Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Greatest Hits of 2011

Well it is the end of the year and time to review the most popular posts of 2011.

Coming in at Number One was a post about Raw Milk Pants. We are going to make a pair for Wendell for the spring.

Number One: Raw Milk Pants.

At Number Two was a post that is several years old. But it has always been very popular, especially at Christmastime. We couldn't understand why until we got some emails from Japan about it. When people are learning to speak English in Japan they read a lot of Dickens. When they get to the end of "A Christmas Carol," they don't understand what it means. So they google the phrase "Total Abstinence Principle." And then they get sucked up into the long winding Internet tubes and spit out at a little Dickensian goat farm in Western Washington. God Bless Them, Every One.

Number Two: The Total Abstinence Principle.

At Number Three we have the mysteriously popular triumph of Pebbles at the State Fair.

Number Three: That's Right.

At Number Four, the Return of B.D., starring Saint Penrose.

Number Four: Uninvited Guest.

At Number Five: the first photo of Clementine the Fairy Goat.

Number Five: In a Cavern, In a Canyon, Excavating for a Mine.

Number Six needs no introduction.

Number Six: At Your Service.

Number Seven: Adorable baby goat needs new name.

Number Eight: Horrors, Pebbles outgrows her stolen parka. 

Number Nine: Occupy the KP.

Number Ten: My New Sisters.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Lose the Post-Christmas Blues

Well we got all the way through Christmas without any much rain. So then everybody had to put a jinx on things by talking about how this could turn out to be the driest December ever. So the dam burst and it has settled into a steady downpour which makes everyone feel gloomy and by the amount of rain we have had the last two days even with several days left in the month I can pretty much guarantee that this will not be the driest anything.

We also were entering a post-Christmas depression because we had eaten all the treats we were given including a bag of stale peanuts the farmer found in a box that went to the fair three months ago and I waited to see if Betsy would suffer any ill effects after gobbling several of them but they were just fine except they tasted a bit ribbony.

Anyway what should happen but we get one of those little pink slips in the mailbox telling the farmer there is a package at the post office since the USPS out here can't be bothered to bring you the packages, they will only bring the little pink slips as if they tried to deliver the package, even going so far as to hand you the slip when you happen to be down at the mailbox with its jolly note saying that we "tried" to deliver the package but you weren't home or something. But anyway that is another story for a grumpy day.

The farmer went to the post office and there was a package from Missouri for Pebbles.

Inside many many excellent treats, including peanuts and pretzels and instructions for how they should be distributed.

Some of the stipulations were a bit onerous ("be nice to Pebbles", etc) but in light of the treats belonging mostly to Pebbles I have decided to abide by them. Until the treats are gone.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Joyful Noise

Jammies and Wronny are nothing alike. But they are birds of a feather. They live in a silent world.

Wronny could be having a set of big-headed breech quadruplet bucklings, or she could have one of her hooves slammed in a car door, and she would not make a peep. Jammies is just the same, a little church mouse.

I don't understand it myself, if I need some food I want the management to know about it. Or if I have an itchy spot, I like to notify the farmer. Also when I am having my babies I want to arrange the special treats in advance, not at the last minute when they might be out of swedish fish at the store. And if Pinky is t-boning me, surely that is a good time to call 911. That's what it's for, after all.

But not Jammies. Jammies' plan is to scamper away from trouble and to keep mum on almost every topic, just like Wronny. Except for the scampering, they are temperamental twins. Wronny is the Queen, and she doesn't scamper.

So anyway this week Jammies came into heat and she was ushered into the buck pen and even though she likes to leave the station immediately once she has been serviced - she is not one to linger and chat about the Iowa Caucuses - it was a busy day and Jammies did not get any exit visa. Instead she stayed silently in the buck pen all that day, running like a cat on a hot tin roof to stay one step ahead of the buck.

Several times I looked over and she was panting heavily; her winter coat looks like ten fluffy layers of pashmina. Luckily before long Big Orange came into heat and went and stood outside the fence of the buck pen, and this created a distraction that gave Jammies some breathing room.

The next day the farmer had to go to town and didn't get home until after dark, and so Jammies spent two days in the buck pen. And by that time she was resigned to it.

"I guess this is my new life," she said to herself, and she picked out a corner of the pen that was farthest from the buck but still upwind - with the best escape routes  - and she settled in to live the rest of her life in the Garden of Smelly Aerobic Exercise.

And she never complained or called 911 and just then of course the farmer came down and said, "Jammies! It is Christmas Eve! You come out of there!"

And Jammies scampered like a little white tornado out of the buck pen, as fast as anyone could hope to go on inch-long micro-mancha legs - and she ran like the wind toward the barn, and halfway up the hill she couldn't stop herself, she started bucking and dancing with delight, and she made a joyful noise for all the world to hear.

And lo, the next day it was Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Winner...

Well it is time to tell the correct answer to the quiz. The correct answer is Big Orange.

Big Orange does not belong in the photo for all the reasons mentioned:

1. She is not polled, and has never had any hermaphrodite children.
2. She has a distinct advantage in the mammary system.
3. She is orange.
4. She is a goat.
5. She is a productive member of society.
6. She has no implants of any kind.
7. She is a strict vegetarian, and can be trusted with a knife.

But first and foremost, Big Orange does not belong in the picture because she is a Bigoletto and not a Kardashian.

Congratulations to our winner pictishwitch!

Applause applause applause. 

In other exciting news, Pebbles has gotten bigger than Sandy, who was almost twice Pebbles' size at birth. Congratulations to Pebbles, who worked her way up from Peanut size to Plus size through sheer determination and diligent round-the-clock eating.

Scattered polite applause.

In yet more thrilling news, Wendell has had his rightful jacket returned to him and wears it proudly as he hogs heat in front of the stove.

Tepid congratulatory murmur. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

K is for Kristmas...

We are having a holiday giveaway and the prize is two bars of soap.

We will send you the soap* if you win. We will put all the correct answers to the question below in a wool hat and pull out a winner and we will send the winner the fantastic prize described above (two bars of soap).

You must answer the question* correctly and we ask you PLEASE TO BE FAIR and DO NOT CHEAT or LOOK THE ANSWER UP ON GOOGLE. You can email your answer or put it in the comments.

Which of the individuals pictured in the graphic below does not belong in the photo? Explain your answer if necessary. Thank you.

*Soap FAQ:
What kind of soap is it? It is plain brown soap made with goat milk. It has a little bit of oatmeal and honey in it. Is it fancy and has a lot of stimulants in it? No, it is plain brown soap. Can I eat it? No, it is soap. What can I do with it? You could wash your hands for a change.

*Question FAQ:
Is it a trick question? You tell me

B is for (Shared) Brain

It hasn't rained properly for two weeks. What can this mean?

In December it either rains every day or it is bitter bitter cold because there is no cloud cover. Never above freezing, day or night, with urgent prayers offered for the pipes, and penances done in exchange for pipe safety. Please accept this small drab ugly misshapen handmade scarf, dear Pipe Lord, in exchange for winter pipe immunity, with many thanks, on bended knee, etc, yours truly, with love, from Herron Hill Dairy, and wear it around your Lordly neck for many years in good health and perpetuity and so on. If it be Thy Will.

But it has not rained at all by our standards, and yet the weather keeps coldish without being frigid. Around 30 at night and around 40 during the day, hardly any pipe danger. What can this mean? Please write if you know, we hope it isn't another sign of the Apocalypse.

Meanwhile the forecasters keep doing their swirly graphics on tv, tap dancing as they explain why this new development - no rain in December - is another sign of La Nina - wetter winter than normal. It's very sad, probably they had the graphics made specially and can't return them now. Oh well.

Anyway for a while we almost thought La Nina might be a good name for the Betsy Family, but so many other good names were proposed that we set it aside.

I really like the Nubleones. But the Nubleones sounds a little too actual, like it might almost be a Powerful Family, not like the Betsy Family.

And the Darlins is a little too dear, because certain members of the Betsy Family really do hunger for power (Tangy), although most of them just hunger for food.

And the Real Housewives of the Key Peninsula, while tempting, doesn't take into account the fact that the Betsy Family hardly ever engages in catfights, and none of them have ever had their teeth whitened, nor had their udders surgically enhanced.

The Borg is nice, we like the singular plural, especially in this case, since it often appears that the Betsy Family shares a brain, and someone left it out in the summer meadow by accident instead of returning it to their Central Intelligence Agency, which the farmer keeps in a little oatmeal can in the tack room, and that's why they are all standing out in the rain crying wetly instead of just walking inside, where it's almost like it isn't raining at all - especially this December - since there is a little thing called a ROOF that seems somehow magically to keep the rain from touching you.

(Offscreen: Awestruck murmur from the Betsy Family: who invented that thing the ROOF? How did they think of it?)

Anyway we are down to two finalists. One is still the Kardashians. The other is the Bigolettos.

The Kardashians has the advantage of being instantly recognizable and of course there is a certain family resemblance, although in my opinion the Betsys are significantly more attractive than the actual Kardashians in almost every way, despite their Nubian roots. Especially Clementine, she is cute as a button.

The Bigolettos has the advantage of starting with B, nothing new for the Betsys to memorize. It also captures their essential Bigness, without being too subtle or freighted with unnecessary cleverness. Cleverness can be so tiresome, don't you think?

Next post: the undergoats.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

KBetsy et al

As you know our farm is ruled by the Soprano family, which is Brandy and the daughters of Brandy, and their daughters and so on, including Wronny, Winnie, Maddy (aka the Sheriff of Crazytown), Jessie, Winnie Jr., Morchella, etc.

But the Betsy family has been hinting that it would like to take over some of the power which will never happen because the Betsy family is part Nubian and if they ever sat down to sign the papers the Betsy family would agree to the $5,000 undercoating and rock-chip prevention, the $2,000 Scotchgarded seats, the document fees, the extended warranty to the year 2525, and all the other fine print that the Sopranos would add in while the Betsy family was focusing on the free popcorn in the manager's office.

So I don't think the Betsy Family can rise to the top, but there is no doubt that they have risen and they definitely seem to think that they should have their own clan name, like the Sopranos.

So I tried to think of a good name and the first thing that sprang to mind of course was the Kardashians, which kind of sums up the Betsy Family.

But the problem with that is that almost all of them would have to change their names, and it took so long to learn the ones they have that it doesn't seem like a good idea.

You know what I mean: Kbetsy, Kbig Orange, Kxie xie, Kbinky, Ktangy, Kpinky.

Kclementine would be ok, I guess.

So please let me know if you can think of a better name for the Betsy Family. Thanks.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Well Wronny is almost five and she has been milking practically her whole life, the farmer sat down and figured out that she has been out of milk for a total of six weeks since she was a yearling, which is not very much and probably a violation of union rules. This is her own fault and she has no one else to blame for it because in spite of the fact that she doesn't really go in for love and kisses she is the type of goat whom anyone can milk, so she was always kept in milk for the cheesemaking classes.

Winnie is also the type of goat anyone can milk, even more so, and she tolerates hugging pretty well, but she has a habit of not settling, which is what she did last year, so she has been off work since last spring.

Well anyway Wronny got dried off as I mentioned and she will have at least five months off since she isn't bred yet. I'm sure she will use the time wisely to boss everyone around and probably develop some kind of Wronny Boot Camp for the feeble-minded and disobedient.

Tangy will be her first camper; Tangy accidentally forgot that she wasn't the Boss of Everything and got a refresher course the other day when she scrambled ahead of Wronny at the hay feeder.

The other milkers are all dried off, too, so there is no milk. Except wait, Cherry didn't want to dry off, she kept on milking so she is on once a day milking only for the purpose of latte milk. Cherry is part Nubian so it always seemed like she might not be a good candidate for student milkers but lately you can't get her off the milkstand and she loves being scratched and petted almost to the point of unseemliness and so I hate to break it to her but she might not get a day off for the next three years.

That's 1095 days if you do the math.

Congratulations, Cherry.