Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘moving to Oregon’ Category

Vegetable Lentil Soup

The past four days our family has been entertaining that unwelcomed guest….the “Ick!”  It all began with a horrendous sneeze on my way to work on Monday morning….it went downhill quickly from there.

My sweet Penni...she knows Mama doesn't feel well.

My sweet Penni…she knows Mama doesn’t feel well.

I will spare you the….details except to say, I had not felt as horrible as I did on, Tuesday, and Wednesday, for several (probably at least 15) years.  I did manage, however, to cook up a pot of vegetable soup, which I think gave me the edge to get back to work today (which by the way is Thursday…depending on what time I post this, it may say Friday…but my time zone still says it’s Thursday.)  Today, I feel like I normally do on the worst day of most colds I experience, so I’m feeling pretty well in comparison, but now, it’s migrating through the family. 😦

The infamous, Alton Brown

The infamous, Alton Brown

Anyway, since I know many are working through a lot of the “Ick” this flu season, I thought I’d post the recipe for my hearty vegetable soup.  I used Alton Brown’s Garden Vegetable Soup recipe as my base…then added/deleted/exchanged a few things….. (and, NO, I do not presume to cook better than the infamous Alton Brown, hahaha  that’s too funny!!  I changed things to fit the taste buds of my family.) Those items in italics are my changes.

Garden Vegetable Lentil Soup

My Rating…A+
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/garden-vegetable-soup-recipe.html …..with my changes
Yield:  6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)

Make sure you soak them to loosen all the dirt.

Make sure you soak them to loosen all the dirt.

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic

Lots and lots of garlic!!  Keeps away vampires, and knocks out the "Ick"

Lots and lots of garlic!! Keeps away vampires, and knocks out the “Ick”

I obviously cut the carrots before the garlic...LOL

I obviously cut the carrots before the garlic…LOL

Kosher salt & Pepper
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
1 can Garbanzo beans, drained, but not rinsed

I left the skins on since I was going for the "kill the Ick" factor.

I left the skins on since I was going for the “kill the Ick” factor.

2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts vegetable broth; Have extra on hand as needed
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes  (I used 1 can of tomato paste instead, because my people don’t seem to like chunky tomatoes….except me that is!)
1-2 cups corn
1 cup, Bob’s Red Mill dry split Lentils, and Vegetable Soup kernels

Bob's Red Mill
1/4 tsp Cumin
Red Pepper flakes to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice                                                                                                              For a creamier texture:   Boil 2 plus cups of chopped cauliflower in enough water to cover (don’t forget to add a touch of salt)…once softened, add cauliflower and water into food processor with 1 tbls of olive oil, and pulse until creamy.  Add to soup.

Cauliflower

Directions
Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.

Leeks

Add the carrots, garbanzo beans, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add to Veggie Soup

Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, dried lentils/vegetables, cumin, red pepper flakes, and pepper.Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

This soup is hearty, chewy, and delicious.  Keep an extra quart of Vegetable broth on hand to add as you go along, depending on how soupy you want it.  If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…but if I were you…I’d tweak it to fit your family’s taste buds too!!!  Did it work to help me get well faster….well, I don’t think it hurt, but it’s definitely not a cure…just sayin’.

Hoping you stay healthy the rest of this “Ick” prevalent season!!  BTW, the beauty of adding the cauliflower is that you won’t have dairy products for creaminess, which, adds more congestion when you have the flu or a cold.

Waiting for Mama to come home.

Waiting for Mama to come home.

Thanks for visiting the farm today…next winter, my goal will be to have enough vegetables to can to make this soup from all my own, homegrown veggies!!!  Only the next couple of seasons, and this year’s garden will tell!!  I’m excited for this year’s garden!!!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

A Purple Sunrise

Our morning sky has literally been on fire…completely stunning.  I wish I had a passenger with me during  a recent morning drive, just to take pictures of the horizon to the east.  I’ll do my best to try to explain it to you.

Okay, let me walk you through this.  In lieu of a picture, let your mind meld into my description, but first, clear your mind…..now close your eyes….do you have them closed??

HA!! Show of hands!!!!  How many of you actually closed your eyes?  But seriously, I wish you could close your eyes and still read this post.  It does help with imagery.  Come with me, and experience my morning.

So, you’re walking out your door, and there is darkness all around you.

IMG_7018

Glancing upwardly, you see a vague bluing on the horizon, indicating that the sun is awakening, and starting to rise.  Turning your head slightly east, the warmth of pink, orange and yellow have begun to sneak through the spaces in the sky that the tall trees have agreed to share (oh, and our power pole….but I don’t really see that 🙂 .)

IMG_7977

As you leave for that day’s work, excitement fills your mind.  You ponder the masterpiece that awaits you, as you approach the open horizon of your flatter scaped neighboring farms.  The beauty of the sunrise is never disappointing.  The Master Painter, creates an astonishing symphony of colors, shades, and textures…new every morning.  You realize that, oddly enough, you are thankful for your morning drive out of town….that this time on the road is much more than mundane travel.  It is a visit to the largest canvas ever painted.

I cannot capture the brilliance of the scene.

I cannot capture the brilliance of the scene.

Moment by moment, color is encroaching, and the sky is a smoldering fire anticipating the fullness of it’s flame.  All of a sudden, the horizon has opened revealing ….. a fleeting creation that speaks to one’s soul.  The eastern mountain range presents itself in the opaqueness of a deep blackish-bluish-grey.  A lighter grey, fluffy, ribbon sprawls horizontally across the base of the mountains, yet an intermittent, lighter ribbon dots across that same range in a slightly higher position.  As your eyes move up through the darkness, complete awe fills your mind….your eyes have landed upon the majestic silhouette of one of the many volcanoes that watch over the entirety of the Willamette Valley and beyond.

IMG_8450

A bright light appears, outlining the volcanic mountain range, and just above it, the brilliance of the sunrise reaches forth presenting in yellow, into orange, into deep reddish orange, into the darkest hue of pink, melding into a deep, dark red which very quickly turns to a sonnet of purple hues that reaches, literally, into every orafis of one’s heart, mind, body, and soul.  In the silence of the sunrise, the Creator, Jehova,  loudly pronounces His majesty.  I am in complete awe, and gladly paying close attention to His dramatic proclamation.  My day is now in motion.

IMG_8449

Little by little, the sun has arisen.  The beauty of the early morning has waned, yet there is great anticipation….tomorrow, there is another sunrise!!

A sunrise from the past.....since I can't take one of the future..LOL!

A sunrise from the past…..since I can’t take one of the future..LOL!

Thank you for visiting my beautiful Oregon today.  Although we left the forest to experience a larger piece of the Pacific Northwest, I hope you found something beautiful to take with you.

Please have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

The Green of Spr, Uhhmm, Autumn

Click “PLAY” if you’d like an added ambiance to this post.

Spring is not the exclusive season for new growth. Turns out, Autumn’s early rains are amazing for springing life back into the lifeless, dry, landscape of late summer. This year, the long, hot, dry summer caused more dryness to the land than we have experienced in our three short years of living upon it, and an additional six of visiting it. Seriously, it’s true … but my heart goes out to California where the long, dryness of summer has lasted through too many seasons. Hopefully, this will be the year that the mountains get a great snow pack, and the reservoirs fill back up. Praying for that!!

Take a look at the magical qualities that just a few days of rain can have on a landscape pleading for a drink of water….a 6.68″ glass of water….

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

September 2014

October 2014

Can you see the rain??

October 2014

I hope you have a fantastic Monday!! Thanks for walking in the rain with me today!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Go Giants!!!

I’m trying to break the silence, but every time I start to write, I back space and take those words off of the page. See, I did it again…I just typed two sentences, only to backspace them away. So although the farm has written it’s own stories, and is anxious to tell them, I have a definite event to speak about today….occurring 600 plus miles away from this forest….

The SF GIANTS ARE IN THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!

2014 WORLD SERIES!!

Yesterday’s (Saturday, 10-25-14) game was exceptionally exciting….that was some really great baseball!! So not to mislead you, although we are avid Giants fans, we don’t catch that many games during the regular season. One reason…well…since moving to Oregon, we are limited to the games that whomever is in charge, decides to broadcast up here. We don’t pay for the extra channel to get the games. That being said, my mom is the most dedicated fan I know…she catches nearly every game. I’m excited that her, “boys of summer,” made it to the Series!!

Mickey and the Giants

The SF Giants have been in my life since the day I was born. I grew up with Willie Mays, Tito Fuentes, Bobby Bonds, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry…did I just date myself?? Baseball is in my family’s blood, and when the Giants get into the World Series….well…it’s a big event…and in our case, there’s a lot of texting going back and forth across the miles!

Lrt's Go Giants

Witnessing so many years of the SF Giants’ baseball line-up changes, and having the privilege of attending games (both on T.V. and in the ballparks {Candlestick and AT&T Park} under my belt … I think that the last few years have been the most exciting. It was always awesome to see the long ball batting of Barry Bonds, but since he was let off the team, the Giants have built an incredible roster. The players are incredibly athletic which makes for some spectacular fielding and batting…. and have you ever seen pitchers more fun to watch than Timmy Lincecum.. Bumgarner, or Romo??

Tim_Lincecum_2009

And the fielding of Pablo Sandaval… AKA …

PANDAAAAAA!!!!

PANDAAAAAA!!!!

and the all out, put-yourself-out-there baseball of Hunter Pence…

Yup, he caught it!!

Yup, he caught it!!

And what about this guy? Girls…..??

Posey

So, yeah….the hunt for Orange October is in high gear. Two games Kansas City Royals … two games San Francisco Giants .. tonight should be VERY exciting!!!!

originaldreamsfgiantstime20121010162003userid1909

Well, it wasn’t really a walk through the forest…but I hope you had fun. Thanks for visiting today!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

The Littlest Hen

The morning was filled with the warmth of summer in late July. Anticipating the freshness of the day, the flock was noisy, calling for their freedom. I pulled opened their door, and quickly, hens rambled outside. Opening the “people” door, I heard that familiar little sound. Although, somewhat muffled, it was undeniable. Peering into the brooder, my eyes landed on the source of the high pitched “peep peep peeep”……

July 2014

…she would have been easy to miss, as she quickly hid in the warmth of Mama Chardonnay’s wings. Out of seven eggs, she was the only one to hatch.

August 2014

The baby chick quickly grew, and became her mama hen’s little shadow. Chardonnay shared all of her food with the chick, always allowing her to eat first. She has always been such a good Mama Hen.

Mama and Chick catching some rays.

Mama and Chick catching some rays.

She grew, and grew.

She grew, and grew.


Corn has always been one of her most favorite things.

Free ranging everyday, she diligently followed Chardonnay, listening, watching, imitating, and learning. She became well integrated into the flock, and was rarely chased or pecked at by the older hens.

September 2014

As is the danger of growing up in the middle of a farm – forest, predators are a real threat when feathers cover your body. The flock works hard to safeguard themselves against these threats, and they do very well. Sometimes their efforts, and our efforts are not enough. Something attacked our littlest hen.

The undeniable evidence.

The undeniable evidence.

I found the evidence yesterday morning…I’m not sure if it happened Saturday evening, or Sunday morning. Usually, I count the flock to make sure everyone made it into their house for the night…I didn’t do that Saturday night. I don’t remember specifically seeing her come out of their house on Sunday morning, but nothing alerted my conscious thoughts to her absence. In any case, she is gone…I wish I knew what got her!

It’s that circle of life thing. The flock knew it and were on high alert all day, hiding underneath things..running from cover to cover to change locations. They felt the loss, and the danger. This is the life of a free ranging chicken. There are real dangers, and in spite of that, there is real freedom….and sometimes, if I catch it just right, I think I can see them smiling!

Sorry little girl!!

Sorry little girl!!

There are definite life lessons that occur in nature, look for them, they’re there.

Thanks for walking through nature with me today.

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

29 Hours on the Farm

I’ve come to realize that my life is all about the chickens…and of course Sir Benedict.

October 2014

They tell me, under no uncertain terms, when to wake up. On those rare mornings that I have not gotten out of bed before sunrise, Benedict loudly calls from his high roost, and the hens squawk and complain….and poop…everywhere. Since I clean their roosts, nesting boxes, and platforms in front of their nesting boxes every morning…it’s a good idea to get them out just as the sunlight crests the darkness. I fudge this timing, just a little on the weekends, but still need to get out there before the hens have need for their time of privacy.

No more rooms at the Inn!!

This flock dictates how late I can stay out at night…somebody has to close the door to the hen house after dark!! Predators in the forest = a definite need for security.

Moonlit Night Oct. 2014

The flock and I have a symbiotic relationship…..they poop…I pick it up. They eat…I buy more food. They get blown by the wind….I cover up the drafts…. (this will be the last time I do this….more on that in my next post.)

The UPS guy told me that that was the most "Red Neck" chicken coop he's ever seen...hahahaha!

The UPS guy told me that that was the most “Red Neck” chicken coop he’s ever seen…hahahaha!

…..they poop…I pick it up (yes, I said that twice…I spend a lot of time picking up chicken poop!) My flock free range. They follow their natural food sources, and always end up back in their house at night. Sometimes that means this……

Hey, get off the porch...that water is for the dogs!!

Hey, get off the porch…that water is for the dogs!!

….and this…..

Seriously...that is chicken poop...That's ridiculous!!!

Seriously…that is chicken poop…That’s ridiculous!!!

….so, I follow them around picking up their…not so golden surprises. In the end, I believe the flock is healthier (I know we are!) and happier.

If you have 41 seconds….take a look at our little video, 29 Hours on the Farm , …. this is the reason I let this flock run my life ….

….next stop….well, we’re looking at goats (any ideas?), but I think I need a trip to Disneyland first!!! I’ve definitely got the bug!!

Thank you, for visiting the farm this morning!! Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

That Certain Age

Within these past several weeks, I turned that certain age. I’m not giving that age up, but most people who grew up with me, or have known me in these adult years have a good idea what age I am. This is that year in which I am forced to reflect on my life a bit. It is that age I have kind of dreaded…that I have watched my brothers reach and surpass, and when brought to mind, prayed for, earnestly, keeping in mind that lightning rarely strikes twice the same way…but knowing that sometimes it does.

August 2014

There is just enough irony in life that the nagging of the unknown around that certain age sometimes settles in the way the fog lingers over the Golden Gate Bridge.

a-glowing-tower-of-the-golden-gate-bridge-rises-above-the-fog-san-francisco-bay-california,ng38494

Sometimes the fog looms, and my fears grow. I pray, I hug my dog, I take a walk, or busy myself with simple chores that take me outside and into the grandeur of the land around me. Other times I write…I write to you whom have become part of this journey…I write those stories that are the “maybe someday, somehow” unpublished pieces…and I read…I read the words of many others who have stories to tell, who ask nothing but to be read. They are out there…stories…wonderful stories baked in the lives of so many…when the fog settles in, these things help me to remember that the truth of this certain age is not necessarily the truth of that same certain age of another.

September Sunset 2014

I am that age…the age when my father died.

Daddy - 1990

My dad was a young man…he seemed older to me, at the time, than I feel now, but since I am that same age I realize how young he was, really. He died suddenly, his body failed him. That’s what bodies do…some earlier, some later, but they all fail. That Sunday morning left ripples, waves in my life lasting the entirety of these past 23 years.

Sept. 2014

So this year, the year of that certain age, I’m focusing on health…this little homestead helps with that, along with you, as I read your words and learn from your wisdom and recipes…and from new friends who have recently introduced me into the delicious world of squash, beyond zucchini…. 🙂 I’ve never been to this world before. Then there’s this TVP, Textured Vegetable Protein…..hmmmm, that’s a maybe.

Butternut Squash and Spinach

Mostly, I know that this body will fail at some point. Greater yet, I am assured of this….

John 10:27-29 (Jesus is speaking at the temple during a dispute at the feast of dedication)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Sunset June 2014

….my salvation through Christ is rock solid, nothing can snatch me from His hand!! When I actually do reach the age in which my time is done, I know where I’m going. That assurance makes being this certain age a much happier place to reside. In the meantime, life is good……

GREAT DANE PUPPIES TO HUG!!

That's my Penni in the orange collar.

That’s my Penni in the orange collar.

BUBBLES TO POP!!

HANK!

HANK!

GARDENS TO GROW!!
August 2013 006

CHICKS TO HATCH!!
Don John

CRAZY CAT PICTURES TO TAKE!!
Tito August 2011

AND THEN THERE’S SOURDOUGH….SAN FRANCISCO SOURDOUGH!!
Sourdough Heaven

AND DISNEYLAND!!
DISNEYLAND 2010

AND THESE GIRLS!!

My sweet girls, Penni and Karli !

My sweet girls, Penni and Karli !

AND THIS FAMILY!!
September 2014

AND THIS LAND!!
July 2014

AND YOU…all of you..who walk through this forest, and visit this farm. Who’s words inspire, teach, encourage, and fill my kitchen with wonderful fragrances from delicious new recipes. As my thoughts turn inwards…you help me to look out from the window of this certain age, and I, once again, move away from my apprehension. And since the SF Giants are one step closer to getting into the World Series….October is looking pretty darn good!!!

Thanks for sharing this certain year with me!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Nope, Not Moulting

You may remember this guy…..

Benedict....our Big Daddy Rooster!! Patriarch to the Middles, and the Littles (aka the Muppets.)

Benedict….our Big Daddy Rooster!! Patriarch to the Middles, and the Littles (aka the Muppets.)

….big daddy, Benedict….our gentleman rooster. Always polite, never asking of his hens without the traditional dance. He doesn’t eat of the discarded kitchen goodies until his family has had the chance to partake. This boy keeps his eye on the sky and warns the flock of any impending dangers…Yes, he is the stud of the farm.

The past couple of months, Benedict has become somewhat of a bully to a few select hens. Oddly enough, these are hens of his roo-hood…the full Rhode Island Reds, all of them…except mama hen, Chardonnay. He will literally chase them down, not necessarily to mate, but often times just to, well…stand on them. Really, at this point, I know the difference..hahaha! Their backs are bare, or in various stages of feather regrowth.

Poor little Reisling's bare back...FYI she had just gotten up from a dust bath, her back looks dirty.

Poor little Reisling’s bare back…FYI she had just gotten up from a dust bath, her back looks dirty.

I’ve read about this. Their feather loss is not due to molting, there are even thick wing feathers that have been broken off, not pulled out. And I’ve witnessed it…I’ve seen the intentional chase..mount..stand, just standing, no rooster duties going on. Sometimes, Claudio, our Buff Orphington hen, gets in the act with Benedict, and will run over and start some weird kind of hen attack…plucking at the other hen’s feathers while Benedict stands on them. Is this common behavior??

Benedict and his harem...including the 4 bare backs.

Benedict and his harem…including the 4 bare backs.

As the colder weather approaches, I’m a bit worried about these girls. At the advice of our local feed store, the flock is now getting supplemented with Purina Flock Raiser which is higher in protein and fat than regular chicken feed (Purina Layena.) It seems to be helping with feather regrowth, and since the cold weather is currently knocking on the door, I’ve made this their primary food. As the feathers attempt to grow back, those thick shafts stick out, and it seems much more painful for them when Benedict does…whatever it is he is doing. I’ve become, Alpha Rooster, and chase him away from these girls when he pursues them…he does seem to be listening. I’ve read about hen jackets that are made for this reason, however, you run a greater risk of a mite infestation with the jackets….I don’t think I want that…but I also don’t want my girls to be cold. The only thing I know is….there’s a lot I don’t know!!!

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

HEY!!! Get off the porch!!!

Thanks for checking in on the farm today. When I tell the flock that you’ve been here…they get very excited!!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

An Incredible Find

Have you ever seen the artistry in the routine? Birds nest….an incredible, yet routine event in their lives…

The Muppets hatching.

The Muppets hatching.

Chickens do not really build a nest, they find a cozy, quiet spot. Many of the flock will then lay their eggs in that same location, resulting in this…

Six nesting boxes....this one was the hot spot today!!

Six nesting boxes….this one was the hot spot today!!

….that was all from one morning. Where is the artistry in a nesting box full of eggs? If you look closely, each egg is very different…size, shape, color, decorative “freckles”…they are each very unique….

July 2014

That's one big egg!!!

That’s one big egg!!!

That being said, I think the true artists reveal themselves every spring with the creation of an incredible piece of workmanship. The structure is amazing, and the question that usually arises in me every time I, happily, encounter one of these delicate yet strong, masterpieces of construction is …. “How did the bird build this without the use of hands?” You will not believe the incredibly gorgeous piece of true art that I am so blessed to have come upon while hiking with my Great Dane, Penni.
September 2014

It must have blown out from the trees this past week…. are you ready…..

Look at this closely...

Look at this closely…

So completely incredible...

So completely incredible…

Look at this closely…imagine the time it took to build. The supplies used were ingenious…feathers from the chickens supply softness, hair from the mane or tail of our neighbor’s horses provide structure, and a little peacock feather for a splash of color….completely, insanely gorgeous!!!

September 2014

By the size of it, my guess is a hummingbird nest. Truly amazing…

September 2014

I feel like it is truly a privilege to have found this little beauty, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you!!

Thank you for taking a walk with me this morning, I hope this little gem of the forest will help to make your day just a bit more special.

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Tule (Tooley) Fog

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Okay, that’s pretty much true…unless I have a chance to sit on the couch and cuddle with this sweetheart…
Penni Sept. 2014

…..uuuhhhmmmmm, I mean this sweetie…
My Sweet Guy - April 2014

As if scripted by a professional screenwriter, Autumn rolled in, in the form of the very familiar covering of ground level fog…in the SF Bay Area, it’s called Tule (Tooley) Fog.
Oregon "Tule Fog" Sept. 2014

I called the valley fog here in Oregon, Tule Fog once…..I got blank stares accompanied by a smile or two…hahaha…nobody seemed to know what I was talking about..hahaha! So, I don’t really know what to call it…I guess just fog..haha. I had no idea that that particular weather terminology was specific to California.

Rain is in the forecast, in fact, it drizzled much of the day, and has now rained throughout the night. So at the great advice of two of my friends from work (thank you Sabrina and Angie) I picked the rest of my tomatoes. Many were immensely green, but off the vine they came.
Green Tomatoes Sept. 2014

These will, hopefully, ripen in a paper bag, and be no less than the quality of a tomato bought in a grocery store. At least I will know that these were grown without pesticides, and unnatural fertilizers.

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

The corn stalks came down today, as well, to keep them from molding. I like to use them for outdoor decorating…they don’t usually last very long…the chickens like them too!

Corn Stalks Sept 2014

While we wait for the rain, Penni promises to keep watch over the tomatoes.

The Guardian Sept. 2014

Thankfully, they don’t taste like blackberries…that bucket would be emptied by now!!

Looking forward to sharing this wonderful season with you….thanks for visiting the farm today! 🙂

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Autumn is Fall-ing

I had help writing this morning…

Penni Sept. 2014

We’ve been seeing the tell-tale signs of the wilting and turning of leaves…some are starting to drop. The season is beginning, yet summer is giving its best effort to hang on. Yesterday, the last day of summer, Se˜or Verano, decided to flex his muscles for one more day here in the Pacific Northwest. Take a quick look at this comparison to areas that are typically on the hotter side this time of year……

1:40 p.m. PST (time that I looked at it )... 3:40 p.m. EST (actual time of temp.)

1:40 p.m. PST (time that I looked at it )… 3:40 p.m. EST (actual time of temp.)


September 2014
Sept. 2014

……What….doesn’t everyone have Disney World and Disneyland programmed into their phones?? Typically, the Bay Area gets hit with a late Indian Summer in Sept…uhhmmm, hmmmmm. In contrast….

Take a look....this was at 6:00 P.M.

Take a look….this was at 6:00 P.M.

it seems since we moved up to Oregon the sustaining heat followed us….don’t laugh too loudly!!! It’s been a hot, very dry summer. We, on this little farm including our fine feathered friends…

Ready for Fall 2014

…have had a collective, sigh, as the forecast shows dropping temperatures and RAIN in the forecast. For the flock this means the emergence of bugs, worms, and a bit of fresh, greens growing up out of the dry soil….for the humans it means sweaters, warm coffee, an eventual lift in the burn restrictions equaling in the ability to mow down those darn weeds, and the chance to build outdoor / indoor fires…yes, we are ready!!

Tomatoes 2014

While we wait, there are tomatoes to harvest, watermelon and pumpkin yet to ripen, a new hen house to build (that’s a different story), and hopefully one more blackberry harvest. I do hope the watermelon ripens!!

Watermelon 2014

Thank you for visiting the farm today!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

It’s Salsa Time!!!

So what do you do when you have a bunch of tomatoes and jalapeno peppers? SALSA!!

This is my all-time favorite salsa…..literally, every once in awhile we will drive over an hour just to get to the restaurant that creates this outrageous bowl of goodness …… CHEVY’S SALSA!!

CHEVY'S ... Yummmm!!

A pound and a pint (sometimes two) take-out always accompanies me home…that’s non-negotiable!!

With this salsa addiction, I am on a quest to reproduce this outrageously yummy concoction. I just can’t get it right…there is always “something” missing and I can’t put my finger on it. There are knock-off recipes out there that get me pretty close…just nottttt quite at the point where I can exclaim, “That’s it!” So, once a year when the tomato harvest is at full speed, I tinker with salsa…one of these tomato seasons, maybe I’ll get it right!

This is my latest attempt…..

Roasting the Veggies

Roasting the Veggies

Salsa 2014

An innocent looking bowl of fire!

An innocent looking bowl of fire!

A new ingredient...trying to get a bit of a smokey flavor.

A new ingredient…trying to get a bit of a smokey flavor.


The roasted garlic on top is so delicious and creamy.

The roasted garlic on top is so delicious and creamy.

Salsa 2014

Where are the chips???

Where are the chips???

The chipotle peppers in adobo sauce did make a big difference. I still have to figure out how to manage more liquid in the finished product. My salsa usually comes out quite “meaty”…not necessarily a bad thing, but I think a little more moisture would be good. This definitely is one of the better blends…not sure that I’m satisfied as it is not as close to Chevy’s salsa as I’m looking for, but…yummy in it’s own way.

Darn…I guess I’ll have to keep trying.. hahaha!

Thanks for visiting my kitchen this morning. I hope you have an excellent day!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Morning Sunrise

I’ve taken a bit of an absence from writing lately, a time to clear my head of old thoughts and to see if there is still room for new ideas. That step away brought a type of solitude, an inward look into the entire last three years raising questions in my mind.

I have been missing my home of 22 years,

So many beautiful memories made in that house.

So many beautiful memories made in that house.

and the San Francisco Bay Area…the place of my entire existence up until our big move three years ago. To say that I never look back would be completely untrue. Something usually strikes a chord in me, however, bringing me back to this place.

As I sit here drinking my coffee and watching the morning sunrise,

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

I am taken by the unique beauty that is all around me. The sun’s light rises in the east, yet casts its first warmth on the western hills behind us slowly erasing the shadows of the night.

Sept 2014 Sunrise

The diurnal wilds of the forest are awakening, yet the nocturnal are taking their last look around within the shadowy places. I know this because I hear the “hoot-hooting” of an invisible owl to whom I am probably well in focus, yet to me remains stealthily hidden.

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

A cacophony of birds, all different in their song, resounds in the background, the foreground, all around me. The neighboring farms are awakening with sounds of crowing, braying, gobbling, quacking, and the ever present, “Hey, I’m laying an egg here” repeated clucking of hens giving of their provisions.

Sept. 2014 Sunrise

I may have left my heart in the San Francisco Bay Area (seriously, this is true),

Beautiful San Francisco

but my soul finds peace in this little slice of Oregon. Well, actually, my soul finds peace in Christ, but as I look around me, the brilliance of the Creator envelops my very being. That is what has drawn me to this place from the beginning…I see God’s handiwork all around me, and in that there is great peace, contentment, and a huge desire to be here…to be right here!

Beautiful Oregon Home

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday! And hey…Go Giants….and Niners!!! Both play today!!!!
Giants & Niners!!

Thank you for sharing my morning!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

My Least Favorite Time of Year

Do you like summertime? I do! I like harvesting, sharing, and eating the beauties from my garden….

Summer Corn 2014

I like the long days that stretch into the later hours…

July 2014

……and the hot summer night sounds from my neighbors Peacocks

I like the warmth of early summer….

June 2014

…..when the ground is still green…

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

Happy chickens in the warmth of early summer.

THEN…..August thinks it can just come along and spoil the goodness of my green summer days……my least favorite time of the year!!

What's that???  Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

What’s that??? Hey who invited, August, to our summer party??

August brings the heat, and the dryness to the land. It is the time for getting poked from stickers that get stuck in your socks as you walk through the dry grasses.

August 2014

August 2014

Unfortunately, a bolt on the mowing implement attached to the tractor was broken for awhile at the end of June. Burn restrictions went up on July 3rd…since we have rocks, and metal blades against rocks can create sparks…sparks against dry grasses can create fires…mowing season ended earlier than usual. I didn’t have a chance to do the final cutting…so, unfortunately, the weeds are larger, and uglier than I am happy with…

YUCK!!

YUCK!!

The chickens get hot, and scrounge the dry grasses for bugs and seeds. I hooked up a fan in the chicken house for relief of the hens while they conduct their “business”…then I turn the fan in the afternoon toward the roosting boards so they can find some relief as they need it.

August 2014

The pond has receded….thankfully it has never gone dry! But this summer…actually, the past two summers, have really tested our little pond….

The pond is way down...this "green" area is usually not as large.

The pond is way down…this “green” area is usually not as large.

See the green ridge above the water line? This is where the pond usually recedes too…the ridge above it is where the pond sits when it full…I call that the NORMAL part of the year!!

August 2014

Saturday, August 30th, did bring some relief…

Fall can’t come too soon!!

Thank you for sharing the first day of September with me. I hope your Labor Day is spectacular….put one on the barbie for me, and I’ll add a burger on my BBQ for you!!

Your friend from the NW,
Tami

It’s In the Little Things

There are tiny things in this world….

The Royal Antelope

The Royal Antelope


The Brookesia Micra Chameleon

The Brookesia Micra Chameleon


The Fennec Fox

The Fennec Fox

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:


Photos found at http://http://www.viralnova.com/smallest-animals-in-the-world/

…..then there are the fruits from my garden. It’s been an interesting year for growth. Maybe it’s the water, maybe the soil. Whatever the reason, many of the veggies and fruits are quite small…some are plentiful, but most are kind of tiny. Guess what?? There are powerfully big, fresh flavors coming out of those little packages! I wish I could share more with you than just their pictures.

Little yellow bell peppers

Little yellow bell peppers

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Beautiful Jalepenos

Beautiful Jalepenos

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small...er

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small…er

This is the entire harvest of nine potato plants…hahahaha…there is one fat little gopher running around here somewhere full of my potatoes!!

Garden 2014

The apple in these pictures is there for size comparison (of course you needed that explanation, ;D )…

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees...hahahaha

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees…hahahaha

The mighty artichoke

The mighty artichoke

Tiny Cantaloupe..smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Tiny Cantaloupe…smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Each year a different garden has grown, same basic varieties, very different results. We have been playing around with soil and location a bit, this year mainly soil. Time to start taking notes.

I hope you have a wonderful day…go ahead and pick a few tomatoes…they are amazing!!

Tami

Oh, Did I Tell You…

It seems like forever since I have sat down to write. It is that time of year. Mid-August usually demands a certain amount of sweat-equity…not only from the summer heat,

Oregon's best kept secret....

Oregon’s best kept secret….

but also from the demands of the oh-so-soft-spoken ripening garden. It has been dry, really dry.

The ground is so dry.

The ground is so dry.

Everything, is feeling thirsty from the lack of those wet, drippy things that fall from the sky. It takes a bit of an extra effort to keep the flock in fresh water (they get overheated very easily), to maximize the benefit of the water given to the garden, to water young fruit, nut, and Sequoia trees one by one by the bucketful, while keeping a balance with the water level in our holding tank. That tank holds water from our well…which in turn, waters this family.

"Yeah, I'm guarding the water!"

“Yeah, I’m guarding the water!”

In spite of water rationing for the garden, there is plentiful ripening. Harvesting of more than just a couple of tomatoes here…a pepper there…has begun! We are starting to enjoy the “fruits of our labor”, especially in the berry department. Wild blackberries are ripening at break-neck speed, and my little strawberries are right behind them. When you pick them at that juicy, sweet ripened stage from the vine, they don’t last long. The upshot of that is turning this…..

IMG_6460

….into this!!!

Making jam...

Making jam…

Strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

And this….

Bucketful of Blackberries

Bucketful of Blackberries

…into this…

Blackberry Cobbler!!!

Blackberry Cobbler!!!

Oh boy!!!

Oh boy!!!

A little time consuming, but totally worth it!!

Oh, did I tell you….

The newest addition.

The newest addition.

….welcome to the farm little Roni Jr. ….. hatched on my daughter’s half-birthday. Out of six eggs, this is the only one that hatched. After several days, Mama Hen abandoned the nest, and the eggs went bad. The baby is out and about free ranging with the rest of the flock, watching every move Mama makes.

Thank you for sharing the long days of summer on the farm with me!! Hope you are having a wonderful August!

Your friend,
Tami

A Study in Purple

Do you like the color purple?? According to http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/personality-color-purple.html , “Having either purple or violet as your favorite color means you are sensitive and compassionate, understanding and supportive, thinking of others before yourself – you are the person others come to for help – being needed motivates you but sometimes people take advantage of you.

Purple Aug. 2014

You are a gentle and free spirit. Your feelings run deep and you can be quite sensitive to hurtful comments from others, although you would never show it…you have a peaceful and tranquil quality…You are usually introverted rather than extroverted and may give the impression of being shy although this is not the case.”

We’ve had a lot of purple on the farm lately, mostly propagated by those things that I spend hours mowing down. They are spiky, intrusive, and relentless in their pursuit to dwell on this land. However, there is beauty, if just for a moment….

Purple Aug. 2014

Purple Aug. 2014

The purple dot in the middle of this abundant weed tells me this is probably the versatile Queens Ann’s Lace….

See the purple dot?

See the purple dot?

…as opposed to this, very similar looking weed, which is highly toxic (hemlock??) The lack of that purple dot is a HUGE red flag!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

Poison Hemlock?? No purple dot!!

This purple bed (and the two furry babies next to it) are missing the furry guy who used to lay upon it. (See https://haveadanehill.com/2014/07/29/morning-has-broken/ )

RIP Tucker...we miss you.

RIP Tucker…we miss you.

The purple flowers of wild blackberry bushes…

Purple Aug. 2014

…bring a bowl full of deliciousness!!

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

First wild blackberry harvest of 2014

The beautiful sunset on a night full of thunder and lightning. Gorgeous!

A beautiful sunset!

A beautiful sunset!

Purple is a beautiful color…don’t you think?!!! Do you see purple in your area of the world?

Thanks for sharing my morning…I hope yours is fantastic!! Tami

Dinner Last Night

There is artistry in the food we eat. I realized this with last night’s dinner. I don’t mean in the way of how it is displayed on the plate, or the unique style in the craftsmanship of the porcelain it sits upon. More and more, thanks to the numerous cooking shows on T.V., I’m experiencing the depth of flavors one can create when the main seasonings go beyond garlic salt and pepper (that’s where I’ve been stuck for many years.) Even this, however, is not really what I’m talking about right now. Although spices add to the complexity and success of the dish, the main ingredients, the stars of the show, are what my thoughts have been focusing on.

OOOOPPSSS...how did those Little's get into the garden??

OOOOPPSSS…how did those Little’s get into the garden??

Dinner last night, the sustenance of nutrition, was completely grown, or raised, on this little beginnings of a farm…right here on Haveadane Hill. Okay, so the spices I used and the local honey were not…but….does that count??? Something to think about…can I grow my own cumin, how about ginger?? Something to definitely investigate!!

Baking chicken on the grill.

Baking chicken on the grill.

This beautiful bird (one of the roosters of the Littles, aka The Muppets hatching) was hatched, raised free ranging from day one, culled by Tony, cleaned and processed by my own hands, chilled in the fridge for a few days, and became the star of the show!!

Isn't that gorgeous??!!

Isn’t that gorgeous??!!


Rooster Aug. 2014

I made a rub of powdered garlic, cumin, ginger, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This little bird was well coated and cooked up beautifully!!

Then I chopped up onion, crookneck squash, young yellow bell peppers, and zucchini…all from my garden…sauteed them in olive oil (well..no, I didn’t squish the olives hahaha)…cooking the onions first, sprinkled with cajun spices until well caramelized, then added the two squash.

August 2014 Saute

As the veggies started to release their juices, I added the wonderfully delicious local honey I discovered a couple of weekends ago (I was not at all fond of honey until I discovered REAL honey…not the junk sold in the grocery store.)

The end of the honey drizzle....who wants to lick the spoon??

The end of the honey drizzle….who wants to lick the spoon??

I thought that I had possibly cooked the veggies too much…I didn’t want mushy, but I wanted them to be cooked through. Much to my delight, they still had a nice crunch from their skin due to the just, picked, garden freshness. Next time for color, I may add some spinach at the end of the veggie saute. I think that would be good!!

My completely home grown dinner...delicious!!

My completely home grown dinner…delicious!!

The little rooster was really, really flavorful…and a bit tough. He was a very fit bird, with very little fat. Butterflying the bird and roasting it on the grill breast side up (thank you FoodNetwork – The Kitchen) allowed the spices and the small bit of fat from the skin to permeate the meat making it very moist. The veggies were outstanding, and the sweet honey added to the brightness of the cajun spices really complimented each other. The flavor that stood out to me the most, however, was how absolutely fresh everything tasted…really, it was amazing.

Making chicken stock.

Making chicken stock.

THEN….not wanting to waste one bit of this amazing little rooster, I added water (we’re on a well so again…straight from the farm), carrots and onion (from the garden) and made a wonderful stock.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

There was so little fat that rose to the surface, that this is all I could skim off….

Rooster Stock Aug. 2014

I’m proud of my little rooster…he was one healthy bird!! He provided my family dinner last night, and will provide us broth for a great soup once the weather turns cooler.

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer...to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer…to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Who would have ever thought that this city kid from the San Francisco Bay Area, who ate in restaurants more than she cooked, could move to the country and raise the meat and veggies entirely on the farm for dinner last night?? I’m so excited to explore what is next for the farm…I keep talking to Tony about a couple of cows…he keeps talking about a couple of pigs….bee keeping for honey is totally on the list…stay tuned, there’s more to come!!!!!

Thanks for sharing my dinner last night!! Have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend,
Tami

Fencing and Biscuits

The work on the fencing….

Fencing

…once again…NOT THAT KIND of fencing…..is getting closer to completion.

***RETRACTION FROM YESTERDAY’S POST…CREATING BOUNDARIES https://haveadanehill.com/2014/07/20/creating-boundaries/ … Tony has informed me that he is building 1,063 feet of fencing…not 367 feet …. a slight miscalculated reporting there…hahaha.***

Tony and the son, Will, took a lazy Sunday worked a little, came in for a country breakfast of cheesey, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, biscuits….and…..Froot Loops…then lingered awhile. Worked some more….took a 35 min. drive (both ways) into a town with an open hardware supply store to purchase more fencing bolts. Worked about an hour more and ended for the day.

Farmer Tony

Farmer Tony

Fencing 2014

Poles waiting to become gradual fence corners.

Poles waiting to become gradual fence corners.

Breaking through this stuff was not easy.

Breaking through this stuff was not easy.


Luke 6:48
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.

Fencing 2014

Sundays are lazy days around this farm, you didn’t hear my name mentioned on the fence line, did you?

Hey I did make the biscuits, from scratch, and they turned out a bit like hockey pucks…but they tasted okay….with butter, blackberry jam (not homemade…yet – still waiting on the blackberries), and a little local honey – which by the way tastes so much more wonderful than the store bought stuff.

Rustic, dense, hockey puck biscuits...I need more practice!!

Rustic, dense, hockey puck biscuits…I need more practice!!

This is the recipe I tried to follow… http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/brunch-101-how-to-make-tender-flaky-biscuits/ Although they are supposed to be rustic, I think I worked the dough a little too much. I am challenged to perfect my biscuit making!!

Have a very happy Monday…the start of the work week…enjoy the moments in your day, the weekend is just a few days away!!

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami

Creating Boundaries

Harvest 2014

Fencing….the sport of fighting with swords, especially foils, épées, or sabers, according to a set of rules, in order to score points against an opponent.

Fencing

Wait a minute….not that kind of fencing…this kind of fencing…

Not our farm...just an example.

Not our farm…just an example.

…lots and lots of fencing!! Three hundred and sixty seven feet to be approximately exact.

I think it is safe to say that every farm has fencing…lots of fencing. I am in the conflict stage of needing fencing, and wanting to keep the forest that merges with the farm in smooth transition. However, there are realities in the relationship between wildlife, farm production, dogs, and neighbors…the latter becomes the biggest issue.

We have neighbors…one of our neighbors has goats..see my earlier post https://haveadanehill.com/2013/10/27/my-neighbor-has-goats/ This same neighbor, has two big, white farm dogs that protect their goats. I like my neighbor’s dogs, they bark…often…but they are very nice dogs. Recently, however, the intact male has grown up. He has become a dominant boy, and adamantly protects the fence-line between us. Unfortunately, this means that the friendship he and Penni have had since his puppy-hood is now in contention. His mama dog,

which is now his wifey dog (yeah, it’s complicated…not really…just weird) is still friendly, but the boy dog – her puppy now her stud dog (I just think those are questionable breeding practices) does not agree with these friendly neighbor relations. Thus the need to create a secondary fence line buffer zone. It’s needed both for the safety of all three dogs, but for peace of mind. Do I really want to worry every time the dogs are out what might happen at the fence line? NO!!

The thing with fencing is when you start one line, it gets you thinking about other lines…where can you go from there? With the occasional coyote (or possibly coywolf – see my previous post https://haveadanehill.com/2014/05/29/my-coyote-theory/ ) and who knows what else (we are in Black Bear and Cougar country) we decided to create an area of 3 plus acres wherein the dogs can run freely, but still be controlled.

May 2014

It’s a big project, and takes a ton of muscle power to sink the wooden posts into this rocky ground. Thank goodness for a tractor sporting a post hole digger. Thank goodness even more for a husband who is willing to spend the past 3 days of his vacation breaking up rock where the post hole digger couldn’t get through…and the next 2 – 3 days pounding metal poles, stringing fencing, and hanging gates. He’s had some help from the male offspring when available after work. My assistance has been nonexistent due to my work schedule. So here’s a standing applause for the man on this farm…

…for a man who works hard to make sure we (including our animals) are safe, and is willing to work really hard at everything he does!!!

The work is in progress…and Penni is waiting very patiently…with bated breath…waiting to get off of her restriction…

"Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on?  I'll just lay here then."

“Whyyyyyyyyy do I have to have this stupid leash on? I’ll just lay here then.”

…and once again able to stretch her legs freely. It’s so wrong…34 acres, and nowhere to run…for the moment.

Hope you have a wonderful day…thanks for popping over and visiting the farm.

Harvest 2014

Your friend from Oregon,
Tami
***RETRACTION…I have been informed that the actual feet of fencing being constructed is 1063…not 367. My apologies to those who may be taking note…hahahahaha****

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