Monday, September 8, 2014

New Old Friends

Kathy V. and I have known each other for some long while, "talking" often via email and FB messaging, but until yesterday we'd never met.  Kathy V. (she's always "Kathy V." to me) is the friend of a friend of a friend and we were "introduced" because of our mutual interest in goats.  Kathy V., her husband Richard and granddaughter Violette, traveled six hours with six goats in tow to a sanctioned goat show in Placerville.  Knowing she was so close was an opportunity I wasn't going to miss.  Finished with my girls, I made a dash into town to the fairgrounds.  Walking toward the goat barn, Kathy V. waved at me from a distance.  I knew it was her by her by her hat.  How did she recognize me?  Maybe it was the bibbies.  Introduced to Violette, Richard, and the goats, it felt like I was joining old friends, and not at all like meeting strangers.  Kathy V. was the inspiration for a novel by Earlene Fowler, "The Saddlemaker's Wife."  The book is a fictional mystery, but Kathy V. is, indeed, the wife of a saddlemaker. I've seen pictures of Richard's beautiful creations.  He's an artist in leather.

When three goats had to be in the ring at the same time, Richard got called into service with Violette while Kathy V. took another goat into another ring.  Violette, age 8, coached her grandpa and answered the judge's questions.  Emily, Violette's sister, had not been able to come, but Violette is a veteran of the show circuit and took a second place ribbon.

Even I got into the act and was made to feel useful.  Dairy goats are not milked before judging, allowed to overfill, sometimes to the point of leaking, to show off their udders.  It's an act of kindness to milk them out after their turn.  This girl is like Inga with teensy-tiny titties, hard on the hands, and I spelled Kathy V. for awhile.  Goats will sometimes protest when strange hands take on the chore, but this girl and I got along fine.

To cap an already fine day, I had bought five tickets for the fund-raising raffle and won two major prizes!  I brought home a lovely painted drop-leaf table and two matching chairs, and traded Kathy V. a king-size comforter for a bale of Wyoming high-mountain grass hay.  It was also a way to thank her for the goody-bag she'd brought me with copper boluses for the goats, figs (she knows I love 'em), homemade syrup, and I don't know what else.

It was a long, interesting, fun day, and it was hard to say goodbye to my new old friends.  Need I say it?  It was a very good day.


Kathy V said...


Kathryn said...

I've been waiting a LONG time for this day, and I'm so glad that it was so rewarding!!