Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 7

I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. I’m gonna have to think about this for a moment. Let me think……

Oh! I went to the store for needed provisions. Vodka, wine, gluten free foods as well. I also checked the mail looking for my last pay paycheck. No luck. Maybe tomorrow.

Dad and I rearranged the living room before we finish the new wall in the kitchen. That way we can freely walk through the kitchen and living room with no issues. We also moved all the freshly painted bee hives into the tent for safe keeping until we have full on break up. We can’t put them in their new homes until then, too much snow. That, and I don’t have my bees yet.

There was a lot of sweeping and straightening up that needed to be done as well and still needs to be done. I’m still trying to get to the point that I can work on the bathroom, but things just keep coming up. The bees need to be checked on as well. It’s time to feed them pollen patties. This time I’m going to were my bee suit. Last time I didn’t and I got stung. That became a waste of a day. I was all whacked out on Benadryl and slept most of the day. Not gonna make that mistake again!

I’m going over to Dan’s tonight for some social distancing practice and dinner. I made Dad a crock pot roast that’s been cooking for two days, it smells so good! Tonight at Chef Boy’R Dan’s will be grilled red salmon, broccoli and rice. Tonight I dine like an Alaskan and tomorrow I will eat the roast like a southerner.

Borrowed from Facebook

This morning I found this image on Facebook and was reading all the little arrows. I started to look down from my IPad and discovered that I was wearing red Christmas pajama pants, oversized cardigan well more like a zip up hoodie, and a stretched out tank top. No stains. I was just getting over a pimple that I usually don’t get and I didn’t have a headache, but the rest was true. I busted out laughing hysterically. My hair was even in a bun!! I just about died!

Well, that’s all for now! Talk to you later! Day 7 coming soon the a blog near you!

Self Distancing (quarantine): Day 6

Today I painted all the bee hive boxes in the living room where there is still no flooring. Good thing since I made a big mess on the floor. Lot’s of drippy paint since I had to really put on the coats to protect the hives from the elements. I choose black spruce green. It’s a really nice color. I wanted the hives to blend in with the rest of the area. Although bee hives are not an eye sore, I just wanted them to blend in more.

I can’t wait to get my new bees. They are still coming despite of the epidemic. There will be social distancing when I pick up my bees.

I feel better than I did yesterday. My heart has lightened up and I know I did the right thing by putting my drake out of his mystery. It’s a farm life and sometime you have to do what you have to do. In this case, I did right.

Dad and I were able to get the wall up in the kitchen. YAY! I think it makes the house look a little bigger. I can’t wait to add onto the house and get the living room I’ve always wanted. Then, I will have a larger eat in social area kitchen that is going to be awesome!

New wall being built in the kitchen

My upstairs bathroom has yet to be touched since the last time and I really need to get to it soon. I am hoping I can get to it tomorrow. Dad had to run the electrical and water to where the fridge is going to call its new home. So, I should have some time tomorrow to get it done. Oh, Crap!! I forgot I have to make a trip to town to help out a friend. I have to go to the store and get a few things. Then, I will get back and Lysol myself to death before doing anything else.

Well guys! I guess that’s all I have for tonight! Will talk to you tomorrow. Stay safe and disinfected. Good Luck!!!

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 4

I didn’t get a lot done today. Just a bit of here’s and there’s. It was a tragic day. It all started with my slippers. Yes, I know, they are just slippers, but they are needed here in my home. There is no running barefooted in this house and I want my feet to stay warm. Betsy, as you all know had some sort of skin irritation that led to her being on steroids. Well, it made her tummy all sick and messed up. She ended up having bad stomach problems that led her to have a poopagendone all over my beautiful shag rug. Well, I stepped in it with my fabulous favorite slippers that I’ve had for about two years. Yes, they were starting to stink and they were leather. So I couldn’t really put them in the washer.

I woke up with Betsy making noises and she pooped on the bed. I thought that was all she did until I stepped in her rug mines. I was so grossed out by it and had to changed my covers that I just ripped off the slippers and left them in the hall with another soiled little rug. They sat there for almost a month until now. I decided that I would finally clean my slippers only to find out that the crap on my slippers chemically adhered to the rubber on the sole. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get that crap off because its now part of the sole. I had to throw them away. So long favorite slippers!

I also replanted some tomatoes as well. My friend Tiana is asking what I’m feeding them. I just used two different blends of potting soil. They are looking so wonderful! I am kind of worried about some of my plants because they are growing in an accelerated rate! The ground isn’t defrosted yet and there is still a lot of snow on the ground. I can’t put in the Brussels sprouts into the ground yet! They just keep getting bigger. So, I am just going to repot them again when it becomes necessary. Everything is growing faster than it should be. I might have to rethink my potting mix.

Tomorrow, I will be painting my new vanity that Dan made me and while I’m in the painting mode, I will go ahead and paint my bee hives as well. Then, I can work on the bathroom wall and finish it. I want to be able to prime and paint ASAP. At this point, Dan will be able to put in the shower walls and my vanity top all in one day. I am super excited about this! It will be so nice to be able to shower upstairs on my own floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited that my seeds have exploded like they have. I might need to sell them if I cant put them in the ground soon.

My gander (male goose) Lucifer, tried to kill one of my drakes (male duck). He was pretty busted up. So busted up that I knew I couldn’t heal him. When I figured out that he couldn’t be saved, I had to break out the 20 gauge. It took one shot and he was out of pain. It broke my heart. I couldn’t use him for meat due to adrenaline. I guess that’s part of farm life. It is what it is. He went over the rainbow bridge today and is out of gruesome pain. These geese need to be fenced in ASAP when the ground defrosts. My heart is broken, I hatched him out in my incubator and raised him. He has a twin sister and she is alive and well. I plan on breading more of this cute hybrid of peaking and well I don’t want to give up all my secrets!

It’s about that time and I’m tired. It’s time for bed. Good night and enjoy your time off if you have it. Thanks again for my friends who are truck drivers (Shana the Bad Ass), and all others that are still working to keep America getting mail, packages, and food!

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!

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.

The Stove Pipe Fiasco

Dad and I decided to clean the stove pipes and as we were doing it some of the pipes were rusted out and came apart. New dilemma! What was supposed to be an easy job turned out to be an over haul on our pipes. This means we had to go to town and buy new pieces of pipe to replace the broken ones. So, Dad goes to town and buys new pipe. When he got back we had to put them together. It has a seem that you have to connect to make it a complete pipe.

As you can see this is a pain in the ass. It took 2 people and a ratchet strap to get it together. We had to do this three times. When we got to the third on we realized it was the wrong size. At this point we are exhausted and its dark thirty. So, we went without heat over night and the latter part of the next day. I had to work the next day. Luckily, I explained this to my boss Tory and she let me work a half day so we could get the stove fixed. After work, I went to Ulmer’s Hardware which is now an ACE hardware instead of a True Value. Ace has much better quality than True Value. It was a great decision on the owner’s part.

I was able to find the right size little pipe and was on my way back home. Then, we worked all day trying to fix the damn stove. What was once supposed to be an easy pipe cleaning job, like I said, turned into a career move. There was a lot of make shift work that we did in order to have heat. Some of it is just temporary and will be fixed soon. Stupid stove pipes!

I thought returning that one pipe that was too big was going to be difficult without the receipt. Dad tends to loose them as soon as he gets them. (Forehead slap) But it wasn’t. ACE is completely computerized and was able to find the transaction immediately. I love that store. It has everything. You need boots, they have them, coats? pants? Carhartt?! You need a grill, no problem! Greeting cards, kitchen stuff, pharmacy, toys, sewing material, auto stuff, tools, paint, hunting and fishing gear, winter sports, socks, you name it, they probably have it!!! They even carry bee supplies in the spring!!!

Well, that’s about it! Just another day on the Steele Homestead where anything and everything can go haywire. lol

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.

 

Hello Again

Well, It’s been a while since my last blog entry. Sorry about the delay. Since we’ve arrived back home to Alaska we have been trying to find our groove and get back into normal life.

We finally made way inside the house and created a more comfortable living space.

Normal life. What is that? I guess for me it’s trying to start back up where I left off.   I got to go halibut fishing and it was a success!  I caught two big halibut for the freezer. It was so much fun!  Catching halibut is really like trying to pull a door off the ocean floor.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time with my friend Tiana.

I seemed to fit right back in to my friendships without a hitch. Thank goodness. Spring was nice and it was really cool to see new beginnings on the homestead. The grass and flowers growing and blooming, the moose with her twin calves. Birds singing, the sandhill cranes flying in for the summer with their noisy squawks, you just feel summer is here.

 

We have been busy with sheet rock, kitchen cabinets, clearing land, digging our spring box, creating a pond, spreading gravel for a big driveway, getting chickens and trying not to wear out our bodies before winter.

 

The best thing we came across was an estate sale that had a ton of firewood. This is something we have been struggling to get. If you have read my previous posts than you know this is something we have been struggling with. We have so much wood we can get through this season and maybe the next. It has been back-breaking to load and carry all this firewood and on top of that we bought a whole bunch of lumber from the same people. We now have the wood to fix the house and build whatever we want. Life is good.

All this and I got a part-time job that I really like. Two days a week I get to go hiking with a bunch of dogs! I get to be outdoors and play. In one full day, I hike about 4 miles up hill and sometimes on a flat surface. What a fun way to get exercise, all this and a great view to boot. On the third day I am in the office. a great break from all the work I do.

Yesterday, I cleaned and renovated the chicken coop. It was gross. It had about 2 hay bales in it. I was given the coop and chickens and I knew there would need to be some cleaning and maintenance to be done. So, I drove to Anchor Point for a couple of reasons. The first reason was I bought a new rooster and decided to buy a hen to make him feel like her wasn’t alone in the relocation process. Well, the hen started crowing yesterday morning. Dude looks like a lady!!! So, I had to return him and get a hen. While I was going that way, I might as well go to the mill and get saw dust for the coop.

So, I picked up the new hen and headed the mill. I got three aluminum cans worth of dust, loaded them up and headed home. At this point, I go into the coop and inspect it. I decided that the laying area was not acceptable and should be changed as well as the roosting configuration. Thank goodness for all the wood we have. I found a decent piece of plywood that I could handle myself and started the measuring procedures inside the coop. My thought is that I could use the nesting shelf and rafters to create nesting boxes.

I came up with a plan and went to work. The first pieces were basically prototypes to get the right sizes and angles. After that, I just traced the template on the plywood and cut it out. Everything was screwed into place including little roofs. Then, I added sawdust. I added new perches and cleaned the coop out. I added new sawdust to the floor, re-hung the food and water. Then I made them a more permanent ramp to get in and out. It’s clean and smells like fresh-cut spruce. The next thing on the list is to create a winter run for them. That way they can go outside without being neck-deep in snow.

 

 

We are still planning to level the house before fall sets in. It’s very important that we do this. Without the house being level trying to do finish work on the sheet rock will never happen and we can’t finish it this winter. Sheet rocking and flooring is top of the list for winter work. Also, leveling the house means we can build an arctic entry to the house. A place where we can keep our boots and coats and shake all the mud and snow off us. This keeps the house so much more clean. We tend to track Alaska right into the kitchen and the rest of the house. It creates a constant major cleanup every time we enter the house.

So, without the house being leveled we can’t finish sheet rock, install flooring or build an arctic entry. It must be done. “The spice must flow” (Dune).

Today, my neighbor had a bear in her turkey run. It ate all her feed, bit didn’t touch the turkeys. It seems the bears are moving lower and lower down the road closer to us. I have a feeling this weekend we might get to see a black bear in our yard. Probably trying to get into the chicken coop. That’s where we store the feed as well.

We also had an earthquake today. A 4.3 or 4.4. I haven’t felt one thus far until this morning at work. It happened so fast that I didn’t know what hit me. Can you say scary and exciting at the same time? There was a weird rumbling noise and the walls were shaking and I had to do a balance check as it was happening. There was not time to get outside or think. It was over as fast as it came.

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Well, I guess I have caught all y’all up on what’s happening on the homestead.

Oh! Here’s a movie with me driving my tractor.  It’s a really cool one too!  It’s a Pasquale and it articulates.  Enjoy!