10 Things I Learned in September

Even though it’s 70 degrees in Michigan today, fall is really here and October really begins tomorrow. (For the record, Mother Nature, I could live with a 70-degree fall. Just saying.) Thus, it’s time for me to reflect on what I learned in the month of September. This is an exercise I started in July and it’s a nice way to reflect, find meaning, or share awesome things from Buzzfeed.

You can check out what I’ve learned in previous months here and here. For now, let’s take a peek at September.

10 Things I Learned in September

1. Two people can paint 400 linear feet of baseboard in two hours. Yay for teamwork.
Before Dairy Man and I could have 1,400 square feet of new flooring installed in our house, we had to tear up every inch of old baseboard. I managed to grab DM on his last Saturday before corn harvest and we made quick work of 35 new 12-foot sections. Phew.


2. The Downton Abbey theme song has lyrics.
What? It took some time to soak in this shocking news. For now, I am waiting with breathless anticipation for the assuredly tragic Season 4 to begin on January 5, 2014.

3. If I’m coming straight from work, I should always stay in my car when taking photos around the farm.
Unless I’ve had time to change into my snazzy farm boots, I should never leave the safety of my car to get a better photo of the manure pit. No matter how safe the ground looks. Or how quickly I think I can run. I submit this photo to the discussion. It took me 10 minutes to scrub all that muddy clay off my heels.

Muddy shoe

4. Simultaneously planning SEVEN events at work this fall has increased my peanut M&M consumption to alarming levels.
If only I had the urge to stress-eat kale. My job is crazy right now. I enjoy the rush, but something about stress makes peanut M&Ms absolutely irresistible. Dang it.

5. Some people actually think about the zombie apocalypse.
Like my husband, for example. This hasn’t come up in three years of marriage. But apparently there is a section of Dairy Man’s brain that seriously thinks about the world being overcome by the ravenous walking dead. I had no idea until we watched World War Z and DM filled me in on his “if zombies attack” plans. Something about climbing the 80-foot silo and picking off the undead with his shotgun. #redneckjustice?


6. Goats are awesome. And I want some.
However, until this point my desire to have cute little goats has been overridden by my desire to not be responsible for goats. Jersey is about all I can handle. And he doesn’t eat tin cans.

7. Apple-cider-scented candles are the best.
Now that fall is upon us, I have at least two apple-scented candles burning in our house at any given time. It smells like fall. Or the inside of a warm pie. And my soul is happy.

8. The bovine ladies might love fall more than I do.
They might not get to wear chunky-knit sweaters or warm their hooves over a steaming glass of hot cocoa, but our girls love this time of year. Since they are most comfortable around 50 degrees, fall is the perfect time to be a cow.


9. I need to teach Jersey to balance things on his head.
Just look at Zelda. Nuff said.

10. Even during corn harvest, I am not alone.
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the response to last week’s post on when I don’t accept farm life with grace. It’s comforting to know there are so many other people who feel the same way about this terrible, wonderful, beautiful thing called farm life. The response lets me know unequivocally that I am not alone. Thank you for sharing your own stories and for being awesome. You’re not alone either.


10 Things I Learned in July

I’m going to start putting a nice bow on each month by filling you in on the things I’ve learned. Sometimes it will be educational, sometimes I’ll just send you to awesome links on BuzzFeed (like the 21 most awkward moments in handshake history – you’re welcome). Either way, it will be proverbial goulash of random things each month. Yum.

So let’s get started. Here, in no particular order, are:

10 Things I Learned in July

1. I am addicted to caramelizing onions.
I’m of the firm believer that everything, from salads to burgers, can be improved greatly by caramelized onions. It’s a sickness. But how can I NOT caramelize a red onion in red wine and add it to my burger with basil aioli and herbed goat cheese? Seriously.


2. This is what happens when 318 Corgis throw a beach party. You might die from the cuteness.

3. Rain is a good thing.
Most of July was marked by endless blue skies, hot temps, and blazing sunlight. Awesome, right? Wrong. While my city girl side would be perfectly happy with nothing but sunbathing weather for 12 months out of the year, our corn begs to differ. That’s why when the skies opened up last week and things got wet and gray, I said a thankful prayer. The thirsty corn was so happy.


4. Photobooth props make a person (even more) good-looking.
Need I say more?


5. Cows love fresh sand.
This summer, we expanded one of our barns. In July, the barn was finally ready and Dairy Man opened up the new space to our cows. Several of the ladies immediately began jubilantly rolling in the new sand. I’ve never seen a 1,500 lb. animal behave like a dog at the beach (legs in the air and everything), but there’s a first time for everything in this farm life.


6. Since discovering Jergens Natural Glow Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer, I have lost all motivation to get a real tan.
Why roast outside for an hour (something I rarely have time for) when this magical little potion can turn me a color I could never achieve naturally? Plus I’m starting to get depressed about my crow’s feet.

7. Even dogs respond to peer pressure.
No amount of bribery, pleading, or general coercion could get Jersey in the lake last year. That dog hates water. But this summer, Dairy Man’s sister got a golden retriever who loves it. For a while, Jersey watched Maggie splash around, getting all of the attention, playing with a Frisbee he desperately wanted. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. Whether it was the Frisbee or doggy peer pressure, J-pups finally sloshed in. So proud.


8. I do not thrive in chaos.
We installed 1,400 square feet of new flooring in our house this month. That meant clearing out our ENTIRE main floor, moving big appliances to the garage (like my stove, washer, and dryer), and camping in the basement. For nearly two weeks I couldn’t cook dinner, wash clothes, or find anything. I felt like a woman without a country. There was a lot of aimless wandering and whining “Do you know where we put ___?” Things didn’t feel normal again until our mattress was off the floor.


9. Nearly 100 degree temps make me want to die.
I’m a complete wuss when it comes to the heat. DM tells me that working in an air-conditioned office makes me weak, but I think Michigan humans are just not meant to survive when the thermometer jumps above 90. The cows agree with me.

10. A cowhide rug is the perfect place to hide a border collie.


So, what did you learn in July?