Tomorrow…

Tomorrow makes 4 years since the Original 3 came Home.

Tomorrow we should be celebrating Gotcha Day for Sable, Ruby and Cookie.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Gotcha Day with Sable and Ruby.

Today…

Today I am mourning my heart horse.
Today I am mourning the best damn horse that ever walked the face of this planet.
Today I am mourning my Cookie.

In the wee hours of Monday morning, my sweetheart, my best equine friend, my heart, my soul, my spirit…crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Reunited with her Felix…

He looks so smug.
“My Girlfriend’s tail. MINE!”

I never dreamed I’d be taking my own advice about hoof clippings for jewelry…at least not for another 15 more years, at least.

Little did I know this was to be our last photo shoot together…

Hubby captured this gem while I was trying to convince her that the yellow ribbon was safe to be in her tail…

Coal has been our little magickal cat through this whole ordeal.
I don’t know what the two of them were discussing here, but when they were done Cookie came to me and let me put the ribbon on her…
And Sunday, while we were trying to get her through the colic, Coal kept kissing her face, snuggling in beside her, and sitting on her back.
At first I was frustrated and kept pushing Coal away, until we humans (finally) realized that Cookie relaxed when Coal was near.
That little feline was comforting the equine. ❀

Sable saying goodbye…

Our little herd is fractured.
We gave everyone a chance to come to Cookie’s body, sniff her, and say their goodbyes.
Horses grieve.
Trust me, they do…they are…

There, on the shores of Lake Midnight, we lit her funeral pyre and sent her to Valhalla, like the Warrior Queen she was.
Sleipnir had better be on his best behaviour…my BabyGirl will kick his 8 legged ass into next week and beyond should he so much as look at her wrong.
Like the Warrior Queen she is.
❀

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Friday’s Hunt Oct. 28/16

Today things feel heavy and hard to carry here.
It has been a hard month, with winter coming, big bills to pay, the days are getting shorter, I’m missing the sunshine, and I’m just plainΒ  tired. Weary right down to the bone.
The 20th marked 4 years since my Mom died. I’m still carrying that around with me. I keep trying to put it down…it weighs me down, tries to pull me under far too often…some days, I’m successful, and I can leave that whole ball of stuff somewhere that I can’t see it for a while. Other days…well, like today, it’s heavy, hard to carry, but it’s stuck to me.

I’m tryin’

And then, there’s days like yesterday, where this picture popped up in my memories on Facebook…

Felix Loves CookieY’see, he and Cookie had this crazy love affair going on. He’d play in her tail, chase her, rub on her legs…and she let him. No other cat could do it. She shared her beet pulp with him, snuffled his fur, let him sit on her back…
I was sure that one day she was going to be the cause of his death.
I was sure he’d die under her hooves.
And she’d be heartbroken, because they had their thing together.

I was wrong.
This summer we lost him to a coyote.
And I miss him.
My heart hurts and I’m filled with regret (starts with R) because he wasn’t the first cat to go missing…but we didn’t put 2 and 2 together fast enough.
I should have figured it out sooner, and done more to keep him (and the others) safe.
But they’re barn cats. They can’t all come indoors. They have safe places in the farm yard…the garage, the cat house, the deck…it wasn’t enough to protect them from a brazen coyote who was spotted right in the farm yard. 😦

At least my week’s favourite is a delightful picture…

Sable

Sable

Ah, my sweet loveable Big Girl. My “Oh Mom, lean on me…I have a strong neck to help hold you up and I don’t mind if my mane gets a little wet with tears” Girl.
Worth her weight in gold, I tell ya!
I’ve leaned on her a lot this month…

Finally for Black…

Felix in the Pasture wmMy little man…

My handsome Felix. <3

My handsome Felix. ❀

This is actually from the first day I noticed she wasn't quite herself...

And his best Girl…

Later Cookie. Enjoy your nap. <3

He looks so smug. "My Girlfriend's tail. MINE!"

He looks so smug.
“My Girlfriend’s tail. MINE!”

Sharing with Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
(I’ll update the linky when it opens)

Gosh It’s Hot

I am not complaining though. Winter will be here soon enough, so I’ll take sunshine and warmth while I can!
How hot is it, you ask?
Hot enough to melt my black barn cat…

What ya doing Felix?

What ya doing Felix?

He’s just hanging around in the pallet that forms the gate to the Henny Yard.

Are ya hot, Felix?

Are ya hot, Felix?

Just a little bit wilty…maybe soaking in some cold water would perk him up. Like lettuce.

"Don't even, Food Lady!"

“Don’t even, Food Lady!”

LOL! Poor boy, finding shade where ever he can, that’s still close to me. πŸ˜‰

The Henny Witch

The Henny Witch

That’s ^^^^ my Henny Yard Guardian. Hubby brought her home for me one day. I think she’s adorable.

You can see, if you zoom in, there's a spider and web between the Henny Witch's hat and broom.

You can see, if you zoom in, there’s a spider and web between the Henny Witch’s hat and broom.

Oh, and remember I showed you my over grown with weeds garden?

That's my garden...

That’s my garden…

Well, after some time in there with the scythe, a rake and a pitchfork, it now looks like this…

Whoa!! There's actually a garden there!

Whoa!! There’s actually a garden there!

The piggies had mounds and mounds and mounds and mounds of weeds to eat. Still have some left. They burrow down under them in the heat, and then eat their way out. πŸ˜‰ They’ve packed on a few pounds this week, with all those tasty weeds they’ve been eating.
Mmmmmm, home-grown bacon!

Nigella Piggie after a very much enjoyed forehead scratch.

Nigella Piggie after a very much enjoyed forehead scratch.

Nigella has decided that forehead scratches from the Food Lady are quite enjoyable. She often heaves a big sigh and then sits down to enjoy it. I keep telling her, “Enjoy those scratches, Nigella Piggie. Happy piggies taste so much better!” πŸ™‚

Finally, one last picture for today…

GreyCat stands on the Sasquatch...

GreyCat stands on the Sasquatch…

I don’t know why. She just likes to stand on him. πŸ™‚
She, and all our other girls, have recovered beautifully from their surgeries, and now that baby hormones aren’t in control, are starting to put on some weight. Every one is looking sleek and wonderful…and they’re still hunting like the ravenous velociraptors that they are!

Piggie Pictures

Sometimes, I catch the piggies being really, really cute. Like, waking up from a nap.

Emeril

Emeril

He had flipped over the trough, dug up the ground it was sitting on, and was laying in the hole, sleeping.
He was rather upset that I filled the hole with rotting hay and put the trough back on top of it. lol

Nigella

Nigella

Nigella is our pushy piggie. We have to watch out for her when filling the troughs. She likes to try to push the cup of food out of our hands. Now, I don’t even wait for her to try, I just give her a smack on the bum and make her wait until I’m done before letting her into the food.
It might sound cute, her being that eager for food, but right now, she’s only 50ish lbs. Soon, she’ll top out around 200-250 lbs. It’s not going to be so cute then. So, like the horses, I establish the rules early. I’m the Food Lady, and if you want to eat, be respectful.
I think, however, Nigella will be the first one to be invited to Freezer Camp.

Anthony

Anthony

Anthony is my little sloth piggie, and he’s still a cutie. He stands for back rubs and comes when I call him. Mostly, he just loves to lie in a mud wallow. πŸ™‚

So, we’ve had the piggies now, since April 28th.
They’ve almost doubled in size. We’ve gone through 50lbs of hog grower feed, 50lbs of All Sport that we’d bought last year for the horses, but they didn’t like, and about 100lbs of assorted veggie/fruit/bread scraps.
I won’t know if piggie growing for meat is a worthwhile endeavor, financially, until butcher time. But, so far, I’m having fun with them…even if they are a little more work. πŸ™‚

One final picture to share today…

Felix in the Pasture wmMy pal Felix…he loves coming on pasture walks with me. ❀

Friday’s Hunt 03.11.16

Hey! Look at that…I’m posting this on a Friday.
Yay me!!

Today’s weather was amazing, which made going out to take pictures an absolute pleasure. I have a few mixed in today, but have a bunch to share with y’all later next week. πŸ˜‰

This week’s prompts are Starts with K, Week’s Favorite and Flower.

Starts with K was pretty easy…Kittens!
Even though my Felix is such a big boy, really he’s still a kitten. He’s only 10 months old. Today he was enjoying sunning himself on top of the straw bales…

Felix YawnAs you can see, I woke him up…nice yawn there, Mister!

Felix2Then he came over to the fence to help as I scratched Ms Cookie’s bum.
And by “help” I mean, he took a leap from my shoulder to her back…she, surprisingly, was not bothered by him at all. She lifted her head long enough to look at him, sigh, and went back to dozing in the sunshine. πŸ™‚

Erik the Viking

Erik the Viking

Looking oh, so dignified.
Just about 6 months old, he is.

MaxCat

❀ MaxCat ❀

And finally, not a kitten, my MaxCat. My big snuggle bug. Though you’d never know it by the way he grumbles. He just like to talk while he sits with me. πŸ˜‰

Week’s Favorite this week, hands down (pun intended) is this…

Oh Ms Cookie!

Oh Ms Cookie!

My sweet Girl. So patient with the things I do to her. ❀ She makes me smile, even on the roughest days.

Finally for Flower, I had to go back to August to find something…no flowers here now! Still too much snow.
This I took outside the small town grocery store. Every year they have barrel planters of flowers. This one decided to go off on his own and grow where he felt most needed…

Random flower, bringing beauty to the concrete and steel.

Random flower, bringing beauty to the concrete and steel.

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

I’ll Do Just About Anything…

To get a good photo.
When I took the shots of Felix and Cookie, as well as the Miniature Lions and Sable, they were done lying on the ground. Which makes life fun when there’s a whole herd of cats who love to climb on me, and the dog, who really just wants to help. Or so she says…
But, to get a shot like this:

Felix Loves CookieOr this:

Felix TailYou pretty much have to be ground level. I mean, this next one is a great shot too:

2 black and white onesBut, if I had been lying down, it would have been just that much better.

And then, there’s the bloopers…shots that are hilarious. Like this one of Astrid:

"Hey Mom. Whatchoo doin?"

“Hey Mom. Whatchoo doin?”

Thankfully, she didn’t have a mouth full of water, otherwise I would have worn it. I’m also thankful she’s a very good Girl and didn’t try to step on me. πŸ˜‰

And then, there are the shots you work so hard to set up…

"Soldier's Daughter"

“Soldier’s Daughter”

This was our Remembrance Day tribute. I’ve had this image/idea floating around in my head for nearly 2 years. I tried it one other time, in the local Veteran’s graveyard, but the images didn’t quite work.
This one worked…oh, but, the candid I snapped (because when you put stuff in the pasture, the Girls are, naturally, curious), before the above image, brought tears to my eyes when I saw it…

"Soldier's Horse"

“Soldier’s Horse”

This one I posted on the Farm Facebook page on Remembrance Day, with the comment:

“Mom says this is a day of Remembrance.
She says that there was a time when horses like me had to do something called “go to war”…I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.
Mom says it wasn’t. Many of us never came home. Just like the men that went with us.
Mom says this memorial is something men do to honour their brothers in arms when they die in war…I think it’s a good memorial for the horses that died too.”
~ Astrid

I’ll tell ya, even now, a month later, and I still feel the Power of that shot. It is one of my very best. ❀

I think I am very lucky. Because I work from home, where the horses are, so I carry the camera(s) around a lot. That’s how I get great shots of them. I am also lucky to have friends and family who understand my habit and don’t freak out about the camera always being there.
I try really hard to not be in people’s faces, to be pushy, but, at the same time, I see things that I think need to be recorded. Those candid moments that most people don’t think of…those are the times I let the camera lead me. I turn the focusing beep off, so I’m not intruding, and just let the camera take me to the images that it wants.

To me, that’s how you get those once in a lifetime shots that every photographer wants to get. Quietly, on the edge of everything, watch it all, capture it all. And then, later, look at what you captured.
That’s how I do it.
It works with people, it works with animals.