Today In Farmville


It seems our calves are arriving earlier than expected.  Gremlin the bull was a busy boy.  For him, love was almost always on time and apparently a bit early.


Gremlin calves are cute, but mostly they frown.  Unlike the cute little lamb that smiles at the Farmy in the USA.

( photo by Celi of )


Here is some lucerne growing.  It’s looking great!


And as we were looking at the lucerne field and the cattle pens, we hear a voice from the villa, “hey!  It looks like you have a new calf!”  ” It looks like it just popped out,” says friendly neighbor.  I took a moment to breath in that someone just yelled across a field to tell us about our new calf that was born on the farm.  I feel like I’m living in a pioneer novel.  How did I get here?  I love it.

Here’s the new calf a milkin’.   He was a big calf.  This is Junkyard.


And here is a farmer a zappin’ … not by me this time.  Brent had to adjust the fence a bit.  whoops.


Dude, that’s gotta hurt.


This is little Jailbait snoozing.  It’s a ‘j’ year. Feel free to add some ‘j’ names.


Every cow in France must have a unique number and a name.  The name doesn’t have to be unique.  We have two cows named Framboise.  When we started the herd, we brought in  cows that we didn’t name.  You can see where the farmer who named them gave up.  One is named Vache ( that is “cow” in French ).  We have another named Peste ( which is “plague” or “nuisance” ).  She’s actually a sweet cow.  Brent refers to her as “old cow 78.”  She does well on the farm.


This is Junkyard a few hours old and doing well with mum.


The mums seem to be arranging playdates.


This is the view from where the cows are grazing.  We can wave and say, “Hi.”


Tosca snuck out between rain showers to grab a cuddle.



Love Isn’t Always On Time

Amazing “Nostalgie” song today.  There are two radio stations set in the car that, if on, you must listen to.  “Nostaglie” and “V.D.A.”  which is an acronym for V-mumble, D-mumble, Armagnac.  Donchoo flip to Fun Radio, no, no.  You must sit through these beauties and enjoy.  Today, after a quick jaunt to the shops, this bad boy came on.  I kept rehearsing the chorus in my head so I could make Brent feel my pain.  I often forget the power ballads.

I arrived home, things were good, I was ready to spread the joy and Brent distracted me with “Dr. Feel Good” by M. J. Brown.  Doh!  Song forgotten.  So I tried to remember the chorus.  Was it “Love didn’t arrive?”  or  “Love can be too late?” or no! it was “Love IS too late!” Damn it! or “Love should have come round, but for whatever reason was a no-show.”  Or Brent’s “Love has variable timing”  What was it?!?!?  Then after a brief listen to Def Leppard’s “Love Bites,”  I remembered!  Love isn’t always on time!!

There is a heifer on heat today ( and yesterday ) and she probably should be knocked up by now.  And with this song, I was thinking, “you know, sometimes, love isn’t always on time.”



Lumi, Cow. Cow, Lumi.



Lumi is settling in nicely with the farm.  He has not killed a chicken.  He has been in with the cows.  We don’t like him to go in with the cows, but the  cows that are up at the yards at the moment are calm.  They are good training cows.  As the herd gets closer, we’ll need to do some more training.  Nothing a little hot wire won’t cure.



The Joys Of A Hammock


There are times when I feel like I am living The Little Book of Calm. It is gorgeous outside. A bit chilly, but sunny. If you stay out of the wind, it’s almost hot. I think I spotted a fly.


Otto wanted to build and hang a hammock. To me, this means “old sheet” and “two, very close trees.” Of course, when one Curtis child builds a hammock, the other three follow suit.


I suppose I should arrange and plan an “outdoor activity,” but no, this is how we roll. The kids come up with ideas and we try to unblock them. When the sun shines and the wind blows and lunch is over and everyone’s room has been inspected, it’s time to lay the day away in a home-made hammock. With a book and some chocolate from your little sister.


of course, the pups are right there making sure all hammock hanging is free of calories. Cuz, you never know. Sometimes, hammocks leak calories.

Tosca is especially talented with the caloric hammock find. Gold medal winner, five years running.


And so, my entry for the first edition of The Little Book Of Calm, France:

Make A Hammock From An Old Towel

Find two trees. Hang an old towel. Lay in it. Smell the air. Feel the warm sun. With each breath, you will feel calm.

Oh You, Blackie Onassis


Brent took this photo. Little Miss Blackie Onassis doing what she does best, eat under the wire. She likes to grab as much as possible by kneeling. Hot 100, your calf is so cool. Your conformation is so right. But this wire under eating thing, not good. I hope we can work this out, my dear.

Exhausted and Shampooing


I feel like my French is getting worse.  I took the pupple to the market today to see the big city.  Something so simple like, “do you have another type of honey?” was an effort.  It might be because I’m trying to get it right.  It might be because I’m exhausted.  Before my absolute drive to learn French-damn-it, I would say a noun, giggle and point.  Occasionally,  I’d toss in a verb to mix things up a bit.  But now, I’m really trying.  And consequently, I’m really failing.  Progress is being made, I no longer speak in the past.  Here I thought I was having conversations about the present times, but with my American ballet training among other influences, I mispronounce all verbs.  For example, “She falls.”  Me: Elle “tombay” … I can’t tell you how many “tombe pas de bourree” I’ve done in my life as a dancer and each one was articulated in the past.  My ballet teachers said it wrong!   I know this because I do a “Gym” class.  My instructor uses words like “chasse.”  In America, they would say “Shaw-say” ( see Rupaul,”Work”).  Chasse is pronounced, “Shauce.”  I love to shauce.  I’m very talented with the shauce.

I didn’t go to gym this week because the family has been sick.  Each year we pull in all sorts of ailments.  With four kids spanning three schools, we collect a lot of viruses.  We usually bat them away, but the last two weeks made us work.  Donc, je suis crevé.  Not je suis fatigue. No, je suis crevé. Exhausted. We’re all better now.  Which brings me to the random entry from Little Book of Calm:



Shampoo Sans Shampoo

You access the calming acupressure points at the top of the head in the most pleasurable way through scalp massage – the actions of a shampoo, but without the shampoo.


Now if one goes through all the trouble to use “sans” one might as well follow through and use “shampooing.” Le shampooing. Shampoo is masculine. Fancy hair care products love to have the French translation on their produit. I’ve always known the words shampooing and après-shampooing thanks to Aveda and friends. For me, washing your hair has a much richer experience when you are shampooing. The lather has more weight. The hair is on the way to getting styled. Ton style. That’s “tone steel.” So really, The Little Book of Calm is telling you to “Shampooing sans Shampoo” and then you will feel calm. and learn more French. And blow some bubbles because it’s sunny.