July 1st

Happy Canada Day!

It’s another warm one here, though no where near as bad as it’s been the past few days.
Last night we got an amazing down pour of rain.
It’s made everything growing perk up a lot.
5 days ago I planted just about 800 bean seeds in the garden.
Whole rows popped up overnight.
I’m so happy to see that!!
Tomatoes and peppers are outside (not planted yet) and came though a-ok.

Only downside is the pressure is killing my head.
I’m sitting in the air conditioning, drinking beer and trying to ignore the migraine trying to rip my head off.
:/

I’m also editing a few pictures I took today.
We popped over to the local horse Rescue to take some shots.
So I’ve got those working, as well as a few of the mares here.
Because how can I take pictures of other horses and not my own?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I’m actually marveling over how well our CinderBella (Sable) is doing this year.
2 years ago at this time she was so sick…we had no idea what was wrong and honest to Dog, I wasn’t sure she was gonna pull through.
I spent many a night praying to Epona for clear guidance on whether to let her go or not.


Thankfully, as we were reaching our financial limit, Epona said “It’s not her time yet, she has more to do for Me” and our sweet mare made an abrupt turn around.
I cannot express how grateful I am for that turn around…to this day, we still don’t know what caused the infection that made her sick, or even where exactly it was…we know she has arthritis in her TMJ, but that shouldn’t/wouldn’t have caused the infection.
Either way, she’s been running at anywhere from 95-100% heathly since.
She is such a special horse and we are so lucky to have her in our lives.
πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Tuesday June 23rd

Like my oh so creative title?
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So I’m a little tired and brain fogged.
It’s all good.
Still working on getting the garden all in.
Thankfully what I’m planting now is root crops so they can go long in the fall without problems.
If carrots and beets catch a hint of frost, it’s no biggie.

So, since my last post…

~ Peas and bean shave popped up in the straw bales.
~ We lost the last 2 turkeys.
~ I got myself on a waiting list for 2 dozen Narragansett turkey eggs. They’re a heritage breed and I figure if’n I can get ’em to hatch,Β  we’ll see about keeping a couple hens and a tom to create a self sustaining flock.
It might work, it might not.
At this point, I’ve only got time, effort and a wee bit of money to lose.
If it works, I’ll have invested less money into the 2 dozen hatching eggs than I lost on the 10 turkey poults who died on me.
~ Tax returns *finally* made it.
~ Hubby got new tires for his truck.
~ I caught up on all the bills.
~ And it looks like this weekend we’re gonna be toting pails of gravel under the deck to stop the asshole chickens from dust bathing right beside the foundation of the house.

😑 😑 😑

Stupid chickens.

~ We also redid the plastic around the garden, with more wood supports to protect it from being shredded by the wind.
~ Finally got hinges to get my gate built and put up too. It’s gonna be a wood gate, painted bright yellow with some silhouettes on it.
~ It’s almost hay time. As in, I just need Hubby to fix the point on the 2nd scythe (it’s longer than the ditch blade I had, but not quite a hay blade…but still, floats through the grass like a dream compared to the ditch blade!) so I can get ‘er done. It’s literally a 2 minute job for him…I just have to remind him. πŸ˜‰
~ I was given an old, well established grape vine to transplant into our food forest.
A friend and her partner wanted to get rid of it, and after some scheduling difficulties, the vine made it here.
So far, so good, it’s putting out shoots *everywhere*…I am hopeful and excited, because it’s apparently been very prolific in it’s previous home.
I’ll give it time to adjust here, then next year I’ll look at doing cutting to make more vines. Grape vines are a grand thing for a wine maker. πŸ™‚
~ Sunday Hubby and I celebrated 23 years of marriage. Together for 27…
~ Yesterday he turned 50.
I think we might be getting a little old. πŸ˜‰
But not so old we can’t do this Farm thing.

So it seems the theme for this summer is going to be the same as the last few dozen…
Winter is coming.
Gotta get the work done.
πŸ˜‰

Here’s a pic of the 3 stooges having a nap in the early morning light:

❀

Have a great day folks, I’m off to get back to work.

Sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Theme
and
Comedy Plus for Happy Tuesday.

Sunday Morning Musings

Sundays are egg washing day.
It happens other days of the week too, but Sunday always seems to be egg washing day.
It’s a constant in my weekly routine that gives me a chance to reflect on the prior week and think about the week ahead.
I have a lot of eggs to wash on Sunday mornings.
lol

This past week was a tough one, mentally.
We’re half way into June and my garden is still not planted.
It’s been so windy (right now, at this exact moment, the wind is gusting to 57km/hr) that to plant my tomatoes and peppers would be certain death for them. And it’s been too windy to move the tarp by myself to plant the rest of the seeds…
So I’ve been frustrated.
But…
Good friends come along and remind me that all things are possible with some determination, hard work and some humility.
So instead of doing more whining, I used a gift to buy the bones of our hoop house.
I may not have it for this year’s garden, but Hubby and I will build it this Fall so that come spring, it’s ready to go.
Enough whining.
More working.

I needed that mindset for the poultry too.
In just a couple of days, our turkey flock dropped to 2.
Now, I’m not sure why.
They weren’t showing signs of blackhead (a poultry disease that kills turkeys, and gamebirds), but were still dropping dead on me.
Frustrating, because I hate losing animals.
Raising them for meat is one thing, random deaths are nothing I want happening.
They were in with the meat chickens and the meaties are thriving.
Eating, drinking, pecking at bugs…

A ton of reading later, I was still at a loss of why my turkeys were dying.
I figured I might as well move them to their own pen and see what happens.
I grabbed one of our compost bins that we got when a friend moved (these make **excellent** poultry houses when needed!!) and put up a chicken wire yard for them. I gave them fresh water with electrolytes and cayenne pepper in it (cayenne is supposed to help with blackhead *if* that’s what was going on) and I gave them the high protein game bird feed they were started on.
Well damn if the little buggers didn’t start gobbling food and water like crazy!!
Could the meaties have been forcing them out of the food?
Could I have had these poor birds starving right in front of my face???
O.M.G.
Needless to say, I am horrified (and ashamed) at the thought… 😦
The one thing I hate more than random animal deaths is knowing *I* failed them.
Fuck. Me.
So as of this morning, they’re doing pretty darn good…lots of eating and drinking, lots of proper looking poops.
And singing!!
Oh, they’re singing again!

Now I know…once they’re ready to be off the heat and have access to outside, turkeys need their own pen.
Otherwise the cornish will eat them out of house and home and the turkeys will fail to thrive and die.
And that is not fucking okay.
But another pen?
This I can do.

Turkey

Lurkey

So fingers crossed these 2 little dudes (dudettes??) do well in their new-to-them-and-only-them home.
Turkeys were supposed to be our “taking a break from pigs, but need more food in the freezer” animals this year.
Clearly that’s not going according to plan.
But y’all know the saying…

Want to hear God laugh? Tell him your plans.

Today though, there is chirping from the incubator.
I have 24 of our mixed flock coloured eggs in there and 24 Ameraucana/Jersey Giant cross eggs in there.
And chirping has begun.
😍

I’ve begun collecting eggs for my next (and last for this year) round of hatching.
24 in the small incubator, 48 in the big one.
Then all we have to do is feed ’em, and let ’em grow until October/November.

Today I have 3 muscovy duck nests in the coop, with 2 being sat on by very broody want-to-be-Mama ducks while the 3rd grows for the next broody hen.

Today I will water the straw bales that I used last year for gardening and hope the beans I planted in them grow.
The bales were still there, they were well conditioned last year and are breaking down and warm inside this year.
I took a leap of Faith and planted hundreds of beans in them.
Beans we were given to feed to the birds, but I did a test grow out over winter and found they made excellent eating green beans for humans.
So I planted a whole bunch of them.
If nothing happens, I lose nothing.
If they grow and produce, I gain a bunch of food.

Today I will get Hubby to help me move the tarp, and I will prep areas for the rest of my seeds.
I may not be able to get the delicate plants in yet, but I can get seeds in.
It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself and do the work.
I’ve had my whiney baby moment(s) and now it’s time to dry the tears and get it done.
Because come the Fall, we’re still going ahead with the garden/food forest expansion.
It has to be done.
This world is too unstable to not have a massive amount of food growing.

Oh, and haying starts next week.
So food for the horses is being put up too…

And this is them mooching grain screenings, thinking they need more food, more grain, more fat.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
There was barely a lick’s worth in the bucket when Hubby let them stick their big heads in there…
But it made them feel good to hoover up the feed.

Monday Morning Round Up ~ May 11th, 2020

Things have been fairly busy on the Farm.

We moved the 43 first hatchers from the brooder to their transitional home in the poultry yard.
They are almost ready to move into the bigger meat chicken house.
That will happen this coming weekend.

We hatched out another 40 some odd chicks…lost a few due to my forgetting to plug the 2nd heat lamp back in.
100% fail on my part.
πŸ˜₯
I haven’t made that mistake again.

We brought home 10 turkey poults on the 28th…

Hello turkey!

Almost a week old here, and nearly a full pound in weight already!

With the turkeys we brought home 50 cornish x meat chickens.
We timed the hatching perfectly, so that the meaties and the turkeys are in the brooder with the hatchers.
We find that meaties learn how to “chicken” from the egg layers so that we don’t have eating/pooping machines. πŸ˜‰
It gives everyone a better life that way.
And the turkeys…
Yeesh.
So much attitude, so ugly they’re cute, and doing very well.
Fingers crossed they continue to grow well.
They’re broad breasted whites, so they’re like the meat chickens of the turkey world.
Bred to grow big, fast.
I’m hoping the do just that.
πŸ™‚

And on May 1st, we refilled the incubators with 64 chicken eggs and 3 duck eggs.
After this hatch, we have 3 more we can squeeze in before our hatching season ends for the year.

Hubby went a did a welding job for a friend.
I tagged along to take pictures.
As usual.

Not so easy to take daytime welding pictures.
I’ve asked him to do some night time ones with scraps so that I can capture the full lightshow.
Looking forward to that.

In other Hubby news, he went back to work today.
His work is set to reopen fully on June 1st.
His dept. is part of the crew getting ready for the regular line workers to be able to do their jobs.
So, they started 3 weeks ahead of everyone else.

I am torn on it.
I wanted him to go back to work, because money. lol
We have a lot of mouths to feed here, several very large ones…running on short income gets hard to do.
But I also enjoyed having him home, working here.
And of course, he gets the call just as things are drying up enough here to be able to work on building projects that need doing.
*sigh*
No surprise.
At the same time, I do also have a bit of anxiety about all this.
It’s hard not to.
6 weeks of doom and gloom and terror tactics used by govt and media to instill fear over SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus will do that to the most sound of mind people…let alone those of us who live with anxiety in the first place.
Hubby has been the one doing the bulk of the supply runs and being in contact with the world at large anyways, so how much I actually need to worry?
I don’t know.
But I am tired.
Tired of being told to stay home to protect others, being told that if I go out I could kill people because no one really knows if they have it or not (hence SchrΓΆdinger’s Virus) and I am tired of the hearty helping of fear created by those who have our “best interests” in mind.
When people are afraid to leave their homes because of what the govt and media are saying, that is straight up using terror tactics to control the public.
No matter how you feel about this virus, that is bullshit.
And I am tired of it.

In garden news, my tomatoes are huge.
Ready to plant.
So are my peppers.
I’ve collected all the seeds I want for this year…
Still need a few more plants though.
The greenhouse in town was open last week, so I made a trip through there.
Bought some extra tomatoes and peppers (because I can never grow enough of either πŸ˜‰ ) and some pansies.
I’ll go back as we get things into the garden and get more of each, plus look for some johnny jump ups (violas) just because they’re edible and they draw pollinators.

I’m still planning the expansion for next spring.
Found a source for the berry shrubs/trees I want to add out there.
Now I’m looking for a large piece of black plastic to create the large permabed area come the fall.
We have a few dairies around us that use silage plastic, so we’ll see if we can take away some from them once they’ve used the bales.

And then before the end of April, I took a few early morning pictures of the horses…because I can.

Ruby shaking off the after effects of a nap.

Sable having a lovely nap in the straw pile.
❀

Ahhh, Tuesday…

Typically, people dislike Mondays.
I have no problems with Mondays.
I kinda dig a nice Monday morning, with hot coffee on the deck watching the sun come up, listening to the mares chew hay (or snore πŸ˜‰ )and hearing the roosters awaken the entire coop with their rambunctious crowing.
Mondays can be cathartic.

Tuesdays though…
Good fricken’ Gods, Tuesdays can bugger off to Hell for all I care.
Tuesdays are a challenge, no matter how much I wish they wouldn’t be.

Today is no different.
I told y’all last week I did the taxes.
Yay!
I tend to do a paper filing because it’s easier for me to go back to the guide as I need to, to make sure I understand what exactly I’m doing.
But that also means mailing in our returns and waiting for the refund(s) from there.
Of course in this difficult time, Canada Revenue Agency is pretty much shut down.
Not so yay.
So here I am, sitting on 3 returns (because The Kid has filed for the first time ever this year) that I need to mail in, and I have no idea when they’ll get around to processing them.
On the CRA website, they say that if you efile online, turn around with direct deposit can be as short as 2 weeks.
Well, we could definitely use the refunds to stop gap the shortages from Hubby’s work being shut down.

I made the attempt, one more time, to run our taxes through an efile program, in the hopes that I can send them in electronically.
Ahhh, but then…Tuesday strikes again!
Keep in mind, I’ve already done the paper work, so I know exactly what the end number should be.
For all of us.
Yeah well, turns out the 2 different programs didn’t recognize the provincial family tax credit, and refused to accept my rental income without a detailed breakdown of input costs and expenses (oh and zero for both wasn’t acceptable, even though it’s bald assed prairie land that I do nothing to except collect the cheque at the end of the farming season from the guy who works it)…
By the time the programs were done, I had wasted 2.5 hours of my life, I had no refund (even though I should have had a small one) and Hubby’s was almost $1k short of what it’s supposed to be.
FFS.
I didn’t even bother trying The Kid’s.

I give up.
I’ll mail them and hope some time before 2021 we see our refunds.
*Someone* is going to have to process paper returns.
I’m not the only person in Canada that sends in paper returns.
I can’t be, right?

In the meantime, here’s a lovely photo of our Sable dozing in the mid day sunshine…

(I’m working on The Streak again…lost it at 91 days…today make 4 days.)

Edited to add:
Can’t mail them, because I don’t have stamps and there’s nobody manning our post office.
Which also means the seeds I ordered?
Sitting there…because the box doesn’t fit into out p.o box.
Oughta do me a whole fucking world of good…next summer.

At least Hubby can mail the returns and the packages that need to go out when he goes to the city for groceries on Friday.
Hopefully.

This is walking the line of fucking ridiculous.
😑

Happy Spring

First day of Spring today.

My pepper seeds are popping up through the soil.
They’re up enough that it was time to turn the lights on.

Tomorrow night we take the turners out of the incubators and they go on lock down until hatching…which should start Sunday/Monday and finish by Wednesday.
Then we’re on a break until the 5th of April.
I’ll fire up the incubators again then, so that hatching will coincide with the delivery date of our meat chicks and turkey poults.
Yup, I’m gonna take the plunge and try raising turkeys this year.
Wish me luck!
lol

I’ve been reading Gabe Brown’s book “From Dirt to Soil” and had a bit of an epiphany when he talked about their personal gardens..

He talks about planting flowers in the food gardens to attract pollinators.
And the light bulb went on for me!
See, I’m a “grow all the foods!!” kinda gal, so I never really paid much attention to flowers.
But it makes sense that flowers to attract pollinators will help increase food crop yields, right?
D’Oh!
And then I started thinking about edible flowers.
Or flowers I can use in soaps.
Or feed to the poultry.
And then it made some sense to plant flowers along side my veggies.

So that’s what I’m planning this year.
I have an abundance of marigold seeds, so I’ll start a bunch of them in a few weeks.
And there will be, of course, sunflowers.
We’ll see what else I can find to add.
Hopefully some violas (johnny-jump-ups) because they re-seed and spread like crazy. And they’re pretty. And tasty too.
I may also let a mint run rampant in the garden too…

I think I’ll also be harvesting our dandelions a little harder this year.
Young greens for salads, older greens for cooking/canning.
Flowers for wine/mead.
Not the roots.
I tried dandelion root coffee once and did not like it.
Besides, digging roots takes away the renewable plant for other uses.
It’s an abundant resource we have, and I’m going to use it.

But for now, it’s just dreams and plans.
We’re still under a bunch of snow and will be for another month at least.

Happy Spring!

Dozing in the sunshine…

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday…because I know how blessed I am to have, not only these resources to use, but the ability to use them.

Sable and the Cats

I swear, I can’t go take pictures in the pasture without a feline escort.
Ever.
I won’t judge the cats…I think they think the Food Lady might be doing something fun.
So they have to come help.
Or, in Max’s case, he feels like he needs to keep me safe. πŸ˜‰
My Max is sweetheart. ❀

The other day, I was out taking pictures of the mares after our windy, snowy night, and as usual…
Well, check the picture out for yourself…

Sable’s having a lovely nap in the warm sun and the cats (Xena sitting, Trouble walking) are keeping us all company.
That’s life on my oddball little Farm.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Feline Friday
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Judge
and
Oak Hill Homestead for the Simple Homestead blog hop.

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 πŸ˜‰ ) and head out for pictures.
I get cats helping, because cats go everywhere with me…note Max in the background having a drink. πŸ˜‰

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.
πŸ˜‰

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

Area 51 North

There’s a teeny place in the middle of Manitoba.
A place where it’s rumored that the aliens have landed.
On more than one occasion.

That’s right, Oak Hammock Marsh, is rumored to be a hotbed of alien activity.

Area 51 North, if you will.

And so when we looked out into our back yard (which may, or may not be, within alien distance to the Marsh) and saw this lovely Palomalien standing there, we had no choice…

The Kid had to go and try to tame the beauty!

It didn’t take long for The Kid to get a leash on her…

A soft voice and quiet hand and that Palomalien was ready for The Kid to touch her face.

Not sure what the leash attached to her meant, The Kid used a cookie to explain to the Palomalien what she wanted her to do…

And when the Palomalien understood, The Kid offered her the sweetest treat yet.
Her very own bright red apple to enjoy!

Oh and enjoy the Palomalien did!!
So much so that she followed The Kid readily to her new shelter.
❀

Another bite of apple to cement the friendship, and the Palomalien was completely smitten with The Kid.
So when The Kid asked her to stand just so…
I jumped at the chance to take a portrait photo of our wonderful new Palomalien.

Never let anyone tell you aliens aren’t real.
We know they are.
We know…
The truth is out there.
In Area 51 North.

Sharing for Thankful Thursday with Brian’s Home.
I am so grateful for our Palomalien.
Not a lot of aliens would be okay with photoshoots like this, but this one?
Oh yeah.
Plus, the Palomalien and The Kid turned 19 and this was their annual birthday photoshoot.
So I’m thankful my Kid was (albeit grudgingly) willing to pose in front of the camera. πŸ˜‰

Also sharing with Word of the Day Challenge for Kick, because holy moly did I get a kick out of doing this shoot.
And the editing.
I swear I giggled like a fool going through the images.
The Palomalien and her Kid are incredibly cute together.

Finally…
Happy 19th birthday to our Old Lady and our Young Lady.
May they have many many more happy years together.
πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

Wordless Wednesday

We’re at the point in the cycle of seasons where the urge to get things going for the coming spring is soooo strong.
And yet, we know that it’s just a wee bit too soon.
Napping in the sunshine is the way to go.
At least until March 1st.
Then…
Then it begins!

Sharing for Wordless Wednesday with Comedy Plus, bethere2day and image-in-ing
and
Word of the Day Challenge for Cycle.