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.


How To Not Shock Your Husband In One Easy Lesson


This is the starting position for when we roll the temporary wire out.  This temp fence keeps the herd munching where Brent wants them to munch.  When the metal hook is on plastic, there’s nothing shocking going on.  The temp wire gets rolled out, the step-in posts are pushed in and threaded with the dead wire.

After all the song and dance, it’s lights-camera-action and the hook is placed on the wire.  Hook + wire == hot, cow-no-go-there fence action.  Sometimes, not very often, the cows are naughty and we need to do a little maneuver.  I hold the hook-handle deal away from Mr. Hot Wire while Brent repairs what needs to be repaired.  As long as you keep Mr. Hook away from Mr. Hot Wire, your husband will not yell words you’ve never heard before directly and vehemently at you reaching deep into your soul and he means it and he will not be sorry.  No he only does that if you accidentally, for a brief nano-second let Mr. Hook and Mr. Hot Wire briefly exchange emails.   Then, things are not so good.  But it is very quickly understood, once the words complete and the broken reel that was tossed meters up in the air has been recovered, the fix has been fixed and the cows are happy that a  lesson has been learned.   You will NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.


Thankfully, on this day, it was a simple move.  The wire-obscenity incident was a long time ago.  At last, I brought my camera out to the field for a few snaps and reminisced of those crazy times when I accidentally zapped my husband.

Fun For A Boy Or A Big Boy

otto cooking his army food

Brent aged last weekend.  And just like cheese or wine or beef, he’s that much better.  For the first time in years, I actually invited a few people over the age of ten over for – how you say – fun.  Fun is a nice thing to add to your life.  I forget about it sometimes.  There is so much to do, so much that we’ve not done but should do, like now, Mercredi, we’re late.  So with an invite sent, we had to follow through.  I’m glad we did.  Now I’m feeling a few gatherings coming on in the future.  Someday, I’d like to BBQ an entire cow ( or small entire cow ).  Except the filet …. that should be done on the side…. oh and the faux filet … okay maybe some more planning.
We had a great evening of munchies, giggles and drinks. The only regret is that I didn’t keep true to form. Typical Brent birthday parties involve the simple things. A hearty “bean slop,” no fancy frills or candles and some nice wine. I woke up at like 2am in a sweat, “the bean slop!!!”  Why did I bother with the horses ovaries ( hors d’oeuvres ), one simple dish to rule them all.

combat ration

There’s always a lot of action here in February.  The birthdays, the valentines days, the sick days.  There’s never a dull moment in February.  One of our guests brought over a great gift, one for Otto and one for Brent.  A meal for a soldier.  This is not like Astronaut Ice Cream™.  This is the real deal.  

shrimp 'n' sauce


Otto couldn’t wait to tuck in.  He loved that he had his own food, but more interesting for him was that he also had the tools to cook it.  He had his own box of matches!  And he’s not afraid to light them!  … safely. And a little cooker! And a handle as to not burn your fingers! Brent was equally excited. So were the rest of the boys – ahem – men.

heater upprer


I think this is one full day of food for a soldier, but Otto has managed to stretch it out over a few days.



He had cacao last night.  This morning, coffee.

The beauty of this pack is that when given to you, you feel empowered. You can go anywhere and feed yourself.

Otto is outside in the dark right now eating Brent’s lamb stew and toasting marshmallows. Perhaps it’s time to send Otto off to a remote part of the farm and he can spend the night with his ration and sleeping bag. ( and a talkie walkie for mom ).


Okay, so the marshmallow was supplied by the common farm folk he happened to be stationed by, but the rest of the ingredients are absolute, Nato approved, S’mores-ville.

This One Goes Out To All The Grass That’s Growing

puppy charge and green grass


I smell Spring.  It’s sunny and rainy today.  I stood outside chatting in the rain not bothered by the wind because it wasn’t that cold.  It’s been crazy days, but a walk outside in the evening when the sun is still on, warms my heart.  And I took photos of grass.  Oh, yeah, I suppose there were some subjects in there, but the real truth is that Colorado is growing!  Soon, it will be ready for the bovines.  In the meantime, Brent squats for a puppy-charge.

puppy charge and green grass

puppy charge and green grass

puppy charge and green grass


That pup never lets you down.  I think he’s getting faster.

The cows are in and loving the sun.  They frolic a bit in the sun.  I hate bovine frolic.  “Stop this levity!” as my ballet teacher used to say.

puppy charge and green grass


The grass is growing.  The puppy is shedding his puppy fur.  Oh it’s still there, but it won’t be long before his stud-fur arrives.



puppy charge and green grass


Brent and Lumi show the grass growth.  Boots and paws deep, a dry week, I think we’ll see some good progress.

puppy charge and green grass