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farm party

Chris is a practical kind of guy. He sees a barn, and he puts things in it, like, you know, tractors and sprayers and lawn mowers. I see a barn .  .  . and then I see a barn party. 

I asked him if we could throw a party for some of my coworkers, the ones who have to sit inside in cubicles all day, just longing for a stress-free breath of country air. He said yes. Because he's awesome like that. So while he was busy chopping silage and caring for cows, things that keep the lights on and food on the table, I was pinning barn party pictures of white lights and gingham. 

And last Saturday, all Chris's hard work and all my Pinteresting finally collided. 
That is to say, he moved the big pieces of machinery out of the barn, while I got all teary and sniffled and reminded him of what a patient, great guy he is, and thanked him profusely for letting me use his working barn as a gigantic shelter house. 

He's good that way. 

My sister Kellee also came to help, and after borrowing all my mother-in-law's tables and chairs (thank you, Cindy!), it started to come together. 
I mean, c'mon. 
That barn was meant for parties. 
And machinery. 
But mostly parties. 
(Did I mention my nieces and nephews call that cattle chute on the left "the cow launcher"?)

I just know that the husbands of Dorr women think to themselves at least 20 times a year, "Does she really need 15 old grandma tablecloths?" 
But I'm proud to note that between Kellee and me, we covered tables for 50 people with the cutest old vintage linens you've ever seen. 
And with Pyrex. 
Because you can never have enough Pyrex. 
Although I'm pretty sure the aforementioned husbands have thoughts on that statement too. 

Because this party was county fair themed, my mom and dad (thank you!) hauled the Cleghorn, Iowa, VFW's bingo cage and cards all the way down to Missouri. 
You want vintage? 
We got vintage. 

We also had lots of food: from beef to macaroni, fruit to potato salad. 
It was a good ole fashioned chuck wagon feed. 
Heck, I even rang our cast iron dinner bell before we ate (thanks, Sarah and Joel!). 
We also had desserts: pies, Rumchata rhubarb crisps, cakes, and my pig and cow cookies. (And yes, my pigs do look like little mice. Don't let this change how you view bacon.)
And yes, in case you're wondering, those ARE old steps from the milk barn. What else would you use to display your desserts?

We also had a few jars of apple spice moonshine to pass (that's "hooch" to those of you in the know), made with a recipe from a friend who grew up in an area of the world where they're experts on that sorta thing. 

Some of the kids got their portraits drawn, 

some of the men did their best to hit clay pigeons, 

the little girls tried their hand . . . errrr . . . feet at the three-legged race,

and all the guys took part in the cow patty toss. 
Uhhhh . . .  no comment. 

I flubbed up the nail driving contest. 
Apparently I needed (a) shorter nails, (b) bigger hammers, and (c) softer wood. 
Sorry about that, guys. Like I said, Chris = practical. Me = working on it.
The kids loved the kittens, and the dogs loved eating the scraps that fell from their master's table. 
Wait. Wasn't that the Gospel reading for last Sunday?

We had an egg relay death match,

fretted over cutting into a cake so beautiful it should have been a Christmas ornament, 

got dressed up in the American Gothic photo booth,

sang and played the fiddle,

made everybody laugh,

played a few rounds of bingo,

lost, and played a few more,

enjoyed a dairy version of corn hole, 
made good use of the fact that the rain left some water-logged spots in the yard, 
and took a dairy tour to learn all about milk production, calving, and what cows eat. 

And when the night was over and everyone was gone, my gracious and practical husband and I realized that whether it's a working barn or a party barn or both, 
life really is, well, sweeter on the farm. 


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