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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Farm Q and A: Do Farmers Ever Get a Vacation?

Do Farmers ever get a vacation?   That's a great question!  For those of you out there who work from the home, are self-employed, or just have those driven, Type-A personalities, getting away for some well deserved and much needed down time can be hard to fit into the chaos of a family calendar. In this house, Tall Guy fits into all three of the categories I mentioned above.  Add 11 and 13 year old girls with school and sports activities, and a mom who somehow finds herself in charge of a lot of school and Farm Bureau projects,  and you have a group of four people who start to crave time away....Well, at least three of us do.

It really is hard to plan a vacation when you own your own business.  There is a ton of prep time needed to make sure everything runs smoothly while you are gone. When I taught, I dreaded the "sub plans" I had to create when I missed a day, but they were necessary so all involved survived the day. As in any job, it's hard for the boss or owner to let go of the reins. Our big black out times for travel are spring/early summer and fall.  Later in to the summers and winters might work, but with 4-H, school, and sports, there are only a few weeks to consider.  Farmers with livestock have the hardest time getting away because keeping our herds healthy and safe is a full time,24/7/365 job.  For us on the farm, the most important task is to make sure the cows are fed and checked twice a day. Thankfully, we have family close by who help us out with this chore.

It's a standing joke around here, but as TG and I were planning our wedding and talking to clergy about our expectations of married life, I said I wanted us to try to get out of the state for at least one week a year, and running over to Illinois for tractor parts would not count! I clued in right away that my guy does not know how to relax.  He will say he does, but if I allow him to be right in his thinking, I must point out that we do not have the same working definition of relaxation!  Work relaxes him!  The girls and I are happy to curl up with a book or some project that doesn't involve much if any labor.  When we had a foot of snow drop on us, TG jumped on the free time to pull 30+ years of clothing, memorabilia, and "stuff" out of the two upstairs closets to go through.  This is why when we schedule family free time, a trip is a must, and preferably our destination is at least two states away!

It's been a week, now, since we arrived back home from our spring break vacay.  We did something different this year.  The girls flew down to stay with TG's parents in Florida, and we grabbed our neighbors and headed to Puerto Vallarta to stay at Velas Vallarta for our first all-inclusive vacation.....I have to say it was one of the BEST vacations we've had.  I know there are people who go to great destinations and take in every sight and experience they can.  We had options to go zip-lining, deep sea fishing, take mountain and town tours, but honestly we were all so mentally ready to crash that we spent 95% of our time in a lounge chair soaking up the sun and relaxing....  Sigh.....

I thought I would do the next best thing to stowing  you away in my suitcase by sharing some pics from this slice of Paradise we discovered.

There were three iguanas hanging out around the pool, a momma, poppa, and .....well...a young one. I'm not sure how to tell a boy iguana from a girl.  They were friendly; I even petted this one who really didn't care if I moved my book or not as he strolled on by my chair.  P.S.  I read THREE books on this vacay: Ellen Marie Wiseman's What She Left Behind, Nicholas Sparks' See Me, and Diane Chamberlain's Pretending to Dance.  All three were great reads!

Do you remember Kevin, the big bird from the movie, UP!?  Kevin made the sound that I think most resembles the sound of a peacock.  There were three males and three females on the grounds, and those boys could fly up at least two floors and perch on the rails of the room's balcony.  I would definitely prefer a rooster crowing to a peacock doing whatever it does, but they were beautiful, very tame, and seemed to be on contract with the resort to fluff out their glorious feathers every 15 minutes.  I would love to have a dollar for every peacock picture taken while we were there!  I like this pic below because he was taking a break just like we were.

The "Quiet Pool"

The "Activity Pool"  and the wonderful Aqua Bar.

The grounds were beautifully maintained!

Looking at the pictures brings back such calming memories.... I may have to turn them into extra large prints and hang them above my desk until our next great escape.  With spring planting coming later than what we had hoped, it will be the middle of July or the first of August before we can even think of another timeout from the farm.

What are some of your challenges when planning a vacation?  Where do you like to go?  I would love to know.

TIP: One tip I can share with you is in the camera department.  I left my camera at home and took all these pictures with my Samsung Note 5! No extra thing to stuff in my carry-on bag, and no worry about leaving it at the pool or taking it to a meal......I will share more about the meals later, but the dining experience was a big part of the blissful feeling Mexico gave us!  Get to know your smartphone a bit better before your next trip and save yourself the worry and bother of carting a big DSLR around. I've been gathering information on taking better pictures with smartphones on my Pinterest page.  You might want to check out this board:  Smartphone Photography

Here's to finding little ways to escape the crazy that finds us this week.  If the little ways aren't cutting it, it might be time to plan a vacation~!


  1. What a fantastic trip! Glad you were both able to get away!

    1. Thanks Michelle! We felt so spoiled and pampered that it was hard to leave without trying to take a few of our most favorite staff with us!



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