Tuesday, August 19, 2008

P-Dub Ain't Got Nuthin' on my Sister

I've been a reader of The Pioneer Woman for several months now. Lawd knows she doesn't need any endorsements to boost her popularity but I find her writing both witty and entertaining, even if I can't figure out for the life of me how she writes so many dadgum blog posts and ever manages to step away from the screen. I've got a theory - I think they've got a secret lab on their ranch where they've mastered the art of cloning. But that's just my guess. I enjoy seeing her pictures of ranch life and wide, open spaces. I enjoy hearing about the ways of farmers, homeschooling kids, and potluck meals. I might even sometimes feel a little envious of what seems to be quite the idyllic life.

But then my phone rings, and it's my sister calling, the one who took over the family farm in Dad's stead, looking for Rob to help mow a hayfield or me to watch her kids. And then I grab my camera, and I gaze at my beautiful, wide-open view to the east, and as I ready to venture over to the family farm, I think to myself: P-Dub ain't got nuthin' on my sister.

Everything is new to us on the farm right now - it's a learning year. Everything we do, we do for the first time, and if neighbor farmers and farm extension offices and seed companies get a little frustrated with our incessant questioning and lack of basic knowledge, well, that's just too bad. For every bit of knowledge we don't have yet, we pony up 10 times as much in effort and commitment to learning.

And like P-Dub, I mean "we" in a very loose sense. When I say "we" I really mean "they", but who's counting, right? I mean, I understand that someone's gotta wield the camera and get all this craziness on film.

So, let's take a look at my sister, farmer extraordinaire. Here she is, last winter, preparing to release some cattle from a trailer. They moved them to mom's barn from the main farm so they could trap them, one by one, in that green contraption you see there on the right. That contraption holds a cow in place so the vet can, um, check for something. Pregnancy, I think. And if you've ever read PW's blog, well, you'll know precisely what that entails. As it is, I just ate and I'd rather not go into such things at the moment.

The vet wasn't coming that day. Jackie wanted to do a trial run - practice trapping (trapping? Or is it cinching? Wedging? Holding?) a cow in the chute so they'd know how to do it and be ready when the vet came out. There's a fine art to using that contraption, and if you don't do it right there are some fairly dire consequences - such as suffocation.
And Jackie doesn't have a bunch of chaps-wearin' cowboys to assist her, either. Though she does, sometimes, have this:

That would be a Lands End jacket-wearing, UW-Wisconsin headband-sporting, rubber boot-shod brother-in-law. For sexyness sake, let's just call him "Insurance Man." Hm, doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "Marlboro Man", does it. Let's see:
"Lawsie mercy I can't get enough of watching you fill out those med supp forms."
Nope. It doesn't.

We might not have the right attire, but it works nonetheless. Though I wouldn't mind lusting after some Levi-clad behinds in chaps, no I wouldn't.
(Not that your sweatpants aren't sexy, honey. I'm just sayin'.)
So let's see, what else does my sister have in common with PW?

Wide open spaces...
Adorable bovine friends...

And a very neurotic pesky attentive border collie, to name a few.

And far as I can tell, there's something we have that P-Dub don't:
A big, beautiful red barn built by our ancestors. My father grew up working on this farm, and that would explain the rock-solid forearms he maintained even through decades of insurance work. (It seems insurance work, just like farming, runs in the family.) But seeing as it was my Dad, I won't be lusting over any forearms on this site.
While we do have some men contributing to the success of this family farm operation (Hi Marcel! Hi Honey!), it's my little sister who *really* wears the chaps around here. She can be found hauling wagons of corn...
Mowing fields of hay...
And tagging cattle. In fact, word is, they've been lasso-ing calves, pinning them to the ground, and applying pink eye medicine every day for two weeks now. Now *that* is something that needs to be captured on film. I'm on it.
I know, I wouldn't like that either. "Moo" right back atcha, my brown friend.
And while we don't have any calf-nut shenanigans to share on this site, there is something we can show that makes me giggle every time I see it:

Har har har.

And what do I have in common with P-Dub? Besides homeschooling, a killer corn casserole recipe, and a passion obsession love of blogging? That might be my preference for being behind the camera rather than behind the wheel of a tractor.

I might not be the most helpful person on the farm - in fact, I might even be the least helpful - but somebody's gotta archive these adventures. And I'm just the grrrl to do it.



K. said...

Love it. Your sister is my new hero, and you're just plain funny.

EC said...

Oh good lord! I loved this post! You really made me laugh! I'll take you over P-dub any day!!

denise said...


I love where you are and your history in that land around you, surrounded by memories and family. Most people don't have that anymore! Not to mention those view and wide open space. Sw-ee-tt.

I don't really read that blog you mentioned (lots of the same'ol same'ol after a while) but it sure is beautiful! But we got some beauty 'round these parts too! Thanks for sharing. :)

debra said...

This is a wonderful post. There is something special about connections to the land---to the paths that 3 generations have walked. Thank you.

KMDuff said...

Hee hee, loved this post. :) Your sister rocks! All that history is awesome. :)

Jackie said...

Aww, schucks. Thanks, sis.

Funny you posted this, 'cause I was just thinking about all the funny posts I've got stored up, in my head of course, because I just don't have the time to write 'em all down! PW is hilarious, but you're right. She's not the one out there doing the real labor.

I won't take all the credit here, tho....everyone contributes, whether it's the work, childcare, or some timely cinnamon rolls (hint, hint).

Back to those chaps.....maybe Marcel and I should get a matching pair for the holidays. Now THAT would be hilarious.

You just made my day. Love ya,

Silvia said...

I love those sweet little calves' faces! But I really can't believe the sneakers are in one piece sitting on the ground next to a border collie! And jeans over sweats any day, ahem. Have you read "Just Do It" yet? LMK when you do. :)

Colleen said...

I love those pictures!! You guys are so lucky to to have all that history right there--but it sounds like you know that. ;)

Deborah said...

Lovely photos!