Wednesday, January 17, 2007

for mom carver

Photos from Chi and Mary

got some photos from Christmas and thought it would be fun to share !

if there are any more that any of the other visiting carver's would like to share?? : ) I woul'd love to see some of those shots ... hint hint... : )

Mr. Eoin took a turn and the other is treking up the hill and of course my fit husband made it up long enough ahead of the rest of us that he made a few calls while he was waiting : ) ...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

the water in the toilet bowl is frozen!!

Like California we have been getting unusually cold weather...

I have found when you live in a 100+ year old farm house with no insulation and the fire goes out over night things can get pretty cold...

I woke yesterday to find, yes in fact the water in our toilet bowl froze!!! now that was in the coldest room right next to the kitchen and the kitchen was warmer thank goodness or we would have had some frozen and bursting pipes on our hands... so the kitchen and living room (the warmest rooms where a balmy 42 degrees when I got up) humm

So after cranking up the wood stove we've managed to keep the parts of the house we are using at about 55 degrees. I'm thinking insulating the house just got bumped up on the to-do list... thank fully I have a little space heater in my office as typing with gloves on just doesn’t work : )

So onto other farm topics I met my neighbor down the street Lyle and he has a long horn cross and they sure are some pretty cows and he says he'll have lots of babies this spring sooo we'll see goats mad chickens are first but here are the girls ... I'll have to say I'm really taken ...

On the topic of goats I've been calling around and talking to lots of local folks re: their goats and I'm finding goats aren't as cheep as I thought... weathers (castrated males) are the cheapest at about $75 on up and does and bucks are $200 on up... so when I get back from my trip east I'm hoping to go visiting some of these goat folks and see what's being offered... every one is "kidding" right now so there will be lots of cute babies for sure to see which I'm really looking forward to...we have a lot of clearing to do so I'm thinking 8 to 10 goats (if I can find a good price)

in the mean time stay warm...

Monday, January 8, 2007

the sublty of a livestock auction

Today we went to a livestock auction ... we went to take a look at goats and weaner pigs. Today was not a buying day just a day to check things out and that we did.

We arrived and took our seats looking down into the pen were two very able “hands” where bringing the animals in for there moment and then shooing them out with an amazing rhythm, only out done by the auctioneers song all his own.

I noted we were a little out of place and clean looking and as any girl would I had attempted to wear cloths that might help me "blend in". I quickly realized that would have been impossible. For starters there were only 3 other women there so no matter what I was going to stick out...These observations where dwarfed by my fatal error... I wore my hat... I thought that would help my situation when I grabbed it as we went out the door. I now realize that auctions that are for cows and horses are attended by folks wearin' the cowboy variety (like mine).. but auctions for swine goats, sheep and the like are attended by the folks of the ball cap wearin' variety..

The bidding was fun to watch we felt like we where able to pretty much follow along. The only hard part was being able to tell who was doing bidding. I've been to lots of fancy art and wine auctions and these farmers have more subtly for bidding in their little fingers then those hi-brow art guys.

We may go back there for our goats.... maybe not the pigs but we’ll see they didn’t have that many weaner (aka just weaned) pigs and that’s somthin’ we may want to get locally from someone we can build a relationship with.. but we’ll see

Eating lunch at the sale barn I may not re-visit, but even that had “ “authenticity”

That’s today’s farmin’ info other than that we walked up the hill and B showed me a spot he thought would be good (aka dry) to put up a round pen for my horse I may do that tomorrow ( I noted that it was quite far from the house : ) hummm … other than that workin’ on designing stuff for my clients that actually pay me to do things other than go to livestock auctions…

Thursday, January 4, 2007

fence post pounding is not for sissys

Today was pasture day... I've been moving chief’s pasture around so that he will knock down the tall grasses and fertilize each spot I move him to.... I've moved him thee times now since we moved in on Dec 4th. and I've managed to get the process down to under 2 hours...

I've also become proficient with two very useful tools a t-post pounder and a post puller :) both are heavy and not fun to drag around but the more dangerous of the two I have learned is the t-post driver... (see photo)

the post driver is an all manual tool which consists of a heavy steal tube with lead in one end and handles on either side.. you place it over the t-post and lift it up and then pound it down .. it's kind of cave man-esque if you ask me : ) but sort of gratifying... kind of like using the maul to split wood...
so the guy at the farm store said when I bought it "now be careful things can knock you out" I thought to myself "who would be dumb enough to hit them selves in the head with a 20 lb steal pipe.." well let me just tell you it's a lot easier than you think : ) although I have managed to avoid knocking my self out I did have one or two near misses .. so imagine this ... you are holding this 20+ lb thing above your head head if you lift it up with just a little too much enthusiasm and it is no longer on the post and there you are holding this heavy thing above your head that has a good bit of momentum and gravity working against you... thus pretty darn easy for it to tip forward and knock you right in the forehead ... so if you have ever hit your self in the head with a fence pounder you have a friend in me : ) I'm not sure why I just wrote this.. I think it falls into the category of what I've learned living on a farm : ) ... if any of the Christmas visitors read this... then I found 5 dollars"... : )

so I think that's all for today I need to focus on my label work tonight I'm working on a label tonight called love and squalor I love the name...
the paperwhites I started in our kitchen window : )

Brian started our wine storage unit today out in his work barn !! : ) this will be nice to have done.. my husband rocks : )

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

baby chicks and a harness

Today was a big shopping day : ) I bought 25 baby chicks they will be comming to a post office near me the first week in Feb!! yippie : ) I had fun doing some pretty crazy mix and match of rare breeds and show breeds and some good old fashon breeds... here's the line up!! should be quite a flock ... of course there will be many photos ... first the new coops and then the babys : )


in addition to this purchase I bought Chief his first harness!!! very exciting as well .. I've been ground driving him a bit but there is only so much I can do with out the actual harness... so I got a work harness for pulling logs and a skid sled along with a single tree atachment : ) more on that soon, the harness comes in about a week!!! in the mean time I have a lot of reading to catch up on ...

this gorgouse photo of chief was taken by my horse mentor Midori Morgan who gave me back my horse and confidence after my accident! I'm forever in her debt!!

New Years Resolution…

Like most women out there Id like to have a smaller and firmer butt : )

Instead of a new diet I’m going to set out to do something that I think is do-able…

I’ve hung a mason jar in the old oak tree on the top of the hill on our farm.

I timed it today and it’s about 25 minutes to walk up and back on the hill.

The original plan was to put a pebble in the jar each time I walked up the hill … but yesterday I decided on something a little more fun.

So each time I walk up the hill I will put a quarter in the jar. At the end of this year I’d like to have a minimum of $75 (300 walks up the hill) in the jar thus awarding me a really nice new pair of blue jeans for my new butt : )

75 cents so far : )

Monday, January 1, 2007

You Know you live on a farm when…

On transportation
- you get really excited when you see the bull dozer on the road it means your getting new gravel
- when you give directions to your place you give mileage from when you hit the gravel road not streets to turn on
-You give serious thought leaving home during a big storm because you may come home to getting out the chain saw before you can get down your road
- You realize the two tone paint job from the dirt road on your car is here to stay
-You never thought you’d be driving you hybrid with shotgun shells rattling around behind your seat…
- when you make a trip “to town” you make it count!
- You’re really happy when your husband comes home and tells you he has a chainsaw in his pickup because there seems to be a very large oak preventing you from getting down your driveway
- Your husband puts his rusty old jeep in the front yard and you really don’t care

On Heat
- The wood stove is king
- Splitting wood is fun the first few times …
- You learn the maul is NOT where you go for shoes it’s what you use @ 7am on a Sunday morning when the fire burned down too far for a big log and you need some kindling… shin guards are recommended

On Power and other modern conveniences
- When there are 5 houses in your canyon and the other 4 have generators take note because the rest of the county gets turned on long before you do.
- You learn when you loose power it’s not heat that’s the problem it’s water most well’s require power !! who knew ... (but we will be changing that : )
- The mail lady knows your dogs name and nags you about the “accessibility” of your mil box due to the road being washed out
- Going on-line for internet faster than the phone line consists of driving up the gravel road and parking where I get cell coverage and looking like a spy as I work on my laptop in the car.
- The wood stove IS also a very valuable cook surface
- Hot water bottles are one of man’s greatest inventions

Other things I’ve noted
- It’s quiet... I mean really quiet!
- I can see sky from every window
- Our friends still visit which is amazing!

when the lights go out....

from december.... the phone is out at the moment as well as our power and we don't get cell coverage at the farm so you pretty much can't reach us : ) you can send me and e-mail but I only check that when I drive into town and plug in at the cafe... country living is something : )

You may have heard we had some big storms and I'm learning that when there are only 5 houses in your canyon the other 4 have generators for a reason!!!... and you know you live out there when the power goes out Thursday and the power company tells you "maybe" the following tuesday or wednsday!!! yipes... and when you have a well and the power goes out that means water too!!!. so I got up this morning as Brian needed some extra sleep due to some rodents in the wall keeping him up last night... the wood stove had gone out over night temp was almost the same out side as it was inside... so since I needed kindling to re-start things I got out the maul and chopped up about 4 logs, that's all my shins could muster the learning curve is steep on splitting wood when you have a cold house) then I hiked up the hill to the spring and filled up three 5 gallon buckets of water for the toilets and the horse... then I ground some coffee with a hammer and put the percolator on the wood stove for the morning brew at this point I had spent about 2 hours trying to turn on the heat and make coffee and I had to get to beverton where jospeh has offered me power to get some much needed computer time and a much needed shower : ) (the sponge bath standing in front of the wood stove just doesn't cut it) so we are having fun and loving the wackiness... but I do hope the power comes back before all the fiends and family come for Christmas... michael, joseph and chi ... no worries if we don't have power by the time you come when you are done chopping wood and hauling water you don't seems to mind the cold and dark... : ) (I thinks we'll get a generator if we don't get power by thursday...) love to all and remember to cherish a cup of joe and a hot shower... 26851 NW Williams Canyon Road Gaston OR 97119 503.662.3048 xoxoxoxo

Friends and Family !! thank you all for coming!!!

Happy New Year... wow 2007 ... I'm so blessed and happy to be here typing from my office in a 100+ year old farm house in Oregon.... it's been a hell of a year 2006... we sold our home and Roisin's too … moved far to many times ... lived apart from my husband too much as he took care of his mom and got up to Oregon ... got a new dog and a horse… bought a farm which is a VERY long tale that I'm happy to just forget now that we are here and started a new chapter of our lives... here we are happy, humbled, excited and dreaming big...

we have just said good bye to Boothie my old studio mate from Napa and her fabulous beau Aaron.. it was a nice visit and a great way to ring in 2007 thanks for coming guys! ...

So we have bought the farm and here we sit after an amazing holiday and so much love and visits from friends and family!!! I really can't believe how many of you have already come to visit us it's pretty overwhelming!!!

The move into our New home was full ...mostly of love....we closed on November 1st and I spent a solid month with the help of 3 fabulous women cleaning painting every inch of our new home.. thanks Jake, Anna and Hope...

Then right after turkey day we drove to Napa and with an absoultly heroic effort by Kim and Scott who hosted us down there we got all our CRAP out of California... and amazingly Kim and Scott offered to help us by driving one of our laden vehicles up with us.. that was some kind of crazy love... and after 15 hours of driving (you can only go so fast with that much crap) we arrived passed out and got up the next day to unload everything!!!... wow thank you Kim and Scott!!! you guys are amazing!!!

the laiden load Oregon bound .... and kim and scott under thier tree

Then 3 days later June and Nancy arrive for a great visit for 4 days we also got a super fun visit ... and sent June home with one of our 100's of trees : ) we also had a visit from ty and her two amazing boys and the news of the new bun in the oven!!... congrats Ty

Ty and Walter being welcomed by Clementine

Brian giving trumpet lessons to Sam and the dinner table thanks to Brian as always!

Then we have two weeks till the big holiday and in the middle of that we lose power for 6 days!! that was exciting.. see power story : ) then Michael and Haley, erica haley's mom, Joseph and Chi and Mary and Sir Owen de Papier (the short) : ) and Roisin... all warmed our home!!! it was an amazing Christmas visit... and in spirit we had all mary bee and mom and dad via some pretty stocked Christmas boxes!!! thank you all for my extra 5 pounds...

Then Porter came for a weekend visit just before new years for a nice mellow visit : )

intermixed with these visit's where a few dinner and overnight guests who came out too share hike around with us... Matt our great friend from Portland who is making some pretty bitchin' wine : ) has gotten my husband pretty darn drunk ... and Bill on a few occasions who you may remember from the wedding he was the one who made it all legal and stuff! and Rob!! who just so happens to know some of our "neighbors" he's actually related to them.. what are the odds? : ) ... and Eric Page who also is new to Portland from Napa... super fine to see him!...

I'm so warmed by all you guys coming all this way to see Brain and I I do hope you all come again soon so I can put you all to work... : )

these last three photos are thanks to Porter's good picture takin' .