Category: Mr. Monte

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

A Valentine’s Day Reality

Hi. Mr. Monte here.

To my 23,416 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, it is with the greatest sadness and deepest grief that I must tell you that my, no, our dear Miss Fleur has passed from this world. Only this morning, Ol’ Fuzz Face informed you in his post Windfall/Rainfall Profit that I was: “… engaged in anxious preparation for St. Valentine’s Day. His every waking moment has been focused on ensuring that his gifts and card for his dearly beloved Miss Fleur will be well received.”

Shortly after noon today, we received the call from Miss Fleur’s loving human companion that Miss Fleur had passed. – I was crushed; I am crushed with heartache and pangs of sadness. How can there ever be another Miss Fleur. My humans, Blondie and Fuzzy, have stayed close to me and held me. Now I understand why they have always said that Serendipity Farmhouse is not meant to be the house of their dreams; rather, it is the house of their realities. – Today, I suffer deeply from a Valentine’s Day reality.

Fuzzy, in his own clumsy way, is helping me through this. He reminded me of an article he gave to me to read about a week ago. The article Of Grizzlies and the New Creation, by Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., provides the long view, the view through the lens of eternity, of this life on earth in the here and now versus what is yet to come. Although the article provides much hope for humans, the outlook for felines is not quite so clear. Nevertheless, I resolve not to abandon hope.

Meanwhile, in the here and now, in my time of temporal grief, in my Valentine’s Day reality, I have this card that Miss Fleur had prepared for me.

– – Dear Miss Fleur, please know that in my dreams this picture is a picture of you and me and how we were meant to be. Happy Valentine’s Day! I will love you always. – Your Mr. Monte

 

Gourmet Ketchup

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, absolutely nothing would get done at SFH if I weren’t here to do it. No, I don’t mean I do all the physical labor. That would be beneath my dignity. What it means is, I am the one with the real initiative and creativity in this multifaceted enterprise we call Serendipity Farmhouse. For example, here I am writing this post, when, by all rights, Ol’ Fuzz Face should be performing this task. But, as you can see, Fuzzy is absent without leave once again. – How he ever made it in this world, I’ll never understand.

Alas, there’s no need to continue in this vein of thought. After all, Fuzzy and Blondie are the humans they are, and I have to make the most of it. – – So, I’ll just have to continue on to the ‘meet’ of this post. So, here it is:

‘Meet’ SFH TK’s Distinguished New Staff Member

For years, the staff of the soon-to-be-world-famous SFH Test Kitchen has endeavored to prepare some of the finest meals imaginable. With my guidance and amazing sense of taste, I have conducted Fuzzy and Blondie through some of the most extraordinary adventures in the culinary arts. Yet, with all that we have accomplished, I knew deep down inside that the SFH TK is capable of so much more. That is why, in a recent staff meeting, I broached the idea of hiring a freelance gourmet and food critic. The new hire would bring the professional touch to our already high level of food writing. I let the staff know I had someone special in mind.

As usual, Fuzzy was a little slow on the intake and questioned the prospects of such a venture. Blondie, on the other hand, immediately fell in love with the idea. In fact, she had ideas of her own that would add color and interest to this type of food writing project. – Fuzzy, somewhat bewildered by the whole thing, finally agreed to the venture when he realized he was once again outnumbered.

As you might suspect, I keep myself abreast of all that is important in the world of food. In my extensive reading, some years back, I came across the mysterious food critic known as Pierre LeChat. Though his talent and experience were legendary, there were no pictures of Pierre to be had anywhere. – There were no pictures until this day, in this post, in this blog, authored by this cat.

For anyone else it would be difficult to make contact with such an elusive celebrity. But for me, it only took a few minutes online to make the acquaintance of Monsieur LeChat. Another few minutes were spent in minor chitchat, and in that short period, we recognized that we hold so very much in common. And the most important thing I learned from our chat was, true to his name, M. LeChat loves cats to an extent seldom seen among those of the unfortunate human persuasion. – So, without further ado, here’s our newest staff member, M. Pierre LeChat.

Bonjour to all of you! For nearly five decades, I have worked virtually unseen and unnoticed in my relentless pursuit of the exquisite meal, the artfully prepared dish that has no equal, the blending of taste and flavor that leaves one speechless. On rare occasions, I have found that meal. But more often I have found seemingly artificial concoctions, prepared by so-called chefs who possess great pride but no talent. – Those misbegotten chefs are only deserving of disdain and derision. And in my reviews, that is what I have given them – a meal of truth served on a bitter platter. That is why they have dubbed me ‘Persnickety Pierre.’ – I wear that title as a badge of honor.

Now, after all those years hiding my true identity, I come to the esteemed Serendipity Farmhouse Test Kitchen. It is here that I will bring honor and tribute to the chefs who really matter, the amateur chefs who strive to do what many professional chefs will never learn, to prepare the exquisite meal for the ones they cherish most – their families and friends. I will seek out these gifted ones, the ones who take on great culinary challenges simply because they love to cook, and because they love those for whom they cook.

But of course, I will continue to be persnickety. After all, that is who I am. Yet, I will be truthful in gentle ways. I will always keep in mind the difficulty of the challenge undertaken and give recognition to the effort made to please. For those who meet their self-made goals, for those who reach a new level of excellence, there will be the soon-to-be-highly-coveted award known as ‘Persnickety Pierre’s Paw of Excellence’ (PPPE).

If you fail to see the symbolism in the PPPE, allow me to explain. The forepaw of a polydactyl cat, such as my new-found protégé, Monsieur Monte, has two extra toes, which some call thumbs. The PPPE is my way of saying that I give a particular dish or meal two thumbs up.

That is enough for now. I will present to you more of my persnickety personal views on the art of cooking in the future. Until then, if you would like to have your special meal judged by a real expert, give the SFH TK a call, and I will be there to join you for a most memorable tasting experience.   

SFH Journal: 2022-01 – Winter Ketchup

What need is there to ketchup on this January’s events? It’s been snowy and cold. Blondie makes that quite clear.

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:

Last Week: 

SFH WX 2022-01-17 through 01-23

Report – Last Two Months

2021- December

2022- January

 

Garlic & Hackers

Garlic

There is a day dreaded by every caretaker of God’s greatest gift to the practice of the culinary arts. And that day came most unfortunately to Serendipity Farmhouse late in December 2021. That was the day when Blondie walked into our well-stocked pantry and let out a most terrible and mournful shriek. Despite the pain caused by four broken ribs, I dashed for the pantry at a full run. – There must be something dreadfully wrong. – And there was!

Yes, it was worse than I could have ever imagined. The wondrous pantry of the soon-to-be-world-famous SFH Test Kitchen had become something worse than the “bog of eternal stench” from the movie Labyrinth. The smell was beyond description by any words from any language devised by man – it was the smell of decomposing garlic.

If you read our post SFH Journal: 2020-06-30 through 07-05 – Happy 4th of July!! you will be instantly aware of the tender love and care that we lavish upon our yearly harvest of garlic. We take every precaution to ensure that our precious crop is dried and stored to ensure freshness from the first to the last clove of the year. So, how could it be that our crop could be going bad this early. – – The answer was, and this makes me most proud to say, it was not our crop that was going bad. No, we had done everything correctly. Our crop was still good. But this year we had purchased a large number of garlic heads from the CSA across the road from us as a backup to our supply. Apparently, they had not dried or stored their crop with as much care as we had. It was their garlic that was causing the obnoxious odor in our pantry.

Upon close inspection, we determined that only some of the heads were beyond salvaging. The remainder needed to be either consumed immediately or preserved in some way. So, we searched for various alternatives for preserving. That is when we the read the post Storing Garlic in Wine or Vinegar and Refrigerating on the Garlic Blog. – – We decided to give it a try. We also decided to do the same with the remainder of our own crop. After all, this is the SFH Test Kitchen! We are always ready to try something new if it looks like it has promise.

Below are some pictures from our latest experiment. We will post results on how well this technique works in the coming weeks.

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&

Hackers

Self-respecting bloggers never want to admit that a blog they run has been hacked. Yet here I am with no alternative other than to say that the SFH blog was hacked by a very cunning, devious, and malicious hacker.

I came to this realization this week when I saw that a post entitled Access Granted to 黑客猫 had been published from our site. I knew that I hadn’t posted anything. When asked, Blondie said that she hadn’t put out anything. But there it was, Access Granted to 黑客猫. I quickly checked out our site statistics and found that there had been 23,417 views of that particular post.

However, when I tried to open the post to read it myself, there was no post. All that was there on my screen was just this picture providing indisputable proof that we had been hacked.

I really don’t know what to make of it. Somehow though, there is something about this photo that seems vaguely familiar to me. I just wish I could figure out what is. – – If anyone has any ideas about this, please let me know.

 

Access Granted to 黑客猫

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.”

I’ve had to lay low since December 27th. If you recall, Ol’ Fuzz Face was a little bit on the angry side that morning when he hit the Publish button for his post SFH Christmas – 2021 BC!!. Granted, he might have had some minor reason to be furious and unwilling to listen to my side of the story about the rather unfortunate Christmas tree incident. Yet, it’s hard for me to understand why he wasn’t pleased when he found himself covered with and surrounded by all those interesting glass ornaments. To me, the array of glittering “toys” strewn about the floor looked like the entrance way to an eternal feline paradise. But, from the moment he awoke with a start and bellowed an unrepeatable word, I could tell that he and I didn’t share the same curiosity. Oh well, I guess when you get to be his age your sense of humor and playfulness tend to diminish.

As you can plainly see, Fuzzy’s promise to keep me offline “for a long, long, long, long, long time” was rather short-lived. Today, Blondie, the very essence of charity and forgiveness that she is, gave me the new password to all the electronic devices here at Serendipity Farmhouse. – Now, this is where we get to the information that you, my trusted feline followers, are not permitted to reveal. All I received from Blondie today was “plausible deniability.” As some of you know, I have been sending out emails since early December 28th. – Yep, that’s right. I cracked Fuzzy’s new password in less than five seconds. You might well ask, “How could that be?”

Well, it goes back a very long way to when I first graced the SFH estate with my presence. At that time, Ol’ Fuzz Face was incessantly watching that schlocky cult movie Napoleon Dynamite. During the same period, I had just learned that my Valentine sweetheart, Miss Fleur, lived in the neighborhood. Forgive my rather juvenile thinking, but at the time, I was impressed by Napoleon’s unforgettable line – “You know, like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills!” (See video.)

In my youthful zeal to impress Miss Fleur, I resolved that I would become a master hacker. Yes, I would become Hacker Cat (黑客猫). So, each night, while I was carefully filling in my SFH security logs, I was also taking on-line cybersecurity courses. Through diligent study and long hours of practice, I became the renowned “White-hat Hacker Cat” (白帽黑客猫). Just like the Lone Ranger, I would use my hacking skills only for good. Miss Fleur would by my muse, and I would right cyber wrongs and injustice wherever they exist.

So, my dear feline followers, that leads me to my disclosure about how I cracked Fuzzy’s password so easily. I would like to say it was through a display of hacking expertise, but that would be a dishonest statement. No, there was no challenge to figuring out the new password. Alas! Fuzzy should have listened to Napoleon and developed his own hacking skills. No, the truth, and for the honor of SFH it pains me to say this, Fuzzy’s original password (for the last 8 years) was: “password”. In his fitful rage brought on by the Christmas tree incident, the best he could come up with for a new password was: “Password”. Yep, he merely capitalized the initial letter.

Sometimes, I have to feel sad for poor Ol’ Fuzzy. As I have said before, “He’s just not the sharpest claw on the paw.”

SFH Christmas – 2021 BC!!

Attention!!!!

To all of Mr. Monte’s 23,417 feline followers, including his many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, do not, I repeat, do not expect to see any posts authored by Mr. Monte for a long, long, long, long, long time. As of this morning at 5:00 AM, I changed the passwords on every electronic device here are Serendipity Farmhouse, and Mr. Monte is hereby denied access to any communication device whatsoever until further notice. – – He, the once world-renowned SFH Chief of Security, has committed a severe breach of professional conduct. That is why, commencing now and extending far into the forseeable future, his communications privileges are hereby revoked.

Background: Due to an unfortunate incident three weeks ago, I sustained a somewhat severe injury – I fractured four ribs and two of those ribs have multiple fractures. As a consequence of the injury, I have been unable to sleep in bed and must sleep on a chair in the SFH living room. Although this has been a hardship, my spirits were lifted on December 23rd when my dear, sweet Wife and I were finally able to erect our humble but happy little Christmas tree. Of course, that little tree, with the baby Jesus nestled at its base, was the focal point for our quiet and prayerful Christmas Eve.

3:25 AM This Morning: As I was peacefully sleeping in the easy chair next to the Christmas tree early this morning, all feelings of blissful sleep, happiness, and joy came to a nerve shattering, traumatic end as our dear SFH Christmas tree crashed down on me in my chair. Through the branches laying near my face, I looked up with a start and saw a large, frightened, 21-pound Maine Coon cat hightailing it out through the kitchen and into the dining room. It was as if you could actually see “guilt” floating in the air behind him. – – I harshly uttered a word or two is some long-forgotten language known to be spoken by very salty sailors.

From the SFH master bedroom, my most wondrous and protective Spouse asked what had happened, but her voice clearly indicated that she really knew what it was without needing to be told. She quickly entered the living room and turned on the lights. Now that she could see, she first looked for broken glass ornaments or other dangerous debris. Next, she came over to the fallen tree and began the task of moving ornaments and Christmas tree parts in hopes of finding her husband somewhere underneath.

It took about 10-15 minutes before it was safe for me to move from my chair. Together, my beautiful Bride and I resumed the search for fallen ornaments. Then, we reassembled the tree and hastily returned it to the table where it had been placed so carefully on December 23rd. – – The only fact that made this matter less bad than it could have been, was that not a single ornament was broken.

We put some of the fallen decorations back onto the tree and others we put into a bowl. Later today, we will try to restore our poor tree to its former glory.

Perhaps: Perhaps this was all just an accident. Perhaps the SFH Chief of Security was merely trying to make the placement of the ornaments more symmetrical or pleasing to the eye. Perhaps the tree was not positioned safely, and Mr. Monte was attempting to slide the tree to a safer position on the table. Perhaps …

Perhaps all of those perhapses are just a bunch of malarky, and Mr. Monte momentarily slipped into a feline fit of felonious, juvenile behavior. As I said before, “It was as if you could actually see “guilt” floating in the air behind him.”

Nevertheless, at this time, and until there is any hint of evidence to acquit him, we here at SFH will have to make the judgement that perhaps Mr. Monte was just being an SFH Christmas – 2021 BC!! and BC stands for ……

SFH Journal: 2021-11-01 through 11-21 – Deep Autumn

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, observe the pictures above. Everything in them conveys a most important point – this is Le Chat, this is a feline in command. And that is precisely the case – I am the Feline in Command. While conducting my command and control duties on RV trips in El Camino Del Monte, my Command Post is strategically located in the over cab loft. From there I can observer all, monitor each and every activity, and maintain close control of my humans as they conduct all their activities within ECDM. It’s a difficult job ‘herding humans’, but it’s what I do.

The same can be said of my most necessary work at Serendipity Farmhouse. It’s a daily ritual. I get Ol’ Fuzz Face and Blondie up at an appropriately early hour. I make sure that they waste no time doing their required chores, e.g. feeding me, cleaning my pan, making my bed, etc. Blondie’s pretty good at following all my instructions, but I have to confess Fuzz Face is not exactly the ‘sharpest claw on the paw’.

Yep, Fuzzy is a little slow on the intake and downright bad at time management. He was supposed get this post out on Sunday, yet he hasn’t written a single word. The SFH blog has to maintain its five-star reputation, and Fuzz Face really isn’t up to the job. That’s why I have to take matters into my own paws and let you know what’s been happening here at SFH. So, sit back, relax, catch up on your grooming, and be informed by this report on all the SFH local news.

10 -12 NOV – RV Trip 2021-06: This was the last trip of the year. Blondie and Fuzz Face had made some ridiculously bad scheduling errors for some of our mid-season trips. Of course, you remember my post RV Trip 2021-02: I Wanna Go Home!. My big cats couldn’t have picked a worse time to take our rig out camping. – Dang! I hate that air conditioner!

RV Trip 2021-06, however, couldn’t have been any better. The weather was perfect in the mid-60s. The Autumn foliage was at its peak, and I was a happy cat camper. If he ever gets his scat together, Fuzzy will write a post and provide some pictures.

Looking southwest at the Massanutten Mountain Range

11 NOV – Dinner with Julia: Now, I’m not much into people food, but Julia Child and I share a love of butter. You can be sure that when the smell of butter is in the air, you will accompanied by Le Chat Chef Extraordinaire. And so it was on the evening of November 11th. Blondie and Fuzzy, under the close scrutiny and guidance of yours truly, successfully executed Julia’s recipe for Coq au Vin. Once again, if Ol’ Fuzz Face ever gets his scat together, he will write a post and provide some pictures.

Coq au Vin a la El Camino Del Monte

17 NOV – River Cleanup: For several years now, we at SFH have watched as our lovely riverfront was slowly overgrown by small trees, invasive shrubs, and killer vines. The presence of established trees along the river bank is essential to prevent erosion, but many of the recent plant arrivals were hostile creatures, seeking to destroy all useful varieties of vegetation in their path. Enough was enough, Blondie commissioned a work crew to turn back the invasion. Although we know this is not the end of the war, and we will have to remain ever vigilant, the pictures below show that we are now winning.

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16-19 NOV – ECDM Winter Storage: Even for those of us who are somewhat reluctant to admit that RV life can be fun, it is always a sad time of the year when El Camino Del Monte has to be serviced, cleaned, and wrapped up in its protective cocoon for the winter.

As usual, Fuzzy provided examples of his all too frequent buffoonery. He stated to all of us here at SFH that gas prices were only going to go up. So, he rushed off to the nearby service station and pumped $102.92 worth of gasoline into ECDM at $3.29/gallon. Of course, the very next day, the gas price dropped by 10¢/gallon. — Fuzzy next showed off his ability to make simple jobs look hard, while at the same time taking foolish risks with his aging life and limb. I suspect Blondie was willing to take the pictures of him up atop ECDM so that it would support her claims for a maximum payoff from Fuzzy’s life insurance.

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20 NOV – First Woodstove Fire: So, we here at SFH have made the turn into the midst of what we call ‘Deep Autumn’. Finally, we’ve reached the time of year when the trusty old woodstove is used as our main source of heat. And for me, now that this post is complete, it’s time to curl up and take a long deserved nap, enjoying the warmth of the fire.

SFH Gardens – By the Numbers

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

SFH 2021 Plantings

SFH 2021 Harvest

SFH 2021 Preserving

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly: 

SFH WX 2021-11-01 through 11-07

SFH WX 2021-11-08 through 11-14

SFH WX 2021-11-15 through 11-21

SFH WX Station Report – Monthly: 

SFH WX 2021-11-01 through 11-30

Blondie’s Big Mistake!

Hi! Mr. Monte here!

To my 23,417 feline followers, especially my many cat cousins residing in Virginia and Ohio, observe the picture to your left. Ears back, eyes leveled and glaring, and, of course, an expression of utter disdain – that’s right, you know the look. This is not a happy cat. This a cat with an ax to grind. This is a cat whose blonde-haired human is in for a full course of early wakeups, scattered litter, nibbled kneecaps, and a random assortment of feline felonies.

You may be asking what my human, Blondie, did that so angered and insulted me. So, I suppose I should put this particular episode of human negligence and irrational behavior into its proper context. – It’s all about food and feline dignity.

How many humans have ever had to eat the crud they routinely give to us? Any thinking human being, if there is such a thing, would know that we cats prefer what they put on the table for themselves. Consider the number of times you’ve come over to your feasting human and begged for just a meager scrap of cheese or fried chicken. They puff up with their human vanity and speak down to you saying, “This is human food, your cat food is what you really need.” – That’s a bunch of malarkey!

Unfortunately, we cats are subject to human whims and ignorance concerning what cats really need. That’s true even here at Serendipity Farmhouse. Two days ago, I was making my rounds in the pantry, making sure that no mice or bugs had broken in. That is when I noticed this container of canned crud. Please note that it says “Senior 7yrs+”.

Immediately, alarm bells went off in my head, my ears drew back, my fangs came into view, and my body bristled. “Senior 7yrs+” – there’s no senior cat around here. True, I just celebrated my seventh birthday, but I’m no senior. I am, in the finest sense of the word, a “mature” cat.

Just then, Ol’ Fuzz Face walked into the pantry. He saw the food can with the highly offensive statement and turned quickly to make his retreat. I hopped down and stopped him at the doorway saying, “Fuzzy, what is this and who bought it?” His face went pale. He knows the only one at SFH who ever buys cat food is Blondie. He was trying to figure a way of covering for her.

He quite haltingly, with a fear-filled voice, offered that the can might have come in the mail as a sample product. – After he cleared his throat from speaking that piece of miserable fiction, I bit him on his ankle. He momentarily writhed in agony and once again made for the door.

Once again I stopped him, showed him my teeth, and demanded the truth. – In a very weak and quivering voice he mumbled the single word I had long before anticipated – “Blondie.” – Then he literally ran from the pantry and sought a place to hide from both me and the spouse he had just betrayed. – He still hasn’t emerged from his exile in the woodshed.

I won’t describe what happened next because it is not my intention to harm the fragile feelings of Blondie’s twelve wonderful grandchildren. They were not the perpetrators, so they should not be made to suffer. Suffice it to say, we had a little talk Blondie and I, and I suspect her wounds will mend in a week or two. During that talk, I gave her some references as mandatory reading material on the stages of cat development. I also made her write the following 100 times in her best penmanship: “Mr. Monte is a ‘mature’ cat, he is not a ‘senior’ cat.”

I have included the reading references I gave her and I have also composed my own table so that all who read this post will know that Mr. Monte is a “mature” cat. As you look at the table, you might also note that my two humans are rapidly approaching the stage of “geriatric” humans.

(No humans were seriously harmed in this episode, despite how they might testify in court.)

Life Stages – The Cat Care Clinic Veterinary Services Orange, CA – Cat Hospital Health Veterinarian

How to tell your cat’s age in human years | International Cat Care (icatcare.org)

The Four Life Stages of a Cat – Cat Friendly Homes

Life StageAge of CatHuman Equivalent
Kitten
Birth to 6 months
0–1 month
2–3 months
4 months
6 months
0–1 years
2–4 years
6–8 years
10 years
Junior
7 months to 2 years
7 months
12 months
18 months
2 years
12 years
15 years
21 years
24 years
Prime
3 to 6 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
6 years
28 years
32 years
36 years
40 years
Mature
7 to 10 years
7 years
8 years
9 years
10 years
44 years
48 years
52 years
56 years
Senior
11 to 14 years
11 years
12 years
13 years
14 years
60 years
64 years
68 years
72 years
Geriatric
15+ Years
15 years
16 years
17 years
18 years
19 years
20 years
21 years
22 years
23 years
24 years
25 years
76 years
80 years
84 years
88 years
92 years
96 years
100 years
104 years
108 years
112 years
116 years