Our Dog Likes Figs


Fig season here.  Everyone loves figs.  Except me.  But it’s not about me.


Lumi spends a couple of hours a day hunting ripe figs.  Tricky things those figs.  Hard to catch.

He really shouldn’t be eating too many figs.  It keeps him too regular.  Over regular.


But he loves him some figs.  What’s a brutha gonna do?  He’s a Golden.


Farm Random


All crazy here.  Here’s my desk today.  It was clean moments before.  Now littered with Nerf guns, work gloves and stuffed cow.

Here’s a son of mine.  Still holding onto those moments.  He’s growing quickly.  Gaining opinions.  Our I.Q. is plummeting.  We’ll grab cuddles and piggy-back rides whenever we can.


Underneath that brown is a whole lot of green.


Knee deep in alfalfa.  In August.  We are smiling and smirking.


Brent rolls up the fence for the cows.  The cows are totally not interested.  They are fat and cool.  They will get to it when they are ready.DSC_1244

Funny cow yoga.  Not sure the pose name.  I think it’s Shoo Fly.DSC_1257

Into the woods.  We are clearing a parcel of land.  I grabbed a felfie.


After, the boys greeted Brent in the tractor.  All good boys love tractors.


Here is the herd not interested in the new food.  They would rather chill in the wind.DSC_1268

Today, In Phone Photos … Phonetatoes


Child four on outside lounge.

Ying and Yang … or Dumb and Dumber ( Dummer? sp? ) chewing a leg and a tail.


Dutiful retriever fetching clean laundry to be washed and folded again.


Hungry farmer eats a snack before more cutting of the hay.


Farmer Croc that I totally block.  I don’t want to talk about it.  move along …

… oh but the little kitten holding tightly to the tractor key.  His name?  Renault Kitty.


And off he goes, to another paddock for to cut the hay.


… runs through a gate.  Whoops, the sun, you see is very bright at this angle.  The retrievers help out as best they can.


all good, waiting for Farmer man to come home…

Decathlon, But With Five Events, Three Retrievers, One Tantrum and One Potty Break


So that makes ten.

Otto practices the Shot Put with Golden Retrievers.  Result.  With a little convincing, you can have another go with the Shot Put.


The cows are in … just in case you were curious.  They are in Club Med today.  Though the sun didn’t shine much, so no little umbrellas at the water tank.


Everyone wanted to join in with Otto’s Track-and-Field day.  Zelie tossed a shot put, but then needed a drink ( and the potty ).


Minty had all intentions to join the fun, but let’s not get into Otto vs Minty.  Too close in age.  Younger, annoying sister meets older stupid brother.  Everything escalates based on those terms.


Javelin a-go-go.

Lucy stands strong.


Lumi squints.


Then the hurdles.


Timer on…


Great jumping!



Followed by the sprint.  Otto raising his winning hands even though Lucy is ahead.


And the Long Jump.



The fans went crazy.  Such support from the Courrensan family.


Le Temps Est de la Merde


This weather is shit!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


I Used To Love Bonfires


But now, I worry about them.  Perhaps too many years in Southern California where brush fires happen every year.  This one seems under control.  But you’ll notice that I don’t have any photos of the bonfire when Brent lit it.  He said it went very high.  He said he had to step back because it was too hot.  I was in the kitchen cooking lunch.


The kids and friends helped out a bit.  It’s fun to throw stuff on the fire.  Only for a little bit, until it feels like hard work.  That’s when Brent and Zelie kept going.

Lumi was right there working out what everyone was doing.  He gave us that look that says,  ” Why would you throw a perfectly good chew toy in a hot burny thing that I cannot retrieve?! ”  You people are crazy!


We got the kids back out there to finish the job.  Otto and his friend wanted something to toast ( of course ).  As I am an inadequate parent, I have nothing toasty to toast except meat, potatoes and eggs.  They chose an egg.  Wrapped in foil and on the white ash.  The egg is still out there, they forgot about it.  we’ll see what it looks like after a nice toasting in a hot bonfire.


Back when the vines were removed, more than seven bonfires were made scattered around the farm.   They were lit at the same time.  I didn’t sleep much that night or the night after ( though Z was a newborn so I didn’t sleep much anyway ).  It all worked out, though,  the cows graze those paddocks often.  Each year, the cows improve the fertility in the old vineyards.  This year especially.

Here is one of the vineyard bonfires.


Sunny, busy days


The grass is growing like grass in springtime.  The cows are super fat and happy.  They had a big move today.  It’s a bit tricky to get the herd moving with all the crazy calves.  We moved them across the road today, which usually goes smoothly.  But the calves, oh the calves.  A mom or two would stop in the road to make sure their calf was close by.  Blocking bovine traffic.  They figured it out.  Calves are crazy.  They usually follow their mum or the herd.  But, sometimes, if they get confused, they will run in infinite directions except  directly at you.  We try to shuffle them along with the herd.

After another big move to the yards, the cows went out to Detroit.  Then Hot 100 gave birth to a little, red calf.  Brent knew she was going to go today, so he wanted to get the herd to their new paddock before she gave birth.


When all was said and done, we went out to check “Hottie” and after a few pushes, out popped the calf.  She started licking it clean and a few other mums came to help out.  It takes a village to lick a calf clean.

The cows like to lick.


They lick new calves, older calves, each other, salt, Brent.


The sun has been so welcome here.  The kids have moved their play outside.  Sunbathing, cards, puzzles.  … ink pens.   Lumi and Jiggy found the ink pen.  They thought that was pretty cool.


Now that Spring has sprung, the clock is ticking.  Any posts that need to be pushed in need to be pushed in now before it’s too dry.  Fence lines need to be cleaned before the blackberries eat them.  Any seeding and soil working needs to get moving.  Eggs are coming in fast, so ice cream needs to be made.


Thankfully, There Was Tea


What a shitty day. No need to go into details. We’ll save that for the book we write ten years later.   “Too Many Heifers, Not Enough Hoes: Farming In France.”  … or whatever the title. ( that was a rap joke ).

Let’s focus on the positive. The Hilux was successfully pulled out of the mud. The truck you buy when you look for a sturdy, hard-arse, “what would the Taliban use?” vehicle to keep you going in tough terrain got stuck and pulled out of the mud, no issue. It is wet, wet, wet here at the moment. This was the easy part of the day.  Though, I learned of lot about 4×4 gear things and mud and low range.  On the job training, difficult, but your lessons are remembered forever. No time for multiple choice questions and grades.  Let’s get this truck out of the mud, shall we?

The herd munches down Nebraska ( the old corn field ).  Rain and rain and more rain.  They eat the hay and grass.  When Brent moves them the second time, the previous hay line has disappeared.  Great for the pasture.  There is a lot of grass in this paddock to keep the herd busy.

Lucy had the best tea party ever. Cucumbers were sliced. Jam was spread.  Cream cheese was found.  Great in so many ways.  She made lunch for everyone while I cleaned up the water that spilled in the kitchen and hallway from one little mouse with a bit of a drinking problem.  The water is sweeter in the drainhose of a dishwasher, words to live by … were you a little mouse ( see also, “fucking mouse chewed my dishwasher drainhose!”).  I never plan to write a book for children.  Anyway, here in France, they sell bread with the crusts cut off.  One Euro!


Still a few things left to do this evening.  But this family, we shall eat.  I made Goulash.  First time ever.  I was inspired by a customer.  Read also: “Where’s my Goulash?! ” husband whispers gently.  “What is Goulash?” I thought.  and “How do you spell it?”  Off I went with a recipe.  First time and the family seemed to enjoy it.  I’ll give ‘er another go.


More positive.  Our beef sale this Friday is totally sold out with peeps on the wait list.   We love feeding people tasty, yummy, quality food.


When you have a shitty day, like today, it’s good to step back and appreciate all the great things that you’ve worked on.  Kids, Friends, Customers, Food, Farm, Animals.  The Goldens, well, they tend to tend to themselves.