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.
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The clouds cleared for a couple of days and brought us cooler temperatures. The night skies have seen the return of stars so bright and numerous it looks as if someone peppered the sky with twinkling lights. Even in darkness there is beauty.
The cooler temps have brought back winter with its frozen ground and we are now attempting to catch up on our winter work. Winter is when the majority of our wood gathering and hauling takes place. It is also when anything from the outside can be brought in on our ice “super highway”.
Dear hubby and Caleb have been busy hauling logs from a blow down area and even had some help from poppa Fred. Cati is in helping a friend of mine who was in an auto accident and the rest of us girls are busy cleaning pens, animal care and doing repairs. The sawmill will be up and running today and that will provide lumber for the many repairs to animal pens that the flooding took out. There’s never a dull moment around here and thankfully the days are growing much longer quickly so we can work by sunlight versus lamp light.
I’m impatiently waiting for the new kids to hit the ground. We lost a couple due to the ice and wet conditions. Poor goats I wish I could find a way to keep them from falling on the ice.
It’s chilly this morning at 21 degrees and the humidity is high but the fire is warm and my coffee seems to taste particularly good this morning. I will chalk it up to being in better spirits due to the weather not being so gloomy. It’s a short respite though as warmer wetter conditions are in the forecast.
Hoping to butcher one of my older hogs soon as it’s no longer servicable for breeding. Here’s a question for you all and please give me some feed back. Would you all like to see more detailed pics or perhaps a video link to YouTube of the entire process? I’m never sure how much of “farm life” I should show-there’s the ugly side of it that while informative can be quite graphic. Please give me your feedback and I’ll proceed from there.
The family is rousing and I’m sure will soon be looking for breakfast as they start their day so I’ll bid you all farewell for now and leave you with a few random pics as I usually do. God Bless and keep you until next time.
My friend Kimberly and Cati taking selfies
It seems winter may just make an appearance after all here in Alaska. The past few days have found us bouncing between wind, sleet, hail and snow peppered moments. Always on the ready we have busied ourselves with repairing animal pens and shelters which is a never ending job, gathering firewood, hauling water and of course dear hubby has been also busy making repairs to the wheelers. He did get excited when he discovered that one of my “mall” aka local dump site finds turned out to be tire chains that would fit his 4 wheeler.
Yes we have finally frozen up. That glorious time of year when the soggy ground almost magically freezes and ends the muddy season. A time for celebration for this off grid family as now we can begin the real work. When the ground is frozen logs can be hauled with greater ease as they slide across the frozen tundra much easier and travel back and forth to town is done by machine versus on foot.
This is also my favorite season because of the holidays. I love holidays! Big meals with family all around and this year will be even more special as we have plans for fellow homesteaders Reese and Ann to join us and perhaps another couple too! Yes I love to entertain. Cooking for a crowd is one of my favorite things to do and although we will be cramped in our small quarters what a time we will have.
The kids are loving the snow and chilly weather. Aunt Cathy sent them ice skates so we are planning on going to the hidden lake once it is frozen solid. I do have plans for an ice rink in the front yard if I can make it happen. It’s not as difficult as it may sound. Once the ground freezes solid I will start emptying the dish water out there and it will freeze. If I can keep the critters out it should get smooth and they will have a fenced in area to skate away in. Yes, creative thinking is a must for sure.it really should not take long to accomplish weather permitting with as many dishes as I do!
I know this is a short post but the roosters are crowing and it’s almost 5:30 a.m. So time to get the dough kneaded and commence my day. I hope your all blessed with joy and happiness. I’ll leave you with random pics as has become the tradition. God Bless!
December has been filled with lots of fun and adventure here at Two Moose Farm. From a new birth to an outing with our homeschool group its been quite busy.
Little Henrietta made her appearance on the 21st. She ha thrived and is now showing signs she is her fathers daughter by head butting everyone and everything in site. Her frolicking antics were wearing on her momma and another goat so her into the house for a little play time and she spent a few minutes running from one to another of us for head pats and scratching that were promptly rewarded with a little show of kicking up her heels.
Winter has yet to hit here in Alaska but we did get a few inches of snow. The kids quickly built a snowman before the rain resumed and eliminated it.
Christmas this year has been so full of blessings from friends both near and far. Cathy, Tracy, Ken, Steve and Trudy you all made it a very joyous Christmas and I am thankful but I am blessed even more so to be able to call you my friends.
I have to share this with you all. I have a dear friend Cathy who I want all to know is my inspiration. She has lived an exciting life and is facing health problems but is always there when I need a friend to talk to, am having one of those days we all dread and when I am so excited over something one of the kids have done (both 2 and 4 legged) she is always happy to hear about it, She just gets it! If you are just starting a new homestead I strongly suggest having someone like her to encourage you when the rest of the world just thinks you are totally nuts!
Our children work very hard out here between school work and chores. Homeschooling with Mom as your teacher doesn’t mean there is any slack time but it also has its rewards. Here are a few pics of the kids’ first time ice skating
I apologize for the quality but its the best I could do.
As 2014 winds down I am so glad I have been blessed with all he adventures and that my family is by my side daily. Together we are building memories that will last a lifetime.
As the year is rapidly winding down I find myself in awe of the changes to our lives. We began this adventure in March leaving Wyoming and all we knew to venture to a new land that was raw and untouched ready to not conquer but to build our lives in unison with the wild.
Our trip here was virtually uneventful in the grand scheme of things but what memories it does hold. If ever you get a chance to ride the Alaskan ferry please don’t miss out on the opportunity! The sights are breath taking, the people friendly and warm and it is something I wish everyone could experience.
We have since seen so many beautiful sights and I awake to the sounds of whispering trees, crowing roosters and the sight of Mount Illiamna on the horizon. Nestled in our cozy little cabin amongst the wilderness yet feeling safe, secure and blessed we are able to venture out and see just what hardwork and perseverance can accomplish. My first thought each morning is I am blessed and it is my last thought at night as I say a prayer thanking our Lord for leading us to such a wondorous place.
Aside from our simple cabin that is built from 90 percent raw lumber milled on our sawmill from trees right here
we have managed to build shelter for the pigs, a chicken tractor for our poultry, and a kidding barn for our goats.
We have experienced both life and death here on Two Moose Farm with the passing of our beautiful Luna and my little hen Kayla.
We are just coming into our first kidding with the birth of Henrietta yesterday and what a cutie she is and there are always new litters of baby rabbits.
This year has seen many changes but each one a blessing and as I watch the year 2014 leaving I look forward to 2015 and the new projects and adventures it will hold. With this as our palette the possibilities are endless.
We have been blessed with health and happiness and Pray you all have a Merry Christmas and the New Year is filled with joy.
Today we spent a couple of hours traipsing around the property locating the western corners of our property. Out here 80 acres looks huge when there are no neighbors, fences, roads and its mile after mile of trees. It was an enjoyable adventure though not so much when wading through grass taller than I am, I stepped into a hole up to my knees and it was full of water. Now that might not seem like a big deal to many but I live in Alaska and by now it is supposed to be short days, cold, frozen and snow on the ground. Well the days are short, it’s a bit chilly at night in the teens and 20s but the days range from 29-43 and there is a couple of inches of snow on the ground so who put that water there! What bothers me is it has not gotten cold enough to freeze the ground more than a couple of inches and that will mean break up in the spring will be a long soggy one but hey, no worries, I am living in Alaska land of my dreams!
Tonight we are predicted to get 3-6 inches of snow and I do hope that maybe just maybe winter is arriving. My pigs and goats say a storm is on the way with their silly antics wanting to run and play. Charlotte the 200 pound grunting pig that wants to be a dog is in the dog house, hmmm or pig house (not sure anymore she has me so confused) because she has decided she wants all the attention all the time. To get an accurate mental picture I must explain when I go outside if they are anywhere in the vicinity they run up to be scratched and get attention-I do wonder if others have pigs that will come when called but I am getting side tracked. They usually will line up in front of me and patiently await their turn often stretching out as if bowing before me and we all joke about how they are bowing before the queen-funny until you realize that perhaps I am being referred to as a queen pig. For the past couple of days Charlotte has been getting aggressive towards the other pigs and I had to finally spank her. Now lets look at this picture. me spanking a 200 plus pound pig who isn’t holding still at all and at the same time my mouth is in high gear telling her what a bad girl she is all the while hubby is once again standing there watching, smirking and when I finally am out of breath from my tirade asks “now ya gonna tell her how you really feel”? Grrrrr, apparently my lesson in manners worked (if only temporarily) After the commotion was over Mr.Bacon, Sir Hammington, and Jasper aka Jazzy all lined up again for the belly scratching and pig snuggle time. Charlotte who was now on her best behavior and as lady like is as possible for a pig quietly waited for her turn. In case your curious, no do not enjoy disciplining any animals but for safety sake you don’t want a pig around who wants to bite and pig or not she is required to act like a lady.
We are still waiting for baby goats and I have checked the dates many times so apparently they did not get bred when I had thought so we will continue waiting.
Well I must go for now the water is hot and dishes need to be done, firewood needs hauled in and kids put to bed.
God Bless all
One would think with the short days of winter that there would be time to set back and do nothing-after all it is winter right? Well apparently winter has forgotten Alaska as we are experiencing the shortened days but at 46-48 degrees during the day and 40 for an overnight low it just doesn’t feel like winter, couple the warm temps with the rain we have been having and the workload just keeps growing.
Animal pens need cleaned several times per week as they get soggy, walking on ice that is covered with water makes one soon realize they are not 25 anymore but just when the frustration level reaches its peak and that little evil voice in your head starts telling you the things you don’t want nor need to hear, Alaska shows you that she is beautiful regardless of the weather patterns.
So as we slosh through the slushy mess to yet clean another pen or cage we get to experience the true Alaska where the wolves howl and sing to one another their mournful song, the moon rising above the trees paints yet another indescribable picture in bright whites, deep blues, greens and black shadows of trees and I look up to the heavens and see the stars that shine so brightly you feel like they are surely going to fall from the sky and you just know the darkness won’t last forever and God has given you these beautiful sites and sounds to remind you of this.
No, the darkness will soon be replaced with never ending sunlight and brighter moods so for now I will day dream of baby animals, gardening and a new beginning.
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.
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.