Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Would They Do Without Me?

That's me-- there in the middle with the Kanizsa T-shirt. (Kanizsa's father was Hungarian, don't you know, which is why I have his T-shirt.)
Big day on the Farm. How can you tell? Count trucks.
Fixin' to do some work on the floors


and a little diggin'.
What is "wrong" in this photo?
No comment on this tonight-- wait until you see what it looks like tomorrow!
Meanwhile... 
please direct your attention to the first photo (above). See there? It takes three guys to do the jackhammering. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Cross with No Church

Photo by Miss M

Just off the Winona exit on I-55 is a large cross. It has bothered Miss M for some time that the associated church is not visible from either 55 or Hwy 82, so this afternoon we went looking. Near as we could tell, there is not a church associated with the large cross-- which is to say there's no church on any of the few roads we drove. 

The first turn off 82 one makes, however, is onto Brother Johnny Walker Drive. That was a clue.



The Weekly-FactorFebruary 22, 2005 
by Bubba Blissit 
Brother Johnny 
Johnny Walker stood in the pulpit where he has been for most of the services at First Baptist Church, Winona, Mississippi, for over 14 years. What he was about to tell his congregation, most had known for some time, yet no one wanted to hear it. Parkinson's Disease had progressed to the point that he would not be able to continue what the Lord had called him to do over 40 years ago. At the end of February, he would no longer be a pastor. 
Many eyes filled with tears, mine too. The "guy thing" wouldn't let me get in line with wet eyes to shake his hand. So I bit my lip, took my wife's arm, and walked quietly to our car. The "Why?" question popped in my mind several times that afternoon. Part of being a human, I guess. 
Brother Johnny is a terrific preacher. He can deliver a sermon with the best of them. He could have used First Baptist Winona as a stepping stone on his way to a church with thousands of members, not hundreds. But he didn't He gave his all for this church for 14 1/2 years because that was what he wanted to do. 
Brother Johnny's ministry extends past the corner of Church and Summit Streets. He is there for everyone in this community. His warmth and kindness, his message of Christ's Love have meant so much to so many. From his early morning radio devotional, to visitations late in the evening, he has worked tirelessly, and for the last few years bearing the cross of illness.


Read the rest here.

More on the Cross here-- though how the intersection of 55 & 82 is the "center of Winona" is a fine question. Good for you for asking!

WINONA, Miss. – (WCBI) The symbol for Christianity will soon stand tall in the center of Winona.
After eight years of planning, the site at the intersection of Hwy 82 and I-55 in Winona is finally under construction.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

At an Overgrown Vacant Lot on Laurel St. It Ain't Even Dark Yet





From America, With Love by Kathleen Winsor (1957). 

Begun happily enough, this tale soon takes a sad turn. The next morning the paddy wagon comes 'round to collect the parents who have committed the unspeakable crime of letting their kids play unsupervised-- in a vacant lot!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zzzzz Part II

ZZ Part I here.

Bing Crosby singing White Christmas

That was the #1 song in 1942. (Other top-selling bands/artists include such rocking names as Glen Miller, Woody Herman, and Jimmy Dorsey along with their respective orchestras.)

I did find the book I was looking for-- The Encyclopedia of American History (1965) which I've written about, it's a great book. It put me on the trail of White Christmas which I've written about. Wikipedia confirmed the song's status for '42. 

So to recap... .

ZZ Top : undergraduates in 2014 
Bing Crosby : undergraduates in 1978


I don't know what to say other than go see ZZ Top in concert at Mississippi State University October 30th. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ZZ Part I

Be there or be square.

According to that infallible source Wikipedia, ZZ Top created its signature sound during its first decade, 1973-1982. Let's use 1978 as our half-way mark thorough that decade and do a little arithmetic.

In 1978 I was a 20 year old undergraduate. 

2014 - 1978 = 36

1978 - 36 = 1942

Somewhere I have a crappy old book (or maybe two) listing top ten songs, popular bands and singers, and so on from years gone by. I'll see if I'm able to find out who was marching in the hit parade in 1942. 

Recipe: Creative Cooking Chicken Sauterne

Fancy Night Supper! 

Cut the recipe in half if you don't need to serve 12 people.

CREATIVE COOKING CHICKEN SAUTERNE
Makes about 12 servings

2 3 ½-lb frying chickens, disjointed, simmered in salted water to cover for 1 hour or until chickens are tender, removed from broth and drained until cool, skin and bones removed and discarded, meat cut into large chunks, 1 C broth reserved

6 Tbsp butter
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika OR Creole seasoning
1 Tbsp instant minced onion
¼ tsp Tabasco (or more, to taste)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp celery salt
½ tsp oregano
1 C Sauterne (or other dry white wine)
1 C half and half cream
1 C fresh green peas, cooked
Basic Boiled Rice (or other rice dish, for serving, if desired—see recipes in Potatoes … section)

Melt butter in a large saucepan, add mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, until tender. Mix well together flour, salt, and paprika or Creole seasoning, and add to mushroom mixture. Stir in onion, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and oregano, add reserved 1C broth and Sauterne, and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Cool mixture slightly, then stir in cream. Stir in peas and chicken meat, and heat through. Serve over rice, if desired.

Serve with Creative Cooking Green Rice

Recipe: Creative Cooking Green RIce

Mr. Big Food cut this recipe in half, and cooked the rice in carrot stock for added goodness.

“This dish may be prepared and frozen. Bring to room temperature before baking.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)


CREATIVE COOKING GREEN RICE
Makes about 12 servings

10 oz broccoli, cooked, drained, chopped
2 C milk
1 stick butter
1 onion, chopped fine
2 eggs
2 recipes Basic Boiled Rice (or other boiled rice—see recipes in thi section)
1 tsp salt
2 C grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Place half the broccoli and ½ C milk in blender container and process until puréed. Process remaining broccoli with another ½ C milk. Melt butter in a small frypan, add onions, and sauté until golden. Beat egg with remaining 1 C milk. Combine all ingredients and pour into a well-buttered casserole. Cover casserole and bake 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer. 


Served with Creative Cooking Chicken Sauterne



Monday, August 18, 2014

Two things, One of Which is a Link to a Recipe!

Tonight was veggie night. Mr. Big Food fixed us a nice supper of carrot and bean casserole and a Big Food Favorite, Broccoli Cornbread. I forgot to take pictures-- again-- but figured since the cornbread is a favorite I could easily find the recipe here on the blog.

Two things:

1. It was not easy finding the recipe.

2. Here it is.

Many folks think is the very best way to eat broccoli. It's easy (use Jiffy cornbread mix!) and delicious. Try it some time. 



24/30

http://www.playbuzz.com/jonb10/how-many-english-words-do-you-actually-know

Folks, this is what's wrong with the world today. Twenty-four correct of 30 possible is NOT an A+ and certainly does NOT deserve a gold star.

24/30 = 0.8 = 80% = B-.

Talk about grade inflation. 

A Crappy Old Book Quiz

Label these 1-10, top to bottom, left to right. You'll answer the quiz questions (below) using these numbers.

Inspired by one of the books pictured above-- which amused us to no end this weekend-- I though we might take a quiz. Please match the recently purchased 50 cent book with my random musing &/or fun fact pertaining to each.
  • What book inspired this trivial quiz?
  • I'm cleaning and organizing the books in the Bunkhouse, some of which are works of Shakespeare. What book needs to added to the same general category as the Bard's books?
  • What book was not written by a popular historian of history and philosophy?
  • I got all warm and fuzzy thinking of my high school days when I came across this popular (for a brief time) author.
  • You only need one. We have more than one. 
  • There's no DoI in this book.
  • Mental Health is all it's cracked up to be. 
  • The publication date of this book didn't surprise me.
  • The publication date of this book surprised me. 
  • MONSTERS!!
~~

HINT!! If you have been invited to view my library online, and you take advantage of this no cost to you opportunity, you have a distinct advantage. Also, if you are suek you will do well.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Knock, knock.

Who's there? 
Electolux. 
Electrolux who? 
Electrolux her father, but not her mother.

From the chapter "Test Your Mythology IQ" in Literary Trivia: Fun and Games for Book Lovers  (1994).

That cracked me up. 

Here's another bit of literary trivia for lovers of crappy old books: What do these four sentences have in common?

WE ALL MAKE HIS PRAISE.

I SWEAR HE'S LIKE A LAMP.

"HAS WILL A PEER?" I ASK ME.

AH, I SPEAK A SWELL RIME.

dodododo do do do. dodododo do dodododo.


cookies

"Marica?"

"Yes, Missy?"

"I think we need to talk."

"Oh, my! What's up, girl?"

"Well... [yawn] I'll make this [yawn]...."

"RUFF!"

"Oh. Oh. Oh my. I am exhausted, Marica. That run Daughter C took us on plumb wore me out."

"Ruff?"

"'Plumb." P.L.U.M.B. Plumb."

"ruuuuffff!!"

"I think it's pronounced 'plum,' like the fruit, Missy."

"Well, excuse me."

"Ruuuufff...fff."

"Once again, I will remind you, my Dear Friend, that you have a vocabulary of exactly one word."

"RRRUUUUUUUFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"No need to take offense, I'm simply reporting... ."

"Pardon me for interrupting, but did you have a question?"

"Indeed, I did. I wondered how Miss M was today."

"Oh, she's fine!"

"Ruff?"

"Okay, okay, Rocky. That's just how folks talk. What I mean to say was that she was finer today than she was yesterday. And I'll bet she'll be even finer tomorrow."

"Well that is good news! Do you think we might see her tomorrow? I would so love to give her a little slurp on the face to show her how much I love her."

"Ruff!"

"Oh! Don't do that! OMG!! And whatever you do, don't even say such a thing in front of Daughter C. unless you want your mouths washed out with antibacterial soap. Didn't you read about Semmelweis?"

"Oh my! You are not implying that our kisses are ... dirty... are you?"

"Ruff??"

'Trust me on this one, y'all. No kisses."

"Ah my. That is awfully disappointing-- and I can not believe it's so-- but if the experts believe dog kisses are laden with germs, who are we lowly dogs to disagree?"

"RRRRUUUUUUFFFFFFF!! RRRUUUFFF!!!"
~~

"Missy? Rocky?'

"Yes, Ma'am?"

"ruff?"

"Would you two like a little tiny sliver of a bite of a Loran Doone?"

"OH MY GOODNESS!!"

"RUFF!!"

"WOULD WE EVER!!"

"Shhhhhh. We have to keep this between just us. It's one of the 'percs' of staying up past everyone's bed time. No one knows who raided the cookie jar! So you have to keep quiet about the Lorna Doones. Understand?"

"Oh. My. God. These are so buttery."

"Ruuu...ff...f..f." 

"Quiet now."

"You have our ... . WORD! Oh so sorry."

"Shake it off girl."

"ruuuf.f.f."

"Remember. Don't tell about the cookies."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Semmelweis Reflex

The Semmelweis reflex or “Semmelweis effect” is a metaphor for the reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.
Or so say the folks at Semmelweis Society International.

From The Timetables of American History (1981):
1848: Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis, Hung. physician, discovers the cause of puerperal fever; medical students are carrying the infection ... to healthy women. He orders all medical students to wash their hands before examining patients; within months the mortality rate drops to near zero.  
1865: Semmelweis, his ideas rejected by the European medical community, dies of puerperal fever, the disease he fought to eradicate his entire life.*
Wash your hands. What a radical idea.

More from Encyclopedia Britannica Online:
In 1861 Semmelweis published his principal work, Die Ätiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers (The Etiology, Concept, and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever). He sent it to all the prominent obstetricians and medical societies abroad, but the general reaction was adverse. The weight of authority stood against his teachings. He addressed several open letters to professors of medicine in other countries, but to little effect. At a conference of German physicians and natural scientists, most of the speakers—including the pathologist Rudolf Virchow—rejected his doctrine. The years of controversy gradually undermined his spirit. In 1865 he suffered a breakdown and was taken to a mental hospital, where he died. Ironically, his illness and death were caused by the infection of a wound on his right hand, apparently the result of an operation he had performed before being taken ill. He died of the same disease against which he had struggled all his professional life.
[As an aside, Semmelweis Ut. is one of my favorite streets in the W.W.W. (whole wide world).]

*What do you think? I'd have phrased it: "... the disease he fought his entire life to eradicate." 

30? Is that all?

Tip of the old John Deer cap to Mr. Big Food's Dad who sent these along. Enjoy!

Subject: 30 Things a Southern Boy Will Never Say....
    
   30. When I retire, I'm movin' north.
   
   29. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

   28. Duct tape won't fix that.
    
   27. Come to think of it, I'll have a Heineken.
    
   26. We don't keep firearms in this house.
    
   25. You can't feed that to the dog.
    
   24. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's just not safe.
    
   23. Wrestling is fake.
    
   22. We're vegetarians.
    
   21. Do you think my gut is too big?
    
   20. I'll have grapefruit and grapes instead of biscuits and gravy.
    
   19. Honey, we don't need another dog.
    
   18. Who gives a damn who won the Civil War?
    
   17. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.
    
   16. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.

Fifteen more below!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recipe: Frankfurter Platter Dinner

Here on the Farm we like to mix things up when we have the opportunity. Last evening was Fancy Night Dinner-- sautéed zucchini, Creative Cooking risotto, and Frano-Syrian chicken. For dinner this lovely evening we had something more... how shall I say?... countrified.

Yes. Those frankfurters are arranged on top of a wonderful pile of mashed potatoes and surrounded by cabbage. 

A meal fit for a Country Mouse! But please note well. This recipe is from Master Chef Louis P. De Gouy. Seems even the Master Chef appreciated country food.

~~

“As man went, so went the sausage. In some form or another the sausage probably has been one of man’s foods ever since primitive days. Scientists point out that when the caveman learned to cook his food he also learned immediately to preserve part of the meat he had killed for a future meal, cleaning it of bone and gristle and stuffing it in a piece of skin. Thus the first sausage was probably invented. It acquired more and more refinement down through the ages until today it is even possible to get a hot dog neatly packaged in a skin that has a “zipper.””—Master Chef Louis P. De Gouy, The Gold Cook Book (1947)

“Cooked hot sauerkraut may be substituted for the whipped potatoes, or unchopped spinach, buttered noodles, rice risotto, etc.”

FRANKFURTER PLATTER DINNER

3 Tbsp butter
¾ C onions, sliced thin
1 ½ C tart apples, peeled, cored, sliced thin
8 C cabbage (red or green, or equal parts of each), shredded fin
¼ C cider vinegar
¼ C dill pickle (preferably homemade—see recipes in Canning … section), chopped
Salt, pepper
12 frankfurters, pan-broiled in a greased saucepan over a low flame until browned lightly on all sides
Whipped potatoes

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan, add onion slices and apple slices, cover pan, and cook 4 minutes. Add cabbage, mixing well from bottom of pan, and continue cooking 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Lift cover, add vinegar and dill pickles, season with salt and pepper to taste, replace cover, and cook very slowly for 15 to 20 minutes longer. To serve, pile whipped potatoes in center of a heated platter, arrange frankfurters at regular interval around potatoes, and border with hot cabbage mixture. Serve at once.

Recipe: Frano-Syrian Chicken

This is a delightful chicken dish, especially for a Fancy Night Dinner in the Summer. 

“As the name implies, this chicken recipe is a combination of French and Syrian cookery. If you prefer, the pine nuts can be ground and used to thicken the gravy. “Serve with French bread and cherry tomatoes” is the recommendation of the chef who created this dish. Definitely a “make it again” meal. (Recipe contest entry: Charles Perry, North Hollywood, CA)”—The Garlic Lovers’ Cookbook (1980)

FRANCO-SYRIAN CHICKEN

2- to 3-lb broiler-fryer chicken, cut into “frying pieces (wings, legs, thighs, deboned breast cut into quarters),” fat and skin removed
5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
2 large lemons
2 Tbsp oil or clarified butter
1 C dry white wine
¼ C pignoli (Italian pine nuts), browned: either put them in a 350o oven for about 20 minutes until they are “evenly beige,” or fry in a little oil or butter over very low heat, stirring constantly, until light brown
1 tsp parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Press 3 garlic cloves through a garlic press onto chicken pieces and rub all over. Let chicken pieces stand 10 minutes. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon onto chicken pieces and marinate chicken in garlic and lemon for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Wipe garlic off chicken pieces, pat dry with a paper towel, and reserve marinade. Fry chicken in oil or clarified butter over high heat, starting with drumsticks, until meat stiffens and browns. Add wine and marinade, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered over low heat for 25 minutes. When chicken is done, remove from skillet, sprinkle with parsley, and keep warm. Add juice of second lemon to skillet along with remaining 2 garlic cloves, pressed, and reduce pan juice over highest heat for 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper, add pine nuts, and serve gravy over chicken.
Serve with Sauteed zucchini and Creative Cooking risotto for Fancy Night Dinner

Recipe: Creative Cooking Risotto

“For Risotto (re-SOT-to), instead of transferring the rice to a casserole, place it in a large iron skillet. Add 1 cup stock. When this has been completely absorbed, add more stock in ½ cup intervals until the last addition has been absorbed and rice is tender.”—The Creative Cooking Course (1982)

CREATIVE COOKING RISOTTO

4 Tbsp butter
1 C long grain rice
2 C beef or chicken stock (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)

Melt butter in a heavy skillet, add rice, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is absorbed. Pour in 1 C stock and cook, stirring frequently, until stock has been absorb ed. Add another ½ C stock and cook until stock is absorbed. Add remaining stock, stir well, cover, and simmer until stock has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. “Cooking time will be about 25 minutes after first addition of stock.”

Serve with Sauteed zucchini and Frano Syrian chicken for Fancy Night Dinner

Recipe: Sauteed Zucchini

“Do not overcook! Serve as hot as possible.”—Tom P. Miller, Drew, Mississippi

SAUTEED ZUCCHINI

Zucchini, “very young and tender,” sliced into rounds just before cooking
3 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled

Put olive oil in skillet and press garlic cloves directly into skillet. Heat until bubbly. Add zucchini rounds and sauté “until hot through and through.”

Serve with Creative Cooking risotto and Franco Syrian chicken for Fancy Night Dinner. 





The End of an Era

John Bernard Books: Damn. 
Bond Rogers: John Bernard, you swear too much. 
John Bernard Books: The hell I do.


From The Shootist (1976) starring John Wayne and Lauren Becall.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fancy Night!

Mr. Big Food instituted something called "Fancy Night" a few weeks ago. It's a promise that one day we will again eat at the dining room table all fancy-like.

(I should update y'all on the progress we're making regarding recovery from the flood, et cetera. I'll get right on that.)

Tonight's Fancy Night dinner was out of this world.

Photos below the fold. Recipes to follow.

"May we introduce ourselves?"

"Hello, Madam. My name is 'Missy' and I am a thoroughly delightful mix of the most admirable canine species known to man-- heavy on the adorable Black Lab. And this is my Dear Friend Rocky, a vicious-- though quite lovable-- Staffordshire terrier, also known as a Pit Bull."

"Ruff."

"Oh for crying out loud, Missy. I know who you are."

"Well, Madam, you've been away from the Farm so long we weren't sure you would remember us so we thought it best to formally introduce ourselves."

"Thanks for that, girl. Don't you know, I could never forget you. But for goodness sake! Please stop calling me 'Madam'."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Ruuuuuffff!!"

"That is pretty funny, Rocky. Now. I thought about you every waking moment-- and most moments were waking ones-- so rest assured I didn't forget you. What have you been up to in my absence?"

"RUFF!!"

"Oh, I know. He's a wonderful friend, isn't he? Taking y'all to the Pasture every chance he had."

"Oh, yes! Master Mike... errr... I mean... oh, but he hates 'Dr. Mike'... . Mike is so much fun!"

"Ruff!"

"And the Big Food you missed, Marica! I must tell you, my Dear Friend and I have become quite fond of the manly food Mr. Big Food cooks when you delicate creatures of the fair human sex are not around. That ... umm... "

"Ruff. Ruff?"

"Oh! That's it! Thank you my Friend. That 'soul food' was a sight to behold. It was all I could do to keep my wild side in check while those neck bones were grilling."

[redacted in deference to Miss M]

"Rrruuuufffffffffffff."

"That sounds... well, I wouldn't characterize neck bones as 'delightful' but sounds like something Mike & Mr. Big Food would enjoy."

"They did, Marica. They did. Now, enough about us. What in Heaven's name kept you away for so very long?"

"Ruff?"

"We had to go to Jackson."

"Ruff?"

"It's a city-- of a certain sort-- down south of here, Rocky."

"And what, pray tell, is the attraction of Jackson?"

"Ruuuufff!!"

"Oh for goodness, sake. I am not a poet. If I were, I'd know it. Please stop interrupting. You know how she can go on and on once she gets started. Don't encourage her." 

"Miss M, Daughter C, and I went down to Jackson to observe the effects of heavy metals."

"Ruff?"

"It's an oblique reference."

"Heavy metals. Hummm. So you went to see an '80s band?? That's so cool, Marica! I had no idea you were into that. That's so cool."

"Good Lord, Missy! What in the ... ."

"Rrruuufff???"

"Don't you remember? You gave me a dictionary of culturally relevant slang? I've been studying it, man. I know metal."

"Well. Good for you!"

"r.u.f.f."

"It must have been some concert, dude! I was on the patio, man, when you (finally) returned home. Miss M looked a bit pique-ed. Is she alright? Oh! My! Oh, Marica!!??? Ohhhhh... NNNNNOOOOOOOoooooo."

"Ruff? RUFF!! Ruff!!????? RUFF."

"What? What? I'm trying to get to sleep. What are you two prattling on about?"

"Well. We are putting two and two together, Marica. We are smart dogs, you know. We can weigh the evidence. We read Sherlock. We watch House. We can draw conclusions."

"And what, pray tell, do you conclude, my little slueths?"

"Elementary, Marica. You went to a heavy metal concert + Miss M looked pique-ed upon her return home = Miss M took drugs at the concert."

"R.U.F.F."

"Good grief."

"We take that as acknowledgment that our conclusion is correct?"

"Ruff."

"Good griezzzzzz.

"'Good grease? What's she talkin' 'bout, Rock?"

"rufffff."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

But what have you read lately?




[from http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/cities/economics/most-educated-places-america/]


[from Miss M's G.M.O.Y.A. Pinterest board]

I, myself-- lowly Country Mouse from rural Mississippi that I am-- am about to read Katherine in my spare time. And finish the book about Mises. And some other crappy old books (yet to be decided upon) which I shall pack into my traveling library.

And by the way-- there are other definitions for "educated" in addition to how many years one suffered through formal schooling. Don't believe me? Look it up!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

He looks like such a harmless little pup, doesn't he?

Brilliantly staged photograph by Daughter C

"We have come to claim our promise, O Oz," Dorothy said.

"What promise?" asked Oz.

"You promised to send me back to Kansas when the Wicked Witch was destroyed," said the girl.

"And you promised to give me brains," said the Scarecrow.

"And you promised to give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman.

"And you promised to give me courage," said the Cowardly Lion.

"Is the Wicked Witch really destroyed?" asked the Voice, and Dorothy thought it trembled a little.

"Yes," she answered, "I melted her with a bucket of water."

"Dear me," said the Voice, "how sudden! Well, come to me tomorrow for I must have time to think it over."

"You've had plenty of time already," said the Tin Woodman angrily.

"We shan't wait a day longer," said the Scarecrow.

"You must keep your promise to us!" exclaimed Dorothy. 

GET HIM TOTO OXY!! He's behind the curtain!!

[The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)]

Friday, August 1, 2014

I wonder how long he'll have Mississippi on his mind?





Goodbye, Arthur! Take good care of yourself and little puppy Cooper. Thanks for everything! We'll miss you.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

What do you suggest?

"Ahem."

"Ruff?"

"Ahem?"

"Oh! Yes, Missy. What can I do for you this evening?"

"Well, Marica, as I understand it... "

"Missy? Can you hang on just a minute or three? I have to go flush the Drain-o down the kitchen sink. I thought having the septic tank cleaned would fix... ."

"Wait!"

"RUFF??"

"I know. Give me just a sec."

...

"Okay. Things are looking good. Now. What can I help you with this lovely evening?"

"Ruff."

"Well. Though you have not told us lowly dogs, I am given to understand you and Miss M and Daughter C will not be here for the better part of the day-- not that you pay all that much attention to us when you're here-- but we were wondering if you would recommend something for my dear Old Friend and I to read in your absence?"

"RUFF!!!"

"Oh! My! Well My Goodness. ... What are you in the mood for? Fiction? Trivia? History? I saw a wonderful book of Star Trek episodes laying around. French Literature? Greek Mythology? ECONOMICS??"

"Ruff?"

"No. No. No, Marica. We want something relevant."

"I'm not sure what you mean by that, Missy."

"Ruff?"

"Everything is relevant in its own way."

"RRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"LOL, Boy!"

"Marica! Be SERIOUS."

"I'm sorry, Missy. What do you mean by 'relevant'?"

"Well, you know, Marica, we are not stupid. We know there's a world out there beyond the Farm-- I mean for goodness sake-- you take us in the truck and we see it! We just want to learn a little more about it."

"RUFF!!!!"

"There is a world out there beyond the Farm. And if you want to learn more about it, I'd suggest you go look at the books in the bookshelf in the former Den. That's where I keep the books that are exclusively about Judaism and Christianity. There are a bunch of them."

"Judaism?"

"Ruff?"

"Yep. Judaism and Christianity are the basis of Western Culture. Oh! There's a wonderful Art book. And a book about the Women of Israel."

"Those would be relevant."


"Rufff."

"Yes. They are beyond the gate. But I wonder if my Good Friend and I could find a way to steal back beyond the gate... ."

"R.U.F.F."

"Oh! Wonderful! I knew I could count on you My Good Friend. Oh! We should film this. It will be like an old fashioned who-done-it."

"Ruff. RRuuffff"

"OH! MARICA! One more thing!!"

"Zzzzzz"

"MARICA!!"

"Ahem. Yes, Missy?"

"She's doing well, isn't she? We saw her today! She's almost her old self, isn't she?"

"Well. Not quite. But we do thank you for being so gentle."

"RRRufffffff."

"You're going to have to be really really careful when she starts walking with crutches."

"'Crutches'?"

"Fake legs."

"OH MY GOD! More cybor??? Marica. You really should tell us this stuff in advance."

"Ruffffffff"

" I have to get up really early.... ."

"rufffff:

"I guess I'll guard the joint tonight. It's not my job, but I guess I'll just do it. Good night, y'all."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"How was your day?"

"It was fine, Missy. I had coffee in Starkvegas with a friend-- that was refreshing! Thank you for asking. And how was your day?"

"Well. I note that you did not take us on our Constitutional in the Pasture. But aside from that, it was okay."

"Ruff!"

"I am sorry about that, y'all. And I am sorry about my tone with you, Missy, the other day."

"Perfectly understandable. There's a lot going on and we appreciate that we are the low mammals on the totem pole around here these days."

"Ruff???"

"Oh, don't worry, Rocky. That's just Missy reminding me in her own way how important y'all are to us."

"Ruff?"

"By the by, Marica, both of us feel as if something has gone horribly wrong with our friend, A. Leland. He seemed terribly sad at supper this evening. We tried jumping up on him and he barely engaged us. There's bad news about the old fellow Rudy, isn't there?"

"ruff?"

"Oh, Missy. You and Rocky are so perceptive. Rudy is now in a place this Side of Heaven where he's no longer suffering."

"ruff?"

"You mean he... he... he died?"

"Yes. Rudy died today."

"rufffffffffffffffffff"

"Oh my. Oh my." 

"ru.. ru.. ru... f... ."

...

...

"Marica? Should we pray or something?

"ruff?"

"I think we should recite Scripture. "

"I've memorized a passage that I think appropriate."

"ruff."

"Go ahead."


The Lord is my Shepherd; 
I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
He leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.  
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: 
For thou art with me; 
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; 
Thou annointest my head with oil; 
My cup runneth over.  
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

"Amen."

"Amen"

"Ruff."


Rudy