All posts by offgridmom

Building memories

The holidays are upon us and at times I worry that my children are missing out on getting “things”.  We are what we like to refer to as “cash challenged”-not poor but with putting every cent we had into living our dream it will take awhile until we start reaping financial rewards.  Today I seen how important this life has become to my children.

We are very cramped in our tiny little cabin, so much so that even though there are literally thousands off trees right outside our door we don’t have room to bring one inside so we improvised!IMG_2378

We made our Christmas tree fit our space!  During this time my girls said to me “You know Mom Christmas isn’t about presents its about remembering that Jesus was born and came to earth to save us”.  This simple little statement spoke volumes to my heart-My children know what Christmas is all about and at that moment I felt so blessed!

The day slipped by so fast enjoying this time alone with the girls (the guys were all dragging logs to the sawmill).  We baked cookies, sang Christmas carols and I then realized I had not baked the bread nor done the breakfast dishes and about the only thing I had accomplished in my normal schedule was feeding critters and schoolwork for the kids.

Now rushing to complete the tasks that needed to be done I managed to make dough for a pizza for dinner, wash the dishes, mix up the bread dough, make pizza, fed the family and got the bread in the oven all in a matter of two hours!

At last it was quiet again as it was just Cami and I in the house. Cati had gone out with the guys to help drag logs and I realized that it was time to get chores done then prepare for supper. Bless her heart Cami comes over says “have a cup of coffee Mom and take a break I will go do chores-alone!  10 years old and she fed the pigs, goats, rabbits and chickens, hauled water to all of them and bedded them down for the night as I sipped a cup of coffee and took a deep breath.

Supper was a simple meal with fresh bead, hamburger steak, baked beans and pickled beets but it tasted much better knowing that even though I was nearing exhaustion from the course of the day my family all realizes this place is home to all of us and together we can build OUR Dream.  I am so Blessed!!!

My day is over and I will leave you with this beautiful picture of the moon rising tonight and this simple thought- Building memories and traditions that will be in our hearts forever is much more valuable than silver and gold.

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Moving the Big Orange Dragon

We have a sawmill that we use to mill our own lumber. It’s  a Woodmiser15 and small as far as sawmills go but when moving it across 2 miles of muddy trails it is HUGE.  We brought it as far as we could last spring before the thaw and patiently waited for the rain to stop-finally in September we were able to construct enough road and I use that term loosely-to get it the final 2 miles into our property. It took us almost 3 weeks to accomplish this! We had to dismantle as much as we could then move it slowly and our daily progress was measured in feet. The pictures will tell you more than I ever could.

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It was quite the adventure moving the Big Orange Dragon as we had to modify a trailer (numerous times) fix a couple flat tires, and chain a tongue from another trailer to the front of it to attach it to the four wheeler but we accomplished it with lots of prayers and perseverance! (We won’t talk about when I got it stuck and almost rolled the entire thing over onto my dear hubby).

Once we got it home and reassembled she worked like a charm again and we were back to milling lumber for our building needs that are at this point in time seems endless.

 

Winter is here!

What a beautiful day it was today.  The weatherman was wrong….again…..but it was beautiful! Snow was falling on our trip out and I felt like I was in the middle of a Norman Rockwell painting it was so beautiful. I took a minute to capture a couple of pics once we were to the truck and driving the 3/4 of a mile to the road.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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The girls and I made our trip to town to stock up on things we may need and check the mail.  I am not much for going to town but have to say today people were even more friendly than normal-could it be the season? I spent half an hour talking to a lovely older gentleman in he post office who spent the tie telling me about the area 40 years ago and being the history buff I am I wish it could have been longer.

Dear hubby met us at the parking area to help haul in the bounty from town and pick up the things I lose on the trail. Yes I get lost in thought and am tooling right along and don’t notice when 20 pounds of potatoes exits the trailer, thank heavens he doesn’t have his head in the clouds too!

The guys had a good time today with the females all gone, they hauled water, cut wood and watched the pig antics.  Pigs that are supposed to be such smart creatures sometimes do the silliest things.  Today Sir Hammington being the nosey creature he is decides sniffing the shovel that is leaning against the electric fence-would be a grand idea.  He of course gets shocked and does a flip, squeals and runs off. Charlotte who is standing there witnessing this and who herself is well versed in electric fences then decides that maybe she should see if it really does shock and repeats the same silly moves.  I guess the smart pig theory has just been proven wrong.

Still no goat babies, I can tell you I am getting antsy waiting.  According to the dates I have down, the appearance of both Bubbles Jr. and Bella they should have had their babies by now.  I guess it’s a waiting game as I have explained to them numerous times I am tired of waiting!

Not much else to report but will post as soon as we have some cue little goat kids on the ground but for now I think I will put on my warm coat, grab a cup of hot coffee and go spend a few minutes watching the snowfall on my little piece of paradise.  I believe its time to go Thank God for the many blessings he bestowed upon this family today.

Aug29,2014 7:25 pm

I was reading some of my Facebook posts from summer and thought I would share. This was while we still had no real roof just a canvas one, the loft didn’t exist yet and we were all crammed into 16×20 feet. We had non stop rain for a week prior.
What a glorious day today was! Sun shining brightly and a gentle breeze carrying the salty scent of the ocean a across the tree tops. I had the door and window open so I could enjoy the outdoors while I cleaned and aired out the cabin after being closed in for days due to rain. I really should not do that as I get so easily distracted by the grunts and squeals of 4 little pigs begging for a belly scratching then the goats feeling slighted start with their games of “look at me I’m adorable”. Head butting and King of the mountain kept me distracted for almost an hour as I pondered how they could crash so hard horn against horn and sometimes skull against skull and not have a headache.
The Chicken tractor was moved today to fresh greenery and it is always fun to watch them rush out into their “New World” and dance around exploring, scratching and pecking for the latest treat the earth has to offer.
Children laughing and playing is music to my ears in the background as they release the tension built up from days of attempting to be quiet and reserved. Yes the kids are covered from head to toe in mud but they will wash and the freedom to be creative and imaginative should not be hindered nor could not be hindered by such a thing as keeping clean.
Supper is over and once again the kids have returned to a land far away just outside my window. With an old bath tub as their ship and a pup tent as the far away island.
No, my cleaning did not get completed today but the day was most definitely not wasted.

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New goat kidding shed

Today was another cloudy day with rain showers and even though it was 45 degrees out it felt colder due to the wind but I have the best hubby! Even through the rain and wind he and Fred worked tirelessly to finish the walls and roof on my new kidding shed and by the looks of things we will have new babies soon.

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My day was filled with much of the norm-cooking,cleaning,school for the 2 legged kiddos and trying to complete mittens I’m making for the girls’ birthday presents.
No sign of the wolf that has been growing ever bolder maybe that warning shot with the shotgun scared him off-I can only pray it did.
Still looking for winter. I am one of those oddballs that likes it or maybe it’s because frozen ground much easier to navigate than this

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If the girls look bored it’s because we have experienced this event so many times NOT getting stuck at least once a trip in or out is cause for celebration. This particular time did give me concern as I was already running late and it was getting dark. To top it all off the wolves started howling which made me extremely nervous knowing I had 2 children to protect.
The day is done now so I will leave you with this thought-What price can you put on peace? My life as hectic, hard, and crazy as it is, at the end of the day be it watching the sunset on Mt.Iliamna or the fire crackling in the stove I Thank God for the peaceful place he has provided me.

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Our Children

As you know we have 3 children who live one the homestead Cami, Cati and Caleb. Our children love life out here where they have had room to run and grow.
We homeschool and of course no tv means finding other ways of entertaining themselves and while during nice weather there’s always something fun to do out doors the rainy days with three energetic children in a 16×20 cabin can be just plain crazy! Happily I can now say they have all discovered the joy of reading. We have always provided lots of books but I have to say that a dear friend Cathy inspired them more than I ever could when she sent them the “Diary of a whimpy kid set and then God Bless her she found the series Left Behind “The Kids” and sent those too. All of my kids enjoy reading them and Cami has completed all 35 books since September!

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About us-Living the dream

Our view from the front porch
Our view from the front porch

I’m new to blogging so please forgive me if I don’t have it right.

We began our off grid adventure in March 2014. My name is Early, I’m the mom of Cami, Cati and Caleb. Mike is my dear husband and Poppa Fred is not really my dad but we have adopted him as our Poppa. While he isn’t quite ready to settle down yet he says soon he will be ready to build a cabin and be out here full time.  We are just grateful for his presence, help and wisdom.

now that I’ve introduced you to all of us I’ll begin to tell you of our adventure. In March 2014 we arrived in Alaska ready to live our dream. Almost 2 months of setbacks we finally were able to construct walls for our 16×20 cabin complete with a canvas roof. 5 months a canvas roof is plenty-trust me! Our first summer here it rained almost everyday which meant construction was at a stand still and many sleepless nights of dumping the swells of rain filled canvas so we would stay dry. Finally in mid September we had some decent dry days so our building could resume.

We now have a semi complete 16×20 cabin with a loft for the kids and a roof still covered with plastic because it got too cold to put the roofing material on.

Off grid to us means no electric, no gas, no running water. All heating and cooking is done with wood. We have solar panels and a battery bank to power our 12 volt system for a few lights and to charge our cell phones. A small generator is used when the sun doesn’t appear for days to also charge the batteries. Internet is through our cell phone so that is how I’m posting. We haul water from the spring or the creek for bathing, dishes, cooking and laundry. We have no refridgeration but have adapted well to doing without and improvising. I will be doing a separate post later explaining in detail how this can be accomplished. Yes we have an out house but since we are in a wet area we use a composting system. I will go more into details later.

To get to our place we must either walk 3.5 miles or if it isn’t too wet out we can use our 4 wheeler. Everything we have has either been brought out by those means and that in wet conditions is no easy task.

We live in the wild. Bears, Moose, Coyotes, Wolves and a plethora of other wildlife are our neighbors. This life is most definitely not for the faint of heart!

We are raising rabbits, goats, chickens, pigs and bees for food and I’m excited to say soon I will have new baby goats and with that I can resume milking and my cheese making!

I hope this gives you an idea of what were doing and I promise to go into more details and include more pictures in later posts.