Whether you live on a farm, in a suburb, or in the city, being a "country girl" is a rising trend. Being a country girl is much more than just throwing on a pair of cute cowgirl boots and a cowboy hat; it's a lifestyle. Country living is tough, and requires investments of time and hard work. We've compiled a list of eight things a real country girl should know how to do.
1. Start a Fire
Starting a fire involves more than just putting a match or lighter to firewood. First, you have to start with kindling. Kindling is small, thin pieces of wood that will light easily. You can use other items as kindling (dryer lint, Doritos, etc.), but you will need some sort of kindling to get your fire going. Put these at the base of your fire, and light them. Once your kindling is burning, start adding small pieces of firewood, being careful not to overwhelm the flame and snuff the fire. Be patient, and wait for the small pieces of firewood to catch before adding larger pieces.
Many country homes come with wood stoves, so knowing how to start and maintain a fire is important.
2. Bait a Hook and Fish
Spending an evening on a lake or pond, waiting for the tug of a fish on the end of your line, is a favorite pastime for country folks. From tying fishing knots (think clinch knots) to baiting your own hook, every country girl should know how to fish. If putting a worm on a hook is too much, buy yourself a few plastic lures or bait, and learn how to put those on a hook instead.
3. Drive a Stick/Manual Shift
If you're going to call yourself a country girl, you're going to need to know how to drive a stick shift. If you live on a farm, you're going to need to know how to operate a tractor or lawn mower, and these will most likely be manual. Knowing how to operate a stick shift is imperative.
4. Plant a Garden
Living the country life lends itself to growing a garden. The extension service in your area most likely has great information. Even a small garden, with peppers and tomatoes, is a good start. Being able to take a piece of land and turn it into a food-producing garden is not only easy, but is also an impressive addition to your country girl repertoire. If you start small, chances are you'll find yourself expanding your garden every year.
5. Basics of Canning/Preserving
Now that you know how to grow a garden, you 'll also need to know the basics of canning. While pressure canning is no doubt intimidating, water bath canning couldn't be simpler. You can start with something simple, such as making your own jam or pickles, and work your way up from there. Knowing how to preserve the bounty you get from your garden is a huge item on your "to-do" list.
6. Shrug Off Bugs and Dirt
Face it: Country life is not for the faint of heart. You'll get dirty, sweaty and greasy, and you'll most likely run into a bug or two. Training yourself not to get grossed out or let out a blood-curdling scream at the sight of a spider will go miles toward increasing your country street cred. Yeah, spiders are creepy, but you'll need to learn to just roll on. There are critters, however, to be careful about, such as black widows, brown recluses, ticks and snakes. Be aware of which are dangerous and take appropriate action.
Being OK with dirt is another must. Living in the country, or playing in the country, you're going to have to be willing to get dirty and muddy. Whether it's riding a quad, four wheeling, or working cattle, sometimes getting dirty is necessary.
Every country girl should know the basics of cooking. Even if it's just simple things, it's important to know your way around a kitchen. If cooking seems overwhelming, just start simple with a chicken dish and mashed potatoes. There are many great recipes online or in cookbooks that even a beginner can tackle. But knowing how to throw together a good meal after a hard day's work is an important part of being a true country girl.
8. Hook Up a Trailer
Whether it's a cattle trailer, motorcycle trailer, or travel trailer, knowing how to hook and unhook a trailer is an important skill to learn. There are two types of trailer hook-ups -- gooseneck and ball hitches. Ball hitch trailers are the simpler of the two. With a ball hitch trailer, you'll need to raise the coupler, and back the vehicle to meet the coupler. Lower the coupler onto the ball, and lock in place. Raise the tongue jack of the trailer to get the most ground clearance. Create a crisscross with the safety chains under the coupler and hook them into the holes on the receiver. From there, you'll need to make sure everything is locked and in place. You may have a hand wheel or throw latch coupler -- either way, double- check to make sure it's on properly. From that point, you'll need to connect the electrical components so the lights of the trailer will function properly.
If you're going to be towing, remember that it's crucial to have trailer insurance in place. Trailer insurance is important to have in order to get coverage not only on the trailer, but on the contents as well. An accident with a trailer can get expensive quickly - especially if livestock or other vehicles are involved. An agent from the Trusted Choice® can help you find the trailer insurance that is one crucial piece of the towing safety puzzle.