It’s definitely winter outside. Lows have been as low as -37 F and highs still below zero. With snow, too.

Yep, we’ve been having a week of below zero again for the highs. But we’ve got plenty to do inside after chores are done. (We’re terrifically thankful for our new well by the new barn that Will drove down two years back.) Although it still is cold while watering two enclosures of animals, the new pump pumps much faster than our old one did and we don’t have trouble with the waterline freezing up. So I do the smaller livestock (goats, chickens, and ducks), and feed the birds and a small bunch of deer while Will feeds and waters the big guys down by the barn. All in all, it’s quickly done.

Then it’s time for inside work. I’m still canning up boneless chicken breasts I got on sale at our local market. So far, there are 22 jars of wonderful, tender chicken waiting to go down in the pantry, following 11 which are already there. Yum! Now it’s time to add some ham. With David and Ashley home now, we do go through more food out of the pantry and I don’t want it to get too low.

Will’s busy packing seeds into packets, getting ready for the big rush which (we hope!) will come once our catalog is mailed. These are jobs which need doing and let us stay warm while still moving forward.

I’m already thinking spring and planning which crops will be planted where in order to keep pure seed. With so much to plant, it is sometimes quite a challenge. But it’s fun, too, seeing how creative I can be. — Jackie


  1. I’m canning chicken today too, that I got on a good sale.
    We are having a mild winter on the west coast of WA this year. some around me are planting cold weather things already! I got out my seeds, it is contageous. I figure it can’t hurt to try a few things. Learning experience!

    • Good for you, Nancy! We’re always trying something new. Sometimes it works, sometimes not but often you do get a good surprise! Experience is the best teacher (except for me). Lol Just kidding.

  2. Jackie, I’m glad to hear you are surviving the terrible cold weather. It’s finally warming up a bit here in Nebraska and will 50 degrees tomorrow. It’s been a terrible Winter every where. Those southern states are having a horrible time. They are not prepared for black ice weather or ice jams.

    I’ve never canned meat but you have inspired me to maybe try it.

    Have a great chicken canning day.

    Nebraska Dave

    • Fifty degrees, ABOVE???? Whew! I’d be running around buck a*** naked! But seriously, today it’s 35 above and it sure feels nice. Do can up some meat. It’s so easy and then so convenient to have it stored, pre-cooked, in the pantry.

  3. We got our seed order-Thanks so much. These cold days and nights are good to take the time to plot out this summers garden. I am tired of the cold and out water lines have been froze up for almost a month-been camping out. Today it is already 33 out, so hoping we get the lines thawed today.

    • Yuck, that frozen water lines sure isn’t fun! Been there; done that, way too much. I think we’ve got it figured out with extra insulation on top of the water lines, etc. I hope, I hope….. I’ve got nearly 3 acres of gardens to plot out and my eyeballs get tired just looking at the spaces on paper. But it’ll be worth it, come spring. I sure hope your water lines get thawed soon.

  4. Great to hear news of what’s happening on your homestead Jackie and Will! Our Michigan weather has been much like yours, although not quite as cold. Sent a seed order your way, but still looking forward to getting your new catalog!

    • I sent your order to you yesterday. The catalogs should be in the mail this week. We’re anxiously waiting for our copy of “the new baby”. We’ve got warmer weather now; 35 above! I think it’s headed your way.

  5. It’s good to hear that you are keeping busy and warm. Glad the new well is working. Spring will be here before you know it. I to am ready planning my garden. How do I get one of your seed catalogs?

    • Check out the information in my comment to All, above. Yes, all of our seeds work in Washington. We have many repeat customers from there.

  6. Love your blog. Question: How do I go about getting one of your catalogs??? Living in Alaska is always a challenge for gardening but being on the Kenai Peninsula – south of Anchorage- makes it better. Thank you in advance for answering my question.

    • Check out my reply to All, above. Yep, the Kenai is sure better than, say, Fairbanks. Or Northern Minnesota!!!

  7. The temps and wind chill has been brutal. It’s good to hear that watering the critters is much easier and faster than a couple of years ago. I remember the challenges at that time. At least the days are getting longer.

    • Yes, the days are getting longer and we thank God for that every single day, too! It means spring is coming….slowly but surely.

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