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Turkey Tuesday: Kate’s Project

Some of you may remember last summer when I took a class called Annie’s Project.  It is a class offered through our 4-H extension office, designed to help women learn how to manage the financial aspects of farming.  It was all about crop marketing and balance sheets and FSA loans and so on.  I called it my “Farm Wife” class, and I learned a LOT.

But apparently, there are a few things I still need to learn.  After reading yesterday’s post about the swingset, Kate offered to teach me how to pull a trailer.  But then, I had to confess that I couldn’t drive the 3/4 ton farm truck anyway, because it’s a manual transmission. 
(My dad tried to teach me how to drive a stick once, only he didn’t explain that there were 3 pedals instead of 2, so I was pressing the brake instead of the clutch.  Failure.)
So then, Kate suggested we start a series of lessons.  Here are some of the topics I’d like her to cover:
1.  Manual transmission
2.  Pulling something – trailer, manure spreader, whatever needs pulled.  (My main goal here is that I can take the trailer to the big Highway 141 garage sales.  Just kidding.  Not really.)
3.  Drive a tractor…I’ve been taught this several times but it just never “sticks.”  I think I should read about how it all works, and then maybe I’d remember more.  Seems like I learn things more easily if I know the WHY behind it.
4.  Memorize the names and locations of father-in-law’s fields.  Not very often, but occasionally, I’m asked to pick up or drop someone or something off in the field.  It’d be nice if I knew where I was going. 
5. Freezing grocery staples – I’ll never forget the time Bart said, “Don’t you have some in the freezer?  My mom always had ____ in the freezer.”  I think, in that case, the food in question was butter.  So a lesson on “What can be frozen and how” would be great.
6.  Removing stains – Kate said this is important.  Does this mean I’d have to wash Bart’s clothes?  Isn’t he supposed to do that?
7.  Make a good cup of black coffee.  Our hired man doesn’t like the flavored, weak stuff I make.  sigh.  I like my coffee to taste like candy!
8.  Cook.  ‘Nuff said.

Maybe I should just take Home Ec at the high school again, instead.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I can help you with the manual transmission part of the lessons! That's one of my FA-VOR-ITE things to do!!! You'd get it in a snap. My advice to you is have your hubby show you the logistics, then practice on your own. ;-)

  2. pretty sure you just need to move in with me!

  3. Well, I didn't know I would get a whole post dedicated to our lessons, but I'm honored. :-) Everything on this list is very doable, it's just a matter of learning it. The only thing I don't know about are the names of your inlaws' the field. I'm afraid you're on your own on that one. This will be fun!

  4. yea, your back and your not talking about babies. :) I have never been able to drive a stick. I lack all coordination as to what pedal to use, what drive to put it in and still stir at the same time.
    Not only should you freeze, you should can. but I would still make him do his own laundry. :)

  5. Maybe you should take Drivers Ed that is where I learned to drive a stick. If you pull something it is easy just remember you are longer and pay attention to what you are doing. Some days when the kids need a ride go out and teach yourself off road Good luck Katie

  6. I would have to agree with number 4. After 11 years of being with my hubby and being around the farm, I think I finally know where most of the fields are. Now I only need to learn all the names and locations of pastures!

  7. Sign me up!
    I did have to use a tractor and manure spreader at the stable I worked at in college on a daily basis, but it was an automatic (stable owned by women, worked by women, they had to have a female-friendly tractor!) and I couldn't back the thing up to save my life w/o taking out a door or something.
    Hubs has shown me how to drive the tractor before. Ya pop a wheelie once and suddenly you're a bad driver! I do need to learn how to roll-start a tractor too b/c the old(er) one is finicky. My learning style has changed in that I do want to know WHY the button does what it does - not just when to push it.
    I know where/names of FIL's fields, but then we only have about 200 acres. My fav is the South 80, it's the most vague piece and pretty much anything not fenced in is the South 80.
    Anywho - yes, I need to learn EVERYTHING on your list!

  8. Ooh, Kate's Projects sounds AWESOME! I especially love 1, 2, and 5. I can drive a manual transmission, but I can't pull a trailer to save my life. :)

    I know you have a ton on your plate right now, but, if it fits with your schedule, would you be willing to share what you can with us for Housewife MacGyver? Our car month isn't until September... let me know :)

  9. #4 is a killer, but, like Anna, after hearing it for several years, it's all starting to click.

    Pulling things is not hard, but remember that some things, like, uhm say, a bean head stick out farther on one end and might...uhm.... clip the side of...oh... uhm.. maybe an old garage? Sigh........

    I still need refresher courses on the tractor too!

  10. I've never learned to drive a stick. A friend tried when we were in high school, but she had a truck and I was so afraid of flipping it (there was a big "IF YOU DRIVE WRONG YOU CAN FLIP THIS VEHICLE" sticker on her visor) that I froze and haven't tried since. I probably should learn just in case, but I'm in no rush.

  11. That is quite a list.
    Surely butter can't be frozen!
    And let me know how you get on with the stain removal. My kids somehow manage to get unremovable stuff on their clothes regularly.

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