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 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!

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

14 March 2020 Saturn’s Day

Here’s to ya.

Today was a day of taking care of neglected chores and repairing the damned water situation. Yesterday we discovered that we’d lost all of our water, AGAIN. I cannot wait until we get our new 2500 gallon tank installed in the new basement. In the basement we can have hard piping and protection from heat tape failures and burst pipes. I am so sick of this half-assed water situation that I am very near running down the road screaming and pulling what’s left of my hair out. Repairing the water leak problem is plumbing. Plumbing requires, at least, three trips to the hardware store. Much to my amazement this project required only two trips to Kachemak Gear Shed for the necessary parts. While I was there I tried to buy a five gallon bucket of Corona Virus. The young fellow told me that they were out but later he was going to try to drink five gallons or a couple of six packs (which ever came first) of Corona Light. The chores consisted of picking up and putting away tools that had been used in the house leveling project., straightening up the tool shed, picking up trash, loose ends and other detritus. Level checks at the end of the day indicated that the house was dead level along the length and width. Success!!!!!

I still don’t have Corona Virus and only about 3000 people in the U.S. are known to have contracted this over hyped Main Stream Media disease. Only 30 have died and every one of them was already seriously ill from some other more serious disease. Nobody knows how many people had the stuff got well and went on about their lives. Common sense would indicate that for most people the usual symptoms were so mild, that most people would assume they had a cold or a mild case of the flu. 14000+ Americans have died from the flu this season. So far 30 have died from COVID-19. Where’s the panic, folks. AND stop hoarding toilet paper. It sure as hell won’t keep you from getting the flu or COVID-19.

15 March 2020 Sunday

Should have known that finishing up on Friday the 13th would not bode well for the leveling project. Got up this morning and whilst drinking my half gallon of coffee, I looked at the ceiling. I was horrified. Just eye ball alone told me that the house was no longer level. The house had, somehow, sunk an inch and a half across the forty feet of the front. To say I was disappointed would be a serious understatement. Dejected, morose, sad, gloomy, glum and more than a little bit angry would be more precise description of my feelings. Apparently, the jacking up of the house somehow allowed the pilings to be lifted. When the weight was put back on them they sank back to their rightful place. I would have gone back under the house today except that we have no water for me to wash the dirt and mud off at the end of the day. Tomorrow we will have water and I’ll be back at the leveling project. I am truly sick of this.

Today with no water to spare for showers, I spent the day cleaning house. I don’t know why it seems that if I don’t sweep daily there is about ten pounds of fine sand and dirt on the floor. I moved all of the furniture, dog beds and everything else in order to sweep the place clean. Cleaned the kitchen as best I could with only the little bit of water I could spare. With the dishwasher locked and loaded, I turned my attention to sheetrock and lumber lying on the floor and in the path of walking. I stacked all of that crap against the wall and swept up that unswept part of the floor.

There was a mess made in the downstairs bath that I cleaned up. While trying to install the new beam under the old sway backed beam beneath the bath, I found a mysterious wire. I had to tear out some sheetrock in order to trace the wire. This was a Friday the 13th discovery. I found that it was feeding the receptacle that ran the washing machine. However, it was way more complicated than that. I turned off the breaker for the washer but the red light on my ammeter stayed on. In order to find out which breaker to which the wire attached, I flipped each individual breaker off. The current detection device that is my ammeter has a red light on it indicating a hot wire. There is no need for current flow for it to detect voltage. As a turned each breaker off and then back on the light stayed on. I’ve been doing electrical work for 40 years. I held Master licenses in two states and I have never seen a circuit that would not de-energize when the breaker was turned off. This one would not turn off no matter which breaker you turned off. I knew it was routed to the main breaker panel. Therefore, it must turn off when the proper breaker was turned off. I put the main panel back into the wall (it was lying on the floor of the bathroom) and wired up every existing circuit myself when we bought the house. I knew that nothing was jumped or improperly wire in the panel. However, just to be sure I took the cover off and inspected every connection. I was mystified. With all of the breakers off. I turned them on one at the time. I worked from the right bottom to the top on the right. The top right breaker turned on the red light on my meter. The notes on the panel indicated (in my handwriting) that the 5th breaker from the bottom on the left was the washing machine. I turned off the top right and turned on the breaker that was indicated as the washer. The red light came on. I disassembled the receptacle box for the washer and found that the mystery wire and another wire were both feeding the same receptacle. Some idiot had connected two hot wires to the same receptacle. That they were accidentally on the same leg of the 240 volt service is the only reason there wasn’t an electrical fire. The potential for killing someone (probably me) was very large. You flip the indicated breaker and start a repair or replacement (wrong color receptacle) and you get a big old handful of 110v at several hundred amps and before the breaker trips you are dead. I have truly been scared to death that this place will burn down before I can get it rewired. Who knows what other half-assed crap has been done. I’ve found a lot of it but this incident just proves that there is very likely at lot more. In Alaska, outside of the cities, there is no such thing as a building codes or inspection procedures. People just build crap anyway they want and which ever way that happens to be convenient. Don’t have the right material. No problem. Just use whatever you have. A prime example of that is that there are four light fixture boxes in various parts of the ceiling in the main part of the downstairs of this house. All four are on one switch by the back door. I had to put pull chain switches on all of he fixtures so that they weren’t all on at the same time. We will be pulling down the rest of the sheetrock to rewire as soon as I get this disaster re-leveled.

Miss Suzy in the Hood….ie

I guess I’ve complained enough for one day. Goodnight. Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.

Dad’s Alaska

11 March, 2020 Woden’s Day

With the light coming back and daylight savings making it possible to work longer so I got in ten hours of productive behavior. Got going at about 9:30 AM by cleaning the kitchen and loading the dishwasher. Then I warmed up ‘The Beast’ and loaded the trash bags for a trip to the dump.

I got on the road at just before 11:00 AM on my way to the dump. As I was rolling along toward Homer it occurred to me to stop at the health clinic to have my blood pressure checked. The stop at the clinic took about 30 minutes. Whilst standing there I noted that they had signs up “If you have a fever, put on a mask and use the hand sanitizer”. I made a remark about this Covid-19 panic was about the stupidest thing I’d ever seen. Another patient took exception. He was standing there rubbing sanitizer on his hands and wrists. He had that panicked look on his face and when I moved a step toward him he backed up a step. His reaction was funny. He went on to proclaim that the virus was killing people like me and him. I tried to explain that most people that died were on and average 80 years old and already had other serious health problems. I asked him “Do you have a respiratory problem?” No reply. I continued “I don’t and I’m not really worried about a virus with the mortality rate at 1%.” His reply “That’s ten times worse than the flu.” I laughed at him and asked him how many people are, actually, infected?” This pissed him off. I continued, “You are more likely to die driving home today that dying from the coronavirus”. He stomped away toward the elevator to his dental appointment. Were I as scared as he, I sure as hell wouldn’t have someone gouging in my gums and opening the skin up to potential infection. People are always panicked by the wrong things. Bottomline is that in the USA only 35 or so people have died. Most of those deaths (26) were in one nursing home and all of those were about 80 years of age and very sick. There are, perhaps, hundreds of thousands exposed, if not millions, exposed worldwide it seems dumb to be in some kind of blind panic when there have only been about 3000 deaths worldwide. Except for the 35 or so in America the balance of those deaths are in countries that have 2nd and 3rd world medical systems. Swine flu in 2009 killed about 17,000 and hospitalized 300,000 people worldwide during the ‘flu season’ with millions having been affected. The one number you aren’t hearing is the number of people who have recovered. This is a number that is likely in the hundreds of thousands. Straighten up your thinking and where’s the logic in hoarding toilet paper.

My next stop was the dump. There were no wonderful things left in the Recycle Tent and I had forgotten a few things that I intended to leave in the tent for someone else to repurpose. Every now and then I find something that I can use.

Spenard’s Building Supply sold me 12 pieces of 2″x6″x8′ lumber. I checked to see if there were damaged materials that might be available. Found that they had a 2500 gallon water tank for about 1/2 price. Talked with Summer later in the evening and she agreed that we should buy it.

Finally, back at the homestead, I suited up to get down into the mud. Yep, mud. The sun had thawed the ground under the edge of the house where I was working. Because we are rushing toward ‘break up’, I decided that the continued lowering of the house needed to be halted. The house needs to simply be leveled where it is. It has been lowered about 3 inches and was planned for a total of 6 inches. It occurred to me that there was little to be gained by lowering the additional 3 inches. This epiphany led to leveling the 16 feet of the front of the house by pairing up the 2x6x8s under the beam across the pilings under the front of the house. This made much of the front of the house level. Tomorrow I will finish the main part of the house (an additional 8 feet) and then start of the old trapper’s cabin portion of the house. I have a 6″x6″x10′ pressure treated beam to go under the less than adequate existing beam. By the Monday I hope to have this leveling project done. I finished up in the mud pit at just before 8:00 PM.

Tomorrow, I intend to open a brokerage account. I’ll be waiting until I think that oil stocks are near their low and then buy a few thousand dollars worth of it. Nobody can call the bottom but this is a buying opportunity that comes along only once or twice in a lifetime. I had no money (two kids, wife and mortgage) to invest in the 1989 market crash. Now I have a few bucks to spare.

Again. Calm down, go on working and please Stop Hoarding Toilet Tissue!!!