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 .

Saturday, 31 December 2016

For Good

Looking back at 2016 , it seems for many it was a bad year. For me it was a year of finding my feet and balance after several large losses and changes in the years previous. Was it perfect and easy? Nope but life never is . It simply was a year with good, and bad, and healing,  and now  great expectations for the year ahead!

On December 31 at the stroke of midnight 10 yrs ago, I suddenly realized! 2007! I am going to be 40 this year!

It didn’t bother me much I was just suddenly aware of it. Well a lot has happened in that 10 yrs. A lot of good, some bad. Some wonderful, and some devastating. There have been times in that decade where I thought the loss and pain might actually break me. But it didn’t. Instead, it has made me stronger, and kinder (I hope) and so much more aware of the blessings I have.
In the year I turned 40 I saw my husband go through recovery from a serious car accident the year previous summer, including going through some intensive surgery. We had another loss in our attempts to have a baby. And we began a very challenging process of entering the world of adoption. Sadly that dream also was not meant to be and we finally accepted our childless status and closed our file in 2010. It was not easy and we did not do it lightly, rather we took a long look at the toll it was taking on us both and chose to move forward in our lives together.
Whether as a response to pain and loss, or just a need to say something, I became an author of poetry in this past decade. The first poems coming very much from pain, after losing some beloved horses to old age and frailty. But then it seems a muse awoke in me and the words flowed forth. I can say that my 40’s brought me something I didn’t know I had or wanted. I became a published author!
Martin and I have traveled and expanded our horizons, and even though we have no children of our own we have been blessed with the most wonderful extended family and been close by to watch them grow.

I have added to my repertoire also training as an Equine assisted personal development coach, and just recently been introduced to someone, who if the collaboration works out will help me expand my skill set and horizons greatly in the near future!

We faced some very sad goodbyes in our family and extended family , losing uncles, and Aunts, then  Martins father, my dear friend and second mom, and then just last year my own mother.  

we also  in turn celebrated some wonderful Hello’s with new babies, weddings and just the joys that having a close knit family brings.

This summer we gathered the family together from near and far and celebrated a family reunion, and with all the new lives expected in 2017, things look wonderful and bright!

So overall the last 10 yrs were, well the last ten yrs lol .

When I turned 30 , it seems I was jumping off cliff everywhere! I changed jobs, sold my store and got married! I was all about changing my life.

Well my 40’s seem more to be about my life changing me. And to paraphrase the lyrics from the Wicked musical song “For Good “

“Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But I have been changed for good

Happy New Year! My friends, and as always please Stay safe! 

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Messing with the music reboot

Hey all ! If anyone is still reading I am still here ! And I can TYPE!!
Arm is healing well and while physio is brutal it is helping a lot.

Christmas is coming in a hurry! And while I am nearly ready is seems that I have been neglecting my usual routine of "messing with the music"

This is a redo of an old one but a bit of fun as we approach the big day! Some of the names and faces are different as some have gone on to new homes, or across that fabled rainbow bridge.
But the one it was written for , as sick as he was is still with me and I count that as a huge blessing .

so here we go
the 2016 version of  "A letter to Santa from Johnny"

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

Maggie, wants a carrot please 
Reina, wants some oats 
Cactus and the Phoenix, want
 pretty girls, with some spotted coats

Ritchie wants some minerals
Stryker ,just wants hay
Casey wants to play
Annie and Lacey, are happy as they are
Dammit is showing her best spots
So she can 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 .

Merry Christmas my friends , and as always, stay safe!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Flying in circles

Hello my friends, I have been absent again but for good reason. I had my elbow replacement surgery October 31. All went very well and I was home in the next day recovering in the loving care of my husband, my pets and my family. 
 second day home,first time I attempted to do my hair, still had tape residue on my face and a lovely sharpie line on my good arm that read "other arm please" which my friend Deb finally was able to scrub off for me lol

I've had very little pain with this surgery and have been managing quite well from the outset I was getting up and walking nearly every day a little bit. My good friend Mel and her husband were mixing grain and feed rations for me, and feeding Johnny and the other horses.
 And after a few days began to take me down with them so I could get my "equine therapy" by the second week I was able to take the grain pails myself and do that little bit of feeding each day.

 Martin has been doing the greater amount of the chores as I will no longer be at able to fork hay even once I am completely recovered I will have a 5 pound weight limit on this arm. My days of pitching hay and pitching pitchforks have ended. I'm not a moment too soon.
 I can however saddle my horse one-handed so I'm not out for the count yet. That too may have to wait for sometime. 
I prepared a bunch of meals before I had my surgery and Martin has been a great cook while I was recovering. He has learned quite a few new skills. Also of course my sister made me some treats and had us over for dinner.

I got the cast off, on November 16, and I'm now learning to straighten my arm slowly and await starting physio  next Tuesday. I haven't been on the blogs much because I can't type yet. I am currently doing this post through voice to text on my cell phone, then will email it to myself, and post  that way. It is how I have been communicating with everyone on Facebook for the most part though I can type on my cell phone somewhat more easily than I can on the keyboard.

 I was able to have a few fun outings as well. attending Farm Fair, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, then  to the theatre to see Mama Mia with my family the following day.

my two beautiful nieces, and as you can see my soon to be great niece attended as well ! in the form of Tara's baby bump!

The "flying in circles "title speaks to a comment I made after having my cast removed that I will be soon learning to flap my wing again. While I doubt that I will ever fly, I do expect to be well recovered and enjoy straightening my arm and freedom from pain in that area at least. My short-term goal is to be back swimming by mid to the end of December.
Anyhow that's all for now, I am peeking at your blogs and reading but it is quite difficult for me to comment at the moment. But have no fear I will be back chatting away with you soon.

 Meanwhile stay safe my friends, and yes, I am behaving...mostly

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Where have you been?

First of all I am doing well and so it seems is my sweet horse Johnny Handsome. He is not back to his youth but he is holding weight and his breathing is much improved. Especially just lately, maybe the cooler temps or the summer of grass and meds/supplements but for now I have hope that he will remain comfortable and continue to be with us.Not sure I will ride him again, and that is a sad loss, such a brave and honorable little horse!
Canadian Cowgirl, has an older horse and she had some photos taken with him, and it got me thinking , it was something I should do with Johnny. After all,he is better but not getting younger, and you cannot take a chance once it is missed. So I had my niece out to take a few . Unfortunately timing and weather wee not to our advantage so these are not pics of a well groomed pair, but Deanna did capture the essence of who Johnny and I are to each other. 
THe title of the blog is part of a song lyric I know from years back, its funny, I see Johhnny every day, give him his meds and monitor his weight and breathing. But its not the same and spending real time with him, so this photo shoot was so much more than that... it was time for us to reconnect. 

 Where have you been
 I looked for you 
 forever and a day

 where have you been
 I'm just 
 not myself 

 when you're

A good time to do this , as I am looking at some down time shortly, finally have a surgery date for my elbow replacement! October 31, Halloween!lol
I guess I will go dressed as a patient .
Looks like about 6 weeks recovery time so I should have lots of time to read, and blog, and hopefully take some easy walks out to see my wonderful healing horses.

Also maybe see if there are actually enough poems and quotes in my stash to begin the process of book 3.
I wrote one the other day after listening to a gal who had been through a great number of difficulties in her life, some of her own making, but many as a result of stigma, and the culture of shame and blame that has become to common.

On war
Not every battle 
Explodes with guns
And with violence

Sometimes weapons are
Words, darkness and silence

Defenseless alone,
With nowhere to hide
Desperate for safety
A warm hand to guide

How can this happen 
In a word so enlightened

That we are left as lost children
Alone and so frightened
Can it be changed can we be saved

Or are we doomed to this fear
Alone yet enslaved

Throw open the door, 
Let in the light
Leave no weary soul
Alone in the night

Let your words
be used wisely
Not cutting like 
And remember the value 
that exists in all lives

Let your heart be made peaceful
your smile light the way 
and prayer bring us healing
in each coming day

Off to go read some blogs and catch up with all of you wonderful folks I have come to know and love in this community. I have missed you ! 
As always stay safe my friends 

Friday, 9 September 2016

"It's best to ride the horse in the direction it is going"

Time seems to keep on flying by, I have meant so often to blog,or to do many things. But somehow I seem pretty busy and when I sit down at the end of the day ... well I just sit down.
I did a little writing,but never seem to get back into the swing of blogging. I am not quitting,I am just giving in a little to the flow of life right now.I hope I will eventually get back into writing regularly again,but like the quote in the title,I think its best not to force things.Also with the Equine therapy, I have been doing a lot less of it of late, I have no intention of stopping but this summer has been a bit more about healing me I guess and taking my time with things.
When it is right I will do it .

Meanwhile we got the September cover of Saddle Up magazine again! SO out I went with the camera to see what I could come up with...
First I went to the Rusty Horshoe to see The filly by Cactus from this spring and the yearling colt

This kid reminds me of Dandy! 

then home to grab a few shots

If you dont already know,and you want to see who was the cover model, click on  the link to see! Saddle up

Also was blessed to attend the wedding of a dear friend of mine to wrap up August! we met just a few years ago lol (when we were 13!)  SO glad we were able to reconnect.Her mom was like a second mom to me, and she ,her sisters and I pretty much grew up together. We all have lost touch over the years but reconnected after "Mom Brown passed"
 Couple of kids all grown up! 
"Mom Browns" girls, together again, only missing mom and baby sister Bonnie ,who were with us in our hearts and as our angels.

That's all for now, stay safe friends !

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

2016 Horricks family reunion

Well ! that was one heck of a lot of weekend!
Starting Thursday night , we had family arriving from Seattle, then we got that party started!
Darwell BarnBurner (outdoor concert) on Friday, then an intimate breakfast for 26 ish at my house on Saturday morning, then off to my cousins home for the afternoon evening. About 60 or so people in attendance, and on heck of a lot of food!
Wrapped it all up for dinner on Sunday in town !
It was
quite simply
I adore my family, and extended family, and there is nothing better than spending time in their company.
This was a smaller reunion than usual, only the families of my grandfather and great uncle, but still wonderful!
I wrote this poem for the event , and my sister kindly read it for the guests at dinner.

The family that love built
We are Horricks
We proudly sing out and say
And as we gather
Together today
We celebrate who we are and have become
And honour the legacy from where we have sprung
From William and Mary
The journey began
Then George reached out
Taking Margaret's hand.
In love and in faith
The family grew
Albert, Bud, Peggy, then Bill and Ron too
And so very close, working right alongside,
Charlie stood too with Kay as his bride.
Family ties are a strong and such a fierce bond
In love there's a place you will always belong
The years passed by
And some have gone on
Yet shine in our hearts
Beneath gods
As our families grow
And new names come along
We are still built in love
We are Horricks, our song

that's it for now, stay safe friends