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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sweet and Sour Meatballs...

5:05 pm - 33 degrees - snowing...

This is one of those little recipes that I just assume everyone and their grandma knows about...then I make them for some gathering and inevitably find out that there are people in the world who have never heard of such a thing!  If you are among those who have never before seen this recipe then your first response will probably start with “What the...?”
Why?  Because there are only two ingredients to this magical sweet and sour sauce!  And you will never guess what they are... Grape Jelly and Heinz Chili Sauce!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Trust me on this one, the combination of those two ingredients is amazing.  If you’re wondering, Chili Sauce can be found in the grocery store somewhere in the vicinity of the ketchup.  It’s tangy, sweet, and tart all at the same time and full of spices.  The grape jelly adds sweetness and flavor and the result is a wonderful and quick sweet and sour sauce.

Now for the can either use your favorite meatball recipe made from scratch (this is what I usually do and I use elk burger) or you can walk by the frozen food section at your grocery store and grab a bag of pre-made frozen meatballs.  Either way, these Sweet & Sour Meatballs are delicious!

~Sweet and Sour Meatballs ~
3 to 5 pounds homemade or frozen meatballs
1 32-oz jar grape jelly
1 12-oz jars chili sauce

Pour grape jelly and chili sauce into crock pot and whisk together.  Add the cooked meatballs, gently stirring them into the sauce.  Cook on low for several hours or until hot.  {Personally I think the longer the better because it allows time for the meatballs to absorb the delicious sweet and sour sauce.}


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy St. Valentine's Day...

4:02 pm - 44 degrees - overcast...

I am a romantic at heart, and even though I believe you should show and tell that special someone all year long how much they are loved and appreciated, Valentine’s Day is a good reminder (in case you’ve been a little too busy) for a little show and tell.

Friday, February 8, 2013

County Road and Logging...

9:00 am - 29 degrees - cold, foggy, frosty morning...

The nearby logging continues thru the winter...

...and is destroying the county road.  Good thing all our
rigs have good clearance and 4-wheel drive otherwise we
would be having a very difficult time getting home.

At least the county and the logging company are working together
 to patch up the worst areas to make the county road passable.

On my way home...waiting for my turn to get by.

Logging equipment, logging trucks, road repair equipment, and work rigs
have become a normal sight on our trips up and down the mountain...
and the kids can name every single one!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Off-Grid Homestead…

11:37 am - 38 degrees - foggy and raining...

Over the last hundred years or so, the term “homestead” has evolved to a new meaning, and there are about as many interpretations as there are homesteaders.  It used to mean qualifying for free government land because you lived on it, built a house on it, and so on.  The original homesteaders had to create their own power and supply their own water – they lived off-the-grid. 

Homestead in Dakotas, ca. 1860

The modern homestead is not a single idea, but many ideas and attitudes.  Broadly defined, homesteading is a lifestyle of simple self-sufficiency.  The term may apply to anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle.

For us, it means a desire for a simple living, away from the rat race; a love of nature and a preference to be in it; working hard and enjoying it; being self-sufficient; living outside of the box.  We have learned (or are trying to) to slow down, relax, and let things be; to enjoy the moment while it’s transpiring.  We’ve learned to love the cloudy days and rainy days as much as the bright sunny days.  Each day is unique and necessary, for all the life around us, which is constantly in flux while it plays out the cycle of life.  It’s beautiful, it’s fulfilling and it’s rewarding.



My husband and I both enjoyed a bit of adventure in life, so the sometimes harsh weather and unpredictability of living off-grid on a mountain ridge doesn’t bother us at all.  Some people pity our lifestyle.  Some people envy it.  I suppose regardless of what side you lean towards, you can come to the honest conclusion that we are just a little bit crazy.  We tend to thrive on just a little bit of organized chaos around here.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.


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