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!

The Hazy Shade of Winter

A lot has gone on since the last time I updated this blog. News on the new bathroom, it’s almost finished! I’ve painted the ceiling and tried my skills on taping and mudding sheet rock. I did okay for my first time, but I will have to say, how could anyone love finishing sheet rock!? There will be some sanding to do. It’s gonna take another week or so to level the house, hopefully and then we can install the solid surface. I have some pics of the new bathroom under construction and my shoddy sheet rock finishing work.

This past weekend and this week it warmed up substantially. It hit 40 degrees twice and mid-30s for the most part. Everything turned to slush. Talk about a big frigging mess! Driving conditions turned dangerous. My opinion, it’s more dangerous than driving in the snow. It also sucks severely to walk in. Trying to hike with dogs in slush is not the happiest thing.

Today, it’s 19 degrees and snowing. February has had some interesting weather changes. The other night it was warm and then it turned into strong wind and snow. The wind was so strong that it created scary icicles at my window. It’s like they are trying to keep me in otherwise they look like they would impale me.

It’s been snowing since last night and has yet to stop. At least it isn’t slush. My subaru has no problems getting through the deep snow in the driveway. This morning she plowed through two feet of snow like it was nothing. Gotta love all wheel drive. I trust “Zippy” to take me anywhere rain, sleet, and deep ass snow. Out of all the vehicles I’ve ever owned this by far has to be the best. No, I did not buy her new. I bought her from a retired local couple no longer in need of two vehicles. I’ve enjoyed Zippy ever since.

Two days of snowfall and it keeps coming.

Last Sunday, I started my first round of seeds for spring planting. These are the ones that will take the longest to start. These are the onions, brussel sprouts, peppers (that will stay inside to grow and fruit), some herbs, and leeks. For the first time I am trying to be organized with my planting. I alway seed things out and forget to label them. Then, they go in the garden and then it’s a big surprise what I end up growing. This year it’s not going to happen. I’m gonna know exactly what I’ve seeded out and will be able to plant the starts in the correct areas. I hope I can keep it up.

This time instead of a food up table, Dad and I made windowsill tables for my seeding out. This is much more sufficient on space. I am so excited. I enjoy growing plants and food and can’t wait for spring. Just by saying that I have jinxed us! We will probably have an extra two weeks of winter because of me. LOL I am starting to long for spring! I’m looking out the window and the snow is blowing all around. It’s quite a contrast looking past my green plants out the window to see blowing snow.

Well, I guess I’m going to clean out the refrigerator and some cleaning around the house. Then, date night with Dan. No matter what the weather or day brings, Dan makes it so much more enjoyable. He keeps me laughing.

Well, I guess that’s it. I will leave you with Gandie sleeping on my bed. He’s 15 years old and still kicking. He’s such a sweet boy. Talk to you soon!!

Bathroom Update

As you all know, we have been trying to renovate the half bath upstairs to create a full bath due to the downs stairs shower freezing up. It has been pretty warm the last few days. It got up into the 30’s. So, the downstairs shower defrosted. We are able to shower at the house again, but not for long. It’s starting to get cold again. I’m sure that the pipes in the shower wall will freeze up again.

We got the walls, plumbing, and the tub in place. I’ve painted the sheet rock and ceiling with primer. I need to paint the ceiling with the color white I chose. Hopefully, this week we will get the hard surface shower walls installed and it will be finished.

I can’t wait to have a full bath on the same floor as my bedroom. It’s very exciting! I also need to tape and mud some sheet rock where my vanity is going and then I can prime that too. It’s going to be wonderful to get all my girlie stuff of my chest of drawers in my room and into the bathroom where it belongs.

Dan gave me a rug for my bedroom the other day! It’s awesome! It covers most of my bedroom floor. Betsy loves it because she can roll and rub all over it.

It’s pretty darn cool. I can now walk barefooted in my room! Gandie loves it too! It’s very comfortable to sleep on. Taco just doesn’t care. He likes the bed. The rug even matches my quilt that I’m still trying to finish.

This house has almost no storage space. I’m still trying to figure out where to put stuff. I think I’m probably going to get rid of more stuff. If I haven’t used it in a year it should go. I’m sick of living with stuff all over the place. Nothing has a home because there is no place for anything.

Well. That’s all I have to tell you. I got nothing else.

Here’s a picture of my winter view from my bedroom.

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It was pissing down rain and I just purchased a 4 – wheeler 4 days ago. Because of the rain I hadn’t had time to play with it. So, in Alaska fashion, I put on my rain gear on and played with it out in the rain on our rainy Thanksgiving holiday. I drove it to my friend Jamie’s house and visited with her and her family for a little while. The cable was out on their TV and couldn’t watch the game. So, Jamie decided to use her original iPad to watch the game. She couldn’t find the charger, I’m sure everyone remembers the old chargers that the iPads, iPhones and iPods used to have.

I suddenly remembered that I have about 4 or 5 of those ancient things at my house. I offered to go get one for her to use. I drive back home on the 4-wheeler in the rain and began my search for this ancient relic of the past. They were all in an old Bark Box with black sharpy labeling it CHARGERS. I couldn’t find the damn thing any where. I even searched my bedroom thinking I had stashed on there. No luck. As a my last ditched effort I looked on the kitchen table which had coats, winter hats, my purse and a plethora of other random items on it. I moved my coat and other random crap to make a hole where I stuck my hand through and grasped something that felt like a wiry object. Luck struck me and there it was! That ancient power cord from days of yore! I screamed! Dad popped popped out to find me holding on to this once white antique charger cord. I think we were both extremely surprised that I found it in some random spot on the catch all table!

I took the 4-wheeler back to Jamie’s and presented her with this archaic device charger. I didn’t think that the darn thing would even work since it has been buried for many years away from human use. I felt like an archeologist! It did work and it was happily charging her device. I hung out for a little bit longer and figured I still have to cook side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, take a shower and of course fix my hair.

Back at home, I started readying myself to cook. This takes time. I got the water boiling for home made mac and cheese and started staring at the Christmas decorations. I got side tracked and started opening up the box and soon realized we are missing a box! Dad went out to the connex and the storage tent with no luck. I’m officially missing a large plastic container of Christmas stuff. Now that I am telling you this, I seem to remember maybe it’s in a card board U-Haul box. I will have to check that out tomorrow. Anyway, I pulled a few things out and started decorating. By then, the mac was done and I drained it. Time for the adding of cheeses

I added beaten eggs with a powdered milk solution, one block of cream cheese, a dollop of Daisy (dollop meaning the whole container), a cup of butter, lots of shredded cheddar, parmesan and bread crumbs. As I was making this, I was hoping everyone was in good heart shape to eat this. Talk about clogging your arteries.

I also made Southern Pear Salad. Something on the lighter side. Well, I guess mayo is lighter than that cheese dish. This salad consists of half pears, a small dollop of mayo, shredded cheddar cheese, and a maraschino cherry. It sounds kind of gross but it’s fantastic!

Picture courtesy of http://www.aletiadupree.com I took it of the internet because I forgot to take pics of mine. This is what it looked like

Everything came together at the last minute and we were off to Dave and Lisa’s house. Which Dave is my boyfriend Dan’s brother. There was so much food and we ate ourselves sick. There are so many leftovers! We had a lot to be thankful for last night. It was great spending time with family and friends. I can’t wait to do it again!

Today it didn’t rain, but is really gloomy. We are all hoping for snow again to get rid of the re-emerging mud that was once frozen and a pleasure to walk on.

Well, I guess that’s it. I guess I will leave you with a cute picture of Taco being cute and sleepy. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Someone just woke up to a phone in their face!

Riding the Pineapple Express

It has been raining now for about a month.  It’s dark, gloomy,  it’s warmer than usual, and we should have snow on the ground.  Instead, we are riding on the Pineapple Express which has brought in rain and warmer temps.  We were in a drought all summer.  It was dry, dusty, and hot.  All we wanted was some rain.  But nooooo, we had to get it now which has made outdoor conditions wet, muddy and miserable.

Highs have been in the mid to high 40s and lows in the high 30s.  It’s a yuck fest and it’s affecting everyone.  15 day forecast says more rain and same temps.  The ground needs to freeze at least.

WHERE IN THE SAM ELLIOT IS MY SNOW!!!

Because of this weird weather, Dad and I haven’t really been working outside very much.  Too muddy!

This has given us a chance to organize the house.  My late Uncle was a prepper and before he died he brought over all his food cache.  I’m talking tons upon tons of food. Way more than I could ever eat in my lifetime and most of it I can’t eat because of the gluten.  So, Dad went through it all and organized can goods and dried food.  Anything that we didn’t want went to the food bank.  It filled the whole old Land Rover up from front to back.  Dad had just enough room to drive and possibly see? It felt good to help people and to get all that food out of my house that I will never use.

While all this organizing was going on, Dad found many of my kitchen gadgets and small appliances that I have been searching for.  What won’t fit in my tiny unfinished kitchen is getting store in our BRAND NEW STORAGE TENT!

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We built a huge tent to store excess which has cleaned up the house and gives us a place to run power tools and build.  One of the big things I needed to do is insulate my bee hive so they will stay warm through the winter.  The tent sure came in handy with all this rain.  I was able to cut all my board insulation with the jigsaw and use screws and metal tape to create a mimicked shell of the hive. It just fit right over the hive with minimal problems.  The metal tape did cut me numerous times and bled all over the insulation.  The rain washed it all off so it’s not a bloody mess.  It seems to be working and my bees are warm.  I need to check up on them this weekend and make sure they are safe, warm, and dry.

Just when I think I have enough projects, I decided to revisit the quilt I started a year ago and see if I can finish it.  I am using batik in an outdoor/wild animal prints.  I love batik its so pretty. This is my first time making a quilt.  Yes, I just woke up one day and said, “I think I’m going to make a quilt with out knowing anything about quilting and a small amount of experience sewing”.  I think I’m doing a pretty good job for just starting out.  One thing I did make a mistake on was how many 5 inch squares I needed to make a queen sized quilt.  I was off by a crap load.  So now I am waiting on more squares because I didn’t have any to spare.  lol!  I went ahead and ordered some pinking shears to make my own squares if I decide to make another one.  That, I I have bees wax and I am going to make food wraps with leftover material.  I think that will be fun when we actually get winter.

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As you can see, the squares don’t really match up with each other, but I’m okay with that.  Gives it character.  I can’t wait to finish it and out it on my bed!  it’s going to be 90 x 108.  I have the batting and flannel material to go on the back.  It’s going tot be very warm and bring more color in my life.  That and the satisfactory that I finished a project.

Okay!  I think that about sums it up.  Life right now is all hunky dory!  Just need this God forsaken rain to stop.  We need sun or snow!  I will keep you posted.  Thanks for reading!

This Past Spring and Summer

It’s amazing to me that Dad and I have lived in Alaska now for over 2 years.  It’s been busy busy for us and I just haven’t felt like blogging.  So, as I sit at work today, I got a wild hair to try and catch everyone up.  We had such a beautiful summer.  The fireweed exploded this year.  It was hot too.  We got up into the 70s which is hot for us in Homer.

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Okay.  So, I have been working for a doggie daycare for a little over a year now.  This explains why my blogging stopped.  Not only am I working a job, but I am still working on our God forsaken house.  Time just kinda passed with a blink of an eye.

This passed spring Dad and I built a greenhouse I bought from Clima Pod.  It was about 50 million pieces with the worst directions ever.  I’m talking you can follow IKEA instructions better than this!  This green house about drove me to drink heavily.  I will never buy another one like this again.  We got it done and it was a little to late to grow veg at that point.  So I took care of all my house plants and made sure they got enough sun.  Although, I did plant cabbage and carrots to see if I can get them to grow in such a short period of time.  I don’t think there will be enough time.

We also built a new pond for the ducks and geese.  I planted clover around it.  We also took an old boat house and created a goose house!  The waterfowl love it!

I also decided to try my hand at honey bees and I’ve gotten honey as well!

 

We keep adding more things to our list of to do’s.  We keeping stretching ourselves a little thinner every time.  On top of all the work we are doing on the house, I take breaks to go halibut fishing with my boyfriend.  So, I gain food for the freezer but loose a day or two working on the house and property.  I also did some blueberry picking!

It’s fall here in Homer, Alaska and barreling down to winter.  We still need to lower the house, which will make it level.  FINALLY!  We need to skirt it and move on to the inside of the house.  I am so excited to have sheet rock, finish the kitchen, have real flooring instead of plywood.  I have this vision in my head on what it’s going to look like finished.  Hopefully, what I have envisioned will be close to the real thing.

We are also going to add a new room to the house.  There will be a basement, new living room, a bedroom with its own bathroom and shower in it for Dad.  This way he doesn’t have to climb the stairs anymore.  We are also going to enlarge the powder room upstairs to a full bath.    All my beauty stuff will have its own place in a bathroom, my bathroom, and not stored in my bedroom.  The days of feeling like I live in a dormitory will be over.  No more lugging around my bath stuff.  I’m really hoping to get to my new bathroom this winter.

When we are finished with this house, it will be a four bedroom, three bathroom house.  Large eat in kitchen. a basement, a large living room with great views and much more.

I will try to do better on posting what we’ve been up to.  Sorry for the long wait.  There will be more to come!!!  Thanks for reading!

Happy One Year Anniversary on traveling to Alaska, my home!

Today, One year ago we made it to Onawa, Iowa and stayed at the On-Ur-Wa RV park.       This was a pretty good RV park.  It had a laundry mat which is was great, by this time we were in desperate need clean clothes and sheets.

We have come a long way since our arrival.  I think back to that first trip north to Alaska; the adventures and long days of driving we had to endure.  The stress of an overloaded school bus carrying an overloaded 28 foot enclosed trailer going 50 mph and 10 mph up mountains and hills.  That was just Dad; I was behind him in Spike towing a 36 foot gooseneck travel trailer.  For all who have just started reading Spike is our big dually diesel 3500 Ram Bully Edition pick up.  He’s big, even comes with its own jake brake, which I had to use many times in the mountains.  Open highways and roads were a piece of cake until we had to drive through large cities with tons of traffic.  Very nerve racking and very scary.

Here are the pics I originally took on Sept. 7, 2017 in Iowa.

This year has just flown by.

Well, Damn! How long has it been?

I have a funny story for you.

So last night I decided to let my Karelian Bear dog (Cookie) for the first time in a longtime.  Big mistake.

I let her out with Taco and Gandie.  She then proceeded to run off with Taco trailing behind her all the way to the road.  (Forehead Slap!)

I got them back onto the property and was able to scold Taco and he ran back to the house and went inside.  Cookie on the other hand found the pond with my ducks swimming all zen like.  She was chasing them around the pond while I was screaming at her.  To make it clear, this was about 10 pm and I was in my jammies.

So, this makes a funny picture.  Me, in my jammies, yelling and chasing a dog chasing ducks.

Now, at this point, I was prepared to tackle Cookie and land in the cold dirty pond water.  There were a couple of times that this was going to happen.  She ran into the brush next to the pond where one of my ducks were hiding and went in after her.  Of course she was already out and I am falling on my face in the mud which is in the brush.  I’m in my jammies mind you.

I get up fall yet again.  At this point, I am so pissed that I could barely keep all the bad words inside my mouth.  Cookie finally figuring out that this wasn’t a game as I am chasing her all over the muddy ass property stopped and let me catch her.  I grabbed her by the tough of her neck and told her what I thought of her at that moment and told her that she was being bad.

I’m muddy in my jammies and she is muddy and wet from the pond.  Which got me wet when I caught her.  I led her back to the house by the collar and went inside.  I must have sent dad a psychic thought, because inside was a nice warm fire.  I made and drink and told dad the whole story.  We laughed about it in the kitchen while I warmed up.

I went upstairs and changed into clean jammies and got into bed.  It seems Cookie decided to seek revenge and rolled her muddy wet body all over my comforter.  So, it too was wet and muddy.

I changed my covers and went to bed.  All the chickens were in for the night and the ducks slept knowing they dodged a serious bullet.

So, this was my adventure last night.  I hope it brings you as many laughs as it brought me and dad.