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Friday, December 27, 2013

So This Was Christmas!

Ok where do I start?
   I guess I will start back in November. On the 20th I "moved" over to Northwoods Lodge to care take over there while the owners went on vacation. That was also the last day that we drove the Rhino. Took 3 attempts to get up one of the hills and then we just barely made it. OK time to switch to snow machines, even though there wasn't much snow. The river was not safe but we have overland trails between us and the lodge.
   Roger stayed here at our place to work on the kitchen and his snow machine. The plan had been for him to get the kitchen done while I was care taking at the lodge. Well you know what they say about plans! Roger had to get his snow machine up and running so he would be good to go once the river was safe for freighting. Well that ended up taking longer than expected as come to find out the Skidoo place sent him the wrong part which we didn't know until after having another part sent out and the problem still continued and had everyone baffled. So Roger got online and did some research and discovered that the first part was not the right one! UGH! (And it was the Skidoo places computer that had the wrong part listed). So the Skidoo place ordered the correct part, and then had to ship it out here. Now that may not sound too bad until you realize that we maybe get mail into Skwentna 2 times a week, weather permitting. And then someone has to be able to get up there to get it. Always interesting!
   The weather was very weird through this time also. We had a few days of sub zero temps, then would warm up to the upper 20's I think we may even have gotten above freezing a day or two. When it gets that warm you get overflow on top of the ice on the river and that is not good. Sometimes it can get pretty deep and it really sucks when you get stuck in it. Roger had a freight sled stuck in overflow last week and it took about 2 hours to get it out. 
   Anyway I was at Northwoods Lodge until December 15th, and then I hopped their back flight into town and was there until the 18th. And baby it was COLD! The entire time I was in town it was in the -20's and 30's! Luckily I didn't have to spend too much time outside, just mainly going from the truck into a store etc. I flew back home on the afternoon of the 18th after a couple of whirlwind days in town getting groceries, plumbing and electrical supplies etc etc etc. Always tiring! 
  I have just been doing the daily stuff of life out here since getting back. There is always wood to bring in, especially when the temps are sub zero as they have been again this past week, meals to be fixed and so on. And I tend to want to stay inside when it is that cold out! 
   I really struggled with putting up any Christmas decorations as I did not have much Christmas "spirit" going on. My mood was such that as far as I was concerned I just wanted it over. Anyway I did finally put a few things up about 5 days before Christmas and all in all it was a nice day. 
   Started out with Roger fixing the generator at 5:30 in the morning. We had been having trouble with it for a while but thought it was maily due to the cold. Anyway on Christmas Eve I couldn't keep it running unless it was fully choked and that is not good for it and then it just quit altogether! Anyway Roger found something in a port and got that out and knock on wood the generator has been running great since. 
   Then Roger went to play racquetball while I enjoyed my coffee and Bejeweled. While playing racquetball there was a collision of sorts while going for the ball and Roger's toe got the worst end of it. Pretty sure it is broken but he is "toughing" it out. 
   My Christmas present was Roger hooking up the kitchen sink again even though the counters are not done, the framework is in and the sink was in place. It will have to come out one more time when he does the counter top but who knows when that will be now that freighting and tours have started! Maybe during breakup this spring! I am thinking that Roger's Christmas present is me not griping about the kitchen situation! LOL
  We needed water so Roger went to get some while I started dinner as we had invited a couple of our "bachelor" neighbors over for dinner. They got here before Roger got back with water, which actually was good as the freight sled got stuck behind the wood shed and it ended up taking two machines to pull it out. So got that done and then had a nice dinner with Al and Willy. 
The Kitchen "A Work In Progress"

The New Stairs

Yesterday Roger was supposed to put my counter top in but ended up freighting for another freighter who's machine broke down. While he was gone, I attempted to do dishes. We have an instant water heater that we keep a metal plate in the chimney of to keep it from freezing when it is so cold. So you pull the plate when you want to use it. As it was so cold I was putting the plate back in after each time I ran hot water and then pulling it out again when I needed more hot water. Well I went over and pulled the plate out, stopped to answer a text, maybe a total of 3 minutes, and went over to the sink and turned on the hot water faucet. Within a few seconds, I heard a hissing and turned to look......OH CRAP!!!!!! There is water spewing all over out the side of the water heater. I am looking everywhere for a shut off valve and not finding one.....try calling Roger.....try calling Roger......Thank God got a hold of Roger. Have to go to root cellar and disconnect power from the water pump.  Ok pull the red wire off the pump, go back up and into house, water still spewing! OK lets open faucet get the pressure out of the lines.......not losing pressure......what the heck?! Can't get a hold of Roger again (he is freighting) ok back to root cellar, not sure what I am going to do but got to do something, water is still spewing everywhere and going underneath the new flooring! Get down in the cellar, take another look at the pump and suddenly see another pump! We replaced our pump this past fall, I had pulled a wire off the old pump that was not in use! Anyway finally got the water stopped.....sopped up and sucked up as much of the water as I could and then we ran a fan on the area of the flooring that had gotten wet. So far it seems to be ok. Thankfully! Seems like you just get one thing fixed and something else breaks. 
   Today Roger left here at 7 a.m. with a temp of -27 to do a propane run and also a tour. He often combines the 2 as there is no sense in running "empty" to the landing and back. Right now it is 8:45 p.m. and he is a little over half way home. Tomorrow we are both going in to the landing, Roger has two tours to do and I am going to run to Anchorage and Wasilla and take care of some stuff. It will be another long day for both of us. I am guessing that Sunday Roger will collapse for the day after he delivers propane to Skwentna. 
  Well I am thinking that I have rattled on long enough. Now you know what has been happening the last couple of weeks. Oh and the good news is it has finally warmed up! Right now we are at +3F and lightly snowing. Thank you for taking time to read our story, may each and every one of you have a Blessed New Year! Myra

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