definition: that lost art of senseless writing about hats.  
example:  I am a three-hatted woman.  I own a felt  with a felt bow on it for when I want to feel like my head is in an oven.  I own a floppy orange hat for when I want to feel like I am underdressed at a horse race and the odds are 8 to 1.   I own a baseball cap for when I want my neck to get sunburned but my face to stay shaded and cool, and for when I want to look like Buster Posey.  This triangulation of hats of mine…etc. etc. 

Oh, what tosh, what drivel, what moonshiney nonsense, what applesauce! Really, I just heard someone use the word Balderdash in an intriguingly wrong context and pronunciation today, and wanted to try it out for myself.  Balderdashery isn’t really a word, folks. 

In other news,
-Tomorrow at high noon, I am journeying down from the mountains for a long overdue visit to my beloved family.  I’m banking on the tried and true Shock and Awe tactic, since I can only tear myself away from the mountains for a few brief days.   Of course, instead of implementing overwhelming power and rapid military dominance as the good old boys did, I hope to just have barrels of fun in a short period of time.  

 -When I said mountains, I unfortunately didn’t mean those alluring elevations in the earth’s surface that beautifully rise to a summit. I meant mountains of glistening, oil-laden, tuberous nightshades, often served at popular breakfast restaurants nationwide, delicious with ketchup.  Yes, I, the woman who swore that she would never again ask another man if he wanted “a warm-up”, the woman who vowed never again to apologize for not taking American Express, I am again waiting tables.  But I have been out of work for 4 months, ever since The Incident, my funds are not quite exhausted but pretty damn fatigued, and some, but not all, of my cumulonimbus dreams for the future require green that doesn’t have much to do with gardening.  So, I’m working part-time, and planning full time, and still writing so much my pointer finger has a bump on it.  Besides, slinging hashbrowns at corporate travelers and landlocked Midwesterners reminds me of what I don’t really want out of life, and we all know that process of elimination is a heavenly thing. 

-speaking of heavenly things, my cherubic coppery dog got sprayed by three skunks this weekend.  I can only assume that they each annointed him with their fetid odors at least once, since he brought up the rear (quite literally) of their procession the entire length of the driveway.  It was reminiscent of the deluxe “Typhoon” wash at the local Scrubby’s carwash…only $12, and you get a full undercarriage wash, side blasters, and underbody rust inhibitor.  Two days, a box of baking soda, and 3 bottles of peroxide later, Copper is still wafting, and the idea of having him in the car with me for 6 hours on aforementioned pilgrimage is ever more daunting.  

After immersing myself again in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Skinny Legs and All, and Still Life with Woodpecker, I thought my crush on Tom Robbins might have rebudded, but then I google image searched him and realized the feelings welling deep in my soul were definitely based in the intellectual realm.  O Tom Robbins, god of the metaphor, you Odin of similes, I am happily drowning in your syntax.  As always after going on a Robbins binge, I am hesitant to pick up another book until his magical sentences have faded from my memory.


This one’s for the birds.



This ferocious mother has confiscated our front stoop, and laid two cerulean blue orbs in that little nest.   She’s such a doting mother, I had to lurk awkwardly in the shadows for days, it seemed, before she flew off to a worm buffet and gave me a chance to see just what was going on under that voluptuous bird butt.  I feel a strong sense of responsibility for her and her unborn babies, reminiscent of those feelings I had for Chester Chesterton, the baby robin I rescued from the erstwhile grasps of my preschool class many moons ago. 

Rewind to a sunny spring day; recess. The Greenwood Academy preschool class of 2009, fueled by chicken nuggets and carrot sticks, and feeling the effects of their diluted apple juice, were on the prowl, looking for Trouble in all the right places.  They found her by the jungle gym, a young, fresh bird, all legs with no where to go but up.  Up, however, was not happening to this down-and-out-of-the-nest-chick.  The preschool class manhandled her, staining her reputation so even her mother wouldn’t take her back to the fold.  Scorned by all she loved, stamped with the scarlet letter upon her crimson breast, she came home with me. The class knew the castaway as Chester, because I was not allowed to use the word “breast” when referring to the color of her ample, every more vibrant, bosom, but I knew her as a symbol of hope and tenacity. For weeks, I fed her every 2 hours, biking her to school in a little cage and keeping her in the utility closet (her proneness to Salmonella made her an unwelcome addition to my little classroom) but I brought her out for illicit show and tells and, the adopted mascot and subject of every piece of artwork produced by my diligent students, she thrived.  She traveled cross country from Montana to Chicago on the backseat of my car, feeling the warm prairie winds of South Dakota in her head feathers, and tiptoeing along the shores of Lake Michigan, trying to fit in with the seagulls.   But little Chester, before she could fly much farther than the length of a staircase, contracted the bird flu and one day stopped coming to school with me.  The children know that her mother came back for her and they flew away together, but I know that, up hyalite canyon, there is a little stone under a big old pine tree.   At a time in my life when I needed it more than anything, Chester had rekindled a spark of hope for my future.  Her death, along with contraction of a severe intestinal bacteria from a goat-farm-field-trip, and several other extenuating circumstances, fueled me to end a dark, terrible chapter of my life, put down that tragic, poorly written, book, and pick up a new novel; a tale of romance and adventure on the high seas that is meandering its way toward a very happy, although someone blurry, ending in the far off future.   

Bird tidbit #2
I got to snap this photo, along with pictures of a great horned owl named Bu and a peregrine falcon named Amelia Earhart, while doing a write-up for a local magazine on the Montana Raptor Rescue, an amazing non-profit that fosters and rehabs birds of prey. I feel so privileged that I got to meet this awesome eagle, a 4 year old female named 99.  Interesting that, on Independence Day, a day where we celebrate the freedom that we insist is our patriotic right, this beautiful bird, a symbol of that freedom, has been so affected by the humans around her that she will live out her days in a cage. 

While on the subject of ornithology, I am making a freedom cream pie for the 4th, using eggs from our chickens with yolks so golden that the vanilla filling is reminiscent of a Sting song.  This one’s for you, 99.