"If providence did beards devise,
To prove the wearers of them wise,
A fulsome goat would then, by nature,
Excel each other human creature." - Thomas D'Urfey

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Visit

Well very recently we had visitors.  Now these weren't just any visitors, mind you.  These were the very best kind of visitors.  The kind bearing gifts.  You know, like Peanuts and cookies.  Like lots of Peanuts and cookies.  Big Peanuts and organic cookies. Are you getting the picture here?

Here let me show you:


You will notice who is front and center?  Look how svelte I am.  Also notice that *the Alpine* has her nose turned away.  This is a good thing, just in case you didn't know that already.

Now I want to tell you here and now that the Goatmother could take a lesson from these two lovely young ladies.  First of all, one did not need to beg.  Peanuts and cookies were offered freely.  Generously.  With abandon.  None of this, 'Marigold, you simply must wait your turn.'  Or, 'Marigold!  Share!'.  No, my friends, with these two it was first come, first served.  And since I am most definitely the fastest and most sure-footed goat here, guess who was served most often?  Which, come to think of it, might be why *the Alpine* has her nose out of joint in that picture.  Oh, well.  It is what it is, Ella.  Live with it.

Anyway, just look at this one:


See there?  That sainted young lady is making sure the Peanut goes directly to me. How considerate!  How polite!  And you thought all kids did these days was play video games.  No.  And notice how she ignores *the Alpine* even though said Alpine is trying to insinuate herself between me and the source of joy?  Marvelous!  Rapturous!  First class all the way.

The only problem with this visit was that they just didn't stay long enough.  I miss them terribly.  Well, I miss all those Peanuts and cookies, but I really did like the girls too. Besides, the Goatmother is just stingy.  Maybe they'll come back if I ask politely.

At any rate, I hope if you have visitors at your house, they are as splendid as these.  There is an old saying "The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it." ~Author Unknown  Do you suppose that counts for barns too???

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Floors

Like the proverbial bad Peanut, I'm back!

     Really, Marigold?  We've heard THAT one before.

No, seriously.  I AM back.  And I even have an excuse.

    Yeah.  Right.  They always have an *excuse*.

Okay, well, just let me tell you the story, okay?  It's like this ...

The Goatmother and Goatfather decided to have their floors redone.  I know.  I don't get it either.  I mean they had floors, right?  It's not like they were dirt or anything.  We have dirt floors.  Why don't we get new floors?  Well, never mind ...

Anyway, the Goatparents had several folks out to do estimates.  Just like Goldilocks trying out all the three bears' stuff, one was too much, one drove the Goatmother bananas (or was it Peanuts?), and one was juusst right ... or so they thought.  All in all, this was simply the start of a not-so-fabulous adventure.

First of all, what the Goatmother thought might take, oh, two or three weeks, ended up taking FOUR months!  That's right, I said four months.  Not weeks.  Who knew?   And this, of course, resulted in one brilliant and beautifully airplane-eared goat not being able to get into the house, let alone near a computer.  Now I tried, mind you, to get the Goatmother to bring me a laptop in the barn, but she just kept saying she was waaaay too busy.  And just why was she too busy?  I mean it wasn't her putting those planks down on the floor, now was it?  No, my friends, it's just that all this floor stuff required everything in the house to be moved.  Twice.  And sometimes more than twice.  That Goatmother was so tired she was barely making it out to the barn.  Now that would have been a travesty.

But anyway,  anyone who knows anything (and trust me there are a LOT of folks who do not fall into this category) knows that if one decides to embark upon a career as a contractor, one is required (Hay, maybe even by law for all I know) to sign a contract.  (Is this why they are called 'contractors'?  Hmm ... ).  Anyhow, this contract contains many stipulations ... requirements which must be met in order to actually get a license.  Some of these requirements are general in nature, but some are very specific and include things like

1)  I must carry on at least three other jobs while working on any one job. 


2)  I must not show up all the time at any one job until that job is finished, but must, instead, work a few days in one place, one or two at another, go back to the first one, at least show my face at the third before going back to either of the other two, so forth and so on ad infinitum.

3)  I must be sick as often as possible and take advantage of any holiday that should fall within the allotted job's time frame by needing extra days before and after said holiday.

4)  I must make mistakes ... let me repeat this part ... I must make mistakes and appear to be entirely incapable of observing any flaws on my own because, just like any other artist, I realize perfection belongs to God.  As a mere human I accept that perfection is an unobtainable goal, so why even try?  And besides, if I do it once, they are certainly bound to expect that calibre of work.
  
5) It is mandatory that I not be present at the job site when any other contractor is working there in order to make it as inconvenient as possible for those usurpers (as well as for the person or persons who have hired me to do this ridiculous job in the first place.)

6) I will smile and nod agreeably to any suggestion or request presented and then do exactly as I wanted to in the first place because, after all, I am the professional here.

7)  I shall not be required to remember to bring everything I need to the job site and subsequently either borrow it from the home owner or find it necessary to go home and get it, stopping along the way for oh, say, coffee, or maybe lunch, or perhaps a chat with an old acquaintance I met at Home Depot, which is where I had to go to get the thing I needed since the home owner didn't have one and I couldn't find the one I had at home.
 
8) It is entirely obligatory to stop whatever I am working on at least every few minutes to answer my cell phone because, after all, it is ringing and it could be something extremely important like my wife wondering what I'm doing or one of those pesky usurping sub-contractors calling to find out why I'm not at their job site even though they know it is a requirement that I not show up.  (Didn't these guys read their contract before they got their license?)

9) I shall leave as early as possible on any given work day because I have *another appointment*, a *phone call to make* (which couldn't possibly have been satisfied during the execution of Rule #8), or I am going home to right now take care of a problem incurred during the execution of Rule # 4, but which, in fact,  must take place at the site of job No. 2 or No. 3 (Please see Rule # 2), unless, of course, the home owner is offering beer, in which case all above are null and void.

10) (And my personal favorite)  Thou shalt not finish any job within the original specified time but instead get just enough done to make it impossible (as well as unprofitable) to find anyone else to finish and then keep stringing it along for as long as possible.  You know, just in case ...

So what can I say?  If you have ever had any work done by a *contractor*, then you likely know exactly what I've been saying here.  The last of the faux pas was cleaned up by our blessed and skillful neighbor just this week.  I guess in truth, this makes it a total of FIVE months.  The Goatmother has vowed not to look at the floor anymore.  Can one vacuum or mop with their eyes closed?  Perhaps the Helen Keller school has a  Housework by Braille program.  At any rate, I am back, just like I said.  The Goatmother is a little more sane.  Actually, I suppose she was never sane in the first place.  Nonetheless, I haven't lost my philosophical touch and to prove it, I shall leave you with a quotation from the venerable and much loved Confucius:  "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life."   Who knew they had contractors in 479 B.C.? 
Oy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Truth Is Out There

I'm baaa-aaack!  Just like Poltergeist.  Only with more legs.  And airplane ears.  Anyway, I don't expect anyone to still be out there, but I'm here anyway.  What the hay.  The muse went on an extended vacation and just got back.  Don't ask ...

So, I'm gonna' jump right back in here just like I never left.  'Cuz really I didn't.  It's just that you weren't privy to my thoughts ... or my Peanuts.  I'm just sayin' ...

Okay, so you know how there is this urban legend out there that says that goats eat anything?  We all know that isn't true, right?  Well, all I can say is that we've had to change our thinking a bit on this one.  And it didn't even involve the Internet.  Who knew? 

You see, it's like this.  We live with an Alpine.  That really ought to be explanation enough, but in case you don't have a clue just exactly what this means, here it is in a nutshell.  Alpines are trouble.  T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Now then, the Goatmother (remember her?) was out raking our lot in preparation for the laying down of wood shavings to combat the mud which always seems to arrive at the same time as the rain. (Why is that?  Oh, yes.  Overweight Nubian.  Did I really just say that?)  Anyway, the Goatmother was laboriously raking away as we enjoyed a meager snack of luscious hay on the other side of the pen.  Well, really it was more akin to bribery than a luscious snack since it's the only way she can convince *some* of us to leave the sanctity of the barn.  But back to the story ... the Goatmother was raking and stopped to pick up some of the refuse and cart it away.  (Manual labor is highly over-rated.  This is why I don't do it.  Ever. ) 

Paying no attention (as the Goatmother is want to do), she leaned her rake up against the fence and leaned over.  She straightened back up just in time to see Ella reach over the fence and rip off a twelve inch piece of the rubber cushion  (for your non-callous-making raking pleasure) surrounding the handle of the rake.  The Goatmother dropped everything, ran through the gate and went rushing up to Ella yelling, "No!!!!  You STUPID goat!!!!", at the top of her lungs.  Suffice it to say that even though the neighbors don't live all that close, THEY now know how stupid Ella is.  WE already knew that.

Anyway, we all looked up in alarm.  I can tell you, here and now,  that Ella knew right away what she had done was NOT the thing to do.  She took one look at the advancing onslaught of Goatmotherdom and promptly dashed the other way, all the while gobbling down the pilfered piece of pliability just as fast as possible.  The Goatmother had thought to catch the end and pull it back out.  No such luck.  Not even close.  The speed of light has nothing on a determined Alpine in pursuit of gustatorial satisfaction.

"Oyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!", and "Arrrrgghhhhh!", cried the Goatmother. (And a few other terms which shall, heretofore, go unmentioned.)  So the Goatmother ran as fast as those pudgy little legs could carry her, straight to the Internet and contacted a couple of her goat raising friends.  Had they ever had experience with a goat eating something thought to be inedible?  Could said inedible delicacy actually be broken down in at least ONE of the stomachs?  Would Ella be vomiting or exuding green goat berries????  Not one of the Goatmother's capable goat-rearing friends had EVER had a goat eat something they shouldn't.  I feel it is important to interject a note of reason here in pointing out the fact that, indeed, none of these people actually owned an Alpine.    Had they ever had the pleasure, information might have been more forthcoming  As it was, the Goatmother was left to stew ... and watch.

Well, that was a couple of days ago.  Ella is still alive.  Doesn't surprise me, since it is the innocent and the good that die young.  Alpines are safe, if you ask me.  Let it be known, though, that not all urban legends are myths.  Sometimes there just could be a grain (or a Peanut) of truth there.  You just never really know ...

"The truth is out there.  Trust no one." - The X-Files
 (Especially if they happen to be Alpine.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Playing

You may recall that last year, before she was so rudely interrupted, the Goatmother had gotten a new camera.  Of course, things being as they were, playing with the new camera got put on a shelf.  Well, guess what?  She's finally blown the dust off !


"Excuse me.  In-com-ing!"
"Say what?!"


"I said, 'Clear a path!  I'm comin' in!"
"Pull up!  Pull up!  You're gonna' land right on me!  I'm very delicate, you know."


"Ahhhhh.  That's more like it.  Free and clear."

Okay, not perfect.  And she certainly has a loooong way to go to catch up with the SnowCatcher.   Or Teresa over at Eden Hills...
BUT ... the journey of 1,000 miles begins with but a single step.  Right?. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bailey


This is our friend, Bailey.  Bailey is a Standard Poodle that lives down below us in 'the holler'.  As dogs go, she is awesome.  When the Mighty Quinn was a puppy, as pictured above, the Goatmother often wondered if he would live through his first year without her killing him first.  He is an awesome dog (as dogs go), now, in part thanks to Bailey.  Bailey became 'mother' and patiently attended to the overly boisterous pup.  She tolerated his behavior even to the point that one time the Mighty Quinn, in play, bit her tongue and made it bleed.  Yet she never so much as growled at him.  She was patient.  Much more so than the Goatmother who sported little nip bruises all up and down the backs of her calves from the Mighty Quinn trying to herd her.  That never went over very well, I can tell you.  And then there was the time Bailey and the young Mighty Quinn deigned to herd all us goats into the corner of our lot and keep us there.  Now that was humiliating.  Despite that little episode, and despite the fact that Bailey was, well, a dog, we still pretty much liked her.  I guess as much as any goat likes any stinky old dog.

We are sad to say that Bailey has left us.  She was really old in dog years, and her owners did a fabulous job of helping her to reach well beyond the age most large dogs reach.  That is a testament to how much they loved her.  We will miss her a lot, especially the Mighty Quinn.  She has been a part of our lives as long as we have lived here.

Run with the angels, Bailey, unencumbered by the constraints of time!  You will be greatly missed and forever loved.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Ode To The Sun

If I had wanted to be born in England, I would have.  But no, someone has decided that Washington is England with misty soggy moors, and without the nice heather.  Instead we have Scotch Broom.  Close enough. 

Sun, where are you?

You are shiny and bright.
You make the barn light. (so I can see what I'm eating)
You brighten my mood.
Rain is just rude. (and drippy)
Coming back would be fine.
Outdoors I would dine.
Not inside with Alpine.

Please???  Pretty please with a Peanut on top?  (Which ought to be an indication of just how much I MISS you.) 
Okay. 
Several Peanuts then. 
Oy.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Re-PORT-torial

The scheduled de-port-ation went off without a hitch.  The Goatmother bounced out to the goat barn before I even had my eyes open, which was very nons-port-ing of her, if you ask me.  But I suppose it was im-port-ant that she show up on time.  I mean as op-port-tunistic as some doctors are, they might just go ahead without her.  That would certainly never do.

So no lifting or such like for at least five days.  This has meant that we goats have had to endure the port-entous attentions of the Goatfather since it is a well-known fact that taking care of goats is in no way even remotely related to any activity that could possibly port-ray the lure of a computer.  No.  I'm afraid goat-keeping is very low-tech.

At any rate, we are surviving even though port-ions have been rather slack in the Goatmother's absence.  But that's okay.  I'm sure she'll make up for it once we re-port our evident lack to her.

Now, then.  I'm sure you are all wondering about the appearance of any new Super Powers.  I can honestly say that none have been pur-port-ed to have appeared.  As yet.  I say 'as yet' because I am quite certain something s-port-ive will soon present itself.  Perhaps it will be something exciting like tele-port-ation or maybe something in the trans-port-ation line.  Although I have to admit I'm not too keen on the later as that might mean more trips to the vet somewhere along the way.

Anyway, in the meantime, we will do our very best to sup-port the Goatmother in any way possible.  We are nothing if not accommodating around here.  Goats are SUCH good s-ports.  Or hadn't you noticed?