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Homesteading in Paradise February 2019 Highlights Homesteading in Paradise February 2019 - YouTube




Here is our monthly "Homesteading in Paradise" video series. This one is about February, where snowzilla hit, with storms and snow and absolute winter wonderland beauty. Watch this one and stick to the end, because one of my sons might have you in stitches.

If you would like more content and learn homesteading skills, go here: https://www.marblemounthomestead.com

Here at Marblemount Homestead, we teach and inspire people who see things differently.

You're fed up with the status quo consumerism pop culture. You want to live a more wholesome, sustainable, healthier, happier life and be more connected to nature.

We're here to help with teaching skills, inspiration, community and holding your hand. You're not alone.

Come on over to our side of the fence, where the grass is greener!

We offer tons of free content and tutorials on our blog and youtube channel, and also teach several online courses. And of course, you can come participate in one of our retreats here on the homestead!

And now, there's a way to get access to even more inspiring, educational, fun content from us and help support us by joining our exclusive community! Help us build this movement to teach and model sustainability!

For over 5 years, I've offered you absolutely free content on my blog and my youtube channel: free tutorials teaching anything you can imagine that's related to homesteading, wholesome living, sustainability, homeschooling and health.

Many mornings, I get up at 5 am, before milking the goats and feeding the pigs, ducks, chickens and (human) kids, so I can write a blog post or edit movie footage we filmed.
Many evenings, I research about a topic my readers want to learn about and then write a tutorial for them.

In other words, plenty of blood, sweat and tears have gone into providing the stuff you all find so inspiring and helpful. And I love doing that for you!

But gosh darn it, wouldn't it be nice to get paid for some of that work so I can do more of it and serve you better!

That's where Patreon comes in, and you, obviously. Because I get lots of emails from many people thanking me for inspiring, teaching and leading them, I know I offer a huge service to many.

And now, you can actually support me with as much or as little money as you want. It's kind of like pledging for National Public Radio, except you can give us little as $1 month!

https://www.patreon.com/Marblemounthomestead
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First things first. The snow: the reason our state's governor declared a state of emergency.  Parts of Washington got three feet in the span of 48 hours, and although our neck of the woods didn't get that much, it was plenty for cross-country skiing.

We also got several power outages, one right after the other, lasting multiple days at a time...





I thought I'd take you along with me on various skiing excursions or walks in the neighborhood, since it's so darn pretty with all the snow.

We live a mile up an unmaintained forest service road, so when the snow dumps, we're on our own.  Good thing we have a great community, where we all pitch in clearing snow (hurray for neighbors with a tractor!), or cutting up fallen trees with chainsaws.  It takes a village, especially in such crazy weather conditions.






School started late or was cancelled for almost a week, so our kids took full advantage of our backyard, building snow forts and bombarding each other with snow balls.

My poor potted herbs, hidden under a blanket of snow...

And the goat barn and greenhouse are wearing snowy hats as well...









Despite the weather and treacherous road conditions, plenty of people showed up at a workshop my man Steve taught at the Rockport State Park.  

He taught and demonstrated wilderness skills for a day, and our son Luke helped by giving a flint knapping demonstration.  Luke was taught by a flint knapping master, and he's quite good himself.





Lastly, I want to remind you that it's time to start your onion seeds if you want them to be big enough to be transplanted by the time spring actually shows up, because it will, I promise.

I have a free tutorial series on how to start onions by seed on my youtube channel, and you are welcome to follow along and do it yourself!

---> Click here to watch the first tutorial (and while you're on my channel, make sure to subscribe, of course!) <---

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I'm writing this just as a big snow storm hits the Pacific Northwest. So far, we've been spared, but the white stuff is going to pile on big time, if we are to believe the godzilla-like weather forecast.

They are predicting high winds as well, so we are bracing for yet another power outage.  Another storm knocked our power out for two days last week, and in its aftermath Steve and our neighbor had to clean up our road with chainsaws.  There's a downside to living one mile up an unmaintained forest service road...

Considering we live surrounded by a variety of huge trees, we're lucky nothing fell on any of our buildings!

Yesterday I walked up the mountain behind our house, and I encountered creeks with frozen sculptures in them.  I was so enchanted I had to stop for a while, and upon returning home, I grabbed my son and his bike and drove up to the spot to take pictures.  Luke was impressed by the ice, too, but couldn't wait to book it down the mountain on his bike after taking a picture of me.































There ya go.  That's about all the ice and creek pictures you can take, huh?  

The first part of February has been full.

Luke's homeschooling is going great.  My readers have asked me lots of questions about the program we're using, so I'm going to tell you here: It's called Washington Virtual Academy (Wava).  We're happy with it so far.  

There's no goofing off, it's definitely like school, and something happens online every day.  Luke has been spending between two and four hours on the course work a day.  But there's also some flexibility.  Today, he went to work with Steve and will try to connect to the online classroom at noon for half an hour.  

Most days, he's done after lunch and spends hours afterwards building mountain bike trails.  That takes care of PE and then some.  I can tell you, the fresh air and exercise makes for a happy boy.



I know Luke has been in the spotlight on the blog a lot, and his older brother is not getting much attention here, so let me shine a light on Kai, who is flourishing as well.

He still goes to public school, but next year will participate in Skagit Valley College's Running Start program.  That means he will take classes at the college, which is one hour and 15 minutes away from us.  I feel pretty anxious about the whole driving thing, but one step at a time...

Here's Kai helping us bottle all the hard apple cider we made.  He looks super happy there, but I assure you we didn't let him sample the alcoholic cider.



Eva, the littlest, is also excelling at public school.  She has a great teacher and a good group of kids.  A few days ago, Eva and I gave a presentation about Germany in her class, and it was so fun to teach the kids some German words that I will come back and help out in the class every week.







That's all for now.  Let me go stoke the wood stove.  I want to bake muffins before the power goes out, and also fill up the bathtub with water, so we have extra for flushing toilets or doing dishes.

How is winter treating you?  Leave me a comment below and let's share experiences of our godzilla winter!


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Homesteading in Paradise January 2019 - YouTube



Here is our monthly "Homesteading in Paradise" video series. (If it doesn't show up above, click here to watch <---)This one is about January. It includes fun scenes at or near our homestead, and as always, gorgeous Pacific Northwest nature.
If you would like more content and learn homesteading skills, go here: https://www.marblemounthomestead.com

Here at Marblemount Homestead, we teach and inspire people who see things differently.
You're fed up with the status quo consumerism pop culture. You want to live a more wholesome, sustainable, healthier, happier life and be more connected to nature.
We're here to help with teaching skills, inspiration, community and holding your hand. You're not alone.
We offer tons of free content and tutorials on our blog and youtube channel, and also teach several online courses. And of course, you can come participate in one of our retreats here on the homestead!
Come on over to our side of the fence, where the grass is greener!
And now, there's a way to get access to even more inspiring, educational, fun content from us and help support us by joining our exclusive community! Help us build this movement to teach and model sustainability!

For over 5 years, I've offered you absolutely free content on my blog and my youtube channel: free tutorials teaching anything you can imagine that's related to homesteading, wholesome living, sustainability, homeschooling and health.
In other words, plenty of blood, sweat and tears have gone into providing the stuff you all find so inspiring and helpful. And I love doing that for you!
Many mornings, I get up at 5 am, before milking the goats and feeding the pigs, ducks, chickens and (human) kids, so I can write a blog post or edit movie footage we filmed.
Many evenings, I research about a topic my readers want to learn about and then write a tutorial for them.
But gosh darn it, wouldn't it be nice to get paid for some of that work so I can do more of it and serve you better!
And now, you can actually support me with as much or as little money as you want. It's kind of like pledging for National Public Radio, except you can give us little as $1 month!
That's where Patreon comes in, and you, obviously. Because I get lots of emails from many people thanking me for inspiring, teaching and leading them, I know I offer a huge service to many.

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Is it just me or has the energy in the universe been whacky lately? Anxiety is running high in everyone I know, including myself.  As a life coach for women, I hear daily stories of overwhelm, burn-out and lots of fear.  A lot of you feel like you're drowning.

It's okay, y'all.  This will pass.  I think.  I hope.

You would like to fix these yucky feelings, make them go away, distract yourself from them (with work or food or alcohol or drama or Netflix or whatever).  Right?

You know what I do?  I go out into the woods.  I breathe, like really breathe, smell the fresh air, get me some heart-pumping exercise, and then stuff's bearable again.  (For an hour or two at least. If I'm lucky, the everything-is-gonna-be-okay feeling actually lasts til the end of the day).

So, my darling, if you are having a hard time and if you're not lucky like I am to live in the wilderness, let me take you by the hand and walk into the forest with you.  These are pictures from the other day, when I walked straight out into my backyard and up the hill.  This is what I found:









Can you smell the trees and hear the eagles and feel the sun on your face?

Another way to deal with the funk is to take a bunch of kids out mountain biking.  Our middle kid Luke is obsessed with this adrenaline-inducing sport, and as a former motorcycle-riding and hang gliding adrenaline freak, I know who passed the genes down to him. 

You can follow him on Instagram and see some awesome footage of his sick sending of trails, bro. (I'm learning mountain-bike speak, can you tell?)

The other day, we went to Darrington, a timber town 40 minutes from us, where a place called "North Mountain" is developing into a decent mountain bike paradise.  Luke's best friend Owen is equally obsessed with building and riding trails, so they're peas in a pod, winning over other friends as well.




Do you have any idea how my heart swells when I ride with these young people?  And I don't mean heart swelling with the pumping of adrenaline (although that IS a factor, let me tell you), but heart swelling with emotions to witness young people out in my beloved wilderness, enjoying themselves, bonding with each other, and practicing their independence.

They are stellar young men, is what they are.

I also took our little Eva this time around, and she and her friend (who is Owen's sister) rode a pretty challenging trail.  Following their brothers down the trail, with me in the back to cheer them on or peel them off the dirt in case of a crash ... another heart swelling moment.





Now that Luke is homeschooled again, he spends lots of time building trails on our property.  He is building so much, in fact, that his skills are getting recognized.  

Yesterday, he and Owen went to Little Mountain Park in Mount Vernon to a volunteer trail building day, where they were the youngest participants and were invited by the pros to come back next month and be the trail foremen leaders. I'm proud of them!

We also try to find time to go to Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, the ultimate mountain biking paradise 90 minutes from us.  Last weekend, my husband Steve rode with Luke and Owen, while Eva and the dogs and I walked by the salt water.

The good thing about all the riding and fresh air is the amount of food you get to eat afterwards.






Sending much love to everyone!  Hang in there people!  Go out and get some fresh air and exercise!


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I'm really, really bad at planning meals. Yes, I love cooking (most of the time), and yes, I adore eating (all of the time), but cranking out a home-cooked, healthy meal every day can feel like a real drag.

You know what I mean?

I've always admired and been a little jealous of the moms that make shopping lists and plan and pre-cook meals, but I'm just not wired that way.

Me? I'm busy all day, and then come 4 or 5 pm, I freak out about having to procure a nourishing meal for my family.

Sure, we have lots of home-raised meat in the freezer, but did I remember to defrost it? (The answer is: Nope.)

Enter the Instant Pot, my new absolutely favorite thing in the kitchen. I'm completely and utterly in love with it.

Here are some of the reasons:

~ You get butter-knife tender roasts in minutes. MINUTES!!!!

~ Hearty bean soups and chilli with no overnight soaking and a fraction of the traditional cooking time.

~ Creamy risottos without stirring.

~ Nourishing bone broth in 2 hours instead of 48 hours.

~ Dinner is done so much faster than usual (two to six times faster). 

~ It makes inexpensive cuts of meat tender and melt-in-your-mouth (and it cooks much faster!)

~ Food tastes amazing and is more nutritious, because the Instant Pot traps the flavors and nutrients inside the pot.

~ You put stuff in the pot and forget about it. No watching over or stirring at all!

Get your own:






Let me know if you have an Instant Pot already, or once you get one, what your favorite dish is!!!

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Homesteading in Paradise December 2018 Highlights - YouTube




Here is our monthly "Homesteading in Paradise" video series. This one is about December, and it includes Christmas and winter scenes at our homestead, making bone broth, and as always, gorgeous Pacific Northwest nature.
If you would like more content and learn homesteading skills, go here: https://www.marblemounthomestead.com
Here at Marblemount Homestead, we teach and inspire people who see things differently.
You're fed up with the status quo consumerism pop culture. You want to live a more wholesome, sustainable, healthier, happier life and be more connected to nature.
We're here to help with teaching skills, inspiration, community and holding your hand. You're not alone.
Come on over to our side of the fence, where the grass is greener!
We offer tons of free content and tutorials on our blog and youtube channel, and also teach several online courses. And of course, you can come participate in one of our retreats here on the homestead!
And now, there's a way to get access to even more inspiring, educational, fun content from us and help support us by joining our exclusive community! Help us build this movement to teach and model sustainability!
For over 5 years, I've offered you absolutely free content on my blog and my youtube channel: free tutorials teaching anything you can imagine that's related to homesteading, wholesome living, sustainability, homeschooling and health.
Many mornings, I get up at 5 am, before milking the goats and feeding the pigs, ducks, chickens and (human) kids, so I can write a blog post or edit movie footage we filmed.
Many evenings, I research about a topic my readers want to learn about and then write a tutorial for them.
In other words, plenty of blood, sweat and tears have gone into providing the stuff you all find so inspiring and helpful. And I love doing that for you!
But gosh darn it, wouldn't it be nice to get paid for some of that work so I can do more of it and serve you better!
That's where Patreon comes in, and you, obviously. Because I get lots of emails from many people thanking me for inspiring, teaching and leading them, I know I offer a huge service to many.
And now, you can actually support me with as much or as little money as you want. It's kind of like pledging for National Public Radio, except you can give us little as $1 month!


----> Support us on Patreon <----

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I have completely abandoned you, and I'm sorry. I have never let one entire month pass before publishing a new blog post. But I have a great excuse!  

I had planned on wishing you a merry Christmas and happy new year, but then the power went out for four days. FOUR DAYS without power, running water or internet...

It came on again December 24th, and the whole Upper Skagit breathed a sigh of relief to have lit-up Christmas trees just in time for the big event.

I'm glad our family got our cookie baking done before the power went out. I invited my daughter's best friend to bake and decorate, and Kai invited his girlfriend to cut and dress the tree. And to eat the cookies, naturally.











As much as we're hard core homesteaders, I am a total wimp when it comes to power outages. I love electricity.

Yes, our pantry is stocked with canned food, and we can fetch water at the river. Yes, we have a wood stove for heat and lots of homemade candles. Yes, we have a generator to power the freezers with all our home raised meat. Our propane tank for the cook stove is full and the chickens give us eggs without electricity. There's lots of cheese in the cave underneath the house.

But... but... but... I like hot showers. I like flipping on the light switch and being able to read when it is pitch black dark at 4pm. I rely on my computer for work and pleasure.

So yes, I get whiny when the power goes out for days at a time. Sorry.

The other big thing that happened was our oldest kid turning 16 and getting his driver's licence. 

Do you know what that means? I am letting go when he gets in the car to drive down valley for a 3 hour roundtrip to visit his girlfriend. I am practicing trust and faith that no elk/drunk drivers/other inexperienced teenagers hit him. 

I have more freedom because I don't need to shuttle him around to basketball practice, and that's nice, but this letting go thing is harder than I thought.

On his birthday, we went to the driver's licence office, his favorite sushi place, and to a store where you can paint pottery and then have it fired.



In between raising my kids and working at my new job as Feminine Power Global Ambassador, there's no time for much else right now.

I go outside as much as I can, and it's a good thing we have gorgeous nature right outside our door.

Sunshine is rare right now, and whenever it makes an appearance, we drag the kids outside to get some vitamin D.  Here's a little excursion up the hill behind our house, where it was cold and we needed fire.

Don't ask me why it is necessary for my kids to wear shorts when it's freezing.











It has been very cold, but not much snow.

Just rain. Grayness. Clouds. Hibernation.







With our two teenage boys getting more and more independent, wanting to spend time with their friends instead of us, we try to get as much family time as we get.

One plus is that I get to spend more time with my girl.  It's pretty special to have that bonding time with my youngest - time I don't have to talk about basketball and mountain biking and the most popular rappers.

I'm becoming acutely aware of how time with my kids is going by so fast. When they are little and take so much of your energy, it's so easy to forget that they will be gone in a heartbeat.  I'm trying to cherish them as much as I can.












Tell me how you are doing. Have you missed me?

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Better late than never!

Here's our most recent Homesteading in Paradise movie, featuring highlights from November, including fall scenes on our homestead, and Steve and my getaway to Sedona.

Spoiler alert: gorgeous scenery ahead!



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When you have three children, like us, it might be easy to forget about the relationship with your spouse. You're so focused on raising these kids and keep them more or less alive that your offspring becomes the number one priority.  

Many couples forget about nurturing the bond with each other.

When our kids were really little, I often freaked out because it felt like Steve and I were only roommates, co-existing merely to organize playdates, figure out who will take the trash out, or who has to deal with the babies when they scream in the middle of the night.

During our 16 years of raising kids so far, we figured out that we better make our relationship a priority as well.  We are lucky to have Steve's parents: they LIVE for their grandkids and are eager to take care of them for a week while Steve and I go away. (Thank you, Donna and John!!!!!)

So last week, Steve and I went to Sedona, Arizona, where we biked, hiked, ate our hearts out, and re-connected as a couple.







Have you ever been to Sedona, the land of red rocks and energy vortexes?  We were here before twice when we took road trips as a family.  

I's a special place for outdoor enthusiasts, especially when you're used to lush Pacific Northwest landscapes.  In Arizona, there are desert plants and animals, different rocks and soil, and amazing sunshine.

Except as soon as Steve and I got there, a winter storm moved through.  We spent our first day hiking in the rain, which was incredibly awesome, because nobody was on the trail.

I'm still feeling pretty high from our trip.  

It's hard to describe the beauty with words, so I'm just going to let the pictures talk for themselves.
























Sigh... You know what I mean? Gorgeous, right?

We got to visit with our friends from Flagstaff as well, so that was an incredible treat.

And the great thing about travelling is coming home, realizing how much you miss your kids, and then getting re-absorbed into the whirlwind of family life again.

The kids had a wonderful time with their grandparents.  

Let me show you some pictures of the time before we left: Thanksgiving with Donna and John, knitting with Gramma, and our family dressed up for our friend's Sweet 16 party.







How was your Thanksgiving?

Also, I'd love to hear from you what you do to keep your relationship with your significant other alive and well.  Go ahead and share in the comments!

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