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Friday, June 21, 2013

Ready for a Little Dirty Talk?

My mom complains about the language in some books. Then again, I'm sure she would complain about my language if we spent more time together. This post isn't actually about language at all - it just seemed like a catchy way to start things. Today's post is about real dirt ... the kind that lodges itself under your finger nails, the kind you have to dig out of your nose, and the kind that comes with all sorts of nasty smells.

I could go on and on. If you've been tuned-in for quite some time, you'll know that I went from a very clean profession to a farmer/writer/mother/wife. Instead of wearing stockings and Manolo Blanhnik's to the office, I typically wear patched jeans and a pair of rubbery boots that make my feet sweat. My hands are dry and cracked and instead of finding a few bobby pins in my hair at the end of the day, I find things I can't identify that were possibly at one time part of a plant. I am not in any way complaining, but I do get asked a lot of questions that boil down to "what does an average day look like for you?"

So - let's talk dirty and I'll answer that question:

5:40am - alarm goes off letting me know that if I want to brush my teeth alone I need to get up ASAP (my husband is long gone and some days I'm not sure if he came to bed at all...I smell the pillow to see if I can catch a whiff of his shampoo)

6:00am - alarm goes off letting me know it's time for the children to get up (most days I'm still in bed, procrastinating)

6:01am - I run to the bathroom before I sneeze or cough (6 months pregnant will do that to a girl)

6:02am - The house is officially awake. Carmen strips her bed (we can't get passed the bed-wetting quite yet) and I start a load of laundry, Andre and I brush our teeth while Carmen hops in the shower. The next ten minutes or so is spent reminding the children to hurry, checking back-packs, talking about any 'specials' going on for the day, and deciding what clothing would be appropriate based on the weather. On a good day, we have some time to enjoy a glass of water or milk while we chat and other days we run around with hair brushes in hand hoping we haven't missed the bus.

6:50am - The children head out to the bus after a debate about taking bikes, walking with mom, walking without mom, etc...and hopefully our yellow lab puppy is still in his kennel so we don't have to figure that out as he attempts to hop on the bus with the children.

6:51am - If I haven't gone out to the bus with the children, I look around to see what they've forgotten and then make my sprint down the drive-way to bring them a forgotten water bottle, granola bar, folder, or permission slip. (I don't do this in my bathrobe anymore after the windy morning last February)

7:00am - The children hop on the bus and I can start my inside chores. Make coffee, empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, start washing machine, fold clothes, vaccuum floor, sweep kitchen, clothes that closet door the children always leave open, double check that all the beds are made, turn off Carmen's bedroom light... AGAIN ...

7:10am - I grab 2 cups of coffee, pull on my rubber boots, and head out to the barn. This part of the day I leave my phone and watch in the house so there are no time-stamps, just events that fill a few hours:

*Enjoy a cup of coffee with my husband (yes, we do this in the barn ... the trick is to keep your mug with you or use a covered mug so you don't get any cow poop in your java...
*Fill 3 of the 5 gallon water pails
*Lift the pails onto the 4-wheeler
*Drive the 4 wheeler to the calf barn (no running water there)
*Mix up 'formula' or milk replacer for the wet calves and feed them, pet them, sing them a few songs
*Give the older calves clean water and check them over to make sure they are healthy and happy
*Grab the buckets from all the calves and put them on the 4-wheeler along with the empty 5-gallon buckes
*Drive back down to the barn where my husband usually appears out of nowhere to pat me on the rear ...glad he still likes me
*Clean all the buckets/pails
*Fill 3 of the 5 gallon water pails and put them on the 4-wheeler with the now clean buckets
*Drive back to the calf barn and give everyone back their buckets (it's important not to mix them up by the way)
*Give all the calves more water and check them over again to make sure they are happy and healthy before turning out the lights
*Park the 4-wheeler in the garage (being careful not to run over the children's bikes that are often in the way)
*Feed and water bunnies
*Check on pigs
*Feed and water cats and dogs
*Check the garden and grab whatever fresh fruits/veggies can be harvested for the day - place them in the entry way to be cleaned later
*Head back to the barn to find out what needs to be done next (usually move cows around, scrape stalls, check on a cow giving birth, fill the straw cart, run to the vets office for medicine, clean the milkhouse, move the tractor, or something of that nature

9:00am - Head into the house to check phone calls and emails and officially "open" the Relax Consulting office.

9:15am - clean what was harvested from the garden

9:25am - switch laundry and hang 1 or 2 loads on the line, empty the dishwasher, take out whatever meat is going to be cooked later in the day

9:35am - hop in the shower to remove the dirt and grime that has adhered itself to every inch of my body (somehow, the barn smell grabs hold of my hair within moments ... it's nice to be clean, but I hate that first moment when the hot water hits me and I realize how awful I smell)

9:45am - get dressed in whatever is appropriate for the day (barn clothes if I'm hauling wagons or helping with more chores, or good clothes if I have meetings, or comfy clothes if I happen to be sitting at my desk working on a project or writing)

Did I mention that if I weren't pregnant I would be brewing another pot of coffee by now? Instead, I'm making a cup of decaf trying to fool myself...

It's hard to explain what happens from 9:45am until 4:30pm because every day is different. The children get home and need to be fed, wagons need to be hauled, bills need to be paid, etc...and at 4:30 it's time to milk cows again which means time for me to feed calves again ... so all the above steps are repeated.

6:00pm - time to put the children to bed
6:30pm - another shower ... maybe I'll shave the right leg since I only had time to do the left one this morning ... lol

7:00pm - time for me to hop in bed if I have all my work done
8:30pm - time for me to get up and put the finishing touches on supper for my husband (and whoever has been helping in the barn and will be staying for supper)
9:00pm - time to feed the "big kids" who hopefully will be done after supper and will NOT have to go back out and do field work until 1 or 2 in the morning
10:30pm - clean up the kitchen as well as possible and head back up to bed after checking on the children

So - that's pretty much it. It's a great life and I get to spend lots of time with the people I love. I am however usually covered in dirt, cleaning up dirt, or trying not to get dirt on me ...

Thanks for this little chat - it's always fun to get down and dirty with a friend!

May your paths be abundantly filled with lemons, sugar, sunshine, and manure ... because everything grows a little better when it's dirty!!!

~Hugs from Crystal

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