Our lifestyle is a choice and some may view it as a lot of work, but we are healthier and happier individuals.
I love the wonderful smells that permeate my home and escape my windows to the outdoors tantalizing the men as they work. For me it is a “Simple Pleasure” being good to my family and pulling at their heart strings by means of their bellies! 🙂
We purchase our raw ingredients in bulk and no longer purchase anything packaged. By doing so, we save a lot of money and are much healthier.
I make various types of breads each week to be eaten with our meals, for lunch sandwiches and even just a handy snack.
This week I specially made “Trayer Wilderness Kaiser Rolls” to go along with elk burgers and made our traditional weekly loaf breads which I will share with you next week.
Trayer Wilderness Kaiser Rolls
Recipe Type: Bread, Kaiser Rolls
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp malt powder (I substitute molasses)
- 1 tbsp butter or oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 cups water
- sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
- garlic, onions or season salt (optional)
- Combine 3 1/2 cups flour and other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mix well and add in water, eggs and oil.
- Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes or 5 to 7 minutes in a mixer.
- The dough should be tacky, but not terribly wet.
- Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until double the size in a warm place. Approximately an hour.
- Sprinkle in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and grab tennis ball sized pieces of dough and knead and shape the dough and place on baking stone or cookie sheet.
- Allow to rise once again for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Before placing in the oven get an additional egg white and brush the egg white onto the top of the rolls to allow it to get golden brown while baking. Add sesame seeds or poppy seeds to your liking. If you would like to add seasoning now would be the time to sprinkle on your desired seasonings.
- Bake roughly 20 minutes.
NOTE: To make this recipe Gluten Free replace the 4 cups of wheat flour with 4 cups of Better Batter Gluten Free Flour and change the amount of water from 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups and add 2 tbsp oil or butter. Also mix this batter very hard and vigorously versus kneading it the 1st time. Gluten Free bread batters need all your muscles and like being beat up for best results.
1. not complicated: a simple design.
1. the state or feeling of being pleased.
2. enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking; gratification; delight.
These are my favorite words “Simple Pleasure“. A Simple Pleasure is just that – a time, a thing, a moment, a person, that appears in your day in which gives you a simple feeling of enjoyment, satisfaction, delight that is priceless beyond measure.
Our lifestyle, our location, my family and all our blessings are my Simple Pleasures daily. The added heart-shaped rock found on my walk, a dragonfly landing on the tip of my finger, an elk not 30 yards away starring me down, a cozy winter’s night with lanterns lite and something yummy in the oven creating an aroma through the house that makes you float out your chair to follow the scent, these are added bonuses to my already over the top day.
The part of a Simple Pleasure that makes it so special is that you took the time to stop and notice it. Taking time to notice your surroundings is something that some people need to learn how to do. These hustle, bustle, gotta have, gotta go lives that everyone has created for themselves is the culprit. It has deprived most people of the finer things in life.
We have not had a TV in our home for over 8 years. It is not missed. The content of today’s TV is not what it used to be and when you live in a place like we do there are so many more rewarding things you could be doing rather than being glued to a box.
I encourage you to take a night and turn the TV off. Play games with each other, read a book, draw a picture, learn to do something new, make a new recipe, go for a walk, write a poem, weave a basket, learn to knit, talk of times past, share stories of your day, build a fire and sit around it enjoying each others company…..
If you have young children, enjoy them now because they grow so fast. Children are sponges willing and wanting to learn. Spend time with them doing quality things. Enrich their minds, teach them skills of yesterday that they can use tomorrow.
You don’t have to live way out in the wilderness to do family things and you don’t need to live way out in the wilderness to have a homesteading mentality. No matter where you are, all you have to do is embrace what is around you, learn new skills and remove yourself from the gotta have, gotta go mentality and hunker into your home or your apartment and learn to enjoy what you have around you.
We hustle and we bustle out here too, but in a very different way. It is not uncommon for us to NOT leave our home for a week, maybe two. Our hustle, bustle is learning new skills, feeding our animals, completing our projects, working & schooling from home, making everything we need right here. We are tired too and there are times we don’t have extra time to relax, but our days are spent together working and working hard. We are grateful that we are able to do this and our lives are more rewarding for it.
So take some time to notice what is around you, SLOW DOWN and take it in… Find a Simple Pleasure right in front of you.
Here are some added tips on how to simplify your life:
- Get rid of clutter – if you haven’t used if for over three years and you know you will never use it again. Give it a way or throw it away.
- Take time for your husband and children. Spend time with them. Quality time – no smartphones, computers, games or tv.
- Choose a game night at home with a simple meal instead of running to the movies and out to eat.
- Dinner together as often as you can. And everyone pitch in to help cleanup. Mom needs some time to enjoy life too!
- Divide up the household chores as a family and everyone dive in. The more hands on deck the quicker the deck will get cleaned and more time to do other things together.
- Grocery shop less….. I grocery shop once every two to three months (this could be a little tough for some because I also make EVERYTHING from scratch). I am not a shopper by any means so I stock up on the healthy things we need and eliminate that need to gotta go, gotta go because I wanna stay….
- Pick a day a week that you run errands instead of spontaneously running errands when the mood hits you. You will save gas, time and money.
- Just because you have money in your pocket doesn’t mean you need to spend it. Try to train your brain that if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
These are just a few things that quickly came to mind… I would love to hear your thoughts on this post…. Feel free to drop us a line, share how you live simpler, ask any questions that come to mind….
Until next post, take care and God bless! <3
Well this is an exciting week for our family. I have always had the desire to write and in 2012 I embraced that dream.
I took a 6 week writing course in March and mid-way through my teacher suggested that I query some magazines with my ideas. We had been enjoying the New Pioneer Magazine because of their content. They focus on pioneering, homesteading and self-reliance which is our lifestyle and right up our alley.
I submitted my queries to the New Pioneer Magazine and a week later I received an email from the editor. I was sitting in the living room working when the email came through stating that they accepted my query. The Mountain Man was outside and I was totally taken back by the email. I ran downstairs and grabbed the door knob from the inside as he was grabbing the door knob from the outside. We were both a bit caught off guard, but he was even more caught off guard when I burst into tears… Excited tears they were, but the Mountain Man was so taken back he thought someone died.
It was an exciting day and was just the start of my writing excitement. Over the course of 2012 I wrote seven different articles for the New Pioneer Magazine and I am currently working on four more.
In Fall of 2012 we were contacted by the editor once again to let us know that they would like to send their photographer out to get cover pictures. As if it wasn’t wild enough that my 1st query was accepted and I have been able to continue writing for them, but now with my 1st article going to be published they also wanted to feature us on the cover.
This is not the 1st time we have experienced God’s grace and timing. God has played a big roll in our venture to Idaho from the beginning and to watch as the doors continue to swing open and everything aligns. It is amazing to see his hand at work.
Nancy Tappan, the editor of the New Pioneer Magazine has been such a blessing too. She is such a sweetheart and she is so much fun to work with.
So today I end my post in sharing our amazing news. This week the New Pioneer Magazine has placed their 1st 2013 issue of their magazine on the shelves and my feature article is published in it as well as another article that I wrote and our family is on the cover.
Our venture continues and we are very thankful that ya’ll enjoy following us….
God bless! T <3
We have always been very traditional people. Often times put in our own category. We are the kind of people that see the shiny side of the penny and felt God’s grace to grab our boot straps and trudge on. We have an amazing story of lives filled with heartache, despair & challenge, but once we all collided on the 150 acre farm in PA we were then destined to live God’s will together and so our story began.
We have always loved the outdoors – feeling free and finding ourselves when getting caught up in God’s beauties around us. We have always felt that we were in the wrong era in thoroughly liking the traditional lifestyle, away from the hustle bustle and away from today’s society of the gotahave mind sets.
Both my Mountain Man and myself grew up on farms with good christian parents and family. We both knew what it was like to work hard and we appreciate our lives so much more due to our up bringing. We are very thankful for the gift our parents gave to both of us – Thanks Mom’s and Dad’s! We are thankful for knowing how to work and knowing how to enjoy it. We are thankful for the space we were both given while growing up, allowing us the freedoms to be kids, exploring, learning how to make our own fun (never being bored) and to be creative. We are blessed now to offer this to the Mountain Boy because of our location. The Mountain Boy is high functioning autistic so our location has offered him a place to find himself and to be himself which in turn has allowed him to grow mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Be sure to check him out at http://MountainBoyJournals.com. Also for more on our homeschooling adventures check out http://SpectrumKidsInTheOutdoors.com.
I love that picture of us… It radiates happiness, a good fit, something I never expected to have and only to continue to dream about… And so WE began…
A year and 8 months later we married on his birthday, which happened to also be Easter Sunday. It was the most amazing day and we can now live our lives in comfort knowing that we each have someone that is in it for the duration and the boy now has an amazing male figure in his life! 42 days later we loaded up a 26′ U-Haul and GMC loaded down pulling a 24′ gooseneck trailer also extremely loaded down. The man and his cousin along with the two dogs in the GMC and the boy and I in the U-Haul along with Mr. Bear the hamster (may he rest in peace – he lived 8 months in a wall tent and died two months after making it into the house).
After 6 days on the road, a flat tire, 8 injectors on the GMC blown and a new Ford F250 purchased we arrived at our destination of home. A 5 acre parcel of untouched land in Northern Idaho that we purchased site unseen from PA. It was AMAZING with a 2.5 mile lane of rough road and wilderness to our 5 acre parcel in the middle of nowhere!! Our dream has come true!!
And now our story begins with the writings from this website. We encourage you to read the previous posts and view all our photos if you are new to our page. We slept a night in the gooseneck trailer until we had the 8′ x 14′ canvas wall tent constructed with the wood stove. Now remember there were two adults, a teenager, two dogs and a hamster as well as our cots, a clothing tote each and a table in our living space. The 1st whole month was nothing, but pouring rain. We didn’t batch an eyelash. We were so excited and a little rain wasn’t going to deter us. For 8 1/2 months we lived in the wall tent and built our home. It was an experience and an adventure like no other for us all and not one of us would have traded the experience for ANYTHING!
We moved into our home December 11th of 2010. Our home is a glorified pole barn with a 2nd level with a loft to be. The night we moved in our home on the 2nd level it was nothing more than 30′ x 36′ of open space with a plywood floor, no windows and a woodstove in one corner. The night before we moved into the house we were forced out of the tent due to extremely high winds. That was one of 3 nights we spent cooped up in the pick up – two dogs, two adults and a teenager (Just imagine that). There was a foot of snow on the ground and we were grateful to be out of the elements with a secure roof over our heads. The solar was hooked up and our well was providing water, now we just needed to run both into our living quarters and our rooms would need to be built and the interior of our home quickly came to life. The 1st addition to our living quarters was a window to add some light and allow us to get some of the heat out. I was making all our meals on the woodstove and keeping it at a constant heat so it was typically 80 to 85 degrees in the house.
The Man continued our interior progress by adding the bathroom, kitchen, several more windows and studding out the bedrooms. Keep in mind that we have Tyvec walls to this day – our cosmetic work will come later with stone from the floor to the chair rail and 1 x boards of varying sizes on the walls with chinking in between to give the look of cabin walls. Our Christmas present the 1st year was power run into our living quarters and running water.
The boy was so excited on Christmas Eve to get the comforts of his bed. His bed was placed in the midst of mounds of Rubbermaid totes with just enough room to construct his bed and he simply voiced that although he loved tent living he is very thankful for his bed and that it was the BEST Christmas present ever. Simple pleasure by far….
Winter of 2010 and 2011 was spend chopping firewood as needed because with all the demands of building we were unable to find the time prior. We spent 8 1/2 weeks in our cozy, snowy wilderness setting while unable to drive out due to our road conditions. It was the BEST 8 1/2 weeks ever and the Man was able to get in some trapping (For those of you into trapping and hunting check out: http://mountainmanjournals.com). It is truly a winder wonderland with untouched white puffy snow everywhere. During that winter we received one snow fall of 36″ which did not stop us from exploring by any means. We quickly put on the snowshoes and off we went. We did a lot of exploring that winter too.
2011 was spent getting everything in order in our interior and relaxing a bit from a grueling 8 1/2 months of pushing to get out of the elements. We also groomed our exterior, built our large woodshed, smoke house, a temporary smithy and canned whatever vegetables we could get our hands on. Our loft was built in September preparing for our families to arrive and adding extra space to our living quarters. Our open bedrooms turned quickly into what felt like unique cabin rooms and made our home even cozier.
Our family is always busy doing something… Glen is always busy in the smithy fabricating something new for our house. I will never have to worry every about having to call a Mr. Fixit because whatever we need he can do it. Here are a few of the things he has tinkered on:
We are all always tinkering and if there is a traditional skill that we do not know we will learn. We greatly enjoy our traditional setting and our traditional lifestyle.
Every ounce of extra time we had we tried to get out in the wilderness exploring. We live in a very large and vast playground. When we had the time and could take a whole day we would hike 20 plus miles in lands that had not seen people in years. As we tell people, “We are allergic to trails so as soon as our feet connect with a trail we quickly step off and into the unseen wilderness”. 🙂 There is so much to see and do.
2012 we plunged deeper into self-sufficiency and self-reliance when Glen fabricated a sawmill. We quickly jumped from the sawmill to the Boy’s tree house on stilts and used this project to help us get the bugs worked out of the sawmill. From there we headed to the chicken coop which is now house 30 laying hens, Ray the Rooster and Gus the Ginny Rooster. We went directly from the chicken coop to the rabbit hutch where we currently have 4 does and will be getting another doe and a buck for winter sets in. The whole year was spent running from one project to the next so onward we headed to the log guest cabin that we had a mere 4 1/2 weeks to build before the 1st guest would arrive to stay in it…. It was a crazy year, but we enjoy being productive and the rewards of our hard work we are able to see daily. We ran out of time for one thing on our todo list this year and that was the greenhouse which is 1st in line next Spring. My mother-in-law and I were at the airport picking up our cabin guests while the Man and his father were placing the door that he had just built and removing the scrap wood and sawdust from the cabin. We got home with our guests and they headed off in the other truck to sight in their rifles while us ladies headed to the cabin to clean it, do the windows and add the furniture for their nights stay. How is that for down to the wire?
We focused our extra time on firewood this year to be sure that we had our woodshed full.
In addition to all our family projects we also run our business Rocking GT Designs out of our home. Glen manufactures traditional style Mortise and Tenon furniture and Hand Forges all his hardware along with a Hand Forged metal line and a Hand Forged horseshoe art line. I assist in the web designs and marketing and also provide handcrafted goat milk soaps, 100% soy candles, gift baskets as well as other various handcrafted gift items and the Boy handcrafts leather moccasins and various other leather items. For more on our business go to http://RockingGTDesigns.com
In the midst of building I was canning again everything that I could get my hands on doing 75 lbs of carrots to gain 74 quarts for our winter forage, 3 batches of our chilli sauce/salsa, 3 batches of Trayer Wilderness Hot Mustard, 2 batches of our friend Joel’s Famous Hot Sauce (darn near killed the family with that one) and continued to do my web designs, my freelance writing and keeping everyone well fed. We make EVERYTHING from scratch back here in our wilderness environment. The Boy is on a gluten free (wheat) and casein fee (dairy) diet and we are trying to eliminate all the additives, preservatives and chemicals in our foods and products. I make our own laundry, dish and bar soap and I make our own deodorant as well. In the kitchen I make everything from our own seasonings and condiments to all our breads, baked goods and wholesome meals. It is something I very much enjoy. In addition I enjoy refurbishing old furniture and needed to take care of two pieces this summer as well to prepare for the multitude of guests we were expecting. For more on the recipes and how-to’s check out http://MountainWomanJournals.com.
We also added a furry daughter to our home. More to come on her, but for now we will share some pictures. She is now bigger than our healer and only a 1/3 of the way grown.
We are happy that you have stopped by and we hope that you will continue to follow our adventures here in the northern Idaho wilderness. We are constantly exploring, building, repurposing, growing, raising, etc.. This coming year of 2013 we will be attaining two horses to start to fill our coral, will build our greenhouse, hope to do a lot of exploring and who knows what all! The Mountain Man, Woman and Boy sites focus greatly on self-reliance skills and training and you will find many new educational videos popping up on our websites to come. We hope that you will continue to join us….
Blessings from the northern Idaho wilderness! <3
From our family to yours, may we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving!
A day where you may be surrounded by those you love, with a bounty of food, good conversation, a turkey coma and memories that will last a lifetime!
We are feeling blessed beyond belief back here in our wilderness playground. Some people wait for special days like tomorrow (Thanksgiving) to be thankful for all they have. We make it a practice to not only be thankful daily, but we express our thankfulness.
We thoroughly enjoy our lifestyle and have so much to be grateful and thankful. We are blessed to have a God bigger than anything, each other, our home, our location, our lifestyle, our talents and skills, many many blessings, amazing friends and family, our health, our businesses, our furry son and daughter (she is a new blessing which I will post about soon), the list for us we feel is endless….. 🙂
We look forward to tomorrow to be exceptionally thankful and to take a break from our extremely busy schedule to enjoy each other even more. We have been very busy mass producing our products to meet the orders for this holiday season. Glen has been mass producing in the smithy and has been fabricating a LOT of new products which will be released next week. I will be making another 200 soy candles next week and packaging roughly another 200 bars of goats milk soap as well… Our Mountain Boy has been busy making moccasins and other leather goodies getting his hands into the business too! Glen has also been apprenticing his cousin in the smithy as of late. We are very blessed to be busy… We have recently redesigned our website – check it out at: http://RockingGTDesigns.com and stay tuned for all the new items next week.
My web business is keeping me quite busy too and we will have good news to share in regard to my freelance writing as well! 🙂
We have each started something you may be interested in checking out…. http://MountainManJournals.com, http://MountainWomanJournals.com and http://MountainBoyJournals.com Glen will be posting many self-reliance training videos upcoming and he has a bunch of new outdoor products that he is working on which will be released this winter on his website.
Also if you know of anyone with an Autistic child or family member I have started a pet project at http://SpectrumKidsInTheOutdoors.com where I will share my knowledge as well as many references, discounts and coupons for gluten free and casein free products and recipes. Austin is helping me with this as well.
I am aware that our photo gallery is not currently displaying all our photos, but check back – they will be up and running soon along with many new pictures of our 2012 which is almost over…. Good grief – where did 2012 go???
We have been blessed to fill our freezer with deer meat this year. There is still some time left for Mountain Boy and my Mountain Man to fill their tags, but Jonathan and I have put our share in the freezer. Jonathan got a nice 4 x 4 and I was happy to get myself a nice fat doe.
Trapping season has also started so we are praying for a successful season there as well.
We are looking forward to this winter season to catch you up on all our happenings here in the wilderness for 2012 and to continue to share our winter adventures.
We would also like to take this time to encourage you to join us in expressing your gratitude daily. When you take the time to acknowledge the things that you are thankful for you will find that you are happier. A happier life is a healthier life. Everyday express your thankfulness and gratitude for 3 things. Don’t wait for special days or perfect moments because you may lose opportunities that you will never be able to get back…. Embrace your thankfulness!
“Oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalms 107:1
Today we are thankful for YOU!! Thanks for following us here in the northern Idaho wilderness!!
The Trayer’s ~ Mountain Man, Mountain Woman and Mountain Boy at Given A Gift….
Well it was quite the experience! Let me tell you 1st about the hours leading up to the event.
We had guests, many… We’ve been entertaining many different people this year, but this day Glen’s Mom and Dad were joining us.
It was a crazy day spent doing many things and one of which was cutting habeneras for my Trayer Wilderness Hot Pepper Mustard.
Cutting Habs, as we call them, is a grueling and dangerous task to begin with. I rarely ever get volunteers to assist. 🙂 Habs need to be cut with layers of gloves to eliminate burning hands for days!! (Exaggeration, but it is something you truly don’t want to experience)
After hours of chopping, stirring the mustard, jarring it and having the kitchen needing special care, everyone else was ready for bed.
We were given a SPECIAL hot sauce recipe that we’ve enjoyed for years and were very fond of. Thank you Joel!! It came with many warnings.
I was tired (extremely), but I had the kitchen polluted and I had the Habs ready to be ground. I didn’t want to clean everything up only to pollute things again the next day and I was a bit behind on my work. The recipe stated that I only needed to simmer the mixture for 5 minutes and there were no warnings on this part of the recipe.
Momma Trayer stayed up with me and suddenly we both started suffering from burning eyes and a bit of a struggle catching our breath. Next we heard the Mountain Boy coughing and also appearing to struggle catching his breath.
We quickly opened up all the windows and then my Mountain Man sat straight up in our bed in the loft. He too was suffering from burning eyes and the inability to catch a full breath.
He came downstairs with a smile on his face and said “Yep, that is definitely Joel’s Hot Sauce!”
Now the scary part is we evaded death #595, but this hot sauce is not completed. After all that the concoction needed to sit for two weeks prior to being reheated and canned. So we ask for your prayers this week while we complete the project!! 🙂
We may share the recipe upcoming if we are granted the opportunity to share the recipe. Otherwise we could be opening ourselves up for another near death experience for sharing a family secret!!
This post is dedicated to Joel and Jody. Jody, you missed this near death experience and Joel, thanks for sharing your recipe….