Sunday, February 18, 2018

Snow, eggs, river and mountains

When I woke up two mornings ago, something felt very, very different. And very, very quiet. It's always quiet out here in the boonies, but the quality of the lack of sound had an eerie, muffled feel.
We have to get the kids up at 5:45 am so they can make it to the school bus at 6:25 am, and thus it was still dark, but when I let the dogs outside to pee first thing, I saw right away what the cause for the stillness was: snow. 

Yes, I know it's pretty. But you guys? I don't like it – not one bit. I intended to start onion and leek seeds on Valentine's Day, but the weather rained snowed on my parade.  Hmpf.

It's a good thing we got a huge head start on our fire wood scene.

Our chickens don't like this #$% either.  We have them in the chicken tractor so we can move them around the lawn and pasture, but when it snows, they have to hang out in one place.

Before the snow hit, they pecked fresh grass and bugs every day.  Can you see what a huge difference this makes by the looks of their eggs?  Store bought organic eggs with their paler yolk compared to our homegrown bright orange ones: there's no comparison.

I feed my chickens the scoby from my kombucha making.  They gobbled the whole thing up.  I bet they are the healthiest chickens in the Skagit Valley!

I put together a beautiful online course on how to raise chickens organically and naturally, if you are interested.  It also includes detailed video instructions on how to make a chicken tractor like ours. I filmed Steve how he made one, so it's super easy to follow along.

Before all this snow descended on us, we had to deal with record rainfall.  You can really understand why we Pacific Northwesteners are addicted to our coffee.

There was a three-day window in all the shitty weather when the sun came out.  As soon as the first sun ray showed, up, I grabbed my oldest son and told him I needed a mother-and-son date.

He was fair game, since he truly is a nice kid.  Plus, the choices were: either go on a hike with Mom, or build a mountain bike trail with his brother and Dad. I won. Yay!

I love this guy.  As far as 15-year-olds go, he's golden.  He's still more or less okay spending time with his old mother, funny as heck, and more thoughtful than most adults.

So we hiked up the dirt road behind our house, and got to this spot:

A day after this, we got together with friends to bushwhack to a beautiful, remote spot by the river.  At least it felt remote, until we found a rustic outhouse in the middle of the woods.  Magic, man!

We spread out on the sand, brought out pounds of snacks, settled down with knitting, and the teenagers promptly fell asleep.

On the way to the river, we found the first nettles! Nettles! That night I went home, and wouldn't you know? I picked enough nettles by the compost pile to make nettle pesto!

In closing today, let me show three more scenes.

1) We bottled our homemade elderberry wine, and we even designed our own labels.

2) Steve and I found a heart rock on one of our walks.

3) And up until all this snow fell, I kept up my daily practice of walking barefoot.  One day, I even walked on the frozen ground, and it felt totally fine.

What's happening in your neck of the woods?  Do you still have snow?  Have you started seeds yet?  Any baby goats?


  1. We ran out of firewood but then the days are in the high 60s (don't worry. You'll get revenge when we're in the low 100s soon enough LOL) and the nights are just above freezing.

    When I had chickens the yolks were that gorgeous orange color. What breed of chickens are they? Beautiful! I suppose you don't let them free range because of all your predators.

    My dad used to make elderberry wine but we don't really drink anymore so it's not worth the trouble. But yours sure looks good!

  2. Absolutely loved your post! I felt like I was right there with you all the way. The elderberry wine looks so yummy and beautiful! I sure wish I'd thought about homesteading years ago! I'd love it!

  3. If I just could send you pictures of what it looks like here, right now.
    But our chickens are quite happy trudging around in the snow at -5 to -10C


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