Friday, January 9, 2009


Thank God, it's Friday!!! This has seemed like the longest week. Maybe because the weather has been icky. Today is the first day that we have seen any sunshine in forever. Anyway, Bruce is out on the fence errand right now. We checked out our options, weighed all the pros and cons, and finally decided on a real fence (as opposed to the invisible electric fence). We have found a pretty wrought iron fence and gate at Lowe's that should do the trick. After all, its a straight shot across the courtyard. Exactly 24 feet from one corner of the house to the other. Its not ideal, because the dogs will need us to let them in and out of the gate if they want to go out into the actual backyard. But then again, my blind dog sometimes gets lost out there and I have to go retrieve him. Not a problem most of the time, but last Tuesday....when it was raining like crazy at 6:30 am, and I had to go tracking him down to get him back inside while wearing a nightgown?? I was not happy. This way, I will never have to go outside of the little courtyard area to bring him back in. If the weather is bad, that is.

There was also a question of whether or not the invisible fence would actually contain the goats.
Or detain them. Or restrain them....or whatever you want to call it. Goats are apparently quite stubborn, and there were some reviews/reports of goats taking the quick electrical shock just to get to wherever they wanted to be. Some goat owners reported seeing the goats getting a good running start, to minimize the shock time, and then just barreling right over the fence line.
Well, yay. That would be just what I needed. All that time and money on an invisible fence and then look out the study door to see the goats back on the porch stoop muching away on our door.
I would have a fit. But hopefully this fence will do the trick. Its supposed to be easy to install. The posts are hollow with sharp points that you drive into the ground. Then the fence panels just slide into the hollow poles. We can't see it needing professional installation. So, guess what we will be doing tomorrow? I hope my goats have one last final good night on that back porch, because by tomorrow evening, their time to loiter and nibble on door frames will hopefully have come to an end.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I LOVE me some purses, ya'll. Handbags, pocketbooks, whatever you want to call them. Shopping for a new purse is almost a religious experience for me. I prefer a leather bag. I just can't quite get into the other materials. I always see these really cute woven straw bags for summer, but they just don't seem substantial enough. I need something tough that can stand up to some abuse.
I was shopping around, just looking at bags. I don't need one right now, really. But I keep an eye on whats new, whats on sale....etc. And then I spotted THIS bag. Premium grade, hand-selected African crocodile. In a shade of purple that makes me want it right this instant. By Ralph Lauren. I can almost smell that new leather smell.
But then....then I spotted the price tag. And it made me do a double-take. This bag, exquisite as it is, retails for a cool $16,995.00. I was prepared for the 16 part. Like 16 hundred....but almost 17 THOUSAND???? No way. Not in this lifetime. Not even if I had millions of dollars stashed away somewhere. You can buy a car for that much cash. You could feed multitudes of hungry people for that. I wouldn't even feel right carrying something like that around. Who actually buys these things? I want to know.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Before and After

I know what you are thinking. These are some fine, lovely little goats. The best goats EVER!! But this picture is not about the goats, even though they are fabulous. What I want you to take notice of is the door behind them. This is the before shot, when the goats had been here only for about 24 hours.

This picture is from today. A mere 2 weeks later. Notice anything different? These goats are literally eating our house. They have chewed this doorframe to shreds. We have spent the past week or so trying to come up with a solution. One that does not involve goat kabobs on the grill.
I tried a cayenne pepper/water spray solution that apparently only enhanced the flavor of the wood. Then I tried spraying straight bleach. The bleach made them pause periodically to take a drink of water, but other than that, they kept right on munching.

The man at the local feed and seed store recommended something called "Don't Chew" that will stop horses from nibbling on things, but again....the goats seem unfazed by it. Now we are looking into a fence. My house is a big U shape, and this unfortunate door opens up in the middle of the U into what could be called a courtyard. Of course, the word "courtyard" implies a beautiful landscaped space, and the dogs have destroyed everything we ever tried to put out there. But whatever. If we could just figure out a way to keep them out of the courtyard, off of this little porch stoop and away from this particularly tasty door everything would be fine and dandy.

We are actually considering an invisible fence that runs just along the outside line of the courtyard. The backyard beyond that is fenced in already. It might just work. If we put the transmitter collars on the goats so that they would stay out in the yard area where they have not only a hay-filled shed, but a covered shelter as well, the dogs could continue to roam freely all over the fenced in yard. We don't necessarily want to have to confine them to the courtyard. Or have to run outside every 5 minutes to open the gate for them to go in and out. I don't know.....I have never been a fan of using an electric shock on animals. But this situation calls for something beyond the norm. We have to do something, and we have to do something fast. We hope to have something installed as early as this weekend. Before they eat their way through the door and we have goats rampaging all over the house.

I love them. I really, really do. They are so cute when they are out there playing. They jump and leap and head butt each other and its so fun to watch them. goats have proven to be a real handful. This is tougher than I thought it would be. Still, I am optimistic that we can figure it all out somehow. If you had asked me Tuesday morning, I might have had a different opinion. I woke up to pouring rain, had trouble getting the dogs to go outside to do their business. I ended up getting soaked. The dogs were soaked. And at some point in that whole unholy ordeal, the goats pushed that door open (yes, the tasty door), and were running through the house. Only briefly. My screams of primal rage drove them back outside in a pretty big hurry. But when my husband got out of the shower and came down to the kitchen to get his first cup of coffee, he found me in tears saying how "I just don't know if I can do this!" My goats made me cry. But I am determined to make it all work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
As long as it doesn't involve a grill, or a fork, or anything culinary.

Wind Storms and Gym Tales....

I am sitting here in the middle of a helluva wind storm right now. The electricity just came back on, but it could go back out at any moment. It went out right around dinner time, so we are having cereal/sandwiches or whatever. The wrecking of the dinner plans doesn't bother me at all. The lack of electricity, however, bothers me a great deal. I swear I can hear shingles blowing off our poor roof....again. And my poor goats are outside and probably scared.

So, with the wicked weather we skipped going to the gym tonight. Well, there's that AND the fact that we have been trying to be very diligent with our gym-going since New Years and we are both so stiff and sore that we can barely walk. I figure 1 night off to heal won't hurt too much. I have this schedule of classes that I like to go to. The one that my husband and I BOTH try to make every Monday (and occasionally Wed. except for tonight) is Body Pump. Its a head to toe conditioning class where we use barbells with adjustable weights to work out every major muscle group. Think weighted barbells slung across the back of your shoulders while you do squats to some upbeat music for dozens upon dozens of repetitions. We do that with arms and abs and all of that, but its the squats that always get me. She makes us do singles, then slow ones where you go down for a slow count of four then back up again....slowly. But I think its the "bottom half" ones that hurt the most. The ones where you have to stay down and only do halfway up little ones as many as 8 at a time before you can come up for air. And thats why our legs hurt so damned much.

Anyway, I am sure that everybody has some characters at their gyms. I try not to get annoyed.
I mean, we are all there to get healthy, so I TRY to withhold judgement. But there is the "Door Opening" Woman that I totally do NOT get. Door Opening Woman always comes to this Pump class. She is a tiny, skinny little thing who looks like a nervous wreck. She props the class studio doors open and proceeds to go through the whole entire routine right there, in the middle of the open doors. It drives me crazy. I imagine it drives the other people right outside crazy, too. The studio is fairly sound proof, because the music is upbeat and loud. Right outside are all these elliptical/treadmill/bikes/ and weight machines. Do you think those people want to have to listen to our instructor bellow out orders over this loud music? I wonder if maybe Door Opening woman might be claustrophobic. I mean, I am claustrophobic to some degree. A crowded elevator, for instance, makes me nervous. But an large open studio with glass windows just doesn't panic me.

And then there is "Leaving" woman. Leaving woman shows up to Pump class pretty much every week, but at some point or another, she leaves for a period of time and then comes back.
What the hell? Surely a grown adult could make it through an hour class without having to stop and pee or whatever. I mean, I am sure it could happen that you need to excuse yourself to make a restroom stop. But EVERY SINGLE TIME??? Maybe she just can't get through the whole routine without a break, but honestly other people just hang out right there until they catch their breath again. Strange. But then again, I have noticed that its during the leg lunges when she leaves most of the time. Maybe she has bad knees or something. Lunges are pretty hard on the knees. I was having a heck of a time with those until my daughter came to the class with me while she was in town and gave me the sage advice to drop my back leg even further back. It makes balancing a little sketchy, but it does help with the knee problems. I don't know.
I sometimes want to ask these people: "What the hell?" But I don't.

And then, at the end of Pump class there is a ten minute stretching segment that is probably my favorite part. Like at the end of Yoga there is a meditation. But half the class rudely makes a mass exodus, stomping all over the rest of us who are trying to finish the class. Rushing to put up their equipment. It annoys the instructors, you can tell. I usually make an effort to position myself on the left side of the studio. The right side has the exit door (which will probably be propped open if Door Opening Woman is there), and I have been nearly trampled on several occasions. It always makes me want to scream, "If you really can't spare the time to finish the last 10 minutes of the class, then stay the heck home." Have a little respect for those of us who enjoy the ending part. If I don't have the chance to stretch it out, I will be too crippled to hobble out of the gym afterwards.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Taking Down the Tree

Usually, taking down the tree makes me sad. But this year, I had LOTS of "help". At least Vixen didn't discover the art of Christmas Tree climbing until AFTER the holidays. But once she got the hang of it, she was unstoppable. She would bat off ornaments from the inside of the tree, and I would pick them up and put them away. Thank God for carpeting. Nothing got broken.
The lights? They weren't quite so random and scattered before Vixen got involved. My husband takes pride in his light stringing ability. I shudder to think what is going to happen next year when she will be big enough to break ornaments, and topple the tree.....What will I do? NOT putting up a tree is not an option.

But then, I look at this face, and I can't really care about the inconvenience of it all....Too Cute!!
Yeah, she has us all wrapped around her tiny little paw, and thats ok.

The spot that she is "nesting" in is about 3/4's of the way to the top. No bottom limb, stay safely near the floor antics for this little dare devil. No way.