A Brief History of My Bench Top


Crazy days.  Kids on vacation.  Cows moving and shaking and calving.  Next batch of chickens looking good.  TAXES! So here is my bench.  From left to right:

  • glass of cheap ass white wine … from a box … but it’s French!
  • pancake bowl for morning pancakes … then afternoon pancakes
  • crazy panda mug, a gift to Daddy, from Lucy
  • cool pepper grinder recommended from my friend Erin as the best way to grind your pepper
  • pyrex jug for morning egg scramble, I don’t eat pancakes, but i make them with love
  • hanging fancy pan waiting for this evening’s hot chocolate
  • jar of duck fat
  • large cheap ass pan given to me by some whacky Aussie.  It serves as the pan to heat cow formula for “milk dud” our bottle calf.
  • tongs resting on top of the lid to shitty pan used to cook our test pork
  • Ikea towel resting on super expensive copper pan ( number blah when we bought expensive copper pans for each year we continued to stay married ) …. ( now we save money with a giggle and a hug and continue to stay married )
  • super expensive pot made leftover surprise with pork I carved off … like in the movie Alive … though with pig … not human ass…
  • our stand-in coffee pot because our loving espresso machine has had another fight with our water.  f-you calcaire!!
  • red pot heating milk for lesser coffee regime

Cute Animal Photos

There was a call for “cuter than my pet” photos on the interwebs. Fun theme. I pulled together what might be cuter than said pet. I rolled back in time to grab cute pet photos that stood out with our family. If y’all ( that’s “tutoyer” in French ) have cuter than my pet photos, would love to see them!













The Famous Four


I ignore our children.  Not on purpose.  It comes natural to me.  Sometimes I feel guilty.  I should be entertaining them.  Growing them.  Teaching them.  But my ideas are nothing compared to what they have planned.   And really, I’m not your clown.  Vacation time now.  No school.  We leave them to their own and they manage their pleasure, their day.  Like those old T.V. programs with children running around solving mysteries with a little dog by their side.  You watch one of those shows and think, ” now where the heck are their parents? ”   … we’re here.  We’re here unblocking them.  We are supporting them.  Sometimes mysteries need a new iphone app.  Or help to light a match for the bon fire. Or a basket to carry all this food.  Also, as much as I ignore them, we do things together each day that take minutes and are not status update worthy.  Otto helps move the chickens two or three times a day.  Zelie helped me feed the calf.  Minty looked after her new kitten and also the other pets.  The eggs are collected by one of this lot.  Dishes unpacked then packed. Customers, meat sales. Phone. Answer the phone! Lucy did the laundry and made the table clean and beautiful. Help me cook with Zelie and Minty. Meal together. Showers, teeth. Then the truth. I hit my kids up hard with comedy. Can they take it?

me: you can fend for yourself now, you’re thirteen. get a job! get out there, rule the world!
lucy: then I won’t get pizza pockets!
we: hahahaha!


Remember Chicken?


Our third lot of chickens have been sold.  We managed to grab one for tasting.  I’ve done a lot of photos of beef and pork while spending very little time with chicken.


It’s nice to see what you are buying and how it looks in the kitchen just before dinner.  Our chickens are large by French standards.  I used huge potatoes so the scale is a bit off.


Also working on roasting chicken.  Lucy likes crispy skin.  Otto likes the leg.  Minty likes the white meat.  Zelie likes the mashed potatoes.


The family was very pleased with the flavor.  This chicken tastes like chicken.  It had the smell of chicken.  The texture of chicken.  Some salt, some pepper and a whole lot of pasture.  I’m excited to keep working on this.


Is Your Chicken Ready?


Let’s check.  Hmmm.  Almost there.  Chooks are loving the pasture.  So much food.  Great sunny weather.  A bit of rain, but that helps the grass grow.  No complaints.


Lucy weighs the chicken, then weighs her body weight and does a bit a of math to capture the weight of the chook.  Good information for us, but a bit of truth for her.  S’okay, she’s feeling good about her fitness.



After a few years of photographing cows, it’s nice to lay on the ground and grab some bird shots.


Les Impôts


It’s tax season here in France.  I do the entire year over a week or so.  I have ambitions of resolving each month like a responsible person, but I get carried away in the thrill of selling beef and chicken.  Oh and the four crazy kids we have.

My head is full of numbers, receipts, where did I put that thing?  Who is this guy we paid money to?  What was it for?  Naturally, when someone asks me to do something fun other than tax work, I’m on it.  So when Celi ( from The Kitchens Garden ) asked her followers to show where we write I thought, ” PERFECT!!! ”

I normally write a quick something while everyone is requesting me to do other things than write a blog post.  I can usually deflect and postpone, but then eventually, I have to publish and hope for a few jokes without tyops.

Our two useless farmdogs sunbath and keep me company.


And the boring stuff has its own space until I am finished. Les Impôts is “taxes” in French.  I must admit, Les Impôts sounds more approachable than “taxes.”


Though, I am collecting a list of words that do NOT sound better in French.

Exhibit A:

English: Tire

French: Le Pneu

The ‘p’ is pronounced.  “Pnew.”  If you need to talk to someone about tires in France, grab some tissues.

Here is the herd last night.  Another new calf.  Twenty so far.  Waiting on a few more.


right, back to les impôts.  Now you know, I have to do this all over again in English for America … don’t get me started on that.  Totally sucks.

Lucy and Z Check The Mail


It’s a bit over 700 meters to our mailbox.  Lucy has been waiting and waiting for a package to arrive.  Sure that it would come this day, she decided to walk down and take a look.  Why so motivated?  Shoes.  I’m sure you can relate.  Z wanted to come along.  And off they went.


Lucy snapped a few photos along the way.  The herd seems to be doing well.  Most of them snoozing.  I love a snoozy cow.

She also grabbed this selfie.  I love it because if you trace their heads and neckline it makes a heart.  aaaaah.  how cute!


Did her shoes arrive?  YES!!! YES THEY DID!!  Woohoo!

The Puffy Clouds of Bordeaux


Beef to Bordeaux today.  I snapped a few shots.  When I loaded them on my computer at home, I noticed that these puffy clouds kept photobombing my shot.


We have these puffy clouds over our pasture and the herd.  It’s good see see how they look over the big city.



I wonder if anyone noticed.


Traffic was light today.  There were a lot of people out enjoying the sunshine.  I think they were also enjoying the puffy clouds.


Those clouds even made it into this shot of construction, temporary construction offices and an old tree trying to bloom.


After all the meat was delivered, I ate l’Américain.  So many sandwiches to choose from, I chose that one because, I am American.  The sandwich man laughed.


oh, what’s on l’Américain?

Ham, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg, pickles and mayo.  Yep, me too, I pondered my way back to the farm, “why these ingredients?”  What made this the American sandwich?