Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid
or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency.
You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power.
Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Year...

1:16 pm - 48 degrees - cloudy...

It’s hard to believe that I’m writing about the holiday season in past tense already, where did 2014 go?  It seems that each year goes by faster and faster.

Both kids are back in school, the holiday and birthday dust has finally settled, and life on the mountain is slowly returning to our version of normal.  That means...

...blowing, plowing or playing in the snow when there is some...

...storm clean-up and burning debris when the weather allows...

...grilling cheesy elk burgers on the bbq in 35 degree rainy weather...

...and enjoying the amazing sunsets.  I love living in the mountains.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Morning View...

10:29 am - 30 degrees - scattered clouds, light wind...

It snowed on and off all day yesterday but it just would not stick – not quite cold enough.  So you can imagine the pure delight when the kids woke up to a blanket of white this morning.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Washed Out...

4:25 pm - 41 degrees - scattered clouds...

Over the past couple days, we have received well over 7” of rain.  The heavy rains were trying to wash the road out... and it did a pretty good job of it.  Driveway repair has now been bumped to the top of Tony’s to-do-list.

Today the constant rain stopped.  The howling wind stopped.  It was in the mid 40s (that’s winter t-shirt weather).  It was the perfect day to spend outside.  So I spent the day cleaning up around the house, picking up items that the wind had blown around, and picking up and burning the fallen branches from the heavy rains and wind storms.

It turned out to be a very nice, calm, relaxing and productive day on the mountain.

Pull-Apart Sticky Buns...

3:41 pm - 45 degrees - scattered clouds...

My mom has been making these gooey and delicious pull-apart sticky buns since I was a little, and I absolutely love them!  There is just something amazing about the smell of homemade cinnamon rolls baking in the oven. 

But sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to make cinnamon rolls from scratch.  That’s what makes this recipe so amazing.  You can make them really quickly (about 10 minutes) the night before, leave them out to rise overnight, and put them into the oven first thing in the morning for a quick and delicious breakfast.  This would be a perfect Christmas morning breakfast, or anytime of the year when a bowl of cereal just isn’t going to cut it.

This recipe uses Rhodes frozen round rolls.  It’s the speed scratch method of baking – when you combine a good quality prepared food with fresh ingredients to make the recipe easier and faster to prepare.  You could make this recipe with homemade rolls, made completely from scratch, but then it kind of loses its quick and easy appeal.

~Pull-Apart Sticky Buns~

18 Rhodes Frozen dough rolls (half of the package)
1 pkg. Cook N’ Serve Butterscotch Pudding
½ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Grease your bundt pan and place 18 balls of the frozen roll dough into the pan.  {Note:  You may also use a 9x13 pan if you’d like.}

In a medium bowl combine the butterscotch pudding, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon.  Stir the mixture until all of the ingredients are well combined.  Pour the mixture over the top of your frozen rolls.

Cover with a plate or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Set the pan aside and allow the rolls to rise overnight (6-8 hours).  {Note:  If you get up in the morning and your rolls haven’t risen as much as you hoped, just heat your oven up to 170 degrees, remove the plastic wrap and pop the pan into the oven.  The warmth of the oven will quicken the rising of the rolls.}

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the cover off the pan and place the pan carefully in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.

Allow the sticky buns to rest in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert them onto a large plate and serve.


Friday, December 12, 2014

West Coast Wind Storm...

11:23 am - 44 degrees - foggy...

A massive wind storm raced up the West Coast and arrived in our neck of the woods late yesterday afternoon.  While the strong winds wrecked havoc in town with downed trees falling through homes, blocking streets and causing power outages – all we had was a mild breeze. 

Yesterday evening and this morning we kept getting texts, messages, and emails from friends and family wondering if we were still safe on the mountain or if we had been blown away to the Land of Oz. Everyone was surprised (including myself) that the wind storm completely missed us.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Walk In The Snow...

6:04 pm - 18 degrees - clear skies, 56+ mph winds...

We woke up yesterday morning to find everything covered in white.  So when a break in the snow fall came, I went outside with my camera for a quick walk in the snow.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Evening Post…

7:08 pm - 23 degrees - clear night sky, 52+ mph wind gusts...

A small glimpse into our lives as we live off-grid… sort of like eves dropping.  It may be a thought, quote or a conversation; funny, sweet or sad; but it will always be true.  We will see if it resonates with you…

{Messaging back and forth} 
Me:  “Stuck on the mountain due to downed trees.  Someone needs to teach me how to use a chainsaw!!”
Friend #1:  “Get a rope and drag it out of the way.”
Friend #2:  “Move it out of the way.”
Me:  “There’s a total of 4 downed trees, too big to just drag out of the way.  Tony's on his way and is using a chainsaw and tow rope to move them out of the way.”
Brother:  “Don’t you have to carry a chain saw, tire jack and 4 sets of spares already?  Never dull up on the hill.”

Hubby:  “Cutting a tree, hung up on an embankment, under load plus inexperience equals disaster.” 

Friday, November 14, 2014

'Tis The Season For Baking...

10:08 am - 29 degrees - blue sky with 35+ mph wind gusts...

Looking for some tasty Thanksgiving appetizers or desserts, or maybe you're wanting to start planning your Christmas Cookie baking list... here are a few of my favorite recipes for this joyous holiday season.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Fresh Basil-Wrapped Cheese Balls... Combining the creamy richness of gorgonzola and mascarpone, the salty bite of Parmesan, and the fresh green flavor of basil, these cheese balls are a new twist on an old favorite. {Click Here}

BLT Bites... These are always a big hit, pretty easy to make and are oh so delicious, with lots of flavor packed into a little bite. {Click Here}

Pumpkin Cheesecake...This is a delicious twist on the traditional pumpkin pie and it’s always a favorite! {Click Here}

Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting... The name says it all, and screams rich, yummy, deliciousness! {Click Here}

Date Nut Cookies... These are a new favorite.  They are simple and full of delicious flavor! {Click Here}

Oreo Truffles... These are rich, delicious, very easy to make and perfect for holiday parties! {Click Here}

Orange Juice Cookies... These are light and refreshing with a nice burst of orange flavor and are a nice option from the regular holiday goodies. {Click Here}

Molasses Cookies... This is the perfect holiday cookie!  There’s something about ginger, cloves and cinnamon that makes me think it’s Christmas!  Just the aroma of these baking in the oven brings back lots of happy holiday memories! {Click Here}

Winter Storm Update...

9:22 am - 26 degrees - blue sky with 32+ mph wind gusts...

Our early-season winter storm has come to an end and left us with a frozen water pipe, several downed trees, lots of broken limbs and other debris scattered around.  It also left behind anywhere from 4-8 inches of snow.  Due to the extreme winds, it’s hard to get an accurate snow depth reading.

Snow angels and sledding.
Bitter cold temps and high winds would not keep these two inside...
however they didn't stay out very long either.

Although the storm warning has officially been lifted, we’re still in for below freezing temperatures and wind gusts up around 40+ mph for the weekend and beginning of next week.  Winter is here.

The view this morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

First Blast Of Winter...

3:51 pm - 28 degrees - a few scattered clouds, 53+ mph wind gusts...

We’re getting our first blast of winter with sharply cooler temperatures, a result of frigid air pushed in by a powerful storm that hit Alaska with hurricane-force winds.  The big chill is now spreading into the Pacific Northwest.

Many people started feeling the arrival of the bone-chilling cold yesterday along with high winds that caused a lot of power outages.  Just one more reason to love living off-grid – we don’t have to worry about the power going out.

Today it took us an hour and a half to get off the mountain due to numerous downed trees.

Tony cleared four downed trees off the road,
so we could get off the mountain.

Tony thinks it a good practice run before winter really hits.  We spent the day doing some last minute vehicle repairs, making sure the house is stocked with lots of firewood, hooking up the snowplow (snow is supposed to be on its way), dug out all our snow gear out of our storage unit and the kids dug out their sleds.

Fixing my 4-wheel drive.

It's very windy out with 54+ mph wind gusts.

Last nights 70+ mph wind gusts knocked all our chairs and table over.

Getting the snow plow put onto the Dodge.
Getting their sleds out, they really want snow!

According to the weather report, this arctic storm is just beginning.  The kids are hoping to wake up to a blanket of white, while Tony thinks we’ll have our first snow day of the season.  

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