This Fool Horse

Back on Saturday, I told you this fool scared the crap out of me, and I promised to explain…

Thursday was a day of wind.
Much, much wind.
And some snow.
Just crappy March weather that went on into the night.

Friday, I go out and feed the nags.
Everyone is good.
A little tired and grumpy, but that’s to be expected when you’ve had shit weather to deal with.
So after a few scratches and back rubs, I left everyone to their hay breakfast.

Couple hours later, I have a look outside.
Must be around noonish.
Ruby is laying down, so is Astrid, and Sable’s dozing on her feet.

I grab Voldemort (my camera…story for another time 😉 ) and head out for pictures.
I get cats helping, because cats go everywhere with me…note Max in the background having a drink. 😉

I get my shots, I scratch and cuddle with Ruby a bit, then head inside.
2 hours later, I peek out again…
Ruby’s still laying down.
She’d clearly gotten up and moved, but not far.
But Astrid was laying right next to her.
Okay, well, it was a rough night and the sun was shining…

By 3:30, Ruby still hadn’t gotten up.
Now, it’s not unusual for a horse to sleep lying down. Especially when they feel safe in their home.
But, the *length* of time she was down was worrying me.
More info here:
The Dreaded “Down” Horse

Out I went again…she wasn’t in any distress.
Her temp and heart rate were normal.
And she enjoyed the scratches behind her ears I gave her.
It was also getting close to equine dinner time.
At their supper, they get a pail of beet pulp, with alfalfa cubes and ground flax.
So I thought to myself, “Self…if this bitch don’t get up when the dinner pails come out, we’re gonna have to call Dr. Neil”
“Ah, shit” I said to myself “That’s gonna suck if we have to call him…but if we have to, we have to…”

And then…

10 minutes later, Hubby pulls into the drive.
I step out onto the deck, to get him up to speed on said painted moron’s condition and what do I see??
Madam Walking Stomach, on her feet, wandering over to where the dinner pails get hung up.

Halle-freakin’-llujah!!

So yeah.
Like I said Saturday…
She worried the hell out of me, but it all turned out just fine.
The big donkey pants was just enjoying a nice long, warm nap in the sunshine.
Still, I gave her an extra little gift of a few minty Tums, just to be sure.
😉

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Gift.

Capture 52 Week 9 ~ Pets

As I wandered out to pasture to take pictures of Astrid napping, my faithful feline companion joined me on my trek.

Here MaxCat takes a moment to look around and decide if it’s safe for his Food Lady (me) to proceed.

Sharing with for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, Image-in-ing, and bethere2day
and
Create with Joy for Inspire Me Monday

I know I missed last week’s Capture52 prompt Bucket List.
I’m still working on that one and will post it asap.
🙂

Feline Friday ~ The Outdoor Boys

Last Feline Friday I shared about our outdoor girls.
This week, the outdoor boys.

There was a time we had over 20 outdoor cats.
There were so many kittens.
Too many kittens.
And then I spent a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time and got the entire Marauding Hoarde fixed.

Now we’re down to 5 outdoors.
The 3 girls, and these 2 boys…

❤ Max ❤

Max has been here the longest of all our outdoor felines, coming up on his 7th year with us, come this Fall.
He came to us through the local humane society’s barn buddy program.
He was, apparently, not a good fit as an indoor cat.
But as an outdoor, who rules the garage and the deck, he fits perfectly.

Oh the joy of a roll in fresh dirt at sunrise!!

He loves to sit on the deck with us for bbq’s and sometimes even cuddles.
He drools like crazy when he purrs…which is why we tend to pet him on the ground, instead of picking him up a lot.
lol
He has also learned that he’s not a good goose hunter.
Thankfully, he only needed that lesson once…

Unlike Trouble.
*sigh*
Oh, our TroubleCat…

Born and raised a Midnight Calico Farm cat, this guy tried to take on an eagle as a kitten.
🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️
Thankfully, that eagle just gave him a look of righteous haughty derision.

And then there were the goose hunting tries.
Jeebus.
Do you know how big of a hole a Canada goose can put in a cat???
Trust me, it’s a big one.
And it’s a wound we treated on Trouble a half dozen times.
He’s tenacious for sure.

Just when we thought we’d lost him to a coyote, he reappeared during one of the worst ice storms our province has seen.
Hubby had gone to the garage to feed the cats and when he shook the pail of food, he heard meowing from the roof.
Looking up into the ceiling, he found our boy, scraggly and a bit thin but happy to see a human.

And Trouble has been Home since.
He really is the King of the Midnight Calico Farm Cats.

Long live the King.

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Feline Friday.

Good Morning!!

It’s been a crazy week again.

Finally finished canning that 300lbs of tomatoes.
With a final count of:

39 quarts whole tomatoes
19 quarts basic tomato sauce
78 pints basic tomato sauce
13 pints pizza sauce
11 half pints pizza sauce
and
4 1/2 gallons tomato juice (to add to green tomato wine)
2 lbs of skins to dehydrate

Plus roughly 4 ice cream pails (gallon sized) of seeds and skins that the pigs loved.

It’s been a big push to get it all done before anything started to go bad.
But now it’s done and on the shelf. Yay!
I think we should be ok for tomato products this winter…though I bet we’ll run out of pizza sauce first.
Just a feeling I have. 😉

Next up, apples!

Our odyssey apple tree gave us some big, beautiful apples this year.
Not many…by the time the wind was done, and I had a couple to taste test, we had 8 apples left.
But still. That was our first on Farm grown apples and they were sooooo good! 🙂

Since we didn’t have enough for a batch of wine, I put out a call on Facebook for anyone who has a tree, but isn’t going to use the apples, to let us come pick.
Well, friend of a friend got a hold of me and told me she’ll pick out her tree for a couple bottles of wine in return.
DONE!!
So now I’ve got 50ish lbs of apples to process and start a batch of wine with.
Last year’s apple wine was **amazing** so I’m hoping to replicate that this year.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yesterday life changed for the remaining birds from the original hatch of 18.
We kicked them out of the coop they were living in.
They’ve been running with the bigger chickens all day for the past few weeks. It was time to get them integrated into the main coop for overnights as well. So when we let them out yesterday, we closed thier coop back up so they couldn’t go to bed there last night.
When we went to put everyone to bed, we found this clump of chickens, with their protective brown duck mama, cuddled up in a corner under a shade over hang.
*Not* a safe place to spend the night, for sure!
So we had to pick everyone up and take them to the main coop and put them in for the night.
The whole time the brown duck mama was kvetching at Hubby for stealing her “babies”.
😂😂😂

This morning, when we opened them up, those poor little chickens didn’t want to come out.
Everyone else, the layers, the rooster, the ducks, they all come boiling out like crazed wasps to get the to food…not these guys. They were so unsure of coming out. lol
They’ll get it. It’s just going to take a day or two.

So now, the 2nd hatch 17 are in the meat chicken house, with more space and a small yard for them to enjoy.
They’ll stay there for a couple of weeks before we let them run free with all the bigger chickens.
And then we’ll integrate them into the main coop too.
By the time Fall hits hard and stays, we’ll know better who’s a hen, and who’s a rooster.
We’re planning on keeping 1 rooster to go with The Highlander, and the rest, well, they’ll go to Sausage Maker’s Camp.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, I did manage to get out at sunrise and take some new pics of the horses.
And this adorable one of my photography helper, MaxCat:


Have a great week folks, and if you liked this post, or any other, feel free to buy me a coffee!

Feline Friday and Being MIA

First, for Feline Friday, a picture of my MaxCat.
Following me around the farm yard, singing me the Song of His People…for no other reason than because he can. 🙂

Every Farm should have a handsome orange tabby, IMO.

And, I’ve been down with the back-to-school plague.
I ain’t blaming The Kid for this one.
Hubby brought it home before she even started back…and then he shared the plague gift with all of us.
Kiddo even missed 4 days of school because of it.
Her and I were both so sick, between the 2 of us, there’s been a total of 3 cups of coffee drank this week.
Sheesh!
That’s just plain crazy.

But, we’re all slowly getting back to health, and now we have to catch up on the things that we let slide while being sick…
So, enjoy this sunrise shot of Ruby from this morning.
Ima go have another cup of tea and do some work.

Uncle Max

Just a portrait of Uncle Max sitting in the sun on the deck…

Max ❤

Max was our very first animal addition to Midnight Calico Farm.
He’s helped raise kittens and Daphne.
He’s the mascot for the pumpkin wine labels.
He’s a spoiled, pampered boy who loves Farm life.
And sticking his feet in my coffee.
😉

Sharing a day late with Comedy Plus for Feline Friday on Caturday.

Pumpkin Wine

I started my first batch of pumpkin wine back on November 5th, 2017.
I bottled it this past weekend.

I’ve had a few people ask about the recipe I used, so I figured I’d share it here, with my review of the bottled product. 🙂

I’m going to assume anyone who’s looking for a pumpkin wine recipe has basic wine making knowledge. If not, trust me, Google is your friend.

Pumpkin Wine

20 lbs of pumpkin
~ I weighed my pumpkin after gutting and cubing. Then, I roasted it to bring out the sugary goodness of flavours.
I also used a pumpkin I like the flavour of…don’t use one of those watery jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Use something like a pie pumpkin, with lots of natural sugars.

10 lbs of white sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphate
1 tsp tannin (optional…I figured I’d try it)
Water to 23 liters
Yeast

Now, I used a mesh bag for my pumpkin, which makes racking out of the primary so much easier…and cleaner.
I also added the water *before* putting the bag of pumpkin in…so know that you are going to need a bigger than 25 liter pail to start, because once that pumpkin goes in, the liquid level rises.
A.
Lot.
My starting gravity was 1.070 and it finished fermenting at .990
When I racked to the carboy I added 2 cinnamon sticks.
I could have added more, but I wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be.
I could have doubled the amount easy, or even added 1 stick per gallon.
I also think adding some ginger, either in the primary, in the secondary, or both, would have been beneficial.
I may try that in another batch.
When all was done, I stabilized and back sweetened with 2 cups of sugar.
This, of course, is done to taste, so it takes trial and error with smaller amounts and then…math to know how much to put in the big batch. 😉

So, after months of waiting to get to the end product going into bottles, and finally getting a good taste of the wine, what did I think of my pumpkin wine?

This:

Pumpkin wine review…

Now, keep in mind, I like a strong, bold flavored wine. Typically reds and heavy on fruit flavors.
This pumpkin is…interesting.
It’s a white. It’s beautiful. Clear and just plain pretty to look at.
The scent?
Again, not being a white wine person, I find it off putting.
But, there are very few store-bought whites that I like the scent of. In fact, right now, I can’t think of any, sooooo….yeah.
The flavor is nice. It’s not sharp, it’s smooth with a nice finish.
I didn’t back sweeten it as much as I would a raspberry or a blueberry, so it’s drier than I normally drink, but that’s because I found it cloying with as much sugar as I’d normally use.
The flavour doesn’t say “pumpkin” to me, but there is the barest hint of cinnamon to it (I added several cinnamon sticks in the secondary) which makes it interesting.

All in all, it’s not bad.
It’s not, however, one I would personally rave about.
It’s not a green tomato wine, to be sure. 😉
But, anyone who likes a semi dry white, I think will really enjoy this.

Now, that said, would I make it again?
Yes.
But I would tweak it.
Add in more cinnamon, leave out the tannin (not sure it brings much to a white wine anyways), add some fresh ginger, and then I’d back sweeten with a fruit syrup or juice instead of just plain sugar. Something that adds a little more flavour to the party.

All in all, I’m glad I made it.
It’s not a favorite, but it’s a good recipe to play with to find what, exactly, I like.
Besides, how can you not love this label??

Arrrr!!
Cap’n Max says this wine is his!!