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, 31 August 2011

Meandering Muse , and an update

First of all, thank you everyone for the continued prayers and support for mom. She is doing well. The Surgeon who originally cared for her 17 yrs ago , took over her case yesterday. Called dad at home to have consent signed and completed the procedure to permanently place the shunt last evening. Mom
sailed through her surgery and is doing well. Could be back home as early as next week!
The stress of the past few weeks has had an odd effect,I find I am not sleeping much and my mind is racing (pretty normal) but the thing that I have found most calming in the wee hours of the night , is writing!
An idea will pop into my head and I will jot it down , and mull it over .Soon enough I have written another poem! SO forgive me if I deluge you all with poetry  over the next while , they are random and pop into my head , well, just when they do . For now here is one that "hit me " while driving yesterday
Lessons From  Nature
If we listen to Gods creatures
We find they are amazing teachers

You rarely see a stressed out cat
Or for that fact a sunburned bat

Squirrels know to plan ahead
and are never short a safe warm bed

A momma bear cares for her babies
Protects them ,no ifs ands or maybes

Unconditional love , most folks can't reach it
and yet a good kind dog can teach it

Yet some people tear others to pieces
and call ourselves the wiser species?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Just for fun

Just for fun and something to be a brain teaser I thought I would try to write a verse using as many of the blog titles out of my side bar as I could. What I wound up with is a silly little verse , but kind of fun. to those I missed, I am sorry , but I will try agin with you titles as soon as I unravel my brain from this go round!  

To find your happy
Grab a Fern Valley Appy
Stay on that course,
And   Ride a good horse
Just one that is colored brightly

The well groomed horse
 Is a start of course.
But training will help him Go lightly

 Ranch riding, can be a  puzzle
But with a good mount
The wins you will count and
Snuggle the Nuzzling Muzzles.

Just another day on the prairie,
is a grand one ,not scary
If you have a good Ranch Girl along

Go west feral woman,
The evening is coming
And Home on the range is our song

We’re living it up Country
And not going hungry
The Cheap Chef is just within reach.

Living it well
You can sure tell
That really, Life’s a Beach

My kind of pals
Ain’t for city gals

At least by
One old cowgirls view

The equine expressions
Leave quite the impression

At least to a Brown eyed Cowgirl
This verse has been fun
But now it is done.
Oh well. I gave it a whirl!

Stay safe everyone , and have fun!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Shots of spots

Just a few shots of the ponies  from the weekend . This first one turned out very well. Shirley suggested on FB that it would make a great header picture. I might ,but I have had a lot of trouble changing header pics in the past , and I really love the  one I have so...

You looking at me?

This is getting to be the type of shot I get of Quinn, he does looove to be close

A little distance here , I think they are both looking mighty fine!

And of course , in case anyone thinks I misplaced him or forgot about Johnnie...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A little contest

This poem is at present untitled . It is loosely based on a couple of guys my hubby and I know . And likely fits a lot of guys all of us have had the pleasure of knowing over the years . Good folks at the heart of them, but living life , just a little differently than many of us. The ones that I was thinking of when I wrote this are ,as I said good guys ,living their lives very much on their own terms . A bit rough around the edges , but hearts of gold .
Anyhow this poem needs a title . So I figure ,its time for another contest . Give it a shot and help me out if you can .

A farmer and cowboy

a hunter and such

You could tell to look at

him he didn’t eat much

A burger and some whiskey

He will never tire

A guy like that’s built

Out of old baling wire

Tall lean and lanky

With a fist like a mitt.

Call him out when he is drinking

And he will get into it!

A jab or a punch, and

Down on the ground

He will give it his all

on every go round

But tell him his friend

Has got in a bind

He will stop in an instant

 and leave it behind

He will show up to help

And bring along a crew

And whatever you need,

Well that’s what he’ll do

They don’t make them quite

Like that anymore

But the ones that are here,
Are good ones for sure

Hoping to get back  to the horses soon , and maybe take a few pictures . Possibly from a different perspective than lately too...

Stay safe everyone

Thursday, 25 August 2011

An angel on her shoulder

Again to all of you , many thanks for the prayers and words of support for my mom and family . Seems like they worked!

Mom has been in hospital since lat Thursday after a suspected stroke. As it turns out , there was a small , rather inconsequential stroke, but lucky it happened ,I guess, because it got her to hospital , and admitted. Her condition seemed to worsen over the next few days , and as I said a couple posts back, the question of the shunt failing became far more pressing . Yesterday , she returned from some routine tests , totally unresponsive and was rushed to ICU .In the care of the neurological team now , it has been discovered that in fact the shunt is failing .

She underwent a temporary revision to release the pressure , and will remain in hospital until they are able to stabilise her and properly , permanently place the shunt . She is not out of the woods yet, but Oh my! It was a relief to see her this evening alert , lucid, bright and with her usual wit and humor! My sister and I visited with her for an hour or so, and had a lovely time , laughter,and  a few tears .
I believe I may actually sleep tonight!
This has been so hard on her and my dad, and us as well. Mom's health and struggles over the years have had us facing situations like yesterday, talking to ICU staff and wondering fearfully what the next day would bring many times over the year.Matter of fact ,at 3:00am I had it figured out , to 11 separate times we were in similar circumstances . And yet each time, somehow , there is an emergency intervention, last chance,or new procedure, that she  sails through and rallies, recovering yet again .
My mother has an incredible and unbreakable will, and determination.And I am beginning to believe , one of the most vigilant Gaurdian angels ever!
And while I am incredibly  proud both my parents  and adore them both , (daddy's girl from way back), one day I do  hope to be Tough like my mom!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Minor musings


Take the time
Once in a while
To just be the reason
For a stranger to smile

 Give them your hand
Open the door
Or offer some shelter
From a downpour

 In a world that’s so busy
And hustling about
Our minds become selfish
We never look out

But take just a moment
Now and again
To open our hearts
Let kindness shine in

If each of us took  
This one little task
What could we gain?
Do you have to ask?

A little more joy,
Out there to be found  
And many more smiles
If you just look around

 But please don’t forget
To keep it on track
When they smile at you
You smile right back

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Slow Sunday

 First of all , thanks so much for all of your kind words,thoughts and prayers for my mom.Long story short, it appeared she had suffered another stroke, but also she has a shunt to drain fluid  from her brain , an injury as a result of a case of meningitis several years ago, and there is a chance that the shunt may be failing (they are only meant to last 5-10 yrs and this one is well past that) . They are still trying to  diagnose exactly what is going on . So she is still in hospital, not happy about it , but is the best for now to allow the doctors to properly investigate and treat the problem. Mom has had years of health struggles, and is one tough little lady .Surviving a fairly risky liver transplant surgery over 23 yrs ago(and is apparently Canada's longest surviving liver transplant patient!

On to other things , I stayed home today ,several added trips to the city the past few days  have me a little worn down.
Puttered around doing a bit of housework, then had a visit from Deb, and Cara(Another honorary niece) Chatted for a while , then went for a walk , very hot for us here today ,so it was a pretty low key  kind of walk.Debs neighbor had given her some apples to use up so we went down to see if any of the boys were interested .I did video them running in to see us , but my hands must have been shaky because the video is pretty poor.Next time !

Chance and Cara, Chance never misses an opportunity to sweet talk a pretty girl!

Deb and her beloved Blue

 And of course my  guy Johnnie ! The all had a taste of apple , some more than others . Johnnie as you see ,is not one to miss a treat and is sporting some very fresh "apple breath "

Then on to the mares ,and babies. most were uninterested , till Ici had a bite , then Jazzy and Rich thought they should have another try

Comet is becoming a fan of having scratches when he sees me ,not quite as friendly as Quinn yet, but it is coming

 He is only just now beginning to lose his baby coat , it has faded some and in the right light looks almost like spun gold! cant wait to see what color he comes in with later

 I was on the phone when they went to see these girls , but I understand apple were not their "thing" Well not until I went down later and was eating one ! (Deb Peps prefers very small dainty pieces of apple to be hand fed to her if you please! )

 Hot as it was it was a bit buggy so the girls were using each other as scratching posts and flyswatters
Andee here is looking like the peanut butter between 2 chocolate chips!

Finally on to Dandy , who had been playing quite a bit with Wilder , helps though ,his color shows better when he is sweaty!

 No apples for this  boy, just not interested  

 But I would like to go see those pretty girls K??
Other than that, filled waters , did some edging on the lawn, and ran (drove ) back and forth to the field delivering cold water, bale string, popsicles etc to the guys while they were baling hay .Finished up the housekeeping in the later part of the day then had BBq burers ,hot dogs and corn on the cob with Martin,  my sister Heather, brother in law Marc, and nephew Brendan(who is nicely recovering  from sinus surgery last week)  A nice way to wrap up the day

Hope everyone had a good weekend
Stay safe!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Head above water

The past couple of days have been, well, a little episodic. Mom in hosp and my nephew Brendan also having just had surgery .Brendan is on the mend ,and hopefully the "team" investigating mom's issues will figure it out soon too. She is not happy to be back in hospital, that little lady has spent far too many days there in her life . SO for her , and others in my family , who's stories are in fact not mine to tell. I will continue to pray for peace and comfort .
See you all soon
and please as always
Stay safe!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Dandy evening

Went out this evening to move a few horses around . Dandy , and his new pen mate ,the long suffering FV Wild Card (Wilder is the sweetest guy, never chases or challenges the young ones , but he will tell them when enough is enough)

Anyhow , we didn't move them , but the got the wind up when the girls were moved!
As you can see Dandy is growing up to be a big boy! Wilder is a 6 yr old and a fair sized guy at just around 15 hh.Dandy is not as tall as the pictures lead you to believe , but not as far behind Wilder as you would expect for a yearling.I will have to actually measure him  soon and see where he is going to finish up. I had thought around 15hh but... 
He is a good looking boy though! Hard to get good photos of him when the sun is shining , his white is sooo white and there is so much of it , his golden coloring washes out in the pics .Tried to change the contrast a bit , but I am not so sure I like the result . Have to catch him on a cloudy day (not too soon please for the sake of the hay)

All jacked up and showing off his power takeoff
Shows over ,time for some grub
Dandy is for sale and as you can see  well recovered from  his gelding surgery .Kid's got nothing to do  right now but grow , and he is doing a dandy job of it !

Stay safe everyone

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Returning to full bloom

So by now all of you know my blog was hacked in July. I am not planning to belabour the point , it happened ,I got mad and sad, and then I got busy getting it back . And I did !
In the process some things were lost (several posts , and the comments) I may still retrieve the posts , or just be free to repeat myself now and then(lol) but it appears the comments are lost for good :( That really does upset me , because I LOVED the comments!!! You are all so sweet and kind , and funny , they never failed to make me smile (sometimes through amazed tears at how wonderful each of you are !)

But ,you don't move forward very well if you are looking back. So this is the last time I plan to talk about it .

A few things, also that were removed,I have not added back ,nothing wrong with them , but they just don't fit anymore . So the blog has essentially been pruned, and is slowly growing back to full bloom, not exactly what it was before , but still the same me , and my ponies , just a tidied up version .
I have added pages at the top , as you may see , one "about me " has  my history and history with horses . and the "about the blog " is a quick overview of where I started with blogging to where I am now , and explains the older posts a bit .

I am still posting the recovered works, but slowly ,they are time consuming and , well ,its summer !
I will be adding a sales page in time , and not sure what else we will just have to see as we grow!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend ,and as always,
Stay safe!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

If you build it , they will come

That is to say "if you adopt 2 or 3 orphan kittens and make a bed in the barn for them ,more will follow "
First there was Orange, grey and Little Blackie . The we sadly lost Little Blackie (and I have not named the others ,safer for them I figure)
A few days in the old Momma came home , thin battered and lame , but alive and HUNGRY!
OK I thought , we were short of cats all of a sudden, it was nice to have the old darlin home, and I had fallen for Orange and Grey. 
Then Yesterday hubby says "there is a calico kitten" and sure enough there was .(I call the orange and black only  tortoiseshell but whatever ) So suddenly we have 4 cats .Until today...

And there are a couple more I didn't get pics of ! As you can see some are "Poly dactyl"(Thanks Lisa and RDA ) and others  just have regular tiny kitten feet.Either way they are all super cute!

Starting to think that there is a light or a sign over this place inviting kittens to safe harbor.Kind a like the light for the "Bat cave " only this is the "cat cave"

Oh well they are here now I will do my best to take care of them and find a few of them  homes . The rest can be lifers here if they want .I like cats , I just can't have dozens of them.

Stay safe everyone

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday wishes

Wishes today and all days , that the sun will shine enough to get the hay dry and baled ,

That everyone has a friend and a place to just hang out

That the moms of this world occasionally find a little "mee/moo" time

That we remember when someone comes running to you in joy, to accept the love they  bring

That we rememberer to share the successes of our lives .  
(this is a success any way you look at it .AV Docs Baby"Andee " Purchased from Shirley, of Ride a good horse  as a pen mate for  Kat .Andee has become a beautiful and kind little mare who has stolen the heart of my husband and very likely  assured her self a lifelong  home here at Fern Valley

Have a wonderful day everyone , and remember to stay safe!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Shortcut Appy

Let me tell you a story from some time ago
from the days when away  I would go
Out to the "hills" with my good horse and ride
inspired by the beautiful Mountain side .

I rode with good folks, family and such
to make them all laugh ,just didn't take much

We rode in the rain, the weather was crappy
and I rode along on 
"The Short cut Appy"
Not really her name, but a title she earned
a wonderful horse ,with power to burn

We rode along a ridge one day as a bunch
and then it happened , just before lunch

The group got ahead at the top of a climb
Catana, and I ,had fallen behind
I looked up to see riders above me
and away we did go! Oh heaven does love me

In 5 mighty leaps she went up the side
Grabbing leather and mane I went for a ride !
She made it alright and took me with her
but I do have to say , I wasn't all sure

She made that steep climb,
and she made it snappy
from then she was known as
"the Short Cut Appy"

Back at the camp the story was told
and jokes were many as the evening got old
No one was worried 'bout a fall or a bruise 
But I heard them all yell 
" Don't drop the booze!"

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A whatever weekend

So, the weekend has come and gone.One of those weekends that nothing really got done .
Heavy rains Friday night put an end to the haying for a few days , so yesterday Martin,BIL Marc and I headed out on a tour.
Went to Barrhead and Westlock (2 slightly larger communities than Bugtussle) and stopped at first the John Deere Dealership, then the New Holland  Dealership. Seeking parts ,but we did take a moment or two at each place to ogle the shiny new tractors and implements.
Stopped for a quick lunch then on to Peavy Mart (for those who aren't from around here ,Peavy mart is the ultimate old style  farm store/hardware) You can get everything from clothes, dishes ,garden supplies , animal health , hydraulic hoses , oil and lube,Barbeque's, you name it ! We love to go once in a while and take a good long look around, never know what you might find that is just perfect for???
On to UFA (United Farmers of Alberta ) another farm supply with smaller variety still lots to choose from. Did after all get what we needed and headed home in time for ...more rain

The up side of all the rain is ,when we do get the hay up,it is a really good  crop!The guys have done well getting most of what was already cut ,baled dry before Friday , and only a small amount will need to be turned and baled when it dries .They work hard at not getting too far ahead of themselves sand leaving a lot of hay down and rotting in the fields.

Another upside is my flowers , my roses are just outdoing themselves this year!So are the weeds but  that is another story

This beauty is so rich and dark! I don't recall the name ,but it was one of the rose bushes I received for my birthday this year form my folks .The above stem had broken so I have one inside and the rest out

Another thing , growing  well is our pasture and in turn , helping to see the babies growing like weeds as well.I will have to get some photos of the calves in the next while, I am sure everyone must be getting tired of the foals (I am not but...)

As you can see Quinn is a super friendly guy and starting to convince Comet that people are just the greatest things!

Quinn has  even got Martin wrapped around his hoof and very often Martin can be found giving him a scratch when he claims he is in a hurry somewhere else!

One final photo, Skeeter hanging out on the ramp waiting for Grandma to visit (Yes mom I will use the dogs to manipulate you into coming out for coffee!LOL)
Stay Safe everyone!