This Old Gascon Farm House


Some not too ancient wiring has triggered intermittently for some unknown reason. The dishwasher must carry on, so we’ve plugged it into the new wiring.

This is what it looks like to reduce sauce without task lighting. All good.


Sauce reduced, dinner served, another calf born. We’re not certain to which cow, but Brent will work it out after dinner, after sleep and after the morning move.

Which ‘i’ will it be? I can’t wait for “Inseminator.” And “Intendo.”

Project Warm

farmer brent

We’ve been in our house for a couple of weeks.  Our warm days are diminishing along with the warm rock walls of the house.  Kevin is visiting from Seattle with “mousse expansive” blocking every drafty leak he can find.  A small lizard came peaking through underneath a door yesterday, so there are still a few to do.  It’s amazing what blocking a little air gap will do.  You can feel the difference almost instantly.  The aesthetic is interesting to say the least, but gosh darn it, we’ll be warm which is important.

smeggs herding kevin

Brent has done enough research on wood burning stoves that I feel a blog post coming soon.  Tomorrow, I think we’re laying down some cash for one (maybe two) wood burners that will push “project warm” one step further.  We’re racing against cold nights and new baby being born very, VERY soon.  Newborns have a tough time regulating temperature; we don’t want it to be drafty and cold for the wee one.  The plan is to get the house livable for the winter so we can get started setting up the farm.  As it is, we are waiting for the farmer who is renting the land to wrap up his work, move some cattle, hay and silage so we can start the fencing and water plan.

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Lucy’s birthday is in a few days.  She’ll be a sassy eight year old.  As I try very hard not to have a baby early, we’ll pull something together to celebrate her special day.  She has had so many big parties in the past, I think it might be nice to keep it small this year.  I suspect she’ll disagree.

Project CleanUp

It’s late.  Tomorrow is the last day of school for the kids.  We have a toilet that flushes.  We have hot water.  But most importantly, we have internet.  Michael and his magic Munson managed to get the fancy-pants interwebs box working.  Brent and I bought some beds, so really, we can call the farm our new home.  We will be sleeping there imminently.  There is still a lot of clean up work to do and a cooker would be nice.  Who doesn’t love camping!  Scouring years of dirt, grime and Armagnac grit is no trivial task.  Thankfully we have help.  Lucy came out to the farm today to do a little work on her room which is directly over the kitchen.  After a big sweep and a few ideas on what to do with the small hole in her floor (laundry shoot or dumbwaiter), she gave the room a big brushy, moppy scrub.  It didn’t take long for her to learn that she could mop her floor AND the kitchen floor at the same time.  With a little feedback from me, the recipient of the soapy shower, she reduced her water usage.  The floors upstairs would be considered subfloors in America.  For now, they’ll do.

A Little Peek in the Before

sunned flowers

And so we begin. Brent and I are excited to move onto the new farm, but there are some details to get worked out before I (the pregnant one) and the children will be comfortable. Working toilet, hot water, stove, remove dead owl were I to name a few. This is not a “dream home” project. We are not remodeling. We want to get the place clean, equipped, free of nature’s wild kingdom and warm for winter. We are farmers, so that’s where the attention must go. A lot of before-shots have been taken as we marched our way to purchase.  Here’s a few to log where we start. I’m curious to see how long the rose bathroom will last. The tile is in good condition. I can’t think of a better way to complete a movement then a wash over the pink bidet.

The cooking and eating rooms are separate. The “Galley” is where the cooking and cleanup will be done. There is two-phase, three-phase, nan0-phase, heli-phase oodle-phase in that little hallway kitchen, so my dream espresso machine may soon be a reality with the many café closures providing a surplus of commercial machines. I hope one has my name preferably in Italian written on it.

The dinning or “Mess” is going to be warm and hold cookbooks and plates as far as we know. Brent and I tossed around the idea of an Aga or wood burning type cooker for that space which ended with a resounding – too much money spent to cook a Pot-au-feu. You can simmer a cheap beef stew on a wood burning unit that will heat the room more efficiently.