Mommas saying those 4 letter words again

Today was quite the day. My vocabulary consisted of many 4 letter words. Yes, momma had a trash mouth-well at least to her fellow Alaskans that were also tired of the weather. 

Snow, that word was repeated so many times today it is permanently imbedded in my brain. You see the thing is the white stuff just kept coming. Non stop! Big flakes, little flakes, sideways and straight down! 

Cold, from 17 above to 7 below and every degree of cold inbetween. It’s February in Alaska yet the thermometer is behaving like it is January. Ha! The nerve!

Trip. Not a trip like an excursion one would take but as in to trip, stumble and yes another 4 letter word-FALL. That is exactly what I did today. Fall. Fall over unseen or imagined objects hidden by the snow. Objects that would TRIP me. 

I certainly hope we don’t end up with that other dreaded 4 letter word coming out of my mouth or out of the sky anytime soon. You know which word that is. Alright, I will be brazen and say it. Close your eyes and quit reading if your faint at heart because mommas mouth is about to spew the worst word ever uttered in February in Alaska……..RAIN. Might as well scream it from the mountain top as that would definitely be the icing on the cake right now or just the ice-no matter it is Alaska and if you don’t like the 4 letter words well let’s just not mention the big W-oh let’s live life recklessly. Wind Wind wind. Ah oh…too much?

It was quite the day though, actually quite the week. The snow is piling up now with several inches and sometimes feet at a time falling for the last week I guess old man winter has finally returned to his home and brought with him the typical weather that we had missed for the last several years. I am thankful the ice isn’t as bad as years past and there is a subtle beauty in the white blanket that has enveloped my little world. 

I did get a few pics in black and white that turned out amazing. Purely accidental I might add but intriguing I think.

Complain as I do I do admit I love winter. The snow always makes me feel energized when the big flakes fall softly to the ground and at night when it’s clear the slightest bit of light seems to magically bring it to life with its twinkling, shimmering and often even a glow as it reflects light back upon itself. Yes, snow seems to have a life of its own.

I do hope the coming days are clear though as the aurora forecast is for a good display even this far south. Perhaps by chance I may finally get a single picture of this amazing site. 

Life in Alaska is not for the faint at heart but it is a wonderful life. Finding humor, poetry, solace and grace in every breath is a sign that life is good. I pray no matter where you are your heart sings with joy as mine does.

And then there’s HOPE

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted and I want to fill you in on what’s been happening. First of all I have been laid up with an injury-that keeps getting reinjured. I had a bad fall that took my knee out-looks like it’s a chipped and bruised bone but of course letting heal just couldn’t happen, like a sore thumb it kept getting bumped. Cross your fingers it’s almost healed then yesterday I took the pad of my left ring finger off deep enough to shoot blood across the yard with every heartbeat. Ok I’ll admit that one was actually pretty cool in a sadistic kind of way. 

There’s some really cool news coming but for now I’m gonna just give you all the boring updates and make you wait but first here is a hint big brown eyes. 

The weather has been on and off meaning it’s winter then poof it rains then a coating of snow predicted and we end up with a foot. That was actually pretty cool. Took Papa Fred to town where it rained all day, when we got back to the parking area it wasn’t raining it had snowed-a foot and was still snowing! Of course we loaded into the little green giant and we were off. About halfway home I said to Fred sitting in the back that I swear this little machine was saying “weeeeeeeee all the way home” he cleared his throat and said “um, I hate to tell you but the voice in your head saying weeee is your own…..out loud” okay so I was enjoying playing in the snow. That little machine is more fun than 30 barrels of monkeys!

Ok hint number 2: it’s soft and furry….I know it’s killing you isn’t it! Hee hee 

For those of you who haven’t gotten the periscope app I wish you would join. It’s so much fun doing these live videos-here’s the link Periscope. ​I’m not talking to myself on the video I’m answering messages by followers lol. 

Last hint: she’s bigger than a goat alright I’m terrible at this here’s a pic.This is Hope our new little calf. Now here’s the story of how she came to be. My dear friend Mossy Kilcher from Seaside Farms got that flu bug that is going around. Her momma cow calved and the calf just wasn’t doing well and poor Mossy was run ragged. The original plan was to nurse it back to health and return it to it’s momma but Mossy being the sweetheart she has offered to let us keep her. I don’t think Mossy knows how much this means to all of us. We have been longing for a cow but never dreamt we would have one at this time. I would still return her if she wanted her back as this is such a beautiful little heifer but am proud to have her here too. Now those of you wanting to visit Alaska really must visit Mossy’s farm. She has cabins for rent and she’s Seaside at Kachemak bay. Go take a look at her website and drop her an email. Encourage her to start blogging and periscoping live. The woman is awesome and the stories of growing up on the homestead are enthralling. Yes, I admire Mossy as she is a woman who has worn many hats, is talented beyond belief (you should here her sing)and still keeps learning and growing everyday.  See her at www.seasidealaska.com.

Well that’s the latest folks and sorry it’s a short one but busy busy for sure. Until next time-God Bless❤ Papa Freds car parked at the trail head covered in snow

Welcome to 2017

It’s been awhile since I posted and I must apologize but the end of 2016 was everything but uneventful. With the holidays, new baby goats making their appearance and burning the candle at both ends I ended up over doing and getting ill. I believe I am on the mend now so let’s catch up on what December 2016 was like.

New babies! Lots of new babies 7 so far including our little house goat. Dancer was being picked on and not accepted by the other goats so now I have a house goat. Complete with diapers and bottles I once again am doing the baby thing-I truly believed my diaper days were done!

Christmas was hectic in our household due to the arrivals of babies but thanks to my sissy Cathy and her husband Paul it was a Merry Christmas for sure. A tree was not on the priority list as we were so busy taking care of critters in bitter cold temps but as is Cathy’s norm she saved the day and sent us the cutest little tree with battery operated lights. The kids loved it and I loved the gift she sent to dear hubby and I. Being the thoughtful person she is and knowing me like she does only Cathy could find a gift that could make me shed tears of happiness. 3 beautiful mugs with photos I took here of our family, the kids and my favorite view. They are so lovely and treasured I hate to use them for fear of breakage. Notice the cute Christmas tree and snowmen tablecloths-Cathy sent those too to brighten our little cabin during the dark December days.

Yes December was a crazy month. Cold, bitter cold with negative temps then snow and instead of a white Christmas it warmed up and rained. Yuck! I learning to despise rain. I like the cold and snow, not the dangerous negative temps mind you as it’s so hard on our animals but the temps cold enough to give us the picturesque snowfalls that make my heart soar. 

January is coming in like a lamb so far. No snow in the near forecast and mild temps in the teens and 20’s. Daylight is returning very quickly and in about 8 weeks we will see the sun setting at 10pm. I’m looking forward to the return of the long days as that means gardening and fishing! I will miss the spectacular sunsets though and the snow glistening in the moonlight.

I can’t remember if I posted about our new additions to the “family”. We acquired a pair of Chinese geese and the kids named them Claude and Claudette. I call them honkers and honker the second because they are very vocal. They are nice to have around and even though they appear to be tough and mean with their displays they are really quite sweet.

The wolves are still around but we’ve yet to get a chance to find them in the cross hairs. Caleb was getting water at the spring and spotted one but only had his pistol so couldn’t get a shot. Here’s a footprint (excuse the grubby hand he was wearing his greasy work gloves) 

Once again insomnia is my friend and I’m not the only one suffering from it, apparently we have a rooster who can’t sleep either as it’s 3 a.m. And the crazy bird is up crowing. 

Well folks not much else to talk about as it’s not really exciting this time of year but I hope you all enjoy the pictures and a glimpse of our lives. I’ll post more later when we video a cool gift sent to us by our friends at The Last Stand. If your curious go check them out and get a sneak peak at what we will be doing! www.laststands.com

Have a blessed day and see y’all soon. Oh and don’t forget to get the periscope app on your smart phone so you can join us on our live feeds. Our user names are Off Grid Mom and off grid K for the kids!

Loading up at the truck for the ride home

Let the holiday preps begin!

This week has been a flurry of activity. Feathers literally flying as we prepare our birds and assisted others in dressing out theirs for the Thanksgiving Day feast. The temperatures have not been my friend though as it’s been quite chilly for plucking. 

Matt and Mary great friends!
Tony holding the goose

Now is the time I can slow down and while still preparing for our feast I take time to reflect on the last few decades that I have been blessed with the ability to create memories. Memories my children will carry with them and hopefully traditions too.  Life before off grid was much different than now. Not only did I have a huge meal to prepare but we used to have 30 or more join us. Now it’s a small affair with 9 or 10 as we have friends joining us this year and it will be a party like atmosphere once again. 

One thing I started many years ago was making my dressing in advance. It’s cornbread dressing full of sage sausage,dried apples, cranberries and walnuts. I bake one pan in a loaf pan, cool then slice it. The morning before thanksgiving I brown these slices and serve them with maple syrup. I know it’s one of the kids’ favorite treats but only now when they began talking about it a week ago did I realize how important it truly is to them. Funny thing is it all began when I was trying to save time and it started a whole new tradition!

My friend called me the other day to let me know he was doing his part to reduce the wolf population. They have become so aggressive and are now chewing through chicken coops and destroying livestock. He stepped out in his back yard just in time and was able to remove this threat from the equation. A big male wolf that won’t be a problem any longer.

The weather is finally leveling out and snow is in the forecast. I’m anxious as it always puts me in the holiday spirit. I love the snow, especially at night when there’s a full moon and it twinkles and glistens on the ground then you look up and see the stars doing the same. It’s such a mystical time and makes me feel so alive and blessed to witness such a sight.

The sun is now in the south and our daylight is limited but still enough light out to accomplish chores and have some play time outdoors. It’s a great time for taking pictures as the light casts shadows that create paintings of light and texture even with my phones camera.

It seems I’m literally running the wheels off the little green giant. Coming home I must of hit a stick frozen in the ground as I lost the front tire due to a huge gash. So many hazards that cannot be seen but they are pretty weatherchecked so is to be expected. I love that little machine though-I can’t think of anything that I’ve ever driven that makes me feel so alive-it’s like driving a little tank-I do believe it’s personality is much like mine:pushy, aggressive and even when broken keeps going until the job is completed. She’s definitely got attitude!

Even the elves have been busy around here-little Ellie “or Cinder Ellie” as she is now called helped with the cleaning and getting ready for company. You’ll be seeing more of the little elves of Two Moose Farm in the future. They are always popping up in the strangest places.

The girls and I had the pleasure of spending the night out with our friends Jody and Roger. It was nice visiting and Jody is such an awesome cook, she made a chocolate cake that was to die for! I never have had anything so delicious in all my life! I’m going to ask her permission and if she gives it I will share her recipe in a later post. 

Well folks I need to stoke the fire and get things going but I’ll share the pics of high noon in Alaska. Please excuse the green dot that appears in some, not sure why it does that if someone knows please tell me how to make it stop. 

Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving all.

Do you see the salmon in the clouds?

***for those looking for dried fruits and veggies check out my friends at Carolina Food Storage they will not only provide you with excellent quality dehydrated and freeze dried non gmo foods but the customer service is outstanding and they are having a huge sale now!

Changing times and life’s lessons

I am one of those people. Yes, I frequently speak of “the good old days”. Remember? Do you remember when? When we lived in a less disposable world, when if something was broke you fixed it and didn’t run to the nearest big box store and just replace it. Do you remember the lessons that were part of everyday life? I do realize some of you are too young to have experienced the “good old days”so I will give you a brief overview. 

In days gone by appliances were repaired not replaced. They were built with good old US steel and were meant to last decades not years. TV’s had tubes, if something was amiss you could buy little number kits to number each slot and tube then take the tubes out, go to the electronics shop where they tested each one then sold you a replacement for the bad ones. In the good old days we old timers didn’t have “recycling” centers we just used items then passed them on to others as hand me downs until there was no life left in that item.

Shopping was much different back then. None of this plastic bags that fall over or rip spilling your groceries-we had brown bags. I miss brown bags. They were large enough to cut the ends out and use to roll cookie dough out, cover school books, make craft items heck we even cooked with them. You young folks may never know the awesome turkeys that were cooked in brown bags. The meat stayed so juicy yet the skin was just crispy enough to melt in your mouth. The oven stayed clean too as the grease splatters were contained. Yes, brown bags were so much better for our environment too as they would compost where as these plastic bags of today pollute our Environment by blowing around, wrapping in trees, power lines or end up in our lakes and oceans causing death to our sea life.

I could go on for hours about the good old days but I’ll stop and get to the point. Today I had an opportunity to share with my youngest son Caleb some of the “good old days”ingenuity. The little green giants throttle cable broke and his immediate reaction was-what are we gonna do call dad? Of course dad is miles away working to get firewood and water to the cabin so I responded to my son in the same way I was taught by my PawPaw to deal with situations. I explained to him we needed to assess the situation before doing anything. We had a tool box and the ever present baling wire so instead of calling for help-maybe we should first see if we could help ourselves. 

Tearing into a throttle assembly in the woods may not seem like much fun for others-especially at 20 degrees out but for me it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long while. Finding the broken cable, asking Caleb his opinion, listening to his ideas and finally coming to the conclusion we did not have the needed parts to fix but that did not mean we were down and out. My son learned a few lessons today. He learned where there’s a will there is always a way. He also learned that teamwork will move you forward when all seems lost. We ended up using a piece of wire to extend the cable, he controlled the right side steering and I controlled the throttle and left side steering. It was a temporary resolution that worked to get us out of the woods and to our truck. 

We headed into town and no parts could be found anywhere that I could makeshift a throttle but we did find a young man in a local repair shop who attempted to solder the cable. It didn’t work but once again I kept things calm and we worked a way out to hold the even shorter throttle cable with pliers and make it functional. Caleb then operated the throttle using care to heed my directions and I used the joysticks to steer-we made it home safely in the dark and cold where tomorrow he and his dad will work together and find a more permanent fix until the part can be replaced. It was a great day. My son learned so many lessons he will carry throughout his life and we built a memory that will last a lifetime.

I hope my ramblings leave you with food for thought. That perhaps when your in a frustrating situation you too will remember that just because something is broken the world hasn’t ended. Be it a piece of machinery, a person or a relationship-broken doesn’t mean you replace it it simply means you find a way to repair it and make it whole again.

God Bless you all and thank you for allowing me to come into your lives if even for a brief moment.

Elections are over but the division continues

Silly me, I truly believed that once the elections were over we would see some end to the meanness and nasty bashing in both the media and our lives. I guess I live in days gone by when once the elections were done we either celebrated or quietly accepted the will of the people. I remember eight years ago when the elections were done and many were vocal about their candidate losing and voicing opinions about the president elect. I admit I was not elated but I do remember stating that the people had spoken and perhaps we needed to give him a chance. Today I awoke relieved the elections were over and yes a bit happy with the outcome but more importantly I had hope that the country would once again unite and put an end to the brutal bashing we have spent the last year taking part in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was as if some of the adults in the world suddenly were throwing a massive temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way. Not only berating of the president elect but personal attacks on individuals and deliberate baiting on social media of friends and loved ones. It is so wrong on so many levels. I admit I fed into it-for a bit then realized it makes zero sense and proceeded to delete the comments I had made in retaliation and replace some with messages of hope and unity. The barrage continued-I’m unaware if it’s still going on for I have left facebook behind for now. I will still post pictures on our family page but as far as my personal page for now I am done. I cannot fathom why people I have held so dear to me felt the need to constantly add fuel to the fire and the sad thing is I really could care less but it’s deeper than nasty comments and rude unproven accusations against politicians, it’s more about how these so called friends continued to poke and prod trying to get a reaction. Facebook was fun, it kept me connected to the outside world but now I believe I no longer want to be connected. I no longer want to be a part of anything outside of my little world. So for now I will continue updating the blog and sharing pics but until my peace returns I believe being a hermit would be beneficial to my sanity. I truly wish that peace will return to the world but for now I just want peace in my life. God Bless you all and I pray your not taking part in this division of our country. The time for unity is now-before it’s too late.

A season of mixed emotions

Another summer has come and gone, fall is quickly changing to winter and recent events have caused emotions to run as rampant as the winds in a brewing storm.

We have finally experienced the brutality of nature first hand with a vicious attack on our goat herd from wolves. It was quite a strange day, unease was in the air-we all felt it. It was as if we collectively knew the day in its calmness was masquerading the evil that was about to take place. Suddenly out of nowhere they attacked at once and in a split second it was over. A total of 5 goats lost and one struggling for her life. Mixed emotions for a moment overwhelmed me. I felt sorry for the goats going through the pain and trauma of dying, I felt sadness for my children experiencing it first hand, anger at the wolves for their being wolves but at the  same time I felt angry at myself. The self directed anger was more confusion in retrospect. I know that the wolves were hungry as they didn’t just leave the animals they drug them off so while my heart was aching at our loss I was angry at myself for being mad at wolves for feeding their family. Yes, I am sure this all sounds very odd but I asked myself would we as humans do the same when the need arose. It is with mixed Feelings I realized we must do what is needed to protect our livestock but care is also needed to maintain balance. Sometimes I think too much. 

It’s been a busy fall preparing for winter. My little green giant that sissy and Paul provided has proven to be worth its weight in gold-for those who don’t know already the little green giant is the Argo my sissy and her husband so thoughtfully provided for us to use to navigate through this boggy terrain. I’ve gotten used to driving her now and can go places without sinking to my elbows! ​

​Hog butchering has been completed for the fall and I was able to do some trading to get enough animal feed to last us through winter and some help getting our roof on. We also had enough to share with others and I am thankful God provided us with such bounty not just for us but for others too. Losing the goats means there won’t be any money for Christmas this year but we will be eating good with the hams and bacon We’ve smoked, all the canning the girls and I did, the fish dear hubby caught, our birds we still have to butcher and still some canning left to do as I acquired lots of potatoes in another trade.

Sitting here alone in the late night I reflect on what has happened over the last few years. We’ve had so many good times, some bad but the reality is I’m still at peace. I know some of the lessons life has taught us were difficult for my children but they have learned from them. I’ve never been one to shelter my children from reality and the recent events have shown them just how precious every minute of life truly is.

The cloudy rainy/snowy day has ended and the stars are twinkling bright enough you can see the ice crystals reflecting light. At my age it seems silly but I still find wonder, awe and beauty in that. We have also been blessed with many nights of clear skies and bright northern lights dancing across the sky. We are all excited that the freeze seems to be holding unlike last year when it would warm up for a week and thaw then freeze and repeat. The freeze up means we will have guests out more frequently and Thanksgiving will be a party. I’ve always been one who loved to cook  and to have friends and family celebrating the holidays with us. With the size of our turkey and ham there will be food aplenty. 

One last thing to share is the newest member of our family. Papa Fred has a new puppy that we got from a very nice lady across the inlet. She’s a mixed breed but looks very much like a Labrador and her name is little girl-it’s what she answers to so she must like it. Papa Fred and her are inseparable already as she cries and howls when he steps outside alone even for a minute.

Well I pray your all safe, warm and happy and as is my norm I’ll leave you with a few random pics. god Bless all and thanks for reading.

3 generation off grid family following God and living in Alaska

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