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Crazy Farm Plan Grows Teeth — Part Two

So, the reason I had a Crazy Farm Plan was lost in the craziness of Crazy Farm Plan. Every time I whined for CFP, I was actually sending myself a message that I did not receive because I am about as self aware as a Little Devil Potted Meat Food Product.

Also, because I was distracted by pastoral fantasies involving goats frolicking amongst the chickens and growing my own mad vines of lush zucchini that might well TAKE OVER THE WORLD with relentless squashy manifest destiny. Zuchini are like that.

But there WAS a secret message, and the message was this: Joshilyn, you want to move.

See, when we first came here, this WAS a small town, and I loved it. There was a thriving little downtown. There was a fireworks thing every fourth, so smallish I knew ALMOST EVERYONE THERE. I had a horse named Parker that I called Parker Posey Pony Horse.

And then as the years went on, Atlanta came out and ATE us and we lost our wonderful independent dorky small town restaurants and got a mall instead. When we came we had NO Wal-Marts, and now I can spit in three directions and hit one. There was no traffic, and now umpty hundred housing developments happened and I might as well be driving in Atlanta.

I did not notice how unhappy I was because there are good things here. Julie. My kids’ school. My church. My personal house, on my personal cul de sac with my personal neighbors. These are all so very nice.

And so I ignored how every time we went out we were driving 45 minutes to Decatur or 45 minutes to Marietta, because with very few exceptions that’s where all my friends live and where everything I like to do happens.

And then the Manic would come, and I would say Crazy Farm Plan.

Scott hates Crazy Farm Plan SO much. He is not a farmer. He likes cutting edge technology. He likes pool halls. He likes going to bars to hear people play songs. He likes DINERS, and little locally owned holes in the wall with great burgers. We BOTH really like crazy mission hearted liberal churches full of dirty hippies, big farmers markets, poetry readings, live theatre, beer and wine festivals, and world class book festivals. I love towns with great walkability (I loathe driving!) and I like working in dark independent coffee houses and going to hot yoga.

Scott’s point is, You can’t find any of this stuff on a farm. I ignored this because farms have GOATS, instead, and I LOVE goats. Scott ignored my ignoring this, because goats have GOAT POOP and he feared he would end up being the guy wielding the goat poop shovel.

This is a valid, valid fear.

SO when you take CFP off the table and think about what we LIKE…it is all the stuff that is in Decatur.

Not I WANT A FARM.

Not I AM STUCK HERE

Not IT TOOK ME FORTY MINUTES TO GET HOME FROM HOT YOGA AND ALL MY INNER PEACE IS GONE AND I JUST WANT TO ATTACK TRAFFIC WITH MY FANGS AND EAT IT ALL AND GIVE THE EARTH TO THE BEES.

Just this: I want to live in Decatur.

And once it occurred to me that what I REALLY wanted was to live in Decatur, I said it to Scott. Rabidly. With FOAM coming out and desperate manic crazy-farm-plan eyes.

But instead of saying “Ahhh, I take it the book has started working? Go have a hot bath and a wine,” he said, “What a good idea! I want to live in Decatur, too.”

Scott pointed out that if we want to live in Decatur, it is kinda a thing to do NOW. Because interests rates are SO low, but that is about to change, economists say. Housing prices, also LOW. In a few years? We may not be able to even dream of making this move.

The dream of CFP is dying hard though, even though it has been replaced with a more viable, realistic dream that all four of us are excited about.

“Do you know it is legal to raise Chickens in Decatur City Limits?” I said to Scott last night.

And he patted my cheek and said, “Hush.”

Apparently, much like goats, chickens make poop. *sigh*

29 comments to Crazy Farm Plan Grows Teeth — Part Two

  • kimberlyHdM

    As a proud resident of Greater Decatur (unincorporated DeKalb County that is right down the road) I must tell you that it is a fabulous place–rife with grooviness and festivals for everything. Hot yoga abounds

    Y’all come!

  • Having lived in the craziness that is metro-Atlanta? I feel ya. I exchanged that craziness for the pseudo craziness of Raleigh, NC. See, the people here THINK they have craziness, but they, in fact, do not. I lived in Roswell, GA just south of Alpharetta and I lived 11 miles from Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody, where I was taking classes. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to get to classes in the morning. Yes, indeed. Raleigh, you have NO IDEA what craziness is.

    OH! BUT a couple of chickens only make enough poop to be good for your yard, right? I mean, RIGHT?!?

  • Isn’t there a book called Everybody Poops? I think that applies to animals and birds (and probably reptiles, though I don’t want to think about that) as well.

    A move sounds lovely, and yes, it is the perfect time. I myself am a city person, and just bought a lovely condo that, in spite of being on top of a whole passel of other condo buildings, has lovely green space (and very aggressive, year-round, this is MY turf geese) and a great patio. It was inexpensive, with a mortgage/taxes payment that does not strain the budget at all.

    We are also cleared for chickens in Milwaukee, but alas, I think it’s against the condo association rules.

  • Bridget

    And just think…you could walk to the Labor Day book festival where you always appear in about 27 million panels/workshops, have lovely dinners at Cakes & Ale and take your kids to that funky frozen yogurt place near the library. And Susan Rebecca White would be your neighbor. Win-win.

  • Shelley S

    You probably have some time before interest rates rise materially but economists are also expecting housing prices to fall another 5 to 10%. Works for both your house and the one in Decatur so it’s a timing dilemma in and of itself. The critical thing in deciding whether to move is if you want to and are willing to be wherever you go for a long time, as the house as investment vehicle for wealth creation is unlikely to fruit soon. Just love where you end up.

  • Jeff Straka

    I LOVE the Crazy ITP (inside the perimeter) Plan! We love it there and rack up the miles in escaping the OTP almost weekly. Some day…

  • Tenessa, I lived in Alpharetta! (although I renamed it a**-aretta, mostly because my bedroom had a view of Wal-Mart–it was sort of like the Seinfeld episode when Kramer was blinded nightly by the Kenny Rogers Roasters sign)… anyway, I feel you. And I wholeheartedly endorse the Not-so-crazy Decatur Plan…

  • kim

    Yes, come to Decatur! I have friends with chickens. Or you go to Oakhurst Garden and visit their chickens when you need. Warning, though, we do have 1 Walmart nearby with another on the way (but not in the city limits).

  • I say WHATEVER makes ya happy!!!! And I love Scott’s reply. Maybe he KNOWS about moving to Decatur like he KNOWS a good dog. . .

  • Sounds reasonable to me. I live in a 90,000-person suburb in a medium-sized city, and we have almost nothing within non-foaming distance. But I didn’t marry a Scott. There will no moving in our future unless it’ of the toes-first variety.

  • ebetnhyc

    Sounds wonderful.
    And why can’t you still get a goat? Just tell Scott it’s a really funny looking dog. (they come in minis and could serve as a lawn mower as well!)

  • Jennifer in NC

    Yes. Get chickens! Chicken poop is much smaller than goat poop. No scooping required. Plus you will have a VERY green lawn.

    I feel your pain. Traffic sucks. I realize NC doesn’t have real traffic problem like Atlanta, but we have many more cars here than we used to! The sick-of-all-that-snow Yankees love our weather and have come in great multitudes. So, every day when I leave the “traffic” of town and drive by the dairy farm near my house, I exhale, shout a cheery “hello girls!” to the cows grazing in the pasture and feel my stress level decrease by at least half. Pastoral is good for the soul!

  • elizabeth

    I think what you really want is to live in Brooklyn!

  • brigitte

    Our neighbors have chickens that are always in our yard. But I like it because they eat all our ticks and slugs and other nasties. To me that’s worth the occasional dust-wallow or theft of my feral cat’s food!

  • I live in the extremely paved and congested C. Fla suburbs (seriously, I can almost reach my neighbor’s house) yet one of my neighbors has chickens. I don’t know who, I’m not sure where, but I hear that thing clucking at the oddest hours. My husband thought I was nuts (hopefully at least the nice coco covered kind) because the damn thing would go off while he was at work. He blamed it on some writer’s delusion and told me it was time to take a break…until he finally heard it. Vindication.

    But I would totally move if it took me 45 minutes to get home from yoga. My 5 minute trek home is enough to screw with my freshly balanced inner chakras.

  • You’re trying to make me regret leaving Atlanta, aren’t you? We used to live right by Decatur and it’s a lovely little place. If only I’d stayed we could’ve met for coffee and been besties. Ah, well.

  • YAYYY. Move to Decatur! Decatur loves you and you will love it! Hooray! (And then get some chickens and please oh please sell me some eggs – my current backyard chicken hookups are all having issues and I need a new source….)

  • Liz

    I grew up in Conyers, GA which was once a perfect small town. It got completely eaten up by Atlanta, digested and then pooped out. It took at least 30 minutes to get anywhere. Too many stores. Too many title pawn shops. And southern hospitality? It was gone with the wind. It was still a difficult decision to leave. Both sides of my family had lived and died in Conyers for 7+ generations. My roots there ran deep. We did move though-to St. Augustine, FL. We have never looked back, and I am happy to report our roots are starting to grow deep here instead.
    Good luck on this new chapter in your life!

  • Dogs LOVE to eat chicken poop, so it may not do much for greening up your lawn. Also, there is the whole dog-chasing-chicken thing to be thought of. When we had chickens, we had three dogs. One was scared of them, mostly because she thought they were another sort of geese, which she was scared of for good reason (they chase; they bite); one had no opinion on the chickens themselves, but LOVED eating their poop; and one got into the pen where I was keeping a sick hen and plucked her completely naked (cross my heart) without actually killing her. Chickens + dogs = drama. I think Scott should be warned.

  • Hmmmm…I should not mention this. It is not a kindness to Mr. Husband and I have much empathy with his resistance to urban chicken farming. That said, we have someone in the family who is devoted to being as environmental as possible AND having fresh eggs. He highly recommends a mobile coop. You really should check out https://mobilechickencoops.com. It’s really quite simple…you move the coop once a day, the chickens eat your nasty creepy crawlies, your lawn gets fertilized, and you get delicious fresh eggs every day.

    I envy your excellent spousal mind meld regarding the move to Decatur. I’d love to live there, but can’t imagine Mike would ever agree to that one.

  • erinanne

    Good luck with that! I’m a Gwinnettian born and bred, and since we no longer even have a water tower claiming that Gwinnett Is Great, I would also like to move to Decatur. Alas, I have not the income for that, but I’d live there in a heartbeat.

  • I just want to say thank you for blogging. No matter what the subject is, you write the GOAT POOP out of it, lady.

  • Normally I lurk, but I had to say thank you. I thought I was the only one with a Crazy Farm Plan. I’ll pass on the goats and take a small herd of cattle and pass on the zucchini for some homegrown green beans and silver queen corn, but I have been jonesing for CFP like nobody’s business. My husband, of course, does not care for this plan especially not the truly crazy part where we move to BFE (a small spot in Western TN in case you’ve been wondering where it’s actually located). He makes the very logical argument that he would never be able to find a marketing job there. A job in a supermarket, maybe, but not the marketing job that allowed me to retire early from public education and try to make a go of this writing thing.

    But Decatur is awesome. All the cool kids live there. I would, however, skip the chickens. I’ve been kinda disillusioned with them since my Easter chickens Edgar and Esmerelda turned out to be Edgarina and Esmerelda.

  • Beth

    I want to live in Decatur, too! I always say that Decatur is my spiritual home. But I do very happily raise legal chickens in Alpharetta and I don’t like to drive, and my job is up here. I researched the heck out of goats and their poop last year, and they are a lot of trouble. I want one or two sooooo much but I do not want to kid them in my suburban yard.

    But chickens? They are awesome. I convinced my Scott and now he is a chicken evangelist. You can build a coop out of a little tikes house.

    Move to decatur! Just do it! Those of us who can’t will live vicariously.

  • Oh. I do SO love your “process”. And it is an awesome one. Truly. I also ADORE CFP. You make me seem a bit more sane as I wander off page mid-action scene to shop villas in France, put deposits on huge chunks of deserted land in Idaho and click “save this in favorites” on my BUY A PRIVATE ISLAND site. I kid you not.
    Perhaps this is genius… maybe not for me, who is still just a struggling, starving writer… but, I know for you it is, and I am so, so blessed to know you and when you do move to Decatur, I am certain you will find that little missing something you’ve been seeking.
    And, if I bump into you at hot yoga– near the goat-named coffee place– both of which I frequent, I promise to not tickle your toes in wall headstand.

  • Jessica (the celt)

    You are awesome, and I am so glad that you guys worked out something between “where we are now” and “make Scott nuts due to too much goat-poop shoveling”. ;~)

    Off to take care of my now-appendix-less husband and get him into his own bed. Finally.

  • And then you should come visit me in my new home, because we are going to (eventually) have chickens, and probably a goat, and the neighbor has horses.
    Except in the meantime, living here and fixing the house there is going to kill me dead. I am going to be broke and dead. But I will have chickens (eventually), and room to breathe, and so I will still be better off. Dead, but better off.

  • rams

    Chicken poo is hotter than the fires of Hades and stinketh unto the Lord. AND it will enter Bagel’s intestinal tract and produce Aliens-like-beings and the chickens will bully and harass one of the two dogs I love in the world (RIP Keegan) and then I will have to learn to wring necks and come down there to do it and I really cannot spare the time just now. To quote A Wise Man *choughMrHusbandcough* Choose Life. And writing in dark little coffee shops and drinking beer in little interesting restaurants and eating frozen yogurt. And being worshipped from anear. And finish the draft. And send me your blessed mailing address — TWO pink socks await you.

  • I know for a fact that chickens are 3 parts poop and one part Demented Devil Beast. And baby goats are really cute, but not nearly as cuddly as you might think. Take it from one who successfully ESCAPED the farm, visit a petting zoo then deliberately step in a giant poop pile with your very cute, very OPEN toed sandals. It will help curb the CFP madness. 😉