'Tis the Season

What happened to November?
The pond iced over
fall colors fled
a few grapes lingered on the arbor
one last bicycle trek on the Munger Trail in a freezing rain
a hearty Thanksgiving feast
a few dustings of snow
but not enough to intimidate the neighbor's burros or prevent a November blog entry.
It took Windows 8 to accomplish the latter.  The Farmers' old XP computer died and was replaced by a fancy new touch-screen machine running the latest operating system
which is clearly not designed for geezers.  Time that should have gone toward the blog was invested instead in Windows 8: The Missing Manual.
Then early December brought the 6th largest three-day snowfall in the area's history, followed by the 8th coldest early winter sub-zero spell -- and it's not even officially winter yet!
We won't be using the picnic table any time soon
or grilling with the Weber.
Birds will have to work to finish off the frozen, snow encrusted grapes.
The metal roof sheds the accumulation
and dumps it in icy piles on the driveway
The poor buried Yaris left its imprint in a snowbank.
Viva isn't sure what to make of her first real snow
and wonders how it can be so damned cold in the bright sunlight.
Breeding season is successfully concluded.
Sanchez, who started out as intimidated and inexperienced as the Dustin Hoffman character in The Graduate,
morphed into the smooth, seductive Warren Beatty lady-killer of Shampoo.
Blood tests confirmed that Viva and Geisha are incubating cute little Sanchez babies, and we presume that Cheeky, Momo and Eclipse are, too.
During his months with us he grew from a cute little feller
into a magnificent buck.
His mission accomplished at MeadowWild
Sanchez moved on to the Langhorst farm in Kettle River and even more lady goats to woo and wow.
Throughout the autumn Santa's busiest elf
has been mixing up batch after batch of various goats milk soaps
pouring them into molds
slicing them into bars
curing them on racks
testing for quality control
wrapping and labeling them
and making them available to an ever growing clientele.
She also featured soaps and goats milk caramels at the second annual TJ's Country Corner Christkindl Market on Dec 7
held in an unheated warehouse behind the store.  The temperature was -26 that morning, rising to an afternoon high of 0.
She was joined by friend and neighbor Gretchen, selling gorgeous home knitted mittens,
and friend and fellow goat lady Laura, offering her own soaps along with cajeta that didn't require refrigeration that day.
Tom (the T of TJ's) makes a brief appearance before retreating back to the warmth of the store.  Next year, he says, the market will be held indoors.
The Farmers join Santa Goat in wishing everyone a warm holiday season

and a wonderful new year.