Category: Mr. Monte

Oh, Drat! More Turmoil for the Cat!

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, do I look a little bedraggled and worn out in this photo? Is there a look of confusion and the onset of panicked terror in my eyes? – Yes, there is all of that, and I can confirm that Ol’ Fuzz Face wears the same look of dread.

Why is that you may ask? – – Well, Fuzzy and I have just returned from what should have been a well-deserved, restful RV vacation, but we had no rest, we had no relaxation. Instead, we heard pronouncements that naturally lead to great vexation. From this day forward it is now “All hands on deck! — Man your battle stations! — “The Admiral is coming back!”

If none of this makes any sense to you, please immediately refer to two posts that will make it all abundantly clear: ‘Ruffles & Flourishes’ and Ruffles & Flourishes – Admiral Departing.

I will keep you informed concerning this event, providing time allows (which I sincerely suspect it won’t). For Ol’ Fuzz Face and me, the future looks very, very grim.

Loud popping sound as the Serendipity Farmhouse 1MC intercom microphone is activated and Admiral Blondie announces:

“Sweepers, sweepers, man your brooms. Give SFH a clean sweep down fore and aft, sweep all decks, ladders, and passageways, take all trash to the appropriate waste processing stations, sweepers.”

 

SFH Gardens – By the Numbers

  The following links will catch you up with what has been planted, harvested, and preserved since our last report:

SFH 2022 Plantings

SFH 2022 Harvest

SFH 2022 Preserving

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: 

SFH WX 2022-09-01 through 09-30

SFH Critter Control

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, my primary duty here at Serendipity Farmhouse (SFH) is to protect the lives and ensure the safety of all humans who reside in or visit this vast 1.203-acre SFH estate. Because the estate is located along the North Fork of the Thornton River, there is abundant wildlife and no shortage of nuisance animals. Some of those creatures are potentially dangerous and are not welcomed here. Others are relatively benign, but they are capable of disturbing the tranquility that is a hallmark of SFH.

This past week, Grandsons #2 and #4 visited SFH with the purpose of assisting Ol’ Fuzz Face move two cords of firewood from the driveway to the woodshed. A second purpose of their visit was to partake in ample portions of Granny Blondie’s home cooking. Being wise and conscientious grandsons, their very first act upon arriving at SFH was to report to yours truly the SFH Chief of Security. I presented the mandatory security briefing and they, being so impressed by my presentation, volunteered to be deputized as SFH Security Officers. One of their duties was to maintain a detailed and accurate log of events pertaining to SFH security.

Following are excerpts of text and artist’s renditions from their log with amplification and clarification based on my official records along with photos from the ultramodern and extensive SFH security surveillance system:

To: SFH Chief of Security

While we were working, we encountered some unusual and, in some cases, slightly concerning forms of wildlife. The first of these was a snake with a distinct pattern, that we believe to have been a pine snake [Pituophis melanoleucus]. At the time it was discovered however, not knowing what kind of snake it was, there was certainly cause for concern and alarm. [Grandson #4 had picked up a log to place it in the wood cart and was startled when the snake began to move. He dropped the log, and the snake slowly made its way toward the river.]

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This concern was increased, when sometime later [the next morning], our grandfather was attacked by another such creature, who had positioned itself atop the doorway of the barn. [I was watching from the porch and saw the snake drop from the top of the door and pass just in front of Fuzzy’s face as it fell to the ground at his feet. Knowing that he was in sight of his grandsons, he uncharacteristically did not scream and made his best attempt to act in a manly fashion. This was utterly hilarious as seen from my vantage point because it was clear to me that he was scared beyond description. – Fuzzy, removed the snake with a shovel, warning his grandsons to be ever on the lookout for more snakes.]

Another critter was later found inside of the woodpile, a coal skink. [Plestiodon anthracinus] It was harmless and scurried up a tree when it was uncovered. [Once again, it was Grandson #4 who found the critter. He has an uncanny knack for finding nuisance critters. In just a short period of time, he surpassed the achievements of some of my permanent security officers.]

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Our Grandfather also brought our attention to the skeleton of a zombie raccoon. And while this one had met its fate, there are apparently more in the area. We were fortunate to not run into the wild zombie raccoons while we were trapped in the woodshed by a sudden downpour of rain. [The zombie raccoons in question were suffering from baylisascaris, a genus of roundworms that infects many animals including raccoons. I described the symptoms to the grandsons and advised them to steer clear of these poor infected creatures for reasons of personal safety.]

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The level of security inside the SFH, as well as the ECDM [El Camino Del Monte] RV was impressive however, and while the outdoors was chaotic at times, we both more than enjoyed our stay. [I and the entire SFH Security Force accept this compliment, noting that we’re just doing our job with our usual professional dedication to duty.] 

Respectfully submitted on Thursday, September 8

It was obvious to me throughout their visit that Grandson’s #2 and #4 are strong young lads with a well-developed work ethic. They respect and honor their grandparents. I look forward to having them return and once more assist me the world-renowned SFH Chief of Security.

Below you will see the disappearance of a woodpile and the filling of a woodshed. The successful completion of the combined effort of grandfather and grandsons was celebrated by a most enthusiastic victory lap around the entire SFH estate.

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It is certainly important to note that Granny Blondie provided logistical support to the wood-moving crew. A highlight of the workday was her preparation of a total of 50 Godzilla Tongues (jalapeno poppers) in her new SFH TK air fryer. It was a memorable feast.

Godzilla Tongues ready to eat

 

 

Catiquette Tutorial

Doctor of Classical Catiquette

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, the following is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.”

Last week, I noted the case of one of my followers who made a severe breach of Catiquette that resulted in the great indignity of a “scruffing” by its owner. (See Caturday & Catiquette.) A recent email from the poor humbled feline suggests that he/she deserves a bit more instruction on the proper techniques prescribed by Catiquette. (Please note that I will do my best to avoid revealing the identity of the feline in question or of its humans.)

The email informed me that the cat made a sincere attempt to communicate its desire to partake in the enjoyment of a chicken bone. The feline crawled up on the shoulder of its human and demonstrated its great interest in the chicken on the human’s plate. Unfortunately, the said feline was too abrupt in its actions, signaling to the human that the feline would lunge for the chicken in an attempt to steal it away from the human. Here, look for yourself and see how the feline’s objectives might be misinterpreted.

I think it’s clear that this approach is far too overt and could lead to an untoward outcome. So, for all 23,417 of my dear followers, please observe the master of Catiquette in action and learn from him. – – Announce your intent/desire, show your human how important it is to you, convince your human that it was really his/her idea, and, most importantly, signal that satisfying your desire will result in great purrfull attention to your human. – – This is your way a saying “Thank you!” beforehand. – – It works every time.

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Caturday & Catiquette

Le Chat – the Feline in Command

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, the following is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.”

Once again, in an effort to broaden your horizons and expand your capabilities, I will endeavor to discharge the duties conferred upon me by “noblesse oblige“. This week, I will discuss two items that are intimately related to your standing and privilege in your respective households.

As you well know, Blondie and Ol’ Fuzz Face are so strongly influenced by my regal nature that they would be willing to do almost anything to ensure my comfort and well-being. I did not attain this level of respect by feline mystique alone. No! I had to work to earn their respect and trust. I had to contribute to the culture that makes Serendipity Farmhouse so unique among households. Yes! It is an everyday effort, but it is worth the work invested to make it so. Ultimately, you will find that the effort pays off in substantial benefits and perquisites. I offer to you the example of Caturday to illustrate the truth in my statements.

Caturday

We felines seldom discuss certain rituals and habits that are very much a part of our daily lives. To be blunt, we don’t discuss our cat pans and the litter therein. Here at SFH, however, I have trained Blondie and Fuzzy in how to ensure they have a happy cat when it comes to this particular topic. They have learned that my pan has to be cleaned multiple times daily and topped off with fresh litter every two days or so. They’ve also learned that should not go more than two weeks without emptying my pan, cleaning it thoroughly, and filling it with fresh litter. I have taught them that doing these things for me will bring great rewards. Or more correctly, if they don’t perform these tasks, I might go elsewhere, if you know what I mean. – – The ritual of cleaning the pan usually falls on Saturday, and this day at SFH is affectionately known as ‘Caturday’.

Now, Blondie is a quick learner and very perceptive. She has learned that it is not enough to just clean my pan regularly. She now understands that I should receive a brand-new pan at 18-month intervals. Fuzzy tends to complain about the expense, but Blondie has trained him to keep his mouth shut and do what’s required.

It just so happens that yesterday was Caturday and it was also the day to unbox a new cat pan. Humans will never understand nor appreciate the joys that a cultured feline such as yours truly feels on the day when a new cat pan with fresh litter comes into his life. – – I would show you a picture of how quickly I made use of my new pan, but please understand that I must adhere strictly to the longstanding code of Catiquette that we felines must obey.

Catiquette

And that brings me to a brief discussion of how a breach of Catiquette can cause problems for an unsuspecting feline. It seems that a cat cousin of mine unwittingly made a terrible mistake the other day. In his efforts to ensure that his humans would be spared the problems caused by unwanted rodent pests, he proceeded directly to a garbage can where a chicken bone had been deposited. It was clear to him that the bone was an open invitation to pests, and he took it upon himself to remove the temptation. Unfortunately for my cat cousin, he failed to announce his intentions to his humans beforehand. Not surprisingly, they thought that the cousin merely wanted to satisfy his appetite by chewing on the bone. This breakdown in feline-to-human communications ended up causing a rather unhappy reaction by the humans. The poor cousin cat, all because of his breach of Catiquette, found himself being gently scruffed. No physical harm to the cousin, but a great deal of feline dignity was injured.

The lesson to be learned here is to announce your intentions first. If your humans don’t understand, refrain from doing anything that might be misinterpreted. Got it?

On the other hand, if your real intention is to chew on the bone, do yourself a favor and wait until your humans go to bed.

 

 

 

 

 

An Odd Weather Event

In her post I Married a Weather Geek from Outer Space my dearest, most lovely Spouse, Blondie, affectionately (I hope) called me a weather geek. When I read her post, however, my initial reaction was one of mixed sadness and disappointment. I had hoped that she would have been both pleased and excited by the prospect of Serendipity Farmhouse having its very own weather station. Instead, her words were filled with dissatisfaction with regards to my pursuit of this technical enhancement of the SFH Blog. Here’s what she said:

“Mr. Monte and I have had our fill of this blasted obsession. Look at what he’s done with our once beautiful blog. Post after post, here and here and here and here, are filled with the most boring, and ridiculous weather nonsense. Why can’t he just get a life and talk about good things like food and family and his beautiful and creative wife.”

Fortunately, over time, sweetest Blondie, grew to appreciate the data provided by the weather station. Every morning she would either check out the indoor monitor herself or ask me about total rainfall or humidity levels. Factually, it was Blondie who was first to observe that the outdoor sensor unit had died during the night of July 25th and was no longer communicating to the indoor monitor.

It was on January 3rd, 2019, when I assembled Weather WiFi OSPREY station; mounted and activated the device; activated the monitor panel; enabled WiFi connection; and activated the Weather Underground account for Serendipity Farmhouse Station. For over three and a half years, the sensor unit had functioned faithfully. The manufacturer states that the sensor unit can operate up to ten years, but, in a humid, wet climate such as we have here at SFH, the life expectancy is only about three years. So, the inevitably inevitable occurred – the sensor unit had died.

All senior members of the SFH staff met and unanimously decided that money should be allocated to purchase a new sensor unit. We waited anxiously for the arrival of the UPS delivery truck. Chores, errands, and family matters made it necessary to wait a day before the new unit could be installed.

The initial installation in 2019 required eight hours of frustrating labor. Many technical problems were encountered, and special workarounds and solutions were developed. The morning of August 4th, 2022 was an entirely different matter. Just a little more than a half hour was needed to install the new sensor unit. As you can see below, the official SFH Weather Station was up and running at almost precisely 10:00 AM. – – There was great jubilation and celebration here! – – Former doubters and naysayers, Blondie and Mr. Monte, were beaming with joy. – – I humbly accepted their praise and adulation.

 

The Odd Event

I must admit that, even though I have posted many times about the official SFH Weather Station, there have been virtually no comments from our followers concerning those posts. I myself find it quite difficult to believe that people aren’t as interested in weather reporting as I am. I suppose it’s a matter of ‘each to his own.’

Given the seeming lack of interest in weather reporting, I was absolutely dumbfounded on the morning of July 26th when I found thousands of emails in my inbox, all bemoaning the fact that there was no current weather data from the official SFH Weather Station. Many of the emails specifically complained about the loss because they rely on the data to know when thunderstorms are coming – they needed the information to find shelter in a timely manner. – – This, dear Friends, was one of the reasons why we at SFH made such a rapid decision to purchase the new sensor unit.

A good blogger knows that it is necessary to constantly analyze the needs and expectations of his audience. With that in mind, I studied the huge influx of email and noted the two following points:

First: There were a total of 23, 417 emails noting the loss of the weather data.

Second: The names of the emailers were oddly different from what I usually see when studying blog-related correspondence. Here. Let me show you some of the names: Oliver, Gizmo, Leo, Cosmo, Milo, Cactus, Charlie, Max, Blossom, Simba, Cinder, Jack, Loki, Jackie, Dumpling, Ollie, Erso, Jasper, Buddy, Baggins, Smokey, Fluffy, Oscar, Toby, TiIvy, Boo, Roxy, Belle, Ella, Suki, Zelda, Mochi, Alice, Lucky, Thor, Frank, Midnight, Benny, Tome, Tom, Ginger, Angel, etc.

Another odd thing was that, while I was studying all the email data, Mr. Monte jumped into my lap; looked intently at the computer monitor; and purred most loudly, in a manner that seemed to express deep satisfaction. – – I’m very puzzled by all this. But that’s the way life is here at Serendipity Farmhouse, always puzzling yet always interesting.

Maine Coon Medic

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, the following is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.”

In an effort to broaden your horizons and expand your capabilities, I am documenting one week of virtuous service to my poor overstressed big cats, Ol’ Fuzz Face and Blondie. Please read this closely and consider how you might use some of the techniques I use to establish and increase your bonds with your big cats. – Remember, there are many treats and snacks in store for felines who master these techniques.

It all started nearly two weeks ago. Fuzzy was in obvious physical decline. He was fatigued and somewhat irritable. When asked, he told Blondie that he was okay and just a little tired. – Friends, I know Fuzzy’s voice all too well, and I know when he is being less than honest. That was when my Maine Coon Medic sense began to alarm!! – it was apparent that Fuzzy was going to attempt to “man-out” whatever was afflicting him. Knowing that things were not right with Fuzzy, I decided to open a clandestine effort to learn Fuzzy’s real health status.

Now I am the one-and-only Maine Coon Medic. I have learned how to detect various physical and behavioral symptoms in my humans. Quite often, they suffer from stress and often that stress either leads to sickness or accompanies sickness. In Fuzzy’s case, it was necessary for me to use every skill at my command. Rather than just relying on my senses alone, I realized that I needed to access accurate medical information to aid my diagnosis and development of a plan to rescue Fuzzy from his own manly pride and ignorance.

Dear Feline Followers, only you know my secret identity – “White-hat Hacker Cat” (白帽黑客猫). Recently, I have advanced my hacking techniques to a much higher level. And one of my newly acquired skills is the ability to read medical/health status data from Fuzzy’s new fitness watch. It was last Saturday when I made my way to the data. Immediately, I could see that Fuzzy was sick, fatigued, and overstressed. As soon as Fuzzy got up that morning, I stayed close to him and did my best to indicate by nudging him that it was time to head to the urgent care clinic. When Blondie awoke, Fuzzy explained that he should have someone see him. Unfortunately for all of us, the attending nurse practitioner at the clinic said that there was no sign of infection, but she would send off a sample for a culture. – That left Fuzzy with nothing to do except wait for 2-3 days for the culture. Meanwhile all his symptoms and his stress level continued to intensify.

Monday was really bad. Blondie and I urged Fuzzy to call the clinic. Fuzzy did so and proceeded to explain his problem. He was told a prescription for antibiotics would be sent to his pharmacy. Later, he and Blondie drove the 27+ miles to the pharmacy, only to be told there was no prescription. He then went to the clinic and, after over an hour of waiting, talked to the same nurse practitioner. That was not a happy encounter. Fuzzy and Blondie left the clinic without a prescription or anything to relieve Fuzzy’s symptoms. You can see below that Fuzzy’s Body Battery was low and his stress levels were high. In fact, his fitness watch stated: “Your Body Battery was nearly depleted. Get more rest after days like this and pace yourself to avoid fatigue.”

18 JUL: Low Body Battery, High Stress

Tuesday wasn’t much better than Monday and, in some ways, it was worse. Fuzzy, had to take Son-in-Law #1 to the UVA Medical Center for an operation, a trip of about 100 miles. Soon after they departed SIL#1’s home, I listened as Blondie called Fuzzy to tell him that his culture was positive for the suspected infection – where should the clinic send the prescription. Blondie relayed that Fuzzy would call them soon with the answer. – – And that’s where the situation made an abrupt turn towards idiocy.

After much pre-op time, Fuzzy watched as SIL#1 was wheeled toward the operating room. He had called the clinic earlier and told them which Charlottesville Walgreen should get the prescription. Now that he was free to leave the hospital for a short time, Fuzzy made his way to the pharmacy. With a smile on his face, he politely asked for his medication. – There was no prescription for him. Despite his request, the clinic sent the prescription directly to the pharmacy he had said should not receive it.

This is where I, the Maine Coon Medic, need to interpret the following chart. Just after 12 PM, Fuzzy’s stress levels shot up to 90%. Fortunately, the very nice pharmacist was able to come up with a work-around and by 12:36 PM, Fuzzy had his medication in hand. Unfortunately, Fuzzy’s body battery was depleted and Fuzzy’s stress level hit 100%. As you can see below, the remainder of the day was not a pleasant experience for Ol’ Fuzz Face. – There was nothing I could do from Serendipity Farmhouse, so I did my best to soothe Blondie’s poor nerves – she was at least as upset as Fuzzy was.

19 JUL: Low Body Battery, Max stress

After a long day in the hospital with poor Son-in-Law #1 who was having and equally bad day, Fuzzy did the right thing. He went to the hotel, took a shower, said his prayers, and crashed.

The next day was better for Fuzzy, I could see on my computer that his watch indicated that his body battery had recharged. The time he spent sitting with and praying for SIL#1 kept his stress levels low. Finally, at about 10:30 PM the hospital released SIL#1, and Fuzzy returned a very sore, very tired, very stressed SIL#1 to Daughter #1.

It must be said that SIL#1 has had several post-op complications and is not feeling well at all. I know we felines don’t have to pray, but we can certainly nudge our humans and urge them to pray for the poor guy and Daughter #1.

The following chart show’s Fuzzy’s Wednesday. At the end of the chart, you can see the stress induced from driving at night on dark country roads with deer hiding at every turn.

20 JUL: Slow Improvement

Now my Job as official Maine Coon Medic at SFH, is to ensure peace and tranquility for all who reside here. Seeing that Blondie and Fuzzy continued at high stress levels for the remainder of the week, I had to devise a plan to get their minds off their bad experiences. – This is how I did it. When my two big cats were discussing all their frustrations, their anger, and their concern, I walked over to Fuzzy and nudged him. He thought I wanted a snack, but I indicated that’s not what I wanted. And that’s when I pointed to the store-bought garlic on the counter. I nudged him again. – Suddenly, he loudly declared to Blondie that the new SFH garlic crop in the shed had dried enough and was ready to bring in.

Blondie nearly jumped from her chair. She said, “I want help this time, I’ve never been there when you prepared it before.” In a flash, the two were out the door and on their way to the woodshed where the garlic was. Later that day, I heard Blondie say, “I never thought that preparing garlic would be so much fun. It might be a small dirty job, but the result is a store of garlic for the rest of the season.

Blondie was happy. Fuzzy was happy. I, the world’s only Maine Coon Medic, was happy.

Garlic Harvest July 23, 2022

Please pray for Son-in-Law #1 and his entire family!

RV Commander at Work

Le Chat – the Feline in Command

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, in my last post, 50th – The Celebration, I said: “In conjunction with our innate cognitive superiority, our instincts have enabled us to interpret human behavior and fashion it to our personal designs. If there is any doubt that my statements are not correct, I offer you my total and uncontested control over Blondie, Ol’ Fuzz Face, and the entire Serendipity Farmhouse establishment as supporting evidence.” (Emphasis added) – – As you will see later in this post, I sometimes employ my power of ‘control’ with humorous results.

But before I engage in lighthearted tales, I must first give you a quick description of how I so flawlessly carried out my duties as Chief of Security during our most recent trip in El Camino Del Monte (ECDM) – RV Trip 2022-02.

The primary purpose of this trip was to determine if Fuzzy and Blondie could endure the joy and shear excitement of spending three whole nights with me in ECDM. To do so they would have to modify their sleeping and waking times to my schedule. They would also have to reconcile themselves to the reality that if I wanted to be fed at 2:18 AM, then they would have to depart their restful dreamlands and join me, pet me, speak with me, and play with me as I take part in my early morning snack. – – Mostly because of my lovable demeanor and appreciative purring, my two ‘big cats’ outdid themselves and met all my outrageous demands. In that respect, RV Trip 2022-02 was a resounding success.

Mr. Monte – Ever Alert

As you can see in this picture, I am ever on the alert. In this particular case, I pointed out to Blondie that there was a pair of cardinals nearby. She was quite happy that I called them to her attention because she could view them more closely than we do at Serendipity Farmhouse. I humbly accepted her praise. – – After all, it’s just part of the job.

Jacques-rabbit

Over the course of our three-day trip, I spent the majority of my time checking out what might best be called a ‘claim jumper’ or a ‘squatter’. Our camp site was clearly marked with our name and the dates for our stay were posted. This guy, whom I later named ‘Jacques’ as in ‘Jacques-rabbit’, however, paid no attention to our rightful residence. For three days, this guy just hung around. I tried getting his attention through the screen door, but he seldom even looked my way.

I must admit that he was a somewhat cute, though he would not have been allowed to roam freely near our vast gardens on the SFH estate. Yes, I’ll give him cute, but I don’t think I’ll concede that he was very smart. How smart could any creature be if they don’t respond to my calling and immediately tremble in terror. – – So, it remains to be seen whether I will include Jacques on my list of friends or on my list of recipes.

Now, Blondie and Fuzzy have some mystifying behaviors. For example, they often play cards, Rummy to be precise. After years of watching them, it has become abundantly clear that Blondie is the superior player by far. Fuzzy is slow and dull and quite capable of making moves that are extraordinarily foolish. On the first full day of our trip, Blondie once again exhibited her prowess and crushed Fuzzy four hands to one. – – It was brutal!

As I mentioned earlier, I exercise total control over all that happens within the SFH family. All it takes from me is a turning of the ears, a flip of the tail, or a purring sound. Having seen the humbled mess of a man that was all that remained of Fuzzy after his loss to Blondie, I decided that it was time to have some fun.

The next day, I put my plan into action. In an earlier picture, you can see how easy it is for me to sit behind Blondie. That is where she normally sits in the dinette when playing cards. So, there it was that I sat during the Rummy rematch on the second full day. From there, I could see Blondie’s hand. From there, Fuzzy could see me. From there, I ‘the feline in command’ could change the outcome of the game. – – No, Fuzzy didn’t consciously cheat. He wasn’t even aware of what was happening. When he looked at me, he could see me twist my ears. He could see me flip my tail. Subconsciously, he was being controlled by my entirely innocent looking movements.

Only I knew what the result would be. – – On this day, it was Blondie who was crushed four hands to one. I allowed her one win to spare her pride. – – There it was. Blondie won the first day and Fuzzy won the second day. The score was even and – absolutely no card games – were played on the third day. My two big cats remain happy and loving with each other.

And with that righteous good work concluded, I deserve a long nap.

A fitting end to another hard day at work

50th – The Celebration

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, instinct is a very strong and protective force for us felines. It ensures our survival as a species and guides us through unexpected encounters with the harsh realities of life. In essence, our feline instincts are the basis of our predatorial dominance. In conjunction with our innate cognitive superiority, our instincts have enabled us to interpret human behavior and fashion it to our personal designs. If there is any doubt that my statements are not correct, I offer you my total and uncontested control over Blondie, Ol’ Fuzz Face, and the entire Serendipity Farmhouse establishment as supporting evidence.

Having said all that, I must acknowledge that my two humans demonstrate some traits that are as endearing as they are mysterious. For over a month now, this human couple has been engaging in a set of most unique rituals. All of these quaint activities seem to be centered around something referred to as their “50th”.

The rituals begin early each morning. Fuzzy will kiss Blondie on the forehead and say something sickeningly sweet. Blondie will reply with a smile and something that sounds like a pigeon cooing. Frequently throughout the day, they will hold hands. Sometimes they will even hug each other. They take walks together around the yard. And, when working together in the garden, they thoughtfully help each other, smiling the whole time. – – If this is getting a bit too mushy for you, dear feline friends, just be glad you don’t have to witness it firsthand as I must.

This last week, their unusual activities intensified. The week started off with a two-night RV trip to Shenandoah River State Park. There, I was subjected to uncharacteristically charitable treatment from them. Even when I would wake them with frequent and loud meowing, they would merely get up, feed me, play with me, and hug me as if I were some type of prize possession. During the daytime, they would hold lighthearted conversations and gaze into each others eyes. In the evening, with all the RV lights off, they would view the colorful sunsets and speak of their years together.

Good grief! I tried to sleep through all this, but their romantic chatter kept disturbing my sleep. Wouldn’t it ever stop? A cat has to have his naps to stay fit and alert.

But, during the entire trip and the remainder of the week, it never stopped.

I gathered from all their endless and inane prattle that there was to be some big event this Sunday – today. Apparently, Daughter #2 and the other siblings conspired to organize a celebration honoring the big “50th”. There are to be many guests – family and friends. It is intended to be an event honoring the thing humans call Holy Matrimony and it is in thanksgiving for God’s grace that made it possible.

Even with my golden feline instincts and superior cognitive skills, I don’t claim to understand what this thing called Matrimony is all about. Nevertheless, if it is something that makes Blondie and Fuzz Face happy together, and if it is big enough to include children and even a 21-pound Maine Coon cat, then I’m all for it.

So, along with all the others today, let me simply and sincerely say to Blondie and Fuzzy – “Happy 50th!”

SFH Gardens – By the Numbers

  We are currently revising and updating our tables and presentations of statistics for the Official SHF Year 2022. The following links will provide the latest ketchup on what has been planted, harvested, and preserved since our last Journal post:

SFH 2022 Plantings

SFH 2022 Harvest

SFH 2021 Preserving

Official SFH Weather Station Statistics

Likewise, the following links will provide the latest ketchup on what has been recorded by the Serendipity Farmhouse Weather Station – KVAFLETC4 since our last Journal post:

Report – Last Three Months

2022 – February

2022 – March

2022 – April

 

 

 

 

23,417 Again!

To my 23,416 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, good news need not have a long story behind it. The truly memorable events in life, the events that fill your heart with joy, are seldom planned or expected. As Blondie and Ol’ Fuzz Face are often heard to say, “One must always be on the watch for ‘serendipity’.”

I’ve waited over a week to tell you about this. You might well ask why it took so long to report a story of such great importance. The answer is simple – I had to wait for a new email address to show up on my followers list. That happened this morning at 3:12 AM. And now I can report to all 23,416 of you dear feline followers that we now have a new 23,417th follower, my new neighbor Miss Suki!

So, let me not bother you with a lot of words. Instead, let me introduce Miss Suki to you just as she introduced herself to me.

As soon as I read Miss Suki’s card, I sent this reply to her

March 18, 2022 

Dear Miss Suki, 

I was so very delighted to receive your St. Patrick’s Day card. It was a true surprise filled with the most welcome news. How wonderful it is to have a new feline neighbor who will surely become a close friend and confidant. 

I could hardly believe it when I received your card. In an attempt to record my interest and emotion at the time, I had my human, Blondie, hold the card while I took this selfie. Perhaps, someday when you have the time, you could send a picture. 

It’s very true that our departed Miss Fleur is deeply missed. Although we felines understand the pain of loss of a dear one, we must also keep in mind that human companions, in their own way, suffer too. So, please do what you can to offer your new human companion solace and affection. That is our solemn feline duty. 

I look forward to hearing from you in the future. If you want to know what I do here at Serendipity Farmhouse, sign up to join my 23,416 followers at Serendipity Farmhouse.com. 

Your new friend and neighbor, 

Mr. Monte

So, life goes on here at Serendipity Farmhouse, but it is ever so much better now that this blog’s list of feline followers is

23,417 again!

Daylight Raving Time

Le Chat – the Feline in Command

To my 23,416 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, life is hard these days. I dearly grieve my departed Miss Fleur. All around me seems to be a deep, unlit void. I conduct my daily security duties without enthusiasm. I would rather just sleep – sleep until a better time. But, without Miss Fleur, how can there ever be a better time? (See A Valentine’s Day Reality)

Then, in the midst of my sorrow, in the moment of my greatest need for the solace and comfort of sleep, there comes that annual insane intrusion on feline sensibility, that modern monument to the ignorance of humankind – Daylight Saving Time!

The invention of this most unnecessary and unjustifiable perversion of the natural order is unquestionably the most convincing proof that humankind is on a path bound for self-destruction. We felines, however, have done our best to remind our humans that natural body rhythms, perfectly in accord with the universe around us, are the only sure way to attain balance and stability in daily life. – If one is drowsy, it’s time to sleep. If one is cheerful, it’s time to play. If one is angry, it’s time to growl. And, most importantly, if one is hungry, it’s time to eat. But, somehow, humans just don’t seem to get it.

So, yesterday and today, Ol’ Fuzz Face’s alarm clock made its wretched noise one full hour before my ultra-high precision, internal time standard said that it should. To say the least, this was disturbing to my inner peace. I rolled over and went back to sleep. Unfortunately, Fuzzy was already an hour into his daily routine and was nowhere to be seen when I emerged from the bedroom. That meant that he wasn’t there to give me my first feeding or to spar with me in our mandatory morning play session. – There is a price to pay for that negligence on his part. – Tomorrow, he will suffer my wrath!

The First Robin of Spring Contest

The remainder of the animal kingdom has a much better understanding of time than does humankind. For example, each Spring we can count on the robins to return to our area. Humans, with all their so-called science, can never figure out for sure when they are coming, but robins know precisely when they should make their way north. Serendipity Farmhouse extended family members have made a ritual of their collective ignorance concerning nature’s timetable. For example, each Spring, they compete to be the first one to see a robin. Whoever snaps the first picture of a returning robin is awarded a prize, usually a candy bar. Last Monday, Blondie spied a robin and immediately ordered Fuzzy to take a picture. He did. They reported to all that they had won. Blondie rightfully should be awarded a candy bar. Fuzzy might get a piece for his assist – if he’s lucky.

Spring is Here! – Really???

Another example of humankind’s ignorance concerning the world around them is Fuzzy’s last post Spring is Here! (Meteorologically speaking). The old goat was so very clever, he thought, in the way that he had discussed the various definitions of the beginning of Spring. As was usual, his best example for his argument, the uncovering of El Camino Del Monte, was to be the most illustrative proof of his ignorance. The picture that you see here of ECDM shows a snow-covered, ice-laden Class C RV on Saturday morning. – Good job, Fuzzy, do you still think it’s Spring??? Really???

As a suggestion, Fuzzy, why don’t you take your highly prized “Daylight Saving Time” alarm clock out to your springtime RV and sleep out there with the heat off for a few nights while I get some good sleep here in a warm house without any of your useless interruptions?

SFH Gardens – By the Numbers

  The following links will provide the latest ketchup on what has been planted, harvested, and preserved since our last Journal post:

SFH 2021 Plantings

SFH 2021 Harvest

SFH 2021 Preserving

Official SFH Weather Station Statistics

Likewise, the following links will provide the latest ketchup on what has been recorded by the Serendipity Farmhouse Weather Station – KVAFLETC4 since our last Journal post:

Report – Last Three Months

2022- January

2022- February

2022- March