Counting Down to Home

Hi guys, I am sitting here at my best friends house doing laundry and thinking about home.

So let me catch you up.  I have two rooms to floor and a bathroom to finish.  I am working on a room a day and a half.  I have to prepare the room by pulling up old staples or hammering them down before I can roll the foam out and start laying the flooring.  It’s been trial and error and lots of frustration, but I am almost done and the flooring looks incredible.

Three days ago, I noticed that I was getting some sort of rash on my neck.  No, I haven’t been rolling in any kind of poisonous plants.  It’s a mystery.  It’s itchy, burns, and tingles.  No, it’s not shingles because it’s on both sides of my neck and I’ve had shingles before.  It’s time to go to the doctor.  I have been eating Benadryl and using a steroid cream but nothing seems to work.  It’s driving me nuts!

We have finished the kitchen and working on timing the rest of the house as I put down the flooring.

Dad and I both want to go home and have set a deadline to start back home this month.

We can’t wait.  Home sickness has set in heavy.  ALASKA WE MISS YOU!

I will continue to keep in touch and update you on whats going on.  Have a great Sunday!

Please visit my GoFundMe page to help me set up a Glamping business!


Bob’s Version: Day 60 Homestead

Today we passed three milestones.  The semi-expensive gas stove is connected to gas.  We can now cook in an oven.  The kitchen sink now has both water and a drain and we have a load of firewood.  Today marks two months since we started working on this derelict house.  We have taken it from derelict house to home.  It has been an incredible trek through one stupid problem after another.  The majority of those problems were the fault of several previous owners.  The little guy at the end of the road, whose father built this monstrosity, is truly angry that we are the first people to get this dump up and running.  He was very smug when we arrived in saying that he had seen several others fail.  He wanted to buy the place and I guess he was saving his nickels and waiting.  Too bad for him.  I DON’T FAIL.  His father, apparently, was living in the cabin that the house was built around.  The construction of the house does not even come close to the building codes of the 80s much less current building codes.  It has, however, survived several earthquakes so he obviously did something right.  Now Summer and I are in charge of restoring and preserving this 35 year old house built around a cabin with a ‘who knows’ construction date.

Today Summer and I went to town (Homer) so that she could get papers notarized to sell her house on the Suwannee River in O’Brien, FL.  We, also, hit the Safeway, the hardware store and the post office.  Meanwhile back at the ranch the wood guy was wanting to get paid.  He, at last, relented and dumped the wood on our back steps.  It certainly was not the optimum place, but I’m guessing he was peeved that we weren’t available.  He’d called earlier to say that it would be early evening then he called and changed it to NOW.  He’d been told that we were going to town and his change plans was going to be an inconvenience to Summer..  Summer makes plans and she isn’t happy when someone fails to abide by the agreed plan.  He left the wood and decided he would just come back by tomorrow.  Smart man.

Today was the day between snow storms.  Clear blue skies, bright sunshine and you could see the mountains and glaciers across Katchemak Bay.  Tomorrow is predicted to be another snow day, but who knows.  Some of the same people that swear by Gore-Bal Warming, and an uninhabitable planet in 2100, can’t with any certainty tell you tomorrow’s weather.

Tomorrow’s itinerary includes repairing the upstairs commode.  The commode itself is fine but there were no bolts holding the tank in place, the flapper ball is like cement and the flush valve just came apart in my hands.  Also, I hope to get some plywood on the wall of the downstairs bath and sheetrock over it.  I put the second light in this morning while waiting for the coffee to brew.  After sheetrock, I’ll install the vanity, a mirror and a light over the vanity.  This will give us two fully functioning bathrooms.  Whoopee!!!!

We have an infestation.  Voles are their name and they aren’t Tennessee football players.  What they are is tiny little mice smaller than the Palmetto bugs we had in Florida.  They are tiny and fast and the scary movement you see from the corner of your eyes.  Taco caught one but only by the tail. Somehow it escaped and scurried off to parts unknown.  Taco has been bored silly since he is unable to go outside because of the snow.  The Voles have been a welcome distraction for the bored Chihuahua.  We’ll have to drive the little boogers out somehow as they are very destructive.  Summer wants us to buy a Mane Coon, which is a type of cat.  I don’t like cats and I’m sure as hell not paying $1200 for a kitten.  There have to be less expensive ways to eradicate the Vole infestation.

I drove today on the icy roads for the second time since we’ve been here.   Summer does most of the driving because she gets to the truck first.  Getting old has made me a little slower, I guess. The heavily siped, studded tires with an abundance of caution get you around just fine.  In December, I’m driving back to Florida to get the balance of our possessions.  I’m looking forward to the 4600 mile trip.  Another adventure to be had.  Somebody told Summer that I might get killed on the road.  My reply was SO?  After all nobody is getting out of this life alive.

Dinner was tamale casserole.  Was pretty good but was made a lot better by the addition of Crystal Hot Sauce.  Dessert was three Nutter Butters.


Bob’s Version: Day 45 Homestead

Homestead Day 45 STAR DATE 11042017:0820

Started the day by making coffee that I failed to make last night. Was cold this morning as the gravel drive and the ground were both crunchy. Actually, got up before sunrise. Of course, sunrise ws about 9:30. Big whoop. Have a lot to do today.
* Drank coffee like some drug fiend and while talking with Summer about today’s agenda. She decided to clear out all of the dirty dishes everywhere and wash them. We’ve been eating out out plastic plates with plastic spoons. Okay for a picnic but not very good for a normal life. Any return to normalcy is a good thing.
*After much dissembling and delaying and procrastinating, I got up and decided to do something. I wanted to try to get some cabinets installed but a bad place in the floor needed to be repaired. Can’t put cabinets over a floor that is falling in. I started to cut away the floor thinking that it was only a 12×12 spot and ended up cutting a hole 24×20. The idiots before us had, apparently, had a leak for a long time. How can you not know these things? After much aggravation mostly related to finding the necessary tools, i got busy. At last, I got my table saw out. When you have 2x4s and you need 2x2s there is no substitute for a table saw. Finally, with hole patched, I decided to see if we could hang some sheetrock.
*I discovered when trying to hang rock that the house had settled about an inch since we had arrived the house had settled about an inch on the east side. With that in mind I did not put a lot of screws in the sheet rock. Only put in enough screws to hold it against the wall. When the hard freeze comes we will jack the house level again. I suspect that this is going to be an annual proposition. Was going to have something more permanent installed but after consulting with an engineer decided that that might not work any better than the pilings set on 24x24x16 slabs. It seems that the Sonotube thing doesn’t work very well in my area as there is no solid layer to anchor it in.
* Swept up more construction debris and dirt (formerly mud). Pursued the phantom electric box for awhile to no avail. I really am going to have to rip out sheet rock in Summer’s bedroom. I am substantially less than enthused. Since it was about to be dark, I picked up my tools and put them away.
*Cut some debris firewood so that we’d have enough to get through tomorrow. Oil stove is working just fine but at 22k btu it isn’t going to heat the entire house. We need the freeze up so that we can get some real wood. Our fuel tanks will be filled Monday which will insure our survival but not our comfort.
Dinner consisted of salmon cooked in aluminum foil by placing it in the wood stove. The salmon was marinated in Summer’s secret marinade and wrapped in foil. I don’t ask, I just eat. Had a nice big salad as a side.

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.


Good Night, Good Evening, and Good Morning

Today was a long hard day.  We both just didn’t have the stamina to work as hard as we have been.  We chased around power and what could cause such weirdness in the power.  Long story, just wait for my Dad’s post.

This will be my second night in the house sleeping alone with my two dogs.  Dad and Suzy are still in the camper, just in my old bed.  Last night was strange.  This is an older house and it’s an Alaskan house so you can say that it wasn’t quite put together by code. It took me a long time to fall asleep and stay asleep.  So lets say I tossed and turned half the night.  In any house you have to get used to the strange sounds that occur.  It’s always an adventure. It is Halloween and it’s a beautiful sky tonight with a large half moon.  I’m not gonna let my imagination take hold of me.  As far as I know, everyone involved with this house is still alive.  See!  There’s my imagination taking hold of me again.   It’s 8:50 pm now and I feel I could sleep for a century.

Tonight I feel pretty good and think I could sleep all the way through.  Just incase I am taking a Benadryl.  Again, it’s ah old house and it is pretty dusty since we got here, it doesn’t help that we are putting this old house back together.  An allergy pill is just the trick with a humidifier.  Boy, is it dry here.  Moisturize me!  Moisturize me!  LOL!  A little Cassandra there from Doctor Who to lighten the mood.

So, I bid you good night, good evening, and good morning where ever you are.


Same Costume Same Year

I know I have lost weight working the hard homesteader life and remodeling the house.  It occurred to me to compare pictures to see how much I really lost.  I am thrilled!!!  I didn’t even notice until later that my corset was too big!  I had it cinched up all the way and I still had some room.  Now, I have tried all kinds of diets and this one is the best.  I call it the Alaska Diet.  Work hard and eat less.  When you eat, eat healthy.


Today, Dad got the oil heater going and it works.  We also unloaded stuff into the house including my bed!  I am sleeping in the house tonight.  Dad and I ran out of steam at this point and were hungry, so we stopped for the night.  I made baked potatoes in the wood stove and beanie weenies.  I’m saving the steaks for tomorrow night. Speaking about tomorrow, Dad is getting his bed in the house as well.  We are so close to living in the house completely!  Dad can’t wait!

I am sitting here by the fire writing and enjoying the fact that I don’t have to walk outside to use the bathroom.  Before bed though, I have to walk back to the camper and get my pillows, heating blanket, iPad and iPhone chargers, dog water bowl for upstairs and then it’s bedtime for Bonzo!  I am so freaking thrilled about being in the house!

I wish we could have done more today, but there is always tomorrow.  Be safe my friends and have a great night or day where ever you are.


The Halloween Party: Oct. 28, 2017

I tell you what.  It’s been a long time since I’ve attended a halloween party!  My wonderful neighbors/friends, in which I feel like I’ve known them forever, invited me to their family party.  I got to meet Homer/Fritz Creek’s finest and made a bunch of new friends in the process.  It was a pot luck and a bonfire with libations.  Kids playing on trampolines and swings.  It was a great break from all the hard working my Dad and I put forth.

There is one thing that is so great about this town.  You get the small town feel up north with a great southern hospitality, but without the southern accents.  That’s where I come in.  LOL

I just want to thank my friends Tiana and Cory for just taking me in that faithful night when Gandie had his senile spell and he found you.  Totally meant to be.