The Backwoods

Where we teeter between our love of modern convenience and the yearning for something long past; a world where neighbors knew your name and a “Friend Request” was eye contact and a smile.


Baby Goats

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We aren’t animal people, exactly. I know it seems such, since we are constantly surrounded by fur balls. But really, they find us, not the other way around. I’m not one of those gushy people who oooh’s and aweee’s over babies, animal or otherwise. But I’m telling you…there’s nothing quite like a newborn ANYTHING to […]

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Remembering The Backwoods

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Ever since we left Alaska to winter in California a couple weeks ago I’ve been getting message after message…                 “What about the cabin? Are you going back??? The cabin. My nemesis. My love.  It strikes me I’ve not written the details of how our place works and maybe I’m a tad homesick. So here […]

boys in canoe

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

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I think often of this site…ideas for improvement flitting through my head, one-liners jotted down in yellow notebooks, good intentions paving the road to nowhere. And then life slams me back into reality as the land of the midnight sun has us attempting to complete a year worth of work in the four months of […]


Into The Woods

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Winter has finally succumbed to spring here in south central Alaska, though that is debatable since we are forecasted to get snow on Friday.  But most of the snow has given away to mucky mud and for some reason we are all excited to see it.   I’ve emerged from hibernation ten pounds heavier, lethargic […]


Admitting Defeat…and a photo journey of success

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I’ve not written in weeks and I promise this won’t be one of those “I’m sorry I’ve not blogged” posts. But well, I’m sorry. Okay, that’s out of the way. Phew. SO now down to why I’ve not written…Pride…purely pride.  You see, we’ve retreated into our old house for the winter and I’ve been afraid […]


September 22, 2012

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My lantern oil just dimmed to nothing and left me in complete darkness but for the glow of my laptop and the internet box blinking green to my right. I see the hazy glow of Luke’s flashlight bouncing as he walks back in from the outhouse and another in the hall where Anthony pulls a […]


Pre-Cabin Fever

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This is not going to be well written, of that I am sure. It’s late at night, I’m tired, and I have computer access for just a short time. I apologize ahead of time… The past few weeks have been very stressful.  We left behind our 7 bedroom home, moved completely out, cleaned it spotless […]


Boys In The Backwoods…

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I don’t remember being covered in bruises, blood and broken skin on a daily basis as a child…perhaps that is the key difference between little girls and little boys.  Then again, the way I used to roll my 3-wheeler down every dirt hill within miles, it’s rather surprising I made it through my eleventh year […]


And On The Seventh Day…

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Even God rested one day a week, or so I reminded Dan this morning as we made our list of “to-do” things during breakfast. He’s home just two weeks at a time, then gone again for two or more.  So when he’s home, it seems we do a lot of running and make little progress. […]

The queen is in that tiny box on the left corner, already engulfed in her bees...

Backwoods Bees

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When I was a kid in Kasilof, Alaska, there was a honey store about a mile down the road. We’d pedal down there, present our quarter, and get a sample of honey such that I’ve not tasted since.  This year, as we move onto our off-grid property and make an attempt at becoming more self […]


At The End Of The Trail

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As I sit in the Alaska dark, waiting for Spring, I can feel the grit beneath my nails, the sweat across the back of my neck and the ache of my arms after a day in the woods.  The course skin of hands, dry and stiff from the leather of my gloves, the grain of […]


Sawmill Saga

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In August, shortly after we purchased our 40 acres, we acquired a portable band saw mill with the intent of creating our own lumber with which to build our own home. But first…knowing we couldn’t afford to complete a home this year nor did we have time to begin with winter nearing…we decided to build […]

Why Off Grid

Why Off-Grid?

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We turn the handle, water flows from the faucet.  We flip a switch and a light goes on or off. We flush a toilet, crank the thermostat, open the fridge…and voila, magic happens. And then we all get three days off and we spend it sitting around a campfire, looking up at the stars, listening […]

Yardword Backwoods Style

Yardwork…Backwoods Style

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We took possession of our 40 acres off-grid this week and as is our style…dug right in.  With no time to waste before winter and Dan working half his life away from home, we have about four weeks of actual time on the land before we have to start to buckle down for winter. Our […]

Backwoods Dream

Going Backwoodsier…Our Off-Grid Dream

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From the home site… Not everybody’s idea of a dream come true involves the potential for being eaten by bears…but tonight when I found my third pile of fresh bear poo in as many trips to my new land, I knew my dreams were coming true right before my feet. Not that I want to […]