Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2018

Every New Year’s Eve I try to do a recap post.
This year, I’m revisiting Ashley Sisk’s Memories Dreams and Reflections prompts.
Yeah, the post is from 2015, but the prompts are the same.
And they’re a fun way to see what 2018 was like here on the Farm…

So, let’s get to it, because this is gonna get long.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Me

If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know, I’m behind the camera 99.9% of the time, so there’s not too many shots with me in them…but this one I took for an Instagram challenge, where I had to show myself in the midst of a farm chore…

Ruby’s dainty hoof…

What better than a foot/hoof selfie with Ruby?

I Love You

How could I not love these 3?

Kid and her Sable ❀

And this…I ❀ this image…and these 2.

Still Laughing

MCFHubby and Astrid

It started out as a normal ride…and ain’t little Miss Astrid just the prettiest damn thing ever?

But then, things went a wee bit wrong…
See, that lead rope got tangled in the bail, Hubby pulled and the end snapped poor little Miss on the bum…

And then, as she tried to go forward, Hubby squeezed with his legs trying to hold on, while pulling her head around…and Astrid said “Listen, I had enough. Get. Off. Me.”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Okay, so it wasn’t funny ’til we knew they were both okay, but we’re still laughing about it, because mixed messages with equines all too often means eating dirt.
Oh and Hubby ate dirt…

Winter Wonderland

January 28th, 2018
First day I picked up my camera in months, and finally started to become myself again.

Beautiful Girl ❀

Astrid having a nap in the snow of our winter wonderland.

Birthday

So May 21st was supposed to be a Certain Girl’s 13th birthday.
I had planned out a shoot a year prior for it, and well, even though she wasn’t with us anymore, we went ahead with it anyways…

We let her herdmates enjoy the carrot cake in her honor…

He mighta smooshed it into her muzzle a wee bit…being it’s a cake smash and all… πŸ˜‰

Ruby’s turn…

And then Hubby set the cake down, so all 3 could enjoy it at once…

“CAAAAAAKKKKEEE!”

Friends

2018 was a year of getting to do some great photography work with friends…

Shaila of Pugtail Photography

The Cream 1/2 of Cookie’n’Cream Photography

We shot train robberies together…

Gentle giant Clyde, meeting one of his adoring fans…

And we shot images for a calendar…

Oooooh, scary ghost!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


Looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings, collaboration wise!

I Was Inspired

Inspiration was hard-fought in 2018.
But I managed a few inspirational (to me) images…

This was my “Until We Meet Again” image…

It took a bottle of whiskey and a whole lot of tears to create.
Afterwards, my heart was so much lighter.
I just really needed a way to express my grief and say goodbye.
This was it.
❀


And then for Hallowe’en (and ultimately the anniversary of her death) Hubby helped me create this image.
Cookie’s skull, in sunlight, under our tree.
❀

Spring Fever

Chicks!

The perfect photographic depiction of spring fever…18 little balls of feathers that lived in my bathroom for a few weeks, ’til they could go out to the coop.

Travel or Vacation

Having started an Instagram account for Ruby, The Painted Unicorn, we found a toy to represent her as we traveled here and there…because The Painted Unicorn Ruby has to stay home and guard the beer and food, while DecoyRuby goes out and is social. πŸ˜‰

Summer Days

Gone fishin’

Friend Will’s giant fish. πŸ˜‰

The Palomino Princess at sunrise…

Getting her teeth done…

Bird watching

A Day in My Life

Sunrise photoshoots…


Staff meetings…


Dogs with sticks…


Finding stray nests…

16 eggs!!

Feeding baconators…

nom nom nom
This good stuff, Food Lady!

Bobbing for apples…


Getting sick babies well again…

Drugged for x-rays…

And photos taken as the sun sinks down…

All Smiles

I just can’t help but smile at this one…
She’s sleeping, snoring, licking and running all while flat out.
❀

Autumn Harvest

look at all the tomatoes on there!

Helper chicken

Garden tomatoes…

Our garden did it’s best since moving here.
So many tomatoes, beans, beets, carrots…
As well as other yummy things.
It was a prosperous growing season for sure!

Home


This just says “home” to me…
There’s no words to explain why. It just does.

Celebrate

Yule pictures!
πŸ˜‰

Let’s Do It Again


Let’s nap in the grass…


Doze in the rising sun light…


Enjoy the splendor of an early sunrise…

I Miss You

Always and forever…

❀

Until we meet again…

❀

I will miss you until the end of time.

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

There is never a day where I’m not thinking of you.

Beautiful

This…

And this…

And this…

Dress Up

Aside from Yule pictures with the lights, I don’t think I did any dress up kinda shoots with my animals this year.
So, for this one you get Dukey…an elder mini gentleman who lives at West Wind Stables.

See?
How adorable is he?

Macro

I got nothin’ macro from this year.
Not sure I even used that lens for anything other than a few portraits.
This one is an older shot, trying to convince Cookie to wear a Canada Day headband.
It didn’t work.
πŸ˜‰
But those whiskers…and that muzzle.
❀

“So scary smelling. Can’t let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama.” ~Cookie

Holidays

The holidays can be rough, y’know?
Especially when you’re a famous unicorn.
That’s why you have your very own masseuse…or in this case, a cat-sseuse…to massage out all those tight, achy muscles while your herdmate tried to push in and get a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for herself.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


And then, once everything’s loose, it’s time to go to work…them pretty holiday photos ain’t gonna make themselves happen.
πŸ˜‰

My Favorite

My Remembrance Day shots…


For the simplicity, the beauty and because I let myself just follow my camera.

Don’t Ever Change

Don’t ever change, my RubyGirl.
You keep your headstrong, boss bitch attitude.
It’s one of the main reasons I love you and why I love working with you…and it makes for grand photos!

Just Because…So There!

Hopes and Dreams

As always, we have big Dreams here at Midnight Calico Farm.
This past year we got a little closer to stocking the pantry shelves to acceptable levels, as I got back into canning.
While our pigs didn’t grow as well as we’d hoped (they arrived way too late for them to get as big as we like them), I did find a fantastic deal on Muscovy ducks, both for the freezer and for eggs and meat next year.


I hope y’all will stick with us, as we grow and learn from our mistakes.
And I promise, I’ll try harder to put up posts more often.
Life has slowly returned to center.
It’s been a long road.
I’m ready for 2019.

Happy New Year!

πŸ’–πŸ–€πŸ’–
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Flashback Friday

We’re going way back to the horses very first Yule with us.
Freezing cold, they’d been here only 39 days, and I wanted holiday pictures.

The surprise and horror on Cookie’s face!

Ruby was having none of these shenanigans…no matter how much Hubby tried to convince her.

And then there’s Sable…who with the very first shoot was a rock star, ready to pose.

November…

How?
How can it be November already?
I feel like this summer, this fall have gone by so fast.
Never enough time to get it all done, still so much left to do before winter sets in for real…

This week alone:

Hubby and I filled my deer tag. (Yay!)
The 3 of us did the cut/wrap on the deer for the freezer.
I put up 10 quarts of chicken soup.
I canned a canner load of cat food from scraps from chicken butchering.
We moved a building…I have pictures of that to come!
We bottled the apple raspberry wine.
Started a concord grape wine.
Discovered yet another place where one of our hens is hiding eggs…she wants to raise chicks sooooo bad! I hope she’s the same way come spring. πŸ™‚

That’s on top of the regular stuff…
Hubby still went to work every day.
Kiddo still did school, plus her extra curriculars.
I still ran around after the animals here and made sure they were all healthy, while taking pictures and doing edits.

So we’re tired.
But it’s a good tired. πŸ˜‰

And now, we’re coming up fast on 1 year…
And my heart.
Sweet Epona, my heart…

❀

I still miss her so, so much.
And yet, after the fact, I know she was suffering.
Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have let it go on.
I would have given her a grand day of love, with all her favorite meals and treats and said goodbye that way.
It is my 1 regret, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t do better for her.

We did a thing, Hubby, Kid and I…
Most know I kept her skull.
Well, this summer it was in the maceration tub getting cleaned.
It’s not 100% done, but we had to get it out of the water before freeze up. Freezing in the water would have caused irreparable damage.
So, we did a thing…
This was my Hallowe’en image:

Taken under our tree. ❀

I have a few other from the session that I’ll post on the 1 year day.
It was an emotional, Powerful photo shoot.
It’s one I’m proud of.

Once she’s completely cleaned, degreased and whitened, I plan on painting a few decorative images on her (though that might change, we’ll see).
What won’t change is the photo essay I plan with her…
In her life with me, the thought of leaving her pasture scared terrified her…just coming out into the yard to graze was more than she could handle, no matter how hard we worked on it.
It was what it was.

Ah, but now, my dear sweet darling will travel!
And she’ll be photographed in all the places I wanted to take her in life, meeting all the people I wanted her to meet, but couldn’t.
This I look forward to doing.
It’ll be hard at times.
Emotional…powerful.
But so worth doing.
❀
But, that’ll be next year.

I’ll apologize now, if I go missing ’til the 13th.
I’m trying to stay up on things, but this may get to me.
Hopefully once things settle down with Freezer Camp, hunting and winterizing I’ll post more…
Okay, I promise I will!
Sometimes though, it’s just easier to throw myself into the daily grind a little harder when I’m missing her.
And sadly that means y’all get shorted on content.
I’m workin’ on that.
❀

Here’s a couple of pictures of my 3 Stooges for your enjoyment…

Staff meeting…
On the agenda, how to avoid the beepy thing.
Especially now that the Food Lady has turned off the beep.
Can’t have her catching us in those fun, but compromising positions!

The look I get when I ask what they were discussing at their meeting…like I didn’t already know! πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday all!
❀

 

Gone Fishin’

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

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚, 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.
πŸ™‚

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…

The Heart Rock

My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My walk had purpose
My steps were quick and light
And I held firmly
To what I felt was right
Like a rock

Cookie’s memorial stone

And sometimes late at night
When I’m bathed in the firelight
The moon comes callin’ a ghostly white
And I recall
I recall

Like a rock. standin’ arrow straight
Like a rock, chargin’ from the gate
Like a rock, carryin’ the weight
Like a rock

Like a rock, the sun upon my skin
Like a rock, hard against the wind
Like a rock, I see myself again
Like a rock

~ Bob Seger

Our musical inspiration today…
The amazing, and timeless, Bob Seger.