Hey everybody! Today’s post is a guest post by my new friend Katlyn. For those of you who are new around here, you can check out all kinds of fun guests posts (AKA #NonDairyCarrie posts) by clicking HERE.
Katlyn hails from a small farming town where if you blink you are already through it. She decided to go off to college and thought since she was around agriculture her whole life, that she would be different and blaze her own trail in another industry: music therapy. Well, it didn’t take her long to realize the farming way of life is was in her blood, and try as she may, she will forever and always be a country girl. It didn’t take her long to come to her senses and switch her major. She is now working at HLK, an advertising agency, in St. Louis, Missouri putting to good use her hard-earned agricultural public relations degree. She doing what she loves, and look forwards to each new day.
Howdy folks! Some of you may know me as Katlyn or more commonly known as the Midwest Farm Girl, and you may be wondering what in the world am I doing on Carrie’s blog. Well, I met Carrie last month at a work event and I was so excited to finally meet the mastermind behind the ‘Shocking Undercover Dairy Video.’ Which, is seriously awesome. We share the same passion for agriculture, which stems from life on the farm. With farm life, comes a lot of work. And this is where the story begins.
Projects around the farm are never-ending whether it’s a dairy, beef, pork, or poultry farm. There is always something to be completed. Today, I’d like to share a story of one such project that took an entire summer to complete. Hopefully, if you find yourself in a similar situation, this post will inspire you to not give up.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of one of those never ending jobs? The ones that you have to play mind games, lying to yourself that you love what you’re doing, even though it is leaving physical scars on your body? That’s right, I said scars. Well, grab a cup of coffee ladies and gentlemen, and get comfortable as I begin my actual account of an overworked, underpaid fence painter.
This past summer, I was on the prowl for my dream job, which was harder to land than I originally thought. My father took advantage of all my down time during this process when he approached me to paint the fence in the barnyard. My first reaction was “Are you serious? Well, I guess I’ll be able to get a pretty good tan if I paint in my bikini!”
He claimed it would be a family project, which really meant it was a Katlyn and Kalie (my ‘lil sis) project. So, with the sun beating down, decked out in our painting gear (hot pink bikini and flip flops), armed with our paint brushes, and only 7200 running feet of pipe, we should be done in a week tops, right? NO! Try more like two months. Were we in for a surprise!
It all started with priming. Our fence didn’t look all that bad, but as we are in the process of fixing up the farm, it just had to be painted black. You see, black fence looks a whole lot better against the barns than rusty fence. It took us a good week to complete the priming stage, which went fairly quickly. It wasn’t all that hot at that point and the cattle and horse (who were still in the pasture as we were working) didn’t really bother us. So far so good, the sister and I were able to bond, get our tan on, and sweat (we thought we were getting skinny as we tried imagining we were on the beach).
Then came the extreme heat and the paint. You see, the men in my family get it in their heads that when a job needs to be done, you complete it as soon as possible no matter the elements: rain, sleet, snow, and even dehydrating, dry, extreme, almost keeling over from heat exhaustion, heat. (I must say before I continue that my sister and I pushed ourselves pretty hard, that the guys weren’t necessarily responsible for what happened next). Cowgirl up! Our tans quickly turned into burns, which immediately peeled off and then burned again. We thought we were getting a deep tissue tan. Didn’t take us long to come to the conclusion this was not healthy as our skin was bubbling up and blistering. As any hard working cowgirl would do, we put a shirt on and kept on going.
Thinking the worst was behind us, we just laughed it off. Well, then it got so hot our paint turned to tar and became extremely difficult to spread evenly along the fence. The cattle didn’t cooperate and would rub up against our freshly painted fence and/or take a giant poop right on the fence!! The horse decided she wanted to sample the paint and we were constantly shooing her away from our bucket. And the bugs, oh the bugs. They were terrible! We got so many bug bites. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure we were high on paint fumes by the end of the day! The best part, though, (I hope you can sense my sarcasm) was smelling like gasoline for weeks on end as that was the only thing to get the paint off our bodies with.
After about a month of all this nonsense, the men had seen our struggles and the scars and came to our rescue. By mid-afternoon they could barely stand the heat, but we wouldn’t let them quit (after all if we can do it, they can do it). Dad kept saying, “This is one of those projects you hate so much you will remember forever. Just like putting these posts in.” I thought the heat and the fumes were getting to him as he kept repeating that, but he was right. Remember it forever I will! Now I can look back and laugh at our misfortunes.
We celebrated the completion of this task spending the rest of the afternoon in our swimming pool, well what we considered a pool anyway: the cattle trough. Hey, with limited resources what is a girl to do? Oh, and when it was all said and done and the blisters healed, is when I landed my dream job. I like to think I got the offer because of my golden glow, but I don’t think that was the reason at all. In conclusion, I must say, the fence looks pretty darn fabulous☺
For more crazy stories, hop on over to my blog at midwestfarmgirl.com. I’d love to hear what kind of projects you have going at your farms!