Writing with Soap in the Shower.

The best ideas come to me in the shower. My mind is on a pause and all the little searches I have launched during the last few hours suddenly get busy and bring me answers.

So I write myself notes on the shower walls. This may look like an utter failure when I go back later to see what I wrote but there is always a clue in there to help. Sometimes it is something to add to the grocery list. Sometimes an entire story line. Sometimes a location and sometimes a reminder to start another loaf of bread. Each of those little glass blocks has a thought in it.

They are almost all transferred into my notebook now. Safe. Just one more glass brick to decipher.

In the Barn

The calves are still deeply quiet. Posing perfectly for their photographs. Eating well and doing all the right things.

Brown calf and black calf with white blaze.  Inside old barn.Eating hay at insdide feeder.
BooBoo lying in the straw at the entrance to old barn. Straw in foreground, driveway in background

This rooster below can stay as long as he likes. He is very old. And has a broken wing. Not surprisingly he is called Old Broken Wing.

Usually he sleeps with the cows but since they have gone out into the back field with Tima he has been considering sleeping with Grumpy Wai and his cat.

There is a lot to do in the barn, every day I clean out a little more and bring it back to life.

Old colourful rooster in neglected side of old barn. Straw on floor, old timbers old joinery.

In the Fields

In the Back Field the cows have taken to sleeping as close to Tima as they can. The big Charolais cross is literally sleeping across her doorway. He often sleeps lying flat out on his side which always scares me half to death.

Tima has been out grazing so I think she is over her fright.

Cream Charolais cross and Angus cows laying in a field beside tin hut.

Organic wheat. Growing slowly in this cold start to May.

2 cast iron chairs and a table in an organic wheat field, flat horizon beyond.

In the News


Every Monday I publish a small piece of writing on Substack. You don’t have to sign up or subscribe (though you are welcome to), (there is a paid option too – these are the Thursday Group if you would like to support my writing) but no need for that yet – you can just follow this link and make a cup of tea and have a read.

Read about Mrs Van who was a huge influence on how I live my sustainable somewhat self sufficient life.


Cecilia at the kitchens garden substack

Writing this was like visiting her again and she died years and years ago, just after Mum. So it was a real pleasure to write. I feel fuller after writing this. It felt like touching base – going home.

And just as importantly I am writing these snippets to IMPROVE my writing to a deadline so, as you read, if you are ever confused or feel you missed information – do tell me. I would appreciate that.

I am thinking of reading my blog as a podcast. Once a week. For the Thursday Group. What do you think about that? Starting right at the beginning. And reading a weeks worth – on a Thursday at Substack. Do you think that is nuts? We have until tomorrow to decide.

I only just thought of it and wow – it might be fun and sad and awesome and full of information – I could ad lib a bit. Think about it. Let me know. I think it would appeal to the Fellowship AND new readers.

While we are thinking I will go way back and read them to myself. See what I sound like.

In the Garden

Here is a shot from the South Porch of the robins nest. There are two robins feeding them. It is pretty cool to see. I need to work out how to tell a female robin from a male.

Robins nest in the branches of a cherry tree, wheat fields beyond

All Robins look the same to me at the moment.

South Porch Food in Pots

collection of salad greens growing in a pot.

Not long now and I can start picking these leaves. When they are baby leaves I cut them with scissors. And I only cut exactly what i want to eat.

The Weather

Still chilly.

Weather in central illinois May 2 2023

And I am still moaning about it. And today will stay cloudy with wind coming later.

Another good writing day! I better get the clothes out on the line before the wind comes up.

I promise when it is warmer I will get back out into the garden. (tomorrow)

I did pick a pound of asparagus yesterday, though!

Now, back to that glass brick – I think it says SALT – hmm – why would I write salt?


41 Comments on “Writing with Soap in the Shower.

  1. Good Morning, Miss C—it’s a colder day here, but warm enough that I have all the windows up. Rain is in the forecast. Have a Happy Day. My heart and thoughts are with you.

  2. Love those delightful bobbies, what good boys. The female’s feathers look washed out and faded compared to the darker, richer colours of the male! Apparently! I won’t make the comment l was going to! I would love to hear your voice on a podcast as long as l will still be able to see your beautiful photos.

    • That is a good thought Andrea. The photos are so important to the blog. Maybe people could choose to be in the site to look at the photos as I read? That sounds pretty radical but what do you think?

    • Try it Dorothy! It is a deeply flawed system but kind of works!!

      I wonder though if anyone would pay 5 dollars a month to have the farm blog read to them. I started reading it out loud just now and oh mercy ! The grammar!!! So it would be fun to read and ad lib around. I think

  3. This is what I learned from the internet: Males have rust-colored feathers on their chest, a yellow bill, a black head, and white outlines around their eyes. They also have gray wings and backs. Female robins look similar to males, but their colors are much duller and sometimes blend together, making identification difficult. Have a lovely day- you have so much richness in your life by living on a farm!

    • Thank you! They do look very similar. Thank you so much for the research. I love that this pair have very sweetly placed their best so close to the South Porch. Have a great day.

  4. “I feel fuller after writing this” – what a great way to express that feeling. You’re so right.

  5. You know I love your stories out loud so why not give the blog out loud a try as well if you have the time and are game to do it. No harm in ever trying something to see how it works 🙂

    My shower is tiled so unless I write in dirt I will never see what I put there! I don’t think a lot in the shower though. Mostly things just come to be when least expected but if I don’t jot them down then I forget quite quickly…

    • It would be instead of reading the stories? I occurred to me that the early years of the blog are so full and rich – they need sunshine again.

      • I want your stories in whatever way works for you C 🙂 But I do love to hear your voice after that first podcast listen at Substack. It brought the words to life in such a good way.

  6. Love you writing on the shower walls. Hilarious! I read all the comments about you reading your posts. I think that would be great since you have a lovely voice, but please don’t edit the grammar because that is part of the charm. Anyway, as you probably know on Substack they have a thinger where you can easily add audio to your post–as in reading the post. So I don’t see why your handy-dandy web guy couldn’t figure that out here. And yes charge people $5 a month for it. I’ll bite.

  7. I’m signed up for the Substack stories… Thursday podcast group would be good to explore. You always inspire me, and I love reading and hearing people’s stories day-to-day and the past.

  8. Hi Celi. I too have many good thoughts while in the shower. Unfortunately of course, because I’m Ancient, the thoughts don’t stay for very long. So one day I had this great idea that I would record on my iPhone the thoughts I had in the shower. I placed the phone outside the shower but unfortunately, (hear me laugh here) all that I heard when I played it back was the sound of the running water in the shower. So it’s back to the drawing board for me.

  9. I think it would be fun for people to hear your authentic voice, rather than the one they hear in their heads when they read your written words. It changes the flavour. When I first heard you speak I was surprised, I can’t explain why, but I had imagined your voice would be deeper and slower. But the true voice adds flavour to the words! As for words in the shower – could you keep a grease pencil in there to write quick notes? It won’t wash off with water, but will rub off easily with vinegar.

  10. When i read your writing, i feel that i am in my home, my village in the foot of a mountain in Indonesia. Thank you Cecilia…

      • 12 years ago… but every year i visit there to see my father who is almost 80 years old. He lives with my sister. Our home located in the middle of rice field with mountain view

  11. I loved your story about Mrs. Van. She has secrets and I need to know more! What I loved most though was the description of her house. I love old houses and hers sounded wonderful I could just picture it. I will re-read again to get an even better picture. Looking forward to listening to the podcast, I listen to podcasts while I work so this one will be a perfect addition to me workday.

  12. Maybe you needed to buy some salt 😊 Yes I think you should read your blog .. ! No one knows it better than you … I think it would be lovely hearing your voice

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