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The last “honey-do” project before spring

Okay, ladies. I’m back with my farm wife’s seasonal thoughts. I want you to know that I crossed a birthday threshold in January that officially qualifies me as being able to provide “authentic” words of wisdom (or storytelling).

So the weather forecast has not been conducive to getting in the fields anytime soon. Is the planter ready? History tells us that as soon as the National Farm Machinery show is over, they are all in “planting-season mode.” For my urban sisters, that means don’t even THINK about asking for any more honey-do projects. That’s over for the season. Done. (And it’s okay, because we’re ready to get them OUT of the house. J)

The past few seasons have given those of us who farm in the eastern Corn Belt a bit more moisture than we care to have. Reading Ryan Martin’s weather forecast in this morning’s Digital Dale e-newsletter http://ocj.com/ohio-ag-net-weather-forecast/ made me wonder if perhaps a few farm sisters might not have “one last chance” to get that last honey-do project done before spring planting.

Last weekend, my honey proved that he really can “do it all.” I waited a long time for a new kitchen, and we remodeled ours six years ago this May. When one of the purchases included a refrigerator with an ice-cube maker and dispenser, we were all over it, in spite of several well-meaning friends shaking their head and telling us, “Well, expect it to break at least once.”

We like to break those kind of records at our household, and we are now in the midst of repairing that refrigerator’s ice-maker for the second time in two years. I won’t take the time to share how long this saga has gone on, but I have to admit I am impressed with my own patience. We have been without “automatic ice” since before the NFMS. Part of the reason it has taken so long to be repaired is our schedule doesn’t coordinate with the repairman. He can only be in our area on Tuesday or Thursday. So, this morning, after three visits, and all three of them having to order a “different” part, the repairman is due back to repair what was supposedly the “latest update” to repair the blessed ice-maker. No, it didn’t work. It never made ice after he left. So he is due back, shortly.

Adding to the drama of the kitchen is that not only has the refrigerator stayed true to what every appliance store told us beforehand: “don’t expect your appliances to last beyond 5 years – that’s why they’re cheap.” Let me keep it short: we have also replaced the dishwasher and last Saturday, the microwave.

This brings me to the story of my farmer being a “Jack of all Trades.” It was almost a crisis when the microwave simply died. We remember the days of no microwaves. We can survive. So, buying a new one was going to be the same price as repairing one but the hubs said, “I can install that. No problem.” (Ladies, I know YOU know I could start a second blog here on that statement alone.)

Yes. The anticipated 45-minute project took six hours on Saturday. Yet the amazing thing for both of us was that we didn’t get snarky with each other, even though it meant at least one trip to Lowe’s and three to the shop to get three different size drill bits. The problem was that the new support frame had the holes placed in different locations, and the size of the microwave — although portrayed as the exact same replacement as our old model — wasn’t. (Yes, we measured it) It was a quarter inch taller. Which, to make a long story very short, meant taking the microwave in and out (above the oven) about a hundred times so it could be lowered three-quarters of an inch to fit. But my guy did it. Perfectly. Yes, he could have said spend the $114 and let Lowe’s install it. And often times, he should spend the $$$ to let someone else do it. (Farmers don’t always “value” their time, monetarily, when they know they can surely do a project, no matter how LONG it takes, but that, too, could be another blog).

Quite frankly, I am tired of the bashing that men get in today’s world, especially our folks in ag. There is only one sinless person that has ever lived on earth, and that is Jesus. We were created to be helpmates to each other, and nowhere is that more apparent than in agriculture. The weather controls most of what we can do and when we can do it. So if life is giving us lemons right now, we make lemonade. And that might just mean I get a microwave installed and it saves us $114.

IMG_1634I have attached a picture to keep the farmers who will read this out there comforted to know that he did do the project “farmer-style.” If you have some “honey-do” last minute projects that your farmer might be convinced to do for you before spring, please share some photos or comments. (I have been promised a small raised-bed garden for a Mother’s day gift. Stay tuned!)

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