raccoons out there? For the love of god. I have PTRD (Post Traumatic Raccoon Disorder). I dreamed about raccoons last night, nightmares about raccoons dancing around the turkey field. They were doing the raccoon dance.

Now I've basically covered the little roosting area we made for the turkeys, to make it raccoon proof. Having a place for them to be safe from the raccoons would be very much preferable to shooting the raccoons. So I've spent the past few terribly hot days in the blazing sun, sweating bullets, building some sort of raccoon proof shelter. My great fear is really that the turkeys won't go into it tonight! I guess I forgot to mention that the turkeys are super super dooper stupid. People told me they were dumb before we got them, but I didn't believe it because they said that about chickens and our chickens seem not to be dumb. I'm not sure I would call them intelligent, but they take care of themselves. They have personalities. They run inside when they see a hawk, for instance. Not so much with turkeys.

I've started to think of the raccoons as these sort of super beings that can climb anything! Is it possible to make a raccoon proof structure? I guess our house is one, and our barn is the other. At least they don't attack in the daytime. Still, these raccoons are driving me crazy.