Managed to stay horizontal until 8 am. Natural called prior to that and I tip-toed over to the BR in the dark to not wake the sleeping dogs. Didn't even stoke the fire as it would signal to them that our day is starting and it's time for them to go out. On weekend mornings I put that off as long as possible. Spouse takes care of the dogs and forking hay on workday mornings. I make the coffee, tote water, feed cats/dogs and slop the hogs. Slopping the dogs also means letting Lilly and the old girls - now joined by Cinco, my lamb born last May and some little goat wethers - lick the bottom of the slop buckets. Being the Italian mama of the animal world, I've started making a separate bucket for the sheep. Lilly is very aggressive about her bucket and will dip her entire snout up to the eyeballs in the warm mash, doing her best to pull the bucket close to her and prevent the others from getting any. This often results in a big splash on my ski pants, but not a problem as the dogs like to lick it off me when I go back inside. Once Lilly has a good drink/chew on the oatmeal like goo I pull it away to let a couple of the other ancients get a mouthful. I think this practice has helped get the old bags o' bones through the cold winter. Lilly, a black Bluefaced Leicester, doesn't have that much wool to begin with. The Merino crosses and the Border Leicester crosses are covered with thick coats of wool so no worries. The intense cold continues through this week and I can't see any real warming up coming soon. Spouse had another load of wood brought in so I can feed the beast with reckless abandon. On deck for today....school work due tomorrow, tidying up around here - always an exercise in futility - maybe some hand creme batches (it saves my hands and face in this awful cold) and sewing. I have some ideas for knitting needle holders which can double as paint brush holders for artists. I'm anxious to dive into the box of linen that arrived from New Orleans. OH to think that some rich people actually have entire pieces of furniture covered in this fabulous cloth is more than I can take. Thick, luxurious, glossy, natural linen that looks like it was hand loomed. I would sleep on it every night. For now, I'm going to finish this huge cup of cappuccino in front of me in the cup that my friend Susanne Farrington made. I'm looking forward to seeing her at the Hamilton market this spring, which will be in eight short weeks. Oh, the glorious greening of my hillside. We will all rejoice and keep in the back of our minds, that another cold winter is coming.