Roger and I met and fell in love like most couples through mutual friends. He had just moved back to Michigan from Telluride, CO and I was living in my own home and working as a Realtor. We had both traveled extensively, both loved the outdoors, adventure and had similar goals. We eventually got engaged and married in 1999. We both knew we wanted to try and start a family right away because we were both 30. As luck would have it I did get pregnant right away with our first son. We had another boy 2 years later and a girl 2 years after that. Our family was complete. We were living happily in Birmingham and even though we had a nice home, our kids attended good schools and we were close to our families, something just never felt right for me. I wasn't comfortable in our setting. I longed for more. More green space, more fresh air, more passion and a simpler, slower way of life. I knew that I belonged on a farm. I had always loved animals and I knew that our family would benefit from a change in lifestyle and I believed that Roger would too. So after much begging and convincing, we finally sold our home and bought our old farmhouse on 7 acres. It was a dream come true.
We had decided that if we didn't love it, we could always move back to the suburbs, but I knew that that wouldn't be the case. I knew deep down that we would fall in love with our new lifestyle. And we did. The kids quickly adjusted to their new schools, made new friends and we seemed to fit in to our new laid back life quite well. I no longer had to wear yoga clothes to the bus stop or put make up on to run to the market. I could just be me. It was so refreshing. No pressure to be perfect and outdo the neighbors. No associating with people who did not seem sincere or real. It wasn't just a change of scenery or real estate, it was a change of social environment, social status and social economics. It was immediately noticeable in the local stores where people all called you by your name, and in the school where mom's didn't have to be elected to become a room mom, everyone was welcome to help out and everyone was pleasant. Neighbors were friendly and welcoming. No one was nosy about our business. No one cared if you built a bonfire, rode a snowmobile down the road or had chickens crowing in the yard. It was definitely NOT the suburbs.
Now that I had it, finally had it, my farm, my dream, my own little piece of paradise I didn't waste a minute starting my dream farm menagerie. We came to the new house with our 3 dogs, our 2 cats, a tortoise, a mini pig and some fish. But the first farm animal on my list was a goat. I knew I had always loved goats and couldn't wait to get one. I spent long hours researching goats, the breeds and how to care for them until I found my first one to buy. Roger pulled into the driveway one night to find me waiting on the porch with a tiny white Nigerian doeling who I named Daisy. She was our first and our mascot. It was love at first sight. And of course I hadn't prepared Roger for my new companions arrival, I figured it was better to just surprise him. And that is how it began. He would come home and there would be a new critter (or critters), waiting to meet him. Being married to me isn't easy. There are many surprises and many projects on my "can you please build me this?" list. A farm girl is always dreaming up her next improvement to the farm, her next garden install, her next pasture fence, her next breeder pen, or her next home improvement or remodel project. A farm girl is passionate. She loves being surrounded by animals, and flowers, and children(in my case) and nature. A farm girl is strong, stubborn and determined. If she can do it herself, she will. She is brave and isn't afraid to walk out in the dark in her pajamas to close the coops at night. A farm girl is hard working, doesn't mind getting dirty, getting pooped on, or getting attacked by a bad rooster. She isn't afraid to assist with a birth, push in a prolapsed uterus or pick up a dead animal with her bare hands. She will feed the organic veggies from Whole Foods to the geese and bunnies before making a salad for dinner. She loves to cook and create, upcycle and design. She wants her home to be magazine worthy and her barnyard to look like a page from a storybook. A farm girl will also almost always "round down". When a farm girl's husband asks how much something had cost, she will always round down to a more acceptable amount. This is also often referred to as "wife math." I have found this to be true with many of my other farm girl friends. A farm girl would rather get a new chicken than a new purse. And she would rather have a barn full of animals than a box full of jewelry. My husband can attest to that as I am very good at buying my own gifts for special occasions, a new lamb for Mother's Day, a few new Silkies for my birthday, or some rare geese for Valentine's Day. Plus it takes the pressure off of him to find me a perfect gift.
As a farm girl I am constantly planing, scheming, and finding ways to improve the farm. I am always thinking ahead. What will my garden need next year? How can I expand it? How many chickens can I breed this season? Next season? What breeds should I add? Where can I move the geese so they stop pooping all over the driveway? Should I get an LGD to guard the property and prevent more loss to predators? How many goats kids will we produce next Spring? How can I improve the birthing pens? Should I get a pair of Peacocks since they are so pretty and I think I need them walking around just for ambiance? These are the things I think about all day and night. And that is along side the usual never ending list of to do's and kids activities and sports, etc....So for my husband, who's world consists mainly of work, uptight clients, work, helping with the kids, and what ever is left over, it is hard from him to accommodate my ever growing needs. He comes home, exhausted from his 12 plus hour day, and tries his best to be in it. In my world, my head, my needy, greedy, growing to do's and can we's and should we's? He is a knight, a Prince, a giver of givers, and he always, always makes room for his farm girl and her passions. He really never says no. He is a yes man. Like a line from the country song by Jason Aldean, "it's your world and I'm just in it, aint no other way to spin in." He is truly amazing and I don't know how he manages to handle it all. I am forever grateful for his ability to appease me and make us a priority. And I know that this world that we have created for ourselves and our children gives him a great sense of peace, pride and tranquility. At the end of the day, after all of the chores and the work and the stress of the day, it is a place of calm and spiritual healing. This farm girl just wants to live life to the fullest and for every minute to count.
A favorite quote that I found that relates to farm girls (or any girl) everywhere:
"Love what you do and prepare to dedicate your life to your passion, it will not always be easy or fun, but nothing will reward you more."
And, "follow your arrow wherever it points."~Kacey Musgraves