May We Be Them

“Here’s to strong women.  May we know them.  May we be them.  May we raise them.” ~Anonymous

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” ~Virginia Woolf

Fall!  A time for root vegetables, sweaters, back-to-school and chopping wood.  For me, it’s also a time for action!  I find that as I struggle with balancing the end of summer fervor with the panic of preparing for the impending winter that my thoughts go into overdrive.  My mind is keen to overthink and analyze, and lately I’ve been noticing debates about feminism all over the place.  These thoughts have been swimming around in my head for a few weeks now, but they don’t seem to be getting any more organized.  So, try to stick with me and share your thoughts, too!

Late season abundance!

Late season abundance!

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  1. Barbara Purvine says:

    Well-written – I may have to rethink MY definition of the words ‘feminism’ and ‘feminist’. Thank you!

  2. spence says:

    loved hearing your voice and that the process of becoming who you want continues.. have witnessed the farm life burn out over and has a way of shifting priorities, be true to your dreams and be prepared for the doubts as your children grow and question what is really in their best interests. A hearty thumbs up to you from my once-upon- a-time farm.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      “Life has a way of shifting priorities”–I love that, and it is so true. I’ve thought about trying to tally up the longterm plans I’ve made into an “accomplished” and “abandoned” pile, but it might be a bit too revealing about what really happens to those five year plans. I enjoy the waves and the challenge of making things work. Farming is hard on everything, we’ll see how long it lasts! Thanks!

  3. Absolutely loved this post, post-feminist, post-patriarchy in-deed. When I first started my ag business, I applied for a loan. The banker went over my paperwork, called me in and said, “If you can find a man to co-sign the loan, we’ll give it to you.” I muttered something about sexism and told them never mind, I’d figure something else out. Figure something else out I did! Here’s what I’ve observed about women in ag. As it turns out, we’re better risk takers (we’ve definitely invented some awesome out-of-the-box HEALTHY businesses that have “woman-invented” stamped all over them) because, BECAUSE we’re disenfranchised. What did I have to lose? Not much. I wasn’t set to inherit land, money, or machinery, so rocking the boat and trying something different made the decision to jump less difficult.

    A local TV station wanted to film me on my porch reading a book to two young children. To our surprise and delight there was an impromptu exchange between them that said how far we’ve come in a very short time. The boy said, “I want to be a farmer when I grow up.” The little girl got a puzzled look on her face and said, “You have to be a girl to be a farmer.”

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Ha, this is great! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. Where would we be without you, MaryJane? You rock!

  4. Nancy Wallace says:

    Right on, farmgirl sister! I applaud you for your straightforward, facts-based approach to this (unfortunately) controversial issue. I’m afraid you may get some negative feedback to your post, however. I’m a 65-year-old farmgirl who is dismayed that we’re still having to fight this battle.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      I know, I’m ready for it! It is a sad state of affairs, especially with how easy it is to get correct information these days…but it’s just as easy to get misinformation, as well. Best to you and yours!

  5. Joan says:

    You rock-on super family!!!! no matter what #’s might be added. God bless.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks! Those silly hashtags! When I first read that, I was like, “Yeah, I’m a few pounds overweight, but what does that have to do with it?” Haha, early morning….

  6. Cindy says:

    Great harvest and darling baby!

  7. Diann says:

    You know I have been in law enforcement for 35 years….two more years and I can work one job, the ranch, instead of two. When I went into this profession, I truly was a piriah. Not only because I was small in statue but I was a female. It didn’t matter that I was a third degree black belt and had been competing nationally for years or that I had handled guns since I was seven. It didn’t matter that I communicated really well, talking my way out of difficult situations rather than using brute strenghth…I was a “girl”. I went into this profession for equal pay. And I don’t regret any of it.Yesssss, there were moments when I really wanted to smack some folks but I didn’t, instead I just did my job. And in all these years, it has been my goal to tell young women coming into this profession to just keep on keeping on. Because yes, there is still that stigma of women in law enforcement. But it is a little better and I believe in the women of law enforcement. Feminism to me is strength and steadfastness and the power to keep moving forward one step at a time. So! There’s my rather lengthy two cents! lol

  8. Marji says:

    For 61 years I have been hashing and rehashing this conversation you have so succinctly and eloquently related in this post. My only conclusion is that as human beings we have a long way to go but we certainly have the capacity to get there. I loved this post. Being a northern neighbor in the Interior I am impressed you found time to get ready for winter, take care of an adorable baby and think this convoluted subject through and write about. Just goes to show how feminism is alive and working. Looking forward to the next post. Stay warm winter is upon us. –Marji

  9. Deb Bosworth says:

    I was born in 1961 and grew up in the heat of the feminist movement. As a teen in the 70’s during ( the unisex decade). I think the ever popular jingle, I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, ever let you forget your a man played summed up the social consciousness of the times. I knew women personally who did burn their bras and protest for equal opportunity and equal pay! I was taught, don’t marry young, choose a viable profession so you can be financially responsible for yourself. The idea of marrying and being domestic was seen as a weakness during those times to the point if a woman chose family over a profession first she was looked down upon by career minded women. There was a war between women who worked and women who chose homemaking as a career. I watched my own mother struggle with these issues as she raised three children. She tried to do it all and like so many women of that time realized that at times it was impossible. Equality for all humans is a worthwhile fight. If that’s feminism then count me in. But don’t judge me if I choose to put my marriage and family above a career. Strength and confidence can be gained in both roles. In my 52 years, I’ve been on both sides of that argument. The first chapter of my life was devoted to a career and business that I loved. The second half to my husband, our children, and our home. Both are rewarding paths. Thank God we live in a country where we ( men and women) truly are FREE to make these choices. And thank God for the feminists who stood up for equality in the first place. Great post, Alex! You go girl! Love, Deb ( beach farmgirl )

    PS. Your sweet Ava will know your confidence and strength too and you will teach her to find hers, by following what’s in your heart naturally. Listen more and think less! Enjoy that sweet little family of yours!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Right on, Deb! I think that modern feminism is about–just like you said–being able to make the decision about what we, as women, do with our time and lives. If that is being a stay at home mother or being dedicated to a career or climbing all of the tallest mountains in the world, we should be able to do any of them without any cultural or societal backlash. Yay, strong women!

      • Deb Bosworth says:

        Right on! I Boy, did we use that phrase ” back in the day” … 🙂 Yay, strong women!
        And, yay MaryJane for showing the world that women are not only good farmers, they can raise the bacon, and bring it home too! And they’ll turn you on your head with a little farmgirl romance to boot!

  10. Jodie says:

    I love every bit of this post!!! From the words written, to seeing Miss Ava’s beautiful face, to seeing pictures with “what feminism looks like”, to the yaks thrown in for good measure. Well done! I’m passing this on and on and on….

  11. Kristy says:

    I am retired now, but my field was construction. Even with practice I couldn’t pound a nail as fast as a male carpenter, but I was just as good with power tools. I was a member of NAWIC, the National Association of Women in Construction. My friends and I did experience some negativity, but it was largely from people from outside the industry. I think people who are really knowledgeable about their field, realize that their way isn’t the only way. People who are not familiar fall back on the stereotypes.
    My great grandmother was widowed with two sons and a couple of Apple orchards. That was all she had. A hired man would have cost more than hiring a girl to keep house, so she hired a girl, tied up her skirts, and climbed her own trees.

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How to Live in a Yurt

It has been one year since Evan and I (with A LOT of help from our friends) erected our yurt.  Although it seems like just yesterday I was waking up in a very cold tent with a giant hole in the ceiling to make a sad breakfast on a camp stove from food that had been stored in a cooler.  We’ve, thankfully, come a long way since then.

So, how are we dealing with the yurt life?  How have we done it?  Of course there are good days and bad, just like there would be in any home, but I’ve come up with a fairly foolproof way to live in a yurt if you really want to… Continue reading

  1. Hello Alex! The closest I’ve come to living in a Yurt, was living in a travel trailer (a small one) for 2 years while we built our home. I really enjoyed it for the first year and then I started getting kind of frustrated! 🙂 BUT, what I learned is that we don’t need all that clutter and “stuff” that we tend to just fill our spaces with. In our new home (it’s small in new home standards, just 1300 square feet) and I’ve been so reluctant to fill it up just to fill it up. After living in the travel trailer I realize we don’t need half that stuff we accumulate! Love your yurt and I think it is going to create the BEST memories for your little family. – Dori – (AKA: the new Ranch Farmgirl!)

  2. Karen Pennebaker says:

    We lived in a camper with our 2 granddaughters for a year while we built our house. 4 years ago, our house burned down and we are now living in a trailer that isn’t much bigger than that camper with our youngest grandson. I had hoped we would get a house built before winter but the way the weather is this summer, winter may already be here!

  3. Deb Bosworth says:

    Howdy Alex,
    You have accomplished a lot with your dear hubby and generous friends. Without your sense of adventure and positive attitudes we would be reading a much different post from you today! While we’ve never lived in a yurt, I liken our 391 square foot -off-grid cottage to similar constraints and freedoms! I love BE SHAMELESS… What else can you do when you have three or four people staying in such a small space. There were many summers when our children were small that we gave over the sleeping porch in our cottage to them guinea pigs and all! What a sight…stuffed animals, blankets, lego’s, barbies, art supplies, glow sticks, candy, wet bathing suits and towels, flip flops and, and, and…While we do have solar power, and a flush toilet. It wasn’t always that way. We used to have gas lights, and had to fill a bucket with water to pour down the toilet in the bathroom… Now we have a solar powered pump that pumps gray water from a tank into our toilet so we can flush like the rich folk! Your blog is such an inspiration… Love your posts! Farmgirl hugs, Deg ( the Beach Farmgirl Blogger)

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      How cool, Deb! I’d love to take a tour of your systems (and maybe some other Farmgirls would too :)) Thanks for the love!

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