Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny Day

Sometimes you just get a 3 horse pile up under the warm sun.

Busy Sunday

Here is what my Sundays are like. Get up at 7:30am in full winter gear, drive to the stables. Grain, hay and water 20-30 horses, feed the barn cats, crack iced water buckets, put the 100ft hose back into the heated office. Go home, feed and water my 4 horses, 30+ chickens and 2 dogs. Get inside to shower and get ready for church. Drive 1/2 hour away to church. After church visit with friends, go to lunch then go to the grocery. Get back home in the late afternoon. Feed the stable horses again, if needed. Chop wood from our shop,bring wood to the house for the woodstove, move a round bale for our horses, feed our gang again, visit with neighbors, drag our my 200 ft. hose to water my animals, put hose back into the house. Take a 20 minute break waiting for the chickens to come back into the coop. Then count chickens and gather eggs, put up the dogs, make dinner. By then it is late and time for bed. Sundays are the busiest day of the week for me.Whew!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab

Ooo, how I love perfume in all its forms. I stumbled upon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab or BPAL, via Ebay a year ago. I tried some of the used vials for sale there. Who can resist fall and yule scents to wear? Perfume has always been my favorite thing. New scents or natural scents I have to try them at least once. And as I get older my scent choices change. As my sense of smell wanes I choose richer and stronger scents. Roses, carnations, coffee, dew, smoky leather, books are just some of the scents I adore. And BPAL has that and more. I just have to be careful around bees and my flower scents, I get the wrong type of insect attention.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ricochet Smart Peppy Stallion

I got to see this sweet stallion in action at my trainers place. She is just tuning him up. He is for sale if anyone is looking for a 2004 AQUA cow horse stallion. I like his coon tail and sweet temperament. His owners link for more info: Big Iron Ranch.

On Frozen Pond 2011

Here is Alan testing out our pond last week. It was in the teens last week and our pond iced over. However, this week it is almost thawed in the warm up.

Luna Back in the Game

Our farrier came out and took a look at Luna's front feet. She was sensitive to the gravel on her frogs. So he went ahead and put shoes on her front feet. Her feet are fine and she is just being cautious after they got sensitive. She can continue with her training again.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Luna Got Fit

Luna has been at my trainers for 20 days and we got to visit her. She slimmed down nicely as she has been hayed only and worked out most days. Until she turned up lame in the front. Our farrier is coming out this week to see what is causing her lameness. Luna seems happy and was glad to see us. Normally she ignores us. We think she likes to be ridden and having a job other than broodmare.

Dog Tired

Some days even the cat gets dog tired. Poppy is napping next to Hickory and Osa next to the woodstove. All are warm and happy to be indoors even though all three normally live outside 24/7.

A Possum Story

Our neighbor asked if we wanted a cat. See a stray cat has been killing birds in his barn and he wants it gone. So we offered to trap this stray cat for our neighbor and keep it as our barn cat on our farm. So I set up our trap baited with cat food. The next morning I went to see the cat. A cat it wasn't, an angry possum it was. So I tell our neighbor what I caught, he laughed and said it was my possum problem now. He suggested I make it into a pet or something. I offered to release the possum and he said no, take it home. My possum, my problem he said. So I took it home to show Alan and we decided to release the angry possum. We took the cage to an abandoned property and let it go free. The possum ran out then stopped sniffed the air and high tailed it back in the direction of my neighbors property. I guess that is home for him. We never did catch that barn cat. Oh and trapped possum leave very stinky presents in a cage. It took a long time in the cold to get the possum pooh out of the cage, away from my horses. Possum carry a protozoa that affects horses called EPM or Equine Protosoal Myeloencephalitis.

Great Hippos

I found a funny artist who paints hippos very well. Leslie Sealy captures the hippo as the possible mount in art history humor. Here is her website:
She has a real talent for this MAD type of art for hippos.

Friday, January 21, 2011

EW no more

EW is Entertainment Weekly Magazine. I have been a subscriber since the 1980's. I can't stand how useless it has become. For one thing, we don't have TV so half the info is useless, not their fault. But now they have filed the magazine with drug ads like a Readers Digest. The rest of the magazine contains large photos and hardly any words, most refer to "on-line for more info".
EW online is great if you have high speed band width. Out in the Ozarks, we are still using dixie cups with strings thanks to Century Link keeping us in the dark ages.
The magazine has become old, tired and lost its audience, the multi-media consumer i.e. -me!
So I am donating my EW's to the Senior Center where they belong. I am cancelling my subscription after almost 20 years. I will have to seek out my own sources for new music, books and movies; but at least I won't have to flip through drug ads doing so. A magazine should not make you feel old while reading it. Bye Bye EW you won't be missed in my mailbox.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Upside Down Maple

Being sick and trudging out into the snow is hard enough. Harder still is when you have a horse on her back in the stall. Maple our 8 month old weanling fell asleep against the stall wall. She was on her side unable to roll over to get up. I got back to house and had Alan come and lend a hand. He calmly stood by her head and tucked her front legs and rolled her over. No ropes, no pulling just horse weight all rolled over and up again. And there stood a feisty know it all Maple again.
This photo is a summer shot of Maple and the stall before hay was added for the winter.
Horses can do silly things even in large open and cushy stalls. Maple is running all around in the snow and pretending nothing silly happened.

Snow Zombies

Today Alan and I are taking turns napping, feeding the animals and trying to get over the flu. I can't sleep at night, fluid in the lungs and coughing. During the day it feels like we have helmets over our heads, hard to hear, we have no energy to do anything. We are snowed in and just do not have the strength to go outside to plow the drive. I was able to go outside to feed our horses, it took a while.
Though we are sick inside, the snow has fallen and the world outside is quiet and peaceful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flu Zombie

On Monday I was a ball of pain, in bed trying to rest. But my head pounded like an anvil and a gorilla and I got no help from meds. On Tuesday I was at least upright and doing far chores. Today I am a phlegm coughing zombie with no energy, but chores are done. Now my husband is a flu zombie trying to survive the onslaught of illness. At least we have meds, fluids and each other. Only if the farm could feed itself on these type of days. We are doing the right thing by keeping away from other people and not spreading the bug around. Hope to get well soon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ah Quilts I have made

It is fun going through my old digital photos to see what I have made. Out of all of these I only have the yellow and blue scrappy top still. I hope to add enough border to make into a king quilt. It started out as a round robin for myself of scraps. It just got bigger as time passed.
All the rest have been gifts, jobs or donation quilts. I think it would be fun to make a cowboy/boot quilt next.

Fussy Cut Quilt

Here is a quilt I rarely do, fussy cutting. Where you cut out particular shapes from the various parts of the fabric, a lot of waste. This was a half yard of frogs fabric, I cut just the frogs from. I was never going to use the fabric in its entirety, too busy. But set off with these colors it focuses the frogs well. I am having fun going through all the quilts I have made in the previous years. Just never took the time to review.

A Little Quilting

A lot of friends are using the wintertime to clean house or organize, like me. One thing I get asked a lot is what can you do with small pieces of scrap fabrics? Most people throw them away but I save them. You'd be surprised how easily a quilt can be made from small scraps of fabric. This blue 9 patch is really a set of 2 throw sized quilts and 2 pillows. The key is to fill in with even more scraps. That is what our quilters in the past used to do. Fabric is now almost $10 a yard. Might as well use what we have and make the most from it. The nice thing is that these scrappy quilts are a great to give warmth to anyone in need.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Food and Your Health

Since moving to the Ozarks and having a farm we have become educated in what our food has changed into. Though we were city folk and shopped in grocery stores, that has become an unhealthy and dangerous thing to do. Too many foods today are filled with unregulated and undisclosed ingredients that can harm you. I could rant all day about this topic, but many friends or family are apathetic, lazy or too scared to open their eyes to the truth.
People feel our government would never allow harmful stuff into our foods, air, water - but it does. And becoming an organic farmer has become an illegal thing to do, yes I said illegal. Seed saving- you are talking serious crime. All I can do is post the links, "teach a man how to fish...".
At least some fellow bloggers are catching onto the truth.
Here are some food links:

What am I doing? Growing a garden. Was it hard to do, yes at first. I got dirty, things don't grow, bugs are tough. But we got peaches, blueberries, lettuce, yams, potatoes, tomatoes and I got to can my own harvest. I am thankful for the knowledge, strength and bounty from this new healthy way of living. Oh and I used to have a 6 x 6 garden in the heart of the city year round, it can be done people.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Almost Easter?

It almost feels like springtime and Easter if there is a bunny and eggs, right? This is Rose getting her walk outside to nibble and explore the "winterscape". The eggs are a single days haul from my chicken coop. My chickens can deliver the payload even in winter. They are so happy to have heated nesting boxes, freedom to roam and warm water.

Cold Outside

It has been very cold here in the Ozarks. This early morning I got a call asking if I could feed my trainers horses as her truck was not starting. I dragged out of bed got dressed in my winter jumper, snow coat, gloves, ear muffs and into my frozen Volvo and made the short drive to the barn. The barn is not heated and it was like working in a freezer. The water hose froze as I was using it to fill water buckets. That happens when it is 10 degrees outside. The frozen hose popped a hole and it started to snow in the barn thanks to the fine mist and cold. The horses were not impressed and went back to munching on hay. I was glad to come home and sit next to the wood stove. Getting around in heavy layers is a chore in itself not to mention the tasks you need to do as a wadded piece of beef in winter. At least there are no horseflies this time of the year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bad Monday Morning

This morning my trainer called and told me someone had opened several horses stall doors overnight including the mares and a stallion. The stallion spent the night with my mare and one other in the barn. The barn was a wreck from the horses walking around. Luckily no horse got into the feed and none were hurt.
My mare, Luna might have been covered by the stallion. So this morning we are dealing with the choice of whether to abort or not the possible foal. We are looking into the side effects of the abortion choice verses the cost of raising another foal. This is not the way to start off the new year.
UPDATE: We learned about the shot of Prostaglandin vets give cows and mares to stop a pregnancy. We talked to our vets, trainers and horse friends. It causes severe pain for the mare and she might colic from the pain. So we decided to let her keep the foal if she is pregnant. We will know for sure in 20 days.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Luna Training

Today, I walked my mare, Luna the Tuna, to the training barn. She has been out to pasture for a month weaning from her colt. She will be evaluated by my trainer. Luna has not been evaluated by any experts since we bought her last May. She has been a broodmare until today. Now she will become a rideable fox trotter. And she will be put on a diet and get fit through training. I can hardly wait to see her in action. Going to be a busy winter for her.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Animals

My husband got a shot of our chickens listening to me and the entire ark following me. You can see the guineas, chickens, weanlings and Osa following me to the barn. Osa has her coat on and is running fast to my right. The guineas want the oats and corn in my bucket for the horses. Chickens and horse all eat the same thing on our farm. Almost all the animals get along on our ark in the Ozarks.

The Great Sandy

Here is my trainer working with a neighbors green mare. Sandy is a very large young mare for a quarter horse. She never bucks but needs to submit to the bit. So she is being taught the basics. My trainer is working with her daily to get Sandy to a level safe to ride. Sandy wants to please and is a model student. Her owner plans to use her for cattle work instead of a broodmare.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snow Guinea

Our Guineas are now 3 months old and had their first taste of snow. They run about chasing each other and squawking. They follow me around the farm talking to me and eating everything as for the first time. They are routine birds that can't function if there are changes to their life. Nerdy birds. All things must be studied, talked about then posted on Facebook before they go to roost at night

The Farm Mouser

Our "farm cat" has finally found his worth, mouser. Poppy is now 1 year old and loves to mouse hunt. He loves to hunt down the mice and voles and brings them home for me. He has tried to run into the house with his latest kill. I toss the vermin to the chickens or our German shepherd. I am amazed chickens will eat anything. I have lost count as to how many Poppy has eliminated. On the farm mice, voles and moles are destructive to feed, plants and livestock. And a cat is safer than using poisons. Poppy is a great Ozark born cat.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our House

This time last year our house's exterior was green painted rotting OSB. Then in May/April we had the house remade with real wood log siding that was stained pecan. We will have to re-stain again this spring. But the change was worth it.