Monday, March 14, 2011

For the Love of Goats


This story was brought to my mind recently through a blog conversation I had with Keri from Keri--on.blogspot.com, so thought I would tell the story for everyone.   It is a funny story, at least... 20 some years later it is...funny.  I really am amazed that over 20 years have gone by since that happened... but yes, my first four children are now 26, 26, 28, and 30. I think they were about the ages of 2, 2, 4, and 6 at that time.... guess that makes the story closer to 25 years ago, but  let me tell it to you.

     When I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of growing up,  living in the country, and owning all kinds of animals. I kept that dream into my young adult life, and married a handsome cowboy from Colorado. After about 7 years of marriage, we were able to move to Colorado (or in Steve's case: back to Colorado).

Oh what delight to get to begin the dreams of having a farm/ranch and all kinds of animals.  Now obviously,  horses and cows go hand in hand with any ranchers idea of what ranching is all about, but chickens and goats and what ever else I could come up  with were not necessarily something this particular rancher was as enthusiastic about.... but this rancher was eager and ready to please his wife, so we went to a little farm auction not far from here and got our first goat.  We really didn't know anything about goats, but were willing to learn and I was excited at the prospect.  I had an image of Eden in my head, where all the dear little animals would roam happily and freely around the property, coming in eagerly at milking time or bedtime,  playing gently with my  children, and walking companionably with us all on afternoon walks.  Chickens roaming the gardens and eradicating all the unwanted bugs while not touching one plant that did not belong to them.  Oh yes, such bliss.  I'm sure you can get the picture.

It really was fun...no really it was... and crazy... and chaotic.... We did get to milk our goat, and learn how to make goat cheese.... She did play with the children...( did I say  gently? well, never mind that)... she did go on afternoon  walks with us (only a few head butting battles and minor injuries... no worries... tough kids).....but lets see in the process, we also learned about goat breeds, and goat pens (and consequences of the lack of them).... companionable goats? yes,  at least to all but the Mama  of the family (I was never really sure if she was trying to kill me or she was just playing).... we did learn that some goats are taken purposely to farm sales  because... well, they were not necessarily ideal. We did love our chickens.... and had wonderful fresh eggs... and we did  have a delightful garden... what was left of it....and we did learn not to let the goat out of the pen (which we eventually constructed) while the "addition" to our little house was under construction (especially while husband has framing hammer in hand and no more patience for goat who takes too many liberties and one too many blueprints eaten for lunch .... hubby did,  however,  improve his tomahawk throwing skills while practicing with framing hammer) or leave her out while changing out chocolate cookies in oven.... unless of course you didn't mind a goat coming through your ceiling.

Okay, so now I have you.... and if any of you don't believe this story, just ask my older children, they were there... happily eating cookies at their little table in the kitchen... thinking all was right with the world until..." what in the world is that noise....?!!!!?"

Now I was also thinking all was right with the world and humming happily to myself and breathing in the delightful smell of fresh baked cookies When..."Uh oh. I left the goat out while I popped back inside to change these cookies  "rats", Steve told me not to  do that... he reminded me how she loved getting into the "addition"  and onto the roof because of her fantasies of being a mountain goat... he reminded me how he had  ripped off the existing roof on that one side and there is nothing there right now except insulation and sheet rock. he told me to keep an eye on her ... is that a hoof I see coming through the ceiling? ".

Well, the rest just gets better... or is it worse.... there were no more delightful thoughts of chocolate  cookies, no serene motherly blessings to such dear children... no, there was a goat on top of the stove!

The children were crying at least some of them were...(I'm sure like myself, they had no idea what was happening... earthquake perhaps... "the rapture".... I don't know it was just something loud and unbelievable.  I heard Luke (the 4 year old) mutter "Daddy's gonna shoot that goat, he's gonna shoot that goat and use real bullets"... and then the goat ran bleating through the house.... apparently not a scratch on her.   Steve was away at the moment... I was thinking.. "what shall I do  what shall I tell him?"  I did think quickly, because I knew we would be eating goat for dinner if I didn't come up with a quick plan.

"Oh yes", I thought to myself , "the neighbors have been wanting to get a goat themselves.... I will call them and tell them to come quickly and get this goat if they would like to have it for free".  And so I did and so they did.  My husband called before returning home.  This is what I told him on the phone; "Sweetie, there's been an accident"... now I really was getting choked up as I was trying to tell him... and of course my husband thought someone has been seriously hurt, so his heart went right into his throat.  "whats going on is everyone okay?"   You can imagine his relief  when it was nothing more than; "the goat fell through the ceiling!"

Ahhh such blissful days when we were young....ha ha. We have had quite a few goats and chickens since that day and my husband is a patient man who has blessed me with his perseverance and love.  He fixed our kitchen ceiling, while at the same time finishing the floor to our upstairs, and the addition was completed.  We never again had a goat in the kitchen, although, there have been many calves in there (those needing a little extra help after coming into the world on a cold wintry night).  There are many more stories to tell, but another day, another blog post.  In recent years Steve's career went through some changes and we come and go from the ranch more often, and don't raise the animals like we used to...so we have only 2 dogs and 2 cats to entertain us. But I was dreaming yesterday about "Alpaca's".  Wool is such a delightful thing... I would really love to learn how to "Spin" and "weave"....  I feel the full "Proverbs 31 Woman" coming on.  Smile.
Have a blessed week everyone
Love  Ya,
Pam
To this day, I still really love goats, and Nubians are my favorite
Steve brings a little Valentines Day Calf to join the party  20 something years ago. (Steve on left, Elizabeth in foreground and little friends on either side).
All of the "four" together with friends... about the time of "goat incident" (The Blondies are all mine).  (Nathan in back on left, Elizabeth on his lap, Marie on friends lap, Luke squeezed between baby Danielle (friend) and Marie.
Nathan and Himilce with new baby goat.... the first time Himilce came to meet us.

11 comments:

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

My husband has always mentioned the possibility of one day getting a goat for our steep property but I've always been very unsure after friends telling me their goat stories - washing eaten off the line, gardens trampled and so forth but this one has to be the best I've heard! My funniest story about country living starts out like yours Pam - I was baking in the kitchen when I just happened to glance up and there was a racehorse standing on the front porch looking in at me through the full length glass doors. It was smiling at me like 'Mr Ed' from the old television series as if it were about to say 'Howdy neighbour! I just about dropped the tray of cookies or was it muffins, I don't remember now. What did I do - I opened the door and asked it if it wanted to come in but it was happy just to stand there and stare at me! This huge old thoroughbred horse - a former champion apparently, which belonged to my neighbour had come to visit us. The children raced outside and it greeted them all allowing them to pat it and appeared to take great pleasure in all the attention. It would have stayed there all day but was persuaded to walk back to its paddock but only when accompanied by the older children. The story has a sad ending because the horse knew it was sick and ailing and had left the rest of the horses to be on its own. The next day the vet was called and it had to be put down. Why it came to visit us at the end of its life I don't know but I have to say this was my favourite 'animal in the house' story. My others are my snake encounters which my children think are funny but I don't!
Thank you for sharing that funny story - it was the 'daddy's gonna shoot that goat' line that got me!

Keri On said...

Pam!!! I LOVE that story! I also liked "Daddy's gonna shoot that goat, and with real bullets!" Thanks so much for sharing it! You now have me looking forward to your other ranching stories!
Have a grand day!

Keri On said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keri On said...

I also love the pictures of your kids...I mean, children!

Pam said...

Oh, I just love your "horse story", Ann. Sweet, delightful, funny and sad. I think our heart is stirred by these kinds of stories because God created us in a garden with all the wonderful animals, and they delight us to this day. Keri, loved the "kid" comment, that cracked me up.

SarahJayne said...

O my goodness - that is such a funny story! And, like my mama, my all-time favorite part was the "daddy's gonna shoot that goat" quote - I lauged out loud! :)

Kirsteen said...

This really made me smile - especially the part about daddy shooting the goat, and the image of a stunned goat on the cooker!

I love all the old photos in this post too!

Danielle said...

Miss Pam,
You are a gifted story teller!!! That poor goat...just wanted some cookies...;-) I can picture all your little ones and their dread of Daddy coming home to the mess. What a smart smart wife you are though. First get rid of the trouble maker then gently tell your rancher. :-D
I think these stories should be a regular addition to your blog!!!
So much love to you!!!!

lizzy said...

Oh Mom this was such a FUN FUN post! I was in the middle of working on the website and the sleepies hit me real bad and because I have been missing you I came on over and was delighted to find this post! You woke me right up and brought such a huge smile to my sleepy face!!!! It was also fun to read this perspective of you with all of us kids being so little. I hope this is the just the beginning to many stories that you have tucked away in your heart :)

I will call you tomorrow sometime. I miss you soo MUCH!

Love,
Elizabeth

Homeschool on the Croft said...

Oh Pam, that was hilarious. I was really laughing reading that. Like some of the other readers, I could just hear the 'daddy's gonna shoot that goes, and he's gonna use real bullets'.... And the goat on the stove, all after you painting this idyllic scene for us
That was sooo funny.
Thanks for the laugh. you really do tell a good story x

Marie said...

"Happy Siigghh"
such happy thoughts of those good old days mom. I have been saving my comment for now because I haven't been able to read and leave a comment at the same time. But I read this darling post a couple days ago and it put me in the happiest reminiscent of moods. I just reread it again and so cozy and such a delightful story. I do remember that darling little table we used to sit and eat at. It amazes me that Zane is getting near the age now of using a little table like the one I used. And the "love of goats" have passed down to me. I can't wait to get a goat and do some milking and cheese making. I also love your idea of getting a Alpaca for wool. That would be so marvelous to learn how to spin and weave. Thanks so much for sharing this story and reminding me of those "peaceful" days LOL!!!

LOVE YOU
~ Marie