Well done

One of the downsides of working alone on the farm is that there is no one to say Well Done. Our John comes home so late and leaves so early he simply does not see what I do. (So I am lucky that I have you – The Fellowship is laden with people, women and men alike, who know how important it is to say – “That was well done.”) hay-hay-009

Our John moving the work bench from the chook house to the barn. Well Done.hay-hay-004

I knew a lady in New Zealand, she was a check out girl in a busy supermarket- though she was no longer a girl.  She was large and bosomy, blowsy and over blown in the most delicious way. Short with big feet and a smile that was powerful. She beamed.  She was Glory. And when she saw me in her check-out line at the supermarket, she would loudly greet me “Hello Beautiful Girl!.  How are you my friend. Your work last night was glorious,” she would say referring to something my students had done, or “Hello Beautiful – I loved our homework last night.” Referring to the work her son brought home from school.

She would shoot my purchases across the scanner with an efficient movement that I envied. She was completely at home in her Self. And she always called me Beautiful. Even though, as I gathered up my bags and slung them across my shoulders, marshalling my children,  ready for the walk  along the beach and back up the hill to my little house, I would hear her call out with absolute sincerity: “Hello beautiful, how are you?” – to the next person she knew in her queue and she was the kind of person who knew everyone. It never once took from me that lovely feeling of being recognised and empowered by her beautiful ‘Well Done. ‘hay-hay-002


Well Done miss c, I tell myself – for finally raking the hay properly. Following my instructions from the hay man to the letter – it came out perfectly. I have been learning how to do this for two summers. Now I have got it! I am now confident in my hay raking abilities. And I felt delightfully and quite ridiculously proud of myself as I drove the tractor and the rake back to the barn leaving a perfect field behind me. Now if the showers that are predicted do not fall, this will be a small but gorgeous load of hay.

I have decided that we cannot afford to buy another cow this year.  I have two trips to New Zealand in October and January  – dates I would not miss for the world.  I will take you with me! And as we all know – money does not grow on trees. But we will rattle on.   Life is life. I will live with it! Maybe I can milk Daisy once in a while, share with her calves every now and then. Given that I can get her healthy. But my stomach cannot tolerate pasteurised milk, I cannot digest it, so it will be a mostly dairy free summer, next summer.  Until Aunty Del comes on line the following spring.

We will work it out – you and I.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farmy,




72 Comments on “Well done

  1. You know you do a good job, because we all tell you how much we enjoy your blog, but sometimes knowing isn’t enough. You need to hear the words. So I say to you, “Well done, Miss C, keep up the good work”.

  2. Well, you know, life goes on. Life without all your milk will be different but I bet you’ll make it just as lovely. Can you stomach cooked pasturised or can yogourt and cheese be made with pasturised? That might not be so bad? Hey, how about a goat? I’ve made chevre with goat’s milk before. I bet loads of people know milk alternative recipes. Well done on everything you do. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that any of this…the farmy, the animals, the fellowship forest…any of it would be there without your hard work and dedication. Just like trying to be an artist. You have to whomp yourself up all on your own sometimes. But you’re not alone. Big hugs 😀

      • Ah, OK, that explains why no goats. Hey, just thought of something. In Vancouver it’s illegal to see raw milk, (yeah, I know), so a bunch of people got together and bought shares in a dairy farm and “own” a portion of the milk which then they get and use, and with no ramifications. Wonder if a scheme like that would be doable in your corner of the world? Maybe you get to host a couple/three cows and a few people buy shares. Loads of milk, loads more work!, but maybe less expense.

        • It certainly would be doable, but raw milk would be a tough sell down here in the midwest! Though in fact in Illnois is is legal to sell raw milk on the farm.. c

          • Have you thought about why exactly you don’t like goats milk? Goats milked into an ice cold bucket within another ice filled vessel is very mild, I have read. Maybe just one goat for cheese only. Also makes lovely soap. There has to be a way to get you some dairy next summer. The collective will put their thinking caps on about this, I am sure.

          • But we could create our own “cow-op” and buy it for the farmy. We just wouldn’t get the milk

            • I was thinking the same thing…if we all put in a bit we could buy shares in the new Farmy cow….good name Pat…..The Cow-Op!….and sorry Celi, but since I’m on the other side of the world, you’d just have to use my share yourself……:)

              • It will work out, one way or the other, there will soon be books to sell (Letters For my Sister) and the Sheila T shirts.. and the christmas calenders.. I may be able to raise the money that way, you never know.. thank you though, you guys are awesome.. c

      • I must say I never like goat milk either. Then one day my neighbor brought me a gallon fresh from the morning milking,immediately chilled. I said “how nice” (gulp), “thank you very much” (gulp). I was going to dump it out but felt badly about that so I thought I’d just give it a taste. I was amazed, it reminded me of the milk we’d take from the bulk tank at my aunt & uncle’s dairy farm! Just like milk used to taste. Needless to say I drank it all. I thought it was so good I bought some at the natural foods store – ee uk! Not good, not good at all. I don’t know if it was the absolute freshness of Andy’s gift, he did pasteurize it (so many seconds at so many degrees), or if it was the breed of goats (Nubians) or what but I will drink the milk he occasionally brings me. He also makes a huge variety of cheeses and hosts a wine & cheese party each winter. There too I like most of the cheese he makes where I never cared much for goat cheese before. I’m actually looking forward to October when he and his wife are travelling to Germany for 9 days and I will be the tender of their ducks & chickens and the milkmaid for their two nannies. So there you have it, you learn something new (about yourself) every day!

  3. Oh you are so right! It has to be said. It makes a huge difference. We must say it to each other, but I think there’s something else you said that’s very important too. We have to learn to say it to ourselves. I’m glad you do. Your field looks fantastic. I just read a beautiful book called Meadowland…and it made me understand what an art form raking is. Well done on the field. Well done on the blog. Well done mothering all those lovely animals and telling us the stories…

  4. Everyone needs a “well done” every once in awhile, that is for sure. Oh we all “think” that we are all independent and can do everything on our own without a big fuss but every once in awhile the ears need to hear those words and know that we are appreciated, don’t we? You, my beautiful friend, are amazing and to do all that you do with very little help amazes me and inspires me daily. I love your check out “girl” and her attitude—-that is a wonderful way to live life and I am sure that everyone strived to go through her line, right? Have a lovely day.

  5. C, so sorry for my lack of visiting – I will be back soon. Thought I would be by now, but alas, life has other plans. All well though.
    Have a beautiful and happy week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. So glad the rake/tractor is working this time and well done on getting that task into the muscle memory! From my own experience, some tasks take longer than others to learn. I think my head gets in the way, so to speak, but most times, it becomes ingrained…like the riding the bike down the lane. Is it possible to rent a cow? I know that sounds weird but who knows? You’re surrounded by field after field and farm after farm, surely someone has an extra cow they could spare for a while.

    Fingers crossed, no rain!

    • Cowss are a lot of work, One needs to train them and keep them healthy and also mine are grass fed,. There are thousands and thousands of dollars tied up in a cow.. I would be too afraid to milk someone elses cow.. things go wrong.. c

      • You never know. Maybe lease a cow with a contract and insurance against mishaps.

  7. As usual, the Fellowship has said everything I wanted to say. But well done anyway. I like Kim’s idea to rentacow. I’m interested to know what is it about the process of heating raw milk to kill the bugs that upsets your digestion. I’ve heard of lactose intolerance, but pasteuration has no effect on the lactose. I’ve seen some horrendously dirty conditions in small farms, which makes me fear unpasteurised milk!

    • In a nutshell pasteurisation kills everything, the good bugs and the bad bugs, and most especially the enzymes that people need to drink with the milk to enable us to digest it easily. Raw milk comes with a complete set of tools to allow humans to digest the good animals fats in milk, without the tools it is more difficult for the body to assimilate all the goodness, this is why many people think they are lactose intolerant, but actually just do not have the extra healthy gut needed to digest pasteurised milk. I am one of those. And yes, i would only drink raw milk from a very clean farm, with a good refrigeration unit. c

      • A most interesting reply. I have a fair amount of digestive problems, and will look out for raw milk and raw milk products to see if they help. Even though I live in a dairying region, it’s not so easy to find here.

        • Viv, I live in Wisconsin – the dairy state (it says so on our license plates – ha) and I can’t buy raw milk here. Makes me crazy, On most farms today the milk goes directly from the cow to the refrigerated bulk tank, if the cow is clean and healthy where is the danger? It no longer sits in cans waiting to be taken to the dairy plant. Bills have been proposed to allow it only from triple A rated farms and they keep getting shot down. Somebody has a very good lobby I think.

  8. I just love those two words! Well Done! I’d never said them before teaching with Kiwis and Aussies! In the US we say, good job, great work, super, and such. But well done says it all! 🙂 Now, you’re most likely tired of hearing me sing the praises of Lamancha milk goats, but I just can’t help myself! Ours, with American Goat papers and everything, only cost us $150 each. And they are great milkers!!! And, as I’ve mentioned, sweet and adorable, so friendly and loving. They won’t produce gallons and gallons, like Daisy, but enough to give you milk for cheese and yogurt, butter and some for the animals too. Just a thought! xo

    • I don’t like it Sam i am, I don’t like it in my coffee or in my smoothies or my icecream. in a boat or with a stoat. I don’t like goats milk Sam I am. Allso the milk here is used to fatten pigs and chickens, if i have milk i need galllons and gallons of the stuff. So I would rather have nothing than buy a flock of goats that i will only want for one season. And still have to buy milk for the house. I know how you all love goats, even John would have a goat. but not me. c

  9. Yes, well done is correct! I can’t believe all that you get accomplished on your own every day. And it all looks wonderful and well done :*)

    But I agree with some of the others… why not get two milk goats? Very reasonable in terms of livestock price, and raw goat’s milk is amazing and sweet. It makes wonderful cheeses. I can’t deal with pasteurized milk of any kind. You might find someone in your area with too many goaties!

  10. I never heard “well done” until my son started playing soccer. I fell in love with the saying. It fits so much better than “good job”.
    Maybe there is someone nearby with a milk cow that you could barter with for fresh milk? Offer some pork from your freezer or veggies from your garden?

  11. I may not have always said it but certainly have thought it.well done Miss C.
    Maybe I don’t,always say it because everyday you do a damned hard job always well done.
    Just one of those things that we come to expect from you Miss C always well done everything and every time
    Lots of love

  12. I see a lot of elderly people at work. Some ladies come in looking very down and lonely. They are greeted with “Hello gorgeous!” and oh how their mood improves and big smiles appear! We all need to genuinely praise one another when a job is done well, and whenever possible, try to brighten someone’s day. My father was the type that would always tell me when I did well at school, work or social situations-oh how I miss that praise!

    • This makes you one of the angels in life you know, you can change someones life with that wonderful attitude you have. Huge smiles from us too, you are one of the stars!.. Well Done Beautiful!.. c

  13. WELL DONE! It is a nice thing to hear and I’ll bet I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard it in the last 10 years. Good point. Maybe things will turn around on the milk cow front once you’ve returned from traveling. Even if you had the money, sounds like right this moment isn’t the right time for a new milk cow.

  14. Well said and Well done Cinders! I had to laugh at how many suggested getting a goat and how many times you explained you didn’t like goat’s milk! 🙂

  15. Hi Celi,
    I love how hard you work, it totally inspires me.
    I haven’t drank pasturized milk in 35 years because of the way the cows are raised. I do remember how delicious the milk was when I drank it from a friends farm, it was so creamy, the milk now is like white water, gross.
    Anyway, you go girl!
    Lv Robin

  16. “I’ve heard there was a secret chord. That David played, and it pleased the Lord. HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH”. It’s being sung in far flung corners world wide by those who daily slip into the world of The Farmy. We read. We see. We watch. We understand. We appreciate. There’s smiles. There’s tears. We proudly say – HALLELUJAH – well done Celi.

  17. That smiling face at the top of the blog post certainly thinks you deserve a Great Big Well Done! I agree, so I will say so again. Very Well Done, Miss C!

  18. Yes, I had to laugh too. Maybe they are all Capricorns. I’m one myself, but as much as I think they are darling creatures, I can’t even touch goat cheese–something that’s very popular in salads around here.
    Well I’m not going to add another “well done.” instead, I’m going to say what the farmer said to Babe: “That’ll do, pig.” of course, Celi, you understand I’m not calling you a pig!!
    There was an article in the Tribune just yesterday about appreciating our partner’s accomplishments. (Heidi Stevens column.) And a joke: The farmer loved his wife so much that he almost told her.
    And there’s another article in today’s Tribune I’d love to send you on the dangers of sitting. You’d get a kick out of it, Cecilia, since you sit only to eat (or milk Daisy.)

  19. Well done, Celi. You are an inspiration to me and, I am sure, to the rest of us.. Watched you slogging through the winter…well done! Raking and schlepping hay bales….well done. Helping your animals and caring for them…well done.

  20. I love reading your posts about life on the farm! Your writing is at once honest, friendly, sweet and whimsical. I feel like you have been a forever friend!

    Well done!!

  21. Dairy does not agree with me very well at the moment, not sure why. However, in my efforts to be dairy free I started making almond milk. It is nice in my coffee and oats and smoothies, but of course it does not make cheese! I thought of you yesterday as I was ‘milking’ the nut bag for a fresh batch, it is a bit like milking a cow! It pains me to give up dairy, but I am hoping it is only temporary, and for you it certainly would be, so perhaps the almond milk would work as an interim measure. I’ve never had a commercially made almond milk I liked, only the homemade one! Best to you. x

    • I would but recently i have developed a ridiculpus nut allergy, my mouth goes all tingly and i find it hard to talk, almonds are one of the major culprits.. how unfair is that? I hate giving up nuts, probably about as much as you hate giving up milk.. c

  22. Brava, Celi! I hope you got the hay loaded before these storms hit. I’ve got 2 bird cages on my back porch that were drying. Now they’re soaked again and will likely spend the night out there. Lucy isn’t gonna like this one bit. 🙂

  23. Hey Celi … aren’t people like the checkout lady just the best! I always tell myself WELL DONE – just in case nobody else notices! How exciting it will be coming home in October. It is wonderful having something to look forward too!

  24. To say Well Done is to magnify the magic of the work… in the words of Phillip Brooks… “To say ‘well done’ to any bit of good work is to take hold of the powers which have made the effort and strengthen them beyond our knowledge.”

  25. ‘Well done, Beautiful Lady’ . . . . how many times has that been written into my message . . . and, even if it has not, you KNOW we have meant it!! So why the heck are all of us here . . . . 😀 !! huge hugs and ni-ni when the time comes and sorry about the financial balancing act re cows v airline tickets . . . nought new for me in the past few decades . . . .

      • Gorgeous bird . . . . don’t think any of us ‘stay’ where there is no appreciation, understanding, respect and admiration . . . .

  26. You might want to check out Kickstarter and raise funds to get a cow. There are other fundraising sites too that might be worth looking into.
    A big Well Done. You accomplish so much every day. Bravo!

  27. Well done, Miss C. Your hay field looks good, I hope the rain held off long enough. My hubby is always amazed when I tell him all the things you tackle in a day’s time, tromping through snow or whatever comes your way.

  28. I understand the feeling in hearing the words, “well done”. Sometimes I am like the child needing approval for my day’s work. When FD comes home I show him everything I managed that day. And perhaps that what it is for me – needing that pat on the back and words of appreciation, for that it how I grew up as a little farm girl. It feels good to be noticed and know that we make a difference with our contribution to life’s work. If only more employer’s practiced this “well done” comment of appreciation. Perhaps more people would be happy with their work.

    I envy you and your haying abilities! I haven’t even mastered our tractor very well and there you are taking charge of bigger projects! I really do marvel at your ability to tackle just about anything Celi. You are a true inspiration!

  29. Well done making that hard decision about a new dairy cow. I’m sure that was a hard one. I find that once the hard decision is made, I can move ahead with figuring out the next step.

  30. Lots of decisions to be made on the farm…daily difficult ones I’m sure! There isn’t a post that goes by of yours that I’ve read and thought to myself, “She’s so strong and confident, all of that work, how does she do it!?” Always proud of you and I tell all my friends and family about you as if I’ve been right there watching your hard work and how amazing you are. Well done, Miss C. xoxo

  31. I used to watch a UK show where teams got together and built machines out of scrap. On one episode they had farmers from the West Country (called the “Barley Pickers”), and instead of “well done”, they’d say, “now THAT’S a proper job!”. I loved that expression – thought I’d share.. 🙂

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