Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Mowing’ Category

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…



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,

The Beauty of Summer

The beauty of summer presents in many forms. Just look around you!! Do you see it??

This is what I see when I look around our forest – farm in the summer….

Two big dogs catching some shade in the heat of the day.

I can see the future…salsa, salads, tomato sauce…….

The deep blue of a beautiful Oregon sky.

A basketful full of a friend’s Beagle puppies.

At the cusp of spring into summer, the first & last of the cauliflower.

A visit from our neighbor’s peacock.
IMG_6321 2

OMGosh…how gorgeous is this??!!

My Penni girl basking in the warm sunshine.
IMG_6201 June 2014

“Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight…..”

Strawberries on the vine.

A cute little visitor…I moved her to bushy young oak growing from a stump.

Dark blue of the night-time sky.
July 2014


The last of the broccoli; the first onion and sweet pea harvest.

Baked beans from scratch for the 4th of July barbecue!

The beauty of a summer wind against the tall summer grasses.

Sometimes, we wait to cut the grasses just to watch the “amber waves of grain,” if just for awhile.

I hope you find beauty in your summer…look for it, it’s all around you! Thanks for taking a walk in the forest with me today!


An Enemy Among Us

There are times when I am hiking through the forest, and the presence of impending doom lurks over the delight of the hike. I don’t like those moments, as I know there is an enemy lurking, in fact, its tendency is to be very bold. I call to my trekking companions hoping to pull them close, out of the danger area. Caution will need to be utilized the remainder of these next summer months, as this prolific enemy will be lurking in many different areas. They are not shy, yet they are silent. Part of the danger lies with the fact that it prefers to hunt its prey in groups.

My knees shake whenever encountered. I have trouble looking at them straight on, rather I view them with a sideways glance hoping they won’t see me, or rather my companions. These feet…

Tucker's furry feet!!

Tucker’s furry feet!!

and these ears….

Tucker's fuzzy face and ears.

Tucker’s fuzzy face and ears.

….attract this enemy with a passion. Have you guessed the name of these dastardly, defiant, dang-there-they-are predators yet?? Maybe this will help…

Brilliantly skilled, opportunistic hunters.

Brilliantly skilled, opportunistic hunters.


I absolutely hate them….hate them!! They work their way into ears, inadvertently get sniffed up into the nose, wedge themselves between toes, burrowing into the skin, working their way within the tissues causing pain, redness, and infection.

I decided to try to rid the mound area in front of the house (totally wild, weedy area right now) of these spiky fiends. In my brilliance, I thought, “Hey, why not take the Shop Vac and just vacuum them up” (I had previously weed-wacked the area so they were laying loose on the ground.) Actually, it was a great idea….in the beginning.

The machine.....

The machine…..

The hill (mound) I have to conquer.

The hill (mound) I have to conquer.

June 2014
I hate these things!!!

I hate these things!!!

As I went, it was harder and harder to suck up the foxtails. I would shake the hose once in awhile, and it seemed to help…so I kept going. It started to become apparent that I probably had made a mistake….

Uh - Oh...that doesn't look good!

Uh – Oh…that doesn’t look good!

….so I took off the top of the vacuum to see if anything was going into the container…..

Not near enough debris in there.

Not near enough debris in there.

….okay, now I know I have a problem. I took the Shop Vac back into the shop to try and fix this…situation. My first thought, use the air compressor….

Hoping this works!!

Hoping this works!!

….maybe high pressured air, in combination with the vacuuming power will move the debris clog through the hose. Well that didn’t work. So I got a long pvc pipe, turned on the vacuum and proceeded to shove the pipe into the hose. It seemed to work to one point…then the wall hit. I think what I accomplished was to make one huge, compacted foxtail brick that was totally stuck within the hose. I mean at that point in the hose, it is totally solid…I mean solid!! Whoops!!! Maybe water will work, since it is a Shop Vac water is completely safe…I guess I’ll try that next.

As I left the shop, totally defeated…I saw the other Shop Vac hoses on the wall…there was a short, wide hose that would have been perfect…well at least I can finish vacuuming the mound. Wish me luck!!

At least the area that I was able to vac…the area that is now clogging the hose….is clear of those seasonal enemies.

Can you find a foxtail..I hope not!

Can you find a foxtail..I hope not!

Hoping your summer is starting out wonderfully!!

Fir Chips in the Garden

Remember my attempt to squelch the inevitable…??

That empty container is waiting for watermelon.
The Douglas Fir mulch lining the garden.

The Douglas Fir mulch lining the garden.

…You know, those dreaded parasites that continually steal water, minerals, and sunlight from their rightful heirs. What are they called? Oh yeah, malas hierbas, les mauvaises herbes, bagīcē mātama, …. weeds…garden weeds. Two months or so later, here’s how things look…

Uuugghhhh the invasion is on!!!

Uuugghhhh the invasion is on!!!

I'm glad the good stuff are in pots.

I’m glad the good stuff are in pots.

…well, I guess my experiment in Douglas Fir chips was a wash. Not exactly the results I was hoping for, but easily fixed….

Now that's better!

Now that’s better!

I can see the fir chips!!

I can see the fir chips!!

Lookin' purdy!

Lookin’ purdy!

…thank you Mr. Weed-Wacker!!! Nope, I didn’t get the roots, and yeah they will grow back. Mr. Weed-Wacker and I will have a few more dates this growing season, but you know, it’s easier than trying to pull them up, and healthier than using a weed killer. Anyway, there is more exciting news

The zucchini is blooming!

The zucchini is blooming!

Wee little strawberries.

Wee little strawberries.

The peas are awesome.

The peas are awesome.

Future bad boys...my Jalapeños are blooming!!

Future bad boys…my Jalapeños are blooming!!

And did I show you these beauties??

Look at those little red jewels!!

Look at those little red jewels!!

And the most important…. Penni’s happy!!

My happy girl!!

My happy girl!!

Thanks for taking a walk with me through the garden. Have an awesome day!

Guinea Pig Ranch..Hmmm

As I was mowing…mowing…mowing this past Friday, I so envied our neighbor’s goats. I could see them from across the far fencing..chomping, chomping, chomping the same green growth that I was mowing, mowing, mowing!!

Automatic lawn mowers.

Automatic lawn mowers.

After 3 hours, I stepped off the tractor looking at the finished product….

June 2014
June 2014

…it always looks nice when the grasses are shorter. If we had a small baler, the cut product wouldn’t go to waste…right now it just lies on the ground and degrades over time.

A small pile from one portion of a cut line.

A small pile from one portion of a cut line.

As I gathered up the little pile above, I thought about a guinea pig we had named, Edgre,

Cute, little Edgre

Cute, little Edgre

Edgre 2005

…he could have made easy work of that pile of grass! Guinea pigs eat a ton…really, they eat so much more than it looks like they should. What if there were more of him? What if we had our own little gathering of guinea pigs that we housed, and securely moved from pasture to pasture…eating their way through the grasses and weeds? Hahahah…can you picture that?? Look at the pile below…it’s bigger than our little Karli.

The pile grew like a snowball as I moved it along.

The pile grew like a snowball as I moved it along.

So my mind wanders… Are there ways to securely pasture a guinea pig? I think they would burrow. How would one prevent the great escape by a rogue, burrowing guinea?? A little house to provide warmth and protection from the weather and predators, weatherized to provide the support they would need through the winter…HHMMMM… cute idea!! The following image is not mine…it is from: http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/data/516/medium/237play_pen_2.JPG , notice how nicely trimmed the grasses are!!

HHMMM...could this work??!!

HHMMM…could this work??!!

Goats would probably be easier!!

Tag Cloud

Our French Oasis


House by the water.

From blank block to new home in Mandurah, Western Australia.

Chantel Mickaela


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