In the Stillness

It snowed about 2 inches, give or take, over the course of last night. With the lights from the riding arena up the hill, it felt like 6am at 2:30am when I woke up to let my brother’s little dog out to potty. APPARENTLY, when you’re itty bitty and you are too excited to potty when you’re playing with your big dog friends, you can’t hold it all night. I found my frozen bare footprints on the back porch this morning, from when I was standing there yelling through gritted teeth for the little creep to come back inside. Something scared the bejeezus out of her, so she came running with hair standing on end. Oops.

But back to the stillness, the utter calm of a snowy morning. Kiddo isn’t  feeling too good, so I sneaked out to go milk before Ranger would wake her up. There were no footprints, no nothing. The neighbor hadn’t gotten down the hill to open his gate and say hi to the baby goats yet. Modern homes have the constant drone of electronics in them, and to go outside in the utter quiet is sort of awe-inspiring. The trees feel taller somehow, and I feel smaller. If it were a little warmer, and I didn’t have stuff to do, I would just stand there like John Travolta in that movie where brain cancer made him a genius (Phenomenon, Google informs me).

Until, of course, I go out to check on Hefe, who is out with the big boys because he’s trying to nurse off of his mama again (weaned for a whole year, he is. Super successful). We put up a child’s playhouse for him to stay in to get out of the cold and wet, and I even put some hay in the window in such a way that the waste would fall to the ground and be bedding for him. Nope. I wish I’d had my camera ready at the time, because I found the little idiot wet, cold and freezing, with snow literally iced to his horns. He hadn’t gone into the playhouse at all last night. I think he slept under the maple tree. I facepalmed when I found him, and I facepalmed again writing this. He’s such a sweet boy, but at the same time, I keep thinking “Bless his heart,” which is southern for “Good Lord, what a dummy.”  I brought him into the main pen again, and just… decided to deal with it another time. I went out to check on him again later, and he’s fine now. Still a little wet, but he’s drying off, and he’s not shivering.

The long and the short of it is that we need to build the Goat Containment Facility 2 to even start to minimize weather- and goat math-based chaos (who gets to be in with who when, like with wolves and sheep and cabbages), and that’s in the works this month. The Grumpy Farm Hand is slated to spend some vacation time digging… if it ever stops snowing. Now this isn’t the Midwest or anything, but digging holes in snow sucks no matter where you’re from. You get wet, the ground is heavy because it’s wet, and the outdoor temperatures hover right around freezing. Pretty sure fence-digging doesn’t happen in winter in North Dakota, even if it’s only a couple of inches.

He’s from Texas, by the way. The Farm Hand.

He’ll have fun.