You are not a farm widow.

Since social media and blogging has become a big scene, I have noticed a trend. Farm wives jokingly calling themselves ‘farm widows’. In this context farm widow refers to somebody (generally the wife) who spends long days and nights alone while the spouse (usually the husband) is busy farming.

Since planting season is in full swing in Iowa, I just wanted to take a moment to say: you are NOT a farm widow. Your husband will come home tonight and climb into bed with you. Your children will get to play with daddy again. You are not a widow. You have a hard working farmer husband, be thankful for that.

As a farm wife every time my husband leaves to run a tractor or climb a grain bin I can feel a little pang of anxiety deep down inside. Farming is one of the most dangerous occupation worldwide, killing thousands each year. Every year thousands of spouses and children never make it home. Thousands of women never get to kiss their husbands again. They are farm widows.

My husband works long hard hours to provide for not only us but for you. For the world. Be thankful for your farmer and don’t call yourself a farm widow as a joke.

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So God Made a Farmer’s Wife.

Everyone probably remembers last year Ram Truck Super Bowl commercial, ‘Year of the Farmer’. It featured Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech at the FFA Convention. This was the first commercial to really put farmers and agriculture in the spotlight, especially since it was aired during the Super Bowl. It’s nice to see commercials like this since so many are negative or misleading towards farmers. Paul Harvey’s speech inspired me to write my own version. I decided to share it today, Super Bowl Sunday, one year since the commercial aired.

So God Made a Farmer’s Wife.

And on the 9th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “The farmer needs a caretaker”. So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, feed the farmer, work all day in town, come home to work alongside her farmer, make supper, and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board”. So God made a farmer’s wife.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to keep up with the farmer yet gentle enough to cuddle a newborn baby. Somebody to run for parts, help in the fields, move trucks, deliver meals, look the farmer in the eyes and tell him ‘I love you and the life we’ve built’ – and mean it”. So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with their newborn baby. And raise him right. I need somebody who can use a wrench and know where to find it, doesn’t mind getting dirty, who can remove stains, and keep a house clean. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish her forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from her town job, taking care of the kids, and fieldwork, put in another seventy-two hours”. So God made a farmer’s wife.

God had to have somebody willing to cancel appointments and change plans and be ready in a minutes notice and yet will never stop and complain about this way of life. So God made a farmer’s wife.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clean out bins and throw bales, yet gentle enough to raise kids and bottle feed calves and tend to the house, who will drive the tractor and pray to God about the weather. It had to be somebody who’d be able to handle the house and field work and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and wash and dry and cook and clean and remember scheduled events and feed the farmer and stock the cupboards and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when her daughter says she wants to spend her life ‘doing what mom does.'” So God made a farmer wife’s.

This is dedicated to all farm wives, fiancees, girlfriends – to all farm women.

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Disclosure: This was inspired by Paul Harvey’s speech, some wording is the same.

10 Christmas Gifts for the Rural Man in Your Life.

Yes, it’s November. Yes, this post is about Christmas. But really it’s time to start thinking about gift ideas. And if your farmer is anything like my mechanic/farmer, than Christmas shopping for him is quite a tasks. He’ll say he doesn’t want or need anything. And let’s be real, everything he needs he just buys. So when I read a post on Housewives of Rural America titled Gift-Giving Guide for the Rural Man, it got me thinking that I need to start brainstorming and coming up with some ideas. Of course there are always the basics, the ones where you can’t really go wrong. Clothes, tools, BBQ grilling set, collectable toy tractors, gift cards. A rural man is really their own type of human. They prefer gifts that are practical and useful. I’ve come up with a list of 10 gifts for rural men that you may not have thought of. Some are funny, some are practical, some are awesome, and some are sentimental. Regardless there’s bound to be atleast one that you’re man will love.

1. Fun Stocking Stuffer. Man Hands: Manly Scented Soaps. With scents ranging from bacon to top soil to race day to republican to cash, there’s sure to be one that will remind you of your man.

mansoap

2. The Gift That Keeps Giving. Bacon or beef jerky of the Month Clubs. Each month he will receive a package in the mail containing whatever it is you picked out for him. I suggested this as a DIY present rather than actually buying a subscription because they are crazy expensive. But make sure you don’t flake out and forget halfway through the “subscription’, because well that would be lame.

bacon jerky

3. Family Heirloom. Arial photo of the farm. Think of the surprise on his face when he unwraps this. And it’s something he’ll treasure for years to come. Forever really. (You’ll have to Google a company in your area.)

aerial farm

4. King of the Grill. Personalized Branding Iron. Men like to grill. Men like meat. Why not let him brand his meat with his name, farm name, or personalized saying.

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5. Workin’ Man. Farm Business Cards. You can get cheap, decent looking ones from Vistaprint. This way he can think of you every time he makes a new business contact.

businesscard

6. Homestead. Farm Sign. Show him how proud you are of your having his last name and the farm you built together.

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7. Light Up His Life. Flashlight. But it can’t be just any flashlight. You will pay for these flashlights. They are rechargeable and insanely, blind-you-for-10-minutes bright. Kyle is never without his, he loves it, and recommends it to everyone.

flashlight

8. Lend a Hand. Gloves. If there’s one thing I can think of that EVERY rural man uses, it’s gloves. It’s all about practicality, people. But spice it up, buy them his favorite brand or one with a favorite logo on it. (John Deere, IH, Carhartt, etc.)

gloves

9. Take Note. Field Notes Notebooks. They’re are many sizes and colors to choose from. There are even ones for each state, I recommend buying him the one from your state. They fit inside his shirt or pants pocket and are perfect for writing down, well, field notes. There is a different brand Rite in the Rain, which is the same concept except the pages and ink are waterproof. You can literally stand in a field and write notes in the pouring rain.

field notes

10. Bottoms Up. Stanley Hip Flask. I know a lot of rural men carrying around Stanley Thermoses. This will just spice up their evening up. It lets him put a little Jack D in his Coke. Plus, it has that classic Stanley Thermos look. (This may be more for the older generation.)

flask

Bonus Item. Engraved Pocket Knife. Every man has one. Rural men wear then out and lose them. So why not get him one engraved with his name. That way it won’t walk off and everyone will know who it belongs to. He may not want to use this one though, since it’s engraved, it makes a nice keepsake too. But don’t get mad if he uses it and ruins it, remember it’s a knife, it’s practicable. And it will probably be used.

knife

Well there you have it. Eleven items that are sure to give your rural man a great Christmas!

They Buried a Farmer Today.

Today is a sad day. A friend of our, especially my boyfriend’s, was laid to rest. He lost his battle with brain cancer at just 34 years old, but is now in a better place. Driving through the local towns this morning so many yards had tractors parked by the road in his honor. As just a couple weeks ago a tractorcade was held in his honor. One hundred tractors cruised down a main road in a main city in Iowa by the hospice home, so he was able to watch each one pass by while enjoying a beer. He left behind his parents, siblings, wife, and two daughters ages 1 and 4. His family has been incredibly strong, I have so much admiration for them. There was a poem displayed at his visitation last night and it was so perfect for him.

They Buried A Farmer Today
They buried a farmer today,
Gave him back to the dirt from which he came.
Earlier his family and neighbors walk by,
Looking at memories of a simple man’s life.
A table of photos, toy tractors and cards,
Telling the story of life on the farm.
There are the overalls he wore every day,
Except on Sunday, when he bowed his head to pray.
All things that kept him close to his roots.
Not born in a barn, but not far away,
From the fields where a boy learned how to play.
There are photos of his children and grandchildren, too,
And he and his wife, there are more than a few.
The smiles betray the hard times that he faced,
The worries and fears, the profits erased.
By weather and markets, out of his hands;
In the end, all he really had was his land.
The soil, the crops, and even the weeds,
To his way of thinking, that’s all he would need,
To take care of his family, and help them stay safe,
From a faster-paced world, not too far away.
A good life, a simple life, that’s what he led,
He’d struggled like most, but came out ahead.
And eventually, retirement, if ever a farmer could,
Stop worrying or working, but he did it, for good.
He enjoyed his last years, and made sure that he thanked,
The good Lord above for his life, and his land.
His time ended quickly, his loved ones in tears,
Hoping he knew what he meant to them all through the years.
Today they gather, to remember and pray,
About a simple man they loved, who was there every day.
Through joy and sorrow, laughter and pain,
He was there when they needed him, right up to the end.
Out to the cemetery, they carry him home,
To a small plot of land, just under a stone.
For they know he’s at peace, and praying for them,
As they stand on a slope, not far from his land.
The service now over, they leave him alone,
Knowing some day, he’ll greet them once more.
A dust cloud forms as the trucks drive away.
They buried a farmer today.
-Jeff DeYoung

Keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

RIP Chris

What it is really like to date a farm boy.

So you want to know what it’s like to date a farm boy?
Well here it is, the cold hard truth.
And my farm boy also happens to be a diesel mechanic.

Plans change every day. You’re going to have to be flexible. Very flexible.
There are no 8-5 jobs or 40 hours work weeks. It’s basically 24/7/365.
He’ll track dirt all over the kitchen floor & wash his greasy hands in the bathroom sink.
You’ll be recruited for parts runs, moving equipment, picking up & dropping people off at different fields, and moving trucks around.
They’ll say “what is that?” when you wear a new dress or blouse.
Be ready for some late nights and early mornings.
Carrying around sockets or wrenches in your purse will become totally normal.
You’ll have to get used to being home alone a lot.
They are still men, they are still human. They make mistakes, they’ll make you mad.
Supper will be delayed on a regular basis. You’ll starve until 9pm or eat by yourself.
On the somewhat rare occasion when you get dressed up and go out you may want to bring a set of normal clothes along because you’ll never know what the night will bring. And I don’t mean any sexual. I mean like pulling a friend’s truck out of the ditch and having to drag it home.
They think you look sexiest in your work clothes, not that expensive outfit you just bought.
His idea of a date is working on a truck in the shop.

If I haven’t scared you off yet, there are many great things about dating this type:

He’s a handyman. He can fix anything & everything
They’re manly. They aren’t prissy and aren’t afraid to get dirty.
Unlike most men they will try not to repeat past mistakes.
This life makes for some unique dates. Tractor ride, anyone?
They like to take care of their girl.
They are good with their hands.
He knows how to use all sorts of equipment.
They are traditionally loyal and protective.
They will teach you so much.
He’ll know how to make you laugh.
They’ll make you feel like you’ve never felt before.
Life in the country is best.
They aren’t afraid of putting down roots.
He’ll have muscles you can’t get anywhere but a farm.
There’s something sexy about working the land.
Most farmers want to keep the farm in the family. Thus, they want children.
He will work hard every single day of the year without complaint.
Fresh air, starry skies, and cornfields as far as you can see.
They will hold you closer and tighter and with more affection than any other man you’ve ever known.

Even though it’s not the easiest job in the world, I wouldn’t give up my country man for anything in the world.