Fangboner Farms

The Top 10 Things I've Learned From Living on a Farm

And thanks to David Letterman for always inspiring me to think in top 10's. . .

10. Smells.  In the city, especially in my downtown CitiFest days, I got used to lots of smells.  Sewers, garbage along the streets, the river, and those from people thinking the river and streets are their sewers. But nothing compares to the smell of a skunk that has sprayed about 10 feet from your house.  You have to breathe, don't want to breathe and choke on it when you do. I'll never be quoted as saying "I love the smell of skunk in the morning."  And if I am, one word - intervention.

9. Sounds. Although we still have sirens we hear a lot - we live on a road that has a fire station a mile or so away - they sound different out here.  Almost more urgent than just background sounds.  And gunshots.  We hear them out here a lot.  But they're not usually followed by sirens.  It's a different world. 

8. Sweat. I used to go to the gym and perspire. You know, the sheen on the forehead type of perspiration. Very ladylike I suppose.  Well now I sweat. Yes, working with my trainer has taught me how good that can be but the sweat from the farm is much different. I was working in the greenhouse hanging herbs one day this summer when it was about 95 outside - so add 20 to that for in the greenhouse.  I couldn't see because the sweat was rolling into my eyes.  I didn't even think.  I just grabbed my t-shirt and pulled it up over my face and wiped off the sweat.  Mid-swipe, I realized what I was doing and stopped.  I've seen Roland do this many times when he's working but would never ever consider doing it myself.  I was mortified. And so glad no one was around.  So again, if you ever see me do this - intervention.  

7.  Cats. I love cats.  I've always had them as pets. Indoor pets. Cuddly on the couch pets.  Never as barn kitties, who can be friendly but vicious hunters at the same time. Buddy has lived on the farm for about six years.  Very cute black kitty who has learned to love me and be affectionate - since I represent good food on a regular schedule. I love petting Buddy (her name came from me because Roland never named her, just always called her "his little buddy") and she walks with me around the farm and comes when called.  One day I heard something in the long grass and called her name to make sure it was her and not some critter. She popped out to see me, and came over looking for some affection.  I reached down to pet her and saw she had a live mouse in her mouth - his feet kicking and tail twitching.  I backed away, said good kitty and kept moving.  She went back into the grass.  Felt like I was watching "Wild Kingdom."

6.  Storms. Out in the country they are beautiful.  I've always loved watching storms but here you can actually see them move across the fields. Watching them from the distance and really feeling the wind is amazing.  Until we had a tornado warning and I realized we don't have a basement and our crawlspace is way way scary. No place to hide. And the wind has popped out a few panels of our greenhouse this summer. Nothing like a good workout running across uneven fields to catch the panel before it breaks.

5. Farmer blows.  I've heard of them but never actually seen one.  It's when you plug one side of your nose, lean out and blow. No tissues, paper towel or even a shirt sleeve.  Just let it go.  Roland has perfected the art. Yeah, I don't kiss him when he's been out working.  Again, if you ever see me do this, or about to do this, two words - INTERVENTION NOW.

4. Critters used to terrify me.  I'd walk out back and see a groundhog and immediately freak. I'd panic that it would charge me and attack. Now when I see one, I yell, "hey get the #!*% off our property" and they do. I do not however, do that with the wild turkeys. They travel in bunches (flocks??) and I give them a wide space.  Those suckers are big. And we occasionally hear coyotes. And the millions of birds in the trees do still scare me.  But I've gone from terrified to kind of co-existing. Sort of.

3. Mud still sucks.  

2. I am one bad ass tractor driver.  In the beginning I was scared and wore the seat belt.  I drove slowly.  Now I crank it up, can use the scooper thing and pick up compost and mulch and move it and even dump it perfectly. Roland and I have matching work boots - I know, kind of creepy - and I have my farm jeans and sweatshirts.  I love throwing those all on, jumping on the tractor to cut the fields, run the tiller and move whatever I can find.  I am woman, hear me plow.

1. In spite of all the adjustments - living with someone and making a relationship work, losing treasured pets that are my family, learning to find patience again and enjoy the one million questions of our 2-year-old granddaughter, a puppy and his love of chewing everything, The Menopause (as Roland calls it) and septic tanks - I LOVE living in the country.  I love watching the sun come up in the morning.  I love working with all the herbs and seeing our business grow.  I love expanding my experiences and conquering some fears. I am very happy with the direction my life has taken. But I still love putting on my nice suits, going into my beautiful office at work and enjoying the comforts of city water. I haven't totally gone to the dark side.

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