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Over a year

Since I actually sat still long enough to enlighten you with the farm’s endeavors. Time gets away from me so easily has it really been over a year?  Yes, it really has.  We don’t sit still much here so I’m going to try and bring you up to date as much as possible.

We lost our beloved “OC” cat, and Pock a Dot the rabbit along with “Buzz” the cowpony this past year, my husband’s last horse. He still talks about those days riding in Nevada, Buzz’s name comes up along with Zac and Boomer his other two equine companions often.  I think as with any animal in your life some of them are just so engrained you’ll talk about them always.

I had grand expectations of travel in 2020, which got shot down because of covid restrictions. I made a small adventure to a friend’s house as we went on a horse buying trip for her! By association I’m sure. 😉 Horse friends seem to find an adventure or two no matter what’s going on in the world!

Actually, I spent a lot of time on the Farm this year more than normal since I’ve worked from home starting in March, tele working from home most of the week with a few hours spent at the Refuge.  It was kind of strange at first to not go into the office it took some time to get use to a new routine. After many years going to work every day of every week except for holidays and scheduled days off.  It wasn’t too long that it flipped flopped and now I’m like I have to get up and get ready to go to work ugh! I keep telling myself you better get use to it because this to will end.

For just awhile longer I can get up make coffee still be in my pajamas and start work, I like the variety of staring at 6am or sometimes earlier as long as it’s by 7am I’m good, this schedule gives me flexibility to start early and get off early.  It did take a while to get use to this routine I felt like I was missing something which was probably my office, my home office has worked just fine and the employees that need help with something always seem to find me. Another interesting thing I’ve discovered I can’t tell you the date or the day of the week, really don’t need them unless I have something I need completed on a certain date! I tell myself you really are preparing for Retirement!

We survived all the smoke here from the fire’s seemed like it would never go away, on the worst day’s you couldn’t see the mountains felt like you were engulfed in this thick smoke globe, some days you just couldn’t be outside for long. We did have one close enough to see the glow of the flames burning in the evening from 20 miles away to the south of us. Fire can be a beautiful thing but so devastating at the same time, nature has a way of being that way.

We survived our irrigation year; we were cut half of our allocations some didn’t get any so we felt blessed at least we got something.  We made it through with some rains in March it gave the grass a boost until we were able to irrigate in May.  Once the hay was in the barn the fields were so dry the grass crunched under your feet when you walked across it, then we got a reprieve the President directed BOR to give back all the water that was approved for the year.  We finished the season with full water, I swear I saw that grass jump for joy and turn greener than ever before!

Fall has come, the cows and their calves are grazing happily in the fields as we rented the pasture out this year. Twenty-nine degrees this morning fog sat on the pastures, steam drifted off the cows backs in the glow of the morning sun, such a beautiful sight from a window on the Farm.

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Flowers For Teeny

Just before Easter I had to make a very hard decision, to do what was best for my little girl in dog clothing, the loss I feel is indescribable. I think of her every day; the memories will always be there.

Some of the many things I loved about her:

Once a month we went on a girl’s outing to get her nails trimmed, then we’d share a beef stick, she loved to hang her head out the window and let the wind blow her ears.

When we told her how pretty her toes looked after being trimmed (hated her nails trimmed) She would bat her eyes at us.

Every day of her life with us she slept under a blanket, she would peek out from under it and look at me with true love it always warmed my heart.

She loved everyone she met, every dog and cat they were instantly her friends. She was the sweetest little girl.

Her best friend was my son’s dog, “Sydney” they would hang out together giving the rodents on the place a good scare.                                      

I loved how she greeted me when I came home from being gone without her, she was so excited she couldn’t wait to get outside and see me.

She had the prettiest stand up ears beautifully colored red edged with black and so soft to the touch.

 I miss the sound her nails made when she walked across the living room floor, click, click, click.

Not knowing It would be her last day with us she lay in the sunshine and watched as I worked outside, she visited with the other dogs as she always did, we took her for a ride in the UTV it was a typical day on the farm for her.

We buried her on the farm in one of her favorite places, the dogs and I go for a walk (which she loved to do) we pick dandelion flowers to place in the little vase that sets at her spot. We visit her every day, making sure she has flowers.

Our granddaughter Teagan drew this picture of me,Teeny and my husband it has its place on the refrigerator reminding us she’s always here.

As a friend said to me when I asked about his Mom, oh she has her dog their always together it’s her best friend, exactly! Best friend, confidante, and above all loyal no matter what.

Teeny has a piece of my heart that she took with her, that way we will always be together.

 If love could have saved you Little Girl, you would have lived forever.

 Always in my heart Teeny Girl

 

 

 

Farm Tales

PRETTIEST GIRL I’V EVER SEEN

As in horses that is, “Finley”, resides with us on the farm. She’s probably the only mare my husband has liked or ever will. It’s his cowboy point of view.  Finley came to us in the spring of 2016, I was looking for a nice gentle horse for our first granddaughter to learn all the fundamentals of owning and riding a horse. Finley is a Haflinger, the Haflinger breed also known as the Avelignese, is a breed of horse developed in Austria and northern Italy during the late nineteenth century. The breed is known for their safe, versatile, and dependable character which made Finley a great choice for the farm.

We were lucky to find Fin just 25 miles from us, her owner living in Phoenix Oregon brought her to a trainer to get a driving tune up, Finley has been trained to pull a cart, as most Haflingers are trained to both ride and drive.  Finley is characteristic  to the breed (from the draft genetics) standing at 14.2 she is a pretty stout girl, heavier boned , feathered feet with a white double mane, she is very eye catching as the breed seems to be.

Finley originated from Ohio, eventually ending up in California where the lady we got her from purchased her, this is where two of my blog stories connect.  If you’ve read my post Horse of Different Color under Farm Tales this will all come together. Yes Finley once resided at the same horse farm that  has an association with the trainer that I got my buckskin horse from, needless to say myself and the lady I purchased Finley from have the same opinion regarding the breeder and trainer.

Haflinger’s are harder to find on the west coast, plentiful on the east coast simply because they are still used regularly for carting, and farming. They make beautiful carting horses with their flowing mane and tail and their coats of reddish sorrel, to a rich palomino color.

I wish I would have discovered this breed earlier in my horse loving life, for I find myself when I ride I no longer want to be riding something that boogers or jumps up and down when they get the notion or itch to do so. As my husband would say I’m a fair weather rider, as we all seem to be as we age but don’t want to give up our addictions.

The breed seems to have two shortcomings, their food intake has to be managed, they’re a breed that can easily founder do to over feeding where it be pasture, grain or hay.   They also can be stubborn at times, once they discover it isn’t going to get them anywhere you pretty much have the perfect horse.

I’m looking for a second Haflinger which will take me some time to locate the best fit for the farm, I have another granddaughter soon to be at that age learning about what every little girl dreams of “Horses”. Haflingers very simply become part of the family, not much else I can say about our Finley, our granddaughter’s first horse that has captured her heart.

As my husband has said, He would love to see our granddaughter with her bright blue eyes, blonde hair flowing, galloping Finley across the back pasture with her flowing white mane and tail, it’s what this little girl dreams of.

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A Room With A View

Who doesn’t like a room with a view, looking outside is a great pastime.  How about the view inside?  Remodeling can make some amazing views inside, a live transformation from past to present.  Our latest remodel for the old farm house is one of those moments. It did take some time, with lots to accomplish It seemed to be never ending, although I tend to get impatient waiting to see results. 😊

The room was once a front porch on the house, previous owners enclosed it to create storage space, for us that wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t on the radar to remodel next, yet when I looked at it I decided it could be the perfect space for my Farm Bag making, as well other projects. The space I used in the house was one of the guest rooms, so when company came my projects would need to be stored away in the closet then brought back out to finish.

The biggest and most expensive challenge was to get electricity into the room, which turned out to be a bigger issue than expected, old houses have more than a few things that are not perfect. The experience was tackled by a great local company that made it work for us as well for code requirements.

The rest was DIY for us, the old carpet was removed, grey plank vinyl flooring simulating wood was installed, the walls were covered with ship-lap siding cut and installed by husband and son. I’m the painter, I love to paint! Probably because I love the way it looks when it’s finished.  The walls and ceiling were painted in a bright white that makes the room look bigger. Why I chose white I can’t really say, this is the only room in the house that’s white, If I had to guess what I was thinking at the time it would be white fit the room. We put two overhead fan/lights in the room for a lot of light, which the big window really helps. I’m also a color fan, so my essentials bring the color to the room for my pop factor.

In the rooms I always like to have one piece that is the center of attention, this room has more than one but the favorite piece here is the old iron crib turned into a sitting space, this crib was my husbands and his siblings, and his mothers and two of our sons used it, which makes it at least 94 years old, oh the memories there! The front rail from the bed was attached to the back to become a place to hang one of my old quilts. It’s a great place to sit and check out that window view, Irish Coffee in hand!

My handy men reinforced the springs with a piece of plywood, I had a mattress made for the crib, then wrapped it in old linens to give it a soft cushion seat.  Added an old quilt for some color, which sparked the color scheme with the pillows to coordinate. It turned out to be a fairly easy up-cycled project.

Ever dumpster dive? I always hear of great things found by the side of the road or in a dumpster, I actually got to experience it last spring. The large table was out by a dumpster in the rain, asked the right person, brought it home, sanded, painted, and varnished the top, it makes the handiest table.

I’m a up cycler for sure, one of my favorite past times is finding old things and changing them into something else, usually for me however I’m known to sell a piece or two or make something for someone else.

Heat was something I needed for the winter months it stays cool in the summer, a little decorative electric heater gets turned on when I’m working in there for a warm and cozy feeling with the mock flame it gives a little ambiance to the room.

Another couple upcycle projects in the room is the dry erase board, made from an antique mirror frame that came off an old dresser, the original glass had a nasty crack so we removed it, a local glass company replaced it with a new piece. I backed it with a piece of vintage material, hubby helped hang it on the wall and there you have it a place to write down what you’re supposed to remember!

The little green ladder I bought cheaply, sanded and painted with chalk paint, made some shelves for it out of some old reclaimed wood kitchen cabinets.  It has served as a shelf ever since, recently a place to hold my clean bags waiting to be transformed into Designer Farm Bags, also enough space for all the accessories for bag making.

I must give lots of credit to my wonderful husband for being so supportive of my endeavors, he never questions only gives advice where he believes its most important, credit to my youngest son he has great ideas that makes things more interesting and well appreciated. Very handy indeed!

I’m truly blessed to have my own space, others are always welcome my oldest granddaughter and I had some crafty time together in the room which was fun for both of us. I love my room, it makes me happy each time I step in and it keeps me coming back for more me time.  The best things I’d have to say about it is, everything is in one room, I can find what I’m looking for and most of all it’s my happy space with a view inside and out.

 

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T’was The Night Before A Non-Denominational Winter Holiday

When all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, the neutral gift sacks were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that a non-specific holiday figure soon would be there.

The children of all race, creed and religion were all snugged in their beds, with visions of sugar- free plums danced in their heads.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from my bed to see what was a matter and to see who the hell was causin all that noise in my yard that late at night.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear, an emissions-free vehicle and eight size challenged reindeer. The holiday figure was so lively and quick I knew it must be holiday figure.

He was dressed all in fur (not made from fluffy little animals) from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A wink of his eye and twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread and I could put the shotgun back under my bed.

He had a broad but normal face an advanced sized belly although smaller than last year from eating at    ”     ”  way deli.  

He poured out the “spirited” eggnog and chose water instead. For he knew no one could afford to have  Santa crash his sled.

And I heard him exclaim as he left what he said,

“Merry Non-denominational Winter Holiday To All”,   

“Lady of the evening, Lady of the evening, Lady of the evening”

This little verse was written by our middle son when he was in highschool for a school assembly, Oh yes he got sideways glances from the principal, but it helped he lived next door to us.  Only in fun was it written, we bring it out each christmas to have a laugh or two because it means so much to us because who wrote it.  He has written many a poems about his dad his dad’s horse, his Grandpa and more. He has a nack for it, we enjoy his writing with his humour, he also can bring to us a tear or two. But I’d have to say his best role in life is being a Dad, he is dedicated to his kids and we are thankful for him being a loving father.

May your Holidays be bright, and your Christmas Merry, may your faith lighten your way,

From our Family Farm to you and yours a Good Night.