Thursday, July 23, 2015

Goats or no goats?

I'm arguing with myself. This is not an unusual state of affairs around here. Different day, different subject, same premise! I'm feeling urged to do something crazy and time-consuming.

WHY???? you ask?

Sigh. Me, too. I kind of blame Alaska and our daughter Sarah...

This was the drive back from the Yukon in Canada to Alaska... Stunning. Gorgeous. Inspirational... And we went to the coolest agritainment farm, Caribou Crossing Traders Post!

Sarah keeps talking about Agri-tainment, the industry of using agriculture for entertainment. We've got 50 acres, not huge, but plenty to have some fun with, right?

And she's got a valid point, with more small farms going under, there are fewer fun places to go for kids to learn about country life, rural living, animals, veggies, fruits and Ruthy's amazingly good baked goods.

The goats became our buds in the Yukon...

So that's what I'm contemplating.

I think I'd like to have little goats. Not in the house. In a pen. With a cute little house of their own so that the goat poop stays outside. That makes sense, right? And have baby goats.

I'm clearly meant to be a birther/mother/nurturer. I get this. I love nurturing and caring for kids and critters, but do I need more work?

Surely not.

Do I need goat fleece or milk?


And yet, I'm still exploring this WONDERFUL IDEA about getting goats. I'm going to visit a goat farmer. I'm reading about their care. I'm thinking of how best to fence these fence climbing/hopping little critters in.... and fencing the resident coyotes and bears out.

Maybe Beansy and Daisy inspired me. Beansy was in "Falling for the Lawman"

And Daisy was in my most recent Kirkwood Lake book, "Healing the Lawman's Heart". She gave birth to TRIPLETS, a buckling and two doelings.... Can I hear an "aww...."????

So that's where I'm at.



I might be doomed. It is okay to talk me out of this. Plead the common sense of the situation. Long, cold winters, tending farm critters.

I blame this place: Caribou Crossing in the Klondike.



All you can eat fried cakes after delicious chicken barbecue... and salt potatoes. And rolls. And cole slaw.

As I finish up these two summer book projects (second Grace Haven Love Inspired book, LOVE IT!) and a Christmas novella with a heaven-sent twist....

I have to spend some time outside working the veggies, caring for 50 chickens, gathering and washing eggs, meeting customers...

And contemplating how to build a boardwalk so folks can visit the goats!  :)

Your turn. Tell me I'm crazy. Remind me of how much work I already have, but gosh, life's to be lived, right? And I love being busy.

Which doesn't mean I'm not crazy!

I brought some cookies for you to eat while we mull this together.


  1. When we were at the coast, we went to a BBQ at a house/farm/river front area that had (prepare yourself) donkeys, goats, peacocks, llamas, chickens, geese, cows, a giant koi pond, etc. This sweet older couple are foster parents who take in teens (only teens, and usually boys) and do respite care for other foster parents. They said they bought their first animals just so the kids would feel better when they came to stay for a respite weekend.
    Then they got kayaks, paddle boats, ATVs, etc. Boys like to go, go, go.
    Anyway, I can see it, Ruthy. This woman had such a beautiful, sprawling, custom house but everything was geared for fun and adventure. She and her husband are going to the Amazon (it was on his bucket list) soon, right after they drove down to Arizona, helping a former foster kid move into his very first dorm room. They were such a hoot, and such gracious hosts to our crew.
    (Funny, she overheard me talking about needing to buy cinnamon to make cinnamon rolls and she FORCED me to take a baggy of cinnamon home. LOL. Just that kind of person. "You need cinnamon? I got cinnamon! TAKE IT.")
    This is all to say "yes" to the goats. What are we here for, if not to bring a little joy to other people and be useful in the process?

    P.S. All I see are doughnuts. Not sure where the fried cakes are.

    1. A YES vote!!! I knew you'd understand!

      Okay, is this a regional thing? When I was in Cle Elum, they called a maple long john a "Maple Bar", even though it was a long doughnut.... And here we call the circular doughnuts with holes in the middle fried cakes.... So that's funny, right? They get called donuts, or doughnuts, too, but fried cakes is customary.

      Fried cake doughnuts is the real term I guess... So we tweaked it here! It's like pop and soda. Upstaters say "pop" but I've raised enough East coast big city kids so now I can say soda without cringing!


      Now I need to make fried cake doughnuts!!!!!

    2. REALLY? Fried cakes? that is funny! I thought you were just messing with us, I've never heard of that one. A little bit too explanatory. Like "pizza pie". I thought New Yorkers were supposed to love doing everything quick and would have shortened it to pizza super quick.

      Yup, maple bars! They're my favorite. Never heard of long johns. Maybe doughnuts are the last areas of linguistic change in a region. Don't mess with the doughnuts/ fried cakes!

      And my parents made cold pressed apple cider and fresh doughnuts every fall. Now there's a great memory for a kid! Heavenly!

    3. I don't care what you call them! Donuts, doughnuts, long johns (to me, those are just long yeast donuts), apple fritters, bear claws, fry cakes... Just pass the donuts and no one will get hurt :)

  2. I like goats. You could branch into a whole new industry -- goat milk, goat cheese, goat soap. LOL. That will keep you busy. But don't stop at goats -- get some goat herding dogs -- shelties usually herd sheep but they're versatile -- and then they can take care of the goats for you. :-)

    I read an Amish book where the heroine had miniature goats....argh, can't remember the title...but I learned lots about goats. Mainly that they are escape artists. But very sweet and pet like too. But super escape artists.

    Oh -- and you won't every have to mow your lawn with goats. Which reminds me of another side business. Rent a goat. There's a lady around here who brings a few goats to the suburbs and for a fee, her goats will mow your lawn and fertilize it at the same time. You could bring a stool along and write while the goats graze. Multi-tasking, you know?

    1. Hahaha! They are versatile creatures. But they leap like kangaroos so containing them is a problem... And the littler ones are reputed to have some birthing problems/issues, but we found that with dogs, too. Not every story has a happy ending and that's part of life.

      Kav, great insight! I want to start a rent-a-goat biz now! (possibly kidding about that!)

  3. Ruthy I can so see you with goats. My friend has them. She lives in a grandfathered area in Tempe where you can have animals. So strange in a city to see them. But baby goats are ADORABLE. You will love them. They get into everything though so be warned. LOL

    1. My children want to disown me.... because when I go away, they'll have to take care of the little critters!!! :)

  4. Goats. Ruthy with goats. Hmmm.....

    Now, I'd love to have goats, but we have a measley .33 acre (that's 1/3 of an acre - NOT thirty-three of them!), and we live in a city that has decided to ban hens, bees, goats, you name it.

    Some people think the powers that be are just being mean, but I get the "we don't want to provide a reason for the mountain lions to hunt in town more than they do" argument!

    But to have a couple goats to help teach city/suburban kids about more farm animals? Why not?

    And then there's the "rent-a-goat" side business. They're supposed to be great at mowing lawns!

    So I vote yes. After all, I live too far away for you to ask me to take care of them when you're traveling! :)

    1. Mountain lions get hungry. Didn't they have some as far south as Omaha? And what was that big cat in Milwaukee???

      A cousin was hunting our back woods (about 6 acres, linking two bigger woods) about 3 years ago. He was in a tree stand when a big cat wandered through. Bill said "Oh, Ruth, it was big enough to make me stay absolutely still and take notice."

      So was it a mountain lion? Who knows? Bill figured it was and I totally get that creatures follow the food!!!

  5. There's not much cuter than a baby goat! That's all I'm saying. :)