Isn’t he cute?

After weeks of waiting on this and that heifer to have their calves, our last one, Lady, had hers. Of course it was -21° F that night. Luckily, when I went down to check on her at 7 p.m. she was having it. (If you’d like to learn more about birthing animals, check out my article in Issue 69 of Backwoods Home Magazine or the Twelfth Year Anthology.) Poor Will. He was exhausted from checking Lady every 2 hours nightly for the last week. He had just gone up to catch some z’s while I was doing the early evening watches — but that was not to be. I ran up to the house on the four wheeler, woke him up, grabbed some towels and headed back to the barn. The calf was in the straw when I got there. Whew! Lady is a small heifer and we were worried she might have some difficulties when she calved. So another calf became a house-cow overnight as the temperature was rapidly doing a deep dive. In the morning Lady’s bag was tight and painful; she kicked Will several times as he tried to get Midnight to nurse. Finally all was well and the calf got his fill. Now he’s happy and out in the barn with Mom.

Will drying off Midnight in front of the wood stove.

When Will is feeling like it, he’s also continuing to put up the log accents on the ceiling of the living room. Boy, do they ever look great.

Will’s also putting up the log accent pieces in the ceiling of the living room

We’re dog-sitting Bill’s dog, Buddy, who is an outside dog (except when it’s terribly cold). Bill and his family went on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas! But Buddy is having a great dog vacation. He gets to play non-stop with Hondo (his best friend), stay indoors at night, and play with Spencer and Hondo’s stuffed animal “babies.” Yesterday, when I came in the house, he was on the sofa, hugging one of the “babies” and he had his head on a pillow. Now that’s the life!

Take a look at Buddy hugging a “baby” and living the good life!

My very first peppers are up after only four days. It won’t be long before the rest join them and in a week I’ll be starting the tomatoes. (Remember guys, the peppers go in the hoop houses and I use Wall O’ Waters on the tomatoes so I can plant them much earlier than I could if I was not protecting them.)

Because many of you have supported our seed business, Seed Treasures, Will was able to order another charge controller for our last string of solar panels. Our generator very seldom runs as it is, and when we add the next 1,000 watts or so, those batteries will be nice and full. Thank you all so much. — Jackie


  1. I’m so happy you love our seeds. They’re kind of like our children, going far away, all on their own. Our peppers are coming up gangbusters. Only four more varieties to go and a couple of seedlings are showing us their little tender backs. So they’ll POP soon! It seems more like spring REALLY will come to see them.

  2. Midnight is gorgeous!! I may have missed this in one of your earlier posts, but are you getting the expected male/female ratio you wanted with all the new calves?
    It was 29 degrees here in San Antonio this morning, but it’ll be near 80 by Friday. Our ‘winter’ comes in spurts!

    • Unfortunately we lost the bull calf Will wanted so badly due to his breeding. But so far we have two bull calves which will be steers soon, and one heifer. Not bad. And we have more cows to calve during warmer weather. So hopefully we’ll have a bunch of babies bouncing around the pastures come summer. Wow! 29 to 80 is quite a swing. But then we’re supposed (yeah, sure!) to hit 32 on Sunday. We’ll see…..

  3. This winter will pass – or so they tell me! It has been brutal here in SW Iowa too. I love your seed/garden notes. I built a hoop house a year or two ago, and love to know how you use yours, and when you put things out, etc. Your onion seeds I got from you are all up and doing great! Thanks so much for the seeds.

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