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Indoor Fireworks

4th of July was different this year. Normally Phil and I are gung-ho to show off our team and wagon in a parade, but we weren’t quite prepared this time, having been out of town so much in June, so we stuck close to home. Phil went for a little hike while I stayed home and caught up on some office work.

Yeti ended up helping me in the office. I kept hearing plaintive baby goat cries circling the house so I went out to see what was going on. The herd was nowhere to be found and Yeti was wandering very despondently by himself. I took pity on the poor abandoned waif and invited him up to the office. “Wheeee!!!” 

Our office is crammed full of interesting things for a baby goat to sniff, chew, hide behind, and play on.

Yeti politely introduced himself to our “cowch.” 

“Ooohh… squishy!” 

“I wonder if I can get milk from here?”

The swivel chair was especially fun to play on! 

“Can I watch YouTube videos?

I made him get down from my desk, so he decided to try out Phil’s.  

The excitement level escalated very quickly after this and I had to abandon the camera and go into full chaos control mode as Yeti began zipping up and down stairs, launching on and off chairs and couches, ricocheting around the walls, and chewing everything within reach. He was also shedding hair all over the place.  As soon as his mother came back to claim him, he was outside!

“I love you, Yeti, but you’re not easy house guest any more, wild man!”    

Back to the Ol’ Stomping Grounds

At the end of June, Phil and I took a quick trip to Creede and Lake City to visit family and friends. The Creede visit included a reunion of my dad’s side of the family where we gathered to celebrate my aunt Jenny’s 45th anniversary of being in business there with her shop, Rare Things. It was a great time with aunts, uncles, and cousins. We went hiking, we went on a mine tour, we visited the Creede museum, we went to a Rare Things celebratory dance at the Elks Lodge, and we ate a lot of good food.

Here I am overlooking the town of Creede.  

Phil tried to roll this boulder off the hillside. He was not successful. 

The best part of the Creede Museum was this homemade bowling ball cannon out front! It was an extremely “redneck” design but apparently it worked extremely well. The man who made it would shoot bowling balls across the valley, right over the town of Creede! Those bowling balls would fly half a mile! Unfortunately the sheriff made him stop one day after he almost nailed some people hiking down the trail above Creede. Please note: This is all modern history–not some decades-old story that happened in the wild west days. 

Phil just had to grab a bit at The Mac Mine food truck, which specialized in selling macaroni ‘n’ cheese to which you could add various toppings. 

After Creede, we took a brief trip to Lake City to visit some friends there. Lake City had a very heavy winter with as much as 400% of average snowfall. Numerous avalanches came down the mountainsides, blocking roads and even taking out one house belonging to the local sheriff. He and his daughters miraculously survived, but the house was obliterated.

Phil and I took ourselves on an “avalanche tour” of the valleys around Lake City and saw dozens of slides of various sizes.

A lot of timber came down, making it very difficult to open the 4WD roads out of Lake City. Several of the avalanches were so big they wiped out trees way up the opposite side of the mountain from which they came down. I was told there is a slide up near Animas Forks (between Lake City and Silverton) that has snow and logs piled 120 feet deep. They don’t know if they will be able to open the pass this summer, which if course is hurting tourism.

It was cool to watch the water disappear under the huge masses of snow, dirt, and logs, only to reappear further down. 

The high water is also hurting tourism since fishing is usually one of Lake City’s biggest draws. Maybe the fall fishing will make up for it this year. During our trip, Henson Creek was overflowing its banks just above Snowden Meadow where we held the 2017 NAPgA Rendy.  

The sturdy log bridges we built at the Rendy two years ago got washed away in this year’s floods. 

But the rock dam we built stayed in place and kept the water from flowing down the trail as it once did! 

Also, the rock we placed on this 30 feet of trail is still going strong and staying above water. Finn helped move these rocks! 

And we saw a moose in the willows near the riverbank. This was Phil’s first time seeing a moose in the wild. The photo is so lousy we could probably claim we actually saw Bigfoot, but no, she’s a moose. There is a calf in the willows just ahead of her, but it didn’t show up in the photo except as a tiny tawny patch. It was actually a very big moose calf, but I guess it was shy because it hid in the bushes as soon as we slowed down to take a picture. 

NAPgA Rendy 2019 in Buffalo, WY

On June 19th, Phil and I packed up our things and headed out to the Bighorn Mountains near Buffalo, WY for the 2019 North American Packgoat Rendezvous. The location was beyond lovely, but it was COLD!!!

Even from far away, Marc Warnke’s big, beautiful Alpine goat, Merciless, dominates every scene he’s in. 

Finn and Sputnik looked good too, even if they’re not quite as impressive as Merciless. 

Nancy Clough gave a talk on goat first aid while Nan helped a little from the sidelines. 

This year’s Rendy was much smaller than the last few years, but it was an excellent, dedicated group. 

Nan helped one couple hitch their goat to a cart for the first time. “Sprite” gave the first ride to his delighted owner, Connie.

Although he’s not quite as good looking as Sprite, Connie decided that her husband Robert was better trained. 

Sputnik modeled the Sopris Lumbar pack saddle system while Charlie Hackbarth of Sopris Unltd. modeled an amazing pants/shorts combination that not many people can pull off.

The rocks and trees around the camping area were amazing. Nan set up an obstacle course using a variety of natural landscape features. 

Finn shows everyone how brave packgoats are around umbrellas. 

Sputnik demonstrates dominates the teeter-totter obstacle. 

A lot of folks had fun playing teeter-totter with their goats. 

A fun time was had by all and we’re already looking forward to next year!

A Jolly Jump on June

I’m finally catching up to June! One Sunday afternoon, Phil and I sat on rocks so the baby goats could climb on us and fight over our laps. What a riot!

I think Pluto is egging Buster Brown on. “Get Phil! Get Phil!” 

“Not the hat!”

Yeti wants in on the action.

It was sometime in early June that Yeti discovered his love of laps. To Yeti, an open lap was an open invitation!

Is that Cupcake peeking over Phil’s shoulder?

Thor is such a beautiful goat. I love his facial markings. Thor is friendly, but he is not an outgoing extrovert like his brother Yeti, being quieter and more content to sit in the background… or in a pile of hoses.

It’s the triplets! They are trying to figure out if all three of them can fit in Phil’s lap at once.

Mocha says, “Are you sure there isn’t room in your lap, Phil?”
Yeti says, “I was here first!” 

Brownie found an open lap just across the way. 

But soon Brownie was usurped by Snowball. 

And of course Yeti has to come check out the lap action too. This lap may be currently occupied, but you never know when it might be vacated! 

When baby goats whisper sweet nothings in your ear…

…it TICKLES!!!

I just love Snowball’s smile. 

As soon as Snowball hops down, here come Brownie and Yeti! 

“I got goated!” 

Brownie and Yeti already had enough lap time. It’s Thor’s turn! 

Oh, look who found another lap to climb on! This little Snowball could melt anyone’s heart! 

Early June was right about the time when Yeti’s facial markings began to darken and take shape. They’re very pretty! 

“Got an itch! Got an itch!”

Uh-oh, where did all the other goats go? The other babies tend to notice when their moms take off to graze, and they’ll hop down from our laps and go after them. But Yeti gets so caught up in human interaction that he doesn’t notice when everyone else leaves. 

May We Continue

It’s July and I’m still posting photos from May. I need to get with the program!

The weather in May was cold, wet, and magnificent.  

Since little Mocha is the smallest of TinCup’s triplets, we like to make sure she gets her share of the milk two times a day. 

I’m looking at these photos taken six weeks ago and am amazed at how much Thor and Yeti have grown! They aren’t little babies any more! 

Sibling rivalry: “You can’t come up here, Mocha!”

“You get down too, Yeti!” MY rock!!

Yep, it’s Thor’s rock, alright! 

He sure is a cute King of the Rock!

Meanwhile, Cupcake and Brownie prefer climbing on Phil over climbing on rocks.

Pluto has become quite the faithful guardian. When baby goats were born this year, he stopped roaming the county and started sticking close to home and to his duties as protector. He also declared himself the protector of our magpie population. The mom and dad magpies do not approve.  

All six kids on the fallen log! 

Snowball is such a little angel goat. 

“Run, babies run!” Look at all those ears flapping!

Baby Goat-In-A-Bag

Buster Brown and Cupcake were getting so big by mid-May that I decided to have a baby goat weigh-in. Have you ever seen such an adorable baby goat-in-a-bag?? 

Cupcake was cute too but a little more squirmy. 

They weighed in at around 23 lbs. each and then we enjoyed some cuddle time on the basement couch.

Mid-May Merriment

May 15th was a beautiful day and the kids arrayed themselves in the afternoon sunshine on the back stairs. 

But they were eager to leave their basking to go for a walk! 

New life plays in the place where Jet’s memories are buried. His grave is mostly covered with rocks now. I expect we will finish right about the anniversary of his death.   

The lightning-struck tree appears to be doing well. It bears a long scar from top to bottom. I hope it lives on for many more years to tell its story. 

The gravel pit at the other end of our property is also a fun place to play! Take a close look at flying baby Brownie. Wheeee!!!

At two weeks, brownie’s horns were just starting to show. He’s a beautiful baby and loves to snuggle. I think this one prefers the company of people to other goats. When we walk, he stays close to me or Phil even when the other goats run off. 

Laugh it up, Cupcake! 

Two handsome boys!

We call Snowball our “angel goat” because she is so soft and pretty and white. Her hair is so fine it’s like dandelion fluff. 

Cupcake on a stump.

Thor on a log. 

Thor’s other side on a log. (Love the polka-dot!)  

Thor and Yeti on a log. 

Cupcake’s log!

Mocha and Snowball took a moment to plop down together in the grass and rest for a few minutes during our walk. 

The Rest of the In-Laws’ Visit

Look at me– we’re more than halfway through June and I’m still trying to get our May photos posted! Jim and Lois stayed for a few more days after the China Anniversary Bash and we had some lovely walks in the green, green meadows.

Finn is such a buddy. “Pet me, please!” 

Little Buster Brown. He was so little and cute back then! He’s still cute, but he’s fast turning into a big, strapping young man! 

The evening light was magical and we walked down to visit Jet’s grave. Phil and I have a tradition of stopping by there each day when we take our walk and placing a stone or two apiece. It should be completely covered in beautiful rocks by the end of summer. 

At two weeks, the kids were just getting nimble enough to jump onto this big rock which Phil and I like to call “The Baby Goat Rock.” 

The also discovered this wonderful fallen log! 

Jim loves to entertain baby goats and they do find him very entertaining! 

Jim and I went horseback riding down Clennin Road and back. 

Afterwards, Jim had a lot of fun trying to get a “selfie” with Skokie. 

Skokie was quite the ham. 

A “China Anniversary” in the Year of the Pig!

May 29, 2019 was me and Phil’s 20th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been two decades! Phil and I have officially been married for more than half our lives now. We were reflecting on this upcoming momentous occasion back in March and wondering how we might celebrate when we decided to look up whether the 20th anniversary had any special designation. It does! How many people know that the 20th anniversary is also known as the “China Anniversary”? Phil and I have had lots of theme parties over the years, but never a Chinese party! And to top it off, 2019 is the Year of the Pig!! Bring it on!!!

We borrowed an extra-large pig roaster from the church and enlisted the help of some local friends to supply and prepare the pig. 

We reserved a large pavilion in one of the local parks and decked it out. 

Then we donned our Chinese garb. 

I even wore (very badly done) makeup for the occasion. Remind me never to try this again! 

And invited all the friends and relatives. Phil’s parents flew in from Massachusetts. Phil’s mom shunned the Chinese garb in favor of the Hawaiian clothes she wore for our first wedding celebration.  

Phil’s Aunt Marianne and Uncle Steve came from Arizona wearing their Mandarin best. 

Keep rockin’ that fu manchu, Steve! 

Ah, sisters… Lois to Marianne: “Marianne, what did you do??”

Phil rang the gong and it was party time! 

My parents enjoyed the cream cheese won ton appetizers. 


And then it was time to bring on THE PIG!!!

Do not be fooled by the blackened appearance (it was a black pig)–this critter was absolutely DELICIOUS! Many thanks to Brian and Janette Hastings for supplying, butchering, and roasting the hog. This pork was amazing!! 

My dear friend Tiffany was the Maid of Honor at our wedding 20 years ago. On this day, she and her mother Marian were kind enough to bring all the Chinese food from Kan’s Kitchen in Pueblo. 

The cake was incredible. And it even tasted as good as it looked! 

There were many fun costumes on display. 

And after the feast, the festivities began! 

Phil’s dad is an expert piñata handler, having practiced extensively for our wedding feast 20 years ago. He has not lost his touch.  

There were a few close calls…

…but everyone got a whack at it. 

And no one went home empty-handed. 

After the party, the family and out-of-town friends were invited up to our house for some extra fun, which largely involved holding baby goats. 

The day ended on a beautiful note.