Sunday, July 27, 2014

What do you suggest?




"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... ."



"I know. Give me just a sec."


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


"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?"


"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??"


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

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


"Everything is relevant in its own way."


"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."


"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."



"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."


"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... ."


"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!!"



"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."


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


"Fake legs."

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


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


"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."


"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."


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


"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?"


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


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

"Yes. Rudy died today."


"Oh my. Oh my." 

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



"Marica? Should we pray or something?


"I think we should recite Scripture. "

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


"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.





Thursday, July 24, 2014

15 Years On: For John


Ah Love! Could you and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire
     Would we not shatter it to bits-- and then
Re-mould it nearer to our Heart' Desire!


Here with a little Bread beneath the Bough,
A flask of Wine, a Book of Verse-- and Thou
     Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow.

From The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Fitzgerald translation, second edition, 1868 (the first crappy old book I ever bought), quatrains CVIII and XII, respectively.

Happy Day!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I am exhausted

I'm not kidding.

I am plumb worn out.

The news today that the State of Mississippi had a lien on our Farm threw me into a tizzy. I yelled at Mr. Big Food!! I had to put long pants on and find my steal-toed boots and go to town and be firm with accountants and lawyers and such. 

It all worked out in the end but...


"Oh! For goodness sake. Yes, Missy?"

"Are you okay?

"Frankly, no, Missy. I am not."

"Whatever is the matter?"

"Seriously? Missy? Have you had your head in the sand. You don't know what the matter is? Really?"


"Good Grief."


"I give up."


"SERIOUSLY? You're taking her side? She doesn't know what the matter is?" 


"Okay. Okay. She's a dog. How the hell could she know what the matter is. Point taken."


"ruff to you too, boy,"


"Good night, Missy. Good night, Rocky."

"You know, Marica, it's not easy being a dog around here these days."


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Kat! A Request from Rocky & Missy

As I've mentioned time & time again, things are discombobulated here at the Farm. BUT! We have all spent a considerable amount of energy (ATP is our Friend) trying to get & stay organized. So it was no surprise to learn that Rocky & Missy had learned (LTP is another Friend) my habits-- that is, where and when I keep my laptop at various times of day.*

I found this letter at my day-time work station but didn't open it until I was set up at my night-time station.

So, Kat. 8:30am? Would you like me to bring coffee 'bout 8?

*Mr. Low-Man. Get over yourself. If the dogs can figure this out, what do I need you for? Go find someone else to spy on.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Frog legs, etc.

So when life throws you 57 varieties of curve balls, what you swing for is normal. A nice slow pitch over home plate.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By the way... Big Food!

Just 'cause things are discombobulated don't mean we ain't eating well!
When it became apparent that Miss M was not going home from the hospitable* three days after surgery, Kat changed her flight, meaning that she'd be here long enough to get her bearings and cook for us!! And so she did!

I'll leave it to her to provide details in the comments-- or in a post, she does have privileges-- but the bottom line is she roasted a roast in the slow cooker with carrots & such, picked a spaghetti squash from A. Leland's garden, boiled up some penne, made a delicious sauce from home grown tomatoes and fresh herbs, and bingo bamo! supper was served. 

We ate at the table. Okay. It was the breakfast table and not the table table but it was the only table Miss M could get her cyborg legs under. You do what you gotta do. (I thought the yellow table cloth was a nice choice.)

Mr. Big Food also made a delicious red lentil soup that Daughter C can't believe has never made it into a soup contest, and I hear tell A. Leland is serving up frog legs tomorrow. And steak. 


*It's a joke.

The Marks of A Family

Things are a little discombobulated here at the Farm, but we're doing okay!

I have no idea what you people are doing while you are waiting for Miss M's muscles to reattach, but we are amusing ourselves, 

thank you very much!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Cyborg?? What's a Cyborg?



"I say again, My Good Man! PSSSST."


"Is she asleep?"




"oh. right. i should be quiet."




"You saw Miss M! You interacted with her. (I, myself, was caged in my box at the time.) But you saw her! You rubbed noses with her! How is she?"


"Oh, wonderful! But what is that contraption she's in? I saw you investigating it. What ever in the world is it?"


"Oh, my! You don't say. Well, I hope it's not permanent. Jean Luc escaped. I'm sure Miss M can, too!"


"What? What in the world are you two talking about? Miss M is not a cyborg. That's a wheel chair. She uses it to get around. It's a piece of rental equipment, nothing more. You watch too much t.v."

"Oh! Marica! You're awake."


"We are ever so sorry for having awakened you... ."


"Oh, alright. I am ever so sorry for having awakened you. My dear friend had no part in this dastardly deed. But getting back to the thrust of out conversation... . So you say Miss M has not merged with the chair? What good news!"

"No. She has not merged with the chair. Soon the chair will be old news and she'll be using a walker. And then crutches. Again. You watch too much tv. No more Star Trek for you!"


"Just sayin', Rocky. Just sayin'."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

On being the sisters' mom...

The subject line is a good start-- it's Bacony-- but pretty much all of my books that would inspire further reflection along that line are back in what is now the re-cooper-ation suite (formerly known as the Den where Mr Big Food, the Dogs & I used to reside) where Miss M, Kat, and Daughter C are resting comfortably, Miss M, Kat and I having escaped from the Birmingham hospital to seek refuge at the Farm where Mr. Big Food, A. Leland, and Daughter C awaited Miss M's return. 

So, like I said, the three of them are resting comfortably on the Farm. As am I. 

I think Rocky & Missy were happy to see us! 

"It's mutual, I'm sure, Marica!"


"Oh! I am so happy to see you, too! I missed you. That hospital was such a sterile place with nothing but germy humans who smelled like antiseptic covered smoke... "

"MARICA!!" Are you alright?"


"Oh. Sorry. It's beens a long week."


"Oh. Oh! I'm so sorry. Thank you my friend. I don't think I've ever seen her so tired. Oh right. whisper... ."


"No. I haven't seen her. Have you?"


"Let's make a point of doing that tomorrow. I wonder if that  disagreeable feline of hers could give us any information?"


"I know. But she does love Miss M. And she seems to get along well with Marica."

"ruff. RUFF!?"

"Of Course! Brilliant, My Good Friend. Just Brilliant!"


"Of course! Tomorrow we'll just ask how Miss M is doing. To coin a phrase, 'Duh'. Why didn't I think of that?"


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I hope this portends well

I suppose it will come as no surprise to long time and faithful readers that I brought a small traveling library with me to the fair city of Birmingham. For observance of Independence Day, I naturally brought A Documentary History of the United States, Seventh Edition, (Richard D. Herrner, Signet, 2002) for reference, and American History Pop Quiz (Solomin M. Skolnick, MJF. Books, New York, 2005) for fun. 

For reading aloud I brought The Egg and I: Life on a Wilderness Chicken Ranch Told with Wit and High Humor (Betty MacDonald, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, New York,1945), and a delightful little book by Charles Dudley Warner titled simply, Being a Boy (more on this crappy old book some other time).

For sheer volume, quality and diversity of good reading we have As You Were: A Portable Library of American Prose and Poetry Assembled for Members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marine (Alexander Woollcott, ed. The Viking Press, New York. 1943). [If you are keeping track of such things, my traveling library contained three copies of the Declaration of Independence-- four if you count the copy on my iThingy.]

And, for my daily thirty minutes of learned reading, my library-- really just an old green cloth sack hat I once mended with blanket stitches-- contains a biography of Ludwig Von Mises by Israel M. Kirzner (ISI Books, Wilmington, Delaware) the fact of which brings me very close to the end of this little story.

As I was reading this sentence,
It is noteworthy that, when the century ended more than a quarter century after Mises' death, the perception in the economic profession concerning his economics had changed to a significant, if modest, degree.
I wondered in what year the book had been written-- we can talk about that strange sentence some other time-- so I flipped to the front matter and saw on the facing page these words:
 b’ezrat hashem

I learned that this is a Hebrew phrase meaning "with the help of God" and is typically used as a preface before announcing a plan. 

B'EZRAT HASHEM Miss M is going back to the Farm tomorrow. 

A random thought about the world

And why you should never abandon a loved one to the professionals.

It is now well established that Miss M is occupying a room on the 9th floor at one of the premier "teaching" hospitals in the South.

It has been quite some time since I've been around a hospital, but I'm a quick learner. I've learned there are layers and layers of folks who attend to a patient. And except for the Drs. And Nurses, they all have alphabet soup spilt on their scrubs. Who knew what a PCT was?

So Miss M had surgery. And the next day the PCT-- That's patient care technocrat or something --  a very nice caring person, wondered why there was grass on Miss M's bed sheets.

This confused me. She asked if M had been in an auto accident which presumably would explain the grass because, you know, you just scrape people off the pavement and wheel them into the operating room and then put them on a stretcher and roll them into bed in their 9th floor room so of course grass gets on their sheets. Duh.

A motorcyclist once ran head on into the old truck heading up/down that hilly street in Cindy. Damn. Near ran over him. Good story. BUT. Miss M was not in an accident. Her leg was orange (before we hand bathed it all off) what with the beta dine (sp) and all. How you go through surgery at one of the premier hospitals in the South and manage to have a PCT proclaim you have grass on your sheets is a mystery to me.

Never abandon a loved one to the professionals.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Who the heck were these guys?

From Mr. big Food's Dad:

Subject: Today is the day for a short history lesson

A humble history lesson for all of us

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men
who signed the Declaration of Independence ?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,
ando tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;
another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or
hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,
and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
Eleven were merchants,
nine were farmers and large plantation owners;
men of means, well educated,
but they signed the Declaration of Independence
knowing full well that the penalty would be death if
they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and
trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the
British Navy. He sold his home and properties to
pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British
that he was forced to move his family almost constantly.
He served in the Congress without pay, and his family
was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him,
and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,
Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that
the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson
home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General
George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed,
and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.
The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying.
Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill
were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests
and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his
children vanished.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and
silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many
people as you can, please. It's time we get the word out that patriotism
is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer,
picnics, and baseball games. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's Independence Day

I love Independence Day.

Here are some things I've written about Independence Day in years past.

I love Miss M more than I love Independence Day.

Cross your fingers she can travel back to the farm from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital on Monday.

And for those with a sense of family history and irony...

No surprise here.
Everybody loves Miss M! See?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Because A Little Construction Work, etc. Is Not Going to Deter Me!

Independence Day is day after tomorrow.
I may be busy, but... . It is almost Independence Day.

From American History Pop Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Being American? Solomon M. Skolnick, MJF Books, New York, 2005.

Coming right along

The Greenhouse at High Water Hill

Things are coming right along! 

We've even begun to look at kitchen utensils!
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