"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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Blog Tagged

Oy. Apparently I have been 'Blog Tagged'. The rules of this 'event' are as follows:
  • Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
  • Post the rules on your blog.
  • Post 7 random or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
  • Tag 7 people and link to them.
  • Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.
I must say, this is a problem. First of all, I do not know of any other goats (aside from Baby Belle, who has already been tagged) who write a blog. Thus, it would be impossible for me to butt...I mean, 'tag' anyone else. Still I am a good sport (of sorts) and I suppose I might be able to come up with 7 random, and probably wonderful, facts about myself that no one knows. Hmmm...

No. 1 - I am secretly in love with a fainting buck by the name of 'Gunner' who lives in Tennessee. Who would have guessed? He has the MOST beautiful, long and luxurious beard I have ever seen and a set of horns to match. What a man!!!!

No. 2 - Banana peels are an okay snack.

No. 3 - I have an irrational fear of 'weiner' dogs. They look harmless enough, but something that long and that short, at the same time, just has to have issues. I have nightmares about them crossing with coyotes. Oy.

No. 4 - I hold a secret belief that all La Mancha goats are really aliens.

No. 5 - I have fantasies of becoming a Super Model and being on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

No. 6 - Peanut butter is a government plot to smash perfectly good Peanuts in order to make them less palatable to goats. (It won't work...we'll take them any way we can get them).

No. 7 - I really like Watson and Peanut. It is just that I have an image to maintain. Shhhh. Don't tell.

So, okay, there you have it, such as it is. All thanks to DCV at http://ajourneyinyourdreams.blogspot.com/

Now, aren't you sorry you asked??? Oy.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Alas, To Dream...

The goatmother had a dream last night. The goatmother has a lot of dreams. Quite often they are very interesting dreams. As a matter of fact, Dr. Freud would probably have had a field day with the goatmother. Nonetheless, last night the goatmother dreamed that she was working for the District Attorney. In performance of her duties, she opened the window in order to retrieve some important papers from a 'messenger' who had climbed up the side of the building using some sort of strange suction device. As she took the proffered papers, she happened to look down. There was Boo climbing up the side of the building just below the messenger. Good Goats In Heaven!!! Boo can't even get off the ground, let alone up the vertical side of a multi-storied building. Oy. You know, Carl Jung believed dreams to be a window to our unconscious. Perhaps the goatmother has this fond wish that if Boo could climb up the side of a brick building, the bricks would wear her hooves down and there would be no need for the battle that is the trimming of the hooves. On the other hand, perhaps her window is just fogged up.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Snow Madness

The morning began on a note of dismay. It snowed last night. Substantially. (Long Live Those Woolly Boogers!) Snow is, well, cold at best. Did I mention wet? But that isn't all. If you look above, you can see the condition of my beloved stump. Sad, isn't it? How is one expected to do any decent philosophizing if their muse is frozen - not to mention their 'assets'?

However, that is simply not the worst of things. First of all, the goatmother was delighted about the snow. She finally had a chance to make use of her new red sled. Oy. This woman is no spring chicken here. What possesses her at times like these is waaaaay beyond me. Trust me. More snow is due tonight. It may soon become more than my goatly sensitivities can handle.

Hard though it may be to imagine, things deteriorated even further after that. Since it is so cold outside, the good-hearted, yet fool-hardy goatmother, decided we all deserved some alfalfa. Praise be to the Great Goat God! Alfalfa!!!!! We have been on a diet so long, we had forgotten it even existed. We had completely forgotten how those succulent little leaves seem to melt in one's mouth, only to be so sweetly contemplated later in its cud-ly re-submergence. (Wow! How poetic is that?!).

It was 0900 hours. The goatmother, resplendent in red nose and frozen bum from her earlier forays down the snow-covered slopes, entered the barn. She eyed the alfalfa, tightly tucked back in the stack of hay bales, and proceeded to climb up to free it. Every goat eye was glued to her immediately. Have you ever seen a goat drool? She finally freed it from its hold, cut the twine, and peeled off two heady flakes of complete and divine, verdant bliss. She managed to unlatch the little gate, despite the fact that both hands were full, and that is when it happened. Have you ever seen any of those videos where they throw chum into the water amidst a school of voracious sharks? Every sensible and refined thought that has ever resided in the mind of a goat immediately flew the coop. Ella knocked the gate open and ran into the inner sanctum. Watson made a dash to follow but was deftly diverted to the side. The goatmother, ever the stalwart, dropped both flakes of alfalfa and began yelling, "Stop! Everybody back! Elvis has left the building!!!!!" Ella dashed toward the outside door and the Mighty Quinn ran for his life! All eight pairs of hooves left behind, flailed madly and converged as one atop the discarded flakes. It was not pretty. The goatmother, bless her little heart, managed to recover and dash in after Ella, who was, by now, climbing the Mount Everest of hay bales. She managed to corral the errant Alpine, shove her back from whence she came, and finally return to the sad, misshapen pile that was the remains of the alfalfa. Grudgingly she scraped it up and dumped it into the hay feeders. When last seen, she was trudging back toward the house through the snow, shaking her head and muttering to herself. Alfalfa! One of life's little pleasures.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jealousy, Thy Name Is Marigold

What's a goat to do? I lead a simple life. I try to be good. Admittedly, I occasionally give into that primal urge to butt something, but not that often. Really. So why is the Universe against me?

Look. Ella is growing a beard. Can you see it? No?

Look closer. Oy. You might remember my post of old - the one about the Zen of Beards in which I proudly displayed my seven hairs? I still only have seven hairs. Ella is younger than me. She is taller than me. I ask you, is this fair?

To add insult to injury, even Watson has more hair on his chin than I do. Watson is only nine months old, for baaaing out loud! Oh, the humiliation of it all.

So Peanut began to smirk. (I know. He's a cute smirker. Just never you mind that now!)

Ella laughed out loud.

And Boo? A picture is worth a thousand words, grasshopper. (I sure wouldn't be laughing at anyone else if I were that wide!)

You know, Antonio Porchia, in Voces, 1943, wrote, "A thing, until it is everything, is noise, and once it is everything it is silence." As far as I'm concerned, you're all pretty darned noisy. So be silent already! You ain't all that and even one bag of Peanuts, Ella.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Visit

By the way, I just thought I would mention that the goatmother's daughter (that would make her the goatdaughter) just visited with her husband (that would make him the goatson-in-law). Lo and behold, the power DID NOT go out and all facilities remained operational throughout. Miracles DO happen.

However, I am afraid to let the goatmother out anymore. It seems they all went on a boat trip across the strait to Victoria, B.C. That should have been uneventful, yes? If you think that, you fail to remember that the goatmother was on board. It seems the ferry was escorted back across the strait that evening by two Coast Guard boats replete with rifle-bearing men and manned machine guns at the ready. A training mission? Alas, we shall never know, but I suspect it might have had something to do with the goatmother. No doubt she forgot to hand out the Peanuts before boarding. I would not be at all surprised. After all it happens to us.

On the other hand, the goatdaughter bought a Woolly Mammoth stuffed toy at the Royal B.C. Museum of Natural History. I suppose it might have had something to do with that. That should teach her, at any rate, to buy a stuffed goat next time. Goats are much more environmentally friendly and far better looking.

Well, What Do You Know ...

I spend a lot of time on my stump thinking. You might have noticed that. Fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, so does the goatmother...spend a lot of time thinking, that is, not standing on my stump. Nonetheless, as of late I have begun to notice while reading the blogs of others, that people often try to ask questions via the 'comments' feature. It occurred to me that it might be a nice thing if those of us who were 'like minded' individuals had a chance to chat and get to know each other, share happenings, share thoughts on life in the country, share thoughts on goats and other animals, share Peanuts... Okay, maybe that is going a bit far, but you understand. I had to try. So, I mentioned this to the goatmother and she has agreed to be the human moderator of a Yahoo group in order to help my brain scheme come to fruition. So, for anyone interested, there is now a brand new Yahoo group entitled, not surprisingly, Marigold's Meadow. I look forward to perhaps getting to know some of you a little better!

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MarigoldsMeadow/
Go here and click on 'Join This Group'. The goatmother does approve memberships just so we don't have any Homegoat Security Encroachment issues caused by evil spammers and the like.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Musings On Bus Maintenance

A month has passed by so quickly. I hardly noticed, but pass it did. Now it is time, once again, for the monthly hoof trimming routine. This always begins with Boo. You are thinking this is probably because Boo is the supposed Herd Queen - and you would be wrong. The fact is that it begins with Boo because the goatmother knows she will be so exhausted afterward, she just wants to get it over with. If you look at the picture above, you will understand part of the reason. Boo is rather capacious. You might notice that she is 'trying' to get up on the tire. She never made it, by the way. Sad but true. Boo is a bus.

However, size isn't the only way in which Boo relates to a bus. You know how in traffic you get stuck behind a bus and you just can't get around it? Or the fact that buses somehow always break down? Or that 'law' that buses always gets the 'right of way'? Buses are just not cooperative vehicles - and neither is Boo.

So the monthly hoof trimming procedure goes something like this:

We three girls are on one side of the barn with a double door between us and where the goatmother wants to do the hoof trimming. The first order of business is to get Boo out before the nimble feet of Ella and myself can make their way over the lower door and get out first. The upper door is opened but, lo and behold, Boo can not negotiate the small jump it takes to get over the bottom half of the door. It ends up with the goatmother holding us back while the goatfather has to open both doors for Boo to get out. If you can envision this, Ella and I have what is comparable to a simple 'gasoline' type engine, while Boo is in the 'diesel' category. We are constructed much lighter than the heavier diesel model. And you see, with a 'diesel', a supplemental ignition source (usually in the form of someone pushing from behind) is necessary to cause the cylinders to start firing (Boo's brain actually realizing, 'Oh, I have to move now') to create power and torque (actual physical movement of the legs propelling her forward). This is what it takes to actually get her out and into the right side of the barn for the task to be performed.

Now with a 'diesel' model, two things are required, a) a heavy duty mechanic (two in this case), and b) high compression. 'B' is a very important consideration. High compression is usually accomplished by the goatfather at one end and the goatmother at the other, squeezing Boo up against the fence. Any normal goat, when presented with a dish full of grain and alfalfa pellets, would totally disregard any other activity in favor of the concentration required to fully apply oneself to eating. Did I say Boo is not normal?

So, as the trimming begins, so begins the 'Intake Stroke'. Boo takes in a few bites (fuel injection). This is just enough for the intake valves in the cylinder 'head' to open and allow pressurized air to enter each cylinder while the pistons (Boo's four muscle and fat laden posty legs) travel downward. And yes, they do travel downward. The knees fold (this is the 'Compression Stroke'), and down she goes because she has figured out that if she does this, her feet will be covered 'en masse' and no one can get to them. The pressurized air in this step (brought about by Boo straining against her collar and momentarily shutting off her air supply) is made possible by the the 'turbocharger' (the stubborn Nubian mind-set) which then pushes air back into the intake system thus giving the 'diesel' a boost of air to keep up with more instantaneous fuel injection. (She gets back up and takes a few more bites after the goatmother lets go of her hoof).

This then leads us to the 'Power Stroke'. After injection takes place, an explosion occurs because of the combination of heat (supplied by the now frustrated goatmother) and atomized fuel (perhaps it would be better not to supply her with that grain after all). This causes the pistons to be forced downward (yet again) which produces more torque and the goatpower required from a typical 'diesel'.

Lastly, we have the 'Exhaust Stroke'. Believe me, by this time everyone is exhausted - even me.

If you ask me, Boo the Bus is a 'lemon'. Her 'frame' is bent, she needs a new 'starter', and her 'bumper' is way too large. And if she doesn't change her ways soon, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the goatmother doesn't just blow a 'gasket'.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The DHS

Those of you who are dedicated readers may remember that, upon arrival here at the farm, the Mighty Quinn was destined to become a goat herder. Can't say as I have been all that excited about it from the beginning. Still, I suppose there are worse things. Imagine, for one, running completely out of Peanuts. Oy.

You might also recall some of the Mighty Quinn's early training which can be viewed here. I am proud to say that he has progressed. Yes, my friends, despite a few unfortunate setbacks involving the electric fence, the Mighty Quinn has graduated beyond the simple Earwig or Carpenter Ant. Of late he has become a student of the DHS. No, this is most assuredly not The Department of Human Services. Although, come to think of it, it could possibly be viewed as a service, of sorts, to humans. No, the Mighty Quinn has become a student of the Dervish School of Herding. For Peanut's Sake, what is the Dervish School of Herding?

You may recall that the whirling dance associated with the dervish is one of the physical methods used to try to reach religious ecstasy. So it is with the Dervish School of Herding. One tries to reach a state of euphoria connected to the physical task at hand (in this case herding). Mind you the Mighty Quinn has not graduated, but he has succeeded in mastering the euphoria part. He hasn't quite made it, either, to herding goats as yet. Instead, he has gained mastery in the location and subsequent herding of a less mobile target. Don't get me wrong. He has acquired quite a useful skill. Still, perhaps a little more work is in order before he attempts to take on a more intelligent quarry. Look below and see what you think. Now, just what do you suppose the goatmother is carrying on that scoop anyway??? (big goat grin)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The New Year

2008 has finally arrived. We, in the barn, celebrated with a few extra munches of hay and a few extra Peanuts and cookies. Afterward we stood around discussing our resolutions for the New Year. Boo decided she would 'try' to eat less. (I would imagine this one is going to fall by the wayside rather quickly, but I guess it is the thought that counts.) Ella swears she is going to be nicer and attempt to curtail her un-goatlike 'hoggish' tendencies. (Yeah, like this is going to happen anytime soon.) Watson is planning to make an all-out effort to faint less. (Okay, I'm not even going there.) Peanut announced that he will make a concerted effort not to rear up on his hind legs and smash everyone in sight. (This is supposedly in keeping with his newly acquired title of 'Kid of the Year'. I'm not going to hold my breath.) As for myself, well, I am resolving to spend a lot more time on my stump. I feel as though I've neglected it of late and frankly, I think it shows. Besides, the view is much better from up there.

So we, here, wish all of you a very happy and prosperous new year, with lots of new adventures and an immeasurable wealth of Peanuts! Health!! Wealth!!! Happiness!!!! L'CHAIM!!!!!