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, 31 October 2013

The wait is nearly over, I think!

 Winston waiting  for  the only  one  kiddo  who  came to trick  or  treat,  my cousin's  little  girl  Emily
She finally came  and  we  were  so excited to see her  all  dressed up! 
But  the  rest of us and  you , along  with  Winston have  been  waiting  for  something else...

In  my last post I posted  a photo of  the Haymobile, and  asked  you all to help  me  encourage  dad  to write a  guest post  about it. well it  took  some time and  your  encouragement(and  possibly  the  threat that I would  not post on my blog till he  did, empty ish  threat but... )  he  finally agreed to do it, then it seemed to be  taking still  longer, but the  best things do!
Not only  is he  going to  write about the haymobile, he  has started a  little  further  back  with a  little  Horricks history  lesson!
he is sending it to me  tomorrow and I hope  to have  the  first in  the  RJ Horricks  series of  guest posts up  by  the end of  the  day! I am very pleased and  excited to have  this and  will likely create a  page (tab ) where  they  will all be in  order much like my " poetry", and  "about me"  tabs.
So  thanks  for all of  the  comments  and  support , and hang in  there  folks it will be  more than  worth the wait!
Meanwhile as  always, stay  safe  friends

Sunday, 27 October 2013

First snow, and a little blogger assistance please

Well it happened! we got  snow, happens  every  year  around  this  time, but I am always  somewhat put out! LOL
Supposed to warm up  pretty  quick  so its  just a warning  shot  but ...
SO out  we  went to set up  water heaters, I finally found  the tank  heater  for  Phoenix, bout the  same  time I lost  my temper! I always  put it in  the  same  place, and "nobody " moves it , I am  gonna  find that  "nobody"  person  one of  these  days , and open a  can of  whoopass on them!
The "kids"are  happy in  the shed

My sweet  dreamers 

Headed into  the old  home  place to do  more  packing and sorting , I also  took  some  pics  around  the  farm  for posterity ,

" the big  garage"
 all that is  left  of the old  dairy  barn  and  cattle yard

 Driveway to mom  and  dads  house 
 the  back  yard  where we  played  and Heather's and my playhouse 

 the  second  garden
 back of  the house 
 the big old  tree that  many  many years  ago  we  would  climb, it was  so bent we  could  jump up and  sit on it , that branch is  considerably  higher  now 
Flower bed??

 This next  one is  where the  call  for help  comes   to my  fellow  bloggers
This is  the "Haymobile"  designed and built  by  my  dad and his  brothers  many  years  ago, it was  the first  front  end  loader in  the area  if  not the province. Those are  all the real  details I know, I asked  dad, to write  up  a  little  description of  it and another  item, but he is not getting  after it . So  here is what  I need , his  name is Ron,(or Mr  Horricks if you are  shy ) I would  like any  bloggers  who  are interested to prompt in  the  comments ( he  does  read  the blog ) and  see if  we  can  collectively  encourage him to write  a guest post  for me ! 
That's  all  for  tonight  but  hope  we  get that  guest post  soon!  Meanwhile  stay  say  friends , and I need to add  stay  warm! 

Friday, 25 October 2013

They are here!!!

The  2014 Fern Valley  Calendars! I was so  worried that with  me losing internet service  for  so long a while  back ,but I got them  done! And  today  the  first shipment of them  arrived today! 
here is a  little sneak  peak
 They are well  made  the printers  did their usual  fabulous  job, and the photos? Well I think  they are pretty  darn  nice! They  are  available for sale if you are interested for $25.00 Just  email  me at fernvalleyappaloosas@hotmail.ca .

Lots  going  on  here  these  days , so hopefully will be  posting  some  new  photos over or after  the weekend , but for now here is a  gratuitous Johnny shot  for GL

There  you  go ,  Happy  Weekend everyone , and as  always  Stay  safe!!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Sometimes when you lose you win.

So  a  while  back  I entered  some  photo in a  contest  for  the Alberta SPCA Calendar. One of  my  photos  was  short listed, and I got an email letting me know. Sadly for me (or maybe not )  the  photo in  question  was  not  chosen, nor  were  my others . Oh well too bad, there  are  some  great ones in the calendar. And  besides I do  my own  calender so I can  put  my  favorites it it right? 

But a  little while  later I got a  envelope in the mail,looked like it was  the 2014 SPCA  calendar  I was  busy  so  just  tucked in  the  bag in my  truck to look at later. And  promptly forgot I had it . 

Deb and I went out for dinner the other  day and she was telling me this really cool  news about my photo! 
It didn't  make  the  calendar,but...
My photo  graces  the  envelopes and the  front of  the brochure on the new  campaign !  
How cool is  that?
recognize anyone?

Yup , its  the Blue  eyed  wonder himself!Fern Valley's Phoenix (or Fix as his friends  call him) , not on  one  calendar  page, but  front and  centre on a  campaign that goes out to thousands! 

Yesterday  was  farrier  day, and I have to say  YAY JOHNNIE!!! He has  always  been a  sweet  boy ,except  when  he is having his feet  trimmed , he is good till  we get to the off hind , and then he is well , really  not good. I have  tried  equine  body  work and he  did have some issues, but once fixed , not any better to trim. I just  could not  figure it out , he learned  everything else in his life so well and easily I couldn't help thinking it was a pain issue, but he is not lame , or displaying any discomfort under saddle  so?
Finally decided  to try  something at  the suggestion of Angela ( who has  become  personal  veterinarian  to my  herd with all the  rest she has to do lol) I gave him  a dose of  bute   before Charlie  got here and  guess  what? He was  practically perfect! a little hesitation lifting that leg  but otherwise  just fine. So now I feel like a heel  thinking it was behavioral for so long ,but hopefully  we  can get  another look at that leg and hip, maybe even have Bluequine look at him and see if  my  sweet boy  can get  some  relief. Its  hard  when they are so tough! Cat apparently  blew out an abscess at  some point  recently as well , I had  no clue as she was never lame! 
Out final task  yesterday  was to  wean the babies, pens are ready we just had to do the work. Went  well, and other  than a  bit of a sleepless  night things  are  still going  well, lots of "singing " but they are eating and  drinking. Too many this year to wean in the barn so they are in a mid sized pen  with the shed, they can see mommas  but not  get to them , so far so good .

the  mares  did  their  job  now its  my  turn! 

Thats all for now , stay safe  my  friends 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Smiles on Saturday

Another  blogger  was asking, "What makes  you  smile?" 
Well Buttons,  among  other  things, reading  the  posts of  my  blog  friends often  make me  smile . Seeing  and  chatting  with  friends and  family, and of  course  the  spotty  crew here. Just  a few more  pics  from  the last week or so 
The  littlest  Cowgirl (Sprite)and her  momma 
 She looks  so  sweet  and  peaceful , but you should see that little  dolly when she is grumpy! tiny little  ears  pinned at poor  Tango , teeth showing  , gonna  give  the big  boys  what for and  steal their grain! I guess I should  get  after her for it ,but she is so darn  cute! I will  just let her siblings  sort her out 
 Maks' opinion  of  the water spray  will the tank is filling 
 Winston is  really not sure he  wants to let Maks get any closer , he was  snacking on some  crunch  and  sweet feed , he  did  give in  and  let Maks  have it without  more than a  grumble.
Made me  think of  the  little  song my dad  would sing  when I was a  kid  

Mares  eat oats
doe's eat oats and little lambs eat ivy
a kid'll eat ivy to wouldn't  you ?
Except in  my head it went 
Mares  eat oats 
and  doe's eat oats and so do  golden  retrievers ... lol  
such  a  happy little ditty! 
Now that is  probably stuck in  your  head lol 
 Smarty pants of the day , Miss  Sprite ! figured out  where the good were at! 

Today I went off to the tack  sale in Stony Plain, bumped into a few  friends (which is whats its all about), I didn't  really  need  anything ,other  than I wanted to get a 1/2 bale slow feeder net  from  my friends at
  Eco Nets . I had  been telling  them  how  much  Phoenix seems to like his. And I did promise  pictures of my  happy "Zen Pony" at his net. Well that  was easier said  than  done since  said pony is a HAM! and  very  social, I went in to take pics and there he  was ,in my face, I tried to shoo him off with some  twine 
 no luck, then  the  net I use  to scoop leaves out of his  tank,

 not  so much terrified 
Finally  he  gave in  and posed where I wanted him
Happy boy, he is  so  relaxed , and peaceful with his net  and happy horses make  for a happy me 
Stay  safe  everyone 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I can go the distance

First  of  all,  thank  you all  for your  kind  words and support on my last post . I appreciate it more than you  could  ever  know. I am posting  a  little  more  about  that today  then  we  will move on  to bigger and better things

 I did  see my rheumatologist  today , he  was  a little  upset  I had  not  been  sent  back to him  sooner, but it is what it is , and I said, "well I am  here  now" to  which  he  gave  me a look I have  seen  from him  before , somewhere  between amused and exasperated LOL
Long  story short , the  news was not great, but  could always  be  worse . He is  starting  me in  a new medication  program  that has  had  good  results so fingers crossed!
He  did give me ,well what I am  going to take as a  compliment , that  with  the  bone and joint  damage  he was seeing , and inflammation, he was  quite surprised at how  much  mobility I have  maintained , So all in all I guess I am in  pretty  good  shape  for the shape I am in !
Went through  a battery of  X rays and  blood  tests as  well , so  by  the time I got in  my  truck I was  at the very  least, a  little out of  sorts . Started it  and what  should come on  the radio  but this  song
I can  go  the  distance , I have always  loved it , such a  powerful  message ! 
But the lines that  really  struck me  today were these;
 I'll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way, if I can be strong
I know ev'ry mile, will be worth my while
When I go the distance, I'll be right where I belong

And I won't look back, I can go the distance
And I'll stay on track, no, I won't accept defeat
It's an uphill slope, but I won't lose hope
Till I go the distance, and my journey is complete

 yes I cried a  little . But the message is  there and oh so  true .

Got home and  went to the  place  where I often   draw my  strength and  calm. 

After all, if  you  can't find  peace among these  beauties, you  just aren't looking !(also  I believe the horses, and  the farm life are a big  reason I have  maintained such   mobility !) 

So  thanks  again friends , I have  some other  news  to share , about a  project I have  coming up I think  even more  reflects  the  song line " I will be  right  where I belong" , but I have  rambled on  enough about me  for now . Hope everyone is  well and  happy, and as  always , stay safe  my  friends 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fall at Fern Valley

Not critter  pictures  today, (well I might have  suck in one or 2)  Just a  bit of  the color here this  fall, we have  golds and reds, and still some green.
This is out  Thanksgiving weekend, and we are  busy  here  getting ready  for  winter. Tomorrow will be  setting up  for  weaning , but as there is so much  going on, with family dinners, and I have an early  appt  with my  rheumatologist on Tuesday I decided to wait till next weekend  when I will be home  more , and actually Martin  will be home  next Monday as well to help out if things  get  goofy. Am I worrying too much?  probably  but I learned a long time ago to trust my instincts. They are not always  right on  the money but if it "feels " like a bad idea, I assume it is . Still we  can  get  the pens  set up and get things  ready , and I will have help tomorrow  to do  this so...
And help I do  need, my  left arm is in  pretty  rough  shape (hence the appt  with  rheumatologist ) severe arthritis in  the elbow as a result  of a  fall, and I have  recently been diagnosed  with rheumatoid arthritis as well, so off to see  the wizard, so to speak! Though on the upside, I  learned a  new  trick due to my  sore arm. I needed to take a salt  block out to the cows, they  weigh about 50 lbs and are awkward as heck! I was  standing looking at it thinking I needed to either wait  for help, or it was gonna hurt! then it occurred to me that the block  would fit nicely into an empty mineral pail, I rolled it in and viola! I had a  handle! was able to lift and  carry it  with my good arm! Necessity is truly the mother of  invention!
Anyhow, on to the  pictures !
 a little gold and green 
 Might  have to change his  name to shotgun!  seems to be his seat of choice! 
 the  road  to the field

 heading back  home 
 a glimpse of  the lake 

 the  stack  yard,and "retirement are  for old equipment "
 the  view  from my deck
my driveway.
There you  go,  we have  good weather  still,  not super hot, but pretty nice for  fall here in  Alberta . Hope everyone has a  Happy Thanksgiving  and is mindful  of all of  the  blessings  life brings. And as always my  friends, Stay safe!