Monday Morning Roundup~Aug. 27th

So, I fell off the face of the earth for a bit there.
Mostly because I’ve been busy.
Y’see, the garden is producing, and someone has to put it up for the winter…because, yes, winter is coming.

I pulled out the pressure canner.
If you heard an excited, high pitched “Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!” last week, well, that was me.
πŸ™‚

It’s been 5 far too long years since I put food in jars for the shelves.
This year, I was determined to get back at it.
And I have!
So far, just green beans, but today I’ve got potatoes going into the canner, and once we butcher the meaties, I’ll be using backs and scraps for home-grown chicken soup.
And, I need to send Hubby to the mushroom farm, because one can never have enough home canned mushrooms!
Then, there’s kidney beans, and chick peas and pork and beans to make…

I’ve missed this.
Back when we were in the city, it was a normal year for me to put up 400 or so jars of food a year.
I want to surpass that out here!
I feel like, I have all this space to grow stuff, I need to be better prepared for life’s little bumps and bruises that slow us down on the way.
That mindset got lost for a little while, but now, I’m back to it…and it feels soooooo good!

The past week, I’ve also been tending to the wines.
I finally got my blueberry/pomegranate kit bottled.
The 2nd round of green tomato (which is likely going to end up a blush wine instead of a white this time) has been stabilized and is now clearing. It is so tasty. Still young, so a bit fiery, but the first one was the same way. With a little age, it turned into a stunningly good wine.

And then, Hubby brought home 50lbs of apples someone gave him at work. Not deadfall, lovely hand-picked eating apples.
So I started a batch of apple wine…because hey, free fruit? Yeah, I’ll ferment that!

And then there’s the planning for next year’s garden. Already.
In the next month or two, it’ll be time to get the fall garlic in.
I’m thinking about what worked this year, what didn’t work, and what we need to grow more of next year.
Plus, there’s that darn fence to get done!
So much to do, so little time to do it.
lol

Now, for those who have been wondering…

Our Sable.
❀

She’s been off the previcox for 2 weeks now.
I keep saying this…we are cautiously and quietly optimistic.
She’s eating very well, she’s gained back the weight she lost during her sickness, and she’s still getting a flax cookie daily…because she loves them and we love her.
❀

That’s all the news for today…
It doesn’t sound like I’ve been all that busy when I write it here, but I’m going from before sunrise until well after sunset, so I’m either spinning my wheels or maybe I might be getting somewhere.
I’ll let you know.
πŸ˜‰

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Awww Mondays.

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Catching y’all up…

I’ve been working on writing this post now for a few days…
There seems to be so much going on, that I don’t know where to start, or how to put things into words.
And yet, its typical summer time things…

Weed/water the garden
Care for the animals
Cut, rake, bale hay
Clean the house
Make the meals
Clean the kitchen
Start again the next day…

I’m finding myself exhausted before the day even begins.
And I’m trying really hard *not* to whine about it.
Which is a huge part of why writing this post has sat and sat and sat…

I am very happy to share that the garden is on track to produce the best crop this year.
We should have a bumper crop of bush beans, if flowers are any indication.
There are crazy amounts of flowers on the zucchini…I’m so excited for a lot of zucchini. I think I’m probably the only person in the world who *hopes* for a huge zucchini crop.
I love it in everything. And now, I’ve found a pickle recipe that uses zucs instead of cukes! I so want to try that!

Daily watering has made a huge difference.
That’s something I struggle with, because we haven’t yet fixed the hose tap on the house, so we’re running a hose from the yard hydrant over by the garage.
That’s a couple hundred feet…and my hose is holy.
OMG
That sounds like a terrible country song!!

“Waterin’ ma garden
With a holy hose
I’m waterin’ more weeds
Than ma tomatoes”

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Point is…I need a new hose. Or a few to put together, that won’t water the weeds while I’m trying to water the food forest.

Oh and we had a heat wave the last week or so…
It was hotter than…well, it was hot.
We lost almost half of our meat chicks.
Talk about frustration.
These guys are supposed to be our winter food, but if I lose them early, it makes it so much harder to get enough put up to feed everyone through to next year.
I did contact the hatchery and had a good chat with the owner, who gave me some tips for next time.
Fingers crossed that all grow well for us now!

Sable is feeling much better!
Though I’ll tell you, she’s probably so sick of me by now.
I’m all over her ever day to make sure she’s feeling better.
I have been so worried about her…let me tell you, lose one and it breaks your confidence. Or, at least it did mine.
So, I’m trying not to be a pain in the Vet’s ass, while still trying to make sure that our Cinder-Bella is healthy.
Add into that my ridiculous anxiety about making phone calls…sweet merciful crap, now *that’s* a pain in the ass!
Like when we finished Sable’s shots, and we found she was losing skin in spots…I had to call and find out if this was a side effect of the drugs, or was this something else.
Then, we found the same thing going on with Ruby on her chest.
Turns out, it was reactions to horsefly bites.
Something I should have recognized, and been able to handle without a vet call, but I panicked.
Jeez, I’ve always prided myself on not being “that owner” who calls over every little thing…yet, here I am.

But, the good thing about the Girl’s skin…
I did a betadine scrub on them, to clean up the loose skin, coated them in SWAT (to protect from the damn bugs) and now everyone is good again.
All the hair has grown back in.
So I’m lighting daily smudges, as the wind allows.
That’s the only thing that’s effectively combating the stupid horse flies. That layer of smoke on the mare’s coats gives them a couple of hours protection after they leave the safety of the smudge smoke.

I did get a chance to photograph a lovely prairie sunset the other day:

See the mares at the bottom?
❀

So, y’know, I’m trying to focus on the beauty and splendor of country living, instead of whining all the time.
LOL
Sometimes though, it feels like all I’m doing is whining.
πŸ˜‰

Soon enough, harvest will happen.
*Then* I’ll whine, out loud, often and with gusto.
As we put chickens and pigs in the freezer, I pull out the pressure canner for veggies, and tomato products, and with a whole lotta Bambi Dancing luck, we get a deer or two to add to the freezer.
Then I’ll be whiney and tired, more than I am now, and I’ll be longing for the quite days of hay, weeding and watering.

Winter is coming.

Stupid Wind

Yesterday, before I wheeled a whole bunch of straw over to the poultry yard for the poultry to enjoy sifting through, I dug out a whole bunch of paths through the (no lie) 5 foot snow drifts.

Today, the south wind is happily working to fill in those paths that I so nicely dug out yesterday.
I’m grumpy about it.
Stupid wind.

Next week though, we’re looking at some above zero temperatures.
That will help the grumpiness.
I’m thinking I may start my tomatoes seeds here too. Just because our growing season can be rather short, so the bigger and stronger my tomatoes are before going out to the garden, the better.
It certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a shot. I mean, if it doesn’t work out, I’m no worse off than if I forgot to water my seedlings and they all died…because that’s never happened here. Ever. *rolls eyes*

It that a rare snowy mountain cat?? Nah, just my lovely Ghost out for a wander in the pasture. πŸ˜‰

I wish spring would hurry up and get here…

Constant

If there is only one constant in Farm life it is that there is always work to do.

Doesn’t matter the season.
Work on the Farm never ends.
Today, I working on a few different things…

1. Working on getting the library sorted out so I can get the seed starting stand brought upstairs.
See, my problem with it being in the basement is I forget about the seedlings. So they don’t get watered nearly enough, and they all too often die. Last year, I started seeds 3 times…LOL!!
This year, I hope to only start them once. πŸ˜‰
The library is a big job though…

2. I’m starting my pepper seeds.
If I wait until the library is done, it will be too late to start peppers. They take a long time to germinate, and they grow slower than tomatoes.
So, it’s time.
I have a hanging lamp over one of the shorter bookcases in the library where the tray will sit until the work is done. Then the tray can sit on top the plant stand, while the tomatoes get going under the lights on the shelves.

3. Editing pictures.
Because thousands of pictures on the hard drives/flash drives.
And, because I’ve been out taking more images lately.
It’s taken some time (14 weeks, yesterday) for me to come close to feeling normal enough to not fall apart grabbing the camera and going out into the pasture.
Now, when the smallest urge tickles me, I’m trying to go with it. Encouraging myself to let the camera take me where it wants to go, encouraging the healing process.

This is what drew me out to the pasture yesterday:

Napping in the sunshine…

“I know you’re there, Food Lady.
I also know you don’t have cookies, so I ain’t movin'”
~ Ruby

Lol!
Fine by me. I didn’t want her to move. πŸ˜‰

And then there’s this one…because yesterday my Kid turned 17.
*sigh*
Things that make a woman feel old…
Grey in her own hair, greying muzzles on beloved animals, and Kids growing up.

Kid and her Sable ❀

Sharing with Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.

Compromise

In the cold sunrise, I said to Ruby “I would like to take a picture of you with your winter mascara. Could you give me one of those Noble Horse Posesβ„’?”

Ruby said “Listen Food Lady, without a horse cookie, I ain’t doing nothin’.”

I said “I don’t have any horse cookies, and I’m just going to take your picture anyways…”

Ruby said “Huh. Rude human.”

So, we compromised.
I took her picture.
Ruby stuck her tongue out at me.
And she did get her cookie. I just had to go up to the house to get her one. πŸ™‚


Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader for Sparks:20

Snowflakes

We have had some wild winds this week.
Cold, windy…makes a girl want to hibernate.
Oh, but yesterday, the winds died down for while, and we had a little bit of snowfall.
In fact, winds were quiet enough that we fired up the bbq for the first time in near onto 2 weeks.
That, for us, is a loooong time to not be grilling something. Even in winter!

While I left the Hubby to tend the food, I grabbed my camera (it’s happening more and more ❀ ) and headed off to see the Girls.
See, in a lot of the photography groups, macro shots of snowflakes is all the rage. I’ve done it before:

Snowflakes on Astrid (from 2016)

Snowflakes on Cookie(from 2016)

Last night my best shot was on Sable…who kept turning around to see why I was getting so close to her belly without scratching all the spots that need the scratching.

Snowflake on Sable

The important thing in last night’s image though, isn’t the snowflake.
It’s lovely, but look deeper…beyond that long winter coat, you can see hints of gold in there.
That, my friends, means our Palomino Princess is starting her summertime coat.
Spring is coming!
πŸ™‚

I Had a Plan…

But, Mother Nature thwarted me once again.
πŸ˜‚

Y’see, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and, even though we humans don’t recognize the “forced to prove how much you love your mate with cash and gifts” day, it can make for fun photo shoots with the horses.
Y’all remember the one with Cookie and the heart on her forehead?

My pretty Valentine.

❀ My Love ❀


Today I had planned on heading out and attempting something similar…
But Mother Nature.
Holy, she’s been a bit of a bitch this year!
While it’s only -9*c, the wind is gusting to 74km/h.
Which means ain’t none of my Girls can manage a decent thought in their heads. Too busy with wind blowing things right out. πŸ˜‰

So, instead, I offer you these shots…

TroubleCat

The look mister gives me when I don’t make with the food fast enough.
LOL!!
He’s so cuddly. πŸ™‚

Peek-a-boo!!
I see you through the willows!

Darn wind blew that poor horse right over.
Again.
πŸ˜‚

Edited to add:
Shared with Awww Mondays at Comedy Plus and Sparks:19 at McGuffy’s Reader.