A journal of our day to day; homesteading and homeschooling in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It feels like the heart of winter here in Fairbanks. We've had a few consecutive weeks of below zero, or ten below zero and colder temperatures. We've been enjoying staying home when we can. When we do venture into town we bundle up, make as few stops as possible, get the essentials, let the kids play, take the camera and get home. Yesterday was cold, but we had a few things we had to do, so as I drove in to town and around I asked D to snap some shots. I was hoping the camera would capture the mountain range I could see with my bare eyes, but alas...
There are temperature readings all around town and as we'd drive by we'd try and get a shot of the temperature, but with the boards also showing time and random other bits, and other vehicles, and exhaust fumes engulfing our vehicle, well ... and then there were the times where we reached for the camera but the sign only said -22, and we were like, we can do way better than that.
We drove into town around twelve thirty p.m., and when I saw the sun, I was surprised how high in the sky it was, well you can see that it really isn't that high. I just haven't seen it in a while, so the intensity was lovely.
And this is what town looks like these days, frozen, cold and dreary- and this is about as bright and light as it gets. The sky is clear, and the sun is at it's peak, which is really just skimming the horizon. The colder it gets the worse the ice fog. On public radio the announcers give air quality warnings, because of the amount of pollution trapped in the bowl that is Fairbanks. We noticed little things as we drove around, how the ride is bumpier, due to frozen tires and shocks. Vehicles just don't run well at these cold temperatures, slow to start and sluggish in pace. When you open the door you can't close it quickly enough, the nice warm air in the cab gone in a second.
I heard the announcer say lows from forty to fifty below last night, highs today from thirty to forty below. Our thermometer seems to be stuck at ten below, but it feels closer to fifteen, which is still a significant difference from town temperatures. When we were in town yesterday, the cold air took our breath away. Exposed fingers for just a second was painful. Avery thought it was great fun. She laughed and squealed each trip from the truck to the building and back.
I'm thankful that we don't have to leave the house today. I'm just as thankful that I don't have any plans yet for the day. I brought home some dinosaur craft books and some asian noodle/dumpling cookbooks from the library yesterday. So that should keep us occupied. The animals are all snug indoors. Three bucks snuggling in one insulated building with fresh bedding. Chickens enjoying their heat lamp and heated waterer indoors - we don't keep the heat lamp on often, usually just a light bulb, but we've been indulging them lately - and it is always nice to have unfrozen eggs. The ducks will get out today, hardy little buggers. The does are keeping their dwelling warm enough with their body heat. They have a light bulb on, and we've been tossing some hay indoors as well as some outside. They seem to be in fine spirits.
Yep, that's about all for the dark days around here. A toasty fire, a few candles and Christmas lights to brighten our days.
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!