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Moo, Baaa, Maaaa, Wha-huh?

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Out hiking with a group today, I stopped to tie my shoe and one of the male hikers went around me, continuing on the trail, but also making sure to say this to me:

"Bahhaahaaaaa" [use whatever inflections you like. it was meant as pleasant]

I did not understand, so in that understanding (not, 'repeat yourself'), I asked, "What?", with highly quizzical look on my face to go with the question.

He repeated the noise, as if to aid my understanding and that all made sense with that repetition.

I suppose because I didn't laugh and because I was wondering if this was a rude thing going on, he decided to explain himself: "You're the goat-farmer."

"Oh. Oh, yes." I wish I hadn't said "Yes", but the odd encounter threw me.
I would have liked to explain that:

1. I farm in terms of fruits and vegetables
2. I am not a goat farmer
a. My goats are all male and ...are also fixed.
b. I don't milk my goats, make goat-cheese or breed goats (see above, a.)

3. My goats are companion-goats, and are trained for hiking.

But most of all...
....if you have a dog and I know it,
do you want me to come up to you
and it be a wonderful inside joke between us?

(to have goats. it would be weird for me to bark at you...i ...think??.....)

It's different.

But it's okay to start a conversation: "how are your goats?" "what kind of goats are they?" "what do they eat?" "how did you train them?"

I understand that this man was socially awkward, but it's often the socially awkward who kind of, in a way, speak for everyone else who's polite (see: "MAMA SHE'S FAT!"). So feel free to ask questions. They're my therapy animals to me, since a dog was going to take forever to get approved, be a year+ process and expensive--I'd have to be on disability to qualify.

Note that my dear goats were not *on* this hiking outing, but that this particular man overheard me talking about my goats to someone else (who said, "SO YOU'RE THE GOAT-PERSON!") BTW, *that's* more than okay. If *you're* a "dog person"...sure, I'm a goat-person, even perhaps THE goat-person...

Imma really gonna have to start
"The Snack Brothers"
for Snicker, Doodle and NutterButter.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLCOLMAN 12/18/2014 5:12PM

    Hi!! Remember me :) Goats!!! How awesome :)

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CINDYAST 2/10/2014 8:07PM

    I'm sure he didn't mean anything disrespectful, he was most likely just joking around and being silly. People get that way when they're out enjoying a hike! You could ask him if he has animals, and bark or meow at him on the next outing. Maybe not, that could be awkward! lol! Enjoy your hiking group anyway!

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MRS_TOAD 2/10/2014 8:35AM

    Well that was certainly a different way to interact with another! Wow!

Can't wait to see pictures of Snicker and Doodle.

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WRITEAWAY 2/9/2014 11:21PM

    It's not a matter of better companions in terms of gender; it's who gets eaten normally. So....male goats are usually only raised for procreating with females, ...being eaten... or being someone's pet. That's it. Bottom line. Because of that, males are often considered "rescues".

One of our goats, NutterButter, was from a farm that raises goats to sell, and for the females to produce milk (and milk products). They know their trade and keep things impeccably clean and healthy--it felt great just to visit there.

The other two goats we have, Snicker and Doodle, came from an animal rescue--the woman who runs the business is clearly overworked with this as a kind of 2nd full-time job. She vets her animals herself, and works hard to find safe homes for every kind of throwaway animal she finds...while having a paid full-time job as well.

However, Snicker and Doodle were born on the farm / rescue center, and cared for there for the few months before we adopted them.

The places we adopted from have very different philosophies and ways to go about things, but I have found in talking to others who have goats that there are at least as many different opinions about how to raise a goat, as there are goat-lovers.

ie, When to wean...

Whether to 'disbud'--some burn the horns off soon after birth

What the goats should be fed--"only hay" (plus their minerals) says one person...

When they should be 'fixed'...

oh, i went on past your actual question emoticon emoticon

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WALLAHALLA 2/9/2014 10:47PM

    Are male goats better companions than female? I don't have much experience with goats, so I really am curious, and interested.

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WRITEAWAY 2/9/2014 10:43PM

    Yes! I have to work on getting pics of the three of them *out there* emoticon

(still on the camera SD card....)

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RAPUNZEL53 2/9/2014 9:59PM

  Would love to see a picture of your goat!

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Assessing January Goals: II: Weekly

Thursday, January 30, 2014

My weekly goals were harder to hit than my monthly ones--in some ways. Actually, I made it to the Y to exercise FOUR times a week two of the weeks, and at least two when I still had shingles....which...may not have been wise.

And, *with* the Polar Vortex AND shingles, I did still get out to hike ...twice. ....once for three hours instead of an hour an a half, oops.

I did keep my heart-rate within my target range.

And I think I kept up with water intake very well (I needed to all the more since the shingles medicine makes a person thirsty).

What happened only once at the gym, and otherwise ...in life... was strength training. For this next month, I'm going to look at being more mindful of adding that in~

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITEAWAY 1/31/2014 9:21PM

    [sheepish look]


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NPDSLEUTH 1/31/2014 7:19PM

    I was going to say this but you already heard it -- get healthy FIRST! Shingles are NASTY lady. Once you get healthy, you'll lose the weight.

Look at me -- if I didn't let this tendon heal properly, I bet I wouldn't be snow shoeing in about a week!

You can do this but be good to yourself in the process!!!!

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WRITEAWAY 1/31/2014 12:15PM


i want to shed this body weight so badly that i'm not being mindful of getting *healthy* physically FIRST.....

today in fact, we're supposed to get a bunch of family stuff done and i've just hit the wall---can't go any further forward....

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MRS_TOAD 1/31/2014 8:48AM

    Don't forget to allow your body to heal! (Maybe you might want to check out how much exercise you should be doing with your second round of shingles???)

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Assessing January Goals: I: Monthly

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I made a number of short-term goals for the month of January, both physical and all-over-wellness, and weekly as well as monthly.

As for the one-time goals for the month, even though the month was overshadowed by (now), TWO bouts of shingles (ouch!), I pushed myself hard to do what I could....perhaps a bit too much even---but I'm doing okay.

I did not make yoga once this month, BUT, yesterday, my older son and I went to Tai Chi (which met right after Beginner Yoga does). My son is committed to going to yoga once a week, so I'm sure to make it at *least* once in February (lawd willin' and the crik don't rise).

As for swimming, yes, I was able to go once this month with my sons, and had time to connect with my 17-year-old through swimming. Since then, I've also gone on my own a number of times while he's been at school. I feel like this should be upped to 2x / month with my son and then just swim for some of my personal YMCA time as well, for February.

Shingles got in the way of volunteering---both the orientation and then an actual volunteer session at Capital District Community Gardens. The Volunteer Coordinator said that she can get me in for an orientation one-to-one whenever I'm feeling up to it. I just need to calm my brain down and feel settled with some of my older son's activities and then I'll re-connect with her. I look forward to meeting *these* goals for February.

My hopes for sewing lessons got blindsided by my dear friend (my teacher) breaking her arm and getting surgery. This ice has been rather treacherous this winter, even when we're used to knowing how to deal with it. Post-surgery, I've been able to visit with her, and, after she's recovered a bit more, she very much wants to work on sewing lessons with me since she's homebound, stir-crazy, bored and ready to see people.

I think the monthly goals, given the context of the Polar Vortex and the sickness of shingles, worked out rather well, and that having both monthly and weekly goals are helpful. I'll revisit this for February emoticon

OH--I just remembered: I have been trying to find a healthy therapy connection, a counselor who meets my needs and connects well with me and my specific diagnosis. I had made it a goal for January to "make three phone calls"...which was rather random. However, because my list of referrals is long, I wrote a letter, photocopied it, and sent it out to forty professionals. The answers have been coming in the past two weeks. All but one is "no", but they all also tell me that they can search for referrals for me as well. After years of this being a HUGE issue for me (finding the right match), I've suddenly made very impressive (am I acknowledging what I did that was good??) strides. I've wanted a plumeria plant / tree for YEARS, and so for this hard work, I'm going to reward myself with ordering one (they don't arrive until March when it should be warmer). I feel negative toward myself in regard to not doing more....and yet..... this is very important progress. Just because I'm not THERE yet, doesn't mean that I haven't gone, say, 24 of the 26.2 miles of the marathon of finding someone helpful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITEAWAY 1/30/2014 10:05PM

    (((THANK YOU for the encouragement))) emoticon emoticon

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DRKPKING 1/30/2014 11:32AM


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MRS_TOAD 1/30/2014 7:40AM

    Despite the weather, your illness and all the other curve balls life threw at you, you did very well.

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WRITEAWAY 1/29/2014 8:26PM

    I get excited to see your name in my inbox because you are so often right here to encourage me. Thanks for the automatic smile you put on my face~!

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CINDYAST 1/29/2014 8:15PM


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Vision and Strategy, Part 3

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

So....the grief-work is laid out, the vision is there to see, and so logically, to reach.

Steps. Part of the grief is that there may be more steps than I WANT to take. However, when I stop being stuck in the frustration, shame and pain, and start *taking* the steps, well, I'm going to get there sooner.

The Journey of January

Starting with specific, attainable, measurable goals

~ Continue to make progress in taking daily medications and vitamins toward health and healing (ongoing until we kick some of the medicines off the list). I have a spreadsheet for this and I just check each thing off, each day.

~ Continue to hydrate well (12-24 cups / day)

~ Exercise for 30-about 120 minutes, with a heart-rate between 130-150 (no higher at this point), 2-4 times per week:

* One-two times a week snowshoeing or hiking
* One-two times at the YMCA, either at beginner Yoga, swimming with Elisha, or using the machines like the elliptical

~ For January, try Beginner Yoga *once*.

~ Weeks 1-3, start with 10 minutes of strength training a week.

~ Check in with Sparkpeople 5 min / day, and no more than an hour and a half. If I'm spending more time sitting at the computer (reading / tracking goals, etc), then I'm defeating the purpose


Some of the others for whole-self, wholeness?

I know that some people set a goal of reading one hundred books in a year. At the same time, I know that the average American does not read ONE in a year. I know that people in book-clubs / discussion groups read one / month. ...maybe that's a good starting point.

But.... I don't want to rush through books. I'm going to say:

~ Read at least 2 hours / week.

~ Begin the workbook on "Mindfulness" by Jamie Marich

I'm hopeful about a sewing lesson or two, but that's a gift from a friend, so that can't be a goal at this point---instead, a desire, that, when met, is greeted with joy~!

It will be important for me to continue my search for a competent and compassionate counselor to connect with (I was raised Baptist; you have to do that when you write, ahhh, alliteration).

A goal of two phone calls this month?...


~ Go to Capital District Community Garden's January orientation session

~ Volunteer once more in service at CDCG.

I need to spend time each day on how to empower my children in their young adulthood, whether it's driving lessons, or a trip to a library....but I don't see this in a category for goals, since goals are personal. I can't find the specifics for *me* in this yet, besides

~ Swim at the Y once this month (since that's how Elisha and I connect, and I can get him to talk / open up)

I think the other, over-arching goal is to assess
....how manic I might be getting about this
....how obsessed I might be getting
.....how other things / people might be getting lost
.....how to account for things like accounting, errands, chores

How working on these goals effects and affects me, and those I love.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITEAWAY 1/2/2014 12:34AM

    You *do* really seem to know me, don't you emoticon

You've always been good to me.....

(((Thank you)))

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MRS_TOAD 1/1/2014 10:11AM

    Now that you have set your goals, remember as you work towards them to be gentle with yourself.

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Vision and Strategy, Part 2

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I wrote about working through the emotional part of new vision in order to create a strategy for health (including weight loss).

I'm going to work at an attempt again, let's say on the 1-100 scale, of creating *steps* throughout short-term goals to get to ....my 100's.

What are some of my 100's, my long-term goals?

~ Being an ADK 46'er, winter and summer

~ Being able to bike 10-20 miles at a time regularly

~ Doing one cycling century

~ Finishing my BA.....and... perhaps more...

~ Sustain and maintain joyful gainful employment

~ Give my children wings, empowering them for their future in ways that I can

~ Foster and adopt children as Caleb and Elisha grow into their late 20's and 30's (With Linda, together...we seem to be family and have that same vision)

~ Create a plot of garden for vegetables, herbs and perennial fruits and vegetables that is about one thousand square feet---this is what my garden vision used to be at my first house; just as I got it to that level, I had to flee my X.

~ Have various fruit-trees and bushes besides, as well as well-maintained flowerbeds (even though, yes, we have goats, heh...)

~ Make a quilt (currently I've had 2? sewing lessons....). Big goal.

~ Heal significantly from current illnesses, divorce-trauma, church / christianity-shunning related trauma and ...childhood trauma, all in a way to live as wholly as possible.

~ Oh, okay, the actual number: lose 85 pounds; gain muscle and gain new abilities.

I think this covers a lot of the biggies. And... they *are* big. Dreaming is okay, and in fact essential.

Between 2005 up through recently, I've been afraid to dream, full of the fear of HOPE. There was so much trauma in those years that HOPE was frightening.

After leaving my family of origin at 19, I became a Face-the-Fear person....until 2005. There can be a new day again, one with bravery and joy. It can be, and it can be good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITEAWAY 1/4/2014 3:41PM

    THANK YOU Nikki~! Your encouragement means so much.

And yes, I use the goal-board too....I just wanted to journal some out of my system..

Yes! Cheers to a healthy New Year~

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NPDSLEUTH 1/3/2014 7:48AM

    I love how you sat down and really thought through your goals. The mix of diet-exercise and just healthful living (quilting, gardening) is a great idea. You've motivated me to think more along those lines, too.

It doesn't matter how daunting the goals seem, really. I remember when I first wrote I'd lose 100 pounds. It seemed impossible, but if I hadn't written it down -- well -- I wouldn't have achieved it.

That's what is great about what you did here. Visualization is a great way to start.

Do you use your goal board BTW? I just started mine and it really did help.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2014!


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WRITEAWAY 12/31/2013 10:09PM

    It's important to me that on all of these "Vision and Strategy" blogs that people don't post *only* icons / emoticons please. This was very thought-out and a few words would be kinder to me. Thanks and great New Year to you all~!

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