Sunday, December 28, 2008

next years wine label

I've started drawing next years wine label - here's a hint - yes it will be letterpress again - as crazy as that is - what can I say it's just so darn beautiful -

My chickens have rebelled with the snow ! now that it's melted they are MUCH happier!! they where laying a pathetically few number of eggs I was loosing about $8 a day in organic feed with there very sad output - ahh well that's non factory farming for you - I'll get mine when the spring flush comes I know -

At least we get to enjoy the eggs even if I have very few to sell this time of year : )

Brian made a very nice Christmas breakfast! With Upstate NY syrup (not ALL good syrup comes from Vermont people! ) Home grown and home cured bacon and of course eggs from the girls :) - thanks brian

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thank You!

Thank You for all the Christmas love - : )

Thursday, December 25, 2008

winter morning

I wake under a dense pile of tightly woven wool blankets that press me into prolonged thick sleeps this time of year -

Slow deep steps as I head out on Christmas morning into the snow. Laden in layers of wool and heavy boots - the snow is packed into a dense path.

The cows bellow a muted call to me I scrap out the wet bedding and give them a full warm pile of hay and dark molasses coated sweet feed. The barn groans under the weight of the snow

The horses stand patiently in the deep snow guarded from the weather by there long layered coats as they watch me. The buckets of water pull my shoulders down as I slowly make it up the steep hill to their trough.

The snow like my blankets layering the farm into a prolonged slow time – I am grateful for this thick time – time that wraps you up and comforts you - restoring your energy for spring when the water will flow fast and furious summoning all the stored energy and time from winter.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I love icicles

Part of why I love icicles is they sounds like something you would eat : ) I also love the look of them so romantic! when I was a kid I remember my mother indulging us kids saving extra long and or beautiful ones in the chest freezer so we could pull them out in the summer - I'm not sure not many lasted that long - forgotten or broken - but just the thought of one of them in July still makes me giddy - I may have to see if I can save one just for grins -


So according to calls I got when we did have phone service (which we lost a few days ago) there are packages for us in town. Some are at the local market and some at the feed store they where left there by Fed Ex and UPS - It's kind of sweet in a small town kind of way - but not all that sweet 'cause we cant' get to town to get them

But what's even sweeter is Our Mail Lady is a ROCK star!!! She came again today and the roads are UGLY people!! - YES it is snowing AGAIN we're getting another 4-8 inches projected today!!! she had her husband with her to help out and what team they are bringing all us snowed in folks our Christmas cheer!!!

So thanks to her we got Christmas packages from Porter, Mom and Dad and Johnny go fast!! I cant' wait to open them tomorrow!! - we also got more net-flix movies!! yippie ! so now I'm just hoping the power stays on and it's a very Merry Christmas for us a Big Table Farm!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

My crazy brother

Well many roads are closed - I haven't seen a single vehicle on our road today not even our fearless mail lady - Brad my UPS guy called and he's not commin' either - there is mandatory chain use on all roads and they recommend NO ONE drive - so what does Joseph do he hopps in a 4wd jeep he borrowed and put on the chains and headed out to my house! to bring what ever we needed - so if he was gonna risk life and limb I was gonna give him a grocery list! so he arrived - amazingly- and with arm load s of things that I was very happy to have - Thanks for coming all the way out Joseph is was nice to see you and I DO hope you make it home safely!!!!

Andy cat enjoying some WARM milk : )

The goats are staying warm with Edward in thier shed!

The smoker is nto so hot today! : )

We're sreving snow for lunch today!

This ones for you Johnny!

So John your always saying how Brian makes all men look bad - well I hate to brag but he did it again today ...

So as I snored away in my deep winter sleep Brian woke up with a start at about 3 am to the sound of a building falling down - he of course jumps outta bed grabs a flash light and looks to see if our barn which was staggering under the weight of the snow on it's roof yesterday had fallen - the barn already was not doing well and yesterday all this snow helped it to roll off a post and start to list heavily!- Thankfully it was not our barn but last night - sadly two of our neighbors lost barns to the weight of the snow ! so First thing this morning while I was doing chores Brian grabs about 30foot of chain and a come-along and braces two of the poles to stop the listing then go goes to his shed and appears with a jack a 10" x 10" post about 12 foot long, a steel plate for footing, a saw and a few other necessary items to save a falling down barn and with in an hour had put in a post under the west side of the barn and thus averting disaster - If your gonna be snowed in for a week on a farm there's one one guy to be snowed in with let me tell you - Thanks Brian - in the mean time we have well over 2 feet of snow which is crazy for us and we're thankful that the power is still on - we have lost the phone line - but I got my internet : ) - so lots of wood and wine and a warm bed - you know it johnny!

The listing barn -

coming loose at the seams!

The new post! _ thanks Brian

Our vehicles are clearly not going anywhere ;)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

fed-ex versus USPS

we woke up this morning to - guess what - MORE snow! we got a fresh blanket and it's still snowing! - so we still aint goin' anywhere - luckily we have super nice neighbors with 4wd as I've only got abotu a day'ish left of chicken feed -

So I got a call yesterday from Fed-Ex they said they couldn't get into my canyon and would have to leave my packages at the local market in town - I love it Fed Ex can't make it down my gravel, un plowed, snowed in road but my trusty mail lady is besting them!! she's tough that lady she's got a 4 wheel drive truck and chains and isn't letting anything stop her - she may not get here at her usual time but she's been getting us our net-flix every day which let me tell you IS a total life line when you are snowed in and you have no TV - so when the chips are down the post office has got fed-ex beat hands down... Big Thanks to my hardworking mail lady!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

more snow !

Well we got more snow last night - we must have nearly a foot on the ground now!
I've been giving the horses there hay way up on the hill in there shed brian built and I decided that better Hummer carry all that hay than me _ he's such a good sport! : )

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

it's 15 degrees people!!

yup we are in the middle of record cold and snow here in the Portland area - we are working hard to keep our house warm enough to keep any more pipes from freezing - my laundry room pipes are frozen - so no washing machine for me and who knows what will happen to those pipes when things thaw! It's a balmy 55 degrees inside right now and that's in the part of the house we are heating!! I sit here on the couch in two sweaters a hat, scarf and covered in a wool blanket - the lap top is actually the warmest thing on me right now : )

The animals are all doing well - in fact maybe a little to well every one is looking pretty fat as I've been feeding LOTS of extra hay to keep them warm and they are enjoying that perhaps a little too much. The only hard part is keeping up with there water luckily some very smart person put a hot water spigot on the outside of the house right next to where the hot water heater is so I can get super hot water in the am for filling up buckets of hot water to melt the iced over critter water.

It looks like we will be getting more snow tomorrow. We went into town today to grocery shop and mail out a few packages for Christmas - I don't think we will be going out again till we absolutely have to as the roads are a sheet of ice with no thaw in sight till maybe after Christmas! We did pick up some chains for the Honda so that will help on our next provisioning run.

Stay warm and if anybody has an extra pair of those fingerless gloves I can wear in the house and still type the blog feel free to send them on : ) - Big Love - Clare

Monday, December 15, 2008

Myra's ham!

Thank you Myra - it was a great night !

Big Table - Big Ham

Matt the other "ham"

Angie getting into the porkyness

Kurt looks pretty excited! : )

Nate and China - thanks for commin' : )

pancetta and chicken

The freezer is full now of goat, pig, cow and chicken including the roosters : ) we are ready for winter now --- which is good because the snow is HERE~ Big Giant thank you to my terrific husband for getting a roof over the horses heads in time for the winter weather!

the brothers visit

My brothers where all here for a much too short visit on there way out to work out at the coast on a building project at the nestucca retreat center - it was a great visit thanks for taking the time guys!! hope your staying warm out there ~ big love -Clare

watch out riedel here comes michael woth a new designer series : )

Joseph gave me sheep for christmas : )