"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, December 30, 2011

I Am Wisely Cheerful ... and LATE!

You are probably wondering about my title.  Well, I missed Wednesday.  Whoosh!  It just passed right on by.  And then it was Thursday, and I really was cheerful.  I just forgot to tell you about it.  Okay, maybe I didn't really forget, but sheesh!, it's the holidays and there are just so many Peanuts to eat.  I suppose I got a little carried away.  Anyway, I figured I better get back on track.  After all, the New Year is upon us and I don't want to start it out on a bad hoof.

So then, what the hay is that picture of down below?  Well, that, my friends, is (or maybe I should say 'was' ...  let us all bow our heads ...) the lid to the cookie jar.  

So what happened to it?  And before you start accusing me, let it be known that no goat has top teeth in the front (unless they are mutants) and are incapable of wreaking such destruction.  Now just take a good long look at that.  A perfect circle of air all the way around except for a few lingering shards of plastic.  That fact is why the Goatfather's fingers can fit between the top and the rim.  Who could do this?  Ah, 'tis a mystery to be sure.  Enter Marigold Holmes and her ever faithful assistant, Watson for one last case to ponder before 2011 comes to an end.

I have to say that even though we were all in the barn at the time the dastardly crime occurred, the munching was so loud no one heard a thing.  I'm sure you are saying to yourself, 'That is simply ridiculous, Marigold.  Look at that destruction.  Someone had to have heard something.'  But I assure you, if you had ever spent even one night in a barn with Boo, you would understand.  Really you would.

The Goatmother came out the next morning to find what you see above.  Now the 'live' trap has been set ever since the last 'visitor' took the taxi, but no one has bothered it.  The Goatmother did note, however, that the trap had been tripped on this particular morning.  Watson and I have been hard at work trying to determine just who the culprit might be.  As long as that door gets closed at night, though, this one might just have to be relegated to the realm of the cold case.

The cookie jar has since gone to live inside the 'inner sanctum', the grain room.  All access to it is lined with either wood or hardware cloth.  I would be seriously worried if anyone managed to make it inside there.  Come to think of it, I'd be seriously interested in exactly how they did it too.  I mean you never know when one might find that kind of information useful, eh?

So there you have it.  The 'live' trap has remained untouched despite the fact that the Goatmother grabbed a literal handful of Peanuts and shoved them in there. (What a waste.  Oy.)  We may never know who was responsible, but that leads me to my late words of wisdom.  Never, Never, NEVER trust that your cookies are mature enough to be left alone.  A sitter is always preferable.  A goat is a good choice.  Trust me.

And where is the 'cheerful' in all of this?  Well, first of all I'm exceedingly cheerful that the mystery miscreant did not, in fact, make it to the actual cookies.  Secondly, I am even more cheerful that it wasn't the Peanut jar that was so savagely attacked.  And third, well, I am cheerful that a New Year is about to begin.  New beginnings, new adventures, new Peanuts!  Happy 2012 to each and every one of you.  Thank you for stopping by to read the humble words of  a reflective ruminant. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Cheerful! I'm Cheerful!

Well, everyone seems to be very busy this week, but I thought I'd be cheerful anyway.  What can I say?  I'm just that kind of a goat.

Naturally, I'm cheerful because it is almost Christmas.  I'm being as good as I can, but you know how hard that is for someone so innately ebullient.

Anyway, here goes.

Reason No. 1 to be cheerful:

After all the boring weather we have had, there was finally at least some frost to make it feel like Christmas!

Reason No. 2 to be cheeful:

A swan family that came for Christmas!

Reason No. 3 to be cheerful:

The Peace and Joy of nature.

And the last reason to be cheerful:

I think I hear sleigh bells!  Merry Christmas and may you receive many, many Peanuts in your stocking!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom - Wigilia!

Weird looking word, huh?  Well, that, my friends, is Polish, to be exact.  You see, when the Goatmother was a little girl, her father's family got together every Christmas eve to celebrate Wigilia (Pronounced  Veh - LEE - uh ).  It is a custom common to many Poles, though there are apparently differences in exactly how it is celebrated.  But this post will be about how the Goatmother remembers it  (and we should be thankful she can remember anything, if you ask me.)

Now the Goatmother's paternal family came from the region of Poland which lies against the Carpathian Mountains.  Though the Carpathians feature strongly in some Vampire stories, the Goatmother's family contains no Vampires.  At least we don't think so ( The Little UnDead does not count, and please do not encourage him).  Anyway, back to Wigilia.  As previously mentioned, everyone gathered on Christmas eve.  Things began with a passing of the oplatek, which in this case, was in the form of 'host' wafers. ( The 'host', being the little flat kind passed out for communion at the old Catholic masses.)  Everyone went about the room giving a small bite to a family member, followed by a big hug and a kiss.  Oh, and you had to say 'Peace be with you'.  This hugging and kissing was good in some cases and a bit overwhelming in others.  Plus, can you imagine the difficulty in making one itsy tiny host last through twenty-three or twenty-four people?  I can only surmise there were no Ellas in the Goatmother's family.

Nonetheless, when all the PDA's were over, it was time for the meal.  There were twelve dishes, to begin with,  to symbolize the twelve apostles.  Each dish began on a bed of hay (always provided by the Goatmother's family because they were the only ones with livestock) to symbolize the baby Jesus lying in the manger.  This part was pretty nice, but there was a catch, especially if you happened to be a kid.  For you see, no spices or condiments of any kind were allowed for these twelve dishes, and one 'had' to take at least a bite of each dish passed.

The Goatmother can't remember every dish, but she remembers quite well having to choke down unseasoned boiled barley and peas.  Really it doesn't sound too bad to me, but then I guess I'm a purist at heart.  Heck the hay would have been delicious, if you ask me.  I suppose that's why no goats were ever invited.  There would have been nothing left for anyone else.  Anyway, the Goatmother remembers the boiled barley, peas, unseasoned pierogis with plain boiled cabbage inside, ones with prunes, and pierogis with dabs of cottage cheese (vegetable, fruit, dairy). The other stuff is pretty much a blur, but then we have to be thankful we got that much out of her.

After a taste of the twelve was over, the good stuff came out. The stuff with seasoning. There were always onions fried in butter and always cooked by 'Uncle Louie'.  There was borscht made by Grandma, which oddly enough was made with mushrooms and not cabbage.  There was Kapusta, a cabbage dish made with cabbage, sauerkraut and peas, and best of all, there were surprise pierogis filled with mystery ingredients like balloons!  And of course there were desserts - fruitcakes, cookies, and Rum balls!  Grandma always made 'Hrust', which were pastry rectangles, slit and turned inside out, then deep fried and dipped in powdered sugar.  Unfortunately the celebration was devoid of any Peanut dishes.  I know, because I asked.  What?  You knew I would.

And lest we forget, there was always a big bowl of punch dutifully spiked by 'Uncle Mike', who ironically always ended up crying and hugging everyone.  No one ever quite understood why 'Uncle Mike' cried, but it may have had something to do with the fact that there were no Vampires in the family.  Although, come to think of it, he could have been wrong and that was the reason onions were always fried and there was no garlic.  After all isn't tradition and myth always based somewhere in fact?  Actually, after further consideration, it may go a long way in explaining just exactly why the Goatmother is NOT a morning person.  Hmmm ...

After all the kissing, hugging, eating and crying was over, everyone proceeded to midnight Mass.  The Goatmother says it was always really hard to stay awake, but it was worth it to see the altar all decked out with lighted trees and an almost life-sized nativity.  Plus the choir was always on key.  For once.

Anyhow, that was years and years ago.  I wouldn't want to say exactly how many years because I do need to consider just who gives out the Peanuts.  The unfortunate part is that after Grandpa passed away, the family seemed to scatter.  No one got together for Wigilia anymore because everyone was living somewhere else. Today the Goatmother is a bit more 'eclectic' in her beliefs, but each Christmas she remembers, and sometimes she still makes borscht the way Grandma did.

And that, my friends, leads us to this Wednesday's Christmas Words of Wisdom:  Value your traditions.  They may not always be with you.  Besides, now I'm going to have to share my Peanuts.  Oy.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow.  I'm sure I can manage to dredge up something to be cheerful about.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Yule Jewel

I can't take credit for this, but I sure wish I could.  No, my friend Snowcatcher, here, sent me the link.  It is priceless and quite possibly the very BEST Christmas story I have ever read.  Check it out, here, and I bet you will agree!  Happy Yule!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Guess what?  I'm cheerful again this week!  Who knew?  Really, I have the Christmas spirit.  Which is more than I can say for some Alpines I know.  The good news is, however, and a really good reason to be cheerful,  is that the Christmas decoration still exists!!!!  The Grinch has not been able to reach it, and, shhhh ... , I think she may have actually given up trying.  More Christmas miracles.

Okay, so here is Reason 1 to be cheerful this week:

Someone no longer smells like a dog and came back with new teal and black striped ear feathers.  As you can see it was exhausting work.

Reason No. 2:

The Goatmother finished her Christmas shopping and got all the packages mailed.  The mini-me is ready for Christmas and so am I!

Reason 3 to be cheerful:

The jolly old elf will be here soon with a sack full of Peanuts slung on his back!  Just 10 days left to be good.  I hope I can manage.

Okay, now, don't forget to go over to Planet Penny, here, and check out what other people are cheerful about this week.  Trust me, it will do your heart good.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wendesday Words of Wisdom

Wow.  That sure was a short week. Too many Christmas Peanuts to wrap.  Anyway, here it is Wednesday again.  So, I've been thinking a lot this week.  By nature I'm prone to that sort of thing.  I can tell you this, however.  It is not the Nubian half that is so inclined.

Now then, I am an original.  Since 2005, when I was born, I have gone my own way, been my own goat.  I'm simply not one of those, pardon, *sheep* prone to follow the crowd.   I am one-of-a-kind, and like Buffy, there can be only one.   Because of this, I find it not at all surprising that there are some who attempt to copy me.  Take Ella, for instance.  Lately I've noticed her trying to stand on my stump.  Naturally she doesn't fit nearly as well as do I, and it certainly hasn't done anything for her intellect.  I guess it is nice to share, though, and she does get it all warmed up for me.  After all, it's cold out there!

Then there's Peanut.  I've seen Peanut attempting my lightening fast, insert-your-mouth-in-front-of-anyone-else's-oncoming-Peanut move.  He tries, but of course he fails.  For it is only, I, Marigold, esteemed inventor of the move, who is able to accomplish it so adeptly.  I have that certain Je ne s'ais qua when it comes to speed.  Well, Peanut is no slouch in the speed department, but he's just too young and too small to have developed my finesse - my sheer skill.  What can I say?  It's a gift and a curse.

Of course there is little to worry about with Boo.  I mean she spends most of her time looking around doing things like wondering why the water bucket is leaking up into the sky and then coming down on her head.  Or perhaps she spends the entire day trying to figure out why that sticky-out thing is following her everywhere she goes (her tail).  Or she might become totally engrossed with trying to figure out what happened to her feet.  Clearly Boo has little time for imitation when there are so many other, more important, matters to consider.

And, then there is Watson.   When Watson wanders about the premises muttering 'Oy' over every dismaying occurrence, I can but smile.  'Ella butted me.  Oy'.  'I fainted.  Oy'  'Marigold tried to throw me to the Bob-O-Lynx.  Oy.'  Why smile?  Because, my friends, (and this would be Wednesday's Words of Wisdom) imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  So imitate away.  The Peanut or the shell.  Which came first?  The astute know.

"When with a serious musing I behold
The graceful and obsequious Marigold,
How duly every morning she displays
Her open breast, when Titan spreads his rays."
        George Wither—
The Marigold.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Well, goat gracious!  Here it is Thursday again and time to link up to Planet Penny (here) for my Reasons To Be Cheerful this week.

So without further adieu:
Reason No. 1 -

This is the goofy goatdaughter (in Pocahontas pose).  We are ever so cheerful this week because the goatdaughter managed to find a new job and will no longer be stuck in the horrible one she has been working in!  Way to go goatdaughter!  We knew you could do it!!! 

Reason No. 2 -

Admittedly, we had to go back to summer for this one.  But let's face it, it is worth celebrating and makes one quite cheerful to look at it.  This is the Western Tanager we had in the Cherry tree this year.  Isn't he lovely?  It's the first time we've ever seen one.  Believe me, it was a whole lot more cheerful than looking at Ella.

Reason No. 3 -

The Goatmother's lighted Christmas house display!

Now, then, I do have one more Reason To Be Cheerful this week, and it is, in my estimation, the most important one.  Our beauteous barn decoration is still hanging!  Wonder of Christmas wonders!  And, it isn't even missing any more greenery!  Of course, someone's nose is a bit out of joint.  Oh well, she'll just have to pull up her big girl panties and deal.  "He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." - Roy L. Smith.   Or under a Christmas decoration in a barn, for that matter.  Oy.   
Now, make it your b'idness and get ye on over to Planet Penny to see what others are cheerful about this week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Today, my thought is to present you with a treatise on a well-known word in the English language. You may think you know this word very well.  After all, isn't it one of the more common words?  However, my friends, there are nuances of meaning here you may not be aware of.

So the word, Marigold.  For goats' sake, what is the word?

Oh, well, of course.  The word.  The word for Wednesday, my friends, is 'business'.  Yes, that's it.  Just plain old 'business'.  Now, I'm sure you think you already know everything there is to know about this word, but do you really?   First of all, at this time of year there is a lot of  'that's just none of your business' being bandied about.  This usage of the word probably denotes what one normally considers the true meaning.  'Business', that word that says 'this is my knowledge', 'my circumstance'.  It is for me to know and for you to find out.  But what about that part that means, 'this is what I do'?  Like, 'my business is selling Peanuts to good farmers everywhere'. (A highly respected business, too, if you ask me.)

Then there is the shortened version.  You know, 'busy'.  The Goatmother is 'busy' passing out Peanuts.  I'm 'busy' eating hay. The streets are 'busy' at this time of year.

But here is some knowledge you may not have previously been privy to,  for you see, in some places this word takes on unexpected nuances.  Like, say, in Texas, for example.  You have your everyday 'business', but you also have 'b'idness'.
"Mind  your own b'idness, and get out of my b'idness."
Suddenly the meaning has taken the less traversed path and morphed into something far more formidable - something far more personal in nature.  And believe me, wherever 'b'idness' resides, you better tread lightly because you sure wouldn't want to step on anyone's.

Then, of course, one is likely to also stumble upon 'b'idness's' natural counterpart, 'b'idzy'.
"Excuse me, could you ....?"
"Oh, sorry.  I didn't realize ... ."
"Oh.  Of course ..."
This does not imply that one is merely 'busy', but carries with it an air of total absorption.  One is absolutely NOT to be bothered.  Please go away.  Now.

So, there you have it.  I bet you never even suspected, did you?  So, then, I guess I'll be getting on about this Wednesday's usual b'idness of munching Peanuts.  If you need me, don't bother.  Believe me, it is wise not to.  B'idzy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Grinch ...

... that tried to steal Christmas.  How can a 3 foot high goat reach a 7 foot Christmas decoration?  Flat footed, with nothing to stand on.  It is exactly 7 feet from the floor of the barn to the bottom end of our cherished Christmas decoration.  Yet, magically, it is now missing its bottommost greenery.  Out came the ladder and the Goatmother moved it just a little bit higher.  Despite the fact that it is somewhat cropped now, and the bow is a little askew, it still looks pretty good.  Christmas spirit has been preserved.  For the moment.  The Grinch is still eyeballing it.  Oy.

"Those Whos are hard to frazzle, Max. But, we did our worst, and that's all that matters." - The Grinch

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful

It's Thursday and goatboy!, am I ever cheerful this week!  Why?  Well, I have a clean barn, of course!  Even the Goatmother is cheerful about it.  Mostly because it is done, but that is beside the point.  Anyway, be sure to get yourself over to Planet Penny, here, so you can see why other people are cheerful this week.  You might even want to join in.  Who knows?

I do, however, have a few other reasons to be cheerful this week.
Reason No. 1 -

Help cleaning the barn.
Reason No. 2 -

This reason is most amazing!  In all my time here, we have never had a Christmas decoration.  Well, we did have one the very first year, but it didn't last.  There is a reason for that.  One simple word.  Ella.  Being a long-legged Alpine, Ella feels it is her bounden duty to inspect and remove any object she deems inspectable, and she has the reach to go with it.  I guess our first, and until now, only decoration was a little too inspectable and just a little too reachable.  Which leads me to ...

... Reason No. 3 -

This has NOT yet noticed the new decoration.  Let us hope it remains that way for the sake of all our Christmas cheer.

* Our thanks to Faith, whose cheerfulness about Christmas made the Goatmother feel guilty about we goats not having any Christmas cheer which, in turn,  resulted in our lovely decoration.  Thank you, Faith!  (Or should we say "Diolch yn fawr iawn"?)
You can check out Faith's blog here.  Happy week!