Friday’s Hunt March 19

I’ve been all about Spring this past week.
I refuse to let the weather (that has been very un-Spring-like) get me down.
Spring.
Spring.
Spring.
1 more day to Spring!!

For today, though, I’ve got my offering for the Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
Prompts this week are Starts with K, Week’s Favorite and Drink.

Starts with K

Kitty!

Daisy Mae

She was only supposed to be a temporary indoor kitty, but the little pooh-stick turned into a permanent indoor resident.
It’s okay though…this girlie has personality to spare, and loves to talk up a storm. Here I caught her in the midst of talking to the trees and grass blowing about in the wind.

Week’s Favorite

My Old Man Odhinn…

Pretty Kitty ❤

14 years old, with a myriad of health issues, but still my main snuggle Kitty at night. Such a handsome boy! ❤

Drink

Heh. Lifeblood of the Universe…

Mmmmm, coffee!

Can’t start the day with out a good, steaming hot cup of coffee. 🙂

1 day, folks…
1 more day to Spring.

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Happy Day After Canadian Thanksgiving

I’m not a Thanksgiving person.
It’s not that I’m not grateful for all the Blessings in my life (of which I have many), I just don’t feel the need to have 1 day to celebrate it.
And, if I did, it would be at the Fall Equinox. That’s the time, to me, to celebrate the harvest, and get yourself spiritually ready for the coming seasonal changes. But, that’s me. 😉

Our weekend was a busy one nonetheless.
Saturday we were up early (when aren’t we??) and off to the Stable, where they were having a tack sale. We went with the intention of trying to find a used bit for Astrid. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to pay a lot. Astrid was trained with an eggbutt snaffle, and a new one runs $25-30 at Greenhawk. We did find a couple of bits, but they came with bridles. Well, as it turns out, Hubby was looking for a bridle for Ruby…so, 2 birds and all that.
I’ll  probably end up on the hunt for another eggbutt for Ruby, just because I don’t know what bit was used on her in her wee bit of training she’s had (before coming to us).
I don’t have to worry about any of this for my Girl…that’s the joys of a pasture potato…tack? Why for do we need tack? lol If (when) I get her to the point of being ridden, I’ll likely go bitless with her anyways.

On the drive home from the Stable, I pulled my camera out for a few shots. It’s one of the rare times I actually thought to do it. I typically have the camera with me, just never think to pull it out for road shots. This though, was what inspired me to do so:

Oooooh!! Now that's a Big Boy Toy!

Oooooh!! Now that’s a Big Boy Toy!

I wanna drive one! 😀

Then I played a bit with rearview mirror shots…

Leaving the noise and stink of the city behind us...

Leaving the noise and stink of the city behind us…

It’s funny, we’ve had people come out the to Farm and complain of the smell. Yeah, we have a variety of manure scents…pigs, chickens, horses…but it still smells better out here than the city does. I swear, I go into the city and I’m gagging. Ugh. It’s awful.
I’m happy to come home to my poop machines. lol

This next shot is one I have wanted to take for the 3 years we’ve been on the Farm…again, never think to pull the camera out. Excuse the imperfectness of it. I did take it at 100km/hr and through a dirty window…

gravestones-on-7One day, I’ll get Hubby to stop, so I can take a better shot, and see what’s written on the stones.

Sunday was attempted goose hunting day. It’s that time of year again! Geese on the field need to go to freezer camp. Only problem was with the wind, they stayed on the field, so issuing the F.C. invite was near onto impossible. 😦
And then the hunting was cut short because of this Girl:

burrlock-cookieWith the cold, wild wind, and the gate being closed so they had to stay in the front pasture, she was not herself. At first I worried that we were going into another “C” event. Thankfully, no. She is, however, feeling the chill and was showing signs of pain in her back and pelvis.
*sigh*
The joys of an ex-broodie.
So, a back rub (which she loves now…go figure!) on Sunday and an increase in her flax. Last winter I bumped her up to a full cup, and she did very well. Her achy grumpiness eased and she was a different horse. Well, this year, I hope to head off the Grumpy Horse-ness at the pass, and get her feeling better sooner.
Yesterday, she and I worked on stretches. Poor Girl. The idea of Mom holding her legs in the air and helping her stretch them is just weird…she was not impressed. Though, she did walk off a little easier, so, hopefully the dots will connect up in that pretty head of hers.
But, she’s also a very Sheldon-like horse. Which I’ve said before…she doesn’t do well with change (even something so simple as being closed into a spot she normally isn’t), and you have to take your time with her.
You have to take your time with Sheldon (Cookie). 😉
My Girl will never be the “get in the trailer, we’re going trail riding somewhere else!” horse.
Nope, that’s just not going to happen.
And that’s okay. I’ll love her forever anyway.
❤

I wanted to take a few shots of her lying down, instead she decided to get up when I came outside.

Well, that's not graceful at all.

Well, that’s not graceful at all.

I love her white stripe down the center of her belly…she also has a white splotch on her inner thigh. Her markings just make me smile.
One last photo to share…this is what I get when I’m lying down taking pictures of Cookie. Sable has to come see what I’m doing. 🙂

sable-from-below

Finally, yesterday…
Yesterday I did some hay maintenance. Since I can’t cut any more of my long grass out front for hay this year, I got Hubby to pull out one of the gas lawn mowers and for the first time this year, I cut the grass in a conventional way.
But, not before I did a final cut with the mower in the garden. Next year, I *will* have a garden. Before the snows, we’re working on covering it to keep the weeds from wreaking the same havoc they did this year.
Cutting the grass/garden with a mower with a bagger on it is reason #8,678,294.3 why I’ve enjoyed raising pigs…never mind dumping grass clippings for composting. Noooooo!!! Feed it to the piggies. Oh boy! That was exciting and tasty and well, when they were tired of eating, it made great bedding.
Happy, happy piggies…and you know our motto!

Happy Food Tastes Better.

And now, work to do.
Enjoy your day, my friends!

A Little Catching Up

Wow. 2 weeks since my last post.
Sorry ’bout that. We got a wee bit sideways here, and busy like mad. I had just about 2000 photos to edit this past week, between the Schooling Show that The Kid entered, and her drama production at school.
It’s a lot. lol. And I’m still not done…still another folder from the Show, and both nights of the production to do. Hopefully this week, I’ll finish them. I know folks are waiting to see.

I’ve also been spending a whole lot more time than usual with the horses. Our Sable has been lame. Poor Girl.
Every spring, I treat every hoof I can get in hand with Thrushbuster. Even before the melt starts, because I know full well, we’re gonna get mucky and swampy. It is, unfortunately, the nature of the land we bought. If I knew then what I know now….

Either way, I try very hard to pre-emptive strike every one to avoid thrush. I didn’t get to my Bella in time. 😦 And she ended up lame. So, daily (instead of weekly) Thrushbuster treatments, a lot of cleaning of her feet, some slow hand walking in the drier areas and finally, today, she’s not ouchy. We aren’t out of the woods yet, but, I think we’re ahead of it. And so, we’ll just keep on keepin’ on, until she’s 100%.

The plus side of this is that means everyone else gets reminded about hoof lifting manners. Astrid, my little sweetie, happily hands up her feet. Funny story for y’all…
I’m working hard with Cookie to establish the “Foot” combined with the tap behind the knee for her to lift her foot. It’s slow going, but, she’s always been a hard ass about handing up feet. Not that I let her get away with poor manners, it’s more of a reminder thing, how to do this properly and politely.
So, here I am, under Cookie, asking for her “Foot” and tapping her knee…she shifts to toe in anticipation of lift and I praise her. I tap, say “Foot” and lift her a few inches. And so on, until we, hopefully soon, get to the “Foot” and tap and she hands it up to me easy peasy.
On the other side of Cookie stands Astrid.
Astrid has this whole foot lifting thing down pat.
To her, it is easy peasy.
Well, one of my tap and “Foot” moments with Cookie, I look past her to see Astrid has lifted her foot.
I’m thinking “Really? Did she really just do that?”
Ask Cookie again, and yup, Astrid lifted. LOL!
Awesome Little Girl!!
Of course, once Cookie and I were done (always finish on a positive note!), I had to go and ask Astrid. Well, Missy had her foot up before I even had a chance to finish asking. That earned her a whole lot of praise. She really is a treasure, Ms Astrid is.
A lot of it has to do with how well-trained she was by her previous owner, but a good portion is also her personality. She really is a horse who enjoys people and enjoys doing what you ask of her. She thrives on positive attention, and responds the best to gentle correction. She’s a smart little mare, who is going to be a great riding partner for us. 🙂

And now, some pictures…because I know y’all don’t come here to read my rambling. Y’all want to see pictures of the Girls. 😛
I’ll also take this opportunity to do my Friday’s Hunt post.
Prompts this week are Starts with M, Week’s Favorite and Bird or Wings.

Starts with M is easy…Mares!

Cookie

Cookie

My Cookie, showing her modeling skills. She’s no Supermodel, like Sable, but then, she’s not much of a girly girl either.

My ever-so-helpful Sable.

My ever-so-helpful Sable.

This is what happens when I let the Palomino help me take pictures.
I think she might be an equine NoHelpian.

Ruby, trying to have a nap.

Ruby, trying to have a nap.

Ruby should know by now…nap near a fence, and a cat is going to stick their butt in your face. Sir Felix does love him some Paint. When he can’t love up his Girl, Ruby will do as a second.

Astrid napping on the fence.

Astrid napping on the fence.

Astrid has no problems with the cats rubbing on her while she naps-I ❤ that chin rested on the fence board!-but Felix was too busy with Ruby.

For Week’s Favorite I have 2…not because they are great shots, but because of what they represent.

A Certain Girl getting the shedding blade treatment...

A Certain Girl getting the shedding blade treatment…

A Certain Girl checking out the shedding blade...

A Certain Girl checking out the shedding blade…

Yep, that’s my Cookie getting a once over with the shedding blade.
I didn’t have to chase her, catch her, use the lead rope on her.
Nothing.
I walked up, let her have a sniff, ran it down her neck, showed her again, and then, moved to to her whole body. She sighed and stood like a Dream.
What.
A.
Difference.

Even from last year. Finally, the giant Dorkbag has learned that grooming feels good. 2 1/2 years to get it, but yeah, now she’s got it. That makes me so happy. A horse *should* enjoy being groomed. It shouldn’t be scary, or hard to stand for. Especially if they are healthy.
But, if a horse doesn’t have experience with it, doesn’t know why The Human keeps wanting to do this, then yeah, they don’t know. They just don’t know what to do with the hands on attention.
Cookie finally does.
And she likes it. 🙂

Even better, afterwards, Sable checked on her, to see if she was okay…

"You okay, Weirdo?" "Yeah, I think I finally understand why you're such a Mama Suck, Blondie." "Told you it feels good, Dork." "Shut up."

“You okay, Weirdo?”
“Yeah, I think I finally understand why you’re such a Mama Suck, Blondie.”
“Told you it feels good, Dork.”
“Shut up.”

Finally, Birds.
Oh, we have a few birds around right now. The Canada geese are back…have look!

Holy Geese!!

Holy Geese!!

That’s my back pasture. There’s easily over a 1000 geese out there.
Not a one can be invited to Freezer Camp though. 😦
If they were Snow, Blue or Ross geese, different story. But not Canadas. There is no 2nd hunting season for them.
And so, I have extended them a cordial invitation to return come the fall, where we will happily invite them to join us for soup.
We would love to have them over for soup.

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

R is for Remiss

I have been remiss in keeping the blog up to date.
I apologize for that. I’m working on getting a solid posting schedule going again. Life happens, and I’ve been busy, y’know? And then, by the time I remember I have to write a blog post, it’s 2am, I haven’t slept, and I have to be up with Hubby at 4am…so yeah, the blog has suffered.
But, I have been uploading pictures to share with you, and so, here’s a whole bunch of them from the past 15 days. Enjoy! 🙂

The Geese are returning! WooHoooo!!

The Geese are returning!
WooHoooo!!

This is exciting because we’re hoping to send more than a couple to freezer camp this year. The farmer who used our field planted canola, so at least there’s grain out there for them to have some interest in. With the cross fencing in place, I can move The Girls out front, and give Hubby the chance to hunt from under the big pine, without equine helpers.

The bugs were really, really bad for a while...

The bugs were really, really bad for a while…

I love this picture because you can see Sable’s dapples. She’s one giant dapple this year. Makes me happy, because she’s just so damn beautiful. Whether or not there is truth to the theory that dapples are a sign of good health in horses doesn’t matter to me. I *know* she’s healthy and happy. ❤

Ain't she grand?

Ain’t she grand?

Yup, I’m biased. I know it. She’s my sweetheart, even if she’s a bit of a goober. Here she was on high alert because the kittens were playing on the fence while I took pictures of the herd. Dork.

Leaping Felix

Leaping Felix

He’s come a looooooong way from being the runt of the litter! He’s a solid little hunter, who does love him some grasshopper…I’m good with cats who eat grasshoppers.

Mmmmmm salt!

Mmmmmm salt!

Yeah, you know it’s hot when even the kittens were at the salt lick!
Sometimes, when it’s really hot, I take a rubber feed pan, and put a cup or so of canning salt (no additives, just salt) and put it out for The Girls. Sometimes, they eat it, other times they don’t. I know those blocks can be hard for them to get enough salt off of, so I offer the loose, just in case. Especially when I see Cookie chewing the block! And Ms Ruby likes to lick the loose salt up out of my hand. That feels pretty neat.

Ahhhhh! The heat broke...

Ahhhhh! The heat broke…

And everyone fell down…

"Hey Food/Mom Lady. Whatchoo doing?"

“Hey Food/Mom Lady. Whatchoo doing?”

Funny noises from the neighbours...they're doing some upgrades over at the hog barn. It annoys Ruby.

Funny noises from the neighbours…they’re doing some upgrades over at the hog barn. It annoys Ruby.

Cookie decided to get up...just about when the Kittens were marauding.

Cookie decided to get up…just about when the Kittens were marauding.

They are the Marauding Hoarde, after all! It’s what they do.

This is what happens when Kittens help take pictures....

This is what happens when Kittens help take pictures….

Woulda been a great shot, but Trouble decided to steam up the lens for me. He lives up to his name, that boy!

Cookie had enough of scary kittens, and had to hide behind Ruby...

Cookie had enough of scary kittens, and had to hide behind Ruby…

Ruby was too tired to deal with Cookie's irrational fears. LOL!

Ruby was too tired to deal with Cookie’s irrational fears. LOL!

Finally, a preview of some pictures to come…
Over the summer, the kittens kept coming out to the pasture while we were working with The Girls. One of the things they love to do is walk along the top edge of the big water trough…they’re kittens, they do odd things, just because they can. Well, this happened:

Oreo done fell in...

Oreo done fell in…

Yup, I took pictures before I thought to scoop her out. She was fine though, but it got me thinking about if she had fallen in, and we weren’t there…so a few days later, with The Kid’s help, we rounded up all of the Marauding Hoarde and had swim practice. Like it or not, someone could fall in, and not realize they can get out, so we showed them.
And, of course, I have pictures. I’ll save those for another post…
🙂

R is for Remiss…and hopefully, I’ve managed to redeem myself a bit, with these pictures.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursdays.

Fuzzy Feline Fun

It’s Alphabe-Thursday again, and this week is the letter F…
What better to represent the letter F than a herd of fuzzy felines having fun?

Felix...he was washing his paw, and just fell over. :)

Felix…he was washing his paw, and just fell over. 🙂

While he was down, Gray thought it would be the perfect time to jump on him.

While he was down, Gray thought it would be the perfect time to jump on him.

Gray, Felix and Blue play with the dressage whip...

Oreo, Felix and Blue play with the dressage whip…

Trouble isn't sure about this thing...

Trouble isn’t sure about this thing…

That Trouble is an adorable little fellow, that's for sure!

That Trouble is an adorable little fellow, that’s for sure!

Sneaking up on Dad's drink...

Sneaking up on Dad’s drink…

Well now, this is interesting...

Well now, this is interesting…

Huh. That was pretty good.

Huh. That was pretty good.

Time for a bath...

Time for a bath…

Everyone played right out and off to bed.

All tuckered out!

F is for Fuzzy Feline Fun.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Outdoor Cats

The barn cats got a new house. They still have free run of the garage, but they now have a house up on the deck too. Stuffed full of straw for warmth.

Cat house

Cat house, with Max and Polo.

We brought home a load of hay…

4000lbs of hay on our new-to-us trailer.

4000 lbs of hay on our new-to-us trailer.

Which quickly turned into a kitty cat hot spot…especially when the sun was out.

Fiona

Fiona

Polo

Polo

Fiona and Polo

Fiona and Polo

The ever elusive Marco...

The ever elusive Marco…

Yup, even Marco came out to enjoy the sunshine on a hay bale.
What a life these guys have…warm places to sleep, hay to bask in the sunshine on, endless amounts of food and fresh water, plus so much hunting to do!

Compare that to what my indoor cats get to experience…

Freyja

Freyja

I’m not sure who has the better life… 😛

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Create With Joy, Blog Paws and Crafty Spices.

Pondering Farm Life

As I sit here this afternoon, silently thankful the rain/snow has stopped, I am pondering farm life. Make no mistake, I love it here. I have always had a love for the country, for being close to the land. Even in the city, I relished that contact with the Earth, growing as much food as I could for my family, creating my Urban Jungle, and giving back by stirring in the compost.

It’s different, out here. It’s wide open, and beautiful. My closest neighbour is a 1/4 mile away. We have the pleasure of having the horses here at home with us. It’s a lot of work, but they are worth it. We have wildlife that we see every day…from the geese, ducks and swans, to the skunks, coyotes, foxes and the eagles. Sadly, we’ve lost a barn cat or two to the predators, but it’s farm life.

If our young miss Fiona doesn’t produce litters of kittens, we’ll be looking for a few more cats, to replace our lost ones. We are surrounded by grain fields. Grain fields means rodents. Now, yes, we could just put out poison for the rodents, but…stop and think for a moment about who else eats rodents. Our 80 acres is part of a larger ecosystem, one that we have to be mindful of, because things we do here, can have far-reaching, long-lasting effects.

We have foxes, coyotes, hawks, eagles…all eat rodents. If we put down poison to get rid of the rodents, we are killing the natural predators too. Add to that, it puts the cats we do have at risk as well.

Instead we have more cats. Means we have to have a little more cat food for the winter months, when hunting is leaner, but, it also means we are not poisoning the ecosystem, by introducing poison into the rodent population.

To me, and, I think, the rest of the family, this is an important thing. We’re Stewards of this land. Yes, we bought it, we own it, but really, in the grand scheme of Life, we’re Stewards.While we use this land for our own needs, we have a responsibility to not damage it, or the original inhabitants…the animals. We may hunt here, but we take only what we will use, and no more.

It is not our job to drive out the wildlife, in order to have a comfortable life here-or really, anywhere. It is our responsibility to learn to live in Harmony with the wildlife, and with the land. Human lives are so short, we have no business forcing the world around us to get out of our way, just because we want to live somewhere.

Harmony at the feeder.

Harmony at the feeder.

After all, Harmony is a beautiful thing!

Linking to Farm Girl Friday and From the Farm