Sunday, March 22, 2009


A recent visitor to my blog influenced my thoughts for today's post. My writings here are usually no more deep than a raindrop running down a window. I'm not one to put most of my thoughts out for the public to read because I'm pretty private. I let people get a sense of what I'm like through what I say, but I don't share a lot. I do think deeply and reflect on esoteric matters, but keep most of my opinions to myself. This is a form of protective camouflage for me, I think. My thoughts and beliefs are not generally considered mainstream, and rather than rock the boat, I keep them to myself. Part of that goes back to the belief that as long as what you believe does not endanger or harm people, you are entitled to have your own beliefs.

Being a part of the status quo is important to me now, but in my youth I was more of a rabble rouser. I think what happened is that many societies punish the squeaky wheels and survival becomes a matter of blending in. So, as we age, we tend to subvert the more "unaligned" thoughts we have. One reason I think I have become less vocal about my opinions is that I am tired of swimming upstream. I don't like having to defend my opinions. Is this giving up? Is this not being true to one's convictions? I don't know. So, if while reading my blog you assume that what I'm writing is merely fluff, know this: I'm living a life governed by lofty principles and thinking big thoughts; I just don't have the need anymore to shout them from the rooftops.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Okay, I have one response to my contest for guessing when Bessie will have her kids. Jan, you will be winning by default if no one else guesses. But that's okay. I need to reward my faithful reader somehow. She still has not given up those babies! I think you are right on with that guess of three. My surgery date is March 30th. As you can imagine, I am beyond thrilled! It's finally here. Now all I need to do is get the things on my to-do list done.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The first picture here shows Bessie, the Hold-out! Notice her
bulges, AND her nice beard. Her beard isn't as long and luxurious as a Billy's, but it's pretty impressive for a Nanny.
Next is the terrible trio of trouble. In the rear is the little one, Clem, The front right is the female, Daisy, and the left front is Thor, the bigger male.

Here on the left we have a close-up of Daisy's cute little kisser, and on the right is another picture of She-Who-Won't-Be-Rushed.

Here is the terrible trio again . . .

And with momma, Heidi.

And again. Notice the stuff on the fence? Goat hair where they scratch. I'm thinkin' socks - if I only knew how to knit!

Okay, I'm so excited that I just can't stand myself! I received my approval today for my surgery! They are calling tomorrow to schedule, so it looks like I will be having it the last week of March. Hooray!!!!!!
I took a bunch of pictures of the goats today, so I am posting some just so you can see how much the babies have grown. Also, I took pics of the hold-out nanny so you can see how huge she is. I got some rear shots, so just so you know, I'm not trying to gross anyone out - Richard said, "Nice butts." I'm starting a contest with this pregnant goat. Leave a comment on my blog and guess when she will have the babies, and I will send whoever is closest a little handmade something! Really!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


FUN, FUN, FUN! I love making paper dolls, so I am now the host for a jointed paper doll swap. I can't wait for this swap to start getting people signed up. I joined swap-bot a couple of months ago, and it a neat thing to do if you like getting snail mail and or packages. It's just a social networking site, but with a twist. People create swaps for all different kinds of things, then other people who belong to the site sign up for the ones they want. Swap bot then posts the swaps, and when the host reaches the end of the sign-up period, Swap bot assigns you your swap partner and you send whatever the item is out to your partner.
I swap with Swap-bot! Swap-bot swap: Jointed Paper Doll SwapSo, here is a picture of a Ginormous paper doll I created a while ago. She is a fortune teller doll, and all the pockets in her completely-made-of-paper skirt contain paper fortunes. She is jointed, has hair, and has a cute pair of pantaloons and a cami under her outfit.

Anyway, I think this will be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get started on my doll. See, I DID find something to do in the here and now, and No, Michele, it wasn't having someone stomp on my foot! (You silly wabbit) Michele, Deb, Jack, Cathy, I challenge you guys to join my swap!!!!!

I will re-post the widow here, too, in case others from Swap-bot jump by here to check out my dolls. THE WIDOW!!!!
This doll now resides in the Scrapshack. She has a place of honor along with her BLACK HAT. Her clothes are entirely made of paper, too, just like the Fortune Teller, Madam LaWeja's, clothes.

This is a mean looking doll, but that wasn't the way she was supposed to turn out! I wanted her to be a Spanish lady, and she would have had a mantilla. Oh well, that will come another time. She looks okay without her clothes, but with all that black on , she looks very severe.
I just came back in from a walk down through the back forty with the hounds. (It's really not the back forty, more like the back ten) It was so nice, and I really wore them out. Freda ( the girl) is football shaped, so she really needs to get more exercise. She takes after her "Momma" in that respect. Anyway, it was gorgeous, and I think it also helped my mood. So, right now I'm not so focused on the future happenings. The goats? She's huge, but she'll have those babies when she's good and ready. I just worry that we won't be here and she will have too many for her to deal with since she has been a "one bunner." (My term for single baby,tee-hee) Anyway, it can't be helped, so there's no sense worrying over it. As for my surgery, it will get here soon enough. It's not as if I am even ready for it. I still need to make sub plans for a month and clean my house, so I have enough to do without dwelling on when it will happen. so, that should be enough to keep me grounded firmly right where I am - In the here and now!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Waiting is hard for me! Our next set of baby goats have not arrived yet, and I still have no date set for my surgery. I'm getting impatient. I am so focused on the things yet to happen that I am not living my NOW life. That is not a good thing. I am wishing away time, and I feel like everything I am doing right now is just spinning my wheels. Does anyone have a method for living in the here and now? A way for me to just chill out and wait? If so, I'd sure appreciate hearing from you!

In other news, you should check out my friend Michele's blog. She is being published in an upcoming issue of an online magazine for a tutorial she created for a cupcake holder. Visit her blog and check out all the cool stuff she does with her Cuttlebug and Cricut. She's da bomb! And now I am off to the Scrapshack to try to forget my waiting woes!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My title says it all; Spring is just around the corner! I know, I know, we are still going to have some more cold weather, and we will probably have some snow, but the signs are making me hopeful. I'm a Spring and Fall kind of gal. I don't like cold weather, but I don't like hot weather either. I think it has to do with the intensity of the sunlight. I don't like the hot sun shining on me, and I don't like to sweat. So, even though I'm sitting here now in sweats and a fleece pullover, I know the days of shorts and t-shirts are just around the corner.

I'm looking forward to digging around in the dirt, too. I have an oak-leaf hydrangea that needs planted. I bought it last year, and it has spent the winter in its pot. That's not the greatest thing I could have done to it, but I couldn't make up my mind about where to plant it. We are going to put in sidewalks and a new front porch this year, so I have to move a flower bed. I need to do it early because the bed has large, established hostas in it, and I moved one of them before and it was a huge job. I dug, and I dug, and I dug, and when I was finally able to get it out of the ground, it was about the size of a bushel basket. I'm funny about hostas. they're one of my mom's favorites, but I only really like the large-leaved ones. My personal favorites are day lilies and true lilies (bulb). I have to say though, that I'm not a very faithful gardener. It has become rather hard for me to do much bending and kneeling because of my knees, so I tend to favor container gardening more. The weeding tends to get away from me more than it should. Anyway, it is fun to be thinking about what to put in my containers and thinking about sitting on my new porch enjoying them. I'll decide where to put that hydrangea when I'm done daydreaming!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Check out my new Etsy shop, Paper Manic. I have spent all day Sunday adding new items and taking the paper creations out of my Lil Spotted Dog shop.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Okay, the tone of my last post was definitely not a cheerful one. I'm more on track today, though. I just came in from a fun time out in pasture with all the horned ones. We let the triplets outside for the first time today, and as always happens, they were comically fabulous to behold! They ran and leaped, and bleated, and generally had a rousingly great time investigating everything in the goat yard.

We have some "toys" for the goats to play on. These include a great big street sweeper's rotary brush, a Little Tikes play scape, and a large igloo doghouse. All these are in constant use: The doghouse and play scape are both sleeping space and king-of-the-mountain climbing places, and the rotary brush is where much of the personal grooming takes place. Imagine a person who can't reach that itchy place in the middle of their back leaning back as far as she possibly can and ruuuuuubbing that itch on a nice, rough corner jutting out. Then you'll you get a visual of what it's like seeing a goat leaning over and just ruuuuubbing herself along the entire length of the brush.

The babies checked out the house by going inside, so of course when they do that, Mom can't see them and starts panicking. She grunts her special "come here" grunt that brings them all running. When one of the babies gets too close to a larger goat, sometimes the big one butts them a little (not hard - usually they are pretty gentle with the little ones), and when they are scared, they have to go running back to mama for a little quick nurse of milk. This is like a pacifier to them and Mama seems to allow this.

She has been regulating the nursing activity. I suppose because they would nurse all the time if she didn't. Right now it looks as if our fears of her abandoning the little doe are unfounded since Daisy is full of energy. But we are still keeping a watchful eye because it takes a very short period of time for these little ones to go downhill. We keep feeling her belly to see how full it is.

No new babies yet, though! Oy Vay! The size of that nanny! I hope she is a better mother than her twin, Psycho. Psycho (real name LuLu) was sold with her baby earlier this winter. She only had one good teat, and she kept having twins. That is not good. She actually managed to almost raise twins after her first pregnancy. She quit feeding one of them, and we almost lost that baby, but luckily, she was just starting to eat grain and hay a little when Mom stopped feeding her. We had to give her supplements, and she was the one who was sick in February, so she has become very tame and loving. New issue with her (Little Sister): I saw Birthday Boy mate with her yesterday. I think we will have to watch her very carefully because she is so small from all her tribulations that she may have a hard time carrying a baby.

Thank goodness the weather has turned a little warmer for the weekend. I know I'm not the only one this winter has begun to wear down. My students are tired, too. Wednesday I felt incredibly tired all day, like I could just lay my head down, thunk! on my desk and go to sleep. On Thursday, one little boy who was still suffering the effects of this stuff going around fell asleep twice back at the reading table. It was around three-ish, he was sitting by the window, where miraculously the sunlight was streaming through, and he had on a hoodie. All these things conspired to make him just so drowsy he couldn't stay awake. Which says what about my instruction?

The year has flown by in a blur, as usual. After the Achievement Test at the end of April, for all intents and purposes, the year is over. We go to camp in mid-may for three days and boom! the end of May arrives and we are out of school. Too soon! I'm not done! I still have tons to teach!

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Tonight I am feeling very ambivalent about things. I don't feel bad, but I'm tired of coughing. I don't feel tired, but I don't feel like doing anything. I don't feel like going to bed, but I don't have anything I feel like doing. So, here I am. Just here. Doing nothing. Much. I was going to write an update on the babies, but there is really nothing to update. No new ones. Yet. Not much new with the little ones- except mom seems to be trying to abandon the little doe. So. That's too sad to think about or write about.

I know what's wrong with me. I think. I'm feeling let down because my surgery hasn't been scheduled yet. I am waiting on emails and phone calls that haven't materialized yet. Testing for the Ohio Achievement test is coming up soon, and I'm anxious about how my students will perform (and, by extension, how I will be evaluated). So. That's what I feel like. I need Spring.

How about you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


In answer to Jan's question, "What do you do with all your babies?" The answer is, "I dunno." This is becoming a very puzzling problem for my husband and me. We started raising goats in the first place so we could keep our agricultural use real estate tax designation. We bought this house about three and a half years ago, and the previous owner raised alpacas. We could not afford alpacas, so for a year or so, we didn't have any livestock because we're not farmers. Or weren't farmers, I should say. But one day we received a notice from the county auditor telling us that our real estate taxes would be rising by $600.00 dollars per year, and they were going to reassess for the prior three years because they had sent someone around to see if the property was being used in accordance with the agricultural use guidelines. Which it wasn't. So, in order to save $600.00 dollars a year, my husband and I are now spending about $200.00 per month to feed our growing herd of goats. I'm glad I'm not a math teacher because I would be very disappointed if there was something strange about our tax savings.

Most people who know anything about raising livestock also know a little about the birds and the bees. I'm thinking Richard and I are kind of dumb on that subject because we just keep getting more little goats. I guess there is something in the goat manuals about keeping your buck penned separately. I think I also read somewhere that female goats will allow mating through fences too, if they can figure out how to do it. Well, after having so many babies born that our barn was bursting at the seams, we figured out a way to stop having so many babies: We got rid of the buck - except - before he left, he decided to leave behind a couple of departure gifts - and- we kept his son, Birthday Boy - and - I think BB has now reached puberty because I saw something - blush - yesterday that I think . . . So we're not really any smarter now than we were a year and a half ago.

We have sold some goats. Out of necessity, of course. Because of the barn. But doggone it, how do I know these buyers are feeding and watering the babies enough and giving them enough head rubs. And calling them by the names they were given? And I know Gary Bradley went into the soup pot after we sold him. That's the only thing a neutered male is good for. Except for Buddy, out little pygmy-Boer mix, who is the friendliest little guy on the planet and who won't be going anywhere ever because what can you do with a neutered male except - rub him and scratch behind his ears and wiggle the little wattles that hang down on his neck and feed him circus peanuts and apples and, well, I guess you get the picture. Even though I ain't Zsa Zsa Gabor, our little tax-saving enterprise probably should go by the name of Green Acres!

Pregnancy update: The mama is still growing! I don't know what she's holding out for now. Richard's birthday is past, mine isn't for months, and Christmas is a long way off.

Fritz and Freda received mail from Wales today. I was in a swap for a personalized matchbox on Swap-bot, and I received mine in today's mail. My matchbox was too cute with a little dachshund deco and my initials and lots of goodies inside, but all wrapped up in polka-dotted paper, complete with a card addressed to them taped to the outside was a yummy package of soft doggie treats. When I told them they had mail and showed them the package, they immediately demanded I open it up and divvy round the treats. I'm making them write thank you's right away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


And hay, and so much water is required to make all that milk! I'm constantly thirsty. And I can't begin to even tell you how hard it is to keep track of all these kids. They don't give me a minute's peace! They are into everything they can put their little noses into. They climb on me and butt my udder a thousand time a day. And manners? They have none! They grunt and cry while they eat, and talk with their mouths full! If they're not grunting and crying while they eat, they're playing with their food! Wagging their tails and showing off - not paying a bit of attention to me. I'm constantly licking noses and wiping , well, you know.

I can barely sleep at night. Every few minutes I have to stick my head into their room and see if they are still in bed asleep. And nobody is ever asleep at the same time. It seems as if I just get comfortable, and the next thing I know, someone's head is stuck or their brother steps on them. Oh, and running in the house! Did I tell you about all three of them running at the same time? It's like they constantly are having some kind of track and field day. I just don't know what I'm going to do. Just wait 'til their father gets home!

The babies are three days old now, and this is when they really start to become comical. They act like they are spring-loaded. It usually starts like this; first a drink of milk, then a funny little stutter step and a shake of the head. Then suddenly, s spring straight up into the air. Upon landing, a stiff-legged stance and a startled look around as if to say, "Whoa, what was THAT?" And then it's on - crazy races around and around the pen (now in the big one) and tastes of all kinds of new things. A blade of hay being mouthed, a sniff of grain, a tickling first sip of water - now that is pretty darn scary. Then of course come the head rubs. Those little, just-barely-there nubs of horns are itchy, and chins are itchy and ears are itchy and well, when you're a little goat, just about everything itches! And that human that rubs me, I like that pretty well. I like to chew clothes, too. In fact, baby goats mostly like everything if you start holding and making over them when they are very young. They are loving, playful, inquisitive, and just plain cute! There's nothing like baby goat love!

Update on the other mama-to-be. Just that - no news yet. She is holding out on us, and getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger . . . I'm telling you, I'm going to run her around the pasture! She's never had more than one baby at a time, and I know this time she will be in for a big shock. I know she has at least two in that huge belly and maybe three. Does anyone know of anybody looking for goats?

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Okay, here are the new babies and some of the old ones! In the mob scene I have candy circus peanuts in the pocket of my sweatshirt. Peeking over the top of the gate is a little female goat that was sick earlier in February, and she became accustomed to getting hand fed all the time. Now she thinks every time we have treats, she is supposed to be the sole recipient of the goodies. We actually gave her probiotics from a syringe fitted with a small rubber hose, and she thought that was pretty good stuff! Just after we took these pictures, we gave the new babies their overeating disease shots, and Little Sister thought she was going to get some more soda pop when she saw the syringe! The picture of the single baby is the only doe of the triplets. Take a look at her pretty ears; they're all speckled! Her face is marked just like her mommy's, and her mommy is a really pretty goat. New names are: little doe, Daisy; big male, Thor, because he has a lightning bolt down the back of his head; small buck, Clem.
It's still March first, and the doe who had her buck on Richard's birthday last year is still holding out. I'm going to take her out and chase her around the pasture just so she'll give him another birthday gift this year. Okay, I'm not really, but I do think she will have her baby(ies) tonight yet just because her belly is dropped down really low in front of her udder. Now, you have to bear in mind that I'm still working on that veterinary diploma. If we get new babies yet tonight, I will upload birth announcements then!