Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
About those fireworks...

Ellie Mae or may not...

Ellie Mae or may not...
In through the out gate...

Rattler relocation

Rattler relocation
Snakes are beautiful critters.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
"Let us bee happy in our work..."


Nothing says summer like zinnias.

Pink Yarrow and carnations

Pink Yarrow and carnations
Life on the farm

HappyDay Farms grows it better.

HappyDay Farms grows it better.
Home-grown by HeadSodBuster

Where the living is easy

Where the living is easy
Garlic drying, with our newly painted water tank in the background

July magic

July magic
Artichoke-strictly for ornamental purposes

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

That's the Way the Mop Flops

                 That's the Way the Mop Flops

Dear Siblings,

The impending gathering over the next few days is front and center on the agenda for me, and though I have had access to the stream of recent emails from most of you jabonies, I have not yet stuck my big toe into the flow, to test the waters, so to speak.

It’s been a minute or two since we have gathered and that should heighten the anticipation of our imminent reunion, but I have to say that I have reservations about the upcoming festivities. No, not up in Eureka-that’s the coward’s way out, and I might be a lot of things, but I am no coward.

The term I prefer is fraidy-cat.

But still, one or two of you might take it the wrong way if I found it imperative to waltz up to our northern mecca, simply because, well, CostCo has a lot of cool stuff, and there is no WinCo in Laytonville, or Leggett, for that matter.

But I digress.
Daffodils were Herself's favorites.

Why would I not look forward to my first gathering since we [collectively] became orphans upon Pauline’s passing, twenty months ago? Though not unexpected, her loss still impacts us all. We can be grateful that we all worked together to make those last two years play out the way they did, despite a bump or two along the path, and that when the end came, Eric was there to hold her hand during the last moments.

I label myself a fraidy-cat because though I am a respected elder in my own community, one which winds itself entirely around the globe, I compare myself to the Stranger in a Strange Land when it comes to my own family.

I stop short of calling myself a black sheep because that has an unsavory sort of flavor, but let’s just say that I probably make some of you uncomfortable. It’s not my intention but that’s the way the mop flops, as himself was heard to say, once.
After all, I can't help the way Annie dresses me in the morning.

So the appropriate thing to do, from my perspective, is to just run down the list of names, and see if by taking a quick peek at each of you, I can pin down the source of my anxiety. Buddha knows that being such a carefree sort of fellow, any blip on the radar of my tranquility, bears investigation.

We will go in community order.

Uncus, I guess that psychotic episode of mine in Ireland, probably makes you a tad more cautious around me. Would you believe, it made me a tad more cautious to be around myself, too? But hey, whatcha gonna do? That’s just part of that stream of past events that my toe hesitates to test.

I saw that pic of you and Sebastian the other day on face/book and it made me smile. I guess you and Cecilia are not quite the world travelers anymore. Well, settling down is good, now that you are maturing. By the way, quick question: Do you think Uncle Joe’s showing us his travel footage from all of those exotic places when we were kids, honed your interest to a fine point?

Callix, I was happy to have that clarifying conversation at our last meeting, because I know that my having a particularly uncomfortable label (bipolar II) was not something you wanted to hear, but we got past that. I have also seen pictures of you on face/book and they make me very happy.

I see Mini-you and I see both you and Jackie. I guess I have seen you since November of 2014, because we were both at Alex and Claire’s wedding last year. So my question for you is, Does Ethan have a Sunrise Market green apron? Too bad they don’t need bottle boys anymore…

Neex, Reverend O’Malley, if I sound like a broken record (what’s a record?) I saw a pic of you, Roman and Orion the other day on, er, face/book, and I believe you were pontificating something along the lines of these being two of your favorite guys in the world. You seem at total ease in this role.

I only wish that Pauline were here to see you trying to keep up with yourself, in pint-size form. Just watching Roman last year over at the coast on the family camping trip, left me impressed with just how fast YOU must have to be, to keep up with him. And yes it’s coming so brace yourself because there are two questions: Does Roman seem to have any unusual fascination with fire? And do you have any plum trees?

JT, gosh I haven’t spoken with you since last April, since we spent the day together while I picked up my new “spare tire,” Suzy Puente. I mean, well, except for the weekly, lengthy, detailed, existentially slanted emails that we exchange, while you lament no longer having the fulfillment of your job in the school district. 

Maybe lament is too strong. …while you ponder no longer having….while you start to come to the realization… while you revel in not having…

JT, just remind me...

I know that the home-front is a construction zone, and that is unsettling, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. This time next July, when the dust has been replaced with greenery, and the new tenants are comfortably ensconced within, you will have only the photographs to remind you of this transition.

My question is, When are you going to stop volunteering to do yard-duty at the school? Let go, Woman!

Unc Matt, how’s it hanging? I have to hand it to you, when it comes to swinging a hammer. I tried a little of that this week and it’s not as fun as I remember it being. I mean, I didn’t hamburger my finger or anything, but that’s just because I can’t even nail off a wall anymore. You have to be able to swing a hammer in order to nail a finger. I can tack the plywood in place, and let them’s what’s up for it, go for it,but that’s it.

My question for you is, When is the last time you sneaked into the candleshop, and under the cover of darkness, made a mushroom candle, just for old times’ sake?

Tom, wherefore art thou? Was it something I said? Oops, probably not the best question…

Laura, you and I frequently cross paths in the early hours, and I love it every time you make a comment on my blog. I write a lot of goofy stuff and you have an infinite amount of patience.

So is it true? Are you stamping yourself, “Return to sender?” and retiring? I guess it was the invitation to the celebration that gave me that idea. I am so glad for you and can’t help thinking about next December. Do you see yourself going into any one of the local post offices at Christmas time, you know, just to help out?

Bro Kevin, that reminds me, I still have that check for ten thousand dollars sitting on my dining room table. (Now there is something you can’t say every day of the week.) I now know that it will not affect my health insurance at the VA, something I was unclear on, so I guess I will go ahead and put it into the bank.

My only question is, whose picture is on a ten thousand dollar bill?

OK, that’s a wrap. When I look over the list and try to pin down why I am uncomfortable, I am still flummoxed. 

The only thing I can come up with is that you are all going to hit me up for all of the loot that was promised you, when you managed to accomplish the impossible when you heard the following words, 

“Touch me in five seconds, when I say “go,” and I will… do the dishes for you for the rest of your life.”

Goooooooooo…..gooooooooo……. GOGO Gomez! GO(!)ing……………..

I can’t possibly make it to all of your homes just to wash dishes, every night, so fergeddit…


  1. Man, you better be there Mark THE PARK! Gottcha!!!!
    Can't wait to see you!!!

    1. Walamarado says to Warpa, meet you at the Park?

  2. Maybe we are not such a scary bunch after all. One thing we all have in common is very cool offspring! What a great bunch of nieces and nephews we share. Love from Queenie (aka - to one person - Dog.....)