Thwart

I swear, Mother Nature is working to thwart my spring building plans.
Or, maybe I’m just too antsy to get things going.
Ultimately, I think it’s a mixture of both.
Weather wise, we’re a good 10-15 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year. Which means there’s still frost in the ground, and we still have a lot of snow to melt.
I’m waiting to move last summer’s duck house into the garden.
It’s frozen to the ground right now. :/

Once the duck house is in the garden, we can put up the fence around the garden. There’s 2 reasons for this fence…because I want to use the adult poultry to weed and feed the garden before planting. Ducks, I have learned, are awesome at killing and eating any and all plants they find.
So, I want to put them to use cleaning up the remaining weeds from last year. Like I’ve always said, the only animals around this Farm with no real job are the horses. They get to eat money and be pretty. Everyone else works.
The other reason is cats…I’m hoping a fence will keep them out. A freshly tilled and planted garden is just too tempting for lazy cats who don’t want to go to the pasture to make their daily deposits.
And I’m tired of cat poo in my garden.
Fingers crossed the fence will help.

Once the poultry are moved to the garden, I get to give the coop a deep cleaning, install some hardware cloth in the bottom and then we put chicks in there.
Both eggies and a first round of meaties.
The plan is (and goodness knows, things rarely go according to plan, but I keep trying!) to get 2 different varieties of brown egg layers (10 of each) from the hatchery we buy our meat chicks from, and then to get 15 easter egg layers…which, if I’m understanding chicken things right, are a barnyard mix who lay colourful eggs.
I just want a little bit of pretty colour in my egg basket. ๐Ÿ™‚

And then, near the end of May, when the weather (hopefully) gets back to normal, the year’s pig babies will come.
*sigh*
It’s hard to have patience when there’s so much to do, and yet, the time to do it isn’t quite here yet.

In the meantime, here’s a few pictures of the mutt…just because her excitement and exuberance with a jolly (no longer) ball makes me smile…

It once was a ball, I swear!!

The 55lb chewing powerhouse destroys all…including horse toys.

Sometimes she slows down enough for a posed picture…not very often though!

And then there’s this one…

Oh how I love this boy!

How can one not smile when face to face with a cat napping in the long grass and sunshine? โค

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Feline Friday

Nancy and I were having a discussion this morning…

It was a “facts vs feelings” based discussion.
I’m big on facts.
I haven’t always been, I’ll admit. There have been times where I let my feelings rule me. If I hadn’t been like that, I wouldn’t have moved the Family out of the city for a horse…a horse who turned out to be one of my Great Loves of my life. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Nowadays, I try very hard to make fact based decisions.
Sure, I want to eventually get a 4th horse, but the facts of ownership make me far more cautious and careful as I ponder the idea.

Nancy has absolutely no interest in facts.
He’s a cat, so that’s no surprise.

“Look, I iz pretty, I don’t hav to be smrt”

This morning’s conversation went something like this:

Nancy: “Birds! I have to get in the window!”
Me: “Nope. No cats in that window”
Nancy: “But birds!!”
Me: “Nope. My plants are there.”
Nancy: “Birds!!”
Me: “Get out. You’ll kill my plants, and I’ll kick your butt!”
Nancy: “But Mooooooommmm!! BIRDS!!”
Me: “I don’t care! Go look at them out the living room window. You are not getting in this one!”
Nancy: “You just don’t understand…birds!!”
Me: “Oh, I understand, I just don’t care. Fact is, you’ll kill my plants that I have worked hard to get growing for the garden. Fact is, I’ll kick you fuzzy butt for killing my plants. Fact is, your feelings about birds can be expressed in the living room. Now, out!”
Nancy: “Mean. You are a mean Mama.”
Me: “Yup. And don’t you forget it.”

“Why you so mean to me, Mama??”

It’s a rough life being poor Nancy NotSoFancyPants. ๐Ÿ˜‰
He was feeling rather betrayed by my meanness…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And, just because I love this photo of him, my lovely formerly feral Ghost…

Sweetest big boy ever ๐Ÿ’ž

Sharing with Feline Friday at Comedy Plus

Stupid Wind

Yesterday, before I wheeled a whole bunch of straw over to the poultry yard for the poultry to enjoy sifting through, I dug out a whole bunch of paths through the (no lie) 5 foot snow drifts.

Today, the south wind is happily working to fill in those paths that I so nicely dug out yesterday.
I’m grumpy about it.
Stupid wind.

Next week though, we’re looking at some above zero temperatures.
That will help the grumpiness.
I’m thinking I may start my tomatoes seeds here too. Just because our growing season can be rather short, so the bigger and stronger my tomatoes are before going out to the garden, the better.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a shot. I mean, if it doesn’t work out, I’m no worse off than if I forgot to water my seedlings and they all died…because that’s never happened here. Ever. *rolls eyes*

It that a rare snowy mountain cat?? Nah, just my lovely Ghost out for a wander in the pasture. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wish spring would hurry up and get here…

Creature

This fellow…

Ghost โค

He is such a lovely creature.

He appeared one day, a couple of years ago, out of nowhere.
Thin, scraggly and feral.
Time, good food and a lot of patience, and here we are…

He’s my lap sitting snuggle buddy.
Once we caught him, we took him for vetting, got him fixed and he’s been a happy boy ever since.
He’s done well this winter, as you can see.
Not too many farm cats look pregnant…especially the boys! ๐Ÿ˜‚
But, my felines eat well on butchering scraps and a handful of kibble here and there.
He’s such a sweetheart.
I do love my big GhostCat.
โค

A Look Back at 2017

So, here we go into 2018.
Let’s take a last look back at 2017 first, ‘kay?

I’m not a Resolution kinda gal, but I do like that look back at the things that worked, the things that need a little tweaking and the things that were a fail. Then, we adjust from there, for the next year.
Plus, there’s all the pretty pictures to look at. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, since we’ve got 12 months of stuff to look at, let’s get at ‘er…

January

Very first image of 2017…first one I shot, first one I shared.


No Yule season is the same without a Yule pony picture…Ruby took that to a whole new level by trying to eat one of the decorations.
Jerk. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

My Old Ladies… โค
Practicing their long and low trot.
It may not look like much in a photo, but this is so beautiful in person…I could watch them do this all day long. Just look at how in sync they are here…gorgeous!

Holding the heat vent down…

It was a typical frigid winter, so Miss Daisy Mae did what any good cat does…stay warm on the heat vent, while I Dreamed about the garden and coming Spring.

My shoe box full of seeds…

February

February saw us playing in the snow…

I love this shot so much…feral or friendly Palomino?!?

Doing some hoof maintenance…

“Make sure it looks good too, Dad!”
~Sable

And doing portraits…

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And then, there was this fun shot…

Who doesn’t like a pink mint?

March

March is when we start getting out more, thinking about the coming Spring. We can smell it on the wind, the snow is slowly melting…and the cats?

Ghost (in front) and Trouble

Out more, wandering, looking for trouble…but not these 2 ^^^ anymore. 2017 saw them become fat, lazy, neutered boys.
That’s a good thing, because those boys were going out fighting way too much!

“Do you mind??!?”
~Gabrielle

Gabrielle has a pee inside a hoof print in a snow bank.
Weirdo. LOL!!

Xena, asking for belly rubs…

Pretty Xena, enjoying the sunshine.

Max and Ruby

Aww, Max and Ruby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then, the water came…

Luckily, Lake Midnight didn’t stick around nearly as long this March.

Splashing in the puddle…

Oh, but my Girl made sure to play in it. Splashy ponies are so fun to watch. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you see the heart I clipped into her coat? On her bum?

Then came the photo shoot to celebrate the arrival (if only on the calendar) of Spring!

“Oh! Hey Mama…whatcha doin'”
~Cookie

***Sigh***
“Seriously?!? Why do you keep doing this to me?”
~Astrid

“If I have to wear this, I want treats.”
~Sable

April

Easter, more portraits both at Home and at Home-away-from-Home, sleeping horses and mud…
So.
Much.
Mud.

Sable EasterPony

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Oreo

Sable

The look I get when I wake Astrid from a snoring sleep…

And a muddy, stinky Palomino has a roll…

May

Pig babies!!!
Pig babies arrived in May…

Bacon Bits 2017

They are so cute when they’re little.
Before they figure out the Food Lady, before they fully understand their new world around them…I just want to snuggle them, and hug them, and pet them…LOL!!
But wait, later on, I’ll show you how much bigger they get…

This is our brave piglet…

See? Little, so adorable…
The grass is coming back, the sun is shining more, the Girls love to bask in the sunshine…they’re like giant cats in the sun.
Sunshine melts their bones into jelly. โค

Sable just wanted me to know she was tired.

Ruby

Sunshine jelly bones means I get to practice my sunrise photography.
Sunrise is my favorite time of day to shoot. โค

Ghost

June

By June, school is almost done for The Kid, the garden has seeds and some plants, and we’re looking ahead to meatie chickens…

Tilling my soon to be garden space…

The Kid forking green food to piglets…

Pig babies are figuring out, and loving the weeds getting forked to them…and growing like weeds too!

Andy Piggie says “Listen Food Lady, if you aren’t bringing us food, then why are you waking us up?”


Daphne rests after running like a maniac (her everyday normal) and throwing weeds around the yard, while barking and growling at them.

Having a rest in the long grass…

Max helps me in my early morning photography, and our Blonde Girl…

Sable looks on with interest…

Is bright gold after shedding out her winter fuzzies.

July

July brings us the first hay cutting…I did good this year!
Near onto 700lbs of cut with a scythe, hand raked and baled hay.
Yay, me!!

Filled, strings tied…

July also brings us flowers, rodeo trips and bugs…

โค

The air this bull got was amazing.

“Oh. Hello.
Did you want to pass?”

The deer in the middle of our road…we’d just turned off the highway towards the Farm, and youngster was standing there. Such a beautiful image of our road to Home.


All those bugs means smudge fires…Our Ruby, she does love a good smokey fire. ๐Ÿ˜‰

“It’s just so relaxing, Mama!”
~ Ruby



August

Blankets, a birthday, apple slices, ducks and more…

“Ermagerhd!!! I’m being eat…oh, wait, this ain’t so bad.”
~ Cookie

Old Ladies need to know they *can* wear blankets. Especially when it’s frigid cold, and Mama needs to know Old Ladies are safe. โค

โค

I turned 45.
My Pony and I had a photo shoot together…
My Kid captured this perfectly.
I love everything about this shot.
โค

“Oh, hello there Ladies…would you like some apple slices?”

My 4 moochers…
Kid has a bucket full of apple slices, I lay on the ground by the fence.
Wholly and completely inspired by Underlook and his Under-Horse project…

Ohoh!!
Some one got a sour one!

And then these 2 arrived…thanks to a friend from the Stable…

Quack quack quack

Gotta tell ya, these 2 boys have grown a lot!
Looking forward to spring, when I can get them some girlfriends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Heh.
The ears tell you how much she appreciated being photographed.

My BabyGirl doing a normal horse thing…enjoying the relief from bugs in the smoke of the smudge. โค

September

My biggest accomplishment for September was helping my Cookie get over her fear of having her breakaway halter taken off.
It was huge for her…
In fact, you can read about it here:
They Don’t Need To Understand

โค

October

In October I met a horsewoman that I have long admired at a clinic I was beyond excited about…

This was a preview image from the Anna Blake clinic…
I still have to finish those images to share them.
But, I learned a lot at the clinic and come home ready to share that knowledge with my mares.

Winter coats are more obvious…

Fluff from the poplars rests on long fuzzy hairs…

Naps in the sun are still a priority…

And the Pig Babies begin their journey to Freezer Camp…
See? Not so little and cute any more!

Joining their neighbours, the meat chickens…

November

The land is getting ready for sleep, its cooling off, and we’re ready to do the annual Remembrance Day shoot…

This year I wanted a simple image, with a big impact…
A yellow ribbon, placed on one who would always wait for her Love to come Home to her…


2 days after I took this picture November broke me.
Ripped my Heart right out of my chest and destroyed me.
November 13th.
I can never, ever forgive November for this…

Sable saying goodbye…

November 13th…
My Heart.
My Soul.
My Best non-human Friend.
My Cookie…crossed Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, taking a huge chunk of my Heart with her.

Hubby took this while I was working on convincing her to wear that ribbon…she loved cats. I love that they’re sharing breath here…Coal was an amazing comfort to her. She was the only cat other than Cookie’s Felix who was allowed to sit on her back. โค

A funeral pyre fitting for my Warrior Queen.
๐Ÿ˜ฅ

December

I have no pictures for December.
I’ve taken nothing on the Farm since that fire.
I am, in truth, so glad that 2017 is finally done.

I have things to do.
I have places to go.
I have things to learn.
I have a Heart to heal and a camera to learn how to love again.
That’s all on the list for 2018.

Hope you’ll stick with us on that Journey.

Happy New Year.

I am FarmHer

My day starts at 4am.
On a good and lucky day, it’ll end around 8:30pm.
Normally though, it’s closer to midnight, sometimes as late as 2am.
Even on a 2am night, the day starts again at 4am.
There is nothing fashionable about my life.

I have been covered in shit and mud.
I have worn blood more times than I can count.
I’ve been slobbered on, bitten, kicked, stepped on and chased by a crabby sow or two. I’ve also been nuzzled, snuggled and had the sweet breath of a mare blown in my face in greeting.
I’ve had my hands freeze, gloveless, in -35*C weather to prove to a Certain Girl I wasn’t going to hurt her.
I’ve cleaned and treated wounds.
In good weather and bad.
I’ve ended the suffering of those who couldn’t be treated…and yes, I’ve cried over every one of them.

I’ve held a weak kitten in my shirt, close to my skin, and heart, in hopes of revival.
I’ve sat under the cold starry sky soothing piggies scared of the bangers a neighbour put out to keep geese off his field. The same piggies who will fill my freezer for winter.
I’ve had full conversations with a cheeky duck who loves to talk.

I have eaten $0.25/package ramen to make sure any extra money goes into animal feed.
I’ve gone without coffee more than once, when a sick, injured, or just plain sucky animal has needed me.
Some days, whiskey just ain’t strong enough.

And yet…

I chose this life.
It’s hard and messy and sometimes really ugly.
It’s also amazingly beautiful.


I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Those nickers, squeals, chirps and quacks that call for The Food Lady.
Those mares who tuck noses under my arms to be close.
That cheeky duck and his pal, who follow me, peck me and call me.
The chickens, meaties and hennies alike, who crowd around, knowing that I’ll bring them treats over and above the regular noms.
Pigs who scream for left over coffee, garden weeds and waste, and love those scratches on the forehead so much they fall over happy.
Cats who practice the ancient art of “lap sitting” and even that dog, who loves to roll in the stinkiest things and rub up against me…

My heart, my soul, my spirit…
They belong here.
On the Farm.
I am FarmHer.

Friday’s Hunt May 14th

Happy Mother’s Day.

If your kids have 2 feet or 4 feet…
If your kids are no longer with you, for any reason…
If motherhood in your world is complicated…
If you’re the picture perfect Mama…

Happy Mother’s Day.

I see you. โค
I feel you. โค
I love you. โค
Thank you for all you do.
You got this. โค

Happy Mother’s Day.

This week’s prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are Starts with S, Week’s Favorite, and Family.

Starts with S

Hmmm, I don’t know what we could use for S…
Might be too hard of a prompt for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰
LOL!
Of course, starts with s would have to be our dear sweet Sable.

Someone once asked me if I was going to dedicate myself to the service of Epona since I have horses… I said, “Since I have horses, I am already in Her service.”

Our amazing golden Girl, who someone dropped at auction with no explanation why, but we were Blessed to meet and fall in love with.
She is meant to be here.

Week’s Favorite

Another one who is meant to be here…
He came here from who knows where, feral and frightened of all humans.
It took The Kid and I near onto 2 years to convince him that humans can be trusted. He’s become my FarmYard pal, following me all over, talking up a storm. We just recently got him neutered, so he’ll stop heeding the call to find a willing female to spread his rugged handsomeness around the community. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ghost

Dang, the boy knows how to pose for a picture.
He’s so good-looking!

Family

Here we have Miss Xena…

 

This little missy is one of 3 of Ghost’s kittens who are still here.
Of our 5 remaining barn cats, 4 are family, and 2 in the house are related as well (Nancy and Daisy Mae).
Xena is a fantastic huntress.
This kitty took down a seagull on her own!
Of course, all the Ghost babies seem to have skill hunting…
Xena with gulls, Gabrielle is an expert with rodents, and Trouble?
Yeah, Trouble has taken down smaller geese.

That’s pretty darn amazing!