We still had a few crops out in the gardens β€” some late beets, turnips, and some dry corn. We also had to put away some tools, equipment, etc. We know if these things get buried by snow we won’t see them until next spring. That done, our friends, Mike and Dara, came over and helped us out, stamping seed envelopes and filling them with seeds. Boy. the floor in the living room is covered with seeds! They fly away when we shell beans or corn. most get into the container, but our kitten, Buffy, is thrilled that many do not. Who needs cat toys anyway? We also harvested the largest turnip I’ve ever seen; it weighed 14 pounds!

Check out our biggest Purple Top White Globe turnip this year! It’s a record for us.

Well, the forecast snow did come. To the tune of six inches of sloppy, wet, very heavy snow overnight. In the morning, the trees were bent over, weighted down by snow.

We were really slammed with our first accumulating winter snow last week!

All across the area, power lines and trees were down, not that we noticed, being off grid, but our driveway was hard-hit. There were dozens and dozens of trees bent low, some making beautiful tunnels to drive through, others causing trees to block the driveway entirely, requiring chainsawing to free up the drive. One friend, Dirk, lives even further from a plowed road and his drive out was worse than ours and he couldn’t get his plow truck started. Been there; done that. Luckily, our plow truck did start and Will with his pal, Hondo, plowed and cleared our driveway so the car could get out. You still have to weave in and out of bent trees somewhat, but we think if it warms up or the wind blows, the snow will dump off of them and they’ll gradually stand up straight again. Something like this usually happens in April with one of our last, wet, spring snowstorms. This year, we got it as our first accumulating snowfall. Yep, winter is here!

There were lots of trees, bending down with snow, many blocking our driveway.

Just an update; our rescue kitten, Buffy, is doing great, gaining weight and is very much at home.

Buffy is settling right in. Here she is in her favorite spot.

I had two pails of peppers we’d picked in the North garden so while kind of “snowed in,” I canned them as Vaquero Relish. I had saved about half a gallon of thick syrup left over from making Cowboy Candy, on purpose, so I ground the seeded sweet peppers, along with a few seeded Sugar Rush Peach hot peppers for flavoring, heated the syrup to boiling and canned the relish up in my trusty, much-used water bath canner. Yum! Now I’ve got another two dozen half pints of this yummy relish I use for everything, from cheesecake topping to stir-fries. — Jackie


  1. I just laughed out loud when I saw your turnip! And I always loves pics of your pets!
    Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated.

  2. WOW! That’s the biggest turnip I’ve ever seen! You have magic soil. :)

    Such beautiful snow. We rarely get anything like your pics but if we do it’s most likely gone by afternoon. We finally got our first hard frost two days ago.

    Stay warm!

    • Me too! And it was in the Wolf garden, which is only a second-year garden. Our snow is beautiful but it sure caused problems. Our blocked driveway was not so bad but some folks had trees down and power outages too. That’s one bonus to off-grid living; we didn’t even know there was a power outage!

  3. Looks like Buffy has darn near doubled her size. I thought my rescue would have *no* desire to go outside but I was wrong – like having a wild teenager for a while (aka stay out all night). While 10+ years has passed, I still don’t trust her so after a certain hour of the day, in she stays. We’re in the “hey, it is sunny but NOT warm – fix it” time of the year lol.
    We’ve has some snow but not much and didn’t stick to the ground very long. But accumulation will happen here soon. Glad the kids now have good snow vehicles – even after they move out, you still worry about them.
    Once you’re done shelling, wood bark/pieces will become Buffy’s new toy. And best post a pix of Mittens!

    • Will do; probably glaring at Buffy. We only let Mittens out until just before dark as we have lots of predators who roam around at night and would scoop up a cat in a heartbeat.

  4. Oh My Gosh, its beautiful to look at. But not to drive through. I sure hope this isn’t a forecast of the kind of winter we will have. I have a rescue kitty also and we are both learning how to get along with each other.

    • David has been deer hunting when not at work. No deer yet. But that’s kept him from working on the house these past two weekends. Before that, he’s continued finishing up wiring and is working on insulating the downstairs as the upstairs is about done. He’s about ready to start sheet rocking the bedroom walls.

  5. Your driveway looks beautiful with the snow on the trees and the trees bending. Your kitten Buffy looks happy on your lap. It’s a joy to read about your life in the far northern wilderness.

    • We thought so too and still do. We’re amazed that the snow is hanging on so long. Yep, Buffy has made herself right to home and the minute I sit in my chair, she’s right there, cuddling down to relax.

  6. That is the biggest turnip I’ve ever seen πŸ˜‚ We got a nice snowfall s outh of Superior. I have to admit it’s sure pretty, even though it causes problems getting out! Stay warm, love your new kitty. We just got a Beagle puppy. So much fun!!!
    Pam Smith

    • We were amazed at that turnip, especially considering our drought and that it was planted on July 27th. Aww a puppy! So much fun, who needs a TV???

  7. I love your snow pictures . That is the largest I have ever seen . I am not surprised though , I think you guys can grow just about anything .

  8. It certainly was good seeing you. It sounds as if you are working hard. Remember to take time out for rest. Happy Holidays. Bette

  9. Beautiful snow pictures! Makes getting ready for Christmas so easy. Love the kitty. My Daddy’s cat would let you hold him like a baby. Looks like yours is spoiled rotten too.

    • Buffy is sure glad she doesn’t live in the wet ditch and dodge predators anymore! She likes to cuddle every time I sit down.

  10. What beautiful winter pictures! I enjoy reading and looking at the pictures and all the updates on the dogs and cats! I am always looking for updates on the new kitten and pictures and boy was it nice today! She has really grown!

  11. I just love your blog and your pictures! They make me feel like I’m at home. And Buffy is just the cutest!

  12. What a lucky cat-how does she like her doggie sibling?This time last year there was already about 12 inches on the ground by Finland-so is on schedule- tis pretty, but I am never fully prepared. There is always one or two or more things to be done. Wow what a huge turnip-I have never seen one that size. Things look good- Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • She loves her doggie brother, Spencer and plays with him a lot. He loves anything “baby” and puts up with being jumped on and having his tail pounced upon. Hondo puts up with her and when she tries to play with his tail, he sighs and gets up to go out of reach. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!

  13. That snow sure looks pretty to this Texas gal, however I am sure the beauty would diminish if I had to see it everyday for as long as you do. The rescue kitten is looking great, I sure am glad she has a good home. I sure do enjoy reading your blog, articles and books (I have several).

    • I’m glad you enjoy what I do. It feels to me I’m visiting with extended family! We love looking at that beautiful snowfall but you’re right; by about March, we sure wish it would go away.

    • I always make double or even triple the syrup called for in the recipe. Then I use the extra, with the seeds strained out, to make Cowgirl candy (with sweet pepper pieces) and Vaquero relish, with ground sweet peppers of all colors. It gives them a little jalapeno flavor and just a little spice but they’re not hot.

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