November 6, 2017 @ 5:32 PM
George Orwell’s book of the same title is a great book, a satire. Some call it an allegory. It’s not about animals. It’s possible this blog post isn’t about animals either.
The world has gone wild for animals, just check out Facebook. Goats scamper about in pajamas. Gerbils wear hats. Ducks waddle about while wearing bandanas. And cats . . . don’t get me started on cats. Every human emotion known to man can be demonstrated on the faces of the legions of cats that populate social media. I know. I’ve seen them. Happy cats. Sad cats. Mad cats. Grumpy cats. Well, you’ve seen it.
My husband and I live with animals, the kind that lives in coops and barns and pastures and not on Facebook.
October 25, 2017 @ 12:33 AM
“Okay, let’s go.” My husband of thirty-plus years jangled car keys at me.
Surely the shock on my face could be seen from space.
“What are you talking about? Go where?”
My husband made that face he makes when he thinks that I’m being obtuse or uppity or stubborn. He makes that face a lot.
“Sherwood, I’m in my bathrobe. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about or where you think that we are going,” I yipped.
I was, in fact, standing in my bathrobe—a fluffy yellow affair that I tied with a worn out purple poke-a-dot bathrobe belt because I had lost the belt to my present fluffy yellow ...
August 30, 2017 @ 9:04 PM
Attention: Fire Ant Advisory - Threat Level, Magenta
Fire ants, for non-Floridians, are an imported insect species here.
The word fire is not used arbitrarily. Fire ants are mean. They bite. They sting. Their mean stinging bites leave volcanic bumps that turn into pussy sores on your ankles that look a tad gross when you're wearing high heels and toenail polish. It’s a condition commonly referred to as fire ant ankle.
Fire ants were imported from Hades, just south of the river Styx, on that boat piloted by the dog with the three heads, or maybe it was a river in the Amazon via a boat piloted by an anaconda. It’s possible fire ants arrived in a potted plant from Costa No Where-O. Actually, there is a ......
July 27, 2017 @ 1:35 AM
I am a writer-slash-author-slash-weaver of dreams-slash-word count monger. By my latest word count research and scientific study, I’ve written easily half a ca-billion words, or as a nameless, quasi-supportive relative by marriage once commented on my writing efforts, “That’s a lot of words.”
After a while, when the words stack up I have to decide what to do with them. I can send them off to an agent that may or may not have the same attitude as my quasi-supportive relative and will want fifteen percent commission right off the top or DIY.
DIY is code for doing it yourself or don’t imagine yaks. It also means that at some point I have to decide to stuff all those words ......
July 8, 2017 @ 2:16 PM
Our sandbox is sometimes fifteen feet high. There are friendly goats to pet. The swings fit one to twelve children. “Hideouts” and “forts” are freely constructed and outfitted all over the property. Fun is what we do.
There are also snakes, bugs, and fire ants. Branches fall from trees. Animals stampede. Mud, muck, and swamp encroach. Thistles sting. Florida is the semi-tropics after all.
In the spirit of summer high jinks and mud hole jumping, I’ve compiled a Zern Farm release form and a list of pool rules. (Please Note: We don’t have a pool.)
If you come to my house, do NOT wear flip-flops. Your feet will not be protected from random piles of animal dung by your “comfortable&......
June 4, 2017 @ 5:52 PM
My favorite fairy tale of all time is The Emperor’s New Clothes. It’s continually timely. It’s satirically poignant. It’s completely dead on. The problem is that so many people are walking around naked these days, convinced that they’re fully clothed I get tired of yelling, “Hey, Dude, get your money back. You’re naked. And it’s not ‘good naked.’”
The fairy tale is about a couple of tailors trained in the fancy school of slick talkers. The tailors offer to make the emperor a suit of clothes like none other. They can’t. No worries. They convince the dope they have, in fact, made the next hot thing in fashion, sort of like an invisible man romper or a see-through......
May 15, 2017 @ 1:56 AM
Consider this another disclaimer.
If you're going to come to a farm, you're going to see animals in their natural state. If you're going to read about a farm you're going to read about animals in their natural state: Be warned!
Our neighbor, Mr. M, has goats. We have goats. Fences separate our goats. Sometimes the goats actually pay attention to the fences and stay where they're supposed to stay, but in the spring . . . all bets are off. It's spring after all.
Because in the spring a young buck's heart turns to love or . . . how to say this genteelly . . . er . . . um . . . oh forget it! Humping! Their hearts turn to humping and fences are for jumping.
We have a buck goat. He's ......
May 9, 2017 @ 9:37 PM
. . . Because He [God] never lets me get smug. Never. Ever. That’s how I know. Just about the time I get to thinking I’ve got some street stuff or cool juice, God enjoys serving me up some humble pie with an extra helping of humiliation on the side.
Here’s how it always goes. I do something pretty keen, even dazzling, and then bam, one of my shoes falls in the toilet, and I have to dive in and fish it out. True story. Don’t ask.
I’m pretty good at saying the words that people hear with their ears. My college speech teacher remarked that “Linda is just this side of an inspirational speaker.” This side of what he never clarified.
It might be the Irish in me. It might be all the ......
April 24, 2017 @ 3:03 PM
Last year at this time on the calendar, our property was under water. It was a rainy spring. It's happened before. A dozen years ago it rained every single day for twenty-eight days during the Easter season. Knee high rain boots were all the fashion rage around here.
This year we are dry as a dust bowl. There's a burn ban. There's a wildfire alert. There's a lot of crunchy grass.
But isn't that Mother Nature for you? The answer is yes.
Too much. Not enough.
For a dame that gets a lot of adoration and awe, Mother Nature is a real biddy. For those not of the Southern persuasion a biddy, or old biddy is an ugly, frightening old woman: beldam, crone, hag, witch.
When I hear people worshipping at the feet of ......
April 17, 2017 @ 7:36 PM
I signed up to be part of a four-day Book Lover’s Book Fair two years ago. I had no idea what I was doing then. I have no clue what I’m doing now. I’ve missed my self-imposed deadlines. I won’t have a new book to highlight. I can’t quite figure out how to stand out in a crowd of authors that do these book fair deals one-hundred-weekends of the year.
Then there are the classes I’ve been attending at every writer’s conference and seminar with titles in the form of lists. Lists of everything that a writer should not do, or they’ll die a dozen poorly plotted deaths before they’ve gotten out of bed—not to mention whey they’re at book fairs. The endless, negative lists ......