The First Gathering and a Little news from the Farmy

Yesterday evening  was the first of the gatherings.                                                       dinner-058 Beautiful Daughter arrived on time and within hours had hijacked the dog and walked to two local dairies looking for her favourite dip ingredients.dinner-070 Sops had been dreaming of this Kiwi dip for days and could not settle until she had found the ingredients, mixed it up and popped it in the fridge to cool.


She made her dip by mixing dried onion soup, reduced cream and a spark of vinegar. And we snacked on this while the oven did it’s thing. dinner-065

Mama was snapped snapping: dinner-022The shot  is of the cutting of the hot bread.  dinner-081

This is home made bread and Mama’s Meat Loaf.   All the meat loaves were topped with piles of New Zealand Tasty cheese. The Original version has swathes of tomato sauce and yellow mustard on top of the cheese and the New Improved is topped with lashings sweet thai chilli sauce. It goes without saying that my children started with the original.  We also had a beetroot and feta salad, that was eaten so fast no pictures exist!


The evening proceeded with loud chatter and laughter the way all these family gatherings do. Our plates, that excited so much attention only minutes before, were cleared of food, refilled, cleared of food again and then left where they lay as we talked on into the night. dinner-040

And as both my sons work in the film industry and are pretty mean photographers themselves, Camera House was passed around with the wine and the photos,  and the images deteriorated  into a fairly honest unfocussed mellow documentation of the evening.

Good morning! Now for some news of The Farmy.

Everything seems to be going according to plan except for Daisy. Over the days since I have left the Farmy Daisy’s behaviour in the  milking parlour has deteriorated to the point where she would not let the Milkers or John milk her at all. She has been hurling herself about the room, kicking and carrying on and generally putting her health and the safety of my people in danger. I kept thinking she would settle down but yesterday John was unable to  milk her at all. So I told him to call the breeder and, yesterday evening, after she had milked her own cows, she came over with an anti kicking device and milked Daisy dry taking 32 pounds of milk from our bad tempered cow. (Usually we get 20 pounds each time)

John called it miraculous. I shall talk to Our John again today and hopefully get him to send me a picture of this device. The irony of this does not escape us. I worked so hard on covering the milking with extra people, but did not anticipate this reaction from the cow herself.

Everyone else is behaving just fine, the pigs are still obediently trotting to and from their fields and the sheep are healthy. Kupa has been observed standing on top of the builders digger inspecting the worksite and they should be pouring the footings in the next few days. I did not ask how many eggs they are getting each day. Maybe I don’t want to know.

Today is my birthday in New Zealand so tonight I am roasting  New Zealand lamb with  a rosemary yoghurt crust,  crunchy roast vegetables (all of them) and enormous salads!  We will once more gather around the big oak table, that has been handed down through generations of my family and is resting with Fourth Son for this generation, pick up where we left off last night and talk the night away.

Have a lovely day.


100 Comments on “The First Gathering and a Little news from the Farmy

    • yes i am sure she is feeling better already, but there is nothing more terrifying that 1500 pounds of kicking fury! c

  1. Happy New Zealand birthday! Glad you are havign a good time visiting with family! Poor Daisy — she misses you!

    • It does seem that way, but her protest was getting a bit out of hand, I am glad that we were able to call in the Big Guns and hopefully things will begin to improve.. c

  2. Can’t imagine a better way to celebrate a birthday than the way you’re doing it this year. Have a wonderful one!
    Also, Daisy is acting like a three-year-old does when she thinks she can get away with something…Mama’s not here, so I don’t hafta’!

    • A very big three year old tanty.. I can just hear it,’ But you’re not my mother you can’t tell me what to do!’ Naughty cow! c

  3. Happy birthday Celi from all of my family! Sorry they’re having such a hard time with Daisy. That’s why I never go anywhere if I can’t be home for milking. Even when you find good help (which I have yet to do) those cows are set in their ways and she wants Momma! Glad you’re having such a good time.

    • Poor daisy, I only go away once every few years, next time i will arrange it for when she is dry..but she is used to john milking her too, so I hope it sorts out.. c

  4. Happy birthday C! What a wonderful way to celebrate. It looks like you are having a great time. How fun to have multiple days of family gatherings with all these delicious treats. Glad everything worked out with Daisy and the breeder. I can just imagine – she must have been about ready to burst! Enjoy your day and evening! Cheers!

  5. Happy NZ birthday… had a few like that in my herd… would only allow certain milkers near them… I think they might get used to your hands, smell or just general demeanor…. I think she’s missing you… Hey that supper tonight sounds delicious….

    • She is a one woman cow! but will quickly learn to behave now.. the thing is the others have been milking her daily for weeks, with me just pottering about in the background, so i don’t where this naughtiness is coming from.. c

  6. have a wonderful birthday!!!! it sounds like you are having loads of fun with family and food. i am glad that you got the milk from your cow. she has to feel better

    • Thank you Tanya. Things usually work out in the end, one way or the other she will be alright.. it just makes me miserably having to have other people do the hard yards while I gallivant about! c

  7. Happy Birthday Celi 🙂 I’m enjoying the “real time” aspect of your NZ holiday, and the no less abated joy in your voice when you share that unequalable joy of being together with people you’ve known forever. Funny things happen when you are away, not likely while you are there… (my cats ued to completely disappear, the dog got sick…) but as the breeder had the solution to hand, it’s indicative that Daisy wouldn’t be the first cow to become recalcitrant in the absence of her Mama 😉

      • The breeder reminds me of Nanna coming to stay when the kids are getting too naughty, Mum’s not coping and a firm, no nonsense hand is needed…

  8. Happy Birthday, dear Celi. Lovely pictures, both photographed and in story, of joyous time spent with your children and families. I feel the warmth of spirit! Poor Daisy…but if our tortoise can “act out” when we are away, I can only imagine what a cow might intuit. You have a way with your animals that isn’t easily interpreted to others, I think. All is well. Continue soaking in all this love! 🙂

  9. Happy New Zealand birthday! Yes, I’ll bet Daisy misses you. But I’m so glad your family has you to its heart right now.

  10. Well not sure what day your birthday is on, but if it is on the 11th, you share it with my late grandmother!! Hope you have a wonderful birthday with the family.

    so what new building are you guys building out there?

  11. Sounds like a wonderful time in NZ with your children…so happy for you. But what a naughty cow…I can’t believe Daisy is acting so badly and hope she has calmed down today. Happy, happy Birthday to you, and many equally happy returns. 🙂

  12. Celi, the happiest of birthdays to you! I want to know how you have remained so beautiful after birthing 5 children–now all adults. I know how you keep in shape in the present, but years ago, how did you DO it?
    Also, I’m so sorry to hear about Daisy. She obviously misses you, but thank God for the breeder and his help. Myself, I’m worried about Big Dog and TonTon.

  13. What a great way to spend your birthday! I’m glad so much of your family could gather for your, Celi. That Diasy! Throwing a hissy fit the minute she knew there was half a world separating you both. She knows you wouldn’t allow such naughty behavior. Glad the breeder had a solution. Your John must be relived.
    Have a wonderful birthday, Celi!

  14. Also, I learned from your readers that that beautiful dog is not a German shepherd but a BelgianTervuren!

  15. Happy birthday! It is lovely to see all the pictures from your family gathering. So sorry that Daisy is being a bad cow back home. She must be really attached to you. I’m glad the breeder was able to milk her! Hugs, Rani

  16. Cows are such creatures of habit. I wonder if Daisy had a recording of your voice saying all the usual soothing things you say to her when milking…. Don’t let it spoil your good time worry though. Look how resourceful they’re being without you! Plus, you’ve certainly earned this break and they know it. Lovely and important that you have this quality time with your children. Dare I ask, were your movie industry sons involved in filming The Hobbit? It comes out Friday here and I can’t wait to see it!

  17. Happy birthday, and what a wonderful sense of reunion your posts convey. Poor Daisy, she’s obviously become accustomed to your touch, and only your touch. But she will settle and learn to accept others. It’s a bit like leaving a 2 year old – big tantrums ensue!

  18. Happy kiwi birthday C. !! Love daughter’s hair color! 🙂 Those meals and gatherings sound fabulous!!
    Leaving Kauai today-Aloha!!

  19. That Daisy is a stinker, that’s for sure!!!!! Happy Happy Birthday Celi!!! So happy that you are with your kids and having a fabulous time!!! xo

  20. Happy Birthday, Celi! Hope Daisy behaves herself for Our John and the brave milkers tomorrow. Your pictures and stories are wonderful, Is reduced cream anything like our sour cream? Sops’ dip sounds very much like the one we make.

  21. To read this post, with the exception of misbehaving Daisy (dairy farm girl that I am, this does not surprise me), makes my heart happy and me now desiring to sing, “Happy birthday to you!”

    Continue to enjoy and celebrate.

  22. Happy, Happy Birthday and may they all be as happy as today’s! Naughty Daisy …. she’ll probably act up when you get back too 😉 Laura

  23. naughty cow…daisy….All the hours you spent getting her used
    to the milking routine obviously was necessary as it seems she
    has noticed things are different and has given her opinion
    about the change !! Nobody could milk Bossy but “Big Jim”
    She’d kick the stool right out from under a stand in !!

    I got tears in my eyes knowing you were celebrating your
    BIRTHDAY with your kids !! Blessings !

  24. I almost feel we do not have to wish you a ‘happy birthday’: it’s going to be a magical one by default 🙂 ! Have a great time! Side issues: you DO make an unreal meat loaf: love the adddition of butternut & eggplant [I usually use carrot & zucchini] and the fact that you mix beef & pork: shall try by the weekend!! Oh Daisy: one child had to act up – did it have to be the heaviest one 🙂 !

  25. I hope you have a wonderful birthday there with your family!! I remember my Dad has a device that kept the cows from kicking when being milked. I remember 2 sort of U-shaped devices attached with a chain.

  26. Celi a million wishes for the most magnificent birthday with your New Zealand family. Poor Daisy, she misses you so. A billion hugs. V.

  27. Happy Birthday, Celi! What a lovely way to celebrate with your family. So excited and happy for you.

    Not surprised that Daisy is showing her frustration at the substitute milking arrangement. I’m sure she misses you!! Good call to get the breeder in at least! You do seem to have thought of everything 🙂

  28. Happy birthday! Thank you so much for sharing this trip and so much of your life with us. I can hear the happiness and contentment in your writing voice. I look forward to your next post.

  29. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dear Friend!. You can see you are loved here and there and all over the globe. What you are seeing, actually John is seeing is a cow that does not want to be milked by anyone but Momma. Cows have attachments, just like people. Gradually, she will settle down and then will adjust to normal.

    Then you will return.

    Now get ready for this……

    She will have to adjust to having you back in the picture and it will probably be just as rough. Plan your transition of returning just as carefully and realize love is a mighty thing.


    ¸.•*¨*•♪♫♫♪Merry Christmas to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

  30. Happy NZ Birthday. Looks and sounds like you are having a grand time. Daisy will be fine..she knows you are gone and is showing the others her displeasure.. I know the milkers were looking forward to helping out…hopefully things will get better. Enjoy your family…the farmy is still there…at least we are still sending mail out there every day. 🙂

  31. Happy Birthday! Now is a great time to be back in NZ if you like lamb. It’s very well priced these days. Cheap enough to buy even when it’s not your birthday 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve ever had meatloaf? It’s not so common here in NZ, though I don’t know why, we love our mince.

  32. The best laid plans, eh? I’m glad someone was there to help calm her down!
    And, Happy Birthday in NZ, Celi! How wonderful to spend it with your children at home. Do we get to see the handed down table? I hope! ~Lynda

  33. Poor Daisy – she fancied an outing to NZ and is very pissed off at being left behind. I have to say that the dried soup mixed with artificial cream and vinegar sounds like hell. Just saying:)

  34. Do you think Daisy is missing you? Hope she behaves for tomorrow’s milking.
    Happy Birthday Celi! It’s so good that you get to spend it with your family in NZ.

  35. Daisy misses you! Wonder if she will pout at you when you come home–animals are so human. I echo the chorus of birthday cheer–and that bread and meatloaf look yummy.

  36. Oh no, I am a day late in wishing you a Happy Birthday Celi. Have a beautiful love filled year ahead. what magical family time you are enjoying – just a pity Daisy is not playing the game while you are away – guess she is just missing you.
    🙂 Mandy

  37. I have been lurking through your past photos.. catching up with the joy that is your trip! How fantastic.. lions, zoos, ice cream and now a Birthday!! And not just any Birthday, the Queen of thekitchensgarden’s birthday!! I will wish you Happy Birthday, even though I know you have had one of the best ever!! And that baby is downright adorably squishably sweet!! xxSmidge

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