Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye, 2006

I am putting together my year-end list since it is New Year's Eve.

My favorite book of the year: "The Goat Lady," by Jane Bregoli. Jane Bregoli is an elementary school art teacher who lives in Dartmouth, Massuchusetts. The book is a true story about her neighbor, a lady everyone thought was eccentric until they bothered to get to know her. She raised goats and loved them very much. The book is full of beautiful paintings of the goat lady and her goats. You can see excerpts and paintings from the book here.

My favorite babies of the year: my two sons Huckleberry and Barbaro.

Best doeling of the year: little orphan Betsy, the Nubian-LaMancha cross. Betsy is smart like a LaMancha and sweet like a sweet Nubian.

Best horse of the year: Willen. Willen the Haflinger learned to drive this year. Right now he has a learner's permit. Next year maybe he can get a full license.

Best milker of the year: Runner-up goat-of-the-year Scouty is the surprise winner of best milker. She is still milking and everyone else (except Boo) is dried off.

Craziest goat of the year: April always wins this.

Best dog of the year and of all time: Spenny the border collie.

Best REALLY old border collie: KT Bailey.

Best guard dog and protector: Atticus (is that a Shetland Pony?) Pupicus.

Worst dog of the year: Wendell. Or as the farmer says: "WENDELL!! DID YOU DO THIS??!!!!"

Friends we miss and hope to see again: Marigold, little Martina, Marty, The General, Traveler, Harper Lee, Barnaby, Roosevelt, Herman, Ricky, Pilgrim, Whitman, Joey, Franky, Moony, Lolo, Margaret, Stevie Ray.

Friends we miss and won't see again: Stacy, Charzan, Orzbit.


Goodbye, 2006.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Goat of the Year!

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me! Votes came in from everywhere! From Colorado (thank you, Denver!), from Pennsylvania, from California (thank you, Mountain View!), from Canada, from Washington (thank you, Bremerton!), from Virginia, from Georgia, from Texas, from North Carolina, from Connecticut, from New Jersey, from Maryland, from Oregon (thank you, Cave Junction!). And these are just some of the votes.

It appears some voters may have voted more than once, which is very thoughtful. Some may even have voted more than a hundred times. I hope you do not get carpal tunnel, whoever you are!

In the end the totals went like this: Baby "Barack" Belle (me): 1756 votes.

Scouty "Joe Biden" the Nubian, a surprise dark horse candidate who received many votes from the Olympic Peninsula: 756 votes.

Crazy "Hillary the C" April, who neither sought nor accepted the nomination, and who thumbed her nose at voters everywhere: 300 votes.

Betsy, the orphan doeling who did not even know there was an election going on: 271 votes.

Breezy, aka "The Toaster," aka Juniper "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" Breeze, 110 votes.

And finally, in last place, probably because her picture does not do her justice, Herron Hill's Weeping Camel, aka Cammy "what's so funny about peace love and understanding?" the mini-Mancha, with only 64 votes.

Happy Happy New Year, everyone, from your Goat-of-the-Year! Yes, I will be on the cover of the farm calendar, on sale everywhere* starting Monday, New Year's Day!!!

*well, not really everywhere, but somewhere

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Last G-O-T-Y Post

Woops, there is a change in the G-O-T-Y voting. Get your goat-of-the-year votes in by tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. That's instead of Saturday night. The deadline for the farm calendar is sooner than we thought. So get your votes in for the goat you love the most. And remember, I am not a clone.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How to Predict the Weather

Well, back in the fall all the weather experts were predicting that we would have an "el nino" winter. The farmer's neighbor from Longbranch came over and explained it. If you don't live around here, you probably never heard of "el nino."

El Nino is a weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean which produces drier and milder winter conditions, due to the warming of ocean currents and something else I don't understand. There are a lot of scientists who know all about it and they explain on tv all the time how it works. I used to watch tv when I was a kid, but I don't any more.

Anyway all the weather people explained to us back in September that it was going to be an El Nino winter. It was extremely scientific. They had a lot of charts, with red and blue arrows, and little swirly things indicating ocean movements.

The farmer said "uh huh," and bought some more insulation for the pipes.

The neighbor from Longbranch explained what she had heard on the radio from the National Weather Service. It was going to be a nice dry mild winter, which would be a refreshing change from last year, when we had a whole month of torrential rain. It was unbelievably soggy.

The farmer said, "uh huh," and asked the hay man if we could get some extra hay.

And then the weather started: horrendous downpours (the rainiest month ever recorded here in one of the rainiest parts of the country), flooding, the worst windstorm ever, two snows before Christmas (we hardly ever get two snows in a year), two bitter cold snaps, one of which froze the pipes, even with their insulation on, and much more.

Now the weather people have new charts showing why what they said was really right even though it was wrong, and how in the future they will always be right again, and even if they are wrong, they still know everything, so it's the same as being right, and it's still scientific and impressive, even though it does not keep the trees from falling down in the wind, or the pipes from freezing.

Well, the neighbor from Longbranch was surprised. But the farmer wasn't.

"I don't go by the newspaper." the farmer explained. "I just go by Baby Belle." And back in September I was growing a woolly woolly coat. A coat to keep the rain and snow and wind out. A parka.

And that is why goats are better than Double Doppler radar.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Goat of the Year Part Three: Hanging Chad?

Well I am not surprised to report that there have been a few complaints that a certain contestant who shall remain nameless (Scouty) is cheating in the Goat-Of-The-Year Poll and should be disqualified for the offense of ballot box stuffing. I personally agree with the anonymous complainant who thinks that a certain goat who shall remain nameless (Scouty) should be disqualified. Unfortunately there are two factors which will prevent this.

1. Scouty is not capable of the premeditation required for willful cheating. It took her two years to realize that a baseball cap is not a living thing sitting on a person's head.

2. There is no cheating in this poll, which is being conducted according to the International "American Idol" electoral college rules. Vote early, vote often, vote in the dark, vote at work, vote at home, vote on vacation, vote in the airport, vote at Starbucks, vote at the mall, vote in the car, vote in the barn, vote in the milk parlor, etc.

Oh well. I'm sure I will win anyway when my law-abiding fans realize that it is okay to VOTE FOR ME AS MANY TIMES AS THEY WANT. Okay.

The G-O-T-Y voting will conclude at midnight PST on December 31. The Goat-of-the-Year will be announced on New Year's Day.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Will Work For Grass

Three large equines available for fence demolishing projects, board or wire fence, makes no difference. Very thorough. Photos of recent work attached. Just call us when your power goes out and we will be right over. Or you can contact our crew chief, Willen.

 Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006


They say tomorrow never comes, but today it did. No trees down from last night's little storm, power still on, and Scouty is doing much better. The spider bite is drifting apart, like an iceberg breaking up, little purple floes moving further out on her udder, and the rash subsiding as well.

So there is no need to give her any more pity votes.

Some people have asked me why I want to be Goat-of-the-year. What is the big deal?

Goat-0f-the-Year goes on the cover of the farm calendar, which comes out in January!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

G-O-T-Y campaign poster

I'm not sure if I mentioned it but there is a goat of the year contest going on. Don't forget to vote for your favorite candidate. If it were up to me, I would pick the goat with the most holiday spirit.

Winnie, With Bling Bling

This is Winnie. Winnie is Brandy's daughter. Brandy is the herd queen. Together, Winnie and Brandy are known as the Sopranos. They go around making people offers they can't refuse.

Like for example, "get away from the alfalfa or I'll break your legs."

Or, "get up from that cushy hay pile, I feel like lying on it."

Or, "go to the end of the line or I'll bite a chunk out of your ear."

They are very direct. No time wasted on "would you mind," or "could I trouble you," or anything like that. Notice how Winnie wears a cheesy gold chain in the photo. She has the same fashion sense as Rocky Balboa.

When Brandy is not around, sometimes there is an insurrection against Winnie, and everyone will do a gang-up and push Winnie out of the barn, or shove her down the hill. Not very often, but sometimes. When Brandy is preoccupied.

But then Brandy comes back and everyone commences scurrying and kowtowing again and acting like it was all a big accident that everyone formed a scrum and steamrollered Winnie. And Winnie, oblivious as ever, goes back to thinking she is God's Gift to Goats.

Now Winnie, like Prince Charles, thinks that when Brandy decides to pass along her crown, she will be first in line. She has probably already got a speech written for the occasion. But I can tell you, that is not going to happen. Because Winnie is no Brandy. The common goats will not support her. Instead, Winnie's daughter, if she ever has one, will probably be the herd queen. Like little Prince Wills.

In fact, if Winnie has a baby girl next spring, the farmer is thinking of calling her Princess William.

Or maybe something else.

When It Rains...

First the deluge of November, which flooded the barn, followed by the first deep freeze, which burst the pipes in the barn, followed by the first little windstorm, which put the power out for two days, followed by the big windstorm, which put the power out for 5+ days, while the temperatures went back below freezing again and threatened to reburst the pipes.

Now we are expecting another little windstorm, which likely will put the power back out for a while - there are big trees hanging by a thread everywhere.

And now Scouty is getting worse, so keep your fingers crossed. She is on Day 3 of the spider bite, which has turned her udder hot and swollen. The farmer thinks this will be the worst day, because the bite mark has turned purple and is starting to drift apart. so we will see what the vet says.

If you get bit by a spider and can't get to the doctor right away, put a paste of meat tenderizer on it, or a paste of activated charcoal if you don't have tenderizer. Take some milk thistle extract to help your liver push the poisons out. The farmer's friend who knows everything says Day 3 is always the worst day for a bad spider bite.

Anyway, now would be a good time to count our blessings.

1. We are on Herron Road, which turned out to be about the hardest hit road on the peninsula. We have our power back, and our next door neighbor has power back, but everybody west of us (there are two miles of Herron Road west of us) is still out because there is so much repair to do. Big trees just about everywhere. And that includes everyone on Herron Island - they get their power from the end of Herron Road, where the ferry dock is.

2. We have a generator now.

3. The farmer thinks Scouty was bitten by a black widow. That sounds bad, but it is much better than a brown recluse.

4. I am still winning in the Goat-of-the-Year poll.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Good News/Bad News/Good News/ Bad News

Good News! Power to the people! Power to the goats! The power is back! Stale bread for everybody!!!!

Bad News: they say there will be another windstorm tomorrow night. Just a little one. But even a little one, if you could see some of the trees around here which are far from vertical if you know what I mean, won't be good. Anyway, the farmer likes the Lutherans now, the Lutherans got right on the ball and had a soup kitchen for everybody while the power was off. Some people are still off. The Lutherans also had sheet cake, which takes the sting out of powerlessness, in the farmer's opinion. The good kind of sheet cake, made with Crisco.

Good News: Right now I am winning the Goat-of-the-Year contest. But it changes every day.

Bad News: Scouty got bit by a spider on her udder. There is a big blood-red bite mark and then the rest of her udder is covered with hives. She is getting a meat tenderizer paste on it (takes the sting out) and lots of extra attention, which she doesn't notice, much less appreciate. I hope she didn't do it to try to get some sympathy votes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Day 5

Day 5...No power, but it is starting to come on around us. Only Betsy will drink from the pond. Everyone else is very suspicious of it.

I snuck into the barn and had my own water bucket. Those who are not as smart will have to get a little thirstier, I guess, before they acquire a taste for pond water.

The bad ponies were moved yesterday because they took advantage of there not being any electricity - i.e. no hot wire - to knock the fence down and stroll along the neighbor's driveway to browse down by the road with cars whizzing by. How uncouth, not to mention lazy - I always jump OVER the fence.

Do not forget to vote for Goat of the Year. That would be me, IMHO.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

G-O-T-Y Poll

Ok, you can vote for Goat of the Year on my web page now.

Day 4

Day 4...No power..and it's not coming soon.

We are keeping our spirits up pretty well...but it would help if we had some SWEDISH FISH or some GINGER SNAPS.

All the babies are coming in with us today as the creek-drinking jamboree begins...

Even the fat ponies are coming down here. Oy. They have no sense of decorum. The concept of waiting in line has never occurred to them.

Yes we are accepting votes for Goat-of-the-Year. Please do not forget. Vote by email or however, I am not a computer programmer so I cannot tell you how. The farmer says there will be a voting button soon but I sincerely doubt it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Goat of the Year Part Two

Well, it is day three and there is still no power so we are going to be turned out in the lower pasture so we can drink from the pond. That's because the well pump doesn't work without electricity even though we have a generator because there is no transfer switch for it. I don't know what that means but I know we have no water. So anyway, we will all go in a big goat jamboree in the down-below pasture.

Now let's get back to the Goat of the Year contest. Please direct your attention below to the candidate information statements from the contestants.

1. Cammy. Please vote for me, I am cute. Thank you. Cammy's link.

2. Breezy. Please vote for me, all my friends endorse me. Breezy's link.

3. April. Vote for who you want, I don't care. I think the whole thing is stupid. April's link.

4. Betsy. I just saw a bird! It was flying! Look! Betsy's link.

5. Scouty. What? Where am I? Scout's link.

6. Baby Belle. First of all may I say how honored I am to participate in this great system of ours. And how much I love everyone. And how seriously I will take my responsibilities, if there are any, if I am elected to this important post. Please go to my link and observe my beautiful white coat and my magnificent, perhaps even perfect, goatee, and my two wonderful sons. And so on. And in closing, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm just trying to make a difference in this world. Humbly yours. Baby Belle. Belle's link.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The WindStorm

They always say there is going to be a big windstorm. And then a few trash can lids blow down the street and the excitement is pretty much over. Well, yesterday they said there was going to be a big windstorm, and guess what?


The farmer was already grumbling because we just got the power on from not having any power for two days from the last windstorm, which wasn't a big windstorm, just an ordinary windstorm. The farmer had to carry water buckets to everybody and wasn't very happy, since it was also pouring outside.

The farmer asked Boo, "if you are so thirsty, why don't you just go outside and turn your head up?"

Boo wisely did not say anything, just waited politely for the bucket to be refilled, then drank all the water in just about one gulp so it had to be refilled again immediately.

So things were not that rosy when the day started.

After six years of power outages, the farmer finally broke down and drove to the store and bought a generator, so we knew that this time maybe they would be right about the big windstorm.


The windstorm blew down ten BIG trees between our street and the highway, and our street is only a mile long. The power lines were down everywhere.

The farmer drove all the way into town, 14 miles, and there wasn't a stitch of electricity anywhere this side of the bridge. And there were ten trees down for every mile, and power lines in the road, and too many branches to even count. The paper says there are a million people without power. And since we are at the end of the line, we are always the last ones to get our power back on. So it will probably be several days.

And when there is no power, there is no water, because the well pump is electric.

You might think this would put the farmer in a very black mood. But you would be wrong. The farmer is very cheerful, even called the neighbors on the cell phone to chat about what a beautiful day it is today, and then mentioned, just casually in passing, how we got the very last generator in the store yesterday, about two hours before the power went out.

" The very last one," said the farmer.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Goat Of The Year

Well, it is that time of year and the nominations are in for Goat of the Year.

Here are the candidates:

1. Cammy (aka Weeping Camel). Cammy was born in the spring and as far as a I can tell she is being nominated just because she is really cute and cuddly. She is a little white-micro-Mancha. I would not vote for her, she isn't that adorable.

2. April. According to the farmer, April is nominated because she got very sick and struggled through her illness and never gave up when others might have fallen by the wayside, etc etc, but persevered through thick and thin, mostly thick. April is a crusty old bag and I would not vote for her.

3. Betsy, whose name is really Lolo, whose name is really Stacy's Starlight. Betsy is nominated because she is an orphan and because she won a blue ribbon at the big fair and got her picture on the front page of the paper. She is fine but I think her ears look funny so I wouldn't vote for her.

4. Breezy is nominated because she has had 13 kids in three years. I prefer quality over quantity, so I would not vote for Breezy. Also, she is a complainer if she doesn't get what she wants.

5. Scout. Scouty is being nominated for Goat-of-the-Year because even though she is not the smartest doe in the world she learned to stand nicely on the milkstand and has milked very well and is still milking well even though she kidded a long time ago. And she had two sweet, pretty kids. Excuse me, for this she gets nominated? Oy.

6. Baby Belle. Oh, what a surprise, that's me! I did not know I was nominated. How touching. It is an honor just to be nominated! Unfortunately I am too modest to mention all of my accomplishments including my many beautiful, sweet, friendly, productive children, my extraordinary personality, my luxurious white coat, my stupendous intellect, the exquisite goatee I have cultivated, and so many other things that would seem like bragging if I brought them up, but you surely must know what they are and how much more significant they are than the piddling so-called achievements of the other nominees! So many heartfelt thanks to everyone for considering me for Goat-of-the-Year!