A New Year Poem

The new year poem

The horse and the mule live for 30 years, And know nothing of wines and beers;

The goat and sheep at 20 die, And never get a taste of Scotch and rye.

The cow drinks water by the tonne, And at 18 is mostly done, Without the aid of gin and rum.

The cat in milk and water soaks, And then in 12 short years it croaks.

The modest, sober, bone-dry hen, Lays eggs for others, then dies at 10.

All animals are strictly dry, They sinless live and swiftly die.

But sinful, ginful, rum-soaked men, Survive for three score years and ten,

And some of them, though very few, Stay pickled till they’re 92!

So, never shed a tear, drink a beer… Celebrate the past, toast the future and Have a Rocking Happy New Year !!!

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I went to by some camouflage trousers the other day….But I couldn’t find ‘em.

An elderly man in Louisiana had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back. It was properly shaped for swimming, so he fixed it up nice with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn’t been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.

He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, ‘we’re not coming out until you leave!’

The old man frowned, ‘I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked.’

Holding the bucket up he said, ‘I’m here to feed the alligator…’

Some old men can still think fast!

Four Paws and Bored? What do you want, Rack?

I putter in the yard a lot.

When you have a string of pots with 25 species of plants in an average sized suburban yard, it tends to take a

little bit of time to do a yard inspection.

I’m out there twice a day, at least, and every day regardless of the weather.

Ok, there really are exceptions.  I don’t think I went out there that day that Hurricane Irma was blowing her nasty head all over the entirety of the Florida Peninsula, but cut me a little bit of slack.

We have, all over the perimeter of the yard, plantings.  They have been discovered by my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), as well as Lettie who proceeded him and came down here with us from Philadelphia.

The plantings have also been discovered by the creatures that are trying to live in this yard.  We’ve got two species of lizard here on a daily basis.  They’re small enough to be entertaining and not a threat.  There have been rare snakes, opossums, raccoons, iguanas, and of course neighbor’s cats that come through here.

The cats don’t belong.  If you want a pet, keep them safe inside your home or on a leash.  Can’t manage that, don’t have one.  It keeps them alive longer.

For the most part whenever Rack explores, and I rattle around the plants, we don’t see anything out there.  They hear us and move away.

With all this propagation going on, I’m kept entertained.

Monarch butterflies spot the Mexican Milkweed and eat it all to sticks.  When the sticks get long, and begin to re-leaf, I take cuttings and stick them in pots.  If I get seeds, the park gets them scattered there to return the favor of the original milkweed plants from years back.

Orchid pots are designed to rot away so that the plants can eat the nutrients.  When they do, they need re-potting and you can split the plants into two or more.

Banana trees constantly regrow and are bursting through the pot I have them in.  I’ll need a better solution but frankly unless you want to live in a banana grove that won’t happen.  Pots it will be.  Bananas are growing too, so I’ll have a treat further down the line.

All the while that I am doing that I am being watched.  Granted, there are flocks of feral parrots that fly overhead screeching their call to flock, and a random scrawny squirrel that dines on Palm Nuts out of the trees on the property.  Those squirrels would be laughed at up North.  They’re about half the size of the ones up there.

No, I mean by my own dog Rack.

You see he goes through and does his own plant inspection and waters pots too.  Thankfully not my food crops, but he does have his spots behind the hedges and under the Podocarpus.

Sometimes he’ll want to start running around so I’ll get distracted from considering the pruning of the Condo Mango tree that isn’t supposed to get more than 10 feet tall but is getting close.  Usually we’ll get into our dance where he’ll run around like crazy to burn off steam.  When he does, he will make these sharp turns around the obstacles in the yard at a speed that a hockey player would only dream of, and with grace a ballerina would aspire to.

In a short blast of air, he vanishes into a wormhole and visits his alternate family in the alternate universe.  Coming back out of warp, he slows down to conventional speed and will run around some more.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone back to being boring and puttering around the yard.  Fretting over the black mold that will grow on the concrete in cold seasons, or debating whether to break apart the Lemongrass that is now over 8 feet tall and swaying in the breezes making me want to make Thai food.

This is when I will feel the weight of his eyes.  He will appear.  He will tell me that he wants something else.

Inside.

You see, instead of having a kid running around screaming at me, I have a four footed McNab Dog staring me down.  Smartest of all breeds, along with all the other smart ones, he knows how to get his point across.

If I ignore him, I do so at my own peril.

He was mistreated before I got him.  Most likely removed from his mother too early, and then the first owner tried to convince him to be a hunting dog, he was an owner surrender.  I would say that his allergies to grain and poultry based food had a lot to do with that.  He came to us with worms that had to be treated three times, and a crushing fear of everything that he still shows from time to time.

However, I am his main person.  Wherever he is, he is watching me, or at least where I am.  If I am doing something and he wants a change, I find two brown eyes staring holes through my soul.  He will sit at my feet and block me from moving on.

That is a herding behavior, modified.  As a result of his rough start, his play drive is warped as well as his herding drive.  If we are out and not going where he wants us to, he circles in front of me, looks up, and blocks my path.

Usually I give in, but that cuts my own walk short.

In this case, we’re in the yard. I’ve bored him.  Plants are for peeing on, not for propagating to make fresh herbs for a pizza.

Come on, lets go! I’m Bored! say the brown eyes.

Just like a kid.  “Ok, Rack, Show Me!”.

He trots to the door with a smile on his face.

“Show Me” is something I have always taught dogs.  They can’t talk but they surely are expressive.  They will take you to what they need or what they think you need.  It isn’t always treats, it can be just the door or the leash.  This makes things simple.

It also stops the bored dog by giving him a hand in what he wants to do.

Show Me, indeed.  “Ok Boy, I’m coming, let’s go in.”

“Anybody want to go for a walk?

Did you hear the one about the speed bump and the cymbal? Ba-dum, tish.

I should just use that topic for all these jokes!  I only post what I like.  Enjoy!

 

 

How did it happen?”

 

The doctor asked the middle-aged farmhand as he set the man’s broken leg.

“Well, doc, 25 years ago… ”

“Never mind the past! Tell me how you broke your leg this morning.”

“Like I was saying… 25 years ago, when I first started working on the farm, that night, right after I’d gone to bed, the farmer’s beautiful daughter came into my room. She asked me if there was anything I wanted.

I said, “No, everything is fine.”

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“I’m sure,” I said.

“Isn’t there anything I can do for you?” she wanted to know.

“I reckon not,” I replied.

“Excuse me,” said the doctor, “What the hell does this story have to do with your broken leg?!?!?”

“Well, this morning,” the farmhand explained, “when it dawned on me what she meant, I fell off the roof!”

Why was the baby strawberry sad? It’s parents were in a jam.

A man was walking down a dark street…

A man was walking down a dark street, suddenly he heard a thump behind him. It was an open coffin.
The man started running, frantically trying to get away from the coffin, still it kept coming.

He ran to his car got in and sped off. Thinking he was safe, he ran into his house and locked the door. The coffin burst through the door, sending splinters flying everywhere.
The man runs into the bathroom, trying his best to find a weapon, the only hope left for him was whatever he could find.

He checked everywhere, in the bath, in the sink, under the sink. Finally he checked in the cupboard and found cough syrup.
The coffin with a loud thud jumped through the door, and the man, with one last plea held the cough syrup up to the coffin.

To his surprise there was no more noise, no more fear.
The coughin’ had stopped.

Twice Baked Potatoes – When A Recipe Is Not A Recipe

The deal with Twice Baked Potatoes is that it isn’t this big fancy thing.

You see first, you make too many baked potatoes.  Everyone does it now in the age of the microwave, has a dinner, makes too much and they sit in the fridge until  someone nukes a leftover and … well you know what I mean.

A Microwaved leftover baked potato is not terribly appetizing.  At least to me it isn’t.

I don’t want to run the big oven for just one potato.

Recipe for that is simple.  Scrub the skin or peel it off.  450F/230C oven.  Rub spices and olive oil on the outside of the potato.  Puncture the skin.  Wrap the potato in foil.  Cook for 75 minutes or until tender.

Now you either have leftovers or you just made one.

Let the potato cool.  You need to handle this thing with bare hands.

Now, when you go to eat it you tend to add things to a baked potato, right?

Butter, cheese, chives, dill, onion, bacon…  A long list.  It is what YOU like.

Guess what.  The recipe for Twice Baked Potatoes reads like that.  Granted you add a few drops of milk but there isn’t much more.

First, Slice the potato in half lengthwise.

Second. scoop most of the potato out of the skin, leaving enough that the skin will stand on its own.  Less

than a Centimeter or a third of an Inch will do it.

Third, place those insides of the potato in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor.

Finally, add to the bowl your own mix of spices and cheeses.  I recommend using cheese, it helps keep it all together.

Specific amounts for this step:

  • 3 Potatoes – about 200 grams average each or about 7 ounces.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of room temperature or melted butter.  About 22 grams.
  • 1 ounce or 28 grams of sharp Cheddar or any other easily meltable, although I use Parmesan.
  • Add Ins:  Get creative – I dusted mine with Dill Weed.  You can add bacon. Anything you like.

See?  I told you it was simple.  Now…

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients to the potato insides in the bowl.
  • Mix ingredients until fairly smoothly incorporated into an even mixture using potato masher or food processor.
  • Scoop the ingredients into the potato skins.
  • Bake for 20 plus minutes at 350F/180C moderate oven until the tops begin to turn brown.
  • Just begin to turn brown… don’t go too far.  This always takes more than 20 minutes for me, sometimes as much as 30 minutes to cook.  Check every 5 minutes or so after 20 minutes.

Bottom line with this is that I tend to make things ahead.  I tend to bake these until I spot a little caramelization in the tops of the potatoes then quit.  Since I will be re-reheating this stuff, I will toss it inside the toaster oven.

Can you tell, it’s a very forgiving recipe?

Variation?  Yes.

The proportions are simple.  For each mid sized potato it is 1/2 Tablespoon (7g) of butter, 1/3 ounce (10g) of cheese, everything else is To Taste.

The cheese will bind this stuff together when it gets hot.  Think of mortar holding bricks together.

Hey Girl, are you a bible? Cause you look like you haven’t been picked up in a long time.

When I was growing up, I had a good friend, Dan. His mom was from El Paso, Texas. Diane was her name. She was a fascinating character who put up with my teenage foolishness, way more than a grownup should have. But she had a talent. There is a tradition in the Southwest of the Cowboy Story Teller. She had a bit of that in her, and it was always quite interesting to listen to her talk about the days back in El Paso.

Even if you never got to meet Diane, I could totally see her do this.
Cowboy dies and heads to heaven

A longtime cowboy meets St Peter soon after his death. Business has been brisk at the Pearly Gates so St Peter has instituted a 3 question test to see if you qualify to enter heaven. It’s a fairly simple test to avoid being prejudicial in any way

StPeter asks the 1 st question of the cowboy: how many days of the week start with he letter “t”.
The old fellow thinks a bit and answers with a drawl, “well, I figure all of them do”. St. Peter chuckles and says “there are only 2, Tuesday and Thursday but not the rest. But I’m curious about your answer”. The cowboy looks at St Peter and says “ well y’all right bout there being 2 but they is T’day and T’morra”. St. Peter is delighted by the answer and decides to ask the next question.

“How many seconds are there in a year?”
The cowboy ponders for a moment and answers “12”. St Peter chuckles again and says “Not even close, how did you figure that.”
The old fella says “well there’s January 2nd, February 2nd …. and December 2nd”. St. Peter is amused by the answer and the cowboys oblique approach to the questions so he decided to more to the final question.

“What is Jesus’s first name?” The cowboy answers immediately, “Andrew” St Peter, now beyond doubting the cowboy’s logic, asks, “Ok, how do you know that?” The cowboy replies, “I learned it at church from that song” “Which song?” St. Peter asks, clearly confused.

The cowboy replies, “ Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me ……