Dad’s Alaska

7 June 2020 Sunday I had one of those slow days. I had a leisurely breakfast of eggs, sausage and grits washed down with a flood of coffee. Summer is still on her glamping trip to the glacier. The name of the glacier is a mystery to me. I can see it across Kachemak Bay but it’s name is unknown to me. I didn’t ask anyone the name as my personal hard drive is full and any more information is likely to cause the deletion of older information that I might need or want. In every life there comes a time when not knowing everything is a good thing. I think I may have reached that tipping point.

I read several news sites and can only conclude that insanity has become the norm all over the world. People for whom I have had a modicum of respect for are saying some of the dumbest, most ignorant things I have ever heard. For example, Dwayne Johnson “The Rock” prattled on attacking President Trump and I wondered why he didn’t simply call President Trump with his questions. His call would be answered and he could very easily jump into his private jet and go the White House and talk with President Trump. None of us could do that. Is it just ‘virtue signaling’ to keep his career on the move or is he just another Hollywood idiot? Either way is bad but I’m beginning to think it is the latter rather than the former. Yep. He’s just another Hollywood idiot. Given the circumstances what else can you conclude?

Today I was working on the water damaged ceiling in the travel trailer. I installed a piece of birch plywood over the water damaged area. It was either that or tear out the entire ceiling and install new sheetrock. While it looked a simple job it rapidly became complicated. Part of the complication was putting the plywood on the ceiling when there was little or no room to maneuver the 8 feet of it into place. The ceiling had some damage when Summer and I bought the trailer. I stopped the leak immediately but the interior repair was not high on the list of things that needed to be done. It leaked again sitting unused, unentered for nearly 3 years. I think I told you that I had only been inside maybe twice in those years. Summer and I had talked of a vacation using it in late summer or early fall. We wanted to go to Mt. Rushmore and all of the world’s largest whatever that was down the road. For once we just wanted to be tourists while passing through America on our way to Florida to see family. Of course, that was before C-19 made her unemployed for many weeks and now she is only working 12-15 hours a week. The lack of cash flow doesn’t help. Then there are all of different quarantine rules in different cities and states would make the trip less than peaceful.

The Birch plywood ceiling addition in the travel trailer
A different view of the ceiling repair

On top of all of the other travel considerations, Summer has decided that her life career is to run a nursery business. Therefore I’ll be building a greenhouse this fall after I finish building a heated water room onto the house, a retaining wall against the current piling foundation under the house, rewiring the house and a deck on the front of the house. The deck is being built so that it can serve as the subfloor for the new addition to the house that may not happen for a couple of years. In addition, I’ve got to convert the shed in front of the house to a heated, shelved plant starter facility. No pressure.

The future plant starter building
Our neighbors outhouse. Dry cabin-no running water. Common in Alaska

Our old man, Gandie, is deteriorating pretty quickly now. He’s sixteen years old and that is very old for a Miniature Schnauzer. He’s sleeping 12-14 hours a day and is unsteady on his feet. He is losing weight while eating like there’s no tomorrow. I think he’ll probably make it for a few more weeks or months. I doubt that he can or will survive the coming winter. He gets a pain pill twice a day and because of his incessant pacing in the evenings I’ve been giving him a Benadryl. The Benadryl hasn’t seemed to have any effect his behavior at all. He won’t go to his bed until everyone else has gone to bed. He’s, usually, awake until I go to bed at around midnight. If you go to the kitchen he’ll be right under your feet. We’re not sure that he has any idea who Summer and I are, but he certainly knows when it’s dinner time. It is very sad to watch an old friend start to slip away.

Gandolph the Grey aka Gandie
Gandie-My favorite old man

It rained for a couple of hours this afternoon which brought outside work to a screeching halt. It started around 2:00 and ended just after 5:00. The three hour hiatus made me feel lazier than I was already feeling. I did not accomplish anything else beyond feeding the dogs and myself. I did finish Saturday’s blog and I’ve done this one. I guess I did accomplish something after all.

The mower below is brand new. It has cut not one single blade of grass since it was purchased last fall just before the tractor broke down. I’m kind of anxious to give it a try but now it’s Spring and Summer won’t allow me to mow. The reason I can’t mow is Fireweed. Fireweed blooms in mid-Summer and the bees harvest the pollen. That pollen becomes Fireweed honey. It is one of the most expensive honeys in the world. A four ounce jar often sells for as much as $25. Summer sold 6 four ounce jars last Fall for $100 to a local business. That business in turn sold the for $25 each. She got about a gallon of Fireweed honey last year with only one hive, this year she has three hives. Fireweed honey is almost crystal clear and tastes like no honey you’ve ever tasted. The ancients would likely have called it “The nectar of the gods”. It is really that good. Sceptic that I am, I did not believe that there could be much difference. I could not have been more wrong. I’m hoping we get enough this year so that we get to keep some for ourselves

The little mower that couldn’t

Buh Bye.

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