Walkabout on the hot, hot sleepy farmy

Ok,  back to business!   I rearranged animals the other day. Mia, Meadow and The Murphy are in The Daisy Paddock with the big gate closed so they have very little shade in the morning. I made them a beer tent. They seem more than happy with it.  Their shade gets bigger as the sun moves through its arc. 

It is on the list to build big sculptures made from telegraph poles and old timber into the fields as shade structures.  Lots to do. 

Mama is still in the Rat House Paddock. She is doing OK and her udder is looking healthier and very slowly shrinking. So far so good in that department.

TonTon and the Big Bobby are up to something.

Here is why I am fastidious about cleanliness in the milking parlour.  To cool down, the cows like to stand in mud. Cooling their heels. In fact to save me the trouble of making mud for them, they will often make the mud themselves which is .. um.. kind.  Queenie, I know you are hot and not feeling sociable…..but I think you can do better than that.  Don’t let me catch you sneering at Camera again. It is not Camera’s fault that you are hot.

Sorry miss c.  But it is just that I am dirty and so hot. Miss c? Yes Queenie, honey. Daisy is splashing mud on me, tell her to stop it.  I don’t like it. Her mud is smelly.

Queenie you should be grateful you do not live with the Shush sisters. They love mud. 

In fact sometimes they have trouble sharing. 

Sheila you can’t just lie in that mud to keep it all for yourself. Oh no, that’s OK miss c. I can!

And now for the obligatory rooster shot.

Did you just call me Obligatory. I am the Son of the Son of Neanderthol man. Did you know that there is a chicken sitting on eggs in this car?  Who left the window down?

Good morning. We have another day with high temperatures ahead of us. The 100’s are getting monotonous. Wearing my animals down. They are drinking huge amounts of water. How did the pioneers do this without hoses and taps? Their animals would have had a much higher value than ours due to isolation.  If they lost their milk cow the whole pack of cards would collapse. They must have been hauling buckets of water from the creek down the back until their backs broke.

Daisy is still giving a good amount of milk. Altogether she milked 63 pounds yesterday in that heat. (8 pounds is a gallon, it is too early for maths for me) Her treats bucket is loaded with zuchinni and corn cobs and cabbage. She munches as I milk.

I am cooling the house the old fashioned way. In the night I open all the doors and windows then in the morning, when I go out to milk, I shut the doors and windows, locking all that cool air in.  It is a bit like catching the dark in a jar but it works for a while.

Good morning. Have a lovely day.


There was no blog on July 5, 2011. So no retrospective today.   There is a lot of courage is starting a blog and I think mine was coming in short sprints at that point.  Though as some of you have very kindly pointed out that first post can be the skeleton for the opening paragraphs so I shall start work on that today. c

59 Comments on “Walkabout on the hot, hot sleepy farmy

    • We are ready for better weather, evidently we get the break this weekend. ChgJohn watched the weather for me and keeps me up to date! And he says relief is in sight! Are you still without electricity? c

  1. I was thinking yesterday, as I pulled the hose from bed to bed, how lucky it’s just a hose. Not a bucket pumped from a well by hand, or brought up on a chain, or hauled from the nearest creek…And I don’t even have livestock.
    Hope the heat breaks for you soon. Queenie looks ready to hurt someone.

    • Poor old Queenie is taking the heat hardest. She has even got to the stage where she lets me spray her with water as i drag it past! c

  2. One of our pumps went on the fritz yesterday and I ended up bucket watering part of the garden. It took me back to our pre- hose first summer here, which was nice and nostalgic, but I was happy when that pump started up again in the evening. Water is heavy heavy stuff.

  3. Methinks that the farmy animals have a better life than you do! Our old house that Jock built was stone, and great at keeping excess heat out. We had excess heat once or twice during the ten years we were there! We haven’t had a hot summer since moving here 5 years ago.

    • Oh I would love one of those stone houses, that would be just the thing to keep us cool! morning ViV.. c

    • I have that too ronnie, there are whole flower beds that I plant with natives because I know that they will not be watered when it gets tough.. and now i am watching them curl up too.. ah well.. c

  4. Queenie needs a slave with a palm leaf to fan her 🙂 Those Shush Sisters seem to grow 6 inches between photos! Trying to push some of our cool air your way. Laura

  5. It’s equally as hot and humid here in Minnesota, but not as challenging for me as I tend only plants, not animals. Stay cool. And, yes, I too wonder how the pioneers did it.

  6. I’ll swear that cockerel just waits for you to do your farmy walks. He’s always ready with his best strut!

  7. Good morning, Celi. The only thing I like to do on hot days is go swimming — perhaps the mud is the pigs and cows’ equivalent. Thankfully, we don’t get hundred degree days here much. Yesterday I tasted my first corn and tomatoes of 2012 — my farm doesn’t have them yet, but a friend found them at her Farmers’ Market: I’ll go on Saturday and see what I can find.

    • Those Farmers Markets of yours are treasure troves.. I am so looking forward to piles of tomatoes.. all that red goodness.. c

  8. G’morning, Celi! You’re right. How did the pioneers do it? I’m still not quite sure how you do it, to be honest. You’re a marvel!
    Be careful today. They’re saying temps between 100 and 105˚ with a heat index as high as 115˚, and that’s up here in the City. This should be the worst, with temps falling beginning tomorrow. Hang in there!

    • After i have checked on the old people i shall hunker down. i tried to make the mozzerella yesterday, but too hot for a decent break.. poo.. so the pigs ate high on the hog again! I will have to wait for the weekend.. maybe then we will have another tomato too.. c

      • Despite being watered twice daily (I’ve a timer), some branches on my tomatoes are wilting in the heat. I’ve pruned them and will try a 3rd watering today. I’d appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thanks.

        • Mound compost up at the base to cool the soil and find some Shade. Find some big big cardboard boxes and cover them for the afternoon. I do this with all my transplants for days when it is this hot. And I would not water too much more, the humidity will introduce rot, and the roots are susceptible to this as well.. also if you water too often you will encourage shallow roots up high. Shallow roots equal a weaker plant that will be more susceptible to the heat. John waters his once a day with a watering can and twice a week they get a deep water with the sprinkler. I hope this is useful. It is terrifying when you see your plants curling up their toes. Are they bouncing back in the evening? c

          • They’re shaded, watered, and waiting for cooler temps this weekend. Thanks for all of your help. 🙂

  9. Hi Celi! It’s hot and dry here too, and I’m finding myself getting a little cranky. Of course I know being cranky doesn’t help at all! I do have a beautiful lake very near that I swim in daily. That certainly helps the crankiness! 🙂 Di

    • i want your lake. i do have a swimming pool but it is as warm as the air now.. like swimming in a bath.. i want your lake! c

  10. I’m in awe of what you do c, those pioneer ladies would have had nothing on you if you’d have lived in those days! My parents also used to “catch” the cold night air that way.. all windows shuttered and it did help so much. We have moderate to cool temperatures and I shall conjure up some wind to send it your way so you can cool down… xo Smidge

  11. Our heat must have got to you…days and days and days of heat with hot, hot, wind. Then yesterday as the heat soared to 100* in 6 hours we went to 62*. It was lovely…and strange and we all relished it. The grandchildren and my children all ate watermelon on the lawn and feed the hens the left overs. The dogs bounced around and barked at birds and Terry and I finally relaxed. It was lovely.

    Today is cloudy and cool….67* the weather report says rain possible. Even if we don’t get rain these clouds are nice.


  12. It was so interesting reading your first post yesterday and realizing just how far the farmy has come along, and also that Your John was the Silent One to start. This is a lovely thing to be able to see that growth of yourself as a writer, the story and the progression of life on the farm in a year! I don’t know how the pioneers did what they did, or exactly how you manage all you do in a day and still have time to process photos and write about it, but I am so happy that you do it and share it. We took our first dip in a friend’s pool yesterday…it was only 98 here, and now I long for a cool mountain stream. Hope you and the animals get a break in temps and some rain soon.

    • Our John does not speak up often but he gently Objected to being called The Silent One. Which i thought was kind of sweet so I stopped!! c

  13. the weather is really getting to me too. you must be getting cooler than we are in the evenings. our night time temps have been in the mid to upper 70’s. it never cools down. i hope your animals all continue to handle it. teddy stays in the house most of the time now. surely soon we will get a break from all of this but not any time soon!

  14. I love that there are hens laying inside the car. What perfectly excellent use of a vehicle. Have Hens Will Travel; Hens On The Highway….Hi-ho, hi-ho…

  15. I wonder the same as you, Celi…how did the pioneers accomplish sustainability! I do remember visiting my great-grandparents in Missouri watching them maintain their gardens and a few animals, and they were always moving…but I think that probably describes you, too. I love the Shush sisters…they are getting so big! Now that you’ve given me a good sense of your day, I can get back to my computer work now. Our “daily rounds” are so different, Celi, and yet I feel a part of the farmy. I’ll send you a cooling coastal breeze this morning…Debra

  16. I’m back! Seems the internet horrors are behind me – I have missed your posts C!
    Have a happy day and hope you can keep at least somewhat cool today.
    🙂 Mandy

  17. I like the concept of ‘putting the dark in a jar’ – definitely been trying to do the same in the heatwave here. Stay cool!

  18. How much water can you collect and save for these hideously hot dry spells without it going stagnant? It does really make you appreciate the hardships of farm life in times gone by. It still isn’t an easy way of life. 🙂

    • PS. (Because I can’t seem to string two thoughts together and always forget at least one). Be very grateful that you’re not wearing boots, petticoats, um stays and a hat too. That’d be hard work. 😉

      • Oh yeah, i have had to leave off the corset and stockings.. you are right.. way too hot!! (laughter!. ) c.

  19. I was thinking about your first post and was impressed you have/had a plan, an idea about what you wanted to do, it’s more than I’ve ever had with my blog – hence the random waffling. Besides we all have to start somewhere, and your’s set the marker for what you came to explore over the year. Keep truckin’
    And I’m loving the idea of the structures and art for shade, using telegraph poles will certainly give you some new visual eyelines instead of that big flat prarie!

  20. I remember seeing women in Africa carrying huge pots of water on their heads for miles, each day. It is a marvel what we endure. Humans seem to consider hardship to be “everyone less fortunate than me.” It’s an amusing trait, and explains our survival.

    • that is a stunning concept. i say that to myself all the time. “Stop you moaning. there is always someone worse off that you!” .. it does explain our survival and our ability to find joy! c

  21. I LOVE the ‘beer tent’! I was always making tents on our porch when I was a younster…..
    Have a lovely day – it’s very HOT here in Canada too!

  22. I am saddened that we seem to have lost this art (science, actually) of cooling houses. My mother taught me by example and her mother taught her. We could save a lot of power if people did this rather than just reaching for the air-conditioning.

  23. Wow, reading your blogs reminds me that summer is coming and I need to put in water pipes to the new garden. We had big storm and I think another earthquake last night.
    Those little pigs are getting huge and look very happy.

  24. Your gorgeous animals are handling your heat so well my friend!
    Sending all of you the Aussie freezing temps!

    Choc Chip Uru

  25. “Like catching the dark in a jar.” I’ve never heard that, but like it. You are wise to close in the cool for as long as it will last.

  26. Hah, rearranging animals sounds far more fun than rearranging furniture. The beer tents are a great idea. It’s amazing the difference a bit of shade makes. Much we do to our house is with an eye to free heating/cooling, and despite the opinion of many that we have too many trees and the garden is overgrown, it’s an old fashioned garden well planted before we inherited it, works well to cool in summer and the right parts in winter lose their leaves. Also requires little water which is good as there are only tanks, one outside tap not connected to the pump, so it’s watering cans & buckets if anything, and it’s just a house block.

    • sounds like you have as much water as me, I only have one tap for the entire farm.. and i love the concept of the old garden and trees cooling the house. I have planted for exactly that reason but sadly there was nothing when i came here so it will take some time!

  27. Poor creatures…I agree, Celi, how did the old timers deal with that heat? No wonder they lived short lives! I moan about our unseasonably cool summer, but I’d rather cool than hot.

  28. Drought is so trying, and heat of those extremes must make you want to wilt like a cabbage leaf. But I read of things getting sorted, and I’m excited to hear of the plan for sculptures to provide shade one day. Now that’s what I like, art with a secret purpose.
    Isn’t Daisy doing well, producing all that wonderful milk.
    I’ve recently discovered quark, which is delicious. I buy a herbed one, and a lemon & honey biodynamic one: this, with yoghurt provides a way of enjoying milk for me (I’ve been off milk and cream for many years). I was wondering if quark was in your repertoire?

    • No it isn’t so far and I had forgotton all about it.. thank you so much for the reminder, I used to use it often when i was in NZ but have not come across it since. i shall be looking that up today!! Thank you.. c

  29. Morning Miss C,
    Hope the weather forecasts deliver on those cooler temps & rain for you and the farmy family. The picture of the rooster made the expressions “cock of the walk” and “strut like a rooster” jump into my head. It is easy to see how those expressions were coined. For my 2 cents on suggestions for your book: there were a couple of your wonderful phrases that “stuck” and several others have commented before me, so I’d measure that they are keepers? “Catching the dark in a jar” and “beer tent” for the lambs, with future shade sculptures. As the trees mature and the sculptures rise I can visualize that little house on the prairie being transformed into an artistic farmy oasis …like the Cadillac farm in Texas 😉

  30. Loved the tour around the farm where you introduced the animals to us. Shush sisters is a nice name for the girls. Love the photo of the rooster.

  31. Greetings Cecilia. I apologize for not stopping by in a little while. The heat is getting to me I think. You are right about the pioneers. How did they make it? Not only the isolation and lack of the convenience of hoses and such, but just think of how they dressed! I would be in agony… as a matter fact, I think I would be a little on the mad side. How are you doing?

  32. We used to cool our house that way too. Great pics of the cast of characters as usual. 🙂

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