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 .

Monday, 29 September 2014

Go rest high on that mountain

I know your life
On earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
‘Cause, Son, your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

This past week or so has been rough. Just plain rough . On me,on Martin, and his family , and on friends of mine. 
As you  know last week I had to put to rest my beloved Jazz. Difficult but the right thing to do . 
Thought ,that while I was sad, the worst was over.

 But my father in law has been quite ill for some time and that too has been a constant worry . I saw him earlier in the week, and he was looking frail and tired, but still chipper and recognized me and Martin, as well as bot of his daughters. Martin returned to work on Monday despite worries that his dad was failing , but with the promise from his work site that if need be they would get him home. Thursday Larry seemed to rally some, but as often happens that was the beginning of the end. Connie received a call Friday morning that he was unresponsive and he passed in the early afternoon. True to their word , his employer had him home in record time. The most difficult phone conversation I have ever had was to tell my sweet husband that his father had passed away. 
Rest well Larry, a sweet kind and honorable man , you will be missed .
The family asked me to write a poem for his memorial service, Larry was an Ironworker, building bridges across Alberta back in the day there were few if any safety regulation and when a 16 yr old boy could be trained and doing the work of a grown man! 
This is the poem I wrote for him, I hope it honors him and does justice to who he was 
A Bridge to Heaven
If there could be a bridge somehow,
From here to Heaven’s gate
You know that we would rush right out  
And cross it just to wait,
For a chance to glimpse your smile,
Or sit and talk to you awhile  
To say the thank you that we need to say
For your wisdom and love
And your quiet way
 Your gentle heart and sparkling eyes
Will be ever missed as we say our goodbyes
A bridge from here to heaven,
 Would be a daunting task
But if it could be built somehow
You would be the man to ask.

While on the way to the airport , my sister called, worried that I would hear this next news without warning , as a young girl I had a wonderful friend ,Lisa, her sisters and mom simply welcomed me in and became part of my family. "Mom Brown" was a wonderful lady and treated me as one of her own , even once letting me as a 16 yr old drive her treasured camaro! Ever the lady she handled great adversity in her life and the lives of her girls with grace and patient understanding . I had lost contact with this family to some degree, and had reconnected only recently with an older sister. We planned to get together but somehow the busy days marched on and it did not happen, she mentioned "mom " was suffering from dementia and while that spurred me to try harder to see her we just seemed unable to connect . The sad news is, that last Thursday night "Mom" became confused and left her home in a storm, and became lost. She died of exposure in the night . The thing Heather was warning me about was the newscast where the interviewed my childhood friend during the search for her mother . Seeing her in such pain, and knowing of the loss, broke my heart .
Too late now to see her again I will remember her always, and I pray for peace for her and her girls. 
And you my friends if you are of a mind to ,please pray for all who are struggling and facing loss. 
Godspeed "Mom" Brown .

I do hope to gather with the girls and celebrate the great lady sometime soon, but I am also mindful of the fact that we have grown apart and I will let them take the lead on this .

Stay safe my friends, and if there is someone out there who you need to reconnect with , don't wait 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Thank You for the Music

 So this song is an old favorite of mine and while the lyrics don't exactly fit  the situation the  chorus fits  well  enough  for me. and for this sad goodbye 

 Thank you for the music  
(yes I am an ABBA fan ,I said before I like all kinds 
of music, the rule is ,if I like it I listen , that is all)

                                                            So I say
                             Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
                                      Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
                                  Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
                                                What would life be?
                                 Without a song or a dance what are we?
                                     So I say thank you for the music
                                                    For giving it to me.

Fern Valleys Jazz 
my sweet pretty girl, dam to the gentle and handsome
  FV Shall We Dance 

The ever beautiful and willing 
FV Sparks Image 
"Maggie "
who re introduced me to an old friend and made me a new one in Kat , her daughter and the proud owner of Maggie 

FV Dandy Line
ever gentle , and peaceful, had a stumble in his young life and changed owners rather quickly ,but landed beautifully and his new family adore this gentle giant 

the original power take off kid! 
And the first .
  FV Jazz Time 
A sharp looking fellow indeed who grew up to be , big powerful and tough
And while I was not able to keep up with his career, I have recently been told he is being sold at a ranch horse auction  in Lethbridge. Looks amazing and has been working  pens in feedlots.A great job for a guy like that

 Thank you  my Jazzy girl, I wish we had had more time, and a way to make it all better 
So to my "girl with the golden hair", 
  Today as the autumn leaves changing ,reflected  your color,  I said farewell.

Stay safe my friends 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Out of the office

Normally at work , I am out in the community more than I am in the office, this last few months however I have been in the office more and more. When I do get out I love to see the beauty around me.

When I am not at work, I have been "out of the office"  a lot( as shown by my lack of blogging ) , not sure what I have accomplished but I sure have been busy!
Seems as the days grow shorter, my list gets longer. 
But I have had time to take a picture or two 

I have received another referral for the Equine assisted wellness coaching I do, and as before the first session was going out to see which horses this little lady would connect with .It seems like we never can guess which horse it will be, but this time I was very surprised that it was little Miss Whoa Dammit , herself! Cat is a confident cocky little mare who tends to  kind of go her own way.and not really warm up to strangers right away.What a surprise  to see her soften her eye and lean right into this gal, even pinned her ears and warned the others off, but did not move from her new friend! 
 Eventually allowed Andee to come into the bubble , but still kept herself between 
A shining moment 

I am quite looking forward to working more with this young lady and Cat. As much as I teach them , these kids and horses teach me right back!

Something else kinda different going on this weekend, I have agreed to do something , a thing that is right out of my comfort zone but ,well we have to try right? Hope it goes well .
I will let you know after the weekend, maybe ...
meanwhile , stay safe friends 

Monday, 8 September 2014

That is one nice Harley !

This Harley, that is . he went out to spend a month  or so with Katie. I wanted him lightly started this year.He is for sale and also he needed something to occupy his quick mind. Harley is a very bright colt. To quote Katie "the smartest 2 yr old she has ever worked with !" Apparently when going for a little ride down to the river Katie's dog , a Cane Corso , jumped up against his side,Harley's reaction was to slightly spook in place and stand there watching calmly as Katie jumped off and corrected the dog. Then continued down to the river like nothing had happened. 

 Friday ,Angela came out for a visit after several days on call at the clinic she is now working at. The life of a country vet! she had some stories to tell!a few glasses of wine and a really good chat! then Saturday she and I went to get Harley. Now normally I don't ever bring a horse home form the trainers without riding them , but Harley is just 2 and I am a bit too heavy for him. If he is still here in the spring I will take him back to Katie for a refresher, that is if she doesn't  just decide to buy him for herself , she is a big fan of my snappy red colt! Anyhow if he goes back I will ride him then. For now he is going to just spend some time growing up a little more and growing is another thing that kid does well.He is going to be a big boy when it is all said and done. If it hadn't snowed today I was actually planning to go measure him. Yes, you read that right! SNOW !! Cold wet white and horrifying! 

And also gone (thank goodness ) by this evening!Just a test fire I guess of what Mother Nature has in store 

Anyhow, back to Harley
I think Katie is right, that is a darn smart kid! 30 days and doing quite well

Brought him home and settled him back in with the old man Stryker, and so far everyone is staying where they belong. 
 Got all dressed up and attended the Canadian Country Music awards with Deanna and Adam , and because my hubby is out of town, my date for the evening was Karly, one of Dee's long time friends

Also she is one of the gals that attended the Tim McGraw concert with me earlier in the year. I love that these young ladies that I watch grow up still want to hang with the old Auntie! 

Speaking of the girls I watched grow up, I had the honor of doing a little photo shoot for Deanna and Adam again. What an adorable couple ! I don't usually take pics of people, but its hard to miss with these two,Hoping to get my other niece tar, and my nephew Brendan to get some pis too, I am sure their mom would love an album or framed collage. Here are a few of my favorites 

This last one an "out take" , but I love the pure joy of the moment 

So busy as usual, but other than shoveling sn*w this morning and trying to keep my gazebo from collapsing under the weight of it ,its pretty much business as usual .
Her's hoping Ma Nature is over her tantrum and we have an Indian summer headed our way! 
Stay safe friends  

Friday, 5 September 2014

A winning hand for the Wild Card! And don't think the old man is out yet!

I have come to learn in the  business of selling horses you have tire kickers, you have interested parties, and then you find just the right person.
It is been no different with FV Wild Card(Wilder) 
He has been listed for around 60 days, in that  time we had a great deal of interest . Several individuals came to try him. This sweet horse took exemplary care of each of the individuals who came to try am out from the 12-year-old girl to the 50+ lady who tried him, he was cool sweet and kind throughout. Like with any horse he wasn't a perfect fit for some, would've made a great fit for others and for others still, just too much horse. 
Reasons for not taking him home were, anything from the price to finding another one that they liked better to just not sure if their skills that was enough to manage the horse.
 Then along came Charlotte, she stated very clearly that she wanted a confidence builder had been riding most of her life but was feeling a little nervous and didn't want anything to challenging. Where they arrived her husband commented that he had fallen off a horse that they tried this week who while it was marketed as a 4-H horse once it was out of the arena bolted and things quickly went wrong. We caught the side of the wilder and Charlotte stepped up. Wow! That girl may not have had her confidence she certainly had competence on her  side. A very good rider who just had lost a little of her edge with growing older and having kids. She rode in Monday then went home to think about it and returned on Wednesday to ride again.Wise move  by her, when she returned on Wednesday she asked that I let her catch Wilder herself tack him up, which I was happy to do.He has always been easy to catch and gentle horse to work with. Charlotte brought her father with her for a second opinion and he agreed. A couple laps around the round pen then down the road and passed the driveway a couple of times showing that he was not hard to take away from the farm and or herd bound. And with that we have a sale!
Congratulations Charlotte I hope that Wilder bring you years of joy! 

After Wilder left I put Stryker back in with Johnny and the girls, well that proved to be a poor idea.Johnny had grown quite comfortable with his little harem, and seriously objected to Stryker's presence . He  bugged at him a fair amount but Stryker seemed to be handling it , at least until some time in the night . I was awakened by a call from my sister at 4 am to tell me Stryker was out! I was a bit panicked thinking he must have broken through a fence and be cut up...
(Pictured here this summer with Harley)
NOT! not a scratch , all fences are intact, apparently  he just had enough and at 25  the old boy can still bust a move and he jumped out! 
He is fine and as Harley will soon be home he is hanging out alone for now. I will get him integrated back in with Johnny but a little later in the month when I have things better set up and can put the boys in alone for a time . 
That's all for now , stay safe friends .