- Business and Employment
The Farmer Needs A Wife...AND The Law of Attraction
...And What He Needs to Attract is
...A Partner, A Dog's-body, A 24/7 Worker, etc., etc.
But wait... there's SO much more!
Some years ago an exceptionally experienced Farmer's wife/Author wrote a Job Specification for exactly what is required of such a Superwoman.
And it should be noted... only the most strong-hearted (and muscled) need apply.
This was published in a popular magazine of those days - FARM - under the heading of 'that's (country) life'.
This lady is Christina Hindhaugh from Victoria, Australia, and she has generously given me permission to reprint her article. And I, in turn, have been inspired by these words to add the photo images, and a few more bits and pieces.
FARMER'S WIFE (Grade 1)
This is a senior management position for which the applicant must possess outstanding organisation and communication skills together with high levels of initiative, self motivation and the ability to work as part of a team. She must be able to plan and implement a wide variety of processes and programs, develop resources and strategies, and provide efficient and reliable back-up services as well as on-going operational and administrative support - all with a minimum of supervision. Expertise in the area of industrial relations is also necessary as is the knowledge of how to handle under-age staff.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (a):
The successful applicant must be of sunny and gentle disposition, attractive in appearance, and capable of lifting a bag of wheat in one hand and two unshorn goat wethers in the other. She must also be able to spend at least 14 hours a day on her feet and remain patient and smiling even when the blisters have burst.
...Looks a Bit Like This -Click thumbnail to view full-size
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES(b):
The applicant must be an enthusiastic early riser, summer and winter, and possess an exceptional ability to organise her time. She will be expected to draft, drench and drove all day, then bath the kids, check the homework, feed the chooks, chop the wood, take in the washing, cook the meal - and appear five minutes later for a little drink before dinner, looking like the front cover of Vogue.
The End of the Day - ...is Looking Better by the Minute!Click thumbnail to view full-size
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (c):
Temperament is particularly important in this position and the applicant must possess the capacity to remain calm and serene through flood, fire and foot-rot. She must be prepared at all times to have her most cherished and longed-for plans cancelled at the last moment. In particular, she needs the organisational ability to arrange the family calendar. In this, sowing and harvest, hay-making and shearing are the main events of the year. All other minor happenings like births, weddings, graduations and emergency illnesses, etc., just be squeezed in between.
Seems like a lot of 'F's' - ...floating around here!Click thumbnail to view full-size
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (d):
....(hang on, nearly there!)
As well as proficiency in all areas of household management, some extra culinary skills are required for this position. These include an encyclopedic knowledge of how to make a six-tooth edible, and the ability to produce a sumptuous repast out of absolutely nothing on those occasions when there are suddenly 10 extra for lunch and the cupboard is bare.
Imagination, Creativity, Invention - ...the children of Necessity!Click thumbnail to view full-size
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (e):
The successful applicant in this position will find it necessary, because of time pressures, to undertake many different tasks concurrently. Thus she must possess enough motor skills and eye-hand co-ordination to be able to change a nappy, mix a batch of scones and answer the telephone - all at the same time. As well, cleanliness and neatness of workmanship are an advantage, especially on those inevitable occasions when she will have to change a tyre while wearing tennis gear, push a car out of a bog in a dinner dress and pull a calf in a nightie.
A Woman's Work - ...well you know the rest! Or do you?Click thumbnail to view full-size
In order to take up this position, the successful applicant must have a thorough knowledge of carpentry, plumbing, mechanics, veterinary science, landscape gardening, interior decorating, hotel management, accountancy, law, medicine, child psychology, and diplomacy - just for starters. Other necessary skills she will acquire on-the-job.
Applicants also need a fully-endorsed licence to drive a car, truck, tractor, motor bike, ride-on mower, pram and billy cart.
Salary and Remuneration:
Weekend penalty rates: none
Sickness benefits: none
Holiday pay: none
Long service leave: none
Despite all, amongst its practitioners this position rates an astonishingly high level of job-satisfaction.
In fact, most of us wouldn't swap it for the world!
Now you've read the article - ...and here are Christina Hindhaugh's books -
In 1998 Christina and her husband Chris, farmers from Victoria's Western District, headed off to the USA, France and England for an intensive 10-week study of herb farming. This book is an amusing account of their travels, infused with musings on life and lots of interesting facts, and lore about herbs, including information about the medicinal use of herbs and how to use them in your cooking.
On a rural road a state trooper pulled this farmer over and said: "Sir, do you realize your wife fell out of the car several miles back?"
To which the farmer replied: "Thank God, I thought I had gone deaf!"
She thought she'd seen it ALL
And then along came the Farm Clearing Sale.
You've seen film of 'top' auctions for the ultra-wealthy at auction houses like Christie's and Sotheby's and others around the world. You have seen TV and magazine coverage of homes of the rich and famous exchanging hands for the price of a small country.
And then there's the Farm Clearing Sale - with small resemblance to the above-named auctions, but requiring total involvement by the Farmer's wife in yet another capacity.
If she belongs to the CWA (Country Women's Association) or Red Cross, or the local bowling club, or maybe Cancer Support Group - she will be baking up a cake/biscuit/ scone 'storm' in the last days prior to the sale. And on the day? Of course, not only delivering the goods, but also staying to assist the service of them to the ravenous appetites of the bidders.
If she's accompanying her man to a distant sale, she would have begun her commitment weeks ago, with the first advertisement for the Clearing Sale. Many agonizing hours will have been spent with him, after dinner - at the kitchen table - poring over the advert., weighing up need against available finances. Discussions and decisions and change of heart and new choices will have been made - umpteen times. Finally, the day has come - and hopefully something similar to decisive agreements will have been reached - and off they go.
And then... just when she'd thought she'd done it all, can you believe it? On her 'RDO' (Rostered Day Off, haha!) she now needs to help organise their own Clearing sale.
She will plan;decide (painfully) on the 'rejects'; clean and wash and polish innumerable 'items' (both farm and household); paint; lug and shove heavy items; and box up all manner of things. (Sometimes she fantasises about including herself quietly amongst the auction 'stuff'. In dreams!)
You can read about what confronts her at the actual Clearing Sale in my Ezine articles telling of different aspects of this 'event'. They will all begin with the same prefix, and here's the first - .'Going...Going...Gone -'
A Special Story about Sunflowers?
But why would I mention Sunflowers, you ask?
Sunflowers are very special. Almost as special as Farmer's Wives!
Here is a charming story of how Sunflowers brought peace back to a troubled World, and virtually saved it from extinction. You are going to love this, I promise you -
All of the 'positives' attributed to the Sunflower seem equally apt as a description of the Farmer's Wife. Just read some of these descriptions of the Sunflower, and make up your own mind.
'Nothing characterises summer as much as sunflowers... it is easy to be captivated by these large flowers on tall stalks whose heads followed the sun across the sky. They always seem to have smiling faces.' and
' their meanings include loyalty and longevity.'
'No flower can lift spirits quite like sunflowers can. Bright and cheery, bold yet comfortable, the sunflower is a warm and caring gift...a symbol of loyalty and constancy...evoking feelings of warmth and happiness.'
Sure sounds like a Farmer's Wife to me!
And the result of years of personal angst and joy is...
- Old McLarsen had some Farms | Memoirs of a Farming Journey
Welcome to my world where West met South - of Australia. This is my vision for the front cover of my upcoming book - only time will tell if this is the final choice. In the meantime, I'm in the fun stages of editing!