Welcome to "Our Life"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

41 Degree's and Raining

Hi There,
   It is Sunday afternoon. It is 41 degree's and has been raining for about 18 hours straight. It has been raining off and on for a few days now. I have been working on the shop, in the rain and temps for a while but today I just can't make myself do it.
   The shop pilings and floor are built. The foundation is solid and I am really happy with the progress so far. Myra has a couple of pictures to add later. (There I added them!) I will begin preparing lumber for the side walls in the next day or so and then will begin building them. First I have to do things like haul water and finish putting stuff away outside before the snow comes.
   We did a fair amount of outside clean up yesterday as the forecast was for colder temps and snow. Now the Jet Stream shifted and the temps have gone up. We did get about 1/2" of snow a couple of days ago and it was wet and sloppy. It has obviously all melted now.
   We have brought all items into the cabin. Myra went through the last of the tote's and did the final sorting of things. She still has a few little things to put away from that adventure but for the most part, we are totally moved in.
    The intention was to have the cabin completely remodeled before we moved in but as all things in the bush, the remodel is taking longer than we had hoped and we had to get stuff in before too much snow. Not only that but we were not planning on building a shop when we first got back here. We have decided that the shop has taken precedent over the downstairs remodel. Sense we have cabinets to build and a lot of items that can be done in the shop we decided it was necessary to do it first.

   I still have not made my last trip to the Post Office property for "Freeze Up" preparation. With the current forecast of rain and warmer weather (40s) the river is predicted to rise about 3', so I am still waiting as long as possible.
   I have began playing Racket Ball again, over at Bentalit Lodge 3 to 4 times a week. Since I have lost about 40 lbs in the last year, I am doing much better. It sure is fun, and un-believable that I am able to do something like that out in the middle of the woods. (Thanks Tom and Patty)
   I still have to make repairs on my snowmachine. I have all of the parts here, and have had them since last spring. Why get in a hurry, right? I have to install a new Stator (like an alternator except it is inside the engine) plus rebuild the suspension for the drive track (I have worn it out in 2 seasons) and a few other small repairs need done. This is another reason for the shop needing to be done.
   All of my tools are currently stacked, piled and stored in the wood shed and on the back porch. This is another reason for the shop to get done.
   On another note,,,,, You may be absolutely amazed at what you can order from Amazon. We are finding that to be a great resource to get things out here. They stock an un-believable amount of items and if you order over $25 most items are shipped for free. On our last order here is an example of what we ordered all at one time and coming in one shipment. A 12 volt water pump, garden hose repair ends and couplings, a part for the Paslode nail gun, a new vanity light for the restroom, chain saw bar oil, lamp repair parts, a knob for the percolator, filters and belts for the vacuum, replacement blades for the wood planner, plumbing valves, etc, etc, etc... I find it absolutely amazing that we get all of that stuff from one internet source to the post office and it is less money than at most stores.
   Anyhow, today is one of those days when it can be a struggle to have an appreciation for this place. Overcast, Raining, Fog, no view of anything and just plane rotten outside. Now I have to get on the rain gear and go get water for the storage tanks.
   The water pump is still working but it is getting pretty weak and struggling to build up pressure, that is why we ordered a new one before it goes out completely. Oh, I put distilled water in the batteries today and pumped 4 ea. 5 gallon gas cans full of fuel for the generator. I changed the generator oil and am only doing the necessities of life out here today.
   Myra is experiencing one of those "lazy days" where she managed to cook lunch and play Words with Friends. It's just one of those days here. The stereo is playing and the TV is on "Muted" because there is not anything worth watching and listening to. Have you ever had one of those days????? Tired from working none stop, depressed by the weather, (even though we do very good at not letting it get us down most of the time) and just don't feel like doing a damn thing,,, Well, that is today in a nutshell.
    Time for me to go get water then I am playing Racket Ball at 5.
Thanks for being with us
Even if it's not too damn exciting today,
Talk to you soon,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fall Happenings

Just wanted to post some pictures of some of the completed/almost completed, and newly started projects that Roger told you of in the last post. We have some "detail" work to finish yet but overall the upstairs is done! YAY!!

The Completed Outhouse
 I still need to make a curtain for the sloped area and for door for bathroom. We couldn't build a wall all the way over for a couple of reasons. 1: We would not be able to get anything up or down the stairs and 2: heat, the chimney comes up on the backside of wall and that is what heats the entire upstairs.
The mirror that is leaning against the wall will be hung on that wall.
Craft Area and Bathroom

The backside of bathroom wall which we are going to build shelves for for some of my craft things. I have been planing down some "Patty" wood as we call it to build them out of. This wood got it's name because we got it from our neighbor Patty who takes trees and mills them into wood. 
The pile of "Patty Wood" I am working on.
Future Workshop

Yesterday Roger started laying out his workshop, and today he dug holes for the pilings. That was before he had to go to Skwentna and retrieve Hans and Jeff. Tuesday afternoon they decided to take off again and went back to the house up there again! We were hoping they would get hungry and miserable enough to come back here on their own but it didn't work so...................Anyway they are now back home with us and you can bet that Hans will be on his rope when no one is outside!

I leave you with a couple of pictures of the Trumpeter Swans that are currently hanging out at Mud Lake, aka Swan Lake near us. There were six pair of them out on the lake the day I took this picture.
 Well that is it for tonight. Just wanted to post these pictures. Thanks for taking time to share our adventure.

OK, I have to jump in and make a few pieces of commentary.
The Out House, It has a Real electric light inside. I trenched in a wire about 60' from the cabin so we have light inside.
The pictures of the Bathroom walls does not do it justice. It really looks very neat. Also take note of the sink in the restroom. It has "Real" plumbing. It has Hot and Cold running water and a real drain, as does the shower and Kitchen sink. I feel that is a big accomplishment and a huge change from dumping buckets. We both took a Great Hot Shower the night I got the plumbing done, and we did not have to dump a bucket or pull a pipe back out of a window. Yep, used to attach a piece of pipe and send the water out the kitchen window, from the shower.
I snapped a few pictures of Myra running the planer and dust flying all over but she has chosen not to include them. I don't think she wants proof she is working hard... Go Figure.
There are twelve Piling holes dug for the new work shop. Tomorrow I begin cutting the trees. The workshop is going to be a Hybrid log and dimensional building. It should prove to be interesting.
OK, I am done,,, Thanks Again for being with us. Roger

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just an Update

Let me start off by saying, Myra will have to do the pictures again. I just have not taken the time to get out the camera.

In the past couple of weeks we have accomplished a lot more around here. It might not sound like much to some of you but, if you have ever tried to get things done in the bush you will understand.

We have all but completed our move from the Post Office property back to our cabin. The only things left at the Post Office is things we will move in the winter. 2 more snowmachines, a roto-tiller, my freight sleds and that is about all. It was only an 11 mile move but we did it all by hauling things from the house down to the boat in a 4-wheeler wagon, load it on the boat, go 11 miles down river, unload the boat onto 4-wheeler wagon, haul it to the cabin and un-load it, put it away or put it in temporary storage and make another trip. Sounds easy, Right ! I don't know how many boat trips we made total but it was somewhere more than 15 and you can triple that number by 4 wheeler, on both ends of the trip. That's about 90+, 4 wheeler loads. Plus we received 2 barge loads of supplies from town and had a barge haul 2 of our snowmachines from the PO.

The Out house is completed and has an electric light. I buried a wire from the cabin to the outhouse about 60', Check.
The restroom Walls, Shelves, Vanity and drawers are built upstairs, Check. I still have to finish the plumbing and wiring, that is today's project.
The Wood Stove is re-located,Tile flooring under it and we are using it, Check.
The 200 gallon water storage is complete and functional in the root cellar, Check.
The back yard light and back porch lights are installed and functional, Check.
The potatoes and carrots are all canned or frozen and stored for future use, Check.
Myra's craft area is almost completely organized and put away (That's a MAJOR accomplishment) Check.
The TV, Stereo and Surround Sound system is installed including speakers upstairs. We have one of the nicest sound systems in the bush, I am sure, Check.
The "Tarp-ma-hall" has been taken down with some help of the fall winds. Everything that was under it is now either put away, "toted and tarped" or blown back to the Post Office or somewhere in-between.

We have decided to put off installing the flooring down stairs and the rest of the remodel for a couple of weeks. Once I complete the plumbing for the restroom we are going to work on a new workshop. We are going to put up a ruff skeleton of a building and put down the floor. Then we are going to cover it with a tarp so I have a place to work. Since the winds of Fall won't let a hanging tarp stay in place anymore it is becoming difficult to get much accomplished. It has only been a couple of days since the "tarp-ma-hall" has come down but it makes a noticeable difference.

It is still Fall here. The temperatures have been quite moderate so far with only seeing freezing a few times but the wind and regular rain fall is a challenge some days. There is snow in the forecast for next week with accumulations for up to 6" or so coming. I have to hustle to get the workshop foundation in before the ground freezes.

I still have to make one more trip to the Post Office property before freeze up to change the oil in the generator and top off the fuel tanks. I installed an "auto-start" system on the generator a few weeks ago that seams to be working flawlessly. It senses the battery voltage and starts the generator when they need charged and shuts it off when they are full. Once I change the oil again and top off the tanks it should be good for a couple of months to get through freeze up. Oh, I almost forgot, I still have to pour anti-freeze in the drains of the house and pump it into the fresh water system. I have already blown air through all of the fresh water lines and cleared them. The R-V anti-freeze will assure that the fresh water lines don't freeze in the low spots and it will get into the washing machine pump and valves as well as the water heater.

This is the latest in the year that I have ever left the boat in the water and made trips up and down the river. The water is very low in spots and it gets un-comfortable traveling for fear of bumping the bottom. So far, so good though. I don't think I could have done this my first couple of years. I was not good enough at "reading" the river currents to see the deeper channels. It seams pretty easy now however, and I don't anticipate any troubles.
Speaking of the river. It is turning Green and clear. The silt from the melting glaciers is all but gone. The glaciers aren't melting anymore this Fall, or at least not much. I could see about 16" to 18" into the river yesterday. That may not sound like much but during the summer you can not see 1" into the water on the glacial rivers.
The Dogs have been confused about the move back down river. A few days ago they decided it was time to go back to the Post Office property. They had been staying here very close to home but one morning they just decided to leave. They were only gone about 5 hours and we got a phone call saying they were sleeping on the porch of the house at the PO. If you have ever traveled over land up here, you know that 5 hours for 11 miles is a heck of a pace. They were on a mission to "go home". Thankfully our neighbor Willie was up river and he stopped by the house and picked them up and brought them home. Now we only put out 1 at a time or tie Hans up if they are both out, unless one of us is outside with them. They do not leave when there is only one of them, they always "travel" together.
Well, it is time for me to get to work today. One of has to do something since Myra just sits around all day eating Bon Bons and watching soup opera's. Oh, and she cooks, cleans, cans, organizes, puts away, helps me with the heavy or 3 handed stuff, helps haul things, and generally keeps my shit together. Not always hers however!
Thanks for being on our adventure with us,