Daisy’s Naughty Face

Daisy is not always nice. But she is slowly increasing her milk production again. 

Ever so slowly. She was smelling sweeter yesterday too.  I personally think she has been a little off colour. She has had other symptoms indicating a heath struggle. But she is improving. It may be that because they are eating the grass so low now that she ate something she should not have.  The fields have been checked and I did find a few baby hemlocks popping up. Gone now. Though as a rule a cow would not eat them, it is hard to get them to eat the good weeds.

Some people in town were on a tree chopping mission which is miserable for the trees but means firewood for us in another year, or s,o once it is dried. In fact these trees were on a property previously owned by is family so there was familial determination not to waste the trees chopped down by the new owners of the property.  

We hate to see any tree go down and have never had to cull a tree for firewood yet. All our wood comes from opportunist gathering after other people have called in the tree choppers. Better that the trees keep us warm than end up as ignoninious wood chips.  There is an equation I have not made: green house gases released by rotting woodchips compared to a well managed fire.  The father was discussing it the other day but we have not come to a conclusion yet. 

Hairy and Mama. 

Daisy and Queenie playing.

The Daily View.

Did you notice that the lilac behind the little magnolia has also lost its leaves. We are having very strong winds yesterday and today. Bendy Tree days. It will be interesting to see what our View is tomorrow.

The low temps are not accurate as I did not reset the maxi/mini the day before yesterday. However if nothing else it does demonstrate the  extremes in temperature changes we can experience in 48 hours.

Good morning everyone. I hope you are having, or have had, a lovely weekend.

My word count is still growing. Nanowrimo with its lack of rules is a wonderfully free medium to work within. However I do think that my actual writing is improving. Many of you have asked when will you see this book. Well it really is just the draft of a book. Much of it is indeed exploratory.  There is a lot of blocking where I have just set down a part of a chapter, then gone quickly to the next one before it all falls out of my Paddington Bear head. There is a terrific amount of dialogue.  I shall begin the rewrite, I would like to call it an edit but it will be a rewrite, on January 1st, using the same daily schedule.  So sometime next year I may have a few passages ready for reading but the book, as books do,  will take some time. In fact I am not even sure what the ending will be yet but that is the beauty of Nanowrimo, I am given permission to just forge ahead and see what happens.

Have a lovely day.


Slow-Say Day.


I Glimpsed many pictures but took not one

For our Page,


I Heard lots of words but wrote none

To remember,


I Bought a big silver suitcase, though,

To carry along the way.

Someday –


I Say Yes to Today.

You too?

23 sleeps until lift off.

Are you coming to New Zealand with me?

I think – Yes.

Living vicariously is called sharing. Sharing is good.

 Good morning. Have a lovely, lovely day. Thank you so, so much for being who you are, where you are and sharing my journey.  Life is a journey you see.  And the journey does not stop until our breath stops. So it is good to have your company.

I am glad it is you who reads my funny words and visits my little life.  I would be sad without you and not know why. I am a lucky girl.

(Be quiet cat. Little Scrapper the Critic.)


Charlotte makes a run for it – ungrateful pig.

So yesterday on my rounds I took the piggies out into pats paddock to have a munch on the grass. They love good long grass and there was a little out there.

Then with no warning, Charlotte, aka Miss Naughty, went for a walk outside the fences.  I had opened the gate to fix the latch, she was behind me and out that gap before I knew it.  Everyone was shocked. 

If you do not recognise that eye, it is Hairy MacLairy, he has to stand close to the camera every single time. Sheila ran up and down the fence line screeching how come she gets to go out. I never get to go out. She gets everything. I hate her, -raising her voice, –  I hate you Charlotte, you are ruining my life. 

Charlotte was on an accelerated taste tour. Around she ran, with Ton and I in hot pursuit. When she left the field she ran straight for the ditch and as she began to totter down the bank I shouted (puffily as I caught up), that she was  a VERY NAUGHTY PIG and if she went down to the creek I would get quite cranky. And she did the strangest thing. She stopped, turned her head to try and see me, but her double chins got in the way, and then reversed back up the bank. Walked backwards all the way.

Then galloped back into the field again. Shocking behaviour. Queenie was shocked too, but  on the inside. 

Then Charlotte the ungrateful pig trotted back to the gate and was let back in. Once she got back to her own wee paddock she threw herself face down and lay quietly for quite some time.  Sheila continued the tour of the animals with me, all huffily and vocally, leaving Charlotte behind to recuperate.

The Daily View. 

Temps are about the same.

Good morning. We are a bit worried about Daisy as her milk production is steadily dropping over the last week or so. I am only getting a gallon, each milking, now.  Even less last night. There is no fields of grass left but she is eating piles of very good alfalfa hay. Plus beet-shreds, and alfalfa cubes, soaked in water and molasses and oats at every milking. She should milk well for months yet. What am I going to do if she dries herself up?

I will see what she does this morning then consult with the breeder.

It would be one less worry while I am away but if everything goes to plan, which does not always happen,  I hoped she would calve and milk again in the spring of 2014. This is an awfully long time to go without good milk.  I shall begin to seriously look for a  little Jersey cow for this spring. Or, maybe, she will get used to her dry feed and start giving more milk again.

Ah well. Thats OK. We will work it out. At least if she is not milking I can cut down on her feed a bit and the hay supply will last a wee bit longer.

Have a lovely day.


Oh and look what I found.. a piece of writing from last November that we should not ignore, because it is right.  This little essay explains some of why we live like we do.

It was not the 6th…

When I loaded all these shots I wrote the 6th of November as their label. 

But it was not the 6th. 

It was the 7th and another dreary day.

Today will be better. Look at this fat Charlotte. 

Standing solidly on all four feet like a good girl. Even if she has broken into the vegetable garden which is finished and waiting for its winter blankets. 


The good thing about rain is; it cleans the sheep’s wool  up beautifully.  I ran into trouble when I went to retrieve the Daily View. There were two labelled the 6th November.

And they looked almost exactly the same. 

The temperatures had the same problem, as there was very little change there either.

Good morning. It is going to be a little warmer for a few days now.  The Writing is at 28,431 which is good because I feel the struggle coming now. First I could not get enough of the location and the characters but now I feel the hard work coming on. It is the same when producing a play. There comes a time when you have to get out and Push it along until it gathers enough momentum to become the monster that will gaily tow you along to the finish line. About the only thing I know is that the self propulsion, I call it the monster because he is unstoppable when he kicks in, always comes. As long as you keep pushing, eventually all the parts click together and it works.

I guess it is the same for most big projects if they are right. And now I must get my farm clothes on,tie my hair up,find my jacket, boots, torch and hattie and go out into the dark and find my cow and start the milking.  Then get my nose back to the grindstone.

Have a lovely day.


Oh dear …

I got so carried away with The Writing that I did not get enough decent images for you yesterday. Or at least I forgot to check to make sure I had enough shots. Which I did not. And then it was too late.

This is the only one worth looking at and Daisy is all foreshortened, with her rump blending with the sky, she looks more goose than cow and Queenie is disinterested. 

I was going to talk about the ecosystem of the barn, how it all works together, how the kittens bring just the right tone of pragmatic cuddly, but it was so dark all day, so dreary and no-one would hold still for their photographs in the barn, and then it started to rain. Well, more of a drizzle, to go with the dreary.  Later the drizzle turned to slushy snowy rain. Not real snow though. None of that yet, thank goodness. Just wet and drippy.

So, I leave you with the Daily View.

Another cold morning.

And a story with 24,746 words. So far. I told you I worked well under pressure! Nanowrimo does introduce pressure.

Have a lovely, lovely day.


Beautiful Cold

Winter came, just popping in to remind me that he is on his way.

No resting on your laurels, miss c.

Winter is still a gentle voice in the distance, but he is on the road. 

But so beautiful, this cold. I guess the spiders are gone. Their webs are frozen solid.

I shot the Daily View early. So you could see what I felt. Are your fingers feeling that cold?

And then I encountered an interesting problem. Because the cover of the old temperature gauge is broken, the inside was all iced up and misty. I wonder if we will even be able to see it when it gets really cold. This will be interesting.  However the maxi/mini tells it all. A low of 18 I guess.  Minus 7C. Not too cold yet.

It is 24 (-4C), out there, as I write.  That is still within the bounds of live-able cold. And the sky is bright so we will have a good day.

I wrote an adequate number of words yesterday, but today, after visiting the Old Codger, I expect to get in a good afternoons writing.

You all have a lovely day.  Please feel free to steal or share any of these images. I don’t mind sharing.  My favourite for my pinterest page today is the one with the treehouse in the background.

Rug up warm..


A Delicate Shade of Lady’s Gray and Chocolate Mousse

Sunrise. Do you see that particular shade of barely bruised gray just above the uppermost layer of new light? I hope to find a scarf in that colour one day. Or maybe a full length skirt. It is such a delicate shade. 

Charlotte is back.                                                                                                                            She is still listing to starboard but gamely waddled out into the field and had a lovely day in the cool autumnal sun.                                                                                                               Much as I love that word autumnal I shall soon have to put it back in the book and take out the word: Wintry. Sigh. I am not a wintry girl.

Chocolate Mousse. 

I have discovered that there is NO WAY I can write my Novel while The Bears (Football, not to be confused with Footy) is blaring away in the room next door. My little travelling headphones were not up to the job, I need a noise-OUT pair. So I gave up and read some more of  Last Chance To Eat by Gina Mallet. And then I made Ulisse’s chocolate mousse. When in doubt – cook.

This is so simple and so decadent. Use 8 very fresh eggs. Todays eggs are best.

In one bowl 8 egg yolks beaten, in another bowl 8 egg whites whisked stiff.

Melt 8 oz of chocolate with 3 tablespoons of very strong coffee, then add 1 good slug of brandy.

Beat the melted chocolate into the egg yolks, then fold in the egg whites. This is a very old French recipe, and demands the very best ingredients and all I had was ordinary cooking chocolate bars and rough cooking brandy but still I was having real trouble waiting for it to cool enough to eat. This is light and divine. When you scoop out a portion it is all gorgeous pockets of chocolate air like a souffle.  A very healthy dessert. Gabrielle we must make this when I visit.

Refrigerate until quite cold and set. Eat in tiny portions or you will get as fat and happy as Sheila.

Daisy is milking much better with her new cups, it is a bonus for me to be able to see when the milk stops flowing through the little window at the top of the cups. So there is no danger now of over-milking her. She is happier. The surrogate milkers are happier too. They still come every evening. They chose to start the training early and it was a good choice as it has taken a while to establish a rhythm that works for them and the cow. She only gives about 20 pounds a time now, which is about four gallons a day.  This barely covers the calf and the pigs and the cats and dogs and about a gallon a day for the house. So the days of piles of yoghurt and fresh cheese are over for a while. I am seriously looking at the grass now to see if it can sustain another milk cow.

The chickens are just coming out of their molt, and will soon start laying better again.  When I come back from New Zealand I shall extend their days a little with a light. But there is no point pushing them quite yet. If we all ate eggs in a natural rhythm then there would be few eggs on the supermarket shelves during the deep winter. It is a natural rest time for the birds, (especially after their first year) they need 14 hours a day of light to lay well, but consumers demand eggs all year round and so they are forced to lay with artificial lights shining in their eyes day and night.  However my new pullets (Easter chickens) will toddle along (I get 6 0r 7 a day)and cover for the old girls who need a lengthier recuperation period. And as the days get longer egg production will rise.

The Daily View

Yesterdays highs and lows.

There now. Someone forgot to inform Daisy about the outdated principles of Daylight saving.  Falling Back an hour. In fact my little Paddington Bear brain has trouble getting it together as well. I hope you all have a lovely day.


A Fine day on the Farmy

It was a grey chilly day.  Almost no direct sunlight.  It is funny how even the tiniest shaft of sun can lift our heads.

Yes, this is the same peacock. The Duke of Kupa’s train is growing so fast! This has surprised me, I thought he would wait until late winter. But already he is working on his show plumage.

Charlotte was definitely up and about yesterday, limping and  cranky but fighting back.  A huge difference from  the other morning when she was still in her bed, while I sat beside her scratching her ears, her head laid down and not moving.  Just her eyes.   I was even feeding her by holding that bowl under her head.  But there is no way she was laying about yesterday.   The moment I appeared in the door she was up and hobbling across to see what I had. She had aspirin again yesterday but I will discontinue it today and see how we go. Aspirin is hard on tummys. I am going to collect some willow branches for them instead.

I have begun to gather all the post Halloween pumpkins off people’s porches for Daisy and the chickens.  I have heard that pumpkins are a very good natural wormer for chickens.  And as you know Daisy will run across a field if she sees a pumpkin being offered. 

Always with the roosters. 

Big Dog still wears his coat every night and yesterday wore it all day too.  This was a very good decision. I would put one on Charlotte too, if I did not know she would eat it! 

Quiet, fine recovery day. 

The Daily View.

Our temperatures are fairly stable and cool.

NaNoWriMo. 16528 words so far. I feel like my mind is being taken for a run every day. As though I am in training. This is excellent exercise for the imagination. A thorough workout.  I am finding it a bit harder to write with the house full of people and all their noise, which is interesting. I definitely write better when I am alone and it is quiet. Senior son suggested that I just put head phones on but with no music. This also deters interruption. I will give this a trial today.

Have a lovely day



Charlotte begins her Slow Recovery. Because I said so.

Yesterday, I called the vet to talk about The Shush Sister Charlotte, who is still walking very wonkily.  And not often. She lists to the side like a sinking container ship. 

But the vet was out for the day and would not be back until Monday.  No-one could help me there. Hmm. 

I called the breeder, no joy there either. By then I was feeling a bit annoyed with them all. So I decided to take things into my own hands and looked on the internet and discovered that pigs can take aspirin. Who knew!  One and a half per hundred pounds. So I  gave her three with some honey. Charlotte woofed it down then went back to her corner. Whether it was the aspirin or just that she is into her third day of recovery ( I refuse to discuss anything other than recovery) but she did move about a bit within the hour and she stood up to eat later in the afternoon.  Putting her foot down when she was eating.  

This is what I wrote to The Father:  Poor wee Miss Pig. I gave her three aspirin this morning and weirdly I think she is picking up, I will give another three this evening.
The vet never called back.  He was busy today.  His nurse said give it a few days.  I called the breeder he said  said oh geez I don’t know.. give it a few days.. No-one ever says what to do if nothing changes after the few days and how few those days should be!!
But she was up wacking sheila out of way when it was lunch time. And ate her food like a starving child. When she is well again both these buggers are going on a diet.

So I think she is ever so slightly on the mend. The mornings are the worst for her though.  Stiff I suppose. Ella Dee has suggested arnica and glucosamine. So we will find those too. I swear, between us, using all the knowledge the Weblog family has, and the support and good thoughts from you all, I think we can pull her through ourselves.  (That was a muddled sentence but it is too early in the morning for me to untangle it and I am sure you know what I am saying!

The Daily View, a month ago –

And yesterday.

The night temperatures are dropping. Twenty Two F. That is something like minus 4C. Chilly. 

Now I am going to go and grind up some aspirin for our girl (the hardest part is making sure it is Charlotte who gets the pain relief not that Sheila, but so far so good).

Daisy has new milking cups as part of the ever lasting mission to get the most comfortable and efficient milking system for the winter and these cups have a wee area at the top of clear plastic, so we can see what quarter is  giving how much milk, it is pretty neat actually.  They arrived yesterday.  Daisy does not care. Daisy being Daisy just eats, whips me with her tail and tries to kick the cups off when she decides she is finished.  Which is usually about the time she is finished but I prefer to take them off myself thank you very much Daisy.

Have a lovely day.


PS. Yesterday I wrote 3, 656 words, good words too I think, which brought my big total up to 12, 487 words. And I found that yesterday I was writing better too. The actual content is improving. I am not allowed to edit but I can already see where I will be deleting, adding and reworking  when January comes along.  But the story is fun. We just found the husband in a freezer in the back of a removal van!  Fantastic.  Ah well, we did not like him much anyway!

PSS. If you have a teenager saying what shall I do with my life tell her or him to be a vet. They will never ever be out of work.

Charlotte not much improved: vet today.

Peaceful day on the Farmy.  Later in the day the sun came out, and the wind dropped right away.

Poor Houdini can’t even have her dust bath in peace.

Mama has been doing a fence inspection

and is not impressed.

Charlotte is still limping dreadfully. I had to stay out of the barn yesterday as every time I checked on her she tried to drag herself up to see what was going on.  If I feed them seperately she does eat quite well.  At one point I fed Sheila then sat in front of Charlotte as she lay down and ate from a bin lid.  She ate everything too. 

And she is getting up to go to the toilet outside and drink her water. And seemed better in the afternoon. But I am not convinced she is improving. I shall call the vet again today. Sheila on the other hand is excited and busy and desperate to get out, but I cannot take her for a walk alone, it would upset charlotte too much, so she has to stay in as well.

The Daily View is still the same.

And the temperatures are still dropping at night though quite pleasant in the day. 

Good morning. Though the farmy was quiet yesterday the keyboard was not and the story roared away picking up 8,818 words so far.  As Bulldogsturf  advised me, just get as many words down as you can right at the beginning. Then I am committed. After that story will take over. So I am going with the flow. And I am loving it. Just letting the story take me where it will is so much more fun than trying to jam a story into a predetermined time line.

I will let you know how it goes with Charlotte, we have almost no chance of getting a vet to visit just for one pig.  Industrial hog farming has changed the perspective of an animals value.  And I am not seen as a real farmer so I have even less clout. And my favourite vet is a cow girl. She does not do pigs or sheep. And I have even less chance of getting the poor pig  up into the stock trailer to visit a vet. We will see. Fingers crossed.

But this is farming and we will keep on working at it. You all have a good day.