Can you believe this is our 4th Winter out here? It’s hard for us to believe at times. Winters always have their amount of difficulty when you live off-grid, but overall, each year Winter gets a little easier for us. We have a solid idea of how much firewood we are going to need to get us through comfortably, we don’t procrastinate on certain chores we need to survive (like, bringing firewood inside, covering the firewood outside, making sure our water jugs aren’t going to freeze, etc.), and we’ve gotten pretty good at cooking over the woodstove, minimalizing our solar-energy usage, and staying entertained during the long nights of mid-Winter.
I have to say, I love Winter. I love watching wood burn in our stove, I love watching it snow, I love snuggling up with my boys to watch a movie at night, and I love the quiet down time. We don’t have a garden to tend to, large amounts of water to haul, big projects to work on. I’ve written in the past about Idle Time, and that’s exactly what Winter gives us. We have the time to pick up books we’ve been wanting to read, and I get to pick up my journal again.
This season can be tough on the animals, but it’s good for them in its own way too. The ducks and chickens haven’t been laying since before Thanksgiving, and they’ve now all gone through a molt cycle too. The black chickens molted late, and I worried about them last month when the temperature dropped fast and they didn’t hardly have any feathers! But everyone has survived so far and it’s actually good for them to not be dropping any eggs right now – they need to be storing that energy for the cold nights.
Loki is fine with whatever, really. He loves playing in the snow just as much as he loves being curled up in front of the fire. We do leave really early for work in the mornings (before dawn), so some mornings aren’t real pleasant for Loki since he gets left outside. But he has survived too. In fact, right now he’s curled up in my lap – spoiled rotten dog.
We haven’t started planning much for next year yet, as far as the garden and some other things (we have some big projects on the docket for next year, but no real solid planning yet). Part of that is because we’re still coming down from the high of this year! We accomplished a ridiculous amount of work on the homestead this year – another reason I quite look forward to Winter. It’s like one long rest day after a really long work day (Summer). So, since I haven’t updated this thing since Summer – here’s all of what we managed to accomplish this year:
We built a fence:
We moved our house (that was a wild day):
We built another greenhouse:
We bought new water cisterns:
We moved Loki’s run down by the bird coop:
We built a sunroom (truly the biggest accomplishment of this year)!
We had a busy year. I also started a new job in the Fall which allows me more freedom to be myself, learn from people smarter than me, and really flourish, and continue to improve, in my skills as a leader. It also gives me more freedom to work from home… which is rad, considering I’d rather be here anyway! At the moment we’re getting snowed on pretty hard and there’s about a foot and a half already on the ground. More snow than we’ve had in 2 years! It’s beautiful out.
Anyway, more to come this year! Happy 2019!