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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's A Beautiful Day...

8:45 am - 52 degrees - blue sky with 32+ mph wind gusts...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Almond Meltaways...

10:12 am - 37 degrees - cloudy...

Just like the name suggests, these cute little cookies totally melt in your mouth.  They are so perfectly soft and have tons of butter and almond flavors.  {Note: If you were looking to have a little fun with them, you could always add toasted almond slivers to the top or add food coloring to the frosting for a pop of color.}  To me, a perfectly simple cookie is the best... and that is exactly what these are.


~Almond Meltaways~

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons almond extract
Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
2teaspoons almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flower, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl (or you can use a stand mixer), beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add egg and almond extract, mixing until combined.  Add flour mixture half cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.

Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape.  Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes.  The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are!  Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes.  Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Icing:  In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract until smooth.

Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie and let set for 10 minutes, or until hardened.

~ Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Where Did Spring Go...

8:54 am - 33 degrees - scattered clouds, windy, 1" of new snow...

Yesterday the wind stopped long enough for Tony to go out and cut down a few more trees.  {click here}

Tony's making the face cut.

It's coming down...timber!

Doing a quick walk down the felled tree
 to get an approximate length.

And this morning we woke up to an inch of new snow.  I actually thought (and was hoping) that the snow was done for this year.  The last of our snow had all finally melted away a little over two weeks ago, but now it's back.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

First Flower Of The Year...

9:49 am - 39 degrees - overcast and breezy...


Trilliums are a favorite wildflower for many people (me included).  Right now they are popping up everywhere, covering the woodland floor with white blossoms that will turn to a dark pink with age.  They bloom just about the time that robins appear so they have gotten the nick-name of “Wake-Robin”.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break...

5:37 pm - 39 degrees - light snow/rain mix

Break’s over – now where’s my normal? 
 
Spring break was very busy...  The week started off with some really gorgeous weather.  The snow had finally all melted off and we were able to get outside and do some work out in the yard, which we really enjoy.  In prepping for our pond {click here} Tony has been doing a lot of clearing and burning, while I was doing some winter clean up around the yard. 


Of course the kids got to have some fun also.  We went on several hikes around the mountain, had a picnic and made fairy houses with our Girl Scout troop.

This is Caitlyn's Fariy House... with some help from Mom. 

Then it was time to get away from the mountain and take a little road trip to the beach!  The beach property is our go-to get-away anytime we need a mini vacation away from the mountain {click here, here, here and here}.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t so nice there; it was cold, windy and raining for the majority of the trip.  We did have a few breaks in the weather where we got to go out and enjoy the beach before it was time to head on home.


Jack decided to ride his sister's bike to show us that he doesn't need training
 wheels anymore while Caitlyn was learning how to drive the 4-wheeler.



We’re now back home and I think we brought the nasty weather with us.  It has been a crazy mix of rain, sleet and snow which has been ranging from light to heavy all day long.  I can’t wait for the warmer days to hurry up and get here!

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