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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

We are surviving! We are in lots of layers, but we are surviving. Tonight when I went out to do chores I wore Under Armor long underwear, flannel lined Carhartt jeans, Charhartt bibs, a Carhartt coat, neck and face cover, stocking cap, Thinsulate work gloves, cotton gloves underneath and Muck boots. 🙂

Just like clockwork on her due date our heifer went into labor. (What first time mom doesn't dream of going on her due date?) We are so blessed that my parents allowed us to move the heifers into their horse barn for this cold snap. We have a barn, but nothing that would keep them as warm as the horse barn.

I noticed yesterday afternoon that the heifer was acting just a little "off." Yesterday evening we started cleaning out the stalls and getting them some fresh bedding. Within moments of throwing just a little clean straw in her pen she laid down. I knew right away that she was going to be calving because that is just not her normal personality. We finished bedding and went into eat supper. We started to see feet around 9:00, but she was working real hard to get the calf delivered. Around 10:30 we made the decision that she needed just a little assistance. She was one very tired momma, but out came a healthy bull calf that has a beautiful blaze on his face.

We decided to name this little bull calf, Chilly Willy. We thought that was the perfect name to a baby born during this Polar Vortex. He was up this morning nursing like a champ!

It is getting colder and colder by the minute here in the Midwest and I ask that you continue to pray for those out in the elements. I just read a bit ago that the United States Postal Service is suspending delivery in many areas and read another funny meme that Iowa is closed. HA HA

The girls did get 14 minutes of snow play time in yesterday. 14 minutes? Exactly 14, I timed them because I didn't think they would last long. 🙂

And in all of the grumbles of the cold and yucky weather, we get blessed with a reminder of just how beautiful nature is with the sun dogs in the picture above. This photo doesn't do justice for what they really looked like in person (even though it was -17* when I took the photo.)

Stay warm friends, it sounds like the worst of it is coming tomorrow! How do you plan to keep warm? Do you have to report to your regularly scheduled work day?

From The Gravel Road-

Jen

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