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 .

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Since last we talked...

Or rather since last I posted.
We got rain!!!! Lots and lots of rain! they reported 6 inches in 4 days! and we have had showers on and off since! I think you can hear the grass growing!Such a huge relief.I hear that Fort Mac Murray is also getting some more substantial rain as well.

these were taken after the first day of rain, it got better! the dugouts are full, and there is MUD EVERYWHERE, also no dust! 
We did have some hiccups with so much rain so fast, the flashing around the furnace in the barn is apparently a bit small so rain came in and leaked into the office. We hoisted up a big Rubbermaid barrel to stiop the leak for the short term,but see that we need some repairs. Also its important to clean your eaves troughs! Had a little oops there with water leaking down around the bedroom light and onto the bed! Fixed that fast ! with my hero standing on a ladder in a rainstorm cleaning the eaves! Had me humming the old tune "uh oh,no no don't let the rain come down, my roofs got a hole in it and I might drown".

That coupled with a small plumbing emergency I am sure glad Martin is home on weekends now! 
Attended Abby's 7 birthday party, How did she grow up so quick! 
She has my sister's and my old playhouse, they are planning to fix it up and paint this year, but for now she has a lovely little garden set up at it. That old playhouse holds years of memories for Heather and I .My dad built it when we were small, and it survived all those years and a move to its new home! Well done Dad!

SO business as usual, rain or shine, still have a few late calvers in, and the rest are out on pasture. In fact we moved the older group of calves today with the help of none other then the Calf Whisperer 2.0! Winston taught his little protege well! 
Don't worry about Skeeter , he was there too, but unless I am out of the gator he seems to feel his job is more of a coach/consultant, or specialist.If there is a particularly fractious cow, he is on it, but mostly with moving calves he lets the golden boy do the heavy lifting so to speak! 

 as you can see ,even though they are "working dogs "lol, they are treated pretty well 

But if there is a need , "Speeder" is on it! in fact just before dads birthday we had a cow out, as it turns out she was pretty rammy as a result of a bear in the area, but Skeeter got in there to work, that old girl was fast, it takes a lot to get him but she got Skeeter down and rolled him a bit. When he got up he was one peeved pooch! and got after her to get moving in a big way. He was fast and furious and she didn't get another crack at him!
Farrier day today as well, and I had help with Martin and Dad! Stryker is actually dads horse, and it was so nice to see the pair of them bonding .Age and wisdom combined in the pair of them ! 

Trimmed Phoenix in the barn again, works a treat, he is a perfect gentleman with now pretty girls to distract him,he did however seem to have the itchiest ears ever! the entire time he was leaned into me having his ears scratched as hard as I could ,inside and out! 
Johnnie is somewhat improved, but still not completely better. The ongoing issues with the smoke seem gone but unfortunately his reaction to it remains. He is off the major medications and stable on an herbal blend ,but I sure want to see him back to his old self! 

SO that's all the news I can think of... 
except I rescued a butterfly the other day.
Thought he was a goner but warmed up in my hand so hopefully after I set him down in a warm sunny spot he continued to improve.

Not too sure as he/she did have a little tear in the base of one wing,but I hope...

Anyhow, stay safe friends, I am off to read what you have been up too, and maybe even leave a comment or two!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Rain dances and updates

Step back nonbelievers, 
or the rain will never come. 
Someone keep that fire burning,
 somebody beat the drum.
Some may think I'm crazy,
 for making all these claims.
But I swear before this day is over,
you folks are going to see some rain" 
Lizzie and the rain man 

We I will start at the end lol. We got some rain! Some much needed rain today, and hopefully more over the next few days.

The fires in Alberta are terrible with the worst being Fort Mac Murray.over 80000  people evacuated in the city itself and greater than 1600 dwellings lost. But, no loss of life as a result of the fires.It has been said that there is no other city in the world that would have done the evacuations so well.With so many folks working in the oil and gas industry,probably most are trained in emergency managemnet, WHIMIS,first aid,etc. They handled themselves with grace and composure, helping one another and making sure all got out safely! 
The fire continues to burn there and in other area, our continued prayers for all affected,and for the brave first responders who are standing strong.
We had a bit of a scare here a while ago with a wildfire just a few miles away.We did not need to evacuate,but we do have a plan , and I am humbled by the number of calls, messages  and texts I received offering housing and transport for my critters! 

May has been a whirlwind so far,we celebrated my birthday, then the next week,my Uncles wedding celebration, 
(this taken at the wedding celebration, Martin and I got our dancing shoes on that night! )

and just last weekend a 75 birthday party for my dad! 

No time to think just party party party! lol

And another birthday this coming weekend with Miss Abby turning 7! 

A busy month! well that is almost it,only to mention that Harley is sold! He will be going to Katie (the gal that started him) She always liked him ,calling him the smartest colt she ever started! Well it seems that it is just the right time for he and she to get together! Yay! another of my horses going to not only a great home but one where I can keep up with their career! 
that's it for now, my internet has been intermittent so I am hoping to get caught up with everyone else blogs soon as well. 
Meanwhile stay safe my friends

Sunday, 1 May 2016

If you know whats good for you

Well, I seem to have lost the entire month of April!
Not sure exactly how that happened,but it did. We are calving here, and things had been going along nicely. Spring arrived very early ,but with it dry conditions.
The heat,the dry feed, and the smoke from a few local fires contributed to Johnny falling quite ill with a bout of COPD, he is medicated now and seems to be recovering well, but it brought me a few scary days.
Which brings me,in part to the title of this post.'Johnny has always been led by his belly, he is never afraid to eat or to look for treats, and it really scared me when he got sick because he would not eat.I had to mix his meds with applesauce to squirt into his mouth. I did this for 3 days and he finally seemed to improve enough to want to eat grain so I have since been able to mix his meds in feed. He is not too bad about taking meds that way seems to know it is helping him, to be honest he actually took the squirted meds into his mouth with a lot less resistance than some. He just somehow seems to know I am trying to help him.Funny how even a fractious(which Johnny is not)  horse can seem to understand what they need and often tolerate care they might not if they were more well.

And us also, we seem to take health and wellness for granted by times and push well beyond our limits.I am certainly guilty of that. In fact having done that so ling I am now facing surgery on my elbow, but not the initial "cleaning up" procedure that was proposed. In fact there is not enough of the joint left to clean up, and I will be getting an elbow replacement in the next few months. Long term it is the right thing but I will be faced with some limits also . No greater than 5 lbs to lift with that arm ever again! I was startled but that info,but I too hope to have learned whats good for me, and will abide by that rule. I simply will have to.

Armed (pardon the pun) with this new information, and feeling a little sorry for myself I( went to the barn to see Cat and Andee, I went to do 2 things, 1) hug my horse and make myself feel better , and 2) try to saddle her one handed to see if I could.
The results were not pretty but I did it, I then did something I should have done months ago... I rode my horse. and while I did not ride long somehow when I was done all seemed right in my world again. Funny, Cat also seemed to know it was what I needed as she walked right up to the mounting block, and squared herself up as if to say " Up you get". Horses and critters in general really are smarter than we are some days ! Lol

Henry and Skeeter too are very therapeutic and bring joy ,peace and calm when things are unsettled.
I guess that is what I have always seen, the therapeutic power of animals. I think though I forget sometimes when I am working with others and the animals , just how much they do for me as well.

In other news there is a new Cactus baby out there! One by him out of a mare owned by friends of mine. Looks like he has stamped this pretty filly with his signature style!

Also speaking of Cactus Babies, FV Dandy line has found a new home and is doing very well in the north of BC with his new family and his new handle "Elvis"  I am so pleased hsi new owners tracked me down to update me on him. And thank you Julia for allowing me to share your great photos of him!

I will leave you with some photos of how things are going here, I hope to be back to blogging more regularly,but we will just have to see what the next little while brings me.

Meanwhile, stay safe my friends