Erie had her kids this afternoon. One huge boy, one bitty boy and a stillborn.
Normally, (whatever that is!) our average temperature this time of year is 38 degrees. It gets down in the 20's at night, maybe the teens, and up in the 50's during the day.
Over the years, (since 1987!) I have found that I like to kid out the goats in February. The weather is usually pretty nice and dry and comfortable for being in the barn at all hours of the day and night.
Well, this year is not normal - not by a long shot. It has only gotten above freezing three days this month and it has been below zero most nights. Today it did almost get up to freezing. It was bright and sunny. And now, at almost 10:00 p.m. it is back down to minus three - that's 3 degrees below zero.
Our barn is generally warm and comfortable, but it isn't heated. I put a heat lamp in there, but the little goats were still not thriving, and heat lamps scare me because of their fire potential.
So, Lena and I build a big, crackling fire in the stove in the workshop, built a little pen out of pallets, bedding it with junk wool and several old blankets and brought Erie and her boys into the workshop.
I just went out to stoke the shop fire and check on everybody. Yampa is close, but I think still a few days off. Erie's little boys are up and toddling and happy. They are getting the faucets figured out and they think their soft bed is super to sleep on. Erie is warm, but worried. In spite of the fact that she has been driving everyone out of the barn with dragon yowls all day - she doesn't like being alone. I left her a radio, perhaps that will help, a bit.
If I were a little less tired, a little less worn out by dealing with all this cold and ice and snow, then I'd stay out there with her tonight. It would be nice and peaceful to sort and pack, and Shawn is on the road, so I am lonely, too. But I am tired, so I've set the alarm for midnight, to check on everybody, and I'm going to curl up in my soft feather bed and listen to the radio...