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

November 2010

Helping hands

Kit ,from Gizzards & Calf Fries is asking for some help, maybe if we all pitch in we can help her get this lovely dog to her new home . I sure hope so Kit has done so much for animals and continues to do with her4 Paws Project , finding homes for Shelter dogs in her area , by taking beautiful photos of them and presenting them in the best possible light to potential adopters.

Here is her post

"We are trying to get a Doberman from the shelter here to her new home in Chicago. We are still in need of a number of legs in the transport. The transport will run from Texas to Oklahoma, than Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. If you know of anyone out there that could help, that would be awesome! We have her set from here to Oklahoma City. Just need to pick up some car rides from there on.I figured I would post on here since I have readers all over the United States. If you think you can help, please contact Sandy at the Shelter. The number is 254-754-1454.I know what it's like trying to get your dog home. I got lucky with Diesel. The stars aligned and everything fell into place. Let's hope Gail, the Dobie, has the same good luck!"

If you can help or know of someone ,click on the link in this post ,or my sidebar. And let Kit know
Stay Safe Stay warm

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My other Blue eyed Handsome man

All the girls say,

"Who's that Guy"

The other Blue eyed Handsome man

I didn't get him all shined up today, just tried on his new headstall.I like it ,just enough bling to make a statement, but not so much that it over powers him. Just imagine him all shed out and shined up going to his first shows next year!

I am excited at the prospect, him?
Maybe not so much.LOL

Stay safe ,Stay warm

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lucky or good?

There is a song lyric out there that goes

Hard work never hurt nobody , but I'd rather be Lucky"

Now , most of the time ,I would say that I prefer to do the work , I don't trust "luck" it can too easily turn on you .

Today was either a case of "good luck , or good management" I prefer to think good management.

Today was the day to halter Dandy. I went in and walked him around his stall for a minute or two , and basically put the halter on (there were a few subtleties involved ,but the whole process from nekkid to haltered took 3-4 min.

No muss no fuss. Worked with him giving to pressure , then decided to brush him a bit seeing as he has a tendency to find all the poop in his stall to lie in

As I brushed down his legs , I thought ,"why not" and tried picking up his feet .A little fussy about holding them up , but all in all not bad (fronts only today ,I didn't want to push too hard)

I am so pleased with how well he did,I said earlier to my friends ,either I am good at this or I raise really smart horses! either way its all good!

Intended to try Phoenix's new headstall on as I finally got some reins to match , but I ran out of time! Maybe tomorrow.

"You better spend time with me tomorrow ! I am the prince you know!!!"
Also took a few shots of Peps for "Greymare "of Never Too Old .This is just a sample ,I sent her 20 , so if you want to see more , we will have to chase her to post on her own blog!!!! hint hint
As always Stay safe ,stay warm!

Friday, November 26, 2010

FV Sparks Image

I feel good,
I knew that I would, now
I feel good,
I knew that I would, now
So good,
so good,
Maggie got some time off from babysitting Dandy today.Thought she would really tear up the place , but that was it . Waiting at the gate when it was time to go in , like the sweet girl she is

The weather outside is frightful

"And at the risk of sounding spiteful,

There is a place that I want to go,

Mexico, Mexico , Mexico! "

OK , now that I have butchered what is likely some one's favorite Christmas song, I am just saying it's snappy cold here still ! Great weather ,really ,if you are a Polar bear , and as I told my hubby , it's good hunting weather, you can stand quietly and hear the teeth chattering of your prey!

Enough complaining , it is expected to warm up tomorrow. Anyone who lives in Alberta , or a similar climate knows, winter seems to grab us by the throat every year, then eases off again a few times , before we really get used to it .But get used to it , we will.

Halfway through the week already too, how did that happen!

I have to say , after my last post , there were more tears reading the comments, but these were tears of joy! What wonderful people ! you are all so kind and supportive , you moved me beyond what you can realise. I felt like so many hands were reaching out to take mine and help I am truly overwhelmed . I am blessed in this life in so many ways , including the wonderful group of friends I have in person, and online , and while I may not know each of you face to face , I feel I do know your hearts and they are true and strong! I am in awe of each of you and adore you !

Facing my tears

This post is a bit different , and contrary to the title ,not meant to be a sad one.
This weekend ,has been much like any other here at Fern Valley , chores ,housekeeping ,colder than I would like but ,that is winter in Alberta .
The exception this weekend , though is Saturday ,I attended the funeral of an old friend and neighbor , who lost a 5 year battle with stomach cancer(OK some sad after all) the service was a non denominational "Celebration of Life" brief , simple and very much in keeping with what this man would have wanted . The family did their very best to make Dad proud and it broke my heart to watch his Daughter struggle through his eulogy , then his youngest boy ,now a grown man with his own children sobbing inconsolably.

Cliff had asked his daughter to rely to her brothers , how proud he was of them and how much he loved them, in fear that they would never know because he had not said it to them himself. Cliff was a good man and a kind soul, but not one to share his feelings with many.

That mindset "be strong " don't show emotion , or "don't cry " has plagued many of us for years. I am here to say right now , Being strong doesn't mean ,you don't cry , not even that you don't cry in public . Being strong sometimes means the you stop outrunning your tears , and stand and face them.
It's OK to let that feeling wash over you and grieve ,loss , pain, fears, frustration ,whatever it is .It is a healing thing , and like the rain ,when it is over there is the promise of brighter days or a rainbow.
Why am I writing about this today ? I have had several things ,on and off over the summer bothering me , some little ,some big , the biggest being the adoption process . We did have a match of sorts with a child , but with out going into detail ,it turned out not to be the best match for the child and us , and we had to make the difficult decision to decline. Then were faced with deciding ,if we wanted after all this time to continue waiting , or to respectfully withdraw our application , we are still stuck on that issue , and have decided to wait and see.If is meant to be ,it is , and if not ... well that too will become clear in time , with prayer and patience.
I was surfing around on the net this morning , not thinking about any of this when I came across a video , simple silly little thing , and it took me right out at the knees! found myself crying like a baby , for loss of a friend , the frustrated mom in me , and so much more .I have run from my feelings ,and tried to keep going for quite some time , and today was the day I had to stop, stand , and frankly face my tears .
And I feel much better now . I will still miss my friend , and I will always wish I could be a mom, but as I have said before I am an All Star Auntie , and that is pretty Wonderful. I also have wonderful memories of this friend and many others who have come and gone from my life , so in a way I will always have them close .
So I have dried my eyes, for now and cuddled my rainbow of Appies , and of course my big yellow dog(and the little black and white one ) held hands with my husband . and said my prayers . And for now , all is right in my world .
Stay safe my friends , and stay warm.

Snowcap Appys!

Even the Quarter horse are in on the program!

It was a long time coming , but Old man winter is here now! Cold,wind ,and blowing snow.Not as much as we have had ,but things are just getting started !

I hate to admit it , but its almost a relief!That clean white blanket means moisture, and insulation for the hay crop(I hate it when it turns nasty cold before we have a layer of snow to protect things )
Now the stuff I didn't get done this fall is covered till spring , and I don't feel so far behind
The horses are doing well, the snow on their backs means they are not loosing heat .
I ,on the other hand ,am still convinced I am freezing to death! I will acclimatise but every winter it takes me a little longer !
Stay Safe stay warm

It happens every year

Winter,that is,and every year ,I feel for the first few weeks like I am going to freeze to death .Its only -10C /14F but DANG!!!!! plus it is windy . No measurable snow just yet but it is coming , southern Alberta has already gotten some today ,ours has come and pretty much blown away . With the temperature drop ,I had to bring the "boys " in where they can get to water so ,Johnnie , Digger ,& the blacks are all in with Chance and Wilder in the winter pen. Chance thought he was a bit of a hero and has now officially been handed his own *ss by Johnnie! The mares are all together now as well, that was a bunch quieter , as tough as Bug thinks she is Ritchie is the ultimate boss mare and EVERYONE listens when she says enough!
Blue ,and Stryker are on a pen together now ,as Blue 's arthritis and navicular issues make the gelding pen no longer appropriate, and Stryker is there for company (those two are buddies so it fits well.) and I suspect Stryker is OK with having the "cushy" pen for the winter.Hope everyone is staying safe and warm .I am seriously considering lighting the wood stove and sitting on or near it till spring!!!

Forgive the picture quality ,I took them on my cell phone and ,mostly as anyone who has been to a rodeo knows its just a warp speed blur! I think the pictures are pretty much how I would see it riding one of those broncs, the only thing you would see clearly is the ground coming up to meet you!

These are the only pics I got , I then got busy watching and gave up trying .We had great seats this year ,8th row right over the timed events. Apparently also right where the night before a bull had come into the stands! The pickup men already had him roped so the damage was mitigated some , but at least one lady was taken to hospital (I hope she is OK) talk about up close and personal!

Before heading in to the rodeo, we got a few things done around home , then headed into town to look at Farm fair, I was there working the booth for the Horse industry association on Thurs,but I decided to wait till hubby was with me to go look around the cowboy Christmas and trade show . Lots to see, but I only grabbed a pair of jeans(Q baby's by wrangler) ,they fit me well and were on sale and in brown so, Deb, who was along with her son Robert also got a pair , we are going to have to be careful we don't start dressing alike on outings! I am actually thinking , they ,with a cream blouse and the fancy vest I got cheap at the tack sale might work as a show outfit ,at least here at the local level
Today cleaned stalls ,for Maggie and Dandy , while Dandy snuggles and blew in my ear the whole time I was in his stall, Maggie ... not so much , she cuddled a bit but mostly seemed to want to know if there would be a snack involved . Also got both of them , Phoenix, Cat Andy and Annie dewormed , so I am getting to the list a little at a time.
Rainy and dreary today ,so I am in the house , mostly avoiding housework!
Have a great week stay safe stay warm!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catch me if you can

Busy times these days. Since last weekend I have been working for the Mental health clinic, as always ,but my caseload has suddenly increased, and with some minor issues of scheduling , my "short days at work have actually been longer than my regular days . A few extras have cropped up at home as well. Chores , and such .Yesterday , was of course Remembrance day , and not a regular work day for me.Instead ,Martin ,I and the dogs went out to move the cows (getting as much out of the pasture as possible ) then I wet into Farmfair to work at the trade show for the Horse Industry association of Alberta from 2-7 .I t was a fun time , and I ran into several old friends and acquaintances ,but then ,late getting home and back to regular schedule today .and it occured to me a few minutes ago , while I was making my lunch...
SON OF A BUCK!!!! It is NOV 12!!!!!!!!
and suddenly the list of things I need to get done started pouring into my head
  • get the horses into winter quarters(find water heaters etc)
  • deworm
  • stain the shed
  • find my Christmas lights for outside and put them up before we have a blizzard
  • Christmas baking
  • Christmas shopping(to find just the right little somethings)
  • get all registration paperwork sent off before Nov 30
  • Preg check cows
  • ship the culls and the old bull
  • sort off the butcher calves and start them on grain
That's just what I can remember , there is a lot more on my regular to do list
See , we have had such a lovely long fall,I missed the fact that time was getting away on me , and even though I saw the snow ,it wasn't really until I got the cutest little red velvet Christmas outfit for Abby that I noticed Christmas was coming. Also we are leaving for Las Vegas for the NFR in 24 days! I am excited about the trip ,but thinking I have quite a few things to get done before that , and when we get home ,boom! the holidays will be upon us!
Not much to complain about , but I had better get my end in gear .The next few weekends are pretty booked as well with the rodeo this weekend , and hoping Sunday to go visit Abby .Next weekend , a gathering to celebrate a friends 50th birthday , and my sister's birthday right away after (she is not 50 ,rotter barely looks 30!)
Seems as fast as we go ,the time goes faster and before we know it we will be ringing in the New Year .
I used to have a coffee mug with a saying called "The essence of Survival "
It said,
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle awakens. He has only one thought on his mind: To be able to run faster than the fastest lion. If he cannot, then he will be eaten.Every morning in Africa a lion awakens. He has only one thought on his mind: To be able to run faster than the slowest gazelle. If he cannot, he will die of hunger.Whether you choose to be a gazelle or a lion is of no consequence. It is enough to know that with the rising of the sun, you must run. And you must run faster than you did yesterday or you will die. This is the race of life." - African Proverb
Guess I better get running!
Stay warm , stay safe

A dogs life , not a bad idea

This is exerpted from a lovely email, about dogs ,I got today .I am sure we have all seen it before but it never hurts to remember good suggestions .

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some days are Diamonds...

Today, wasn't one of them

The good news is at the end of it all ,we are fine .Dandy is coping well with being weaned ,big sister Maggie is in the barn as his buddy and she is thinking it is a bit of alright .
Eat ,drink (without competition) sleep, rush over to the colts side of her stall to quiet him down when he is worried, repeat. All good .Dandy is eating well, & drinking.(and yes pooping!!!)

Momma Jazz, is doing well, calling a fair amount but good mommas like her take some convincing that I will do right by their babies.I always talk to the mare and tell her that she has done a brilliant job this far, now its my turn t care for her foal ,I know I have some pretty big shoes to fill!

Anyhow , the rest of the news today was ,well not as good. Started out alright , not a lot of sleep , checking on momma and baby through the night , but there was that extra hour.moved the rest of the patio furniture into the shed , then Martin went out to check the cows.I went into the barn to find the stock tank heater for Phoenix's stock tank(which I know I put in a safe place this spring) so safe in fact It is safe from me! It will turn up but yeesh! used the small heated tank for him till I track things down.
Meanwhile ,the versatile in in the front of the barn for repairs ,so I needed to go through the back, yesterday to bring in baby ,and also today to move hay.There is a smaller garage door to divide the front and back ,that has been the bane of my existence for years .Every time I touch it something goes wrong (dad repaired it yesterday for me but ...) I went to open it and one side popped off the track and bonked me on the head , causing me to use language unsuited for polite company!
Got it open and backed the truck in as Martin got back and we unloaded and stacked the hay . Then back to the door to fix it , well that went badly I was up on the ladder directing it back into the track and Martin was trying to pull it down . the anchor that holds the track to the ceiling let go and the door flipped around knocking me off the ladder, and is presently ,more or less closed totally upside down ! And we are leaving it that way until tomorrow ,or forever depending how mad & sore I stay . In my younger days a pirouette and grande jete off the ladder might not have been a bad thing , but today it has managed to do something nasty to my back and ankle .
Adding to all this Martin went back out to feed the cows , and I guess hurrying to get done and maybe distracted went through a gate that was too narrow and broke out the glass door!
Sorry this pic is so blurry ,but he is a cutie and frankly ,it was clearer than my head when I took the pic .
Hubby and I are in for the night ,both sitting quietly and avoiding stairs and sharp objects !
Have a great week , stay safe , and stay warm!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some more Stone soup

The Story of Stone Soup

Once upon a time, somewhere in post-war Eastern Europe, there was a great famine in which people jealously hoarded whatever food they could find, hiding it even from their friends and neighbors. One day a wandering soldier came into a village and began asking questions as if he planned to stay for the night."There's not a bite to eat in the whole province," he was told. "Better keep moving on.""Oh, I have everything I need," he said. "In fact, I was thinking of making some stone soup to share with all of you." He pulled an iron cauldron from his wagon, filled it with water, and built a fire under it. Then, with great ceremony, he drew an ordinary-looking stone from a velvet bag and dropped it into the water.By now, hearing the rumor of food, most of the villagers had come to the square or watched from their windows. As the soldier sniffed the "broth" and licked his lips in anticipation, hunger began to overcome their skepticism."Ahh," the soldier said to himself rather loudly, "I do like a tasty stone soup. Of course, stone soup with cabbage -- that's hard to beat."Soon a villager approached hesitantly, holding a cabbage he'd retrieved from its hiding place, and added it to the pot. "Capital!" cried the soldier. "You know, I once had stone soup with cabbage and a bit of salt beef as well, and it was fit for a king."The village butcher managed to find some salt beef . . . and so it went, through potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and so on, until there was indeed a delicious meal for all. The villagers offered the soldier a great deal of money for the magic stone, but he refused to sell and traveled on the next day. The moral is that by working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved.

I posted this story , a long while back, when I had just stated blogging http://fernvalley01.blogspot.com/2008/12/stone-soup-story-of-stone-soup-once.html

But today ,as I am boiling down the Turkey carcass from a few days ago it came to mind again.

As you read the story , the premise becomes clear,teamwork, and everyone giving a little bit can make such a wonderful difference.That is how I have come to feel about this blogging community .Each of us share a little bit of ourselves ,knowledge,smiles ,fears and tears , and together we have become greater than we started . New friends have gotten to know each other, even met in person some and old friends are able to keep in touch.

So as I put each of the ingredients into my "stone soup" tonight,to balance it and make it rich and hearty, and when I serve it to my folks tomorrow ,I will think of you all and the tidbits of love ,support and knowledge you have shared to make me richer , and also more balanced.

To those who remember and were reading way back

when I wrote the original post .Will also remember a pretty wonderful thing that happened in relation to it . Stuff like that makes it all seem right with the world !

Thursday, November 4, 2010



Maybe even someday soon.I traded in a bunch of those "points " from a collector card I have had for years ,and I have almost 3/4 of the purchase price in gift cards coming to me,so get ready for a whole bunch of pictures!!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Winston Wednesday

Just because



his little buddy

can't help themselves

They just

make me

Smile! and that just can't be a bad thing

Stay safe and warm everyone!

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