A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Twelve days till winter solstice. I'm feeling the effects of the dark and the cold. I'm mostly just going stir crazy in our small house with the kids. It has been too cold to get them out to play. It is essential to either have a play date or get to town to do something every couple days. One of the advantages to heading into town is seeing the sun and the mountains on clear days. The frosty trees, plumes of smoke and the pastel pink horizon are all impressive in their simple beauty. Our sun is coming up after ten and setting by three p.m. Our daylight hours are pretty dim as the sun stays low on the horizon. The temperatures here have stuck pretty close to zero over the last couple weeks, ranging down to ten below on the coldest days. Temperatures in town have been ten to twenty degrees colder.
Last weekend there were all kinds of fun Holiday events going on around town; a Gingerbread House competition, the Nutcracker ballet, a tree lighting ceremony. We had grandiose plans for getting out on some family outings, but Avery came down with a gnarly cold. Noah also got it, but wasn't nearly as miserable. So I spent a good portion of the last week, caring for sick kids and trying my hardest not to get sick myself, which is challenging as it is impossible not to get sneezed and slobbered on.
We have yet to get a real Christmas tree in this house, and will wait at least next winter when our addition is finished. We enjoyed helping decorate my folks Christmas tree. Below is our tree. D drew it on some wrapping paper and the kids had a good time decorating it - doesn't take much to please our kids - yet.
You may have noticed I haven't done much writing lately. I haven't been spending much time on the computer at all, or with my face in a book. Instead I knitted a cute little hat for Avery (left), and have been working on a delicate scarf (right) as a gift for our farm helper who has become part of the family and one of my closest friends. She has been on vacation and I've been thinking about her a bunch and wanted to make her something special to show our love and appreciation for all her hard work. These are my first knitting projects since I was expecting Avery, and had only just taught myself then and made a couple little things like baby socks that never fit and mittens that never stayed on. So, I am proud that the hat fits perfect and the scarf is looking more or less like the pattern.
We are in hibernation mode. The kids are going to bed early and sleeping in late. I've been making lots of comfort food. I made soup four days in a row and the kids were rebelling against anything soup like, despite how different they all were. So, then I made quiche for lazy mornings. We finished up the turkey with a dish that has turkey, gravy and veggies with cheesy biscuits on top. Last night I made lasagne. I put our own bacon and ground pork in the meat ragu, and made homemade noodles for the first time ever. I'm looking forward to making some more complex noodles, maybe some squash sage raviolis or some hand shaped tortellini.
This weekend we are having friends over for a big Indian meal. One of our guests is a strict vegan, so a lot of our own food is out, no eggs, goat cheese, goat milk, meat... I am going to make most of the meal vegan including no butter in the poori or samosa dough, but have decided to make tandoori grilled chicken,after all, I think the other four meat eating guests would enjoy some heartier fare.
How do you make the most of the shortest, darkest days of winter?
We are a family of four (with one more on the way), living in the Arctic Boreal Forest above Fairbanks, in the Interior of Alaska. I write about our simple life and trying to keep our life simple in a day when the typical American life is anything but. When I first started writing this blog I had a toddler and a baby and we were a growing homestead. I wanted to share our day to day and all the lessons we learned along the way, from mixing our own chicken feed to goat kidding season and cheese making. As our children have grown, home schooling has really taken over and I have had to examine every aspect of our lives to keep our days simple yet fruitful. These days you will still find me posting and sharing pictures of our chickens and garden, berry picking and salmon processing. I also hope to be writing about home schooling decisions and lessons as well as other interests and hobbies the kids and I explore. Reader interest and feedback is what keeps me writing, so please leave lots of comments!
The here and now of our homestead is what I'm writing about. Compelled by a sense that we are participating in something significant, heading back to our roots... this is my attempt to share what we are learning along our journey. For those of you on similar paths, whether you are raising kids, a flock of chickens, a couple goats or run a farm, well I'm hoping to learn from you as well, so feel free to put in your two cents!