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In ranch terminology an "easy keeper" is usually referred to as a cow or heifer who requires little or no attention. She has a calf each year, calves on her own, takes good care of it, is a good milker, is healthy, maintains her flesh (doesn't get thin) in winter, etc. She's not a fence crawler or wild. Just an all around "easy keeper" for the rancher. This isn't an exhaustive list, but just a few of her characteristics. Cattlemen admire the easy keepers in their herds, and believe me they know them by sight.

Sometimes wives in agriculture get put into that category as well. (Please don't misunderstand - not all cows are easy keepers and not all farm/ranch wives are easy keepers either. They can be few and far between.) The one who are easy keepers are generally low maintenance women who are content with the simple things in life and don't need or particularly even want roses, jewelry, or chocolates from her man. This is a story of one such woman.

My husband came in today and said he heard on our rural ag radio about a husband in Iowa who filled up his manure spreader with... what else...manure, headed out to a frozen stretch of ground and spelled out "Happy Birthday" in honor of his wife. They interviewed him on the radio. He said explained that it takes just the right layer of manure to melt the snow to get good, clear letters. They interviewed the wife as well and she was THRILLED with his gift! She was very sincere. She laughed and said she'd have to do some thinking to top that one for his birthday.

So when you are disappointed in something your hubby gave you (or didn't give you) for your birthday, just think. He could have spelled out your name and happy birthday in crap! It just might put things into perspective...

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Comment by gardengirl/VA on January 9, 2010 at 5:02pm
ROFLOL!!! That is priceless! I would have been happy too... because it was original and was from the ... uh ... heart?
Comment by AidaCJ/NH on January 7, 2010 at 7:29am
While this may sound funny, it brought tears to my eyes. My DH isn't a romantic guy - for my birthdays, our anniversary, and Christmas, he'd always buy me practical things - a mixer, a new set of glassware, etc. He'd always ask me what I wanted, and I always answered "nothing in particular". I guess I didn't help him any with that response. It was when I started buying things for myself (jewelries, flowers) that he realized 'nothing in particular' meant 'something romantic'. Not that I was disappointed in the gifts he had given me all these years, but reading the above made me realize that my DH has always loved me in his own way, nor do I consider myself an 'easy keeper'. I think marriage is all about 'give and take', romance isn't always about flowers and jewelries, but it's about remaining committed to each other, through thick(him) or thin(me), and honoring the sacred vow we promised each other 41 years ago.
Comment by Cheryl / NC on January 7, 2010 at 6:21am
I won't be passing this on to my DH, because it sounds like something he would think of to do! But it's so funny! This is a couple who appreciate each other and love the life they share! Some may not find it funny or understand, but I find it endearing. Good for them! He obviously picked the cream of the crop when he married her! lol!
Comment by Ally Bryant on January 6, 2010 at 8:48pm
LOL.......LOL well I've had my laugh for the day and I think I better hit the hay!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Comment by Linda Richards/N. Ontario on January 6, 2010 at 6:54pm
PQ, what a special story. Thanks for sharing.
Comment by Lori on January 6, 2010 at 6:49pm
Sure makes my backhoe for mothersday look very special. Don't think I will let DH read this story. LOL's
Comment by B J Elder/WA on January 6, 2010 at 5:10pm
LOLOL -- sounds like they have a wonderful sense of humor and a great relationship!
Comment by Carol Vickers/OH on January 6, 2010 at 5:08pm
Now that made my night! What a funny story - it does put everything in perspective about what's important in life.....it's the thought that counts.
Comment by cellogirl on January 6, 2010 at 3:55pm
Great story!! Guess that the "easy keepers" have the right values in life!! I wonder what the field will look like next spring?--she may still be able to read the message in longer grass!!
Comment by Sue S. / OR on January 6, 2010 at 3:14pm
I love that story and can relate to it very well. My husband didn't write happy birthday with manure, but he used to make me hearts for valentine's day, every year was a different heart. The first one was made with bondo (car body work), next was a wood one, then he started a career in welding and I have stainless steel hearts, the last one he made me is a hollow heart with I Love You attached in the middle. It's a good man that will think of creative ways to honor his wife!

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