Hey party people, Yahoo! Mail is sponsoring this post about staying connected. So thanks to them and the Clever Girls Collective who got Bossy the gig and endorse Blog With Integrity, which means Bossy has to tell her council up front about stuff like being paid to write. Carry on!
It was 1998 and Bossy was living in Virginia on a three-acre farm surrounded by hundred-acre farms surrounded by thousand-acre farms. Except Bossy didn’t refer to her place as a farm, she referred to it as a ranch.
The name Goose Egg Ranch referred to nothingness. For instance, the Bossy homestead was three miles from a paved road or a street light. And the nothingness referred to the fact Bossy’s house held less value than everything within proximity because it was a carriage house — and it wasn’t a carriage house in a romantic way, but in a you could keep a carriage in it way.
In addition, the nothingness referred to the fact Bossy couldn’t buy a friend. Unless you consider the Wolf Spider population friends.
And although Bossy lived on Goose Egg Ranch with her family, they were busy making friends of their own:
So. Enter these people:
They are Bossy’s friends Ronny and David and Michael and Franz, but you can call them Bossy’s friends.
At the time these four friends lived at the four corners of the world map, but thanks to email they became the captive audience for Bossy’s rural minutia.
You see, Bossy grew up on the 19th floor in a major city, so adjusting to rural life wasn’t easy, where easy equals yeah Bossy never really adjusted.
And you may ask yourself, Who on earth would care to read the ramblings and look at the photos of a city girl turned country girl? Bossy’s four friends, that’s who. They were there in emails to keep her laughing and focused. Especially David. And Michael. And Franz. And Ronny.
For instance, that time Bossy mail-ordered 27 baby chickens, which she proceeded to keep in a cardboard box in her kitchen, violating all health code standards for one week too many. Bossy’s friend David wrote Bossy a poem to memorialize the fact none died in transit:
Home to four White Orpintons –
Hurrah, hurrah there was no corpse
Among the four Black Austrolorps!
All a’flutter, none near dead,
Four hale and hearty Rhode Isle Reds
Protect them from the wily fox
The swooping owl, sizzling woks
(I’d be remiss, if not to note,
The lonely Speckled Wyandotte.)
Now there’s an integrated flock,
(did I forget the four Barred Rocks?)
In the majority – ten Orpington’s Buff,
Perhaps one day to oven-stuff?
Let them fornicate! Let them screw –
You’ll compete ‘gainst Frank Perdue!
It should surprise no one Bossy answered with a Dr. Seuss poem all her own:
To set the chicken names to rhyme!
And boy! You have a special knack
For rhyming “Austrolorp” (all black)
But, in a way, you must rejoice
For I didn’t make a harder choice
And order “Crevecoeurs” hens
Would that be hard to rhyme? Depends…
Dr. Seuss poems, blurry snapshots, and recounting daily life in eye-crossing detail. What does this remind Bossy of? In fact, one could say many of Bossy’s email subject lines from this period predict future blog post titles, such as:
Flicks and Teas. Make That Fleas and Ticks
Hatching A Plan, Or Was That Gas?
Where I Grade The Starr Report
Walls That Are Painted The Color Of Salad
Roosters Make It Easy To Understand The Expression You Cock
I Have No Marketable Skills
Room And Bored
And then there was the time Bossy and her husband purchased a pre-assembled shed from a home center store and transformed it into a chicken house for the amusement of those four Bossy friends who received this emailed poem:
Will enable our hands to create
The Taj Mahal of chicken house
To guard against the field mouse
So out came all the wooden parts
And we sawed and nailed with all our hearts
But still the fact we couldn’t bear
The goddamn building wasn’t square
The result is that the doors won’t shut
So husband’s screaming like a nut
And decides, “The roof, I shall re-make
In case this all was MY mistake.”
So up he goes to pull the nails
Amidst my pleading, cries and wails
“Oh, no, husband, it wasn’t you
Home Depot is shit, boo-hoo!”
So where are we today, you ask
Well – back outside to face the task
Of using brains and collective might
To make those fooking doors fit tight.
But at the end of this hot day
With chicks secure, well, I just may
Go rustle up a cookout true
And raise my wine in cheers to you!
Bossy will always be grateful to email for saving her during this time. Translating thoughts to words helped Bossy realize two things. The first thing was: you are never far from your friends as long as you stay in touch! The second thing was: Bossy was too far from her friends and needed to move back home!
So hats off to you Yahoo! Mail, for being on the front line of the industry standard. Without email, Bossy probably wouldn’t have become a blogger. Instead Bossy would be something boring, like a pretty Neurosurgeon with a beach house in the Hamptons. Wait, what was Bossy saying again? Oh. Thank you Yahoo! Mail!
Lynda M O saysJuly 11, 2011 at 1:03 pm
cracking up here in the summer sun.
which altho bright is not warm.
chook saysJuly 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm
i never would have guessed BOSSY was a chicken herder.
tj saysJuly 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm
…Are you for real? Seriously? You lived in Va. on a small farm and had chickens? Was that really your chicken house? You’re pulling my leg aren’t you? Don’t mess with me on this one Miss Bossy. *giggle*
…Wow. I would’ve never guessed it in a million trillion gazillion years! That is awesome! I loved the photos and the whole story! Still, you’re pullin’ my leg aren’t ya?
…Ack, who cares – this was fun! ;o)
…Blessings Farmer Bossy :o)
Maggie saysJuly 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Bossy, you are in true form!
Babybloomr saysJuly 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm
Open Letter to Everyone in the Universe Who Has a Product to Plug:
Two words: HIRE BOSSY!
*skips off to sign up for Yahoo! Mail*
Kevin A saysJuly 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm
A Bossy Hound?
Have you read the book “The Golden Gate” by Vikram Seth? A novel in pentameter. I like reading it aloud to friends… (very patient friends).
KathyB saysJuly 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm
Hard to even remember life before email. Great post, Bossy. Thank you Yahoo.
Susan Benner saysJuly 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm
That you would cite about ‘Blog with Integrity’ and the PW blog in the same post is meant to be snarky…correct?
Carol M saysJuly 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm
I don’t want to see any spiders — even a fake plastic one — as I am nursing a nasty bite on my calf from a poisonous spider.
However, pics of Bossy’s kids and pets made up for that. Way too much cuteness in one family.
vuboq saysJuly 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm
My SuperFantastic Cuzin and I used to email poems to each other during work (when we both hated our jobs … now, I only hate my job. She is blissfully happy). We used work email. Possibly not the smartest thing to do … oh, well …
Beth saysJuly 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm
Best post ever!
P.S. Could I have David’s email address?
CS saysJuly 11, 2011 at 8:00 pm
I love chickens. And email. Thank you for the window into your fascinating past, Bossy!
p.j. saysJuly 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm
Great post, Bossy! I’ve always wondered what propelled you and Bossy’s husband to move to the farm/ranch/carriage coop chicken house!?
The kids as little tykes? LifetimeS ago! The boys are graduating college next year. How?!
foolery saysJuly 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm
Ever since you first mentioned raising chickens on a Virginia farm I’ve wanted to hear the story. That part of your life is soooooo very similar to mine — chickens in a box in the house, animals and spiders everywhere — even down to the e-mails that planted the blog seeds. Wonderful post, Miss BOSSY.
Allegra saysJuly 16, 2011 at 7:44 pm
pretty dang funny. the po-erms were quite impressive.
loved the ref to pioneer woman…and home depot.
i’ve been using yahoo mail for well past a decade. new-fangeled facebook isn’t my style.