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.

Self Distancing (quarantine): Day 6

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

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

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

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

New wall being built in the kitchen

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

February 27, 2020

Winter day at about noon

Today was kind of a lazy day. Spent about an hour talking with an old friend, Melvin, from my high school daze. Looking back I seem to have been in a daze. Stripped my bed and laundered all of the bedding this afternoon. Moved Summer’s starter plants from southeast window to the southwest window. Cleaned up the kitchen. Drank my usual 48 ounces of coffee and ate my everything bagel. I’m really not good at having nothing pressing to do. I almost decided to go back to bed. I probably would have tucked myself back in, if I hadn’t just thrown my bedding into the washer and pulled the trigger. Too late to get them out as they were already wet and rolling over in the tub. I wandered around the house looking at the disaster in which we are currently residing.

Back into bathroom, I realize how really filthy I had let the place get. Also, I have been deferring the replacement of the wax ring under the commode for a couple of weeks. Nasty job. Swept and mopped the floor, vacuumed the the large bath rug, cleaned the sink, cleaned the commode and cleaned the bathtub. Having delayed as long as I possibly could I removed the commode. Scraped two old wax rings off the floor flange. I used my SOG Survival knife to scrape the wax. I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t a purpose that SOG had in mind for their lovely knife. BTW that wax ring under your toilet is made of beeswax. That probably explains why it is so sticky and difficult to get off yourself and your tools.

SOG On Wax or Wax on SOG

Having finished the distasteful job of replacing the wax ring. I decided to go into Homer and check the price and availability of a snow blower. Nobody had one, which suited me just fine. I really didn’t want to spend the money even though Summer is insisting that we really need one. With no one having a snow blower, I went to Safeway and wandered through the aisles and almost bought a package of spicy guacamole mix. After a half hour of walking around, I left. When I leave empty handed. I always expect someone to come after me and accuse me of shoplifting. I think that it does look a bit suspicious for someone to wander around for a long time and leave with nothing. I am always aghast at the prices of food here. Example: A package of four ears of yellow sweet corn $5.95. Same corn, but fresh out of the fields, in Alabama or Florida are 3 or 4 ears for a dollar. I didn’t get stopped for allegedly shoplifting and for the life of me I don’t understand the anxiety that leaving empty handed gives me. There was no incident in my childhood that would cause such anxiety. Maybe I’m feeling guilty for wasting their valuable time and taking up space or I’m just weird. Maybe both. The main reason I bought nothing is that I’m going to Kenai tomorrow. My every 6-8 week pilgrimage to Wal Mart and Home Depot. Need dog food, grow lights and a bunch of other stuff that we want or will need for the next 6-8 weeks. All of it is 10-20% less expensive in Kenai. Could save a lot more by going to COSTCO in Anchorage but that is a 5 plus hour drive through avalanche country this time of year. Am considering hooking up the travel trailer next October and going to Anchorage for an extended shopping trip. We get our PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) in October. The PFD is money from the oil pumped here. Every man, woman and child who has lived in Alaska for two years gets a PFD check and still the population shrinks every year. This year it was only $1600, whereas it had been over $3000 in the past. The Tax and Spend Legislature skimmed $1306 off the top of the PFD this past year and are angling to take it all in the next year or two. The Alaskan government is in the top 5 most expensive per capita governments in the USA. Anyway, a trip to Anchorage to purchase nothing but the years supply of dog food would save us most of the cost of going.

As you know Homer buckets have many uses. This is one that I devised. I didn’t invent it, I just improved it. We don’t waste heat regardless of the source here in Fritz Creek. The bucket is about half full of water to catch the dust and lint, if you were wondering.

Lint catcher for the dryer.

I’m gone. Got to check on the animals.