Tag Archives: Homesteading

Adventures around every corner

In the state of Alaska wild game and fish is never wasted. If an animal is hit, a poacher caught or for any reason there is fresh meat or fish it is not wasted but given to residents to consume.

Last night just before 9 pm I got a call from the state troopers. They had a Moose available and did I want it? Yes! Of course I wanted it so I got the directions and called our dear friends Dan and  Robin to ask if they could “claim” it for us as we would not meet the 30 minute window to arrive on scene. Dan of course was out the door and gone before I could say thank you. Dear hubby, Cati and I loaded the tools needed to Field dress a Moose and in the Argo we went to head to the road. All was going well until we reached the bridge to cross the creek. Ah oh, only half a bridge left. Dear hubby gets out and looks over the situation and like our brains do on many occasions we both got a great idea, the creek narrows just above there and there’s fallen logs so why not “jump” over there? Okay realistically my mind  Was thinking “lack of a safe crossing will not stop me from hundreds of pounds of meat” so with a whoosh of my mom cape, the crunch of the willows I must drive through and the sounds of the meat grinder dancing through my head I attempted to cross the minor abyss standing between me and meat. Like a boss the little green giant navigated through the rough crossing and we were off.
Finally arriving at the truck, a mile until we reach a real road, 6 miles to the turn off the troopers said to take and only a 1/4 mile hike to the prize…..right!   The first of the instructions were spot on, the 1/4 mile hike not so correct. It was more like a mile through a gravel pit, over a couple of hills and down a draw next to a huge water hole but we were there and The prize was a huge cow Moose. The reason she was available is she decided a hiker was a great punching bag. Sad, but that’s what momma Moose do when they have babies. Poor guy going for a hike felt terrible he had to protect himself and after seeing her 2 orphan babies I felt bad too but her death would not be in vain, she will feed several families. 

Our friends son Brandon is awesome. Yes, I will admit I am envious of his knowledge and he came to help get it field dressed and hauled in for which I’m eternally grateful for. Yes, we could of managed but watching him quarter that Moose I learned so much. I’m no rookie to field dressing deer and antelope but Moose is a totally different creature due to its size but he made it look simple and I will say I am much more prepared for the next one due to his instruction. My back also is thankful for he and his son bringing wheelers and a meat wagon to haul it out. Alright if I were a man that meat wagon would cause me to have a serious man crush on him. (Snicker) I wish I would of gotten pics of it as it’s incredible! 

By the time we got back to Dan and Robins house it was 12:30 a.m. and I was cold, wet so I left Cati and the men to hang and wash off the meat. I went inside and visited with Robin until finally at 2:30 the guys were all visited out and it was time to head home. 

The first thing that happened when I pulled out of the driveway onto the road is a Moose jumped out, close call but I didn’t hit it. Thank heavens as I was about Moosed out for the night. We turned onto the trail to head to the Argo parking area and when we got there another Moose was standing by the Argo and then another! I thought I was hallucinating! They of course spooked and trotted away but one was curious and kept inching back towards us, Cati was a little nervous and that girl jumped in the Argo faster than I have ever seen her move. 

1:00 a.m.

3:30 a.m.

We finally arrived home around 3:30 a.m. Bed never looked so good!

Our adventure will reap the reward of meat for the freezer, jerky and we will of course share with our friends. It’s was great spending time with hubby and Cati building another memory that will be passed on for generations I hope. I am thankful for so many things but mostly that we and our friends all made it home safely. That is the best blessing of all. 

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!

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.

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!​



Summer highs and some are lows

The last few days have been like a roller coaster. We’ve had beautiful weather, completed a video session, hatched out some chicks and then the mood changes to somber all due to things beyond our control. We lost a baby goat to a freak accident and then last night the Owls returned. One of our young pullets was his prey and even though she was in a sheltered place the owl managed to get her. Tonight I sit on owl watch. All the critters are tucked away in pens and I’m armed with enough noise makers to make him lose his hearing for days. Time to make it look like Fourth of July!!! 

Let’s move on as I am getting side tracked once again. Back to the chicks. What began as a science experiment for the kids has turned into a brooder full of chicks. We had been doing some studying (yes even though it’s summer) and the kids were wanting to do an experiment they found online where you hatch a chick out of its egg. We acquired a 12 volt incubator and decided to first try hatching eggs the traditional way. Not wanting it to be boring we used eggs that were 1-14 days old. To our surprise the eggs all hatched except 1! The only difference we have seen so far is the older eggs have had 1 chick to weak to go beyond pipping and it died in its shell. The rest hatched and are doing very well!  We will be doing our science experiment at a later date and I will keep you all informed of its progress and results.Our videos are now up and running and can be seen on YouTube. Here’s the link and our channel is Off Grid Alaska. Please join us in our everyday life and future videos will have how to’s and tips to living the off grid life. If there’s anything your interested in seeing please leave a comment here, on our Facebook page Offgrid Alaska or in the comments section of you tube. We want these videos to be for you and to share with others why we love this crazy, hectic and yet peaceful life.


The production company we are working with is amazing!!!! Stagvid Media can be found here Stagvid Media. What great guys they are to work with and they are so multifaceted in their abilities! No matter your needs from a small shoot to a major advertising campaign these gentleman can take your vision and bring it to life. If your at a loss as to which direction to go they can help build your campaign from the ground up. I am so blessed to call them my friends and creative partners on our video series.

The greenhouses have become mini jungles and I’m pleased at the progress we are making. Soon it will be canning and pickling time-my favorite thing to do! I love putting food up and knowing that it was produced right here. My kids like taking part as do dear hubby and Papa Fred so it’s a time of work, learning (for the kids) and memory making.I’ll bet you all were thinking I had suddenly become graceful as I haven’t posted any “oops” moments lately. Well, never fear-I’m still a clutz!  You would think that pouring water from a large barrel to a five gallon bucket would be boring. Ha! You were wrong! While transferring water for most is a simple task, for me it involves lots of assistants. Turkeys and chickens are always present but now I have that silly drake who hears the sound of water pouring and thinks it’s bath time. While using both hands to lift the barrel and one foot to attempt to keep the chickens and turkeys at bay because they think there might be some magical treat suddenly appear I forgot about the duck. Now Ritz (or Einstein as Caleb calls him) decides flying onto my head then diving for the bucket looks like a great idea I’m dodging various fowl and thinking how appropriate the word foul is at the moment-somehow my foot catches the bale of the bucket. While still holding the barrel which is now pouring down the front of me, kicking at birds and attempting to dislodge the bale from my foot I end up on my backside with the barrel across the yard and the bucket on my head. To add insult to injury I have an irate duck on my chest quacking out something that sounds a lot like a foghorn on acid. Yep folks Grace has left the building! Thank goodness it was warm out as if of had icicles in some pretty strange places. 


Well it’s back to owl duty but I’ll share some random pics and pray your in your happy place. God Bless

Spring Sprung!

Spring has come upon us with such a vengeance it’s as if the earth itself grew tired of the ice and dreary days. Yes our breakup has arrived and we have rivers running everywhere-literally. The mud is currently ankle deep and with the forecast we should see mid calf by weeks end. Yes folks we have our own way of measuring the breakups progress.

Still working on the greenhouse. In the pics it may look simple but I assure you it is not. It is a concept I have spent 2 years planning that hopefully will work out as planned. Here in Alaska weather conditions can be extreme and I might add I can be more fickle than the weather. I am tired of putting a building somewhere only to decide later it should of been placed elsewhere. My design can accommodate that!  My 12×24 greenhouse is actually 2-12x12s that with a few screws removed can be easily moved elsewhere or made into 2 seperate greenhouses. With our winters dumping heavy wet snow I also did not want a permanent roof so am designing panels that can be removed when the season is over. Plastic can get expensive so side panels can easily be recovered in sections versus recovering the entire thing. I’ll let you know as time goes on how it’s working out. There are no plans just what’s in my head so each piece must be cut to fit. I might add building on melting ice presents a whole different set of problems as every morning I must reshim to keep it square before work begins.  

 My chickens are finally getting into full swing and laying almost a dozen eggs a day. Pickled eggs are in the near future-My kids will be happy! Yep they love running in and grabbing a pickled egg and out the door they go-portable food that’s good for them.

My youngest son will officially be a teenager next week. Where does the time go? He’s growing up and looking forward to being able to take on summer jobs-I’m not sure momma is ready but will cross that bridge when we get to it. 

   
Fishing-it seems to be the topic at every meal. Everyone wants to go fishing and the season is quickly approaching but could we not have to talk about it constantly? Seriously my girls must be dreaming of fishing at this moment as its all they talk about. Hopefully we can get some pole time in and not be too busy. 

Not much else happening right now just gearing up for our busy season and will have more to share as time goes on. Hope your all living life to the fullest, making memories and being thankful for the blessings you have. Have a blessed day! 

    
   

Super mom cape is on and I’m ready!

The sunshine has been abundant lately save for a scattered shower that snuck up on us today. Dear hubby has been doing some welding as he awaits the opening of halibut season. For months he’s paced in anticipation only to be held back by a delayed opening date-thank heavens it will be soon as he’s like a kid waiting for Christmas.

I, poppa Fred and the kiddos have busied ourselves with the routine chores like cooking pig food, keeping the others well fed, cleaning pens which is never ending and building a new greenhouse. Of course there is still the schoolwork to complete but it’s amazing how quickly they can complete lessons when the outdoors is calling. Cati however has busied herself by taking over the baking and that’s perfectly fine with me. At 11 years old she is very adept at bread and cake baking which frees me to do other things. 

    
   
We ran out of lumber for the greenhouse so the plan today was to run the sawmill but it was short lived. By the time all the other chores were completed it was 2p.m. 30 minutes into getting the mill ready and running a single log it started to rain and then sleet. By the time we made it back to the cabin we were soaked. 2 hours later the rain subsided but it was time to get the evening chores started and get supper on. 

Cati baked rolls , a cake and boiled the chicken down and shredded it while I finished splitting wood and cooking the pig food. I did have time to toss the ingredients in a pan for barbque sauce and tell her to keep an eye on it and get a pasta dish whipped up. Yes it was a crazy busy day but by the time dear hubby got home at 6:30 chores were done, supper was ready and I was more than ready to put up my feet. I started my day 13 hours prior and I was pooped!  I had to run back out and take a few pics of goats for a lady but I’m happy to say 2 of our young kids will be going to a new home next week.tomorrow the one that is a little he will be made into an it. Not my favorite thing to do but while my knife is sharp I might as well do the 4 little boy pigs too. Oh the life of a homesteader-it is never boring.  

   
    
 Today was not one of my better days in the grace department either. While cooking the pig food-in an old bathtub outside-I got my feet tangled up in the chickens looking for a handout and started falling towards the now boiling water. Trying to avoid a hot bath I grabbed for a goat who was also trying to get to the pig food, the goat was more than helpful. I somehow managed to get my hand under the collar and at the same time my feet left the ground I was hung up on the goat which my nose soon told me was Henry one of the billies. Henry not knowing what to think about me laying over his back with my feet in the air and arm through his collar decides to go site seeing. Of course he didn’t want to slip on the ice so took the muddy way around the farm yard and more than once stepped on my braid hanging down before I finally wedged my lower body against a tree to get him to stop. Finding my footing I dislodged my arm from his collar, rung my braid out, wiped off as much of the mud as I could and decided it was time for a coffee break. Cami came around the corner about the time I hit the cabin steps and followed me in. Not taking note of my appearance at all she asks “what stinks” with a “duh” look on my face she says “it smells like a Billie goat in here”. I could not bring myself to run through what had just happened so I played dumb and said I didn’t smell a thing. I did go out and wash up some but it took a change of clothes to get his heady scent off of me.

All in a days work I keep telling myself. Without the little mishaps life would be so boring!

Have a blessed night all. I’ve got my supermom cape ready and I’m off for another adventure tomorrow-stay tuned!

One little, two little, nine little piggies

Finally! Charlotte blessed us with 10 piglets in the wee hours Sunday morning. It will be her last litter as it was a difficult labor and we nearly lost her. She started acting aggressive last week and I knew the time was coming close-it almost didn’t happen at all I was so mad at her. Two of our baby goats decided jumping into her pen was a good idea, only one jumped out. It was frustrating for sure but it’s part of farm life-losing an animal that way is never easy though. Saturday she really got nasty and would literally rip boards off of the pen if I left her. Dear hubby fixed the pen up and I finally calmed her down enough I could finish chores but every half hour, all night long, she would start her fit throwing and I would have to climb in the pen and give her a belly rub. Finally at 1:30 she went to sleep so I grabbed a quick nap and hubby checked on her at 3:30 and let me know she was at it again. This time I calmed her down and she began having babies. It was a difficult labor and at one point she rolled over and I missed one of the piglets. These things happen but it still makes a person feel helpless when you can’t save them all. We have one little runt but it’s an aggressive little thing. We brought it and one other inside while she was finishing labor as they were chilling down and weak but within two hours they were both lively and ready for lunch.  

 
   
    
 
The weather is still fickled with changing from one extreme to another but we are enjoying some warm sunny days. The girls wanted the hammock put up so dad helped them and it’s getting some use for sure-as a giant swing. 

   
Our remaining baby goat I call Rudy (the kids change the name daily) has been full of mischief. He wanders out to graze with his momma and forgets to follow her so he’s been spending time inside the cabin getting into mischief. 

 
Dear Hubby’s fishing got postponed due to the captains girlfriend having a medical issue so we’ve been spending the time getting pens rebuilt and working on preventing flooding. It’s nice having him here but it doesn’t help the finances.  Oh well will just have to find more Barters to fill in the needs.

It’s springtime for sure as the wolves are howling and the young males are out looking for territory of their own and females. They have such a mournful cry it almost makes you sad to hear it. 

Our days are getting longer and the sunsets have been amazing. I wonder if I will ever tire of this view. 

   
Well it’s getting late and I need to make a final pen check so I’ll leave you with a few more pictures and pray your lives are blessed with peace. 

    
    
   

What’s season is it again?

Our seasons are so confused-rain all winter then bam!three feet of snow. Well guess what-it’s raining again! Almost all the snow is gone and with the temps hovering around 40 it won’t be long. Of course there’s some minor flooding but that is to be expected. The kids had fun in the snow and now are ready for it to be done. Isn’t the changing weather amazing though? It’s like the picture changes every day. Winter brings ice and dreary short days but also bring us snowstorms to change it to a portrait in white. Spring brings rain but longer days and new growth and life, the green haze is beginning to show itself in the trees and on the ground where the snow has melted. Yes, I do love the changing seasons even if they are a bit fickled. 

    
 Finally got the snow cleared away from the smoker and got the salmon finished smoking. 12 pints of smoked salmon (my kids call it fish candy) slightly sweet, a hint of salt and the mellow smoke of birch made it a hit with all. After all of the years I have canned my family still insists on opening the first jar of anything the minute it is cooled. Strange but hey if it makes them happy. More smoking to be done later this week as dear hubby’s friend Norm called and has more fish for us, I do love that we have friends who support and encourage my smoking habit but that doesn’t mean the little goat wether is safe. Smoked goat just sounds yummy! For you vegetarian followers I apologize but I am a meat lover. 

 Spring fever has come-I’ve been cleaning and making new curtains, basically doing anything I can to take my mind off of gardening. I did get 3 sweet potatoes going in water to grow my own slips. I have never grown any sweet potatoes but reading up it is said for best results start with slips. Slips are the little shoots that grow from them. I’m going to give it a try though as we all love sweet potatoes baked with butter it’s almost as good as regular potatoes. 

 My kids seriously need to quit growing. Stretching to try to get the yeast from the top shelf Cati (11 years old) reaches over me, says let me help mom and gets it down. She is now 5’6″ tall. Caleb is the same height at 12 years old but he is about to shoot up again. He is eating us out of house and home. Cami is still the smallest of my twin girls but what she lacks in size she makes up for in attitude.  

 Always something that needs to be done and hoping the rain stops soon-fishing season is coming up quick! I’ll leave you with a few pics as is my norm and pray your blessed beyond measure.