sweet sixteen

For this birthday, only the girls were at home (the younger son was at camp and the older one in Peru), but we squirreled away slices of birthday cake for the missing boys and invited the grandparents for dinner and had a jolly good time anyway.

After she finished unwrapping her gifts, I looked at her pile of presents—a mane comb, horse shampoo and conditioner, mosquito repellent, etc—and laughed. “If I’d gotten these gifts when I was your age,” I said, “I would’ve cried. And not from happiness, either.” I don’t think the two of us could be more different if we tried.

That evening before supper, she got goats. They weren’t a gift—she was paying for them herself—but she was so excited about them that she worked Velvet in the mid-afternoon blistering heat just to pass the time until my husband got home from work and they could go pick up the goats.

She named the kids Angelica and Peggy (name that play!). Angelica has a bizarre bleat that starts low and then soars way high in an operatic wail, making us laugh and prompting my kids to sing back. It’s quite the racket.

We gave our daughter cow bells—but no collars, oops—for one of her birthday presents. For one of the goats, she fashioned a collar from one of my husband’s old belts, but for now the other goat is still bell-less.

I’m sure she’ll come up with something soon enough.

This same time, years previous: in the kitchen, the quotidian (7.20.15), statements, whole wheat zucchini bread, shrimp with coconut milk, alfredo sauce.


  • Athanasia

    Oh I love the goats. My oldest girl has 14 now and she does use them for milk. One of her customer buys the milk to make soap.

  • KTdid

    I'm convinced that one is born an "animal person" or not. I have a husband who was born with the affliction (er…well…that's a bit harsh; it's true that someone needs to be crazy about the animals!)
    On another note, I'm always tickled by the glimpses of the grands!

  • Lauralli

    I thought of your daughter last weekend when I was dropping off my oldest at Auburn University. They have a HUGE vet school. We drove past the small and large animal teaching hospitals (complete with ERs!). I thought, wow, I didn't know this is done on such a huge scale! Maybe something she should look in to!!

  • Mama Pea

    Your "sweet sixteen" is definitely going to go into a profession involving animals!

    The goats are beauties. We had a small dairy goat herd for many years and I still miss them.

    I have the same question as Second Sister above. Will she breed and milk them? Or are they already milking?

    • Jennifer Jo

      I don't THINK she's planning to milk them, and I know one of the goats has milk spurs (or something) which means it'd be hard to milk her, though it shouldn't interfer with nursing.

      These are kids, just a few months old. I have no idea at one point she'll breed them.

      Really, I haven't been much involved with this project at ALL. Can you tell?!

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