Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Last weekend we did our annual trip out to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island which always starts with a trip to the animal barn. The animal barn is always a let down as most of the pens stand empty and the animals are never very impressive. This year however, was downright depressing. The goat turned it's head to reveal a jaw marked by what appeared to be two golf ball sized tumors and the mini-horse stood in the corner the entire time with its head down and its back to us.

Vaughn and Sten Write a Song

Vaughn's class had a roller skating party at the community center last Saturday and the song list, as developed by the class, ranged from the classic-albeit-a-tad-bit-juvenile (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) to the clearly-influenced-by-parents (My Generation) to the not-quite-appropriate (Katy Perry's Hot and Cold). That last gem was provided by Vaughn and as the person in charge of providing the playlist CD, Jacob had to download the karaoke version to get a version that didn't include swearing. While she is likely to be soon forgotten, Vaughn will be able to cite Katy Perry as one of his earliest influences. I came across these song lyrics that he said he co-wrote with Sten:

You used to be
Hot and Boring
Now you are like
Nothing I've ever seen
Like a rock in the ocean

Annalee pointed out that Vaughn had probably been the main driver for the racy lyrics since, after all, he had been the one who was once overheard telling Sten to envision "a princess dancing on the beach in her bikini." I was surprised that at this tender age he's already realized that most hot people are boring.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Going out of (Chicken) Business

Recently, a 75 year old woman was attacked by a gang of raccoons she was trying to scare off her front porch. The poor woman fell and was, as one medic described, "filleted." Personally, I've always thought of raccoons as really adorable - like an urban bear - despite knowing that they really are vicious sonsofbitches. I get sort of excited when I see one in the city as though I really were seeing a bear in the city instead of something that is only slightly more unique than a squirrel.

Last night the raccoons that have squatted in my neighbor's tree came back for two of our last three chickens. We went out early in the evening and neglected to lock up their coop since it was just dinner time. By the time we returned, it was all over - although I didn't realize this until I went to open the coop this morning and there was only poor, tiny Muffy Fluffy left. Sad, small Muffy Fluffy who lived through last winter's storm and has now witnessed FIVE chicken deaths.

Cleaning up disemboweled chickens first thing in the morning is no picnic but I consoled myself by telling myself that this is what is required to make it in the urban/rural environment. I was taking care of my homestead - like a rugged pioneer woman. Plus, I worried the left over parts would begin to smell and the neighbors might complain.

Speaking of neighbors, I gather a few of them rushed over after hearing a "horrible screaming" to throw rocks at the raccoons and attempt to keep the chickens safe. Something we were too lazy/spacey/inept to do. I saw one neighbor walking with his daughter tonight and I imagined the teaching moment, It's very important that if you own animals you keep them safe.

Later that evening I helped a woman I found on CraigsList load Muffy Fluffy into her car to go live on her farm and it only stung a little bit when she said, "We like to take rescues because we like to see the look on their faces when they realize they've come to paradise." Mostly I felt happy for Muffy Fluffy and relieved. We were officially out of the chicken business - for now.