Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Girl farmers clean up the MESS!

Spoken out of the mouths of babes, and it is a good thing too because I might of had to teach the man that said it a lesson!
We were at my parents house for a family reunion when one of my cousins decided to have a conversation with my oldest.  Now if you know anything about my son, you know he is full of stories.  He is three going on thirty.  He talks about going to work and all the things that need to be done around the farm.  For no more time than he spends on the farm he could probably run every piece of equipment just because he has asked how it works.  Some would probably even tell you he runs the place!

The conversation started when my cousin looked at my son and said "Man are you dirty".  He looked her square in the face and said "I am a farmer and farmers are supposed to be dirty."  She then followed up by asking who had told him that and he replied "My dad".  My cousin then proceeded to ask if myself and my daughter also got dirty.  He said, "No, they are girl farmers."  She then said, "Well if girl farmers can't get dirty then what can they do?"  Without missing a beat he says, "Girl farmers clean up the mess!"

Everyone got a good chuckle out of this story all weekend long.  My favorite part about this story is when it was presented to me and my husband by my cousin.  After it was all done, I looked right at my husband with the taught him that didn't you look.  He raised both of his hands up and said, "I didn't teach him that!"  I think that made me laugh even harder.

Well a few days have passed since the reunion and of course my son is still getting to tell everyone what girl farmers get to do, including this particular day. 

My husband asked me to come out and help on the farm.  There were too many jobs to get done and not enough hands.  So me being me asked first what it was he wanted me to do before I volunteered to help.  I don't have money stashed away to pay for any wrecked equipment if you catch my drift!  He explained to me that I could come out and run the swather.  I told him I would be out to the field shortly to have him give me a lesson.  I am glad it was the swather and not the tractor that has the GPS system in it because it practically runs itself.  There are way to many buttons in that tractor for a newbie like me!  Finally I get out to the field with the two kids in tow.  We all climb into the swather and daddy gives mommy a lesson.  The entire time my husband was being very proper and calling all the levers that I was going to be using by the correct name.  I was trying to take it all in while he was driving so that I could do the same when it was my turn behind the wheel.  We get to the end of the field, he turns the swather down the next path and changes seats with me.  Now mind you that the cab of this thing is not very big, so switching seats was just as big a feat as me learning to drive it.  I get into the driver seat and my husband starts giving me directions.  That is about the time that I forgot all the names of the levers, mind you there were only about three that I needed to worry about but all the same I forgot the names.  He tells me I need to adjust the thinger-majig (that is my technical term for that lever).  And me trying to be calm, cool, collected and show him I am confident in what I am doing say, "Is that the thing that makes it go faster?"  Well thank god he is patient and kind.  He just smiled and me and said yes.  After we were done with that pass he was off with my son to go work on the next task that needed to be done.

Needless to say I then ran the swather, with my daughter by my side.  We finished that field and then helped my husband move some equipment around.  We then started talking about what girl farmers do, and you know what my son's answer was...girl farmers clean up the mess.  I followed up with well now that mommy knows how to run the swather, I guess girl farmers do more than just clean up the mess!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Patience, Patience and More Patience

Patience, Patience and More Patience.  This is what you need to be a farmer or a wife of a farmer.  Farming is one of those careers where you are the boss but only of yourself.  You can't set up meetings with the rain and you can't plug temperatures into your forecast.  You can only watch the weather and get up in the morning early to get things going hopefully, before the weather gets you.  You have to have patience if you are going to make this lifestyle work.  That also goes for the wife of a farmer.

You would think that growing up on a farm would have prepared me to have patience.  But guess what, didn't!  I understood what my dad was doing when he wasn't at home and when my mom would say load up so we could take food to the field.  I guess what it really boils down to is the fact that I was a kid and all I was really worried about was what I was going to play next.  I can also say that even when I was dating my husband, I still didn't get what farming entailed.  It wasn't until we were married that I learned what real patience was about.

If you don't know me, I am pretty strong headed and strong willed so patience wasn't my strong suit.  When I want something or think I need something, I go for it full steam ahead.  No one can tell me how to do anything. I have to figure things out myself (just ask my parents)!  Well I thought that when I got married that my husband would be home at 6 to eat dinner with me.  That he would be home on the weekends and that we would do lots of fun things as a couple.  Well all of those things that I expected didn't happen except for one.  We did lots of fun couple stuff like ride the tractor, help fix fence and help lay out pipe for flood irrigation (I know that is what you all call fun, NOT).  My patience for doing these things became short lived and my strong will kicked in.  I couldn't understand how he couldn't make time for me or for us.  After a lot of discussion and a lot of tears, I can honestly say I have now grown patient and a lot less strong willed.

I now have patience for not being able to eat with my husband at 6, him being home on the weekends or even doing now fun family adventures when I want to.  I have learned to be understanding by when I start to feel frusterated with things not going my way, stopping and realizing that now this is our only lively hood.  I could get away from thinking about all the things that I thought the farm was taking away from me when I was at work because I had other things to focus on.  But when we decided that this stay at home mom thing was going to happen, I had to take a second look at what was going on around me.  Whether or not I was working I should have seen my husbands drive to do everything he could to make this not only a lifestyle but a life.

I know that I am still not perfect and there are probably days when my husband wished I would stop calling him to ask about plans for the up coming weekend, but I now try very hard to be patient and wait.  Because when he does come home to hang out with us we have more fun than even I know what to do with.

So to all my girl friends, don't feel too frusterated if you grew up and a farm and still don't feel like you quite get it.  Patience and understanding of the farm will come and if you need an ear, while you are waiting on those things, you know where to find me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taking the plunge!

Okay so I am completely new at this blogging thing.  I am sure it is going to take me a while to fully understand it, but as I have learned the past couple of months; taking the plunge into anything is the only way to go.

I guess for this first posting I should explain about myself.  I grew up on a farm.  My dad was the farmer and my mom was the farm wife.  And of these two wonderful people came us three kids.  I am the oldest, then my sister and finally my little brother (which is not so little anymore)!  I think growing up on a farm gives you a good idea about hard work and dedication.  My dad's hard work and dedication came from long hours in the field to make sure that we had a roof over our head and food on our table.  He would leave before we woke up in the morning and wouldn't be home until after we had gone to bed.  My mom's hard work and dedication came from taking care of us three kids, keeping the house in order, bringing food to the field and parts to my dad when something broke down.

I went to elementry school with a bunch of kids from an air force base.  In middle school and high school I hung out with several different groups of kids.  I was in band and choir.  I ran track my freshman year.  I had friends that were cheerleaders and friends that played football.  I would say for most of my school career I felt pretty comfortable in my own skin.  And the really cool thing was that most of my friends had never been around farming.  So it was neat to tell them about a life only I had lived!

So hard work and dedication was passed to us kids by making sure that we studied hard in school, got jobs when we became of age, and paid for things with our money that we wanted.  I can't thank my parents enough for teaching us the golden rule that if you want something you must work hard for it.  It pays off in the long run.

That lesson certainly paid off for me when I went to Kansas State University to earn my bachelor's degree.  I wanted to be a Vet REALLY BAD.  But chemistry was my arch enemy and I learned rather quickly that sometimes no matter how hard you work, things just don't make sense.  I also learned that there are other paths that can get you to where you want to be and if you have the opportunity to take them then you should.  I received a degree in Animal Science and Industry with a Business Option.  It was the best option to continue working with animals (the thing I loved the most right after my family) but have a business background to get my foot into another door. 

Well little did I know that when I graduated I went straight into business and got to work with a differnt set of animals...PEOPLE.  I worked for a medical software company in marketing.  After two and a half years of working there I then started working for Cargill.  I worked in the marketing department there for a couple of years and then moved into production scheduling.  In the mean time while I was working, I met the man of my dreams.  He was perfect in every way and made my heart skip a beat everytime we were together.  I thought at the time that a corporate lifestyle was what I wanted.  I wanted to climb the ladder.  But after I met my future husband all that changed.  I was excited to have the best of both worlds.  Working in dowtown durning the day and then coming home to the farm at night.  What more could a girl ask for, and then one day he asked me to marry him.  My world was perfect.  So I am now married to the man of my dreams and have two beautiful childern.  As for the plunge part of this story; at the end of March I gave my notice so that I could become a stay at home mom and full time farm wife.  My two little one's meant the world to me and I wanted to be there for them.  I also wanted to make sure that I was doing all that I could for the farm because my oldest child wants to be a farmer when he grows up.

So I am finding that taking the plunge into what you love or what you might love is well worth it.  What is holding you back from taking the plunge?