New Life-Spring is Here, Baby is Near

Spring is here!
Bees are buzzing in their box, collecting pollen in sacs on sunny days to feed babies in the hive to grow into worker bees. Birch buds are abound. Sandhill cranes returned with their pterodactyl like appearance and flight, their lovely call fills the valley and can be heard from our bed. Nettle and yarrow were harvested and dried. One nettle plant that grew beside an apple tree that was planted 4 years ago has turned into dozens of nettle plants. Fiddlehead ferns are uncurling and dandelions are brightening the roadside. Clovers are popping up! Snow and ice have melted!!! Finally, daylight has returned!!!

Savanna weeds the spinach bed.

It seemed like winter lasted forever. It was my first winter as a full time employee of a company and I hope to never do it again. Waking up at 7ish and leaving the house by 8:15, driving icy roads in pitch black and returning around 6, only to restock the fire box, build a fire and get ready for bed. It was draining… but rewarding. I am grateful for the time spent, money earned, education gained and friends made. And even happier now that I get to stay home and work on my own slice of pizza out here in Stariski Acres.

We borrowed a tiller from a good friend and used it to mix in our amendments. It sure made easy work!

Savanna is 34 weeks pregnant and glowing like a fire fly. Her face and belly are tan and her blue eyes are shining. Her attitude is cheerful, excited, and tolerant. She has heartburn on the regular but does not let it get her down. The baby is face down and rolling around trying to get more space. Our baby gets really excited when we eat salmon, which makes me really really happy. Here in a month we will have another human in our family, it is a truly miraculous thing.

Leaving the dogs alone at home all day was probably the hardest part of working a Monday -Friday 9-5 job. I am so blessed to have such amazing animals that have kept me stable and grounded. I say it often, but I don’t think I would still own this property if it weren’t for the dogs.

With that on the horizon, we are doing our best to stay calm and graceful while taking care of a long list of projects. Our high tunnel is completely planted with tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, greens, peas, peppers, radish and herbs. We are already harvesting Tatsoi (Bok Choy) and spinach with stir fry mix and salad greens. We planted potatoes yesterday outside. Planted pumpkin, zucchini, squash, Chinese cabbage, kale, beans, peas, broccoli and sunflowers outside last week. Building more garden beds. Had a yurt dropped off and need to build a platform on sonotubes. Currently building a 8 x 12 chicken coop that is almost done!! Not to mention, the never ending list of additional projects inside and outside our home and the long list of chores that NEED to take place on a daily basis to keep clutter at bay and our minds at ease. I.E. Sweeping, baking bread, dishes, cooking, feeding dogs, bunnies, chickens, cat, walks with dogs, beach trips for fun, bathing, laundry, mopping, watering plants… did I mention sweeping up dog hair?! Let’s just say, we are really active.

One of the best things we have been doing as a family is setting a time every day for yoga. We go upstairs to the loft, set aside the projects at hand, roll out the yoga mats and set a timer using Insight Timer to do our own practice. Last month we did a 30 day yoga journey with Yoga With Adrienne, and it really sparked us and inspired us to do our own practice. That has been key in staying calm, positive, and healthy. We also take time every day to make and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks after praying.

Nothing fancy does the trick.

So yes, spring is here… We are both still drug and alcohol free!! (I am actually taking Ibuprofen for an injury but hope to ween off… it’s only been 3 days of them… but it’s the first time in years…) We are growing closer to each other through trust, vulnerability, prayer, consistency, affection, and support. I love Savanna more today than I did when we got married 8 months ago, and it will continue to grow as time goes along.

Savanna is 34 weeks pregnant and totally happy. All of the pregnancy apps, YouTube videos, books and information we hear from people warn us of the crazy mood swings and awful side affects of being pregnant… Savanna has been solidly positive. I am truly blessed to call her my wife.

Lastly, we are really really really grateful for Diane, Shannon and Morgan Mcbride who allowed us to stay at their lodge, Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge, for two nights last week in exchange for some work. Covid-19 caused them to reimburse all of their tenants and to close the lodge for the season, and they were kind enough to offer their world class lodge to a couple former hobo hippy drunks. Trust can be built if we stay consistent with our actions over time.

The overflowing wave of support from family and friends have loaded us down with baby stuff. It’s been incredible! A baby registry was started on Amazon and people we haven’t talked to in years sent us gifts and money. It’s been really heart warming and tear wrenching. Here, Savanna excitedly sets up the changing station in anticipation for the coming arrival.

I hope that all of you who are reading this are safe and happy with your current situation. We are. This virus outbreak has shown me the importance of building a nest and learning how to stay close but still fly. Our neighborhood is abundant with opportunities for adventure, friendship, mystery and adrenaline. I am deeply grateful to live in the great state of Alaska and very lucky to own a piece of earth to call home.

We may not live in a mansion on the hill, but we are blessed to have a safe, dry home we call our own.

Published by secretgardenalaska

Family of four living off-grid in Happy Valley, Alaska. We grow food, write stories, make jewelry, and live a sober life.

3 thoughts on “New Life-Spring is Here, Baby is Near

  1. Hi Folks!

    Here it is August already! We hope all went well with childbirth and that you are all doing well. Other than a lame knee and inability to sleep at night, Steve is fine. Janine is doing well other than exhaustion from her new capacity as the resident “chicken whisperer.”

    We doubled the square footage of our planting area this year and planted so many seed potatoes (2,000) that we ran out of time and space to plant much else. But we did get 3 dozen baby chicks in the first half of June. Several breeds of laying hens and of course too many roosters.

    We ended up aquiring a new 30×96 double layer high tunnel with fans and roll up doors, and traded firewood for a used 30×72 high tunnel. Neither one is assembled yet due to ground prep logistics. The wetlands folks recently surveyed our place so now we have a clear idea of where to put all of them, which isn’t where we had initially planned, but smack in the midfle of one of our potato fields. The NCRS doesn’t have any high tunnel money at the moment, but we are basically ready for when they do, probably in February. We are really looking forward to planting inside 2 months earlier next spring instead of having starts in window sills inside the house. We are really stoked about growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and hopefully corn for chicken feed.

    All the best and God Bless-
    Steve & Janine Holmes
    Clam Gulch, Ak

      1. We are doing great! Got one greenhouse up and distributed our potato crop to local food pantries. Ready to be snowed in! Hope all is well for you guys! Your Primrose is sure a cutie! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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