Laundry Day!

Today was the day!  I woke up kinda early, made coffee, stoked the fire and relaxed for a bit and scrolled through Facebook.  Then it was time to get out of my pjs, which I like wearing pjs they are so comfy.  It’s what I looked forward to after a hard day at work.  And these particular pjs are special.  My best friend back in Florida gave them to me as part of my going away present.  It’s a tank top and leggings and it’s so comfy and of course the leggings can be used as long underwear.  Thanks Tammy, I really love them.  It’s just now that I am able to wear them, for some odd reason after we ran out of propane, a few days later the heat pump started magically working.  That means the camper gets so freaking hot that I need a tank top to sleep in.  Even so, when leaving the camper its sweat shirt and a coat.  In the house I have to keep the sweat shirt on until the fire gets roaring.  Yesterday, I have to shed the sweat shirt because I got it really warm in the house by way of the wood stove.

Any who!  I went to do laundry and had to go to the Gear Shed twice before going to the laundry mat.  I was so happy that I on;y spent 13.50 on all our laundry.  That was washed and dried.  YAY!  So, while our clothes were washing I went into town and visited Ulmer’s for PVC pipe, then the post office to check our box, and to the bank for more quarters.  Then, my timer went off and it was back to the laundry mat to put the clothes in the dryer and set for 45 minutes.  Off to the water people to sign some paperwork and talk about how to save our water from leaky pipes.  Good talk!

Then to Safeway, which is just as nice as Publix in Florida.  I had some friends back in Florida that were not sure about this grocery store but it’s nice.  I like it and like Sav-U-More.  Which is part of the Kroger franchise.  It’s bulk food that is organic and some regular.  It also has a hodgepodge of Ikea and wWalmart brands.  It’s weird.  You can buy you livestock freed, halloween candy, sushi, meat, pasta, veg, etc. all from one store.  Oh, and they have a liquor store as well.

Then, got the laundry, folded it, stuffed it in Spike and off we go!  I also forgot to buy a new voltage tester and stopped at Gear Shed one more time, they didn’t have one.  So, I turned around and went back towards town to the Electric Shop where they were going to charge me $35 for this stupid little device.  He told me the price and I said, “Holly Shit!”  Yup, he gave me a look.  I told him I have to run completely into town and I have to go passed him to go home.  I went back to Ulmer’s and bought the same stupid device for $25.  The shame!  Then, I headed home and just about up the hill to the house I remembered that I forgot ice and 7-up.  I pull over to the Fritz Creek General Store and pay $13 dollars for a small bag of ice and a 12 pack of sprite (smack in the face).  My stupidity made me over spend of two freaking items. I made it home and decided that a drink might do the trick.

Dinner tonight is or was rather, flank steak and fully loaded salad.  I went to Safeway and found my favorite lettuce which is butter crunch.  It was the largest head of butter crunch I have ever seen, that wasn’t one I grew myself, of course.  Turns out it’s from California and it cost exactly the same as the Publix grocery butter crunch from Tennessee except it’s smaller.  Talk about a bang for your buck!

 

Dad saved us by finding the colander to clean all our greens!

IMG_3467

As I was cutting up this yummy lettuce and organic cilantro, I was marinating the flank steak slices.

IMG_3458

I also wanted to show you our sandwich bread, it’s made in Alaska.

IMG_3461

We also are making our vodka and 7’s with Kirkland’s Vodka.  It’s really good.

IMG_3459

And for desert, Angel food cake!  YUM!

IMG_3464

I leave a sweet picture of Taco laying by the fire.  Ya’ll have a great night or day depending where you are in the world.  Be safe and watch over each other, there is always a need for good people in the world.

IMG_3465

Oct 25: Another Debacle

What can I say, it’s never a dull moment here on the homestead.  We woke up late (OOPS!) and had coffee and I cooked pancakes and bacon.  The dogs were fed and we started our day of rehab projects.  We ran the electrical wire through the wall in the kitchen area and hen tried to run the water.  That’s where we hit a road block.  All those copper pipes leading upstairs were unrepairable and there is really no way to fix them unless we tear out the floors.  Well, that’s not going to happen; or will it?

So, I swept and removed the rubbled we created in the downstairs bathroom where we take our showers and use the restroom.  Dad decided if he can’t do anything else then he will work on getting the oil tanks put together and installed up against the house where the oil heater is.  We will have that baby running soon.

IMG_3453

We also had a nice gentleman come by and price out what it would take to level out the mud pile on the other end of the house so we can dump gravel and get our container parked and the camper.

Yesterday, I paint most of my bedroom.  Here are some before, during and after pics for your enjoyment.

The walls will be painted a light warm color like BEHR’s Almond Milk or Almond Latte colors.  They have some nice warm tones to them and will complement the golden wood trim and bench with shelves very nicely.  I might use them both!  One on the walls and one for the ceiling it will no longer look like a purple cave.  With all those big windows it should be brighter and it will be.

As you know, it snowed!  It was beautiful.  Well, it warmed up and started raining.  Here is a before and aftertax two different angles.

Right now, there is no snow at all on the ground.  Just a big muddy mess. YUCK!  I can’t wait for the ground to refreeze.  It made it easier to walk on all that mud.

Right at this moment, 8:07 pm on October 25, 2017 in Alaska time, I am cooking country fried steak, mash potatoes and gravy with green beans.  It would have been peas but we’re out (wah wah) 😦

It’s still going to be a great hardy meal that we really need.  We have been burning so many calories it’s not funny.  I went from a size 10 (which I wasn’t happy about that size anyway) to a size 6.  Best diet ever!  Hard work and living the dream on the homestead will keep you fit.

All and all it ended up being a pretty productive and not too much to complain about.

Well, I better go check on the boiling potatoes, it will soon be time to fry up some meat!

Ya’ll have a great night and a great morning for some of you out there.

 

Bob’s Version: Day 35 Homestead

DAY 35 Homestead

Set the alarm for 8 am and got up at about 9 am. It was dark at 8 so I wasn’t really motivated to abandon my warm, not so comfy pull out couch. Had to get up because my bed mate Suzy, the 6 lb Yorkie, had to go and had to go now. I quickly got some warm clothes on and found my shoes before she had no choice but do her business on our bed. Once I was up, I made coffee and stoked the fire in the wood stove. I really need to get the oil stove going. It is down to something in the 40s in the house when we get up in the morning.

Started the day with the dirt guy calling me to say he was through for the season and wouldn’t be doing our job. Spent the rest of the morning worrying what to do now. About 1:00 the guy I bought the stove from called and told me that one of his buddies that did dirt work would be calling me. I apologized profusely for giving him a hard time about the missing parts of the stove as I solved the stove problem and still only paid about half the price of a new oil stove. He was very gracious in accepting my apology. I rarely apologize for anything but this was a case where I truly owed an apology.
About 2:30 the new dirt guy called and we arranged to meet later.

Summer and I pulled wire for the kitchen electrical outlets It was a pain as there was no real way to get directly to the kitchen. Through three walls and five 90 degree turns we slaved away. Have the wiring done now we can sheet rock the kitchen walls. Still need to get water in the kitchen. Figured out that the previous owners had run the water through the cabinets instead of the walls. Guess we will do the same.

The dirt guy showed up after another phone call saying that he was on his way. He was very knowledgeable and found us another source of gravel for less than half the price that we had been quoted. He will get the job done by Friday so that we can get the 40′ shipping container set next to the house. After that we can unload the 28′ trailer full of tools and furniture. We got the school bus unloaded but there are so many boxes that we can’t unpack for lack of places to put it. Everything in it’s own good time. I guess.

An other tragedy happened as we were celebrating finding someone who would and could solve our landscape problem. A PVC pipe joint failed and blew water everywhere. I repaired it with a hose connector and a couple of hours later we were out of water. One of the freaking hose clamps failed and dumped 200+ gallons of water. Almost too embarassed to call Quikdraw, the water purveyor, as we’ve had them deliver water 5 times in three weeks. I’m sure someone down there is wondering “How stupid are these people”.

The last chore of the day was to set up the diesel oil tanks for the oil stove. Summer and I got the tank stand onto a level platform and wrestled the partially filled tanks onto the stand. Tomorrow I’ll run the copper line to the heater and see if it works as advertised.
Had homemade Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans for my 2nd meal of the day. I cleaned my plate.

Bob’s Version: Day 34 Homestead

DAY 34 Homestead

Over slept by a bunch this morning. I arose at 10:37 and found Summer relaxing and drinking coffee in front of the wood stove. I drank mine and began the ‘Door Adventure’.
“Door Adventure’ Part One–Took 8 million sheetrock screws out of the door frame. Then Summer and I tried to remove the door frame after I removed the door. Found another half dozen screws hiding in the closet. Removed those little buggers and the door, finally, allowed itself to be removed.

Door Adventure Part Two–Got the old door and frame out then tried to install the other door assembly to check for fit. IT DIDN’T.

Door Adventure Part Three–Decided that the only way to get the standard 3’0″ x 6’8″ to fit was trim the door header. Located my RYOBI circular saw and cut the first layer of rough cut lumber. 2″ x 8″ is the actual size of the lumber. After finishing the cut through the first layer, I was left with two layers and no tool to cut them. Tried starting both of my chainsaws to no avail. If someone gives you a POULAN chainsaw just throw it into the recycle bin. They aren’t worth a damn for anything except for boat anchors or recycled metal. And they probably aren’t really good boat anchors.
Ended up cutting across the two additional 2x8s and using a chisel to remove the 2-3 inch pieces. Tedious waste of time but I had no choice. We had no door in 32 degree weather.

Door Adventure Part Four–I, finally, got the door opening to my specs and set the door in for checking the fit. It fit perfectly and I had about and inch above the door open. I planned it that way so that as we added 1/2 of underlayment and 1/2′ of laminate flooring the door would open properly. ‘All is well that ends well” or so I’ve been told.

Door Adventure Part Five–Got the door and put down a piece of 3/4 plywood to raise it above the floor as previously stated for underlayment and flooring. Both sides of the door were squared still the door wouldn’t close. This is when I find our that the transom is out of level by just over a 1/4″. That part of the house is dead level so somebody just screwed up the transom substructure. I sat down with a cup of coffee and tried to figure out why the door wouldn’t close and why the other door assembly was shorter that the new door assembly. It dawned on me that the original owner/builder of the house mis-measured and the result was a transom not connected to the door frame and a door cut off and this left the sheet metal bottom flapping in the breeze. Apparently, this person was endowed with a special kind of stupid.

Door Adventure Part Six– Took the door out and ground away some of the plywood in order to get enough room to square up the door. Tried several tools but the just went with a circular saw to cut away the excess wood. Not neat or safe but the door closes with some minor encouragement and that’s where I left it. Not perfect but good enough. Screwed the aggravating thing to the walls and called it a day. Too much aggravation makes Jack an angry boy

Bob’s Version: Day 33 Homestead

DAY 33 Homestead

Usual start except that I took a very hot shower after Summer completed hers and then waited 30-40 minutes for Summer to stop primping. We were on our way to get our passport photos and she wanted to look nice, I guess. Body clean, teeth brushed and hair combed I was, at last, on my way to the post office for my camera breaking appearance. $200 later we have a receipt and assurances that our passports will arrive in about two weeks. It’s the Federal bureaucracy so I don’t believe a damned word of it. Need the passport for December as we are returning to Florida to take care of some business and to bring back the last of our belongings.
After the passport ordeal we went to buy diesel fuel for the truck $71, Groceries $90, adapters for the Toyo oil stove $217 and one large fleece zip front jacket $15 on clearance. After that we went home before we really spent some money.
At home, I set about installing the oil stove and found that the parts I had purchased were not all of the needed parts. This led to a second trip to Homer, 10 miles each way, to get the necessary part. That part, 2 bucks worth of stainless steel, cost $43. Back at the house I successfully installed the stove after much cursing and gnashing of teeth. Now all I have to do is set up the fuel tanks and see if someone can be coaxed out here to fill them. The stove is, partially gravity fed which means the outlet of the tanks has to be above the stove valve. This should be interesting in the rain and sleet predicted for tomorrow. Whatever it takes, I’ll “gitter done”.
Oh! I failed to mention that it started snowing early this morning. The secondary roads received no sanding and our secondary road is like a ski jump across a busy primary road. Had to back a couple of hundred feet down the road as my passive-aggressive neighbor parked another the vehicle in the turn around across the road from this property. We’re the only people on the road and his family built the house we purchased. When we arrived to take possession we met him and he was more than a little peeved that he didn’t even know that it was for sale. It appears I made an enemy about 10 minutes after I arrived here. That has to be a new record, even for me. Anyway, I backed out into the street put the truck in 4 wheel drive low and creeped down the hill. After that the main road was in pretty good shape.
Tonight we’re having hamburgers all the way and some kind of bean. Actually, Summer just said “Time to eat” so I’m gone.

First Trip to Town in the Snow

Today we needed to get our passport applications in so when we drive back and forth from the lower 48 it’s easier to go through Canada.  We did get through with just a birth certificate and drivers license, but it’s a lot easier to have a passport or passport card.

We also had a few other errands to run, like going to the grocery store and getting an essential piece to an oil heater puzzle.  We did do and got back home ASAP.  Well, not fast, it was snowing.  Anyway, here’s another video for you to enjoy.

Have a great night everyone! Stay safe and warm out there.

It’s whats for dinner!

Dinner has been pretty interesting here, there is no water in the camper really and the kitchen sink is not hooked up.  We have basically abandoned the camper kitchen for my homestead fixer upper propane stove and utilizing the wood stove.

That’s why I love it here so much, it’s a challenge and keeps me thinking and on my toes. Complacency is the killer here.  You always have something to do.   I don’t like being bored.  Challenges are awesome!

So, dinner tonight is baked potatoes in the wood stove, flank steak medallions,  butter beans and for dessert, mandarine oranges in natural juices.

I figure that were need more carbs and such due to the fact Dad is losing his britches and so am I.  Although, I am not going to complain.  I’m just about back to my late 20s, early 30s size!  I just don’t want to waste away into skin and bones.  So, we will eat up like it’s our last meal.  YUMMY!

Dinner was great!  Cooking the potatoes in the wood stove was fast and efficient!  I will definitely cook them that way again.

Well, I’m gonna have a night cap. Enjoy life my friends, it’s the only one you got.