Mac Geek Farm Girl

I'm back. And I'm attempting to do some voodoo magic (let's see how Google handles that one in my opening lines) by combining my "work-work" site and my neglected blog site into one giant party. The success of this venture will depend upon a complex algorithm involving the angle of the sun, el-ninó and the strength of my wireless signal to reach the screen porch. Marvel at my progress and ridicule my efforts as you see fit. :)

My Heightened Sense of Smell

Welcome to my writing office in Hayward, WI. Very tranquil.
Welcome to my writing office in Hayward, WI. Very tranquil.

We have arrived in Hayward for the 4th of July. It’s so nice to be up north, away from it all, in the North Woods, where they have… blazing fast internet and cable TV.


I’m kidding.

Only partly.


Today, while ruminating on life, two things stood out as being worthy of dissection on these hallowed pages.

  1. Life with a Heightened Sense of Smell, and
  2. The Terrible State of Online Reviews.

I had to pick just one of these topics to write about, though, because I know what usually happens, and… I don’t have time to write a novella.

Life with a Heightened Sense of Smell

You could argue that, due to a few things about me, I am biologically superior to most other humans. While I still have my pinkie toes, I do not have any wisdom teeth. You can thank my dentist, the original Dr. Veeker (not to be confused with his son, the current Dr. Veeker), who, when I was about 16 years old, planted that oft-repeated phrase into my repertoire. Upon discovery that I do not harbor any lurking and evil wisdom teeth, he explained that, due to evolution, we no longer need wisdom teeth to grind our food, and since I did not have any, I was “biologically superior.”

I have taken that and run with it pretty much my whole life.

Recently, I have decided I have another tick-in-the-box compared to the normal human: my Heightened Sense of Smell. I capitalize it because it is a Real Thing. Something to be Taken Seriously. Plus, I prefer that name over the one I found online: hyperemia, which actually sounds like more of a curse.

But as I sit here and think about my Heightened Sense of Smell, I wonder if maybe it is a curse. Surely it will save my life — and those of whom I love — someday and I will thank my lucky stars — as should my loved ones — for such an evolutionary blessing. But for now, I find it often makes enemies out of friends when I say things like “What do I smell?” when I walk into their house. I certainly know my college roommates did not appreciate my Heightened Sense of Smell, but that’s just because I was the only one who could smell the cat poop in the plants and they did not like to be made aware of the fact that their adorable cat was pooping in the plants. The fact that, one day, my dog then ate the cat poop and subsequently barfed it up all over my very hungover roommate as she lay prone in bed, perhaps did not help matters.


The good news for these people is that they can do something about it. Like: get a new roommate or, avoid having me come inside of their houses.

My family does not have the luxury of disinviting me over. I think, if you asked her — and actually listened to her long-winded response — my mom might, amidst several unrelated tangents, admit to very much disliking this one-and-only-objectionable trait in me. Several years ago, after watching me turn my head this way and that, slightly angling my nose into the air and, well, let’s be honest, looking an awful lot like Lola when catching the scent of a dead animal to roll in, which was then followed by me dropping from my chair onto all fours — Shit. Again, like a dog… I never really thought about this that deeply — crawling around on my hands and knees, sniffing the ground — I swear to God this is true — finally and triumphantly announcing, “I found the smell! This rug reeks!”

I did some version of this dance over and over and over, year after year, finally graduating to simply sitting in my favorite chair, making terrible faces and stating the obvious: “Oh my GAWD. I don’t know HOW you can stand the smell in here. That rug just stinks. Don’t you smell it? It makes me sick. Can’t you smell it?”

[ Don’t let anyone tell you that writing isn’t therapeutic. I think I have learned some valuable insight into Life with Jennie today. — And I will attempt to make amends some time this weekend. I promise. ]

Suffice it to say, the rug no longer graces the living room in the cabin.

–Thank GOD.

And yes, I do feel a little bad about that.

But only a little.

Because seriously. Most likely, it was releasing terrible toxins into the air and by it’s removal, I have added precious years onto my aging parents lives.

You are welcome, mom.

Now lets talk about this weird broccoli smell I just noticed hovering around the entryway…

Flowers, Cats & Weeds

Ollie helps me wash lettuce

A self-aggrandizing post about successful weeding, decorating with fresh flowers and annoying cats. It might sound disjointed but it’s not. Well, it is, but that’s how I wanted it to be.

When Money is No Object

Isn't this pretty lettuce? This is what lettuce that is properly thinned will look like. I only achieve this when I transplant already-started seeds. I'm bad at tough love when it comes to direct seeded lettuce.

We gardeners love to act like we are all frugal — growing our own veggies, you know! Oh, don’t you? It’s really not that hard… Wouldn’t you like to harvest your own organic veggies? It’s SO healthy! And cheap!

Just another Tuesday


While writing an email to the members of a committee I serve on, I got a little carried away. I needed to move the meeting location from one member’s house to my own, since I needed to be home during those hours. I could have written something like this: Hey everyone, Would it be OK […]

A Menke-Child Chore, Resurrected


Today is the day after my 50th birthday. For most, that means the celebration is over, but not for me. I milk birthdays for all they are worth. My fiftieth? Are you kidding me? So, today, my bestie Michelle is coming over to celebrate my birthday and have our first pool day. Michelle is who I have […]

I’m leaving town tomorrow, so…

radish seedlings hiding under old tomato cages to keep the cats out.

It’s time to frantically plant the garden. I don’t know what it is about going out of town that flips some switch in my brain and makes me decide to get done what I have not gotten done in the comparatively long and more open days prior to this, but it happens every time. Like […]

Mother’s Day Haul


I was stunned speechless by the card taped to my computer this morning: And not because it’s a scary picture. Yes, I know that it is, but that’s not my point. It’s because it was a card from Charlie that I must have guilted him into creating last night by reminding him that he did nothing for me […]

End of Summer Garden Round-up


Well, the thought that I might write more this summer kind of fizzled. I’ve been ‘work-working’ more and I’ve got a lot of other commitments that just seem to take over. Nothing changes about my desire to write and stay current, it’s just those pesky clients! I do find myself thinking a couple times a […]

Road Warriors 5. Conclusion!

kakabeka falls

August 19th 2013 So, yeah. Apparently my journal ended yesterday. What can I say. I’m getting old. I don’t give a rat’s ass anymore. But still. It’s always just a little shocking for me to realize just how little I actually remember. I always think, “Oh, I’ll remember that.” But aside from some snippets, I remember […]

Road Warriors 5, day 6


August 18th, 2013 [sadly, I have no photos from this day, so I’m just throwing some random ones in from the day before.] Slept like a rock! Got up and sat on the beach again, drinking coffee. The kids came out and we talked and talked. It was beautiful. Jan made the most delicious blueberry […]