We had some light freezing rain that is still clinging to the branches of the trees, and catches the light beautifully.
Our goats are due to kid anytime, and I have been hoping that they will wait out the cold snap. So far so good, they have not made udders yet, but they could spring just before going into labor. They look to be about as wide as they can get. Every morning I check them over, feeling the right side where the kids are, for movement, or any changes. Feel the udder for any changes, and to get them used to being milked by me. Look into their eyes and noses to catch any symptoms of illness, runny eyes or noses, etc. I feel down the spine, a few inches past the hip bones, to feel for any sign of early labor, the muscles of the pelvis will shift, and there will be a hollow along either side of the spine during early labor. And I look under the tail, both for any sign of loose stools, as well as any changes to the vulva, the earliest sign of labor is often clear discharge, and a swollen and red vulva.
They are in excellent health and good condition, and the weather is going to turn early next week, so if all goes well the kids will be born on a warm winter day, with mild nights to follow.
Our storage crops are keeping well in the cold room, potatoes, onions, carrots and squash. Along with some beets, turnips, mangles, and carrots that will be replanted in spring for seed saving. The sweet potatoes didn't make it past New Year, but they never had a chance to properly cure. I am rethinking my desire to grow more sweet potatoes, because keeping qualities are so important for us. While perusing the seed catalogues, I came across the Bush Delicata squash which is said to taste like sweet potatoes. We can grow squash easily here, and the right varieties will keep all the way through May.
Two summers ago, a friend gave us a winter squash seed variety that she called Curry. It is a Kabocha type, with dry, deep orange flesh, and excellent keeping qualities. They are 3-4 lb squash, which is good in our climate, because they have a chance to fully ripen. The plants have shown wonderful resistance to powdery mildew, and they each produce 5-6 squash.