It was a miserable day, weatherwise, but the predicted snow storm fizzled out and there were just a few flurries. The wood stove struggled unsuccessfully to warm the house. It didn't help that the wind had blown rain up onto the porch wood pile and I was drying chunks of wood in front of what little fire I could get going so I could keep the stove stoked. The morning routine was a disaster. The rain pounding on the metal roof had the girls spooked. They all wanted into the milking room at the same time, and no one wanted to go outside. Poppy, in her wool overcoat, ignored the weather and waddled up the slope to enjoy a peaceful breakfast all alone. I opened up a gated area of the barn for additional shelter for the goats, left Lucy shut in her room (thinking it would be better for her to be thirsty than drowned, if she were to go down again outside), and kept the chickens cooped all day.
In the afternoon, I got one of those phone calls. "You don't know me, but do you have any goat milk now?" This lady raises beef cattle, and a calf was born outside during the last snow storm. Range cattle tend to drop their calves in any out of the way place, trying to protect them from predators, but that makes it difficult for the rancher to help in case of a problem. This little one was already in trouble when found and brought into the kitchen to warm up. Range cattle do not take kindly to milking, even with the best intentions. A newborn calf in the house is one thing. Bringing in a full-grown cow is quite another, so the woman was looking for a substitute. Dave at Mt. Aukum store had given her my number. She left here with a gallon of milk, but called later in the evening to tell me the calf had succumbed before she could get back home. I could only commiserate. We try so hard.
In need of some comfort myself, it was a perfect night to make white chili with chicken, cannellini, hominy, lots of spices, herbs and green chiles, and sour cream. It's raining again this morning, but the wind has died down.