Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Spanish Meat Goats’

A Campfire Chat

I, uh…..I wish we could all sit down….cup of coffee in hand…..campfire roaring (obviously, this will have to happen in the fall because our late summer fire ban is up…no campfires right now)…..marshmallows on the skewers……and talk, share, and pass down the knowledge we have gained while trying to figure out those things called homesteading, cooking, raising a family, livestock handling, etc, etc, etc.  Much like a book club, we could change the “book”, or more appropriately, topic, and meet numerous times throughout the year.  You all have so much knowledge out there….how fun would that be?!!!!  So, on tap for today, a virtual campfire will have to do!!

Do you have your cup of coffee, tea, or whatever beverage you prefer??  Let’s talk!!!

As long we are having coffee, might as well have a delicious sandwich to go with it!!

As long we are having coffee, might as well have a delicious sandwich to go with it!!

Summer is a busy time on this little homestead.  You know, in some ways, the animal husbandry lessens, when you don’t have baby animals running around, and all the others are out and about most of the day.  Pooping and peeing outside is easier to manage than the more frequent pooping and peeing inside their shelters during the wet, rainy days….and in Oregon, we have a lot of those.  However, it becomes all about water; keeping the flock, and the herd hydrated is essential to their health

July 2016

Right now, I do that by filling up buckets of water and carrying them across the way to where they hang out.  It takes about 4 trips with a full, 3 gallon bucket to fill the goat trough.  Another 3 gallons will fill the main chicken waterer….and 2 more gallons for their water dish that sits out in the field in which they run about….originally for the chickens, the goats have decided they like the water in that dish best, so that one gets filled more frequently.  Water is the name of the game this time of year.  Carrying all those buckets is good for the triceps for sure!!!  Have you noticed that your livestock like to drink out of one type of trough, or dish more than the other??  My goats prefer the black, plastic dish over their galvanized steel 6 gallon water trough, and it doesn’t matter that both have fresh water.

Dogs water dish next to the house....same as the 2 gallon waterer out in pasture.

Dogs water dish next to the house….same as the 2 gallon waterer out in pasture.

Thankfully, late July up until mid-September, when normally we will have a couple of rains, the burn restrictions here in the Pacific NW prohibit a lot of tasks we might still want to do, like run the brush hog on the tractor one more time over the pasture grasses/weeds; any logging activity, etc.  So at this time of year, it’s about projects, gardening by hand, pulling up foxtail weeds, and keeping the animals cool and hydrated.

Walking with goats.

Walking with goats.

It’s also about taking walks with the goats to areas of the property that are not fenced into pastures, but have great nutrition.  Since we do not have a guardian animal that hangs with the goats, we are their guardians….they follow us where ever we wish to take them….

…..except back into their main pasture…which requires a little encouragement called, Wheat Thins.  Yep…the crackers….LOL!!  They will go ANYWHERE for Wheat Thins!  Hahaha!

Thank you for visiting today.  I have missed you all.  This time of year, days are long and time for writing is short.  There are events coming in the near future, please check out Have-a-Dane Hill Danes as we pursue the next step in our plans for our homestead.  Exciting times ahead!!!  If you have time, pop on over to http://www.haveadanehilldanes.com and check out the action….big news on the horizon!!  Much to tell about the homestead, the farm, the forest, our dog(s)…….I’ll be back!!!

Your friend from 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…)

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


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



Fun With Goats

And the forecast today is ra…… wait a second…. let me double check that!  This just into the newsroom ….. it appears an anomaly has made its way into the northwest Oregon region ….. all forecasting models predict a day of grey, no real sunshine, BUT… no real rain.  Let’s look at that again, Tom, YES…the current mapping is correct… NO RAIN IN THE FORECAST!!

November 2015

That was yesterday!!  I think the collective shown forth in a happy dance!!


Although quite cold, Tony and I took the opportunity to get the goats out, and to stretch their legs a bit with a hike through the brush.


I think they appreciated the change of flavor from basically hay, and their nighttime grain.


The rain has returned, the goats are keeping dry in their house, and I am continually perplexed as to given the choice of nice green hay and yellow, pale straw….Why does straw always win out?????


Thank you for visiting the herd today.  I hope you have a wonderful, safe Sunday!!

Your friend from Oregon,


Tag Cloud

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Chantel Mickaela


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