Mon Pants

my aussie boots

I love the word pants.  To an American, it means “pants.”  To the Commonwealth, it means underpants.  Tee hee hee.  If you want to say “pants” as a Brit or what have you, you say “trousers.”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked blatantly into a conversation about underwear/panties/knickers  when I really meant “jeans.”  And, oh they laugh.  They laugh not near me, but directly at me.  “Whoops, “ I say, “ I meant pants … er trousers.”

No French lesson today, but that’s okay.  I had a meeting with the Pompier, which challenged my French speaking ability.  I think I conjugated most verbs correctly ( j’espère … I google translated that.  I knew the term, but lacked the spelling  Baby steps ) and I asked questions when I didn’t understand.  And I drank a Coke, which helped tremendously.  I’m applying to join the firemen of our village.  Firemen have a whole new set of vocabulary that I am unfamiliar with.  I can do banks, shops, markets, farmer stuff, but first aid? Fire? Still working that set.

my dirty knee

My trousers today, tell you that I didn’t change my clothes this morning.  The brown “Hale Bob” gym pants now used as “warm under wear” ( in the underwear you wear under your pants ). My Aussie boots given to me by J.R.  back when Aussie boots were cute in the Urban world, but now totally useful.  I wore this yesterday.  I knew I’d be finishing off the painting today, so why dirty another pair of Yuppie pants?  But the mud.  What’s with the mud?  That was from a cow move today that I helped Brent do.  I love moving the cows with Brent.  I can be very, nervous sometimes because I’ve seen a few moves go silly.  With each simple cow move, I gain more confidence.  With all this rain and navigating fences, your pants get a bit soiled.  It’s a bit blurred, but there is also a pen mark.  I was testing to see if the pen worked.  On my pants.  Who does that?  I must be still a bit sick and lazy.

The young ones are home early today. I love Friday.  Lucy and Brent are off fencing.  Dinner is cooking.  I am writing and playing tic-tac-toe with Minty.  We use this little fluff-ball version that I’ve carried around with me since I was a teen in San Diego.  So, what, like just a few years ago.  Fluff-ball tic-tac-toe is the most enjoyable game.  I’m glad their fluff-ball-ness has kept up with all the moving and uncertainty.  Minty is quite skilled with most games.  You think she’s not quite certain about what is going on.  Then, she strikes hard when you think you got her beat.  Tic-tac-toe is somewhat humiliating.  DO NOT play “go fish” with that child.  She counts cards.
fluffle tic tac

If There Is A Cure For This, I Don’t Want It

a place to rest your wine

I’m sick today.  Je suis malade.  I’m not all that sick.  I can still do stuff, but I prefer not to do the regularly scheduled stuff.  I should be learning how to move the cows.  I should be getting ahead on operation Laundry.  I should be learning French.  I should be getting the kitchen reset for this evening’s snack and dinner.  I’m  sick.  Let’s do something different.

Let’s enjoy the sun.
a barn cat and a stud

Let’s ride a bike.


Let’s paint that room, I’ve been meaning to paint for three years.

z helpsWith some spirited help.

This room took thirty plus years to get that Gascon brown patina.  I loves me some Gascon brown.   And here, in one brush stroke, I wiped it all away.  I feel refreshed.  We are trying to make a happy path for customers who visit the farm.  We get a lot of traffic in the kitchen and in “the mess” ( where we eat ).  Then the path to the bathroom for those who travel to buy beef.

I have a bit more to do this evening.  I’ll finish, darn it.  Don-choo worry.  Then I’ll have some hot chocolate, some Sherlock and collapse.  This is fun.  This life suits me well.  I don’t need much.  If there is a cure for this, I don’t want it.


A Trip To The Moon On Gossamer Wings

M. Potaht
I am still at the stage of my life where cutting cheese with the purple knife is still very, very important.  I can name many things that happened today, but nothing more important than the unresolved mystery of Mr. Potato Head’s other ear.  My fourth child, you see, is a child of symmetry.  Mr. Potato with one  ear just won’t cut it.  Oh sure, the girls and boy tried to make symmetrical versions of Mr. Potato, but Z wasn’t having any of it.  A rough  after-school return for me.  Topped with the great toy-box find involving Mr. Potato Head welcomed arguments, screaming, a little sip of wine ( from me ) and ultimate ping-pong ( longer letter later ).

Then, I cut the brie with the red knife.  All went well until she saw the purple knife.  In three-year-old, cheese cut with the purple knife is far superior to the cheese cut with the red knife.  Screaming ensued.  It’s just one of those things.  One of those bells that now and then rings.
mint and tot

Brent played a whole lotta Doris Day this evening.  We finished our lamb leg roast as curry.  The kids loved it.  I wasn’t so pleased.  Sort of a “Blues Clues” of meals.  Where the kids love it and I think it’s too sweet with not much dialogue.

The cows are happy.  The kids are happy.  The puppy is hungry. soon Lumi!!  He’ll have  a romp and a poo and be done.  The kids will be clean, homework done and ready for tomorrow.  I will finish up the evening and  hopefully sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and some old Sherlock Holmes episode.  I will whisk the chocolate with my favorite balloon whisk with the black handle.  Should that be dirty, I’ll have a HUGE tantrum and use the one with the silver handle.  But is was just one of those things.

I’ll keep it original this time with an added bonus of tap dance!!

I Feel Fire and I See Rain

wet chook

Chickens hate the rain.  It is POURING!! Or as they say in the Commonwealth, “it’s pissing down!”  Z is home sick and Brent is out working the cows in the biggest piss down I’ve seen in days.  We are having a lot of rain here in the Gers.  As grass farmers, this is great news, but today may have cranked our rain tolerance to eleven.  Our pasture is doing well.  Brent put the herd on the parts of the farm he will seed soon.  So instead of using a tractor to prepare the fields, we’re using the cows to get things ready for spring seeding.

well well

The whole potty-train-the-puppy deal has made my feet wet, so I’m chilly.

We are learning where the water goes when things are really, really, really wet.
warm pups

The dogs stayed by the fire, keeping warm and rested just in case they need to help out.

disturbed dogs

Whoops, my Nikon woke them up.  Ssssh, now, back to sleep.

wet farmer


Brent is out in it all.  At one point, there was hail.  That means rain and cold.  He is very, very wet in this photo, yet still has a smile.  Hurry in now, lunch is ready and the fire is hot.


Rain, rain, rain.

deeps puddles

Our drain was working well until it rained like Sydney.  It’s calm now and the drain has a chance to catch up. Whew.

Instead of the original, I Glee-ed this song reference for two-hundred, Bob:

A Day For Haggis

born in robot

Underneath this CURTIS lies a CAMPBELL ( great, there goes Otto’s password recovery ).  My Scottish heritage began in Scotland.  After that, I think a lot of them swam over to Nova Scotia, Canada.  There probably was a war or something with France.  Then the Scottish people started having babies, watching the tide wave in and making lobster rolls.  Or something like that.  We have a few Scottishy things that made its way to our family.  Oat cakes, shortbread, bagpipes, tartan.  Haggis never made it. I’ve only ever heard of Haggis from story telling around the bon fire on the beaches of San Diego.  You bury it.  You hunt it down.  You never leave it alone or it may corner itself with nothing but a laptop, a fast internet connection and a valid credit card.  I’ve definitely never had the opportunity to taste it.  Until today.

Thanks to our authentic Scottish neighbor ( sorry, “neighbour” ), we got “in the know” of a Scottish holiday involving haggis. haggis

The suspense was exhilarating. We received real-time tweets after she shot and bagged the haggis.

“If it appears edible, then I shall bring some over later!”

“It’s looking good, tastes okay, just needs a bit longer for the oatmeal to relax.”

“Going to eat some, see if it kills us. If not, we’ll send some your way. Here’s hoping….”

Edible?! If it kills us?!?!  Here’s hoping! I can’t wait!

Then the haggis arrived.  With sauce.

haggis pot and sauce

Evidently you talk to your haggis before you eat it.  Thankfully we had a script.  Thankfully, it came translated.

lucy reads haggis poem

Lucy read the required reading. otto unsure Otto was not amused. tosca mumble haggis mumble calorie Tosca heard some rumor about a Scottish calorie and waited patiently for the rest of the words to finish. otto bored with haggis poem It turns out the Scottish pre-haggis poem is a bit wordy.  Otto sighed, “this is going to take forever.”  I was enjoying it. otto done with the haggis poem Otto took a bite mid-poem then offered  feedback as an eight-year-old food critic, “eck.”  Eck is not bad.  I’ve had much lower ratings for something as simple as pork chops. brent haggis Brent had some haggis, but I’m not sure if  it was after the poem … hopefully this counts.  I really enjoyed it.  I loved the sauce and texture.

Haggis is an awesome name for a sausage.  I’m glad we had the opportunity to try it.  I’m not sure what they say on haggis day, so I can offer this ” So long! and thanks for all the haggis!”

Votre Leçon Française Aujourd’hui


Your French lesson today: When I say “your” I mean me.

I rely heavily on context, nouns, verbs and body language to have a conversation.  But, there are these little words and phrases I let slip by as white noise.  I’m not sure what they said, but I know they “want to buy beef.”  Or “they think she will come soon,” but their face says they aren’t sure.

Things I hear and now know how to spell:

“je crois” == I think

“quand meme” == anyway

“alors” == then ( but I think people say it because it sounds good.   )

“mais bon” == okay, I’m done trying to understand you and I will make my way out the door.

“le temps c’est de la merde” == the weather is shit


In our ( my ) last French lesson, I said that “brown” was “poo finger.”  Thankfully, I know a person from France who corrected my error.  As much as I want “brown” to be “poo finger,” sadly, this is not correct.  The color brown/green is “caca d’oie.”  To my not-so-great French, this is “goose poo.”  Not quite “poo finger,” but still wonderful imagery.  We’ll get to the bottom of this.

*fancy ‘c’ curtesy of google translate


Beef Day!


We still have a few customers to arrive to pick up their mince and veal. It’s been an animated day juggling our regularly scheduled program along with greeting customers with their yummy goods.  This is the fun part.  We did a new thing with the veal. We made veal burgers. Oh and they were lovely. I think we might do that again.

beef left veal right

If you try them side-by-side, one is “beefy yum” and the other “interesting and a bit beefy or what?” I really liked it. There could be some magic there with veal burgers.  The flavors are unfamiliar so really the burger could go many ways.  I’m excited to play with it.


The Popper Box

( by Otto Curtis )


Here is the popper box.

The Popper Box

1.First you get a big box, after you do that prepare a box of prizes, then you put a thick blanket in the box, and when it’s done get four blocks and two balls, put them in a spot in the box, then pop a few holes in the box, make a big hole in it, put a big sheet over the box and there is your popper box.

inside the Popper Box
2.Go inside it put the four blocks in your hand, then when someone puts money in it pop out of the sheet and say “take your shots,” then take the two balls and say again “knock down the balls,“ then if she wins let her pick a prize but if she loses just say “to bad try again next time “ and there you go.

The Prizes