Monday Morning Roundup

It’s a wet and snowy Monday morning here…I’d show you pictures, but it’s a wet and snowy morning. LOL
I really dislike taking my camera out in wet, drippy weather, and well, to be honest, right now I don’t want to take myself out in wet drippy weather. πŸ˜›

The day started early, right around 3:30am, when Hubby woke me to tell me it was raining. Oh joy.
Thankfully, yesterday Hubby got the bale extension made on the horse shelter, and I got a good amount of straw tossed in, so the horses should be fine…and then I remembered that we fork feed hay. And so, out I went to check on the feeders…there I found out dear sweet Sable shivering.
*sigh*
+1*c, rain and wind means my Big Girl gets cold…and so, back to the house to toss her towels into the dryer, and then load the hay wagon with some extra hay. Got her food down, ran up for her towels, rubbed her down and refluffed her coat, and she was good. I so ❀ that sigh of relief she heaves when she feels the heat of the first towel. It’s like she knows, Mama’s going to make it better. πŸ™‚

Everyone else was fine. In fact, they didn’t even come out of the shelter. I filled the trough with hay too though, just in case they emerged as I left. I didn’t want anyone pushing Bella out of her food. As much as she loves her warm towel treatment, the best way to stoke the furnace and keep a horse warm is to feed them…

This wet November has made us very happy to be bringing our hay home a month’s worth at a time. Normally, we’d get our delivery of the entire winter’s hay at once, and we’d have it all on the yard. Well, we don’t have a shed to store it, and tarps work to a certain extent, but still wet, windy and miserable means wet hay…and that leads to moldy hay. 😦 Moldy hay is garbage hay.
Thankfully, our Hay Guy has been okay with us leaving the bulk of our hay in his shed. Also, thankfully, our Hay Guy is very trustworthy, and as long as he knows what we need (I try to let him know through the summer, to be sure he has for us) it’ll stay there until we either come get it, have it delivered or tell him we don’t need it…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…

A reliable hay source is invaluable. There is nothing worse than thinking you have your winter hay to feed your animals, and it gets sold out from under you…or you discover its moldy or full of foxtail when you get it.
I don’t have to worry about that with our Hay Guy, and I am so very grateful for that!

Yesterday was a frosty day from the get go. Frost I’m willing to take the camera out in, so I did manage a couple of pictures to share:

My personal rainbow.

My personal rainbow. ❀

It’s a lovely rainbow indeed!
With Cookie being the closest to me, it looks like Astrid is taller than her, but she’s not. Close though! Cookie still has at least an inch on her…Astrid is our smallest Girl. I haven’t checked their heights/weights lately. I really should. It takes the 3 of us to do Cookie, because the measuring tape around her girth is terrifying to her. Mostly because she doesn’t understand it. But, with slow and steady movements, and a lot of my breathing in her nostrils, we can get it done. πŸ˜‰

As you can see, Sable is our biggest Girl. I still find it fascinating that our biggest horse is also our most timid and gentlest horse.

Cookie's fancy frosted tips...

Cookie’s fancy frosted tips…

Frost on a black coat is pretty darn amazing looking. Same with snowflakes. This winter, I’m going to practice my macro snowflake shots.I managed a few decent ones last spring, but I want to try again. It’s not easy taking shots of teeny tiny things on the fluffy coat of a living, breathing animal.
We’ll see what I can do.

Surprisingly, the wet and snowy morning hasn’t deterred the hennys from coming out into their yard. I figure that’s a pretty good barometer for what the day’s going to be like…a little miserable, but all in all, not too bad. When we’re facing a really awful weather day, the hennys don’t bother coming out of the coop. I open up the little door, they peek out and run to the other side of the coop. When that happens, you know, the weather is going to suck. lol

Speaking of sucking…I have my henny food bin sitting in the bathtub, dripping off snow/ice right now. I forgot to mix up the next batch of their food yesterday, and so I have to do it today. I’m NOT doing that outside, so I had to bring the bin (which is one of those huge plastic garbage cans) into the house.
*sigh*
That’ll teach me to get it done right away.
(Alas, no, it won’t. Not when the feeders were full and I knew they’d be okay until this evening. πŸ˜‰ )

And so, I am now off to outrun the T-rex that is Monday…wish me luck. I just may need it.

I found it on FB, laughed my butt off, and then realized, this is my life. LOL!!

I found it on FB, laughed my butt off, and then realized, this is my life. LOL!!

Birds On a Log

We used a log to hold down the scrap wood covering a planter box to keep out the light and stop weeds from growing next Spring…(yes, run on sentence…on purpose of course! πŸ˜‰ )

Birds thought it was a seat for them.

Silly birds

Silly birds πŸ˜‰

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Create With Joy, Image-in-ing and Blog Paws.

Saturday Morning Musings from My Deck

I love to have my morning coffee outside. Even when it’s chilly.
This morning was no different…
I let the hennys out, gave them their fermented grains, refreshed their water, topped up their feeders and then went and threw hay down for the horses.
While my (fresh) coffee brewed, I put together the outdoor cats’ morning hot breakfast (which consists of any left overs we might have that I know won’t get eaten, a few scrambled eggs, some ground flax and hot milk) and then braved my chair on the deck to watch everyone enjoy their mornings.

We haven’t had any measurable snow yet…that’s not a bad thing, but I find myself hoping that some will come. We’ve had a good wet fall, which, while bad for hooves (can you say slimy mud? So hard to keep feet clean) is good for spring. That moisture gets trapped into the land when we have a good freeze and releases in time for spring growth. As someone who relies on pasture grass for feeding the horses all summer, this is important.
As is a nice blanket of snow that jump starts the moisture for growth process before the frost comes out of the ground.
It’s really amazing how closely you start to listen to the land when grass is so much more than something to cut to make your lawn look nice. lol Around here, good grass and good growth are precious commodities!

So, while I sat and watched my Girls eat, and my lap warmer snuggled in…oh! Wait, I haven’t told y’all about my latest lap warmer!!

This guy:

ghost(Picture is from last winter)

Ghost has come around big time this summer, and has decided when it’s just he and I, lap sitting is a good thing. He snuggles and purrs and just enjoys pets. Pretty good for my scary feral tom cat. πŸ˜‰
Hubby says “Oh big surprise, an animal has decided they love the Food Lady!”
Hahahaha!!
Yeah, they all come around, sooner or later…and he really is the sweetest boy ever. ❀

Anyways, coffee, Girls eating, lap sitting Ghost…
And I start thinking about how I’m going to keep my Old Ladies healthy this winter.
See, my herd is split down the middle…The Walking Stomachs (Ruby and Astrid…can’t find ribs on ’em to save your life!!) and my Old Ladies (Sable and Cookie…who are doing pretty good so far, but are a little harder to keep weight on this year.)
I tell ya, since Cookie had that big colic incident this past summer, she hasn’t been the same. And, in all honesty, it’s scares the crap out of me. She’s only 11…that’s young for a horse. She should have another good 15 years (or more) to her life…but the Girl has been far more sensitive to feed, temperature, change, you name it, since the colic.
And winter is *always* hard on Sable…
So, I’m monitoring my Old Ladies closely…

What worries me is the Walking Stomachs have been forcing the Old Ladies out of hay piles.
Normally, I have 2 feeders. That has worked well, because Paints went to one, Sable and Astrid went to the other one, and everyone did just fine. This year, I’m seeing Ruby forcing Cookie out of the one they would share, and Astrid forcing Sable out…and then, the two don’t let them into *either* pile.
*sigh*
So a 3rd pile it is, and then everyone seems to be getting.
So far, so good.
I hope it lasts.

All this leads me down the thought path of what a huge responsibility we’ve taken onΒ  here…so many lives on the Farm depend on us to make sure they’re healthy and can weather the coming winter.

4 horses
7 outdoor cats
4 indoor cats
1 dog
19 hennys

That’s a lot of animals that rely on us humans to not fuck it up.
But, no pressure, right?
lol!

The impending cold also leads to dream of the garden next year…how to get it ready, so that I don’t have a repeat of this year is the big thing. We have a lovely hill of composted horse poo that is slowly working its way over to the garden area. It’s so nicely cooked, you’d never know it came out of a horse’s bum. Haha!

And then, what to grow!
I have a list of squashes and pumpkins, beans and tomatoes, corn, lettuces, spinach, onions, garlic, peppers, carrots…so much to grow and hopefully fill the shelves with for next year’s cold season.

Ah well, whatever happens will happen…and we’ll take it as it comes. As always.

Cookie Made a Friend Yesterday

I showed y’all what I had to do to Cookie’s mane:

Rocking the mohawk

Rocking the mohawk

This is because she is horrible for sticking her head out the fence to eat on the other side…and on 3 sides of the pasture we have barbed wire. Please don’t tell me how dangerous barbed wire is for horses…these Girls have been just fine for the past 3 years, and Sable is a complete Bubble Wrap Horse.

Now, Cookie will stick her head through the fence any time. The pasture can be up to their knees in green grass, and she’ll *still* eat through the fence.
It’s one her quirks.
It’s why she rocks the mohawk.

Yesterday, she decided to stick her big fat head out through the gate on the west side of the pasture. It’s a shitty gate, constructed from what looks like old bed frames by the previous owner. We haven’t gotten around to replacing it, because, for the most part, the horses are very respectful of gates and fences.
Well, aside from Ms Quirky-Ass Pants. πŸ˜‰

So, as always when I catch her sticking her head through the fence, I opened the window and yelled at her…which mighta went something like this:
“You get your fat f**king head out of that gate or Ima come out there and kick your fuzzy f**king ass all the way to your fuzzy f**king ears you stupid Cow!”
Yup, that reads about right. LOL

As I was yelling, I missed the car that went by.
I didn’t, however, miss it when the driver slammed on the brakes, backed up and pulled into my driveway.
Oh boy.
Boots and jacket on, and out I go to see what’s up.
The woman pops her head out the driver’s side window and asks if everything is okay…she’d heard me yelling, and was concerned that I might need help. Truthfully, I think she was concerned the horses might need help and was trying to phrase things carefully.
Never know what you’ll get with crazy country folks, right? πŸ˜‰

With a smile, I told her that all was good, just the black horse is a jerk who won’t keep her fat head inside the fence. She also loves to provoke me to yell at her when she does it…if you’ve been here when she does it, you’ve seen that self-satisfied smugness she displays when Mama yells at her. She’s a jerk, but she’s my jerk. ❀
And then I asked the woman if she’d like to meet the horses…which brought a smile to her face, and she was out of her car lickety split!
Yesterday being Gotcha Day, I had a few nummies in my pockets (and my Girls are shameless treat whores) so it was easy to coax the walking bellies over to visit.
Cookie found this new person fascinating (that she held the candy cane cookie I gave her helped) and the woman was seriously enjoying the equine attention.

I found myself explaining why I was yelling at Cookie, why the mane-do, and the fact that the horse, no matter what she might tell you, is not starving. She’ll play it up…”Oh, my Mama never feeds me, could I please have one more cookie because I am so very hungry and I have no food!”…but the layer of fat over her ribs and ass tells a very different story. lol
Which I showed the woman…I let her run her hands all over Cookie (who was drinking up this attention like a tramp…amazing!) and feel the fat deposits in places that tell an owner that she’s just fine weight wise. In fact, considering her recent showing of back and pelvic pain as the weather cools off, she’s a bit overweight. She could stand to lose a few pounds to make her joints feel better. But don’t tell her that. No woman wants to be told she’s fat.

About twenty minutes later the woman thanks me for my time, and says she has to get off to work. I thanked her for checking in on us…I appreciated that she was brave enough to stop when she felt concern. Most people wouldn’t.
She blushed when she admitted she had her cell ready to call 911, just in case.
With a laugh I told her that was a good plan. Humans are far too unpredictable.
I then told her that if she had a free afternoon, and wanted to visit again, drop in. I’m always here and I’ll even make coffee…and I’ll give her some brushes to groom the horses.
LOL!
I’ll take free labour to spiffy up the Girls any day!

Fatty fatty 2x4 Couldn't fit through the big barn door!

Fatty fatty 2×4
Couldn’t fit through the big barn door!

And Cookie will likely be happy to tell her sad stories of woe and hunger.
Miserable nag. πŸ˜‰

Gotcha Day

3 years.
It is so hard to believe it’s been 3 years since the original 3 came Home.
3 years since the life long dream of having horse came true.
It’s been a crazy roller coaster ride…but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Okay, nope, I’d change one small thing. I’d include a lottery win in that 3 years that made us independently wealthy. LOL
But I think that can be said of any life endeavor. πŸ˜‰

gotcha-day2016-1-wm

Ruby and Cookie

Sable

Sable

And so, to celebrate Gotcha Day, the Girls were subjected to their new little top hat…

Just a little convincing and Cookie wore it well.

Just a little convincing and Cookie wore it well.

Ruby said "Aw hell no, Mama!" See the hat at the top of the image? lol

Ruby said “Aw hell no, Mama!”
See the hat at the top of the image? lol

Finally though, with scratches and reassurance that it wasn't going to eat her, she wore it...and wandered away from me with it!

Finally though, with scratches and reassurance that it wasn’t going to eat her, she wore it…and wandered away from me with it!

And of course, Sable…

Wore that hat like it was the easiest thing in the world to do. :)

Wore that hat like it was the easiest thing in the world to do. πŸ™‚

Happy Gotcha Day to my original 3…here’s to many more years together. ❀

People Keep Giving Me Squash

I am not complaining.
Free squash?
Yum!

It seems like so many people had a bumper crop of squashes and pumpkins this year. Not I, for y’all saw what happened to my garden. lol
But, with all these extra pumpkins and squashes, comes the “OMGosh, what am I going to do with all these things?!?!”
That’s how they come to me. πŸ™‚

When we still had the piggies, I fed them a whole bunch…pigs love squash and pumpkin. Truth be told, I didn’t find anything that pigs didn’t like, so yeah…

Now, it’s me, the horses and the chickens.
The horses have had a few pumpkins to smash and eat, but they don’t show the same level of joy with pumpkins that chickens do.

First, I gut the squash…because as much as I like my chickens, I love roasted squash/pumpkin seeds. They’re not getting that part…

Nom nom nom!!

Nom nom nom!!

Then I roast a bunch…because I like it roasted in just about everything. Turns out, my chickens like squash/pumpkin roasted better too!

Ready to feed me and the mini velocaraptors.

Ready to feed me and the mini velociraptors.

Once I get past the cats on the deck (who eat everything…and I do mean every. thing. Xena really likes the henny’s chicken chow. Weird kitty) I can take the roasted chunks (and shell from my part)down to the hennys for them to enjoy…

It's a roasted pumpkin massacre!

It’s a roasted pumpkin massacre!

This girl just had to sing about how much she loved the pumpkin…

chicken-pumpkin4
10.2 seconds later, that pumpkin was gone, and I swear I heard chickens burping with glee (can chickens even burp? I don’t know…)
Happy chickens make tasty eggs. πŸ™‚
Happy Food Tastes Better!

Oh, Look…Monday

Oh boy, it’s Monday morning again!
Do you ever have those mornings where, you know you have a ton of things to do, but your brain is still too foggy to come up with the day’s list?
That’s where I’m at this fine chilly morning.

Monday brings the usual list of suspects…
~ Bread making
~ Laundry
~ Critter Care
~ Sweep the floors
~ Dishes
~ And my every day favorite…meals.
I swear, I just made dinner yesterday, why do I have to do it again today?!?

And then, I do know I have a few sewing repairs to do…I just can’t put off the fixing of the zipper on my winter parka any longer. I kept hoping that if I ignored it needing fixing winter wouldn’t come. It seems that plan isn’t going to work, so, y’know, best get on that.

Farm life is soooooo glamorous!! Hahahahahaha!!!

What I really want to do though, is curl up on the couch with a good book, a big bowl of homemade pasta noodles and cheese, a hot cup of coffee, and relax.
Ahhh, that sounds like a great day!
πŸ™‚

Not gonna happen, so I best get the day going…Hoping for some nice-ish weather later on to pretty up the Girls for a photo shoot, since they have a big anniversary coming up this week. In order to get out and do that, the indoor work has to be done…
And to finish the post a picture of a pretty Girl…

 Cookie

❀ Cookie ❀

Have a great day, y’all!

Lest We Forget

...He puts on a grey suit Over his airborne tattoo And he ties it on one time a year And remembers the fallen As he orders a tall-one And swallows it down with his tears... Big & Rich - 8th Of November

…He puts on a grey suit
Over his airborne tattoo
And he ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen
As he orders a tall-one
And swallows it down with his tears…
Big & Rich – 8th Of November

remembrance-day-2016-wm

I have seen my last tomorrow, I am holding my last breath, Goodbye, sweet world of sorrow, My new life, begins with death. Jamey Johnson - Lead Me Home

…I have seen my last tomorrow,
I am holding my last breath,
Goodbye, sweet world of sorrow,
My new life, begins with death…
Jamey Johnson – Lead Me Home

remembrance3-2016-wm

...Say a prayer for peace For our Daughters and our Sons Set our Spirits free Let us lay down our guns Sweet mother Mary we're so tired But we can't come home 'Til the last shot's fired... Trace Adkins - Til The Last Shot's Fired

…Say a prayer for peace
For our Daughters and our Sons
Set our Spirits free
Let us lay down our guns
Sweet mother Mary we’re so tired
But we can’t come home
‘Til the last shot’s fired…
Trace Adkins – Til The Last Shot’s Fired

 

 

The Real Boss of the Herd

A while back, I asked what I could show y’all, hoping to hear what you, friendly readers, want to see around the Farm.
Facebook follower Janine (who, btw, is a very talented jewelry designer…check out her page North Sun Studio…you will be amazed at her creations!) asked some wonderful questions that I’m looking forward to answering with photos.
Today, I’m tackling…

Who is the real boss of the barn?

Well, we don’t have a barn, just a simple 3 sided shelter, so the short, sassy answer would be no one. πŸ˜‰
However, if we’re going to talk about who the boss mare of the herd is, that’s different.
With 4 mares in a small herd like ours, there can be some fluctuation, but for the most part, these Girls are pretty set in their ways.

Lead mare is Ruby…

We call her Mama Ru...she runs the place and keeps everyone in line.

We call her Mama Ru…she runs the place and keeps everyone in line. (Hi MaxCat!)

Ruby is not our youngest horse, but she is the most headstrong. She took leadership right away, when they arrived.
When we had problems with the neighbour’s dog coming to visit, Ruby had no qualms about taking her on. She even tried with the coyote we had issues with. Problem was, coyote doesn’t play fair. Trickster was himself, and horses are more straightforward than that. It was the one time Ruby had to let Hubby protect the herd.
For a younger horse, she does a pretty good job of protecting her cohorts. πŸ™‚

Cookie is second in command…

She's the boss of the food...

She’s the boss of the food…

She could run the herd, if she wanted to. She doesn’t want to. She’d rather be off doing her own thing. But, the other 3 know not to get between her and the food. She’s not a piggie, but she’s been shorted far too many times in her life. She knows that feeling of a hungry belly and she don’t like it.
We have a rule that there is no asshat-ery allowed while hay gets put down. Respectful behaviour (no kicking, biting, trying to run humans over, and leave the hay wagon alone…it’s not a trough) or you wait for the human to allow you into the food.
If the rough housing goes on too long, the hay wagon leaves and no one gets…Cookie will step in and discipline the 3 long before it gets to that point. And if Cookie steps in to mete out discipline, the other 3 run for it. She has no real interest in starting shit, but she will, sure as the sky is blue, put an end to it.
She is, I think, our oldest Girl, both in age and body aches.

Next up is Astrid…

Little Red

Little Red

Astrid wants Ruby’s job. She wants to be Lead Mare so freakin’ bad! LOL!
Problem is, she’s our youngest Girl, and it shows.
That neighbour dog I mentioned? Last time she came over, when Ruby snorted, challenged and charged, Astrid hid behind a tree.
It was super cute, but not a leader’s move, for sure.
Ruby has put her in her place a few times, and she’s figured out that a direct challenge to Ruby’s authority is just going to get her a butt kicking. Lately, she’s been pushing Cookie around. Again.
I noticed a few extra bites and kicks on Cookie during the summer, and wondered what the heck was going on between her and Ru…well turns out it was Astrid.
Until Cookie had enough.
And now little miss Astrid gives the black and white one a wide berth…We went through this last summer too, and I told Astrid then…Don’t pick a fight with Cookie. You. Will. Not. Win.
She didn’t listen then, and she ain’t listening now. She’s getting no sympathy from me.

And last, but never ever the least…
Sable.

Our sweet Blonde Girl...aka as Bella (short for Bellissima...most beautiful, or very beautiful, in Italian)

Our sweet Blonde Girl…aka as Bella (short for Bellissima…most beautiful, or very beautiful, in Italian)

Sable is our Omega, bottom of the herd. Always has been, likely always will be. But…she is our Girl that everyone goes to for comfort. She is solid and steady. Our rock that everyone, equine, feline and human alike, can lean on.
For example, when I push Cookie out of her comfort zone, like with the pink halter, Sable is there to show her, hard things aren’t hard if you a. trust your human, and b. trust her, Sable, to keep you safe.

Sadly, part of being an Omega means she is often the scapegoat too…
Astrid gets soundly trounced for pushing Cookie or Ruby?
She takes it out on Sable.
Cookie is grumpy?
She takes it out on Sable.
Ruby just wants to remind every one who the boss is?
Yep, you guessed it, Sable is the one who gets made an example of.
That why I’ve learned so much equine first aid!
Bites, kicks, cuts, scrapes…yeah, I can treat ’em all pretty effectively.

Sable is, to my best guess, around the same age as Cookie. I call them my Old Ladies. Though, Sable does Old Lady way better than Cookie does:

"It's a pleasure to meet you! :) "

“It’s a pleasure to meet you! πŸ™‚ “

Friday’s Hunt on Sunday

First…thank you to everyone for their kind words and messages after last week’s post. Your love and support is appreciated and cherished.
October can be a tough month ’round here and it caught up with me. I have always prided myself on writing what’s real here on the Farm. Sometimes real is ugly and hard and emotional.

This week I have a better outlook, and some photographic evidence of how truly Blessed I am…

Prompts this week are Starts with S, Week’s Favourite and Amazing.

Starts with s this week is Sable at sunrise:

Breakfast at sunrise...

Breakfast at sunrise…

Our temperatures have been bouncing all over the place, with some gorgeous warmth lately. That means, though, that our normal hay feeding stations are mud pits. And that’s just not good for anyone’s feet. So, I’ve been walking the hay out to different non-muddy spots and leaving piles for them to enjoy.
They’re on 1/2 hay rations, because they still have some pasture to eat. This way, they clean up all the hay, wander about, and nibble the pasture bits. We started out on full hay rations, and they were tossing it about and wasting it. We dropped the amounts until everything was being cleaned up, and body weights were not affected. Turns out, that was 1/2 rations. πŸ™‚

Another sunrise photo...Sable and her best pal, Astrid.

Another sunrise photo…Sable and her best pal, Astrid.

This week’s favourite is Erik the Viking…

erik-the-joker

He looks like The Joker, with his bloody face.

Last weekend we butchered the last 2 piggies. Going hand in hand with us getting our meat for winter, is a feast for the cats. Here Erik had just finished gorging himself in that bucket…that bucket held livers, hearts, fat scraps, and anything else that we humans weren’t going to eat. After the cats had their way with it, what was left was chopped and bagged to be frozen for winter feeding.

Finally, amazing.
This one…

Rocking the mohawk

Rocking the mohawk

She used to have a long mane, but keeps pulling it out on the fencing. I’ve given up on her having a long mane again…so I pulled out the scissors, and cleaned up her.
The amazing part is that she stood like a rock.
Last time I tried to give her a trim, she lost her shit a bit.
Scissors are scary and could kill a horse, y’know.
Not this time. She dropped her head and stood for me to clean up that raggedy mane up and trim her bridle path. I left the bit of mane long at her withers, just in case I get a stupid urge to climb up on her…gotta have a hand hold, right? πŸ˜‰
It was wonderful to have her completely relaxed for something that she had previously freaked out about.
It’s really amazing how far she’s come.

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