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.

Dad’s Alaska

Let’s all drink to house arrest.

20 April 2020 Monday

Another day of burning the debris. There are two stumps that I just can’t seem to destroy. One of the looks like an octopus and the other has horns of a bull with its’ face removed. I spent most of the day gathering wood to try to burn these stumps. The trees and bushes did not have the dirt shaken out of them so I spent a good deal of time removing the dirt by hand. Couldn’t use the shovel because it wouldn’t get into the places the dirt was stuck. By the time I finished the day I was covered in dirt, mud, ash and black smudges from the previously burnt stuff.

Hanging out by the fire
Baked Octopus
Summer the Fire Girl

I didn’t get a picture of the faceless bull so there isn’t one to show.

Spent the day slogging through the mud by myself this time. Summer had other stuff to do so I continued the fire. This is boring as snot. I worked all day trying to get the pile burned. Finally, at about six o’clock I decided I’d had enough of that fun. The fire had burned down pretty low and wasn’t a threat to the community so I went up the hill to the house.

All of the cleared land you can see in the pictures was covered in dead trees, grass humps, old tires, rotting lumber and just about anything else short of junk cars. Anything not metal or rubber was burned in last years fire. That fire was so big that the Chief of the volunteer fire department saw it from 12 miles away. He was out on the Homer Spit. Out on the Spit is where the harbor is for the fishing/crabbing boats and numerous tourist traps. Somebody told me that one of those ‘Deadliest Catch’ boats uses this as its’ homeport. I’ve never seen it, don’t know the name of the boat. I did think y’all might find that interesting though. I’ll see if I can find out the boat name, if anyone is interested. Connie used to watch that show and I’ve sat with her while she was watching. I don’t have a clue about it beyond them either catching or not catching crabs. I will say that it did look like a dangerous job that I wouldn’t want.

I was going to say something about the Corroded Virus and the decided not to except to say I don’t have it.

Tomorrow will be another day of trying to turn the balance of the debris pile into ash. This would have been a great deal easier had the guy who pulled all of this stuff out by the roots shaken the dirt out of said roots.

Good night and God bless.

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.

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.

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

4 April 2020 Saturday

Woke up this morning with my left knee aching and feeling swollen. Since I spent 9-10 hours sitting in my recliner yesterday, I don’t understand how it could be sore. I have not taken a fall anytime in the past year or so and it would be very difficult to bang it against something in a reclining position. It’s a mystery. I guess could have wrestled a bear, defeated a squad of ninjas or saved the world from space aliens. I don’t remember anything about doing any of those things, so they seem unlikely. Like just about everything else in my life, I have a mystery but no clues or it might be that I’m just clueless. Either one works.

Did not get up at my usual 8 AM. I was up at 7:30 to let the dogs out. After they had concluded their business outside, I let them in. That was at about 7:40. I stood by the back door for a minute or maybe two, trying to think of a good reason not to go back to bed. I could not think of a single good reason to stay up so I went back to bed. I got up at 9:30 when Summer arrived home. She made the coffee so I had to get up.

Now that I am up, I can see that the sun is trying to break thought the clouds and give us another “bright, bright, bright sunshiny day”. I’m about halfway through my first cup of coffee so my thoughts are semi-coherent and my fingers are kinda sorta hitting the correct keys. I took a typing course in high school and made a ‘D’. I could never type the required 40 words per minute. I have the hand-eye co-ordination of ….well I can’t think of an example bad enough. Never mind. I’ll just throw in a couple of pictures to distract you.

A Sun Dog

It is obvious, to me, that the American way of life is being destroyed. What will replaced it after all of this government interference in our daily lives is unclear. I do know that many Americans are stocking up on guns and ammunition. I’ve always been a fan of the Swiss. When their soldiers finish their mandated service they take their gun (mostly real automatic weapons) home with them. They have a continuous standing army, since every man must serve. Seems odd that you never, or rarely ever, hear of mass shootings in Switzerland. This is a country that remains neutral and refuses to participate in the stupid wars that politicians all over the world drag “We the people” into for no apparent reason. I am continually wondering why the hell we are still in Iraq or Yemen or any place else in that God forsaken part of the earth. I’m for just letting all of these Communist crazies, nutty religious sects and little Third World countries in Africa and South America (with their tin horn dictators), fight it out. If they attack us we should employ the full and complete awesome power of our military like we did in WWII and destroy everything. If we are attacked the attackers’ country should be reduced to rubble. All of that power, all at once with no mercy and no allowance for the fools to surrender. Total and complete annihilation of their military. No stone unturned. Nothing but death and destruction as far as the eye can see. After one example of that there would be no more attacks. The USA could become a neutral country like Switzerland. It is now that, our national interests are so much closer to home, we should make it clear that we will no longer be a target. We are now no longer dependent on OPEC for oil and it is time for Europe to grow up or a pair or both. With all of the new technology coming available, oil production in the U.S. is very high. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, California and Alaska have billions, if not trillions, of barrels of oil untapped. Not only do we have oil we have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Fracking has come to the forefront of oil production and is likely to remain so in the future in spite of the eco-wacko contingent. If the Europeans have troubles in the Middle East, it ain’t our problem.

My earthquake sensor has been going nuts for a couple of days. The earthquake reporting app I have on my phone has indicated about 30+ small (under 2 Richter Scale) earthquakes appearing on it in the past few days. My common sense is screaming “We’re gonna have a big one soon”. This cluster takes in both volcanoes on the other side of Cook Inlet and much of the Kenai Peninsula south of the Chugach Mountains. Anchorage had a 7.0 a year or so back. It translated to a 4 something down here in Fritz Creek. For that one we weren’t prepared or had any inkling that it might happen. Summer got caught upstairs and I was sitting downstairs. My first clue was when the TV started rocking back and forth. I immediately jumped up and grabbed the TV and held it for the duration. Summer came running down the stairs slightly panicked and asking “Don’t we need to go outside.” But then she burst out laughing when she saw me protecting the TV. By the time she stopped laughing the quake had stopped. A man has to have his priorities. The TV is now attached to the wall so that it can’t fall unless the wall falls. I discussed the number of small earthquakes with Summer and she jokingly suggested that maybe one or both of the volcanoes was about to blow. That was something that I hadn’t considered. Mt Iliamna blew it’s stack in 2016 and Mt Redoubt in 2009. Could be time for another fire and ash show. If it were to happen we might get some of the ash but the solid chunks of ejecta aren’t likely to get the 40-50 miles over to Fritz Creek. But I will drive the 30 miles around to Anchor point to watch.

Later

Went into the big city of Homer today to get sandpaper to work on finishing the sheetrock in the upstairs bath. First time I’ve been off the property in several days maybe over a week, Can’t remember for certain as all of the days have run together. Did notice that except for the snow piled up by plowing there is near no snow anywhere in town. It was amusing to me to see all of the terrified citizens wearing masks. scarves and other snot blocking paraphernalia. The checkout counters at the local hardware store had sneeze guards like that was going to make a difference. One study has indicated that the sneeze production could travel 26 feet and hang in the air for near a half hour. “Yep, Dude. You are really, really safe behind that sneeze guard.” All of this seems to be a waste of time and energy as it serves no real purpose. There were more old people, like me, in the store than young people. Almost every younger person was wearing some kind of snot blocker and the older people weren’t. At some point, you begin to see foolishness for what it is.

At least, today I didn’t sit on my fat arse and eat. As Martha says, “That’s a good thing”. Summer and I sorted through the towels sheets, blankets and comforters to downsize and be rid of things we were never ever going to use again. Nothing wrong with it except the number of them or the size or the color. All of it will be going to the Salvation Army next time one of us goes to town. We brought a lot of stuff with us that we didn’t need and the Salvation Army is always in need. Since you are stuck at home, why don’t you do a bit of downsizing. You probably haven’t seen it in years and the Salvation Army or other local charity can convert it into cash that helps the less fortunate among us.

Y’all come back now. Ya hear?

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!

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!