Monday, January 20, 2020

Best Snowshoe for Deep Powder, New vs. Old Snowshoes

As I mentioned in one of the last posts, we've been doing a lot of snowshoeing recently. And as discussed, I have found modern style snowshoes to be pretty ineffective for actually moving through deep snow. I've pondered for several years if I needed a new-to-me pair of snowshoes and if so, what would best fit my needs. I have found over time, this is a good process to work through to be sure I am going to acquire an item I actually need or want and know I will use for sure. I don't have time or space in my life for things that don't fit that description, so I don't want to waste any money or energy on any of the trillions of items in the world that I do not need or want and know I will use for sure. 

 So, when I'm thinking through something I might want, unless it's something I already had that is totally worn out, broken, and unrepairable, and needs replacing with the same item, this is what I usually do. Think about, do I need this? Almost always the answer is

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Another Big Nighttime Visitor

A couple mornings ago, when Burley and I woke up and first went outside, I saw new tracks in the snow. One advantage of getting more snow almost every day, is the ability to easily pick out and follow fresh tracks. Burley has a pretty huge foot print for a barely 50 pound dog. Much larger than many dogs his size, and this serves him well for living in deep snow country as those big feet act a bit like snowshoes. But at first glance I knew these tracks were not Burley's. They were two to three times larger than his feet. My first thought was that our resident mountain lion had visited again. But a second glance let me know that they were not cat tracks. Just like a house cat, mountain lions can retract their claws, so their paw prints just have a pad and toes, no nail print visible. Each of these tracks I was looking at had a very clear nail print at

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Snowshoeing with Burley

With lots (more than 11 feet in the mountains above me since January first alone!) of snow, Burley and I have been enjoying quite a few snowshoes through the woods. I love being able to float over the deep snow, the quiet of the winter woods, and

Friday, January 3, 2020

Winter Squash

Some of the many squash I helped grow and harvest at a previous job in a different and much warmer location!

 Winter squash (the hard, sometimes oddly shaped and colored ones, not things like zucchini which are summer squash) are a great way to get lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber, among other thing, into your diet in the winter. Check out or other sources if you want to see a list of all the vitamins and minerals they contain. They also store very well, so are a great winter food. I would love to grow and store my own as they are pretty easy to grow. If you have a warm enough climate. Most varieties take a 100 day plus frost free growing season and here we're lucky to have 50 days without snow. Usually with multiple frosts in that period. But wether you can grow your own or buy them, one of the best things about squash is how easy they are

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Highlights

Sometimes on new years day, I want to tell people, "you know, a new year starts for you each day you wake up still alive." Do something with it. Don't wait for some random day on a calendar to make resolutions and do new things. If it's something you want to or know you need to do, start right now. Whatever day on a calendar that is. 

That said, it is nice to look back through what happened in the last while every now and then. So here's some highlights

Monday, December 30, 2019

Safe Cleaning

At this time of year, some of you may be doing a bit more cleaning than normal due to the residue of family visits and holiday parties. In any case, I'm guessing that most of you do some cleaning, at some point in your life. As a society we seem to have been sold the idea that this needs to involve a lot of expensive and toxic

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Night Time Noises

The most frequent night time visitor we see here is a fox. Probably more than one as there are quite a few in the area, though I don't usually see more than one at a time in our yard. I love having them come through as they are great at putting a dent in the population of small rodents. Last night Burley and I were awakened in the middle of the night by a very different sound though.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Winter Decorating with Pine

As you probably know, I really enjoy the flowers surrounding my house, garden, wild in the woods, and seeing their beauty all summer. With our long winters, there are many months of the year with no flowers growing outdoors here. So, I do some winter decorating with

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tiny House Cooking - Christmas Caroling Chili

With the frigid cold weather we woke up to this morning, with temps a little below zero F, a good hot hearty soup was on my mind. Chili seems to be another of those dishes that most people have passionate opinions about the correct way to make. I never order chili if I am away from home because

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Deepening Snow

Over the past week or so, the snow pack on the ground has deepened a good bit. From the above photo to just a little deeper now than