Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wife Hacks

Even though the days are technically getting longer, I haven't found myself being more productive and cranking out any additional work in a day's time. Maybe it's because I can't keep up with the mysterious chunks of mud that seem to find their way onto our kitchen floor; or maybe it's because 90% of my time in the house is spent having a staring contest with a brown eyed beauty over her shoddy eating habits. 

Whatever the reason, I find myself utilizing a series of, not Life Hacks, but rather Wife Hacks, that get me through the day and continue to keep me semi-sane as a Homesteading Optimist. On social media Life Hacks are quick 12-second clips on how to organize your pantry and send your kids to college in 6 easy steps. Life Hacks demonstrate 2-ingredient Thanksgiving meals in 15 minutes or less. 

Much the same, I have found my Wife Hacks to be simple, creative ways to save time and sanity around the farm and home. 

Kitchen Wife Hacks:

Dinner time can be a point of tension in our home. Cody has a taste palate that is complete opposite of mine. I actually enjoy kale and beans. He favors Velveeta and tacos. 
The few ingredients we agree on: 

  1. Beef
  2. Rotel
  3. Rocky road ice cream

That's quite limiting when leafing through cookbooks and making out a grocery list. However, I've learned that a little bit of marketing can go a long way when preparing meals.

For instance, if I simply put a friend's name in front of the particular dish I'm making, it sounds more appealing to him. I mean, it's weird, but somehow it works. 

Last week we had Tyler Cates Chicken
John McCurry Parmesan Pork Chops and
Jeremy Haag Beef Stew
You can find full recipes at the end of this blog. 

Also, for whatever reason Cody doesn't trust any recipe I find off of Pinterest; probably because he understands that 70% of the things seen on the site are unachievable. He does - however - love the butter-enriched cowboy food that comes from the Pioneer Woman. So even if I'm cleaning out the refrigerator and creating some kind of Chef's Surprise casserole, I set out one of my Pioneer Woman cookbooks and prop it open so that it appears that I'm getting my direction from some fiery red head in Oklahoma. 
He never seems to offer suggestions when it is a Pioneer Woman recipe. 

Wife Hacks:

I have an album in my phone of barn cats doing stupid barn cat things. So when Cody is on a 5-day run out west and asks how the barn cats are, I just pull a random picture from the album on my phone and send it his way to give him a little peace of mind that they're doing great

The trick here is to remember to delete all photos of certain cats once they hit life #9. Nothing confuses Cody more than sending him a picture of Sunny in the mud when Sunny was actually found frozen to a scoop shovel back in January. Not that I speak from experience. 

House Wife Hacks:

Cody is great about letting me know when he's an hour from returning home and then asking if he needs to pick up anything before reaching the homestead. Even though I know he is incredibly ready to just be home, this gesture is so helpful to me. Mostly because we're usually short on diapers or bananas, but also because it sends me into a series of Wife Hack actions:

1. Turn on all wax burners and ensure they're burning something that smells clean. Never - ever - burn something that smells like a food, because then there will be an expectation that a pan of sticky cinnamon buns/loaf of banana bread/warm sugar cookies are waiting on the counter. This breeds false hopes and dreams. 

2. Run (I use the term loosely) outside and feed the barn cats so they don't act like starving idiots and attack his truck when he pulls into the driveway. Our barn cats don't talk, but they are quite the story tellers. 

I'm not particularly proud of my Wife Hacks but they've gotten me through 3.5 years of marriage and 9 months of motherhood so I'd like to think they're worth something. Although my mother - a solid cross between June Cleaver and Judge Judy - would be absolutely mortified that I make meals with fewer than 17 ingredients. 

This is one of those weeks where I wrote strategically. Meaning, I know Momma and Dad are calving out cows like crazy at Bowman Superior Genetics and her chances of getting on the computer and reading this entry are slim. 


Pork Chops
Beef Stew

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Farm Wife Fitness

Someone asked me last week if I had a gym membership. 

I tried really hard to hold in my laughter, but it seeped out in the form of:
"You can't be serious? By you mean Slim Jim? Jimmy John's? Jungle Jim's? Wait. Are you serious?"

I drove home wondering why I don't spend more time - and money - on my health. Why not pay dollars a month to walk around an indoor track (let's be honest: That's all I'd do)? 
Answer: Because I live on a farm.

Which keeps me active, or at least moderately out of breath. 

Farm Wife Planks
Farm wife planks are the motion done when your husband tells you that the electric fence is off, but you have had trust issues since a shocking event in 2009, so you have to roll under the high tensile fence.  But the ground is wet - or cold - and you try to make as little ground contact as possible. 

Farm Wife Weight Lifting
Two things prevent me from going to a gym to lift weights: 1. carrying buckets of feed instead of transporting them via Kubota and 
2. This chunk

Farm Wife Sprints
Farm wife sprints are done when your husband calls and wants to know the sex of the newest calves and you have to dodge all mother cows in order to do a 2-second tail lift before sprinting back to (and over) the gate. 

We have no footage of the farm wife sprint, which further proves the fact that I only run if I'm being chased. However, we do have footage of this broad:

Farm Wife Squats 
Farm wife squats are the action done when you're trying to get under a string of temporary fence by finding the lowest point in the ground that offers the greatest depth between the fence and ground. Arms out for balance. Head tucked down for clearance. Bad word whispered for good measure. 

Farm Wife Chin-Ups
Farm wife chin-ups are done  when there is excess room between the hay mow ladder and the ground so you have to stack buckets to get to the right height to climb. Except said buckets fall over and you have two options: 1. Do chin-ups to get up the ladder or 2. bust your tail bone.

Farm Wife Cardio
Farm wife cardio can be done a lot of different ways, but the easiest way to get your heart rate elevated is to simply get in the hay mow when you're absolutely terrified of heights. Especially if said hay mow has a shoddy floor and every step has you assuming it's your last. 

I hope you've read this and found creative ways to feel the burn in your own little piece of the world. Listen, you don't have to pay for a gym membership to get healthy; you just have to move

But trust me: If you don't have a spotter, stay off the buckets.