Going For a Run…

We’ve had some far more pleasant winter weather this past week.
I know, “pleasant” and “winter” don’t normally go together, but compared to the cold snap we had, or, even that nasty winter 2 years ago, well, I’m trying to not complain too much with above normal temps.
Besides, that after-the-blowing-snow calm is restorative. We had some sun, we had no wind…yeah, we had drifts to clear, but it’s not so bad when it’s not minus a gazillion, and there’s no wind.

Plus, it makes the Girls want to run and have fun…

Milling about, waiting for just the right second to dash off...

Milling about, waiting for just the right second to dash off…

The Kid threw the jolly ball towards them and they were off!
Here’s a few shots I caught of them just having fun. 🙂

We Runnin'

Trotting Astrid

Trotting Ruby

Trotting Cookie

Finally, Hubby was done with clearing snow in the pasture, and had to head out…he had left the gate to the front open, and now, we had to get the Girls out of the front pasture so he could close it up.
What better way than to shake the oats bucket?

Just like ringing a dinner bell...they come a runnin'!

Just like ringing a dinner bell…they come a runnin’!

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Create With Joy, Crafty Spices, Blog Paws, Be There 2 Day, Taylor Joelle Blog and Image-In-ing.

Bubble Wrap Bella

Her name is Sable.
I often call her Bella…because she is beautiful.
Or Bellissima…because she is very beautiful.

Sometimes, I think she got all the beauty, and none of the brains. Most times, I know that’s not true. She’s a smart Girl too, but she definitely does some stupid things.

For example…we had some winter blowing snow this past weekend. Hard snow drifts that horses can walk on formed. Sunday saw us out trying to clear away some of those drifts-at least, the ones in the pasture.
Before Hubby could get the drift beside the trough done, this happened…

Uh, Sable?  Whatcha doin'?

Uh, Sable?
Whatcha doin’?

Yup, that’s her with her front hooves in the trough. Now, to be fair, the drift has her butt up nearly 2 feet higher, so stepping *into* the trough was easy peasy for her.

Sable?

Sable?

Uh, Hello!?!

Uh, Hello!?!

I know she’s listening to me ask her what the h*** she thinks she’s doing. Her ears are towards me…she’s just too busy shoveling food in to care what I’m saying.

Bubble Wrap Bella4

Great…now we have Grey helping.

And, to make things more fun, we need a cat in there too! Because why not, right?

*sigh* Some people's horses.

*sigh* Some people’s horses.

Yeah, she’s The Kid’s horse…so, The Kid came and helped Sable get out of her predicament. Though Sable didn’t see what the problem was.
Well, the problem was, of course, should one of The Paints decide to come up behind her in a fit of a “Get the H*** out of my way!!” moment, she cannot move out of there fast enough without hurting herself. Frankly, this is a broken leg waiting to happen.

So, The Kid backed her up to the edge of the trough, and then asked for her hoof. Once she gave The Kid her hoof, Kid lifted her hoof and leg up high enough that with a very gentle twist, she was able to get the hoof out and onto the snow. Then we just kept asking Sable to back up and she heaved herself out of the trough. As always, my big fear was that she’d slip and go down. Thankfully, it went flawlessly, and The Kid got her big goofy blonde out of harm’s way.

Which meant Hubby could finish cleaning the drift out and there was no more chance for Sable to step back into the trough.

As a reward, Sable got a couple apple treats and the jolly ball to play with and run from.

❤ Bella ❤

Learning to Swim

I have a rule…barn cats here must know how to swim.
I have a reason for that rule…our metal water trough holds 200 gallons of water. With 4 horses, when it’s hot, I’m filling this daily.
Cats have been known to walk the edges of the trough.
Cats have been known to fall off the edges of the trough.
Horses have been known to push cats off the edges of the trough.

200 gallons of water is deep when you are little. I do put a cinder block in there, so they can climb up on it and jump out, but, they have to get to the block in the first place…

So, barn cats must know how to swim.
And, I must take pictures of the process…

This was the first time a cat had to swim...

This was the first time a cat had to swim…

Oreo had been walking on the edge, balancing as only a cat can, and had fallen in. As you can see, the trough was almost full. I ultimately had to scoop her out, because she couldn’t quite catch the side well enough. And so, we knew, cats needed to know how to swim, and we needed something they could get a boost up off of in the water.

Xena was panicking at first...

Xena was panicking at first…

"Oh, wait...I can stand up in this!"

“Oh, wait…I can stand up in this!”

We waited to give Xena, Felix and Grey their swim lessons until the trough was lower. Low enough that they could stand up and have their heads above the water.

Felix stood up right away, and had no problems leaping out.

Felix stood up right away, and had no problems leaping out.

GreyCat was not impressed.

GreyCat was not impressed.

She leaped out fairly easily, but stood on the fence yelling at me for putting her in the water.

She leaped out fairly easily, but stood on the fence yelling at me for putting her in the water.

And then there was Blue…who refused to go in, even after she was snuffled and licked by Ruby…

Blue Meets Ruby

Second time she met Ruby up close and personal…

Blue and RubyShe wasn’t impressed with Ruby either time.
lol 😛

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Blog Paws, Create With Joy and Crafty Spices.

Slugabug

Pardon me for the lack of posts. I had fully intended to get a post up for Scavenger Hunt Sunday, but it just didn’t happen. And, I’m not sure it will happen before the link closes.

Between Hubby working crazy over time hours, work on the farm, and some made-prior-to-Yule commitments, we’ve been a bunch of cold and tired folks. Slugabugs.
Add to that, I’m trying to be a photo editing machine. lol
I have…well, let’s just call it “A LOT” of photos sitting on my memory card(s)…and, I really want to get the images pared down to the usable ones.
Today I finally got through the set of images from an Elaine Potter Dressage Clinic I shot waaaaay back in November….so yeah, Ima little bit behind.

And, I still have some shots from around Yule to get done.
We had friends and family come out for festive photos with the horses, and I’m working through those next. Thankfully, those were all shot in natural lighting so there’s very little processing I have to do to them. Yay!
Plus, I have a whole new round of jolly ball/asshat-ery shots too…

That’s what I’m going to share with y’all today. 2 of those shots, that were going to be SHS, but, just hasn’t happened…

Sable and the peppermint ball

Sable and the peppermint ball

Ruby

Ruby

Do you think Professional Photobomber could be a real job?
Because Astrid is really good at it, and it’d be nice if she could make a little $$$ while doing it. 😉

Friday’s Hunt~Jan. 15th Edition

Yes, I know today is the 16th. 😉
But, the link opened on the 15th…and I’m always late.

Prompts this week…Starts with C, Week’s Favorite, and Inside.

This week, all my pictures start with c, but they fulfill the other prompts too…

Starts With C

You’d think I’d go with the obvious here, and share a shot of Cookie, but nope. Not this time.

It's c-c-c-c-cold!!!

It’s c-c-c-c-cold!!!

Cold starts with c, and we’ve been really cold! So cold, you can see Ruby’s breath here. In case you’re wondering, she was running from the jolly ball…she’s pretty sure they might want to kill her.
Silly horse.

Week’s Favorite

Here’s where you get Cookie (who starts with c)…

<3

I love this picture, and not just because it’s her…it’s because she’s so focused on me. Hubby was using the tractor to scrape the frozen poo balls away, I was beside the trough and she was walking towards the bales. A simple call of her name brought that pretty head and ears around to me with a “Hello Mama, what would you like?” look.
I love that.
Plus, she just looks pretty. 🙂

Inside

Really, Ladies?

Really, Ladies?

I took this shot from inside my kitchen…because it was freakin’ cold out! When I posted this on FB, I said…

“I buy them top quality hay and what do these bitches eat like it’s candy?
The straw bales around the ejector.
*facepalm*”

Now, it’s not that I have an issue with them munching straw bales. The roughage can be good for them, as long as they’re getting enough water (and yes, they are!)…though,I prefer they eat stemmier grass as opposed to straw, but that black and white one…sheesh. Some days, she’ll choose straw over hay. I don’t know why. It’s not like there’s any residual grain left in those bales. That straw has been stripped right clean. She just seems to like straw.

Anyways, the issue is this…those bales are around my ejector pond (for lack of a better word. Not really a pond, it’s only 2 feet-ish across), and um, the water that comes out there? Yeah that the gray water from my septic tank.
LOL!
And they’re eating them bales like I’m starving them.
Seriously, W. T. F?!?

Sharing with Eden Hills for Friday’s Hunt.

Barn Cats in the Winter

For any farm, barn cats are a necessity. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…surrounded by grain fields, we have rodents all over the place. So, we have a healthy population of barn cats. We’ve also had a lot of birds of prey around this year too. You’ve seen the pictures of Not-Bob, and of course, there are the eagles.
Believe it or not, the cats still have great hunting, even in the cold we’ve had. But, I don’t leave them without food, water or shelter. Ever.
Spring, summer, winter and fall.
To be fair, the rodents are easier to find in summer, so I don’t have to feed as much. I just keep an eye on the dishes. If they’re running out faster, I fill them more often. Like horses, they start to grow a thicker coat mid to end of summer.

This time of year, they get a lot of dry kibble. I change out their water pan 3 times a day, plus they have a heated dish in the garage and they drink from the horse’s auto waterer. Every morning they get a warm meal too…usually meat scraps I’ve saved in the freezer over summer (this is where I’m looking forward to our own meat animals…innards and what we won’t eat will get turned into cat food) and whatever left overs we might have.

I save bones from bbq meals and make stock with them, so that the morning meal is a scoop of kibble, meat scraps, perhaps some dried out bread if I have any, a 1/4 cup of ground flax seed, and then it’s covered in warm broth.
This gets set out on the deck, in a sheltered spot, in a pan big enough for 11 heads to get into all at once.
Often a second smaller pan goes in the garage for the 3 who tend not to come up to the house to eat. I find though, that those 3 eat more kibble than the warm stuff. I still offer it on the super cold days.

Trouble...one of our Toms.

Trouble…one of our Toms.

He’s sitting on the bale shelter we put together for the horses…
That’s actually one of the cat’s favorite places to go too. Into the horse shelter. As long as they are mindful of big bodies and big feet, it is delightfully warm in there on a cold night. 4 horses, and a herd of cats makes for a lot of warmth given off.

Really, for shelter, the cats have 3 places…
The garage.
The horse shelter.
The cat house on the deck (stuffed weekly with fresh fluffy straw)

Even with the brutal cold we’ve had, everyone is in great shape. No frostbitten any things, and the head count is staying the same. 🙂

GreyCat...she followed me into the pasture when I went to take pictures of Not-Bob.

GreyCat…she followed me into the pasture when I went to take pictures of Not-Bob.

Xena and BlueCat

Xena and BlueCat

It wasn’t just Grey who followed me…I have a feline Entourage that follows me where ever I go on the farm.
One of the things I love about my cats is that everyone is so friendly. It goes with handling them from day one. And yeah, The Kid and I handled the Marauding Hoarde the day they were born.

<3  He looks like a lynx!


He looks like a lynx!

Not a lynx...that's Thorfinn Skullsplitter.

Not a lynx…that’s Thorfinn Skullsplitter.

He is a beautiful little guy…he’s from the Meatloaf litter. He and Erik the Viking are Nancy’s brothers.
Speaking of Erik the Viking…

Erik!

Erik!

He comes running when the back door opens, and stands at my feet singing until I pick him up. lol! From pooping himself the first 10 or so times I picked him up, to “Foooood Lady!!! Pick me up!!”
He’s just way too much cute stuff, I tell ya!

StormCat

StormCat

My sweet little hunter girl. Her favorite place with humans in on their shoulder. She purrs and dances and coos. She’s been a lover cat since she was a wee kitten, that one.

Cookie checking out GreyCat's bum.

Cookie checking out GreyCat’s bum.

Yes, horses like to sniff cat bums. lol!
Well, to be fair, Cookie is just plain curious about cats…

Checking out BlueCat

Checking out BlueCat

And finally, one of my Boy…

❤ Felix ❤

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday (even though we’re not so wordless!) with Blog Paws, Create With Joy and Crafty Spices.

Happy 2 Years Astrid

2 years ago today, we woke up early, packed our cold weather gear, coffee, and some snacks in the truck, and went on a 2 hour drive.
When we came home again, we had this Girl with us…

This girl is Astrid.

This girl is Astrid.

A young QH mare who’s living situation changed drastically, due to no fault of her own. Hell, it wasn’t even her owner’s fault. Sometimes, crappy things in life happen, and, unfortunately, it happened to them.
We had some room in our pasture with the other 3 and were able to bring Astrid into our herd.

And oh, it was Trial by Fire for Little Girl. We had no way to keep her separate from the others, so in she went. Ruby saw her as competition for food, Cookie was just pissed off, and Sable?
Well, Sable welcomed her with an open heart. No surprise. That’s just how our Big Girl is. 🙂
Astrid, however, was less than thrilled…she’d just had a 2 hour trailer ride in the cold, fallen getting off the trailer, been led into a new pasture, and been chased by the lead mare.
*sigh*
Never again will I introduce a new horse that way! lol!
The squeals, the kicks, the working out of the heirarchy…oy! Not a good time.
In the end, it all worked out…after treating a few injuries, a vet visit for colic, a lot of time and patience…it worked out.

And now, Astrid is a much-loved, by horses and people alike, member of our herd. ❤

We’re the Good Horses

Relaxing with her BFF

Relaxing with her BFF

"Hey, whatchoo doing down there?"

“Hey, whatchoo doing down there?”

"Any nummies, or did Dad steal them all?"

“Any nummies, or did Dad steal them all?”

"Rub my belly Mom!!"

“Rub my belly Mom!!”

"Mmmm, smells like food..."

“Mmmm, smells like food…”

"Will it eat me? Can I eat it?"

“Will it eat me? Can I eat it?”

SHS~January 10th Edition

We’re still cold. lol! The joy of this weather is I get to practice my extreme cold photography. What I have learned is I need some gloves that are warm enough for -35*c, but supple enough to handle the camera buttons as well. My nasty hay slinging gloves are thick wool lined leather gloves, and while they look terrible (they are soooo well broken in, I love them!!) they are incredibly warm.
So, I’m on the hunt for warm and supple gloves. I’m happy to take suggestions from the other farm folks/photographers out there!

This week’s prompts are New, Red, Breakfast, Simple and Circle.

New

Daphne has a new toy…

Dog Log2Yes, that’s a log from our wood pile.
Yes, my dog is weird.

Dog Log1But she loves her new toy. She growls and barks at it, while she pushes it all over the yard. She can even carry it. Needless to say, we do not throw it for her. She’s just silly enough to try to catch it, and that would be very bad!

Red

Red Ruby

Red Ruby

3 red things in one shot…Ruby (rubies are red) wears her halter (that’s red) and she’s a bay (red in horses) tobiano.
With a steady diet of top quality hay, beet pulp and flax, she shines in the sunshine. That copper red you see in the picture comes as close to her true color as a photo can.

And of course, my little red horse…

❤ Ms Astrid ❤

Breakfast

The Girls, in this weather, get increased hay rations. Ruby is not a horse that we can just set a big bale out with…the words “easy keeper” don’t quite apply to her. She’s more of an “Eat until she bursts” kinda horse. Now, I’m not complaining about this. I’ll take an easy keeper over a hard keeper any day. Ruby does present us with certain challenges though. Especially when her Paint cohort has food issues anyways…which is why we have 2 feeders, separate food stations for beet pulp, and why they have to be supervised when buckets are almost empty. Ruby will snort her’s down and work on pushing every one else out of their’s if she’s not supervised. So, Fat Girl, mixed with being the lead mare, makes feeding the Girls fun. 🙂 Wheeeee!

All of this to share this picture of Ruby…

"Whatchoo mean no more food 'til breakfast?!?"

“Whatchoo mean no more food ’til breakfast?!?”

I told her last night not to snort all the hay down, because there was no more until breakfast time. lol!

Simple

Simple SunsetIt amazes me every day, how a simple sunset can be so satisfying to the soul. I can never get tired of this view.

Circle

Feed buckets are circles!lol
I was feeling a bit stumped on this one, oddly enough. Until I realized, while taking the red pictures, that The Paints buckets are circles.

Circle Bucket1

Cookie’s bucket…

Ruby's bucket...

Ruby’s bucket…

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

Friday’s Hunt

It’s a c-c-c-cold morning today! And we’re into a cold snap for a few days. Nothing we can’t handle, though. It’s looking like the wind will be light and that, out here, makes all the difference in the world. Still, I’m not a huge fan of the cold, but it’s mid-January (already!!) and we’ve had an easy winter. I am hopeful for an early spring with an abundance of pasture and garden growth. 🙂

Prompts for this week’s Friday’s Hunt are Starts with B, Week’s Favorite and Outside. Here are my images…

Starts With B

Bad Kitty!

Bad Kitty!

B is for bad kitty, who thinks she rules the kitchen table and should use it to bask in the sun beams.

Bad, bad Miss Daisy!

Bad, bad Miss Daisy!

B is for Bad Kitty who wasn’t even the least bit apologetic for being on the table where she’s not supposed to be…Of course, she’s a cat. Why would I think a cat would be apologetic for anything?!?

Week’s Favorite

You already saw this image, but I can’t help it, this is my favorite shot of the week!

Frosty Palomino AssYup, Sable’s big bum is my favorite shot of the week. Call me crazy, but (haha!!) I can honestly see this one framed on my wall.

Outside

Did I mention it was cold outside? Well, cold tends to bring out a bit of the crazies in the Girls. And, as usual, every time I set foot out the door to take pictures of the fun and games, every one would stop….because there’s Mom with the camera and uh-uh, no way are we gonna be caught acting silly!
So this shot is from my kitchen window…it’s fine though. I didn’t really want to go outside anyways.

Outside Goofiness

Sharing with Friday’s Hunt, hosted by Teresa at Eden HIlls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And now, for some thing else…
About a month ago, I added a donate button to the sidebar. I’ve had more than a few emails from folks asking if we’re okay, do we need money, etc, etc, etc.
Let me assure you, we’re okay. Alright?
Like anyone else, we could use extra money, but, I mean that’s life, right? There’s always something to work for. 🙂
But, we’re fine.

The main reason I put that there is this…I have people tell me all the time I should write a book. And, well, as much as I like the idea, I’m really not a writer. As you may, or may not have noticed, from this blog. I write like I talk, disjointed, and often, foul-mouthed. I think and speak in run on sentences, my grammar can sometimes be bad and my train of thought often gets away…SQUIRREL!!…While that is great for a blog, not so much, in my opinion for a book.
No, I’m more a visual artist…photography, drawing, painting, jewelry…that kind of thing.

I do, however, love to write the blog, and I would love for it to be a paying job. It’s not, and frankly, I wouldn’t even know how to go about doing that. And, if there was the slightest possibility that I’d have to write differently to appease “sponsors” well, nope, not interested.

So, I put up the donate button as more of an “Appreciation of the Blog” kinda thing. Y’know how artist’s used to have patrons, so they could keep creating? This is the same thing. If you like what you see/read, and feel like it, toss a few bucks at the “tip jar”.
This is wholly and completely voluntary, and, I’m not going to make a monthly plea for cash. It’s just a way that, if someone wanted to, they could offer a little financial support for what we’re doing here.

And, like the title over the button says, we appreciate your donations and gifts. 🙂

Frosty Day on the Farm

When The Kid and I went out to feed the horses, the cats, and get her on the school bus, we saw that the frost had settled heavy on The Farm. Especially on Cookie…well, because she’s black, it showed best on her. I figured after the sun came up, I would go out and take some pictures of the frostiness.

As it turns out, it’s a darn good thing I went outside, because with the help of bad, bad, bad little cats, the automatic waterer was frozen. Like 1/2″ thick ice over the entire opening frozen. *sigh*
Thankfully, it wasn’t a waterer malfunction, like I initially thought. Last year we had issues with it freezing up because the weather-stripping had rotted away and the wind out here is crazy some days, and it was freezing the water lines. I was positive we had fixed that, plus we stacked a couple 500lb straw bales beside it as a wind break…so I was surprised to see the ice yesterday.

Okay, I didn’t actually see the ice, until the large Blonde pulled her giant fat hoof out of the waterer. Yup, I walked in to the pasture to see idiot Girl had her hoof in the waterer. The good thing is, she wasn’t stuck.I’ve dealt with that a time or two, and it’s no fun. No fun at all. 1500lbs of “Oh, hi Mom! My foot’s stuck in the waterer again.” is just not my idea of a good time.
Count that as one of the things I am super grateful for, that our Sable is a calm and patient horse, because when she does get her foot stuck, I have to help move the hoof around, then lift her leg high enough that she can move it back from the waterer.
I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Ritchie never thought about the possibility of a horse sticking their foot into their Eco-fount waterers! I really should get a picture of it and send it to them…

So, after some work with the hair dryer, a little peek-a-boo with Astrid, a spanking for Trouble-who was the one who pulled the plug out on the waterer as he stepped of the fence onto the plug, and some creative wood/straw stacking to keep it safe for the Bubble Wrap horse, we finally had water flowing again, and Sable was able to drink. Sort of.

Uh, Mom? There's a cat in my water...

Uh, Mom? There’s a cat in my water…

Yup, there is. He’s thirsty too…because his brother is a jerk. Or, maybe it was him. I don’t exactly know which cat it was. Just push him out and have a drink. 😉

Okay. I can do that...

Okay. I can do that…

Once the water was flowing freely again, I went back to trying to capture the frosty images I was looking for…

Hey! You taking pictures of my butt?!?

Hey! You taking pictures of my butt?!?

Make sure you get my good side!

Make sure you get my good side!

All Sable’s sides are her good side. 😉 At least for photographs.

This is what started it all...Cookie's mane.

This is what started it all…Cookie’s mane.

Just the tips were frosted, and it highlighted her mohawk beautifully. Have to say, as much as I loved the long mane on her, she rocks the mohawk! It shows off her neck so nice…and when it’s this in between length, it’s perfect on her. Short enough to see that gorgeous neck, yet not so short as to make her look horribly cresty.

And then, there's that lovely rump...

And then, there’s that lovely rump…

I love the way the frost highlights that tail.

Shot's like this bring Sir Mix-A-Lot to mind...

Shot’s like this bring Sir Mix-A-Lot to mind…

I like big butts and I cannot lie...

I like big butts and I cannot lie…

😛

The Sasquatch had a layer of frost too…

Frosty Squatch

Frosty Squatch2

And finally, one of my garden stakes…this one seems to stay outside all year long. Most of the others I manage to get brought in, but not this one. Makes for great photos. That could be why I leave it out. 🙂

Frosty Sunflower