"Use what you have"
"Use what you have"

 

 

Planted in Poo!

I'm stuck! I'm stuck! I am going to panic. No I am already panicking. There I stood firmly cemented in hog pooh up to my knees. That Farming Man of Mine had handed me a sick and told me to guard the open gate of one of the large hog lots as he was sorting the hogs. 
When you walk through livestock they will shift and move away unless they are pets. With Trew hogs who have numbers and names that go on the dinner table, we have no pets. They shift and run for the nearest exit if possible. If there is an open gate someone better be standing there to shoo them back if possible or that someone will be chasing them all the way around the outside of the barn and back into the gate to correct the oooops! This was dear sweet little me that day. While concentrating on my herding duty which by the way you cannot do with hogs just as with cats, I was told to move up against a side wall. Not realizing where I was stepping I planted myself off into a rooted out spot that had been filled up with some really swishy wonderful mud and pooh. Trew hogs live in hog heaven and spend their days making themselves a playground, digging holes for no reason, and then shifting dirt all around then rolling in it. That is what pigs do. Since we do not ring their noses to keep them from rooting, you just never know what you might step in.
That day I did not have my barn boots on as the right one gave my foot a cramp. However, I was the only helper around and so I just jumped in with my old zip up leather boots on. I had kept these for years and they still looked pretty good and were water tight. This is how I became concreted in as I couldn't get out of a zipped up tight fitting leather boot. Barn boots will come off sometimes by accident but you can get out of them and crawl out if needed. No way with my situation.
That Farming Man of Mine just pitched me a shovel to lean on and kept sorting his hogs as usual realizing that I would probably be right there when his chore was done. No matter which way I pulled or which way I leaned there was no getting free. I don't mind telling you folks that I did feel like crying and screaming all at the same time and I am not much of a cry baby at Trewville. The thought hit me that if a huge hog came rolling through not only would I fail at keeping it back I might also just get run over by it on its way out the gate.
I started shoveling with fury as I was verbally having a "hybolical foop fit" as my dear Mom used to say. I was quite colorful with it also I confess. Bill didn't say a word as I frantically swung that shovel here and there finally dislodging myself from the mess. His elderly friend who had dropped by to observe didn't say anything either as he wasn't sure just how upset I might be with the whole predicament I was saddled with. Later Bill stated that the whole thing was just too funny to him. The next day I went to the Farmers Coop in Cleveland and bought my own Muck boots in size extra large just in case I needed to come out of them again.
If I am going to be a farmers wife I need the proper gear I say. The lady there suggested the shorter, smaller version and told me that if it was any deeper in our stock area she just wouldn't go in there. I laughed as I knew that would not be an option and that I would plant my feet right behind That Farming Man of Mine just like always only better prepared to help him.

 

Previous Stories:

PIGS, GLADIOLAS, AND ELECTRIC FENCES

 

I love anything brightly colored and pretty so my world must include plants. A familiar statement from me is that “plants are people too”. For this reason the yard at Trewville has gradually become dotted with spots of color here and there and sometimes everywhere. My precious flowers, my special friends, are nestled in between Billy’s prize possessions which are all very needed farm implements, tractors, trailers, and tools. He has his “stuff” and I certainly have mine. Along with the round river rock that I have collected from row crop fields during the past 7 years which does help keep those plow points from breaking by the way, there can be found a mirage of tiny sprouts which promise me they will grow and flourish living in Trewville.

 

Tucked away peaking out are also a few little statues. Yes, I own two garden Gnomes. The Gnomes are wonderful reminders of the many trips my family took to Rock City located in Chattanooga, TN just a few miles away. I was always enraptured by a section of that very popular tourist venue called Fairy Land Caverns which took you into a series of caves dotted along the way by elves and gnomes, old fashioned nursery rimes, shiny stones and everything thing painted with fluorescent colors. Since Daddy is an artist my whole world was and will always be colorful. As a child in the Marshall household life was seen through those rose colored glasses as we have all heard about. To be brought up with that mentality is to be given a gift that most people never enjoy. This has carried over into my adult world tremendously as is obvious to those around me. Billy has joked several times that all he needed to do was to hang balls of aluminum foil along the edges of the property and I would stay safely inside forever. Shiny is definitely my color. I have not ventured into the flamingo deco as a decoration only because we don’t seem to have much sand for a beach look in the yard but it is a thought.

 

For the summer months, the large flower bed/box straight across from the kitchen window is alive with a red knockout rose, pink peony, purple iris, red and white bleeding heart carried all the way from my childhood home transplanted several times so far, yellow lilies given as a gift by a close buddy, as well as a flush of gladiolas some of which were rescued from what has developed into a major truck and tractor trail down the middle of the yard. The Nandena shrubs are from a darling daughter-in-law as well as hanging baskets of Impatiens. There have been many bulbs planted in that bed and I watch over them in every stage of development. Going out early in the morning with my cup of coffee, speaking to the tiny buds and viewing all that color has been such a blessing just for me.

 

Mr. Charlie, the horse, also gets a snack from the house and a bit of conversation usually. However, there are other little eyes that are very observant of my morning ritual. They like bulbs also. Billy’s piggies escape from time to time and while he quickly rallies the troups available to “walk” them back down the road to their proper abode, it becomes dangerous to be a plant during this process. The threat to my mini Rock City and plant heaven has me a bit wild eyed at times.

 

This past year Billy came up with a perfect Farmer’s solution. I came home from work to find my lovely flower bed surrounded by brightly orange colored step stakes and a strand of electrified fencing. He meant well and it did work very well. But there is just something that can get lost in the overall aesthetics. I have trouble seeing past those orange stakes to enjoy the view. This summer I just needed to “get a grip”, remember how much replacing all of those bulbs would cost me, and appreciate the fact that “That Farming Man of Mine” cared enough to make sure his hog herd stayed out of my little fantasy world. I have thought of the scene many times since and have laughed and laughed at the mental picture. It really cutely represents Billy, a farming man, and I, a country yet somewhat still citified woman, creatively maintaining compatibility very well. You should see my giant plastic Easter egg collection come Spring.

 

 

People need a good sense of humor to go along with a fair amount of common sense living on a farm. That Farming Man of Mine possess both and thankfully much patience as he tries to train me in the ways of farming. I have learned that you can also teach an old dog a few new tricks along the way especially if they don’t recognize a training session is in progress. Still, being head over hills in love keeps Blondie smiling whether or not those little piggies are rooting up their portion of the farm or knocking over the gnomes and eyeing colorful winter cabbages that have replaced summer petunias. I looked it up. Winter cabbages are not edible. The hog herd did not get that memo! The autumn fall display, including corn stalks and pumpkins, almost dares those of the pork persuasion to escape and head for the house. For this reason I run out and take lots of photos .......just in case.

 

 

Other Farm Stories to follow………

 

 

 

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