"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

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Goatmother's New Year's Resolution


Okay.  I think that about sums it up. 

Oy.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The New Year

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


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Animals Talked

"Hey, Goatmother.  We're talking at midnight.  Are you going to come out to the barn?"

"No."

"What the hay do you mean, 'No'?  I said we're talking.  T. A. L. K. I. N. G.  Capiche???  Aren't you interested?"

"No."

"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 ... "

<silence + 'The Look'>

"Oy."

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Christmas Wish For You

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!

"Some 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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Necessità, the Short Yet Adorably Airplane-Eared Goat (Part 3)

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.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Necessità, the Short Yet Adorably Airplane-Eared Goat (Part 2)

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 famous Mrs. 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 ...  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Necessità, the Short Yet Adorably Airplane-Eared Goat (Part 1)

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 and famous, 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. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Naughty Or Nice?

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.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

You Better Watch Out

* 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.