Category: Mr. Monte

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

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

SFH – All Secure!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

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

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

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

 

Miss Fleur’s Reply

Dear Mr. Monte,

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

Forever yours,
Fleur

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

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

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

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

Valentine Card for Dear Miss Fleur

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Dearest Miss Fleur,

Meeowww! Meeowww! Meeowww!

Your loving admirer,

Mr. Monte

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

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

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

SFH Christmas Eve Traditions

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Hi! Mr. Monte here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XMas Eve

 

 

 

SFH Journal: 2019-12-09 through 12-15

0924191434b-2.jpgHi! Mr. Monte here.

I have the writing duties today. Old Fuzz Face had to take the day off for a couple of reasons.

First, the poor old guy ain’t what he used to be. My speculation is that he never was. Today, he’s complaining about having to write blog posts two days in a row. – – You would think that the way he throws mediocre thoughts on a page and expects people to think that he is writing some kind of inspired prose wouldn’t be very tiring. But, no! Fuzz Face is moaning about how the work of “artistic creativity” drains his physical and mental reserves. – – Poppycock! The old guy is a lazy faker. – – Just sayin’.

Now Fuzz Face’s second reason for bowing out of writing today might be closer to the truth. Why! Well, it seems as though he made a really serious faux pas the other day and is experiencing the wrath of a very perturbed and highly agitated Blondie. – – It seems as though the rapidly aging dunderhead committed the “unspeakable crime”. What crime you may ask? Well, take a look at the featured picture. Yep, you got it! – – – Fuzzy put the little red Elf dude in the refrigerator.

I saw the whole thing. He passed by me while I was trying to take a siesta in the living room. The little red dude was in his hand and he was chuckling to himself with impish glee. I watched as he opened the refrigerator door, still chuckling.

I prefer to live in a peaceful household. And, after all, I am the Serendipity Farmhouse Chief of Security. It was obvious to me that Fuzz Face was about to cross the line of “No Return”. Nothing good could come out of this childish, ill-advised prank. I meowed to him in my loudest most distressed warning, “Fuzz Face, don’t do it! You’re placing yourself in dire peril!” – – My warning was to no avail. The old chucklehead had just signed his own death warrant.

It was an hour or two before the inevitable happened. Blondie was complaining that she couldn’t find her beloved, sweet, little red Elf. Even then you could hear in her voice that she had suspected that Fuzz Face had been up to no good.

Without finding her little red friend, she started to make dinner. And, of course, you can figure out the rest. Yep! She had to open up the refrigerator.

The door opened. Blondie saw her dear, sweet little friend shivering with the cold. His breath wreaked of dill pickles and he was beginning to turn green around the edges. Then came the scream. Several neighbors wondered whether there was cause to call 911. – – – Then there was silence.

Grandchildren read this blog, so I won’t give an accounting of what happened next. – – Suffice it to say, Old Fuzz Face is chuckling no more.

The score is now: Little Red Elf one – Old Fuzz Face none

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

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

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

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2019-12-09 through 12-15

 

SFH Journal: 2019-11-18 through 11-24 – I Love My Paws

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

Did you know your every day, run of the mill domestic cat has a total of 18 toes, with five toes on each fore paw, and four toes on each hind paw? – – – Ahem!!! I am not your every day, run of the mill domestic cat. – – – I am a highly prized, certified, documented, polydactyl Main Coon cat. Here’s what I mean. Study the following pictures closely – pay attention to my snow prints.

In the pictures above, you see my hind paw print with five very well defined toe indentations. So, that means I have one more toe than your average cat on each hind paw. But, dear readers, that is only part of the story. As you can see in this selfie of my hind paw, the true story is each of my hind paws actually has six toes (and, of course, six terrifyingly sharp and lethal claws). The sixth toe is somewhat obscured by exceptionally beautiful, shiny fur.

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But, dear readers, that is still only part of the story. When we get to my fore paws, there are even more fascinating facts concerning how I am distinguished from your every day, run of the mill domestic cat.

Each of my fore paws is also endowed with six majestic and lethal claws. The sixth toe on each paw gives me an extra catly “thumb”. Because of the breadth of each paw, I am able to accomplish feats impossible to everyday cats. These “thumbs” mimic the human hand and allow me to grasp objects – my paw is a “prehensile” organ.

Other polydactyl cats can open doors, pick up objects, etc. My extra toes, however, are even more capable. For example, all of the closeup shots above were selfies I took using Old Fuzz Face’s smart phone.

Once I got the hang of how the smart phone worked. It wasn’t long before I learned how to text. If you think some humans are fast at texting using two thumbs, imagine how quickly I can send a text using four thumbs.

Although I compose most of my world renowned posts on a regular keyboard using a “hunt and kill” erhh, I mean “hunt and peck” typing method, often I use the smart phone keyboard and type with my four magnificent thumbs.

Now that I have educated you on the joys of being a highly prized, certified, documented, polydactyl Main Coon cat, I guess I should let you know about this past week at Serendipity Farmhouse – it wasn’t so good.

The week started with Blondie enduring sickness. That was complicated by a reaction to medication that had consequences that should not be mentioned here. Just as she was improving and enjoying her first day out of the house, she and Fuzz Face encountered a rather serious problem with their family car.

After being inspected and examined by the dealership, they were told the cost for repair. Both of my big cats (Blondie and Fuzz Face) reacted in somewhat predictable ways. Blondie saw immediate doom coming to all aspects of her life from that moment extending all the way to the grave and beyond.

Old Fuzz Face, reacted to the estimate as if an arrow had just pierced the very heart of his “inner cheap”. The reaction was immediate and severe. But, I couldn’t keep from laughing because, as the picture shows, he has probably been living too long with yours truly.

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SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

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

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

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2019-11-18 through 11-24

 

 

SFH Journal: 2019-10-21 through 27 – Vet the Vet

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

Cats know, perhaps even better than humans, the meaning of the adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Now you may recall how pleased I was with my introduction to a new veterinary clinic about a month ago. (See Blondie Comes Through – Guilt Assuaged.) At the time, that visit to the new vet left me in a state of relative catly euphoria. But! Cats, especially cats like me who possess notable intellect and shrewd understanding of the real world, must be aware that humans are basically dishonest. They often speak with soothing words, but their real intent is not benign. Blondie and Fuzz Face are no exceptions.

I had mulled over this thought through the intervening weeks. It was inevitable that another visit to the vet would happen. Thursday was the day of reckoning. My two big cats quietly pulled out my carrier and gently urged me to enter, all the while speaking those soothing words. – – My catly senses suddenly alarmed a shrill – Uh-oh!

Within 20 minutes we were once again in the quiet room in the clinic. Once again, classical music was heard in the background. An array of tasty treats were strewn about my paws. I knew, I just knew, they were laying a trap. Then, the Vet came in and spoke softly to my two big cats. I heard the human words “rabies vaccine” and “inspect his ears”.  Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!

I shan’t bore you with the details. It was not as I expected. The Vet and the Tech quietly, gently, calmly, and professionally did what they had to do. Surely, it was not pleasant, but it was not painful or traumatizing either. It was merely doing what had to be done. In addition to administering the vaccine and probing both ears with cotton swabs, they also administered more tasty treats. In fact, by the time the visit was done, I had almost overdosed on those tender morsels.

Okay, for once Blondie and Fuzz Face spoke the truth when they told me that I have nothing to fear. Perhaps they really are concerned with my better interests. So, for now, I have only two things to say:

  1. I have now vetted the Vet and she is the best Vet yet!
  2. Blondie and Fuzz Face better go out and buy a case of the same treats the Vet gave me or else there are no more amazing tricks by me.

Yes, dear readers, I really did end this post with a seasonal pun – instead of “trick or treat” it is “treats for tricks”!

SFH by the Numbers – Facts & Statistics

SFH Plantings: See SFH 2019 Plantings

SFH Harvest: See SFH 2019 Harvest

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

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

SFH WX Station Report – Weekly:  SFH WX 2019-10-21 through 09-27

 

Blondie Comes Through – Guilt Assuaged

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

Note 1: This post is only to be read by my 23, 417 feline followers. Do Not! I repeat, Do Not! allow your humans to view the TOPCAT SECRET content herein.

Note 2: This post should not be read without first referring to my post Indignity – Mr. Monte’s Day with the Vet

Yesterday, September 26, stands alongside my birthday two days earlier as a truly great day! Blondie came through! – – No more Dr. Dog-man!!! – – Happy days are here again!

It all began mid-morning. Ol’ Fuzz Face went through his hilarious routine of trying to round me up and get me inside my cat carrier. First, he tries to distract me. Then, he goes into his stealth mode, sneaking up on me. Foolish, foolish human! Once I tire of his manifest idiocy, I just walk over to the carrier – all the time he’s thinking he’s outwitted me.

I must say that I experienced some anxiety when we got into the car instead of the RV. There are only two places they take me for rides – the dump (I’ve never figured that one out) or to Dr. Dog-man’s veterinary practice. – But, to my ever so minor dismay, we passed both places by. – Blondie & Fuzz Face had managed to capture my attention – where were we going???

The ride took about 25 minutes. Blondie rode in the back to attend to my needs. Then we arrived at what looked like a common residential home. The waiting room was definitely that of a veterinary clinic, but it was unusual. The air was filled with the smell of humans and cat, but no other animals whatsoever. I did my best to relax in this entirely new environment.

Suddenly, there were two human females with a juvenile feline in their hands. – My interest was immediately piqued. There was a question concerning the gender of this fuzzy black juvenile. One human gently lifted the tale of the juvenile feline. Her head leaned to the left, then to the right, then back again. She, not so confidently, announced that this was a “girl”.

Of course, by this time my body had gone rigid and my gaze was locked onto the juvenile feline – Friend or Foe? – Playmate or threat? – But, beyond those simple instinctual questions, I had to ask – how can you not be sure if it’s a girl. All they had to do was ask me. – – Humans, I just can’t figure them out. They get paid even if they don’t know the most basic things – like girl or boy?

Then I was taken to a room – a room about the size of a bedroom – a room not unlike a human child’s room. Fuzz Face put my carrier down and opened the door. As he was doing that, a human female walked in and did the strangest thing – she sat on the floor. Despite her sitting position, I knew that she was a veterinary technician. In my usual response to all in the veterinary profession, I hissed and bared my teeth. That’ll show her who’s in charge.

Rather than lurch back in mortal terror, she merely sat in place and smiled at me. Huh? I had to investigate. So, I left the security of my carrier and circled the room two or three times. She continued to smile and talk with my humans. “What’s up here?”

In a short while, another human female entered the room, and she too sat on the floor, right on my level. She also smiled at me and addressed me in a very pleasant low tone. After a while, she attempted to have me play with some cat toys – I was too smart for that ploy. But it wasn’t a ploy. She was willing to play.

Oh, and before I forget, both of the human females offered me yummy cat treats. I knew that had to be a ploy. But, no, that wasn’t a ploy either. The just left them on the floor. I could have any or all that I wanted, no strings attached. Again I said, “What’s up here?”

After a long while (no one seemed to be in a rush), I got the idea that I should check out the second human. To my surprise, I discovered that she was a veterinarian, but not like Dr. Dog-man – she had cat skills, very well developed cat skills. So, as I sidled up alongside her, she stroked me gently and sincerely. “Could this really be?”

In the background, I could even hear classical music just like Fuzz Face plays when he’s at work or writing a post. – It was like being home.

She let me smell a metal disc thing connected to a tube. I sniffed and felt no threat. Slowly she put the disc near my heart and listened – she smiled at what she heard. After that she looked at me as if asking “May I?” Then she looked at my teeth, just a simple look.

Then I was urged to get onto the thing I dread most – the weight scale. The numbers went round and round, up and down and finally stopped at 19.  She smiled approvingly. There were no words of reproof.

I ate some more snacks while the humans talked about my favorite subject – me.

All too quickly the visit had come to an end. I had been to my first visit at a veterinary practice that understands cats – important cats like me.

I don’t remember the ride home. I was in cat heaven, and in my memory I have been there all day. And, had you come to Serendipity Farmhouse today this what you might have seen.

Now, to my 23, 417 feline followers, here is the lesson to be learned about human behavior. Humans have something we cats don’t have and would consider a weakness if we did – GUILT.

(Be advised, dogs, because of their long, subservient relationship with humans, also have guilt.)

When we left Dr. Dog-man and his chamber of catly horrors, Blondie saw that I was in the midst of a near nervous breakdown. She saw me tremble with pain from the injections, poking, and prodding. She visibly winced when Dog-man body shamed me due to my weight.

To some extent, Blondie made her decision to seek a new veterinary practice, out of love. But, be assured, she was even more strongly motivated by severe GUILT. She had put me in this position; it was her duty to make it better by finding a “cat friendly practice” where I could be fear-free.

No matter whether it was GUILT or LOVE or both, she finally did the right thing. She went the extra mile. Sleep well tonight, Dearest Blondie, with guilt assuaged and me snuggling close to you.

 

 

 

My Birthday – 2019!

Hi, Mr. Monte here!

As you well know, modesty is perhaps the most well developed of my many virtues. I would never call myself a prideful cat. Today, however, I must admit my attitude and actions could be described as less than humble. Yet, how could it be otherwise? Today was my fifth birthday and today was allllll about meeeee-ow.

Ol’ Fuzz Face and Blondie, for every good and just reason, doted on me today. Each of them greeted me early with sincere birthday wishes – this was a day when my bowl was never empty. Blondie couldn’t have been nicer. Fuzz Face, on the other hand, could always be nicer. Nevertheless, he tried hard to be hospitable.

0924191435b (2)For example, grooming today went on for almost twenty minutes. He did his best to remove a troublesome knot in my fur – a knot that would not have been there if he had groomed me properly before. I guess the nicest thing he did was get me a new box to lounge in while sitting on the porch. (Of course, it was at no cost to him – he stole it from Aldi’s and just threw it on the floor in front of me.) Nevertheless, it is a pretty nice box and I suppose I can forgive him for his cheapness.

Blondie sometimes gets some strange ideas about what type of toys might amuse me. This year, I think she outdid herself in the strangeness department. After Barney, there can’t be a more detestable creature than Gumby. First off, he is green. Next, he’s not so smart. And thirdly, he isn’t all that tasty. I confirmed that today when Blondie gave me Gumby as a present. As you will see below, Gumby is no more. He had a distinct aroma of Play-Doh and the texture of used chewing gum. – – – Maybe, Blondie will get it right next year.

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Well, all’s well that ends well, and at least Blondie and Fuzz Face got the annual ice cream ritual right.

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Although Blondie had given me a descent size portion of the best ice cream she could find, and I thought that would be enough, I noticed that her portion far exceeded mine in volume and quality. Of course, I had to correct that error in judgement on her part immediately.

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Blondie’s wounds should mend fairly soon. Fuzz Face, as usual, hid in a corner until I finished correcting his dear, sweet spouse.