Posts Tagged ‘Freeka’s Funny Farm’

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – FLOWER POWER – PART II

Never have I experienced such destruction and absolute disregard for my cherished flower gardens as I have this summer. And we’re only a few days into summer. Sigh.

First it was D.O.G. the pig chomping my flower beds near the house. He was dainty at first, just nibbling blossoms and leaving me the dirt and naked stems still in box shapes from their original containers, yanked from the ground, and scattered about for easy replanting.

I almost gave him credit for being thoughtful. That lasted all of two days.

After blessing and replanting over a dozen box shapes, I barricaded the beds with big logs. That ungrateful, thoughtless pig plowed through the barricades and tore up entire beds, flinging dirt and returning to the porch with a snout black and rich with fermented horse poo, garden soil and mushroom compost. His favorite blend, apparently.

Next came the deer. We busted them at dawn the other morning, grazing down the flowers I had so joyfully planted near the pond.

“Your heads will be hanging above the mantle,” I shouted, as they jumped the fence and loped ever so gracefully away. I believe there were still zinnias dangling from their chops.

So what’s a farm chick to do but savor her lily pads. They may be my last hope for some beauty among the beasts. Never to be picked, chomped, mauled or grazed.

Here’s to a little flower power in the pond…Eat your heart out D.O.G.

 

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – WACKED OUT

Funny. Every time I send a text message or email to my beloved saying something profound like; ‘Hey baby…taking a break from wacking…where you be?’ or; ‘Vibing so bad from 3 hours of wacking…pick up some munchies?’ … auto-spell kicks in and turns wacking into ‘whacky’ or ‘walking’ or  ‘waking’…when I just wanna say WACKING. It makes me even more WACKED OUT than I already am.

Now to be perfectly clear (as some perfectly murky politicians might say), to be whacked-out is similar (take definition #1 below for example), but certainly not the same. As defined by Merriam Webster;

Definition of whacked–out

  1. 1:  worn-out, exhausted

  2. 2:  wacky a whacked–out parody

  3. 3:  stoned whacked–out on drugs

HOLIDAY FARM ANIMALS (I sure hope they don’t hold a grudge)

I can’t help myself. A flashy holiday rolls around and I feel this need to dress up my farm tribe and make photographs. How silly is that?

(rhetorical question…don’t  bother asking the animals)

I have to wonder…in my middle-aged life…am I just now getting in touch with the inner childhood I missed out on growing up as a tomboy climbing trees…when I could have been outfitting Barbie dolls?

(no regrets…and again…don’t ask the animals)

I learned recently, there was a scientific study that determined dogs have no self-awareness with regard to how they look. I could have spared the expense of that study and offered the same conclusions (from all my farm animals), backed up by Freeka’s Funny Farm research and documentation. Lily with spaghetti drools all over her snout, the pigster with a little poo stuck to his tail, Gypsy with more brown mud on her body than natural white, Pockets with a sticky molasses nose…and they each be like…

“WHO CARES?

WHY YOU LAUGHING AT ME?

I FEEL GOOD!”

(sung to James Brown tune)

However…when it comes to Christmas holiday photography, those same critters may just exhibit a little more self awareness.  They’ve made it through Valentine’s Day, St Patty’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween, but the year is not quite complete without a few Christmas costumes and a little craziness.

I apologize to all the critters I have humiliated. Just know, in my eye you are all so fun, and yes, silly. So…what’s wrong with that? I promise never to turn y’all into Barbies.

This year I had the pleasure of humiliating someone else’s farm animals. “Whew!”… said the tribe. Took the pressure off the gang here. But as you will see, my gang did not go completely…undressed…shall I say?

Here are some favorites from here and beyond at Tucker Farm.

I’ll start with Toots and the decorating of the tree. Toots did not want to budge from the new dog bed that was taking up so much room right where I was trying to decorate our little Christmas tree. So what’s a girl to do? Yes! Decorate the dog. Well c’mon…I had to stretch out those new Christmas lights somewhere!

Toots…hoping she wouldn’t be gift-wrapped next…

I know how much Elizabeth loves having photos made with her Pips, especially to share with her family and fans at Christmas time. The Pips are such troopers as photo models, all I have to do is say…SMILE! …and look what I get…

…SMILES all around!

Never mind that Pockets was wearing a doggie outfit…that ponkey loves to dress up!

Even Grayson didn’t seem to mind the ‘faux mistletoe’…any reason to nibble…lick…kiss…

Nobody looks terribly humiliated here…right Elizabeth? (better pass out some treats real fast)

On we go to Tucker Farm. My favorite home away from home. The lady of the farm, my great friend Karen, has a good-sized tribe of rescued donkeys and goats at her barn and each year she’ll do a little Christmas slide show with her gang. I couldn’t wait to get involved. Three of my favorite horse pals live there as well, and almost living there, is another simpatico, ‘favorite-home-away-from-home’ girlfriend, Janice, who owns two of the horses.

My goat-to girlfriends…Karen on left, Janice on right…butt-heads in front…

None of the Tucker Farm critters are newbies at photo shoots. As soon as the costume container came out in the horse pasture, Dart was all into everything…

…hmmm…maybe red is really my color?

“Hey Dart…when you stick your nose in the goodies box…well who nose what will happen next…eh? Ha Ha Ha!”

(is this horse lacking a sense of humor?)

Here’s Dart’s stable mate, Louie. The twin brother of the same mother of costumes…Might have a case of stink eye going on here..

Asante…the only mare on the farm…ready to dance… …and prance……and maybe a little french kiss? (such a huzzy!)

On to the donkeys and goats. It was such a highly organized Christmas shoot with a bunch of curious models just waiting their turn.

Like a Victoria’s Secret Christmas runway show, we told them.

Yup…you believe that?

It was more like…

(goats and donkeys)…”HAY…WHAT’S to EAT in that BOX?”

(girls)…”HEY! GIT OUTTA THERE YOU RASCALS!”

 That…’You’ve Goat to be Kidding’ look….

Can’t wait to unwrap my presents!

Truly…Star Struck…What Ernie was really thinking…

“Star Struck…my butt! I just wanna know if that thing on my head is…EDIBLE?”

Check out my favorite goat, Ethel. Too bad she got stuck with my middle name.

Poor dear.

I think because of that, (ruthless teasing…you gotta understand!), she likes the idea of having grown a set of balls……now what to do with those balls???

Stormy said…”After this? I am sooo breaking into the feed room. First chance I get.”

Thanks girls…I was seeing so much red and green…I didn’t know whether to stop…or go……or just grow a mustache…

Meanwhile…back at the Funny Farm…things were getting out of control.

D.O.G. had busted into his stocking and lookee what he found!!!

DANG!…D.O.G….gimme back my Recluse Man!!!!

The Pips had found the calendar that will surely make them overnight Hollywood sensations…

…ya think??

My New Year’s date turned out to be a real pig…Toots spoke her first and final words of the year……and then passed out from overexertion…I caught D.O.G. ransacking the Christmas goody bags…

…then squatting on my homemade holiday cards…and is that the sports section of the paper where I circled all my winning bets??? …I will forgive that pigster…if the rest of all those wonderful creatures will forgive me…

Deal…D.O.G.?

HERE’S TO A STYLISH NEW YEAR!!!

2017 WITH THE PIPS … A CALENDAR TO MAKE YOU SMILE!

In my ‘what the heck…better late than never‘ approach to life, I decided to do a 2017 calendar. This decision came out of the blue and was inspired by a total stranger…not so long ago. I can count the days ago. OK…maybe weeks ago. Where does the time a…go?

This is the eighth calendar in my photo career.  For my last calendar in 2014, I used 86 photos and such complex layouts, I nearly strangled myself with baling twine. Or was it hari-kari with a pitchfork? When it was all over and done with, after the calendars arrived and I ripped into the box from the printer…I was proud. It was the most unique calendar of mine…ever. It was funny. It was charming. I got great feedback. I was so proud and exhausted by it, I told myself I would never do another.

Yet here I am. Again.

Without further ado, let me introduce the pages of calendar-2017…The Pips.

It started off all over the map. Initially I pulled 60+ photos as prospects. It was going to be a farm calendar…then a Pips calendar…but mostly in the end… it is a Pockets calendar.

With over 240 photos in the working folder, 67 made the cut. That little ponkey rules! It’s no wonder. She is incredibly photogenic and the most willing model around. And she loves wearing hats and beads. My kinda girl.

Here’s a little synopsis of the calendar, month by month, starting with the cover….

It was Mardi Gras season and Elizabeth, (Pips owner and #1 mama), was in her hometown of New Orleans. I was jealous. It was soooo cold on the farm. No better way to warm up than have a silly shoot with The Pips and celebrate Mardi Gras right here.

The Pips were all over-and-into the costume and bead bags. Grayson was fascinated by his ponkey-girl’s accoutrements. Pockets did not want to give up her orange shades and in fact did some laps around the pasture wearing them. Let’s have a parade! Krewe of Pips. That ponkey. That pony. We had a blast. Way better than being in the French Quarter for Mardi Gras. Well almost.

COVER 2017

This is one of my all-time favorite photographs…
front-cover

JANUARY

When we really get a good snow it’s a hoot to watch Pockets try to keep up with all the ‘biggers’. Those short little legs of hers! Sometimes the snow is up to her belly.

Run Pockets…RUN!1_2017_page-copy

FEBRUARY

Romance abounds on the funny farm. OH MY GWAD!2_2017_page

MARCH

What an in-between month. I had a hard time choosing the right photos. Is it still winter? Or is it spring? Can I be Irish for a day? Let’s talk. Pockets always wants to talk. And I always like to listen in. Whether it’s with Mama G or whoever else she’s yakking up. No matter how silly.

That ponkey has important things to say!3_2017-revised-blog

APRIL

Daffodils are sprouting. Tulips too. But who cares if you are a ponkey? So long as the grass starts growing again. Then…just like the rest of us…Spring Fever sets in.

It’s time to frolic!4_2017

MAY

Back in the 90’s, I photographed the Kentucky Derby three years in a row, right down on the track on the home stretch. Although I have mixed feelings about horse racing in general, it was an incredibly exciting photography experience that had just as much to do with the hats and the crowds, as it did the horses. Every year on the first Saturday in May, you will find me watching the Kentucky Derby on TV. Then, this year (2016), it dawned on me. Why not have our own little derby? Pockets was thrilled. Any reason to dress up and wear a big, pink, floppy hat is fine by her.

But the socks? They didn’t last long.5_2017

JUNE

Both Grayson and Pockets were born in June 2014, at Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. Great reason to party down! What a big-sticky-fun-molasses-and-carrots-mess. The Pips would love having a birthday every month of the year.

Bring on the balloons!6_2017

JULY

Who would have thunk? A rainbow-loving ponkey!!!7_2017

AUGUST

Just about every time Elizabeth comes out to visit The Pips, there’s a walk involved. It’s so pretty around here, with the New River nearby and a nice big meadow for grazing. Heck yeah!

Let’s go for a walk!8_2017

SEPTEMBER

Can you tell we are Panthers fans around here? Well at least when they’re having a good year…we are. Even though Pockets dreams of being a quarterback, I think she makes a better punter. A backasswards punter.

Budweiser Horses…move over! Bring on The Pips!9_2017

OCTOBER

So much for the Great Pumpkin. Right Pockets? I don’t think she’s a believer. Otherwise, she would not be chomping Great Pumpkin offspring. Agreed?

All she wanted was to be a unicorn.
10_2017

NOVEMBER

Aside from Thanksgiving, I’ve never been a big fan of November. The leaves have fallen, the days are shorter, and winter teases. Thank you Pockets, for sharing your good attitudes and bringing joy to November. Grayson too…you funny shag carpet…you.

Enjoying November Pips-style…yes!11_2017

DECEMBER

It’s seldom The Pips are naughty, and if they are, it’s usually my fault for leaving a gate unlatched somewhere. Mostly nice they are, and certainly full of spice. Just ask Santa. He’s stuffing their stockings with horse cookies and treats…

…and don’t forget the carrots-dunked-in-molasses…paleeze!12_2017

We have done a small run of calendars with only ‘backyard’ promotions. Heck we don’t even have an e-commerce site up. It’s a project for a few friends and fans to enjoy. If you’re interested, leave me a comment or shoot me an email (animalgardentribe@gmail.com) and I’ll see if I can reserve a calendar for you. They are $15, plus $5 shipping in the US.

Happy Holidays from the tribe at Freeka’s Funny Farm!

THE PIPS TURNED TWO…AND WHAT A WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY PARTY IT WAS!

Several days before I left for my bum-thumb-fated trip to Pennsylvania, we celebrated the Pip’s second birthday. It was sooo much fun! We invited some neighborhood friends, and kids, and parents, and a very special grandma, to join us for the festivities.

I had every intention of posting some great photos when I returned from my Fourth of July trip. It’s just that my dumb-broken-thumb got in the way. But now? I see it as a way to relive a magical afternoon. Every time I think of that afternoon, it makes me smile.

There were so many delightful photos, I had a hard time choosing. What follows, reminds me of a family album. I gotta admit…I’ve gone dizzy looking at some family albums. To the point of asking where the bathroom is…then asking for a glass of water…then…”Oops…I’m out of time…gotta run.”

I can’t help but think this family album…our Freeka’s Funny Farm family album…ROCKS! After all, it’s only once in a lifetime our beloved Pips…Grayson and Pockets…turn two!

Party Down!!!party1

Elizabeth and I wanted to have fun. BIG FUN. BIG KIDS KINDA FUN.

I figured we needed entertainment. Somewhere out on one of my hiking trails…it hit me. (I love how my brain works on hiking trails.)

YES! We must do…Pin-the-Tail-on-the-PONKEY!

First I sought Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo’s talent. Yup. Got him outta bed early that day…

…took him down to the barn and gave him some chalk and introduced him to his model…party66

His creative juices started flowing…
party3

Pockets loved her modeling job…party4

…and that Recluse Michel-MAN-gelo…such talent!party5

Of course…there is no tail. Just you wait.party6

Let the party begin!!

That’s Toots greeting Jessica on the left, Nate, and mama Suzy…and a huge bag of carrots!party7

Dakota and Sabrina!party8Hittin’ up the treasure chest…party9Dakota and granny Allie… she’s my riding partner from down the road…she’s sixty-nine and kicks my butt on the trails with her little Paso Fino! Allie grew up with her Chincoteague pony who lived to be thirty five!party10I had a gut feeling the bunny ears wouldn’t last long on Pockets…party12…whad I tell ya…party13

The pink and purple girls…Suzanne and Pockets…party11I encouraged the kids to draw on the barn before we started Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey.

I’m not sure what kind of creature that is below. Yo…Sabrina!

I used to see monsters like that, hiding under my bed at night…party14Dakota in dreads…with the sun shining over her head…party16Let’s play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Ponkey!!!

I braided ten tails from baling twine so peeps could keep their tails. This was not a big hit. I found tails everywhere after the party. Sigh. Pioneer Woman…I am not.

As everyone took turns, they were spun around once wearing a blindfold, then directed toward the barn door. Slap that tail on, remove the blindfold, have a good laugh (for me especially…and apparently Dakota), then initial with chalk.

Dakota went first…now that’s funny!party17

Next up…Jessica…party18Check her out! I love her Lost Unicorn shirt…party19

Sabrina…party20…you rock that tail girl!
party21

Nate…he’s a stellar football player with a soft spot for the Pips…party22Hmmm…that’s a tailback position!party23

And then it was my turn…I asked Jessica to turn me once…party24…I was lucky to find the barn door!party25You might say…I don’t know my ass from a barn door…party26

Then along comes smarty-pants Suzanne…party28…who could barely find the barn…party27…but was smart enough to locate the other tails…party29

THAT’S IT!

We took down the tails.

Nice try Mama E…are you pinning the tail on the patella?party30

Some of the adults were too grown-up to bother…in other words…they were drinking beer in the shade…party31Did I say…Grown-Up?party32We did get Allie…party33Tim..party34…and Suzy to pin that tail!party35

After the game, prizes were given to the kids. They were really special gifts Elizabeth had chosen from her horse collection…winner got first pick.

Sabrina and her mini-horse!party36There were books and cards and fun horsey things…including Elizabeth’s booklet about the Grayson Highlands ponies…party37See Elizabeth smiling her best ‘pony-girl’ grin…party36Meanwhile…the artistry continued. I was blown away by how cool the barn was looking!party37

Pockets inspected. “OH MY GWAD…MY BUTT IS A MESS!”
party39Now THAT is a  HAPPY barn door…party41The party was rockin’…party42…as the best carrot cake ever was served…party43But what about the horsies?party44I filled a trough with hay and had the troops sprinkle carrots on top…party45Suddenly there was an audience…Gypsy and Star!
party46They were most attentive…especially when the molasses appeared…party46That Star has a looong neck…party48I mean really loooong…party49We chased the barn gang out to the pasture and shut the gate. It was time for our great leaders to march in the birthday buffet!party50Next came Pockets and Grayson…with Grayson charming the girls as always…party51What a FEAST! (see the Elders patiently waiting in the pasture)party52Elizabeth and I took turns making birthday photos…while Grayson and Pockets munched down with total birthday abandon!party53…then finally the Elders were invited in…party54Here you see a bit of horse-heaven on earth…FG_364 copyDid I mention it was hot? So very hot in the mountains?party56It sure did seem like that fan followed Dave wherever he went……party57I know you are wondering if Recluse Man ever got that beer open…party58Well…he did…party59After our guests left…I couldn’t find Elizabeth…party60But Grayson found the beer…party61

It was a birthday party we will always remember…even the two-year-olds. Right Grayson?party63OH MY GWAD. Such a poser that Pockets!party64And that my friends…is the end of this chapter from our family album.party65How I love a good Tale of Tails!

MY BUM THUMB…SAID FRED THE BED

I have had many nicknames during my lifetime. Freddie, of course, is my everyday nickname. Freeka, my blog name. My mom used to call me Reeculous Ticklehoufer. I liked that name. Mainly because it came from my mom and it was just…ridiculous.

Perhaps the silliest nickname I ever acquired was, ‘Fred the Bed.’ That came from my best girlfriends at summer horse camp. I don’t think there was any relevance, or event, or behavior behind it. Just that it rhymed. These grown women still call me that. Good thing they don’t live nearby.

I share this as a preface to another dumb poem I wrote. It’s part Dr Suess and part explanation as to where the heck I’ve been all summer.

While most people kick off their summer around the Fourth of July, my happy season…my joy…my summer giddiness, came to an abrupt end that memorable weekend.

Hark ye revelers…for the story of my bum thumb…
thumb1

Yup..I broke my thumb falling off an ATV in Pennsylvania, going zero miles an hour. My right thumb no less. My favorite, most cherished thumb. The one that makes me a right-handed human being.

I was riding tandem, looking for photo opps, when my nephew’s girlfriend tried to turn the ATV around going up a steep embankment. As it started to roll, I elbowed my camera bag over my left shoulder and took the downhill fall with all my weight on my right hand.

CRUNCH went my thumb….followed by LOUD, NAUGHTY words that frightened the wildlife. (animal wildlife…well ok, maybe Katie too)

Here is my chauffeur, Katie, having a blast without a passenger. Behind her is the seat I fell from. Lemme tell ya…riding tandem stinks! thumb2Said Fred the Bed

Why is my thumb so Red?

Could it be Broke?

Am I Awoke?thumb3Said the Thumb

You are so Dumb!

I am about to Croak

And you just Spoke?thumb4

X-rays in Pennsylvania revealed a broken Bennett bone. That’s the bone that hinges the thumb to the rest of the hand. The bone that allows twisting, pinching, squeezing…as in the ability to brush my teeth, use a pitchfork, or wipe my butt right-handed.

Uh boy. It’s gonna be a long summer.

Said Fred the Bed

You are messing with my Head

It’s the Fourth of July

Please don’t lie.thumb5

The Yankee doctor fixed me up with a splint so I could drive the ten hours back home to my favorite Southern bone doctors. Because of the holiday weekend, and more X-rays with the Boone Ortho doctors, I didn’t have surgery until a week later.

I had the best nurse. She told me to remove my earrings and watch and any loose teeth. Then she asked a series of questions, including the standard. On a scale of 1-10…what is your pain level? On a scale of 1-10…I think they asked me at least eleven times in four hours.

thumb6Finally, she asked if I was comfortable and apologized for the long delay. Then another nurse asked another round of questions starting with the famous 1-10 pain scale opener. She concluded by asking me if I felt like hurting anyone, including myself. Whaaaa?

thumb7Now why would she ask that?thumb8Moments later…they took away my cell phone…then my thumb.thumb9Next thing I knew…there was Recluse Man in a fuzzy-wuzzy world…thumb10Said the Thumb

Play your own Drum

But wear this stiff Splint

Like a message in Cement

Oh to hell with my thumb. My hand was very swollen, my fingers were black and blue, and I had a deep wound on my outer pinky from the first splint pinching so hard.

(Outer pinky. I like that. “Hey there…wanna see my outer pinky?”…or… “OK to bring my outer pinky along?”…or…”Wow…my outer pinky is shedding!”)

Yeah…to hell with my thumb…I was feeling no pain with those big, white pills they gave me.

I decorated my splint…thumb11

…and hung out with the tribe…thumb12

FG_009 copythumb13

It felt so goofy-good to be home post-surgery. Did I mention those white pills?thumb13

One day Recluse Man was painting the barn…thumb15

…when Pockets and I decided to get in on the fun…thumb16

Uh Oh!thumb17

That wonkey ponkey!!thumb18

Dang…she figured out the self-timer?thumb19

We had a blast!thumb20

…just ask Star…thumb22

Red roller, red roller…send Lily back over…thumb21

Then one day the white pills ran out and reality set in.

May I mention the frustration from trying to use a mouse left-handed with a big-fat-right-bum thumb on the keyboard. Or getting a lefty fork all neat inside my mouth without stabbing or slobbering. Or brushing my teeth…or…tying shoelaces…buttoning… unscrewing… doorhandles… knives…cast iron pans…and OMG…showering with a plastic grocery bag up to my elbow, trying to squirt out shampoo and lather one-handed.

Maybe the worst part was how much it hurt to hold my Nikons for long. Like more than three frames.

I have even greater respect now, for all those who have found ways to overcome limb and appendage disabilities. Humans and animals alike.

Said Fred the Bed

To the Thumb she thought Dead

I will Succumb

Just please..once again be my Thumb.

You are the sum of my Yum

My very right Thumb

The strum of my Hum

The opposite of Glum!

One week after surgery, I found myself back at the doc’s office. The nurse removed the splint to reveal the two pins in my hand…I think she left the gauze for effect. I just want you to know I had the following photos full size, until Recluse Man walked by and gagged.

You can thank him for the thumbnail size. It even sounds appropriate…
thumb24

YIKES! New splint Paleeze!!! My hand was still very swollen and weak…thumb25

Three weeks after surgery I went in again for X-rays and a third splint. I shed a handful of skin as I scratched and waited and ignored the ‘no cell phone usage, no photos please’ sign.FG_007 copyMeanwhile Recluse Man had to cover me on farm chores. Secretly I was smirking. I don’t think he realized what goes into making the zoo and the farm happy everyday. Poor guy.

We got a lot of rain and the grass grew mightily.thumb 26I rounded up my own lawnmowers and pitched in…thumb 27Many days and nights passed…thumb28 thumb 29

Then finally six weeks after surgery, the pins came out! It was a little creepy..the thought of actually pulling the pins out. But it was painless and the best part…I was sent home with a removable splint.

The longest pin was 2.5″…dang. I painted my nails in celebration. After all…I was a left-handed pro by then.thumb29

I quickly switched to a thumb brace so I could finally use the mouse right-handed…thumb30

But something wasn’t right. My thumb was stiff as a clothespin and I thought it might never heal properly. Since childhood I have had a funky, right thumb. It tends to stick or pop at the knuckle. After all those weeks in a splint, it took days of massaging before I got my thumb to pop back into action.

That first pop was a thrilling moment…thumb33

Said Fred the Bed

To her comely Thumb

You are not dead but Instead

What a beauty you’ve Become

My long lost Chum!

As a footnote, (great pun…just wait), check out some photos from this Labor Day morning when our farrier worked on the barn gang. Gypsy got two front shoes, one with a pad for some sole-ful healing on her left foot.

As you can see my thumb is working just fine…thumb34

Then…whoa boy! Star had his very first shoeing experience. Another sole-ful foot healing, and as long as he was twitched (most humanely), he was the perfect client.

Right Star? thumb35Said Fred the Bed…from my thumb…to your thumb…♥♥

WHAT MEMORIAL DAY MEANS TO MY PIG

Ahhhh…Memorial Day Weekend…such a great American holiday.

Traditionally, there are family visits to cemeteries, mourning mixed with sweet memories, flag raisings, potluck dinners, neighborly get-togethers, BBQs, watermelon, lawn mowing, gardening, hiking, biking, fishing, sunbathing, the Indy 500, horseback riding (had to put that in there…right Gypsy?!), and all the good and the sad that go into this holiday. It’s a contradiction of sorts. A painful, joyful holiday. While some hurt over the loss of loved ones who died for our country in military service, others kick off the arrival of a brand new summer.

Hear Hear!

I wanted to learn more on the history on Memorial Day.

I discovered Memorial Day began after the Civil War but back then it was called Decoration Day. It was declared a holiday to honor deceased veterans by decorating their graves with flags and flowers. But whoa…the Confederates refused to celebrate on the same day those damn Yankees did, and in fact had many different days to honor their dead across the southern states.

It wasn’t until after WWI that tensions eased and a one-for-all Memorial Day was established for all American soldiers who died in any and all of our wars.

I do not have a grave to decorate, but in keeping with a new Freeka’s Funny Farm tradition…I have a live pig to decorate. Indeed, D.O.G. is booked for a deluxe spa and accoutrement session later today…on Decoration Day 2016.

On the funny farm, we lean toward the hedonistic side of this holiday, and celebrate summer with our best bohemian enthusiasm. Please allow me to share this memorable tradition, as created one year ago.

START YOUR HOSES! Mem Day1

IT’S TIME TO CHILL!! Mem Day1(gritting teeth…thinking…um…heavy camera for a selfie…just take the dang photo…will I??? …and where is the pig?)

Why there he is…hot diggity D.O.G.!!Mem Day3

Let’s call this the pre-soak. It serves to remove any loose dirt or goobery thingys…Mem Day4

What a chill way to start the festivities…right D.O.G.?Mem Day5I made preparations for the next step as the pigster rested…hose showers are exhausting!Mem Day6

In order to decorate D.O.G. properly, as I see it, he must first get a facial, followed by a pedicure, a coconut oil rub, and plenty of sun screen powder puffs. In other words…a deluxe spa treatment.

But instead of traditional spa treatments that start with herbal tea or coconut water infused with essential things we never knew were essential…D.O.G. prefers a beer. Yup. And it sure makes a pedicure easier for the pedicurist. Please don’t report us to any even-toed-ungulate-cruelty-associations. I’m telling you…this is one happy-easy-going-cooperative pig with a beer in his belly. And he is far less likely to get nicked by the clippers.

Plus it’s his favorite part of the tradition….Mem Day7

Can you tell?Mem Day8

Such admiration and appreciation for a good beer…Mem Day9

About this time I was laughing so hard it was all I could do to point and shoot without peeing my pants…Mem Day10

BEER BUBBLES!!!!Mem Day11(only a mama could love)

OK…it’s high time to get on with the spa treatments…Mem Day 12

After all…no more beer…Mem Day 13We started with a cleansing facial… Mem Day 14D.O.G. has deep folds on his face and quite a bit of eye discharge which is normal for a pig… Mem Day 15

There’s an eye in there somewhere although I have never really seen it… Mem Day 16Next…the pedicure…see Lily running away when the clippers come out… Mem Day 17I have so many clippers for dogs, cats, fences, weeds….but only one for a pig… Mem Day 18I’ll spare you the clip by clips of the job…it’s tedious and lasts about as long as the beer nap…then on to more pleasurable spa activities…a coconut oil rub and puffs of sunscreen to follow… Mem Day 19And now for the real fun…the decorating part… Mem Day 20Oops…I’m not very good at nail polish…especially with twitching toes… Mem Day 21

Isn’t that the cutest little tail? (I kept telling him. Sometimes being a blind-buzzed pig works for the best) Mem Day 22WAKE UP D.O.G.!! It’s Decoration Day!!! Mem Day 23Let’s honor our veterans… Mem Day 24…and our firefighters… Mem Day 25D.O.G. said…”Enough of this! I want to honor summertime! Too many brothers and sisters on the grill!!” Mem Day 26Well…OK then…howzabout some strawberries… Mem Day 27

I swear he was humming ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’…
 Mem Day 28That is…until the watermelon showed up… Mem Day 29UH BOY!!! Mem Day 30

…and that my friends is how we do Decoration Day on the funny farm…
 Mem Day 31

2016 tradition coming right up!!! Wake up D.O.G.!!!
 Mem Day 32It’s Decoration Day!!!!

FREEKA’S LAWN MOWER MAINTENANCE

I have been living on this funny farm for eight years now. It’s strange how as one grows older, time seems to compress. Eight years!

The past six years I have been a divorcée. (TrAshe County pronunciation; dāy-´VHŌR-sāy) Those first two years while my x and I were separated, we tried to remain friends, and it was during that time I borrowed his trusty old Husqvarna weed eater. Never to give it back.

That was perhaps the best deal of the entire divorce. From both our points of view. I didn’t want his Rolls Royce, his house or his lifestyle. Just gimme the Husqi.

That weed wacker (my preferred term although they are officially known as weed trimmers or string trimmers), has lasted longer than my marriage and almost every other useful thing from my former life. It has also outlived two lawn mowers on the farm, a wheelbarrow, and four short-term boyfriends. I may have to kill it, if it tries to outlive Recluse Man or me.

I could tell you the Husqi has had a good long life because I have maintained it so well, when actually I have done very little, save for replacing a few parts.

I do, however, believe in proper maintenance….hosing after use, storing inside, checking oil, winterizing, sharpening blades…that kind of thing.

This applies to all methods of reducing grass and weed growth. Including my very own free-range-mobile-mowers.

Please meet #1 (Gypsy on left) and #2 (Star on right) mowers….mower1

#3 mower (D.O.G.) is in the distance, and is much loved but obviously does not have the horsepower the others do…mower2

#2 mower has a halter on because he went AWOL several weeks ago, while he was solo mowing. Apparently there was a mower in heat down the road.mower3Watch as #1 mower teaches #2 mower where to refuel…mower4

Normally I break up the carrots but this was one-handed shooting for effects…mower5#2 mower looks a little dorky with burrs in his forelock…ya think?mower6

Oh Boy…high octane carrots!mower7

Self-serve was available…but they seemed to prefer full-serve at the porch fuel station…mower8#2 mower inquired about having his teeth scratched…he’s weird that way…mower9

Talk about full service!mower10

Little did #1 and #2 mowers realize as they chomped their fuel…mower11

#3 mower was fast approaching…well maybe not fast by your standards…mower13As far as I know…#2 mower had never had an up-close and personal encounter with #3 mower…mower12

#2 mower looked to #1 mower for direction…mower14#2 mower decided not to follow course…mower15…when suddenly #3 mower changed direction…mower16

I caught up with #3 mower…who btw…was still sporting the remains of a pink pedicure…mower17

I offered a full-service-on-the-hill refuel…mower18

#3 mower was much obliged…mower19

…until #2 mower came into the picture…mower20That #3 mower sure can cut a turn…mower21Poor #3! Can’t a mower refuel in peace?mower22

Is this fuel wars or turf wars?
mower23#3 mower can really skedaddle when he needs to!mower24

Perhaps #2 mower had never seen #3 mower at full speed…he was amazed!mower25Quickly, any fuel or turf wars were settled.

The mowers were feeling well maintained and revving to go…
mower26

Off to do their duties they went singing… ‘You Go Your Way…I’ll Go Mine’…mower29

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