Monday Morning

With a busy week ahead.
This coming weekend, we are sending the first of our 3 piggies to freezer camp. Like the Peepers, we’ll do this ourselves.
While I’ll be sad to see them die, I am looking forward to having more home-grown meat in the freezer.

3 piggie bums...

3 piggie bums…

Once the pigs are all butchered, we’ll spread some cover crop seeds in there, so that when the piglets arrive next spring, there will be some delicious greens growing for them. 🙂

Getting a thoughtful look from Anthony...

Getting a thoughtful look from Anthony…

I also have some sewing repairs that I have to get done before winter…ugh. I put off the zipper replacements too long. Didn’t want to do them while it was blistering hot and now, we’re looking at needing some of the in-between jackets…which, of course, are the ones needing fixing. Surprise!

But, I also want to get a start on getting some fresh pasta noodles in the freezer. At least a couple of bags, before the piggies get in there…I don’t know what kind of room I’m going to have, once the pigs are done. And, there’s fat to render for lard!
I was given some by a couple other friends when they got their pigs done. Mmmmm, lard!
Makes me look forward to bannock and chili in the winter. Nothing better than coming in from freezing your ass off working outside and smelling chili in the crock pot and bannock in the oven.
*drools*

This guy likes bannock and chili too!

This guy likes bannock and chili too!

The outdoor cats will be very happy with the butchering too…like the Peepers, there will be no waste, because what we don’t eat, the cats will. Some we’ll let them binge on, other parts will be ground and frozen in pre-portioned amounts for winter feeding.
That, to me, is a bonus…not only is the Farm feeding the humans, but, we can make raw cat food as well.

Oh you silly hennys!

Oh you silly hennys!

Mondays are “toss a bit more straw down in the coop” day…and then the hennys notice and get all mad at me.
“The hell, Food Lady! You wrecked our home, we must redecorate!”
Keeps them entertained. 😉

And then, there’s the Girls…

Interesting sleeping position...

Interesting sleeping position…

Sable sleeps in the oddest ways.
She stayed like that for a good 10 minutes. I don’t know how it was comfortable. Funny Girl.

Astrid looking lovely as her winter woolies grow in...

Astrid looking lovely as her winter woolies grow in…

Ignore the poop piles in the background. I haven’t had a chance to get out with the wheelbarrow and pick them up yet.
It’s on the list for this week.

And finally…my helper as I lay in the grass taking pictures of the others…

"Hey Mom. Whatcha doing?" ~ Ruby

“Hey Mom. Whatcha doing?” ~ Ruby

Have the very best day y’all can manage, my friends.
I know it’s Monday, and that ain’t always easy.

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!

Right Place at the Right Time

My camera is almost always in hand on the Farm.
If not in hand, close to hand, so that I can capture things that just happen…Spontaneity in photography is a lot of what this blog is about. 😉
Of course, I do miss capturing some things, some times, but still…I catch all the good stuff I can.

Like yesterday…
I went out to take a picture of Anthony Piggie in her blankets:

"What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine..."

“What? I like a blanket while I nap in the sunshine…”

She looks like she needs a good stretch, a scratch and a coffee. LOL!
Kinda how I feel in the mornings…but this was mid-afternoon for her. 😉

To capture that shot, I had to go into the Henny Yard for the right angle. While I was there I checked the waterers and found the hens were needing. I lined them up, turned on the hose, and while I was waiting for things to fill, I did the daily egg hunt. I noticed one henny was still in her nest, but had just stood into the laying stance.
I went for my camera just in time to capture the egg being layed…

Here it comes!

Here it comes!

Egg2

Egg3

And it's out!

And it’s out!

Egg5

And, that’s where eggs come from.
Pretty cool capture, if you ask me. 🙂

6 Days…

When I realized it had been 6 days since my last post, I started singing “6 Days on the Road”…the Sawyer Brown version, just because it’s fun. 😉

Let me catch you up on what’s been going on around here…

Mostly it’s been yard work…still cutting and putting up small bales of hay. I’m getting a cute little pile in the garage. Like I’ve said before, it’s not much, but sometimes, all you need is a little bit of hay to keep an equine face busy while you work with them on other things…or you just need a little hay for them to pick at while the grass grows in spring. That’s what this is for.
It’s handy to have small amounts for those times.

This past weekend it was finally dry enough to get our septic system fully repaired. Thank goodness. That was a hefty, but extremely necessary, repair. And, this should last us many many years…especially since we have a fence around the end unit to protect it so that it can’t be hit with a tractor…which is what happened to the one we had fixed *before* we bought the place. The damage was long-standing and near the frost line, so, realistically, we’re lucky we got 2 1/2 years out of it before needing to have the repairs done.

I’ve been working on edit 3 photos sessions that I need to get done.
1. The demos we watched at Cloverdale Forge.
I’ve shared a few from the set, but I still have 20 or so more to finish up.
2. Jousting. From the same day, we went from the Forge over to the Medieval festival and I have 40 or so images from the jousting to finish.
3. A portrait session I did with a friend from the Stable…this one I want to get done so bad, because the images are **gorgeous** and I can’t wait for her to see them…I gave her this as a teaser shot, but really need to sit down and get the rest done…
KB1 bw wm
And then there are the pictures of the animals here!
For example, I have the following series…animals playing in water…

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Daphne goes all in savage when playing in the hose!

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream fro the hose?

Did you know piggies like to play in the stream from the hose?

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Nigella has a drink from the hose.

Washing her face a bit.

Washing her face a bit.

Rinsing out her mouth...

Rinsing out her mouth…

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day. :)

Just enjoying the cold water on a hot day. 🙂

And Ruby…

"The Hell, Dad!! Don't spray me!!"

“The Hell, Dad!! Don’t spray me!!”

Oh, I told y’all about piggies and bags?
Here’s Nigella having a munching good time:

"My bag."

“My bag.”

"Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy."

“Whut? Pigs like toys. This my toy.”

I missed when the 3 of them each grabbed a piece and started shaking their heads side to side like dogs…oh, it was funny! lol

Another picture of Ruby. Just because she’s pretty. 🙂

Ruby Portrait
Finally, one of Sable and Ruby racing.

<3

Later this week, I’ll share some shots The Kid took of Astrid while I was scratching her back. Astrid really gets into the scratches and back rubs, let me tell you!
I’m also hoping to be able to share some Lawn Pony shots with y’all. When we take Cookie on another excursion into the yard, I’m going to get The Kid to photograph it..
Y’see, Ms Cookie had her very first experience coming out into the yard a couple weeks ago. It was really hard for her. Gates are terrifying, and she was sure she was going to have to go somewhere. She didn’t know where, but she was sure she was leaving. *sigh* Poor damaged horse. lol
When she finally got to go back into the pasture, she darn near lost her shit. Actually, she tried to run me over to get through the gate, which led to a lesson in manners and how to *politely* return to the pasture.
Finally, she figured it out, listen to Mama and you’ll get back there sooner. Act like an ass, and you’re stuck outside the pasture…where something might get her and eat her or take her away. 😉

When she finally did walk back in politely, she waited ’til the gate was closed, spun and went straight backwards until the end of the lead rope. There she half reared and honked like a goose.
I promptly died laughing at her.
She just thought I should know that yard was scary and she could have died. If I really cared about her I wouldn’t make her do that ever again, because “coulda died Mama, I could HAVE DIED!”

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture...AKA The Drama Queen.

Recovering Lawn Pony, back in her pasture…AKA The Drama Queen.

Happy Food Tastes Better

That is the new Farm motto:

Happy Food Tastes Better

We’re keeping “Where horses get a second chance & the humans never give up” as well. We’re just adding on, now that we’re growing meat animals and have laying hennys.

Ihop June to August 2016

Ihop, the day she came home, and last week…

As a quick aside…we had thought we’d lost Ihop when we lost the henny to being egg bound. Nope, turned out to be a different hen, and I found Ihop shuffle-hopping about the henny yard last week. She’s been really good at hiding that shuffle hop when she wants to!

Any ways…
Happy Food Tastes Better expresses in 4 words how we feel about raising food animals.

Peeper having a drink of water.

Peeper having a drink of water.

I am, have always been, and always will be, a firm believer in knowing where your food comes from, and how it is raised. The new motto says that without the long-winded discussions.
Though, I am always happy to talk about knowing your food, knowing your farmer, and creating your own sense of food security. These are things I can talk about for hours!
😀
But, that’s another post for another day.
Today the important thing is this:

Happy Food Tastes Better
We at Midnight Calico Farm are dedicated to growing Happy food.

Nigella Piggie seeing what the Food Lady has brought her.

Nigella Piggie seeing what the Food Lady has brought her. It was a thistle…Nigella Piggie loves thistles. 🙂

 

Gosh It’s Hot

I am not complaining though. Winter will be here soon enough, so I’ll take sunshine and warmth while I can!
How hot is it, you ask?
Hot enough to melt my black barn cat…

What ya doing Felix?

What ya doing Felix?

He’s just hanging around in the pallet that forms the gate to the Henny Yard.

Are ya hot, Felix?

Are ya hot, Felix?

Just a little bit wilty…maybe soaking in some cold water would perk him up. Like lettuce.

"Don't even, Food Lady!"

“Don’t even, Food Lady!”

LOL! Poor boy, finding shade where ever he can, that’s still close to me. 😉

The Henny Witch

The Henny Witch

That’s ^^^^ my Henny Yard Guardian. Hubby brought her home for me one day. I think she’s adorable.

You can see, if you zoom in, there's a spider and web between the Henny Witch's hat and broom.

You can see, if you zoom in, there’s a spider and web between the Henny Witch’s hat and broom.

Oh, and remember I showed you my over grown with weeds garden?

That's my garden...

That’s my garden…

Well, after some time in there with the scythe, a rake and a pitchfork, it now looks like this…

Whoa!! There's actually a garden there!

Whoa!! There’s actually a garden there!

The piggies had mounds and mounds and mounds and mounds of weeds to eat. Still have some left. They burrow down under them in the heat, and then eat their way out. 😉 They’ve packed on a few pounds this week, with all those tasty weeds they’ve been eating.
Mmmmmm, home-grown bacon!

Nigella Piggie after a very much enjoyed forehead scratch.

Nigella Piggie after a very much enjoyed forehead scratch.

Nigella has decided that forehead scratches from the Food Lady are quite enjoyable. She often heaves a big sigh and then sits down to enjoy it. I keep telling her, “Enjoy those scratches, Nigella Piggie. Happy piggies taste so much better!” 🙂

Finally, one last picture for today…

GreyCat stands on the Sasquatch...

GreyCat stands on the Sasquatch…

I don’t know why. She just likes to stand on him. 🙂
She, and all our other girls, have recovered beautifully from their surgeries, and now that baby hormones aren’t in control, are starting to put on some weight. Every one is looking sleek and wonderful…and they’re still hunting like the ravenous velociraptors that they are!