Muse

Used to be Cookie was my muse
Just about every photoshoot, while it may have started with Sable, became about whether or not I could get Cookie to do as I asked.
She didn’t have a whole lot of equine interest in humans (she didn’t care for humans much…as long as the food kept coming), so winning her over was a tough task.

❀

But, with time, patience and a few (okay, a LOT) of treats, I won her over and I did thinks like ^^^ this to her…and she let me. ❀

Well then, she up and died on me.
And I was left without a muse.

Ahhhh, but that Ruby…
Ruby has neatly stepped into the role as my muse.
Because what’s more fun than a paint horse who doubles as a unicorn in disguise?

Whatcha want?

So now Ruby gets to be the focus of her own photoshoots…she does have her own Instagram account, after all. πŸ˜‰
But yeah, I’m grateful that she’s decided that The Food Lady ain’t so bad.
Before she was pretty ambivalent to me.
Now she’s decidedly a Mama Suck.
I think it’s good for both of us.
πŸ™‚

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Muse.

Throwback Thursday

It’s cold.
It’s windy.
Which makes it more cold.
I’m a cranky ball of cold today.
So I was thumbing threw some old photos and found these from 2015…

My Cookie…look by her bum…

Yup, that’s my Felix under her tail.

Oh how he *loved* playing in her tail!

My 2 black and white ones.
They were so damn special.
He played in her tail like that for a good 1/2 hour…
She didn’t even consider getting up.
She just kept napping.
He wasn’t even gentle…he has full claws out on her rump!

All done playing…thanks Lady for the good times!

And away he went to climb the tree…

I lost him to a stinking coyote, her to a ruptured aorta, but I guarantee they found each other again in the Summerlands.
And one day, we’ll all be together again and I’ll get to laugh at their antics once more.
πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.
Even though they’re both gone, I am so thankful to have been blessed with these two amazing creatures in my life.

Deleting Old Posts

That’s what I did yesterday.
After much searching, I found a website that takes posts and turns them into a .pdf.
I did that a while back with a couple years worth of old posts.
Now, I’m working on deleting the posts and images (which means there might be a broken image here and there, if I reused one in a newer post).
This way, I have space for new images to go in new posts.
Because I refuse to go to a pay-to-blog platform.
It’s just not gonna happen…and I didn’t want to move to a whole new blog while trying to encourage followers to come along.
Naw.
Easier to save and delete.
Well, as easy as something so darn tedious can be.
πŸ˜‰

The positive part though, is new images…and they are *much* faster to upload with space!
Which is good, because I managed to get out with the camera Saturday morning, and a bit yesterday too.

Sable

Funny thing is…I’ve been waiting for a Saturday morning sunrise like this for a few weeks now.
I’ve an idea in my head I want to shoot, but need this light and Hubby.
Where was he Saturday when the light looked like this??!?
In a tree stand, hunting deer.
πŸ™„πŸ™„πŸ™„
Fingers crossed we can get another chance before the snow flies and stays.


Then yesterday, knowing that below zero overnight temps. were coming, Hubby cleaned out the maceration tubs.
What is a maceration tub, you ask?
Well, it’s a bin that holds whatever skulls and bones we want cleaned and a whole lot of water.
That’s it.
Nothing high tech or fancy.
Just bins/barrels/tubs of bones and water.

We had Cookie’s skull and bones finishing cleaning…because our warm weather doesn’t last long, it can take a little longer here to clean a skull.
I *should* invest in a fish tank heater to speed thing up a bit, but we don’t keep the tubs anywhere near an electricity source.
If you’ve ever smelt a working maceration tub, you’d understand why they aren’t real close to the house.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
Anyway, Hubby pulled Cookie’s parts out and we had a bit of a surprise…

😍😍😍

We were a bit surprised, to say the least. lol
So after I grabbed the camera, I hit the skull cleaning forums on FB.
And it turns out this is nothing to panic about.
It likely happened because I didn’t change the water enough…though a deer leg in with her *didn’t* go black like this.
πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

She may stay darkened like that.
She may not.
She’s ready to go onto degreasing – which is exactly what it sounds like.
Bones hold fats in them, and after maceration, they go into a water/dish soap combo to soak, which draws out the grease.
If this isn’t done, your bones could get stinky (prolly will) and might start to break down as the fats get gross.

If the colour holds through degreasing, then she’ll be left like that.
I could put her into peroxide for whitening, but I love the way she looks dark, so if it stays, it stays.

Hubby also pulled out the giant tarp and tossed it into the garden.
It was too windy to spread, so there’s still that to do.
Hopefully we’ll have a day this week to get that done.
Honestly, I’m ready for spring, seed catalogs and planting the new garden.
lol
I know, I know.
The land needs to sleep first.
I do know that.
I just don’t want to deal with winter.
I will…but I don’t want to.

Like this post?
Feel free to buy me a coffee.
πŸ™‚

When I am an Old Horse Woman Redux

WHEN I AM AN OLD HORSE WOMAN

When I am an old horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.

❀

I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.

❀

I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to all
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.

❀

-By Patty Barnhart
Originally published in The Arabian Horse World magazine in 1992

❀

Today felt like a great day for a repost of this much loved poem.

If you like this post, feel free to buy me a coffee. πŸ™‚

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.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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.”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
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… πŸ˜‰

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!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


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. πŸ˜‰

Summer Days

Gone fishin’

Friend Will’s giant fish. πŸ˜‰

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!
πŸ˜‰

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.
πŸ˜‰
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.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


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

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!

πŸ’–πŸ–€πŸ’–

Flashback Friday

We’re going way back to the horses very first Yule with us.
Freezing cold, they’d been here only 39 days, and I wanted holiday pictures.

The surprise and horror on Cookie’s face!

Ruby was having none of these shenanigans…no matter how much Hubby tried to convince her.

And then there’s Sable…who with the very first shoot was a rock star, ready to pose.

November…

How?
How can it be November already?
I feel like this summer, this fall have gone by so fast.
Never enough time to get it all done, still so much left to do before winter sets in for real…

This week alone:

Hubby and I filled my deer tag. (Yay!)
The 3 of us did the cut/wrap on the deer for the freezer.
I put up 10 quarts of chicken soup.
I canned a canner load of cat food from scraps from chicken butchering.
We moved a building…I have pictures of that to come!
We bottled the apple raspberry wine.
Started a concord grape wine.
Discovered yet another place where one of our hens is hiding eggs…she wants to raise chicks sooooo bad! I hope she’s the same way come spring. πŸ™‚

That’s on top of the regular stuff…
Hubby still went to work every day.
Kiddo still did school, plus her extra curriculars.
I still ran around after the animals here and made sure they were all healthy, while taking pictures and doing edits.

So we’re tired.
But it’s a good tired. πŸ˜‰

And now, we’re coming up fast on 1 year…
And my heart.
Sweet Epona, my heart…

❀

I still miss her so, so much.
And yet, after the fact, I know she was suffering.
Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have let it go on.
I would have given her a grand day of love, with all her favorite meals and treats and said goodbye that way.
It is my 1 regret, that I didn’t know, that I didn’t do better for her.

We did a thing, Hubby, Kid and I…
Most know I kept her skull.
Well, this summer it was in the maceration tub getting cleaned.
It’s not 100% done, but we had to get it out of the water before freeze up. Freezing in the water would have caused irreparable damage.
So, we did a thing…
This was my Hallowe’en image:

Taken under our tree. ❀

I have a few other from the session that I’ll post on the 1 year day.
It was an emotional, Powerful photo shoot.
It’s one I’m proud of.

Once she’s completely cleaned, degreased and whitened, I plan on painting a few decorative images on her (though that might change, we’ll see).
What won’t change is the photo essay I plan with her…
In her life with me, the thought of leaving her pasture scared terrified her…just coming out into the yard to graze was more than she could handle, no matter how hard we worked on it.
It was what it was.

Ah, but now, my dear sweet darling will travel!
And she’ll be photographed in all the places I wanted to take her in life, meeting all the people I wanted her to meet, but couldn’t.
This I look forward to doing.
It’ll be hard at times.
Emotional…powerful.
But so worth doing.
❀
But, that’ll be next year.

I’ll apologize now, if I go missing ’til the 13th.
I’m trying to stay up on things, but this may get to me.
Hopefully once things settle down with Freezer Camp, hunting and winterizing I’ll post more…
Okay, I promise I will!
Sometimes though, it’s just easier to throw myself into the daily grind a little harder when I’m missing her.
And sadly that means y’all get shorted on content.
I’m workin’ on that.
❀

Here’s a couple of pictures of my 3 Stooges for your enjoyment…

Staff meeting…
On the agenda, how to avoid the beepy thing.
Especially now that the Food Lady has turned off the beep.
Can’t have her catching us in those fun, but compromising positions!

The look I get when I ask what they were discussing at their meeting…like I didn’t already know! πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday all!
❀