We worked in the grim cold and blowing though inconsequential snow all day then at the moment the sun committed to dropping below the horizon, to begin her journey to visit my children, she turned her fleeting lights on me. Suddenly and very briefly, sepia turned to glowing golden. 

Today I hope to load up Txiki and Aunty Anna and Stupid and take them over to the other side for the rest of the winter.  Aunty Anna will be sold in a month or so.   I am still loath to sell Txiki. She is such a nice fat heifer. I really want to keep her for breeding this coming summer. The hay is going down fast though. I did not plan on having so many cows so I need to push forward with sales.  I am a farm after all – not a zoo.


The moves today will leave only the milking cows and the calves here at the home farm. The barn here on the house side is much smaller and more difficult to manage in the winter.  Having said that I am tempted to bring Tia back from the West side to the house barn. She has grown to be a lovely heifer. Big and black and shiny. Her winter coat is luxurious. And if I am to breed her and train her to be a milk cow for the summer of 2019 she needs to be closer to the people for taming.

I will see if I can cut her out easily. If it is easy I will bring her back. But it is better to go slow in this cold. So I will be an opportunist.

Yesterday afternoon during the milking a fuse blew in the barn and suddenly everything was at risk. Luckily the fuses for that box are stored right above the fuse box  in the barn so it was an easy fix, and Lady Astor was more than happy to wait in her stanchion in the milking room eating her extra rations of hay while we sorted it all out, but it did bring my reliance on electricity into sharp relief.  Water immediately starts to freeze in these conditions.

In the few minutes that we rushed about seeking the problem, then fixing it, the pump and the pulsator began to cool (I bring the machinery out of the warm house at the last minute before milking). The pump and pulsator, which is on top of the bucket, sit under heat-lamps to keep warm and I had turned both lamps on in that blowing cold, so the heat-lamps blew the fuse.  It was 25F/-4C and dropping.  So the milking itself took a long time with the cold pump labouring.

Today I will unplug the water heaters before plugging in the heat-lamps.  We have more water heaters going this year which is probably the problem.


Because John helps me with the chores now, I am getting through the work much faster and getting more done each time.  So, by early evening, just as the sun showed her colours, all the farm work was done and I had already started the yoghurt and a sourdough focaccia.


I have never made focaccia bread before so we will see how that goes.

It is 7F/-13C, as I write in the dawn light this morning, but the sun is actually coming up into a clear sky and the wind has dropped so that bodes well! Everything feels better with sun.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

WEATHER: A sunny day!  Cold but sunny.

Saturday 01/13 0% / 0 in
Sunny. High 18F/-7C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.

Saturday Night 01/13 0% / 0 in
A clear sky. Low 3F/-16C. Winds light and variable.

7:16 am 4:47 pm

Waning Crescent, 11% visible 4:17 am 2:23 pm



37 Comments on “LAST LIGHT

  1. Wow, the colour of that sky against the field. There’s a leaden weight of snow up there, waiting for conditions to be right so it can fall. Do let us know how your focaccia went!

  2. I’m glad John has time to work with you in this bitter cold. Grand for two to pull together, & still time for baking & treats after the chores were all done. Good news.

  3. I am always amazed by how much you manage to fit into your day. Wish I was more like you although with my first hand surgery scheduled for 26 January, I am running out of time before I will be unable to do much for about 6 months!!!!!

      • I have made and frozen enough meals for 14 days and then I will instructing hubby. He has already joked he will publish a cookbook by the time both hands are done🤣

  4. I do love the color of the dry fields in sunlight. I also just noticed that the color of your kitchen walls are the same color as my sewing room walls. Funny how I had never seen that. That is some bitter cold. You probably have to put the bread near the wood stove to rise. I am crocheting a blanket for myself. It was a low of 30 here last night. Our second cold snap. Hope that helps with the bugs. And now I am hankering for yogurt and kohlrabi! Enjoy your delicious bread. Happy bovine moving day.

    • The bread is out of the oven and I have definitely learnt some good lessons. Sometimes the only way to learn something is to do it. I think I left it in just a wee bit too long. And maybe stretched it a wee bit too far. The next one is underway – I will have to give this one to Jake – I certainly can’t be eating that much bread on my post christmas Colourful Diet.

  5. I don’t know if it’s me but you seem to live such a hard life for someone so elegant…you are really dedicated to your animals . As much as I would like to be a farmer just so that I could have animals I would not like to get up so early and to work out in all conditions like you do. I also would have a zoo…I could not part with my animals, so all in all I would be useless as a farmer lady ….which is why I so admire you and all that you do.

    Stay warm ducky ( this is an east London terminology for someone dear)

  6. Spectacular photo! I love hearing reports of all you get done in a day so I can marvel at all you do. And resolve not to be such a sloth myself!

    • I agree, though I havent yet gotten around to that last part. Even the marveling requires a long sit-down on the couch., often meditating on how a community benefits wonderfully from the telling and picturing by one person’ of her unique world. Grateful for C.s work I am!

  7. Oh your kitchen is charming. A happy place–pretty hard to be depressed in that kitchen! No wonder you’re a chef spectaculaire! The fields of gold. So, so lovely.

    • I painted my kitchen yellow to help it look warm and cheerful when it is cold and bitter outside. i have a lot of colour in my house on the walls for exactly that reason. I literally chose the palette for the walls in the winter – figures.. c

  8. Those opening shots are the encyclopedia-perfect illustration of the meaning of ‘the Golden Hour’! Lovely. Happy cow-moving. We’re going out to the dairy today to see our cow friends, and taking a couple of the grad students along to introduce them. 😀 A Good Day!

  9. I know you have so much on your “plate”. BUT, have you ever thought of publishing a book with all your photos?!?!?!?!?! I will order several–for me and as gifts!

    • Actually if you scroll down and into the Green Room you will see a ZAZZLE button. In Zazzle there are postcards with my pictures – I update once a month, and a calendar. Some other bits and pieces. Hope there is something there that you like?

  10. I say, like the others, “Wow! What beautiful golden shots” Where are all of the animals? Have a wonderful day, Movin’ Mama! Oh, and I love the thought of the sun being on its way to visit your children – delightfully true muse!

  11. How wonderful to read your blogs again, Cecelia. you have the same amazing energy you always had, and are as creative in naming your animals! I came across a group of postcards I bought from you a few years ago; they are too precious to mail away. I am glad you are well.

  12. photos please of your foccia….and the yellow in your kitchen is the same yellow we have throughout our home….such a lovely color!

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