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Say a little prayer for anyone and anything that has to be outside in the Midwest this week. The forecast is calling for moderate snowfall and windchills near -50* for some areas! In all honesty farmers, ranchers, livestock, and anyone that has to be out in this stuff could use our prayers.

Pray for stock that lives out in the elements. As caretakers of livestock when a storm and temperatures, like what is predicted, is on its way we will bed sheds with corn stalk bales or straw. This gives the animals bedding that will help keep them warm and dry when they are in their sheds. When I was a kid we would often use corn cobs for bedding. I remember helping my dad spread the cobs around with the manure spreader to give the cows something dry to lay on, thinking about it now I bet they are happy we have advanced to corn stalks. I would bet they are a bit more comfortable. 🙂

Prayer specifically for tank heaters, electric waters, and pipes keep functioning in these extreme temperatures. With the temperatures that are predicted things just break. They aren't accustomed to the frigid temps, just like us!

Another thing we do when prepping for a storm and cold is make sure our animals have plenty of hay to eat and water to drink. We want to keep them a comfortable as possible and having plenty of the essentials will do just that.

This heifer is neck deep in a bale of haylage.

Another important thing we try to do is help the animals get out of the wind. As you can see (in the picture above) our cattle can get into the shed (that has bedding) to get a break from the wind. This isn't always possible for all livestock owners so many times wind blocks are built with hay bales, groves of trees, or even windbreak panels.

And sometimes... you just make a middle of the night decision to move a heifer that is due during this predicted storm to a warmer building than what you have available. Yes, at 11:00 PM on Saturday we decided to move her and our daughters heifer and calf. Thank the Good Lord that they cooperated, they walked on the trailer like it is part of their every day life and walked off of the trailer and into box stalls like nobody's business. It was almost comical.

The big girl is due with her first cal of Jan. 28th

Since they are in a nice warm area these two girls and baby have no clue that is snowing and blowing outside right now. The bonus? We get some warm playtime with this cutie!

Mr. Mouse
"Kisses for Grace"- Mouse's momma was Grace's breeding heifer for 4-H last year so she is calm as can be with us playing with her baby.

How do you prepare for a winter storm or these crazy temperature predictions? Anything special you do for your "herd" or tribe? And again, if you would, please say a little extra prayer for everyone.

From the Gravel Road,

Jen

1

There is just something about one of your favorite recipes from one of your favorite cookbooks, isn't there? By the looks of the page in this cookbook, it is pretty obvious we make these recipes often!

One of our favorites from this page is Emily's Muffin Medley (named after my beautiful niece! My sister-in-law made this snack for her when she was little and learning to eat table food. It is a great combination of treat with a few healthy additions, plus it is a great recipe to make with little hands to help!

Watch your fingers!

Ingredients you will need for the original recipe from the First United Methodist Church Cookbook:

2 c. peeled, diced green apples

2 c. grated carrot, zucchini, or a combination of both (we do the combo)

3/4 c. sugar

2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 c. oil

2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 c. raisins (optional)

In a large bowl, combine apples, grated vegetables and sugar. Add eggs, oil and vanilla, then blend. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients, then mix into wet ingredients; add raisins. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 minutes at 325* Yields around 24 muffins

We virtually make the recipe the same with these modifications:

no raisins, applesauce instead of oil, and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

It is a very wet mixture, no worries, it is suppose to be like that. 🙂
OF course you have to use your left over Santa cupcake liners OR a liner of your choice. 🙂

This is a great recipe to make anytime of the year, especially if you have some frozen zucchini in the freezer, otherwise just grab 1 zucchini from the grocery store and that should be perfect for this recipe.

Do you have a favorite cookbook that has pages that look like mine? Where did you get it, why is it special to you? Any favorite muffin recipes you want to share?

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