Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Posts tagged ‘Springtime’

Cardboard Brooders??

The objective…..use these materials (wire structure that they are lying on top of not included)…..

May 2015

….and figure out an acceptable brooder for the impending hatching.  It has to be able to house mama hen, and chicks, within the current chicken house, and allow an ease of cleaning.  (more…)

Satisfying and Delicious

Who can take a sunrise…..sprinkle it with dew….cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two….the Candy Man…..oh the Candy Man can….the Candy Man can cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. (The Candy Man – by Sammy Davis Jr. Writer: Chambers, Karina / Monaco, Katherine / Schjolin, Morten / Ingoldsby, Denis Noel Copyright: Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing)

April 2015

It’s kind of amazing how all creatures..big, small, human, animal….zombie…..are all attracted to the sweet things in life, at least sometimes.  There are THOSE yummy things that take more effort to resist than others.

April 2015

I think that that kind of treat will be important in the management of our little goat herd.  Clark and Lott, being bottle fed babies, are easy to handle.  They come running when they hear our voices….they call out when they see us….in stark contrast is, Montana!

April 2015

Since Montana was raised to forage with the herd, he is not accustomed to as much direct handler contact.  He does not relish the idea of being scratched or hugged, and if he senses movement in his direction…he goes the opposite way.  Montana is completely wonderful….he is exactly what we wanted to help the bottle fed babies learn the basics of, “How to Be a Brush Goat.”  However….I do want to be able to handle Montana when it is necessary, so he and I have been working on familiarity with being touched.  He doesn’t have to like it, he just needs to be able to stand still when it is necessary.  We have made pretty good progress….and then…there was yesterday!!

April 2015

We broke boundaries yesterday….Montana actually ate out of my hand!!  The lure….goat candy…better known as young Douglas Fir branches.  Tony introduced the three to this delicious treat a couple of days ago.

April 2015

Since licorice flavored goat treats weren’t pull enough for Montana to breach that border between food and hand…I decided to try a young fir branch…..SUCCESS!!!!  This seems to be a treat that all three of our kids cannot resist.

As chomping ensued, I was able to get a few scratches in behind Montana’s ears, and between his horns.  Petting his furry body was a little more intrusive than Montana would welcome, but progress is progress!!  Later that evening after I had closed them in for the night, Montana stood still and allowed me to pet him a bit.  I didn’t push it….by the way…I never knew that goat kids were so fluffy!!

April 2015

No worries, little guys…there is plenty more where that came from!!

April 2015

Thanks for visiting the kids this morning!!  I hope you have a sweet, sweet day!!

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

The First of Spring

The beautiful, spring weather has given me such an itch (okay, yes, my eyes are a bit itchy since the trees are pollinating, but that’s NOT what I am talking about) to start our vegetable garden.  In California, my small, backyard garden would have been in by now…maybe my seasonal planting alarm is going off still based on CA time….STOP IT!!!  I’m pushing the snooze button!!

We have experienced frost well into April, since moving to Oregon, and I’ve lost many plants due to the malfunction of my “seasonal alarm clock.”  This year, however, I’m trying something new….

March 2015

…peat moss starters.  They stay in the house, away from direct sunlight, covered…..

March 2015

….to create humidity and warmth.  I hope it works…this is the first time I’ve started these particulars plants from seed.  There is a problem of which I have become aware….I forgot to make a map of the tray indicating which seeds were planted in which pod.  I have a total of eight different vegetable seeds planted into those pots…..hahaha!!  This should be fun!!

March 2015

In the mean time…. just in time for Easter Egg hunting….one of my hens laid this bad boy!!!  Really….

March 2015

…How did this happen??  The shell was really rough, and thin….and calcified.  It felt like, well, calcium.

March 2015

It was delicious, though!!

March 2015

The flock continues to enjoy the warm, spring sunshine….GET OFF THE PORCH!!

March 2015

And Penni is enjoying the fresh mounds from the awakening gophers….UGGHHH!!

BTW…I didn’t really eat that egg, hahahaha….YUCK!!  I threw it to the frogs in the pond….good eats!!

Happy Palm Sunday!!

(Old Testament)   Zechariah 9:9 

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!                                                                                                                   Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

(New Testament)  John 12:12-15

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a]
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”[b]

**********************************

Christ knew what He was riding into……..He loved us too much to turn and ride away…but He could have….He didn’t.  Blessed be the Lord God, Almighty!!

Please have a wonderful week as we build up to the most Holy of celebrations.

Your friend from Oregon,

Tami

 

 

First Things First

VERY EXCITING NEWS!!! Okay, those “firsts” in life are usually very exciting, but the firsts on the roster today are the first fruits of our 2014 Garden. Take a look!!

Pretty, little, yellow, watermelon flower.

Pretty, little, yellow, watermelon flower.


Not exactly a fruit…but it’s the first flower leading to the fruit. I think it counts 😉

I spy with my little eye…..

You might have to zoom this picture to find the first pea pods.

You might have to zoom this picture to find the first pea pods.

The first cantaloup flower...leading to the first fruit.

The first cantaloup flower…leading to the first fruit.

The first really big “fruit”….

Look at that BROCCOLI!!

Look at that BROCCOLI!!

…that we have actually been able to harvest!!

Look at that beauty!!!

Look at that beauty!!!

I’m so excited for this next one!! Can you see it? Can you see it?? Look again, it’s right there!!!

Our first, little, itty, bitty, Roma Tomato!

Our first, little, itty, bitty, Roma Tomato!

Lots more firsts to come, lots more fruits and veggies on the way……….P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E!! Now, I’ve got to go stir fry a bunch of broccoli.. 😀

My Coyote Theory….

The coyote incident made me start thinking, “What if that wasn’t a coyote at all?” Okay…so here is what a coyote looks like that has a range within the Pacific Northwest….

Coyote

Coyote

….notice their thin style build, and pointy nose.

There is another carnivore in town, and no, it is not the grey wolf…however…..! Meet the Coywolf…

The Coywolf!

The Coywolf!

Although the link below talks about this hybrid originating in Canada and migrating down the eastern United States…as I have researched, I have found that they have migrated out west. There have been many sightings (sounds like I’m talking about Bigfoot, haha) in the Pacific Northwest…and I’m thinking right here in our little part of the grander forest that sits behind us.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/meet-the-coywolf/meet-the-coywolf/8605/

Every year since we moved to our home in Oregon, we have experienced about four daytime coyote sightings from spring through the end of summer. However, many times I have thought that the canine running by or away did not quite look like a coyote…in fact…they have looked more husky…more like a wolf. Others that I have talked to in the area, have also noticed the same thing.

Granted, the only coyotes that I have seen (before seeing them on or near our property) have been in zoos. Maybe in the wild they look different…beefier….with a heavier coat and head; I don’t know. The coloring of their coats have basically been the iconic lighter brown with dark brown/grey ticking of a coyote…but they just seem larger…heavier…with a more rounded nose, and a very bushy tail. Could this be a coywolf rather than a coyote?

I’m ready with my camera if it decides to show up again…we have heard their calling…they (yes, more than one) are still near! Penni, our Great Dane, ……

Penni...protector of the flock!

Penni…protector of the flock!

…..once in awhile, lately, barks at the fringes of the fence lines, which are lined with 2 – 3 rows of Douglas Fir trees. Kind of creepy!! I’ve cut down the pasture grasses so if one aims to come out from the trees…we should readily see them…and then I’ll get a picture!

Change is in the Wind

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

These wild Lilies are growing everywhere in the shady/partial sunny places right now.

My thoughts have been so distracted as of late. Really!! Can’t the world just step aside and stop threatening to take time from us? Time from the needs of our farm, from being physically present to care for our family, from being able to take the time to grow and prepare our own food, from the ability to write a simple blog post. I’m sure most of us feel this way … this past week has been especially hard for me due to changes at work which will directly affect my position, and my availability for those things I just mentioned. My husband has felt it all along, but he is driven to be a great provider. He, with God’s great blessings, have made this whole farming thing possible…I do not say, “Thank you,” to Tony enough…not nearly enough.

The outdoor brooder...now a roost...maybe we need more chickiepoohs! ;)

The outdoor brooder…now a roost…maybe we need more chickiepoohs! 😉

So life on this farm will be changing, soon. I’m going to have to figure out how to flip-flop some things, how to get ahead of the game on others, and how to get everything done in a timely fashion so that we are not eating dinner at 10:00 p.m. rather than 9:00 …. 7:00 p.m. which was my goal, definitely seems a bit out of the running, but we’ll see. Right now, through summer, the impact will seem less as the sun is up until about 9:00 p.m…it will be the dark, earlier evening hour seasons that will become much more difficult. Maybe this is the incentive I need to kick up my understanding and knowledge of an income producing small farm, and work towards that goal. I think that is a goal worth striving towards!

In the meantime, I must remember that change does not inherently equal a worsening of conditions…it may even result in a more enjoyable life experience (in this case, at work.) And, since I believe that Jesus Christ is the author of my story…the Pilot of whom I seek to follow…the Protector of my home and family…and the Great Counselor from whom I gain wisdom and guidance…my family, myself, and our farm are in great hands!!! Nothing shall befall me that He doesn’t already know, and that He can’t handle!!

Please enjoy this rainy, spring day of Oregon…..

Hoping you all have a wonderful day!
Tami

Irish Soda Bread

I’m trying to “broaden my horizons,” “tantalize the taste buds,” “teach this (not so old) dog a new trick,” by trying new recipes. I’ve been “stuck in a rut” too long. Little by little over the past 2 years, I have tried this and that…some successful, and some not. Last night I tried my hand at making Irish Soda Bread, and a very hearty vegetable soup…doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron? A hearty vegetable soup? My husband was skeptical, but willing which is not common when it comes to vegetables, especially when I started adding more veggies than what was in the original bagged of dried, milled veggies. The difference here is that HE picked the milled vegetable soup mix…what’s a milled vegetable soup mix?…well…keep reading!!

In March we took a trek up to Milwaukie…that’s Milwaukie, Oregon…to this little place…

This is the home of Bob's Red Mill

This is the home of Bob’s Red Mill

….if you are at all interested in cooking things you have never even dreamed of, this is the place to go!! There are so many milled flours, milled dried beans and vegetables, milled nuts, milled…..everything! All the products are milled, right in Milwaukie, and the cafe / store is just a few blocks away (5000 SE International Way – Milwaukie, OR, 97222.) Your imagination can go CRAZY at Bob’s!! BTW, when I say milled….I’m talking the old way…with a milling stone, using rustic, whole grains!! You can also find their products in some grocery stores. Hey, seriously, I don’t get anything from plugging their great products…I’m just finding a world of wonderfulness…and I’M EXCITED!!

So what we came away with was a couple of flours, dried beans, nuts, and a vegetable soup mix (only includes the milled veggies, and grains – all spices, etc. are yours to add.)

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

Tony thought that this kind of vegetable soup looked good, because there was no sign of any fresh cut vegetables…little did he know that I had other plans..heh heh heh. As it cooks, the soup has the consistency of like a good hearty split pea soup. With Tony cringing, I added the fresh carrots, celery, onions, garlic, spinach and green beans, but I promised I would put it all in the blender and serve it in the fashion he was used to in the Spanish / French Basque kitchen of his childhood. My added ingredients also included chicken broth, salt, Creole spices, and thyme. It was really yummy, and the milled whole grains withing the dried contents was a surprisingly happy, chewy surprise!!

The Irish Soda Bread recipe also came in a freshly milled package of whole grain flours, and all necessary dried ingredients. I added water, oil, and egg.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

I mixed this up using my hands....fun!

I mixed this up using my hands….fun!


Such a pretty little round!

Such a pretty little round!


Into the pie dish...

Into the pie dish…


Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, cutting the cross into the bread dough was a way of blessing the bread, and then after it cooked….

All warm and crusty!!

All warm and crusty!!


Uhhm...Yummmm!

Uhhm…Yummmm!

…it gave a means for the symbolic breaking of the bread at the dinner table.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread...this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread…this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

What I can say is that this combo was really, really hearty, warm, and satisfying on our cold, rainy, spring night…even the hubby thought so!! The best thing of all…Tony ate all of his vegetables!!

Love, love, love this place!!

Love, love, love this place!!

Better Late than Never

Well, they have arrived!! Tony and I were pretty much convinced that the window had closed, and the yearly visit was not to be. We missed our friends, and wished that we could roll back the calendar for just a day to look upon their elegance. No doubt this is a curious way to speak about a friendship, I mean, I would laugh…really hard…if someone spoke of me that way, I’m just so NOT elegant! However, these friends that I talk about walk, dress, and present themselves so differently. I catch myself looking at them, no, gazing at them…sometimes too long. When their eye catches mine, I am somewhat embarrassed; they seem uncomfortable. I would too. It’s just really hard to turn away.

Our friends showed up yesterday morning, unannounced!! That kind of spontaneity is not always easy for me, I must admit, but their faces were so familiar…through my surprise, I tried not to stare…but stare I did. I’d like for you to meet them……

The Elk have returned!!

The Elk have returned!!

Their appearance was brief, and they did not return this morning…but the elk may be back tomorrow!! Last year, they came quite close to the house. It is so amazing how incredibly HUGE they are!!! The pictures below are quick shots we were able to capture last year. The elk are very quick to retreat if they sense we are watching, so we could only get this close using the camera on our phones…please forgive the quality…

Elk 2013
Elk 2013
Elk 2013
Elk 2013

Believing that this is the one and only time we’ll get a glimpse of our seasonal guests this year, we say, “Welcome!!,” and, “See you next year!!!”

A Blessing and a Curse

Oregon, west of the Cascade Mountains, is green. To quote a famous frog named, Kermit,… “It ain’t easy being green…” is an understatement. Oh, the green permeates the environment quite readily as soon as the first rains hit the ground after the dry season of summer….wait….what? You didn’t know that up here in the Pacific Northwest we have a dry season? Well, in fact, we do!

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

The dryness of a late summer walk with Tucker & Karli.

But that’s another discussion!! So to get back to topic…it’s a wondrous sight to watch how the grasses green-up in mid-fall, yet they don’t really grow due to a shortened day. The grasses remain a straw-like green throughout the winter…even under a blanket of snow…but the show really begins as winter starts turning to spring. The vibrancy that ensues is absolutely gorgeous!! This is a true blessing!!

As I stand outside, I see that blessing everywhere around me.

The beautiful green...the beautiful Penni!!

The beautiful green…the beautiful Penni!!

This compound color of blues and yellows surround our land in differing hues…it is quite stunning! However, there is another picture in my mind that I have to continually blot out so as not to hinder the true romance of the spring eruption…that is the “curse”…one of hours and hours of….MOWING…GRASS/WEED/BRUSH/ENORMOUS WILD BLACKBERRY BUSH CONTROL!!! ugghh! My husband and I keep about 17 of the 34 acres we live on groomed or in some areas, just managed. The other 17 are left to be natural wooded acres for wildlife and just, well, nature to thrive. It is a very healthy forest. Once we get the bridge rebuilt across the creek, we’ll be able to groom the already existing trails. Right now we hike back there with a machete in hand for the overgrowth.

While we wait for the ground to solidify a bit from the winter/spring rains allowing us to get this toy…

She sure doesn't look that new anymore!!  LOL

She sure doesn’t look that new anymore!! LOL

…out and mowing, yesterday, I started on grass management within the pond…that is the removal of dead grasses that float causing a disruption to birds, and frogs…besides looking really yucky. Tony and I don’t use any pesticides, fungicides, etc. on the property so the work to keep the land and water manageable is very labor intensive. Sometimes we win…sometimes the forest wins…but either way, it is a healthier ecosystem! So for almost 3 straight hours yesterday, using an 8 ft. long pool cleaning pole with an attached net, I cleared the pond of all the dead grasses that I could reach….

BEFORE:

The pond full of dead grasses.

The pond full of dead grasses.

AFTER:
I couldn't reach everything, but it will eventually make it's way closer to shore.

I couldn’t reach everything, but it will eventually make it’s way closer to shore.

BEFORE:

The right side is where I've already worked.

The right side is where I’ve already worked.

AFTER:
Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

Most of what is left on this side are still rooted.

It was a hard job, but well worth it! Gloria’s Pond looks beautiful once again, and the balance of the ecosystem has not been compromised! I read somewhere that you can tell a healthy pond by the presence of frogs because they breathe through their skin…I’m very happy to report…we have a lot of those guys!!!

WELCOME SPRING!!

WELCOME SPRING!! You’ve been asleep too long!!

Penni relaxing in the warm 58 degree sunshine!

Penni relaxing in the warm 58 degree sunshine!

Old Man Winter is keeping his finger on the temperature controls a bit longer…we are still waking up to temps in the twenties…28 degrees at 7:00 this morning. The afternoon temps are getting into the high 50’s so we are totally warming up!! Driving around the lower elevations in town, and out to Salem, trees are in various stages of bloom. Daffodils are blooming like crazy in some places, but up on our hill…we are just now seeing the first brave Bulbasaurs (couldn’t resist that…my son grew up as a big Pokemon fan.)

Our first Daffodil blossoms

Our first Daffodil blossoms

Our young fruit trees that were planted this past fall, are just now starting to swell…sooooooonnnnn to be blossoming!!!

The Pear trees show the most spring-like activity.

The Pear trees show the most spring-like activity.


The Chestnut trees are trying hard to be part of the big spring show!

The Chestnut trees are trying hard to be part of the big spring show!


"I'm Here," shout the Cherry trees!!

“I’m Here,” shout the Cherry trees!!

It’s great to know that these young trees survived the harsh cold, and unusual large snowfall that hit us in January. These beauties are shouting their presence and eagerly waiting to spring forth into the 2014 growing season. The roadblock in front of them are the freezing temperatures we are still experiencing in the early mornings. There is still “frost on the pumpkins” and cars, and rooftops, and ground. We may still be three weeks out before that ends, meaning, sadly, our garden has to wait awhile longer. Although the Giant Sequoias experienced a little frost burn on their tips, the branches are still green and pliable…WHEW!!! That is good news. On the 300 Douglas Fir saplings…we may have lost half of them due to the big snows. It may not be as bad as it appears, but on numerous saplings, needles come off in our hands…not a good sign. In normal conditions, we would loose many of these trees, one reason why you typically plant so many, but this winter was definitely NOT normal!

Definite signs of spring on the farm…starting with our most welcomed tenant, GLORIA!!

GLORIA!!! Our little wild duck that migrates back to the pond every spring!!

GLORIA!!! Our little wild duck that migrates back to the pond every spring!!

The first dandelions of the season!  My flock is very happy!!

The first dandelions of the season! My flock is very happy!!

We've hung the wasp traps to capture as many queens as we can when they emerge from hiding!

We’ve hung the wasp traps to capture as many queens as we can when they emerge from hiding!

I know it's spring and not summer 'cause the Barn Swallows have not made their nests yet in the barn.

I know it’s spring and not summer ’cause the Barn Swallows have not made their nests yet in the barn.

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 ultimate of ULTIMATES!! The frosting on the cake! The sure sign that spring has sprung…..
Welcome to the farm…to havadanehill….WELCOME THE MUPPETS!! First one hatched, Kermit…March 21, 2014…

Welcome little Kermit!!!

Welcome little Kermit!!!

…three more hatched on March 22nd…Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf (after the two old guys who sit in the Muppets Theater Balcony)…

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

Chardonnay (Mama Hen), Kermit, Miss Piggy, Statler, and Waldorf!!

……I could feel three more eggs were cracked under Mama hen yesterday…she hasn’t shown me the new little ones yet today, so I’m not sure how many more have hatched…but I will update soon! She had 10 eggs under her before hatching started!

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