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 -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

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