Midsummer 2006

Dear Friends

When my husband and I moved back to Southern California this past fall, we rented a house that came complete with its own goat. We knew exactly nothing about goats, but we were excited to have a chance to learn firsthand.

Willie isn't a young goat. He was rescued by our homeowner when he was just a baby (someone had gotten him for a pet, but had to give him up when he got too big for their apartment -- go figure!). He is now about 11 years old. Since this is the only home Willie has ever known, the owner asked if we would mind if the goat lived out the remainder of his life here with us. And, of course, we didn't mind.

Willie is very curious. Our dogs didn't quite know what to make of him, having never seen a goat before. Two of them finally decided he isn't anything special after all and leave him alone. But Storm sees things differently. He just won't stop barking at Willie with an ''I don't know what you are but I don't like you'' bark.

Willie has his own fenced-off area -- we don't let the dogs actually get in there with him, but they can see each other through the chain link fence. As part of our morning routine, the dogs and I all go out to the barn to feed Willie. The dogs love to run and play in the big open area behind the barn. Willie can't wait to see the dogs each time we show up. He runs to the edge of the fence to greet them and check them out. Sunny and Sky give him a couple of sniffs and tail wags before running off to play. Storm, on the other hand, starts his manic barking. No amount of scolding will make him stop. Willie puts up with it for a few minutes and then runs back into the barn to escape the noise. Storm stops barking once Willie is out of sight and will finally go play with his brothers. In a few minutes, Willie is back, looking to make friends again. From across the yard, Storm will see him and rush back to the fence and the barking starts all over again.

Day after day, this routine plays out. Every day Willie looks to make friends with Storm and every day is rebuffed. But he never stops trying. I think he figures that eventually one day, Storm will be his friend. I love that. I love the positive, never-give-up attitude Willie displays each time we come outside. I wish I could be more like that myself -- to be able to start each day fresh and unencumbered by past failures. This summer I am going to make a special effort to start my days this way and see how long it takes for life to beat it right out of me. Just kidding... This summer I am going to start my days the ''Willie way'' and see what happens. Many days might not end the way I hoped they would, but at least I know that each day will start on a positive note. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

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