Category: Mr. Monte

SFH Journal: 2020-07-06 through 07-12

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Hi! Mr. Monte here.

Warning to my 23, 417 feline followers: If you don’t live in Virginia and you can’t handle heat and high humidity, do not, I repeat, do not venture to this Commonwealth during July or August. Don’t question me on this point and don’t disregard my warning – you will be very sorry if you do.

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Ol’ Fuzz Face has taken the day off to drink iced coffee and huddle alongside the air conditioner. He is not a native Virginian like I am and he literally wilts in the heat. Poor guy, his brain gets addled when he has to mow or perform the other outside chores I assign to him. Add to that the current concern that many of Fuzzie’s “little grey cells” are migrating to the few hairs remaining on his head. The poor guy just isn’t what he used to be. In fact, I’m beginning to question whether he ever really was.

However, Blondie and Fuzz Face do have a legitimate concern about the long string of hot days with virtually no rain. As you can see below in the stats for July, we are working our way towards drought conditions. Just yesterday, my two big cats realized that they could no longer water the vegetable, herb, and flower gardens as liberally as they had been doing. While watering the Coneflowers and strawberries, the water pressure dropped to nearly zero.

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Fuzzie checked the pump and it was operating normally. The filter was relatively clean and showing no signs of sediment buildup. After he, Blondie and I talked the problem through, we determined that the problem, simply put, is the well is not refreshing itself rapidly enough to keep up with the demand.

The SFH well is old, relatively shallow (less than 60 feet) and has always been considered low-yielding. Now that water tables are dropping, Blondie and Fuzz Face are going to have to moderate their water usage. For example, only food producing plants are going to be watered regularly. Flower gardens are going to have wait for rain or an occasional dousing from a watering can.

I love Blondie and Fuzzie because they were smart enough to bring me into their lives and because they are willing to sacrifice for their family and for the well-being of Serendipity Farmhouse. – – Sometimes, their willingness to sacrifice goes a little too far. Blondie and I both had to stop Fuzz Face from going ahead with his own personal list of sacrifices. Right at the top of his list was only taking a shower every two weeks. – – Blondie and I both vetoed that offer immediately. – – I suspect this was another manifestation of his migrating “little grey cells”.

SFH by the Numbers

The following links will catch you up with what’s gone into the gardens and what has come out since our last Journal post. They will also update you on the hazy, hot, and humid days of Summer:

SFH 2020 Plantings

SFH 2020 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-07-06 through 07-12

SFH Journal: 2020-06-08 through 06-21 – Father’s Day

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Hi! Mr. Monte here.

It’s Father’s Day and for some strange reason I felt compelled to give Ol’ Fuzz Face the day off. He’s been getting calls from his kids and grandkids. I guess it’s important to him. – More on that later,

As you might have guessed from the feature picture, Fuzzie and Blondie took me out for another adventure in El Camino Del Monte (ECDM). For record purposes this was RV Trip 2020-02.

The trip itself was a technical success – no breakdowns, no water leaks, no bad meals. Fuzz Face is finally getting the hang of things and as usual, Blondie again confirmed her status as the Master Chef of ECDM. Fuzzie was so impressed with the two main meals, he intends to put out special posts with recipes, pictures, and instructions.

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So much for the introductory notes, let’s get on with most recent “Fuzzie Fiasco.” Although RV Trip 2020-02 was a technical success, Fuzzie proved that the Three Stooges were mere amateurs compared to him. Here’s the scenario: One of the last steps in RV departure procedures is unhooking shore power (30 Amp, 120V AC). Blondie had confirmed that the breaker was in the “off” position. Fuzzie approached the shore power box with due care and caution. I watched him closely from the porch. The old guy reached for the power box and ever so carefully lifted the cover.  – –  And then it happened. – –  There was a loud, blood curdling shriek. Fuzzie’s right hand lifted high into the air and he began to hop and jump and bounce away from the power box, shaking his right hand violently. – – Slowly, ever so slowly, the old man began to recover his composure. He checked his hand. There was no sign of damage, no blood, no burns. He had not been electrocuted as he had first thought. No, it was something else that caused his most humorous dance around the power box.

The gray tree frog is native to this part of Virginia. It is by nature a reclusive creature, seeking no contact with humans. The shore power box offered this particular tree frog aIMG_20200616_145519104_HDR_edited most comfortable dwelling place. At least it did until Fuzz Face disturbed its day by rudely opening the power box cover. In his attempt to retreat from the scene, the frog had jumped onto Fuzzie’s unsuspecting hand. Though not electrical, it was a most shocking experience to the old guy. For me, it was the highlight of my day.

IMG_20200616_174001340_HDR_editedThis RV trip was blessed with unusually cool weather for this time in June. For all involved, that meant that the noisy air conditioner would not be needed. It took us just a short time to set up and assume our duties as assigned by the “Watch, Quarter, and Station Bill.” (If you don’t know what that is, either you’ve never been on a Navy ship, or you never lived with Ol’ Fuzz Face.)

As ECDM Chief of Security, I quickly reported to that area of the RV where I could IMG_20200616_201158574_editedmonitor areas of primary security concern. Since the main door was opened, I knew that position was most vulnerable to intruders. Our RV was now in my safekeeping. I reported to the Skipper – “All secure!”

IMG_20200617_072613514_editedThe second day of our trip was even cooler than when we arrived. But, for me, this is when things began to go down hill. If my primary job is to provide security, what threats are there on a rainy day? And that’s what it was, it was a very rainy day. No lizard, no squirrel, no bear, there wasn’t a sign of anything threatening anywhere.

Blondie and Fuzz Face watched movies, read books and magazines, planned dinners, and quite often came back to talk about the coming Father’s Day. Fuzzie, speculated about what interesting presents he might receive. Meanwhile, all I had was a view of a rainy world and the unrequested opportunity to ponder what is the meaning of Father’s Day.

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There is a great divide between humans and Main Coons when it comes to fathers. I never really met my Dad. Mom told me his name was Rocky Top and that he was brave, fearsome, and proud. She said I was a lot like him. But, I never got to see him or play with him.

I know that Fuzzie taught me how to play, how to stalk, how to attack. He sometimes gives me snacks and almost every day he grooms me. Sometimes, when Blondie goes to bed early, he and I watch TV together and occasionally he’ll give me a piece of my favorite cheese.

Yet, I know Fuzz Face can never be Rocky Top. I also know I’ll never know what it would have been like if I had grown up with my real Dad. – – So there it was on the second day of our RV trip. All I had was a view of a rainy world and the unrequested opportunity to ponder what is the meaning of Father’s Day.

I guess I will have to adopt the Serendipity Farmhouse philosophy, especially on rainy days: “I am not living the life of my dreams. I am living the life of my realities. And, because I have Fuzzie and Blondie, that will be good enough for me.”

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Father’s Day, Fuzz Face, and Happy Father’s Day, Rocky Top, wherever you are!

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SFH by the Numbers

The following links will catch you up with what’s gone into the gardens and what has come out since our last Journal post. They will also update you on the arrival of the hot, humid days of Summer:

SFH 2020 Plantings

SFH 2020 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-06-08 through 06-14

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-06-15 through 06-21

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eye of the Monte

It’s been quite a while since the cover came off of Mr. Monte’s soon-to-be-world-famous personal RV El Camino Del Monte (ECDM). (See SFH Journal: 2020-03-09 through 03-15 – Truckin’ On.) We haven’t said much about our preparations for this RV season. That doesn’t mean that nothing’s being done; that just means we’ve been busy.

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IMG_20200520_210718412_editedMr. Monte watches me. He watches everything I do. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from his watchful eye. – – I call this “The Eye of the Tiger Monte.”

I suppose I could live with that, but unlike other cats, as he watches me, he frequently criticizes me. Name the topic, name the action, name the circumstance, name anything I do and he criticizes me. Most recently, the topic of his criticism is how poorly I plan for our RV trips. He is especially critical of how I pack things haphazardly and make poor use of space.

OK, perhaps he has a point there. I haven’t really paid much attention to how we stow our gear. Quite often, beautiful Wife and I are more concerned with making the menu and planning for gourmet feasts. Obviously, Mr. Monte, as the SFH Chief of Security, thinks that we should focus on safety and economy.

To quiet the criticism, at least on this topic, I developed a storage plan that identifies all storage units on ECDM. The plan specifies what items are to be stored in each unit.

In rather uncharacteristic form, Mr. Monte readily approved of the plan. Unfortunately for me however, the approval was conditional. He demanded that I spend a whole night alone with him in ECDM. Ostensibly, I would make use of the time to explain and demonstrate the merits of my stowage plan.

His real plan was really quite different.

Wednesday night was his chosen date for the event. Without his usual complaints, he jumped into his carrier, welcoming the walk through the yard and arrival inside the RV. Once the carrier door was opened, he purrrred. He walked about the RV, inspecting everything and purrrring. He jumped into the upper bunk and purrrred. He rubbed past my legs and purrrred. – – He moved like a shark circling his prey – but this shark purrrred.

Beautiful Wife returned to the house just after 7 PM. As soon as the door was shut, Mr. Monte looked at me. His purrrring intensified. And then he said quite distinctly, “Well, Fuzz Face, it’s time for a little sport. Are you ready to play?”

How can a cat make a question sound like a command? How can a furry, large Maine Coon strike fear in your heart when he is purrrring so loudly?

“Are you ready to play?” That’s what a cat says to a mouse.

No, this wasn’t about my RV storage plan. This was about a night of cat play. We were alone. I was trapped. – – And there was no mistaking the fact, the “eye of the Monte” was focused on me.

Round 1: If there had been a bell, it would have rung at 8 PM. That was when the purrrring grew even louder. I was being watched. Then, without warning, he was on the couch and attacked my arm.

Round 2: The purrrring seemed to come from everywhere as he circled me. He decided to stalk my toes. He came close. He sat and stared at my left foot. He purrrred. Then he struck. I tried to distract him with burlap fish toy. – – The ploy worked. He grabbed at the fish, pulled it towards himself, and “killed” it.

And so it went throughout the remainder of the evening and late into the night. Each hour brought another round of “play.” It was clear to the referee and judges, I was already losing by many points. Despite my size and weight advantage, I was outfought. I was totally outclassed by that fearsome Maine Coon with the “eye of the Monte.”

There was a slight respite in the onslaught of attacks. I tried to grab some sleep. Even as I slept, I couldn’t help but be aware of the incessant purrrring and the knowledge that I was being watched. The “eye of the Monte” was on me.

It seemed like such a short sleep. I certainly didn’t feel rested. But there it was, the alarm clock was beeping and demanding that I get up. So I did.

I dressed. I folded up blankets and restored ECDM to some semblance of order. Mr. Monte was immediately at my feet, purrrring. He was in an unusually friendly and happy mood. I knew not why.

Mr. Monte cheerfully jumped into his carrier. He purrrred the entire way to the house. When released from his carrier, he circled my legs, purrrring as he did, and demanded a morning snack. As I was getting his food, my wondrous Spouse came out and questioned, “Is there something wrong? Why are you boys in so early?”

“So early?” said I. “It’s after 4 AM, the time I always get up, what do you mean “early”?

She looked at me oddly. Then she asked me to look at the clock. I looked at the clock. The clock looked at me. Then, the clock told me, “It’s only 3:15 AM, Dummy!”

I then looked at Mr. Monte. He looked at me. Then, he told me, “It’s only 3:15 AM, Dummy!” Then he purrrred as he cast his gaze on me with that unnerving “eye of the Monte.”

Round 10: The referee ruled that Mr. Monte’s changing of the time on the alarm clock was absolutely fair. The decision had to go in favor of Mr. Monte. He remains the uncontested champion at SFH. Meanwhile, I remain under the watchful gaze of the “eye of the Monte.”*

“It’s the eye of the tiger Monte, it’s the thrill of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all with the eye of the tiger Monte”**

For the video and song “Eye of the tiger Monte” click here.

* The events related in this post are based on a true story. No humans were harmed during the night in the RV.
**Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Frank Sullivan / Jim Peterik
Eye of the Tiger lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Blondie, we need to talk!

IMG_20200425_155922618_editedBlondie!! – – We need to talk!!

As you can see by the look on my face, I am not happy. Disturbed perhaps, deeply troubled of course, but most assuredly – NOT HAPPY!

You and I both know what happens at SFH stays at SFH. It is the policy here to keep our deeply private matters, especially those that would undermine the credibility and dignity of our corporate image, out of public view. We don’t advertise our insecurities or immature behaviors.* On May 8th, you violated that policy and have breached our common trust.

Imagine my shock and dismay when your picture popped up on my screen as I was catching up with my feline friends on Facebook. There you were. My dear, sweet Blondie in the midst of your mad and wild ravings about desiring to return to a hair color that caused my inner being to shudder. – – See for yourself!

Ol Red“About sixteen years ago, I had a blonde moment. I decided to have my naturally blonde hair dyed red. And I loved it. But… The upkeep is unreal. Hubby had no problem with the color, but the cost was beyond his patience level (his inner cheap). Now, the pandemic has forced Hubby into his blonde moment – he’s growing a ponytail. – – One blonde moment deserves another. There’s a real chance this blonde is going red again. – – Help me out, Anna!!!!”

 

Dearest Blondie, this is where I am obliged to save you from yourself. Sit down and listen to the voice of sanity and wisdom. Breathe slowly and deeply; compose yourself and listen to what I have to say.

True, you do have your blonde moments. There’s a reason for that. You are, in fact, a blonde – natural and true. Accept that fact; embrace it. It is what you are and it helps to define who you are. Don’t let this world, filled with all of its current insanity, drive you into trying to be something else.

IMG_20200213_132850189_editedLook at my picture. I am a mackerel Maine Coon cat. I was the enchanting mackerel Maine Coon kitten you brought home. How would you feel if suddenly you found that I had, through a foolish, emotional act, turned myself into an orange Maine Coon. How would you react? – Of course! I wouldn’t be your adorable Mr. Monte.

We both know that Ol’ Fuzz Face is wont to go off the deep end at times. He can’t help himself. Stability and common sense aren’t his strong suits. For example, consider his actions in my post SFH Journal: 2019-12-23-29 – No! Christmas is Not Over Yet!. It was pretty clear that he was in need of professional help.

But you, dearest Blondie, not you. You can find the strength within yourself to avoid making this terrible mistake. If you don’t restrain yourself now, you might follow the  same sorrowful path as Fuzzy. In which case, you might even resort to using some of my wonderfully soft hair to supplement your own. – – Please, please stop now while you still can!! Please stop so I don’t have to call you Ol’ Red!!

 

*Please note: My revelations about the foolhardiness of my big cat Ol’ Fuzz Face is an exception to the rule. Spotlighting his total buffoonery is most humorous to my 23, 417 feline followers.

Don’t Tread on Me – Ever!

IMG_20200425_155922618_editedLet’s get straight to the point, if you mess with Serendipity Farmhouse, you’re messing with me. And, if you’re messing with me, your days are numbered.

There is a reason I am the Chief of Security at SFH, and that reason is not because I’m “Mr. Nice Guy.” My highest priority is the protection of SFH from all malicious intruders and individuals foolish enough to cause any harm to my beloved home.

As skilled, tough, and ornery as I am, I recognize that a good security chief needs a good deputy. I’m still working on that part. Several years back, I deputized Ol’ Fuzz Face. Despite all the nasty things I’ve said about him, there’s some real potential there. I rag on him because it’s a “guy thing”, sort of like Marine boot camp – the harassment can make a “man” out of you, if you can learn to take it. – – Fuzz Face tries his best.

Discipline and training are the hallmarks of the strict security regimen we have here at SFH. To understand what I mean, here’s a look at a typical day for me and my deputy:

0400 – Rise and shine! Fuzz Face and I hit the deck. I make first rounds to ensure the security and integrity of Serendipity Farmhouse

0410 – My next duty is to nip Fuzz Face’s kneecap with bared teeth. That’s the signal for him to give me some dry food. This is repeated a minimum of two more times. If Fuzzy is too slow in his response, the nip becomes a little more insistent and the teeth almost penetrate his epidermis.

0500 – With all secure and stomach filled, I take a nap.

0630 – I join Fuzz Face in the office and again nip him on the kneecap (sometimes the ankle works better). Fuzzy almost immediately hops to and brushes me for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes, I require that he trim my fearsome claws. Once grooming is complete, we spar for a while. This is more dangerous for him than for me. Over time, however, his reflexes have improved.

0700 – I make my rounds, persuade Blondie to give me a snack, and then settle in for another nap.

The remainder of the day continues in a similar fashion. During good weather days, I stand watch on the back porch and monitor the local bird population. Blondie cringes when I suggest that perhaps that population should be thinned a little for, ahem, security purposes. Fuzzy understands my intent and laughs. – – Blondie, however, has considered my offer when her beautiful grey vehicle has been the object of too much avian attention.

After Fuzz Face, finishes work, does his chores, and assists Blondie with the evening meal, he again belongs to me. – – There are two distinct security training activities in which he must participate.

2000 – 2100 Playtime is strictly for Fuzzy’s benefit. He needs the exercise and the one-on-one interaction tends to have a calming effect on him. If he accidentally misjudges one of my lunges with teeth and claws extended, he might suffer a little harm. But, all-in-all, playtime helps to relieve his tensions. It makes for a healthier human.

2100 – 2200 Hunting, stalking, and kill training are of the greatest benefit for my deputy. He needs to keep his defensive skills at their best. Using my stealth, agility, and superior armament, I help him to understand his areas of greatest vulnerability. This training is most effective just after Fuzz Face turns off all the lights in the house. More often than not, he hasn’t a clue of what hit him. – – As a side note, Blondie has watched this evening ritual for years and maintains an ample supply of band aids, disinfectant, and other medical supplies nearby.

As I said earlier, keeping my deputy trained and ready through insult and intimidation is a kind of “guy thing.” And it’s a two-way thing as well. Yep, Ol’ Fuzz Face has pulled a few tricks on me too.

I’ll leave you with a picture illustrating how I taunt him by pulling down his neatly stacked work gloves one-by-one to irritate him. Once he is properly riled, I take each of the gloves and proceed to administer the “kill” maneuver with my hind paws. That let’s Fuzzy know that I could have done the same to him if he were wearing those gloves. – – His response is to throw the gloves at me and watch my ears go back on my head in mock anger.

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Yet, as mean and as hateful as this may sound, this game goes on. We at SFH have learned that this is the way you build and train an effective security force. – – So, let’s get straight to the point, if you mess with Serendipity Farmhouse, you’re messing with me and my deputy. And, if you’re messing with me and my deputy, your days are numbered.

 

SFH Journal: 2020-03-30 through 04-05 – Spring Planting Underway

0924191434b (2)Hi! Mr. Monte here. – – As the Serendipity Farmhouse Chief of Security, I am required to ensure that, during these troubled times, my big cats (they prefer to be called humans), Blondie and Fuzz Face, remain free of undue anxiety and worry. It’s a difficult job herding big cats, but that’s what I do.

Often, they tend to stray and veer away from what is logical and practical. Additionally, as distasteful as it might seem, I am considered by them to be a kind of emotional support animal. Should it be any wonder that, when Ol’ Fuzz Face tries too much of that male bonding schmaltz, I give him a wake up call and bite his arm. I think he’s beginning to understand that affection is a good thing, but don’t overdo it, Buddy.

The big cats are pretty much sticking to routine and life goes on here at SFH. All physical security and health/sanitation Standard Operating Procedures are now being implemented and enforced. Once again, for my Situation Status Report I can say:

SFH – All Secure!

Thank you, Mr. Monte. I doubt that I could be convicted of any “schmaltz” with you, but I guess you see the world differently than I do, Buddy.

Here in our mountain retreat, Spring continues to settle in. Beautiful Wife and I now have the time and the freedom to stroll about our vast 1.24 acre estate and enjoy all the new life that is emerging around us. When we keep our minds focused on the gifts we receive daily, our spirits remain calm and our strength grows. And to make this sense of abundant life even more real, we are in the midst of an SFH birthday season. Grandson #1, Grandson #5, and Grandson #3 all celebrate birthdays in April. Indeed, God is good!

As this post’s title would suggest, we have also come into planting season. Industrious Spouse, with great foresight and good fortune, has gathered seedlings, seeds, and plants for planting. Each is being started and planted according to its own individual time and need. The pictures below show some of what’s already in the ground and the table that follows the pictures gives details on planting dates and locations. – – It won’t be long until there are fresh SFH greens for use in salads and for garnishing.

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DateItemQTYGarden
03-10Beets, Early Wonder3 rowsVegetable #1
03-10Tulip bulbs6Mary's Garden
03-11Tulip bulbs27Pine Tree Stump
03-20Lettuce, Romaine6Vegetable #1
03-29Basil2Herb garden
03-30Arugula4 rowsVegetable #1
03-29Parsley1Herb
04-02Kale, curly6Herb
04-02Kale, purple6Herb
04-02Lettuce, Romaine4Vegetable #1
04-02Lettuce, butter leaf4Vegetable #1
04-02Kale, curly2Vegetable #1
04-02Lettuce, red leaf6Herb
04-19Beans, garden green3 rowsVegetable #1
04-19Beets, Early Tall Top2 rowsVegetable #1
04-24Kale, purple2Herb garden
04-24Parsley2Herb garden
04-24Lettuce, red leaf1Herb garden
04-25Cherry tomatoes, black1Herb garden
05-01Basil3Herb garden
05-01Pepper, jalapeno2Vegetable #1
05-01Pepper, salsa1Vegetable #1
05-01Pepper, banana1Vegetable #1
05-01Pepper, cayenne1Vegetable #1
05-13Beans, garden green2 rowsVegetable #1
05-13Tomato, Mr. Stripey1Vegetable #2
05-13Tomato, Beef Master1Vegetable #2
05-13Tomato, Park's Whopper2Vegetable #2
05-16Basil3Herb garden
05-16Tomato, black cherry2Herb garden
05-16Pepper, serrano2Vegetable #1
05-16Pepper, Jalapeno2Vegetable #1
05-18Okra, Cow horn12Vegetable #1
05-18Okra, purple12Vegetable #1
05-30Okra, Cow horn9Vegetable #1
06-01Tomato, organic red2Vegetable #2
06-07Basil1Herb garden
06-09Okra, purple1Vegetable #1
06-12Tomato, organic red3Vegetable #2
06-12Tomato, Mr. Stripey2Vegetable #2
06-20Cherry tomatoes, Sweet 1001Herb garden
06-20Okra8Vegetable #1

 

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-03-30 through 04-05

 

SFH Journal: 2020-03-16 through 03-22

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Hi! Mr. Monte here. – – As the Serendipity Farmhouse Chief of Security, I am required to ensure that, during these troubled times, all physical security and health/sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are implemented and enforced. For the sake of brevity, I will make my first Situation Status Report (SSR) very short:

SFH – All Secure!

Thank you, Mr. Monte, for your report. Now, I will move on to more routine matters and report on events of the last week here at SFH.

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As can been seen in the photo at the head of this post, March, the month of variable weather and temperature, is making its mark in a good way on SFH. Many flowers are in bloom and our cherry tree will reach peak sometime this week. Here you can see my ever so industrious Wife preparing some cut daffodils to brighten up the house.

IMG_20200321_151508524_editedAnd what better reason to adorn the house with flowers than on the occasion of Granddaughter #1’s birthday. On the other hand though, those daffodils, as pretty as they are, can not compare to the beauty brought to SFH by Granddaughter #1.

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There was some spring planting done this week. I will provide a summary in an upcoming post. Meanwhile, it brings great joy to my heart and great anticipation to my taste buds to see the garlic prospering.

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Just about the time you think you have set forward every single clock, watch and timepiece for daylight saving time; just about the time you think that job is complete, then you find one more timepiece that must be reset. Yes, even the sundial must be adjusted to account for this somewhat ridiculous, artificial manipulation of our daily lives. So, I adjusted the sundial and it is accurate to within a minute or two. But please, please, if it should slow down, please don’t ask me to wind it up. I don’t think even Atlas knows how to do that.

It was with great joy that my dear, wonderful Spouse announced to me that a flower that she had thought was with us no longer had reappeared. It is so very fitting that it has come to life and blossomed during this season, this Lenten season. After all this member of the genus Helleborus is, among other things, called the Lenten Rose.

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SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH Preserving: See SFH 2019 – Preserving – Food for Tomorrow

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2020-03-16 through 03-22

 

Miss Fleur’s Reply

Dear Mr. Monte,

Wishing you a Special Valentine’s Day
because you are so special to me!

Forever yours,
Fleur

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

There was much more that Miss Fleur wrote to me, but those words were most private. I’m sure you understand. They will remain etched upon my heart forever.

In celebration of this most happy event, I made a special cherry pie to share with Blondie and Ol’ Fuzz Face. As you may remember, last year I showed you How to Make a Valentine Pie. At the time, I did not have the confidence to declare myself so completely for Miss Fleur. That is why my Valentine Pie only had the silhouette of a single and quite lonely cat.

This year is far different because Miss Fleur has responded to my Valentine card. This has brought me such great joy that I decided to make another Valentine pie illustrating my most happy new situation. So, below you can see in a most beautiful and tasty way the difference a year can make. – – – Thank you, Mr. Wiser. You have changed my life.

Valentine Card for Dear Miss Fleur

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

This afternoon does not find me as the usual somewhat acerbic and domineering feline that you have come to know and love. No, today I am filled with apprehension and concern over what I shall write in my Valentine’s Day card to me dear, sweet Miss Fleur. Oh how I have dreaded this moment.

The dread has reached such levels, that I even broached the topic with Ol’ Fuzz Face as he was grooming me this morning. Fuzzy didn’t laugh at me as I thought he might. He acknowledge that there was a time when he too was unable to cope with the very same fear.

That is when he told me that there was someone in the family who is very wise when it comes to concerns of the heart. He is so wise that he wrote The Manual of Guy, which has helped countless thousands with similar fears. He goes by the pen name Mr. Wiser.

Taking the email address that Fuzzy gave me, I wrote the following to Mr. Wiser. I figured it would be rather awkward to explain that I was a Maine Coon cat with fantastic typing skills. So I told him that I was a guy.

Q. Mr. Wiser, I am a guy with a recently acquired an awesome chick. I know that, just like ferns and puppies, special care is needed so that she may flourish. Any tips? – – Signed: Mr. Anonymous

A. Mr. Anonymous, a good woman is a terrible thing to waste. The Manual of Guy is very sketchy on “women maintenance,” so I’ll see what I can do to fill in the gaps. Here is my main rule of thumb:

The best thing for a good woman is a good man. Please notice that I refrained from the use of the word “guy” in this rule. Any male can easily be a “guy,” but it takes extra work to be a man. Yeah, you can still have some guy-like traits, but in essence you need to be 103% man, at least.

What, then, is a man? I cannot define this precisely, though I can give a couple of comparisons. A guy is strong enough to impress his friends, while a man is strong enough not to. A guy could die for his chick, while a man lives his entire life for her. A guy tries to live up to an image, while a man tries to be an image to be lived up to. A man is humble, yet capable, strong, yet compassionate, and, most of all, he knows his limitations and attempts to surpass them through the grace of God.

I have to admit that Mr. Wiser gave some pretty good advice. I also have to admit that Ol’ Fuzz Face did a great job of pointing me in the right direction. I guess some times we guys, or should I say men (and cats), have to stick together.

So, here’s what I will write in the card:

My Dearest Miss Fleur,

Meeowww! Meeowww! Meeowww!

Your loving admirer,

Mr. Monte

OK folks, you didn’t really think that I would share with you something so intimate as my heartfelt words to Miss Fleur.

P.S. Just to let Miss Fleur know how sensitive I am, I included a picture of a cuddly little animal.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

SFH Christmas Eve Traditions

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Hi! Mr. Monte here!

On behalf of all of us here at Serendipity Farmhouse, let me wish you the best of Christmas greetings and blessings.

Even for a fearsome, 20-pound Main Coon cat like me, this is a joyous if not confusing time of year. Why! Well, humans are just about the most curious and unpredictable creatures on this planet. Much of that has to do with their strange customs and traditions.

Here’s what I mean. You and I know that Christmas is about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and what that meant and still means for the World. My humans celebrate that with great enthusiasm. However!! They also do some rather strange and unfathomable things they call their “Christmas customs.” For example, every Christmas Eve they get up at 4:00 AM, or even earlier and head to the local Wegmans Food Market. Of course they leave me behind because I’m too intelligent to give up my sleeping time to accompany them on their foolish pursuits.

This year, they arrived at Wegmans just after 6:00 AM, purchased coffee and breakfast sandwiches, and took their place at a table in the balcony dining area. – Why? Well, to watch last-minute Christmas shoppers (especially husbands) frantically trying find the perfect gift for the someone they love, but whom they forgot until the last minute.

My humans tend to take some sadistic delight in watching these poor gentlemen try to save themselves from the shame of having been so tardy and delinquent in their shopping. Thus, in the featured picture at the beginning of this post, you can see how Blondie, through her sleep-filled eyes, manages to draw some type of enjoyment out of this spectacle.

Now, let’s back up to the previous day. – – Old Fuzz Face decided he was going to give me a grooming, which he does every other day. He was extra thorough on this occasion, because he wanted me to look purrfect for Santa Paws. As it turned out, he was amazed at how much of my beautiful, luxurious fur he had recovered during the grooming session. So, he decided to take a picture to document the event. Take a look for yourself. It really is some of the finest cat fur than one can find anywhere in the world.

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Just after he took the picture, though, I could see that he had come up with an idea that only his twisted mind could conceive. – – – Without a moment’s hesitation, he went to the drawer and pulled out the Scotch “Permanent Double Sided Tape“. What happened next was most shocking and so very typical of Ol’ Fuzzy with the rapidly balding head.

So, dear readers, if you were at Wegmans on Christmas Eve morning and saw this rather disturbing sight, please remember, I don’t know this human and I had nothing to do with this. – – – I truly hope the word “Permanent” is not correct. I can only hide my eyes for so long.

XMas Eve