Posted May 7, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 17 comments
I thought I was alone in this…a city girl learning to be a Prairie Wife…reduced to red hot rage by a stupid pile of hay. I felt even more alone when I shared my rage with The Cowboy. I named it Hay Rage and he laughed at me…multiple times. I was all alone with my anger…until I mentioned it to CowGranny (The Cowboy’s mother and a true Prairie Wife) and she nodded her head in a serious sign of solidarity. I can’t remember her exact words but I am sure she said something like “I hate that stupid hay too!”
Let me walk you through a typical morning here. I wake up at 6 if I have to shower 6:30 if I’m rocking a low maintenance look. Get the kids breakfast and make lunches, get everyone dressed and change Cowboy C’s diaper (usually twice). I also have to get my breakfast eaten (ha ha) and my hair and makeup done before we head out the door at 7:30. Should I mention I am not a morning person?
As we pull out of the garage I drive up to the barn (we are already at least five minutes late) and hop out. The horses are stamping impatiently and snorting, ready for their breakfast. I walk over to the big hay bale (2,000 lb) and using a pitchfork “peel” off a flake of hay. This flake is four feet tall and four feet wide and weighs about 70 lb. I need to feed about half of it each feeding, and I use a pitchfork to carry the hay and drop it over the corral fence where it lands in the feed tub.
Now the above paragraph describes the process as it should go, and how it usually works out on the weekends for The Cowboy. I won’t even mention how the horses like to play soccer with the feed bin, resulting in it being in middle of the corral most days. Or what it’s like to feed in -29 degree temperatures with over a foot of snow (thank you polar vortex). Nor will I discuss the intricacies of watering in the winter (freezing temperatures and water are simply no fun).
Before I continue, let’s take a minute to compare me and The Cowboy’s physical builds…He is 6’3” and 215 pounds (usually wears cowboy boots) and has been doing horse chores his whole life. I am 5’7” (without my usual heels) 132 pounds (today) and unlike some of our past Prairie Wives, I just started doing this chore gig about a year ago.
I want you to close your eyes and imagine me all dolled up (I woke up early to do this) because it’s my day to volunteer in the classrooms and look like a nice “sane” mother. I’m wearing heeled boots and there is a 40mph steady wind with up to 60mph wind gusts. I try to peel the whole flake off, only to have it fold over and break…resulting in a huge pile on the ground…that I can’t move a single piece of (I’m sure there is some scientific reason why this is). Even with all my 132lb straining and every swear word I know being said, I can’t ever get any of it on the pitchfork. Finally, I give up, and peel off just the top half of the next flake.
I’ve got 35lb of hay on the end of my pitchfork, and I’m trying to make it to the feed bin without it acting like a sail and sending me flying to Nebraska. When all is said and done, the hay has broken in two pieces halfway on my journey (resulting in two more trips back and forth) and I end up with more hay down my shirt than in the feed tub. I run to the van and jump in to hear Cowboy J say “We are going to be late mom!” in his panicked yet naggy voice.
Cowgirl G kindly tells me I have hay in my hair. As I pull out onto the Highway, some hay has worked its way into my bra. For all of you city girls (and men) let me tell you…there is a special spot in hell full of tortured woman with hay in their bra. Nothing is more uncomfortable or socially awkward than a Prairie Wife with hay in her bra! It pokes and itches and sticks, and no matter how many times you go to the bathroom and try and brush it and shake it all out, there is always more!
As we drive to school I slowly focus on controlling my breathing, getting my face to look less red and mottled, and quickly pull out the deodorant I keep in the glove box to eliminate the sweaty smell. By now the Cowkids know the above signs of hay rage (not to mention they sat and watched the whole process from their seats in the van) and sit in quiet fear and don’t make any more noise until I speak to them.
Hay Rage is a real problem out here on the Prairie…and now that I know I am not alone, I think we need to start a support group. Symptoms of Hay Rage include (but are not limited to) high blood pressure, sweaty armpits (may spread to chest and back), flushed faces, repeated loud swearing, snapping at loved ones, and uncontrollable itching and brushing of the boobs, hair and arms.
Please don’t suffer alone…this is a safe place…feel free to share your story…we at PrairieWifeInHeels.com won’t judge!
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