“Become dust - & they will throw thee in the air; Become stone - & they will throw thee on glass." Muhammad Iqbal *Beyond the bushes, boiling with dust, is 4Shoes West boundary road.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Crackerjack Hunter

Am I boring you with Chancy baby pictures?
Let's be real, that's not even a legitimate question, because, I am not about to stop. 
Best farmdog on the planet, Saint, takes issue with magpies. Can't explain it, she just despises those birds, and she is a crackerjack hunter.
1 magpie down, 5 more to go (if the Saint has any say).

Monday, 9 July 2018

Baby Pictures

The Saint is always watching out for our stock; from the chickens to the cattle, she takes her job of guarding them very seriously. Am I the only one who thinks it's so cute how Saint & 1 week old Chancy are basically the same size?

8 day old Chancy is small enough to walk under the hotwire & enjoy the wild grasses & flowers. Just look at his spotted ears and that tiny white flag on the end of his tail!
His EYELASHES for days y'all! I just can't. even.

You can tell, Chancy thinks he is hawtstuff already.
Oh, be still my heart.

Monday, 2 July 2018

What's Shakin'

If you've been wondering what's been going down at the 4Shoes lately, let me just catch you up. 
Meet handsome young Mishka, a Dexter steer. I've heard it said that once you go black... Well, nevermind. Notice who is in the background, silently resenting the little grain-eating machine?
He arrived here already named; I think his name might be russian for 'BigTasty', but don't quote me on that. Besides being nice to look at, Mishka is quite friendly & likes a good face scratching. Pretty sure Padre hates his guts though.  
The Herefords have finally realized that Mishka is not a black bear! Mishka is easy going, definitely nothing like a bear, & he's not too tough to pick out of the crowd. 
Betty, who thinks she is as big as an elephant, has been camera shy this summer. I think she looks stunning. 
Construction of a new pen up near the barnyard began. I got the easy jobs - driving & drilling; Mr Shoes took the hard job - bossing me around. He enjoyed it immensely.

Thankfully, it was mostly good weather for fencing - a little overcast & not too many bugs out. 
Harley consulted on the job.
Fencing by the light of the moon.
Believe me, it's not as romantic as I make it sound.

Rails up, gates installed, looking good! Multi-way swinging gates serve to make the area into 1 or 2 pens, as called for by the situation.
Phase #1 of 'ProjectPen' only needs a good coat of used oil to preserve the railings.
Phase #2... Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Suffice to say, there is more to come. 
Here, quietly grazing, is Betty on June 28th.

June 30th - Look who Betty brought to dinner tonight!
Healthy bull calf, 4Shoes Fat Chance - 'Chancy', for short. 
And here is Annie, watching Betty demonstrate motherhood, patiently waiting her turn. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Bunny Bombs

You may remember Floki. Floki has been @ the 4Shoes since the start of our adventures in rabbit raising. Here he is just the other day, looking pensively out upon the kingdom from the top of a stump. Until he noticed me snapping pics...
"Ahem. Just what are you looking at?"
Well duh, your spectacular EYELASHES for days!

"Oh. Well then, yes, understandable. Do carry on, with my blessings, of course."
Why, thank you. You little despot. 

 Introducing Peytir, an 18 month old solid red New Zealand buck. Peytir was bought for $5 at a farmers' market as a pet but, once he got past the baby cute stage, the kid kind of lost interest (go figure). The mom finally got tired of nagging him & called to ask if I would take Peytir & his brother, to which I agreed. When the 2 arrived, Peytir jumped out of the box as bright & shiny as a copper penny with a sunny disposition to match.
His brother.... did not.
Sooo, Mr. Biteyface went to meet Mr Shoes... It later turned out that the scratchy little monster went very nicely in sweet n' sour sauce over rice. 

Isn't this little fellow just the spitting image of his big Papa Peytir?!
Also meet this sweet sable dude, just Mr SuperChill, sunning himself on a beautiful June day. SuperChill left yesterday to be a pet bunny in the lap of luxury. 
No, not to a child, to a permanently childless couple. SuperChill is also super lucky. 

And this pair of jokers. The first Peytir litter started out as 6, but 2 sadly failed to thrive. The ups & downs of farm life; I'd rather dwell on the haves instead of the have-nots.  
No, seriously, please tell me about your socks.

I have been wearing the same few pair of silk riding socks during the warm weather for, literally, years & years; they wear that well, honestly. 
My silk socks are just the nicest feeling in boots, even cowboy boots, because they are like a second skin &, if they should get damp (like when you put your leg down too soon in a river crossing), they don't feel damp & yucky. 

Probably goes without saying, but I like socks with the pretty, horse-related patterns best. Preferably knee highs, or whatever they call boot height nowadays, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at ankle socks if they had your stamp of approval that they don't slip down into your footwear. 

Being a (not at all) fashionista, I'm not too sure about 'new technology' in socks making them actually worth $22/pair. But if you tell me that you've tried them out & they are worth the dinero, then hokaydokay. 
Nor do I understand all the hubub about bamboo...? Socks made out of grass? Hmmm, come to think on it, my ponehs might like that entirely too much... But I'm really hoping you all will throw your opinions & suggestions at me. 
Y'know, before I drop big bucks on too hots.

What is your favourite riding socks?
Why are they top of your list? 
Where do you get them?, & 
What should I expect to pay? 

My tootsies will totally thank you. 

Friday, 25 May 2018

First Rain 2018

We've been waiting for rain. Rain has been forecast a few times, but nada. Crops & pasture have been slow to appear. Really slow, & mostly brown. You can imagine how impressed the ponehs have been with that sitch.  
Last night though, we got a full meal deal here @ the 4Shoes! 
Yep, full on lightning, thunder, high winds, monsoon-style rain, &, just for giggles, hail too. 
6 miles away @ the Wildrose, all they got was a gentle shower...   So boring. 
This rain barrel started the day out empty.
The storm lasted a total of 20 minutes. 
Promptly upon the storms end, frog song rose to a deafening level. Humidity is now sky high & air conditioning is no longer an option if I am to retain my sanity.
Garden check this morning revealed some broken kohlrabi stocks, but otherwise no damage. Thankfully the hailstones last night were tiny; in this video you can see little flashes of white flying everywhere. 
By noon, Mother Nature had begun steam cooking the Interlake region like it's her full time job paying triple overtime. Crops should be good this year now; I, on the other hand, will have to be most careful not to melt. 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Sucky Apologies

We introduce our children to the premise of apology even before they can talk. As they grow older, we teach them empathy & the concept of regret. We also teach them how to make a sincere apology when they have hurt or wronged someone, & why making an apology is so important...
Important for both the offender & the victim.

Why is it, then, that so many people just can not suck it up and behave like decent human beings? 

And, why is it that so many of these douche-bag folk are celebrities, psuedo-celebrities, politicians, or some other form of jerk that has either been put up on a pedestal, or certainly thinks he/she deserves to be up on one? 

I am stumped. 
Your thoughts?

Monday, 30 April 2018

Clear Signs of Spring

Out riding the south side, I came upon what is, for me, the surest sign of Spring... beautiful pussy willows in bloom. 
You can also be certain that Springtime is upon the 4Shoes when we have new layers. Hens = eggs. Marvelous Eggs. 
The pussy willow is a genuine country beauty - understated & demure, but undeniably warm, soft, & pretty. 
Over the winter, Mr Shoes hauled home a milkcow for friends with 5 sons (& counting, Bless her Heart!). A favour done not for pay or for praise, only out of friendship.
Just as we had our coop ready for fresh occupants, the same folks gifted us with 4 young, fluffy butt brown hens! Compared to the white leghorn hens that we've had the last few years, these brown hens are much prettier to look at, calmer to walk through, & they lay brown eggs. Not that colour matters in relation to taste, but the brown eggs are just more aesthetically pleasing to me somehow. 
I couldn't resist sharing this lovely shot by Michael Quinton of a wild hare enjoying his pussy willow treats. I can attest that all the occupants of the Bunny House are quite happy to scarf down as many fresh, young willow branches as I can cut. 
pring has definitely arrived at the 4Shoes.
Now, if Mother Nature would only oblige with a couple of days of warm, slow, & gentle rains to soak the Earth & show us some 

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Crimes of Passion?

Louisiana law to ban sex with animals wins Senate vote 25 - 10 

(Hard to believe, right? Just go ahead & click it though.)

2018 Regular Session 
Sequence: 304 
 Date: 4/09/2018
 Time: 5:20:20 PM
The roll was called with the following result: 

Appel     Colomb     LaFleur     White 
Total -- 4

Barrow     Bishop     Boudreaux     Carter    Chabert    Cortez 
Erdey     Hewitt     Johns     Lambert     Luneau     Martiny 
Milkovich    Mills     Morrell     Morrish     Peacock    Peterson  Price Smith,     G. Smith,      J. Tarver     Thompson    Walsworth     Ward 
Total -- 25 

Mr. President          Allain 
Claitor                     Donahue 
Fannin                     Gatti 
Long                        Mizell 
Perry                       Riser 
Total -- 10(!)(?) 
So, hey Louisiana...
What in the actual f*&$ ???

Did you realize that TEN of your state senators just voted AGAINST a bill making SEX with ANIMALS illegal??

Check this: 10 of your politicians & lawmakers evidently believe that it is perfectly okay to have sex with a lamb. Or a poodle. Or a chicken.   

I am confused by how any normal thinking human being does not just understand that sex with one, is animal abuse.

And yet there are TEN sitting LA senators publicly objecting(!) to bestiality being recognized as a crime?

You still have time to contact your state representative & give him/her a piece of your mind...
I'll bet that, with enough public pressure, ten foolish politicians might just change their votes. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Takin' Care of Livestock

A parody on the classic BTO hit, Takin' Care of Business

On the heels of our recent family loss, I hope that things will soon return to normal.
Although, what is 'normal' anyways? 
For now, due to unexpected company from out of province,  4SL remains on a short break.

 I know 4SL is not a high numbers blog... but, to those who DO follow, every one of You is important to Me, & I thank you very much for your friendship.
See you soon. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Only One Sin

"There is only one sin, only one. 
And that is theft.
Every other sin is a variation of theft.

When you kill a man, you steal a life.

You steal his wife's right to a husband,
rob his children of a father.

When you tell a lie,

you steal someone's right to the truth.

When you cheat, 

you steal the right to fairness.

There is no act more wretched than stealing.

A man who takes what is not his to take, 
be it a life or a loaf of naan (bread),

I spit on that man."

Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Screw Maturity!

For today, I Choose only Laughter!
Are you, like me, in need of some humorous distraction to shore you up? Let's take a look at some of the limitless expanse of cockamamie, half-baked malarkey on the internet. For instance...
Screams 'Crazy Cat Lady'. Loudly. If you do have children... just know in advance that, if you glue these tiny monstrosities to your fingers, your daughter will not go out in public with you. Not even if you promise to buy her a car. She. Will. Not. And the EYE-rolling she will be doing while you try to convince her of how stylish you are is very likely to induce seizures.
I am not joking when I ask, what in the actual F?  Knowing that a woman paid someone $$ to do this to her, I laughed so hard that tea shot from my nose in a painful jet; I briefly considered filing a lawsuit. I'm guessing that this girl asked for a sculptured kissy lip design(?) but, Holy Mother of Gawd, those pearls alone take that mess in a completely different direction! A southerly direction, if you catch my meaning... and you know that you do. 
I cannot Unsee it, & now neither can you.
You are welcome.
Specifically what does this nut with a glue gun & a rudimentary understanding of wiring have against babies & flowers? I do not even know who thinks it's a good idea to let the institutionalized fart around with electricity in the first place. 
Secondly, I cannot decide what's worse... this craptastic doll disaster with no torso trapped in a cheese dome with its' cankles & dead, empty eyes, or that straight up satanic vibe emphasized by the freaky, extra-terrestrial glow emanating from its' orifices?
Either way, you know little Sally never imagined the precious babydoll that Santa brought her when she was 4 years old would later go on to be bastardized into a source of nightmares for normals.  
Honey.... Who Hurt You? 
When you were a child? Maybe did someone bitch drunk on cheap chardonnay beat you black and blue with your own Barbie doll? Have you ever spoken to anyone about all that pain that's locked up inside you? Don't you think you owe it to that sad little child inside of you to get some help?
You know, before you feel the need to move on to making water tumblers from the hollowed out skulls of the neighbourhoods' dogs & cats?
Come on now, someone close to this crafter needs to drop an email to Dr. Phil before the songbird & squirrel populations get to rising....

Seriously... I just. Can't. Even.
The disgusting factor here is waaay too far off the charts, even for me. 

Finally! Something that does not make me fear for Humanity as a whole. Pansies in a parasol.
After those other faith-shakers, I find these pretty posies rather Peaceful.
I think it's best we end today on this pleasant note. 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Canuck Ski Ballet

Canadians are internationally known for 3 things: 

  1. We apologize too readily, almost conversationally (I'm sorry, but we do say 'I'm sorry' a lot, eh?), 
  2. Great sportsmanship, & 
  3. Most of us also have a wicked-good sense of humour! 

With my family & friend group, this commercial is absolutely a REAL THING that somebody would/could bust out for laughs. Including the final flip complete with faceplant AND the completely unfazed strutting recovery. 

In fact, that guy is practically every guy I ever dated... Including Mr Shoes, except that Mr Shoes would almost certainly have landed the flip. Very athletic, Mr Shoes.  

We'd skip the KFC though; since we met Chester, the Colonel hasn't been back. 
Happy Weekend Everyone!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Good Counsel

Time spent outdoors refreshes both mind & body.
Accept with Grace all the Love that is offered to you.
Cherish in return the Ones who most Adore you.
Never underestimate the restorative qualities of a good nap.
Sunbeams afford comfort & solace on the coldest of days.