I don't know about you, and where you are geographically, but here in WNY it has been cold, like bitter, freezer your extremities off cold. You know it's cold when your big hairy dog, that usually likes to lie on the one piece of snow that is left in the yard, is spending more time inside than out. It's the kind of cold where soup and a warm blanket are a welcome sight. There's nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup to cup your hands around as you look outside onto a snowy blanket. Or a warm cuppa as you snuggle on the couch with a soft blanket wrapped around your shoulders.
As we trudge across the snow to do barn chores, having spent more time layering up and getting our snow gear on, than we will be outside, I am (quickly) thankful for the beauty there is in the wintertime. Sometimes it's hard to see, hard to extract from your surroundings as you just want to get where you're going and race back to the warmth. Each morning we have our little routine, each one of us carrying out our chore at the barn so that we can return to the warmth of our home. I always stop after chores and refill the two bird feeders we have outside. There's usually a little queue of birds waiting on the branch, ready to give me an ear full if I'm late. We have, of course, a flock of Blue Jays, ever present and ready to drain the feeder of everything good, the Junco's, the woodpeckers and my favorite the Cardinal. Have you ever noticed how striking the Cardinal is against the backdrop of the snow?
Our goats all tucked up in the barn, are given extra grain on these cold winter days to help them sustain both themselves and the babies to come. Fresh hay in their feeders and warm water. Oh, how they love warm water, so much so that they request it in the summertime too! Spoilt, I hear you say..... well maybe a little.
It dawned on me yesterday, as we wrapped up as a family and out the door we went, that my hands no longer are aware that winter has come. You see this is why we began Farm On The Hill. This time of year was always brutal on my hands. As a child I had dreadful eczema and into my adult years it was always the winter that brought on the cracked, dry, painful hands. The cold seemed to know exactly where to hit. Not anymore. As we feed and water the goats and take care of their needs, I'm thankful for the quality of milk they provide for us as a family, the extra that we have to be able to create a product that has relieved me of my winter skin blues. For the past two years as Farm On The Hill has taken ground and grown, the winter has not had the same effect on my hands, not even close. I'm happy to say that even in the brisk, freezing, temps of our WNY winter this year, my hands are doing great! Thank you to our beautiful herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats and the quality of milk they provide.
I'm hopeful that we will see the temps rise again soon. Around freezing would feel great right about now. Although I'm sure I'll have to battle my youngest daughter who will want to get out her shorts, run bare foot through the snow and grass and declare that spring has sprung! Not quite yet, but it is coming!
I hope this blog finds you all well, whether you are dealing with the extreme cold, like we are here in WNY, or extreme heat like my relatives in Australia. Have a good day and a great week! Oh yeah, and don't forget to visit our shop while you're here, especially if you know someone with sensitive skin like mine!