Goats

DAIRY GOATS

Alpine

– Alpines don’t do well in wet climates, though modern breeding is improving their hardiness.

– Can be any color except white or light brown with white markings.

– Seasonal breeder, usually from August to December.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average 30″ and weigh 135 lbs.

– Average 1+ gallon of milk per day; 3.3% butterfat; 2.9% protein; longer than average lactation cycle.  They can produce for around 284 days.  They are the top dairy goat breed for milk production.

La Mancha

– One of the best dairy goats with high butterfat.  Known for small ears.

– Seasonal breeder, usually from August to December.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average 28″ and 130 lbs.

– Average 1+ gallons of milk per day; 3.7% butterfat; 3.2% protein.  Can produce for 2 years without having to be bred again.

Oberhasli*

– Shades of brown with black markings. Does can be black.  They are gentle and friendly.

– Alpine breeds don’t do well in wet climates, though modern breeding is improving their hardiness.

– Seasonal breeder, usually from August to December.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average 28″ and weigh around 120 lbs.

– 3.8% butterfat; 3.0% protein.  They tend to produce for around 284 days.

Nubian

– Large ears and Roman nose. Primarily a dairy goat, but also dual-purpose.  High butterfat and protein, but do not produce as much milk as other breeds.  They are gentle and friendly, but I’ve read they are not as naturally healthy as other milk goat breeds.

– Some Nubians can be bred year round, but they are usually a seasonal breeder (from August to December).  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average 30″ and weigh 135 lbs.

– Average of 1+ gallon of milk per day; 4.7% butterfat; 3.8% protein.  They tend to produce for around 180 – 200 days.

Kinder

– A recently developed breed that crossed a nubian with a pygmy, creating a dual-purpose goat.

– Does average 26′ and weigh around 120 lbs.

– Average 2 quarts per day; 7% butterfat.  They tend to produce for around 284 days.

Saanen (Sable is the colored version of Saanen)

– A calm dairy goat with high volume and wonderful quality of milk.  Saanens are all white, sometimes with a few spots.  Colored Saanens are now recognized as their own breed: Sables.

– Seasonal breeder, usually from August to December.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Being the largest of the dairy goats, Saanen and Sable average 30″ in height and weigh around 135 lb.

– 1.5 gallons of milk per day; 3.3% butterfat; 2.9% protein.  They tend to produce for around 250 – 300 days.

Toggenburg

– Can be rather nervous.  Shades of brown with white or cream face and lower legs.  They have average milk production.

– Seasonal breeder, usually from August to December.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Medium size dairy goat, with does standing about 26″ and weighing 120 lbs.

– 3.1% butterfat; 2.8% protein.  They tend to produce for around 284 days.

Nigerian Dwarf

– Small, colorful dairy goat that produces a very high butterfat milk.  Most are kept as pets.  Can have blue eyes.

– Bree year-round.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average about 22″ and weigh 25-35 lbs.

– 1-2 quarts per day; 6.2% butterfat; 4.4% protein.  They tend to produce for around 300 days.

Pygmy

– Small goat, mainly kept for pets, but were originally used for meat and some dairy.

– Bree year-round.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

 

MEAT GOATS

There are a many breeds of meat goats, and really, any goat can be used for meat production.  Below are just a few that are easier to find (depending on your area).

Boer

– Boer is strictly a meat goat, or a pet, or to control brush around your property.  They produce only enough milk for their kids, and dry up sooner than dairy breeds.  Boer crossed with a dairy goat can be hit or miss.  It’s said to have wonderful milk, but the lactation period is still shorter than a full dairy goat.

– Bree year-round.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Males can reach 300 lbs.

Savannah

– A new breed from South Africa, the Savannah has been developed to be hardy and low maintenance.  Can tolerate a variety of climates.

– Does average 125 to 200 lbs and males average 200 to 250 lbs.

Spanish

– Low maintenance, but not the friendliest of goats.  They just as soon be left alone to eat their way through the brush growing in the hills.  They are hardy and can tolerate a variety of climates.

– Spanish is a purebred goat, but many Spanish goats have been crossed with other meat goats, threatening the survival of pure Spanish populations.

– Year-round breeder.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Vary in size from 50 lbs to 200 lbs

Nubian

– Nubian’s are a good dual-purpose goat, producing high quality milk and a good amount of meat.

– Some Nubians can be bred year round, but they are usually a seasonal breeder (from August to December).  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Males can reach 175 lbs.

Kiko

– A new breed that was developed in New Zealand.  It can tolerate a variety of climates and are low maintenance.

– Bree year-round.  A doe will be in heat every 18-21 days and can stay in heat from a few hours to a few days.  Gestation for most does is about 150 days (about 5 months).

– Does average 100 to 150 lbs; males can reach 300 lbs.

 

BRUSH GOATS

The best goats for clearing brush tend to be a cross between meat and dairy goat breeds that are hardy and resistant to parasites.  Wethers are a favorite because there is no danger of temperament change during breeding season, and they won’t damage their udders in rough terrain.

You’ll want to choose small, medium, and large size goats.  Small goats (pygmy or nigerian dwarf) will better reach the low growing branches, and the taller goats will reach the higher growth (as high as 7′).

Also, choose horn-less goats.  Horns can get caught in brush and fences while the goats are out being goats.

 

 

Shows in NW Oregon
Roseburg Goat Show – June

 

http://adga.org/knowledgebase/breed-averages/

Roughing It – Week 3

November 11, 2019 – Monday

Today, was another foggy, cold, but beautiful day.  Yesterday (Sunday), our logger friend dug the trench for our power and water pipes, but since my travel trailer is on one side of the trench, and my car and truck are on the other side of the trench, he placed two logs next to each other to form a temporary bridge for me to cross on foot.  Let me tell you, walking across the logs, which I’ve named “The Bridge to Heaven”, at 5 AM in complete dark and a thick fog, was interesting to say the least.  But no worries, I am a rough and tough mountain man by now, right?

After crossing The Bridge to Heaven and walking down our long driveway with a backpack on my back, a flashlight in one hand, and my 9 mm in the other hand, I made it to where I had parked the truck and car.  Put my backpack in the car, and pulled the truck out of the driveway so our friend can finish the trench today (Monday).  Got in the car and headed to work without any issues.

Skip through the day and return home after work.  Right away I was greeted by the view of a completed trench, ready for me to lay the pipes and get things rolling as soon as possible.

But then the reality hit.  Let me explain.  The trench starts about 600 feet up, on the north side of our driveway, but since the power pole is at the street on the south side of the driveway, it has to cross the driveway in a way that will minimize the angle of bend for the pipes.  This means about 100 feet of trench going across the driveway at an angle.  The problem is, our logger friend didn’t make a second bridge for me. That meant I had to go up a hillside filled with blackberry bushes, and very uneven trail, in almost complete dark, in the clothes that I wear to work, and only with a flashlight to guide me.  Now you see why I was a bit… dismayed?

2019.11 Trench

It took me about 15 minutes, but I finally managed to get up the hill to the travel trailer.  After checking for any bugs and stickers and changing my clothes, I started the generators and looked around to see if I had any lumber that could be used for a bridge at the bottom of the driveway.  I did not want to repeat climbing the hill side again tomorrow.  I found a piece of 2×6 that looked long enough to go across our 4’ wide trench, so I grabbed it and headed down the hill like I was a rough and tough guy and owned the world.

Well, life has a way of putting you in your place.  As soon as I laid the 2×6 across the trench, I realized it was a bit short.  It bounced once and slipped into the ditch. I thought about retrieving it, but then I realized, there is no way for me to get out of the trench once I’m in it.  Back up to the top of the driveway I went to find a larger piece of lumber.  But this time I was smart about it.  Instead of pretending to be a tough guy, I started the tractor, put two longer pieces of lumber on the bucket loader and drive down to the planned bridge site.  I laid the lumber across, and did a test walk.  Success!

Fortunately, before I got back on the tractor, I remembered I was low on fresh water, so I turned on the water down at the road to let the fresh water tank fill up on top.  I drove the tractor up the road and parked it out of the way above the travel trailer’s pad.

After about 10 minutes, the tank was full and it was time to go down the hill, shut off the water, and empty the hose connecting the water meter to the fresh water tank.

Let me tell you, walking down the driveway with just a flashlight, in complete darkness, in our area is a bit unnerving.  Especially that a couple of days earlier we had a confirmed mountain lion paw print up our driveway and the ever present pray population for the mountain lions.

I wasn’t even halfway down the driveway when suddenly something jumped over the trench into the driveway and with one more jump was across the driveway and into the bushes.  Our driveway is at least 14’ wide, the trench is more than 4’ wide, and the pile of dirt running the length of the trench is at least 6’ wide.  To put it in perspective, this thing, with two jumps, cleared almost 24 feet.  Now you can understand why my heart stopped.  I quickly raised my gun and pointed it towards the bushes only two see a deer looking back at me through the bushes, trying to stay still so I don’t see her.  I lowered my gun, but kept the flashlight on her, enjoying the view.  I was about 20 feet from her and she just stood there looking back.  After a few seconds, she slowly walked away and I lost sight of her.

2019.10.11 Deer
(different deer, different day)

Turned off the water at the bottom of the road, and turned on the drain valve for the water to flow back out, then made my way back up the road, crossing the trench over my newly constructed heavy duty bridge (or so I keep telling myself).  By now, I was cold, tired, and in need of some food and a warm shower.  But the shower had to wait until my batteries were charged so the water heater could work long enough to get me the warm water I needed for the shower.

I guess all things considered, it was another beautiful day in paradise.  We’ll see what tomorrow has in store for us.  Until then….

November 13, 2019 – Wednesday

After working a full day, I returned home to a strange sight.  Right by the trench, next to where I had laid two pieces of 2×4 as my bridge across the trench, I could see there was a post stuck into the ground with a box stock to the top of the pole.  The writing on the post read “Be safe, A and L” (neighbors).  Then I realized there were two pieces of 2”x8”x10’ lumber put very neatly across the trench as a bridge for me.

I didn’t know what to say or think.  I lived in southern California for over 35 years.  In most places I lived, I barely knew any of my neighbors or even talked to them much.  But here I am, a completely new resident, and after a week the neighbors whom I had met only once, a couple who had no reason to care for my well-being, had taken the time to bring lumber from their home about ¼ mile away to make me a bridge across the trench so I can cross safely and make my way up the road.

I know most people in urban areas (including me) would think “what the heck were they doing in your driveway?”

Well, A and L had told us that ever since they knew we were preparing to move in they have been walking the property once or twice a week to get some exercise and to make sure everything is ok.  In the past, there have been occasions when trespassers had entered our property to hunt or to take some of the extra logs laying around. Our property was logged before we purchased it, so there are plenty of logs left behind to be used as firewood.  So I guess that’s how they came across my questionable little bridge made of a 2×6 and a 2×4 across the trench.

To say I was moved is an understatement.  This is one more reason we love being here. We are surrounded by beautiful nature and wonderful people who care for one another. I had heard of people in rural areas coming together to help each other in times of need, even when they were not asked, but I had never experienced it first-hand.  Let me tell you, it feels great.  I don’t know when or how, but I will definitely make sure I return the favor, or pay it forward when I get a chance.  Once again, life is wonderful in the country.

November 14, 2019 – Thursday

After talking to our PGE project manager and reviewing the drawings, I went online to check the price of the parts I needed to lay in the trench that will supply power to our house.  Our drawing specifies 36” sweeps at two different diameters.  The 2” pipe size for incoming power line from the pole to the transformer, and the larger 3” pipe from transformer to the meter and anything after the meter.

Found out the price for one 2” sweep, at 36” radius of sweep, is minimum $240.  For the 3” sweep of the same diameter, it is $420 each.  Needing 4 of the 2” and 5 of the 3” sweeps will cost me, just for the sweeps, $3060.  Add the pipes for another $1800 will cost me almost $4900 just to lay the power pipes.  In addition, I will need caps, meter base, circuit breaker box, and the pull rope in pipes, for another $700.  Add to that $4000 we paid for the 600’ trench, and almost $7000 we paid for the design, installation, and inspection of the power line in the pipes, and we reach a grand total of $16,560 for just the power to be installed, not including the labor of laying the pipes that will be supplied by me.

So, needless to say I sent an email to the PGE project manager to see if we can at least get some relief on the size of the pipes and the types of sweeps to be used. That could save me a couple of thousands.  I will keep you posted.

Book List

Book suggestions I’ve run across

· Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemmingway

· Restoration Agriculture, by Mark Shepard

· The Prosperous Homesteader

· How to Blog for Profit W/out Selling Your Soul

· Raising Goats Naturally, by Pat Coleby

· The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, edited by Gail Damerow

· Naturescaping: A Landscaping Partnership with Nature, by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

· Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest, by Russell Link

· Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon

· Propagation of Pacific Northwest Native Plants, by Robin Rose, Caryn E. C. Chachulski, Diane L. Haase

· National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest, by Peter Alden

· Trees and Shrubs of California, by John D. Stuart and John O. Sawyer

· Growing California Native Plants, by Marjorie D. Schmidt

· National Audubon Society Field Guide to California, by Peter Alden

· Native Plants of the Coastal Garden, by April Pettinger

· Naturalistic Gardening: Reflecting the Planting Patterns of Nature, by Anne Lovejoy

· Portland Plant Lists, by the Portland Planning Bureau

· Wildflowers of the Columbia River Gorge, by Russ Jolley

Roughing It – Week 2

Pops and his adventures learning to live in a travel trailer in the woods.

 

November 4, 2019 – Monday

The commute to work was not bad, but took an hour and 20 minutes.

Commute back took the same amount of time, but since it was in the direction of the setting sun, it made for a heck of a drive.  People were slamming on their brakes every time they came over a hill on the road because the sun was right in their eyes.

The night before I realized the toilet in the trailer was backed up so I needed to stop by the hardware store and pick up a plunger.  Fortunately, the store is on my way home, so no big detour into the city.  Got to the store, picked up the plunger and went to the cashier, only to realize that in my rush to get to work in the morning, I had forgotten my wallet at home, some 30 minutes away.  Decided to drive home, pick up the wallet and rush back to the store and get the plunger.  Leaving the store, came across a road closure.  This is the only road that goes directly to our property, so had to take a long detour which added another 30 minutes to my trip.  By the time I arrived home, it was dark, so no going back to the store tonight.  Looked around for a jerry-rig solution, and found a stick that could work.  Quick 5 minute work and no more backed up toilet.

Then I realized the batteries on the trailer were almost empty.  So, fired up the generator and got the charging process going.  As I fired up the generator, noticed something moved up the driveway.  Mind you, we have seen signed of big cat visitors around the property, so I was very quick to shine the flashlight in that direction, while at the same time realizing I didn’t have my gun with me.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful white tail doe looking at me.  She slowly turned away and went up the hill.

I guess the day was not that bad after all.  As the old saying goes, all is well that ends well.

November 5, 2019 – Tuesday

I woke up around 1 AM to a very cold trailer.  Checked out the heater and it was set for 65 degrees, but the thermometer showed it was 51 degrees inside.  Went to the panel and realized the batteries that were at almost 50% last night, were almost completely drained.  The batteries were low enough that every time the water pump kicked in, the lights flickered.

Decided I need to find out what could have caused the issue and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.  To warm up the trailer, I turned on the stove’s front burner and with the help of a small desk top fan circulated some air, enough to get the temp up a few degrees.  After about an hour, I turned off the burner and went back to bed, knowing I will be waking up to a very chilly trailer.

Alarm clock went off at 4:15, got out of bed and got dressed as fast as I could.  Turned on the stove and the fan again, but to see what I was doing I used a flashlight instead of turning on the lights.  Made coffee, and turned on the water heater.  Then, shaved, and showered when the water was warm enough.  Looking out the entry door, I noticed it was light outside.  Then it dawned on me.  I went outside last night to turn off the generator, but being lazy and somewhat worried, I turned on the exterior lights of the trailer instead of using a flashlight.  And that is how I drained the batteries.

Guess what I will be doing tonight…. listening to the sweet rumble of the generator charging the batteries yet again.

Oh ya, have to fill up the fresh water tank in the trailer too.  Down to 1/3 now.

And put my tools away, cover the tractor with a tarp, and clean up around the trailer to make sure I don’t trip or slip on any of the stuff around, while running from trailer to the car in the mornings.  LOL

November 6, 2019 – Wednesday

Filled up the fresh water tank and turned on the generator to charge the batteries last night, thinking I was set for an uneventful night.  Oh, how wrong I was.

Woke up around 12:30 AM and “House” as we call it (a reference to Doctor Who’s episode where he is summoned to an asteroid with aliens on it who refer to the asteroid and its ghostly controller as ‘House’), was freezing cold.  Checked the thermometer and it showed inside to be 48 degrees and outside at 39.  Checked the power and I still had 25% left, so it shouldn’t have been the issue.  Checked the propane and it was out.  Even the stove wouldn’t start.

I decided it was too cold for it to wait till morning, so I got dressed and headed outside to replace the two 5 gallon tanks with our new 25 gallon tank.  After struggling with the tanks, locks, and the connection hose for about 15 minutes, I was able to reconnect the gas and get it going.  By the time I got back inside, I was a popsicle, but I had heat.  Or I should have.

Came inside and turned on the heater, but nothing happened.  Turns out when the heater shuts down due to gas issues, it has to be completely turned off and sit for a minute or so before it can reset itself and get ready for operation.  After restarting the heater, I went back to bed, hoping for a nice warm, or at least semi warm rest of the night.

Woke up at 4 with the sound of my alarm clock, and you guessed it, it was cold again.  I guess 25% power does not last even 4 hours with only the heater running.  Since I can’t run the generator at 4 Am, I decided to improvise.  I used a flash light to see my way around while I made coffee, had breakfast, and shaved.  This way, I will hopefully have enough power left to run the water pump and water heater for the shower.  Showered and got dressed after about an hour or so, and headed to work so I can warm up on the drive to work.

Despite all the trials and difficulties, it hasn’t crossed my mind to give up and move into a hotel or an apartment.  The smell of fresh air in the morning and occasional deer sightings make up for the cold nights and all its challenges.  And as the frosting on this wonderful cake, since moving up here I haven’t needed to take any serious medications for my diminishing migraines or ulcer.

Life is good.

November 7, 2019 – Thursday

What a beautiful start of the day.  I woke up with the heater still on and the inside of the trailer at 65 degrees, just where I had set it the night before.

I think I have finally figured out how to work with this travel trailer.  Let me explain.

Yesterday, while at work, I was trying to figure out how to put more juice into the batteries so that the heater can run all night without draining the batteries.  Since we bought the 25 gallon tank, the propane part has been somewhat figured out, but the power part has not.

If you really think about it, even though I have water and power 300 feet away at the street, I am still technically living off grid.  I have to fill up the water tank every other day, have to fill up the propane every week, and have to generate my own power for the trailer.

I have been using a 4 Kilowatt generator to charge the two marine deep cycle batteries on the trailer.  The problem is, since I work full time and leave before sunrise, returning after sunset, I can only run the generator a couple of hours every night.  This limits how much energy my generator and the battery chargers can store in the two batteries.  I usually end up with about 25-35% charged capacity in each battery before I have to shut down the generator for the night.

What I realized at work yesterday is that all generators have two power output circuits.  But each circuit is about 180 degrees out of phase with the other circuit.  This is both good and bad.  I realized that if I get a second battery charger, I can double the amount of energy I put in the two batteries.

I know, some of you electrical savy people might be laughing by now, but I’m not done yet.  LOL

The problem will be that since the two generator circuits are out of phase, if I connect the two chargers to the two individual circuits and try to charge the two batteries at the same time, and if my chargers don’t have reverse flow protection, I could burn my chargers, destroy my batteries, or even worse, don’t get any charge into the batteries.  It’s like telling two people to move a block of concrete while one of them is pushing and the other one is pulling on the same side of the block.

But there is a simple solution.  The two batteries are hooked up in parallel.  This means a power cable connects the positive side of one battery to the positive side of the other battery, and the same for the negative side.  So, if I disconnect the positive cable going from one batter to the other, I can then charge each battery individually, using a separate charger connected to separate circuits on my generator.  This way I get full power of the generator charging my batteries.

So last night I stopped by our local automotive store and picked up a second battery charger.  When I got home, I disconnected the two batteries from each other and charged each battery with its own charger that was connected to a different circuit on the generator.  Easy peasy.

After an hour of charging, I realized that my lights were flickering and when the water pumped kicked in, my lights shut down.  Went outside and found out that one of my tools had fallen across the charger cables and had popped off both chargers from the batteries.  So, I was back to square one and just about out of battery.  Reconnected everything and made sure the area was clear of anything that could disrupt my charging operation and went back inside to wait.

After an hour, I came back out to check on the batteries.  Now, each battery was at 25% capacity.  In two hours, each was at 50% capacity.  By the time I shut down the generator at two and a half hours, one battery was at 85%, and the other was at 65% capacity.  This was expected since the battery with the lower capacity was still connected to the trailer and was being used while it was charging, resulting in lower charge capacity.

And THAT is how I woke up this morning in a warm and comfy travel trailer, not needing to use flash lights to find my way through the trailer or needing to turn on the stove just to warm up.  I am now ready for the next challenge this pseudo off-grid living decides to throw my way.

And, to make the day even brighter, our logger friend, the one we purchased this beautiful piece of paradise from, dropped off his 55 ton excavator at our property so he can dig a 4 foot wide, 3 feet deep, 630 feet long trench for us.  I can then lay in the power and water pipes.  If all goes well, within the next three to four weeks, I will have water and power at the trailer and we’ll be ready to start construction on our home in early spring.  I guess you could say this is one more layer of frosting on this beautiful adventure filled cake.

I don’t know about you, but I personally can’t wait.

November 8, 2019 – Friday

Well, woke up to a cold travel trailer again.  But, this time it was completely my fault.  Last night, after charging the batteries and reconnecting them to the trailer, I forgot to turn on the heater.  Went to bed with temp at 65, woke up to 49.  It was 29 degrees outside.

When leaving for work, I had to scrape the ice off all the windows.  It was a strange feeling to have to do this.  I lived in Southern California for so long that I had forgotten what cold weather could be like and what are some of the morning routines that will soon be normal to me.  I guess I will have to learn to deal with them again.

On the way to work, I had to stop for a traffic jam.  A heard of elk was crossing the road, and of course they were in no hurry to get through.  I counted at least 15 of them.  One was sliding down the hillside and I think it slipped because it almost ran into my car.  I think it gave me the look of “what are you looking at, huh?”  LOL

QLOX1373

Other than that, and the now normal foggy drive, it was rather an uneventful morning.  Tomorrow, will be a very busy day.  We’ll have the water and power trench starting AND I have to do some shopping for a burn barrel, a gas power weed wacker, and a mail box.  Who knows, I might even get to do some work with the tractor.

November 9, 2019 – Saturday

This morning started beautifully.  A nice crisp fog blanketed the entire property.  The Fog was so thick that I had a hard time seeing more than 50 feet away.  The aroma of the woods hung around, making it an even better day, even though it was only 37 degrees.  I decided to open up the travel trailer and let the fresh air pass through.  After getting dressed, or should I say bundled up, got out there and started to work on the porch cover.  With rain in the forecast for Tuesday and the five days after, I was running out of time.

As I started to work on the porch, our friend showed up to get started on the trench for the power and water lines.  The trench being over 600’ long, 4’ wide, and 3’ deep was not something I could tackle, so we decided to use outside resources for it.  After a short conversation, we decided the best person for the job and at the best price was our friend “the logger”.  With his 55 Ton excavator he could make a short work of the trench, AND remove any tree stumps that get in the way.  Mind you, the trees that were removed during the logging of our property were at least 20 years old, and some were up around 50 years old.  The stumps of these trees are not something that can be removed easily by just any excavator.  That’s why we hired the best guy with the biggest excavator for the job.  Yes, the price had something to do with it too.

After a short discussion and showing him the sketch of the proposed trench provided by the power company project manager, our friend started on the trench and I went back to work on the porch for the travel trailer.

I have to say I am spoiled from working with my dad.  He usually hands me tools, gets me the stuff that I forgot to being up the ladder, and things like that.  Being 87, he can’t do much, but his company, his ability to hold small things in place, and his “gopher” status helps the day go faster and a lot smoother.  I do miss him being with me, but right now this is not the place for him.  Not yet.

As the day went on, I got more work done.  A neighbor stopped by for a quick chat, and our Logger friend had a brief interruption when an employee rolled the log loader.  (the driver wasn’t hurt, at least not by the log loader)

output

All in all, the day was very fruitful and there were no oops or surprises.  So, it was another good day.

November 10, 2019 – Sunday

Today was colder than yesterday and the fog was very wet.  Looking out the window, the ground was wet, and you guessed it, the clay soil was going to be sticky.  But, there was work to be done and deadlines to meet.

After a quick breakfast and getting bundled up, got out there and realized the fog has been so thick that it looked like it had rained.  There were large beads of water on every surface, including the tools that yours truly had been too lazy to put away.  My old 6” C-Clamps had started to rust.  These old clamps are pure cast iron and don’t have any paint or other protection on them, so they are vulnerable to rust.  For over 15 years in California, because of the dry climate, I never had a problem.  But here, after leaving them out for two days, I get rust.

Around 5 pm, right before dark, I finished most of the porch, but most importantly, the roof was done.  Now I can work on the rest even if it is drizzling. Next will be the railing, the remainder of the deck planks, and perhaps the second set of stairs.  But for now, since most of the ditch is done, I need to focus on preparing the two platforms for the power transformer and the power meter.  Also, I need to work on laying the water and power pipes so I can get our power company to run the wires.  Using the generator and having no TV or any other appliances other than the basic fridge, is getting boring.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on my phone, texting or reviewing Facebook comments, but I can tell I am starting to review the same things over and over, just to pass time.  LOL

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still needs roof and rails

On to Phase 3 of The Big Move

November 6, 2019

The second phase of the plan is complete and Pops is moved into the travel trailer.  I didn’t cry as much as I expected when we moved him up.  (In case you missed it, he moved the end of October and I’ll move the end of May)  This absence is different from being on a business trip.  This is more like a divorce without the anger.  He’s around, but not.  And he won’t be home for the weekend

My mom’s doing great taking over watering the garden and checking on the chickens.  I think she’s actually enjoying it.  I was going to take over when I got back, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time with it getting dark by 5:30.

Pops, on the other hand, is having a few challenges with the power and heat in the travel trailer.  He has water at the street (300′ from the trailer and it can’t be left connected to the TT because it will freeze), but power wont be connected for another couple weeks and it’s dropping down to 27f at night.  No power, no heat.  The challenge is that there isn’t a way to prepare for things you didn’t know to prepare for, and of course there are things you just don’t get a chance to look into till it’s too late…. like the propane running out at 2 AM and you find out the connection from the TT doesn’t reach the 100 lb tank you picked up the other day.  Pops watched videos to learn how to empty the black and grey tanks, but nothing came up about Grey Tank 2 and how to empty it.  Even the owners manual brushes by Grey Tank 2.

You can read about that adventure HERE.

 

Pops is Moving Without Me

Sept 27, 2019

Coordinating a move is nerve wracking when it’s a short drive across town, but moving to another state is another story altogether.  We started the “Keep or Toss” game six months ago when my grandma passed away and my mom was moving in with us.  Take it from my emotional breakdown experience that it is not easy to purge a craft room/office (aka, the catch-all room) in a month.  Everything I touched in my house and Grandma’s came with the question “is it worth eventually moving to Oregon?”.  This taught me that purging a whole house will take at least a year and will require handling items many times.  I’ve gone through boxes in the garage four times and expect at least one more before putting them in the moving truck.

The big factor in coordinating The BIg Move is Pops’ finding a job that will pay his bills in Oregon AND the expenses in California till next summer.  Finding a good job in his field can take a while, so he started looking early.  And now he’ll be moving seven months ahead of me.

In order to keep costs down, we decided that renting a house or apartment wouldn’t be good for the budget, so instead we’ll be living full time on the property in a 33′ travel trailer (“TT”) and mom will get an apartment in town. (Surprisingly, a one bedroom senior apartment plus a TT payment costs less than a two bedroom apartment.)  The bonus is that we get to live at the property sooner than if we rented a place in town.

Now that Pops has accepted the position, he has four weeks to get everything together that he’ll need to live in a TT, including tools he’ll need to work at the property.  He’ll fly down to LA a few times over the next several months, but he’ll really only have Saturdays to do any projects so the big ones have to be finished right away.  This means I’ll be taking on his chores and the small projects, like rehoming the aquaponics system.

  • Finish projects around the house
  • Buy travel trailer, do inspection/training, and schedule delivery
  • Buy all kinds of TT specific items, like a small dish drainer and a heavy curtains to hang over the door to keep the cold out
  • Order water to be connected
  • Order a temporary “construction” electric panel
  • Order trash pick up
  • Notify the post office of a new address to have mail delivered
  • Reserve storage space till a shed can be built
  • Book a flight for me to return to California
  • Drive to Oregon, unpack the truck at storage, and move into the TT

Maybe the distraction of getting things ready to take up will keep me distracted enough to not cry all the time about Pops leaving.  I doubt it.

 

Sept 30, 2019

We braved the largest Ikea in the US (22 acres) on a SUNDAY AFTERNOON.  WHAT were we thinking??  I thought I was the one who had issues with big crowds, but Pops announced before me that he was done.  Unfortunately, you can’t get out without following the cattle path, er, the store layout that leads you through every section against your will.  Seriously.  If you’re ever in Ikea during a major disaster, just find a corner to hide in and wait for the rescuers to find you.  You’ll have a better chance of being found alive after the stampede has passed.

We were there to buy living necessities for the travel trailer, like dishes and trash cans.   Can you imagine happily shopping in LA Mall Traffic and there stands some woman crying her eyes out with no tissue to be found?  Thankfully I got it under control before the tears actually flowed.  Other than that, it was a good day and I’m glad to have finally visited one of the largest Ikeas in the world.  It was like Disneyland, except the lines move faster.