Quote of the Day

"Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies." -a coworker, in his retirement speech. This somehow made everyone cry. Maybe you had to be there.
Then he told this story: There used to be a lady here, a teacher who was four foot five, but five foot six when you added her beehive hair [all of the old-timers nodded and said this description was 100% true]. She was a sweet lady who spoke with a nasal voice. The retiree happened to be in her class one day when she had a new student. She beckoned the new boy to come to the front of the room. Now, this was back in the time of "sets theory," and there was a "sets class". So she asked this poor young soul, new to the middle school, "Have you had Sets?" but, because of her nasal voice and the local accent, it sounded just like, "Have you had sex?" The entire room went silent. Every child looked up from her desk, waiting expectantly. The boy looked at his feet and blushed. She asked him again, "Have you had sex?" Still, the class waited. It was the kid's first day at a new school, for the love of God! Finally, he said in a tiny little voice, "Do you mean have I had sex education?" True story.

Tonight's Bedtime Story

Little Z requested that tonight's bedtime story include 1. a dragon in the real world and 2. a little boy.
Once, there was a dragon in New York City. He was walking down the street, and he took a deep breath. He wasn't paying close attention, and when he exhaled, he accidentally used his fire breath and set a bookstore on fire! The bookstore burned down.
The New York City police were chasing him! (They knew it was our dragon who burned down the bookstore. He was the only dragon in New York City.) So, he flew up into the air! He thought he had escaped, but the helicopter police chased him. So, he flew up into outer space. Finally, the helicopter ran out of gas, and started falling back to Earth.
The dragon began to feel sorry for the people plummeting towards Earth. He was afraid they would die. So, he saved them. He let them take a ride on his back and landed the police gently down to Earth. They forgave him for burning down the bookstore. [At this point, I almost said, "and they lived happily ever after," but then I remembered number 2: a little boy.]
There was a little boy in New York City who loved to read. It just so happened that the bookstore the dragon accidentally burned down was his favorite bookstore. So, the dragon and the little boy rebuilt the bookstore together. They built it just the same as it was before, only this time there was a whole new section devoted entirely to books about dragons. They lived happily ever after.
Now, go to sleep.

Hello? Teresa?

Teresa of the Frog Blog and the Frog Applause comic strip seems to have gone missing. Her last post on Gocomics was May22. Her last blog post was also May 22. I've been following Teresa for a couple of years and I've even named a cat after her. In all that time, there have been a few missing comic posts, but always she posted several times on her blog every day. Did she just lose her internet somehow? What's going on? I'm truly worried. Teresa is somewhat of a celebrity to me. I love her comic. This is the last one:
It's very strange, but I love it. It's like an inside joke every day. She's the friend I've never met.
Her blog is a mix of beautiful pictures, strange humor, and unusual news articles. She has sent me a couple of emails. I was delighted. Teresa pretty much convinced me to make this blog public again. Then she was quite happy that I named a cat after her, and posted pictures of Teresa the Cat. So, where is she? What's going on? I hope she's okay. I feel like I have too much emotion about this person I've never met, but I am nevertheless worried about her. I remember long ago, she ran a little article on her blog about unrecognized forms of grief: celebrity grief and pet grief. I'm currently experiencing celebrity concern. Update: She's back!

Her Name Is Yoshimi

I named this lamb (the smaller one) Yoshimi:
She has cool horns: one spiky set which sticks straight up, another spiky set which sticks straight out to the sides. Yes, I realize naming her will make it hard to possibly eat her someday. So be it!

Falling off the Ladder

Last night, a huge windstorm swept our area. It ripped to shreds a tarp I was using to make the roof of the turkey coop waterproof. This morning, before going to work, I set about to fix it. The ground wasn't level, and I was careless. Once I reached the top rung of the the ladder, it fell sideways. I stuck to it about half way down, and then sprung off to the side, landing on my feet. I was completely uninjured, but nevertheless had an urge to call BAH at work and say, "I FELL OFF THE LADDER!"
Not I, though. I found firmer ground and finished the job. Those turkeys. I hope they're grateful! I was all shook up.


One of the interesting things about living in or just outside of a small town is that everyone knows you. I'm not sure what the reason is, but people seem to know me more than I know them. I go shopping and someone says, "Hey Cellar Door." [Not my real name, of course!] I go to pay a bill with cash. I've seen the woman once before, and she says, "I know it's Cellar Door, but how do you spell it?" I don't know her name. I ask it. I come up with a mnemonic device to remember it. I forget it. Those are the store people, the ones who have an interest in my business. Those people, I understand. They have their reasons for remembering me.
[Little Z's picture of an Eastern Bluebird. I think her teacher wrote "bluebird."] There's a second group, though. People who have no vested interest in me remember me and Little Z. Everyone from Little Z's preschool knows us. There must be a hundred kids and all of their parents, etc. A woman stopped me at the grocery store today and talked for ten or fifteen minutes. No idea who she was. She knew Little Z's name, she knew our car, she knew all about us, it seemed. I have no clue who she is! Smile and nod. We're just notorious, I guess.

Poop in a Pillowcase

This story will have random pictures, because no one wants to see pictures of poop in a pillowcase!
Part 1: Before I tell you what happened, you should know what happened earlier today. Earlier today, we had a massive failure involving a motorcycle and a U-Haul truck, and to make ourselves feel better, we ate some ice cream. Little Z had chocolate ice cream. She sat there in her underpants at the kitchen table and painted her body with chocolate ice cream. Then she went into the bathroom and cleaned it off with wet toilet paper, throwing each bit of chocolate covered wet toilet paper on the floor of the bathroom when she finished using it. "You know," I told her, "People see brown toilet paper all over the place, and they might get the wrong idea."
Part 2: Little Z has a little potty in her room. It's supposed to be for going pee in the middle of the night. "No poop!" I tell her. "Poop always goes in the toilet!"
Part 3: I went outside today for a couple of hours to water our fledgling orchard. It was hot as a mildly warm day today, so we were freaking out. I went around to water. Bad Assed Husband took care of Little Z, who is four. This involved playing with her a bit and giving her a bath and puting her to bed. Sometime during this process, this habitual ritual, he found a pillowcase that had brown stuff on it. He thought it was chocolate from earlier. He started to wash it, and realized, as he held it, wet and rancid in his hand, that it was wet poop. He held in his hand, his hand that he takes with him everywhere, the hand that he eats with, the hand which is connected to his body, he held in this hand a pillowcase full of wet poop. It was dripping.
Part 4: He didn't kill her. He didn't even hit her! It just shows what fatherhood does to a kind person. He had a nice talk with her, in which it was revealed that she had pooped in the potty chair, and decided to clean it up herself. And then to clean it up, she had put it into the pillowcase. In the end, he was only really angry with her for not warning him about what was in the pillowcase. He suppressed an urge to tell her that "poop in a pillowcase" was good alliteration.
Part 5: I came home at her bedtime, and tucked her in. I went downstairs and BAH had all the horrors of the universe written on his face. A whiskey in hand. And he told me. The horror. The horror of the poop in the pillowcase. The wet poop in the pillowcase.

Sign of the End Times (a.k.a. paranoia)

Sometimes my apocalyptic paranoia catches up with me. Thursday, a kid threw up at school. It's usually not such a big deal. It happens. Except that this was absolutely the most vomit ever! This kid make the whole eight foot wide hallway a pukatorium! I offered to walk him to the nurse, and then I couldn't figure out how to get past all the puke to get to him to walk him to the nurse. Still, whatever, no big deal.
Then, yesterday, someone drove down the road and stopped by our house. Which is odd. I tried to act nonchalant and ignored them. But after five minutes or so, she still hadn't driven away, so I took a peak around the corner of the house- and there she was. A nice looking woman puking her guts out in front of our house. And maybe I've been reading Zombies Are Magic too much, but I thought, involuntarily I thought this is how the end of humanity begins. They'll think it's just a stomach flu... And then it's the Zombie Apocalypse!

Oh, my.

For those who tuned in earlier, I'm sorry. That was quite the rant. I try to steer clear of religion and politics. I can't completely delete the picture, though. Its camp value is too fantastic. I'll just make it small for you, and you can click on it to really see it- if you dare:
{The picture is called, "One Nation Under God". Follow the link to the artist's web site.}

Spring Chickens, 2 Weeks Old

The baby chicks from two weeks ago got to move out of their
little box and into the big pen. They are just the cutest darn things ever. I was watching them get ready for bed. It was like second graders at a slumber party. Everyone had to lay in just the right spot. They went to bed one at a time, finding a nice spot under the heat lamp. They all snuggled up close to one another and settled down, but then the next one would snuggle in and upset the whole bunch. They would all get settled again. Then another would come and lay down, making them all move over just a little bit. Finally, the last one came along, number fourteen. A big little chick! And he walked right over everyone and took a spot right in the middle! Everyone popped up again, WHAT WHAT WHAT? TWEET TWEET? And all over again, everyone had to find a spot, and settle down. Once they were sawing logs, I got up to go, moving the chair a little and waking them all back up again!

Build a Little Birdhouse

A little birdie has taken up residence in this little birdhouse gourd we hollowed out for Easter. I keep trying to get a picture. Sorry. No bird in this one. It's nice that the one closest to the house, basically the only one we see, actually has a bird in it!


We're getting ready for the sheep! Sheep don't mind the cold, but they do not like to get wet. Because, you know, it makes their fleece shrink and then their ankles show and then they get all embarrassed. It's really untoward. So, we built them this shack over the past week, to keep them dry:
It was only a few days ago, but I cannot recall why we chose a design quite this complicated.
Actually, we had no plan at all. We just did it. It's a lean two. It leans, too.
I really enjoyed building this. I didn't feel like a builder, I felt like an artist. Is that wrong? At a few points, I realized some actual measurements may have helped. Still, it's solid. Really.

Rare Book Review

I'm reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It's probably against the rules of book reviews to write a review before you actually finish the book, but I am so enthusiastic that I cannot suppress my rapture.
This book takes the every day, the mundane, and the tragic, and gives them all a mythological flavor. It's just about one person's family. Eugenides does what I wish I could do on a daily basis. The book is inspiring and comical at the same time.
The story takes place mostly in Detroit. The name of the book, Middlesex, is not the town of Middlesex but rather because the narrator is a hermaphrodite named Cal. Cal being gender neutral really works well, actually, because you see the world through a somewhat neutral perspective. Men and women are as men and women will be, and Cal just tells the story. Of his emotional and incestuous Greek-American family who are exactly as weird and wonderful as your own family. (Or maybe just as weird an wonderful as my family?) ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Cal is telling the past story of his family, of his conception, etc., while all the while in the "present" falling in love with a woman. Cal is shy. You know that if you were hermaphroditic, you would be shy, too, especially if you were falling in love. Suspense lies in wondering if and when Cal will reveal his secret. He looks like a guy, so I'm calling him "he" and "him". Back and forth, present and past, everything weaves together in some sort of comical mess. Just like life.

Motherhood is Disgusting

Little Z brought home this bag from preschool today. I'm not allowed to look in it. "Breakfast in Bed: Since it is your day, I have something to say. Don't lift your head. Have breakfast in bed. Just take a look... You don't have to cook! I don't like to brag, But it's breakfast in a bag! Happy Mother's Day 2012! [2011 is written over.] Enjoy!"
It's kind of greasy on the outside, a little. I realized when I saw this that: A: Mother's Day is still three days away and B: the idea of eating anything in bed is rather disgusting to me. I mean, I sleep in that bed. Eating is so messy. I have images of egg bits stuck under my armpit in the morning. Also, there's no coffee in that bag. And I'm trying not to eat carbs, and I peaked and it's muffins. But, for the sake of motherhood, I will act really surprised and pretend to enjoy eating stale muffins in bed on Sunday. Maybe I will enjoy myself. Who knows? And then I will change the sheets and vacuum. Happy Mother's Day! [Note the backwards Z in the upper left corner of the bag. I never thought about how much my daughter would have in common with Zorro when I named her.] *********************************************************************************************************************************************************UPDATE: Little Z actually ate my breakfast in bed! What a naughty child. Now what will I complain about?

Real Steel

The picture is of the moon last night.
Over the weekend, I planted fifty trees. (It seemed like a good idea to order them when I was laying around doing nothing over the winter. We wanted to replant a windbreak of trees that are growing old and dying.) Then, after planting the trees, squatting and digging and squatting and pounding, then I thought some of the older trees needed some protection against the incoming sheep. I put up fence posts around the fruit trees. The posts were eight feet tall, so I parked the truck next to each tree, climbed up into the back, pounded each fence post in, and then hopped, soft knees, back onto the ground. I figured if I kept my knees soft, my joints would be fine.
(This is not my real truck, nor my real person, but she is standing just as I was. I went up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, for about an hour. I gave Little Z a blaze orange flag and she ran around in circles, chasing off Tom Turkey, who kept seeing himself reflected in the truck and attacking the truck.) Okay. My joints are fine. Really. But my thighs, on the other hand, are now made of steel. They are made of steel in the sense that they do not want to move or bend or stretch. They just want to burn. And burn. And burn!
(This are not my real legs.) Yes, I feel the burn. That earth gym is more brutal than any exercise partner I could ever find.

Sheeply Notes

I'm going to try it! Pictures plus words equals blog post. We actually went to a Jacob's sheep farm. The people were just the nicest you've ever met. Salt of the earth. These are the sheep they are considering selling to us (they are seemingly making sure that we are worthy, that we are going to take care of them, which is a good sign):
(Viola is due to lamb in September.)


I have yet to figure out how to post pictures to my blog in the new operating system. A blog post without pictures seems to me to be incomplete. That is why there have been no new posts for a few days. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon! (Sorry there's no picture for this entry.)