Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Wheatless Wednesday

Posted by: Rick

Not much to report today. We spent the day at home, of course. Our governor has now issued a "stay at home" order, as have many other states. That does not affect us much since we've been living by those rules for a while. But, it does make it even more clear that we should not leave the house or go out at all. We are glad we are pretty well stocked up. I did an online order for a few small things we need (yeast to make bread, for example) at the local Safeway and we can pick that up without ever leaving the car on Saturday.

Have been wanting to get to the cabin. I see that the webcam at the cabin is now no longer reporting. It is not clear what that means. It could be the camera just gave up. Or, it could mean a massive power failure, which is hard to imagine at an "off the grid" cabin. We will try to get up there in a week or so and see what is going on. Too much snow now, and it is supposed to snow more on Friday.

No dog walk today, even though I *think* it is still allowed as long as we keep our distance from other walkers.

Grilled steak and baked potatoes for dinner. It was pretty yummy, for me. Not so much for Lynne.

We are about caught up with The Crown and also Picard, so will finish those soon and look for other series to binge. Maybe start Breaking Bad over from the beginning since we missed the last season.

Hope you all are well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Tuesday is “Foraging” Day

Posted by: Rick

We've been asked by the Governor to limit our shopping activity to one day a week. We can do that. It is ironic that we've worked so hard not to have the mass-shopping instinct we had at the cabin, (see our article on Winter Provisioning, for example), and now have to move back toward that behavior. One of the things we enjoyed about being "in town" was the abiity to run out and buy anything we needed at any time 24x7.

Now, there is no way we can buy everything on a weekly list at one place, so we have to go foraging among various shops and grocery stores to get supplies. 

Today, Costco started it program of early shopping hours for seniors. Lynne and I technically qualify although I still don't think of myself as a senior. We went a bit early, arriving in time to fill up with gas and still be at the door at 8:00. Only, we ended up a couple of hundred yards from the door and had to stand in line, in the cold, for 20 minutes. We were glad we arrived when we did because by the time the line started to move, it had tripled or quadrupled in size. It must have been 1/2 mile long!

Photo of the line in front of us

Photo of the growing line behind us

They let in 150 people at a time and we were number 142 and 143, I think. There was an immediate mad rush for paper products and meat. We are okay on TP but needed paper towels, so we got some. We also stocked up on chicken parts, hamburger, some nice NY strip steaks, eggs, flour, etc. Actually, we got almost everything we had on our list (and a little more). We stopped at Safeway on the way home and managed to pick up the remaining few items that Costco does not carry. In summary, a very successful day with little actual foraging required.

It is a beautiful day outside and we will likely take the dogs for a walk mid-day. 

I've started a batch of cemita rolls, and we are planning on hamburgers for dinner. More on that coming up.

It is now about 7:00 p.m. and we've finished our dinner of grilled hamburgers. Mine had Hatch green chili mixed into it and slathered on the top. Lynne's was just a normal burger. We had sweet potato fries and we served the burgers on homemade cemita buns--recipe available on request.

Sweet potato fries

My burger

After eating, we took the dogs for a walk. It is a beautiful evening and we saw a lot of people out walking dogs and kids.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Thoughts on COVID-19

Posted by: Rick

This blog has been silent for several years. Since we decided to move from off-the-grid life to life among other people in Windsor, Colorado. And, it has been a great couple of years. We have enjoyed a more active social life, the ability to shop for anything we might need in a matter of minutes, our trash and recycle being picked up each week! We miss the cabin, but not so much in winter. We've spend the past couple of summers at the cabin, only coming down to bring trash, shop and take care of the lawn.

Now that we are practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, it feels very much like being at the cabin and off-the-grid again. All the activities we most enjoy living in Windsor are now restricted or just downright difficult. We look forward to being able to get back up to the cabin for a while. But, there is too much snow right now. Maybe in a week or so.

Meantime, life is kind of crazy. Sometimes I feel like we are actors in an apocalyptic movie. We have definitely cut back our exposure to people. We try to do our shopping once, or at most twice a week. But, that does not mean visiting only one store. Getting basic necessities has required a foraging practice among various stores. We get a few of the thing we need at one store, and then go to another to try to complete the list. We are okay on toilet paper! With what we have on hand along with a box I ordered from Amazon, we should be okay for a while. What we are struggling with are the basic staples. Things like: eggs, milk and flour.

We recently decided to stop shopping for ingredients and cook from our pantry and freezer. So, we've inventoried both and found that we can eat pretty well (minus fresh vegetables and fruits) for quite a while.

Last night we cooked a pork schnitzel from some thin-cut, center-cut, boneless pork chops we found in the freezer. We simply pounded them out to be about 1/8-inch thick and dredged them in whole wheat flour, a beaten egg and some fresh bread crumbs made from a slice of whole grain bread. We fried them in a little avocado oil. We served them with eggplant slices from 1/2 an eggplant leftover from a meal several days ago. We mix equal amounts of room temperature butter with finely grated Parmesan cheese and spread it on both sides of 1/2-inch thick eggplant slices. Sprinkled those with a little salt and pepper and baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Yum.

I'll update this site once-in-a-while. Not sure anyone is reading it, but it will be a record of our activities and thoughts during this pandemic.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Off-the-Grid is Now Off-the-Air

Posted by: Rick

“I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one.” 

― Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Timberrrrrrrr!

Posted by: Rick

We had a couple of 100+ year-old beetle-killed pine trees close to the cabin that we cut down recently. I guess the correct term is "felled". I don't think they'd have damaged the cabin or fence when the fell naturally, but they could easily have taken out dozens of still living trees and caused a lot of damage.

The trees are just to the left and right of the center of this photo, taken from our front porch.

Here is an "after" photo for comparison.

We hired a lumber jack (of all trades) to cut the trees. My saw looked like a toy next to the saw required to bring these trees down. One now lays pointing north along the side of the ridge, the other pointing south. He felled them in exactly the positions we wanted to allow for game to still come up from the valley and to minimize collateral damage. You can see videos of both trees below.

Jay (the lumberjack) would cut a notch at the bottom of the tree to direct the tree to fall in a certain direction (although with old dead trees with some rotting, this can be a challenge), then a cut from the opposite side to create a hinge arond which the tree falls. It took a lot of skill to be as precise and he was. His son, James, would also push on the tree with a long pole to direct it. All this was done in pretty high winds that were not blowing in a helpful direction.

While here, we also had Jay cut up the large tree that had fallen across our hiking trail last year. Here are before and after shots of that:

We'll get some great firewood out of that tree! And, we may use some of it to create an entry sign at the driveway. Maybe. Someday.

This first video is of the tree that was felled to the south. The video is a bit long because there were some problems getting the tree cut. Despite the use of a huge saw and wedges, the saw blade got bound in the tree and a second saw was called into action;

 

The next video is of the tree that was felled to the north. It went a bit smoother:

It is nice to have these trees down. The view from the porch is a bit nicer. And, we also now have a better view of the bottom of the valley where moose and elk often hang out. The beetle-kill epidemic from several years ago has certain changed the whole ecosystem around the cabin.

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  • Tom, no it is not a pac krat/wood rat. We are very familiar with those,…

    Posted to: ‘Just Another Pandemic Monday’ by Rick on 05/22/2020

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