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December 14, 2012

Wow you guys are amazing!  The comments on the Farmwife post continue to blow me away.  My daughter has been approving them while I am preparing to bring my precious cowies close up for winter, snow is getting close.  Post on that later…

Anyway, love, love, love all the comments and monikers.  I think for me, when I think about the jumble of my lived life and the titles that go with that, Three Collie had it right, me and my hubby both are pretty equal in what we bring to the farm, sure, we have different jobs and on most we are pretty interchangeable, but we allow each other our strengths and weaknesses.  As much as I kick about cooking, I know I would rather cook meals than bale hay, or clean out the feeding shed.  Same with him, he would much rather replace a broken driveline than balance a checkbook or watch the pressure canner.

I think about all this in the order of my life as it has been lived, farmer, wife, mother, or chief cook and bottle washer as my Mom used to say.  I’m lots of other things too, quilter, sewer, sower, embroiderer, knitter, fiesta collector, sometimes not reluctant cook, canning jar hoarder, grass maven, butter churner, Guernsey cheerleader, goofball, they all fit at one time or another.

I think people get ideas about professions because they are taught to do so.  The guilt trip is a long one.  For the most part I think we need to shake off the naysayers and keep plugging away.  Seek friendship in relationships with like-minded folks and leave the rest at the fringe where they belong.

Thank you all 😀

6 Comments leave one →
  1. VaGirl2 permalink
    December 14, 2012 6:53 am

    Your last line in this post says it all. Bravo!

  2. December 14, 2012 7:16 am

    Belated kudos to you just for being you, that post struck me as a manifesto for what many of us are all about.

  3. December 14, 2012 7:17 am

    I went back and read some comments. Such fun times. Anyhoo, I love your posts and your rantings. I want to be in your position, someday. Growing most of what we eat, raising chickens, having our own beef cows. But for now, I grow my salsa-marinara garden (tomatoes and hot peppers, garlic and herbs) and will dream about the future. Whatever I end up calling myself, I’ll be having fun.

  4. December 14, 2012 7:51 am

    I hope you do keep plugging away. I am always impressed with all you do and even more WHY you do it. You understand the workings of the land and livestock more than most.

  5. December 14, 2012 8:13 am

    Ignore the naysayers. Shake it off.

    As you well know, you have impacted me positively both in the blog and in personal communication. You’re the best. Back to work.

  6. Bee permalink
    December 14, 2012 9:05 am

    Nita, forgot I had this, it’s an old post from my blog that speaks to this issue!

    What do You Call a Farmer?
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, write a sonnet, design a building, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” –Robert Heinlein, in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
    If Rodney Dangerfield had been a farmer, he could considerably expand his repertoire of “I don’t get no respect jokes”. Farmers and ranchers are seen as clodhoppers, people with mud on their boots and hay in their hair. The list of derogatory terms is sadly long: hicks; rednecks; hayseeds; hillbillies; shit kickers; crackers. The common assumption is all too often of an uneducated, unskilled manual laborer who couldn’t succeed in the “real world”. This despite the fact that in addition to such mundane farming tasks as collecting eggs, shoveling manure or irrigating pastures, a farmer may, in a twenty-four hour period, act as mechanic, veterinarian, gardener, carpenter, plumber, mason, animal trainer, welder, cook, bookkeeper, or electrician—all skills for which most of us would pay a pretty penny in that aforesaid real world. It takes a very smart person to do all those things and do them well. More, it takes dexterity, judgment, strength, creativity and determination. Farmers are truly versatile.
    We could call a farmer a “jack of all trades”. Unfortunately, the term carries with it the unspoken implication: master of none. I admit I’ve never really liked the phrase; the inference is of someone incapable of sticking to a task, and it leaves out the females, who are just as capable of farming or ranching as the males. Worse, it seems to say that being a master of a single skill is better than being able to do many unrelated things. And yet, consider. Why should becoming an expert in only one field confer higher status? Perhaps it narrows—limits—rather than expanding horizons. Does mastery cause a closing of mental doors? What if the unknown (which may provide brilliant insight), is discarded when compared to the known, because it doesn’t seem to fit in the accepted order of knowledge? What if the constant effort required to learn new skills causes exploration and travel of neural pathways left dormant when one knows the road? Becoming a jack of all trades requires flexibility, a willingness to take risks, expansion of mental horizons, and transference of skills into unrelated areas. Competence is attractive, exciting, stimulating—dare I say erotic? Multiple competencies are more so.
    At the end of Europe’s Dark Ages, something new arose and flourished on the continent. Great strides were made in all disciplines—art, science, literature, education, medicine, music and religion. Certainly there are some people who have a real genius for a particular field of endeavor. Yet Michelangelo was a great artist whether he worked in stone, marble, paint or bronze, on canvas or on plaster. He certainly didn’t limit himself, even within one field. Would you call Leonardo Da Vinci a jack of all trades? Or would you think of multidimensional talents? Perhaps what is needed is a new term for someone who can do a lot of things reasonably well. “Renaissance man” has already been taken, and what about the women?
    How about “farmer”?

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