Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

We Didn’t Farm Yesterday

Posted on | March 20, 2010 | 7 Comments

Not a bit.  Even though my mom gave me a bag of shredded papers for the brooder room that is still sitting on the deck.  And there is a gap in the chicken wire on the duckling pasture.  And hay needs to be moved from the kidding barn to the goat barn.  And someone needs to make a trip to the feed mill because the chickens are out of layer pellets.

Instead we went to the beach.

Because the kids started Spring Break.

Because they brought home incredible report cards and deserved a reward.

Because it was sunny and 74 degrees.

Because the ocean was only 52 degrees, which meant it was too cold for the kids to venture past their knees and I didn’t have to keep my 2 eyeballs on 4 kids for every single second to prevent them from being swept out to sea.

Because most people have to work on a weekday so the beach was empty and I didn’t have to keep my 2 eyeballs on 4 kids to prevent them from wandering into the parking lot, eating snacks off another family’s blanket, or using the construction crew’s Port-A-Potty, which they inexplicable find more appealing then the pier’s public bathrooms.

Because soft serve ice cream at Johnnie Mercer’s pier tastes better then ice cream anywhere else.

But, mainly, because it was my birthday.  And on my birthday I like to stand in front of the ocean and realize that being one year older doesn’t make a darn bit of difference.  Not one.  The earth keeps spinning, the sun keeps rising, and the ocean keeps waving against the shore.  “Happy Birthday,” calls the ocean.  “Get anything big done this year?”  And when I just shrug, the ocean laughs.  “Oh well, I’ve got all the important stuff under control.  Better luck next year.  Shouldn’t you lay down on a beach towel and relax or something?”  I love the ocean.

Also, because it was my birthday, I spared myself the 12 hour preparation and packing ordeal that usually precedes a beach day.  I didn’t do a single thing the night before the trip.  Did you hear that?  I didn’t fill up the gas tank while picking up Little from preschool.  I didn’t make sandwiches or freeze water bottles.  I just went to bed without laying out swimsuits or towels or coolers.  I know, right?  O.  M.  G.

Instead, when the kids woke up, we went straight to the villainous big box store and planned our trip while walking the aisles and eating doughnut holes.  Straight out of the bag.  Which we opened before purchasing it.  Powdered doughnuts that left white stuff all over our hands and faces while out in public.  But it gets crazier.

I bought Lunchables (horror of nitrates and sodium horrors) and precut and packaged fruit (oh, the inexcusable luxury).  We loaded up on brand name Chex Mix and the individually packaged, orange and white, swirled “cheese” sticks that we all know cannot possibly be made out of real cheese.  I won’t even mention the Diet Coke for me and Gatorade for the kiddos.  Holy cow, I told you about the Diet Coke and the Gatorade!!  To top it off I hummed “Happy Birthday to Me” while choosing new flip flops even though my current ones still had some flip and flop left in them.  Then I bought each child their own Hidden Picture workbook.  Their very own book, not one book to be shared and squabbled over until all the pages are torn out.  That counts as another birthday present for me.  I call it the “Gift of Silence During The 2.5 Hour Drive To The Beach.”

Since I was already out of control I saved myself another stop before hitting the interstate and took cash out of the in-store ATM.  (The ice cream at Johnnie Mercer’s pier is so incredible that they only accept cash for it.  Otherwise, there might be a run on soft serve and people maxing out their credit cards.)  The ATM was not affiliated with my bank.  I said OK when the machine told me it was charging $1.75 for the transaction.  I still said OK when the machine told me that my own bank would probably charge an additional fee.  And I really was OK with it.  That’s how unhinged I get on my birthday.  It’s shocking, I know.  The store could probably sell the video tape of me loading up the cart with processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and enough plastic packaging to clog the Gulf Stream on the Farmers Gone Wild website.  If there is a Farmers Gone Wild website (and if you find one will you please let me know?).

It was a beautiful day at the beach.  Especially since I was not exhausted from the endless prep work that I didn’t have to do this time.  Turns out I am excellent at choosing my own birthday presents.  I didn’t even have to give myself a hint or settle for a gift card.  I gave myself the sun and sand, the laughter of my kids competing with the calls of the seagulls, the wind and the waves rushing onto the shore, some light reading and a nap in my beach chair, licking soft serve while watching the surfers and fishermen, and a Starbucks Macchiato and overload of talk radio while the kids slept on the way home.  Happy Birthday to me.  I’d show you my pictures but I know looking at someone else’s vacation pictures is pure tedious torture.  What?  Someone inserted the pictures in the post so you’d have to see them while you were reading?!  Inexcusable!  I will be sure to take that up with my site manager. 😉

© Stevie Taylor 2010. All Rights Reserved.


7 Responses to “We Didn’t Farm Yesterday”

  1. stephanie
    March 20th, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    Wonderful!! I just found your website (via your link on a comment on Chickens in the Road) and I love it!! I also love that you had such a great birthday.

    Happy Birthday!

  2. mARY
    March 21st, 2010 @ 6:14 am

    Happy Birthday to you!! We get to celebrate by the water in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait! We’ll have a toast to your letting loose! Love ya!

  3. lisa d
    March 21st, 2010 @ 6:15 am

    Glad you had a great day! You deserve it! Now I’m ready for some beach….

  4. Tanya Lam
    March 21st, 2010 @ 8:06 am

    Happy Birthday to you. What a bad friend that I didn’t call you. I’ll make it up to you in Myrtle Beach. We’ll have a belated birthday Starbucks macchiato…

  5. Annabelle
    March 21st, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    I don’t even know you, but I am so proud of you for taking a day off and rewarding your kids for hard work too. Sounds like a wonderful day. I’m sure the salt water did wonders on those fencing wounds?! Happy Birthday…
    are you down south? we live in Santa Cruz and farm about 3 miles from the beach!

  6. kmmykat
    March 21st, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    I’m so glad it worked out so perfectly for you all!! It’s great when you can be spontaneous and suffer no consequences…I’m jealous!!

  7. Michelle
    March 24th, 2010 @ 6:03 am

    What a wonderful day! Although late, I want to say Happy Birthday!

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