That's the late, great Pauladeen's baby girl there with snow under her chin. She is growing up to be a big girl, just like her mother and, just like her mother, she is very sweet and loves to be scratched behind the ears. The animals continue on in their usual routines. Weather matters very little to them because we provide them with a steady supply of nourishment and shelter when they need it (or when we think they need it). The sheep would just as soon bed down outside in a snow storm as be in a nice, warm(ish) pen inside the barn. They don't like to be wet and cold at the same time and will seek shelter then. It's going to be quite cold here tonight. It's already down to 11 degrees and I decided they would spend the night in the barn. I sleep better knowing they are protected from the elements. It's only about six weeks before the first lambs should arrive. I checked a few of the ewe's udders last week and they are beginning to bag up. My method of checking milk bags is not the most efficient, but it's one I can pull off (usually) by myself. All of the ewes are in full fleece now and it's impossible to see under there, so I just sneak up on them from behind while they are eating and stick my hand under there. Some of them jump and run and others just look at me in a way that shows they think I'm a nuisance!
As for me, I spent most of my day trying to catch up on laundry and baking bread. One of my goals for this coming year is to learn to make really good bread and lots of different varieties. We tend to favor a more rustic whole wheat loaf, but today I made Susan's farmhouse white bread and I think I'm in love. Her recipe makes three good sized loaves of sandwich bread and is quite easy to do. I followed her directions completely (well, except for that part about waiting 40 minutes before cutting into the loaf after you take it out of the oven. I mean---come on now, is that realistic?) I can certainly recommend this recipe for beginners and the end result is good enough that even an experienced bread baker will like it. Yummy!
I'm so hopeful that I will be able to get off the farm tomorrow for Wednesday afternoon knitting. I have really missed getting together with my little group.
Stay warm wherever you are tonight.