Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fed 625 Starving Children for a Year in Two Hours Today

Wendy, Jackie, Casey, Sue, Jennie, Beth and I just got back from the Puyallup Fairgrounds where we worked for two hours bagging  meals for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit Christian organization.  Wendy, Casey and Sue did it last year and told us about it this year, so we pitched in.

What an amazing, warp-speed two hours. We gathered around tables in groups. Each had a specific job: measuring out veggies, soy and rice, weighing each combined bag carefully, sealing it, loading it into boxes.  Each box held 36 bags; each bag held six meals.

There were probably ten tables in the place and around 100 volunteers all told.  In just two hours we filled 244 boxes.

36x6=3,888 meals per box
3888x244=948,672 meals packed in two hours.

They say that's enough to feed 625 children for a solid year.

And we were just the final two-hour shift in the two-day event. The emcee said 1000 people had turned out to volunteer, so multiplying what our 100-person shift did by ten, that's 6,250 kids fed for an entire year.

These events are held once a year in multiple areas around the country. If you'd like to find out if one will be held near you so you can volunteer, or more about the organization--or if you'd like to donate money to buy the food that the volunteers bag up for children--visit the link below.  You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Junior, High School Chum and I Reconnected Today

Today Valerie (Chase) Barrett drove down from Seattle with her three boys to meet and walk the goats and have an outdoor weenie roast -- although I was advised not to call what we cooked "weenies" in front of the boys. (It's not easy changing one's vernacular when one is used to having all girl children around, but I managed.) 

It was frigid outside. I don't think the temperature lifted above 43 degrees and it was quite windy, so that brought the temperature down to "freezin' our buns off" COLD!  Only we "old folks" noticed or cared. Her kids were so busy running around with my "kids" (BAAAA!) that they peeled their jackets off after a while as Val and I just shook our heads and shuddered at the idea...

I kept looking at Val and thinking, "No way can she be almost 60." I wonder if she thought the same thing about me. Hope so!!! 

It blew me away to contemplate that. Being almost 60 doesn't faze me in the least, but thinking about classmates being 60 floors me!  They sure don't look 60. At least, Val doesn't.

It was terrific to reconnect again. We'll do it more often, now that she knows how well her boys respond to a visit here.  WOO HOO!  That does my heart good. Jackie will love seeing her again when she gets her chance. (Jackie was working today; missed seeing everyone.)

The little girl from across the street came over to spend the day, too. Her name is Malia. Her dad lives in Hawaii. She fit right in.

Malia often walks the goats with Casey, Jamie and me, so when I told her I would be hosting a goat walk and weenie roast for friends from Seattle, I invited her to come along. She jumped at the chance.

She's an only child and there are few other kids on this block her age. She may even go to church with me whenever I kid sit there so she can hang around with Jamie some more. She's going to ask her mom for permission. (They worship at another church.) Malia is on a week-long school break; Casey and Jamie aren't.

After the Barrett family headed back to Seattle, Malia came into my office where I was working. I told her she could hang out with the "puppies" in my living room while I worked until her mom or grandma came over to claim her (both had gone into town) but every so often she wandered in to see me and talk or ask questions while I worked.

She was flabbergasted to see photos of me with "famous people" lying around in various nooks and crannies (she's a curious kid) -- V.P. Joe Biden, Senator Patty Murray, DeForest Kelley. She just couldn't get over it. She was over the moon about it!

Then she decided, "You must be famous, too!" 

I laughed and said, "Only in very small circles."

She said, "What does that mean?" 

I said, "It means I can go to any store and someone will know who I am only about once every ten years. The last time I was recognized in a store I heard, 'There's the goat lady!'" She thought that was very cool. (So do I, truth be told.)

I don't need my next door neighbor's child thinking I'm anyone other than "the goat lady." That's fame enough for me in this neck of the woods! 

I was amazed Malia knew who De Kelley was. She must have a Trekkie or two somewhere in her family...

I told Malia she would probably meet plenty of famous people herself during her lifetime. (She's only eight years old.) That seemed to perk her up--even though she's already pretty perky! 

I said, "Famous people like these ones enjoy meeting people. Not all famous people do, but our country's leaders and some actors do. It's how they find out what we're thinking about them, because how we're thinking about them is important to keeping their jobs. We can vote them in or vote them out." 

But if she ever asks me to take her to meet her Senator or Congressman or woman, or a V.P. or President, you'd better believe I will think at least a dozen times about it, after what happened to Congresswoman Giffords' and her littlest "fan" in Tucson in January.

And that is very, every sad.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hoof Trimming Time! Kris and Casey Take Care of Laverne and Shirley

Photos by Phil McNiven!

BTW: The final photo in the slide show, showing a before-and-after look at a goat's hoof, was taken from the Internet. I have never let my goats' hooves grow long enough to look like the half on the left (overgrown and yucky). I trim their hooves at least once every four weeks, usually more often.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thanks to Melinda Kettler for This WONDERFUL De Kelley Link....


I miss him so...

Casey's First Speech Will Be About Caring for Goats

Casey (age ten, almost 5'7" tall already... and still growing!) is my best sidekick when it comes to caring for Laverne and Shirley. She loves to help. 

She was recently given a speech assignment about "how to do something," so she chose how to care for goats.  The speech has to be between five and ten minutes long. Hers is already nearly five minutes long (without showing the accompanying photos and tools) and she has it down pat... no hiccups or hesitations...

About the tools. Because Casey can't take sharp objects to school, she spent part of last week tracing the hoof trimmers, hoof pick and hoof file onto cardboard and then painting them to look like the real things.  She did a darned good job.

This weekend or next we're going to give the goats a bath in my bathtub.  (I "kid" you not.) I think.  Unless the weather is scheduled to get nasty again.  Giving baths should give Casey a little more to talk about. Goats don't like the rain, so I have no idea how well they'll take to a warm bath. 

We'll start with Shirley. She's white and would benefit most from a bath. She's also the mellower of the two. She's 99.9% clean looking right now except for where longer hair has grown on her fanny (3-4" from her not-so-private parts). That longer hair catches some urine from time to time, so it's a little yellow-looking.  My plan is to trim that hair with a dog clippers or scissors so it won't be a catch all for spills. If I can do that, she should look more or less like a Disney goat from head to foot -- "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" -- practically perfect in every way. That's what we'll be aiming for.

If Shirley behaves well, I may have Jackie videotape some of the bath so Casey (and I) can show it. We'll see how it goes.

Update on the "Buck for My Does" Fence Campaign.  So far $127 has come in for the goat fence.  That's almost three 16' x 5' fence panels.  I believe more $$$ is on the way but I'm not sure. 

My 60th birthday is coming up on March 5th. That's a milestone.  I want $$$$$ for my goat fence for my birthday. That's all.  Oh, and a free e-card from every one of you, since it is a milestone birthday!

Everyone who donates to the fence campaign will have their names emblazoned on part of the fence. Most who have donated have sent more than one dollar. I usually get $3 or more each time.

Contributors to Date.. THANK YOU!!!

(Updated 3/17/2011)

Sue and Bill from Cle Elum: $30
Billie Rae from Palmyra, NY: $55

Antje from Germany: $5

Carl from the UK: $3

Lynda Lien from Lake Stevens: $10

Debbie Hirneisen, NY: $50

Byron Bailey $30

Edward Smith $40.00

Margot Worthington $25

Laurel Smith $25

Jackie Smith $50

Phil and Wendy $50

Jim and Kay Chelsea AL $40

You can also contribute via my Paypal account. Just be sure to mention GOATS so I don't get the $$ mixed up with my business funds. Email me at kristine m smith AT msn DOT com to find out how to do that.


I landed a job on Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future working in the nursery at Lutheran Church of Christ the King. That's where Casey, Jamie, Phil andWendy and all of Wendy's nearby family worships.  I know all of the kids in the nursery; all but two (there are six) are relatives or shirttail relatives of mine. So when the job opened up, I thought, "Hey, why not?" 

I have dozens of age-appropriate Bible stories and videotapes (Bible stories) for kids; I love the kids; and my volunteers will usually be the kids' parents or grandparents (again, relatives or shirttail relatives of mine).  In fact, I got the job because Wendy's dad told me about it and told Pastor Peter about me. Pastor Peter has known me for years; I was Activity Director / Receptionist/Shuttle Driver/Tour Guide/Server/Newsletter Editor at Kings Manor (an outreach ministry of LCCK, an assisted living community) in 2004, so it seems to be a match made in heaven.  The kids are 2 to 6 years of age. I'm not much older myself! Kids think I'm pretty hysterical... and I just love it when people think I'm funny (usually!).

One time Casey and I were sitting in the goat shed. This was late fall, and it was cold.  Laverne jumped on the shed door and knocked it open to go outside. I called out after her, faking angst, "Hey, shut the door!  Were you born in a barn?"  Casey thought that was just about the funniest thing she had ever heard. I've rarely heard her laugh that hard. (She's such a lady!) 

And to this day both girls ask me to tell my Freddy the Frog story over and over and over again.  (It's in my book LET NO DAY DAWN THAT THE ANIMALS CANNOT SHARE.) They heard about Freddy the first time when Casey was about four, I guess.  They're captivated by the story. It's totally true. That's probably why they love it so much... other than the fact it's funny in places. (Hiding Freddy in my underwear drawer until Mom found him; giving him a bubble bath because Mom said he was too dirty to live in the house... POOR FREDDY!  The things animals go through when kids "love" them!  Eegads!)

What else?  Guess that's all the "dirt" that's fit to print. (Urine-stained goat feathers; dirty frogs.) I'll stop while I'm ahead!

Oh, I've got some work again at Elance. ENOUGH work for the moment.  Long may it continue!  It feels great!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Interview at Scribnia Will Appear Tomorrow.

I just received word that my interview (about being a blogger) will appear tomorrow at When I get a link I'll post it here.