Baby watch

She was hard to photo this week.  She is wide, though this pic doesn't show the baby bump so much.

She was hard to photo this week. She is wide, though this pic doesn’t show the baby bump so much.

Odd angle, not the prettiest bag in the world.

Odd angle, not the prettiest bag in the world.

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Signs of Spring

Another broody hen.  This is one of Rufus' hens.  I tried putting her into a cage and she absolutely flipped out.  So she is in the nesting box which is a pain as the other hens are laying eggs in with her everyday and I have to sort them.

Another broody hen. This is one of Rufus’ hens. I tried putting her into a cage and she absolutely flipped out. So she is in the nesting box which is a pain as the other hens are laying eggs in with her everyday and I have to sort them.

Farm Fashion III: Boots, continued

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The best spring, summer, and fall farm boots!

Fishing boots.  Or so I presume as I went up the infamous fishing village north of me, Gloucester, and bought these boots for $32 at Nelson’s.  Nelson’s is great store for outfitting fishermen, and the other outdoorsies like me.    These fishing boots are worth every penny I paid and then some.  And I don’t know who to give the credit too.  There is no label to be found.

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Look at those treads.  No slipping with these babies! The problem with a good tread is amount of debris they pick up and carry around.

My biggest morale challenge on a daily basis:  do I  take my boots off before I go into the house or not?  especially since I’ll be running right back out of the house?  I have this debate with myself on a daily basis.  Multiple times.   These boots are a no-go when it comes to going in.  Fortunately they are easy to take off.  But… they are not so easy to take off that I get suctioned into a muck hole and can’t pull away without losing the boot.

The sole is thick enough that I don’t worry about nails or metal fence posts impaling me.

The calf width is narrow enough that I don’t spill water down into my own boot.

And they don’t look too bad either.  When wearing a skirt, I can make a quick run to the barn in these, slip them off, jump into sandals and go to my son’s soccer game without missing a beat.

Farm Fashion II: Boots

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Boots.  They say that behind every good man there is a better woman.  Well, under every good woman is a hell-of-a-pair of good boots!   Has to be!

My boot collection began years ago.  Before I was a farmer.

My parents didn’t have money so I put myself through college.  Though my parents were supportive they really had no idea how college was paid for, when the money was due, or even the fact that I had to pay for books.  I didn’t tell them and they didn’t ask.  I worked forty hours a week more or less and went to school full-time.  Whenever she could, my mother sent me some cash.  Random amounts at random times.  (Actual cash in the mail, if you can imagine.)

About two months before I graduated from college she sent me one hundred dollars and a note telling me that the money was for school.  I had already paid for the tuition and books back in January.

So…

I bought a pair of Frye boots with that one hundred dollars.  My first pair of real boots.  Twenty something years later they are still my favourites.

My Frye’s don’t match my old horse trailer so I didn’t photo them for this blog.

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These red boots, made by Kickers!, are great fun though entirely impractical for farming.

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These blue BOGS are flowery and cute and easy to wear over my angora leg warmer.   Yes, warmer, not warmers.  I wear one to warm the achy ankle I broke while wearing my BOGS.

Yep.

These boots are a hazard.

They have no tread on them to speak of.  My mother-in-law, a Beacon Hill debutante, gave them to me because they are pretty and supposedly practical.  They do keep the water out – more or less – but their usefulness is fairly limited when it comes to farming.

For starters there is the aforementioned problem of no treads.  And believe me when I tell you this:

Zero Treads + One Cow Flap = One Broken Ankle

The next problem is that the soles are too thin.  I can not wear these boots to stomp a metal fence post into the ground without impaling my foot.  I tried once and quickly realized that not only would I injure myself but that I would soon have waterproof boots with a hole in their sole.

The things I like about these pretty but largely impractical boots?

1)The handles to pull them on.

2)The roominess that allows for heavy socks and my angora leg warmer.  On the flip side the roominess is a problem.  Water splashing out of buckets goes right down your boot, ditto a good rainstorm.  When standing in mud the roominess means that much more suction can pull the boot off – and until you’ve danced your way out of a muddy pig pen bare footed you have no idea how much of a problem this is.

So why was I wearing them yesterday?

My Carhartt overalls are too short and I didn’t want snow in my boots.  I was collecting sap and the crust on the snow is softening, every step with my lower winter boots and too-short overalls meant cold feet.  The walkway to the barn is now largely bare so isn’t slippery.  The cow flaps are clearly visible so I had no excuse for slipping on one of them.  Yesterday was a good day for my not-so-good BOGS.

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Farm Fashion I: Hair

I am one of those people who go from long hair to short hair to long to short – and rarely have it in the middle – except of course when transitioning.  Might mean something about my personality but let’s not worry about that today.  Today I am still worrying about karma and reincarnation. I’ve been wearing my hair long for a couple of years now.  About seven or eight weeks ago I had it lopped off.  Snip!  Snip! Snip!  The discard pile of brown locks looked like one big bunny rabbit.  Ahhh!  Nothing more freeing than a dramatic change like that.  Especially fun since I hadn’t told any one that I was going to do this.  And very refreshing to have my teenager, Emma, hop into the car after school and tell me I looked like a Vogue model.  A rare word of praise from my teen girls – I love the darlings but man! they are critical of their momma sometimes! So I cut my hair short.  Which for me means a couple of things.  On a regular basis I am balancing my masculine job – farming – with my sense of sexy.  In short  – I can work like a man but I don’t want to look like one.  And short hair adds another ball to the juggling act.  Dramatic earrings, a scarf, and an added dash of makeup become daily requirements.  Lipstick?  Needed about every other day. And flannel shirts….hmmm…not wearing them so much these days either.  Which is too bad as I have a pretty nice collection of them, including one Levis shirt that is at least thirty years old, and another gorgeous printed Brooks Brothers shirt I found at a secondhand store. (This very second my clock fell off the wall – has been there for six years and crash! What the heck?! Let’s ignore that too.) I’ve been on a rant about the lack of feminine work clothes – a problem compounded by my short hair. The other problem with short hair is that it requires frequent cutting. My favorite hair dresser is about 30 minutes away so I decided to try a new stylist.  For the sake of this story I’ll call her Ms. Hap. No? – let’s just call her Missy. So time to shape my ‘do.  I thought about going to my favourite stylist but she was out town. I booked a one o’clock appointment with Missy, my second visit to her salon. The first five minutes were chatty. Missy:  How are your animals? Kelly: Fine, fine.  We’ll be happy when winter is over. MIssy:  Same here,  Though I don’t look forward to the big scoop! Kelly:  What do you mean? Missy:  You know – the dog!  All that poop! For someone other than me this would probably trigger a warning alarm – this isn’t exactly normal hair cutting chatter.  I was unfazed.  Until I noticed that Missy had been working on the same combful of hair for a long time.  She switched combs.  She switched scissors.  She switched the comb and kept the scissors.  Then tried the opposite, old comb, new scissors.  No progress – she kept working the same piece of hair.  I studied my hair trying to understand the problem but didn’t see an issue.  Missy switched combs and scissors again.  Then she spritzed the spot with water.  Then she began to mutter to herself about this uncooperative piece of hair. I am afraid that my conversation style can be like my hair style – a whole lot or just a bit.  If excited  – my words come like a deluge, if not sure of the situation  – not even a trickle – I need to think.   I sat there thinking.  Clearly Missy was stuck.  Finally I suggested, with as much levity as possibly, that perhaps she should give that spot a rest and come back to it.  Which she promptly complied with – she went straight down to my ear area and lopped off a chunk of hair.  Leaving me with  a sideburn and a ghastly poof of hair behind/under my ear. Now I was good and truly concerned.  I don’t consider myself vain or obsessive about my looks but egads!  I could only imagine what my girls would say.  After thinking a bit and seeing no positive progression I ventured another suggestion, “Perhaps that sideburn needs to be cleaned up a bit.” Voila!  No more sideburn.  But hell fire and damnation! pretty much no more hair at all around the front and top of my ear – and a big poof right behind it! At this point she pulled up a stool, sat down, and stated, “If only we could take your ears off I could get this to work.”  No levity in this statement, none from her and certainly I was not amused. To my credit, I calmly responded, “You know, Missy,  I am feeling a bit panicked.” She, wisely – I thought –  suggested we quit cutting and go for a wash and blow dry and see if we could both regain our calmness. She washed.  I lay there and wondered what was going on with her today.   I took a few deep breaths and decided to hope for the best.  No way was I going outside with my hair looking like this!  Last time she had done a great job cutting my hair – of course everything would be fine. She blowed my hair dry.  Which  – considering I only have a few inches of hair –  took a very long time.  The second she had it dry…she went back to the spot she had been obsessing over earlier.  I shut my eyes and pretended this was not happening to me. It gets worse. The other stylist in the salon then comes over and reminds Missy that her next vict..I mean client would be there in ten minutes.  Which prompted Missy to speed up, she abruptly grabbed her scissors and lopped off a neat square chunk of my hair. I finally found some words, “I don’t think this is really working out today, I have to go.”  I stood and got my coat. She followed me saying I had to give her a chance to fix it, I had to come back tomorrow, I had to sleep on it. I went to another salon that evening. They diagnosed my hair as having ‘divots’. The dictionary definition?  Divots: a piece of turf cut out of the ground by a golf club in making a stroke. Not good.  Not fatal but not good. The only conclusion I can make is that Missy was stoned.  I hate to accuse anyone of anything but her obsession with one lock of hair was very odd, her slow movements, her commentary…all very odd. Remarkably I’ve gotten compliments on my new look.  My daughters assure me  this is only generosity on the part of good friends. All I can say is that the cows don’t seem to mind! Here I am with long hair, and overalls, easy to look like a girl in overalls with long hair! DSCN2312 And here I am with my twice-cut hair.  If you look above my ear you can see the remains of a divot – see that light spot?   At least it doesn’t have a puffy curl under it anymore! 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