• Tina

Our Goat Cam expert

The Bibbed Wonder often makes me shake my head, sometimes in wonder and other times in frustration. He is an innovative problem solver, and I am amazed at his capabilities. He has had the idea for quite a while that we should invest in a Go-Pro camera. Because he is a daredevil that participates in extreme sports? Ummmm, no. He would like a Go-Pro camera to attach to my darling goats and have footage from a goat's perspective. Yes, you read that correctly. He wants to attach a camera to my goat's head and film the world from a goat's eye view. I give him credit for creativity. However, I had no idea how serious or creative he would become.

I lose my phone constantly. Eighty-five percent of the time, I have no idea of the whereabouts of my phone. The Bean and The Bibbed Wonder took advantage of my lack of phone responsibility the other night. As I prepared to make dinner, The Bean enters the kitchen with a suspiciously mischievous twinkle in her eye. She was looking around as if she had lost something. I asked her what she needed, and she grinned like a cat eating a canary and informed me that she was okay and needed nothing. Suspicious. She then raced out the door and disappeared into the garage. I saw nothing of her for almost an hour, which is suspect as well. As I continued to make dinner, I needed my phone for a recipe. Of course, I could not find my phone anywhere. Even after calling it from the house phone, I could not find it. I walked to the garage, grumbling about constantly losing my phone and my lack of ability to keep track of it.

When I entered the soap studio, I asked Abby, our friend who is helping us for the summer, if she had seen my phone. At this point, everyone who helps us knows I am constantly in search of my phone, and they often put it somewhere safe for me. Abby gave me a sheepish grin and informed me Jordan and Eric took it to the barn. Sigh. I knew those two were up to something. Abby also informed me that they intended to attach it to a goat and try to film the goats eating in the new pasture from the goat's perspective. Sigh. This is why we can't have nice things.

My innovative husband and my adventurous child had put a pony saddle on one of our larger goats, Lily. Lily is a sweetheart. She is docile, cooperative, and she will do just about anything for a treat, even wear a saddle with a camera attached to it. Lily did not seem to mind the saddle, the tripod, or the camera that had been attached to her. However, the other goats looked at her like she was a dangerous alien from outer space that had come to eat them. Lily walked around the pasture with The Bibbed Wonder and The Bean, grazing and exploring. The Bibbed Wonder did not attach my phone to Lily. He only needed my phone if his experiment fell apart, and he needed to call his phone to find it in the event his phone should be lost in a vast pasture field with waist-high grass. Sigh. I give him credit for preparedness.

All went well until Eric's phone went ding. The ding did not scare Lily, but it did send the rest of the herd racing to the barn's safety. When Lily saw her comrades racing for protection, she too took off for the barn sending Eric's phone flying and breaking the tripod. When she got to the barn, she decided she had enough of the saddle and dragged herself along the barn wall to try to remove it. Even a calm, compliant goat has her limits. Eric removed the offensive saddle, gave Lily a few extra treats, and cleaned up his mess. The Bean and her dad came in for dinner looking flushed, mischievous, and giggling like two fools. They then showed me the footage they got from their little experiment.

I must admit, it is pretty cool to see the world from the goat's perspective. They edited the footage, made sure no course language had been recorded and then posted their creation to the website. When I logged onto the office computer, I noted several windows open with Go-Pro camera deals. I also noted a Google search for a goat helmet and goat harness. Fortunately, there is no such thing as a goat helmet. However, I believe Jordan's toddler bike helmet may be in danger of some serious alterations. Sigh. I'll keep you posted. Here is the link to the "Goat Cam" footage: Enjoy.

As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, don't attach your phone to a goat, and please keep washing your hands.

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  • Tina

As the spread of this virus slows, we are preparing to move forward. This year, my bean will enter the seventh grade and move to high school. This is a big year because the two elementary schools converge, and two classes become one. This will be a year of social change, more independence, and a variety of new teachers. This should be a year filled with exciting new adventures and life experiences. Hopefully, the bean will develop new friendships, learn to balance school and extracurricular activities and grow intellectually. The Bean is cautiously excited and a bit nervous, which is natural. However, Jordan has what I refer to as a stormtrooper attitude; she goes in, she does her job, she kicks butt, and calls it a victory. I should be excited for this next chapter in her life, but I find myself more reluctant than excited.

We opted for the cyber school option last year. Overall, it was a successful year. There were a few areas of disconcertment, but overall cyber school went well. Jordan earned straight A's, she liked the content, and she enjoyed the relaxed schedule. Eric and I enjoy having her around. I've said it before; I genuinely like my kid. I know she is mine, and I may be biased, but I find her conversations intelligent and interesting, even the ones about Stanger Things. She is funny, she is adventurous, she is creative, and she is quick-witted; these are all qualities I enjoy in a friend. So, why are we not doing cyber school again, you may ask?

Eric and I both have a background in education, and there is a fundamental belief that she needs to be in a school environment. Although I am endlessly cool, and Eric is like hanging out with an oversized bald twelve-year-old boy, we can't offer her the social interaction she craves. She needs to make friends outside her mom...sigh. I have been around young people who have had alternative educational experiences, and they can be socially awkward. I have also been around some really great, outgoing young people who have a greater sense of self and are more socially adept than most adults. I believe my bean fits into this category. She is a gregarious little thing. However, I don't want her to miss out on any experience or have regrets.

Eric and I enjoyed the active participation in The Bean's education. It was fun and sometimes challenging to work as the facilitator of her coursework. We both played active roles in her education. I took the responsibility of English, reading, and social studies, while Eric took on the duties of math and science. I enjoyed teaching her the writing process, research skills, and creative writing. We read a novel together and discussed the plot, characters, theme, and writing style. I got my teacher fix without having to create lesson plans or build a curriculum. Eric enjoyed sharing his love of all things mathematical, don't allow the bibs to fool you; he's secretly a huge math nerd. Yes, there were daily battles over the use of calculators, thinking things through with logic and not shouting out random answers, and of course pinch wars, but he enjoyed working with her in a teacherly role. However, having a variety of teachers with varied personalities teaches one to work and get along with others. It is practice for the adult world and the workplace.

We all enjoyed the relaxed schedule, flexibility, and freedom cyber school offers. Beginning school at nine and having all coursework completed by two was a good thing. Knowing that we could go on an outing or watch a movie and still have time to complete school was terrific. If she wanted to go to her GramBarb's house for a day or a week and work ahead to complete school, so she didn't have to concern herself with schoolwork was awesome. However, I fear it is not setting a good example or preparing her for her future. Yes, she learned time management skills and had to be disciplined enough to stick to her self-created schedule, but we don't always have the opportunity to set our own schedule. There are times we have to adhere to a schedule assigned by others and learn to work within those confines. The Bean argues that Eric and I set our own schedules, choose who we work with and what we will complete. I remind her that it has just been in the last few years that we have had this luxury.

As I read over this, I am not doing an outstanding job arguing in favor of the traditional school experience. The Bean and I have come to a tentative agreement. We agree she will try going back to school for the first semester. If she does not care for the experience, she can finish the year with cyber school. She seems pleased with this compromise and takes comfort in knowing she has options. Knowing one has options makes a world of difference. Sometimes, I am amazed at how very much alike we are in character and personality. Whatever happens, I am confident my little bean will be successful and grow from the experience. These days are filled with hard decisions, but I am so grateful I have the opportunity to make them with her. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, make the hard decisions, and please decide to keep washing your hands.

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Today, the Tuesday Spotlight shines upon the classic favorite, the Orange, Clove, Cinnamon bar. Orange, Clove, Cinnamon has a warm, comforting scent. It reminds me of the pomanders we used to make as kids during the holidays. My sister brought one home from school when I was maybe four or five. I remember thinking it was the best smell I had ever smelled in my life. For me, this scent is warm, cozy, and comforting.

We use sweet orange oil, clove bud oil, and cinnamon bark oil to create this lovely scent. We combine the essential oils with our fresh raw goat's milk, olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil to create a rich lathering, gentle bar. Orange, Clove, Cinnamon is a favorite of both men and women. If you haven't tried it yet, this week is a good week to do so. As always, our Tuesday Spotlight is half off on the website. As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the savings, and keep washing your hands.

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