Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Silicon Valley’ Category

My Home is in …….

Feb. 2015

How do you compare the two, very distinct, environments that I call home?  They are remarkably different, as one would assume.  I do not find a ton of similarities, however, to the chagrin of many Oregonians, there is a California encroachment of sorts that seems to be occurring……good….some of it…..not so good….unfortunately, that comes with it too.  My recent visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, really impressed a few things on me….

Feb. 2015

…. there is more traffic than I remember… I remember a lot of traffic …

…. there is constant movement …. it seems as though it’s almost a sin to just stop, relax, and not look at, but take the time to gaze upon a sunset, or a playful squirrel … I remember this too, but I’d kind of forgotten ….

Feb 2015

…. the pace of change is amazing …. the demolition and construction that has taken place in the last 3 1/2 years is astounding …. much faster, and more prolific than I remember happening in the past …. the buildings are fresh, and new ….

….  there is a lot of concrete…..I seriously forgot about the concrete tunnel that runs along Hwy 101 with the tall, cement, sound barrier walls lining both sides of the freeway …. while we were still going back and forth from our property to the bay area before finally moving north, I always experienced a sadness upon returning to the “concrete jungle”  that has become the bay area …. there used to be orchards, and open space ….

IMG_8835 Levi's Stadium 2015

…. the 49er’s new stadium – Levi’s Stadium, is gorgeous …. definitely not the nostalgic feel of, “the Stick,” Candlestick Park, but holds a lot of promise of it’s own…now if the Niners can just start winning ….

….. it now costs 10 cents to allow a store, any store, to give you a bag with your purchase …. and, no plastic bags, only paper …. so either pay the 10 cents per bag, bring your own, or carry out your items in your arms ………..

If you've ever wanted good Basque meal, the Basque Cultural Center in So. San Francisco is the place to be!!!

If you’ve ever wanted good Basque meal, the Basque Cultural Center in So. San Francisco is the place to be!!!

…. the Basque community that I have been apart of since meeting, and marrying, Tony, is unique and wonderful…. I have missed that sense of, “extended family,” much more than I knew ….

IMG_8824

…. It was good, really good, to see family …. I don’t think I’ll let 3 1/2 years pass again ….

This beautiful young lady.....

This beautiful young lady…..

...turned a fabulous 80 years old this month.  Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mother-in-law!

…turned a fabulous 80 years old this month. Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mother-in-law!

…. Next time, I’ll need at least an extra day to visit with dear friends whom I didn’t have time to see this trip …. sorry about that ….

…. China Cafe still rocks the socks off of any Chinese food restaurant I’ve been able to find up here in Oregon …. seriously their Moo Shu Pork, and Hot and Sour Soup are to die for ….

The most amazing Hot and Sour Soup ever!!!

The most amazing Hot and Sour Soup ever!!!

Mu Shoo Pork to die for!!!

Mu Shoo Pork to die for!!!

…. In N Out Burger is still the most “awesomest,” fast food burger joint to hit the planet …. no more 3 1/2 years to feast on one of their beauties …. they’ve breached the border … they’re coming to Oregon!!!! ….

In n Out Burger 2015

A double single (that's two patties, one cheese - In N Out jargon)

A “double-single” (that’s two patties, one cheese – In N Out jargon)

…. Lastly, the innovation, the excitement, the impression of limitless boundaries of success is an aura that the bay area exudes, demanding incredible amounts of time, and many valuable years of one’s life.  Driving around, just being there, I felt a part of it again …. it can be addicting, it is an exciting place to be …. the roads or paths one can take are far reaching into technology, higher education, cutting edge medical advances, and lots and lots of GOOGLE. You get the impression that the world is your oyster, just waiting to be opened …. it’s exciting …. there are many, many opportunities to excel within, really, anything you want to do (except farming) …. however, it’s a false reality in a way …. because when you live in it your entire life, and then leave, it is a bit of a shock to find out that the rest of the country doesn’t necessarily perceive life that same way.

Feb. 2015

I’m thankful that I can visit, and breathe-in that sense of “limitless boundaries” once in awhile….also, for the life here in Oregon, and the ability to stop and gaze upon that playful squirrel (or deer, for that matter.) … for growing friendships, and the family who are close by (because I miss the one’s who are far.)  For the open spaces and broad skylines, and for the slower pace of life, and the uniqueness of Oregon, wherein, most people value recreational time as much as working time …. there is a balance here, and from what I’ve experienced, people are very serious about protecting that balance.  That’s a good thing…….that’s a great thing!!

January 2015

Thank you for sharing my first visit home….it truly was wonderful, yet I’m so glad to be HOME!!!

 

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

 

 

We’ve Left the Farm…

IMG_8813

…it wasn’t easy to do.  The decision was the result of a few months of thinking, planning, and visiting options for the furry four legged, and feathery two legged residents of our little community.   The circumstances driving us away were/are important, equipped with their own unique pulls.  So, during this past week, we made the final arrangements for the animals, packed up, and left the farm.  To say it was a little emotional for me would be like saying, “The sky is blue” … a bit obvious.  I haven’t left, left my new home for 3.5 years….except for a short trip to Disneyland a few months after we had moved here.  Our beautiful piece of God’s great creation has become my most favorite place to be in this world….sorry Walt.  Really, why would I want to leave it?

For my Bay Area peeps... Can you tell what area we were flying over?

For my Bay Area peeps… Can you tell what area we were flying over?

So, is this the end of our Oregon story?  No!!, because you see, although we did leave the farm, it was only for the weekend!!!  Hahaha….gotcha!!!  Since this blog is about the journey of moving from our life-long lives in the San Francisco Bay Area to a small town in Oregon, and how our lives change, grow, and expand, I thought it was only natural to write about the experience of my first time visiting home.  It was all so familiar, yet all so different.

Leaving is a struggle, it turns out, I don’t really like the “leaving” part.  My mind is filled with, “What if’s” and “look at those big brown eyes,

IMG_8469 - Version 2

she’s not going to understand why I’ve been gone so long.”  The longer the delay, the bigger the, “What if’s” become.  In contrast, the logical part of my mind works on the premise of the “to-do” list….the preparations so that leaving is actually possible.  It’s a little different now….it’s not just about packing….and it is helpful in keeping the “What if” bugs out of my head….they are definite energy zappers.  Studies show that, approximately, only 8% of the things we worry about are likely to occur, or actually impact our lives in some way…..Who studies these things??!!  Good to remember…..did it help…..well, I didn’t worry about the flock much at all while I was gone…LOL….they are pretty self-sufficient….with a little help…..

New Chicken House 2015

……like a quick, temporary fix to the new chicken house.  Wait….What??!!  I didn’t mention the new chicken house…….well, it’s not quite finished, but it has an automatic door that open and closes with light and darkness., hence nobody needs to do that for them.  I just looked around and grabbed what I could to make their lives comfortable.  I hope they were!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today!!  I hope your day is amazing!!!

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

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

Timber Farming

I’ve come to the conclusion that we are officially a farm! I haven’t really embraced that until this past week…it’s a good, good feeling!! Tony and I are working to become as independent as possible by growing our own food, raising our own protein (notice I didn’t say that nasty word…meat ) creating our own energy sources, maintaining our own septic system, and we are not hooked up to a public water source – we’re on our own well. Going off grid?? I don’t think we are totally there yet, and not really part of our goal…we like our Direct TV connection (but are looking at some very viable options to that,) we like to flip a switch and have a constant stream of electricity (but there could be news on that horizon soon,) we have to have internet connection – DUH!!

A big part of our farm is timber management. There is a period of about 4.5 months that we can trim, and cut down trees – 2.5 months in the spring…2 months in the fall. These time frames occur between the more constant precipitation months (rain, snow) and the fire restriction months (unknown to many, Oregon does have a dry season.) Tony and I don’t care to use chainsaws in wet weather…just a personal preference. So this past week, we have been working on our firewood supply for the 2015-2016 fall – winter season.

Tony, sizing up a tree to fall.

Tony, sizing up a tree to fall.

We have a rotating wood stack system to make sure the logs we burn are dry and burn well, and clean. There is a lot less smoke created when the logs are dry…and they burn hotter which is the goal! A hotter fire means less energy cost from not running our heater…then of course there are blankets gracing the backs of the couch, and recliners! I know, I know…GET BACK ON TOPIC!!!

One side of the wood paddock has been burned through the winter.

One side of the wood paddock has been burned through the winter.

The paddock on the left is the space we need to fill.

My man, Tony, taming the forest!

My man, Tony, taming the forest!

This Douglas Fir tree was too close to the other, and it had an unsafe curve….we are thankful for the heat it will generate in our wood stove during the cold winter months. The other tree will have a chance to fill out, it’s already very tall.

Whoops!!!

Whoops!!!

The looonnnnggg view of a very tall tree.

Douglas Fir Tree

Douglas Fir Tree

How old do you think this tree was…

Can you count the rings??

Can you count the rings??

This stump is of a Douglas Fir cut down by the previous owners about 10 years ago and sold in the timber market…

This must have been a huge, beautiful tree!

This must have been a huge, beautiful tree!

Next in our process was gathering the wood, and chipping the parts not suitable for the wood stove. Tony cut logs into splittable size….

Sizing logs for splitting1

Sizing logs for splitting1

I ran the chipper (we try not to make burn piles as much as possible)….

We're not going to burn thin branches full of fir needles.

We’re not going to burn thin branches full of fir needles.


Look at those beautiful chippings!!

Look at those beautiful chippings!!

We had an extra helper….

Even Penni got into the process!!

Even Penni got into the process!!

I wish you could experience how good the air smells around the mulch pile…it’s like the most fragrant Christmas Tree ever!! Take a deep breath in….ahhhhhhh!! We’ll be spreading this mulch around the garden for pathways without mud.

Beautiful mulch pile!

Beautiful mulch pile!

The wood pile ready to be split…

Resting peacefully, waiting to be split and stacked.

Resting peacefully, waiting to be split and stacked.

This stacked pile is the result of two trees. It should last the better part of a month if our late fall / winter temps are the normal 20’s to 40’s.

We need to build this stack as high as the highest log, and forward to the front of the pallets!

We need to build this stack as high as the highest log, and forward to the front of the pallets!

The house temps will range from 70 degrees (the hub of the home) to around 52 degrees (the outlying bedrooms) running just the wood stove. This saves us about $200.00 a month or more…well worth the effort! We’ll repeat the tree-log-chipping-splitting-stacking process for about 6 – 8 more trees this season. It’s healthy for our timber to thin the forest…and it’s healthy for our heating bill to create our own energy in the winter. The relationship with nature in our everyday lives is exciting, and very, very refreshing!!

How Did They Do It???

Just about 2 feet of snow!

Just about 2 feet of snow!


Our neighbors horses...so gorgeous!!!

Our neighbors horses…so gorgeous!!!

How did they do it?? As I try to navigate my world in the midst of a three day snow storm I am amazed at how unprepared I feel. Albeit, I lack in the true snow boot arena, I have mud jumpers that do the trick in keeping my feet dry (for the most part)…since my snow pants (I think I have snow pants) are still packed away somewhere within our shop, double layers of pants seem to keep me warm enough for about a half an hour, although soaked through…then there’s the waterproof jacket and gloves….I’ve got some stuff, but definitely not enough. Trudging through two feet of pant soaking, ice accumulating, leg freezing snow, the warmth of a nice warm fire was all I could think about….well, that and sledding down on of our hills obviously adding to my already frozen appendages. But I have to think….”How in the world did the pioneers….those who crossed the great divide, climbed the Cascade Mountain Range to land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon…how did they make it without the warmth and waterproofing necessary to sustain life this day and age. Would we be able to survive as our ancestors did? How did they survive?” I guess many did not (remember the Donner Party), but somehow, most did!

How did they do it??!!

How did they do it??!!

My San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, sun 90% of the year upbringing and adulthood is a far cry from the winters of the Pacific Northwest. There is much I have to learn about preparing for weather that can turn on a dime…what’s that saying up here?…”If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes…” On Thursday morning, this was so true!! Within 15 minutes of my walking out the door for work, we went from a few clouds, cold, brisk, refreshingly clean air, to major clouds, “It’s starting to snow”…”We’re in a blizzard (well almost)”…”It’s snowing for 3 days”… “We’ve got 2 feet of snow”…to the beginnings of freezing rain…and if it warms 15 more degrees (which is actually predicted) we may have flooding due to a fast melt of all the snow!!! Holy guacamole!!!!! I am not in Kansas…or in my case, California, anymore!! But I am so happy to be here!!

How are the adult and young flocks doing in all this cold……update coming soon!! In the meantime, here’s a friendly, Claudio, hello!!

Claudio wondering, "What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!"

Claudio wondering, “What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!”

Images of Fall Mushrooms

After a relatively dry October (with the exception to the first few days of the month,) November 2nd brought the rain to the Willamette Valley of Oregon. I say “relatively dry” October, well, because I guess it was, to the locals (of which I can not call myself yet as I am a short-timer here still.) Although I’m not sure if it hit the record books, the weather reports all talked about how dry the month was. This is not to say, however, that it wasn’t wet…at least to this Bay Area transplant. The morning dew of the fall seemed to be enough at our elevation to keep the ground moist. The dogs’ muddy paws while digging in whatever critter hole that got their attention can attest to that. Ever see a Great Dane dig a hole? It’s a thing of beauty…quite the ankle breaker! Our little Rat Terrie/Poodle mix gets in there and adds fineness to the freshly dug casm, while our old guy, German Wirehaired Pointer who’s back legs can’t support his front legs digging anymore, directs the entire excavation project…it’s really quite comical to watch. Everyone gets red, clay, mud stuck to their paws and nails…my light colored carpet is now more of a rust color.

To get back on track…November 2nd brought the rains. Basically, if it hasn’t been raining, its been drizzling. If it hasn’t been drizzling, the fog has moved over everything and engulfed our place in a cloud. In other words, it has been constantly wet, with periodic spurts of sunshine. It has been chilly, but it hasn’t necessarily been cold. Due to the nature of the weather, we have been indoors more lately than the past few months. One and a half year old Great Danes don’t really appreciate this…so, it is outside we go. We like to take hikes this time of year since the brush has started to die back. As we walked through the canopy of Douglas Firs, Maple, and indigenous Oak trees something became very apparent. The initial rains of October, then the mildness of the weather the rest of that month, followed by the constant moisture of November and the cloud cover keeping the temperatures chilly, but not cold resulted in a veritable cornucopia of visual stimuli. Mushrooms!! A varietal abundance of mushrooms. As we went along, Penny followed the scent tracks of whatever went before us, and I took pics with my phone. I realized how much I don’t know about wild fungi, so I treat all of it like it’s poisonous. I’m not touching any of it, but it sure is pretty!

Maybe these are what the ants used for lamps in It's a Bug's Life.

Maybe these are what the ants used for lamps in It’s a Bug’s Life.

Mushrooms 2013

Big, gross, slimy, and ugly! Possibly a King Boulet??

Big, gross, slimy, and ugly! Possibly a King Boulet??

More of the big, gross, slimy, and ugly King Boulet group.

More of the big, gross, slimy, and ugly King Boulet group.

Like a beautiful flower.

Like a beautiful flower.

Oddly round.

Oddly round.

Beautiful rotting log ensemble.

Beautiful rotting log ensemble.

I thought this was some sort of wild animal poop...turned out to be a mushroom.  Black Elfin Saddle?  YUCK!

I thought this was some sort of wild animal poop…turned out to be a mushroom. Black Elfin Saddle? YUCK!

Mushrooms 2013

Like a delicate flower.  Japanese Parasol?

Like a delicate flower. Japanese Parasol?

Bell-Cap Panuelos?

Bell-Cap Panuelos?

Candy Caps??

Candy Caps??

A delicate cluster. Fairy Rings??

A delicate cluster. Fairy Rings??

Mushrooms 2013

Beautiful yet....I don't know if it's poisonous.

Beautiful yet….I don’t know if it’s poisonous.

Mushrooms 2013

Mushrooms 2013

Uhhhmmmm.....enough said!

Uhhhmmmm…..enough said!

And this weird thing…what the heck is this………..

Not even sure if this is a mushroom...it's some kind of gelatinous blob!  Gross.

Not even sure if this is a mushroom…it’s some kind of gelatinous blob! Gross.

It is really hard to try to identify these different types of mushrooms online. Good lesson as unless I am 100% sure what they are, I’m not going to touch them. Thankfully, my dogs don’t seem to want to either. They are pretty though. Since it is fall, I added a few pictures from our walk that aren’t mushroom related. I thought they were nice, although they don’t compare to actually being out there, exploring, and coming across these things that show it is indeed fall in Oregon.

That's my foot on the right....one BIGGGG leaf.

That’s my foot on the right….one BIGGGG leaf.

The fog creeping down the hills behind us, eventually covering us in a cloud.

The fog creeping down the hills behind us, eventually covering us in a cloud.

Penni and I found a friend.

Penni and I found a friend.

Such a cuite!

Such a cuite!

Hello little California Newt.

Hello little California Newt.

A beautiful canopy.

A beautiful canopy.

This one lone Maple Tree, surrounded by young Douglas Firs, dropped all of these leaves.

This one lone Maple Tree, surrounded by young Douglas Firs, dropped all of these leaves.

The pond is freshly full again.

The pond is freshly full again.

I hope you are enjoying the fall, it is a gorgeous time of year.

The Day After One Day in September

To say that the events of Merlot’s day in September came and went without another thought would be the understatement of the year for our family. We have always done everything within our power to preserve the life of any animal that we have been blessed to care for.The events of Merlot’s September day was something we had prepared for in the physical requirements, but it took a lot to get the ethereal preparations in order…once we got somewhat there…well, that’s yesterday’s story.

The story of the day, is about healing….the healing of the flock. Within two hours of Merlot’s absence, we had an egg…Don Pedro, who had seemed to be quite uncomfortable for more than a day jumped into the nesting box and started kicking around the pine shavings…

Our very first egg!  Thanks Don Pedro!!

Our very first egg! Thanks Don Pedro!!

These days in September actually began on Sept. 15th. Since then, the flock is at peace, we have gotten five small eggs and Benedict has become the gentleman protector of his flock. It has taken until today, one week later, for this city-raised-buy-your-eggs-from-the-grocery-store-girl to work up the nerve to cook up our hen’s eggs….and they were delicious!!!!

My first home-grown fried egg.

My first home-grown fried egg.


September 2013
Making a tiny omelette with two tiny eggs.

Making a tiny omelette with two tiny eggs.


BREAKFAST!!

BREAKFAST!!


These are some delicious little eggs!

These are some delicious little eggs!

Discovering My Small Town

There have been some interesting times of adjustment throughout the last two years of living in our small town, but last night cemented my longing to be here…to be part of this farming / logging community. It all came in the form of the opening high school football game. This was our first game….this was our first experience of how an entire community…town…rallies around, and is united by their sports teams. As I looked around at the crowd and witnessed the long-standing friendships, the commitment to this high school football team, the Cheer Team, the families, the younger kids running around behind the back of the end-zone waiting for their chance to someday be on that field…in that uniform, the mere fact that 90% of everyone at the game was wearing a shirt showing their pride in this team; I realized something my experience thus far had lacked. There was richness here, in this small community in a different way than what I have known.

In the Bay Area, the illusion of financial richness for everyone is all around you, but the feeling of community within the city we lived suffered a great deal. There was division around financial status, the neighborhood you lived in, and whether they want to admit it or not…race. The difference came for us by being part of our Christian church family, and the small population within the Little League / Bobby Sox Softball organizations. This is where we found community among the diversity that the Bay Area holds.

Public high school football games, and other youth sporting events were something that happened in the community, but in most cases, didn’t draw the community’s attention. Participation was generally based on individuals having a variant that was directly related to that particular sport. In fact, anytime one of our district’s high schools petitioned to let students (Heaven forbid) park their cars on the streets surrounding the high school, install lights, or improve the fields, they were met with multiple city counsel meetings, and threats of lawsuits to hash out the opposition that the schools own direct neighborhood harbored. Not all, but many of these members of the community even though they had bought their homes next to the high schools, or community sports fields…felt inconvenienced and threatened at the thought that campus life even existed. “What…you mean there is going to be traffic, and people parking on the street outside of my home because there is some sort of school event going on? Come on, City Counsel…tell them that they can’t do this!!” Unfortunately, these circumstances were where you found most of the community’s involvement when it came to the local sports teams. In contrast, the community richness that I witnessed last night in my small town was amazing, and was greatly missing in the place I am from. After 22 years of living in the same city of California, I cannot say if there was anything that truly united that community.

So I have to ask myself…am I becoming small town, or in my heart have I always been?? Are the chickens, the wildlife, the frogs in the pond, the quaint downtown, the lack of well known restaurants, the 40 minute drive to the nearest Target Store, and the time I arrived late to an appointment because I got behind a 20 mph hay baler driving down the two-lane-no-passing road starting to replace the fast-paced, convenience of the city? My love for our property has been present from the first time I laid eyes on it. My love for our small town was imprinted on my heart and mind last night. I may be running on emotions right now, but I have to look and know that the game, the town’s rallying around the team, the complete silence during the band’s playing of the National Anthem…there is so much that my little slice of Oregon offers beyond what I have seen with my eyes. Perfect, no….incredibly ‘Bedford Falls” like…yes (well, and no – but that’s another story..hahaha!)

The noise was actually deafening!

The Skies Have It

I’ve always been taken by the sky. If you think about it, there are no comparisons to any other type of canvas one can paint on. Within varying shades, the background remains virtually the same. The medium, however, varies not by content, but by texture, shading, brightness, and color. When the sky merges with, and becomes part of the skyline, the impact is even greater.

Growing up and living most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, we had a merging sky – skyline referred to as the Bay Area’s natural air conditioner. This would occur as the coastal fog would come inland enough to hang, literally, on top of the bay area coastal mountains, creating the appearance of huge waves. This meant the jet stream was coming inland from the ocean, bringing with it that cool air and fog that creates those iconic pictures of the Golden Gate. It’s spectacular!

The Golden Gate Bridge in fog.

The Golden Gate Bridge in fog.


Arial view of SF Bay Area coastal fog by photographer Simon Christen

Arial view of SF Bay Area coastal fog by photographer Simon Christen


Unfortunately, in the absence of the fog, the skyline turns more of a brownish color rather than blue. Call it particles, or pollution…it totally detracts from the beauty of the canvas, however, creates some very wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

The skies of Oregon have been a welcomed surprise by the creative hand of the Master Artist. He paints a moveable, ever-changing display of undeniable beauty. In contrast to the Bay Area where so much of the majestic artistry compounds on the skyline, in Oregon, the sky gets most of His attention. It’s amazing, every time you walk outside, the canvas has been repainted.

These past two weeks or so, the sky has had some outrageously beautiful stories to tell, with the last couple of days expressing vivid beauty from pain. We’ve had the threat of thunder storms creating “ahhmaaazing” sunsets, culminating, yesterday, in Severe Thunder Storm Alerts on the radio and T.V.. all day warning of quarter sized hail, winds to 60 mph, 1/2″ to 1″ of rain, and ground to sky lightning. Imagine the attention those warnings got from someone, Me, who is used to seeing fog on the hills as a significant weather occurrence. (If you want to talk earthquakes, that’s another story.) Here are some photos of our incredible Oregon sky taken the past 2 – 3 weeks…and then a little video of a lightning storm (not mine, nor even from an Oregon storm…just a beautiful video.)

What a gorgeous sky!!

What a gorgeous sky!!

Awesome, yet, intimidating!

Awesome, yet, intimidating!

Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!

Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!


Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!

Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!


Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!

Twenty minutes of incredible beauty!

Where Are the Bees??

It took three posts to do it, but I will be caught up-to-date with my garden’s growth chart at the end of this writing..hahahaha.

Water, water, everywhere water….and not a drop to spare. In a cruel twist of irony, this usually rain soaked portion of the Pacific Northwest becomes very, very dry in the two – three heated growing months. A common saying around here is, “Summer starts on July 5th.” From what I have seen, it also marks the end of any kind of rain (this year was about two weeks earlier) until fall. We’re on a well, and with the help of a water storage tank, it produces more than our daily needs. Water use and conservation here or in the Bay Area has always had to be in our thoughts, and habits…drought conditions are not uncommon in California. In par with that, watering the garden has to be adequate, but not over-abundant. To combat this, and maximize the watering, I try to build little mounds and tributaries around where I want the water to flow and stop. Nobody wants a stream running away from their plants. Sometimes I’ll give a shot of water…let it seep into the soil…then repeat several times for one plant just to maximize the concentration of water into one spot. It takes patience.

I’ve been noticing a real lack of honey bees visiting the flowers in waiting. My plants are really huge at this point, they have flowers, but barely a bee. I do have some beautiful gems that have started, and a few larger than that, but it is getting to the point that I might consider “artificial inpollination” (play on words here) to bring more for the harvest….Tony said all I would need is a cotton swab…I don’t know, it seems a little imposing hahaha. I hope they start showing up!!!

Whatever our difficulties, the earth is giving back!! Our plants are beautiful….take a look!! These pictures are the latest taken on July 20th…one month later from yesterday’s post.

Potatoes, Corn and Pumpkins in the background

Potatoes, Corn and Pumpkins in the background

Potatoes, Celery, and Corn... I did not expect the potatoes to get soooo big.

Potatoes, Celery, and Corn… I did not expect the potatoes to get soooo big.

Tomatoes, with Peppers in front

Tomatoes, with Peppers in front

One pot full of Watermelon, and Cantaloupe

One pot full of Watermelon, and Cantaloupe

Gourds in the foreground...Pinto Beans in the background.

Gourds in the foreground…Pinto Beans in the background.

Pumpkins!!  I've never seen pumpkins start out yellow instead of green...

Pumpkins!! I’ve never seen pumpkins start out yellow instead of green…

The strangest pumpkin I've ever seen

The strangest pumpkin I’ve ever seen

Taking my morning trek down to the front gate with Penni, I discovered where the current honey bee hangout has developed….they are all over our wild blackberry bushes!!! Blackberry jam is right around the corner…YAY!!!

The Vegetable Garden That Almost Wasn’t

This year, winter turned to spring really quickly, and weirdly, unexpectedly in our minds. Even though it was late April, temperatures were still dropping really low at night…I think we even got a light frost in early May. Tony had to leave on business for a couple of weeks…we had just entered the month of May. All of a sudden the weather was warmer, and we had NOT set-up the garden at all. In my mind, we were way late…remember, we were used to getting our garden going by Mid-March at the latest in California. I was starting to panic, but I pulled it together…hahahaha…..got out a big shovel and turned the ground over…Tony would have used the tilling implement on the tractor, but it wasn’t attached when he left. At that point it was MUCH easier….more practical…NO WAY was I going to try and get that thing attached.

My second obstacle was the fencing…we have to have protective fencing or nothing will survive. We had 6 wire panels with 2×4 boarders that Tony and my son, Will, had already made that past summer. They would be perfect for a quick set-up…remember, I was in panic mode to get my seeds and tiny sprouts into the ground. The one drawback was that it would greatly reduce the space I would have available to plant….we have 34 acres….my garden would be reduced to a 16’x 8′ rectangle…oh well…at least I’d have great tomatoes!! My son and I attached the panels together, and then I addressed the other issues.

Veggie Garden 2013 – Young, Growing Seedlings

My cute little garden!

My cute little garden!

Just planted!

Just planted!

First of all, the soil….the soil!! We have red, very iron rich dirt…not rich in much else…great for Douglas Fir trees, vegetables, not so much. Last year’s garden was a total Test Garden. We did not improve the soil, at all, on purpose, and it did okay with some help from granulated fertilizer. The tomatoes were delicious, the strawberries did terribly!! This year we chose a different area within the ashes of a burn pile. Mixing all of that into the soil beneath it really broke up the packed, rocky soil and seemed perfect for the potatoes, onions, corn, and celery. We also added pots with traditional bagged soil because the burn pile was not big enough for everything I wanted to plant…… I think we need to call this Test Season #2.

Veggie Garden 2013 – One Month Later (June)…Oh How They’ve Grown

One Month Later...Potatoes, Celery, and Corn

One Month Later…Potatoes, Celery, and Corn


Carrots

Carrots

Gourds...what do you do with gourds??

Gourds…what do you do with gourds??

Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Pumpkins

Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Pumpkins

Tomatoes, Green and Yellow Bell Peppers

Tomatoes, Green and Yellow Bell Peppers

Remembering Our Garden Mistakes of 2012

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2: 15

I’m always amazed when I plant a vegetable garden, and it actually starts to grow. I’m even more amazed when I’m grabbing a basket and plucking the beautiful gifts that garden gives. Can you imagine the preprogramming that is in each and every tiny, tiny seed?? Not only is the Big Guy the Master Gardner, He is the original computer geek…LOL!

I started this post with the mindset that I could get everything caught up about the garden into this one writing. Uuhhmmmm….that is not working too well, so I’m breaking it up. Why I’m saying that and just not doing it…I have no idea!!

I have found that there is a certain timing to planting a vegetable garden up here in Oregon. This has been a learning curve for me. In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, you’re pretty safe getting things into the ground really anytime from late February to mid March. Oregon plays by a different set of rules, I mean, it can be April, and a light frost comes on for a couple of nights damaging your young, delicate crops. Timing is everything. Last year was our first attempt at growing veggies within these conditions….let’s just say I lost most of my garden due to frost, and had to replant. Those things that did fight their way back…like a really brave eggplant, never really produced much….except the potatoes, they did really well.

The Brave Little Eggplant...produced a mutant vegetable after coming back from the late frost of 2012

The Brave Little Eggplant…produced a mutant vegetable after coming back from the late frost of 2012


Our 2012 potato harvest...not bad for hard, rocky soil!!

Our 2012 potato harvest…not bad for hard, rocky soil!!


Example of our 2012 garden

Example of our 2012 garden


Our funny little 2012 carrots..hahaha

Our funny little 2012 carrots..hahaha


Although the 2012 watermelon had reached the full size they were going to grow to...they hadn't ripened when we had to pick them to save what we could from the deer.

Although the 2012 watermelon had reached the full size they were going to grow to…they hadn’t ripened when we had to pick them to save what we could from the deer.

I think the short growing season has created, in me, a better appreciation and thankfulness for the produce that we receive from these plants. Truly, different from gardens past, wherein, the growing season and production times were much longer, I didn’t waste or let lay to waste any of it. I really saw for the first time, the value of what God had provided us from the tiny seeds we planted in the months prior to harvesting. It’s now mid July, 2013, and I’m just starting to see gems of goodness hanging from the vines and limbs (I can’t see what’s under, but I’m imagining with great hope)…looking forward to the coming weeks where I’ve gotten those precious “stones” out of the garden and onto our dinner plates. Now if I can just keep the deer from eating it first…..

The Bell Peppers struggled, and in the end were eaten by deer.

The tiny 2012 Bell Peppers struggled, and in the end were eaten by deer. As you can see, I gave up on trying to keep back the weeds..hahaha


This was the ripest of our 2012 watermelon...

This was the ripest of our 2012 watermelon…


The deer were hungry that night...pumpkin of 2012

The deer were hungry that night…pumpkin of 2012

This year’s garden, 2013, almost didn’t happen. The ground was not tilled, the protective fencing not up, and all of a sudden…winter turned to spring in late April, and we were unprepared. The, Have a Dane Hill Garden 2013, did get in the ground….that story is next…..

A Sad Reality

My next-day post turned into a week later…..the realities of life sometimes get in the way of those things, like writing, that I’d rather be doing.

There are other realities in life that we encounter less frequently (hopefully), but always, when they occur, too often. Before I get to that, I have some updating to attend to.

So obviously, the chickens have continued to grow. Since my last post, the “Fine Wines” have feathered out nicely and have been spending time in the small pen that Tony built for the “Shakespeareans”, aka…the “Untouchables.”

Watching over both broods, Penni is a very busy Mommy!

Watching over both broods, Penni is a very busy Mommy!

For three days, their outdoor run was not in the location you see above.  We had them across the driveway, closer to their brooder inside the garage.  They LOVED the great outdoors, and were very quick to get the idea that they could eat the grass, and bugs under their feet.   Our first group didn’t seem to catch onto this concept quite as fast.  Maybe it’s because they were raised by a Great Dane, and not a hen…hahahaha!  This younger brood has taught us a lot about chicken behavior, and some of the dangers they face.  They just, in all aspects, act more like the typical caricature model of those feathered fowl you see in cartoons.  Younger than our first brood, these “Fine Wines” have scratched the dirt, found that grass is a great substitute to feed, chased bugs, and found a roosting place earlier and with more ease than the “Shakespeareans.”

The Fine Wines decided this was a good place to spend the night!

The Fine Wines decided this was a good place to spend the night!


They don’t really want to be held (unlike Claudio), but have found that it is a necessary evil to getting outside.  There is one exception to this, “not wanting to be held” tendency that I will detail in a bit.

The “Untouchable Shakespearean Four” have settled very nicely into the chicken house. We started out having to coral them at nighttime back to indoor safety around 8:30 to 9:00. The sun hasn’t been setting until about 9:30ish, and since, at this point, we manually close their access door we lose patience around 8:30. One night we waited, and it was so cool…it was about 9:15 p.m…our neighbor’s rooster called out…our little man and ladies lifted their heads and ran straight into their house! It was the most awesome sight!! Once the sun starts setting a little earlier, I’ll have patience to wait for this crew to begin doing that on their own…for right now, we do the nighttime coral dance. =o)

Well, now to get to the title of this post…during the week that we were introducing the “Fine Wines” to life outdoors, we had a real-life homesteading lesson. We left the brood out in their covered pen while we went to dinner. I wasn’t concerned as I had left the older group out many times with no problems…Tony, on the other hand, mentioned that we should bring them in…my thoughts won-over the moment, and we went to town…the 6 glasses of wine stayed out. As we were coming up the driveway back home, a hawk took off from a ground level position…near the outside brooder. I glanced at the six smaller chickens…they seemed ok. My concern was mostly on the older four, their outdoor pen is not top covered….they were not outside. Taking a peek into the chicken house, my fears were quelled…they were all there, but they didn’t come out to greet me. Something scary must have happened.

My attention then turned back to the “Fine Wines”…they were all grouped together in one corner of the pen, except one…it was laying, crumpled against the side of the pen…the opposite side of the pen. I thought, “Oh no!!” And within the few seconds it took for me to get to the brood, the additional thoughts that went through my head were…”Which one is it? I think it’s going to be the rooster…he’d try to protect the girls…he always does…Oh no is it Gretchen?” By the time I formed that last question, I realized that it WAS Gretchen….he was dead.

Little Getchen.....the rooster.

Little Getchen…..the rooster.


The little hen who would be a rooster!!

The little hen who would be a rooster!!

Our imagination tells us that Gretchen (the Rooster) must have run forward in front of the flock to protect them. Even though he was still so young, Gretchen always put himself in front of the girls when he sensed something. The hawk must have grabbed him through the wire mesh wall. It was very sad, and it was a very good lesson of true nature…it is all around us up here in Oregon. We have less of a threat of the artificial dangers such as animals being hit by cars, but a more prominent possibility of predators. This requires a different level of thinking and planning. We’re still figuring it out…like the fact that we now put a cat carrier into the outdoor pen so these little ladies and gentlemen have a place to run to for protection.

Do you remember me saying that the younger brood of 6 (now 5) do not like to be held….well, the night of the hawk made things a little different. Those little glasses of wine stood absolutely still while we picked them up to move them inside. They actually relaxed into the crevice of my arm and almost all of them closed their eyes as I walked them back to their home. They were scared, and exhausted. Huddling together, they ate, got a drink of water, then huddled together and took a good sleep. They were somewhat quiet for a little over a day, but something really cool started to emerge….we had a new little rooster. Up to that point I hadn’t noticed that we had two, except for a little “chest pounding” by Gretchen and this little one….welcome to the cockerel section, little Merlot!!

This little guy stepped up to the plate after Gretchen died.

This little guy stepped up to the plate after Gretchen died.

My concern now….will little Merlot be big enough to stand up to Benedict if necessary? Hmmmmm……..

From Brooder to Chicken House

Still catching up….

About 10 days ago, we moved our 4 “untouchables” to their new home…the lavishly designed chicken house. Who are the 4 “untouchables” you ask, and why am I calling them that??  They are the 4 originals…the 4 amigos (although 3 are amigas)…the 4 never to be seen on a dinner plate, soon to be leg banded so no mistakes, named after Shakespeare’s, “Much Ado About Nothing”  male character roles even though 3 are hens, first brood of chickens our family has ever raised.  I feel very parental over these fine, feathered friends!!

Benedict (the rooster), Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro - The 4 "Originals"

Benedict (the rooster), Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro – The 4 “Originals”

Don John, and Don Pedro

Don John, and Don Pedro

Claudio

Claudio

Penni, our Great Dane, must have been a little concerned too.  She HAD to get into the chicken house and count her babies.  As soon as she found everyone accounted for, she relaxed and left the newly designed home with her approval.  She hasn’t needed to get in there since, so I guess everything checked out to her liking… ;O)

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.

Making sure all is right with her little puppy-chicks.

June 26, 2013 087 June 26, 2013 090 June 26, 2013 094 June 26, 2013 097 June 26, 2013 101

Their first night out of the brooder in the garage was a rough one….for me!  I worried all night about raccoons or coyotes, were they warm enough, did they have enough light filtering in from the outside shop light.  I had read that chickens like some sort of dim light in their house…that they are scared of the dark…really???  So I worried that they were cold, afraid, and vulnerable……am I the only one who thinks this way??

I think this is what you get when you move from city life to country life….an over exaggerated tendency to want to keep everything under your own roof to keep it safe.  Maybe it stems from always needing to know where your animals are when you live in the city.  If they are not within earshot or sight, they are at risk for getting hit by a car, picked up by animal control, or barking too loudly and disturbing neighbors.  Dogs must always be leashed, confined, and controlled….cats, although given a bit more freedom, better not be choosing a neighbors freshly dug garden as an area of interest or they risk mysteriously disappearing.  Always, always know what your pets are doing….since I have not been removed from that reality for very long, I am still working my way around the city confinement vs. being able to stretch the boundaries a bit more.  I’m trying not to view the chickens as pets….but I think I have lost that battle with the 4 “originals.”

Me and my buddy, Claudio!!

Me and my buddy, Claudio!!

Despite my worrying, the chickens have done well.  The last couple of nights have been cooler than I’m comfortable with since they don’t have any type of heat source.  A light bulb or the heat lamp may be something we add today.  I’ve read varying advice on that.  These 4 are not of egg laying age, and although feathered out nicely, they don’t yet have the body fat (I’m guessing here) to keep them as warm as they should be.  I am not sure if that is true or not.  But they are not yet roosting, and they huddle together on the floor in a corner during the night…that tells me that they are a bit cold.  I’m not okay with that, so we’ll see what we can do today.  If anyone has insight of this, I’d be happy to get your advice!!  The chicken house is not wired so we’ll have to run an extension cord…hhmmmm.  I’ll have to figure out how to get an extension cord through a wooden wall…I may have to drill a hole…..sorry Tony!!!

First time contemplating walking down the ramp to the great outdoors.

First time contemplating walking down the ramp to the great outdoors.

They made it!!

They made it!!

I'm not sure why we thought closing the chicken door was a good idea.

I’m not sure why we thought closing the chicken door was a good idea.

Stay tuned…..the “fine wines” have had a little adventure of their own….but that’s for tomorrow!!

 

 

 

Of Chickens and Dogs

A little behind in my posting….

In May we took the plunge and welcomed not one, but two broods of little chicks (4 and then two weeks later 6 more) into our home.  I say, “our home” because as is the case with any animal we welcome in, they end up being a permanent fixture within our home.  Picture 10 tiny chickens running to and fro, fluttering around as if their soft, downy feathers could sustain flight.  Imagine the family of people, dogs, cats, and chickens all living in harmony under one roof.  Imagine the chaos….can you see it???

Wait a minute….is this for real….who lives like this???  Uhhmmm….isn’t that how it’s done??  We’ve never raised chickens (okay, Tony’s dad had a chicken or two in the backyard when he was young.)  Don’t they get cold??  What do they like to lie-down on??  Do you just throw food around for them…what about grit….can they eat lettuce…what about corn??  How old do they have to be before they can go outside….will they run away…should we build a coop or buy one…when do they start laying eggs??  Wait…what???  These little ladies (and maybe gentlemen) poop….ALOT!!

Benedict, Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro

Benedict, Claudio, Don John, and Don Pedro

Merlot, Sangria, Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne, and Gretchen

Merlot, Sangria, Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne, and Gretchen

So we (no…let’s be more specific) I had a lot of questions.  I saw little yellow Buff Orpington chicks, and tiny rust colored Rhode Island Red chicks looking up at me, and my heart melted.  All of a sudden they were dependent on us to feed, water, clean, protect, and provide shelter….how could your heart not melt? Remember, I’m a city girl gone to the country.  You eat things from the grocery store, NOT that you raise from “babyhood.”  To me, these little girls (and guys?) are pets with benefits, namely fresh eggs.  Tony hauntingly looks at me, blinking kindly and says, “We won’t touch the original 4, the rest lay eggs for awhile then into the pot.”  I laugh, and talk about how cute they are, brushing his cute, nonsensical comments aside as a  little blonde chick falls asleep in the palm of my hand.  So….into the house they came….well, that is….under the same roof.  Okay….into the garage within a make-shift brooder made from a  small white cabinet.

Brooder #1

As they grew, I transformed a, yet unfinished, dog bath that Tony was building….it has been PERFECT for that “in-between”  stage.

The chicks grew fast, and needed more space.

The chicks grew fast, and needed more space.

So, where do the dogs come in???  I think it is probably more appropriate to say, “DOG.”  One big, Penni dog who thinks she is Mommy to this little brood of chick-a-dees.  Now don’t get me wrong, there are 3 really curious doggies at the farm (can I legitimately say, “farm” now that we have chickens??), and they are just not sure what these fluffy peepers really are.  However, the big, Penni dog has set the premise that NO ONE messes with “HER” puppy-chicks…Karli and Tucker are listening.  After a couple of scuffles over territorial rights surrounding the perimeter of the brooders…the big, Penni dog keeps close track of what her brooder babies are doing.  The real question is….is she protective over them because they are her “babies” or because they are future meals….hhhhmmmmm.

What's in There?

Whew!...It's much easier keeping track of everyone now that they are all in one place.

It’s much easier keeping track of everyone now that they are all in one place.

Are You My Mother??

Are You My Mother??

Usually separated by a short wall, we bring them together a little bit each day.

Usually separated by a short wall, we bring them together a little bit each day.

Stay tuned…more adventures to come…..!!!

The Silence is Broken

I can’t believe how much time has passed since my last post.  More and more I am realizing how fast life zooms by, and how events of the days that pass envelope my time and push many of my passions to the side.  No doubt, life is busy.

Writing is a passion of mine.  When I make the time to sit down and start writing, everything else around me kind of fades away.  It is good therapy, and I find, especially in times of difficulty, writing becomes my escape.  I want to write beyond that….I want to make the time to follow my passions.  Some, I have no choice….if I didn’t allow time for those furry feet, I’d have a canine mutiny on my hands….this is a good reminder to me.  My dogs are living, breathing passions that demand attention….my writing waits, silently until I say it is time.  It is time!

So now that the silence is broken, there is much to write…much to catch up on.  A lot has happened on this quasi homesteading-meets-digital-age journey of ours.  It’s a mix of two worlds that bring an interesting flavor to life.  The concrete, hyperbole world of Silicon Valley is so ever present in our thoughts, our viewpoints….but the world in which we actually live is heavy in nature, and simplicity.  We have the option of making our lives  complicated, technological, or green, rich in God’s creation.  There is a merging of sorts, a need to find the balance….the debate…..homesteading, completely sufficient unto ourselves, or career focused with the ability to come home and enjoy nature in the evenings and on the weekends.  The really big question……WHERE IS A GOOD CHINESE FOOD RESTAURANT AROUND HERE???  I have yet to find it…..the journey continues.

Tag Cloud

Have-a-Dane Hill Danes

Raising dogs in the classic, old-school Great Dane style.

Our French Oasis

FAMILY LIFE IN A FRENCH COUNTRY VILLAGE

House by the water.

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Chantel Mickaela

ITS TIME FOR YOU TO BE HUNGRAY !!!

The Little Green Spoon

The Healthy Irish Kitchen

A Bright Ray of Hope

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Willow Creek Farm

High Altitude Homesteading

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