On Cussing and Banana Bread

I’m making banana bread today.
I have 4 bananas left from the bag of 17 I bought at Wal-mart last week…yep, you read that right. I bought bananas at Wal-mart.
If you know me even a little bit, you know, when it comes to Wal-mart, I’m not a fan.
I think the quality of their products is lesser (which is why it’s often so cheap) and I don’t like many of their corporate practices.
Oh, and it’s always busy, and I have problems with crowds.

But…

Their clearance section in the produce and bread aisles absolutely rock!!
My point. 17 bananas for $1.
Yeah.
I have 4 left…
I ate 7, 3 went into an angel food cake dessert, and 3 went to the chickens. For $1.
I’m seriously considering clearing out a clearance rack of bananas to make a batch of banana wine.
For today though, it’s going to be a banana bread day. 😉

Last night, I was working on editing my Yule photos.
On New Year’s Day, we finally managed to get decent enough weather that I could make the attempt to create what I was envisioning.
There is this photographer I follow on FB, Aneta Novotna…super talented, gorgeous images of amazingly gorgeous horses…well, she did a shoot with a fjord horse, a christmas tree and a santa hat…it was gorgeous. I mean, I was gushing at the beauty of it. I still am!
And, I really wanted to recreate the idea here at the farm.

Well, instead of an insanely beautiful horse with a perfect tree, I got this:

"Hey Mom, you put apples on the tree??" ~Ruby

“Hey Mom, you put apples on the tree??”
~Ruby

And that’s when the cussing started…

Now, I know cussing is something that bothers some folks. Around here, and well, anywhere there’s livestock, cussing is a way of life.
I don’t mean that every second word is a swear, but there are times that they just come out…kinda like yesterday’s blog post when I said people should just “slow the fuck down”…I know I didn’t *need* to swear, but at the same time, it gets the point across.

Here we have my Hubby on the side of the highway, in the frigid cold, and cars are zooming by, not slowing down, not moving over…guys, that’s my world there! I get it, people are in a hurry, gotta get to work, gotta do this, gotta do that…but 30 seconds to slow up and ease over to the other lane so that the guy stuck on the side of the highway can do what he needs to do and then get home safe isn’t going to end your world. But, if you’re not careful, your actions could end mine. All for the want of 30 extra seconds.
That, my friends, warrants a “slow the fuck down”…
Oh, and he did get the tire changed safely, with the help of my brother, who got up at 4:35am and went out to help him.
He’s a good human, that brother of mine.

And then there’s this silly horse…
Who thought that she should eat that plastic non-apple, and in less than a second, had that thing in her mouth and was trotting away, while I yelled at her “Drop that ball you stupid fucking bitch!!”

Yep. Livestock inspires cussing.

Thankfully, she did drop it when Hubby walked towards her and simple said, low and growly “Ruby…”, and ploop, out came that ball…and into her mouth he went with his hands, to make sure she didn’t have the wire caught in there.
Again, thankfully, she didn’t. Turns out, after reviewing the images (D90 is 4.5 fps) we saw that the wire had come off when Ruby pulled the ball from the tree and flipped back into the snow.
Some frigid digging later and we found that…Yay!
That ended my attempts at a pretty, serene and relaxed, decorated tree photo shoot. 😉

We did leave the trees out in the pasture for the Girls to nibble and play with. They’ve been having fun with that. Hopefully, they’ll do when I can get to my camera. If not, well, I’ll just have to enjoy it for all y’all. 😉

One more shot from the tree attempt:

My Old Ladies...

My Old Ladies…

They were just having a moment, my Old Ladies were. ❤

 

For more images by the talented Aneta Novotna, check out her galleries here.

K is for ‘Kay…I’m Lost!

I thought I had only missed one Alphabe-Thursday post recently.
Nope, turns out I missed two.
I thought we were on J, but instead we’re on K…
‘Kay. Turns out I’m lost.
LOL!

Here’s a whole bunch of pictures I’ve been wanting to share, but haven’t gotten to…enjoy while I go find myself. 😉

Pop up poplars in the pasture.

Pop up poplars in the pasture.

This is in the front pasture, where we’ve closed The Girls out of for the past 3 weeks. In that time, the grass has grown immensely, and these 3 trees have popped up out of nowhere.
The tallest one is about 3 feet tall…gives you an idea of how fast poplars grow! They don’t, however, last as long as a pine or a spruce, so planting more is always a good thing.

Poplar cutting

Poplar cutting

This one is a cutting off a stump of a poplar we had to take down last summer. Unfortunately, it was planted in a less than ideal place…trees near a septic tank is never a good idea!
Well, since we haven’t gotten the stump out yet (I feel like I’ve shared this before…maybe I have? Maybe it was just on Facebook?) these branches started to grow. This one lone cutting survived the marauding horde of kittens.

"I iz kill dis for u, Food Lady"

“I iz kill dis for u, Food Lady”

Helpful little Grey. Killing my trough skimming net.  Hard to skim scum when there are giant kitteh made holes!

Xena Rake Biter

Xena Rake Biter

I have no words to explain what Ms Xena Pena is doing here. lol!

2 black and white ones

2 black and white ones

This is an older shot already…you can see how teeny Felix is. Hubby snapped it with his phone. We were introducing my big black and white one to my small black and white one. Of course, Sable had to see too. 🙂

Catnip

Catnip

Amazingly, with 13 barn cats running around, my catnip has survived this far…next year it will get its own raised bed, with a chicken wire cage around it for protection.

Golden Spice Pear

Golden Spice Pear

Gemini Apple

Gemini Apple

The 2 fruit trees above, Hubby picked up at a pop up greenhouse that was clearing stuff out 1/2 price. He also bought a 3rd, a Prairie Sensation apple. $25 each, and all are over 6 ft tall already!
The ones I bought last spring (this is the 2nd summer here) were 3 ft tall, and I paid $35 each.
So, when Hubby saw these, he jumped at them. They’ll be producing fruit much sooner!

All the pretty colours!

All the pretty colours!

It’s my Equine Rainbow. Makes me smile.

Now a few pictures from Paul and Toosh’s yard…

Poppy

Poppy

Another version of the poppy

Another version of the poppy

Butterfly on Bee Balm

Butterfly on Bee Balm

Can you see who's hiding in there?

Can you see who’s hiding in there?

Oh, hello, Mr Bunny!

Oh, hello, Mr Bunny!

Finally, one of my flowers…I didn’t plant these, the former owner did. I’m just enjoying them. 🙂

Lily

Lily

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

A is for Apple Blossoms

This is the second time I’ve joined in to Alphabe-Thursday, hosted by Jenny Matlock.
I so enjoyed the last round that when Ms Jenny asked if folks wanted another one, I was quite happy to wave my hand in the air and say “Oh, Oh, Oh! Yes, please!!” 🙂

While there was a whole lotta stuff going on out here last week (I’ll fill y’all in on that later on this week), today’s post is just for the letter A.

Apple blossoms. Of the 6 apple trees we planted, 4 have come back this year, and 2 are in bloom already. The other two are just setting leaves, so will likely bloom later.
My Honeycrisp apples, though, don’t look like they made it through the winter. 😦 We’ll leave them for now, just to see if they come ’round, and watch the greenhouse sales. Maybe we can replace them on the cheap near the end of the planting season. Personally, I’d love to get my hands on a couple of the 4 in 1 apple trees. 4 different varieties grafted onto 1 root-stock. Would be awesome!

Odyssey Apple Blossoms2015The apple trees are small, so after the blossoms are done, I’ll hose off any little apples that form. That way, the summer growing period won’t be focused on fruit, but on overall growth.

Apple BlossomI can’t wait until my mini orchard is producing apples and pears!

A is for Apple Blossoms.

Sharing with Alphabe-Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock.

X is for e-X-citement

Yes, I know, I’m stretching it. 😛
Honestly,  I had wanted to go find a xylophone for Sable to play, but…um, that just didn’t happen. I had to get creative with an “x” word then.

The big e-X-citement around here is the installation of the new garden boxes/bed.
Last year, on July 1st, my garden flooded out. We had this insane dump of rain, the pasture was barely visible, the Girls were almost knee deep in water, and my garden (which was already 75% planted) was gone under water.
This year, we resolved to move the garden and build raised beds. Thankfully, Hubby’s work offers up scrap wood for the workers to take home on a rotating basis. He’s brought home much scrap wood! Enough to, with the help of a few pieces in the wood pile that was already here, build 9 3×3 foot beds, plus our main 40×24 foot area.

Whew, it’s been a lot of work getting them done, and our e-X-citement has been installing them.

Several of the raised 3x3 footers...

Several of the raised 3×3 footers…

A few more of them...

A few more of them…

These are placed in between the apple and pear trees. I figure there’s easily enough space in between for beds. I mean, it’s going to be a while before we see fruit of them anyways, why have dead space? Can’t let the horses graze there, they’d just destroy the trees, but, I can grow food there. And the more food I can grow (and put up for the winter), the better.

Augering holes...

Augering holes…

In the “W” post, I showed you one side of the main bed…here’s Hubby using the tractor to dig the holes for the posts. No way are we going to dig them by hand! And really, we have this tool at our disposal, so why not use it?
Once we have the bed in place, I’ll share some pictures of that. 🙂

Of course, with all this going on, it’s bound to attract the attention of the animals. The e-X-citement is just too much for them to resist…

Sable ExcitementSable had to come see what all the noise was about…and then she was disappointed she couldn’t reach the tractor. lol! She has this love affair going on with it…well, she really just wants to chew the paint off. Goober!

Ruby ExcitementThis was all so exciting to Ruby that she had to stop and poop. Hahahaha!!

Sunset CookieCookie was coming over to get a little shedding done…I had the shedding blade in hand to scrape away at who ever wanted it done. Surprisingly (and to my e-X-citement!) Cookie was more than happy to let me get rid of some more of her winter coat.

Astrid No ExcitementAstrid just wanted to eat the green bits coming up.

Ninja DogDaphne had the fun and e-X-citement of being sprayed with the hose, and playing Ninja Dog. That’s where she barks and flips and scrambles out of the way of the water jet…it’s a game she loves to play.

And finally, with the noise and e-X-citement of the tractor making holes, my MaxCat decided that he needed to protect me from the scary, noisy thing.

Lying on my foot.

Lying on my foot.

That’s my Max, he guards me from danger and scary things every chance he gets. 😉

X is for e-X-citement.

Sharing with Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday.

Scavenger Hunt Sunday~October 5th

It’s getting cold out! Well, it’s still on the plus side of the thermometer, but we’re wearing more sweaters indoors, and definitely keeping the slippers on. The Girls are working hard on their winter coats, and everyone is looking plush and fuzzy. Yay! 🙂

We’ve been refilling the shelter with straw more often, and they are happily munching on the fluffed bedding. We use wheat straw-because The Kid is allergic to oats-and The Girls come running to munch while I fluff it in.

This week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday reflects the cooling temperatures. This week’s prompts are Autumn, Leaves, Boots, Hot Beverage and Game.

On to the pictures!

Autumn and Leaves

I used the same picture for both prompts, because my trees are dropping their leaves rapidly, in the cool Autumn air. Cheating? A bit, but I’ll make up for it in the next prompts. 😉

Autumn and LeavesMy lilacs look so bare!

Boots

Both The Kid and I needed new boots…she needed rubber boots, and got a pair she’s been longing to have for a very long time!

No surprise that she'd want these!

No surprise that she’d want these!

Happily, it was an end of season sale and they were marked down 65%.

I needed a decent pair of boots for working with The Girls. Rubber boots don’t offer much in the way of foot protection when a horse steps on you. When we went and looked for The Kid’s boots, I took a look through the work boot dept. I found myself a pair of boots for a paltry $22.49. Marked down from $99! Steel toes and much safer for when our Blonde Girl has a scare from The Paints, and steps on me…happens more often than I am happy about, let me tell you!

I think I should have bought 2 pairs...these have already gotten a ton of use!

I think I should have bought 2 pairs…these have already gotten a ton of use!

Hot Beverage

Some times it’s tea, some times it’s hot chocolate, but 98% of the time, the hot beverage of choice around this farm is coffee. Strong, with lots of cream, and enjoyed immensely on a cool Autumn day.

One of my favorite cups. :)

One of my favorite cups. 🙂

Game

We have a few popular games around here…

Game 1

Chase. Daphne chases the cats, and the cats chase Daphne.

Chase. Daphne chases the cats, and the cats chase Daphne.

Game 2

Making tea. Yup, my horses love to add any vegetation they can to the troughs. Even more fun when Mama has just cleaned them.

Making tea. Yup, my horses love to add any vegetation they can to the troughs. Even more fun when Mama has just cleaned them.

Game 3

Cantering around and kicking up your heels.

Cantering around and kicking up your heels.

Game 4

Follow the Leader! Always a fun game!

Follow the Leader! Always a fun game!

Sharing with Scavenger Hunt Sunday hosted by Ashley Sisk.

Busy Long Weekend

I’ll have to see what I can do to get some pictures for everyone. This weekend was a non-stop workathon.

When we weren’t working with horses-between home and the stable-we were planting trees.

Kid had her riding lesson Saturday, which meant any work I did had to be in hand-I have another pair of slippers to get done for Thursday, so Hubby can deliver on Friday-so I did some beading. Once we dropped off some geranium bulbs to a friend, we headed home, where we had 170 trees staring at us.

Sunday saw us outside all day, planting trees. 60 went in that day, before the rains came, but after we dewormed the Girls.

Deworming went fairly well, all things considered.
Sable was easy peasy. Kid haltered her, Hubby held the lead rope, lifted her head up, and I stuck the tube in the corner of her mouth and fired it in. Done!
Astrid came next, and was almost as good as Sable. 😉 With Sable I didn’t have to hold the halter at all, but, Astrid kept trying to throw her head up and away from the dewormer. I know, it tastes awful, but once it’s done, it’s over for another few months. So, I held her head down to where I could get the tube in, and done she was. 🙂

And then came the paints…what should have been a 10 minute job turned into nearly 45 minutes! Still wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Cookie waited for me to come to her. I had a chunk of apple in one hand and the dewormer in the other. She sniffed the dewormer and snorted, but didn’t walk off (great sign!!), and then, she sniffed that apple! While she sniffed the apple, the tube went into the corner of her mouth, and dewormer went in. Less than 10 minutes of work, and my Girl was done. She did the flehmen response, and walked off.

She never did eat the apple piece. LoL! She did get a few pellets though, to sooth her feelings about the yucky paste Mama put in her mouth. 😉

Oh, but our Ruby. She was having none of this stuff. She sniffed it, she stood still until I put the tube in her mouth, and then, she wheeled and trotted off. It was going downhill fast with her. Honestly, it looked like she wasn’t going to get done…and then, she figured out I had apple bits in my pocket. When she came back to sniff-and mooch-Kid took the syringe of dewormer, and while Ruby thought about the apple I held out to her, Kid shot the paste in. Unfortunately, Ruby pulled her head back, and was able to spit out some of the paste. So, while she didn’t get the full dose, I estimate she got a dose for a 1000 lb horse, as opposed to the 1150-1200 she weighs. When I have the vet out for vaccinations(in the next week or so), I’ll check with him to see if she, and the other 2 rescues, need to be redone in 6-8 weeks. Until then, I’ll watch their poop, to get a rough idea of worm loads.

Yesterday was a fun day too. Sarcasm? Eh, maybe a little.
It was raining pretty hard, but, we had set the fruit trees soaking the night before (bare root stock) and didn’t want to leave them too long. So we planted in the rain. Daphne came out to the big pasture to run, run, RUN!! Oh, and run little puppy did! Unfortunately, she also played zipping back and forth under the barbed wire. On one of her zip throughs, she cut her ear. Daphne didn’t notice…The Kid did, and told Hubby and I. Trying to get wiggle puppy to sit down long enough to check it was near impossible! Kid took her back to the house and crated her.

Once we finished up, we brought Daphne out, layed her down, and cleaned her ear with warm saline. Thankfully, the cut wasn’t as bad as we initially thought. We coated it with antibiotic ointment, gave Puppy a dose of metacam, and sent her back to her kennel to relax and doze.

I’ll reclean, and recoat with ointment today, and make sure she’s on her way to healing. It certainly wasn’t bothering her last night after supper, while she was killing her antler.

Now, we just have to finish up planting the cedars, lilacs and spruce trees…then plant my honeyberries, and wolfberries. Whew! We’ll do that during the week, because next weekend, weather permitting, we have fence posts to put in.

698 of them.
Lucky us.
🙂

Priorities

Being new to this farmstead means there is a lot of things we want to do…A. Lot. I can’t stress that enough…One of the toughest things to do is prioritize what *needs* doing over what I *want* to do.

Like this:
We *need* more fencing. I *want* a finished chicken coop.
We *need* trees planted. I *want* a milk animal.
We *need* to get the attic dealt with-there are condensation issues, and no access panel. Must be fixed before next winter!
I *want* to re-do the bathroom.
We *need* rotational pastures…we *need* to seed the back 70 acres for pasture…we *need* to get a front gate up…we *need* to build a school bus shack…we *need* to get the walk behind snowblower fixed…we *need* the range hood installed…we *need* to clean the horse shelter…we *need* a barn…

I *want* to build straw bale buildings as guest houses, and a sewing hut…I *want* to have an aquaponics set up (Thanks Paul! Your set up has me dreaming and planning!)…I *want* to get stock ready for the summer Farmer’s Market…

I want to win the lottery… 😛
I need to win the lottery… 😛

And so on, and so on…there is so much to do, so little time to do it.

So, how do we decide what needs doing first?

First is fencing. Fencing the back 70 acres is #1, prime job to be done. If nothing else, we have to get the posts in. Pulling wire can come later, but as soon as we can get out on the land, we have to get the posts in. Why is this so important? Remember waaay back in this post I mentioned how we had an issue with a neighbour? That particular person leases the land next to us…he used to lease our land from the former owner. I did not buy this land to lease to a farmer, and while I am sympathetic to someone who loses 70 acres of healthy cropland to grow on, I am not willing to give up my land, my goals, to give that person extra crop land. Not when the property was publicly listed, and the person could have purchased it himself.

So, to be sure that our land is *our land* when fenced, I had a survey done…$1600 later, I have markers telling me exactly where my land is. In order to take advantage of that, fencing has to be done first. Also, I want to be sure there are no “mix ups” with that neighbour, and “accidental” seeding of my land happening. Fencing is the way to do that.

After that, comes trees.

I have 6 apple trees, 4 pears, 14 honeyberry bushes, 2 wolfberry bushes, 5 poplars, 60 white cedars, 40 villosa lilacs, and 50 Colorado spruce trees to plant. Yep, that’s a lot of trees. Obviously, trees are the #2 priority.

Oh, and I have 1 cherry tree, that came from the house in the city, to plant too. 🙂

After that comes the garden. Seed starting happens next weekend. I traditionally start my seeds on Spring Break. Well, that’s next week, and so, it’s time! So many tomatoes to start! Plus the peppers, both sweet ones and hot! With all the snow though, it’s hard to get into the mindset of growing things.

Thankfully, there is a lot of the stuff I can do myself. Like cleaning the horse shelter…plus, once the snow in the pasture melts, the girls won’t insist on being right beside me while I do it.

We are also very blessed with many great friends who have offered to help out with our plans. Thanks to them all…and I hope after this summer, we’re still friends…because I plan to call in every offer I can, to help out. But, I promise to feed everyone really well after each and every work day! 🙂