Old Man Winter came to some parts of the country ahead of schedule, but here in southeastern Arizona it was as if he had a calendar to follow. On Friday, the Winter Solstice, a storm blew through, dropping some sleet and hail on the ranch. Behind it were much colder temperatures--18 yesterday when we woke up at 6:00 a.m., and 17 this morning. The dogs' outside water dishes are solid ice, the top of the pond has been frozen over, and most of the annoying insects are finally gone for the season. Just in time for Christmas. It won't be a white Christmas here, unless you count frost, but it looks like a chilly one, by our standards.