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Some people have been asking for updates from the frozen tundra of Iowa!  

I took a few pictures while doing chores this morning and afternoon to provide proof that everyone is handling the cold.

I jokingly asked if ombre hair color was still in...

The only downside of the day was that my vehicle wouldn’t start, I used the starter pack and was able to get it going pretty quickly.  On a side note---in your mind doesn’t red equal something bad, like negative? How can I train my brain that red is always positive when jumping something?

Time for a little jump.

I posted the other day about all of the things that I was wearing in an attempt to stay warm while feeding animals. Every since I posted that I have been thinking about all of those clothes I was blessed to have  and a video I had watched on social media from Trent Loos.  I was thinking about how far technology has come in regards to winter clothing and what we have available to keep our bodies warm.  We now have so many options beyond what our grandparents and great-grandparents had available to them. As a matter of fact, the same goes for technologies on the farm our tank heaters, heated hog barns, heated seats in a truck and floor heat in shops help to make humans and animals more comfortable.  In Trent’s video he said let us not forget to thank those that came before us that have now provided us those luxuries. I think some of the above listed items are things we sometimes take for granted, until they fail us. Then, we typically get upset that something is not working, but do we think about those that came before us that had to carry hot water to thaw things out, those that didn’t have electricity at all, or even the dreaded outhouse as the only option-brr, it makes my buns hurt just thinking about it.

In all honesty, a reminder to be patient with nature and our machines that might not want to cooperate is a great reminder for all to be grateful for what we do have and to give thanks to those that paved the way for us to get to (almost) February 2019!

How are you handling the cold? How did your grandparents or grandparents handle these temperatures back in the day? What are you grateful for today? Also, you have to tell us, did you have to run out to a cold outhouse? Comment below!

From the gravel road,

Jen

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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

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