Clair McFarland writes: “Even if Bigfoot burst from the Yellowstone wilds riding a unicorn through a lava flow and forced Governor Gordon to abdicate, it would not be enough to drive me from this kitchen…”
Clair McFarland writes: So here comes Dad to help co-write this column. But don’t be surprised: Dad and I used to co-write a column titled “Papa Wheelie Says” when I was just a teenaged salesgirl peddling motorcycles at the family shop.
Clair McFarland writes: “Something ate my indoor cat six months ago when I let her out for one of her brief hunting excursions. After that, my favorite barn cat got run over on the canal road.”
Clair McFarland writes: “My 1-year-old nephew slid open a desk cupboard with a mesh face, and out tumbled the renter’s instructional binder, revealing enough weed paraphernalia to make Willie Nelson yodel.”
Clair McFarland writes: It all started when The Husband decided, with husbandly abandon, that our Firstborn is old enough to battle him in Call of Duty. That’s a military-inspired video game full of virtual combat and scary booms.
Clair McFarland writes: “Reporting on brutal crimes and cultural controversies is just my pastime; plunging toilets while people wreck my kitchen is my day job.”
Clair McFarland writes: “The python fixed his stormy eyes on me and raised his head, revealing an adorable spear-shaped overbite, fine ruby pits on his upper jaw, a pale soft underside pining for human contact. He slithered up my arm, over my shoulder. He burrowed in my hair. The salesman laughed. ‘Now that is a happy snake,’ he said.”
Clair McFarland writes: “My firstborn son has huge feet. Like, tripping-the-bystanders, cheating-at-swimming, don’t-wake-the-neighbors-when-you-stomp-to-the-bathroom feet.”
Clair McFarland writes: My pleas made no difference. I was destined to shoot through the neighborhood on a roaring anachronism, one fifth-grader’s sneeze away from a spectacular death.
Clair McFarland writes, “A part of me dies each year when my sons go back to school but don’t worry – that same part rises again as a ghoul when they come home for summer vacation.”
Clair McFarland writes: “The house was eerily quiet. When you have four sons, quiet usually means someone’s been stuffed in a suitcase and mailed to Grandma’s house. Not that we’ve ever gotten away with that.”
Clair McFarland writes: “The Husband got our two oldest sons to play one of those card-and-token table games with four-hour, ghoul-infested medieval plot lines.”
Clair McFarland writes: “Then came Monday. The Husband turned the air conditioning on. The thermostat, whose unholy blue glow splashed drunkenly across the floor, was linked to his smartphone.”
Clair McFarland writes: “The Husband has had enough. He wakes the Shop Vac and darts through the house, sucking the millers into their roaring tomb one by one. ‘DIE, YOU SAVAGES.’”
Clair McFarland writes: “This is a love story about two lice. I discovered them whirling heedless and infatuated in a courtship dance so idiotic it was almost beautiful.”
Clair McFarland writes: “The death camas is the deadliest plant in the West. Poison symptoms include vomiting, excessive salivation, tremors, weakness, loss of muscle control, convulsions, coma, and death. Pretty flowers though.”
Clair McFarland writes: “Biker gangs are scary. The bikers rattle up the hill in a cloud of dust, baring their remaining teeth, hunkering their heads between their shoulders and whooping savagely at the indifferent sun.”
Cowboy State Daily’s Clair McFarland writes: “At this point, I’m too scared to cut my kid’s hair. It’s been months since my middle-born son had a haircut because he says he can feel his hairs crying when the clippers chop them.”
A hospice volunteer for nearly a decade, and a certified end-of-life doula for two years, Lightner encounters death often. She knows how to hold a hand, sense a need, and interact gently with someone whose faculties are slowly shutting down.
Clair McFarland writes: “It takes three cats roving this country home to keep the mice away, which in turn keeps the rattlesnakes away.”
Clair McFarland writes: “It all started when I decided to quadruple a cookie recipe to feed my four sons. Their eyes shone from across the countertop like full moons cresting an alien horizon.”
Columnist Clair McFarland writes: “Naturally, I assumed the house was under attack and the boys were crying for me with their final breaths. I rushed down the hallway, through the dining room and into the family room, only to discover… Mayhem.”
Clair McFarland writes: “Sometimes I let the kid drive. For a 9-year-old to be given a Honda Accord, the interior conditions must be perfect: brotherly harmony, mild heating, minimal flatulence.”
Clair McFarland writes: “We needed a miracle. ‘For my first trick, I will turn this LEGO into a coin,’ said the 8-year-old magician. I had some doubts.”