Yesterday morning I was out the door very early again to deliver a hog and as I sat on the steps, two dogs behind me,  five cats behind them,  to put on my “going off the property boots” I heard the sleepy good morning grunt of a very mature pig in the garden by the verandah. This was of some concern. Pigs should not be in the garden at the bottom of the steps in the early pre-dawn morning. “Excellent.” I said to the cats.  I never wear my home boots off the farm as part of my own self-imposed biosecurity measures.  The soles of your shoes/boots carry lots of nasties and when I go to the feed store or the abbatoir (the only two places I seem to go lately) my shoes exchange organisms with other farmers.  Home boots are my NZ gumboots for my home fields and they never leave my property. Away boots are my ‘good’ work boots, they have laces and never go onto my own fields just the drive and the truck. So I sat down on the step to lace up my Away boots and came eye to eye with Molly the big baggy boobed sow, who was also sitting – at the bottom of the steps – yawning. you-will-never-see-him-002you-will-never-see-him-004

Literally yawning she lumbered up from her prone position under the hydrangeas to sitting then to a noisy stand on the path.


She had escaped sometime in the night and now she was complaining that her babies were all alone in the barn and she could not open the gate to get back in and I was out of chicken feed.


Once my laces were tied, I stood up and she led me and the dogs and the cats back to said gate – I opened it, she shuffled in, had a nice big drink then went in to check on the babies.  I shut the gate and her garden gate until I could get home to sort her out.


She is in heat and when a sow is in heat anything can happen.


I delivered the hog to the abbatoir in the trailer and when I arrived there is the glistening dawn; the trailer had a flat tyre. I discovered it was going down as I travelled but a stock trailer had two tyres on either side of the trailer and the trailer is centred above these double sets of tyres so it can ride on three wheels in a pinch which I decided to do.   I had an animal to deliver.


But this drive is an hour each way and I elected not to drive BACK on three tires. So I unhitched the empty trailer in an empty lot and drove back to the farm, changed to my gumboots, reconfigured Molly’s fence so she could get out to her garden but not OUT Out. I fed the cows and pigs and chickens, cleaned out the calves barn pen,  milked the cows, then collected a really big, really heavy jack and tools and a tall young man, changed to my Away boots and back we went to change the tire.


I can’t tell you how grateful I was, both for the tall young man and the serviceable spare tire.  One never knows. Finally we got the trailer back to the family workshop on the other farm and Our John will grumble his way over there after work tomorrow, fix the tire, then bring the trailer back and I will load it up again with hogs for another delivery on Wednesday.


The big machines have come and are taking down the wall of corn that surrounds me.



It is a little bit of a culture shock when the walls come down but a good one.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

WEATHER: Some sun to begin then clouds again.

Tuesday 11/14 0% / 0 in
Sunny this morning then becoming cloudy during the afternoon. High near 50F/10C. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.

Tuesday Night 11/14 90% / 0.1 in
Cloudy with occasional rain late. Thunder possible. Low 43F/6C. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 90%.

6:39 am 4:34 pm
Waning Crescent, 15% visible 2:37 am 3:01 pm

PS. This week will be a bit raggedy re: posts. I do another hog run early Wednesday morning, then up to Chicago that evening with Jake to meet some people, then on Friday I fly out to California to pick up the Family Matriarch who needs her Handmaiden to escort her back home. I will be back Sunday in time to load another hog who is sold then Monday morning another early morning delivery.

Then next week two sets of guests.

And I have run out of work pants and socks.  I desperately need to do some laundry and at least clear the floors.

Yesterday evening I jogged around the farm doing chores. Which I don’t mind.

And in 32 days you and I are flying out of here to California again then New Zealand for Christmas.  And a bit of a wander around my beloved home country.  The pace will drop down to Travel Blog pace. Nice.

Lots ot do.


43 Comments on “EXCELLENT

  1. I smiled at your home and away boots. The same procedure’s in place here, although the context is different. I have some boots I wear only on certain prairie preserves, and others I wear when I’m just out and about in the country. The possibility of carrying non-native seed into the prairies is very real — albeit a reality I knew nothing about until the past couple of years.

    • Yes. I hope everyone does as you do. There is an old graveyard not far from here that has the oldest known collection of ancient prairie grasses around these parts. I don’t think people are allowed on it at all.

      • Sometime, in your free time (HA!), I would love it if Camera House took a trip to that graveyard.

  2. Wow your very busy! Ha you do not want your pigs going out out! I go out, but very rarely go out out. 😀

  3. I luv the Kitty Kitties ~ sweet and happy!! And I really luv the pictures of my John Deere machinery!!! Even better is when I can drive this machinery and listen to those engines bringing in the crops and smelling the harvest!! Awww ~ harvest!! Hang in there Celi!!

  4. Goodness. What a week you have. Thank you for the advanced notice so we will not worry if there is no post.
    You do have the most beautiful kitties, that photo perhaps another contender for a card or postcard?

    • I do worry that you worry but sometimes I just cannot get to the screen. But all is well – there are busy periods and slow periods – looking forward to the slow periods! c

  5. Molly the pig escapes and waits for you to finally! (in her mind) come out to help her. She’s a good mom in spite of being in heat. Using the word hog when transporting to the abattoir is helpful, to me anyway. I hope the Matriarch is okay.

  6. I had to take a deep breath for you after reading this. What a crew you have there talking to you first thing in the morning. Bless those tall young men. Picking mine up at the airport tonight. 🙂 Hope the rest of your day is lovely and free of corn stalks. I do understand that feeling.

  7. Lovely post- those pigs can certainly keepyou busy….love the kitty photo! Cheers and where do you travel to California? Probablynot close to us
    in the north near Mt Shasta? Have a great day!

    • I will be flying in and out of Sacramento – I am embarrassed to say I don’t even know where Mt Shasta is – I will look in my map .. I have a huge wall map of America rolled up in the corner for these geographical moments.

  8. Goodness, a crazy busy time! I look forward to traveling to New Zealand with you. It was one of my Dad’s favourite destinations and he spoke very often very favourably of it but he never took pictures so we had to use our limited imaginations along with a few postcards. Hope not too many snags get in the way of your busy schedule and it turns out to ben at great day! ~ Mame 🙂

  9. Oh Celi, so many memories here, both good and bad…
    I know it must be soul-releasingly good that they’ve finally come to rip down those green prison walls; but I look with horror at the sheer SIZE of these things… Knowing the height of the trailor-hauling tractor, with its double large front tires, gives a scale for that monstrous combine which is just totally mind-boggling…
    When I was a kid, we always feared for the Wildlings that might be hiding/ nesting/ foraging in the corn fields at harvest time (and the Harvesters actually had short lengths of chain dangling from their maw which were intended to rattle and “flush up” anyone unlucky enough to be in their path; but there were no air conditioned cabs on machinery back then – at least none around here – so harvesting happened at a much slower pace to keep the dust down (and not get asphyxiated): But OMG, judging the speed with which these Behemoths are running by the clouds of dust trailing behind; nothing live has a sliver of a chance to escape them, especially as they’re most likely frozen in fear at the incredible din the bloody things must be creating, running full-out as they are!
    However, as a high point, I don’t see how they’d ever be able to notice the little bit of harvesting that WeiWei and the rooster might’ve done; ) and, (a mixed blessing hey?) at least they’ll be there and gone in a flash, running at Warp Speed as they are…
    Hope everyone at the Farmy has their dust masks on while it lasts… Or, even better, that you’re all upwind of the dust and din; )

    • Oh, and almost missed your P.S. Enjoy your time off the farm (that’s nothing to do with wearing barn clothes; ) and Best of Luck to you and Jake with that “meeting with some people”… : )

  10. I, too, loved the picture of the kitties! The little grey seems to be saying, “See, Mom! I am NOT orange, but I’m still a kitty, nonetheless!”

  11. I love your energy and description of your life on the Farmy. I always feel like I’m right there with you. My kids are grown, but I remember the hurry scurry of life with people and things to organize and care for. Thank you for sharing. I’m hoping that one day I can check out the restaurants that will be serving your delicious Farmy raised pork. Safe travels.

  12. hmm…”collect a tall young man”….it sounds like you have a ready supply of them,just waiting to be gathered up for a task or two. Like coats in a closet. I’d like one of them, I’m waiting for a tall young man…..or even a short older man….to wander by and carry a table downstairs for me. Love the sweet tabby kitty face peering intently at us…..I have two like that. Busy days….excellent!

    • Actually, I do have a wee supply of tall young men. And they are not even mine! Hope you get help with that table soon – stairs make things so much more difficult.

  13. Well…. it sure is NEVER dull at ‘the farmey’!! Loved the night photos – and all the others as well, of course. And how exciting that you’ll be in New Zealand for Christmas !! Can’t wait to ‘share your trip’ with you!! ; o )

  14. Hmm, that was a bit of an Excellent morning. Handy that you had a tall young man tucked away for just such emergencies! How lovely that your homeward bound trip is now close enough to be counting the days 🙂
    I know exactly how the Cutting of the Corn feels for you; it’s the same thing when the 12ft walls of sugar cane come down around here. Suddenly, you can see for miles, dangerous corners stop being corners, cane trains no longer appear with their 120 bins of cut cane trailing behind them to hold you up for 20 minutes, and views, neighbours and shortcuts reappear from out of the green forest.

  15. You had me with the kitty picture, and the word-image of your early morning entourage.
    Ah yes, it’s yet another point in the year when things change… get busy for some and [hopefully] slow down for others. I’m looking forward to some quieter time to vicariously snjoy your travels ☺

  16. Oh I have mixed feelings about the corn, I can’t wait til it comes down along the road I walk so the corner is no longer ‘blind’. But then I miss it when the wind comes whistling across that now bare field! I just received a picture of my tall young man – ie my second youngest grandson – he was in his full dress uniform (he’s a brand new marine), in the national cathedral in DC. I don’t know when he got so handsome!

  17. Excellent indeed! I am far behind on my blog reading. Too much work, but too much work is an Excellent thing at times! and I must be grateful for it when it comes! No grumbling, no sir. I love the nighttime pictures. When I look at them, I sense a nip in the air, do I not? (You gotta hand it to the French. Abattoir is a rather nice-sounding word.) xxxx

  18. Excellent indeed! I am far behind on my blog reading. Too much work, but too much work is an Excellent thing at times! and I must be grateful for it when it comes! No grumbling, no sir. I love the nighttime pictures. When I look at them, I sense a nip in the air, do I not? (You gotta hand it to the French. Abattoir is a rather nice-sounding word.) xxxx

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