Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Unauthorized birth

This is Lucky Nickel, with an important announcement, I guess, if you listen to Claire that is, which I sort of do, when I have to...

Claire said I should do a blog about the new birth on the farm.  Did you hear that? birth.  And I know you're probably asking yourself right I did....who authorized that?  Because let me tell you, I, Lucky Nickel, did NOT sign off on any paperwork on this.  I would definitely remember having done that, because it would have taken some deep goat thoughts on my part, to decide if I felt that was a good idea or not.  You remember the other llama baby we had back in January?  His name is Stormy.
Yeah, he's a lot bigger now, and I think he might have authorized it because they came from the same Dad.  You know, Kahlua, that big brown llama guy.  I think it was a conspiracy.

But, you know, Claire is the provider of the treats.  So I feel a little obligated about this "announcement" that she wants me to do.  I will try to be nice about it.

So, suddenly, before I even knew what was happening, there was a kerfuffle over towards the area of the llamas.  I could have told Claire what was going on, but ooooh no, she was in the house studying, and you know if you bother her while she is studying, she gets this mad face on and has a little fit and comes outside waving her arms around and complaining about too much bleating.  Well, I could have told her, but I thought better of it.

Later when she comes outside, she goes all ballistic about this thing in the llama pen.  I had to come over and pretend to be surprised.  "Oh gee, when did that get there?"
So Claire is just staring at it because she can't even believe it happened, and I'm waiting for her to get over her little moment of shock.  Humans can be so predictable.  She makes all kinds of squealing noises and rushes off to get the little black clicky box thing...she's obsessed with it.  Then she has to go pick up this wet, squirmy animal and announce to nobody in particular that it's a boy.  I mean, I already knew that, and the mother llama, Cabernet, already knew that too, so I don't know why Claire thought it was necessary, but anyway, she said it was a boy.

Seriously, look at this.  What is there to squeal about when this creature can't even stand properly on its own 4 feet?  How clumsy can an animal be?  I never did this...
Anyway, that first day was pretty boring, because Claire just kept coming down to look at it and squeal at it and I was totally being ignored.  Typical.  She gave it some milk too, out of MY BOTTLE!  I definitely never authorized that.  I would not want my bottle being contaminated by llama spit.  For some reason, I don't get my bottle any more.  I think Claire has forgotten.  I tried to get it when she was taking it to the llama and she told me to be good!  Can you imagine?!  I don't know what came over her.
So then today, it was a little better.  This morning, I went to check out the new arrival in more detail.  Did you know they call a baby llama a "cria?"  I mean, what kind of word is that?  Me, when I was a baby, I was a "kid."  Now that is a nice easy word.  Anyway, I was not at all sure about this cria thing.
He has kind of messy looking fur, and he isn't very graceful.  I am so attractive, it is hard for any creature to be measured against me, but really, this one is particularly awkward looking.  I think he needs to go to a groomer or something.
Claire was particularly excited this morning about the cria nursing by himself.  Big whoopie.  I prefer bottles.
After the cria nurses, he acts like it's some big accomplishment, because then he has to go have a little lie-down, as if it was an exhausting feat to do this simple task.  I know he's doing it for the attention.  He's just jealous of me.  But, his mom, Cabernet, she encourages it!  I mean, talk about LAZY!!!
The cria can't even do his own thing.  He has to look just like his mom.
The sheep were a little bit curious about it.  Really, you can't blame them.  Sheep are kind of dense that way.  They can never figure out what is going on and you can see here, they think that the cria is a lamb.  Even though none of them remember giving birth or anything, they figure it might be theirs.  I can't even imagine what goes on inside their heads...oh...well, nothing obviously.
Oh yeah.  Claire says the cria has "such beautiful eyes" and she looks all gooey when she says that, like she might melt or something.  Whatever.
Anyway, that's about all there is to say about it.  I don't see what the big deal is.  I mean, it's not like it's going to get to sleep in the house, like I did.  I was waaaay more special.  But I guess it's sort of cute.  Maybe.  If you like that sort of thing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What do you mean by "too many shoes?"

Yesterday, and today, it was just too hot to be outside.  I couldn't do anything out with the animals, except take a few treats to her highness, Lucky Nickel.  Instead, I had to do indoor things.  Like shoe tidying.  OK, I admit it.  I have a few pairs of shoes.  Maybe quite a few.  But really, one cannot say that there can ever be "too many shoes" in a girl's closet, can one?

After all, there are many seasons, many colours, many styles, many reasons to have lots of choice when it comes to footwear.  As I was tidying my shoe racks today, and I thought I would take some shoe pictures, of a small selection of my...well...collection.  Right now, it's summer, so here are a few summer shoes in a flower pattern, to celebrate the season.  My favourites are probably the turquoise ones at 1 o'clock.  They are so comfy, and such a great colour.
I do have a tendency to go for the green.  It is my favourite colour, after all, and my shoe collection probably shows that tendency.  I seem to gravitate to all different shades of green - teal, olive, celery, name it, I've probably got it.  Here, a few shoes in various shades of green.  The one second from the right is one of my pair of my pool shoes that I use for when I visit the swimming pool.
Even though it may not seem like it today, fall is on the way.  I don't seem to go for the green quite so much in my fall shoes.  I do like a nice pair of pumps though, and here's a little group of my fall shoes just waiting to be worn again.  Hang in there my little friends...the cooler weather is promising to come soon.
Soon enough, oh happy will be boot weather!!  I love love love boots.  I think I might actually have more boots than shoes.  Is that weird?  Please tell me some of you also fall into the boot boat!  Here's a group of my fall season brown boots.  Because one can't possibly stop at a single pair of brown boots.  That would never, never do.  What about the one on the far left?  Oh....I'll get to that in a minute....
I also tend to go for fall shoes with slight boot-like characteristics.  I absolutely adore those red ones on the far left.  They are quite possibly my favourite fall pair.  That cooler weather can't come soon enough!
Not to be missed are the short height boots, which are definitely also favourites of mine.  I just can't quite get enough of them.  All summer long, I look at them longingly in their storage tubs in the basement, just waiting for the big closet rotation, when I can put away all the summer stuff and get out the fall wardrobe.  I just bought the ones with the little buttons last week - my new indulgence for the coming fall.  Very Victorian, I think.
Overall though, I do have an absolute favourite pair, and in my opinion, they are quite unusual.  These boots were purchased in about 1990, if I recall correctly.  They're entirely tapestry fabric, except for the sole of course.  They go right up to my knee, and have an optional fold-down flap at the top.  Incredibly comfortable, and fabulously expressive.  I'm so very glad I didn't resist them at the time.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a shoe catalogue that came in the mail today, and I really must go take a look....because I don't think I have any green boots.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A fair evening!

I went to the Iowa State Fair on Wednesday evening with a friend of mine whose husband is allergic to animals.  She doesn't get to see the animal exhibits usually, so we went to check them out, and of course, they're my favourite part of the fair!  All in all, it was a great evening, even though there were not as many sheep as I would have liked to see, and it was very hot and muggy, which was a bit uncomfortable.  I also didn't take my camera, but I did take my brand, spanking new Blackberry!  It has a camera that did a reasonably good job, so I shall share the few photo memories of the fair for 2010 right here!

Of course, I had to visit with the biggest ram of the show.  He was huge, tired, and very friendly.  Mostly he just lay down, although he did get up for a while to have a bit of a fuss before I left.  I gave him chest scrubbies and said nice things about him and he didn't so much as snort in my direction.  I think he was too hot.
The baby piglets were very cute, and very small, and also very tired.  Did I mention that it was really hot at the fair?  I was kind of disturbed, as I usually am, by the farrowing pen set up.  It really bothers me that sows are only able to stand up and lay down.  They can't even turn around in gestation crates.  The traditional excuse is that they will lay down on their piglets otherwise, but studies have shown that given ample space, that does not typically happen.  So why not just give them proper space, instead of forcing them to lay down or stand up in the same space for months on end.  I'm an unapologetic critic of confining pigs.
This year's baby ostrich were much bigger than last year's "fluffy bowling ball on legs" ostrich babies.  Still, they are really cute.
It is illegal in Iowa (well, almost illegal) to go to the State Fair and not go to see the butter cow.  The cow is sculpted entirely out of butter and is a marvel of art and physics.  Sorry for the glare in the photo but it's hard to avoid.  I love her tail!  In case you can't tell, she's definitely life sized.  Amazingly, the butter cow did not appear to be too hot.
I had never previously noticed that when pigs lay down, their legs don't stay touching the ground.  If I saw a sheep in my pasture in this pose, I would be very, very worried.  Most animals keep at least a portion of all their legs on the ground.  Not so with the pigs.  I think they were rather overheated though....
My friend Jordan and I were amazed at the size of some of the horses - especially the Percherons.  Here's Jordan standing next to a very, very large horse.  Their feet are absolutely enormous.  I wonder if I could get one to help me with plowing here on the farm?!
Moving on from the livestock, we come to things for the stock pot!  Yum!  Look at this size of this wonderful squash!  It was huge, and had the delighful variety name of "Red Warty Thing."  I would like to try growing this one next year!
Also, there were some very large cabbages to be seen.
But as I've said, it was really hot, so Jordan and I had to find something nice and cooling to do.  That's where the amazing Bauder's Pharmacy Peppermint Ice Cream Bar comes into its prime.  This thing is a true work of art.  A beautiful thing to behold on a hot day.  Peppermint ice cream, fudge sauce, and crushed Oreos.  Yes, bliss on a spoon.
And then, not to be gluttonous, but a wine-a-rita was the perfect way to top it off.  Wine with crushed ice and berry mix all made into a sort of slushy thing.  Yum.

Hey...Lucky Nickel...where did you come from?  What are you doing in the house??  What are....  ACK!  Mmmff..mfff...fmmmm..

There.  I tied her up with baling twine.  I know how to use my hooves.  I am Ninja Goat!!  Can you believe all this blathering on about the fair....and the very obvious lack of discussion of GOATS?!  Yeah, well check out the evidence I found on her precious Blackberry....

She's having friendly relations with OTHER GOATS!!!  Entire pens full of them!  Look at this!  Despicable.  Oh, and I heard her saying how cute they all were, and friendly too, and I could SMELL GOAT on her hands!  Yes I could!!  

Even with those stupid earless La Mancha goats!  Look at this picture.  It's clear she is madly in love with this goat.  Where is the justice, I ask you?
And then.  THEN!  Most shocking of ALL!  
I am telling you right now, that I am NEVER having my udder shaved.  If I ever have an udder.  This is just plain indecency.  I demand a retraction from the Editor.
Oh wait.  I am the Editor.  Claire thinks she is the Editor but she is wrong.  Well, as Editor, I hereby forbid this sort of behaviour on Whispering Acres Farm.  I'm leaving Claire tied up for a while, until she knows I'm serious.  I am the Spokesgoat and the Ultimate Goat and the Divine Goat and the only goat that is really needed here.  I tolerate the other goats here, but this....this....flagrant fawning over other people's goats must stop.  And any ideas about udder shaving are just a non starter.  

Next year maybe I'll enter Claire in the State Fair and see what she thinks of it then.  Hmpf.  Now...where did I put my bag of peanuts?

Monday, August 9, 2010

My human has gone soft in the head...

It's me again.  Lucky Nickel!  But now, I'm not sure how lucky I am.  The hens and I are consulting about a situation that happened today.  I think my human has gone soft in the head.  It could be serious.  Let me tell you what happened that has led to my suspicions.

Today, it was very hot out.  Really sticky hot, like a rotting zucchini in the sun.  But hotter.

The human came outside to give everybody some additional water, because everybody was really thirsty today.  That part was normal.  She went around with the hose like she usually does, and talked to everybody a little bit.  She especially talked to me, and patted me on the head.  I like that.

Some of the water containers are bigger than others.  That means the human has to stand around in the shade waiting for the water to fill up to the top.  I noticed that she was looking a little sticky herself.  Not quite like the rotting zucchini, but sort of red in the face and she was getting a bit drippy on her forehead.  It's not very ladylike you know.  I, being a beautiful small goat, do not get drippy on my forehead.  My white fur enables me to repel all the sun's rays and I stay beautiful and demurely dry at all times.  Not so with my human.

I tried to help her, because I could sense her distress.  It's best, when the human is sticky, to lick the back of her knees.
This makes her giggle.  I think she forgets about her distress then.  She says it's ticklish.

I don't like ticks so I don't know why she thinks it has anything at all to do with ticks.  Anyway, like I said, she might be soft in the head.

So then the human filled the duck pond.  She was standing there, watching the ducks do their thing in the pond.  I don't go into the pond.  It is not befitting a goat of my status.

That's when it happened.  She said "This heat is not fit for man nor beast."  I know that's what she said, I had my ears up.  I looked around.  So did the chickens.

 I tell you, in all sincerity, there was no man there.  And definitely, there was no beast.  Do you think we have a beast?  I haven't seen one.  I'm a bit worried about this because we do have the woods, and there might be a beast in there, but I'm fairly sure it was just that my human was hallucinating.

And then....oh it's so embarrassing...I'm not even sure if I should tell you.  She looked at the duck pond, and looked at the hose in her hand, and looked at the duck pond again....and then...oh dear....she just turned the hose around and sprayed herself with it all over, until she was absolutely dripping wet.  And you know what...she laughed!  She stood there, playing under the hose, and laughing.  I looked carefully again for any sign of a man or a beast, in case she was trying to scare them away by making them think she was a lunatic, but there was nothing.  She stood there and stuck the hose straight into her face and tipped her head back and ran it down her neck and back and then she said "Ahhh....that's better" and walked over and shut off the hose.

That's when I knew.  The heat had cooked her head.  Please send help.  I'm not sure if we'll get fed tomorrow.