Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tractors and Trenching

This is a pretty exciting day around our little home...the tractor arrived in Anchorage yesterday! CoRielle and Nolan drove in to pick it up.  I had lobbied for the biggest one, we got the second to biggest. Still bigger than our original plan - but I think we need it.  We had a ton of stuff going on today, and yet, the lawn needs mowing! 

I jumped on  - I wanted it to be pink - Michael vetoed
It has snow and mower blades - I volunteer to do mowing. 

A spot for a cell phone

Are you surprised I was ruthlessly removed from my perch? 

We have our very own big "O"....and that filled the bags

He said it was my turn

He had me get off again

Time for more instruction 


Sorta looks like these guys are shadowing me 

 Nolan and Alex finished the yard. I'm so relieved to have this done! 
 They went back and forth with the clippings

 Not only did we get the tractor, today was PUSH day for the RV project. They built a box and a frame, trenched some ground, inserted a macerator pump and some pvc pipe. We now have a drain for gray water and such. RVers can visit us and stay in comfort.  We so appreciate Travis and Cat staying extra days in Alaska so Travis could guide this project.

Wrapping pipe - and dreaming of epic sword fights
Jamin came out & we put him to work! 

Arielle watches from her perch....she's been busy with college classes 

We broke for dinner - today we had BreZaak, CoRielle, Travis and Jamin. A funny thing happened with dinner. It seemed like a great day for chili and cornbread. I bought what I thought was cornmeal at the store. Heated my cast iron, melted butter till it sizzled, went to pour in the was WHITE. I had purchased corn tortilla mix. Ah well - it tasted o.k. 

The work continued after dinner. Blisters happened. 

This was a major project. We needed it done before winter and we are going to make it. The guys still want to build a lid and add more insulation, but the end is in sight.

We appear to have crop circles in our yard

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Stacia Entertains Visitors

I worked on school ordering again this morning. I ran a little test. I put in a purchase order request for an order at Sonlight. I put in an order I paid for with Sonlight.  I want to see how much more time it takes to use the purchase orders. 

While the guys worked on all things RV outside, we visited, prepared meals and baked cookies inside. I love Anakin's expression as he stirred the dough. He's such a fun boy to have around. 

The kids have enjoyed time on the trampoline, playing with the last dredges of Stacia's toys, and running in the yard. One is never 100% certain how their "baby" will do with younger ones; Stacia does great with young visitors. I need to buy a few toys to have on hand for little ones.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Meet Up

Cat and I connected a couple of years ago when I joined a full time RV forum. It turns out we were at Beale at the same time, and our paths never crossed. We've stayed in contact and she's been an encouragement,  both as we adjusted to the RV lifestyle and as we went through the VA claim process. Travis had a summer job in Kenai this year. They are preparing to head back down the Alaska Highway before snow flies.  Today, they arrived at our home. 
Me, Archer and Cat
 It was fun to meet "for real." She's in our online Bible Study group, as is Bre, so it was fun for them to meet each other too.
Anakin and Stacia 
 We are enjoying their kids, a lot! 
Allie in Stacia's kimono

Archer and Cat 
While we make meals and socialize, the guys are at work on another house project. Here, they are wiring in a 50 amp line for an RV spot.  We'll use this now as BreZaak are in the RV....and when they move, we'll have a full hook-up for guests with RV.  We'll also have lots of boondocking space for those who are self-contained. LOL  
Travis and Michael 
Nolan and Alex enjoyed a game of Dominion with Travis this evening. Wow - he has a set up for his cards! And lots of expansion packs.  I'm envious.  However, I went to bed rather than playing or watching. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mako Came to Visit

Mako came to visit and brought Maria (Marie) along with him. 

Maria was a God-send. It was fun to host her, to have friends visit, and feel that maybe this ISN'T the end of the world and we will see friends again. She jumped into the chaos.She helped unpack boxes, fix dinners, put things away. It was great to have her here for two weeks.

Friends who are willing to visit and WORK, though we did try to play a bit, are a blessing.

House Projects #293....

Jamin came over to help us with projects this morning. He thought they'd be sealing the deck, but we surprised him. He helped get photos on the wall. This continues to be a challenge - we have way more photos and quilts to hang than wall space. πŸ˜ƒ I have been asked not to hang anything. I'm not quite as precise as others. Note the masking tape procedure.....It works. 

Nolan and I were looking at the pile of things we couldn't put up and an idea was born! Boom - thinking outside of the box - using unused space.

Our mower has still not arrived. The grass is getting ridiculous. We have a project coming up outside, so the boys took the weed eater and tamed this portion of the yard. 

Arielle is a great supervisor (and photographer). She's entering her 3rd trimester.

These two continue to split wood. 

I keep dreaming one day we'll unpack a box, or hang a photo and realize, "It's done. We're moved in." We could be there by now, but unexpected projects have combined with expected pre-winter projects to keep us busy.

We've decided the chicken coop will have to wait until spring. We want to have a coop and yard built, (a garden fence built etc) before we start those projects.

We would like to fix the retaining wall and add pavers outside the basement french doors before winter. It will be easier for shoveling snow.

This week we plan to focus on getting the RV set up well for winter.

I'm not sure the patio/hot tub and sauna will get done before winter - but it sure would be nice. 😏

Sunday, August 27, 2017

House Project #281

We tried another local church today. We were impressed four or five went out of their way to engage us in conversation! More than just, "Good morning." At the previous church we went three times with no one engaging us in conversation and only two saying, "Good morning." Now, it's not all about us - we get that. BUT we are looking for real community and it seems a church serious about community would be a place where you would say, "Good morning," to one another. 🐽

The big goal for the day was getting the deck sealed. This is tricky this time of the year, but we want it done before winter arrives. 

They got it all taped, sprayed and sealed. It hasn't rained so far. It's not real hot, but it hasn't rained. We're hopeful.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


The best way to spend a Saturday after a busy week is to CUT DOWN TREES!!!! Larissa has gone outside (AK speak for anywhere not in Alaska).  Jamin and Jared came over with Cody and Lassie - the grand dogs. They thought they'd seal the deck - a project we are trying to do before winter - but the weather was forecasting rain. They settled on felling four trees, splitting wood and hauling it to the wood-shed.

Cory, Michael, Jamin, Jared, Izaak 

Michael brought the first one down - he barely got into it and it was falling

These trees were a hazard. 

Cory cut them into manageable pieces

There are four less black X's in the yard


Alex hauled them to the woodshed

Lassie - JaRissa's dog

Cody - Josiah's dog 
 Michael and the boys had built a saw buck earlier in the week - they  put it to use today. 

 Mary Ellen, a neighbor who lives behind us, though we can't see her house this time of year, stopped by. She lived in the bush for years. She lives alone. She's 70. She said we were making her think she should get out her chain saw.  She brought us a bucket of  yummy raspberries from her place. She gardens - organically - and is open to helping me get set up to do the same.

After the trees were down - everyone took a bit of time to play. I met another neighbor when they called to let us know they had Yuuki. She's earned perpetual stake status. 

Dodge ball on the trampoline
Jared, Nolan and Jamin 

Jamin, Nolan and Jared 
 As you can see above, Jared kept getting hit in the chest. This often triggers his SVT - so we watched to see...but all was fine. 

Arielle was finally able to get up on the trampoline - she didn't get to play dodge ball or jump. 

Stacia and I took the raspberries left after lunch, added some service berries to them, and made a cobbler.

After the busy week we've had, it would have been nice to laze around....but it feels good to get so much done. We're in a race against winter. The leaves are turning.