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.

 

 

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The Season of Fall and Everything it brings

Seasons, everyone has their favorite many like the warmer ones and some the cooler.  As time changes the colors from greens to creamy yellow to burnt orange and on to brown, other transformations take place as well; the days are shorter and cooler. Sweatshirts, blue jeans and baseball caps along with cool fresh air,  walking through the leaves and kicking them up to watch them fall once more, these are my favorite things of the season.  The softer colors of the sunlight reflect on the trees creating shadows lingering until sun set, High school football memories from years back always come to life for me again in the Fall.

Harvest time here in the basin, starts in the summer with hay harvest, as the summer lengthens into fall the crops go from mint, to onions and garlic and so on, the whiffs of hay, mint, onions and garlic in the air, makes your senses take over to inhale the mighty scents of the crops being harvested.  Cool mornings carry the aromas through the fields floating into the air celebrating the gather.

Fall is a time for everything to prepare for the long winters sleep, resting to regain strength for new growth to come again in the spring. Winter will soon take on its task to provide the nourishment of moisture and idle sleep.  Spring will leap in with its warm sunny days allowing the birth of the new growth awakening from a long slumber.   Summer strikes with hot days and warm nights, lingering through the months waiting for Fall all over again.

When Potato harvest here is in full fashion trucks carry heaps of different sizes, colors, and shapes of these food favorites to be processed for sale or for storage. Living in potato country and near a potato shed it became interesting to see all what went into getting them into the sheds for storage and getting them back out again to process for shipping. When we first moved to this area, I was amazed at the amount of potatoes that were harvested along with the other farm crops, great place to see where our food comes from. Speaking out loud of my amazement of all that is grown here, I was told yeah during harvest time every corner has what you need for a good soup.

Yes of course pretty much you could get what you needed anywhere around harvest time, but what they really meant was on every corner you could literally pick up what you needed for a good soup. The spill over from the trucks as they turn the corners on the well traveled roads do indeed have, potatoes, onions, garlic for the taking no charge , bring your own bag!.

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Farm Humor

For those of you that know my other half know him as a man of few words, which means he’s just not one to sit and jabber on about things, oh he has lots to say but usually he’s telling a story from when he was a kid on his family ranch or he’s reliving something he actually heard his Dad talk about years ago. He does like to share the memories from the old ranch, or when he spent many years as a horse wrangler.  Sometimes I hear tells I’ve never heard before, kept deep in his memories until something triggers them to surface, his dad was the same way so it doesn’t surprise me he’d be the same, he is his dad’s son.

Something recently has sparked his humor button, his dad could make you laugh instantly, but not so much my husband it’s just something he doesn’t do much joke telling or teasing. So I find it interesting the last few days he was full of himself;

Husband comes around the corner of the pump house with a broken shovel; the wood handle was broken apart from the metal shovel head, Him: “we need a new shovel for the winter, Me: “which winter”?, him: “This winter “, Me:  “How did you break it”? , him: “I hit Gus (my horse) over the head with it” me: “I doubt you got close enough to hit him over the head” him: Great big grin, (boy did that look like a naughty little kid grin) me: “ Why did you hit Gus over the head”? him: “He was hacking on me” me: “what was he doing” him: “He was giving me horse shit”.

Me: “A mosquito bite me through my sock, how is that possible”?, Him: “Must have had a long beak”

Me: “Going out to hang my pants on the line” Him: “Airing your dirty laundry”?  Me: “Actually I’m airing my clean laundry” Him: “Dirty, clean your still airing your laundry”.

He’s reading an article on the internet, he says it’s a crazy world out there” Me: “Why do you say that”? Him: “Some school district in California is demolishing their dress code; kids can wear whatever the hell they want” “They can wear anything they want as long as they cover up their Whoopi”.

Me: “Those crazy chicken’s” Him: “Yeah they do have a feather or two loose”.

I don’t know if the moon in his horoscope is rising or connecting with Saturn or Mars or maybe even Venus but somewhere along the way he found his Farm Humor.

 

Farm Tales

The adventures of Sassafras

Sassy as we call her, can and is definitely Sassy most of the time, she is also the sweetest dog you will meet kind and gentle especially with kids except she has a slight flaw she is very willful, mind of her own.

Sassy came to us when she was 4mos old, from the local Animal Shelter.  Her mother and father and two other pups were found abandoned in a wooded area far from any humans, left to survive on what they could find.  When they were discovered  by accident the animal shelter rescued them from starvation, a life no dog should suffer.

The dogs and pups were so emaciated they were quarantined for weeks receiving special food, medical attention, and most of all socialization.  It’s believed the dogs were out there for some time, possibly even before the pups were born.

Sassy is a “Maremma” guardian dog, pronounced “Mare” “Emma” the breed originates from Central Italy.

Both parents were large dogs; they and one pup went to a rescue in Oregon, Sassy and one other pup were adopted. I’ve always thought she was mixed with something, Border Collie or Australian shepherd she’s built like a border, although she has the disposition of the Maremma .

Sassy did on occasion and still does have this one trait that was rather odd she would horde everything and anything she found, usually it was something you set down.  We could search for it knowing she took it, we would hardly ever find the things until they would appear again when she would one day just have them, actually we believe she’s a klepto, on accession she lets her obsession get the better of her. She has an old leather boot that our son gave her, the boot is sometimes seen in the oddest places then it’s gone for months at a time, and poof back again.

We wonder if being raised out in the woods that survival was to hide everything you found especially food which for her that means everything she can pilfer as well. The shelter told us she was food aggressive with her siblings; we haven’t had that issue here.  She is a garbage dog, not the get into the garbage kind of dog but she might if she could. Sassy will literally eat anything dead, a bird, mouse anything, nasty habit I’m sure she learned it as part of survival as well. Needless to say, the vet knows us well for deworming medication.

Even with her quirks she is a good guardian her specialty is birds, sounds a little odd? Well if you read about guardians most also guard the sky, funny to say that but the chickens are most great full that Sassy keeps the hawks away from their pen, “No Soaring Allowed” by the order of Sassy.  She will chase any flying (yes flying in the sky) any large birds away from the property crows and ravens are her worst enemies.  She also sees to it no species of large birds can land in the fields, geese, birds of prey, egrets and sometimes a heron or two, but what  she can’t see,  she can’t scare away.

One of her favorite most things to do is to climb up on the dirt pile with her two favorite farm friends, Teeny and Max and watch the world go by, literally every car, truck, and piece of farm equipment is under her watchful eyes.  The neighborhood is hers, it also gives her a much higher perch just incase a large bird would dare to fly over on her watch.

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Little Girls and their love for horses:

First I’ll clarify that not just little girls love horses, big girls do too.  I’m a proven fact of that, when I was little horse’s hung the moon in my world still do, but when you’re a little girl you have big dreams about something, being a princess, or finding thee prince charming and running off with him to live happily ever after, I mean when you’re really young like 5 or 6 at least under ten you think of things like that,not me horses, horses, horses. I still have that profound love for horses, all of them big and small I can watch them for hours grazing in a pasture, I can actual say and I’m truly grateful for it, I have photographed wild horses in  Nevada and Ca many times. Watching them in their natural herds and how they react to each other was one of those moments  looking back it was a surreal experience in my life.  A stud horse blew through his nose at me once, giving me a shiver up my spine from the sound it made, happened just once but not to be forgotten. A band of wild horses where grazing lazily with no worries, as I was photographing them they watched from afar and I them through the lens of my camera, the yellow stud would graze and then lift his head as to keep an eye on me, He really cared less about me until my dear husband came up behind me and said PSSSST, I believe as loud as he could, the yellow stub threw his head up headed straight for us at a dead run, not easy running with a tripod but it all worked out we made it back to the pickup in one piece.  It happened that the yellow stud stopped short of getting close to us, I ask my husband what were you thinking being so loud, he stated he didn’t want to scare me!

So to continue on with this deep love for loves pretty much anything equine, this is a picture of my very first pony, can’t remember what I called him, but he was special like no other.  The boy scout troop my Mom was the leader for made him for me out of a cardboard box, I’m sure Mom made his head because I do remember he had embroidered eyes.  I rode that pony everywhere I could, until finally I just wore him out, he was a good first pony very loyal, only let me ride him no one else (because the hole cut in the box just fit me!).

So it continues; Greeley my youngest granddaughter had her first birthday last month, so of course we had to make sure she got a pony for her birthday not a real one of course yet, but one she could grow into and ride around like I did when I was little. So we bought her this barnyard hopper they call them, one that looks like a horse but a little silly too, except it had to be a real horse color.  She got her first pair of cowgirl boots, a cute little dress with a horse on it, and her cowgirl hat.

We’ll she’s one , so it didn’t go as planned, I had hoped for a picture in her new outfit sitting on that horse we got her, except she didn’t want anything to do with that horse, actually it seems she was a little afraid of it.  So we just let her get used to it some, then she would touch it once in a while, but would scream If someone tried to get her to ride it.  So we set it where she could crawl to it and see it, oh she would touch it on her own terms, but then the breakthrough was when everyone was busy talking and not really paying attention to her, she reached over and placed both hands on either side of it’s head and gentle gave that pony a little kiss on his nose, thinking no one was watching. Greely loves horses already; she has a pony at home she likes to ride and learning how to wear those boots!  Someday she’ll jump on her hopper pony and ride until she wears her pony out just like I did.

I’m sure both my grand girls will be horse girls for life, as long as I can get away with all the horse clothes I buy for them, including riding horses at Nana’s and Papa’s the girls will at least have a foundation started of “Horse Love”.  If nothing else just to torment their Dad’s 😉  hehe.