Other Friends Coping With Heat


Little, fluffy, baby owls.  To which Brent responded with “wow, that door needs a scrape and recoat.”

And this old cat.  The coolest place is the dark stairwell of an old Gascon farmhouse.  “Pull up a chair,” he meowed, “let me tell you some stories.”


A Trip Down Memory Lane

Ken's Head Has Been Found


The kids pretty much laughed out loud at this dude … er .. dudette … er k. I dunno, but we all shared a smile and were relieved that Ken’s head was at last recovered.



This guy just sipped some Stroh 80.  It pickles your face, evidently.

Baby the Large Zucchini


Otto tucked in a marrow.



Our first Christmas tree on the farm.



Don’t drop that baby!



” Cotinbow. ”  One of my favorite Otto pieces.

retriever mind tricks


Somewhere, somehow a retriever is watching.

and the cow jumped over


We had Mirandaise!  They were spirited.



Heifer ” 33 ” is known as “shit-head.”  A classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  She is a cow now how now?  And a great mum.

Kevin the Cockerel


R.I.P. Kev.  You were a good rooster.  A great rooster that delivered some lovely chicks.



The kids remembered, but I forgot about “Payback”  … we’ll finish up with that name.



Triangle North: a fertile paddock that keeps on giving.  LOVELY grass.  It’s happy to be alive.


Two Herds Facing Each Other, But They Are One


(photo by B.Curtis)

Today was a day.  A day like I’ve never had before.  I had a first hand lesson in cow herding, cow herd mingling and fence repair.  I should probably leave it at that, but then you wouldn’t get to appreciate my Gandalf moment.  Brent was under control.  He had a plan and I think the herd recognized it.  Me?  I felt I was suddenly starring in my own reality series.  I’ll skip the part where my day essentially started at 1am between dog, newborn and four year old and then newborn again and skip to the part where Brent said, “Nah, it’ll be like five minutes.”  We were to move the Salers down to Louisiana.  Brent laid out the plan.  The Salers got down to where they were supposed to go with a few recoverable hiccups.  Then the Mirandaise decided to “moo” their presence.  And Moo.  And Moo.  A quick side note on the M-girls.  They are curious and sweet, but also tough bitches with other cows.  We decided to let the girls in and ready ourselves to deal with “Salers excitement in new paddock” with “ M-girls meet S-girls.”  Fevette, a Mirandaise, decided she was going to show off and chased a small mob of heifers back up where they started.  I hopped in the truck to collect them.  The rest of the herd were having a meet-and-greet session.  Brent quickly fixed some fences that took a beating in the process.  It turns out our shocky-shocky battery decided today it was not going to participate which caused all sorts of problems.  Amazingly, I got there in time to block the back-road while Brent got the Fevette bunch back to the paddock.  Whew.  Things were looking good until the Salers explored the lake.  They were in and out and all around checking things out.  The Mirandaise were right with them showing them who was boss.  As Brent had to run off and get some fencing material, a Salers cow decided to push the fence and take a walk down another back-road.  A Mirandaise, of course, had to follow and off they went. With twenty Salers and four Mirandaise eager to follow, I slammed my mental stick (couldn’t find a stick) diving deep inside to my inner Gandalf and shouting “Allez!”  (al-ay) but really saying “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!”  The herd stopped, blinked and then went back to where we wanted them.  The other two cows quickly came back and joined the rest.  After that, it was a munch fest while Brent and I double-checked the rest of the fences.  All looked good.  A back-up shocky battery was replaced.   We’ve since checked them a number of times and they seem cow-like.  So I think we can sleep okay.  I checked them at sunset and they were all nestled in for sleepy time mingling nicely.
ugly mug

(photo by B. Curtis)

It all happened so fast.  Cows here.  Cows there.  Fences down.  Fences repaired.  Battery fucked.  Overlayed with this being a Wednesday when all the kids are home.  Thankfully we have Michael here who was happy to help out and make sure the kids were safe and happy.  He has a stash of songs in his pocket that he makes up as he’s singing.

Now that the girls are merged, I think we’ll be ready to take on the next challenges.  We have three births on the way.  One mama was ready to go yesterday.  Brent and I had a giggle about her popping out the calf just was we were mending the last bit of fence.  Yet, she’s still with calf and we keep checking her out waiting for our new arrival.  This is the day that I graduated from pot of flour to arms out control.  I think I’m starting to get the hang of this.  Hopefully.

Animals’ Farm

Little Smeggs

Without livestock of our own as of yet, there are still many animals thriving on the farm. Tosca, “the garbage disposal,” permanently in search of food has at last found a place with a surplus of rabbits for her to hunt. Suddenly table scraps lack the challenge she seeks. When she’s not rolling on her back drying off after a dip in Lake Tosca, she’s after the bunnies. I haven’t seen her catch one yet, but the chase is half the fun. With all the extra exercise, you can see echoes of her girlish figure. She’s shedding that coffee table look.

Rabbit Hunting

Eating Smarties On An Armagnac Barrel

Little Smeggs is a great farm dog. When she was at the other house in the village, she barked way too much and had a tendency to get over excited. Now that she’s in her element, her barking nature is exactly what is needed. She sounds off for any visitor. Keeps the unwelcomed dogs away and chases the deer. She’s also much happier now that she has a job. Her only weakness is her soft spot for couches. She lives outside only. If she ever makes it into the house, she hops on the couch. She likes a cushy place to sleep. Who can blame her. We have a soft, fuzzy sleeping bag monogrammed “Lucita” by Pottery Barn back in the yuppie days for her to snuggle into at night. Smeggs likes her new digs

munson and the cow

Munson is a guest at the farm. When he’s not traveling Europe with Michael, he’ll be relaxing at his new home base in the villa across from the old farmhouse. Munson is a beautiful, large Malamute of two years old. Originally a big city dog, he’s learning and adjusting to his new environment. Smeggs LOVES Munson. He’s as cuddly as a big couch only better.

The Face Of a Killer
Most surprisingly useful is Bug the cat. When we brought him out here, it was for sentimental reasons rather than practical. In Seattle, Bug laid around the house getting up only for a slash or a bite to eat. Since he’s been out here in France, we’ve learned that he catches mice and even snakes. Right now, Bug is an indoor only cat. Thankfully there’s a lot of room in the house and as we’re finding out, plenty of mice for him to hunt. During the day, he is snuggy little Bug the cat we know and love. At night, he’s a cold hearted mouse killer. He’s proving to us more and more that he was not just bred for beauty. Right now the score is Bug 2 : Brent 2. Yes, mice were harmed during the writing of this post. I’m hoping that’s the end of the mouse population, but I have a feeling we’ll see a few more before the winter arrives.

… and as a side note, something that hasn’t occurred since we started this whole farm deal, Brent captured a moment in his happy place.

Brent's Happy Place


and the girls quickly followed his lead.

Little Princess