We simply couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to celebrate the winter solstice on. The sky is huge and bright crisp blue, and although there is very little snow, it feels like a fresh winter day!
We wish all of our friends and families the happiest of seasonal celebrations. We miss you all so much, and we are sending our warm thoughts and wishes of joyful celebrations to everyone, as we will be hunkering down in the mountains this season, enjoying some quiet and cozy fun, sharing meals with friends and enjoying the outdoor ice rinks and groomed cross country ski trails… not enough snow for snowshoeing yet , but I am honestly not complaining!
We sacrificed a sweet little tree to be decked out in lights and felt, and decided to give our umbrella plant the year off of playing christmas tree! Miss Mia picked the tree and sawed lots of it, carried down the mountain, then carefully decorated it with sweet little needle felted fairies, she has been working hard at creating. Grandma shipped us our holiday stockings and old decorations which we haven’t seen for two years, so we all had nostalgic fun adorning our little tree.
Life has been pretty busy and sleepy all at the same time, what with darkness blanketing us as early as 4 pm these days . I have been knitting up a storm (learning to knit socks even!) and baking lots, eating from the pantry and still enjoying the bounty of our harvest. Dylan has been working two jobs back to back, and is looking forward to a major snow dump to hit the slopes with Mia. Mia is enjoying lazy days now that school is out, she is reading and crafting to no end. No rest for the wicked! We got the loom moved into the yurt a couple weeks ago and I am looking so forward to my first yurt weaving!
Our firewood is running low which will mean some more trips up the hillside for dead standing.. and a REAL effort for future wood stacks. I guess each year it will get easier, and maybe soon we will join the kootenay elite who do their firewood in Feburary for the following year.. that is once we have enough wood for the current year! Heating the yurt has also added to our wood heat needs so our piles of birch (remember the trailer killers?) are almost gone.
We are all healthy and happy and promise to post more in the new year, as we get garden expansion and food planning underway, and get ready to welcome our first WWOOfes in the spring! Dylan and I are working each night on house plans, and are pretty keen to use more shipping containers in the design, along with passive solar details, rain water collection, an attached green house and utilizing the trees we have on site. It will also be nice to finally get out composting toilet in action in the new house. Looks like we are in for a very busy building season ahead!
We have found many snowshoe hare tracks up mountain and maybe just maybe well have rabbit for some holiday meal, tonight for Solstice we are gouing to take the bows for a wonder up mountain and deck out the yurt in balls and holly, and cozy in for a sleep over, complete with a special festive meal.
Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah
Poor little fellow 😦
Our little homestead is in grieving today for the untimely death of our most charming mini bantom rooster.. yes that little guy with all the attitude and charisma who had become our little mascot, the little chicken who won the heart of every visitor we’ve ever had.
We have lost our share of chooks in this backwoods adventure, but this guy was about the most special bird I ever did meet. It looks like the neighbour puppy struck again, but other than one heck of a trail of feathers there is no way to know for sure. True to his nature, he fought very hard to the end.
We will really miss our little lone ranger the Red Baron.
We slipped away for a week back in Calgary amid building and harvesting and hauling firewood to celebrate (and Photograph) my baby cousin Adrienne’s wedding to her handsome boyfriend Kevin. They got married at the zoo under sunny crystal blue skies. It was a beautiful day, and it was lovely to visit and catch up with a whole bunch of our family (who we miss so very much).
I thought I would post a sneak peek of the wedding pictures (pre editing) for the new bride and groom to enjoy before they dash away for their South African honeymoon.
It was a delight to photograph them and I was happy to have the help of our friend Kelly to handle the trying job of photo assistant. Everyone was beautiful and I have never met a bridal party who are so close and so entirely supportive of their friend’s love and commitment, it was a real treat to see!
More building and harvesting news to follow from the homefront, as we get back into the swing of the fall… and the race to beat the snow. The yurt deck is mostly complete; our new chicken coop is half way there, as is Dylan’s improved shop roof.
Finally the snow is melting away, and we are uncovering many buried treasures all over the place. Our whole world has awakened from it’s snowly blanket, and finally finally it feels like spring time!
The chickens are roaming free and enjoying the bits of grass and new growth, and the snow damage of their hawk fence over head has been repaired, and the birds will be excited to move into their new and hugely extended grazing plot, (just 15 fence post to dig in mixed rocky ground first)
Last weekend my mom and our good friend Kelly drove west to deliver my sister and Jessie to their new home sweet home camper, which now rests amid the last of the snowy muck on the lower road by Dylan’s shop.
Kelly & Dylan made some real progress on the shop roof adding additional strapping and planning and cutting the metal roofing sections, before the rain drove them off the roof (and down the river for the virgin canoe paddle of the season)
Pauly and Jessie are hard at it already helping to clean up the yard, and improve hillside access and most importantly they are both helping erect their new biffy!
Dylan picked a lovely and inspired position for the composting lue up in between two trees and the outhouse itself is being build (out of garbage) off the trees and back into a hillside. We have a great design for the space, which will utilize a recycled patio door, and some cedar slab wood cut offs from the mill, along with a glow in the dark toilet seat our friends donated to the cause. The space should be bright and kinda modern-junk-tastic, and will feature a meandering curving steps up the roots of the trees to the thrown deck.
It will be wonderful when this is complete as we are already feeling the pressure of the extra load on the septic with our new homestead helpers.
My mom spent endless hours this week sewing up weft material for my rag rug which has allowed me to come 5/7ths of the way to completing my rug. Our thread guild has it’s annual yard and yardage show and sale next weekend and I will have to have both rugs complete for the show! Without my mom it would have never happened!
While the whole crew was here we took a field trip to my mentors home to see the loom and the rugs in progress as well as to pick up a beautiful wood burning stove which JC & Robert have graciously given to us to heat Dyl’s shop. The stove is a big steel hand made piece of art, complete with a bull head door (JC is a Taurus) and the stove was made for her. This new stove will allow the previous (smaller stove) we had intended for the shop to find a new home in my yarn yurt!
Dylan has completed the wooden roof ring for my yurt and we have scouted out an even better new location for it, and I am oh so excited to have some space to create in again!
Today we are getting some greens in the ground, and starting to remediate the garden; along with planting some new indoor starts.
We are soooo very excited to have Dylans sister and brother in law and little baby Zoey visiting us next week! We just can’t wait to meet her and introduce her to the chickens!
I know I know.. it’s been a while! Hope your all well, we sure are. It’s a warm and stunning blue sky kind of day today we are off to meet some new born goats, while recovering from a 6 girl sleep over sushi party bash last night! Wow you really can’t imagine how 6 nine years olds can affect the acoustics of a tin can trailer! There are some pics of the sweet little sushi cakes I made here at eatingwithSOLE, (which just got a little blog face lift!)
Dyl has been working in the city for the past few weeks and I have been running myself a little ragged, working, and weaving, and fighting back a cold. The snow is starting to melt and we have had a few big rainfalls. It is going to be so MUDDY this spring and I can only imagine what these meter deep blanket of snow will do to the road and hill.
We are off to pick up this old green Ford truck in exceptional vintage condition along with a extended camper for my sister and her boyfriend to live in out here in April. They are going to be our practice wwoofers, and see how they like living on the side of a mountain, getting dirty and working hard, enjoying fruits of their labor and fresh air.
This has helped up refocus our efforts for outbuildings in to a stacked multifunctional wet house / summer kitchen. Which will make for great amenities for the guest and yarn yurts too.
I went to Seedy Sunday last week and picked up the last of what I think we will plant this year, and I have been working endlessly on garden plans. Helen gave us a great little greenhouse which fits perfectly in the window, so I have onions, peppers, and tomatoes started. As well as some micro green for snacking on now!
Alas our wood stack is running low again, so we are out to the bush to haul a few more dead trees down, before we go and meet the kids!
I feel like it is time for an update, however there really isn’t that much to share, as everything is on paper these days… Reading and planning, research and drafting. We are working on designing the passive solar shower house and a potential weekend workshop on how to build a passive solar water heater with a cob rocket stove back up. Our plan is to incorporate our horse feeder “cool pool” into the system to allow for a steamy soak in a rocket tub. We also have started to site in our new future access road. I am designing the interior workings of my Yarn Yurt and fiber house get away. Dyaln is playing with lots of treehouse ideas and we are also close to finalizing our chicken / worm / rabbit green house, which will be passive solar and earth bermed. These projects along with finishing the shop roof are on our must do lists for the summer. Continue reading