Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sunny days!

Hurray! A few days of sun with no rain or snow, and the muck at the farm is starting to dry up a bit. The birds are back - mallards are swimming in the big ditch and nesting on the bank.

There are frogs clucking and chirping and honking all around. Different frogs sound off at different times during the day. This one was staking his claim to a section of mud near the pasture. DD scooped him up to show me. He's a Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) according to the Natural Resources Canada website (

We see lots of different snakes, frogs and toads around the farm - most commonly garter snakes, but the occasional Brown Snake, too.

DD rode Charlie out in the sand ring for the first time this spring - it's finally dry enough. Charlie is going to make a wonderful child a great hunter horse someday. He is a willing worker and loves to be praised when he pleases you.

Charlie loves Elmo, a big Golden Retriever cross, at the arena down the road. Charlie grooms him all over if given a chance.

I finished my first pair of socks and another pair of mittens for the Snowsuit Fund. I used Patons Classic Wool on 2.25 mm needles and adapted the Suzi Knits Basic Free Sock Pattern to suit my knitting style and size. I use oddments of acrylic or wool to make the mittens - it's a great way to clear out part of my stash and benefit someone else at the same time. The mitt pattern is one that my Granny taught me 30+ years ago - basic mitts on four needles.

Syra, my dog, spends her days on the couch, curled up with an afghan.

Jerry, Grace and Will enjoy the sun from their cages. The wet-looking bird is Grace, he likes to bathe in his water dish. Willy is camera shy and hid behind the edge of the towel. Jerry is a the one with the band on his leg. Since he is banded, we know he was born in 2000. I don't know how old Will and Grace are as they didn't come with bands - and since they're rescued cockatiels - I don't know much about their history. All three came to me through a friend just over three years ago. They were not imprinted or handled properly when they were young, so they're not very friendly.

My African violets are starting to bloom, too, now that the Christmas catus flowers are finished.

Spring is wonderful - I enjoy discovering all the new and renewed life!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Visual DNA...

I found an interesting site with a sort of personality test based on images. Mine seems to be pretty accurate.


There were no horses in the selections, though. :-)

This morning I shredded a bag of old confidential papers with my cross-cut shredder. We use the shredded paper in the horses' bedding, mixed with shavings. If anyone really wants to reconstruct one of my old credit card bills, they're going to have to work for it. I took the bag out to the farm, along with some Freecycle stuff that I picked up for DD and DSIL - a briefcase, car radio, and a baby monitor.

DSIL wanted a briefcase for work stuff - and since it'll be covered in diesel and oil in no time, Freecycle was the way to go. The car radio will be installed in the tractor, and the baby monitor will help my DD keep an ear open for problems in the barn both now while Queenie is on stall rest (2 weeks for a sore foot) and later when Sheba is closer to foaling.

I also brought out two large bags of bran and a container of molasses - the horses all enjoy a warm bran mash as a special treat once in a while. It'll make a nice change for Queenie, too, as she gets powdered bute (aspirin for horses) twice a day while she's inside to try to reduce the inflammation in her foot. Horse bute has a strange strawberry smell - some horses love it, others hate it. Luckily, Queenie likes the taste.

Since Queenie is in all the time, Sheba and Reba get to trade off time inside to keep Queenie company. Bart the cat is spending extra time in the barn as he likes to be rubbed by Queenie - she strokes him all over with her muzzle - and will curl up with her when she lies down to sleep.

Today was cool, but mostly dry. The forecast for tomorrow is rain, turning to snow overnight. Just what we need: more wet stuff. DD and DSIL spend time every day digging ditches to drain the water from the road and the fields as it is - this isn't going to help them any. At least the water level in the main ditches is starting to drop and the farm's ditches are running again.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

I have work to do, but I don't feel like working. It's far more fun to play with photos and write new text for my blog.
Here are a couple of photos of a cardinal that was singing in my hedge on Wednesday. I thought I could capture him through the window, but the flash went off and showed me that my windows need some serious scrubbing on the outside. If it wasn't fogged by the flash, it would have been a terrific picture.

After trying a couple from inside, I went out. Unfortunately, the cardinal didn't want to be on the same side of the hedge as I was, so there are branches in the way. The children were making lots of noise as they left the school across the street, so the cardinal didn't stick around for more pictures.

Sometimes we have several pairs nesting around the area over the summer - they're always a pleasant surprise when you see them at the feeder or in the hedge.

My Christmas cactus bloomed again in March. This picture was taken on March 31, 2007. The flash didn't go off, so the light is really yellow as it's reflecting from the yellow lamp and its yellow shade. I am really pleased with the blooms - until this one, I hadn't had any success with flowers on them. I had a bloom at Christmas, too.

This Christmas cactus was a gift from a friend who has since moved far away. He rooted a number of bits from his original plant and gave them away before he left for Halifax. Plants in my house survive on benign neglect - sometimes I don't water them until they look limp, and then I dump leftover tea in their pots. The African violets seem to like that treatment, as does my spider plant, but I wasn't sure it would work for a Christmas cactus.

Today is Good Friday - a paid day off for me. Yay!

It's cold and gloomy out, though, so I stayed home and did chores. It would have been a perfect day to spend in lounging and playing in bed with a significant other, but it's just not as much fun with the dog. On the other hand, the laundry is all done, the sheets changed, and my living room and guest bathroom tidied. For this evening's excitement, I think I'll run the dishwasher.

Tomorrow, I'm heading out to the farm for an Easter egg hunt. I think it'll be in the house - the forecast isn't any better for tomorrow than it was for today. Sunday will be a family dinner at my parents' place - dinner starts at 5 pm.

My horses all got their annual shots and Coggins test done on Wednesday. The vet says Sheba looks really well for this stage of her pregnancy. Only 40 days or so left before we find out if its a filly (girl) or a colt (boy). I really don't care either way as long as it's healthy. This foal belongs to my daughter, not me, so I'll have to try really hard not to get too attached.

Tinkerbelle (aka Tink) is recovering nicely from her surgery. Her stitches are starting to dissolve now and she's almost ready to start running around in the mud again. For a very active dog, she's been very good about the restrictions my daughter imposed. I'm sure that having an older, calmer dog around (Daisy) helped. Tink is very good about going in her crate and settles right down.
Someday she may be able to be loose in the house when there's no one home, but not right now. She is still testing all the limits of "house dog" behaviour. She sure does love to cuddle on the couch!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fools Day!

I started the morning off on the computer, chatting with a friend in New Brunswick. We've never met, but we share a love of horses and music - and can always find things to chat about for an hour or two. A half a dozen blog entries (comments on other people's blogs, not mine) later, it was time to head out for brunch with a fun bunch of friends.

When I was at the farm yesterday, I took some new pictures of the horses. I played with the settings on my camera to get some higher resolution photos that can be printed larger than 5 x 7. The sun caused a few sunspots on the images, so they're not as good as I hoped, but they're certainly much more detailed than the "standard" setting.

I took a bunch of pictures of Charlie:

and some of Ti-Buck and Sneakers playing "stallion games":

Then some of Queenie:

Sheba looks really pregnant now. The vet says that she appears to be doing just fine and everything is on schedule and developing properly.

You can really see her bad knee in the larger photo. It doesn't seem to bother her too much as long as it's not too muddy. Poor Sheba - we don't know how or when she injured it, but it'll never get better (although it is less swollen and painful than it was 3 years ago when we kept her in Smiths Falls).

S'Heir, Sheba's foal from 4 years ago, was busy looking cute for the camera. She is started at walk and trot now, and is really proud that she's a "big girl" and gets to be ridden. Sheba's new foal will be S'Heir's half sibling - S'Heir's sire is The Royal Heir. The new foal's sire is AA Decadence.

If I get a chance tomorrow, I'll post the pictures of my Christmas cactus that decided to bloom again for Easter. It's got spectacular flowers.

That's enough for today - time to do something else (like housework)!

Sneakers - 2006

Sneakers - 2006
The incredible Sneakypony!