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.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb...

36 degrees outside - 7:42 pm - raining... 

“In like a lion, out like a lamb,” is a common March saying that has been around for many years.  If you’ve never heard it before, it means that when the month starts out stormy, it will end smoothly. Not this year.  Here we are on March 26th, spring officially started five days ago, and the Lion still seems to be in charge.

Temperatures have stayed in the 30’s, and it’s been snowing on and off this past week with more snow possible thru Monday.  It seems that Mother Nature cannot make up her mind…it snows then the rain melts it away, then it snows again and again the rain melts it away.  For the past couple of weeks that seems to have been the trend all the while remaining cooold outside.  Yes, I know we live on a mountain. Yes, I know that we can get snow anytime between November thru May.  But that doesn’t mean I am going to stop hoping for warmer weather!

Due to the crazy weather up here on the mountain, my earlier goal of having our garden area prepped and ready so we could start building the fence and raised beds does not look like it is going to happen.  This evening we got a temporary break in the weather where it was neither snowing or raining outside, so Tony spent the later part of the afternoon and early evening walking around outside trying to decide exactly where our garden should go and how big to make it.  We don’t want to cut down any more trees than we have to for our garden area, so we have decided that for now, we will only clear the garden location itself and then see what other trees will need be cut down later.

looking out a South facing window,
there is still a lot of snow on the ground 

looking out North facing windows,
most of the snow has melted away

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Walk In The Woods...

38 degrees outside - 7:11 pm - sunny with partial cloud cover...

Mother Nature must not have gotten the hint that it is supposed to be springtime since it snowed for the majority of the day.  Although a rare occurrence (or at least is seems like a rare occurrence lately) did happened late this afternoon…a big blazing ball of light was peaking through the cloud cover!  It was the sun!!!  Oh how I have missed you! 

Since the sun decided to grace us with its presence, we just had to take advantage of it.  So I bundled the kids up in their snow gear and we headed outside.  We spent the next two hours walking in the woods, throwing snowballs, picking up the storm debris on the driveway, throwing some more snowballs and just enjoying the nice late afternoon sun.

Monday, March 21, 2011

GORP Trail Mix…

37 degrees outside - 10:38 am - cold, foggy and overcast...

Have you ever heard of GORP?  It is an acronym for “Good Old Raisins and Peanuts” or “Granola, Oats, Raisins and Peanuts”.  Either way, it’s a delicious, healthy trail mix snack that my two picky little eaters love! 

GORP is most commonly a mix of peanuts, raisins and chocolate candies (but you can really make it out of anything).  These three flavors are mixed in a bag or bowl to create an ideal salty/sweet flavor that is popular with adults and kids!  In addition to the great taste, it also packs a nutritional punch.  The dried fruit and granola provide a quick carbohydrate boost while the unsaturated fats in the nuts provide protein to sustain energy.  The chocolate provides a nice flavor and just a touch of sugar.

Having two picky little eaters, I am always on the lookout for healthy, nutritious and delicious snacks that they will actually eat.  When I came across this snack, that was a huge hit with our kids, I wanted to share it…

GORP (Granola, Oats, Raisins & Peanuts Trail Mix) -

There is no real formula for GORP, the idea being that trail mix can be a mix of almost any dried fruit, grain and nut.  Select one or two of your favorite ingredients in each category (or add a favorite of your own that is not on the list):
    -  Dried Fruit:  Raisins, Craisins, Dried Cherries, Dried Apricots, Dried Pineapple (cut into small squares)  
    -  Nuts:  Almonds, Pecan Pieces, Walnuts, Shelled Pistachios, Peanuts, Cashews
    -  Chocolate:  M&M’s, Chocolate Chips
    -  Grains:  Granola, Oat Cereal
    -  Other:  Shredded Coconut

Banana Chips, Cherrios, Craisins, Dried Blueberries, M&M's,
 Peanuts, Raisins and Teddy Grahams. 
Hope you like GORP as much as we do! --- Enjoy!

First Day of Spring!!!

37 degrees outside - 9:26 am - overcast sky with snow covered ground...

Spring Equinox is today!  Now that it’s the first day of spring, I am already day dreaming about the warmer days, the start of everything turning green, the fading of the long winter, and getting together with friends and family and firing up the grill. 

I looked out the window this morning to an overcast sky and a foot plus of snow on the ground.  Knowing that spring has officially arrived, there is now light at the end of the tunnel…and I am hopeful that Mother Nature takes the hint!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wildlife on the Mountain...

34 degrees outside - 10:41 am - snowing....

we have heard coyotes, who sounded really close to the house,
but had yet to see one... until today
coyote trudging thru the snow in the backyard

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Snowing...Again...

33 degrees outside - 8:36 am - snowing...

Another snowy morning on the mountain but at least the wind has died down; last night we were having 65 mph wind gusts.  The next nice day on the mountain will most likely be spent picking up all the debris left on the driveway from the snow and windstorms that have come thru lately.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Learning To Dance In The Rain...

37 degrees outside - 8:01 pm - snow is slowly melting away from all the rain we have been having lately and it's still raining outside now...

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain. ~ unknown

Too often, we balk at doing the very things that could give us the life we want.  Too often, the fear that we are incapable causes us to make excuses…”no time”…”no money”…”no clue what I am doing”.  The obstacles seem great, the provisions slim.  We talk about “making do”.  But that doesn’t mean settling – it means expecting more and better from ourselves.

When we bought our property in late 2005, we had grand expectations.  I had it in my head that things would happen by a certain time.  They didn’t.  Since then, we’ve had to alter our expectations a bit.  That doesn’t mean we are settling, it just means we are having to wait a little longer for our dreams to come true.

These are the “Good ol’ days”. We are learning to endure our hardships, because that is where memories are made and thankfulness is generated.  With every improvement in our circumstances we will have the opportunity to be truly grateful for things that most people take for granted.  A toilet that flushes, a light switch that works or a hot bath are/will be true causes for celebration.

A few things that I am truly thankful for today are:
- My husband, the calm in my storm and the true heart of this crazy venture
- Our two children, each so much who he/she is, it make me cry sometimes
- Our family and friends that bless our days
- Work. Hard, meaningful, often joyous work.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nothing New...

44 degrees outside - 3:04 pm - calm, cloudy day but the sun is trying really hard to peek through...

Not a lot has happened since my last post, other than more rain and snow.  We currently have anywhere from a foot to several feet of snow, depending on the drifts.  Right now the snow is perfect to go snowshoeing or ride around on the snowmobiles.  Even though it is really nice snow right now, I still want it to go away!  It is not melting fast enough.  At this rate I don’t think we will have our garden prepped by the end of the month.  Where is spring???

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

More Snow Pictures...

33 degrees outside - 11:15 am - the snow turned to rain a few hours ago...

workbench buried under snow

our driveway after Tony cleared it with the excavator early this morning

my snowshoes in front of where Frosty is now buried

{Update:  34 degrees outside – 12:32 pm – still raining, but is supposed to turn back into snow later this evening…}

At 4:45 this morning, Tony got on the excavator and started clearing the driveway since the snowblower is still broken.  In addition to clearing the driveway, which included removing several trees that had fallen over, he had to dig out his truck that was stuck in the snow down at our gate.  After seven hours in the excavator he just came in to have some lunch and then is heading back out to finish cleaning up the driveway. 

Below are some pictures Tony took this morning.

after a night of snowfall, Tony's stuck truck is now buried

Tony in the excavator clearing the driveway to his truck

all dug out


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