Home Sweet Home: Nov. 28, 2017

Well what did we do today?  Well, I had two cups of coffee with Creme Brûlée coffee mate.  I wrote a catch up blog and now I back to real life.  So, after coffee we partially sheet rocked the downstairs bathroom and re-installed the toilet.  After that, we checked the water issues with the hot water and fixed them we have a flushing commode downstairs and the hot water works in the kitchen sink.  Yay!  Let’s hope it stays that way.  After fixing all those problems Dad had to go to Ulmer’s for a few things to help us install the vanity into the bathroom.  So while Dad made the big trip into town, I did dishes with hot water straight out of the sink.  LOVE IT!

I gave the dogs some pigs ears that I found that I got from Tractor Supply before we left Florida.  They are enjoying themselves.

IMG_3699

Taco is so happy and enjoying his pig ear and in the top left suzy is gumming her’s.  LOL

So after the dishes, Dad wanted to fix the vanity and get it installed.  I’m like, “It’s 3:00 pm and we only have an hour of light left.  I’m unloading what I can unload out of the enclosed trailer.”  Then, Dad was like, “I sure would like to have my recliner tonight.” So, if Dad was going to have his recliner, I was going to have my couch!  So, we unloaded all the heavy crap out of the trailer and into the Conex (the Pod) and was able to reach my couch and Dad’s recliner.  Even though I have been ignoring my hand and not wearing my cast, Dad made me put it on afterwards and then soon had to take it off to be able to type my blog.  Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to let ya’ll know what’s been going on.  Which is some of the reason why I have been slacking on writing my blog.

So, we worked our butts off the clean the house and organize to get the couch and recliner in this old house.  So, we spent most of the hour of the two hours of unloading to organize boxes and get stuff we don’t need right now into the pod.

I decided we needed a before and after pictures.  So here you go.

There are some happy dogs right now.  IMG_3700

For dinner I am making beef fajitas.

It was so good!   Me and Dad are so full from the fajitas!  I even got to wash my vegetables in my sink.  Now I am enjoying a sit by the fire on my couch that I have missed so much.  IMG_3704

Summer’s Thoughts: November 6, 2017

Sorry everyone, we’ve been busy.  But I stopped long enough to share this with you.  The lighting isn’t very good and I look like the living dead, but that’s okay.

So, back story.  My Ikea bed frame is supposed to have slats on it, but they somehow got lost a long time ago after many moves.  So, when it was reassembled about 3 years ago at my river house on the Suwannee River it had to be modified.  I’m not gonna discuss who did it, but it is a major overkill.  So much, that I could find all the parts to the 2 x 4s and plywood that I was still able to reconfigure they thing and put it back together just as solid as before.  YAY!

Bob’s Version: Day 43

Homestead Day 43 Thursday

Look at alaskaorbust.blog for pictures and video. Slept in because sunrise was about 9:30. Made coffee then took my big cup outside to look around. Looked across the bay at the mountains. It was a beautiful, clear morning. Walked over to the new gravel drive and took a long look at the cargo in the trailer. I walked away shaking my head. The amount of work necessary to empty the damned thing is just more than I want to contemplate. It’s got to be done but not today.
*Back to the electric conundrum. Why is there a hot wire and there isn’t a ground or neutral? Driving me to drink. Well, I do need an excuse now and then. Anyway, I traced the wire into Summer’s room. Cut the wire loose from the receptacle. This eliminated the hot wire in the kitchen area. I pulled in the wire and installed boxes for the garbage disposer and the dishwasher. Then I moved two switches that were on the wrong side of the back door. You couldn’t turn on the kitchen lights or the porch light without closing the door. Both are inconvenient and potentially dangerous, if you come home in the dark.
*Summer went into Homer and got some sticks of PEX because we couldn’t get the coiled stuff to go through the holes in the studs.
*Put a couple of sticks of PEX into the wall. The straight stuff went into the wall very easily.
*Cut up more scrap wood. The stove just eats wood like I eat crab legs i.e faster than grease lightning. Six cords are ordered. Hope they get here soon. The wood up here isn’t as good as the hard woods in Florida. They just don’t produce the amount of heat or burn as long as oak would.
*Just when I thought the electric problems were solved, Summer told me that the ceiling light in her bedroom was no longer working. This led me to the conclusion that there is a hidden box somewhere on the second floor. The wire I cut earlier seems to have been attached to this hidden box. AARGH!!
We had fried fish sandwiches with macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Bob’s Version: Day 41 Tuesday

Day 41 Tuesday alaskaorbust.blog

I was up at about 5:00 AM worrying about moving the travel trailer and other materials to allow the shipping container to be placed in the yard. Made coffee and read the news until about 7 when I called Summer’s phone and woke her up. She wasn’t real happy to arise in the dark. She was even less happy about moving stuff in the dark, so we didn’t.
*Just before daybreak about 8:30 Brian arrived to move the gravel around some more. He said he wasn’t entirely happy with the way he’d left it. Looked good to me. Summer and I set about moving the gas grille and other stuff stored under the overhang of the travel trailer and moved the trailer onto the property just cleared.
*Moments after Brian departed, the driver delivering the container called and said that he would be arriving in the afternoon instead of the morning. Summer and I decided that it would be a good time for a nap. She went back upstairs and I crawled over stuff to get back to my bed in the TT. At 11:30 Summer called me to get me out of the trailer. I awoke to Day Two of DAY 41.
*We went into Homer to get a few things and the mail only to have the truck driver call and say he was in Homer 2 hours earlier than he expected. We rushed home and arrived a few minutes ahead of the container.
* After surveying the site we were told that there was no way he could out the container where we wanted. The best he could do was drop it into the right of way in front of the house. Then he charged us nearly double his original estimate. We really had no choice but pay him what he asked. Screwed again. It seems a common thing here.
*With the container dropped in the middle of everything we struggled to decide what to do. Late lunch and some coffee later we called Brian. We needed to use his dozer to move the damned container to the proper location. $150 and two hours later the container was on the gravel, the gravel smoothed out, the road back bladed to avoid further aggravating our only neighbor driving his brand new black shiny car down the ‘street’. By this time it was approaching dark and Summer and I were re-tired as in tired again.
*We had homemade chili for dinner. Summer started it earlier and only lacked putting a few beans into before we could eat.

Busy Busy – October 30 – 31

The never ending struggle to move into the house.  October 30, I was able to move in, due to the big part of being able to reach my bed in the enclosed trailer.  Unfortunately, I can’t find all the screws to the put the darn thing together!  It’s a white metal Ikea head and foot boards with homemade slats.  I have all the parts except for the bits that connect the frame together.  (slap in the face)

So, my mattress is on the floor and that’s where i’m sleeping.

The first night was creepy and the house makes all these creaking noises and it was windy and raining.  I’m sleeping in a strange new place for the first time.  Let’s just say I didn’t sleep very well.  I tossed and turn listening to every noise that was made.  The dog’s didn’t seem to mind and if there was a real danger you would think they would bark and go crazy.    Dad and I were expecting our container to arrive early in the morning.

Next morning, Oct. 31 – So Dad was up by around 4:30 am and me around 5:30am.  It was rough.  Our dirt guy Brian came back and finished spreading the gravel and off he went.  He did a great job!  Then the delivery guy with the container called and he wasn’t going to get here to Fritz Creek until around 2pm.  Dad and I had other things that needed to be done.  Like move the camper, clean up around the camper so that the truck driver can get the container in where we want it.  Since this was the first time waking up early (we are still messed up with time) we were not feeling good.  We both felt disoriented and sick to our stomachs. So instead of doing the rest of the work; we went back to bed for a nap. Dad went back to the trailer and I to my bed in the house.  My head hit the pillow and soon found myself waking up with the sun shining in my eyes.  “God Lord!  I need to get some curtains up here!”  Of course, I didn’t think I had been asleep for long, maybe for about 15-20 minutes.  I started my nap around 9:30 am and when I checked my phone to see the time it was 11:30 am!  Dad didn’t tell me what time the container guy was going to show and I didn’t want to be sleeping when he got here so I got up and called Dad.  He came back to the house and we had more coffee.  That’s when Dad said he wasn’t going to get here until 2 pm.  We sat by the wood stove and made a list of things we need to get and the store.  We needed to get a few items at the hardware store and while in town we like to get what ever we need.  It’s been a while since we were in town last.  Make every trip count.

Dad and I head to town, we decided to hit the post office first, second Safeway, third Sav-U-More and then to the hardware store and last to McDonald’s because we crave sustenance.  I think I am burning way more calories than the average caloric intake, which means I can eat some Micky Dee’s!

As soon as I was checking out of Sav-U-More, Dad calls and says the container guy is driving down Homer Hill!  It’s only 1 pm.  He’s early!  So, I run to the truck, throw the goods in the back and we are headed home!  Soon as we get to the stop sign, our container drives passed us.  “Oh, shiitake!”, well, you know what I said.  We get on the main road and take a little short cut.  He was stopped at the light and we detoured it and told Dad to turn right onto this road!  As we were driving I could see down the hill that the container was still at the stop light!  Ha Za! We beat him back to the house and started cleaning up!  Then we had to move the camper.  We finally got that thing attached and pulled out of the way 20 minutes after our container arrived.

The road is wet and muddy and there was nothing short of waiting for a freeze to fix the road.  That and our dirt guy, but that’s later in the story.

The 18 wheeler backs it’s way into our tiny little one lane road slipping and spinning wheels and was able to get it somewhat on our property.  The guy said if our road was better, not wet and muddy then he could have done a better job.  He just didn’t want to fool with it is all.  After he left I had to get my camper parked and that was a career move.  I had to back it up and get it into a new area of the property due to the fact the container is now sitting where the camper should go.  So, I had to back that fat b#@$ up 200 feet to get her where I needed her so I could pul in and park her.  Well, Dad is telling me what to do and his directions or “Go that way!”, “No the other way”, Sorry, go back the other way” and his hand signals all look alike.  It reminded me when we used to race sailboats.

Dad – “Pull the thing!”

Summer – “Which one!”

Dad – “Damn it!  The thing the thing hanging there next to you!”

Summer – “This one?”

Dad – “No, the other one!”

Summer – “This one?”

Dad – “NO NO!  The other one!”

Summer – “This one?!?!!!!”

Dad – “Yes!  Pull it”

Summer – “Why didn’t you say the boom vang!!!”

Dad – “I couldn’t remember the damn name!”

After that he color coded all the lines so he could just say pull the red one!  HAHA!  Dad get’s excited and he forgets how to use his words.  I do the same thing.  Like father like daughter.

Okay, anyway.  I told Dad to say left or right.  Every time he points I can’t tell where he wants me to go.  I finally just ignored him and backed the darn thing up where it needed to be for me to pull forward to get in into the hole.  Well, not so smart of an idea.  We got the camper parked and it was time to unhitch the camper off the gooseneck or the truck of the gooseneck, well what ever.  We are trying to get the camper off Spike!  There was a lot of trial and error going on and she just wouldn’t get off of Spike’s back.  I suddenly realize all the blocking up wasn’t working.  So, I told Dad let’s keep it simple and so I pulled both levelers up and pulled the legs down as far down as they could go.  We put a few boards underneath them to prevent mud sinkage and extra hight.  Just when we think we have it.  She just would go up anymore.  At first I thought it died, but then I realized the camper is unplugged and the batteries are dying!  Dad’s just about through, he’s just exaused and so am I.  I told him let’s just try plugging the camper in.  So, we did and the levelers (jacks?) started lifting the old girl right off of Spike!  Another win!  I pull Spike though a small hole between the container and the enclosed trailer and suddenly realized we painted ourselves in a corner.  Spike is trapped!  After an hour trying to free him from the camper has no place to go!  So, we went inside and had a drink waiting on Brian to come back and help us move the container to it’s final resting place.  And of course, Spike has to be moved and while I was doing that the mud attacked him and sucked us further into the muddy abyss we call the yard.  Brian moved the container as far as he could before realizing we had to get Spike out of the way now or he would be stuck there until the next freeze.  If he would have finished moving the container into place, Spike would be blocked in.

We got Spike out and the container moving continued.

Meanwhile, while I was in Spike, when drove down to the general store and got some ice.

I get back and the container was in place and Brian was smoothing out the gravel and our road.  After that was all said and done, we went inside where I had been using an electric pressure cooker to make chili.  We had a few cocktails and dinner and each of us got half a loaf of a french baguette and we were ready for bed.  Walked the dogs one last time and hit the sack!

It was a long day.  So long it felt like two days. We crashed and slept like rocks.

 

Bob’s Version: Day 39 Homestead

Homestead DAY 39
Overslept again. I just can’t seem to get up in the mornings. Summer seems to think it is the lack of sun light. Her new acquaintances all say that they take a Vitamin B12 and D supplements to counteract the depression. I don’t feel depressed just exhausted from constant labor. I haven’t really taken a day off from the renovation and moving our stuff in.

*We didn’t finish Saturday’s To Do List. Today we continued Saturday. Summer got most of our clothing moved from the trailer to the house whilst I plugged away at getting the oil heater running. Had to make a couple of calls before I got the little turkey running. The big problem with the heater was my impatience. For reasons unbeknownst to me the stove has a slow start built into the programming. I wasn’t giving it the 5-6 minutes to light itself. After it fired up, it was all heat and no aggravation. Will call tomorrow and get fuel oil delivered as we are running on whatever was in the tanks when we bought the place. Summer found out Friday that the oil people want us to have, at a minimum, a 300 gallon tank. Been shopping on Craigslist to find one nearby. No luck so far.
*Cut up some more of the destruction debris to fuel the wood stove. Still no fire wood delivery, as the ground has yet to freeze, so the logging people cannot get into the woods. Will have to cut up a bunch more for tomorrow as the temps will be in the 40’s overnight.
*Opened the trailer full of our stuff and extricated the lawn tractor, the concrete mixer, my third chainsaw, some odds and ends and, at last we got to Summer’s bedding out. She was jumping for joy that she would get to sleep in her own bed tonight. We could have gotten to my bed but I wasn’t motivated to move all of the stuff necessary to do so. Like Scarlett “I’ll think about that tomorrow”.
* We got the washer and dryer into the house. Problem is simple: there are no connections for either. Still it is progress.
*The dogs seem to have turned the corner from merely nuisance to aggravating as hell. Gandy seems to anticipate where you need to walk, gets in front and slow walks you to your destination. Taco has the whiny thing going on. Boredom, I guess. Suzy has taken to being extremely needy. I can’t walk away 10 feet without her running over to me to be picked up. The three of them seem to be conniving to keep us from getting anything done. Perhaps, they are feeling insecure due to staying in the house during the day and the camper at night. All of that will change as Summer has moved in and I will move in tomorrow. Tonight I get the good bed in the camper. Whoopeee!!!
*Summer and I both have problems driving here. The scenery is so beautiful that it distracts you from the road and driving. I have come close to leaving the pavement on several occasions.
*Tomorrow we intend to wash these stinking dogs, diminish the electrical and water for the kitchen. Will be nice to have a working kitchen again. Oh and I’m going to see if the third POULAN chainsaw will start and run. I’m not feeling very confident as two others have refused to start.
*Tonight’s fare was loaded baked potato and beanie weenies left from lunch. Neither of us were in the mood to eat a big dinner after all of the work today.

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: Days Five thru Nine

Days Five thru Nine.

Have been running around gathering up trivial stuff like water heater, wood stove, insulation for the water house, water pump and well pressure tanks. Finally, have electricity and water. Been running on the generator to the tune of $20 a day. Been paying $7.50 for a shower and $11 a load to wash $5 to dry. Had a couple of rainy days but the temp has been in the mid to high fifties everyday. The trailer has water and electricity, but the house is yet to be connected. Water will be connected on Day Ten, I hope. Having a real flushing commode will be a luxury we haven’t had for weeks. Trailer commodes are little more than outhouses with water rinse. It just ain’t the same. Same for the refrigerator and stove. You can use them but it ain’t the same.
Had to give away our bear dog named Bear. He kept running off every time he was let out. Most of the time he came home but someone picked him up on the main road and took him to the Animal Control people. He was chipped and had Summer’s phone number on his tag but we found out about it on a neighbor’s Fakebook page. Went down to bail him out and they apologized for not calling and then told us that his chip had not been updated. Summer updated it weeks ago but somehow it didn’t take. Gave him to a nice family with two children and a fenced yard in the city. He’s safer and better off than he would have been here with us. Still was sorry to see him go.
We’ve been eating pretty well, in spite, of the minimalist cooking facilities and limited refrigerator space. I’ve gone from size 40 to about 37 and Summer has lost about 10 pounds. We aren’t snacking and we usually only eat twice a day. It’s the Alaska Diet: Work your ass off and don’t eat.
The view from our house is nothing less than stunning. We can see a couple of glaciers, snow capped peaks and down onto Kachemack Bay. We’re living on a dirt road with Napoleonic tendencies as it calls itself an Avenue. Looks more like a driveway.
Onward to Day Ten.

We Made It!  Thank you Jesus!

We Made It!  Thank you Jesus!

Okay.  So here is what you missed.  We made it to Homer Monday the 18th of September late afternoon/early evening.  The relief was incredible.  We make our way up Pioneer Ave out of the city limits of Homer and proceed to Fritz Creek to find our new home.  I have been studying the google maps so I could drive straight to it, which we did.  Unfortunately, Bertha the Beast just couldn’t make the last 150-200 yards to the road to the house.  She stalled.  I passed them and made it to the house and tried my best to separate the fifth wheel camper off Spike the Truck but no one was having it.  I cussed, kicked, yelled at the camper to get off the truck, but it didn’t.  

Luckily, our new neighbor Greg happened to be driving by and helped poor Bertha up the hill with my Dad.  

We have no water or power and NO INTERNET at the new house.  I am sitting at an place called the Washboard where Dad and I have wash and dried clothes, taken showers and taking advantage of the internet.

The house has some issues, but we will be taking care of those ASAP.  On the positive side we have some incredible views of the mountains and glaciers.

The other day, Dad and I went to Kenai to go to the Super Walmart and Home Depot.

The Walmart there is so big.  I have never seen anything like it.  They also sell crampons.

As you can see in the first photo, it just keeps going and then the next one was what was behind me.  The process were very similar to the Walmart back in Florida.

The dogs were happy to be out of the car.  The little ones are happy to be in the camper, but Bear wants to run.  We’ve already had to pick him up from the Animal Shelter once already.  He just wants to follow his nose.

All and all, we are here, we are tired due to 4 time zone changes, but we are all safe.

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