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.
😂😂😂

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.”

😂😂😂
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… 😉

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!
😂😂😂


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. 😉

Summer Days

Gone fishin’

Friend Will’s giant fish. 😉

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!
😉

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.
😉
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.
😂😂😂


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

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!

💖🖤💖
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Brrrrr!!

It’s been a chilly week!
But things here on the Farm are still chugging along.
🙂

The chickens are starting to lay with a little more consistency.
Finally!
We’ve waited a long time to get these eggie chicks to the point of lay. Soon enough, I should have some eggs that I can sell again.
That will be nice!
I’ve had a few green shelled eggs from the easter egger hens, but not many. I have 4 hens that should be giving me colours (maybe 5, I’m not 100% sure) but I’ve had 3 green eggs…and the easter eggers are older than the brown egg layers, who are getting a little more regular…

One morning last week though, it was really cold and I figured I best check the auto waterer to make sure the Merry Mares water hadn’t frozen over on them…imagine my surprise when Daphne dives under a board in the long grass…I’m thinking “oh shit, she found a skunk!!” but with no immediate stink blast, I figured that couldn’t have been it.
Nope.
Turns out she chased one of my little black hens off a nest of eggs…

16 eggs!!

Stinker had been out all night, instead of coming back to the coop, and was just plain lucky *something* didn’t find her in the night and make a meal of her!
But, she had 16 eggs under her, 10  of which were green.

Not knowing how long they were there, I took them away and float tested them. They seemed like they might be alright, but I still wasn’t sure. So, I cracked them all open.
Turns out, they were fine, though only a handful were fertilized.
Even if the all had been, it’s not a great time of year for chicks anyways…but I now know which hen could be broody in the spring. She, and a few other hens, will get separated off with the one rooster we keep to lay and set eggs in the spring for flock regeneration. Honestly, I’d love to get away from buying hatchery birds for eggs, if I can. And if I can get hens to do the hatching work that’s even better. I have no real interest in using an incubator.
I scrambled the 16 eggs and gave them to the chickens as a treat…their excitement at that made the sting of losing 16 eggs a little less painful.
lol

And then, there was Daphne and her stick…

“I want this one!”

Pulling the stick out of the hobo barrel fire pile…

“MY STICK”

She was rather proud of herself for getting it…

“I am triumphant!!”

*sigh*
My dog is weird.

Reflection

It’s a quiet, grey day here on the Farm.
Skunk season has begun.
This morning I woke to find the current Pepe LePew, that felt residence in the garage after binge eating eggs was a good idea, in the trap.
So, there’s that issue to deal with.

Since Pepe is right at the garage door (maybe I’ll get more eggs today??) I had to feed the horses on the other side of the driveway.
Heh.
Poor silly nags, as I’m moving the wheel barrow, they’re calling “Mom! Mom! Mooooommmm!! We’re over *here*!!”
Nope.
Sorry, not sorry, I ain’t tossing hay whilst standing next to a Fart Squirrel.
And, needless to say, Daphne was tied to the tree stump in the backyard, lest she think that Fart Squirrel is the best playmate ever.
She’s not really the smartest dog on the planet, but she’s got a lotta play in her. 😉

After explaining myself several times, and her herdmates figuring things out, I finally led The Cookie around to the food. She thought I should just open the gates and let her go over…and in theory, this could have worked.
Except, the idea of leaving the pasture makes her defecate explosively.
She’s getting better at it, but it really was just easier to lead her around.
Must say, I’m pretty darn proud of her…no halter, and after the first 3 steps with my hand under her chin to guide her, she simply followed me, as if on the lead. So, good pony. 😉
And, her foot is so much better. Yesterday, after the rains stopped, she got a liniment massage (such as my limited skills can do) to help ease the aching of trying not to walk on the ouchy hoof.

Then, yesterday, I woke to what was playing out in Vegas.
I normally don’t discuss current events here…it’s not that I don’t have opinions. Anyone who knows me even reasonably well, knows I have them. This blog has never been about anything but Farm life, so rarely do I touch on current events.
But this is huge and mind-boggling and soul crushing…and frankly, tragedies like this bring out the worst in people.

I will never understand people whose immediate thoughts after a tragedy like this turn political.
From the hoplophobes to the paranoids…I don’t get it.
I don’t get their bloviating to anyone and everyone their opinions, as if those opinions are the most important thing to be seen and heard.
And the memes…the ridiculous, stupid effing memes.
*shakes head*
Not when families are wondering if their loved one is one of the casualties or one of the dead.
Tragedies should not be fodder for one’s agenda.
And yet…social media yesterday, and today, are full of it.
In the wake of horrible situations, political agendas are inappropriate.
Compassion and aid are what people need right now.
Not some ghoul using innocent bloodshed to fuel their oh-so-very-important argument.

And, I gotta tell ya, when I see some Canadians crowing about how our gun laws here are soooo much better, it makes me ashamed to be Canadian.
I love my country. No doubt about it.
Even with all Her faults, there is no where I would rather live.
Her people??
Some of those fuckers could learn a lesson in what “tact” means.

There will be a time and a place for all of this…the agendas, the political pushes, the fear, the anger, the accusations and placing blame.

Now is not that time.

Not when some families are still waiting, wondering, hoping, praying or grieving.
Those lives lost are not just numbers, they are not tools to use for your agendas…they were real, living beings. Out for an evening of fun and music.
People who had families and friends who love them.
People who had hopes and dreams that will never be fulfilled.

Don’t sully their importance, who they were and what was lost, with bullshit.
Okay??

Today I’ll be spending time with my loved ones…the hoofed ones. 😉
Equine therapy is the order for today.
PonyFace and I are still discussing this blanket thing…and I’m sure another liniment rub will improve her mood.

Be good to each other, people.
We’re a Continent in pain right now.
Try to remember that.
Donate blood, if you can.
Consider a monetary donation to a fund that’s going to help the victims and their families.
And, if you can’t manage to not be a C.U.Next.Tuesday, then seriously, just keep your gob shut, ‘kay?

Garden 2017

Y’all remember how last year my garden, due to circumstances beyond our control, became a giant plot of weeds?
Not that we wasted anything, those weeds fed pigs for the summer, but still, it was hard on the ol’ FarmHer spirit to not have a garden going.
In the fall, with the last cutting of pig feed, we started covering the area with old plywood. Stuff we had lying around, but wasn’t good enough for building with…well we discovered that the soil underneath the wood was lovely. Still a bit of grass and weeds, but nowhere near as bad as last year.
Problem was, we didn’t have enough to cover the whole garden…takes a lot of wood to cover a 24×40 foot garden!

Ahhh…but we are nothing if not adaptable to the situation. 😉

The yellow/brown grass is where the wood was…

You can see though, that there is some really good grass growth on the side…*sigh*

So, the space that was covered by wood is about 12 feet wide, and the full 40 foot length of the garden. Even our powerful little tiller was having a rough time with the full grassy area…and so, what we’re going to do is this…

I’m going to plant everything I can in the 12×40 foot space, mulch it heavily with straw, and be happy with a space that is 3 time the size of any garden I had in the city…

Then, while the one side grows, we’re going to use our ever renewing composting manure pile to cover the other side, and then, we have a huge hay tarp we bought…back when I had visions of actually tarping our hay…but that never happened because, seriously, more trouble than it’s worth. You want hard on a marriage?!? Try tarping hay together…I wish I was kidding about that. :/

We’ve had this tarp sitting, and we figured now we’ll put it to good use. It can cover the side that’s too weedy right now, and then, once the growing season is done in the fall, it’s big enough to cover the entire garden.
We’ll start fresh for the entire space next spring. 🙂

See?
Adapt, overcome, move forward.

Tilling my soon to be garden space…

Sable looks on with interest…

As he was tilling, Hubby had to stop periodically to untangle roots from the tines of the tiller…he’d toss them off to the side, and our (definitely not) starving Sable had to try to reach them so she could eat them…

“I am wasting away here, Dad….
I am but a shell of my former gloriousness as a beautiful horse…
Soooooo hungry…
Can I has those roots please??”
~ Sable

While Hubby used the tiller, I put the scythe back to work, and cut the entirety of the rest of the garden, in prep for adding compost and covering.
Like last year, those greens did not go to waste…

The Kid forking green food to piglets…

As usual, when yard work is happening, Daphne ran around like a maniac…nothing this dog does is at low speed. She just runs until she flops down, dog tired.

Having a rest in the long grass…

When we were finally done, and I walked into the house, this is what I found:

Daisy Mae and Odhinn

He’s always complaining about Daisy bothering him…she’s not even 2, he’s an old man at 15. But that doesn’t stop the snuggles when cats need naps. 😉

Cookie and the Stick

Daphne has her stick.
Well, Daphne has many sticks, but this stick:

"I got my stick!!!"

“I got my stick!!!”

This stick is just right.
It’s long and fun to drag around, and sometimes, she can even hit people with it. Horses too…ask Cookie how she felt about getting that to the back of the front leg. You can just imagine…

The other day, during beet pulp feeding, Daphne decided to swing her stick around. I’m not sure what she was trying to do (I don’t think she knows either) but it ended up part way in the pasture, over Cookie’s bucket.
And so, Ms Cookie thought it was for her…

Grabbing the stick and playing tug of war with Daphne.

Grabbing the stick and playing tug of war with Daphne.

I was laughing so hard at the 2 of them, this was the best I could do for pictures. 😛
Clearly, Daphne won!

In other news…

Check this out!
I had an article published on homestead.org‘s website.
Go check it out, and if you’re on FB, don’t forget to click the “like” button. 🙂
And, feel free to explore too…some pretty interesting, and informational, articles published there.
But, here’s the link to mine:
Adapt, Overcome, Move On

Friday’s Hunt Jan. 28th

It’s been an interesting week.
I thought I had lost my feral tomcat Ghost to coyotes, but he reappeared yesterday. A little thinner, a little worse-for-wear, and in need of some of Mama Wolfie’s TLC…but, he came home, and that’s what matters. ❤

The horses have been braving climbing the snow drifts.
Not because they’re trying to walk out of the pasture (which, scarily enough, in a few places they probably could) but because the weather has them restless and bored.
One upside of this weather is they’re not eating as much hay, so a bale is lasting longer.
Downside is with them getting smaller portions, we’re out more often (even at night) to check and be sure there is enough in the feeders. Meh, who needs sleep, right? 😉

Chickens have been enjoying the weather too. Bok bok boking around their yard, chasing Xena who still thinks she’s a chicken even though she’s a cat, and just enjoying some much needed sunshine.
Sadly, we had to cull one henny. 😦
She had prolapsed again…after the first one died from a prolapse, I am no longer a softie about it. 1 treatment. If it happens again, then, we cull. I did have a discussion with the Other Two about calcium amounts…they didn’t realize when feeding that I put as much of the calcium supplement in the food as I did. When the hennys are outside more, it’s easier to offer calcium in a separate feeder, but it’s not as easy in the coop. So, now we’re all on the same page, and everyone seems to be doing well.

Cookie decided that stealing Daphne’s stick was a grand plan…there was even a moment of equine-canine tug of war going on.
Hilarious!!

On to pictures for this week’s prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills

Starts with D

How about Daphne?

Wild and crazy hound catching snow balls...

Wild and crazy hound catching snow balls…

"I got my stick!!!"

“I got my stick!!!”

Week’s Favorite

Astrid ❤

Climbing the snow drift, completely ignoring me telling her to get off there...

Climbing the snow drift, completely ignoring me telling her to get off there…

I have pictures that I’ll share later on of Ruby climbing that same drift and falling through the top crust…Astrid had to climb it because Ruby did. Toddlers.

Close Up

Helper Palomino just wants to help take pictures.

Helper Palomino just wants to help take pictures.

I was trying to get a sunset shot of her eye. Once again going for calm, ethereal beauty…
That’s so not my world.
LOL!!
Nope, **this** is my world…wide eyed Palomino trying to lick the lens while I’m pushing her muzzle away and laughing.
This image says so much about my world.

Quiet?

I went out today to take some pictures to try to illustrate what “quiet” looks like here…it’s wonderful those odd times it happens.
Oh, it’s quieter here than any city.
No sirens, no screaming or yelling, no hoards of people…
And yet, quiet can be hard to come by.

So, instead of “quiet”, let me show you some of the things in my farm yard that just plain make me smile…

First, Astrid and Ruby exchanging breath…

Awww...they are so adorable.

Awww…they are so adorable. ❤

Daphne had the zoomies...

Daphne had the zoomies…

I nearly died laughing at these 2. It’s taken Ghost a long time to realize that when Daphne rushes and barks at him, she’s not trying to kill him. She really just wants to play.
Finally, Ghost figured this out, and now Daphne zooms around him at top speed, barking, and he leaps and tries to grab her…

ghost-and-daphne2While taking these, I was laughing so hard, I ended up sitting on the driveway to take the pictures. That, of course, led other cats to think I was there for them to sit on.
No such thing as anti-social cats ’round here! 😉

And then, because people keep asking me “Wolfie, how come you have so many outdoor cats?”…

Isn't Bella looking super fab??

Isn’t Bella looking super fab??

Obviously the pasture has a rare Cat Tree growing in it, and we’ve reaped the bounty from said tree.