Les Impôts

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It’s tax season here in France.  I do the entire year over a week or so.  I have ambitions of resolving each month like a responsible person, but I get carried away in the thrill of selling beef and chicken.  Oh and the four crazy kids we have.

My head is full of numbers, receipts, where did I put that thing?  Who is this guy we paid money to?  What was it for?  Naturally, when someone asks me to do something fun other than tax work, I’m on it.  So when Celi ( from The Kitchens Garden ) asked her followers to show where we write I thought, ” PERFECT!!! ”

I normally write a quick something while everyone is requesting me to do other things than write a blog post.  I can usually deflect and postpone, but then eventually, I have to publish and hope for a few jokes without tyops.

Our two useless farmdogs sunbath and keep me company.

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And the boring stuff has its own space until I am finished. Les Impôts is “taxes” in French.  I must admit, Les Impôts sounds more approachable than “taxes.”

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Though, I am collecting a list of words that do NOT sound better in French.

Exhibit A:

English: Tire

French: Le Pneu

The ‘p’ is pronounced.  “Pnew.”  If you need to talk to someone about tires in France, grab some tissues.

Here is the herd last night.  Another new calf.  Twenty so far.  Waiting on a few more.

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right, back to les impôts.  Now you know, I have to do this all over again in English for America … don’t get me started on that.  Totally sucks.

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France Likes To Fuck With You

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Over the years, in many friendly supermarkets, I’ve heard “fuck you ” songs blaring as I grab some milk and finish my shopping. C-Lo, Lily Allen … In our area, not many French people speak English.  Though I’m pretty certain they know the f-word.  I’m not sure how these songs are played in America, but I imagine, they are *bleeped*.  Fuck is a pretty strong word in America.  Not something you drop in a typical conversation.  The word “shit” is similar for Americans.  The French “shit” equivalent, “merde” isn’t as taboo.  It’s our “crap.”  I can only assume they feel the same way about “fuck” … this is totally based on the frequency in which I hear the word “fuck” in light conversation and on the radio.

So, when I tuned into RADIO FG, playing the sweet sounds of Billy Ocean, working out the logistics of getting out of my dreams and into my car …  they brought me back in, speaking English with a French accent, “Radio FG, FUCKING GOOD music.”  Thanks France!  Thank you for fucking with me!

The Day The Willow Fell

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Very windy today.  Off and on really.  Our poor willow has given up.  It gave up a branch late June ( More Willow Bye-bye ) and we took off another large branch in late July.  The last bit stood tall and strong, but we were going to cut it down in fall when our friend could lend a hand.  It seemed strong.   DSC_1124

As I was feeding the chickens, a gust of wind hit.  No big deal.  I heard Otto make a fuss, run inside and slam the door.  I saw the dogs dance.  And the angry bees became a black cloud in our courtyard.  Quickly, they flew back to their hive.  Then it was calm.  Poor Otto was stung on his ear.DSC_1121

We are having a beef sale today, so anyone who came to pick-up beef was advised and some knew of a “bee guy” to help remove the hive. Brent arrived back from Toulouse to see our new courtyard attraction.  He picked up some honeycomb.  So amazing.DSC_1119 I posted a photo on facebook and soon we had a friend interested in collecting the bees.  They are French.  The French word for “bee” is “la abeille.”  I had to quickly hop my fear of saying this impossible word in order to speak bee with them.  Since there was more than one bee, there were bees, les abeilles.  “layza-baaay.”  or something like that.  Up to this point, I’ve thwarted any use of les abeilles.

Our friends came with bee things.

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I don’t know nothing ’bout no bees, but in order to set up their new home my crème brûlée torch was needed.  Warmed up the wires for the new bee wax home.
DSC_1129In America, you often see one guy digging a hole and two others watching.  In this case, there was one guy with the bee-proof suit and two others helping in the distance.  These bees mostly stayed with the hive in the tree.  Occasionally a few would charge.   DSC_1138A bit of smoke and a shovel, B-dude got a bulk of the bees in their new home.DSC_1141The hive rests next to the tree for a few days so the rest of the bees can move in.DSC_1148

Hot Out, Let’s Eat Some Duck With The Village!

DSC_0716 July, the time of the village parties.  In July, we prepare Duck Confit and Fries. … and salad and cheese and the rest. Very hot last night, but with the breeze we managed to keep things moving. DSC_0690 Guests arrived for a giggle and a drink before dinner.  Our kids each drank a can of coke.  ’tis the season! They don’t drink Coke very often, so a nice cold “Coca” on a hot day is even better than a treat. DSC_0698 The confit is prepared in a large round hot plate that has some name in French that escapes me.  Though, I’m sure in French it sounds better than “large round hot plate.”   I grabbed this rare shot of the villagers “blessing” the Large Round Hot Plate.  All arms in, a chant in Gascon before they put the confit into the large round hot plate to be cooked and offered to the village. DSC_0689 .. that was a joke, I’m think they were testing the temperature.  … but it was a funny photo! After the chant, the duck legs go in and they cover with foil. DSC_0693 The music plays and the confit cooks. This guy had some sort of synth accordion magic going on.  He could play Kenny G as well as classic accordion hits.  Also 80’s memories for most of the audience, except me.  If only he knew Billy Jean. DSC_0705 A pick-up basketball game erupted with the hungry boys waiting for dinner. DSC_0697 Gratuitous Z photo demonstrating how cute she is and therefore I must be also this cute.  Them there eyes. DSC_0700 You know that feeling of an ice cold beer on a hot summer day?  Now add Peach syrup to that.  Think French Heifer Veizen.  AAAAaaaah. DSC_0712 A bit of texting next to the confit.  We’re not all that isolated in Kentucky France. DSC_0707 Good chats before dinner.  You can see by the still capture of mouth position, this group does not speak English.  There is a lot of passion in those lip positions.  Lots of vowels. Consonants tossed out like yesterday’s croissants.  If you want to express yourself in France, use your vowels. or shrug. DSC_0706 Confit about ready.  Frites are on. DSC_0713 Carlos, is ready to serve. DSC_0718 Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal.  We are still working out the timing of the frites, but when the frites arrived, they were great! DSC_0724   DSC_0727 Salad, cheese followed.  Then apple tart with ice craem.  coffeeDSC_0688 and some local Armagnac. DSC_0731 Then some dancing! DSC_0752 Even the dogs tucked in to the groove. DSC_0743  

Le Temps Est de la Merde

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This weather is shit!

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Only if you are of the ilk that needs sun in Spring.  I love sun in Spring, but our pasture loves the rain and sun in Spring.  I am waist high in grass, waiting for the rain to slow down for a mow.

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The animals are fine with this presentation of weather.  Not too hot, never hungry.  A good place to be as a farm animal.

The chooks have a different story.  Though they love the long days and grass and bugs and worms, they are not so fond of the rain.

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They come in early when it rains.

I checked on the chicks today.  I so love chicks.  Four are out and maybe two more.  Spotty is still keeping hope alive.  She is tending to her hatchlings while sitting on the remaining two eggs.  A few gasps of air and chicks start peeping and walking and demanding attention.  Amazing how quickly they go from yolk to chook.

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Though the weather is shit, I think it’s going to be a great summer.  We should have plenty of food.  Hay making might be tricky, but we don’t use much hay.

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Mr. Little Potato Head has it rough during these times.  Jiggy is giving him a little tour of the farm via his mouth.  This is what you do when it rains a lot.  You find children’s toys, carry them around in your mouth and suddenly everything is going to be okay … if you are a retriever.

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Hello World!

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Lucy had a fencing match today and all Brent got was this t-shirt.  “Adishatz” means “hello” and “good-bye” in Gascon.  I felt the need to give a snort-snort-out to all those computer nerds reading this.

Someone turned the sun on.  It didn’t ease in.  I’m still wearing double wool and fleece out of habit.  My red cheeks let me know that I’ve gone too far.

There is a lot of grass right now, but to slow the herd down a bit, Brent fed a bale on a lesser grassy paddock.  This gives the paddocks time to grow.

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The calves are still coming in.  Brent tags and castrates them on day one.  But what great fun to get out there and move the herd in this weather.  Southwest France is giddy.

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Vacation Loves Not Matter

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Always great fun to watch well known movies with French subtitles.  I believe the above is ” Summer fling, don’t mean a thing.”  But translated, “Love vacation is irrelevant” or “unimportant.”

“Quelles nuits” is when John T does his falsetto “niiiiHIGH….T”

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And when the gang “shoo-bop-bop”‘s … in French it is ” shoo-bop-bop.”  They can totally do that.  I seen it at Karaoke night in the village.

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