Monday, October 29, 2012

Wood Stove Cooking

Wood Stove Cooking

One of the things about living off grid in snow country is the winter woodstove and being able to cook on it...     Right off the top is your favorite crockpot recipes... if you can make it in the crockpot you can make it in your cast iron dutch oven on the wood stove. Soups and Stews and Beans are amazing on the woodstove (not to mention it makes the house smell delicious)

There are some things that have to be taken into consideration when cooking on the woodstove... like the temperature isn't controlled like with a traditional propane or electric oven or stove top. So you have to make some adjustments when cooking mostly things like checking it more often if your fire is hot or letting it simmer longer if your fire is banked.

I will be posting some woodstove recipes soon and once we move I'll actually have some pictures to share of the meals we make and perhaps I'll even have the kids write a review of the meal.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bible Promises

Jeremiah 32:22 

You gave them this land you had sworn to give their forefathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.

It may not look like it right now... but this desert place is going to flow with milk and honey! It is going to be an oasis in the desert. A place where manna and all good things of the Lord flourishes.

2 Samuel 7:29 
Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever

The Lord is blessing our home, blessing it beyond our wildest imagination, making it a safe place for His people. All that we need, all that we could ever need will be provided to our home.

Deuteronomy 28:5
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

We are so excited that we are able to stand on the promises of God and our home and land will be blessed. We give the Lord praise for giving us this home, this land, this place where we will teach our children about Him and open our doors to others to be wrapped in the arms of the Lord.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winter Sowing

Love this! From Kevin over at A Garden for the House Winter-Sowing-101

Funtastic information on how to get those flowers going and keep them going...


Some great ideas! Can't wait to try them out!
Bone Tar Oil
Sepp Holzer's Recipe

The rumor is that the Bone Tar Oil will repel deer from your trees and garden. It is mentioned by some pretty reliable sources to be an effective deterrent so it is on my to do list for the new property... I am hoping it really works because I really want to plant some saplings and they need to be protected...

Playground Delights!

Playground Delights!
Up first, suitable fencing to keep the little ones safe. The little tire fence in this picture duplicated at our new place will be the start of the fence. I will be adding posts and wire to make it a bit more contained. 
Low Tire Fence

We will be using old tires to make a play ground for our little ones! So many fun ideas out there! This is going to be fun!

repurposed tire toyLadybug tire swing
Tire Mountain                            tire garden

Rise and Shine!

Woke up this morning to a dusting of snow... I realized the dusting of snow down here will be a layer of snow up at the ranch. I also realized how much I take for granted! We have heat 24/7 if we want/need it. Just set a thermostat. Soon we will be banking a wood stove and hoping it stays burning all night or getting up in the middle of the night to replenish the wood supply.

When the little guy woke up at dark-thirty I got up turned on a couple of lights and got my coffee and turned on the computer... it will be so different when we get moved. When I wake up, there will not be a flip of a switch to turn on a light. I will have to light a light or use some alternate source of light. Instead of my automatic coffee maker making my coffee I will have to fire up the cookstove to make a pot (or do it on the woodstove to conserve) My computer will not be on in the mornings like it is now. Instead of internet time I will be having to find an alternative (might need to get a collection of books before we move)

It is going to be so different and yet so awesome! I really am looking forward to all this change...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Organizing Chaos

I got to looking at the Blog and realized it is really rather all over the place.... that is because my ideas are all over the place. And we are brainstorming on all the things that we need to do, want to do and hope to do and still are in the early stages of prioritizing.

So I thought I would kind of put together a list of what we are looking at doing with the new property. Something so that all the odd posts about floors and greenhouses and rainwater all make sense...

We are working on a 5 year plan. Sure it would be nice to get it all done this first year but we know that it all takes time to get started and then to build on and perfect and to keep changing according to our needs and the lands needs and even our communities needs....

The first winter will be all about the interior of the house and learning to live off grid and without certain resources one has in a larger community (like running to the store at 8pm for diapers because you realized you only had 2 left)

We have some simple maintenance/repair things to deal with and lots of painting to get done on the inside. Because our resources are not as flush as we would hope, we are going to do things like paint the floors and stencil them to make them wonderful. This may be for 1 year or 4 years, we aren't sure just yet. But for now paint will make things beautiful until we are able to lay the carpet we desire and install the wood floors we want. Drywall repair, paint, freshening up all on the list. A stove pipe needs replacing, skirting around the crawl space of the house, a bit of this and a bit of that all will get things looking good.

Come spring! Oh will we be *B*U*S*Y* I do not think that my husband and I will have ever done as much work in our lives as we will from April to July!!!!

PLAYGROUND for the kids is first on the agenda- that is so they have a safe place to play while we work 

Elizabeth's Secret Garden, Veggie Gardens, and I would really like some flowers. Oh and lets not forget the trees! LOT'S of TREES! And God willing - a Brush Hog and plow will be provided and we will plant a few acres of mixed grain grasses. All that has to happen very quickly after the frost is over.

PONDS & Harvesting Rain Water
Two of them... the first a simple Koi Pond with a small water wheel. The water wheel will power the pump to keep the water circulating and it will also charge a simple 12v battery for household use. The larger project will be a surface water containment pond. We will be utilizing a natural run off pond for the start and then improving it for rain water harvesting. There will also be some attempts to set up some water tanks for harvesting rain water... I have seen several that are so cute AND functional.

We need chicken houses and yards for chickens to play in and a barn for some goats and a well fenced yard for them. Perhaps some rabbit cages and a place to keep a lamb or calf. We will see how time favors us.


I got to thinking today, this will hopefully be the last home my husband and I ever live in, it is the home we will raise our children in, the place where our grandchildren will come to play, the place where our family memories are made.

Our older children will miss out on so much that the babies will get to live

I look to our future with so much joy and anticipation... as we make a home comfortable for us, as we plant trees and gardens and make secret gardens, as we dig ponds and run aqueducts, design water wheels and other such stuff, when we build fences and make chicken pens... each and every thing we do is building a future and making a memory.
Deuteronomy 28:4 
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks

Picking Trees

One of the things we will be doing on the property is planting trees... lots and lots of trees. I would like to see a hundred or more planted this coming spring.

Some Birch, Quaking Aspen, White Pine and an assortment of fruit tress mixed in for fun....

We will whip up a batch of bone oil to treat the fragile saplings from deer and other critters who might fuss at them. We also will have to set up the pond to irrigate the trees with rain water and surface water we capture. So much to get done... Spring will be a busy time at the Rhoads....



A little something...

Monday, October 22, 2012


I want to take this and turn it into something like  this

Dig it out, seal it. let nature and the natural runoff and rain fill it up and be our own watering hole for our property....

Off Grid Favorite Websites/Blogs

While I may not agree with everything on these websites, they each have some information that will be beneficial for my family <3 and bottom line that is what this move is all about... how to best raise my family in the world we live in...

Found More!!!!

Painted Floors...

This Old House has step by step instructions!
This Old House How to Paint a Floor

When we move, we will be faced with flooring that needs to be redone. Right now we just do not have the $6-800 to put in the wood floors we would like. Painting the floors will only cost about $200... and so I have been looking at all the fun things we can do to make the floors look amazing. After all, off-grid and remote doesn't have to mean dirt floors :)

And so we are looking at something like this for our kitchen:

A bit time consuming but so worth it in the end!

And something like this for our living room:

Rainy Day

It is a rainy day here... got me to thinking about what we will do on rainy days where we won't be turning on lights and television... have you ever thought what you would do if you didn't have electricity? Of course we will have the generator but it uses about a gallon of gas every 3 hours and we have propane lights in the house, not sure what they use...

So what to do on a dark rainy day? COOK! BAKE! and PLAY! I am now on the lookout for rainy day recipes. Things the kids and I can make together that will make wonderful memories and help with rainy days when we can't play outside.

From the book, Sun Bread... a sunny bread to share!

Lovely rainy day activity with the kids!

Number of Servings: 1


3 eggs
3 TBSP sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 stick melted, unsalted butter
2 packages active dry yeast
3 TBSP lukewarm milk


Mix well:
3 eggs
3 TBSP sugar

2 c sifter all purpose flour
1 stick butter, melted

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat well.

in a small bowl combine
2 packages active dry yeast
3 TBSP lukewarm milk
Let stand until foamy, at least 5 min.

Add the yeast mixture to the batter and stir. Knead dough on greased, floured surface for 8-10 min. (My dough took in about another cup of flour while kneading. The nutritional info includes 3 cups of flour, because of this)

Place dough in greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until double (about an hour).

Punch down and knead for a few minutes. The separate in to two portions.

To form the sun's face, shape one portion of dough into a rounded, somewhat flattened ball and place on a large greased baking sheet (you can make a face by punching eyes and drawing a mouth with your finger)

Make a corona for your sun by dividing the remaining dough in half again. Roll half into long snakes. Then curl the snakes into puffy snail shapes. For the rest of the dough in to puffy triangles. Firmly attach the snails and triangles to the sun (use a little water if your dough is to dry)

Cover your sun and let rise again for about an hour.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes testing for doneness with a toothpick!

Enjoy! Plain, or with honey or jam!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Don't forget I have lots of fun ideas on my pinterest just click and enjoy

Water Wheel

Who knew... something so cute could provide enough power to charge a 12 volt battery every 6 hours :)

Home Worship

As we prepare to move to our new home, it is very evident the importance of DAILY Family Worship. We have, as a family, relied heavily on our Church for worship. Now as we prepare to be so far from the people and places so familiar to us I am realizing the void that will be there in our lives.

So I am working on a plan to ensure that we Praise, Worship, and Learn about our Father everyday- not just in an organized service or group. 

How beautiful would it be if the children started every morning singing and dancing to the Lord?

Aside from praying over meals, what would it look like if the little ones gathered during the day to pray for others? It is my desire that every day is dedicated to the Lord and spent in part worshiping Him in ways we have not done in our lives to date. Mostly because we have relied on "church" for that set apart time to worship.

Oh we read our Bible at home, I have a daily devotion time, the kids say prayers, we listen to contemporary christian music every day and a few times a week the kids and I will talk about a Bible story/event. I just really want more as we move away from the worship that we are use to.