I’ve never been a girly girl. In fact, as a child, I spent more time climbing trees and digging in the mud than I ever did playing dress-up or having tea parties. But as an adult woman raising five children, I found myself carrying out more traditionally “female” roles. I had forgotten how good it feels to be that messy child.
Just the two of us on a farm has radically changed things. There are no troops to call in around here and I have really grown to like the way it feels to be on the front line. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I honestly feel a twinge of pride knowing that I can do anything a man can do……..well, except for being able to go potty outside standing up.
When we started up Happy Earth Farm, every day and every task was a challenge. It dawned on me the other day that I don’t even have to think my way through many of the jobs around here anymore. When the poultry fencing needs attention or needs to be moved to a new location, I don’t hunt for Steve, I just go out and do it. I can pull those stakes and netting out of the ground and rotate the grazing field without any assistance. Okay, Steve usually goes out and “rearranges” what I have done, but I pretend not to notice.
I enjoy being in the barn measuring out exactly three pitcher’s full of organic feed for the laying hens and then going out to complete the chore. I’ve learned that if I first toss a good amount of scrap veggies in the chicken yard I can sprint into the coop, grab the three feeders, dash to the fence and climb over before the Rhode Island Reds have a chance to bruise and cut me by pecking at my hands and thighs. Clever, clever, girl.
The meat chickens need twice a day care. I know the drill……remove the heat lamp, open the chicken wire top, take out the feeder and water, clean and fill both, cover the chicken droppings with fresh pine shavings and put everything back. And it only took me two times of almost burning down the barn to perfect this. Apparently, placing the still plugged in heat lamps on the wood desk or plastic bins is not a good idea.
I know how to patch, plaster, caulk and paint. Undoubtedly, I will be wearing most of it by the day’s end and I might, on occasion, spread it onto every surface within a 100- yard range, but the job gets done. I’m still wondering how a bunch of caulk ended up on the dashboard in Steve’s truck. And so is he.
But the bottom line people is that I am capable of doing everything here that Steve can do………except checking and changing the oil in my car. Have to have something to keep the romance alive.