Bringing In The Hay


Brent grabbed some cool hours to bring in some hay.  We are having a heatwave at the moment. In French it is called “la canicule.”

The herd has plenty of shade and plenty of food.  They seemed to take the day off today because it’s very, very hot ( about 104 F ).  Eat, water, shade.  Water, shade.  Shade.  Eat.

I’ve been hot many times before.  Once or twice traveling by car from San Diego to Eugene, Oregon.  Pulling over for gas and a pee in Redding, CA.  They said it was 108, but it felt like fire.  The gas went in the car without combusting.  The pee went quickly, so we could get back in the car and get rolling.  This was without air conditioning, mind you ( #uphillbothways ).

I also remember a time driving up to Eugene Oregon, stopping in Redding or Yreka ( you pronounce that as “Y … Reekah.” … as I was told-off by Mr. Burger King ) and having a huge water fight at a rest stop.  We hopped in the car wet and went on our way.  …. oh the hot trips to Eugene, Oregon.  I could spin some yarn.

Pool Duty


It’s not deep, the cow dish, but she is four. Sometimes, she gets In over her head. 


 And shoots me with her large water gun. 

So I have to be on pool duty.   

Forces me to sit down.  Get bored and blog silly random. 

For the pups, this is their favorite time of day. 




Moving The Grass-Fed Cattle



It’s getting hot hot.  This is the part where we look for paddocks next to trees.  The herd is doing well in the heat, but they are always thankful for a bit of shade.

They finished eating the paddock we call “Colorado.”  To you, it looks brown and dry.  If you walk in the field and look underneath the tall grass, it is rich with green.  The cows were fat.  They ate all the good stuff and left what they didn’t like.  This will add fertility and seeds for the fall growth.

We had to wake them up to get them moving.  Brent and his lead cows led the way.  I took up crowd control and lagging calves.  Calves usually lag because they stare at me.  Very curious, those calves.



Cow 78 took her time.  She wanted to do a bit more munching in the lane before moving to the next paddock.  It’s tough because we moved them through a perfect alfalfa field.  They couldn’t help but munch their way along.



Keep it moving 78, you’re almost there.



It’s a lot cooler in “Colorado 2.”  The trees help and the the lush, green grass.


Time To Exchange Stories by The Cow Bowl


The kids are getting bigger.  Too big to swim in the water bowl for the cows, but the sun went on and they insisted.  You wouldn’t believe the effort they put in getting that bowl up to the house.  It was in the field.  They don’t drive.  It was hot.  The fence is on.  The gates are limited.  But they got that bowl up here.  Four kids of different age working together to get splashing.  Oh but wait, there is no water supply.  No worries, they solved that as well.  … and called us “lazy bones” in the process.  Four kids made a pool happen today.

The dogs loved it, of course.  The kids enjoyed a splash in the pool.  Especially after all the work they put in to making it happen.

Yours Truly,

Lazy Bones


Dad, It’s Cracking


This is what Otto said to Brent over the Talkie Walkie while Brent was checking the herd.  Before he went to the field, Brent was primed with what this comment might pertain to when Zelie came in with a branch and said, ” I pulled the tree down.”


Brent looked at the willow and it looked like there was a problem.  Checked the herd and ran back when Otto said, “it’s going crack, crack, crack.”

Now it turns out Zelie didn’t pull the tree down.  She was holding a branch of another tree.  But, the Willow, well, a large branch gave up yesterday.

With some help, we ( we being Brent and help ), assisted it’s fall.  Not sure where the branch would land, we brought out the big, bad digger to act as a topiary bouncer.


All went well and the chainsaw became wedged.  Boo!


Plan B, Brute Force Ignorance and Heavy Machinery.  Brent whacked a mole.


Then it fell.



The branch was not well.  Now we are curious about the rest of the tree.  It’s a beautiful tree.


The willow, in its current state, seems to be doing the English equivalent of “flipping the bird.”  So something must be done.


Last night, I sat and took in my new surroundings.  The courtyard is very different without this branch.


What’s Your Favorite Song?


Finishing up and wrapping up our American duty this year.  Shout out to America is  done.  Taxes complete.  Just need to complete our other detailed information … financial whereabouts, date of last menstrual period, bowel movement regularity, any mood swings and so on.  It’s so sweet that they are concerned about the American expat.  awww.

Each year we do this and each year I forget the internet details.  I answered the security questions, but failed all of them.  The first failure was “What is your favorite song?”  I panicked.  When did I set this up?  What was playing at the time.  What mood was I in?  What was my favorite song????  I don’t remember!  I thought it might be the only song I know all the words to.  Which, of course, I won’t disclose here.  But THAT would be a better security question in my opinion.

I called the dude.  I said, “I failed everything.”  He laughed.  I said, “I didn’t know my favorite song.”  He agreed that there are too many to love.  I said, “can you help?”  He did.  and I’m all good.  Though, I failed again because I didn’t asked him what HIS favorite song was.  I can imagine the possibilities.  For me and my gub’ment help today, I’d say his favorite song would be “Word Up” by Cameo.  He had that vibe.  So, thank you! … Cameo for helping me serve my duty to America.  I can now get back to grass-fed beef, raising the kids and feeding people.

Though, I ask you … what was your favorite song last year?

When Everyday Life Leaves You


We were without the internet for a week.  No worries.  Except the part where US Taxes are due and we are selling beef next week.  Both need the interwebs.  Oh but we managed ( and bitched a bit ).

Look at these guys.  Above.  Without a cellphone.  Without the internet.  They traveled a bit in a rented car to watch some Super Bikes.    This photo should be in black-and-white.

Hat, other hat, red hair.  Cushy, American puffy car.

We go through old photos because the computer keeps restarting with the thunderstorms.  Lots of rain.  Too many memories.

And I ask you, Where is John?  The dude in the middle?

Knowing what I know now, I evaluate the pasture.

Internet Fast

Ye ol’ interwebs are down. There’sa big storm a-brewin.   It’s frustrating.  The people should be over to get ‘er done. … Sometime … Maybe Friday. 
When I was a child, not so long ago mind you, growing up in San Diego, there would be blackouts. The electricity would poop out because there were too many people blow drying their hair and heating their pool. When the lights failed, we’d get out the candles and carry on. We’d talk. We would giggle.  The moment your electricity went, it was your show and all cast members to your immediate right and left.  Though your lights are off, you are on.   And so it went for hours. Eyes adjusted. Reality checked.   

Thoughts seemed to move ahead. Ambition joined the party.  There was a moment when the plan looked promising, but the lights blinked. Then, they were back on. Permanently.   “Aah,”  we would moan. Then, turn the lights back off as though nothing happened. 

Though difficult to carry on business without the internet, it is nice to take a deep internet-free breath.   And when it comes back on, I won’t turn it off.  Not because I need to update my latent meal. Or that it’s very cold writing a blog post In thé dark with prédictive french texto. The internet is a great place. I reccommend, however, grabbing some Time off.  Look around. You’ll love it. 

Farm Random From A Grass-fed Beef Farm In France


We know a farmer or two.  And this one sells strawberries so sweet and delicious.  just amazing.  They also come in white.  I’ve never seen white strawberries, but they are so lovely.  The kids loved them.  They kept asking if they were ripe.  I told them that they are a different variety and yes, they were ripe … have a taste.  One bite and The Strawberry War of 2015 set in.

My pal Jiggy guards our most important papers.  He’s always one to lend a paw.  You can open one drawer at a time with the filing cabinets. Should a retriever butt block your way … well, you’ll just have to wait.


Siamese Weather Station says, ” it’s too darn hot” ( Kiss Me Kate ref ).  He’s collecting shade outside by the hot brick and the wilting outdoor chair.


Brent lost a hay prong.  We’ll leave it at that.  A new hay prong has been purchased and mounted.  ( chicka ow ow ).


Here’s some grass and a project.  More on that later…


… which may involve these fowl creatures.


… or this foul four-year-old.