Out of the frying pan into the deep freeze

 From an unusually warm first half of November
 (on Nov. 7 our thermometer registered 61 degrees)
  we moved into an unusually cold and snowy end of autumn.
 A wet and sticky snow fell throughout the night of Nov. 29
 which was followed by a cold snap 
 that froze the snow in place.
 For days it was like living in a giant snow-globe.
Now both the hay meadows
and Spring Lake are well concealed.
We missed the “Snowmaggedon” that paralyzed the Twin Cities and collapsed the Metrodome roof 
but we got the arctic air blast that followed; sunny days are the coldest.
The goat barn has been staying a balmy -4 even on mornings that approach -20.
Frost collects on the rims of the heated water buckets.
Dream is sensible enough to keep her winter coat on; the other girls manage to wriggle out of theirs.
A visiting kitty kept scavaging in our compost pile
and leaving blue jay carcases in our garage
so we started feeding her.  Don't know if he/she is feral or belongs to a neighbor, but the kitty runs every time we appear.  (She's staring at the camera through the kitchen window.)
We asked Bubba if he wanted to share his cushy, pampered life with the poor visitor.  He called us "Obama socialists," pinned on his "Palin-Bachman 2012" button,
and retreated to one of his favorite winter spots: under the quilts in the south bedroom.
Nature's repertoire of fabulous sunsets
again includes a cold-weather phenomenon:
a pillar of light caused by ice crystals.
Mr. T out looking for action.
He enjoyed an extended visit from Jellybean
and Sugar
but on their daily visits to Mr. T's boudoir
the visitors seemed more interested in butting heads

with the local girls.
No matter how snowy or cold it gets
T keeps an eye on the ladies' dormitory.
Ada returned in December to accompany
Desi's daughter Gerta
who sports the cutest pair of wattles.
At first Gerta wasn't wild about visiting T
but the suave operator finally won her over.
Kona came down with bloat, which can occur in very cold weather when goats reduce their activity.  Barb's quick intervention (massages, exercise, doses of vegetable oil and medicines) saved the day.
Santa's busiest elf has been making lots of goats' milk soap
which cures on racks in the bathroom
and accumulates in boxes throughout the house
awaiting delivery to Barb's many customers.  It's a popular Christmas gift item.
As usual, she's been experimenting with new varieties
Mr. T joins the other goats, Bubba and the Farmers in wishing to all visitors of the blog the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2011.  (Mr. T's hat courtesy of Dale Connelly.)


Dave said...

Barb and Steve,

Another great contribution to goatdom! I would say that Brigitte and I wish we were there to share the holiday season with y'all, but after seeing the snow and the thermometer we will stay right here in Baton Rouge. It's 75 degrees at this moment, but we will be down to the low 30s by Saturday morning!

Every kitty deserves a good home; please take good care of her/him at least through the winter.

madislandgirl said...

T looks very distinguished with that hat and beard. I'm thinking Dale needs to give him a stovepipe hat for President's Day.

Just wondering, are ALL cats Republicans or are there a few Libertarians in the species.

Your winter visitor is formidable indeed if they are taking on jays, little Miss Twix stays away from those (sparrows and mice are another story)