Grandpa’s Farm and the Cattle Killers

By Mary Maranitch

As I begin my story I start to snicker. My fondest memories as a child growing up in the Midwest were of visiting grandpa’s farm in a tiny little town called Stuart, Nebraska. It’s one of those towns were everyone knows everyone else, or is related, and, unfortunately, when city kids came to visit, EVERYONE knew. I think it was actually their form of entertainment to see what we city kids would do next.

It was back in the 1970’s. The big news story around those parts was that farmers were losing their livestock to a cult that would kill cattle and mutilate them for their sex organs. Sounds a little deranged even for the 70’s but that’s what was happening.
Continue reading

This post was submitted by Mary Maranitch.

The Country is a Hoot!

By Sean Hoots, Hoots & Hellmouth


For a bunch of city boys, we sure do love our time in the country. The fresh air, the foliage, the freedom – it’s nature at its most honest.

And what about the food?! We often go out of our way to hit local restaurants and farms to fill our bellies when we’re on the road. It just seems natural to eat local.
Continue reading

This post was submitted by Sean Hoots.

The Old Pear Tree


Vector drawing of golden field and trees during sunset with birds flying in the sky.

Getting through a barbed wire fence was always easier for Robin than it was for Mike. Rob deftly lifted or squeezed the wires just right and quickly slipped through without a hitch.

Even though Mike and Robin were only 9 or 10 at the time, Mike’s navigation through a barbed wire fence resembled a 90 year old doing the limbo. In spite of the extra caution and time he took, Mike invariably got snagged on one of the barbs.

Robin lived on a farm, but Mike was a “city boy”. Didn’t matter that the “city” only had about 5,000 people in it, Mike lived “ in town,” which made him “city.” Things that seemed ordinary to Robin were often either great adventures or daunting trials for Mike.

As always, with a snicker or two, Rob patiently waited for Mike. He could have been cruel, given the disparity in their skills, and, of course, he had to give Mike a hard time now and then. But, overall, at least in his dealings with his buddy Mike, Rob had a sweet patience beyond his years.
Continue reading

This post was submitted by Mike Strong.