So Long Old Friend

You stubborn bitch.  But who can blame you.  You arrived after living a life with a lovely family, joining us on our new adventure.  Four kids, too many cows, lots of grass-fed beef and a new way of living.  You took months to get used to the kids.  You took months to get used to the new puppy.  You took months to understand all the barn cat and chicken kitten business.  Yet you kept on keeping on.  So much to learn when all you wanted to do was walk to the mailbox and back, meet the people who visit the farm and eat some bunnies.  This is the life. Never once did you complain. Moped a bit, but never complained.



You loved those kids.



Always by them.



Even on their first day of school.



Or when Zelie learned where the dog food was kept.



Snow didn’t bother you.



After a year or two, the siamese finally got a cuddle.



But you always worked together for table scraps.



Sorry they dressed you up for the pool.  You love the water, they wanted you to be safe.



Thanks for the portrait, Z was going through a Monster High stage.  Scary.



Ears flapping, he loved you so.



Always by my side in the kitchen.  Opportunistically placed under my cutting board.


Always up for a scratch and a scruffle.


Or a belly rub.



Always up for cuddles from small children.



We love you so.  We miss you so.

One Way To Cook A Steak

steakonthe grill

( photo by Susan )


I LOVE to see what people do with their beef box.  It’s summer now and I can think of no better way to cook up some T-bone steaks.  One of our customers sent this to us.  Thankfully, I had a tissue close by to wipe the drool off my keyboard.


K.  Time for an Aussie steak sandwich with a tranche grasse!



’til The Cows Come Home


( photo by Kevin Grealish )


Cows happily munching on a sea of alfalfa.  Brent and the men got them moving.  It’s time to go to the pens, girls.


The herd knows the routine.  They come in, eat hay, scratch.  Meet new friends.  Chill.  Then, they go to a new paddock filled with fresh grass.  The digger is there to hold the wall up.  Yeah, we’ll get there.  So much to do on this farm.  Sometimes, you secure some duct tape ( or a digger ) to keep things moving.



After the triage, Brent and men walked the herd down to the new paddock.  Oh such good cows.  Above, the men are returning through “The Oat Field.”  This was a trial strip we did with oats.  It worked well, but I think we will incorporate the strip with Detroit or Nebraska.  The fence is on above.  The boys managed to break out and come back to the courtyard for dinner.  Next time, we can up the charge.  It’s tough to keep the boys in their paddock.



The cows munched away on their new strip.  Calm cows.  My favorite kind of bovine.



Kevin returned the digger to its home before the thunder storm.  I can tell you now, we have a drip when it rains a lot.  It is located right above my side of the bed.  I tested it.  The drip drips with great strength.  I moved the bed, chucked a bucket down with a towel to soften the noise and re-fell asleep.


Veal and mince are sold out!  We always take orders for our next offering.  Booty is currently aging.  Loves me some booty.  We’ll send a booty call in the next week.

Land Power



Days have been packed this week.  As the summer begins so the end-of-the-year things erupt.  We have been flat out selling beef, running kids around, making hay, putting out fires ( not literally this time ) and preparing our next sale.  Veal, Mince and Booty!  Here are some shots from yesterday.



Hay bales pooping out.



Kevin is Zélie favorite adult at the moment.  They check out the machinery.



and watch the baling in the shade.



I have no idea what this hooba-joob does.



Puppies! The puppies of Beauchasseur! ( this was actually Friday, but the days blur together sometimes )



Mint Mint.


( photo by Sara Breese, beauchasseur golden retrievers )


Lucy and Lumi at the dog show.  He is a prize winning dog.  You’d never guess this with his cow poo breath.



Z, Brent and Kevin in the willows watching the hay baling.



And a lovely wedding at our neighbor’s farm.


Today is not over and tomorrow it will feel like these words happened two days ago.  Land power.

You Ever Call 911?


… or the 18 equivalent.  Me? In my lifetime, three times. I never thought to ask the question. I never thought that people haven’t hit this case.  The case to call 911.  Things happen and you act accordingly. Don’t worry, we caught the fire in time. House attached to burning Armagnac cellar means rapid danger. Smoke was visible and sensible. The water hose wasn’t quite arresting it, time to call the Pompiers.  I have only good news to report.  The smouldering fire never took hold and we all went home relieved.


It has been a fantastic week.  At times overwhelmed.  At times angry.  But never, ever, ever, bored.

Sorry I’m Late. Had To Stop For A Peloton.


I’ve stopped for many things while in my car running errands.  I’ve stopped for the Fremont Bridge in Seattle.  I’ve stopped for traffic light outages.  I’ve stopped for rubber necking. I’ve stopped for a mother duck and her ducklings. And today, I spent fifteen minutes stopped waiting for a peloton.

Me in French: Who is coming? Hollande?
Grandma: Non. Les vélos!


Airplane Bits


It is so much fun having Kevin on the farm. We love visitors. There is so much work to do, it’s difficult to decide where to begin. The weather has been sunny with a breeze and the cows have been behaving themselves. Watching a sunset in a t-shirt happens frequently in Gascony, not so much in Seattle.




Airbus plane parts occaisonally roll through the village of Vic Fezensac in the late evening. A convoi was arriving soon.  Kevin took Lucy and Otto down to watch the big beasts covoi exceptionnel their way around the village.  Kevin took the airplane shots.  Brent and I were watching the soccer.


These parts are HUGE!  I’ve only seen pictures, but that piece behind Otto is massive.



The kids had a great time with Kevin.  The event could only be improved by Le Tour de France babes tossing candy.




A Visit From Blitza



A friend, we’ll call him Jonathan, came to visit today.  He arrived on Blitza.  A moped he designed and built.  He made it from “bitza” this and “bitza” that.  I’m not sure how it came to be Blitza, but I can imagine that once he got that puppy to a top speed of 70 ( kilometers per hour ), a cool name was born.



Blitza has a great exhaust note.  A bit moped-y in sound, but makes up for it in style.



Great to see old friends on the farm.  Brent had a little run on Blitza.  The gumboots were a nice touch.  Thankfully he had handbrakes.



Where The Cilantro Won’t Grow


Conditions are perfect for growing cilantro ( coriander ) in Southwest France. I’ve tried many, many times. But things, out of my control, kill it each year. Chickens, toddlers, cats, puppies, they all love cilantro. This year, I chucked a sad little plant over to our neighbour who grow stuffs without effort. It was sad because it was the only one I could find in the Gers. Cilantro is key to Mexican and Indian cooking. Not so much in French cooking. Amazing produce comes out of that veggie trough at the villa. And in two hours, look what happened …


It all started in that little pot on the right. The leafy bits you use are hard to find with spindly bits and flowers ready to go to seed.

I have never seen this progress in cilantro.

I’ve only ever seen this:


Gawd Bless America

We enjoy meeting and working with the people of Gascony. This could be The English, The French ( from the north ), The Gascons, The Dutch, The Portuguese, The German or The Belge. Occasionally, I walk straight into a moment where I am clearly American and the other party is clearly offended. Sometimes I used “pants” instead of “trousers ” – they thinking underwear, me thinking pants. Awkward. Sometimes I was supposed to say “how are you?” when I actually said, “so, is the car ready to be picked up?” ( response from French mechanic, “how are you?” ) Sometimes I laugh out loud when they use “log” in a sentence.

But it is ever so much fun educating the people of silly things like ” The Full Pull. ” Which, after seeing enough Monster trucks on trailers in France, I’m sure the French are fully pully aware of.

American comedian Conan makes sketches that highlight very American things that could be perceived as bizarre to those looking in from the outside. For me, the Southern Californian turn Northwest lady, not at all surprised.

” Pay him to go away! “