Friday, July 1, 2011

SUCCESSFUL FAMILY REUNIONS:10 things the hosts will need to know!

We've all seen them: matching t-shirts, Grandpa, Great Grandma, all the little ones, cousins, siblings, in-laws. Park picnic tables - with identifying helium balloons and the hand painted sign "Miller Reunion table 4".
Whether hosting an afternoon, weekend or a whole week, here's what I have learned after hosting my first ever 6-day family reunion.

1) Pick a date that works for the hosts. If you try to please everyone, especially the hard-to-pin-down folks, they probably won't show anyhow -so just figure out the dates that work for the hosts, period, no resentment. Try to give ample lead time (we started planning 9 months in advance) but even so, you never are guaranteed 100% participation unless everyone is committed to making the reunion a priority.

2) Choose adequate space and lodging that provides everyone a place to be alone if they need a nap or just some chill time. We hosted our reunion at our lodge where each couple or sub-group had their own guestroom and private bathroom. A great room and outdoor deck provides a common area for everyone to be together. A hot tub and large outdoor areas to walk and play on are a plus.

3) Have ready a choice and balance of activities. Try to locate your reunion where there are already lots of great activities. Shoot for mostly free activities, and also something for less-active to extremely active. Keep in mind altitude adjustments for people that are not used to it. We advised everyone to start drinking a lot of water about one week before the reunion. Our activities included several hikes (short, long, easy, strenuous) Geo-caching, golf, mini-golf, bowling, shopping, river-rafting, art galleries, hot-springs, hiking to the bat-caves, The Royal Gorge Amusement Park.

4) Meals: To take the pressure off the hosts, ask each sub-group to plan a meal from start to finish. As hosts we provided a simple continental breakfast each day, but you could delegate that as well. Keep it simple. Try to schedule some meals and leave others open for trying out the local restaurants.

5) Schedules: Plan a few activities with a definite start time - let everyone know well in advance that it is a firm time. Make sure you have lots of transportation available. We had a white-water rafting trip planned so everyone had an early start that day.

6) Matching t-shirts. Your call - but everyone at our Reunion said they were glad we didn't do this! If you must, then pick a great color and good shirt that sticks out in a crowd.

7) Down time - provide snacks and drinks, cards & board games and lounging areas for chatting and getting caught up. Bring photo albums to share.

8) Step up and take charge. This comes naturally for some (me) but not everyone. Try to appoint a leader to get everyone ready and out the door or it will not happen in a timely manner. It's understandable that you don't want to be a drill Sargent but it needs to be done and most people want to be told where and when and just show up.

9) Arrivals and departures: This is an area that could have used improvement at our family reunion. We had people coming in over a 4 day period and leaving over a 3 day period. Try to get everyone to come in and leave on the same dates or you will limit the choice of group activities and people will miss out.

10) Take lots of photos - soon after the reunion, upload your photos on a shared website, your Facebook page or invitation websites such as Evite, etc. Stay flexible and have a great time- don't wait so long between reunions and remember how important and lucky you are to have family, no matter how quirky.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Goat’s Milk Is Long On Nutrients, Short On Casein

Posted By Better Health Research News Desk On May 19, 2011 @ 8:17 am In Allergies,Health

Researchers at the University of Granada recently analyzed the molecular composition of goat's milk and found that it contains less casein than human milk, meaning it is less likely to cause allergic reactions among children.Among those who would like to drink fortified cow's milk in order to get their daily recommended values of vitamin D and calcium, many cannot, either because of lactose intolerance or an allergy. While dietary supplements are always one easy solution for this problem, a new study has pointed to goat's milk as another.

Researchers at the University of Granada recently analyzed the molecular composition of goat's milk and found that it contains less casein than human milk, meaning it is less likely to cause allergic reactions among children.

The study also noted that goat's milk has about 1 percent less lactose than cow's milk, indicating that milk taken from goats is less likely to irritate the digestive tract. Scientists even found that people with anemia and iron deficiency displayed improvements in health after drinking goat's milk, which helped them absorb iron.

Perhaps the only problem for many Americans is that goat's milk can be expensive and hard to find. Rather than going out of one's way to find a goat or a high-end grocery store, it can be easier to stick to vitamin supplements that contain calcium and vitamin D.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

PETS of all kinds - welcome!!!

AT the Mountain Goat Lodge - when we say "Pets Welcome!" we really mean it!! Especially when the pet turns out to be "Ringo" the delightful Capuchin Monkey that visited us a few weeks ago.
Capuchin Monkeys typically live 45 years - making ownership no small commitment. Owners Mary Jane and Richard K. of Michigan explained the rigors of caring for such an intelligent creature. The whole house top to bottom must be monkey-proofed. Diapers need to be worn unless he is in his crate. Special food for his sensitive stomach - Special vets, special pet-sitters, a contingency plan for his care should something happen to his human parents, makes life much more complicated than leaving town for a couple of days with your dog!

Ringo was originally meant to be a helper for Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled, a national nonprofit serving quadriplegic and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility-impairments by providing highly trained monkeys to assist with daily activities.

Helping Hands raise and train these monkeys to act as live-in companions who, over the course of 20-30 years, will provide the gifts of independence, companionship, dignity and hope to the people they help.

In Ringo's case - MJ and Richard were foster parents for Ringo before his Helping Hands training was to begin. When the training placement fell through - they ended up keeping him as a their family pet. Everywhere they go - he goes - which makes driving somewhat difficult - as cars tend to drive so close to them to get a look that they miss their exits!

We were enchanted by Ringo's expressive face and mannerisms and was sure he could read my lips! Owners have to spell out words that they don't want him to hear!

So far Ringo wins the "most unusual pet" title at the Mountain Goat Lodge. Any challengers?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Of Life and death on the farm

This has been a trying couple of weeks. Lots of animal trauma and death, but also birth! I wish I was an old-time farmer that could take it all in stride, but this former city-girl will never be that thick skinned. We had a predator take out Steve, our beautiful rooster, who died defending one of the hens. We found another hen dead in the coop - from unknown causes. We lost a hen to the wild and another is gravely sick. I never thought I would be trying to keep a chicken alive but this week I have had her in my home, force feeding her water, medicine and what little food she will still eat. Roxy is my favorite hen - a wonderful brooder that has always been healthy, until one week ago. I can't bear to lose her.
Last night our guest's dog got onto the highway and was killed instantly by a hit and run driver. We are all reeling from that heartache. Mudd was a beautiful boy and had been rescued just two years out of his four year life when this tragedy happened. We have experienced an outpouring of sympathy from neighbors and friends who came forward to help bury and honor him. The heartache was lifted temporarily this morning when Mudd's family and I witnessed the birth of two beautiful baby goats. I don't cry much, but I do cry when animals are harmed or killed. I just can't help it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mountain Goat Lodge featured in Indie film 'The Invisible Man'

Published in the Mountain Mail Newspaper March 7 2011

by Cailey McDermott

A low budget, eight-member film crew was in Salida during the first week of March shooting their modern adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man."

Based on the 1897 book by H.G. Wells, this version will be a five-part miniseries for viewing exclusively on the Internet.

"Each segment will be about 10-15 minutes," assistant director Phill Dishon said. "We hope to have it online by late spring."

Waterfoot Films, Dishon said, is an award-winning short film company in Tampa, Fla. The director of photography and assistant director attended film school together at the University of Florida and have since worked on 10 short films together.

Written by director Tim Compton and director of photography Sean Malone, the story was written with Salida and Colorado in mind.

"We love the dynamic of a small town, tucked away in the mountains," Compton said.

He said this version is "very faithful to the spirit of the original book," with two large differences.

"Wells' book took place in 19th century England," Compton said, "Our adaptation is Americanized and modernized. In our version, Griffin (the Invisible Man) is given a deeper emotional story, which strongly correlates to action of the plot."

Dishon said, "There hasn't been (a faithful adaptation) in a long time. Not one with heart."

He cited two "terrible" examples of previous film adaptations of the original - "Hollow Man" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

John Hightower, a Salida native, plays Griffin, the leading man. The crew stayed at the home of Hightower's parents during the week-long shoot. Many scenes were shot on the property.

Hightower said it was planned and coincidence that he would star in a film set in Salida.

He said, "What drew me to the character is he has a dark sense of humor I relate to. I appreciate that he operates in extremes allowing a wide range of expression."

Dishon said, "He's a fantastic actor, he brings a lot to the film. I think he enjoys the anonymity of being a faceless character."

Friday was the most labor-intensive day. The crew filmed back-to-back scenes all day, most working on one-two hours of sleep, he said.

A county sheriff's vehicle was loaned to the crew for a couple hours Friday.

Dishon said he contacted Salida Police Chief Terry Clark several times, but there was a jurisdiction problem. Although the address is in Salida, the filming was on Fremont CR 49. Dishon said he called County Sheriff Pete Palmer, who immediately agreed.

"It's extremely rare in the movie business to use an authentic police car, let alone the keys too! We can't express our gratitude more. Clark and Palmer have been so welcoming to our crew," Dishon said.

Scouting Salida and the surrounding area for outdoor scenes to match their interior filming, the crew "fell in love" with the ghost town of St. Elmo.

Dishon said St. Elmo will be "prominently featured in the film," in addition to Salida elements.

"Location scouting in the city has in no way disappointed us - on film even more so," Dishon said. "This is a fantastic place."

Malone said, "As a cinematographer, I have to say that this is the most magnificent location in which I have ever shot. It's kind of hard to mess up beautiful vistas."

He said The Mountain Goat Lodge will be the exterior for one of the previously filmed interior scenes and two police officers wear authentic Salida Police Department jackets. The patch will be visible in several scenes, Dishon added.

Salida filming was Phase II of the filming. The first round of shooting was in Tampa, where a majority of interior scenes were shot. After Salida, there will be one more scene to shoot, before editing starts.

The crew is expected to leave Tuesday.

Snow Thursday night "couldn't have occurred more perfectly," Dishon said. Crew members also have "regular" jobs, but film production is their common passion, he said.

"Sean (Malone) does everything from a barista to an adjunct teacher," he said. "He's swung a lot of lattes to buy lenses for this film."

Amy Casebolt, assistant camera person, said, "Colorado did not disappoint. Every time we walk outside, it's surreal."

Malone said, "The biggest misconception about the industry is everyone is a jerk. The biggest misconception about the process is it's easy."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Website Promotion 20% Discount!

Under new ownership (since June 2010) and with the launch of our new website, Mountain Goat Lodge B&B offers the following promotion:
Between February 10-28, 2011 qualify for a 20% discount on all 2 night bookings for 2011!! How do you get this? Search our website and find out the name of our Pure White Goat – enter this name as the promo code in our online reservations site, or on the telephone when making your reservation. This offer valid for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer.
Hope to see you soon!
Your Hosts, Gina & D’Arcy Marcell

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby Goats need you!

If you are looking for something to do with or without your kids, come on over between 3-6pm and pet our baby goats! They are too cute and need lots of socializing. We even have some you can bottle feed!