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Day 91: Year of the Goat...

Posted Apr 01 2010 11:55am

Today would normally be a travel day for me. Not today. Still struggling with this feisty bug, I called in sick to work for tomorrow. I took a short walk with Angel on some of the bulldozed trails from the fire of 2008.

Joni and I have both been ill over the last week. Two middle, middle aged people sharing both our viruses and this 350 square foot cabin. We get out of the house to fill the water buckets and to walk the dog. These activities generally lead to a two hour nap.

And we watch TV. Joni opts for the Criminal Minds type shows (I've never watched the show before--but now I can say that I've seen at least 24 episodes); I like the usual Lefty Egghead stuff: Free Speech TV, Democracy Now, MSNBC with just a dash of the Food Network for some spice. (Although I'm so stuffed up I can't taste anything). Torture!

When not sleeping or watching the Tube, we read. Joni is reading Michael Pollan's book on building a cabin.

Last night I finished "The Year of the Goat" by Margaret Hathaway. Put this one into the I-think-I'm-gonna-be-a-Homesteader-and-raise-goats-and-children sort of book. Homesteading literature.

The book reminds me of Joni and myself, if we were twenty-five years younger. Margaret and her boyfriend (and soon to be husband) Karl, while living a Yuppie lifestyle in New York City, somehow get it into their heads that they want to live in the country and raise goats.

So they spend a year traveling the country to learn everything they could about goats. There is a fine line between having a hobby and having an obsession. How to determine the fine line is a matter of whether you are the person with the obsession or not. This couple became obsessed with goats.

But the book isn't really about goats. It is about the people who love goats. It is Hathaway's gift to describe these people with kindness and verve. The journey changes her.

The book is a good read. Urban, Farmer's Market loving, Solartopian types love to dream about having a farm. This couple did it--and wrote a decent book about their preparation for the experience. This is an approachable couple who even have a website about their experience. With their invitations for visits and their website , they remind me of Scott and Helen Nearing's hospitality.

I'm planning on reading their sequel. We too, would like to have a goat or two running around.
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