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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Whiskey in Hand, Hand in Milk

I was on a mission after work yesterday....to.get.a.pedicure!  That's it.  Once I got that off my list then I would be set, and I could get to the grocery store, rush around like a mad woman and try not to hit the random kids throughout the aisles and get home....for date night!  

Date night this time of year is pretty unheard of on the farm.  That is why I was speeding (I inherited my dad's lead foot) to get to the nail salon to accomplish my mission.  I texted Brett to tell him my plans before I jumped in the car and then got what was disappointing but halfway expected news, 
"I won't be home until 9:30 or 10:00 tonight.  Had to make a seed delivery down south.  Love you." 

Well shoot.....I was finally going to get to see him for more than an hour and have a real, long conversation with him.  We were probably going to go to one of our favorite restaurants in town for a bottle of good red wine and a meat and cheese board (yes, my farmer drinks wine and eats fancy meats and cheeses).  It wasn't going to be a night of "let's catch up quickly so we can crash" or having him endure a long list of "To Dos to Discuss" on one of my many post-it notes.  

But this time of year, the farm comes first.  The crops and the customers, they are number one.  
And "that's just part of it".  

But as I sat there and enjoyed my pedicure and then took my time in the grocery store I thought, "I am actually happy date night was cancelled."  I could get home and prep the food for a baby shower I am co-hosting this weekend, do laundry, pack, write a blog and do my nails (I let others deal with my toes, I always do my nails.....once a week.....my farmer husband thinks I am nuts.)

Anyway, I got home and was greeted with some packages.  Every time we receive a stack of packages I am reminded of another reason why I love living in the country.  The Terminix guy knows what's going on in your life without you really telling him.  Last summer, after being engaged for several months, we received this on our door after a routine check from our friend.  

The day I came home to that, I couldn't stop laughing and also felt very blessed that a complete stranger had the thoughtfulness and took the time to write a message for us.  And how did he know?  Oh, well maybe he saw these....

So I prepped the baby shower BBQ appetizers:  homemade pimento cheese, spiced candied bacon, and jalapeno poppers.  Now I have cut and diced those things before but apparently these things were pretty hot because my fingers were on fire!!  Great, I should have listened to my friend's mom about wearing gloves when cutting and cleaning these peppers.  
Why do mothers always know best?

So what was once a much needed date night had now turned into a normal evening during this spring planting season.  A tired farmer with his new tan walks in the house late at night, grabs a whiskey cocktail and endures his wife's "To Dos for Discussion".  The only thing not normal about this evening was that I couldn't mark things off my list quite so quickly because my hands were in a glass of milk trying to cool off from those jalapenos.  They better be the first thing gone at the shower or I won't be knockin' a kid out at the grocery store to get them anymore.

The best part about the night, really, was that he never saw the fancy things 
that were in those packages.....

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why Fancy in the Country?

It was the summer of 2005 and I was roaming the streets of Chicago with my sorority sisters.  One of the girls was meeting us on Michigan Avenue for some afternoon shopping and I was directing her where to go on the phone.  When she arrived she said, "so what suburb did you grow up in?"  I said, "I grew up on a farm south of Indianapolis."  With a stunned look she said, "wait, what?!  You grew up in the country?  Well then how do you know how to get around downtown Chicago?"  

That was it.....that is when I realized I was a little different.  I grew up on a farm in the country but could still enjoy the "big cities" and the fancy clothes.  And well, I did.  I loved high heels and all things shopping but truly enjoyed the smell of pigs, the joy of the cows waking me up in the mornings and the site of that tall green corn.

So after the years of contemplating how much to share about my "Fancy in the Country" life, I'm doing it, I'm taking the leap and starting a blog. Why?  Because every so often I like a good challenge.  And I am going to challenge myself to sit down and start writing and sharing about my life and all the things that bring me joy including those high heels and the cows.

And why today?  Well today is my mom's birthday and the blog in part is dedicated to her (that would be the fancy part).  She is the most hard working, strong willed, and passionate woman I know.  The woman who I thought was crazy for loving polka dots in the '90s, but who knew they would never really go out of style. I remember hating this burgundy polka dot dress she had with this ugly belt.  Well, guess what?  I have a navy blue one that resembles that same dress today!

My mom, otherwise known as MLT, taught me about being "fancy" in the country!

In college I had to introduce myself in a few words before my new, fellow interns.  Without really thinking I said, "I like to shop and shoot."  Clearly this is still the case.  

The second part of this blog, the "country" part, is dedicated to my dad, Tim.  My dad worked in the agriculture industry and was a farmer his entire life.  When he passed away from a farming accident in November 2009, it was like time stopped for hours as the harvest air came to a standstill and the clouds seemed to loom overhead.  But even though he is physically gone, dad gave my sister, mom and I was an appreciation for the quiet and calm of the country.  The phrase, "that's overrated" and our passion for agriculture and hard work among other things.  His presence is constant and remains with me day in and day out.  

Dad also liked to give me a hard time which always kept me on my toes.  "Katie, you think too much." or "Katie, now why would you do that?" were common phrases in our house and I am forever grateful for them.  When I was in high school, my parents and I went on a Mexico Mission Trip with our church and several other families and friends.  I turned 15 on the day we were mixing the concrete for the 3 room school house we were building.  Mom was nice enough to get me a cake and some flowers which somehow made their way into a trash can (all they could find I guess) and dad thought it was just hilarious.  Katie getting flowers in a trash can!  Well, they were the most thoughtful flowers
 I have ever received.  

I have always been a farmer's daughter.  And now as a farmer's wife, I feel like I have been blessed to continue to live in the country and on a farm.  While I still work in the city and love getting dressed for cocktail parties, I am honored to be married to a farmer who works day in and day out to care for our animals, the land we live and work on and the crops he grows for people around the world.  

And since dad's death, I have felt an obligation to tell the story of agriculture.  My sister, Sarah, and I have promised to do this in honor of him and all farmers in our great country.

When my mom gave me away to my farmer, I was holding her farmer's dirty glove along with her mother's Bible and some fancy flowers.  On that day I promised myself to challenge myself in this new adventure.  And this is one way I am doing it, sharing the story of agriculture and country life with a few fancy additions along the way.

I mean you never know when that fancy dress and colorful boots will get dirty doing chores on the farm.  As mom would say, "we can look for a new dress" and as dad would say, "that's just part of it."