It’s OK I won’t count the days!

The Duke of Kupa is still beautiful…

… even though his tail is all but gone for the winter.

The girls are all hanging out together in the Potato Paddock. A little flock.

And look who has been let out of the hospital wing and rejoined the nursery…

Bobby Blanc is all better. Much to my relief.  He is walking properly now, no limp, and is thrilled to be back running with his little flock.

Good morning. I hope all is well with you. Our days seem gray and still lately. Cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoons.  Dry again now. We have had no rain again for a while.

The tree in the foreground of our Daily View is a Magnolia. I think it is called sunrise something, anyway it will have big gorgeous bright yellow blooms in the spring.  When that and the Maple and the Red-stemmed Dogwood all lose their leaves you will have a clear view to the barn and the home paddocks for the winter.

The View you have chosen is facing West. So there will be sunsets.

I am going to give you a daily temp too. 

I don’t want to make too many changes at once.

But this slightly crooked thermometer has been on the Wendy House about 10 years or so and is suitably worn looking. Also it is in Celsius and Fahrenheit. So it covers us all.

It is a gentle way for me to show you  the temperature. I get a wee bit obsessed with the temperatures out here. And the Wendy House (which is  the wood shed), is close to the verandah.

Have a lovely day.


On this day a year ago. I was telling you about fishing for food in New Zealand and making chowder.  I enjoyed revisiting this piece. It is hard not to miss the beach.

And the Winning View IS…

I was on tenterhooks all yesterday watching the voting from my little White House.  I do actually have a collection of rooms called the West Wing too!!  I was watching the polling and working in the changing light and thinking about a whole years worth of seasonal changes in the slowest of increments as we go down into winter then climb back out into the summer. Like time lapse but bigger. 

Our lives are a study in light. Shadows. Here is Daisy, golden in that early morning light …and I am a shadow with a camera projected to her side by the light. So if she and I are side by side who is she looking at so steadily. You?

Daisy was showing all the signs of being in Heat yesterday.  The blood test results are imminent but I am not feeling as positive about a pregnancy as I was.  Ah well. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.

The polling for most of the last 24 hours was neck and neck with the views from the verandah and the tree house leapfrogging each other for the prize.

For quite some time it looked like I was going to be climbing this ladder every day for four seasons of changing light and weather.

But you decided differently.  Not exactly by a land slide. 

more like a grader slide… In fact the verandah won by a nose.

  • 37% Verandah
  • 34% Tree house
  • 18% Oak Tree
  • 15% Walnut Tree

Many many thanks to the voters. Both here and on my Facebook page. The good thing about the verandah is that in really bad conditions I can still get you a shot.  Plus once all that foliage has gone from the trees and bushes, in the winter,  you will be able to see more of the animals in the home fields.  Also there are about three hundred daffodil bulbs in our view and more going in this year.

Tomorrow we shall begin.

Good Morning. Sheila says hullo.  The winter sillouette shadow is just not the same is it, with me in a big Carhart jacket? Still this did make me laugh!

Once again, thank you  for voting.   I have decided that the shot I take from the verandah every day will not be at the same time each day.  I will take a few as the day progresses and choose the one with the most interest but from exactly the same spot. Sometimes the best light takes its time appearing and after all, we are here to entertain ourselves aren’t we!  And I shall still be taking shots from all our new view points as we go along. The treehouse in good weather will be a great shot every now and then.  Plus down by the oak tree.  That Black Walnut is one of my favourite little trees too.

Have a lovely day.



A Poll, to Vote for the Vista

From the Walnut Tree

This poll is for all of you to vote on the view you would most like to see every day for a year. Remember we wil always have the usual assortment of animal and farmy shots, the food and the stories and the gardens.

From the tree house.

This shot will not be cleaned up at all. It will be au natural as these ones are.

From the Verandah

This shot will just be the opening or maybe the closing shot.

From the Oak Tree

It will be the one that shows the same scene every day and the changes in the light and the seasons. But I cannot find one I am sure will be right.

From the Beehives

I mean we don’t want to look at empty corn fields all winter do we .. you would die of boredom looking at fields all winter!

Hmm, I cannot get back across to update the poll. Their internet is woeful this morning, so if you want the beehives maybe you can leave me a note.

I would love to be able to get every day of every year but I would get frostbite trudging over to the North side in the deep winter. We will see this in the normal course of events though.

I once took a shot of a vineyard every Thursday at 4 pm for nine months. The series was quite extraordinary. I built a little box to set my camera in so it was exactly the same height and angle each time. I will do this for this set as well. Now you know I am always open to ideas so go right ahead and tell me anything you think may be useful for this project.

Good morning. What an exciting project. Now go ahead and vote and get your friends to vote and your family to vote, your facebook and wordpress people. Let’s see what the world thinks about taking one shot a day of the tiniest farm with the smallest budget and the sweetest animals.  This poll is only for twenty four hours remember.

Dawn is here. I love the dawn.  OK fingers crossed .. as you know I have never had a poll before so I hope it all works! Every vote will count though and I will let you know tomorrow what you all decided..


Wherever I am – You are.

I was thinking, as I was working in the barn yesterday on the Winter Quarters, Bills Camera snuggled safely in the White Box where Things Live, at hand for that shot, that you follow wherever I am on each day.  You cannot wander off and look at stuff that interests you. 

So if I am focused on lambs or cows or the barn and pigs that is what you see that day. I know this seems like the logical conclusion. But wheras I see the whole farm all the time and look into everyones eyes every day, you my darling readers only share the focus of the day.  I need to try for more wide shots. Maybe there is a long shot I can take every day  that would show you the daily changes. The slow seasonal changes. One you can just glance at. Is there a shot from the verandah that you would like every day? Well, think about it and let me know. There must be an angle that would work.  We need to choose a spot that I can get to in all weathers though. 

TonTon had to sit on the naughty chair because he would not stop herding the guineas to me yesterday. The Bobby was thrilled.

Sheila is a filthy piggie. 

But enjoying snuggling in her clean fluffy straw.

Charlotte has a double chin but don’t tell her I said so.  I had them in the barn while we were working, they were very helpful, lifting and pushing stuff about for us, running off with hammers,  carrying our clothing as we discarded it in the warm afternoon, spreading out their bedding, and leaning, lots of leaning on miss c. 

While we were restacking straw the Bobby Blanc decided to climb the bales and attempt a break out.  I think he is getting better. 

The Big Dog has gone to that Quiet Place in his head. 

Thing One reminded us that firewood is not only for burning. It is also good for a cat manicure.  No sign of Thing Two or Mary’s Cat. But there are rumours of a nest of kittens in another barn looking for a home. We will see though.  

Good morning.. Today we pour ourselves back into the cooking oil car and drive up to the  city.  So I need to roll through the morning chores at speed. Off I go!

You all have a lovely day.


What i was writing about a year agoOK this is a really funny story.   That one about the fire alarm and the rubbish collectors. A great laugh for the weekend.



The Winter Quarters

There comes a time in the year when I must accept that winter is coming and I have to start getting The Farmy prepared.  Not that I am giving up on summer quite yet you understand. 

But the cold winters here are deeply unforgiving of a casual attitude.  It was a beautiful late summer day yesterday. The harvesters are humming in the fields, new birds are appearing in the trees as they pass through.  The animals spent most of the day slumbering gently in the fields. Even Bobby Blanc came out for a wee stroll and seemed to be a little improved. Instead of dragging his hoof he was lifting it and limping on it. I think this is a good sign.  So after a tiny walk, back to bed rest he went. 

The tiniest bit of colour is creeping into the garden.. 

and finally they are fixing our road. As you will remember they have shut off the high way on both sides of our road,  so there have been and still are streams  of construction trucks racing up and down our little side road and it is ruined. The Cooking Oil car has to drive on the grass to get around some of the pot holes. 

So yesterday morning they ground the road up.  Which was fine, Eldest son and I had nowhere to go anyway! The Old Codger was alerted to my absence. I will see him today. 

We were doing firewood. John collects all the dunnage, or packing timber from his work and brings it home for firewood. We don’t cut down trees to heat our house in winter.   There are enough people doing that already. But we do heat our house with firewood in a very efficient wood stove. Not only does it heat our house but I cook on it all winter too.  So we  collect burnable wood and fallen trees anywhere we can find them.  And yesterday Logan got busy  with the chainsaw. 

While I stacked. Like the hay I prefer to stack the wood myself. I like the piles of wood to be stable (my grandfather was very particular about how he stacked his wood too) and also if I stack it myself I know where all the different weights of wood are. Some woods are for the night time when the fire is low and some are for starting the fire or heating it up fast for cooking,  so there has to be a logic to the wood shed. When it is very cold I have to work fast. Also we burn carefully so there is a minimum of smoke, often no smoke at all if I get it right, and for this you need the right wood, cut to the right size, properly dried and burned correctly.

In the afternoon yesterday the men working on the road, took all the tarmac they had lifted and ground up and relaid it onto the road as a base. Recyling at its best. Tomorrow we will get gravel I hope.

The Shush sisters were invited in to inspect their almost finished winter quarters. There is still a wee bit to do. Pigs will eat anything if they are hungry and bored and that does include their walls. Though they will only be locked in when it is very cold and blowing, I still don’t want them to get up to No Good and eat their house! 

So there is still a bit to do, that chipboard wall will be boxed out and lined in wire pig fence, etc. Most importantly though, they will have a draft free space in there. Somewhere to cuddle up on cold stormy days. See how Sheila always keeps her eye on me.  I love that pig.

Good morning.  Today we will finish the Winter Quarters, then finish cutting and stacking the dry firewood. Then start the green wood. This will be stacked outside to dry for next winter.

Eldest son goes back to Canada and the ski fields tomorrow. I think he will be going back to work for a rest!

Have a lovely day.


On this day a year ago.  A Little Story.  This is a lovely little story from the house in the orchard. I hope you will like this one. It is definitely one of The Stories. In fact it is from the same period as  The Boy and The Fence though this one is a laugh! No crying today!! It is Friday!

Walkabout on the Farmy.

Morning darlings.

Our walkabout yesterday started on the North side. My favourite view of the barn.

After the milking Daisy and Queenie walk out to their new field. 

I let ut the Shush Sisters  (this is Charlotte)  and we went and visited Hairy MacLairy on the left and Mama on the right.  You can see that Hairy has managed to shuck his harness again.  I am thinking of renaming him Houdini. 

Such a sweet sheep. 

Minty on the left and her sisters Mia and Meadow are in the Rathouse paddock far far away from the ram. Pania, Tui and The Duke of Kupa  are just about to be sprung cleaning up the pig food. 

In the evening we do everything all over again. 

John came home from work while I was milking and took a shot for you.

The day was once again deeply grey except for that tiny window of light in the late afternoon.

We are taking the pigs into their new winter quarters this morning for a try out.  So Eldest son can see his work in action.  Then it is onto firewood. As you know we heat with wood gathered from fallen trees. We need to get it all split and into the Wendy House all ready for this winter.

I have just slept in. I can’t remember doing that for a long time. So I am wooshing through these words.  It is already dawn. So TonTon and I need to get out there and get busy. Daisy will be waiting.

Have a lovely day! Lets hope for some good autumnal light so I can really put the new camera through it paces.


On this day a year ago.  An update and a little bit about me.


Wonderful Glorious People

I received a gift in the mail yesterday.  A most wonderful gift. A new set of camera eyes. 

Bill Jones Jr, the author of The Stream Series, whose comments you will have seen  in our comments lounge, has become increasingly concerned about my endless camera troubles. So he sent me his Nikon D90. A most beautiful and gracious camera.  Bill began as a reader and soon took that giant leap to friend. Now he has taken another leap into the role of the lifesaver of Celi and her blog. He is a kind man. I have said before that kindness is one of my most prized attributes in a person and is hard to find.  Bill I hope you don’t mind me thanking you publically. Thank you. What a brilliant gift. 

I took my new camera and went in search of something to photograph on that grey day yesterday.

This shot I took so you can see Daisy’s knobbly knees. Now, look below at Bobby Blancs knobbly knees.  No swelling. He has turned up lame in one leg, dragging his hoof. He is his mother’s son this one.  He tried to jump over a fence, got caught in it and as I ran across the field to help, Queenie attempted to head-butt him off from the other side.  He still stands firmly. Does not hold the leg up. Ran to me when I called him into the pen. Has no swelling or heat in the leg. His nose is cool and wet. He lets me press and manipulate the leg without wincing.

But when he walks he drags the hoof along the ground. So he will spend a few days in the hospital wing for observation. The vet has been alerted, but he is well, eating and drinking with his usual gusto,  and wandering about the pen slowly.  So we will watch him for a few days. Maybe it is just a sprain.

Sheila is growing out of her tunnel.

Good morning. Eldest Son is almost finished building the winter pig pen. We found some pig gates at the junk yard that will keep out any nasty drafts. It will be nice and cosy for those days when we all hunker down during the winter storms. This morning I will take Bill’s Camera out for the whole day. I think I will do a Farmy Day, it is a while since we had a proper Walkabout the farmy with the camera.  I will visually capture every animal for you and do the introductions for all our new readers.  My wonderful farmy readers, I do love having you on board. You are my Company of Kindness.

Thank you Bill. Such tiny words for such a big thank you.

You all have a lovely day. Time for me to get dressed, bundle up my new camera and start the day. Almost dawn.


On this day a year ago. We harvested the grapes.  Too early. So this year I was trying to leave them on the vine for longer. But the peahens are just eating them. Hmm. I am designing a new peahen free trellis. But this year really will be a very small harvest.  Not to worry though.

Flying Peahen

Honestly, sometimes, don’t you just want to FLY!

Or not. 

Good morning.  Have a lovely, lovely day.


On this day a year ago.  Spinach Soup. 

Bad Frost and another Loss.

This morning we have a bad frost.  I still have so much in the garden not quite ready to harvest.  So it is bad luck. 

Last night before we drove up to meet eldest son’s bus from the airport, we covered the frog garden with a tarpaulin. And other favourite tender plants with blankets. Especially the eggplant, capsicums, tomatoes and chillis.

Stalker’s Garden with its many tomatoes and zuchinnis has a sprinkler going on it that our John turned on at four before he left for work. The rest will have to take their chances. Sad to have such a hard frost so early in the autumn. 

My son is fast asleep in the room upstairs, John’s son is fast asleep in the cloakroom, the Big Dog is sleeping under blankets in the barn, the cow and sheep have frosty backs and I am shivering in my downstairs summer study.  We cannot light the fire until the chimney has been cleaned of the summer nests. 

There is some sad news too. We have lost another cat. Thing 2. The day after the big coyote night, you remember, when they were howling from three sides. He was here for the morning milking and absent for the evening milking. 

So we are now down to two cats. I try to keep them inside at night but they always get out. They are not inside cats.

But as we said before. A short life does not mean a bad life. It is the cycle we are in when we live amongst wild animals. We have to expect and take the losses right on the chin I am afraid.  You and I both. Part of being a grown up.

Sad, aye.

Today Eldest Son and I will take a tour of the projects I have lined up for him. Most especially the inside winter home for the pigs.  Once we have made a list of everything we need, we will call the junk yard man and hopefully go there for a visit.

But first he will have a sleep in and I will get busy with beginning the day.  Then French Toast for breakfast?  What do you think?

Last night I made him a Big, Tall, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, on home made bread, home grown tomatoes, lettuce  and bacon, etc,  and handed it across to his eager open hands.  Then I washed out the cast iron pan, wiped it with oil, turned around and he was looking at me wide eyed from an empty plate. I dropped my head to the side and grinned at him as his eyes did the Oliver thing.  Ah, I said. Cake.

He nodded enthusiastically as I uncovered the pound cake and passed him the knife.

Caaaaake, he said, as he dived in.

Tired hungry boys love cake. I love to feed hungry kids. And tired hungry sons.

Have a lovely day.






Find a Man we would shout and laugh like drains!

I can’t decide whether this shot is utilitarian or beautiful.  I love the lines of colour as the corn comes out. 

When we were kids we had a babysitter. Her name was Pat.  And she was perfect. She was a 60’s girl.  Once my parents had gone out and before bedtime, she would take my sisters and I and probably my brothers for all I knew, one by one, set us on the stool in middle of  the old kitchen,  with its floor of blue and green lino and make up our faces. We were very little. Perfect canvasses for her to experiment on.

For us girls (there were three of us) it was the opportinuty to gaze close up into the most stunningly decorated eyes circled in the longest false eye lashes in the western world. Three shades of smudged blue from her eyelashes to her perfectly pencilled eyebrows, black eyeliner that swooped like a dark gull under her eyes and flicked up perfectly at the edge of her bright green eyes with such casual perfection.  The boots, the short skirt and the tight little cardigan. Oh and that lipstick. Piles of hair. She was beautiful. Beeootiful.

Much later when I was a young teenager she came back from her travels overseas. She had travelled the world with her boots and her short skirt,her long long jacket and a friend.

She showed us goggle eyed girls pictures of her travels. The slide show was in vogue then so we would crowd into her parents lounge with the curtains closed, Dad would set up the projector, and she would click us through her travels and talk about what she saw.

The best story was that she and her friend liked to have photos taken of themselves in front of interesting sites, so they would scout about for a man to take a photo of them with their camera. Find a Man they would giggle. Girls! One of them would find a man, give him the camera and mime for him to take a shot of them together. I am quite sure no man would say no thank you to these two gorgeous Kiwi girls.  One man, who was terribly handsome she said,  nodded and took the camera in it’s protective leather cover as the girls positioned themselves in front of the monument, and prepared to smile. The man said walk back a bit, back further, looking at them through the view finder, to the right, to the left, using hand signals to help with the lack of English, then when they were just right he turned and ran away with their camera.   Just ran away, she said. At this point in the story us girls gasped, quite shocked. Our Dad was a photographer. To steal a camera was like stealing a horse.

But our beautiful babysitter would laugh.  Because it goes without saying that this pair of stunning, tall, leggy NZ girls shouted, grabbed their bags and chased him down,  long hair and eyelashes flying out behind them, right down the road and tackled him, (we are a rugby country after all), one of them sat on him and smacked him on the shoulders with her handbag and the other ripped the camera out of his crestfallen hands, told him to promise  Never to be Bad Again (an admonishment that is easily understood in any language),  and sent him on his way.

After Pat told us this story it became our family joke,  every time we needed  to borrow someone’s hand, we would call Find a Man! Followed, naturally, by gales of laughter. 

Yesterday I found a man. A very clever handsome man whose mother is Italian from Sicily and used to win prizes for her tomato sauce. (Yes, he is going to send me the recipe.) There are rumours of a cheesecake too. Anyway he fixes computers, bless him. The post mistress gave me his number. So I called him over. He carefully navigated about my machine for a while, grimaced slightly, then took it away! Just popped my computer under his arm and took it home. 

So this will explain my unannounced absence yesterday.  I got a lot of baking done in the absence of Computer.

It came back yesterday evening and was returned amidst stern warnings to keep up to date with my housekeeping, defrag every month, and here are the short cuts, don’t go wandering about in this bit and you know that new facebook chatline you downloaded, I took it off as it is still being trialed and lets bugs in.   Just use the regular one.  He eradicated all the bugs and so now I will be good.

Just wonderful. I am going to keep him, I said to John.  The vet came yesterday to take some blood from Daisy and we will know whether she is pregnant or not within the week.  I do hope she is.

You all have a lovely day. Eldest Son is coming tonight!


What I was doing on this day a year ago.  Butternut and Chickpea Curry.