The Goat

Our neighbors got a goat. Ordinarily, with a statement like that you would assume we live in the country and neighbor is euphemistic term for the nearest house a mile down the road. But no, we live in Boise, Idaho on “The Bench” – a mere five minutes from downtown. Of course, in some parts of the country that’s still considered rural. But here, that’s pretty urban.


The goat moved in on a Sunday – a week before the Spring Solstice. It was apparently not happy with its new abode and was bleating loudly (goats bleat, right?). At first, it sounded like someone was doing horribly mean things to a child, but upon further listen it definitely sounded like a goat. However, I pushed that possibility from my mind, after all a goat in the city limits – how could there be a goat in town?


The following day the goat noise was much louder, and much more insistent. My husband decided to investigate: he peaked over the fence into our neighbors’ yard to confirm our goat suspicions. Sure enough, there was a goat – the size of their Malamute dog, Malaki.


But, it got better – or worse, we weren’t quite sure — on one side of the goat spray painted in black paint was a pentagram. On the other side of the goat, also spray painted in black paint was, “666.” Needless to say this sparked curious concern as to what exactly our neighbors were doing with the goat. Or more importantly, what they were planning to do with the goat on the other side of our fence! Warily, we chuckled about having a neighbor goat and decided there must be a good explanation for the goats present “decoration.” However, we weren’t entirely sure we were going to like that explanation.


Our neighbors are not your run of the mill neighbors. The house is owned by a single guy, a musician working as a painter to pay the bills. He had roommates to help cover the mortgage. Partying three to four nights a week was the norm and that meant loud music, horseshoes clanking against the fence and lots of alcohol consumption. In addition, six months prior to the arrival of the goat they began to construct a half-pipe skate board ramp less than a foot from our shared fence. The goat was in no way as disturbing as the half-pipe had been! We had visions of half-pipe parties with skateboards flying over the fence. Not to mention the extreme lack of privacy in our yard since the platforms on each side of the ramp were level with the top of the fence. Fortunately for us the ramp never reached skateboard-ready completion.


Despite its lack of suitability as a skateboard ramp the backyard fixture served well for goat kibble storage. They placed the goat’s food on the top of the ramp platform so that he couldn’t gorge himself between meals. This is how we came to learn the origins of the goat’s satanic symbols. Later, the same day my husband peeked over the fence, we saw our neighbor’s girlfriend atop the ramp breaking some hay (or alfalfa or whatever it is that goats eat!) off a small bale.  We must have been staring as she acknowledged us from over the fence and said, “We have a goat.” She went on to explain that they rescued the goat from a crazy guy who was planning to stage a solstice sacrifice at the local university. They were only keeping him until a friend had a pasture ready for the goat.


A week later, the goat was still in residence. I had a full house, with my brother-in-law visiting. It was Saturday night at about 2 am and I was having a hard time sleeping.  My brother-in-law was getting over a cold and coughing sporadically in the guest room. Our six month old daughter was sighing in her sleep – and in my ear through the baby monitor. My husband was snoring up storm next to me. In addition to all of the noisy sleepers I kept hearing a rapid, “Thump, thump, thump, thump…whoosh.” Pause. “Thump, thump, thump, thump…whoosh.” I pondered this for several minutes before the sound registered. It was the goat! He was trying to climb up the half-pipe to get at the kibble just out of his reach. Unfortunately for him, he’d get only so far up the ramp before sliding to a heap at the bottom.


I lay in bed and laughed to myself, listening to the “cough, cough, sigh, snore, snore, thump, thump, thump, thump….whoosh.” If you’re going to have a neighbor goat he really should have a half-pipe.


Leave a comment

Filed under Fiction?

Sofia’s 1st Birthday!

Sofia turned one year old on June 23rd. We celebrated her birthday on Saturday the 21st. We had a nice backyard picnic with friends and family — family that came from as far away as Yuma, Arizona! The party theme was “ladybugs” as Sofia’s favorite book, throughout most of her one year, has been “10 Little Ladybugs.” I baked and decorated a ladybug birthday cake that turned out very well. Sofia thought it was scrumptious and frankly really didn’t care what it looked like so long as she got to eat some! She received wonderful gifts and enjoys them all very much. Thanks everybody!

The past year has flown by and we have enjoyed watching her grow and change. Every day brings us new surprises and exciting milestones. She took her first steps on Father’s Day. Check out the YouTube video: By her birthday she was walking short distances by herself. She is now completely mobile. She so wants to run, but just isn’t quite coordinated enough yet but no doubt, by next week we’ll be in big trouble!

Probably one of the best things that Sofia was able to do, as a result of turning one year old: her car seat can now face forward. We took a trip to Bend, OR for the 4th of July to see Dave’s family and she was much happier being able to see what was going on! The next year will undoubtedly sail by and will be filled with many more milestones and great pictures. We’ll keep you updated with both!

1 Comment

Filed under Sofia

Jigglebumps’ Place In the Blog World

While this blog is yet another amongst the millions of blogs — for me it is an outlet for writing, a platform to make observations and express opinions. Additionally, it is a fantastic means to keep family connected with what’s going on with us. “Jigglebumps” is a fun name and ultimately I hope this hobby will bring enjoyment to me as well as to those of you who land upon this page. Thanks for reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under Introducing Jigglebumps

Hamster for Zoey

I am a fan of Janet Evanovich and her bestselling Stephanie Plum novels. After graduating from college I moved to a cute and surprisingly sunny little basement apartment in the Ballard area of Seattle. Living by myself with my cat Zoey, and too cheap to buy cable, I read and re-read my Stephanie Plum collection and for some crazy reason decided that I too needed a hamster, like Stephanie’s hamster, Rex. I’d had a hamster before and it ended in trajedy when the little bugger escaped and most likely became sport, gladiator style, for my once-feral feline. However, chalking that up to a fluke, I headed for the pet store and got a cute furry teddy bear hamster. What I named the little fella escapes me now. I rationalized at the time that this new addition to our cozy abode would provide hours of entertainment for Zoey while I was off at work.  


To make the hamster’s new life with us as comfortable as possible I had a spiffy new cage, lots of soft wood chips for him to sleep in and a healthy supply of hamster kibble. In repayment for this rodent splendor the beast bit me on my first attempt to change his soiled wood chips. You have to reach into the cage, showing no fear, and grab the little guy, quickly transferring him to the staging area. He must have sensed my nervousness, as he chomped down on my left index finger and gnawed until I shook him off and back into his cage (screaming and cussing in agony — me not him). I still bare the scars — one on top in my cuticle, the other in the pad of my finger. Eventually, after cleaning my wound and donning leather work gloves I got my furry hamster out of his cage and into the exercise ball.


Zoey loved the exercise ball. He could get right down next to it and sniff the hamster. He never batted at it, just followed the little guy around the room. I later learned it’s not a good idea to put hamsters in the little exercise balls as they have no bladder control and tend to piddle wherever they please. I never noticed hamster piddle on the rug so I’m just going to assume that my hamster had better restraint than average. Also, after his traumatic experience being taken out of the cage I’m sure he didn’t still have to go.


Our hamster, I say ours because Zoey really did love him more than I did, was only with us for about a week. After realizing that my super-intelligent cat would cedge his paws into the little cage bars I decided that our hamster friend should sit on a shelf behind my front door where Zoey could look, but not touch. This worked well for about a day. I got home from work at about 5:45 pm. It was summer and still light out. I put my key in the door, turned the knob and attempted to push the door open. It wouldn’t open. I had it open just far enough to stick my head in to see what was blocking it. The hamster cage lay on its side with the bottom facing me. For a few short seconds I prayed that the top was still closed.  I pushed harder on the door and managed to open it enough to squeeze in. Then I saw it…the carnage was not pretty. There was a little trail of blood from my living room back to the bedroom. Zoey did what all cats instinctively do: he played with the poor hamster until it could run no more. Then he carried hamster up to the cat door, outside and back in dribbling carnage the whole way. In horror I surveyed my bedroom. As I suspected he left me a present. After nearly throwing up and taking some calming deep breaths I got the poor little guy out and start to clean up the mess.


Never having experienced a hamster homicide I was unsure how to go about cleaning up. So, I did what everyone does when they have a stupid question and no one to ask…I called my mom. Mom’s know everything. Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t home. I left a message: “Hi Mom, it’s me. I had a hamster homicide and need to know how to get blood out of carpet. Please call me.” I got a pretty quick response. After explaining the situation I learned that hydrogen peroxide works well to remove blood from carpet and a number of other fabrics. I got to work with a rag, peroxide and q-tips. An hour or so later my apartment was pretty much back to normal, sans hamster.


The moral of this story is this: don’t get a rodent to amuse your cat, no matter how secure you think the furry guy might be you can’t underestimate the natural instinct of your feline friend. And, if you do overlook the moral of this story go to Costco and buy hydrogen peroxide in bulk…you’re going to need it.

1 Comment

Filed under Fiction?

A jiggle-what?

What in the world is a “jigglebump” you might be wondering. No, it is not a new Fergilicious dance song, nor is it (that I am aware of) new slang for any body part or appendage. It’s a name. More specifically, it was the very creative name my mother-in-law came up with in a contest to win a pony when she was a kid. Now think “Jigglebumps” and picture a cute pony. That’s better, huh? The contest judges thought it was pretty good too and awarded my mother-in-law with the prize pony dubbed: “Jigglebumps.”
Get your mind out of the gutter. There, that’s better!

Leave a comment

Filed under Introducing Jigglebumps