If you happen to mow your lawn, and find multiple pairs of toddler socks that your wounded hens kicked off during their last bout of Bumblefoot, you might be a Redneck. You could just be a child of God, uniquely made, eternally loved, and kind to animals. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be a Redneck.
If your cat is tied to the front yard light, dead center in the middle of your lawn, right there for all the neighbors to see as they return home from their commutes, you are not so much a Redneck as a law-abiding citizen. One who acknowledges that this hood has a leash law, and your cat is a complete tool – who likes to make your neighbor cry. This is further evidenced by said yellow cat giving you the stink eye through the screen door as your husband walks past him with pizza boxes. Welcome home, Honey, ignore the crying sack of fur.
But if like us, you, too, are in the antechamber of Summer, just itching for the fun to begin but not quite free of school yet (Baltimore County doesn’t let go until June 13th), you might be feeling a little crazy. You might feel a bit fidgety to get on that family road trip. So much that you take a short week-end sprint up to PA. Perhaps convince yourself to sleep in your van with 2 spawn, and to call it camping because you are at a campsite. Feelings are crazy things, you know, and they make you do a lot of stuff.
Like deciding to take a cave tour at Woodward Campground in PA, bumming around the town square in beauuuuutiful Millheim, and feeding the town flock of ducks as though it were a novelty and you don’t own a single fowl at home. But that’s not enough. I’m ready to go. I want more out of this summer, and I’m full of ideas!
Ideas such as renting my chickens to fellow suburbanites in order to help rid their back yards of ticks. The new Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI- see the CDC link https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/index.html) plus the ever present Lyme disease has the Public Health Nurse in me in high gear. Chickens love to eat ticks. HOA’s hate having chickens. Enter my brainchild of renting a few of my girls in a portable pen on wheels to those who could benefit from a day of old fashioned tick removal, without bee killing chemicals. Sounds crazy, right? Yeah, 99% of Craigslist agreed with you. They didn’t call.
Except for that one lady. The one who texted me and asked if I would charge the same price to provide my rented hens for her kid’s birthday party, and by the way did I have any chicks? I believe I’ve covered the chick/divorce inverse relationship here on my blog before, so needless to say, no, I do not have any chicks. Buuuuut, I will have ducklings next Friday…
SO now, apparently, I am open to doing kids parties. Because if you have 5 bunnies, why not share one, right? No, I’m not looking to make a side hustle out of this, too much room for drama, but since we do have the bunnies, hens, ducklings, and I can get my hands on a turtle; for the right price we will travel.
I do enjoy getting the public to interact with livestock (at least that’s what Captain Schenanigans calls our lovely little backyard petting zoo). To be truthful, I also gave the Craigslist lady the contact info for my friend Val, who does animal encounters for a living, is licensed, and has way better stock than I do. I mean, if you really want to have an animal party, why not do it right? http://www.wildlife-adventures.com/index.php/our-programs/birthday-parties
I also learned today, a week after posting my ads on Craigslist, that the mobile pen I have doesn’t actually fit in my van. Another reason God didn’t have anyone call me from CL. Thank you God, that would have just been embarrassing.
But as you can see, I am ready for a new adventure. Camping in the rain, check (Memorial Day week-end with friends). Driving 7 hours round trip to deliver a flock of rare breed hens as a wedding gift for a pending bride, check. Starting barrel racing lessons on horseback at the ripe ole age of 37, check! What else new and different can we get into that makes one come alive inside, despite looking a little crazy (ahem, Redneck) on the outside?
I am visiting Birmingham, AL and Lafayette, LA this summer, and I am ready to go! I have never spent any real time in Alabama (except for Ono Island, which is practically Florida), and we have a family swamp tour planned for Louisiana already. WOOT! I can’t wait to see old friends again. The kind of friends we wanted to name our kid after, ‘cept it was the wrong gender. Eh, we tried.
So this summer my dear friends, lets do what we love, and not what is normal. God made us passionate for a whole world of different things that don’t look like Sandals vacation brochures. Lets get to it! And if anyone wants to dump an unwanted alpaca in my backyard, I won’t complain. I’ve never had one of those before…