Category: Mr. Monte

Annual High Tea at SFH

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

TP_CountdownToday, Old Fuzz Face and I stand united! It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, its due to a matter of the utmost gravity. – – Both he and I have been watching the countdown register in the left hand margin of this website. For Blondie, the countdown signals the approach of the most important social event of the year here at Serendipity Farmhouse – the SFH Annual High Tea.

DSC_0293For Fuzz Face and me, however, this countdown proclaims the imminent arrival of the most undesirable prospects of intense servile labor and a series of supreme indignities.

In her endeavor to have the “best” tea party ever, I will be unceremoniously removed from my favorite resting place on the dining room table. I will be chided severely for each and every one of the elegant tufts of hair that falls from my wondrous coat of fur and lands on counters, floors, carpets, and chairs. Ultimately, on the disastrous Day Zero, Fuzz Face and I will be banished to El Camino Del Monte, our Class C RV, to spend the day “out of sight and out of mind”. When Son #1 arrives and completes his menial tasks of chauffeuring his wife and daughters and carrying a multitude of items into the house, he too will be forced into exile in the RV.

I don’t quite understand Fuzz Face’s response to this event. Normally, he is one to whine and complain. During these terrible female events, though, he takes on a different attitude. No matter what Blondie tells him to do, no matter how degrading it might be, he always answers with a wimpy “Yes, Dear – Anything you say, Dear.” For some reason, Blondie shows great irritation whenever he says this. – – I’m surprised at his defiance and audacity in the face of certain reproof and reprisal from Blondie. – – All I can say concerning his uncharacteristic bravery is, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.”

Series_of_photographs_showing_the_Westchester_County_Thrift_Shop_and_the_many_activities_conducted_-_(3856223710)By the way if you’re wondering about that featured image. Old Fuzz Face and I secretly hid a camera in the dining room during last year’s SFH High Tea. Both Fuzz Face and I agree that it would be unwise to place the names under the various attendees. – – That would be certain extinction for both of us.

So, we’ll keep counting the days, but not to when the High Tea will take place, rather to the day when it is over and we can safely come out of hiding.

 

 

SFH Journal: 2019-08-04 through 11

Hi, Mr. Monte here! – – Old Fuzz Face is once again trying to convince all at Serendipity Farm House that he has been overworked, is bone-weary, and is generally incapable of performing any task, no matter how minor. – – He even pleads to be spared from bringing in a single, 40 pound bag of cat litter. – – So, I guess I will have to write this post while the old man feigns fatigue and a host of other maladies.

04 August, Sunday (Cat Cousins continued): If you remember my wonderful, enchanting, and ever so truly true post about the two cat cousins Gizmo and Cosmo (refresh you memory here), we were all concerned about how this relationship would develop. Well, as may observe in the picture below, there appears to be a growing affection between the two. You have to understand feline body language, however, to read between the lines and see that this, at best, can only be considered a temporary truce – tolerance is not affection – and it easily wears thin. I’ll keep you updated on how this tense situation finally resolves itself.

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05 August, Monday: First full day without Blondie. As you know, Blondie went to see her big sister for a few days. Fuzz Face reacted to the absence in the manner I had anticipated and expected. The lazy lout took almost no heed when I beckoned for his assistance. He had his face stuck in an expressionless trance, staring at that computer screen and calling his actions work. I responded to his lack of attention by splattering, flipping, and tossing cat litter in all directions. I only achieved true satisfaction, when I spread some between his sheets.

06 August, Tuesday: Second full day without Blondie. Once again, Fuzz Face told me that he had to work at his desk. He got away with that for about an hour – then, I bit his leg and said quite clearly, “It’s time to brush Moi!” – – He got the message

07 August, Wednesday: Third full day without Blondie. Fuzz Face said it was another work day and foolishly sat at his desk, thinking I would let him accomplish anything that wasn’t related to me. So, in the most subtle and discreet fashion, I jumped on his lap, climbed on his shoulders, and threatened to bit his ear lobe. I indicated, that when finished, he would have enough piercings to be able to wear more earrings than Blondie and both of his daughters put together. Once again, he got the message. – – I allowed him to brush me for almost half an hour.

Later in the day, I had to save his bacon. He had over seven pounds of tomatoes that he foolishly promised Blondie that he would turn into canned pasta sauce. – – Consider the prospect of that prize dolt attempting to can six jars of pasta sauce – without assistance. Needless, to say, in order to protect the soon to be world famous SFH Test Kitchen from total destruction and ruin I had to direct him in his every move. The idiot almost lost a finger in the blender while pureeing the tomatoes – you really don’t want to know the details.

08 August, Thursday: Blondie’s coming home! It is rumored among humans that, by virtue of her hair color, Blondie has some extra challenges. I don’t hold to that line of thought, but I will say that Blondie is perfectly paired with Fuzz Face. Nevertheless, it is better to have her here, taking care of me, than it is to have her elsewhere, leaving me alone with Fuzz Face. So, when he said to me that today she’s coming home, I immediately got into a better mood. Fuzz Face, on the other hand, went into deep depression. – – He had to clean the house that he had so thoroughly messed up. Not only did he have to clean it, he had to clean it to Blondie’s standards. – the old man was in a compete panic. Sensing that he needed my help, I made sure that the floor throughout the house had layers of cat litter sufficiently deep to trip a circus elephant. – – – Oh, what amazing bliss when Blondie walked in the door – – – She immediately spotted the cat litter and took Old Fuzz Face to task.

09 August, Friday: Perhaps the most important event of the year took place on this day. Blondie and Fuzz Face decided it was time to harvest the grapes from the massive SFH vineyards. You can see the full harvest in the featured picture. It’s most unfortunate that critters and varmints consumed three of the grapes leaving us with only 81% of the original crop. Although a final decision hasn’t been made, yours truly has offered to stomp the grapes. Nowhere else in the world could you get fine wine made from grapes masterfully processed by the four large paws of a handsome 20-pound Maine Coon cat. The wonderful vintage of 2019 should, of course, be called SFH Cat’s Paw Wine. (We were going to copyright the name, but found a winery in South Carolina already has it. Perhaps we’ll just call it Monte-ster Mash)

10 August, Saturday: Life was getting better with Blondie back at home. It was getting better until Friday night when Fuzz Face decided he was going to take me out to the RV with him. I was not enthused. – – But, then I thought about it. If I go out with Fuzz Face, he and I could play. He would be a captive audience – captive in more ways than one. So, we played all night long. I purred and rubbed up beside him and showed my teeth, and we played some more. – – – We came back in at 4:30AM and I slept all day. — Blondie added to my enjoyment of the experience by working Fuzz Face nearly to exhaustion.

11 August, Sunday: This was a day of rest. I did, however, take some pleasure in chasing Blondie up the stairs. She threatened to throw her pink flip flop at me, but I’m so cute she couldn’t follow through.

So, the weather continues hot and dry. Here are the stats.

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

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

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

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly: See SFH WX 2019-08-05 through 11

SFH Journal: 2019-07-08 through 14 – Cat Cousins

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Hi! Mr. Monte here. Ol’ Fuzz Face was complaining (as usual) about the heat and other discomforts of Summer in Virginia. The last time I saw him, he was huddled up next to an air conditioner, sucking on an overly expensive bottle of Perrier mineral water. So, if he can’t handle the heat, then I guess I will have to write this post. – – Maybe that’s just as well, because the topic today is Cat Cousins, something he knows little or nothing about.

Highlight: Blondie and Fuzz Faces’s Daughter #2 has just blessed the extended family with a new Cat Cousin. “Cosmo” is just a little tyke, all black and grey, and full of that usual, juvenile feline cuteness. (By the way, mine never went away.)

Daughter #2 already had “Gizmo”, a decent enough fellow, who is one year my senior. I won’t dispute his seniority in this space, but I will staunchly assert my claim to full authority over all Cat Cousins in the family. They may be cute, but I rule.

In any event, we cats are somewhat territorial and consider ourselves masters of our established domains. Although the picture suggests that Gizmo is adapting to Cosmo’s presence, there will surely be some tensions in the household for a while to come. At this point, all I can say to Gizmo and Cosmo is: “Lots of luck, fellas, and don’t ever try setting a foot onto my territory here at Serendipity Farmhouse!”

By the way, my other Cat Cousins include “Blossom” & “Cinder”, now residing happily with Daughter #1. Fuzz Face tells me they are sweet and adorable. Meanwhile, Son #1 and family are proudly owned by my Cat Cousin “Erso”. Rumor has it that she is quite nice as well.

Oh, I guess right about now Ol’ Fuzz Face would say check out the links below. The garden is producing in great abundance and my two big cats seem to be pleased.

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

SFH WX Station Report: See SFH Weather Summaries & Statistics

 

 

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.