What’s Cooking?

Our trip to Palm Springs was, of course, great. My subsequent writing retreat, also great.

Now I’m home again, and happy to be here. However, I’ve been gone for several weeks, which is long enough to lull me into thinking I lead a normal life just like all the other kids. But then the evidence begins to pile up around me. Despite my occasional whinings in this blog, I’m really not into self-pity, but…

Melissa ordered something through the mail and she’d opened the box and left the item on the counter. The tag read “Care of your Wetscraper/flesher.”

Well, that’s not something you read every day. Turns out it’s a piece of metal sharpened along the long edge, used to scrape the bits of flesh off of a hide before one cures it.

Then I sit down on our living room couch for some quiet time, and the magazine on the top of the pile is open to an article about ram epididymitis —“primarily a genital disease of rams”– complete with a helpful photo of a ram’s swollen testicles.

Then I realize that whatever Melissa was cooking in the oven that evening was still cooking, and in fact, she’d been cooking whatever it was for a few hours. I should say at this point that we believe it’s good to use as much of an animal butchered as possible. Processing plants have figured this out, and sell every bit they can. We recently purchased at the pet store some ‘bully’ sticks for our puppy, the clever name disguising the fact that the stick is dried bull penis.

So when Melissa told me the item in the oven would be drying for the rest of the evening, my normally trusting nature turned into raving paranoia. “Please don’t tell me you’re drying out a ram penis in my oven.”

“Okay,” she said, and she walked away.

I closed my eyes, and allowed myself a flash of self-pity. One does not lead a normal life when there is a ram penis drying on a tray in one’s oven.

The puppy, however, is in for a tasty treat.

12 thoughts on “

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m smiling and grimacing at the same time.

    Hey! While you were gone, I read Hit By a Farm. What a delight. My daughter saw me grinning a few times and has taken it back to college with her. It’ll be a nice break between textbooks.

    Welcome home!


  2. Maybe it’s time to see if Mike Rowe will come out and do a “Dirty Jobs” episode. Sounds like your life is right out of a Discovery Channel show! Don’t you just love it! I’m sure the dog will be happy, farm dogs usually are with all the lovely “treats” they get on the farm.
    Glad you had a nice vacation.

  3. Ha! I know.

    Last night the puppy was very quiet in her ‘playpen’ area, and when I expressed amazement, Melissa confessed she’d given Molly what she’d been drying in the oven the other night.

    It didn’t take the puppy very long to dispatch the “item”…either she’s an efficient eater or the “item” wasn’t all that large…

  4. I’ve just started reading “Hit By a Farm”, and now I’ve read all of your blog posts – like M&M’s, I can’t get enough. They’re all great. Thank you for writing. And what is it about lesbians and farm animals – I’ve just fallen in love with a goat! Take care, Karen in Ithaca, NY

  5. Karen,

    You read ALL the posts? Lordy, you must be some sort of masochist! Love the M&Ms, though…

    Yes, goats are dangerous because they can take over your heart. Our barn still feels empty…another year to go, then I might buy Melissa a few goats for her birthday. (She rarely has the patience to read through these comments, so it’ll still be a secret next year!)

  6. Hmm, I dunno, ladies . . . once you live with a billy goat and his SMELL (well, in the barn, of course!) you lose a lot of that “goat romanticism”. I grew up with a small herd of milkers and Jeremiah (13 was the most my folks had, I think), and now I am dreaming of a milk COW – not goat – thank you very much.

    But, yes, the kids are adorable! 🙂

  7. I’m sorry, but from a male’s point of view, one’s “item” should not be “dispatched”! LOL Ok, granted, I’m sure the former item-owner was no longer alive…

    PS – I’ve got more people reading Hit By A Farm – including those who say they don’t normally care for reading, but have begun to live a more rural life. In fact, a couple who’re friends with my parents, and who just finished the book, are now talking about raising chickens!

    Maybe you should write a book on poultry now that your beef book is done?

  8. Jeph,

    Yeah, sorry about that.

    When I read from Hit By a Farm at libraries, etc, I often read the first piece about squeezing ram testicles.

    I don’t notice this because I’m reading, but librarians tell me the men in the audience grow quiet and pale…


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