Tuesday, October 19, 2010


 Public Service Announcement from this farmer's wife:

For starters, let's just clear up that every sale is important and valuable and each and every customer is a valued member of our farm community as concerned eaters.
However, if you happen to be a concerned eater who shows up at quarter to five on a weekday, this message is for you.

Don't knock.  Just come in.  Your knock won't be heard and the doorbell can't be counted on either.  If you insist on waiting for someone to answer the door, don't touch the dog; he smells like rotten seafood and/or manure and the slightest bit of attention will draw him to you for life.  If you think that knocking will give me some time to prepare myself or gather things together, I can assure you that it won't make any difference.  The amount of 'preparation' that needs to happen is beyond the amount of time you would be willing to spend on my step, so come right in.
I'll answer a few questions for you right now so that you don't need to ask them,

-Yes, I am pregnant again and yes I will be busy, thanks for the reminder. 
-No, I didn't get my hair cut, it's just dirtier than usual.
-Yes, we have eggs.  Give me a few minutes to wash them for you.

If you are easily embarrassed, avert your eyes from the fact that I am probably looking like I just crawled out of bed (although I can assure you that I haven't) and maybe even still wearing pajamas (or more likely, am back into my pajamas already).  Or maybe I'm wearing my husband's clothes which need a lot of hitching in some areas and pulling in others.

Do your best to step around the pile of whatever is directly in front of the door, after you push it out of the way WITH the door in order to get in.  If the kids' rubber boots are nearly completely disguised with the excrement of some livestock, continue on as if you've seen and smelled nothing. 

If you had to drive by a small boy looking like he was stuck in the culvert in the driveway, he probably was, but at least I know where he is.  If it looks like there is a little girl in the garden having a dump in the pepper patch, she most definately is and I would ask that you shoot her a big thumb's up on the way out.

If you are faint of heart, don't look at the fridge where a bloody handprint is the evidence of where a child fell down the stairs, didn't notice the bloody lip and went for a drink of milk, which immediately spilled all over the floor because their hands were slippery from the blood.  Do your best to look inconspicuous as your try not the stick to the floor in the kitchen.  I certainly hope you've kept your shoes on after seeing the entryway.

If you want to see the view from the front window, come back when the kids have moved out and cleaning the handprints lasts for more than 3 minutes.  To keep your appetite, don't inhale the smell of potatoes boiling over, the meat burning in the oven or the toast smoking away in the toaster.  If you can hold it, wait until you go home to go to the washroom, unless you want to wash the cloth diaper that has been soaking in the toilet for the last couple of hours waiting for someone to wash it.

Feel free to overlook the piles of random junk taking up space in places where junk shouldn't even be.  Once it finds a place to sit in this house, it immediately becomes part of the background.  This can include but is not limited to items like freshly washed socks, dirty socks, two-year old farm magazines with one article that might be valuable down the road, that receipt for those pants that were missing a button but ended up being worn anyway, a button for some other pants, a mitten without a match, more receipts and tiny pieces of paper with unidentified phone numbers, half of an egg carton, the cover from a plastic dish, a broken toy, a children's book with a torn cover, a roll of tape with less than a half an inch left on it, a shoelace, a glass of water and four pens that don't work.

If you'd like to know more about the chickens and 'how they live' feel free to spend some time with them on the front lawn. 

If you're on your way home from your desk job where you leave all your work AT work, don't ask when Mark will be in. 

Don't feel the need to pretend that your house is the same, when I attempt to apologize for the mess.  And if you feel bad for stopping in a 'busy time of day', feel free to say so, so that at least I feel like you may actually think the house isn't like this all the time.  Which of course, it is. 

Thanks again for stopping by, we really do appreciate our customers, despite occasional appearances.  Now I'm off to salvage supper, wash a diaper and feed a howling cat.  Come by again next week!



  1. i don't know if iam suppose to laugh or cry but i sure like the part about the boy in the culvert and the girl pooping in the peppers!!!!!!!
    hang in there sal

  2. Hey Sal,
    Well, I laughed, and cringed. But that is because I can empathize with the situation, and see the humour (because it's you and not me) and the overwhelming'ness' of it all (trust me: Martha Stewart has a team of people cleaning her homes and working to make her look so good (and none under 20!). I could also laugh, because I actually I am not a customer, (who MAY stop in on my way home from work because that is the only time I HAVE to make stops, and by golly I want to eat organic!), and so did not take insult to the first bit...and read on to see the Erma Bombeck/ Lynn Johnston humor. EVEN though you did say you valued EACH and EVERY customer; I hope each and every one of your customers; especially your 5:00 ones, have thick skin.
    Hang in their Sal. These are rough days, but you'll make it through.

  3. Thank you so much!!! I was in stitches with tears running down my cheeks, and Mario came by to see what was up...so we read it again. And now we're both in stitches with tears running down our cheeks :)
    It is heartening to know that our normal is normal other places, too :)
    May I link it on facebook?


  4. Oh Sally...oh so funny...and oh so true...and oh you are soo normal...Thanks for the laugh, Lisa

  5. The thoughts of the customer; Oh, isn't this a fun family home. They are some busy. Isn't that wee boy a darling with his cute grin and his sister ,the busy little person,who will be the leader in her class in school. I love coming here.It is never boring. Next time ,maybe they will have a pet lamb in the kitchen too or they might be churning butter.........from one who knows...

  6. Oh Sally...You've hit the nail on the head! We can totally relate to this! You have a real gift for capturing life into print.

  7. Love your post Sally! I check your blog every week and this one made me laugh and remember almost exactly those circumstances when I was a kid and my poor mom dealing with it all. Thanks for the reminder of what life actually is, living in the moment.
    Hang in there.
    Tammy Reid (John Cleary's wife)

  8. is it ok to swear on here?? sally, i laughed so effing hard. you have the best blog, i...actually should say we...we love reading about what you and your awesome family are up to. you both are amazing farmers, parents, friends and people. thank you for making time to write what's on your mind. jen and roy

  9. Sally, you're brilliant. Seriously. Hope all is well, aside from the gentle chaos of life.

  10. Lmao. So I shouldn't bother installing a doorbell then? I missed an egg sale the other day because I was vacuuming and all three kids (including the baby) were screaming about something or other. I briefly considered chasing after the car as it retreated down the driveway but it was raining and I didn't want to scare a potential customer with my eagerness to make a sale.

  11. I am a summer customer who just discovered your blog. I walk into your house (after knocking I might add because thats the way I was raised and who the heck who would come at ten-to-five?) and think that this is the way kids are supposed to be raised: with love, hands on nurturing and a solid realization of the importance of family and faith. When I took my oldest to university last fall I didn't for a second wish I'd spent one second spending more time keeping her, or my house, clean, but I did wonder if I I'd spent as much time with her as I could have.
    Keep up the great parenting AND the great blog.

  12. Great advice, thanks for sharing! I often suffer from the mum guilt...I never thought about how it actually serves a purpose before, so thanks!