Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blitz. Day 4. October & November

Enough about people. Let's talk about goats.

October is always my favorite month of the year. The hope of the end of summer's oppressive heat is finally realized. It is also the month when state veterinarian, Stephen Crane, comes to visit the goat herd for their annual Scrapie inspection. Scrapie is a neurologic/prion disease of sheep and goats which causes the folding of proteins to happen incorrectly. Ugly things happen when your proteins don't fold properly. Symptoms such as scraping oneself against things until their fur/wool/skin come off. It is a contagion that none of our lives need to be complicated with, so, there are voluntary programs around the country which allow you to have your herd certified, over a five year time span, to indicate that they are free of the disease. This gives would be buyers a little peace-of-mind and increases the value of the flock, or herd. All fine and good, but Dr. Crane also takes time to teach us other things while he is here. Last year he instructed us on how to know the age of the goat by their teeth. I have papers that tell me when their birthdays are, but it's interesting. Anyway, we are disease free for the third inspection in a row, and darn proud of it.

Another favorite October event is the Georgia National Fair. We took only young animals this year, our four new Saanen doelings. We scrubbed, trimmed, and pampered them to get ready for their day in the ring. We did well in our class with Buckets in third place, a respectable position considering the size of the class. I, as usual, was the recipient of a terse comment from the judge. She thinks I don't know my withers from my thurl. Well, I do.

In early November we had the opportunity, again, to donate a bag of our goodies (whole wheat bread, jam, and goat cheese) to Cucuyo (which is Spanish for firefly).
Cucuyo is an exchange program for Dominican and Athens students to learn art and culture.
We added the Athens Area Homeless Shelter to our list of non-profit groups as well this year. Both groups received generous donations for their gift bags. The man who donated to Cucuyo even messaged me on Facebook to tell me the lovely things that he was using his bread and cheese to make - very sweet.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with the Rattray family in Dillard (woohoot! chalet #2). We did a lot of nothing, which is my favorite kind of holiday. We ate, talked, and played board games. I had one of the worst respiratory infections in my memory, and Jane also was coming down with a cold. Fortunately my sense of taste remained intact for the Dillard House Thanksgiving deliciousness.

Last but not least, George and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on the 29th of November. Something about that number seems very deep and meaningful. It is by the grace of God that we continue to defy the divorce statistics. I was 16...what did I know about picking a husband?

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