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!!

Another day on the Homestead

I have been extremely busy these past few weeks. I thought I could summarize it and bring you to speed. Although, most of you read my Dad’s postings you know what’s been going on on the homestead from his point of view.

I’ve been trying to get the greenhouse ready for planting, setting up for new bees, and getting ready for hatching eggs as well. So, here’s what’s been going on.

I was given 6 hens for Fabio. He has been very lonely since his girl DB was murdered by a dog. So, I posted an ad on Homer Communications on Facebook and it was answered with 6 hens! They are very very nice too. They come up to me and dad and I can pet them. They follow us everywhere on the stead. I really really like having them.

Fabio and Elvira
Dot
New bee bench
Bess are happy to have a new home

We built the new bee bench on a Thursday to prepare for the coming of the bees on that Saturday. And the bees are in place.

New goslings

We have new babies! I thought I would try to hatch out some geese! I did and I ended up with 4 cutie pies! They started hatching on Saturday, the same day I was picking up my bees. All four are healthy.

UPDATE: I sold them to my two best friends and they are doing well.

Little happy campers

During this time, I was also trying to get the greenhouse ready for planting. We had the geese and ducks over winter in it and they destroyed the bails of hay I was storing in there. Which means dad and I had to scrape hay and poop off the floor of the greenhouse. It was about 6-8 inches of hay and crap! It took us all day to clear it out. Then, the next day I raked the rest out and then dad and I shoveled more dirt into the house. After this exhausting part of the process dad ran the tiller through the dirt to mix it all together. It smells! Smells like composted goose poop, hay, and dirt. The smell of hopefully a successful garden.

After tilling the dirt, I had to furrow it. This was exhausting! It was me and a hoe. Once I finished it was drink thirty and I was done for the day! Since, we had all that hay in the greenhouse (which was a big mistake) I am going to have to use ground cloth to grow in to keep the weeds down.

At the beginning
Ground cloth and netting

Here I have started the ground cloth but I ran out of ground staples so I had to post pone finishing. I did get my netting up for my beans, pea and cucumbers!

Here I have planted all the bean and pea seeds. Cucumbers are started in the house. I also planted the Chinese cabbage. That’s the green stuff.
I’m almost finished planting inside. Yes. I know some of the plants look a little tight, they’ll be okay. I had to bring the tomatoes into the greenhouse because I have run out of room in my house for them as I plant them in 5 gallon buckets.
Here’s what’s left that needs to go into the ground.
In the house, I have onions, lettuce, kale, and cucumbers that need to go into the ground soon.

Weather is getting warmer. We are going up into the low 50’s and with the sun out its short sleeve shirt weather! I’m hoping in the next 2 weeks we get to the high 50’s low 60’s! Tank top weather! It’s already tank top weather in the greenhouse. We no longer have snow and mud in it’s place. The mud has dried up a bit on the property so that’s freaking awesome.

Squash and cucumbers that also need to go into the ground as well.
I repotted jalapeños and basil that will stay inside

There is still so much to do! I need to build some raised beds for the rest of the winter crops that I have started. As you can see with the pictures above, I still have lots to go into the ground.

I will be making the raised beds out of old wood slabs from a saw mill. It’s gonna look really cool! They will kinda look like log cabin frames. I’m gonna make 4 of them or maybe 5. I would like to dedicate one to really nice cutting flowers. I am so happy when I’m working in the garden. It’s my happy place.

Well, better get back to work! See y’all later.

Social Distancing: I don’t know what day we’re on!

Lots of stuff has happened and not happened. I give up!

Just kidding! I have been extremely busy with my plants and working around the house. I have hardening up all my brassicas, artichokes and onions. They now reside in the greenhouse.

My tomatoes, brassicas, onions, and artichokes.

We are melting rapidly and are just about out of snow. We have been left with mud and that’s okay. I am not gonna complain!

We have been waiting for spring and it has finally arrived. We can finally burn our brush pile! And so that’s what we are doing now.

Me and the fire

It was a glorious day yesterday as we started the fire. Sun shining bright, 55 degrees and warm, total short sleeve shirt weather. Today, we will try to finish burning. There will be a burn ban starting at the end of this month so we need to get our burn on!

Dad chillin by the fire
Music and hard seltzer. I buried them in what’s left of the snow to keep cold

We hung out and enjoyed burning in the sun and watching all the snow melt before our eyes. I am so happy that the snow is gone. Now I will have to change my tires from studded to regular.

3 days ago. Now its almost completely defrosted.
Friday’s dinner with Dan consisted of bear sloppy joes on top of tater tots and Romano cheese! YUM!
Fabulous Fabio

Well, That’s all I have for now. I will try not to be a stranger and keep posting.

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 14 -16

I have spent three days repotting plants because I still can’t use my greenhouse and the outside garden. I had to go to the feed store to get more flats and pots. While I was at the Wagon Wheel, I bought some asparagus roots that look like they are about three years old. This is good, that means they will produce large enough sprigs that we can harvest. My old asparagus is one year old now and won’t be ready to harvest for another two years. I can wait that long! It’s one of my favorite vegetables. But that can’t go in until the geese and ducks are out of the greenhouse.

It looks like I am going to have to move more plants upstairs so I can make room for new vegetables I need to seed out. Otherwise, I’m not going to have kale and lettuce this summer. It must be done.

Excuse the mess. As you can see the plants have taken over the living room.
Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts, shallots, tomatoes and peppers
Basil, dill, cilantro and lots of tomatoes
Tom Thumb tomatoes
Three baskets of Tom Thumb tomatoes
Saw this little one while driving back from Dan’s house.

It was wild Alaska the other morning when something attacked and ate my hen Dead Bird II. I didn’t name her, my friend’s children did before they gave her to me. It stuck. There is no sign of her little body. Just lots of feathers and a trail of blood and feathers to the road. I’m guessing it was a dog or a coyote. It’s so sad. My rooster has been looking for her since it happened. I will get him a new hen when I think its safe.

Well, I guess that about it. Going back to work to get the bathroom finished and move plants to my bedroom.

Dad’s Alaska

Don’t and will never own a selfie stick.

6 April 2020 Monday

Got up this morning with my left knee still inflamed and hurting like the dickens. I cannot crawl around under the house as I cannot be down on my knees. So I guess Summer and I will being going into Homer to dump the trash, drop off extra clothing at the Salvation Army and go to the grocery store. We don’t need much at the store but since we are already in town we might as well take advantage.

After our trip to Homer, I guess I’ll get back to work on Summer’s bathroom walls. I need to complete the sheetrock finishing so that she can paint. The painting will allow her to install he custom built vanity and bring in all of her girlie fru fru stuff.

This morning listening to Mark Steyn on the Rush Limbaugh Show. The number of deaths from COVID-19 has reached near 10,000 since the end of January. This is to be compared to the daily death toll by other causes at about 7500. THAT’S 7500 PER DAY. The COVID-19 death toll in America for 2 1/2 MONTHS is almost 10,000. That is ONE AND A THIRD of the every day, ordinary daily death toll in America over 2 1/2 months. WHERE IS THE PANDEMIC???? WHY THE PANIC??? .0002273% of Americans die on any given day. Why does that number not make you scared? The reason that doesn’t scare you is that it is that death is a normal part of life. The reason this so called “pandemic” is scaring the crap out of you is the incessant media hype. Without the constant drum beat from the the main stream media you would hardly notice this minuscule increase in the death rate. So media hype is the real cause of your fear and panic. Are you going to allow an extra 200 deaths per day added to the 7500 that normally occur to scare you silly?? Your fear is undermining the very freedoms that we have cherished for nearly Two Hundred-Fifty years. America get a grip!!

Decided I needed to eat something so I could eat my pills. Breakfast consisted of store bought biscuits and Depression gravy. Depression gravy came about during, you guessed it, during the Great Depression. Many people had very little food. You had to stretch the food to feed your family. It is made with a tablespoon or two of lard (or any cooking oil) enough flour to take up all of the oil. This mixture is heated until the flour starts to brown. At that point you add water. You want to add a little extra water so that it can be cooked down to get rid of the lumps. Start to finish is about ten minutes. Serve it over the biscuits and salt and pepper to taste. If you made your own biscuits you could, even at today’s prices, feed 4-5 people for less than a dollar. It may not be very nutritious but it will stave off the ‘missed meal colic’. Something in your belly is a lot better than nothing. I was raised on this and to me it is comfort food. Yes, I could make biscuits but the store bought ones, while not as tasty, they are convenient. Getting lazy in my old age, I guess.

Later

Returned from the big city of Homer. The people are acting crazy, by my standards. The grocery store was packed. I saw one guy wearing a mask that you would use to paint cars, a woman with a scarf underneath a mask, a guy wearing a black hockey mask like Jason’s white mask in “Friday the 13th’ and numerous others with a variety of store bought and home made masks. Some of the people who were wearing masks were not following the proscribed ‘social distancing’ program. It was like, “I’m safe, so screw you!”. Of course, I wasn’t wearing a mask. I’ve got masks so that isn’t a problem. I’ve been through dozens of diseases from polio to 50 kinds of flu and the is no telling what I was exposed to in three tours in Asia during Viet Nam. I am not going to be bullied by government idiots or stampeded by fear. BTW the Homer City Council idiots repealed their stupid plastic bag ban a couple of weeks ago. The Lib/Prog City Assembly in Anchorage are still allowing people to bring their filthy, bacteria-virus ladened bags from home. These people are simply ignoring the scientific data to pursue their eco-wacko agenda. Unbelieveable!

The Alaska Legislature is stealing Alaskan citizens money at every turn. They are stealing the Permanent Fund that every Alaskan is due to be paid. They cut the $3000 to $1600 last year and then this year down to $1000 and next year it is likely to be zero. These Democrats and RINO Republicans are building a bigger and bigger government. Alaska has the size of government that you might find in, perhaps, California with a population of a medium sized city. There are only about 900,000 people in the entire State of Alaska with a state government sized to serve tens of millions. There seems to be a revolt brewing in Alaska. There is a movement to oust all of these big government types in the upcoming election. Alaskans are beyond angry they are pissed.

Seems that we are having fried chicken for dinner. I am truly sick of broiled or baked chicken. Healthy food sucks. It has no taste and the texture of it kinda makes me gag. At my age it is a little late to be cutting back on fried anything. At 75 1/2, I’m not likely to give up the things I like just to live 4 extras days.

Ta Ta. Y’all have a happy Corona Virus vacation. Speaking of Corona..The Mexican government shut down the Corona brewery as a non-essential business.

Dad’s Alaska

My 14th attempt at a selfie.

5 April 2020 Sunday

In the background of the above picture you can see the snarled wiring that I am attempting to unsnarl. There is much electrical to be done. The are connections in the walls that aren’t in boxes and were covered up by sheetrock or wood paneling. Just wire nutted together and left dangling inside the walls. All of these stupidities are going to require that new wire be pulled in. What I have done in the interim is to make sure all of the wire nuts are tight and expose the wires. If there is a loose connection getting hot it will be visible and not burning behind the wall out of sight. In have worried every day and night that there is some connection unseen that will start a fire. Rewiring this house is high on the list of things that must be done soon.

Still don’t have the Corrosion Virus. I’m not rusting yet. Did not sleep well last night. My knee was hurting and burning all night. Decided this morning that it is indeed a gout flare up. The balls of both feet are slightly achy which is a definite indicator of gout. The “golden years “ suck. However, I am quite happy to have these ‘golden’ years, even if the price is some bit of pain. I‘m working with the full knowledge that “this to shall pass”. The Bible says that “to everything there is a season”. This is my season of gout. I don’t, usually, have these flare up unless I’m sitting around doing nothing but eating and drinking vodka. Seems every time I park my carcass in the recliner for extended periods I get a gout attack. Like the old saw “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” Doctor replies,”Well don’t do that”. Good advice. I’ve got to end this sitting around crap.

It is another “Bright, bright, bright sunshiny day”. Today the wind is blowing 25+ with gusts even higher. There have been some so strong as to shake the house. Those, I’m sure, were closer to 50 mph or more. The strong wind and the temp above 35F is causing a rapid melting of the snow. Places on the property that were completely covered in snow yesterday are bare ground today. The ponds should be fully thawed in a week or so. Break up will be halted by several days of temps being just above freezing during the day and down into the teens at night. The halt will stop the running river under the house and I’ll, at last, be able to finish the last bit of house leveling. With the house level the new kitchen can be installed. Of course before that we must remove the ceiling sheetrock and do the necessary wiring to make the house electrically safe prior to the kitchen install.

I found an interesting fact today. On average there are about 7500 deaths a day in the U.S. These are completely unrelated to the COVID-19 “pandemic”. I spent 15-20 minutes on the web searching major newspaper sites trying to find out about yesterday’s death toll. I could find almost all of the hysterical rhetoric I would have cared to read but not a single word about the daily death toll. It is either so high that they are afraid to publish it or it is so low that they don’t want to give President Trump the credit or that the various government entities would have a hard time justifying all of this ‘House Arrest’. I did find that 95% of the deaths involve persons who are already deathly ill from some other disease. So in my common sense brain parts, I am thinking that it is the former reason not the latter. Why is there no body count like Viet Nam or all of the other military conflicts over the past 50 years? I did not find a single news story that gave that number. I’m starting to believe that the actual death toll is minuscule compared to the number of persons infected. Common sense commands you to know that there are tens of thousands of undiagnosed cases. And, also, that the majority of those with the virus are getting well without medical intervention, This is as Shakespeare said, “Much ado about nothing” as far as I can see. If you are healthy and under 60, your chances of dying in this “pandemic” are very near zero. Maybe I’m being paranoid but this does, in some ways, seem more about government control of people than control of an infectious disease. This seems particularly true at the state and local level. Just sayin’.

A picture of today’s weather.

Much Later

Got off my duff and worked on Summer’s bathroom wall. She had taped and mudded the wall. Problem is she had no idea of how to do it. The remedy was to use the mud knife to scape the dried mud as smooth as possible and then use a wet sponge to smooth it out. I’ve been using the wet sponge method on drywall for decades. It beats all of that sanding by a mile. Of course, there are still an few spots to be sanded but you aren’t spending hours breathing in the sanding dust. A bucket of water and a tile sponge gets the job done,

I often feel like that guy in the old donut commercial. But instead of donuts it’s dishes. Take the dishes down, use the dishes, wash the dishes, stack the dishes, take the dishes down, use the dishes and on and on ad nauseam. We try, as much as possible, eat off paper plates. Yep, I am aware that some people think that it is bad for the environment. “You’re killing trees.” “Yes. But I’m saving water.” The next day someone is saying something different. You please one eco-wacko and anger another. There is no happy medium or common sense being applied. The truth is that there are more trees in America now that when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. There are, also, more deer and lots of more of other game in America than when the Pilgrims landed. I’m surprised that more of them didn’t starve to death. Management of our natural resources has been seen as a critical need and it is being met. BTW, I am truly sick of dishes. Maybe I’ll just start eating out of the pot or pan. Laundry is a lot like dishes. Maybe I’ll try to find some paper clothes or just go naked. Nope. On second thought naked isn’t an option in Alaska. Could have done it in Florida but not here. Oh well.

I think I’ve sorted out why I am having this gout attack. I drank over a half bottle of really good red wine on Friday and woke up yesterday morning with a sore knee. Drank some more of it yesterday. I barely slept last night because of the pain and now have pain in the balls of my feet. Since the red wine is the only difference in my daily diet, it must be the cause. No more large volumes of red wine. I will miss it. Maybe I can have a glass now and then.

The washer is playing that pretty little tune that says that its’ job is done and that now it’s my turn.

Social Distancing (quarantine)’: Day 13 & 14

Day 13: I didn’t do much. It was a gloomy day and just didn’t do much. I did paint my vanity and stool one coat and needs to be done again tomorrow. Then, I went on my daily walk with the girls and had a few adult seltzers and hung out for a while. I love seeing my friends even though we are over 6 feet apart. I also went to Dan’s house for dinner. We supported one of our local restaurants and ordered take out. Alibi is one of my favorite places to eat. They have the best shrimp tacos! I am so thankful they can make it gluten free! So, my day was a whole paragraph. LOL

Day 14: Today I got a bunch of things done! I finally finished painting the vanity and stool. Tomorrow I will be finishing the dry wall and hopefully painting the wall soon. I, also, had to repot my tomatoes because they are getting so big! I almost didn’t have enough pots. I swear they were getting bigger as I was potting them.

Tomatoes on the right in bigger pots
Ran out of big square pots and used round ones
Tom Thumb tomatoes in hanging pots. They are already starting to get buds.
Brussels Sprouts and Shallots
Cabbage and Dill

As you can see. Everything is growing and I have no place to put it. I am supposed to be seeding out kale, lettuce and a few other things that I want to eat! Believe me. I’m not complaining, just a little concerned. Lol! Well, That’s all I got! Talk to you tomorrow! Stay Safe my friends!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 12

Today was a very gloomy rainy day. I painted the first coat of actually paint on my vanity and stool for the bathroom. I only did the one coat because I gave up on the day. It was just one of those days.

I really need to get a few plants repotted so they don’t die. We are still waiting for the snow to melt.

Tomatoes, peppers, and onions
Tomatoes and Brussels sprouts
Broccoli, broccoli raab, cauliflower, cilantro, dill, basil
Cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, etc.

I also have a surprise! I did it! I cut my own bangs! #covid19bangs This is a terrible photo but I don’t care.

covid-19 bangs

I also installed the shower curtain rod and curtain. I took my first shower in my bathroom! It was awesome!

Slowly but surely it’s coming together! Well, that’s all I have for today! Hopefully, I will have more to say on the next blog post!

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 11

During yesterday’s cooking events, I also realized that I had run out of ketchup. This is a slightly big staple in the house. When I started looking around I realized that we were about out of mayo, bbq sauce and some other very important items that you must have in order for recipes to fit together. I have to go to the store AGAIN!

Turns out we needed a plumbing part for my shower and a shower curtain rod as well. So, off to the store I go! It was a nightmare! I think I held my breath all through the store only to take a fresh gulp when no one was around. I got everything on my list and a few extra stuff. I decided I wanted finger foods for dinner. So, I got some frozen home style meatballs, grape jelly and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Tossed in the jelly and BBQ sauce in the bottom of my crockpot, threw in the frozen meatballs, stirred and called it good until dinner. I also made chicken wings! I like cooking them naked! No, not me, the wings you dirty minded people! LOL

I don’t batter my chicken wings is what I meant. I just season them with garlic salt and pepper and call it good! I fry them in lard. Yes, lard! These wings come out so crispy! To dip I use Hidden Vally Ranch Dressing and Crystal hot sauce. Delish!

Okay. I gave you dinner first so I guess I need to go on with the rest of the story. We got the shower completely put together. YAY! All is lacking is finish work. There will be trim where you see wood.

This is a close up on what the panels look like

I am so happy! It came out so beautiful. Thank you Dan!

Later, It was time for our ladies walk! Two Alaskan Brewery Seltzers and a group of women standing over 6 feet apart walking and having conversations to stay sane. LOL. I so enjoy it. I think this social distancing, children being out of school and no one is working has brought us all closer together as friends. It looks like its going to happen on a daily basis. We get exercise and don’t feel so isolated in an isolated neighborhood. Our houses are not close to one another like a normal suburban neighborhood. We all love it!

It snowed a little today and expect more tomorrow. Seems like a great time to finally finish painting my vanity and stool. Then I can work on finishing the drywall and get that sucker painted so Dan can install the vanity.

Well, That’s all I have today. It was a pretty slow day. Talk to you soon!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 10

Dan came over to install my shower panels and I had to go to town to get Dad more potassium, bread, and a few extra grocery and hardware items that we needed. I tried to keep it down to two stores and trying to stay away from other people. I just walk the other way if someone was getting close to me. It makes it very difficult to grocery shop when you keep having to change directions to avoid other people. If I got boxed it, I’d hold my breath. I carried my Clorox wipes with me so I didn’t contaminate my personal items like my purse, wallet and sunglasses. Then, I have to wipe down my car keys, car handles, steering wheel, gear shift, emergency brake just to make me feel clean.

After making it back from the grocery store in one piece and mostly disinfected, I unloaded the car, got everything in the house and put away. At this point I am starving and I need to eat before I go on a hike with my friends. No worries, we stay more than 6 feet apart the whole time. I needed to get some fuel in this belly because we blocked out 2 hours for this hike. It starts at the top of our main road and goes straight up before cutting across another road to get to this awesome snow machine trail that goes into one of our mountains. During the summer, its swamp area and can be a deep and messy hike. It seems the best tine is now!

Panorama where we decided to stop and turn around on our hike

The hike started off on flat snow covered land until you start a slow incline of elevation into the spruce. That’s where it got interesting. Trail markers were great! Old t-shirts, a shot ski, lanterns, street signs and fake booze hanging from trees. We loved it. We got up to the base of the mountain and decided to turn around due to our time limit. Most of my friends have children and have only so much time to have adult time. Anyway, we turned around and headed back. Tiana was mentioning when we get back to the flats that we should keep our six feet apart and do cartwheels on the snow at the same time. I haven’t done a cartwheel in 20 years! And it shows.

Attempting the cartwheel
Hurt my back attempting the cartwheel
Then, I just collapsed because trying a cartwheel after 20 years can be deadly

It was all fun and games. I decided that my other two friends can do cartwheels and I’m just going to jump!

So we came up with this!
Close up!

It was such a beautiful day! It was so sunny and warm! We totally needed this five mile hike! We also had a sun dog or halo around the sun.

Sun Dog/Halo

We didn’t notice this phenomenon until we were walking back. The only thing missing was our friend Jamie. Will definitely hike it again with her when she has her husband home to take care of the kids.

When I finally got home, Dan was just about finished with the shower and I needed to start dinner. The menu was Jalapeño Popper Meatloaf! It requires a whole 8 oz pack of cream cheese. Low and behold when I pulled it out of the fridge, half of it was eaten. I specifically bought it for this recipe. Two jalapeños, pack of cream cheese, a pound of ground meat, chopped bacon, onions, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Anyway, Dad ate half the cream cheese. So, I had to improvise and grab the ricotta cheese from Dan’s house and add that to the cream cheese, then spread on the bottom half of the meatloaf. I did and added bacon and the chopped jalapeños to the cheese. Then, I put the top part of the meatloaf to it and drizzle on some ketchup. Turns out ketchup is gluten free. Duh!

The meatloaf was fantastic! Here is the recipe! My friend Jamie posted the link on Facebook. <https://lowcarbinspirations.com/jalapeno-popper-stuffed-meatloaf-recipe/&gt;

So, Dan finished the shower and it needed to dry. It will be ready to shower in as soon as Dad installs all the shower controls.

Well, I leave you with an awesome picture that Tiana took of her sister and I walking down the road towards home after our hike. Thank you Tiana for such a beautiful picture!

Thanks Tiana for such a beautiful photo!