Pigpen 240



Two years ago, I couldn’t wait to replace Pigpen, our 2002 Toyota Hylander. In the fall of 2013, I was thrilled when we bought Flash, a nearly-new GMC Acadia.

And while I continue to bask in the Acadia’s still-new glow, I rarely drive it. In an effort to preserve Flash’s pristinery (not a word, but it should be), I pilot the rolling dumpster on a daily basis.

And with all those hours behind the wheel, my revulsion for Pigpen has been replaced with affection. Pigpen is a filth magnet; he is missing a backdoor handle; and the back hatch regularly crushes my head when I’m loading bags of groceries. But concussions aside, I appreciate Pigpen. We’ve bonded after logging so much time together.

Last month the odometer rolled over to 240,000 miles, and that got me thinking: Can Pigpen soldier on to 300,000 miles? How far can this car go?

According to Carfax and, plenty of vehicles are roadworthy beyond the 350,000 mile mark (most of these veterans are Hondas and Toyotas.)

missing handle

Pigpen continues to shed parts — screws and handles — most recently, the sun visor dropped precipitously and hangs at a jaunty angle. We don’t foster Pigpen’s health; tune-ups are few and far between. And the interior is perennially ankle-deep in trash. My softball equipment is rolling around in the backseat, though my last game was back in August.

But I hope that Pigpen is roadworthy 60,000 miles from now. The rolling dumpster would be a perfect match for a first-time driver. And Cayden gets his license in six short years.

Hang in there, Pigpen!

Travel log


Jump-starting the blog after a long break is always a bit bumpy. Normally, I explain my absence with some dog-ate-my-homework-excuse and sum up the happenings during my blog silence.

Not this time. Instead, I’m jumping right back into Funny Farm…

…tomorrow or the day after. Certainly by the end of the week. Some new, wise words by Wednesday or Thursday for sure.

What’s another couple days of procrastination? In the meantime, here are a few snaps from our family vacation. After Christmas, we ditched the farm and flew to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Thanks to a boatload of snow, we skied our butts off.


Here’s Cayden, shortly after he attempted to jump the snow-covered boulder behind him. I didn’t see him take flight, but I helped collect his skis and poles after landing. The folks on the lift got a great view of his tumble.


I took lots of photos of trees, laden with snow…


…and the glittery evergreens around town.


Martin made it his mission to photo-bomb as often as possible.

He wasn’t very subtle about it.



Six days of skiing, 165 trails and runs, and no broken bones or separated shoulders. Pretty sweet.


Back to normal Funny Farm material later this week.

Hunting & Dancing with Hounds

New Funny Farm content coming soon. But after a busy weekend, I can only proffer up a few pixs and captions.

On Saturday Brynn hunted untethered — “off the leash,” as she likes to say. In other words, without any speed moderation from yours truly.


What does this mean?

It means that I’m dispensable.

I’m still useful when it comes to tacking up the pony, or tightening his girth. I am menial labor.

But in the hunt field, I am a nonessential employee.

Last week, Brynn was frightened to ride down steep slopes and cross creek beds. This week she was blase. Freed from the lead, she announced that I could fall in behind her. “You can stay back there,” she said, gesturing toward Rocky’s tail.

She’s a teenager, embodied in a kindergartener.

Which is impressive and annoying at the same time.


Chatting on the hack home


In the meantime, Hadley is still honing her hound handling skills. Pictured, this isn’t Kennedy, but another effusive hound in the pack.


Dancing with hounds.

Or just bonding.

Either way, it’s a feel-good experience.


(Photos by Karen Kandra & Robert Keller)