Faire Un Exposé d’Animal de Companie



This is Lumi.



He is eating.



He is having a picnic.



He is kissing a cow.



He is sleeping.



He is eating the cat.



He is playing with his favorite toy.



He is cuddling.



He is waving Good-Bye.



Lucy had an assignment for English class about her pet.  These are the photos and captions she did.



Well, Hail


We had a hail storm yesterday.  Little guys, but they were fierce.  Of course when the hail was dumping down, that is the moment we needed to get out and tend to the cows.  We got a bit wet.  Milkshake the barn cat took cover and came out when the sun arrived.  He is dry in this photo.  I was wet taking this photo.



Today it is sunny and cold.  We are waiting for some more rain.



After it all cleared up, Otto work with his handcrafted boomerang.  His boomerang did a lot of boom and not so much rang.  It boomed into that tree and never ranged down.  I see it, but can you?



The grass is green.  The grass is HUGE.  Go Spring!



After the hail, aliens came down and took this chicken.  They said they will report back after the probe.

Our New Penguin


Lucy has been working with the chickens. She noticed a broody hen and chucked some warm eggs underneath her feathery fluff. Cut to twenty-one days later and we suddenly have penguins. This is Penguin. S/He is super sweet and very active. As I am crap at sexing chicks at this age, we will soon find out if Penguin is a he or she. There is another broody hen about. For the next day or two, Lucy will chuck warm eggs under her and then the hen will make them so.

It’s times like these I understand why Spring photos involve daffodils and baby chicks and Cadbury. If only we could chuck eggs under hens and get Cadbury.

The Great Escrape


Brent bought this scraper dealio.  He’s now arrived at a moment to use it.  I remember him buying it.  I remember Kevin assembling it like a new Lego Battle Pack ( but a tad bit harder and a tad bit heavier ).  It sat for awhile, not because we didn’t love it.  No, because at last, we can scrape hay, poo, what have you across a field that needs that extra boost


Soon to follow will be seed broadcast with green broadcast machine.

With the pasture Brent was planning to seed, he worked it hard with the bovines.   They did a great job preparing the field.  After, Brent scraped the bits and bobs to make a fertile seeding ground.


More awesomely, we finally found Brent’s lost sunglasses.  They rested in Yukon for two years getting ready for the amazing seeding this year.  Two years looking for those babies and at last found.  Thankfully, the sun is on.

And then we did the great honey taste off.

Acacia, Bruyère, Bourdaine, Printemps

all different.  all local.  all, I wish you were here.


We are not only into local.  We are into local bacteria.  Honey seems to grab that life and make it work for all those folk who consume it.

Some Kid Took My Little Book Of Calm

The kids are back at school.  The calves keep on coming and I thought I’d share some calming words from the little book, but it has vanished.  The Little Book of Calm usually rests on the old Armagnac box under my monitor between a “Jean Campbell” name plate and my red Swingline stapler.   When I went to reference it, it was gone.  Anytime things go missing in this house, we turn to Minty.  Minty always seems to know where all the things are.

We:  Minty, where is this [ insert anything … pen, important paperwork, tractor part, cow ]?

Minty:  Uh.  [ silence ] [ insincere confusion ] [ reset ] what?

We:  Minty, where is it?  Do you know?

Minty: No.

Cut to two hours or two days later when “thing” shows up.

I’ll ask her where the Little Book of Calm is this afternoon and see when it surfaces.  In the meantime ….

Don’t Put This On Your Blog


I didn’t see this coming, but my children are reading this blog.  Otto gives me a talkie walkie while I write and waits upstairs for me to talkie walkie in when the post has been submitted.  He corrects my spelling and asks me why I’ve verbed a noun.  As I do.   At this point, I feel a bit odd talking about my brats.  I take a picture of Lucy and she says, ” don’t put this on your blog!  I’m in a tiara!”  I’m not even sure why I write this blog.  I often feel like chucking it all in.  But my extended family is so far away.  The people who buy our beef might want to know what goes on behind the Grasspunk scenes.  What happens when the sun is out?  What happens when it buckets down rain for weeks and weeks.  What do we do?

Everyday is two days.  So often Brent and I say, “you know, that was yesterday.”  Somedays this is hard.  Somedays this is hard and thankfully we have help.  Somedays we procrastinate.  Somedays we enjoy the sun and chat with friends and watch the kids play.  Somedays I take photos of cows giving Lumi a big kiss.




For whatever reason I publish these crazy words, I’ll keep on going shining a light on our life here as grass-fed beef farmers in France.  I am slowly answering the question people ask of me, “Why would you do that?  Farming is hard.”  They only say that because we came from a checkbox ticked.  High paying job, no worries.  Why would we revert back to government grants and low pay?  Why? Why.  Because, I suppose, we are feeding people food that is healthy for them.  Because we have a set of restrictions and have to creatively make a profit.  A challenge.  As Brent says, if our beef runs off to McDonalds, at least there are some people out there getting healthy beef.

I can now say that farming is hard.  Yes, hard for different people carrying different expectations.  Pick your variable: cash flow, bulls, breed, market, weather, feed, kids, bureaucracy ( list not exclusive ).  Each aspect providing its own version of hard.  Each aspect providing its own version of fun.

Set White Balance To Bright Sunlight Mode


This is Bug the cat.  When Bug steps out during the winter, shadow or no shadow, it must mean it is warm. Therefore, there shall be no more weeks of winter.


When the kids go back to school after a great two weeks off, there is a lull. In my heart, I’d like to get out there and rock-n-roll and chop some blackberries. In my head, I feel like this silence is kind of nice. A lull plus super gorgeous Gascony sun makes me slow down.


Oh and look, it’s almost lunch time. By the time lunch is done and the coffee and the clean-up, well it will be time to pick up those kids. No sense chopping for an hour. I suppose I’ll get to it tomorrow.


I Love It When Guests Come and Then F Off


I love living here. When people come out to visit, I love that they love being here. It’s not that it justifies our lifestyle. No. It’s that they can sit back and relax. Listen to the birds. Be a little cold. Pee in a blue toilet that is slightly broken. Try to find cellphone coverage and fail. Love the cheese. Love the beef. Go for a run. Think. Enjoy the sun.


It’s calf central at the moment. The little guys are coming in steady and healthy. Brent and guest, we’ll call him “Josh,” went to move the cows. All is well, but they are double checking the calf count. An important part of raising cattle that may not come up at a meeting about software. Though sometimes you need to search for a problem and you can’t find it. With cows, mama will call for baby. Baby will come running. In software, you could be there for days searching for things. There is no Mama code mooing it all in. Unless, of course, you write in mama moo code.

More importantly, the retrievers have a veau pied frozen ( too get those extra moments of chew ). The sun is shining. I sat a lot today and I’m totally bragging about that. I think I shall sit some more and then make omelettes.


This poor guest doesn’t realize that it’s time to chop the crap out of the blackberries in Emerson. The kids are back to school tomorrow, so it’s time to get back to project infrastructure. I think a lunch out is in order and a few tears shed missing the bubbles that have made noise for two weeks. Tomorrow, they will be off to school.

Three Men And A Hilux

three men and a hilux

It started off as wood chopping and ended with a discussion around the Hilux.  I’m not sure what they were chatting about.  But boys, ahem men, do this.  They chat around heavy machinery, cattle, deep holes, tunnels and a classic pick-up truck.

I think they’re still there.  I wonder if the wood was chopped… I’m getting cold.

Egg Without A Shell


Cage without a Ragondin.

… see also Coypu / Nutria / big ass rat

Sometimes, when you are after the rodents, you catch a cat or a chicken.  Silly GrayCute


Kids without school.

We are on the verge of Lord of the Flies.  Hold on to your pillows, your paper towels, your patience … they have hit eleven.


Book without a cat.

Fat Cat sat on a mat and she was so lovely. This book is on kid number four.  We still work hard finding the secret ducks.


Palombe without a nest.

Otto ran in demanding a camera.  I thought he wanted to take a photo of his “cake or death” stand.  No, he wanted to capture pigeons on the roof.


Egg without a shell.

Otto found this perfect egg without a shell.  It felt and looked like our very own gummy egg, but there was the whole egg thing inside.  And no glucose, so without salt and pepper, I can’t imagine this beauty being all that tasty.  We have been advised to give ‘er a poach.

Eyes Without A Face: