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FarmingFridayChristmas seems so long ago! Yet, it was just a couple of weeks. We were very lucky and got to travel to Missouri for Christmas.

Right before we left, on December 23 we “worked” all of the cows. It has been a fairly open winter here (not much snow), so at that time, the cows were still out grazing on the corn stalks.

Normally, by this time of year, we have already brought them home. So, instead of working the cows “in the yard” by the barn we set up a corral and did the work in the field.


It was very cold, so the cows’ breath turned into a rising cloud of steam. Quite interesting, eh? People breath turned to steam too 🙂 DSCN8238

It was so cold, that the veterinarian had to invent this clever contraption. The hair dryer blows warm air through the pipes & keeps the vaccinations from freezing! Also, since we were in the middle of the field…the hair dryer was powered by a portable generator. They also had to bring a propane heater out to the field.DSCN8248

The main purpose for this work was to:

  • Determine if the cows were pregnant
  • Vaccinate the cows to pass antibodies from the cows to the calves


That evening, we had Christmas and chili to warm us up! I’ve officially decided that chili is the best meal to serve a crowd. One pot! And, I made it the day before! That’s my kind of Christmas cooking. I think this is a new Christmas tradition for me. Christmas

It was a big day – we worked all the cows, had a Christmas & left for Missouri the next day at 6:30 AM. There was about two full days of prep work involved: setting up corrals, packing, cleaning, cooking.

John’s Dad cared for the cows while we were in Missouri. It was such a nice trip home, we had time to do everything! Including drinking custard at Mamoos. Plus, my crazy Dad got his yoga mat! And, at the end we got a new puppy.


Of course, it is all fun & games until you have to come home and do insane amounts of laundry. And, your Christmas tree is so dry it looks like it could ignite at any moment. IMG_2662

After we got home, everyone was officially tired of hauling water to the cows. Open winter or not, it was time for the girls come home. John & Ron strung up a few short term fences along the road and then we walked the cows home.

John lead them in the tractor and feed wagon – of course they were willing to follow their feed! Ron followed the stragglers & I waited to help them make the turn.  DSCN8318 DSCN8320 DSCN8322

It is just a teeny bit nerve racking to send the whole herd down the road. Luckily (but not surprisingly) no vehicles came down the road while we moved them. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, so I guess it would not have been too long of a wait.

I enjoy doing this though, because there are far tooooo many people in Missouri to every walk cows ANYWHERE.

Just one more time, for good measure, I promise not to say it again until next year…Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Thank you so much for taking time to read this!


  1. Julie

    I agree moving cows is nerve-wracking when there are roads and highways in the mix. Just don’t do it at 4:00 when the kids get out of school, some of them don’t know how to slow down.

    • Sierra Shea

      That is great advice! I will remember that next year 🙂

  2. Charlotte

    Really enjoyed reading your First Christmas Adventure as John’s wife and partner. Looking forward to reading more of your stories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sierra Shea

      Thanks Aunt Charolotte!

  3. Kathy Hasekamp

    Laughed at the walking cows part, we do it and I think the same thing EVERY time……….and the hair dryer to keep the guns warm, MY farmer will love this idea!!! We may be stealing that one!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!