When Your Parents Are Listening And You Don’t Realize

young doop and otto

We’ve been on the farm for quite a few years at this point.  It’s hard to believe how big the kids have grown.  As we grow as parents, we ( okay, I ) are comfortable letting the kids walk the farm alone. …. far from the house.  At their age now, no big deal.  When they were young, they carried a walkie talkie ( “talkie walkie” in French ).  Today, I giggled on a memory of Lucy and Otto exploring the farm as young single-digit kids.  They both had walkie talkies.  I also had one at the house in case they got lost or needed something.

We heard their conversation on the walkie talkie as they commented on what they saw.  They also separated at one point and kept the dialog going.  I don’t remember when their argument began, but things were going down. Otto grumbled something at Lucy.   They were new with the walkie talkies, so it was hard to hear what they were saying.  Lucy screeched something back.  Otto made another grump at Lucy.  Shit got real.  Then, there was silence.

Brent and I waited to hear what would happen next.  Then, clear as day, Otto pushed the speak button and said, “FUCK YOU.”


This Is Not How You Act In Public


I took my child … monsters … to the mall yesterday.  All day.  We were preparing for school.

son: what is a mall?
me: this …..
son: oh, covered shops

It was the best of times Supertramp. … as Google dropdrown suggests. They were loud.  They settled arguments.  They didn’t care or know their volume was not appropriate.  Thankfully we ate at a loud restaurant.  I had to remind them, often, that people don’t act like this in public.   We completed our goal of school clothes, but one step less on supplies.  S’okay because fitting four children for school can take some time.  Especially if you have a teen or tween leading the way.

After much success with the boy child, we took a break and ate some lunch at the Potato-ry.  While waiting, we locked in to Rébus.  Pictures making French words.  COOL! … Z didn’t know the game so loudly forced me to ask the waiter in charge to explain the game.  Once we got the gist, we solved the mystery.  Can you?


Tonight, the kids continue to build Camp Grasspunk Kids.  Otto built a campfire for S’mores.  He learned how to do it safely on the internet.


Lumi attended to any left marshmallow sticks.  He’s always their to help, our Lumi.


There are two 3-peeps and one 2-peep in the compound.  We’ve not had our children in our home since early July.  This is how we roll.

The Day That Graycute Died


Graycute died today.  He was our barn cat. He arrived in a bucket on a Wednesday with three other kittens.  Wednesday is when the kids didn’t go to school.  I’m sure this was planned by our neighbour farmer with stray kittens in the barn looking for homes.  We grabbed a few and carried on.  He lost three lives with us.  First time, we ran over him with the truck.  He was a kitten and we didn’t have kittens-seeking-shade protocol.  He recovered without intervention.  His bones were still soft.  Second, I gave him raw meat that was too big.  His throat was blocked … I scooped it out in time.  Third, I ran over him in the Skoda … silly cat was a car enthusiast.   But, he lived on for many years.  He had his own theme song.  He had a number one hit single “Liver.”

Liver!  Oh! Liver!

So tasty and tender!

I eat it for breakfast and


Liver!  Sweet Liver!

Yum Yum Yum it’s Liver!

You eat it for breakfast and



He was a permanent fixture here on the farm.  In the winter, he would warm Brent’s lap in the evening and then cuddle up to Lucy while she slept.

On the way to the vet, he died in Lucy’s arms.  I’m not sure what his cause of death was, but it was too soon.  He was a young cat with many years to carry out his business on the farm.

Though he was just a cat, his quick and sudden death reminds you that you need to enjoy every moment shared.   With anyone.  You never know when they may not be with you even though you think they will always be there.

I am a Graycute




F-ing Calves



Calving season is never dull.  There is stuff to do when they are born.  There is the making sure mom and calf have bonded … usually good.  Then, there are nutty calves a week old that like to run around and chase each other.  Age appropriate behavior, but GEEZ ….

Today’s move was a bit animated.  The running calves set the herd off a bit.  They settled soon enough.  Though, two silly buggers got stuck in an empty riverbed covered in blackberries.  Brent hopped in and with HIS BARE HANDS started ripping the brush away to get to the calves.  He called for back up.  I showed up with a ski pole and Cindy ( our garden lopper ), he requested a tough, yellow fence post.  He managed to chop his way through, lift the calves to high ground and get them back with the herd.



No photos.  Just didn’t think of it as I was worried about the calves … ah!  and my husband!  But I do have a photo of one of our rump steaks.  I ate it with veg and it was tender and delicious.



Impromptu Car Show At the Farm


Some blokes popped over with their crazy cars this evening.  Super cool.  There’s the blue one … which is a Cobra.  The Green one which is a  … uh … super cool one.  The red one which is a Jag.  Sexy, but I’ve never seen a Jag look like that.  A black one which is a bad-ass Merc AMG with extra foam.  AND the sweet Miata.  Black like mine ( back in the day ) without the bordello red interior.  Rosebud, The Technical, posing in the background, handled the visitors with pride.

I love it when people pop by, especially when driving interesting cars.  I gave them a coffee offering from Orac our seventh fambly member.  Then off they went, driving one mile an hour down our dodgy driveway.  I was impressed they took their beauties up to see us.  Thanks guys!


Without my superhuman camera, I got slightly motivated to do some food photography.  Here is Steak.  We are getting better and better marbling with our beef.  I cooked and ate that steak.  It was fantastic.  I don’t like to eat fat on a steak, but that steak with its grass-fed fat … delicious.  I am biased, but the fat had flavor.

Hot Day, Water M.I.A.


Nice, hot August day yesterday.  It was all going fine.  Then, the water shut off.  This happens occasionally, usually with warning.  But not yesterday.  5:ish on a Friday, no water.  I waited for it to return.  One hour.  Another hour.  Worried about the weekend,  I went into town to see if I could see anything.  There was a digger and a very long pipe being carried by a local water peep.  They were working on it. Whew!

We have a well for backup and someday for year-round service, but the pump is busted.  Worried about the animals, we called our fix-it guy and he came around to get the pump going again.  Unfortunately he needed pieces to fix it and the shops were closed. Here in country France, the shops close.  No 24 hour business.  A bit more worry.

I contacted my friend and she told me a little diddy I did not know.  When the water is out and you are a farmer with animals, the fire department will bring water to your animals.  How fucking cool is that!?   We could fill a couple of water dishes ( I say dishes, but my kids swim in them ) for the cattle.  Turns out, the water was fixed just as our fix-it man was fixing the well.  We all good.  Then I flushed the toilet, washed my hands and made some espresso.  No need to call the fire department.

In other water news, we have new waterers for the chickens which are okay.  Definitely better than their plastic predecessors.  Otto and Brent below constructing them.  … as well as new feeders to save on food spillage costs.


Here’s the big bad boy sitting off in the distance as we chill into dusk.  Jiggy, the fuzzle butt, sits close.  Lumi sits away, guarding us from those aggressive owls.


A Lawn Mowed by Cattle


This is what they did to that mowed paddock.  They mowed it a bit more.  Uniformly cut to perfection.

Tonight, the herd is back to work cleaning up paddocks.  This paddock isn’t stockpile, but as you can see, it’s not perfect.  They aren’t picky.


Here’s the photo from yesterday for comparison.  Both taken within five minutes after the move.

In other news, this bad boy can climb hay bales.  Lucy took this photo while out on a walk.  He’s very pleased with himself.