Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Snowy, Winter Questions

I love how a simple comment can spark an entire conversation to have with you all.  My blogger friend from https://willowcreekfarm.wordpress.com/ posted a comment regarding my comment on not being able to imagine people who live in snowy conditions for months at a time.  They live in the Rockies and not only have snow on the ground for many months….they get into the negative temperature numbers.  How do you all do it??

January 2017


Staying Warm and Power Bills

The money saving item we utilize everyday in the late fall and winter is our wood stove.  We would be broke without it.  I mean truly….what do you all do in the bitter cold to stay warm?  I know there are different ways to heat your homes.  What do you find makes the most financial sense??  We have no gas options up here on the hill, unless we want to truck in propane…at this point we do not do that because we have a forest full of trees that provide us heat free of charge (besides the fuel for the chainsaw and tractor.)  Basically, if we run the wood stove, the forced air heater/heat pump (electric) never comes on.  The peripheral rooms get a little chilly, but blankets and a little portable electric heater in one room, takes care of that….getting out of the shower can be a little chilly…LOL.

December 2016

Work, School, and Driving

Maybe it’s because we don’t really experience the accumulated snow here in the Pacific Northwest (at least west of the Cascades) but it seems that schools close, buses stop running, and people (including myself) make other arrangements in their work day when it snows.  How is it managed in those areas where snow and ice stay on the ground for months?  Remember, I am a California girl who came to her senses and moved to this beautiful State of Oregon.  I brought with me zero snow/ice skills….totally zero!!  So do you all just leave chains on your tires all the time??  Are huge traffic jams that last several hours just part of your regular winter driving life??  What are the tricks you all could share in maneuvering when the roads and sidewalks turn white?

January 2017

Livestock and Chickens

I’m getting the idea that livestock / chicken chores are just messy tasks in the winter.  In a lot of ways, it is harder.  Freezing water is always an issue, and you just can’t really avoid muddy, poopy muck…it goes with the territory.   When there is snow, however, the outdoors is cleaner….until it melts.   So what do you do with the muck??  Is there anything you can do to minimize it?

January 2017 January 2017

Well there are a thousand more questions I could ask, but guess what….it snowed again last night….big time.  It is totally Narnia everywhere you look….we need a lamp post!!  So I have pictures to take, and ideas to gather….let alone dogs to run, chickens and goats to get cleaned up and settled in for the night.  I hope I can get off the hill for a Starbucks….if they only had their red, holiday cups still stocked….<sigh>!!

November 2016

Thank you for visiting on this cold winter day.  I hope you are warm and doing wonderfully today!

Your friend from Oregon,



Comments on: "Snowy, Winter Questions" (5)

  1. Good conversation!
    We have two wood stoves to heat our house. The bedrooms, however, use baseboard heat that is fueled by propane. Our local propane trucks have chains for their snow tires and skilled mountain-snow drivers. However, there have been a few times over the years when they could not get to us because of the terrible weather. Thankfully, we were able to set up some electric heaters in key areas of the house to keep the pipes from freezing until they could get up our mountain driveway.
    In addition, most everyone that lives up here has 4WD and chains for their tires. Plus, a lot of people have plows that hook on their trucks, or have ATVs with a plow attachment so that they can keep their own driveway clear enough to use. We are blessed that my husband’s father has a plow and is willing to come plow our road whenever we need it for the very low price of two of my daughter’s delicious gluten-free peanut butter cookies per plowing. 🙂
    But even with our driveway getting plowed and having 4WD vehicles, we sometimes still get stuck in, or out, of our property. This last weekend right after we got 18 inches of snow we had a massively windy day and night and it built up a 5 foot high, 20 foot long, packed tight, snow drift right along our driveway. The plow couldn’t even kind of manage it. It took 4 men with shovels 2 hours to get it to the point the plow could start working on it, and then the plow took another 30 minutes to finish it off. Even with all that work we are left with a very narrow section of driveway with high walls of snow on each side and packed, slick snow underneath. We are discussing getting a backhoe in here to dig it out more because those piles of snow wont likely melt until March and the propane truck wont fit through the narrow opening that is left.
    So I guess the answer to all those questions is that we are differently prepared for the winter weather than you are in Oregon, and we do what we can to figure it out when our preparation doesn’t work. 🙂
    As far as muck in the livestock areas – yes, it gets very squishy and slimy out there in spring, but we are a very dry climate, our humidity is usually around 30%, so it doesn’t last long before it dries out. Plus, living on a mountainside, it all runs down and away and leaves us with a nice dry area after a few weeks in spring.
    We have heated waterers for the chickens, and a tank de-icer for the larger livestock water tank. They don’t keep the water warm, they just keep them barely above freezing. And on the days when it is too cold for them to leave the barn (the waterers are outdoors) we haul buckets of water from the house out to the barn for them to drink. It makes livestock chores A LOT more time consuming and exhausting, but we are used to it.
    What I don’t understand about life where you live is how do you handle the constant rain, moisture, and humidity? Isn’t the barnyard constantly mucky? And what about mold growing on stuff if it gets a little damp and is left unnoticed? Do you use a de-humidifier in your house? And what about mold in the hay? How do you keep the hay dry?
    Hope your snow melts soon so you can all get back to life! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • tamisdanes said:

      Thank you so much for your amazing reply. OMGosh….that is a lot of snow. I think if I lived there I would carry around an emergency back pack everywhere I went. Seriously, I can’t imagine it! It seems that you could literally be snowed in just about anywhere. I’ll try and answer your questions about what I have found while living in such a highly hydrated environment in my post tomorrow. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I checked out Willowtree, a blog to follow 🙂
    The norm in Poland is to have a central wood burning boiler which them heats radiators and hot water and in our case underfloor heating as well ( in the bathroom:) )
    We burn around 6 cubic of wood every year (2 cords) which we cut from our woodland. We do buy a tonne of coal just in case we have an extreme winter to keep things burning through he night.
    Thankfully we don’t have to go to work or take kids to school (not yet) so if the snow is deep, like it is now, we just stay in until the plough turns up. We went out yesterday and it was about 7 miles before we saw a tarmacked road through the snow. Although we just have a standard two wheel drive van with snow tyres, you kind of get used to driving on snow.
    The animal muck is just part of the territory, we scatter straw over bad areas which soaks it up and also helps with traction:) Spring time it will be shovelled up onto the manure\compost pile.
    Hauling buckets of hot water is the winter keep fit thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • tamisdanes said:

      I love reading about your life in Poland, Eddy. My time is finally coming back to me a bit to be able to catch up on posts (amazing how a dog having puppies (puppy) can zap away a days time.) I look forward to catching up this weekend. The wood boiler is used here in the States, but more and more, areas are banning the use of them. Sad, as they are very efficient to heat a home. Sometimes I will drive using 2-wheel drive option on my SUV so that I know what my kids will experience when they drive down the road….white knuckle time for me…hahaha! You are right about carrying buckets of hot water around to the animals, it is a good winter workout for sure!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] an attempt to answer a couple of questions in the comments from Wednesday’s post, we need to shift to melting snow, and rain.  Managing animals in the many months of rain that […]


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