Boz Skaggs, John Coltrane and A Toddler

DSC_8532 *

Brent has this theory that Toto, on their own, make self indulgent music. Music that is not for listeners, but for those playing in the band to enjoy. In other words, “crap.” If you stick Boz Skaggs as the leader,  Toto are constrained to be the amazing musicians they are and create great songs like Lido Shuffle. Even if you don’t want to like this song, it’s too late. Your toe taps. Your head Bops and things begin to feel pretty good. Trust me, I’ve tried to not enjoy Lido Shuffle for many years. I admit defeat. It’s good.

The girls are whirling around with the small music playing device these days. They love to sing and dance ( I feel a 401k coming on ). When I get it back, I start where they left off and play something to cook to beginning with that letter. Today was the letter ‘j.’ Here in France, we’re most of the way through the chocolate-palooza that is Easter. I picked John Coltrane, Love Supreme. I remember enjoying this one.  As the toddler’s happy, happy, joy, joy approached its peak, John ( can I call you John? ) really let loose to levels of eleven. A saxophonic fractal battling a two- year-old on the verge if a chocolate melt down. This is where I have a Calgon moment and think of Miles. He has paved the way for the Bozes ( can I call you Bozes? ) of the world. Miles kept John in line. Kind of Blue is a perfectly folded towel.  If John or the toddler or Toto start self indulging, fast forward to your happy kind of blue. Or a little shuffle.  You’ll get back on track changing this world one steak or one pasture or one toe tap ( technically two  toe taps ) at a time.

* Zélie is demonstrating the face I make while attempting to eat a white chocolate bunny in its entirety with coffee at six in the morning.  So good it hurt.  I love it, but I cannot continue.

The Casualties of Easter


Two, innocent chocolate bunnies devoured in the name of Easter. I tried hard to finish Mr. White, but I just couldn’t do it. I’ve lost my touch.

DSC_8523( photo by Mr. Curtis )

Minty the night before staying up for the Saturday Night movie. It always ends this way.


Otto made me take this photo. I remember when Easter was about candy. If a chocolate prize egg is the result, toys sneak in as winners. Yes, that’s a jellybean, pooping chicken. Candy and poop, a “must have” for any eight-year-old boy.


This is “the look.” Lucy has perfected this look. We love her so.

The three phases of Z. You can loop that and get a feel for my day.




It’s Rainy, It’s Sunny

It’s rainy, it’s sunny. The girls went out between showers to catch some fresh air and sun. Then it began to rain. Then the wind came. In between gusts, it hailed.


It’s sunny now, but I see a big, black cloud coming our way.

The flying bell will pass us by as we wait for the bunny to arrive via the magic American express. Otto wants to set up a camera to catch this bunny in action. Lucy told him that he can’t do that because it’ll run out of batteries. That’ll hold him for this year.

Happy Easter!

Meat Box A-Go-Go


Z and I drove off to Bordeaux today to drop off some boxes of beef. I gave her a freshly baked chocy chip cookie and a yogurt pouch in hopes for a fine mid-day sugar crash ( did I mention she’s over the whole nap thing? ).


We drove straight to the observatory. There, very smart astrophysicists who enjoy a tasty steak picked up their boxes.

This place was gorgeous and had a very calm feel to it not unlike our farm ( except for the gorgeous part … still working on project tidy!). Though our farm is far away from the hub-bub of big city Bordeaux action.

Our Bordeaux beefeater said that this place is on the fast track for abandonment. Once a state-of-the art science research center with fancy pants telescopic zoomage, now an old place that is better left dead. It’s a darn shame. I don’t live in the big city anymore, but one step on this astrophysical playground and you feel quiet and out of all that unnecessary noise.


On the way back I noticed two things. One, there is a very large river in Bordeaux. It’s quite arresting.

Two, when you drive on the big, fast roads in France, there’s a certain absence of roadside eye-sores. You go and you go and you drive yet never once, not even a tiny hint will you see an atheromatous plaque of fast-food restaurants. You see, I’ve driven to paradise and back on the I-X of America. You can’t scan the local radio quicker than seeing a Taco Bell or Burger King flapping eyelid ready to take your money and give you blech.


The “area” stops are your only chance for a break. I’ve been to these before. Showers. Clean. Places for a quick sandwich ( say it with me now, “sahn-dweech” ). Or a prix fixe menu of some description. And I’ve heard, there is an Aire in the Haute-Garonne on the way to Spain that is worth eating at as a destination. America can do these rest-stops, they just need to try.

Ah, That’s Better


It’s not ours. We’re trying it out. It’s beef box day today. The customers who reserved a box come to the farm directly to start their way to yummy beefdom.

We have a customer a few hours away who lined up enough boxes for us to do a delivery.

Enter “frigo camionette.”

Just about every farm in the Gers and even friends of farmers in the Gers drive a little, white camionette. We love our two vehicles, but I must admit, when Brent drove up in the white camionette, there was completion in the air. Add a dash of local red wine to the morning coffee* and we’ll be real Gascon farmers.

*drinking and driving is bad m’kay. Just a little humor with the wine joke

This Old Gascon Farm House


Some not too ancient wiring has triggered intermittently for some unknown reason. The dishwasher must carry on, so we’ve plugged it into the new wiring.

This is what it looks like to reduce sauce without task lighting. All good.


Sauce reduced, dinner served, another calf born. We’re not certain to which cow, but Brent will work it out after dinner, after sleep and after the morning move.

Which ‘i’ will it be? I can’t wait for “Inseminator.” And “Intendo.”