My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Monday, January 3, 2011

It's Maaa Baaa-rthday!

Today's my birthday, baby - so get your party on! :-)

And in case any of you wits out there are thinking it, I made this picture for my birthday post because I'm a Capricorn, not because I'm now an old goat (that won't be till next year, this year I'm still a kid! LOL), and also because as you probably know, I adore goats of all ages!

The attractive model for this picture is Freddy, one of the lucky residents of Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, my favorite animal sanctuary. In fact, one of my birthday gifts to myself today was making a donation to PPS in honor of my goat friends there.

Here are a few more photos of some of the goats at PPS, taken during a visit with my friend Robyn in April 2008...

I love his pooty lip and teefers! And those eyes!

Tolstoy and Buddha

Jupiter enjoys a bask in the early spring sunshine
while his friend insinuates himself into the photo
(there's one like that in every crowd, isn't there?)

Such regal faces

Sweet little Lotus, who I so wanted to bring home with me!

Amanda (PPS volunteer) with Oliver and MaeMae.
MaeMae has things to discuss, while Oliver just wants lovin's!

"Gee Robyn, your hair smells (and tastes) terrific!"

Curiosity must be a Capricorn trait! :-)

Freddy again, this time with his dignity restored. :-)

And now it's time for some cake! Woo-hoo!

I'd been wanting to make this Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze for a week, since it sounded really good (and it is!) and I had a an organic orange I needed to use. I just happened to finally have time to make it last night, so it was recruited to be my birthday cake. :-)

The recipe for this dense, moist, deliciously flavorful cake is from John Robbins' book, May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World (Including recipes by Jia Patton & Friends), a slight variation of which can be found here. The original recipe, which I made, calls for a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts and 1 1/2 cups of raisins (1/2 cup pureed in the food processor and the remaining cup folded into the cake batter along with the walnuts). The only change I made to the recipe was substituting the oil with 1/2 cup of organic unsweetened applesauce. And of course I used my homemade "maple syrup" from Schmoodfood: Recipes from The Vegan Lunchbox. (Speaking of which, Jennifer and her family are big fans of this cake too!) You can make this cake in an 8" square pan as I did (in my silicone pan) as well as in a 9" round one.

(My apologies to rift for all the photos and graphics yet again - but I mean it when I assure you that you'll thank me for it after you've traded in that dial-up jalopy and are zooming along the Information Superhighway in your new "ISPortscar!" Besides, I didn't think you'd really mind since most of the photos this time are of our PPS buddies!) :-)


  1. Yippee, I get to be your first comment!!!

    This is just part one since I have only read part of this blog (the birthday cake part) but I wanted to spend my 5 free minutes with YOU!! The cake sounds awesome, pass me a slice, would you. I really like the idea of an orange glaze with a carrot cake.

    I ate way too many sweets in NH so having virtual cake with you on your birthday is perfect.

    Have a great day - be back soon!!!

  2. Happy, happy birthday! I hope it is an amazing day.

  3. Haaapy Baaaa-rthday Laaaurie!

    I see that Freddy borrowed Josie's stylish frames for the photo, either that or they went shopping together and picked them out at the same time.

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday helping and remembering goat friends! I love the little insinuator! He's a lot like that little fox who peeped into one of my emails recently! They are all so lovely and they look very happy.

    That cake sounds like some serious yumminess! And healthy too! Enjoy! And I hope your day is filled with many good things and many more wonderful years to come!

  4. A very, very Happy Birthday to a fellow Capricorn! And the goat photos are fantastic! Goats are really marvelous. We even have a business on the island called Rent-A-Ruminant where you can have goats out to clear away blackberries, etc. as they love to eat about anything. I think that is way cool! Have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day! And many more as well!

  5. Happy Birthday. Wonderful pictures of the goats — they all look so sweet. Just like the cake. The cake looks and sounds delicious — perfect for celebrating a birthday.

  6. Happy birthday Laurie! I hope you're having a spectacular day. The cake looks really good and the goats are so adorable! I love their eyes. <3

  7. From one crazy cappy to another, happy burfday! xo

  8. Your Ginger Carrot cake looks delicious!!! Happy Birthday to you -- I hope you had a great one. Older but wiser.

    Goats. Thought you might be interested in this blog called The Goat Borrower. Link:

    Perhaps you are familiar with this blog.

    -- barbara

  9. Thank you to all of you for your fun birthday wishes! I really appreciate them!

    Jo ~ Yippee indeed! I think that's a first, and a great day for it to happen. :-)

    Yes of course I'll pass you a slice, while I continue to chuckle over the fact you blew right on by the rest of the post to read about the cake! LOL I'm confident the goats will wait patiently for your return. :-) In the meantime, they can join me in enjoying the very fun faerie loot you sent! I love that the fae told you what to get me!

    Congratulations on your first day at your new job, I hope it went great! Talk to you soon!

    Jamie ~ Thank you so much! And Happy New Year to you ("what's left of it," as my wry Great Uncle Leonard used to say!) :-)

    Rose ~ Wow, good job, you baaa'ed through the whole birthday greeting! lol

    Yes, Freddy and Josie seem to share the same online vendor as well as the same exquisite taste in eyeglass frames. ;-)

    You're right, the insinuator does look like the peek-around-the-corner fox! Isn't s/he funny? I love that photo. And making that donation was one of the best parts of my birthday. I also enjoyed another goat-sighting: as we were returning from our trip to the PO, we went by the Malone Ranch (where we get our hay) and there were three goats standing together in a pasture by the road. I seldom see them there, so I figured it was some sort of Capricorn birthday salute - 3 goats on the 3rd. :-)

    The cake is really good, much richer than a regular carrot cake. Almost fruitcake-like (but in a good way!) Click on that photo if you want to see its moist goodie-packed yumminess in greater detail. (I usually take crummy food photos, but I'm pretty pleased with this one despite having to use a flash).

    Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes, Rose! xoxo

    Daphne ~ Thank you, fellow Cappy! :-) I'm glad you enjoyed the goat pics, aren't they fun critters? So full of personality. The "Rent-A-Ruminant" business is unusual, sounds like the goats benefit as well as the proprietor and customer. (Hopefully they also get to live out their full natural lives, as well!) I wish we had blackberry bushes here, though I remember from living in Maine how they can take over.

  10. Andrea ~ Thanks for your birthday greeting and for stopping by again, I've been enjoying your visits!

    The goats are as sweet as they look, especially Lotus, who's really little and followed us everywhere. Michele was telling me in an email a while back that while she'd spent the morning filling everyone's water troughs (a LOT of troughs!), Lotus followed her and took a sip from each trough as soon as Michele had filled it. :-)

    The cake is sweet too, the perfect amount of sweetness IMO. I rarely have a birthday cake (and when I do it's usually chocolate), so this was a nice treat for us, and according to the cookbook it travels well (not that I'm going anywhere) and keeps up to a week in the fridge (not that it'll last that long!) :-)

    Molly ~ Thanks so much! I know, aren't their eyes amazing? Tolstoy's are especially striking. Remind me a bit of feline eyes. I wonder how the world looks to them? Especially when viewed through funky glasses? ;-)

    Izzy ~ Thanks, Izzy! Another fellow Cappy! I think I know more Capricorns than any other zodiac. Am I remembering right that your birthday is later in the month, close to being an Aquarius? (A "Capricarius?") :-)

    Barbara ~ Thanks, it is delicious! Should I pass you a slice too like I did for Jo? I'll just moosh it through the Internets tubes, shall I? lol

    I'm definitely older. I can only hope I'm getting wiser.

    I wasn't familiar with The Goat Borrower blog (though I think I've seen it on your Blogroll list?) I only had time to glance at it quickly last night, and laughed when I saw she'd decorated a goat picture for her New Year's Eve post with the same crazy eyeglasses I put on Freddy!! Apparently Josie and goats ALL share the same fashion sense when it comes to eyeglass frames! :-)

  11. I came back to see the goats and yes, they were waiting patiently for me. Poor Freddy, I'm sure he's a bit embarrassed to be wearing a tiara. I'm guessing MaeMae would have been less so but Freddy was definitely better posed for the get-up. I'm sure he thanks for for the ending photo restoring his dignity! LOL

    I thought the goat post was an excellent choice for your birthday - especially since you do love them. I'm not such a fan of lions (though I don't dislike them) so I think they need to come up with a swan sign!

  12. I love all the cute goats. I love goats :) Happy Birthday! I am glad you had a good one!

  13. Jo ~ I know, I felt kind bad putting a tiara on Freddy. But he was a good sport about it. He just ate it afterward, along with the glasses and the present. :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed my "goatee" birthday post! And you're right, we need a swan zodiac! No reason you shouldn't have one... there's the constellation Cygnus, which is even prominent in the August sky. I think you should just switch, and whenever anyone asks what sign you are (which I'm sure happens all the time, lol), answer "Cygnus." That should give them pause! (And yet... you are SUCH a Leo!)

    Carissa ~ Goats are quite lovable, aren't they? Thank you for your birthday wishes! My week got off to a rocky (as in mountain goat, haha!) start, but it has been improving. Which is one reason I like to celebrate my birth month and not just my birthday. Too much pressure and only 1/30th of the fun when you limit the celebrating to just one day! ;-)

  14. Oh noes! I'm late to the party but nevertheless, I wish you a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY from the Wheekers!! Wish you another fun year full of wonders and daily delights! :-)

  15. Happy (late) Birthday!! lol i feel DIM-witted because i would never have thought of the old goat joke:)

    "Curiosity must be a Capricorn trait! :-)"

    made me smile

    i just read what mehitable meant to you. you dont want to know what i assumed it what does laloofah mean??

    :) i like what adventure jo wrote:) that they need a two part comment!


  16. VW ~ No trouble, my birthday falls at an awful time of year (I keep threatening to change it to May), and I'm just glad you could make it! And since I haven't had a chance to compose another post yet, the birthday party just goes on and on... ;-) Thank you to you and the Wheekers for your wonderful birthday wishes!

    Dirty Duck ~ (Hereafter known as DD) :-)
    Thank you! LOL - that doesn't make you dim-witted, it just means you're either too kind-hearted to think of an insult, too vegan-minded to even think of dissing goats of advanced age, or too young to think about aging at all. Or all of the above. :-)

    Isn't the photo of the curious goat a hoot? (Actually, s/he was trying to get at the alfalfa stored inside the building! But I find a hearty appetite is a Capricorn trait as well, at least for this Cappy!) :-)

    And since curiosity is also one of my traits, of course I want to know what you thought "mehitable" meant!! Come on, spill! As for "laloofah," nothing too exotic there - just a blending of my nickname and the first part of my last name. But I like the "loofah" reference and the bouncy sound of it.

    I agree with you and Jo. I could use multi-part comments myself (and usually do!) That way, I can appear to have the ability to leave brief comments (which I clearly don't). LOL

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment - and for following my blog! :-) I'm behind right now on blogging/visiting/commenting, but hope to get a chance to catch up soon!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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