After a week of near normal temperatures (in the mid thirties and a bit lower) with no rain and just a touch of snow, Will’s been working like a dog cutting down and dragging the beaver-cut trees out of the woods down below the house. He is working next to the small beaver pond that the beavers are trying to make into a beaver lake. There were about a hundred trees laying like jack straws! Some had been cut down but had hung up in neighboring trees and the beavers simply moved on to the next one. Geez! But all that wood will make great firewood. According to the weather forecast for today and tonight, we have six to eight inches of wet snow coming. Will is barely able to get the tractor going on the trail, dragging the 50-foot logs out, and with snow, that isn’t going to be happening. It’s snowing heavily now and I’m still hearing the tractor pulling up to the pile where he is decking the logs up in a convenient spot to cut them up into firewood. He said he still has a few more to go so I’m crossing my fingers.

Beavers can cut down a six inch tree trunk in 15 minutes!

Yesterday I canned another big canner full of venison stew meat and this afternoon I’ll be putting another batch of jerky in the dehydrator. Last night Will and David tried some of the latest batch, a honey barbecue jerky, and both came back for more — pretty good! And I still have more to cut up. That was a big spike buck. Not much on antlers, but nice and heavy. That translates into plenty of good, tender meat. — Jackie


  1. We’ve learned to pretty much go with the flow and not get too worked up about those new jobs that need doing right now. If they don’t get done today, there’s tomorrow…. I dehydrate our jerky to a harder, drier consistency than store bought jerky. It’s more like the old, traditional jerky. I store it in airtight containers, one on the counter to eat and the other in the fridge for later. It isn’t a long-term storage food as we can’t resist it and it goes pretty darned fast. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

    • Nope. I’ve heard that too but I’m too chicken. Skinned out they look like little, fat old men. Can’t do it…..

    • The barbecue sauce is in my book, Growing and Canning Your Own Food. I add 1/4 cup to a basic jerky marinade. (1/4 c soy sauce, 1/4 c. cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 c brown sugar does about 1# sliced meat)

  2. We also got the snow but only about three inches. Our outdoor cats were not impressed when I let them out this morning. I’m also canning venison right now. Had five tags and filled them all! Will be busy for awhile, but very blessed. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Will and you are as busy as beavers yourselves. Looks like nice firewood they left you. Your always busy doing somethng and that what keeps you two young. Hope Will gets it all brought up and doesn’t get stuck. You have a wonderful Thanksgiving and keep on inspiring us all. The venison stew looks so yummy.

    • Yep, he did get it all out and are we thankful. Mom used to say there’s no loss without some gain. We lost those trees to the busy beavers but gained all that firewood. Yep. It’s true.

  4. This time of year does seem to find us all controlled by the weather. Every condition calls for it’s own “got to do it now”. scenario. You sure have been pulled pillar to post and it puts me to shame. Dehydrating the jerky sounds like a good idea, but how do you store it? The great thing about dehydrating is that can be happening while you do other canning. Your snow will become rain for us. Hope Will doesn’t get stuck. You sure do show us how to take advantage of every opportunity, good and bad, that comes our way. Thank you and have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

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