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.

Dad’s Alaska

Pain relief on the rocks

19 April 2020 Sunday

Had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning. It was not, as in previous mornings, a lack of motivation. This morning the problem was pain. I had muscle aches in places I did not know that I had muscles. Instead of simply sitting up and getting out of bed it was more of a slow crawl to grab the head board and painfully pull myself up to a sitting position. All of this pain was the result of working yesterday at burning everything we could possibly pick up and toss into the fire. On one occasion, I dragged a sixteen foot long, 6″ soaking wet spruce log about 90 feet to the fire. By the time I got it there my heart was pounding like a trip hammer on steroids and I was exhausted. I had to sit down for about 10 minutes before I could summon the energy to put the darn thing into the fire. I decided that I’d had an adequate level of cardio for the day. I’ve gotten very badly out of shape during the winter and it shows. We got about half of that same wet log burned today. As I stated yesterday, whatever burning we need to do must be done before May 1st.

They’ve been predicting rain for days. We’ve had none as of today. I have been disabused of the need to believe anything that anyone says about weather or climate. My 60+ years of listening to the radio or TV weather people getting it wrong almost daily has given me the knowledge that they don’t have a clue. With that said I cannot fathom how anyone can predict climate 20-80 years into the future. The ECO-wacko crowd are working off models. Models allow you to input data into a system in a manner to that produces the result that you want. The actual way the system works has been fully demonstrated with the COVID-19 predictions. First, it was 2.2 million plus people would die. Since then and almost on a daily basis that number has dropped until now it is somewhere in the around 60 thousand range. What appears to be happening now is that a person with a serious heart problem, with COVID-19, dies and it is being attributed to COVID-19 instead of the heart attack. This is being done to pump the numbers in an attempt to prove the model correct. This discrepancy in numbers is an excellent indicator that any modeling for any event or action is, usually, WRONG. Hurricane models are another example models always being wrong in the long term. Of course, common sense would have told you that a long time ago. One last thought, this so called pandemic is fulfilling Margaret Sanger’s (founder of Planned Parenthood) dream for America. It is eliminating a lot of blacks, old people, handicapped and other of her so called, useless humans. Certainly she would have wanted to abort them but I’m sure she’d be glad to take these deaths any way she could get them.

We are in the mud season here in Fritz Creek. The snow has very nearly all become running rivulets of water cascading down our hill. There are 100s of thousands, if not millions of gallons, rushing downhill toward Kachemak Bay. This was/is a temperate rain forest are that has dropped spruce needles and other plant matter that has become a layer of very fine soil that when water is added becomes a soft sticky mud. Even though it is only unfrozen to a depth of 1 to 2 inches, it grasps your boots like an evil Goo monster trying you pull you into the depths. Its’ grip makes it very difficult and very tiring to walk. Summer and I slogged around in this gooey mess for about 8 hours. We kept gathering up debris off the property and along our road frontage to feed the fire and dry out the burn pile so that it will, actually, burn. We have a couple of lawn chairs near the fire where we drank coffee in the morning and vodka in the late afternoon. It wasn’t quite as warm to day as yesterday. The sun was buried behind thick gray clouds being moved slowly along by the light wind. It was another good day to burn, but not nearly as nice as yesterday. We’re hoping tomorrow will be a repeat of today. About 6 PM the wind began to pick up so we let the fire burn out. Both of us had only eaten a couple of slices of cheese toast during the entire day so quitting and making some supper seemed the right thing to do. Trudging uphill in the sticky mud took very nearly the last bit of energy that I possessed.

During the day, the geese and the ducks were a little perturbed by a bald eagle circling overhead. The eagle was dissuaded of his intent of eating a duck or goose by Summer walking over into the gaggle of geese and ducks. It came back one more time. We shouted and banged on the shovel. The noise sent it gliding off down the hill to a potentially easier prey. Eagles ate two ducks and a goose last fall. They had some expensive meals. Expensive for us not for them. We do have bears, coyotes, weasels and other meat eating critters but not very many. The biggest problem lately has been a neighbor’s dog. It caught and ate one of the chickens, To solve this problem Summer loaned them our wireless perimeter fence transmitter and a collar. After a few shocks it will learn that leaving the yard is bad. Haven’t seen the dog since it started wearing to collar. We’ll likely let them keep the system for another 2-3 weeks. By that time the dog should well trained.

Had to go into town tonight. Summer needed some pharmacy supplies and wasn’t feeling well enough to go into town. I went to the Safeway as they, also, have a pharmacy and they were the only place open. While I was looking for the Pepto, I met one of the masked store employees. I spoke to him and said, ” You Millennials are scared to death aren’t you?” His reply was “I’m a Gen-X and this is for your benefit.” I laughed and told him that he needn’t have bothered. “The management makes me wear it” he replied. He helped me find a couple of other needs and was walking off as I said, “You’re a gentleman and a scholar. I don’t care what they say about you up front”. “I don’t either” he said over his shoulder as he was pushing his cart away. I am still of the mind that the mask thing is nothing more than a scare tactic touted by the Main Stream Media. Most employees would stay home, if they were sick. If an employee arrives with a fever or appearing ill the management is going to send that employee home. There is no need for the mask to protect the public. I’ve heard the “asymptomatic’ argument but I’m still thinking that we need to pursue the Herd Immunity solution.

Supper was leftover meatballs in marinara with some freshly cooked pasta. Both of us were too tired to do anything else. The thing we have to look forward to for tomorrow is more of the same. The large stumps have to be reduced to ash whether we want to or not. Try not to ‘Go gently into that good night” and I’ll yap at you again tomorrow.

Dad’s Alaska

“Let freedom ring.”

18 April 2020 Saturday

Got another late start today. My excuse this time was staying up late watching and mostly searching for something to watch on TV. I give the movies about 15 minutes. If they are just too stupid or don’t grab my attention, I’m gone. Ended up watching one of the ‘Die Hard’ movies. Don’t remember the name but the star was hooked up with a computer geek to save America. I had seen it years ago but did not remember that until I was over half way through the movie. I’ve watched ‘Die Hard’ the Christmas movie 4-5 times. That and “you’ll shoot your eye out” are my favorite Christmas movies. Connie, myself and our two girls were watching Ralphie long before it became a ‘Thing’.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was out there were puffy white clouds and it was 57 degrees here in Fritz Creek. The snow melted so fast that you could almost see it disappear. There was, maybe, 3-4 of knots breeze with the occasional puff up to 8-10. It was a good day to burn the pile of debris accumulated last fall from picking up limbs, old rotted wood and stumps we had removed last summer. We had some additional clearing done and that pile of sticks and stumps were in the burn pile. We were notified that they will not be issuing ‘burn permits’ this year. At the beginning of May, you won’t be able to burn anything until next winter. Right now we don’t need a permit, we just make a courtesy call to the local officials and burn all of the crap we have piled up.

Summer and I spent most of the day tending the fire. We, spent a good deal of the time ‘stick picking’. The land was cleared but there is still some debris. It is mostly broken limbs and odd pieces of the mess we had cleared. All of it was water soaked and partially rotten. This stuff we threw on top of the burning pile in hopes that it would be dry enough to burn when the fire arrived. It is supposed to rain tomorrow and for the next 5-6 days, so if we can’t get it burnt today we might never get it burned.

I have noted in the news that the Governors, mostly Democrats, are refusing to lift their ‘lockdowns’. I was afraid that this was going to happen. Like the old saying; “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It appears that these Governors are not willing to give up their near “absolute power”. There is likely to be bloodshed, if they don’t relinquish that unconstitutional power. They could call out their National Guard but I suspect that much of the Guard is among the people wanting their constitutional rights restored. Besides that fact, it is possible that President Trump would ‘federalize the Guard and issue a ‘Stand Down’ order. He doesn’t need anyone’s permission to take that action. This is all a big fricking mess that continues primarily due to the media hype.

This chart show the death rate for those who are infected.

The death rates for vast majority of Americans pretty much the same as the flu. Furthermore this, to me, seems to have about the same infection rate as a common flu (another virus). One person in the office gets the flu and then just about everyone else in the office does. I think we should all take this hype with a very large grain of salt.

Well, that’s it for me. Sayonara. Caio. Buh bye for now.

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.

Dad’s Alaska

My mug shot

Today became a COVID-19 criminal. I left my house and drove to the Kenai Home Depot. With the statewide lock down, I guess it is a criminal act to go out of your own town. The reason for the trip was to get the last few (13) cabinets we need to finish the kitchen. Also, ordered 1550 sq feet of prefinished Red Oak flooring. It’ll be 6-7 weeks before the flooring gets to the store in Kenai. Probably could have gotten it sooner but the paperwork would be far more convoluted and we’d have to pay the freight from Fife, Washington. My Scottish grandfather would be rolling in his grave, if I paid freight when I could get it shipped for free.

While in Kenai I went to Walmart. We needed dog food and some meat. Of course, there is no going to Walmart and just get what you went to get. Two hundred dollars later, Miss Suzy and I were on our way back to Fritz Creek.

Got almost back to Anchor Point when I passed by a Alaska State Trooper. He had his flashing lights on and was on the side of the road, I slowed down to pass by him and eased on down the road before going back to 60 on the 55 mph highway. That was the only law enforcement that I saw all day. I don’t think that outside of Anchorage there is much adherence to the stupid lock down. Anchorage has the Lib/Prog/Democrat mayor and city council with all of the usual impediments to freedom that go with it. They are, allegedly, using cell phone info to track people who aren’t obeying distance rule. I have high hopes that President Trump will turn America loose by the 1st of May. If we go on like this for very long we will have murdered the economy.

Well, I’m getting hungry. Summer has gone to Dan’s for dinner so I’m on my own. Guess I’ll just nuke a beef pot pie and call it good. Y’all take care now, ya hear.

Dad’s Alaska

Vodka ladened, lobster encrusted Covid-19 killer

09 April 2020

At this location in 1894 not a damned thing happened. Pretty much the same today. Most of the day was spent shoveling snow away from projects that I want to get to ASAP. The shoveling was/is an attempt to hurry up the process of melting the snow so that I can get to work. It is odd how the snow melts in odd patches. It can be the same apparent depth all across a large area but will melt out only at one place. That one place seems to be exactly the same as the place 10 feet away that did not melt. It’s a mystery.

I had to take the frame apart on the collapsed tent in order to be able to get to the stuff inside. Some of the bolted together joints were so badly bent that there was no way to be able to lift it back up even close to where it should have been. Disassembly was the only workable solution. Once all of the metal was removed it provided easy access to Summer’s 4 wheeler, my 12” miter saw and a number miscellaneous things that we’ll need this summer.

The next project was to retrieve the jacks I had been using to raise the front of the house. While doing that I removed all of the pieces of wood that had been used as spacers and the lumber used to make places to set the jacks. This entailed some wading in mud but it wasn’t too bad as I avoided the really soft mud.

The COVID-19 fiasco continues. America is destroying itself without needing any outside help. Neither the Russian Communists nor the Chinese Communists could do a better job of destroying America than our political class is doing. With all of the governors and mayors as friends, we certainly don’t need any enemies. Out of 7,500,000,000 (that’s 7.5 BILLION) people in the world only 1,600,000 (1.6 MILLION) people have the COVID-19 disease. That’s 2/100 of 1%. Where is the damned pandemic?? I know where the pan-ic is but I just can’t find the pan-demic.

Finished up my day bringing in firewood and putting away the dishes AGAIN. Both of these chores seem to be never ending. But you have to eat and stay warm so I guess I’ll continue to trudge through the drudg-ery. Had a taco salad for dinner. It was very good but more than I could eat. I’ve gained 5 pounds nursing the gouty knee. Today I was almost able to get down on it and crawl. Maybe tomorrow will be the day to crawl back under the house and finish the leveling. One can only hope. Buh Bye for now.

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 14 -16

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

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

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

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

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

Dad’s Alaska

Don’t and will never own a selfie stick.

6 April 2020 Monday

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

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

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

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

Later

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

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

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

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

Social Distancing (quarantine)’: Day 13 & 14

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

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

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

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

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 12

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

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

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

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

covid-19 bangs

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

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