Tomorrow I leave for California – not for long – six days I think – so today John will do all the morning chores by himself so he can ask me any questions. It is actually pretty hard for me to stay inside while he does chores by himself but it will be ok. And now that I finally got my assignment finished and handed in ( the computer managed for that long before going black again. I was working fast and in fear of a collapse. So it will not be a perfect grade, but better than no grade). It was not a tough chapter though. I have achieved 100% for everything bar that first quiz so far.
However – I am getting through my list and according to my own timetable I am still on schedule for my departure of the farm at 5.30 tomorrow morning.
Yesterday John created the gap in the back wall of the Rat House so the big pigs can come through to be fed on the dry side of the Rat House. We even found an old heavy door so the gap can be closed. With Anna here ( and helpful Sheila and Poppy) I was able to clean up the rat house floor and make rubble steps and get their corridor cleared. Did I tell you there is a blues brothers car in there. I am sure Poppy is thrilled.
I fully expected them to go back down into the root cellar at night but Sheila is tired of stairs and chose instead to sleep in the little tin house.
Winter feeding will be so much easier for them now. This part of the field ( in the foreground of the above shot) is an old driveway and more solid – not nearly as muddy. But cold in winter – this way they can still get back to the sunny side.
So, Sheila and I are pleased and now John can feed them.
I was wondering if you have any questions for me as blog posts for when I am in the California suburbs. Questions would be such a marvelous help for the blog while I am gone. I don’t tend to write about my family on the blog and the suburbs are not exactly heaving with photos!
I imagine a good question for new people is why the Rat House is called the Rat House. Maybe I could draw you a map of the farm again? – with kids crayons!!
Do you have any questions? Things you have always wondered?
I love the crayon idea! Have a good Christmas with your family.
Ok. I will do that one!
Yes I do too. Would love a map.
I rather like the photos of the ‘burbs, it helps me to picture where you are. I will of course keep checking in, happy holidays and we will see you on the other side. Laura
Ok! Good thinking – I will do one post on the horrible suburbia .
I used to live in California many moons ago and was back there last year to visit friends.
Have a great time with the family .
I would like to see photos of trees & plants, anything blooming or fruiting now at Christmas time in California. Just on a stroll down the street & round the block or in the yard. If the weather is nice & you are outside. I wish you a safe & easy traveling & a happy time with your family, & everything well & fine at home till you return.
It is winter there too. But they are still picking mandarins I think? At least they are still packing them
Yes, but what does “winter” look like in Cali? Seconding Kate, pics would be good: )
Oops, JM I meant…
I love statistics: how many acres is the Farmy, how many of which kind of animals, how much hay do you get through, how much milk do the aunties produce. Those of us who’ve been following the Farmy for a while are used to the comings and goings of the creatures, but it would be interesting to have a census! Have a good trip, enjoy your family and the festive season.
A census! Well done Kate !
Yes great questions.
Have a wonderful holiday!
You too Deb!
Happy holidays! Enjoy the family. Ours is coming to visit, so lots of cooking, biking, riding and card games in store. Oh, and karaoke and dancing! 🎄🎄🎄
Wow! Your family knows how to have fun! That is great.
Did I tell you …
No, you didn’t tell “there is a blues brothers car in there.”
I am sure Poppy is thrilled.
Sure “Poppy is thrilled”?
She is the type of pig who might just rise up on her hind legs grab a mic and break into song!
A picture of that would be great! Perhaps John could snap one while you’re gone? 😉
Can we get a “rise on the legs and break into song” song.
Happy new year.
Ah yes – that one!
Why did Sheila become a pet pig instead of part of the production? I only started reading a year or two ago and she was already queen of the farm.
Oh VERY good question!
Why don’t you just go & have a great holiday & forget the blog until you come back??? I will miss you terribly but I can survive a week – you need a break!! And you can tell us all about it – with pictures from your phone – & how John survived as well, when you get back!!!!!
But I will miss you too!!
I’m glad you have a chance at a trial run with John doing the chores. Probably easier for both of you. We’re just glad you’re having a break. Maybe drop your computer off at the repair shop and use your phone or borrow a family members computer while you are away? I’d like to see a map of the farm and what future plans you have? Is there a way to improve drainage to the boggy fields? Enjoy your vacation!
This computer would cost more to fix than it did to buy!
Mmm… Called planned obsolescence and become more and more overt, sad isn’t it?:/
“This computer would cost more to fix than it did to buy!” –
you’re online – where’s the problem.
all the best.
Yes! I cannot find the problem! Weird.
Cecilia, let’s start with
which operating system.
Do you have data in hand written form so we can new build an excel file.
Is it worth the afford.
Perhaps you could give us a reminder of who the current animals are on the farm?
Oddly, when I tell people about your farm blog, I most often talk about Boo. His nannying heart has me besotted.
My husband, being a practical man, is most interested in hearing how the ducks are getting along. “Fifty cents an egg?!”
Yes! The census question has two votes!
Have a wonderful time! I can’t thonk of any questions except, how are the cows? but will reply again with more if I do.
A cow catch up! Good idea
Once, quite a while ago, you wrote a post about your theory of getting things done. Since I’m in awe of what you accomplish, I’d love to read more about that. Or you could just dig out that old post and run it again. Or you could take a break! We’d miss you, but you deserve it. Have a wonderful time.
That is a very good question. I will write an up to date version.
Does a “like” count as a vote, C?
Oh kid’s crayon drawings please! Post some!!! And I would love to see a crayon drawing of the farm by you. I so love coloring and using crayons! I have a box of colored pencils and a wide assortment of colored pens at my desk so I can cheer up my notes. Currently I am using Pink, Green and Blue pens. Pink for budget, blue for IRS tax stuff and Green for my sales stuff. 🙂
And I love that you use colours in your work!!
Yes, a map drawing of the farmy would be great! Maybe something like an aerial view so we can see all the buildings and fields so we get the perspective on where they are to one another and to the house? With the gardens in there too? 🙂 Sorry, you did ask what we’d like to see! 🙂 🙂 🙂 And if you get to the ocean, maybe a beach shot or two? Just know you will have a fabulous time!!! xo
Oh how I wish I was going to the ocean – – I go into Fresno and drive from there – we are landlocked and of course half the kids are sick!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday, you so deserve it. If you do post any crayon pics of the farm layout that
would be wonderful. I try hard to imagine it all but it’s rather challenging.🎄🍷
This is a popular question!
My goodness! Jude is starting to look so grown up. Hope you have a wonderful holiday and congrats on completing your assignment before break, in spite of constant technical difficulties.
We don’t get a break either! It is an online course and we have tutors and everything so I guess they don’t get Christmas off either!
I know you do a lot of cooking while visiting. Maybe some food pics sans family, menus and recipes? (Are you going to grade John on his chores?)
Oh no! You mustn’t even think that way (Any help is better than no help…)
I don’t cook in the house I am visiting . Too many rules! Every single person has a different requirement or allergy so I am nanny not cookie. And quite happy about it !
So you will be getting a rest from cooking at least. (Besides visiting with everyone is what it’s all about, hey?; )
Oh, I have no doubt blog topics will find you – you’re probably something of a magnet for orphan thoughts, too. HAHA
Take care, stretch out, and enjoy (days start getting longer shortly)
Yes, “days start getting longer” today!: )
Happy Solstice to all!!
Yes, VERY good news: )
Starving for sunshine!
Having not been with you since the begining, I sometimes wonder how you got into farming, specifically environmentally sustainable farming? What was the calling? When did you decide this was a project that you wanted/needed to tackle? How did you go about making the leap into it? And how, as a native of a very far away country, did you end up in central Illinois? I love your blog, and we are richer for you here, but it is not an obvious destination (at least to me)! 😉
Also, I too am looking forward to the crayon sketch!
Ok. That is a substantial question or – maybe – very simple
I love to hear the history of the animals and sad as it is maybe about WaiWai too. We need to be reminded of his sorrowful past and how you nursed him big time back from the literal jaws of death. It isn’t bragging as you might think. It’s facts. Plain and simple.
Also TonTon—when did he come to the farm. And maybe talk about each of the cows. And when are the two aunties due.
Oh – wonderful idea! Yes!
Another crayon vote from me !
I will do my best
Yes a visual in crayon would be great. I STILL don’t know where the rat house is or the root house is either. And maybe Manu’s digs too.
I will add detail
Safe journey and enjoy your time with your family. 😀
I hope so.
From my neck of the woods in California – near Fresno – actually 12 miles from Yosemite, the sun is shining gloriously. We have had rain which has lead to heavy fog at times, and the oh-so-wise weather folk are predicting snow Christmas Eve and Day at our elevation. Really a shame you can’t make it to the coast in the Cambria area (about a 2 1/2 hour drive S.W. from Fresno – the mama elephant seals are birthing and it’s quite a to do going on over there!
Oh SO looking forward to the Farmy drawing – with crayons! LOVE IT! I’ll print it out and frame it! Have a wonderful Christmastime with your family! Big hugs!
Oh wow – elephant seals. I will try but they are all a bit sick this week- we’ll see
I am happy to see what ever you seen that catches your eye… glimpses of suburban California. I travelled to and through it once by train in 2000, and the glimpses of eveyday life, residential areas was every bit as interesting as the tourist destinations. Merry Christmas ☺
Ok! I am
I would love to hear how it all started for you. How do you know what to feed them, how do you know which species get along with each other, do you have a mentor to teach you all things farming, or do you go by trial and error? Would love to hear geeky details about barn building, fence design, what you feed the animals.
I recently started reading your blog and I get drawn in by the animals antics and the simple rhythm of farm life.
A very comprehensive question. A Good one!
Just sit back, relax, soak up the presence of your family and have a very happy festive season.
No sitting back and relaxing with four kids in the house!
LOL, I’m sure they’ll fulfil your need to be busy; )
A different sort of busy, where you don’t have to be in charge, but just have fun.
Sheila’s moving out to her own space again!
Crazy little Piggy Poo is growing!! Happy for you to get away and visit your Kids!! Take a real vacation and forget the blog!!! What a Christmas present you are giving John ~~~ do all the chores!!! Just back from a 3 week trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and Mekong Delta river cruise!!! Their winter weather: daily mid – high 90’s with 85 – 95% humidity!!! help!! Saw much of the 3rd world living over there ~ but no more wars for those people ~~ and they are very happy and were very friendly to our group of 51. Their motto: “forgive and don’t look back ~ focus forward and keep on going.” Wishing you a nice Christmas getaway!!
And now you are back and we are not too cold for you
Did the old cars come with the farm or did they come with John? I am not new and I don’t know what is behind the name Rat House. I hope we get some good photos of beds that are made by the pigs this winter. That is always so fascinating.
Oh yes! I can go that when I get home – Wai makes amazing beds too!
A Blues Brothers car might be worth something to a rabid fan. Money for the farm
I wish – but John will NEVER sell any of his cars. They just sit there and gather dust. Completely beyond my ken.
Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time – wish you could be in two places at once: John will miss you . . . happy Yule to him also . . .
Being an ‘oldie’ I know some . . . . but how a NZ drama teacher and a London film 2iC, after the happenstance of having been 16 in central Illinois, decided this was her mid-life choice . . .
*laughter* Thought the one above was a Q!
I agree, I am not new but I must have missed the explanation of the Rat House. Have a lovely break.
Have a wonderful trip and lovely Christmas with your family. I hope the children recover so everyone can feel well for the holiday.
We’ll see but grandma has a suitcase full of projects!
Yes, why is it called the Rat House, please? Also, when seen from this angle, Sheila is not only svelte, but a complete mountain of muscle: )
She is lovely isn’t she!
Merry Christmas and Happy New you to you and your family Cecilia xo
Thank you Nuts! You too
He is the rabid fan
You planted a lot of tree saplings some time ago. I’ve wondered how they are doing and what they look like.
Merry Christmas Celi, hope you have a wonderful time in California. XOXO
The Rat House? Did I miss something? You raise rats as well as pigs?
There is just as much potential subject matter in suburban areas as there is elsewhere. It seems to me that you would find more to get pictures of there than at home, just because it is so different. When I was in Oklahoma, I found that the subject matter that was very compelling to me was not so interesting to those who were familiar with it. For example, they thought nothing of snow. Nor did they notice anything wrong with the lack of mountains or hills . . . . or ‘anything’ off in the distance. It seems to me that the common scenery in Fresno could be made interesting by someone who is not so accustomed to it.