Dear Kate really does live up to her bakery epithet.  She has sent me some of the best cookies I’ve ever eaten.  But she also sends me gifts the likes of which you cannot imagine, and really . . . you know.  Don’t.   They’re sort of meant for the two of us.  This time she really outdid herself.  She got me a Noah’s Ark set from 1967, which happens to be the year of the Great Flood.  You know how the story goes, right?  God told Noah to build an arky arky, God told Noah to build an arky arky, BUILD IT OUT OF!  Hickory barky barky, children of the lord.  Except what he meant was, “I’m fixing to destroy the world except for a few animals and three human beings, two of whom are probably gay.”  That’s really sweet.  And remember how poor Bill Cosby, who is Noah, didn’t have a clue what a cubit is?  How COULD he?  He was busy on television and wearing his sweaters.

Kate’s gift made concrete what I had known for some time.  You see, I was married (all too tragically briefly) to one of the last full-blooded Incas in America.  (I am the other.)  In this photograph he’s wearing our culture’s ceremonial headdress, which happens to include my puggle, Puppa.


His Incan name was Wears The Puppa Hat, or in English, Eddie.  Because I grew up in a series of Christian foster homes, I knew enough about the Bible to teach Eddie some of the stories.  He found them all very uncomfortable, even though many Biblical stories are shared by countless other cultures.  The flood legend is nearly universal; it seems that everyone wants to believe the planet was really hard-core drowned once.  Our conversations frequently went like this:

EDDIE:  Your God said to one person, this Noh, to build a massive ship because God wanted to destroy the world? 

BLADE:  Yep.

EDDIE:  But two of each kind of animal was to be spared?  Why?  Why kill all the people and the trees and all the rest of the animals, and keep just two?

BLADE:  Weird, I know.

EDDIE:  Were there women? 

BLADE:  There was Noah’s wife, and I think his children.  And his domestics, of course.

EDDIE:  But how did they repopu –

BLADE:  Best not to go there.

I lost my beloved Wears The Puppa Hat in a tragic accident; he was performing a ceremonial dance and . . . well, there was Incan makeup involved, which contains lead, and the sacred moccasins, made of gasoline and gunpowder.  His native dress was on fire when the dancing began, so that didn’t help.  I grieved appropriately, as our culture demands, and then I left our cave dwelling and moved to Durham, near Duke University.  This is the Inca way. 

For many years I didn’t think about the conversation we’d had about the Noah story, not until Kate sent me the gift.  I opened it reluctantly, to be honest, because I knew it would rekindle not just my grief, but memories of Foster Sunday School.  Little did I know that I needn’t have traumatized Puppa Hat, because everything I learned from the warty Mrs. Belcher was a lie anyway. 

The animals, they came on by twosies twosies, right?  WRONG.  Look at this:


The ‘lamb’ is possessed by Satan, and the chicken is the same size as the cow, who is standing on a ROCK.  I heard nothing about any rocks, did you?  Or consider this:


That pink-faced gorilla thing is probably quite accustomed to having his way with, oh say a PIG, right?  But that pig is fixin’ to show Magilla a certain barnyard trick.  Devil Rabbit hates everyone and everything, including the itty bitty lion cowering next to him.  What really blows my honker is that monkey.  I’m telling you, it is a monkey, and it’s about the size of a tiny thing, and it’s standing right there with a MASSIVE turtle.   The size of the turtle is ungodly.  It gets worse. 


That’s my sister in the red pantaloons, with her back to us.  I’d have a hard time facing the situation, too.  The pig is eating the lion, the mutant tortoise is on the move, and lurking in the background is a gargantuan BLUE penguin.  And here’s Donnie Darko with some prostitute – that’s nice.


And OH, are you tired of the Scientologists trying to get you to hold those metal things and give you literature that fills you with shame?  You might want to give that a rethink, because Xenu was on that boat. 


I was deeply disturbed, but I didn’t expect carnage.  I didn’t foresee atrocity, not until this:


I thought I knew something of myth, and the way it guides our understanding of nature.  I knew nothing.  When the pink-faced gorilla is the same size as the anteater, which is the same size as the hippo, and there are Faustian skunk-things and midgets in dresses, not to mention Cletus, one’s mind wobbles a bit.  But when a SOCK MONKEY enters the picture?  A sock monkey with dominance clearly on his agenda?  And just the one – not twosies?  I couldn’t help but remember the horrible moment in “Planet of the Apes” when Charlton Heston discovers a library, and he’s ecstatic to hold a book again, rather than just the leather hand of his apemate.  He opens the cover and the pages turned to dust.  I wept.  We were at the drive-in and I was sensitive.


By the way, the boat was only big enough to hold my sister and a couple miniature monkeys.  I’m glad she got away before the hideous reindeer arrived – they did NOT have Santa’s sleigh on their minds, believe me.

Published in: on November 23, 2008 at 1:10 am  Comments (294)  



    Oh this makes me SO HAPPY!!!

  2. Haven~
    You are so flippin funny, lord girl-if this writing this doesn’t pan out there is always a career in stand up..or maybe one of the funny chefs at Benihanna’s.
    “His Incan name was Wears The Puppa Hat, or in English, Eddie” I cannot stop giggling.

  3. Kate, where did you find such a treasure?????

  4. eBay. I was trying to find Haven’s treasured childhood Noah’s Ark (which, the way she described it, did not exist) and I found THIS ONE. And then I found the actual one from her childhood, but it was TOO LATE.

    I like this one better. Haven, we need a picture of the box…that was my FAVORITE PART.

  5. Donnie Darko with a prostitute, I love it.

  6. Dammit why won’t my avatar change?

  7. Oh! Have to tell everyone that I met up with Sher this evening after work. She brought her husband Don, daughter Lauren and assorted nieces and nephews. I brought only Robbie because Riley is visiting her Auntie Stacy in Chicago this weekend and they wouldn’t allow Hudson (our dog) into TGI Fridays.

    For anyone who has wanted to know, Sher is exactly how I expected her to be. Funny, smart, and just one of the best souls I’ve ever met – but that’s seems to apply to just about everyone here. And we talked about everything possible that we could get crammed into and hour or so. Kind of a live action Haven’s Blog commentary! We had a great time and hope to meet up again soon.

    I also gave her the scoop on Haven and what she was like before she married the Incan. But if you want to get those details, you have to meet with me in person. Over martinis. Or a good scotch.

  8. Hooray! The sock monkey god ‘James’ has risen again! He devoured his twin in the womb and is bent on world domination!

  9. JohnM — one of Kat’s friends made a Halloween costume of a parasitic twin growing out of her side and they were dressed alike!!!! Such genius.

    You’ll have to see the later photo I took of myself in the pelts. I think it’s a really good look for me.

  10. I bow to Kat’s friend.

    My friend Jill dressed as the Indonesian Tree Man for Halloween and I almost WEPT with joy at the sight of her.

  11. Jack is so happy to see the penguin has been put to good use, and in a biblical way at that. Haven, you never stop the givin, this was the perfect story to share with the family over cocoa on a late saturday eve, moral with a touch of irony. I think my husband and in-laws finally get what we’re all busy doing here.

  12. What a delightful tale to awaken to. The dominant sock monkey was truly the grand climax. All questions about that particular Bible story are now forever put to rest.

    JohnM ~ Your name to linking to James Frey on Wikipedia? What is this about, pray tell?

  13. Of course there was a rock. What kind of heathen foster Sunday School was it that didn’t mention where the ark landed? I think it was very thoughtful of Kate to provide you with an Ararat so they could get the hell out of there.

  14. Love the sock monkey thing, where can I find one?

  15. I HAD THIS NOAH’S ARK!!! The very same one! Ah, the horrible, horrible nostalgia.

  16. POLLY – Little inside joke on the James Frey thing. I made the taxidermied sock monkey for HK, and the shredded text is from ‘A Million Little Pieces’.

    NICOLE – The sock monkey is one-of-a-kind, not available in stores, as they say.

    HK – LOL about the twin! I have a guess about which friend this is.

  17. The devil-lamb terrifies me. Forevermore my nights shall be haunted by wool sweaters with evil intentions.

  18. The animals! the animals!
    They came in by twosies twosies
    The animals the animals
    They came in by twosies twosies
    Ell-a-phants AND!
    KANG a roosies roosies
    Children of they lord.

  19. Hi all – What a blast of comic relief! Thanks, Haven!

    I am about to take the last of the 13-year-old boys home from a loosely-termed “slumber” party. There was no slumber, just a 15-hour Nerf gun battle interspersed with some Rock Band.

    I just uploaded an updated Blog Map to the Yahoo group site. The picture version is in the album and there is a Google Earth version in Files. Enjoy and tell me if I missed you.

    Also, during some web surfing last night I ran into a website for Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion (her wish after winning the TED prize). Anyone worldwide can write onto it and help draft the language. I figured it was something everyone might be interested in knowing about.

  20. John M. LOL @ “Million Little Pieces” in a million little pieces inside that sock monkey. As a recovery alcoholic, you don’t know how many times I wanted to throw that book against the wall while reading – and that was BEFORE he was outed by Oprah. I do feel bad for the monkey though.

  21. Brilliant, Jim, just brilliant.

  22. Maureen, all of my blog entries used to be like this, but then one day I woke up and realized I’m actually a deep and tragically suffering Artist. Art is my therapy, my church, my favorite stool in the tavern, my three-legged dog, my tepid oatmeal, my candy wrappers, and it is ABSOLUTELY an antique farm tool no one in the world knows the use for. And now, too, it is the preposition at the end of the former sentence. A comparison to Britney Spears would not be inappropriate here.

  23. I was watching Deep Impact and found it curious that when the government begins rank-and-filing its citizens to be spared the devastation of the comet strikes into the Ark (i.e. the network of caves carved in limestone), we also see animals being transported into the cave entrance, a male and female of each species, no more. Granted, Deep Impact is a Hollywood disaster epic and not a scientific treatise (although one science writer called it a PhD dissertation when compared with Armageddon when the two disaster epics were released), but I was hoping its filmmakers would take the chance to remind audiences that species survival under two-by-two conditions is unlikely — if not an altogether impossibility — given the generations of incest (and their attendant deformities and spontaneous abortions) that would necessarily follow in the lineage. But, alas…

  24. First of all, Kate, how sweet of you to buy Haven this gift. You blog babies are so nice to one another.

    Haven – Your lucky to have all of these super fans that have talent and impressive ebay and baking skills. I love you mentioning Donnie Darko, one of my favorite movies. “What are you wearing that stupid man suit?” And that gorilla thing reminds me of a skit I watched last night on Jackass 2.5. (I’m a little embarrassed to mention that, but if you had seen it you’d totally get it! They painted the fat guy black and had him pretend to be King Kong.)

    John M – Love your sock monkey! I am proud to admit I never read that book, as it seemed a little to perfect and far fetched for me.

  25. Surely there’s an exorcist on this arky arky?

  26. Haven,

    Do still have the tattoo you received just prior to your wedding to Where’s the Puppa Hat? I remember the horror of hearing you relate THAT little festivity. Brrr. So weird that they used porcupine needles. But then, you were in love …

  27. Haven,

    I still have that copy of Where’s poem to you, called “xochitl in cuicatl.” Have you given any more thought to creating a memorial to him in his native land? Did you decide on an appropriate statue? I know you’ve had second thoughts, but I am very much in favor of including his totem, the 1964 Mustang convertible.

  28. In Xochitl, In Cuicatl

    “Now, oh friends,
    listen to the words of a dream:
    each spring brings us life,
    the golden corn refreshes us,
    the pink corn makes us a necklace.
    At least this we know:
    the hearts of our friends are true!”

  29. The term “incandescent” is derived from the Incan dance Where’s the Puppa Hat was doing when he died in a blaze of glory and made his “descent” into The Land of Ancestors.

  30. Haven has sometimes published under her Incan name, “Rode the White Horse.”

  31. Jodi, now I often use “Ride the White Pony.” It’s less threatening.

    I do still have the tattoo but once it became infected I had to have it covered with the words “Billy Bob.” I’m working on the statue in Puppa Hat’s honor — it’s called “In Xochitl, In Cuicatl, Ars Memoria.” It’s being carved out of the side of a mountain in South Dakota but is so large it will take approximately 14,000 years to complete. But as you know, the Inca have no word for time, and neither does love, so those millenia will pass in the blink of an eye.

  32. Didn’t the Christian Foster Homes (started by the Canadian Quaker, Christian Foster) go out of business in the late 1960s? Christian Foster then went into … what? fashion design, right?

  33. The side of a mountain in South Dakota?
    I’m assuming that’s Deadman Mountain, 4,943 feet.
    A fitting memorial.

  34. Jodi, you’re thinking of Christian Foster II. His father was a small power forward on the legendary Milan, Indiana high school basketball team; the team that against all odds beat Muncie Central in the state championship game in 1954. Most people remember only Bobby Plump, but Christian Foster made a significant contribution with a beautiful assist in the last two minutes. After he graduated he went into plastics.

  35. Gee, you’re right again, Haven. But what about Mrs. Velma Belcher? Weren’t charges brought against her prior to the buyout of all (Christian) Foster Sunday Schools by the Pat Robertson Foundation?

  36. J., in our culture we waste nothing, so Puppa Hat’s 1964 Mustang Convertible is still being driven by his drunk uncle, Can’t Stop Licking Chalk.

  37. Can’t Stop Licking Chalk, the renowned pool hustler? He’s still alive??

  38. Mrs. Velma Belcher fled the Foster Sunday School system in shame when it was discovered she was post-operative transgendered. Her birth certificate read Vincent Manly. Apparently she just never felt like a man, and even as a small child dressed in her mother’s sad, shapeless shifts, and taught Bible lessons to her stuffed animals, her warts covered with an unfortunate orange pancake makeup.

  39. As I walked into the sanctuary at church this morning there was an easel with the word “sheep” and an arrow pointing to the right and the word “goats” and an arrow point to the left. I sat on the sheep side. Come to think of it we did go in by twosies twosies.

    And, I am not making this up. There really was a sign saying goats and sheep. It was Christ the King Sunday after all.

  40. At church today I had some Oreo Bon Bons that were TO DIE FOR. I am sending some to Delonda. Thank, you Jesus!!

  41. Aww. We didn’t have any oreo bon bons at my church. We do, however, have fair trade coffee. whoo hoo!

  42. Haven sweetie. Just when I am prepared to never log on again your humor gives me reason to live. You are hysterically funny. Thank you for not banning me.

  43. My practical daughter, Rachel, (age 11 and a good Catholic girl) was told to read Genesis for Sunday School. She got out her never-opened pink bible and started reading. Shortly after there were peals of laughter. I had a feeling why but asked “What’s so funny?” She said, “They were 100 years old and had a kid named Seth?? And where did Cain’s wife come from? Ha ha ha.”

    I’m guessing Noah’s ark isn’t going to fly either.

  44. Well, Miss Dorian, thank you for coming back! As Sock Monkey pointed out, we all seem to be edgy and sad. His Robbie calls it ‘my pain is worse than yours.’ Very apt. So I’ve decided to spread some cheer, and having you back is cheery indeed.

  45. This is the first year my students ever study the bible closely, and right now, their poor little minds are being blown apart by the idea that there wasn’t really a Garden…or a snake…or that the world wasn’t populated by 2 people named Adam and Eve who only had 2 boys…yeah…it’s a kicker here in the South.

  46. Today at church there were neither goats nor sheep, but there was a lot of sleeping and then I got up and had really good coffee. I wore my cowboy pajama top and cargo pants, along with my H hat and one of my pelts from JohnM. I really enjoy church these days.

  47. ATTENTION ALL BLOG BABIES!!! I have put together an album of some of the gifts you have given me (I feel certain I missed a few but I’ll get it right eventually). Just under the photo of the bear orchestra on the right is a link to the photo gallery. This one is just Presents from Blog Babies, but eventually I’ll have others, too. EXCITING!

  48. I’m from the South as well. Around here they call what Haven does on Sunday “Home-churched.”

  49. Wish I could do the home-church and get “credit.” Being Catholic sure does take a lot of time… 🙂

  50. LB-I’m Jewish but married a Catholic. I get to rest more at Mass since I’m not up and down and kneeling all the time and I don’t have to get up for communion.

    On top of that my mother is now a Mormon and actually wears the magic underwear.

  51. Vanessa–Tell me how this works–the myths abound!!! Must one wear one’s magic underwear AT ALL TIMES?!?! If one actually removed it (for shame!) what would happen?


  52. Lightning Bug, I can tell you from experience that magic underwear is not always the best idea. Last week Kat and I went to Charlotte to see Orri and spent the night with my in-laws. I decided to pack very lightly, so I wore a white union suit with jeans over it, and boots. The suit did indeed have the anal button, which SEEMS as if it would work but no. The first time I went to the bathroom I had to COMPLETELY UNDRESS, which I think means I am now excommunicated from the Mormon faith.

  53. Good God, Haven. How can you ever live with yourself? What were you thinking trying to attend to personal business minus your magic unmentionables? For shame. You had your excommunication coming…


  54. My understanding is that it’s worn at all times UNDER your regular underwear. And you must wear all white inside any temple.

    All I know is she keeps two years’ worth of supplies (which she can ill-afford) in case of the end times or whatever they are waiting for. And there are other things they believe about all families coming to Earth together as spirits. She’s not sure how divorce figures into it (since she is divorced twice.)

  55. I’m afraid the phrase “anal button” is now forever burned into my brain. :0

  56. My brain as well. Lord, but our Haven writes a special turn of phrase. This goes right up there with bitch-man ass clown.

  57. Oh if you only knew the restraint I show, Vanessa and Bug!

  58. EVERYBODY!! Go look at the photo gallery again — there are pictures of Baby G. in a soccer uniform Caryl Hayes sent him.

  59. Handsome doesn’t even come close…

  60. What a lovely little boy! He looks thrilled to have his new soccer uniform.

    I have to figure out a way to get you the pair of earrings that Hannah made. We’ll post a photo of her with them. She’d be excited to be included in any way on the internet since she dreams of being famous (yikes.)

    Of course she is in bed and I shall not wake her for a photo op. Maybe tomorrow!

    Good night–I’ll have to catch up tomorrow with the next 100 comments that are sure to come tonight (although it seems strangely quiet out there…)

  61. Haven, Thanks for the credit but I didn’t make that scarf. I’ve actually never made a scarf. My Shelby just took up knitting recently, so perhaps she’ll redeem me and make you yet another scarf? Spirit Scarf is a cool name though

    and I spent some time with my friend Cindy today (you know the one I forwarded the email from) that email was an understatement. She was GUSHING Haven today. She is going to have knee surgery and Iodine and Something Rising are on the top of her recovery time books pile.

  62. Glad you’re back Dorian

  63. Dear Lord, Spirit didn’t make the scarf, Polly didn’t make the skirt. You know what this means? I’m receiving gifts from complete strangers. Well, god bless them is what I say.

  64. POS, let me know if there’s something I could send to Cindy during her recovery.

  65. The photo album is EVER so great. It made me a bit teary. How wonderful to be surrounded by so much love in the form of ART.

    I am not capable of making such beautiful things. I can only hunt down the grotesque and silly, and then mail it.

  66. Kate makes beautiful babies and APPARENTLY beautiful cookies, too. That is nothing to sneeze at!

    I’m thrown by the fabulous opening – and there are so many lies I learned at church and school that I am still unlearning them.

    I’m off to wrap something up for Mother Delonda . . . night, night!

  67. Someday I’ll make you some cookies too Sher…right now I am up to my neck in baking requests, and my dishes are slowly becoming less sky-scraper-esque.

  68. I hear you Kate – I just got back from buying a roaster at Target so that I have some oven room for Thansgiving dinner – this house has a single oven and 4 burners, but the studio and trees make up for that! My baking day was supposed to be Friday, but ended up with Dylan at Vanderbilt with pneumonia – – – he had to cancel his State Debate trip, but he tagged along, drugged and sleepy, for our quick ILLY/INDY turnaround . . .I thought of you as we podunked through Evansville in the early a.m. and late this evening . . . we didn’t even stop to pee . . . hopefully during the January trip we can plan another pit stop in Evansville.

    Dishes – for a month now I haven’t been able to bend over to load or unload the dishwasher – so it has been sink warshin’ for me – just like the good old days (doing dishes for 10). Ha. Hum. Bah. Hum. Bug.

    On a bright note – I got to re-enact George’s link to the Sarah Palin Turkey Pardonin’, with my brother Troy for the family of 26 on Saturday – – – You Betcha! 😉

    He played the slaughter-er and I was Sarah Palin.

  69. No body volunteered to be the turkeys. And we ate ham and chicken/noodles over mashedpotatoes and had baked beans over cottage cheese . . . it was heaven and then I had a pitcher of margueritas while talking to Sock Monkey – that was a stellar day!

  70. THE ARTIST (formerly known as Sher) had margaritas. Sock Monkey had his scotch on the rocks. Wicked cool evening.

  71. That is some cute baby in the soccer uniform. He did my husband proud.

  72. “Home-churched” omG, I am so stealing that.

  73. Kids, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try this at home:

    DO NOT ….
    Let your 13-year-old son invite a bunch of friends for an overnight on the same day you know you are scheduled to get your Migraine-of-the-Month-Club delivery.

    If you do anyway, DO NOT …
    Take and Imitrex, drink a beer, and hide upstairs blogging while they hoot and holler below you.

    If you do anyway, DO NOT …
    Read the Iodine post in its entirety and then try to sleep.

    If you do anyway, DO NOT …
    Spend the next day in an Imitrex hangover printing off information on each chapter title and then re-reading Iodine while simultaneously trying to nap.

    If you do anyway, DO NOT …
    Be surprised if you end up with a somewhat solid theory about the book: it’s only because you worked yourself into a state strongly resembling transient global amnesia and now you have to go and teach high school.

  74. That’s painfully funny Maureen.

    My friend Cindy is going to LOVE Iodine. She is a brainiac. I’m no brainiac so it’s taking me forever to read, because I keep stopping to look things up on the internet.

  75. Good luck, Maureen. 😉

  76. Katherine, home church is REAL. I did it for TWO YEARS. Mostly it was me and my friends getting together every Sunday and talking about how awesome we are that we don’t go to church. It grew tiresome.

  77. I love that your name is Katherine and your quilt block looks very much like my old quilt block. It’s so confusing.

    My name is Katharine, though, so it looks not only like me posting, but that I misspelled my own name.

  78. I started my home churching when I realized during the closing hymn of Amazing Grace ( I’m Catholic) that other people were zipping their coats ( we don’t take them off in church because we are Catholic and always are in a hurry) and gathering their kids. While I was singing my heart out with tears in my eyes. I decided no one else wanted to be there ( we are Catholic and only go to church because we are afraid we will go to hell if we dont) and I wanted to sing loudly and talk to God! And I can do that just fine in my jams while sitting on my couch.

  79. Amy in Ohio, when I used to go to Mass, half the church used to empty out while the wafer was still dissolving … I used to think, “why bother coming if you’re not even going to stay for the whole thing .. ?” Weird, isn’t it?

  80. Love the photos, Haven. Gus is the most handsome little boy I have ever seen in my life. Without comparison. But now I feel guilty because I have not sent you anything yet so I must get on that immediately.

    Maureen- I just looked at the album you added and your boys are handsome too. Especially the curley headed one. My daughter has curls so I am endeared to that one. And, I love the photo of you with the cows in the field. I know it is hard work but it looks lovely too.

  81. Once again I’m having yahoo woes. I finally got into it the other day and could see all the photos and other features, but now it’s once again treating me as a nonmember, and one who should be shunned at all costs. Isn’t the name of the group havensblogbabies? I’ve tried re-joining a couple of times within the past ten minutes with no luck. Must go to work now so I’ll check back tonight when I get home. Meanwhile, I made the scarf!

  82. Exactly Kittery!
    Maureen, I too loved the picture of you in the field.

  83. Oh, Oh, I just want to plant some smacking Auntie kisses on that boy’s cheeks!

  84. Thanks Linda – Elliot is quite well known for that hair. He was at the local pizza parlor once, and the guy at the cash register dragged the cook out of the kitchen saying “You have to see this kid’s hair!”
    Right now he is on the YMCA swim team, and his chlorinated head feels kind of like a Brillo pad.

    Right now Elliot is begging to grow his hair out into dreadlocks and get an earring so the fifth-grade bullies will be too scared to pester him. I’m all for the dreads – our town needs a little shaking up, but we are still on lice patrol.

  85. I actually am dying to go to a church where no one knows my name, where I have no responsibilities, and I can go once or twice a month and no one will care. But I would stay for the whole time, when I went, which all depends on how tired I am. Which, lets face it, would be pretty tired.

  86. Baby G. has some LIPS.

  87. It’s true – I had the tacky Margaritas and Sock Monkey had the VERY debonair Scotch and The Rocks – very James Bond.

  88. Where are these new pictures of Gus on the group page?? The last new ones are from Sher…

  89. I made that mistake too…it’s not on the group page, it’s on Haven’s photo gallery, to the right of this page.

  90. Oh! Thank you dear Kate!

  91. Kate: you’d probably feel right at home at my Episcopalian church in Georgetown. Everyone is polite; they smile; and make no demands on you — even to the point of asking your name. I went there for a year or so under those conditions and it was great. I am a little more involved now and can spend hours after the services drinking coffee and talking.

  92. Jason, who posts here and is an extraordinarily kind man, asked me once where I fall on a scale of five possibilities, ranging from a devout believer to an atheist, with three kinds of mixed skepticism in the middle. Is that right, Jason? I answered that I am devout, which is true. I believe in the Quaker faith as much as I believe in oxygen. But I’ve never found a Meeting here I feel comfortable in, and so I made the decision to practice my own form of Meeting for Worship all day, every day. I fail about 90% of the time but sometimes I get it right, and I STILL get to spend Sundays in my pajamas with my children. I told George I belong to the Religious Society of Friend.

  93. Believe or not I actually found a Catholic Church for my family where they play contemporary music, everyone stays and sings until the last note is played (well after communion), they applaud the choir and then they hang around because everyone is so friendly and non-judgmental. I’m Jewish and even I enjoy going. Not one person has even hinted that I should convert. Which I wouldn’t do anyway.

    There are so many wonderful things to believe in–it’s hard to understand how anyone can think their religion is the only way and everyone else is condemned.

  94. there is a Catholic church in Nashville that does their services based on the music of U2 – I have often considered joinging the church of U2 or John Mellencamp.

  95. Sher – that is a church even I would attend. 😀

  96. I belong to the Church of the Spiritually Unorganized. Sometimes I stay in bed, sometimes I play with the dog, or I may go to an AA meeting, or I occasionally attend a service at the UU, or I just go sit and stare at the Lake Michigan Waves crashing against the Muskegon pier. Whatever.

  97. Less pressure that way, Particles. 🙂

    I took that belief-o-matic quiz and I came up 100% UU .. even though I was raised Roman Catholic, that bottomed out at 15%…

  98. I am as inclined to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster as much as anything else–I was never taught to have faith in anything or anyone. I was raised Jewish/Catholic/Confused, so I want to give my kids a community and a start in some faith. I always tell them they will find their own path someday but for now this is what we do as a family.

  99. You’re the mother I want to be Vanessa!
    “Here is something – feel free to make up your own mind.”

  100. Haven,

    Is that a Sock Monkey-head shoelace dispenser??? Or are those twist-ties in it’s head? Or is that just supposed to be a tuft of hair on it’s head??

    My interpretation of all this depends on that seemingly trivial, but crucial detail.

  101. Matt–you’d never guess but I believe it’s shredded pages of A Million Little Pieces. I seem to recall Haven mentioning that.

    Kittery–since my husband had a strong Catholic upbringing we chose that but always stress that they should decide what makes sense to them. We have such a lovely community that I hope it gives them the comfort that I didn’t have growing up. (parents divorced when I was 2 so I just floated in the breeze about religion.)

  102. Just the idea of Magic Underwear leaves me almost speechless and it also somehow reminds me of those kids books about “Captain Underpants”. I should have known anyone who trolled e-bay for taxidermy would appreciate the high Kitsch of this Noah’s Ark set. The critters in this are like something from an old “B” Horror movie. Godzilla Meets the Mutant Bunnies anyone? And ever since I saw The Wizard of Oz I’ve been creeped out by monkeys. Those flying monkeys haunted my nightmares for years 😉

  103. Our family comes, metaphorically, from Lake Woebegon, Minnesota and we belong to ‘Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility’ although I was raised a ‘loose lutheran’ (as opposed to the strict ones who wouldn’t let just anybody take communion).
    Ditto on the flying monkeys creeping me out but not so much since I got the backstory from ‘Wicked’, which reminds me we will be falling asleep to The Wizard of Oz after turkey day feasting as that is our family tradition.

  104. Oh, falling alseep to the Wizard of Oz, what a nice tradition! That is so much better than football like at my future in laws. I always try to sneak off with a “headache” and hide in the basement with a book:~)

  105. In the Religious Society of Friend, where I meet in my barn, we are devout believers in Quakerism and the Gospel Order, as well as in Emerson, Twain, Dickinson, Johnny Cash. Sometimes Poetry itself is the deity of the day. And also every day is Sunday.

  106. I frequently worship at the alter of Johnny Cash, but don’t tell him!!

    Haven, I expect someday to have a glorious old-tyme religion service in said barn. We will drink frothy lattes and eat cookies with frosting and wear our cozy printed jammies. It will be SWEET.

  107. Hello, all! Vanessa, my mom let me find my own way spritually, too. She attended a Christian church, which was fine, but I spent a lot of time searching for the right fit for me – I tried Catholic, Pentacostal, Quaker, Church of the Bretheren, and several other faiths that escape me at the moment, but none of them stuck. I landed somewhere on the Pagan/Romantic/Wiccan continuum. I definitely think mom got it right – It was important for me to do my own research and figure it out for myself, and because of that, it was a decision that means the most to me. Mom is a smart cookie!

  108. HI Haven, love the pictures of all your gifts. The scarf is made by me, not Particles. And did you notice the flower with leaves on the wrapping of your blouse? It was a pin, so you can wear it with different outfits. Hope you like them.

    Shortbread season is coming! Is anyone a happy holiday decorator besides me? I put up a few trees all over the house, each decorated differently, and fill the house with all sorts of antique Santas and snowmen, and play holiday music of all religions and neationalities. The kids love it and even Ken, a Scrooge at heart, has to admit it’s beautiful. It may sound silly but making everything pretty and holiday-like brings back all sorts of happy childlike feelings from me, as I have happy memories of holidays during my early childhood.

    Back to work – TTYL.

  109. so i was missing from blogging a bit this past weekend as i went to new hampshire to meet a new baby–i always forget just how tiny they are in the beginning. oooo, and that smell. i love it. i almost wanted to steal baby oliver, and he is the son of some of my best friends.

    haven, your story was hilarious. what a wonderful one to come back to. i am thinking hard about what gift i would like to send you. i am not very crafty, except for marker art–which i LOVE. i can make one heck of a poster. but, i’ll keep brainstorming…

  110. Oh yes Kate, I second that. Haven will be our “preacher” ( ie. reader of the poems and stories as she has the voice of an angel)and we can fill in with all the animals as the congregation. One must wear slippers, have bed head, and the required sleep lines on their faces. On winter mornings we will also have oatmeal.

  111. Oh Polly!!! I put my trees up yesterday and the outdoor lights on Saturday. I sat down on the couch last night with all the lights off save the Christmas lights and was so happy and thankful for everything in my life. Alas, this was my church service.

  112. I have had my tree up since the beginning of November. I am a freak of nature. I’ll put up pictures on the yahoo site, or facebook. Or both.

  113. Oh no Kate, I would put mine up in October if I lived alone. The fiance has to put his foot down about some of my quirks:)

  114. Down in Southern Indiana, where one can find examples of many religious sects, I spent a summer during one particular formative year as member of an obscure German Catholic group that required its initiates to wear Magic Underwear.

    The name of my sect was the Blue River Chapter of Opus Dei. Now several of you may recall Opus Dei was involved fairly heavily in the plot of the Da Vinci Code but I can assure you that my little chapter was not involved in international archeological/conspiratorial intrigue. We hosted Turtle Soup and Corn Bread Dinners — All You Care to EAT for $5. The locals called turtle soup, “burgoo,” which I later came to understand was derived from its gooey consistency. I never cared much for it.

    I also didn’t make it as supernumerary of the Opus Dei folks — especially because of the underwear.

    To the “uninitiated” eye, the underwear looked like normal Fruit-o-the-Loom briefs. What wasn’t apparent however is the inner part of the waistband had been sewn over a strip of barbed wire, or, as we said in Southern Indiana, Bobwire.

    When I was issued my pair — a size 40, regular crotch — I immediately put them on and started wearing them, but soon discovered that the constant rubbing of the barbed wire waistband bothered the hell out of me.

    When I went to mention this to my Bishop, he said, “Well, George, we call this mortification and that’s the whole point of the Bobwire.”

    I didn’t stay with the group very long after that, but I will say that the experience, in general, turned me off to the whole concept of cults and such — with the exception of the polymoral polygamies that I got involved with near Seymour, Indiana, that following summer.

  115. It was now or never, and the boxes just went to the basement like, yesterday. So it’s a good thing I started early.

    Jarvis just said “I hate Johnny Cash” and I said “Son, you don’t mean that.”

  116. Um, George? I have never heard that Burgoo was turtle. Are you SURE about this?? I feel a little…weird now. I would think nothing of it, but I am fairly certain you and I have eaten the same soup before.

  117. I’ve often thought there’d be a tree up all year, here, if it weren’t a fire hazard. And here I sit, no Christmas decor in sight. Trouble is, neatness counts or decor just recedes to the background in a general slurry of clutter, and I am in pre-Christmas making-things mode. I have far too many beads. (Lie: there is no such thing.)

  118. Polymoral??!! I want more information!

  119. Kate: Be afraid, be VERY afraid. I never developed a taste for turtle and when I go to restaurants these days and the waiter says we have a special on Red Snapper, I have to excuse myself and dash off to the restroom.

  120. Isn’t Red Snapper a fish?

    Lordy, I am confused and disturbed.

    I don’t care, I love burgoo, but see, I also have two pet turtles now named R2D2 and Luke Skywalker, and I feel like I have betrayed them.

  121. Did someone here say COW? Is there a cowgirl in the house? I’ve just bought a heifer calf. I ADORE her. She’s a Dexter and she ROCKS. I am full of cow love and cow fever. I love to talk about them. Please, feel free to write me: I can send pictures of my steel toed boots and tell stories about halter breaking my dear Raspberry. How could you resist such an offer?

    Kate, always glad to meet another Katherine or Katharine, as the case may be. 🙂

  122. And this story made me laugh till my eyes streamed. Although, frankly, I do doubt the malevolence of sock-monkey-with-dominance-on-his mind. He looks merely curious, and has far too innocent a face — or is it that he is merely young and confusing us with his apparent guilelessness? (Abe Lincoln: “I don’t like his face.” A.L.’s secretary: “But he can’t help how his face looks!” A.L.: “Everyone older than 40 is responsible for his own face.”)

    I, too, was unsettled and quite disturbed by the scale of the animals.

    Haven is the Queen of the Diorama.

  123. My son prefers to dress in black. He is 10. I said, “Darling, you are like The Man In Black.” Then I youtubed a video of Johnny Cash singing that song. That is the saddest sad-sack song he ever sang. 1/2 way through I stopped it and said, “Well okay, the thing is, Johnny Cash is the best – EVER. You need to understand this. And he did not wear black for all those sad reasons. He work black because he was a PUNK and a freak and because it looked really cool.” Which is, of course, why my son does it. Then, he could relate. One day, he will really hear the music and get it, I feel sure.

  124. At first, I thought the animals had been plucked from my brother’s DeLuxe Farm Set he got for Christmas back in the 1960s, but my mind was set to rest on that particularly issue as soon as I saw the gorilla with the big breasts and pink face.

  125. Why don’t vending machines take pennies? What is wrong with pennies anyway? Because, you know, I am starving right now and I have about a gazillion pennies in a bowl in my desk drawer but 0 one dollar bills and 0 “acceptable” coinage. And there is a vending machine on the other side of my office wall. I can hear it humming right now. It is taunting me.

    Yes, I know I have a packet of instant oatmeal in my desk drawer too. I don’t want that. I want chocolate. Life is just not fair, I tell you.

  126. The gallery also is so impressive. You scored with the sock monkey taxidermy (John M., you are some kind of brilliant), Sher’s encaustics, and Cathy’s bees. And Polly’s scarf, and Caryl’s soccer uniform (Gus looks so very handsome!), and [still-mystery-giver]’s skirt. You are all so talented!

  127. Katherine: take heart, my son started dressing in black when he was about 12 and wore it consistently until he was around 24. It made shopping for him very easy, and I came to appreciate that black is the new black and there are many different varieties of black. I think my son wore black to basically express his general despair and nihilistic attitude, but, like I mentioned, he got past it as soon as he met the right girl, who now happens to be my daughter-in-law!

  128. Katherine Cow-girl!
    My husband and I have a dairy farm (Jerseys). We have lots of cows and I love them. Their coats smell just wonderful. Congratulations on the heifer!
    Have you ever read E.B. White’s essay “Getting Ready for a Cow”? I found it online. It’s a hoot!

  129. Linda. Where is your emergency chocolate? Right. You must plan for these situations.

  130. Maureen! Yes! Oh, happiness. I’m like a giddy school girl. It’s silly how cow I am right now. When I have questions, can I come here and ask you? I’m off to read that essay right now.

    Black is the new black, Thanks George. What I am really hoping for is a black calf from my red heifer. Then we can name it Blackberry.

  131. All cows questions answered here. I’ve been raising heifers for almost 20 years.

    That link I put on requires some kind of Questia subscription! Oops. I have a copy of the whole essay in my teaching stuff, so I’ll put a copy on the yahoo group.

  132. Maureen: Just MOOOOOve it over to yahoo group. As I understand, it s it a classicow essay. Correct?

  133. Hi everyone.

    I have been on sort of a commenting hiatus for 101 good reasons, but primarily because I needed to devote all of my emotional energies to what has been going on in the lives of people I love.

    My nephew (through Beloved Best Boyfriend Dave) is 3 months old and today he was officially diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. The prognosis for this disease is that he will not make it to his first birthday. Most infants die within the first year (or two) and the earlier the diagnosis, the worse the strain of the disease.

    We have suspected this disease for several weeks now but today it was confirmed through his blood work.

    I know many of you pray or otherwise communicate with whatever God may be out there… please pray for Baby Oliver and his parents, Neil and Bekka. I could go on, at length, about how horrible and devastating this news is, but instead I just want to ask for your thoughts and prayers.

  134. Amanda, you have it. My heart goes out to your family. I could just feel myself sink as I read this. I pray for healing, if that is to be, and if not, I pray for their peace.

  135. Yessirree, Bobwire Bill. It’s classicow, from the author of Charlotte’s Web himself.
    Bobwire’s what they call it here, too, though I have yet to see anyone put it in their underwear on purpose.

  136. Amanda –
    Wow, I was posting a jokey response to George before I got your message. I’ll be thinking of Oliver and his parents.

  137. Amanda: I joke around a lot, but I am in truth a believer, and I will have this little boy in my thoughts as I pray.

  138. Amanda, I’m so, sorry, and of course I will keep Oliver and his family — all of you — in my prayers.

  139. thank you, everyone.

  140. Hugs and prayers to Oliver and all his loved ones, too.
    And as for the jammie party…you got my vote when bed hair and cookies became involved.
    I have a pair of sock monkey flannel jammies. I’ll get the Dana to take a picture next time I wear them (with bed hair, but after coffee) I think Thanksgiving morning would be appropriate.
    And George? I too would like a definition of polymoral, eh?

  141. I have sock monkey jammies too! And sno-globes, and garden gnomes. Those are just the flannel ones. I have COTTON lightweight ones of fruit, and strawberries mixed with kisses.

  142. Kate, you are my heroine.
    I LOVE pajamas.
    and baking.

  143. We’ll all take care of Amanda as best we can. She is made of Clouds, she is very wise.

  144. Y’all, the Cowgirl Katherine is the very one who threatened to put a hammer through her television if she came home and it was on one more time. She is one of the most amazing, ass-whooping, brilliant, hilarious women on this PLANET. She holds the honor of having me made laugh the hardest in my own history — I’m talking about approaching cardiac arrest laughing, and she did it TWICE.

    Love you, K.

  145. after 4 hours of “making cookies” why do I only have 6 uniced, undecorated turkeys?

  146. Amanda, I add my prayers to those here. Light and love to all.

  147. I am adding individual swaths to the blog baby prayer flag . . . they start out as post-its, but eventually end up on pre-cycled fabric with beads . . . I guess it is my neo-pagan prayer list . . . Oliver was just added via a flannel newborn receiving blanket strip.

  148. Haven, stop. No don’t stop. Wait, is it wrong if I print that poster sized and put it on my wall? I’m just crazy flattered, is all. So thank you. And none of you believe her. I’m a total shrinking violet. She is the Bad Ass Mama (BAM!) As is perfectly clear.

    I had forgotten the hammer thing… And I made you laugh that hard? Are you sure you weren’t confused because I was sitting between Joe and Ray?

    Amanda, I already said some prayers and I’ll say some more.

  149. See, now I’m thinking it’s MY quilt block that looked like Katherine’s, and NOT the other way around.

    Whatever. People named Katherine are awesome. ALL OF THEM.

  150. I have blue,cotton pj’s with sock monkeys that are sitting on clouds. They were $7 at Target – – this was LAST, BEFORE Jim Shue, but after knowing my ‘sock monkey’ artist friend, Libby Rowe . . . thematic life.

  151. out 271 emails I only replied to one – Linda’s!!!

  152. I think those are the ones I have Sher. I’ll have to check.

  153. Geez, thanks, Sher. Now I know where I don’t stand.

  154. George – Darling, I am very confused, because you, darling, are one of the top five Blog Babies that I want to meet and talk all night with . . .

    If I send you a decorated, iced cookie, will you feel better and what would you like if you could have anything in the world?????

  155. am currently searching HIGH and LOW for a sock monkey cookie cutter – – might have to make one, which can be done with aluminum flashing, but it is fun to search for on on-line.

  156. George I just checked – no email in my main address, I haven’t checked YAHOO, my blog email or FACEBOOK, so don’t be disheartened if you sent something there because I am drowning in emails . . . maybe tonight if I have insomnia

  157. Well, an iced cookie would be nice. Short of that, I can’t think of anything else I would want in the whole world, because…truth of it is…I damn near have it all already.

  158. George – isn’t that a great feeling. I think I am there with you in contentment land.

    Besides meeting Jim Shue this weekend, I also managed to see my mother and my mother-in-law and neither of them said anything that hurt my feelings. I was like a dream weekend.

    I’ve decided neutral territory is the key and the fact that Obama won has them all so confused they don’t know what to say or DO! I LOVE that!

  159. Katherine, here are the two hints about our seizure-inducing laughter: the first was on Cedar Terrace, and we watched The Exorcist in the middle of the day. The second was at a wedding and you were pregnant for Riley.

  160. Wow Amanda, your loved ones are in my heart and prayers.

  161. Here’s some of my 2007 holiday decorating. The house was under construction, which was a nightmare from hell, and I was sorely (literally) in need of another hip replacement, so I didn’t do as much as I usually do, but you can still get a general idea of where I like to go with it. This year I am not in chronic pain (only occasional pain) so I’ll have four or five full size trees and lots of other displays. The main tree will be real and in the foyer. The other trees will be an assortment of vintage and new I’ve picked up over the years, each decorated with a different theme to coordinate with the room it’s in. I know it’s a little pshycho, but it makes me happy, and makes everything beautiful, and it’s safe and legal so it’s better than heroin.

  162. Glad you had a good weekend, Sher. It seemed like it could have gone either way, so that’s nice to hear.

  163. That’s pretty, Polly. My sister does her house up right too. I wish I had the talent and maybe some day I will. Right now, not so much. House is too small and cluttered and I am, well, exhausted. But, I always love going into warm and inviting homes. I bet yours smells like the holidays too. My sister is good about that. I am so glad you are able to have fun with it. I know your family must appreciate your hard work! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  164. Polly, is there NOTHING you can’t do? That wreath?!? And it turns out you made me the scarf I have to share with Gus? You’re a wonder woman.

  165. Polly-lovely home and beautiful family. I loved the Santa in the chamber pot.

    Here’s an idea: maybe everyone could post their holiday cards or photos in an album on the Yahoo site. That is, if you are inclined to do holiday cards or photos.

  166. Apropos of nothing…commercial just said there was a “Santa Claus, Indiana….”

    Really? My fingers seem incapable of Googling it…hard frickin day. Maybe I should leave stupid Columbus behind and go to Indiana… 🙂 I hear Bloomington has a great English grad program. 🙂

  167. Yes, Bug, there is a Santa Claus.


    It is halfway between Tennyson and Jasper.

    and in the hearts of everyone who can believe in the magic that is Christmas.

  168. Och! My boarder has broken her arm! It’s one damn thing after another! What’s next? Raining minnows from a clear blue sky? Anteaters walking around in broad daylight? Two-headed coyotes? Twice as many moons in the sky? Damn!

    Not quite but close- it’s a new tee vee set. Gawd it is huge, and loud, and the screen is really vivid. My
    roommate got it on Craigslist for a song.

    Wish me luck.

  169. Ha haa ha


    “SHEM! SCOOP that elephant shit! No, just throw it over the side! SHOVEL IT over the SIDE!!!”

    “HAM! I DO NOT want to see that ape fuck that sow EVER AGAIN! USE the TWIST TIES if you must!

    JAPHET! Tie a line around that abomination of a turtle and throw it overboard. Maybe it will pull us out from under the clouds.

    God I could use a drink…

    Are we there yet?

  170. :: snickers :: Twist ties…

  171. Well, I thought that big sock-monkey head was a twist-tie dispenser. Like, whenever you need one, you just pull it out of the top of his head, but now I’m told that it is shredded paper hair! Nonfunctional except for looks.

    For that hard-to-please person on your shopping list, you can make a shoe-lace dispenser. All you need is a little box, and poke a hole through it, and then you set the shoelace inside, but poke the end of the shoelace out of the hole, so when they need a shoelace, they just pull it on outta there!

    Stick some pictures of like, people jet-skiing on the sides, maybe put a little kickstand on it and ey, you’ve got a real gift of distinctioN!

    Who wouldn’t be up to their ass in comfort and joy to find one of these under the tree??? I ask you.

  172. Only one shoelace? I think a string of shoelaces would be better .. just tape ’em together and you can have an endless supply. And make them all kinds, white, the curlicue kind, sparkly .. spice it up a little. 😉
    THEN I would be up to my ass in comfort and joy. 🙂

  173. Perhaps everyone has gone to sleep.

    I have maybe one appropriate thing left to say.

    When I was a kid, I was hyper, loud, very near feral.

    You might think the nuns would have swatted me to death! I might as well have been a goddamn raccoon gone to school. BUT! They soon discovered I could draw, and they were fascinated. They pretty much gave me every friday afternoon OFF to draw and color all I wanted – within reason.

    I would draw spaniel-eyed saints and grimacing pharoahs and a fairly scary Abraham and his smiling son pointing to a ram caught in the hedgerow. There was a balloon coming out of his mouth with the words
    DON’T! and LOOK! and an angel swooping in. I must say that I did manage to capture some interesting facial expressions and poses…

    They would stand over me and coo and sigh.

    Anyhow, soon enough I drew the garden of eden scene.
    Lots of green, plenty of animals, it practically drew itself. FLowers everywhere. I had enough sense of self-preservation to position some animal so that it blocked the observer from viewing Adam’s wiener and Eve’s monkey. I suppose I could have set them in tall grass with just their heads poking up but that would have been lame.

    Anyhow, I showed my kids the drawing, it is brittle, ancient now, and I said to them “See that zebra? And that baboon? See where they are standing? That is no accident.”

    I asked them for ideas on what such an animal, functioning as it is in that capacity, well, what would be a term for it? Or fo that matter, for a shrub, or a stop sign or a keg of nails, whatever, drawn in to subtley censor artwork. What would be a good word for such a thing?

    My son came up with this word: “Plockbeeper.”

    I said that sounds pretty good. Do any of YOU have any suggestions?

  174. Holy Cats! Kittery! You’re still here?

    Ha ah haaa, your suggestion of all-kinds of laces in there is best, but I must VETO!! It would be comfort and joy for YOU, but then, how long, Kittery, would that comfort and joy last, knowing that the person you gave it to was going to pull out somespeckledy monster-lace with speckles and sparkles, and then one foot would be sparkly, but the other WOULDN’T, and it would cause them to unintentionally WALK IN CIRCLES!

    You uderstand, we must avoid potential lawsuits…

  175. Sleep! Is the thing to do.

  176. Felix, Ava, sing the national anthem and we’ll call it a day.

  177. Matt Matt Matt ..

    Just think though, of the terror that would ensue by only providing one shoelace. Let’s say you only need to replace one, because the other one was so old it snapped in two – fine, no big deal, right? Wrong! If one shoelace was old and dirty, the other one is bound to be as well. Then you’d have the conundrum of having one pretty new, clean shoelace, and the other old, ratty one. The exact same problem you found with my suggestion.

    Therefore, I suggest a compromise – provide TWO shoelaces exactly identical. That way you won’t have to worry about the recipient walking in circles, and the resultant lawsuits.

    The theory is sound, yes?

  178. Matt, Martha Stewart stole your shoelace box idea and replaced them with ribbons. Very expensive shiny fancy ribbons. Oh my. Talk about lawsuits. (shaking head sadly)

  179. Well, we already knew Martha couldn’t be trusted right…. 🙂

  180. Kittery – theory sound yes, sound as a pound of ground round. Give that Kittery a raise!

    Linda – this business with the ribbons sounds criminal.

    One time I got a cartoon published – this was when Martha was in her heyday, before the fall. In it, she was wearing a little pithe helmet, and sitting in a big pot on a fire in the jungle, and some cannibals were putting wood on the fire, and she is bitching at them
    “…you know, if you MUST do this you can make a perfectly good glaze by combining:
    One shallot, sliced thin.
    One tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced.
    One half-cup emulsified vinegar…”

  181. I know exactly the two times… the pregnant one, of course. The other? I was at a party this past weekend. I looked at Joe and said, “Do we know that woman?” Joe said, “No, but I’m pretty sure she’s from the same pride.”

    The Exorcist is the second scariest movie ever. Jacob’s Ladder being the first. But maybe not for Haven. For Haven, I’m thinking a movie about water would be scariest.

  182. Oh lordy, what was that film about the couple who was left out in the ocean by mistake after going on a scuba diving day trip? It was based on a true story. That was truly horrific. And the ending? So awful.

  183. Open Water. Haven, don’t see this one.

  184. And, all they had to eat were five packets of yellow mustard. AAAAHHHHHHHH

  185. And, all they had to eat were five packets of yellow mustard. AAAAHHHHHHHH

  186. OMFG! Truly Haven, do NOT SEE that one!


  188. Just mustard? I’d starve.

  189. Though if I had some shoelaces, maybe I could catch some fish so my hubby wouldn’t…I myself don’t eat anything that lives its life in water. Blech.

  190. a scary movie of any sort is not for me. i saw IT and Pennywise the clown is the scariest thing i can conjure. as i type this, i am fighting off his image in my brain. he came out of sinks….aaaahhh, he lived in the water.

  191. Oh yeah, IT. I couldn’t even go there. And if I’d known how Open Water ended I don’t think I would’ve gone there either.

    To answer your previous question, Haven, yes there are things I can’t do. I can paint a house but not art. I can copy art, but not paint my own. I can do any form of art other than painting though. Also, I need to improve my writing and I will continue working on that. Art and writing are both things I am capable of doing well. I do have the time, willingness and determination to improve my writing. Unfort, I do not have time to now become an artist on top of everything else. I try to make up for it in shortbread.

    Sher and George, on the other hand, can do everything!

    Going to work now. Have a great day, everyone.

  192. Imagine that Matt was considered feral as a child. Very soon I shall build a gallery of friends and family and I have a photograph of Matt that really tells quite a story.

    The other best thing about Katherine? She can REALLY LAUGH. Like that sort of big-hearted, unexpected, knock you to your knees laugh. OH! And one time we were playing Scrabble (which I hate) and I had all the letters to spell TALMUDIC. Except the M. Now imagine how many times in a life that happens? Never. So I asked K. could I borrow an M and she said of course and gave it to me and the MEN decided to quit. They were horrified. So I spelled TALMUDIC and Katherine and I sat and enjoyed it.

  193. why…you dang Scrabble cheater, you!

  194. that’s not in the rules…you can’t go borrowing M’s or X’s…it’s not even Talmudic

  195. That’s exactly how I try to play scrabble, when people let me. For me it’s about getting the best words on the board, not the score. Try telling that to my mom or Hugh though. They play for BLOOD.

  196. Haven! Nix on the photograph! I was young! I needed work!

  197. IF she had an ‘N’ she could spell ‘Talnudic.’ That’s when there’s a place where people get together to read the Talmud, in the nude!

    “You know, I think I’ll go be Talnudic for awhile.”

  198. Matt, you make air escape from my mouth in a sound suspiciously akin to laughter.

  199. Perhaps ‘feral’ isn’t the word. I was well-fed and cared for… but I ran around outside with socks on,
    liked to play in tall weeds, wade in creeks. Grubby, perhaps is the term … and my hair and clothes had lots of cockleburrs in there. I have sympathy now for my poor folks, I was the youngest of a large brood, and must surely have embarrassed them sorely.

    To this day, it is as if clothing tries to flee my very body. I can be all primped and combed, and in a matter of seconds my zipper is down, my shirt-tail is out, shoes untied, hair all crazy. Entropy really has it in for me, I guess.

  200. Do you remember sitting in Elmos and laughing? And all we could do was laugh. And the men got bored, eventually. And we walked around town laughing. Like, mentally ill, laughing. Really laughing the whole time at nothing. Remember? I remember looking over at the brick wall and just nearly losing it, I laughed so hard.

    Haven put herself in labor, once, from laughing. They got it stopped, though. She’s a better laugher than anyone else ever.

  201. All I know is that y’all make me laugh every time I read this blog, which is the best thing ever!

  202. Y’all make me laugh, too.

  203. “Perhaps I know why it is man alone who laughs: He alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

    not a day passes that i don’t laugh. i have learned to look for humor in almost everything, sometimes it is dark humor, sometimes it is childish humor, sometimes it is painful laughter even. No matter what, laughter is always real and always helps, even for just a moment.

  204. You can see how cavemen explored humor by viewing recent GEICO commercials, but in reality, our Neanderthal cousins were masters of ironic detachment.

  205. …very funny humanoids, those Neanderthals. They also explored dirty limericks, slapstick and the use of clowns. The clown stuff didn’t go over very well, however, because of their fur-covered faces.

  206. The rubber noses didn’t fit either, George.

  207. I still weep when I think of the caveman ordering “The Roast Duck with the Mango Salsa.”

  208. …deep in our hominid past, a shaggy protoman sits beffore a fire. Two juveniles watch him with some interest. His name is Gwah, which translates of course to “Dale”…

    He slips two severed possum heads onto his hands. Raises them, jiggles the left one, speaks in his tribe’s tongue, in a ghastly, exaggerated falsetto:

    “Say goodnight to the nice children, Rollo.”
    …and the right:
    “Goodnight to the nice children, Rollo.”

    True stroy.

  209. I believe in the power of this blog, so if you don’t mind, when you are connecting with your own higher power, would you send a good thought to George’s friend. The higher power knows this person and knows the need.

    I thank you.

  210. Absolutely, George. I will keep your friends in my prayers.

  211. Off to speak with my Higher Power this very moment, George. Ain’t it grand, the way that Higher Power knows the person and the need?


  212. Yo Blogsters –
    I am watching a cow in labor on the CowCam. I’ll keep you posted. Heap big snow here today – schools closed and everything. Too bad I had a horrible cold and couldn’t enjoy it more.
    George – Prayers going out to your friend.

  213. Wow Maureen, Can you link the CowCam to the internet so we all can watch?

  214. I wish I could! Now I am watching my husband and son pull the calf out – the cow appreciates the help.

  215. All’s well. Bull calf. Mother and baby fine.
    I’m watching “After Sunset” the sequel to “Before Sunrise.” Did anyone else see “Waking Life” the odd cartoon movie by the same director?

  216. Maureen, New Vision, Jodi and Linda:

    Thanks so much. I believe that faith joins God in the quantum zone where sub-atomic forces, the other dimensions, and particles of matter and time roil and stew, ever-changing, as Heraclitus and Einstein suggest, but yet can be acted upon, often with miraculous results.

  217. (aside: for everyone’s delight: – featuring sock monkey and cowboy pajamas

    also: )

  218. Heraclitus. I know about him. Thanks to you and Haven, George. 🙂

    You are all in my prayers. All the time.

  219. I pray for you all and I am thankful for you all.
    Extra prayers for George’s friend tonight.

  220. HK~
    Just started reading Kaline Klattermaster and was touched to see the dedication to your friend Orri.
    Oh and Obadiah as well-he sounds like a hoot;~)

  221. Important question: Blueberry or pumpkin pie?

  222. Pumpkin pie and blueberry pancakes.

  223. Pumpkin pie, blueberry cobbler.

  224. Hi 3! Are you new?

    Well, I actually chose blueberry pie tonight. I have mentioned this before, but since you might be new I’ll explain that I never used to have a sweet tooth. Then I stopped drinking. They told us in rehab that the alcoholics might get sugar cravings, that was ok, better to have sugar than alcohol. I have 7 months sober now and the cravings have lifted for the most part, but I figure holidays are triggers, my kids left this morning with their dad for the rest of the week, why risk it? So, I bought two pies on the way home, pumpkin and blueberry.

    Just kind of seemed like a blueberry night to me for some reason.

  225. Cobbler is good too. I almost got that. There were three different cobblers, maybe four. But, the pie won. I was thinking of Twin Peaks. Remember that show?

  226. Has everyone gone away for the holiday?

    Haven- what about the plants? Do you mean what happened to them during the flood? What happens when people get divorced? Who gets which plant? That might be as bad as deciding who gets the dog. Well, maybe not quite as bad but a lot of people really like plants. I am not particularly good with plants. I tend to kill them. Black thumb, I’m afraid.

    Where is Matt?

  227. Guess I will turn in. Work tomorrow. Have a great night y’all. 🙂

  228. Blueberry pie? Can I come over? I can bring a blackberry cobbler…

    George–prayers and candlelight for your friend(s).

    Maureen–After Sunset is one of my favorie movies. I love it. I don’t like Before Sunrise nearly as much as its sequel.

    Reread Couch today. I laughed until I cried–but not the my eyes got teary from the physicality of crying but actual sobs. Lord. I am a mess. My dad’s…harlot…showed up to church on Sunday…and it was surreal. Dad wasn’t with us, thank goodness, but Mom wanted to leave as soon as she realized That Woman was there, so of course I took her immediately (my mom’s in a wheelchair). It was just awful. We’re recovering, but I talked to our priest who called her, and the woman’s response was something along the lines of “they should have realized I’d be there. I was scheduled to do the readings.”

    Now what’s actually funny about this is that the readings on Sunday were all about the Last Judgment, wherein, you know, Jesus comes down and casts some people to hell and lifts others up etc. Not that I am condemning this woman to hell. I just thought it…ironic that those would be the readings on the day she decided to show up.

    Anyway. Thanks for the laughter. It helps so much.

  229. Amy, I also just read Kaline K., this past weekend, and saw the same thing. It certainly made the last post clearer. And sadder. It was a great Haven book, as usual.

    Totally dig those PJs, Amanda.

    Virtual hugs to your friend, George.
    {{{George’s friend}}}

    And to Haven, for Mr. Putnaminski.

  230. You guys are so great…I don’t know why a wonderful person gets cancer or a newborn must struggle or a teenager runs off the road or armies march in the night flanked by their allies of murder and rape, I don’t know about this stuff, but I do know that beauty and truth and love trump all these things and the things that we should be most grateful for are the things we are never aware of.

    I will be in Peru when you’re chowing down on T-day dinner.

    So, since my vote doesn’t count….BLUEBERRY!

    As for us, I think it will be guinea pig and ceviche washed down with copious amounts of coca leaf tea (it’s legal, darn it), which I am using to get my pores and arteries unclogged for the Andean altitude. That’s what the Inca dudes do or did.

    I do intend to meet up with Blade’s Inca dude’s family when I am in Machu Picchu. I’ll let y’all know how that goes. Could be some bad blood over the way things got left. Either way, I am going to send up some good thoughts for the people here when I feel the appropriate time and place occurs or at least in the airport before I return to the States.

  231. Blueberry is the bomb. Thursday I’m making a pie made with blueberries we picked fresh this summer, and a cherry pie because our older son needs to have his cherry pie. Then we are all probably going to fall into warm fuzzy diabetic comas.

    Have a good night, everyone. I must rest because tomorrow the first tree goes up, yippeeee!

  232. Hey Molly Bug – Sorry about the church “woman” scene. That sounds distressing.

    My son and I enjoyed “After Sunset” – well, I did. He’s 11 and I just had to keep tackling him so he couldn’t hear all the S-E-X talk in that one scene. Though on a farm, that stuff is all relative. We were simultaneously watching labor on the CowCam and he said “What’s that coming out of her butt? Is that the feet?” I said, “No that’s just part of her vagina.” “What’s a vagina?” “That’s the hole where the calf comes out.” “Is that also where … you know.” He gives me the is-it-OK-if-I-imply face. “Yes.”

    I liked both movies, though Ethan Hawke was looking a little worse for wear in Number Two.
    “Waking Life” is really bizarre but very cool. If you have Netflix, check it out. This bunch of artists each got to “cartoonize” different segments, which are all people talking about waking life versus dream life. One of the scenes is Jesse and Celine chatting in bed, presumably after they have settled down in Paris together and Jesse has divorced his wife back in NYC (is that what you thought was implied?) That is what led me to Before Sunrise in the first place. My older son, the surrealist, really liked it.

    Also, Vanessa saw you were nearby her on the map and wants to know where you are. Check the Yahoo messages.

    Happy Thanksgiving Prep everyone! We are keeping a low profile here. We’re doing pumpkin and apple pies and wild turkey.

  233. Headed back to Indiana tonight for all of our Hoosier Thanksgivings. So very excited to our families. Hope everyone is healthy and happy this long weekend. Linda~Curl up on your couch with a good book and your pies and enjoy yourself!!!!

  234. Hugs to all, especially those in pain and need and especially to those supporting them (I guess that just includes EVERYBODY then). Can’t have too many hugs.
    Pies: pumpkin and pecan with tons of whipped cream.
    P.J.’s…LOVE the red sock monkeys…mine are blue, so gotta have ’em, eh?
    Have a lethargic and non-dramatic turkey day everyone, and blessings to you all.

  235. george, i hope you have a blast in Peru. it is perhaps one of my favorite places ever visited. machu picchu is so glorious. i have never seen anything like that with my own eyes. enjoy the cui (guinea pig)–have you been to cusco before? there is a painting of “the last supper” with cui as the entree. it is in one of the churches surrounding the main square. will you make it to puno to see lake titicaca?

    i can talk about travel ALL DAY, i love it, love it, love it. i am at my best when my surroundings challenge me. i find that my husband and i work really well as a team–we have traveled much of the world together. heading back to guatemala in december and i can hardly wait!

    gobble, gobble to all those in the states enjoying thanksgiving tomorrow. i am truly thankful for the blessings, family and friends that i have–cliche, but then again–cliches exist for a reason.

    oh, and BLUEBERRY all the way for me. pumpkin goo has no business in a pie.

  236. Here is a link to another musician’s site I just found out about. I like her. She plays the ukulele. It is making me happy listening this morning at work when I really needed some happy something awful.
    You can listen to songs right on her home page. And, notice how the peacock’s tail is swaying back and forth. Did I ever tell you that my ex-husband’s neighborhood has a peacock? Well, it’s true. He wanders from yard to yard. My daughter loves it.

    Traveling mercies George – and everyone else who is traveling for the holiday.

    Peace friends.

  237. Oh Maureen, I meant to ask yesterday but the pie distracted me— how many cow babies are born on your farm every month? Is this a fairly regular occurance or a special occasion? I guess every birth is a special occasion, though, huh?!

  238. please pray for Baby Oliver and his parents, Neil and Bekka.

    this is the most sad thing ever. i just…feel so helpless. this is my DEFAULT emotion these days. i pray for peace along with miss cake. and to george’s friend, i pray for an outstanding resolution, swift and blessed.

    WHERE is the Miracle Dispenser i ordered from Ebay? it shoots them out, one at a time,like tissues.

    i like peach pie, if anyone cares. but i’m more of a cake girl. and yes, being sober does put sugar cravings into a black hole of craving. some days i give over to it and JUST eat sugar. then i feel sick but not hungover or self-loathing at all. we live and learn.

    lately i’ve discovered that if you get a big box of raisens and pour whole roasted almonds into it, it’s like dog food for people. just perfect. keeps you regular as an earthquake, as well.

    traveling mercies to george although i dont know why peru is a destiination country. george may in fact be far beyond all help r reasoning if he is “off to Peru for thanksgiving!” HAVE MERCY ON THE CHIRREN.


  239. matt us hilarious and not feral, but infinite.

    . haven is the funniest woman alive. i swanny. she just is. i accepted it long ago and worship at the shrine of her laughter. she not only gives laughter, she also receives. when last we spoke on the phone, i heard the STREET CLEANING machine blasting up her street and she actually- in the middle of a sentence — full out SHOUTED AT HIM: “YOU ALREADY CLEANED IT ONCE!!!!” then went back to discussing…oh i dont know what we were discussing; we can carry on four conversations at once, like debbils. i crave NC like i used to crave chardonnay and runny cheese, oh PLEASE NOAH let this house o mine sell.

    i’ve been writing onthis freelance project for the past 7 years/7 weeks in reality. i cannot curse this gig, as without it i would be riddled with money anxiety, instead of cursing the 576 page assignment, singled spaced.

    and I’m writing for UK mags, because SPLIT comes out in the UK in JAN 09; writing for mag gigs for which i am certain i will never be paid. it’s too FAR to get paid; i know it. money from ny takes 8 months,money from the UK? IMPOSSIBLE. but i say Yesto all assignments,i am like gomer pyle that way.


  240. Hi all!
    Linda – we have about two-three calves a week average. It’s cool every time, except in the very middle of the night. It’s why we got the CowCam. Now we roll over, turn the TV on, say “Nope, not yet” and go back to sleep. This took the place of getting up, getting dressed, trudging through the snow, looking at the cow, saying “Nope, not yet” and reversing the process – three or four times a night.

    I had a total Trace Pennington moment this morning. I was cleaning and ran into an old cassette of my mom and dad singing, so I popped it in. First my dad sang Edelweiss, then they both sang Going on a Sentimental Journey. My dad, who had a fabulous ear, was attempting harmony to my mom but my mom kept changing keys. I found myself thinking “I should be singing melody – I could hold the melody. Didn’t Dad realize that I was his girl? I was the one who understood him?”
    Just call me Elektra.

  241. Two or three every week? Wow. That’s a lot. Do you keep them all? Do you have your cows just for milk or do you sell them for meat too? I have absolutely no idea about anything cow related.

  242. Hey lookie here. Photos are up on Robert Earl Keen’s site of the Nashville show last week. Gosh, that was fun.

  243. WHERE is the Miracle Dispenser i ordered from Ebay? it shoots them out, one at a time,like tissues, she says.

    Well, I don’t know. Would you be interested in being the proud owner of a shoelace dispenser?

    What else I got here… a ten gallon fez? See-thru hip-waders? Wooden mittens? No?

  244. I have actually never ordered anything from Ebay.

  245. I am going to step out of my usual “lurk” mode here to thank Linda for posting the REK photos…looks like a great evening of fab music! One of my favorite artists–Eric Church (he’s not from Texas, but IS from North Carolina) is opening for REK for some Texas shows in December. I love the Ryman…so much history! I like me some Texas music also…Radney Foster, Jack Ingram, Pat Green, Hayes Carll, the Dixie Chicks (do they count?); I am on a message board for Jack and his fans tend to also be fans of Todd Snider—when Todd was here in KC last, I was planning to go, but the show sold out—at a place that hardly ever sells out, go figure. Hopefully, he will be back sometime. I have all the above artists on my “Pandora station” and REK’s songs are frequently in the mix…I have a feeling I would like him a lot.

    I’ll add my wishes for a happy Thanksgiving to all the blog babies and Haven in particular for where else but on her blog would such a brilliant, passionate, articulate and compassionate group such as you all be able to find themselves together? Talk about something to be thankful for!

  246. Howdy Caroline! I have been in Pat Green’s fan club, the Dancehall, for about 2 1/2 years now. He kind of got me started in my Texas music obsession. Pat has a new album coming out in January. He is a good guy. Puts on a good show.

    BUT— Reckless Kelly. I know, broken record here, but seriously, check them out if you have not already. LOVE them.

    I just love live music, period.

  247. Thanks for the tip on Pat’s new album! I have all his others so will watch for it. He was here this summer and I got to see him–fun show! Live music is huge for me, too…it’s my guilty pleasure for sure. If I lived in Nashville, I’d be broke and never get anything done.

    I’ll definitely check out Reckless Kelly–thanks for the tip!


  249. Maureen-
    2 to 3 everyweek?! Holy cow. Ha. Get it? But seriously that is amazing. I bet your children have
    such a wonderful sense of the birth process and a kindness for animals.
    Linda-stay away from Ebay. Once you start you cannot stop, ever, I order things without even realizing I am doing it. I try to blame my evil twin however she doesn’t like Hallmark Ornaments and well, she doesn’t exist.

  250. Linda…get this…in between posts I went to the website of my favorite small local music venue and whaddaya know…Reckless Kelly is playing there on December 13! I hope I can make it somehow…other plans earlier that evening AND probably nobody to go with, but I’m going to keep it in mind!

  251. Oh you must go, Caroline. You just must. I went to my last show alone because I knew I would stay until the very end (as in 2:00 in the morning) so I could talk to the guys. Willy Braun is the lead singer and he writes most of their songs. He is adorable. I have a soft spot for his older brother, Cody, though. He plays fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, other stuff- very talented but very sweet. David Abeyta is lead guitar and he is awesome. He is one of my facebook friends. Jay Nazz is drums, he is funny. Jimmy McFeeley plays bass. He is a hoot too. Besides being awesome musicians they are really nice guys. And, like I said, funny. Ha. On their website you must check out RKTV. They have some of the most hyterical little films on there. The most recent one is of them all playing a practical joke on Jay with Robert Earl Keen’s help.

  252. Wow, noobody’s been here in hours…


    SPEAKING of MAGIC UNDERWEAR, guess I’ll strut around in these vintage boxers! Orange! With black cats and jacolanterns! The former owner was a millionaire and has parks named after him. His name-tag is sewed inside the waist-band. Bless ye, Salvation Army Gift n Thrift.

    Too late! I’m gone now. Gotta go get some cranberries. And oysters.

  253. So, I am sitting here eating another piece of pie while watching the pie maker show, Pushing Daisies. And what do I see but a room full to the brim with taxidermy! Of course if you have watched this show you would know that when the pie maker touches the dead they come back to life until he touches them again. So, of course, the safe he needs to get to is behind the biggest animal in the room which is a giant beige bear. Cut to another room where the others are distracting the widow. We hear a loud growl. Just one, as we presume the pie maker then touches the bear a second time and makes it dead again. But, oh, the taxidermy jammed into that room. 🙂

  254. Disney!

  255. I bet everyone is busying cook’n n cleaning.

    I’ve been cooking, but I take frequent internet breaks to look at candy charm bracelets on Etsy.

  256. i miss haven. is she away for the holiday? i love all the blog babies, don’t get me wrong, i just miss ms. kimmel

  257. oh, i am obsessed with ebay. you can get great deals if you are patient and decide what you are willing to spend.

  258. It is my understanding that Haven is quite busy with her Thanksgiving preparations.

  259. I’m sure everyone is poised to start posting any minute now (is insomnia a prerequisite for a HK fan?…)

    Linda: Love, love LOVE “Pushing Daisies” as well! And I will make a good effort to getting to the RK concert in a couple of weeks…will let you know.

    Carry on…

  260. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! 😀

  261. I thought Eddie, aka WTPH, looked familiar, and then I realized he reminds me of Thoth,
    a performance artist from the Bay area who performed at my younger sister’s first wedding. Cinemax later made a documentary about him that was nominated for an Oscar, and he had a disastrous audition on American Idol in which Simon pretty much skewered him. (you can find the skewering on youtube if you’re into S/M. That would be S to Thoth and M to yourself.)

    Tonight our older son (14) and I watched a 90 minute documentary from Netflix called What Would Jesus Buy. It’s about the evils of consumerism and is great for family viewing if anyone’s interested. It’s about a preacher who started the Church of Stop Shopping, which travels around the country evangelizing and protesting places like Wal-Mart. It was funny, educational, and has a very sweet scene involving a beautiful baby near the end. If you get NetFlix you can watch it instantly on your computer or have it delivered the regular way, and the new X-Box 360 upgrade has dozens of Netflix films you can watch instantly via your TV with your 360. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

    In case I’m too busy cooking to drop by tomorrow, I hope everyone here, and everywhere, has a beautiful and peaceful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow.

  262. Polly – Do your kids have an X-Box?!?! Oh, I am enormously relieved. You appear to be the mother I aspire to be, so I respect your choices. (My boys are 15, 13, 11) We finally broke down and got one a year ago, and it just broke (Hmm … I wonder if there is some self-destruction device in there after warranty?) I do love Rock Band, and Fable seems OK. Halo seems to be wearing off. My kids are pestering for a new one and their killer argument is that we can stream right from Netflix – which I agree is a perk. We don’t get ANY television – just Netflix and now Game Fly which is like Netflix for X-Box games.

    COW TALK – Amy, we keep all the female calves, who grow up to become milking cows (at age 2). We usually give away the bull calves to people who raise them up, steer them (un-male them) and then beef them. Come help yourselves, people.

    Ciao, all. We are eating dinner on Saturday – all the employees are having their feasts today so we work extra hard. But I need to finish cleaning.

    Have a stupendous day!!

  263. I miss Haven, too. Hi Haven, if you check in! Love up all your wonderful family!

  264. haven is having the entire gay nation over to her house for thanksgiving. when last i heard, she was air lifting ovens into her barn for the 55 turkeys and geese that gave their lives so that thanks could be giving. we none of us should expect to hear from her until monday at the INSIDE. but, you never know.

    now EVERYONE GER BACK IN THE KITCHEN. there’s drudgery to be done! pies to be baked! chestnuts to be roasted, cranberries to be forced into molds of cornucopias!


  265. hi – happy thanksgiving – – I am making a 26 lb. turkey, sweet potato/pineapple casserole, real mashed potates and noodles for the top, mac and cheese, veggies in garlic sauce, homemade yeast rolls, punkin pie, apple pie, cranberry scones and homemade sugar cookies . . .

    i’m tired . . . but I’m enjoying the wine sipping and compnay . . . .miss ya all!

  266. Happy Thanksgiving! I am reminding myself that despite crappy previous holidays, I can make THIS one good, if nothing else. 🙂

    Dad’s got the turkey in the oven and I imagine in a little while I will be peeling potatoes and putting together the most delicious corn casserole of all time.

    Hope everyone’s day is great!

  267. Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear blog baby friends. I am giving thanks for all you today. And saying prayers for Haven and the gay nation that all will run smoothly with their glorious day. I know it will because, well, she is Haven after all!!

  268. I am seconding Linda.

    And also wondering how I got stuck making the cole slaw today since I really AM NOT A FAN. sigh. 😉

  269. Maureen, yes, we do have an x-box 360. Beleive me, I struggle to be a good mom just like everyone else. I love singing with the boys on Rock Band, but unfort they only let me do it when their friends aren’t here. My voice is pretty good but it’s the emabrrassing mom thang. I actually yearn for a PS2 or PS3 because they have this fabu game called Sing Star, which only works with Playstations. I keep trying to convince the kids we should get it but they don’t want any other Playstation games and it’s a waste to only get it for Sing Star. Anybody got an old PS2 or 3 gathering dust in your closet? 🙂 Maybe when they get cheaper I’ll buy one for myself, and have my grownup friends over to sing. My friend Joi and I always argue over the mic on Rock Band.

    We are all very computer and video game literate here, except for hubby Ken who’s an electronic device illiterate despite being an electrical engineer. (Unfort, he can make up for it in TV remote control clicking.) We have blackout time from 5-6:30 every day when no boxes of any kind are allowed to be on (“Oh Mom, stop calling them boxes!”) and during that time we hang out, talk, play board games, cook together, etc. It is wonderful. Then Wed and Sundays we have at least two hours of board game time in which we sit together and play games, each time a different person choosing what games we’ll play. We play everything from Scrabble to Star Wars Monopoly to poker to Uno. We also do things like construct gingerbread houses. These are my favorite parts of the day. We had to learn to regularly schedule them or the boxes would take over. I have to admit to being guilty of this because I could spend all day doing things like re-checking Haven’s blog for new comments, checking eBay for vintage holiday decorations or reading Amazon reviews (my own blog is hopelessy neglected because others are much more fun, sad to say. I hope that changes some day in the future when I sell my book and people actually want to hear what I have to say.)

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall at Haven’s house today. I bet the laughter is ringing, the great conversations are flowing and the group affection is oozing. You go Blog Momma. I hope you take lots of pictures to share with your Babies.

    Love and joy to you all.

  270. Maureen- you sound like an awesome mom to me!

  271. Oops. ha ha. I meant POLLY.

    Polly- you sound like an awesome mom to me.

    Of course, so does Maureen. And all of our other blog moms (and dads)

  272. Re: Haven’s comment on when I asked her where she fell on the devout believer / atheist continuum — you pretty much caught the gist of it, Haven. The categories are: devout, skeptical, skeptically devout and devoutly skeptical. And it’s my feeling that we, all of us, shimmy up and down those four categories from day to day. The fortunate of us do, I guess — too much time in the most extreme of the four camps gives rise to smugness, I think. Or can. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  273. And Katherine, I would agree re: Jacob’s Ladder. If it isn’t the scariest movie out there, it’s close…

  274. Happy Thanksgiving Darlings!!

    When my husband and I were generally living it up and being the funniest people in the room I thought of all you people and wished I had some of you to join in the gaity *sigh*. Apples to Apples just isn’t fun unless you inject a bit of NONSENSE.

  275. apples to apples is ONLY fun with nonsense! happy turkey day. just finished the gauntlet…time to rest. xoxo

  276. Happy day after Thanksgiving! I started my second reading of Couch last night. Oh, it is even better this time now that I know Haven and Mother Delonda!

  277. Gosh, it is lonely around here. 😦

  278. It is, Linda .. very much so.

  279. Kate – we played Apples to Apples, I am AGED but SENSUOUS . . . the last round where you read what you “won” is my favorite part, that and FESTERING WOUNDS . . .

    my company wanted to Black Friday shop yesterday – – it WAS DEAD in Nashville – – parking a breeze, I only bought 3 things and they were all for me!!!! ha! foundation, chocolate brown nail polish and copper eyeliner . . . I think I am banning xmas shopping – it is so boring. But I did log 7k steps on my pedometer!

    Best part of yesterday – having spiced apple cider while playing scrabble with my friends and hubby . . . Thursday . . . food, food, food, but I have to admit I felt MISERABLE afterword, apparently my body has gotten used to moderation and healthier choices.

    Blast! Does that mean I am growing up?

  280. I got in the WORST fight with my daughter Tuesday night.

    It was really subtle, but then I told her to get out of the car (we were about 1/2 mile from home) and she wouldn’t – so I did. I walked home. Left her, her friend, and my son all sitting in the cozy van while I hoofed it home in the cold rain. Don had to walk back and drive them home because I had all the keys in my car.

    She has been so nice to me since then. I think I will throw a Mommy fit more often.

  281. Sher, I totally missed the part in Apples to Apples where you read your green apple cards at the end. The person who taught us the game never told us that. That will definitely enhance future playings. My mother used to stop the car on the turnpike or places equally isolated and scream at us to walk home when we were too rowdy in the car. This was way before the age of seatbelts and we’d be bouncing and shrieking all over the place, with mom steering with her left hand while slapping aimlessly in the backseat with the right one. Ahhh, memories. Hope you and your daughter are back to normal now (or maybe better than normal, as the case may be.)

    Happy Saturday everyone.

  282. Polly – – you must play the green card readings – they are awesome!

    I think all these issues with the teens are power struggles and I just had to re-establish mine – not that I was thinking that at the time, though! She gets snippy when she is around other people – – so it was good to get it out BEFORE the company came.

    I remember those days before seatbelts – it was like being popcorn. My mom didn’t bother to swat though – – but she did have this knack for extending her arm like a railroad track bar as we all tumbled toward the windshield . . . I still do that even though everybody is in seatbelts . . .

    leftovers might be my favorite part of thanksgiving . . . I clean those bowls out one at a time . . . I just finished the sweet potatoes.

    Gobble, Gobble!

  283. Hi Sher and Polly and Linda and anybody else who’s around:

    Sher – I have kicked my son out of the car and made him walk five miles home. And he usually apologizes for whatever caused me to heave him.

    Polly – Thanks for all the gaming commiseration and tips of the trade. I sing a mean “Blitzkrieg Bop” due to my obsession with the Ramones in junior high. AND I had never heard of Apples to Apples – I just ordered it from Amazon. Truly, I live under a rock here.

    I was just out for a walk with my dog, we live not far from the Finger Lakes Trail system that goes across the Southern Tier of New York. It was beautiful. We have had quite a bit of snow and it all is stuck on the branches of the trees, so it was just magical out.

    I was remembering that scene in Couch where Haven is reciting “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and can’t get through the last line. Man – I can remember resonating like that to words at a young age too. I just ordered my fourth-grade reader from Amazon Used and it was just remarkable how clearly I remembered those stories.

    Last night we watched “Beowulf and Grendel” NOT the Angelina Jolie one, the Gerard Butler as Beowulf one (sigh, so hot) and some kind of stoned California girl as the witch. Anyway, I was remembering reading that in 11th grade and being TRANSPORTED. I was a snotty 17-year-old but that stuff SPOKE to me. I am guessing a lot of us had that experience and still do.

    Thank God Haven’s horrid teacher did not crush her poetic spirit. I hate when teachers do that!!! Did she not realize that this girl was responding as a poet would want her to respond!!! I have got to get out of public education.

    We are finally having Thanksgiving tonight, as usual on the farm. The hired help always gets Thursday off and then we have dinner later in the week.

    Hey, a cool organization I found for female writers and artists through Poets and Writers magazine is A Room of Her Own. Check it out.

  284. Maureen, Upstate NY is so beautiful. I think I told you that my mom grew up in Kingston and my dad in Schnectady, which I know are not upstate, but…my dad started out his career with the Boy Scouts in the 1950s in NY. Actually, he spent his childhood summers at camps in the Adirondecks. I finally got to go up there last summer to Long Lake. I didn’t want to leave. There is just something about that area that calls me home. I think I may retire up there someday. Actually, once my kids are through college, let’s see, that’s about 7 years, I may have to move up there and start my second career. I will only be 55 so there is time left. Hopefully! I remember Haven saying that when her mom was thinking about going to college she said to a friend, “but I will be 43 when I graduate” and her friend said, “what age will you be if you don’t?” How true. As long as there is a tomorrow there is always time to do that thing we really want to do. Our hearts desire.

  285. Maureen – – – I am looking forward to having an empty nest – some Mom’s might think that sounds terrible, but parenting can be so exhausting some days. It literally wears me down – but they get to go BACK to school Monday, yippee!

    Claire just put 2 and 2 together tonight in the car. We have listened to Zippy and she knows about ‘my friend’ Haven and we have read Orville. Then at the prologue/intro to Zippy tonight they said the title and the author . . . she gasps, then I said – Zippy was ‘little girl Haven’ and she screamed – Haven is Zippy?! That’s amazing. Zippy is real?! You know Zippy!? She giggles hysterically when Zippy throws her bottle in the camp fire . . . she is also riding her bike ‘as fast as Zippy did’ – – this is a child after mine own heart!

  286. it’s lonely on the blog babies tonight

  287. I read the chapter “Hair” to Jarvis the other day and he had an absolute giggle fit. He kept laughing at various turns of the phrase…I think “fuzzy bush” was a winner.

    I was at a party of high school friends tonight. I drank a white russian out of a pink melamine child’s cup with anime characters on it, I sang “Anyway you want it” on Rock Band, I danced to 80s music, and we ended the evening with several rounds of “The Dating Game,” our favorite game from those days. We laughed so hard we actually gave ourselves headaches. And it was amazing how we all picked up where we left off. In honor of Haven I answered a couple of questions with the word “taxidermy.”

  288. I wonder how George is doing in Peru?

  289. Kate – that sounds heavenly and much better than the 20 year reunion we had of the “hope christian school” people – I went with fire engine red hair and was called ‘punk’ – it was like having your autopsy performed while you were still alive – – brutal.

    Linda – yes, how is George doing – – ???

  290. Oh, they weren’t actually friends I went to high school with, save 2 or 3. It was actually friends from “the old days.” People from other high schools, and people who were older than us but still hung around.

  291. What rubbish.

    First if one actually reads the Bible Noah his 3 sons and their wives were all on the Ark.

    I know that homosexuals have attempted to hijack the ‘rainbow’ as a symbol but if you can’t get the 8 people thing then I won’t explain.

    BTW: Not all the animals went in by 2… Read people read.

    The Ark of Noah

    by Dr. Grady S. McMurtry

  292. Hi Tommy,

    Nice to have you comment! How did you find Haven’s blog?

    We talk quite a bit about our church experiences here. One of the songs both Haven and I learned in our youth tells all about Noah and the Ark. Perhaps you know it, too!

    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Children of the Lord
    The Lord said to Noah:
    There’s gonna be a floody, floody
    The Lord said to Noah:
    There’s gonna be a floody, floody
    Get those children out of the muddy, muddy
    Children of the Lord

    So Noah
    He built him, he built him an arky, arky
    He built him, he built him an arky, arky
    Built it out of gopher barky, barky
    Children of the Lord

    The animals, the animals,
    They came in by twosie, twosies
    The animals, the animals,
    They came in by twosie, twosies
    Elephants and kangaroosie, roosies
    Children of the Lord

    It rained and poured
    For forty daysie, daysies
    It rained and poured
    For forty daysie, daysies
    Nearly drove those animals crazy, crazies,
    Children of the Lord

    The sun came out and
    dried up the landy landy
    The sun came out and
    dried up the landy landy
    Everything was fine and dandy, dandy
    Children of the Lord

    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Children of the Lord

    The animals they came off
    They came off by three-sies three-sies
    Animals they came off
    They came off by three-sies three-sies
    Grizzly bears and chimpanzee-sies zee-sies
    Children of the Lord

    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Children of the Lord.

    That is the end of,
    The end of my story, story
    That is the end of,
    The end of my story, story
    Everything is hunky dory, dory
    Children of the Lord

    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Rise and shine
    And give God the glory, glory
    Children of the Lord

  293. Hey Tommy, the billy goats are about to cross the bridge so you better get back. And don’t call us, we’ll call you.

  294. Very funny! Thank you for sharing, this made me giggle, and produced a smile that will probably last the entire day. Much peace and love, God bless, Glo*

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