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Wow! Are we ever crazy busy trying to finish our home so we can sell it and we are also preparing to build a new tiny home all before winter! Yikes – what a rush and wild ride! We are attempting to do 6 months worth of work in 2!
I have been educating and sharing our journey on both Facebook Live and also on Patreon so if you have been missing out, please be sure to pop over to either to see what all we have going on… We are also posting on YouTube regularly too, but our behind the scenes things are being shared on Patreon.
I am SO thankful for the resource of the sun for both power for our home and cooking my meals outside (keeping my house cool) on these hot summer days!
Today, I have wild turkey cooking in the Solavore Sport. I always say that wild game is best when cooked on a low heat for a long time… What better way to cook it and it doesn’t cost me a penny for fuel of any kind.
Cooking in a sun oven for meals is like cooking in a slow cooker. Your baked goods such as bread, brownies, cakes, etc do need to be timed or watched more carefully, but a meal put out in the early morning is perfect by dinner time!
Game meats end up tasty, juicy and tender when cooked long and on a low heat.
I can’t remember the last time I used a recipe for a meal. I typically just throw things together as I did this morning.
In a 9” x 13” glass baking dish I added the turkey leg and thigh, half the breast and the gizzard to the dish. Seasoned it very heavily and then added 3 tsps of bacon grease and enough water to fill the pan 1/4 of the way full. Placed it in the sun oven and off to my work I went. I will take the time to move the Solavore sun oven with the sun throughout the day, but I will be leaving to run errands. When I leave I will move the sun oven a bit further ahead of the sun so it will continue cooking while I am gone.
It is that easy folks… And you will not find an easier resource. We live in northern Idaho which is part of the Pacific Northwest which is known for its hot dry summers which end up with a lot of forest fires each year. Even when fire bans are on we are able to cook outside with the sun ovens. Also, don’t rule out the winter months… Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean that the sun can’t create a warm enough heat in a sun oven to cook a meal.
I own both the Solavore Sport and the All American Sun Oven and honestly I LOVE them both equally. They both are utilized differently because of their different designs. I LOVE the Solavore Sport because is rectangular which enables me to cook in my mini roasters, in my 9” x 13” or put two 9” x 9” baking dishes or pie dishes side by side. The disadvantage to the Solavore Sport is that you cannot stack in it and that is where the All American Sun Oven comes in. I LOVE it because I can stack meals in it and still have room to put one or more quart jars which enable me to also cook my sides such as a vegetable or another side or dessert! Truly, I really love having them both on the homestead.
We are very frugal and make a lot of what we use and need, but I am also very honest and I feel that there are times where an investment is necessary. When we invest in anything it has to be a quality product and something of GREAT use on our homestead or we do not and will not part with our hard earned $$. I have a couple of items on our homestead that are a bit more spendy like my Wondermill electric and Jr Deluxe, but they are well made and play a VERY important role on our homestead.
I am a big believer in Dave Ramsey and his methods and I would encourage you to set money aside and make such purchases when you have saved up enough money to do so, but trust me when I say you will not be disappointed!
Gotta run now to keep up with the homestead chores and to turn the wild turkey in the Solavore Sport.
Have a blessed day and I highly encourage you to utilize the free resources we have at our disposal!
Sometimes in life, we need to “Take On The Impossible”, or at least that is how it feels, but remember in EVERY situation we have choices and we are CHOOSING to be #UNSTOPPABLE!
We’ve decided this year we are going to be totally transparent in our situation in an effort to help others. We are on a slippery slope that is not kind nor pleasant, but we have been working extremely hard to move things in a positive direction with no prevail.
In 2016, we traveled from Idaho to GA for my life-saving surgery, stayed in GA for 17 days, returned home to embark on a healing journey that I am still traveling today and went 6 1/2 months without an income during that time. Our medical bills were adding up and we were behind on EVERYTHING.
In 2017, we had the illusion that we were catching up. Going into winter we had 4 nice construction jobs lined up for December that would carry us into the new year, but in November of 2017 those jobs fell apart due to the homeowner’s finances. SOOO we ended up going 4 months without work and an income despite our best effort while seeking, searching and being resourceful.
Fast forward to today, June 13, we went too long without an income and catching up is no longer an option without a miracle.
Over the weekend our family made a very radical decision to spend the next month and a half getting rid of all the unnecessary things on our homestead by selling things on an online yard sale and having a physical yard sale in July. The best time in my life was spent in the canvas wall tent while building this homestead. The simplicity is what I crave and that is what we are heading toward not that we don’t live simply, but we want to live simpler.
Additionally, we are pushing to finish the cosmetic work in the interior of our home, organize the outside and prepare our home for sale by the end of August, all while still doing our normal day to day of working construction jobs, writing and maintaining our online businesses and keeping the homestead running.
We can not make any concrete decisions on our future until this house sells so we are putting all our energy into making this happen and trusting that God will meet us halfway. I know that Trayer Wilderness, Trayer Wilderness Academy, and our family will remain in the wilderness of Idaho, we just don’t know where and how!
When you take extreme leaps of faith we enable God to open the doors – our parachute may not open right away, but I fully trust that it will open and God will guide and be with us on this whole journey. He has been with us all this time – “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT .
These were the two choices we had:
1. Sit, mope and watch the ship sink or file bankruptcy.
2. Take the leap of faith that we have and decide to put a positive and very aggressive plan in place.
What is the worst that will happen? Well, we will fail, but we will fail knowing that we did EVERYTHING in our power to change our circumstance and make a difference not only in our lives but the lives of others through our steadfast trust and faith in God.
He has a plan for us that is bigger and better than we could ever imagine or envision so regardless of the outcome I know we will be ok and well cared for and loved!
One important aspect for us during this journey is to be sure we are listening to that still, small voice so that we are not steering this ship in the wrong direction and that we are following his plan and not ours!
Something else I would like to point out is the importance of strong family bonds! We are one very STRONG family and we will conquer this new journey together. It is also important for you to truly realize what is most important in your life. Materials things will never hold value in our home compared to the relationships we have, our love for one another and our love for Christ. We are blessed beyond measure even in our circumstances and our LIFESTYLE has enabled us to be comfortable in a very uncomfortable place. We have not gone without food or shelter. We live a life of preparedness and are able to feed our family, give to those that are in need and still have some left over. This is all because we live daily preparing for tomorrow! You never know what will come your way and being prepared is SO extremely important!
So join us on this journey as we step into yet another adventure in the lives of the Trayer Family!
You can follow the step by step video journey (behind the scenes) here.
If you are walking a similar journey right now, remember to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus versus allowing depression to set in or seeking a quick fix or an end all avenue! This is not the end of the world, it may actually be the start of something very exciting and new! God is good!
If you missed me on Facebook Live sharing our story, you can watch below:
Simple Easy Preparedness Tip Everyone Should Know When The Power Goes Out
How often do you lose grid power? I know it happens often around here and we are thankful to be unaffected by grid power loss because we are utilizing solar power on our homestead, BUT this particular circumstance could also affect us…
Have you ever lost power while you were away from home and wondered how long the power was out and if the contents of your freezer are still good? We utilize propane for our freezer and refrigerator and we could very easily get something in our line that would cause it to clog (thankfully in 8 years we have never experienced this or power loss), BUT this is one thing that can cause GREAT loss.
Today, I have a simple, easy trick that can take the guesswork out of how long the electric was off and also whether all may be lost.
You simply fill a canning jar or container 3/4 of the way full and allow it to freeze. Once frozen you simply add a quarter to the top of the ice and place back in your freezer.
If you ever lose power while away from home you will now have a gauge as to what happened in your freezer. If the quarter is still on top of the ice the power must not have been out long and things did not even thaw at all. If the quarter is partially through the ice it is likely that your foods may have thawed a bit, but refroze which would indicate that your food should still be fine. If the quarter is at the bottom of the container it is likely that everything thawed and refroze in which case dependent on the contents things may be questionable and it is likely that if you had meats in paper you will see the telltale signs of thaw with blood that has leaked out of the packages from the thaw.
My sweet friend Mona found this tip sometime over the years and wasn’t quite sure where she found it but knew that I would love to know this trick(and she was right) and she also knew that I would LOVE to share it with you all!
What a great way to add peace of mind and a gauge that may eliminate you throwing a whole freezer full of food away out of fear!
So be sure to take a few minutes and safeguard your freezers!
What did you think of this tip? Pretty simple and smart, huh? We LOVE hearing from you all so share your thoughts below in the comments…
Do you have any tips similar to this one that you would like to share? If so please share in the comments below…
I am sitting here in my robe by the fire, with my coffee and felt compelled to share my thoughts this morning.
There is something so precious and peaceful about a slowly started and peaceful morning. Can you relate to this? I hope so, but my fear is that the majority of the population today starts their morning with such a frenzy – the alarm blares, you quickly spring from bed, with lightning speed either dress or shower, wake the kids, remove the skin from your mouth by quickly inhaling that first cup of hot coffee, grab something quick for the road and race out the door. Oh WOW, just writing that gave me anxiety and stress – I have indeed experienced that in my life, BUT I am so thankful for the life I have created.
We are in a storm of sorts currently so just like you when traveling through the high winds it is not easy, but at the same time, I am able to realize how blessed I am that I have the ability to determine my day and even more so my life. Despite the hard and maybe even the unknown – I know by trusting and having faith there will eventually be a light at the end of the tunnel and I will be a warrior on the other side.
This feeling I am experiencing this morning is reminiscent of my summer vacations visiting my grandparents. I think they too understood the benefits I am experiencing. I just so clearly remember their routine and it puts a smile on my face. Yes, they woke to an alarm (one I never heard), but every day they woke at the same time, started the coffee pot, put the bread in the toaster and pulled out their bibles.
I would not wake to their alarm because I always slept so good in their home. I believe because It was something unfamiliar, a comfortable spot for me. I would awake to the smell of coffee and toast. To this day, that is a distinct smell to me that just gives me such joy and takes me back in time. I don’t know what it was about their coffee or their toast, but it was just such a unique alluring smell. It would allure me out of bed and as I would head downstairs I would always find them both at the kitchen table each with their bible partaking in their daily devotions.
I never really understood the value of that daily peaceful routine and even more so that deep walk with Jesus that they both enjoyed so much until we embrace our off-grid homesteading life. Why? I think because my pace was so great that I missed the simple joys that came with the slow and simple in life and because like many Christians – aside from Sunday church I was afraid of offending someone while speaking my faith so I shared it with a few safe people and the rest of the time I stuffed it! There is something so incredibly freeing to be in the company of people such as my Mountain Man and my son that allows me to be who I am – to be able to wear my heart, soul, and faith on my sleeve and not have to hide! So empowering to be around safe and comfortable people for the first time in my life!
This slow pace is an acquired and evidently needs to be a learned, almost forced pace on our lives. I see so many people fight to slow down and pride themselves like a champion at the speed of light they travel – when if they resigned to the slow and peaceful, their lives would be truly something they could pride themselves with!
My grandparents were referred to by some as bible thumpers and even hypocrites (the only thing I ever really saw them do was from time to time talk about the neighbors or local people)- they made mistakes just like the rest of us, but they were such good people. I strive to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I am not perfect and I will make mistakes, but if I take on the title of Bible Thumper I will wear that badge proudly. And because of all the miracles I have visibly seen over the last 10 years and feeling and seeing God’s gracious hand on my life and my family, I can no longer hide my joy, my faith and all that I have to celebrate. I have learned that I will more than likely inspire many and actually offend less. I am not shoving Jesus and my faith down people’s throats, but more so sharing my excitement, my faith and the miracles that are happening around me. It is just JOY and extreme FAITH spilling out of me.
I can truly praise and thank my pap for the faith I have today!
His encouraging and wise words were stored in my heart and revisited often throughout my life. Often during some of my greatest struggles – he was there!
So today on this quiet Friday morning – just me, the dogs and my coffee by the fire I feel that God blessed me with those simple joys and fond memories created as a child so that when I was an adult I would remember those times with great appreciation and peace.
We have been stuck on our homestead since Saturday after receiving 20” of wet snow the weekend before and this last weekend receiving another 24” of fresh powdery snow. Our backhoe is down and our backup equipment couldn’t move that volume of snow. We could have chosen to panic – we did have places to be and things that needed to get done, but when these things happen I truly believe we are right where God wants us to be. We are forced to pull into him – trusting and waiting to see what will happen next. It builds on our faith, it causes us to have a closer walk with Jesus, it makes us think about what is most important in our lives and it also causes us to re-evaluate what we are doing in life… It makes us wonder if God is putting us in this current place to show us what he desires for us rather than what we desire for ourselves. Quite profound – yet is it so? I think YES!
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I also believe that amazing things happen in the still, quiet, peaceful moments we allow in our lives. That small voice can be heard and direction can be found.
Do you create those peaceful moments in your life right now?
Do you know the amazing peace that comes from a walk with Jesus?
Well, maybe it is time you should!
PS – My journaling bible is the first bible that has truly made sense to me (those thee’s and thou’s lose me even though I love the authenticity of the King James Version of the Bible). I thoroughly enjoy reading it and being guided through it! This is my favorite Bible app.
Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I find people either LOVE it, HATE it or find it to be “Just Another Day”.
Everyone goes crazy to show their love for that special someone or for their family. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good day to celebrate the love you have for one another, but I feel that we should be doing this religiously every day! I believe the reason my whole family and I regard Valentine’s Day, in the same way, is because our Love Language is not really focused on Receiving Gifts! We are more geared to the need for Physical Touch, Words Of Affirmation, Quality Time or Acts of Service.
You are probably wondering what in the world I am talking about, right?!
Well, a good majority of our population goes through life without joy and experiencing a dried up love tank. They have no hope in their marriage and in the love that once was, not to mention the divorce rates are so high in our country. We have become disposable in ALL things!
First and foremost, it is understanding the needs of our spouse and children for that matter and learning to serve them and help them to fully feel loved which in turn will fill their love tank to overflowing!
I highly recommend that you read The 5 Love Languages not only as a couple but as a family. Society today puts the wrong kind of emphasis on love and sex and rather our children have a jaded view, why not teach them how to fully understand what REAL love is?
The 5 Love Languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Everyone is very different and has a specific language that resonates with them or possibly multiple love languages. When the three of us used the simple online test to determine our love languages, we each actually have three languages that are almost equal in importance to us however the love languages are different for each of us a bit. Being that we have varying languages which totally makes sense for us now as we never get overly excited about the gift giving or receiving holidays because gifts are wonderful, but it is not what fills our love tank and gives us joy as does the simple pleasures of closeness.
I also LOVED how Gary pointed out that often times what happens is without knowing our spouses love language it is natural to serve our spouses the way we feel the need to be served ourselves and this is where the trouble and confusion come from.
For example, a husband who likes being served might do dishes for his wife or laundry and his wife’s love language is Receiving Gifts. Therefore, the husband is upset because he doesn’t understand why she is not happy with him and she is upset because she needs something different to fill her love tank. This right here may have just made a light bulb go on for you and once you understand what your spouse’s love language is you can simply adjust how you are serving them.
When both parties are receiving the love they require – they are happy, their love tank is full and they are much more inclined to serve and care for you. It also means that all the confusion, upset and misunderstandings go away! Make sense?
My friends, this post is intended to be my gift from me to you today for Valentine’s Day! May you enjoy reading this book The 5 Love Languages and creating a wonderful life and future filled with joy, contentment, happiness and lots of LOVE!
Love and Prayers,
PS I talked about this today on Facebook Live and would love for you to enjoy the video as well which you can watch at your convenience here.