Sunday, April 28, 2013


Me bin goin fur de walkzies wife mai huminzes.




Nope. I can't bring myself to go on. No matter how I try, it seems I cannot speak the language of "pet". It's going to have to be my usual brand of mulificent, splendiferous American English from here on out (though I do side with the Brits on the grey/gray matter).

Fenway Bartholomule

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Opportunity knocks

FarmWife usually gets updates from LinkedIn about jobs for which she may be qualified: communications manager, editor/writer, content developer, event planner, development director, what have you. She sometimes finds these tips useful, though to tell you the truth most of her job leads come from (she's head over heels in love with working in the non-profit sector).

As for me, I just got an update from LinkedIn letting me know that I am qualified to apply for a position in Seattle as a senior systems engineer. I looked it up, and it sounds like my responsibilities would be mostly around exploring possible solutions to various problems. I could do that! Example: Fence is between me and grass. Fence is a problem. I squash fence. Fence is not a problem. My certificate of graduation from the School of Hard Knocks, along with my advanced study in the abatement of delicious grasses, should make me an especially attractive candidate. 

FarmWife immediately posted this to her Facebook account after seeing the update: "My mule just got an email inviting him to apply for a senior systems engineer position. Our financial worries are over! With Fenny working 9 to 5, I can relax." Of course, her more practical friends raised a bunch of potential issues. What would I wear? Would it be prohibitively expensive to outfit me in professional attire? How could I get to Seattle for the job interview? Would we need to rent a truck and trailer? 

I'm more concerned with the on-the-job details. Would my office be equipped with a manger? Trough? Sandpit for rolling? Would I get benefits? Health, dental, coverage for annual sheath cleanings? 

There's so much to consider.


I went looking for tailored suits for the large, tall, wide, and four-legged. All I found was this. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shelter dogs

Well, my plan to commit 4 hours per week to walking shelter dogs went a bit awry when I got busy with professional obligations, but going every Tuesday—even if it's just for an hour or two—has been incredibly fun. I am still heartbroken over the number of homeless, unloved, unwell, suffering animals in our world—how could I not be?—but I am delighted to be able to brighten the day of four or five of them each week. These animals are homeless, but they are not unloved.

I look forward to Tuesday all week long.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Birdy breakthrough

Do you remember Kevin, our humans' new cockatiel? He's a very good sort, though he came to Bent Barrow Farm with bleeding wounds from having had all of his flight feathers broken off below the skin. Nasty business! Two vet visits and some weeks later, he's just about healed. He also came with a terrible phobia of hands, so that he was willing to step up onto a forearm but not at all interested in being touched with anyone's fingers.

This week, Kevin discovered the pleasure of having his head rubbed. He is a whole new bird: a needy, greedy, rub-my-head-right-now-or-I'll-never-stop-begging bird! He spends many of his days on FarmWife's shoulder, rubbing his baby soft forehead against her cheek and dreaming of the moment when she'll raise her formerly-frightening hand and give his crest a little scritch-scritch-scritch.

It's good to be trusted, FarmWife thinks, and I'm sure Kevin's life is better now that he lets his people take good care of him from head to toe. I know the importance of a good ear rub for health and happiness, and I'm glad that even Kevin—poor little Kevin, whose ears are only holes hidden beneath soft feathers—can know this singular joy.

Ears to you,

Monday, April 15, 2013

The circle of life!

♫ Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaants ingonyama . . . . bagithi baba. Sithi uhhmm ingonyama . . . . . the circle of life! 

This weekend, the circle of life on Bent Barrow Farm began again with the annual spreading of the compost. My decomposed manure will breath sweet life into this year's carrots, still dormant in their tiny seeds. In July and August, I will ingest them with great smacking enjoyment, thereby continuing the cycle. The carrots, the compost, and I will life on forever this way, one harmonious example of the wonder that is nature's design. 

FarmWife says the circle would be complete if I would learn to pull a little plow and do some of the weeding myself, to which I say this: pull I shall not, but show me your weeds and I will eat them for you. 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Are you 21, little horsey?

Well, FarmWife and I have been on our trail ride! (Actually, I suppose FarmWife got a trail ride and I had a trail carry.) I carried FarmWife up the hill for fifteen minutes, then I carried FarmWife down the hill for fifteen minutes, then I came home. It was good. I didn't break a sweat, make a scene, or take a misstep. FarmWife thinks it's a wonderful step in my rehabilitation, and she is going to take the tentative step of calling me UNretired!

Not five minutes into our ride, we came upon this lonely little horsey in the woods. It appeared that he had been drinking. We tried chatting him up, but I guess the Stranger Danger factor was too much for him: he kept his back turned and never said a word.

Ears to you,
Fenway Bartholomule

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An exciting package

My weight's back up, my abscess has healed, my white lines are healthier, and my troublesome hock has been cool and hard for nearly two years. FarmWife says this means one very exciting thing: I have permission to go out on the hills again. She and my vet agree that a little more low-impact exercise could do me a world of good, especially when it comes to the big tummy/weak topline business. Tomorrow, FarmWife expects an exciting package including two new gaiters to hold on my EasyBoot Epics, which fell into disrepair many months ago. They need new parts, and I can't go up the gravel roads without them. We've all been waiting eagerly for this day! 

FarmWife says we will start with a stroll up to the pipeline and see how that does us. I say I would like to go to Tonasket. She says maybe to Ennis Creek. I say maybe to Mexico via the Pacific Crest Trail. She says maybe up to our favorite viewpoint (pictured) on the flanks of Lyman Hill. It is twenty minutes from home. 

We will compromise by doing what she suggests while dreaming of what I suggest. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

What a week!

I got to spend most of my week with the one and only Granny J-Bone, FarmWife's human mother and famed animal lover, who took time out from her own life to petsit here at Bent Barrow Farm. She is the very same Granny who offered up her Volkswagen Vanagon for the transportation of Miss Arrietty G. Teaspoon on her voyage across the mountains last spring, and the very same Granny who helped fund the purchase of Yours Truly because, as she once put it, mules are "better than Prozac" (and probably more effective). She is probably one of only a handful of humans that FarmWife trusts completely to take good and proper care of we furred and feathered citizens of Bent Barrow Farm.

FarmWife, meanwhile, went on a trip with the human family to the Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland (and the adjacent park, Disney California Adventure) in Anaheim, California. While at Disneyland, FarmWife saw three draft horses which she took to be a Shire, a Belgian, and a Brabant. All were in exquisite condition, pulling lovely vehicles full of overjoyed children and their overtired parents.

The trip was a present from FarmWife's parents-in-law, my other human Grandparents, who went along too and who had an equally marvelous time. You may remember them as the Grandparents-Who-Always-Bring-Carrots, which leads me to my two complaints: why was I not invited too, and why were there no carrots in the returning luggage?

FarmWife went into the Disneyland experience thinking it would be a good time for the kids and a tolerable one for the adults, but do you know what? She LOVED it. The attention to detail apparent throughout the Disney parks was wonderful for her to see, and the cheerful demeanor of all Disney cast members was enough to blot away the didn't-get-a-new-job-blues for a few days, at least. Now, she's returned to a wildly green spring, a 9th anniversary (yesterday), a child's birthday (today), and some exciting new prospects on the job hunt horizon. We're going to be just fine.