Well, goatness. Here we are about to turn the page to a new year. I don't know. Really and truly I suppose I can't get all that excited about it. I mean way back when, those Cavemen just lived day to day. Maybe even minute to minute. Like Nubians. When they remembered to. And werent' being chased by Saber Tooth Tigers. And then we had all kinds of other calendars like the Egyptians and the Celts and the Gaulish Coligny. And what about those Mayans?
Anyway, then we had the Julian calendar, created by those hairy-legged Romans. But they didn't get things quite right either. No real surprise there since a lot of their mental efforts were likely spent finding ways to keep vegetation from ensnaring their hairy legs during all that pillaging. But according to Wikipedia, "the Julian calendar assumes that the time between vernal equinoxes
is 365.25 days, when in fact it is presently almost 11 minutes shorter.
The discrepancy results in a drift of about three days every 400 years." I don't know about you, but seems to me that three days in 400 years equates to a LOT of missed Peanuts. So maybe it was a good thing Pope Gregory XIII decided we ought to get a new calendar. Come to think of it, perhaps there is an omen there. You know...Pope Gregory the 13th and 2013? Hmmm....
So Wikipedia goes on to say this about the Gregorian calendar: "It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582; the decree, a papal bull, is known by its opening words, Inter gravissimas."First off, February 24th? Now see there? Even Gregory knew that January 1st wasn't anything but a lot of bull. It says so right there in Wikipedia. Papal bull. The whole idea was probably brought on by the desperate thoughts of an unfortunate and unlucky guy who couldn't even be a 1st and got stuck being a 13th. I'm just sayin' ... Gregory should have had a goat. That would have helped a lot. If for no other reason than he would have been the first pope to have a goat, thereby making him Gregory the Goat 1st and avoiding that whole 13th fiasco.
At any rate, January 1st is just a day like any other. Who knows? Maybe somebody else used to have the beginning of the year on some other day. Like maybe, I dunno'... March 10th? Hay, it's certainly possible and a really auspicious date. That's the day I was born. What date could be more auspicious than that, I ask you?
Whatever. If January 1st marks the beginning of a new year full of health and fun, creativity, and caring toward our fellow creatures, then it's all good in my book. Especially that last part, and especially by Alpines. (Disclaimer: this does not include mini Alpines as their temperaments have been, well, tempered by the presence of Nigerian genes and thus they do not fall into the same category as big Alpines ... like Ella. Okay. They're just not as grumpy or persnickety as Ella).
So Happy New Year. And if you don't want to celebrate it on January 1st, then March 10th is open.
"Another fresh new year is here ... Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me To live each day with zest ... To daily grow and try to be My highest and my best! I have the opportunity Once more to right some wrongs, To pray for peace, to plant a tree, And sing more joyful songs!" - William Arthur Ward
"Hey, Goatmother. We're talking at midnight. Are you going to come out to the barn?"
"What the hay do you mean, 'No'? I said we're talking. T. A. L. K. I. N. G. Capiche??? Aren't you interested?"
"Okay. Well, I guess if you've heard one animal talk, you've heard them all. And I guess it is kind of late and all ... I suppose you'll probably be sleeping really soundly and ... But don't you think you might just skip down to the barn for a few? It's really not something one experiences every day. And ... well ... "
People likely wonder why a goat would blog. I have an answer to that. I say, 'Why the hay not?' I blog because I can. But the main reason I blog is to give something back. In a world that seems fraught with turmoil and tragedy, sometimes the only solace in a day is a little laughter. If I can brighten just one person's day one tiny bit, it is all worthwhile to me. I treasure my readers. For me, blogging is all about 'did I manage to bring a smile to somebody today?', or 'did I manage to help someone feel something today besides dread?', or 'did I manage to take somebody's mind off their troubles for a few measly moments?' That's why I blog, and if I, by some miracle, manage to do that for even one person, then I was successful. So I write a lot of words and sometimes I post a picture or two (Although, let me tell you, pushing that teensy button is awfully hard with hooves.). But pictures aren't my main focus. I'll leave that to experts like the SnowCatcher and Candy over at Lazy J Bar C.
Now some folks blog because they have an 'opinion' and they think everybody needs to hear it. I have opinions too, but like the Dalai Lama says, " If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad. If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."I don't expect anyone to think like I do. First of all, you'd have to be a goat to do that. Alpines won't and Nubians can't, so It's kind of a moot point. At any rate, if you were wondering, well then, now you know. So with that, I thought it might be a good time to let you know what my Christmas wish is for you ... any of you and ALL of you. Even the Alpines of the world.
May you know peace amidst upheaval. May you have faith in yourself and be secure in the knowledge that you are special, even during those times when you may not be inclined to feel that way. May you know that you are beautiful even when you think you are not, and may the light of your soul pour forth loud and strong enough that everyone takes notice. May you be a beacon to someone, anyone, who needs to find their way, and may someone be a beacon to you if you are lost. May you have UNDERSTANDING. The kind where your feelings are acknowledged and accepted as valued, important and worthwhile, rather than belittled or judged. May you know unconditional love. Period. No qualifiers. May you recognize joy from the simplest of things - the most important things. And may you refuse to be lost in the abyss of despair, for there is always hope, even when we are unable to grasp it readily. May you know the immense blessing of friendship and my you be a friend. Both are jewels whose worth is beyond measure. (This one should probably be repeated for emphasis.) MAY YOU KNOW THE IMMENSE BLESSING OF FRIENDSHIP AND MAY YOU BE A FRIEND. BOTH ARE JEWELS WHOSE WORTH IS BEYOND MEASURE. May you never experience prejudice. May you know that though another be disgruntled, it is not your fault, nor is it your responsibility.
May you never miss an opportunity to tell someone when you notice something nice about them. It may mean the difference between a good day and a bad day - even your own. And above all, may you know laughter. Guffaws preferred, but chuckles will do. Day in and day out in at least some small way. Oh, and Peanuts. I wish you more Peanuts than you can eat. Though, honestly, I can't imagine there actually being more Peanuts than you could eat. I can't imagine that at all. I don't even want to try. Oh, hay. I just wish you Peanuts. Period.
The Merriest of Christmases!
people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and
little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever
happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have
their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these
would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should
wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive
forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.” - Charles Dickens
Hey, ho! 'Tis I, Spielgoat, returned of late. VERY late, as a matter of fact, but you know I've had a lot of Christmas shopping to do. Plus have you ever tried to carry packages on your head? It's kind of like those African women with the baskets on their heads only they're far more skilled at it. Oy. Anyway, now where was I? Oh, yes ...
You may recall that our heroine, Necessità, had just come upon the dazzlingly beautiful angel, Millie, sent to guide her way. Millie tells Necessità that they need to travel to Bethlehem where 'her ears can do wondrous things that no other ears can do'. Necessità was rather impressed with this news since, up to now, those ears had been a bit of a source of conflict in her life. Life's kind of like that, you know. If it is different, it is to be abhorred. Like a vacuum. Nature abhors those. Come to think of it, so do most housewives. Anyway, there was one small difficulty. Here they were in Iowa, and just exactly where was Bethlehem? First of all, in the United States alone there are no less than 19 states with Bethlehems, and 7 of those have more than one. Now why would you need more than one? In fact, the fine state of Tennessee has no less than 7 Bethlehems. How confusing is that? Even worse, how does this kind of thing happen? I think there were likely Nubians involved.
Necessità had no idea what her ears could do that no other ears could, but she was darned sure willing to try to find out. So the pair set off in search of the proper Bethlehem. It needed to be one preferably nowhere near the environs of those hairy-legged Roman Soldiers because, well, let's face it. They're just nasty. And it would certainly pay to avoid Tennessee since there they couldn't seem to find the Bethlehems they kept misplacing. So how in the hay could anyone else be expected to find them? At any rate, when all was said and done, the ideal plan seemed to be to just set out and see where they ended up.
By and by, the pair, wearied by their search, came to the great state of New York. There they stopped by a lovely farm to rest. Now this farm was home to many wonderful creatures, not just goats. There were some horses and even some sheep. But the most resplendent of the inhabitants was a sprightly little goat named Isobelle. Isobelle welcomed the tired travelers and, after hearing of their search, told them she knew of the perfect one to help them. With that, she sent the two back on their way. To where, you ask? Why Clay, New York, of course, home to the most fashionable Yule goat of the ages, Darla, and her ever so kind and helpful goatmum, Mimi, the Goat Borrower.
By and by, Millie and Necessità arrived in Clay only to find that Darla had gone on a trip to Bethlehem herself. They were greeted with great enthusiasm, however, by the Goat Borrower (because that's how MiMi is) and she asked them in. It had begun to snow there in Clay, and our little duo could go no further without rest and sustenance. Mimi, ever the grandest of hostesses, offered to share her Peanuts and even the ever-faithful Yellow Dog gave up his couch to the travelers. (Now how generous is that?) After a time, the snow fell so hard and fast that going further seemed a complete impossibility. Mimi began to fret, for how could Darla ever make it back to Clay, her being in the family way and all? Surprised at this news, Millie and Necessità looked at each other.
"Just how far is Bethlehem from here?, asked Necessità?
"Why only two hours and twenty nine minutes according to Ye Olde Yahoo Maps and as the crow flies.", replied Mimi. "But with the snow falling as it is, it will be far too deep for Darla to manage. What if her blessed event were to happen along the way?"
"I know!", cried Necessità. "I shall fly to Bethlehem using my ears and guide Darla safely home. This is what my ears were meant for! All I have to do is to work out the correct pitch, or nose angle, and the most advantageous ear angle - not dihedral and certainly not anhedral, but angled just enough to produce the proper stability. Then calculate the flight level to rise just enough to glide along the surface of the snow with Darla and her bundle slung on my back (and without looking like a peddler just opening my pack) without crashing. I shall have to adhere to visual flight rules since I have no instrumentation, but I think I can do this!"
And so it was set. Necessità, the adorable little goat with the airplane ears, set her flaps and took off into the wind bound for Bethlehem. By and by she reached Bethlehem and located Darla (because how could anyone miss a goat with such fabulous fashion sense and such a magnificent Yule coat?) Capra-Air took off at 0300 hours, but met with an ill wind and blizzard conditions. Darla was getting peckish, but sadly the flight had stopped giving Peanuts. With great difficulty, Necessità tried to keep to her flight plan, but the snow was too thick. Suddenly she heard a sound no other ears could have heard. The soft angelic voice of Millie calling her, guiding her home. Following the voice, Necessità landed safely and just in the jolly old St. Nick of time, for Darla had gone into labor.
Later, the group gathered around Darla and her blessed event. The snow had stopped and a bright star shone overhead marking the place of the birth. A new Yule goat had entered the world to help heal it and to bring peace, for everyone knows if anyone can bring comfort and joy, it is a goat. All thanks to a short yet adorably airplane-eared little goat with a penchant for philosophy. Who knew?
And Necessità? Well, with her new found purpose, she was able to fly home. Back to the stable where she was born. Back to the Alpines, the hairy-legged Roman Soldiers and to the Nubians. The ones who could remember where they were supposed to be anyway. And most importantly, back to the Peanuts. Most importantly to the Peanuts.
"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!" - Charles Dickens. The end. Finally. Oy. P.S. The SnowCatcher and the Lizard met up in Tannu Tuva where they had independently each gone in search of the famous Tuvan Throat Singers. They fell madly in love and got married. Mrs. Micawber wrote a famous one-of-a-kind book on the magic of Crochet and ended up on Jay Leno. And Millie went back to Iowa, which is, as we all know, Heaven anyway.
Okay, then, break's over. Where have you been? Oh, wait. That was me that went on break. Anyway, if you are just tuning in (and what the hay were you thinking?), you'll just have to go on down the line and read Part 1 first. Otherwise it would just be like putting your underwear over your jeans. Oy.
When last we knew, the SnowCatcher, burdened by extensive photographic equipment and crochet hooks, had just flung herself through the blinding snow in search of the elusive Yeti, only to find a lost and lonely little goat. "Awwww. What is the matter my little airplane-eared friend? Why are you out here all alone and why have you no camera? (Because, you know, this is the first question that comes to anyone's mind when they meet someone out in the middle of a blizzard.) Are you lost?", asked the SnowCatcher. "And what's this? You seem to be wearing one fabulous designer mitten from the famousMrs. Micawber. Only one? Well, perhaps the other is still at Interweave."
Necessità blinked. While perhaps not her first choice in a rescuer, any port in a storm, right? So she smiled, said 'Weeelll ...', and began 'splaining how she had come to such a pitiful end. The SnowCatcher listened intently and then said, "I see. That's rather a sad tale. I'd be more than happy to take you wherever you need to go, but the problem is this. I'm one heck of a photographer, and I can crochet itsy bitsy teensy weensy miniscule and microscopic things like nobody's business, but I don't know Peanuts about finding my way. I suppose we ought to go this way." So off they trudged into the snowy night, photographer and goat.
By and by, they came upon tracks in the snow. The tracks looked rather familiar too. Come to think of it, maybe a little too familiar, for they were the tracks of one person and one small goat. Oy. The pair had gone in a circle. As the SnowCatcher stood pondering just exactly where she had gone wrong, there came a sudden noise. Startled, the wanderers jumped back just as a bicycle came crashing through the trees, and atop the cycle, a man. But this was no ordinary man. No indeed. For this, my friends was The Lizard! (What?! A lizard on a bicycle? Was this some kind of Gecko selling car insurance or something?) "I am The Lizard, and I have a name, but nobody knows what it is.", he announced. "Why are an adorably airplane-eared little goat and a photographer with crochet hooks out in the snowy woods in the middle of the night? For that matter, why am I out here in the middle of the night and on a bicycle, no less? I'll tell you why! I am the most famous cyclist in these parts. It is known near and far that I can find my way anywhere and do things on a bicycle no one else has ever even thought about doing!"
Necessità and the SnowCatcher looked at each other and at the same instant one thought passed between them. Exactly what we need!!! The SnowCatcher looked at the hunkly Lizard and began to explain how Necessità had become lost and how she, herself, had found the sadly one-mittened goat and offered to help, but that, as a result, they had become even loster. (Please don't cry, Mrs. Micawber. It is a word. Surely it is.)
Swelling with pride, The Lizard began to speak. "I have been traversing these mountains since I was knee high to an earthworm. Why in my day, we could travel 100 miles in a day. Not like these kids now days. Yes, we'd travel 100 miles. Uphill. One way. In the snow. At 15 degrees below zero. Barefoot and buck nak ...." "STOP!", yelled the SnowCatcher. "TOO much information!!!!!"
At any rate, soon the little party was on its way. They traveled for miles and miles, and just miles. It is a mystery how Necessità managed to get quite so lost, but I suppose she did have help. At last, they arrived in Iowa. (Spielgoat. Iowa is nowhere near the Roman Empire. How could they end up in Iowa, for Pete's sake!?) All I can tell you is this. Perhaps The Lizard isn't quite as good at finding his way as he would have everyone believe. I'm just sayin' ...
Anyway, in Iowa, the three parted ways. The SnowCatcher thought Iowa might be the perfect place to capture the world's first photo of corn actually growing and set off on her own. The Lizard said he simply had to get back to the mountains (wherever they were), and simply couldn't stay any longer. Once again, Necessità was on her own. But she didn't cry. Oh, no. Crying was for sissies and Roman soldiers who have scratched their hairy legs in the underbrush during hot pursuit of fleeing Mongols. Or maybe over-charging pizza vendors.
By and by, Necessità came upon a lovely, lovely field. Why it was even green in the middle of winter just like the Garden of Eden. It was that lovely. I guess you could say it was almost like Eden Hills. Ahem. Standing in the field was the loveliest white goat Necessità had ever seen. Tall and statuesque with a beautiful long white beard, the regal creature observed the little airplane-eared Caprine. "Who are you?", asked Necessità. The goat smiled down at her and said, "Little one. I am Millie. I am an angel sent to guide your way." (Who knew angels lived in Iowa anyway? Do NOT tell the Roman soldiers.)
Ho hum. Break time again! Oh, quit your belly-achin'. A goat gets hungry telling these tales. Plus, if I keep doing this I might be able to make it last clear up to Christmas ... Milk it for all it's worth, so to speak (pardon the pun). Okay, then, staaaay tuned ... :)
Hey, ho! It is I, Spielgoat, official goat of Santa Claus, here to tell you a most important and excellent tale. Now then, long ago, in the days of the Roman Empire (that was a really long time ago when people wore really ridiculous bedsheets for clothes and wreaths of luscious leaves in their hair instead of eating them like they should.), there was a small stable. In the stable, was a lovely goat (who was NOT an Alpine) and her very cute, dainty and svelte, black and white kid with charming airplane-ears, named Necessità. Necessità was an abnormally intelligent kid and liked to stand on things and philosophize. Unfortunately, some of the other animals in the barn (at least one of whom WAS Alpine) did not like Necessità. They were just jealous, of course, but instead claimed it had something to do with her ears. After all, no one is going to admit to wanton jealousy.
And so, on the night of the Winter Solstice, the animals had decided to have a Cool Yule party. (You know, the kind where the Peanuts flow and attendees tend to end up wearing lampshades on their heads?) Necessità's mother covered Necessità's ears with a lovely pair of mittens (hand crocheted by the ever-so-talented andfamous, crochet artiste, Mrs. Micawber) in an effort to cover them and keep the other stable mates from complaining. (It actually worked rather well as everyone was SO fascinated by Mrs. Micawber's work they forgot to even notice what was underneath. The woman is that good.) Anyway, that night, after everyone was passed ou....uh...asleep, Roman soldiers came to the stable looking for goats to clear brush so the army could actually get through to the next country on the 'Must Conquer' list without scratching up their hairy legs. (The soldiers didn't wear bedsheets like the rest of the folks. Instead they sported bizarre mini-skirts that looked like someone had taken down the bedroom vertical blinds and decided to make clothes out of them. What is it with Romans and bedroom stuff anyway? Oy.) The soldiers picked a bunch of goats. (The Alpines were chosen first because, let's face it, if you need something done in an aggressive manner, an Alpine is the way to go.) They grabbed this one and that one. However, when they attempted to grab Necessità, she darted left and the soldier ended up grabbing one of the fabulous mittens instead, thereby pulling it off and revealing the ever-so-adorable ears. The soldier cried out in horror (Roman soldiers are not known for their taste, or their decorum in P-C sensitive situations.)
Thinking the stable manager (who was, by the way, just the nicest more-or-less bald woman anyone could ever hope to meet) was trying to put one over on them, the soldiers demanded ALL of the goats (except Necessità, and even including the fat Nubian one). The kindly silver-stubbled stable manager was forced to comply because, well, who wants to sit around listening, ad nauseum, to a bunch of ill-tempered, hairy-legged, vertical blind wearing rough necks, if one doesn't have to? But somehow, in all the confusion, Necessità was cast out into the snow and couldn't find her way back to the stable. Cold and lonely, with only one fabulous mitten and one mere Peanut tucked safely inside (Providence. That's what it was. Pure providence.), Necessità began to Baaaa-wl.
Now it happened that, on this night, a photographer was out with her Nikon attempting to capture images of, of all things, snowflakes. Yes, that is what I said. Snowflakes. Now everyone in their right mind knows that anyone else in their right mind would definitely not be out on such a night trying to capture anything, let alone a photograph. Of course, that would simply imply that *everyone* doesn't know the SnowCatcher. 'What the hay was that noise, anyway? Surely we are at too low an elevation to encounter the elusive Yeti?', thought the esteemed photographer. Yet, the goaterwauling continued and the lure of capturing a Pulitzer Prize winning shot of the illusory snow creature forced the SnowCatcher to abandon her quest for the perfect snowflake and go in search of the god-awful noise. Sneaking quietly (on little cat feet...) the SnowCatcher approached the source of the bellowing, Ken Rockwell recommended , Nikon 24mm f/1.4 AF-S G at the ready. However, instead of the evanescent snow monster, all she saw was a pitiful little airplane-eared ragamuffin.
Okay. time for a break. I know, I know. 'You can't just leave us hanging!!!!!' Wah Wah Wah. Union rules ,and Santa is a stickler for Union rules. How else do you think he keeps all those elves in line? Anyway, stay tuned. Part 2 coming soon! Hay, if Peter Jackson can do it, so can I.
A quick note. The Goatmother went to the bathroom again.
Ever since being diagnosed with Cancer, the Goatmother has been on a quest to change her diet. One of the things prevalent in this quest is to religiously read labels. Reading labels can be quite like sorting through a murky swamp. What you can't see, but trip over nonetheless, might just be the thing that does you in.
The Goatfather found this on the Internet and sent it to the Goatmother. He thought it might brighten that blank and miserable look on her face for a few seconds ... thereby giving him enough time to come out of hiding and go to the bathroom himself. I'm just sayin' ... These things are important.
Anyway, here it is. A classic to be sure:
Which is WHY I keep telling her that Peanuts are the absolute, all-time perfect food.
* Warning and Disclaimer - the post you are about to see may be grammatically damaging. It may, or may not, but probably most likely will, consist of possibly the longest run-on sentence in the history of writing.
There. You have been warned. You have no one to blame but yourself if you stay and end up screaming from the room into the night.
The Goatmother has had a cold, which she hasn't had since 2004 (quite literally), which has resulted in her sitting for hours on end in front of the computer with a dull, blank and miserable look on her face, which has caused the Goatfather, in fear, to go into hiding in front of his computer, which has made it virtually impossible for any self-respecting talented Caprine scribe to get near any computer, which has resulted in a dry period occurring in the posting on said scribe's blog, which is why this run-on sentence is appearing since haste is a complete necessity before someone returns from the bathroom and reclaims their seat.
I warned you. Please stay tuned as soon a Caprine Christmas tale will be appearing on a computer monitor near you. Maybe. If I can get near one myself. Oy.
I get SPAM. Oh, the shame. Do you get SPAM? Shameful though it may be, I get it because I do not wish to make my lovely readers jump through hoops trying to copy the dreaded 'Captcha' SPAM-foilers in order to leave a comment. See what a nice goat I am?
So what kind of SPAM do you get? I get it from a lot of folks trying to sell shoes. I admit I haven't been able to figure out why anyone would wish to sell shoes to a goat, but I suppose there must be some mysterious reason to which I am not yet privy. And then there are the purses. Louis Vuitton, no less. Come to think of it, though, a purse might be nice. I could carry quite a few Peanuts around in a purse. And what about those Canadian goose down jackets? What's up with that? I already have enough hair to keep me warm for the winter, thank you very much. But an umbrella would be nice. Do they make designer umbrellas? And why are there never offers for Peanuts? Are there, perhaps, no designer Peanuts out there?
I have to admit, however, that sometimes they don't at least appear to be selling anything. In fact, sometimes one is unsure as to why they bothered to send the SPAM at all. And, lately they seem to be getting more and more inventive. You just never know what you are going to find. The ultimate of one such SPAM arrived today regarding my post of yesterday. I have to tell you, I laughed so hard I thought I was going to fall off my stump. Here is what it said:
"Hey! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him."
The whole time I'm thinking, 'Wow. Your room mate was a goat?!!! How progressive are you??? A goat that was always talking about whether or not goats came over on the Mayflower?!!!! What a small world!!! Who knew?'
I have but one thing to say to the SPAMMERS of the world: "The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates Now there's a Thanksgiving table full of food for thought. <smile ...>
Once upon a time there were a lot of people in strange clothes who didn't like where they were living. Since there was no Internet back then, they had to rely on those travel stories from friends in order to find a new place they wanted to live. You know, the kind where somebody goes someplace you can't afford and then invites all the neighbors over for snacks and endless pictures? Oh, wait. I guess they hadn't invented photography yet, so maybe they just came for the snacks.
Anyway, this group of peculiar dressers with their big buckles, short pants and love of black and white, finally settled upon 'The New World'.I am not sure why it was called 'new' since it was most likely decidedly really old, but I suppose it was new to them and people who dress funny tend to see things differently. So how, then, to get to this New World? Well, back then about the only way to get somewhere that far away was by boat since it was across the ocean and horses don't swim all that well. So they set about procuring a ship and trying to figure out what to pack.
Of course this whole boat thing wasn't going to happen instantly, so one thing they had to consider was what to take with them that would continue to provide them sustenance over the long haul. Chickens were a good choice, of course, because though most are dumber than posts, they do lay eggs. Also, since they have such post-like intelligence, one could always easily catch one to eat if one were desperate. So chickens went on the list.
Now this group was inordinately fond of bacon, so someone decided a couple of pigs simply had to go along. Plus they could always be used to help with any tilling of the soil or stump uprooting. They weren't all that big either. I feel compelled to mention, here, that though pigs are normally very intelligent, the two that went along for this ride simply could not have been. I mean knowing what was in store, would you go? So anyway, stupid pigs went on the list.
What about cows? Well, cows are far too big and weigh too much. The boat might sink. Plus they make an awful mess. And they moo. But what to do about milk? Someone mentioned goats at this point. Well, shoot! Of course! Goats give great milk and they can pull little kids in wagons, clear out brush, provide you with philosophical commentary, and all sorts of good things. Besides, no one liked Chevon, so you could actually convince a goat to come along for the ride. I'm not sure if Peanuts had been invented yet, but I'm sure that probably served as a great incentive if they did.
So this group of ridiculously attired persons, who, by the way, were called Pilgrims, contracted the boat called The Mayflower, to take them and their motley band of animals across the pond to The New World. This happened waaaaaaay back in 1620. That was a hay of a long time ago.
Now, then, you are likely wondering how I knew there were goats on the Mayflower. I can assure you, I did not make it up. While I admit there is no record of a goat in the actual documents from aboard the ship, it is known that in 1623, Emmanuel Altham visited Plymouth (which was the name of the place they landed in the The New World and not an automobile) and recorded that there were six goats, fifty pigs and many chickens. Fifty pigs? Apparently pigs are very prolific. Who knew? Although I do seem to recall reading something about that in one of those mass-forwarded emails. Oy. Don't think I better go there.
Oh, well. So the question remains, what kind of goats arrived on the Mayflower? Obviously they would have been dairy goats. Nubians? Nah. Had they been Nubians, they would likely have become lost somewhere in the bowels of the boat and never again seen the light of day. Either that or forgotten they were supposed to going somewhere in the first place and missed the boat entirely. So what about La Manchas? Nah. Aliens hadn't landed on the Earth yet, so they couldn't possibly have been La Manchas.
Oberhaslis? Saanens? Toggenburgs? These are all good choices, but the fact remains that there is likely only one answer to this age-old question. The Alpine. Now anyone who really knows me, knows that I would be loathe to bestow any sort of honor, such as being the goat of choice on the Mayflower, on an Alpine. But, the facts of the matter are these. Alpines always have to be first. That means when the Pilgrims were looking over stock to bring on the voyage, the Alpines would have been first in line, butting everyone else out of the way in the process. Secondly, Alpines are undoubtedly smart, but their sense of greed seems to override any other sense, thereby rendering them temporarily Lizard Brain when it comes to anything involving food. A fact which would have made them exceedingly easy to convince to walk up that plank and into that boat. (I feel it prudent to mention, here, that any Mini-Nubian or Nigerian Dwarf worth their salt would have, at this point, been standing at the back of the crowd, picking their hooves and looking nonchalantly off into the distance, having recognized the obvious ruse.)
But the fact that makes it most likely the goats on the Mayflower were, indeed, Alpines is this. The Picky Snit. Everyone knows that during a voyage of months, food supplies often became tainted. People and animals often became sick and died before reaching their destination. Plus, rats always managed to find their way on board, despite the fact they were never invited. This is just like in the barn, and is, by the way, the reason the Peanut jar now has to live in the enclosed (and locked) Sacred Grain Room. Anyway, every Alpine possesses the Picky Snit gene. Thus they would have refused to eat any food that wasn't in tip top condition and thereby survived the long voyage. They might have been skinny, mind you, but they would not have been ill. It really is the only feasible explanation.
So in 1623, there were only six goats at Plymouth. Yet more proof that those goats on the Mayflower were Alpines. In the three years from 1620 to 1623, any other breed would have grown to much greater proportions. But given the Alpine temperament, one year would have been enough to drive those Pilgrims to distraction and likely resulted in a fondness for Chevon. It is what it is. I'm just sayin' ...
So there you have it. In my superior Marigold-Holmesian penchant for uncovering the truth, I have given you, pardon the Thanksgiving pun, food for thought. This year remember that we are all on a journey and ought to be thankful for that journey, no matter how hard or bizarre the circumstances along the way. Some folks get stepped on, and some folks, like theAlpines, likely do the stepping. But we all, in the end, come out on top of the stump. Still, should you happen to find yourself squashed under foot by some one or some thing, try not to blame them. Instead remember this:
"We're all pilgrims on the same journey - but some pilgrims have better road maps." - Nelson DeMille
The question is , just who's road map do you want to follow? Now thatis a query worth pondering. Happy Thanksgiving! May you find yourself nota turkey.
Have you heard the news??? Hostess has gone under. Twinkies and Ding Dongs are being sold on EBay as we speak. Oy. Do you suppose any of them have the face of Elvis on them? I bet those go for more. Nonetheless, no Hostess in our life? I mean they've been around since 1930, for Goats' Sake! How many Twinkies and Ding Dongs have been carried in lunch boxes over the years? How many picnics featured them for dessert? How many of them popped out of metal lunch boxes high atop some steel beam in the sky? Whatever will The Closer do now???
Still considering they have an infinite shelf life, maybe it was time. I'm sure they are still going to be around for a long time to come. Even if they get hard, one could still use them as a door stop. Or, if you were to hollow out the center early on, one might be able to use them to hide keys out of doors. They might even become lawn ornaments. Garden Gnomes may soon lose their status in favor of the artfully placed Twinkie amongst the Petunias. I wonder if any will go in the Smithsonian? The possibilities are endless here. Someone has not had on their thinking cap. There are enough possibilities available from Twinkies and Ding Dongs alone to likely pull the company OUT of bankruptcy. Too bad they never had a goat for a CEO. Things might have been much different.
What possibilities can you come up with? Perhaps you ought to go on EBay right now and see what you can get. Just think of how many EBucks you'll earn.
At any rate, I just hope this sort of thing doesn't happen to Peanuts. Although I can't imagine that it will since Peanuts are so good for you. A health food really. And you know, like they say, 'God don't make no junk', so Peanuts are surely going to be around forever. Just the same, if you happen to be a Peanut grower and you just happen to be reading this, please, don't take any chances. I'm just sayin' ...
Anyway, if you ask me, we ought not get too excited about it but merely view it as one of those things that has seen its time. About the only way we can continue to exist in this world is to accept change. Honor what was and embrace what is to be. Goodbye, Hostess. We knew you well.
“Nevertheless so profound is our ignorance, and so high our presumption,
that we marvel when we hear of the extinction of an organic being; and
as we do not see the cause, we invoke cataclysms to desolate the world,
or invent laws on the duration of the forms of life!”
The Origin of Species
Right, you are, Mr. Darwin. I just hope they don't invent any laws on the duration of Ding Dongs. We have enough of those floating about in existence as it is.
A very wise person said, "If you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it". Those are very wise words and it wasn't even a goat that thought it up. At any rate, it doesn't really matter who thought it up. I still think those are very good words to live by.
Take for example, well, me! That's a good example if ever I saw one. Anyway, suppose I don't like how Ella hogs all the hay, the grass, the barn space, the air, the Planet, the Universe (Notice I didn't say Peanuts? That's because I do not allow anyone to hog the Peanuts.) So, since Ella is an Alpine, and Alpines have the worst goat temperament known to goatkind, there's likely not a lot I can do about it. I mean that would be like expecting Justin Beiber to grow a beard. Ain't gonna' happen anytime soon. Therefore, should I desire to keep my peace of mind and maintain my well-deserved reputation as an enlightened being, my only recourse would be to change my perception of Ella as an obvious pig-headed dunder head, n'est ce pas? Hmmm ... not so easy, but I suppose I might consider that perhaps in her, shall we say 'zest', she might actually be ridding the environment of the more inferior pieces of hay, the less succulent blades of grass, the more 'soiled' space in the barn, the more polluted molecules in the air, the Planet and the Universe, thus leaving the best for more deserving individuals. Like me. I am deserving. Come to think of it, I'm probably more deserving than just about anyone else I know.
Then there is the case of the Goatmother. She doesn't like the 'C' word. She doesn't like all the not-so-lovely things the evil beast has brought to her life, or the anxiety, the worry, or the what-ifs. But that's all okay, because she has chosen to follow the above wonderful advice and view it all a little differently. Well, mostly she has. Sometimes she slips up, but she's a human and not a goat, so what can you expect? Anyway, she tries to see all the good things that have been brought into her life as a result. Like the absolute TONS of fabulous and kind people, the impetus to finally lose all that stupid weight she's been trying to lose for such a long time (Boo. Please take note.), the joy only an exercise high can bring, and the knowledge that life is the bomb. Of course she knew all this before, but now she can see it more clearly with all it's glitter, bells, confetti, and as one of her friends likes to say, fairy dust.
At any rate, Thanksgiving is upon us and certainly this little strategy for living falls into that category. What are you thankful for this year? Me? Peanuts. Does this surprise you? Silly people! Peanuts are for goats ... and being thankful.
" Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey
Ah, another of those wise human beings. I wish I'd said that. Happy Thanksgiving! May you have the warmth of love at your table. And Peanuts. Don't forget the Peanuts. I'm just sayin' ...
I know. You are all tired of the Little UnDead. Me too. Nonetheless, we have one last tale to tell. I promise. This will be the last you'll hear of him for awhile. I hope. Besides, I'm running out of adjectives. Oy.
Okay, so the last place that Meager Malfeasant went, you are just not going to believe. Are you ready for this? He went to ... wait for it ... a Doll Show. Are you disappointed? Disconcerted? Worried? I'm all of those and probably a few more I haven't thought of yet. Still, it is what it is, and that's where he went so I suppose we'll just have to pull up our big goat panties and deal with it, eh? Of course some goats' panties are bigger than others and thus more difficult to pull up. Take Boo for example. There's a whole lotta' area to cover there, I can tell you. Sort of like trying to canopy the Gobi Desert. Can you imagine? Wait. I'm getting off track. So sorry. It's just such an immense thought.
Anyway, back to the Brief and Breathless. Yes, he went to a Doll Show. Why? Who knows what reasoning lurks in the heart and mind of the Cramped and Cold? I don't know about you, but t'is most certainly a puzzlement to me.
However, while there, our intrepid Infantile and Inert met up with a couple of the Goatmother's friends, one of which is a survivor just like the Goatmother. And survivors they are, of the highest order! A wonderful lady, to be sure, full of grace and wit. And the other friend is a fabulous soul as well. Lucky Goatmother to know these two, and lucky Wee and Wasted to get to have his picture taken with them.
I think the Goatmother's friend was actually trying to fix him up with that Midge doll. He has a thing for redheads. Anyway, that Mini Masher had quite a time at the Doll Show. Below you can see that he managed to drum up quite a few prospects at the lovely two-headed ladies' table.
And of course he felt right at home here. See the coffin there in the lower right hand corner? I can tell you he had his eye on that. Can you say C.O.V.E.T.?
So there you have it. You can breathe easy now. You won't have to hear anymore about the Cute and Cadaverous' adventures for at least another whole year. I know I'm relieved.
"Life is either a great adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller
I'm not sure exactly how that fits in with someone who has no life, but, hay, at least he has the adventure part down pat. Now then. Be sure to tune in on Halloween day because you will see one of the scariest things you will ever encounter. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Well, maybe not a bat at the moment, but that little Grassy and Gone still has a couple more adventures you haven't heard about. Remember? I told you we weren't through with him yet. Sorry, but I did warn you.
Anyway, after that Dinky Dunderhead finished getting his thrills in the Chemotherapy department, he decided he needed a little break. So, off he went to the next building to visit the World's Greatest Scone Maker. You can see him, below, waiting at the counter to place his order.
I have to tell you, the World's Greatest Scone Maker does, indeed, make the world's greatest scones. They are like no other scone you've ever had crumbly and luscious. Not only does the World's Greatest Scone Maker make scones, but she also makes delectable soups, salads and sandwiches. She uses everything organic that she can and makes it all with the largest dollop of pure love added. She is an extraordinary person. She even has a place in her heart for the little Puny and Putrid. Now that ought to prove her worth for sure. Just how many folks do you think can actually tolerate the little Insipid and Idiotic? Here she is mixing up a batch of wonderfulness.
Isn't she a doll? Why I bet she'd even give me a few Peanuts if I were to go in there. Come to think of it, I wonder why the Goatmother never takes me? Some little Green and Ghastly's have all the luck. Just look at him trying to get on their good side. Oy.
Well, the Goatmother may be done with radiation, but I'd be willing to bet she'll be back here visiting. You can't keep a good SconeMother down. But even if she doesn't go back for a scone, these ladies are so wonderful, she'll likely go just to keep in touch. Like the sign says, it's 'A Little Cafe, With A Whole Lotta' Love'!
Now then, should you chance to go to The Sweet Beginnings yourself, you'll find something very extra special about the World's Greatest Scone Maker. There's much more here than meets the eye, and if you ask her how she came to be where she is, she'll tell you this: "Sometimes you just gotta' get out of your own way and let things happen." I think the same could be said for living life to the fullest, don't you think? Hmmm ... a fellow philosopher. Who knew?
"Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon." -Dalai Lama
And, life, Mr. Lama. Approach life that way too.And Peanuts. (Just thought I ought to add Peanuts. You know. Just in case...)
... to bring you breaking news. Well, really, nothing is broken. Actually we are hoping it is fixed. The news is that the Goatmother had her last radiation treatment today.
This is good news, but we meet it with mixed feelings. You see, here's the thing. When you get that diagnosis - when you hear those words - suddenly your life changes. Forever. Not just for a day. Not just for a week or even a month or a few months. It. Changes. Forever. Cancer takes away a lot of things, but the worst is probably your feeling of security. Suddenly you come face to face with your mortality - a thing we all know we have to face, but a thing so easy to ignore.
And then there is the time. This took six months of precious time. Never, ever, wish a person with cancer a 'speedy' recovery because there is no such thing. And six months is minor in comparison to what many people with cancer have to face.
Chemotherapy is probably the hardest to endure, but make no mistake about it, radiation is no cake walk. Everyone says, 'Oh, radiation. Well, that's SO much easier', then they smile and go merrily on their way because, let's face it, it's just radiation. You can just go on about your normal life now. Wrong. There's the exhaustion that no one escapes. There is the disruption of your life from having to go to appointments every single day. And then there are the burns. Nope. A cake walk it ain't.
No one that has cancer has an easy time. And, you know, it doesn't matter if your cancer is Stage 1 or Stage 4. Every person's experience is difficult at best. Granted some folks have more to endure than others, but it doesn't make any difference. It's all difficult and it's all important. Don't make the mistake of saying things like, 'Oh, well, you didn't feel so well, but I can tell you stories ... ' Never denigrate someone else's experience. What is that old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes?
But for all that cancer takes away, fortunately it gives too. Suddenly the brightness of other peoples' souls shine out like lighthouse beacons on a stormy night. Safe and warm and all-encompassing, helping to guide you through. What would we do without them? I certainly do not want to even entertain the thought. Faith in and love of your fellow creatures on this mercurial and unpredictable journey we call life. That's what cancer gives. And it gives you new eyes with which to see. Suddenly some things don't look quite so bad, and others look too wonderful for words. It gives a new appreciation of so many things we previously took for granted. It's all important and it's all good. Remember?
And so, my friends, the journey doesn't end here. We've only really just managed the ever so rocky beginning. We want to thank each and every one of you who have stayed the course along with us. Our thanks and our words will never be enough to truly express our gratitude. We have been graced, blessed, and honored beyond what we deserve. And if you are one of those folks who puts off having those yearly tests because they are just too much trouble , or you don't have time, or you don't want to be 'exposed' to too much radiation, or any of the other one million and one excuses we manage to come up with, trust me. It isn't too much trouble, and you do have time, and the amount of radiation you receive in an x-ray or a mammogram is just a drop in the bucket compared to what it could be. Just. Do. It.
Special thanks to our friend, Mrs. Micawber , for providing the most appropriate quotation for this post:
“The realm of Sauron is ended! The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.” And
as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them
that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of
shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous
it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast
threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over
them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and
then a hush fell."
We interrupt this adventure to bring you The World's Greatest Integrative Radiation Oncologist!
After all the folderol about that ridiculously grim Little Dumb and Deceased, isn't it pleasant to see this fabulous face? First of all, it isn't green. But more than that, this is the face of one fantastically intelligent and caring Doctor. And one with a winning personality to boot. Now who could ask for more than that? She has taken her skill and dedication to the level of an art form. I might even trust her with my Peanuts, and that's saying just a whole lot. Thank you for taking such good care of our Goatmother!
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” - Kahlil Gibran
Okay, well, here I am! Back as promised. Did you forget? Did you try? I know. Since it is regarding the little Scant and Insufficient, I'd try to forget too ... if only I had that luxury. Oh, well. On with the story!
So, since our Malachite No-More managed to make it through the whole scary Radiation process, he decided to get in on more of the action. Of course he did. What a glutton for punishment. So onward he went to his next stop ... the Chemotherapy wing of the Cancer Center. Naturally. Are we surprised? I know I'm not even raising an eyebrow. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I even have any eyebrows. Nonetheless, I will somehow manage to adequately relay my non-amazement. I can be very expressive when I try.
Anyway, back to the Chemotherapy. Yep, that little Sage-Colored Perished was delighted at the prospect of giving chemicals a whirl. After all, if the Goatmother could do it, he certainly figured he could. Overconfidence never looked so green.
Here he is being greeted by the World's Greatest Medical Oncology Nurse and the World's Greatest Patient Navigator. Do we see the same looks of gleeful anticipation worn recently by those Radiation Technicians? Hmmm ...
Anyway, the next step was to check in. Here we see the microscopic Lime Lout kindly helping out behind the desk. After all, he didn't want anyone to get the information wrong. The only problem was that he couldn't remember his date of birth and they didn't have a place for 'date of turn' or 'date of first bite' or 'date someone stupidly thought to create such a menance'. None of those things. And still she smiles.
Now, I want you to know that the Chemotherapy wing has style. They actually decorated for Halloween! That short Stunted and Stiff felt right at home. They have a way of doing that there - making their patients feel right at home. Isn't that great? I bet if they had any goat patients, they'd probably supply them with Peanuts. I'm just sayin' ... in case they read this. Or get any goat patients. Or any Peanuts they might want to send home with existing patients. It never hurts to make suggestions.
After checking in and visiting with the decor, it was time for treatment. Here you can see the little Undersized and Useless waiting in the chair with bated breath.
Of course he is a bit more height-challenged than your average patient so ... he had to have a little booster seat.
Then in came the nurse and set right to hooking up our intrepid little Dead Deviant.
It's usually kind of quiet in the Chemotherapy wing, but let me tell you folks, you could hear that Chartreuse Cretin yelling, "Turn the drip up all the way! Woo Hoo!!!!", clear down the hallway into the lobby. Goat Grief. How embarrassing is that?
Here's a close up. See the needle taped to his arm? And he's still smiling. Oy.
So I suppose that little Unmitigated Muttonhead has a much better constitution than anyone thought possible because he didn't lose his hair and it didn't turn white. Or any other shade, for that matter. And we certainly can't say his color is any worse. He didn't even get bloodshot eyes, though he probably would have liked that. Some guys have all the luck.
Yes, my friends, the Little UnDead made it through quite nicely. He maintains it's all just a matter of clean living and right thinking. In his case we can honestly say that's just a crock of goat berries since there's certainly nothing clean about his living conditions (you should see his room). And his thinking? That's definitely more out in left field than right. What. Ever.
So there you have it. I guess you could call his little sojourn a success. He made it through anyway.
"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." - Alex Noble
There is that, now isn't there?
Stay tuned. Unfortunately he isn't quite done yet. But you can keep your eyes open. The scariest part is over.
Some of you may remember that every year at Halloween time, our diminutive friend, the Little UnDead, goes on an adventure. After all, it is his favorite time of year. So, here it is that time again. In fact, if you look in my side bar, there are only a few days left! My how time flies when you're not having fun, eh?
Now then, you may also recall that the Petite and Putrid's pilgrimages always have a bit of a scary bent. (Probably no big surprise there.) One year he spent time in all the, pardon the pun, haunts of Edward and Bella from the Twilight series. In case you have actually forgotten, or tried hard to forget, you can refresh your sad little memory here, and here, and here, and here. Of course then the Undersized and Deceased simply had to visit Maine and all things Stephen King. That one wasn't actually in October, but he got the fever early that year. In case you forgot about that one, you can either continue to suppress the memory, or you can refresh it here. Then the following year, our Infinitesimal and Inanimate visited the various sights from the making of the film, Practical Magic. I know. It is an effort to keep up, but just in case you'd like to, you can review it here, and here.
So this year, the Imperceptible and Passed-Away decided to do one of the scariest things possible. He decided to visit Cancer Land, and believe me, that is likely the scariest place he has gone to date.
And, so, without further ado (although I still think, in the case of the Insufficient and Inconsequential, it ought to be adieu ) I present to you The Little UnDead Does Cancer.
First of all, we see our Elfin and Extinct outside the Cancer Care Center.
What? Did you miss him? How about now?
Next he can be seen being tolera...uh...errr...checked in at the front desk. (Do please excuse the bit of 'overexposure' in this photo. All that green skin tends to cause an inordinate amount of reflection. I'm just sayin' ...)
The next stop was the Radiation Room where our Shrimpy and Soulless was greeted by three able-bodied and intelligent Radiation Technologists. As a matter of fact, the Goatmother says they are, without a doubt, the Worlds' Greatest Radiation Technologists. Now don't they look to be the very essence of skill? What more could the Goatmother, or anyone else for that matter, ask for? Of course I'm certain they've never encountered a patient quite like our little Stubby and Stiff.
Just as an aside, I want you to take note of the fantastic machine in the above photograph and in the next shot. This is no ordinary radiation machine, my friends. This is a Varian TrueBeam and represents a revolution in Radiotherapy technology. It actually contains a linear accelerator, and has the ability to offer unprecedented speed and pinpoint accuracy. And the last we knew, the only one of its kind in operation on the West Coast other than at Stanford University. In Sequim, America? Who knew???
Now, then, just get a load of those three faces. Can't you just see the anticipation and glee. For sure they are going to enjoy tortur...uh...errr...treating this guy. Just look at how innocently they are accepting him into the fold.
So, here is our little Lilliputian, Lime and Liquidated all ready for his first treatment.
What? You can't see him? How about now?
That fancy machine can rotate clear around him or raise him up and down, backward or forward. I mean to tell you, guys, you could hear that little Grassy and Gone-To-Meet-His-Reward shouting, "More! Give me more! Weeeeeee!!!!!!", clear through those hugely thick, lead-lined walls. What an idiot. Oy. Still, I guess with skin that color burning is the least of his worries, so why not enjoy the ride?
So there you have it. I know that was all pretty darned scary. I sure hope you don't have nightmares and find yourself having to eat a few Peanuts for consolation. On the other hand, perhaps that isn't such a bad thing. Our little Microscopic and Mortified sure seemed to enjoy it all. Maybe it isn't all that scary. Still, I suppose there is no accounting for taste.
Nonetheless, please stay tuned for Part 2 of the Little UnDead's continuing foray into Cancer Land. I'm not telling you what's next. Besides, if I did you might not come back. Just remember this. If you experienced any degree of fear, please know to just ... "Don't be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common
sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón,
The Angel's Game
Now just what does that tell you about our intrepid little Life-Challenged Lug? Try not to think about it too hard.
Sometimes life is pretty amazing. Sometimes people are pretty amazing. Goats are always amazing, but that's just a fact of life. The Goatmother has had so many kindnesses extended to here during this whole 'Big C' routine, and yet they keep coming. Yep, that's just flat out amazing.
I'm sure by now you are, yet again, saying, "Marigold, what the hay are you talking about now?" Well, okay, I admit that I might occasionally go off on a few tangents, but that's just because my thought processes are so advanced it sometimes becomes difficult for my brain to keep them all properly aligned. As my friend Monk used to say, "It's a blessing. And a curse."
Anyway, the kindness I'm talking about is this:
"What is that, Marigold?", I'm sure you are asking? Well, this, my friends, is a countdown! A tea countdown, to be exact. You see, there is a tea bag for every day the Goatmother has left of radiation treatments. As each day passes, she can take down that day's tea and drink it...until no tea is left. That will be cause for great celebration because then the Goatmother will be DONE with radiation!
The truly wonderful and remarkable thing about this is where it came from. There is a quite lovely lady who has a blog here. Now the astounding thing about it is that this woman just recently lost her beloved husband, and yet she took the time to not only think about the Goatmother, but make her this beautiful gift! Didn't I tell you that people are remarkable?
And lest you not realize the true extent of this magnanimous gesture, please observe this:
Originally, one of these was attached to each bag of tea. However, the U.S. Postal Service, ever gentle as they are with our packages (cough... cough....) managed to dislodge them all by the time they arrived. No matter. They would have had to be taken off to be eaten anyway. Just saved me time. Besides, it's all good, remember?
So this lovely lady not only took the time to do something so nice for the Goatmother, she actually included a thought for moi. Doubly remarkable, although I am awfully memorable.
Thank you, sweet Ginnie. You are a brave and beautiful soul. We can only add you to our list of those we will never adequately be able to repay. Blessings to you!
"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own."
~Adam Lindsay Gordon
Disclaimer: You may notice that there are many bags of tea in the picture above. This would be due to the fact that we are SO behind around here! My apologies to Ginnie for taking so long to make this post. And my apologies to the Goatmother because she has, in fact, ONLY 10 bags of tea left!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!! (Sorry. I got a bit carried away.)
Well, now. It has been quite some time since we have shown you any pictures. It's about time. That's all I have to say on that subject.
So, then, this is the World's Greatest Radiation Oncology nurse. Doesn't she have a beautiful smile? And she's funny, too. That and expertise all rolled into one nice package. Who could ask for more? Unless, of course, Peanuts were to be involved. Then mostly certainly we would ask for more. I'm just sayin'...
That Goatmother is one lucky woman to have such a genuinely nice lady taking care of her. And, by the way, she used to have Alpacas (the nurse, not the Goatmother. Because, let's face it, then she would have to be called the Alpacamother and we'd probably have to write a whole new blog.). You know, Alpacas. Those guys that are kind of half way between a llama and a goat? That gives the nice nurse some marks in my book since Alpacas are kind of like goats. Of course she would have had more marks if they had actually been goats, but I wouldn't, after all, want to be judgemental.
Anyway, yes, the World's Greatest Radiation Oncology nurse is indeed a nice person. How do we know that? "Fake people are only nice when it's convenient for them. Genuinely nice people go out of their way to help others." - Unknown.
Once upon a time, in a land not so very far away, there was a grassy knoll. Now this grassy knoll was not so famous as some grassy knolls, and not very much exciting ever happened there. Certainly there was no opening and closing of mysterious umbrellas, or anything quite so ominous as that. No, just a plain old, every-day, mundane kind of grassy knoll.
Now the grassy knoll was inhabited by a complacent horde of straw-like creatures who lived quite peaceably day in and day out. They were sturdy and dependable folk, not given to over-excitement, the following of ridiculous fads, or any such other nonsense. Sunrise to Sunset, and all through the night, they stood steadfast.
But one day a terrible thing happened. A chemical plague, the likes of which had never been seen, rained down upon the grassy knoll. Screams were heard as some inhabitants tried to bunker in while others leapt to their death. The slaughter continued for weeks. Soon the grassy knoll was no longer grassy, replaced by a barren wasteland as far as the eye could see.
But one fateful day, the attack ceased. The coast was clear. But was the grassy knoll ruined, destined to be forever devoid of life? Slowly but surely, one inhabitant at a time began to re-emerge. Like the Big Bad Wolf, the wielders of the heinous chemicals could huff and they could puff, but they could not blow down the resolve of the stalwart citizens. Those citizens were just like the Ever-Ready Bunny ( except without the pink).
No, my friends, the denizens of the grassy knoll were as tough as they come. Yet, for all their might, something within them had changed, for no being can enter the fray and come forth unscathed. As a result, the straw-like creatures were no longer straw-like and certainly no longer straw colored. For just as Gandalf, the Grey returned after being struck down in the Lord of the Rings, so the dwellers of the grassy knoll returned. And, like Gandalf, they were no longer the same. They were, in fact, white. White, symbol of purity, the 'good guys', and Mr. Clean. Who knew?
Will this change elicit a change in the terroir of the grassy knoll? Only time can say. Likely a certain wisdom will be born of the adversity. Well, we can hope.
“No, my heart will not yet despair. Gandalf fell and has returned and is
with us. We may stand, if only on one leg, or at least be left still
upon our knees.” - J.R.R. Tolkien
Guess what? The Goatmother has noticed something new on her head. No, it isn't a new scarf. It is soft and fine, and ever so minute. Hair! Is it possible? At the moment the Goatmother's head looks very much like a giant peach. It feels like it too. The only problem? (Of course. There is always a problem. This is the Goatmother we are talking about.). It is white. Or perhaps it is pale blonde (Madonna in the making?), but I'm thinking white is more likely. I guess time will tell. Maybe any darker hair was scared silly during chemotherapy and refuses to come back out. Hiding down there in the hair follicles, shaking in its tiny little boots. Chemotherapy would affect me that way, I can tell you.
Perhaps we should offer the recalcitrant strands some sort of enticement. Give them a worthwhile reason to reappear. But what? I know! Peanutbutter! Of course! It might be a little sticky on the head, but I would certainly be willing to help the Goatmother out.
"It's like he said: Marvelous things will happen" - James (James and the Giant Peach
Now there is an interesting word. Behinder. It is what we are. You know that saying about 'I'm so far behind I don't know whether I've lost my Peanut or found a Goat'? That's us. We are so far behind that it may take the rest of our natural lives to catch up. Or perhaps we may never catch up.
Anyway, the Goatmother has 3 whole radiation treatments under her belt. Well, maybe they aren't under her belt ... Nothing is glowing yet though, so that's a good sign. It's all good, remember? The Goatmother says by the time she was finished being set up for the first treatment, her hands had begun to feel disembodied and she had no arms. Cool. Just in time for Halloween. The treatment itself just took a minute. Thankfully, subsequent treatments have been easier and faster. And yet another pleasant surprise? It turns out the treatments will be finished October 26th instead of October 29th! Woo Hoo! Small favors and all that!
All that aside, these every single day treatments are why we are so behind. That kind of time commitment tends to cut way down on available daylight. Nonetheless, the Goatmother and Goatfather went, yesterday, to their favorite restaurant in Port Townsend for lunch. One has to eat, doesn't one? I know I certainly do my part in that regard. Aren't I special?
So the Goatmother and Goatfather went to Port Townsend, and they took Cabra and the Mighty Quinn along since it was a lovely, cool day. They arrived and parked the truck on the corner in front of the quaint little flower shop with the beautiful old antique fence pieces in front. They proceeded into the restaurant, sat down, ordered, and soon began eating their lunch. Suddenly they noticed a police care pull up outside, and then a rescue unit showed up. Hmmmm... Pretty soon a big fire truck arrived along with more police. What the hay??? So the Goatfather got up and went outside. When he returned, he reported there was a car almost in the door of the flower shop. Interesting. Many curious onlookers soon began to appear.
After awhile, the Goatmother and Goatfather finished their meal and proceeded back to their vehicle. The Goatmother got in, but the Goatfather went to the back because there were policemen and chairs directly behind. He tapped a policeman on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, but don't step back. We are going to be leaving." At that the policeman turned and said, "Well, just a minute. Let's see if we can assess the damage to your vehicle." What????!!!!!
As it turns out, a 79 year old woman had either been trying to parallel park, or was trying to leave after having parked, in front of the Goatmother and Goatfather's truck. Evidently she accidentally stepped on the accelerator with the car in reverse thinking it was in drive. The car shot backward grazing the Goatfamily vehicle fender, taking out a 2 hour parking sign concreted into the sidewalk, and ending up at the side of the flower shop on top of the lovely pieces of antique fence and a table and chairs that will no longer be hosting any sitters. The worst of it, however, was that a child ended up underneath the car. Don't panic! Miraculously, the child appeared unharmed but was sent to the hospital to be checked out anyway.
Guardian angels were working overtime on this one, folks. The truck was simply grazed and not even enough worth mentioning. The truck was virtually unharmed, the dogs were safe, and the child was unhurt. Oddly the flower shop was unscathed, too, but I doubt you could have wedged a Peanut between it and the car. The car, itself, ended up neatly between the building and a support post, touching neither. Almost as though it had been parked there on purpose. Miraculous, I tell you.
Personally I feel the halo of radiation emanating from the Goatmother likely set up some sort of force field. Hey, maybe this radiation ain't so bad after all. Come to think of it, I think I may ask her to hang around the barn awhile and see if it has any effect on Alpines. You never know.
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump I guess you could say the same about radiation. Who knew?
Sixty years ago a baby was born in a small town in Oklahoma. Little did the unsuspecting world know what had been unleashed upon it. Did I say sixty? The big 6 - 0???
But it's okay. There is hope. I am living proof that Peanuts contain absolutely amazing age-defying properties. They're even better than Oil of Oylay. At any rate, do not fret, dear Goatmother. "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
It's Labor Day, so I thought I'd take a little time out from eating to do some actual labor - like writing. You didn't think I could do it, did you? Hay, it is possible to write and snack at the same time. You wouldn't want me to get weak from hunger or anything would you? Anyway, today would have been the day for the next chemotherapy treatment, but since we are DONE with that, the Goatmother didn't have to go anywhere! There you go, then. I think one could say this is truly a holiday in every sense of the word. WOO and HOO!!!!
So, the Goatmother is ready to go on to Part Deux. I say 'ready', but I suppose no one is ever really 'ready' for such things. Nonetheless, she has seen the fabulous Radiation Oncologist and things are underway. Now I've never known the Goatmother to be much for going against the grain, but I dare say perhaps that has changed. Why you ask? Well, the Goatmother is now sporting a few tattoos, of all things. What a rebel. The problem is the tattoos are just dots. Plain old dots. Mind you she asked for dragonflies, or smiley faces at the very least, but no, they wouldn't go for it. I ask you, wouldn't a smiley face make as good a target as a mere dot? Better even, if you ask me. Or they could have made tiny little Peanuts. That would have been novel. No imagination. That's what I say. Anyway, the Goatmother is now tattooed and ready to rock and roll.
So, for seven weeks, five days a week, the Goatmother will be zapped. Something tells me the headlights are going to be glowing after that much input, but the fabulous Radiation Oncologist assures us such will not be the case. I reserve the right to skepticism until I see for myself. I mean this has to be akin to the time Boo was grazing too near the electric fence and forgot to pay attention where she put her ear. Well, she didn't so much glow, but she sure left a jet trail, I can tell you. If you ask me, the only reason she didn't glow is because she wasn't there long enough. No, my friends, I think the Goatmother's headlights are definitely going to be on. I'll be sure to let you know.
Anyway, we do have a little time before all the excitement begins. September 11th. That is D-Day. One week of vacation. That's what we have, and we are going to make good use of it. For one thing, the Goatmother and the Goatfather are planning a day trip to the ocean. I have to say I'm not too fond of the second thing the Goatmother is planning, however, and that is because there is a plan of hoof trimming in the offing. Maybe she'll change her mind. Hope does spring eternal, you know.
At any rate, this whole cancer thing is definitely a ride, though we certainly can't call it a 'joy ride'. There is a quote that says, "Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way". - E.L. Doctorow That sums it up pretty well. I'd say all we need to do is change the word 'writing' to 'radiation'. What do you think?
Post Script: Flash! It occurs to me the Goatmother will begin Radiation therapy on 9/11. In light of historical events connected to this ominous day, we certainly hope the twin towers will remain intact. I'm just sayin' ...