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Books, babies, and Berners w/ author Billi J. Miller
Episode 1114th November 2022 • Barnyard Language • Caite Palmer and Arlene Hunter
00:00:00 01:17:56

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This week we're talking to Billi J. Miller about her upcoming book "Farm Kids: Stories From Our Lives". Billi farms with her husband and two daughters in eastern Alberta, as well as being a photographer, speaker, and author.

For her most recent book Billi spoke to farm kids ages 5-100 about their experiences growing up on the farm. She has also published two books about farm women, and a children's book about her family's Bernese Mountain dog Bubbles.

More information about Billi can be found at her website.

Thank you for joining us today on Barnyard Language. If you enjoy the show, we encourage you to support us by becoming a patron. Go to Patreon to make a small monthly donation to help cover the cost of making a show. Please rate and review the podcast and follow the show so you never miss an episode.

 You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok as BarnyardLanguage, and on Twitter we are BarnyardPod. If you'd like to connect with other farming families, you can join our private Barnyard Language Facebook group. We're always in search of future guests for the podcast. If you or someone you know would like to chat with us, get in touch.

 We are a proud member of the Positively Farming Media Podcast Network.


Transcripts

Arlene:

Welcome to another episode of Barnyard Language.

Arlene:

Thank you very much for joining us here on the podcast again today.

Arlene:

So Katie, last time we talked, I think Harvest was just about done or maybe done.

Arlene:

Done.

Arlene:

What is going on the farm now?

Arlene:

This is when you just take a vacation, right?

Arlene:

For several months.

Arlene:

Yeah.

Caite:

I have a text message here that the last of the corn is at

Caite:

19.2%, which I assume means that they're gonna finish combining asap.

Caite:

The vet is here right now, working steers and the bull through the chute which

Caite:

is why I'm in here recording podcasts.

Caite:

Us go scheduling situation way to schedule.

Caite:

Arlene, thank you.

Caite:

That's coming again next Tuesday.

Caite:

If you could book us then too.

Caite:

Yeah,

Arlene:

we'll schedule an interview for that day, that'd be great.

Arlene:

I just don't want it mention for people who are not watching the video

Arlene:

on Patreon, when Caite's voice cuts in and out is because she's looking

Arlene:

out the window because she needs to visually see what's happening on the.

Arlene:

When she talks about it,

Caite:

which I love.

Caite:

I'm gonna move my mic to the other side of my desk currently.

Caite:

So

Arlene:

you could just look at the window.

Arlene:

When I ask you what's going

Caite:

on the farm, Yes.

Caite:

It is ridiculous that I do have to look out the window.

Caite:

I've also noticed there is a window in our stairwell and every morning when I

Caite:

get up, I look out the window and every night when I go to bed, I look out the.

Caite:

Just to make sure that there is nothing untoward happening.

Caite:

I just on

Arlene:

that particular angle

Caite:

of the farm.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Yes.

Caite:

It is a compulsion.

Caite:

I've tried not doing it, it doesn't, like I will have to go

Caite:

back to the landing and look.

Caite:

But from there I can see the barn and the sheep shed.

Caite:

So basically if I can't see it from there, it probably doesn't matter.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

That's all the important stuff.

Caite:

Other than that, I started Christmas shopping this week.

Caite:

Ugh.

Caite:

I did not buy my daughter the $40 purse.

Caite:

That looks like a taxidermy unicorn.

Caite:

Sorry baby.

Caite:

It's not gonna happen.

Caite:

Anyway, Arlene, take thing on your farm.

Caite:

I need you to

Arlene:

send me a picture of this thing, because that is, that's so scary.

Arlene:

Interesting description.

Caite:

I'll post a photo to the social medias, but the girl child

Caite:

asked for a purse that has eyeball.

Caite:

Move and link and it looks like it is legitimately made

Caite:

of a tax that are made animal.

Caite:

If you want one, they have em at Target.

Caite:

I think they have two different sizes, but they were like 40 some dollars.

Caite:

But

Arlene:

it's not coming into your house.

Caite:

No.

Caite:

Totally a horror movie waiting to happen.

Arlene:

I have definitely not started Christmas shopping, but one of the

Arlene:

issues in our house is that we have three birthdays between now and Christmas.

Arlene:

Three of my four children.

Arlene:

There's a few things that have to happen, between now and Christmas.

Arlene:

That mean that I have a hard time focusing on anything until a couple

Arlene:

weeks before, but we'll, it'll happen.

Arlene:

We'll get there.

Arlene:

Farm Life this week was, is the Royal winter fair in Toronto?

Arlene:

The teen, the oldest is there showing.

Arlene:

Jersey Heifer, and this will be their goodbye as well because I

Arlene:

think I mentioned earlier in the season that she borrowed a four

Arlene:

H calf this year from another.

Arlene:

And so she'll be showing her heifer and then it's gonna go back

Arlene:

home and not back here with her.

Arlene:

So I expect there might be some tears over that situation.

Arlene:

So they'll be saying goodbye.

Arlene:

And also my husband and several of our employees who are both for each

Arlene:

members and co-leaders with my husband of the dairy club, are all there.

Arlene:

I'm here on the farm and I actually recruited my own mom to

Arlene:

come and help milk cows with me because there was nobody left.

Arlene:

So it's been an interesting couple of days.

Arlene:

We've done pretty well and I'm not used to being in charge, so

Arlene:

that's a, an adjustment for me.

Arlene:

But we're making it happen.

Arlene:

I've got lots of checklists to make sure that I don't forget anything, and

Arlene:

I think that, I should knock on wood right now because we've got one milking.

Arlene:

And then my husband will be back for morning milking.

Arlene:

So I guess we'll find out whether we did everything right or not.

Arlene:

But we've had two calves born and they're both doing fine.

Arlene:

Moms are doing fine so far.

Arlene:

So yeah, so far so good.

Caite:

How tempted have you been to text Hugh and make something

Caite:

up just to fuck with him?

Arlene:

Not

Caite:

at all.

Caite:

Maybe I'm not.

Caite:

Now we know which of us is a terrible person and which of us is not.

Caite:

Okay, thanks Arlene.

Arlene:

I guess my thought is he's looking after a whole bunch of teenagers

Arlene:

as a four H chaperone right now.

Arlene:

So maybe I don't wanna stress him out with stuff that's not happening here,

Arlene:

while he's also got a lot going on there.

Arlene:

And he's trucking, all trucking, everybody's heifers back home

Arlene:

too with our truck and trailer.

Arlene:

So we'll just don't want him to.

Arlene:

Even if something really bad went wrong that, but it hasn't, we'll we

Arlene:

can just hold off until he gets closer.

Arlene:

That's totally valid.

Arlene:

And I think that's the main update.

Arlene:

Yeah.

Arlene:

When you got out on all the fields, we did get a call from the road commissioner

Arlene:

as usual to let us know that there was mud on the road, which we knew, and

Arlene:

that we should go and scrape it off.

Arlene:

So yeah, we did our best, Using large equipment and going out into fields,

Arlene:

sometimes the little mud gets on the road.

Arlene:

So I suspect it's the same person who always complains when we spread manure

Arlene:

that, that called the township again.

Arlene:

But yeah, it wasn't the police.

Arlene:

So that's progress.

Caite:

I suppose that we should feel very blessed on this person's behalf, that they

Caite:

have nothing bigger to concern themselves.

Caite:

Then, yeah, we'll go with that.

Caite:

Mud on the road.

Caite:

Yes.

Arlene:

Yeah.

Arlene:

Muddy tires.

Arlene:

I'm sorry.

Arlene:

Yeah.

Caite:

Well

Arlene:

done.

Arlene:

All right.

Arlene:

Let's introduce our guest for this week.

Arlene:

All right.

Arlene:

Today we're talking to Billy J.

Arlene:

Miller, an author, photographer, and speaker from Alberta, Canada.

Arlene:

Her new book is called Farm Kids Stories from Our Lives.

Arlene:

So we knew that she was our kind of person and that we had

Arlene:

to have her on the podcast.

Arlene:

Billy, we start each of our interviews with the same question.

Arlene:

This is a way to introduce yourself to our listeners, and

Arlene:

we ask what are you growing?

Arlene:

So this can cover crops and livestock, families, businesses, all kinds of things.

Arlene:

Billy, what are you growing?

Billi:

What are we growing?

Billi:

We are growing canola, flax, wheat, oats, and barley on our Eastern Alberta.

Billi:

Mixed grain farm, mixed cattle and grain farm.

Billi:

We also have some cows.

Billi:

We're also growing two young ladies named Madeline and Kate, ages 10 and eight.

Billi:

We're raising a Bernese mountain dog and any number of farm cats.

Billi:

It's a combination of things.

Billi:

Yeah.

Caite:

I'm just gonna interject.

Caite:

I got to meet my first burner last week , and it was amazing.

Caite:

Best dog ever.

Caite:

So fluff.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Such big feat and so

Billi:

fluffy, huge feat.

Billi:

We had a contractor here working on our yard the other day, and he's I've

Billi:

never seen bigger feet on a dog before.

Billi:

It's just, Yeah, they have such soft parts and such big bodies.

Billi:

That's awesome.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

This dog was really convinced that he was a lap dog, and he's apparently well

Caite:

onto 200 pounds, and he was just really ready to climb right up and sit on me.

Caite:

I'm like, I'll let you, I, it's fine by me.

Caite:

But, his owner said they tried to discourage that sort of thing in

Caite:

the interest of not killing anyone.

Caite:

All right.

Caite:

Now we can actually get back to the interview.

Caite:

Okay.

Caite:

The pop talk segment of our show.

Arlene:

So in the more farm specific questions, what kind

Arlene:

of cows are we talking about?

Arlene:

Everyone always wants to know the uh, The lineage of the lifestyle.

Arlene:

Yeah,

Billi:

of course.

Billi:

And I'm always the best farm wife in the world.

Billi:

When I say that's my hobbies.

Billi:

My hobbies.

Billi:

The big cow guy.

Billi:

We've got, And I always say, yeah, we've got some black ones, we've got some

Billi:

tan ones, we've got some brown ones, we've got some red ones, . Perfect.

Caite:

Are you eating

Billi:

them or milking them?

Billi:

We have a cow calf operation.

Caite:

Okay.

Caite:

That, see, that really narrows it down if you discuss

Billi:

what you with them.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

You gotcha.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

No dairy here.

Caite:

All right.

Caite:

So what is your background like when it comes to agriculture?

Caite:

Did you grow up on a farm or is this kind of a new thing for you?

Billi:

It's, it com it wasn't completely foreign, but I

Billi:

really didn't grow up on a farm.

Billi:

I was raised, I always tell people I came from the most opposite

Billi:

background as my husband did.

Billi:

My husband is from a fourth generation, he's a fourth generation farmer.

Billi:

We live on his original homestead.

Billi:

We he's got all the history and the deep roots that I always wished I had and

Billi:

that I never had, to be honest, I come from a completely opposite background

Billi:

that had a mixed cast of characters.

Billi:

I moved around a lot.

Billi:

Not to get too serious, too deep into the interview, but divorced

Billi:

background, divorced family.

Billi:

My mother's on her fourth marriage.

Billi:

We have a very challenged relationship and it's, yeah to be honest, my husband and

Billi:

this farm and this life has offered me,

Billi:

the life that I've always could have imagined, put it that way.

Billi:

So yeah, I

Caite:

I'm in a lot the same place.

Caite:

Billi I moved I think 38 times before I met my husband.

Caite:

I was 32 when we got married, and he has lived on the same

Caite:

property literally his entire life.

Caite:

And he's also a fourth generation on this property, so Isn't that

Billi:

interesting?

Billi:

In a lot of the same spot.

Billi:

Dean and I were 34, so I understand.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

Like definitely not the younger couple, , we were 34 when we met.

Billi:

I was 36 when I had my first girl, 38 when I had my second girl.

Billi:

And yeah, being able to offer them this, the deep roots in

Billi:

history is pretty awesome too.

Billi:

Having said that though, like just to go deeper into that, I did

Billi:

grow up in usually a smaller town.

Billi:

So I live, I lived up until grade eight in a small Saskatchewan town.

Billi:

We did at one point, like for certain periods of my life, we did actually

Billi:

rent on a dairy farm in Saskatchewan.

Billi:

So that's what I meant when I said I wasn't completely foreign.

Billi:

And two, farming, I was around it.

Billi:

And definitely loved that experience of being renters on

Billi:

the dairy farm in Saskatchewan.

Billi:

And then I did grow up and Graduate from Lloydminster, which

Billi:

is the nearest town we live now.

Billi:

But then it was after, high school, I had immediately moved away.

Billi:

I did a stint in Europe.

Billi:

I went to Germany when I was 18 for about six months, and did some traveling

Billi:

there and learning the language and kind of immersing myself in the culture.

Billi:

And then my life took me to Calgary, where I started university and

Billi:

began working in the private sector.

Billi:

I lived there and worked there for 10.

Billi:

And then I moved on to Edmonton and lived there for six, working for the provincial

Billi:

government, which is when I met Dean.

Billi:

And if you heard in that part of the story, I did live in Calgary

Billi:

longer, so yes, I am a Flames fan.

Arlene:

as Canadians, we need to declare our hockey allegiances at certain point.

Billi:

Especially given this round of playoffs.

Billi:

Yes.

Billi:

I am definitely Allegion to the flames.

Billi:

Yes.

Billi:

. I got it.

Caite:

Arlene, you live in a family home as well, right?

Caite:

Yes.

Caite:

Pardon me?

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Okay.

Caite:

Oh, I was asking Arlene if she lived in a family home as well.

Caite:

This is totally off script, but whatever.

Caite:

Did either of you experience a sense of disappointment or grief

Caite:

at not getting a, not picking out the home that you live in and.

Caite:

Not having a choice about it.

Caite:

It was shocking to me to realize how emotional I got about not

Caite:

getting a choice and where we live.

Billi:

That is so interesting.

Billi:

Arlene, you could start if you want and then I can, so I

Arlene:

know, but at the same time, I grew up on a farm and in

Arlene:

the same house my entire life.

Arlene:

My dad was a, my dad was a dairy farmer.

Arlene:

My parents were dairy farmers.

Arlene:

So while both of you had that situation of moving a lot, I was in a situation

Arlene:

where I never had to worry about that.

Arlene:

There were other kids who would move in and out and be the new kid in the class,

Arlene:

and I knew that we weren't going anywhere.

Arlene:

We were where the cows were and this is where we were gonna stay.

Arlene:

And when my husband's grandmother decided to move out of the house that

Arlene:

we currently live in, , we did a full renovation at that time because this

Arlene:

house had been continually lived in by the same family, generations of the same

Arlene:

family since it was built in the 1860s.

Arlene:

So while there had been lots of little additions and renovations,

Arlene:

there were none of those modern conveniences like insulation.

Arlene:

There was

Billi:

no

Arlene:

duct work.

Arlene:

The electrical, like as soon as the electrician came in, he ripped

Arlene:

the whole electrical system out and started from scratch because things

Arlene:

had just been added over time.

Arlene:

So we actually were living in another house while this house got renovated.

Arlene:

So I did get to pick a lot of features.

Arlene:

We tore the house apart and then put it back almost exactly

Billi:

the same way it was, But I also loved

Arlene:

it the way it was and the historical elements.

Arlene:

So for me, I didn't have that.

Arlene:

But that's not to say that's everyone's situation.

Billi:

What about you, Billy?

Billi:

It's interesting you, I've never been asked that before and

Billi:

there was a little bit of that.

Billi:

Definitely.

Billi:

Not that in any way, I was disappointed with this place, but with the feeling

Billi:

that it didn't feel mine for a long time.

Billi:

It took a long time before that happened.

Billi:

And I know a lot of people of resonate with that in farm life.

Billi:

If you move on to a property, right?

Billi:

And we don't share this property, so the property is just we are

Billi:

the only ones that live here.

Billi:

My husband had already built a shop here, all of that kind of stuff.

Billi:

But it took until, so the house that we live in is a 1960, mid sixties.

Billi:

It was like the second house that his grandparents had

Billi:

built, actually third, possibly.

Billi:

Anyway, I think it's the third house that had been on this property.

Billi:

But you know how that goes over years.

Billi:

So it was built in the sixties and it was literally like picked out from the Eaton's

Billi:

catalog as it used to be back in the day.

Billi:

It was that rectangle house that exists all over the prairies.

Billi:

And so we had lived here for 10 years.

Billi:

We got married in 2010.

Billi:

Two kids.

Billi:

We had lived here for 10 years before we were able to do the full renovation.

Billi:

Obviously there was land and legal ownership, all that kind of stuff

Billi:

that had to happen beforehand.

Billi:

And then we ended up renovating and moving back in two years ago.

Billi:

So it wasn't until really that we had done a full renovation based on our own design

Billi:

to this house to make it our forever home that it started feeling like mine.

Billi:

Having the mortgage on it also obviously helps , yeah.

Billi:

When you're paying for it.

Billi:

Paying for that mortgage . Yeah.

Billi:

It's there was a little bit of that, not that I wanted to move

Billi:

Caitlin, but it was because.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

Like it wasn't necessarily our choice.

Billi:

And you always especially if you did move around a lot and I don't

Billi:

have a home or even quite frankly, the family to go back to growing

Billi:

up like so many other people do.

Billi:

So there was a little bit of that, feeling I guess longing or missing the opportunity

Billi:

to be able to like house search, look for that dream home for yourself or whatever.

Billi:

But having said that, getting through the story like we have and

Billi:

being where we are now, I cannot picture my life being anywhere else.

Billi:

And I have such a love for this place, this yard, the fact that my kids walk to

Billi:

school, I watch them nearly every morning and I'm waiting for them when they get

Billi:

off the bus, when they walk up and down this beautiful tree lined lane way.

Billi:

And these spruce trees are absolutely huge and so tall.

Billi:

And my kids' granddad planted those trees with his mom and his aunties,

Billi:

And it's like you sit there and I I always feel like I see my life

Billi:

or see life in pictures, right?

Billi:

Cause I take photos, but it's imagine those trees getting, continuously growing.

Billi:

And my kids are continuously growing beside them, and yeah, having said that,

Billi:

I'm super happy with where we're at now.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

I'm just gonna feel bad, Billy, because I actually, I do love our house.

Caite:

I really do.

Caite:

But one of.

Caite:

Things is that, I was raised my mom as a historian by training.

Caite:

And so I learned to really value that and to really value family histories and

Caite:

that sort of thing, and that's actually a lot of where I learned to enjoy talking

Caite:

to people is she worked for the state historical society interviewing folks.

Caite:

Oh.

Caite:

And so I would go along and, sit at these old farmhouse kitchen

Caite:

tables and eat homemade cookies and listen to old folks talk.

Caite:

And I was raised to really value that.

Caite:

But now when I'm like, there's this tree in the yard, who the

Caite:

actual fuck planted this tree here?

Caite:

Why is this here?

Caite:

And I'll ask and I'll be like, Can you, we just cut this tree down.

Caite:

And my husband, no joke, my husband and his grandpa brought some

Caite:

trees back from a fishing trip to Canada or some damn, I don't know.

Caite:

But now there is this tree.

Caite:

In the most ridiculous place that can never be taken down.

Caite:

And it is the ugliest thing and no one can ever touch it because it's because of the

Billi:

history

Caite:

tree.

Caite:

And I'm like, and I do deeply appreciate the histories.

Caite:

I hear about this house tonight.

Caite:

I love our house despite things like, the fire marshal came in

Caite:

after we got electrical work done and said, You've never had a fire.

Caite:

And I said, Not that I know of.

Caite:

And he looked at me and he said, Are you sure?

Caite:

I'm like, Oh wow.

Caite:

Please don't say that

Caite:

. Billi: Yeah.

Caite:

Don't say that.

Caite:

But then there's things that you just, you can't change stuff because

Caite:

yeah, that's how it's always been.

Billi:

And yeah.

Billi:

And I.

Caite:

Yeah, for us as well, I hear people say but you're so lucky

Caite:

because you don't have a mortgage.

Caite:

And I'm like, A, we are paying for the farm, and B, we're still paying for it.

Caite:

It's not, just because we don't write a check to the bank doesn't mean that

Caite:

somebody is just handing us this.

Caite:

Yes, here you go.

Caite:

No, it just means that the bank isn't getting the money.

Caite:

And that's, and it works well for us and I'm incredibly

Caite:

grateful for this opportunity.

Caite:

But yeah, someone who's used to having a lot more flexibility and freedom, this

Caite:

moving into one house and then being moved into the farmhouse and then knowing

Caite:

that hopefully we'll get old and our kids will take over and we'll move into

Caite:

the house where my in-laws live now.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Is a little.

Billi:

A little much.

Billi:

No, I absolutely get that.

Billi:

And you can't move that damn tree.

Billi:

And it's this

Caite:

fucking tree that I'm I don't wanna be that person who's I

Caite:

hope this tree is hit by lightning.

Caite:

It's 15 feet from our house.

Caite:

Like I, but

Billi:

God.

Billi:

But if it were hit

Arlene:

by lightning, it didn't do any other damage,

Billi:

then that wouldn't be worse.

Billi:

That would be alright.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Watch now the street's gonna get hit by lightning and my husband's

Caite:

gonna be like, if you hadn't talked about this, Sorry dear.

Billi:

So Katie

Arlene:

was talking about her history with interviewing people,

Arlene:

and two of the books that you

Billi:

already have out Billy are about farm wise.

Arlene:

So I'm farm wives, so I'm assuming that took a lot of the interviewing,

Arlene:

what brought you to that project and and brought those books into existence?

Arlene:

Yeah.

Billi:

So my first book, Farm Wives and Profile 17 Women, 17 Candid Questions

Billi:

about their Lives, photos and recipes was my first project coming here.

Billi:

As I said, I had lived in Edmonton, working for the provincial government

Billi:

when I met my husband Okay, So from when we met from the weekend that we met on

Billi:

a fishing trip in Northern Saskatchewan To me living here and us being married

Billi:

was happened over the span of 14 months.

Billi:

So it was pretty quick transition.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

But when I came here I had been looking, obviously I didn't wanna

Billi:

give up my government job, or government experience, all of that.

Billi:

So I was looking for any government position in Lloydminster to

Billi:

Vermillion, which is where we live.

Billi:

So we are basically just to explain where we are as well.

Billi:

We're two and a half hours directly east of Edmonton.

Billi:

So we reside very close to the Saskatchewan border.

Billi:

And we're about 25 kilometers from the Saskatchewan border.

Billi:

And, but we are on the Alberta side.

Billi:

And so there are two ta, two smaller cities that we live

Billi:

in between and south of.

Billi:

And they take about, 35 minutes to travel to each.

Billi:

And so I could have been looking for a job in either of those cities.

Billi:

So I landed the only provincial position that was available in Vermillion.

Billi:

And I took that and it was a job at the courthouse and it

Billi:

was a really big pay cut, but at least it kept me in government.

Billi:

And so I took the job and like I said, that got me here.

Billi:

And remind me of your question again, so I know I'm not going too off.

Billi:

No, I was just

Arlene:

asking you about how your farm wise books came to

Billi:

be.

Billi:

Exactly.

Billi:

So we.

Billi:

Had a child.

Billi:

We had my first child in November of 2011, so taking my maternity

Billi:

leave from that government job.

Billi:

I'd had this idea when I got here and like after we got married and getting to

Billi:

know this community so well in particular, getting to know the women so well, like

Billi:

my mother-in-law, the women around her, seeing all these women around here.

Billi:

Kind of the way I picture it was, I started becoming so intimately

Billi:

involved in these farms and these families and this community, right?

Billi:

And you see all these farms and all this activity and all this, work going

Billi:

on, buzzing around, scurrying around.

Billi:

But the thing that I really saw were these women.

Billi:

And I saw these women scurrying around and working so hard and.

Billi:

I felt holding these farms up on their backs, And I saw these women, they had, we

Billi:

have this beautiful old prairie hall down the road from our place called Early Hall.

Billi:

We live in the early district, which is a really storied and wonderful

Billi:

district in this area of the prairies that I am so lucky to live.

Billi:

And they had a wedding shower for Dean and I there and all, and it was

Billi:

like everyone knew what to do, right?

Billi:

Like they announced the date of the shower and all of the women showed

Billi:

up and the ladies brought baking.

Billi:

And all of the women come and.

Billi:

Men came to the shower too, actually, which is really neat.

Billi:

And everybody came and the men sat on one side and the women sat on the

Billi:

other side and everybody visited and everybody, but it was like the women

Billi:

did all the work for that, right?

Billi:

And I harvest, my first harvest, I just remember watching my mother-in-law

Billi:

and ag going, Oh my gosh, this woman is just, and no complaining.

Billi:

You You just haul those meals, get them into the back of the

Billi:

car, you drive to the field, you.

Billi:

These women amazed me and I looked at them with awe and reverence and I

Billi:

just thought, they're absolute to me, they were the heroes of the story.

Billi:

And I really felt so when I was on my maternity leave, I had begun the

Billi:

idea had ruminated for this book.

Billi:

And so a little bit later on I had long stretch or decided

Billi:

not to go back to my job, and I started freelance writing on the.

Billi:

So I started writing some smaller stories for the community newspaper and things

Billi:

like that, and photography was always a love and passion of mine as well.

Billi:

So in 2012, I started officially my job as a freelance writer and taking photographs

Billi:

of farm family and things like that.

Billi:

And so these were the stories that had just started coming to me.

Billi:

And so I knew as a dream, I wanted to write a book.

Billi:

I'd always wanted to write a book, but I had this idea for this book and I was

Billi:

like, I'm gonna write about the women.

Billi:

I wanna tell their stories.

Billi:

I wanna sit down at their kitchen tables and start interviewing them.

Billi:

I wanted to ask them story questions I had entering this new

Billi:

life as a farm wife for me too.

Billi:

I knew for me it wasn't necessarily going to be the same.

Billi:

I knew that it, I wasn't gonna be able to fill those rules as a traditional farm.

Billi:

Like so many of the rest of them did.

Billi:

But I wanted to talk to them and I wanted to get their stories.

Billi:

And so that's what I did.

Billi:

I interviewed 17 women.

Billi:

It took four and a half years.

Billi:

Mind you, this was not a very quick process.

Billi:

I had a daughter, , and we were running a farm ourselves.

Billi:

And and it was busy, just like everyone else is, and.

Billi:

17 women, I sat them down.

Billi:

I asked them all questions like, what was the best part of this

Billi:

life as a farm wife for you?

Billi:

What was the hardest part of this life as a farm wife for you?

Billi:

What advice would you give women marrying farmers today?

Billi:

Is there anything you wish you could have changed?

Billi:

Is there, so many questions that I just wanted to know the answers to, but then

Billi:

I also got to pair it with wonderful photographs of them doing what they loved

Billi:

or sitting at their kitchen table or just wherever it was we happened to have met.

Billi:

And a handwritten recipes because he doesn't love a recipe book.

Billi:

And I think that was another beautiful part of it.

Billi:

The best project, or the best piece of it for me too was I was

Billi:

getting to the completion part of this book and I knew I loved it.

Billi:

I was really proud of how it was looking, but there was something missing for

Billi:

me and I just wanted to be able to do something really special for these women.

Billi:

And so I had reached out to those of them.

Billi:

Who I was able to contact their families, their children, and I had reached out

Billi:

to them and I said, Tell me about the impact your mothers had on your life.

Billi:

And so a lot of these children who I was able to reach ended up writing,

Billi:

submitting a written piece for me, answering that question, the impact

Billi:

their mamas had on their life.

Billi:

And to me, that was the most meaningful piece of the project for me.

Billi:

Because these, as you guys probably are well aware, these aren't necessarily

Billi:

families or a job where, the farm wife or the mom is sat down frequently

Billi:

told, Thank you for all that you do.

Billi:

And where they're as appreciated as I felt they could have and should have been.

Billi:

And so being able to offer that was, yeah, definitely a big thing for me.

Billi:

Very meaningful.

Billi:

Did

Arlene:

you find that the people, their families, and their spouses reading

Arlene:

the book were finding out things that they didn't know about these women?

Billi:

About the Oh, absolutely.

Billi:

Yeah, absolutely.

Billi:

It was really nice.

Billi:

Oh, so this community that I live, we're not the only ones that have

Billi:

been here for a hundred years.

Billi:

There are obviously lots of other people as well.

Billi:

And being able to talk to like their grandkids or, is, means a lot.

Billi:

It means a lot to a lot of the people here that their grandmother

Billi:

or mother, was in that book.

Billi:

And yeah, a lot of them, they didn't sit down and ask their

Billi:

grandmother those kinds of questions.

Billi:

Yeah, it was, I think it was really nice for a lot of people

Billi:

to be able to read that side of the women that not all of us knew.

Billi:

. And then

Arlene:

your second book, it was on a, the same topic.

Arlene:

Was it a continuation of the first, or what did, what does it look like?

Billi:

It was, So the first book, all the women were between 55 and 90, and so they.

Billi:

Fit the traditional role of a farm wife, I would say.

Billi:

And these are the women that I was drawn to when I first came here.

Billi:

These are the women that were surrounding me.

Billi:

And these are the women that I felt, a heart connection to because, and

Billi:

I'll, and I'll be honest, I know serendipitously it, I respected

Billi:

and loved in these women Exactly.

Billi:

That, which I didn't have.

Billi:

They were the glue holding their families together.

Billi:

They were, they did everything for their families.

Billi:

And I came from a very opposite story of that.

Billi:

So I know that's what I was, so drawn to and so connected to.

Billi:

The second book though, was it's called Farm Wives too, an inspiring look of

Billi:

the of the new Canadian farm wives.

Billi:

And so what I wanted to do is attach those, some of those same questions,

Billi:

but also to a bunch of new questions to the next generations of farm life.

Billi:

So women like me, women from their twenties, up to their, anywhere in

Billi:

their fifties, women who are more generations removed from the farm.

Billi:

But who were coming onto their farm from a variety of circumstances.

Billi:

Some who did refer to themselves as a farm wife and some who didn't refer to

Billi:

themselves as a farm wife, to be honest.

Billi:

But they all agreed to be in the book, knowing the title.

Billi:

And I wanted to talk to them about what that looked like for them.

Billi:

I knew there was other women like me.

Billi:

I knew there was other women very different from me, but women who

Billi:

were doing things their own way.

Billi:

And I felt like they deserved a voice.

Billi:

And I also felt like I wanted to have kind of a resource or something.

Billi:

I wanted to put a book out there in existence where other

Billi:

women could look at that and be like, Wow, that's a great story.

Billi:

I could do something like that.

Billi:

Or, that makes me realize that, there's nothing wrong with

Billi:

the way I am doing things.

Billi:

Or like there are a lot interesting stories out there.

Billi:

And there are a.

Billi:

Complex stories out there, Caitlin, you were talking about, your story

Billi:

about, living in the house or landing on, a lot of people share yards,

Billi:

A lot of people move into house.

Billi:

They're just such a variety of circumstances out there.

Billi:

And I think sometimes when you, like me and when you don't come from the farming

Billi:

background, I think a lot of women are, have questions or have concerns or,

Billi:

just, I guess don't necessarily know where to go, or you feel like you have

Billi:

to do things in a certain way, don't you?

Billi:

I think a lot of times.

Billi:

And yeah, that was a big part of the reasoning of putting

Billi:

this book out into the world.

Caite:

I know too, I find it interesting, you the older I get and the older my

Caite:

kids get because I'm 41, so I'm, also in that slightly older mom because my kids

Caite:

are four and five, so for this area, I'm closer to grandma age than to mom age.

Caite:

, no, seriously.

Caite:

Yeah, there's, the older I get, the more I understand my grandmothers especially,

Caite:

and that there's so much about, women didn't used to do X, Y, and Z and because

Caite:

they couldn't, it wasn't that they never wanted to, it was that they couldn't.

Caite:

And the stories I hear about this whole generation of women that, during

Caite:

the war went off and had these fairly grand adventures and then came home,

Caite:

got married, got knocked up, and never said anything about it again, and.

Caite:

How amazing it is that now we have this opportunity to do things like telling

Caite:

our stories and publishing books and going on adventures and, but at the

Caite:

same time, wanting to do things like this podcast and have the opportunity to

Caite:

tell our stories about all these things that women in non rural backgrounds

Caite:

might not understand on the same level.

Caite:

Like I know for a lot of folks if I say my in-laws live across the road

Caite:

and there's this look of horror, which I do understand because some

Caite:

people have really shitty in-laws.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

I am very lucky that I have great in-laws.

Caite:

But it's hard to have that conversation with folks who are living in a

Caite:

time and place where having ear in laws a couple hundred feet

Caite:

away would be considered strange.

Caite:

So this getting to have adventures, but also getting to just come

Caite:

back and do the same things.

Caite:

And I was not ignoring you when I hopped up.

Caite:

I was looking for a book by Evelyn Beby who wrote a weekly column for 70

Caite:

years for a Iowa small town newspaper and had always put a recipe in it.

Caite:

I was gonna send me the info, but

Billi:

Amazing.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Just these.

Caite:

How many of these new things we're doing are not new at all.

Caite:

She did a radio show for most of those 70 years as well, so it's basically

Caite:

podcasting before it was cool.

Billi:

That's right.

Billi:

Yeah.

Caite:

So Billy, we'd love to know more too about your newest book, Project Farm

Caite:

Kids, and can you tell us about that book and what it looks like and who you

Billi:

talk to for that, Abso Oh, absolutely.

Billi:

I'm self-publishing this book just like I fully self-published my last book,

Billi:

which was a little kid's book I wrote at the start of Covid with my daughters.

Billi:

And I'd actually taken a course that walked you through the literal steps

Billi:

from start to finish of getting your book out and doing it entirely on your own.

Billi:

And self-publishing works best for me for the kind of interviews that I do.

Billi:

I've never traditionally published, if you do, it could take absolute

Billi:

years before you get your book out.

Billi:

And because a lot of the people in my books are in their nineties,

Billi:

or in the case of this farm kid's book, I have a 100 year old woman.

Billi:

In this book, I wanna get this book out in their lifetimes.

Billi:

So I self-publish and that is the way that I've learned to do it, and I just do it.

Billi:

And anyway, so yeah.

Billi:

But anyway, this book, I have 27 new people in this book.

Billi:

And so farm kids stories from our lives is different in the

Billi:

sense that it includes boys too.

Billi:

This.

Billi:

And so I've interviewed girls and boys, men and women from the age

Billi:

of five all the way up to 100.

Billi:

And it isn't just current farm kids.

Billi:

Granted that would be one hilarious book and it would be so fabulous.

Billi:

But I love speaking with seniors.

Billi:

I just do.

Billi:

I just spent an hour yesterday doing a big application form for.

Billi:

Our health region.

Billi:

I just decide I need to volunteer in the hospitals.

Billi:

I just wanna, I could sit with old people all day long and just let

Billi:

them tell me stories about, So I know that's a big part of this book.

Billi:

And as I said, I interviewed 24, 27 people.

Billi:

These are kids all just pick people picked that I know that were referred to me.

Billi:

Some of the kids go to school with my kids.

Billi:

One woman is my husband's grandmother, But it's just a variety of people.

Billi:

And I also reached back out to families from my farm kids too,

Billi:

book as well, talked to grandkids of their, or kids of theirs.

Billi:

But anyway, I talked to them and asked them all different kinds of questions

Billi:

about what is life like being raised a farm kid, whether that'd be now

Billi:

or whether that be in the 1920s.

Billi:

Because what a cool way to look at the, what a cool frame of reference and what

Billi:

a cool way to compare, what are some of the troubles we deal with now versus what

Billi:

are some of the troubles you ha, what did the typical day after school look like

Billi:

in 1933 versus what it looks like now?

Billi:

I think one thing I've learned is any single person that I have spoken to about

Billi:

who has raised a farm kid all loved it.

Billi:

Not one person.

Billi:

I'm not saying people don't have some bad memories to, of course you

Billi:

will, but any, anyone I've spoken to now from adulthood is there's no

Billi:

other no better way to be raised.

Billi:

I have the best memories I've got, the things we used to do,

Billi:

the things we got to learn.

Billi:

They just talk about all of this stuff with reverence and I feel like

Billi:

that is such a nice way to, I just, I wanna be able to capture that.

Billi:

And express that life for people who either A, if you were raised

Billi:

that way, these stories will all encompass those good memories

Billi:

that you'll think of yourself.

Billi:

But I, it's gonna be a really nice way to show people this life who

Billi:

don't necessarily know, because I think there's a lot of misinformation

Billi:

out there about, urban versus rural.

Billi:

I think there's a lot of, people don't know necessarily

Billi:

where your food comes from.

Billi:

People don't know, you hear so many things.

Billi:

This, touches into a bigger aspect of it.

Billi:

But you hear so much information out there, misinformation

Billi:

about food, about beef.

Billi:

Farm life and all of that.

Billi:

And people don't necessarily know the truth.

Billi:

People don't necessarily know, I hear, you hear so many things about

Billi:

factory farm, farming's bad, big farming's bad, all this kind of stuff.

Billi:

People don't realize what the high percentage of people farms

Billi:

are, farm families in this country a lot in the states as well.

Billi:

But farms are made up of people, farms are made up of families,

Billi:

and I think there's nowhere truer than that, than in our country.

Billi:

And I just look forward to telling those stories.

Arlene:

I look forward to reading it.

Arlene:

Do you, can you share one of your favorites or is it all

Arlene:

unlock and key at this point?

Arlene:

It's not

Billi:

under all a key.

Billi:

I've been, I have some snippets that I publish on my blog.

Billi:

You can, my website I just wanna share is billy j miller.com and if you go on

Billi:

there, you'll find all the information for all of my books and what I'm working

Billi:

on currently and stuff like that.

Billi:

I think my favorite in my heart has to be like these younger kids' interviews now.

Billi:

They talk with such One of the beauty aspects of it is, you ask, when you

Billi:

ask someone who are in, who's in their nineties, the perspective of what

Billi:

are your best memories of your mom?

Billi:

What are the key memories you have at the stage of your life of your dad?

Billi:

That's so meaningful for me because I felt like to be able to, once you get

Billi:

to that stage of your life and none of us know what that stage is gonna be

Billi:

like yet, once you get to that stage of your life, I fit, the way I picture

Billi:

it is what comes to a bottle where the bottle nears or narrows at the.

Billi:

And I feel like only the most important stuff remains at that stage.

Billi:

So when you're a hundred, what do you still think of when you think of your mom?

Billi:

What are the memories that stick with you the most?

Billi:

What are the feelings that, stick with you the most and when you think of your dad?

Billi:

That's the kind of stuff that I thought about as I was interviewing these people.

Billi:

To interview like a six year old now and ask them that question,

Billi:

you get very different answers.

Billi:

Like this little guy, Max me, was, he goes to my daughter's school.

Billi:

I'm like, tell me the coolest thing about your mom.

Billi:

And I know his mom Sheena quite well, and Max says, Oh

Billi:

yeah, oh, my mom goes to town.

Billi:

She gets a lot of groceries, . Oh my God, yay mom.

Billi:

She carries so many

Arlene:

bags in

Billi:

from the car and then there are these two little guys, Charlie and

Billi:

Ben Ketty, they're from Nova Scotia.

Billi:

And that was the other thing.

Billi:

I interviewed people I, for farm wives too, was the same.

Billi:

I branched out and interviewed people from across the country for that book.

Billi:

The First Farm Wives book was very centered to my community because

Billi:

these were the women that I knew and that I had the opportunity to sit

Billi:

down and meet with farm wives too.

Billi:

I expect, because I wanted to tell the story a little more.

Billi:

Canada wide and farm kids' stories from our lives is the same.

Billi:

I've I branched out a little more and I spoke to actually This woman's children

Billi:

and they're from Nova Scotia and they have a total, they farm strawberries out

Billi:

there and different things that we just don't do as much of over here, right?

Billi:

In Alberta.

Billi:

So it was just fabulous.

Billi:

And I talked to those two little boys, and of course you're

Billi:

doing this via Zoom, right?

Billi:

And via written interview, because I certainly didn't have the funding

Billi:

being self-published and all to jet set all across the country.

Billi:

But these two little boys, to talk to them about their life, what, when

Billi:

they run the farm, when they get older, it's just fabulous, right?

Billi:

Like you just see things through the eyes of a child and all of them.

Billi:

Also and I think, if you notice that with your own kids or whatever,

Billi:

when you ask them what they wanna be when they grow up, it almost

Billi:

always includes a farmer, doesn't it?

Billi:

Granted it's their frame of reference, but they have all these wild and

Billi:

amazing views of what they wanna do.

Billi:

And it always includes the farm, and yeah.

Billi:

So you know this little Max, me, and there was another three

Billi:

little girls that I interviewed.

Billi:

There's this, and this is thanks to the wonder of social media.

Billi:

There's a gentleman on Twitter I had come across years ago

Billi:

and started following him.

Billi:

And he's a dairy farmer from Washington State.

Billi:

His name's Dwayne Faber.

Billi:

And he is hilarious.

Billi:

Like he just, he would publish these one-liners about farm life.

Billi:

He's got a beautiful wife, three beautiful daughters, like just this adorable family.

Billi:

And he just talks about being a dad and a husband and.

Billi:

A dairy farmer, right?

Billi:

And he talks about this.

Billi:

And so I had followed him for years and I ended up reaching out to him.

Billi:

And yeah, typically these are Canadian stories, but I'm

Billi:

like, I'm not gonna judge here.

Billi:

So I asked him, I said, Would your daughters be interested

Billi:

in doing this interview?

Billi:

Because I think coming from you, they have to be hilarious as well.

Billi:

And this is my project and this is what it's about.

Billi:

And he said, Absolutely.

Billi:

So he had actually mailed me handwritten interviews from his girls

Billi:

to talking about, life on their farm.

Billi:

And it's just fabulous.

Billi:

So I think the story is amazing in the sense that it, that juxtaposition of,

Billi:

you read the wisdom of a hundred year old and then it's peppered with a, all

Billi:

these deep, long interviews, peppered with these hilarious interviews and

Billi:

yeah, it's a project I'm so proud of.

Billi:

And I can't wait to get it out.

Billi:

And I plan to have it out in time for your summer read here.

Billi:

So yeah, it's coming.

Billi:

That sounds

Caite:

awesome.

Caite:

So Billy, how do you deal with getting people past, feeling like they don't

Caite:

have a story to tell or like they're gonna sound stupid or whatever?

Caite:

You know what, nobody already has something

Billi:

to say.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

I know it's true, isn't it?

Billi:

And that's something I talk about when I do speeches about in particular and

Billi:

talk about my first book that was.

Billi:

The thing that kind of gobsmacked me personally the most was how the sheer

Billi:

amount of women who said to me as I sat them down for my first book, the

Billi:

amount of women who said to me, I don't understand why you wanna talk to me.

Billi:

I haven't done anything.

Billi:

I'm just a farm wife.

Billi:

And I looked at the, and I would just, my mouth would draw because

Billi:

I'm like, You haven't done anything.

Billi:

Have you seen.

Billi:

Everything that you do, and I think how I got them over it was I published

Billi:

a book about them, and I will often talk about the book launch night

Billi:

of my first book, and I could still put me into tears thinking about it.

Billi:

I couldn't have imagined a better book launch experience for any

Billi:

book, let alone my first book.

Billi:

But I had rented a restaurant, a beautiful locally run restaurant that

Billi:

was called The Root in Lloydminster.

Billi:

This was in 2016, in January.

Billi:

And I had rented it out and I thought there was just enough people.

Billi:

If I invite the.

Billi:

There's spouses and they could invite one other guest basically.

Billi:

And then that would be the capacity for this beautiful, homey, quaint restaurant.

Billi:

Big but not too big and just perfect.

Billi:

So that is who we invited and that is who came.

Billi:

But also with the addition of some local media that had come, which I was so

Billi:

touched about as well, because here was this book that I wrote that I literally

Billi:

thought would be, Sitting at our local, I traditionally, or I self-publish.

Billi:

However, saying that I do get them on all official platforms, so they're still on

Billi:

Amazon and chapters and all of that stuff.

Billi:

But literally this first book, you have no idea how it's gonna go.

Billi:

I thought it'd be at our grocery store and our local home hardware and I'd

Billi:

sell it to the grandkids and giddy up.

Billi:

I was happy.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

Few issues at the library, yeah.

Billi:

A few copies at the library.

Billi:

I was all excited.

Billi:

And so I had this book launch and all these women came and it was evening,

Billi:

and that, whether it was, and the lighting was lower, and it was just,

Billi:

I had a book sitting on the table, for all of these women and a glass

Billi:

of wine waiting for them and stuff.

Billi:

And these women walked in and I, I don't know if they realized

Billi:

until that night what this pro, like I remember one of the women.

Billi:

So they all wrote the interviews and I, and they're minimal edits

Billi:

in those books as well, because I'm not gonna edit their words so much

Billi:

where you don't understand them.

Billi:

I want it to be their voices.

Billi:

Seeing the variety in the interviews is amazing because some women, and

Billi:

some people, period, their answers were very long and they're very detailed.

Billi:

And then there were some women, like Shirley Davidson, my neighbor from the

Billi:

north very abrupt and short worded.

Billi:

And, I'd ask her like, Yes, no, 12.

Billi:

just kinda answered her questions very short.

Billi:

She got to the, she got to the book launch and she looked at the book and

Billi:

she goes if I knew this was gonna be a book, I would've answered my questions.

Billi:

The, but, so these women sat there and I had gone through and it was

Billi:

my, literally, it was going to be, it was my first kind of public speaking.

Billi:

Experience.

Billi:

In a situation like this, I'm just fine, but to put me on a stage in front of

Billi:

people, I tell you it, I was no forer.

Billi:

So it was a learning curve for me and the nerves were unbelievable.

Billi:

And I just wanna sit behind a laptop and write books.

Billi:

Like I'm more comfortable doing that.

Billi:

But I went up there and I told the story of my books and I told these women why I

Billi:

was so honored to tell their stories and how beautiful their contributions I felt

Billi:

were in not only just their families and their farms, but their entire community.

Billi:

And I referenced, this shower that happened at this early hall and I said,

Billi:

and I know for you guys it was just another evening and another thing on your

Billi:

to-do list to strike off, but I said, You people, like you hold this community up.

Billi:

I.

Caite:

In women's eyes and seeing

Billi:

Their eyes glistening and a lot of their husbands who are still there

Caite:

too

Billi:

putting their arm around their wife and stuff.

Billi:

And this woman had literally her, a daughter of one of the women came

Billi:

up to me after and she goes, I'm not gonna let my mom hang out with

Billi:

you anymore cuz she's a crier now.

Billi:

And she was never a crier before.

Billi:

And I just laughed.

Billi:

But, I saw that night them seeing, sometimes maybe for

Billi:

the first time, like how much.

Billi:

How much their work has meant and how, how remarkable they truly were.

Billi:

And whether they knew it before or whether they didn't.

Billi:

I think they really saw it that night.

Billi:

And that meant a lot to me, And then having the media

Billi:

there, seeing the media there.

Billi:

I have this one picture of Gerard Lamp Powell, a local journalist, and he was

Billi:

interviewing this lovely couple, Ju and Bob Stone, who are still friends of ours.

Billi:

Bob has now passed away, but Ju is still here.

Billi:

And, interviewing them.

Billi:

And I was like, Oh, how lovely is that?

Billi:

These women are in the limelight.

Billi:

And it was exactly where I felt they deserved to be.

Billi:

So yeah, it was very meaningful for me, for sure.

Billi:

Yeah.

Arlene:

You've got me crying too.

Arlene:

I

Billi:

think,

Arlene:

I love what you've said too about really seeing something in them.

Arlene:

That you were missing from their life.

Arlene:

And I think that sometimes that we can all get so complacent and just used to this is

Arlene:

the way things are and this is what we do.

Arlene:

And not really seeing the, the value that, that every person

Arlene:

brings to their community.

Arlene:

And like you said that these women are the backbone of their farms and

Arlene:

of their community and their families.

Arlene:

And they just, they don't think it's anything special,

Billi:

but it is.

Billi:

That's right.

Billi:

It really is.

Billi:

And just that stability too of them doing those jobs again

Billi:

and again year after year.

Billi:

And that family growing accustomed to that and that family, and you recognize.

Billi:

If, and when, God forbid, these women pass away too, right?

Billi:

How many farms have almost ceased operating when the

Billi:

farm wife goes for any reason.

Billi:

Yeah, it's just really remarkable to be around so many

Billi:

women and we all are, right?

Billi:

We're all around these women everywhere, on any farm, anywhere

Billi:

across the country, right?

Billi:

Yeah, I just love bringing these stories to life, and if, the family

Billi:

that I interviewed has that much more appreciation for that person at the end of

Billi:

the day, that's icing on the cake, right?

Billi:

So for sure, it's been

Arlene:

great.

Arlene:

So to lighten things up a little, Yes.

Arlene:

Can you tell us about your

Billi:

children's book?

Billi:

Yes.

Billi:

Okay.

Billi:

Maybe that won't make us cry.

Billi:

Yeah, no, this'll be good.

Billi:

This'll be So now you can see what my speeches are like, it's like half . So

Billi:

my children's book is called Bubbles.

Billi:

Took a Trip and it was really a trip, a book that happened upon us, to be honest.

Billi:

So we have this Bird's Mountain dog I told you about.

Billi:

Her name is Bubbles and we had her since she was a puppy

Billi:

and she has been Katie too.

Billi:

To answer like the best dog that you could have with children and the best

Billi:

dog on a farm cuz they're so loyal.

Billi:

She does not typically run away until this story happens.

Billi:

But so loyal.

Billi:

My daughter used to ride her and she's fine with it and she's

Billi:

just, the most beautiful dog.

Billi:

I love her to bits and I'm sure my family will all be in counseling

Billi:

when something happens to her.

Billi:

But, so when we renovated our house, we also, Arlene had to move out of the house,

Billi:

so we were actually out of here for eight months while we completed the renovation.

Billi:

And lucky for us though, there was a mobile home, a trailer that had

Billi:

gone for rent just down the road.

Billi:

So we didn't have too far.

Billi:

But by the end of eight months, like we are itching to be back home.

Billi:

And we were getting close to the renovation being complete,

Billi:

but we weren't quite there yet.

Billi:

So our dog, we decided

Billi:

anyway, so it didn't make sense to move bubbles.

Billi:

So we had made it until literally the night before we moved back home.

Billi:

So our house was ready, Bubbles was here every day.

Billi:

Bubbles still got visits from dad and granddad when they

Billi:

came to the farm to work.

Billi:

So it was just lovely.

Billi:

But the day this story happened was literally the day before we moved.

Billi:

So my husband had come to the farm, He was working as per usual, and

Billi:

then I think it was around, It was the evening he was leaving the

Billi:

farm to come back to our rental.

Billi:

So he was driving North on our Range Road and Bubbles, for whatever reason,

Billi:

decided, Oh, hey dad, where are you going?

Billi:

So she took off and started following Dean on his, in his truck.

Billi:

But Dean didn't really know or thought, Bubbles would just turn back to come home.

Billi:

Bubbles made it all the way up to the highway.

Billi:

What happened then is the story that happened in this book.

Billi:

So we're gonna now fast forward to the next morning.

Billi:

So the next morning happens and girls and I are getting up, we're getting

Billi:

ready to do the final packing in this trailer and move back home.

Billi:

And I get a text from my husband that says, Mom bubbles is missing.

Billi:

Get on Facebook and put a post out.

Billi:

And I was like, What?

Billi:

He goes, She's gone.

Billi:

She's not home.

Billi:

Like she's not here.

Billi:

You need to put a post out.

Billi:

And I was, my stomach instantly just fell to the floor and I thought to

Billi:

myself, I cannot tell the girls.

Billi:

Oh my gosh, what's gonna happen?

Billi:

I can't tell the girls.

Billi:

So I immediately put a post out, had a picture of bubbles, put it on Facebook.

Billi:

I said, Bubbles is missing.

Billi:

Here's where we live.

Billi:

Dean did see in the rear view mirror, Bubbles following him.

Billi:

So he did know that she could have landed around the highway.

Billi:

So I put a post.

Billi:

I said, Here's the highway where she was last seen.

Billi:

Has anyone seen her?

Billi:

So I just Oh, and then I got on the phone.

Billi:

I called pca.

Billi:

Course Covid hit at this point, right?

Billi:

This was literally the march that Covid was making Everything

Billi:

fall apart called spca.

Billi:

Only got the voicemail left.

Billi:

A message.

Billi:

I'm in tears.

Billi:

Surprise, surprise.

Billi:

I'm saying our Bernie's Mountain dog is missing.

Billi:

You've gotta help us.

Billi:

Has she been turned in?

Billi:

So a half an hour time span, elapsed.

Billi:

Until I made the post to a post being sent to me and drawn my attention to, and

Billi:

they said, Here's a picture for a woman.

Billi:

A woman had posted on another.

Billi:

Missing pets page for Lloydminster.

Billi:

Said, Found Bernie's mountain dog.

Billi:

So here's what happened.

Billi:

Dean leaves the farm, bubbles follows her.

Billi:

She makes it up to the highway.

Billi:

Dean turns right to go home.

Billi:

Another woman and a semi are coming this way.

Billi:

So a semi comes and passes and there's a woman in a pickup truck behind the semi.

Billi:

The woman saw a semi go.

Billi:

and then all of a sudden sees this beautiful Bernie's mound dog and she

Billi:

thinks to herself, Oh my gosh, what is this dog doing up on the highway?

Billi:

She's gonna get hit by something.

Billi:

So this woman pulls over right by my mailboxes and of course bubbles,

Billi:

like any good guard dog, she is, lays down on her back and get

Billi:

proceeds to be rubbed by this woman.

Billi:

We always say she's so friendly.

Billi:

I wonder how many would-be robbers have pet her on our farm, right?

Billi:

Cuz she's not protecting us from anything.

Billi:

This woman sees bubbles and pets, her and bubbles as just

Billi:

friendlier, as all hacking.

Billi:

She's I don't really know what to do here.

Billi:

I know that farm dogs wander, whatever, but she's This is a highway and a semi

Billi:

just went by and I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if this dog get hit.

Billi:

So she bubbles, jumps in her truck, she drives down to my

Billi:

neighbors darling Shirley Davidson.

Billi:

And Shirley was in my first book.

Billi:

She was the short answered woman.

Billi:

And this woman had come.

Billi:

To our door.

Billi:

And she happened to have some tattoos, right?

Billi:

And some bigger earrings.

Billi:

And she shows up at the door and she said, Hi, I found this dog.

Billi:

Do you know who the, who it belongs to?

Billi:

Darling Shirley know we have a dog, but they don't know what our dog looks like.

Billi:

So they're like, No, we don't know who it belongs to try up at this farm.

Billi:

So the woman gets back in the car and proceeds to drive to the

Billi:

next farm again further from us.

Billi:

And she says she stopped there, but nobody was home.

Billi:

That was Billy and Diane Mouse.

Billi:

And they weren't home.

Billi:

So she's sitting there and she's what in the heck do I do?

Billi:

So she gets her the phone and she calls her partner and

Billi:

she said, I found this dog.

Billi:

I don't know what to do.

Billi:

I know I shouldn't leave with the dog, but I don't know what to do.

Billi:

And I, I don't know how to find her owner.

Billi:

So this woman happened to work at an oil company in Lloyd.

Billi:

So she lives lived near Red Deer at the time and she worked in Lloyd.

Billi:

And so she works for a seven on seven off schedule.

Billi:

So she was on her way by my farm cuz she was going home for days off, but

Billi:

she knew she'd be back on the Sunday.

Billi:

So it was okay for her in her mind to take our dog home with her and

Billi:

then online and find the owner.

Billi:

And then she knew she'd be back this way on the Sunday.

Billi:

She also happened to have had a kennel.

Billi:

I mean it was really per really, She took our dog on a holiday is what she For sure.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

While you guys were moving.

Billi:

We were moving.

Billi:

She took her to this ball.

Billi:

So anyway, so this is what she did.

Billi:

So she took her dog.

Billi:

And and then once she got home, she put the post.

Billi:

And this overnight is what happened where people found the post.

Billi:

So a half an hour time elapsed.

Billi:

So I got the text from Dean, found what D Bubbles was missing, and

Billi:

then a half an hour had gone by.

Billi:

So in that half an hour, I also got a text from my other neighbor, Dean Davidson.

Billi:

He belongs to Darling Shirley.

Billi:

He goes, Call mom.

Billi:

They said somebody came by with a dog in the back of their truck last night.

Billi:

So I called Dar and Shirley and I said, Have you seen somebody with bubbles?

Billi:

Will I hear Darling the background?

Billi:

She was a

Caite:

womans all

Billi:

over her body.

Billi:

And farmers, they're not always understanding of different people.

Billi:

So she had tattoos all over.

Billi:

I have got this picture in my head.

Billi:

My dog was taken by a gang.

Billi:

Bubbles is going into a dog fighting ring.

Billi:

I'm a mess.

Billi:

I'm like, Oh my God.

Billi:

It turned out.

Billi:

I ended up coming across the post where the woman found bubbles

Billi:

number, phone number was posted.

Billi:

I phoned her.

Billi:

I found out she had my dog.

Billi:

Bubbles, was happy.

Billi:

Everything worked out good.

Billi:

So this book is that wild story from our perspective or from

Billi:

Bubbles' perspective of, what bubbles got to do on her adventure.

Billi:

So she was at a kennel, clearly she got to play with a bunch of other dogs.

Billi:

It was just hilarious.

Billi:

It was a story that happened upon us.

Billi:

It turned out I'd never had a vision to write kids books, but as I said, I had

Billi:

done this little, it was called the Tiny Book Course and it said if you did wanna

Billi:

self-publish a book, pick a small project.

Billi:

I thought, this is a small project, something that I could do from

Billi:

start to finish and I couldn't have turned out better, honestly.

Billi:

It's just such a funny story.

Billi:

And I did all the graphics myself and included pictures of bubbles

Billi:

and other graphics I found and oh, it was just the best.

Billi:

Yep.

Billi:

So it's a children's book and we have more ideas coming down the

Billi:

pipe, so it'll be lots of fun.

Billi:

That is fun.

Arlene:

Does Bubbles know that she's famous?

Billi:

I think she has an inkling, but yeah, she does have an inkling.

Billi:

I think she knows there's something special about her, for sure.

Billi:

Yeah.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

, I feel like the upside of dogs like that too, though, that Eddie would be,

Caite:

Robert would hopefully feel so guilty.

Caite:

Although I've been told that my line of logic is not perfect here.

Caite:

I know.

Caite:

When I actually met my husband online and when we went on our first date,

Caite:

on a blind date, I brought my dog along and he said what did you like?

Caite:

Why did you bring a dog along?

Caite:

He asked me this like last year, like eight years we've been married, and

Caite:

he finally asked, I said I figured you might ax murder me, but only

Caite:

a real monster would acts murder somebody in front of their dog.

Caite:

And he is I.

Caite:

Know that I really understand that.

Caite:

I was like, Oh, made sense to me.

Caite:

And obviously it worked out okay.

Caite:

And he said, if the dog hadn't liked me, would there have been a second date?

Caite:

I said, No, there wouldn't have been arrested the first date.

Caite:

If my dog hadn't taken him.

Caite:

Would've been the end of it.

Billi:

It's no way.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

Oh, that's awesome.

Billi:

A good

Caite:

judge of people.

Caite:

Yeah, for sure.

Caite:

Our motivation for starting a podcast was to connect with other

Caite:

parents who are, doing this, raising their kids on the land.

Caite:

What have some of your parenting challenges been when it comes

Caite:

to farm life in particular?

Caite:

Yeah.

Billi:

Hearing me talk and then, and reading the books.

Billi:

It is, it is magical.

Billi:

It.

Billi:

. Awesome.

Billi:

It is.

Billi:

I love it.

Billi:

I love, all of the things that they learn at what I feel is to be a much younger

Billi:

age than their urban counterparts.

Billi:

My eight year old can tell you exactly where her state comes

Billi:

from and like what part of the cow and what part of the steer.

Billi:

And yeah, I think that there are so many benefits, but if there were,

Billi:

are negatives for me it's, I did live in, in, the city for so long prior to

Billi:

moving my husband, moving in with my husband, I did feel like truly that I

Billi:

was gonna be a city person for life.

Billi:

I loved traveling.

Billi:

I traveled anywhere by myself.

Billi:

I would book my two weeks vacation off from the government and I would

Billi:

just take a trip across the country cuz I hadn't seen Nova Scotia yet.

Billi:

Like it was my goal to see every province by the time I

Billi:

was 30 and I made that happen.

Billi:

Traveling was always very big to me, eating different foods

Billi:

all of that kind of stuff.

Billi:

So if there is a negative, it would be I do get concerned sometimes

Billi:

that my children only see a very sort of homogenous way of life.

Billi:

They only see yeah, a very homogenous way of life and a very homogenous

Billi:

say culture and class of people.

Billi:

I worry sometimes that they're not seeing the variety that cities can

Billi:

provide them with on an everyday basis.

Billi:

And so because of that, I work extremely hard in, broadening

Billi:

their horizons in terms of books we read, talks that we have, and quite

Billi:

frankly, just taking them places.

Billi:

I'm gonna tell a story that happened when I think my daughter was just,

Billi:

she couldn't even have been three.

Billi:

I had Madeline in the grocery store when she was younger.

Billi:

She's 10 now.

Billi:

And.

Billi:

I have very good friends that I went to university with in Southern California.

Billi:

So we go visit her, probably every few years or whatever.

Billi:

And one of my favorite places to go when I go visit her is Venice Beach, California.

Billi:

Because you go there and it's this such a cool place where you walk down the, the

Billi:

boardwalk along the water and there's like an outdoor gym and you see a bunch of guys

Billi:

sitting there working out, and then you see a group of people rapping, and then

Billi:

you see a group of people rollerskating.

Billi:

And then you see, just every different kind of person, every different kind of

Billi:

music, every different kind of thing.

Billi:

And so I was in the grocery store with Madeline one day and there was a woman

Billi:

of African descent in the cooler aisle and she was, and for some reason, when

Billi:

kids are young, just people will catch their eye and they'll just stare,

Billi:

and I noticed I had Madeline in the front of my card and I noticed it.

Billi:

Her noticed her at that moment, just staring at that woman.

Billi:

And I thought to myself, I wonder what you're thinking right now.

Billi:

I don't know what she's thinking, but I was curious.

Billi:

And anyway, and I just thought to myself, I was like, I bet you that was the first,

Billi:

non-white person that my daughter had seen in quite frankly, a very long time.

Billi:

And I was like, and that was, another one of those moments that really

Billi:

stuck with me where I was like, Okay, I really need to watch that, right?

Billi:

And make sure.

Billi:

So I literally, I came home and I phoned one of my best friends, Lan.

Billi:

I said, We're coming down to California and we need to

Billi:

take my kid to Venice Beach.

Billi:

Because I needed to make sure she saw.

Billi:

So that would be, one kind of a worry.

Billi:

But I think that there are ways to work around that, right?

Billi:

I make sure traveling is a huge thing on my list of priorities for our family.

Billi:

I want my kids to experience other cultures and ways of life

Billi:

and all of that kind of thing.

Billi:

But I think the benefits outweigh the negative.

Billi:

Any negative, aspects of living rurally for sure.

Billi:

. Caite: Yeah.

Billi:

I know I've told my husband that it's really important to me that we

Billi:

travel to more cities as the kids get older, because A, they never

Billi:

learn to drive on interstates.

Billi:

Our nearest interstate is hour and a half away.

Billi:

Like they need that practice.

Billi:

It's not safe for them to not be able to drive on the interstate.

Billi:

And also just things like reading a bus schedule, these things that living.

Billi:

In rural Iowa, they're not gonna learn how to read a subway map, but they need

Billi:

to because that's part of how you be safe if you ever exist in places in the world.

Billi:

And that we

Arlene:

Sometimes joke about bringing our country mice to the city.

Arlene:

Like you go to a shopping mall and they see an escalator, . This

Arlene:

is the highlight of the trip.

Arlene:

We're only about an hour from Ottawa, so there's, lots of museums and stuff.

Arlene:

But yeah, you go to the museum and they spend half the tape

Arlene:

going up and down the escalator.

Arlene:

It's like, how are some of the

Billi:

displays, ? It's totally true.

Billi:

I've got, there's an escalator and an elevator.

Billi:

Woo.

Billi:

I know . It's absolutely true.

Billi:

There's, going back to my farm kids book, there's another aspect of

Billi:

those interviews or of kids that is so endearing and it's yeah, the farm

Billi:

is their whole world and they would.

Billi:

Have it no other way.

Billi:

One of the little boys from Nova Scotia, Charlie and Benny, the brothers

Billi:

that I had interviewed, one of them, I can't remember which one, but one

Billi:

of them had made the comment cuz I'd asked them, What do you think it would

Billi:

be like if you lived in the city?

Billi:

Or what do you think?

Billi:

Just getting that perspective from them.

Billi:

And I forget exactly how he put it, but it was something along the

Billi:

lines of, Oh no, it would be awful.

Billi:

There aren't nearly enough farms in this city, . Exactly.

Billi:

There aren't enough farms there,

Arlene:

that's the main problem really.

Arlene:

Oh, it was adorable.

Arlene:

So as a photographer, do you have any tips for parents who are trying to capture

Arlene:

those memories with, while their kids are little, or to document life on a

Arlene:

farm, on the farm and really savor those

Billi:

moments and capture them?

Billi:

For me, honestly, it's.

Billi:

Take that damn picture kind of thing.

Billi:

Something.

Billi:

And I know you can't always have iPhones take amazing photos nowadays.

Billi:

They really do.

Billi:

I have a 40 inch by 60 inch canvas in my living room of my daughters

Billi:

when they were super young and Dean was just out through the trees of our

Billi:

yard seeding his last field that year.

Billi:

You know what?

Billi:

Seeding time or planting dad's gone for a long time.

Billi:

Kids miss them dreadfully, right?

Billi:

They were young.

Billi:

My daughter, one daughter was in these bright red Rubber boots and my other

Billi:

daughter was in a sundress and they were just standing there and it was a photo.

Billi:

I had the, mindset to take at the very last minute, I conveniently

Billi:

had my phone in my hand.

Billi:

I went down and I snapped this picture of Madeline running to her

Billi:

dad and Katie standing there in a sundress and Dean in the Cedar in the

Billi:

background and he's crouched behind the cedar unplugging something.

Billi:

And I got it.

Billi:

It was from an iPhone and I got it blown up to 40 by 60 inches.

Billi:

And I tell you, it's absolutely beautiful, and it's just that Dean told me something.

Billi:

I remember when I first got here too.

Billi:

He said, We have no photos of the farm, hardly.

Billi:

Until you came around, and it's just, and like his mother often

Billi:

said, she goes, I was just too busy.

Billi:

You're running with the kids, you're exhausted, You're trying

Billi:

to keep up to everything.

Billi:

And her especially, she had four boys and was a very traditional

Billi:

farm wife, still is, And so she really didn't have the time, right?

Billi:

So if my advice is just, don't worry about the aperture and the setting

Billi:

and just take the picture, because even my kids now, they love do they

Billi:

bug me for taking too many pictures?

Billi:

Absolutely.

Billi:

But do they love looking back at these albums and seeing their life,

Billi:

growing up stage by stage or funny little videos I took or, daddy's old

Billi:

tractor or different things like that.

Billi:

Just take the picture, And it doesn't have to be perfect.

Billi:

And then you know, more than taking them and.

Billi:

Letting them get lost on your electronic drive for years and years.

Billi:

Sit back some evening and look at the pictures too, because I

Billi:

think it's something I love doing.

Billi:

Like whether I'm looking for pictures for my books or looking for pictures for my

Billi:

website or whatever, there's something about sitting in front of your laptop

Billi:

in the evening with a glass of wine and just appreciating this life that we live.

Billi:

And for me it's photos.

Billi:

Like I said, I see my life in photos, I see life in photos.

Billi:

Sitting there and looking at those pictures will really, I think,

Billi:

help you appreciate this amazing life that we do get to live.

Caite:

I know my daughter is really obsessed right now with going through

Caite:

my phone at bedtime and looking for baby pictures of her and her brother.

Caite:

Oh.

Caite:

She'll say things about, Oh, I was so little then, and I'm

Caite:

like, Honey, that was last year.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Oh, okay.

Caite:

Though.

Caite:

And with digital photos especially, you can just delete them.

Caite:

Like you can take 50 shots and get one or two good ones and delete the rest of them.

Caite:

It's not, it's not costing you anything.

Caite:

You're not wasting film or having to wait a week to look at it

Billi:

and Yeah.

Billi:

We

Arlene:

are so lucky compared to previous generations, where a photo was a, you were

Billi:

making a commitment to

Arlene:

Plus you had to actually get the camera out, that's right.

Arlene:

Where now we don't really need to worry about those things, but yeah, it is the,

Arlene:

They also making sure they're accessible and that people can actually see them

Arlene:

and that we don't just That's right.

Arlene:

Take them and forget about them completely.

Arlene:

For sure.

Billi:

Yeah.

Caite:

All right, so we ask all of our guests, if you were going

Caite:

to dominate a category at a county fair and it can be real or made

Caite:

up, what category would it be?

Billi:

That's hilarious.

Billi:

At a county fair?

Billi:

My pickles.

Billi:

My pickles.

Billi:

What kind I am told my dit pickles.

Billi:

Okay.

Billi:

I am told by my family.

Billi:

And that counts that I have the best pickles on the planet.

Billi:

So I had never made pickles before I came here.

Billi:

So again, I mentioned like my life was a little less traditional, right?

Billi:

And so we didn't have big family recipe traditions or anything like that, quite

Billi:

frankly, or too many of them anyway.

Billi:

But pickles, when I came here, I've always loved pickles.

Billi:

And actually that's a lie.

Billi:

One thing I will say so a big part of my life, I was raised by a Polish stepfather

Billi:

who to this day is an incredibly pivotal part of me and my sister's life.

Billi:

So he met my mother, he met us when I was probably about four,

Billi:

actually three and a half, four.

Billi:

And he's, like I said, he is still in my life.

Billi:

He and my mother are no longer married.

Billi:

He raised me and my sister.

Billi:

So we're all very close.

Billi:

He was a Polish immigrant.

Billi:

He came here in 1975.

Billi:

Cuz we always say we've been in Canada the same amount of time, same year I was born.

Billi:

And he is, the Eastern European, like when it comes to food, when it comes.

Billi:

So he always loved pickles.

Billi:

So pickles was always a big thing in our life.

Billi:

So I've loved them ever since I was a child.

Billi:

So anyway, when I came here, I started learning some different

Billi:

things from my mother-in-law and stuff like that in the kitchen.

Billi:

And she wanted help with making pies or making pickles or whatever.

Billi:

So I go over there and help her and I said, Okay, I gotta watch

Billi:

you making pickles cuz I need to start making some right.

Billi:

I'd like to try them myself.

Billi:

So anyway, my mother-in-law always makes them with a lot of

Billi:

the bigger ones as well, right?

Billi:

But me and my hub, whenever we'd bring a to our home, he goes, if we

Billi:

could just have 'em all when they're really nice and small and nice

Billi:

and crisp, that would be the best.

Billi:

That would be the best.

Billi:

So over the years I've just amended the recipe to the exact number of

Billi:

garlic and all of these kinds of things and I really do think I am.

Billi:

I make the best pickles and it's also gotten to the point where a lot of our

Billi:

city friends have come to know that they really like my pickles and so

Billi:

they come here and they beg for a jar.

Billi:

I've got two little elementary school friends of my daughters

Billi:

that love my pickles so much.

Billi:

We give 'em to them for their birthday.

Billi:

So I think I would dominate the pickle category that, That

Arlene:

sounds like pretty good reviews.

Arlene:

I would say that are, Ribbon is definitely forthcoming

Billi:

in our six year old kids.

Billi:

Come on.

Billi:

They know everything.

Billi:

Yeah, for sure.

Caite:

is, oh, is this recipe secret or is it something that we could share?

Caite:

It's fine if it's secret.

Billi:

That's fine.

Billi:

I'm gonna have to think on that.

Billi:

I'll think on that.

Billi:

Yeah, it's okay.

Billi:

You're

Arlene:

allowed to keep

Billi:

it.

Billi:

You're gonna win.

Billi:

Yeah, that's great.

Billi:

don't wanna

Arlene:

let these things out.

Arlene:

Yeah.

Arlene:

So we're gonna move into the cussing and discussing segment of the show.

Arlene:

We've registered for an online platform called SpeakPipe, where you can leave

Arlene:

your cussing and discussing entries for us and we can play them on the show.

Arlene:

So go to www.speakpipe.com/barnyard language and leave us a voice memo.

Arlene:

Or you can always send us an email@barnyardlanguagegmail.com

Arlene:

and we could read it out for you.

Arlene:

So Katie, what are you going to discuss and discuss this week?

Caite:

I just wanna know why little kids are so fucking weird.

Caite:

Arlene.

Caite:

That's it.

Caite:

I was getting ready for bed last night because, of course both kids are

Caite:

still sleeping in our bed, especially when daddy's out in the tractor.

Caite:

And I was, changing into my jammies and a girl child looks over at me and she goes,

Caite:

Mommy, you look like an ice cream cone.

Caite:

And then she finally bed and fell asleep.

Caite:

I just, what am I supposed to do with that?

Caite:

Like , where do they come up with this shit?

Caite:

I dunno.

Caite:

I don't know.

Caite:

So that's what I have this week.

Caite:

Got it.

Caite:

Billy, what do you have to cuss and discuss?

Caite:

Discuss?

Caite:

Okay.

Caite:

Why

Billi:

the hell do farm husbands hate chicken so much?

Billi:

So let me explain.

Billi:

So my husband would eat beef, like there have been days where he will

Billi:

come home and make a minute steak for lunch for himself when I've already

Billi:

got like rib supper that night.

Billi:

I love steak two, I love rib roasts, all of that.

Billi:

But we can't support the industry and all that stuff, right?

Billi:

Yes.

Billi:

We cannot have it five times a week.

Billi:

So I buy these chicken breasts, from co-op, and I buy them

Billi:

pre-marinated and just.

Billi:

I cook 'em so delightfully that they're so moist and so delicious.

Billi:

We gotta support the other farmers too, in my opinion.

Billi:

Yes, for sure.

Billi:

No matter how well I cook it and how beautiful of a salad I put on the

Billi:

side of it at night or whatever, the kids have come to grading my meal.

Billi:

They think this is hilarious.

Billi:

They bring home homework and they got a P for proficient or they got A for

Billi:

adequate or they got a E for excellent.

Billi:

This is what they give me for my meals now.

Billi:

Little buggers, right?

Billi:

I'm like their personal chef and they grade me on my meal.

Billi:

But anyway, I let 'em do it.

Billi:

It's hilarious.

Billi:

No matter how good the chicken is, it's only an A for adequate.

Billi:

And I was like, Dean, you complain so much that you just want beef all the time.

Billi:

That now the girls think they, they're sure they hate chicken even though

Billi:

there's nothing wrong with the chicken.

Billi:

The is bloody delicious.

Billi:

But they, yeah.

Billi:

So it's like why do farmers.

Billi:

Have such an aversion to anything other than beef.

Billi:

I don't know what it is.

Billi:

I don't know what it is.

Billi:

Yeah, so

Caite:

Billy, here's one for you too.

Caite:

In our house, if something is good, we'll say, Oh no, it's terrible.

Caite:

It's disgusting.

Caite:

I will take it and get rid of it so that nobody else has to eat it.

Caite:

I accidentally did this to a coworker last week with a amazing meal that he

Caite:

cooked for me and he said, How is it?

Caite:

And I said, Oh God, it's horrible.

Caite:

I'll get rid of it for you . And the look on his face.

Caite:

And then, so of course I'm telling him about this.

Caite:

And then I was reminded of the time that my husband said this to me in

Caite:

front of guests that we had over for dinner, who also did not know, dude,

Caite:

don't know your reverse language.

Caite:

When he said something about he was just going on about how horrible the meal was

Caite:

and they were just staring I really didn't think she'd put up with this but over,

Caite:

and I'm like, And why did you No trust it?

Caite:

No trust in front of company when he actually doesn't like the meal,

Caite:

he won't say anything, which doesn't really make any sense cuz then

Caite:

I'm like, we must have liked it.

Caite:

He didn't say anything, and then like years later he'll be

Caite:

like, I don't really like that.

Caite:

I like, But yeah, if you go on about how horrible it is, it's

Caite:

because you like it got it.

Caite:

It's hard to remember not to bring those things out in public though.

Caite:

So Arlene, what do you have to cuss and discuss this week?

Caite:

So mine

Arlene:

this week is, I guess I'm cussing myself.

Arlene:

So the small town that we live near a couple years ago they

Arlene:

did a big construction project on part of the main street.

Arlene:

So it was like everything from way underground, like they were replacing

Arlene:

water mains and natural gas pipe lines and all that kind of stuff.

Arlene:

So that section was done and now they're doing the other part of the main street.

Arlene:

So this is the town I have to drive through when I go anywhere really,

Arlene:

other than to, if I were to pick the kids up from school, it's in

Arlene:

the opposite direction, but for the most part, if I'm going somewhere,

Arlene:

I'm going through this town and.

Arlene:

I keep forgetting that there's a major

Billi:

detour until I get down

Arlene:

there and then I'm like, Yeah, the main street's still closed and it's gonna

Arlene:

be closed for months and it has already been closed for a month at this point.

Arlene:

And I could go, There's many alternate routes, but I have to

Arlene:

like physically see the no entry sign and then I'm like, Oh yeah.

Arlene:

Yeah, I can't take this street because it's

Billi:

still closed.

Billi:

Oh.

Arlene:

So that's just cussing myself for not remembering that

Arlene:

there's gonna be construction.

Arlene:

Probably about the time that I remember that the construction

Arlene:

is, there will be like in October when they're finally done and

Billi:

when they're finished that It's all fixed.

Billi:

Yeah.

Billi:

Oh.

Arlene:

So thank you so much, Billy, for joining us on the podcast today.

Arlene:

Remind people where they can find more out about you, about your books.

Arlene:

Where should they look you

Billi:

up online?

Billi:

Yes.

Billi:

I appreciate it so much.

Billi:

My name is Billy, b i l i.

Billi:

J Miller and it's that same website, billy j miller.com.

Billi:

But I highly encourage Pop on there.

Billi:

You can click shop and you can order the books directly from my

Billi:

home supply and that will get you signed copies if you wanna give

Billi:

'em for a gift or anything else.

Billi:

Or you could find any of my books on Amazon on chapters online as well.

Billi:

Chapters Indigo.

Billi:

Or you could honestly just go into your local bookstore if you wanna shop

Billi:

local, which I highly encourage as well.

Billi:

They can order them in too.

Billi:

So just ask 'em to search out my name and but definitely visit my

Billi:

website billy j miller.com and you'll find all about me there.

Billi:

Perfect.

Billi:

Thank

Arlene:

you so much.

Arlene:

It was great to meet you.

Billi:

Aw, thank you.

Caite:

I should get back to the script.

Caite:

Thank you everyone for joining us today on Barnyard Language, A proud member of the

Caite:

Positively Farming Media Podcast Network.

Caite:

That's a mouthful, Arlene.

Caite:

Wow.

Caite:

Oh yeah, I know . You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and

Caite:

TikTok as barnyard language, and on Twitter, we generally avoid it.

Caite:

But if we are there, it's on Barnyard Pod.

Caite:

If you wanna connect with other farm families, join our private

Caite:

barnyard language Facebook group.

Arlene:

Patreon is a service where you commit to making a

Arlene:

small monthly donation, which goes towards the making of this podcast.

Arlene:

We would love it if you would become a patron.

Arlene:

Go to www.patreon.com/barnyard language to support the show.

Arlene:

Another way to support us is to write and review the podcast on Apple or

Arlene:

Spotify and follow the show so that you would never miss an episode.

Arlene:

We're always in search for future guests for the podcast.

Arlene:

If you or someone you know would like to chat with us, please get in touch.

Caite:

Arlene, I have a an extra family photography tip.

Caite:

Clean your windows.

Caite:

I always try to take pictures out the window and they end up

Caite:

with all these horrible spots.

Caite:

I cleaned my office windows this week for the first time in the

Caite:

eight years I've lived here and God knows how long before that.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

And took, and now you can take clear pictures.

Caite:

It took an entire roll of paper towels to wash three windows.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

Yeah.

Caite:

But now I can see out, so that's nice.

Caite:

I had no idea about that.

Caite:

So there's my extra tip.

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