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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for the 'Fournier' Category

Peaceable kingdom

Got my goats & I wouldn't have it any other way

May 1st, 2016

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

Before my goat friends arrived I had prepared them a lovely deep straw bed, a bucket of water, and some goat fusion. On their first night they ate all of their bed, but that is life with a goat, and I soon solved the problem by providing them with as much hay as they could eat. And weed I could pull. And every scrap provided by my neighbors.

fourniergoatMy idea of a peaceable kingdom was coming true. Their purpose was to be environmental lawnmowers and land clearers, but they immediately became my fuzzy wuzzies. Goats can be pets, and great ones. They don’t hang out in the house due to the hot fecal balls they spew all over, and they don’t cuddle in my bed like our cattle dog, Minnie Pearl, but they are blissful and I view them as my personal herd.

In looking for a culture that treats goats as pets, I found out that the Greeks take excellent care of their goats and allow them to wander around villages nibbling here and there. Children play with the young kids, sometimes even dressing them as they would a doll. And then, Easter comes around and they eat the goat. The same seems to hold true in Africa, where people love their goats and then eat them.

At first, this eating of pets horrified me, but I then came to the conclusion that the modern American view towards what animals are okay to eat is perhaps more horrific. But I don’t plan to eat my cuddly baby dolls. They have names, I brush them daily, and I kiss them. Their lips are velvet soft.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Animal Issue, Fournier | Link to this Entry

What’s not to like?

15 things that make me happy

January 1st, 2016

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

Things I Have (Until Now) Privately Savored (in no special order):

Sharp pencils. There is nothing like a sharp pencil. I feel like I could open a book of white paper and write forever, the sharp tip of my instrument creating beautiful words and imagery. What is it they say? A dream and a sharp pencil can take you anywhere. It sounds like a delicious ride on a fluffy cloud.

princessleiaPerforming the monologue from Princess Leia. Boys of all ages sort of tilt their heads and stare at me with glossy eyes as I begin, “General Kenobi, years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars. Now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire.”

Canned food. I wish you all had the luxury of looking in my pantry. It is all there in living can color, cans arranged by month and year. Every three months I rotate them all out and restock. I lust for pull-out shelves someday. That would be more delightful to me than walking through Crystal Gayle’s long and luxurious locks barefoot.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: 13th Anniversary Issue, Fournier | Link to this Entry

Car Man is not pleased.

Not the sharpest tool in the box

April 1st, 2015

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

Rod the mechanic was late for our “let’s just kick down a beer and bullshit” date. Those were his exact words during our brief, introductory phone call.
However, I was still planning to move forward because I had heard from our mutual friend who’d given him my number that he was Erik Estrada cute and loved to talk cars.

womanwarrioronhorse*Our go-between was sort of correct, but Rod had a dirty appearance. He looked clean, but grungy. He’d most likely showered, but he was wearing men’s Red Kap indigo blue work jeans. Now, I know my blue-collar uniforms, and, in fact, I am a fan of coveralls and all things Carhartt. But something about wearing work pants to a first meeting in public looked like he either thought he should dress the part, or maybe he just lived in denim and cargo pants. Or maybe he was just clean, but grungy.

“Chicks just don’t know crap about cars,” he grunts about ten minutes into our fifteen-minute-late linkage, he being the late-comer. Whoa, a double red flag in one sentence! “Chicks” and he’s a potty mouth on the first date. Let’s make it a triple red flag for his blatantly sexist-generalized statement, too. Schmuck!

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

Big fish

The joys of country and small-town life

February 1st, 2015

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

Living and working in the country offers fantastic benefits. My funeral parlour is situated on 30 country acres, complete with deer statuary and antique farming equipment. The funeral home building is a remodeled goat barn surrounded by lush groves of trees where I hold outdoor funerals; couples have been married in the funeral home itself.

On beautiful sunny days I tool down the country lane in front of the funeral home. I keep my windows down and the music up loud. Sometimes I get stuck behind a combine or a rickety school bus because the parlour is on scenically busy Highway 224 and snakes along the beautiful Clackamas River. Often a car slows in front of me and I can’t see what is going on because of a long line of cars or because the sun is in my eyes. I go slowly around the turns and see that a large piece of machinery is ahead along the way. This always happens when I have to get back quickly because a family is due to meet me at the funeral home. Or I have to hurry back to type out a death certificate and get it into the mailbox before the little postal Jeep comes by. Country life runs on a clock that moves to the rhythms of random farm equipment on the road.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

Because

January 1st, 2015

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

When my mother died, Grandpa, my Mom’s father, tried to help. He was waiting at our house after school each day to watch us until Dad got home from work. One afternoon, Grandpa met me at the door and followed me into my bedroom.

“Tess, what is this on your dresser?”

“It’s a cemetery. See the gravestones?”

Grandpa nodded. “I see. You did a pretty good job.”

“Thanks.”

cemeterywithbaby“What’s it for?”

I shrugged and straightened a couple of the rock tombstones nervously. “I just liked it. I like making things.”

“I see,” Grandpa said again. The concern in his voice was throwing up all kinds of red flags.

“Do you want some cheese sandwich?” he finally asked.

“Yes!” I said, and shimmied out of there on the double.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

Low & sleek & silver & gorgeous

July 1st, 2014

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

I bought a hearse the same year I became self-appointed to the Green River Killer Task Force. She was low and sleek and silver and gorgeous.

hearse2I would peek between the blinds to admire her because she was so damn beautiful and all mine. I didn’t live on the safest street in Portland: two blocks down from the Clinton Street Theater, which played The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday and Saturday evening. All the dressed-up show creatures would creep past my window on the way to the movies. They would ogle and stroke my beautiful Lucrezia as she sat parked outside my window. If Facebook had been around then, I’m sure all of them would have posed with her for their death car selfie.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

Joltin’ Joe & Chinatown

March 1st, 2014

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

My favorite memories of days spent in San Francisco are rich and ripe with pungency. Not in a stumbling-across-a-row-of-steamy-outhouses, death-spank way, but more of an aromatic bacon awakening after a long nap.

dimaggiotheswingOne perfectly sunny Thursday I crashed the funeral of Joe DiMaggio, the elegant Yankee Clipper. It was in invite-only service; the hubbub in the park across the street was that no Yankees had been invited. My original location was Washington Square Park, that huge green space across Filbert Street from the twin-spired Saints Peter and Paul Church. All of us fans, reporters, TV uplink trucks, city gawkers, and non-funeral invitees were sandwiched between cones on the exact chunk of grass where they had filmed scenes from Clint’s Dirty Harry, when his character was hot on the trail of the Scorpio Killer. I surveyed the park crowd a few times for George Steinbrenner.

I didn’t show up until after it started so I missed the seven limousines pulling in front of the church around ten that morning, shuttling about fifty family members and friends to the service. The word on the grass was that the presiding priest had known DiMaggio since the two grew up together, and that Joe’s only surviving sibling, his brother Dominic, would be giving the eulogy.

Even though the blocks of mourners were behind a police barricade, the crowds weren’t just lookie loos. A lot of ballplayers and former ballplayers’s kids were standing among us. Facing the church, this grassy park is North Beach’s center. Washington Square was the heart of San Francisco’s Italian enclave of North Beach, where DiMaggio spent his childhood, so many people here were neighbors with some connection or another.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

In touch

Kids can see & hear things that we can't.

May 1st, 2013

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

childrenlookingup*2My little girl was up in her loft the other day when I heard her ask someone if they could please move because they were in her way. Minutes later Sofia comes down the stairs and says that Mrs. Butler won’t stop sitting on her bed and she has already asked her nicely to move. Sofia wants Mrs. Butler to like the color pink and summertime, and holding hands all the time in the grocery store and the park. But she doesn’t ever get an answer from her.

We moved into a house in the hills that had sat vacant for years. Vacant of taxpayers but not really vacant of ghouls, the former couple who died in the house. We were aware of this when we signed on the line for the place but we just weren’t phased. We figured we were generous enough to share the space with them — so long as they didn’t do things that would scare the hell out of us.

Sofia sees them, we do not. But that doesn’t stop me from constantly talking aloud to them, explaining cheerfully that we acknowledge we are in their house, and while we are honored to be living in their house (and please notice we didn’t remodel anything in the house we heard they really liked) we would be very, very happy if they played nicely with our child.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Children Issue, Fournier | Link to this Entry

Grandma at Disney World

November 1st, 2012

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

I have a friend who helped scatter grandma’s ashes at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. She didn’t exactly tell the kids that that was the specific reason they were all packed and heading down south in the Kia Sedona, but what would they have cared, anyhoo? It is the happiest place on Earth — for the living and in this case, the post-living.

They prided themselves on taking care of business and doing it on the cheap. Grandma, who arbitrarily was known by the extravagant name of Sayonara, would have approved. Disney World was offering active duty and retired soldiers a free five-day pass for themselves and the ability to purchase five more five-day passes for $99 each. Booyah! That was striking pay dirt for a family who pulled the wool over Desert War Uncle Rickey’s eyes by promising him he’d have the chance to ride front row on all the “big rides.”

They stayed at one of the Disney-owned hotels to take advantage of the early admission days they offer. The plan was to close down the park: stay late and enjoy smaller crowds, shorter lines, and fewer kids.

The rope dropped and they were off like banshees, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

A facial for your va-jay-jay

September 1st, 2012

BY ELIZABETH FOURNIER

Detoxing your vulvæ may sound like an odd and even tender torment, but Asian women have been doing it for centuries to regulate their menstrual cycles. The ancient tradition uses a combination of herbs that claim to reduce stress, fight infection, clear hemorrhoids, and aid fertility, as well as uncountable other health benefits. Its key components, mugwort and wormwood, have long been used to excite hormones, treat bladder infections, fevers, and constipation, and induce contractions for the duration of labor.

Yes, the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, but just because you don’t have to tend to your lady bits with wacky treatments doesn’t mean they wouldn’t deeply appreciate a stress-reducing steam bath.

Many eastern Asian women steam commonly after their monthly periods. The vulval steam is a centuries-old technique that’s been gaining popularity in holistic practices, physical therapy clinics, and random spas.
To give you a tiny backstory, I first heard of this sort of steam bath a few years ago. Like most with a vagina, I was straightway inquisitive about it. I thought vajazzling was over the top. First there was labia dye, and but now the latest spa treatment, the “Vajacial,” a facial for your vagina, is ramping up. It’s truly what is up down there.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Fournier | Link to this Entry

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