Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 2

I slept in late and hung out in bed until 9:30 this morning. I got to watch the new episode of Outlander. I have read all the books and seeing it on screen is awesome even though it’s a bit different from the book. It’s still great!

I had some coffee and then Dad and I headed to town for provisions. We needed to get some wood for projects around the house. My goals today were to go to the store, wash dogs, and deal with the excess in my room. Since, we got back a little late from town it looks like my goals will have to wait until tomorrow. I’m pooped!

Sometime this week I need to check on my bees and make sure they are still alive. I’ve attempted to over winter my bees and hope for the best. Let’s hope they are still alive. I am hoping I will have three hives this year instead of two. If the weather is nice and warm this summer, I will be rich in honey! Fireweed honey!!!!

My starts are doing so well! There will be lots of produce this year!

I went to visit my friends yesterday, they are also my neighbors. I really enjoyed it! I lent my egg incubator to Jamie. Her kids are already getting a bit bored and what a great science project!

I also visited my friends Tiana, Jen, Cory, and Ceri. Ceri, Tiana’s sister, just came back from Egypt and has quarantined herself in the tiny cabin at Tiana’s. We got to hang out and drink some Guinness in front of the cabin with the window slightly cracked so we could communicate. She opened it higher so we could get rid of the sun’s glare. It really was nice to see all my friends!

Tonight we are having meatball subs. Of course, I have to have gluten free buns, but the meatballs are in the crockpot with mushrooms and marinara. I can almost taste it! I am starving!

Ya’ll enjoy your times at home. If you are still working stay safe. I want to give a shout out to all my friends who are nurses, truckers (Shana the badass), and everyone else that works in a field that keeps us fed, sanitary and safe. Thank you!!!!!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 1

Friday, March 20, 2020 was my last day at work. My boss decided it was best since everything else was closing down. As a dog walker, I go into people’s homes to pick up their dog. This is potentially dangerous to everyone because we could spread this virus across our little town. So, we are doing our part to keep people safe.

I have lots to do around the house and will probably never get bored. I was reading an article about how Gen X’ers are probably the best for this whole quarantine thing we are going through. I have to admit. I am a Gen X’er and looking back at my childhood, I would have to agree with some of these articles. We were the latchkey children that came home from school and found our own snacks and did our homework alone. We listened to the radio waiting for our favorite songs to come on so we could record it and create awesome mixed tapes. I played out in the woods with friends and came home when the street light came on. I hung out in my room entertaining myself with games, music, and my imagination. There was no internet and we didn’t have cable. We also played Oregon Trail and learned from it. LOL! We are the generation of social distance. We got this! #socialdistancing #GenX It was like we’ve been training for this all our lives!

It’s snowing again! Just when you thought it was break up you get another 3-4 inches of snow. That’s okay. Soon spring will be here. I’m gonna have to upgrade some of my starts to bigger pots. This is a good thing. The longer we have to keep them growing and put some growth on them, the better they will produce and survive.

My herbs and tomatoes are ready for the next size up on pots. You slowly move them into bigger pots as they grow. It’s really fun and messy since I have to do it I’m my living room. So, that’s one job that will take pretty much all day. I have all my onion starts and begonias as well.

I now have the time to get my new bathroom finished. I’ve got a lot to do, but it will be fun! Dan is almost done with my beautiful vanity. He said he needs to do a little light sanding and then I can prime and paint it. I am so impressed and grateful. The vanity will install onto the corner of the wall so it only needs one leg. It’s going to have solid surface on top that will match the shower stall.

This will also give me time to sort out everything that I don’t want anymore. Out with the old and no more stuff!

Maybe I will have time to work on my quilt as well. I don’t think I will go stir crazy but I’m afraid by day five I will be drinking out of a wine bottle! HAHAHA! Maybe not.

I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and don’t get bored!

So long and keep calm!

Are we there yet, Spring?

Weather is as unpredictable as usual. It warmed up and then it snowed, then it warmed up, and then it snowed and now its pretty chilly and sunny. The weather this week should be sunny and cool (highs in the 20s). Yesterday was warm around 33 or 34. It started to get really melty and difficult to drive in. I’m sure you read my Dad’s blog about his encounter with the water truck and him getting two vehicles stuck while I was at work.

Speaking of work. It was a challenge to walk through sticky, melty and mushy snow. The dogs really didn’t care, but I was walking around like I was a staggering drunk. The roads were melting and it was really really slushy in places. You kind of slide around and look like you are drunk driving. Then, the road starts crumbling into deep pothole filled with melting water. So now, you are dodging deep potholes and yet again you look like your driving drunk. If you can’t dodge them and you have to hit them you are only make the potholes worse. Good Times!

The ducks think it to be spring. They have started to lay eggs again and I have found myself with a surplus of duck eggs. I have made gathering eggs a game. Due to our below freezing temps in the morning, you have to get to the eggs before they freeze and then crack. Then they are no good.

This was Sunday morning and I haven’t gather eggs yet and I was just thinking to myself that the geese should start laying as well. So, after coffee and such I went out to the greenhouse to check out the situation. Low and behold, the waterfowl finally made a nest! The ducks just lay their eggs where ever they are standing up to this point. So, someone got organized and the rest have followed. I walk up to the nest of hay and start digging around. I find 3 duck eggs and guess what?!?!

You guessed it! Two goose eggs! YAY! I’m so excited! I’ve never had geese before and let alone goose eggs! I think I’m gonna try to make a custard out of them in celebration. I took some pics so you can see the difference in the size duck versus goose. Now, these geese are first time egg layers so the eggs should get bigger the more they lay.

Today, I was in the store. There is no Toilet paper in the stores at all! It feels like this mass hysteria and people are prematurely panicking. Today at the local supermarket the paper toilet/paper towel isle looks like this.

All that’s left is crappy commercial TP that will eventually be bought out when the entire U.S. runs out of TP and we will no longer get shipments into our little town. It’s ridiculous. I’m not going to panic until I absolutely have too.

I searched Amazon for my favorite TP only to find the price gouging has started. So freaking ridiculous!

Worse case scenario when the toilet paper runs out, we can always install one of these!

Thursday was a pretty good day. The snow is slowly melting and hopefully break up is near. My geese are trying to destroy my car nibble by nibble. They have chewed the plug off to my block heater on Zippy and have proceeded to do damage to my front bumper by the fog light. They must be fenced in ASAP! Come on break up we need you!

Thursday night we had such an amazing sunset!

Friday was such a lovely day to work (walk dogs or more like hike). The sun was out it felt warm due to the sun reflecting off the snow. It has been so warm that I have started shedding my major winter gear for more lighter stuff. It went from Arctic Muck boots, to Keen winter boots and gaiters. Well, the gaiters were getting too hot and not letting my sweat leave my legs. I had to come up with a better solution. I needed something that would work like gaiters but would allow my legs to dry quickly.

It’s been getting so warm on my hikes that wearing fleece lined Carhartt pants were too warm. So, I have gone to Carhartt leggings which work just fine as long as I don’t have those sweaty gaiters on. Low and behold! LEG WARMERS!

Yes, people! I’m bringing them back as the number one winter accessory you need for post holing through snow! My legs stay dry and the synthetic material keeps the snow on the outside. I recommend leg warmers for those knee deep snow days. Besides, they’re cute! I’m pretty sure Dan thinks so too!

We found another leak in our water system, AGAIN! We found the leak, but have to survive without water for the rest of the weekend. Thanks Dan for the use of your shower, yet again! Monday we will have a water filled again. It really sucks, what a waste of money when the water just drains out all over the snow and under the water house. My duty for today is to shovel snow into the Homer buckets and melt it on the wood stove. Something to last us all weekend. It’s already Saturday so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to go one more day without.

Then, it’s time to start some spring cleaning. I really need to stop hoarding clothes and such that I’m never going to wear. I also wish I had time to try to finish my quilt. Maybe I will finish it by next winter. LOL

Okay. It’s time to be somebody and do some work around the stead! I leave you with cute pics of my dogs. So long readers and stay disinfected!

Dad’s Alaska

March 9, 2020 Monday

Today was another series of small disasters.

First the water delivery truck got stuck trying to back down our snow covered gravel road. The driver got a little off the roadway and buried his left rear tires in the snow when he tried to force his way through. He had partially chained up when he first backed off the main road onto our street. He only chained one axle. After he got stuck, he installed the chains on the second axle. This didn’t get him out. He borrowed a couple of different shovels and dug himself out after about a 1/2 hour. Instead of getting straight in the road and backing on up to fill our water tank, he left. A call to his office led to a discussion that still left us waterless. They demanded that we plow the road before they will come back on Tuesday. We haven’t, as of 3:00 PM, been able to find someone to plow the road. So I’m guessing that we’ll be without water for a few more days. Called the water office this afternoon and the polite young lady told me that unless we plowed the road they weren’t coming back. She asked if I wanted to talk with the delivery supervisor. Had to tell her “No” as I would, certainly, be wasting a few of the limited number of breaths that I have left. What is really aggravating they want the road plowed and the driver backed into an area that wouldn’t be plowed anyway. This is what they meant by Catch-22.

The second small disaster came when I was packing down the loose snow with the Range Rover. All wheel drive got me up and down the road 6-7 times before I did what the truck driver did and got off the road. The Range Rover was stuck and not coming out. Shoveled out the opposite side of the road so that other persons could get in and out. After calling every one of the 4 people that I know, I found no help.

Third small disaster. I decided that, even though I had no one to drive the Rover, I’d use the Beast to pull it out sans driver. The Beast is a Ram 350 Double Cab Diesel Dually. Started the Ram and let it warm up before taking it the 200 feet down the road to the Rover. Couldn’t find a chain so I procured a very strong rope. Tied the two together and tried backing up. Almost got the Rover out before the Beast slid sideways and off the road. It was now, also, stuck. Had to cut the rope loose (Bowlines knots pulled so tight that they wouldn’t come loose) from both vehicles so that another car could pass between them. So now I’ve go both vehicles stuck. Shoveled out the opposite of the road so that a car could pass.

Fourth small disaster was when I went searching for my ratcheting Come Along. Ten minute of search turned up nothing. Wandered around for another ten minutes trying to figure out where the hell I had stored the racheting device. I remembered that I had a brand new 20 ton Chain Fall. This would easily pull the Rover out by attaching it to the Beast. Spent another 30 minutes picking up everything in the storage container without finding the chain fall. It is in an unopened box is a cube about 1 foot in all directions. and weighs 40+ pounds. It should have been easy to spot. NOT!! By this time I am completely flummoxed. Since it wasn’t even 5:00 o’clock on the East Coast, I did not resort to vodka.

With both vehicles stuck in opposite ditches, I decided that it was time for lunch. After lunch I looked for a chain and then remembered that all three 20′ chains were on the trailer buried in nearly 3 feet of snow. Luckily the trailer was parked only 30 feet from the road with just 2-3 feet of undisturbed snow between the road and the trailer. Walking through that snow is called post holing. It requires struggling to pick up on foot and put it in front. By the time I got to the trailer I was out of breath. Got there only to find that the chain, I needed, was frozen to the deck of the trailer. What follows is a struggle to and from the road in order to bring a shovel to pry up the frozen chain. Back on the road with chain draped over my shoulder I revisited the disabled Rover. My first thought was to flag down a neighbor and ask them to pull the Rover backward onto the road. After a closer look, it was obvious that pulling it backwards was going to make it end up down the embankment and into the pond. Because of the Beast being in the opposite ditch no one could get in front to pull it forward. The solution that came to me was to throw the chain under the spinning left front wheel. HOORAY!! The damned thing moved a couple of feet. Moved the chain two more times and the Rover was free. Put it back in it’s parking place and walked back to the Beast. Arriving back at the Beast I put the chain on the tow hook and walked to the end of the road. There I stood around for about ten minutes before I flagged down a nice man in another Ram Beast. He had me out of the ditch in less than five minutes. It took longer to back up and hook up than to pull the Beast out. Parked the Beast and moved onto the next things on my daily list of chores.

At about 5:15PM, as I was working on my daily chores, the water truck arrived. The guy had seen that I had packed down the snow and he decided to give it another go. Of course, I thanked him profusely. FINALLY, water!!!!!

The fifth small disaster was when turned on the pump and no water came out of the faucets. Went back to the pump and made sure that it was primed. The prime was not the problem. The pipe is frozen somewhere. Set the jet heater up and let it blow into the water shed for over an hour and still no water. I surrendered and went to the vodka place.

Tomorrow has some possibilities of getting the water flowing, but today is a bust.

Happy March!

Friday was a great night. Dan made me gluten free pizza and it was awesome! Huge pepperoni, artichoke hearts, red bell peppers, parmesan and mozzarella cheese and pesto made a really yummy pizza! The company was great too! Thanks Dan for such a good pizza!

Saturday, I went to my friend Tiana’s house to split up seeds that we had ordered to begin our seeding out for our summer gardens. This was very exciting and funny. We were trying to figure out how to split them up equally. We tried a cup and a scale but it wasn’t working. It seems the grams were too light to register on the scale. So, we tried cutting the seeds with paper and a razor blade. It didn’t really work due to the seeds rolling all over the place, but it did make an amusing picture!

We ended up just eyeballing the seeds into ziplock bags. This proved to be the easiest way to divvy up the seeds. We were so excited to get our seeds and talk about upcoming spring that may or may not happen in April. Due to the fact we are getting unscheduled snow. The Weather Channel app proves to be wrong most of the time.

Like today, we weren’t supposed to have snow. This morning it was a zero chance of snow. It started snowing around 7:30 this morning and is still snowing right now. It’s almost 2pm.

Here’s a little video showing what a zero chance of snow looks like!

Meanwhile, my seeds have germinated and they are starting to look like starts!

These plants will take the longest to start and grow enough to be planted in the garden and greenhouse. Mid month I will start more seeds and then April I will start more seeds. We are going to hopefully have a ton of produce! I’m even going to try my green thumb on cold soil sweet corn! I can’t wait!

On the goose and duck front, I have finally identified the gander. I thought that I only had hens due to the fact I did loose one this past summer by a young bald eagle. But, no. They have reached maturity and the gander has shown his ugly temper. I have named him Lucifer. He attacks the drakes that are trying to mate with the duck hens and Lucifer doesn’t like it. He has killed on drake and damaged another. He is with Fabio the rooster and DBII (Dead Bird 2) in the boat house coop. I’m pretty sure he’s going to make it. Lucifer has also tried to attack Taco and the other dogs. He is much larger than my dogs.

Sunday, Lucifer tried to attack me. I had a long bird feeder in my hands and was able to pop him on the beak! He backed up and continued to hiss and honk at me. I have to go out there with the dogs to protect him. Now, one of our major spring jobs is going to be to fence in this evil beast with the rest of the flock. While we are fencing them in, we will be fencing in the garden area to prevent the moose and other toothy critters from eating the plants.

Dad has started lowering the house again and hopefully will be finished in another week or two. Then, we will be able to work on the inside and soon when the ground is soft we will be starting the addition that we tried to start last year. This will make the house much larger and flow so much better than it does now. I can’t wait to finish the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen. It will happen. I’m gonna be an optimist about it.

Well, that’s all I have to update you with. I leave you with a cute picture of Betsy and Taco.

Snowmagedon 2020

The snow started on Thursday afternoon and continued through Saturday night. It’s now Sunday and the snow storm is over.

Friday the snow came down heavy. Dan and I named it “A Fluffy Gully Filler”, instead of a regular gully washer. We went to town for dinner at Alibi’s where we proceeded to enjoy shrimp tacos and chicken wings! There was blowing snow and limited visibility, but that doesn’t stop the full time residents here from enjoying life and eating out. Dinner was wonderful and we headed back to Fritz Creek.

The next morning, we woke up to deep snow drifts and buried vehicles. I decided that after coffee that it was time to go home only to find that my road was iffy and I can’t get into my driveway. The snow was almost above the hood of Zippy. Now, I talked about Zippy in my last post and how well she gets through snow. She wasn’t going to make it through the deep snow that was left from the storm.

I ended up backing out of my road, due to the fact that there was nowhere to turn around, and got back onto pavement. I drove to my nearest neighbor and asked if I can park at the end of their driveway so I could hike into my property and get to my house. Further investigation to the snow around me, I realized that there was damaged from the snow and potential damage as well. We needed to act fast. Unfortunately, that had to wait. Betsy my little Jack Russell had an ear infection and it was getting worse. It seems that dogs don’t show their symptoms until it’s too late. And so, I had to drive to town in the blizzard to get some medicine for Betsy. After treating her I found she had more issues. She has sores around her neck from her collar getting wet I suppose. She’s a mess. I’ve scrubbed her neck with betadine and I am trying to keep it dry. Worst case I will call my vet again and set up a visit. I know it will always look worse before it gets better, but dang!

Meanwhile, while I was in town we had a friend come by and plow our road and a place for me to park. It was very interesting. The plow truck got stuck and we spent more time trying to get the truck out than it took for the area to be plowed.

As you can see, we’ve created a goat trail for us to travel through.

A few pictures showing what I saw hiking into my property.

Dad and I got busy trying to save the other buildings. We needed to uncover the greenhouse and what’s left of our storage tents. The snow is deep, my friends! Talk about getting your cardio.

This video gives you a really good idea of what its like here. I am going to have to teach Dad how to make decent videos. He’s all over the place. lol

Well I guess I need to go back to work, the snow isn’t going to move itself.

I leave you with a pitiful picture of Betsy. Until next time! See ya!

Dad’s Alaska

February 11, 2020

Haven’t posted anything in about a week. The upstairs remodel has captured all of my time and enthusiasm. However, today. I finished the upstairs bath improvement. We now have a working bathtub/shower where there was once only a half bath. It can’t be used just yet as the people haven’t yet put in the solid surface shower enclosure. My part is done. Spent most of today running the drain line for the tub. It was aggravating as hell since I was having to deal with old copper pipe plumbing that was in the way. Not only that there was a decade or more of half assed carpentry. I’m no master carpenter but I could have done a much better job even after 6-7 vodkas. The house was built around a trapper’s cabin. They should have torn down the cabin, but didn’t. This is the reason that nothing matches. Anyway, the ordeal is over and I’m, finally, able to get back to the house leveling project. I might take a day off to veg out, Nah-h-h. Tomorrow I, again, begin my under floor adventure. In the event some of you are harboring the idea of having a summer home in Alaska, let me fill you in. Anything advertised as a cabin is really just a shed like you have in your back yard. That’s $80,000-90,000 and will have no water or electricity. A great view will likely be up a dirt road and have a view (between trees and the house below you) of Kachemak Bay or Cook Inlet or no view at all for $150,000-200,000. A real view lot (no house)where you, actually, have an unrestricted view of the water $100,000 and up. A crapass house that has an unrestricted view of the water $300,000 and up. Glacier view add $50,000. A house on top of the local mountain in Homer $500,000 to $1,000,OOO. Zac Brown has a house up there somewhere. We, on the other hand, bought a derelict, on a view lot, that had been on Zillow for 400+ days. It had no water. All of the plumbing was copper pipe and had burst. Had no electricity as the main breaker panel was lying amongst a pile of debris on the bathroom floor. Had no front door. It was completely open to the elements as it had no wall in the bathroom. Had no heat of any sort. It had no kitchen. To put in perspective it was no more than a shell of a house. In many ways it has changed very little from the day we arrived September 17, 2017. The outside still needs paint and the inside still needs sheetrock. In spite of these discrepancies we have made it our home. We paid less for this disaster than you might pay for a cabin (shed) on an acre or two of land. Sweat equity would be an under statement of our position. However, the value of the house when finished should be in the $350,000 plus range. Are we ever going to sell it? Not likely. We are up the hill from the Kilchers of ‘Alaska the Last Frontier’ fame. While we have moose wandering through our yard daily, we are only 15 minutes from the Safeway grocery store and any number of other retail establishments. Homer, Alaska is a quaint little town run by Lib/Prog/Socialist Eco-Wacko Democrats. They just banned plastic bags. Now you have to take your groceries to your vehicle unbagged or buy a paper bag or bring your own filthy bag from home. These people are so smart. Aside from that it reminds me of Fairhope, Alabama sans Southern charm or manners. This place is a lot like Hawaii. Bring cash, spend it, then go home. It takes ten years of full time residency before you are considered local and the depending on where you originate it might take longer. I will say, that if you have the means to buy yourself a modest place ($150,000-200,000) in the Homer area, that it is a very pleasant place to spend your summer. There is boating, fishing, shopping, historical crap and just hanging out to be done at the extreme. Anchorage is just a short plane ride away with every known retail outlet that you can imagine and a bunch of historical crap to be seen. In other words, it is a pleasant and relaxing place to spend your summer. Do everything or do nothing. It’s all the same.

In retrospect, had I known the problems that we faced in relocating to Alaska, I might not have come. It has been ten times the work that I had envisioned and frustrating beyond belief. The local construction people simply want to bend you over and drive you home sans Vasoline. OR they won’t return you call no matter how many times you leave a message on their service. Getting any kind of work done is almost impossible and it isn’t about the money. It seems that most of them simply don’t really give a damn. The ones that do show up quote prices that are, at best, from fantasy land or they’re giving you the “I don’t want this ****ing job price”. That is the reason that Summer and I are still trying to get most of the work done ourselves. One guy wanted $30,000 to lower the house. While it is labor intensive, I suspect that three or four guys could have done the job in less than one work week. Call it 160 hours of labor divided into $30,000 and you’re paying $187.50 per hour. The top labor rate up here is around $20 per hour. Didn’t seem like a good deal to me. I keep trying to explain to people that I’m, crazy, not stupid. Last winter, I asked a guy to sand our road out to the main road. The result was about three or four bits of gravel per square foot of road. That cost us $50. Did not do that again this winter. It’s only 100 yards or so to the main road where the borough (county) plows and sands the road. Four wheel drive gets the getting to the main road job done a helluva lot cheaper. When you are new, everyone will take advantage of you. I guess that’s the same everywhere. Well, it’s midnight here. Four am on the East Coast and I still have to load the dishwasher and make coffee. Good Night!!

12Betty-Frances O’Neal, Judy Lorino Gordon and 10 others10 CommentsLikeComment

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Dad’s Alaska

Somehow I lost the idea of writing in the ‘Alaska or Bust’ site. Could chalk it up to some sort of senile psychosis or absent mindedness or, maybe, just plain old too busy to work on it. Truth is I’ve been posting on my Fakebook account and failing to put it on our WordPress site. I’m going to try to find and post those in their proper order. Like Curly says, “It couldn’t hurt”.

Here in Fritz Creek, I have been leveling the house over several months. Getting the house level means being able to do the redo kitchen and install the missing sheetrock. The house is tenable but unfinished inside. The leveling has been a hit or miss proposition. Seems everything has been getting in the way of the house leveling progress. First was procuring, cutting, splitting firewood and stacking 6 cords of wood. All of this took over two weeks. During all of the wood processing we put up two tents for the firewood. Then a big tent with as storage for all of the stuff that we probably shouldn’t own or likely really don’t need. I had to put a 14’x24′ wooden deck down for this tent, to make sure out useless possessions weren’t lying in the mud or snow. This ate up over a week, if you include the tent construction. Following the construction of the tent came shelving to hold all of the stuff we don’t need and then a few more days of moving said useless items. That project finished the next impediment was nearly two weeks of rain that turned the underneath of the house into a mud pit.

The trek through the myriad of side tracks both noted and unwritten took months. The side tracks took me to places I really didn’t want to go. However, in the past several days, I have managed to get some work done in the leveling process. I moved about a half ton of concrete blocks and raised the house off the pilings. The pilings have been cut to the new level. I installed some of the jack posts to be able to lower the house to its’ new home. Need to install three more jack posts before the lowering can commence. Now only about a week from finishing the process, my blood pressure has gone crazy. It has been running above 200/100 for days. Doctor said I should refrain from heavy labor until he could get some tests and reduce the pressure. SIDETRACKED AGAIN. I am beginning to believe that the house is causing all of these sidetracks just to keep me from put it where it belongs.

The ducks, geese and a couple of chickens have been cohabiting the greenhouse. The arrangement went along pretty well for a couple of months. THEN the goose gander decided he didn’t like the drake duck. He pulled, virtually, every feather out of the poor duck’s body and left him a bleeding mess that died. A day or two later the gander attacked the rooster. I heard the racket and intervened. It appears that the gander just went stir crazy from being confined. Finally, we just opened the door and made it possible for them to go outside. This seems to have solved the ‘stir crazy’ problem as the ducks and chickens were able to go outside. It was several days before the geese decided that it was safe to go outside. The upshot is that peace in the greenhouse has been restored. At least, temporarily.

Summer had me put a couple of shelves in the house windows facing the southeast and south. She has a bunch of seeds and she spent a couple of hours putting dirt and seeds into trays. She got a late start last spring and her gardening efforts didn’t pay off. This year she is putting a lot of extra effort into the gardening, in addition to starting much earlier.

Another sidetrack was that our Pasquali tractor (built in Italy) broke an axle last fall. The factory no longer supports the tractor. I spent hours on the internet trying to find parts. The only person who seemed to sell the parts does not return calls. Then, just by the purest of accidents, I found one locally that wasn’t in running condition. Fortunately, it did have the parts I needed. THEN it started snowing and snowing and snowing until the snow was half way up the wheels on the tractor. That project now awaits the melting snow and warmer weather.

Today after three calls to the doctor’s office and three to the Imaging Department of the local hospital I was able to confirm an appointment for a scan of my kidneys. I’m not a fan of the medical industry. Mostly because they scare the crap out of me. The doctors seem to work mostly off of experience. What concerns me is that when I used to hire people for my HVAC business many of them reported having 8-10 years of work experience. The problem is that many of them had one years experience 8-10 times. I always afraid that the doctors are suffering from the same affliction.

Well, today was a bust. The wind was blowing like crazy and raining. Got pretty much done nothing. The new dishwasher arrived. This meant uninstalling the old dishwasher and installing the new. This project took all of an hour. Anyway, I’m bored silly and starting to guzzle vodka. Kidding, sort of.

Cold, Water, and Bathrooms

Sorry, it’s been a while. It has been so cold the last couple months. It’s been in the single digits during the day and below zero as the lows. Because of this, we’ve been having water issues. It started with forgetting to put heat tape on the pipe that goes to the septic. It froze. Which came as a big surprise when the sewage starting backing up into the downstairs bathtub, sink, toilet, and the kitchen sink. YUCK!

I crawled under the house and found the problem. I added heat tape to the pipe and re-insulated it. In a few hours the kitchen sink drained, only to find out that the water to the kitchen had frozen (face smack). Turns out all of the water pipes were completely frozen. NO WATER!!!

There was still a frozen spot of sewage pipe blocking the bathroom drainage. Dad went under and discovered that some of the heat tape had failed. So, Dad had to replace them and re-insulate the pipe. Unfortunately, one of the new heat tapes was not working. Dad had to return it. Turns out it was not just us having problems with their water. It hasn’t been this cold in a long time and it caught everyone off guard. All of a sudden, all the heat tape in town had been bought out. Dad had to drive to Kenai to find more heat tape. He found one. The last one in this little city. We were thankful to get the one.

Dad installed the new heat tape and it started to finally defrost the sewage pipe. This might seem to be a short story of our fight with water, but this was a month of fighting the frozen water and sewage.

You are probably wondering how were we showering and more importantly how were we going to the bathroom! Well, men are lucky to be able to pee where ever they want. Women not so lucky. I had a bucket. Nothing like living in the 17th century with a wash basin and pitcher. We melted snow on the wood stove to use for various things like washing hands, dishes, and we filtered the water for coffee, tooth brushing, etc. We also watered the geese and ducks with the water as well. Thank goodness we had power.

I am so lucky that I have a boyfriend that is so understanding and thoughtful. Dad and I have been showering at Dan’s house to this day and I had also been using his toilet for my “morning constitutional”. Tonight we will be going to Dan’s for our showers. He lives close and I am so grateful for the use of his bathroom and it’s always nice to spend time with him.

We have got some of the pipes defrosted and the upstairs bathroom works as well as the sink. But still no shower. A week and a half ago Dad and I were standing in the kitchen discussing this frustrating predicament we are in. I had a great idea! Screw the downstairs bathroom! We can revisit it in the spring after breakup. We have everything we need to go ahead and renovate the upstairs half bath and create a full bath. Let’s just make a new bathroom.

Dad thought it was a great idea, of course. So, the last week and a half we’ve been knocking down walls, plumbing, running new power and ordering hard surface panels for the shower enclosure. Since the bathroom is now in a dormer. The bathroom is taking over one small bedroom that is really too small for anything but storage. Now there will be a bath, a vanity for all my girly stuff with plenty of electrical outlets. It’s going to be wonderful!

Yesterday while I was at work, Dad finished the plumbing and installed the sheet rock. We are so close to having a new shower. All we will have to do is wait for the shower panels to be installed by Dan. It’s going to be so nice to be able to shower in my own home. No more dragging my toiletries and clothing to Dan’s for my shower. I can’t wait!

During all this water mess, before the heat tape trip, I was getting ready to go to Kenai with Dad for a few things and I sat on my little bench that decided to give way and I fell through it. Nails dug into my butt and left a long gash with lots of bruising and bleeding. This sucked because we were about to drive an hour and a half on bumpy icy roads. Sitting hurt!

I was so mad at the bench I was threatening to burn it in the wood stove. He said he could fix it, so I brought it to him. He said it would be easier to make a new one. And that is just what he did. It’s beautiful, functional, and sturdy. I bought nice foam for it and covered the cushion with what I had. I think the printed fabric doesn’t do it justice. And so, I got revenge on my old bench by smashing it up and throwing it into the fire.

These past few months have been so cold. I walk dogs for a living so no matter what the weather is doing I’m out there braving it with a group of dogs. I got to experience for the first time being frosty. My hair, eye lashes, and face mask were all frozen. It was pretty cool! Good thing I have great gear!

And so, I think I’ve caught you up on what’s been happening. So I will leave you with two toasty dogs looking out into the frozen landscape at my house. Thanks for reading!

Winter! Finally!

It started snowing early Sunday morning and dusted Homer with powder. It continued to snow throughout the day while Dad and I worked under the house. It wasn’t really sticking at the time since it was two degrees above freezing. We were “trying” to jack up apart of the house to try to get some shims out to begun some more of the lowering process. The ground has yet to freeze, so we were just jacking into the ground, well mud. Sunday it was still muddy under the house. Which means it was really cold mud and the wind chill under the house sucked. After a couple hours under the house we decided to wait until the ground freezes.

A couple weeks ago, we had gotten more gravel to get rid of the invasive mud. We had a company come out and spread it. They did a great job. Then, I found that they hit my greenhouse with their heavy equipment and did some major damage to it. I kept trying to figure out why my window panels kept popping out and blowing away with the wind. Further investigation, I found a huge dent and whole in the aluminum structure. The whole green house has been bent to the point that it’s integrity has been compromised. Now I need to call the green house company to see if they sell replacement parts. Then, I can call this company at fault and have them replace said parts. My geese and ducks are in the green house for protection from the elements. Sunday we had to be creative in order to keep these panels in and blowing away. We don’t want to expose the ducks and geese to snow at this point. It’s starting to get was too cold for them to be outside.

I put up my Christmas tree and decorated it as well. Seemed like the right time since it was snowing. I have Sunday afternoon picture when it was dusting the outside with snow and the next morning and boy is there a difference.

Sunday late afternoon, I went to my friend Tiana’s house to pay them a visit. But, they were off to one of our other friend’s house, Jen and Dave. So, I came along to wish Dave a happy birthday. They had a nice fire going outside and the snow was really coming down. The kids were sledding. It looked like so much fun! Living up here for over two years, I haven’t had the time to do any winter sports.

So, as I’m drinking my first adult beverage of the day; I decided to give it a go. I am so happy my friends filmed me on my first run and then my fifth run down the hills.

My first time sledding!

5th time sledding

I had sooo much fun! Thank you so much Jen, Dave, Tiana, Cory and the kids for such a wonderful experience for my first adventure sledding. I had so much fun I kept going back for more! I felt like a kid again!

Monday morning came quickly and I had to get ready for work. Looking out the window gave me a great surprise. Lots and lots of snow!

My car was covered as well!

It’s so beautiful! I walked around and took a couple more pictures of the property.

It was so much fun walking all the dogs in the snow. It’s really my favorite time of year to work. No mud!

So, today is Tuesday and I’m working in the office today and completely enjoying myself reminiscing about this weekend and sharing it with ya’ll.

I hope everything is well where you are and stay warm my friends.