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The Manure Spreader: Cabin fever

Contributed by Jim Moffett Published on 24 February 2016

As a dairy farmer, I am always thankful for the human body’s need for vitamin D, disposable latex gloves and the fact that it doesn’t snow here in Florida. Never has – except on that cold winter day of 1976 when my brother thought a snowflake landed on him.

Turned out to be pigeons flying over the barnyard. I explained to him that’s where the phrase “snow bird” originated.

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Right now, most of you are probably sitting at the kitchen table reading this article (thank you, by the way) and looking out the window to nothing but snow. If you’re a dairy farmer, and this is going to sound crazy, be thankful you get to leave the house to milk the cows.

I just got off the phone with my corn farmer cousin in Iowa, and I think he has flipped a gasket. Now, I am not bashing on corn farmers; one of my best friends was a corn farmer. When he passed and I gave his eulogy, everyone was all ears.

I simply mentioned to my cousin it was 82ºF and sunny here today, and he went off! He screamed like a hyena caught in a trap. The pitch and squeal coming through the phone was so high my dog jumped out of the truck. This is what he shouted at me:

“I can’t take the inside of this house anymore! I’m praying every day for ‘climate change.’ I swear if that groundhog says the wrong thing again this year, I will wear him as a hat."

“Last year, I built a shop to keep busy in during the winter, but my wife filled it with all her quilting stuff. I went outside and shoveled snow in my tighty-whities for three hours just hoping to get frostbite. At least then I would have a trip to the ER to break up the boredom."

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“The only good out of this is watching The Price is Right every day. I’m gonna build one of those Planko games … oh, that’s right, I don’t have a shop anymore!"

“Thank the Lord February is only 28 days long – because this honey-do list grows like compound interest daily."

“She asked my to fix the toilet, which is fine. Before I could fix the toilet, I had to re-grout the tile."

“Which is fine, but before I could re-grout the tile, I had to paint the walls. Which is fine, but before I could paint the walls, I had to replace the tub."

“Which is fine – because before I replaced the tub, I had to replace the toilet because it doesn’t match the tub or the walls."

“Now she wants me to trim the plants in her indoor herb garden. I didn’t even know she had an herb garden. If we have an herb garden, why is her chicken always so bland?"

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“I tell you, Tim, if it wasn’t for your articles every couple weeks, I’d really be upset.”

He then paused for a minute and said, “Hey, I’ll talk to you later, I’m trying to get the pattern right on my first quilt.”

If you happen to be in Iowa and see a guy wearing a groundhog-skin hat, his name is Mark. PD

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