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Scruffy the Possum

We’ve known for awhile that we had a possum. Zanimal named him “Scruffy.” This year has been an insane year for mice- we’ve caught about eighty in mouse traps in our house and garage. Every day, I toss the dead mice from the traps outside, and they immediately disappear, because Scruffy eats them. He’s a little cutie. Sorry- no pictures (yet).

When we aren’t watching possums eat mice, we Marohn’s peruse the Murray-McMurray chicken catalogue, where Zanimal discovered they sell miniature chickens! Oh my glob! Must have!!!! We ordered fifteen, and they come in April.

Zanimal stayed out after dark in the barn, assembling a little chicken coop for the little April chickens. (She maintains that her chickens could never live with my chickens, because hers will be small, innocent angels and mine are monstrous cannibals. She is technically correct: my chickens have killed and eaten each other, at least twice.)

She heard a rustling. Looking over, she expected to see one or two of the four barn kittens looking back at her through the chicken coop doors.

Can you see both of the kitties?

Instead, she saw a possum! And it wasn’t Scruffy, either. It was a different possum! Looking right back at her, boldly.

She ran into the house,

”THERE’s A POSSUM IN THE BARN!!”

I didn’t know what to do about that, exactly. But Zanimal and I went back out to make sure she closed everything up correctly- to make sure the possum stayed in the barn, I guess.

We went out and I heard a lot of crunching. The possum was eating the cat food! I always feed the cats in a big animal carrier, so I just slammed the door on that possum! I hurt his tail, slamming it in the door. Other than that,  he was fine. It wS just a cut. So Zanimal and I just dragged that container outside. We had to shut the barn door from the inside to latch it. I went around front and down the side of the building to let him out of the container.

I was surprised to find that Scruffy was there, waiting outside the cage. Friends, I guess? Or relatives? Scruffy reminded me of a mom bailing her kid out of jail. Or perhaps a partner in crime.  Did Scruffy have a possum getaway car waiting? I don’t know. Probably. Scruffy is a Fast and Furious type, for sure.

I opened the door of the cage to let the possum out, and it just sat there. Scruffy sat outside the cage. Neither of them moved. So, I went to get my phone to get a picture, but when I got back, Scruffy and friend were gone.

.

They’ll be back.

 

This writing brought to you by Postcards from Joshua Tree.

postcards from joshua tree

 

 

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Temperature Blanket 2019

Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands

This year, I don’t have a resolution so much as a little project: a temperature blanket. A temperature blanket is a blanket where the colors are based on the temperature each day where you live. I got the idea from a friend who did it last year. She did it based on where she lives, in San Francisco, so it’s basically four colors. It’s really pretty. I thought basing it on the temperature where I live would be even more colorful, though, because the temperature varies so much more here in Wisconsin. These are the colors I chose:

Temperature quilt for 2019

Take the high temperature where you live and choose color accordingly. Each day, knit one row, 365 rows make a blanket. 

100+ yellow “aged brass”

90-99 maroon “redwood”

80-89 pink “peony pink”

70-79 purple “fig”

60-69 light grey 

50-59 teal “natural blend denim”

40-49 almond

30-39 orange “pumpkin”

20-29 dark gray

10-19 winter white

0-9 marine blue

Below 0 black

I’m thinking it might look like this field of tulips in Lisse, Netherlands when I’m done.

Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands
Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands

 

It was 24 degrees today, so I did my first row in dark grey.

Row one is dark grey because the high today was 24. 364 more rows to go! I’m excited.

 

This post brought to you by my books. ❤️Tinyurl.com/shobooks

 

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This Friday evening, Make it So

Come one, come all to the Jangle Soapworks Open House at the Old School House in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, this Friday, December 7, from 4-8. With every purchase of my books or wool objects or paintings, you will get a free bumper sticker of my head (while supplies last). Ten other vendors will be selling stuff from pottery to soap, to wool rovings to cards to I don’t even know what! We also have live music this year- one of the bands is my daughter’s violin duo, “The Octolots.” Also, food. It’s basically a party where you can buy stuff.

 

 

I’m including this just because I love it:

Facebook event page here. 

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Cat Butt Blindness

My cats put their asses in my faces so much that I don’t see them anymore. Case in point: I took Hannah to the vet today to have her spayed, and the vet says that Hannah is a tom cat.

This is not the first time this has happened. Teresa was a boy, too. (Named after the great Teresa Burritt.)

What’s the name for when you see something so much, you don’t actually look anymore? Is it Cat Butt Blindness? Because that’s what I’ve got. Cat Butt Blindness.

We tried changing Teresa’s name to a more masculine, “Terri,” but I never got used to it. To this day, if anyone everyone refers to “Terri the cat,” I say, “Who? We’ve never had a cat named Terri.”

So, maybe we should change Hannah’s name now, but I don’t know if it will work. Or should we just have a tom cat named “Hannah”? I think Z named Hannah after her cousin, so maybe we could name Hannah after person-Hannah’s brother, Skyler. Other names I like:

Dreadnought

Judge John Hodgman

Roland Jones

 

What would you do?

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Happy Halloween!

Free short story for you today and tomorrow, in celebration of Halloween.

I started to write this as blog posts, but I was afraid you all might think I was going insane.

It’s a short horror story. I have it for sale, but honestly, don’t pay for it! It might not be that good. I’m not exactly a horror author. For free, though, it might be just what you are looking for. This story may be the only horror story where the first victim is a Jacob sheep. It’s like a ten minute read. I call it,

DISAPPEARING

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Download “Disappearing” here. 

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The Crack in the Universe

A bit of a dramatic title!

B found a crack in the yard yesterday, out in the pasture, and it goes on forever. It’s the one spot in the pasture that hasn’t flooded, even though it’s a low spot, and it’s flooding everywhere here, lately. A little dry crack in the ground. It’s like a drain.

He put a hose on it and ran water for three hours. Running the water that long is disturbing to me, I guess because I’m from out West. But is it a waste of water when everywhere around you is flooding?

“Look! It goes on forever!” he said. “The water just runs and runs!” Z was running around with Puppy the sheep, singing,

“We have a bottomless pit! We have a bottomless pit!”

“Turn the water off,” I said. It made me uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to admit it. It’s just a little crack in the ground, an inch wide and four inches long. It’s not like it could harm anyone.

“Yeah, I guess we don’t want to add to the flooding, anyway,” said B. I’m glad there was a good excuse to turn it off. I laughed. It was a nervous laugh. I don’t know why.

The sheep seem to stay away from that spot- I guess because no grass grows there.

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My Nimrodic Powers

“Oh gee,
How doth the busy bee
Improve the shining hours
By making honey sweet and good
From all the pretty flowers.
Oh my,
How doth this lazy I,
Improve (?) the shining hours
By drawing things
And painting things
With my nimrodic powers.”

Poem by Wanda Gág

 

I, too, revel in my nimrodic powers of “drawing things and painting things,” just like Wanda Gág. Yesterday, I named an online store after this poem. It’s called, of course, “Nimrodic Powers,” and it is an on line shop where you can purchase clothing and bags and magnets and what have yous with my famous art printed on it. I’ve been thinking I should “wait until it’s done” to share this shop with you, but then it became apparent that it will never be done. Or, maybe it is done. It’s a thing that I will keep adding drawings to as the mood strikes me, which could mean “I will add more art to this store every day for the rest of my life,” or it could mean, “it is done. I am never adding any more pictures again.”

Shout out to Christina McMullen for introducing me to the concept of a Zazzle Store. Christina writes good books and I follow her on Twitter. She also makes silly drawings. I egg her on. Then, she announced her Zazzle store, and I bought a few things and discovered them to be, actually, high quality and beautiful. So I decided to make my own Zazzle store.

Speaking of Twitter, McMullen is one of the few people with whom I truly interact on that forum. I used to subscribe to the idea that, the more Twitter followers I had, the more books I would sell. That has not proven to be the case. In fact, there was one instance when I shared a quote from Exhaust(ed), and immediately got a book of mine returned to Amazon. (I didn’t know you could return books to Amazon! Don’t return mine, now, please!) So, you could say that I proved that sharing my work on Twitter actually has a negative impact. Now, I’ve got thousands of Twitter followers, most of whom I “follow” back, and I don’t know them. They don’t know me. I think we’re all just out to promote ourselves. Everyone is shouting and no one is listening. It’s just a creepy mess.

So, I’m done with that. I’m deleting my Twitter account in one month. However, I still enjoy interacting with a few key people (Christina McMullen, Alex Bledsoe, Professor Batty, my dad… and a few more) and I do like to follow a few famous people, so I have started a new account. I’m keeping it small. I’m not following back, unless I know you. So, if I know you, or if you want to follow me and you don’t care that I probably won’t follow you back, my new Twitter account is @MyNimrodicPower  I will still promote my books and art a little bit, because that’s just what I do, but I’ll try to be a bit more chill about it.

There is a book to promote right now, actually. Postcards from Joshua Tree comes out next Thursday, September 27. Do you remember when I said that if you joined my Patreon, you could tell me what my next book would be about? No? Well, that happened. And Professor Batty joined at the $25 / month level, and told me to write a book called, “Postcards from Joshua Tree,” about my times in Joshua Tree. So, hey! I did! I also enlisted the help of my many minions at Artsy Fartsy Coloring AND Colouring to color in some postcards for me. So, we technically had over twenty people working on this book, plus the idea came from Professor Batty. I think the end result is really beautiful, if I do say so myself. It’s a book of postcard-length vignettes, each one accompanied by a picture of Joshua Tree or the surrounding area, drawn by me and colored by a volunteer colorist from the coloring group. Then, at the end of the story, in the back of the book is all of the drawings, uncolored. So it’s a coloring book, too! (The kindle version does not include the coloring book, because you can’t color your kindle. Sadly.)

The offer is still on. If you join my Patreon at the $25 / month level, you get to tell me what my next book will be. Also, you get two copies of every book, when they come out. (Due to the high cost of printing color art books, I think one copy of Postcards from Joshua Tree will cost $25, so if you join this month, you get a two for one deal.) Also, on the months when I don’t produce a new book, you get a small original work of art in the mail. Also, you get eternal life. “But Shoshanah,” you say, “That’s so sad! I mean, if I had eternal life, everyone I know now would die, and I would continue living, forever!” And that’s why you should have everyone you know and love also join my Patreon at the $25 / month level so that you can all “live forever!”

Love, sin, and time,

 

Shoshanah