All quiet on the western front….

…………….but not for long.

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Winter is to blow in with conviction beginning tonight. The mountains already have a canopy of snow and our pastures have a dusting. The temperatures are to drop an impressive 20 degrees between tomorrow and late next week. Winter weather advisories and winter storm watches have been posted. They look like this:

“A strong cold front will start pushing into the Northern Rockies Sunday night through Tuesday which will bring a substantial amount of snow to the higher terrain, especially along the Montana/Idaho border. Snow will lower into the valleys Monday into Monday night. Travel could become dangerous Monday night into Tuesday morning due to snow, blowing snow and possible ice formation on roadways. Tuesday morning’s commute in particular could become treacherous. Then on Tuesday night, an arctic air mass will begin to engulf the Northern Rockies. Temperatures will drop to around 20 degrees below normal for this time of year. Maximum temperatures for Wednesday are currently forecasted to be in the teens with Thursday morning temperatures expected to be in the single digits or even below zero.”

But we’re ready. The waterers have their heaters so they don’t freeze. The cows have as much hay as they want to eat to keep warm. And they can dodge to the barn if the wind becomes too much for our thin coated Maisy. Maggie is fat and fuzzy- a tribute to her black Angus father and shouldn’t be too bothered by the cold. She would much rather eat no matter the weather. The pigs, Willow and Vincent, have their toasty pig palace that they share together for warmth. Though for some reason they insist on sleeping out in the open, buried beneath a copious amount of hay. (You can actually see the steam coming off of them in the mornings. I’ll try and catch a picture. It’s quite impressive.)

The drafty areas of the chicken coop are now covered with a large, heavy scrap of carpet and cardboard so they should be safe from cold blasts of air. They are reluctant to venture out of the coop these days.

The house pantry and fruit bin in the garage, which we use as a type of root cellar, is bursting with good food.

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Both boys are working until just after 10 pm tonight at their town jobs. They are travelling back and forth in our big one ton pickup truck with 4-wheel drive. I’m pretty sure they’ll make it home before the worst of the storm begins. Until then, I’ll try not to worry about them. Sleep is out of the question. Maybe I’ll cut up more Macintosh apples and load up the dehydrator. And sip wine. Or maybe I’ll start decorating our big family room for Christmas. And sip wine.

Maybe I’ll just sip wine.

What’s for supper: Baked Parmesan chicken sliced over spaghetti with homemade marinara sauce for the boys. Tomato soup with garlic croutons and sliced Parmesan chicken for the girls.

Weather: A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly after 11 am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 37. West southwest wind 6 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Tonight a 50 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 27. South southeast wind 7 to 9 mph. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

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