Tuesday in Colorado

First the rodeo:

We went to see the girl riders. I guess from Little Z's perspective, only girls ride rodeo. There were a few boys jumping off of horses onto steers and wrestling them to the ground, that was all.

Then, the Pueblo farmer's market. Little Z models the best way to keep that intense Pueblo sun out of your eyes:

Monday in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs recently had a fire. Some friends of ours live there, on the west side. Their apartment building did not burn down. They took us for a little drive around the neighborhood. What struck me was how grateful people were towards the firefighters and police. Everywhere left standing seemed to have a sign, either handmade or professionally done, thanking firefighters and police. If you click to enlarge this first picture, there's a sign on the right and a sign on the left:

The view from our friends' west side apartment (notice the burned mountainside in the distance):

This street used to be a regular neighborhood with houses:

This also used to be a street full of houses. Now, there is just a stone facade towards the right side of the picture- all that is left:

Probably the most striking thing was one house, alone, untouched amidst a few blocks where everything had burned. It was a bit like the Twilight Zone, like this one house had survived in a bubble of safety. They had a thank you note to firefighters out front. It felt like it was too much to take their picture, though. They were home. They must feel lucky. Or guilty? Amazing.

Also, there were some people rebuilding, fresh wood carefully placed and set out upon charred foundations.

Boring Pictures of Vegetables

Say what you will about this year's heat- it's been the best gardening year ever! I've never been able to grow eggplant at all, and my onions have always been the size of ping pong balls. Now some my onions are the size of onions!

Other People's Stories: Mall Food

On a recent visit to Mumsy, who is 93 years old, she told us a little detail of life in the past. Elner and Marie were close relatives who lived nearby, and once a week or so, they would take a trip to the mall. This was a grand affair, of course. Marie and Elner made sandwiches and filled a cooler. Mumsy, who is a tiny little lady, would drive them across town. At the mall, after a few hours of wandering and wondering at all of the marvels displayed therein, they might stop for lunch at a bench or a table. While they took out their plastic wrapped sandwiches and thermoses, Mumsy (being a little more hip to the ways of the world) generally bought herself a hamburger or a hot dog. And then I picture them quite happily piling back into the large American car. Perhaps Elner carried the cooler. And they had conversation fodder to last them until the next time.


BAH said I would change this story, putting it through my own filter. Clearly, I have. But isn't it nice to think of the mall as being a place worthy of bringing a cooler?

Saviour to All Chickens am I

Yesterday, in a quest to beat the 100+ degree heat, Little Z and I journeyed to Das Capital and went to a frozen yogurt stand. There, I met an acquaintance who is not herself acquainted with Betsy of the Saddest Chicken In the World.

"I hear you saved that chicken from that place..." She began.

Thus confirming that I am known far and wide, to one and all as, "Cellar Door, Saviour to All Chickens."

[image from toonpool.com]

This friend of mine who is not herself acquainted with Betsy of the Saddest Chicken in the World speculated that the raccoons probably attacked because Betsy took her dogs with her to Montana.

I hadn't thought of that. It's probably true. It doesn't explain why they killed my turkey, though.

Close to the frozen yogurt place is a second run movie theatre. Little Z and I checked out the posters and decided to go see, "Chimpanzee," even though we had missed the first twenty minutes.

"But we've missed the first twenty minutes," I said.

"It doesn't care," said Little Z. [who is four] "Let's go!"

We went into the theatre. It was absolutely packed. I do believe there were whole day care centers resting there, watching chimps in cool mechanized air conditioning for $2.50 a head. We took a seat in front.

It is a documentary. The story centers around a chimpanzee who is orphaned during a storm. He looks everywhere for his mother. For days. Finally, he tries to get himself accepted into a new family. No luck there. Everyone rejects him. Even the other little child chimps reject him. The narrator says,

"Even friends are hard to come by."

At this point, Little Z leaned over to me and said,

"This would not happen in our world, in Wisconsin. In our world, there is always a friend."

"Yes," I agreed.

Public Service Announcement

Eat ice cream when it's hot outside! It will cool your inner body temperature.

My blood work came back and, to my disappointment, they did not discover that I am an alien. However, sometimes we can hide things like that. They also did not find anything wrong with me, but the doctor gave me these magic water pills which made me lose two pounds and a half in one day, all from my feet. I'm a new woman! A woman with ankles!

In other news, this is the saddest chicken in the world:

My friend Betsy called me in a panic from her vacation in Montana, saying that the lady watching her chickens went to check on them at 6:30 in the morning and found five raccoons in the chicken coop, all feasting on chicken! There was but one chicken left alive (pictured above) trapped and watching in horror. The person watching the chickens for her didn't know what to do. Could I possible go and rescue the last chicken (named Big Red) and add her to my flock?

Cellar Door to the rescue!

I went over to their house and spent 45 minutes chasing a silly chicken through the forest. She was terrified. When I finally caught her and brought her home, she was shaking in fear. I thought she would have a heart attack. She didn't have a heart attack, but she just sits there, all day, every day in the same spot. She hasn't made any new chicken friends or even gone outside. Can chickens have post traumatic stress?

Then, two nights ago, our white turkey was eaten by something. I'm a little relieved. That thing had me chasing it all over the place. I suggested once that we kill it and eat it ouselves, and Little Z was very much against it. So now I don't have to be the mean predator.

I can't find a picture of the white turkey, so here is Sigmund Freud with a bunny:

Little Z really really really really really really wants a pet bunny.

...and then the bottomless pits

A horrible drought here in the Midlands these days. We've been watering, but even so, spots like these are cropping up:

You can stand there with the hose and pour and pour and pour water into this hole, and it will never fill up. It is a little bit of a mystery.

The Valley of Darkness

Giving your blood up for analyses is like being naked, only more so. The doctor asked me,

"Do you spend a lot of time sitting?"

"No," I said. You try not to be offended by their questions. At least she didn't ask me if I'd eaten human flesh.

Some part of me thinks she will now discover that I am different. What kind of weird disease will I turn out to have? It's all there, in the blood.

"Versailles: The View from Sweden"

Reminds me of Sarah Palin seeing Russia from her house in Alaska.

And in other news, when is it going to rain here?

And in other news, went to the doctor for my swollen achy feet today. All of my friends (all three of them) say I have gout. Hm. The doctor has my blood now and is working on it. Minions, stay tuned to see if Cellar Door brings sexy back to old school ailments... or if I've got something more pedestrian. Like - I have no idea. I'm just taking the morphine she gave me and taking it easy... Okay, not really morphine. But that reminds me of another book, Drood:

by Dan Simmons. Excellent entertainment. About a guy who has gout and takes too much morphine for it and has a real love/ hate relationship with Charles Dickens. Also, something terrifying happens.

Feeling the Heat

The heat is climbing, climbing, climbing. This is our outdoor thermometer today:

What to do on a day like today? Go to an outdoor concert! The Charlie Brooks Band was playing nearby. We were quite content to go see them, having never heard of them before. Charlie Brooks appeared before a smallish crowd of die hard crazy people like us, clad in a long sleeved shirt, a thick vest and slacks.

"Why is he wearing so many clothes?" I asked BAH. "In this weather, he should just wear the vest."

"He looks good."

"Yeah, but he's going to get heat stroke."

Sure enough, Charlie Brooks sang for twenty minutes or so and then announced he was "taking a brief pause." A few minutes later, they were asking if there was a doctor in the crowd. Poor Mr. Brooks was collapsed behind the stage, in plain view. The ambulance came quickly. He gave a brief wave to the crowd as they wheeled him off on the stretcher- in- I could barely believe this- his undershirt. So, underneath the long sleeved shirt and the thick vest was an undershirt.

The show went on, however. The Charlie Brooks band, without Charlie Brooks, was great. They had a keyboard player who was out of this world. They just jammed.

I feel really badly for Charlie Brooks, however, because whatever is wrong with him, he now has an ambulance bill to deal with, and you know those freelance musicians don't have health insurance.

We expect more 100+ temperatures tomorrow. I have some work to do outdoors. I think I will learn a lesson from Mr. Brooks's bad. I'll be wearing a sports bra and shorts, and carrying my own shade in the form of an umbrella.

We Dance

“We’ve been now to a good many ceremonies and have seen quite a few of your shrines. But I don’t get your ideology. I don’t get your theology.’ The Japanese paused as though in deep thought, and then slowly shook his head. ‘I think we don’t have ideology,’ he said. ‘We don’t have theology. We dance.” -Joseph Campbell


This month, I shall build us a zeppelin to travel around the world in. This is my chosen task. We will have to order a motor from the Tool catalog, preferably a Honda. They are light and efficient. Also, we'll need a box for the main compartment. It only needs seat three people and six sheep. The turkeys can fly along side. We need a little whirligig to spin in the back. What shall I make the fabric of the sides of? It should, first and foremost, be shiny. I want to glisten in the night.