Dad’s Alaska

Here’s to getting our freedoms back from the Leftist State governments

11 May 2020 Monday. I, at last, got to sleep around 3:00 AM this morning. I stayed up until about 1:00 AM finishing up my blog for last week. After that I took a shower and toddled off to bed to toss and turn for an eternity. It was raining when I went to sleep and I woke up to continuing rain. Rain was a good thing today. The house work has been neglected because of all the work to be done outside. I know it isn’t my place to do so but I am worried about the American Economy. It is truly keeping me awake nights. I am afraid that this Corroded Virus shut down is destroying tens of thousands of small businesses permanently. These are businesses with very little operating capital and that will not come back ever. We are ripping the guts out of our country for no good reason. Yeah, people are dying. The problem is that in the U.S. over 500 people die everyday from all sorts of ailments or accidents. If you subtract that 500 from the current reported death rate and the C-Virus death rate goes down substantially. It is an absolute fact that many of those deaths are being attributed to the Corroded Virus rather than the true cause. At this point, we do not know how many people are, actually, dying from the virus. The truth is that most, if not all, of the viral related deaths can be attributed to serious underlying problems exacerbated by the virus. Many of these people that were already in the queue for assuming room temperature. That may seem insensitive, but at 75 years of age with high blood pressure, I am in that queue. You can argue that people without underlying health issues are dying and you could possibly be correct. Or it might be that these, apparently, healthy people had some undiagnosed ailment that was exacerbated by the virus. Hospitals are being paid substantially more for a virus death than a ‘natural causes’ death. This could be an incentive to label every death as C-Virus deaths. This would push the death rate far above the actual death rate. We may have “flattened the curve” by flat lining the economy. If we wait much longer the ability to resuscitate the economy is likely to have passed. Okay, I climbing down from my ‘soap box’.

Back to the house work being neglected. I am a clean freak and this current situation is driving me crazy. The house is and has been under construction. We are congregants at the Church of Our Lady of Constant Construction. Therefore, cleaning floors means cleaning the sub-floor. We’ve been waiting over a month for the hardwood flooring that we’ve ordered. Add to that when we do get the flooring, it will still have to be held in the house for several weeks to acclimate it to the environment. The walls cannot be cleaned as there is no covering on the walls. Only wall covering is the insulation stapled between the studs. The wall can’t be covered as the house is not yet level. Therefore, the cleaning consists of sweeping and vacuuming the floors, cleaning the temporary kitchen counters and loading the dishwasher. Of course, bathrooms have to be cleaned. Commodes, sinks and tubs are a dirty job but somebody has to do it. The entire process of cleaning the parts of the house that can be cleaned takes only a couple of hours. I didn’t have anything to do after completing these chores so I dragged them out a bit. The only other project for the day is taking out of the house stuff that we have brought in for temporary use and never removed when the need was over.

The unfinished wall

12 May 2020 Tuesday Today we almost finished the little half hoop house at the end of the big tent. We had driven in the metal rods into the ground on Sunday then Summer had to work on Monday and then it rained all day. This put us a day behind on the project. To further delay the project, today Summer had some town chores to do and I got the call that the dump truck was repaired and ready to go. Summer dropped me off and I got the dump truck and went next door to the materials yard and purchased 4 yards of top soil for Summer’s garden projects. Summer and I arrived home at about the same time. I backed the truck down as near as possible to the greenhouse and dumped the dirt. When we saw what landed on the ground we were a bit upset. There were huge hard clumps of dirt and very little usable loose dirt. A quick call to the materials yard got an explanation. These chunks were simply frozen chunks of the top soil. The little bit of moisture had caused it to freeze solid. We had a good laugh as it simply didn’t occur to us that these offending chunks were just frozen dirt. After that I started up the tractor (newly repaired) and dumped a bunch of the new dirt into the hoop house. We started our work day at about 10:00 AM and I quit at just after 8:00 PM. Summer had quit a little earlier to move her plants back inside and to prepare supper. As for the hoop house it is like my old friend, Bobby Cecil, used to say “All we lack is finishing.” What I lack is framing in the door and close up the door side of he hoop house. It’ll probably take me about and hour to finish it up.

The frozen chunks of dirt
All we lack is finishing
Unfinished door side of Summer’s Tomato Palace

I have to tell you that I’m scared silly. Not but the prospect of contracting the Corroded Virus but by the willful destruction of the American economy. I am appalled by the lack of backbone of the American citizens. We are cowering in our homes whilst the government, mostly Leftist Blue States, are crashing the economy. When I say we, I don’t mean me or Summer, I me all of you out there. The simple truths about the C-19 virus is that there is no cure, not likely to ever be a cure and it will only go away after just about everyone has had a bout of it. If you know these simple truths, why are you cowering in your home and accepting Dr Fauci’s gloom and doom predictions. Who runs this country? Do we run this country or do a bunch of unelected bureaucrats run it? I just read today that Los Angeles County has closed down until August. There will be no businesses to reopen by August. Even in Georgia, Florida and here in Alaska the government has been ignoring the three simple facts. The net result they have all but destroyed their economies even though they are ‘reopening”. If there is no cure, likely never going to be a cure and everyone is going to get it eventually, WHY ARE WE DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY? While I will vote for President Trump in November, I am truly pissed off at him. He is allowing this Dr. Fauci character, a Lib/Prog/Democrat, to dictate the destruction of the American economy and the lives of millions of Americans. If we completely opened up the country it is likely that thousands of old farts like myself with some underlying health problem, for me high blood pressure, will be dying like flies. OR MAYBE NOT. There is no other option except to open the country. Even if some percentage of the elderly population is going to become very ill (including myself) and some of them will die there is simply no way we can continue on this crazy shutdown. Okay, I’m crawling down off my soap box yet again.

While were we working on the hoop house, a cow moose walked across the yard barely 50 feet from where we stood. The cow seemed to be disinterested and not bothered by the racket we were making in the construction process. She was big and bloated which is to say that she was very pregnant and likely due at any time. She wandered on down the hill and out of sight. After she was gone, Summer let the dogs out. Taco, the Chihuahua with a big dog attitude, climbed upon a dirt pile and was looking down the hill. I guess he could see where the cow bedded down. He made no effort to go down the hill to chase the moose. About two years ago, he learned a valuable lesson. A cow with two calves walked through the yard and he took up the chase. The cow and the calves ran for maybe fifty feet and then the cow turned around and began chasing Taco. In a full speed, all out retreat he was barely able to stay ahead of the cow. That day he learned a valuable lesson without paying any significant price. I wish that I had been so lucky to learn valuable lessons without having to suffer the price. Almost every lesson I’ve learned has had some price to be paid. Some of them had prices far steeper than I ever expected.

Tomorrow Summer has to go to work tomorrow and I’ll go get another load dirt. I’m looking forward to another day of progress on the homestead. See Ya.

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.

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 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!

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

16 March 2020 Monday

An Alaskan summer sunrise.
No food in corona virus epidemic-No Problem

Today we got water. After the truck left, I checked for leaks other than the one I had already repaired, Found one small one that took only a few minutes to repair. Still the water did not flow. Got out my jet heater to thaw out what I thought were frozen pipes. The jet heater was, of course, out of fuel. I wandered around looking for the diesel jerry can and failed to find it. That was when I decided that re-leveling the front of the house. I mentioned yesterday that it had sunk about and 1 1/2 inches along the 40 foot front. Took a lot of grunting, groaning and cussing to get the jacks in place and lift the house.

Summer called. She suggested that I get the Range Rover and ‘The Beast’ topped off with fuel. I took all of our empty gas cans and filled them, as well. This Corona virus crap has people panic buying fuel, in addition to food and toilet tissue. Panic buying causes artificial shortages. I have seen it many times prior to a hurricane in LA (Lower Alabama) and Florida. After going through Hurricane Frederick in 1979 with nothing in the way of preparation, I will never do that again. Trying to insure 4year old, 1 year old and wife eat regularly was more than just a little bit stressful. No water, no electricity, my business destroyed and, more importantly, no air conditioning in Mobile, Alabama was an abbreviated glimpse of hell.

Got back to the house and filled the jet heater with diesel and started it to defrost the pipes in the water house. It ran for over an hour and still no water. This led me to think that the line into the house might be frozen again. Sure enough, the power was off to the heat tapes for the water line into the house. Further investigation found that the GFI receptacle had failed and there was no power to the heat tape. I ran an extension cord and in about an hour we had running water.

Today Summer went to the two grocery stores only to find lines near an hour long. People with buggies full of groceries that they’ll be eating months from now, if ever. This entire panic is all Mainstream Media driven. It is shames me as an American that so many of my fellow citizens are so easily panicked. My father, a WWII veteran and a Great Depression survivor, would be absolutely appalled. He was a man with a sixth grade education that could talk with you about virtually any subject you might desire. He read hundreds of books and had a very low opinion of the college educated with book smarts and no common sense. He called them “educated idiots’. And today those are the people that are driving Americans crazy and creating this silly panic.

After all of the fuel purchasing and water folderol, I went back to my leveling project. I took some doing but I got the place leveled again. While I was leveling the front I noticed that there was a beam further back under the house that was not down on the two pilings that were intended to support it. I crawled under the house with a couple of jacks and some shims. It took about an hour all told. By the time I finished I was completely tuckered out.

Got inside, made a vodka drink and decided to wash my filthy clothing. Days of crawling under the house and sloshing through the mud had cause my outer clothing to be covered in mud, dirt and who knows what. I had been taking it off at the end of the day, shaking it out and then putting it back on the next day. It was gross. Now that we had water the possibilities were endless. I ran the dishwasher and hand washed some bowls and pans that really don’t fit in our new 18″ dishwasher. Life is good when you having running water.

That’s it for me today. It’s 11:00 PM and I’ve had a shower, dinner and a couple of vodka drinks. Time for bed.

Dad’s Alaska

March 3, 2020 Tuesday

Much of Monday was spent doing the mundane things that are necessary to living ones life. A trip to the see a lady to get the new version of my Medicare card and thence onto the dump. From dumping the household garbage I returned home. I did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen, brought in some fire wood, released the dogs to chase the geese and a dozen other small chores. I really did not get much done in the way of house lowering except that I located the four missing screw jacks.

The snow slides off the roof continued this morning and I didn’t want to be caught under one of them. These mini-avalanches weigh several hundred pounds and I know that there are chunks of ice in them. I cleared one out of the shoveled path to the storage container that weighed most of ten pounds. I just figured that it was better to wait until Tuesday to get back to lowering the house. The temps will be dropping and the wet snow on the roof will freeze to the roof again. I have no aspirations to be lying in the snow and under the snow. And most certainly not while unconscious, concussed and bleeding profusely from a head wound. I am most especially careful since I am here alone from 9:30 Am until 5:30-6:00 PM. No one drops by to visit and the only neighbor is a hundred yards away is a recluse who rarely leaves his home. For all practical purposes I am alone. Though I always keep my phone with me. However, if I were unconscious that would be of no use.

Miss Suzy, my late wife’s Yorkshire terrier, had one of her seizures last night. It started at about 8:30 and ended about 1:30 AM. I’m her human now. I held her while Summer administered an injection that is supposed to shorten the event but does not seem to do so. She has very rapid breathing, stiff limbs and any effort to stand ends in falling over. I have to sit and keep her in my lap as she has fallen off the bed once when I thought that moving to the bedroom was a good idea. I was surprised that she didn’t break something as the fall is almost three feet. I got to put my head on the pillow at 2:15 after taking my meds, setting up the morning coffee and brushing my teeth. This contributed to my lack of interest in lowering the house almost as much as the prospect of dying frozen and bleeding in the snow. I was just plain old tired.

Miss Suzy being blow dried after her bath
The drying continues.

Here are some photos from the front of the house where I am raising the house off the pilings in preparation of lowering it to a level position.

Front of the House
A new piling. The light colored board is the new lower level.
One of the old pilings with new one in the background.

A screw jack holding the house about 6″ above the new level

A view from the front of the house.

A cow moose standing in front of the house last summer.

Got up this morning to find it snowing. There was no forecast of snow. Yet here it is in big fluffy flakes. The temp was up to 14F by 9:30 AM. I was still drinking coffee and contemplating what to do about breaking my fast whilst listening to Rush. The snow got worse and was blowing. The definition of a blizzard, I guess. Watching it made me wish that I had found a snow blower last Friday.

After 48 ounces of coffee and a couple of slices of buttered toast w/grape jelly, I decided it was time to get to work. Before I go to work every day I check my blood pressure. This morning it was 194/104. The high pressure gave me a start and I decided that I wouldn’t be going out to work after all. I spent the entire day sitting in my recliner and check my BP every hour or so. About 10:00 this evening I decided to go to the Emergency Room. I preparing to leave I went into my bedroom to take my meds including my blood pressure med. As I was taking the meds, I was reading the labels. Of the ones I took not one of them was my blood pressure med. That’s when I remembered that I had a few left in the bottle and had tossed the empty. What I didn’t do was get the new bottle off the shelf and put in with my meds. It appears that I may have gone 5-6 days without taking the BP med. I’m chalking this up to either stupid or too many irons in the fire. After another half hour of vacillating, I decided that another trip to the Emergency Room was in order. Blood pressure had gone up to 219/119

Got back home at 3:30 AM. Made a peanut butter/jelly and went to bed. Tomorrow is another day, so they say.

Dad’s Alaska

January 14, 2020

I’ve learned a few things since moving to Alaska. Born, raised and living in the South all my life, I was ill-prepared for the weather, the lack of stores, the convenience of popping out to get fast food or ordering a pizza to be delivered. The disaster of a house we purchased has been, well to put it politely, trying. I’ve learned how to lower a house. I learned to shovel snow. How to turn clean snow into flushing water, drinking and cooking water. How to drive 50-55 mph on icy, snowy roads. How to dress ((so that when outside in below zero temps)) so I stay warm. That not only do the pipes bringing the water into your house freeze but the pipes taking water out can/do freeze, as well. I’ve learned to stop in the doorway when going outside and take a look around so as not to surprise a moose or a bear. I’ve learned that moose kill more people in Alaska than bears. I’ve learned that moose is both singular and plural. I’ve wondered why the plural of moose isn’t meese. And, also, that it couldn’t be mice because ‘mice’ is, obviously, already taken by Mickey and friends. I’ve learned to become moderately proficient with a chainsaw. I haven’t sawn off any appendages or cut a major artery. I learned, maybe relearned, how to load and operate a wood stove to get maximum heat and how to make the fire last almost all night. I’ve learned that being different in Alaska was once the norm and not so much anymore. I’ve learned that most old time Alaskans are friendly, anxious to help and will talk you through your newbie/tenderfoot problems. I’ve learned that $8 haircuts cost $25. I’ve learned that Alaska is being Californicated. I’ve learned that Anchorage has already been Calfornicated and that Homer is being Californicated in a rapid pace. When I arrived, I already knew that banning plastic bags is not only stupid but is just the first of many eco-wacko abuses to come. I learned that I need to plug in my truck when the temperature goes below +20F, so that the block heater would allow the diesel engine to start more easily. I’ve learned to appreciate sunrises and sunsets. I’ve learned that the snow on the boughs of spruce trees is a beautiful thing that can fall on your head and down the back of your neck. Lastly, I’ve relearned that things happen when they are supposed to happen and there is damned little that you can do about it.