Hope everyone had a good winter, with not too many cold days. Our winter here in Saskatchewan had very cold days at times, with temperatures of minus 40 C and lower. But overall it was a mild winter compared to last winter. This week we had our (hopefully) last real cold spell (minus 41 C wind chill!) and from now on it seems Spring will be finally here, as temperatures during the afternoon will be above freezing.
Paul has found a great job, putting in security systems. He really enjoys it and he travels a lot through the province. He gets to see a lot! Many times they have to stay in a hotel when doing a job far away. But he loves it, and has lots of fun every day with his colleges. He made lots of new friends and is doing really well. I’m so happy for him that he found a job he absolutely loves and enjoys his free time with his friends.
During the winter I was busy with many things. I did a First Aid course which was a lot of fun to do and so good to have. When the weather was good, I would see my horses at Carol’s. Something amazing happened a few times. Carol would tell me that Flicka would wait at the gate for me a half hour BEFORE I got there. Like she knows when I’m coming over. My lovely psychic pony. Isn’t this something huh? Horses are the most amazing creatures. Flicka and Freya are doing very well. They have endured the cold with no problem, as their beautiful thick winter coat protects them so well. And of course with the wonderful loving care of Carol.
Now they are shedding like crazy, since the days become longer. Ah, have to love this time of the year, when the long dark days are over and you get up in the morning with sunshine! I can’t wait to hear the sound of geese, coming back from the south.
I also started a home baking business, called “ Saskia’s Tiny Homestead Bakery.” I really love baking and what I bake, people really seem to like. So I thought, why not selling it? Nothing beats home baked sweets that are made with mostly organic AND fresh ingredients. I have made lovely lemon cakes, mandarin cakes, Dutch filled Speculaas, Dutch apple pie, Brownie tart, Pineapple cheese cake bars and many other sweet goodies. I love working with fresh and organic ingredients. There is not much of organic cakes and pies in stores. Plus it is something I can do at the cabin too. What is nicer then the smell of home baked goodies?
Beside all the sweets, I am now trying to bake some sour dough bread. Right now I’m making the starter, that consist of organic flower, organic honey, potato water and some salt. This starter will ‘catch’ the natural yeast that is everywhere in the air and after a couple of days resting on top of my fridge, just covered with a tea towel, it should be ready for use. Once it starts to bubble, the natural yeast is working and I can save it in the fridge in a container with a loosely closed lid on it. This starter can be used the rest of my life, and probably the life of my children and grand children and beyond! I named my starter, the ‘mother’ of all the breads I will bake with it. Her name is Leyla. It popped up in my mind when I was thinking of a name so Leyla it is. When I want to make a bread, I take out 2 cups (or more, whatever I need) of the starter for the bread recipe. Then I fill up the starter with 2 cups of flour, stir it, and save it in the fridge, loosely covered with a lid.
I’ve seen a video of someone that made bread this way with a starter that was used by his grandmother and was in the family for over 70 years! The story goes that this starter was made during the Gold Rush. In those days many people would take a starter with them on the long journey to the north to find gold. That way they always had a way of making bread.
During the winter I also did a huge clean up in my house. Many garbage bags of stuff that was broken, old, and not usable anymore are thrown out. Now I’m waiting for all the snow to disappear, so I can slowly bring my things over to the acreage. I want to empty my house, give it a good clean afterwards, and then put it for sale. If it sells, great. If not, oh well, then maybe next year. But it would be nice to have just one place to take care of.
During the winter I had lots of time to look into solutions for my water ‘problem’ and heat back up. I hope to be able to fix that this summer, so next winter I will be comfortable for those two things. I am registered on a website for a while now, that is for people that are totally into off grid living. I put an add on that website for a land buddy, as they call it, to find people to join me in living on my land and share the chores like gardening, fencing, building animal shelters and work on the cabin and anything else that needs to be done. A lot of things are much easier with an extra pair of hands, right? I received lots of responds on my add. It’s amazing to see how many people are interested in the off grid and self sustainable living! I need people that bring or build their own little cabin and so far I have some real nice contacts. We email and Skype to get to know each other, and so far that goes really well. Very exciting!
Yesterday I started to cut the hair of Scruffy, our dog. She doesn’t like it so much, so it takes a long time. But in the evening Paul helped by holding her and petting her, and she stayed much calmer and I could trim out all the thick knots. It only took 20 minutes to get that done. It’s not all finished, still have to do some. But the worst is done. Now it will get warmer, I will slowly trim off all her winter coat so she can grow a new coat during the summer and fall.
All cats are doing great. Taz is quiet fat again, and Dizzy....well, she really needs to get out to the acreage. Hahaha. She is a ball of fur, full of energy. Hunter and Polly are doing great too. Each one is very affectionate. But they all need to have a job so as soon Spring is there and snow is gone, they will go to the acreage so they can hunt mice and moles again.
So far my little update. As soon I plant some seeds in pots, I will probably update again.