Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to THE GREATEST GENERATION and to the hope that we can emulate their bravery

6 June 2020 Saturday. Today is the anniversary of the 1944 invasion of France by tens of thousands of Allied troops. Thousands died. 3000+ Americans died in the landing. Thousands more died in conquering Hitler’s Third Reich. YET here we are with the equivalent of Hitler’s Brown Shirts in the streets inciting and aiding people in breaking windows and looting like it is Kristallnacht in Germany. Neither the Governors nor the Mayors in these states and cities seem to be able or willing to stop this lawless activity. It might be that they don’t want it to stop. This idiocy is not about George Floyd. It is about destroying America as founded. The Antifa Black Shirts have threatened to come into the suburbs to kill, burn and take whatever they want. It is too bad much of the populace of the suburbs have been whipped into submission by the gun control NAZIs. They’ll lose their possessions and likely their lives, if they are invaded by the Antifa Black Shirts. I had hoped that President Trump would squelch this madness and mayhem, but I guess not. This evil cannot be allowed to continue. They are destroying the very fabric of our civil society. They need anarchy to be able to implement their Socialist agenda. We are in a Civil War and the enemy is destroying us.

Midnight over Kachemak Bay

Today I spent much of my day running back and forth to town for plumbing supplies. The sewage and the waste water tanks will now drain as designed. There were so many 90 degree turns in the piping that I cut it off near the valves and cleared the lines. After crawling under the trailer for a couple of hours and spending a of hours driving back and forth to the hardware store, I was pooped. There was a good deal of ‘engineering‘ that needed to be done to get all of the lines reconnected. This is not a job that I would want to undertake again.

10:00 PM over Kachemak Bay

Just for fun I started up the tractor and moved some dirt to low places in the yard. This was two hours of not having to do any heavy duty thinking. I quit at about 7:00 PM and went inside to feed the dogs and myself. Later, I turned on the TV and went channel surfing. We’ve got a bunch of channels but damned little to watch. I, accidentally, found Tom Selleck and NYPD Blue. At last, a show worth watching. I’ve had my fill of Hoarders and Oak Island. There are some decent shows on network TV. They are few and far between but they are there if you are looking.

Duck next to a goose egg.

I picked these up this afternoon. The goose eggs are gigantic next to duck and are enormous next to a chicken egg.

Goose egg next to a chicken egg

It wasn’t a very exciting or productive day. I still don’t have the Covid 19 and I am still on the green side of the sod so it wasn’t a bad day. I hope you day went as well as mine or, perhaps, a lot better than mine. Goodnight.

Dad’s Alaska

A toast to the nearly 3 million people who’ve gone back to work.

5 June 2020 Friday. Woke up at 7:30 to the dripping noise from real rain for the first time in several weeks. While it halted outside activity for a while it did not stop the work. There were dishes to do, rugs to wash, other laundry to do until the rain stopped. Summer spent the morning prepping for her weekend camping trip. The housework always gets neglected when there is so much to do outside. The rain is the reason the any deep cleaning of the house gets done. Most of the time it is like my Grandmother used to say that “She hit it with a lick and a promise”, The promise, of course, was to do it better next time. Today was the ‘next time’ for the housework.

It rained intermittently for most of the day. I really didn’t want to crawl on the wet ground under the travel trailer to do the plumbing. Any plumbing project that I do requires a minimum of three trips to the hardware store. I did two of them yesterday and am expecting to do, at least, one more before the problem is solved. The rain will clear by tomorrow and I’ll get the opportunity to go to the hardware store again.

A bit of Alaskan news. The University of Alaska is starting a new writing course in the prison system. They named it ‘Prose and Cons’. Because pens and pencils can be weapons the writing will be done in crayon. Because of the crayons write so large they have anticipated that they’ll need 100 thousand sheets of paper in the first year. The local environmentalist wackos are protesting the death of so many trees to make the paper. The Warden of the facility was asked if he thought that any of the inmates could write anything significant? He told answered the reporter by saying, “There is the theory that if you supplied a monkey with a typewriter, enough time and enough paper it would, eventually, write ‘War and Peace’ or it’s equivalent.” The reporter said, ” But most of these people didn’t finish high school. How do you expect them to be able to write? The Warden’s interview ending answer was “With crayons”. And that is about all of the news worth knowing except that there have been protests in Anchorage and in some of the smaller towns. There has been no violence or looting because just about everyone has a gun on them or very handily close by. Alaska is a very polite state. Anchorage, however, has been Californicated. The mayor and assembly never met a tax they they didn’t like. The have created proportionally more homeless people than San Francisco. I will give the mayor and assembly some kudos for attempting to save taxpayer money. During the beginning of the COVID-19 fiasco they crammed all of the homeless they could round up into two big convention halls. The cots were six feet apart but there were no screens or any type of separation other than distance. I think this may have been an attempt at murdering as many of the homeless as possible thereby saving the taxpayer millions of dollars a year. Murder by C-19 and no proof of wrong doing. If hundreds had died they could say “We had good intentions and we tried to save them”. As you likely know, all a Lib/Prog/Socialist Democrat needs is good intentions to justify any apparent unintended consequence.

Summer left for her camping trip at 2:00. I goofed around most of the day doing laundry, folding laundry, sweeping and mopping floors, loading and unloading the dishwasher, taking a much needed shower and changing the sheets on my bed. In other words, I did damned near nothing all day. About 5:00, the sun came out and the ground started drying. I thought about going outside and working on one project or another but by that time I was out of the mood. Boredom and lethargy had set in and I just couldn’t work up enough ‘Give a damn’ to do anything but sit and eat. If I don’t get started in the morning, then by 2-3 o’clock my get up and go has got up and went without me. As I’m typing this missive it is almost 8:00 PM. There is so much sunlight that it appears to be about 3:00 PM on Mobile Bay. We’re getting about 18 hours of daylight which can make you think that it is earlier than it really is.

I’m out. Sorry no pictures today.

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the tens of thousands of police officers doing a tough job

4 June 2020 Thursday Another long day. Got started at about 9:30 AM. Finished up about 7:30 PM. I loaded up the new rims and the summer tires and took ‘The Beast’ to Tire town. It is time to put the summer tires on ‘The Beast’. The studs on the snow tires will wear out running on non-icy, snowy roads. Getting new studs installed or buying new stud tires is an expensive proposition. Summer had to go into town so she followed me to the tire store. Since she was going into town I had her drop me off at the hardware store. I needed to get a few parts to attempt to repair the sliding door in the travel trailer. After Summer finished her business she picked me up and we went home.

Six new rims installed

Back at the ‘homestead’ Summer went about putting the plants into the new stacked stone planter. We had put the dirt in it yesterday and ran out of time to plant. Too much stuff to do. Too little time to do it. I went about my business of trying to get the sliding door repaired. After about an hour of trying to make the new parts work, I gave up. Sometimes the smaller problems seem the most intractable. After looking around through my ‘possibles’ I realized that I had no type of rollers that could be used. While I was looking around I saw a piece of teak. Knowing that teak is oily and has an affinity for any kind of oil, I decided to see if I could make a teak slide to replace the missing three wheeled roller. It took quite a while to fabricate the slide and fit it to the track. It was a trial and error process and took about an hour to get it right. Once I had the slide fabricated, put a bit of grease on it and yelled to Summer to come help me slip the door into place. The door slipped into place and worked perfectly. Another aggravating little problem solved. The next problem is plumbing. I tried to clear the sewage drain line by forcing a running water hose up through the line. This didn’t work. I had tried it in the past and it didn’t work then and didn’t work now. This meant that I was going to have to cut the drain line closer to holding tank. This, also, meant that I needed a way to reconnect the drain line. I had no parts to reconnect the line. This lead to a phone call.

The planter planted

I called Tire Town and found that they had finished replacing the tires on ‘The Beast’. Summer had slipped and put a small cut in her hand. This meant that she had come to a stopping point in planting her perennials. I commandeered her to drive me to pick up my truck. After paying the garage, I went on to the hardware store for the plumbing parts I needed. Back under the trailer, I cut the drain line. While cutting the drain line, I realized that I had bought the wrong size of pipe repair parts. Again I shoved the water hose into the pipe. Again the running water did not clear the clog. The clog is, apparently, in or very near in the holding tank. At that point I gave up for the day.

Another shot of the planter.

Summer had finished her planting and had moved on to watering her gardens. I purchased sprinklers on my trip to the hardware store. She was placing them to get them in just the right place. We haven’t had a lot of rain. The rainy days the that we have had were more like misty drizzles with not much accumulation. Just enough to disrupt any needed outside work but not enough to water the plants properly. I took the Rover (The Range Rover is what they call a a “Beater with a heater” up here. This means it runs but is ugly.) and went back to town to return the wrong plumbing parts and get the proper size parts. That was my last official act of the day.

Beater with a heater

When I got back home Summer was prepping for her weekend camping trip. She and others are going across Kachemak Bay to the foot of a glacier. The are going to hike up the trail to the near the top of the glacier. I’m not going for three reasons: One is that someone has to stay home and tend to the animals and the garden; Two is that I don’t like sleeping on the ground and fighting mosquitoes, bears and the potential of being run over by a moose; Three is that I like having my luxuries that are only available at home. Used to camp out a lot, when I lived behind the old Lake Lane restaurant and in Brighton, as a teenager. Some of us Brighton boys, ages ranging from 12-16, would ride our bicycles or walk the old railroad tracks that ran from the Woodward blast furnaces to Red Mountain. We’d cross the mountain and down the other side and on to Shades Creek. We would stay two or three days and nights with absolutely no parental supervision. In fact, our parents had no idea of exactly where we were. Those were halcyon days of freedom. No nagging parents, no stern teachers, no Brighton police, no neighbors calling our parents reporting our cigarette smoking, no restraints to having fun and not a single care in the world. We swam, fished, told scary stories in the evenings, rode our bicycles through the woods and fire roads and just, generally, acted like the fools we were. I, distinctly, remember one time that we all thought it was a good idea to pan for gold in Shades Creek. Boy, were we dumb.

A new look inside the greenhouse
Inside the Tomato Palace
The new garden plot being watered

Anyway, I’m through for today. Hasta la vista, Sayonara and Ciao.

Dad’s Alaska

May you be in Heaven 15 minutes before the Devil knows that you are dead.

3 June 2020 Wednesday. it was a dark and stormy night. Nah! Just kidding. Last evening at about 8:00 the sun came out after a long day of low gray clouds. I thought that it would bode well for today. I expected sunny, blue skies. I got fooled again. I woke up this morning to even more low gray clouds. It was that way for most of the day but then about 3:00 the clouds rolled back and the sun broke through. It was very nice for about 3 hours and then we were back into the clouds. It was very disheartening to see the sun go away. Then at about 8:30 in the evening, the sun started peeping through the clouds again. However, by that time I had called it a day and gone inside.

Me in serious need of a haircut and a shave
Geese at the pond

I took Sheila to East Bay Services and picked up a couple of yards of topsoil. The load was so light that I ran in 5th gear almost all of the way back home. 4th gear to climb the hill after I passed Fritz Creek Store and had to downshift into 3rd to climb the very steep Greer Road hill and home. With the rebuilt carburetor the truck just runs so much better.

The next task was to remove the bent supports on the rear leveling jack on the travel trailer. I was going to straighten them myself, but my acetylene torch and tank set is buried deep in the Conex. I, likely, would have had to spend a couple hours moving crap just to get it out. It was just easier to take them to the welding shop and let Charlie straighten and the reinforce them. I think that they were not really beefy enough for the job they were supposed to do. They were bent when we bought the trailer and I just never got around to repairing them until now. We used the trailer with all of the problems but in order to sell it it all has to work as designed.

You can see the bent struts that I remove

With that done, I decided it was time for some late lunch. As I finished up the UPS guy arrived with the new rims for The Beast. Cost $700 but they charge me $130 every time they change the tires. Do that twice a year and it doesn’t take long to justify the cost of the new rims. Plus I have the equipment to change the tires myself after I get the tires mounted on the new rims. I’m tired of paying people to do something I can do.

One of the six new rims

Summer arrived home just a bit after 4:00. After she changed clothes we attempted to install the sliding door on the bedroom portion of the travel trailer. As luck would have it, one of the rollers for the top of the door was missing. It had fallen off the track and down into the nether regions of the trailer. I took the forward furnace out with no luck in finding the roller. Took off cover inside the trailer with the same result. The roller was no where to be found. We’ll be going into town tomorrow. I try to find a new door roller at the local hardware store. I’m not holding out much hope.

The door project was put on hold. The next project was to load the dump truck full of dirt into the rock surrounded planter. I had to dump the dirt on the ground because I couldn’t get close enough to dump it into the planter. The dirt was moved to the planter with the tractor. This took almost and hour. I dumped it in and Summer spread it out. At the end it was looking pretty good. Tomorrow after out foray into civilization (Homer) Summer will plant all of the perennial flowers and mulch them in.

The new stone planter filled with dirt
A shot of the sky at 7:30 PM
A shot over the property at around 8:00 PM

Well, that’s it for me. To quote Red Green “Keep your stick on the ice”.

Dad’s Alaska

2 June 2020 Tuesday Eighteen more days and the days start becoming shorter. The shortening days increases the tension and pressure to get stuff done before the snow flies. Right now we’re having about 18 hours of daylight. The one thing that has struck me about the long days and short days is the motivation to get out of bed. In the summer there isn’t much reason to jump out of bed because there is so much daylight that there is more daylight than you’ll have the stamina to use. In the winter the same but opposite problem exists. There is no hurry to coming roaring out of bed because it gets daylight only a few hours and that is somewhere around 10:OO AM. Regardless of the season there is little motivation to get out of bed. I’ve always had a problem going to bed even when I needed to get up at 6:00 AM to get to work on time. Now that I’m retired and have fewer responsibilities, I very often find myself going to bed after midnight. The only reason that I wake up relatively early has been Rush Limbaugh. His show comes on at 8:00 AM. I turn on my cell phone to listen at that time. If Rush isn’t on the show, I often roll over and take another short snooze. I’ll be in and out of consciousness for another 30 minutes to an hour. Regardless of the season, I am not highly motivated to get out of my nice warm bed.

Today was an unusually down day for me. I awoke at 7:30 and rolled out of bed about 8:00, as usual. It was a cool, gray morning and I was feeling kinda down. While I am not highly motivated to get out of bed any morning, I am usually ready to get to work after I’ve coffeed up. Today was different. I am attributing the lack of enthusiasm to having worked like a dog for 4 days in a row. My excuse is that I was simply tired. Today I didn’t do a whole lot. Did a sweep up of the kitchen and living room. Got water for the goslings. Loaded the dishwasher. During the midst of these menial chores the computer operated incubator full of goose eggs started making beeping noises. The goose eggs could not be allowed to drop below 99.5F temperature for any length of time. Going colder than that for any length of time will kill the embryos. Each of those embryos hatched is worth $10. A hundred-forty dollars was beeping at me. I was using a hairdryer to keep the temperature up while I searched for the older and even less reliable incubator. When I found the old incubator I set it up and fiddled with it to get it up to temperature whilst continuing to turn the hair dryer off and on. With the temperature stabilized I transferred the eggs to the old incubator ad breathed a sigh of relief. After a couple of hours the new incubator started heating again. No apparent reason. It just began to operate again. The design of the new incubator is supposed to have two 2 liter bottles of water on top to provide the necessary humidity for the eggs. There are misters screwed onto the bottles and connected to the attached computer.The problem is that the flimsy wire support for the bottles will not support the filled water bottles. I decided to attempt to solve this problem. I made a wooden plate to go on top of the incubator to support the bottles. I got a piece of 1/2″ plywood and made the support plate. Once I had manufactured the plate I put it onto the incubator and then found that the misters weren’t working. I couldn’t find the instruction book for this POS and it was then that I gave up and went outside to get a breath of fresh air.

The computer driven incubator with water bottles installed
The old incubator

Outside, I went to the new stone surrounded planter and filled in a small gap in the stone surround. I, also, took a look at the travel trailer rear leveling jack as it isn’t operating properly. It was broken when we bought it 3 years ago. Now that I’m going to sell the trailer, I’m going to repair it. That appeared to be too daunting a task in my current funk. I went back inside sat down, reclined my chair and took a nap.

The planter ready for dirt
Bent supports on the rear trailer jack system

Later, Summer came home. She had two spare misters for the incubator and we changed the misters on the incubator. She, also, had the instruction booklet that she didn’t need to reprogram the incubator computer. We got the incubator working properly but did not move the eggs as we weren’t certain that it would continue to work properly. I’d move the eggs, if it was still working properly in the morning.

We had discussed on Monday evening that we would attempt to repair the bedroom slide out on the travel trailer. When Summer finished with the incubator, we walked down to the trailer. The task of troubleshooting the slide out problem was a two person job. It isn’t possible to operate the slide out and look at it to see what the problem might be. It turned out that it was a simple matter of a loose chain. The noise was the chain was jumping a tooth on the drive gear. The problem was that the motor had slipped slightly and the chin was loose. A 7/16″ wrench and about ten minutes and the problem was solved.

Working bedroom slide out

Another trailer problem solved and it was time for some supper and a vodka drink.

Dad’s Alaska

1 June 2020 Monday Another nice day. Another frenetic day. I had a long list of things that needed to be done. A run to the dump. A stop at Safeway. take the snow tires off the Land Rover and take them to the tire shop to have the summer tires put on the rims. The list goes on and on.

The first project was to jack up the Land Rover. I jacked up each corner of the Rover and removed the tire. Then I let it down on a concrete block. I guess we became rednecks for several hours. I was forced to take the tires off and take them in because the tire shop had some issue with the lug nuts. We had to buy new lug nuts last year because the same tire shop had a problem with the old lug nuts. Eight tires in the bed of ‘The Beast’ and off to the tire shop. They were busy so I had to wait for someone to unload the tires. I could have done it myself but they didn’t want me working while on their property. I think that the were afraid the old man might get hurt and sue them. When the tire were, finally, unloaded I was on to the next task.

Yesterday I checked the oil in the rear end of the tractor and found it to be about a quart low. This entailed continuing my trip into town to the local O’Reilly’s auto parts store for a gallon of gear oil. With the oil purchased, I decided to make the stop at Safeway to pick up the few items we needed. I got inside the the store and it was wall to wall people. It was then it occurred to me that it was the first of the month and all of the government checks had come in. With people cheek to jowl, it seemed prudent to put off the grocery shopping to another day. I still had a couple days of half&half for my coffee and everything else was just ‘wants’ not ‘needs’. Back at the ‘homestead’, I located my funnel and filled up the tractor rear end with the gear oil. Tractor serviced, I decided to move some dirt. Sheila, the dump truck, is blocking the other path around the house. She is sitting next to a pile of dirt. The dirt and the dump truck take up the entire front route. Summer keeps leaving her 4 wheeler in the other path around the house. Moving the dirt was supposed to be the easiest way to get from the garden area to the back of the house. The reason the dump truck can’t be moved is that the battery is in the travel trailer so that the slide outs and other things can be operated. Getting the battery in and out of the trailer is difficult. If I took it out to move the dump truck, I’d just have to wrestle it back into place in the trailer. I happened to look at my watch and it was already a quarter of four. The tire store was closing at five o’clock and I wanted the tires back on the Rover. I, also, had the truck bed full of stuff that needed to go to the dump. The stuff had to be removed from the truck before I could put all of the tires in it. I had to hurry. 15 miles to the dump 8 miles back to the tire store. I just made it.

Garden Greenhouse exploding growth

Back home, AGAIN. I started to put the tires back on the Rover and revoke our redneck license by taking it off the concrete blocks. The tires had just come from the tire store and as I was putting them back on the Rover, I noticed that one of them had a nail in it. The nail was in it when they put the tire on the rim. I can’t figure out how they missed the nail through the tire. I could take it back to the tire store and complain but that would just result in them charging me another $20 to repair the tire. Somedays you can’t win for losing. I’ll just go into town in a day or two and buy a tire repair kit.

Summer arrived home at about 6 PM. By that time I had completed the tire installation. She wanted to take a walk around the property and do some more planning the new pond we’re about to have dug. Also she wanted to see if the geese had been laying their eggs in the tall grass near the big pond. No eggs to be found. They’re laying them somewhere. We’ll have to continue the search. When the new pond is dug, we’ll be fencing these errant egg laying critters in. Every fertile egg is worth around $12 when it hatches. We had five gosling and 10-12 calls for people seeking to buy them. There is a market for these Toulouse breed of geese. They’re gray and white and beautiful swimming and well adapted to the Alaskan climate.

Midnight Monday

Dad’s Alaska

31 May 2020 Sunday America is being destroyed by the Globalist Cabal led by George Soros etal. There is no way the these riots, burning, looting and vicious beatings of innocent bystanders and business owners are part of an organic movement. There are professional instigators involved in this attempt to destroy America. The original peaceful protests were likely justified. This wanton destruction of private property and injury of other people is not. The autopsy of the George Floyd was done and it appears that he died from a heart attack. The abuse by the police officer was a major contributing factor without a doubt. The time to put this violence to bed is now. The National Guard and local police should be clearing the streets and arresting the instigators, arsonists, looters and vandals. The time for Lib/Prog/Socialist Democrat hand wringing is over. This needs to stop. I guess I’ve offended enough people today so I’ll get off this subject.

Today we were tired from the last two days efforts. It was a major effort to get out of he house and into the new garden area. I woke up this morning with muscle pain in places that either I didn’t know I had or had forgotten I had. Summer was hardly any better off than myself. We were a pitiful pair as we trudged into the garden to do that which was necessary. I scrapped up the necessary lumber to keep the critters from eating the garden. Summer returned to furrowing the garden with a hoe. There were several stupid hoe jokes. All of them older than both of us put together. It did lighter up the attitude toward the work being done. We

We had left one post out of the fence line so that I could get the tractor in and out of the garden. After I had added all of the additional dirt into the garden we failed to install that post. Now prior to the fencing we needed to drive it into the hard ground. The effort needed to drive this post was almost more than I or Summer could muster. It hurt my shoulders and arms to lift the heavy driver. It was about the same for Summer. It took an all out effort to drive this single post. I hammered it in with a last burst of effort, raising and slamming the driver down as hard and as fast as I could for almost a minute. This drove it the last eight inches. With arm feeling like rubber, I lifted the driver off the post and dropped it onto the ground.

Fort Apache the Garden
Wood being installed
Another shot of the rock garden from the actual garden
Two garden furrows made by Summer

After I finished with the garden effort I went to check out the travel trailer. The bedroom slideout has a problem of skipping and not moving. I had presumed that there was some sort of plastic fitting that had failed. After I removed the mattress and the top panel I found that the thing is chain driven. I looked it over and realized that there is no way to get to the drive system without cutting the supporting plywood. I decided that it was a job for another day. After that I made a vodka drink and went walkabout. I took a few pictures of the property.

A view across the pond at the property
A look back toward the house

During my walkabout I took another look at the stone surrounded planter that I had started building. It was only partially complete and it needed to be completed ASAP. I was planning on bringing in the dirt to fill it sometime on Monday. I was feeling a little rejuvenated by the vodka and the respite of the walkabout. Not doing anything for an hour exception enjoy the beautiful weather and the view was very invigorating. I had long finished my drink and decided to spend some time working on the planter. This entailed moving a good bit of rock. Some of them weighing 50 pounds or more needed to be moved into place. I started to work on the project and have very nearly completed it by 7:00 PM. I took some pictures that are below. The rounded, mostly white, stones are glacier tumbled granite. There is, also, some gray, black, green and red granite stones. There are some other very pretty rocks that are included in the stone walls of the planter.

The first side you see as you come up the road.
A closer view of the planter
An unusually pretty rock
More pretty rocks

Yep. There is a big mess behind the planter. Most if not all of it is lumber to be used as part of the remodeling of the house. The rest of it will be moved to a new less visible location. The Conex is going to be turned parallel to the road so that a lean-to for Summer’s Greenhouse retail stuff, like bags of dirt and fertilizer can be stored.

Well that’s it for me except for another picture.

12:30 AM Monday just before I went to bed.

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the police, National Guard and all of the small business people whose lives have been destroyed by the looting, rioting idiots.

30 May 2020 Saturday It was a day of hard labor without the prison sentence. Summer and I worked on the new garden plot. I finished bringing in the dirt needed to level the area. Summer raked the dirt out after I used the tractor to level it. After that I brought in the last of the top soil. This only took about an hour and a half.

Summer taking a break
Half the garden plot tilled.

The end of the dirt moving became the beginning of the rototilling. This was the hardest part of the day. I would run the tiller for a few minutes and then hit something that would stop the tiller. There were rocks, sticks, bits of metal and all of them would hang in the tines and stop the tiller dead in its’ tracks. When the rocks didn’t stop the tiller it would simply run over the top and not turn the dirt.

Some but not all of the rocks thrown out of the garden plot

The tilling took almost 4 hours because of all of the debris and dozens of stops to dig hidden rocks from under the dirt or remove them from the tines of the tiller. The task was so tiring that we quit early.

Summer piled up the raised bed for the potatoes and I started attaching boards across the bottom of the posts. It is starting to look as if we may have another vicious animal to deal with. Snowshoes hares are starting to appear after having been in decline for a number of years. They are voracious eaters of garden vegetables. Like the ducks, chickens and geese they have plenty of green stuff to eat but they still prefer to eat your garden. The boards at the bottom of the fence will, hopefully, keep these critters out. They aren’t much bigger that your average Cottontail rabbit but they have cycles where the population explodes. I’ve been told by long time residents that there are times when there can be dozens of them all over your property. Dan told me that he walked his 5 acres and shot 5 of them in less than 30 minutes. He eats them so he was just stocking up his freezer. He said he could have killed 20 or more on the same walk. They ate his garden so he ate some of them.

Anti-critter boards
Anti-critter boards and the Summer’s raised bed potato hill.

Vodka:30 came relatively early. It happened right after I showered off the dirt. Y’all take care and be happy. Me, I’m going to bed.

Alaska Summer

Summers here are extremely busy. There is a feeling of rush to get starts planted so it will make it to harvest time. Too early your plants could die and too late your plants will not fruit and will die. There is sort of a Goldie Locks situation here.

I have been harvesting broccoli raab for w few weeks now and it just keeps on giving. My Chinese cabbage is almost ready to harvest. I am so excited!

It’s hard to walk in here because everything is so big!

Everything in the outside planters are starting to take and grow. I am in my happy place when I am gardening. If I could make a living at it, I would!

Tomato Palace

We are now finishing a new project which will contain my corn and potatoes! It’s a lot of work to get a new plot fenced in and tilled. That’s what we have been working this week. Today, I will be able to plant my potatoes and corn. This is it! The last day you can plants starts in the ground for it to produce.

Today we will fence the new garden plot and get things planted. From there it’s all about maintenance. Water and weed the garden. I am sure glad this garden is almost done. I am so sore!

View from our property
To finishing another garden project! Cheers!!

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the the looters-May they all rot in hell

29 May 2020 America as we knew it is likely over. Between the Covid-19 idiocy and the criminals burning and looting there isn’t much of America left. Again I’d like to point out that virtually all of the looting and rioting is in cities that have been run by Democrats for decades. The next thing, if this continues, will be martial law. After that we have no freedom and the American Experiment will be over. Personally, I think that all of this is started by people like George Soros and paid agitators. No proof but it fits their anti-American globalist ambitions.

On a lighter side, we needed a place to plant potatoes and corn. That place would have to be fenced because of the vicious critters ie. chickens, ducks and geese. It’s not like there isn’t plenty of other greenery that they can eat. I think they eat the garden plants out of pure spite. You can’t put a flower or a vegetable out where they have access because they will be eating as you walk away from planting it into the ground. We used up all of the metal fence posts that were available for free around the planter boxes we did last week. New ones are about ten to twelve dollars each and we needed twelve of them. I decided that we would make wooden posts out of some scrap spruce lumber. I tried digging post holes and it just wasn’t possible because of all of the rocks in the ground. Again let me say, “If rocks were dollars we’d be amongst the richest people in the world”. I thought that we might be able to drive the wooden posts like we did the metal posts. Logically, hammering then into the ground would cause small rocks to be pushed aside. The only drawback might be that we might run into a big rock. If that happened we’d just move the post over a bit. I cut twelve 6′ posts and then put a point on them. I then tried sledge hammering one of them into place and found that it wasn’t going to work. The post was too tall to get a good swing on and it was difficult to hold it and hammer it at the same time. This is when I decided to cut the top of a post to see if the steel post driver would drive these wooden posts. I figured it was worth a shot since the alternative was post hole digger and a whole lot of sweaty manual labor. I trimmed one of the posts so that the driver would fit over it. I expected the wood to split or shatter when I started hammering, It didn’t. It drove the post with the only problem being the 75 year old arms lifting the driver and slamming it down 15-20 times to drive the post down a foot or so. Summer and I worked out a deal. She’d drive the as far as she could and I’d drive them in the rest of the way. Both of us got a pretty good arm workout and a serious cardio work out driving eleven of the twelve posts. We left one post out so that I could bring in enough dirt to level the garden area. The upper half was about 8″ higher than the lower half. This meant moving a lot of dirt to make it reasonably level. We didn’t need perfect. All we needed was somewher close to level.

Cutting the posts from 2×6 lumber
A post with a point
A post cut to fit the slide hammer
The first post driven

Fridays are Summer’s ‘Date night’ with Dan. She quit at around 5:00 and left me moving dirt. There really wasn’t anything she could do until I got all of the necessary dirt moved. I was steadily moving dirt for a couple of hours after she left me. I was within 3-4 bucket loads of completing the lower half of the garden when it began to rain. I ignored the rain when it was only sprinkling but when it became a hard rain I quit. That was just after 7:00. The tractor is small hence the bucket is small hence it takes a lot of loads to move 3-4 yards of dirt. Fortunately the tractor is willing to work as long as the driver has the will. It was a 7 hour work day, with no break for lunch and driving posts with a heavy slide hammer. The rain was a welcome excuse to quit.

Because I had been outside all day Miss Suzy greeted me like I had arisen from the dead. Although, in retrospect, it occurs to me that her real motivation might have been to be fed. She has suddenly become interested in food again. She hadn’t been eating well for a nearly a month. She’d eat a few bites and ignore the balance of the food. Every morning I was feeding most of her last night’s leftover dinner to Gandie. He’s sixteen years old and getting as skinny as a rail. He eats good but he’s losing weight. I figure he probably won’t make it through another winter. He’s been a good boy and I’m gonna be sad to lose him. The sad truth is that nobody gets out alive not even a beloved pet.

Da hammah

‘Well that’s it for Friday. We’ve been so busy and/or tired that I get a little behind in the posts. Sorry. It’s currently 12:30 AM on Sunday morning so I can’t really say ‘Goodnight’ so Good Morning it is.