This Old Chair


This chair was bought, well used, during the Yuppie years. Painted in diversity smurf blue, it ( and its mate ) went for a good price. It is a great chair. So great that it earned container-worthy status. I think it was a hearty giggle, no doubt from one of my many amazing live blague posts over dinner, when we heard the snap. Somewhere in the masterful bent wooden slats, a failure occurred. We kept pretending that it wasn’t broken, but in our heart we knew the truth. That is when the saw came out in Southwest France.


It was a simple screw job to remove the brokeback. One chewed screw thought otherwise. Enter the saw.

Now our chair is a stool. A wonderful stool that sits outside the kitchen supporting barn cats, small puddles and my crazy blague posts.


Things that are broken continue to be valuable if they were built with quality. This stool is extremely sturdy. I love sitting on it because there is not a moment in my mind that I worry that this former chair won’t support me. It is solid.

The maker of this furniture had seven boys and six girls. Only five boys survived. I’m guessing, in the 1820’s, this is the sort of move you made to lay down sturdy peeps. And I must say, word to that mutha.

K. It’s tub-time now. Our sturdy peeps are approaching their descend to leave us alone – er – go to bed. Tosca, who is semi-broken with her facial paralysis, has led yet another day of support for the family and our customers. She has also polished off Z’s amazing burger ( boo! for us! Yeah! for canines! )


Z and Tossy have a deal. All in the name of quality.

Duck Box!


Four duck carcasses in all their hearty, meaty, manchon-y, foie gras-y glory were ready to be cut into place for now and future meals for the family. The foie was done. Whew, that was easy. That came de-foied and ready for action. The four duck carcasses awaited my attention. Olivia and Carlos of La Ferme de Roussa and duck chopper upper extraodinaire, taught me ( and others ) how to cut up your duck. Yet when faced, quite literally, with the four carcasses, I forgot the lesson. I knew the pieces to render, but how I got there took four tries. By the sixth breast, I think my magret might look like a magret. Even though I stumbled my way through, the taste of the duck was not compromised.

The confit has been bubbling away after an overnight salting. Otto is drooling. He’s a confit man. Tosca has been her natural family supportive self making sure that things in the kitchen are ticking and dropping off the counter away nicely. She also helped tremendously with the duck head removal. They say, you can cook darn near everything from a duck carcass, though a dog will rumor otherwise.


While Z and I were away delivering meat in Bordeaux, the kids started to rhyme. It all started with Brent ending a sentence involving “calm day” and Otto responding with “Comté.” Anybody want a peanut? It was on. Tonight, a few syllables short of a parenting opportunity, Lucy spat out this lovely: “I’d love to eat duck, but FIRE TRUCK!” Thank you, Michael, for being a potty-mouth thesaurus.

Meat Delivery


To the beefeaters in Bordeaux. It makes us happy and proud to reach out and beef someone.

Z and I took the frigo rental on the road on an uneventful road trip that safely delivered the goods. It’s nice to meet friendly faces at your destination.

A brain gets a tingle to see road signs that lead to Paris ( someday, Paris! ). We could go there, like, now. Even when on the I-road to Yakima, there’s a feeling of clasping hands and seeing how far this tank will go. If only my frigo had some extra boxes. With Z’s brown eyes and curls and my ability to make change, there’s no stopping us.

We headed back as dusk commenced. As we worked our hour down the 130 kilos per hour payway, struggling to keep the frigo cube from trembling at 117, we enjoyed seeing the Peugeots pass and the Chateaus in desperate need of relocation. Once we hit the hour through country French villages after eight, it feels like an implicit curfew has been agreed upon. People are not working. They seem to be home or eating or at the pub. Evening groceries are resting patiently to be rung up tomorrow. The baguettes are rising.

Back at the farm, the cows are some finishing there evening munch, while the rest rest. Z crashed in Nerac. Other kids are somewhere between shower and bed. The meat we tasted today was great.

A Classic Game Of Where The Fly Gone


A late August game to explore fine motor skills mixed with your basic stalking techniques.

– one borrowed (stolen) fly smacker
– flies ( just open doors and wait if you need a supply )

– say out loud, “where the fly gone?!”
– when a fly lands say, “OH! There it is!”
– run quickly at it and SMACK

don’t forget to return stolen fly smacker ( thanks / whoops! Fiona! )

One Herd To Rule Them All

DSC_9932Today started like this.  Our cows like to sleep in.  A good quality in a cow and a toddler.

DSC_9933The moon is setting.  It’s full or almost full.  There’s some juju in France that says to do this or that when the moon is full.  The tractors were roaring all night long.  I also heard distant direct voices in French, but I suspect that was the Armagnac bantering as they argue about the moon.

DSC_9939To-Do Item #134, fix the wall of the pens.  In the meantime, move the pelle over to hold the wall up in case a cow gives herself a scratch in a most passionate way thus tumbling wall and causing patient farmers to do extra work.

DSC_9958To-Do Item #12, adapt pens to deal with veal slipping under our lovely, low-stress handling gates.  They’re like sponges those veal.  They can disassemble through galvanized steel, then reassemble to their desired destination.  We used a very, very, very long ladder.  This did the trick.

DSC_9960These are our pens, notice there are no cows in them.  That’s because we have one herd.   Hot heifer herd are ready for bidness.  Gremlin the bull keeps on keeping on.   He has this way of walking.  He needs his own theme song.  He’s one bad mutha – shut-yo-mouth.

DSC_9957Z has no idea that this has been a big cow day.  She likes to work her magic whatever day it is.

DSC_9955Bug has warm buns, but a bit chilly in the paws.  He can’t be bothered moving.  What’s the cat going to do? He’s Siamese.

DSC_9944After the cows were worked, we hit a huge problem, the pelle was in the way.  Oh no!  Someone needs to move it so Brent can drive his truck back.

DSC_9950Whew, thankfully we had a heroic neighbor to help unblock Brent by driving the digger.  That grin tells you how difficult this must have been for him.

DSC_9962But they are one.  Brent will manage to keep it this way.  One herd.  This is by no means a low effort strategy when running mother cows.  Our pastures thrive this way.  Our beef tastes great this way.


Work It

DSC_9930Mint is our photogenic child.  Still no bigger than daddy’s tractor tire, she senses when the camera is on.  The Hollywood Elbow was not taught.

DSC_9923The Blue Steel is strong with this one.  She naturally looks through the camera, grabs your heart and melts it ( while secretly stomping on it thus working out your weakness while you are distracted ).

ClementineShe started this technique shortly after birth.

DSC_0901.JPGA little shout out to the third child who is no doubt working hard to get more attention than Ms. Vader.