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, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

My "Year in review post will have to wait , got busy and didn't get it done .
But as we say good bye to 2012

We here want to Wish you a Happy New Year. 
And I truly hope it 


Wishing everyone a Happy and safe New Year

Saturday, 29 December 2012

C'me on join the joy ride (Many pictures)

That is what this weekend has felt like so far! And we are only halfway!
Friday afternoon  I came home early enough to turn Harley out for a bit. It was his first big outing so I left the lead on him in case I needed to grab him fast. A little iffy on the leading out, but pretty good for a baby

 he blew off some steam
 Then went to meet the "Quiet Giant"
 then blew off a little more steam
 He went back in leading like an old school horse , and back out for a run this morning leading out with excellent manners! 
After Harley  got put to bed and chores were done , we were graced with a wonderful visit . Linda,  from One Old Cowgirls view along with her hubby and sweet old dog Blue. The were here on the way to another stop, and we had the pleasure of enjoying supper and a lovely visit , then I did my best to feed 'em up good before I sent them on their way this morning! She brought me a lovely gift as well. Such great folks! 

And if that wasn't enough for one weekend , we were invited to go sleigh riding today ! Headed out to Darwell around noon and away we went !Great fun , great folks and beautiful horses, and ...

 "Team Meeting " LOL
  Bob and Alicia's team 
Happy's lovely  new team
 Not sure of the names of the owners of the next two teams but Gorgeous  horses all the same 

 Bobs girls from the front 
 And here is the ... Gary and Brenda , and their gorgeous team of draft mules! 

Tomorrow is looking like the joy  ride will continue! Spending a bit more time with Harley, chores and barn cleaning. Then to town to have a visit with Martin's  buddy, and to my Aunts for the evening! 
Non stop  fun!!! 
Stay safe my friends

Thursday, 27 December 2012

A "Heart made" Christmas

Weird title? maybe ,maybe not , hang in there with me.
As I said in my last post it was likely the last Christmas we would all be on the old farm so we made the most of it ! Spending time with  family, and enjoying some great memories .When I took my dad over to Uncle Bills party, Christmas eve, Uncle Bill hugged me so hard I thought I would lose my stuffin's! Dad lives just across the garden but for many reasons has not been able to attend for some time.I think he really enjoyed the visit and I know so many were happy to see him there . Christmas  morning ,Martin and I were up  bright and early ,did chores and headed back to mom and dads. We shared in a lovely brunch featuring  Tara's home made cinnamon buns. Then opened gifts.
I am a spoiled, wife,sister , daughter and Auntie !!! What wonderful thoughtful gifts!
Tara made her gifts this year, a handmade snow globe , and a fancy jar of lemon sugar body scrub! I even dug out my craft box, and made 3 angels for 3 of my  special angels who are now each living in their own homes this year and have their first Christmas trees.
 Each was accompanied  by this little verse 
Your Christmas Angel to watch you from above
Atop your own tree, made by me with love
A special angel with Butterfly wings
To celebrate life and the changes it brings
Merry Christmas to my own special Angel

Whether home made or store bought each gift exchanged was one  with meaning  from the giver to the recipient and given with love . And accepted with  joy, as it should be . 
The dinner was a  joint effort  with Tara  making stuffing , Heather and Dad were up in the wee hours  getting the bird in the oven , I helped carve and make potatoes and brought cabbage rolls, made at home as taught to me by my old friend Mrs P. Dee, was busy setting the table beautifully , the boys  kept busy helping with all and sundry. And Heather and I  kept mom and dad entertained in the kitchen chatting , helping and singing Christmas songs .
We then proceeded to eat too much  dinner and a big slice of Heather's wonderful gingerbread cake, then the gang all pitched in to clean up, well except me, I was dedicating a moment to my Granddad Blaine , and investigating the inside of my eyelids for a time LOL (after a dinner he would say "I am ruined! " and then go and dose in a chair for "forty winks"
SO there you go, that was our Christmas , hope all was well with everyone. 
Will be starting my "Year in review post soon and then ,since I was gently reminded by someone on Christmas eve I have not been posting much lately , I will get after writing some new posts! 
Meanwhile stay safe and warm  my friends

Monday, 24 December 2012

This Christmas Eve

As we gather on this Christmas Eve
in love and faith ,we still believe 
The reason just can't be ignored
the very birth of 
Christ our Lord 
through all the festive gifts and lights 
shines that very first Christmas  night

For without this ,the day would come 
and go  with meaning, to no one 
Just another winter day
where no person took the time to pray

Sing the carols ,lift your voices high
and never let the true meaning die

Merry Christmas to all, with love from Sherry and Martin, and all the critters here at Fern Valley
And as always , stay safe my friends

Friday, 21 December 2012

Memories of home

Wow December is speeding along, I keep wanting to do a new post and I have put up the odd one but really not much to say. Getting Ready for Christmas, it will be the last one at mom and dads house as old farm is being sold , we will likely spend Christmas Eve at my Uncles  home for his annual gathering then home  for chores and back to the old farm for Christmas day ! A bittersweet time to be sure, but with family around it can never really be sad .
I wrote this poem a  while ago, and it is actually in my 2nd  book, but I have never before posted it. Now seems like maybe a good time to share it.
Remembering Home 
Dusty and Jigs, and an old dog named Peps
And grabbing the paper, off Aunties Barbs steps
Awaiting the School bus by the highway in September
Just some of the times I still can remember
The big old Spruce trees that reach for the sky
One lit up for Christmas in all years gone by
The old Dairy barn
And salt in blue blocks
This is the place, where I learned to walk
And to work and to ride, both bikes and on horses
And learned the true facts
Of Nature’s good and bad forces
Delivering milk, all round the farm
Those crates seemed so heavy, upon my young arm
The sweet smell of silage that wrinkled your nose
And the wonderful feeling of grass on your toes
Sweet peas so fragrant all up on the vine
Scented the breeze near grandmas clothesline
Our gardens so huge and us on our knees
Griping and grumbling
Picking green beans and peas
Farm life is good it isn’t all hard
I remember the water fights out in the big yard
100 years plus, here on this land
Where a young William Horricks. First took a stand
A heritage built, on hard work and grit
Where all of us learned, to just never quit
With George, and with Charlie, then Bud, Bill and Ron
They took up the torch, the old place stood strong
And now progress has come,
As we knew that it would
Soon new homes will be built
Where our heritage stood
I wonder will they know
Will they understand?
The magic that lies right here in this land
The light of our dreams let loose to soar
The echo of cows and the big combines roar
The things I shall take, as I say farewell
To this space
Are the memories fond, and no matter the place
That each of us land, and wherever we roam
We learned it here first
Our family is home

Not too many pictures these days either , but busy  days and COLD!
I will leave you with this for now ...
it looks
Santa Paws
is on his way!

Stay safe and warm my friends

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

My Favorite

It seems to me  that every year around this time I share this with you , but it is a favorite of mine . The Christmas Carol  "I heard the bells  on Christmas day "
This year as others I will again share this with you if you chose to listen. It is a simple poem by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow . Here is the complete poem, the song leaves out  the  verses reflecting the battlefield

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on the earth, good-will to men."

"During the American Civil War, Longfellow's oldest son Charles Appleton Longfellow joined the Union cause as a soldier without his father's blessing. Longfellow was informed by a letter dated March 14, 1863, after Charles had left. "I have tried hard to resist the temptation of going without your leave but I cannot any longer," he wrote. "I feel it to be my first duty to do what I can for my country and I would willingly lay down my life for it if it would be of any good". Charles soon got an appointment as a lieutenant but, in November, he was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church (in Virginia) during the Mine Run Campaign. Coupled with the recent loss of his wife Frances, who died as a result of an accidental fire, Longfellow was inspired to write "Christmas Bells".

I have written about how much  I like this  song before and mentioned that after he passed away I found the lyrics written in one of my Grandfather's  journals as it was also a favorite of his . Funny how that happens.

Anyhow in light of all of the tears shed over the last few days and those  yet to be shed for the losses ,the message  especially seems fitting somehow .
So here it is;

Stay safe , my friends 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

I believe

In the face of such pain and suffering in the world and the tragedy that struck in Connecticut , it can be hard to have faith and to hold on to the belief that there is good in the world. The  joining of our global family in prayer yesterday does show me that there is in fact still good. The stories over the next few day will be about the individual who perpetrated this horrific crime, but also about the heroism of the folks involved. The teacher who hid her students away and stood alone to face her death, and all who stepped up to help and stand for the fallen. Those are the stories I will  remember , when I pray for these families .

Morgan Freeman said;"You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

We cannot repair the damage done or turn back the clock, but evil will only triumph when we stop believing .

 I Believe 

I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows,
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows,
I believe for everyone who goes astray,
Someone will come to show the way,
I believe, I believe.

I believe above the storm a smallest prayer
Will still be heard,
I believe that someone in the great somewhere
Hears every word,
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry,
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky,
Then I know why,
I believe.

Stay safe my friends

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Good bones

About 7 or 8  years ago I had a fairly bad wreck . Came off a horse at high speed and when I landed, I landed most of my weight on my left elbow. To add insult to injury , my wrist snapped  back and whacked me in the jaw and then if that wasn't enough the horse  jumped on me. All in all a crappy afternoon!.

I got up, got back on the horse for a few minutes and then headed to Emerg . BECAUSE MY HAND AND ELBOW REALLY HURT and my wrist  was at a funky angle .
Unfortunately I also had a really large swelling and a hoof print on my thigh(wore shorts to the hosp because pant  kinda hurt) SO as much as I argued that I was  concerned about my arm, the doc was petty focused on my leg.Eventually convinced them that I was  hardly likely to have walked in , far less have gotten back on the horse with a broken femur !
So they agreed to X ray the wrist , nothing broken but as it turns out later the impact of my  jaw on my ulna caused enough trauma that I now have a  bone cyst there .Found that out a while back. My elbow has also been giving me trouble for some time , and when I told my new doctor about all of this she sent me for more x rays , as she was concerned there may have been a break that was missed.
The good news is , dropping my entire body weight at speed on my elbow didn't break anything (as the title says ,GOOD BONES )
The bad news is I have severe arthritis in that  joint . So I went in today to have a cortisone injection  to relieve some off  the inflammation and pain. Hurts like a sonovabuck! to get it done , but once the freezing was on board it felt pretty good. A little sore tonight , but I should see results if I am going to in the next few days .
As for the horse that threw me? well things happen and I have to say while I  have long ago stopped riding her . She is non other than
"That Richie mare " Broodmare royalty ! 
Dam of  such sweet good minded foals as; Classy,Wilder, Phoenix, Justus ,and Quinn
She is better at that job nuff said.
So other than work and doctors appts in has been a quiet week, hopefully will have a new interesting post soon.
Meanwhile , stay warm, and stay safe  

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Festival of Christmas Wonder

That is where I have been the last  couple of days. It was held in Westlock. A bit of a hairy drive  up there and back Friday with the roads still  poor from Wednesdays snow . 

This is my table , I was set up  in front of a wonderful Mural done by the Art Society  there, I felt a little bad because the mural was hard to see with me in front of it, but it is where I was told to go.
I was very careful to place my things well away from it so as not to damage it ,but (in the one  really yucky moment this weekend) a lady took it upon herself to approach and demand I move further out . I explained I could not move much  further without blocking the aisle , and that I was well away from it . She said "well when you weren't here kids were running behind your table and there is not  room for them to  do that." ???? How about we don't have kids running wild around a display???
Anyhow I  agreed to try to move slightly  further, and she grabbed at my table to yank it forward , upsetting several of my cards !
I kept my cool and  calmly advised her I would take care of it . But I have to say , after the nasty roads and all the set up, along with not loving  crowds , I was ready right there and then to pack it in! I almost felt like crying!
A little later the organizer stopped by and said  hello , she was fine with where I was and made no further comment.
Sales were pretty slow this weekend , not  just for me , but for many of the vendors, there was a lot going on for kids and also a hockey tournament so that may have played a role , or  just the weather . Several vendors packed up  early last evening , and also today some left  just after lunch .
My sister came with me today , (so that lady is  lucky she didn't pick on me again! not with my big sis there to defend me!!) Again slow sales but we did have a nice time , spoke to lots of folks and  did a little looking around ourselves . All totaled I sold 3 books and a few cards , and had a nice day. But dang!!! am I tired tonight !
Staying home to  do a few things around here tomorrow , may get a start on my inside decorating , then Martin is home Monday till after Christmas!
Hope everyone had a good weekend
Stay safe and warm my friends

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

when there is nothing else to talk about

There is always the weather! 
 And did we have some of that! 
 the forecast  was for scattered flurries accumulations of up to 1-3 cm. Well when we had 25 cm (1 foot) they revised the forecast!LOL
 Phoenix is not impressed but he wasn't cold, the snow was piling up on his  back  but not melting he does have a windbreak and shelter of trees but he was  too busy  watching the show , with me and the snow blower 
  From red roan to snocap in  1 easy step! 
The snow stopped around 2 ish and it turned into a pretty day 
 Da Boyz , 
 Having a blast 

 And say what you like about  herding dogs, this is the best farm dog EVER !! How many dogs do you know will break trail in the deep snow for you ?
OK ,he did wander a bit but it was better than nothing 

 Looking to the long walk home

 "C'me on mom, do I need to pack it down more for you ?"
I am awfully glad he did , that deep snow is like walking through glue and not kind to my sciatic/psychotic nerve 

 Nearly there , Phoenix is back to himself, guess he is  kind of a snocap after all 
 Skeeter is about done with this project snow past my belly?? I don't think so people!!!! 
I cleared some  snow then Marc  came home and got the loader going to  clear the roads ,I had  driven my little Rav 4 up to his place to break trail and for the first time ever I was pushing snow with it ! 
Quite the storm !
Stay safe and warm my friends

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Adjusting Arse,and...

So, I have mentioned before that Eurus is here for a while to recover from an injury. He is doing well and seems mostly pretty comfortable, the wound is healing nicely ,but he is still a little well, off on his hind end. Angela was out  this weekend for a visit , and brought him in  for grooming and  just to check him. He seemed really good so  she popped up bareback to try him. Still seemed fine  no hesitation or off steps ,but still  just not quite right . Tina, from On  the Spot Equine therapies  was here this afternoon to check him over,and did find some issues(I missed the treatment as I was out catching Johnny,but I will tell you about that later ) 
It  seemed to go well and he was  back out in  the pen. A few  hours later I saw him lying  down, sternal , and totally relaxed ! Might not seem like much  but since he has been here has  not layed  down other than to roll or  down and up, he tends to rest with one hip  leaned against the rail fence . So to see him down relaxed and comfortable was  great, also watched him get back up, total fluid movement  no stiffness or hesitation! Looks like the Quiet Giant is on the mend! 

(I know I have used this pic often ,but it is a good one! ) 

As to why I was out grabbing  Johnny Handsome, well I  mentioned a while back that he can be a bit of a fool when we are trimming him, only on the one hind leg, otherwise he is a good boy . This  horse is so well behaved and kind on every other level I baffles me that he can be such a tool when it comes to  one foot being trimmed, he starts to get iffy on the first hind but the second  BAM! He is BAD . Anyhow, I mentioned this to Tina and his history (Badly  contractured hind leg as a foal ) and she thought there was a good chance she could help him. Well glad I asked, my poor guy! he was out on his hip, and shoulder, neck and jaw! , don't I feel like a jerk! 
In my defense other than the farrier issue he has never offered to  resist or complain under saddle , he is willing and honest so... who knew? Appaloosas are notoriously stoic as well. He was funny though , Johnny doesn't really like the barn, was never in it  much and at 14 he is fairly convinced that is where he will go to die!  He went in and stood , but shook like a leaf and fussed ! When Tina stood up on her  block examine his back and adjust his hip , well then ! he buried his head in my chest and  just froze! Poor boy! After the treatment though he seemed much  calmer seemed to realize she was helping him, and wow! when she adjusted his shoulder what a difference in his range of motion! This horse was good before, he is gonna be awesome now! 

Not much else going on  at the moment , thinking I will lay low today and maybe look at taking some of my Christmas collections out and getting started , or maybe there is a good movie on...
Stay safe and warm  my friends!