Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daddy's Mash

There were interesting moments on Granny's farm when she was growing up. Feeding time was always interesting to Grammy since she had to help her Mamma set out the food and call the animals, then clean up after them. Feeding the animals wasn't that difficult since they were always ready to eat. The trick was to stay out of the way of the animals as they charged for their food sources.

The menu never sounded that good to Grammy. Slops for the pigs, hay for the horses, corn for the chickens. The cows munched on grass in the meadow. The ducks ate something from the ponds. Mamma cat fed her kittens fresh meat as soon as she caught it. At least that's how Grammy remembered it. She did remember clearly feeding their dog a bowlful of chocolate cake batter one day and her Daddy patiently explaining that dogs should not eat chocolate while they took the poor canine to the vet.

There was something in the barnyard called mash. Grammy doesn't remember what it was for except that it was made from fermented corn and her parents warned her often to not eat or drink that stuff. I guess they never warned the animals because one summer day the animals got into the mash and had a great party that made them more than a bit tipsey. The four cows - Eanie, Meanie, Miney, and Abbigale - staggered across the yard, dragging dresses, sheets, and long flannel underwear from the clothes line. The chickens kept falling off of their perches. Our dogs howled and rolled on their backs across the yard. Henry the pig tried to sit beside the rooster Romeo on the pig pen fence and tried to crow, but fell on top of Piggy Petunia snorting in her mud. The ducks staggered under the porch where Mamma cat was hiding her kittens. Perhaps the only sober animal around, she chased the ducks away.

That night, Mamma cat meowed a sad farewell at her hung-over companions, then carried her kittens to the next farm. Mom said that Mamma cat should have received honorary membership of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Grammy didn't know what that was but she guessed it wasn't as much fun as the animals had with her Daddy's mash.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chicken Feathers

Grammy was such an obedient and well-behaved child that I don't think she ever had anything to confess. The standard joke about her by her siblings was that their priest probably fell asleep listening to her confessions. Well, there was this one time when she was about eight years old that Father must have paid attention. The story goes like this:

Every afternoon, her father liked to take a nap on the davenport in the parlor and Grammy's mother always told her, "Now be nice and quiet so you don't wake up Daddy."

Usually Grammy played with her doll or colored some pictures she had drawn on the backs of old letter paper. This one afternoon, though, Grammy had nothing to do except wander around the house, playing with a chicken feather she had found on the back porch. She tossed the feather into the air, then watched it glide ever so gracefully back down. As Grammy walked past the davenport, she looked at Daddy lying there on his back and snoring with much energy.

He exhaled - puff, puff, puff - then he inhaled - snore, snore, snore - then he exhaled again.

Grammy suddenly had a great idea. If she put the feather over her father's face, he could make it fly a long time with all that snoring. So she held the feather over his face and let go. Daddy puffed and the feather flew upward; Daddy snored and the feather glided downward. Up and down, up and down, making Grammy giggle. But then, when Daddy was supposed to puff puff, he went, "snert, snort, sniffle, snuhk."

Grammy watched in helpless terror as the feather flopped for a while, then dropped into Daddy's open mouth. Daddy flailed his arms and struggled to sit up while making sounds Grammy had never heard before.

Grammy ran as fast as she could on her little legs through the house and outside to the cornfield. There she hid until Mamma called her and her seven older brothers and four older sisters in for supper.

As Grammy cautiously crawled onto her chair, Daddy looked at her and said, "You know, Francine, the strangest thing happened to me while I was taking my nap today. I dreamed that I was being attacked by a flock of chickens. What would make me have that dream?"

Grammy shook her head and very quietly ate supper. Relieved that she had gotten away with her discretion, she slowly relaxed but when she went to bed, she saw on her pillow, one very tangled chicken feather.

According to Grammy. Their priest had to struggle to keep from laughing when she confessed that she attacked her father with a feather.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Kitty Cat Work

Our cats stay very busy every day. They work from morning to night. Or is it night to morning? Anyway, here are some photos of them hard at work.

Feeding the Hungry

Yolkie in his younger years loved to eat. And his outdoor cousins love to eat too. When his cousins look for food, they search the yard and garden for frogs and lizards and rodents and even snakes. Sometimes they look for squirrels and birds but it is easier to catch the frogs and lizards.

When Yolkie looks for food, he goes to the refrigerator. He says that's not as hard work as hunting in the garden.

Doing Homework

Even animals must go to school. Their schools are their mothers who teach them how to fight and hunt and make hiding places.

When Little Bit goes to school she goes to our computer. I don't think she learns much from it.

Yolkie helping Little Bit with his homework.

"Hey Little Bit," Yolkie said, "Do you think Saint Francis might help us? I just found a dead mouse in the printer."

Posted by Diana for Margaret