Homage

There is no friend
like an old friend
who has shared our morning days,
no greeting like his welcome,
no homage like his praise.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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Monday Morning

It’s a long weekend here.
I’m listening to the birds singing, the little meat chickens peeping and flapping about, hennys singing their egg songs, piggies grunting and playing and the occasional snort from the mares.
Everyone else is still sleeping…

Normally I’m all about the “get out of bed, there’s chores to be done!” but this weekend has been rather productive, so I’m letting them sleep.
Saturday was a putter around the Farm yard day, doing a whole lot of little things, that don’t look like much ’til you stop for the day and see how much you’ve actually done. And then, there was the plan for yesterday…

My Bro came out to give Hubby a hand with cleaning out the garage.
It’s something that’s been needing to be done for the past 3.5 years, and time just hasn’t been there. But, my hay cutting kinda forced our hands and it had to be done to be able to effectively store the hay for winter.

So, that was an 8 hour job yesterday.
Now it’s done, and Hubby can finally use the garage as a shop…oh, and with the tractor pulled out, I could work on teaching horses to stand in there on cold days for hoof trimming. 😉

And then, this bin was moved in, to stack my hay in, and on top of…

Full of my first cutting…

It’s 4’x8′, and 8 feet tall. As you can see, I have it jammed full.
I had extra bales that wouldn’t fit inside, so we tossed them to the horses. Yeah, I coulda stacked them on top (that’s where 2nd cutting will go, when I start in a few weeks), but, they were standing around the smudge fire and I figured feeding them there would be a good thing. That way, they can enjoy the bug free zone, and have some noms.

Speaking of the smudge…
Look who’s enjoying it too:

Aww, they’re so cute all lined up like that! 😉

It’s taken The Cookie a while to come around to hanging out in the smoke. Sometimes, she’s terribly anti-social, and hanging out in the bug free zone is a social activity. It gets hard for her to handle…and yet, the lure of the lack of bugs is even harder to resist.
I’m just happy to see her do normal horse things. 😉

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

I had to sneak out of the house, hide the camera, and turn the focusing beep off to catch these shots of her doing normal horse things.
It’s really quite hilarious.

Then there’s this…

❤ Sable ❤

There are no words for how adorable it is to see a horse try to scratch their ear with a hind foot…she gave up and chewed an itch instead.
I did help her out and give that ear a scritching. 😉

Onward and upwards, folks.
Today we work on hoof trims…
Have a great week!

Baling Hay

Last week I told you how I broke my baling bin.
In reality, I was using a simple blue recycling bin to shove my hay into and tie up.
I’ve been after Hubby to build me something a bit more substantial for a while now, because hay is an important commodity.
Yesterday, he got the job done, and I was able to bale up the last of my first cutting…

Simple box made out of 2x4s, 2x6s, and some other scrap bits we had around the Farm yard.

There are 4 nails in the bottom, to hold the baling twine in place while I fork mass amounts of hay into it…

Filled, strings tied…I think I could have filled it more, but that’s going to be a trial and error thing.

I also got him to put nails on the outside, so I can wrap the twine around them and keep it from shifting at the top.

Voila!
Finished bale.

The joy is, I can fill, stomp down and tie all by myself with this…I just place a knee on the grass to pull the twine tight and tie it.

Hubby holding the finished bale.

And that, my friends, is just about 25lbs of hay.
So, in terms of feeding, that’s an average daily meal for 1 horse.

Next thing to do is adapt the baler to put it on the furniture dolly, so it’s easy to move around. That’ll be done with a couple of eye bolts and a bungee cord or two, so that it’s not permanently fixed to the dolly.
After that, we’re onto building a hay shed, because seriously, Hubby is running out of room in the garage for my bales.
😀
That’s a good problem to have!!

Friday’s Hunt July 30th

Can you believe that in 2 days its August?
Already?
Summer is flying by…
I’ve finished first cutting of our hay, and have more in my first cut that I had all last year. I’ve broken my baling bin, and Hubby’s plan today is to build something to do the task for me. Which is good, because I have my last few bales worth finishing drying and will be ready for baling this afternoon.

We’re coming up on 4 years here.
August 16th makes 4 years of Farm life.
And yet, it feels like a life time. 🙂

In 4 years we’ve gone from our little urban “farm” to a rural one, raised pigs, meat chickens, hennys for eggs, and cared for 4 lovely equines.
In 4 years we’ve redesigned this property to produce food for us, with a 24×40 garden (and this year, I actually got much of it planted!), 9 smaller raised beds, and a whole bunch of fruit trees and bushes.
Last week, I savored the first 2 honeyberries that came off our bushes.
Today I’m planting 2 red currant bushes, which, should they do well, will be propagated into a nice little orchard of currants.

It’s been a lot of work, and we’ve got a long way to go to get to where we want to be.
I still don’t have a milking animal, and we are still planning on bison. Those are adventures still to be written about…but for today, I have my images for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.

Prompts are Starts with D, Favorite, and Photographer’s Choice.

Starts with D

The lilies are blooming, which in my world means a photo shoot with horses. As always, Astrid gets excited to join in on the fun, because humans and bug juice and pets and scritches and oh my!!
And then, when it’s her turn, she begins to wonder if this is all as fun as she though it might be…

“Uh, wait…
This isn’t what I thought was going to happen!”
~ Astrid

I figured, since she was relaxed, and enjoying the attention, that putting the lilies in her mane would be easy peasy…nope, she turned into a big old dork and kept flinging her head up, saying “No! I don’t want that!!”
Silly Girl. 😉

Favorite

This one… ❤


And this one… ❤


And this one… ❤

Photographer’s Choice

Today’s To Do List

Farm stuff to do list for today:

1. Cut a swath (or 2) of grass around the outside of the pasture. This is the stuff that Black Horse sticks her neck out the fence for, resulting in that lovely mohawk mane of hers…as in the picture.

Rocking the mohawk


2. When Hubby gets home, load the back of his truck with all the grasses cut, bring back to the farm-yard, and make windrows for drying.
Why do this?
Because I’m too damn lazy to walk out past the pasture to rake and turn as needed. It’s so much easier when all I have to do is walk off the deck to do it…plus, baling is easier when it’s closer.
Last year I cut that swath too late to use for hay, but this year, I’m right in time to put it up for winter. I’d be a fool not to do so!

3. Work on building a new baler out of scrap wood…because a plastic bin breaks way too easy, though I did get 2 cuttings of use out of it, but still, I need something solid.

4. Clean the chicken coop. Again.
Meat chickens is yummy, but they are such poopy little buggers, and so, cleaning the coop happens a lot. Way more than with hennys.


5. Call it a day, bbq supper, and eat home-made fireball egg nog ice cream.

Yeah, sounds like a good day to me.
🙂

Fragrance

There is no denying the effect that the fragrance of horses has on people…

You either love it, or hate it.
We, ’round here, are quite firmly in the “Love It” camp.
😉

Make no mistake, there are days when I say to the Girls “Could ya stop lying on, and rolling in, the manure pile? Damn, you stink!!”
For the most part though, the Eau De Equine soothes the Spirit, eases the aches and pains of the daily grind, heals the open wounds in our souls.

I say it a lot…only the horses are allowed to eat money around here.
It’s true, horses are a money pit.
So, why do we keep them?

“oh, hi Mama…you got treats for me?”
~ Ruby

“The Hell, Mama!!
Stop calling me, I ain’t dead! I *was* having a great nap though!”
~ Astrid

LOL!! We had another passerby stop in to tell me about the “dead horse” in the pasture. Astrid was not impressed. 😉

“I hear your beepy thing…I know you’re there…I’m too sleepy…”
~ Cookie

“I be rollin’
My back is itchy…oooooh, feels soooo good!!”
~ Sable

We keep them because horses change lives.
Our lives are so much richer in ways other than money.
Yeah, they eat money, but what they give back to us is worth so much more.
Those days I have to leave the Farm, I’m always thinking about coming home. About standing in the midst of my little herd, breathing their unique scents, feeling their breath, touching coats, leaning on bodies that love to support us…

Many times I’ve been told that they’re lucky to be with us.
And while I sorta agree, because of what could have been when they were in the auction ring, I tend to lean farther towards I’m lucky to have them. We’ve given them a soft place to land, a Home ’til the end of their days, with good food, health care, and a whole lotta love.

What they’ve given me, all of us here at the Farm, is so much more.