every life lesson can be learned


“If we do this, we will never go away,” I warned my husband on our way to sign the paperwork at closing.  How could we ever expect anybody to watch all the animals we planned on getting so we could go on vacation?  Even an evening out would be a lot to ask of anybody.  There wouldn’t just be instructions detailing our children’s evening routine.  There’d be a list of franch chores as well.  But, life on a franch was something we had dreamed of for our family and so we penned our signature that day without further hesitation.  We figured our life would be quiet, romantic evenings spent at home on the franch with very few opportunities to travel.  Fortunately, I was wrong.  We were first blessed to find a babysitter who loves helping our children with all the franch chores.  I will always remember one evening I was giving our babysitter instructions on what to do with our new border collie puppy.  I always spend a little time on what franch chores need to be done, but, this time, I was going on and on and on and on about how to handle the needs of our new puppy.  She finally interrupted, “Wow, the puppy is going to be more work than the children – I feel like I’m here to babysit the puppy!” How funny!  We agreed I usually have more to say about what needs to be done with the franch than with the children.  We decided she doesn’t just babysits, she also franchsits.  Also, by good fortune, we moved in next to an amazing neighbor who is always willing to watch our place for any extended times away.  She is our dependable long-term franchsitter.  Admittedly, she even takes better care of our animals than we do!  She will do everything we ask no matter how ridiculous.  We joked with her one time that our daughter’s hermit crabs like to be sung to, and she later texted to let me know that she’d been singing to them during our time away.  Even my newly retired parents, who know little about farming and ranching, recently agreed to do all the franch chores for one week so we could go on a family vacation to Florida.  I think they had second thoughts when I started reviewing a one-page Word document detailing how to manage the franch and care for all the animals.  But, my parents survived, and even exceeded our expectations during a week when lousy weather made franching more difficult!  I am so thankful for all of our willing franchsitters who make it possible for us to live our days on a franch and still get-away a little too.


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  1. Lin

    We were happy to do Franch chores while you were away but we sure were happy to have you return to take them over!!!

  2. Kelley

    I really enjoying reading Franchlife. I work for a MD and it is thru him I found your FranchLife.

    I, too, live in the TX Hill Country – and I love my 6 acres in paradise. The animals are my friends.

    When raising chickens, my son, age 4 at the time was in the chicken koop with me one afternoon when a hen jumped up and snipped the young boy in the eyelid. My son reacted by kicking the chicken away and as he was crying and we were walking up to the house to clean the gushing blood from his eyelid, my son turned to me and said, “Mom, I just had to kick that chicken in the egg-hole.” Out of the mouth of babes! I laughed and laughed. That was 16 years ago and the chicken has since become King Ranch Chicken, but the story will never be forgotten.

    Thanks for these stories. Life is Good when God is your neighbor~


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