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.

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Friday’s Hunt Feb. 19th

What a lovely week of weather we’ve had!
It’s hard to believe it’s February. Yesterday we hit an amazing +6*c.
Sooooo nice!

The horses have been happily basking in the sunshine and the hennys have loved every second of outdoor time they’ve gotten. My birds are spoiled, they do not like to get cold, so when it’s below -15*c, I leave them in the coop. But this warmth? They’re loving boking ’round the chicken yard, snow drifts and all.

This week’s prompts are Starts with G, Week’s Favorite and Pink.
And here’s my images…

Starts with G

Who else could possibly be used for the letter G, other than my Ghost?

<3

My big, sweet, supposedly feral, TomCat.
The Kid and I worked hard on gaining this guy’s trust, and now, he’s the best barn cat ever. Even when he follows me around the Farm yard yapping up a storm. 😉

Week’s Favorite

Well, you saw that image the other day:

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

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

Definitely my favorite shot of the week.

Pink

This one is a close second though…just shot fresh this morning, with the help of The Kid.

pink-mintsMs Cookie lipping up pink mints from The Kid’s hand.
And, a huge thank you to everyone who’s been asking about her, offering wishes of good health and been checking up on us.
Thankfully, my big donkey is back to her normal, delightful self..
Eating her beet pulp happily, and scrapping with Astrid again.

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

And So We Begin Again…

First…

Thank you everyone who sent good wishes after Cookie’s *ahem* incident. She’s doing very well, and back to being herself 100%.
And, a huge thank you to those whose shoulders I cried on during and after…words can’t express how much I appreciate the support and love y’all sent my way. ❤ ❤ ❤

This week marks the 2nd round of the alphabet for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills.
I am going to work very hard at making sure I get the whole alphabet done this time. No slacking, no missing letters, no excuses. I hope. 😉
And so, this week, we have prompts Starts with A, Week’s Favorite and Macro.

For starts with a, we have this cutie…

Anna Kitten

Anna Kitten

This is Anna Kitten. She and her sister…

Banana Kitten

Banana Kitten

Are the last 2 kittens of the season. And, with a whole bunch of spay and neuter surgeries in progress, hopefully some of the last kittens we have here on the Farm.
We had an awful spring with kitten loses and sick Mamas, that I looked for a low-cost spay/neuter clinic and have been working on getting as many cats fixed as possible.
One of our girls, though, had these two Numpkins hidden in the garage. Well, once we caught her for her spay, we had no choice but to catch them and bring them in. Right now, they are loving the indoor kitty life. So, we are hoping to find them an indoor home.
We already have 4 indoor cats. I don’t want 6. lol!

Snuggling and being cute

Snuggling and being cute

Anna Kitten showing me how tired she is of my taking her picture. ;)

Anna Kitten showing me how tired she is of my taking her picture. 😉

My favorite this week was taken yesterday…
I went out, with Hubby, to take some Canada Day pictures with the Girls. As always, Sable shows what a natural in front of the camera she is…

Sable Canada Day 2016 wmHubby draped the flag over her rump, stepped back and Sable just turned like this…perfectly beautiful.
And then, there’s Ruby.
Hubby was showing her that the one hat wasn’t scary. Just look at her expression…

"Seriously Mom? What *is* this guy's problem?!?"

“Seriously Mom? What *is* this guy’s problem?!?”

She ended up wearing it no problem (I’ll share that shot later on in the week.), with her trademark shake to dump it at the end.
We tried to get Astrid and Cookie to wear that hat too. Astrid was not impressed. She did wear it, but wow, I don’t think anything has come across as so scary to her before. We let her sniff it over and over, which led to a great couple of macro shots.

Astrid checks out the head wear.

Astrid checks out the head wear.

I’m sure the problem was a combination of too many bugs, and the fact that the head wear had shiny moving parts that made odd swishy noises by her ears.

"So scary smelling. Can't let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama." ~Cookie

“So scary smelling. Can’t let this any closer to me. Sorry Mama.” ~Cookie

Cookie wouldn’t even stand for me to raise it to her head. She sniffed, snorted and backed up away from it every time I tried to raise it. In the end, I just let her sniff it until she relaxed and then took it away. It wasn’t worth fighting with her to try to force it on her.

A Jumble of Cats!

That’s a real thing, right?
A jumble of cats?
Well, for me it is. 😛
This weeks prompts for Friday’s Hunt hosted by Teresa at Eden Hills are…Starts with J, Week’s Favorite and A Cuppa.

So, starts with j is clearly a jumble of cats…all over my couch!

Look at them all...all comfortable and happy, like they think they live here or something!

Look at them all…all comfortable and happy, like they think they live here or something!

Good thing I don’t let the dog on the couch too, because there’d be nowhere for me to sit!

I have a couple for week’s favorite…since we had a couple more rounds of snow, I thought I’d try taking some macro shots of snowflakes on equine winter coats. Sounds like it should be easy, but it’s not. Crispy macro demands stillness, not 1200lbs of breathing, twisting “Whatchoo doing so darn close to me with the camera for Mama?”
In the end, after 2 tries I got 2 shots I’m happy with, and, they qualify as my week’s favorites.

Snowflakes on Cookie

Snowflakes on Cookie

Snowflakes on Astrid

Snowflakes on Astrid

And finally, for a cuppa, my morning tea…

Mmmm, hot sweet tea.

Mmmm, hot sweet tea.

Normally, I have coffee, but this morning I felt like a cup of tea, sweetened with a generous spoonful of brown sugar. Yum! It’s a lovely way to start the day. 🙂

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

Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2015

This is the end of year photographic wind up, hosted by Ashley Sisk of Scavenger Hunt Sunday fame.
I really enjoyed doing this last year, even though it took me nearly all day! It was fun though, to look back at all the pictures I had taken and to choose the ones that worked best with the prompts.
I’m just going to jump into the prompts without listing them first, because, well, there’s 25 of them.

Let’s start!

Me!

<3 <3 <3

❤ ❤ ❤

Me and my favorite horse. My bestest Girl. No surprise that any picture I choose of myself has her in it.

I Love You

without the saddleNot only do I love them, but these two love each other. I can trust that horse to keep The Kid safe, no matter what. Our Sable is a blessing, for sure!

Still Laughing

Hubby and Ruby 2015 tongueI’m still laughing about Ruby and her in-front-of-the-camera antics…

Laughing RooShe’s a card, that horse…

Laughing Roo2And she knows how to play to the camera!

Winter Wonderland

I had to go all the way back to March for this…we haven’t had enough snow yet to get some great asshat-ery shots, so here’s last winter’s Bella and the Ball series for some Winter Wonderland fun…

Evil ball!! Popped out and scared here...

Evil ball!!
Popped out and scared her…

"What the hell Ball?!?"

“What the hell Ball?!?”

Get away! Get away!

Get away! Get away!

Bella and the Ball5“Ima teach you, ball!”

Birthday

Cookie is the only one of the Girls whose birthday I know for sure. That’s because it’s on her registration papers. When her birthday comes around, everybody gets a chance to wear the birthday hat though…

Daphne modeling the birthday hat.

Daphne modeling the birthday hat.

Then came Astrid...

Then came Astrid…

Sable Birthday Hat

Ruby Birthday Hat1

And finally, the Birthday Girl herself…

Cookie Birthday1

Friends

What better for friends, than images of Cookie and Felix?

2 black and white ones

Or Nancy and Daisy Mae?

Nancy and Daisy Mae
Or the 4 horses together?

Jolly Balls2🙂

I Was Inspired

Remembrance Day was the inspiration for these shots…

"Soldier's Daughter"

“Soldier’s Daughter”

"Soldier's Horse"

“Soldier’s Horse”

Spring Fever

Spring fever always bring on the Krazy Kantering Horse Games!

Sable makes the best faces, when she's being silly!

Sable makes the best faces, when she’s being silly!

And looks right at the camera when she does! "Look at me Mom! Take my picture!!"

And looks right at the camera when she does! “Look at me Mom! Take my picture!!”

They got around front, trotted up for some snuggles, and then, were off again!

They got around front, trotted up for some snuggles, and then, were off again!

Travel or Vacation

We have livestock…no such thing as a vacation. 🙂
But, we did do some traveling. Just day trips…

To a couple rodeos…

Saddle Bronc Saturday...

Saddle Bronc Saturday…

After the ride...I was torn on whether or not to share this one. It's a powerful image, and yet, it feels like I, as the photographer, am intruding on the rider's pain.

After the ride…I was torn on whether or not to share this one. It’s a powerful image, and yet, it feels like I, as the photographer, am intruding on the rider’s pain.

Freedom!!!

Freedom!!!

We also made our weekly trips to the Stable, where Hubby has been assisting with the rebuild of the owner’s home after a fire consumed it in May.

progress3

Summer Days

More rodeo shots, because our summer days were filled with rodeo fun and much editing afterwards.

Saddle bronc, sans rider

Saddle bronc, sans rider

Saddle bronc

Saddle bronc

And, with rodeo pictures, I learned a new editing technique…

Here's a sample of that new technique I learned.

Here’s a sample of that new technique I learned.

A Day In My Life

A day in my life has this:

Dorkite

Dorkite

And this:

Tools of the stinky trade...containers, toothbrushes and paper towels. And a place to do it outside...

Tools of the stinky trade…containers, toothbrushes and paper towels. And a place to do it outside…

And this:

That's our Daisy, bites Nancy's butt to force him out of the box.

That’s our Daisy, bites Nancy’s butt to force him out of the box.

And this:

"Mine! Mine! Mine!"

“Mine! Mine! Mine!”

In short, a day in my life is a mixture of mad crazy motion being photographed, quiet work on jewelry and the day-to-day running of a hobby farm.

All Smiles

Hello Not-Bob!

Hello Not-Bob!

I was all smiles when this guy showed up.
Seen a couple of others since. Makes me smile every time. 🙂

Autumn Harvest

Blue Bean Killer

Blue Bean Killer

As the garden was finishing up, BlueCat decided to help me with the final bean harvest…

Storm

Storm

While StormCat did what every good farm cat should do…

Home

Home is where my Girls are.

My symbol of Home

My symbol of Home…the 4 nags together.

Celebrate

We had many celebrations here this past year. And many that I took pictures at. My favorite (at least photographically) was our Samhain bonfire. I really enjoyed taking pictures of the bonfire.

A few folks standing 'round the fire.

A few folks standing ’round the fire.

This ^^^ was my favorite one of the night.

Let’s Do It Again

The garden. Because we’re gonna do it again…and again, and again, and again…

Corn!!

Corn!!

Rows of tomatoes

Rows of tomatoes

A row of lettuce

A row of lettuce

Purple pole bean flowers

Purple pole bean flowers

I Miss You

Yeah, I got nothing for this one.
The folks who made the choice to leave my life this past year are gone, and I don’t have the energy, or the urge, to miss them.

Beautiful

Sable and Astrid

Sable and Astrid

Yup, they sure are!

Dress Up

Hahahahaha!!!
Happens a lot here…we dress up the horses. 🙂

MudaMino!

MudaMino!

And sometimes, they dress themselves up…in mud!

MudaStrid

MudaStrid

You know the mud was bad when Astrid is covered!

MudaRoo

MudaRoo

Really, Ruby does have white spots…

MudaCoo

MudaCoo

So muddy, her white neck spots are gone!

Macro

Love those short, fuzzy hairs...and the colors. She just makes me smile. :)

Love those short, fuzzy hairs…and the colors. She just makes me smile. 🙂

Holidays

We did a bunny ear hat for Easter:

Astrid 1 eared it...

Astrid 1 eared it…

No surprise, Sable wore it like a champ!

No surprise, Sable wore it like a champ!

Cookie was not. happy. >:(

Cookie was not. happy. 😡

My Favorite

This is a tough one. I had a ton of great shots in 2015. Finally, I settled on the Miniature Lions.

Miniature Lions

Don’t Ever Change

Cookie

Cookie

I don’t want her to change.
I love her just the way she is, Miserable Cow and all.
I do want her to learn and grow and be the very best horse she can be…all while keeping that amazing, sweet personality (yes, it is in there!!) and incredible heart.

Just Because…So There!

Best. Joke. Ever!

Best. Joke. Ever!

It’s a terrible angle.
It looks like her head isn’t even attached to her body.
It’s odd and just plain off.
But, it makes me smile and I love it.
So there.

Hopes and Dreams

Hopes…
I hope to grow so much more food on the Farm in 2016.
The chicken coop is done, and ready for birds.
We have the spot picked out for a couple of feeder piglets.
The garden seeds are picked and ready to be ordered.

I am tired of being a slave to food prices in grocery stores.
I am tired of someone else growing my meats and eggs.
I am tired of not being hands on in our meat eating.

It’s time to utilize as much of this land that we have worked so hard for, to grow our food. Not just the fruits and veggies, but the meats as well.

Dreams…

I dream of getting on Cookie.
Of taking the next steps in her training. Not until her feet are 100% grown out. We are so close…once those cracks are gone, then, then, I can seriously consider getting up on her. Not before though.

I dream of Equi~Gems becoming my full-time job.
Not just fits and starts, here and there. But solid, steady work, that brings solid, steady $$$ into the Farm.
I’m working on it.
I am happy with the new gemstone settings.
I am happy with the new earrings I’ve been working on.
I am excited to share those with you all!

Most of all, my hopes and dreams revolve around the happiness of everyone who calls Midnight Calico Farm home.

The Kid.
Hubby.
The Girls.
Daphne.
The Marauding Hoarde.
The Meatloaves.
And yeah, even myself.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2016.
Not just for us at Midnight Calico Farm.
For all of you, our readers and followers, too.

Hubby and Ruby 2015 tongueRuby says…”It shall be so!”

Sharing with Ashley Sisk, who is hosting Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

SHS~August 8th

Busy week this past week. I’m working hard to keep up with the greens growing in the garden. No complaints!! I love pulling 2-3 lbs of greens out a day. I’m still hoping to get some spinach into the freezer, but I keep eating it. 😉

I had a new toy to play with this past week too. And, after enjoying it, smearing a little WIPE on it, last night I paid for it. I’m now the happy owner of a Nikon D90. Yes, it’s an older camera, but, it does a damn fine job.
Have to keep in mind, I’ve been working with a D3200 for the past 4ish years. I did a  lot of comparison research, before I was ready to commit to spending the money, and I was given some time to work with it and see what it can do. Yeah, I’m happy with the upgrade. It may not be a huge leap of an upgrade, but, for the price (I was given a really, really good deal on it) and for the extra skills I’ll gain using it, it was so worth it for me.
Plus, The Kid will get a chance to play with the Red Monster…I’m not ready to give it to her outright, but yeah, she can have fun with it. 🙂
All but one of this weeks photos were shot with the D90…

Prompts this week are Dots, Bokeh, A Game, Repetitive, My Everyday.

Dots

dotsWe own Paint horses…they have dots. But, my Cookie has on her nose, 1 almost perfect big black dot. 🙂 See where the arrow is pointing? This is one of my favorite places on her body. I ❤ this dot! It is where, after a breath exchange with her, I place kisses on that nose.
And, it’s a funny dot, because in the midst of her pink skinned nose(which gets a sunscreen/zinc oxide mixture to protect from sunburn), the skin under that dot is black. So funny. So odd. That my Cookie’s dot.

Bokeh

I’m not gonna lie…I don’t understand bokeh.
I’ve read about, I’ve looked at examples of it, I’ve had it explained to me, and just when I think I get it…nope. Comprehension just scoots out of my head. The technique seems simple enough, but for some reason, I just cannot wrap my brain around being able to do it. It’s like a big ol’ block sitting there, preventing me from actually being able to do it. Instead, I’ll just share a picture of The Paints…

See? Pretty painted horses. :)

See? Pretty painted horses. 🙂

A Game

Jolly ball!!

"It's trying to kill me!!"

“It’s trying to kill me!!”

Being chased by the Jolly Ball...

Being chased by the Jolly Ball…

"Kick it so it dies!!"

“Kick it so it dies!!”

"Um...what'm I s'posed to do with dis?!?"

“Um…what’m I s’posed to do with dis?!?”

Jolly balls are so much fun!

Repetitive

If you follow us on FB, or are friends with me personally, some of these pictures might seem repetitive. Often I’ll throw up one or two of them on my personal page, before I have a chance to write a blog post. I do try to make sure there’s new images in a post, so that y’all don’t get bored with repetitive photos. 😉

Strawberry Paint

Strawberry Paint

This is my only D3200 shot in the post…it’s an old one. One I’m sure I shared before, but I came across it last week while looking for a different image. I love this…it’s from a time when she was still unsure of trying things I offered her. Now? That berry would be long gone, not just nibbled!

Pretty Girls.

Pretty Girls.

These 2 are best friends ever. This photo is a perfect example of an equine greeting. ❤

Hello stupid horse!

Hello stupid horse!

Dumb bag decided that my using a flash to take her picture in the shelter was terrifying. She lit out of there like her ass was on fire!
Later on, it dawned on me that the D90 makes a different noise when taking a picture than the Red Monster does. And yes, something so simple can affect a horse…a new, different sound, when we’re used to one specific sound when Mama points that thing at us.

Oh, sleepy Ruby!

Oh, sleepy Ruby!

Silly, sleepy Ruby. The camera didn’t bother her so much, but she did decide that the essential oil bottle was scary as all get out, and she was going to plaster herself to the back of the shelter.
Idiot.
Normally, she’s just about on top of me for a good hard sniff of the Peace and Calming.

Astrid pre-spa treatment.

Astrid pre-spa treatment.

With the Paints acting like dumb asses, I decided to give Astrid a good grooming. Brushed all over, rubbed to a shine with a rag, then coated in WIPE, her mane and tail brushed out, and her mane braided.

Such a gorgeous Girl!

Such a gorgeous Girl!

She loved every second of being pampered. 🙂

My Everyday

My new everyday pals…I can’t go anywhere without them. And Mimi gives me a *look* when I try to!

"You going some where Food Lady? Some where without me?!? Yeah, I didn't think so!"

“You going some where Food Lady? Some where without me?!?
Yeah, I didn’t think so!”

"Hullo Food Lady. I waiting patiently for you."

“Hullo Food Lady. I waiting patiently for you.”

A pile of kittens who got tired of waiting for the Food Lady to stop working with horses.

A pile of kittens who got tired of waiting for the Food Lady to stop working with horses.

Oh, the joys of my everyday life! 🙂

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

Frozen Beet Pulp

The Girls are restless. Their bodies tell them Spring is coming, but it’s still cold. Standing and eat isn’t what they want to do. They spend their days warming bodies in the sunshine, and playing. Out of the past 7 days, I’ve only had to do a morning refresh on the hay feeders twice (they get their full evening feed, no matter what). Their bodies are telling them they don’t need as much food to stay warm.

The challenge, with 4 mares, is to find some way to engage their brains. Give them something to think about…so, the plan Saturday, was to make up some extra beet pulp, and freeze it into discs that they could chew and play with. I just made a big bucket, added the flax, and some chunks of home-made cinnamon pancakes, as an extra little treat. 🙂

Looked like this:

Kinda gross looking.

Kinda gross looking.

Sure didn’t look appetizing to us humans. But the Girls?!? LOL! They loved it!
At first Cookie wasn’t sure of it. She was pretty sure it was going to kill her, until I held it up for her to smell. Then, she licked it, and the light clicked on in her brain…Nummies! She snorted, backed up a step and dropped her head. I couldn’t have asked for a more respectful request from her. So I tossed her disc down at her feet for her to devour.

Not much left, 20 minutes later!

Not much left, 20 minutes later!

Ruby and Astrid started out sharing…

Astrid Ruby Beet PulpAstrid was so sure Ruby’s had better stuff in it. Even though, you can see, Astrid’s disc has a couple chunks of pancake right on top. Ruby got tired of sharing and drove Astrid back to hers.

Astrid Frozen Beet Pulp

Sable enjoyed her first few bites out of The Kid’s hand…

"Oh, so good!"

“Oh, so good!”

Kid tossed hers down and Sable pretty much vibrated with glee.

Bella Beet PulpTook her about 20 minutes to finish her’s too.

All in all, it was a pretty successful treat. Everyone enjoyed it, they had to think about how to get the good stuff out of the frozen stuff, and afterwards, they had some fun playing.

We also threw out the jolly balls again, once everyone was done their treats. Here’s one picture from this round…I’ll share more as I edit them. 🙂

I love Cookie's stance here...not interested, but oh so interested.  Dork. <3

I love Cookie’s stance here…not interested, but oh so interested.
Dork. ❤