Fall Butcher Days

So today I finished butchering out the last six huge big bucks in the growout pen, and with that, I am down to my winter carry numbers, 3 does and 1 buck.

I bred the does last week and so it means fresh white meat for mid-winter, which will be most welcome..

I am good at this.. I have a routine, I know what to do, I know how to do it, I follow the rules and the meat is out of this world good, and I am grateful to know where it came from, what it eat and so forth.

An as I am on the bucket list blog, I get to say, I hate it these days just a bit.. Ok, maybe hate is the wrong word.. I feel a disconnect on days like today.. I have waited though a expecting mom, I have been so happy to see live wee ones, I have cleaned pens and put out feed and checked toes and ears, I have handled them, I picked fresh treats and I have a relationship with these rabbits, they came right up and stood on their back legs and said, hi.. what do you have for me..

Now the pretty homesteaders blogs will tell you the good old saying.. one bad day in a great life.. bleep that.. more like two bad minutes max in a great life and trust me, compared to most livestock in a commercial setting, its as good as it gets..

Am I proud of the meat, will I eat it, you bet, but am I honestly happy on a day like today.. no.. I am sad and a little heart hurt.. and I think that its just about right.. I hope I never have a butcher day where its just another day but I will admit that there are times I wish it was easier to do..

I never shy from the work but I often wish that it was perhaps shared more evenly with my hubby, but that’s not meant to be.. he will help in everything but this..

So be it..

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Stepping up on my Photography

I think most folks know that I love taking photos! and I have done photos for websites, for blogs, for calendars and I have even had a photo that was published as a card for stores and online.  I have self-taught the computer programs and I have helped correct tiny flaws in photos over the years. I have gone with friends and done a photo shoot for them and I love it..   I like my eye and I like what I can do.. I just think I can push myself in this regard..

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But I have found my new camera really gave me a step down and my new computer program just didn’t cut the mustard either, it did find for the basics and that was all.. I have allowed myself to fall behind in terms of keeping up with the new programs..

I was able to get a high quality Nikon in a Wicked Black Friday Sale and I will be investing in a newer photo program..  and I might even crack out one or two of my photography books and push myself more to do some out of my comfort zone taking again..

Above is the finished photo and I love it.. I like that I was able to pull out the colors, pull the wind in his hair, make it very art like.. I tried to remove the halter and lead but that is beyond my current photo programs ability and make it look natural..

Below is the original photo.. I love being able to look at it and see the above and make it happen.. there is a magic to it..

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Working Hard..

Well, I have been working hard at trying to cut back on the amounts I am eating, making better choices and getting more workouts in and its doing the trick.. I got the on scale today and was just down just over 20 pounds this fall.. most excellent.. very happy with the results.. now to keep going that way over the holiday’s.

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I am loving what my new face cleaner and creams that comes from Adagio Naturals, a local company with all organic and handmade in small batches.

https://www.facebook.com/adagionaturals/?fref=ts

These are made by a friend of mine and while my own homemade things are good these are amazing..  It was a amazingly thoughtful b-day gift, its on this blog not the farm blog as I do not want anything to think I am pushing a product etc..

But honestly.. if you are looking for these types of gifts, her products rock and they are flying off the shelves in the few places she has them in Ottawa!

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I am wild about the milk face cleaner.. I really think its helping with the lines under my eyes.

Anyway.. I know that Dec can be a hard month in this regards.. so I will need to buckle down and really keep at it.. one step at a time.

Snow Dogs!

Just way to many awesome shots of happy hounds playing in the snow..  and how does it tie in for the bucket list..  hounds, farm, joy of life and my love of photo’s and my desire to get better at it..  sure lets go with that.. now on to puppies!

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Dez Bot

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Z-man, aka Zander

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Halo, (who does not have one trust me LOL)

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Beautiful Marie..

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Catch me if you can..

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Throw down.. I gotcha!

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Those two love to play!

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Sometimes it looks fierce but its all in good fun..

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But when they were ready to come in.. snuggle bunnies..

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I am loving have a four hound pack again, a balance between young and older, male and female..

 

 

 

 

Buck up..

and see the writing on the wall..

Well, part of the testing I needed to have done when they ran me though a battery of testing for my last-ditch effort to figure out if I could or could not try for one more little one..  (that is another story for another day)

But I had to go for a ton of blood work in order to do a test for if I would need treatments in my second and third to help keep the babies to stay longer..  the blood work came back.. funky..  We have the leading team in this area in Ottawa, their work is considered top of the line world-wide and they have had me back now five times because I am ringing their bell curve

No is a no, and a yes means a follow-up to confirm..

I have now had a yes, no, yes, no and yes.. they don’t know what to do with me.. now they are talking that is my hormones influencing it, is it running on a cycle and so forth. Two years they have been tracking while shaking their heads.. they know its going to be an issue but they are unsure how to treat me for it.

At the same time as this “huh” on the blood work, I had a full run up on my lungs and they came back great.. my results say.. no asthma..

But I have started the throat clearing this past year..  I know that sound, I was raised with it from my grandmother and watched my mom start it.. and now at 43-44 I am catching myself starting..

Even more telling to me.. if I following a treatment course at home on things that help my mom, my symptoms clear, now right now, they clear fairly easily..

But when a steamer, EI’s and food changes can clear them.. its time to heave a sigh, curse a blue streak, maybe shed a tear and then buck up..

I am already a proven carrier, and I expect it will be more tests and years of this and that before I am given a proper account of being triggered and or like my mom, flaring of Alpha 1 antitrypsin Deficiency but I am not waiting for that..

I am close to the same age as my mom when she started, I had the same really REALLY bad pneumonia trigger, and while I did all the follow-up testing.. and other than the blood test, everything else came back perfect.. which is great..

but I think I might want to listen to my head on this one, it says, you have far more knowledge of the starting signs than anyone else did, we have FAR more knowledge of what to eat, what not to eat, we understand far more about the health issues and how they can be worked with, and it makes a lot more sense to start now and hold it off as long as possible

Maybe if I make those changes now, I can hold it off to just small signs for the rest of my life.. that would be the ideal goal for sure..

and continue to work with my team of doctors as they follow-up on my unusual blood results on this one area..

Halo

Working with a new dog in the house and the pack is always a interesting thing, bringing in a new adult is a far bigger challenge then bringing in a pup..

Bringing in a trained dog for what they are used to can be even more of a challenge within its own right as you are not only teaching new rules and regs but you are having to deal with old habits as well.

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Halo is ten this year, and she is a very sweet dog, she is soft in many ways, very soft with people, both soft and not going to take any guff with the other hounds, not sure she wants to let a up and coming pup-teen be the boss (to bad, so sad, DezBot is the head of the pack) and very sweet and tough on the purrpots, when it comes to one on one gentle, so very gentle, when it comes to breaking up them up or giving them the dogs rule, she is a bit barky, pushy. We are working on it.

In the house, she is learning the rules very well, out of the house.. she is totally split.. on one hand, she understands and can do a recall with a focus I love and on the other hand, she can put her nose down, put her tail up and tell you to talk to the butt as she is gone!!

She hears you, she knows what you want and she just goes walk about.. and you need to get within a few feet of her to get her to come back and check in, and get a collar or leash on her and or carry her back like a bad baby on your hip. Sheesh.. Good thing she is only 16 pounds.

She was very used to running, running and then play time was over and now she can’t handle the freedom of just hanging out while we do chores.. so we had to move over to the collar and leash training..

Can I please have a Whine Moment here..  I hate when I need to leash or long leash work with the hounds, I totally understand why its needed, I do the training and I work hard and fast to get them to the point that as soon as I can, they are back to off-leash outdoor time with us.. I know they love that they get to be farm hounds, I love that they do their thing, check in with me and that I am not getting tangled with a lead going around me while doing chores..  I am sure she will be equally happy when I am not pulling her when I am forking hay..  now she could have come closer and we would have had more lead but no.. she wanted to be out exploring and as I could not belt loop it, every time my hands and arms went up.. the lead pulled tight and then moved her..

Needless to say, I am working very hard on getting her to the point that she does not need to be in outdoor dog pen or on the leash or directly being watched while out in the yard, I want to give her that freedom as soon as she can handle it..

But so far.. Not a snowballs chance in hell..

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I am giving thought to taking her to a dog training class just one of the basic six to eight week ones locally, I think it would do her focus a world of good.. but first I will stay with pack training, one on one training in the house when the others go out, and one on one training when the other stay in.. and we are going to do some long lead field and hiking training. I have started her with clicker, and will soon move that to a bell recall for longer distances.

I like raising my hounds from puppies up to adults, it just works for me.. but I am finding my new much smaller pack to be both wonderful and a challenge all in one.. different but wonderful..

 

 

Picture Perfect Ride

 

Filled with spots of fear thrown in..

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This is Caleb, he is amazing! and once again he proved it today, I had a great two hours time out with my big guy, while hubby cleaned pens, I was given freedom to work with him, I did lots of grooming, picking of feet, stretches both legs and for him to loosen up his neck, I did ground work and join up and though it all, he was a dream, he was right there for me..

I took off his halter, and put on a new bridle, fitted it, with a new bit and we ground worked and adjusted it, and did it again until I felt that it was a good fit, he says, it does not have the copper roller in the middle mom, but none the less, I think he liked it.

I tacked him and we went for a walk, other then the few times I held the reins while tractors, rigs and trucks went past, I just draped it over my arm and we were joined up and moving freely.. once in the field, I put it over his head and we just walked.

Perfect.. it was so perfect, sun was shining, I am there with my horse, Its a great fall day..

And then

Then came mounting time..  I have a fear of mounting and a less fear but its still there of dismounting..

When I was fit and younger and stronger, I didn’t have this fear, when I started back riding, this fear was not there, instead it was more of a “hey this part is a lot harder then I remember” and then I hit the ground mounting, Brandy walked out from me in a mount, I lost my balance and I hit the ground and I hit hard!

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I shook it off or at least I thought I did, I got a deeper better saddle, I trained harder, and I just learned to live with that clench in the gut. Then I had a few shaky dismounts where Brandy would swing her butt at the last second and I would be hanging in the air and I landed on my foot wrong..  Another clench in the gut..

Then one day I was all happy to go riding, I tacked up, and I went to mount and Brandy started bucking, I did kiss your butt, and I made her settle and I worked her and then I got the bleep off her and ground worked her and then hubby and I switched horses and we went for our ride, it was a good ride, one of those that starts hard but ends nicely..

Expect, it didn’t, it was that moment.. that moment that all those little moments added up to and suddenly I can’t mount (mainly mount) and to a much less degree dismount without fear..

and then the cow kicked my leg tight above my knee and I broke my foot in a few places in the same leg and then when I went to mount, my leg gave under me.. and BOOM! like a thunderclap, I became afraid, not to ride, not to work my horses but to get up there..

I think I was glad when my doctor said, you must take time off riding.. it allowed me to not feel the pressure to get back in the saddle and then with everything going on, it just became easier to ground work then then to ride and then I got permission to ride.. and I didn’t..

I hand walked, I ground worked and I tacked up and let hubby ride while I went with and really I just wanted to be in the saddle but when it came down to it, I didn’t trust my own body to safely get me in and out..

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So today, I trusted Caleb and my husband.. I trusted Caleb to stand still, I trusted my hubby to be right behind me to help steady me if I needed it and I did, on the dismount not the mounting, and I trusted that if I could just PUSH past that twisting gut, that.. you can’t do this to the GET ON YOUR HORSE moment.. that it would work.

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And it did..  Here it to hoping that next time, its just a little easier to have that trust in me, in my body..

 

 

 

Letting go..

I truly am grateful for the extra few weeks with brandy, for the extra cuddles, for the extra just being there and for extra natural light photos of her and I can tell already that I am going to be glad that we did a special photo shoot with her an I.

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I have been crying around her off an on for a good while, and then it was time to let go.. it was hard on both myself and J.. but the vet did a amazing job.. and I let caleb have time to understand what had happened.

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or so I thought, but he had a fit an then some when she was picked up, he did not understand, he called, he took comfort from both myself an hubby, he gave comfort but he also wanted us to help him, he screamed, called, paced, bucked and ran back an forth, and he ran from the front to the side back to catch one last look at the truck..

as strange as it sounds, caleb is the one that broke my heart today, brandy went over and she will have no more pain, I can understand this and deal.. but Caleb, he was as honest as the day long and he does not understand. I offered him tears, hugs an hay..

Now we start the healing..

Owl came

After having no desire to leave the farm all day, last night I got the itch, and hubby an I headed out for a drive to town, the goal officially was a tim’s coffee..

The real goal was a change of space an time and we sat in the parking lot talking in the warmth of the truck, as anyone will know vehicle visiting is a different space then other areas.

We took our time and back home we went, we were between two farms with fields when the biggest owl I have seen in Ontario, flew across the road, amazing, stunning, to close for safety an it moved from left to right and flew high to low..

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To me, owl is a messenger, it’s a bringer of news and its a connection to an older time and its a reminder to be careful, to see true and to look carefully, clarity and wisdom.