Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belated Merry Christmas

12.26.2013

I hope this finds everyone in good health and surviving Christmas Eve & Day. We had our annual farm's Christmas Party on the 21st, thanks to a nice little snow storm the Saturday before. As it was, there was still a nice turnout that evening. Lots of good food, and friends !










Soon, it was Christmas Eve, and I still had two gifts to be wrapped ! It all turned out well, and we got some nice gifts to Unwrap the next morning.  Glenn cooked Christmas dinner and I must say- it turned out delicious. He can cook dinner anytime he wants .

Speaking of Glenn, he's now officially retired from the 'car business' as of this past Friday. He was SO ready to be retired and had given his 'all' to his job that he is Still catching up on rest. Mostly mental but that wears on a person sometimes more than physical tiredness. 

Next week, we begin a brand new year. 2014.... I sure hope it is better than this past year has been. I know one gal who doesn't need the big load of stress any more.  It has been a fun year but stacked with heartbreak and fear of losing the one thing most cherished. I am most definitely looking forward to what this coming year brings.

Hope your Holiday is joyful !



Monday, December 16, 2013

"Knock Out" ? Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

12.16.13

Knock DOWN is more like it !

Yesterday was interesting... I am still doing battle in convincing my hens that they simply cannot survive by living in an open row barn. It seems chickens do not walk in snow- EVER. Fact.... proven fact at our farm.

Saturday was a snowy day- we got a mere 3-4" of snow and that suited me just fine.  Apparently this small snow storm was not suiting The Girls- OR R.C. I tried to herd them all as a group out of the empty stalls, along the pathway ( yes, I did clear a path for their little chicken feet- imagine that) and therefore- out to where their hen house was easy to see. The horses had already created a way for them to go, but it didn't work as I planned.

First hen, when she realized that SNOW was the only route to take, freaked out, and tried to fly over it all. Well, that didn't work and there she was , up to her feathered tummy in cold snow. The others ?  Oh- much more wise.... they turned around and RAN as fast as their legs could carry them , in the opposite direction. Back to where we all started...< sigh>  So, trying again, singing the 'chicken feed song' at the top of my lungs  ( my neighbors have to think me crazy) I enticed maybe 2 hens to follow along behind me. Yep- to the edge of the snow. I gave up and finally put up some barriers in front of the stalls , tossed them some scratch, got a bucket of water and wished them all luck.Chickens pay No attention to our tales of "monsters" coming from the forest at night, it seems.

Next morning- Sunday- there they all were- safe n' sound. I gave them breakfast, re-filled their water bucket and went about the normal AM chores.( whewwwww) Glenn had walked up with me to help out some which I appreciated since I kept all of the horses stalled. ( Ice had been predicted and wind too) That meant 10 dirty stalls , 10 horses to get out into pastures for the day, breaking ice in water tubs so there was water, and putting plenty of fresh green hay out for each horse. THEN I could begin on the "in the barn" chores.

While Glenn was filling the horse stall water buckets, I got the hay all put out for all of the horses. I then took the beasties out for the day, with my wonderful husband helping. It had been a LONG time since he'd been up to help at the barn, so he didn't know all the things to get done, but he did really well. Once all of the horses were outside in the snow, I got busy on those stalls. Not having to lug 18 buckets with dirty water in them really made a difference on my 'not so healthy' back. Some horses have two water buckets in their stalls- one heated one and one non- heated. That way there is Always some water for them to drink. Horses need as much water in winter time as they do in summer. Perhaps a little more, if you think of what they eat all winter... dry feed, dry hay,dry winter grasses...   Impaction colic is a serious problem and I find it's MUCH better to prevent it, than deal with it. So- water is of an utmost item for the horses here.

Anyway, as I was writing.  I got all of the chores done by 11:30 AM and started down to the house to warm up my toes and fingers. I thought that I'd go into the two drafter turnouts to be sure there was no ice - but water for them. BoJangles did not like being ALL Alone (in reality, Abby was in the pasture right beside him)-  he couldn't see his bestest pal, Lynn and, therefore, he had no one to tell him what to do. He'd been pacing up n' down the fenceline, almost frantic at not being able to see his pasture pal.

That's where I made a mistake. I had a shovel ( plastic snow) with me to remove the ice, and Abby was most grateful. Then I walked thru the snow on semi frozen feet out to Bo's pasture.
 Well - HE thought I was coming to 'save' him- by swinging the gate open so he could then gallop thru Abby's pasture, up the hill lane and into the barn so he could find his pal, Lynn.

I had to yell at him to prevent his taking off, thru the unopened gate and over me. He whirled around and took off across the pasture, bucking and farting his opinion about my yelling at him.

He came galloping back towards the gate and I figured that I was the target. Brandishing my little shovel, I tried to sound totally bonkers and look oh so scary. It worked- but then, he turned around, and not seeing me at all, hit me with his shoulder, knocking me right over. Splat- RIGHT into a most soggy area full of reeeeeeeeeeeeeally cold water! I laid there, wallowing about trying to get my feet under me, as Bo trotted off in total Shock. Oh, MY- he'd knocked over the BOSS MARE- and that surely meant he was going to be chopped up into small pieces and cooked or even worse- not get fed that evening.  So there I was- freezing my butt off trying to get up, or at least out of the big puddle, and it wasn't working well. My goose down vest was soaked, and weighing me down. Finally I got up to my knees, and had to then laugh at Bo's antics. His eyes were WIDE open in terror and his head was well over 12' in the air, watching his boss mare flounder about in the snow and water. 

Poor Bo... he had a tough life before he came to live at our barn, and now ? Even worse- the 'Boss' wasn't acting well at all. In fact, he hadn't Ever seen her behaving like she was now...

Once I got up, it all got a little funny. Bo came trotting up to me and shoved his big ol Percheron face in my chest full of apologies for being so big and clumsy. I hugged him back and rubbed his face, telling him that I forgave him- and thank you for Not stepping on me with those giant feet of his.

By the time I got into the house, it Was Funny.... telling Glenn about the excursion into the drafter pastures and then why my whole backside was soaking wet made the day.

Moral of this story--- don't ever think a horse is watching out for you when he's hysterical.
Have a great day, everyone.

I'm going to try to add a short video here of BoJangles FINALLY getting to go up to the barn later on that evening.




video















Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tis Almost Christmastime !

12.8.2013

Yes indeed it is. Plans are being made here for our annual Christmas party at the farm- Next Saturday evening. If you'd like to come, feel welcome !

On our farm at Christmas, it feels almost magical. Sometimes snow falls, sometimes not. At any rate, we're nice n' cozy inside this little house. The hay loft  is full of delicious smelling hay and so long as I don't get mixed up in making sure there's plenty of grain in the feed bin, we're set for a BIG snow.

Lots of baking going on, and cookies galore - YUMMY. This time of year, I don't get concerned about eating very healthy. I figure next year I can get back to that. In the meantime- we enjoy.

Today we are expecting snow. It is pretty cold out side and from what I hear on the news, it should begin as snow, then sleet/ freezing rain into tomorrow, then rain. Yuck. I'd prefer a little snow instead of all that, but hey, Mother Nature has her way no matter what I think ! Right now ? Nothing but clouds and 23 degree temps outside.

The hens have been doing nicely in this cold weather. It is so funny to feed them in the mornings any more. They stay in their roosts til I come to open their front door, then it is similar to diving chicken competitions ! The littler ones come out first, then the middle sizes , and then the BIG chickens. IE- RC, Lilly and Daisy. Lilly sometimes waits til I get done spreading out their corn n' laying mash combo, and then she gets lifted off of the roost  by her 'human'... me.  Daisy has been molting ( yes, I explained to those girls that it's DECEMBER and they should have done this Much earlier) so she looks rather uggy. Some bare spots- especially on her butt, and other areas are positively mangy looking. There are feathers All over the place at the barn, and they tend to end up inside the barn, no matter what. She's getting her new feathers in now, as this morning, she didn't do the Kamikazi dive out the door.   RC comes leaping/ flying/ falling from his perch and lands with a very undignified thump. He's SO big and heavy, his wings are not powerful enough to do much 'flying'....  Once everyone is outside, they happily peck up all of their breakfast, and then the girls rush to their water at the barn for a drink. Then off to the wild blue yonder- known as the manure mountain - to find yummy chicken things to eat.



I hope everyone is getting their holiday items found and purchased- I did all of my holiday shopping online. Lately, the hoards of humans rushing about in stores isn't fun for me. I'm easily becoming a recluse - but not really. Just that crowds of people are not for me any more. This way, I can shop in my jammies and no one will mind !

Merry Christmas Early !!




Saturday, October 12, 2013

RAIN !!!!!

Wow, did we get hammered the past 2 days. Once I realized I had my own ' rain gauge' to measure and didn't have to rely on the small 2" sized one, I was amazed to find that our farm had gotten 5.5" of wonderful rain. It was a decent sort of rain too. Unlike the later season thunderstorms that hit, dump a lot of rain and then leave in an hour or so, this rain was steady but never a torrential downpour. Therefore, the hillside had a chance to drain/ run off properly.

Sometimes in the past, when we have gotten less rain, it had arrived so fast, hit hard and left but this rain didn't do that. Yeah- there was one helluva lot of it, but it didn't cause much trouble here. Other areas were deluged with flooding, over flowing creeks and damage. These are the times when I truly believe this land was blessed long ago. No seepage from the outside walls into any stalls, no puddles where the rain could have easily blown in the aisleway of our barn, and the horses all enjoyed being out in it immensely .

The equines here have ways of letting me know when they've had enough and want to come into their stalls, and no one was complaining but the 'ancients'.  Alli & Chance wanted to come in a little earlier on Thursday afternoon, so I brought all of the day time horses in at the same time. My drafters & Holly remained in all night as it was just to miserable to put them out for the whole night. Boy, were they glad to go out last night though !

Oh, did I have some true WET HENS . Have you ever seen one ? They look like well- wet hens. Soaking wet feathers do not look nearly as pretty as when dry. These chickens apparently do not mind the rains and even though there is a nice dry stall for them to huddle in our row barn behind the big barn, they don't stay in there. Noooooo- they're out pecking thru the manure mountain, or scratching for bugs in the grass. The only time they want to be 'in' is at dinner time. Of course food is more tempting, so they all come running when they hear " the chicken song'' from me. Ever watched chickens run ?  They remind me of little old people with their hands in their pockets, running like mad. RC will hop along in order to keep up sometimes. He is SO heavy and tall that the little gals can easily outrun him .

All in all, it was a nice rain here at WoodFinn, and all is well, once again, thanks to a bright and sunny Saturday.

Below is a photo of  'our creek' Last Fall. Until this rain hit, it was so low that one could easily count all of the slate / rocks on the bottom and was all but dry. Now ? Happy flooded little creek- full of clay colored water rushing down to the river.  I bet the wood ducks and mallards and herons are pleased.








Friday, September 20, 2013

A Geriatric Psycho Ward, errrrrrrrrrrr, Barn ??

I was chatting with the mom of a riding student and mentioned how during breakfast, the barn was like a psycho ward . Most 'normal' barns have horses who softly nicker "good morning" as their owners come into the barn in the morning. Ha- Not here !

Even before I'm actually in the barn, the ruckus begins. Lynn, who is usually loose around the barn all night long, stands at the barn aisle way gate, and shakes it so it makes to most gawd-awful screeching noise. She'll rub her face on the metal and its' enough to wake the dead. ....

Alli ( our ancient Appy mare - 31 years old) has already whinnied in her most loud voice , and begins rubbing her muzzle on the bottom of her stall door. It sound like a prisoner with a rubber cup.
  Sunny is screaming in his little girly voice ( High pitched yelling) and whacking his door with his shod hoof. Wow- LOUD !!!
  Teddi is walking in circles, and nickering as though he's been starved for a month ( not--- he's a little to, ummmm, 'fluffy' now)
  Shonee is waiting, ears forward and eyes open so wide, she reminds me of a little kid that has seen a ghost!
 Winnie is now back in her stall at night, and she too, is nickering, and walking. She also glowers thru the stall wall ( in between the boards...) at her neighbor as if to let him know that there is No way in heck that Winnie will Ever share her feed with him.
 Chance, ( 36) who is Flying  ( he's a professional 'stall walker')  around his stall in a clock wise manner. He's drooling in anticipation as well. He's OLD, with a popped out left eye, and looks a little odd any how.

Outside, Abby is all but running in circles, anticipating my walk out to let her come into the barn for the day- and FOOODDDD ! BoJangles is patiently standing by his gate, full of expectations, as is Holly, our little POA. Breeze is the smallest one here, so I'll see her standing on her hind legs in her stall. Yes- a rear, but she can hold it really long !  She now leans on the steel stall doors as though she's going to simply break her way out. She weighs maybe 600 pounds, so I don't see that happening. In Breezes' mind- yeah, sure, it'll give way.

After breakfast is done, and my Percherons are inside, happily munching on their hay for the morning, the idiocy begins again.

 This time, however, it's "Time we went out now".  Once they are all out, theatrics continue. Winnie, who really wants to be pals with Shonee, screams bloody murder if Shonee's pasture mate, Teddi looks at her the wrong way ( I still don't understand what he does to prompt all of that ). I believe Ted is tired of her and figures she is acting like some very odd 'gelding' with all that screaming, and stomping. He will pin his ears, and thunder towards that fence like a tank. Winnie, throws her long tail up , stomps even more as she is scooting out of his way- screeching all the time. < sigh>  Shonee stands there watching it all , all but scratching her head in amazement.

Alli & Chance are the old couple here- best of friends who take turns being first to get a drink of cool water or who is going to lead the way to the Dogwoods so they can stand in the shade, catching the cooler winds. Alli walks around with her tongue hanging out, and is very sway backed... she has arthritis pretty bad in her joints, so she snaps,crackles and pops as she walks now. Chance ?  One eye is popped out from a very old injury, and he's so swaybacked it's a little awkward to 'see' the horse he used to be. He drools, and will roll that left eye around so he can see who is coming more easily. Those two crack me up. Alli knows when it's dinner time, as do the hens. Chance is learning quickly.  Below is a shot I got one evening... both of the old couple are turning around to come meet me as the hens come running down the hill. We ALL walk back up to the barn together. I feel like the Pied Piper of WoodFinn !



Between ancient horses who drool, and can't seem to keep their tongues' in their mouths, to the older Percherons who know the routine here perfectly, to the younger psycho horses who all seem to have their own oddities goin' on, this place is truly a Geriatric / Psycho Ward.  Below is Chance- checking out the tack room as I'm trying to get their feed out for dinner..... Oh- and a pair of chicken legs too. No- he hasn't eaten a chicken, but they were all milling about, yes- waiting....









Sunday, September 15, 2013

Not sure what to call this one

So it has been a week shy of my losing Eve. I understand about the 5 steps of grieving and it's been very hard for me to deal with all of this.  ( http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/000617  )

Feeling sad and knowing there will never be another mare like my mare (her sire is dead and the dam was sold) lets me realize I just can't create 'another' Eve.

This sadness is never-ending, it seems. Folks tell me that it takes "time" to get past it all. It is helping,but I Still look for her in her stall when I walk past it, I still wait to hear her whinny telling me that she's all done eating her dinner and wants to go out now, please. I used to love being in the stall with Evie...she'd sniff my shoes and face ( yes, my mare had a shoe fetish of sorts) , schnuffle thorough my hair and then search my hands for those beloved peppermints.

The Percheron mare I knew was free of abuse and fear. She was oh, so brave, and kind and gentle for all of her 2000 pounds. I used to love it when she'd see something in the distance, and raise her neck and head up to a height of 12' in the air. She made ME feel small and petite- something I am certainly not.

I had been Sooooooooooooooooo careful with Evie. She had the best foal vitamins, daily dewormer, all the sweet hay she & her mama wanted to eat. Once she'd been weaned, I delighted in watching her grow taller and more wise. Each year was wonderful- we even had a third birthday party for her. This was one foal I cherished and thoroughly enjoyed watching grow into a gorgeous tall black mare.

She had been bred to be a show horse, but sadly, I never even got to drive her..... that had been in the plans for this month ( September).

The other three Percherons are doing fine, thank goodness. Lynn has stopped calling for her pasture pal, and they've all settled into a slightly different routine. Minus one.

Time is what this takes, ehhhh?  I hope that time passes quickly and my heart can begin mending again. This grief has to be dealt with somehow.

I just don't know how .

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What's " Normal " ?????

8.29.2013

Heck, I don't know what 'normal' is any more. But I think we're all getting back to what ever normal is on this farm. It's been a week since Evie was put down, and it was a very difficult week for me.  Monday was a week after it all began, then Wednesday was when I got the horrid news from the vet, and so on. 

Thursday- by 11 AM, she'd been put out of pain, and had been buried. This morning was tough to get through, but I did. I've even walked up the hill to her grave site earlier this week..... Now to keep healing from this blow to the farm. 

 Yes, ALL of us miss her- I swear, even her favorite hen, Liza was searching for her this past weekend. Liza wandered all over the farm, "looking"- I thought at first she was after bugs and tasty worms, but she wasn't actually eating anything. Just wandering about. Evie didn't mind Liza being in her stall, so long as she was careful to not be stepped on.(HUGE hoof = squished chicken)  Liza was careful too. Some mornings, she'd be so full of pieces of grain that she could barely squat down in order to squeeze under the stall door.  The rest of the chickens don't seem to have a clue- but not my Liza Minnelli... 
SHE knew someone was missing. 

Today was hot and humid but as the afternoon wore on, it got a little more bearable. I will be so happy to see it becoming cooler, and so will all of the animals here. You know it's hot when a Chicken pants !

So as time passes, we all learn to handle the fact that there is one HUGE piece of our farm missing, As time passes, we all will heal and put our precious Eve in that small box in our hearts that holds the most treasured memories ; And life will go on. Hopefully with no more tragedies in the future for any of us.





Wednesday, August 28, 2013

For Evie.....

God speed, Eve....

4.5.2006-- 8.22.2013

''Solace''

"Ill lend you ,for a little while,

My grandest foal, He said,
For you to love while she's alive
And mourn for when shes dead.

It may be one or twenty years,

Or days or months, you see. 
But will you, till I take her back
Take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you,

And should her stay be brief
You'll have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay, 

Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.

I've looked the wide world over

In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes
With trust, I have selected you.

Now will you give her your total love?

Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take her back again?

I know you'll give her tenderness

And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known
Forever grateful stay.

But should I come and call for her

Much sooner then you'd planned
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you'll understand."


Sunday, August 25, 2013

WoodFinn's Fashionably Late 7/5/08 at OneTrueMedia.com

I made this when Eve was just a two year old.... and am SO glad I did.

" Herself "is gone.

8.25.13
"Herself" is how I referred to Eve.... she was so full of life and joy. Such a happy mare she was.

My dear mare, WoodFinn's Fashionably Late, is gone. She developed "Anterior Enteritis" late Monday, and was put down this past Thursday morning. Evie was buried on the hill next to Carlene and Dixie....

Having never ever heard of this 'dilemma', I had no idea and figured it was a slight colic on Tuesday. Then when the banamine given to her didn't help much, our veterinarian came out. She did a rectal check to find Evie's small intestines were distended. Not Good. She suggested we haul her south to one of the top horse hospitals around ( Barbaro was treated there when he fractured his leg) and did a reflux of Eve's stomach. Sure enough,there was a good 2 liters of vile smelling, manure colored water in her stomach- letting our vet know that it was indeed no ordinary 'colic'.  Glenn & I had a long talk about it that evening and decided that the risk of hauling Eve in such pain, and leaving her in Kennett Square, Pa to be cared for wasn't going to work. The chances of survival were 40-60% and then laminitis/ founder played a Big part in it too. Evie would have had to have a special diet for many months, and we just couldn't cause her yet more pain and misery. So- at 9:30 AM, she was put down, and by 10:30 AM, buried and out of pain for ever.

This has broken my heart to shreds. I loved her like no other, and she & Lynn were my two best mares ever. I am sort of lost right now, trying to wrap my head around what just happened. 

Since then, I have learned that her chances of survival were even less than what all of the articles had mentioned. Draft horses are so stoic that one isn't SURE of how bad off they really are until it is to late. Evie had begun to weaken that morning and her heart rate was Well over 70 BPM. I have learned that once a drafters' heart rate is over 60, chances are good that they will not survive treatment. So we did make the right decision, even if it meant our hearts would be torn to shreds.

So, I hope Evie has met Dixie , Carlene n' Suzi over the Rainbow Bridge....She has joined my Petey in heaven and is pain free once again....

  In tears, God speed, Eve. 
You were loved by All you touched during your life.

"WoodFinn's Fashionably Late"
~Evie~

April 5th, 2006 ---  August 22nd, 2013


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August

8.21.13

Whew, I hate August. It's just that simple..... June is alright, July I can handle, but AUGUST ??   Whew.... the worst of humidity, thunderstorms ( well not any where's as bad as in Maryland), high temperatures and cicadas.  Ugh.  Crickets are fine- but that constant 'drumming' of the cicadas drives a person crazy if they have to be outside long at all.

Ok- enough complaining. August will be gone in a week or so and everyone who prefers Not sweating thorough all of their clothing on a daily basis can look forward to cooler times with September's arrival.

I love Autumn. If there was a way to have low humidity levels, and 65 degree days, I'd move there !  With Autumn comes horses growing their heavier winter coats, the acorns begin falling, and Mother Nature gets her forests prepared for the cold winter winds. September is also when I begin 'winterizing' the farm. The grass , er, weeds get mowed for the last time, places that became mud Last year get dealt with,items that won't be used until next spring get cleaned and stored away.....  And all with out Sweating !

Breeze has really been moving forward in her confidence level. She now allows most anyone to halter and lead her outside. She actually tries to help put her nose in the halter now as well. BIG step for one so small and frightened. This Fall I plan on teaching her to ground drive, be content on a longe line, and eventally wear a harness happily.

Also this Fall, Eve is going to be trained to drive. She's managed to remain sound for a long time now, and I've saved the money to send her away for a couple of weeks to get 'started' in harness. I'm very excited to be able to drive her , needless to say.

This summer has been hectic but great for money making. Summer riding students, and some more boarders have become grand fun !  Tiring as can be, but still fun. For a gal that is attempting to phase riding lessons out of her list of things to offer, I'm not doing so well.  Still- the riders are fun to teach and see improve on their riding skills.

The Husband has been improving in leaps and bounds since his open heart surgery. He comes to the barn often and spoils all of our horses with peppermints. SO far, so good

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good-Bye July

8.5.2013

We have had some miserably humid and hot weather this past month.... So August arrives and is COOL. While I'm lovin' this cooler summer weather, I know it won't last til Fall arrives. We Will be fried before August leaves our farm.

Signs of Autumns' arrival in a couple of months :
*Crickets are singing at night.
*Cicadas are also singing. Every once in a while, one who isn't quite up to speed about the night time thing, will be singing it's 'rusty' song during the day.
* Shorter days.
* Horses are shedding their summer coats- so August is the month of VERY thin coats . This is either good or bad. If it's a month filled with biting flys- bad. If August is a little cooler, and not so many flys- Good.
* Some of the plants are just beginning to change colors- and a few leaves have fallen.

You can bet this horse woman is hoping for a VERY early ( and LONG) Fall ! Each year I dislike summer weather a little more- so by now ?  UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

The little hen ( Devon) who was my 'throw away' chick was sold yesterday, along with two Lavender Orpington young roosters. They went to a nice home where they will be treasured... I wish the new owners a lot of luck in having ' purple chicks'  this coming Spring !

Looking back on this summer, I discover how blessed I am once again. There are two young gals who've really proven that they are worthy of responsibilities here. I believe they are both 13 yr olds, and they've been so much fun to have around the barn !  They have both learned so much this summer- and are on their way to becoming fine stable helpers. It helps that all of the horses here are kind too- but Cheyenne is quiet and calm enough to turnout the "squirrely- girl'- Breeze. That pony is so gorgeous now !  A deep blood bay with roaning on both sides... so pretty ! I'll have to get some recent photos for you to see how nicely she's filled in and out.  Anyway- Breeze 'allows' Chy to put her halter on and lead her in or out  of the barn.

Also, this summer, we've been blessed with a LOT of rain - arriving at the perfect time. That let the hay grow, and allowed it to be cut and baled properly too. Our fields are green and the weeds have REALLY enjoyed all of this rain . I've had to really mow a lot to keep them under control, but it's working. The garden weeds, however, well............  they are totally out of control  !  < sigh>

So, good bye July- hope to see you next summer.  As of today, this horsewoman is waiting for FALL !

Below is

                BoJangles -21 yrs old this year- right after he'd gotten a bath and BEFORE rolling




This little gal is Ella . She graduated our  Mommy, Me & a PONY ! ** Classes this summer. That is Holly she is hanging off the side of. One of the 'games' we played was to collect brushes from cone tops, and then drop them in a bucket.



Abby, who looks like she's dark blue here.... doing what she loves best 





Friday, July 5, 2013

Hot, hot, hot !

7.5.13
Whew, it's been miserable weather here for the past 2 weeks. My brain is saying
" Enough, Already !!"  Every morning, while getting stalls done, etc, I manage to sweat thorough one set of shorts and a tee shirt. Blech- what an awful feeling to be "soggy''.

I think, this evening, I'll hose the Percherons off before turning them out to pasture. They'll feel great, and have fresh fly spray on , and I can play in the water some too.  < big childish grins>
Perhaps tomorrow-  baths ????  Hmmmmmmmmmmm..... might be a good idea. Clean horses and  a soaking wet, Cool human.

Chicken tales-  Since I had to convince the "Girls" who were living in a stall at night that they had to move out and to the actual Hen House, things have been doing well. All but two white Plymouth Rock hens chose to come in for the night.You see- I use bribery in the form of Laying Crumbles !  It works, and I am met every evening by hens walking , sometimes running, to meet me and we all walk up the hill together. Old horses, included. Lilly has become a full fledged chicken by now. There for a while, I thought maybe she wouldn't fit in with being a Chicken. Remember ? She was the tack room chick that I raised. She's a year old now and stunning. She will come over and 'chat' with me occasionally when I'm filling an outside water tub, even now.  Liza is quite the character ! Oh my, she is forEver trying to sneak into the barn .  Trouble is that she is constantly clucking about important chicken things and I hear her before I see her. She is a Speckled Sussex and boy, I'd like to have some more of that breed. Such nice gentle hens.

It seems there's a lot of really cool personalities in the barn now. New boarders that I'm getting to know pretty well.  Alli & Chance  (30 and 36 yrs respectively) have become best of pals.... those two oldsters are loose to graze around the barn area, so long as they stay out of trouble. Alli walks around with the end of her tongue hanging out from between her front teeth, and Chance drools. Those two remind me of an old folks home for horses !  Then we have Teddy and Shonee.... they both lived at the same place before they came here. Shonee, first, then Ted about a month later. They acted like strangers, until Shonee discovered she really did remember Ted after all. Thats' when they'd both wander off to graze as a pair of horses; friends. Winnie ? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... Winnie is old beyond her 31 years. She has so many things wrong with her it's plain sad. This wonderful,sweet mare has all but been used up physically and mentally. Once a grand dressage mare, she's now OLD. We keep loving her and making sure she is as content as a very old horse can be. Sunny- well he's just Sunny. He's the talker of the boarders. He whinnies good morning, and good afternoon, when he is finished breakfast, and some days, when I walk out of the house. He adores his owner and they make a great team together ! He's learning to become a better driving horse- but this weather has slowed us all down I believe.

That's about it from our farm ! Not much going on other than keeping horses and hens cool and content.  And waiting for FALL !






Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Independence Day !

It is soon  July 4th...... Wikipedia has this :

'Independence Day- commonly known as the 4th of July, is a federal holiday in the USA commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4,1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain'.

So many people celebrate being independent by drinking to much, shooting off unsafe fireworks in their back yards, and eating to much. We will most likely be doing some cooking on the grill, then going to hear some music nearby, but mostly, I, personally, will be thanking those who created the USA as an independent country !

Wishing you & yours a Wonderful July 4th / Independence Day !







Saturday, June 15, 2013

June. and the barn is FULL .

6.15.13

It seems that the gods of good fortune have finally begun smiling on this small plot of land we call 'home'.... Our barn ( horse that is) is FULL- no more room for any other horses. We now have Five ( yes, count 'em ) FIVE boarders here. All of the stalls are filled with beautiful, sleek, shining equines.

Of course, this meant the 'girls' had to be moved out of what was known as "The Hen Stall". Much to their dismay, their poor little eraser brains had to kick into actual thought this past week. It has been interesting trying to teach 13 hens that they can no longer live in a 12 x13' box stall at night. Instead, they have to act like Chickens ( !!) and sleep in the hen's house . There were some rough evenings, lemme tell you. Chasing elusive hens all over the farm gets frustrating...  Finally most of them come a-running when it is dinner time. I have hens in front of me, in back of me, and along side of me as I walk to their house with a container of chicken feed. So far, so good with them learning to sleep in a different place.

Also, there's a make shift fence up as well. It keeps RC in but the smaller girls scoot right underneath the fencing. RC is the main chicken I want contained because he's so liable to attack a human now.

We had a whopper thunderstorm move thru here a few days ago, dropping 2" of rain on the farm. I saw ducks swimming in the ring the next morning ! It was perfect timing for grass growing but not for the farmers wanting to make hay for the year.....

Our 'rescue' kitty, Paddy, got neutered a couple of weeks ago and he's right back to being a terror. He's just not as aggressive when playing now. Shadow, our black house cat, sometimes gets SO mad at Paddy that it sounds like small lions are loose in the house.Below is a shot of mine of Sadie n' Shadow sharing her bed. All of our animals get along really well ...

and Paddy !







Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Chicken Tales....

5.30.13

It seems that two and a half hens went "broody". "Half??" You ask ?  Yes, Widget, our teeny bantam hen is the 'half'.  Going broody is when they think it's time to sit on eggs so they can have a family of chicks to care for and love. Some hens will even sit on their Feet, thinking in 21 days, chicks will appear......hmmmm....

I let two hens set on eggs- hoping they were fertile and actually would become peeps. Many days passed and still these two determined hens sat- only coming off their nests for a good poop, some food , water, and grass/ bugs. I kept count of about when we'd have peeps hatching, but one was early !  The Buff Orpington hen was SO protective of what she thought was HER nest, that she pecked the little peepy and it didn't make it. I took her eggs away from her, and added them to HotWheels' nest which was already pretty full of eggs. HotWheels is a Barred Plymouth Rock hen, and was named by a boarders' little boy. She was not so protective and allowed me to shove yet more eggs under her. Talk about a Mother Superior- that's HotWheels !

One morning when I suspected we'd begin having peeps hatch, I put my hand under HotWheels and lo' and behold, there was a dear small peepy !  Just one, and it is black w/ a cream 'chest'. HotWheels was SO proud of herself- oh you should have heard her clucking at her new baby. She remained setting the other eggs for a few more days. I had hopes that some more would hatch, so she'd have a nice sized little family to love. Finally, when all hope of more hatchings passed, I gathered up the "rotten" eggs and carried them to the barn. I let them slide into the garbage can and when they hit the bottom- omg !!!!  Peeping !!!!!!  I could hardly believe my ears- one of those eggs had a chick in it and I had almost thrown it away. Whew- talk about dumping guilt on myself... I picked up the peeping egg, which had cracked open, and sure enough- a little round ball of chicken. Very gently I peeled the egg off and put the little one in the still warm incubator.  Guess what ? It's alive and healthy as can be, four days later ! It had a weak right leg, but that got stronger and now, it 'runs' all over the floor, pecking at what ever chickens enjoy pecking at. It's eating and drinking fine too.
We have named it Devon- after the Devon Horse Show which is going on this week, and it's the sort of name that can be female or male. ( I can't tell sexes on little babies !)
 So, meet Devon at 4 days old:


It should have been named 'Speedy' !


Happy Summer !

5.30.13

The weather here has been oh so strange for Springtime. First, it was cold, then HOT for a few days, then back to cold and rainy, and now ? HOT- like July HOT. I'll be the first to say " I Hate Humidity !" and am not looking forward to summer time if this is how it's going to be. This morning, the humidity was 89% and 79 degrees.... ugh. Luckily Mother Nature smiled on us and gave us plenty of rain to help the grass grow ( also weeds) and then sunshine too. A nice balance.

Many things have been going on here since I last blogged ! We had a great time with our " Barn Cleaning" day- and that was the week right before our Open House. Luckily, the barn Still looked super on that day. Unluckily, it rained for our Open House and while a few people did brave the weather, we would have had a lot more, had the sun come out.....  At any rate, we had a good time meeting new folks, and showing them our farm.

See ? The interior looked Wonderful !

        Below is only some of the help we had on our Barn Cleaning Day.


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Our Open House went well - here's some photos of it :

These two gals, Cheyenne & Patience, were a Huge help ~!




Tack for sale- and Lou Bello minding the bake sale table:


Peg Olson- food booth professional ! 


Tami Bello baked SO many delicious items for the bake sale :


THANK YOU TO ALL
 WHO CAME AND HELPED !!!!

I know I had fun, and hope those who came to meet us & see our farm, enjoyed their visit too.






Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day !!!

5.12.13

Wishing all of the Mom's out there a very happy day of celebrating .


This has been a hectic few weeks here at the farm. We have all been working to neaten up the place after a tough winter and it shows. Last Saturday was our Clean Up day here, and a ton of help showed up. We had people washing the stall fronts, raking up left over hay outside, and neatening up all over. 

BIG thanks to :

Joan Smith, Meghan Dau, Tami & her husband, Lou Bello, Patience Stump, Cheyenne Takita, Taylor Stone, Bill & Julia Suter, my husband, Glenn, Hannah Olson, and her mom, Peg, and whomever I have managed to forget ! 

You were such a big help and thanks to you All,
 the farm looked stunning.










Spring 'happened' a little late this year and last week it was still just a little chilly. Then as the week progressed, it got more cloudy, and subsequently rainy. We really needed this rain too, but the timing wasn't so good as our Open House was yesterday. ( 5.11) It rained/ showered ALL day long . We held it any ways, and though our turn out was smaller than expected, we met some great new folks !
 AND made some money for the 'hay fund' for next winter too. :)

 For our open house, we had a bake sale table ( Thanks to our official baker, Tami ) a food / snack table ( thanks Peg Olson ) a used tack sale ( me, who cleaned tack like a mad woman all week long) and a used tack seller ( thanks for coming, Lisa & Dwayne !!).    
All in all, a fun day - here are some of the photos I took :

Tami's delicious baked goods 


Cheyenne & Patience...

  Evie & Breeze- largest and smallest equines at WoodFinn.

this little fella LOVED seeing the horses !
  
Some of our visitors...

  Yep- another horse person in the making 

Joan chatting with some of our visitors- 


The used tack sale !

 Thanks to Peg, we had yummy food to sell !

The information table :

All in all it was a rainy but wonderful day. Thank goodness we have a huge aisle way for everyone to be comfy in.
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Then, today is Mothers' Day. Normally I get nothing from Glenn- because he tells me I'm not a mom.  That's okay, but I think I am. Simply because I didn't give birth to any baby, I have still been loved by plenty of animals, and human kids as well in my life. But alas no thanks from the husband on this. He did get a wonderful roast to cook for this evening, so that's something cool. ;)

There are two 13 yr old gals who I want to personally thank though. They have been working students here for a few months. They come to help out as much as they can, and both of them have become very dear to me. They're funny, can laugh at themselves, and are smart as can be. Plus they both adore the horses here.  

Last night, I was contacted by them, and was told that this morning, thanks to them, I was not to come to the barn at all. (well I did eventually to see how things went) THEY were coming early, and doing ALL of the barn chores !
Now, if that isn't a superb gift for a horsewoman, I don't know what is.
When I went up to see how things were going, they presented me with a wonderful hand made card, a flower ( that will never die) , a super soaker squirt gun that I'd been wanting to have, a yummy chocolate bar, and a hand painted picture of Breeze ( the newest equine here).  I was floored- as I'd not expected such generosity !
Here's the card they created for me- inside it has some quotes, a very sweet note or two and I love it.

Over the years I've gotten some cards, hand made paintings, sketches, thank you's of many different types and have all of them, but this one is special to me.
Thanks you two !