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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Are You. . . A Pioneer Woman!?!

I will have to take a moment to think about this question. . . no.

I am new country with old school ideals. But does that stop my husband from yelling "Are you. . .a pioneer woman!" like a drill Sargent while we are lifting 250 lb bridge boards, or I have been left alone to pull out t-posts that a draft horse should be doing? No.

Yet I might as well be one, when I am throwing corn seed that is piled into my shirt, or when I am hoeing rows...tilling by hand, or when I am down in the mud, on hands and knees pulling weeds in a 4,000 square foot garden. I wake before the sun to bake bread, and prep breakfast for all the men folk. I dress out my own birds {chickens, ducks, turkey} by hand, no professional processor here. Now all I need to do is wear a skirt out into the field so I can just squat when need arises.

For the past two weeks I have been doing all of it on my own. I tip my hat to those single homesteading moms, I don't know how you do it. To my new readers, we are not completely back field around here. My husband builds and repairs custom motorcycles. And these last two weeks he has been on the road and working a rally. All the gardening, all the fence work, and the spooky sheep, I have dealt with alone. I find it daunting at times. I wish that I could wait for my husband to return before doing some of it. But I know that it can't wait. The success of the homestead depends on me doing my work, and my husband's, daily. He returned home yesterday, and relief washed over me. I was struggling with some of the repair work that needs to be done, now he can do it.

The first Sunday of the month, the small town I grew up in has a swap meet. We are heading down there on this next one to acquire lambs. I have also been in contact with a man that breeds Dexter cattle. Before these past two weeks had passed by so slowly and painfully {no rest even when you have the flu} I was looking forward to these new animals. But now, with the prospect of every riding season, my husband will be missing at times, the realization of, I will be doing it all alone, struck me. I am not a pioneer woman.


Stephanie Appleton said...

I know I couldn't do it alone either. Glad to hear he is home!

I thought I was the only one whose animals did weird things. Our chickens come in the house any time one of the kids leaves the door open.

Phelan said...

We gave a banny rooster to our neighbor, it uses the doggie door to get in the house and sleep with the dogs.

TexasWren said...

Do you have other sheep? I can't remember. If not, then Donkey probably isn't weird, he's just lonely. Wanting a friend or some attention.

If you have other sheep, um, never mind. ;-)

When I was teaching, JOhnnie said that if I would quit work, I could stay home and just take care of the pigs.

Hmm, 30 5th graders or 100 hogs? No choice there. ;-)

Anything that involves the land or livestock is just pure hard work, which only gets easier if you love what you are doing.

Johnnie used to brag that I could lift as much as he could. He used to play those mind games with me too. Silly man.

Seems the only thing my grandmother did that you don't is having to make her own quilts to keep the family warm, and sew the clothes they wore.

Jeff Roberts said...

I've had hernia surgery, so be careful with the lifting and tugging. Pioneers must have had their innards hanging out every which way...or maybe corsets were more than just a fashion statement :-)

P~ said...

With the small number of women willing to do the kind of hard work you're talking about, maybe he means that you are a pioneer amongst modern women. Leading a revolution towards simpler and more deliberate living... Then again, maybe he just had a Laura Ingals fantasy growing up?

Anonymous said...

Wren, no, no other sheep yet. He does play well with the goats though. JOhnny and Dan have way too much in common. No wonder they got along so well.

Jeff, hahahaha!

P~ No I am the one with the Ingalls fetish. He is just trying to encourage me in his strange little way.

Anonymous said...

Phelan, you guys crack me up. :)

Gina said...

I deal with the man away thing too as mine travels for work. It always seems like the worst mthings happen when he is hours away in Chicago or New York or somewhere. You know, like the sheep and cow try to kill each other, kid flushes a whole apple down the toilet, or the pump on the well quits.

Oh, BTW, we have a dexter cow and calf and they are small & easy to handle as far as cattle go.

QT said...

Ugh -it is ALL hard work, I agree. I read your butchering links, and I have a tip for you - don't bother plucking out a whole rooster - after you bleed it, just cut out the breast meat - it is the best part anyway. I also do that with my ducks, but I don't have Pekins, mine are much smaller Campbells - not worth roasting.

And you can use a traffic cone for smaller birds (not the turkey!). It really helps keep them still. I learned from a guy with a mobile butchering unit, it was the most educational day of my life. He uses a small hatchet to chop off the heads, and he also had a huge vat for boiling water to pluck the geese we butchered. When you go to the swap meet, ask around if anyone knows a "mobile butcher."

Again, glad your hubby is home!

Billy said...

I am not a pioneer woman. *sigh*
I am living the life of a pioneer woman through your posts. I envy you. I wish I could do half the stuff you do. But, I have no time. My current life doesn't allow me to do this. I am taking notes though. One day. One day...

The Fool said...

Uh, no...I'm not a Pioneer least not the last time I checked.

Hi Phelan! Have a great night.

Unknown said...

I am alone, but have a wonderful neighbour who is only to glad to help with things like fencing, gates & the well/holding tank & now Scotty's between girlfriends (I think ~ he usually turns up then) & Demi's due to kid, I have help from the Lads on the Traveller Site. I just dread hurting my weakened back or injuring myself at all.
I do wear a skirt ~ only ever skirts, never trousers/jeans................ & a headkerchief
I mentioned a couple of interesting books (well, they look useful & 1 was recommended to me) on my blog, Phelan: Amazon uk has them in stock, not sure if you have them, know them or if can get them ~ "Cottage Economy" by William Cobbett & "Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them"

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