Tag Archives: Homesteading

Snowmaggedon 2016

Sunday Febuary 21, 2016.  What a faux pas the weatherman made on that date. 3-6 inches with possibilities of heavier snow in areas. What a difference a dash makes! Yes we did recieve 36 inches and no that is not a typo it was 3 feet of snow and yes I’m loving it! This fast moving storm brought back memories of a time many years ago when we lived in the lower and 3 foot storms were the norm. Before anyone ever heard the words “global warming” before El Niño and La Niña would roll off people’s tongues as easily as saying good morning. Back in the days when a snow storm was romantic and dear hubby would be snowed in at home. Yes much like this little taste of winter we had yesterday-fond memories were made then and now. I do feel bad for all the folks out there that must travel in the snow but for us it’s an answered prayer. We were missing winter, as strange as that sounds to many we do love snow. Hubby of course grumbles and carries on but as he was out shoveling and scooping he had a grin on his face that meant someone was getting pelted with a snow ball. The kids and critters literally “swam” in the snow. It is a nice change from the ice we have grown accustomed to and as is our tradition no snowstorm is complete without snow ice cream!




I have a confession to make. I have a smoking addiction. Yep I can’t seem to quit. Now smoking is something I began years ago but since dear hubby and I created this new smoking contraption I cannot seem to get enough. Even our friends are now feeding my addiction. It started out simple enough with a couple of hams and some bacon slabs, then it grew into whole turkeys and once I ran out of those our friend Norm found some salmon bellies and collars in his freezer to feed my addiction. The young wether goats are beginning to look like a challenge.  I see them now in a different light, what was once a cute little annoying pest has now become a fantasy on my plate-I can’t stop!  Birch wood has become as important as meat now. I will tell you that hickory and maple are over rated in my book. Birch gives a softly sweet smokey flavor without being overbearing. I pity the black bear that enters within my sites-I have a new goal-smoked bear hams. I caution one and all about smoking. It’s an addiction that may cause obesity in families.  

 As I sit here sipping my coffee and watching the moonlight dance of the twinkling snow I am thankful for all that we have. A roof over our heads, full bellies, a warm stove and the smell of freshly ground coffee filling the air is just about all a person could ask for. My kids are healthy and happy and must be dreaming of snowball fights with all the giggling they are doing in their sleep.

Today may bring warmer temps and I expect a quick thaw to our winter wonderland but I won’t fret over that. The flooding will probably resume in the coming days and we will deal with it as we did before but for now I’m declaring a snow day. When the kids awake they will get their chores done and will run and play until they are too wet to stay out and I will dry them by the fire as we create memories for them to share with their children someday. A cup of hot chocolate in hand I will hear them tell who built the biggest snowball and who had the coolest snow angel. Snowmaggedon 2016 will be a distant memory in just a few days so we will enjoy it while it lasts.

For now I wish you all a beautiful day and pray you are safe, happy and healthy. Take time to enjoy today for its but a moment in time.

Long winded post-beware!!!!!

So much going on these days I will warn you in advance, this will be a long winded post and yes I will be elaborating!

First of all we have new babies!!!! Yay!!!!!! I was beginning to think the goats were taking lessons from our freeloading chickens! I am proud to announce the arrival of our first babies though, a set of twin boys from Bubbles. The names I cannot say as the kids (two legged ones) took charge of that and it seems to change hourly. The birth was uneventful and quite rapid. Bubbles came into the yard and was acting strange so I had Cati put her in the pen, 30 minutes later Caleb announced that we had twins. They are quite cute one has floppy ears and the other kind of looks like a donkey and bellers a lot. Still they are very cute and as the rest of the family ooohs and awwws over their cuteness I’m daydreaming of barbque goat. Cruel and sadistic you say? Well first off I’m not dreaming about those two….yet, but the two little nincompoops who decided that coming into the cabin at 2 a.m to steal the pig food and wake me up on a night I was actually sleeping no less AND they left the door open! Yes goats are opportunists and someone must of not closed the door tightly on a late night potty run, Frankie and Klondike (the gruesome two some) seen an opportunity.  I guess it’s my own fault as I heard a crash as the lid to the pig food hit the floor but I was finally sleeping and chalked it up to someone knocking things over in the dark. Little did I know it was the two goats from hell. Yep, goat is definitely on the menu! 


 Papa Fred is experiencing some health issues right now, nothing catastrophic but will be having minor surgery on Thursday. Two weeks ago he started having bladder issues and they put in a Cath now they are replacing that with a permanent one above his pubic bone that can be changed out every month or so. Much easier than traditional Caths and I’m curious as to whether we need a surgeon or a plumber. Hmmmm I will have to ask the urologist if he ever wanted to be a plumber. Okay that was a random thought…even for me!

As you know we butchered my boar hog a couple weeks ago. I tried to get video, charged the camera and everything but Murphy’s law kicked in “If it can go wrong it will” and the video didn’t come out and by the time I realized there was a problem the battery was dead. I have been busy making sausages-lots of sausage! Boudin which is a favorite of my kids, it’s a Cajun sausage made with ground pork, liver, veggies and rice then spiced up and put in casings. I also made breakfast sausage, spicy links and sweet Italian sausage.  

 That was a huge hog! While I was busy butchering hubby took the old subway oven we were given and made a smoker for me. I just finished up smokin 150 pounds of pork. The hams were so big I cut them into 3 pieces. One piece weighed 31 pounds! Dear hubby did get upset I forgot to save back side pork but after he tasted the bacon he got over that quick!    

  The weather is still spring like and I expect that old man winter slept through and forgot us again. It’s just cold enough to be icy but it feels like we will be melting off early again this year. That’s okay I’m ready for a change! It’s been an easy winter temp wise but Lordy I’m tired of the rain and ice

Many plans for big events have had to be put off because of the medical issues with Papa Fred and the weather…oh I hate keeping secrets but hopefully soon we get back on track and I can share the news! I really am horrible at this secret keeping stuff-note: don’t Ever tell me a good secret-like a surprise gift for someone or a pending birth-I’m the worlds worst at keeping those kind of secrets! I get so excited they have a tendency to just pop out of my mouth! 

We celebrated Papa Freds 73 birthday yesterday and like the ground hog he didn’t see his shadow so spring must be on its way! I made his favorite meal of smoked pork chops and yes they were from our pig and tasted wonderful with the birch smoke.  

 He also had a jalapeño bacon cheesecake. This is the second time I have made this and finally as I was creating I wrote down the ingredients.  



Crust 1-1/2 c walnuts finely chopped1/4 c sugar

1/4 c melted butter

1/4 c flour
Filling 3- 8 oz packages cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla flavoring
Topping 4 strips bacon cooked then crumbled

Prepare crust by mixing the ingredients then oil sides of  8 or 9 inch spring form pan put the crust in and roll pan to lightly coat sides before  pressing into pan (the bottom of a canning jar works great for this!) bake 10 minutes at 350

To prepare filling soften cream cheese and mix in sugar then eggs 1 at a time until well blended ( it will have lumps but that’s okay, add vanilla and stir well. Pour into crust then sprinkle edges with bacon crumbles and put jelly in a ring on top (you can also just spoon dollups of jelly over the top.

Bake at 350 about an hour. It’s done when the center is no longer jiggly if you shake the pan. This recipe can be doubled and put in a 9×13 inch cake pan too. The men love it and it’s a favorite of my kids too!

Well now the roosters are crowing and it’s time for another pot of coffee so I will leave you all for now. May your day be blessed with sunny skies and happy thoughts. 

Yay the girls are working again 

Finally! I was beginning to think my hens were going to be freeloaders forever. They quit laying this fall when the weather turned wet but finally they are once again laying. I guess butchering a bunch of birds in front of them and telling them constantly to produce or go to freezer camp finally paid off. They are slow starting but it will pick up I am sure-in the mean time I will continue to baby them and gently explain that a few little eggs are much better to part with than ones head. Yes, I do love my chickens but out here no one-not even cute little hens-get a free ride. 

 It’s so nice having my friend Kimberly here. She has motivated my children to get the loft clean. Unlike mom who isn’t welcome simply because I am the momster, they readily accept Kimberly in their domain and her subtle encouragement to get things done.   Kimberly has also been an extra set of hands to help with the ever present problem of water everywhere. It’s a full time job keeping drainage ditches cleared, pens clean and dry and all that  

 comes with the heavy rains and thawing we are experiencing.  

 The weatherman says we will be seeing a drop in temps in a couple of weeks.  I cannot decide if I’m happy or just want it to hurry up and be spring. I can tell you I am sick of rain. Months of it has made me water logged and snippy. My kids, critters and hubby are obviously tired of it too as tempers are getting short but I have to just remind them and myself this too shall pass. I frequently say to myself “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. Thank heavens for scripture-it sees me through these trying times. 

The days are getting longer and that makes me glad, darkness will soon be replaced with long days and busy hands. I’ve poured through so many seed catalogs I am gardening in my dreams. The little sleep I do get is filled with happy dreams though so I am feeling more rested. If any of you live in an area that grows sugar beets I am looking for some seeds so let me know please. 

Well my phone is almost dead so I will bid you good night. Praying for all those affected by the strange weather. Stay safe, warm and dry. Dan and Robin if your reading this everyone says HI!!!!! We miss you and will be glad when you return. God Bless and sweet dreams all.

Goat love songs and cat food crunching

It’s been a rough start to the year for sure with all the flooding we are experiencing in the area. Sleep has been a rarity as we spend most nights going from one animal pen to the next clearing drainage ditches, removing fallen trees and dealing with the ongoing torrential rains and winds that have plagued us this winter. Finally a night that I can actually get some sleep!  Yay!!! Happy dance!!!! Well, it was a nice thought. Here I sit it is almost 4 a.m. And I have had a grand total of 1 hour and 15 minutes sleep. No it wasn’t the rain, the skies are clear and stars shining brightly. No, it wasn’t flooding as the waters have somewhat subsided and no it wasn’t even dear hubby snoring that has kept me awake. In a word-goats. Goats! Those sweet faced lovable, obnoxious, bellering, sneak in the cabin goats! Apparently someone told them I may actually get to close my eyes tonight and they had a meeting to decide who would take which shift in order to cover the entire night of being obnoxious. 

It began about 10 p.m. One of my yearling darlings came into heat. Up the steps she would run to escape the billies-down she would go bellering. Then the boys started their waaa waaaa waaaing which for those of you not in the loop that sound is what boy goats make to not only annoy me but it’s a love song of sorts sang to the pretty little girlie goats. They must of been off key as she definitely wasn’t interested. Now you would think that after they finally quit singing that things would calm down and I could catch a few minutes of sleep-ha! Hope y’all didn’t put money on that bet for I was in bed-again-for a grand total of 17 minutes. Whoever went to the outhouse last didn’t get the door latched, Frankie seen an opportunity and quietly let himself in. Such a courteous goat is he that he made sure to close the door so the other goats couldn’t get in and began munching and crunching away at the cat food. I was just getting up to reprimand one of the kids for making such a racket crunching cereal (no they don’t do that really but my mind is not quite right at the moment due to lack of sleep) when I see Frankie and of course I asked him just what he thought he was doing in the house and eating the cat food. Before you even think it yes my sentences are going on forever but hey, zombie moms are entitled to do that. Frankie of course looks up at me as if it’s just a common everyday occurrence to be standing inside eating cat food. I will admit I told him to wipe his mouth he had crumbs on his chin before the irrational side of me crept out and began screeching like a banshee and grabbing the broom. Of course getting him out the door took a bit of doing since the other critters outside heard MY bellering and had to come look in the window to see what was happening. Finally I get the goat gone, cat food cleaned up and I realize that through all that commotion, screeching, thumping,bellering and hollering…..not a soul woke up. Hmmm, well guess it’s time to get the coffee going, dig out the mom cape and start my day.  I’ll get the coffee on as soon as I get this chicken out who just jumped into my lap. It looks like it’s gonna be one of those days.

God Bless you all and keep smiling!

Hoodies and T-shirts

Hi folks, due to popular demand I brought back these shirts for sale. We don’t make but a couple bucks per shirt BUT every little bit helps. Keeping the farm going and all the other things we do costs money and by doing this fundraiser we can afford to pay website fees and domain names. Thanks for your support

Two Moose Farm Shirts  


4 in the morning and sitting here enjoying my first cup of coffee. Already went out and slogged through the mud checking on all the critters who are quite content and still sleeping. The pigs were snoring loudly and it sounded like a bear growl about made me jump out of my own skin. Alas I have a few minutes of quiet time-alone. That’s rare! Hubby was up late last night draining water from pens and shoveling the muck so he is happily snoring away-louder than the pigs I might add and I’m not even going to wake him.

Ponderings-when your mind has many thoughts and you just mull them over, much like when tasting a fine wine when it’s just been uncorked. You look at it, inhale it, swish it around and determine if it is worth further consumption. It’s mornings like this I ponder many things. The current thoughts are-will we ever see winter again? How many buckets of sand will it take to create solid ground where it’s muck, and of course the normal thoughts of am I being a good parent. 

Winter, it feels as if I haven’t seen winter for years. Not these little passing storms but a real winter with cold, snow and the magical feeling you get when you look outside to a blanket of white, pristine and a pure world. I do love winter, at least a few months of it.

This muck and rain have finally got to me-now I’m plotting revenge. I will conquer it. I will tame it and make it work to my advantage. Through diverting, adding amendments and creative engineering it will be my slave. ( insert evil laugh)! By now anyone who knows me understands challenges to me are like a dare to a child. I will do it because it “supposedly” can’t be done!

Now for the tough one:Parenting. Having 3 preteen, hormonal, Jekyl and Hydes under one roof is daunting. I can face bear, moose and wolves and am fearless compared to the hormonal mood swings these three have that bring chills to my spine one minute and get me so angry the next I am sweating. Yes, I know how many deep breaths it takes until you hyperventilate-11! I think I can get that number down to 9 if I speed them up-at least then I’ll have a couple of minutes of quiet while I’m passed out. Oh no worries I’m just kidding! Maybe…….

Life on Two Moose is full of ups and downs but through it all I know I am blessed to live this life. For those of you contemplating beginning on such an adventure-do not get discouraged for life would be boring if everything went 100 percent as planned. 

For now I must go and put on my mom cape which doubles as an apron. An apron that is an umbrella sheltering my family through any storm. Keep the faith and trust God to lead you~ 


Sunny days

I just love sunny days, especially after the gloom of rain for weeks!  Today we went on a family outing picking cranberries and enjoying the sunshine. It was so beautiful being out that even the critters had to come along. I imagine we are quite the sight as we stroll through the forest, buckets in hand with 20 turkeys, several pigs and a herd of goats trailing along. Turns out that my dear Charlotte is a berry locator. Strange I know but she walks along side of me and will snort and grunt then jump ahead and stop-she doesn’t eat them just points them out with her nose. I know it’s strange but nothing is normal here! 

Charlotte pointing out berries
The days are getting much shorter now and we don’t see the sun until 8:30 in the morning. It won’t be long until we don’t see it at all only a few hours of subdued daylight. I am so glad that the dark days don’t last long as I love being outdoors. We still go out but don’t stray far from the cabin as it is easy getting lost in the forest at night. All is well though if we stick to the trails.

As is my norm I cook a lot on cold wet days and have been busy not only creating the old stand bys but new recipes too. I will have a cookbook completed soon and you will be able to find it on our web store. Stop by in the meantime and have a look around. We still have birch syrup, barley pancake mix and goat milk hot cocoa available-soaps are getting low until this next batch cures. http://www.offgridalaska.net Two Moose Farm . 

 For those of you wanting hoodies we will have a second run of those for pre order in the next few days. 

Still working on the book about how to go off grid-would love to hear some input on titles. This by no stretch of the imagination will be an actual how to manual but will give people an idea of what to look out for and how to find further info. 

As always I’ll leave you with a few random pics and look forward to hearing from you all.God Bless!!!!!


Falling leaves and falling temps

this morning we awoke to a 1/4 inch of ice on everything outdoors. The leaves are changing colors and quickly leaving the trees and there is a briskness to the air. Yes fall is here and I am glad!

Summer was long and my body thinks if the sun is out I need to be up and working-that equals really long days when it’s light until midnight and the sun is up at 3 a.m. We did accomplish much though and have expanded our farm to a size that will soon make us self sustaining. I traded a hog for veggies some this year some next to make up for any shortages we may have. Our first years garden produced enough to encourage me for next year and by bartering I have ensured we will have enough to sustain us.

Hubby provided a lot of salmon for me to can and the 100 plus jars will do us until next season (still lots of salmon in freezer too).  Carrots are canned, kraut is fermenting and life is good. I have a hog to butcher this weekend and will make lots of sausage with my seasoning I finally perfected and will have much lard to render. We are only keeping half as the other is sold. This works out well when space is limited and with a few days of moose season left we are hoping for a bit of luck there. If not we have a friend who has promised to share and we will share our farms bounty in return.  

  Honey from 1 of my hives  

Bread and butter pickles

  3 bean salad  

  Many are looking for a simple way to make kraut and here it is: shred cabbage put in sterile 1 quart jar and crush down with wooden spoon to break up the cells that hold water. Add 1/2 to 1 tsp salt and mix it in well if you like (be aware this will slow down the fermentation process and is not required) leave an inch headspace and top off with water if it is not wet enough, cover with a coffee filter or cloth and wait. After a couple of weeks it will be saurkraut! If you see any mold scoop it off if it’s inside the cabbage toss it. After it has achieved the desired sour taste simply place a sterile lid and ring on it and water bath it at a full boil 15 min or so.

Time to do something with the cranberries I picked this morning so I’ll bid you farewell until next time. God Bless!

Days getting shorter and the rush is on

There never seems to be enough time. Taking time out to teach my children about the world around them has been a priority and as we quickly see the berries maturing and fireweed complete its bloom it’s now time to go from foraging lessons to fishing and hunting. My kids love to fish and have been doing it since they were old enough to hold a pole but that was lake trout and panfish-now it’s time to work on catching the big boys! I grew up fishing the waters off the coast of California. I remember being 5 or 6 and halibut fishing with my paw paw. I also remember catching my first halibut. Yes it was bigger than me and yes I needed much assistance but I also remember wanting to just let paw paw real it in as I was tired. He was having none of that and asked me “do you really want to let that fish beat you”? Of course my little arms were screaming yes but I knew how good halibut tasted and I really wanted that fish so I persisted. When we finally got it close enough to the boat and he gaffed it in I was an excited little puppy and asked if we could eat it for supper. Mind you that fish was big enough for many meals but my only concern was right now. We headed in and with his help once again we filleted it and I was pleasantly surprised when instead of loading into the station wagon he headed for the beach. Right then and there he built a fire with drift wood and we cooked halibut strips wrapped over sticks and secured with hooks. THAT was the best tasting fish ever and I want my children to experience that feeling of being able to provide for themselves and take pride in it. Never mind we cooked it with the skin on and it burnt or the fact it was covered in sand it was my catch and it tasted like heaven. Memories like this not only warm the heart the  knowledge stays with you a lifetime.

I will post pics as they come available.

Hubby was able to get some Alaska commercial fishing experience in the past couple of weeks. A friend needed a deck hand and he was more than ready! Made a few bucks and got a few salmon all the while enjoying the sights and new experience. I might add he had such a good time he is looking forward to next season already. Our son Caleb was able to go on one of the overnight trips to observe and he too is anxious for next year.  

 I canned the salmon except for one meal of fresh and made salmon patties out of one quart jar already. Once you have fresh salmon store bought is no longer an option. Yes it’s that tasty!   

Hubby even caught a shark and was excited! 

 We have been so blessed living here I wake every morning and thank God for another day. We are finally achieving our goals of self sufficiency and are assisting others when we can. Many still question why we want to live off grid and without the basics like indoor plumbing but for us it’s a dream come true. We can work beside our children and teach them ways that are quickly being forgotten. 

Our garden is doing well for our true first year with the exception of a few potatoes the chickens managed to dig up, the pigs are growing, our goat herd has doubled in size not including the Wethers we have sold and now we have turkeys and chickens reproducing too! 

Time has been an issue but soon I will make time to harvest the honey from the hives and am feeling very accomplished at splitting a hive for the first time. 

Yes it has been a busy summer and I apologize for not updating more but will get back to a more regular schedule as soon as hunting season is over. For now I will leave you with random pics and a prayer for peace in your hearts. God Bless! 


Crazy days of summer

Hi all, I apologize for the delay in posting but summer is such a busy time!

Lots of new baby critters including 10 little piggies. A broody hen who will literally kill anyone or thing that goes near her best-2broidy turkey hens that hide in the woods (found one!) and lots of work to be accomplished like hating. 

I’ve been butchering chickens for weeks now and ending this batch this coming week with more to arrive at months end-whew it’s work!

Not much time for a thorough post but will share some pics and promise details later when I have time. Praying God blesses you with plenty of work to keep you from being idle and bountiful energy to complete your tasks!