Friday, July 31, 2009

From the West

The Wind came! The beautiful beautiful sweet ocean-cool wind from the West! And we were turned free!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Big Sizzle

Today was a frightening day. It was the hottest day ever in Seattle, 102 degrees. In the shade on our porch at 6:30 it was 103 degrees.

Wendell the pest is a boston bulldog and he started having a heatstroke and had to go in the shower where he knocked over all the shampoos and conditioners not to mention the sea salts and loofahs in an effort to escape from his life-saving treatment. Then he had to wear a bag of frozen peas around his neck. Nobody looks very good in peas, and Wendell is no exception.

But that wasn't the frightening part. The horses also had to have showers and then they rolled in the dust completely coating themselves with dusty mud so that we went from a blond horse and a paint horse and an appaloosa horse to three black horses.

But that wasn't scary.

The scary part was when we were lying in the cooling center in the middle of the afternoon and we suddenly saw a large albino creature approaching in the distance. The creature was huffing and puffing and Zane Gray and me quickly hurried over under our mother to stay out of its way. But it came right for us on a beeline and then it bent over and picked Zane Gray up and I closed my eyes in fear. Oh dear, I thought. Why couldn't it take Frank, the little pill?

But I didn't hear any screaming so I opened my eyes after a minute.

"Don't be afraid," said my mother. "It is just the farmer. In a pair of bermuda shorts."

Very very frightening.

The Dangerous Case of Mr. Jimmy

Because of the horrible unprecedented heat here in the Northwest I am once again stuck inside with my two cousin-brothers Jimmy and Frank. They are a few days older than me and Zane Gray. Frank is handsome, he is blue-silver with blue eyes and black boots. But as far as personality he is called "the little pill." This is funny because he isn't little. He is very chubby.

On the other hand Mr. Jimmy has the personality of an angel, which happens quite frequently in my family, which is known as the Baby Belle family if you have never heard of us. Usually though it is Aunt Hannah Belle's sons who somehow manage to develop the highly refined family sweetness, perhaps because Aunt Hannah Belle is not only a Baby Belle daughter but also a Marquee daughter.

But anyway Mr. Jimmy is gaining fast on some of the classic sweet Baby Belle Boys of yesteryear, and this is making the farmer very nervous. This morning the farmer was scratching Mr. Jimmy's back and he closed his eyes halfway and snuggled up under the farmer's chin.

"Stop that, Mr. Jimmy," the farmer said. "You know there is a strict policy of no wethers here."

Welcome to Phoenix

Well they said it is going to be 103 degrees today which will smash all previous records for the highest temperature. Not only that but it is going to stay hot all through the weekend after they had promised that the temperature would go back down on Saturday and Sunday. This causes the farmer to milk the milkers at 10 p.m. which previously was an hour past the farmer's bedtime. And this also causes a great of anguished screaming in the morning because previously the breakfast time was 6 or 7 and now the breakfast cart does not come around until 9 or 10. Which frees up two or three hours for complaints and whining.

Some aren't that noisy about it but some must always bellow their outrage to the bleachers. Aggie the plus-sized miniature Nubian who looks like a tiny beached whale is one of the loudest complainers. She gets into a panicky state whenever her blood sugar drops below 100,000.

She is down there right now hollering "I FEEL FAINT! I FEEL FAINT!"

"Well," said the farmer this morning, "we have the cheese, so I guess we could also open a whinery."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cooling Center

Zane Gray and me forgot to act sensible yesterday when we went out, so we haven't learned our lesson. We are going to be confined to the barn. This is our cooling center. Jimmy and Frank are also confined. I don't understand it because Bubbles and Pinky are running free and they haven't got a lick of sense. Yesterday Bubbles ran headfirst into the feeder. And Pinky is a well-known special needs goat, no offense to her because she is part Nubian, but Ziggy has to head-butt her inside when it starts raining. If this is called sensible then what can you do. Anyway tomorrow they say the heat could be triple digits, unlike Pinky's IQ, so we won't be allowed out then either.

Also P.S. Zinnia is allowed out and she tried to eat a ball of baling twine.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Interesting Times

It is interesting when you find out things. I just found out my brother zanegray's name is really Zane Gray. Interesting.

Also, I thought we lived on a nice cool farm where the main kind of weather would be patchy morning fog. It turns out where we live is actually stifling hot and no one can stop talking about it. Interesting.

People came over and they were saying things like. "Goodness it's hot," or "is it hot enough for you?"

One lady came over and she said, "is it hot enough for you?" and then she laughed and laughed. I guess this is some kind of joke, although I noticed the farmer did not laugh. I think it must be hot enough for anyone, certainly for the farmer.

I have not seen a lot of farmers, really only one, our one that lives here. But I noticed our farmer is somewhat on the round side, and does not seem to like the exceeding hotness we are having, which is predicted to last all week. They are saying that it is going to be 100 degrees in Seattle in the middle of the week.

The farmer's friend came over and told the farmer that even though it was 92 today it was going to be much hotter in the middle of the week. I wondered what the farmer would say and sure enough, just as I would have guessed, the farmer said, "that's interesting."

But with a stony stony stony face.

Hmm, I thought. Interesting.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Atticus Pupicus

Atticus Pupicus is our guardian dog. He used to let all the babies jump on him like a trampoline. But now he doesn't like it any more, those sharp little hooves in the ribs. He has aches and pains now and jumping makes him grumpy. He woofs anybody who jumps on him. Zanegray jumped on him and got woofed.

When he woofs you it really gets your attention.

Oh ok, you say to yourself, maybe I will not jump on you any more. Note to self.

Anyway Atticus Pupicus has been very hot and short-tempered lately because he didn't have his summer haircut. It was blazing hot several days in a row, and Atty lay around panting and gulping water and digging a hole under the porch to try to find more shade.

The farmer had tried to give Atty a haircut, but the clippers died going into the first turn. They were no match for Atty's magnificent dingleberries and his woolly ruff.

Really there was only one person who could help Atty, and that was the kindly neighbor who really knows how to clip and has super industrial sheep shears.

She came over and fixed Atty up. It was not an easy job. And when she was done, they had to get the tractor to take away all the hair.

Atty is in heaven.

His hair is in the tractor bucket.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All The Way or So

There was a ruckus the other day.

My Aunt Hannah Belle had two sons this year and the other day they went to their new home. This left Aunt Hannah Belle with a lot of milk and no one to drink it.

"Come on Hannah Belle," said the farmer meaningfully. "You have been on the dole long enough. It is time for you to go to work."

Hannah Belle kept mum and did not betray anything by her expression. Instead she watched the fat milkers trundling over toward the milk parlor. She could tell by the way Jammies was bobbing and weaving toward the head of the line that there was sure to be food inside.

All right then, Hannah Belle agreed, and when the farmer took her by the collar she marched along docilely. She didn't have any gum so she just chewed her cud, eyeballing the whole operation like she was the regional manager.

"Here is the ramp," the farmer explained. "Go up it when it is your turn, and on the other side you will find a nice buffet of free grain."

All right then, thought Hannah Belle, shrewdly staying out of striking distance of Winnie who likes to t-bone everyone in the waiting room who dares to look her in the eye. As long as they are a lot smaller than she is.

Hannah Belle got in line, choosing a sensible spot near the end. When it came her turn, she went right up the ramp, through the sliding door, and into the milk parlor.

I never saw any of the rest because they closed the door, but I heard it, and so did everybody in the next few counties.


Meanwhile this whole time was a festive sound of hopping, like maybe some leprechauns doing a riverdance in the milk parlor, and in the foreground the loud sucking noise the milk machine makes. Then was followed a series of questions.


Sadly the only answer was more hopping.


Followed by more jolly hopping and then the sound of the exit door sliding open, and then Hannah Belle appeared in view on the down ramp, hair slightly awry but overall I would have to say in an unfazed condition. She proceeded into the barnyard chewing her cud with an air of satisfaction.

I am something of an expert on milk and I did notice that while she had been milked, I would not say that she had been milked out ALL THE WAY.

No one mentioned anything about it and everyone pretended not to notice.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hello Again.

Hello. It's me again.

This is me with my mother, Belle Pepper. She is growing a snowy beard as you can see. Also she has the Baby Belle topknot, which is the hallmark of our family. I do not have the topknot yet or the beard.

We have to stay inside today because it is too hot and we aren't sensible. If we go out we lay in the hot sun panting and the farmer says, "be more sensible," and picks us up and carries us into the shade.

My brother Zanegray is with me. And my mother Belle Pepper. And my Aunt Blue. And also my two cousin-brothers, Frank and Jimmy.

And me.

We are all here. We are carrying on.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Hello. I just got here yesterday. There was no Nigerian doelings born this year which never happened before. That was before I came. I am the last baby of the season.

My mother’s name is Belle Pepper. Her mother’s name was Baby Belle. Her mother’s name was Domingo Millie.

My name is going to be Million Belles, like the flower except with an e.

So I thought they might call me Millie like my great-grandmother.

But right now they are all calling me Baby Belle.