A Bucket Load

It was a day yesterday. Busy with many, many things animals, children, baby, crazy singing electrician man (don’t go changin’ Mark!), people calling, important mail to ready, Brent away working his magic with French bureaucracy and our neighbor the mayor driving up in her camionnette with a bucket to show me. She pulls me over with a big smile and as I peek inside I hear the mew of three, fluffy kittens. Her brother found them tucked away in a barn. Now we’ve had our ears open for some barn cats. She knew this, which is why she thought she’d bring them over in case we might want one. The kids latched on to them immediately. Lucy grabbed the black one who loved her instantly. Otto and Minty played with the two gray ones. We decided to take the two strong friendly ones to keep each other company and keep our farm on top of any rodents out there. The kittens are very young, but seem to be thriving. There are two dogs on the farm that are learning that there are other animals out there in the world other than themselves, so hopefully everyone will get along. We had joked that the first barn cat on the farm would be called “amuse bouche” (a French word for appetizer) should one of the dogs mistake the cat for a bunny. But the kids named the black one “Griff” and the gray one “G-Cute.” This is a “G” year for cow naming so the kids thought they would follow along.
I didn’t want to post any pictures. I should probably not talk about the kittens in case we don’t have a very Disney ending. Which nearly happened when I heard the words frantically leaving Lucy’s mouth “MOMMY! MOMMY! TOSCA ATE GRIFF!!!” It’s true, Tosca did have Griff in her mouth and was walking calming somewhere else, but she didn’t eat him. Griff is totally fine and after inspection, it may even be that Tosca was carrying Griff like a puppy. She gets very motherly with stuffed animals, so despite her stubborn, old-dog ways, she has a soft spot for little fluffy things. Griff now has eight more lives to lean on. The kitten thing is very yesterday for Tosca and she’s moved on the bigger and better things … like eating their food, which could turn into the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We’ll see how it goes. They have a great set-up in one of the barns. Very cozy and the kids give them lots of attention. We’ll see if they grow strong and be our barn cats.

… well if you insist …

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In The Pool

… notice there’s no ‘p’ in it.  I’m not a big fan of pools when there are little ones running about.  All sorts of safety requires me to sit down for two hours and play lifeguard.  I love watching the kids play, but I prefer to let them run around discovering their own fun and games.  We’re more of a sprinkler family until everyone can swim.  Lucy’s school took her for swimming lessons last year.  It was totally cool and totally free.  This of course is amazing to me because I couldn’t get Lucy into swimming class in my neighborhood pool without standing in line at some un-sunny hour to secure her on a waiting list.  I’ve always thought that there may be a small market opportunity for swimming lessons in Seattle.

So as it’s Spring and refusing to rain, the kids have dug out the summer box and declared it summer.  They keep finding new things to fill and splash in.  This old Rubbermade box is very two-minutes-ago.  Today it was stacked tires.  A proper pool would be cool, but in France they tax you for such luxuries.  I’ve seen people buy above ground pools and set them in a small “natural” hole to avoid taxation.  I had a thought that with Brent’s digger and all our lakes on the farm … maybe we could “put another lake on the farm” you know “for the animals” and “maybe some sand around it”  because “animals like sand.”

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