SFH Journal: 2018-05-22

Highlight: Our featured picture of the first rose of the year comes with a short story. Dear Daughter #2 moved into her first home last year. In the backyard was a long neglected and almost leafless rosebush. Beautiful wife and I could hear it weeping. Dearest daughter had plans for the area surrounding the rose and the sad little bush was not part of the plan. Beautiful Spouse, heart opened wide, offered to give the bush a home. Last Autumn, we tended and nurtured our new charge in hopes that Spring would bring renewed health and vigor. Look for yourself. Our efforts have been repaid many times over by our Rescue Rose.

Weather:   The day started with unexpected rain. This meant that I would have to delay some long overdue trimming and mowing. It cleared in the early afternoon and later thunderstorms briefly disrupted power. Today, I installed a new Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) so that we would not lose our WiFi and phone service during power outages. The brief power outage confirmed that the new UPS works as advertised. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-21


Highlight: [The following is from Mr. Monte, the official SFH Security Guard.]

One can post as many PRIVATE PROPERTY – NO TRESPASSING signs as they like, some critters just don’t get the message. The young bear on the right side of this photo has already completed his unlawful entry and is now making his escape. See how closely and boldly he approaches our official warning sign.

It’s an outright case of arrogant disregard for the law and private property. If only Old Fuzz Face would let me out, I would make that bear pay for his transgression. I can find no mercy in my heart for blatant law breakers.

Weather:  Clear enough in the morning to mow the part of the lawn that isn’t still under water. There’s much work left to accomplish. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: We didn’t plant the apple trees at SFH, but we certainly know how to enjoy them. As you can see in the picture, the blossoms we showed you in SFH Journal: 2018-04-27 have now turned to small apples.

Harvest: Two more asparagus spears emerged from the rain drenched soil.

SFH Journal: 2018-09-20

Highlight: There is a reason this is called Serendipity Farmhouse. When a very kindly and neighborly neighbor has an excess of fresh oysters in the shell and she offers you 20-30 of them, that, my dear friend, is “serendipity”.

0520181632Now, I’ve been to many New England clambakes, and I’ve had my share of stuffed quahogs. We have made oyster stew and eaten raw, fried, and smoked oysters. But, never ever in our lives have we grilled or shucked fresh oysters. So, we did a little reading and research and found out it’s quite simple. Someday, we will run a feature article and show you how it’s done.

We did have one rather unexpected and interesting surprise during this cooking adventure. We found a strange reddish creature inside one of the oysters. Even though it was quite small, it looked, if not menacing, at least ominous. We extracted the oyster from its shell and examined the creature. It looked like a small crab. What manner of beast was this?

Once again, we did a little reading and research and were happy to learn that this little guy was – an edible delicacy. To quote one article, “It’s called an oyster crab, or pea crab, and if you speak Latin it goes by the name Zaops Ostreum.” (Check out The Edible Ocean: The Crab Inside Your Oyster)

Edible serendipity – the ‘oyster crab’

Weather: Yes, there was some rain, but there was enough clear weather to grill some oysters.  (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-19

DSC_0210 (2)Highlight: This morning, upon determining that the river was not going to overflow its banks, I proceeded to survey the Serendipity Farmhouse grounds for problems or damages. I learned two things. First, one of our poplar trees is now in full bloom.

The second finding, I think, is a very important scientific discovery. Apparently due to the recent week of rains, a mini-burst in evolution has occurred. The yard has been so filled with standing water that our local squirrels have had to develop a capability for flight. Now you might think that we have lost contact with reality due to the rain and cabin fever it induced. However, I have a photograph of one of our squirrel friends in the midst of a low-level flight to a nearby sycamore tree. Here, see for yourself.


Weather: Rain continued into the morning and tapered off in the afternoon. We had a brief glimpse of a bright orb in the west in the late evening. We are searching through our library and the Internet to ascertain the nature and name of that orb. (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

Ruffles & Flourishes – Admiral Departing

Dear Reader, please note that I submitted this report to Old Fuzz Face within 24 hours of Admiral Sister-in-law’s departure. He, however has been malingering, lollygagging, and skylarking and missed his publishing deadline by several days. Also note, that he frequently alters my reports and adds pictures that are demeaning to my character and dignity. I can only hope that you understand my work is normally flawless, and often even better than that. Fuzz Face has a way of making me look bad. Despite all that, I miss Admiral Sister-in-law and hope that she will return soon. – Mr. Monte
Memorandum for the Record: I, Mr. Monte, Chief Security Guard and Master of Protocol and Ceremonies for Serendipity Farmhouse, hereby submit my formal report on the departure of Admiral Sister-in-law on May 12, 2018. In accordance with OPNAVINST 1710.7A, 15 Jun 2001 and subsequent changes, I directed and/or personally rendered “The honors prescribed for an official visit … on departure as follows:”
 a. The rail shall be manned, if required.
Because Old Fuzz Face was too busy eating his grits and making small talk, I personally “felined” the rail.
b. “Attention” shall be sounded as the visitor arrives on the quarterdeck.
I not only called “attention”, I also rubbed Admiral Sister-in-law’s legs and let her pet me.
c. At the end of leave taking, the guard shall present arms, all persons on the quarterdeck shall salute and the ruffles and flourishes, followed by the music, shall be rendered. As the visitor enters the line of side boys, he or she shall be piped over the side.
This was the most elaborate part of the ceremony. My actions were:
  • In presenting arms, I fully extended all 24 of my claws (specially sharpened and polished for this occasion), and opened my jaws, displaying a mouthful of teeth. I must admit, it was an impressive display.
  • All members of SFH did render salutes, although Fuzz Face was rather slovenly dressed and incapable of saluting in proper fashion.
  • SFH lacks a formal marching band, so I purred four times and followed that with the requisite number of meows. (It was readily apparent, that Admiral Sister-in-law took note of my performance. I’m certain that, immediately upon return to her command, she started the paperwork for a medal and letter of commendation for me.)
  • Once again, I have to state for the record that Old Fuzz Face’s idea of being a “side boy” is akin to a bunch of school boys waiting in line for the lavatory and acting up when teacher isn’t looking. He needs to be “squared away”.
  •  I “piped” Admiral Sister-in-law “over the side” by performing an amazing feline vocalization filled with heartfelt sentiment.
After my excellent performance rendering honors and Admiral Sister-in-law’s departure, I was finally able to stand at ease and take a well-deserved rest.

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Visit Discrepancies: Upon review of the recent Admiral Sister-in-law visit, a number of unpardonable discrepancies were noted. I hereby request that the culpable parties take immediate measures to ensure that these offenses are never repeated.
  • Demeanor & Decorum: In my view, Fuzz Face and the big female cat did not render honors with the care and demeanor required. I strongly recommend that they be reprimanded for their weakness in understanding and adherence to protocol.
  • Precedence: While it is understood that Admiral Sister-in-law has seniority over the big female cat, she was not the highest ranking officer on board SFH. That honor is vested in me and me alone. Therefore, it was absolutely unforgivable that Admiral Sister-in-law was given MY bedroom during her visit.
  • Practices Dangerous to Security: Based on my rank and my duties as Chief Security Guard, there is no reason whatsoever that any compartment or room in SFH should be “off limits” to me. It is essential that I have universal access to all spaces in order to ensure safety. During Admiral Sister-in-law’s visit there were several times when I was not granted access to bedrooms and bathrooms. – This must be corrected prior to her next visit.

I take personal pride in keeping things “ship shape” here at Serendipity Farmhouse. So, you can well understand why I was so deeply shamed by the poor performance of the two big cats upon Admiral Sister-in-law’s departure. These pictures give some sense of my shock and mortification.

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SFH Journal: 2018-05-18

Highlight: Rain is rainingly raining rain all about us. The river continues to rise. As we go bed tonight, we have these reassuring notices from the National Weather Service to help us sleep soundly:

  • Flood Warning until May 19, 08:00 AM EDT
  • Hazardous Weather Outlook
  • Flood Watch until May 19, 08:00 PM EDT
  • Special Weather Statement

Weather: (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.

SFH Journal: 2018-05-17

Daily Highlight: The steady rains are continuing and it is becoming worrisome. Daughters #1 and #2 both have had water related incidents at their homes. Meanwhile our river continues to rise. I took some video two days ago and even then the volume and rate of flow were increasing. Below is some video we took in May of 2017 that shows what it looks like when the river is almost overflowing.

One might say that, with the forecasts for much heavy rain tonight and tomorrow, it’s time to prepare our “bug out bags” and extra kitty litter just in case we need to perform a minor evacuation to higher ground.

Prayers for the safety and security for all in the family are requested.

Weather: The rain continues and it is becoming worrisome.  (Detailed Summary – click here.)

Plantings: Nothing to report.

Harvest: Nothing to report.