When You Don’t Have The Internet, You’re Left With Your Thoughts

I’m on an internet diet.  Sure, it seems I’m busy momming and wifing and farming, beefing people and all that, but you’d be surprised how many minutes you can find looking at the interwebs.  So, I stopped.  I put myself on a diet. I do mail for beef and chicken sales.  I can blog.  And I also found, I can make videos.  Totally on the diet!  My cheats are watching video recaps of The Late Show with Steven Colbert and stand-up comedy.

When someone sends me a link, I’ll follow it.  Totally on the diet.  I’ve been so excited watching the development of Modern Dance in the mainstream media.  Videos, ads, comedy… all of it.  My husband sent me a great ad recently.  Great music.  Great film.  Great moves.  I can remember making those moves in real time with real dancers for real audiences a long time ago.  No video back then.  All I have is my memory of that experience performing or enjoying a dance performance.  And my poor husband sitting through all those performances.  Brother Teresa!

Dances were about the body and the lines of the body.  Not much choreography involved the face as part of the movement.  The face was neutral.  A friend of mine LOVED using the face.  I remember dancing for her and hating all this face stuff.  I did it, but I felt like I was dancing and doing a Haka for New Zealand Rugby at the same time.

Butoh ( Japanese dance theatre ) uses face, space and time to dance.  I’ve been to one Butoh concert in my life.  Here’s some advice: don’t have two glasses of Chardonnay before a Butoh concert.  … but the moments I enjoyed before I fell asleep were INCREDIBLE!  They take their time.  Your time is of no interest to them.  You can watch a scene for many, many minutes and then you’ll realize that it opened up to another scene before you realized it opened up.  … picture a time-lapse, slow motion video of a flower blossoming.

With my thoughts and inspiration we put together a farm video after Zelie got her new onesie.  Hope you enjoy …



Fair To Middlin’



Mom:  Hey John, How are you John?

John: Hi Gladys, Fair to middlin’

Mom: Me too, John, I’m fair to middlin’

Mom ( to me ): He’s always fair to middin’.  I am too.  I Don’t know what that means.

I asked the ladies who helped my mom what “fair to middlin'” meant … they didn’t know.  John is an old boy, so I assumed this must be a phrase along with “bee’s knees” and “when hector was a pup.”  Fair to middling means ” ok. average. meh.”  My brief googlpedia research rounded up a lovely piece on livestock or crop grade that goes in this order:  fine, through good, fair, middling, ordinary and least good.  So John and my mom were doing O.K.  Affirmed each day along with others at the residence at meal times.  A new expression for me while I visited my mom in America.

When I walked into my mom’s room for the first time, I was taken with all the photos and art she brought with her.  Most specifically the painting of some daisies in a pot.  When that painting was purchased, I was a teen off haggling with the vendors of Tijuana trying  to knock off a few pesos for some huaraches. My mom and dad were after something for our home.  We split up shopping in the Tijuana shopping maze.  My mom told my dad that she found something she loved.  My dad told my mom that he also found something perfect.  I can’t remember who went first, but when the first led the other to the painting they loved, they both smiled because it was the same painting.  A bunch of daisies in a pot.  So they bought it and it was in our home.  And there it was in my mom’s room.  I took a photo of it, but it came out a bit crooked.  Well, fair to middlin’.


Vacation Loves Not Matter


Always great fun to watch well known movies with French subtitles.  I believe the above is ” Summer fling, don’t mean a thing.”  But translated, “Love vacation is irrelevant” or “unimportant.”

“Quelles nuits” is when John T does his falsetto “niiiiHIGH….T”


And when the gang “shoo-bop-bop”‘s … in French it is ” shoo-bop-bop.”  They can totally do that.  I seen it at Karaoke night in the village.



Behold, The Jazz Flute Solo

Publishing words in the form of a blog is inherently narcissistic ( but enough about me … what do you think of me? ).  I’m not one to toot my own horn, but rather toot horns of other people that I find fascinating or thought provoking or too darn cute.  Today, it’s about me.  There’s no shame in my dark secret.  We all have one.  Thanks to Brent and Huey “Scooby Snacks” Morgan, I was hit smack in the face with a talent I had long forgotten.  I was a very good flute player or flautist, if you will.  First chair, all the juicy flute parts as well as the piccolo player.  Gina was pretty good, but damnit, I was better ( bitch ).  Yeah, I came a long way from my humble beginnings as the triangle soloist in Silver Bells ( you sing: silver bells – me: DING – you: silver BELLS – me: DING – It’s Christmas TIME in the city … and it goes on like that ). And yes, I did throw my mouthpiece across the room in a fit of rage leaving a small dent in my flute that I still have to this day. I am an artist, what else can I say. It runs in the family.

Brent listens to various BBC radio shows while he’s doing tractor time.  Huey is one of our favorites.  Huey has a good sense of cool ( or Kool ) that is fantastic to listen to while allowing your mind to runaway in thoughts of “who sampled this?” and “did he just play John Cougar Mellencamp?”  There I was, innocently taking a sit-down while Zélie napped when Huey played “Dazz” by Brick.  Fine groove.  Oh! A sax solo.  Nice.  Falsetto, good one.  As the song progresses your mind wonders with thoughts like “Dazz” … what the heck is that?  “Dazz Dance … Disco Jazz”  OH!  Disco and Ja – wait, what’s that?  A flute?   And there you are, after two minutes and change into the “Dazz” groove you are completely assaulted by a very long jazz flute solo.  It’s fabulous.

I put down my flute at age twelve and picked up some tap shoes and jazz shoes and ballet shoes and modern barefeet.  I didn’t see a future in flute playing.  I didn’t want to continue on in an orchestra or the marching band circuit.  I wanted to be in a REAL band.  But who does flute in a band?  Brick, that’s who.  Brent said that Huey was on flute solo junket the other day.   Flute solos just kept coming.  I remember practicing those jazz flute techniques when I wasn’t playing with the orchestra.  When no one was listening.  Me in my bedroom, tooting my own horn.  With nowhere to go as a woodwind player, I took to the performing arts like a tiger.  All my hours consumed with dance or drama or directing or singing or producing.  The flute, so cute, was shelved never intended to be revisited.

Today, I bring you “Dazz” by Brick via Brent via Huey.

My Sunflower


It’s true, I think it’s carried on the second X chromosome.  But I do love the sunflower.  I can’t help myself.  This year is a stellar year for sunflowers and we are surrounded by stellar crops of lovely golden beauties popping up imminently.  Brent has been steadily bringing our old vine fields into pasture.  We seeded an alfalfa and dactyle mix before the rain hit and watched and waited.  Things went wet.  Things went dry.  Things grew and it was time for Brent to mow it in for the next batch.  These are the things you do when trying to bring back fertility and good soil.  When we went out for a walk, I noticed a volunteer sunflower on the verge of bloom.  Brent mowed the next day, but left the sunflower.  My little sunflower.  It’s very beautiful.  I’m glad he left it.  I just want to cuddle it and call it Jorge.  Here is its view.

It can also keep an eye on the cows.  This little sunflower is not long for the world.  The strong, yellow bloom doesn’t last long and then it starts hanging its head ready for drying and harvesting.  The sunflowers bloom big through July and begin to droop through August.  When they are droopy and brown, you know its about time for school to begin, wood to be chopped and garlic/shallots/leeks/white onions/peas to go in.  Most of the fields are green with golden anticipation.  You can feel July in the air and in the fields.  Okay, but more importantly Spain/ Portugal are in penalties … gotta run.

I’m Lampin’ I’m Lampin’


and whoah, you must behold The Beast.  I’m sure it has a much better name.  I’ve been trying to take photos of it when The Beast first arrived many, many months ago.  It’s coy.  It’s mysterio.  It’s a bit dusty and cob-webby.

I love it.


It tucks us in at night.  It brightens our path as we (me, okay Brent) staggers down to make the morning brew.


It’s big.  It’s beautiful.


On occasion, it makes noise.  Which is more give from this lovely piece of art.  This beauty was designed by Katty.  She’s quite talented.  She is a One Foot Taller.  Someday, maybe I’ll grab that photo that does it justice.

What do he mean by suckas man?

Are You Brave Enough?

As I’ve said before, if you’d like to run a hit song in France, simply include the word “fuck” into your chorus and let FUN radio take it from there.  Today’s installment of “gawd I love France and how lovely is it they don’t censor,” I bring you “Peacock” by Katy Perry.  Sure, I’m prolly late to the game.  I’m a mama of four with cows and shit, so who can blame me.  It’s just when you’re dashing in the equivalent of Safeway for your milk or what have you, and “Peacock” is blaring as you browse in aisle nine, you can’t help but think, “hey! That’s Katy Perry!  What the heck is she on about?  Why is she talking about big cocks while I’m shopping?”  “oh!  Peeeacock she’s saying” how cute.  A song about Peacocks.  I love Peacocks.  Catchy tune.

and let me tell you right here right now, there ain’t nothin’ finer than a French person saying “Katy Perry”  as well as “Lady Gaga” and “Facebook.”  Absolutely rad.  “FAhZ-booook” is completely unintelligible out of context.



I’ve always been a HUGE fan of generic.  There’s nothing I hate more than paying extra for marketing.  It’s soap.  You tell me that it’s going to make all my smelly problems go away and flowers and fairy dust will swirl around making my clothes cleaner than ever.  But, that’s not true.  Soap is soap is soap.  In fact I should probably go back to using baking soda (bicarbonate) for damn near everything.  I will always give generic a go.  I’ve developed a preference for various generics.  The best generic I’ve ever experienced is Kirkland brand by Costco.  That is seriously a case of running the generic label right after the expensive brand.  Churn out your shipment of Huggies, switch out the label maker and then make them Kirkland.  Same shit different tag.  I’ve even tried the Kirkland Champagne and found it not only drinkable, but enjoyable (forgive me Erin!). I’ve tried all the generic brands I could find in France including Eco+, Top Budget, Carrefour <wank> and Carrefour Discount.  Carrefour not only has a generic label, they split it up into classes of generics.  It goes from high-end generic to welfare generic.  America sort of did that with “white label.”  White label “BEER” was my all time favorite; of course I can’t seem to find a web image for the stuff.  The lowest you can go is Carrefour Discount.  That’s your welfare class generic.  Of all the generics I’ve tried, Carrefour Discount is as close as I’ve gotten to my beloved Kirkland.  It’s as low as you can go, yet still you can buy Carrefour Discount Roquefort as well as Carrefour Discount Bayonne Jambon Cru.  See, even cheap white label generic sounds great in France (viva la France!).

I can generic damn near everything, but I’ve somehow excluded shampoo.  I discovered Aveda before Estée Lauder messed it all up.  This is my I-liked-Nirvana-before-they-were-famous moment.  I hooked up with Sapmoss when it was a wee free sample.  The lather, the smell, the joy of washing my hair was beyond words.  I LOVED this shampoo.  I would gift it to people with sort of a “first one’s free” intention.  I never branched out to the other products in the Sapmoss line.  I stood by my shampoo and that was that.  Until, it was discontinued.  One of the hair ladies tipped me off to this atrocity.  In a crazed run on all Aveda stores, I managed to grab hold of three large bottles.  These babies go for near two hundred US dollars on ebay.  Knowing this was the end, I’ve not opened them.  I was waiting for the right moment.  Maybe squirt out a few beads on special occasions.  In the meantime, I’ve been running through French shampoo.  All of it okay, but nothing to blog about.  Then, I picked up some Carrefour Discount shampooing for the kids and gave it a go.  My hair loved it.  I’ve tried the olive oil one as well as almond.  I dug out the Sapmoss to try it side-by-side.  Carrefour Discount held its ground.  Now there’s no shampoo out there that will give you that Sapmoss smell, but for eighty-four cents a bottle you can get the same lather and the same bouncy loveliness in your hair.  I’m shocked and excited and somewhat embarrassed.

F’in Music

In my (almost) two years here in France, I’ve noticed a lot of music that is played at the various stores. What stands out to me is the frequent play of any song sung in English that have “fuck you” in the chorus. Lily Allen’s Fuck You and Cee Lo Green’s Fuck You song have been seriously overplayed. I can only imagine the radio DJs getting a huge giggle out of picking these songs. Also, i see a great opportunity to start a little side career when I’m not farming by creating pop songs with English swear words for the French pop market.

Doing It Rodin Style


Walking around Paris on my own with nowhere to be at any particular time enlightened me with unexpected imperturbability.  I moved out here to be in the country.  Two thousand five hundred scenic pieces of trees and sky.  Yet, I had no problems getting back to “go mode” in the city most people think of when you say you’re moving to France.   I spent about thirty minutes each evening by The Head, a large concrete head that is no doubt famous, which sits next to what was once thought by me to be Notre Dame.  It actually sits next to something that looks like Notre Dame like many other Notre Dame-like churches around Paris.  I realized later that Notre Dame itself is the Notre Damiest of them all.  I’m sure I’ll be enlightened as to its name in the imminent future.  By the church that isn’t Notre Dame, were two dudes playing jazz.  An upright bass player and a guitar man with an amp.  Those guys had a wonderful time playing or practicing their work while a gaggle of tired tourist sat in the park resting their feet as dusk falls.  The metro riders briskly walked past The Head to get to Châtelet, the metro stop with many options.  After listening to the jazzmen for a while, I’d pack up my book and pop on the iPod.  The musical selection of choice for walking around Paris is Philip Glass, Koyaanisqatsi.  It’s like living your own music video.  Nameless faces, in a rush to get somewhere important, couples giggling flirtatiously over drinks, traffic stopping and going and stopping and going.  An entire city there to entertain you as you walk from The Head to get a bite to eat.  After being in the country for six months where one can walk from home to park and see nothing more than an old mare and a barking dog, the city becomes more surreal than this city girl remembers.

But this isn’t what I really wanted to address.  What I saw in Paris was a lot of art.  A pain au chocolat cannot be thrown anywhere in Paris without hitting some art.  It’s everywhere.  No museum pass required.  I’m usually drawn to paintings over the rest, but after a visit to the garden at the Rodin museum (for a Euro!) I began to enjoy sculptures much more.  And that Rodin was pretty good at that stuff.  The curves, the positions, the sensuous movement emoting from a still object, the … hold on .. is that pigeon poop?  Was bird feces part of Rodin’s vision?  The guy works hard on this beautiful work and a bird poops on it.  And then it was everywhere.  No statue could be viewed by me without searching for the poop.  It became Where’s Waldo, the bird dung edition.   At last I found a statue untarnished by any foul movement.   Then, there it was, carrying on in the garden of Rodin as though no one could see them, but we could.  Sure not everyone acknowledged it.  Others may have looked passed it, but they were there, doing it and showed no compunction.   Naturally I took a photo, how could I not? Environmental players dancing on the art of yesteryear creating a momentary Farside Cartoon of today crossed my path and I had to shoot.