Is that you?

Do you ever look in the mirror and get a fright? Just a little fright.


Just a small startle really. A widening of the eyes. Then you look again at the person in the mirror and think,  Oh Yes!

bobby t

There you are. It is you after all.
cow and calf

cow and calf

cow and calf

Because in your mind you thought you looked different. I don’t mind how I look now – that is not what I mean. But I wish my brain would catch up! My memory of myself seems to have frozen in my mid thirties. Now I am over fifty and every time I look in the mirror I get that little fright.  Is that you Cecilia, I think. I have had so many roles and so many names and so many residences. Yet my Self is still in a house in Napier, New Zealand, a solo Mum with a whole pile of teenage children, all the time worrying about money, pounding my way through through a two job life,  fierce, and laughing and living life at break neck speed.  This period has implanted so strongly on my Self, I was so brilliantly alive then, that this is woman I still expect to see in the mirror.



Now I am a sleepy farmer with endless visitors and summer muscles aching, growing food so I do not have to worry about paying for it and my children are all grown –  it always surprises me. Maybe I am surprised that I reached this stage in my life. Maybe it is that.

Imagine if we never saw ourselves in a mirror.  Imagine that!

Here is Sammy with Theo the peachick – a photo for Kat’s Mum.


Last night I went out to check him and once again the red chickens were unusually placed. Not perching on their perches. Alerted I softly sifted through their slumbering bodies and found Theo nestled UNDER the tail feathers of one of the plumper wee hens.  He poked his head out and told me to move along and not upset the balance. So I did. This chick is still making me shake my head.

I am not sure if they surround them at night to protect him or to watch him in case he turns into some kind of threat. They are not too nice in the daytime. It is an interesting puzzle.

Good morning. Aunty Del is back home as you can see from the images of her meeting with Bobby T (who was deeply underwhelmed), Del back into the herd without a ripple.

I have decided to bring Bobby T2 (the Hereford steer) back to the home fields for the next few months.   The pasture is so rich here, a bit too rich for the heifers (Naomi and Aunty Anna)  and he can bond with Bobby T.

It would be nice if I had one big farm so I could walk my animals across, but we have two tiny farms with a mile of bean field and an enormous ditch with no bridge in between, and the roads are not fenced so no  walking stock that way either, so they have to be shifted using the stock trailer and as my truck will not pull the stock trailer I have to wait for John to help me.

Today has dawned calm and sunny. We had more rain in the night too which was nice. As soon as this weather pattern settles I will cut more hay.

I hope you have a lovely day.  I hope to.

Much love




87 Comments on “Is that you?

  1. This made me laugh. I don’t fuss over my appearance at all, but I have found it best to avoid public places with bright fluorescent lights. Just saying.

  2. Ha ha – I find looking at my friends odd – they all look older than me …or do they? 🙂

    • I love this! My Mom would always ask me, to reassure herself, if her friends didn’t look older than she did. And of course I always said, yes, way older! And no doubt, Mad, your friends look way older than you too! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. You really do need a bridge of some sort over that ditch so life is easier for you. Hope you have a lovely weekend, and that you can grab a moment to put your feet up. xx

  4. My brain is stuck at the me that jumped into the unknown and emigrated to the other side of the world alone. My body is something else. It seems to be in in rapid self-destruct mode. Tuesday I see the spinal neurosurgeon, and hopefully we’ll come up with a plan to stop the pain and disintegrating spine.
    I’m loving your animal series photos today, the satiny coats and liquid eyes and delicate baby bird down textures.

          • Thank you :-). Three and a half hours before I leave, and so much still to do at my new snail’s pace… Still, it will stop me fretting.

            • I have put you back on the top of my petition list for what it’s worth! Hoping for only good results for you.

              • I think the Almighty must be a bit sick of hearing my name by now; so many kind and thoughtful people sending up prayers, wishes, positive thoughts. I’m keeping Him busy… Thank you so much 🙂

  5. Being a guy, appearance is not nearly as much of an issue. I love being 62 and would not want to go back. Mind you it’s easy to say since I’m healthy. I am still waiting for that “grown up” moment to happen but in my aged wisdom I’ve come to realize that it’s never going to show up. So many men that I’ve come to know hate being older and I don’t get it, just chill and enjoy the ride otherwise you’ll miss something.

    • I am still an awkward 14 year old on the inside. Which is why I never really feel old. I don’t really think I will grow up.

      • Being young at heart and in the mind is fabulous! Embracing it all so that we don’t miss anything is definitely the way to go! Living each day to the fullest and rejoicing that we have each day keeps us young and in the moment, savoring all the wonder that comes our way! 🙂

          • Gosh, good question indeed! I’m thinking ‘young at heart’ meaning being able to laugh hilariously at the silliest things, and play jokes with and on others, and being able to laugh at yourself as well! And experiencing wonder and joy often, moment to moment. This, I think, most probably it happens most frequently between ages 5 to 12 or 13 years old, when we are more carefree, before puberty when much begins to change. But I do believe that can happen at any age! And, as we think and feel young at heart, we also stay healthier than others who don’t! 🙂 xo

      • 14 Cliche. Hmm. This is an interesting age to expect to see in the mirror. I was so gawky at 14 – my hair stood up in spikes! Curly spikes – i was so embarressed.. c

    • Yes! I don’t mean vanity – I am perfectly happy the way I am and with how I look – (most of the time) – but it does seem that there is a child or young person whose image is hard into our psyche and to is to him you refer when you say Just Chill at least I think so ..

  6. It’s cooler here this morning – but still no rain! Hoping it rains today but it’s going to be HOT.
    Hi Celi!

  7. ‘I was so brilliantly alive then’ . . . . you are that every day NOW ! From where did you get the mirror which shows a ‘sleepy’ farmer: get rid of it !!!

    • I need to clarify my point I think. In ALL of us is a young person who we click with. My wide awake coming of age moment – a watershed time maybe. When we discovered our power even. And often i am surprised when i do not see her in the mirror.. Does that make more sense?

      • Yes it does Celi, but, oh dear, I still seem to be at that stage . . . sure, physical looks have changed but I don’t seem to take any notice whatsoever of those: just the young laughing gal has a few extra ‘clues’ now and that makes things delightful !!!

  8. That is so true! I did that all this past year, post radiation, heartbroken and shocked at where the me that’s been living in front of my eyes went. Just Friday there was some reconstruction surgery and so now I look a little like bride of the mummy, but am hopeful that I’ll recognize “me” again in a few weeks. Also I tell myself that I’m 40 US here in Canada and, even though I’m over 50, it seems to help. Maybe I can tell myself I’m 29 UK! Even better. 😀

    • Yes! We can be different ages and different people in different countries – I understand that one! I am SO like that! In fact my inner thirties girl comes out when i travel – I can see her then.. Hopefully this is the last of the surgeries? c

    • I remember that feeling, but for me it wasn’t radiation, it was chemo, and the stranger in the mirror had no eyebrows, a gaunt, bald face and eyes filled with fear. The hair grew back (the eyebrows are still a shadow of their former self), and the fear is gone. It was a relief to rediscover myself, a bit diminished and completely grey, but me.

  9. Interesting, I was only thinking earlier today that [at 50] I finally look like me… a few weeks back during my sorting I found photos from my late 30’s… I look like a stranger.

      • But I do have tagging along the seven year old I once was who loves looking for shells on the beach, playground swings and also old fashioned cakes & slices from her 1970’s era… I have to ration her intake of those, as well as the fifteen year old who loves loud rock music… not sure the neighbours appreciate her 🙂 The adult versions of me were in various guises who they needed to be… lessons learned and I’m happy to leave them in the photo albums.

    • That is amazing Dale. Good for you. I thought you looked like a perfect version of who I expected when I met you. xx

      • Thank you 🙂 When I was younger I was once asked how I would like to look like if I could appear otherwise. My answer was fuller figured with wavy reddish hair and silver jewellery. Look at me now…

  10. I sometimes catch sight of myself in a reflection in shop windows and wonder what happened. I am perfectly happy with this part of my life, but I do get a bit depressed when I see old age creeping on.

    • It is a feeling we need to rage against I think. You and I have no intention of spending the second half of our lives feeling depressed about how we look. Rage! c

  11. You are definitely not a sleepy farmer! I am such in awe of all you manage to accomplish. Must be the single mom that did it. My mother too was a single mom and had to struggle but was the fiercest, most stubborn and independent person I ever met.

  12. Very thought filled post this morning, Ms. C. Is it the Sunday pace that gives you a moment’s pause to reflect? I was born old and have been going at life somewhat backward. My body just doesn’t realize that. I look in the mirror and wonder when I started to hunch my shoulders and neck or to pull a stray, white chin whisker or put in an eye drop. . I check to see if my smile has finally returned but alas, each day the face is still frozen in expression. 68 is rapidly approaching and I’m still looking in the mirror and wondering who that person is. I think when we are in survival mode, we are either deeply grounded or leave our bodies and just do what needs doing. You seem to be the deeply grounded sort. At least your reflection doesn’t scare the kids likes it’s Halloween every day. Have a wonderfilled Sunday.

  13. I think of you often. When I’m aching and hurting from a days work I wonder how on earth you manage so much. My work is nothing compared to what you do in a day! 🙂

    • And I am unable to do anywhere near what you do in a day, Lori! You are both brilliantly alive.

  14. I sometimes get startled when I raise my face from splashing water and there’s my mother looking back at me! The little voice in my head, I’ve been aware of since I was eight. So I know what you mean. Sometimes you look at pictures of yourself and that’s not quite how you see yourself in your mind’s eye. You are still the same person, just in a different setting?
    I love how healthy your animals look. And you will have a good cutting of hay. Theo certainly sounds like a survivor. Thank you for sharing.

  15. I’m often surprised by the face I see in the mirror. Sometimes I wonder where The Real Me has gone to! ; o ) Lovely post today – as always. My favorite photo of today is the one of the pea chick. I love the way he’s looking at the camera. And I find the behavior of the red chickens so interesting. It does seem like they’re all protecting – or at least gathering around him – during the night because the little guy calls out their natural maternal instincts. At least that’s my take on it! ; o )

  16. Why can’t they be haltered or something to walk? Are they not very obedient to a lead? I guess you have to train for that, wouldn’t you? Probably not worth the effort. My experience of cows is mostly at fairs where they are often on leads, and yet it never occurred to me they had to be trained to it. I guess I just assumed they were born waiting to be led.

    PS – I also have that feeling about my face. I mostly don’t look to hard at my whole face in the mirror, but when I do, I’m often surprised by my middled aged self.

  17. I have no interest in being young again or looking younger. I love the life I live right now most of the time . What depresses me is loosing my independence do to old age.

  18. Interesting to read. I had the priviledge of not seeing my face for a couple of months a few decades back when in India. It was unintentional and I don’t think you could consciously do this. It was a curious experience when I accidentally went past a mirror, it seemed like the face was independent of me though had a familiarity.

  19. I try not to look in mirror because i still i am young but the person in mirror has many lines and sagging chin. Her eyes sink in and her eyebrows ate out of shape

    I try not — Sent from my Android phone with Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

  20. So much of what I would say has already been said. The aspects of age that really upset me are lack of mobility – physical – and freedom – no more driving, so having to shop with Jock, which is frustrating in the extreme. Appearance desn’t bother me too much (I am 30-ish inside), but I get a fright in the mirror when I see my mother as she was at my age – 78. She was much smarter than I have ever been, clotheswise, as I’m a believer in comfort over style. But I think I am much younger mentally – still learning (Italian at the moment) while Mum was stuck in her ways and mindset. I think of Celie as 30-ish, in her prime.

    I love those piccies of the calves, and yesterday’s piggies.

    ViV xox

  21. I always know the person in the mirror in the morning… Until I put my glasses on!

  22. My mom used to talk about being startled by her own image. I don’t think I look markedly different but my daughter said to me the other day that I have squinty eyes like my son, and not big eyes like her. That gave me a start. When I was younger, I had very large eyes — just like hers. And then I looked in the mirror, and they have gone squinty. Hrmph

  23. These lovely pictures of lovely creatures, charming creatures, they are so…satisfying. And Cecilia, if you think of yourself now as a sleepy farmer, I cannot even begin to imagine what you were like as the mother of teenagers. It boggles the mind.

  24. What a fascinating post! I don’t look enough like my mother to see her in the mirror when I’m looking. I look more like my father, but I just turned 71 and he died when he was 58. Cancer. So he never made it this far.

    I haven’t been posting lately in the past weeks. I spent a lot of time looking for a place to live. It was hell on wheels! Now I am situated, but still do not yet have Wi-Fi. I thank God for my measly 6 GB of data on my iPhone, so I don’t completely fall through the cracks in life, drowning in what ever lurks below in the fiery, primordial ooze that slithers beneath our only too confident feet. Much love, Your Gayle

  25. Have you noticed your dream self is the same? Having just delivered our second baby I’m learning better this time than last time to adjust my self image at a faster rate. Even then I’m a bit surprised when I see pictures.

  26. I feel about 27 or 28 and every once in a while the mirror is a bit of a shock, putting me squarely into my late fifties. I think there is a point in your fifties when you move from being young to looking…less young. My father used to remark that sometimes in the morning he’d look in the mirror and wonder who that old guy was, then realize it was him. I always admired older faces that looked as though they were attached to a body that had an interesting life. It may be that’s the best way to think of it, while getting on with the interesting life!

  27. Love this post and read every single comment. Much to contemplate. Also love the image of the mama and calf chest high in green grass. Lovely. xx

  28. I am so with you on these thoughts. I, too, am shocked sometimes by the view in the mirror (mid-50s now). I’ve never been one for mirrors- I don’t dislike them so much, but just don’t spend a lot of time looking at myself (i.e., grooming – ha!). But, like you, when I stop and look, really look, I see myself again (with a healthy dash of my late mother – I really see the resemblance now that I’m of an age where my most vivid memories of her (at the same age) match what I see). I do think we start to come into our own in our 30s, which is why so many of us are surprised when we see something other than that 30-something human, who’s finally “getting” it. I still feel behind, and wish I’d woken up sooner as so many do (I’m a ponderer, contemplative by nature) – I finally got my longed for farm at age 50 (solo farming) and 5 years later there’s still so much to do. I’ve run into some health problems and am reevaluating everything. I am nowhere near ready to give up the dream (indeed, the dreams keep getting bigger!), but I need to find some help, at least temporarily, and am learning lessons around that (being able to ask for help is SO, so difficult for me). There’s a long way to go yet, and enjoying every minute of it!

  29. My mother died twenty years ago, yet she is in the mirror every morning to greet me. All my life when I met people they greeted with ‘Oh! Your hands are cold’. If they already knew the family then it was ‘You are so like your mother’! Inside I am still thirty with boundless energy and auburn tresses, unlike the outward image of grey hair and wrinkles… hell I am alive and happy in my skin, although the hills are hard, I can get up, dress up and come and go as I please.

    I am smiling at the idea of Theo the pea-chick attending slumber parties with the grown-ups! The cows look like you have given them a coating of moisturiser, if so, I am next in the queue! Enjoy the movie.

  30. You have the same kind of mirror I do! Love the post today and can so relate.

  31. I think of myself somewhere near 30. That’s when I was a few years into my first house and small acreage. I was single and often surprised myself at what I could do and/or figure out when things went awry. I think it was then too that I really lost most of my concern over what other people thought of me or expected of me. I find now, at 63 I identify with my step kids who are mostly less than 15 yrs younger than I rather than with my peers. I have to always remind myself that I’m the ‘grown up’! I must say, most mornings I’m glad I wear contact lenses so that initial mirror image is somewhat fuzzy. I still have to ask myself ‘what the h–l happened here’ when I catch a surprise glimpse of myself in a mirror. I do have to admit though that sometimes my 30 year old mindset says I can do that and my 63 year old body says oh no you can’t!

  32. I forget sometimes that I’m no longer a terrified 19 year old grappling with some of the hardest times I experienced in my whole life… Back then I was living in rural Australia, had to fight my OCD and therefore controlling parents to go to university, only to lose some family to a number of suicides and early deaths, having just found out I was pregnant, goodness the list of difficult circumstances goes on. Now I look in the mirror I see a tired-looking, overweight, greying 34 year old mum of teenagers. And yet I’m happier with my life now than I ever was. I try to think of my premature aging as battle scars – I’ve done it tough in my life and it shows. And that’s okay.

  33. Oh hahahah I look in my mirror and I say “MOM?” My siblings say I look just like our Mom and I act like her also- she passed away far too soon at the young age of 65- I am now almost 74- and I feel like I am her clone….lucky me- she was a great sweet woman and I hope I am at least a bit like her.

  34. I still think I’m 25 and had a reality check this week when I had to collect my drivers license 🙂 nearly gave it back saying the photo wasn’t correct. Another one coming up next week with a big birthday, I keep doing the math and the answer remains the same 😦 Still I am independent and active so it can’t all be bad. Laura

  35. I have this experience every day, and it is exactly as you describe. I have a lot of trouble accepting that extra skin on the front of my neck, the thinning hair (this drives me crazy), the stubborn shape of things. And then, I recalibrate and realize that for my age, I look pretty good after all. And I feel fine, so there. I turn away from mirrors much more quickly than I used to, that’s for sure. And I love it that for animals, mirrors play no role at all.

  36. I know exactly what you mean by the mirror thing. I am seventy-one but I sure don’t feel that old and I am always doing stuff that most 71 year olds would or could not do (painting rooms in my house, replacing floors etc.)
    I have two grown sons and both are very successful and I’m proud of them. But I’ll be truthful and say there are times I miss the little boys.

  37. It is words like yours that often start dialogue in our home. This walking by the mirror – turning and seeing yourself – and wondering where it all went, and am I that person. Both Lar and myself still think we are that other long gone person. Our hair is gray. The face a map of lines and wrinkles but we still that young adventurous person inside.

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