Dippnetting, Trip Report and Better Next Time

One of the early concepts for this blog was that it would be a place where we could review our yearly rhythm, and make notes on how it went well, and how to do it better next time. The concept grew beyond that point, but the idea keeps coming back to me. So in honor of that here is our dipnetting report and notes on improvement.

Dipnetting is, I think, a uniquely Alaskan thing. It is just what it sounds like. You stand at the shore, hold your net in the water and hopefully catch whatever fish is coming upstream. There’s simply not enough time in the hectic rush of summer to stand around with a fishing pole day after day, and get one or two salmon. When you need a full freezer, it’s much better to stand chest deep in the ocean with a net, and limit out on 55 fish in a couple days. We came in at a much more modest 20, but that’s still a good haul.

Del caught his first salmon with a standard scoop net, which is a pretty impressive feat, as that’s not really what it’s meant for.

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We have been refining our gear list for a while and are pretty close to having it down. This year we had a large tent for sleeping, and a latrine tent, waders for each of the boys and a net and waders between Laura and I. We had ample food and good fish storage.

Things that were noticeably missing were band aids, a sled to more easily move the fish cooler. Also we need another set of waders so Laura and I can each fish, and another full sized net, some net extenders (in the dipnetting game, the longest net gets the most fish) and a better kid sized one.

Thrifter Share

A place to share your thrifted finds, whether you plan to keep them, sell them or give them, share them here first!

Ok CONFESSION time I was gone a lot of last week, I’ve barely been online at all since Tuesday and I’m exhausted. I haven’t visited anyone who linked up last week, BUT I will, now that I’m home and I SEE there are linked up thrifters I am on it. Tomorrow of course because I am banging this out at 11:30 at night and like I said I’m exhausted.

We headed out dip netting last week, trying to catch our yearly salmon in one fell swoop. We did pretty good, we got 20 red salmon, although we could have caught a total of 55 fish that’s just too much to to process and eat on one year. Believe me salmon in March makes kids cry, we want our kids to LOVE salmon so we learned early on to never get TOO many or we’ll just be wasteful or punishing kids. If you’re interested in dip netting we’re going to post about in a few days bust the basic concept is this: you stand in the ocean up to your chest, you hold a 5 foot round net on a 6-16 foot handle and try to scoop fish as they start their run up the river to spawn. It’s great fun, a little dangerous and if you’re smart and play your cards right you can get a freezer full of fish to eat all winter in just a few short days.

But enough of thrifty eating lets talk thrifting! I found utilitarian goodies this week like hiking poles!

thrifter share thriftermakerfixerfarm.comA friend said I needed a pair for hiking up in the mountains and when I looked into them they were 45 bucks for a set, wow. I knew  I needed them for a particular trail I wanted to hike but had trouble spending forty five bucks on glorified ski poles. Good thing I held off because I found a pair for 8 bucks! EIGHT BUCKS and if they are useless I’m only out eight bucks and I bet I could sell them for that much and probably more.

And my other great purchase was this nice big HUGE dehydrator. Windows Phone_20140720_22_52_17_ProWindows Phone_20140720_22_52_27_ProEight trays, variable heat, variable fan speed, eight fruit leather trays and eight trays with small openings. I am going to dehydrate everything that stands still long enough for me to get ahold of it. We’re talking fruit leather, rhubarb, peach, nectarine, cherry! Dried peaches and nectarines. All the herbs I can cram in it and hopeful another batch of celery/carrot fruit starter. I can finally try the jerky maker too.

What are you spending your pennies on?

Thrifter Share

A post to share your thrifted finds whether you plan to keep them, sell them or give them, share them here first!

Last week’s thrifter share kind of blew me out of the water, what an amazing find we hauled in, a ShopSmith right here, right now in our garage! Kind of amazing to think we now have the capability to make just about anything we want to, um except what do we want to make??? That’s the biggest question. I guess it’s best answered by HOW THE HELL do we run this thing and make it do all the cool stuff we want it to. It’s pretty nifty though because it comes with a step by step manual and walks you through several projects all the while teaching you each and every tool, and how to use them all.

My finds, not as exciting or as excellent, are more my speed and I don’t have to figure out how to use them. Well one, maybe I might need to figure it out, I’ll let you guess which one it is.

Adorable hand made doorknob decorations, 4 matchingthriftermakerfixerfarm.com

1 oddball. thriftermakerfixerfarm.comProbably for sale, we’ll see, they’re not my style but they’re vintage, handmade and kitschy which are all my style.

Little pair of wooden shoesthriftermakerfixerfarm.com perfect, PERFECT for leaving St. Nicholas a little something something on December 5th. Definitely for sale we have our own pair already.

And this awesome and slightly freaky Hansel and Gretel Cake Pan, the Hexenhaus. thriftermakerfixerfarm.comthriftermakerfixerfarm.com thriftermakerfixerfarm.comA stand up baking pan that clamps together, I’ll need to translate the recipe and directions to figure this thing out. Pretty cool though. 

What are you spending your pennies on?

The Love List

I was mucking out the pig pen today, NOT on the love list, when I got this crazy idea to write up a list of things I LOVE. It was probably to offset the fact that I was scooping manure from animals who were actively trying to eat my rubber boots, NOT MY WELLINGTONS!, and I needed to be in a happy place. I started thinking about what I was loving right now about life and voila in 5 more minutes I was done and I wondered where the spent working went. To happier thoughts my friends, to happier thoughts.

Do I need to say that pretty much each and every one of these is pretty dang thrifty or delivers a really big bang for your buck? Ok well consider yourself warned and also you’ve been warned that there is an affiliate link in here too!

  1. hiking with my kids-almost free, so thrifty which rules, AND the exercise beats the 3.5 miles I’m running a couple times a week these days-I mean to say I am sore in places I didn’t know I could be sore–and the time spent on good and happy things like being with my kids offsets any muscle aches or fears of plummeting to our deathhiking with kids and the views aren’t half bad eitherhiking with kids
  2. this Contech Motion Activated sprinkler to keep the cats out of my gardenmotion detector sprinklerMOTION ACTIVATED AND HEAT SENSOR means it can differentiate between a cat and broccoli plants waving in the wind–I bought this baby for myself, this is an affiliate link to Amazon where I bought mine, IT WORKS [if you happen to click through and purchase an item I have linked to we earn a small amount of money]
  3. this concealer/highlighter in Ivory from Maybelline dream-lumi-concealer_pack-shot-cropjust a few touches and dash of mascara and I look 10x more awake and refreshed, which leads to feeling beautiful
  4. learned about it from maskcara–I love her blog, no two ways about it-not only is she beautiful in and out, but her tutorials are spot on, she’s funny and she reviews everything
  5. Our local Hair Academy Shear Fire Design has a amazing new deal going onShear Fire–I WANT THEM ALL-can you imagine all the waxing you need every month? my eyebrows would never be feral again!
  6. this skirt I thrifted a few months backthrifted skirt–I love it I wear it every morning and every night switching to jeans most days for heavy duty work–it’s so light it practically floats around me
  7. I’m pretty much going to join the dollar shave club, seriously never running out of razors during the summer would be the best, and no tossing the WHOLE thing, which is so wasteful, with these just the blades go–and I love their shaving lotion, it’s non-aresol! And the plans start at a BUCK A MONTH–the heck you say???
  8. Tree Things www.treethings.net–yup a fruit truck that delivers fresh fruit to Alaska every three weeks, no more fruit from the store just stock up and chow down-enough said

8 seems like a good stopping point for all the happy lovely thrifty things I was thinking of while the pigs tried to eat me. Ok, fine, just my boots but still. Enjoy the Love List.

Thrifter Share


I think one of the hallmarks of being a grownup is being able to have enough after everything that you have to do, to occasionally take advantage of the really great deal that comes your way. This time, a friend had to sell this awesome Mark V Shopsmith, and we snapped it up.

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Not quite thrifted, but definitely a deal.

Both my grandfather and Laura’s had one of these, and it was my introduction to power tools in my early teens. The shopsmith is home shop’s swiss army knife, not the best tool for everything, but a dang good one and there’s an attachment for everything. It can be a lathe, a drill press, a horizontal borer, a tablesaw, a router, and disk grinder (and a few dozen other tools).


It’s going to come in handy. Already in the two days I’ve had it, it’s helped me remake an old kitchen knife into a real beaut.

14th c. knife

Make Giant Bubbles

giant bubble makerOh man my kids are so inventive, total little makers, check out this crazy EASY homemade bubble wand they made up. It makes huge bubbles and it’s made from things our recycling center won’t accept, which makes it even more incredibly cool.

You need a large Nancy’s yogurt tub, or something about that size, and a pair of scissors to cut it and that’s it. Super simple design, just cut the bottom off, cut away most of the sides leaving a small piece for a handle. And it’s done.

giant bubble maker


You’ll need something big enough to dip it to make bubbles. We’ve used cookie sheets and low bowls successfully. You’ll also need a LOT of bubbles because your kids will never tire of seeing HOW big of bubbles they can make.

Try this recipe:

2 quarts of water

1/3 cup of dish soap

mix gently and let it rest over night


giant bubble maker

Thrifter Share

A post to share your thrifted finds, whether you plan to keep them, sell them or give them, share them here first!

Let’s move right on into my fabulous finds from last week’s estate sale, I’ve finally merged what I’m keeping into our house and snapped a few more pictures too.

I love these old kitchen pieces and they’re already tucked into my kitchen ready to go to work.


I even donated an extra ladle too and replaced it with the old red tupperware ladle. The scoops, I love them, I hope they work in our snack jars for scooping instead of dirty hands. (Yes, I AM the killer of all fun!) And well the tongs are super awesome old canning tongs so they stay, I may donate my other pair, I certainly don’t need two, but I won the other pain in a jelly making contest so I’m torn.

Then there are two more jadeite colored tupperware bowls, one is a lettuce bowl with a little grid to hold the lettuce up off the bottom of the bowl and keep it out of water. Love the color, may just sell them but for now I will relish their color.

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Oh I love these, although my sons are both kind of horrified at how gaudy they are but oh so gaudy in an AWESOME WAY.thriftermakerfixerfarm.com

And they get better.

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Who the hell has 43 year old potholders from a Pontiac dealer? THIS GIRL.


Pyrex Salt and Pepper Shakers! Windows Phone_20140628_10_15_24_Pro__highres


Danish Mid Century Mod Gravy Bowl and Ladle. I like it but I’m leaning towards selling, it came in it’s original box and packaging bag.

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And some more milk glass, this time bowls.Windows Phone_20140628_10_20_53_Pro Windows Phone_20140628_10_20_30_Pro__highres

Ayup, more milk glass passed over by the make a buck nasty local reseller. She was at the sale early and kept trying to get where the family had things put away to keep. She was snatching things up and acting like an idiot and well, you know what, I bet we’ve all been there with resellers like that, eh? I just kept my head down and dug where we were allowed to dig. My hutch is rather full at this point, I kind of like it, although I think it’s time to change it up.thriftermakerfixerfarm.com