February 8th

Friday, February 8th, 2019

The sun rose over the snowy landscape this morning, and it was breathtaking.

With Paul’s job we could live anywhere, and have seriously considered many different places around the country to call home (just to name a few: Wyoming, South Dakota, Georgia, Tennessee, Northern Arizona, back to Grand Forks if you can believe that…). And before any of you freak out thinking that we’re moving tomorrow, take a deep breath – it’s fun to dream!

But this morning looking out my window, I was reminded just why we haven’t left.

While the cold tends to wear on a person, the beauty of fresh snow on a calm (albeit cold) morning is the most peaceful thing I’ve ever experienced.

So peaceful that the wind hasn’t blown the snow from the trees.

So peaceful that the snow remains clear of any tracks.

So peaceful that you can almost hear the sun rise.

It’s simply marvelous, and there’s nothing else like it.


February 7th

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

It’s snowy in my little part of the world today. A few inches of snow have already fallen, and a few more are expected.

Because I’m Minnesotan, we automatically default to talking about the weather – so, on Facebook and Instagram today I posed the question – what’s the weather like in your part of the world? Or if you yourself are Minnesotan, how do you feel about the snow?

This post was probably one of my favorites I’ve ever posted – and it was a picture of myself (go figure that would be the way it worked out, ha).

I thought most of my followers were fellow Minnesotans, but I was thrilled when people from around the country started chiming in:

“Snow/ice here in central Iowa!”

“Well it was nearly 80° here in Texas yesterday. Then this morning it was thunderstorms and now it’s 45° and dropping.”

It’s like yours, just a little farther south. I think we’re at 5 with a high of 11 and blustery winds blowing out of, well, Minnesota.” (From Omaha)

“-15 this morning dropping off my son at school poor kiddos haven’t been outside to play in over a week but here in good ole Dickinson we don’t miss school for anything!”

“Super WINDY in New Mexico today! But the sun is shining and it isn’t freezing, so I’m happy with that.”

“High of 59 here in Burbank, CA today. Rain finally stopped! Not missing MN weather!”

“It’s 75 here…” (Houston, TX)

If you took time to chime in, thank you! I had SO MUCH fun with this! Social Media isn’t my favorite thing (I’d be fine if it all went away), but in today’s instance, it brought friends a little bit closer together, and made the world feel just a little smaller. 🙂

January 30th

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

While it’s easy to complain about the weather, yesterday morning I found a positive when I looked out our back window and saw many of these beautiful wind-drawn waves in the snow – Nature’s Calligraphy!

That being said, like many of you, I’m thankful to be coming out of this cold snap in one piece. With our chickens and horses at home, it’s been quite the week for everyone making sure waters are thawed, food plentiful, and housing as warm as possible.

After having to hang a heat lamp in the coop yesterday as an additional heat source for the girls, I lost quite a bit of sleep overnight getting up every hour checking our coop thermometer reading worrying about those darn girls. 

And being the safety shark I am, I was paranoid about the risk of fire with that heat lamp. Luckily all was fine, and the coop stayed a balmy 7 degrees overnight which was over thirty degrees warmer than outside.

We’re almost out of it – keep staying warm, friends! We’ll be seeing thirty degrees in 48 hours!

January 29th

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

If you’re in Minnesota, I don’t have to tell you that it’s cold out.

Even if you’re totally unplugged from social media, the news, the newspaper, and other human beings, if you walk outside the air will punch you in the face.

Air temperatures vary throughout the state today, but here at our house it’s been holding steady at about ten below zero with windchills near negative twenty.


The kicker? Tomorrow is supposed to be worse. By double. -24F air temps with -50F wind chills.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee and hide under a blanket all day (like I’m doing – haha!), there’s nothing else for you to do. Especially since most schools are closed and many people are working from home (sorry if you aren’t one of those fortunate souls!).

For our chickens sake I have been so excited that our winter has been so mild, but their hardiness is going to be put to the test over the next couple days. I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts, but we did end up putting a small radiant heater in the coop about a month ago and it has given me such a great piece of mind.

Especially with the forecast this week; we woke up to temperatures outside of -10F, but inside the coop it was 3F. Not overly warm for us, but with the girls being out of the wind it’s enough to take the edge off for them.

We did end up sealing up the back of our coop so the girls can’t go outside, which meant moving their feeder and a small bowl of water into the coop, but it’s been working out so far. If you can believe it, they still gave us FIVE eggs today, so they can’t be doing too bad.

Hang in there, everybody! Take care of your kiddos and critters and be smart. We’ll be seeing a thaw on Saturday if we all make it there. 🙂


January 28th

Monday, January 28th, 2019

I’m always disappointed when it snows at night.

While it’s beautiful to wake up to a fresh blanket of snow and clear skies, I love watching it snow and accumulate.

I’m always excited when it snows, but then after it’s done I remember that I have to shovel. Then it’s not as exciting.

Luckily, my super duper husband drove up home from work right when I made it out front to shovel. Handy! 🙂

January 27th

Sunday, January 27th, 2019

Well, it’s starting to feel like January.

Dangerous below zero temperatures are moving in this week (a high of -10?! Gross!), and possibly 5-6” of snow is moving our way tonight. When they’re talking about frostbite in five minutes, you know it’s serious.

It was bound to happen sometime, but I’m never really ready for the frigid cold. Especially when you have outdoor animals – in and out of the house constantly monitoring everybody to make sure they’re all drinking water like they should (which means breaking or thawing ice in frozen tanks), as well as making sure they’re staying dry and as comfortable as possible. Praying that all of their instincts are on point to keep them safe – I can’t help them with that one.

Anyway, even if the weatherman wouldn’t have told me snow was coming, I would’ve known.

The pheasants we’re out before the sun was fully up this morning and stayed out for most of the day. Then the deer came through out into the open around lunchtime (during daylight) looking to feed before the weather changed. A herd of six stick around for most of the afternoon (four of the six pictured here).

Nature is amazing that way.

January 21st

Monday, January 21st, 2019

This January has been a weird one.

Usually I’m all for snow during the winter to play in and cover the dead grass, but this winter has been different. Maybe it’s the fact that we’ve had above normal temperatures to go along with our lack of snow, but I haven’t felt nearly as cooped up this winter (at least thus far). Seeing the grass makes me feel like I could go outside and not freeze my tail off, and that’s kept my spirits high.

It may also be the chickens that bring me joy when the snow is gone. Without the snow, they cruise around our yard all day despite the temperatures. They’ve really settled in here, and I’m glad we have given them a home that they thrive in.

And sometimes you have to find inspiration and motivation in the little things, the simple things. Like chickens, if your name is Courtney.

We didn’t get much snow here today, but enough to watch and enjoy. It came down slowly and peacefully – it was my favorite kind of snowfall.


December 18th

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

This is my calm. My peace. My deep breath.

The beautiful thing about it? I’m not the first generation to feel that way.

Our neighbor’s family was the first to homestead this property, and they feel the same way. This nine acre chunk of woods located smack dab in the middle of Hassan Township has provided for many souls over the years. Some I’m sure actually hunted this land for physical nourishment, while others like me come for the spiritual nourishment.

These trees were here long before me, and some (I hope) will be here long after I’m gone. There are centuries-worth of stories here. Both human and animal alike. So many life cycles; springs, winters, births, and deaths.

Today when walking through the woods, I saw some deer tracks, and it made me wonder if every single square inch of this land has been touched by footprints. Or how many tree branches have been landed on by birds, or made into homes, utilized for protection?

Do any of you ever think like that?

A thought to leave you with: Is there any spot of land that God’s been the only one to touch?

November 29th

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

Paul and I learned something fascinating about out chickens today.

They don’t like snow.

Evidently, being a “cold hardy” breed of chicken simply means they tolerate cold well, not snow.

Which really isn’t the end of the world, the have plenty of space in their coop and run, but it was just unexpected.

I opened the coop door today, and they all crowded around the front porch, looked around, turned around and went back in. They did the same thing when I opened the run door.

Penny wanted to make sure I understood just how displeased she was, so she stood on the front porch for a few minutes with one leg up as if to say “make it go away”.

Paul and I Googled it, and evidently that’s the common consensus among chicken owners – that you have to lay down bedding or hay/straw on top of the snow for them to walk on if you want them to venture out of their coop.

They may be out of luck on that.

August 27th

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Today was a day of weird weather.

Overcast, but steamy.

Sun starts to peak through.

Back to overcast.

Large storm system moves through with massive winds and heavy rain.

Then blue skies and sunshine as the sun begins to set.

I guess when I write it out, it doesn’t seem so weird, but trust me – it felt weird all day.

Anyway, when the storm came through, I put my camera on my tripod and set it up for a longer exposure time so I could get the movement of the trees as the wind moved through them. It was really blowing for a while.

Luckily, no hail – that’s the last thing our pumpkins need!