Brats Like Me

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I have fond memories of going to the Oktoberfest somewhere in Southern California with my family.  My dad really loved the Bratwurst … and the beer to go with it.  I loved it just as much.  I haven’t seen Bratwurst for YEARS.  Today, buy two get one free, right there at the ol’ Carrefour market.  Mine for the buying.

I looked up a few recipes on how to cook it.  It’s all about getting the internal temperature safe and then browning the outside.  Many ways to do this, mainly involve some sort of par-boil followed by a brown.  In France, we cook raw sausage all the time.  We do this method.  BUT, as I was talking with Brent about it, it dawned on me that we house this very special machine a dear friend of ours bought to do exactly that.  A sous vide wand that gets your middle up to temp and ready for browning.  The brats are up-temping now and I can’t wait to brown my “saucisse irrésistible.” …. everything ( except ten words ) sound better in French.

We have some new web-footed friends joining team Grasspunk.  They are runner ducks.  I don’t know much about them, but I can tell you this, they like to cuddle.  I’m sure we’ll soon know why they are called “runner” ducks.

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Last week was a four day weekend and Minty hosted a Movie night.  “Movie Night” is code for junk food and television to avoid any school-end test studies.  The kids have a toolbox and they aren’t afraid to use it.  Works every time.

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(above children are not studying )

Minty takes photos of these two characters every day.  The gray one is a stuffed animal with the amazing talent of breath and a beating heart.  The beige one is a killer.
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Just a reminder, it’s tick season.  If you have a nap in the grass with a shaggy dog, be sure to give yourself a quick once over.  I hate ticks.  Useless buggers.

Have a great weekend! Hug a duck! I’m going to go brown my irresistible sausage.
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My Camera Is Holding On Awesome

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Can’t adjust the settings.  Can’t review what photo I take.  I’m shooting blind.  But I need to keep shooting.

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It’s a shot in the dark.  Like the old days.

The weather is superb.  Our dear friend is here and it warms my heart that we can work together on the farm then relax in the evening sun watching the tractors trudge on.  Rearing grassfed beef has a lot of management of pasture, but little time spent in a tractor .

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When the herd is moved, chickens fed and watered, the beef butchered and packed then delivered, you can lay under the evening sun.  Relax because the day is over.  Play with the kids.

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Chit chat with friends.  Let the grass grow.  In the afternoon, it will be sweeter for the herd.  A late breakfast.  They sleep in, our herd.

 

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You Get What You Get

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My heart hurts a little today because my daughter ( not Zelie ) accidentally dropped my camera on the hard, cold tiles of France.  This wasn’t her first time.  She dropped another camera of mine on the hard, cold tiles of France a few years ago.  That situation presented a green blinking light of death for my Nikon.  It was a plastic body that did not stand a chance with surrounding gravitational conditions.

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After that incident, I made a rule to NEVER place a camera on anything.  She was young, she pulled a book or paper that my camera was resting on off a high shelf … she pulled the paper and the camera tumbled to its death.

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After many years practicing my procedure with my camera, I left it on the table without concern because it wasn’t resting on anything … and she moved the table.  I wasn’t there, but I’m sure she didn’t mean it.   And it was my bad for leaving it there.  Thankfully, the camera body is made of metal, so most of the camera features are intact.  So far, the only damage is my ISO/QUAL/WB buttons are gonzo along with various shutter speed thingos as well as the “play” button to review the photo you just took.  As I am not a photographer and still not actively learning what those nobs do … I did use them to adjust settings.  At this point, any setting I every set is now locked in until I get my button fixed.  So, you get what you get.  It’s like the old days when you took a photo and didn’t know how it would turn out until developing time.
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Granted, my camera is probably considered “old” at this point, but it totally does the job and I love it.  I had no intention of replacing it.  Sometimes, restrictions invite creativity.  I leave you with a test photo of my stapler taken today with my newly broken camera.
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Make It Look Easy

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I come from a dance background.  When we do amazing feats or kick our leg high, we make it look easy.  Nothing hurts.  Simple.  Casual.  Do this all the time.   That’s part of the art.

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I also dabble in the geek world.  Their art has a note of “duh,” which for geeks means make it look easy.  Sometimes, those amazing feats and solutions are not all that easy, but we make it seem so.

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We move children and we move cattle … and actually, we move chickens.  Chickens, that’s easy.  Children, meh … really depends on the temperament.  … not always predictable.  Hard to make that look easy when they scream and you scream back.

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Cattle?  you need to know some tricks.  I really enjoyed this move.  The cattle ( some new to the system ) crossed the road.  Seems simple, but is it really?  Over the years and with concrete examples of cow moves gone wrong, Brent has set up subtleties that make it all look easy.  And just like a ballerina “floating on air” on her toes, weightless … the herd popped over too easy.  What you don’t see are the bloody toes ( ballerina point dancer ref ) of the past getting this art down to making it look effortless.  Behind that move is pasture planning, cow chess moves and temp fence props.  Add to that when to get the herd back to the yards mixed with do we feed hay?  Do we feed hay because the pasture needs it?  So many inputs to make it look easy.  Here they are, the herd, crossing the road.

 

When I lived in the city, I would have loved to be part of that cow move.  That’s why we are offering an opportunity to stay on the farm.  Seems easy, but what are those tricks?  Accepting reservations starting in May.

Cheer Up Sleepy Jean

z: Daddy says you don’t like the song Cheer Up Sleepy Jean
me: I don’t
z: [ hums a few bars ]
z: he says your sisters used to sing it to you cuz you are grumpy in the morning
me: yep
z: [ more singing with lyrics ]
z: why? If you’re grumpy then, cheer up sleepy jean

So enlightening to hear my daughter tell stories to me about my childhood.  I do,  I hate that song.  For many reasons.  One, I hate monkeys.  Two, I hate The Monkeys ( too perky  and profit driven ) .  Three, I don’t support any campaign by happy morning people to uplift and motivate us grumpy morning people.  I’ve always been a grumpy morning person, as well as my self-admitted grumpy youngest and grumpy eldest.  We are dragons.  We don’t greet the morning with a smile.  I would wake up in the morning as a young teen and I remember my mother telling a visitor, ” don’t talk to her.  she just grunts at you.  you won’t understand. ”

But, after that conversation with my little dragon, I started to think about their future conversations about *their* childhood.  As I’ve only done this parenting thing once and most of it loaded on the younger side of those kiddies, at no point did I think about the stories they will tell.  The parenting books, the parenting friends, the internet parenty things focus on what that child will be, will do, without a chapter on … well, when your child does this, they may talk about or blog about their life from their perspective.

My little dragon re-blogged a story about my childhood to me.  I had to read it because she was streaming live without a pause button.  Now, I’m wondering what stories my children will have when they grow older and pull stories from their life to relay comedy or tragedy or a barrier they had to emotionally overcome.  These kids … they are made of people.

and for you, I leave with this gem … I’m sure I’ve bitched about this shitty song before … but here you go again.  As a rule, with song assignments, you MUST listen all the way to the end.  It’s the way we roll here on the farm.

 

 

 

 

Merry Happy HolidaChristmas

or whatever we need to say now.  Doesn’t matter.  Things are slowing down for the holidays.  Days are short.  We are finishing our sales for the year.  SOLD OUT!  go us! People are thinking of visiting their families and loved ones.  Two of our kids are off for a week doing school things.  Like out of our house off doing things.  We’re down to two little ones.  It’s like a new family.  For a week, we get to live the life of parents with two kids.  We’ll see if that is easier or harder.  But for now, here they are.  We brought in make-up and stylists to get the “straight off the farm” look.  We also sprung for the clown team to get them to show their true happiness.  Looks like the cats made the most of that investment.  I also popped in previous years to see how our antics progressed.  I’ll post our year in photos next time.  It’s been a great year.  For me, a great year for growing and learning.

2016
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2015

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2014

family photo 2013

Baby Head

First, check out that herd!  Glorious.  Normally we are on fire warming the house because winter is coming.  … but not this year.  Too warm.  Though, I have maintained the “warm room” in case we suddenly drop below double digits.

Baby Head

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A mother friend of mine ( three kids, nobel gal ) and I had an exchange.  I forgot something or stumbled and told her, “baby head”  because sometimes with so many lives to raise, you forget things.  Simple things, like the price per kilo of the beef you are selling.  And she told me this, which I hold dear to my heart, ” don’t worry, when the youngest turns six … you get your head back.” … or something like that.  WHAT?!  I get my head back?  For some reason, I thought I was supposed to get my head back when they turn three or four.  SIX?  Are you serious?

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Now, I’ve had my head on pretty well, but I must admit, as my youngest turns six in a week, I’m firing on all cylinders.  WAIT!  We can do this!  and then this!  Why haven’t we done that?!  Clear as day. Only partially the way through raising people, lots of experience with the bubbles.  Now trending the tweens and teens.  … Baby Head is a thing of the past.  Now, we need to get these kiddies to be good people.