Summer rhythm

We are now finally settling into a summer rhythm. After all the births and the weanings and the schedules. The setting up and taking down and setting up again. the milking, the feeding,  the cooking and the gardening move in and out, giving and taking a little, but basically the days are settled  into a gentle jog, for a wee while.  Even the skies are the same each day. Light blue like a wheelers eyes. A couple of clouds, a lot of sky.

Mama is back with her little flock. Her lambs are weaned from her  and Minty is weaned from me.  They are in Pats Paddock for a while, there is not a huge amount of feed with all the dry weather but there is a  line of big old mulberry trees for shade, so it is a good mid summer field for these hot sheep. 

The bees are still working on some honey for the kitchen. But they all have three supers full of brood and honey. There is a lull coming in the flowers as the fields dry up and they will need honey for late summer as well as winter so I am pleased to report that they all have three heavy full supers of honey and brood.   Two is usually adequate. In autumn if we get a little rain there will be flowers again.

Daisy has her little herd in order. She leads them out into Daisy’s paddock and leads them back in to drink and for the milking. They all line up at the gate at milking time but only Daisy and Hairy MacLairy come through into the yards.  The Big Bobby (the steer) is on with Daisy and Queenie so I can look for any signs for fertility. He will try and mount them when they ovulate even though he is gelded. This will help me learn Daisy’s ryhthms as she will need to become pregnant again in a wee while.  I would rather she calved when the good spring grass is flushing.   

But we will see what her body decides. The ladies from the store sent out boxes of corn shucks yesterday. A favourite treat.

Today I shall make another batch of fresh cheese.  And rum and raisin ice cream. And maybe a cake for that Tall hardworking Teenager.

Good morning! Thank you so much for yesterdays comments. And yesterdays  readers. Thank you all.  Yesterday was a special day for us all on the blog. I decided not to leap in and out with my own thank yous and comments because your narrative began to join mine and the whole piece began to develop a character of its own. So anyone new visiting could see that grief and hard work are universal and  can be sustained and can be managed.  We, all of us, in our hard times know that we can go on.  You and I are lucky to have each other though.

But usually I do like to answer the comments you leave for me. I come in and out during my day on the farm to see what you have said, I especially love it when you have conversations with each other when I am not watching. That makes me laugh. The Kitchens Garden comments section is such fun!  Don’t forget that if you write a page and want me to read it leave a message to that effect so I can zoom straight over.

I keep meaning to say – if you see a picture that you like and you want to keep it just go ahead and do so.  You don’t have to ask me. If you pop it on your blog I know you will leave a credit. If you would like to print an image let me know though and I will email you the image in high resolution.  The web ones will not print well from the web format.   They are all pretty ordinary really.

I have discovered to my delight that some of the animals are already screen savers on computers around the world.  So just steal away.  If you don’t have enough words of your own borrow mine. I don’t mind. My words are your words.  We all use the same words I don’t own them.  Just write celi always said before you quote me.  Each of the stories that are being worked up to go in the books will be longer, fuller and more colourful.  Then you may pay for them if you want to.  Otherwise just steal away.

And thank you for yesterday. Such a wonder.

Did I tell you that I am developing muscles on my arms. last night after I had showered and dropped my nightie over my head I lifted my hair to plait it and saw these little bumps on my upper arms. I thought it was a shadow. So with my arms raised and bent behind my head, still holding up my hair, I looked more closely and yes. Those three finger muscles in front of my shoulder, what are they called were quite defined.  I moved my arms back and forth to watch them work. And the biceps in my arms were popping up in funny little lumps. Goodness. It must be all the buckets.  It reminded me of that line my Dad used to say “The muscles on her scrawny arms stuck out like spiders knees.”

“Look” I said to John, turning to him. “I’ve got muscles.”

He raised his eyes from his book and squinted. “Where. ” he said.

I turned back to the mirror. I look in a mirror once a day so it is always a surprise to see me there and I thought. Well, the sad thing about that is he was not even trying to be funny!

Do you remember only a few months ago when we were creeping back up from the dark cold winter all weak and pale and wobbly. I bet you are all developing your summer muscles too as the rhythm of your summer defines your body. And you winter people will be working to keep strong for your summer.

Big breath. Have a lovely day.

celi

86 thoughts

  1. i am surprised you don’t have huge muscles with all the work you do! we had rain for a whole 5 seconds this morning…a small miracle! we are also about to get really hot again. i can’t wait for some cool weather. i wonder if it will be a hot fall too?

  2. I remember the first time I felt my own muscles. I was 13 and my family was clearing a right-of-way through the woods for the power line. We were getting ready to move to a farm, and there was plenty of work to be done. Once we had a road, power, water, and a septic system, we moved our trailer onto the farm and off the rented lot.

    • Well you certainly must have got muscles doing all that work, and i imagine moving through the woods like that must have contributed to your love of nature that we see now on your blog pages.. c

  3. I hope you got some of that rain yesterday and just forgot to mention it. We got well over a half inch, which is more than we’ve had for the past month. It was nice seeing puddles again. A great photo of Minty, head through the fence, enjoying a good, behind the ear scratch. Sometime she seems more dog than lamb.
    Well, I’m off to the farmers market and a huge garage sale-like event. Have a great day, Celi!

      • Not liking raisins……hmmmm. Gelato di Fragole is very good……he will enjoy. If you put the alcohol in at the hot custard stage; it will evaporate off with the heat. Strawberry framboise or daiquiri ……now wouldn’t that be good.
        I’m organising a few summer recipes for you; no desserts as yet…….that is your forte……e

  4. What are “supers of honey and brood”. I was thinking it was a play on words and then it occurred to me that I know little or nothing of bees. Is this technical bee talk? Apart from that, good to hear that all is well on the farm.

    • A super is the box..Each holds ten trays that slide in vertically, for the bees to build their combs on. The big ones are for bee honey and brood and the slim little ones are for my honey. well done asking though roger I just chat on forgetting that I need to clarify some words.. c

    • A cow will naturally come back into season about 6 weeks to two months after she calves. They give about 6 – 8 months of milk. I hope to dry Daisy up about three to four months before she births the next calf. But this also depends on how much milk she is giving, you can’t just dry a cow up unless she is ready.. so we will see.. she is a big milker, c

  5. I love your stories and wish I had time to join in on the conversations, but some days I just get to read you on my phone and continue working. I’m glad you share them and I don’t feel like the only one sitting in my laundry basket :-).

    Yes, Blossom is weaned. From the bottle, but not from her cot. She’s been going out some with the bigger flock, but doesn’t feel comfortable enough to stay out there with them for long. She’s good buddies with the guard dog though so whenever she’s ready, I know she’ll have a watchful eye when I am not there.

    Enjoy your day :-)

  6. I think you’ve just coined a new phrase…an emotional meltdown will henceforth be known as a Sitting in the Laundry Basket moment. Just ’cause we’re (mostly) grown up doesn’t mean we’re immune to them, eh?
    Enjoy the rythmic pace of the day…I’m afraid to write about it. Might jinx things ;)

    • I know what you mean, i was tapping my head as I wrote it!! I think these endless hot dry summer days contribute to the lazy rhythm.. and you are right about our new phrase!! we will; all understand what we mean when we say it!! c

  7. Are you turning into Arnold? I would love to have more muscle definition it’s just you can’t wish for it, you have to work for it. Sounds like the farm is giving you a good workout! xx

    • John and I are thrilled at how hard he is working. He gets up at 6 am when I start outside and works with me until I am done.. Mainly he does the waters and the pigs. AND he has expressed an interest in milking Daisy.. how is that for fantastic! morning Audrey.. c

      • I would say that is mighty fantastic. Simply to get a teen out of bed at 6 a.m. is a miracle. Well, at least my teen. So good to hear that he is helping you with the watering and is showing an interest in milking. A mighty fine young man, I say.

  8. Morning, Celi. I had a miserable day yesterday that I don’t wish to repeat soon. It also meant that I didn’t have a chance to read your post yesterday, so I’m off there now to see what’s up. You have me worried now.

    I also love the photo of Minty. Precious.

  9. I take my coffee with a bit of cream, but lately I have been adding some honey–the sweetness of your blog each day.

    • fantastic alice, honey in coffee is divine (but I have run out!!) I also skim the cream off for my coffee, i love hot heavy rich creamy coffee! a little honey every day is great for your health too.. c

  10. I think I need a tall teenager….today I will have a “short person” otherwise known as
    Little Boy Blue to his Nanster.
    ..a delight of a 4 year old who sometimes says.”.why do you
    call me littleboyblue ?” I don’t have an answer..just a smile.

    A delightful day ahead to all !!!! Let’s keep building muscles and friendships !

  11. The title shows you are very much in tune. This time of year reminds me of a child outside slowly swinging back and forth.
    Rum and raisin homemade ice cream? ( or even just strawberry). Surprised you don’t have a line outside your door.
    Celi, you have a lot of “muscle” – some may not show in the mirror.
    The post yesterday was outstanding: vivid and universal. As fine as any Oscar winning movie.
    The land and farmy couldn’t be in a better guardian’s hands.
    Enjoy the summer! (and try to keep cool)

  12. Your generosity of spirit in granting licence to use your work is unsurpassed. I’m always quoting you, as your wisdom deserves the widest possible audience (and I don’t mean the size of our behinds!). I’m dropping with sleep after the 6-our Carnival lunch, so I will come back later to read the “conversations”. If you want to read about the shennanigans of the last couple of days, venture over to http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/6-word-saturday-31/ Today’s repas makes the others pale into insignificance!

  13. I used to say “I have all sorts of muscles, here you can feel it just under this little layer of fat:D” I bet you’ve got muscles girl, and nice tanned skin.. what a healthy and invigorating life you lead, c! xo

  14. I have to tell you Celi, that in my mind you have wonderfully sculpted arms! You just must with as much work as you do! And may I say that I relish in your generous spirit. It is a lovely quality, and how special to consider your photos have traveled all over the world. The rhythms of summer surely come through to start my day with joy, and I wish I could taste a bit of that rum raisin ice cream! One of my favorites! :-) Debra

      • Back again….recipe for Malaga.
        4 oz /scant 2/3 cup raisins
        3 oz /1/3 cup dark rum
        16 oz /2 cups full cream milk
        4 egg yolks
        4 oz /1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
        2 tsp vanilla
        9oz /generous 1 cup mascarpone
        Make in your usual way up to custard stage, until it reaches 167F. Allow to cool. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Add the custard a little at a time to mascarpone, whisking between each addition until smooth. Strain the rum from the raisins over the custard and mix well. You usually need to freeze overnight. Tranfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.

  15. I have always longed to have arms like Linda Hamilton in Terminator II. Ever see that movie? I know now that this will probably never happen, ha ha! But I have gotten rid of my flabby winter body and do have a few farming muscles, thank goodness! I have been working so hard here, I haven’t had time to respond, but I loved yesterday’s story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful words. I have been in that place too. Life is so hard sometimes, and so beautiful, all balled up together! Every time you share one of your stories, it makes me understand where your wisdom comes from. You are a beautiful person and I wish we lived close enough to visit!

  16. It was funny reading this, and the comment about Madonna. Madge and I were born on the same day (as was Angela Bassett). I decided years ago that I didn’t have to get old until Madonna got old. I think I’m safe awhile. You don’t want to be like her, however. She doesn’t have big muscles. Instead, she’s allowed her body to be devoid of body fat, so that it appears she’s “defined.” It’s kind of gross.

    I can picture you with your muscles. :) I just adore the 2nd photo, and the mutual lamb affection. Priceless.

  17. Dear, dear Celia, Why am I not surprised to read about the bees. I’m finishing my morning cup of coffee and spending time on the Farmy. Oswald, gentleman rabbit (see Chronicles of Oswald gentleman rabbit in the right column) is ecstatic over your bees. He is campaigning to turn water gobbling lawns, ditches and vacant lots from green barren areas to flowers. His concern is the rapid demise of bees world wide. Two French rabbits from Monet’s Girverny are assisting him. Virginia

    • he is very right to do so i think. One of the main reasons the bees are disappearing is so is their food source.. how simple to fix is that! healthy well fed bees are more likely to fight off diseases and predators.. Tell Oswald and his french rabbits I applaud their efforts!

    • Those bees have trouble in droughts as well , when their flowers dry up they begin to gobble up their own honey, So I am leaving them extra this year.. morning celia.. c

  18. I did weight training for about 25 years and suddenly became soooo bored with it all. I walk instead and do as much labour as is needed on my property. So I’ve lost my muscles and I miss them. Actually, I miss the definition. However, I like my natural body shape better – muscles that form due to “life’s chores”.

    I’m doing catch-up – your story about fatigue really gripped me. I see some single moms looking so harried and stretched. I suspect your story tells theirs. It’s a reminder to step in and help out. Doing even the tiniest gesture, making life just a little easier, can be the acknowledgement needed to help mom get through the day!

    • yes that dreadful tiredness can be wretched .. I only get summer work muscles.. in fact i have never been to a gym in my life..if i could read a book while weight training i would probably do it though!! .. c

  19. I can attest to the benefits of a farmy screensaver – the shot I borrowed of the cats lifts my work day. I try to work just on one screen, and glance from time to time at cats on the other – the farmy virtually co-exists 26 floors up in a highrise office in Sydney’s CBD near the harbour ;) How kind are the ladies from the store with their corn husks, and yes, forever more we will be having “Laundry Basket” moments but not too many I hope…

  20. Celi always said, “Just write celi always said before you quote me.” And it’s a funny thing, too because my father Ray always says, “Just write Ray says before you quote me.” Got him to say that again last week as a matter of fact.

  21. I can see the calm in your pics today C!
    Right, so all I have to do to get rid of the flap and cellulite is pop over and spend a summer with ou – awesome!
    Have a beautiful week ahead C. :-) Mandy xo

  22. Celi,
    Your blog (+ a couple of others) give me such strength of spirit to open myself up to the basic goodness of humankind. When all around me are hysterically screaming doom and gloom, all I have do do is open your blog and even through your hard toil, death and torturous weather there is Hope and Joy and Love and Peace. What more could one ask for? Thank you from the bottom of my heart, -Nikki

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