Thursday, August 7, 2014


It’s called hobby farming, and it’s a lot like hobby boating or hobby mountain climbing—money goes in but not much money comes out. We are hobby farmers. My husband is Lord of the hobby farm. I am a hobby farmer’s wife. 

He has a “real” job. I’m not sure what he does, but it involves gluing a lot of receipts to pieces of paper. He also travels. On the weekends, he rides his horse and practices finding dead people in the woods. It’s a volunteer posse thing.

If you’ve been a long time reader than you know that I have a tarnished reputation for being something of an unreliable farmhand. While I do a lot of farm chores, I often have bad luck—mostly while mowing.

On our first John Deere lawn tractor, I managed to pull a faucet right off the barn, jam the mower blade through a pine tree root, wrap a doormat around the deck, hit a dead bird carcass, catch the pulley’s on fire, hit a stump and bruise my liver, and run over the Comcast cable. (Please be advised this is not a complete list.)

My luck got so bad that we had to purchase a brand new John Deere lawn tractor (bigger, better, more.) It’s way cool. Or it was until I ran it into a stump with sticks that jammed into the grill of the lawnmower. Because of my bad luck, I had no idea that I was jammed. When I innocently backed up, still jammed, I ripped the lawnmower hood clean off. Bad luck.

My husband, the hobby farmer, does not believe that I have bad luck. He thinks that I am a menace to his wallet—also cursed—by gypsies.

I may be cursed, but he has a death wish.

My husband has never done a single farm chore without smashing, bashing, crushing, slicing, mangling, dislocating, or squashing one or more of his fingers. He often requires stitches. While loading field fence at Tractor Supply he jabbed wire into the soft bits between his fingers. It required six sutures.

He showed me the gaping hole and said, “What do you think? Will a butterfly bandage do it?”

“What’s the rule?” I asked patiently.

“If you can see fat, tendons, ligaments or internal organs it needs stitches.”

“Excellent.” I patted him on the head. “Hey, do you mind if I don’t go with you to the emergency room today. I’m really backed up on the mowing?”

When he got back from the emergency room he started in on the hedges with our brand new electric hedge trimmer and a hundred foot extension cord. He trimmed the hedges beautifully—also the extension cord. He trimmed that right down the middle. It’s the second one he’s chopped in half.

I observed, “Are you trying to electrocute yourself? Or are you trying to pioneer a poor man’s taser?”

“Since you’re going to Walmart, can you pick up another extension cord? Why are you going to Walmart anyway?”

“Duct tape, to tape the hood back on the lawnmower.”

“Right,” he said, pausing. “Get two, three rolls.”


Because in the end, there isn’t much that can’t be fixed with duct tape, including bad luck and double negatives.

Linda (Mow Hard, Mow Fast) Zern 

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