Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Back at our --- snowy --- homestead

Going from our two-week vacation in Maui to being back home at our homestead has been quite a shock to the system.


Because we went from this...

... to this:

I know, I know, I'm not allowed to feel sorry for myself, but damn!  It's cold!

We are thrilled to be back home (some members of the family more thrilled than others) and to get back into our homesteading-in-winter routine.

Our dog Raka was beside herself with joy when we came back home at 2 in the morning.  She didn't know which one of us five to lick and cover in dog slobber first.  Poor thing, she has never been without us in her whole year of life, and having us gone so long must have been quite stressful for her - despite the wonderful housesitters who took care of our place and all the animals.

The kids are messing with doting on her.

The goats, ducks and chickens are fine.  The goats look fluffed up and more pregnant, the ducks seem pretty pissed off at all the snow, and the chickens are hunkered down nice and snug.

Doing chores in the morning takes some muscle, since I have to trudge through deep snow and schlepp warm water in buckets, for their royal highnesses.  They produce for us, we spoil them.

With our sun-kissed bodies shivering and fussing, I turn my attention to providing warm, home made food for my family.  There's nothing better than eating food that we grew months ago, and then cook it in the cozy kitchen.

We made sausage (our pork and goat meat) before we left for Maui, and I still have lots of sauerkraut and potatoes stored up in the root cellar, so there's a  bunch of meals right there!

And how can you go wrong with bread fresh out of the oven?  I teach how to make this bread in my online fermentation workshop, by the way, and if you want to get into the course for 10 percent off, go to the website and enter this code: valentine2017.

This morning, I took Raka for a walk, which couldn't really be called "walk" because I was either sliding on pure ice (aka our driveway and 1-mile long forest service access road) or stomping through 1-foot deep snow.

After being outside for 15 minutes, I was sweating with the effort.

It's so pretty.  Branches are deeply bowed with heavy snow, bald eagles perch on tall evergreen trees and then fly off when they see me, mosses and ferns wear fancy white caps.

What's happening at your place?  Are you snowed in?  Is spring showing up?  Please tell me that spring will come!

PS: Instead of giving boring old chocolates and flowers (well, okay, maybe not boring, but quite predictable, don't you think?), you could give your loved one my online fermentation course.  Just think: I teach how to make yummy bread (see above), sauerkraut, kombucha, Greek yogurt and beet kvass.  The whole thing costs only $39, and with the 10 percent coupon code (valentine2017), it's even cheaper.

You get to keep all the materials for life, get my movies (yours truly demonstrating everything in my kitchen), my ebooks and access to me for questions.

It's a deal!


  1. Wow look at that! So much snow! We've been getting the melted version down here. Constant flood warnings and the back 40 is a veritable lake. We're going to dig a recharge pond when it dries up (if it ever dries up!)

    I can tell you spring will come because everything is GREEN down here and we're getting our first 68 degree day in a couple days. It's just making it's way up to you. Actually, technically, you're making your way down to it with the rotation of the Earth!

    1. 68 degrees! And you have rain! I'm so glad the drought is over down there!

  2. I want that snohowww!!!
    And I'd love to take a peek in your bookcloset..;)

    Well, at least we're having decent frost again. I'd never take a vacation to a warm destination in winter. Just to avoid that shock!!

    1. It is a huge shock, that's for sure...
      Our bodies are not made to spend two weeks in the hot sun, and then come back to crazy cold.
      But I'm not complaining, no siree.

  3. Glad you all made it back safe and sound. The snow looks beautiful and the pictures are too!!!

    We have had no snow just lots of rain and then we went a whole week without rain. I was so happy because the mud was so bad and no sun for over 2 weeks.The temps. have been very mild this winter. I keep hoping for snow and cold before winter is over. We need this to knock back the pest and parasite population.

    I purchased a 10 tap maple sugaring kit a few days ago. First time every trying this. The taps are tree saver taps. They are very small and don't cause injury to the tree. We have collected 17 gallons of sap so far and I have made over a quart of syrup. I know not a lot of syrup but it takes a lot to make a little. But it taste so good.

    One thing I experienced for the first time. Tasting raw maple tree sap. Its the cleanest tasting water with a hint of sugar. Its like drinking a refreshing tonic. I have never had anything like it.

    Glad your animals did well while you were gone. It was nice you could leave and have a house sitter you could trust. That is so wonderful. Take care.


    1. Linda, I'm so excited for you to make your own maple syrup! I wish we could this here, but it's hard in the land of cedars!

  4. We have tons of cedar on our property too. We have started to clear them away from the house and away from the garden due to fire hazards and the cedar rust. We keep losing our apple trees to this.
    The rest of the property we are going to leave them there.
    They provide the wild birds with berries and shelter. The Robins really need those berries to make it through the winter

    The people in thw northern states tap Birch trees. There are many other trees that can be tapped for syrup.The book I had listed quite a lot of trees. You may have some trees that grow in your area that you could tap. In the spring when the trees leaf out check out what you have local. You just never know what you may have there that you could tap.


    1. I think you can tap Big Leaf Maple for syrup, but I think you'd need a lot. I'll look into it.

  5. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you got to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Win your ex back with TEXT messages?


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