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Big country meets the Big Apple
by Krystal Bick
Jun 24, 2008 | 3083 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<a href= mailto:dreid@dailysparkstribune.com>Tribune/Debra Reid</a> - Friendly breeder pigs gather around Phat Hogs owner Brandi Carmichael of Palomino Valley. Carmichael will appear this week on the television show "Wife Swap".
Tribune/Debra Reid - Friendly breeder pigs gather around Phat Hogs owner Brandi Carmichael of Palomino Valley. Carmichael will appear this week on the television show "Wife Swap".
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When Brandi Carmichael wakes up in the morning, she starts her day by feeding her hogs, home schools her four children and tends her horses on a several acre ranch out past Spanish Springs.

Carmichael is many things but reincarnated goddess is not one of them.

Carmichael, owner of Phat Hogs butchering and hog breeding, will appear on tonight's airing of the ABC show "Wife Swap," where she switched places with Jehan Hanna, a Bohemian actress/dancer from New York City, who believes she was a goddess in another life.

"We definitely had some big differences in lifestyle," Carmichael said with a laugh. "I found out I really do appreciate my life here."

The 30-year-old native Nevadan, who has been running her business for the past couple of years, came across the show when her daughter, Hope, 11, suggested she apply.

"We heard back within two days of applying," Carmichael said. "We were really shocked."

Carmichael said she loves being outside and staying busy with her hogs and her family but that she's far from the country girl that doesn't like getting dressed up as the show might portray her. She flew across the nation to spend two weeks with another family.

"We had absolutely no contact with each other," Carmichael said regarding her family. "It was the longest I had been away from my kids and husband."

The switch, which occurred back in February, was interesting for both families involved, Carmichael said. While in New York, Carmichael was expected to keep up with Hanna's job, which entails belly dancing.

"When I found out what I was going to be doing, I actually said, 'Oh no,' " Carmichael said. "But it was fun; it was really interesting to see her life. She's very creative."

And it's this creativity that Carmichael's children said they found most amusing about their new mom of two weeks. Hanna, who reportedly dressed up one of the pigs with a unicorn horn to make money, is the complete opposite of their mother, Hope said.

"She was way different," Hope said, explaining that she had to help Hanna cook anything for the family. "But she was fun."

But contrary to previous "Wife Swap" shows, Carmichael said there is no hostility among family members and viewers should not expect any screaming matches.

"We didn't fight," Carmichael said. "We respected each other's families. If anything, our episode should have more humor in it."

And while pigs with unicorn horns and belly dancing should bring more than a few laughs, Carmichael said she was glad to have been a part of the show as she learned a lot about herself.

"I loved it," Carmichael said, explaining that it was her first trip to New York City. "But it made me realize that it's just not my lifestyle. While she (Hanna) is exhausted at being creative all day, I am exhausted from working with my hogs and my kids all day. I love being busy outdoors."

And when asked if she would she do it all over again, Carmichael answered confidently.

"Yes," Carmichael said, "but maybe next time with a gladiator or something."

"Wife Swap" will air tonight at 8 p.m. on the ABC channel. To watch the show with Carmichael and her family, visit Sparky's Sports Bar and Grill at 1450 Prater Way.

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