All posts by offgridmom

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.

Little Green Giant

Today was such an awesome day! My sissy Cathy and her husband Paul filled a need for transportation for us. They had acquired an older Argo and brought it to us to use for as long as we need it. Such a blessing! I will be able to do so much more and be mobile. I can’t begin to tell you how much this means to all of us. I have thought of many different names for her but when dear hubby pulled up today and unfolded his 6’3″ frame from it I immediately knew she would forever be The Little Green Giant. 

Winter is quickly approaching and snow is in the forecast. I look forward to the freeze up as that means I can butcher hogs and smoke hams and bacon. There’s nothing like birch smoked bacon frying in the pan on a cold winter day. It’s amazing how the sweetness of the birch wood makes the crispy bacon melt in your mouth. Soon!

The girls are excited as their birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day this year so we will be doing something fun on the weekend. This computes to having 2 birthdays in their eyes. We will be having guests this year and that in itself is a party. 

Let’s not forget Halloween. The kids are already discussing what they will dress up as and how they will be sharing their candy with the adults. With having the Argo we will be able to attend many more functions and not fear coming home after dark.

It’s berry picking time again now that the cranberries have gone through a good freeze. I love the flavor of the low bush cranberries so tomorrow I’ll be out gathering to put up for the winter. Speaking of putting up for the winter if you are looking for foods to have in emergencies check out my friends at Carolinafoodstorage.com. They carry delicious, healthy foods that are shelf stable for years. 

Well folks it’s been a long day and I need to get some rest so I will leave you with a few random pics. Have a blessed night and don’t forget to share us with others as winter brings more time for blogging and we will also be having some drawings for cool prizes from some of our friends.

Come join us on periscope for live real time feeds!  We are Off Grid Mom.

Soggy Bottomed Mom

Rain…..It seems to be the bane of my existence. Not the gentle rainfall poets write about, not a sprinkling to cleanse the air and brighten the fall colors. Oh nooooo, it comes down like a hammer on a chisel, slowly eating away at my last nerve. 20 plus inches and counting for the month of September. 20 plus inches that have made my normal happy go lucky self turn into a raging, maniacal, soggy bottomed mom! Not much can get me down but the constant flooding of animal pens, boots stuck in the muck, leaking rubber boots, cranky kids who need room to run and sunshine to blossom and instead we get more rain. Grrrrrr, alright rant over now on to the soggy bottom mom escapades. 

No season is complete around here until the mom is forced to put on the mom cape and charge to the rescue of some poor animal that has found itself in dire need of rescuing. I shall not disappoint! 3 a.m. And it’s raining-no scratch that, it’s pouring as if the sky opened up and Niagra Falls came rushing out. Above the deafening noise I hear a faint cry. Just a whisper really but the mom radar is singing in my head and I know there’s a critter in trouble. Quietly (as if anyone in this cabin could be awakened by anything short of a bull horn) I venture out in my pajamas aka sweats, tshirt and crocs. I can hear a faint mewing sound but can’t see in the darkness quite what it is. Crouching down to peer under the deck of the cabin with a flashlight who’s batteries died a week ago, still I see nothing then surprise!!!!  As I was attempting to find the source of the odd sound-yes not a smart move living in the wilderness as we do-the sound found me!  One of our kittens had made its way off the porch and was cold and wet under the deck. Now before you get this Awwww, sweet kitty rescue picture in your head let me tell you that 6 ounce ball of fur sprang so quickly from the abyss know as Under the porch I had zero warning, zero time to react and suddenly went from crouching to falling. Here I sat in the pouring rain in 6 inches of mud and water in my sweats with mud oozing in where no mud has gone before. After gently (yeah right) tossing said fur ball to the warmth of its momma who by the way was still sleeping in a ball covered in other kitties, and who was warm and dry I managed to drag myself to an upright position, all the while slipping and sliding in the cold mud and water and eventually made it onto the porch. By now Missy the wonder dog is awake and scratching the door to be let outside. I manage to find a towel hanging on the porch to dry my hand and let her out to join me and she takes 3 steps off the deck hits the standing mud and water then spins on a dime and retreats back inside, along with 42 gallons of muddy water on her paws. So here I stand with mud oozing from my clothes in the cold rain and wind and I refuse to drag the sloppy me inside so I roll the clothes off. Trust me if you ever get mud logged sweats you will understand this maneuver. Great, I’m standing outside in the darkness of night freezing parts that I will not mention and I realize after removing the clothing I’m still as muddy as before. I then mentally kick myself for what I’m about to do. Needing to get rinsed off I head for the rain barrel in the dark with a near dead flashlight. After a quick rinse off I head into the cabin and finally am beginning to warm up and get dressed when dear hubby gets up and comments “is it still raining”? Of course he knows nothing of my early morning escapades and I just smile and poor the coffee. The soggy bottomed mom is just not up to explaining at that moment. The kitten? Oh yes the little demonic ball of fur is alive and well. She with her siblings will soon be going to new homes and unsuspecting moms.

We have a new neighbor-well kind of. A gentleman named Ron who just bought property at the trail head which is miles from us but is our closest neighbor. Nice guy from dear hubby and kids’ accounts. I’ve only spoken to Him on the phone but he seems very nice and excited to begin his off grid life. It’s always nice having like minded folks around. 

For those who are inquiring about Alaska property I’ve met a realtor who can help you with your every need. He is genuinely interested in finding the perfect place for each client and not out to just sell properties. Rarely do you find such gems. Jeff Trujillo will not sit idly at a desk he will get his boots dirty finding that perfect place for you. www.alaskarealestateguy.com

Please join me on Periscope I am Off Grid Mom https://www.periscope.tv/#share 

Our you tube channel is hereYouTube-Off Grid Alaska

And on Facebook you can find us here Facebook.com/offgridalaska

Have a blessed day all!

The end of summer

At last the sunsets have returned, the skies have cleared and leaves are changing from green to gold.  Fall has arrived in Alaska and with it new adventures daily.

For those of you who have been following I know I say each change of the season that it is my favorite. Well at the time it is!  I love the ever changing seasons  each unique and with its own merits.  I always eagerly anticipate spring with its lengthening days and end to the darkness.  The break up and end to the ice replaced by new growth springing forth from the bare ground along with the new animal babies arriving. Summer brings endless days with little darkness, salmon fishing, gardening and the midnight sun. Fall,  oh the feel of fall!  Crisp morning air, twinkling stars at night and the site of the milky way in the sky.  Fall is a time when we catch up on all those little things that were pushed aside during the summer.  Although the days are still quite long the sun does set and makes for breathtaking moments.  Yes I do love the changing seasons and before long I will be talking of snow falling and frigid temps but for now I will enjoy the season I am in and all its beauty.

It has been a crazy summer, what started out as a dry season ended with more rain than I care to have. We are recovering from 10 plus inches in the last week and a half and praying that it dries up so we can get around better for hunting season.

Hunting season!!!!!!  I get so excited about hunting season. It truly isn’t about “getting the big one” for me and quite frankly I would be happy if we could harvest cow moose.  Hunting season for me is about providing for the family. No matter which of us is blessed with a harvest we all reap its bounty.  I must be strange in the eyes of some as I actually like butchering meat.  As I am doing so whether it be moose, turkey, chicken or a hog I day dream.  Oh before you get a sick thought in your head let me clarify that.  What I daydream about is all the meat will provide for my family.  Yes, here we go again I’m gonna talk about food.  Be prepared as I’m about to go off target again and ramble.  (By now this should be no surprise).  Food-for me its not just nourishment for the body its also memories, happiness and nourishment for the soul.  No matter if its a steak I am grilling or a pot of stew, every dish is about providing my family something they will remember long after I am gone.  I hope someday my children look across the table at their children and grandchildren and tell them that they learned to cook this or that from me and a fond memory is shared.  Its all about the love.  If you put enough love in it regardless of what it is it will build a memory.

Well I should probably share what the summer has been like. It has had many highs and lows.  Alright, lots of lows. Dear hubby was fishing commercially this summer and it was a terrible season.  So many depend on the salmon for their livelihood and this year it just didn’t happen.  I felt bad for him as each time he came home exhausted with a very dim report you could see the frustration in his eyes.  To add to that frustration each time he was gone something else broke down. Between myself, Papa Fred and Caleb we were able to get most things up and running again but the repair costs far exceeded the income we had.  Thank heavens we are blessed with bartering skills! Alright lets talk about the high points of summer!  Our greenhouses provided a bounty and still are.  Lots of fresh salads, pickles, squash and much more still to come.  I am currently processing a bounty of produce acquired from a friend who has many large greenhouses, grows everything organically and I was able to do this through bartering.  What a great place we live in where others like to trade back and forth each getting what they need for their families.  We may not be rich or have much money but we eat very well and will continue to do so with the bounty we are putting back for winter. All of this is achieved by the family each doing their part. Dear hubby, Caleb and Cami spend many hours getting firewood, water and doing animal pen repairs and construction, Cati is my right hand little woman who is always helping with the processing of the foods we can, butcher, dehydrate and smoke.  Even Missy the wonder dog does her share of work by cleaning up the floor when we drop something! One note-If your picking blueberries don’t take Missy or she will eat all the berries when your not looking!

This summer has brought lots of new friendships too.  You have probably seen our videos by now and if you haven’t you can find them here Youtube Off Grid Alaska. These videos are produced by a local company called Stagvid Media. Daniel, Robby and Nathan are three awesome young men who we have paired with to bring you a series of videos that will eventually include many how to’s and videos of what living off grid is really like.

Well all I am far from being caught up but wanted to share what has been happening here on Two Moose Farm.  We are all healthy, happy and Blessed.  I pray each of you are finding your place where peace reigns.IMG_9661IMG_9666IMG_9652IMG_9726IMG_9758IMG_9799IMG_9776IMG_9829IMG_9845IMG_9873IMG_9875IMG_9813

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Caleb being silly

Days getting shorter-fast

I will miss these “lazy days of summer”. Already it is beginning to get dark before midnight and not light until almost 4a.m. Summer is too short but perhaps it is best as I cannot seem to sleep when it’s light out and there’s work to be done. Alright-the exception is rainy days and when it rains I sleep like a dog. Notice I didn’t say baby as none of my children ever slept longer than an hour as babies, my dog however could sleep for days!

It’s a rainy day and as much as I want to nap I do have things that need done. I completed the important chores and now I’m taking a few minutes to visit with all of you, my online friends. I want to thank you all for viewing and sharing the videos. We have exceeded 10,200 views on face book and now want to invite you to  our YouTube channel Off Grid Alaska. Here we will post any further videos and yes thanks to all of you and your positive responses I am over my camera shyness and inspired to do more. I must tell you that the guys at Stagvid Media are so very easy to work with, it’s like having family here and just visiting. Take a look at the videos they have uploaded if you want to see how beautiful our area truly is and how talented they are at capturing it.

We have so many chicks, turkey poults and ducklings now that are keeping us busy. I never dreamt we would have such a successful hatch. Pheasants, Quail, Chukars and Partridge are now in the incubator and I am praying we are blessed with the same results.Blueberry season is in full swing now. My kids informed me they can tell what time of year it is without a calendar because July we are always eating Salmon and Blueberries. I reminded them of how blessed we are by these natural bounties and as they stuffed blueberry muffins in their mouths they shook their heads in agreement.

If I haven’t told you before I’ll tell you now that I’ve discovered an awesome app called Periscope. It’s live feeds from all over the world. You can find me here. Periscope-offgridmom. It’s so much fun being able to go live and interact with people everywhere. Thank you Daniel Stafford for making me a periscope junky😊.

What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been. Dear hubby has been gone fishing and everything has decided to breakdown… Thank heavens I’m flexible and can go from a spatula operator to a shovel operator and then to wrenching. Most repairs are done but many are just band aid fixes for now until we can afford to buy the parts needed for permanent fixes. This is the life of an off gridder-always repairing and making do. 

I had the opportunity to meet a Facebook friend in person the other day while he was here with his family on vacation. I had to share With them the tractor boat launch in town. It’s an Alaska thing but I do believe they enjoyed it and it was such a pleasure meeting Bill Marriot and his family.

Fresh tomatoes-need I say more? Oh you know I will but doesn’t the thought, site, scent of fresh tomatoes just bring back a flood of memories from days gone by? Soon I will have fresh juicy ripe tomatoes and green ones too for frying. My greenhouses are exploding with growth and I am feeling very accomplished.


Well folks thank you again for listening to my ramblings and I’ll leave you with pics of my wonderful life. Also a video of wolves howling, I may have posted already but it’s so wonderful getting to capture the sound of their calls (no pics just audio) but worth sharing I think. God Bless and I hope you enjoy!​