farm122

The other day my husband lamented the mud spatters on his jeans as he loaded the kids in the truck for church group.

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It’s muddy here on the farm.

And that’s an understatement.  It’s a quagmire. A bog.  A disaster.

We went from freezing temps and tons of snow to 52 degrees within a week and the earth does not know what to do with all the water.  I hate the mess.  Hate it.  We all have to wear gross farm boots as we walk to the truck with our fancy shoes in hand whenever we go somewhere.  Oh – that’s fun with five kids let me tell you.  When the snow melts it reveals all our our hillbilly ways that have been hidden by that blanket of white.  Tonka trucks, scraps of wood, random feed bags that blew away in a blizzard and wrapped around a tree, a clothespin or two and a Christmas tree that the goats love to nibble on.  Looking at this mess it’s amazing to think the farm has one ounce of charm to it because right now it’s rather… embarrassing.

I tried to comfort Joel with his farmy jeans by saying, “We live on a farm.  It’s a different world.”

This is totally true.

I often… no... always feel that though we are normal people (OK, somewhat normal) we function in a totally different world.

Living on a farm makes you rather weird I suppose.

People see us coming a mile away.  Half my kids look adorable the other half look like total white trash on any given day.  I drag them with me EVERY where I go.  I am never alone.  We make a (subtle) scene.  We are “those people”.

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No T.V.

No microwave.

We homeschool.

We work from home.

We home birth.

We avoid modern medicine until totally necessary.

We raise our own food… or at least a significant amount of it.

We are “those people”.

——

And we love it.

Farm Life

Farm Life

Pull down the lane to our farm and you enter a “different world”.  Or at least… I hope you do.  When we drive down the lane and leave the farm we enter a “different world”.  As a family we breath a collective sigh of relief when we get back to the farm.  We once took our kids to a major family attraction for the weekend and by the evening of the first day the children had concluded (even though they were having a riot!) “We miss Maximus.”  (Our rooster.)

It IS a different world.

Farm Life

The moment you cut yourself off from manicured neighborhoods, when you try to disconnect a bit from pop culture, from the rat race, from what other people expect from you… you become liberated.

We live in a culture that is SO obsessed with perfection.  And there is no perfection on a farm.  Even if it’s a “hobby farm”.

That part is hard for me.  I want the picture perfect farm.  The perfect barnyard with no empty feed bags, the random garden tools that didn’t get put away… FOUR battery operated child sized vehicles and chicken poop everywhere.  I’m being too hard on myself.  I know.

Such is life on a farm.

Farm Life

Farm Life

Farm Life

But if you dream of a farm I say to you with all my heart… GO FOR IT!

For five years we prayed and fought for this life.  So let me tell you a bit about it…

Thanks to both Hubby and I being self employed we have a bit of flexibility.   We stay up late together.  Drinking wine, laughing at Jimmy Fallon on YouTube.  We snuggle with our babies every morning.  After the snuggle-fest we make a huge breakfast and I grumble about my lack of dishwasher.  So.  Many.  Dishes.  But in the spring and summer I stare out and admire by Potager during the mundane task.  I am grateful for the view.  My gardens in our old life were so beautiful but I could not see them from the house…

Farm Life

Our eldest son is THE MAN.  He’s up and at ’em on the farm doing his chores.  He’s young.  He doesn’t get them right all the time but we rely on him and he knows it.  He’s not standing at a bus stop.  He’s living.  He’s caring for animals and watching over his siblings.  After his chores he putzes at his workbench wiring and re-wiring.  Constantly creating.  We are with God’s grace preparing him to be an amazing husband and an entrepreneur.

Farm Life

Our sweet bookworm helps with the chores or plays the piano and then curls up like a cat reading a book on the couch until her school day begins.  There is no demand for a “certain cool backpack” or to know who Katie Perry is.  She cuddles her baby sister and moves the laundry from the washer to the dryer for Momma.  She gathers eggs and herbs for breakfast weather permitting.  She’ll get the bread going and on it’s first rise.  She can turn a frisky rabbit to a tame lap sitter in about 15 minutes.  If Aidan is under the weather she will suit up and go to all his chores to the best of her ability.  So sweet.

Our little blond helper sets the table and washings the dishes her Momma was to exhausted to wash from last night.  She hollers until someone offers to put them away as her pile grows.  She’s a scrappy little thing.  She loves to play and will disappear to her own little world of ponies and Barbies.  And then she is throwing on an apron BEGGING to help me in the kitchen.

Farm Life

My little Doo-dad.  Well, he’s naked.  All.  The.  Time.  Lord have mercy on that kid if he ever had to go to preschool.  The only way you can get him to keep his clothes on is if he is allowed to go do the chores with his big brother.  -15 degrees?  He’d never know.  He worships at the alter of his big brother.  He’s happy to carry a flake of hay or bring me the empty rabbit waterers to fill.  Then he’s off to practice his piano… “miss-iss-ippi-hot-dog, miss-iss-ippi-hot-dog, miss-iss-ippi-hot-dog,…”

Farm Life

The littlest would cuddle all day so instead she resides happily on my hip.  She’s a Momma’s girl and that’s OK.  My biceps are like rocks.  Though now with the nice weather I can feel her cutting her apron strings with the longing to go get filthy like the others.  Sigh.

———-

Farms are messy.  Noisy.  Happy and sad.  There is life and death.  Beauty and chicken crap.   You toil so you can appreciate.  And in your best moments you appreciate the toil.

Farm Life

———-

There’s no outside water source in the winter so no matter how clean I get my kitchen it’s trashed and smells like “buck” ( you fellow goat farmers know what I mean) by 8 a.m.

Our mud room/porch is just that.  A MUD room.  Until 20 minutes before company arrives of course.

We watch goat antics from the kitchen windows.

We mourn over the frost bitten combs of our proud roosters.

We miss our barn cats who left us an never came back.

We celebrate with the first harvest and rejoice when we are still eating our home grown potatoes in March.

Life Laura, Mary, Pa and Ma we frantically get cleaned up for church and trips to town – shedding our filthy, hillbilly attire in a vain attempt to impress… to look normal.

Such is life on the farm.

We homeschool.  We fight.  We character build.  We ask for forgiveness.

We pray.  We swear.  We are together.

We live on a farm.

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Farm Life

Farm Life

It is a different world.

We love it and we’ll never go back.

Even if we have to take our kids to church with dirt on our jeans.

Parisienne Farmgirl

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17 Comments

  1. Kristi

    I’m so glad that my house isn’t the only one covered in mud. Every end of winter I get in a crazy mood how I can’t stand the mess. Then it all greens up and everything falls into place. And again, I agree with you on the “manicured neighborhoods” I swore I’d never be in lawn jail again~! I’m a rebel, I barely water mine! But my gardens get watered 😉

    Reply
  2. mandy

    love this post oh so much! praying God blesses us with farm dirt soon 😉

    Reply
  3. Christi {Jealous Hands}

    We do not live on a farm… but we do live way out in the country. We are counter-cultural in almost every way except that my husband is no longer self employed. We love our life and though it is work the benefits far outweigh!

    Loved this peek into your farmy life – you continue to inspire every day! xo

    Reply
  4. Sopa Azul

    I think you’re a really brave woman. Congratulations!!!!

    Reply
  5. Gaylin

    You have a beautiful,brave,honest life! I am in awe and fasnation.
    I look forward to spring on your farm too! I read about you and your natural life and I realize I am trifle and shallow even selfish. I would never survive yet you have blossomed!
    Your children are growing up with kindness,gratitude and love.
    I am humbled.

    Reply
  6. April K

    What a beautiful life, mud and all!

    Reply
  7. Tina

    I’m in complete agreement! If we could sell mud and poop, we would be rich! This is our third year on our 2 little acres with all the lovely boys, mud, goats, poop, chickens, mud, ducks, poop, geese, mud, guineas, mud, cow, poop, dogs, mud, cats, and mess. Oh, and did I mention mud and poop, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything! 🙂

    Reply
  8. Liz

    I just love this post! I found myself getting lost reading this … like I’m in this awesome “better” life.
    This simple life it’s a beautiful life and your children are very lucky growing up in house like this. Not a lot of kids know where food is coming from (besides stores!) … having chores build kids character, working together keeps family closer. That’s how I grew up and I’m so thankful for that.
    What a blessing! What a great loving family! Wish more people raised their families on the base of good old fashion values.
    Dirt is good, and muddy jeans are more than OK … May God bless you and your family!

    Reply
  9. Nadine

    Thanks for sharing this…as this time of year mud gets on my nerves…As plywood lines the path to the house in order to minimize the mud in the house …well this is life on the farm..a life we dreamed of and wanted so badly. Soon enough the mud will be gone and we …I mean “I” can get back to enjoying business of the farm. We too are “those” people. Much love to you, Nadine

    Reply
  10. Sharon

    Oh how I remember that Buck smell!! When I was growing up we would visit my Mother’s parents who lived on a farm. No running water, no inside bathroom, wood stove in the living room,oil lamps to read by, and an ice box. This was just normal for them. I loved going there and playing in the yard with all the animals. Chigger and Boy were their shepherd dogs who slept under the house where it was cool. I was lucky enough to accompany my Grandmother when she would gather eggs, and she would always warn me to be careful, because sometimes their were little snakes in the nest. I let her pick the eggs up!!! I would stand in awe as she twisted the chickens neck off and they would run around and then drop. That was our dinner. She would pluck the chicken, and then singe it on the wooden stove in the kitchen.

    As Grandmother would prepare 3 meals a day, with her apron on, bobby pin in her hair holding her bangs to one side, and her old Keds on, she would begin. Flour, eggs, a little salt and so would begin the noodles we would have for dinner. I always got to cut them. Love, loved her.

    When I became a teenager in the late 50’s, they had finally hooked up to electricity, and the heat was now an electric stove, real lamps, and a real refrigerator, with a new freezer on the front porch. Nothing changed in the kitchen though…still no running water, old stove, and old kitchen cabinet with the flour bin and the porcelain top.
    This routine never stopped until Grandfather died and my uncle moved her into the little town she lived close to in Kansas. Then she had a “real” kitchen.

    After I married and had children we would go visit her in her “new home” and she and I would remissness about the farm, and share everything we could remember. We would talk for hours.

    Her name was Bessie Belle Goyette and she lived to be 91 years old. I loved her so very much.

    I love the way you are raising your children. It is a hard life, but oh the rewards in the years to come. Thank God everyday for your health, and strength to keep this lifestyle alive.

    Reply
  11. Amy M.

    I just loved reading this. My husband and I retired to 5 beautiful acres in the Ozarks 8 years ago. Yesterday was a lovely spring day so I had the door open to let in the fresh air. I walked into the kitchen to find our little banty rooster perched on the kitchen sink ~ life in the country is good!

    Reply
  12. Amy

    It’s crazy that this lifestyle went so quickly from being the norm to basically a novelty that this generation only (barely) hears stories about. I think that the life you’re describing might be the normal one and the cookie cutter suburban life is the one that is odd. =) Perhaps that’s just my perspective since I married a farmer! I suppose knowing that it’s not the norm any more helps us appreciate things we might otherwise take for granted and try to change. I loved reading what you wrote about it here. Even though spring, and all the planting, hard work and mud that comes with it, makes me feel completely overwhelmed — I’m with you, I wouldn’t change it to live another way!

    Reply
  13. deanna

    Blessings to you. Spring is here and I am beyond glad! Your sweet life is one to enjoy every single day. Even with all the mud. One day it will not matter what all those people said or think about you guys that they were in question about. There are quite a few people here in my corner of the world that are “unique” compared to all the cookie cutter individuals that are way too liberal and going to hell. Tonight I go to a visitation for a young 44 year old Christian friend, husband and daddy. Lived in the country with hair past his knees. Very nice man. Rode horses, shot guns and was a contractor. Died from open heart surgery complications. He will be so missed. His wife would probably give her right arm to have him still here walking in the mud. Continue to enjoy your sweet life on the farm with your sweet family. When we go through difficulties….God will show us a way when there seems like there is no way. Love your blog. d

    Reply
  14. Pam Moore

    I love getting these peeks into your life. We want to live on a farm SO badly. We just aren’t in the position at this point. You’re so blessed to have been able to do this while your kids are young and learn to appreciate that way of life. We’re hoping to be able to transition soon. Our soon-to-be 15 year old doesn’t like the thoughts of it, but we’re still in charge at this point. 😉 We homeschool and garden and can, make our soap and are as self-sufficient as is possible at this point. It makes me so happy to see people like you and your family living out your dreams! Thanks for letting us see the good, the bad and the ugly!

    Reply
  15. Nita

    We moved our kids to Norco, CA in 1978 because we could have a little land, 2/3 acre and the kids could have animals, horses, geese, goats, ducks, chickens, guineas, etc. I did it because I am from Indiana and you can’t take the country out of the girl and one of my two girls became a country girl too. They had chores, and yes they still complain about that to this day, but they learned responsibility and how to care for God’s creatures. I am 66 and too old to wish for a real farm, the old bones have enough to do caring for a small garden and chickens, but I live vicariously through you, Angela, and your lovely home and family.

    Reply
  16. Janet Hurley

    Love it! So true, a different world. We bought a farm last September, and I never want to go back to the suburbs. We’ve had to carry our nice shoes to the van also=). I got soaked to the bone tonight getting cows in to milk (why would they want to leave their tree-line when it’s pouring rain?) and I still love it!

    Reply
  17. Nan Loyd

    This was a wonderful post!! I understand totally, too. It is now only Alpha Hubby and me but we got rid of our microwave 5+ years ago (boy was THAT a trial until I got over withdrawal), and while we do have a television, we only watch our DVDs or movies only Friday and Saturday evening (maybe). We eat whole and clean, organic when necessary, no chemicals or processing, and grow what we can in our raised box garden. I entitled my blog little black dress diaries because he is an electrical engineer at the local nuclear plant (where we met) but harbored a secret desire to get back to raising cattle (God’s way this time). I knew zippo about cattle, farming, ranching, cow paddies, etc. I was a city girl. I was NOT interested in mud in my shoes. But, of course, once I met him, married him 7 weeks later (only God) and he surprised me with, “My dream is to raise healthy beef” – I got behind him (the better to avoid cow paddies) and have learned so much! So you KNOW how much I loved this post!! It was awesome.

    Reply

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