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It's not a job you want to take on without a sense of humor. Oops--it's not a job at all. It's an all-encompassing life, being a country woman on the ranch or farm, and with wit and equanimity like Gwen Petersen's, it can be survived. In fact, with Petersen's help, it can be drop-dead hilarious. A much-loved cowgirl scribe in rare form, Petersen eases us through the rigors of country living, from raising chickens to shoveling manure to cooking Rocky Mountain oysters. You'd think midwifing a calf was no laughing matter--until Gwen steps in with her expert advice. She has wise counsel for sharing the yard with a gaggle of ill-tempered geese; step-by-step instructions for harvesting pig manure; and sound advice for staying cool through haying season and coping with the chaos of Christmas on the ranch or farm. For good measure, the book includes poems and recipes that will transport you to a country state of mind--whether you hail from the city's busiest streets or the ranch's quietest gravel roads. Equal parts handy how-to advice, rural humor, philosophy, and fond farm nostalgia, How to Shovel Manure and Other Life Lessons for the Country Woman is all good.

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