Category: SFH Journal

SFH Journal: 2019-11-11 through 11-17 – Abundant Harvest & Great Thanksgiving

0728191156a_HDR (2)Industrious and beautiful Wife, widely known for her fabled “green thumb”, has officially declared the growing season and the harvest of 2019 officially at an end. Using all the expertise at her command, and commanding back-breaking labor from her ever admiring hubby, she has planned and executed all that took place in the vast, expansive (somewhat less than 224 square feet), and fruitful gardens of the Serendipity Farmhouse estate.

The result of her labor and planning is the most bounteous harvest ever achieved sinceIMG_20140713_170722_748 (2) the SFH sign was affixed to the entrance way of our humble abode. Her struggle and sweat through one the hottest and most grueling growing seasons ever recorded in this area were rewarded with fresh vegetables on the dinner table on a daily basis, and with frozen, dehydrated, and canned food stores to brighten our table through the holidays, holy days, and days between now and the next harvest.

Yet, my humble Spouse is the first to say that none of this would have been possible without His help and watchful care. That is a reason to be thankful, that is a reason for giving thanks. That is but one of many reasons why we will pray to Him in thanksgiving on November 28th.

And now, without further ado, Mr. Monte, in his capacity as SFH Chief Statistician, has gathered pictures and compiled statistics to show what Blondie has accomplished in her gardens during Anno Domini MMXIX.

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SFH 2019 Harvest Totals

ItemQTYSeason End
Apples708-27
Arugula9 bunches11-13
Asparagus1605-20
Basil13 bunches08-23
Beans, green stringless19107-07
Beans, Monticello19907-07
Beet greens2 bunches06-06
Beets3306-06
Cucumbers607-18
Garlic heads1807-01
Garlic scapes1805-27
Grapes1608-09
Kale4 bunches05-25
Okra41310-23
Parsley6 bunches08-18
Peppers, Cow Horn3710-18
Peppers, jalapenos22610-18
Peppers, pimento1308-29
Squash, yellow4309-26
Strawberries905-25
Thyme1 bunch07-31
Tomatoes, Big Beef13109-26
Tomatoes, Cherry65411-02
Tomatoes, Golden Jubilee2009-19
Tomatoes, Mr. Stripey11809-26

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SFH 2019 Preserving Totals

ItemQTY
Okra, frozen7 packages
Okra, pickled8 pint jars
Pasta Sauce18 pint jars
Peppers, Cow Horn, dry canned1 pint jar
Peppers, pickled10 1/2 pint jars
Pesto5 4-oz containers
Popcorn, dry canned6 quart jars
Raspberries, frozen1 package
Salsa27 pint jars

Serendipity Farmhouse is not a hobby. Serendipity Farmhouse is our way of life.

Serendipity Farmhouse is where we Pray, Prepare, and Preserve.

 

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 2019-11-04 through 11-10

 

SFH Journal: 2019-11-04 through 11-10

The blossoming of our Christmas Cactus is another sign of the seasons here at Serendipity Farmhouse – a very welcome sign, indeed.

We woke up on the morning of November 5th to a hard freeze of 29.7°F. Though we have

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A frozen cherry tomato plant

had several frosts earlier, this was the one that finally signaled “end of season” for our ever-faithful cherry tomato plant. Up until the day it was taken by the cold, this little plant produced abundantly. It may be gone now, but it leaves behind the memory of 654 tasty red orbs.  Truly, a great achievement!

Yet, here at Serendipity Farmhouse there is always confidence and hope. That fact is witnessed to by my energetic and resourceful Wife. On the very day of the loss of our cherry tomato plant, she made her way to SFH Vegetable Garden #1 and planted five rows of garlic with six cloves in each row. Buoyed by her success with last year’s planting and this Summer’s harvest of fresh garlic, she decided to increase the numbers. There is no doubt in the author’s mind that we will see a bountiful SFH garlic harvest in 2020. (See: SFH Journal: 2019-07-01 – A Midsummer Day)

The arrival of colder weather dictates that El Camino Del Monte must be winterized. Now, with a year of experience under our belt, we managed the whole affair with a minimum of problems or concerns. It was not so last year. (See: SFH Journal: 2018-11-15 – First Snow & First Fire)

In case you’re wondering what Mr. Monte has been up to, in addition to leaf  and critter watching from the back porch, he has taken up photography. He submitted this photo as a sample of what the quick eye of a Maine Coon cat and the quick shutter of a digital single lens reflex camera can catch. Good job, Mr. Monte!

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Now if you remember, one of our very first posts (see: WWWT? #1 – What a Lovely Wood Stove!) detailed all the problems we encountered when we first attempted to use our wood stove. Now that we’ve been here for a while and had time to learn from our past mistakes, starting the first fire of the year was without incident and blessed by warmth throughout Serendipity Farmhouse on the afternoon of Thursday, November 7th.

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All-in-all, a very good week at SFH!

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 2019-11-04 through 11-10

SFH Journal: 2019-10-28 through 11-03 – Fall Comes to SFH

When industrious and ever thoughtful Wife asks me to take a day or two of vacation to work on this vast estate known as Serendipity Farmhouse, it’s not a request. It carries a bit more weight than that. So, being sane and sound of mind, I notify the folks at work that I’m off to perform higher priority tasking.

This time of year in the Blue Ridge, however, is so pleasant that I might be found guilty of planting the idea that a thorough Fall cleanup is needed. Dearest Spouse is quite susceptible to the power of suggestion, especially if it suits her purposes and SFH will be the better for it.

So, here it is! The best time of the year when even a little potentially back-breaking work is a welcome diversion from our normal routine.

28 OCT – Monday: A while back, dearest Wife allegedly put away two cords of wood single-handed. (See: SFH Journal: 2019-09-30 through 10-20 – “V” is for “Victory!”) Today, the chimney sweep arrived early to inspect and clean the SFH wood stove. With wood in the shed and a fully functional wood stove, we are now ready to face the cold days that are coming.

After that, it was out to the gardens to remove the okra and pepper plants. One box was specially prepared for planting garlic.

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Three of the nine boxes now ready for next season

29 OCT – Tuesday: The second half of Monday and most of Tuesday were all about

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New shelves with AC units & fans

cleaning out one side of the storage shed and removing fans, air conditioners, and other Summer equipment to the shed. This year, we purchased, assembled, and put into active use a brand new, heavy-duty storage shelf unit. My only comment at this point is: Either the gravitational pull of the earth is increasing making everything heavier, or I am getting older and more feeble. – – Next year, I may call younger and stronger hands to help out Granddad.

Later in the day, beautiful Spouse and I made the walk to the mailbox. I snapped this picture along the way. In the distance you can see Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive. The Autumn colors were just past their peak. Later in the week, we would be up at that spot on Skyline drive taking a picture of SFH and our little part of God’s great creation.

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A view of the Blue Ridge & Skyline Drive as we walk to the mail box

30 OCT – Wednesday: This was a work  day for me with a long commute. It was the kind of day that enterprising Wife uses to make multiple additions to the official SFH Honey Do List.

31 OCT – Thursday: This was a notable day because it was Granddaughter #4’s birthday. That being the case, IHOP suddenly becomes one of the most important places in Virginia. Parents and grandparents assisted dear Granddaughter in a splendid celebration.

This was also a day of much-needed rain. The office required some cleaning and I used an hour or two of that time to comprehend, digest, and internally accept all of my dearest Wife’s additions to the official SFH Honey Do List.

01 NOV – Friday – All Saints Day: As the storm system moved northward, much cooler temperatures set in. Autumn in the Blue Ridge had turned the corner towards Winter. With the lower temperatures came the clearest blue sky one can imagine. Just the perfect day to celebrate our dear friend Nancy’s birthday with lunch and picture taking on Skyline Drive.

This picture of dear Wife and Nancy has some hidden meaning that even I find difficult to discern. You will note that I have enlarged the sign pointing to sweet Wife and Nancy. I suppose I will be puzzling over its true significance for some time to come, or at least until most thoughtful Wife requires that I excise the offending photo of the “Farm Fresh Pumpkins” sign.

Immediately after photographing the “Pumpkins”, errh, I mean dearest Spouse and Nancy, we were off for more enjoyment of the Autumnal color display.  And this is just some of what we saw.

By the way, you can see some white buildings in the upper third of the bottom photo. Yes, gentle Reader, that is Serendipity Farmhouse just to the left.

02 NOV – Saturday: This was a typical day for strenuous and demanding chores at SFH.

03 NOV – Sunday: This was a day of rest and a day for doing the Lord’s work. All in all, one very fine Autumn week at SFH.

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 2019-10-27 through 11-03

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

 

SFH Journal: 2019-09-30 through 10-20 – “V” is for “Victory!”

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I’m sure you remember that picture of me in late September. (See SFH Journal: 2019-09-23 through 29.) The wood for the coming Winter had just arrived and dear Hubby made a plea for family to come and help move two cords of wood to the shed behind me.

Well, schedules are schedules and often they don’t coincide. Likewise, families have obligations and, as much as they want to help, they cannot leave their obligations and commitments behind.

Even sweet Hubby had a serious business commitment and had to travel to Idaho. He wouldn’t and couldn’t be around to move the wood. So, to make a long story short, I resolved that this pioneer wife, this homemaker and founder of Serendipity Farmhouse would do what many women have done in the past. Just like the days when dear Hubby had to deploy for months at a time, I would rise once more to the challenge and move the wood all by myself.

I saddled up the lawn tractor and hitched the work cart behind it. Slowly at a measured pace, I loaded the cart and moved the many loads of wood to the shed. Then marshaling uncommon strength and stamina I carried logs, two and three at a time, into the shed and stacked them as high as I could reach. It was a marvelously neat and tidy job and I feel justly proud.

Over several days, it all came together. It was a success. No, rather, it was a victory. And as you can see dear friends I signaled with a “V” for “Victory”!

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Fake

Well, I guess the SFH Chief of Security found me out and caught me red-handed. No, dear friends, it was dearest Hubby and I who did the job together and we enjoyed every minute of it. What better way to spend a cool, crisp Autumn day?

Growing/Preserving Season Coming to an End

Almost Frost

There it is. Almost the first frost. When we heard the warning, we quickly harvested anything that looked even remotely ready. There were so many jalapeno peppers that today (Sunday) we had to pickle five jars of the spicy little rascals.

We still have arugula and romaine coming in. Even the little cherry tomato bush is still trying. We look forward to the coming winter days, enjoying the fruits of our harvest while sitting near the warmth of the wood stove.

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 Journal: 2019-09-23 through 29

Dear Children, Children-in-law, and Grandchildren,

This wonderfully beautiful and ever so sweet woman you see before you, your Mother, Mother-in-law, and Grandmother, is in desperate need of your help. This week, two cords of firewood were delivered to Serendipity Farmhouse. It represents the warmth that will be needed to sustain this loving caretaker of SFH during the cold, harsh, and long Winter to come. She is willing to carry every log herself to the dry safety of the woodshed you see behind her.

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If you can find it in your hearts to spare this dear lady from this drudgery and back-breaking task, please send an email or call us directly to offer your assistance. I’m certain that your work of charity will not go unrewarded here at SFH or in Heaven.

Highlights of the Week:

0924191434b (2)09-24 Tuesday: Without a doubt, the highlight for this week was the birthday of Serendipity Farmhouse’s Chief Security Agent and Master Chef – Mr. Monte. You can view his remarks about the festive anniversary here: My Birthday – 2019!

09-25 Wednesday: Our local tree and yard maintenance service delivered two cords of firewood. Compared to last year’s waterlogged stack of mushroom-filled bottom wood, this year’s wood is dry, well-seasoned and ready to go. – Count this as a blessing. (See:  SFH Journal: 2019-01-26 through 31 – Gourmet Recipes for the Wood Stove)

09-26 Thursday: Perhaps prematurely, we called an end to the growing season for our 0927191347b (2)tomato garden. Sustained dry weather and infestations of bugs were causing unacceptable losses to our late-season tomatoes. So, Yours Truly harvested the last few ripening tomatoes and a relatively large number of green tomatoes and then pulled out the plants.

Final tally on full-sized, usable tomatoes this season:

Golden Jubilee x 1 plant = 20
Mr. Stripey x 4 plants = 113, average of 28 per plant
Big Beef x 1 plant = 131

Despite the losses to weather and pests, 164 tomatoes is a lot of tomatoes. So, I can say unreservedly, this was the best year for tomatoes ever here at SFH. – Count this as a blessing.

Of course there was another highlight this day – Mr. Monte finally has found a feline-loving veterinarian to call his own. You can read about it here: Blondie Comes Through – Guilt Assuaged

09-27 Friday: Meanwhile, back at our second main vegetable garden there are other reflections of the change in seasons. Although still producing, the yellow squash have not been growing as large as a few weeks ago. They also were beginning to be more fragile while on the vine. For that reason, I had to end the season and remove the squash plant. That single plant produced a total of 43 yellow squash for our dinner table. – Count this as a blessing.

As of today, the garden now looks like this:

The arugula is prospering. The new asparagus plants have taken hold. The jalapeno and Cow Horn peppers continue to produce in abundance. And, as you can see below there is the prospect of many more servings of okra at our dinner table. – Count this as a blessing.

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Oh, and you might be wondering about the cherry tomato plant. So far this season, it has given us 609 little red tomatoes filled with garden fresh taste. And there are more coming.

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Count each and every thing shown or stated here in this post as a great blessing!

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 2019-09-23 through 09-29

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

On one hand, things have been very good this year. For example, the Okra harvest keeps coming in bit-by-bit. To date, we have frozen six packages and pickled eight pint jars of that tasty vegetable. This year’s crop has also provided for many meals for ourselves and for guests.

WS5On the other hand, weather events from as far back as March of last year continue to rack up their toll in destruction. During Winter Storm Riley in March of  2018, our beautiful pine tree in the front yard was damaged and was leaning at a bad angle. (See our post SFH PPP 2018-01: Living the Life of Riley for details.)

Apparently, the tree was damaged more than we suspected. This year, when the rains subsided, the tree began to go brown. Now, it looks like the tree is past saving. It’s likely that some of the root structure was damaged and, when water became scarce, the roots couldn’t supply enough water to sustain growth. It’s a sad thing, but it looks like we will have to have it taken down and removed.
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 2019-09-09 through 09-15

SFH Journal: 2019-08-26 through 09-01

This past week was highlighted by a visit by our most sweet, charming, and imaginative Granddaughter #1. She brightened up Serendipity Farmhouse with delightful conversation and insights into a surprisingly positive and hopeful worldview. Even Mr. Monte moped about with a feeling of absence in our home when Granddaughter #1 had to leave.

As this journal week ends on the beginning of a new month, we can see that the Summer is now giving way to the first signs of Autumn. For several plants in the vegetable garden, the growing season has come to or soon will come to an end. This is natural and good. For those who Pray, Prepare, and Preserve, this is expected and it is welcomed.

 

Here are some brighter moments from the week – – –

0826191337_HDR (2)08-26 Monday: This was an all-day adventure delving into the the history of political thought, horticulture, and innovative thinking in our Commonwealth of Virginia. Granddaughter #1 captured the essence of the day in her post Monticello & Granddaughter #1.

08-27 Tuesday: A day of conversation, work in the garden, and catching up on chores provided necessary relief from driving, waiting in lines, and tourist frustration. There is joy to be found in waking up to a cup of coffee and some honest labor. As you can see below, this was a productive day for the gardens.

0827191604c (2)The never-to-be-world-famous apple trees here at SFH have suffered greatly from a year of extreme over watering followed by a summer of extended, extreme heat. That we have any apples at all this year must be considered a blessing. So, today, with the apple picker I purchased last year but was never able to use, I went out and picked a representative sample of what is growing on our trees. (Full disclosure: This picture was staged and all the spots and blemishes have been hidden from view. Even with that, these are not prize winning apples.)

A Great and Wonderful Birthday Gift: DSC_0719 (2)Oh, by the way, did I ever tell you that our family loves Japanese Gyoza. Of course I have, you just didn’t remember. (To refresh your memory see How to Make Japanese Gyoza.) Well, Daughter #1 outdid herself by treating my wondrous Wife to a Gyoza feast for her birthday. Loving daughter spent the best part of a day preparing approximately 100 of those delicious treats. The fortunate partakers in the feast included Daughter #1’s family, adorable Wife, and yours truly. Mr. Monte refrained from joining in due to certain private weight control issues.

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 2019-08-25 through 09-01

SFH Journal: 2019-08-12 through 25

Hi! Mr. Monte here.

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Mr. Monte

“The end is not in sight.”

“There is no light at the end of the tunnel.”

“- That’s because the tunnel has no end.”

Folks, I think Old Fuzz Face has finally lost it. He just walks around muttering to himself like a living page from Eeyore’s Little Book of Gloom. He’s talked himself into a state of total uselessness. He just doesn’t know how to leave the past behind and let the future take care of itself. All he can think about is how badly things might turn out.

Along with Blondie, he fretted and fretted about the Great High Tea. He’s worried about too much sun, too little rain and just about anything that might be too “too”. He took a wonderful two-day RV trip with Blondie and me (yes! there will be a post). We made great food and I was on my best behavior (sort of). All he can talk about is the problems caused by having to replace the RV battery.

Even on the fantastic day when Granddaughter #1 is visiting, all he can think about is buying and stacking the three cords of firewood for heating; getting the wood stove chimney cleaned; and getting the tree service out here to take down the dead sycamore tree that is threatening to fall on the RV and Blondie’s car.

– – Fuzz Face, give it up – – enjoy life – – get yourself together so I don’t have to write blog posts for you.

There’s lots to be happy about. Just take a look at what we preserved this week:

Sometimes I wish Maine Coon cats could wear big, heavy boots. I’m sure Old Fuzz Face would get a kick out of that. Just sayin’ …

Here are all the statistics for the last two weeks that I had to collect, collate, and record on my own.

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 2019-08-12 through 18

See SFH WX 2019-08-19 through 25

 

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