Key Lime Pie

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It’s like it was made especially for me. Ah!

Well, after two rather personal, scathing, longish entries in the blogosphere, I’ll content myself with a brief birthday blurb.

Rain drips down in a steady drone. The morning seems calm, peaceful. My Grumpy Odin novel starts to take some shape and I managed to find a Key Lime pie, on sale, at the small town grocery store. Birthday pie!

I’ve been dithering over should I just buy one or attempt to make one. Actual dithering.

I’d stop, feel up the canned milk, go over what I needed to make a Key Lime pie. Actual Key Limes? Could I just use juice or…? Crust choices??

And lo and behold, there, in the freezer section. On sale! From almost nine dollars marked down to five something.

Holy birthday wishes come true! Marie Callender. MARIE CALLENDER, YA’LL. The Cadillac of frozen pies.

All you have to do is LET IT THAW.

I also found four seasons of Glee at the local thrift store. Overly polished musical numbers, teen angst, overly polished musical numbers! My– when I want the world to just fucking go away– series.

Rainy day, Glee, birthday pie.

DVD’s in perfect condition, at that. It’s like a miracle. Finding a DVD at a thrift store that isn’t a scratched up horror is almost a miracle on the order of Key Lime pies and fishes.

No, I don’t have Netflix or Hulu. I have a DVD player and spare change I find under the bed, m’kay?

I have no plans today.

I don’t wish to hang with whatever friends I have left. See my post Safe. Mm.

If the rain clears up, or even if it doesn’t, I might head out to the Owyhees for a bit. And empty out the detritus from this past year. So I have lots of room for future detritus. Yay!

I might stay home and write. I might get my life in order and…

BIRTHDAY PIE!

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Wow, you can’t see the dust or cracks in the earth! Rain rain rain! 
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This is my country

 

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Yeah, ‘murica right now.

This is not my country, I hear. I hear that. A lot.

From very young, naive folks. From the elderly who should know better. From myself at times when I have brain freezes and forget the tidbits and scraps I’ve picked up over the years about the history of my country.

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from the history of Indian Boarding Schools. 

Separating children from the parents seeking help, asylum and surcease from whatever political bullshit they were fleeing from.

This is a POLICY put into place by Putinscunt, whispered into that corpulent ear by Stephen Miller…an avowed and known white supremacist. It’s not law. It’s not something the Democrats invented or put into practice.

And all three branches of the American government are ruled by the Trumpicans, er, GOP. So. As scapegoats go, blaming the Democrats for this POLICY is, uh, working.

Because people don’t fact check in America. Fact checking is for losers. And liberals. And SJW’s. And commie socialists who want to take your hard-earned money and give it to illegals and drug addicts and MS-13 gang members…Right, Nancy Pelosi?

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Those children, and they are children, are being held hostage, so I’ve heard/read, so that Putinscunt can get that wall financed and built.

And the Foxchristians [a term I saw and it just FELT SO RIGHT] are a thousand percent behind taking kids, already traumatized by leaving everything they know behind, and traumatizing them, possibly, for life.

That’s fine. That’s what Jesus would do and approve of. Mm.

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I’m not some hardcore, shouty Christian type, don’t worry. But I was brought up in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church.

I’ve been confirmed as a member. I’ve done Sunday School.

I’ve attended church camp. I’ve worked at that same church camp. I was almost raped at that same camp and never went back, so.

I do have some background in churches and the Bible. [And I know firsthand why women don’t speak up about what happens to them. Oh yes, I do.]

I’m puzzled, to say the least, by people who cheer for what’s going on at the border. At building giant, for-profit concentration camps–

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in Brownsville, Texas, where it’s already a hundred degrees. Tents/facilities with no air conditioning.

I think I saw something about the Catholic Relief Aid trying to get fans or something sent there…

There are plans to build more CONCENTRATION CAMPS in Wyoming. Housing for 5000 at a pop.

Tax money being used for this. And people turning a profit off these concentration camps. Capitalism and crimes against humanity, score!

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People seem dazed. Scattered to the wind. The resistance seems incredulous. This is not happening, seems to be the major takeaway.

There are marches planned. 

The urge to roll my eyes at marches planned at future dates is just…not possible to control at all.

More out of why are we not just ripping those places apart with our bare fucking hands? Why am I not hitchhiking to Texas to do just that? 

There are senators, including the one from my home state, trying to drum up public awareness and fan some god damn enough of this shit already outrage, which will lead to actual action.

Anger gets shit done, as Mr. Nancy says in American Gods over on Starz.

Anger is very dangerous to this POLICY designed to get a wall built and zero tolerance immigration crap passed.

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Actual mural on wall of Texas camp. 

Strangely, America has a history of this. Going way way back, babies.

We did it with slavery, where babies were sold on the auction block. There are illustrations of this oh so human practice. We tend to call such things ‘inhumane’, literally washing our hands of admitting that humans treat other humans like garbage a lot of the time.

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We did this with indigenous people. Took Native American kids from their families, cut their hair, took their clothes, forced them to speak English only, stripped them of their culture and heritage, forced them to be Christians…it wasn’t until almost 1980 that the religious practices of Native Americans were even allowed to be practiced legally. [As at times ‘illegal’ substances were used, like peyote.]

And of course, the Japanese internment camps. See George Takei for a history of that. See lots of others for a history of that. These were American citizens. Stripped of everything, lost their livelihood, their homes, their possessions, everything.

A stark reminder that it did happen here, it did fucking happen here. 

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America has a gigantic streak of treating children like livestock, social experiments, POWs, and demonic criminals intent on destroying the Home of the Free and the Brave.

It seems we’re actually the Home of the Cowardly and Cruel.

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We spout Bible verses without reading any of the verses around them.

Romans 13:1 does say to obey the laws of whatever land you reside in. Yet further, in Romans 13:10–Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

That Romans 13:1, by the way, was spouted by Nazis and slave owners to justify their practices.

Jeff Sessions and Sarah Huckabee Sanders both spouted it as well…in a country that celebrates separation of church and state. Scary fucking times, indeed. By the same people who scream against Sharia Law coming to ‘murica. And upset that football players are kneeling quietly and…Not even Beckett could adequately capture the absurdity of America right now. Well, he probably could. He was Irish.

See history of how America treated Irish immigrants, dearies. Whee? Or watch Gangs of New York or The Departed or pretty much any movie about the Irish in America, really. It’s a popular topic and hey, white people front and center being treated badly…wet dream time for Stevie Miller. And Stevie Bannon. And Gorka. And Sessions. And David Duke. And…yeppity yep. Yes, the Irish got labeled and scorned for a bit, but…mm. Okay!

The Keebler Elf and Aunt Lydia both tell us to calm down, it’s not so bad, it’s in the Bible. It’s a law they can’t do anything about, they are just HELPLESS BEFORE THE DEMOCRAT’S EVIL WAYS. Uh huh. They bravely report that if only the Democrats would relent and…uh huh. And the Bible, of course, says treating kids like something out of Schindler’s List is fine and dandy. That treating brown kids in a repeat of the Trail of Tears is AWESOME WITH GOD. God loves immigrant criminal kiddie tears! 

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The same Bible that says to treat foreigners like family, as you were once a stranger in a strange land. To drown yourself if you hurt children–see that whole millstone thingie Jesus said.

The rabid pro-life crowds seems really confused and lost when it comes to actual children being tormented, tortured and lost. As in missing. As in no one’s quite sure where a big bunch of kids are. As in might be in the hands of human traffickers.

Which only seems to matter if a certain Madam Clinton is running a pedo ring out of a pizza parlor in New Jersey. Yeah.

Ripping children away from their exhausted, frightened, stressed parents and housing them in a sweltering place where no affection or treatment that borders anywhere near compassion or actual concern for those kids is, um, the definition of evil.

There. I said it.

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A truck packed with American citizens, San Pedro, CA, 1942, heading for a concentration camp. 

It’s about as far from what Jesus taught in the treatment of others as it’s possible to get.

I don’t ever remember at church camp, which had pastors and people studying to be pastors, working there and occasionally delivering actual sermons on kindness and love…about where it’s okay to hold kids hostage in nasty conditions until one gets what one wants.

A vanity wall that won’t keep anything out at all.

As most people come here on planes or boats and just don’t go back when their visas expire. That’s, um, known. That’s an actual fact. So.

Again, this isn’t law.

It’s policy.

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I know we’re not supposed to upset anyone in case they don’t vote anyway but…

Calling a halt to separating kids from their parents is something that can be quickly shelved, stopped, ended today.

This POLICY of cruelty and deliberate malice is something Putinscunt decided to do all on his own.

And then blamed, predictably and with great success, on the Democrats. I didn’t do this, the Democrats did! OBAMA DID IT, TOO is the battle cry here. 

It works. It always works. 

That loud hectoring wasp whine drowns out the soft, polite, take the high road idiots on the other side.

And they are idiots! Big quivering ones!

american-dreamers_internment-camp-comparison_no-mexicans.jpgSoft, melty idiots who scold over the use of ‘fuck’ and ‘cunt’ and ‘crude language’ rather than take on the real actual issues, as that might turn away voters who are tired of hearing about racism and other inconvenient social issues. Voters that stay home, at that.

We must be nice, we must be the grown ups in the room. Eventually we’ll, uh, win. The Blue Wave is coming. It’s Mueller Time! People won’t stand for this very long. 

Bwha ha ha. I can’t breathe! My sides!

Oh yes, I’m a cynical little kitty cat right now.

You see liberals and others calling for ‘civility’ against the crude, very successful, attacks of the right. We can’t be like them, is the not-battle cry.

It’s a Ned Flanders kinda strategy.

We can’t get mad, facts will win them in the end, the truth is on our side

And then my head just pops like a balloon shot by an AK-47.

The time for civility and niceness went bye-bye years ago.

We can get back to murmuring politely at each other when America isn’t being rapidly turned into a fascist shithole. The UN frowns at the US right now. America no longer supports humans rights.  Canada is possibly considering an invasion to liberate us. They might team up with Mexico.

I can flash my Lutheran card when they come for me. I’ll be mostly okay if I keep my mouth shut and my eyes down. I have the right skin color. Yeah, I went there.

Only racists talk about racism…yeah, heard that one yet? Yeah, it’s bullshit and meant to silence conversations and observations. The BLM people are the REAL RACISTS HERE. We don’t notice skin color, why do you? Democrats are the real racists. Etc. Etc. Etc.

It can also vend into Free Speech fuckery– why is the tolerant left so intolerant of my right to express myself about just why blacks are [insert stereotype penned by the KKK here] It’s my opinion! Why are they trying to silence me?

Yep. It’s why the left is reduced to softly scolding about bad language most of the time. People can safely rally behind not using bad language and being adult-ish. That’s my hot take, anyway. Oh yes, back to explaining how I can blend in with the American Flag Lovers of Trumplandia. 

I can scrub my feeble liberal-esque bloggings right damn quick if I have to. I can trace my ancestors coming here ‘legally’.

I have the right papers. I have my official birth certificate– it’s needed to get a driver’s license and a passport. I have a passport, which is valid for years yet.

My ancestors! From places like Norway. And Germany. And the UK. When it comes down to that.

I have Viking blood! My grandpa spoke German! Some uncle fought for the South, as a general. I glow in the dark I’m so right-skinned! 

As any liberals left will still be calling for nice language and take the high road, dang it. You can spot them by the patches on their chest. Yep, went there!

I can spout the right phrases with a straight face.

I have actor training, after all. I’m a writer, I remember phrases and slogans quite well. How math works, not so much. Democrats hate America, yep, that I can scream with the best of em, all while enjoying the rodeo and the country fair and rallies…

It’s rather scary how well I could blend with the ‘other side.’ I live among the ‘other side’. I’m in very red territory in a very red part of Oregon and can cross over into super-red Idaho by driving about twenty minutes, if that. 

Anyone who actually knows me would not buy my metamorphosis.  But those who don’t…mmm.

I’ll have to work on my sarcastic eye-rolling and muttered cursing and loud WTF sighs. That’s where the compressed lips and eyes down at all times training comes in handy. I can combine my girl training with my go along with fascism necessities. Whee?

I have the freedom to express myself as long as I express what they want to hear. I know how it works, I know the damn score. Oh sorry. Dang score. Mustn’t descend to their level. Then they win or something. Or something. 

Back to the actual subject of this sort through the wheat and the chaff effort.

You can contact and donate to the ACLU. You can take part in a march. You can post articles and videos and history lessons about this very subject on social media. You can write/text/call your representatives.

You can help fund grassroots hire lawyers or even volunteer if you have legal training of any kind. You can go help translate if you speak Spanish. You can oppose ICE at every turn. You can get to know what rights you still have left in America. Make a list. Cross them off as or when they go buh-bye. 

There’s a tale of a lady on a bus, going from California to Arizona, I think. She refused to let ICE intimidate people into flashing their papers, she went ‘full donkey’, as she put it. ICE backed down because they are not used to people knowing their actual rights and demanding to be treated like citizens, instead of peasants at the mercy of a mercurial king.

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There are small tales of actual hope coming out of all this. There are! 

There are glimmers of people blinking, waking up from some dream of ‘it can’t happen here’. That’s, I guess, what you have to hold onto.

And try to be a loud, obnoxious, swearing voice yourself against this bullshit cuntery.

It’s scary, it’s hard, and you might have the luxury of being able to ignore it thoroughly because it, allegedly, is not something that affects you. [Kind of like the Black Lives Matter or the MeToo movement or…uh huh.]

Oh I turned the news off and took up breeding Dalmations! I’m so much happier now! My stress levels are way down! Puppies are cute! The news is so gloomy, anyway. Who needs it? They can’t report on nice things? That raccoon! I saw that! Why can’t we have more of that?

I wonder what the next batch of kids being jailed for their skin color and perceived wrongness will be. I wonder that a lot.

Or will we recycle and go retro and American classic? And wait for heroes to rise to save us from ourselves…we’re always waiting for heroes to rise in America.

It’s kinda our thing. And caging people we find wrong, bad, the wrong color, the wrong religion and just generally offensive to some white purity nationalists.

Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave

o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

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Yep, sums up my thoughts as well most days. 

 

 

 

 

Grumpy yet Sexy Kalurching

 

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Actual screenshot of my Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus project

Someone has a project plugging away and lo and behold, it’s me.

I’ve been rewriting my Odin and Jesus thingamabob. I’m skimming through it, just trying to get the LATEST FREAKING VERSION out on the page.

What am I kalurching about? [That’s a vomit sound combined with another vomit sound, BTW.]

The Adventures of Grumpy Odin and Sexy Jesus

With possible name change– Mr. Grumpy and Sir Sexy. Which is…eh.

But I am always thinking of MARKETING these days. How to market X. How to get MORE PEOPLE TO BUY MY X.

I usually end up sobbing, and taking lots of things and stuff to calm my innards. Marketing has become my bete noire.

Where did I leave off before I drifted into MARKETING waters.

Oh yes.

Doggedly discuss latest writing project because that’s why I started this blog in the first kalurchy place. And to spare my friends my burbling too-long emails. Poor friends!

SHUT UP, I DO SO HAVE FRIENDS.

That was for the roflmao voices in my head. Sorry.

Odin, Jesus, God, Maggie, batboys, Minions, Stella Lou, Click and Clack, Minette and Suzi and…

I am trying, this time around, to STREAMLINE the tale. It turned into a messy, sprawling mess last time around, which I liked but might, well, probably, would test the patience of dear readers who bothered to read it.

Poor Ms. Wuehler, she’s a bit all over the place here and if there’s a story here, I might need a compass, some rope, and a miracle on the order of loaves and fishes to find it.

Chapter five or so is where I am.

I’m having fun and want to get back to it, so that’s good. Of course I’ve written this one several times over now. It started off as a play, as a short story, and is now a PROJECT that will need MARKETING.

Can you sense a theme developing here?

I’d go off on a magnificent political rant but hey, I can funnel that rage and WTF is happening? into my sentences and word choices and subtext. When I have subtext. I am more Ibsen than Chekhov most of the time. If you get that, high five. Or– Ibsen wasn’t that subtle and Chekhov was really subtle. Okay.

Ah. So!

I’m just letting it unfold, more or less, as it wants. TAOGOASJ seems to want to get back to the far more light-hearted, rather goofy road into the wilds of the Alvord than I had written it in earlier attempts.

As the Big Showdown will take place, still, in the Alvord Desert of Oregon.

Why is everything I write set in Oregon, mostly? Ah.

Because I’m from Oregon and setting all my tales, in, say, Alabama, just doesn’t work for me.

I have nothing against ‘bama, Roll Tide!, but…not from there or from the mystical, gothic-smeared South. I’m from the interior West, home of mythical cowboys and gothic Aryan Nations smeared bullshit.

Whee?…eee…uh. That’s a sound effect spelled out. Imagine the first part is ‘should I be happy about that? Then the second set is ‘no’, with the sound descending from a high squeal to a lower, softer noise and then a gulp.

I’m keeping a lot of the things I really liked from earlier versions. Names for things, characters, Swiss Charlie’s, Po. Po is Horus’s horse. Jesus has to be more charming, more slick. Odin needs some actual grumpiness! MORE COWBELL FOR ALL.

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From the SNL more cowbell sketch. Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan. Missing, ironically, is Christopher Walken. Ironic is my middle name.

I still laugh at that skit from SNL. Christopher Walken is my spirit animal, as the kiddies opine. He’s not, but for that skit, he is.

Back to Grumpy Odin/Sexy Jesus.

I’m also working a lot on Maggie, the Head Receptionist. On her will and drive, on not making her such a Mary Sue, oh ghastly gasp of horror inserted here. [Uhhh!] I’ve kept the tentacles and the mask.

Oooh, who’s wearing a mask!

Look at you! HOOKED. Hooked, I tell ya!

Did I mention the cute ground squirrel prolly ate most of my pet eggplant? And that the cucumber I doctored for teensy black bugs has give up the ghost?

Yeah. I transplanted the eggie into a big pot and put it up high. It’s fine so far, just the leaves got nibbled off. It still looks rather splendid, except it’s just a stem with leaves at the top and one purple blossom left.

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Eggie in the halcyon days before the leaf massacre…poor Eggie. It’s in the downstage corner by the plastic chicken, btw.

I also trimmed the forsythia and rose bush next to my mini garden, put up some redneck fencing– that’s whatever crap you have laying around used as a fence– and check my mini garden obsessively.

The yard bunnies prolly also had a tooth in this.

Oh! I turned over a board on the other side of the fence and there was a mama quail and her eggs. I hope she didn’t abandon them. I’m afraid to check. I do love quail. They are perhaps my favorite bird, with hummingbirds of course ranking right up there. I saw a hummer the other day. Poking that long beak into the wild roses. I thrilled. I was thrilled.

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Quail nest found beneath ratty old board.

A little news– I somehow have nine novels to get written.

I have two done and nine to go. Someone, [it was me] mentioned titles to her publisher. Who remembered them, jumbled them a bit and then sent a contract…yep. [This is good. In case it doesn’t come across that way. This is good!!!!] 

It’s a zany slapstick sort of life, yes, it is.

So! Blog-wise, I will be attempting to MARKET my oncoming flux of writing onto the indifferent universe. Even a mild splash would be nice.

Let’s see. I’ve mentioned my latest writing project, the Alvord Desert, MARKETING, my mini garden, and Alabama. I think that’s enough for now.

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Me working hard. Go me!

Mini Garden, Rabbits, Memories

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Clyde, under the old lilac, from years ago. He’s out of the blue and into the black these days…

After the blistering success of my Handmaid’s Tale two-parter, I thought I’d chime in about my mini garden and the wild bunnies. Both garden and bunnies seem fine.

The punkins now peek over the old tire. The herbs– oregano, lavender, dill and lemon balm– have not died a withering, bitter death. Yet. They appear to enjoy me moving them about from here to there. There are little newbies coming up where I planted seeds. Cucumbers and possibly a second eggplant plant. And I noticed squash babies have formed. Little teeny squash.

I’m so glad I collected cow shit from the field across the way and mixed it, by hand, in the soil before I planted my pet squashes. So glad.

Now I note there are ground squirrels sharing the far corner of the lawn with the rabbits.

I whistle at them through the window. They sit up, trying to find what bad-voiced bird calls at them so. There is also a giant mouse that lives in the wall by the fuse box…and it does not seem afraid of humans. I’ve seen it several times now, even tried to trap it and get it out of the wall because…yeah. A mouse munching through important electrical wires. Yeah.

I’ve read the smell of mint keeps them at bay. I do have catnip sprouting everywhere. Years ago, I got a single plant to delight our cats, when there were cats here. I do mean over ten years or so. Longer. Catnip grows from the corner of the fence closest to the road all the way to the ditch that runs below the small cliff face stuffed full of rodents and snakes that hide beneath rotting boards and rectangles of metal.

Catnip. It’s everywhere. And it smells good. It puts out tiny purple flowers!

The biggest privet hedge hosts several families of small brown birds. Sparrows? Wrens? It’s like an apartment building, except it’s a messy clump of nests smushed together, sometimes with the odd collection of loud-mouthed baby birds demanding snacks.

The blackbirds seem to like the actual trees or the old lilac bush. I keep finding blackbird eggs here and there, with a hole punched through the fragile shell. Some savage bird warfare going on about my oblivious head. Are the blackbirds attacking each other or is it a magpie or some other bird? The magpies have not been around that I’ve heard and oh, they are noisy, raucous presences.

My mother once had one, long ago when she was but a girl, as a pet. It attacked someone, some old family story I cannot quite remember now.

And my grandmother, who had a man come to the house one morning, looking for Mr. Bird. I don’t know where he lives, my grandmother allegedly said, but I do know where Mr. Fox and Mr. Squirrel live. Both were actual names but she was having a little fun with a stranger. I think that stranger probably stormed off, cussing.

I also remember my grandmother watching the rabbits at night when she couldn’t sleep. She even told of watching them play during a brightly lit moon-filled evening.

And watching birds through the window, sitting in her wheelchair, drinking coffee. A big picture window that provided her endless viewing options. The road, the birds, possible stray wildlife strayed in from the sagebrush-cursed hills.

A stump, that had once been a black walnut tree, that stump covered with a board, where bird seed got scattered. This was where her eyes would go, observing whatever showed up for a hasty meal. She had severe arthritis, as did my other grandmother.

I realize I am among the few left who remembers the ‘old stories’. The little moments. The sorrows. The tiny joys.

Farming in a place that has almost no water. The eternal sameness of Christmas traditions that now seem tiresome and stale to me. Because it wasn’t the tree or the presents, it was the people I got to enjoy. How maudlin, but how so horribly true.

I meant to pen a quick little smear about growing pumpkins and the yard rodents. I veered off into Remember When land. I guess that happens on unsettled late spring evenings. 

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One of many rabbits. 
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This is from days ago. Everything has grown. It’s like magic! Magic, I tell ya! 

Rabbit

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One of the doors down into the lawn rabbit abode.

There. Underneath a spring sky of undecided moods. Small, still, surprised in the act of nibbling at the young thistle growing against the fence. A rabbit. A cottontail.

Not one of the mighty jackrabbits from Eastern Oregon myth and legend. A common, ordinary actual bunny. Something out of a tale for Easter. A tale about some spring goddess.

It freezes as I freeze, my eyes trying to determine if it’s real, if I’m hallucinating a young rabbit. Another rabbit darts out of the pile of metal irrigation tubes, or just called tubes if you’re an insider in the world of farming.

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I actually managed to get a snap of one of the lawn rabbits against the tubes. Go me!

Gotta set the tubes. Check that tube there. Is that tube running?

It’s a lingo I’ve heard since before my birth. I’d wager a bit on that.

The other rabbit darts out from the tubes, sees me, stops, reverses. Rather like a cartoon bunny. It acts like a bunny should act, skittish, scared and quicksilver as all hell. The rabbit in the yard must wait for me to either pass by or try to escape me; I’m rather too close for it to just pull a runner. I might be faster, I might not have seen it. Hi, bunny, I call to it and it remains in statue-like posing. It’s okay, bunny, it’s okay.

I pass by, after a bit.

A real live wild rabbit remains too big of a draw for me. I have to pause, stop, observe it, say silly things to it, admire it, wonder at it. Something wild is nearby. My brain slows, calms, becomes that tranquil sea that stretches to the horizon.

But I know the little animal’s heart is under extreme stress and it’s in fear of its life. I pass by. I continue to work in my mini garden, place the rocks I’ve brought. Arrange them on the stumps and about the sectioned off bit that contains the eggplant, the pumpkin twins, the summer squash, the zucchini.

The cucumber lives by the front steps and gets to watch the men pee and perhaps, when it wakes up at night for a bit, the owls that wait for the rabbits and mice and ground squirrels to dare a dash across the open space between the house and the beet field. There are several elderly fruit trees just perfect for  such a waiting, and the old cottonwood has the appropriate spooky dead branches stretched out just so in twisted, devilish fashion.

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I somehow managed to actually capture one of the local owls sitting in the elderly cottonwood. Who’s a pretty bird??

I’ve witnessed owls in that old cottonwood, glaring eyes and loud hoots warning me they have work to do, why am I disturbing the sacred business of filling their bellies?

When I pass back again through the gate, I note the rabbit has gone. I notice, as well, there seems to be a rabbit-sized hole in the lawn, oh, two of them.

Please be careful, I think at them, hoping they are telepathic. Please be careful and move back to the pile of tubes or live in the small bank that skirts the field. There are piles of dead branches, old weeds, debris. Everything needed to hide a rabbit or several little hoppies. And no one would care if a rabbit, or several, dug their dens in this bank. Stay out of the lawn. Please. Stay out of the lawn.

There is no sympathy in farm country for small lives.

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Harvest

I understand it. I do. When your livelihood depends on getting a harvest to the correct market and collecting that check, having those small lives take a big chunk out of that means you can’t pay your bills.

Not that farmers can pay their bills anyway, even in seasons when no storms hit, the sun shines just enough, the equipment doesn’t break down that much, things sort of line up…even then, luck or the devil or God says, here, have pennies on the dollar. Here ya go. Better luck next year. Better luck next decade. Shoulda kept your knees shut, farmers-– seems to be the message at all times.

So. I get it. I get people trying to kill every last little life they come across if a farmer or rancher. Letting them run rampant could mean you lose your shirt. And your land. And all your stuff used to make that land produce. Because the courts take your stuff to sell so a fraction of your giant ass bills, yep, yeah, uh huh.

But that young rabbit, as fresh as a dream, as light as hope itself for a bit. Here I am. Taking a chance. Eating something tasty. Why does that giant predator keep chirping at me??

I have every wish under the stars and tired moon to catch a brief glimpse again of the newest neighbors. And hope the old neighbors called Hawk and Owl and Coyote…I don’t know who I would root for or if any rooting should be done.

I watched one of the very local hawks land on something in the corn field across the way. I watched from the yard. It crouched over something unseen, tore at it a bit, then flew toward its nest in the pine trees at the abandoned house just down the way. Which caught on fire, briefly, years ago and no one bothered to rebuild it.

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One of the hawks, surveying the fields, from atop the locust tree. It’s fuzzy but that is, indeed, a hawk. 

The cops use it for drills and exercises and this pair of big hawks have a nest there and hunt the three fields about.

Those hawks find me silly and dismissible. One or the other will sit in the locust tree at the end of the lane, glaring down at me as I send words up toward it.

Hello, gorgeous! Aren’t you a pretty bird?

Of course it knows it’s gorgeous and of course it knows it’s a pretty bird! Geez, lady! Then, it flaps off with a truly bitter air.

I’ve disturbed its hunting or perhaps it had stopped to have a smoke break. Or it just didn’t like a human talking to it. Being a rather wild and fierce raptor, after all.

So, I suppose I will glimpse those rabbits again.

I cannot wait. I know they will dread it but I mean them no harm. And that end of the lawn is pretty much riddled with gopher desecrations, anyway. It’s a lost cause sort of corner of lawn.

There’s what remains of a dead cherry tree and some persistent irises that persist in coming up each May. And abandoned gopher holes, as they trek in from the field and dig their way down the bank and into the yard…and as farmers hate gophers around here, well.

I wonder that our two Labs, actual hunting dogs with all the hunterly instincts, haven’t gone after the bunnies yet.

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The persistent iris

 

May the Fourth

 

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from Neatorama

Hello, May. Something light and frothy. Let’s see. Oh.

May the Fourth Be With You. If you don’t get that…I cannot help you in any way, shape or form.

So, yesterday. I had saved a submission opportunity and actually took a moment to read through it, as I noted, somewhere in my messy mindhole, that I might have something to actually send that way. [The Honest Women, to be honest and frank and factual.] 

Ah, yes! I read through the FAQ, like an innocent little idiot. I saw the requirements were not too weird, absurd or strenuous. I saw the deadline date– May 31, 2018. No entry fee.

I can do this, I thought with real American vigor. I can do this!

So, I tidied up a full-length play, which I’ve written about here a bit. Yep, the rewrite, I finished it! It was just sitting there, pages not numbered, no title page. A sad little full-length that had not yet had my attempt at polishing it up a bit.

So I spent, yes, the entire morning, putting page numbers in, doing a title page, coming up with a synopsis. Coming up with this, that, the other as per the submission guidelines. I even had to PDF it! Oh the horror! No, actually, it’s not, but I added that for dramatic effect. Get it?

GET IT NOW?

Okay, so I magically produce a product that roughly fits the guidelines of this submission opportunity. I email it off, using the email address the FAQ provided. I had a real sense of accomplishment. Oh yes, I did. I knew and know now that my play getting picked is a long shot on the odds of a donkey winning the Kentucky Derby. You know, that ‘not gonna happen’ outlook that I have so cheerfully and sweetly adopted. So that when I do get picked for whatever, I will be truly and honestly surprised.

So, not seconds after I sent off my submission…I get an email back from this crew. Claiming I had MISSED THE DEADLINE, that it was April 30…and they included the link to their FAQ.

I read this over several times, it seemed to be in Klingon. [ Or whatever Wookiees speak.]

What the hell, I thought, honestly and truly bewildered. I then went to check my saved link to this submission opportunity. Nope, it said May 31, 2018. I checked the link the crew sent me. Nope, May 31, 2018.

Gaslighted? Were they playing some weird Gaslight prank on me?

But wait, THERE’S MORE. Can you dig it? Can you survive the rush of adrenaline that just hit your system, fellow babies???

So today, as I write this, I went back to check for that bit that says the right date. And there’s an email from this place, that says, hey, you were right, we were wrong, so sorry.

Happy ending? What??!! Some trickster god went, hey, here, I’ll give you one, you sadsack. Is that what happened?? I’m looking for supernatural elements in a very mundane, boring clerical error story. I must be an American, bwha ha ha. 

The moral of this story is…don’t pet fish.

I have no idea what the moral is here. Other than double and triple check dates for deadlines? I’m careless that way.

I also didn’t just let this go, I went back and rechecked the date and then copy-pasted that into my email back to ‘them’. Instead of sighing and going, oh well. So that’s…um, something. Right?

I was also nice and polite in my email. Nary a cuss word or hint their mom wore combat boots. Not that I regularly send off emails to sub ops cussin’ em out.

It’s nice here today in Eastern Oregon, my mini garden is yet alive and the dove baby I wrote about in One Egg IS STILL ALIVE AND THRIVING , thank you. A beautiful little birdling.

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Me invading this poor young bird’s privacy. Isn’t it cute???

There’s also a nest of tiny babies squawking in the privet hedge.

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Me playing bird paparazzi. Tiny newborns hastily caught with my elderly digital camera

And the blackbirds are back, with their ugly warning shouts. The lilac blooms. The ancient irises persist in throwing up their swordish leaves. Spring has sprung and I have learned not to pet fish. All is well, my darlings, all is well.

THE SMITING IS COMING O SINNERS

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Molly, the scourge of the local rodent population. 

It’s been windy since January. Or so it seems. No snow but lots of whushing sounds outside.

So, the dog, Molly. She dug up a nesting pair of shrews or something. Rodents with very short tails, not mice but they were mouse-shaped, if that helps everyone. The rodent she grabbed fought like the dickens. I got over there a bit late to save it. It expired before my eyes after I got the dog to ‘drop it’. I walked back over to where the dog had dug a hole to get at the underground-living shrews or whatever they were. There was a second one. Frozen as I stood over it. I stepped toward it and it went underneath the old boards, into the spring weeds and winterly dead leaves.

I went back outside, that same day, hours later, to check on my wind-whipped, probably don’t have a chance now, collection of veggies. A squash, two pumpkins, an eggplant…that poor cuke plant, ugh. I could hear a faint high-pitched calling. Not a bird. I know the local bird sounds;  this was something far different.

Some tiny voice calling for something that was lost.

I went very still, turned toward the fence. To that spot where Molly had dug out the two rodents and then killed the one…that ‘are you there, where are you‘ had come from where Molly’s nose had led her to investigate. 

I walked toward that still-raw hole in the lot next to the house, where the men folks park their giant tractors and talk of man stuff…and the calling stopped. Silence. Waiting for me to go away. So the calling could go forth again. Come home come home where did you go?

Actions have consequences. What a strange thing to learn so rather late in life.

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Jake, to the left, and again, Molly. Note the hole dug…the rodents were not at home this time.

I keep waiting, for the winds that seem to eternally blow here in Eastern Oregon, to knock a giant branch off the elderly cottonwood. The giant branches that hang above the house like something out of the Old Testament.

They will smite us. Oh the smiting is coming, o sinners.

I kept waking now and then in the night, waiting. Waiting for that crash, that boom, the shock of limb striking roof, waiting for it finally to happen so I don’t have to dread the big whoooshy sounds outside at night or the day or ever. Nothing tornado-speed has come through lately, but it could.

And that little widow or widower rodent can perhaps rejoice that justice has come for the spoiled Lab in the smushed dwelling next door.

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from Royal Queen Seeds. 
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From last November. Me fiddling with the B/W setting. Oh the branches that hang over all our lives, eh? Usually laden with garbage-esque plastic bags. Some writer should take a whack at the symbolism here…