Monday Morning Roundup~Aug. 27th

So, I fell off the face of the earth for a bit there.
Mostly because I’ve been busy.
Y’see, the garden is producing, and someone has to put it up for the winter…because, yes, winter is coming.

I pulled out the pressure canner.
If you heard an excited, high pitched “Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” last week, well, that was me.

It’s been 5 far too long years since I put food in jars for the shelves.
This year, I was determined to get back at it.
And I have!
So far, just green beans, but today I’ve got potatoes going into the canner, and once we butcher the meaties, I’ll be using backs and scraps for home-grown chicken soup.
And, I need to send Hubby to the mushroom farm, because one can never have enough home canned mushrooms!
Then, there’s kidney beans, and chick peas and pork and beans to make…

I’ve missed this.
Back when we were in the city, it was a normal year for me to put up 400 or so jars of food a year.
I want to surpass that out here!
I feel like, I have all this space to grow stuff, I need to be better prepared for life’s little bumps and bruises that slow us down on the way.
That mindset got lost for a little while, but now, I’m back to it…and it feels soooooo good!

The past week, I’ve also been tending to the wines.
I finally got my blueberry/pomegranate kit bottled.
The 2nd round of green tomato (which is likely going to end up a blush wine instead of a white this time) has been stabilized and is now clearing. It is so tasty. Still young, so a bit fiery, but the first one was the same way. With a little age, it turned into a stunningly good wine.

And then, Hubby brought home 50lbs of apples someone gave him at work. Not deadfall, lovely hand-picked eating apples.
So I started a batch of apple wine…because hey, free fruit? Yeah, I’ll ferment that!

And then there’s the planning for next year’s garden. Already.
In the next month or two, it’ll be time to get the fall garlic in.
I’m thinking about what worked this year, what didn’t work, and what we need to grow more of next year.
Plus, there’s that darn fence to get done!
So much to do, so little time to do it.

Now, for those who have been wondering…

Our Sable.

She’s been off the previcox for 2 weeks now.
I keep saying this…we are cautiously and quietly optimistic.
She’s eating very well, she’s gained back the weight she lost during her sickness, and she’s still getting a flax cookie daily…because she loves them and we love her.

That’s all the news for today…
It doesn’t sound like I’ve been all that busy when I write it here, but I’m going from before sunrise until well after sunset, so I’m either spinning my wheels or maybe I might be getting somewhere.
I’ll let you know.

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays.

5 years

As of 9 am today, Midnight Calico Farm is 5 years old!

It’s been an incredible ride…

From the very first picture I ever posted here…

Our MaxCat, the day he came home.
He’s been with us since October, 2013.
And he still loves to enjoy coffee with me on the deck in the mornings. ❤

November 16th, 2013…

The day my Dreams came true.
Everything I worked for, for 41 years.
My Original 3…including the bestest mare ever.
My ❤
My Cookie.

Tired puppy after a long walk.

Daphne came home on Hallowe’en.
She was so itty bitty then…we were sure, based on those paws, she was gonna be a monster sized dog.
50ish lbs?
But personality and Farm Dog heart enough for a 200lb dog!

Sable the Reindeer

First ever Christmas pictures with the horses…
Little did they know this was the beginning of a looooooong line of seasonal photo shoots for them.

Later, I had this image of Cookie tattooed on my forearm.

Exchanging breath greetings.

The day Astrid joined the herd…Sable welcomed her with her whole heart, while the Paints were their normal bitchy selves.
It all settled down, in the end, and Astrid was eventually welcomed by every one.

Harmony at the feeder.

That’s Blizzard. She’s a 2014 Ram 1500…yes, that’s our driveway. She is stuck on about 3 feet of snow…give you an idea of how much snow we had pre-spring melt!

Whoooo…our first experience with country winters was a doozy!

❤ ❤ ❤

In 2015, The Kid took many of the Yule pictures…including this wonderful one.
I’m not a fan of pictures of myself, but I ❤ this one.
My and my Girl.

2015 also saw these 2 little jerks join the family…
Nancy (sitting) was abandoned with 3 other siblings by one of our barn cats. In the wee hours of the night, we lost one of the babies, but Nancy and his brother Robin and sister Sophie grew into healthy trouble making cats.
Robin and Sophie went on to a friend’s home, where they are still catered to like the cat gods they believe they are. 😉

And Miss Daisy Mae…
Daisy Mae was only supposed to be in the house long enough for socialization and then back out to be a barn cat.
I never wanted 4 indoor cats.
Somehow though, that damn little weasel managed to convince the whole family she belonged in the house.
She became The Kid’s Yule present that year…

My handsome Felix. ❤

This guy was my favorite barn cat.
We all know how much I ❤ the black and white ones…well this guy loved my Cookie.
I’ve said it often, I’m positive they were lovers in another lifetime.
My heart broke when we lost him to a coyote.

2016 was our first year raising piggies for the freezer…

Pigs are so cute when little…even honorary Farm dog Sabrina the Pug thought so…and she liked their chow too! 😉

She turned 11 in 2016.
Which meant a photo shoot with the birthday hat.

Paints in the morning sunlight.

Fall of 2016 saw me really honing my style of photography…it all started with the image above, the search for the light and creating dreamy images.

“Hey Mom, you put apples on the tree??”

Good Gods…the 2016 Yule photo shoot…
So, I had this idea of pretty horses standing next to a pretty decorated Christmas tree. Based on an image done by another equine photographer, I was looking for clean and pretty.
Instead, I got pure and utter mayhem.
Because this ridiculous horse wouldn’t wear a Santa hat.
She insisted she oughta eat a decoration, and Hubby had to chase her to pull the fucking thing out of her mouth…


This shot is epic.
This shot is wholly and completely our lives…trying for pretty and clean and easy going, but nope.
Chaos and mayhem.
Which led to my new personal motto:
“Embrace the Chaos”
And that has led my photography style ever since.

Oh, poor Bella WaterHorse…

Lake Midnight and Sable swimming with the geese…
That’s our pasture under water.
Happens every spring for a few weeks, then it grows so fast in some spots, the mares can’t keep up with the grass.
As long as we have some high and dry spots, everyone does real well until the Lake recedes.

August 2017…
4 years of Farm life, I turned 45 and once more, my Kid captured an amazing shot of my Cookie and I together.
This one was from my birthday photo shoot.

Oh how happy I was with this Remembrance Day shoot. That yellow ribbon in her tail was so perfect, and after making sure it wasn’t going to eat her, she ignored my when I clipped it into her tail. And then, when she cocked a hip and looked at me over her shoulder, I swear I fell in love her all over again (that happened a lot though. 😉 ).
Oh, how I wish I had known what was coming 2 days later.
I never would have left her side.

By the end of January 2018,  I was finally considering picking up my camera again.
But February saw these 2 celebrate a birthday…

Kid and her Sable ❤

17 for our Kid and after some discussion, we assigned Sable the same age and birthday.
Now they can celebrate their day together.

April 2018…for the first time ever, I allowed chicks to live their first couple of weeks in the house.
Eeew. Gross.
Won’t be doing that again.
However, these 18 have gone on to grow into lovely birds, who do whatever the hell they want. They free range the yard, even though I clipped wings. They eat many, many grasshoppers (fine by me!) and they even come back to the coops at night.
Sadly, many are roosters, so, they’re destined for Freezer Camp, but that’s okay. We’ll keep 1 nice boy to go with our eggies and the few hens we got in this bunch should lay green or blue or olive coloured eggs. A nice mix with our brown egg layers.


“Sing ‘Soft Pony’ to me Mama…drugged and in pain is a kinda sick…”

Our biggest Baby got real sick.
And, we didn’t know why…after over $1200 in bills, she’s seemingly healthy again.
She still has the lump on her TMJ, and because it’s extra bone growth, likely always will.
So, she’s an officially retired pasture puff.
While she can wear a halter, she can’t wear a bridle because it puts pressure on the lump, and we are taking no chances in it getting worse.

Finally, the last picture I uploaded on this blog…

Friend Will and his freshly caught fish.
From a day of fishing, fun and friendship.
It was a good day.

Now we look ahead to the next year of Farm life and where we want to go…

There’s always plans and ideas and hopes and dreams.
I hope all y’all will stick around with us to see how things go.
We’re considering adding back a 4th horse. One day, when the right one comes along.
We’re looking at changing up meat chicken growing so we can do bigger rounds of chicks earlier, and more often.
We’re learning ways to improve the garden production.
And, there is the hope for a milking animal.
It was supposed to be the next animal after the horses, but here we are, 5 years in, and we’re still buying milk.
One day though…

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday

Gone Fishin’

We were up long before the butt crack of dawn yesterday…
Okay, we got up like it was a normal day.

Let the animals out, checked on the Girls, hopped in the truck and went for a drive…

It was a lovely morning to be out with fishing poles and cameras.
Of course, we didn’t catch much…
A friend caught a wee, itty bitty pickerel (like minnow sized)…

The Kid caught a pickerel rig (complete with bait still on it!) and then there was the rock…

Remember how I got the Cookie Stone?
Well, thanks to a friend who was willing to go into the water and get wet squidgey shoes (and considering I’d just made fun of his catch 😂😂, it was an awesome thing for him to do…), I now have a 2nd stone to go with it…

Now we have the BellaRock (the rectangular-ish one from yesterday) and Cookie’s heart stone.
All I gotta do is paint the mares on them.
And get 2 more big rocks for Astrid and Ruby.
But that will be on other fishing trips.

Uncle Max

Just a portrait of Uncle Max sitting in the sun on the deck…

Max ❤

Max was our very first animal addition to Midnight Calico Farm.
He’s helped raise kittens and Daphne.
He’s the mascot for the pumpkin wine labels.
He’s a spoiled, pampered boy who loves Farm life.
And sticking his feet in my coffee.

Sharing a day late with Comedy Plus for Feline Friday on Caturday.

Thankful Thursday

Things I am thankful for this week:

Sable eating her cookie…with previcox hidden inside. 😉

a. Flax/apple cookies.
They make giving her a pill soooooo much easier.

Eating a bouquet of alfalfa flowers…

2. Fancy molasses. And oats.
Since she’s been on antibiotic pills instead of shots, we’ve had to be creative with getting them into her.
Without a fight, that is.
Molasses and oats in her beet pulp, with her ground up pills and it all gets slurped up in record time.

Trying to steal Ruby’s alfalfa bouquet…

c. She’s feeling better.
A whole lot better.
But, she’s also coming onto the last couple of days of antibiotics and I’m nervous about whether or not she’s going to stay better or relapse…

Garden tomatoes…

d. Fresh tomatoes from the garden.
This is the biggest haul of red tomatoes we’ve had since we moved to the Farm. It’s been challenging (to say the least) the get the garden off the ground. Especially since I had the whole technique down pat in the city…
It’s getting better every year, and that’s something to be thankful for.

Astrid enjoying her flowers while Ruby looks on…

5. Finally, these 2 jokers.
Because as hard as last Friday was, Astrid was right there to comfort Sable and make sure she was okay.
Thankfully, our vet was understanding about herd bound fools and as long as she was out of the way, she could stay.
And Ruby has been *my* rock while Sable was sick.
When your normal leaning rock of a horse needs to lean on you for a while and you need to lean somewhere too, well it was nice Ol’ Painty Face stepped up and let me use her to brush out some stress and anxiety on…

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.