"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

Friday, April 30, 2010

All Good Things Come ...

... to those who wait. The goatmother waited ... and waited ... and waited ... and hid ... and crept ... and glided ... lurked ... skulked ... and even tried oozing. Have you ever seen a goatmother ooze? Not a pretty sight.

But it all finally paid off.

It wasn't easy, no indeed. It happened because they flew in just as she was coming out of the house. They didn't notice her. She crept as close as possible. They did notice her but didn't fly ... right away anyway. Just a little closer ... oops. Too close.

"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie Andrews. Thank Goatness for the telephoto lens.

The End.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Chronicle of Crochet

Not another one.

Can't I just go out and play?


A sudden blur of motion.



"You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flight of the Fearsome

Now before you get too excited, you need to be aware that the goatmother did NOT take the picture you see below. There is a reason for that. But let's begin at the beginning. You see, when the goatmother and the goatfather first moved here, the former owners were asked about birds that visited. Things were mentioned like juncos, Steller's jays, finches, and robins. It was said that hawks flew over and from time to time an eagle, and, oh, rarely a duck would land in the pond.

Well, that was then, and you may recall that for the past two or three years, the not-so-occasional mallards have appeared in the pond complete with downy little baseball teams. Adult pairs are frequently spotted under the bird feeders digging for whatever it is ducks dig for. But this year, well, this year the goatmother got the bright idea to actually feed the ducks. I must say it has been more or less of a success, even though all that quacking often disturbs my contemplation. Now instead of just two ducks, as many as six at a time can be seen floating about.

Recently, however, when the goatmother started down to the barn, there came a flutter of wings accompanied by the most goat-awful squawking. The two departing figures looked like ducks, but that sound was certainly no demure little quack-quack. Well, turns out the departing pair were none other than wood ducks and it seems the female, when startled, emits a series of loud woo-eeeek's - and I do mean loud! Naturally it is just our luck to get saddled with one of the more composure-challenged of the species. Oy.

(Photo source:http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/american-wood-duck-aix-sponsa/nice-adult-male-sitting-water)

Anyway, apparently these guys were actually endangered at one time, but thanks to the efforts of dedicated wood duck house builders, their numbers have rebounded. I find this rather phenomenal since the spooky females sometimes forget which house is theirs, wander over to the neighbor's, lay a few eggs, then it's off to the mall. This can result in as many as 40 eggs in one box and, of course, not many hatchlings make it out alive - kind of like a downy mosh pit.

So you see, the reason the goatmother did not take that most excellent photo is quite understandable in light of the ducks' predisposition to timidity. I've seen her, camera in hand, lurking behind trees and sneaking about the bushes. Let's face it. A stealth elk she ain't.

Who knows, though. It has been *suggested* the goatfather build a wood duck abode. Hey, it could happen. And in the meantime, with perseverance, the goatmother might actually manage to get a photo. After all, there is a Buddhist proverb that says, "If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking."
I would, however, advise walking like a duck.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Omen

Hey, Ho! Peanut here! I just wanted to let you know that hell is freezing over ... and I think pigs are flying too. This morning the goatmother trimmed Marigold's hooves without the aid of the goatfather. Auntie actually got up on the stand all by herself. There was only minor kicking and the goatmother's bum remains remarkably bite free.

Needless to say, the goatmother has been singing songs and dancing little jigs ever since. Does she expect it to happen again? The answer would be a resounding 'not on your life!' Nonetheless, she's giving serious consideration to going out and buying a lottery ticket just the same.
"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." - Garrison Keillor.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Confucius Revisited

My nephew, Peanut, has recently gone the way of his infamous grandmother, the inimitable Baby Belle, and begun developing quite a beard. (A picture of the magnificent beard of Baby Belle can be viewed here. ) Of course it hasn't reached epic proportions as yet, but he is, however, still young. Everyone is jealous - even me. None of the rest of us has managed to grow anything more than a few hairs. Point of fact, they are so miserable the goatmother usually just cuts them off.

Anyway, you may be reminded that Watson, after developing a beard, of sorts, has since gone about blithely spouting Confucianisms and proudly displaying his meager attempt at a beard. Once he saw what Peanut had managed, he walked about for days saying things like, "What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.", and "Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.", or "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue." It's gotten a bit old to say the least.

So finally, Peanut got up on our rock, looked down at Watson and proceeded to let him know what we've all been thinking. "Look, *Confucius*, 'Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune ... ' - Saskya Pandita."

"The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered ... " Besides, "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."

And for a fainting goat, I guess that's saying a lot. Oy vey.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Sequim Stealth Elk

Ah, a pastoral scene. A herd of Roosevelt elk lazing in the sun. Pastoral and not so strange, really, until one realizes that these are not ordinary elk. No, indeed. These are the Sequim Stealth Elk. Now why would they be called 'Stealth' Elk, you ask? Well, that is a bit of a story.

You see, Sequim has its own elk herd. Kind of nice except for the fact that the elk have discovered they like eating organically grown vegetables much better than any silly old native browse. I guess one could liken it to a herd of Marigolds that suddenly figured out there were fields of Peanuts to be had where before there was only Salal and Blackberries. While Salal and Blackberries are good in their way, they could not possibly compare with a Peanut. You get the picture.

Anyway, the elk have been the subject of much local controversy. What to do with the elk? Move them? Fence them? What? Well, no one has yet come up with a viable plan and so the elk have 'watchers' - people who, night and day, watch where the elk are going and what they are planning to eat.

Perhaps by now you are wondering why I called them 'Stealth' Elk. First of all, you need to know that there are flashing lights on the highway activated by radio collars worn by the elk. Well, not all of them, of course, but some members. In this way, when the elk are within one quarter mile of the highway, motorists can be alerted that they may be planning to cross the road. Unlike the chicken, when an Elk decides it wants to cross the road, my friends, there is very little that can convince it otherwise. Just imagine being in the way when seventy-five Boos decide to come in for dinner. It would not be a pretty sight, I can tell you.

Anyway, with all this controversy, articles in the paper, radio collars and flashing lights, the goatmother and goatfather had lived here three entire years before they ever caught a glimpse of the Sequim Stealth Elk. In fact, one day they were in a shop and the subject of the elk came up. The goatmother and goatfather said, 'Yes, about those elk. Where are they? We've never seen them. We've seen the lights flashing, but we've never seen the elk.' To which the shop owner replied, 'Oh, you mean the Sequim Stealth Elk?' Uh-huh.

As a matter of fact, there have been countless times that the goatmother and goatfather have approached the light which flashes on, then flashes off, then flashes on, then flashes off. This has led the goatmother to theorize that the elk with the collar stands on the line leaning one way and then the other, laughing uproariously all the while. Who knows? Seems like something I'd do if I had a spiffy radio collar.

Anyway, in the last few weeks, after living here now for six entire years, the goatmother and goatfather have actually seen the Sequim Stealth Elk several times in a row. No one knows why, but why look a gift Stealth Elk in the mouth, right?

So here they are, resplendent in some one's front yard and trying their very best to blend in with the environment. Oy.

'Hey! You in back with the horns. Heads down before somebody notices we aren't gnomes.'
Elk humor. Oy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Some Of Us Have It, And Some Of Us Don't

Move over Heidi Klum. I'm going to be her manager. She's not going for Peanuts - or, come to think of it, maybe she is. Sounds like a plan to me. Eight million tasty Peanuts a year. I wonder if I can get her to go for it? I wonder if I can actually eat eight million Peanuts a year?
(Now, that was a stupid thought.

Anyway, I tried and you know what? She went all 'Mae West' on me. "I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing." Oh, well. Guess I'll have to go back to dreaming. It was a good fantasy while it lasted.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Sometimes you can just be standing around munching grass and life hands you a surprise. Me, I like surprises. So imagine how delighted I was yesterday when what you see below arrived in the mail!

A most handsome goat. But that isn't the best part, no, indeed! Do you see what is there on the left side?

How about now? Yes, my friends, those are Peanuts skillfully crafted by Lisa over at Pink Porches! Of course she sewed the handsome fellow too, but those Peanuts, well, they are to die for, don't you think? Now just how cool of a surprise is that? There is a strawberry too. It is very cute, but the Peanuts ... the Peanuts are definitely where it's at!

It is very easy to understand why this goat looks so satisfied. So the biggest of THANK YOU'S to Lisa!!! Now, when I can't have the real thing, I can look at these Peanuts and dream. Dreams are good, you know. Go and visit Lisa and see if you can find a dream of your own, though. Mine's already taken.

"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time." - Calvin and Hobbes. What a nice thought. Do you suppose Peanuts dream too? I sure hope so.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fool's + 1

Ah, Spring! Green grass, flowering cherry tree in bloom, the lovely white spires of the Bridal Bouquet bush, snow ... SNOW?!!! Oy. Just when you thought it was safe to set foot outside the barn with nothing more to worry about than warm sunshine hitting you in the face - or Ella. The weather report read possible high winds and an 80% chance of rain. Ha! Ha! Ha!, Mr. Weatherman. Very funny!