July 2015 archive

Recluse Man, Jurassic World, Dinosaurs and a Crocosaur…Oh My!

I love going to the dollar store. I mean the real dollar store, where everything is exactly one dollar. It blows my mind how many items can be bought for just one dollar. Of course, it might be crap, like the one dollar wire cutters I bought. They were so cute and shiny, I couldn’t resist. But when I tried to cut some framing wire, all they cut was air. I cut a fart as I marveled over how pretty those good-for-nothing-cheap-as-hell wire cutters looked on top of the coffee grinds in the trash. I should know better…than to eat beans for breakfast.

I mainly go for the one dollar Twizzlers at the dollar store. I’m a Twizzler junky driving down the road. The one dollar size fits perfectly in the glove compartment and is good for two chomp sessions. No time to go stale. Inevitably, while I’m getting my Twizzlers, I always end up with something else. Cane’t be helped…as we say in TrAshe county. There is always something I cane’t live without. Like the other day….I knew my life would be incomplete if I didn’t have one of these….

It’s a GROWTH CREATURE!Growth Creature

Did you see this??? 600%! Holy Crocodiles!!!600%

I was sooooo excited!

I put the growth creature in the tub and ran plenty of lukewarm water. growth creature in tub 1

OMG…what if it got HUGE overnight??? I left the bathroom door open. Just in case. I put an 18″ ruler down too, but feared I needed at least a yardstick….Growth Creature 2

Now right about this same time, Recluse Man was wrapping up a very cool project at work. Recluse Man oversees the facilities at a small resort hotel in a quaint town nearby. Every year they set up a booth at another resort in town, for a gala evening with the Charlotte Symphony. Each year a theme is chosen for the booths, and this year’s theme was Hollywood movies. Recluse Man was asked to recreate the entry to Jurassic World for his hotel’s movie theme.

This is just the kind of project Recluse Man loves. He’s an engineer and a builder at heart. He’s either built, and/or designed, over one hundred houses. I can testify to his simple yet elegant style. Not that Jurassic World would be either.

I kept hearing about Recluse Man’s Jurassic World. He put in well over 30 hours making the famous entrance. The day of the symphony, I went over to see how things were going. Wow! The styrofoam replica looked great as Recluse Man put the finishing touches on it.Recluse Man & JW entry

Then Double Wow when it went up!FG_025Good Job Recluse Man!FG_032

One of the guys Recluse Man works with found a source for some ‘real’ dinosaurs from the actual movie set. Turns out the owner of a local gem mine purchased several dinosaurs from the Jurassic World set for many thousands of dollars and was willing to loan them with the agreement he would keep the entry Recluse Man built.

Here comes one now…FG_033

.Forgit Recluse Man!!! I gotta check out the dinosaurs…FG_045How cool is this!FG_047They brought two dinosaurs over….FG_064

Whoops…wrong photo! This was the second dinosaur they used on the buffet table…FG_054-2Of course I had to mess with it…I like ’em scary…FG_054-1From my onOne filter stash….FG_053The first dinosaur was placed  beside the ‘electric fence’ Recluse Man made…jurr5 copy

We heard the fence was the biggest hit that night, with lots of kids and families posing beside it. At one point, a set builder from California stopped by and told Recluse Man he did an awesome job. I mean really awesome. Not that diluted ‘awesome’ everybody tosses around too freely these days.

I didn’t stick around for the gala. On the way home, with a brain full of dinosaur images, I found my car screeching as it turned into the gem mine. EERRRRRR…monster-me-out!! Here were the big guns…FG_076

Do dinosaurs eat bubbles?FG_089

I like his nails…I betcha he gives a good back scratch…FG_079Gotta be the owner’s car…FG_074

I was anxious to get home to my very own monster-in-the-tub. I had been refilling the tub with hot water and soaking my monster for days. I was still ‘seeing dinosaurs’ after the gem mine. It’s a very powerful thing to see dinosaurs in your head. It changes the world as we know it.

For example…I decided to drive home via my favorite mountain pass. Right over the crest, I can see ‘my mountain’ beyond this incredible old tree I have photographed many times. It’s a gorgeous view. I’ve watched and photographed as the years have taken a toll on this extraordinary tree…FG_017

But suddenly it became …A DINOSAUR FROM OUTER SPACE!FG_017-3

You had to be there.

My personal monster was an enigma. The package said he would grow 600% in several days and to be sure there was plenty of room for growth. HA HA…very funny!

This is what I came home to…
FG_472I reckoned I had a teenage Crocosaur on my hands, who was not yet ready to mature…FG_007_1Freekin dollar store.

I went out to my car and raided my Twizzler stash. I like to gnaw on Twizzlers when I’m driving….and when I’m frustrated. And was I ever frustrated. I decided I had given the Crocosaur plenty of time. Clearly he was never going to be more than a mini-croc. I must have been half-crocked to believe otherwise. I named him Croco’shihtt.

You are probably saying …”what did you expect from a one dollar growth creature?”

Oh be quiet.

I put on my Crocosaur wrangling hat and asked Recluse Man to document the less than stellar growth of my personal monster. Still….I couldn’t help but be a little proud…FG_054_4

“Stretch ’em out to full length,” Recluse Man suggested…FG_059_3

So I did…but then Croc’s tail snapped off!!!FG_060_3

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You wouldn’t believe…it tasted just like chicken!!!!

Would you like some?

FG_064_1And that my friends, is the end of this monster tale…..

Gulp.

Wait….Wait…Wait…I’m not done yet!

Look at what Elizabeth just brought me….it’s my lucky day!!!

FG_068FG_073SHUT DA DOOR!!!!

Do It In The Dirt

I love it when a Monday starts off on a funny note. From all my experience with Mondays, they usually don’t work out that way. Unless you’re on vacation. Some people think I’m on permanent vacation. They may be right, but I still have a thing about Mondays. After all, It’s taken me three days to recover and post about.

This past Monday was the rare exception to the ‘Funky Monday’ frame of mind I’m usually in. Recluse Man had the day off!

I knew this dreamboat guy of mine would have loved sleeping in, but he was well aware of the pain I was dealing with. I jumped a ditch on a hiking trail last week and wrenched my back. It’s been frustrating to deal with in the middle of the summer, especially since I’m farm-sitting for the month of July. There are occasional chores that are too much for my bad back…like carrying 50 pound bags of chicken feed and moving heavy hay bales.

We hopped in Recluse Man’s big ole truck and headed down the road to the farm. By the way…RM always opens the truck door for me. Isn’t that dreamy? Long live chivalry!

I brought my camera to the farm just in case there was a good chicken shot to be had. I have become obsessed with photographing chickens lately. As it turned out, Monday was not a good day for shooting chickens. Not when Recluse Man was flexing his muscles.FG_010

Nothing makes my heart beat faster than a guy with a good strong back. That, and a Ford 150, and a chainsaw. Extra points if he can make a killer pizza.FG_007

But what does this have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing. Except that Recluse Man was with me when we returned to our farm, and I had my camera beside me. And I like to brag on my guy.

I burst out laughing when we pulled up to our barn. Look who was under the apple tree pigging out and dirtier than I had ever seen him!!!FG_017_1

That’s right….D.O.G. …who apparently thought it was hilarious as well….or maybe that was the last of an apple…FG_034_1 copy

He was definitely smiling and seemed especially proud of himself…FG_024_1

Lookee how dirty he was…. both sides! And he was wagging about it!FG_032_1 copy

The pig with the wagging tail took off for the barn, which is off limits no matter what condition his complexion is in. I shouted at Recluse Man…”SHUT DA DOOR!” And just in time!

I love this photo. Notice the exact same expression on both my guys!!!FG_041_1

Door shut. Mission accomplished!FG_038_1 copy

I got the feeling D.O.G. was losing his sense of humor…FG_043_1 copy

I went over to inspect…FG_045_1 copy

And then it occurred to me….did this mud bath have anything to do with my T shirt? My very own Animal Garden Shop T shirt that says … DO IT IN THE DIRT?

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Can pigs read?FG_050-2Was it me who inspired him??? How ridiculous. This pig can’t see a piece of banana cream pie if it’s six inches away. He navigates mostly by smell. Did I smell extra bad? I had thrown on yesterday’s clothes but that’s that’s not unusual. Wait…back up. I didn’t mean ‘extra’ bad. It’s not like I smell bad to begin with. Please believe me.

 Tell me pigster!!!! Why the dirty butt?FG_054_1 copy

Pigs love mud. I love mud.

I’ll never forget some hellacious mud fights at summer riding camp. After a hard rain, the rings would be too wet to ride in, but perfect for mud fights.

Someone would yell MUD FIGHT!!!!! YES! The grit…the nastiness…the primal screams….flinging hunks of slippery gunk… grinding the grossness in girlfriends hair…ahhhhh…how I love a good mud fight! GROSE-ME-OUT!!!

Sheesh…I haven’t said that in years. I need to calm down.

Back to pigs. Pigs need mud. It cools them down, especially when they don’t have shade. Did you know a pig only sweats through its nose? I didn’t…until I met the pigster. So that makes it kinda weird when you say…”So-and-So sweats like a pig.” Does that mean So-and-So is dripping puddles off his/her nose and nowhere else? Have you ever met anyone called So-and-So? Me neither.

Forget what I said about pigs needing mud. Ever since D.O.G. insisted on moving his house from the chicken coop down at the barn, to the covered deck outside our front door, the rules have changed. Clean D.O.G. house. No need for mud. Plenty of shade. Cool mountain breeze. Fresh blankets. And with a clean piggy, there won’t be any telltale signs of a little indoor nap when Recluse Man gets home. Besides, I don’t do muddy piggy belly rubs.

See D.O.G. run.     (do I look dorky in my muck boots or what?)FG_058_1

Hey this is fun!!!        (dang… time to color my hair?)FG_065_1

Pockets the ponkey was very amused.           (oh no! a hair cut too?)FG_093_1 copy

Can you tell Recluse Man took these photos?FG_098_1 copy

It wasn’t the most thorough bath…but good enough for the funny farm…FG_108_1 copy

I dismissed the pigster…or maybe he dismissed himself…it wasn’t clear…FG_111_1 copy

Back to the D.O.G. house he went….FG_113_1 copyAnd that my friends, is the end of a very dirty pig tale.

 

D.O.G. the PIG

I never planned to fall in love with a pig. It just happened.

You see, a friend of a friend was looking for a home for his pig and posted as such on FaceBook. When my friend Alan saw the post, he immediately figured the pig and I were meant for each other. Alan is an alien with strange telepathic powers. Alan is also a rather zany artist and often uses farm animals as subjects.

But what the heck was he thinking?

He knew good and well I am a horse girl, a dog girl; a cat girl. Wait, let’s make that ‘woman.’ I’ve always wanted to be a Catwoman.

But a pig chick? …I have to admit, I liked the sound of it.

Did Alan’s telepathic powers have to do with the fact that I kissed his pig painting at an art  show?

FG_AGshow1I couldn’t resist! Isn’t that the most adorable pig on wheels with wings?

… so maybe kissing glass isn’t the same.
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Seems to me, Alan has his own big-fat-flying-pig-love going on.

Ironically, it didn’t take me long to be convinced of my desire for this pig. Maybe five minutes of serious consideration. My two biggest concerns were;

a. Where would we put the pig???  Of course! …the chicken coop which is near the barn and the creek, with plenty of room to roam.

b. What about my dogs? Would they kill him? Would they harass him? Would they be jealous? Tommy assured me, D.O.G. got along fine with d.o.g.s….not to worry.

Still, I worried. But as it turned out, Tommy was right.

Recluse Man was another story. He grunted and protested, but ever the pacifist, he eventually acquiesced. I think he figured I’d do whatever-the-hell-I-wanted-anyway.

I reminded him… “I AM the TRIBAL PRINCESS on FREEKA’S FUNNY FARM!”

Then I ripped my top off and danced around the couch to distract his ‘thinking brain’ by engaging his ‘guy-brain’ which is that ‘reptilian brain’ in his cerebellum. Topless princess on the loose….works every time on the guy brain.

But let’s get back to the pig..shall we?

On a chilly February day, I drove to the next county over to meet Tommy and his pig named D.O.G. Tommy is Mister Cool. He is the only guy I know who can get away with wearing crochet shorts. He hugged me the first time I laid eyes on him and I knew right then, he must have a wonderful pig. Twenty minutes later his pig fake-chomped me as I tried to pose for a FaceBook photo and I about peed my pants… no shit.

This was two seconds before the ‘Fake Chomp.’ After that, I was wearing my ‘Fake Smile.’FG_022-4

I had never hugged a pig in my entire life. I had no reason to. But D.O.G. was quite the ham for Tommy, (sorry…slipped right out). Here he is showing off his ‘SIT’ trick….
FG_012-2…for a piece of pizza…
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If this isn’t up close and personal…but waitaminute…later…while editing photos I noticed Tommy never hugged his pig….was there a reason?FG_013

After the fake-chomp, I was a little shaken and had lingering thoughts about how wrong this might be. Yet there was something about this pig.

Maybe it was the first time he wagged his tail at me….or maybe like the Roberta Flak song….’The first time ever I saw his face.’ I would continue with, ‘I thought the sun rose in his eyes’ … but to this day I have not seen the pig’s eyes.

Here is the first time ever I saw D.O.G.’s face….how could I not fall in love?

Isn’t that dirty snout just the cutest???FG_036-2

Tommy brought D.O.G. to me with the agreement I would keep him for a one month trial period. If it all worked out, he would stay indefinitely as part of the tribe.

I had to ask Tommy, “Do you call him ‘D-O-G?’ …or  ‘dee-oh-jee?’ …or knowing me, I’ll get it backwards and call him G-O-D.”

“Ha Ha. Whatever works for you,” he said.

Recluse Man and I mostly refer to him as ‘deoji,’ but I also call him ‘pigster,’ or ‘silly pig,’ or ‘you dawg,’ or if he’s been naughty I’ll use his proper name with a stern voice; ‘D.O.G.’ … just like my mom called me FRED-ERR-RICA when I was in trouble. It’s a shame to make cringes of a good and proper name, but it works.

D.O.G. arrived in the back of an SUV. Everything happened so quickly, I barely had time to grab my camera before he was on the ground and running. Well, not really running. More like standing.FG_004_1

My dogs were under strict orders to behave. One at a time they braved a whiff. First Toots….FG_017_1 copy

Then Lily…FG_016_1

Then…this is good…this is close enough…I can smell him from here….Jess…FG_015_1

The guys put D.O.G.’s house inside the chicken coop and covered everything with tarps…FG_027_1

Meanwhile, Gypsy and her Pips were very curious about the latest arrival. FG_047_1The Pips had never met a pig before!
FG_037_1Pockets wondered….could this be Pigasus? (she has an active imagination)FG_032_1

Before long, the coop was ready for D.O.G.’s grand entrance. Tommy coaxed him from within…FG_054_1But D.O.G. changed his mind and other methods had to be employed… FG_061_1Nothing beats peanut butter on a stick!FG_070_1The power of peanut butter!!!!FG_057_1

Once inside, D.O.G. had his own ideas about how his bed should be made…FG_097_1

FG_140 copyWhy that’s exactly how I make my bed!FG_141 copyNever had I seen such enthusiasm for bed-making!
FG_144 copy

After he tuckered himself out and long after Tommy left, I braved a belly rub. I had been dying to do this. Of course, I assumed this would make us best friends forever…
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With increasing confidence, I tried a selfie only to be fake-chomped again!!!! I had so much to learn about pigs and their quirky ways. But first I had to change my panties.FG_085_1

Outside the chicken coop inquiring minds wanted to know….does it fly?FG_094_1

What a day it was! I pulled a blanket over the piggy and said good night. FG_170_2

I knew D.O.G. had lived in several different locations in his short life. He was a gadabout…a worldly pig who had grown up in an RV, and attended music festivals, and knows more people in town than I do. But at the ripe age of 3 1/2, Tommy knew it was time to find him a permanent home with loving, stable people.

Did I really say ‘stable?’

The horse stable…yes, yes.

So he ended up on a funny farm with a stable and loving people. Good enough. I was determined to make it work and have this be his final home…if only he’d quit with those scary fake-chomps!

Yawns…are ok. FG_172_1

Now here it is six months later and we are all tickled pink and living high on this hog!

And should you be wondering…I hug him everyday.

A BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR THE PIPS!

Hiya … heya …welcome to Freeka’s Funny Farm. Scroll right on down for some zany adventures and photos from life on my southern mountain farm.

I am Freeka. Well sometimes. Other times I’m Freddie. In fact, I have an entire collection of ‘F’  names but I’ll save that for later.

Yup...that's me wearing my 'F'avorite shirt

Yup…that’s me wearing my ‘F’avorite shirt

Now should you be wondering about the ‘Funny’ part of Freeka’s Farm…

Yes, we are all nuts here. No, we don’t take drugs to control it.

It’s just that I am a photographer who likes to laugh a lot. And somehow I ended up on this little farm in the mountains and now seven years into it, I find myself presiding over three dogs, two cats, a horse, a pig, a pony, a ponkey, and a boyfriend I call Recluse Man.

I am their tribal queen. Or maybe I’m a princess. Yes, yes, we’ll go with princess. It doesn’t really matter since no one realizes this very important role except maybe Recluse Man. And that always prompts a hearty laugh from him. Funny girl … ha ha … Princess. But who wouldn’t want a princess? Sometimes Recluse Man should take me more seriously.

Anyway…for some time now I have found myself greatly amused and entertained by the antics of my tribe and I think it’s about time to share. Besides, we have a ponkey named Pockets living here who is searching for fame and fortune. And more poo. Always gotta be  searching and sniffing for poo.

If you don’t know what a ‘ponkey’ is…well… you dummy…ya mate a pony with a donkey…ya got a ponkey …otherwise known as a mule. But we never-ever use the M word around here. Never.

The timing for my first blog entry couldn’t be better because you see, we’ve been partying. We like to party. Especially since Pockets the ponkey, and her sidekick Grayson the pony, just turned one. They were both born in June at Grayson Highlands State Park in VA into feral pony bands. Then three months later at the annual September auction (2014), my nutty friend Elizabeth bought them, and three months after that they came to live here.

Not only have the Pips just turned one, they have spent exactly half their little lives here on the farm. Woot..Woot.

This is so typical around here…Elizabeth and Pockets are cutting up and getting all the attention while Grayson takes backstage….FG_027_3Meet Grayson. Isn’t he a cutie-patootie? He prefers ‘handsome’ … you decide. btw….Elizabeth is always smiling around her Pips…it’s the real deal…and very contagious.FG_021_1_2Pockets believes in fairies and magic and of course…unicorns! We gave her a magic wand and told her to grant wishes and make rainbows and sprinkle magic everywhere…FG_035_2

“Oh My Gwad,” said Pockets…”waataaloadapoo….I waaaah more beads.”FG_039_2

Balloons on the hitching post! What the heck is a balloon?FG_043_2

I think the donkey in the ponkey makes Pockets more curious than Grayson. Plus she is a badass, watch-dog, half-ass and always on the look-out. She really is. A halfass I mean. You don’t believe me? Her daddy was a jackass, her momma a pony…so that makes her a halfass…but only Grayson calls her that. You need to start believing me.

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Meanwhile Grayson showed some anxiety….perhaps he was worried we would play pin-the-tail-on-his-favorite-ponkey?FG_103_2Oh c’mon now patootie-face…have a lil sniff?FG_113_2FG_115_2Of course all of this is a way of offering the Pips new experiences. On a funny farm, why not make the lessons fun? (Don’t bother confirming with Grayson)

But enough about lessons…let’s get on with the party. And what would a party be without Mama G? Gypsy, or Mama G, has been with me for six years now. She had a carefree life with a couple of boyfriends before the Pips came along. Then BAM! Enter two of the tiniest baby horses (?) she had ever seen. It could have gone any which way. I mean, no one asked Gypsy if she wanted to be a surrogate mom. Why, she could have jumped the fence to audition for 50 Shades of Hay. Naturally, Elizabeth and I were thrilled to see Gypsy take the Pips in like they were her own.FG_066_2

Gypsy decided to attend as a blonde since she heard blondes have more fun….FG_138_2This was our version of a birthday carrot cake…shredded carrots with molasses drizzled on top. My kind of cake recipe. It was a HUGE hit!FG_064_2

Pockets….”Hey git yer own!”FG_133_2FG_142_2

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OMG…youse guys are so cute…of course you can have seconds…
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Mama E (Elizabeth) grabbed my camera while I distracted Gypsy to give Pockets a chance to lick her plate…at least that was the plan…FG_178_2Meanwhile, Grayson got in on it and I was surrounded by sticky lips! Lemme outta here!FG_186_2Then Gypsy found the molasses bottle and things got outta control. Molasses everywhere! It was a stickety-lickety good mess…FG_209_2I could have sworn Pockets the Ponkey was drunk on Molasses!FG_210_2

Even Elizabeth was brown and sticky under the nose…now how did that happen?
FG_087_2Well of course…molasses kisses!!!…but who has the brownest nose?? (Grayson doesn’t count)FG_090_2Feathers were sticking to Mama E’s lips….hey is that Groucho Marks?
FG_245_2Everyone had a great time. And no….we did not play pin-the-tail-on-the-ponkey!FG_247_2

Then right on cue, Tootsie the clean-up girl arrived to assist me.FG_255_2

Never was there a better birthday party on the funny farm!!