Friday, November 8, 2013

If I Was A Guy, I'd Do It.

  I think I'm coming down with cabin fever. Actually, I think it's been setting in since September, but today I'm really feeling the symptoms. Folks, I haven't done a full, hard day's work since August. And I'm feelin' it. Sure, I stay busy, I find various projects to keep me somewhat engaged... But today I'm downright pining to move livestock to new pasture, milk a cow, and slaughter something (animal, that is). It's a cloudy, grumpy day outside and the walls of the house are beginning to feel like they're closing in. I worked outside during the morning; adding new plastic to the greenhouse, cleaning out the barn some more... But it's not enough. My body wants to ache from physical activity spent working with another living creature, and my brain is going ballistic from weeks and weeks without a really good project to puzzle over. I'm not exactly "bored", but I'll certainly say that I'm not accustomed to this slow pace of life. I miss outwitting pigs, teaching the heifer to lead, cleaning my milking equipment, and slaughtering. I've said that twice now. I admit, I really do have a hankering to get a knife in my hand today and slaughter something. Not exactly sure what's with that, but it is what it is. Earlier I was trying to read a book, but found that I kept having to read that same page over, and over, and over. Nothing was sinking in because my mind kept wandering to my old job that I used to have at the slaughter house. And I got to thinking about how much I missed the work. I don't regret my reasons for leaving that job, but I do miss the work. It was good, solid work that folks really appreciate, and I enjoy. Thinking about my old job led my wandering mind down the rabbit trailing thoughts of how fun it would be to own a mobile slaughtering unit (hey, there's always this gorgeous ride to consider, right? LOL. I'm 75% teasing on this one.), which led to finding and buying this cool looking book about a mobile poultry slaughter house (It's almost creepy how excited I am for this to come. I also have Joel Salatin's newest book coming, Jenna Woginrich's newest one on it's way, and one more book due soon... Yet I want this one more than any of them!!!), which then led that rambling mind to thinking about the Portable Plucker folks near me and what an awesome, lucrative gig that is for them, and then finally to the brand spankin' new slaughter house that opened down south in Brownsville (I still swoon over that pretty building, and how well they've set it up.). Yeah, my mind goes everywhere. You should try living with it for a day. *note much sarcasm*

  I believe the end result of all this mental wandering is that 1. I really miss slaughtering. And 2. this really seems like a good opportunity for anyone with the skill and stomach for it. Seriously! There is such a need for more processors; good ones. Especially mobile ones. Or at least folks who will rent out equipment, like what the Portable Plucker folks do.

 At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I'm going to make a statement that I normally keep to myself: If I was a guy, I would totally put myself in training to do this work. I'd be running after this idea so hard and fast that I'd put the Warner Bros. Roadrunner to shame (meep, meep!). But since I'm a girl, I've decided to stand back and try and keep a lid on this desire. Now, before y'all start huffing at me for sounding legalistic, or saying that there's no shame in a woman having her own career, or encouraging me to go for it anyway, allow me to explain. First off, this is merely MY conviction. I have no qualms with other women who have long term careers and whatnot; it's just not my personal cup of tea. It takes all kinds to make a world, and we need all these different people with their different tastes to make everything work. So this is mine. :) Okay, disclaimer is now over... I'm not actively pursuing a long term career because quite frankly, it gets lonely all by yourself. Farming alone is hard and I don't find it enjoyable (why do you think I bought a dog!?), running a slaughtering unit long term sounds just as lonely. Let's imagine for a moment that this crazy farm girl someday bumps into an equally crazy farm boy (remember? I'm a klutz; therefore, "bumping" into someone is perfectly legit in my case. And he'd have to be crazy too to put up with me and the fact that I like cows, bow hunting and know how to use a knife.). That'd be a dream come true if Mr. Right had a farm of his own, or at least liked the idea of going for it. Wahoo, I get to live on a farm! But my job wouldn't be to run the farm. I'd be backup, primarily doing the role of Farm Wife. And I'm okay with that. THAT is my long term goal. Call me old fashioned, but House Wife or rather, Farm Wife is long term goal. This farming gig which I've come to love so much is to keep me busy during these single years. Everything I've learned during these years will be handy in the future. I can milk cows, fix a vacuum pump, drive a manual truck, slaughter any animal, hunt, can, raise broilers, deal with customers, haggle with grain suppliers, and buy good quality hay (the gardening part is still a work in progress... *cough, cough*). If it came to where a second income was needed, then hey, I'm ready! I know what to do! But aiming for a long term career such as a mobile butcher (or a vet, or anything else) seems pointless to me, in my case (please notice emphasis; go back to disclaimer if necessary) when I would be giving it all up after the honeymoon. In the end, I get to be the brains, and he gets to be the brawn around the place (I kid. I wanna' drive the tractors too. Okaaay, I'm teasing again. He'd probably be both and I'd be the one wreaking havoc, bringing home new cows all the time, and annoying the stew out of him); meaning I'm in the background cooking up evil ideas that probably have some hole in them, but he'd be the one actually bringing home the bacon. There's no shame to keeping a house standing and raising a family, folks. That's my job. I've never been hugely keen on "stay-at-home dads" and "career moms". But again, just my tiny two cents with which you can do whatever you like with (meaning chuck it, or agree with it). But you know what, if Mr. Right needed a working partner for whatever reason, I'd be right there doing it (hey he could drive the semi and I'll use the sharp, pointy knives! Grand idea!). So if that means I'm an "employee" who does evening milking for 300 cows, or drives the tractor/combine all day long until harvest season is over, then fine. I'm good with that (as long as the tractor is green. I might have qualms if it's red or blue). The difference here is who's boss. Somehow I don't think the marriage would be as strong if I was the one running the 300 cow dairy and I told Mr. Right that his job around the place is to do what I tell him... ;)

  Now, where in the world was I going with all this? You see, my mind totally rabbit trailed and the above rant was originally not planned. Slaughtering. Yes, I was talking about slaughtering. If I was a guy, I'd consider it as a career. But since I'm not, I get the fun job of puzzling over how I can weave this interest into my life for a short term. I like a good mental puzzle, and this one has been fun to chew on during these rainy, quiet days before I leave. Who knows, maybe in the end I'll just do like the Portable Plucker folks and merely rent out equipment for other folks. I think even that would be enough...

  In the mean time though, I think I'm beginning to suffer from a serious case of cabin fever. And I've still got twenty seven days before I leave. Think I'll survive? ;)


Illinois Lori said...

LOL, you'll survive your 27 days! And when you need a break from Missouri, come on up to SW Wisconsin and visit us at Farm on the Hill ;-) We'll give you a tour of a lovely farm waiting to take off!

Illinois Lori said...

Oh yes...I think you've seen the new blog that I'm doing while I'm helping Bryan get things started:

and we have the farm website published, though it's still in the "upstart" phase, as we don't have livestock until
spring 2014...but here it is:

PS: Seriously, come up for a visit! It'd be fun to see you IRL instead of just in bloggyland!

Goat Song said...

Lori, I just might take you up on the offer of a visit someday. :) I'd love to meet you in person, and see Brian's amazing farm! I guess if it's the Lord's will, then it'll happen, so we'll wait and see! :)

Prairie Kari said...

Wow $205,000 for that mobile unit - nice unit but it is too bad to see the price as that needs to be absorbed by the consumer at the end of the day.

I am reading Forrest Pritchard's Gaining Ground right now. He talks about how in his area there used to be a slaughter/butcher shop in every town as farmers used to raise their own animals for slaughter. He tells of one butcher shop that he eventually found but had a 6mth waiting list and he just wanted to butcher 1 cow to start with at the farmers market! It is too bad that it is easier to buy factory raised meat than grow your own!

A portable plucker rental business sounds interesting - you don't like raising chickens that much but love butchering - hmm could be a side business . . .

I like that you are doing what you want to be doing - NOW. I did it backwards and worked hard to raise money to buy a farm and my horses and now looking at starting grass farming and I don't have the energy and health to chase after animals anymore so need to find someone like you who is passionate about it all and has some experience, to partner up with. I can't wait to see what you do next after your adventure in MO! Kari