Who Said That?

“Is she broke to plow?” I asked.
I can honestly tell you that those words have never exited my mouth before.
I can honestly say that those words have never before even formed inside my head.
I surprised myself. It sounded as if I knew what I was talking about when I said it the other day.

I don’t know where those words came from. I don’t even know how I knew to use those particular words to ask the question they posed.
I’ve been reading farm books and farm manuals and magazines and I guess something stuck to my brain cells. (Which, at this point, is a miracle in and of itself. I can’t remember a thing anymore. I do believe I’m headed to the health food store for some Ginko to see if that will help.)
Anyway, when I said those words, I surprised even myself. It sounded like I knew a thing or two about a mule. And with my southern accent, it just sounded, I don’t know, natural. But I’m still wondering if the term should be “broken to plow.” “Broke” to plow sounds like bad English. But I do kinda like saying it. “Broke to plow. Broke to plow. Broke to plow.”
Okay, now that I’ve said it three times real fast like that, the “broke” part doesn’t sound very kind and loving and friendly, does it? When you break something, you mess it up, you ruin it, you destroy it. I wouldn’t want to do that to another living being. Humpf. Surely that isn’t where the term came from?
But I’m off the point again. Here is the REAL point, the very point I meant to make three paragraphs ago.
When I used that foreign-to-me phrase, I was asking about a mule who was/is living on the pasture at our NEW FARM!!!
Yes, My Sweeties, it happened! It is ours! Pop the cork! The dream came true! My heart is singing! The farm is ours! I hung our sign that says, “And they lived happily ever after” right up on a nail protruding from the wall above the 1970’s paneling, which meets the burnt orange shag carpet in the den.

I love this place. For real. LOVE. When I was growing up in the ’70’s, the den in my parents’ home had dark paneling just like that and orange shag carpet too. My parents’ orange carpet was a brighter color, less burnt. I hung the “And they lived happily every after” sign to the right of the opening behind Blue, the Dog. Who kinda matches the carpet himself. Not that I won’t be changing that. ‘Cause one day I will.
For me, this place feels just like HOME. It’s nothing but warm fuzzies and happiness.
Like this. The wallpaper in the dining room looks just like what was in my parents’ house too. It’s velvety to the touch. I used to like to pet the wallpaper in my childhood home. How many times did I hear, “Would you please get your hands off the wallpaper?” I guess I’ll have my own soft and fuzzy wallpaper that I can pet as often as I want. Now that’s living, isn’t it? That’s finally making it.

But back to that broke-or-not mule.
That danged ole mule touched me. The few days we were there, she seemed dejected and downtrodden. She seemed depressed. She also seemed sweet, though she wouldn’t let me touch her. And check this out: she seemed to need me. Crazy, I know. A mule!

And the only thing I know to do with a mule was to plow like my grandfather plowed his fields with “Old Dan,” his mule. (I used to think “Dan” was his horse, but I know now that Dan was a mule.)
And that is how the vision formed in my head: I’m out, in a wide-brimmed straw hat and maybe even overalls, plowing the “bottom” with that mule.
“Bottom.”  That’s another term I’ve never used before in quite this way.
I had no idea until a few short weeks ago that “bottom” refers to a certain kind of land. “Bottom” is useable, fertile beside a river or creek. Some people will say “bottomland” or “bottoms” or just plain “bottom.”
 “Farmer Teal (thanks for the official title, MaryJane!) is over at the bottom with Blondie-the-Mule, who, since you asked, is indeed broke to plow.”
Wow, I’ve got a huge learning curve ahead of me. I already told my new neighbors that I was sure we’d be providing plenty of comedy relief for the community as we learned to farm.
I mentioned to my Dad that I might be wanting a mule. His quiet lack of response let me know what he was thinking.
He told me some stories about my Granddaddy’s mule. He explained to me that “gee” and “haw” are the directional voice commands for mules. “Cool,” was my response, “Yep, a MULE sounds COOL.” It rhymes, you know.
I showed him that picture of the mule and my father wasn’t overly impressed with what he saw.
He couldn’t see into her very soul, though, the way I could. I realized then that I’d be picking up animals left and right, or GEE and HAW. I bet within the year our farm will be populated with creatures needing some TLC, needing a place to recover or hang out for awhile. That’s the way both my husband and I are. Softies.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still drooling over Belted Galloways and Gypsy Vanner horses. But I want to have some room for rescues too. Here’s a couple of cuties we rescued a while back. Guess which one is Oreo.

Yes, Oreo is on the left. Blue is on the right.

And after all, we’ve got lots of wonderful old ramshackle outbuildings now.

With a little TLC of their own, they could become almost anything we could dream about….

So here I am, in my new Muck Boots that the agent (who, by the way was awesome) gave me (which, by the way are to die for!). I’m dreaming about everything we’ll do and accomplish while I’m leaning against some big tree that hadn’t yet leafed out so I’m not sure what it is. A mystery tree for now.

 “Don’t sit under the mystery tree with anyone else but me,” my family moaned as I sang it.

I can’t wait to share more of this wild adventure with you. My head is reeling with all the things I need to learn and do just to get ready to move to the farm, much less to actually FARM the FARM. I promise to savor every single second.
Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of every second of your life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. kay says:

    Way cool……congratulations!

  2. Rebekah, I am sooooo very excited for you and your family and ya’lls new farm. Yea! I know you can’t wait to get going on doing some small gardening first then grow on to bigger things. God has blessed you well with this place and I know your family will make some great memories there. Once again, YEA! Thank You Lord for blessing Rebekah with her heart’s desire. AMEN

  3. Emma says:

    Oh Girl I am so very happy for you!!! I cried through the whole story! I understand all the things you are saying because that was exactly how I started on my farm. I know your Mule will warm up to you if you visit and brush and hug and kiss it everyday. My donkey Eeyore was the same way when he came here. We paid $25 for him just so he could have a happy home. He is now my best friend of all my bigger babies. Then there is Bess and Peppa, Bess is my only chick that hatched last year from the incubator and she is very vocal and follows me everywhere and Peppa is my newly found love as I am bottle feeding her and she is the littlest Nigerian Goat just born a week and a half ago. I love the farm and I know you will too. I am so vey happy for you and your family! May God Bless you as much as he has blessed me.

  4. JoEllen says:

    Oh such a beautiful dream come true! Blessings to you and your family as you begin this wonderful new adventure. My husband says I want a small patch of land so I can roam — that is so true. A postage size yard is fine and I am thankful for it, but some property to roam and discover latent skills and new skills is a dream that may or may not come true. But dreams are free — so I will dream as much as I want in my free time. I think as I age the desire to farm is stronger than ever. I’m so excited for you and all you’re going to learn and relay to us!

  5. Marti says:

    Congrats, Farmer Rebekah. You are in for some kinda ride! Some kinda fun, too. Best wishes.

  6. Nicole White says:

    I’m so happy for you! Blessing on you, your family and your new to you farm.

  7. Raynita says:

    Oh! Girl, I am so excited and happy for you!!!! Loved every word you typed…I actually could hear your voice as I read it speaking. (hum, wonder how close I am)..lol What a wonderful adventure that you are sharing with this Okie and other farmgirls everywhere. I thank you for that. My fingertips could just feel your wallpaper..well, that’s just not something a person says every day, now is it??? Ha! Love your mule! Those Belted Galloways have always tickled my fancy also…dreaming… Raynita

  8. C Harvey says:

    Yay Rebekah! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures! So glad for you!

  9. Adrienne says:

    Congratulations! That’s wonderful news and I hope your new adventure does become a "happily ever after" for many years to come.

  10. Sherry says:

    OH…I am SO jealous…You have no idea…what a great great blessing. I am so thrilled for you and your family… As I read your post, I was just so…Oh I want to do this…so excited that you are living your dream. Blessings to you!

  11. Joan says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! new farm family — the farm is so lucky to have you all and thanks for you’re going to savor every single second – again congrats.

  12. Cindy says:

    Congratulations, a whole new life waiting for you to enter.

  13. erica says:

    oh my gracious!!! this is so amazing! I’m so jealous/excited for you! best of luck & i can’t wait to hear all about your adventure 🙂

  14. Dianne says:

    Is it really true?!!!!! You and your family bought a farm with barns and outbuildings and house?????? A dream come true. Have I missed your blog about this blessed event?? I am sooooooo Happy for you!!!!!! Now, you are on your way girl. Lots of adventures in your new farm. Best Regards

  15. MaryFrantic says:

    I am a nervous wreck reading your post! So many things to do and so much to absorb! Better take that singing down to the mule. I think she needs some "down-home company". Won’t you be surprised if she brahs?

  16. MaryFrantic' says:

    OOOpppsss, I meant until the donkey brays (sorry about the spelling).

  17. Denise says:

    SO happy for you to finally have your farm! Love the pictures so far too!

  18. Sharon says:

    Congratulations! I’m so pleased your dream is coming true. Sending you blessings and happy thoughts on all the fun to come with your new home.

  19. Brenda says:

    Yeah!!! Farmer Becca!!!! So happy for you. A mule was one of the things I listed off to hubs when we move here. I said one would be perfect to haul the grands around on. I have a friend that used to have one for years but she had to board hers and one day she decided that the mule was more the persons that she was boarding with than hers and she sent her to an old mule farm where she would have old mule buddies. But she said this mule was very tame. I never met the mule myself. I wanted to tell you I am now farmgirl number 4048!

  20. Carol in NC says:

    Yay! Congratulations! You are about to have the time of your life, so buckle up and get your checkbook out. You’ll need it!

  21. Bonnie says:

    Sooooo happy for you as you begin this amazing journey! Congratulations!! 🙂

  22. Fran DeWitte says:

    Congratulations!! I moved to a farm when I was nine & loved
    it all the way through high school. Lots of wonderful memories. Now my husband and I have 5 acres and a log home
    we’ve retired to. There’s a work shop, garage, garden and a rescue cat. Next month the greenhouse and chicken coop go up. We’re busy deciding on what kind of brown egg layers we’ll buy. Oh, such fun…happy farming!!!

  23. Shery says:

    Dear Farmer Teal, My heartiest congratulations on Phase I of your farm dream come true.

    Also, ‘broke’ is not a bad word. It is an old-timey word, a down-home country word and a compliment to any horse (or mule) the word refers to. ‘Well broke’ is an ELITE term. Very few horses actually deserve the title because very few actually are WELL broke. They may be rideable and so on, but well broke is for those animals who have EARNED a Masters or PHD in their given field (pun intended when referring to the art of plowing :o)

    Words and phrases can have very different meanings. Example: ‘She bought the farm’ could mean dead. OR, in your case, it means she really did BUY THE FARM. So, there ya go. Don’t be a’feared to use ‘broke’. You’re gonna get ‘broke to alllllllllll kinds of things in those new boots of yours. Maybe even broke to plow ;o)

    I’m so very happy for you. Looking forward to many progress reports. I bet your husband is thrilled too!

  24. Diane Van Horn says:

    Farmer Teal,
    I am so happy for you and your family! How exciting and maybe a tad bit overwhelming. I look forward to your future posts about your farm life. Bless you for giving those dogs a home and I am sure Blondie will blossom having you as her caretaker.

  25. April says:

    How exciting! I cracked up at this post because I can relate. Now that I’m on our own farm too, all these terms and words come flooding into my mind to use and I don’t know if it’s even the right term or know the true meaning of some of them. It’s weird, but it’s like your brain just goes there!! It helps that I heard a lot of this from my dad and other farmers growing up, but now I’ve been reading so many farming books it must be absorbing and reinforcing! Lol! I feel like I need to walk around wih a farm dictionary so I make sure I’m using the words correctly! Have fun spewing more farm talk to whoever’s listening!
    Farmgirl Hugs!!!

  26. Cindy says:

    How exciting for you. I’m anxious to hear and read every single post about your new adventure. Where’s that THIRD dog?

    Cindy Bee

  27. Aunt Ruthie says:

    Yipppppeeeeee! or should I say Yeeeee Haaawww! What a wonderful dream come true!! How fun is that!! Can’t wait to see how "Farmer Teal" gussies up the old farmstead! God bless you darlin’! (I guess He already has!)
    Aunt Ruthie (aka RuthAnn)
    Sugar Pie Farmhouse

  28. Judy says:

    Congradulations, while I’m not a farmer I do live in rural Maine and love the country. My husband and I move here 30 + years ago, from the city and never looked back. One question though, will you still be the city Farmgirl?

  29. Connie says:

    What great news! Congrats! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures!

  30. Pam deMarrais says:

    Wow, I am so happy for you! Just like in the song from The Wizard of Oz [since we are in the singing mode], dreams really do come true! God bless you in your new adventure!

  31. Karen says:

    Love the dandelions in the field!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *