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.

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!

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!!!

Social Distancing (quarantine) : Day 4

I didn’t get a lot done today. Just a bit of here’s and there’s. It was a tragic day. It all started with my slippers. Yes, I know, they are just slippers, but they are needed here in my home. There is no running barefooted in this house and I want my feet to stay warm. Betsy, as you all know had some sort of skin irritation that led to her being on steroids. Well, it made her tummy all sick and messed up. She ended up having bad stomach problems that led her to have a poopagendone all over my beautiful shag rug. Well, I stepped in it with my fabulous favorite slippers that I’ve had for about two years. Yes, they were starting to stink and they were leather. So I couldn’t really put them in the washer.

I woke up with Betsy making noises and she pooped on the bed. I thought that was all she did until I stepped in her rug mines. I was so grossed out by it and had to changed my covers that I just ripped off the slippers and left them in the hall with another soiled little rug. They sat there for almost a month until now. I decided that I would finally clean my slippers only to find out that the crap on my slippers chemically adhered to the rubber on the sole. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get that crap off because its now part of the sole. I had to throw them away. So long favorite slippers!

I also replanted some tomatoes as well. My friend Tiana is asking what I’m feeding them. I just used two different blends of potting soil. They are looking so wonderful! I am kind of worried about some of my plants because they are growing in an accelerated rate! The ground isn’t defrosted yet and there is still a lot of snow on the ground. I can’t put in the Brussels sprouts into the ground yet! They just keep getting bigger. So, I am just going to repot them again when it becomes necessary. Everything is growing faster than it should be. I might have to rethink my potting mix.

Tomorrow, I will be painting my new vanity that Dan made me and while I’m in the painting mode, I will go ahead and paint my bee hives as well. Then, I can work on the bathroom wall and finish it. I want to be able to prime and paint ASAP. At this point, Dan will be able to put in the shower walls and my vanity top all in one day. I am super excited about this! It will be so nice to be able to shower upstairs on my own floor.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely excited that my seeds have exploded like they have. I might need to sell them if I cant put them in the ground soon.

My gander (male goose) Lucifer, tried to kill one of my drakes (male duck). He was pretty busted up. So busted up that I knew I couldn’t heal him. When I figured out that he couldn’t be saved, I had to break out the 20 gauge. It took one shot and he was out of pain. It broke my heart. I couldn’t use him for meat due to adrenaline. I guess that’s part of farm life. It is what it is. He went over the rainbow bridge today and is out of gruesome pain. These geese need to be fenced in ASAP when the ground defrosts. My heart is broken, I hatched him out in my incubator and raised him. He has a twin sister and she is alive and well. I plan on breading more of this cute hybrid of peaking and well I don’t want to give up all my secrets!

It’s about that time and I’m tired. It’s time for bed. Good night and enjoy your time off if you have it. Thanks again for my friends who are truck drivers (Shana the Bad Ass), and all others that are still working to keep America getting mail, packages, and food!

Dad’s Alaska

February 27, 2020

Winter day at about noon

Today was kind of a lazy day. Spent about an hour talking with an old friend, Melvin, from my high school daze. Looking back I seem to have been in a daze. Stripped my bed and laundered all of the bedding this afternoon. Moved Summer’s starter plants from southeast window to the southwest window. Cleaned up the kitchen. Drank my usual 48 ounces of coffee and ate my everything bagel. I’m really not good at having nothing pressing to do. I almost decided to go back to bed. I probably would have tucked myself back in, if I hadn’t just thrown my bedding into the washer and pulled the trigger. Too late to get them out as they were already wet and rolling over in the tub. I wandered around the house looking at the disaster in which we are currently residing.

Back into bathroom, I realize how really filthy I had let the place get. Also, I have been deferring the replacement of the wax ring under the commode for a couple of weeks. Nasty job. Swept and mopped the floor, vacuumed the the large bath rug, cleaned the sink, cleaned the commode and cleaned the bathtub. Having delayed as long as I possibly could I removed the commode. Scraped two old wax rings off the floor flange. I used my SOG Survival knife to scrape the wax. I’m pretty sure that this wasn’t a purpose that SOG had in mind for their lovely knife. BTW that wax ring under your toilet is made of beeswax. That probably explains why it is so sticky and difficult to get off yourself and your tools.

SOG On Wax or Wax on SOG

Having finished the distasteful job of replacing the wax ring. I decided to go into Homer and check the price and availability of a snow blower. Nobody had one, which suited me just fine. I really didn’t want to spend the money even though Summer is insisting that we really need one. With no one having a snow blower, I went to Safeway and wandered through the aisles and almost bought a package of spicy guacamole mix. After a half hour of walking around, I left. When I leave empty handed. I always expect someone to come after me and accuse me of shoplifting. I think that it does look a bit suspicious for someone to wander around for a long time and leave with nothing. I am always aghast at the prices of food here. Example: A package of four ears of yellow sweet corn $5.95. Same corn, but fresh out of the fields, in Alabama or Florida are 3 or 4 ears for a dollar. I didn’t get stopped for allegedly shoplifting and for the life of me I don’t understand the anxiety that leaving empty handed gives me. There was no incident in my childhood that would cause such anxiety. Maybe I’m feeling guilty for wasting their valuable time and taking up space or I’m just weird. Maybe both. The main reason I bought nothing is that I’m going to Kenai tomorrow. My every 6-8 week pilgrimage to Wal Mart and Home Depot. Need dog food, grow lights and a bunch of other stuff that we want or will need for the next 6-8 weeks. All of it is 10-20% less expensive in Kenai. Could save a lot more by going to COSTCO in Anchorage but that is a 5 plus hour drive through avalanche country this time of year. Am considering hooking up the travel trailer next October and going to Anchorage for an extended shopping trip. We get our PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) in October. The PFD is money from the oil pumped here. Every man, woman and child who has lived in Alaska for two years gets a PFD check and still the population shrinks every year. This year it was only $1600, whereas it had been over $3000 in the past. The Tax and Spend Legislature skimmed $1306 off the top of the PFD this past year and are angling to take it all in the next year or two. The Alaskan government is in the top 5 most expensive per capita governments in the USA. Anyway, a trip to Anchorage to purchase nothing but the years supply of dog food would save us most of the cost of going.

As you know Homer buckets have many uses. This is one that I devised. I didn’t invent it, I just improved it. We don’t waste heat regardless of the source here in Fritz Creek. The bucket is about half full of water to catch the dust and lint, if you were wondering.

Lint catcher for the dryer.

I’m gone. Got to check on the animals.