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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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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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Surprises of Spring

We didn’t breed the sheep this year, because we have enough sheep! We did get two lambs and an adult ewe from a friend last fall. So, that made twenty-five. “When are you lambing?” everyone in the sheep community kept asking.

“We aren’t lambing this year,” I told everyone.

SURPRISE!

Today I noticed a new little wooly one. Where the heck did that come from?

Some observations led me to the mother- one of last fall’s lambs that we got from a friend. She was only about five months old when we got her, but the only explanation is that she was pregnant upon arrival. Either that, or virgin birth. We should probably name him Baby Jesus.

Happy spring, everyone!

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Ten Signs You Might Be on the Artism Spectrum

No, I didn’t spell “autism” wrong. I’m talking about artism. If you relate to any of this list, you are most likely on the artistic spectrum.

Ten Signs You Might Be Artistic:

  1. You make art. Or you write, or you do music, or you act, or you see your life is some sort of strange performance art.
  2. You don’t understand people who want to learn the thing you do. (Because it’s not something you want to do, it’s just something you do do. If you are going to do the thing, if you were meant to do the thing, you do do the thing. It’s a compulsion.)
  3. You’re a mess. Literally. Artistic people are often messy.
  4. You wondered (and still kind of wonder) if Donald Trump ran for president as some sort of long form performance art, and he’s just as surprised as you are that he is now president. (Because you always assume that, in any situation, someone is doing some sort of long form performance art.)
  5. Incompetent artists really bother you, especially the ones who do the same thing you do. And most especially when they are successful with the masses! That’s just a knife in the heart.
  6. When people say, “you’re so creative!” it’s really annoying, isn’t it? What do you do with a comment like that? How could anyone be alive without being creative in some way?
  7. You feel badly if you don’t make art or do that creative thing you do. You start to go crazy without it. 
  8. Your art is not something you need people to compliment you over. It is gratifying unto itself. 
  9. When people give you really simple, clear instructions, you don’t believe that anything can be simple and clear, and you read elaborate (and untrue) messages into the clear, normal instructions. And it makes life so hard. So very, very hard.
  10. You see beauty everywhere. 
Did you relate to this list? You may be on the artism spectrum. Also, if you are even looking at this web site, you are most definitely on the artism spectrum. Thank you for reading. Click on this picture to get this cat on a mug or a print. Because we need cat food. Baby lambs need milk replacer, sometimes. And all that sort of thing. Also, you might think it’s nice. Thanks again. 

 

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How to Live Like a Normal Person

I’m a sucker for all of these articles on line with titles like, “How to Live On Purpose and Maximize Every Day” or “How to Live Life on Your Own Terms” or “How to Maximize Your Pickle Production.” ( Maybe not so much the last one, actually.) and then I listen to this podcast sometimes, “Happier with Gretchen Ruben” which is supposedly supposed to make you happy, but really I think it might better be titled, “Life Hacks for the Filthy Rich.” I get that the little tips make you happier- if you have no problems whatsoever in life. 

And from all of these articles and podcasts I’m a sucker for, I learn things like, 

  • Get a good night’s sleep every night. 
  • Eat vegetables.
  • Marry the person you love.
  • Fast one day a week.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Decluttering your house.
  • Don’t take on more than you can handle.

Well, duh. 

And that’s not even mentioning all of the parenting “tips.” (Does anyone else feel like all of these “tips” are pretty much mandatory? It’s the implied, “If you don’t do this, you are a terrible parent.”) 

I don’t know why I read all of these things. I never change my behavior at all. I just now have some stupid know-it-all thing to say with my friends, 

“Did you know kale prevents cancer?”

Everyone knows eating kale prevents cancer, but my friends are too polite to say so. Everyone knows kale prevents cancer, but here’s the catch: to prevent cancer? You have to actually eat the kale.

I read all this stuff, and then I look around me. Most people are overweight. There’s an opioid epidemic. Everyone’s stressed out. We’re not eating the kale. We’re not getting the sleep. We’re living in piles of junk mail and chicken catalogues. But, you know what? We’re getting by. We’re doing it. We’re living it, one day at a time. 

We’re not perfect, but we’re beautiful. And we’re  still here. Showing up, every day. Like the troopers we are. 

I’m going to stop reading those articles and listening to that perfect happiness podcast. John Lennon was right. 

I’m going to make a competing podcast to steal the audience from “Happier with Gretchen Ruben.” I’m going to call it, “Fartier with Shoshanah Marohn,” and it’ll be about making beans. 


Beans: cheap and easy protein. Feeling unhappy? Lonely? Hungry? Make some beans. 

“Whatever gets you through your life,” as John Lennon would say. Beans are good at that. 

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Stuck on You: Laying Industrial Floor Tile with VCT Glue

All I want for Christmas is blue and slightly lighter blue tile in the kitchen. So, we bought some and I set about installing them myself.

In the beginning, the glue was hard to negotiate. Before I knew it, I was screaming, “Z! Google how to get VCT tile glue off your feet!”. . . “Mom, there’s nothing! I can’t find anything!” “But I’m stuck to the floor! Oh my god!” . . . “Maybe put socks on?” . . . “But my hands are stuck, too!”

“But why? Why?!”

And then I figured it out: make a path through the glue.
In my glue searches, I found this exciting video about the glue! What happens at 6:21 is priceless.

And it all turned out okay in the end.