Today's Highlights

1. Talking with my friend Heather:

Heather: "I don't like how pig tastes like human flesh. I prefer eating chicken or turkey."

Me (facetiously): "And how would you know what human flesh tastes like?"

Heather: "Oh, my sister's law firm represented Jeffrey Dahmer."

Me: "????"

Heather: "Yeah, seriously."

Heather always has the most horrible stories. And no, I still don't know how she knows what human flesh tastes like, but she claims that pirates used to call it "Long Pork."

2. Selling at the farmer's market:

Fabulous baker with seventeen children blocked by shopping bikers in photo.

We have a booth next to a couple who bake pies and sell the pies by the slice at the farmer's market. The woman is originally from Scotland, and speaks with that accent. The baker couple has seventeen children. (That's not relevant to the story, but it's worth mentioning.) They always sit on low chairs behind their table full of pies. Today it was intermittently windy. It would be perfectly still, and then suddenly a giant gust would come up and blow over my signs for fresh eggs and chicken. One of those gusts of wind came up and, splat! A coconut cream pie went right in the Scottish baker's face. The wind had just picked it up and threw it at her! But that's not the highlight. The highlight was her nonchalant attitude. She just wiped it off, liked her fingers and said,

"Well, if you're me, you know that at some point, you're bound to get hit with a pie in the face, and that's all there is to it. Especially married to him." Her portly husband just sat next to her and grinned. Naturally, no one had a camera handy.

3. Big Z sold one of her cucumbers. (The cucumber plant was fruitful.) Then no one seemed to be buying any more, so she got the Scottish woman with seventeen children who had just gotten a pie in the face from God to cut up a cucumber for her, and Big Z went around and gave everyone at the farmer's market a free sample of her cucumbers, in the form of one slice of one giant cucumber. This didn't inspire anyone to purchase a cucumber, but it did make many adults happy, to see someone so young be so enthusiastic about vegetables. (The tomato seller said, "It's nice to see someone so young be so enthusiastic about vegetables.") And then Big Z bought four pints of cherry tomatoes, and ate half of them right there. And then she accidentally stepped on the bag full of tomatoes, and squished one, but the rest were pretty much okay. All in all, it was a good time at the farmer's market.

Music Monday: Björk talks about her Television in 1988

This is a little time capsule of a show that I found delightful. Björk does not sing or make music in it, but I found what she said interesting, in the same way that her music is interesting- that is, she seems to be from another planet, another planet that might welcome me, if I approached it very carefully. And I noticed that her voice, even when speaking, sounds a lot like her singing voice. This is from the late 1980's. Listen to what she says. Watch carefully. Note the details.

You will be tested. I'm not giving out any more number two pencils- you should know to have those, by now. What's that you say? The book was in Danish? Shame on you for not learning Danish for this express purpose.


Wonder Niece first got us into going to the EAA air show. Now we go every year. I enjoy the people watching as much as the airplanes.

Fifi the dog has such a nice plane.

Lamb's Wool Art

Since we have sheep, we have lots and lots of wool. I've been trying for a couple of months now to make art out of wool. Today, I took a class with Mo at the Cat and Crow, and I made something actually decent:

wool bowl felted

I'm pleased. The spiral turned out perfect! 

I'm putting it in the art show on August 8th. Why not? 

Hope to see you all there! It's on that great street, State Street, in Madison, in the Great State of Wisconsin.

But I Want to Live

From yesterday's local paper:

It's really too bad everyone but Linda has to die. I mean, she deserves life! Don't get me wrong. I just wish the rest of the relay racers could survive, too. But I understand. 

The Sheep Cake!

As requested, a picture of the sheep cake (and a fellow Jacob's breeder who shall remain nameless):

I believe the horns started out bigger, and then melted from the heat. It was a tasty treat, though. 


I suppose it's a little bit soon to get a new cat, but briefly, let's recount terrible events of the last week:

1. Bodkay becomes terribly ill.
2. Huge storm comes through, blowing two of our outbuildings over- and moving them each 20 feet or so- and a bee hive is knocked over.
3. All of our ducks are killed or fly away in terror.
4. Goose is comepletely eaten by a predator- only his heart and one wing are left.
5. After suffering for five days and spending considerable time with our wonderful vet, after getting worse and better again twice, Bodkay dies at five and a half years old.

So, we were down in the dumps. And then who did we see, but Stripe, the long lost bunny we had to give away a while ago. We knew it was a possibility that he would be a part of a traveling petting zoo, but we were quite shocked and delighted to find him at a company picnic, with hundreds of children lining up to pet him!

It was thrilling to see him- in show business! Our old bunny. To think, he was born in Big Z's bedroom. 

We went back to pet him twice. Both times, we could hardly believe what a hit he was. So soft. So cute. So friendly. Just and all around great bunny, doing a great job with the petting zoo kids. Z was especially delighted. 

Then we went to the annual Jacobs Sheep Breeders Association Meeting, hanging out in a hot, humid barn with a bunch of stinky old sheep. (Okay, they were mostly sweet, sweet little lambs. Just a few stinky old sheep. And a few stinky old people, too, I suppose- myself included in the last lot. Remember: it was hot.) This one was my favorite stinky old sheep:

And then there were the seminars, the discussions of what to breed for, the marvelous rug making seminar, the discussion of the best age to butcher, how to market meat, and then there were the pasties, the raffle- where Z drew her own name, and the whole time the raffle was going on- item after item, talked about, kids (our kid) drawing numbers, and BAH whispering to me,

"Ten more minutes. That's all I can stand. I'm dying over here!"

I was downing plastic cup after plastic cup full of red wine, with the theory that it helped me radiate heat. 

"Let's stay for dessert," I kept saying. "There's a sheep cake! And we can't leave, anyway- Z is drawing the numbers for the raffle!"

"I'm melting... I'm going to die. You don't want me to die, do you?"

The heat was unbearable. All that time, we were waiting for dessert, and then the organizers said,

"Thanks for coming everyone!"

They forgot dessert! Oh, for the love of God! We were dying! 

And then the Master Weaver saved us, reminding everyone there was a cake shaped like two sheep to be eaten. Phew. 

And all was okay.

We went home. We slept. In air conditioning. 

So, yesterday, we were just going to look. Just go out to the humane society and take a little peak- at the cats. Don't take anyone home or anything, mind you. Just a look-see. Window shopping. We would never take one home. Too soon.

Oh, but he was sweet. So sweet. 

Honestly, they didn't have to twist my arm about it. 

And now we have Grenix. (It's a Klingon name.)

Uncle Dennis says that cats reincarnate quicker than most people. Somehow, I found that comforting.

P.S. We put the beehive back up. The bees are okay. 

This is a bad week to be a pet at our house!

Bodkay is now with the Doctor Jean, who said yesterday that it was time to put him down, because he was having seizures constantly. But then she couldn't do it! She asked if she could take him home with her and try some experimental procedures. She said she could very well overdose him on valium-- but I said that was okay, anyway, because the alternative is death. Either way, if there is some chance of him living, of course she can take him home. So she took him home last night, and I haven't heard from her since. This is for free, by the way. I don't know why she is not charging, but that's fine. I love her. Doctor Jean is forever on my Christmas list.

This is the second night Bodkay has spent with Doctor Jean. The first night, when he was initially terribly ill, we were actually in Iowa, and our friends watching the cat found him, almost dead. There was an actual trail of blood across our floor, to the front door, from where they carried Bodkay away and took him to the vet's. We don't know what happened! He is an indoor cat, of five or six years. What did he get into? And the other cat, Tigery, is fine. The night they brought Bodkay to Dr. Jean, there was what the newspaper called, "a monster storm running through." We saw evidence of it: every tree in town seems to have a limb fallen, and some of the trees are snapped in half entirely. Big, old trees. At our house, two buildings blew over and away, and a bee hive is tipped. Luckily, the sheep are fine.

So, in the midst of this crazy storm, our friends (who have a deathly ill grandmother at home) took Bodkay to the vet. Dr. Jean's clinic has no basement, so she then took Bodkay home with her and had him sleep on the bed next to her. The next day, we picked him up, and it looked like we nursed him back to health- he was jumping on the sink again! And then he started having these seizures, and they just kept getting worse and worse, until it was a constant seizure. Which brings us to yesterday, when I took Bodkay in to have him put down (at Dr. Jean's recommendation) and she couldn't do it. She stepped out into the hall for a moment, and I heard her say,

"I'm taking that kitty I can't give up on home with me."

"The little black one?" asked the person in the hall.

"No, the little orange one," said Dr. Jean. Apparently, this is a thing with her!

Still haven't heard back today, though. I called and she was on a house call.


We think the two Mallards survived, but we haven't seen them.

We woke up this morning the find three of the ducks, dead in the yard, and pieces of Goose (his heart and one wing). The two Mallards (who had just learned to fly) must have escaped, but I don't imagine they'll come back home, after witnessing the massacre. So yes, Goose, my favorite, is dead. And the three white ducks. We loved them so. Really. My daughter is absolutely devastated. I think the idiots just didn't go inside last night. They have an automatic door  and everything. I built them a perfectly secure building, that didn't blow away in the storm. And they didn't use it last night. The mistake was fatal. It was either raccoons or coyotes, most likely. I buried them by the coop.

Goose is dead. Long live Goose.

Update: Bodkay died today at around 2 PM. He seemed much better, and the vet left me a message on the answering machine that he was really improving. Then I called her and she said he just stopped breathing.

So. Damn. Seven pets gone in one day. Bodkay counts as ten geese, at least, in the emotional scale. And now who will Tigery cuddle with? Big Z says, "This is the worst day ever." While I'm complaining: It's hot as hell outside. Too hot to dig a hole and bury your favorite orange cat.

Bodkay is dead. Long live Bodkay. 

Mr. Bodkay Update

He's alive, but not well. He just started walking again. In typical cat fashion, he walked away from the nice cat bed I made for him on the floor.

And went down to the lenolium by the front door to sleep. He still isn't eating yet- that's a plate full of stinky fish next to him. 

And he's still incontinent, leaking bloody urine, which is, as you know, never good. 

But he got up and walked! Yay! Yesterday, he lifted his head twice and twitched his tail, and that was it, so by comparison to yesterday, he's much better. 

My sardine soaked fingers are still crossed. 

Bodkay is Poisoned

Bodkay the Cat is spending the night with our veterinarian. He is very ill. Apparently he ate something poisonous to him- I don't know what. I suppose I should just go to sleep, nothing I can do. But  I am worried.

Save the date!

It's that time of year again! Time for the Tenderfoot Collective to put on our art show! And this time, it's going to be the best show yet! 

Aforementioned artists Mary Wright, Ben Boyce, and Deb Eide will be joining me, among others. 
(Poster by Abigail Wright.)

This year's live music is the unstoppable Catfish Stevenson!

August 8, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Fourth of July

"I hate the Fourth of July. The early middle age of summer. Everything is alive and kicking for now, but the eventual decline into fall has already set itself in motion. Some of the lesser shrubs and bushes, seared by the heat, are starting to resemble a bad peroxide job. The heat reaches a blazing peak, but summer is lying to itself, burning out like some alcoholic genius. And you start to wonder- what have I done with June?"

-from Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, an excellent, excellent book which I loved reading. (I don't normally read love stories. I'm not sure it's really a love story at all. It's set in a dystopian future with a disturbing resemblance to the present. The main character reminds me vaguely of Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, but I can't say why. Maybe it's his obsession with his own mortality.)

Wanda Wednesday Break

No more Wanda Wednesdays for awhile! Summertime...

Phot courtesy of Professor Batty- sort of. This is a photo of a photo Batty sent me. There's an interesting reflection of my sewing room going on.