Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Monday, May 28, 2007

From my head to my toes

I beginning to realize that all the jobs I get on the farm are the ones that no one else wants to do at all. A good number of these jobs include poo. Today I had to power wash two tractors and a manure spreader. One of the tractors is a blue New Holland Front Loader. It had been used a lot for scrapping manure out of the manure pits so let’s just say it was pretty dirty. You never would have known it was a New Holland by the color of it.
When power washing a nice combo of cold water and tiny chunks of manure fly back at you. I ended up totally covered in this vulgar paste. I have to laugh at my friend Nick who told me a story one time of how he got a little cow manure splattered near his eye and that was the grossest thing to ever happen to him. I was so covered that when my mom came up and saw me power washing she said, “ Gosh,I didn’t even notice that this tractor was blue. It wasn’t blue earlier was it?” I nod. “hmmmm. And you used to be blue.” She was commenting on how my shirt that had been blue was now totally black. I couldn’t wipe any of it off my face because It was all over my hands and arms so I had no clean space to move it away from my eyes and mouth.
It’s a shitty job but somebody’s gotta do it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


In my 23 year history of being a little sister I have gotten very good at agitating people. I have a gift for saying precisely the wrong thing at that moment when someone doesn’t want to hear it. Then I do that whole Midwestern/Canadian apology thing later which just seems to exasperate the person even more.
Lately, though, I have been doing a totally different kind of agitating. I have been agitating manure. I sit in a tractor that is hooked up to a pipe and for hours watch that pipe shoot out the manure back into the pit. You have to do it just so because you want to get the manure all loosened up. You also need to get the manure swirling to help mix it up even more. I sit and watch swirling poo…

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Country Girl

I have friends, mostly my friends who grew up in the suburbs, who get irritated that I don’t listen to country. They love it… no…. they LOOOOOOVE country music. That’s right they love it so much it requires 5 extra “O”s. They question if my dad actually is a farmer or if I have ever seen a cow, if I don’t know every line of the newest …. Give me a country star (is Shiana Twain still big?) … Faith Hill (?) song.
I have to confess I have been listening to more country music since I came home. Partly because country music is every other radio station, and partly because when I get the good tractor there is a radio on it and it seems to ONLY get country stations. I don’t know if that is a requirement for a radio in a tractor, to only get country stations, or if this radio just likes country music.
After hearing many…many country songs I understand why it is predominately my suburbanite friends that love country music. They can relate to the music. They too spent their time down by the levy (I sorta think I know what a levy is, but why are so many of them in country songs?), they spent their teen years making out on tractors and dancing in barns.
Country songs also seem to love to sing about how regular they are. If you question that listen to the song Common Man or Regular Guy Like Me. They just like singin’ about there good wife, their great kids, and beer. I do have to give some respect to men that know the difference between Case Red, New Holland Blue, and John Deere Green…. and can find ways to sing about them.
I did find it odd how many country songs defend country music. I heard probably four songs in an hour and half defending how great country music is and why they listen to it. You don’t hear Pop songs having to defend why they are great. Well, except for ‘NSYNC’s Pop…. But I super-duper (with a cherry on top) love that song. How can you not love it with lines like:
Sick and tired of hearing all these people talk about
“what’s the deal with this pop life and when’s it goin’ fade out”
Country, though, has more than one anthem declaring that it will live on. In all honesty country doesn’t need any of these, because their anthem was written long ago. As Hank Williams Jr said A Country Boy Can Survive.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I have to be honest I am terrfied of birds. Their beaks, the feathers, the whole flying thing gets kinda creepy. I find Alfred Hitchcock's Birds the second scarriest movie ever, after Return to Oz(don't play those wheelers, a talking chicken, gnome king, dessert of death... that movie is freaky!!!!)
Without thinking I agreed to disk my brother's fields. It means I was driving a tractor that is pulling a devise that turns up the soil. That all sounds fine till you realize that every seagul(extra yucky!) from a 30 mile radius it seems comes flying up hoping to catch some worms that might have gotten turned up.
I'm not sure why I'm extra freakedout by seagulls, but I think it has something to do with my childhood. Probably when my old sister Karen was eating a piece of KFC and a seagull swooped down and tok it right out of her hand!!!! I witnessed this horrific display. So, imagine my terrior as I drive a tractor through a sea of seagulls, breaking up the calm white serfiace just to have a giant waves of white feathers coming at me every inch of the way.
I have had to be looking at tiny little baby birds in their nests latly. When I told my neice that I don't want to because bird feathers freak me out, she so nicely pointed out that baby birds don't have feathers. Right.... true actually.... but that makes them even creepier!!!! little featherless no flight birds are even freakier.... don't ask me why. Just please don't come at me with one!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Why the new blog?

because I needed one.
So the question now becomes: what am I up to?
Well, nothing special to be honest and I kinda like it that way. It has been weird for me lately because I'm normally so concerned that people know I'm alive and care about me and are interested in me... but since I got the boot from Peace Corps I haven't been so worried about that.
In case you didn't know I did get kicked out Peace Corps, no quitting for this girl! Actually (we'll protect his identity and call him Joe New York) Well, Joe New York tried to kick me out before we even got to Kyrgyzstan because he said my sense of humor didn't fit Peace Corps. I talked him into letting me stay and was able to stay and work for 10 months, 10 months longer then anyone thought I would make it since they tried to kick me out in Philly.
I had no where to go when I first got back because I didn't tell anyone I was back right away. I ended up staying in Abe Cross's Parent's basement. It was actually really nice and a good week long adjustment to being back in the country. Now I'm totally use to being back here but at first it freaked me out.
Since then I have gone home and worked on the farm a bunch. Have you ever had to move three years worth of cow crap in a week? I have!
However, that isn't my biggest accomplishment since I got back, oh no it is talking my cousin Lena into giving her mom a peach tree for mothers' day. I don't know why I did it? I just really wanted to be apart of buying a peach tree.
My mom liked to accuse me of never wanting to leave home. That couldn't be further from the truth. I did get her off my back though by finding a job out there in the real world.
I'm going to be a photographer at Fat Camp!
Not just any fat camp, Camp Shane, The Fat camp! I'm super excited. I'm sure once I get there I'll be asking my facovirte question, How did I get here? Until then I'm going to keep rockin' it here on the farm.