Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'll Take the Wheel

I must have been a dude in another life because I love big equipment. I keep telling my husband that I have graduated past cars and trucks and I'm ready to start driving tractors on the farm. Or maybe even his big tandem truck. I love the giant hula-hoop sized steering wheel. It makes me feel important.

I can tell this is going to be a slow process though. He started me small on a cabless Massey Ferguson a couple of years ago. He was in a pinch and needed some field work done before the rain moved in. He was very sweet and said that crop would be his best because it was planted with love. That's until he realized I ran over a boulder-sized rock and inadvertently dragged it across the field leaving a long, deep rut the size of Florida. Oops.

Pigs will fly before he lets that happen again, but you better believe I will keep putting my persuasive powers to work to change his mind.

So for now, I'm merely a passenger... which usually requires an entry fee of lunch or food of some sort.

Hey, let me in.

I'll give you a cookie.
That's the welcoming smile I was hoping for. Now scoot over and make room for my badonkadonk.
It has got to be a crime of some sort to put a John Deere planter on a Case International tractor.

Geez, I'm not in the tractor 2 minutes and I already have crap all over my jeans.

Warning: do not try to eat a spinach alfredo Lean Cusine pizza while riding shotgun in a tractor. It will lead to a blob of goo on your shoes. I'm batting a thousand here.
Crank that wheel around baby, let's plant some sorghum.

He's got that look-behind pose down better than an a-list actress at a red carpet premiere.

Don't worry honey, your lines are straight. Everyone knows it is your greatest fear to have someone drive by and see that your rows aren't perfectly square with the road. Oh, the horror of it.

The tractor may need painted and the back window may need replaced, but you better believe we've got an air freshener and new carpet in the cab ... because that's how we roll.

Doesn't it smell good in here?

This is one happy girl who loves her farmer.

Now hand over the keys and let me drive, dammit!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It's Sew Perfect

Cue the choirs of angels... My sewing room is ready!

This is one of those sweet rewards of being a farm wife. Things like sewing and canning may sound antiquated and boring, but I happen to enjoy both. And since both fit so neatly under my job title of farm wife, I can get away with doing both during those 9-5 hours of the day when I need to look productive so my husband doesn't fire me and send me back to a real job.

While lots of men would rather have trophy wives who spend the day exercising and tanning (though I'm sure my husband wouldn't dispute either one), my farmer is quite proud of having a wife who can do some of those old-timey type things that his friends' wives may not necessarily know how to do. This means I get to sew to my heart's content.
I talked my husband into sparing me an office at the farm. When one of his workers moved out of this space, I snatched it up before anyone else knew what happened.
If you look under my sewing table, you'll see that I even have a little bed for Banjo, my Chihuahua. I tried desperately to get him to lay in it while I took the picture to prove to you that he is such a sweet little pup who loves his mama and her new sewing room. But the twerp wouldn't do it. After 5 minutes of trying and several pictures with black furry blurs at the bottom (trying to escape) I gave up. He would rather lay on the dirty fleece jacket laying in a corner in my husband's office. Nice. What a brat.

It took me weeks to get my sewing room together because I just couldn't find the right cabinet to accommodate all of my supplies (most of which are fabric scraps and sewing tools I stole from my mom's sewing cabinet when she wasn't looking). I finally settled on this cabinet, which is already overloaded with my crap.

When you open the door, you may see chaos. I hear choirs of angels singing the "Hallelujah" chorus. This is my own little treasure chest. Yes, it may be a bit chaotic but I've always run my life by the method of organized chaos. (Don't listen to anyone who may tell you otherwise on the organized part of that).

I did some antiquing to find a few things to make my sewing room a little more homey. I came across this cool old Singer sewing machine and its orignial wooden case. Let me tell you, that sucker is heavy. But it's electric and believe it or not still runs.

Meet Dottie: The leaning tower of wrought iron.
We'll just say she is well-endowed and a little top heavy. So much so that her little iron base isn't enough to handle all of the woman that she is. She stripped the screws and now leans forward. But thanks to a little enginuity and lots of ribbon I was able to rig her up to stand upright. I just won't show you the ugly mess I've got going on at the base of her stand to make this happen.

But Dottie still does a good job playing the part of dress form and modeling my retro aprons that I make. I may not have told you but I'm starting an apron empire. I plan to get rich doing it. So far, I'm kind of off to a slow start. I have only finished one apron in about three weeks. And the saddest part is the pattern says it's a "one hour" apron.

My excuse is that I didn't have a fully operational sewing room. Sure I had a sewing machine and a table, but I needed ambience to get things done.

So I added a couch and a flatscreen TV. Now I'm ready to rock and roll.

I scored this cool old wicker loveseat at a local flea market. I can honestly say it is one of the most comfortable things I have ever rested my derriere on. That could also explain why I've only gotten one apron done.

My husband won't let me display pictures of us in our house. He says it's vain. So the first chance I got, I hung this giant 20x30 picture of myself in my new sewing room. I'll show him vain.

You may now kiss the Bride!

Isn't my husband so handsome?

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Time Like Quittin' Time

My husband says retirement is for people who don't love what they do. He loves farming and will do it until the day that he dies.

But I'm not asking him to retire. I'm just asking him to come home at a reasonable hour so we can eat supper before 10:00 pm for once in our lives.

I'm about done. I just need to take the tractor over to my dad's. Follow me so I have a ride back.

Okay, sounds easy enough.

This is farm wife duty #382. Lead or follow equipment with your flashers on. And let me tell you, in an area like ours which is slowly being populated by city-dwellers and yuppies -- they aren't fond of driving behind a slow tractor. They want to live in the country, but they don't want to be bothered by farming, livestock and everything else that comes with life in the country.

My husband always makes fun of Kansas for not having trees. I usually get defensive and come back at him with some sort of joke about his state being full on toothless inbreds. But I must admit, it's rare that you see a tractor pass under a beautiful canopy of trees in the plains.

Or so much pavement. We've got blacktop galore out here. But the nice thing is, I can actually wash my car and it will stay clean... sort of. The second I drive up the gravel lane to our farm it gets a layer of dust on it. But at least I have that few miles of blacktop from town to the farm where I am beaming because I have a shiny clean car. (But lets be honest, I don't think my car has seen a car wash since my mother's last visit .... in October 2009)

Oh look, we're here! Park that baby and let's go home for supper.

No really, hurry up. Get out. We all know what happens when I'm hungry.

What?!?!? You have to fill up a 750 gallon tank now?
God, grant me the serenity...

Fine, I will just pass the time by taking pictures of your tractor.

When is the last time you had this thing painted?

Oops! How did that get in there?
Marlboro Man who?

And now for halftime entertainment. The love of my life decides to give me a lesson on how the sensors on the sprayer help you evenly distribute your -- whatever is in the tank -- across your acres.
I've always wondered how that works.
Yeah, right.
Oh, the scowl.
Are you recording me?
No honey, I'm just capturing your essence on film.
And trying to figure out how in the ever-living world I'm going to get those grease stains out of your jeans.

I mean really, how does that even happen?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Love is Sweet

I've only officially been a full-time farm wife for three weeks now, and already I have gotten the chance to welcome a new wife to the club. My good friend Kiya married into a local farm family this past weekend.

Knowing that their wedding would be beautiful, I brought my camera and set out to take some fun artsy-fartsy pictures of her decorations. But between the low-lighting and the high-octane drinks, those intentions were washed away along with the rain that brought good luck to Kiya's wedding day.

Kiya has been asking me to teach her how to can strawberry preserves for a couple of years now. So I welcomed her into the family of farm wives with canning supplies. She's now got better stuff than me though. So I debated heavily the option of keeping the gift myself and just throwing some cash in the envelope and calling it good. But then I thought ... if she now has better canning supplies than me, I'll just can at HER house, and mess up HER kitchen. I'll pass it off as a "canning lesson." I'm brilliant.
While most fathers' primary roles in weddings are to write checks and walk their little girl down the aisle, Kiya's dad took on one major responsibility. He designed and made her wedding dress. And it was gorgeous, a one-of-a-kind gown.

It rained. But that did nothing to dampen any spirits. The ceremony setting was perfect. But my color-coordinating OCD self (and that's about the ONLY obsessive compulsive disorder my messy butt can ever claim to have) just wishes people would have better coordinated their umbrellas with the wedding colors. That giant rainbow job there in the middle is totally throwing off the balance of my pictures.

The wedding was at a local farm. The dance was in this beautiful old stone and wood barn that was apparently built in 1812 -- that's "new" around here where there are houses like my in-laws' that were built in the late 1700s. This Kansas girl hardly knew buildings could pre-date 1860.

The love of my life. Whose behavior typically pre-dates that of an 8-year-old.

I am so sad that I didn't get a picture of the groom's cake. It was a chocolate cake modeled after a compost pile, in honor of the groom's family running a composting business (among other things). There's nothing like taking a bite out of a big mound of brown delicious nastiness and discovering the clever baker even made edible deer carcases to add a little character to the heap of cake. Steel Magnolia's armadillo cake ain't got nothing on this sucker.

The decorations were so simply sweet. Apple crates with candles, mason jars with flowers, and little favors of local honey. My husband had suggested to the bride that rather than "Love is Sweet" she should have ordered the labels to say "Marriage is a Sticky Situation." Always the comic. The day I entered that man's life was the best day of his life, I don't know what he's talking about.

I mean, who else would put up with him forking the honey out of his favor jar at the table? Sweety, I'm pretty sure those were meant to be taken home and eaten at a later date.

I swear, I can't take him anywhere.

No really, I can't.
Between his tongue always being out and my dancing, I think we've been barred from anymore weddings.