Healthy living, healthy parenting, healthy gardening. One Family's approach to off grid living.

Posts tagged “off grid living

Early Fall Photo Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

Late Summer Photo Gallery 2

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

September spun by with a cool breeze and warm sun. This morning was first frost. A light one, but definitely a frost. My green tomatoes hang heavy with my first bumper crop, I think I wasn’t aggressive enough in pruning them back this year and they became quite the jungle. Towards fall when I was worrying about this day coming I started ripping off new blooms and excess growth. I did this twice earlier in the summer as well. The compost alone I’ve gained from all the tomato greens has certainly paid for the transplants. I am looking forward to ‘harvesting’ my compost in the spring. I must tell you that the compostable chip bags do not compost in 18 months and made last years compost unready this spring.

The kids and I are heading off hopefully this weekend for a few blissful weeks of water and central heat and fun city things to do. We will be in internet zone for almost a month, so hopefully I can get back in the swing of blogging.

Mr.T is going to juggle some building work for us and for a neighbour and we will come home when our laundryroom/family closet/bathroom is built. I’ll warn you, it’s gonna be rustic.

We will be back in the Kootenays for November for sure since I am having the following surgeries- Laparoscopy, Bilateral Salpungectomy, Hysterosypy, Ablation and possible removal of endo/hysterectomy.  I’m planning on watching the surgeries on You Tube, but haven’t gotten the chance yet.  If you’ve been through any of these and are feeling chatty- fill me in.  So far, the big question for me is “Is that going to make my belly button hurt?”

Oddly, the Gyno told me that that isn’t what most women ask, they are usually more worried about the scraping down/removal of internal organs. I however am pretty darn excited about missing out on 30 more years of menses!

Coach Rapper is enjoying school.  He is in love with his teacher who he describes as “slim and beautiful with long blond hair”.  It’s true, she is lovely, and very sweet.  I met her today and the adoration is mutual. We are having a few little hiccups along the way as my little man works out the big bad world of social dynamics of the school bus, including a marshmallow gun going off right into his eye with some nasty swelling and our nieghbour and his little friend deciding he is “bored” of sitting with him.  He is rolling with the punches though and comes home happy with his day, and lots of questions.

Well, I better be going home right away, it’s almost 11pm!


Mid May Photo Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Never take your dishwasher for granted

We all had baths/showers today.  The kids all smelled great for about 20 minutes, as soon as we got home they had a swim in the pond in the garden.  Now that it is hot out, we’re just going to keep Coach Rapper at home for the summer.  He’s too dirty for school anyway.
We’ve been working hard on all the free things we can do around the property.
Main projects include:
moving a ton of lumber so it doesn’t rot and so the propane truck can come up the hill
#3 proofing everything- I swear that this is about 3-4 weeks worth of work
garden prep

Tonight while I did dinner clean up, #3 lounged on the kitchen table for a good 30 minutes.  Well, actually alternating between crowing and lounging.  He is becoming such a mountain boy.  The other day he walked up and down the “old road”.  Which was about 20 minutes of hard core hiking, for a baby.  He walks easily up to the garden site and down.  Doesn’t seem that far, except- 2 short weeks ago I was short of breath walking up the garden site.

I’ve been tearing out all of the thimble berries and black raspberries from in front of the yurt, with a pitch fork, rake and shovel.  I have a serious of Kitchen Garden garden beds going terracing down the hill with some stairs dug in now.  It’s been my Work Out(doors) for the last 2 weeks and I can definitely tell the difference in my upper body strength, especially when shovelling rocks.  I’ve had to halt progress on Magician Creek in the upper garden ever since my promise to Mr.T that I wouldn’t mess with the gravity fed lines.  And I really like having water in the yard.

A lot.

Now I am dreaming about an outgoing grey water hose for the sink.  It just sounds so luxurious to not have to take and dump the grey water when doing dishes.  We ran out of paper plates yesterday, so tomorrow I really have to get into gear with figuring out a sink set up.  I have the sink- the hose- an rv pump, a very large blue water barrel and a small propane on demand water heater.  I need a faucet.  Probably some fittings.

Oh yeah, and some mad plumbing skillz.  Which I don’t have.  But might in a couple days.  I hope.

Today we burned 3 large piles of brush right below the Kitchen Garden and the Bird Tree.  It really is opening up the “front yard” a ton.

Tomorrow we also need to get the washing machine going.  We’ve got about $20 worth of laundry and well, I hate the laundromat.

I’ve got the Evil Wizard and #3 in the van and there are starting to be protest noises, and I’m not willing to risk someone waking up.

Until next time- enjoy your dishwasher for me.  Never take it for granted.


“Just pull it in half and suck on it”; Ginger Beef with Curried Veggies

And so I did.  Tentatively at first. Nothing.  I filled my lungs and sucked for all I was worth, afraid my throat would fill with a choking gush.  I pulled away.  Nothing.   Then.  There. It. Was.

Water.  My water.  Sweet, clear, cold, quick water.  I laughed at the cleverness of myself.

I have scars for this water, don’t give me water?  I’ll find my own dam water! I crowed to myself.  I was beginning to think my survival instincts were a little more fine tuned than I had previously thought.  My pond is doubling, tripling in size.  My garden is erupting around it. Water drips down newly exposed rocks and roots washing away clay and pebbles to the pond below.  Unpretentiously moss blooms puddled gently among the stones.

Later the same day the water is still not flowing.  I can’t get the gravity fed to work properly, even though everything looks the same to me as when Mr.T sets it up.  I admit it is the third time I have taken it out.  I like to dig.  What can I say?

I am making a public promise to not take out the water line so I can dig there.  There are lots of other places to dig.

Dammit, and I was feeling soooo goooood and sooo cocky about my mad water skillz.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BBQing last night was an epic fail.  I made a propane fire in the BBQ.  After I had burned off the grill I returned to find the third knob blown off the BBQ and opened it to find one of the burners had dropped down, I am assuming from the heat?  And fire was pouring out of it because it was stuck ON.  I ran up the hill calling calmly for Mr.T to run down and fix things.

Later he asked what the first thing to do when having a problem with a gas sourced appliance.

Fuck.

No.  I did not turn off the propane tank when I ran away worried it might explode.

I should complain about him less.  He is pretty useful.

I’ve enclosed some shots of the Yurt on the day we arrived.  Things are looking pretty different now, I’ve moved the kitchen around and it’s much greener.  I’ll post new pics as soon as I pick up the box of stuff we left behind when we moved from the Bus Station in Nelson.

The cool of the morning is now respite from the heat of the day.  It takes until mid afternoon for the Yurt to heat up, and then the warmth of the hot afternoon sun is a gift for the cold mountain night.  This morning I could see my breath in bed.  This afternoon I sunburned my shoulders.

Despite having just a single burner on a Coleman stove right now (need to go harass Wild Bill soon) and a cooler I feel like I’ve been making fantastic food.

Ginger Beef

1lb cooked roast beef cut into thin strips.

Pan fry in a 2tbsp butter until well browned.

Add a couple knuckles of finely grated ginger; I use a rasp.

2 good sloshes of Tamari.  A glop of honey.

Serve to admiring crowd.  Everybody (as in all 3 kids too!) loved this.

Curried Veggies

Again, 2 tbsp of butter in the frying pan with a bit of grated ginger to make the air fragrant.

2tbsp Thai Kitchen Mild Green Curry Paste (hey, busy mama here!)

1 family sized sweet potato- peeled and sliced in rounds- pan fry in the butter, ginger and curry paste until toasty brown.  Flip.

top with 1/2 a large cauliflower, cut into pieces

cook until veg’s soften, turn heat down

add a dash of Tamari, 2tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Top with chopped fresh cilantro.

Mmm.  His Lordship, whom by formal request will henceforth be known as The Evil Wizard (way more fitting anyway) wouldn’t try it but Coach Rapper and #3 loved it.

I added cashews, but those were not well received by my taste testers.


BEAR!

WHAT?

BEAR!

BEAR?

BEAR!

A flurry of yelling, stick waving, dogs exploding barking.

Young Griz saunters through the forest, over the road and through the garden.

Kids inside.

Baby wakes up in the yurt.

Mr.T is so happy to get out his BB gun.

Celebrate!  What fun!  We chased off the bear!

Was that a Griz?

Didja see that hump?

Totally a Griz.

Don’t worry babay, I’ll shoot that griz with a face full of angry hornets for you.  Me and my trusty BB sniper gun.

A serious kudos to our brave dogs who are on super high code red alert now.


5036 feet above sea level is not a hill. It is a mountain. Dammit.

Today, at least 4 people referred to the Bonanza Summit as the top of the hill.

Oh yeah, Cal-Gas- at the top of the hill.  Like that.

Now, I know I am from the prairies and anything over oh, 50 ft is a mountain to me.  But seriously a major PSA for those born in the mountains- 5036 feet is a mountain.  Period.

If you had mentioned Mountain, I may have found Cal-Gas sooner.  You know as in- Cal-Gas- way the  hell out of town, on the mountain.

Luckily the folks at Cal-Gas were amazing.  Breaking news!  Before Mr.T even knows!  On Thursday morning the worker dude is coming out to have a boo (not my words!) at our generator and yurt and to figure out where to put a giant propane tank that would last us all winter.  This will be our major power source.  We scored Guardian Plus Generator last fall from Wild Bill.

As in hot water all winter.  As in baseboard heaters on a timer that start up at 4am all winter.  As in a dishwasher.  That is right mother fuckers, a dishwasher. Maybe an industrial dishwasher that power washes the hell out of my dishes in 90 seconds.  If I can find one.

Apparently I have a potty mouth today.  My mother and husband would not approve.

Speaking of Wild Bill I went and had some words with him (polite ones) about my bath tub, water tank and propane stove.  I told him I would come back and bug him about it in a couple days.

Very successful thrift day today.  We got a free bike for his Lordship as well as a toy lawnmower and a tonka dumper from a lady in the parking lot of the thrift store.  Apparently we look like a more needy charity.

Hey Auntie G- I must have taken those wool slippers that belong to K-man, I have two pairs of the beige-white ones in the same size.  Sorry!  Want me to mail them, or you can get them when you come?

To everyone who has commented, emailed or otherwise sent me a message- I appreciate them all, and do read them and will work on replying individually!

Right now I’m in the van on the little notebook I bought plugged into the lighter with a little inverter outside of the laundromat.

I tried to take Coach Rapper to school today, but they wouldn’t take him.  He will start on Wednesday, probably in the K-1 split.

It was cold this morning, but the afternoons are pretty hot- in the 20’s.

Sorry about the lack of pics- I left my battery charger and extra camera battery behind but hopefully they (and my rain coat!!!) are on the bus now.

I’m going to try and drag my butt out of bed tomorrow morning before any of the kids or Mr.T wake up so I can run.

Talk to you all soon!