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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of three. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and will have been married for 57 years this February.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It's funny how the temperature keep going up and down even at the end of November and tomorrow is time to already turn the page to December.

I've been wearing my long johns this year and they keep me warm. I've noticed that on cold days the kitties at the barn all cuddle real close on the hay to keep warm and cosy.

Here are some of my kitties having a snooze after filling their bellies. There were so many people coming with their cameras flashing to take pictures of the triplets  that I think they got used to the flash as I took three pictures and they never even moved a hair.

Pat W,  I just couldn't help myself and had to post this. You are such  a talented knitter that I was thinking of you when I saw this photo. I know what a  terrific knitter you are and thought that with the winter coming and all  maybe you could knit this for Zip and just extend the legs to just the right length for those cold winter days.

Kim got her special Santa shower curtain  and I thought that you needed something special too.  Zip could really spice up your life with this and keep warm all at the same time.

 I thought this would give you lots of time to knit it by Christmas. Even old folks like us need some little spice in our lives don't you think.   Better move that loom upstairs and start knitting.

Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment.   JB

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Wow,  how time flies when one is occupied. I just turned the calendar page and already it's almost time to turn it again. I've neglected my blog but I read all your comments and I'm very grateful that you care enough to leave comments.

It's hard to know where to begin, so much going on in my life and not enough time to post. Let see.... where to begin?... Well I documented some of the stuff I did but not all and I do have a short memory.

Oh yeah, a short memory... I turned 65 on Sunday and that's why I have a short memory. lol. I went out to breakfast with my husband and had a free breakfast at our regular restaurant. The rules are that you show proof of your birth date and you get a $10.00 off your breakfast, providing that there are 4 people at the table. Five of our regular group were away Sunday and we only had three people at our table but the waitress was so very nice that she gave  me a free breakfast anyway. I will not forget her at Christmas.

I took apart four wool skirts and one jacket and got lots of wool for my rugs. I assembled one of my UFO project and basted it. It's an applique cat wall hanging in memory of Kitty, one of our cat who had cancer.  I don't know when I'll get around to quilt it but at least it's a small project.

I made and froze 7 meat pies  for Christmas and two small individual meat pies with the rest of the dough  for supper. I was pressed for time because of the triplets visitors so I used the dough hook to make my pie crust this time and was pleased with the result and so much faster and easier. It worked fine for the meat pies anyway. This was the first time that I tried this.  Not as flaky of course  but still very good.

I mark the meat pies with a christmas tree so I don't mistake them with other frozen pies if I make some, ha ha...

I made two fruitcakes, in one I added almonds and the other has no almonds. I make these before and got the recipe from  1993 Canadian Living Christmas Book that my son  Vaughan gave me for Christmas. I love that cookbook. I'm lucky to have a spare apartment size fridge in my dye kitchen that I can store food in when the need arise.

I started to decorate the house for Christmas but only got a little done. Because I'm strapped for time today that's all I can share today. I'll have photos later.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. I love hearing from you.   JB

Thursday, November 17, 2011


On November the 3rd one of our cow got triplets, but it's old news for most of you. I went about my daily business of caring for them the best I could and carried on as usual with my other chores and normal routine. I even managed to cut some remaining dried standing vegetation from several flower beds but didn't had the time to pick the debris for my compost so it's still there on the ground.

Three cold and wet trembling little triplets calves waiting for warm blankets to keep them warm through the night.

What I didn't know was who cared if we got three cute baby calves who were triplets. All I knew was that I had 6 new calves to feed and that they wanted to be fed all at the same time. Triplets, twins and a single calf. Thank goodness calves don't wear diapers. $$$ ...

For the sake of taking a family photo I had to take the divider out of their individual pens. I think that this is possibly my best picture. They were constantly moving and really difficult to get them to pose for the camera.

My serene little world came crashing into reality a few days later when news got out of the birth of the triplets. How did it all started you might want to know? At our church, that's where. Our church was having parishioners gathering for picture taking for the Church directory and there was a woman's leadership workshop that I knew that I didn't had time to participate so I mentioned to some ladies there that I had new born triplets, a set of twins and a single calf all born recently and that I was expecting more to be born any day and I was too busy to do things for the church.

One of the woman present has a husband who is a professional photographer for CBC  News and she told him.

They visited the farm and he asked for my cell number so he could contact me to take pictures. No problem. He came with a reporter the next day and for about two hours filmed my husband and I tagging our 6  new calves for registration and identification. I had to photograph the calves on both side and also the head with ear tag number for the registration certificates. Then they took pictures of the calves with my husband and I and asked for an interview etc. I had no idea what I was in for. I've been on TV and newspapers and on the CBC Radio many times over the years and it was just small everyday stuff. So I didn't expect anything more.

I had some errands to run up town and down town and you know me, when I'm in the area I scoot over to Value Village to hunt for little treasures. I had to gas up, go to the insurance place and get some grocery and while in Value Village my cellphone rang and it was a reporter requesting an interview. It was a reporter  for  CBC Radio in St John N.B. and he wanted a phone interview. I arranged that he call my home phone at 3:00PM  as I had a funeral to go to at noon.
Since I didn't know how rare triplets calves are I decided to search Goggle  for triplets Holstein calves. I was shock at how rare it was and at beating all odds of having triplets of all the same sex that survived  and not only that they were gaining weight  rapidly. I was ready for him but I wasn't ready for the avalange  of interest this was going to generate. It hasn't stopped. Even I type this story the phone is ringing with people old and young who want to come and see the triplets for themselves.

My sister in law bought a local newspaper for us today and I'm on the front page with the triplets sucking on my fingers as I'm trying to round them up for the photographer. Not looking my best but the focus is on the triplets anyway. All through this frenzy I had to find time to pay my respect to the family of a close breakfast group friend  who passed away and for his funeral yesterday.
Just for fun today I asked my husband to Google Bourque Farm Triplet Holstein calves and  we were surprised that it had gone international. All the way to China, India, Holland, through out Canada and the States.

 People from Texas were calling family members here in Fredericton to let them know of the news and they in turn were calling our home phone. People I didn't even know.  Another lady who lives at the end of the lane from our farm also received a call from family member from the States to tell her what was going on right under her nose and she didn't know...  

Now you know why I've been so lagging behind blogger comments. I was up way past midnight last night trying to catch up.

I feel for those who are hounded by the media on a regular basis. It's no fun.  There's hardly time to eat or get things done. At least it's not a tragic event like the big flood of 2008 that caused so much damage to our farm or the time the barn collapsed under the weight of the snow trapping 70 cows on January 31, 2009. This is a blessed event and we are grateful.

Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I haven't lost the thrill of the hunt feeling. Whenever I have to go uptown if I have the time I go to Value Village to check for little treasures to decorate my house.

I've made several trips in the last couple of weeks and this is what I have found.

I saw this thick shrunken wool blanket at Value Village on Monday last week.  It's 100% pure  wool and reversible. It came from a wool mill in Ottawa. At first sight, I thought who would buy a thick blanket like that. Then when we got the triplet calves last Wednesday I wondered if it was still there. To my joy, it was.  I bought it for $5.99 and I cut it in two and covered two of the triplets on a cold night as they were shivering.  I had another comforter cut for the third one.  As soon as they laid down I put the blanket on them and they went to sleep. For them to grow they need to conserve their energy.

I LOVE snowmen......... I found this cute snowman sock for $2.99.        

                                       This Hallmark snowman for $1.99 with  the label still attached

                                                            Small hanging pillow $ .69

                                                             Another small hanging pillow

                                               This snowman sock was only $.99

                                                          This folksy Santa for $3.99

          This hockey playing snowman was lopsided and I glued it and now stand straight for $.99

                                              A nutcracker to add to my small collection $2.99

A long playing music box $1.99

                 A large 100% pure virgin wool skirt $5.99 and pure wool jacket $5.99. I like that it has only         one button.

                       A large 100% pure virgin wool green large pleated in the front skirt.  $4.99

                                        Two double matted prints in beautiful frames  $2.99 each.
                           I did bought some other treasures but will keep them for another post.

             Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Please join me in  prayers for Maggie and her daughter Christie. Christie was rushed to the emergency in Austin  Texas and  who is in hospital recuperating.  Maggie's blog is Grandma Yellow Hair. Let's pray for a complete recovery.

Friday, November 4, 2011


What a couple of days this has been. I was going to post about it last night but had to go to bed instead.

Yesterday afternoon I was stuck at home because we were having a security system installed because of several burglaries in plain daylight just up the street from us. For two days the worker was drilling holes and placing motion detectors at all the key points in the house. I use this time to work around the house and do laundry etc. We had him over for lunch as he's an old school friend of my husband.

The Alarm people were scheduled to come to give us a dry run on the system at 2:30 pm yesterday  but they called and cancelled because of an emergency at work.  Apparently someone was drilling to install a wire on another job and drilled through a main water pipe.

When my husband's friend left, I had everything done and thought of getting an early start on my barn chores so that I would have time to be on Blogger and work on my quilt. I had a 50 minutes head-start...  but it didn't worked out that way.

 When I arrived at the barn  the hired hand had moved the big calves out and cleaned and put fresh bedding in the large pen and I help him round up all those stubborn big calves back into the big pen.  I asked him to move two calves from the small pens  and to remove the soil bedding so that I could scrub and sanitize them for new calves we were expecting.

Not a very good picture taken from above the calf pen. The calf jackets were way too big for them so I had to use old blankets to keep them warm. They are all easy to identify I'll take some better picture of them later on. The one with the white on her back was born last and eats less than the other two.

A few minutes later I got a call from my son  Vaughan telling me that a truck driver who was bringing gravel to the farm had seen a small calf in the field. My husband and I took a wheelbarrow to the field to get this wet shivering little calf in the barn. He pulled the wheelbarrow through the muddy pasture and I kept the calf from jumping down.  I put lots of fresh bedding in the big calving pen while my husband found the mother and brought her in so that she would lick her cold calf but instead she missed stepping and crushing her tiny little leg by half an inch. I quickly pulled her out of the way but kept an eye on her. The mother gave her a couple of licks and laid down. My husband went back to his gravel job.

I gave her hay, warm water and some grain and shortly after I saw a big water sack with a little hoof inside. The hoof went back in and I called my son and he came over. He broke the water  sack and he thought that he could feel another set of hooves inside. He pulled it out and it came out very easy and I took care of the slimy little calf as it wasn't breathing. It's amazing how much mucus there is in their mouth and nostrils.  They are very difficult to hold upside down to drain the fluid out of their lungs because of the slippery mucus. I used my hand and some paper towels to help get the mucus out of the mouth and nostrils.

My son pulled out the other one and they were all females. He looked after the mother  and treated her while I took care of the third baby. This is our first set of triplets ever on this farm. All three calves were in the pen with her and again she just missed by a hair of crushing  all three of them this time. So we quickly removed them out of the calving pen as it was obvious that she wasn't interested in licking them clean and we put them in an empty small calf pen that wasn't too soiled, with fresh bedding and warm blankets. They were all shivering as they were soaked to the bones and all slimy.  They were so light that I could carry one of them in my arms to the pen.  I had her in a blanket to carry her. The mother was brought to the milk parlor and then I fed the triplets.

I had been caring for the twins that was born the day before but they were big for twins. Their mother couldn't get up as her legs got paralyzed and she had been down since last Thursday.

My husband and I got home from the barn at 8:00pm for supper and went back to the barn at 9:00 pm to euthanize the poor cow as we did all we possibly could for her and so did the vet.

I went to check on the other mother cow, the one with the triplets.  Again we thought that she might have another calf as another big water sack came out. My husband broke the water sack but there was nothing detected inside.

 Life and death is something that we have to deal with on the farm. It's never pleasant. I said a prayer of thanks for all the  gifts that she gave us and the joy that she brought us and prayed to God to deliver her from her pain and suffering. Animals show feelings and I have witnessed this so many time while I've been working on the farm. She went so quick and peacefully but it still breaks my heart. The other mother cow showed some distress as she was in the pen next to the sick cow. She grown a mourning grown and she looked at me and then at the cow who had breathed her last and she looked back at me and again at her friend and it was evident that she was mourning her passing.

Whenever a cow has to be put down on the farm, which is not very often, thanks goodness, other cows will react with a sadness. They have feelings.

Now here I am with 5 new babies to care for and only one cow to provide first milk with colestrum and tonight she was weak with milk fever so she couldn't be milked. I had to use ordinary cow milk to feed them. I scrubbed pens and pails and gates and moved two of the triplets in another pen because it's nearly impossible to feed them when they are all together. They are in constant motion.   I have a spare pen for the other calf that will be born any time now (No more twins I hope).  I got home at 8:00 PM for supper again this evening. I'm all sore and tired.

I'll try to catch up on your blogs as soon as I can.  No quilting for me again tonight. I'm tired but not tired enough  to forget to pray for all my sick blogger friends and their families and for those who have asked for prayers for healing.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.  JB

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It's been a while since my last post and I'm glad to be back. Thanks to all those who cheered me on when I was locked up. Yes, I felt like I had done some terrible deed when I wasn't looking and that's why I was locked out of my Gmail account,  but thankfully my daughter Jackie came to my rescue and bailed me out.
I think that perhaps the server was slow and my impatience didn't help and then the computer got confused and so Google got confused too and locked me out as I kept trying and I had to wait 24 hours to try again and I was making the same mistake again..   Chapter closed.....

I've have an old cow that was due to calve on the 7th of November and she had difficulty walking and my husband brought her in the calving pen last Thursday. On Friday she couldn't get up and the vet said to give her calcium, which  my husband did with no improvement then the vet came and said that her calf was alive and he treated her. Saturday there was no improvement so the vet came  and couldn't determine if the calf was alive as the cow was down so he couldn't check. All this time the cow was unable to get up but ate and drank well and pooped too. I've had to fork tons of bedding hay to keep her pen as clean as possible. Yesterday the vet gave her some injection to induce her labor and my husband repeated the injection last night. This morning her water broke at about 10 o'clock and still no calf. Late this afternoon my son came to pull the calf with a chain and there was another water bag and  he broke it. I told him that her water had broken in the morning so he realized that she was having twins. At this point we could see two feet and as I'm holding the chains I saw the hooves twitch so I knew that this one was alive. As soon as the head is out I cleared the membrane and the bull calf is pulled out and I clean the mucus from his mouth and nostrils as it's trying to breath on its own.

Then the chain is attached to the other feet and it too is pulled with the pulley and the same mucus clearing is done. This one is a heifer, therefore a freemartin  She will be sterile as the male testosterone are intermixed with her hormone. They will both be sold.

Here my son and two young helpers treating the mother cow in her neck vein. Her head has to be tied so she doesn't move. My grandson was also at the farm today  to witness these birth but was picked up before this shot was taken. They were shadowing a farmer for career day. I'm not sure what title the school uses  for this project. Kids have a day off from school to see what it's like to shadow some worker all day.

I've been in the pen with this cow feeding her and  giving her water  without fear because she couldn't get up  but she let me care for the calves right beside her head without pushing me. She was licking them and seem totally unconcerned about my presence. Luckily I had saved some cholostrum milk  from the last cow that calved to feed them. I got home at 7:00 pm from work.

I know that Halloween is passed but I wanted to show you some pictures that my daughter sent me  of my grandson.

                            Little prince in his day care tiger outfit doing tiger pushups.

                            Little Tiger just being cute.

                       Another pushup

                   Little tiger showing his big teeth. This is where I just cracked up...

This is his Halloween  costume that my daughter made . It's Wookie from Star War.  He went to an office  staff party accompanied with his dad and again won best costumes this year and $100.00 gift certificate. 

This is my son in law in his Solo costume  from Star War that my daughter made this year. Now I'm off to comment on some blogs that I didn't get around to visit yet. 

Thanks for dropping in and please leave a comment.