Goat Burger Is So Pleased


My Christmas tree can finally come down, nearly a month after the holidays.
Ross is home! We had “Christmas” again at Sassafras House! Ross has two weeks of liberty after he spent four months in a submarine in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. They went to port in Bahrain, Diego Garcia, and Fujairah. I’d never heard of Fujairah before–it’s part of the United Arab Emirates. Ross said they make dirt there. Really. And that most of the top soil we buy in bags in the U.S. comes from Fujairah. Hunh. There’s nothing in Diego Garcia, apparently, but there are malls in Bahrain. He bought his wedding tux at a mall in Bahrain, and also purchased Selena’s wedding ring there. Morgan and I have been entertained by his stories. And a lot of cooking has been going on here.

Meanwhile, here at the farm, my old standby 15-year-old Explorer went downhill fast. I love my Explorer. It’s carried sheep, goats, chickens, geese, cats, and Giant Puppies. Its four-wheel-drive braved the road to Stringtown Rising and the icy driveway. It forded the river time after time. It has carried dead deer to the butcher, and it held 11 bales of hay at a time. It’s taken me on uncountable trips, everywhere from the feed store to South Carolina and Illinois. And with the seats down, the back is big enough for a romantic rendezvous, just sayin’. I bought it six years ago, used, cheap–for cash, and never had a car payment. Until this past year, I never had to do more than routine maintenance.

Explorer on the job:

To say I’m attached to this old Explorer would be an understatement. I love it. It took me from the Slanted Little House to Stringtown Rising to Sassafras Farm. It carried me through the most adventurous and dramatic time of my life. Over the past year, family and friends have frequently told me it was time to move on. Get a new car! Noooooooo….. Things started going wrong that weren’t routine maintenance. Major things. I thought, okay, I’ll get that fixed and then everything will be fine again. But then the next major thing. And the next. Gwennie ate the seat belts (all of them) and I haven’t had properly working seat belts in a year. I spent more money on it than I care to think about in the past year. Especially in the past two months. Currently, it has a blown head gasket. And antifreeze is leaking. Again. (After I just had a new water pump installed.) It was finally just time……to stop the bleeding.

This past week has been consumed by trips to car dealerships. Ross took me in his truck. The Explorer is non-moving and stuck in my driveway at the moment. I’m going to sell it as is, probably to someone who’ll take it for parts. I thought hard about what to get, what I really needed. I really don’t use the four-wheel-drive that often now that I live on a paved road. I really don’t need to carry hay or straw that often, or animals very often anymore either. For reliability, price, and gas mileage, I finally decided to get a car. Like, a CAR. Which doesn’t seem very farmerish, but I will manage when I need a truck–beg or borrow. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I don’t need a truck.
I came home with a Chevy Impala. It still doesn’t feel like me, and it won’t be carrying any animals, unless maybe Maia and only after she’s had a bath and is in her tutu. But it has a HUGE trunk and I could totally put a dead deer or two in there on a tarp. It could fit at least four bales of hay in a pinch (I’ll probably try to avoid that) and it can carry a dozen 50-pound bags of feed. It feels smooth and safe and dependable, and I’m not scared of breaking down every time I go out.

The Explorer broke down the final time before I’d taken Goat Burger to the butcher, so I don’t know when or if that will happen now.
He’s so excited!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 21, 2014  

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20 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 1-21

    PLEASE keep Goatburger as a goat, not as a burger, it is so difficult to get attached to your animals via your blog and then see them as a burger—I understand the whole idea of raising them for food it is just difficult for those of us that have come to enjoy reading about them and their antics.

  2. 1-21

    :eating: :snoopy: :sheepjump: Good thinking. Your gonna need a nice new car for toting round that precious cargo coming soon.

  3. 1-21

    Congratulations on the new car!
    But, I thought you had Ross’ old truck? Or did that bite the dust as well?

  4. 1-21

    The truck is currently out of commission, though it’s still here.

  5. 1-21

    Farm cars are much more common than you’d think. My Mercury Milan can carry 10 bags of horse feed and still have the backseat empty for other goodies. Or three bales of straw. Not that I know that from experience or anything!

  6. 1-21

    I agree with Joell in comment #1. Would you consider keeping Goatburger as a pet? I think in a previous post he was helpful in cleaning up excess foilage around the farm. Maybe he could earn some of his keep by munching on places that need to be cleaned up and save you from some mowing. Just asking that you think about it.

  7. 1-21

    Woohoo! New car–good for you. You deserve it. :snoopy: Wait… is Ross SMILING in that picture? How did you manage that? (Morgan is prettier in every picture.)
    from Eastern NC

  8. 1-21

    I have a Chevy Uplander, nicknamed “The Mothership” that I love. It has all the amenities (& mileage)of a car, but the critter, hay, feed and rendezvous capacity as a truck. With snow tires on, it handles these central NY snowy roads just fine. Love it! Good luck w/yours.

  9. 1-21

    :wave: Ross could take Goat Burger for you. Then you could pick up the packages when done. Ya more in the freezer and less to feed.

  10. 1-21

    Yeah for goatburger! Even if his name is strange, that is okay, he can still be a pet. I have a sheep named “Lamb Chop” after all.


  11. 1-21

    I live in the city, but I have a clue. Goat Burger doesn’t get much air time or a real name as he’s part of the FOOD chain for the farm. Suzanne is a FARMER. Just because Maia (the goat princess) is seemingly a pet, I’m sure she will be bred and add to the herd as well. Little GB has his function. Maia has hers. Farmers can’t afford to be too sentimental, or they will never be able to afford to be farmers!

  12. 1-21

    When I read the title, my mind immediately jumped to the conclusion that Goat Burger was going to be munching on a yummy Christmas tree. Given the reprieve, I’m sure he is happy after all!

  13. 1-21

    Jodie, this is so true. Many animals on my farm are “pets” but at some point, I need a return or the whole thing falls apart….

  14. 1-21

    Are Morgan and Ross singing in that pic? Too bad Weston wasn’t there as well. But this is what happens as they grow up – different schedules. Glad Christmas #2 was a happy one!

  15. 1-21

    Oh, and congrats on the new CAR!

  16. 1-22

    Do not underestimate what a car can do in a pinch. 40 years ago I had a 4H feeder calf project “Charley Brown” who ate a special feed mix which yielded a ton of feed. We had an origial VW bettle which with the passenger seat removed would haul the ton of feed. There was no hills or mountains along the Kanawha River or the VW would never have made it.

    Have fun and good luck with the new car. Mark

  17. 1-22

    We actually had goat burgers for Christmas..but not OUR goat! We have a 10 year old son. And he doesn’t mind eating goat at all…as long as it isn’t HIS goat. We just sell those. Yes, weird.
    Congrats on the new wheels!

  18. 1-27

    I’m back – just in time to learn about GB’s temporary reprieve! I’ve missed so much – I’ll be reading for weeks to catch up. Left Iowa and my ancient computer behind on Nov. 11, and arrived in Savannah on 11/14. I’m now about 15 miles from my daughter and 4 year old grandson instead of 1300!

    Nancy in Savannah, formerly known as Nancy in Iowa

  19. 1-27

    Welcome back, Nancy!

  20. 1-30

    For others pondering truck repairs .. In 2002 I found myself with an dead pickup, one I’d loved and driven for far too long, a nothin’ special Chevy. I didn’t want something new, I just wanted back what I’d had, so I called around and found a place that would put in a newly rebuilt engine, water pump, several etcs. with labor for about $3000. That got me 8 more good years, or about 7 years of free truck. By 2010 everything else had caught up with the first engine – it was done. Still, $3k was money well spent.

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