Twenty-Nine Again


Every year, the same thing.  Twenty-nine.  After about sixteen, I was over birthdays.  … and that was during a time when one had a birthday.  Now, evidently, people have a birthday-week.  I haven’t wrapped my head around that one.

Great day today.  But everyday is pretty great.  Though today, I brought out the big bah-loons.  And listened to Katy Perry ( please say that with a French accent ) without the lyrics.  After a few notes, you deduce all pop to Garage Band ( free with Mac products ).

Mint Mint Is Eight


I don’t really want to talk about it. Nothing but chubble.   She’s my little Chub Chub.  It’s not possible that she could be this old.


A very interesting creature, little Mint.  Great ideas.  Amazing interests and perception.


I made food the other day.  I snuck in some mushrooms.  I chopped them as fine as one can chop mushrooms so no one will notice.

Duck Fat Fries

Dinner went swell.  No one noticed.

The Pout

Minty pulled me aside, ” you put mushrooms in this. ”


” Uh, yeah, I did, ” I gulped, ” Can you tell? ”

minty pink

No words.  Just a look.


She has a lot of looks, our Mint.


And lovely to cuddle.  Even at eight.  Happy Birthday to Clementine.

A Roll Of The Hay


For a couple of months, when the grass is stockpiled and not growing, we feed hay.  It helps the pastures and nourishes the herd.  Brent rolls the very super heavy hay bale out then calls the cows through.

Over the years, I have collected photos of Brent rolling out the hay bales.  Usually, I have Z on my hip, but lately, I just take photos and leave him to it.


” You could help, you know,” he asks sweetly.  Yes, I should help, but you pushing a hay bale is some good photage.  And you don’t really need help.


Your shoulders get a good work out.  Your delts bulge.DSC_2188

You get all grassy.


Even in the snowy


The herd loves you for this work.  And your body loves you as well.


Happy Birthday to you, Brent.


Hay rolling is almost over.  Z is older.  and I’ll stop taking photos to lend a hand.

The Answer To The Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything


Twenty-nine again. Great day today. Our children are getting older, so they add more value when it comes to pushing me aside and taking over.


Lucy planned a lovely lunch. Our ground beef goes to our customers so quickly, other than a burger to try, we rarely have a stash for ourselves. Though last Friday, we sold ground beef to customers who had pre-ordered. But, sssh, we secretly kept some for ourselves. For lunch, Lucy planned burgers. Inspired by our neighbors who invited us over for a burger-y bun-y BBQ, Lucy did buns and fixins. SO YUMMY!!!


and of course, Champagne.  I’ve spent a lot of time ( four spells exactly spanning most if not all of my thirties ) not drinking.  I didn’t mind a bit … except for Champagne.   I loves me some Champagne.




We all enjoyed the burgers.  Zélie was much more interested in the candy.  She picked one of each, which is quite a lot when offered a Haribo trili-dili-happy-multi-pack.

Fun buns came in two sizes: ” Maxi ” and ” Classic ”

This is our burger on Maxi.  Otto loved Maxi buns.  I think it was a bit too big, but if you make burgers to size, no problem.



Here is an example of our burger on Classic.  Perfect fit!  It almost looks like a Trolli Gummy Hamburger, so cute.  Next time, I’ll get the color scheme right.  This is Brent’s favorite gummy.  Okay, yes, yep … we are a bit gummy crazy.  I only buy on special occasions.



After burgers, a fashion show.  Haut Gascon fashion by Lulu Princess of Gascony.  Her Spring line is hot, I tell you.  Hot!




Gummy coma.



I suppose I should start taking advantage of out of focus shots.


And finally, what is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything?  Lucy spelled it out in American Pancakes for me this morning.


Fun For A Boy Or A Big Boy

otto cooking his army food

Brent aged last weekend.  And just like cheese or wine or beef, he’s that much better.  For the first time in years, I actually invited a few people over the age of ten over for – how you say – fun.  Fun is a nice thing to add to your life.  I forget about it sometimes.  There is so much to do, so much that we’ve not done but should do, like now, Mercredi, we’re late.  So with an invite sent, we had to follow through.  I’m glad we did.  Now I’m feeling a few gatherings coming on in the future.  Someday, I’d like to BBQ an entire cow ( or small entire cow ).  Except the filet …. that should be done on the side…. oh and the faux filet … okay maybe some more planning.
We had a great evening of munchies, giggles and drinks. The only regret is that I didn’t keep true to form. Typical Brent birthday parties involve the simple things. A hearty “bean slop,” no fancy frills or candles and some nice wine. I woke up at like 2am in a sweat, “the bean slop!!!”  Why did I bother with the horses ovaries ( hors d’oeuvres ), one simple dish to rule them all.

combat ration

There’s always a lot of action here in February.  The birthdays, the valentines days, the sick days.  There’s never a dull moment in February.  One of our guests brought over a great gift, one for Otto and one for Brent.  A meal for a soldier.  This is not like Astronaut Ice Cream™.  This is the real deal.  

shrimp 'n' sauce


Otto couldn’t wait to tuck in.  He loved that he had his own food, but more interesting for him was that he also had the tools to cook it.  He had his own box of matches!  And he’s not afraid to light them!  … safely. And a little cooker! And a handle as to not burn your fingers! Brent was equally excited. So were the rest of the boys – ahem – men.

heater upprer


I think this is one full day of food for a soldier, but Otto has managed to stretch it out over a few days.



He had cacao last night.  This morning, coffee.

The beauty of this pack is that when given to you, you feel empowered. You can go anywhere and feed yourself.

Otto is outside in the dark right now eating Brent’s lamb stew and toasting marshmallows. Perhaps it’s time to send Otto off to a remote part of the farm and he can spend the night with his ration and sleeping bag. ( and a talkie walkie for mom ).


Okay, so the marshmallow was supplied by the common farm folk he happened to be stationed by, but the rest of the ingredients are absolute, Nato approved, S’mores-ville.

It’s Nearing Winter, Time For A Water Balloon Fight!


Z turned three. No more two-year-olds for awhile now ( or maybe five years 😉 ). Where there are birthday parties, there are balloons. Otto and Minty, at last feeling healthy, took it upon themselves to set up a water balloon fortress. I’m not sure what the weather is exactly, but it feels like 1C. I’m cold, cold, cold. We are also sick, sick sick. I’ve never been the type to catch a cold, but this year made up for previous years.


Cake went off well, thanks Lucy!  Extra bonus, a picture of Z with three candles to prove that, yes, I am a good mom.  Whew.  That was close!


Sisters patiently waited for singing and merriment.



Jam cake was well recieved.


Bubbles can never go wrong.


Watch out!


She’s very sneaky, that Mint.

And Then She Was Two


Zélie turned two yesterday. And you ask yourself, “where did all the time go?!”

She unfortunately had an experimental “pudding cake” for her birthday which thankfully was overlooked by the large present she received from her parents. Were she an only child, she’d get lots of cuddles and probably enjoy grandma and nana’s gift giving. As there are too many little, youthful historians inhouse, I need to supply her with a large present so we will not be nagged or harassed at future family reunions ( “remember the time when you didn’t get ANYTHING for your little daughter on her second birthday?!?!”  Look, I could wrap up a sock with a pile of ceramic insulators and she’d be thrilled.  She’s two.  Entertainment is easy. ).
Not only was she showered with presents, she also had her very own, home-made pinata that was sufficiently clobbered by her three older siblings.

The F-Word

boot and tractor


Due to the tremendous flood of premature birthday wishes, mainly my sisters, but really one of them … twice (she’s very happy that I’ve hit a big one) and my mother, all of them early (when you get no mail at all other than piles of advertisements we call “Conforamagasm” and bills, two cards rapidly tsunami into a flood), I suppose I should admit it and turn twenty-nine again.  But this one is special. This one launches me to a whole new number sequence.  Slide one over on the ol’ abacus, I’ve peaked another mountain.  I can remember way, way, way, way, way, way back ago wishing Brent his happy fortieth.  I looked high and low for a forty-year-old Scotch to ease his body into a new time zone.  Without spending thousands, all I could come up with is a thirty-year-old Talisker.  So I went with the “you don’t look a day over thirty” line (thanks for the tip stevem).  It seemed to work and the Scotch was divine.  Smooth as a baby’s bum with just enough peat for girls like me.  I like my Scotch peaty.


With my new unlocked wisdom, I am able to say things out loud like, “I don’t like the Beatles.  I am left unmoved.”  Or “Donchoo even THINK of texting at my dinner table.  Put the phone down and no one will get hurt.“ Or “Facebook is playing you for your narcissistic tendencies and profiting.”  Whew.  Blah.  That feels better.  But I can also offer advice.  Like, “have all your kids before you’re forty.  Except for my mom when a ‘happy surprise’ goes brat” or “making stuff from scratch is taking control of your life.”  Yeah, I’m full of it.  But the baby is crying.  The cake needs frosting.  The cows need checking.  The chickens need feeding.  I’ll take my new wise ass out and get back to work.