Tag Archives: Marriage

How I Accidentally Fell in Love with a Farmer

11 Feb

Ours was not love at first sight.

Dairy Man was a friend of my college housemate. The first time I remember him was when he came to my door looking for her.

“Is Amanda here?”
 
“No, sorry.”
 
“Ok. Hey, would you like to get coffee sometime?”
 
“Um. What was your name again?”

DM wants me to point out that I’m oversimplifying this exchange, but that was the gist. He wasn’t on my radar until that moment, even though his friends had been pushing him the direction of Amanda’s single (and ravishing) housemate for a while.

I was startled but I said yes.

So we went out for coffee. Hands cupped around warm mugs, we talked comfortably for a couple of hours. I came home and told a friend, “It was fun. He’s really nice. But there weren’t any sparks.”

….

Fast forward six months.

DM had become one of my best friends. We studied together, spent hours engaged in witty repartee on AIM (#90schild), and resisted the less-than-subtle attempts of our friends to get us together.

Well, at least I did.

I let that poor boy chase me for the better part of a year, but I just wasn’t ready. I was selfish. I couldn’t get over the farmer thing. We were constantly embroiled in typical 20-something college drama deserving of a reality show. Will she? Won’t she? It was exhausting and nobody got a rose.

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Then I got accepted to a semester program in Chicago. DM’s frustration with my coquettish ways had reached a boiling point. We had a huge fight before I left and decided not to talk for a while.

….

Chicago was an incredible experience. I shared a studio apartment with a bed in the wall and a kitchen in the closet. I tried Indian food. I interned at the Museum of Contemporary Art by day and spent my nights going to plays, ballets, museums, and modern dance performances in empty swimming pools (just as weird as it sounds). I loved everything about the city.

But something still tugged on my heart.

Every morning as I walked the 15 blocks to my office, I talked to my sister on the phone. Many months later Mandy told me that I mentioned Dairy Man in almost every single call. I said that I missed him. That I wondered what he was doing. That it was killing me not to talk to him.

I had escaped Michigan for the big city, but I hadn’t escaped him.

….

He was the first person I called when I moved back and we started dating a couple of days later. It was instantly comfortable, perfectly right, as if this is what was supposed to happen all along.

We were so happy. Crazy about each other. But we weren’t out of the woods yet.

I still didn’t love the farmer thing, but DM talked about moving away after college, working for the commodities exchange in Chicago, trying something new. I clung to this hope.

….

The sun felt unbearably hot on my head as I sat in silence, trying to digest what he had just told me.

“Jess, I’m going to stay here and work on the dairy.”

My heart sank into my shoes. I suddenly wanted to leap from the bed of his red truck and run until my lungs burned. But I was frozen.

We had talked about this. After we graduated from college, DM went home to work on the farm and save some money. I knew there was a possibility of his staying on the dairy, but he seemed so sure he wanted to get out of West Michigan and experience something new. That was my expectation, my deepest yearning.

Now it was August. I still hadn’t found a job in Chicago and DM was planning to stay here.

I felt silly for hoping. I felt silly for thinking that I could coerce him into my world of sushi and skyscrapers.

I should have known his heart was too deeply rooted in farming.

This was my first true introduction to an undeniable truth: farming is not a job, it’s a life. It was in DM’s blood. It pulsed through his body like oxygen. He couldn’t fathom leaving the work that made him feel most alive. I couldn’t fault him that. But that didn’t make my choice any easier. At a very young stage in our relationship, I had to decide: Chicago or him?

Because I knew in my heart that long distance wouldn’t work. Once my feet left Michigan soil, I wouldn’t be back for a while.

I wanted an adventurous life. But this boy was offering a farm.

“I just don’t know if I can do this.”

….

Happy tears burned my eyes as I rounded the corner, arms locked with my dad, white dress swishing.

And then I saw him. My love, my life, smiling and waiting at the front of the church.

Violin strains of “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve swelled around me in the most visceral way imaginable. I could barely breathe.

I kept walking, unable to take my eyes off the man in front of me.

We had come so far. We had crossed so many valleys together. I was young and terrified, but I did not doubt my choice.

For whatever reason in God’s design, I was going to marry a dairy farmer.

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….

And now we’re here. 900 words, nine years (five and a half married), two barns, one baby, and hundreds of cows later.

Becoming a farm wife has become surprisingly normal, but I don’t ever want to forget that it wasn’t easy to get here. I had to overcome a lot of fear, stubbornness, and unreasonable expectations before admitting that, EGADS, I was in love with a dairyman.

I’m so glad he stuck with me.

Because love isn’t always obvious or simple. It isn’t something you just fall into. It’s a choice you make every day.

As I look ahead to Valentine’s Day this weekend—that ubiquitous holiday of candy hearts and overpriced red roses—I am grateful for our kind of love. This love is hard-fought. This love is not perfect nor without cow manure tracked into the house, but it’s real. We make each other better through our differences.

Our love story reminds me that I chose this life. I chose him. I wasn’t looking for what DM offered, but God knew it was exactly what I needed.

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“If it is right, it happens—the main thing is not to hurry.
Nothing good gets away.” —John Steinbeck

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When I Don’t Accept Farm Life With Grace

26 Sep

This may just be my old age talking, but I feel like this year is moving at warp speed

I often feel like I’m trying to hold time in my hands. But time is like water, a liquid substance. It spills over and between my fingers, despite my best attempts to store it, to savor it.

I know I’m not alone. If I did an informal survey of everyone I know in the world, I’m sure we all have a deep yearning for “more time.” We’re always rushing, always checking our Facebook newsfeed, always multitasking, always packing our weekends with fun activities. It’s a normal thing, to be busy.

But it’s also a farming thing. Times ten.

This summer alone we planted corn, harvested multiple cuttings of hay, built a barn, dug a five-million gallon manure pit, irrigated our corn (thanks to a lack of rain), and tried to plan out the future of this dairy. All of these things have taken place alongside weddings, birthdays, weekends away, illness, dog grooming appointments, extensive home renovations, parties, personal crises, and a million loads of laundry.

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Dairy Man finds it nearly impossible to sit still and to quiet his mind. I struggle with the same. Frankly, in farming, you don’t often have the luxury of calm. It often feels like we bounce from one “crisis” to another. Just when you get the bulk tank fixed, a cow goes into labor. Just when you finalize the milking schedule, someone gets a tractor stuck in the mud. DM is on-call 24 hours a day, and that makes it nearly impossible to ever truly relax, unplug, or find calm.

And when farming never slows down, how is a boy to find time for things like dinner at the dining room table, home repairs, or nights out with friends?

I feel guilty piling anything on. If I’m honest, this can be isolating. Being married to a farmer means (trying) to put everything else in life on hold from April to October in an attempt to keep your husband sane. I struggle with this every single day. I envy friends who have husbands home by six, who are able to take vacations, who tackle house projects as a team.

I struggle not to feel alone, disenfranchised. The farm trumps most things, but it’s not always easy to swallow. I work full-time and try to see friends and family, make nutritious meals, and keep a clean home. Yet I constantly feel behind. Deep within the dark and shameful places of my heart, I resent having to do everything (non-farm-related) by myself. I’m not proud of those feelings. They creep up on me as smoky tendrils, slowly squeezing out joy and positivity.

Honestly, there are times I’m exhausted, I’ve had a terrible day at work, the house is a mess, the dog needs a walk, everything feels chaotic, and I just can’t handle another farming crisis with understanding and grace.

Sometimes I’m not really listening. Sometimes I’m making a grocery list in my head or wishing we could talk about literally any other topic in the world but the dairy. Sometimes I can’t tear my attention away from the dishes he forgot to put in the dishwasher. Sometimes I resent the irrevocable monopoly the farm has on my husband’s brain and respond with frustration or anger.

Those are the moments I regret. When I’m not gracious. When I don’t control my feelings. When I’m not calm. When I choose to be selfish.

But marriage can’t be selfish, especially marriage to a dairy farmer. I chose that man and thus, I chose this life. We will spend our entire lives trying to balance, trying to carve out time for anything other than the dairy. You can’t compartmentalize farming. It’s not a job; it’s not a hobby. It’s a life.

Generally I’ve come to accept this. The Dairy Man pulls himself away during the “slower” times of the year and I try to accept the periods of insanity with understanding.

Because even when he tracks manure into the kitchen or never responds to my “When will you be home?” texts, I love that man. I admire the passion he feels for this dairy. I know he wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. And even when I’m feeling neglected, I know for a fact that he would do anything for me.

Love and marriage aren’t about perfect equality. There are times where we must carry each other. As my mom reminded me in my first year of marriage, “you can’t be so concerned about things being perfectly 50/50. You both have to give 100 percent–all of the time. Things aren’t always going to be equal. You might have to take turns carrying the other. But you should both always try to give 100 percent. That’s what love is.

This quote still convicts me. While it’s so tempting to succumb to unhappiness or frustration this time of year, the Dairy Man needs me now more than ever. It is my turn to carry. Whether through delivered dinners, a kind and patient temperament, or a listening ear.

There’s nothing fair about it. But there’s nothing fair about life or love. Happiness comes in the realization that we’re here to carry each other. If you find someone willing to carry you–even an occasionally distracted Dairy Man–you are richly blessed.

So I will enjoy my fall nights of solitude. I’ll read, take walks, watch girly TV shows, bite my tongue, and make sure that DM is fed and loved. Jersey the dog accepts this time of year with far less grace than I (since he’s stuck in the house for a few weeks), but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a heaping dollop of peanut butter.

For me, I find catharsis in an evening walk through the rustling corn. A good book and a steaming glass of apple cider. A few quiet moments spent sitting in the grass with Jersey before the sun sets.

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All seasons are beautiful and messy. All seasons bring frustration and joy. All seasons make up a life.

And I am grateful.

10 Things I Learned In August + 3 Year Anniversary

28 Aug

Today marks day #730 of my installation as a modern farm wife, aka my three-year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s already been three years since that sultry day the Dairy Man and I said “I do.”

But I love that man more with each day. Despite all of the harvesting, late nights, life lessons, and manure, he always makes me laugh. I feel blessed to spend my life with him … and several hundred cows. Happy anniversary, Dairy Man!

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Now that we’ve gotten the obligatory mush out of the way, let’s reflect on August. Which is almost over, by the way. HOW did this happen!? Apparently time flies when you’re building a barn and turning 27.

Anyway. On to the things I learned this month.

10 Things I Learned in August

1. Dogs can get bronchitis.
Who knew? While Dairy Man and I were cavorting around Utah, Jersey the dog was spending his vacation at Whiskers Resort and Pet Spa. Snazzy. But apparently it was also full of some high-end germs. The pup got bronchitis. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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2. Utah is one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever seen.
This month Dairy Man and I took our longest vacation since our honeymoon three years ago. Destination? Salt Lake City, Utah to visit some friends. The mountains were gorgeous and I got to check #4 and #10 off my 30 before 30 list.

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3. In N’ Out Burger is everything the world made it out to be.
California isn’t the only state with these burger meccas. Utah boasts several In N’ Out joints and DM and I got our first taste on vacation. My taste buds rejoiced.

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4. I still don’t understand demolition derbies. Or mullets.
August is the month of our local county fair. While I quite enjoy eating a 2 lb. elephant ear for dinner and ogling at cute baby goats, I still feel like a fish out of water at a demolition derby. So much exhaust. So many mullets. Ah, the cultural opportunities presented in a small town.

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5. Border Collie playdates are the best kind.
The J-pups recently had a play rendezvous with another puppy named Boots. They wrestled, frolicked, chased frisbees, and enjoyed having the same level of energy. It was exhausting. And fun fact: Boots (foreground) is 10 months old; Jersey is two years. Apparently we have a very petite BC.

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6. The Great Salt Lake smells like death.
I’ve never smelt the Dead Sea, but if it’s anything like the Great Salt Lake, I understand the name. The Great Salt Lake smells like death and dead things. Due to wildly fluctuating water levels and pollution, the lake has a terrible stench caused by the decay of insects and other wildlife during times of low water. But if you plugged your nose, it was at least a little pretty.

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7. Wood paneling might be back in style. Tell that to my old farmhouse.
No matter what West Elm might be selling, I stand by my decision to paint every inch of the wood paneling in our old house.

8. When it comes to manure pits, size does matter.
Why have three small pits when you can have one pit that can store five million gallons of manure? We’re nearing completion on the dairy’s new manure pit this month and DM couldn’t be more excited.

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9. I’m horrified that floral pants don’t seem to be going away.

10. Air conditioning is vital to life on a dairy.
Why? Because if your air conditioner breaks—thus forcing you to open all of the windows in the house—and a manure tanker drives up and down your driveway all day, your house WILL smell exactly like a manure pit. It’s going to take a while to get that smell out of the throw pillows.

When A City Slicker Writes a Dairy Blog

15 May

Sometimes I feel like a terrible blogger. And a terrible dairy blogger. And a terrible dairy wife.

I started this blog as a coping mechanism to grapple with the realities of dairy life—a life I knew nothing about before meeting my handsome Dairy Man.

But somewhere along the line, I became perceived as a dairy “expert.” Inexplicable.

As we all remember, I did not grow up on (or even near) a farm. I spent my formative years in a suburban land of city water, sidewalks, and neighborhood parks.

The closest I ever came to agriculture was Teusink’s Pony Farm. It was basically just a petting zoo with horse rides. Though I was surrounded by ducks, bunnies, and goats, I could hear honking car horns. I was within walking distance of ice cream. I could place one foot on the farm and the other in the asphalt parking lot of a nearby church.

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Teusink’s did not prepare me for farm life.

I didn’t experience true rural isolation until I moved to our old white house on the dairy. I didn’t experience the reality of farming until I was painting our laundry room by myself or trying to keep a barrage of black flies at bay.

I’m getting used to it.

The longer I live this dairy life, the more assimilated I become. It makes sense to use my writing to explain dairy processes and farming practice. In some circles I am the dairy expert. Mom is so proud.

But sometimes the very nature of this blog can feel disingenuous. I’m not a farmer. I don’t work on our dairy. I admittedly avoid getting my shoes dirty at all costs. I’m an overdressed transplant who happened to marry a man who is passionate about cows and corn.

Everything I know about farming comes from the DM. Some parts are interesting. Some parts are traumatizing. And other parts are downright dull.

I don’t think I will ever care about milking shells the way Dairy Man does. And I’m ok with that.

Yes, people, we’re getting real. I am breaking the fourth wall.

As I compose content for this blog, I’ve searched for balance between life and dairy. I love to write, but I worry about losing the newness, the confusion. The longer I live in this country place, the fewer opportunities I have for farm “firsts.”

Over time, the abnormal becomes normal. The new becomes mundane. The smells become commonplace.

As this natural process ebbs on, I can’t help but worry. What if I lose my incredulity? What if this dairy life becomes like an old shoe—comfortable, worn, and unsurprising?

My type A personality is prone to such compulsion. But I think my farming exodus, like life, requires a step back.

Sometimes the bud of a flower, the smile of a friend, the delicate fragrance of manure is all it takes to see the world with new eyes.

Familiarity is the enemy of inspiration. But often life’s most profound moments are found in the shabby or ordinary places. Sometimes it takes only the slightest shake of a butterfly’s wings to bring us straight to the feet of glory.

I’ve learned so much about farm life, but there is much more to explore. I continue to experience routine and newness. There’s something profound about both.

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It’s profound when the fiery pink/orange sun sets in the orchard across the street. It’s profound when my husband—weary, frazzled, and spattered with dirt—attentively looks into my eyes to say “I love you.” It’s profound when I drive a quarter mile into an isolated field to bring the DM some dinner and spend a few minutes reconnecting.

This life is not extraordinary. We wake up and beat the pavement (or the dirt) just like everyone else. But each day is a gift and I am grateful.

Other dairies are bigger. Other people are smarter. Other houses are cleaner. Other cows have higher milk production. But none of this matters when I look at the beauty of the life I’m blessed to live.

There’s nothing mundane about the love I feel for that man; there’s nothing dull about the passion he feels for his demanding profession; there’s nothing ordinary about our dependence on a powerful God.

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This farm life is more absurd than I ever could have known. I’ve lived through planting, harvesting, cow jailbreaks, and barn building. I’ve gone to bed alone. I’ve eaten a delicious steak from a steer who lived up the hill from my kitchen. I’ve driven Subway into fields and waited, waited, waited.

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I worry about running out of things to say, but I’ve recently realized that every life (whether full of cows, taxi cabs, or diapers) is seeped in richness. Ours is no different. It’s my goal to remember this—to delight in new knowledge and turn old experiences on their side.

A good dairy blog written by a prissy city girl should be equal parts cow and contemplation. And that’s what I strive to do. As I share the oddities of dairy life from an “expert” perspective, I will also stay true to the pencil-skirt-wearing immigrant behind the veil.

I will never stop learning. I will never stop growing. And I will never stop being thankful that I get to live this life. (If nothing else, for the material!)

Thanks for coming along.

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8 Things I Learned About Love From My Parents

14 Feb

On this overblown, Hallmark-ed, commercialized day called Valentine’s Day, I like to take a moment to think seriously about the loving relationships that have shaped my life and my own marriage.

Despite Dairy Man and I being pretty awesome already (and ever so humble), we have both learned a lot about happy marriages from our parents and grandparents.  All of the relationships were different, but each one taught us something important.

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As you can see, Dairy Man and I come from good-looking stock. And yes, my dad (bottom right) DID have a legendary ’stache on his wedding day.

Nearly everything I know about love comes from observing my parents. Those crazy kids have a quirky, steadfast love that has stood the test of 33 years.

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My parents aren’t showy, but it’s impossible not to soak up some marital goodness to apply to my own relationship. So, let’s take a stroll through Dave & Judy Marriage 101.

8 Things I’ve Learned About Love From My Parents

1: Love is not always equal

One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard about marriage came from my mom. When Dairy Man and I first got married, I had delusions of a perfectly egalitarian relationship. I envisioned a line in the sand with “my duties” on this side and “his duties” on the other. But life is a little messier than that, especially during a farm wife’s first planting season. I was crying on the phone one night to my mom about being lonely, feeling like I was doing all of the work, and she said to me: “Jess, in a marriage you can’t be so concerned about things being perfectly 50/50. You both have to give 100 percent–all of the time. Things aren’t always going to be equal. You might have to take turns carrying the other. But you should both always try to give 100 percent. That’s what love is.” (Read more about this revelation here.)

2: Show your children your love

I have absolutely no doubt that my parents love each other. They were free and easy with hugs and kisses in front of us kids (even amidst a chorus of “Eeeeeeeeewwww!!” and my mom swatting my dad away, “Dave, get off me!”) and weren’t afraid to say “I love you.” When Dairy Man and I have a family someday, I want to emulate my parents and make sure to thoroughly mortify and embarrass my children with a little Mom&Dad PDA.

3: Keep laughing

My parents are dorks. There are no two ways about it. They make up their own words and phrases (like “sugarjets” and “ookums”), tease, poke, and laugh. They don’t take life too seriously. Sometimes they even wrestle at Christmas.

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It’s easy to see how my entire family ended up being so weird.

4: Money isn’t important

My parents do not express love in gifts or extravagant experiences. It’s painful for them to spend money on “frivolous” things like soda at a restaurant or new shoes when the old ones don’t have holes yet. Basically they are good upstanding Dutch folk. Not surprisingly, my mom doesn’t really like flowers: “Why spend good money on something that’s going to die? I’d rather have a puzzle.” One year my dad found a way to get around this. While he was rollerblading, he saw some flowers growing alongside the road. Being the hopeless romantic he is, he plucked a bouquet and bladed it home. My mom was thrilled. Because she got flowers on her anniversary? No. Because my dad hadn’t spent a cent on them. That’s love, people.

5: Failure is not an option

It’s inevitable that parents will fight in front of their kids at some point. Mine were no different. But I still remember what they would tell us if we witnessed an argument: “Don’t forget, your dad/mom and I might fight, but I want you to know that we love each other very much and will be together forever.” They taught me early on that marriage vows are forever. My parents will be together for better and worse, in sickness and health, for richer for poorer, as long as they live.

6: Being happy is more important than being right

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the happiest times in my parents’ marriage were often after someone said “I’m sorry.” While there is great delight in being right (my dad and I delight in it just a little too much), it is a far more beautiful, loving act to let things go. If DM and I have a fight, the quickest way to happiness is for someone to let go of the need to be right.

7: Faith sustains a marriage

My parents’ marriage is founded on more than respect and love. They’re the first to admit that #5 would be impossible without God’s help. Every step they take as a couple stems from prayer and deep faith. This faith has sustained them through the best and worst that life has to offer.

8: Happiness is found in mutual hobbies

My parents became empty-nesters a few years ago when my little brother went to college. After getting reacquainted in this post-spawn world, they found a mutual love for hiking in the dunes by Lake Michigan. On one of their hikes, my dad stuck a large branch into the sand and tied a ribbon to it. Over many months, my parents added more ribbon and string to the branch. Other hikers did the same. There’s something wonderful and symbolic about this branch.

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I only hope to have a marriage as full of love and laughter as my parents. Or my in-laws (shout out to Kent and Vonnie) or grandparents (Bill and Shirley; August and Anne; Roy and Gloria; Marv and Virginia), for that matter. Dairy Man and I are surrounded by examples of steadfast, godly love.

And that’s something worth celebrating on this day of chalky candy hearts and overpriced roses!

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So, dear reader, now it’s your turn to share.
What have YOU learned about love from your parents, step-parents, or grandparents?

A Hairy Situation: How My Husband Almost Destroyed my Washer

17 Oct

Three important facts you need to know before I begin this rant:

  1. The Dairy Man has a habit of leaving dirty towels around the house.
  2. The Dairy Man cuts his own hair.
  3. I love my husband.

Let’s begin, shall we?

As the wife of a farmer, most household tasks fall to me. This was one of the first things I had to accept when we got married. It’s not because I’m a guileless victim to my gender, I just happen to have more time. And frankly my standards are higher. If left to his own devices, the DM would live in squalor and eat nothing but Frosted Mini Wheats. At least that’s what I suspect.

One of the Dairy Man’s more irksome habits is leaving a trail of items—socks, flannel shirts, shoes, towels—in his wake as he putters around the house. I always allocate time on laundry day to collect these wayward articles.

I was on such a mission on Monday. After tracking down all of the dirty towels in the house, including an innocuous green towel balled up next to the washing machine, I started a load of wash while I made dinner. I was feeling good. Productive. Like a modern day Marsha Brady with a full-time job and a college degree. When the washing machine timer dinged, I headed to the back room to throw the towels into the dryer.

As soon as I opened the door, I knew something was terribly wrong. The inside of the machine looked like a bunny had exploded, leaving little piles of brown fur everywhere.
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Before I go on, let’s back up.

A few days ago, the DM decided to give himself a haircut. He laid a towel on the bathroom floor and went to town on his head with an electric shaver. After he was properly shorn, DM rolled the hair clippings up into the towel and headed to the back room.

MFW: Babe, make sure you shake out that towel outside before you put it in your hamper.

DM: I will!

MFW: Well, it’s just that last time you balled the towel up in the bottom of your hamper and I washed it and hair got everywhe…

DM: (Interrupts) I got it! I’ll take care of it. ______________________

Fast forward to the next day. Me. Standing in front of my washer. Horrified.

The DM listened; he didn’t put the hair-filled towel in his hamper. He rolled it up, placed it next to the washer, and thought “I’ll take care of that later.”

Except he forgot.

I spent the next 10 minutes wiping piles of brown hair from the washer drum, filter, and rubber seal. The hair-covered towels were thrown into the dryer and I stopped their tumbling every few minutes to empty the filter. When all was said and done, it looked like a small furry animal had taken up residence in my trash can.

Kids: marriage is always glamorous, logical, and grown-up. Wait, no. I lied. It can be messy, frustrating, and silly.

But thankfully, even under all of the hair, there is still a lot of love.

XOXO,

MFW, chinchilla wrangler

Wallowing, Vegging, and Dogging

25 Sep

All right, friends. I’ve failed you.

I’m sure you’ve noticed. All of the people who read this blog faithfully (there are at least two – thanks, Mom and Dad) have undoubtedly noticed the lack of cow, corn, and canine tales. I’ve still been posting plenty of pictures of Jersey the dog to my five lucky followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but I have neglected the written word.

“Not cool, MFW,” you might say. “Man cannot live on ‘Omg! Lol! What a cute puppy!’ alone. He needs cows. Machinery. Detailed farming explanations.”

That’s not going to happen today. I blame corn harvest and self pity. Plus, I’ve already donned my sweatpants. Nothing productive can happen while wearing sweatpants.

I shouldn’t complain too much. At least I’m not the one out there farming from 6 a.m. to midnight. My Dairy Man amazes and exhausts me. I would be a terrible (and excruciatingly whiny) farmer.

During corn harvest the Dairy Man leaves at sunup and doesn’t crawl into bed until I’m long asleep. I’m a lone wolf for a few weeks and this phenom plummets me into bachelor-like behaviors. I eat cereal and hummus for dinner, walk around the house in my skivvies, and watch an embarrassing number of Say Yes to the Dress episodes (Netflix streaming will be the death of me). There is no one to judge me or the socks I haven’t picked up yet. A few husband-free weeks would make some gals hyper-productive, but I tend to go the other way. Rather than write about corn, I grab a giant container of Greek yogurt and a large glass of wine, plop in front of the tube, and feel sorry for myself.

I also blame my writer’s fatigue. I write (and write and write) at my snazzy new job all.day.long. Press releases, articles, web copy, marketing copy, tweets. I love it. It’s challenging, frustrating, exhausting, and invigorating. But when I get home at night, the thought of hunkering down at my computer to do more writing makes me twitch. It also makes me eat a lot of salsa. Or maybe that’s the guilt.

Speaking of guilt, I’ve got a depressed puppy on my hands. Jersey the dog has been spending a lot of time in the house these past few weeks. He usually goes to work with the Dairy Man, but not during corn harvest. Jersey gets carsick in the tractor and DM doesn’t like to have him around all of the heavy machinery. When I should be blogging, I’m giving the furry child my undivided attention. We walk, we play fetch, we learn new tricks, we take naps on the couch, we guffaw over dog-shaming.com, we eat a lot of peanut butter, we ogle at the neighbor’s heifers.

Between wallowing, vegging, and dogging, when’s a girl to do anything productive?

Next week I will drop some thrilling corn knowledge on you. I promise. For tonight, there is a furry fellow and a glass of red calling my name.

Thank goodness harvest is almost over.