Dad’s Alaska

Who’s afraid of the big bad virus?

2 April 2020

ANSWER: Just about everyone. The problem is that if you are living in fear of something you aren’t really living. You are simply surviving until the next thing that scares you. But I guess, in this case, staying home might be in your best interest. I suspect what I really object to and vehemently dislike is that the government is forcing the isolation. I guess that makes me some kind of Constitutional extremist.

There is a theory that the reason California cities have been hit less hard that New York City because of ‘Herd Immunity’. There have been thousands of Chinese in and out of California over the past year. It is theorized that many Californians got some version of COVID-19 and thought is was just whatever flu that was going around at that time. There was no obvious outbreak and no symptoms beyond that expected from the flu. Also, like the flu a few people died but most got well never suspecting that they had some new strain of virus. That seems to be the only reasonable explanation.

Today was spent pretty much like yesterday. Eating, watching TV, loading the dishwasher, rearranging the kitchen, folding clothes, bringing in firewood and working on the Great American novel. In other words, BORED SILLY. The weather is making my life miserable because I truly hate being trapped inside.

Today was supposed to be about the final leveling of the house. The mitigating factor that allowed me to avoid this task one more time was rain. It was supposed to snow and yet it rained all day. Underneath the house was a running river and a mud pit of the first order. Any excuse not to crawl under the house is a good excuse. The problem is that we are destined to have another hard freeze Sunday night and Monday morning. When the mud is frozen solid I will have no excuse. Dammit!!

The weather is and has been a bit strange last summer and this winter. Summer was hotter than normal for longer than normal. This winter was colder than it has been in near ten years. One day is near 40F degrees and the next it is 20F something and the day after that it is -7F. I’m surprised that more people haven’t had more colds and flu that seems to go with the radical temperature shifts. Maybe the temp shifts have nothing to do with catching a cold. But everybody’s mother has said, “Put on your coat or you’ll catch your death of cold”.

Found a new TV show ‘Prodigal Son’. Summer and I have now watched all 17 shows of the first season. Unfortunately by the time Season 2 comes out we will have forgotten about it and that we liked it. I’ve lost numerous shows that way. Somehow we get wrapped up in another show and the old show fades into the background. Occasionally, I rediscover a show. Usually it has been so long since I first watched it that there are now four seasons to watch. Because of the time gone by, I have to go back to Season 1 to reacquaint myself with all of the characters. Maybe I should try to do something besides watch the infernal thing. Maybe I should take up a hobby like origami or knitting.

It is 11:00 PM here and 3:00 AM on the East Coast. Time to prep for bed and another night of nocturnal rolling and turning because I’m not physically tired. Good Night.

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!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 9

I got a lot done today. I put a second coat of Kilz on my stool and vanity. They are now ready to be painted with the final coat of white. Then, I can install the new crystal (plastic) drawer handle. I’m also going to paint the frame on my vanity mirror silver to match everything. It’s gold now and too warm. Since, I am going to paint the wall grey it needs to be a cooler color.

I also need to finish the wall. It needs to be sanded and remudded and then sanded again before I kilz that wall and paint it the beautiful color of grey I chose. I am very excited to get my bathroom finished. It’s getting close!

I checked on my honey bees, they didn’t survive the winter. We were so close. Well, better luck next time, I guess. This year I am going to try something different and hopefully keep my new bees safe. Honey is an income. I sure would like to have it.

I got to hang out with my girls as well. We all stood about 10 feet apart in a circle drinking White Claws! Tiana and I traded eggs. She has chickens and I have ducks and geese. So, we traded. I love that our little neighborhood can trade farm food like this. I still have some of last years honey. I wonder what I can trade fore that?

I had to repot some of my herbs today as well. They are getting crazy big too soon. I got to check that off my to do list, so that’s something.

Without repotting my dill it would have died.

Dad finished the wall in the kitchen and it looks pretty darn good!

Cheers everyone! Stay safe!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 8

Today was a good day! I finally started on the bathroom! YAY! I put the first coat of Kilz on my vanity and stool. I need to add a second coat and then they will be ready to paint with the shade of white I chose.

From there, I will continue to finish the wall and get that painted as well. Then, the bathroom will be ready for the shower panels and vanity top install. I’m thinking it will take me another 3 days to finish the wall and such.

I still need to check on my bees! I am going to try to do it Sunday before anything else.

This evening, I was trying to text Dan, but I kept getting someone else. It was like our wires got crossed. Every time I tried to text him, I’d get another guy instead. It was funny, because at the time I thought I was talking to Dan. It all started because I decided to text on my IPad instead of my phone. I was streaming off my phone to the tv. So instead of Dad seeing my texts blasted all over the tv, I tried my IPad. When I got a text back “Who is this?”, I thought Dan was being funny so I texted back,” It’s Summer. Your girlfriend. You have more than one? LOL”. Still, I am thinking Dan was being funny and said, “ I can’t keep track”. Then, he said his name was Jared and I thought this was still a joke, so I said, “Jared from State Farm? What are you wearing?’ At this point, I suddenly realized that this was not a joke and this was definitely not Dan. It’s my new friend Jared. I apologized and tried again. I still got him. Once I found out who he was, we have mutual friends including Dan. LOL!! I am so embarrassed. Stupid IPad!

My vegetable starts are growing extremely fast! They are going to have to be replanted in new pots. We still have a crap load of snow on the ground. I might have tomatoes and Brussels sprouts growing out of pots before they even get in the ground.

Stay tuned for Day 9. Stay safe my friends!

Dad’sAlaska

26 March 2020 Thursday

Another day of COVID-19 hysteria. U.S. death rate still hovering around 1.6% of the known cases and the government is still destroying The Constitution at every turn. I don’t think that we are going to recover our freedoms after this fiasco. America will be a more highly regulated, government controlled country. The financial tsunami that will be caused by this Two Trillion dollar crap pile bill added to the Twenty-two Trillion in current debt is likely to result in massive inflation and a drastic devaluation of the U.S. dollar. We are about to become Venezuela without the drug income.

Ended up at the lumber yard again. Somehow I managed to be one 2×6 short of a complete wall. Stopped off at the local grocer to get a couple of items and now there are plastic bags again. This has caused a vast improvement in my attitude. I can only tolerate a certain amount of stupid before I become depressed and angry. I got the lumber, ordered a sliding glass door and high tailed it home before one of them thar coronie virus things found me.

Arrived back at the house and began the process of demo in the preparation to install the new wall. The builders of this house did some screwy things and ripping them out took longer than expected. The backside of the stairwell had some odd additions that broke the flow from the living room into the front hallway. Demo is a pain because you never quite know where to stop. Do you just keep tearing out sheetrock or do you stop at a corner? Decided to stop at the corner. No point in making unnecessary work.

Got all of the 2x6s cut to length and screwed on the header and the floor plate. I measured the opening, at least, twice before cutting everything. However, when Summer and I tried to install the new framing it wouldn’t fit. I tried to force it in with gentle tapping with an 8 pound sledge hammer. No luck. We then took the damned thing back into the kitchen and I cut a quarter inch off all of the 2×6 studs and reassembled the wall. This time gentle tapping with the sledge hammer popped it right into place.

The temperature got up over 42F today. It’s a heat wave. Water was pouring off the roof like it was raining. Every now and then there would be a crashing sound of the snow and ice falling off the dormers and hitting the roof below. The snow is melting pretty quickly. In downtown Homer the snow is pretty much gone. There are the big piles from the previous snowplowing still around but the streets and parking lots are snow and ice free. I couldn’t be happier about the absence of snow and the quickly melting snow in our yard. I know that this means mucho mud but mud means warm weather and not having to dress in 17 layers of clothing. Shorts and tee shirts will be the uniform of the day.

Well, I’ve got dishes to wash and a shower to take. See ya later.

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 7

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

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

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

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

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

Borrowed from Facebook

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

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

Self Distancing (quarantine): Day 6

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

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

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

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

New wall being built in the kitchen

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

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

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

14 March 2020 Saturn’s Day

Here’s to ya.

Today was a day of taking care of neglected chores and repairing the damned water situation. Yesterday we discovered that we’d lost all of our water, AGAIN. I cannot wait until we get our new 2500 gallon tank installed in the new basement. In the basement we can have hard piping and protection from heat tape failures and burst pipes. I am so sick of this half-assed water situation that I am very near running down the road screaming and pulling what’s left of my hair out. Repairing the water leak problem is plumbing. Plumbing requires, at least, three trips to the hardware store. Much to my amazement this project required only two trips to Kachemak Gear Shed for the necessary parts. While I was there I tried to buy a five gallon bucket of Corona Virus. The young fellow told me that they were out but later he was going to try to drink five gallons or a couple of six packs (which ever came first) of Corona Light. The chores consisted of picking up and putting away tools that had been used in the house leveling project., straightening up the tool shed, picking up trash, loose ends and other detritus. Level checks at the end of the day indicated that the house was dead level along the length and width. Success!!!!!

I still don’t have Corona Virus and only about 3000 people in the U.S. are known to have contracted this over hyped Main Stream Media disease. Only 30 have died and every one of them was already seriously ill from some other more serious disease. Nobody knows how many people had the stuff got well and went on about their lives. Common sense would indicate that for most people the usual symptoms were so mild, that most people would assume they had a cold or a mild case of the flu. 14000+ Americans have died from the flu this season. So far 30 have died from COVID-19. Where’s the panic, folks. AND stop hoarding toilet paper. It sure as hell won’t keep you from getting the flu or COVID-19.

15 March 2020 Sunday

Should have known that finishing up on Friday the 13th would not bode well for the leveling project. Got up this morning and whilst drinking my half gallon of coffee, I looked at the ceiling. I was horrified. Just eye ball alone told me that the house was no longer level. The house had, somehow, sunk an inch and a half across the forty feet of the front. To say I was disappointed would be a serious understatement. Dejected, morose, sad, gloomy, glum and more than a little bit angry would be more precise description of my feelings. Apparently, the jacking up of the house somehow allowed the pilings to be lifted. When the weight was put back on them they sank back to their rightful place. I would have gone back under the house today except that we have no water for me to wash the dirt and mud off at the end of the day. Tomorrow we will have water and I’ll be back at the leveling project. I am truly sick of this.

Today with no water to spare for showers, I spent the day cleaning house. I don’t know why it seems that if I don’t sweep daily there is about ten pounds of fine sand and dirt on the floor. I moved all of the furniture, dog beds and everything else in order to sweep the place clean. Cleaned the kitchen as best I could with only the little bit of water I could spare. With the dishwasher locked and loaded, I turned my attention to sheetrock and lumber lying on the floor and in the path of walking. I stacked all of that crap against the wall and swept up that unswept part of the floor.

There was a mess made in the downstairs bath that I cleaned up. While trying to install the new beam under the old sway backed beam beneath the bath, I found a mysterious wire. I had to tear out some sheetrock in order to trace the wire. This was a Friday the 13th discovery. I found that it was feeding the receptacle that ran the washing machine. However, it was way more complicated than that. I turned off the breaker for the washer but the red light on my ammeter stayed on. In order to find out which breaker to which the wire attached, I flipped each individual breaker off. The current detection device that is my ammeter has a red light on it indicating a hot wire. There is no need for current flow for it to detect voltage. As a turned each breaker off and then back on the light stayed on. I’ve been doing electrical work for 40 years. I held Master licenses in two states and I have never seen a circuit that would not de-energize when the breaker was turned off. This one would not turn off no matter which breaker you turned off. I knew it was routed to the main breaker panel. Therefore, it must turn off when the proper breaker was turned off. I put the main panel back into the wall (it was lying on the floor of the bathroom) and wired up every existing circuit myself when we bought the house. I knew that nothing was jumped or improperly wire in the panel. However, just to be sure I took the cover off and inspected every connection. I was mystified. With all of the breakers off. I turned them on one at the time. I worked from the right bottom to the top on the right. The top right breaker turned on the red light on my meter. The notes on the panel indicated (in my handwriting) that the 5th breaker from the bottom on the left was the washing machine. I turned off the top right and turned on the breaker that was indicated as the washer. The red light came on. I disassembled the receptacle box for the washer and found that the mystery wire and another wire were both feeding the same receptacle. Some idiot had connected two hot wires to the same receptacle. That they were accidentally on the same leg of the 240 volt service is the only reason there wasn’t an electrical fire. The potential for killing someone (probably me) was very large. You flip the indicated breaker and start a repair or replacement (wrong color receptacle) and you get a big old handful of 110v at several hundred amps and before the breaker trips you are dead. I have truly been scared to death that this place will burn down before I can get it rewired. Who knows what other half-assed crap has been done. I’ve found a lot of it but this incident just proves that there is very likely at lot more. In Alaska, outside of the cities, there is no such thing as a building codes or inspection procedures. People just build crap anyway they want and which ever way that happens to be convenient. Don’t have the right material. No problem. Just use whatever you have. A prime example of that is that there are four light fixture boxes in various parts of the ceiling in the main part of the downstairs of this house. All four are on one switch by the back door. I had to put pull chain switches on all of he fixtures so that they weren’t all on at the same time. We will be pulling down the rest of the sheetrock to rewire as soon as I get this disaster re-leveled.

Miss Suzy in the Hood….ie

I guess I’ve complained enough for one day. Goodnight. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.