About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Yesterday morning was colder than usual. I didn't need a thermometer to tell me that it was very cold. My hands and feet were getting painfully frozen, all the pipes near the sink was frozen as well as all the water in the bowls and pails. At -27 °C.  or -16.6 °F. it's very cold.

By the time I had the pipes and faucets thawed, my husband already had  finished milking the cows and was gone to a dentist appointment.... With 25 calves to care for it can get pretty hectic. I was at the barn from 5:30 am to 9:50 am and my feet were feeling the cold pretty badly. I was getting desperate. I used the blow dryer inside my boots and on my socks but as soon as I would put my foot back in my boots, they felt very cold again.  I had to put my hands in hot water too. What misery. The feed auger was frozen too so I couldn't give the grain to the 5 bigger calves. They got extra hay though.  They got their grain later when my son got the auger going again...

This is me, preparing the milk, hahaha, I didn't really copied the plumbing accurately but you get the idea of the set up. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger as I reduced the size of my pictures this year...

I had to warm my feet in a big bucket of hot water, one foot at a time as I prepared mixing the milk replacement for the older calves.  My steel toe boots can get pretty cold at that temperature.This will become my new method from now on. It worked like a charm for me.

The calves were so eager for their warm milk as I was getting late in feeding them. They are like clocks and knows when it's feeding time.

When it's colder than usual, they need lots of fresh bedding to ensure they have a dry bed but it's not always easy to keep their bedding clean and dry, especially when they are starting to eat all their grain as they sometimes get diarrhea and their pens quickly gets dirty. Some are pretty clean and others are hopeless. What normally takes me a few hours took me 4 hours and 15 minutes to do, from preparing and carrying the milk, feeding milk, hay, grain, water, bedding and cleaning up, washing bottles and pails  and filling the bottles for the next feeding all takes time especially when I have a bunch of new born calves.

These three calves are three weeks old now and the white one is huge and long as compared to the normal size. She was about 130 lbs when she was born and the average size are 90 lbs  at birth.  I have to put a halters on them to tie them down for feeding as they all want to eat at the same time, this way I can feed two at a time by holding the bottles.  The white on is super strong and feisty. Now I only tie two as one has learned to behave. I had 7 newborn but now I have only 6 as a bull was sold.

I have 10 calves in these littles pens and three are weaned off milk and are getting cold water. They are ready to move but have to wait till the new water bowl is install as the old one got a hole in it this week.  As soon as there three are moved out, their pens will be cleaned and the three bigger new born will be moved here. It's very difficult to take good pictures as the other 6 pens are behind a short retain wall.

This is Tigger, he just hates having his picture taken and I had to take about 6 shots before he agreed to look at the camera for a split second... He doesn't look too happy with me but still was waiting for his back scratch and a little sweet baby talk.

This is  the wood  that keeps the house toasty warm in these cold temperatures

This is my selfie.  Tigger said that he would only allow me to post his picture if I posted a selfie of me so here it is...  Notice the dust in my glasses when I get home from the barn. Foggy glasses are not fun either. Anyone wants my job?

So if your feet gets cold stick your boots in hot water.
Stay warm and safe.



  1. you are SO cute!!! so are those calves! adorable drawing of you with your foot in a hot pail of water! girlie, you need to get yourself some of those hand and foot warmer things that hikers and hunters use! you crackle them up and they put out heat. :)

  2. Hi..Mrs. Julia. I'm glad visit your blog. is that your ranch? How many cow do you have?

  3. You should check out Button's blog. She's from Ontario, Canada and also lives on a farm with a lot of cows. She wears something she calls Cadillac boots in the winter and it sounds like they are keeping her feet real warm. If nothing else, she is a wonderful writer, with a great blog, a lot of country living history, and many cows. Her blog is at

  4. I meant to say that maybe those boots will keep your feet warmer. Also, I really enjoyed reading about the calves, but, so much work. A great post.

  5. Julia,you are amazing. Where did you find time to draw yourself and I might add, you did a very good drawing. I laughed at the idea of you warming your foot in a pail of hot water, pretty darn smart thinking. What you need is a good pair of pure wool socks inside your boots. I thought about doing your job for about 2 seconds and decides nawh .I do not want your job. You sure have a cute cat there. He must be well fed in the barn. I am sure the mice are not staying out in this cold. Keep warm. Love you .

  6. Oh, Julia, I love this! What great pictures! That white calf is huge! Wow. You need several hands, and feet! I am amazed at what you do. I really appreciate you and others like you. We need more like you in this world. God bless you farm people. Great post, my friend. HUGS!

  7. I love the "one foot in" the hot water to warm you up!!!! A great idea!!! Now that is really "making lemonade" (HOT) with the lemons we sometimes have during the day!!!!!
    I certainly had a time hooking my fox on the Magdalena-style rug! A very funny episode!!! Hugs, Sunnie :)

  8. I do not envy you - not one little bit! I don't know how you do it. No way could I deal with that cold.
    Great drawing. You are multi-talented for sure.
    Hopefully the weather will give you a bit of a break soon.
    Hugs :)

  9. Always enjoy your posts! Try the toe warmers you get at Canadian Tire or Walmart, they work very well up to 8 hours! I love them!

  10. How do you do all that you do? Hope that the severe cold lets up soon. You must sleep well after all that work in the cold air.
    Take care...

  11. Ha, love the selfie and the "I iz not amused!" cat photo! You are cute and your hat looks cosy. I am so sorry to hear about your cold feet- can I ask exactly what the boots are made of and what you wear upon your feet inside them?
    The ilustration is really cool! More please!!!x

    I was sad to hear about your music experiences that have gone awry but pleased that you love the music. The violin loves you and misses you I am sure.x

  12. That's WAY too cold, JB! You work so hard. If you lived closer I would knit you an award for all your kind care of the farm animals. Tigger is very handsome and YOU are very cute!

  13. LOVE the sketch ... HAhaaaa... well, when you get outta the hot water... and go back to the house ... you don't get icicles on yer boots? man oh manischewitz ... I'm screaming because it's 45º and going to get down to 32º during the night... cold ol wet and rainy ol yucky day

    If I had to get out in this mess and feed calves ... with my foot in a pail of hot water? man?

    y'kill me.... and I agree, sure are cute ;)

  14. I complain about the cold but I couldn't imagine doing all that you have to do in this weather. You are Superwoman!!

  15. That wood makes me wish we had a big fireplace!

  16. I am always so amazed at what you do in a day! It has been very cold here and it seems you are getting it too.
    cute selfie

  17. You are better with the cold than we are! My husband has Reynaud's, and he has to warm up his hands very quickly! No, I don't think we are cut out to do your job. You are a very special person to be able to do this kind of work! xo Nellie

  18. Oh my gosh Julia, I am so sorry it is so cold. I wish I could come and help you. I know I could take the cold better than you and I do know how to feed calves like that. I started doing that when I was four years old. :)
    I am glad you found a way to warm up your feet. I think you are so cute in your selfie. Your cat is really pretty too. So are the calves. What a nice bunch.
    I know it is hard work but I think I would like it very much. :) Reading you makes me miss being at home and doing those things. Now I am a city girl who just has chickens. :) Stay warm if you can. I loved the picture of you feeding calves.

  19. Here I was whining about it being cold here in Alabama. We have no point of reference here about cold weather.

  20. We clearly do not appreciate our farmers nearly enough! Thanks for what you do.

  21. I know how cold those calf barns can be and I do not envy you! I never want to live on a dairy farm again. I guess I have become soft by staying close to the wood stove. You are a cutie in that selfie!

  22. Julia, you are amazing. I love how your creativity came out with the idea of putting your boots in the hot water. Your selfie is so cute as is your furry friend, Tigger....Take care of yourself....

  23. Love your drawing! When you finally retire from farming I think you should be an illustrator.
    Working in that kind of cold seems beyond endurance. Please be careful and don't get frostbite.
    That's a lovely kitty. I'm glad he allowed you to get a picture of him. Thanks for including the selfie. One must always keep their promises to kitties!

  24. Hi,
    I love your drawing too. You did a great job!!
    I know what you are talking about. I grew up on a Dairy Farm and I still help my parents when I am home.
    The weather is a big issue when it comes to farming.
    I love your photo of the rascal Tigger. He sounds like my dog, she does not like to have her photo taken.

    Stay Warm and thank you for sharing about your life.

  25. Oh my, sweet Julia that is nowhere near cold...that is FRIGID and then some. Those mama cows need to have their babies in warmer weather. Wow, how you do what you do on a warm day amazes me but do you do it? To me there is not much that is more miserable that being hurts and hurts badly.

    Those little calves are just so cute. Hope that mama cow is okay that had that big baby.

    I am glad you have wood to help keep you warm and I hope it has at least gotten some warmer there. Glad you figured out a way to help keep you warm too while taking care of the calves.

    Be safe and by all means keep as warm as you can sweet friend in that bitter freezing weather. Hugs

  26. HI Julia,
    Wow! I must say, not what I expected on my visit over here today. My friend Katie often shares her daily chores with me here in PA however, to see it in writing makes it "feel" even colder. (she had a dairy farm here in central PA but now lives in Missouri)

    Love the one foot in, one foot out of the pail soution. Hey, whatever works!!! Sounds like you have some good suggestions here. LOVE that sketch and Tiger is cute even if he didn't want to smile, lol...

    Thanks for sharing, Julia and thank you for visiting my blog...

  27. You are AMAZING Julia! Wow what a farm girl you are, I am so impressed with all you do around the farm and with the cows - what a hard working woman! Those baby calves are so cute and so is Tigger!
    Thanks for always visiting my blog I sure appreciate you!

  28. Oh Julia my goodness that was a tough day I have not had one of those in awhile thank goodness. Those days of hard work are tough ones to get through when the weather is like that. You are amazing just as Saimi above says. Keep warm and take care of your feet and do be careful. I understand it has to get done but I care. Hug B

  29. You're amazing:) I admire you so much:)
    Warm wishes to all your toes
    and to that beautiful heart of yours,

  30. Good afternoon sweet Julia. My WP blog is not cooperating with my replies today so I am posting my reply to your comment here. I hope you are having a good day today and it has gotten warmer there.

    My reply...

    Thank you sweet Julia for the wonderful comment. I am so thankful you are a survivor and watching the beautiful birds helped you on your tough journey. I too have named some of the squirrels here. I love watching them, they are smart.

    I do have help, our oldest son and his wife live just up the road from us and they help with anything I need them for. Our insurance will also pay for outside help if I should need it. My daughter-in-law was a professional caregiver for many years and she will be a great help to me.

    Thank you so much for the prayers and hugs, they are appreciated and felt sweet friend. Hugs

  31. Hi Julia!! WOW that is super cold. You amaze us more and more with every post. You deserve a beach vacation sometime soon :)

  32. I could not do as you do Julia. Working in the cold conditions as you do would literally damage me mentally & physically! Your one tough woman & you do it with such determination & light warmheartedness. Love the picture you drew of that morning & your barn photos, Tigger is a handsome addition to all your black & white herd. lol Glad your getting a much deserved trip next month. I love Ottawa, my grandparents from Hungary are both buried there. One day I'll return to visit their grave. Last time I was there was, to see the glass elevators our company installed in the Met Life Center in the early 90's, fond memories. My husband took me the the Renoir Exhibit! Enjoy your time & keep that camera handy to share your photos, no problem enlarging them! When I see all you do I know I'm such a 'city person'. Kudos to you Julia & all you do on the farm so a Canadian dairy industry can exist. I always look for the dairy cow on my products. Stay warm & healthy.

  33. It was slightly below zero here last week and I felt like it was bitter cold. But, after reading your post- I can see what I had to deal with was nothing! I can only imagine how cold you were tending to the animals (I worked at a horse farm in upstate NY and the winter was brutal). They are lucky to have you! The warm bucket idea sounds awesome.

    I hope some warmer weather heads your way soon!

  34. Oh, Julia, I am constantly amazed at how hard you work, and that you do it in such brutal cold is even more astounding! I hope the temps warm up for you. We are expecting a blizzard here along the east coast and I am thinking it may just hit you up there in Canada too. Stay warm wrestling all those calves! Sarah

  35. You're a hard worker. This means you'll live a long life. :)