Friday, January 12, 2018

4 Different Winters

This is the 4th January I've lived here in my tiny house. And all of them have been different. I thought you all might enjoy some comparison photos. The first year, and now this year have been less snowy than average. In between, one year was pretty average, and last year was way above average. 

My first January is above. When I was still parked just downhill from my current location and before I stained Fy Nyth grey to better blend into the woods where I live. 

My second January when the winter was pretty average for here. 

Then there was last January. The year when Wyoming received more snow than any winter since recording started! 

And then we have this January. With it's way below average snowfall. I guess that's how you get averages! How average is your winter so far?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Fridge Review & A Visiting Fox

When it's not pouring rain in the middle of winter like the weather has gone insane, Grizzly and I have been able to go for some walks in the woods. :)

And do some inside projects, like continue to review the appliances I'm really happy with. 

And we had a cute little visitor come by. 

We've been snowshoeing and Grizzly seems to very much enjoy being outside and getting to move around which I don't think she was able to do much for all her many months in the shelter. 

We crossed some pretty big moose tracks several times, and it would be amazing if we could find his antlers when he sheds them soon!

And then there was this amazing full moon rise a few nights ago!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Warm Winter, Generator Stuff, & A Skunk

Well this winter continues to be odd, weather wise. While much of the country has been under a much colder than normal spell, it's been the opposite here. Several sunny and somewhat cold days, and then back to warm and grey.

 Like it was 38 F. last night and rained all night long. Poured. This is the middle of January. Normally at this time of year, it's more like -30 to -40 F. So it's almost 80 degrees warmer than normal. That's pretty crazy. Now today it's snowing some, but still unusually warm. 

Despite the relative warmth, with all the grey days and the short daylight hours, this is the time of year my generator gets used. So here's a look at the how I maintain and care for this little workhorse. And a comparison between the Champion generator I use, and the similar sized Honda that I do not own, but have used on occasion. 

And then some of the downsides of life here. Just to clarify, this may not be a video for everyone to watch. Yes my goal here is to show real life off grid with all it's ups and downs, not provide a "reality tv" fantasy world. 

Like all animals, I do think skunks are beautiful and amazing to watch! When I first posted this, some people were very horrified. I didn't realize how many people were not familiar with wild skunks as skunks have lived everywhere I have ever lived. I wrongly assumed most people knew things that were basic knowledge to even a young child when I was growing up, but I do understand that many people have different background and experiences and should probably not assume anything is known unless I thoroughly explain it.

 The main issue is not that it got in the dog house, or under the house, in particular, but that it was here at all. A wild skunk that is approaching people and houses in the daylight has a high chance of being sick with rabies which is fatal and for which there is no cure one contracted for either humans or animals. Totally aside from the nauseous and eye burning smell they bring with them. And I should have clarified that.

 And as much as I love wildlife and observing nature, the sad thing that most people don't realize is that most relocated animal die anyway, usually a longer and more painful way. I see this a lot around here sadly with bears and many smaller things being relocated. They put the animal down in some other animals territory and it's usually killed by the previous resident. But the people it was originally having a conflict with don't have to look at it happening, so the general public feels better about it. :( As someone who loves wildlife and spends thousands of days in the wilderness observing and photographing, it's pretty sad to watch.

But with that all resolved, Grizzly and I are back outside enjoying the snow. Though it still really stinks outside! Hopefully in a week or so, that will finally dissipate. 

And taking drives to photograph the mountains and wildlife. Like bighorn sheep. 

Of course, none of the big rams would turn around and look at the camera, but this little girl halfway did. Grizzly handles wildlife drives very well. She enjoys looking out the window, and is very alert when we find wild things, but sits quietly and watches. 

I hope all of you who are getting really cold weather are staying safe, and I wish you could send it this way!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Popcorn on the Wood Stove & some Chores

Everything is good a white around here now, but the snowfall amounts are below average here at my place compared to last winter which was the most snowfall ever recorded in the state of WY!

I'm still doing some cooking on the wood stove thanks to still not having my replacement range. The first one sent out arrived badly smashed by the freight company so I refused shipment. The company I purchased it from, AJ Madison, I really really wanted to be able to recommend to you all as they do have a great selection of tiny house sized appliances along with all their full sized stuff. 

But after being shuffled around for nearly three weeks after the smashed stove arrived, not answering their phones, not replying to emails, saying it was taken care of, finding out later nothing had happened, etc. I can't recommend dealing with them. As of yesterday and yet another long phone call which resulted in finding out they had still not shipped a new stove, I asked them to cancel the order and they said they will refund my money. If not that does not happen, I will dispute the charge with the credit card company. I now have a new stove, same model but costing a few dollars more, shipping though an Amazon seller. It was shipped this morning, and I am hoping I will soon have a range back in that hole in my kitchen.

In the mean time, I am cooking simple things on the wood stove.

And doing other chores around the house. 

And finally, I know it's not a good photo, but this little critter startled me in a tree right beside my house one night well after dark. I'm pretty sure it's a flying squirrel, but I've never seen one before. The cute little guy scrambled up and down the tree peaking out at me for a bit before I was cold enough to want to go back inside. But it was a pretty cool experience!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Merry Christmas, Thank You's, and Eating Snowballs

An attempt at a self timered shot of Grizzly and I. Hitting a camera shutter, getting in place, and trying to show her how to pose all at once it a bit challenging! But we did get one shot of us and the house together. 

A bit late, but Merry Christmas and some big thank you's to all of you amazing folks following the journey here!

And Grizzly is starting to get pretty comfortable here. She's even feeling relaxed enough to play some. I learned that while she doesn't seem to have any interest in chasing a ball, she does like to catch and eat snowballs. :) 

The snow is still not very deep, but at least it's white and clean looking out there now!

Isn't Grizzly just a really beautiful dog? :)

And one shot of one of the many little cheerful birdies that flit and chirp around here in the winter. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Grizzly in the House!

I know, I know, it was just too great of a title to resist! Announcing the addition of Grizzly the dog to my household here at Fy Nyth. Check out this quick video for an introduction to my new girl!

She seems to enjoy the couch quite a bit already and be comfortable in the house. I expected warming up to and trusting a new person to take some time given her past. But I think we will be a good fit for each other as from my own experience I can relate to giving your life to someone and then being dumped out of the blue for someone new. 

Since I finished the above video, she's already become a lot more comfortable with me. Actually approaching me instead of shying away, and by this evening, even coming over and resting her head on my knee a few times while wagging her tail. That melted my heart! 

Look at those eyes! Isn't she beautiful? So far anyway, she's been very well behaved. Good leash manners, travels well in the van, is very gentle with everything around her, and does not seem to have any desire to run away. 

She's been exploring my little clearing and just seems curious about everything. Including the newly falling snow which we are finally getting a little more of! 

She's even starting to show a little bit of a playful side though long naps seem to be something she enjoys quite a lot. 

We even encountered this huge herd of elk while driving near my house and while she was very interested and alert, she stayed seated quietly and didn't bark at them. I think she may be a good companion on wildlife photography drives which is exciting.

I hope you all enjoyed the shortest day of the year, and I look forward to a little more daylight as we go forward from here!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Crisp and Cold

The sun makes it look warm, but it's been several days now since the temps climbed above freezing. 

So I thought I'd take you all along on a walk around my place looking at all the frost and ice since the snow seems to be lacking so far this winter. 

And another good hearty winter soup to keep warm with.

Horefrost on the deal leaves in the yard.

And a few impressive bull moose I've seen recently. 

With this really old king following.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Chimney Cleaning and a Hole in my Kitchen!

A beautiful scene under the full moon a couple nights ago. I love that I live somewhere you can still see stars even with a moon bright enough to be able to read by outside. 

But with the cold, comes some winter chores. Like maintaining a clean and safe chimney on my little wood stove.

And another review, this time of my oven/range. Which I love, with one big caveat, the electrical power use of an appliance that is supposed to be propane powered.

After posting that video, one of my amazing followers offered to buy my current stove. And being semi local, he drove over and picked it up, giving me the cash to purchase basically the same stove, but with a different oven ignition. 

It's in the mail, but for a few days, I have a hole in my kitchen and am cooking on the wood stove. I'm excited to get the new one installed and I've been wanting to switch out my first one since about the first week after moving in here!

Enjoy your winter evenings whatever the weather in your area!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Cures for Winter Blues and Chills

Finally a little of that white stuff showed back up. But it didn't last long. Still it's wintery enough temps to make it time for some indoor projects.

Like growing some fresh greens!

I love sprouts, but don't grow them in the summer just because I have so many other greens coming out of the garden. All winter though, I keep these guys going.

And the time of year when I keep this mix handy.

In one of the few remaining open water spots, quite a few of these beautiful birds gathered. I love watching Trumpeter Swans.

And one morning, getting up early yielded a few minutes of stunning light over the mountains just before the sun rose. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Post Thanksgiving

After Thanksgiving the weather remained unseasonably warm for a while. So I split a bunch more firewood. 

And discussed some of my thoughts on Black Friday...

And added a new cooking video on my favorite meatloaf recipe. 

All the warm weather melted most of the snow we did have, and then added a bunch of rain. The creek below my house ended up just about as high and muddy as it normally is during spring run off. 

And then the temps plummeted, and coated everything with a glittery layer of hoarfrost. I love when the air just sparkles!