Crunching over the frozen ground on my way to the barn, I had to come up with Plan C. I'm tired of playing either the guessing game with Sheila (will she come in today or not) or ring-around-the-rosy. There are those days when I don't have time or energy to hike the pen, trailing after the silly goose (er, goat). Ruth, Sheila and Poppy sleep in the back stalls and are let out first. The new Plan goes like this: Ruth goes out, then I open the door for the other two but I have rope in hand and snag Sheila. Poppy waddles out and Sheila and I go around the corner together and she is the first on the stand. I run around and open the door to the dorm room. Cindy is a little put out that she has lost her place in the lineup, but she'll just have to get over herself. After milking Sheila, the rest of the herd comes in as before and, ta da!, I'm done for the day.
While I was happily milking Sheila, I noticed a mouse up on the header board just under the eaves of the corrugated metal roof. It moved along slowly, standing up for a couple of seconds under each "trough" or dip on the roof then going on to the next. What could it be doing? Then I noticed the drops of frozen condensation. This clever little fellow was licking tiny mousecicles, getting a drink without having to go outside.
The big girls' water trough had still been frozen when I went down to the barn but had started to thaw as I made my way back. I'd not topped it off the night before and it was down a couple of inches. The hose crackled as I picked it up and turned on the faucet. Out shot bullets of ice and a stream of water. It's a good thing I had aimed at the trough and not the girls!
It was a good day to stay inside, catch the tail end of the Rose Parade, and try to keep the fire going. It's time to take the trash down to the big road if the doors on the truck aren't frozen shut. That's happened before.