Tag Archives: goats

Tearing Down Wallpaper

thumbnail (1)

Our goat Naughty passed away last week. We knew this day was coming as he had slowed down, was losing weight and seemed to be having some trouble eating. I never knew I could cry so much over a farm animal. I made a little tribute video of him and posted it on social media. It made me feel good to share with others, the joy he provided to us.

Watch:  The Naughty Movie

We never really knew how old he was, though through some conversations on Facebook following his passing we learned he was likely 14-15 years old. That’s pretty good for an old goat and it comforted me that he had lived a long, happy, carefree life, much of it with us.

I haven’t written on this blog in years. I started it back in 2009 and it was in 2010 that I began adding to it on a regular basis. 2013 was my last really active year, with a small burst of activity in 2015 and 2016. It was a love/hate relationship I had with this site. Building a readership was invigorating. Putting words on a page that someone else, often total strangers, enjoyed reading was a treat that I had never experienced before. It gave me a focus during a somewhat stressful period of life. I was introduced to many people that I still have never met in person but who I am connected with on social media platforms and would consider “old friends.”

On the other hand, over time it became another thing to worry about. “What do I post next, what am I going to write about, gotta keep the hits coming!”

I liken it to our old brick farm house on Brown Road which we actively began renovating a few years after we moved in. I loved it, this newfound hobby of which I had little to no experience; building and painting and installing floors and bathroom tile. I jumped at the chance to dive headfirst into a project, logging countless hours on weekends and evenings, swinging a hammer and using power tools I’d rarely touched before, getting my hands dirty, choking on the dust and soaking up the paint splatter with yet another set of old clothes that would soon end up in a trash bin.

And then one day when things were kind of status quo, when the house was livable as this quirky combination of renovated farmhouse and bad 1970’s chic, when our kids were taking up more and more of our time with sports and school activities, I suddenly didn’t like it anymore. I was tired and I stopped. Cold turkey. Believe me there’s still plenty to do and I’ll occasionally tackle a smaller, more manageable project with the hope that I get inspired again to finish everything that’s on “the list”.

When Naughty passed it hit me hard, not only because I had grown quite attached to that ornery old coot, but it was in 2010 when I had just started actively writing this blog, that we also adopted he and Heath, our first two goats. Suddenly there was this whole newfound theme to write about; our little “farm” on Brown Road, with its historic old house, long wooden fences, grazing goats and an idyllic dirt road with a corn field on the other side. I had visions of Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion dancing in my head. I joked in posts about becoming famous while often carrying this fame on the backs of my two new, soon to be legendary goats, Naughty and Heath.

They gave us story after story to recall, some of which sit within these pages, others that we’ll have to remember from photos or social media posts or the file cabinets in our slowly deteriorating memory banks. In our local circles we became the family with the goats and it’s to this day part of our identity. Heath passed away in 2014 and now my buddy Naughty was gone too. We were down to two goats from our peak of five. I felt like a small but very relevant part of my past had been dredged up and ripped from my heart.

Clearly this blog never reached those levels of Garrison Keillor infamy just as our master bedroom, up until a few months ago was still covered in ugly 1980’s wallpaper, with the same dirty blue carpet, there when we moved in, still sadly covering what I know is a gorgeous 120+ year old wide plank wood floor anxiously waiting a belt sander and a few coats of stain and polyurethane. Even so, Naughty and Heath did go on to become somewhat well known and adored locally, as well as the three other adopted goats that have crossed our paths in the interim years.

A few months back, on a whim I started tearing down that ugly wallpaper in our bedroom. Underneath I slowly and patiently revealed the old, sexy plaster walls that hadn’t seen the light of day in decades. Next I’ll pull up that carpet. It felt good to dig into that project, to once again take on that role of caretaker, and I could sense the old house relishing in the attention she was getting.

The bedroom is still not finished but eventually it will be… I promise. Our old house has been a work in progress since the day we moved in. The “to do list” changes, it morphs and fluctuates, and sometimes we just shove the list in a brown paper bag and carelessly toss it into a closet, like you do with your clutter when you are preparing to have guests over for a party.

Perhaps this blog is a work in progress also. Today I tore down some wallpaper.

Thanks Naughty, I’ll miss you buddy!

IMG_20150525_183020

15 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Ode from Naughty to Heath

DSC06271

Our goat Heath died back in July of 2014. Although this is not current news, as I was not writing at the time, this milestone did not make it onto Brown Road Chronicles. To those that have not been around since the beginning of this blog, Heath was one of the first two goats we had here at Brown Road and half of the “World Famous Goats” Naughty and Heath, stars of many-a-story as BRC was growing into an epic World Famous blog. Heath was a storied creature with painted fur, regal horns and an exquisitely coiffed beard. If you are interested, some of the highlights are here:

Goats in Coats

A Primer on the Rampant Stereotyping of Hillbilly Goats

When Goats Eat Remotes

A Cease and Desist Letter to  McDonald’s from My Attorneys

Lost… Goat Style!

A Moment in Time

Brown Road Chronicles T-shirts

Heath was an old goat and died peacefully of old age. He had been failing for some time and although the thought to put him down was constantly in the back of our minds, he seemed mostly content and so we put off the inevitable. He laid on his side one night in a stall in the barn, unable to get up, and we knew nature would take its course.

In good hillbilly fashion, we cremated him the following evening in a large bonfire, while we sat around and reminisced. Kim and I drank a bunch of wine and got drunk and cried a little bit. That night when I went into the barn I saw Naughty scratching something into the dirt floor while the other goats watched. I sat down on a stump of wood in the barn, sipping from my glass and waited for him to finish before running inside and grabbing a note pad and pencil.

This is what it said:

Oh Heath, my friend, I’ll miss you now, so here I share this simple ode
To honor thou, the life we shared in grassy fields on old Brown Road
Transcendent summer days we spent in speckled sun and dappled shade
And hunkered down inside our barn when winter brought its white cascade

Our days went by with scarce a thought what legacy we’d soon behold
But fame it grew in local lore with anecdotal stories told
In fictive tales and epic yarns of life amongst the Warner brood
Your star shined bright amongst the breadth of stories read and photos viewed

But battles, though we may win some, against thine adversary, age
That time must come, when all that’s left is that which dons the printed page
So I move on to coming days with Holly, Ella, Jack and Moo
But filled with cherished memories of special times I spent with you

Yeah, I was impressed too. RIP Heath, we’ll keep the Brown Road Chronicles legacy going!

11 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

No More Twinkies

This is a sad and tragic milestone in our history.

I’m sure you have all heard about the imminent demise of the baked goods company Hostess, maker of the most iconic and delicious treat ever to grace this very earth… the Twinkie. I’m sure you are all also having sleepless nights, lying awake, plagued with concern that my goats will no longer be able to get a Twinkie every time you leave a comment on my blog.

Now as much as I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and blame yet another ridiculously outdated, greedy, asinine and out of touch Labor Union for destroying one more company on the ever shrinking list of U.S. manufacturers…

… I won’t … because frankly I feel I may be partially to blame here.

You see, I have not been writing much and thus, you my fabulous fans and readers have not been leaving comments on my blog and thus, my goats have not been getting nearly the volume of Twinkies that they used to get when I was writing four to five posts a week.  Now granted, my goats are likely much healthier but I think that this decrease in the volume of Twinkies they are consuming may be the root cause of why the Hostess company had to file for bankruptcy in the first place.

I don’t know…  it’s just a theory but I’m feeling a little guilty about it.

Now apparently the Hostess company is going to sell off the rights to some of the brand names that they manufacture, so perhaps Twinkies will resurface in some other incarnation of snack food. But it won’t be the same, it’s a Hostess Twinkie and that’s all it will ever be.

Tragic…

In any case, apparently this will be the last post of mine in which my goats will receive a Twinkie for every comment you leave.

So make it good…

Because they are not going to take this news lightly.

And if you have any thoughts about what I can give my goats now, every time you leave a comment, I’d welcome the suggestions.

 

34 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Meet Holly and Ella

The latest addition to the Brown Road family!

These are pygmy goats that we adopted from some 4-H’ers that weren’t able to keep them.  They’re the cutest damn things!

Holly is all black, Ella is the one with the white hat.

Guess I’m gonna have to design some new t-shirts….

28 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

My Chinese Zodiac Sign is…

It’s all coming together now…

I discovered today that I was born in the Year of the Goat (or Sheep or Ram depending on where you look) in the Chinese Zodiac. Wow, I feel so enlightened! Clearly that is the reason that I get along so well with Naughty and Heath. Us Goats, you see, apparently are creative types, crafty and artistic. We’re dreamers and worriers, charming yet introverted, overly concerned with our appearances, romantic and sweet and caring. Okay, my wife would probably argue the “romantic” part, but damn, that’s pretty accurate.

Anyhow, I never really believed in zodiac and astrological mumbo- jumbo, but here’s a few excerpts about us goats.

From www.chinesezodiac.com

Occupying the 8th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Goat (or Sheep) symbolizes such character traits as creativity, intelligence, dependability, and calmness. Comfortable being alone to ponder the workings of their inner minds, Goats enjoy being part of a group, but prefer the sidelines rather than the center. Their nurturing personality makes Goats excellent care-givers. They’re quiet and reserved because they spend much time absorbed in their thoughts.

Home and alone is where Goats feel most comfortable. There they can express themselves artistically, whether it’s by painting, cooking or participating in whatever artistic endeavors they enjoy. Goats prefer the couch because there they can relax and explore their minds. They don’t need elaborate furnishings; only items reflecting their desire for art.

When traveling or seeking entertainment, Goats prefer groups or venues that hold many people. Goats spend money on fashions that give them a first class appearance. Although Goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.

This site even classified me as a Fire Goat:

Not nearly as sensitive as other Goats, Fire Goats don’t need the approval of others. Fire Goats always put themselves ahead of others. They’re social creatures who typically will have a close-knit circle of family and friends.

From http://www.chinese-astrology.co.uk/goat.html

Goat people are elegant, charming, artistic, gifted and fond of nature. People born under this sign are also the most creative. They are also very delicate, their good manners and charms always bring many admirers and friends.

Goats are insecure. They need to feel loved and protected. They are easily drawn into complex predicaments. This being, so, they usually shy from confrontation, pull back when faced with heavy decision-making and blatantly refuse to take an unpopular stand in a conflict.

Goat people are dreamers, sometimes, they are pessimistic, hesitant and over-anxious worriers! They can be lazy sometimes. If Goats have any choices, they would definitely choose to marry a wealthy person and sit back for the rest of the lives. Also, they are obsessed with their appearance. This plays an enormous part in their sense of personal stability.

Disorganized as they are, business is definitely not the strength in a Goat. Instead, the Goat will make a good craftsman or artist or writer and can confidently take up any career demanding artistic talents and creativities.

Goat people are very romantic, sensitive, sweet and darling. In relationship, they could be sometimes a little bit bossy and lazy, but with their gentle and caring nature, it will be hard to resist Goat people.

Yeah baby, I’m romantic, sensitive, sweet and darling… and hard to resist. I’m starting to like this whole Astrology gig!

“Yeah… ummm… Steve, your uhhh ‘need to be loved and protected’ is showing.”

Admittedly though, it’s not perfect, I’m definitely not that great at the whole romance part of a relationship. I’m not really insecure, although I was as a much younger person. And I am able to be organized, if only because life requires me to be.

But overall it’s pretty accurate! Now granted, these descriptions are probably written in ways that the average person reading would say, “yeah, that sorta sounds like me.”

My wife on the other hand… she’s a Monkey. Don’t tell her I said that. While reading the descriptions of the Monkey, I thought, some of that sounds right but she’s really more of a Goat than a Monkey, which is probably why we get along so well. She’s sort of ½ goat, ½ monkey, whatever that looks like. One site said this: The monkey has a good chance of becoming famous or well-known. Perhaps I need to start being a little more Monkey and a little less Goat.

So I guess I still don’t really believe in any of this stuff. Anyhow, I’m glad to discover that I am a Goat. My wife texted me from the County Fair last night and told me that one of the families is looking for a good home for two dwarf doe pygmy goats. I don’t really know what those are or if it would be a good idea to add two more to the flock.

My response to her…

“Sure go for it… would give me another year of blog material!”

How about you… what’s your Chinese Zodiac sign? Is it accurate? Are you a believer?

 

 

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Brown Road Chronicles T-Shirts

In my ongoing quest to become famous I have contracted with a very successful advertising and marketing agency to move that goal forward. They have been very busy…  first that fabulous radio commercial, now a series of t-shirts.  Sorry, these are not for sale at this time but if you want, you can vote on your favorite below! Have fun.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A Cease and Desist Letter to McDonald’s from my Attorneys

July 11, 2012

Ronald McDonald
McDonald’s Corporation
2111 McDonald’s Dr
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Dear Mr. McDonald:

It has come to our attention (The Attention) that you have been marketing (The Marketing) your McDonald’s franchises (The Franchises) as a source of healthy food (The Food), via a television commercial, using a likeness (The Likeness) of a goat named Heath (The Goat) that is owned by our client, Mr. Steve Warner (The Client), who is the author (The Author) of a blog entitled The Brown Road Chronicles (The Blog).

Our client, “The Client”, owns the Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights to any and all usages of “The Likeness” of “The Goat” in any forms of media, including television, radio, internet websites, cereal boxes, Twinkie advertisements, etc. As permission was neither asked for nor granted to use “The Likeness” of “The Goat” we declare that your using “The Likeness” of “The Goat” constitutes infringement of the rights of “The Client” and “The Goat”.

“The Client” finds this infringement a despicable violation of the key principles of Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights and as evidence of the infringement of  the rights of “The Client” we are providing as part of this letter, the following photographic documentation:

Exhibit A: Showing clearly and unquestionably the resemblance between “The Goat” owned by “The Client” and “The Other Goat” used in the McDonald’s commercials.

In terms of the Copyright, Trademark, Registration, Licenses and Rights Statutes, “The Client” is entitled to an injunction against your continued infringement, as well as to recover damages from you for the loss “The Client” has suffered as a result of your infringing conduct.

In the circumstances, we demand that you immediately:

1. remove all infringing content from your TV commercials and notify us in writing that you have done so;
2. pay a licensing fee in the amount of $5,000. (Five Thousand Dollars);
3. immediately cease the use of “The Clients” copyrighted images;
4. undertake in writing to desist from using any of “The Client’s” copyrighted images in the future without prior written authority from “The Client”;
5. immediately begin supplying “The Client” with one year’s worth of free French Fries and Big Macs as well as supplying “The Goat” with one year’s worth of free Twinkies.

We trust that you will regard this letter with all due seriousness and respond accordingly. We await to hear from you by no later than the 1st of August Two Thousand and Twelve.

This is written without prejudice to our rights, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.

Yours faithfully,

23 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized