Oh What A Night

DSC_9693It didn’t rain! Happy guests eating, drinking and being merry in the plein aire. A thunderstorm arrived and left quicker than two-hundred bucks at Costco. After a quick rain, we were set for a dry and warm evening.

DSC_9508Serving plates were set and ready. As was the jam for the tart glaze and ketchup for the frites. The Madiran was for the servants.

DSC_9509This is a giant salad spinner. Two girls worked this beauty like they’ve been spinning lettuce for years ( a great resume booster ). Amazing beast. I want one.

DSC_9547Tables constructed.

DSC_9554Chairs set. Hair flipped.

DSC_9559Paper rolled.

DSC_9572Confit started.

DSC_9579Band warms up. Groupies collect.

DSC_9633Guests arrive.

DSC_9640Confit bubbles.

DSC_9629Apéro commence.


DSC_9646Confit ready.

DSC_9649Frites a-go-go.

DSC_9651Frites monsters arrive.

DSC_9657Boys and children run.

DSC_9661Salad ( say “sah-lahd” ) and ( insert awesome cheese photo here ) is served.

DSC_9666Man who maketh tarte aux pommes taketh a swig of a much deserved bière and leans on confit man.

DSC_9685Happy guests chat and enjoy the music.

DSC_9682Tart severed with care by some of my children. Careful now, those plates slip off the tray!

DSC_9701Coffee and Armagnac offered.

DSC_9704Z exhausted.

DSC_9707Bottles recovered.
DSC_9708Clean up.

Oh what a night!


Fête Tonight and The Tart Looks Right

DSC_9502Our village fête is this evening.  The tarts have been made.  They look and smell divine.


DSC_9511The cutlery is ready.


DSC_9525Lucy is wearing this shirt.


DSC_9523Farm work must go on.


DSC_9530and Brent has shaved!  Il s’est rasé!

Kicked Out Of The Queen Anne Paddling Pool


You don’t have to have three young children to appreciate getting three young children from sub-burb-city parked car to paddle pool. As you can imagine, it’s not easy. Getting from point A – a beautifully paraLLeLLy parked minivan.  To point B – a crisp paddling, kiddie pool.  This should be a no urbanbrainer. Unless, of course, you have three young crazy chooks … blah … kids of your very own.  Because you yourself are crazy for taking your three young chooks to the paddling pool.   Yes, yes boring rhetoric.  So the three young monsters are at the pool, so what?


What?  The “swim diaper,” that’s what.  An evil plan direct to you from Huggies.  Huggies, monetized an entire line of diaper based on Phil’s sign that said,  “Welcome to our ‘ool!’  Notice there’s no ‘p’ in it!”  They, Huggies, know that swim diapers do not hold pee in, but rather, hold poo out.  Which brings me to the moment I got kicked out of the Queen Anne paddle pool.  They, an underpaid staff member with first aid training and no reference to my waddler’s poo schedule, told me that my wee one could not wee in the pool and therefore should wear a swim diaper.  But she already took a … and …  But I do not have this swim diaper you speak of?  And before I could get my two older giddy pool-going kids in the pool, I was ostracized.  I became The Lady With The Baby Without The Swim Diaper.  That was me.  And so I packed up, headed back to my beautifully parallel parked minivan and took my weeping non-pool-wet chooks back home.  I think we ate some fruit.


Skip to years later in a world that has not adopted the “swim diaper” ( but they exist, damn Huggies Europe ), and I show you what we do on the farm.  A little trick I picked up from the 31.  Roll out silage wrap, spray water … ET VOILA!  slippy sliding magic.  No swim diaper required.  It’s hot.  It’s wet.  Let’s slip!  Let’ slide!


We also pop off to the local pool and I’ve been welcomed like a mum who knows her baby.  Never once accused of not swim-diapering my toddler.  Giggles and fun.


And when I went back to that pool (yeah, I went back.  Yeah, with the swim diaper.  I feel so used ) before liberating myself to the wild, non-yuppie-poo-freaked-community, I saw a lady with young baby twins without swim-diapers who was about to be told off.  I caught her before Monsieur Staff and hipped her to the yuppie law.  I slipped her a couple S.D.s and told her to get out while there was still time.

Brent Moves The Cows


And they say, ” Hey, look! He’s messing with the water bowl. Let’s check it out.”


“Hey, look! He’s moving the water bowl to the new paddock! Let’s go over here everybody!”


“oh cool, some help. Here we wait for the fence to be built. MMMmmm. Grass!”


Then they bouge.


… and bouge


… and bouge some more


And in the new paddock. Our neighbor’s visiting mum is still in the truck. Go mum!

… and, cows aside, I actually grew my own garlic! I’m so excited, I posted a photo of my lame braid. Let me tell you, though, it tastes FANTASTIC! Yes, garlic boring … cow moving exciting!


Location, Location, Location


I really truly love it here.  I know my mother thinks otherwise.  She would prefer our crazy endeavors a little closer to home.   It’s beautiful here.  It’s a beautiful year.  The locals say there is too much rain, but we think there may be too much grass.  Our herd is getting bigger and our grazing is getting larger.  This has been a great year for the pasture.

I love this location because we have some of the finest ingredients in the world.  Gascony is where the good stuff comes from.  Great wine, Foie Gras, Floc, Bigorre Noir, Pousse Rapiere, Confit, our grassfed beef!  Duck, Duck, Goose!



Beautiful buildings to fence in.



Beautiful pasture to rainbow on.



Amazing strawberries!  Yes, just like Oregon strawberries, but with a different accent!



A need for hard and fast tools.



A need for fluff.




A wait for Spring pasture growth.  Which grew quite well.




A warm wall for the Siamese.







A particular environment for great growth.






A delicious steak made with grass.