the happiest of holidays…

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We are all so thrilled to have spent our first Holiday season here in paradise. We have had such a wonderful time enjoying good food, friends, and fun in the snow, and even a little chicken slaughter thrown in for good measure.

The house was decked in festive felt crafts (since we left all of our decorations back home in storage) We adorned our umbrella tree with popcorn and felted hearts, little birdies and love. On Christmas eve day we found our very first GREEN egg! It was such a sweet christmas present from the girls. That night we hosted some wonderful friends and feasted and enjoyed a bon fire and holiday cheer. The next day we woke to a stunning pink sunrise and spend the day mulling about and roasting a juicy turkey. That afternoon we went to our dear friends house for another holiday feast. On boxing day we made some room in the coop and slaughtered the last 4 roosters that were starting to make trouble for the ladies; the Beatles are all in the freezer now except John and Yoko, along with scrappy (doomed to a freezer fate from the start). The ladies have all been so peaceful and happy since the last slimming of the flock. They are left with our most masculin of cock’s Sid Vicious, and his side kick Miss Elvis (yes he is a rooster but I feel he is perhaps a rooster in transition and he doesn’t bother the girls too much, mostly he roosts with them and  maybe is living out his life as just one of the girls. The Red Baron (our last man on campus) is simply our amazing little pet chicken. Everyone adores him and he has such a gift of flight that he comes and goes as he pleases, he is so small he doesn’t even bother with the girls, so I think we are all pretty happy with chicken situation these days, and we are talking of adding another 6-8 hens in the spring to the flock. Continue reading

Happy Solstice!

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What a wonderful weekend to celebrate the winter season, although we have been cloaked in snow for the last month it is nice to know that winter indeed has arrived. This morning we awoke to a fresh 1/2 foot of snow and a crisp sky with wispy low clouds in-circling the mountains around us. Sadly last night we missed the lunar eclipse  as we were inside a heavy snowfall, but we welcomed the cold dark season with some new life skills and adventures…

Today we learned how to butcher a cow, a first for both of us. We arrived this morning to a cold barn / butcher room armed with rubber gloves and freshly sharpened Japanese knives ready to take on a 1/4 cow. We were all pretty new at this sport with a handful of experience among the group we hacked and sawed and ground and weighed and wrapped a few hundred pounds of happy free ranging cow. Some of which now rests peacefully in our freezer. It was a pretty fun lesson, and one that has added another yet another dose of confidence as we approach both our first hunt, and add to our livestock.

Last week we trekked to Penticton to buy a used / new to us car to replace the poor Mitsubishi, while we were in a bigger city centre we took advantage of the  resources there and found ourselves a great used fridge to replace our dripping energy sucking trailer beast, we got a good deal and a fairly efficient LG model but that was the easy part, that hard part was figuring out how to get it from the lower driveway up to the trailer! Dylan (ever the handy inventor) build us a sweet  solid fir 6 foot sled, complete with pvc rails and a perfectly positioned crazy carpet just for the task at hand. It took us a good 30 minutes to strap and drag and push and haul and yell and gasp it up the big driveway (which I may have mentioned in a earlier post makes a killer toboggan hill). I wish i had pictures of that adventure, alas I did capture a shot of Dylan the next day ridding some dead standing firewood out of the bush above us, that looked like way more fun than pushing a fridge of all things uphill!

Mia and I have been crafting like mad! needle felting, wreath making, knitting, paper crafts (which I adore, these sweet little snowflakes made with old Archie comics). We have also been baking like crazy ladies!

We are looking forward to a quiet Christmas in the Koot’s enjoying local foods grown by the new friends we will share meals with! We plan to head back to Calgary to bring in the New Years… but that will depend on the roads and the weather. Tomorrow we ski the rail trail and kill off the last 4 extra roosters…

Happy Solstice to all of you!




weaving a wintery weekend

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We just came home from an exceptional sunny sparkling weekend of enjoying this winter wonderland! We took in the Christmas on the Lake, and drank hot mulled wine, roasted bannock on sticks over a fire, watched chainsaw artists carve ice and wood, and mostly we just took in the awe of the Vallhala Mountains and the views of stunning Slocan lake. On our way home we picked up the last of the yurt parts, and came home to friends tobogganing down our driveway which was a wonderful way to end our day! Today we wondered up and down the frozen rivers edge exploring ice formations and animal tracks, we had a lovely visit with one of the founding thread guild members who is selling her weaving studio, and we are eagerly working towards our fiber art yurt plan for the end of the winter…playing with the idea of a“yarnyurt”. We then we adventured all the way south on a scenic drive to Fruitvale to see a man about a lathe, and ended up having another great visit with yet another friendly kind stranger and came home with a wood lathe complete with a bench and tools. Dyl and I have been talking about playing with a lathe for ages, and we have been on the look out for a good deal on a used one for years, finally today we found it, and we both have some etsy/farmers markets plans for next season.

Tomorrow we are scouting out locations and starting a materials list for the yurt constructions, and pressing forward on spring build and workshop plans. Also reading a wonderful book on goat husbandry right now which has me re- thinking our little tippy barn. Tomorrow I take on hide tanning! that will be a first for me. must get googling much to learn before we pick up a number of cow hides!

Accommodation upgrade!

Exciting news to report, yesterday we purchased two 20 foot yurts, well the better part of two yurts that is. The yurts came from a heli ski operation and were used as backcountry cabins for 5 years, and one year there were not maintained and the snow load exceeded 6 feet in a short period of time and the structures failed. What we have is all the tarps; wall and ceiling, insulation, and windows, and a door. Luckily the missing parts are all simple wood construction, and I just happen to know a skilled wood worker with a big ‘ol pile of fir! So what does this mean for the home front? Well, improved and hugely extended guest accommodations, and likely an art studio suite as well 🙂 Continue reading