Thursday, September 13, 2018

This sure flew by

I am totally in denial, which is hard to do because I'm typing this wearing a wool sweater, snuggled under a fleece blanket. I am going to have to face the facts, namely that it is fall.

When I went through August's summer photos to put them on the blog, I realized how little I shared with you from our most glorious, productive month because we were insanely busy. 

So that's why I want to share the pictures with you now. I look at the images of us swimming in creeks, rivers, and the ocean, while currently shivering under my fleece blanket, and I marvel at how much time we spent by the water in this droughty, hot month.

But don't be fooled.  We didn't just play by the water all summer long.

Oh no! One of the reasons I'm feeling fried is because we packed so much food preserving in.  I have to do a separate post about it, but for now, here are some highlights.

~ Harvesting potatoes with my crew

~ Gathering apples and pressing them into apple cider

~ Collecting eggs from our chickens

~ Picking figs and making them into fig jam

~ Harvesting tons of vegetables from the garden and cooking, pickling and canning them

We also slaughtered our 20 meat chickens.  Our kids have to help with this task every year.

I can't tell you how much social media interaction I got on the photo of Kai dipping a dead chicken in the hot water.

Most people were pretty positive about it, but there were some folks that freaked out and told me I was cruel for making my kids help with killing chickens.

To this I say: we don't run a petting zoo around here.  We raise some animals for meat, and my kids know that they will end up as such. ("They" being the chickens. Not the kids).

Since my children eat, they have to help.  They don't mind at all.  In fact, Luke takes pride in telling people at our homesteading and wilderness retreats in great detail how to pull out guts from a dead, still warm chicken.

We are homesteaders.  We get dirty.  We get bloody.  We grow and raise our food, and our kids know that chickens don't come from the supermarket neatly wrapped in plastic.  There's blood and guts involved, yo!

I will leave you with some fun images in case you are traumatized by dead chicken pictures.

The one below is Luke and me on a mountain bike ride.  He's dragging me up and down some vicious hills and teaches me mountain bike slang, like "Shred the gnar, dude."

I'm trying to shred, people, I really am.

This one was a particularly lovely sunset.  Or it might have been a sunrise.

And lastly, some of our plums.  There's more to come.

If you missed our video highlighting August, you can watch it HERE <----

And if you want to watch the tutorial I made on how to make pickled beets with honey and allspice, watch it HERE <---

How was your summer?

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Homesteading in paradise August highlights, and searching for Samantha Sayers, a lost hiker in our area

My Homesteading in Paradise movie is late this month, but last week was the start of school, so I had to prepare for it (for example, hitting the thrift stores with my high-maintenance clothes-picking daughter to find clothes for her that are "her style". Ahem.)

Let's just say I hate shopping for clothes and leave it at that, shall we?

This movie is part of our monthly "Homesteading in Paradise" video series. It's about August, and it includes scenes of our homesteading life, plenty of wilderness, amazing food, and as always: gorgeous Pacific Northwest scenery!

The other thing that has occupied my mind is the search for a missing hiker in our area, Samantha Sayers.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you will have heard about this, because I'm obsessing about this young woman, and her mother's and fiance's fight and plight to bring her home.

And this is why after faithfully writing a weekly blog post for over half a decade, I've dropped off the mountain these past two weeks.


Sure, my time and energy have been used up doing all the things you do on a homestead in the late August frenzy: harvesting, preserving and cooking food.

But mostly, I've been occupied searching for Sam, a young woman who has been missing since August 1st after a solo hike in our area.

Steve and I, and sometimes our kids, have gone out on several occasions looking for her, scouring creeks, scrambling up steep hillsides, and hiking up some seriously treacherous terrain.

I want you all to know about this case.  She still might be alive, and I want to raise awareness.  After hiking and searching, I made a movie about it that will tell you how you can help or get involved. 

Watch the short movie I made about our search for Sam HERE <---

Samantha (Sam) Sayers went on a day-hike to Vesper Peak in the North Cascades on August 1st, 2018, with the plan to return to cell service at 6pm. She did not make it back to her vehicle at the Sunrise Mine Trailhead, and a missing persons report was filed.

After 24 days, authorities in Snohomish County, Washington, suspended one of the largest ground searches ever conducted after failing to find any trace of Sam.

Ever since then, Sam’s family has organized themselves to launch an army of volunteers, searching on foot, by drone, helicopter, and with dogs.
On August 30th, my husband Steve Sahlin, our friend Rob, and I (Corina) hiked up to Vesper Lake to search on foot and with Rob’s drone.  --->

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