Hay Run

We hooked up the trailer for another hay run yesterday…

Bringing home the food for nags...

Bringing home the food for nags…

I like to do this early on a Sunday morning.
Get it done early and the day is ahead for whatever else needs doing.
Like napping. 😉

On Friday, Hubby had brought home an apple jack for me.
Not the traditional apple jack (distilled apple juice…nom nom nom!) but the pastry, which is, basically, an apple hand pie rolled in cinnamon and sugar. That was my breakfast, with coffee, while we went up to the Hay Guy’s place.

Once home, I figured with the lovely sunlight, I’d go take a few pictures of the Girls, while Hubby unloaded hay and straw (for chickens)…well, it didn’t take long for someone to figure out I had eaten something that any horse would love!

"Uh. Huh. So, you dare come in here smellng like apples and you have none for me? Really?!?" ~Cookie

“Uh. Huh.
So, you dare to come in here with apples on your breath and you have none for me?
Really?!?”
~Cookie

I tried to tell her it was an apple jack, that there was cinnamon involved, that she doesn’t like cinnamon (she’ll leave her beet pulp pail uneaten if there’s even a hint of cinnamon in it!), and well, quite honestly, she didn’t need any sweets. Seriously, her butt jiggles when she walks…sweet apple pies are not what she needs.

Yeah, her face says it all.
“Uh. Huh. Screw you, hooman…”
😉

On Cussing and Banana Bread

I’m making banana bread today.
I have 4 bananas left from the bag of 17 I bought at Wal-mart last week…yep, you read that right. I bought bananas at Wal-mart.
If you know me even a little bit, you know, when it comes to Wal-mart, I’m not a fan.
I think the quality of their products is lesser (which is why it’s often so cheap) and I don’t like many of their corporate practices.
Oh, and it’s always busy, and I have problems with crowds.

But…

Their clearance section in the produce and bread aisles absolutely rock!!
My point. 17 bananas for $1.
Yeah.
I have 4 left…
I ate 7, 3 went into an angel food cake dessert, and 3 went to the chickens. For $1.
I’m seriously considering clearing out a clearance rack of bananas to make a batch of banana wine.
For today though, it’s going to be a banana bread day. 😉

Last night, I was working on editing my Yule photos.
On New Year’s Day, we finally managed to get decent enough weather that I could make the attempt to create what I was envisioning.
There is this photographer I follow on FB, Aneta Novotna…super talented, gorgeous images of amazingly gorgeous horses…well, she did a shoot with a fjord horse, a christmas tree and a santa hat…it was gorgeous. I mean, I was gushing at the beauty of it. I still am!
And, I really wanted to recreate the idea here at the farm.

Well, instead of an insanely beautiful horse with a perfect tree, I got this:

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

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

And that’s when the cussing started…

Now, I know cussing is something that bothers some folks. Around here, and well, anywhere there’s livestock, cussing is a way of life.
I don’t mean that every second word is a swear, but there are times that they just come out…kinda like yesterday’s blog post when I said people should just “slow the fuck down”…I know I didn’t *need* to swear, but at the same time, it gets the point across.

Here we have my Hubby on the side of the highway, in the frigid cold, and cars are zooming by, not slowing down, not moving over…guys, that’s my world there! I get it, people are in a hurry, gotta get to work, gotta do this, gotta do that…but 30 seconds to slow up and ease over to the other lane so that the guy stuck on the side of the highway can do what he needs to do and then get home safe isn’t going to end your world. But, if you’re not careful, your actions could end mine. All for the want of 30 extra seconds.
That, my friends, warrants a “slow the fuck down”…
Oh, and he did get the tire changed safely, with the help of my brother, who got up at 4:35am and went out to help him.
He’s a good human, that brother of mine.

And then there’s this silly horse…
Who thought that she should eat that plastic non-apple, and in less than a second, had that thing in her mouth and was trotting away, while I yelled at her “Drop that ball you stupid fucking bitch!!”

Yep. Livestock inspires cussing.

Thankfully, she did drop it when Hubby walked towards her and simple said, low and growly “Ruby…”, and ploop, out came that ball…and into her mouth he went with his hands, to make sure she didn’t have the wire caught in there.
Again, thankfully, she didn’t. Turns out, after reviewing the images (D90 is 4.5 fps) we saw that the wire had come off when Ruby pulled the ball from the tree and flipped back into the snow.
Some frigid digging later and we found that…Yay!
That ended my attempts at a pretty, serene and relaxed, decorated tree photo shoot. 😉

We did leave the trees out in the pasture for the Girls to nibble and play with. They’ve been having fun with that. Hopefully, they’ll do when I can get to my camera. If not, well, I’ll just have to enjoy it for all y’all. 😉

One more shot from the tree attempt:

My Old Ladies...

My Old Ladies…

They were just having a moment, my Old Ladies were. ❤

 

For more images by the talented Aneta Novotna, check out her galleries here.

Monday Once Again

Monday has crept up on us yet again.
Okay, it came running at us full speed and bowled me over…Mondays don’t creep ’round here. LOL

So, busy week ahead. I have a couple of sewing projects to do, the usual animal care and a load of pictures to finish editing.
Yes, I’m slow. 😛

Yesterday, I went out to the big field, and cut some canary grass for the pigs…and the 1200lb pigs. Because you can’t cut that grass and *not* share with the horses! This is the stuff Cookie sticks her giant fat head out of the pasture to eat, ripping her mane out into a cute mohawk while doing so.
Next year, I fully intend to cut it for hay, that’s how much the Girls love it.

Hubby brought the truck and trailer out into the pasture, so I could load it up with what I cut…and yes, I used the scythe to cut it. I’m getting good with it, and I haven’t cut myself again either. That’s a win! 🙂
Since I had already tossed a couple of fork fulls to the Nags, Hubby let the Kid drive the truck beside the fence, so I could toss the grass over onto the trailer, while he kept horses out of the truck’s way. However, once the Nags figured out there was more going on the trailer, well, you can imagine what went on then….or you can have a look at the pictures. 🙂 Taken with Hubby’s spanky new cell phone (because he needed a new one too, even though his did not fall into pig shit).

The Paints are positive this is for them!

The Paints are positive this is for them!

What a (not so) lovely burrlock you have there, Ms Astrid!

What a (not so) lovely burrlock you have there, Ms Astrid!

This jerk! Gotta watch her...she has a love for chewing paint of vehicles. Cars, trucks, the tractor, the trailer...brat!

This jerk!
Gotta watch her…she has a love for chewing paint of vehicles. Cars, trucks, the tractor, the trailer…brat!

As you can see, everyone is in very good shape. Coats are getting fuzzy, and they’ve got a good layer of fat on ’em for the impending winter. They are also very happy to tell anyone who will listen that I am starving them.
LOL
Cats, horses, pigs…all will happily tell you they haven’t eaten in days, and the Food Lady is mean. At least until someone isn’t feeling good, and then, all they want is for the Food Lady to make it better.

That trailer load was split between the piggies, who got a great big pile to play in, eat and sleep in yesterday, and the horses, who got another huge fork load this morning to munch on. Later this afternoon, I’ll go cut more, so that once Hubby’s home with the truck, I’ll get him to drive out and I’ll fill the back of the truck, then transfer to the trailer once back in the yard.
And now, off to work I must go.
Enjoy the day, my friends!
🙂

The Days Are Getting Shorter

I feel like I’m losing hours, falling so far behind, not even remotely ready for winter. Winter is coming.
*sigh*
If only moving to a warmer climate wasn’t so expensive…of course it’s not nearly the $200K that some of Canada’s MP billed the Canadian taxpayers for, for a move from Toronto to Ottawa, that our smarmy PM excused by saying “They only followed the rules set out by the previous gov’t” like somehow ripping off taxpayers is excusable just because he personally didn’t make the rule…what an ass.

Anyways…

Last week, the Peepers went to Freezer Camp.
Yes, there are pictures.
Yes, there will be a blog post.
I’m working on it. lol

The hennys have moved into the insulated coop, that also has supplemental light. I’ve been giving them some fermented grains as well (which they are all over like flies on a manure pile!) so as they adjust to the new house, new light and extra interesting food, eggs have dropped slightly. Down from 16 a day to 12. Still plenty for us, and some for sale.
It’s so nice to have a little $$$ coming in that the Farm is making. Even if it’s just a little bit! 🙂
It’ll grow, as we do.

Only a few more weeks for the piggies too.
They’ve had a major growth spurt…it really seemed like they got huge overnight! Here’s a picture of them, from Monday…

3 (not so) little piggies!

3 (not so) little piggies!

Took the picture with my phone. In fact, it’s the very last picture I’ll ever take with that phone, because a few moments later, I dropped it into the pig yard. Right into a puddle of slop/shit.
Suffice it to say, the phone stinks like you cannot even imagine, and I need a new one. Won’t have that until Friday. I coulda had one sooner, but I was picky about the one I wanted and the store didn’t have it in stock…so they had to order it from another location and I’m stuck with Stinky Pig Phone a little bit longer.

By the end of October, the piggies will be in Freezer Camp. So, I have 3-4 weeks (we’re going to do 1 pig the 3rd weekend of October, and the other 2 the next) to feed them, keep them happy and healthy, and help them grow as big and meaty as they can. 🙂
Which means a 4th and final cut on the garden weeds to feed to piggies, then we’ll cover that with some scrap wood for the winter.
Hopefully, come spring, the wood will have kept the emerging weeds down, so we can till, rake and burn in preparation for planting.
I love that the over grown weeds were basically turned into bacon, but next summer, I want to grow bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. LOL!

The other big thing we have to do before winter sets in is get our hay and straw home. Once that’s on the yard, I can relax. I know it’s there, being held for us, but until it’s here, where it’s easy to feed to the horses, I won’t be ready.
*sigh*
I don’t think I’m ever going to be ready for winter…hay on the yard or not!

It’s That Time of Year Again

Ima little grumpy today…why, you ask?
Well, because it’s that time of year when some people work very hard to guilt horse owners into taking their horses for all sorts of reasons excuses…

~ I have no time for him/her! You’re home all day!
~ I can’t find hay!
~ Hay is too expensive!
~ You have 4 already, what’s one more?!?

*sigh*
This time of year is exhausting…especially with all the times I have to say “Nope. No room here for more animals.”
Since the Girls came home, I’ve gotten 5-6 requests a year. I don’t know if this is a normal thing, or if I have a big target on my farm, or what.
Fact is, I have 4 horses, 3 pigs, 34 chickens, 1 dog, and a lot of cats…I don’t need more animals.
And, not someone else’s cast offs.
Look, if you’ve gotten a horse but then discovered you have no time, or can’t afford it, then sell the horse.
If you can’t sell the horse because of shitty manners, or poor handling, well, you have a few options…
1. Lie and sell the horse as kid broke (DO NOT DO THIS…If you do this, you are a grade A asshole and someone will get hurt, and not the someone who should…YOU.)
2. Take it to an auction to sell. Knowing full well that there is a very real possibility of the horse going for meat. It is what it is.
or
3. Put it down.

Sound cold? Maybe it is.
But I’m tired of the emails, the FB messages, and odd phone calls from people telling me their sob stories.
I have taken on 1 horse as a hardship case, and that was for a very good friend…and it wasn’t for any of the crappy excuses listed above…
I won’t do it again, and certainly not from some schmoe who just doesn’t want to do the work to find/purchase hay or for proper placement/sale.
It’s easy to say “Aw, you have 4 what’s one more?”
One more is another 8000ish lbs of hay for the winter…
One more is another 200ish lbs of beet pulp…
One more is another 100ish lbs of flax…
One more is another 2000ish lbs of straw for bedding…
One more is another $50/hoof trim…
One more is another $1000 that has to be added to the emergency vet fund…and let me tell you, after this past spring/summer, the vet fund is hurting. We had some big bills for horses that needed attention…but that goes with owning horses. You treat what you can yourself, and when you can’t you call the vet.

So, tell me again, how easily I should take on your “one more” because you can’t be bothered?
Right.
Nope. Not doing it.

I used to handle this much differently… I used to refer the people to the local rescues, give them contact info for hay (Never, ever my personal supplier though. Nope. I guard that contact info with my life! lol), and offer ideas for how they can work extra jobs for money to keep their animals.
98% of the time those things were met with resistance, and a few folks were downright assholes about it. I’ve been called nasty names, had guilt trip layed on me, been told they know where I live and they’ll just drop the animal off…

Crazy, right?
And I am not involved in any sort of Rescue!
I’m just a horse owner.
Yeah, I blog, I have a FB page for the Farm, I share a ton of pictures of my horses…but nothing anywhere that would indicate I want/need/am willing to take in unwanted animals.
People are nuts.

So now, I just say, “Look, ’round here, the only animals we are adding to the Farm are ones we can eat. What’s your horse’s health history? Could we eat him/her if we had to?”
I don’t typically hear back from them, and if I do, it’s with disgust and profanity.

I hate doing that. I really do.
Horses are not food, IMO.
Yes, I know, hypocrite, because we’re going to eat the piggies and some of the chickens. Got it. Don’t need the lecture. Whatever.
To me, horses, while livestock, are not food.
But, if I have to make people think we eat them so that maybe they might do the right thing by their animals, instead of trying to dump them off, well, so be it.
If nothing else, maybe they’ll stop trying to lay the guilt and responsibility on me.
I have enough on my plate, thank you very much.

Hey Folks!

Or…should I say “Hay” folks!?!
Because that’s what I’ve been doing, instead of blogging.
Cutting hay.
By hand…like a crazy person.
The sun has been shining, and aside from a ridiculous 2 hour downpour Sunday which was not in the forecast at all and I swear only rained on my land, it’s been fairly dry.
Y’know what they say, make hay while the sun shines! 😉

When I’m not outside doing chores, I’m trying to get some mass photo editing done. We went to 2 places a couple Saturdays ago and I took a lot of pictures.
One was Cloverdale Forge, where the local blacksmith works. They were hosting 2 guests who were sharing their metal crafts, and well, I wanted to photograph the demos. Hubby just wanted to watch and soak up all the knowledge he could. I think that The Kid found it interesting…I hope so, since she’ll get to test things out once Hubby has his forge built.

So, I have those pictures to edit, and share with the owners of the forge. They had asked if I had anything really awesome, if they could use it for promoting the next few rounds of demos…um, hell yeah! So long as I can come out and photograph those too! 🙂
Here’s a sample image…

Forge1 wmWhat looks like blurring and photo manipulation is the heat rising off the coals. Looks pretty darn cool (lol) if you ask me.

And then, in the afternoon of the same day, we zipped off to the Medieval Festival being held a few miles away.

That was pretty cool to check out too. They had actual jousting…so guess what I was there for. 😉

Knight on a Percheron

Knight on a Percheron

There is something about a Percheron prancing and strutting…Oh. My. Gosh. But, as gorgeous as the Percheron was, this one…

Clydesdale

Clydesdale

I was wholly and completely smitten with this horse.
So beautiful!! ❤ ❤ ❤

And now, I have another 100 or so frames to finish before I call that shoot a wrap.
But, that can only happen when I’m not outside making hay, feeding chickens, picking eggs, cutting weeds for piggies, working with ponies…LOL!

Oh, and then, we had a rain storm last week…whew, it was a doozy, and even then it didn’t hit us as hard as some. We had some things blown around in the strong winds, a crazy bright lightening show and hard rains, but friends had downed trees and property damage. 😦
What we did have, was our internet go out for half a day…and because it was too wet out to cut hay, I did edit pictures off the hard drive. Over 2000 images were gone through, and with hard editing, I’m down to just around 400 left. And we have room on the hard drive again! Yay!

That was after the storm...

That was after the storm…

With how dark the sky was (this shot doesn’t show how dark it really was!) I was sure it was coming back around at us, but it didn’t. Thankfully.

Finally, yes, I realize I missed the Friday’s Hunt post for D…I’ll catch up with a double set of images this weekend. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. 😉

ps: we’re coming up on our 3 year anniversary here on the Farm. So exciting!