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, 4 August 2011

December 2010

Looking back , and ahead
Wow! 2010 is fast coming to a close!

And what a year it has been , ups downs , changes and then some . We started off with a winter that ,while it gave us some wonderful photo opportunities did feel endless !

I did a few new things this year, attended the Horse Industry Conference , in January , and the Mane event in April.Both to learn, network , and to showcase my horses. I was a bit nervous about these things , as I am not a huge fan of crowds , but we got it done and managed to both have a lovely time , and to learn at each event.

And here at the farm.

Bug and Wilder went out for training ,

and in late March Classy returned from her big adventure in Saskatoon. I took the opportunity to ride Classy before she left me again to become the first horse of a very nice young lady ,who seems to be smitten with her still.

Also said goodbye to Eurus(Arse) as he went out for training then on to be ridden by his owner Angela, he will be in Saskatoon with her till she graduates then , I don't know ... But Angela knows her Arse is always welcome here.

I bit the bullet and also made a deal on my gorgeous Badger horse, he is a great horse ,but frankly more horse than I can handle anymore .last report on him is that he is doing well for the Outfitter that took him .

FV Just as Quick, also got a new home ,with my niece Katie (who still calls him the Barbie doll horse)

Only one foal this year, but what a Dandy!

Attended the Graduation of my Beautiful niece Deanna, who was the epitome of a fairy tale princess !

We got two of my mares bred to Cactus this year , and are Anxiously awaiting the spring and the arrival of foals from Get Rich Quick, and See U in my Dreams.

I did get in a few rides on my beloved Johnnie horse , what a great boy!

FV Phoenix, and Dreamboat Annie also went into training , with Ernie, both did brilliantly , my young stallion coming home after only 30 days as he was so quiet !

Expanded my horizons a little more this summer entering Cat into a couple of shows, the first in Darwell , where she was shown by my niece Katie, and second Rich Valley where I had to face my fears and take her into the ring myself! She was a trooper through it all

as always the guys worked hard this summer to get the hay up, and what a relief when it was finally done! they struggled with the weather the entire season!

The fall of course brought with it some cooler weather , and the urge to begin "gathering nuts for winter ! ",then before we knew it it was December and Martin and I took a quick trip to Vegas! A lot of fun , but sooo nice to come home.

Lots more happened in between, good, and bad ,some worth telling , and some better to let be.

I have taken up writing poetry again (something I haven't done for years ) And while I may or may not share all of it with you some day ,here is a little one to address the
"other stuff"
When I would bow my head at night
And fold my hands in prayer
I sometimes used to wonder
Who would hear and care

As life has brought me to this day
Good and bad along the way
I try to stand strong in faith
And let God lead the way

A lesson often fought against
But must be learned I guess

Our prayers are always answered
It just isn't always yes
All in all it was a good year, for us here at Fern Valley , and I am looking forward to some great new adventures in 2011! First up will be New Years spent with good friends , and then already in January back to the Horse Industry Conference , and Mexico in Feb . and so much more
Every year we resolve
to improve
or to evolve

quit that habit
lose some weight
run a gambit
go on a date(with my husband I hope)

live it wild
take a chance
yell and shout
sing and dance

Shoot the moon
go for glory
or maybe just
tell my story
live each day
in a fashion
that's caring ,kind
and shows my passion

And at the end of every day
know that I can truly say
I'm not perfect,I'm just me
But the best darn me that I can be!

Look out 2011 ! I am ready for you , but are you ready for me???
Stay Safe and warm!
And Happy New Year !!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

After Christmas gift

So here we go , the wonderful people at the CSN stores have offered a $25.00 gift certificate,for me to give away here on the blog . As most know they offer every thing form patio furniture, indoor furnishings to modern décor ,and the stuff is just lovely !.One of these days I am going to buy myself one of their great little hammock chairs for outside to sit and read in the shade .
What would you buy?

Just click on the link modern décorand have a little look see,then let me know in the comments .I will draw for the winner on New Years Day. Good luck and happy shopping!
as always , stay safe and warm

Monday, December 27, 2010

Dashing through the snow ?

Turned Maggie and Dandy out for a run in the larger pen yesterday

They had a blast!

dashing around ,
leaping snowdrifts and generally being silly

As you can see ,Dandy somehow has taken after Eurus(Sh*ts where he stands") Angela's white Warmblood , also known as Arse.
Only Dandy's other name would be ,"Lays where he poops"!

Not a great idea , for a pally with a blanket! , hard to see his color pattern here ,I have some brushing to do!

The thing is , he actually has some nice dry bedding , if he would choose to lie in it!

With all of the tearing around, Cat , Annie and Andy got into the act and showed off a few of their own moves!

A ton of fun
Stay safe and warm, and be ready , we have a contest coming!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A fine day

We had a lovely Christmas day here at Fern Valley. Up to do chores then to my sisters for brunch,with her , BIL Marc, nieces Tara and Deanna, nephew Brendan , and my parents.had a visit and shared our stockings then Martin and I came home to prepare Christmas dinner .

Turkey ,sweet potato,cabbage rolls , mashed potatoes,brussel sprouts,stuffing ,the works! Followed by a very yummy Christmas pudding prepared by Heather ,with a rum sauce mmmm!!!

Through the meal and gift exchange there was the usual silly banter between sisters and brother heather and I ,our hubbies and our folks.The conversation ranges from soup to nuts ! I was smiling thinking ,that even when we have a squabble ,I wouldn't trade times like these for the world.
After dinner we lingered and chatted till mom was falling asleep at the table , then everyone gathered their stuff and headed back to their homes . I looked at the dishes , and nearly cried! what a mess! out late last evening and up early ,I really didn't want to face it .

but it needs to be done .While I was washing up ,I remembered a plaque that hung on my grandma's kitchen wall ,a little poem .
Thank God For Dirty Dishes
Author Unknown
Thank God for dirty dishes;

They have a tale to tell.

While others may go hungry,

We're eating very well

With home, health, and happiness,

I shouldn't want to fuss;

By the stack of evidence,

God's been very good to us.

Now all the washing up is done , and the busy part of the day is over .I was back into my p J's by 5pm!.All that is left is the feeling of love and joy that Christmas brings to us. And the hope that it will remain the year through.

Again to all of you from us Merry Christmas !

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Messin' with the music again part 2

for the ones I missed ...

From Johnnie to Santa
Jolly old Saint Nicholas,Lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say:
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve,
When I'm fast asleep
through the pastures cold and white,
With your pack you'll creep
All the horses you will find
Standing in a pen
I will be the shortest one,Somewhere near the end

Wilder wants a carrot please
Peps, She wants some oats
Cactus ,some pretty girls, with some spotted coats
Blue will need some new shoes soon,
Stryker ,just wants hay

Annie and ,Andy , say ,they just want to play
Ritchie, Ici,Jazzy,are happy as they are,
Digger wants his DVM
Bug wants to be a star

Now I think ,I leave to you
What to give the rest
And for me, dear Santa Claus;
mums love is the best .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Messin' with the music again

Another twist on an old Christmas tune,
Out in the Barnyard reindeer pause,
Out jumps good old Santa Claus
into the barn with hay and oats,
Treats for the ponies and de icing floats

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn't go? Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn't go?
Out in the Barnyard , click, click, click
A new Tractor starter from old Saint Nick

First comes the stocking of little Cat
Oh, dear Santa look at that!
A fancy new headstall with lots of Bling
Won’t she be lovely in the ring!

Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick

Next comes gifts for all the mares
treats and love from one who cares
The geldings, hardly need a thing
But a return on all the joy they bring

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn't go? Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn't go?Out in the Barnyard, click, click, click
Farmyard fun with old Saint Nick

Dandy and Maggie, what do they need?
Fresh straw in the shed and lots of feed
Maybe a “trail cam” to take a chance,
And Finally see the Phoenix dance

Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn't go? Ho, ho, ho!
Who wouldn't go?

Now to the housetop, click, click, click
down through the chimney with old Saint Nick

Winston and Skeeter, and Diesel too
Much loved pets just look at you!
Milk bones and squeaky toys and cat treats, galore
Every day we love you more

Finally the folks here at Fern Valley Farms
Loaded down with parcels in our arms
Wishing everyone all the Best,
A Very Merry Christmas,
and all the rest!

I missed naming a few names,in this I realise , but no fear they will each be seen to as always .There is a limit to my rhyming ability /creativity

As always Stay Safe and warm,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sleigh riding,maybe

I made a deal , with the fellow who took Badger ,to take "the Blacks " Dads Morgan team for a couple of months to give them a refresher and get them in shape to drive again.I am calling him this week, now that we have enough snow to do that , so we will hopefully be doing some sleigh riding with them in Feb, and March.

But thinking about that ,got me wandering down memory lane to my old mare Sunshine.Sunshine went blind from Moon Blindness at a fairly young age , and while I did still ride her now and then , I stopped driving her(She was broke to drive at 3 and a great little cart horse she was! Also pulled my dad's little 2 seater sleigh)After I stopped driving Sunshine ,I kinda lost interest in it and eventually sold my cart .
Sorry no pics of Sunshine driving , I don't honestly know if there are any out there
But lately , I guess with the blacks going out I have been thinking it would be nice.I am comfortable driving single, not so familiar with a team , but I suspect I could do it . Then I got looking at Cat ,now that little darlin' would look snappy pulling a cart !
or her and Annie together.
Or Johnnie, but I really just enjoy riding him so ...

I think it is never a bad idea to train a horse to drive, if for no other reason than you might find a reason to pull something (like a tree) out of the way or as a friend did on Sunshine, pulled an old Spruce up to camp to cut up for firewood .Also if the horse is ever sold ,it is another market for them , the more they can do and do well the better the market for them .
Anyhow , something to consider for when I have time and the weather warms up a bit .
Stay safe , stay warm!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stealth Photography

FV Phoenix, very much like his sire in many ways, not exact in looks, though the old fellow did stamp his progeny with a "certain something " but presence, temperament ,attitude ,it's like I never really lost him!
Phoenix also "dances" like his sire. Now as Chips got older he would do it on command , but in the early years, you had to just be there at the right time. He would rear , and jump, buck and dash around ,the more you encouraged him the fancier his moves got .Phoenix ,has begun to dance a little too , but still ,not when he knows we are watching. So I took these shots through the kitchen window.I had to enhance them a little so he didn't look like a ghost horse.
But they are otherwise as is .The effect is kind of different ,but for now it is the best I can get ,as the moment he sees me ,or for that matter hears the door open ,whammo standing still looking at me as if to say "nothing to see here "

Preg checked the cows today, and finally got Cat's inspection done so we are nearly caught up for 2010! Well seeing as how Cat should have had her papers a long time ago , I am caught up for 2008,2009, and nearly there for 2010!
Oh well, how we get there matters, as much as when we get there,or something like that
Stay safe stay warm
7 days till Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My World is a snow globe

That is the nicest thing I can say about it .

Tuesday night and all day Wed we had a good old fashioned blizzard. Snow wind, road closures , the works! When the dust settled(or snow) we had over a foot of snow in 24 hours. We cleaned the driveways with the loader(yay its finally fixed) twice,Wednesday evening, and needed it again Thursday morning. I have shovelled the deck and steps more times that I can count , and Martin has been doing it in between times

That is my sun room , not to much sun getting through that ice , but it is awfully pretty

Even prettier at night when the Christmas tree lights reflect off the glass

As you can see Annie is just over the moon about the weather , this mare has the greatest expressions

I am sure if she could talk she would have us rolling on the ground with her witty repartee

Yup , I am thinking ,dry English humor

Time to get Skeeter all cozy in his boots and coat , otherwise I have a 3 legged monkey helping with chores. He refuses to look at me ,though when I try to take pictures of him in his jacket.
What you can't see is ,where we didn't clear snow it is way up over our boots ! In places up to my thighs where it has drifted. not a lot of fun, but we are at no risk of having a brown Christmas!
Snow is hitting hard all over the place ,Stay safe and warm everyone

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I just couldn't wait another day!!

I won't get to see it in person till tomorrow, but I am so exited I just had to share!
remember this guy?
Well , a young friend of mine has decided to make me a gift , she is a talented young artist and musician ,who is attending college in the area.Some of you know her through the blogs as Almighty Marshmellow(and she is , what a sweet kid!)
there is a link to her artwork on my side bar as well.
But look at what she has done for me!!!!
Isn't it wonderful?
Don't know what I do to deserve such wonderful people in my life, but I hope I get to keep them all forever!
Thanks AMM you are a doll!

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