Thursday, January 7, 2010

a 7-day Journal of Living off-grid at Maple Valley Farm WINTER

Day 2, January 6, 2010
I awoke about 7 am to a barrage of people in the bed… Today is old Christmas, “alt Christmas”, the 12th day of Christmas. We have our morning devotions and we read about the 12 days of Christmas song and it actual spiritual meaning of a secret way to teach the children in England their catechism. Next year we are doing Christmas the alt way, we will put the tree up on Christmas eve and celebrate form that day forward until January 6! I need coffee…
For breakfast today we ate Irish Oatmeal aka “steel cut oats”. That is a staple here with our honey or maple syrup and milk over it. I soak it sometimes the night before in yogurt or kefir for the next day. When we have granola or dried fruit we sprinkle that on top too. We use 8 cups water to 4 cups oats and we eat it all…
(my morning foggy eyes in the bed for devotions, not pictured 5 other people :) )
I read Psalm 69 today and it is SO appropriate for today, for this past year for NOW.
I log onto the computer to post Jan 5 and blogger erases it all. All this while I have no computer battery so I wait to come back to this in the afternoon… UGH.
Breakfast dishes are being done
Woodstoves are being loaded and reloaded
12 yo son starts the morning chore routine (read that on Day 1 of winter chores). Sometimes we do chores than eat breakfast, other times not. I would like to say it is the same each day but we are pretty flexible…
We have a family meeting after chores to regroup for the week as things seemed to have gone off course slightly.
We start lunch… Is it that time already? We head to the basement for some canned goods; while you are down their girls, grab some chicken stock for supper for chicken noodle soup!
(looking at the mail)
Lunch is homemade bread, lettuce, homemade chicken bologna, zuke jam and GG brought home DORITOS yesterday so of course he TRUMPS me in the parent department, at least for today J
We eat; clean up, afternoon chores begin… We dress the great him in heavy clothing and boots in hopes of tiring him out after his outside play time so he takes a LOOOOOOONG afternoon nap!
The plan above works well and we bring him in after an hour and he is fast asleep.
All the while we are inside loading stoves and doing some odd outdoor chores, sweeping vesh house, organizing laundry and sweeping front porch.
I make a grocery list for the month… I have put this off to long, I think tomorrow I will have to actually get groceries at the bulk food store, etc. to enhance what we are eating. I killed my kefir, is that even possible? So I need new kefir grains, up the road for Maple Syrup as we are out and I pray for peace.

(playing with cherry playdough)
GG and 12 yo make more and new nest boxes for the hens and change the direction of the boxes for solar facing, hoping to get more eggs as the production has gone down drastically with the shorter days. We don’t push our hens with the lights.
I make an announcement that I think we should clean the landing and some bickering begins as to who does more work around here. It seems that we all think we do more work than everyone else.
I scratch that idea as we are still on Christmas vacation and realize they do work pretty darn hard compared to most so we opt to have some computer time instead, each one about 20 minutes (the oldest 4)
I organize some letters we have received and I just want to say THANK YOU for all of your encouragement and KEEP them coming!
We get the mail, a huge occasion daily here (something to look forward to) and we are surprised, ok shocked at the mail. I ran to the house to show the GG. Things get twisted sometimes it seems.

(filing letters)
We talk about the mail, GG leaves for a small errand and we get the homemade cherry play dough out (this is a GREAT RECIPE, smells so good) as the Great Him has awoke! We turn on the radio to (the battery powered one) and some of the olders go sledding with the agreement to end on night choring before coming in for supper.
Cherry Playdough
½ C. Salt, 2 ½ C. flour, 3 T. corn oil, 1 T. alum, 2 c. boiling water, 1 package of cherry kool-aid. Mix dry ingredients, add oil and water, knead until smooth.
Our 2nd eldest makes homemade apple dumplings with our apples; I make the chicken noodle soup and add some carrots. She also decides to make quick tapioca. (Note to self, you cannot eat all of this just because it is here)
Called dear friend Farm Girl Cyn and encourage and pray for her upcoming surgery this FRIDAY!

We tell stories and impersonations of the last year, LOTS of fun! We sing... We chat.
GG comes home much later than planned. Thankfully he shared a meal with someone so we didn't have to make another meal at this hour :). We talk about the farm plans for tomorrow, about today, about the future.
(putting away new canned goods and getting some for dinner and supper from the cellar)
(eating chicken noodle soup and getting ready for hymn sing later)
Its 10:45 pm and off to bed. I realize I have not been getting to bed at goodtimes lately and I need to get outside more… there is always tomorrow!


ann said...

I just love reading about your days!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us. I sure wish we were neighbors, but this feels like the next best thing!

Stephanie said...

Ang, this is FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your daily life.

I really appreciate it.

Stephanie said...

Ang, this is FABULOUS!!! Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your daily life.

I really appreciate it.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

You forgot to say that you called me and chatted, then got down to the business at hand, and prayed for me! was an important part of MY day!

Alice said...

Another excellent post. I love the canned goods all lined up! My question is how do store butternut squash, cabbage, potatoes, onions, etc. during the winter?


RiverBend Farm said...

Ang, thanks for sharing your day..very interesting. I love your cellar...that's something we don't have here in Texas and I'm trying to figure out how to have cold storage in the hot months here.

Anonymous said...

I love these posts you have been sharing of your days.
I'm thankful to find a like minded friend even through blogs!
within the
~~Michigan Winter Wonderland~~

goatmilker said...

This is so cool keep up the good work at journaling. Have a great day Rebekah.

Homemaker Ang said...

hi alice and family :)
we store the apples, cabbage, potatoes, b. sprouts and squashes in our "root cellar" area. It is not in the basement but in our wash house.


cyn, i didnt write that down. i will add it in. if i dont write it, alas, it is forgotten :)

Anonymous said...

It is so much fun for me to read your posts. I love hearing about your daily life. It's so interesting and I applaud the kids for all the chore doing...debbie

Janean said...

just found your blog! i'm going to read more in the next couple of days...

you celebrate Advent -- Epiphany? yay!

cityfarmer said...

we had a root ceellar such as this when i was little ...

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