Recent Entries to this Blog Happy Creatures
Posted: 02 Apr 2024
More small pleasures
Posted: 29 Sep 2023
Ain't no cure
Posted: 05 May 2023
Men, and women
Posted: 01 Mar 2023
Small Pleasures
Posted: 19 Jan 2023

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marlingardener's Blog

Farm living and laughing

Happy Creatures

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:35 pm

There is a song with a line "all the happy creatures dancing in the yard." We have lots of happy creatures, so much so we are thinking of opening up a nature preserve.
Deer--we have them in the pasture, back yard, and trotting though the vegetable gardens. Does and fauns, but no stags. Since we don't allow hunting on our property they is their "safe place."
Rabbits. We have chased rabbits out of the garden (they love spinach) but never hurt one. I was weeding the asparagus patch and scared a baby bunny out of its rabbit hole. My husband picked it up and cuddled it in his warm hands until I found the hold and we returned it to its home.
Bobcats. We have a resident bobcat that brings her kittens to the pond to drink. Once she was on the prowl and walked down the fence between the back yard and pasture. A neighbor passing by stopped by and told us we had a bobcat in the front yard! He was excited, but we knew it was just our resident.
Coyotes. We hear them yodel at night. Despite popular opinion, coyotes do not howl, they yodel. We have a much lower rodent population thanks to the few coyotes that pass through our pasture.
Opossums. We had a 'possum who lived in the barn for a while under a pallet we stored there. The 'possum and the hens got along fine without anybody getting upset or frightened. Virginia the 'possum was out in the barn lot one morning and as I was going out to feed the hens, she saw me and promptly fell over. I thought I'd given her a heart attack and killed her! Than I remembered the old saying "playing possum" to pretend you are dead and predators leave you alone. I was so relieved!
Fox. There are two kinds of fox here--red and gray. We had a fox show up on our path. My husband hurried back to the house to get the camera, but the fox followed him and actually hissed at him. They hiss like cats, don't bark like dogs. Husband decided to not turn his back on the fox.
We enjoy our happy creatures, and every day brings the chance of seeing another happy creature!

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More small pleasures

Category: Farm Doings | Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2023 3:36 pm

We still enjoy having our cat to pet and coddle. We also still enjoy watching the wild birds come to the feeders and watering station.
Having herbs to harvest and dry or freeze, using garden produce fresh, or blanched and frozen for winter use, and having enough to share is a true pleasure.
Watching our favorite TV programs in the evening while enjoying a glass of wine is so nice. We don't watch the gory, blow-em-up, car chase programs. We like Jeopardy and try to answer the topics. My husband is much better at that than I.
And cooking--not a small pleasure, but a huge one! I love to cook and bake, and husband likes to eat, so we are a well matched couple.
And the greatest pleasure of all, having a kind, loving, intelligent and humorous spouse. A pleasure and a blessing.

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Ain't no cure

Category: Farm Doings | Posted: Fri May 05, 2023 2:42 pm

A comedian, Ron White, has a routine in which he says that poor hearing can be taken care of with a hearing aid, poor eyesight with glasses, but there ain't no cure for stupid.
We have encountered a lot of stupidity. I blame it on the USA's educational system. For example: hummingbirds only live for one day. When I heard this and stopped laughing, I led the speaker through the life cycle of a bird--hatch, fledge, fly, mate, nest, and lay eggs. All withing 24 hours?
Also there was the guy who was going to put a dish of honey in his garden to attract bees to pollinate his garden. When I stopped laughing, I asked him if a gave him raw hamburger, a bun, a slice of cheese and some mustard, or if I gave him a ready-made hamburger from a fast food place, which would he choose? I pointed out that bees made honey to eat, and if it was provided on a nice dish, preferably with tiny napkins, they wouldn't bother gathering pollen and nectar.
Then there was the guy in the checkout line at the grocery who insisted my cart qualified for the "15 or fewer" line. He proceeded to start counting my items, and when he got to 11, I congratulated him on achieving that number without taking off his shoes.
There just ain't no cure . . . .

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Men, and women

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2023 4:09 pm

I love my husband dearly, and he is a good, generous, hard working and adorable man. But he does have a few areas that could use a little improvement.
He won't put a saucer or even a napkin under a sandwich he is having mid-afternoon.
He talks to the TV, mostly saying "Oh, shut up". TV commentators, sports casters, and weather forecasters talk too much.
Sitting at the kitchen or dining room table. He pulls a chair out, sits down, and when finished gets up and leaves. The chair sits, not back to the table, but half-way into the room.
He thinks I know what he is talking about without any preamble or description. "Well, I finished that in the workshop." What did you finish, pray tell?
Now, women. Although I am a paragon of domesticity and virtue, there are a few things that I'm sure drive my husband crazy, but he is too polite to mention.
I eat mixed nuts or cashews one at a time.
I run around with the little handheld vacuum chasing crumbs (see above about sandwiches).
If something isn't functioning as it should, I just shrug my shoulders and let it sit there.
I go around shutting off lamps and lights. Guess who left the lights on?
After slightly over 50 years of marriage, we have learned to live with each other's little quirks, and wouldn't have it any other way!

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Small Pleasures

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 6:53 pm

We have so many pleasures here--most of them small, but they make us happy.
One pleasure is feeding and watching the wild birds come in to drink and eat. We have a woodpecker who visits almost every day on one or two of the trees in the backyard. He also comes to the platform feeder. We listen for his distinctive call in the morning while going out to feed the chickens.
Another pleasure is our elderly hens. They love their treats (oyster crackers) in the morning (it gets them away from the coop door so a human can get in) and cluck and gurgle while eating the treats. We order oyster crackers by the case!
We enjoy the sunrises and trying to predict what the weather will be that day. We are more accurate than the local meteorologists. Predicting the weather must be the most difficult job in the world--no one can do it!
A very large pleasure is petting the cat in the morning, giving her treats (do you notice there is a repeat on treats here?) and seeing her settle down in a sunspot to nap. We get to work and the cat naps. All is right in the world, according to the cat!

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Place names in Texas

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2022 2:19 pm

Texas is peppered with small towns, many with, shall we say, unique names.
Near us there is a two street town called Elk. Elk are not indigenous to Texas.
There is another itty-bitty town called Blanket. Blankets are occasionally needed in Texas, so that name makes a bit more sense.
Then there are the hopeful names. Eden, which isn't. Utopia, which definitely isn't. A less hopeful name is Hell. Probably an apt name.
There are some very obvious names, too. Del Rio (Spanish for "of the river). Since it is located smack dab on the Rio Grande, no one had to think long and hard to come up with that name.
Some towns are named after people. Otto, near us, perhaps named after Von Bismark? And Fredricksburg, named after the German baron who reduced the excess population by shipping them to Texas.
Road trips around Texas are made more interesting just by reading the roadside signs. "6 miles to Hell." That'll make you think.

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Speaking with the elderly

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2022 4:50 pm

My husband and I are in our 70's, and we are the youngest people on our road. Covid has been a blessing in disguise, because we not longer have to have conversations face-to-face. However, it can be very interesting on the phone.
We have learned these tricks and techniques:
#1 Prime the pump. Oldsters often do not tune in until halfway through a conversation, and you have to repeat yourself ad infinitum. Start slow and don't say anything important until you have the listener's attention. Careful, never do this when you have something else to do soon, or plan to have dinner on time.
#2 Enunciate. "Would you like some bread" gets the reply, "I haven't read that." Don't get frustrated, just speak slowly and very, very clearly.
#3 Say goodbye loudly. After a somewhat prolonged conversation you are entitled to get on with your life. But be sure the listener hears you sign off, or you will immediately get a call saying "we were cut off!"
#4 Get younger friends. This speaks for itself.

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Hummingbird fallacies

Category: Farm Doings | Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 2:04 pm

We love watching hummingbirds. We have fed and enjoyed the little buzzers for about 20 years.

Hummer on Tropical Sage ( photo / image / picture from marlingardener's Garden )
However, we are constantly amazed at some of the things humans believe about hummingbirds.
#1 Hummingbirds live only one day. This came from a 30ish man born and raised in Texas. When we walked him through "bird", "nest", "eggs", "hatching and feeding" he realized that couldn't be accomplished in 24 hours. He may now believe hummers live for two days . . . .
#2 We were told by a wildlife expert that hummingbirds only feed on tublar red flowers. This while we were sitting on our patio watching a hummer feed on a Peruvian Rock Rose--flat faced flower in a lovely shade of light pink. It then moved to a white Salvia Greggii (grant you that the flower is tubular, but white?)
#3 This is the kicker. Hummingbirds are aggressive and will peck you with those sharp little beaks if they get the chance. The kid next door to us was terrified to come into our yard (not a bad thing) because she might encounter a hummingbird. Let's teach children to be afraid to go outside.
So we continue to enjoy our aberrant hummingbirds that live too long, feed from the wrong flowers, and haven't attacked anything yet, although they occasionally buzz a cat and terrify the poor kitten!

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Category: Serendipity | Posted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:21 pm

I have never been a fan of sports. If I'm going to sweat, I want to have sweated for a purpose, not a trophy.
However, I have become a fan of rodeo. Most of the events are based on ranch needs. Well, perhaps bull riding isn't, but team roping, tie down, bronc riding, are.
I also love the names of the participants. Where else can you see big Stetsons worn by men called Ty, Cooper, Boudreaux,and Cole?
The boys from Brazil isn't a B-grade movie, it's a whole influx of Brazilian bull riders. Many were mentored by (in my opinion) the greatest bull rider from Brazil, Adriano Morais. When he pulled a bull rope, the bull's eyes bugged out! Need I say he had biceps that would put a tree trunk to shame?
The PBR (Professional Bull Riders) sponsors events all across the country. Who knew rodeo would be popular in Bangor, Maine? There is even an international event featuring teams from Mexico, Canada, USA, and, of course, Brazil.
Finally, I have found a sport that I understand--you stay on and you win, you fall off and you lose. I don't plan to participate. I did sit on a bucking bull once, but he was named Buzzy, which is not quite fearsome.

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Why are sports so boring?

Category: Farm Doings | Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:43 pm

Almost any sport--watch the last few minutes and you've seen the game.
Basketball--very tall skinny people running up and down a shiny floor and bouncing a big orange ball. Then they try to get the ball through a hoop approximately the size of the ball. Well, gee, they have been doing this since they were six so you'd think they would be better at it. Yawnnnnn.
Baseball--if you have an advanced degree in mathematics, you can understand all the numbers and statistics the announcers are throwing out. The game is less about the players' abilities and more about "baseball language." I think it's a secret code decipherable only to a few diehard fans. Yawnnnn.
Thanks to my husband I am acquainted with Formula One racing. This sport has the advantage of being held in very interesting places with pretty scenery. Who knew Italy had so many evergreen trees? Dubai, no. The pit stops are slightly interesting--those guys can move fast! However, watching funny looking cars go around a track laid out to be intentionally difficult is only interesting for about two laps. Then there are the 55 laps to come. Yawnnnn.
Nascar? Oh, please. The only interesting thing about watching these cars go around an oval track is the paint jobs on the cars. If they could jam in one more sponsor logo they would, but they now have logos all over the drivers' suits and helmets. Yawnnnn.
And football--a bunch of steroid sucking neanderthals lumbering up and down a field and occasionally scoring points. The fans with their headdresses (cheese heads) and painted bodies (ugh)are mildly interesting, but one has to sit through four quarters for momentary flashes of interest. Why do they say "four quarters" when "quarter" pretty well says it all? Yawnnn.
Tennis is inherently boring--thock, thock, thock--someone scored a point! I played tennis, and it was boring! Yawnnnnnn.
Rodeo originated in skills needed on the ranch (with the exception of barrel racing). Bull riding is another exception, but I do admit to being a fan. I loved watching the boys from Brazil dominate after the Australians all retired and moved to Stephenville Texas and bought ranches. I still remember an interview with an Aussie and the interviewer didn't understand a word he said.
So, although sports are boring, it seems there is a large audience for sports. That's fine, but please do not expect me to watch them or discuss them ad infinitum!

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