Thee Farm Wife

Thee Farm Wife

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Those pesky daughter-in-laws

from an artilce by Jolene Brown www.jolenebrown.com


We can't choose in-laws, but we can choose to communicate with them up front.
Time after time, conversations start like this: "Our family members got along just fine till the boys got married." Or, "How do we keep our assets in our family? In-laws aren't family" or, "What do we do if he's going to be with her family on Christmas?"
And so the saga of daughters-in-law begins. What I've learned is that relationships with this group can be the biggest source of pain – or joy.
To gain mutual support, loyalty, respect, and gratitude, it's critical to understand and distinguish behaviors and decisions from a family perspective vs. a business perspective.
Defining these, preferably before rings are exchanged, will require a commitment to honest communication and intentional planning.
Here's the challenge. A daughter-in-law often marries into a generations-old family business with literally hundreds of unwritten rules and an unexpressed code of conduct. Her issues range from trying to understand her husband's interactions within the family and business to finding a role for herself. Maybe she's given up her job and home to live in a more rural setting and now faces expectations, uncertain ties, loneliness, and a wish that she could just fit in.
At a recent young farmer meeting, a daughter-in-law asked, "How long do you have to be married before you get to be family?" The answer should be: "You're family from the minute vows were exchanged." Parents then get to celebrate the ad dition of a new family member, do all they can to support the marriage, and respect the boundaries of a new family unit. The new member now gets to build on the best of family history, respecting tradition and relationships, while negotiating new boundaries. If the parties have mutual reservations, each still gets to be pleasant and polite. Sometimes you get to choose to like someone before you love someone.
Defining a daughter-in-law's relationship to the business requires an expanded mind-set. It takes intentional communi cation and expressed expectations: What, if any, is her role in the business? What are her expectations of the business?

Summery day

My parents are on their way up - they bought a new swing set for the kids - Dad wanted to buy them a pony but the Farmer wasn't too keen on that one. I really wanted a horse, too! Maybe someday. So, we will be assembling a new play set this afternoon.

We also got a new pool and a sand and water table. The girls are outside most of the day. Aiden goes out for about 30 minutes. He burns so easily, the pool is too cold and he is allergic to grass! Seriously. He gets a rash on his legs and feet. We are going to have to build that kids immunity up!

The weather is absolutely perfect. Nice breeze, lots of sun, little humidity and not too warm. The neighbors corn is already over my head. I have tomatoes turning red in my garden - this has never happened in June before. I never get ripe tomatoes until August! So I am really excited to taste one. Hopefully, sweet corn will be ready soon, too. Ours won't be ready til August, but I know Harrington's have got to be close!

The girls went to see the movie Brave with my friend Emily. She traded me her youngest daughter for my two girls for the day. Morgan is two and she and Aiden love to play together. Although he does try and kiss her a little too much!

John is out checking the hay he mowed yesterday to see how it is drying. Once it is baled I hope we get a couple more inches of rain! We really need it.

We had an electrician come and check the wiring today because we had a little fire under the kitchen sink. Apparently some mice ate the wiring. We will have all new outlets put in on the main floor and also have some lines fixed that haven't worked in ages. I am sure Cody will be glad not to have to use a drop cord to get electricity to his room. I will definitely be glad when it is all fixed. I am terrified of fire!

We took some cows and calves to pasture today. We also brought up two cow-calf pairs to the barn so the girls can start working on next year's show calves. Bonnie Blue Butler and Rhett. Which reminds me, it's time for my annual reading of Gone With the Wind...a glass of sweet tea and some shade is calling my name!

Monday, June 25, 2012

from an article by Jolene Brown www.jolenebrown.com


We can't choose in-laws, but we can choose to communicate with them up front.
Time after time, conversations start like this: "Our family members got along just fine till the boys got married." Or, "How do we keep our assets in our family? In-laws aren't family" or, "What do we do if he's going to be with her family on Christmas?"
And so the saga of daughters-in-law begins. What I've learned is that relationships with this group can be the biggest source of pain – or joy.
To gain mutual support, loyalty, respect, and gratitude, it's critical to understand and distinguish behaviors and decisions from a family perspective vs. a business perspective.
Defining these, preferably before rings are exchanged, will require a commitment to honest communication and intentional planning.
Here's the challenge. A daughter-in-law often marries into a generations-old family business with literally hundreds of unwritten rules and an unexpressed code of conduct. Her issues range from trying to understand her husband's interactions within the family and business to finding a role for herself. Maybe she's given up her job and home to live in a more rural setting and now faces expectations, uncertain ties, loneliness, and a wish that she could just fit in.
At a recent young farmer meeting, a daughter-in-law asked, "How long do you have to be married before you get to be family?" The answer should be: "You're family from the minute vows were exchanged." Parents then get to celebrate the addition of a new family member, do all they can to support the marriage, and respect the boundaries of a new family unit. The new member now gets to build on the best of family history, respecting tradition and relationships, while negotiating new boundaries. If the parties have mutual reservations, each still gets to be pleasant and polite. Sometimes you get to choose to like someone before you love someone.
Defining a daughter-in-law's relationship to the business requires an expanded mind-set. It takes intentional communication and expressed expectations: What, if any, is her role in the business? What are her expectations of the business?


© Copyright 2011 Jolene Brown
 319.643.2429

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Show me some pictures!

Apollo loves to sleep in a bed, for real.

Papa Don planted us an asparagus bed this spring.

JaidenIlo, dance recital

Jaima Lulu, dance recital.

We have one chicken who lays "double-yolkers" everyday!

Daddy and his kids, before recital.

Ilo, after recital, getting flowers and kisses from Daddy.

Cody, at the kickoff show in Wave town, before the band left on tour.

Me and Cody, with the sign I held up during the show!

Lulu, leading her heifer, Blanca, at fair on Friday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

You might be a farm wife if...

  • If your name is taped to the side of a cakepan:
  • If you call the implement dealer and he recognizes your voice:
  • If the vet’s number is on the speed dial of your phone:
  • If you know how to change the flat on your car, but can’t because the spare is on a flatbed:
  • If your second vehicle is still a pickup:
  • If the folks in the Emergency Room have a pool going for your kids and it involves the type of injury and when it will occur:
  • If your husband has ever used field equipment to maintain your yard:
  • If you’re in the habit of buying foodstuffs in bulk:
  • If a "night out" involves the local 4-H club:
  • If the word "auction" makes you tingle:
  • If you’ve ever washed your kids or the dishes with a pressure washer:
  • If "picking rock" is considered a chance to get out of the house:
  • If "wild game" reminds you of dinner and not the bedroom:
  • If "a little bit of lunch" involves 6 courses and a dessert made from scratch:
  • If the "fresh ingredients" your recipe calls for reminds you to do the chores:
  • If taking lunch to the field is as close as you get to a picnic:
  • If that pail with a hole in it is a flowerpot in the making:
  • If your rock garden was hand-picked:
  • If you can mend a pair of pants and the fence that ripped them:
  • If you’re on the lookout for new uses for "Jell-O":
  • If the shopping list in your purse includes the sizes of filters, tires, overalls, chains, belts, lights, cables, spark plugs or shotgun shells:
  • If "Farm", "Ranch", "Country", "Cowboy" or "Antique" is in the name of your favorite magazine:
  • If your tan lines are somewhere below your shoulder and above your elbow:
  • If "Lacey" or "Frilly" refers to a farm animal but not your nightgown:
  • If you ever went on a date to the rodeo:
  • If you’ve ever been grateful for fingernail polish, because it hides the dirt under your nails:
  • If you’ve ever called your husband to supper, using a radio:
  • If you buy antiques because they match the rest of your furniture:
  • If being taken out to dinner has ever included a talk by a seed corn dealer:
  • If your driveway is longer than a stone’s throw:
  • If your mailbox looks like a piece of farm machinery:
  • If your kids’ wading pool has ever doubled as a stock tank, or vice versa:
  • If the daily paper is always a day late:
  • If you have a yard, but not a lawn:
  • If you have lots of machinery and each piece is worth more than your house:
  • If the leaky barn roof gets fixed, before the leaky house roof:
  • If duct tape is always on your shopping list:
  • If the neighbor’s house is best viewed with binoculars:
  • If the directions to your house include the words, "miles," "silos," "last," or "gravel road":
  • If the tractor and the combine have air conditioning and an FM radio but your car doesn’t:
  • If your storage shed is a barn:
  • If you measure travel in miles not minutes:
  • If your farm equipment has the latest global positioning technology and you still can’t find your husband:
  • If you consider "hot dish" a food group:
  • If your husband says, "Can you help me for a few minutes?" and you know that might be anywhere from a few minutes to six hours:
  • If you plan your vacations around farm shows:  
  • If grass stains are the least of your laundry problems:
  • If your refrigerator contains medicine, livestock medicine:
  • If your car’s color is two-toned and one color is gravel road brown:
  • If you knew everyone in your high school:
  • If you’ve ever grown your own wall decorations:
  • If you’ve entertained the romantic notion of living in an old, country farmhouse with a fireplace, but gave it up because firsthand experience tells you that it’s cold, drafty, smoky and sooty:
  • If you use newspapers to help keep the kitchen floor clean:
  • If you’ve ever said, "Oh, it’s only a little mud.":
  • If you need a pair of vice grips to run a household appliance:
  • If your husband gave you flowers, but you had to plant the seeds yourself:
  • If you've used the loader to reach the windows when they needed washing:
  • If you’ve ever used a broom to shoo a critter:
  • If you’ve ever discovered a batch of kittens in your laundry basket:
  • If dinner is at noon and lunch is before and after dinner:
  • If you don't need the recipe to make Rice Krispies bars:
  • If you shovel the sidewalk, with a skidsteer loader:
  • If you can find a use for that old tractor seat:
  • If you've ever found mice in the underwear drawer:
  • If quality time with your hubby means you'll have a flashlight in one hand and a wrench in the other:
  • If you know the difference between field corn and sweet corn:
  • If you buy your husband's "dress" socks at Campbell's Supply:
  • If family "pets" include deer, coons, squirrels, foxes or birds:
  • If you can make a meal that can be ready in six minutes and will still be ready in two hours:
  • If your basement is really a cellar:
  • If "sharing a cab" has nothing to do with a taxi and everything to do with getting across the field:
  • If your job in town is considered a farm subsidy:
  • It's on like Donkey Kong!

    I think Facebook has taken the place of my blog...but FB is for short and cute little snippets of my life...blogging is like a big fat slice of the pie of my life...only the last year or so I never seem to find any time to sit still for 20 minutes and type. I mean, I don't even get to go the bathroom alone anymore! (Aiden grabs the end of the TP and runs through the house. NOT FUNNY!)

    I have been reading farm wife blogs this morning, searching for a farm wife that talks about total lack of privacy on the farm - and I am not talking about my kids - but all of the visitors, deliveries, friends of my dear BIL, truck drivers, family, other people's kids- but wait for it, my favorite...someone who lives less than two miles away who comes in the house and uses the girls' and my bathroom to go number two - never asking, and ALWAYS right before I want to take a bath...SCREAMMMM...

    Oh yes, Today is The Day to tell the truth because I need to vent. I am a crazy farm wife. None of the other farm wives are talking about it so I am breaking the mold. The Farmer and I have been together for 11 years now and in that 11 years we have never had a time for more than two weeks where there hasn't been someone staying here who wasn't a part of our Party of Six. Just thinking about all of the extra cooking, cleaning and washing makes me dizzy. Not to mention the fact that I haven't gotten to wear pajamas (I sleep in sweats and a t-shirt. I just love nightgowns, sigh) in the past eleven years, or walk out of my bathroom wrapped in a towel...I am always fully dressed - I don't put on my glasses first in the morning, I strap on my bra - because 9 times out of 10 when I walk out to the kitchen there will be a man-who-is-not-my-husband at my table.

    When the farmer and I married good ole Pastor T understood our dilemma. (I could have sworn that dilemma was spelled dilemna but spell check says otherwise!) He incorporated a special part into wedding ceremony where we declared our independence from family and friends. It's time to take a stand. I'm gonna start locking the front door. Can't wait til the first person who is used to bursting in has to knock!

    Oh! It's on!