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.