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JUNE, 2016...
Far-flung FRIENDS, hear our happy cry— It’s our 28th wedding anniversary and also the arrival of new HANDSOME FAMILY TOUR DATES and A NEW RECORD! Also herein find important thoughts on SINGING SPIDERS, RAT JOKERS and a man who heard PEANUTS WHISPER….

At long last our 10th Handsome Family record will be released September, 16, 2016. PRE-ORDERS BEGIN JULY 15, 2016. We will let you know the second the gates are open if you subscribe to our newsletter list.


Scientists have recorded a purring sound from the male wolf spider. He smells the presence of a female and sings a seductive song by dragging a special comb-like organ across whatever surface he’s on. Leaves seem to work best and amplify the vibration enough that an air-born sound is carried to the listening lady spider. Hark! She also stands on leaves when looking for love— all the better to hear her suitor’s call. The lovelorn spider maid hears her man’s call by feeling sound vibrations run up all her many limbs. How pitiful two ears are in comparison to such full-body hearing.

Rats laugh, but we can’t hear their snickering because it is too high in frequency for our dull ears. Rats don’t seem concerned that we don’t hear their jokes. Human scientists feel differently. With special ultrasonic microphones we now can hear joyful rats make chirping noises that are quite distinct from other rat vocalizing. The gleeful sound most-commonly occurs when two young rats play together. Scientists discovered they could induce chirping in rats by gently tickling them. The tickling causes chirping especially in young rats and in females. Over time the tickled rats bonded with the hands that tickled them and sought those hands out when offered a choice of human hands to approach. Ah, to think of the pure love a young rat feels for a scientist's tickling fingers! What whispering rat sonnets do our deaf ears still miss? Can the wolf spider hear the rats laughing? Does the rat know how humans feel about spiders? Have you ever felt like the entire world was laughing at you at an ultrasonic level?

Born into slavery in Missouri in the 1860’s, he later became a botanist and an inventor.

“All flowers talk to me,” Carver said. “As do hundreds of little living things in the woods. I learn what I know by loving and watching everything.”

“Be too brave to lie,” Carver advised. “Be too generous to cheat.”

While Carver did not ‘invent’ peanut butter (it was already known to indigenous people of the Americas) he concocted many new peanut recipes including: peanut mayonnaise, peanut cheese and peanut coffee. He also came up with peanut substitutes for asparagus, cocoa, goose, chicken, oyster, pig and veal. The peanut flowers themselves, Carver said, whispered to him all the ways they could be used as well as how the plants could enrich soil. Oh, to hear a single whisper from the weeds! Oh, to hear the spiders sing! The Handsome Family song, “Gravity,” from the album “Twilight” was inspired by George Washington Carver (with a splash of Johnny Appleseed).

Hear our rental van approach. Meet us at a show near you and whisper secrets in our ears.

xo Rennie


... INCLUDING thoughts     on parsley, wildebeests, pyramid magic and