Dad’s Alaska

30 December 2022

Here’s to 2022 a disaster preceding an even greater disaster.

At the end of each and every year of my adult life, I have been able to look back with some satisfaction at what had been accomplished not only by myself but my country. This year in retrospect has been and unmitigated disaster on the personal level. I totaled my 2006 Dual Cab F-250 on a patch of black ice. I had a utility trailer roll forward and pinch off almost a half inch of my left index finger. This cost me most of six weeks of prime Summer work time. I caught COVID and lost two weeks of work time. THEN as I became well enough to get out and get some of the work done, I caught the flu and lost another two weeks of work time. Then as I got well enough to get out and do some work on the property it started to freeze and snow. All in all I lost about half the Summer. I’m too damned old to be losing 2 1/2 months of my life. On the other hand, America is an unmitigated disaster. The invasion pouring across the Southern border is destroying America. The billions of taxpayer dollars going to the Ukrainian dictator Zelenskyy are putting us evcn further into debt. We’re like a ‘high balling’ freight train rushing past $31,000,000,000,000 (that’s 31 TRILLION) in public debt. That’s a debt we can never pay. Hence inflation. INCREASE THE MONEY SUPPLY which devalues the dollar and since the dollar is worth less and worthless we pay our debts in worthless paper. Millions of Americans aren’t even able to live ‘paycheck to paycheck’ any longer. The US Dollar is the reserve currency for the world. That means that countries value their currency, price and pay their debts in US dollars. When the money becomes worthless (very soon) the Chinese currency will likely become the Reserve Currency. The US Dollar will be good for nothing but wiping you posterior, if a paper dollar even exists. These scumbags are angling to make all of your money digital. That makes it even easier for them to manipulate it to their advantage. The only way to save US Dollar is to go back on the Gold Standard and wrest control of the money supply from the private company called The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve. It is a bunch of the elites making themselves and their politician friends even more wealthy. We no longer print money. Nope, the Federal Reserve just deems it to exist. American is screwed and that means you are screwed. I’d like to see the government recall all paper money larger that a $20 bill. How would you like to be a Drug Lord and all of those shipping containers full of 100 dollar bills suddenly become toilet paper? Billionaire drug lords would suddenly be broke. They wouldn’t be able to pay their murdering thugs or the crooked politicians on either side of the border. I suspect that some of our Congress and Senate would suddenly become much poorer. What a wonderful thing that would be. Broke ass drug lords and scumbag politicians sleeping in tents on the street. One can only dream.

Fire in the sky but no smoke on the water

After much unavoidable delay and procrastination, I have begun to connect the new concrete pilings to the house. Well that isn’t entirely true. I have begun to attempt to connect the concrete pilings to the house. On the first set of straps that I attempted to install I found that the holes I had drilled into the metal straps were too low at the top. They were not going through the center of the beam supporting the floor and the eastern wall. This sent me back to the drill press. While attempting to drill the new holes the chuck came off the drill press. This set me back for more than several minutes. After pounding the chuck back into place I began to drill again. Then the chuck slipped off again. I figured out after much cursing and stamping of feet that the chuck had been put on in Florida when the metal was much expanded due to the ambient temperature being 50 degrees higher than today. I lowered the drill deck and with a 3 pound hammer and an axe head as an intermediary, I pounded the chuck on at Alaska temps. I finished the drilling just in time for the sun to start getting low in the western sky. It didn’t matter because all of the bolts I bought for this project were either too short or too long. Tomorrow, I’ll rectify that problem, if the building supply store is open. Otherwise it will be January 2 before I get back to this. You can’t hurry perfection.

I won the Ugly Sweater Contest.

The weather has been weird. -2.5 on one day and +40 a few days later. The wavy jet stream has the weather screwed up all over the world. I recommend electroverse.co, if you really want to know what is happening with this weird weather worldwide. We’ve had wet snow, rain, sleet and dry snow all in less than a week. The weather apps seem to be getting it right which is scary.

As a matter of convenience summer and I rented a dumpster from a company here in Homer. We get our water from these people, as well. Their water deliveries have been precise, on time and greatly appreciated. Their water guys chain up their trucks, if our short road looks too icy. They do this all of the time during the winter. It’s regular, not uncommon. The guy who is supposed to pickup our dumpster every other week deemed our road icy and too dangerous. I questioned the lady at the dumpster service and she told me that the driver that deemed our road too dangerous was the Vice President of their company. Their excuse was that it was a different kind of truck than the water delivery truck that comes in every three weeks regardless of the snow ice or lack thereof.. A water delivery truck is likely hauling, at least, 3000+ gallons of water at 8.3 pounds per gallon plus the weight of the truck or close to 60,000 pounds. I doubt that a garbage truck weighs in at anything near that. The driver, I was informed was a great driver with years of experience and as previously stated a Vice President of the company. I wonder if he just didn’t want to chain up because he’s somebody. Our dumpster is about 75 yards from the main road and on solid road bed at the edge of a heavily graveled parking lot. Mysteries. Life is full of mysteries.

2 January 2023

As you may have observed it is days later from the writing of the above until now. I hope each and every one of you had a fun New Year’s Eve. Here’s hoping and praying that our 2023 personal lives will be a better and that our country is somehow saved from looming disaster caused by arrogant politicians and really ignorant people. 2023 wouldn’t have to go very far to be better than the last three years.

This is a young cow and I took this picture from about 20 feet away early this last Spring.

Today, I assumed that the building supply store that charged me an arm and a leg for bolts would be open. That was an incorrect assumption. So I’m still stuck with short bolts that are too short and long bolts that are too long. Not that it really matters today. We’re having some major warm weather and the temperature has been above freezing for a couple of days now. This advent brings us back to ‘Mud Season’. I hate mud. I can do hands and knees in the snow and ice but mud, NOPE! I am not going to crawl around in the mud, even if I had the correct bolts. The trip to town was not a total waste. I picked up a few groceries and some vodka. The grocery prices were outrageous and the vodka was even worse. Summer and I will have to do the COSTCO/Anchorage 450 soon. We need vodka, wine, coffee, dog food, dog treats and some other less important stuff like food. The COSTCO/Anchorage 450 consists of 225 miles to COSTCO and then 225 miles back in the same day. This marathon 2 hour (We limit ourselves to two hours in the store) shopping spree is because of the dogs. We have no one to leave them with and no hotel will allow 4 small dogs. Yeah, we’re probably not smart as we keep adopting dogs that other people don’t want. This time of year this will be a 13-14 hour adventure on icy roads, some through some mountainous areas and some crazy, stupid drivers in Anchorage. And again we’re probably not smart to take this trip but even after expenses we can save $400-$500 over the cost of the same products in Homer. When we go we load the wagon, so to speak.

A warm day in Fritz Creek.

We have about 4 more months of snow and cold left in this winter and we’re going to buy 2 more cords of wood later this week. As I previously said we are in a warm spell. However, the really cold weather is in January, February and the first couple of weeks in March. Because of the unusual cold in November and December we’ve burnt a lot more wood than usual. We’ve burned nearly 3 cords. We have about 5 cords left but like that old saw “Better safe that sorry”. I’ve had more than one person joke that “If you haven’t had to burn the furniture to stay warm, you aren’t a real Alaskan”. I think I’d just as soon stay a real Alabamian.

That’s all folks.

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!!

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!

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!

Social Distancing (quarantine): Day 9

I got a lot done today. I put a second coat of Kilz on my stool and vanity. They are now ready to be painted with the final coat of white. Then, I can install the new crystal (plastic) drawer handle. I’m also going to paint the frame on my vanity mirror silver to match everything. It’s gold now and too warm. Since, I am going to paint the wall grey it needs to be a cooler color.

I also need to finish the wall. It needs to be sanded and remudded and then sanded again before I kilz that wall and paint it the beautiful color of grey I chose. I am very excited to get my bathroom finished. It’s getting close!

I checked on my honey bees, they didn’t survive the winter. We were so close. Well, better luck next time, I guess. This year I am going to try something different and hopefully keep my new bees safe. Honey is an income. I sure would like to have it.

I got to hang out with my girls as well. We all stood about 10 feet apart in a circle drinking White Claws! Tiana and I traded eggs. She has chickens and I have ducks and geese. So, we traded. I love that our little neighborhood can trade farm food like this. I still have some of last years honey. I wonder what I can trade fore that?

I had to repot some of my herbs today as well. They are getting crazy big too soon. I got to check that off my to do list, so that’s something.

Without repotting my dill it would have died.

Dad finished the wall in the kitchen and it looks pretty darn good!

Cheers everyone! Stay safe!

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!