Welcome to Fern Valley
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Sunday, 29 December 2013
Now let me back track a little , for many years,each Christmas I would receive a book from my grandfather, usually one of the Dick Francis series, he passed away several years ago, and I have really missed that tradition, reading the book Christmas night and boxing day, smiling all the while knowing he had already read it, himself, very carefully so as not to crease the spine, and we would then share out thoughts.
I did buy one for myself the next year or so ,but it was not the same.
Then the author also passed away, so it seems that was that.
Well Dick Francis has a son, Felix Francis. And he has taken up the torch and written a book based on one of the much loved characters in the series. and that is the gift , Martin did not know he bought me . I downloaded the new book,"Refusal" and maybe because it is a few years later, or because I read it on my I pad,I don't know, but the pure joy I found in reading that book was just like in times past!
Couldn't of course call my granddad to talk with him about it , but ,it still felt pretty good. And maybe I can discuss it with someone if anyone else chooses to join in my Christmas reading tradition and have a look?
The only downside to this is that my love of reading has awakened and I may have trouble getting my nose out of the books again for a while and forget to blog! LOL
Or maybe it will start me writing again? hard to say either way I am a very happy girl. I did also receive wonderful thoughtful gifts from my family, they all know me so well .And I hope they enjoyed what I gave to them.
Yet another tradition will be followed, in a new way, mom has long been a fan of the ballet, as were Heather and I for many years, Mom has taken Heather's girls to several, and Deanna commented it would be nice to go tot the Nutcracker when it was presented just before Christmas.
We did not make it to that , and mom is no longer able to go as it is too long and evening for her, but Heather, Deanna, Tara and I will be taking our Christmas gift from mom and dad, tickets to the Ukrainian Ballet's presentation of "Clara's Dream" (an adaptation of the Nutcracker) on January 10!
So here's to a wonderful Christmas full of tradition old and new , and a wonderful new year to come!
Stay safe and warm my friends
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
So it is Christmas eve already, and are we ready? Well close enough, the gifts are wrapped and the tree is up, the food is prepped and we have so dog cookies to put out for "Santa Paws "
So I guess we are as ready as we can be. Ready, and so very blessed . We will be surrounded by family and the comfort and safety of our home and love, not much more we could ask for is there?
Well there are one or two things I would ask if I may be so bold?
Let me tell you first about my encounter at the gas station today, I was in line with so many others when a native lady stepped ahead of me, she said "Oh I just went to grab my coffee" I have to admit to being mildly irritated that she stepped in but I thought Oh its Christmas , and smiled. She then turned to me and told me she was headed to Edmonton, because her adopted daughter had passed away last night in a car accident,and that she had also just recently lost a beloved Uncle.
As the words poured out of her I was dumbstruck! Such a lot of pain for this poor lady and her family. I uttered the usual heartfelt platitudes and tried to keep the tears out of my eyes, but really what words are enough?? All she was buying was a bag of chips and a coffee, but I finally said, just go , I've got this . She turned to me as though I had bought her the world and hugged me sobbing (those who know me know I never let anyone cry alone so you can imagine what I did, all the way home).
So what am I being so bold to ask?
If you have a mind to please pray for this lady (who's name I did not get) and all of the others who are struggling with loss, and fear, trying to get home,and for those who will not make it home again.
And also if you see someone who needs a little help, just a smile a nod or a helping hand , remember the reason for this season, and give them what you can.
I wrote this first poem today, after not writing for a long time after being so moved by this lady;
God bless the weary travellers
We know not where they're bound
How far they may have yet to go
Or what trials they have found
Offer a hand Or share in a smile
Something to carry them
Warm through the miles
Remember their journey Though not like your own
Is the same in the way We all long for our home
This second is one I wrote some time ago, but also a wish I pray for each year;
I will make a wish this Christmas Eve
For all to give and to receive
I promise I won't wish for very much
Just all creatures to have a loving touch
That joy and comfort and peace are shared
That shelter abounds and lives are spared
That family rejoice for loved ones come home
That no one is left afraid and alone
That no one is hungry, or out on the cold
I will wish for this, If I may be bold
It may not seem possible this gift to receive
But it can happen, I have to believe
For all to be loved, and kept warm and safe
This is what I wish, in continuing faith.
Wishing all a very Merry Christmas, wrapped in the love of family and the grace of God
Monday, 23 December 2013
Today was spent doing more prep work for Christmas day, dinner will be at my house this year. My sister and I take turns doing brunch and dinner. and this year is my turn!
Then a little outside stuff, bedding for the foals , and water, then moved Harley and Stryker , so Martin could put in a new bale.Thats where the "naughty" started. I guess with the warm weather and the new bale these two were feeling good, when I let them out , whoo hooo!
I do hope to post a Christmas wish as well, but in case I don't get to it,
Merry Christmas my friends!
I hope as you share time with family and friends , you are safe warm and know you are loved!
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Layed low again today for the most part , and am feeling much better, hoping to be back to work tomorrow.
Then time to get my end in gear, I have not made my whipped shortbread, nor have I made cinnamon buns for the gang at work, and my Brother in law. No presents wrapped ! Martin will be home Friday so I am OK on the wrapping front ,to be honest he is way better at it than I so I tend to make a show of having tried, then let him take over (hee hee).
I do have some posts brewing in my mind and I hope to be more present here in the next while , but sometimes a girls just gotta lay low!
Stay safe and warm my friends
Thursday, 12 December 2013
One thing about Facebook is that you can check in with a quick update and let it go at that, which is fine I guess, but ...
Though I have lately thought it might be a good way to "mark my place " as in post that thought , whatever it may be and then let it percolate a bit and see if it is a topic I would like to elaborate on.
One such place marker is my Facebook post form yesterday;
"To all the little girls like me who wanted a pony for Christmas for so many years; you may not have gotten that pony,or at least not as a gift but what you did get was patience, determination, and an understanding that sometimes you don't get what you want just because you want it. And those were great gifts you see, because if like me you eventually went out and bought your own pony/horse you already had some of the tools to become a true horsewoman! And you don't find that under a tree in fancy paper."
It popped into my head yesterday, as I was slogging through chores in the snow and cold thinking it would be nice sometimes if I didn't have to do that. Then I stopped to give Johnny a pet on the nose and a cookie to Annie, I snuggled Andee and I remembered. Why I love these creatures so much and why I wouldn't give it up for the world. It can be hard work but it is so very worth it. In the cold weather when I have to shovel snowing, or fork hay, check waters in cold and wind,where I have my hat and scarf on so tight I have to turn a full circle to look over my shoulder.
In the summer when it's stinkin' hot but I'm still out checking the mares and foals . Sometimes riding but often just spending time enjoying the fruits of my labors. Handling these quiet gentle creatures and knowing that at least part of what they become is a direct result if the work I do . What does that have to do with my FB post? Quite a lot actually, I had horses in my life all the time I was growing up but they were the farm horses, I was able to ride but only when they were not being used . Like many horse crazy little girls I dreamed of the day I would have my very own horse. I have shared the story of how I scrimped and save and finally bought my first horse at the age of 13 . And as hard as it was for me to wait for that day, I really do think it served me well to "earn" her She was not a gift as such, but in many ways, she and the time it took for me to get her were better gifts after all. With those gifts I built my own joy, and a sense of pride.
Many gifts that we receive at Christmas or birthdays when we are young are enjoyed in the moment, and soon cast aside for bigger brighter dreams. Because I had to save my money and earn my horse I became determined to not let that go and have a sense of pride and accomplishment and not only achieving the purchase of my own horse, but in all I could do with her and my future. That first horse was the foundation of what is become fern Valley Appaloosas, a lifelong journey that I have truly been blessed with.Would I have kept with these horses had I not earning my stripes so to speak ?
It's hard to say, I do believe that those gifts of patience, determination, and the understanding that we just don't always get what we want, just because we want it, are a huge part of why I did . And why I can call myself with confidence a horsewoman.
So to all the little girls who dream of a pony, whatever age you are. That dream can come true, its just a matter of time, patience and...
Stay safe my friends
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Tails, Trails and Campfire Stories: Photographs, Poetry and Musings of an Alberta Farm Girl by Sherry Sikstrom Trafford Publishing
reviewed by Carissa Harwood
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
So until it's safe to go back out for anything more than chores (and spoiled me has hubby home this week to help out !) this will have to do . All are doing OK in the weather, lots of groceries (as you can see) and fresh water along with windbreaks these tough Alberta bred ponies are doing fine!
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Today is December 1 and in my area at least, that march towards Christmas is in full swing,with all it entails, the decorations, the music, sales everything is looking towards Christmas it is a retail owners dream come true but that's not really what Christmas is about is it?
Even for those who don't actively practice the Christian faith are somehow affected by this season, you see folks who claim not to believe, singing songs of joy and celebrating on some level the spirit of giving. Family celebrating together caring for one another and bringing together of all of us in special greetings of Merry Christmas or happy holidays if you will. People are in a celebratory mood.
Also just lately I've noticed on a few social media sites the question being posed “what would you do?”
They then go on to suggest if you saw someone struggling to cross the street would you help? If you saw someone pulled over on the side of the road would you offer your assistance? If you saw a woman, man, or, child abused. Animals, lost stressed, injured, neglected. Any number of scenarios of come up, but the question is always “what would you do?”
Where I come from “what would you do?” isn't much of a question, the answer? Quite simply, whatever I can
I was raised in a rural community and I continue to live in a rural community, the morals and just that sense of right and wrong has been instilled in me since I was a young child. You do what you can for others and hope that your little bit has helped them in some way.
From the lady several years ago in hospital who was struggling in pain while nursing staff were trying to start an IV line, I walked over and held her hand and shielded her with my body from the view of the rest of the waiting room to just offer a little comfort where I could. To my niece stopping and picking up an elderly lady walking home with her groceries and driving her home. To my brother-in-law who performed an act of heroism just recently.
Marc was driving to Alberta Beach to help his daughter with her car troubles when he noticed a house with smoke coming out of the siding he immediately contacted his daughter and told her to call 911 that there was a house on fire, he then knocked on the door and hollered to see if anyone was in the home. The door opened so Marc walked into house, calling and checking doors to make sure that there was no one lying asleep or had succumbed to the smoke. In the process he rescued a cat then removed himself safely from the house and awaited the fire trucks the time it took from Marc’s call to the house being totally engulfed in flames was less than 30 minutes. This is a brave man, he was aware of the safety risks and followed protocol in searching for people in the home he did not put himself at risk unnecessarily but the family were very glad that someone cared enough to check that one was in the house.
Marc like myself and the people in my circle of influence all believe that we treat each other every day like we would like to be treated. When the family thanked Marc repeatedly for having tried to find them and to see if there was anything he could do to help, his simple response was “I would hope someone would do that for me” As you can imagine I'm pretty proud to know this guy!
How many situations have we been faced with in our lives where the choice was to turn away and let someone be hurt or struggle or just step up and show one little act of kindness that cost us very little could change a person’s day or life?
So back to the question what would you do?
For me and the folks around me what would we do? Whatever we can
So now especially as we come towards the season of Christmas take a little time here and there to look around and see if someone somewhere could use your help and I am sure from what I've come to know of my blogging family you would all do exactly what you can as well.
If you saw someone needing
on any given day
Would you reach out a hand? or
just turn away?
Would you question the right to be who they are
would you step up and help
or frown from afar
Would you leap straight to
without asking why
assume they are failing,
from failing to try
When you see someone needing
what would you do
ask yourself now
if that someone was you ?
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Can you ?
Stay safe my friends
Monday, 25 November 2013
This is the same auger used by the Namao light and power co-op and the telephone co-op that dad was president of. My nephew Ross Horricks and his son Chad have decided to restore both the Haymobile and the Ford truck with Auger.
Now to “The Thing”, but first I must tell you about cutting hay with horse-drawn mowers and raking a with horse drawn dump rakes. My first experience with the dump rake was when I was very young, probably for five years old, Bill was raking hay in the field just south of our house and I took a drink and lunch out for Bill.
Bill is 3 1/2 years older than me and Uncle Charlie had put blocks on the dump rake so Bill could dump the rake.
I sat down on the front of the rake frame to have lunch with Bill which was fun. What was not fun was what happened next; one of the horses reached forward to get a mouthful of alfalfa blossoms and pinched my bum between the double tree and the rake frame! To this day I have not forgotten that pain.
Bill also had an exciting time cutting hay around the reserve at Ministik Lake, we had the only Private land inside of the Ministik game sanctuary, anyway the mower plugged up on a molehill at the same time as the horses stepped on the ground hornets’ nest and all hell broke loose! Also a couple of years later Bill and I were cutting hay on what we called what we called the South meadow at Ministik, they were natural meadows with trees sometimes growing the middle.
Bill was on the horse-drawn mower and I was driving a model M tractor with mower mounted on the back. As there were lots of molehills that tended to plug up the cutting bar I was looking back as I cut around the corner by the trees, I did not see Bill stop soon enough to stop completely and the grill of the tractor hit the back of the mower seat, and threw Bill between the horses and the pole.
Luckily the horses were well taught or just tired and other than a severe scolding from my brother everything turned out okay. In talking to Bill he has never forgotten the incident with the hornets both Bill and the horses were badly stung and it could have been an even more serious wreck. My older brother Bud was badly hurt a few years before when the pole of the dump rate broke throwing Bud off the seat of the rake into the team then he was caught in the dump rake teeth.
We also would ride Roman style on the backs of the teams coming back to the yard from the Meadows.
In the early 1950’s our farming was changing to tractors and power Mowers, side rakes as well. We had a 24’ foot dump rake mounted on the draw bar of a John Deere model B tractor with tricycle front wheels.
This made raking hay much faster than using a team of horses with a 9” or even a 12” dump break.
In the mid-1950s we also made a power mower mounted on a 1927 Chev car. We first removed the body then mounted a truck transmission behind the car transmission.
This allowed us to change the speeds for working in the fields at slower speeds and also a power takeoff mounted on the side of the truck transmission allowed us to power the cutting bar we mounted on the side.
As we had to travel several miles from home to the Namao military airport which where we cut hay around the runways we were able to carry extra parts, fuel, oil, etc., as well as several workers. We had three or four other mowers mounted on tractors. There was a song in the 50s called The Thing and so that is what we called that 1927 car mower.
One drawback to unit had was the water pump on the motor which had a grease cup that used water pump grease, the pump would sometimes leak a small amount of water on hot days. More so on hot days it would spray a fine mist back at the driver
Bill drove “The Thing” most of the time and would sometimes have a sunburned face and nose from the moisture blown back by the fan blades.
P.S. we donated "The Thing" and the Ford 2 ½ ton truck to the Fort Edmonton Park. They have restored them to take visitors around the park.
We also allowed the Light Rail Street Car society to store a 1919 Toronto streetcar. They have restored several streetcars and you can take rides around Fort Edmonton and across the high-level bridge built around 1910.
The Fordson tractor was the first one built by Ford on an assembly line and also the first one in Edmonton Dominion motors made a deal with grandpa Horricks, the deal was dad had to drive the tractor around the old market Square for two days to show it off to the public.
Thanks again dad for these great posts ! I received an email from a gentleman who has become a friend to mom and dad, and also become a reader/follower of my blog. He was unable to post his comment so I agreed to post his message here ;
Saturday, 23 November 2013
I had a conversation with a new friend I met at the course last weekend , and we chatted about many things, not the least of which was my little mare Cat (also known as Whoa Dammit, The fat baby , and of course her actual name FV Catch a Dream )
Cat is a sweet girl, but a great barometer for my feelings and mood. She is a confident, competent gal (future boss mare I think ) and she will take no "fakers" if I am in a good space in my mind and heart she is welcoming and friendly , if however I am letting stress take me down or angry ? she will take one look at me and walk away, not fast , just away , then stop some distance from me as if to say " get it together girlfriend! "
Usually a couple deep breaths , and often a wry laugh later I ditch the baggage and try again, sure enough she is good to go and will walk right up to me . Today was a good day , she walked up straight away
same with whoa, ask for it , but you better expect to stop.
By the way , dad's next guest post on THE THING, is here and ready for me to type out and post, I just had this to say first
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Thank you to all of you , and sorry for the delay
The Sunshine Award is for people who "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere." The nominee must do the following: thank the person who nominated her, nominate ten bloggers of her own, answer the ten questions given to her, and post them and the Sunshine Award button to her blog.
Here are the questions:
- Mares or Geldings? Geldings. no real preference, I have had the best of both
- English or Western?Western is my go to , though I have ridden english in the past
- Do you prefer "younger" or "older" horses? each has a lot to offer, but those seasoned older ones do feel safer these days
- Have you trained a horse from ground zero?yes
- Do you prefer riding or groundwork? It really just depends.I really enjoy both but if I had to choose 1 I would be in the saddle
- Do you board your horse or keep it at home? home
- Do you do all natural things or just commercial stuff?(in sense of products) a little of both , I use what works
- All tacked up or bareback? Tacked up! too old and out of shape for bareback
- Equestrian model?too many to name
- What's your one, main goal, while being in the horses world? hmm, might have to get back to you on that one
Sunday, 17 November 2013
After 4 long and interesting days, 2 very treacherous drives in to town and back,I have completed my EAPD training!
Anyhow I think this program is a good fit and I am looking forward to what I can do with it.
Lots to think about and I hope to share further but for now a few pics of the mock scenarios we worked on and exercises that we developed. They are so powerful even in a learning setting that we each felt moved on some level as though it was real. So much so that t he exercise I designed for a particular situation, hit a little closer to home than I expected and I suddenly became the focus of the horse nurturing protection! Suffice to say it was a cathartic experience , and while I don't love to cry in front of others , it was a safe environment and I believe of great benefit to me.
Thats it for now , I am one tired girl! Actually I am one tired EAPD COACH !
Stay safe my friends!