and don't forget

I guess a lot of them here in the Ozarks you don't have to flush.


orphenia 2

The latest farm report from Dianne:
"Apparently one cow had twins today.  I found a calf all by itself.  It was lying in the sun & had its tongue hanging out & eyes rolled back up in its head.  I thought it was dead, but it was taking very shallow breaths.  I dragged it into the shade, mixed up some colostrum & force fed a little over a pint.  It was too weak to even hold its head up so I did that as best I could –wonder I didn't choke the little thing.  I later found a cow with afterbirth still attached, & she was standing over a calf.  I THINK she delivered the first calf, was still in labor & walked off & delivered the second & then just thought that one was hers. 
   Yep, we've got another bottle baby.  I mixed up more colostrum & this time we got 2 pints down. My HOPE is that when it's strong enough to stand that mama will still want it.  I'd so much rather SHE raised it..."
   However, Dianne said that the mother rejected the calf, and she fed regular (cows') formula at midnight last night. Going to put quite a dent in Dianne's schedule. Ah, the farm life.


they got game

Nothing better than a man in the kitchen—or a man on the hunt. Dove season opened in September. So newspaperman Frank (left) brought dove breasts he had shot to the Goose, as well as some delicious local smoked trout. Judge David prepared the dove breasts with a sauce he made including mushrooms and onions with julienned vegetables on the side, and I grilled the filet mignon and bought the buttermilk coconut pie. It was definitely the classiest meal served at the Goose in history. Surf and turf and—sky.


town for sale

Looks like the Lodge (Elks?) has now come on the market in Thomasville. You could also purchase the Shady Lane Church. The Back Home Cafe has been bulldozed. A blank canvas.
   I'm here to tell you that property taxes are around $50 a year. Of course services are nil, other than streetlights (which I keep begging people to shoot out). But so is oversight!

  PS At the opposite extreme is Block Island, which has become so popular that I only have ONE WEEK left between two houses for next season. Already! I could book three times over. Property taxes and utilities are way high, unlike T'ville. But hey, it's on the beach and not the river.


tour of the goose

Can't really think visually and verbally simultaneously. Or, can't walk and talk and shoot at the same time. Also, I regret the flipflops. . .


bonne anniversaire!

Photograph by Keri Pickett
My beautiful daughter, the Block Island bride. . .


roadside art

People set up wheelbarrows with flower beds in them, plows as mailboxes (mailboxes are big) and this little guy appears to be an advertisement for the garage he guards.


bear report

I have had difficulty recording Bear's distinctive voice since he can tell when I begin recording. All those years of reporting have not apparently enabled me to be subtle. (Listen to discussion below.) So I have been driven to writing down his remarks, though they don't sound as good in print.
   Re his recent weight gain: " My britches are gettin so damn tight. They don't slide up and down the way they ort to."
   Re his mother's death: "When they finally decided she had cancer she was done ate up."
   And, most commonly, when I give him something to eat he's never had before, like, say, miso soup or quinoa, he either says, "It's not too bad" or "It's alright, I guess." When I ask him whether that means he likes it or doesn't like it, he says it can mean either one. "It just depends."

Check this out on Chirbit


that's filling station

My sister (who is the President of the Garden Club) suggests this Martin Mull number as my theme song at the Goose. Wish I could figure out how to lay it down as a soundtrack over video, but I'm not that hot at that stuff.

In other news
Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi comes to the U.S. Here is Chien-Chi's contact sheet and link to video of the Lady when she was about to be released from decades of house arrest.

And Ivy's son Wil does a video of a mural painting as his sister's Fair Folks and a Goat coffee club (New Orleans/New York) readies for another opening on Houston St. in NYC.


my book

No, I cannot help you sell your book.
   If I, a much published writer, cannot sell my own books, how can I sell yours? You are not a writer; you can't tell a story; and you don't know what story to tell, even though it's about yourself. Whoever said "everyone has a book in them" did me a great disservice thereby.
   I do believe that everyone has a story in them, but to find it and pull it out and make it into a book—that's what a writer does.
  And I do not want to read your "draft." It is too disheartening, and it is a lot of work. I get paid to think about stories. Do you want to pay me to read your manuscript? I didn't think so. Especially when I cannot get it published!
  I have a suggestion: Go to Blurb or another self-publishing website. Lots of advice here. Upload your manuscript. Have it nicely bound. It looks exactly like a "real" book. See if you can convince your friends and family to buy it. This used to be called vanity publishing. But nowadays some people break out. Why? Because they can write, or at least tell stories that people want to read. They have talent and promotional ability and oomph.
  And yes, there's something that brought this on. A manuscript by the son of a friend that I have dreaded opening for months.
   I finally opened it last night.


tomatoes to apples

The Eleven Point River at Cane Bluff.
You can feel the seasons changing. I go to sleep later and wake up later, as I do in the winter. And I turned on the heat the other evening—it's going down to 44 at night tomorrow. But I like apples almost as well as tomatoes, and I don't ever have to go back to school!
   Speaking of apples, here is something about Jessica Rath's work "Take me to the Apple Breeders"  on Bon Appetit.
   And have a sweet new year!



The Gospel Sing is in town. The pickup pulls in towing a little travel trailer, the tent and stage pop up, the word goes out and the faithful gather. Just before the cicadas start, I can hear the cadences of invocations and imprecations and voices raised in song, though I can't make out the words. I know the message, though: Repent, cast out sin, Jesus loves you, praise him, support our mission.
    And on to the next hamlet.


milla's day





down by the river

It was the 17th annual River Concert, and the MotherEarthNews types were out in force at Sunburst Ranch, dancing and eating Denise's venison chili and listening to several acts, including Scott Shipley, ably assisted by this backup band.



Can you recognize this place? That's the Goose behind the coon dogs, most likely those of Junior Parrot. The picture was taken some years back as part of an Ozark shoot by National Geographic photographer Randy Olson. You can see the rest of the pictures here, though only one other frame is of Thomasville.
  In other news, Wear Your Music is featured in People mag and Hannah in open forum. And a beautifully restored storefront is available in greater downtown Woonsocket.


boiling up

The storm came suddenly.
The kid from next door ran over, afraid of the thunder. We went out in the road and watched it come.
   "I hate storms," he said.
   "I love storms," I said. "I just hope it doesn't knock out the Internet because I can't wait to watch Barack Obama tonight."
   "Barack Obama!" he said. "I hate Barack Obama!"
   "I love Barack Obama," I said.
And then we ran back inside and the storm passed.



Scuse me while I kiss the sky. Yes, I have been real busy starting to book for next season and entertaining, so have been letting the blog slide. I promise I'll be back on my game—soon. Maybe next week. . .


health food

Get yer biled nuts here! You know that boiled peanuts are better for you than roasted, don't you? More flavenoids. Prevent cancer, heart disease, promote weight loss etc. You can read about it here. And these organic babies from New Mexico also happen to be delicious. You can order through Amazon.
And yes, these on the left are not for birds!


the fantasy biz

I am in the fantasy business. I sell golden summer days and happy families and sex to the sound of the waves. I sell long walks with your lab on the beach and lobster dinners and castles in the sand. I do not sell sunburns and cobwebs and broken outdoor faucets and grills with starter buttons that don't work and doorknobs that fall off and scraped floors and rainy days and squabbling children. Over the course of a season, all of those things happen. But given even one transcendent moment, everyone who books a Block Island rental will remember only the good and come back for more.
     Because everyone's in the fantasy business.



Does one post on Labor Day? Well, here's what a few did on vacation. My terrified sister and family (above) ziplined through North Carolina. Debby and family retreated to the Massachusetts waters of childhood. And cave afficionado Frank could find nothing worth shooting in Arkansas' dilapidated Onyx Cave except possibly the proprietors.