The Hazy Shade of Winter

A lot has gone on since the last time I updated this blog. News on the new bathroom, it’s almost finished! I’ve painted the ceiling and tried my skills on taping and mudding sheet rock. I did okay for my first time, but I will have to say, how could anyone love finishing sheet rock!? There will be some sanding to do. It’s gonna take another week or so to level the house, hopefully and then we can install the solid surface. I have some pics of the new bathroom under construction and my shoddy sheet rock finishing work.

This past weekend and this week it warmed up substantially. It hit 40 degrees twice and mid-30s for the most part. Everything turned to slush. Talk about a big frigging mess! Driving conditions turned dangerous. My opinion, it’s more dangerous than driving in the snow. It also sucks severely to walk in. Trying to hike with dogs in slush is not the happiest thing.

Today, it’s 19 degrees and snowing. February has had some interesting weather changes. The other night it was warm and then it turned into strong wind and snow. The wind was so strong that it created scary icicles at my window. It’s like they are trying to keep me in otherwise they look like they would impale me.

It’s been snowing since last night and has yet to stop. At least it isn’t slush. My subaru has no problems getting through the deep snow in the driveway. This morning she plowed through two feet of snow like it was nothing. Gotta love all wheel drive. I trust “Zippy” to take me anywhere rain, sleet, and deep ass snow. Out of all the vehicles I’ve ever owned this by far has to be the best. No, I did not buy her new. I bought her from a retired local couple no longer in need of two vehicles. I’ve enjoyed Zippy ever since.

Two days of snowfall and it keeps coming.

Last Sunday, I started my first round of seeds for spring planting. These are the ones that will take the longest to start. These are the onions, brussel sprouts, peppers (that will stay inside to grow and fruit), some herbs, and leeks. For the first time I am trying to be organized with my planting. I alway seed things out and forget to label them. Then, they go in the garden and then it’s a big surprise what I end up growing. This year it’s not going to happen. I’m gonna know exactly what I’ve seeded out and will be able to plant the starts in the correct areas. I hope I can keep it up.

This time instead of a food up table, Dad and I made windowsill tables for my seeding out. This is much more sufficient on space. I am so excited. I enjoy growing plants and food and can’t wait for spring. Just by saying that I have jinxed us! We will probably have an extra two weeks of winter because of me. LOL I am starting to long for spring! I’m looking out the window and the snow is blowing all around. It’s quite a contrast looking past my green plants out the window to see blowing snow.

Well, I guess I’m going to clean out the refrigerator and some cleaning around the house. Then, date night with Dan. No matter what the weather or day brings, Dan makes it so much more enjoyable. He keeps me laughing.

Well, I guess that’s it. I will leave you with Gandie sleeping on my bed. He’s 15 years old and still kicking. He’s such a sweet boy. Talk to you soon!!

Dad's Alaska

Went to the doctor yesterday to get the diagnosis for my extremely high blood pressure. While I do have some restriction in the artery feeding one of my kidneys the other is fully open for business. The restriction in my right kidney is minimal and something to be watched but requires no intervention at this point. As with all things unknown, I was expecting the absolute worst possible outcome. Human nature is to expect the worst. As you might expect, I am greatly relieved to learn that the problem was caused by the new gout medicine I’ve just started taking.

Now that I know I’m not on the imminent handicapped or death list, I’ve got to get back to the leveling (lowering) the house. The problem I’m facing at this point is that the soil has fallen away from the pilings. This has left me with no place to set the jack and the jack posts. With that problem having reared its’ ugly head, I am being forced to engineer another way to set up the jack and jack posts. What I’m thinking is that I may be able to put some heavy lumber in place of the soil. Place it on the uneven ground and tie it into the pilings further back. The problem is that I need to support something like 10-15 tons long enough to cut the pilings to the proper level. Also, after the pilings are cut, there needs to be enough heavy structure to support the jack posts I am going to use to lower the house to its’ final position. On top of the engineering problems, there has been a foot of more of new snow. This means plowing through 2 feet or more of snow carrying heavy stuff.

As I sit here, writing this blurb and sipping coffee, it has begun to snow again. The temp outside is up to 22F. Not too bad. It is cold enough to need to layer up on my clothing . Once I start moving the 4″x10″x12′ timbers I will start to sweat and need to shed some of the clothing. Sweating in the cold can lead to hypothermia. Hypothermia is not a good thing. After I have dodged the kidney failure bullet, I don’t want to maim or kill myself by getting frozen appendages or freezing to death in my own front yard.

Moving to Alaska and Homer, in particular, was a kind of spur of the moment decision. My wife of 43 years had died. Summer and I were sitting, in her Florida house, sweating and talking about having to replaced the faltering A/C unit. I had an acquaintance that makes a trip to the Homer area several times a year. His description of the area made it seem very attractive. This led us to looking on Zillow for a place to live. That’s where we found this dilapidated house. After much talk and hand wringing we made an offer on the house. Unfortunately, they accepted our offer and here we are.

Just looked down out of the bathroom window to the area I’ll be working in. The snow has drifted to about 4-5 feet deep. This is just another in the long string of impediments in getting this house level. Well-l-l-l, I guess I better go layer up and get on with it. See ya later.

Winter! Finally!

It started snowing early Sunday morning and dusted Homer with powder. It continued to snow throughout the day while Dad and I worked under the house. It wasn’t really sticking at the time since it was two degrees above freezing. We were “trying” to jack up apart of the house to try to get some shims out to begun some more of the lowering process. The ground has yet to freeze, so we were just jacking into the ground, well mud. Sunday it was still muddy under the house. Which means it was really cold mud and the wind chill under the house sucked. After a couple hours under the house we decided to wait until the ground freezes.

A couple weeks ago, we had gotten more gravel to get rid of the invasive mud. We had a company come out and spread it. They did a great job. Then, I found that they hit my greenhouse with their heavy equipment and did some major damage to it. I kept trying to figure out why my window panels kept popping out and blowing away with the wind. Further investigation, I found a huge dent and whole in the aluminum structure. The whole green house has been bent to the point that it’s integrity has been compromised. Now I need to call the green house company to see if they sell replacement parts. Then, I can call this company at fault and have them replace said parts. My geese and ducks are in the green house for protection from the elements. Sunday we had to be creative in order to keep these panels in and blowing away. We don’t want to expose the ducks and geese to snow at this point. It’s starting to get was too cold for them to be outside.

I put up my Christmas tree and decorated it as well. Seemed like the right time since it was snowing. I have Sunday afternoon picture when it was dusting the outside with snow and the next morning and boy is there a difference.

Sunday late afternoon, I went to my friend Tiana’s house to pay them a visit. But, they were off to one of our other friend’s house, Jen and Dave. So, I came along to wish Dave a happy birthday. They had a nice fire going outside and the snow was really coming down. The kids were sledding. It looked like so much fun! Living up here for over two years, I haven’t had the time to do any winter sports.

So, as I’m drinking my first adult beverage of the day; I decided to give it a go. I am so happy my friends filmed me on my first run and then my fifth run down the hills.

My first time sledding!

5th time sledding

I had sooo much fun! Thank you so much Jen, Dave, Tiana, Cory and the kids for such a wonderful experience for my first adventure sledding. I had so much fun I kept going back for more! I felt like a kid again!

Monday morning came quickly and I had to get ready for work. Looking out the window gave me a great surprise. Lots and lots of snow!

My car was covered as well!

It’s so beautiful! I walked around and took a couple more pictures of the property.

It was so much fun walking all the dogs in the snow. It’s really my favorite time of year to work. No mud!

So, today is Tuesday and I’m working in the office today and completely enjoying myself reminiscing about this weekend and sharing it with ya’ll.

I hope everything is well where you are and stay warm my friends.