Recent Entries to this Blog Ain't no cure
Posted: 05 May 2023
Men, and women
Posted: 01 Mar 2023
Small Pleasures
Posted: 19 Jan 2023
Place names in Texas
Posted: 06 Sep 2022
Speaking with the elderly
Posted: 26 Feb 2022

All Entries

marlingardener's Blog

Farm living and laughing

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.

This blog entry has been viewed 197 times

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!

This blog entry has been viewed 194 times


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!

This blog entry has been viewed 364 times

We're so fortunate

Category: Farm Doings | Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:21 pm

We love being on our little farm, and while enjoying our morning coffee, watching birds come into the feeders, and cats lounging on the porch, we often reminisce about how fortunate we are.
We don't need other people, which during this pandemic time is a real blessing.
We are happy with what we have and don't want much more (my husband is adamant about not letting me have two mules although I'd really like two mules).
We both have our strong points. His is repairing equipment, mowing, and making furniture in his workshop. Mine is cooking and cuddling cats. Notice neither of us is particularly good at housekeeping.
We both like gardening. He keeps the weeds down as much as possible, and I harvest. I like that division of labor!
So, we agree we are fortunate. Hope y'all are, too!

This blog entry has been viewed 190 times

They's from around here

Category: Serendipity | Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:08 pm

After 20 plus years in Texas, I am still amazed by some Texans.
For example, our plumber, a man in his 40's whom I would happily adopt if he were available (having a plumber in the family is so much better than having a surgeon since everyone often needs a plumber, and probably needs a surgeon just once). He scared the beejeebers out of us a couple of years ago by saying he was going to retire and go live in Cabo San Lucas. Imagining how wet we'd be with a leak while he came up from Cabo made us very anxious.
Then last year he decided to run for county sheriff. Sheriffs occasionally get involved in gunfire, and are on call 24 hours a day. If he were involved in a 48 hour standoff, we would drown with a leak! I don't want to think of him crawling out of a hospital bed with a bullet imbedded in him to come fix our leak. I'd expect it, but I don't want to think about it.
Our plumber came to install a new dishwasher and brought his helper with him. While the helper was crawling around on the floor hooking up the water hose to the new dishwasher, he was telling me about his career plans. He said he wasn't a plumber, but a pipe fitter (way to install confidence in a customer!). He didn't think he wanted to plumb because there was so much time in bathrooms, around septic tanks, and other yucky places. He had heard the county gave contracts to pick up the bodies from car wrecks and take the remains to the coroner or funeral home. This is the man who thought bathrooms were yucky?
And then there was the man who wanted to buy some of our honey so he could put a dish of it out in his garden to attract bees to pollinate his plants. I asked him if he had thought this through. Bees eat honey. A dish of honey would attract the bees to the dish and they would ignore his plants--no pollen gathering because they didn't need to make the effort. He didn't get it. So, I asked him if I gave him a pound of raw hamburger, a bun, and an onion, or gave him a Big Mac already prepared, which would he choose. He finally understood. Then he asked what he could do to attract bees. I stopped short of suggesting he smear himself with sugar water and run through the garden.
I won't mention the couple who, at 10 p.m., were parked on the road and searching the berm with a flashlight because "she dropped something out of the truck." We didn't ask when this event happened. Probably last week and they just got around to searching.
They's from around here, and they seem to find us.

This blog entry has been viewed 217 times

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