Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our Lazy W Nativity

   Happy Sunday everyone!! Today is Christmas Eve-Eve!! Around here that's a big deal. Yesterday was "Christmas Eve Cubed," suggesting that suspense is a vital ingredient for our holiday magic. Happiness and excitement cost nothing. Neither does cuddling, watching recorded holiday movies, keeping freshly baked cookies secretly in your pocket, or eating meals slowly and indulgently with people you love. Okay.

   Today I'd like to share with you fine citizens and scholars our Lazy W Christmas card. A few people have already received this via snail mail or inter-office delivery, but still more will receive this eventually in the flesh. No one knows when, though, because, and this is a bit of little known trivia, I am currently tied with eight other people for the distinction of World's Most Unorganized Person. The thing is, I need some addresses. Like, a lot of them. But I am insisting that sending cards a tad late really only extends the holiday cheer! Christmas is a feeling more than a date, right? And surprises are fun. Like, the surprise of whether your holiday card will arrive at Christmas or, say, Easter. Okay.

   Here it is, folks, in all of it's quirky glory. Handsome lovingly obliged my imagination with his mad skills and whipped up this sweet little family portrait. Here you see a representative of every animal group in our little menagerie, with the sad exception of the honey bees. I know, I know, they are a huge addition to the farm this year, but it was just so cold the day we had this photo shoot, and they need to stay huddled up as much as possible. Okay.

   This photo shoot was pure drama from the get go. First of all, everyone was late. I had sent out crystal clear information to all of the fields and paddocks no fewer than four days in advance that on Monday afternoon at 4:30  we would be distributing festive hats and getting into position. The horses were to be brushed; the geese were to have bathed in the pond; and the cat was not to be hunting in the forest. Everyone except Chunk-Hi was late. No one was clean. And the chaos of keeping all the animals still, even while bribing them with Nabisco treats, was basically ridiculous. Where is Olan Mills when you really need them?

   It occurs to me that not every reader is personally acquainted with every animal pictured here. In the coming year I hope to remedy that on the blog, but for now, allow me to introduce you... From top left, rotating around the group clockwise, are our babies...

   Chunk-Hi the buffalo is at the upper left hand corner. He is dark brown, sorta hard to see here against the forest timber. But look for his luxurious shag and his elf hat. He is my ginormous, face-scratch-loving, deep bass drum snorting, frosty-air-breathin baby.

Chunk loves confetti. He gets that from me.

   Then we have Aprony the gray and white skirted guinea hen, as well as several other pretty guineas, along the roof of the manger. That is how they rule the roost around the farm. They climb stuff. And then poop on it.

The guineas don't even know how fashionable 
their feathers are in ladies' accessories right now!

   At the peak of the manger is Bobby Pacino, our macaw. Lord have mercy. He really needs his own blog. I want to write about him all the time, but he sort of takes over my head, and that's just not healthy. He's my husband's technically but my baby really. Hence, his questionable vocabulary.

Pacino was recently heard saying for the first time, 
"I don't appreciate it, okay?"

   At the bottom of the manger, on the right side, you see a gray and white pony named Dusty. He is the youngest of our horses and belongs to my girls. We gave him to them when he was perhaps a year old and they were little bits themselves. Now they all three are so grown up. Isn't he cute in his Christmas hat? He's my baby.

Dusty sporting Horse Feathers

 Tucked discreetly in front of Dusty is Romulus the recently adopted llama. You all know him, right? He is the biggest and most reliable source of drama around this crazy place. And we all love him, except for Daphne. She wishes he would evaporate. Check out his wise ass man hat. 

This photo was taken during one of our legendary staring contests.

   Near Dusty's feet is the gaggle of geese. Perhaps you are familiar with Mia, the only one in the group wearing a Santa hat. He is the one who thinks himself human and attaches himself to willing women at every opportunity. He's my baby. With him are Johnny Cash, Pumpkin, Momma, and Other Goose.

Hooonnnk... xoxoxo

  In front of the geese is a spotted guinea named Spot Aprony. To a casual observer, most birds of any feather look alike. But around here we have names for almost every single one. She is Handsome's baby.

   Directly above that bird and below the Baby Jesus (I know, I know, it's an anonymous baby) is Tomato the rooster. He. Is. Awesome. He was hatched right here at the Lazy W in the late spring of 2010 and he is overflowing with personality! My cousin's little boy once painted his talons red. Tomato's talons, not his own. Because little boys don't have talons. I feel like you should know that.

   Guarding the manger, playing the role of Mary this year, is our one and only mare, Daphne. She has the prettiest black coat with an undercurrent of leopard spots that really stand out in the sunshine. I love this moody creature to pieces, but she is her daddy's girl.

   Daphne's true love, fearless protector, and antagonist, this year playing the role of Joesph, is Chanta, our big paint horse. He is just gorgeous and has a heart of gold. He belongs to my father in law, but I will die on the spot if this horse ever leaves our farm. He is the beast I can brush into a standing sleep. He wraps his thick neck over my shoulders if I need to cry. He naps with me. And he will not allow anything to happen to a small child on his watch. Also, yesterday he totally cold-kicked the llama. I'm not saying we condone kicking; I'm saying this horse doesn't put up with jaskassery. 

   The animal we have had the longest is Shao-Lin, our sweet little Sharpei. You will not meet a more affectionate animal, or a more territorial one. Love her for sure, but don't tangle with this girl, ever. Her sweet expression here says nothing of her ferocity.

   Then there's Fast Woman, our sole surviving barn cat. When I say she is an outside cat, I mean that with all the sternness of a flight attendant asking you to turn off electronic devices. If Fast Woman is brought forcibly into the house, or crammed forcibly into a hollow pumpkin, then she descends into full personality failure within minutes. She will not accept human food as a treat. She will not cuddle while you watch old movies. She will sometimes allow petting, but only if it is on her terms and in a very exact sequence of motions. Can a cat be OCD? She is hunter and an ornament, and she likes it that way.

   The second of our two roosters is seen here, tiptoeing on the baby-less hay manger. He is Peep, and he was hatched on Easter morning of 2009. He is pretty much the cock of the walk and has in fact fathered a few dozen little peeps of his own. His strutting makes my day on a regular basis.

   So there you pretty much have it! Our crazy little animal kingdom wishes you and yours a beautiful, joyous Christmas week laced with miracles and drenched with love! May your tables be filled with really good edibles. May your beds be safe and warm (and fun). Maybe your book shelves and DVD players offer you hours of rest and relaxation. May your sleep be restorative and your time with people as bonding and healing and inspirational as possible.

   Look out for the angels in your life and love them. 
And try to be one, too. 
And kiss your animals.

Thank you so much for visiting the digital Lazy W!
Merry Christmas and Happy new Year!
Much Love,
Handsome, Marie, and the Critters





  1. Oh goodness, I adore your Christmas card and I love love love meeting the menagerie. I had no idea you had so many animals out there at the ranch. I love their names. Aprony and Fast Woman? Does it get better than that? Merry Christmas, Chunk-Hi. You're my favorite.

  2. These guys make life happy whenever we remember to enjoy their crazy ways!

  3. This is fantastic. And "Fast Woman" cat name EVER!!

  4. I'm a little jealous of your nativity scene. :) I would love to get my hands on some of those critters. I bet they keep you plenty busy!!

  5. I LOVE this! I thought this was so cute and clever I had to show it to all my family! I actually saw it the day you posted it but in showing everyone how cute it was I forgot to tell you! Merry Christmas, Marie! And Happy New Year!


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