Almost April

Winter decided to give us one last kick this weekend.
Cold af.
Last night was -24*C.
Brrrrrr!!
So yesterday was a day of adding more straw for the ducks, chickens, and turkeys.
Fat arsed mares got another bale too…they probably could have made Monday, but eating keeps horses warm so we just fed ’em. Mostly because if I blanket the one who needs it most:

Then the other 2 beat the crap out of her because she “doesn’t look right”.
πŸ™„πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ
So we feed them.
It’s easier than trying to separate Sable from the other 2.
The joys of a 3 horse herd.
*sigh*

So my next round of peppers are up.
Well, some of them.
I planted some orange and yellow pepper seeds and some alma paprika seeds.
Paprika seeds aren’t showing yet, but the o/y are up.
Those were freebie seeds out of peppers we got in a Loop pickup.
Birds enjoyed demolishing the peppers and I took a few seeds to try.
You never really know what you’ll get with grocery store saved seeds, but I have the space in the garden so it’s worth the try to grow them.

Friday is tomato seeds starting day.
And some medicinals/flowers.
Since I’m not 100% sold on the whole winter sowing thing (I keep getting told to “trust the process” but my brain says it can’t work…) I want to start some of the more important things inside…like mullein, yarrow, calendula, and bee balm…they’re all for drying, tinctures, and teas for the home apothecary.
And of course, we can never grow too many tomatoes. πŸ˜‰

This past Friday Hubby brought home onion sets for me…

I had complained to him at lunch that I had used my last garden grown red onion for yet another jar of pickled onions 🀀 so clearly I was going to have to grow *more* onions this year. Next thing I knew, he brought me 2 1/2 lbs of onion sets.
As soon as the garden soil is workable, they’ll get planted.
As well as the other cool season crops.

Next week tho…
I’m going to head out front of the house and dig out the raised boxes that have our asparagus and rhubarb in them. In a semi-normal year of snow, they would be poking their heads out right about now. Well, I have 2ish feet of snow sitting on top of them, so I’ll dig them out a bit and let the sun finish the job.
If all grows well, I should have enough rhubarb this year to make a round of wine/shine.
And to share with someone who really likes rhubarb for baking…myself, I’m not a huge fan, but I do like home made alcohol, so…. πŸ˜‰

Slowly but surely, we’re getting there.
Spring is slow af this year, but with the amount of snow, that’s probably for the best.
Either way, spring is coming and we’re so ready for it!
πŸ™‚

21

Today 2 of my very favorite beings on this planet turn 21.
This one:

Sable…who we assigned this day and her age to match her human.
We can only guesstimate both because she did come to us via Rescue who nabbed her at a meat auction.
Vet says we’re pretty darn close on year, so she can share cake with her Girl.

Yup, the other one is our Kid.
Today she turns 21.
No picture of her because she’d punch me 6 ways from Sunday for posting one…and we don’t have an updated shot of her and Sable together since Ma Nature has been kicking our butts.

But, we got through the last blizzard, and we’ll get through today’s.
Then we’ll dig out and go again.

For today though, we’re just gonna celebrate our 2 birthday girls.
πŸ™‚

Oh, and note that there’s a lot more gold on that pretty face up there…that means her summer coat is coming in underneath…spring is coming. When you see gold peeking through the Palomino Princess’s winter coat, spring is on it’s way!

Happy Saturday folks!

Oh Sable…

Remember back in the Fall I said I was harvesting as much of the broadleaf plantain weed/herb on the Farm as I sustainably could?
No?
Okay, here:

Plantain is edible, and the young leaves are delicious in salads.
But the main reason I harvest it is for it’s other, well known, use.
To help cuts/scrapes heal.

I dry it, then when I need it, I powder a leaf or 2 in my mortar and pestle, then mix a small amount of raw honey in until it’s a paste.
Then I clean the booboo and coat it with the (not so tasty) honey concoction.

Today I did my first (and hopefully last) ice cut of the season:

Oh Sable…

Not as bad as some she’s done.
Of course it always looks the worst on the Palomino Princess.
And it’s superficial.
It’s from running through drifts of snow…as I said in the Instagram post above, the skin on horse legs is thin and delicate. And cold is not kind to thin, delicate skin.
It can be cut by the sharp crust of an icy snow drift rather easily.
But with the plantain goo, it heals beautifully.
Which is good because our BellaHazaBooBoo needs that goo far too often.
πŸ˜‰

And, just because this past summer I had 2 plantain plants that I could harvest from, I bought seeds in order to plant some in the medicinal garden.
It’s handy to have on hand for humans as well and equines.

November

Here we are, one of my least favorite months.
I don’t like the turn towards cold.
As I get older, I’m feeling the cold more and more.
And I don’t like it.
It’s also the month that my Cookie died.
So I tend to be a wee bit…emotional.
lol

BUT

As of last night, our winter hay is on the yard.
So, I am over the frickin’ moon grateful for that.
Our Hay Guy is a genuine Good Human.
And in this day and age, those sorts of folks are becoming fewer and harder to find.
But he’s a gooder, just like the people who introduced us to him. πŸ™‚

And we have hay.
So The Merry Mares get to eat.

Next up to get home, straw bales.
We have 6 big rounds waiting for us with the same Farm family we bought Sir Oinks A Lot from.
This weekend we’ll pick those up.
Then we’ll get a couple bags of hay replacer (for those super cold days where the horses need a little extra but oats are too hard for our CinderBella to eat) and our yearly allotment of oats.

Then we’re good for feed for all the animals for a while.
We still have the Loop pickups to supplement and we’re so grateful for those.
A friend has a bunch of pumpkins for us too…which is gonna make the bippies (our bunch of ducklings we bought in late summer) the happiest of happy bippies.
Bippies can strip a raw pumpkin down to nothing in 10.2 seconds.
I *love* that I don’t have to cook the pumpkins for them!!
Though, I will cook off a couple to freeze for winter for equines.
Pumpkin is just as good for horse tummies as it is for dogs.

And, we have some nice weather for the next week, so I’m working on the next garden space…
While working on putting the current garden to bed.
It’s all happening, just slowly.
This nice weather has been awesome for our heat bill…since I haven’t turned the heat on yet.
Tonight is gonna be out coldest night of the week, so extra blankets and sweaters and slippers and we’ll be just fine. Even if I complain about it. πŸ˜‰
Not that complaining will do any good.
Winter is coming.
I’ll just have to deal with it.

The Most Exhausting Time of the Year

This weekend we’re running our first Rooster Rehab of the year.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Exhausting is the correct word for it.
But my first and second hatches have resulted in 28 roos currently in the bachelor pen, with a few extra wandering with the cornish meat birds…oh, it’s time for the 28 to go Camping.

Somehow, after a huge Loop pickup last week that has stuffed our 2nd fridge to bursting while the birbs, cats and Daphne have been eating like Kings and Queens all week, I have to find space to let the roosters we process rest for a day or two before parting for the freezer.
Lady Bless, I think I need a 3rd fridge for birb feed!

But, I’m sure not complaining!
The animals are loving this extra feed, and I’m loving keeping the food out of the landfill.

The funniest thing though, has been the turkeys with their watermelon.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So after they nearly killed me for strawberries and raspberries, I really thought watermelon would be just as exciting.
I mean, how could it not be, right?
Well…as it turns out, watermelons are terrifying.
The turkey are beyond sure that it wants to kill them.
They circled it for a few days and decided “Nope, not eating that”
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Scroll through ^^^ so you can see how wary the turkeys were of that killer melon.
OMG.
I’ve never seen anything like it.
I ended up shoveling it up and giving it to the chickens…who demolished it in seconds.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anyways, I still have a bunch of produce and breads to dole out to the birds, and because it’s been sooooo hot, I have it stuffed into the spare fridge…where birds need to rest after butchering.
It’s a good problem to have, having more food than space.
Just means that the birds will be eating more produce this weekend, so I can fit Freezer Campers in for a bit.

One of the other things we were given last pickup is honey.
Honey doesn’t go bad, but, in order to sell it in stores, it does get an expiry date, and stores can’t sell it past that date.
I, however, can still use the amazing containers of raw unpasteurized manuka honey we were given for our Palomino Princess. Y’see, honey is what I use for any cuts, scrapes, and booboos on our mare.
See the link below for why:

Honey in wound care

It’s perfect for healing those wounds without any scarring.
Thank goodness, or our Girl would be one big walking scar!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

The other type of honey we were given is golden paste honey, with tumeric in it.
Now this…this is valuable stuff for a horse with arthritis…especially that Girl who has an arthritic tmj which makes eating difficult in some weather conditions.
Golden paste is touted as excellent for treating arthritis in horses, dogs and humans.
Welp, we shall see how our Blonde Girl does on it.
All this honey and it’s perfect for her!
Plus, it’s not in the landfill.
I call that a win-win situation.

In other news, we had found 2 abandoned, don’t know where they hatched, can’t find any sign of their hatching anywhere, ducklings in the duck yard one night this week.
So we brought them inside.
One has since succumbed to injuries (because hens are assholes, and will happily kill baby ducks) but the 2nd is strong and loud. And kinda dumb, because he/she keeps getting their head stuck in the sides of the cage they are in.
So we’ve named him/her Homer.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

This weekend is also “clear out all the old eggs from all the nests we know of” weekend.
It’s late in the season now, and I don’t want any more surprise hatchlings.
Did I tell y’all about the hen who hatched out a clutch of ducklings??
Yeah so there’s 9 week old duckling in the brooder int he Little Red Shed.
*sigh*
So many birbs.
So much potential tastiness.
And 12 the Turkey is sitting on another nest.
I’m taking those away from her too…
No more turkeys this year!
I’ve got a brooder full that hasn’t gotten outdoor time yet because of the damn smoke from the wildfires.
No.
More.
Poults!
(she said with a quiet longing to scoop up the eggs and put them in the incubator)
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

So there we have it…busy af, as usual.
And taking eggs away from birds who want to have babies.
That’s my life right now.

How are the rest of y’all doing?

Oh, plus here’s a picture for Feline Friday:

Maxamillion!

Catch more Feline Friday posts over at Sandee’s place, Comedy Plus.

And have a great weekend folks!
πŸ™‚


Tired

With the excitement of starting up the incubators for the years comes the forgotten knowledge of what the 3 days of hatching is really like…
Exhausting.
Once the first chirp starts, there’s excitement.
Yay, we’ve got chicks!
But then…as more come out of their shells, the *loud* chirping starts.
And the scrabbling, jim jamming around…at all hours.
Then, throw in Daisy Mae, who has to tell me she can hear the chicks in the incubators.
At 2am.
*sigh*
Yes cat, I am aware that there’s birds chirping in the house.
Quite. Aware.
Thankyouverymuch.

So here we are on day 2 of hatching, running low on sleep, just waiting for tomorrow morning when we can take aaaaaallllll da little birbs out to the brooder and start again.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
And so it will go, every 3 weeks from now until the beginning of July.

This…this is what my face looks like right now…”Can I just get a little quiet time for a nap??!?” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

When Plans Go Awry

Happens a lot with equines and cameras.
I had a plan for a photoshoot this past weekend, because our Sable and our Kid both turned 20 on Friday.
Now, keep in mind, my Kid hates having her picture taken.
But I keep saying, at least 1 time a year she has to do a photoshoot of some sort with Sable.
Because she ain’t getting any younger and she’s already retired with arthritis and one day, we’re gonna have to face the worst decision ever.

Until then, though…
Pictures.

So I had a plan (I ain’t sharing what it is yet, because we’re gonna try again).
But then the wind came up, and snowmobilers were zipping up and down the road (can’t blame ’em, it was a lovely day out and their season will be ending soon) and her herd mates were being colossal dinks…

And this is how my plan ended up…note, this was *NOT* a part of my plan.
At.
All.

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Miss prancy dancy pants…

Finally!

We have emerged from the polar vortex!
And I am happy about that.
Boy am I happy about that!
Weather sure has been challenging humans across North America this month.
I feel for those caught up in patterns that they don’t normally deal with.
It’s easy for those of us with cold experience to sit back and say shitty things (please don’t do that, ‘kay?) but the fact is, even we get slammed with hard-to-deal-with weather.
So before you make some joke about Texas or any of the southern States dealing with cold and snow and no power and frozen pipes, remember, “there but for the grace of God go I…”
We just came out of -50*c weather…imagine if we’d lost power!
I can’t even.
So just try to remember to be kind.
That’s it.
Don’t be shitty and be kind.

Today, as I type this, we’re at -13*c.
After the past 2 weeks that positively t-shirt weather.
And I’m thankful for it.
So are the horses, the hens, the turkeys and the ducks…oh and the cats.
It was so bad there for awhile we were feeding jar after jar after jar of wet food to them, just so they had enough.
Normally a 1/2 pint is a good supplement to their kibble.
They went through a case of 12 in 2 days!
But, food keeps furnaces stoked, and wet food helps keep kitties hydrated.
So I feed ’em.
πŸ™‚
But it also means we’re running low on homemade cat food, so Hubby went and bought a few big cans to have on hand, just in case.
And come fall, I’ll just do a few extra jars, bigger jars, to make sure everyone has enough.

Meat birds are ordered.
I added an extra 25 meat chickens, so we’ll be getting 75 chickens and 10 turkey poults.
So. Many. Birds.
Though chicken math means it’s really not more than 12.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
And I’m thinking I might fire up the incubators this weekend.
If I start this weekend, I can get 2 full hatches in before the one hatch that needs to coincide with the arrival of the meat birds.
I ain’t downsizing the amount of birbs I hatch, let me tell ya!!
Hatching out as many as I possibly can.

Hubby brought home the first bag of potting soil yesterday.
And a pouch of fava bean seeds.
I’ve never grown fava beans before, so I had to read up on them.
Turns out the entire plant is edible, so yay for that!
And with today’s trip to the post office, I’ll have the seeds I need to get the garden going as soon as I can.
Whew!
It’s gonna be a lot of beans, tomatoes, carrots, peas and beets this year.
Stuff we eat a lot of, stuff I can a lot of for winter.
As excited as I am to get growing, I’m tired just thinking about the work too.
lol

Ooooh, I told y’all I was pondering extra apple and saskatoons?
Yup, those are ordered too.
The Food Forest is expanding!
And for the last few nights, I’ve having vivid Dreams about cutting hay.
Oh, I can’t *wait* to get scythe in hand and cut hay again!

But for now, I’m just thankful for the warmer weather, that we made it through the coldest snap we’ve had in a very long time, and that Spring is coming.

Our 3 chubby monkeys, who are doing so well this year…even with record breaking cold!

Sharing with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.

Thankful Thursday

Yeah, today is thankful Thursday.
I’m not feeling extremely thankful today though…

It’s cold.
It’s day I-don’t-even-know-any-more of extreme cold warnings. Which means it’s much colder than typical for this time of year.
I guess Mother Nature is catching us up for the nice weather we had back in December and January.
There’s always a cost, right?

So that hay we’ve been doing so well on?
Blowing through a bale every 3ish days.
But mares gotta eat, or they don’t stay warm.
A cold horse in this weather dies.
Not on my fucking watch, if I can help it.
So eating my Merry Mares have been.
And then there’s the waterer…*sigh*
I feel like it’s always something, know what I mean?
The winds were savage for a while, and the damn thing kept freezing over.
And then it froze at the spigot.
That means standing there in the freezing cold, with a hair dryer to thaw it…with 3 toddlers dying of thirst, even though I just brought them buckets of warm water from the house to drink, but they be dyin’ and I be cryin’ because my hands are cold and I’m hopin’ I can get the water running before the hair dryer conks out…
*sigh*
Get horses, she thought…
It’ll be fun, she thought…
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Egg production is waaaaaaay down too.
Where I was getting 50-60 eggs a day, now I’m getting 8. If I’m lucky.
People want eggs.
I don’t have much eggs.
I’m just barely making regulars and that’s because I had some stocked up from last week…but now we’re low because 8 effing eggs a day.
60ish hens.
But they’re eating and drinking and trying to stay warm.
Ain’t so easy even with a heat lamp and deep straw.

Today we found we’d lost a duck baby.
Again it’s the cold.
We can feed ’em, we can make sure there’s fresh water, and draft free coops and heat lamps and damn if some aren’t gonna just die on us anyways.
But ya sure feel like shit when it happens.

And then, just to cap off the craptastic shitstorm that is February, I have to go to the dentist.
While to some that’s not a big deal, for some of us it is.
I have a tooth that has to come out, but need a dentist that won’t make me wear a mask (got that) and will let my Hubby in the room too (can’t do that yet…fuck the govt, because it’s their shit restrictions) because y’all….this woman does not do well without her support person…
So I get to stay living with this fucking thing until the shitty restrictions open up enough that I can have my person in the room while having the dental work done.
Looking at the way the hand wringing from the “experts” is going, that oughta be sometime in 2037.
Think I’ll just tie a string to the tooth, tie the other end to Ruby’s halter and give my girl a big ol’ smack on the bum…that oughta yob that fucker right out of my mouth.
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And if I die, they can list me as a covid death.

I guess I should still be thankful…
My Hubby is still working and is able to get his teeth fixed (thank goodness! he’s had problems with his mouth since I’ve known him).
We have plenty of food in the house.
The house is warm.
We’re still able to share our bounty with those who need it.
All in all, as frustrated and cold and tired as we are, we’re still grateful for all that we have.

But for this weekend, I’m just done.

Here’s a picture of cats…Hobbes in front, Trouble in back.

Sharing with Sandee at Comedy Plus and Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.

πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά

Holy.
Frickin’.
Moly.

I wasn’t kidding when I said this weekend was gonna be cold, but I think Mother Nature done outdid herself!
We are currently sitting at -31*c, feeling like -45*c at 11:30am.
Yikes!
And it’s looking like it’s going to last for a few more days yet.
Gross.

But that’s winter on the prairies in Canada.
Cold. A.F.

The horses have blazed through a bale in 3 days.
Yeah, that’s normally a 8-10 day thing…but they stay warm by eating.
And eating they have been!
Plus they get their daily pail of yummyness…and we’re adding oats too…but of course, our poor CinderBella has problems with her jaw, right?

It ain’t easy being the horse with arthritis in her jaw…poor dear. ❀

So oats don’t really soften in the pail of beet pulp and it’s been getting hard for her to finish her pail before it freezes.
Yeah, it’s that damn cold!
So I’m on the hunt for a complete feed that I can add to her pail for that extra ooomph they need come cold snaps, that’s 1. easy for her to chew/breaks down in the soaking water (beet pulp has to be soaked for horses to eat) b. has no soy or alfalfa in it so I can give it to Astrid too and 3. is economical.
*sigh*
Dietary issues with equines.
That’s my life. lol
I thank Epona for my easy peasy lemon squeezy gimme beer ’cause Ima slightly alcoholic fat girl Ruby.
That painted bitch is so easy to feed and I’m so grateful for that! Whatever feed I find, she’ll eat noooooo problems. πŸ˜‰ ❀

So with this cold, the urge to order the seeds I need for the garden were strong.
Driving me bat crap crazy strong. lol
So I had a discussion with Hubby about using his credit card to place the order…he said “it’s in my wallet…do what you need to do.”
So I did.
But when I logged into West Coast Seeds, I found that half my shopping cart was now sold out.
Which made me panic again.
*sigh*
My brain is so very broken some days.
I grabbed my stack of seed catalogs, and used the πŸ¦†πŸ¦†goooooo! to find someone who had the seeds I wanted.
I finally hit on McKenzie Seeds.
They had everything except for the johnny-jump-ups and the ancho pepper seeds.
Score!
So I ordered what I needed.
Then hit up a local nursery to find my rhubarb…and then made a list of plants from there I want to add to the medicinal garden areas. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Oh and a friend wanted to order from the Prairie Shelterbelt Program, which give us access to a lot of trees for a lot less than local nursery costs…and she asked if I wanted in on the order so that we (along with a few others) could keep admin and shipping costs down.

Done!!

So in May I’ll have 10 Siberian Crabapple trees and 10 saskatoon bushes coming.
I haven’t figured out 100% where I’m putting them yet, but since they’re in the 12″-24″ size range, I can pot them up for a year or two if I have to…
Food forest, here we grow!!

Today Hubby is clearing the driveway.
Hopefully with the crazy stupid winds it won’t blow back in.
Ugh.
The wind really is the worst.
The cold you can work in, but combine the cold with 70km/hr winds?
You just can’t dress warm enough for that.
So he’s just doing a quick pass so that hopefully he can get out in the morning for work.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
We’ll just have to see what happens.

Fuck I hate winter.
I understand and recognize Mother Earth’s need for all of Her seasons, but I don’t have to like this.
This dog however…

This dog and her log love the cold weather…

She’s a special one, this nutcase.
She likes the cold, she likes the snow, she loves her log.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚