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, 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.


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