The Big Chills

 Our title refers to both LysansToChill, who left this month for his new home,
 and to the Arctic morass we’ve fallen into at the end of the old year and turn of the new.
 Keeping two big bucks during breeding season proved to be too much to handle.  As we noted last month, Chill and Mojo kept trying to bash each other through the barriers.
 Chill proved so strong and persistent that he caved in a heavy tubular steel corral panel by ramming against it.  Before he hurt Mojo or himself -- or us -- he had to go. 
 Before he left, though, he accomplished his duties.  Blood tests show that all the girls are carrying cute little Chill babies.  
 and Alice are due on Feb 27
 Kuiper on March 7
 Tzimmes on March 27
 and Bhindi on April 13.  Barb must now come up with a passel of appropriate names for the kids.
 A welcome party was out in force at the McCann Farm, Chill's new home. 
 It didn't take long for him to notice and start romancing his new harem
 under the watchful gaze of  the cows
 and the rival bucks 
 including Hawkeye
(on the right; Brian is on the left).
 Back at MeadowWild Farm, Mojo is once again undisputed Lord of the Manor
 (and usually keeps his tongue out, as if taunting the absent Chill).
 After his own working vacation at the McCann Farm, Mojo entertained several visiting does late in the breeding season.

Santa’s Busiest Elf ™ continued to make goats' milk soap throughout the month, mailing many bars off to customers

 and selling lots more at TJ's Kristkindl Market 
 on a day considerably warmer than in past years. 
 She also offered cajeta
 but saved enough for a scrumptious goat cheesecake (that didn't last long).
 Friend Sam gave her an appropriate shirt for the season.
 Statistically, our winters are becoming alarmingly warmer over the years
 but that trend is not evident as 2017 shivers to a close.
 Christmas saw near-record cold and wind chills in the  -40s
and then it got even colder
 dropping to -24 air temps on Dec 26 and 27.
 Spiderwebs outside an upstairs window froze solid. 
 Dustin peeked out the front window
and the back window 
 and then settled in for a long winter's nap.
 Momma Kitty doesn't have the luxury of a cozy bed in front of a heating vent, but she takes shelter atop the hay bales.
 Her new heated dish is keeping her water unfrozen so far
 but the small electic pail in the goat barn can't keep up; a layer of ice formed on top during the two coldest nights.
 Frost built up along the circumference of the gentlemen's bucket, but the center stayed accessible.
 How the heck, asks Tzimmes, can it be so sunny and so damned cold at the same time?
 Cheeky and Alice venture out hoping for some warmth from the rays 
 while Kuiper stays inside to stoke her personal furnace.
 The gentlemen, of course, shun their relatively cozy Club to hang out where they can watch the girls. 
All of the goats join us and Santa and Mrs. Claus in wishing everyone Happy Holidays 
and a wonderful (and warm) New Year.