Romance In A Burger Joint

The month of June is always a busy time for me. But this year, I felt even more inundated with work to do. My summer work load is typically made up of weekly mowing, weeding, and watering of flower beds and various shrubs and trees. And, I add to it each year as I continue to put in wildlife-friendly plants and vegetation that will one day make this ten acres more of a sanctuary to birds and deer. Of course, all of these new plantings require special care and regular watering. On top of this, I have one big garden and a smaller raised bed patch that also requires regular weeding and watering. And in mid-to late June, some of the garden harvesting begins – onions, carrots, golden beets, and turnips must be dug up during this time and stored for later use.

We eat a lot of greens in the spring and summer. These were turnip greens.
We eat a lot of greens in the spring and summer. These were turnip greens.
My onions did a little better this year than most. I usually give a third of what I raise to family. We always have more than we can use.
My onions did a little better this year than most. I usually give a third of what I raise to family. We always have more than we can use.
I dry my own peppers and powder them for seasoning. I come up with some interesting spice blends some years!
I dry my own peppers and powder them for seasoning. I come up with some interesting spice blends some years!

This year, we also acquired orphaned fawns, Emma and Ronnie. Preparing formula for these two, and incorporating feeding times into an already busy schedule, made things interesting for sure! I managed though, with a good bit of help from FD. Inside the house, I spend a lot of time taking care of our three elderly dogs. This last year, with Bear’s increase in seizures, Zoe going blind and needing more assistance, and Mr. T’s stubbornness and anti-social ways, made me feel I was running a nursing home most days. Out of sheer exhaustion most nights, I found myself dropping into bed by 9:00. Many evenings, by the time I cleaned up dinner dishes and got a quick shower, I could not even keep my eyes open long enough to read a few lines in a book!

Emma was so kind to Ronnie when he arrived here. Having been hit by a combine during harvest, and having to settle into a whole new world, Ronnie was a bit scared. But big sister Emma soothed him with her gentle licks.
Emma was so kind to Ronnie when he arrived here. Having been hit by a combine during harvest, and having to settle into a whole new world, Ronnie was a bit scared. But big sister Emma soothed him with her gentle licks.
This is the last photo of all three of the chin gang. Zoe passed away just a week later.
This is the last photo of all three of the chin gang. Zoe (on the right) passed away just a week later.

Needless to say, when one of FD’s childhood classmates was in town for a visit, and a group of his buddies decided to meet at a local restaurant, I thought I would just back out. But I could see that FD really wanted me to go, and when he said other wives and girlfriends would be there, I gave in. But it was still an imposition in my day to take time to fix myself up. I also had to make sure all of the animals were taken care of before we left – all so we could spend an evening out… that I really didn’t want to go along with. But I found that, once we arrived and I had a glass of wine and some friendly conversation, I rather enjoyed my evening out. I admitted that it had probably been a good idea to go after all, but I still reminded FD that it had made a lot of extra work for me to allow for a frivolous evening out.

Forrest (red shirt) and I (black dress on FD's right) are at the far end of the photo. We had just acquired Ronnie deer that afternoon so our "deer" adventure was the talk of the evening.
Forrest (red shirt) and I (black dress on FD’s right) are at the far end of the photo. We had just acquired Ronnie deer that afternoon so our “deer” adventure was the talk of the evening.

Then the credit card statement arrived a week later. I had already been stressing a bit about the finances for June. We had just had the storm shelter installed, and I had ordered those fence extensions for the deer pen. We also had some smaller, unexpected repairs early in the month, including a water heater that suddenly needed replacing. So when FD asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I really wanted those extension panels for the deer pen and that would be my gift. We had done this type of gift giving before, even though FD never could get used to my “practical” nature when it came to gifts. His desire was to get me romantic pretties. My ideas were farm girl oriented – a gift needed to reflect my lifestyle. And I found jewelry a frivolous gift – that money could be better utilized for something we really needed – something functional! Despite my stubbornness about celebrating my birthday and poo pooing gifts, FD always managed to find just the right gift. Sometimes it was jewelry, sometimes something special I wanted for our home, many times an elegant meal at a fine restaurant, sometimes pretty clothes, or maybe just a romantic evening under the stars having a beer together.

So at the end of June, when FD tried to sway me to have my birthday dinner at some fancy Italian restaurant in the Oklahoma City area, I put on my worst grumpy “are you kidding me?” face and looked at him saying, “No, I don’t want to do that. I want to stay home. I don’t feel like celebrating this year. I just lost Zoe last week, and I’m sad. We have deer to feed. I’d have to get all fixed up and ready early, just like last week with your friends, and then go out in the heat to feed deer before we leave and get all sweaty again. I appreciate that you want to do this, but I want to stay home!” Then I began to cry. We both knew I was just overtired and sad. It was just too soon after Zoe passed and I truly did not want to go through all of the fuss of getting ready to go out. I was exhausted just thinking about a drive to OKC and getting home late. I finally told him that if he insisted we go out, then we would just go up town to a small burger joint we liked so, at the very least, he could feel good about me not having to cook that night. Not to be defeated, he was still trying to persuade me to change my mind the next day – my birthday, but I would not budge, so he reluctantly agreed to the burger joint dinner.

Despite my cranky attitude and sad mood, I really did want to enjoy dinner out. It had been a hot and humid day, and I just wanted the simple meal to be relaxing.  As luck would have it, we were the only two in the tiny diner. And, just after we ordered, FD announced he had left his phone and wallet in the car and would have to go retrieve it, or I would be paying for dinner! Wow, I thought, some birthday! But, upon returning from the car, FD deftly plopped a small bag onto the table in front of me. I recognized it as a jewelry store gift bag. “What did you DO?” I exclaimed, trying to give him the hairy “financier” raised-eyebrow look, but it didn’t quash the grin on his face. Inside, I found a velvet box with a ring I had long forgotten about. A year before, when we had taken a niece to the jewelry store to get her a special birthstone ring, I saw a simple, rose gold ring with an earthy-colored sliced diamond setting that I thought was absolutely beautiful. The woman helping us at that time, remembered me saying, “That looks like a nature ring. It says, “nature girl” to me.” Surprisingly, when FD stopped by the jeweler just a couple of weeks before my birthday, the woman remembered me – and the ring I liked – and it was still there!

Of course, I chided FD for splurging like that, and I still have no idea how he paid for it (I handle our finances and know where every penny is!), but you could have knocked me over with a feather that evening. I think it’s pretty wonderful that year after year there are still surprises and magic between us. And, I am glad that, despite my refusal of his initial plan to wine and dine me at a fine restaurant,  he still managed to pull off a great, romantic evening out at the local burger joint – which was actually the perfect setting for this practical farm girl!

A birthday I'll never forget was in 2014 when FD and I traveled to New York City. We made a toast to come back... I am going to hold FD to that one!
A birthday I’ll never forget was in 2014 when FD and I traveled to New York City. We made a toast to come back… and I am going to hold FD to that one!

© 2016 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


31 thoughts on “Romance In A Burger Joint

  1. Happy Birthday! We want to see the ring! I loved seeing the Chin picture and I’m so sorry about Zoe.

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    1. Oh, gosh Cindy… it was a great birthday and thank you! I still miss Zoe, but I’m adjusting to working alone outside now. Mr. T is too scared of the buggy and Bear would never leave the air conditioned comfort of the house to venture out! Ha ha.

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  2. Lori you do the work of 4-5 people. One day you’ll regret running yourself into the ground. Here’s wishing you a belated happy birthday. The photo of you and FD in NYC is a really good one of yall. You make such a good looking couple. And gee that ring sounds gorgeous. You have a jewel for a husband.

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    1. Oh, Yvonne, I’m already figuring that out. This is the first year I have really had to slow down. And yes, FD and I will certainly be going to NYC and a few other exciting spots on the map. I will have to make time away from wildlife rehabilitation when that time comes. Right now, Bear needs special care and Mr. T is a handful. Our time to travel will come one day! 😀

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    1. Thank you, Henri. Romance and magic should last forever… even in the simple things. I’m sure the ring will show up in future photos somehow… it’s almost too pretty to wear on my “working” hands – what with cuts and scabs all over. Seriously, I feel like I need to have a manicure before posing for any ring photos. Ha ha!!

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  3. You two are adorable and amazing! Happy Birthday! FD is one lucky guy, and the deer are lucky, and the dogs, and the squirrels, and the birds and your readers and …😊

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  4. Belated Birthday Wishes, Lori. How uncanny to read this story today, only an hour after I learned of our daughter’s surprise engagement while she and her boyfriend of four years are traveling in Greece!! My romantic cup runneth over! Will we get to see a photo of the ring some time? Very best wishes to you both. Well done FD!!

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    1. My goodness!! What a wonderful surprise for your daughter! And for you too! The ring might show up someday in a photo. My wedding ring is actually a simple gold band, and this rose gold ring actually looks pretty sitting right above the gold band. FD nor I had much money when we got together, so it was a few years before I got him a nice wedding ring, and now this will complete my wedding set. I actually have a thing about not being traditional. This ring is “nature girl”… not at all your typical matching diamond set. I would say every piece of jewelry FD has surprised me with is an eclectic mix of who I am. I love being different!

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      1. I, too, am not traditional. My wedding band was inherited from a distant cousin and is well over 100 years old. I never had an engagement ring because we had to spend much of our savings moving me to Australia. A few years ago my Mother lost a diamond earring my Dad had bought her and she only had the one earring left and wanted me to sell it. I asked her if I could buy it and have a ring made for myself from it. She wouldn’t sell it to me, but gave it to me, and I had a lovely solitaire diamond ring made from it. And my set, too, is now completed! Big hugs, Lori.

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        1. Oh what a wonderful keepsake!! Ardys, that is a beautiful story and what a lovely history for that ring! I love when an item or keepsake has a story.. a history. I think sometimes that the meager beginning FD and I had was much more memorable and special than the weddings nowadays where couples spend tens of thousands of dollars on pomp and parade.

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  5. A belated Happy double nickel birthday. I reach an even bigger milestone in September. And I DO want to go out and celebrate. I’m glad you decided to dine out. It’s not about the place as much as being with the man you love. FD’s persistence paid off in one memorable evening. And the ring (which I also want to see) sounds like a perfect fit for you. You two are a smashing couple.

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    1. Jeepers! I thought you were younger than me. Just goes to show what I know! I hope you do it up big, Audrey! My sis-in-law from Dallas loves to celebrate her birthday in a big way. In fact, we call September her “Birthday MONTH”!! Ha ha! You’ll have to write about your milestone birthday… and hopefully Randy (or someone) will get some great shots of the birthday girl in action! 😀

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  6. Hi Lori,
    I checked your blog yesterday for a post and found three new ones! You’ve been extra busy, even busier than your normally crazily busy self! You made a comment on one of my blog posts recently that we are quite similar in many ways. As I was reading this blog post I thought you could have been talking about me with regards to my protests and requests when it comes to my birthday or other special occasions, especially when the children were young and I was busy on the farm. I’m not quite sure whether it’s just about our practical nature and feeling exhausted. I suspect it may have a bit to do with somehow feeling we don’t deserve some special treatment. We tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. I always say I want to have practical gifts – it makes life easier, and also I guess I feel like the gift is not “wasted” on me – there is a reason for me to be given something. I don’t feel as guilty about the money spent. In the end though, it is just so beautiful when someone chooses something special and thoughtful for us, such as FD did with the ring. Brings on the tears. It shows that they value us even if we don’t perhaps think we are worth the cost/luxury. My family once bought me a beautiful simple German wooden cuckoo clock. It was not a practical gift as I already had plenty of clocks, but they knew I had special memories of a cuckoo clock at a relative’s house as a child. It’s a fun and special gift and I love it. I never would have bought such a thing for myself though or asked for it! It’s always about practical things I need (which I do appreciate very much too.) Anyway, I m so glad FD picked something special for you. YOU deserve it! It’s a gorgeous picture of you both too. You may be feeling the years but you look so alive! I love to see your smiles. love and hugs, you wonderful caring and unique woman. xx

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    1. Jane, I’m quite sure we must be twins separated at birth. I was half in tears through this. Your words, “practical nature and exhausted” seemed to hit the nail on the head with me. I know a lot of how I feel and how I’m geared is so much the way I grew up – how we were supposed to be and act. I think all of my life I haven’t felt I deserved a thing, and more than likely I would feel better spending on someone else who needed something – because I don’t really need anything. And in part, as I mentioned to Ardys, I am not a traditionalist. I’ve never desired the things that make most women go gaga. I suppose in many ways, that makes gift buying a nightmare for FD. But I have to hand it to him – he really knows me and always manages just the right thing (and sometimes that means it’s a practical, boring gift!).

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      1. Ah yes, Lori, I am very much a non-traditionalist when it comes to presents too. I very rarely wear jewellery and when I do it is something simple and/or meaningful. Most of my clothes are very practical, simple and I’ve had for years or bought from charity shops. Shoes…generally boring and practical as I do like my comfort and I fall over in high heels. I am rather clumsy! Flowers? I prefer some seedlings or a pot plant so it won’t die (although they are still lovely). Sometimes my family despair when buying me gifts as they feel guilty for presenting me with something really practical, even though that’s what I really want it. 🙂

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        1. Ha ha!! Oh, me too.. except the shoes. I have always had a penchant for beautiful shoes, but of course the older I get the more practical I am about those too! I have neuropathy in one foot so heels are out these days. 😦 My clothes are classic pieces that come back around every 10 or 15 years, and by then they are one-of-a-kind and I can be a little bit different than the current trends. I like that!! Who wants to be like everyone else? Hey thrift shops and consignment shops have some beautiful and fun pieces… and who doesn’t love a bargain?

          I get sad with cut flowers. It’s like they had to die for me. 😦

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  7. We all deserve a little time away from the grind, especially for a birthday celebration. We need these times to take a breath, gain some perspective, do something different.
    Happy Birthday! so glad you all still capture that magic!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. I wish I was better about taking time to breathe. You seem to enjoy that on your bike trips… good friends and special times. That’s the kind of magic that inspires!

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