Dad’s Alaska

12 January 2023

Here’s to China Joe and the secret documents he doesn’t remember.

I can believe that China Joe doesn’t remember that he stashed documents marked Secret and some steps above Secret in an office closet and in his garage. I can believe that because, it is apparent that, unless someone tells him the date or the day, he has no clue. His mental faculties are not failing they are gone. The President of the United States of America is a zombie. A meat sack that spouts incomprehensible gibberish at every speaking engagement. A few days ago he mistook a Salvation Army man for a Secret Service agent and the told that ‘agent’ that he’d once been in the Secret Service. Of course, he’s never been in the Secret Service and the closest he’s ever been to the Secret Service is the agents protecting him. There have been so many gaffes and flights of fancy that it seems impossible that he hasn’t been institutionalized. Any normal American citizen who spoke and acted like this man would be in some institution where he could be monitored to keep him from wandering off and protected from himself. Actually, now that I consider it, he is in an institution where he is protected from himself and kept from wandering off. The White House has become a single patient eldercare facility. In spite of China Joe’s mental impairment, there must be people around him that think, even with his extreme impairment, that he’s better than Kamala. I can’t say that I disagree with that assessment. She’s little more than a brainless, cackling hyena. I though Hillary’s cackle was bad until Kamala came along. I doubt that there is a single Republican or Democrat that would propose the use of the 25th Amendment to remove China Joe from office. The potential of placing the’Hyena’ in the office of the President is reason is enough for even Republicans to be rooting for China Joe to finish his term. This brings me to another point. China Joe is getting the blame for all of the chaos that has ensued since his ‘election’. However, it is obvious that he isn’t cognizant enough of his surroundings and situation to have created this economic disaster or the invasion at our southern border. He is being ‘handled’. They put a piece of paper in front of him and he signs it. He’s kind of like a trained monkey and seems to have the intellect to match. This means that it is a cadre of unelected people are running the US into wreck and ruin. They haven’t just run America into a ‘ditch’, they have driven America into the equivalent of the Grand Canyon. There must be a reckoning, at some point. These people have usurped the power of the people and have been and are destroying America. When the Left Wing partisans are purged from the DOJ, FBI and Federal Prosecutors, some of these ‘Handlers’ need to be arrested, prosecuted and go to jail. Perhaps the Republicans will “Grow a pair” and make sure that this can never happen again. Not likely.

Another beautiful sunrise over Kachemak Bay.

The weather has, according to some of the people I’ve talked with, pretty much normal here in Fritz Creek. We have a few days of single digits, a few days in the teens, a few in the 20s and then a couple of days in the low 30s and then the cycle repeats. We haven’t had a lot of snow, for which I am grateful. We ordered and paid a $500 deposit on a 28” tracked snowblower from Ron’s Honda in Soldotna last June, maybe July. That snowblower has yet to appear. It was supposed to be here in September. I called mid-October and was told November. I called in November and was told that it would be December. I called in December and was put off until January. I called two days ago and was told that the snowblowers had been shipped and that they had been given the serial numbers. So now it look as if we might get this new snowblower sometime in February, I hope. The reason for ordering a tracked snowblower is that the wheeled device that we have gets stuck and has to be pulled backward even though it has a reverse gear. As I am approaching old age (I’m only 78) and Summer doesn’t have the physical strength to drag it out of the trenches made by the spinning wheels, we ordered a tracked snowblower. And that dear friends is why I am grateful that we’ve had but a very little snow.

The first piling bolted to the house.

I have been sidetracked by so many things that I am just now getting to the attachment of the house to the pilings installed by ‘Dangerous’ Dan last October. I will admit that I spent a good bit of that time trying to figure out the best way to make the attachment. 4 inch wide 3/8 inch thick steel strap was what I, finally, came up with. I looked at all manner of attachments at the building supply store. They all looked way too flimsy for a house sitting on pilings in an earthquake zone. They were mostly little bits of galvanized steel on the order of an 1/8 of an inch thick. Like I said “way too flimsy”. The steel reinforced concrete piling to which these straps are attached (one on each side) is 3 1/2 feet into the earth and sitting on a 2’x2’x 6” foundation. It is, also, surrounded by 2’ x 2’ of 2 inch insulation board. The insulation is to prevent the piling from heaving up when the ground freezes. It seems to have worked since the piling has not moved. The bolts through the piling, the support and the house beam are all 1/2” in diameter.

About the most exciting things happening around these parts are our idiot dogs chasing a moose and people driving their cars into the ditch. As previously mentioned, the temperature goes above freezing, the snow melts, the water runs onto the roads and the temperature goes below freezing at night. Then by the early morning when people are trying to get to work the roads are icy and often not yet sanded. Those that aren’t extremely careful end up in the ditch and with a $200+ towing charge. I totaled my truck last year on a patch of black ice. It looked just like water on the road until I started sliding and lost control and slid backward into the left hand lane. Fortunately, no one was coming up the hill before the truck ended up on it’s passenger side and down eight feet of embankment. I was only injured when I did something stupid and released the safety belt without holding onto the steering wheel. I fell to the bottom and banged my hard head. No permanent damage to me—truck totaled.

The refrigerator isn’t new. It was given to Summer by a neighbor. It’s about 5 years old and they didn’t want to repair it. They were quoted a thousand dollars to replace the compressor. I suspect that they paid close to $3000 for it new. I, at first, thought that the unit had a freon leak as I has ascertained that the compressor was not defective. After a thorough examination, I determined that the tiny little tube that carries the freon inside to the evaporator coil was plugged up. How or why? I have no idea. I ordered the new capillary tube assembly ($40) and now Summer has this huge refrigerator (no freezer) where, hopefully, leftovers and the salsa won’t get lost. We have two freezers, therefore a freezer compartment was not needed. The old and the new side by side. The difference is obvious. We still haven’t remodeled the kitchen or put sheetrock on the walls but we’ve got one killer refrigerator.

That’s it. I’ve got to go to town to get some longer bolts. Ciao!

Dad’s Alaska

30 December 2022

Here’s to 2022 a disaster preceding an even greater disaster.

At the end of each and every year of my adult life, I have been able to look back with some satisfaction at what had been accomplished not only by myself but my country. This year in retrospect has been and unmitigated disaster on the personal level. I totaled my 2006 Dual Cab F-250 on a patch of black ice. I had a utility trailer roll forward and pinch off almost a half inch of my left index finger. This cost me most of six weeks of prime Summer work time. I caught COVID and lost two weeks of work time. THEN as I became well enough to get out and get some of the work done, I caught the flu and lost another two weeks of work time. Then as I got well enough to get out and do some work on the property it started to freeze and snow. All in all I lost about half the Summer. I’m too damned old to be losing 2 1/2 months of my life. On the other hand, America is an unmitigated disaster. The invasion pouring across the Southern border is destroying America. The billions of taxpayer dollars going to the Ukrainian dictator Zelenskyy are putting us evcn further into debt. We’re like a ‘high balling’ freight train rushing past $31,000,000,000,000 (that’s 31 TRILLION) in public debt. That’s a debt we can never pay. Hence inflation. INCREASE THE MONEY SUPPLY which devalues the dollar and since the dollar is worth less and worthless we pay our debts in worthless paper. Millions of Americans aren’t even able to live ‘paycheck to paycheck’ any longer. The US Dollar is the reserve currency for the world. That means that countries value their currency, price and pay their debts in US dollars. When the money becomes worthless (very soon) the Chinese currency will likely become the Reserve Currency. The US Dollar will be good for nothing but wiping you posterior, if a paper dollar even exists. These scumbags are angling to make all of your money digital. That makes it even easier for them to manipulate it to their advantage. The only way to save US Dollar is to go back on the Gold Standard and wrest control of the money supply from the private company called The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve. It is a bunch of the elites making themselves and their politician friends even more wealthy. We no longer print money. Nope, the Federal Reserve just deems it to exist. American is screwed and that means you are screwed. I’d like to see the government recall all paper money larger that a $20 bill. How would you like to be a Drug Lord and all of those shipping containers full of 100 dollar bills suddenly become toilet paper? Billionaire drug lords would suddenly be broke. They wouldn’t be able to pay their murdering thugs or the crooked politicians on either side of the border. I suspect that some of our Congress and Senate would suddenly become much poorer. What a wonderful thing that would be. Broke ass drug lords and scumbag politicians sleeping in tents on the street. One can only dream.

Fire in the sky but no smoke on the water

After much unavoidable delay and procrastination, I have begun to connect the new concrete pilings to the house. Well that isn’t entirely true. I have begun to attempt to connect the concrete pilings to the house. On the first set of straps that I attempted to install I found that the holes I had drilled into the metal straps were too low at the top. They were not going through the center of the beam supporting the floor and the eastern wall. This sent me back to the drill press. While attempting to drill the new holes the chuck came off the drill press. This set me back for more than several minutes. After pounding the chuck back into place I began to drill again. Then the chuck slipped off again. I figured out after much cursing and stamping of feet that the chuck had been put on in Florida when the metal was much expanded due to the ambient temperature being 50 degrees higher than today. I lowered the drill deck and with a 3 pound hammer and an axe head as an intermediary, I pounded the chuck on at Alaska temps. I finished the drilling just in time for the sun to start getting low in the western sky. It didn’t matter because all of the bolts I bought for this project were either too short or too long. Tomorrow, I’ll rectify that problem, if the building supply store is open. Otherwise it will be January 2 before I get back to this. You can’t hurry perfection.

I won the Ugly Sweater Contest.

The weather has been weird. -2.5 on one day and +40 a few days later. The wavy jet stream has the weather screwed up all over the world. I recommend electroverse.co, if you really want to know what is happening with this weird weather worldwide. We’ve had wet snow, rain, sleet and dry snow all in less than a week. The weather apps seem to be getting it right which is scary.

As a matter of convenience summer and I rented a dumpster from a company here in Homer. We get our water from these people, as well. Their water deliveries have been precise, on time and greatly appreciated. Their water guys chain up their trucks, if our short road looks too icy. They do this all of the time during the winter. It’s regular, not uncommon. The guy who is supposed to pickup our dumpster every other week deemed our road icy and too dangerous. I questioned the lady at the dumpster service and she told me that the driver that deemed our road too dangerous was the Vice President of their company. Their excuse was that it was a different kind of truck than the water delivery truck that comes in every three weeks regardless of the snow ice or lack thereof.. A water delivery truck is likely hauling, at least, 3000+ gallons of water at 8.3 pounds per gallon plus the weight of the truck or close to 60,000 pounds. I doubt that a garbage truck weighs in at anything near that. The driver, I was informed was a great driver with years of experience and as previously stated a Vice President of the company. I wonder if he just didn’t want to chain up because he’s somebody. Our dumpster is about 75 yards from the main road and on solid road bed at the edge of a heavily graveled parking lot. Mysteries. Life is full of mysteries.

2 January 2023

As you may have observed it is days later from the writing of the above until now. I hope each and every one of you had a fun New Year’s Eve. Here’s hoping and praying that our 2023 personal lives will be a better and that our country is somehow saved from looming disaster caused by arrogant politicians and really ignorant people. 2023 wouldn’t have to go very far to be better than the last three years.

This is a young cow and I took this picture from about 20 feet away early this last Spring.

Today, I assumed that the building supply store that charged me an arm and a leg for bolts would be open. That was an incorrect assumption. So I’m still stuck with short bolts that are too short and long bolts that are too long. Not that it really matters today. We’re having some major warm weather and the temperature has been above freezing for a couple of days now. This advent brings us back to ‘Mud Season’. I hate mud. I can do hands and knees in the snow and ice but mud, NOPE! I am not going to crawl around in the mud, even if I had the correct bolts. The trip to town was not a total waste. I picked up a few groceries and some vodka. The grocery prices were outrageous and the vodka was even worse. Summer and I will have to do the COSTCO/Anchorage 450 soon. We need vodka, wine, coffee, dog food, dog treats and some other less important stuff like food. The COSTCO/Anchorage 450 consists of 225 miles to COSTCO and then 225 miles back in the same day. This marathon 2 hour (We limit ourselves to two hours in the store) shopping spree is because of the dogs. We have no one to leave them with and no hotel will allow 4 small dogs. Yeah, we’re probably not smart as we keep adopting dogs that other people don’t want. This time of year this will be a 13-14 hour adventure on icy roads, some through some mountainous areas and some crazy, stupid drivers in Anchorage. And again we’re probably not smart to take this trip but even after expenses we can save $400-$500 over the cost of the same products in Homer. When we go we load the wagon, so to speak.

A warm day in Fritz Creek.

We have about 4 more months of snow and cold left in this winter and we’re going to buy 2 more cords of wood later this week. As I previously said we are in a warm spell. However, the really cold weather is in January, February and the first couple of weeks in March. Because of the unusual cold in November and December we’ve burnt a lot more wood than usual. We’ve burned nearly 3 cords. We have about 5 cords left but like that old saw “Better safe that sorry”. I’ve had more than one person joke that “If you haven’t had to burn the furniture to stay warm, you aren’t a real Alaskan”. I think I’d just as soon stay a real Alabamian.

That’s all folks.

DAD’S ALASKA

16 October 2022

Here’s to the professional politicians “May they all rot in hell’.

Biden, McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, Swalwell, Schiff, McCarthy, Murkowski and all of the other useless life long political scum of both parties are the real problems in America. Almost all of them owe allegiance to China and all of them work against the American people’s interests. What was once a duty to be undertaken as a service to one’s country has become a cash machine for most of the 535 people who are supposed to be upholding our Constitution and serving the people. The vast majority do neither. They serve themselves and their big donors like George Soros, China and whichever BIG TECH OLIGARCH WILL write the ‘Big Fat Check’. I have often wondered how a Congressman or Senator who gets elected with a net worth of a few hundred thousand dollars becomes a millionaire while drawing a salary of around $200,000 a year. Don’t you ever wonder about that?? If I sound angry, it is because I am. I have spent much of my life advocating for simple things like fiscal restraint, smaller government, equal application of our laws and other simple Constitutional behavior by our governments. I really don’t think that it is too much to ask to have a politician put in jail for fraud the same as some two bit con man. Actually, most politicians are a lower class of human being than most two bit con men. It is past the time to ‘Throw the bums out’. It has, finally, come to the point that “We the people” must put our collective feet down. We cannot vote these bums out. They have too much money and power for “We the people” to be able to touch them. The only solution left for us is a Constitutional Convention as authorized by Article 5 of the US Constitution. In such a convention we can get Term Limits, Repeal of the 17th Amendment, Equal application of the law, eliminate and/or curtail some of the activities of the Executive branches of the government like Education, Reform immigration law, and a number of other things that need to be done so that the average American can reap the benefits of “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” guaranteed to us in our Constitution. We have traveled to a point where just the act of getting out of your own bed is likely violating some federal law written by some nameless, faceless unelected bureaucrat in a unknown sub-department of some useless branch of the Executive Department. It is time for a change. Not a change of politicians but a change of the Constitution to eliminate the career politicians and their power over our everyday lives. I was talking to a guy the other day about repealing the 17th Amendment. He wanted to know Why? I explained to him that, before the 17th Amendment federalized the Senate, the various State legislatures appointed the Senators for their State. That meant that there likely WOULD NOT be a career Senator. This is because of election changing of new people in the legislatures, even those of the same party, were likely to appoint a different person at the end of each six year senatorial term. You might suffer a career Congress person but not a career Senator. This makes sense because the Senate was to be the ‘safety valve’ that kept the Congress in check. Did you know that the Congress ( House and Senate) exempt themselves from many of the laws that they make for “We the people” to live by? For example they and their staff are exempt from the Obamacare debacle. That’s just one example and there are dozens, if you want to go find them. They have set themselves up as our Masters. Your primary purpose in life is to work and pay taxes. Whether you can feed, clothe and house your family or yourself is of no interest or consequence to the various government entities from local to federal. Go to conventionofstates.com for an education.

Sunrise on last Monday.

Dangerous Dan continues his frontal assault on the foundation of the ragged old house. Both the front and back of the house have been stabilized. He is now under the floor in mud that is over his boots and with the consistency quicksand. I was under there earlier this week installing insulation. At one point, I thought that I was going to have to abandon my boots and crawl out in my sock feet. I was near boot deep in the mire and sinking. I could not seem to free either foot. I remember thinking that “If I fall down in this I may not be able to get up”. My second thought was “I hope I can reach my phone so that I can call Dan or 911”. The situation may not have been life threatening but it was scary because the longer you stood in one position the further you sank. I had visions of the scenes from old movies where some poor sap stepped into the quicksand and the last you saw of him was an upraised hand and a few bubbles. However, the femme fatale always get saved. Since I was not feeling very feminine then or ever for that matter, I had serious doubts that Tarzan was going to show up and pull me from the muck. I have made it perfectly clear to all concerned that I will not again be installing insulation under there until the ground has frozen solid. The background on this dummy episode is pretty straight forward. I got out of bed, got dressed and made myself a cup of coffee. I looked at the digital thermometer and it read 22.1F. I surmised that since the temperature was so low all night that the muck that Dan had been working in would be frozen solid. Of course, as you already know my surmise was incorrect. This decision to go under the floor was based upon false assumptions and insufficient data not unlike all of the Global Warming/Climate Change decisions. I did manage to, with great difficulty, extricate myself from the muck. This was a lesson in BOB STEELE RULE #1 “Everything good or bad that happens to you is, generally, your own damned fault.” There is one good thing about decisions, if you made a bad one you can just make another. Unless, of course, you’ve jumped from a tall building or a high bridge. Every decision has the potential to be life changing and some are, unfortunately, life ending. I’ve done so many stupid things that I am amazed everyday that I’m still alive. A funny story I often tell when someone mentions my or their life span. It was my 47th birthday. I had driven from Mobile to Bessemer (Alabama) as I did every weekend for months to visit my father who was dying from cancer. At this point, he was bedridden. I sat by his bed and we talked about this and that. Nothing of any consequence. As it was my birthday, that came up as a subject. I said, “I never expected to live this long”. He was sitting up in the bed and there was a long silence while Dad was,apparently, staring at the wall in front of him. After this most pregnant of pauses, he looked over at me and said, “Hell, Boy, I didn’t think you’d live to be 21”. And that brings me to something my Grandma Byrd used to say, “Better lucky than smart”.

A new treated lumber ladder on the roof to service the stove pipe and the roof. The old one was not treated and had been there since 1982.

We are almost ready for winter. The wood is stacked in the tents, the loose items on the property have nearly all be stowed away, Summer and I have changed over to studded tires and my pre-winter ‘To Do’ list is shrinking daily. It snowed a bit this week. Very fine white stuff was falling out of the sky. It wasn’t sticking but is was falling. I am taking this early snow as a portent for a very cold and snow filled winter. The last two winters I have used a wheeled snowblower to clear our parking area and make paths for the dog to run in. The problem with the wheeled snowblower is that it often gets stuck and once it is stuck it has to be extricated by brute force. Putting it into reverse just digs it in even further. I’ll be 78 in a couple of weeks and snatching that 100+ pound hunk of iron out of the trenches it dug is getting to be too much. Summer decided that we would use our PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) to purchase a snowblower on tracks like a tank. Dutifully, I traveled to the local Honda dealer 80 miles away and paid a $500 deposit on a $3800 tracked snowblower to be delivered in the last week or so of September. The delivery date was then pushed back until the first week in October. Since I had not received a call to come get my machine, I called earlier this week. Now they tell me that we will get the machine sometime in December. I am starting to believe that the dealer bet mine and other people’s deposits on some stupid football game and lost it all. I sincerely hope not because I’m old. Actually, the last couple of sentences were a joke except for the part about my being “old”. However, it seems that to Honda, we aren’t very important here in Alaska. Our equipment gets shipped last, if at all. With less than 800,000 people the entire state population is smaller than some medium sized cities in the Lower 48. The economics make sense for Honda but aren’t very helpful for us Alaskans.

If rocks were dollars we’d be billionaires

When I changed over to the studded tires, I found that the brake pads on the front wheels of the Subaru were very nearly gone. This coming week I’ll get the brake pads and new rotors. Then one day when it isn’t raining I’ll get them installed. One more little job before the snow flies. The Subaru had been running kind of funky for some time. I realized that all of the gas that had been put into the tank had come from the same place. I changed the gas location and now it seems to be running much more smoothly. They must have had some water in their gas or something. I won’t be buying gas there for a while. A couple of weeks ago the Subaru was running a little too hot. I took it to the local Subaru shop and found out that after the new radiator had been installed that the engine hadn’t been “Burped”. Who knew? Anyway the mechanic explained to me that Subarus have a quirk in the engines that traps air. Because of this you have to start the engine and let it idle for some time after the initial fill of the radiator. As the engine heats up the air trapped in the engine comes out and the radiator burps out a bit of fluid whilst releasing the air. The engine burped several times This process only took about ten minutes because the engine was already warm. The mechanic had a special funnel that fit tightly into the radiator opening so that no fluid was lost and after the final burp he filled the radiator to the top and put on the cap. I was very lucky that the engine was not damaged by the overheating.

Inside the big green tent with much stuff left to go to the Salvation Army

Summer and I spent a few hours yesterday (Saturday) going through the big green storage tent. This is a project that we’ve put off for many, many months. While the tent was closed the chickens were still able to get inside. They would climb and/or fly up onto the shelves, that I built to store glassware and other personal stuff, and lay their eggs. All of this flapping and moving around on the shelves, of course, knocked things off the shelves. There was broken glass and cooking utensils scattered around on the floor amongst the chicken droppings and shells of broken eggs. The plan was to go through the stuff and donate that which we no longer wanted or needed to the Salvation Army. About three hours into this mess we called it for the day. Today (Sunday) we will attempt to finish this filthy, disgusting project and make the run into town to the Salvation Army store. Five years ago we brought up a lot of stuff that we find that we did not need and now don’t want. Things that seemed useful or valuable at the time are now valueless and worthless in this new stage of our lives. Before we left Florida we donated a bunch of stuff (four pickup truck loads) to the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch. In retrospect, we should have donated everything except our clothing, a few pots and pans and some dishes. The trip up to Homer would have been way-y-y easier and exponentially less stressful. Again, I find myself quoting my Grandma Byrd. “Live and learn. Die and forget it all”.

A trailer load of green tent trash headed for the dumpster.
Kindling drying in Summer’s greenhouse. We’ll likely use it all before this winter is through.

Well, that’s it. We’re back to work. Winter is coming too soon

Dad’s Alaska

29 December 2021

Here’s to my hero. OMICRON!!!!!!

Our freedom is, apparently, being saved by a virus. The Omicron virus is, by all accounts, a very mild illness. People who have had it have remarked that it was like having the common cold. It seems to be causing a bunch of reported cases but fewer and fewer hospitalizations and deaths. We are, at last, being able to see a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train. The politicians are not going to want to relinquish their newly found power. At some point, we’ll just have to ignore the politicians and go on about the business of living our lives. Anyway, it seems that the Omicron virus is enough like Delta and the other variants that it will give immunity to the other more deadly viruses. As I said earlier, we are being saved by a virus. I still have not taken the MRNA gene therapy ”vaccine”. The military researchers have come up with a real vaccine that I suspect will never see the light of day. This is because too many politicians and bureaucrats have too much of a vested financial interest in the MRNA gene therapy. Now there is a pill you can take, if you get the virus that seems to be very effective. The drug companies have finished the major drug trial i.e the coerced vaccination of 200 million Americans and only God knows how many others outside the US with an experimental drug. Sad thing is that the experimental drug did not stop the spread of the virus. Millions of people took the ”vaccine” and still got sick, spread the virus and many died. I’m reminded of the scene at the beginning of The Walking Dead where they discover that there is no cure for the virus that created the zombies.

The last picture of Miss Suzy

Little Miss Suzy was the last vestige of 43 years of marriage to my wife and my best friend. Summer and I had to take her to the Vet and have her put down. Some disease in small dogs makes the throat collapse. She got to where she couldn’t eat or drink. It is a terrible thing to have to kill that which has become almost another child to me. Suzy was Connie’s dog. She doted on this little critter right up until the last days of her life. When Connie was in hospice, I would take Suzy to visit. Suzy was a bed hog. She would sleep on top of the bed covers between Connie and myself. Some how every morning I would find myself barely on the bed and Suzy lying across the bed. She pushed me so that she could be comfortable. After Connie passed away, she continued to sleep on the bed and I gradually became her human. That did not stop her from shoving me to the edge of the bed. I did become comfortable having her sleeping against my back. Her little warm body was like having a heating pad against my sometimes sore back. Connie died almost 5 years ago and I got the honor of being Suzy’s human since then. She went everywhere I did. She made 3 trips on the ALCAN as were going to and from Alaska. She was the perfect passenger. She was on my lap looking at the scenery or sound asleep. She was no trouble at all during our travels. For almost 50 years, I have not slept alone. It has been an adjustment. I miss my wife terribly but I, also, am missing Suzy. She was my buddy and her presence pretty much was the only thing that kept me sane after Connie died.

Summer’s two barkity critters. Taco looking at us and Betsy Boo sound asleep.

As you can see in the picture, we still don’t have the oak flooring down. We are going to rewire the entire house which entails taking out all of the sheetrock on the walls and ceilings. There will be a lot of tramping around on the floor and a crap load of sheet rock pieces and dust so the floors have to wait. We have the flooring, we have the kitchen cabinets and we have the wire. It is now just a matter of waiting until Spring. The entire kitchen has to be removed and we’ll have to set up a cook house outside. That is the one thing we really can’t do in the winter. As I have stated previously, I have surrendered to the house as far as getting it level is concerned. I have a guy coming when the ground thaws to pour some concrete and stabilize the house. After that I might be able to level it. The original plan was to lower the house to level it. However, I’m inclined to raise it a couple of feet so that I can get some heavy beams mounted of concrete pillars.

Winter is bad for your health. There is no way to work outside in 18 inches of snow. Any serious construction will have to wait for spring. During the summer I would rack up 2 and sometime 3 miles of walking around the property along with whatever exercise that the current job required. Since the snow started, i’ve been sitting on my rear end doing nearly nothing except eating all day Chewing does not count as exercise. All of this eating and inactivity led to my gaining 5 pounds. Since I’m already about 20 pounds too heavy an extra 5 pounds isn’t a good thing. My solution to the growing poundage is to walk, at least, 2 miles every day. I thought that I might be biting off more than I could chew but two miles seems to be the correct number. I get a little cardio going up the hills on the road and it doesn’t completely exhaust me.

We’ve had a heat wave. The daytime temps have been at or above freezing for most of a week now. The snow on the roads has become ice and I’ve been forced to wear cleats on my walks. This is Wednesday and they are predicting 80% chance of snow for Thursday and Friday. This will likely put us to over two feet of snow on the ground and cause me to be wrestling with the snow blower. I was going to build a snowman but the snow was too dry and wouldn’t ball up.

Since Christmas, I have been eating soup for every meal. I made potato soup the day before Christmas and it was very good. Summer and I ate a lot of it that evening. I had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning. I made a Minestrone soup on Monday which I alone have eaten for every meal this week that wasn’t potato soup. I am about souped up to my eyeballs. The rest of the minestrone is headed for the freezer.

As you can tell there isn’t much going on here at the homestead. I’ve watched too much Antique Aliens, Unexplained and news shows. There is always one little chore or project to do but 30 minutes later you are stumped as to what you might do next. Most of the time there is nothing else to fo but screw around on the computer or watch another dumbass show in search of Sasquatch, Antique Aliens gold, tuna, crabs or even worse watch the depressing news

Yesterday on my walk a moose cow decided that I was not going to pass her by. She ran out into the road as as I was approaching. I backed up and walked up a drive way and stood behind some brush. I stood very still for about five minutes. Abruptly, she turned and trotted back up the hill where she had been eating. I, again, got back on the road to continue my walk. The crazy moose then ran back into road and stood in the way I intended to go. I was only about 300 yards from the house and Summer happened to looking in my direction and saw the moose and me. Summer drove down to where i was and the car noise made the crazy moose run off down the slope. The first time it blocked my way, I was within 15 feet or so. In other words, too damned close. People in Alaska are more afraid of moose than bears. Moose kill far more people than bears is a fact of life in Alaska. There aren’t a whole bunch of things that scare me but that moose scared the crap out of me. I was so scared I forgot to take pictures

Below are some pictures I took on my walkabouts and from the house.

Midday sunshine
My old ugly mug. I ain’t pretty no more. It was about 33 degrees when I took the picture.
Dawn on the homestead
Dawn a few minutes later
The sun is setting while I’m walking down Tom Cat Drive at about 3:45 pm
An absolutely beautiful Alaska sunset taken on Hill Ave just before Tom Cat Drive.
Another picture along Tom Cat Drive

Well that’s it for me. I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas and may your God bless each and every one of you.

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the Omicron virus that might save us all from COVID forever

I’m pretty much isolated from the human race up here on Greer Road hill. Yeah, I have the interweb and streaming TV. My isolation is physical rather than mental. I talk and text with friends in Florida fairly regularly and I harass a few people on Fakebook when I’m not in Fakebook jail. I think I’ve done about 16 thirty days stents plus several 3 and 7 days sentences. I figure that if they aren’t putting you in jail you aren’t spreading the truth. Anyway to my point, I read several on line newspapers every morning whilst sucking down 32+ ounces of coffee. I just read a day or so back that GlaxoSmithKline have developed a real COVID vaccine. I haven’t taken the jabs that are currently available as I’ve been waiting on a real vaccine that is not the MRNA gene therapy currently being foisted upon the public as a ”vaccine”. The CDC changed the definition of ”vaccine” in order to call this gene therapy a vaccine. This new vaccine, apparently, generates a natural resistance to COVID like the polio or measles vaccines. According to what I’ve read it has few, if any side effects and encourages the bodies own defenses to recognize and attack the COVID virus over much longer periods of time. It is being approved for use in Great Britain but is unlikely to be approved in the US. This is because the CDC/NIH/FDA and other alphabet agencies have a reputed financial interest in the MRNA vaccines being used in the US. It’s another ”Follow the Money” deal. I guess I’m naive but I was not aware the government agencies ( and maybe government employees) could profit from research done with taxpayer money. Anyway, the take away on this is that there is a better, safer real vaccine out there that you probably won’t hear ever about here in the Marxist Republic of America. Now on to more mundane and non-medical things.

Much to our surprise it is blowing our third blizzard for this winter. The entire property is covered in about 18 inches of previous snow with another six to ten inches predicted for this blizzard. Those items which we did not picked up have disappeared until late April or early May. The same goes for all of our outside projects. I had intended to put a porch deck on the back of the house in November. And then frame in a walled, roofed ‘Arctic Entry’ atop the porch deck. In that entry we would have had a bench, a place to hang coats, other outerwear and snow covered boots. That just isn’t going to happen. The Fall and early Winter has been colder than in previous years. We bought ten cords of firewood logs this year. I reduced them to rounds, split and stacked most of it myself. Ended up doing the last two cords with only one working arm. I had some surgery on my left shoulder. The doctor told me to not pick up more than five pounds with that arm. I waited until six days after the surgery to start splitting the last two cords. I was using the left arm just to balance the round before I put it on the splitter.

The geese have, finally, resigned themselves to their captivity. They are no longer trying to get around, over, under or through the fencing. Their pond has frozen solid so we’re having to take water to them every day. Taking water to them every day is a small chore until you find yourself ’post holing’ through 18 inches of snow. This struggle led to starting the snow blower. The snow blower was built for the genteel suburban snow. That is to say moving snow off concrete or asphalt paving. The suburbanite opens his/her garage door, starts the snow blower and cleans his/her driveway and sidewalk. No problem as the machine is operating on a hard surface and does not get stuck every three feet. The narrow tires sink into the snow left behind and will not proceed forward. When shifted into reverse it will not back up without some major snatching and jerking to get it out of the holes the tires dug. I spent almost an hour and a half forcefully shoving the plow forward in order to clear a path to the goose house. This time included the time I had to take to let my pulse get back under 140 or some number that made me think my heart might jump out of my chest at any moment. I seriously contemplated what I might do if I stroked out. I really didn’t want Summer to find me slumped over that confounded machine dead. I certainly got my cardio for the day. After resting up for awhile I plowed my way to the wood tent and then to the conex (40’ shipping container) and the water tank sheds. This plowing while strenuous was done on packed gravel which made it a lot easier.. Not easy but easier.

After my heart pounding trip to the goose house it was time to take water to them and then post hole my way to the chicken house to collect eggs and check on their water. They were good on food as Summer had dumped fifty pounds of food in their feeder the night before. Of course, they were out of water so struggling back through the snow to get a bucket of water and then returning with that 40 pound bucket of water pretty much did me in for the day. It was only about 3:00 PM and sunset was just over and hour away, but I was done. There would be no more snow blowing trenches.

The next morning I ate my cinnamon raisin bagel, sucked down 32 ounces of coffee and then went outside to start the infernal machine. I was and did plow/trench my way to the chicken house. It was pretty much a repeat of the goose expedition only maybe 20 feet further and on the side of a hill. During the previous days fiasco I developed some techniques that made it somewhat easier. I got pretty much the same cardio workout but finished the longer course in less time. Just as I got the blower back up the hill a neighbor, one of Summer’s friends, arrived with his snow plow truck. He had plowed his own driveway and the drove down to our house to plow our road. This, usually, costs money but he does it for us no charge. Snow plowing isn’t his occupation. He works up on ’The Slope’ or in oil field for you Lower 48 denizens. It just happened that the last blizzard came at a time when he was off the job for a couple of weeks. I think he works 2 weeks on 2 weeks off but now that I’ve said it I realize that I really don’t know. After he had plowed the road he was backing out to the main road and somehow got his truck stuck. He’s gotten a little too close to the edge of the road and the truck slipped down the slight embankment. My truck covered in snow and ice had to be cleared to be able to see well enough to extricate his truck. After my truck had warmed up and melted the ice off the windshield, I went to pull him out. Had to jerk his truck harder than I would have liked to get him out of the ditch. My heavy rope tow line got cut on the blade of his snow plow which leaves me with 6 feet less rope and all of my other rope that size is buried somewhere under two plus feet of snow drift. I guess I’ll just have to make do with the shorter rope until Spring when I probably won’t need a longer rope. After he went on his way, I plowed Summer’s parking area and the ‘turn in’ to the parking.

Summer was at one of the ’up the hill’ neighbors home for a visit a few days ago. For some reason the lady had to move her truck. While moving the truck she backed into Summer’s car. The fender was bent, a headlight crushed, the grille popped out and the radiator support bracket bent. All of this damage on her 2006 Subaru might lead the insurance company to total it out. I was supposed to have repaired the Summer’s Land Rover in latter part of October. However, it rained and rained and rained and then when the rain stopped it started snowing. Needless to say the Rover is not repaired. Of course, we look like the rednecks we are with a dead car on blocks in the yard. The Rover repair is postponed until May or June of next year. Summer has said that she could borrow one of Dan’s (her significant other) trucks while the Subaru is being repaired or condemned. If they condemn it she will just buy it back from the insurance company and use the settlement cash to have it repaired. She is in love with that little car.

The poor little Rover abandoned in a snow bank until Spring.

We failed to sell a couple of fruit trees (one pear & one apple) this spring and summer. We now have them sitting in our living room. Because we were trying to sell them (and because of the 42 other ‘opportunities’ that cropped up) they did not get planted on the property. And here in Alaska, it is more than just digging a hole an plopping the tree into said hole. The moose like fruit trees. When the trees are young the moose will eat them almost to the ground and the tree dies. You must build a moose proof wire cage to protect the young trees. We just didn’t have the time, hence trees in living room.

We’ve had continuing water problems. With the new 1000 gallon tank installed and the 500 gallon tank residing in a newly constructed shack, I thought we were good for the winter. Yeah, I was wrong AGAIN. A heat tape failed and the pipe, by which the big tank is filled, froze and cracked. Fortunately, when the pipe froze and burst the pipe was plugged with the ice and we did not lose the 100+ gallons of water still in the tank. Still some of the fiber glass batting insulation got wet so I had to remove it and take it inside to dry off. Two trips to the hardware store plus digging through my own plumbing supplies got the fill pipe rerouted. The insulation, at last, dried and was reinstalled. This process only took parts of two days as there were other chores that needed attending. We had been using water from the 500 gallon tank as the 1000 gallon tank was near empty. We did not realize that the tank heater had failed on the small tank. So when the water truck arrived on Monday, we still could not fill the big tank because of the burst pipe problem had not been resolved. Also, we found that the little tank fill pipe would not work. I opened the tank to find three inches of ice all the way across the tank and into the fill pipe. I used a hammer to break a hole in the ice so that we could fill the tank from the top. I held the hose in the tank while the water guy ran the pump. We got a week and a half of water pumped into the small tank and I got the tank heater working again. The object of the two tanks was to have a month of water and then only have them filled once a month. This would save us a couple of hundred dollars each month. Water is my mortal enemy but I shall prevail over it.

This is Friday at about 8:30 AM. I’m sitting down with a sausage biscuit on which I placed a dollop of mustard and, of course coffee. Sunrise is at 9:54 and sunset will be at 4:02 this afternoon. This means that I’ve got just over 6 hours to tend to the critters, bring in firewood and whatever other outside chore that needs to be done. There is the reopening of the pathways to all of the various destinations on the property. The previous day’s heavy snow (it is still snowing) has rendered the near stroke inducing snow blown paths of Tuesday and Wednesday pretty much useless. I see some snow mowing in my future. If I don’t get the paths blown out again today, they’ll be full again by tomorrow.

I have included some pictures for your enjoyment.

Wednesday’s Sunset after it, temporarily, stopped snowing.
Tuesday just after sunrise,
The Chicken Trench
Icicles after last weekend’s warm up to above freezing.
The Goose Trench
Summer’s ‘closed for the winter’ store.

That’s it for me. While the pictures were loading I fried a Honey Bun in butter and ate it. The sausage biscuit just didn’t do the job. Hope all of you had a Happy Thanksgiving. See ya soon.

Dad’s Alaska

17 November 2021

Here’s to a safe, happy, healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas

Winter has set in with a vengeance. The current temperature at 3:00 in the afternoon is 6F. I had shoulder surgery on the 2nd of November. Since then I split and stacked 3+ cords of firewood. Since I was instructed not to lift anything over 5 pounds with my left arm, my right arm and shoulder got a pretty serious work out. One wood shed tent is completely full the other is about half full for a total of about 8 cords. I’m hoping that this will be enough to get us to April.

A tent full of warming goodness.
The last of the unstacked wood waiting for the Beserker to come back out and play.

Got the last of the wood stacked yesterday. Had high hopes earlier this year that I have all of the wood stored before the first snow. I missed that goal. Went Berserker on it yesterday and completed the task. Only took four pairs of wet gloves, ten frozen fingers and about 3 hours to complete the job. The temp yesterday never got above 16F and the snow and ice on the wood was causing me to fumble around a lot. Picking up the same piece two or three times in order to toss it into the tent where I had to pick up again to stack it was aggravating and tiring. Anyway with the wood, at last, stacked in the tents I was able to get on to other chores like watering the geese, retrieving the chicken eggs, winterizing the log splitter and on and on and on.

Log splitter with gas treated for storage.

The wind blew like crazy last night. The splitter tarp blew off and I’ve yet to find it. The drop cloth cover did not blow off so it was protected from the unexpected snow early this morning. The outside work is either done or will have wait until Spring. After reading Electroverse.net, I was expecting and preparing for an exceptionally cold winter for Fritz Creek. The high temp predicted for the next nine days is 19F and the predicted low for the same period is ZERO. Probably going to be burning a lot of firewood and dressing warmer inside the house.

The early morning snow on the truck.
Summer just home from work and my ugly mug

Now that outside work is done, I can get back to finishing the sheetrock in the upstairs bath. There really isn’t much to do. There are a few trim pieces that will take longer to cut that install. There is, also, some missing sheetrock in the ceiling of Summer’s upstairs sitting/media room. This was caused by removing a wall and moving a light fixture. A pain in the rear but not hard work. These little projects will likely occupy me for a couple of days. After that I might just go get a job. I am really very bad at sitting around. Getting a job at my age may be a problem. I can still lift 80 pound sacks of concrete so I am not physically handicapped. Not supposed to be lifting them right now because of the shoulder surgery but in a couple of more weeks lifting boxes or whatever should not be a problem. The bigger problem may be that I haven’t submitted to the Gene Therapy that the government is calling a ”vaccine” The other impediment to gainful employment might be the employer mask mandate. I have not worn a mask anywhere but in my doctor’s office and the hospital. If you want medical care you MUST COMPLY. Anyway my job search might be futile as there are few jobs for old men in the fields in which I am competent. Nobody is going to hire an antique Journeyman Marine Pipefitter, Electrician, HVAC Tech or an Appliance Tech. Best job I’m likely to get is ”Would you like fries with that?” I’m not so prideful that I wouldn’t take the french fries job. Like the old salt said, ”Any port in a storm”.

The outside temperature has dropped to -2F. It was 3.6F when I went outside to get the eggs. Found some of them frozen and cracked. Guess I’m going to have to go on egg patrol a few times everyday. Was filling a bucket with water for the geese and found that the water line is frozen some where. Went to the water house and found that all of the pipe heaters were on. It’s too late in the day to try to troubleshoot the problem as it is nearing sunset. Sunset is at 4:32 today. I took the water that I had in the bucket to the geese and as I was returning I slipped and fell. Fortunately, when I fell I landed on my right shoulder. I didn’t fall very hard and the only thing damaged was my pride. This is the first time I’ve take a tumble this winter so I guess it time to put on the ice cleats.

Well it is 5:30. It’s dark and we have what looks like a full moon tonight. Might be almost a full moon as I am viewing it through a small gap between two spruce trees. Summer just got home and her dogs are going crazy. I guess that’s it for me today.

Miss Suzy doing her favorite trick i.e. sleeping

Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to the end of the China flu.

Haven’t written on the blog since last April The reason was that all I could describe seemed so infinitely mundane. The descriptions of building, repairing or destroying seemed redundant and boring as hell. They were boring to me as I was writing about them. Because I don’t deal with boredom very well, I stopped the drivel (my description) and then just couldn’t seem to find the time to get back to the writing. The average time involved to produce a blog is about 3 hours. Something that you read in less than 10 minutes requires numerous revisions in language, photos and the avoidance of dangling participles. The, overweight red faced Hueytown High School English teacher mercilessly pounded punctuation into me as I was retaking 10th grade English as a senior. Her frustration was great. I could tell her why the English or punctuation was wrong but I had not a clue why. Anyway, enough explanation and on to the recent history of our Alaskan adventure. Adventure may be a little overstated. Tribulations might come closer to the mark.

Where to start. We began our 5th year here in Fritz Creek on September 18. It passed us by with our noticing. September is Fall and the snow will come too soon. There are a hundred little things that need to be done before the snow. Dozens of items left in haste to get to the next project during the summer now need to be picked up and put away. You don’t want the snowblower to suck in a chunk of 2×4 or a large rock. It’s damned inconvenient, when you are trying to make paths to the wood tents, the chicken house or to simply give the dogs a place to walk, to suck up a carelessly dropped piece of 10/2 w/ground Romex. I did that last winter. I had to take off my gloves and it took twenty minutes to unwind it out of the snowblower tines. The temperature was only in the low 20s but my fingers were numb by the time I extracted the wire. Trying to be way more careful this winter. Speaking of this winter here is some video I shot two days ago. The cinematography is so bad that I’m afraid that The Idiot will come here and shoot me as well. It was reported early on (and never heard again) that when The Idiot was told that they would have to reshoot the scene he reportedly remarked how “It might be easier to shoot the two of you”. This is, apparently, when he aimed the gun toward the camera and pulled the trigger. Anyway, here is the video.

The snow is gone today. It has been wiped away by a steady downpour. Rain we don’t need. Rain makes mud and we’ve had quite enough mud for one year.

In the last years I built an aircraft landing strip (not really) deck. It was built for Summer to be able to open her Greer Rd Greenhouse which is a seasonal garden center. This past Spring was the first season. She got kind of a late start and didn’t do as well as she had hoped. She had some problems sourcing plant starts. I solved that problem a little late. By the time she got all of her plant starts and other merchandise, most people had already gotten what they would need for this extremely short growing season. She did fairly well considering the late start handicap. She made a lot of new friends and customers that will be back for next Spring’s planting season.

The construction of the aircraft landing strip.

The aircraft landing deck.
Summer taking a sweet tea break. It was hot that day.
The greenhouse being installed.
The finished product. Yep, I noticed some of the pilings sank. Been leveled since this picture was taken.
Shelving ready for plants and a ton of pots across the aisle.

Inside ready for the huge throng of customers.
Outside on the deck with various amendments, dirt and a crap load of pots across the bridge over the River Why..
Some flowers with some potato sets in the foreground
Our built in one day parking lot with some of the baskets Summer planted.

There have been some ’challenges’ this year. Many of you have experienced the mask madness at stores that would not let you in with one of the useless damned things strapped across your face. My solution was to not shop at those stores. Some of the stores only suggested that you wear a mask whilst forcing their employees to mask up. Almost everyone wearing a mask was doing it wrong. I saw one lady with a face shield and no mask which made even less sense than the improperly fitted masks. Summer tried to take the vaccine but had such a violent reaction that they would not give her the second dose. My doctor who was forced to wear the mask agreed with me that, if you can smell the french fries through the mask it is useless. I heard another doctor remark that trying to catch a virus with the available masks was about like trying to catch a mosquito with a chain link fence. The silliness continues, It appears that the more they vax the worse it gets. Not only that the vaxed are ‘shedding’ the virus and infecting others more than the unvaxxed are infecting others. The majority of the unvaxxed don’t have the virus and thus are unable to spread it. It is simple matter of common sense that this is not a ”pandemic of the unvaxxed”. I have been vaccinated for everything from polio to bubonic plague. I am not anti-vax. All of those vaccines were not experimental and provided a mostly permanent shield against that particular disease. These COVID vaccines do not provide a permanent immunity to COVID. I have not taken any COVID vaccine. My doctor recommends it but as I told him ”I may seem a little morbid but I’m 77 and I expect to die from something sooner rather than later”. The only bumper sticker I’ve ever had on one of my vehicles reads ”Fear is not a virtue”. Well enough of that crap.

The summer has been busy. I moved the wood tents from just outside the back door to a position further away. This cleared up the parking at the back door much to Summer’s delight. The POS greenhouse we bought three years ago continues to fall apart. I had intended to pull out all of the corrugated plastic panels and cover the entire thing in proper greenhouse plastic sheathing. That didn’t happen. I guess it will be early next Spring before I get that done. I had the plastic but not the time. Time flies even when you aren’t having fun. I hauled in eight cords of firewood logs and bucked them up into rounds. Summer and I have split five cords so far. We had hoped to avoid having to split wood in the snow but I’m guessing that won’t happen now.

I hammered in 20 something steel fence post and installed four 4×4 treated corner posts to corral the filthy damned geese. Goose crap is as large as that of a small dog and they just dump it indiscriminately. Nothing like goose crap on the soles of your shoes. We had intended to fence in the chickens but we seemed to have run out of time for that as well.

Earlier this year we noticed a grinding noise in the rear end of the Range Rover, Summer’s favorite winter car. It has remote start and heated seats. Anyway, I took it to a mechanic that diagnosed the problem as defective rear brake calipers. He wanted $800 to replace the defective calipers and the two flexible brake lines. I didn’t let him do the job. Too much money. I’m a mechanic. I used to build hotrod engines for people back in the day. I ordered the calipers and then took a couple of months to get back around to the Rover. I pulled the wheel and saw no real problem with the caliper. But since I had the new ones I decided I might as well change it. When I removed the old caliper the entire axle assembly pulled out of the rear end housing. The moron that diagnosed the problem obviously did not have a clue about the real problem. Apparently, the rear end was without lubrication and even though we’d had the vehicle serviced several times and nobody checked the rear end. Back in the old days we changed the oil, checked all of the grease fittings and the rear end. Today there are few, if any, grease fittings and oil changes are ”Wham, bam, thank ya ma’am” and nobody checks anything underneath the car. BTW, the noise was the axle bearings on both sides that were no longer there. Fortunately, we bought a Rover with a bad engine back in the Spring. This was purchased for $500 and to be used for spare parts for Summer’s Rover. It was a bargain because the alternator alone would cost near $300. Plus it had a brand new $150 battery and five very good summer tires. It was the deal of the year. Next Spring I’ll pull the entire rear end and put it into Summer’s Rover. I had intended to do it this summer but didn’t have time.

Leveling the house has become a lost cause. I have given up on the project. After over 2 years of wrestling with this project, I’ve had it. I’m tired of crawling around under the house, getting it level and then having it rise or fall again. Ultimately, It looks as though we will have to spend close to $30k to get a solid concrete foundation under the house. We probably should have done that several years ago but a Steele head is hard and once we start something we are unwilling and unlikely to give it up. With that said, I am declaring an unconditional surrender.

I mentioned earlier that we built the store parking lot in one day. Summer and I rolled out the TYPAR underlayment fabric in the morning. I called the gravel suppliers as we were rolling out the fabric. I was informed that the trucks could only haul 60% of there capacity which meant in order to get the minimum 20 yards that we needed we’d have to have four deliveries instead of two. The major cost of gravel is the transportation. So instead of a $900 parking lot we ended up with a $1600 parking lot. The reason for the reduced loads are the frozen ground thawing under the roadways. It doesn’t thaw evenly so heavy loads can break the asphalt and create pot holes. It is just part of living in Alaska. Had we ordered the gravel in the previous week we’d have gotten the gravel in two loads and saved $700. This is one of those hard lessons learned. Sometimes I think that my Grandma was correct in her assertion that ”You live and learn and then die and forget it all”. Some of the stupid things that I have done in my life deserve to be forgotten.

Well, that’s it for me. I’ve been pecking away at his for near 4 hours. Below are some photos I thought you might like.

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.