Friday, January 4, 2013


If you've ever looked at the sidebar to this blog,
you might have noticed a picture of me in a green linen pinafore,
straw hat, skirt and boots.... picking juicy ripe grapes from our grape arbor...
basket on my arm.

That's the romantic side of farm life...
the illusion (a photo shoot for the apron).

Here is the real side....

I have been up since 5:15, showered, dressed, thrown in a load of laundry,
stripped the bed and bath linens, emptied the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen sink.

It is now 6:30 in the morning...still dark.

I am out doing the AM chores.
The thermometer is reading somewhere in the low teens,
but I am surprisingly warm...
thanks to UnderArmor and a snow suit....a sort of Pillsbury Doughboy look.

Now here comes the best part:

I am on my hands and knees, picking up manure...
because it has frozen solid fast to the ice and snow beneath it.
I have broken the tines of my metal manure fork on the ice,
and the plastic fork won't budge the frozen manure.
So, I am manually picking each "turd" from the ice.

My hair has worked its way out from under my hood and is hanging by my face.
My nose is running.
(Thanks to the cold bestowed upon me as a sort of Christmas gift,
from a certain 2 year old who shall remain nameless....
the kind of gift that keeps on giving!)

Said runny nose has dripped onto the tips of my freshly washed and dried hair...
and has frozen there as "snotcicles"...
thank you very much.

Two and a half hours later, with frozen toes....
I am finished.

My only saving grace?
No one around to take my picture.

So, please forget reality.
Erase this image from your mind.

Think of me each morning...
waltzing around the farm,
basket on arm,
bonnet on head,
beautifully coiffed and frocked!
It may be smoke and mirrors....
but reality bites (frostbites!)!

I am linking up to....

Farm Life at its Best


  1. OK, Bev... I have to say In my 25 years of having a horse farm, I have never been on my hands and knees picking out frozen manure from the snow. If the metal and plastic pitchforks aren't gonna do the trick, it isn't getting picked up until a warmer day. I thought I kept a neat barnyard.. you are way ahead of me :-)

  2. Thanks for the laugh. It's true though, most of the time we're just showing an illusion of what we really are and what we look like.

    That was the funniest thing when we started blogging. I'd post the pictures and SM and I would be like "Why does it look so much nicer on the blog?"

    The house really is dirty and garden has tons of weeds in it but to look at the pictures you'd think we lived in OZ!

  3. Had to smile over this. It's nice to post the pretty things on a farm. Seems people like that. But, the reality is just as interesting if one is understanding of real farm life. Although I am glad we don't deal with the cold on our farm, it is hard work but, we wouldn't trade it for prettier work. Beverly, I hope you get over your cold quickly!

  4. hahahaha! It's good you shared reality ... you were making it seem too easy to run a farm ... making me think that Hey! maybe I could have a farm too! After all, I LOVE animals! Picking up my doggy's poop everday in the cold is enough for me ... and THAT'S an easy job! So I will continue to live on a farm vicariously through you! :)

  5. You crazy woman...on your hands and knees in the middle of manure! What a wonderful way to start the day...and I haven't even had a cup of joe yet!!

    Beautiful pictures...just stunning.
    Now you can go wipe your nose and clean off the snotcicles!

  6. LOL! Loved the post. Isn't it the truth....reality should be a four letter word!

  7. You my dear are a much better woman than I, as I sit here in my fuzzy warm bathrobe, sipping hot coffee too lazy to even get dressed. It's why we only have two dogs and no other animals to care for... because I am one lazy woman. My hat is off to you.

  8. hahaha...snotcicles! been there done that! when people read my blog they might picture martha but in reality i am wearing an XXL black sweatshirt which i love because i can just drop the sleeves to use as pot holders. it reads neighborhood witch and is covered in flour. not a pretty sight!

  9. I can say I have never been on my hands and knees picking up frozen turd when I was on our farm . You made me giggle though cause that is exactly what its like and if anyone thinks it is glamorous all though photos tell a different story they haven't lived on a farm that's for sure but I bet despite this you wouldn't have it any other way snotcicles and all ! Have a good day !

  10. Well, I prefer to think of you in the apron and basket! And then I remember how I look working in my gardens in the heat of the summer. Wouldn't want a picture taken then either:)

  11. Snotcicles - you are too funny. :-) Hope you were able to warm up with a nice cup of coffee or tea after doing the chores. I can't imagine picking up after the horses, picking up landmines from two dogs is enough for me. ;-)

  12. Oh my, you mean skipping with basket on your arm, picking fruits of your labor and hair blowing in the wind isn't reality on your farm! Did you just burst my bubble of living happily ever after with pure clean animals? I think I need to go have a cup of coffee and lick my wounds of disappointment.

    One more thing, Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. I suggest this as your morning exercise before heading out to do manure scooping!!! Love you, super hugs this morning for I'm still laughing!!!

  13. I enjoy your truth but prefer the pinafore look. I hope your cold vanishes in the frosty wether . . .

  14. Love the snotcicle visual, lol! You're too funny!

    Thanks for showing us the reality side of your beautiful farm. I think those of that have experienced even a small portion of farm life with animals know what reality is but we still like to think of it as the pinafore look, lol!

    Hope you get well soon.

  15. Oh my, this is such an honest and funny post. I can't believe how I look sometimes when I go outside. I have chilly mornings where I hate to go out just to take care of the chickens and donkeys...and this is California. Pennsylvania and an entire farm? I am quite sure that's not for me, so I give you a huge pat on the back for being the one in the snow picking up manure.
    And now, back to the pinafore and basket:-)

  16. Oh my gosh you are so funny - snotcicles LOLOLOL The wonderful realities of life! I hope your cold goes away quickly. You need a shot of my homemade limoncello!

  17. HAHAHA we all get it - those of us in the lands of snow and ice at least :)

  18. I've seen you doing that and you were not a happy farm girl.."Snoticles" it..
    I was out walking " The Moll" at 6:30..Dr.s appt. It didn't seem too cold this AM..Cute post..I love how you retain your sense of humor xxoo

  19. I had to laugh, loved this post! My husband just had to tell me to take off the jacket I put on to walk the dog this morning - told me I looked like I'd been sleeping with the chickens. Can't help it - had to put more straw into the coop it was so cold out yesterday, haha. Guess there was still lots of straw on the jacket. And I've cleaned many a frozen chicken turd out of the coop so been there, done that. I don't think I'd be picking up horse manure though! I'd be waiting for a warmer day for sure... thanks for the laughs.

  20. Hello Bev. This is a great post. I am still laughing. I laughed so hard...I scared the cat! But I can understand picking up frozen manure...much better than when it gets soft!!!!!! HAHA.... Hope you feel better soon.


  21. Snotcicles, are impossible to erase from my mind. Truer words can not be spoken, farming is less than idyllic in the winter time. Thanks for a walk down memory lane, with all its potholes.

  22. Oh My Stars! it was 11 degrees over here last I truly can sympathize with you and your 'snotcicles! lol!
    Oh and let's not forget 'fogging up glasses'.... dang it I hate when my eye glasses fog over from my warm breath as I try to blow my loose stands of hair off of my face... Come on Summer! We need a good thawing out! lol!

  23. Ok, so I am not a farm girl, so I guess I don't know the rules. But, do you have to pick up the manure every day? Can't it be done once a week or something like that?

  24. Hi Rebecca....
    There really aren't "rules", but picking up manure daily helps to cut down on the spread of parasites. For us, it also helps to cut down the amount of manure byproduct that ends up in our pond and stream. Piles of manure will kill the grass in the pasture, also. And for my taste....well, I just like the sight of clean fields and paddocks. Don't care much for the sight of piles of manure. So, I clean the areas once daily in the winter, and more frequently in the nicer weather. I am a bit of a clean freak, however!

  25. loved the words, loved the reality, loved the photos.

    favorite photos, the piggies.

  26. Bev, I love your post! I don't live on a farm, but we live on farmland with farms all around us! What a great look at your life! Even with all the manure and running nose and cold... it is still a fabulous life!
    I am a new follower!

  27. Yep. Sounds like a typical day. This weekend mine is chipping ice from around the cattle tank and trying to adjust it to keep more ice floes from happening. Hope you are past your cold.

  28. lol. (I hope it's okay to laugh at this post.) You're right. The picture of you in the apron is very pretty, but not reality. I always love the wonderful pics of your animals and farm, but i realize a LOT of work goes into making a place like yours work. But it's worth it all, right? :)

  29. Ok this makes sense! Now can that manure all be used of fertilizer for gardens and such?

  30. Rebecca....
    Our manure all goes onto a pile where it stays for several months (we turn it with the tractor each week). The pile becomes very hot from bacterial action and eventually becomes "clean" and no longer looks like manure....more like rich brown compost. We also compost vegetable scraps, hay, pine bedding, leaves with the manure. Then this rich dark mixture is spread over our hay field and used in our gardens as fertilizer.....the ultimate recycling project!!

  31. Thanks for the post! My parents own and operate a horse farm and I can't tell you how hard I laughed at your post. I can completely relate! Of course then there's summer when you're putting up hay and the sweat is running, the dust is sticking and you end the day a completely different color than what you looked like in the morning. Thanks for such a great blog. Your's is the first one I read every day as I feel like it puts me in a pleasant frame of mind and gives me a little escape from the daily hustle and bustle. Also, my kids (ages 6 and 3) love the videos of the animals. Although I visit every day, I generally don't comment. I'm sorry for that as I do really appreciate the work you put into your blog! Have a great day!


We welcome your questions and comments. Questions very often become the subject of a later blog keep those questions coming!! I read each and every comment...they are often the highlight of my day! Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us.....


Related Posts with Thumbnails