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This Wonderful Life

October 2, 2009

This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good?

If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

And yet, there they are, in their little house, behind their fence, a couple hundred yards behind the house here at Schoolhouse Farm. They’ve been here since earlier in the summer.

For my part, I’ve never been so glad to have had a series of sinus allergies that have impaired my olfactory abilities.

Having spent even just a little bit of time with them, I’ve begun to wonder exactly how it is that pigs ever became such a popular farm animal. Perhaps it is a testament to the supreme gastronomical pleasure of bacon and pork chops, because they seem to be among the more difficult animals to bring from farm to table.

First, there’s the smell. Oh. My. Lord. The smell. It would be more pleasant to raise a herd of skunks with major anxiety disorders. Then there’s that legendary pig intelligence.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve heard people compare pigs to dogs because of their intelligence. I have it on good authority that one of the farmers at The Farmers’ Museum teaches the pigs there to sit in order to get their daily meals.

P.S. If you ever have pigs, teach them to sit in order to get their food. The difference between a pig who will sit and a pig who just wants to eat is like the difference between a wolf and a golden retriever.

At my house, we have wolves. They are small, pink, oinking wolves, but wolves nonetheless.

Remember the pig scene in “The Wizard of Oz,” before the twister and Dorothy’s trip to the Yellow Brick Road? Dorothy is walking along the pigs’ fence like a balance beam, and falls into their pen. All the adults drop what they’re doing and race to her rescue.

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009