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Don’t Look in the Pasture

We got new sheep on Sunday. Two lambs, a black and a white one, and then an old sheep named Sofi. Sofi was Melissa’s pet. All three of these sheep are adorable and very sheep like. They don’t have horns or anything, like our other ones. The new ones are Corriedales. Zanimal wanted to take care of the new sheep, so I didn’t feed them today. I just looked at them over the fence, and decided they looked fine.

After Zanimal got home from school, she immediately went out to feed the new sheep some hay and corn. And then came back with a strange and horrified look on her face.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, but… there’s some pigs or something dead in the pasture? I don’t really know what they are.”

“Maybe they are half eaten pumpkins?” I said.

“Then why do they have hooves?”

We went out to investigate. And, inside the small pasture where we are keeping Sofi and the two lambs, there were… ugh. Weird looking dead things. Looking up close, I decided they were deformed, hairless lambs that Sofi must have birthed. Sofi watched from a distance. So did Zanimal. The pink things had hoofs, and tails, and they had no hair, but they were just the right shape for lambs, except they had some deformity in the face. It was like their jaw bones were soft as pudding.

Both were clearly dead.

Looking at them, I could so easily see how people in old times believed in witches and strange, terrifying things in the night. And terrifying things in the day the day. I was queasy and I asked if Zanimal was okay.

“Yeah, I just want to go play Minecraft now,” she said.

So, I found a container with a lid. I put them into it. I carried it across the yard, and I started to dig a hole.

It takes an incredibly long time to dig a hole. It’s a pet peeve of mine in movies, how little time it seems to take people to dig a hole. Digging a hole to bury something (or someone) is difficult and time consuming. Sometimes, the ground is so hard that you just can’t dig a hole at all. I would like to see a murder mystery show where the entire program, the person is just desperately trying to dig a hole and failing at it. But I digress…

I dug the hole and them put them into it. I apologized to them.

“I’m so sorry. You just weren’t meant to live in this world.”

Then I covered them with dirt.

I reflected that, if they were just a little bit more deformed, I could have put them in a glass jar and sold them to some perverse curiosity shop, probably in San Francisco.

A petting zoo up the road lets people pay to come and watch sheep be born. Those people who own the petting zoo are insane. So much can go wrong! And when it goes wrong, it goes so, so wrong.

My friend Jane used to have sheep, before the internet. She once had a sheep born with two heads. It lived for a couple of weeks. They fed it with a bottle.

“The only problem,” she said, “was that we didn’t know which head to feed.”

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Put Out the Fire

I meant to do some book release thing yesterday, but I got on Facebook and noticed my homeland was on fire! 

I was a little kid in San Francisco, and then my parents divorced and my dad remarried. I moved with my dad, my stepmother and my new older sisters to Sonoma County when I was five. I went to high school in Sebastopol. And you know how your Facebook is full of people you went to high school with? Well, mine is, too, and so my FB feed was a really weird mix of people reporting themselves safe, asking after their parents, asking after their lost pets, lamenting their lost home, posting horrific pictures, and then all of my newer, Midwesterern friends weighing in on if people should kneel during the anthem at football games. And something about Mike Pence, pictures of the fall colors in Wisconsin… Surreal.

Posted by a Facebook friend (i.e. someone I forgot about from high school.)

I called my dad. He’s fine. Rumors were flying all day that Sebastopol was on fire, but as far as I can tell, it wasn’t. I video chatted with Zgjenyue (of Avoiding Sex with Frenchmen fame), and she was at her parents’ house in Sebastopol. She lives in Santa Rosa. She showed Zanimal at I all of the falling debris in Sebastopol (which is 5-10 miles west of Santa Rosa). The air looked a dingy yellow in the picture. Everything was covered in soot and ash. She posted a picture on FB of some of the stuff falling from the sky, and then I guess she thought better of it, because it wasn’t there now when I just looked, but there was just burnt up pieces of junk mail flying around. Again, It was surreal.

And then there were the actual fire pictures, which I am sure you can look up yourself. But the worst was that one of the neighborhood in Santa Rosa that was just  completely gone:

and then one of my FB acquaintances had circled a spot and written, “my house.” I can’t even imagine. (Posting the picture without the circle ^^^^.)

It’s a lot to take in, even from afar. I live in the Midwest these days. It’s hard to get information. Are the fires under control, now? I don’t know. Why were there so many fires at once?

My high school gym is a shelter for fire victims:

Photo by Iris Dunkle. (Go Analy!)

It’s pretty surreal to see that place where you had all of those pep rallies and mock elections- we had this crazy convention every year for class president- and now it’s full of cots! My older sisters’ high school, Casa Grande in Petaluma, is also being used as a shelter. Some of the other schools actually have burned.

Take care, Sonoma County.

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The God and Goddess of Thunder

Last night, we had a wicked thunderstorm. It happened around one AM. I thought for sure the storm would cause Chyoko to finally have her lambs, but no go. Instead, the Zanimal had a crazy story to tell in the morning. 

Our two cats both love the Zanimal lots. They like sleeping with her. These days, Grenix sleeps with her. Last night, though, Tigery started missing the Zanimal. Tigery attacked Grenix in the middle of the night, over Zanimal in bed, during the thunderstorm.

Their attacks were vicious and noisy, and they coincided with the flashes and bangs of the thunderstorm. Every time they attacked each other in the night, over top of Zanimal’s body, the thunder clapped. Zanimal, in her half awake state, felt as if the cats were controlling the thunder. Every time the cats attacked, the thunder clapped. 


They were clearly the god and goddess of thunder.

Zanimal slept late this morning. She claimed something kept her up. 

There were no new lambs.

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Conniving Hens and Roosters of Malice in the Icebox of Hell

Our chest freezer broke last week, and the refrigerator broke this week- this week, when I was supposed to butcher chickens. Coincidence? I think not. 

We bought a new freezer and a new refrigerator. This was the new refrigerator: 


And then… you have to wait 24 hours to stabilize the temperature. And then… 

The temperature stabilized at sixty degrees. In the freezer. On the day I was supposed to butcher chickens. 

Coincidence? 

Those chickens. Talking. Always talking. What are they talking about? I don’t know! I don’t speak chicken! All I know is, new refrigerators are supposed to make things cooler. And it didn’t. I mean, ten degrees cooler than the house. Basically, it wasn’t working. And I couldn’t butcher chickens. Because they would rot and we would all get salmonella and die. 

Coincidence? 

We got another refrigerator to replace the first one. The first one to replace the broken one. (Not the first one, really, that was the broken one.)

It looks like this: 


So different! So cool! 

It works, and you know what that means. Thirty-eight degrees inside the refrigerator. Those chickens’ days are numbered. 

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Top Ten Reasons I Love Parks and Recreation

  1. Leslie and Ann Perkins are like the friendship I wish I ever had with… someone.
  2. They drink more than I do!
  3. Andy is more unrealistic about his career than I am!
  4. I will marry Ron. In my next life. When Parks and Rec is real and I am named Tammy. 
  5. My daughter loves it so much, between that and watching farm animals, I don’t have to teach her a thing about the facts of life!
  6. Chris also enjoys carob and berries as a dessert alternative, just like I do!
  7. In my next life, I will be Donna.(Except of course my name will be a Tammy.)
  8. April is really a daemon possessing Ron’s mind. I learned that from watching Legion. 
  9. Gary/Larry/Jerry is so sweet. And a great artist. 
  10. Enthusiasm is good. Leslie is the most enthusiastic person on fictional Earth. And that is a wonderful thing. 

Bonus: “There has never been a sadness that could not be cured by breakfast foods.”

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Happy Salmonella Day! 

Eighteen years ago today, Bad Ass Husband and I were planning on getting married, but we couldn’t, because we were both deadly ill with food poisoning from eating ice cream at the gas station in Westcliff, CO. Zanimal made the commemorative cake, this year. I think she did a nice job. It looks like puke. And ice cream. At the same time!