Red Rocket Farm | Christmas in Alabama, and the Death of “Tenty”
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Christmas in Alabama, and the Death of “Tenty”

So, we went to visit Teeter’s Brother Michael, Sister-in-Law Emily, and Niece Ellie for the holidays. The drive was harrowing, because of a tornado which had set down a few miles from us. About a mile from their home, Teeter looked at me. “We can either be in a tornado in the truck, or try to get there and be inside,” she said over the wind pushing branches and signs around outside the truck. Sounded okay to me. I figured if it got too bad, we would pull over and try to find cover. We made it there safe, and hours later the wind was so powerful, it blew a large piece of metal off a roof that blew by Teeter’s face, missing her by a foot or so! We’d never been in wind like that, and when I tried to open the truck door, the wind was so strong, that if I hadn’t been holding onto it tightly, it would have blown open to the point of bending the hinges back. Crazy!

Wendy and Window Cat

The next night, we went walking around Fairhope. It was late, and nothing was open, except for the game store (which was why we’d gone in the first place). We came across the Christine Linson Gallery, which is apparently populated in part by two artist cats!!! “Toulouse Lautrec” and “Matisse” who were adopted by Christine from a shelter. When they are not decorating the gallery by sleeping in the window displays, they have been put to work making paintings! They have their own art shows at the gallery, and pull their own weight. It must be nice to have the pets actually help around the house. I’m looking at you, Wendy.

I'm gonna get you, flower

Wendy has a habit of jumping insanely for anything that she has gotten the idea is being kept from her. It might be the ceiling fan, or a cat toy, but if it’s kept from her, god help everyone. She will jump and cry for hours, often with disregard to her safety. She will happily jump off a couch into a pile of tools to have the opportunity to get something that has been kept from her. In her eyes, this is a high crime.

Wendy Jumps for Flower

So, after a half an hour of jumping for this branch that I merely touched with my hand, I eventually had to make Wendy stop by distracting her with something else. It’s not easy, but it can be done.

So, all in all, it was a lovely trip, but after four days away from The Farm, we were exhausted, and happy to be home.

This was waiting for us, when we came home:

Little Christmas Tree

The Schwartz family from across the street knew we didn’t have time this year for a tree, so they made us one. The ornaments are made with decorative duct tape. Either they went and got eight kinds of special duct tape for this, or they just keep rolls of duct tape with all these different designs on them! It was incredibly sweet, and made us very happy. Thank you, Schwartzes!!!

Then we got to the back yard.


Yes, it’s the production tent. Where all the paintings are made. It was so strange to see it sprawled out on the side of the house like this. ¬†Stepping into the production tent was always a little like being home. Once, so cozy and productive, now it is bent up and unfamiliar.


I remember when we got you, Tenty! Once upon a time, we put all the art together inside the house (which is why so many of our earlier pieces have “free bonus cat hairs” hidden in the varnish!) but once we outgrew that, you were there for us. Your drafty white arms cradled us with love as we filled you with the chemicals that we didn’t want in the living room. When we were pulling all-nighters before Comic Cons, you were there for us, Tenty. Now, you’re bent up and hurt, and I don’t know what we’re going to do here. It’s not in our budget to get another one… ¬†We’re going to have to figure something out.

Also, the basement flooded. Sigh.

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