This was Victoria’s year for her high school graduation trip.  She chose northern CA and planned the entire vacation time we were there.  On the agenda was a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  When we lived in Watkinsville, we were 20 minutes or so from this aquarium and each year purchased a family pass because we went so often.  We had a lot of fond memories from this place and really looked forward to visiting the aquarium again.

Tori and I were gone from home for 9 days… 9 days in July…9 days at the height of harvesting time for the garden, 9 days from the farm when anything could happen, 9 days of depending on someone else to take care of and run the farm….

But, I’d left the farm in the capable hands of Lauren who assured me everything would be okay!

Tori and I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium the day before we left to return to Georgia – I’d been away from the farm for 8 days.

I was thoroughly enjoying my time with Tori as we reminisced about different exhibits and how old  she was when we came to the aquarium for the first time.

And then we saw this…

Sheep?  I wonder how Rosie, Sage, Casey, and Emma were doing?  Was the heat too much for them?  Was there water in the trough?  Had Michael filled it full?  Did he remember to fill the trough cuz a lot of times I have to remind him to fill the trough!  Would Lauren remember to remind Michael to fill the trough!!?

Ahhh – Sea horses….  Horses?  Wonder how Misty and Colonel were doing…would Megan remember that I’d scheduled the farrier to come out to the farm to shoe the horses?  Would she be up on time since it was an early morning appointment?  Would she be able to catch Misty in the back pasture?  Would Misty behave while she was being shod?  Who would help Megan if she needed help with the horse?  No one else left at home is really fond of horses!!!

Wow!  An Egg-yolk jelly fish!   How cool!

Cool?  Wonder how hot it’s been in the chicken house.  Wonder how my hens are doing.  Are the kids moving those tractors everyday?  Are they remembering to fill the water bowls twice a day?  What if the meat chickens don’t get enough feed?  They need to grow out so we have food for the winter!  And the new laying hens?  I need them to start producing eggs!  Are they being well taken care of??!  Did the kids remember to collect the eggs?  We need those eggs!!!

Oh!  A Potbelly seahorse…never seen one of these before.  Potbelly…

Potbelly pig… Pigs!  I need to call that guy when I get home about the piglets that should be available.  But the pen’s not ready.  I need to make a list of jobs to get it ready for new pigs.  I need a water tank, a new house, a new feeder… when will I have extra time to get that done?  But we can’t get pigs until that’s complete and I need to get the pigs soon so we can grow them out in time for winter,  so we can get them butchered, so we can have meat, so we can eat….!!

A full sized cow?  In an aquarium?  I wanted to run up and hug it’s neck because it looked just like Sir Loin and Edward.

Sir Loin and Edward…wondered how they were doing….especially Sir Loin.  We’d put too much time and effort into growing him out to have something happen.  Happen?  What if he’s ill and no one notices?  What if he hurts his leg down by the creek and the kids can’t get him out?  I didn’t leave the name of the vet!  Who would they call?  How would they get him up from the back pasture??!

Okay….seaweed gardens.  How lovely!

Wonder what my garden looks like…wonder if Lauren remembered to water if we didn’t get any rain.  How are the tomatoes coming along?  Is she picking them every day?  Are they being consumed by Tomato Hornworms?  Do they have mildew?  Are they being tied up so they don’t break and we lose the whole plant???

More garden stuff??!

We gotta get past these exhibits…

Oh my word, not cucumbers!

The cucumbers at home were doing so well!  What are they doing with all the cucumbers now?  Are they picking them?  Eating them?  Sharing them?  Letting them rot on the vine?!

Are the slugs eating my eating my cucumbers as they rot on the vine?!!

It’s been a wetter summer than usual …

I bet we have millions of slugs in the garden eating everything in sight!!!!

Sea turtles?  Sea turtles like to live in the water.  Land turtles…land turtles like to live in gardens…eating vegetables and…

rotting cucumbers that get left on the vine because no one will pick them!!

These are interesting creatures….

Leafy sea dragon…so graceful and beautiful to watch as it floats effortlessly through the water…

And the Weedy sea dragon, so….  WEEDY!  Weeds??  I’ve been gone for how many days?  Who’s been weeding the gardens?  My kids hate to weed!  The weeds will be taking over everything…including the rotting cucumbers on the vines!  It will take me weeks to find my flowers again!  What am I doing here????

Sea Nettle?!  Stinging Nettle?!

Oh, I bet with the weeds taking over the farm that Stinging Nettle will find its way into my flower beds and vegetable garden.  That will be horrible!! Have you ever been stung by Stinging Nettle??  It hurts!

And now I just know it’s invaded my farm and I will be stinging and hurting as I weed forever and a day just to find my rotting cucumbers on the vine in the garden!!

By now I was in a frantic state of farm panic….when all of a sudden –

“Yoohooo!!  Hello!?  You’re on vacation with your daughter!  You’ve been looking forward to this one on one time with her for a so long….

The farm will be fine!  ….. Breathe and enjoy…..”

So I did 🙂