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Goodness, gracious. Death is a terrible, horrible, awful no-good thing. People, please, stop leaving. Hear me? My grandpa’s best friend, Robert, known to me as Uncle Lefty, has passed away this week. Still awaiting news to confirm and explain it all. He made his 100th birthday and now leaves the planet.


It’s just occurred to me that I don’t actually know why he was called Lefty. Presumably, left-handed? Did I once know this and have since forgotten? Or did I just accept it as fact and never question it to begin with, I wonder. I was (am) most often a questioner … He was originally married to my Grandpa’s sister who passed away at an early age, so he remarried and remained the best of friends with the extended family. I’m anxious to celebrate him.

On a non-death related note, I visited the Olympic Game Farm recently. I love its history, but that’s for another time. I have short tales of scary llamas, (non)waving bears and huggable buffalo. Huggable buffalo, huggable buffalo, huggable buffalo- that’s tough to say.

The farm allows one to drive their vehicle along a dirt path at their own pace stopping along the way to view a variety of animals that are quite happy to greet most everyone because we’ve almost all bought a loaf or more of brown bread to share as we make our way through. Rules, stay in the car. That’s it. Rollin’ up alongside a big ol’ bear with the window all the way down with nothing but a measly bit of low hung wiring between you and him (her?) is kinda thrilling. Sure, there may be an electrical fence component involved, but allow me my thrill.

There’s a part of the road early on that’s on a cliff sorta. That’s where the leechy learing llamas live. Or wander, rather. We start off, and I can’t wait to get up close and personal to said llamas. Have always had good experiences with such beasts. The photo lies. There were many more a llama. A rainbow of llamas with every shade of fur imaginable. And they were eager to greet us. We were eager to greet them. With the windows now down, Shan and I proceed to dole out bits of bread. A llama, specifically, my llama, spots the pile of bread hangin’ out on the dash and feels he (yeah, it was a he) can help himself. In he ducks and all is yet well. Shannon’s having a heyday out her window with a kinder, gentler llama to my telling. Then, the llama now all up in my personal space, looks back at me while still at the dash. We lock eyes and I freak out. Internally, that is. I’m batting at Shannon with my right arm cuz I’m the driver, “Shannon, Shannon, Shan, Shan, help me get the llama out.”

“HahahahaHAHAHAhahaah!,” says Shannon (that’s what she said). “You’re afraid of a llama?! Why are you afraid of a llama?”

“I don’t know. I thought I liked llamas. It’s looking into my soul and I don’t want it in there.”

“Shoo,” Shan says, “Here’s some bread, back on out, llama.”

He did.

Now fully immersed in a llama pack, trying to navigate forward without rolling over any llama appendages becomes the challenge of the day. Oh look, that llama’s lying down. In front of the car. We spent some time at the llama’s mercy, eventually circling leftish and then rightish to get out of their territory on to where upwards of twentyish peacocks ran about along the street as though they were in fact road runners. No plumes out though, not one. Jip.

While waiting llama pack movement, I dared roll down the window one more time and lob a piece of bread onto this fella’s back, because I could. A blondie came over and ate if right off as the window quickly went back up.

It’s right THERE! Were I Shannon, I could touch the thing. I notice she won’t touch for me.

We arrive at the bears. We wave and wave and wave and wave, then wave some more. These are former showbiz bears, see. They wave, we’re told. Now that I’m back home, I wonder if I’d played them some music or sang a little song, if that’d have elicited a wave. Reason to go back.




He likes me.


He likes Shannon not.

Look at these marvelous creatures! The only way to keep moving was to put the window up so that they’d back their sweet faces outta the car (no further llama-like dash intrusions), at which point I felt better about taking pictures. It felt rude and impersonal somehow to have the darlings in person, touchable and real and be concerned about a photo. Funny that a simple pane of glass in place caused me to feel differently considering we were just as close. Ponderance.


We finished at the farm with a drive through the buffalo territory at which we were told to stop at our own peril as they like to charge cars from time to time and can cause quite the damage with their heft and those magnificent horns. I felt it was worth the risk of possibly having a pricey buffalo car damage story under my belt to stop and visit these rather ginormous and daunting animals. Les animaux! The buffalo captured my fancy, something about the enormity of their faces and seeing horns attached versus sitting out as a decorative item somewhere, likely mounted on a restaurant wall. The buffalo’s breath was hot and forceful and I didn’t see that Shannon had balled up in her seat and was inching towards the ceiling. How the tables turn.


“Deborah-Deborah-Deborah! Oaaaaooooaaa … I don’t like this, can we go? That thing is huge and DANGEROUS. How are you afraid of a llama but making friends with the buffalo? I’m scared.”

I stopped stroking his face and rolled up the window after which the guy gave a giant lick of the glass. I’ve been driving around town with the dried saliva still on the window quite satisfied with myself. Yeah, that’s not any old regular kinda dirty- that’s buffalo dirty.


And now for beef of another kind: I present my most popular take on the meatball sammich yet! I refrained from sprinkling a little green on top, though it begs for some color- but Bean finds green mean and she was a partaker. There’s all manner of goodness hidden under that hefty blanket of g(l)ooey cheese. Sammiches! Meatballs, to be repeated ad nauseam.


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