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, 30 January 2014

melted my heart

Gotta  share  the  new  Budweiser  Super bowl commercial. They make  me  tear up  fairly  regularly ,but I love them!
Somehow these folks  manage  every year to make a memorable advertisement that  speaks  to many and gets  folks  attention without using sex,violence or alluding to coarse language or innuendo. Well  done  Budweiser!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Fun with Fix

An "auto awesome"  look  at the Fern Valley  dog and pony show! 

And what got him  fired up? 
His son  Harley! showing off  some moves 

Have fun and stay safe my friends! 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

RIP Lumix 2.0

I take a lot of  photos. (understatement of the year! LOL . And while I did  invest in a big  camera ,a Canon  Rebel T2I ,my go to camera  for years has  been a little Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ4. I love  that  camera, so much that when  my first one was on its last  legs I scoured  eBay until I got a screamin deal on a brand  new  replacement. And I used it , most of  my photos  over  the last  5 or so years have been  taken on it, I carry it everywhere with me , and I suspect that is why it got so tired and died. It started to fail in  the early  spring but I got it cleaned up and rejuvenated and it lasted until yesterday.
I have  checked  eBay, and several other  sites but sadly they  don't make that model  anymore and I wont buy it used . So now  the question, to buy a new  one the next  model up

Or take a bigger  financial  plunge and get the waterproof shock proof dust proof model  

(not  buying form  this site I found  both  cheaper  elsewhere 
fair difference in price, but the dust proof  part is a pretty  compelling  feature, seeing as  the camera  even in a cover  does tend  to ride around in my pocket on the farm, and my pockets, are , well, um chore coat pockets.
the  waterproof , has  less  zoom  than the new  model, but almost as much as  my old one  9.3  as opposed to 10X , but the newer model has 20X , so  hmmm,  in a perfect world I would get both  but that might be  just  greedy. 
Am I determined to stick  with  Lumix? yup,  for several  reasons, they are  great cameras, and unlike a lot of companies  the batteries and chargers, connectors and accessories don't  seem to change with  every upgrade, so I can  use  some of what I already have  to upload photos , and a spare battery is never a bad idea! 
Anyhow, while I think about it , you will be subjected to old  photos and cell phone pics, and maybe I will drag out the big camera  from time to time to get more used to using it .

Till  then  be well and stay safe my friends 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Picture this,a wander around the farm

 Tommy Toes, trying to entice you in to the old log house  to give him  a tummy rub.

 As you can  see, wherever he has been , he hasn't been "eating his own  cooking"
Fat and furry! 
 and a few  more  "fat and furies'

FV Dreamboat Annie and FV Catch a Dream. can  you  tell  they  are  related?
Winston, and Skeeter
 an Auto Awesome of 
a good old farm hand

The  daughter of  the "photo bomber" flashing a smile
 some  say,its old and  the roof is failing and we should knock it down. I say NO

What is Ole Blue eyes  looking at?

 Got the  girls looking too, and they  are  NOT HAPPY
if you click on  the pic  you will  see why
My mares  never  seem  afraid  of them, just  angry that they  dare show up in their  veiw
And  from a while back, these  we have  watched  for a  couple of  years, twins .Deb  spied them  when they were  calves, and they  continue  to hang around  together 
That's it  for  now, have  a great weekend, and stay safe

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

No Tire kickers please! (bit of a rant )

Anyone who  has  ever advertised  anything for sale will appreciate this. There are always the responses that come that make you  want to shake  your head and go WTF???

Well my friend  Deb  came upon  an add on Kijiji ,that  hits the nail on  the head. I would so love to have this as  part of my adds on  horses  for sale! Edited out a few  details, but here is the gist;

"Please no tire kickers, I am a pre-menopausal woman and may just kick you back. ;) 


Open to reasonable offers, (remember I am pre-menopausal).  No, I don't want any goats or chickens or used pallets or your brother-in-law who sleeps on your couch (unless he's cute and can fence)."

This gal is brilliant! 
I have listed Harley, Tango, Maks and Jewels  for sale, and so far the response have all been good,but I have seen some  dandies over the years! So much  so that I once had an email responding to an  add, asking  if I would  take  payments. Now this individual  had  not corresponded  with me  yet, and  or seen the horse in  question so I was pretty cavalier in my  response. I said  something along  the lines of "yeah  sure you  can make payments, and when you make enough of them , you can  have the horse" 
Imaging  my shock  when I got a reply  detailing and exact payment plan and  no less  than a week  later received  a substantial  deposit! Oops! nearly  blew that one ! 
Of course there are always the ones  from  my "long lost  Nigerian  royalty  relatives" who  just  want my bank  account  details  so that they  can  deposit double  what I am  asking , if I just pay  the shipping and send them  the change! Asking of course if the "item " is in  good  condition!Item?? its a horse! try  please if you are  going to scam  me to actually  assume I am  not a complete  moron!!! 

The  things I would add to the above cautions on  an  add  would be,

Yes, I will  take  payments
Yes,  you may come  here to see  the horse more than  once if you need  to , however, I do  not run  a park/bed and breakfast/ petting zoo. You  need to call first and schedule  your  visit , and allowing your  children and pets to run  wild  all over my  farm is NOT  ENDEARING
no, you cannot  keep  the horse here indefinitely, and certainly  not for free 
no, I don't have  video of a weanling under  saddle !!!! 
Yes if  the horse is  purebred it is registered and  the papers  will be  transferred to you  upon  purchase. NO I WILL NOT  DROP  THE PRICE AND KEEP THE PAPERS!!! its against  the law
No  I will  not haul  the horse  to the  destination of your  choosing in -30 C  so  you  can  look  at him/her  and  then  haul  back  while you  think  about it 
Yes, I am asking  for  real  money and a considerable  amount  for my  horses,and yes  you  can get a colt  for $50 at  auction, but that  colt has not  necessarily been  carefully bred , well cared  for and handled and fed. And yes, I believe  my  colt/filly is  worth more because of that, my  time is not  free.

Of course I don't  put that in  my adds, and I generally  bite  my tongue and try to be  reasonable  with  folks, but oh my ,if they  could hear  what I am  thinking !!! LOL 
Anyhow this years  adds are up and out there, in the end  I am  usually pretty successful, finding some really great  folks out there  who  take  the horses I raise and  do great things. And  those  folks are  why I do  what I do . 

Rant  over , stay  safe  friends! 

Friday, 10 January 2014

" I will Fight no more forever"

The  title, the  speech at his surrender by Chief  Joseph of the Nez Perce  tribe on  October 5 , 1877.
Exerpts from this page (well  worth a look)
Surrender Speech of Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph's Land, by David Manuel 

I Will Fight No More Forever

Surrender Speech by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
I am tired of fighting.  Our chiefs are killed.  Looking Glass is dead.  Toohulhulsoteis dead.  The old men are all dead.  It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led the young men is dead.
     It is cold and we have no blankets.  The little children are freezing to death.  My people, some of them, have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food.  No one knows where they are--perhaps freezing to death.  I want to have time to look for my children and see how many I can find.  Maybe I shall find them among the dead.
     Hear me, my chiefs.  I am tired.  My heart is sick and sad.  From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.

Also the title of a  movie  made to record  the events.
I received  this movie as a  gift  from  Martin,  for Christmas, and tonight  we  sat  down to watch it. initially I though , hmm, another  "Hollywood" version of events and in  the first  few scenes , not an appaloosa to be  seen, but as I sat and  watched , more and more I found the movie  compelling . Its  was  filmed in 1975, and maybe that  time in  history  was  finally being seen in a truer  light, or ...
In  any case , I am  glad I watched. Not your  typical "cowboys and Indians  movie. and  the moment of  Chief  Josephs  surrender  was  portrayed with chilling heartrending effect.
I am and have always  been  proud of the Appaloosa Horses and this movie  showed  what an incredible strength and stamina  they  truly had , carrying the Nez Perce 1100 miles  through  the hard travelling of  mountains, of the Western USA  ,coming to within 40 miles of Canada!
Funny thing , I knew all of this having read the history of the breed  many years  ago, but this  really  brought it home!
The message  "I will  fight no more  forever"  rings  true  for that moment and  for man situations in the world  now.
Glad I watched the movie. Thank You Martin , it was a  wise choice as a gift!
Stay  safe my friends .

Night moves

Or maybe  better titled why I often don't sleep at night
Too busy watching these  silly  fools  dash around in the moonlight (forgive the quality), hard to film  professionally on a point and shoot  camera in the middle of the night,wearing slippers and jammies, with one foot out  the door in a snow drift!
Anyhow, these kids  continue  to fill my days , and  nights  with fun, enjoy!
and as always , stay safe

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Finally my year in review post! Gonna be a long one!!

I did  warn  everyone that now I can read books on my I pad I might  wander off, but I didn't mean to be this bad!
So here I am  to wrap up and review 2013, before its time to do 2014!if you  want  more infor on each of the  items I mention, look  for the blue  print and  click on the links  to return to the original posts
The  winter of 2013, felt like the  winter that would not end!  we had huge amounts of snow, and every time we thought it was done? nope back  to shoveling again !
But it  had  some  pretty  awesome highlights!

I met  Temple Grandin!!   Attended the Horse Industry conference in Red  Deer ,quite simply because I read she  would be there . I was so excited to hear her speak!
I also  attended a session  with another  speaker , that prompted me to  do something I have not done in a  long  time, but ,the details on that will  wait...

I didn't  write  poetry as  prolifically as I have in past years, but I did find my muse  from time to time
Winters lament
Here's to the Horses 
The Yard  sale
And  this one , written  for my folks on  the occasion of their 50 wedding anniversary
For Mom and  Dad 

Some big milestones and changes in this year. My folks celebrated their 50  wedding anniversary and later in the year my sister Heather and hubby Marc  celebrated 25 yrs married.
Such joy at both those events.
Martin and I again  fled the snow and cold  for a week in paradise in February, Third star to the right , and straight on till morning 

Bittersweet memories, with mom and dad  moving out of the home that they built  together  and into a facility where mom can  receive ongoing  care. The house that  dad built the home that love  built

And then  spring ,was  finally upon us!! Nope not  quite!! Calving started, I continued to chronicle  the antics of Harley, and we. got.  more.  snow!
I posted a few  "thoughtful posts" You know the  kind where I have a  thought and a point to make and ramble on  for several  paragraphs desperately trying to make you understand? Here is an example
Its not how much they love you
 I took  my yearly  jaunt  down to the Mane Event in Red Deer, which was, as always great fun!

This  year I had a  little  different  fun  with  my photography, in addition to all  the pics I take around here, I had the opportunity to play "paparazzi" twice, first for my cousin at his branding , then for Angela at a horse  show ! From Cowboys to Cross rails 

Then , of course it was  time for the babies!!!!
Maks (FV Rainmakers Quest )
Casey (FV Casino Quest )
Tango (FV Shall We Dance)
and  finally , arriving  with a splash (quite literally) ,the littlest cowgirl Oakley's Arctic Heather (Sprite) 
The rest of the summer  was  spent adoring these 4 beauties, and taking innumerable photos

Mom  had  a bobble  with  her health again  this summer, but true to form ,she rallied and was home from hospital  far sooner  than was expected.

I mentioned  that I listened to a speaker at the main event  who convinced me to do something I had  not done in some time. Well the speaker was Dan  James of Double  Dan  horsemanship
His simple common  sense  approach impressed me , and before I could let  fear or common  sense  stop me I had signed up  for a clinic  with little Miss  Whoa  Dammit! Just a ground  work  clinic, but it had  been  nearly 20 yrs  since I had attended a clinic of any kind and it was a ways away so the trailering etc  had  to be  considered. I had  high  hopes of  working with her a bunch  before  we  went, but unfortunately  that did  not happen , so instead, I took  my chubby, unkempt girl straight out of the pasture at  5 in the morning the day we went and ...
She  was a star! 
I took on a couple  little  side  challenges  this year as  well, first  working  with a little  mare of my Uncle's
The  later in September I took on an extra  job  one  day a  week at a not for profit organization  for  persons  with Mental illness. I prepare the meals  for the lunch and also education on  food  handling  safety and hygiene as well and  budgeting and meal  planning .Sounds  pretty  good, I wonder if I could teach me that at home???)
The  summer  marched on with  the regular, work, gaze at the foals , take  water and Popsicles  to the guys on  the hay field etc with not much new, till August when my cousin  Enid,her hubby , as  well As Auntie  Peggy and  Uncle Brian  came  for a  visit  from  Seattle .
 Then again in September when we all  gathered as  a family once again to celebrate  my cousin Kirk's  wedding to his lovely Amber!

Heather, Marc, Martin and I did our  usual  venture to Jasper to the healing  waters of Miette
Just  shortly  after this I received a message on Facebook asking if I had  owned a  horse  named  Dandy. Sure enough it was  my FV Dandy Line she was asking about. Long  story  short , he has a new home and I a new  friend!
The fall  time was  peaceful more or less, weaning of the calves, then  the  foals  went  very  well , and  we have  settled into a  routine here again  as we  wait till  spring.
But the blog? well between my internet  crapping out , and being super  busy, I occasionally thought of  letting it just  go. But then the blog and I received a very  special gift! in  the form of Guest  Blogger  Ron  Horricks. My  dad!  He  has  written  3 posts  so far  chronicles  of the family history and inventions , and I so hope he  continues in the New  Year
Guest Post #1
Guest post  #2 
Guest Post #3
And  with  that, I think it s time to wrap up this post. It was a  good  year overall.Changes, celebrations , and wonderful times with  family. Can't  ask  for much  more than  that can we ?
Stay  safe and  warm  my friends , and may 2014 be awesome and  all you  wished  for