Dad’s Alaska

February 18, 2022

Here’s to Spring. I hope it arrives very soon.

Except for my walks and the occasional trip to the big city of Homer, i am house bound. Winter seems to drag on forever and you begin to get a little nutty. The short days, the snow and the boredom are stifling. Fortunately, the days are getting longer, the snow will be gone soon and I’ll be back working on this house or one of a dozen projects outside. When the first snow falls you are just ecstatic. It’s beautiful and it covers the ugly brown stuff on the ground. BUT after a few months, of snow blowing, shoveling, walking on ice and slip sliding away, you are done. February is quickly coming to a close and I couldn’t be happier. March is still cold but the snow storms are usually over and gone by the middle of the month. After that we have a slow warm up until all of the snow and ice are gone at about the end of April. We have had some anomalous weather this year ( It’s been both warmer and colder than normal. at least, what I consider normal. As I’m typing this missive it is about 38F and raining. Not what you in the Lower 48 might expect for this time of year. There were a couple of days when it was warmer here than in N. Florida or LA (Lower Alabama). Yeah, we’ve still got snow. It melts during the day and becomes ice at night then melts a little the next day time to become a slip hazard. Even to me, it seems that I’m whining too much.. I guess it is a symptom of ’cabin fever’. Onto more pleasant of pertinent things.

Me and my new buddy, Buddy, just back from a walk.

Buddy is, presumably, a Chihuahua. When looking at him straight in the face he looks like a miniature German Shepherd. According to the people who gave him to me, he is about a year old. Was supposed to be ’chipped’ and wasn’t. So I’m not assured about his age. Took Buddy in last week for his pre-eunuch medical checkup. He’ll be operated on March 18 and hopefully that will be the end of territory marking in the house. I hate to do it to the little fella but I am really tired of cleaning up his pee spots. Training to take his business outside has been somewhat successful and taking him on the two miles strolls has drained his radiator pretty well before bed time.

Buddy pulling me down the road.

”His master’s voice” or more likely ’Where the hell is my treat?”
Me and Buddy in a snow storm.

Believe it or not we are starting to prep for Spring. Not physical prep. More like planning prep. We’ve got a guy lined up to help us stabilize the house. The house is slowly moving down the hill and will, eventually, collapse off the existing pilings. Picking the house up off the ground might be just a wee bit difficult. We’ve lined up a sheetrock guy and I’m going to tear out he kitchen and remove all of the sheetrock from the ceiling. I can’t rewire the house until the ceiling is down.

March 22, 2022

As you may have ascertained from the current date, I have been off doing other things. Not necessarily things that I had planned to do exactly. My first name should be ‘Sidetrack’. Being sidetracked is the reason that the first date on this missive is in February. As I remember it, I was typing away oblivious to the rest of the world when I realized that I was hungry. Into the kitchen, which is about 6 steps, I went to make a sandwich. Arriving there I noticed that the counter had some crumbs on it. This led me to the sink where I found a dish cloth and noticed that the sink had some debris in it. I cleaned out the sink and then wiped off the counter top. I reached into the cabinet for a paper plate and there were none. This led me to the pantry where I discovered that some cans had fallen over and were out of order. This led to placing can in the proper order which then led me to straightening some boxes. This led to finding two boxes of crackers open. This led to consolidating all of the crackers in one box. Then I took the empty box to the trash only to find the kitchen trash container full. This led to removing the trash and getting a fresh trash bag from under the sink. With the new trash bag in place I took the old trash bag out and realized that I needed to make a dump run. This led to moving the truck and loading various other materials, as well as trash bags into the truck. I’m standing there looking at a truck bed full of stuff and I decide that I might as well go to the dump since the truck was loaded. The trip to the dump led to driving past the SAFEWAY. Tuesday is Safeway Senior Discount Day. This led an hour looking at my Safeway phone app to discover and retrieve the weekly specials. I loaded up my discounted haul from Safeway and went home. Again I am stilling trying to make a Redneck BLT ie Bologna, Lettuce and tomato. However, as I was putting the frying pan on the stove, I noticed where grease from last nights fried shrimp had boiled over onto the stove top. This led to removing the grates and burners. This led to me realizing that they were greasy and needed to go into the dishwasher. This led me back to the grease and debris on the stove top. This led me to the pump bottle of DAWN sitting on the side of the sink that I discovered was empty. This led me to be on my hands and knees digging everything from under the sink in order to get the big refill bottle of DAWN. This led me to rearranging the under sink stuff and removing the 899 plastic bags that were stuffed in that cabinet. I refilled the DAWN bottle which led me back to the greasy stove top where I put a little water and some DAWN on it and mopped around to let it soak for a few minutes. I then decided to pour a glass of tea to go with my sandwich which had now degenerated into two slices of bread a slice of bologna and a squirt of yellow mustard. The opening of the refrigerator caused and avalanche as one of the shelves decided to slip out of it’s proper place. n This led to a bowl of potato soup spilling onto the floor and into the bottom of the refrigerator. This disaster led to the removal of the bottom drawers and sopping out potato soup and some other weird stuff out of the bottom of the refrigerator. Also, it led to cleaning a fair amount off the floor which led me to understand that the floor needed to be swept. This led to 10 minutes of broom and dust pan work. While I was washing my hands I realized that it was time to collect the chicken eggs and water the geese. Collecting the eggs led to me seeing that the chickens were out of water. I took the eggs into the house got two buckets of melted snow water and went back and refilled the water for the chickens. This led me to taking two similar buckets to the geese and discovering that they were nearly out of food. This led to a trip to the food storage tent and 50 pounds of feed hauled down to the goose pen. The empty water buckets led to shoveling snow into the buckets to make more water for the critters. I took the buckets inside and put them near the wood stove where I had let the fire go out. This led to starting another fire which led me to notice that were were low on firewood. This led to the wood tent where I loaded a Jet sled full and pulled it back to the door of the house. I unloaded the sled and that was not quite enough to fill the wood bin. I went back for a second load and brought it into the house. All of the in and out commotion got the dogs excited about going outside so I let them out. They had the zoomies and were running all over the yard for several minutes. Two of the showed up at the back steps, one did not. This led to me having to put on coat and hat again and go find the wayward critter. It was Buddy and he’s the new kid on the block and only obeys shouts at the top of my lungs. I could hear him barking but could not see him. He had gone around the conex and was barking at a moose less than 30 feet away. Since he is a chihuahua he is of the opinion, as are all chihuahuas, that he is a really big dog. He would not leave it and I, finally, had to pick the little moron up to take him and myself to safety. This led me back inside where my sandwich bread had gotten kind of hard. This led to toasting the bread with one side having been smeared with mustard. When the toaster popped up I took my bread, placed the bologna back into it and hurried to the table and sat down before I got sidetracked again. After I sat down and had taken a bite of my sandwich I realized that I hadn’t started the dishwasher to clean the stove top grates and burners or cleaned the stovetop that I left soaking. So there you have it a day in the life of ’Sidetrack’ Bob.

Me and Buddy the brick headed dog sitting in the sun on a warm day.

Not too long after the above day of sidetracks, I was on my way to town for something of which I cannot recall. Anyway, I was on a down hill curve and hit a patch of black ice. Black ice looks like water on the roadway. The truck started sliding on the ice. It veered to the left and I corrected. It veered to the right and I corrected. It did both of these things a couple more times before it swapped ends and slide backwards off an embankment and down about eight feet. As the truck came to a halt it rolled up on it’s passenger side and slide another 10-15 feet. The whole thing was so smooth and gentle that none of the airbags deployed. When the truck stopped, I was still sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat holding the steering wheel with both feet on the floor. I was uninjured and more than a little perplexed. The engine was still running so I turned of the key and tried to figure out what to do next. This was when I got the bright idea to unsnap the seat belt. I had heard of people being unable to release the seat belt so I was a little concerned. Without thinking about the idea that I was hanging five feet above the ’ground’, I unsnapped the belt. It was one of my all time dumbass moves. I fell head first down to the passenger side window and got a pretty big knot on my head as the ’Dumbass Reward’. It never occurred to me to hold onto the steering wheel. Standing on the passenger door, I tried to kick out the windshield. That didn’t happen. I remembered a big hammer that I always carry in the back floorboard and was looking for it when some guy opened the driver’s side door. I climbed the seat and out as he held the heavy door. This young man took me to a friend’s house and he took me to the ER to check out my ’Dumbass Reward’. I was fine the truck was another matter. The entire passenger side was smashed and all of my tools and other stuff was scattered across the snowy ditch. It was a mess. There are a couple of pictures below.

The picture were taken a couple of hours later and the black ice had melted. As you cab see there was the potential for disaster. The power pole was not real close but had I slid another 10 feet on the road, I would have nailed it dead center. My Grandmother Byrd used to say ”God looks out for fools and children”. So I guess I am both a fool and a child of God. This accident could have been so much worse because I slid across the opposite lane. Had another vehicle been coming up the hill there would likely have been dead people in that vehicle. Me? I would have probably walked away as I would have had the entire rear of the truck as cushion and I was belted in with the seat to cushion the impact further.

It’s that time of the year again. The moose are wandering through looking for food and a place to have their calves. The car that the moose is next to is a Subaru Forester. It’s a small car but not a tiny car and the moose will weigh in at close to half the weight of the car. Buddy the Brick Head ran out the door while I was exiting to take these pictures. He ran to within 10 feet of this big critter barking like crazy. The moose stopped and turned slightly to get a better look, I guess. It certainly didn’t appear to be afraid. When the moose stopped and turned, Buddy stopped in mid bark and lit out for the back door. It was as if he’d suddenly learned that old adage ”Discretion is the better part of valor”. All of this happened so quickly that by the time I could yell at hime he was half way back to the door. I put him inside and took these pictures. I wish I had taken pictures of the moose and Buddy’s short meeting.

The moose next to our Subaru Forester
The moose ignoring me on it’s way down the hill.

Summer opened her business, Greer Road Greenhouse, last Spring. She’s closing it this Spring. She’s gotten a job delivering the US MAIL. The pay is better and steadier than her business. The business only operated about 3 months of the year and after the close she was back to her job walking dogs for Homer Hounds. She enjoyed both the business and walking the dogs out in the country but both of them combined don’t pay as well as her new job. Money isn’t everything but it is certainly something when you don’t have any. She was never broke but the extra cash isn’t hurting her feelings. As for me, I’ve decided to get back into the appliance repair business. It’s been a little slow starting as there is no good way to advertise up here and I keep getting thrown into Fakebook jail. The Fakebook jail sentence keeps me from posting on the local message boards. What is bad about Fakebook is that you are convicted without a clue as to the horrible offense you committed or any chance to mitigate the circumstance.

It’s snaining outside. That is to say it is snowing and raining at the same time. It’s currently 34F. The weather has been strange this year. It was really, really cold for a few weeks and now for the past two months it has been warm. The night time temp has been above 20F for most of the past two months. I think it was last winter when we had 9 below zero here at the house.

Well, I guess that it for me. Y’all keep your powder dry.


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