Dad’s Alaska

What’s up, Doc?

28 March 2020

Alaska has some 140+ cases of COVID-19 and two deaths. Death rate still about 1.5%. The Homer City Council rescinded their stupid plastic bag ban. They discovered that the ‘bring from home’ bags are seldom washed and according to one test they carry more bacteria and viruses than you might find on any given public toilet. Of course, anyone with half sense already knew that fact.

A good thing, I guess, about Homer is that there is so much dope smoked that nobody seems to really give a damn. Yesterday the local Communist Party (Democrat) leader aka Mayor of Homer closed all “non-essential” businesses and, apparently, nobody gives a damn. Were I still in business they’d have to come arrest me before I’d close the doors. To me, a Conservative and Libertarian, they have no constitutional right to tell me to open or close. They could suggest that I close. And I might do so, due to a modicum of common sense, in an attempt to avoid several days of illness. I really don’t like being sick and for whatever reason I haven’t been in over 40 years. I had heart surgery 20 years ago and I have high blood pressure but no respiratory illnesses of any kind before or after my surgery. This COVID-19 “pandemic” has made some people crazy and others afraid of their own shadow. It makes no sense. Summer went to a gathering of some of her friends. They had built a small bonfire but because of the “social distancing” no one could stand close enough to the fire to stay constantly warm. Summer came home an icicle and was only gone about 45 minutes. BTW I read that the sneeze range is something like 23 feet.

I got both sides of the new kitchen wall sheetrocked. Also, got the water for the refrigerator hooked up. Did not get to the electrical. The reason for that was catching up on the blog. Had to do Thursday and Friday as I had been too busy to write those days. Tomorrow I’ll get the wiring complete and the refrigerator can be taken off the extension cord.

Living room side of new wall
Kitchen side of the new wall and yes I mis-measured the receptacle cutout.

After that chore, it will become wash day. I will be washing Miss Suzy, a ton of laundry and my own stinky self. After living as an adult (more or less) for 60 years in the South, I had become accustomed to taking a shower daily. Being hot and sweaty even in January, sometimes, made it seem necessary. If you didn’t shower regularly there would be ‘social distancing’ because you would stink and nobody would (not even your spouse) want to stand next to you. (As an aside, have you noticed that no one smells of soap anymore. Back in the day everyone bathed in the tub and they always had the smell of whatever perfumy stuff was in their soap. Now most people shower and the perfumy stuff goes down the drain.) My experience here in Alaska has been somewhat different.`I bathe 3-4 times a week. Partly to save water but mostly because there is very little, if any, perspiration to make me smell. There are many stinky people here that you would certainly don’t want to stand close to. They have that Alaska Aroma. A case in point was a doctor I went to see in Homer. She was stinky. Not really, really stinky, but stinky enough that I never went back. I thought, that if she was not bathing regularly, that the potential for catching something that Tide wouldn’t wash off was pretty good. Miss Suzy’s last Tuesday appointment at the beauty shop was canceled by the COVID-19 scare. So now I’ll have to wash and trim her face and belly.

It’s supper time. Summer heated up the slow cooked roast from yesterday, boiled and buttered some potatoes and stir fried asparagus in butter and garlic. We be eating good in the neighborhood.

To quote Red Green, “Keep you stick on the ice”.

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 8

Today was a good day! I finally started on the bathroom! YAY! I put the first coat of Kilz on my vanity and stool. I need to add a second coat and then they will be ready to paint with the shade of white I chose.

From there, I will continue to finish the wall and get that painted as well. Then, the bathroom will be ready for the shower panels and vanity top install. I’m thinking it will take me another 3 days to finish the wall and such.

I still need to check on my bees! I am going to try to do it Sunday before anything else.

This evening, I was trying to text Dan, but I kept getting someone else. It was like our wires got crossed. Every time I tried to text him, I’d get another guy instead. It was funny, because at the time I thought I was talking to Dan. It all started because I decided to text on my IPad instead of my phone. I was streaming off my phone to the tv. So instead of Dad seeing my texts blasted all over the tv, I tried my IPad. When I got a text back “Who is this?”, I thought Dan was being funny so I texted back,” It’s Summer. Your girlfriend. You have more than one? LOL”. Still, I am thinking Dan was being funny and said, “ I can’t keep track”. Then, he said his name was Jared and I thought this was still a joke, so I said, “Jared from State Farm? What are you wearing?’ At this point, I suddenly realized that this was not a joke and this was definitely not Dan. It’s my new friend Jared. I apologized and tried again. I still got him. Once I found out who he was, we have mutual friends including Dan. LOL!! I am so embarrassed. Stupid IPad!

My vegetable starts are growing extremely fast! They are going to have to be replanted in new pots. We still have a crap load of snow on the ground. I might have tomatoes and Brussels sprouts growing out of pots before they even get in the ground.

Stay tuned for Day 9. Stay safe my friends!

Dad’s Alaska

Livin’ La Vida Loca

27 March 2020

Slept late again. Might be that old age is creeping up on me. I have always heard old people complaining about not sleeping. That does not seem to be this old man’s problem. I go to bed at about midnight and get up around 8 AM. Have been in this same sleep pattern for a couple of decades, at least. Lately, I seem to be sleeping to 9 or even 10. Could be that I have sleep apnea along with high blood pressure. Whether I do or don’t, there is no time available to screw around going to some sleep clinic to find out. I guess sleeping an extra hour or two isn’t the worst thing in the world that could happen to me.

Yesterday I got the new kitchen wall installed. Today I ran the plumbing for the refrigerator ice maker and installed the electrical outlets that will be needed for the kitchen. Also, put a receptacle on the Living Room side so that I can plug in a night light until I become accustomed to the new wall. Summer wanted it for the vacuum cleaner but I wanted it so that I don’t walk into a wall where there was once an opening.

I’m planning to move the main breaker panel out of the bathroom and into the hallway. That will make more centrally located and easier to find in the dark. With that in mind I am making all of the ‘home runs’ terminate at the new location for the main panel. By terminating them at the new location, I am insuring that I will move the panel. If I didn’t I’m likely to procrastinate until it never happens.

The new wall with the wiring and plumbing.

Still watching the fiasco that is the COVID-19 “pandemic”. Here in Alaska one person has died. He died in Seattle but Alaska got the credit since he’d recently arrived from and was a resident of Alaska. Anchorage has instituted the ‘shelter in place’ policy. They’ve, also, commandeered an auditorium to shelter several hundred homeless people. It seems that, by some convoluted logic, cramming all of them in one place is going to protect them from the Corona Virus. I’m not quite sure how that is supposed to work. They are placing their cots 6 feet apart. I guess this is “social distancing” for the hapless and ne’er-do-wells that live outside the confines of normal society. They are being socially distanced by being rounded up and forced into a containment facility. Sounds a lot like a concentration camp to me.

Summer spent some of her day tending to her garden starts. Repotting those that were or nearly root bound and planting a few new things. Yesterday she located the small incubator and began incubating goose eggs. Goose eggs sell for 75 cents each but goslings sell for $7. The electricity to hatch 6 eggs is likely not more the 3-4 dollars so hatching them makes a lot more sense than selling the eggs. Currently there is no one selling goslings in the area so there should be a good market for the little critters.

I finished the day by cleaning up the construction debris and cleaning the kitchen. Summer was off to Dan’s for dinner and it was another ‘make your own dinner’ night. We had a roast that had been slow cooked but I just didn’t feel like making any sides to go with it. I microwaved a TV dinner and had a glass of tea. From freezer to chewing in less than ten minutes. When I was about 13, I ate my very first TV dinner. It was a Swanson’s something or other. Having never eaten one, I thought that this was what rich people ate. When all you’ve ever known the food that was cooked in your own kitchen, it was like some kind of unprecedented luxury. Of course, back then you heated them in the stove oven as we didn’t have microwave ovens. They weren’t invented just yet. I will say that they taste better now than then.

Okay. Enough chatter. On to more important things like putting up sheetrock on the new wall.

Dad’sAlaska

26 March 2020 Thursday

Another day of COVID-19 hysteria. U.S. death rate still hovering around 1.6% of the known cases and the government is still destroying The Constitution at every turn. I don’t think that we are going to recover our freedoms after this fiasco. America will be a more highly regulated, government controlled country. The financial tsunami that will be caused by this Two Trillion dollar crap pile bill added to the Twenty-two Trillion in current debt is likely to result in massive inflation and a drastic devaluation of the U.S. dollar. We are about to become Venezuela without the drug income.

Ended up at the lumber yard again. Somehow I managed to be one 2×6 short of a complete wall. Stopped off at the local grocer to get a couple of items and now there are plastic bags again. This has caused a vast improvement in my attitude. I can only tolerate a certain amount of stupid before I become depressed and angry. I got the lumber, ordered a sliding glass door and high tailed it home before one of them thar coronie virus things found me.

Arrived back at the house and began the process of demo in the preparation to install the new wall. The builders of this house did some screwy things and ripping them out took longer than expected. The backside of the stairwell had some odd additions that broke the flow from the living room into the front hallway. Demo is a pain because you never quite know where to stop. Do you just keep tearing out sheetrock or do you stop at a corner? Decided to stop at the corner. No point in making unnecessary work.

Got all of the 2x6s cut to length and screwed on the header and the floor plate. I measured the opening, at least, twice before cutting everything. However, when Summer and I tried to install the new framing it wouldn’t fit. I tried to force it in with gentle tapping with an 8 pound sledge hammer. No luck. We then took the damned thing back into the kitchen and I cut a quarter inch off all of the 2×6 studs and reassembled the wall. This time gentle tapping with the sledge hammer popped it right into place.

The temperature got up over 42F today. It’s a heat wave. Water was pouring off the roof like it was raining. Every now and then there would be a crashing sound of the snow and ice falling off the dormers and hitting the roof below. The snow is melting pretty quickly. In downtown Homer the snow is pretty much gone. There are the big piles from the previous snowplowing still around but the streets and parking lots are snow and ice free. I couldn’t be happier about the absence of snow and the quickly melting snow in our yard. I know that this means mucho mud but mud means warm weather and not having to dress in 17 layers of clothing. Shorts and tee shirts will be the uniform of the day.

Well, I’ve got dishes to wash and a shower to take. See ya later.

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 7

I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. I’m gonna have to think about this for a moment. Let me think……

Oh! I went to the store for needed provisions. Vodka, wine, gluten free foods as well. I also checked the mail looking for my last pay paycheck. No luck. Maybe tomorrow.

Dad and I rearranged the living room before we finish the new wall in the kitchen. That way we can freely walk through the kitchen and living room with no issues. We also moved all the freshly painted bee hives into the tent for safe keeping until we have full on break up. We can’t put them in their new homes until then, too much snow. That, and I don’t have my bees yet.

There was a lot of sweeping and straightening up that needed to be done as well and still needs to be done. I’m still trying to get to the point that I can work on the bathroom, but things just keep coming up. The bees need to be checked on as well. It’s time to feed them pollen patties. This time I’m going to were my bee suit. Last time I didn’t and I got stung. That became a waste of a day. I was all whacked out on Benadryl and slept most of the day. Not gonna make that mistake again!

I’m going over to Dan’s tonight for some social distancing practice and dinner. I made Dad a crock pot roast that’s been cooking for two days, it smells so good! Tonight at Chef Boy’R Dan’s will be grilled red salmon, broccoli and rice. Tonight I dine like an Alaskan and tomorrow I will eat the roast like a southerner.

Borrowed from Facebook

This morning I found this image on Facebook and was reading all the little arrows. I started to look down from my IPad and discovered that I was wearing red Christmas pajama pants, oversized cardigan well more like a zip up hoodie, and a stretched out tank top. No stains. I was just getting over a pimple that I usually don’t get and I didn’t have a headache, but the rest was true. I busted out laughing hysterically. My hair was even in a bun!! I just about died!

Well, that’s all for now! Talk to you later! Day 7 coming soon the a blog near you!

Self Distancing (quarantine): Day 6

Today I painted all the bee hive boxes in the living room where there is still no flooring. Good thing since I made a big mess on the floor. Lot’s of drippy paint since I had to really put on the coats to protect the hives from the elements. I choose black spruce green. It’s a really nice color. I wanted the hives to blend in with the rest of the area. Although bee hives are not an eye sore, I just wanted them to blend in more.

I can’t wait to get my new bees. They are still coming despite of the epidemic. There will be social distancing when I pick up my bees.

I feel better than I did yesterday. My heart has lightened up and I know I did the right thing by putting my drake out of his mystery. It’s a farm life and sometime you have to do what you have to do. In this case, I did right.

Dad and I were able to get the wall up in the kitchen. YAY! I think it makes the house look a little bigger. I can’t wait to add onto the house and get the living room I’ve always wanted. Then, I will have a larger eat in social area kitchen that is going to be awesome!

New wall being built in the kitchen

My upstairs bathroom has yet to be touched since the last time and I really need to get to it soon. I am hoping I can get to it tomorrow. Dad had to run the electrical and water to where the fridge is going to call its new home. So, I should have some time tomorrow to get it done. Oh, Crap!! I forgot I have to make a trip to town to help out a friend. I have to go to the store and get a few things. Then, I will get back and Lysol myself to death before doing anything else.

Well guys! I guess that’s all I have for tonight! Will talk to you tomorrow. Stay safe and disinfected. Good Luck!!!

Dad’s Alaska

25 March 2020 Wednesday

Here’s to ya

Way over slept. Tuesday was a day where I seemed to have completely exhausted myself. Don’t remember exactly what I did. I guess I could go back and read Tuesdays’ blog. However that seems a bit extreme. I’ll just take it for granted that I worked hard and got really tired.

With Summer being laid off due to the COVID-19 media hyped panic, I am seeing her more now than I have in over a year and a half. It has been a good thing for her and I’m enjoying the company. She’s been busy for days trying to get some of her possessions unpacked from the time of our arrival in Alaska. She’s went through all of this stuff and bagged up donations to The Salvation Army. I only donate to the Salvation Army because of a story told to me by my Dad and one of his WWII experiences. He told the story of how the Red Cross was selling coffee, donuts and cigarettes to the the GIs. While the Salvation Army was providing the GIs the same stuff for free. Also, the Red Cross spends a great portion of the donations they receive on administration. The CEO of Red Cross gets a paycheck in excess of $300,000. Why do these big charities always have big paycheck people? Where is the charity?

Wednesday was another day of hanging sheetrock. I cut the last sheet and still was two sheets short of completing the stairwell. This led to a trip to town. Since the bed of ‘The Beast’ was filled with demo debris and several bags of garbage, I had to go to the dump before buying more sheetrock. Since I was already going to Spenard’s for sheetrock, I made a list of the materials we would need to install the new wall between the kitchen and the living room. It won’t block the LR off. It will provide a wall onto which additional cabinets, counter top and to move the refrigerator out of the corner. Dan, Summer’s significant other, came by and made some suggestions as to the rearranging of the kitchen. His suggestions will greatly improve the flow in the kitchen. His suggestions created the need for the additional wall. Just another bit of work. No biggy.

Returned home and finished the stairwell sheetrock. Was extremely happy to have that part of this project done. Too much time spent measuring and cutting to suit my “lead, follow or get the hell out of the way” attitude.

With the warmer weather (over 40F) we have been saving firewood. Now we’re only building a fire first thing in the morning to knock the chill off and then again at 7-8 PM when the temp outside has dropped to near freezing. We keep the evening fire going until bed time because wood is cheaper than fuel oil. Our cue to build a fire is when the heater comes on. Summer sets the heater to come on at 65F. Six cords of wood are going to barely make it to the warmer mid-April. I’ve already contacted my wood guy and ordered ten cords for delivery this summer. Had the winter been a little longer or very much colder we would have run out of wood. I’ve heard it said “You aren’t a real Alaskan until you’ve had to burn the furniture to stay warm”. That’s an experience I’d just as soon skip.

Well, that’s it for me. Now I have to get on with Thursday’s aggravations.

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 4

I didn’t get a lot done today. Just a bit of here’s and there’s. It was a tragic day. It all started with my slippers. Yes, I know, they are just slippers, but they are needed here in my home. There is no running barefooted in this house and I want my feet to stay warm. Betsy, as you all know had some sort of skin irritation that led to her being on steroids. Well, it made her tummy all sick and messed up. She ended up having bad stomach problems that led her to have a poopagendone all over my beautiful shag rug. Well, I stepped in it with my fabulous favorite slippers that I’ve had for about two years. Yes, they were starting to stink and they were leather. So I couldn’t really put them in the washer.

I woke up with Betsy making noises and she pooped on the bed. I thought that was all she did until I stepped in her rug mines. I was so grossed out by it and had to changed my covers that I just ripped off the slippers and left them in the hall with another soiled little rug. They sat there for almost a month until now. I decided that I would finally clean my slippers only to find out that the crap on my slippers chemically adhered to the rubber on the sole. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get that crap off because its now part of the sole. I had to throw them away. So long favorite slippers!

I also replanted some tomatoes as well. My friend Tiana is asking what I’m feeding them. I just used two different blends of potting soil. They are looking so wonderful! I am kind of worried about some of my plants because they are growing in an accelerated rate! The ground isn’t defrosted yet and there is still a lot of snow on the ground. I can’t put in the Brussels sprouts into the ground yet! They just keep getting bigger. So, I am just going to repot them again when it becomes necessary. Everything is growing faster than it should be. I might have to rethink my potting mix.

Tomorrow, I will be painting my new vanity that Dan made me and while I’m in the painting mode, I will go ahead and paint my bee hives as well. Then, I can work on the bathroom wall and finish it. I want to be able to prime and paint ASAP. At this point, Dan will be able to put in the shower walls and my vanity top all in one day. I am super excited about this! It will be so nice to be able to shower upstairs on my own floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited that my seeds have exploded like they have. I might need to sell them if I cant put them in the ground soon.

My gander (male goose) Lucifer, tried to kill one of my drakes (male duck). He was pretty busted up. So busted up that I knew I couldn’t heal him. When I figured out that he couldn’t be saved, I had to break out the 20 gauge. It took one shot and he was out of pain. It broke my heart. I couldn’t use him for meat due to adrenaline. I guess that’s part of farm life. It is what it is. He went over the rainbow bridge today and is out of gruesome pain. These geese need to be fenced in ASAP when the ground defrosts. My heart is broken, I hatched him out in my incubator and raised him. He has a twin sister and she is alive and well. I plan on breading more of this cute hybrid of peaking and well I don’t want to give up all my secrets!

It’s about that time and I’m tired. It’s time for bed. Good night and enjoy your time off if you have it. Thanks again for my friends who are truck drivers (Shana the Bad Ass), and all others that are still working to keep America getting mail, packages, and food!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 3 & 4

Well, yesterday I worked on getting rid of stuff in my room. It’s spring cleaning time! Still have lots to do but it’s getting there. And so, today I will finish my bedroom and then move to the new bathroom and finish up the wall patching, prime and paint! Everything is coming together.

Life on the homestead can be stressful and frustrating. Now that I am no longer working at my job, I am home being able to catch up on projects and things that need to be done, like spring cleaning. That is the great part of it. The downside is that Dad and I are spending more time together which can be frustrating. We don’t always see eye to eye, but that’s life. I might be drinking straight from the wine bottle sooner than I thought!

As soon as I get all the rubbish I don’t want anymore and/or don’t need I can then dust, mop, vacuum and steam clean the rug. After all is said and done, there will be no more clutter.

I went and visited one of my friends today who lives in the same little area as I do. We chatted for a few and then I went back home to wash my dogs and cook dinner. Dinner was easy. I had cooked meatballs and marinara in a crock pot for two days. It was wonderful! Today, I will make crock pot short ribs. YUMMY!

Chin up people! Take advantage of the time you have at home and try not to kill each other! I’ve started goals for each day that I need to try to meet. That being said, I guess I better get on it!

Dad's Alaska

24 March 2020 Tuesday Morning

Alcohol kills corona virus. So I’m killing billions of the little critters.

As I sit here drinking coffee, I am reading the news. Rush isn’t on today so I’m having to read the news for myself. I will say that the news is, at best, depressing. I was supposed to take Miss Suzy in for her Spring grooming appointment but the groomer has closed her store. This was damned inconsiderate since I had to get up early to take the dog in for the grooming session. She could have called and let me know so that I wouldn’t have gone out and have driven 10 miles into town. So far about 17,000 people have died worldwide. Out of 7.8 BILLION people that is .000218 of 1%. If 5 times that many die it is still only 1/10 of 1% or in other words about the same as any flu virus yet known. This is a level of panic for which I can find no obvious reason or cause. More people die in car accidents on a daily basis than COVID-19. Still we persist in driving our cars. 151,600 (approx.) people die every day from all causes and yet the news media has caused a pandemic of panic where no medical pandemic exists. For those of you who are hiding under your bed, try looking up Herd Immunity. It is our only hope of saving our country and civilization.

For the past three days, I have been to town to buy some few groceries, some lumber, working on the house and contemplating my navel. We are in the ‘fits and starts’ of break up. It rains, it snows, the sun shines brilliantly, the clouds hang low, the fog enshrouds the bay and the temp fluctuates from 24 and 40 each day. If you dress for the 24 and you get outside to work you are almost immediately too hot. You dress for the 40 and you are way too cold. This time of year is a damned nuisance. The only bright spot is that snow is melting pretty rapidly and will be gone soon. The roads are mostly clear of ice and the borough (county) has been opening up the ditches to keep the water off the roads and on its’ merry way down to the bay.

A winter sunrise

I’ve gotten the new electric in the new stairwell wall. You can now turn on a light in the stairwell from the second floor or the first floor. No more going up or down in the dark. Also, got the sheetrock on the wall inside the stairwell and partially on the outside in the living room. Will finish that today. and then install sheetrock on the other wall inside the stairwell. For reasons that are beyond human comprehension, the previous owners ripped out sheetrock all over the house including the wall in the stairwell. Not only did they rip out the sheetrock in the stairwell they took out all of the 2×4 studs. I cannot imagine what they must have been thinking.

The entire front of the house is now level. It was a job for Stupidman and I fit the description. There is some leveling to do on the back side of the house. This leveling I will be doing as soon as I finish the sheetrock projects. Under the house is a mud pit and I have procrastinated by finding other repairs to do. This, however, cannot continue. I have to be like a big ol’ fat boar hog and go rooting through and wallowing in the mud soon. Summer wants the kitchen finished. The kitchen people have the solid surface countertops done and they want them out of their shop and to install the cabinets ASAP. So much pressure. I think I might be cracking under the load. NOT!

I’m down to my last two sheets of sheetrock. That means that I’ll probably be going to Ghost Town Homer tomorrow. The Yard Manager at the local building supply told me that he has a large number of slightly damaged sheets that he will sell to me at a very deep discount. According to him most just have corners broken or some damage on the edges. That kind of stuff will work in a house where the studs range from 17-26 inches apart. Unbelievably, there are a few of the 2×6 studs that are actually on 24 inch centers. I suspect that they had some kind of measuring error for some of the studs to be exactly where they are suppose to be. Anyway, I’m risking the COVID-19 scourge (big whoop) to go pick up, maybe, 10 sheets and some 2x6s.

A full moon seen through the Spruce trees

I told Summer yesterday that had I known how much work this house was going to be, I might not have bought it. On other hand, we are gradually turning this sow’s ear into a silk purse. I’m just hoping to live long enough to enjoy it after it is done. Summer and I had been planning a tour through America for next August. We would have liked to have seen Mt. Rushmore, the largest ball of twine and any other Americana like Car Hinge that pops up down the highways and byways of America. We, also, wanted to visit family and friends back in Florida. It would probably take us a month or six weeks to do this properly. Now it looks like we just have too many responsibilities here in Fritz Creek.

Peace and quiet on Earth.

Well, the sheetrock won’t hang itself so I’m off my butt and onto work.