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!

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.

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

11 March, 2020 Woden’s Day

With the light coming back and daylight savings making it possible to work longer so I got in ten hours of productive behavior. Got going at about 9:30 AM by cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Then I warmed up ‘The Beast’ and loaded the trash bags for a trip to the dump.

I got on the road at just before 11:00 AM on my way to the dump. As I was rolling along toward Homer it occurred to me to stop at the health clinic to have my blood pressure checked. The stop at the clinic took about 30 minutes. Whilst standing there I noted that they had signs up “If you have a fever, put on a mask and use the hand sanitizer”. I made a remark about this Covid-19 panic was about the stupidest thing I’d ever seen. Another patient took exception. He was standing there rubbing sanitizer on his hands and wrists. He had that panicked look on his face and when I moved a step toward him he backed up a step. His reaction was funny. He went on to proclaim that the virus was killing people like me and him. I tried to explain that most people that died were on and average 80 years old and already had other serious health problems. I asked him “Do you have a respiratory problem?” No reply. I continued “I don’t and I’m not really worried about a virus with the mortality rate at 1%.” His reply “That’s ten times worse than the flu.” I laughed at him and asked him how many people are, actually, infected?” This pissed him off. I continued, “You are more likely to die driving home today that dying from the coronavirus”. He stomped away toward the elevator to his dental appointment. Were I as scared as he, I sure as hell wouldn’t have someone gouging in my gums and opening the skin up to potential infection. People are always panicked by the wrong things. Bottomline is that in the USA only 35 or so people have died. Most of those deaths (26) were in one nursing home and all of those were about 80 years of age and very sick. There are, perhaps, hundreds of thousands exposed, if not millions, exposed worldwide it seems dumb to be in some kind of blind panic when there have only been about 3000 deaths worldwide. Except for the 35 or so in America the balance of those deaths are in countries that have 2nd and 3rd world medical systems. Swine flu in 2009 killed about 17,000 and hospitalized 300,000 people worldwide during the ‘flu season’ with millions having been affected. The one number you aren’t hearing is the number of people who have recovered. This is a number that is likely in the hundreds of thousands. Straighten up your thinking and where’s the logic in hoarding toilet paper.

My next stop was the dump. There were no wonderful things left in the Recycle Tent and I had forgotten a few things that I intended to leave in the tent for someone else to repurpose. Every now and then I find something that I can use.

Spenard’s Building Supply sold me 12 pieces of 2″x6″x8′ lumber. I checked to see if there were damaged materials that might be available. Found that they had a 2500 gallon water tank for about 1/2 price. Talked with Summer later in the evening and she agreed that we should buy it.

Finally, back at the homestead, I suited up to get down into the mud. Yep, mud. The sun had thawed the ground under the edge of the house where I was working. Because we are rushing toward ‘break up’, I decided that the continued lowering of the house needed to be halted. The house needs to simply be leveled where it is. It has been lowered about 3 inches and was planned for a total of 6 inches. It occurred to me that there was little to be gained by lowering the additional 3 inches. This epiphany led to leveling the 16 feet of the front of the house by pairing up the 2x6x8s under the beam across the pilings under the front of the house. This made much of the front of the house level. Tomorrow I will finish the main part of the house (an additional 8 feet) and then start of the old trapper’s cabin portion of the house. I have a 6″x6″x10′ pressure treated beam to go under the less than adequate existing beam. By the Monday I hope to have this leveling project done. I finished up in the mud pit at just before 8:00 PM.

Tomorrow, I intend to open a brokerage account. I’ll be waiting until I think that oil stocks are near their low and then buy a few thousand dollars worth of it. Nobody can call the bottom but this is a buying opportunity that comes along only once or twice in a lifetime. I had no money (two kids, wife and mortgage) to invest in the 1989 market crash. Now I have a few bucks to spare.

Again. Calm down, go on working and please Stop Hoarding Toilet Tissue!!!

Dad’s Alaska

10 March, 2020 Tuesday

Not water

WATER!!!!

Yep. We, at last, we have running water. It turned out that the water line coming into the house had frozen because the heat tape had failed. I spent about a quarter hour ripping off the insulation that I had spent most of an hour installing last week. Got down to the pipe and found the defective heat tape. Took it off put on a newer heat tape, redid the insulation and in about an hour we had running water. Whooppee!!!!

On one of the dormers on the north side of the house had about a ton of ice and snow on it. The south side dormers are snow and ice free. Tried using a travel trailer jack stand tied to a rope to pull it down. Ten attempts later I had pulled down pretty much nothing. Took 4-5 attempts just to get the darned thing on the roof. After I got the range, I was pulling almost nothing off the roof. PLAN B. I went into the room with the overhang and used a 2×2 to punch the hanging ice off the eave. Didn’t get the snow off the roof but I did get the ‘widow makers’ knocked down. Some of the chunks of ice weighed near 5 pounds. Certainly enough to give you a massive headache.

Went to the kitchen and turned on the dishwasher. Heard that wonderful hum and the sound of sloshing water. How wonderful. There were several pots and pans that had been abandoned for lack of water. I washed them all with great joy and I really, really hate to do dishes. When I was just a teenager, myself and two brothers had to do the dishes nightly. It always seemed that my turn was almost every night even though it only every third day. Childhood things seem to hang onto you even when you think you’ve out grown them.

I have very nearly gotten the house level. A few pieces. of lumber and a couple of tweaks under the downstairs bath and this nightmare project will be over. Tomorrow I will go to the local lumber yard to procure the last of the necessary materials. This has been an aggravating trek through time and space and I will be elated to have it finished. House level means sheetrock, tub surround for the upstairs bath, new kitchen counters on new kitchen cabinets and best of all real flooring. Of course, real flooring means that I have to build and arctic entrance where everyone sheds their shoe.

Like winter before it Spring Break Up is bearing down on us like the proverbial freight train. This means that any of our winter projects that are still not finished must be finished in the next 2-3 weeks. It will be nice to be able to find those things that I lost in the snow like for instance my Pasquali tractor. I know it’s out here somewhere but the exact location is a mystery. Well, that’s not exactly true. I know where it is and the location of the parts tractor I bought to repair the tough little momma. I broke and axle last fall and could not get parts as it is old and the factory no longer supports it. I lucked into another tractor of the same model. It presumably doesn’t run and it has some transmission problems but the parts I need are ready to rock and roll. Rock and roll as soon as the near three feet of snow melts. By next winter, I hope to have built myself some kind of enclosed space so that I can do work like repairing the tractor.

This coming fall when the snowblowers are on sale again, Summer and I will be the proud owners of one of those little beasties. I have shoveled innumerable tons of snow to keep the access to the various buildings open. It isn’t that I couldn’t use the exercise and the cardio workout but it ate up time that could have been spent more productively in activities like sleeping, napping, dozing and restful contemplation whilst sipping vodka.

Our Alaska experience has been kinda tough. Not tough like going out into the bush and building a cabin and clearing the land tough. But it has been by modern standards ‘tough’. I suspect that most sane people would have abandoned this place long ago. I told an acquaintance who saw the enormity of the job “I don’t fail”. I’m sure he went away fairly certain that failure was a ‘fait accompli’. However, as we finish one of the harshest winters that they had here in many years, I am still determined to succeed by completing the renovation of and the addition on this house. Quitting is not an option although dying might be. Anyway, I’d rather die working than rotting away in some stinking rest home for old farts waiting to die.

Finally, got a shower tonight. Also ran the washer with a load of my clothing. Later this evening I will strip off my bed and put on new sheets and pillow cases. Clean body-Clean bed. Actually, I’m going to do that now it’s midnight and I can hear that bed calling my name. See ya tomorrow.