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 .

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

whadda ya say Wednesday

Not that kind of bed Skeeter! 

We still haven't mastered spinning straw into gold Rumpelstiltskin, but we are getting some pretty adorable results trying!

Stay safe everyone  

Monday, 28 May 2012


So , most of you will remember Maggie (FV Sparks Image) some of my long time followers  were in on the foaling contest the year she was born 

Together we watched her grow
 And her sweet  temperament shone through 

 Last spring I sold Maggie to a young lady  named Kat.In a fun coincidence , I discovered that her mom and I had attended high school together !
Kat and her mom , have kept in touch  and let me know how Maggie is doing,which is so nice. 
Maggie has a great home and great life, I knew this going in ,but if I had any question the call I got last  winter from Kat's mom to let me know Maggie was injured  but they were taking care of it , and were prepared to go the distance for her ,made me ever so sure . 
Thankfully their fast thinking and good care paid off and Maggie  is just fine 
as the following pictures , sent by Kat will show ...
this collection of photos is over the past 12 months , as you see they are a great little team 

Yup, I think they are doing just fine together. Maggie is, btw full sister to another favorite from the blog.FV Dandy Line , who also is doing very well, hope to hear more on him soon as well.
Meanwhile thanks so much for sharing Kat. and enjoy! you are looking great together .
Stay safe everyone 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Some "goings on "

Thanks to all for all of the good wishes and support. I am feeling much better 
A few things going on this weekend . Saturday was yard work, and getting things set up to process calves today . The we attended a dinner for a lovely lady on her birthday. Dolores is  my BIL Mikes mom and we were invited to attend with all the family . Wonderful dinner and a great evening visiting .
Up this morning and ready to get to work. 
Because of my arthritis and back issues , I was kind of sidelined today , the crew we had was not letting me get into the thick of things like I usually do. The did let me help bring the cows up, and sort , but beyond that I was relegated to vaccinating , and staying out of the way . Sigh 

 This fellow  was watching the activity from a safe distance 
Winston , and Abigail  ,watching and supervising  
 The crew,Martin , Cory , Cindy, and of course our very own Dr Oakley
 Beer and BBQ after a workout! 
 All smiles, this little supervisor, she seemed to have a good day , training , my friend Cindy and I to play fetch among other things
 After everyone left I did have some work to do ,Martin went out ahead to patch the fence in a couple spots , and I gathered the  herd up and took them out to the field .Shirley asked on FB if I took them out with a horse. Sigh ,head hanging in shame I did not . Johnnie and Wilder were , pretty eager to help and followed along the fence too, but as I was by myself ,it seemed easier to hop on and off the quad as needed for gates and such, and to  go hurry up the slow ones. Could have got Angela to stay and ride with or I really could have likely done it alone with Johnnie but I did not . Next time I had better saddle up! 
 I did however get some good photos.

In other news , I got an email from Kat, the young lady who  bought Sparks Image (Maggie )She and Maggie are doing well, and she sent several photos as well. just waiting for her permission to post them on the blog . She looks great! so nice to see the "kids " do well 

Friday, 25 May 2012

Falling behind

No Fridays for sale post from me today , but check out Shirley's post at  Ride a Good  Horse   there are some darn nice  horses !
I am just falling behind this week, falling behind posting and reading . Picked up a bug last weekend , and I thought I had kicked it till Monday when it hit me full force again . I wont get into  super details other that to say it was a full body experience! Yeesh! I feel like a worn out dishrag today , but I am in fact on the mend .
Will be  processing the calves  on Sunday , and turning the bulk of the herd out  to pasture , or at least all but the last couple. Normally this late in the year I would just let the stragglers calve on pasture, but it has been an odd season,(understatement  of the week! ) And I would prefer to see the last  couple up and going before we turn them out .This season has severely kicked my bum!All farmers know we have good years and bad, and this wasn't as bad as some folks have had .The wet spring brought scours to many farms and other issues as well. All in all it hasn't been to bad , I just have gotten spoiled with some very good years lately.
But as I quoted my late Uncle a few posts back . If you have livestock ...

So sorry if I have been absent from your blogs, I have read, just not always commenting . and as for here , updates with pics will come . And soon enough we will begin to watch for the foals!
Meanwhile stay safe my friends

Monday, 21 May 2012

"Fixed up"

 The Phoenix, waiting on the farrier 
 Hanging out  with (let me proudly introduce to you all finally ) Dr Angela Oakley DVM!!!
who Phoenix  believes is his own personal doctor should the need arise 

 After his much needed pedicure , we loaded him up and took him to his  new trainer 
Geoff Hoar  at Innisfail AB

Does someone want to tell me how this road trip took 4 hours to get there, and a little over 2.5 to get home?? he is not that big a horse! 
Anyhow he traveled well , and I am looking forward to seeing him progress
Before the trip, I hosted a little barbecue . All of the Oakley kids (honorary nieces and nephew) were home do the family came over ,also my sister Heather , and BIL Marc . We enjoyed BBQ roast beef, potato salad that I prepared , Deb  brought coleslaw, and beans ,and fresh corn.Angela prepared grilled veggies and Kale  Heather ,her yummy macaroni salad , and apple cobbler . This all was washed down with Marc's homemade wine ! 
A wonderful meal , and evening spent with wonderful people .
So that pretty much wrapped up our Victoria  day weekend , other than the regular  farm work, and a calf , that is at least temporarily  needing some extra TLC, and her fire breathing dragon of a momma! 
life is pretty good here
Hope all is well  with everyone 
Stay safe 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fridays for sale (taking a shot)

This is a bit of a different take on Fridays for sale. Yes I still have 2 horses to sell, but have yet to really begin to promote Comet and Quinn, other than here on the blog and in  flyer's at the Mane event .Hoping to clean them up a bit and get after it this weekend. But meanwhile I am trying something a little different. I have my books and photo cards to sell, and I do  by times take in outside mares for breeding so I need to promote my business. Most print advertising  seems to be cost prohibitive and , what we are willing to pay for (1/4 pg ads or smaller , really seem to get lost in the shuffle .
I have come upon an opportunity this month though that while a  bit more than I would normally choose to spend, is a screamin' deal for what I am getting!
Fern Valley Appaloosas are going to be  featured on the front page, and also on a 1/2 page ad inside of Saddle Up Magazine !
June will be an Appaloosa feature, so it seems to be just the right time to get my name in there.
Again , not something I might normally do, but I have to take a chance now and then. The add will also feature my books and a link to them. And the Editor has agreed to read and do a  review and article on both books in the next while.
The picture, we are hoping to put on the cover is a favorite of mine.
edited to add this photo is the one I was hoping to use, however I really like them both

FV A Shocking Comet
This picture is one I was never really sure if it would turn out , with the odd lighting and the  movement . Glad I took the shot as it has truly become a favorite so ,like with the photo , I am going to "take a shot " with the add and see where it takes me
Wish me luck, and  as always  my dear friends
Stay safe  

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Looks like I need to do some spot cleaning

 Finally found some grass that I could let Comet and Quinn out  on 
 As you can see they are nearly shed out
 but it appears before I can  do the online ads and flyers I want 
 I need to spend a little time removing  the spots that don't belong
 Quinn is pretty clean , but Mr  Cutie pie  has some really unique  patterns going on. 
 Palomino with a blanket, white spots, green and brown stains...

Looks like the boys have been "spotted" by a couple of lady "spotters"
Have a great week, stay safe! 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Happy Mothers day

For all the moms, and grandmas 

A mother
Whether she is near or far
Or in the light of a   star
Your mother is with you always
It the things that you do
The traditions you knew
And the life that you live
 all of your days  
The lessons you learned
And the grey hairs she earned
Those moments she held on to tightly
The way that she smiled
With love for her child
And worried and prayed for you nightly
In the way you keep house
Or run from a mouse
She is there in so much of
Who you are
 She is there in your eyes,
In the way that you try
And all of the things that you do
The tilt of your head,
The words that she said
Will forever keep her so close
The woman who’s love helped to form you
With the sun on your face,
Remember her grace
And let her  love still warm you 

Friday, 11 May 2012

Picture this

This is another of my little walks,mostly a picture post . I always try to take the camera, sometimes I get great shots, sometimes none at all , but this evening as I went out to check cows...

 The late day sun in spring sets the world alight  
 coppery reds

 golds and green seem lit from within

 the grass seems to  somehow have  an emerald tone 
even more muted colors seem to be crisper & brighter 

Definitely a good time of day to be taking pictures. and it doesn't hurt to have such  beautiful  subjects to photograph, though  I might be a little biased .
Not much new here, hope to get some things done over the weekend with the horses. Comet had an odd injury high in his inner hind that needs a bit of follow up cleaning(he is not sore any more just watching to be sure it heals well ) Also I am going to work on my flower beds too(those who know me and  my gardening skills try not to laugh)   
Stay safe everyone, and have a wonderful Mothers day . 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Because snakes don't have armpits

Waiting still for the last few calves to come. The waiting seems longer this year , as we have had a couple problems, and the time in between the last calf born and now is quite long.Maybe also because we have such a small cow herd .

Likely it has something to do with the fact we had a couple bulls get in with our herd last summer for a few days, which you might think would speed things up, but they have to spend a day or so fighting and jockeying for position in the herd , and can be so busy doing that , they forget the "task at hand " so to speak.Or they took a break for some odd reason. No lameness issues or hoof rot last summer with the bulls so , who knows ,maybe like the title says its just  one of those things. Anyhow I wish they would step it up a bit , I want to get the cows out on pasture soon and  start watching the mares . Looks like Peps is not bred, and Jazz? hard to say for sure. Jewels on the other hand looks large and hugely uncomfortable so I guess we will have one or 2 foals to watch for this year.That's farming though , gotta go with the flow and  things can change pretty quick from what you planned to what you get. For no real reason other than "Snakes don't have armpits" yes ,in point of fact there is a little more science to it than I am letting on , and ways to assure some of the variables are out of the mix, but the mares were confirmed , and sometimes they lose a foal early on. And the cows were checked as well. Any way you look , it is what it is, and we will be done calving, right after the last calf is born.

Just a quickie video of the gang so far 

Stay safe everyone