Monday, November 5, 2012

It takes a village

I'm going to visit my parents in Florida next weekend. I will be leaving here Thursday afternoon and returning Monday night. Four nights away from home. No big deal, right? Wrong. There's a reason I never go anywhere, and their names are Lucy, Hank, George, Alan, Smooch, Wynonna, Clara, Peach, Minnie and Eugenia. Who will feed them three times a day? Who will degoober Lucy's eyes every morning? Who will scratch George's butt? Rub Alan's ears? Who will let Smooch in and out of the house 87 times a day?

Ethel, that's who, along with her two 20- and 30-something children, who have heard so much about the 7MSN that they want to see it for themselves. My team of ranchsitters will be flying in from Ohio tomorrow. First we will make margaritas and watch the election results. It's going to be a nailbiter, and I am ecstatic to share the historic evening with three conversant adults. I love Smooch to death, but she buries her head under the couch cushion whenever I start talking politics.

Then I will have the next day to show Ethel, her daughter and son everything there is to know about about taking care of the herd and the ranch. Should they forget some of the finer details, not to worry. The  12-volume-encyclopedia set of written instructions I'm leaving will serve as a handy reference, and I will be available by phone 24/7.

Then I will fly off to Florida and try not to worry and be happy. I may be humming a certain song all the while.

As detailed as my instructions are, I can't anticipate everything that might happen.


What if Ethel witnesses Lucy doing something like this?




I can imagine the call now. "Carson, Lucy is being really weird."



"I gave her a bunch of hay for dinner, but she's acting like she's starving and I think she's going to eat the fence!"



Me: She's got your number. Be strong and don't let her make an ass out of you.

28 comments:

  1. You brave woman! You can do it and everything will turn out fine. I'm very jealous of your friends... will they keep us informed? Day by day, hour by hour? Can I come over next time?

    lots of love
    Els from Amsterdam

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  2. Diane from NC11/5/12, 5:15 AM

    Love the photos... the last one makes me want to give Lucy a big kiss on her soft nose. Hope your sitters take pictures. Have fun and be safe.

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  3. It sounds like the fur kids are in great hands. Even the best parents need a break now and then.

    Have a great trip and don't worry about a thing. :)

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  4. Anne Boleyn11/5/12, 5:27 AM

    My daughters have always said that, if it weren't for Post-it notes, I would never be able to leave town. I totally know what you are going through, but please try to have a good time anyway

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  5. So glad you found animal lovers to look after the wild bunch for a holiday break.
    Enjoy your stay with family. It will be warm in Florida. Send some of the sun up to Canada.

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  6. Don't Worry, Be Happy??

    Have a great trip and a wonderful visit! Have the parents retired to a warmer climate? Just think of the stories you can tell the herd.

    M in NC

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  7. We have two 11 year old Golden Retrievers. Their 'routine' of meds, foods, ins and outs, etc. are the reason I haven't been anywhere in about 5 years. I understand the angst of leaving your babies. I do. Sounds like you have a great team in place...and it will be fun to see the reunion pictures! Or, I guess maybe you'll be so ecstatic to bury your face into each one of theirs, that there may not be pictures...which is understandable. Have a wonderful visit with your parents. Nobody turns out as cool as you without parents that did a heck of a job.

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  8. Are you taking your camera with you to document the journey for the gang?? I am very sure Ethel and her new ranch hands will do just fine and dandy eh :D

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  9. I know it will be hard, but I believe everything will be okay. Like you said, you are just a phone call away.
    The Lucy and fence licking photos are so much fun. The first one is priceless.

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  10. This is great! Ethel's got cred and she knows her way around the ranch and big children are useful!



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  11. Have a great time. Enjoy FL. we'll be looking forward to beach pics.

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  12. Been wondering where that suitcase was going to take you; but I knew you would reveal in due time!

    Yes, every little thing is going to be okay! I totally get your worry. I used to leave 2 pages of notes when we went out of town and I just had a dog and a cat in the city. So, I would definitely have pages and pages of instruction. Trust it and don't let your worry rob you of your fun time!

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  13. I have a hard time leaving 2 dogs as silly as that sounds, so I can just imagine the angst of leaving a whole farm. But, you do need to visit your parents and a change of scenery is good for the soul. Enjoy!

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  14. We're planning a trip next September, and I'm already stressed with only two dogs. Maybe Ethel and her kids could come help us!?

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  15. Carol in N. Colorado11/5/12, 8:07 AM

    I am jealous of Ethel and her kids!! What fun to be around donkeys, horse, pig, dog, chicken and of course, Mr. P. 24/4. I can just imagine all the butt and ear scratches that will be happening. I hope everyone has a great time.

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  16. Have fun on your trip - you will only be a phone call (or text, my house-sitters communication of choice) away!
    I do feel that leaving home is sometimes harder than preparing for someone else to take over.

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  17. So nice you get to visit your family and I'm sure all will be fine. Oh how I want to give Lucy a kiss.

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  18. A perfect description of why I haven't gone away anywhere in...well I don't even know how many years. A lot.

    That first photo really cracked me up. I sure needed that this morning. Thanks.

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  19. This is a win,win for everybody. Enjoy your trip....time with your parents, the weather, something different when you wake up. Ethel can handle it and will have a great time with her kids.

    Sweet pictures of Lucy.

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  20. How wonderful that you have blog readers who can step in and give you a break! I'm sure they will do just fine, in fact they may not want to leave!
    Lucy cracks me up.

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  21. It's a good thing that Ethel is coming to take care of Lucy's Lucy and others. She has a feel for the place and will do a marvy job of playing stand in for you. Anyone who can create art from bones with you can take care of the fur and feather babies with panache and style.
    Have a super time with your folks and enjoy. Great ranch sitters and a vacay...you're a lucky lady.
    Now as to the bestest pix of Ms. Lucy....they are so funny. Hmmmmm is she missing something in here diet...not. Just being a long ear with a sense of having fun, I'd say. Love the pix. Oma Linda

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  22. I hope you have a wonderful vacation! Try to relax a little. :) I am sure your critters will be in good hands. Please take lots of photos!

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  23. We travel quite a lot for work and pleasure, and we pay great people a lot of money to manage Farcical Farm in our absence. I completely understand the novella of instructions, and I leave cue cards stuck in key areas around the house, barn and feed shed. I generally don't take them down between trips, and my friends always make fun of me -- but it works! The good thing is that I trust our sitters so much that I hardly stress at all when we're away.

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  24. I have Ethel envy. They'll have a blast and don't be surprised if they call you and tell you to extend your visit by a few days.

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  25. I so understand! Leaving home is almost impossible for me ... the worry list is so long, with signs posted everywhere "just in case".

    Ethel et al will love every minute caring for all your critters. Have a wonderful time with your parents!

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  26. Lucy is too funny...and so are your comments....Have a great time in FL> with all that water and plush green all around.....Your novice ranch sitters will have a great time with your charges....Relax and enjoy the time with your parents...
    Love from NC

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  27. Dear Lucy,
    Do not do this when it's freezing. Don't. I know why not.
    love
    Els

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  28. Carson, you go have some fun and get off the dirt for a little bit. No worries, everyone will be ok when you come back home.

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