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

October 2010

Date night, and playing catch up

No pictures of mine today , my wish for a new camera , may be closer than I think, my wonderful little point and shoot is not well and making an odd noise, I want to check it out before I wreck it altogether!

Last night ,martin and I had a great little night out.Attended the Reba McIntyre concert in Edmonton. Wonderful! What an amazing lady , beautiful voice ,fun show ,and she looks like a million bucks.This many years in the entertainment industry , and it sure hasn't left much of a mark.She must be living well.
We bought these tickets a few months ago when some stuff that was upsetting to both of us was going on , one of the things we decided at that time was that we needed to do things once in a while , just us , for us .So this and a trip to the NFR in Las Vegas next month were booked .Sounds extravagant , but for a couple of homebodies who both work of and on the farm , we need to do something a little different now and then .We usually seem to dig in ,nose to the grindstone most of the year ,then take off and run wild for a whole week in February when we take a holiday.This year , we are running a little wilder a little sooner .Hope the hotel in Vegas has a Bumpkin entrance!

Then there was today! Got up and did some much neglected housekeeping, got a little wrapped up in it and all of a sudden it was noon! and I was still bombing around ,vacuuming and washing floors in my jammies! Oops!Suddenly there were people here! Dashed off grabbed a quick shower and got dressed ! how embarrassing!
Deb came over to "crack the whip" and help me get the paperwork in order and the registrations and Stallion reports completed for the horses.I am ashamed to admit I was 2 years behind with the registrations (not the Stallion reports, as Deb usually does those and just makes me sign them)Anyhow , I am lucky to have her as a friend and partner on this otherwise ,I would likely be buried in paperwork!

All done and ready to go , and since I was on a roll,I also got the calenders in envelopes and addressed to send to the winners .I tell you ,the last weeks at work have been busy, and home too, something as simple as running to town (Spruce Grove 30 min drive ) to get the right size envelopes has been a huge challenge.

Martin is finished at his current work site and will be off on a much deserved break for a while , not too too long hopefully , but enough to get caught up. These guys who work in the construction industry, wow ! its either feast or famine ,he puts in about a 14 hr day 5 days a week and the odd weekend and as I said does farm work as well(mostly weekends) I am getting a little break too as with him home weekday chores won't be completely up to me anymore! I will still be helping out , mostly because I can't keep my nose out of it ,but all in all its a nice change .
Still have to wean Dandy ,either this weekend of one day this week, and start to get winter pens set up and sorted out for the animals , the weather seems to be staying nice for the moment so we are keeping as many as possible out on pasture ,but we need to be ready!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend .
Stay warm Stay safe!

Thinking about it...

Maybe day dreaming , or wishful thinking

or just looking for something new

I was just looking through some of my pictures here and there , and wondering if some of them or any of them would be good enough to enter into a competition .

I like them and am pretty proud of some of the shots I have gotten, but I am not sure,1)if they are good enough and 2) even where to start .

Just posted a few that I took recently that I like , but I have so many ,since I got this little point and shoot camera I have had a lot of fun,so much so that I am thinking of investing in a fancier one at some point ,but I kind of need to know where I am going with it ,photos just for me are fine with this little one .But maybe ...someday

Or not
stay safe ,stay warm.

Don't plan a picnic!

I know I said I would be back in color, and I will this is just the color my world was when I woke up!

I had a friend ,way back in college , who was from a place called Gibson's Landing ,in BC (us older Canadians will remember "The Beachcombers"TV show )not my fav but it was filmed there . anyhow , we had a snow like this in October that year! and she was all upset and asked "will it stay all winter?"
Born and raised here I said what any good Alberta girl would "danged if I know , but don't plan a picnic"

As usual , the first blast of old man winter ,gets our back up , and wakes us up, not surprised , just not really ready .The snow will likely melt by the weekend ,or not .But my days of picnicking are over for this year.

Black and white, or shades of grey?

Warning , one of my meanderings headed this way!
Its been a cold and dismal weekend,here old man winter is gently reminding us he is on his way.

Saturday ,Kevin and Sigrid of Bluequine were out to have a look at Annie , Maggie ,and Andee.
Annie for the most part as she has been off on her left hind,and having some real trouble with bitting as well. She responded very well to Kevin 's treatment , and was moving well and the hip seems much less tight. Also he found some tension /torque in her jaw. Too nasty out today to try her ,but a few days off and hopefully can get on next week .She sure seemed improved after her treatment dashing around and playing like a baby for several hours after he was done.Maggie ,I had him look at because she has cast herself twice over the last few months, and suddenly just over the past month went from the gorgeous girl she was to a bit of a thready ,ungainly girl,I figured since I had him here... lots going on with her as well, he suspects a fall of struggling while cast , again took the treatment well, though Megs was pretty unsure at first , when it was all said and done she turned into him with her head for a little hug! "thanks Mr I feel better!"
For Andee(the one who I actually saw injure herself this spring jumping a fence and snapping a 4 inch post with her forearm! not too bad , a little bit of muscle stuff with the leg she originally injured , but a fairly quick adjustment and away we go. Maggie and Andee are not yet started under saddle Maggie only a yearling ,but I though seeing as how I had a chance to get them worked on , why not be proactive and treat things ,that while they may seem minor now , could and likely would blow up over time .Glad I did , because the changes in Maggie were pretty significant .

On to the Meander ,
remember ,when ethics ,honesty and integrity ,were found more often than not? when simple courtesies were the norm? When common sense was common?
As fall/winter is coming on so is hunting season and the resurgence in the rural communities of ATV traffic. Gates left open ,fences cut etc will be seen more often than not .Not all hunters are bad ,nor are all ATV enthusiasts , but the few that are color it for the many that aren't . Many ranchers ,farmers etc are bracing for the onslaught , and many more have already been dealing with it

That is not the only area I am rambling about , the increasing crime rates , dishonest politics , individuals who are just "marking time" in their jobs , expecting a honest days wages for a far less than honest days work. Somehow Honesty integrity ,and ,ethics are now found more not than often.
Doing the right thing , does not always mean doing the easy thing .But I think more often than not the "right thing" lets us sleep at night .
Who am I ranting at with this post? Sadly ,no one who is likely to read it ,and if they did far less likely to listen to the message . But on a grey day like today ,I find I long for the simple days of black and white , right and wrong.
We have feed for the winter , and I am preparing a nice warm meal(pot roast and potatoes with carrots ) my animals are fed and healthy and so am I so ,I don't have much to complain about . All of last winter I ended each post with a reminder to stay warm and safe , while I always want everyone to stay safe , the time seems to have come to remind you all to stay warm too!
Have a wonderful week , we will be back and in color soon!

Hurry up,catch up,tidy up!

This post is just that, a catching/up tidying up of loose ends .
First of all to all the calender contest winners ,congrats! and yay! The calenders are finally in and will be shipped out on Monday to the winners.All except Leah Fry !who hasn't yet forwarded her snail mail addy to me from the Gifted post contest.(hurry up girl!)

Also ,you may or may not have noticed a couple changes to the blog.I have added "pages".Instead of having the horse and or tack for sale listed on the side bar ,I now have separate pages for each, you can just click on the selected page (on the side bar) to see what we have available here at Fern Valley .I hope it will make things less cluttered and easier in the long run.The calenders,and a few logo products are listed as well.Thanks to my sweet niece Dee, for modeling

Fleece vest
Isn't she just the cutest little doll?

She hates this pic , but I just adore her sweet smile!
Anyone interested in a calender or any of the items please email me at fernvalley01@hotmail.com I had thought about adding a pay pal button, but # 1) I am not too sure how and # 2 )well lts just see how it goes.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Stand up and be counted

This is a slight departure today ,again from what this blog is based on ,but I feel it is an important message .Treating people with simple respect and kindness is so simple and yet so often no the case .Every person you meet deserves to be treated with respect and dignity ,they are someones son or daughter , treat them as you would hope a stranger would treat you or yours.


Whatever your personal beliefs ,BULLYING is NEVER OK These young men and families deserved better

A look at Today ,and beyond

Time to get back to the horses

Young Dandy,looking mighty fine I think

Got those long legs of his sorted out just fine

Stickin to momma Jazz for once!

And a little Time with Richie

That "Richie mare" Get Rich Quick

"Ici" See u in my Dreams(the fat babies momma)

Richie and Ici,looking into the future maybe?

These two are bred to Windwalker Cactus ,for 2011.With what they have produced this far , the future is looking bright!


Well ,this isn't much of a horsey blog lately is it?

Hang in there ,I promise there will be some "dandy" new shots soon!

Meanwhile ,I have to share , some of the wonderful gifts I have been so lucky to receive as of late.

First ,I went to the mail the other day and saw that I had a package.When I saw the return address,(from "The Wife" of Gizzards & Calf Fries )I thought huh? then remembered she had a little contest a while back and my name had been chosen! for once in my life ,I didn't have my tiny pocket knife to open the box,and this gal is good with the tape! So I had to wait ALL DAY!! Got it home and found a lovely little card and a scented room freshener "Wallflower" with a lovely light scent .Cool!
The next thing was,a big surprise as well.I helped my friend Charlie sell a horse earlier this year ,for those who don't know ,Charlie is my farrier and from the local Hutterite colony.The ladies at the colony make amazing pies , so I told him that instead of charging him for my time ,he could just bring me a pie.Well, he forgot in June , and in July , and well, Aug, and Sept when he came to trim. So I was teasing him about it just last week , as he had forgotten yet again! Well I came home last evening to find Charlie and his young son, sitting visiting with Martin , not only had he brought me pie,2 of them ,matter of fact .

But also fresh dinner buns and the yummiest Banana bread I have ever had ! (tastes like there is a hint of molasses in it)

Had to try the pie after dinner last night and the banana bread went very well with morning coffee,I wonder if the ladies will share their recipe?

Anyhow what a day! felt like my birthday!

So because I have been so blessed , follow on down I am adding a additional contest for a Fern Valley calender !

Today Martin and I checked out the local tack sale

Got this very blingy headstall (I am thinking Phoenix) for next to nothing ,compared to retail

And a snazzy show vest for ,wait for it...$10!

Kind of like another gift ! Also picked up a older ,well broken in bridle for a spare (although I do seem to have many ) and a Western Rawhide Youth saddle ,very nice shape for a steal as well.(I guess Martin and I haven't quite let go of that adoption dream yet , or maybe Miss Abigail will need it someday.

So now for the contest...Pretty simple ,first person to correctly name this horse wins!

hint, I have always maintained a buy back policy on my horses
Good luck, back soon with pony pics!

Don't you know we have a tractor?

Some of you will have already seen these pictures and know the story,and others not . A little back story here ,I have Fibromyalgia and Lupus,and as such I often suffer from chronic joint and muscle pain for no other reason than ,a change in the weather,or a lack of rest ,or simply because snakes don't have armpits.
It is very frustrating to me , because when I was younger I was extremely strong ,could lift and carry a square bale of hay in each hand , bags of feed , whatever .I was even known to throw a calf over my shoulders to pack it in out of the cold.Due to some of these stunts, some injuries , and just the disease process in general ,over the past few years I have slowed down considerably! I am no longer able to work as a Home support aide providing nursing type care in the community ,and now work only on the Mental health side of things.
I no longer pack a bale in each hand ,but rather roll it onto a sled and drag them one at a time ,water pails =smaller pails more trips.I get the job done but differently now , maybe even smarter.
This post isn't about me feeling sorry for myself,actually very much the opposite.I have been on a new protocol , of vitamins ,mineral , and supplements as well as having had some other treatments,and I am feeling quite well.So well in fact that I decided to clean up a few piles of scrap hay the other day ...by hand.
Loaded and unloaded 2 truckloads this size and did a good cleanup around the bales
fed the scrap hay to the cows, as they were in for us to wean the calves.Now I didn't do it fast ,but I got it done!
And I felt fine!!!
That , getting horses trimmed , and sorting cows this weekend ,and other than a little stiff on Tuesday ,I was OK!!!
It may not be all that exciting to anyone but me ,but I love that I am feeling better and getting stronger again.There is a whole big difference between having stiff sore muscles from using them ,then there is to having pain just because!
My dear husband came home from work, saw what I had done and said"don't you know we have a tractor ?"
ahh whatever!

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