SHS ~ May 31/2015

Prompts this week are Together, Black and White, Flowers, Grass, and Abstract.


Sable and Astrid

Sable and Astrid

These 2 are almost always together. I call them our Big Girl/Little Girl alliance. Sometimes you need to work together to fend off those grumpy Paints. πŸ˜‰

Black and White



My black and white Girl in black and white. ❀




Not much for flowers here yet. Just dandelions. No, we don’t spray to get rid of them…we have 4 hay burners who happen to love a big bouquet of dandelion flowers to eat. πŸ™‚


Long grass!

Long grass!

The grass is growing very long. For that we are grateful, because The Girls aren’t interested in hay anymore…they’d much rather eat green grass. Once I work more with them on lead rope manners, they will get the chance to come out into the main yard and eat that grass too.


AbstractAn abstract edit of our new barn kitten, Felix…who also happens to be black and white. πŸ˜‰

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

B is for Birthday

We celebrated a birthday a week ago.
One pretty Girl turned 10 on the 21st. I told her she’s now an Old Lady, and she ought to be willing to wear the pink straw hat. She flipped her tail at me and farted. I take that as “I ain’t wearing that stupid hat, Mom!”

Instead, I found a different birthday hat for her to wear…but first!! The Kid and I made everyone else wear it… πŸ˜‰

Daphne modeling the birthday hat.

Daphne modeling the birthday hat.

Then came Astrid...

Then came Astrid…

And Sable...who, no surprise, gave me supermodel poses without even trying.

And Sable…who, no surprise, gave me supermodel poses without even trying.

Ruby gave us her supermodel pose too...trying to out do Sable. :)

Ruby gave us her supermodel pose too…trying to outdo Sable. πŸ™‚

She shook that off when there were no treats for wearing it.

She shook that off when there were no treats for wearing it.

Finally! The Birthday Girl herself. <3

Finally! The Birthday Girl herself. ❀

"This is so humiliating, Mother..."

“This is so humiliating, Mother…”

Once she shook her hat off, she snorted and trotted away. Ms Cookie was not impressed. She did come around though, once the treat bucket came out, and she was willing to sniff the Birthday Hat.

Cookie Birthday3

“Okay, so maybe it’s not quite that bad…”

Happy Birthday Cookie!

B is for Birthday.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to find Cookie’s gemstone name! Entries end Midnight tomorrow!

We’re Having A Contest!

You all know I make jewelry from the Girls’ hoof clippings.
Or, if you didn’t know, I make jewelry from the Girls’ hoof clippings.
I clean them up, cut, polish, and set into pendants, pins, and the odd pair of earrings.

One of the things I do, is give every horse’s clippings a gemstone name.

Sable Excitement

Sable is Sableine


Ruby Excitement

Ruby is Rubidium








Astrid Sno-Mare2

Astrid is Astridite

Cookie is…

Oh Yeah Scratch My Withers

well, I don’t know what Cookie is…

And this is where the contest is.

Name that Cookie!
Rules are simple…

1. Name suggestions *must* be based on either her call name-Cookie, or her APHA registered name-Ima Midnight Tuxedo.
Any suggestions not based on those will be disqualified.

2. Suggestions can be left here in the comments or on our Midnight Calico Farm Facebook page.

3. Comments will be closed Friday at Midnight CST, both here and on the Facebook page. Any suggestions submitted after Midnight will be disqualified.

4. Suggestions will be reviewed by the Staff of Midnight Calico Farm, and a winner will be announced Monday, June 1st, 2015.

5. Should more than one name suggestion be favored, we will post the top 3 names on the MCF Facebook page on June 1st for people to vote on their favorite. Voting will then close on June 4th, at Midnight CST, with the winner announced on Friday, June 5th.

6. If the winning gemstone name is suggested by more than one person, all the people’s names who suggested it will go into a draw, and the name pulled will win.

Whew. I think I covered it all. If not, feel free to ask!

Oh! But wait…what do you win, if you happen to choose Cookie’s gemstone name? Well, you will win this:

Name that CookieThat is a pendant made from one of Cookie’s clippings, set in sterling silver, with a raw Emerald.
I’ll even include delivery if you’re local, or postage, if you’re not. πŸ˜‰

Good luck all, and I look forward to seeing your suggestions!

A is for Apple Blossoms

This is the second time I’ve joined in to Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock.
I so enjoyed the last round that when Ms Jenny asked if folks wanted another one, I was quite happy to wave my hand in the air and say “Oh, Oh, Oh! Yes, please!!” πŸ™‚

While there was a whole lotta stuff going on out here last week (I’ll fill y’all in on that later on this week), today’s post is just for the letter A.

Apple blossoms. Of the 6 apple trees we planted, 4 have come back this year, and 2 are in bloom already. The other two are just setting leaves, so will likely bloom later.
My Honeycrisp apples, though, don’t look like they made it through the winter. 😦 We’ll leave them for now, just to see if they come ’round, and watch the greenhouse sales. Maybe we can replace them on the cheap near the end of the planting season. Personally, I’d love to get my hands on a couple of the 4 in 1 apple trees. 4 different varieties grafted onto 1 root-stock. Would be awesome!

Odyssey Apple Blossoms2015The apple trees are small, so after the blossoms are done, I’ll hose off any little apples that form. That way, the summer growing period won’t be focused on fruit, but on overall growth.

Apple BlossomI can’t wait until my mini orchard is producing apples and pears!

A is for Apple Blossoms.

Sharing with Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock.

Z is for Zzzzzzz…

Are we on Z already? Wow, seems like not that long ago we started with A is for Astrid! πŸ™‚
Considering our days start at 3:30 am, it only seem fitting to end this round of Alphabe-Thursday with a nap.

She had just layed down, and was't happy about camera noises.

She had just layed down, and wasn’t happy about camera noises.

I call that her “sideways Hippo eyed” look. lol! Crabby because of the camera beep, but not so motivated to get up and do anything about it.

Instead she went back to sleep...

Instead she went to sleep…

It’s that time of year when the black birds and the red-winged black birds are all over the pasture…which means they’re all over horses too.

Haha!! Bird butt!

Haha!! Bird butt!

She actually has 2 on her…one lower on her butt, and the obvious one. I ❀ this shot. Gotta love watching the birds walk all over sleepy horses. Wish I had caught the magpie sitting on her!

Cookie and her 3 birds.

Cookie and her 3 birds.

Must have been a darn fine nap, she didn’t care about the birds at all. Luckily the little bird under her nose moved quick when she decided to flat out…or he mighta got squished by that pretty head. πŸ˜›

Z is for Zzzzzzz.
Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Spa Day

Yesterday was Spa Day, and some hooves got some much-needed attention. πŸ™‚

As usual, Sable was out best Girl. She relaxes and enjoys the pampering that goes along with a trim. The Kid holds the lead rope, while Sable goes to sleep.

Astrid was a close second. I’ve worked very hard with her since her last pedi, because she was a complete shit last time, and I wasn’t having it happen again. Now, I will admit, her being a shit was 100% my fault. I was not making enough time to keep on top of her foot lifting manners. I made a focused effort to make time every day to go out and love her up, ask for feet, clean ’em, hold ’em and praise her for doing things with good manners. Yesterday, that time and effort showed, and I was very proud of our Little Girl.

Ruby has improved, but not to the point of Sable or Astrid. I have more work to do with her. She stood nicely once she realized Hubby would have an arm load of hay for her to munch while her feet were being worked on. πŸ˜› That’s our Ruby. She’s works for food.

And then there was Cookie…

Ms Cookie…who was 100% certain she was a kite yesterday.
I kept asking for her to focus on the task at hand, and she worked so hard to do as I asked, but then that wind would pop up out of nowhere, that pretty head would snap up and all was lost.
We had to call it when she spooked, swung around, darn near going over top of Michele (thank goodness she’s got quick reflexes!!), ending up at the very end of the lead rope, shaking and snorting. We got her talked down enough that she came into me, Michele took another couple of swipes of the rasp off her toe, because we couldn’t leave her last impression of hoof work being negative, and she was done. With a huge sigh she pressed her head against my chest. While I hugged that head, I could feel the fight she was having with herself. Tense up to run, breathe my scent, relax into my arm…over and over and over.
In a relaxed moment, I snapped the lead rope off and told her she was free to go. Another sigh and off she went.
Us humans headed for the house, and the coffee pot, to decompress.

Later on, I went out to check on every one, and found Cookie standing like this in the shelter…

"I'm least, I think I am...just gonna hang out here for a while..."

“I’m okay…at least, I think I am…just gonna hang out here for a while…”

I talked to her, rubbed her chin and blew gently in her nostrils. She stood and nodded, ears flickering to my voice. I figured she needed some decompression time too, so I just grabbed my chair and sat beside the shelter with my book. She’s always a little confused at the beginning, when I do that, but then, when she realizes I’m not asking her for anything, and she still gets the time with me, she relaxes. It wasn’t 10 minutes later that she layed down where she stood.

Later on this week, the wind is supposed to die down to nothing. That’s when I’ll head out with her lead rope, the grooming kit, and love her up. ❀ Until then, I’ll spend as much time as she can handle just farting around the pasture, as close as she wants me to be, and letting her decide how much she can handle. That’s always the best way to go about things with her.

I will say this though…

Our relationship was bolstered yesterday *by* her spook.
Remember, back in the winter, I told y’all about the incident with Sable, and my huge confidence loss? Yeah, well, yesterday, when Cookie went sideways, I didn’t have a chance to think about that…it was handle the Girl, make sure humans are safe, and think later. Well, because I handled her fear in a way that brought her back into control of herself, we both got a boost. Being able to reel back in 1300lbs of “I GOTTA RUN AWAY!!!” is amazing. Simply amazing.
I realized, again, that yeah, I *can* do this. Be smart, be aware, be confident, and I can handle what the Girls throw at me. In turn, because I was okay, Cookie went “Oh! I can trust Mama, because she’s not afraid! If Mama isn’t afraid, than I know she’ll keep me safe.”
It was shit that she was so scared she spooked, and I am so thankful no one got hurt, but in the end, we got through it, and that gave us more confidence in each other. That’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

Y is for YES!!!

We’ve gotten some rain. Started yesterday afternoon, and as I type this, it’s still coming down.
We’ve needed it.
The ground and plants are thirsty!
So, even though we need dry weather to keep working outside, the land needs the water, and well, for pasture growth, I’ll take a little wet.
Yes, I sure will.

When I stepped out this morning, I knew full well I would be met with muddy horses. Surprisingly, no one was terribly cranky. Oh, but the mud!



When the sun comes back out, Ruby will love the grooming she gets to clean up all that mud. I may even braid that mane up for her. For sure, I will brush it out, and put some Mane and Tail into it.



Came around the corner of the shelter this morning to find Cookie having a nap. You can’t even see her white mark on her neck for all the mud!

" know I don't like the wet!"

“Mom…you know I don’t like the wet!”

Little bit of grumpy ears. She doesn’t care for being all over wet and muddy…could be because she knows full well Mama’s going to lead rope her and make her stand for a grooming. πŸ˜‰



You know it’s a wet muddy mess when even Astrid looks a mess like this…her coat really hides the dirt well.
Not like this one:



Ahh, but Sable stands so well for grooming…and everything else. I don’t worry about her being muddy. I know she’ll be the easiest of the 4 to get cleaned up.



Even the trees started to pop with this rain. The grass is growing.
For how much came down since 2am, I am stunned that there are no puddles. That tells me just how thirsty everything has been.

Poplar trees

Poplar trees

Greening Pasture3Those little trees in the front are trying really hard to come back. Despite what the Beaver Horses did to them last Spring. They have leaf buds. I am hopeful. If we can get the cross fencing in, this part of the pasture will be closed off to the horses until there is much, much more growth.

Greening Pasture4Since moving out here, I think my new favorite color is green. Green is good! Means the Girls are moving away from hay. It’ll be nice to see enough growth that they are on pasture until the fall.

One of the apple trees

One of the apple trees

This tree is not in the pasture! It wouldn’t survive a second if it was. No, this is one of the apple trees we planted last year. I’ll let it blossom for the photo opportunity, but, once apples start, I’ll knock them off, so the tree can put its energy into growing, not fruiting.

Cookie and the greening pasture.

Cookie and the greening pasture.

And finally, the main raised garden bed is finished! Well, the build part. We still have paper, manure and topsoil to put into it. Then, soon enough, we’ll be planting.

main garden bed

Short side (only 24ft), view from my back deck. πŸ™‚

Y is for Yes.
Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

X is for e-X-citement

Yes, I know, I’m stretching it. πŸ˜›
Honestly,Β  I had wanted to go find a xylophone for Sable to play, but…um, that just didn’t happen. I had to get creative with an “x” word then.

The big e-X-citement around here is the installation of the new garden boxes/bed.
Last year, on July 1st, my garden flooded out. We had this insane dump of rain, the pasture was barely visible, the Girls were almost knee deep in water, and my garden (which was already 75% planted) was gone under water.
This year, we resolved to move the garden and build raised beds. Thankfully, Hubby’s work offers up scrap wood for the workers to take home on a rotating basis. He’s brought home much scrap wood! Enough to, with the help of a few pieces in the wood pile that was already here, build 9 3×3 foot beds, plus our main 40×24 foot area.

Whew, it’s been a lot of work getting them done, and our e-X-citement has been installing them.

Several of the raised 3x3 footers...

Several of the raised 3×3 footers…

A few more of them...

A few more of them…

These are placed in between the apple and pear trees. I figure there’s easily enough space in between for beds. I mean, it’s going to be a while before we see fruit of them anyways, why have dead space? Can’t let the horses graze there, they’d just destroy the trees, but, I can grow food there. And the more food I can grow (and put up for the winter), the better.

Augering holes...

Augering holes…

In the “W” post, I showed you one side of the main bed…here’s Hubby using the tractor to dig the holes for the posts. No way are we going to dig them by hand! And really, we have this tool at our disposal, so why not use it?
Once we have the bed in place, I’ll share some pictures of that. πŸ™‚

Of course, with all this going on, it’s bound to attract the attention of the animals. The e-X-citement is just too much for them to resist…

Sable ExcitementSable had to come see what all the noise was about…and then she was disappointed she couldn’t reach the tractor. lol! She has this love affair going on with it…well, she really just wants to chew the paint off. Goober!

Ruby ExcitementThis was all so exciting to Ruby that she had to stop and poop. Hahahaha!!

Sunset CookieCookie was coming over to get a little shedding done…I had the shedding blade in hand to scrape away at who ever wanted it done. Surprisingly (and to my e-X-citement!) Cookie was more than happy to let me get rid of some more of her winter coat.

Astrid No ExcitementAstrid just wanted to eat the green bits coming up.

Ninja DogDaphne had the fun and e-X-citement of being sprayed with the hose, and playing Ninja Dog. That’s where she barks and flips and scrambles out of the way of the water jet…it’s a game she loves to play.

And finally, with the noise and e-X-citement of the tractor making holes, my MaxCat decided that he needed to protect me from the scary, noisy thing.

Lying on my foot.

Lying on my foot.

That’s my Max, he guards me from danger and scary things every chance he gets. πŸ˜‰

X is for e-X-citement.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.