Saying Goodbye, Long Version

My sweet boy is dying.  It looks like he’s got cancer pretty bad.  Today Mo and I finally let him out. Being an Austin greenbelt cat, he’d been jonesing to get back outside – where he loves most to be – for days.  We had been keeping him in to give him antibiotics, since there’s a chance this could be a severe bacterial infection.  Now signs are pointing toward the bad news.  So, knowing today could be our last day of sunshine for a while (and maybe his last one, period), the three of us held him, kissed him and hugged him, cried, and let him go.

He immediately perked up.  He hobbled over to his scent-signposts for a sniff, toured the garden, and finally, instead of disappearing forever, came back over to us, crawled up to the landing and settled himself down in a patch of sun.  He accepted some pets and even purred a little.  This evening he ate Friskies from a can, and came back in for the night.  So much for our tearful goodbye.

He seems happier now.  Not healthier, but happier.

Barbie’s Wild Night

It’s Barbie’s birthday.  If you look really close, you can see Barbie’s gray hair – it looks like White-Out, but it’s not. It’s evidence that Barbie better live it up while she still can.  Barbie calls her friends to join her for a night on the town.

Raise your glasses, everyone! Lets make it a night to remember!

Mmm. Sushi. That hits the spot, doesn’t it Barbie?

…but not as much as a few cups of sake! Thanks, Jes! Keep it coming.

Aw HELL yeah.  That’s what we’re talkin’ about.  After her friends finally get Barbie to come down from the chandelier, it’s time to hit the club.

At The Connection, things get wild with two beautiful strangers on the dance floor…

After ripping the shirt off a drunken gay man, Barbie suddenly notices that her girl is talking to ANOTHER WOMAN.

Oops. It was only her co-worker.  Barbie shouldn’t drink; she goes all ninja on people at the bar.

Oh, Barbie!

 

check out the original mini-dyke superhero that inspired me!

That’s a lot of f***ing.

So.  Remember Juicyflower and Nibbles?  No?  They’re the wild bunnies who live in the back acre.  Rocky named them.  I don’t think that was a good idea, because you shouldn’t name your food, and the f***ing rabbits ate the f***ing lettuce that I built the f***ing hoop house for.  I’m sorry for cursing.  No I’m not.  The point is, I’m really craving rabbit stew.  If you need me, I’ll be sitting in my hoop house with a shotgun and a carrot.

Mmm. Bunny.

How To Build a Hoop House In 5 Easy Steps! Using a Baby Bunny!

A hoop house (also called a  “hoophouse”) is a type of plastic house, generally constructed in the shape of a hoop.  The purpose of the hoop house or hoophouse is to extend the growing season to make up for your wretched, pathetic summer garden that totally blew. I mean, it really did.

Here are the 5 Easy Steps to building a hoop house you can be proud of.

————————————————–

Goal:

 

Step 1: Gather your tools. You will need:

a) A bangy tool

b) a heavy-duty l’il pink plastic shovel

c) an ancient rusted hacksaw

d) the work gloves you forgot in the wet, moldy wood behind the garden last Fall

 

Step 2: Throw the work gloves in the trash can.

 

Step 3: Assemble your materials.  You will need:

a) some wood

b) Johnny Depp

I mean plastic sheeting


and c) some other random crap.

 

Note: you’ll need 2300g/m2/24h needle punched nonwoven PE breathable film.

Or that enormous wad of used plastic your neighbor’s movers left in the driveway that everyone is walking around instead of picking up.

 

Step 3: Take a break for Chinese food.

Fortune cookie fortune: “Your hoop house is going to look like a pile of shit.”

 

Step 4: Use the tools and the wood to assemble the frame.

It should look exactly like this:

See the hoop?

Don’t forget the flying buttresses!

 

Step 5: Put on the plastic sheeting.

While applying the plastic to the frame, you fall somehow and hurt your wrist, shoulder, back and the right side of your butt, as well as crushing a row of young lettuces and soiling your favorite jeans, and you decide to take some aspirin and call it a night.

 

Step 5: Put on the plastic sheeting

Your friends should help you with this part, but it might be a good idea to tell them to pull up their boxers.

 

And voila! You now have a beautiful, aerodynamic hoop house, and soon the neighbors will be begging you for your blueprints!

 

Wait for it . . .

 

Wait for it . . .

 

Tell the neighbors you don’t know where the blueprints came from.

The Structure of Bones

While my child sleeps, in the velvet dim
when other loved ones might ache and sigh
from the vision
I consider the structure of bones.
A shifting frame for the soft canvas of her skin,
bones grow and converge
stretch and reach.
Cheekbone hands rise
to touch fingers at the bridge of her nose
a throne for the eye sockets, growing strong and round
to shelter the eyes
I love so dearly.

Her thin wrists, bent to lay palms
across the narrow chest
over her sternum
where living bones have knitted a living space
for wire.
You can feel it
(but don’t wake her up)
with two light fingers
the hard irregular bumps
of a breastbone opened
and closed
by a man’s hands
while she slept
in whatever that tightly-controlled place is
that men create
between sleep and death.

I breathe it through
every night
in this same dim light

while this girl’s blood
and lymph, hips and toes
dead and live cells
bursa, pancreas
cerebrum, cerebellum
thyroid and freckles
pain receptors
pain blockers
heart and broken-through bones
quietly grow.

Blue’s Journal of Whacked-Out Dreams: Raspberry Bird

I was on a saltwater beach with my brother.  We were kids, maybe 10 or 11.  There was a pile of old lobster traps on the beach, belonging to our lobsterman father.  The traps looked more like rusted animal crates.  I heard a loud squawking, and trapped in the crates, accidentally, were a seagull and something that looked like a pelican.  I knew our lobsterman father would be angry with me for doing it, but I needed to free the birds.  As I walked toward the crates, I felt the familiar confidence I feel when called to help an animal. The pelican was messed up somehow – another familiar feeling, this one from childhood, when a creature is somehow “not right”, like the time there was a rabid fox in the woods.

As the pelican flew away, I realized that it was made of different colored raspberries – red, yellow, orange.  The berries were shining in the sun, as the bird looked down at me with a look of gratitude.

 

Baby Goats Are Stupid

Do you hate nature?  Could you care less about old people and people with physical disabilities?  Do you detest children? Do baby goats make you want to stomp something small?

If so, then you surely won’t care about the major changes the KY State Nature Preserves Commission is proposing for natural areas in the Bluegrass State. If you said “no” to any of the above, and you live in Lebanucky, or, as some from outside my family’s cultural bubble call it, “Kentucky”, then please read on and send an email to this Don fella.

This is excerpted from the Blackacre State Nature Preserve mailing:

“The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (ksnpc) is proposing new regulations for Kentucky’s nature preserves. proposed new guidelines are 400 kar 2:090

 These proposed regulations will go into effect unless written objections are submitted to Don.Dott@KY.Gov by June 30th!!

These new regulations affect the following activities for ky nature preserves including blackacre

 what changes would affect blackacre and other nature preserves?

“access track ten feet in width” – section 5(2)(b): (no turn around for buses, no access for vehicles with ramps for handicapped visitors)

 “a trail shall be designed to affect only part of the nature preserve”  – section 7(1)(a): this could severely limit the length of trails and visitors’ ability to experience different ecosystems

 “natural wildlife paths are restricted to single file width to allow one person to pass another but not wide enough for two people to walk abreast of one another” – Section 7(2)(3): (mothers with children, elderly who need help walking, school kids who like to walk in pairs, people who like to share nature hand in hand could no longer walk nature paths. how will people support natural areas in the future if they cannot learn about and experience nature in our nature preserves?

 “minimal impact on natural features” – section 7(a): this could limit the ability to create accessible trails for wheelchairs, or provide provide stable, firm surfaces for people who have difficulty walking. our population is aging, and those who have supported nature preserves may not be able to enjoy them in the future

 “any other structure shall be located in a service area”- section 8(2): no restrooms could be located in a nature preserve. this includes the blackacre homestead.

 “measures shall not be taken to alter natural growth or features for enhancing the beauty, neatness or amenities of a nature preserve” – section 10(1): this could prevent mowing the homestead grounds at blackacre, or maintaining trails through the hay fields, long grass fields or access to ponds. it could restrict maintenance of dams on existing man-made ponds (dragonfly, spring house and jackson ponds at blackacre)

 “the following activities shall be prohibited: a. grazing by domestic animals b. farming c. spreading of …other materials” – section 10(a)(b)(f): blackacre could no longer have farm animals, a demonstration heirloom teaching garden, haying (for farm animal food), composting for our garden, or mulch on trails

 “water levels that have been altered by humans may be changed” – section 11: this could result in removing blackacre’s man made ponds (dragonfly, spring house and jackson ponds)

 “camping, picnicking, building fires, using audio equipment shall be prohibited at all times” – section 15(10): this would end school group and rental picnics, wedding rentals, concerts, re-enactors (limited camping) and pioneer activity demonstrations requiring a fire

 “a person wishing to engage in research or educational activities…shall secure prior permission of the commission” – section 18 (1): the commission could restrict activities such as pioneer day, harvest festival, star gazing, crafts, etc.

 “Material for classroom laboratory observation or study shall not be collected”: this could prohibit collection of water samples, insects, and amphibians for observation at blackacre’s environmental education program (note: all samples are returned safely to their sources)

 blackacre state nature preserve is a magical place and different from other nature preserves. we are an historic homestead, environmental education center, and an old farm. we do not have rare or endangered species or an unusual habitat. help us protect and preserve blackacre for the purpose it was founded!

please email your comments to don.dott@ky.gov

I certainly think there should be regulations to protect our natural places (for example, I’m not against limiting trails through preserves).  Seriously, though, we’re allowing the removal of entire mountaintops in Kentucky, but we’re so serious about nature preserves that we’re willing to pick on old folks?

Here’s a copy of my letter to the Commission.

Hello,

I’m writing to express my concern with the proposed changes to the governance of Kentucky’s nature preserves.  Although I see the benefit of some of the changes, I believe many other of the propositions will produce a grievous bias against certain populations’ ability to enjoy our nature preserves.  For example, Section 5(2)(B) would make it impossible for vehicles with handicap ramps to enter a nature preserve.  Sections 7(2)(3) and 7(A) would create trails that would not be accessible to people in wheelchairs or who have difficulty walking, such as elderly people or disabled people who use walkers and other assisted-walking devices.    I believe that preserves where the trails are already handicap accessible should be grandfathered in order to allow them to maintain their accessibility, and others that would like to be accessible should be able to petition for an exception to the regulations.

I have other concerns that apply particularly to Blackacre State Nature Preserve in Louisville.  Blackacre is an historic working farm and homestead and teaching facility beloved by all in our area.  It’s been a place for schoolchildren, many of them from our inner city, to learn about farm life though direct interaction with farm animals such as baby goats and donkeys, to have an experiential lesson in our state’s rich history and heritage, as well as to learn about our natural habitat and thereby develop a sense of responsibility for the environment.  Almost all of the proposals, it seems, will negatively impact places like Blackacre, and the people who benefit from it.

Please take these issues into consideration.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

B.O., Esquire

Just look at this frickin’ thing.  Gah!