These cute little guys arrived last week.

By special delivery in the mail (USPS is still pretty cool in my opinion…). We nestled them into their new, warm temporary home… the bathtub!

They’re all adorable and they are already growing FAST! We chose to get babies so that they would get to know us and so that the dogs would have some time to get used to them. I can just imagine the three dogs rushing outside everyday to bark in the poor chicken’s faces (jerks).

Well unfortunately, we already had an accident. Wilbur got one. WHAAAAH!!! I feel horrible and I can’t believe we let it happen. He rushed inside when the door was open before we could even think about it. Before then, I was letting him sniff them at a distance, with dual supervision and a grip on his collar. He was obeying, but definitely obsessed… way too worked up to be left unattended.

The ONLY good thing that came from the tragedy is the lesson learned… the dogs and the chickens are not going to be friends and definitely can’t be left together. I do want to try to make the existence between them peaceful, although separate. With barriers. Because the poor babies are never going to be able to defend themselves. And there are a lot more vicious beasts who will be trying their best to get at them… both by ground and by air. Mitch is going to have his work cut out for him reinforcing the coop to keep out coyotes, raccoons, rodents, hawks and obviously, dogs too. I am so mad a Wil, but I know this was my fault, not his.

Here is a peek into the peaceful past… before the ‘incident.’ When I was still a naïve and trusting mother.

Wilbur showing self-control

Wilbur showing self control

Ready for Spring!

I have just returned from a week in Germany. I was attending the International Dental Show in Cologne, which happens once every two years. It was an incredibly busy and productive week. We enjoyed staying near the unbelievable Dom (<–link to really well done virtual tour)

iPad snap of the Dom with snowflakes just starting to fall.

iPad snap of the Dom with snowflakes just starting to fall.

On the first day, I was surprised by a snowstorm that lasted throughout the first part of the week! I don’t think I am alone when I say that I have had just about enough of this arctic air. I returned home with high hopes of warmer weather and signs around the property that Spring is among us. While the signs were certainly not everywhere

Sure enough, we have had (very) few small, but worthy sightings…

While we wait for growing season to begin, we will continue to explore our new terrain. As I mentioned before, we live among some heavy logging. Across the way there is a massive clear-cut that was replanted a decade ago. A mile down the road, there is a brand new one… previously fresh, fallen branches are still drying out. Sometimes a Great Notion was filmed on the Siletz River up our road in 1971… written by Oregonian Ken Kesey about a typical logging family in this exact area. Read the book (if you can find the time for the 736 pages) or see the movie, which to me perfectly illustrates the time warp that can be felt all around in this area. From the rustic, weathered and rusted homes, vehicles, buildings and roads; the mentality of living off the land as a way to survive, rather than a hobby; the hard work and the skill that is required to maintain what you have; how little opportunity there is for economic stability… the 90 miles to Portland feels like a thousand. It’s an interesting contrast to experience.

Here are some pictures from our clear-cut trek on a gorgeous sunny day (hello Spring!).

Next up! Our chicks and my dad and mom are arriving tomorrow!!!

Xoxo, K

After the flood

sunsetWhenever I hear something about wetlands, it seems like it’s something about their declining health or complete disappearance. I’ve never really thought about them forming or how that would even happen. Well, one way is to have a neighbor’s culvert back up for a year and let the creek feeding the river do the rest. Our lower field, between the cabin and the river, is about 30′ below the rest of the property – and it belongs to the river. During really heavy, prolonged rains or quick melting of snowpack in the coast range, the field floods and joins the river for a while. Otherwise, it is mostly dry except for the lowest spots where the water table is teasing the surface and is a little soggy. lil froggiestadpole pods Until a couple of years ago, that is… that blocked culvert had slowly backed up the tiny creek into the field and formed a fairly large wetland area. It created a fertile area for young fish, tadpoles, birds and beavers. Even though our neighbor finally cleared the blockage, something has changed the behavior of the water because it no longer drains as it did before and has left a swampy gauntlet to cross to get to the wetlands This is going to make it tough to get the tractor down there to mow once the grass starts growing. The upside is we have hundreds of ducks that overnight here now. There is also a pair of herons that like to stop by every once in a while and flocks of geese who layover on their way to wherever they’re headed. budding wetlands I may have to build a small bridge over our new wetland so that we can get the most use of the lower field but overall it think that it is a good development and I look forward to seeing it progress. -MJ

Wise Owl

Credit Image: © Robin Loznak/

Credit Image: © Robin Loznak/

We have a friend living outside our window. It’s either a Spotted Owl or a Barred Owl. We can’t be sure since we’ve never seen it, but an owl for sure. After plenty of research by way of listening to clips of hoots, screeches, caws and chatters, and narrowing down who may be found around here, we have decided on Spotted as our incredibly amateur hunch. Our neighbor definitely hoots. It’s actually almost a purr… Spotted Owl Call

I bring this up because owls seem to be a recurring theme for us. One hit our CAR on the way home late at night a few months ago on Christmas Eve. We thought it was a baby, but now I see that the Western Screech Owl only grows to about 8 inches tall and looks very similar to our little yellow-eyed victim (below). It happened only 2 blocks from home back in Portland at about midnight… we must have been the only car on that street for several hours. What are the odds of that exact timing? I was able to pick him up on my second attempt… on the first try, he spread his wings about 4 feet wide, which made me scream! We carefully hid him next to a tree away from the road and the next morning he was gone. Hopefully that’s a good sign?

Monday I got this special delivery from my dearest friend… which included a card with, what else? A pair of hooters (as the card so eloquently states)! A funny coincidence, but still interesting.

Housewarming/half birthday gift from Tracy

Housewarming/half birthday gift from Tracy

I am really not superstitious, but one may think there is an omen in these recent run-ins. In fact, everyone’s got an opinion on the matter: World Owl Mythology… I see that in Australia, where my mom grew up, they believe ‘bats represent the souls of men and owls the souls of women.’ If that is true, there are an awful lot of male spirits around here (which one is creepier? That, or the ACTUAL bats?).

No matter the symbolism, each one takes a visit from an owl seriously. Many eluding to death, evil and bad luck. Others, and the theory that I prefer to wrap around myself, is that the owl is here to promote wisdom. We are a family of two people and three rowdy dogs storming onto this mostly undisturbed land. It has gone over 10 years unused, which has allowed for a peaceful natural sanctuary to develop. And surely this space is even more meaningful in contrast to the logging practices that is the sole industry in the area. It’s the lifeblood of the Oregon coast, but a source of controversy for the owl as well as many other species. We have every intention of learning how to use this land to grow and make the things that we need, but we better not forget to love it back. Thanks for the reminder wise owl, to proceed with caution and to respect this beautiful place. That is my owl theory anyway.

I also think he is here to eat our mice which sure isn’t an omen, but a very welcome gesture! I hope he sticks around.
Xo, K



It’s getting warmer and the creep of the blackberries is getting ferocious. We are completely surrounded, which is actually pretty nice for corralling the animals but they are closing in on us and it’s time for action. I’ve gotten the coop cleared out and have now moved over to the back of the lower barn where we’ll have the wood shop and greenhouse set up.

I uncovered a couple old farm relics and a forgotten shed that have all seen better days. I will get the shed to stand again and the trucks will make a great start to a sculpture garden to compliment the food one. Another day and I should be around to the south side, then it’s time to think about what should replace all of those berries!