Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Thursday, 26 November 2015

For my broken heart

"Last night I prayed the lord my soul to keep, 
then I cried myself to sleep,
so sure life wouldn't go on without you .
 But now the sun is breaking through as it wakes me from the dark.
I guess the world aint gonna stop,
for my broken heart " Reba McEntire 

This has been a hard post to write, and one I was never sure I would be ready for . 
I have posted on FB about it but this place is where I have the opportunity to share a bit more. First of all this is what I wrote to honor my mother who passed away on Saturday November 21,she had been ill for many years and was a hero to many in the way she faced her illness and pain;

When we think of warriors we think of the strong giants who have battled throughout our history. Valiance is defined as: courage and determination. Not all valiant warriors are giants. Remember David was small and overcame. A great warrior in our world was my mother, in the face of pain and illness she overcame again and again with grace courage and determination. When a warrior lays down their arms it is not necessarily concession of defeat. Sometimes the battle ends because it is simply time to do so. Saturday night our great warrior, Patricia Alice Horricks completed her battle of 32 years and has gone on to rest in the arms of the father.A beloved wife, mother ,grandmother and so much more.We will miss you but remain ever proud.

The only way I could think of to describe and salute such a strong and inspiring woman. 
I have not written a poem for her, I seem unable at present to do so. I was worried and upset about this feeling like I should and that by not doing so I was letting her down, but it is what it is, and maybe someday when the hurt is less I will be able to.The eulogy is prepared and I spent the last couple of days gathering photos for the slideshow that will be shown at the service.
Mom, like me had fairly eclectic taste in music, from rock to Opera and all in between. But one of my favorite memories of her was her cleaning house to "Joy to the world" by Three dog Night, windows flung wide open and volume on high. That was my mom.

And then,on Sunday, while we were still only beginning to process the loss of my mom. Winston collapsed in the barn,and with me sitting holding him on my lap , he also took his rest.
It was quick and very peaceful. Goldens are like that, they are fine until they are not. Someone commented that Mom needed a friend with her. What better friend to have than my big golden boy.I guess he did what he was meant to do here, and having raised up little Henry right and saved my heart so many times, it was time for him to go. 12 and a half years of unconditional love and joy, I would be selfish to ask for more. 
And I am, I wanted forever.

Stay safe and well my friends

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Picture this, oops! forgot to hit post!

I started this Post on November 4, then , not sure what happened  but I am finishing it now.
I had a request for more Henry pics, so here you go! 

As you can see we had a dusting of snow! 

guys that play hard, sleep hard too 

Henry and his pet kitty Delilah

" I jes rode into town looking for the man who shot my paw" LOL hat is backwards but he was not actually cooperating as well as it looks 

 Also a distant cousin of Martins ,that we met just last year sent me these lovely little tree ornaments! custom made for the boys!

Henry ,like Winston is an animal planet junkie! 

 I also captured some pics of this little fellow  tappity tapping away

Finally got the feeder barrels hung, took a couple adjustments and some false starts to keep them hung up, but they seem good now, tied in place with holes drilled in the side then stabilised with a rachet strap.LIkely U bolts would work better but I think they would seize in the weather and we would have difficulty moving the feeders if we wanted to.This makes them easy to shift around . As for how they work? so far so good Phoenix is doing very well with his and Cactus. well although he is not impressed he is using it and holding weight without wasting hay so I call it a win.
I have one day a week now that I am gone from 9 in the morning to & at night. I could get family to do chores but I wanted to see if this worked. So Marc or Dad let the dogs out for me ,but I feed the horses in the morning , filling the feeder with what would be almost a full days ration, and they still have hay when I get home !  I call that a win! 

Speaking of my long day, I am travelling quite a ways north and ,my drive can be a real Hinterland who's who lol .
Last week I saw a black bear (too far for pics and I didn't really want to get a whole lot closer) 
and these three lovelies! 

Life is pretty good, I am getting ready to haul Cat and Andee to the barn for the winter and get back on track coaching, hoping to also get back into swimming again now that I am healed up. 
Gotta move it or lose it!
Stay safe  my friends 

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Falling leaves, and falling behind , again

The leaves are all nearly gone her, but we are still having a glorious warm fall. Gathered the calves and shipped  a couple weeks ago, and even in light of the drought and soaring hay prices . We did very well. The pasture renter brought in his cattle on the 15 and so now we are just busy getting ready fro winter. The hay is put up, and hauled home, the hay we had to buy is also here and in the stack yard . 
I am finally feeling like I have rejoined the land of the living after my bout with Shingles. Overdid it a bit bringing in the herd , but it is what it is and sometimes we do that lol. 
I have taken the last few months off from Equine assisted personal development  coaching, with the weddings and being ill I had to let something go .Hoping to start up again in November. 

I have not been keeping up with other blogs either lately so I have some reading to do ! Tough when every time you sit down you fall asleep! 
Anyhow all is well here hope everyone is well. 
Until next time, stay safe my friends  

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Seeing September go by

September has come and gone What did we do with the month?
 We put us some hay and had a great group to come help pick bales out of the field

 We attended the Wild Rose Rodeo association finals and watched my cousin Steve in the team roping and calf roping. Forgot the good camera so no real pics of the event
 this photo didn't turn out well so I played with it, I like the effect , it actually turned out to be kind of fun 

I took a lot of pictures in September, some of my cousin and his family

 and some just around home 

Then I took a walk in Edmonton with Martin, Henry, and  my niece Tara and I took some more pics !

we had to walk back up these stairs also , luckily this is only half way, I am glad we didn't go all the way into the river valley, I might still be trying to get up ! 
because the other thing I did in September was to get kind of sick,well actually pretty sick as in maybe a kidney stone and also, well for sure I have shingles! Holy crap! I knew Shingles hurt but I had no idea how truly painful it is ... until now! On the mend now but as soon as I get better I am going to get the vaccine , no way I want to do this twice!
Other than that , life goes on  and is pretty good. shipping calves on Monday and we will continue "gathering nuts" for winter. 
Hope everyone is well and is staying safe! 

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Its a wrap! (the summer that is ) many pics!

Well fal has arrived here at Fern Valley! It was a heck of a summer ,so very busy but feeling like we were on a hamster wheel , running and running and getting ... well not nowhere but it did seem to be a lot of hurry up and do the same thing over and over. 
My last big event of the summer was to fly to Seattle on Labour day weekend to attend my cousin's wedding .Whew! 4 weddings in 3 weeks, I am about out of party ! 
My dad and uncle , along with several other cousins attended and we had a lovely time. My Seattle family are some of the most wonderful people in the world, and I love to see them ,always wish I could stay longer. 
The family there is that of my dad's only sister, and he seems unable to refuse her anything so when she asked if he would sing again at her granddaughter's wedding , well you know he said yes!  
But first he sang to her at dinner on the friday night. The look of pure joy on her face is one I will never forget !
The wedding itself was a wonderful event! Done in a rustic style , at a gorgeous venue, Thomas Family farm, it was a beautiful big barn all set up for special events ! I will let the pictures speak 

 Cousin Murray whose wedding we attended last year. Ever the handsome and gracious fellow, picked me up at the airport in style! 

 Cousin Enid, mother of the bride 
 A proud and shaky Randy with his beautiful daughter Brittaini

It was a whirlwind trip but well worth it . 
Home and back to the real world where Martin and I have been busy working on a few projects. 
With the drought, hay is a bit hard to come by so we are working on some options, he found some old green feed that will double as bedding , and we are baling some grass hay into square bales from the gas well site, and also an old unused golf course. We got the well site done last weekend , he baled and I picked. Awfully glad there was only 30 to pick up! 30 is better than none but my poor arm doesn't love that type of work anymore. We have a crew (hopefully ) coming to help at the golf course, because even with the drought and the grasshoppers there will be substantially more than 30 bales! 
Also to feed these bales, and to prevent waste and loss, we use nets. But as I have mentioned my shoulder and elbow are a problem, so rather than filling the bag in the barn and carrying it to where I need  we are setting the bales up nearer to the pens and putting in these new feeders , that Martin and I have been building . We have 2 styles, one that opens more  specifically for square hay with a door in the side , or the alternative that opens at the top to allow you to put loose hay or from a round bale .

They will be mounted to the fence either with a ratchet strap, or more permanently with U bolts .
Alos this year I decided to do some canning, making Mustard Pickle, harvard beets, Giardiniera(mixed vegetable pickle ) also  Pickled Beans and pickled asparagus.

 As for the rest of the farm family, the critters are fine, My sister is finally catching up after the beautiful wedding she and my brother in law hosted here for Deanna and Adam. Mom and dad are well , coming out from time to time to visit and get the puppy love they need! 
I will wrap up for now with a few more photos

So now that fall has arrived, I am hoping to see a slow down and maybe get to horse time in .also to get out of this rut of barely blogging and get back to at least once a week and also start reading all of my favorite blogs again. Hope all have had a wonderful summer, and as always 
stay safe my friends !