Thursday, July 30, 2009

Living and Working in Alaska....

July 20, 2009
Well went home yesterday late afternoon, and just had leftovers for dinner. I had not had the chance to do any housework let alone the dishes …*S*. We had our dinner and just decided to relax for the rest of the as we are headed back out to do another days work, some we watched a movie to end the productive day.
We got up this morning at three o’clock to have coffee and watch our weekday morning dose of “Angel”. It is a show that is easy to like, and characters to become attached to, and little lessons that shine through each episode. We spent some time with the fur babies, a bunch of pets and snuggle & huggles. They always know we are going to leave the house when we get up so early to start the day. It upsets them so much so that they act out in bad behaviors, but it is only because they would prefer to have us stay home with them all day. If only they could read our minds and know that we are working on our forever home, and that our hope are to retire early so we can spend more time with them each day.
We are now at the property, and during the drive we could see and taste the smoke in the air from all the surrounding forest fires. It is so amazing that although the fires are quite some distance from where we are that we should be able to taste and see their effects at all. But see it and taste we do. My soul mates intention is to finish the smoothing out of our foundation, and stake out the size and area of our home on the foundation. We have been working at creation of our forever home just bits at a time so it will be already for the move next spring of 2010. We are not rich, but simple working folks that have been working towards this goal for the last 10 years. A simple dream for just plain working folks.

The pictures you see above are ones that I have taken as we are working on our property. It's not a cheap job, but we are doing most of the work ourselves so it keeps the expense down quite alot. The beautiful purple flowers are named "Fireweed", and they grow like a weed, but they aren't really a weed. People make honey, lellies and tea from the flowers, and they bloom in July and filter away in the early fall about September. It is quite a sight viewing them covering a whole field in their wild abundance. They can also be found in Northern Canada as well.

It is now our vacation, and we have completed a little bit of the last work for the year on the property. The forest fires are still burning and the smoke blows into to our area, so it makes it quite hard to breath let alone see more than a mile. WE hope and pray daily that the weather will change so we can get ooler temperatures and some much needed rain. We been having a drought, so everything is dry and arid. We need the rain, but we definitely DO NOT need the lightening that would come with the thunderstorms. Although it would be great to have the most perfect weather, we are praying for rainl rain, rain. WE are having the high temps as you would normally have in the lower 48 states, and the Pacific Northwest is having cooler temps. So if anyone out their has rain that they don;t really want...please send it to the Interior of Alaska because we could really use it....*S*

July 19, 2009 Continued....
We just made the final and last payment on our home, and that is the biggest hurdle of all. No more monthly house payment, or rent to pay ever again, and we own it lock, stock and barrel. Who would have ever of thought we would pay off our home in less than two years? Surely , no one but the two of us. But we did it. Thanks to the “powers that be”, someone was looking out for us. We never missed a single payment, nor did we ever make a late one. Our home is not a mansion, but a simple one that we can now finish designing and remodeling, and it will be the home of our dreams.
The one thing that we do have in our favor as we worked hard these last eighteen months was that we both work for the same company, and the job security is never a worry. Although we both work for a corporation, our age and experience is on our side, and that our boss/supervisor especially likes us both tremendously. Our boss knows he getting the better part of the bargain, and he will never have to fire us due to poor work performance, but we are an asset that he can hardly spare to lose. We both are hard workers, and we are a big added bonus in keeping the ever moving work machine a running as we are older and more dedicated to a hard day’s work. We are dependable, and we are not the whiners, complainers even as we do struggle with today’s lack of work ethic that we observe in so many others. That is another issue I will write on in the near future, but not right now as it is off the topic at hand.
As we worked hard each day at our jobs, and stayed home on most of our days off in order to save all the money that we could … when we did venture away from home we scoured the hundreds of miles surrounding our small town/city in order to find the perfect piece of land to buy to place our new home upon. We became disenchanted with the greed of realtors, and property owners, and the extent of that slobbering greed. For it seemed impossible to find a decent parcel of land that had the qualities that we desired. Not that we were demanding a kings unobtainable piece of land, but the simple acreage to place a home, and have room for peace and privacy. No neighbors or looky loos, no freeway, highway or city zoning limitations. Just some acreage of about five to ten acres, quiet and private enough that we couldn’t see the next door neighbors mowing their lawn on the weekends.
A quaint lot with many trees, and the hope to observe wildlife now and again. Instead we found land owners who were to settle for $150,000 for a mere /12 acre that was so immersed in muskage that we would have to haul in twenty truck loads of fill dirt! Can you image the nightmare in the making? We would have to invest in bug repellent just to live on the lot. For those of you that know little of Alaska’s wilderness, there be bugs galore here. Big bugs, small bugs, and itsy, bitsy tiny bugs here. I swear if I ever hear anyone from the lower 48 complain about mosquito’s they have I will buy them a ticket for a summer vacation in the great big Bush of Alaska. When I say Bush, I don’t mean that sorry excuse of human garbage ex-president Bu$h, but I mean “the Bush” as in the wild interior of Alaska where there is very little in the way of accommodations, but instead where there are NO accommodations at all to speak of. You would be lucky to have electricity, and extremely lucky if you have running water and an inside toilet.
I do not want to reveal the location of where I live due to certain internet trolls that may come to read my blog, so I will just say that we live outside of Fairbanks Alaska, and in the wonderful wilderness where seeing a moose is an everyday occurrence ….. *S* There are dozens of small communities surrounding Fairbanks, and three highways to get anywhere to a certain extent. There are dozens of even smaller villages that requires an airplane to gain access to. So enough will be said about my location, and if that does settle well with some folks reading this … well, sorry you’ll just have to get over it I guess … *S* So back to our dream home folks …..
We finally found the perfect 10 acres far enough from a town where we will be making trips into town only on the much needed occasion only. In fact you can’t even see the town from the mountain of where we will be, and that suits me just fine …*S*. The view out our front window will be to die for, and it is breath taking when a thunder storm comes rolling in. The mountain range across the valley is lush and green with black pine and birch trees, and the Chatanika River at the bottom of the mountain. The birch trees are especially welcome even though their leaves create too much work when fall ventures upon us. The birch trees are a main food source for the moose here, and where you find the thick stands of birch you’ll find the moose and their bed down areas, and where there is birch there is moose poop galore. I suppose I could find a good retirement job by collecting moose poop for the numerous souvenirs items that sell by the thousands of dollars each year …but I can think of many other side jobs other than moose poop collecting as I wouldn’t spend a penny on a moose poop pair of earrings …. *ROTFLMAO* {this is an absolute fact, many souvenir’s are created with Alaskan moose poop droppings}
As I write this little entry, I am sitting in our Pathfinder as my soul mate is operating the D6 CAT. He is working on our piece of property, and level out the ground where our house will be moved on to next summer. Earlier this spring he took out all the trees that were unhealthy and damaged to clear an area to set our home upon. It was back breaking that took about 3 weekends, and as he cut them down and stripped the limbs and branches of the trees, I retrieved all of them to drag to a pile that will be used to fill in the areas that need to be flattened for the foundation for the home.
My soul mate is an amazing man. I am most fortunate that we found each other many years ago. He is industrious and experienced in many areas and fields. An intelligent man to say the least, and he can operate almost any kind of equipment from computers to a D-9 CAT, and back again to a professional business man. He is one of those people that loves to learn, and when it is there to learn …he will not fail in his goal to learn it. It is through the life experiences that he using a D-9 CAT to clear the area on our land for our home. We’ve already cut down the trees, and cleared the brush, so now it all needs to be plowed with a D-9 CAT. I guess the best way to describe it is that the muskeg has to be scraped away and buried along with the brush, and dirt spread around to flatten the area where the house will be set on. It has taken about 6 hours so far today, and we are about to pack up and head back head due to a storm front moving in. The thunder is a rumbling, and we are praying for no lightening.
This has been the year for forest fires in Alaska. Many of the fires were started because of the summer storms. The thunder and the lightening comes with the storms, and when the lightning strikes in the wilderness the fires begin to run rampant, and so many acres of wilderness gets destroyed. Although it is a part of nature, and it helps renew Mother Earth it is the animals that I worry about the most. They are helpless to defend themselves against such a force of nature, and many lose their lives while trying to flee the flames licking at their heels. Their wild habitat forever damaged, and those that do survive now have to struggle to find new food and water sources. The Forest Service and firefighters can only do so much as there are thousands and thousands of acres ablaze, and much of it cannot be accessed because of the rough terrain. So we must deal with it the best we can, and only hope that many of the fires were accidental, and not set by the many careless campers and tourist who have not taken care of their use of fire and cigarettes being tossed out of their vehicles and campfires.
When we started the day the skies were clear except for the light haze hanging in the distance above the mountain tops across the valley. Yet as the day progressed the thickness of the smoke increased, and with it came the smell of smoke and a thunder storm brewed in the distance behind our backs from the northeast. My soul mate finished up what he could for the day, and the sprinkle of rain was soon misting down upon our heads and faces. We are both tired and worn out as we just worked our Friday yesterday, and we have been up before the chickens this fine and beautiful morning at about four o’clock. It is now about four thirty p.m., and we have put in a good days work. We will park the CAT for the day, and head home to relax for a time before bed, just to get up again for yet another day of working on the property.

July 19, 2009
This is our second summer in the Interior of Alaska, and it has been a learning season. Although we have been Alaska for a few years now each oncoming season bring new challenges and goals to achieve. When we moved back to Alaska from the Pacific Northwest with our own two hands on the lower forty eight we knew it was going to be forever. It is our hope and dream to retire, and to in our forever home of our own making. Whether that dream home was to be one that we built with our own two hands … or should I say with our own four hands, it was going to ours made of our own imaginations.
We first discovered to our dismay that to buy a home anywhere in Alaska was going to cost us a fortune. That our nation is in a full blown confused mess because our failure of a president and government leaders is a foregone conclusion. Not one person in the United States ever believed that our country was going to end in the disaster that it is now, but trying to survive in today’s economy is a whole new ball game altogether. My soul mate and I had one thing going in our favor when this nightmare that Bu$h brought down upon our heads, and that was that our children are already grownups, and we no longer have to support them. That both children live here in Alaska; have jobs, hopes and dreams of their own. The oldest is out of the house with the beginnings of a family in the making, and our daughter although living at home and pays rent to help out financially is also building her dreams of the future.