Sow’s Ear: A ranch woman’s point of view
by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.
A friend sent me “The Good Wife’s Guide” which she’d discovered in a magazine published in the late 1940s. There’s no point in making fun of the article as it’s a huge lampoon as it stands, especially from a ranch woman’s point of view!
Good Wife: Have dinner ready. Plan ahead to have a delicious meal ready. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: Warm up supper after you get back from going to town for parts and he comes in from the hayfields.
Good Wife: Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: Change your jeans and shirt after feeding the milk calf on account of the mama cow slapped you with her pie-saturated tail.
Good Wife: Be cheerful and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “Honey, the blasted heifers got in the alfalfa and I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake chasing them out.”
Good Wife: Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: After washing the calf-puller, remove it from the kitchen sink.
Good Wife: Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc., and then run a dust cloth over the tables.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: Clear the ear tags off the table. Leave the ag papers however, they’ve got important phone numbers written in the margins.
Good Wife: Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: Send the kids out to pack in more stove wood. There’s nothing as deeply satisfying as a full wood box.
Good Wife: Be happy to see him.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “The baler broke down and you want me to do what?”
Good Wife: Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “The coffee’s fresh. Help yourself.”
Good Wife: Listen to him. Let him talk first ” remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “The tractor blew a gasket and you want me to do what?”
Good Wife: Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his real need to be at home and relax.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “There’s beer in the frig. Help yourself.”
Good Wife: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “Have another beer.”
Good Wife: Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “I think I’ll have a beer.”
Good Wife: Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “If you’re going to bale till dark, supper will be in the oven.”
Good Wife: Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “Dear, shed those cruddy clothes before you track into the house. The beer’s in the frig. Help yourself.”
Good Wife: Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “The boot jack’s on the back porch under the pile of laundry.”
Good Wife: A good wife always knows her place.
Ranch Woman’s Point of View: “I’ll AI if you’ll hold the tail.”
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