My Camera Is Holding On Awesome

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Can’t adjust the settings.  Can’t review what photo I take.  I’m shooting blind.  But I need to keep shooting.

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It’s a shot in the dark.  Like the old days.

The weather is superb.  Our dear friend is here and it warms my heart that we can work together on the farm then relax in the evening sun watching the tractors trudge on.  Rearing grassfed beef has a lot of management of pasture, but little time spent in a tractor .

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When the herd is moved, chickens fed and watered, the beef butchered and packed then delivered, you can lay under the evening sun.  Relax because the day is over.  Play with the kids.

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Chit chat with friends.  Let the grass grow.  In the afternoon, it will be sweeter for the herd.  A late breakfast.  They sleep in, our herd.

 

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You Get What You Get

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My heart hurts a little today because my daughter ( not Zelie ) accidentally dropped my camera on the hard, cold tiles of France.  This wasn’t her first time.  She dropped another camera of mine on the hard, cold tiles of France a few years ago.  That situation presented a green blinking light of death for my Nikon.  It was a plastic body that did not stand a chance with surrounding gravitational conditions.

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After that incident, I made a rule to NEVER place a camera on anything.  She was young, she pulled a book or paper that my camera was resting on off a high shelf … she pulled the paper and the camera tumbled to its death.

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After many years practicing my procedure with my camera, I left it on the table without concern because it wasn’t resting on anything … and she moved the table.  I wasn’t there, but I’m sure she didn’t mean it.   And it was my bad for leaving it there.  Thankfully, the camera body is made of metal, so most of the camera features are intact.  So far, the only damage is my ISO/QUAL/WB buttons are gonzo along with various shutter speed thingos as well as the “play” button to review the photo you just took.  As I am not a photographer and still not actively learning what those nobs do … I did use them to adjust settings.  At this point, any setting I every set is now locked in until I get my button fixed.  So, you get what you get.  It’s like the old days when you took a photo and didn’t know how it would turn out until developing time.
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Granted, my camera is probably considered “old” at this point, but it totally does the job and I love it.  I had no intention of replacing it.  Sometimes, restrictions invite creativity.  I leave you with a test photo of my stapler taken today with my newly broken camera.
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Cow Scratch Time

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It’s that time of year where the cows are extra enthused to scratch on any solid object.  And OOOH they love it.  Especially when we bring them up to the yards.  So much to scratch on, so little time.  They really get into it.

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Which is fine.  Though we have this one barrier to our yards that took a beating when the gutter system gone wrong weakened the underfoot, so the giant concrete pillars would wobble if some massive force … or cow scratch … tested it.

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And OOOh they did.  The herd LOVES a good scratch.  Especially now when the weather is warmer.  We used to park the digger to hold the wall up, but in the last few months, we didn’t need that safety net.

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The top bar is made of heavy pipe.  Except for the last bit … the wobbly bit … that is a plank of wood that has been winning the herd triage battle for years.  They test it, but that wood held strong.  Except for today.  The herd came in for triage, Brent went out to set up their next move and I herd a crack.  Instead of helping him, I manned the corner.  There was a snap in the wood, but it might hold for this round and we could fix it after.

I was trying to think of ways to quickly reinforce the plank while we triaged.  All options involved materials and time.  I stepped away to check the water and I heard the final “crack.”  Quickly!  What material can bind two planks of wood withstanding a half ton animal head in search of a scratch?  Duct tape.  Just so happens, I had some close by.

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I quickly patched with duct tape the two pieces of broken plank together to make it, presumably, stronger than it was before.  As a back-up, I asked Brent to drive the digger round to hold up the fence and detour any fence jumpers.

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Hahahah.  We’ve not had a cow jump a barrier.  Don’t worry.  Except for today.  It wasn’t over my outstanding duct tape improvisation.  She tried to jump over a proper barrier.

 

 “She’s going to jump, Brent”

“Don’t worry, she won’t jump”

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“She jumped, Brent”

Yep, she JUMPED.  Amazing.  We moved her safely with the other triaged cows.  They were a bit on edge, but calmed down soon enough.  Now I’m hoping she won’t remember her super cow jumper powers.

 

… and now this.  Monster Cars in France.

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Make It Look Easy

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I come from a dance background.  When we do amazing feats or kick our leg high, we make it look easy.  Nothing hurts.  Simple.  Casual.  Do this all the time.   That’s part of the art.

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I also dabble in the geek world.  Their art has a note of “duh,” which for geeks means make it look easy.  Sometimes, those amazing feats and solutions are not all that easy, but we make it seem so.

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We move children and we move cattle … and actually, we move chickens.  Chickens, that’s easy.  Children, meh … really depends on the temperament.  … not always predictable.  Hard to make that look easy when they scream and you scream back.

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Cattle?  you need to know some tricks.  I really enjoyed this move.  The cattle ( some new to the system ) crossed the road.  Seems simple, but is it really?  Over the years and with concrete examples of cow moves gone wrong, Brent has set up subtleties that make it all look easy.  And just like a ballerina “floating on air” on her toes, weightless … the herd popped over too easy.  What you don’t see are the bloody toes ( ballerina point dancer ref ) of the past getting this art down to making it look effortless.  Behind that move is pasture planning, cow chess moves and temp fence props.  Add to that when to get the herd back to the yards mixed with do we feed hay?  Do we feed hay because the pasture needs it?  So many inputs to make it look easy.  Here they are, the herd, crossing the road.

 

When I lived in the city, I would have loved to be part of that cow move.  That’s why we are offering an opportunity to stay on the farm.  Seems easy, but what are those tricks?  Accepting reservations starting in May.

Cheer Up Sleepy Jean

z: Daddy says you don’t like the song Cheer Up Sleepy Jean
me: I don’t
z: [ hums a few bars ]
z: he says your sisters used to sing it to you cuz you are grumpy in the morning
me: yep
z: [ more singing with lyrics ]
z: why? If you’re grumpy then, cheer up sleepy jean

So enlightening to hear my daughter tell stories to me about my childhood.  I do,  I hate that song.  For many reasons.  One, I hate monkeys.  Two, I hate The Monkeys ( too perky  and profit driven ) .  Three, I don’t support any campaign by happy morning people to uplift and motivate us grumpy morning people.  I’ve always been a grumpy morning person, as well as my self-admitted grumpy youngest and grumpy eldest.  We are dragons.  We don’t greet the morning with a smile.  I would wake up in the morning as a young teen and I remember my mother telling a visitor, ” don’t talk to her.  she just grunts at you.  you won’t understand. ”

But, after that conversation with my little dragon, I started to think about their future conversations about *their* childhood.  As I’ve only done this parenting thing once and most of it loaded on the younger side of those kiddies, at no point did I think about the stories they will tell.  The parenting books, the parenting friends, the internet parenty things focus on what that child will be, will do, without a chapter on … well, when your child does this, they may talk about or blog about their life from their perspective.

My little dragon re-blogged a story about my childhood to me.  I had to read it because she was streaming live without a pause button.  Now, I’m wondering what stories my children will have when they grow older and pull stories from their life to relay comedy or tragedy or a barrier they had to emotionally overcome.  These kids … they are made of people.

and for you, I leave with this gem … I’m sure I’ve bitched about this shitty song before … but here you go again.  As a rule, with song assignments, you MUST listen all the way to the end.  It’s the way we roll here on the farm.

 

 

 

 

The Inadequate Parent

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School holidays.  Kids are out.  The weather is shit.

I must admit, I leave my kids to themselves.  Why am I writing this? because I read other parenting blogs and they are so very involved in the little things.  Every little moment matters and they explain step by step how you will mess up your kid should you not follow these steps.

Cut to kid four, those steps did not scale.  So, I ran the other way.  Oh, the guilt.  I should be in there … every moment … nurturing their growth and learning.  … but one is a teen and the other a tween and the other between and the other still very into dress-up while assassinating your character at the same time.  I can’t follow the current parenting style!  I can’t!

Then, I remember MY childhood.  My mom was not the leader of creativity, she was the unblocker.  She didn’t generate games, she listened to my hairbrain ideas.  She unblocked any hurdles.  She gave me extra time.  She supplied me with tools needed to produce that show, sell that lemonade, get that youth job.  And she didn’t blog or tell anyone about it.

 

 

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T, T What Begins With T?

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Fixed me up some T-bones this afternoon.  Played T-bone Tetris.  Though, for those who like to match things absolutely perfectly no gaps snap shut click clack snap 2 points … my T-bones won’t resolve that feeling, but they look great.  And they were very tasty.

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We also used some T things to get our Farm Stay ready for guests.  If you want to do the brick tile thing … you need the ‘T’.  Keeps the tiles straight.  I learned a little something about tiling this weekend.

And we fed our friend, who helped with our villa improvements, a T-bone steak.  T for tastebuds.  T for tender. T for thank you.

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