December 29, 2011

Garlic day

A major seasonal ritual at Goat Rope Farm this time of year is the planting of the garlic, which is the one plant for which I have any gardening affinity. The custom here is to pick a day after the first frosts of winter but before the ground is hard; break up the soil, add compost (thanks, goats), dig rows; plant and cover cloves then and cover the rows with straw for mulch. That's pretty much it until mid summer.  It's nice to think that during the bleak midwinter and chilly days of early spring the year's first crop is doing its thing.

THE LINK MAKER IS STILL ON STRIKE. Links about serious issues to resume next week.

IN LIEU OF WHICH, here's a superficial rural thought for the day: I wish someone would invent a chainsaw with a battery and key starter...I nearly wore my arm out yesterday yanking fruitlessly on the cord.


December 28, 2011

Pagan goats

You usually don't see goats in nativity scenes, live or otherwise. This NY Times item even reports of a goat escaping from a live nativity scene. For that matter, goats don't usually show up in Christian iconography except in Last Judgement scenes, in which they represent the damned.

Having lived around them, I'd have to say that they don't seem to have much of an affinity for Christianity either.  In fact, I detect a certain fondness for classical Greco-Roman paganism among them. Zeus, father of gods and men, was after all nursed by a goat as an infant on the island of Crete and they were also associated with Dionysus.

As I've mentioned here before, the word tragedy probably originally meant goat song, i.e. something performed at the festival of Dionysus.

Maybe that explains why our goats seem more into Saturnalia than Christmas at this time of year.

December 27, 2011

And the winner is...

An occasional holiday practice around these parts is the search for spectacularly tacky Christmas presents. This year, the Spousal Unit received a real winner from her Parental Units. It was a clock. Or rather, a tiny bit of it was a clock. The rest of it was a peacock with filaments coming up behind the tail which light up and change colors when plugged in.

What better gift for a woman with real peafowl?

The Parental Units-in-law found this one at a clock repairers shop, where apparently it had been abandoned (perhaps like the infant Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). At any rate, the store owner sold it very cheaply, even joking about taking money to get rid of it.

(Still, it's kind of cool to look at.)

NEWS OF THE WORLD. The serious link makers are still on strike this week, although a frivolous one or two might show up.


December 26, 2011

Think of the possibilities

If anyone ever wondered if there are any practical reasons for blogging, I have an answer. A few days before Christmas, I mentioned here that I wanted to read Tony Horowitz's new book on John Brown, Midnight Rising.

It so happened that a friend and Goat Rope reader had it and was done with it. She put it in the mail and it came on Christmas Eve.

That's what I'm talking about. Thanks, YSF!

(Note to self: need to figure out whether that works year round or only near holidays. Oh yeah, and next time mention need for new car.)

LINKS. There are none. The linkmaking elves are on vacation this week.