THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH                      January 14, 2012            7:00 AM

60.9 F indoors              17.9 F outdoors



When I saw the goats shaking like little children who have just climbed out of the swimming pool I realized I had better rummage through my closet for some warm ski vests or they were going to be in trouble.  This is the first year I’ve had 11 goats so I did my Coco Channel imitation and now all of the goats finally have their own ski vests.  

Tina Fey, the smallest spring goat (73 lbs.) has on a very nice tan knitted vest with a ski vest over top of it.  Trisha, Tina Fey’s sister (78 lbs.) is wearing one of my favorite blue vests.  They all look adorable, and snug as a bug in a rug.

As each goat came out of the milk room with her vest snuggly in place, the other goats were waiting in a line to sniff and admire her new “look”.  I wonder if they are critiquing my choice or just trying to figure out if there was a male involved in the process.

When I called Kati to cancel my lunch date because I really needed to be here to check on the critters throughout the bitterly cold day, she couldn’t stop laughing when I mentioned the need for the ski vests.  I’ve had that reaction before when I’ve talked about using vests to keep goats warm.  On the other hand I’ve never heard anyone laugh about seeing a horse wearing a horse coat.


Last night it was bitter cold again, and the wind was blowing hard.  Isabella, the hen that decided it was not too late to set on eggs in October, refused to go out to the dog kennel in the chicken run.  She’s been living in there at night since the chicks were tiny, but this night she announced in a rather loud manner that she and her eight chicks would be staying inside of the barn.  I’ve learned to listen to animals when they feel so strongly about something but I was none too happy about having to dismantle the cage and put it inside of the barn.

Just as I was trying to take the cage apart – in the bitter wind – Nate pulled up to the gate to feed and water the baby bull, Ernest.  Their yellow lab, Lilly, followed him and was eager to get inside of the gate.  Cadeau caused a big fuss, growling and jumping at her.  She does not listen to anybody so she was pushing and jumping and enjoying the fuss she was creating.

After Nate left, I was still struggling to get the cage apart when I looked up to see Lilly waiting at the gate.  She was very keenly interested in the two small male goats that are housed next to the entrance.  I’m concerned that Lilly is far too intrigued with in any of the animal’s movements, which means she has the potential to kill them.

Between Lilly pacing around, the bitter cold, and the cage not cooperating I was really frustrated.  At one point I threw part of the cage over the fence because I was afraid if I opened the gate the dog would race right in to the young goats.  It was getting dark so I was working against time.

Eventually Lilly left – there was no getting her to leave earlier because she doesn’t obey any commands.  Miss America showed up to save the day by helping to put the cage back together inside of the barn, and all was well except I was in a bad mood extraordinaire by this time, and that’s how I wasted my evening.  Enough said!

As I got into bed I was miserable.  It’s colder in our bedroom with this bitter weather and my new strategy for the winter was to use a little copper heater to bump the temperature from 55F way up to 60F.  Since it’s THANKS FOR NOTHING MONTH and the heater runs on electricity I have sworn off of using it until February.  Jay, the other really best heater, is off to the Green Energy Ohio board meeting.  A bad mood, being cold, and thinking about how much work I have to do over the next few days did not contribute to feeling any better this morning.  As I was falling asleep I made myself a promise – no bad mood today.  I am hopeful.




Warmed up waffles

Blue berry syrup



Cheese noodles

Stir-fried vegetables






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Writer, farmer, scientist, from Ohio

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