Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Oregon’

A Farming Mindset

May 2016

It’s times like this that I feel like we are actually doing this.  By this, I mean farming, ranching, homesteading…whatever label you wish to attach to it.  I am reluctant, almost embarrassed to call ourselves, or what we do any of these titles.  I have so much “city” engraved in every part of me that I cannot shake the feeling that although my soul lives and breathes here on these forested acres, I don’t quite belong here.  I’m a misfit to this beautiful land that I meld into with every piece of me; I don’t have the knowledge it deserves.  I don’t know how to do the farming things that I really want to do here.  My feet have been girded in concrete for all of my life (well except for the sand of the awesome CA beaches) but this dirt, this dirt that holds so much potential and promise is a mystery to me. (more…)

Move That Hen House

Some days the task is huge….and heavy…..and awkward.  Enter the need for the relocation of the hen house.

Benedict's Bungalow 2015

Tony built the house on skids for just this occasion, but once again, this is not your average chicken coop.  It is large for a chicken enclosure …. 8 ft by 10 ft by 12 ft tall — it is heavy ….. built with full, heavy lumber, fully insulated, tar shingles, and a porch — awkward….something this large does not move without a lot of ingenuity.

Benedict's Bungalow 2015

Why move a large, stationary, unyielding object such as this?  The flock seemed “just okay” with their house.  It was consistently shady, and dark.  Many of the hens sought out alternate places to lay their eggs.  They seemed to tolerate their home, but they didn’t love their home…hahah….as I write this, I do realize how ….quirky that sounds, but it’s true!!


Other than that, we really want to control the chicken poop in the people living areas.  They are all over the place, and I want them off of my porch, in front of my car doors, and where my dogs run.  They are going to live in the pasture with the goats.


The real story here, though, is in the process of moving this small, but large out-building.  The video below is just that.  It took a few hours, but it did eventually get to it’s intended spot.

Thankfully, the move was successful, and no one got injured. This project actually took place a couple of weeks ago, and I am happy to report that the hens are happy again!!  They are speaking loud and clear with an abundance of eggs….inside the nesting boxes….and now two broody hens!!  What more can you ask of a Saturday!!


Thank you for visiting the farm today.  I hope your day is filled with the beauty, and warmth of spring

Your friend from Oregon,



Did I mention Barns?

September 2014

Barns can be addicting….seriously.  They are these structures that hold an amazing amount of potential….a big empty space…..a blank canvas….interior walls that are moveable and forever interchangeable.  The older the better.  They hold a history of past lives from a simpler time.  They protect and grow the very animals that sustain those of whom share the soil from which their sustenance grows.  Mud stained wooden walls point to where animals lived….they are a thing of beauty.  Our main barn was probably built in the late 80’s…not terribly old, but still holds a history.  I feel it….I think about it every time I walk into it….the evidence is clear.

September 2014

Tony is our resident builder.  He, amazingly, takes pieces of wood, measures, cuts, and nails them all together.  He places each piece of the puzzle squarely in place….and it fits!  He is so multi-talented, I think he can do anything…..Tony for President!!!  Do you think I’m kidding??  Not at all….this country could use someone in the white house who understands a few callouses on your hands and dirt under your nails is good and healthy.  No more politicians running this country….let’s get true, working Americans into those offices!!  Okay, off my soapbox…..back to barns.

February 2016

Question…does size matter when it comes to building a barn??  Seriously, how do you determine if a structure is a shed, a little house, a coop, or a small barn?  Is there a standard dimension that says this is a chicken house, rather than this is a chicken barn?  How about a goat house vs. a goat barn? It’s a dilemma, it truly is.  I want to get the verbiage right, and sometimes in one sentence I will call an enclosure a house, a coop, and a barn….never really knowing what the heck is right.  I mean….I don’t want to sound like a rookie….a farm rookie, but I so am!!

February 2016

So Tony recently, over the last few months, built a barn to add to his collection, starting with the starter hen house that doubled as the kid’s (goat kids not people kids) first home, graduating to a larger chicken house.   The hoofed trio had rather cramped quarters this past winter, and now that the sun is out more often, they not only get to stretch their legs outside, but inside as well.

February 2016

As the barn was being raised, I offered a different use for the new, solid structure.  I mean, really, do a bunch of goats truly need such a beautifully constructed building.  They will poop and pee in it…they will ram the walls, walk in with muddy feet, and cause much mayhem within those walls.  I, on the other hand, could design a beautiful guest cabin with a structure like that.  Heck…it even has a loft!!

April 2016

Think of the potential!!  But alas, the little herd won out….and rightly so – I – guess!  Look at me, jealous of a goat…or three in this case.  But it’s a really beautiful little barn.

The people space to the left.

The people space to the left.

Since the picture above, Tony added two window cut outs covered by wire mesh along that wall for better ventilation.

The livestock space to the right.

The livestock space to the right.

I think it needs a good coat of paint…what color would you paint it?

The door on the left is for people, the door on the right for goats.

The door on the left is for people, the door on the right for goats.

Once the goats are in pasture, we can open that gate on the left all the way to the poles on the right blocking out the herd.  Very beneficial for cleaning without three sets of horns trying to participate.  Goats are like dogs in a lot of ways, but in other ways, they are all goat….big, undisciplined, obnoxious goats that like attention and treats…and if you don’t offer it to them, they will take it…one way or another!  At the same time, they are incredibly lovable!

They are definitely good little Whethers!!

Lots going on…it’s that time of year.  Thank you for visiting today!!

Your friend from Oregon,



#smallbarns  #okaytheydeserveit


The B’s Have It!!

B stands for bumble, and honey……hornets, and wasps….they are alive and very, very active.   Last week, we had a moment of warmth.  The temps rose to the low 80’s and those flying things that carry stingers came out to play.  The first on the list, bumble and honey, are my favorites….I don’t fear them at all.  They have my permission fly around me, and we all live in perfect harmony.

Mason Bees

Their friendly counterpart, mason bees, (above) are also on that list of welcomed pollinators….they are so cute.



However, the hornets and wasps are unwelcome in my little world.  Seriously, who wants them around?  As the warm weather continues, and they become abundant, they make it almost impossible to enjoy a summer picnic or meal outside.  I know they are beneficial to keep pests at bay….but really, I’ll take a few more flies in exchange for less or these aggressive predators.  In preparation for the warmth we saw coming, Tony hung up the hornet/wasp traps, seven of them surrounding the 5 acres we do most of our living on, a few days before the queens came out from their winter hiding places.  This has truly worked to manage our wasp population…capture the queens, and soldiers can’t exist.  Still, some manage to escape the attraction of the pheromones within the bright, yellow coffins…..that’s okay……we will capture your soldiers!!!  BWAHAHAHAHA

B stands for blackberries.  I am so excited!!!  I cannot wait for these beautiful gems…..

Blackberries 2015

…..my affections for them go way back.  When I was growing up in the SF Bay Area, we would go visit my grandma and grandpa in the north eastern hills of California.  They lived in a couple of different places, but always, there were blackberry bushes that they would pick from.  Those poignant thoughts of jams, and cobblers, and fresh picked berries from summers, and Christmas gifts with my grandparents, are fast in my memories.  The blackberries I harvest from our vines taste even that much more delicious because of it.

Blackberries 2015

I have two main wild vines that I take the time to prune, and baby along.  Yesterday was pruning day.  I wear gloves that go up my forearms, and long sleeves, but still, the thorns find skin.  I tore little holes in my shirt, and my fingers were quite sore last night, but it is all totally worth it.

April 2016

The vine above is smaller, and younger….it gives the more delicious fruit of the two.



This, older woodier vine gives more volume, but the fruit is seedier.  Not a problem for jam since I strain out the seeds…a little less desirable for cobbler.  I only prune this vine as far as I can lean in and reach with the shears….that is also how I harvest this bush…minus the shears.



It’s a harsh briar, with a cherry tree growing up right in the middle, and is good for leaving fruit for the birds and deer.  I also leave a lot of thorny, older wood at the bottom because little quail families like to hide out in there.

The aftermath... 1 of 2

The aftermath… 1 of 2

It’s all about balance….we love the wildlife, they are welcome here.

B also stands for barns….but that’s another story.

Thank you for visiting the wilds of the farm today.  I enjoy spending time with you!

Your friend from Oregon,


#wildblackberriesoforegon  #pruningwildblackberrybushes  #howdoyougetridofwasps



Where Do We Go From Here

March 2016

Things are always moving, changing, rolling forward on this farm / forest homestead, yet so much of it repeats in a cyclical, seasonal way.   These things never really repeat the same way, but I get caught up in the thought of, “Well I’ve already written about that.”   I am so appreciative of my Readers!  I am so amazed that people actually read the words that I add to these pages….Thank you!!

March 2016

I am a dreamer.  I dream about things we could accomplish with this land.  I dream about how I can be a good steward of the environment, and nature while growing life…ours, the animals (wild, livestock, and pets) while we change the satellite view of the landscape from out in space.  More than anything, I dream about how I can share this land, this beautiful, beautiful land with those who would visit, in person and those virtually by means of this blog.  From the first time we stepped foot here, I knew it wasn’t just ours….it was meant to be shared.  I feel close to God here…His creation is everywhere….my heart is for others to feel that too…I can’t escape it.

March 2016

So here is my question….”Where do we go from here?”  I believe that whatever it is, it must serve our community, in some way.  I can think of at least a dozen ways to do that, the problem is taking the leap and making it happen.  Going past my fears and into the greater good.  So my goal is to decide on a path, and go forward….that is what I am praying about, that is where my mind has been for the last several months.  I get stuck….I think about how these ideas may negatively impact my neighbors, and how I can mitigate and lessen that.  Realizing that there are acres in between us, I have to get out of the mind set of my 40 plus years from birth of living in the city….although sound does carry, I do not have a neighbor’s home 20 feet from my own anymore.  Anyway, I have to start thinking more about the good I can accomplish than the hurdles I may need to jump.

March 2016

So, beyond the farm / forest updates, I hope you will come along with me….as we explore where the road, and the Lord may take us in this journey.  I hope to update you on the struggles, decision making, and progress that occurs….and I’m thinking if I put it out there on this forum, it will compel me to keep moving my feet forward.  How about it?  Will you go on this journey with me?

March 2016

I hope to walk the miles with you all…..we can chat and enjoy each others’ company along the way!!  Will you come with me?

Thank you for visiting the farm today.  Many updates await, and I invite your input…I don’t want to take this journey alone.  Please LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT….it will be fun to hear from you!!

March 2016

Your friend from Oregon,


#farmingideasinoregon  #whatcanidowithmyfarm  #iliveinaforest  #homesteadingideasinoregon  #iwantotgrowmyfarm  #elkinoregon

A Touch of Spri……..

“A Touch of Spri…….”, unfortunately, I cannot finish that last word.  That word which in its very nature speaks of growth, vibrancy, and warmth  accentuating the season of  hope …..hope for the future…..the future of wonderful delicacies from one’s own garden, Saturday (or in my little town, Thursday) bounty markets,

Harvest 2014

sunbaths in the warmth of the sun….cool, glistening, ice filled glasses full of thirst quenching refreshments.  Ahhhhhhh, yes!!  The promise of Spri……

June 2014

Why, you may ask, am I finding it difficult to fully utter that word which elicits excitement found not only in the hearts of so many, but in the lives of all of nature?

I don't know what the rainbow-esq illumination is in this picutre...

I don’t know what the rainbow-esq illumination is in this picutre…

Maybe it is a result of winter’s, seemingly cruel dance of allowing a moment, seriously just a moment of spri….. – like weather, only to abruptly grab it back in a selfish child-like attitude….screaming, “It’s mine!!”

March 2016

It was a beautiful moment……it happened this past Thursday afternoon…..

March 2016

…….nature was dancing…..frolicking…..awakening!!  It was a magical moment….and it disappeared as fast as it arrived.  Since then, winter, as mild as it has been this year, has strengthened its grip for awhile longer.  There is rain in the forecast for the next four days, a continuation of something like fifteen days of rain we’ve already had…..hey, you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’re going to get rained on….a lot….except in the summer, but SHHHHHHH…..that’s a secret!!!  It’s actually grey and rainy all year round…..right??!!  😉

March 2016

In lower elevations, the cherry blossoms are in bloom….so beautiful!!

March 2016

I think our State’s Capitol gardens are really beautiful…..Oregon is beautiful!!

March 2016

Larry, Curly, and Mo (aka Montana, Clark, and Lott) wanted to give you an update of their wool debriding……








…..hahahaha!!!  Aren’t they amazing??!!!!!

Thank you for visiting our little slice of Oregon.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

Your friend from Oregon,


Claudio / Goats & Christmas Trees

A bit of sad news on the farm (but keep reading, it gets better)…..


Claudio, the Buff Orphington on the right.

……Our little hen, Claudio, went to the big farm in Heaven.  She had been ailing a bit for a couple of months.  We came really, really close to ending her rein as the Matriarch of the hen house a little over a month ago, but I brought her into the little “resting” enclosure we have in the garage, let her warm up and rest for a few days away from the flock, cleaned her up and she was better….slower than normal, but she liked to eat, walk around, and hung with the flock….but she was slow.

IMG_4706 2

Claudio, the one and only true Buff Orphington hen on the farm.

We kept a close eye on her….and apparently so did our resident hawk.  Seeing the vulnerability of our little Claudio, the hawk saw an opportunity.  I’m sorry, little Claudio…you and I had some great conversations….she was the talker of the hen house.

IMG_4293 - Version 2

“Are you listening to me?”  “Always, Claudio, always.  RIP my little friend.”

On a lighter note…..


The other day, my brother, Steve, text’d me and asked if I knew that goats like to eat Christmas trees.   There were news reports down in the Bay Area about goats eating Christmas trees…..I think it is hysterical that this would be a news worthy item…HAHAHAHA!!  I’m not laughing at my brother….maybe a little…..I love you, brother!!!


Anyway….it was ironic that he contacted me about this  because, litereally, I was forming my thoughts for this post, and just a couple of days before I video’d my goats……chomping down on our Christmas tree!!

It didn’t surprise me that they would like the Christmas trees….they had already attacked the wreath on our door.   Even as young little sprouts, they showed their affinity for fir trees by seeking out the low limbs of our Douglas Fir trees.  It was weird though….put in the context of chomping on our CHRISTMAS TREE….the revelation seemed new, and magical.


I love my little herd.  They are so cute, and fluffy, and chunky!!

Happy Sunday!!  Thank you so much for spending part of your day with me.

Your friend from Oregon,


Please visit my other site….  http://www.haveadanehilldanes.com



And the Pond Floweth

After months of the absence of a mist, a “spit”, or even a mere drop of rain the flood gates (literally) have opened.  Beyond the sogginess, and slight inconvenience this might prove for our farm chores (more than slight if you poll the goats) there is a real concern of flooding, road closures, sudden gaping sink holes, and landslides.  Our prayers are with those in Oregon and Washington who may be affected by these types of events.


So far, with the exception of some low-lying street flooding, our town has fared pretty well.  The wonderfulness that the rain brings to our little homestead is the freshness, and running of the pond.  The cold weather ducks that stay around for the winter, are enjoying it too.

If you have a couple of minutes, please enjoy the video below….it’s always a welcome sight when the pond starts flowing again.

Thank you for visiting our water-logged homestead today.  I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami     http://haveadanehilldanes.com

Goats and Rain

November 2015

The rains have returned.

November 2015

It is suddenly that time of year in which the ever-present dampness of the Pacific Northwest permeates every outdoor surface.  Everything just looks like it has gotten a good soaking.  It takes….mmmmmm….maybe a day to get used to then it’s, “Oh yeah, I remember how to do this” and you fall right back into the fervent control of …..wet and muddy things.

November 2015

So, although the dampness of later fall is quite familiar, there is a big question lingering….well, actually there are three questions lingering…..

November 2015

Larry, Curly, and Mo …… (Montana, Clark and Lott are their real names…they just act like the Three Stooges sometimes…hahaha.)  We have not gone through a rainy season with hoofed livestock before this year.  One thing I can tell you is goats do NOT like being rained on.  As soon as they detect drops falling, no matter how lightly, they head for their shelter.  Their motto… “Don’t be the last guy in” cause the 1st or 2nd guy might be standing in the doorway blocking the way in.  When that happens it’s quite the pathetic scene.  Picture a sad looking goat standing outside the doorway….naying a sad, “Naaaaaaaaaa”…..

November 2015

……while sprinkles of water accumulate across his fluffy winter coat… all the while looking at you like, “Can’t you do something here?”  In the meantime, nice-and-dry brother goat stands smack dab in the doorway….looking out at you….staring at you while chewing, chewing, chewing, and in you’re mind you know he’s saying something profound like, “What?”

November 2015

So, yes, the lazy days of summer have truly passed.  The late fall lesson that I have to learn is definitely how to manage goats during the rainy seasons of Oregon.  They are spending more time in their enclosure…..I like the guys to have a clean dry covering of straw for the night since we close them in at dusk, and there is a certain timing to that especially when it is raining.  The challenge….getting the goats out of their house while cleaning/adding dry straw, clean water, and grain for the night…..while it’s raining on top of these fluffy boys that do NOT like to be out in the rain.  Sometimes it is chaotic, and comical.  Never a dull moment!!

November 2015

The air is crisp, cold, and fresh….the dry yellows have disappeared, giving way to green once again.  I love this time of year…..

November 2015

…..these beauties seem to, as well.

Thank you for visiting the farm on this cool, rainy, November day!  I hope your day is completely awesome!!

Your friend from Oregon,


Where’d It Go??

Sometimes I look out the window and ask, “Where’d it go??”  I’m talking about the water, and more specifically, the pond.

March 2015

Our pond is a year-round pond.  It lowers in the summer, but never goes dry.  This year, however, the pond has been really challenged.  The water is so amazingly low.

August 2015

I took this picture from the point at which the water usually sits, during the time of year that it is at it’s fullest.  You can totally see the ridge level in the picture above.

August 2105

I feel for the numerous frogs that call our, what is currently a big puddle,” home.”

August 2015

They seem to be doing okay, but for sure, Frog Town, must be crowded as their environment continues to shrink.  I’m sure the great blue heron that visits the muddy banks is not unhappy, and is getting a belly full of those delicious frog legs he so enjoys!

August 2015 Heron TracksThese tracks are courtesy of that great blue heron!!

It is fun to walk along the banks and find what has been visiting the water…..

August 2015…..kitty paws……

August 2015…..deer tracks….

August 2015…and deer on the field cam…..

August 2015…..and racoon tracks….

August 2015…..with a racoon caught on camera.

And then there are those items one might find as the water recedes….

August 2015….a sun dried newt….

September 2014….sometimes you might find old, metal, mixing bowls…..

August 2015….or how about an old jawbone from an elk…at least I think it’s an elk…too big for a deer…..maybe a sasquatch???

In any event, the hope of a fuller pond is on the horizon…and so is fall.  We’ve had significant rainfall the last 2 days..YAY…not a lot on the horizon, YET!!  Looking forward to a fresh, full pond.

IMG_4457Thank you for visiting the forest today.  May your day be full of goodness, and the weather that you enjoy!!  Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,


The Skies Have It!!

If you are living anywhere considered within the western states….I think it’s safe to say, basically….you have been on fire, or benn breathing the results of the many, many fires filling the air with the smells of a huge campfire….


The blue skies of Oregon…

September 2014

…have turned into a blanket of grey….

Smokey August 2015

….and although the picture doesn’t show it well, the smoke lays lightly low within the trees.  Thankfully, for our homestead, the fires are not threatening our surrounding forests.  Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been evacuated, or may soon have to leave their homes.

August 2015

Smokey August 2014

The sunsets have been erily beautiful.

The smoke has also created a cover for airborne predators….the kind with sharp beaks and talons….the kind that pluck young, feathered friends up off the ground, and carry them away.  We’ve had two attempted hawk attacks on our young flock within the past three days.  Thankfully, the juveniles are getting their feet accustomed to the great outdoors in a safe environment….

August 2015August 2015 IMG_0535…this is what you call the awkward, in-between stage!!  hahaha!

In both instances, the hawk did not perceive the chicken wire are a barrier and rammed right into it with talons blazing.  One tussled with the wire mesh, trying to find an opening, or create one….the other immediately flew up into the tree adjacent to the flock’s enclosure.  In both cases, the hawks flew in with a stealthy silence, minus a forewarning shadow due to the haze of smoke.  Outside of their enclosure, these, Littles ,would not have stood a chance…..

August 2015

The good news……

August 2015

…..my blues skies of Oregon have returned…

August 2015

….Mama Chardonnay, hatched two little chicks (they’re still playing hide-n-seek at this point)….

August 2015

…we harvested the most delicious watermelon EVER!!……

August 2015

…and these little beautiful Chardonnay gems from our new vines, give us hope for the future.  I can’t wait to grow enough to actually make our own mead wine.  Next year??

Hey, thank you for visiting today!!   I hope your day ahead, or the one behind is or has been MAHVALOUS!!

Your friend from Oregon,


Poop Happens

Some days….my life seems like it’s all about the poop.  Seriously….when you have multiple animals, you’ve got to stay on top of it…hahaha!

March 2014

I recently discovered an amazing way to stay on top of the incredible nightly chicken house poop accumulation.  No joke….they sleep and poop, poop and sleep….at the same time….in huge amounts.  I try not to capture the results of their evening….activities…..when I post pictures because…welll….who really wants to see that??!!  (Sorry about the picture above.)

June 2014

I’ve tried to manage it all with pine shavings, works pretty well….straw (never again will I use straw) Creepy Crawlies….YUCK! …. and dusting the floor with DE (livestock food grade diatomaceous earth.)  Shavings, and straw are very labor intensive when it’s time to clean, and there is a point where the production of ammonia  is just inevitable….so whether it was on your schedule that day to muck out the hen house….if you start detecting ammonia….cleaning day moves to the top of the chore list.  DE floor dusting (very thin layer) actually worked pretty well….it dried out the droppings pretty well.  The most difficult things with this method were the “splat” factor, resulting in the need scrape the floor a bit.  Other than that, things generally cleaned up with a shovel and a broom.

June 2014

Then….I found this……

Amazing idea!!!  So, Tony decided to build it!!

July 2015

It didn’t take too much convincing……

July 2015

Although our local farm store did not carry the Sweet PDZ granules that the Pintrest poster spoke of….this product…

July 2014

…has very similar ingredients, and works amazingly!!  Seriously…I feel like my life has been liberated from the drudge of the frequent mucking out of the chicken house!!!  I’m a happy, Tami!!!

July 2015

Literally, I take a cat litter box scooper, and scoop the poop right out of the poop tray!!  The effort is so minimal its amazing (ok…I know I’ve used that word several times this post, but it actually is AMAZING!!)  The beauty of this product is that it has the benefit of DE which will eliminate any fly that lands in the poop box (DE dries out their exoskeleton, and dun, dun, dun, no more fly) yet, it is not as lightly powered so there is not near as much dust.  I’m so excited!!

July 2015

So now, besides cleaning out the nesting boxes, and adding clean bedding….my mucking days are over!!!  YES!!!

July 2015

Oh, wait…. <sigh> ….. I forgot about the kids’ house!!!

June 2015

Hahaha…well once the barn gets built….the tractor will help with that chore…I hope!!

Thank you for visiting the hen house today!!

Your friend from Oregon,


Tracks in the Mud

I hope all within the United States of America had a wonderful Independence Day weekend……Happy Birthday to our beautiful country!!


What do you think made this…..

July 2015

…..impressions in the mud surrounding the pond?  If you guessed racoon for the tracks on the right, I think there is a very fair bet that you are right!!  The tracks on the left, however, are not as apparent.  These tracks were part of the results of our great expedition in search of creatures unknown….creatures who make odd, foreboding sounds in the forest….creatures that….oh well, if you don’t know what I’m talking about…take a look at my previous post.. What Was That??!!!

July 2015

We searched high and low, with Penni ‘s nose leading the way, but found nothing.  Nothing, that is, until we reached the pond.  TRACKS!!  Due to the unusually high temps surrounding most of the month of June, and into July…and the lack of rain….our pond has receded a lot already this year, leaving a good muddy base to capture a picture of those that visit for a quick refresher.

July 2015

Tracks are very difficult to capture in time…especially when one is using a cell phone as camera…but these are big impressions….and without a marker….I think they appear bigger in the picture than at the site, but they are large, none-the-less, large….and probably somewhat spread out due to the soft mud.

Captured from http://www.bear-tracker.com/coyote.html  This is a really cool site to check out with a lot of good info.

Captured from http://www.bear-tracker.com/coyote.html This is a really cool site to check out with a lot of good info.

The picture above, captured from http://www.bear-tracker.com/coyote.html is the closest example that I can find.  Both have suttle nail impressions, indicating a canine paw rather than a big cat paw…..

…..such as the cougar track above from http://www.bear-tracker.com/cougar.html.  You can see how much wider the “palm” pad is from the cougar track, as compared to the coyote track.

July 2015

Although, I’m fairly certain the sounds just before dawn on the early morning of July 2, 2015 are not related to the tracks we found in the mud of the pond, I am reminded that this place wherein we have created a home…a small farm…is actually home to so many others.  We are truly living within a forest, and the creatures of this forest are sharing their home with us.  Most of the time, although on the same land, we live in very different worlds….however, I suspect that they know our activities much more than we know theirs.  Also, we have water around us…in the pond, and in the creek…..with the unusually early, dry conditions this summer the critters are getting thirsty….something to remember.

July 2015

Thank you for visiting the forest today.  Have a great day!!

Your friend from Oregon,



June 2015

Many of my friends know of the, WHAT WAS THAT, moment of my day today.  It started around 4:15 a.m….the sounds were odd…really odd.  They were coming from the bottom of the gentle hillside leading away from our goat enclosure.  Penni, our great dane, was the first to hear and react.  The hackles along her spine were raised, creating a dark, rust colored line extending from her shoulders to the base of her tail.  I crawled out of bed, sat, and listened for more.  WHAT WAS THAT??!!

July 2015

By this time all the dogs on the properties around us were sounding the alarm, yet the noise continued.  Hard to explain, the was a hollow, somewhat high pitched cry….not quite a howl, not quite a scream.


The most concerning was the long, low grumble of deep, throated growl.  Ok…it was clear…it was definitely something of the carnivore persuasion.


As soon as I could, I googled sounds, and most of the day, though that it must have been a cougar, aka mountain lion.  However, I found the bobcat sounds this afternoon, and truly believe it was a bobcat.

Yeah kind of spooky.  We’ve yet to go exploring to find what we might find, but I’ll keep you posted.  And, yes, these guys and gals…

June 2015June 2015

…were all locked up tightly for the night….although, they did seem a bit trepidatious  stepping out into the big, bold world this morning…they seem to be fine this afternoon.

Okay….I’ll keep you posted!!  I definitely need more of these…..

Penni, the Great Dane

Penni, the Great Dane

….running about the place!!

Thanks for visiting the forest today….definitely a day in the forest!!  Stay safe out there!!

Your friend from Oregon,



A Study in White

Time for a study in color.  Last year’s choice was … A Study in Purple  This year we are looking at….

June 2015

In nature, the color white is found quite prolifically, especially in springtime.  In psychology, the color white has many meanings…. “In color psychology white is the color of new beginnings, wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive.”    The article from this website also suggests, “Too much white can cause feelings of isolation and emptiness; it can be too pristine and immaculate, making you feel as though you can’t make a move for fear of upsetting it or creating a mess.”  (more…)

Please Be Encouraged – There is Hope

June 2015

Life has been very busy up here in the forest, and on the farm.  I have missed having the time to write, and have a lot to post…a lot to catch up with, but I feel compelled to share something much more important.  The events of this week in Charleston, SC have really laid heavily on my heart….for so many reasons.  I’m saddened for those who have lost family and friends, teachers and pastors…I’m saddened that hate between races and cultures still exists…I’m saddened that evilness has such a stronghold on this world….I’m saddened that persecution of Christians is on the rise not only around the world, but in our own country (from what I understand, this particular crime was less of an attack on Faith than it was on race…but evilness was the perpetuating force, and evilness hates Truth – that being any worship of our Savior, Jesus Christ.)

June 2012

Steven Curtis Chapman was led to write a song about the events in Charleston….it puts into perspective that the Lord will triumph over evil..this evil….all evil!!  Please listen to the video below…I pray that you will feel as encouraged as I am…..

My hopes and prayers for you this Sunday morning.  For all those daddy’s out there…Happy Father’s Day!!

Thank you for stopping by!!

Your friend from Oregon,


King of the Rock Pile

What happens when you put rocks in front of a goat??

June 2015

Curiosity….an immediate attraction…an innate desire to……

June 2015

…climb that rock!!  Always better to climb with a friend!  And while you are on that rock…..

June 2015

…don’t forget to taste the local cuisine, and then……

June 2015

…..invite your friends….wait….what happened to the friend you were climbing with…….

A Little Taste of Merlot Wine

….well….he ran over to the bar and had a little taste of red wine….Hahahaha!  Little Clark…not much of a connoisseur…haha.  I guess he will stick with water…

In the meantime, Montana and Lott continue to explore the rocky terrain….

June 2017

….until something else catches their attention.

June 2015

Did I mention that goats like to climb??!!

June 2015

Thank you for visiting the farm today!


Have a wonderful Sunday!!!

Your friend from Oregon,



The Full of Spring

Springtime in Oregon is gorgeous!!  The greens…..

May 2015

…are so vibrantly green.

The wild flowers bloom with ease……

May 2015

….and beautiful abundance….while some……

May 2015 IMG_9936 IMG_9938

….had a little help being seeded into this Oregon soil a couple of years ago.  California Poppies were just too beautiful to leave in CA…we brought a few seeds along for the ride.

Welcoming of new life……

May 2015

…is always a happy, springtime folly.

The sun…..

May 2015

…the rain…..

May 2015

….the long shadows…..

May 2015

….all lend to the beauty of this alluring season.  Oregon is beautiful in the spring.

Although work on the farm amps up as the sun lingers longer in the sky…..

Thanks, Justin, for helping out this week!!!  You are awesome!!

Thanks, Justin, for helping out this week!!! You are awesome!!


…..there is always time for a roll in the tall grass…..

May 2015

….day dreaming into the blue sky…..

May 2015

…..soccer tournaments.

May 2015

As springtime takes it’s journey into summer, there is much to anticipate…..

May 2015

……and possibly our first year of ripened fruit…..

May 2015

….and hopefully, a worthy suitor for our majestic princess, Penelopi … aka, Penni.

May 2015IMG_0261May 2015

Yes, spring is a wonderful season in the pacific northwest.  My heart and prayers go out to those in the southern states getting hit so hard by the recent drenching, flooding rains.  Please stay safe out there!!

Thanks for taking time in your busy day to visit the farm today.  I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Your friend from Oregon,







Thank You…Disney Style

My family and I would like to take this opportunity….Disney style…..to say, “THANK YOU,” to all the courageous individuals who fought and gave their lives for our Country!!   There is absolutely no way to accurately express the feelings and realities that come with this day….thank you, just isn’t enough.


Disneyland, has been my family’s happy place throughout our lives.  It has been a place to smile, even in times of heartbreak.  Please allow us to share, Disney style, our heartfelt respect, and hope in what the soldiers of our great, United States, have given in the course of our country’s history.

disney-war-art-600810906286 $T2eC16RHJHwE9n8ihqbyBP62WMWc)Q~~60_35 disney-memorial-day1mempin12323_LARGE400007444546 !B6)!s9!BGk~$(KGrHqMOKisEy(s(53RYBMyZg63dug~~-1_35ae93a6a3b01c96cf632f1ab95a169a94

And to close the day….please allow the 1st MARINE Division Band from Camp Pendleton to bring down our glorious flag at the happiest place on earth.  Happy Memorial Day!!

Thank you for celebrating our Nation’s day to remember our fallen soldiers with our family.  We wish you all the best.

Your friends from Oregon,

Tami, Tony, and family.

Welcome to my Chaos!!

May 2015

Yesterday, was a day of chaos reminiscent of a black & white silent movie.  Things were moving in fast forward, and none of the participants seemed to care.  Not one paid attention to the part I played of the ever-present traffic cop, standing in the middle of the busy intersection, blowing my whistle for everyone to just STOP!!  They didn’t; they kept on in their chaotic quest to…do whatever it was they had a mind to do.

May 2015

Goats were running a-muck…outside of their two acres of enclosure.

May 2015

They have been pushy lately….well one has been pushier than the others….this guy…..Lott…

May 2015

….has been trying to breach the boundaries of the gate…not the fence line, the gate.  He sees me leave…and I think his goat mind goes to…”well, I must leave also.”  So he RUNS to the gate to get there before I can get through and close it so that he can put himself in the gap and just push forward like the stubborn goat he has become.  Yesterday, he and Montana worked in unison, while gentle, little Clark …

May 2015

…stood close.  They saw their opportunity…pushed behind me, and they were out.  I held the gate open so that Clark would not be left out of the grand adventure.

Trying to get them back into their enclosure was a comical scene…two goats would follow the goat treats,

Lott & Clark May 2015

while one preferred the leaves of the oak tree just outside of their enclosure….

Montana May 2015

…I’ve truly come to understand the saying, “Stubborn as a goat!!”

May 2015

While the goats were in the chicken’s realm…

May 2015May 2015

…..the chickens were in the goat enclosure.

May 2015 IMG_9827

Then, mama hen, Kermit, at some point in the afternoon, decided that it was time to do this…..

…..okay, that is fine except…. it was very close (well maybe not as close as I originally thought) to the point in the day when the hens and Benedict start to gather before they move into the chicken house for the night.  My mind went to that automatic door, and what if those little chicks could not get back up onto the porch.  What if one, the littlest one, was still outside when the door closed, and she ran under the house where I couldn’t catch her?

May 2015

I decided to corral Kermit and the chicks back into their house.  The porch is elevated…one chick could jump up onto it, the other two fell short.  It took about twenty minutes of getting Kermit on the porch, followed by one chick, while the others called to Kermit, who then jumped off the porch followed by the one chick who was on the porch…gather up the babies and put them on the porch hoping for Kermit to follow, only to have the babies jump off the porch because Kermit wouldn’t cooperate…then placing a plank hoping for the chicks to walk up to the porch….NOT……trying to teach the chicks to walk up the plank…running around to catch the rogue chick that runs the other direction….corralling mama hen to get back on the porch….and FINALLY, timing it all where chicks and mama are in the same place at the same time…and then all walk through the chicken house door!!!  OMGOSH!!

Finally, everyone was where they should be…..

May 2015

It was time to feed Penni, so into the house we go…and see this….

May 2015

…..one of our neighbor’s peacocks…..the other one is running around on the roof.  And the chase begins…

May 2015

…..but then, finally, there was calm….and a beautiful sunset.

May 2015

Oh wait…I still had to close the goats in for the night………..

Thanks for visiting the farm today.  As chaotic as it can be, there is peace.

I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday on this Memorial Day weekend.

Your friend from Oregon,


Tag Cloud

Our French Oasis


House by the water.

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

Chantel Mickaela


A Bright Ray of Hope

I'm a temporarily staying-at-home mom of two living in Oregon, learning all over again (after 15 years of city life) how to garden, harvest, and put up food. You might see posts about baking, parenting, crafting, organization - anything that strikes my fancy!

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