Catching y’all up…

I’ve been working on writing this post now for a few days…
There seems to be so much going on, that I don’t know where to start, or how to put things into words.
And yet, its typical summer time things…

Weed/water the garden
Care for the animals
Cut, rake, bale hay
Clean the house
Make the meals
Clean the kitchen
Start again the next day…

I’m finding myself exhausted before the day even begins.
And I’m trying really hard *not* to whine about it.
Which is a huge part of why writing this post has sat and sat and sat…

I am very happy to share that the garden is on track to produce the best crop this year.
We should have a bumper crop of bush beans, if flowers are any indication.
There are crazy amounts of flowers on the zucchini…I’m so excited for a lot of zucchini. I think I’m probably the only person in the world who *hopes* for a huge zucchini crop.
I love it in everything. And now, I’ve found a pickle recipe that uses zucs instead of cukes! I so want to try that!

Daily watering has made a huge difference.
That’s something I struggle with, because we haven’t yet fixed the hose tap on the house, so we’re running a hose from the yard hydrant over by the garage.
That’s a couple hundred feet…and my hose is holy.
OMG
That sounds like a terrible country song!!

“Waterin’ ma garden
With a holy hose
I’m waterin’ more weeds
Than ma tomatoes”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Point is…I need a new hose. Or a few to put together, that won’t water the weeds while I’m trying to water the food forest.

Oh and we had a heat wave the last week or so…
It was hotter than…well, it was hot.
We lost almost half of our meat chicks.
Talk about frustration.
These guys are supposed to be our winter food, but if I lose them early, it makes it so much harder to get enough put up to feed everyone through to next year.
I did contact the hatchery and had a good chat with the owner, who gave me some tips for next time.
Fingers crossed that all grow well for us now!

Sable is feeling much better!
Though I’ll tell you, she’s probably so sick of me by now.
I’m all over her ever day to make sure she’s feeling better.
I have been so worried about her…let me tell you, lose one and it breaks your confidence. Or, at least it did mine.
So, I’m trying not to be a pain in the Vet’s ass, while still trying to make sure that our Cinder-Bella is healthy.
Add into that my ridiculous anxiety about making phone calls…sweet merciful crap, now *that’s* a pain in the ass!
Like when we finished Sable’s shots, and we found she was losing skin in spots…I had to call and find out if this was a side effect of the drugs, or was this something else.
Then, we found the same thing going on with Ruby on her chest.
Turns out, it was reactions to horsefly bites.
Something I should have recognized, and been able to handle without a vet call, but I panicked.
Jeez, I’ve always prided myself on not being “that owner” who calls over every little thing…yet, here I am.

But, the good thing about the Girl’s skin…
I did a betadine scrub on them, to clean up the loose skin, coated them in SWAT (to protect from the damn bugs) and now everyone is good again.
All the hair has grown back in.
So I’m lighting daily smudges, as the wind allows.
That’s the only thing that’s effectively combating the stupid horse flies. That layer of smoke on the mare’s coats gives them a couple of hours protection after they leave the safety of the smudge smoke.

I did get a chance to photograph a lovely prairie sunset the other day:

See the mares at the bottom?
❀

So, y’know, I’m trying to focus on the beauty and splendor of country living, instead of whining all the time.
LOL
Sometimes though, it feels like all I’m doing is whining.
πŸ˜‰

Soon enough, harvest will happen.
*Then* I’ll whine, out loud, often and with gusto.
As we put chickens and pigs in the freezer, I pull out the pressure canner for veggies, and tomato products, and with a whole lotta Bambi Dancing luck, we get a deer or two to add to the freezer.
Then I’ll be whiney and tired, more than I am now, and I’ll be longing for the quite days of hay, weeding and watering.

Winter is coming.

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Monday Morning Ritual

Monday mornings, especially now that it’s warmed up, means coffee on the deck, with a toast to my favorite Girl…

Lovely bum!

This past weekend, on the hottest day of the year, her skull finally made it from the cage to the maceration tub.
Along with some other bones.
Now, we wait.
Change the water every couple of weeks.
And wait some more.
Hopefully, with the heat of summer full upon us now, maceration won’t take long, and I’ll have my sweet mare’s skull clean and ready for decorating.
And I know it sounds cold and awful to be cleaning her skull, but I have been a bone collector for years…longer than Hubby and I have been together.
Truth is, if I *didn’t* keep Cookie’s skull, I know I would regret it.
😦
I always knew I would keep hers…I just thought it would be another 15 years from now before she gave it to me.

 ❀

Monday mornings remind me how much I miss her sassyness, her demands for coffee and gingersnaps, those breaths of horsie breath in my face…

34 weeks today.

From her colic 2 years ago…it really was the beginning of the end for her…all the money and vet visits in the world just prolonged things, and we still had no answers until the very end.

And I still miss her like it just happened today…

Cinder-Bella

I have 2 things I tell the horses when asked to do hard things…

  1. You can do hard things. You’re not gonna die. You can do this.
  2. You can do it Cinderella!

Well, yesterday Sable had a vet visit…

Y’see, she’s been needing to get her teeth floated (link here to what that means, in case someone doesn’t know) and we made the appointment for yesterday. Hubby had the day off, so it would be an “all hands on deck” kinda day.

I love Sable.
I can do just about anything to her, or with her.
She’s pretty awful about people sticking hands in her mouth. Always has been…though with time and patience, she’s getting better about it.
But, that’s one of the reasons we knew she needed her teeth done.
And, last week, she was showing small signs of having trouble eating…which meant that no matter how much I worked with her to be okay about checking inside her mouth, I could not put off her dental work any longer.
Appointment was set.

But then…

Because like Farm Friend Toosh said…”It’s always something,…..isn’t it…?…..!!”

Yesterday morning, we go out to check on everyone, and get Sable ready for her appointment and find her face like this:

See the swelling on the right side?

I had initially said the swelling was on her left side…I’m an idiot. It’s clearly on her right side.
Oh, and she was not feeling good at all.
Thankfully, the Dr was just a 1/2 hour out and I promised her, he’d help her feel better.

When he arrived, I explained the situation, and he examined her.
He didn’t think it was a tooth causing the infection, and didn’t think it was strangles either (thank goodness!!) but something was clearly going on…

So, my “you can do this Cinderella” horse got a pain shot, and is on a 5 day course of antibiotic to clear this up.
Once that’s done, we’ll reassess to see if she needs another round of antibiotic, and then we’ll talk about her float.
She felt so bad yesterday that there was no way we were going to consider going ahead with the float.
Fighting with 1400lbs to do dental work when she’s not well is never a good idea.
So, I pay a little more in travel fees for the vet to come back out…worth it to get my Big Girl healthy before doing her teeth.

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

Somewhere along the way, when I was telling her “you can do this Cinderella” I turned Cinderella into Cinder-Bella…because she’s our Palomino Princess.
It just fit.
❀

Bacon Seeds

The bacon seeds have arrived!!

Just about 6 weeks later than last year.
But, life happens.
We were getting close to drought conditions right around when we normally would get piglets, and I was concerned about bringing more livestock onto the Farm without being 100% sure I could keep everyone watered and healthy on the well.

So, we waited.
Then we got amazing rainfalls (that took out my garden a time or two) and now we’ve had good, regular rains (which have been helping my garden…and the weeds in it!).
That eased my worries about water.
Then, we just had to wait for schedules to align to go pick these guys up…that was yesterday.

Behold, our cute little bacon makers!

Bums!

We brought home 6 little baconettes to grow for as long as possible before winter hits.
πŸ™‚

Farm Yard Excitement

Wednesday was an exciting day here.
It didn’t start out that way, but shortly after The Kid got on the school bus, things went a little…interesting.

After I let the birds out, fed and watered them, I came in to finish up some photo editing and uploads…check out the newest album of Great Train Robbery photos here:
Cookie’nCream Photography

So, I’m getting ready to upload, windows are open, it’s quiet…until I hear the mares…squealing and whinnying.
At first, I figure it just them playing…they do that, every now and then, squeal and be silly with each other.
But then, it happens again, with a bit more urgency.
That’s when I got up and looked out the window…

I saw what I thought was a huge dog running into the yard.
It was no dog.
It was this:

Ain’t he something?

I have no idea where he came from, or who he belongs to.
I did learn mighty fast though, that he was a stud.
That’s what all the squealing was about.
Oh! Yay!
Said no full size mare owner ever when a mini stud arrives out of nowhere.

So, the first order of business was to get the little goober secured, safely away from the mares and safely away from the road.
*sigh*
Not fun when you’re one person with a grain bucket to lead a horny little devil *away* from 3 increasingly horny girls.

I needed backup.
I called out Hubby.
Once he got home, the plan was to lead our gentlest, yet most interested mare across the driveway, and let him follow her into the front pasture. Once they were in, Hubby would lead Astrid out and I’d close the gate.
It all went to plan, until he stuck his nose right up Astrid’s business and she double-barreled him.
Hahahahaha!!

He went rolling over backwards, popped up and started prancing…
“See!!! I *am* man enough for you, Mare! I can take a hit!”
Thankfully he wasn’t hurt physically…maybe his over inflated pride was, but his body was just fine.
LOL

Hubby led Astrid back across the drive, while I closed the gate…little shit tried charging me, but got a sound whap on his pretty little nose from the lunge whip.
Yup, I get it.
My mares make you want to bring your milkshake to their yard, but it ain’t happening!

By this time, we were all tired, fried from the sun, Sketchy Pete (which is what I was calling him) needed some (more) water and damn, but I needed a beer!
But, still work to do…
I had called the RCMP earlier and posted his picture on FB (hoping someone in the area might know him and come get him), and now had to get a hold of Animal Control.
Hubby went off the visit the closest vet clinic, hoping maybe they knew the little jerk.
Nope, nothing there either.

Thankfully, Animal Control got back to me in pretty short order, and once they had a trailer lined up, they came and we got him loaded up.

So far, I don’t know if anyone has come forward for him.
Too bad, if they haven’t.
He was a cute little thing, and I’m sure with a gelding, he’ll have great potential for a kid’s pet…

The Thing About Heart Horses…

Last week, I read Anna Blake’s post on this very topic…
Heart Horses.

Initially, I had a very negative reaction to the post.
The angry monkeys in my head demanded their typewriters to bang out their thoughts…

And then I stepped back and thought about it all.
I came to this…

I have, since a month or so after bringing her Home, called Cookie my heart horse.
Why?
Because to me, she was/is/always will be the most special, most influential equine in my life.
It took a whole lotta *something* to get her and I together, and once it was done, there was only death to separate us.

So, does that mean my others…Ruby, Sable, Astrid…are any *less* special to me because they’re not Cookie?
I don’t think so.
They are who they are, and they are special in their own ways.

Sable is my accident prone, but rock solid, lean on me Mama I can hold you up, bombproof horse.
Ruby is my challenge Mama all day every day, if it ain’t my idea I ain’t doing it, horse.
Astrid is my happy Little Red who loves brushings and cuddles and forehead rubs and those rare times I let her lick me…dang that mare likes to lick things!! lol

They all hold a special place in my heart.

Unlike Cookie though, they were all pretty darn quick to come to the charm of The Food Lady.
Cookie was a force of her own, she gave nothing freely, and I earned every little thing she offered me.

When you have to spend hours on end sitting, waiting, leaving, and coming back day after day, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you have to stand and wait in -30*c cold, hands uncovered because gloves are an unknown, to finally get a hand on a horse…
When you walk out the door one morning, after so many mornings like the ones above, and that horse calls and meets you at the gate…
When that horse drops her muzzle so you can gently blow and greet her…

So that was the foundation of our relationship.
Me being patient (for the most part), and her trying to decide if I was worth trusting.
And when she offered her trust, it was a high like nothing I have ever experienced.
How could I not love her a wee bit more than the others?
How could I not give her the biggest chunk of my heart?

But don’t think it was all pretty and rainbows, because it wasn’t.
It was hard work.
It was a lot of wanting to give up.
It was a lot of frustration for both of us.
It was her avoiding me for days on end.
It was a lot of heartache, as I wondered if I was in over my head (short answer? yes).
There was mud and blood(mostly mine) and bruises(also mine) and shit…and tears.
It was a lot of days ending in tears.

Oh, but those days, few and far between in the beginning, when she’d let slip some normal horse behaviour, or she’d show me a cheeky moment (nibbling my braid was a favorite), or she’d just choose to stand next to me and be…
I’ve said it over and over…it was like she was my dealer, and those bits of trust she let slip were the crack I lived for.

Yeah.
She was, and always will be, my Heart Horse.
There will never be another one like her.
And y’know what?
I’m glad for that.
Because I know and recognize that, I can love others, give them a spot in my heart, and give them what they need, without comparing them to HER.
My love for her does not diminish the love for the others…any others.
And, quite frankly, loving a horse like Cookie just plain ain’t easy…it is…well, it’s exhausting

At the end of the day, I know the term bugs people.
I see the eye rolls, the little laughs, the snorts of derision…
My favorite (said quietly, but within my hearing) “Only fluffy horse lovers call any horse that…” implying that I couldn’t possibly be a real horse person.
Meh.
That’s okay, because, truthfully, people bug me like the term bugs them. lol
I’d much rather be with the horses.
(Okay, I’ll grant, some people are okay. πŸ˜‰ )
When I use the term, I’m not using it for others.
I’m using it for me…for her…for us.

And if that bothers other people, or makes them think less of me as a horsewoman, that’s okay too.
I’ve never much cared what people think of me, so how someone else feels about my usage of a few simple words…not my problem.

When I got back into this life of horses, it was for her:

❀

It was always about her…
To the horse world here, she may not have been much to look at, she may not have been anything more than a broodmare, she may not have been anything more than a number run through at auction…
But to me, she was the world.
My Heart Horse.

Aaaaaand….
Now I’ll just take the typewriters away from the angry monkeys and go on about my day.

Place in the World

Do you ever wonder about your place in the world?
Are you doing what makes you happy?
What you feel you’re meant to be doing?

I used to wonder…

Now, I’m pretty sure I’m right where I’m meant to be.

Let’s face it, if I wasn’t where I’m meant to be, I never would have had 3 days shy of 4 years with the Very Best Horse Everβ„’…

She made the best faces in this shoot…
I keep going back and editing images from it that I just love because they show her personality.
Like this one:

That tongue! ❀
Sassy pants paint

I wouldn’t have been in a place to bring this beauty Home for my Kid…

Hubby wouldn’t have gotten his Girl…


And who knows what might have been when Astrid needed a soft landing from her former home…

Not sure what’s going on with that mane, colour wise, but it sure looks pretty!

I guess knowing where my place is in this big wide world is pretty darn amazing. I’m sure there are people who live their whole lives never being sureΒ  where they belong.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
I waited 40 years to get here, and I ain’t going to give it up.
πŸ™‚