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…




(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?”


 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…




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.


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!!!!


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…

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


I have the best neighbors. Generally, we’re a small quiet group, but the ‘hood comes to life on holiday weekends.

One family in particular will come up occasionally, and they know they’re welcome to mosey over to visit Gyps and the Pips, or D.O.G. the pig.

They’re from suburbia, where I would imagine most folks don’t have a ponkey in the pasture, or a pig in the living room. A live one at least.

Tim is the dad, and has helped me out many times over the years with his tractor. It sure is a pretty tractor. He’s plowed my driveway…dug up earth for my garden…moved the manure pile. Nothing like a part-time neighbor with a tractor to seal a friendship. A very pretty tractor. Did I mention that?

Sometimes Suzy (mom), and the kids; Jessica and Nate, come along to walk the Pips to the river. If they’re brave enough, they’ll pet the pig. Contingent on his whereabouts. That dang pig can be a grouch behind the couch.

Suzy always packs plenty of vittles and this Thanksgiving weekend was no exception. They headed back home today and afterward, I found a bag of food tied to the barn door. Veggies galore! For D.O.G….the local compost-master!

D.O.G. had already told Suzy, “No onions.”

I told Suzy, “He’s watching his waistline…easy on the desserts.”  (BIG SNORT from grouch behind the couch)

For Photos of the Day…check out D.O.G.’s neighborhood Thanksgiving…POTD_15_11_29_compost_pig_1

OK..two DOGS…POTD_15_11_29_compost_pig_2

Linguini…breaking bad over the watermelon…

“Hey Suzy…howzabout peanut butter with the celery?”POTD_15_11_29_compost_pig_4(or more politely…Thanks for the Giving)

PHOTO OF THE DAY – INNER IMELDA – November 10, 2015

I’m starting to think D.O.G. the pig, has a bit of Imelda Marcos in his bloodlines….and here’s why.

I change shoes often throughout the day. It’s always a quick decision…like…going down to the barn in the mud? (muck boots)…. going for a hike with my girls? (hiking boots)… going to town for errands? (any shoes that are clean)…going to stay inside at the big Mac? (slippers).

No mind fuss. No shoe fuss. It is what it  is.

But the pigster? Oh My DOG! He has the hardest time making up his mind. And he doesn’t even wear shoes!!! I asked for his help once…but never again.

Here’s what happens….POTD_15_11_10_shoe_fetishThank you very much pigster…but could you fetch my cowboy boots from downstairs?

OK…I hear ya…you’re embracing your inner Imelda.


I never thought a pig could love Halloween so much.

Perhaps I’ve been prepping him without realizing it, for D.O.G. has gone from bullying me when I clean his dirty face, to really enjoying it. No beer necessary. So what’s a little make-up?

Still, D.O.G. surprised me with all the fun he was having as I worked on that big ole wrinkly face of his for Halloween.

He told me he wanted to be a ‘colorful character’ even though I insisted he was already one.

“How about some black and blue eyes?” he asked.

“I don’t even know where your eyes are,” I replied.

“How about you make me fly…I’ll be Pigasus!” (oh brother!)

“I’m afraid you’d never come back,” I told him wistfully.

“How about Frankenstein?”

“You have too many legs and you’re too much of a low rider.”

“How about Wilbur?”

“He’s not scary enough. You need to be frightening on Halloween. But I will give you Charlotte and her web if it makes you feel better.”

D.O.G. was starting to get a little oinkery.

I tried to joke around and suggested a Boar’s Head Ham, but he flipped me off in swine language.

I then suggested a little twist on The Rocky Horror Picture Show look.

“Yes! I will be a scary transvestite!” he exclaimed.

“Um…’scuse me? But how do you know about The Rocky Horror Picture Show?”

“Saw it every Friday night when I was a pig in the brig,” he grunted.

Almost certainly he was pulling my leg and I was not about to fall for it. Then too, some things are best left to the imagination.

Finally…our collaboration…which ended up looking more like Pigasus on rainbow dust after crash-landing at Homer Zuckerman’s farm.

Oh My D.O.G.!!!

“More glitter!” he squealed…POTD_15_11_02_2

“I need a hat!”POTD_15_11_02_4

“Let’s go trick or treating!”POTD_15_11_02_5

We didn’t get very far but we sure had a great time. D.O.G. ended up with enough treats to send him straight to hog heaven.

He loved his new pigmentation so much, he wanted it to last forever.

What a funny looking pig he was watching football with us yesterday. It didn’t matter who was playing, he was rootin’ for them the whole way as he pigged-out on his trick or treat stash.

Then surprise, surprise. This morning over coffee, and there’s D.O.G. at the dog door…still trick or treating!POTD_15_11_02_6That pigster is a smart chop and doesn’t understand why we call it a dog door if he can’t fit through it. But what a great trick it would be if he did!!POTD_15_11_02_7Recluse Man yelled, “No Tricks Today!” Then softened up and offered D.O.G. a few treats…POTD_15_11_02_8

D.O.G. looked at Recluse Man and said…

“Now how am I gonna get my chops through the door for my treats if you’re not gonna let me try my trick?”POTD_15_11_02_9

That pig is slick… but needs to realize Halloween is OVER!!!POTD_15_11_02_10Is it time for a little hogwash y’all???POTD_15_11_02_11

D.O.G. …. The Hedonistic Pig

Among the many things I have learned from D.O.G. about pigs, perhaps the one that stands out foremost, is that given half a chance, pigs are consummate pleasure seekers. They thrive on indulgent behavior. They appreciate the finer things in life. They love warm fuzzies. I would not be the least bit surprised if it was a pig who inspired Joseph Campbell to ‘follow his bliss.’

I like this hedonistic pig philosophy. It works for me. Except maybe when D.O.G. brings his philosophy indoors. After all, as a pig-keeper I have to draw the line somewhere.

Take this morning for example. I found D.O.G. fresh out of a mud puddle, chomping with gusto, under an apple tree. Now those two things, mud puddles and apple trees, rate very high on the hedonism scale. To combine the two experiences is approaching bliss.

FG_013_1 copyFor some reason, pigster reminds me of the half-moon cookies I loved so much in New York. Chocolate icing on one side, vanilla icing on the other…is he too fat to roll over???FG_026_1 copyApproaching bliss…FG_049_1 copy

I made a few photos, then went back to work up in the house. Moments later, I heard those endearing little grunt-squeaks that usually make my heart flip-flop. D.O.G. was at the door. I snuck out the other door with my camera….

FG_057_2WHAT THE….FG_059_1 copy…HECK???FG_063_1 copyOH MY D.O.G.!!!!

My former butler knew by my tone of voice, he was going in the wrong direction. Perhaps he also realized he was not turned out properly for a house visit? I wouldn’t bet on it. He was fired for a reason.

D.O.G. deftly backed out the door and headed towards me (that always makes my heart flutter)…FG_066_1FG_067_1 copyBut then…..errrrhhh…what do we have here???FG_068_1 copy

SCRUMPCIOUS PORCH MORSELS!!!FG_069_1 copyshluuuurrrrphgrunchgrunch goes the begonia….FG_070_1 copy…as seen from the chocolate side of my piggy-cookie…FG_077_1 copyFuschia Blossoms! … Manna from Heaven!!! FG_074_1 copy

This was, by all pig standards, a triple-delight morning.

Mud puddles! Apple trees! Flower blossoms!

It tuckered the pig slam out.

I haven’t told D.O.G. about a visit to my favorite bakery yesterday, when I made off with nine desserts!!! Including this to-kill-for chocolate roulade…FG_106 copy

ITFG_136 copyWASFG_139 copyBLISSFUL!FG_140 copyOK. So I’m a hedonist too.