School’s Out…

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Gosh, can you even remember no school, no worries, no problem?

Or, as the fabulous Miss Ella and Mister Louis would put it, “summertime, and the livin’ is easy”.

the heir to the throne...

the heir to the throne…

the spare to the throne...

the spare to the throne…

the heir and the spare...

the heir and the spare…

The good news is I know where they are.
The bad news is I have no idea what they did.

How does that song go?  Oh yes, “be young, be foolish, be happy”.

 

Ooh, Ooh That Smell…

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A week or so ago, The Wall Street Journal ran a guy article on the ins and outs, the do’s and don’ts, of wearing cologne.

so that's the secret...

so that’s the secret…

Crazy enough, the day before the Journal article came out, one of my favorite internet gent sites, A Suitable Wardrobe, discussed manly spring scents.

Then, to top it all off, right before the Fourth, another favorite, The Average Guy’s Guide to Style, devoted a column to the very same subject.

Something is in the air.

This is the deal. In my never ending quest to be fashion forward, hip, and groovy, I do my best to slavishly follow the advice offered by these cyber man-stylists. Off I go, in search of the most perfect bespoke suits, the most perfect bespoke shirts, the most perfect bespoke shoes, the most perfect bespoke hat, all accompanied by the most perfect accessories in socks, ties, pocket squares, braces, cufflinks, underwear, and cologne. This is the self-image I desire.

someday i swear it…

So of course I went out and bought a bottle of Creed Tabarone, which promised me “a sensual yet very masculine scent”, perfect for the Gentleman Farmer.

now in storage...

now in storage…

Only it didn’t work out that way. In the end, it’s the smell. Who would have thought, right? Cologne smells, which means I smell, and not in a good way either. No matter how I apply it, whether direct to the skin, wafted into the air, scented on the pocket square; it’s no good. I end up like this guy.

me and pepe

Not good…

Slight programming note, I’ve added an audio player to share music, because, well, why not, just another insight into the mind of the Gentleman Farmer. Like everything in life, there are a few “technical” difficulties. Based on my experience, the player works well enough with Safari and Explorer, not so much with Firefox. Please enjoy my Recent Background Noise.

Picky, Picky

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Most folks call it a vegetable garden.

most say this is a vegetable garden…

Others prefer to use kitchen garden.

some say this is a kitchen garden…

Me, well, for me I go old school; it’s a victory garden.

i love the smell of veggies in the morning…

Here at Totem Hall we let our freak flag fly and do our best to live the whole granola crunching organic lifestyle. Let’s see, for this year’s edition of my victory garden, I planted corn, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, basil, eggplant, tomatoes, watermelon, and, for the sheer heck of it all, potatoes. All are organic, with a big percentage of my garden being heirloom varieties. In case you’re curious, I do talk to my plants. Why not, it works for Zonker.

zonker’s down with it…

On solstice day, I had the first picks of the season. Yeah, yeah, I know the harvest should be earlier, but what can I say, I planted way too late, a victim of well, my tendency to do this or that before doing this or that.

in search of zucchini...

in search of zucchini…

our first squash...

our first squash…

picking bush beans...

picking bush beans…

and the end result...

and the end result…

 

Adjust This, Cowboy…

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My bar needs adjusting. There, I needed to say that, just for laughs and giggles, and well because my bar really does need adjusting.

the adjustment bar...

the adjustment bar…

For those who just can’t get through the day without knowing, the adjustment bar helps with a mower deck’s angle of attack. You see, most folks tend to have the front of their deck too high in relation to the back. This will lead to backside dragging (a problem whether you’re a human or a machine), which results in blown out, abused, and otherwise perfectly trashed back panels. A little adjustment here, a little adjustment there, and before you know it, the front side has the most is the perfect pitch to the back and you get the most loveliest of mows.

no saggy back end here...

no saggy back end here…

At least that’s how it works in theory. In my reality, I adjusted too hard, cranked one too many times, which, as you can see by my ruts in the dirt, led to a not particularly aesthetic finish. Adding insult to injury, my nut froze to my bolt. The only solution: saw it in two.

those damned ruts...

those damned ruts…

frozen...

frozen…

I leave you to think about that for a bit…

 

Magic Carpet Ride (Part 1)

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childhood living…

Growing up as I did a child of the 70’s, shag carpet stretching from corner to corner in colors not found nature were as much a core tenant to my existence as the 8-track cassette, Pong, and for that matter, bongs.

As I gained awareness and said goodbye to my platform shoes and wings haircut, I swore that never again would I live with wall-to-wall carpet, shag or not, and for the most part, I haven’t. Here at Totem Hall, our floors are overwhelmingly heart pine. To protect the floors, to provide comfort, and, of course, show off interesting visual patterns and textures, we use area rugs, mostly old, mostly well loved.

First of a series, I’ll start today with pattern snippets from the rugs of the master bedroom.  Please excuse any obvious need for cleaning or vacuuming.

my bedside, one of a matching pair...

my bedside, one of a matching pair…

foot of the bed...

foot of the bed…

my dressing area...

my dressing area…

not my dressing area...

not my dressing area…

 

 

Spring Sprung

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Well, there is an explanation, broken heart, and broken tractor, and, so, I have been running late, and running behind.

not good...

not good…

The broken tractor is easier to explain than the broken heart. Underneath my rotary mower, manufactured by Taylor Pittsburgh, in the center part, is a contraption known as a stump jumper. The stump jumper is dish shaped so the mower will slide up and over large stumps and rocks. Bisecting the stump jumper is a brace, bolted to which are two blades that do the cutting. It is that brace which failed and put a damper on my spring fieldwork.

really not good...

really not good…

Of course, that is not the only equipment failure. There is an adjustment bar for the mower wheel simply vanished somewhere in my back forty, a victim of my negligence in checking for fastness. At least that job did not require a trip to the welder, just a wait on the UPS man.

under warranty...

under warranty…

Both zero-turn finish mowers, a Kubota, and a John Deere, required more than one trip to the shop. The John Deere had an alternator issue, thankfully covered by warranty. The Kubota suffers from a faulty starter, unfortunately not under warranty.

woods and water await...

woods and water await…

right, off we go then...

right, off we go then…

Tomorrow I make a run to pick up the now repaired Kubota. The John Deere I used today around the barn and pool area. The tractor went into the woods for a hard mow to maintain our hiking and horse trails. The new adjustment bar will need some adjusting; the back part of the deck keeps dragging, cutting down on my efficiency, and not helping the aesthetics of my mow.

 

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