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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.

Friday, January 9, 2015


What do I expect when it gets -25 °C outside? I expect lots of inconvenience, frozen water pipes and water bowls, in my end of the barn,  bawling calves waiting impatiently for their warm milk,  longer work hours, cold hand and feet.

Yesterday morning was just such a day but I was also expecting a cow to calve during the night. So early, I made a point to go check on her first thing in the morning. I really thought that she was ready to calve and I could have bet my winter farm jacket that she would calve during the night.

Instead, I found #391 in the next pen with twin calves by her side and cow  #322 cooing for those calves.   #391 was milked but only gave 4 pints of milk...

 I called my son Vaughan to come  check #322 to see if she was needing help to calve.  After an inspection, he couldn't feel any calf and called the vet to come check her up.  I was so sure she would calve during the night.......

 I won't bore you with the details of my work but on returning for the evening feeding, I found yet another large  baby bull calf in with #391 and the twins...  Again I call my son. The vet never came so we realized that #322 must have had her butts against the other pen and the calves squeezed under the fence as they were born and #391 cleaned then up and claimed them as her own.. It was a tight squeeze  under the gate because there was lots of bedding in those pens.

The mystery was solved and I'm overrun by calves still...


Christmas came and the family was all here except my oldest daughter Nicole who was vacationing in Greece and then in Istanbul Turkey during the Holidays. We all missed here very much.

Here are some photos of the family at play. The house was full of happy laughter. Sorry, I didn't took photos of the dinner again this year. I promise that next year I'll make a point of taking photos of the meal.

Daniel and James watching a Thomas DVD.
Notice the focus on both these boys.

Mama and Daddy are setting up the gingerbread on the special tray, getting it ready to set before James help decorate it.

James is a great help and is getting a pro at placing candies in the frosting.

James  did a super deluxe job on this gingerbread house.

Daniel and James are trying their new game.

A new train track bought secondhand on Kjiji

Another Kjiji find. The boys just loved it and played with it for hours.

James just loves his Christmas stocking full of good things.

Daniel is finding some toys in his stocking too.He take one toy out at a time and plays with it before going to the next item. Just wait till he finds out there are chocolates in there...

Family are arriving for the day.

Jackie and younger Nicole showing us their new silk wrap and Simon on the left, Bill in the background.

We'er in the kitchen sampling a very expensive type of coffee sent by my daughter Nicole when she was travelling to Indonesia earlier. Kopi Luwak coffee.  I'm still very reserved on this coffee  but it was the experience that counts. Maybe if I drank this type of coffee I'd grow a bit taller.  See how puny I am.  
That's Bill, Jackie, myself and Joe trying this civet cat poop coffee. It tasted rather smooth but a bit too expensive for my ordinary taste. Thanks Nicole for the experience.

James and Daniel love their alphabet and numbers gifts, Daniel knows his numbers but refuses to say seven, maybe because it has two syllables.

Mira chose to sit down and drink the Kopi Luwak coffee.  She's a good sport.

We ate the big Christmas meal and went directly to the present game while we digested the yummy feast. The present game is starting and George is the one calling the cards, Notice the table full of small gifts. My great grandson Cyprus is getting right into the fun.

Everyone is waiting their turn to have their card called so they can go chose a gift.

Even the little kids are playing the game but have alphabets instead of cards. James knows his alphabet and he wins from a pile of gifts for kiddies.

Jackie is choosing a gift while Cyprus looks at me.

Poor Cyprus, spilled some juice all over his shirt before the present game.

Those beautiful golden locks belongs to Jordyn, Cyprus's mother.

It's time to disassemble the race track and train track  without breaking anything for the long trip home.....

Of course the traditional post Christmas puzzle. An Audubon bird puzzle. Thanks jackie...

Christmas was relaxed, full of laughter and fun and best off all, family. Nicole we missed you this year but I'm glad we didn't had to worry about you making your flight to Toronto and then over the Atlantic like last year. That was brutal.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. They show that you care enough to bother.


  1. An amazing time with famiily, Julia! Funny story about the arrival of the twin calves! Wow! You've certainly had a lot of calves born since November!

    Take care of yourself!

    xo Nellie

  2. Just now proofread my comment! Don't intend to have "family" misspelled.:-) That was a typo! xo

  3. Hi JB! You are a cute little gal! It looks like you had a very happy time! Your home is so warm and pretty! That is amazing about the calves!

  4. Looks like your family had a great time together! That's what I love about Christmas. And those cows...silly girls! We had two cows had a set of twins and one a single, and we had a hard time deciding which one belonged to which cow!

  5. I loved the story of the cows. You are one busy lady, your Christmas looks fantastic I am so glad you remembered to take pictures. I didn't take a single one.
    You have such a lovely houseful . I bet it was very quiet after they left.

  6. I have always been impressed with your stories of your work in the barn. However, seeing you lined up with other family members You are clearly super woman. And look at those arm muscles. Yeah for you!

  7. love the gift of cat-poop coffee. i've heard that sort of thing is supposed to be mellower than normal un-passed beans. :) you had a full house and i'm glad.

    as for the crafty cattle, amazing! glad that the one cow was a good step-mom! sheesh!

  8. I love your farm stories! Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas- nothing like having family around

  9. Oh julia , what a nice family hugs cheri

  10. Ah Julia, I am always so delighted when you post! What a great post about your Christmas. How FUNNY about the calves! SO what has happened- has cow #322 just accepted her lot and given up her babes and #391 has she really adopted them!?I love hearing about them- let us know how that one goes. At least she did it all by herself without the need to have assistance!

    What an epic family celebration- it looks so fun and those train tracks were a great find- what is Kjiji?

    Isn't James a handsome boy! And lovely to hear about your family. Is Nicole the one who married in Scotland? How come? Did she wed a kilted man ( I am very excited because the cheap supermarket Lidl is selling child-sized bagpipes as their special deal next week- I am SO buying a pair!!!! ALways wanted to learn the bagpipes!)
    Aren't you tiny compared to the others in that picture- all the best things come in small packages!
    Urgh, Kopi Lawat! I had to drink that in Indonesia. And I really mean, I had to. I hate coffee but when I lived in Indonesia,when you visit someone's house, they don't ask you if you would like a drink and what you'd like, they just bring you something as you arrive. This was usually either Sugary coffee or sugary tea (both I dislike!). Of course, it would be very rude and churlish to refuse it so I had a year of politely gulping the stuff down whilst inwardly shuddering!
    Nicole must have a really interesting job!
    And yes, you should walk in Northumberland- it's the least-populated county (in terms of size) in all England and it has so much beauty!

  11. What a wonderful Christmas you had with your beautiful family! Enjoyed seeing the pics of all the fun! I've lost my keys a few times...can't say I've ever lost a cow!!! I've heard about the cat are a brave woman!

  12. There were smiles all around so it must of been a great Christmas for you and your family. Of course the children make it so much fun
    you are a little bit of a thing just how do you do those cows is beyond me.

  13. Looks like a whole lot of family fun! I miss Christmas with my parents and their old farm house filled with cousins, Aunts and Uncle's. Our holidays are much quieter now that they are gone.
    You are so tiny but apparently a dynamo when it comes to the calves!

  14. Looks like you had tons of fun at Christmas and tons of work in that cold barn! I don't know how you do it! Sarah

  15. I love your posts. They are so sweet and genuine. You have a beautiful family. I could almost feel like I was there. The boys are getting so big! Everyone looked so happy. I am sorry Nicole was not there. She travels far and wide. Is it for work or pleasure? Does she go with others? My niece travels like that, too.

    I loved the cow story! Did the appropriate mothers end up with their own babies? Oh my. You are Wonder Woman, Julia. I love your stories. Someday I would love to meet you and chat, even if it is over a cup of cat poop coffee. HUGS!

  16. What a wonderful Christmas. Thank you for taking the time to share so many pictures.
    Nicole is quite the traveler!!!
    I had no idea you were such a tiny, little thing. Small but mighty!!!
    Hugs :)

  17. Looks like Christmas is a festive time at your home! You have a wonderful family! Beautiful job on the gingerbread house! Those silly calves are just like human kids playing tricks on the adults! lol! Stay warm!

  18. Looks like a really great time! I enjoyed the pics and seeing your beautiful family. Hey, smart cow! Let somebody else clean up her baby and babysit for a bit while she rests! I'm always amazed at how much you do and how hard you work. Glad your Christmas was so fun. If this year goes as fast as last year, we'll be celebrating again soon!

  19. who knew cows would do that....birth their babes into another pen. your world is so interesting:) so glad you're such a kind-hearted farmer:) I love the work that you do....never tire of hearing.
    Your family is beautiful:) So glad you're well and living grand,

  20. This is very interesting. I'm sure you had great time.

  21. Thanks for sharing your lovely family Christmas. But I want to know also what happened to the calves, were they reunited with their proper mom? Or did they get bonded to the other cow?

  22. I just had to take time to visit some of my special friends of which you are one sweet Julia. That is so funny about the calves. That mama had Christmas for sure with all those babies coming to her. :) What a wonderful time you all had and all those pictures are terrific. I cannot believe how all the little boys are growing. They are still adorable. You have a beautiful family. You look short like me, I am 4' 11", how tall are you? Still very busy at my place but I will be back to visit again soon. Love and hugs, Maggie

  23. Thank you so much for sharing about farm life. I love it!!
    I enjoyed the calf story. :-)

    I love your Christmas story too.
    If that coffee helps you grow...let me know...I am only 5 foot and my boys are growing, growing, growing. ♥

  24. Looks like a fun Christmas. We did a gingerbread house, too!

  25. You always bless us with an awesome story :) I hope your 2015 is going wonderfully thus far, my friend!

  26. Beautiful family. I always enjoying seeing and hearing about your family. I've heard of that coffee ... it was in the move.. Bucket List.. lol... and kinda ew

    You are a tiny little ol thing for sure! ;)


  27. What great photos & fun with the family!The mystery of the calf exposed, I love the Christmas CD called Annabel's Christmas, I always cry at the ending & feel silly because it's a animated story! Love that your family too does a puzzle together! I can't believe how grown Daniel is now, he probably strives to keep up with big brother James. he did an excellent job on the candies on the Gingerbread House. The gingerbread train was so appropriate with those boys & Thomas the Train! Love Kijiji for things 'new to me'! I never recognized you behind the coffee mug during the coffee tasting, your so petite Julia, I've always seen you photographed on your own, next to the other family members, your small! Thanks for sharing the Christmas Day & traditions, love the numbers & alphabets for kids with the gift exchange. It's always interesting to see how other families unfold the big day. Stay warm, I'm in Clearwater FL this week, my husband is here on business & I came with his luggage. lol Reality on Saturday back to ON :(
    Hugs, Cynthia

  28. Hooray...glad you are feeling better and posting once again!!! Stay well and enjoy! Hugs, Sunnie :)