Go West Young Man

Actually it is me who is going out West.  On Wednesday.  The Matriarch and I (in my favourite  role as the Handmaiden) are flying out to California to attend  her eldest son’s wedding and  then I am sloping off to visit my son and his family.  Would you like to come along? Oh? Really?! Cool.  There are some lovely images I want to collect for you on the travels. Plus visiting my Third Son and his lovely wife will be all about the food and the garden. I am FedExing lamb overnight to their place, with honey and lavender jelly. So we will be cooking Mama food every day. And I will have a team there so we can blog much more efficiently.

As you know I prefer not to eat processed foods and  travel is always a whole day – we have a two hour bus ride to the airport in Chicago, then a 4 hour wait for the plane, then we fly to Denver then on to  Sacramento. After all that bananas get kind of boring. So you and I can research the airport food and Celi Diet options. (I tried on  The Dress – a Vintage crochet silk, hope I don’t pull a thread!!- and  it is still just a teensy bit snug).

I actually love airports and planes and travel. I love the anonymity of the crowds. The bustle fades off into white noise and I do some of my best work in the cafes, restaurants (and OK – bars!) in those dark corners of airports.  The Matriarch is a great reader and can sit for hours with a book so we are perfect travel companions. So Wednesday if all goes well I will be writing to you from the airport.

Secondly I am still writing The Big Work  and I think it is important that I do keep adding to it every day, so I am working on ways to write on the move. Taking the lap top is only one part of it. I have to take my scene by scene worksheets and my notes. So much for travelling light.  But taking the laptop means I can take you on my travels. We will see about the packing tomorrow.

The third thing, and probably the first thing you thought of,  is leaving the animals. This takes some organisation. I am not irreplaceable and John will take over. So I am busy making sure that everything is at hand for him,  and especially that Daisy is very secure. I have separated the calves from Hairy M’Clairy so he cannot bully them and steal their food. I have organised it so that they all drink from one big central tank placed in a shared corner of the fields and the barn, which will be easier for John to fill with the new hose. All their entrances and exits are logical and secure.  I have been feeding them on John’s time scale for a while now, so they are used to a very early feed and a very late one.  The birds are all free range with an emphasis on free, so they are easy. TonTon and Big Dog get a dog-walker. She will come every lunch time to take them for a big walk. As long as she carries his frisbee TonTon will follow her anywhere. Who knows what Big Dog will do. John will do the morning and evening walks after feeding out. Hope he can keep up.

So there you are. You are in the loop! TonTon knows something is afoot..


113 Comments on “Go West Young Man

  1. So glad to hear that you’ll have a chance to visit your Son & Wife! You must be thrilled. And I’m positive you’ve left nothing to chance and have everything laid out for John while you’re gone. It’s not in your nature to do otherwise. 🙂 Have a safe trip, a wonderful visit, and come home refreshed and with more material, both for the blog and your book.

    • Thank you John. if everything goes according to plan we will be making Big Mama dinners and I will post a few of them too.. c

  2. Godspeed, and we are happy to come along (through your pics) 🙂 I can’t wait to hear the ‘Celi Diet While Traveling’ too!

    • Thanks Katerina, it is so hard to eat healthily while travelling, so i will certainly spend some time on that! c

  3. Love the colors in the pictures and Lavender jelly? You are soooooooooo killing me with all of that good food! Have a safe and fun trip and remember unless you have a different way to connect to the internet…most airports charge you for WiFi.

    • I know, some are good and some not so good, hopefully Midway does not charge as we will be there for quite a while.. I will stay in touch though! c

  4. Dogs always know what packing means…. And so there is a dress to be fitted into… ah ha! Have a wonderful super time and enjoy every minute of it and we’ll be here when you get back too 🙂

    • TonTon is still in the bedroom wrapped in his blanket trying to stare down the suitcase Joanna.. he is the hardest to leave! i am taking some sourdough starter with me too so that we can bake bread in Cali!! i will let you know how that goes! c

  5. Sweet photo of TonTon – yes, they always do know when we’re going away. I rescued a little dog a couple of months ago, and she is fastened to my side whenever possible. She will respond to my husband’s gentle hand, but as it was likely men who did her in to begin with, she prefers women. I’ve not yet taken off for more than a day since we’ve gotten her, so it remains to be seen how she would do.

    Meanwhile, have a great week, and enjoy your time away!

  6. Oh! I’m so excited about that trip 😉
    I’m sure is going to be so much fun.
    Bon voyage mon ami!
    PS.: don’t forget to post a photo of The Dress

    • Thank you for the weather update .. The Matriarch is terrified of being buried in snow and missing the wedding. I could not help myself and told her to bring an extra book just in case!! c

  7. Oh yippee yay, we are going on a trip – can’t wait to see all of the wedding photos and I bet you look like a million bucks in your beautiful vintage crochet silk dress.
    Sounds like Your John will do just fine whilst we are away.
    🙂 Mandy

    • It is a gorgeous old dress and as long as I stand very straight and keep my belly tucked in I will be fine.. I shall have to survive on champagne .. there is no eating in this dress, Mandy!!! but i love it so! c

  8. Have a safe and fun trip. I can’t wait to hear the stories along the way. Oh, tell me how are you going to get sour dough starter through security. Yes officer, I know it is bubbling but it is really not a bomb…just for baking homemade bread.

    • oh that would be so funny!! i am checking in a bag that i am taking mostly empty as I intend to fill it with lemons over there and bring them back here to make limoncello, so i will pop it into that bag and hope for the best! You are so funny karen, bet you know all the tricks with all your travelling..celi

  9. I Skype’d my eldest son, his wife, and my two grandchildren last night. They live in Hawaii, so they’re literally on the other side of the world from me. It was a delight to see them all but it breaks ones heart when you have to say goodbye. They say the world is a smaller place because we travel here and there at a drop of a coin, but I tell you what, if the world is a smaller place then why do they feel so far away. I hope you enjoy every second with your son and his wife, and that you create long-lasting, wonderful memories of your trip.

    • I know exactly what you mean Ms Misk. I have kids in Canada, London and NZ, and am not in possession of a fortune so the world really is not that small! We will have a great time in california, like me, my son loves to cook and garden so we are busy all the time. I am hoping to be able to share some with the food with you all.. c

  10. Have a safe trip and enjoyable stay.
    And say “hi” to my west coast friends. 🙂

    • I shall wave to them as I whizz past, now Back to Work my friend Klaus! How many words are you up to? I will pop over and see if your blog can get me up to date! c

      • Thank you! You’re right. There’s still time for a few more words today.
        I’ve also just performed my NaNo Writing Buddy duty and sent a few words of encouragement to those who are currently below that word count average line.

  11. Never again will I complain about organizing food for the family when I travel! I can’t imagine getting a whole farm ready!! Enjoy your trip… because then we will enjoy right along with you!!

    • I have also put food in the freezer for John as he is working ridiculous hours at the moment. Chances are he will ignore it all and eat panfried shrimps and vegetables. And i will enjoy my trip Smidge and we will see what we will see! ..c

  12. You probably will think the rooster is my favorite part of this post, but it’s not. OK, it’s tied with TonTon, who knows you’re leaving look at those eyes. Best wishes to the happy couple.

    • When I was cropping that rooster I thought to myself Katherine will like this one, he has the classic rooster colours.. and poor old TonTon, now he has his head laid on my foot. all doe eyes and sugar! c

  13. So you’re going on holiday, going to a wedding and visiting family. That mean’s we get to come along for the ride too. Yaaay!
    Oh, and I’m waiting for the Limencello recipe NOW 🙂 A friend has the alcohol, we just need to source really good lemons and score a great recipe 🙂

    • There are two stages. I will give you the first stage now as I know this bit off by heart.

      Get a really large glass jar, pour in two 750 bottles of 100 proof vodka (or ONE 750 ml bottle of Everclear, very scary stuff – I use vodka) add the yellow rind of 15 big home picked lemons, sit for 40 days and 40 nights in a cupboard!
      Now, you can peel the lemons ( my choice) or use a zester, but make absolutely sure you only get the yellow rind, no white bit. The white bit is nasty. Add the thin strips of rind into the alcohol as you go, so it does not dry out.
      I have the next two stages written down in a book somewhere and will write them up for you when i get back. But you may as well get a head start. I say use home picked lemons because the ones you buy in the supermarket are coated in wax. You do not want to the waxy ones.
      Let me know how it goes. The secret is to give the rinds lots of time in the Wodka!. c

      • Oh bless you, in the midst of your menagerie and packing, you are writing recipes 🙂
        I think we have the scary alcohol, it’s from Poland, so is probably even more scary! I was planning on gettig some organic unwaxed lemons. And I’ll be sure to make notes and take photos along the way. I just need to remind my friend that he said we could use his alcohol….
        have a WONDERFUL holiday!

  14. Rather you than me on the journey: I loathe airports with all the “hurry up and wait” and it always inspires me to angry poetry! That cockerel of yours is a very handsome fellow.

    Have a wonderful time.

  15. Have a great trip and thank you for taking us all along with you. That’s mighty nice of you. 🙂 and yes, the animals always know when something is going on like you going away no matter how carefully you plan things so they don’t see the suitcases until the night before or you take out their travel cage (you know, the one you put them in when they get boarded or you take them to the vet) two months in advance so they don’t get suspicious. They always know and they always make you feel guilty about it. I used to leave my cat a pair of my PJs that I’d slept in for a couple of nights and put them on the bed and she would snuggle in them while I was away. Makes them feel secure that you’re coming back. 🙂 Enjoy California. It’s beautiful there.

    • That is such a sweet idea leaving your PJ’s. i immediately imagined leaving TonTon my long pink winter nightie and him sleeping on it then John thinking it was laundry and the tug of war as John tried to get it off him to throw into the washing basket! And I will be sure to write down any nice wines i find and you can tell me whats what! They have some good wines where i am going! ..c

  16. Ah, yes…I recognize that look on TonTon’s face. It’s the same one Sweet Cleo gets every time she sees a suitcase…
    Have a safe, wonderful journey!
    (OH! And about that ‘suck it in’ part…have you got a pair of Spanx? I’m still not sure if they’re doing the holding, or reminding me to do it, but they’re worth it in a dress like that! 😉 )

  17. Have an awesome trip, C! Lovely food and family go so well together, even if you have to travel such a long way to enjoy them. Thanks for bringing us along 🙂

  18. Everyone’s right: a glorious rooster indeed, and TonTon–well, he’s so beautiful and those eyes so unreasonably expressive, I just want to jump through the screen and give him a big hug and a good scratch behind the ears. I’ll do the same for you, sans ear-scratching, if you promise to have a wonderful expedition and come home well weighted will all of the requisite joyful memories! Godspeed, *god tur*, and a hearty Texan ‘Happy Trails’ to you!

    • Thank you Kathryn. Poor TonTon he sure knows how to pour on the tearful looks! I hope to keep you all up to date if I see anything exciting and the connections do what they are meant to.. c

  19. Can’t wait to read of your travel adventures and see all the wonderful places you will share via your always lovely images and words. Today’s are splendid. Safe travels, my dear, safe travels.

    • Thank you Audrey, First stop is chicago midway airport – i am sure i can find something interesting there!.. c

  20. Aw the animals always know when you’re getting ready to leave, for however long!

    Happy travels, I hope you have a wonderful time with your family!

  21. They are so lovely dear Cecilia. Have a nice and enjoyable journey! Safe travels too… I’ll be with you too 🙂 Thank you, with my love, nia

  22. Safe travels; sounds wonderful. I usually pack mixed nuts with cranberries, and some granola with a yogurt smoothy drink or 2…the longest travel day I had was from Albany to Jackson Hole, 17hrs…

    Enjoy! Enjoy!

    • That sounds like a super idea. i shall make myself a wee baggie of goodies for the first leg. Of course once I am through security all bets are off! 17 hours is a long day. Hopefully you were not driving!

    • This old laptop has done so many miles it should buy its own ticket, it is heavy enough, when it finally gives up the ghost i am going to buy one of those super light ones. but oh the joy of parking yourself on the floor next to an unused power outlet and just being able to connect and write while you wait. WIFI is the airports is a god send! c

    • Morning Gluten, I don’t know about the relaxing, family visits are all about the food so we will be prepping, cooking, planning or eating and having a great time.. c

    • You never know what will turn up for the camera Mimo, and you have taught me a lot about seeing the small things and the beautiful people.. c

    • Oh I am sorry to hear about your dog, was he the old one? It sad that they do not have as long a life span as people because we do get attached don’t we. c

  23. Ah, travel is in the air. When I am leaving activities for a relief teacher it is so time- and energy-consuming that I usually feel it would be easier not to go. Not so getting ready to travel afar – especially if there is a son at the end of it. Everything is worth the effort.
    I am riveted by the photo of the rooster. His colours and gloss show up so well.

    • My roosters are so pretty until they start to fight then they get a bit raggedy. I know what you mean about getting things ready for a relief teacher, every single thing has to be supplied for them. And even then they get a hard time. I think that is why I am a good traveller, I had to be very organised in the old days..c

  24. TonTon’s gorgeous – that’s the epitome of the phrase “puppy dog eyes”! The cockerel’s gorgeous too and I love the picture of the cow with the pumpkin in your last post.
    Hope you have a great time – that lamb sounds great!

  25. travel safely my friend! It is so amazing you can FedEX food 🙂 I love flying (have to as I do it so often) as long as I get the seat I like on the plane.

    • It is a good idea i think to try and love something you do so often. Otherwise it is grim. Like you i travel often, not so much now though, but some of my journeys are very long. This one will not be so bad though! three short hops! c

  26. FedExing lamb! That is dedication. 🙂 Sounds lovely Cecilia! I hope you have a marvellous time… and I look forward to reading about your meals, adventures, anything you want to share! Spring kisses from NZ.

  27. Wishing you a wonderful, wonderful trip! I know how complicated it us for us when we go away and we only have dogs and chickens…and like you I take my laptop and continue to write so it´s a big logistical plan before you leave. I think you, like me, enjoy making lists and plans though! Safe travels and am looking forward to sharing your journey. Hope the lamb travels safely too 🙂

    • It is lovely to bve able to keep writing wherever we are. and you are so right about making lists, My best list is called the panic check list! In fact I have it off by heart now! c

  28. Ahhh, bet all your lovely animals will miss you! I know I miss mine when away. Have a safe journey and don’t forget we want to see a photo of you in ‘the dress’. Have a lovely time at the wedding! E

    • ha ha ha Well I will see what i can do about the dress, being the person with the camera in my hand all the time i so seldom get a photograph of myself! c

    • I have taken John through his morning chores this morning and I hope he took it all in! he goes to work so early he does not see that much of the general running of the farmy and the animals expect everything done in a certain order!!.. thank you rumpy, TonTon says hi and would much rather stay with you guys that have a dog walker! c

  29. Sentences I never expect to read: “I am FedExing lamb overnight to their place,” Brilliant! I love surprises. No one but you would FedEx lamb and no one but you would write about it!

    • You have such a sunny way of looking at stuff! you made me laugh!! I will be cooking and eating that lamb when i get there tooo!

  30. I love traveling as well. I know people don’t but I don’t mind it at all. It always reminds me that I’m going to visit another place and I will have some type of fun. Enjoy yourself 🙂

    • I will kay. John is one of those people who hates to travel. He likes to stay home. I have never understood it but there you are! c

  31. Have a safe and wonderful trip Celi! Good luck with the Airport Celi Diet and I sure do hope you enjoy our sunny California weather we are having. Where in Cal are you traveling to?

    • We will be outside of sacramento and then over to vasalia! Lots of driving I hope. And really hoping the weather holds for me! c

  32. I hope you will enjoy yourself Cecilia
    and don’t forget to bring me back something
    wickedly nice, maybe a stick of rock or a
    nice glass or three of chilled Champagne 🙂
    Only kidding, have a nice time now 🙂

    Androgoth Xx

  33. I just haven’t been reading any posts properly as I’ve been so up my own a…se with my aggravations. Your blog is irrestible, and has got me in the mood to write a post. Have a good journey – I’m the worst long distance traveller in the world.

  34. How exciting for your son’s wedding! Good luck on the travel food…it drives me crazy to try to find simple, pure food!! Be safe, have fun and looking forward to stories of your trip!!

  35. Safe travels!! I adore California and love going to wedding (the vintage dress sounds awesome BTW you’ll have to post a picture). I always enjoy the way that being on a plane makes me stop for once. Hope you do too 🙂

  36. Oh wow…can I have the window seat?
    Actually the thought never crossed my mind about the animals being left unattended.. I figured Daisies cat would protect her from those killer chickens. Or hide from them till the pass by anyway. I hope the pumpkin cured what ails Ole Daisy…have a safe, blessed visit.
    Bless You

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