What a rainy/snowy month it has been! We were ready for winter at the beginning of the month, but our first and second snows have already melted in the rain. Overnight temperatures have been in the mid to low 20°s and days generally in the 30°s. At the beginning of the month, there was a solar storm that allowed for some nighttime viewing of the northern lights. Pete and our daughter were sound asleep, so I enjoyed the lights silently on the porch. The stillness of the evening and dancing lights was so peaceful. The last days of the month were very windy, bringing in a warm front which we are happy to have. October and November in our area of Alaska produce frigid rains and snowfall which make for a muddy, chilly, and partially frozen construction site we call home. I can’t WAIT until the day we plant grass!
The weather put sort of a damper on some of the building projects, leaving the greenhouse unfinished and the barn without electricity. However, we do have a roof on the shed and stairs on the porch! I find it funny how it only took Pete two hours to build the stairs and install them, but it took him two years to find the time to do it /sigh/ oh well. Now, if we could only get the siding up!
As part of our winter prep we shuffled our chickens around, we now have our 7 younger birds and the rabbit cage inside the small animal barn and Red moved out to the Eggcono Lodge. Since she can’t seem to get along with any of our other birds, Red is going to have to spend the winter by herself. I feel bad keeping her alone for the winter and she is our best egg layer, but she will also peck our other birds until they are bloody, and we can’t have that! Unfortunately, one of the two rabbits we inherited from our neighbor died. Apparently it was 10 years old, so I’m thinking this was bound to happen. We have found them to be great little manure-makers for our farm, so we may possibly get some more next season.
In the middle of the month, I made a trip to northern Minnesota for a friend’s wedding. We miss our friends and family so much and I am grateful to be able to fly down to the lower 48 to visit once and awhile. Fall in northern Minnesota is gorgeous and Pete and I have made many good memories there over the years, so it’s always great to get back. The cherry on top of the trip was the wild rice casserole, a red beer, and some walleye!
Speaking of good food, we still are creating new (and perfecting old) recipes with the sourdough. Pete made some delicious sourdough cinnamon rolls which he has pretty much perfected, and we made some Halloween sugar cookie cutouts with homemade frosting. Lets not forget the weekly loaves of bread that he makes too! I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of fresh, warm, crackling sourdough bread.
Pete seems to be getting faster at erecting buildings. For instance, he milled up lumber and assembled the new shed structure all by himself in two days. On the third and fourth days, a generous friend helped finish the roof and Pete put up some siding on the upper portion to keep the wind from carrying it away. We now have a large shelter (13’ x 20’) to store equipment and keep lumber dry---I love it! Future plans for the shed will be to move the entire structure up against the barn to act as a lean-to shelter for material storage and a washing station. We then plan to pour a concrete slab and build a bigger permanent workshop in it’s current place. A permanent shop on concrete was the original plan, but we had to reassess priorities when summer quickly ended and fall seemed to pass with a blink of an eye.
With no snow on the ground at this moment and the ground not entirely frozen, we can continue to plug away at the projects. In November we plan to get some electricity run to the garage and barn, and spread out the remaining rock piles we have for better water drainage and less mud in the high traffic areas when everything melts in spring. I love this time of year during the holidays. Our family had fun participating in some stay-at-home Halloween activities. I’ve already started planning our Thanksgiving feast with our freshly harvested chickens and cranberries. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!
Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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