Farm Follies

Day #3: The Winter Projects

On this sweltering, spring day (the thermometer in my classroom reads 86.2 F right now), I thought it would be nice to write about my husband’s winter projects.

I often think about what my husband would be like if he didn’t have so many things to keep him busy. Since this is the week that I have vowed not to make fun of him, I won’t talk about how I think that he would surely become some sort of raging alcoholic or gambling addict because he would be so bored.

That would be mean.

Every winter, Xandy has his “To-Do List” filled with a variety of projects. Some of this winter’s projects included a puppet house for Kitt and refinishing rocking chairs for our front porch.

If you look closely at the photo of our farm, you can see the red chairs on our front porch. Here is a photo of Kitt in front of the puppet house this morning, please disregard the rest of the mess that is the den around her. :

The house turned out much larger than Xandy expected. Right now, we have a stool in the back so that Kitt can more easily reach through the curtains.

Past winters have brought us these gems:

This is actually two years worth of work. The first is the hutch itself, and the second is the wine rack on the bottom. He made it so that it fits 1.5 L bottles. I guess I may be the raging alcoholic. Or maybe my cat Ciggy is…look at her check out the rack!
The massive book and record rack. Check out the titles on the top -- Xandy went through boxes and boxes of books left on the farm from his great, grandmother and his grandmother. Not anachronistic at all, honey! (But super, cool!)
The massive book and record rack. Check out the titles on the top — Xandy went through boxes and boxes of books left on the farm from his great, grandmother and his grandmother. Not anachronistic at all, honey! (But super, cool!)
My favorite of his winter projects -- the book shelf he built me before we even moved to the farm. You'll notice that Kitt's books have begun to creep up the shelves. I think it may be time for him to build me a new one!
My favorite of his winter projects — the book shelf he built me before we even moved to the farm. You’ll notice that Kitt’s books have begun to creep up the shelves. I think it may be time for him to build me a new one!

Come back tomorrow for Day #4. I will start to show off some of Xandy’s home improvements.

Farm Follies

Day #2: Yes, We are Building One of Those

This is the second of my week-long installments on why my husband rocks and has to do with something that he and my father-in-law have been working on this spring in our back pasture.

Our Covered Bridge. Yup, just like we are in the 1840s.

Yes, That is exactly what you think it is — a freaking COVERED BRIDGE.

Last year the farm was able to put the bridge in as a cattle crossing. At the time, I remember my husband saying, “Ya know. It would really be fun to have a covered bridge on the property.”

This year — after hard work by he and his father — we are well on our way to having just that. To any of you construction-savvy folk out there, please realize that this has been built “farmer style.” When I asked Xandy just what that meant, he mentioned something about lack of braces and such (which I am sure are not necessary or anything).

Anyway, here are some more photos of the bridge:

The view from the river side of the bridge.
The view at the roof so far. The plan is to add a metal roof with funds from this fall’s beef sales.
Looking out at the cows. I was worried that the building may freak them out, but no worries. They trotted right across!
The approach to the bridge.

The Covered Bridge — reason #2 my husband my impresses me so much. Tomorrow — tune in for some of his winter projects.

Farm Follies

Day #1 of Not Making Fun of My Husband

There is an old  adage “There is always something to do on the farm” — having lived here for a few years I have to say that is absolutely the truth.

The thing that amazes me most about farmers, and my husband especially, is how much work they do (even with all of the “shootin’ the shit.”) My husband works full time away from the farm, and yet still manages to accomplish more in one evening than I can in one week.

His secret: The To-Do List. His contains short term, long-term, and mid-term goals that he dutifully crosses off and fills in each morning. Here is a copy of one of his most recent:


You’ll notice that there are a number of pages missing. Those are the pages that have been accomplished. Below this list, I found the page with ideas for gifts for me. Every time I mention something, he puts it on the list. REMINDER TO SELF: Help him fill that in.

On the top of his list is “Finish the Garage.” The backside of our garage is covered in shingles, while the rest of the house is covered in clapboards. This is a perfect pre-hay season job. So this week, while it rained 4 1/2″ he spent hours in the rain pulling off shingles.

Then he spent some time painting the backside of the boards to keep them protected from the elements. This paint time also served as good daddy-daughter bonding time.


Below are photos of the water-logged shingles, and the partially done garage. I am sure that it will be done soon.


Come back tomorrow for DAY #2 — You will never believe what is going up in our back yard!

Farm Follies

Who’s an Anachronism?

After my last post, my husband asked me if I really thought that he was an anachronism.

I tried to suppress my laughter (TRIED, an audible guffaw came out), and said “I love you, hon, but, Um….yeah.”

I listed for him some of the reasons that I thought such, which (of course) he could not deny. Here is a version of our discussion:

1) He refuses to be on Facebook, or “FaceSpace” as he calls it. He doesn’t need “one more damn thing to waste time on.” Can’t really argue with him there — although when he wanted a page for the farm, he didn’t hesitate to ask me to build one.

2) We have not one but TWO rotary phones in our house.

Kitchen Phone — it almost matches our yellow wallpaper.
Den phone — man, I have to do something about that wallpaper.

“But I can HEAR better out of those phones,” he said in disgust when I added those to the list. I then reminded him that I was the one with the hearing problem. SIDE NOTE: what bothers me most about those phones is the fact that the handset is attached to the phone. This is especially annoying when someone calls while I am making dinner, and my husband (being helpful of course) looks over to our digital caller ID cordless phone to see who is calling, and then proceeds to answer the rotary. “Honey, it’s for you,” he says and then drops the phone on the counter far out of my reach.

3) Radio and Music Selection — I am the first to admit that I am not all “up on” new music. I honestly get most of my knowledge of new music from my addiction to Glee, but my husband is a bit more extreme. Wherever we go, the radio immediately is turned to one of two stations — AM1490 or AM1160 — one of which hosts the Frank Sinatra Hour. Both may have selections from some of the artists gracing his record collection, a representation of which follows:


4) He is technologically challenged. I can’t tell you how many times he has ventured off into the living room to turn on Dora the Explorer only to realize he completely forgot how to work the remote control. I’d sit in the kitchen and wait for the inevitable “HONEY, I CAN’T MAKE THE CLICKER WORK.”

5) His lack of desire to leave the farm. Although this final addition to my list just may be the farmer in him. He claims to itch when he has to go anywhere south of Augusta. If you know Maine, you know that south of Augusta is pretty much ALL of the United States.

I am hard on him though — so next week, stay tuned for the list of all of the amazing things that he does. I’ll try to do one a day!


Farm Follies

Don’t Let Mom Follow Me

This morning as I sat at the breakfast bar drinking my coffee and deciding what to do for the day, I heard my husband mumble something to my daughter and then head out the front door.

“What did dad say?” I turned to my daughter Kitt who sat in her usual morning spot, my grandmother’s rocking chair in our kitchen.

“Don’t follow him.”

“Huh?” My slow processing speed and years of loud concerts often cause me to ask for repetition.

“Daddy SAID don’t follow him.” She huffed and stuck her thumb in her mouth. I have to work on that damn thumb, I told myself as my husband walked through the kitchen, passed the dining room table, and into the den. He proceeded to then walk by me with the gigantic laundry rack I bought him for his birthday. A picture of the rack follows:


Let me explain, I know that the expectation is, as a farmer’s wife, I am supposed to love things like housework and laundry. I am also supposed to love hanging clothes out to dry in order to save the environment and propane. But I am the first to admit — I LOVE my dryer. I love that I can throw a load of laundry in and it all comes out toasty, soft, and wrinkle-free.

The anachronism that is my husband, however, takes offense to that, and like a good environmentalist wants to line dry all of his clothes — which during the winter, means on a dryer rack in the den. If I don’t catch him in time I end up with jeans that feel like a starch can has been emptied onto them and bath towels that, well, let’s just say that I do not need to exfoliate if I don’t catch the towels before they end up on the rack.

On this 60+ degree spring day, my husband decided instead of using the clothes line in the back of the house, he would take the massive rack and place it on the front lawn. As he knew what my reaction would be, he told my daughter to run interference.

Thankfully, I was able to stop him from hanging all of our underwear out for all passerbys to see.

“What’s the problem?” He goaded me, knowing full well what the problem was, “It’s sunnier out front.”

“Come on! Everyone will see my freaking bra! There’s a clothes line in the back yard, for all that is good and holy.”

He shook his head and brought the rack to our back deck.


“That’s it.” I told him, “This is totally going on the blog.”

“So what you are telling me is that you don’t want the thirty cars that pass by our house to see your underwear, but the entire internet is OK.”

“Exactly.” It is so beyond me why he didn’t understand. I mean who wants this on their front lawn: