P: The daaaaay that sweet Jenny diiiiiied!
Me: I said, “Do you know when your BALLOT is due?”
I swear to GOD.
P: The daaaaay that sweet Jenny diiiiiied!
Me: I said, “Do you know when your BALLOT is due?”
I swear to GOD.
Hello! Well, what an unexpected surprise this weekend.
My friend emailed me this morning and told me that after repeated raccoon attacks like me, he was down to one orphan. You can’t keep an orphan–it’s cruel. So now we are home to his Black Francis. She is lovely. I am keeping her crated in the shade with food and water until tonight, when I will pop her in the coop. The idea is that the old girls will be too tired to fuss much, and then I will get up at half past the early bird’s ass tomorrow and let them out. Then Ms. Francis will know her home, and will be familiar to my girls. It’s been so long since I’ve had a rando bantam like this. I am delighted. I don’t roll the dice on them because they are impossible to sex as new chicks.
So the talk is that my friend and I will do the chick co-op thing next spring and go in on a order of sexed ones. I will have to rope some other people in as well to avoid ROOSTERS INCLUDED FOR WARMTH. (A picture of tiny Zsa-Zsa, FNIF.)
I have a post script on poor Veronica. It turns out she was hiding the fact that a raccoon had taken a chunk out of her side. The next day after the attack she came limping out of the coop and I took her to the e-vet before we went to Portland that weekend. Very sad! So now there are 6 with Death Ray being the O.G. chicken, and now she has a bantam buddy.
I will also say that when half your small flock gets traumatized, what happens is you often get rogue behavior like tree-sleeping and egg-hiding. We are lucky in Seattle to have cool days, and my coop is mostly shaded, so the weekend I came back from Portland (about one week after the attack, which was a week of chasing chickens out of bushes and stuffing them in their home) we did what I call a Home Day. The chooks spend all the damn boring day in their coop with food and water and any vents open, of course. You leave them that night and let them out the next morning. I find this often brings a certain cohesiveness back to a scared or divided flock (at least one that is not attack/feather-pecking each other). Now they hang out more. I also trimmed the flight feathers of one wing on each bird, which I should have done a while ago–no more cedar sleeping.
Gardening a lot this weekend…I am about to hull local strawberries for jam. YUM.
Gertie brought in the same flicker three times in 12 hours around the fourth. TSK, GERTIE!
P: have a confession to make
P: i just watched three people in front of me either run out the coffee pot and walk off or try the coffee pots and realize they were empty and walk off
me: Are you in the kitchen?
P: so i just filled every single one of the mother fuckers up with decaf
me: HA HA
So 2011 was kind of…you know.
Deaths. Lawsuits. A lot of vomiting. So not too unusual, I guess.
Anyway, I am glad to see the back of it.
Sometimes you need a little ceremony to burn off the old.
(P. with my old boss, who is now his coworker.)
I was okay just watching. Happy New Year, and good luck.
This morning the daffodils are tilting forward gently, like they do right before their heads pop open. I like it–I have this vision of some fancy old timey lady with a lot of costume jewelry and a cigarette on a looong holder.
But before that! I dreamt I was having sex. Something was in my mouth and I could barely breathe…was it a paper napkin? (I suspect I was snoring.) No matter! I was having sex! Then I woke up. OH, SAD. But WAIT! I just dreamt I woke up, because then my alarm went off for real. I keep waking up at about 3:30, gripped with anxiety and all my dreams for the rest of the night are pretty much bad ones.
This weekend was busy busy busy moving sorting cleaning things. Goodwill runs! Changes are afoot, I will tell you in a few days. Nothing bad, I swear. I also moved the Todds into their own Todderdome. Now the hens are on their own with three spare Todds. They are getting VERY LARGE already and running around like whirling dervishes with their feathers growing in. I cannot believe how fast it happens.
Otherwise, it is quiet here. I am doing little crafty projects that were laying around like loose ends. I hung some pictures I had been neglecting since I moved in August. I was trying to avoid the cluttery feeling of my old too-small place, but I think there is room for a few more things around. I hung family pics on the wall in one of the staircases, not too straight. P. was helping. “Wabi-sabi,” he commented.
I am always wabi-sabi. I am putting up another mirror soon that I had ignored because the label was covering a crack in it, and I was insta-cross when I brought it home, but now I have reconsidered. It’s okay hang a cracked mirror, I guess. I don’t understand why these things change sometimes.
Also, it would not be a weekend without a stupid argument with my babydaddy that I actually LIKE. This is sport.
“I’m going to hang up that poster of clouds that I’ve had forever,” P. said, as I was doing some dishes.
This is where it immediately goes off the rails and some people (not me) are sorry they opened their mouth at all.
“Really, why?” I said.
“So I can see what the weather will be like.”
“SEE? WHAT THE WEATHER WILL BE LIKE?” Suddenly I was Gordon Ramsey on goofballs. “It’s GREY, you stick your head outside and it’s ALL GREY!”
“That’s not true at all,” he said. “There’s lots of different weather patterns here and you can tell if it’s going to rain and–”
“OF COURSE IT’S GOING TO RAIN, IT IS THE PNW! Save your poster, here is the only chart you need.”
I drew a chart for him on the fridge where the grocery list normally resides.
“Now in the Midwest there are actual cloud patterns besides grey–” I began.
“I don’t want to HEAR about the MIDWEST,” he said. “At least I know how to spell ‘G-R-A-Y.”
“GASP!” I gasped. He walked off. Where would either of us be without our weekly pointless bickering? The girls basically pass the salt over us when this happens now.
I also spent a little solo time with Franny, who needed a skirt for a field trip to the Symphony. I already mentioned this on the Twittergraph, but I was holding up not-pink things, because she does not dig the girlie pink stuff, and she was also insisting, “BLACK, ONLY BLACK CLOTHES.”
I teared up, for real. You can kind of tell we’ve been watching a LOT of Drag Race right now. Franny thinks of these types of shoes in a fabulous man context so we had to have a little breakdown about the clear stripper shoes. “Ladies wear these too, hmm,” she said.
Last night I dreamt that SeaFed was on a game show that involved producing streams of bullshit at lightning speed. He did very well! He insisted on making me watch the tape after and I couldn’t help but notice how old he was looking, which is something I have no clue about since I cannot actually remember the last time I saw him. Has it been a year? Possibly.
Speaking of fathers, I dragged P. out with me, whom I had extremely important plans with to watch Gilmore Girls later, just like in ye olde days. My goal was to dial M for Meat and get some random animal parts to make this thing that takes like three days this weekend, no kidding. But I had to start FRIDAY NIGHT because stage one takes 12 hours. I had a total I WANT AN OOMPALOOMPA NOW DADDY moment in my sad head when it was only 7:30 and the meat saw was already shut down for the night, and I was told it would take a half-hour to reassemble. I WONDER.
The best part, though, was taking P. to the drug store. He was holding his Feral Dwarf’s hand (currently she is HIS since she penned on the window sill yesterday) and the clerk said, “Happy Father’s Day” to him to be nice, and he responded with nothing more than a stunned and confused look.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” the clerk said quickly. “I assumed she was his…”
“Yes, she is,” I said. “He just doesn’t know there is a holiday this weekend.”
“Ah ha,” she said, confused.
He turned to me as we walked away. “Father’s Day,” he said, wonderingly.
“Yes, you had better call your father on Sunday,” I said.
“Huh. It’s nice to be remembered,” he said.
“Yeah, it is,” I sighed, thinking about how Mother’s Day went forgotten this year.
There is a little bit of vindictive ignoring of Father’s Day on my part, I admit, and about three parts “eh.” It is obviously not important to anyone I know. It’s probably time to just let it go and save my money for a BOOTY POP or something.
After lunch, we went to the Giant Robot Poop.
“Quick, do a feminist deconstruction of this book cover,” P. said, waggling a trade paperback at me.
The title read The Pretender’s Crown. It looked like your typical fantasy cover for a novel set in some vaguely Medieval time and place–big tits in a velvet dress holding a crossbow thingie. Surely the story would concern a plucky heroine who would cutely meet some rogue, misunderstandings would occur, and she would off some bad guys with darts tipped with poison that she had been trained from childhood to ooze out of her vaginal walls. Lucky for her, the rake was IMMUNE. There will be a sequence on a ship, a crusty father figure who will declare the heroine’s spirit untameable, and she and Rake will knock boots in the sequel.
Wait, did I just write a book there?
“Eh, it’s not so bad, actually,” I admitted. “You can see HALF her head, even. The model does not look ridiculously emaciated. It’s ooookay.”
“Look,” P. said, and showed me the giant dent in the spine that appeared to be evidence that someone had twisted or bent the book at some point.
“Hmm, looks like it got jammed into a bag or something,” I remarked.
“I dunno,” P. said. “I bet someone did that on PURPOSE. I bet this book is really really really really terrible.”
“Oh just GET it already,” I said.
We checked out and he walked me back to work in the mist.
“What if you picked this up and you got SUCKED IN and you COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN?” he said.
I scoffed. “I have already read that book,” I said.
“You DID? When? How is it?”
“Yes, it was a couple of years ago, and it was called The Princess Assassin then.”
“Oh, I see what you did there,” he said, and we had a laugh about it. Then he got quiet.
“Anyway,” he said. “It was called The DECOY Princess.”
“Oh, my bads.”
“Mom, why do you tell me to ‘lie down’ and you say that you ‘lay stuff down’?” Strudel asked, while she was putting her boots on. I launched into a brief explanation of lie and lay as I was putting my laptop into my bag.
“Strudel, you mean you DON’T know the difference between the transitive and the intransitive? What ARE they teaching you at that school?” She shook her head slowly.
Suddenly, P. shouted from another part of the house: “GIVE HER A BREAK, SHE USES THE SUBJUNCTIVE CORRECTLY!”
First things first: thanks for all the comments on my last post. I enjoy dodgy science SOOOO much, don’t you?
Second thing: with regard to my search for a calf’s head for an upcoming recipe, I must say: DUH. Of course no one wants to sell me one. Mad cow disease and all that. I am not interested in using the brains, however. AHEM. So I say to you, if you happen to have a calf’s head laying around that you are not using, I would be appreciative of receiving it for this other thing I’m doing.
Thing number three is Franny. Franny has been off-kilter and insecure for some time now…really since her father moved away a year and a half ago. Makes sense, right? When she opens up about it, she says things like, “I don’t think he really loves me.” I know this age can be very insecure, and she certainly has her moments where she cries that she has no friends or she has the WORST LIFE EVER, but the thing with her father is troubling because it’s a recurring theme.
And when she says it I feel this twinge, not just for her, but also because it echoes how I felt when her father and I were married. I really felt like he was phoning it in most of the time. It also makes me think of being her age and really wanting a father myself, instead of some psycho that my mother married.
What to do with this? I feel cheated. If anyone is going to mess them up, it should be me. There goes my ten year plan to give one of them an eating disorder and make the other one completely mental if she gets anything less than an a-minus on anything. Where’s my justice, universe? Probably behind the entertainment center again.
I thought about what I knew about people who were now adults who’d had surrogate parents in their lives–those people who actually gave a shit. I thought about those moments when adults stepped into my life and did not see me as some kind of alien, but as a kid who needed some care and attention. Someone to worry about them and to say, “I care what happens to you,” with the unspoken “even if it seems like no one else does.”
Then I thought seriously of her sister’s father. P. met Franny when she was two years old, when she used to follow me around at school when I was running errands or picking things up on non-class days. When P. and I got involved, he became a strong presence in her life–another adult who was looking out for her well-being and had a good relationship with her. Then Strudel came and he became her sister’s father, so was significant in another way. Pragmatically and coldly speaking, he is my babydaddy and he is not going anywhere. He is not someone who is going to skate on Franny. This is important. I am not ready for her to learn that even really cool people can skate yet.
The thing about P. is that he has always been super respectful of the fact that Franny has a father already. He and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to negotiate our new family–how would we fit, what were the boundaries? He bosses her sometimes, like any adult might, and teaches her things and they have conversations and he genuinely LIKES children, which is something I found appealing about him. I have always felt that he was a worthy and strong man to be in her life.
“So,” I said on the bus to P. the other morning. “It seems like Franny is kind of losing her father to his other family.”
How do you say this to someone?
“Would you…could you be more of a father to her?”
“Yeah, I can,” he said.
I rattled on about how great I thought their relationship was, and how I felt he had never overstepped. I said how I see Franny watching him really care for Strudel, really fathering her, and I could see the longing. A witness to what having a father is like at both houses, and not really feeling it for yourself.
“I don’t know what you can change. Maybe hug her more and tell her you are proud of her and stuff,” I said. I know he is proud of her and he does tell her. “Does this all sound horribly fake?”
“Well,” he said. “You fake it until it becomes real.”
This sounded harsh to me for a second, until I thought about when I met Franny. Jesus Christ, I thought, what was I supposed to do with this baby I had pooped out? I don’t even KNOW you, I wanted to say. Who are you? I kissed her head and hugged her and joggled her and talked to her so she wouldn’t grow up to become Charles Manson, and one day, I won’t say how long it took, it became real. I really did feel like I knew and loved her. P. loves Franny, I know he does. I am hoping that taking it up to the next level is easy, or at least doable.
P. and I ended up on the bus together today.
“What did you get up to last night?” I asked.
“Oh, I stayed up WAAAAY too late…knitting,” he said.
“WOW! Wild times! The party train never stops!”
“Shut up,” he said.
“I dunno about that. My name is all generic and my bio is too. It says ‘Insert bio here.”
“You should insert ‘PEENOR,” I said.