Category: Mr. Monte

Daring Dairy – The Next Generation

Mr. Monte here!

What a very pleasant, relaxing, and refreshing week this has been. Instead of having to sit up in that stuffy, dark office with Old Fuzz Face, I have had the great good fortune to have adorable, intelligent, and enchanting Granddaughter #3 here at Serendipity Farmhouse to visit me. Oh, to be sure, she spent some time with Fuzz Face and Blondie because she is a devoted granddaughter, but she really came to see me.

Because she is rather new at writing posts, she kindly asked me to assist her in telling you about how she has become the very first of her generation in this family to study and begin to master the difficult and demanding arts of “Daring Dairy”.  In this case, she wants to tell you how she took the challenge to make authentic homemade butter. (If you care to see what that entails, refer to the post Julia, Butter & Serendipity Farmhouse.)

So, with no further expository prattle, let me relate the story to you as she dictates the highs and lows of her butter making experience to me.

Hi! I’m new at this, but Mr. Monte is helping, so I don’t think much can go wrong. It all started when we were shopping in Wegmans. Granny told Granddad to get some heavy whipping cream. Granny then turned to me and said Granddad is going to show you how to make butter. – – I think I said something like, “That sounds like fun … it would be neat to try.”

By the time we got to Serendipity Farmhouse, we had to make supper and eat. So, it was too late to make butter. We’d have to wait until tomorrow.

The next day, in the early afternoon, Granny and Granddad said that it was time to make butter. Granddad joked with me and made it sound like butter making was really hard and I was going to have to do everything. Then, I found out he wasn’t joking. He gave me all the utensils and showed me how to use them. I guess he was showing me:

Step 1 – Prepare Utensils & Ingredients

Preparing the utensils wasn’t really that hard. Actually, it was rather easy. So, I wondered why was Granddad telling me it was going to be so hard.

Well, all I had to do was to wait and then the hard part came to me. It was:

Step 2 – Churning the Cream

It was then that Granddad said the next thing to do is “churn the cream”. He said it wouldn’t take too long. One time, he had made butter in four minutes. What Granddad didn’t tell me was, one time it took him almost half an hour of churning. So, I began to churn. And I continued to churn. Then, I churned some more. Granddad stood beside me and just smiled.

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Then, still with a smile on his face, Granddad started taking pictures of me churning and churning and churning. My wrist began to hurt. My fingers became a little numb. And my legs began to ache from standing in one position for so long. – – Granddad took some more pictures.

It seemed like 40 minutes of churning, and churning, and churning. But, Granddad pointed to the clock on the stove and said, “No, no it hasn’t been 40 minutes.” Then I looked at the clock and saw it was only about eight minutes. – – Granddad just smiled. Granny was nearby and she just smiled. Mr. Monte had been watching and he was rolling on the floor. – – I think he was laughing.

Step 3: – Rinsing the butter

The rest was easy. Granddad helped me scoop the butter out of the churn and then we put it into the butter dish. – – I had made butter! – – As Granddad would say, “The pictures show that this story is all true!”

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Now, when you use 10 ounces of heavy whipping cream to make butter, you get 4 ounces of butter and 6 ounces of something very special – – fresh, sweet, tasty butter milk. As our reward for the hard work making the butter, Granny divided the butter milk in two cups and Granddad and I drank it all down. – – If you every have the chance to drink fresh butter milk, do it. You won’t be disappointed.

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Hi, again! Mr. Monte here. Tomorrow, Granddaughter #3 has to go back home. I guess there won’t be much to do around here when she goes. It’s going to be a little lonely. I think I”m going to miss her. After all, Maine Coon cats have big feelings.

 

 

 

So Beautiful – She has left us too soon!

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

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Mr. Monte and his mean, grumpy face

What a very sad day this is. She was my YouTube idol. Though a few years my senior, I knew that if I ever we were to meet in person, she would fall for me instantly. She was a true beauty and a role model. Whenever old Fuzz Face would make a wrong move, I would give him me well-practiced Grumpy Cat look. He would back off and begin to tremble.

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Yet, that is the way it is in the feline world. Grumpy Cat (Tardar Saucue) was only given a very short time among us. Yet, as we all know,  she lived life to the fullest, never failing to let others know exactly what she thought of them. And, dear readers, that is the way I shall live my life.

Grumpy – I will miss you!

Thank you to Gage Skidmore and his picture of my sorely missed Tardar Sauce on Wiki Commons.

SFH Journal: 2019-02-17 through 22

Highlight: Hi! Mr. Monte here. We had some winter weather this week. Old Fuzz Face and Blondie were totally involved in their “Biscuit Boondoggle” and entirely missed what was going on outside.

I took the opportunity to go up to my room (yes, I have my own room) and surveyed my realm from the northeast window.  This is what I saw. Continue reading “SFH Journal: 2019-02-17 through 22”

Blondie’s Biscuits?

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

Let me set the scene for you. Old Fuzz Face is in hiding. He’s afraid he might be caught laughing. Blondie is gnashing her teeth. And I, Mr. Monte, am trying to get this post out before she catches me at the keyboard.

What happened? Well, it all started last night with Blondie’s post Biscuits and Mom’s Birthday. Blondie had said that she was going to make some of her mom’s biscuits for breakfast. Fuzz Face was delighted with the prospect. And I, a true lover of buttered biscuits, ran into the bedroom and moved the alarm clock a full hour ahead. The entirety of Serendipity Farmhouse was poised and ready for biscuits in the morning. Continue reading “Blondie’s Biscuits?”

How to make Valentine Pie, by Mr. Monte

Hi, Mr. Monte here.

Old Fuzz Face and Blondie were totally obnoxious today. Their behavior was quite unspeakable. They started out with numerous public displays of affection (PDA). They were constantly looking into each others eyes and making unbelievably and sickeningly sweet remarks about each other. I’ve noted this behavior is regularly recurring, usually during the middle of February. Continue reading “How to make Valentine Pie, by Mr. Monte”

Indignity – Mr. Monte’s Day with the Vet

DSCF3663 (2)Hi! Mr. Monte here. – – Look at me. Anyone can see that I’m a perfectly adorable, huggable, captivatingly beautiful specimen of a pure bred, registered Maine Coon cat. There are no two ways about it – to see me is to love me.

So, what is it with my vet?

How is it that I, the fascinating, pacific creature you see here, could be so quickly transformed into the fanged, snarling monster you see in the featured picture? There is but one answer that fully explains how this Jekyll and Hyde display could come about.

My vet is unfortunately yet undeniably a “dog person”. This malady, this genetic defect,  resides deep within his DNA, and it will eventually be his undoing. It influences his emotions and is evident in his human odors – he wreaks of “dog”. Subconsciously, he fears me, the quintessential alpha cat. He, like the canine beasts he so loves, is overly domesticated and can only tremble and quake with fear when my untameable majesty graces his presence.

He tries to counter and overcome his weakness, his fear, by inflicting pain and using any number of tactics of intimidation to humiliate the exalted feline species which he is incapable of understanding. Perhaps I can best illustrate this behavior by briefly recapping my visit to his office this week.

Early on the day in question, I had held court. My dutiful and sometimes loyal subjects, Blondie and Old Fuzz Face, had groomed me, played with me, fed me, and obligingly discharged their duties as they rightly should. It is unfortunate but true that they are bound by human laws requiring that pets be immunized against certain diseases. I have often heard them say that, if it were in their power, I would never have to undergo the savage rituals that take place at the veterinary clinic. Yet, they are compelled to transport me to the clinic and turn me over to the hands of dog-loving practitioners of the dark arts.

So it was that day. I was brought into the “torture chamber” and unceremoniously pulled from the safety and protection of my carrier and immediately thrust onto the “scales”. I could see the thumb of the clinic technician resting on the scale as it registered 19.09 pounds. – – I knew then that the game was rigged against me and there would be no justice delivered today.

During the dreadfully long waiting period, I gazed about the torture chamber. Every wall contained ridiculous pictures of dogs, with the bones and innards open for all to see. Some of the innards were crawling with heart worms and hook worms and other ghastly parasites. Yet, in all the pictures, the dumb dogs were smiling and slobbering as they are wont to do.

Then, the vet timidly made his entrance. Inwardly, I smiled – I could see his fear was already showing – he remembered me. He asked Old Fuzz Face to hold me while he performed his examination. He made quite a show of rubbing my abdomen. I knew what he was up to. That is when my transformation began – I hissed at him and bared my teeth. Fuzz Face fully understood what was going on. He suggested, somewhat facetiously, that now, while my mouth was open, it would be a good time to check my teeth. The vet, not catching the humor, did just that – my teeth were fine.

The vet said, to no one’s great surprise, that I was trending towards overweight. He went so far as to say that I had “no waist”. He then recommended a curtailment of my rations. There it was. Body shaming – “no waist”, indeed! For that remark I responded with both a hiss and a growl.

Next came the injection. Dr. Dog-man, as I now refer to him, called upon an assistant. Once again, it became clear – there was fear in the air – he needed help. The first attempt was an utter failure. Even with Fuzz Face, Dr. Dog-man, and his assistant holding me, I was able to throw off their restraints and slashed menacingly with my right paw. The vet and the assistant retreated to a safe distance. Having established my utter and complete dominance, I allowed them to inject me. – – They knew who was the real winner of this round.

In the aftermath, while the assistant was scurrying out to safety, the vet suggested, recommended, urged, and repeatedly asked Fuzz Face and Blondie to strongly consider “drugging” me with a medication to decrease anxiety two hours before my next visit. He, of course, would be more than willing to write up the prescription immediately.

Blondie and Fuzz Face could see that I was truly the master of the moment. They, however, feared for the emotional and physical well being of the entire clinic staff, so they reluctantly accepted the prescribed tablets. They said they would administer one prior to the next visit.

I fully understood what was said. I have my strategy prepared. For those of you who have ever attempted to give a cat a pill, you know that even though it looks like it has been swallowed, it often shows up days later under a chair or couch.

My next round with Dr. Dog-man comes in two weeks. Watch the local papers to find out what can happen to a body-shaming, dog-loving vet when confronted by a quintessential alpha cat.

SFH Journal: 2019-01-13 & 14 – Winter Storm Gia – Farewell

Highlight: Winter Storm Gia has moved out of the area and the melting snow is the last reminder of its visit. The only problem now is the long trek to the woodshed to fetch a cartload of firewood to keep the wood stove fueled.

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Meanwhile, that self-centered, 20-pound fuzzball Mr. Monte alternates between demanding a warm fire so he can be his lazy winter self and begging to go out onto the porch so that he can imagine that he is some sort of ice age Smilodon Fatalis.

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How Mr. Monte sees himself as S. fatalis restored with spotted coat

Lately, my dear wife has been grumbling about my fixation on the new SFH WX station. Heck if I know why. Maybe she’s getting cabin fever. It couldn’t be anything I’ve done.

SFH WX Station Report: Winter Storm Gia continued to drop snow on SFH throughout the 13th. Using our highly advanced technical equipment we measured just over six inches of snow on the first day and just a little less than two inches on the second day of the storm.

2019-01-13 Full details here.

Summary High Low Average
Temperature 31.5 °F 27.5 °F 29.4 °F
Dew Point 28.4 °F 24.8 °F 26.7 °F
Humidity 96% 83% 92%
Precipitation 0 in

2019-01-14 Full details here.

Summary High Low Average
Temperature 37 °F 16.3 °F 26.6 °F
Dew Point 28 °F 14.7 °F 23.6 °F
Humidity 95% 54% 81%
Precipitation 0.12 in

SFH Journal: 2018-12-15 through 25 – BAD CAT – GOOD CAT

Highlight: Since his arrival, Mr. Monte has done his best to ensure that Serendipity Farmhouse would be able to enjoy “domestic tranquility” only according to his terms. As you leaned in the recent post Dear Little House, an indoor Christmas tree was not allowed in the house for four years until Mr. Monte permitted it to be so.

We were so emboldened when he sanctioned the presence of a tree that we then thought we could once again hang Christmas stockings on the stairway banister as we had done before. No more would we have to hang them high on a door frame where none of us, or even Santa, could reach them without climbing a footstool – – How did that work out for us?

Continue reading “SFH Journal: 2018-12-15 through 25 – BAD CAT – GOOD CAT”

Dear Little House

Hi all you cat lovers out there, Mr. Monte here. Old Fuzz Face let me at the keyboard tonight without a fight, a fuss, or any deep, painful scratches. It seems he and I have declared a truce for Advent. I guess it’s because of that “naughty or nice” thing imposed by St. Nicholas. More likely, it’s because that pointy-headed twerp, Clyde the Elf, is a lowdown snitch and blabbermouth. (See SFH Journal: 2018-12-04 through 07.)

Speaking of Clyde, I keep hearing sighs, moans, whines, and complaining noises because Blondie can’t find him. Fuzz Face is up here with me laughing quietly to himself. Poor guy, his turn is next and Blondie is better at this silly game than he is.

So, the two of them, after four years of cowardice, finally got the nerve and gumption to bring a Christmas tree into Serendipity Farmhouse. Since I entered their lives, bringing untold sunshine and happiness, they have assumed that I, the most intelligent and well-behaved of Maine Coon cats, could not be trusted. Just because I love to play with things that are round, things that hang down, things that sparkle, and things that shine, they thought that I would cause some type of damage.

They also have this fear that I will eat things I shouldn’t. They think that I would chew on branches, or climb into the tree, or some other, perhaps unspeakable, cat-like thing to a real tree. Oh, they have so little faith. But, I digress.

Today, Fuzz Face assembled (with Blondie’s guidance) the most hideous replica of fir tree any right-minded person or cat could imagine. They reasoned (if humans are truly capable of conscious thought) that I would be less likely to approach or harm an artificial tree.

1208181539b (2)Then they stared at the tree. They fluffed up the stupid looking bottle brush branches. Then they stared again. They tried to say nice things about that mutant, green creation and bring themselves to imagine that it wasn’t really that ghastly. Sometimes, I wish I could protect them from their follies.

Pictures were taken. Blondie, dressed in a very strange looking hat, made great sport of hanging a single decoration high up, where it was thought that I would not be able to get to it. I love Blondie a lot. She looked happy. That helped my heart to soften a bit. Perhaps that tree has some merits. Even Fuzz Face appeared to be taken by the thought of having a tree in the house once again.

Now it was time to allow me to make my required examination of the strangely lit faux fir.1208181546a (2) Intriguing as the thing was to my catly curiosity, it seemed oddly out of place and its odor was so synthetic and unnatural. Blondie was smart enough to see my displeasure and she brought out her old remedy – feline pheromone spray. —- That did it! True it was artificial and unnatural, but my sides began to buzz with purring and, before I knew what was happening, I was rolling on the floor and rubbing against the tree – we were friends. Yeah, I might have made a couple of attacks on one of the branches and taken a few bites at it but, in the end, the tree and I are on good terms now.

Serendipity Farmhouse History: It has been our family tradition to set up the Christmas tree every year on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This year, even though it is faux, the tree is again inside in it’s rightful place.

Directly behind the tree is small sewing sampler that says a lot about our family and Serendipity:

1208181538 (2)DEAR HOUSE

You’re really very small

Just big enough for

LOVE

That’s All

 

What? Me Spoiled? – Meooow!

Okay, Fuzz Face, move over and give me the keyboard. You don’t know squant about cat’s birthdays. I’ll write this post.

Unlike other cats, we Maine Coons don’t come to full growth and maturity until we are about four to five years old. Yesterday was my fourth birthday, and, because I am most  assuredly unlike other cats, it was a day to be celebrated with great fanfare and jubilance. Unfortunately, my two humans, the big cats Fuzz Face and Blondie, didn’t do a very good job of organizing the truly memorable event that I so certainly deserve.

Oh, they tried, I guess. The gave me a couple of piddling presents and wrote “Happy Birthday, Mr. Monte!” on the blackboard. But it was all so trite and generic. I mean, where were the TV cameras, press interviews, and adoring fans? They invited no one.

In their minds, the main event was a meager bowl of melted ice cream. Look at the featured picture. Look at that tiny bowl that was virtually empty when they gave it to me. Now, look at my eyes. Do I look happy? No way! The whole affair was a big letdown. I was ready to rip something to shreds.

Now, take a look at Blondie and the bowl of ice cream she had. She had even gone so far as to pour tons of chocolate syrup all over it.

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Although it was way beneath my dignity, I politely put my paw on her wrist and quietly pointed out that I was the guest of honor and perhaps some of that ice cream should be given to me. Her simple response was a wretched display of rudeness. She said, “You’ll have to wait. Perhaps there will be some tiny bit left after I finish.”

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Of course, old Fuzz Face wasn’t even that courteous. He scarfed down his ice cream with great haste and then made ghastly and guttural people sounds of satisfaction. I think I even heard him belch.

In her own good time, Blondie finally granted me permission (she’ll pay for that) to lick the meager remnants of what could have been a most wonderful feline-ice cream encounter. Now, however, it was just a matter of the cat gets the scraps.

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As unsettling as that experience was, there were many other indignities I had to suffer. On a Maine Coon’s fourth birthday, reception of wonderful, expensive, lavish, and glorious presents should be the norm. No, not for me! Fuzz Face and Blondie thought they could buy me off with a two-ounce burlap bag of catnip with a chintzy rattle inside. The bag said “50 lbs” on it – what a huge lie and deception.

So, I played their little game, knowing that someday, when they least expect it, I will strike with vengeance. I rolled on the floor with the catnip bag and pretended to be somewhat happy. That’s when old Fuzz Face came over and started to sniff the bag and played with it just as I had done. What’s with this guy? I won’t elaborate, but I’ve known for some time that he is a “secret sniffer” of catnip – how unbecoming for a human.

What should have been a wonderful and memorable birthday for me is now history. I had a little ice cream and sniffed a little catnip. Perhaps I enjoyed some of the attention I received, but now that you’ve learned what I had to endure, you can certainly understand that the charge that I am spoiled just doesn’t hold water.

But, I guess this comes with the territory. I mean, when you have two people to train, it’s tough work. Yep, herding people is a tough life, but that’s what I do – even on my birthday.