My shoulder hurts, but I don’t have cabin fever.

I just shoveled the porch, the driveway, the sidewalk, and the steps.  I like to leave the snow on the hand rails, as a measure of what’s fallen in the night.


Here’s a shot that shows the partially blue sky, which is much welcome, the 18 year old minivan/SUV that we bought this fall from Rainbow Glacier Camp along with two days worth of snowfall atop the hood and a week’s worth of snow above the driver seat, the shovel that I used to clean the driveway, the snow that is melting off the roof and forming icicles, and the cleanliness of our picture window.

IMG_9799_exposure   Seasonal affective disorder, SAD, is something that often hits alskans and those who live in the northern climes during the dead of winter when they don’t go outside.  Personally, I’ve never had the slightest inkling of SAD in the winter, and I think a great cure is to get outside and do something.

Earlier this week, I went to “the store” to get a scraper brush combination to replace the ones we misplaced over the summer and was shocked at the price: $16 for the two foot long model, and $12 for the hand scraper, brush. 

I just told the clerk, “Wow.  I’m not  paying that.” Turned on my heel and walked out the door leaving the four scraper/brushes there on the counter where I’d put them.  Perhaps I’ll stop calling it “the store” and start calling it something else. 

IMG_9797_exposureThis morning after I dropped off Mark Daniel for his piano lesson, I bought seven scrapers/brushes at Haines Home Building: the 2 foot scrapers were $4.49, the single hand models were $3.79 and the one had scrapers with no brush were $1.79.  Cha-ching.

This year looks to be a snow-filled year.  Regrettably, the plastic snow shovel broke and needs to be replaced.  The aluminum one which I use for doing the steps and sidewalk is fine and works for everything, but the snow sticks to it, which tends to make the shovel much heavier than it might be.

Mark is outside sledding.

The Bathroom Sink fell off the wall…

While I was out of town in Anchorage for training, Holly called saying, “Matt, the sink in the bathroom fell off the wall and it smells really bad.  What should I do?”

I asked, “What?”

She said, “The bathroom sink fell off the wall and is lying on the floor.”

I queried, “What, the sink fell OFF the wall?  The bathroom sink?” How often does that happen? I thought.

“Yes, it fell off the wall and it smells really bad.  It’s sitting on the floor.  We’ve just been using the kitchen sink instead.  What should I do?” 

(Below is a picture I took of the bathroom when I got home from the trip.  You can clearly see the spot on the wall where the sink broke off and you can imagine the smell coming up from the septic system since the ‘P’ trap was not in place.  Perhaps you could also imagine how hard it was to keep John Caleb from playing with the water faucets, as they were still functional)IMG_0006

IMG_0007After a bit of discussion, and wondering who would want to fix the sink for us for free, we agreed that she should just pretend there had never been a sink in the bathroom for a couple days until I returned from Anchorage, Hopefully with a new sink. so I could install it myself.

At the right, is what I think may have happened to the sink.  Actually, I don’t think Elisabet sat on the sink.  But it’s a funny thought.

IMG_0009Jeremy, Jack and I went to Home Depot and I bought the smallest bathroom sink they had, that is, the one that sticks out the least from the wall and was the most narrow.  Our bathroom is small and I wanted a bit more room to squeeze between the door and the sink when bathroom is occupied.  I was able to share one of my three Alaska Airlines checkin bags with Jack and Jeremy and return from Anchorage with the sink ready to install with the base and a nice new faucet.

I wanted to get an even lower profile sink, say about 10-15″ as I’ve seen one in a magazine like that for really small spaces, but ended up just getting one that was convenient to purchase.

When I returned from the trip, I put in the new sink. Here’s what it looked like.  I think this sink will last for many, many years, as it has a pedestal base that supports nearly all th weight and is much smaller. 

I IMG_0014I also moved the sink over towards the toilet a few inches to get it away from the door.  With the old sink, there were just a few inches of clearance whereas now it’s JUST possible to squeeze through the opening when the door if open and pointing at the sink..  Here’s the new faucet, which I really like a lot.  The faucet spout is raised up a bunch from the base compared to the old one, which makes it easy for the boys to fill up the water glasses for dinner (we always drink water for dinner, as it’s the best beverage you can drink)..

Initially, when I installed the faucet, there was no room for the soap or the water cup, but I removed the set screws and re-set the handles at an angle to allow us to use the left-hand side for the soap and the right hand side for the water glass. 

It was nice having a DIY home maintenance book on the shelf to read before fixing the sink too.  Having very little actual experience fixing things around the home, I really like a good DIY book, like the ones sold at Home Depot.

Tough week: living in a log cabin

No one likes the smell of mildew in their home.

Here in our little cabin we had a kind of tough week.  I picked up the mattress to check under it, knowing full well I could be in for a bad sight, as our mattress was lying directly on the uninsulated floor.  When we got it up we were hit with the smell of mildew, or mold–actually I’m not very good at distinguishing between midew and mold.  So, I started moving the bedding out of the room and getting organized to clean it all.

I called my mother and she said I needed to mix some Purex with some water and spray everything down that had mold on it.  Purex is a laundry detergent and comes in at least two grades: with bleach and without.  I bought the type with bleach in it and mixed it 8 oz per gallon of water, then got a squirt gun and started spraying and scrubbing everything.

Bring in the big guns…

Then I called Nishan, who’s done quite a bit of work cleaning, repairing, and restoring things and he came over to look at it and said I needed to pull up the carpet–which would have been fine except that we have these two really heavy bookshelves in the room that needed to be emptied out.  When the Greens came over, Jim helped me clear out a bunch of stuff by hauling it into the boy’s room.  We pulled up the carpet then removed the carpet pad and looked at it real hard and decided the carpet and floor needed to dry out.  So we hauled the bulk of the items out of the room into the boys room then we put into the room a few things: Jim’s ozone generator operating in high mode, a heater to keep the room warm, and a fan to circulate the air around, and let it run for a day or so.

The furniture store had carpet pad rolls in stock, so I put new carpet pads down.  I borrowed a carpet stretcher from K.C. Thomsen and put the carpet back.  The way to stretch the carpet out is to do the long straight sides first, from midpoint to midpoint securing it as you go, then do the corners last.

The whole process wouldn’t have taken a week, if I’d had an uninterrupted stretch of time to work on it all.  But since life continued on in the house, albeit in a limited fashion.  I think I actually worked on it for about 5-6 hours and ran the ozone generator and fan for about 15 hours.

So, now we’re back in the main room again.  The only problem is, I can’t tell if it’s healthy to be in this room or not.  The boys seem to have a sinus problem, but people at Church said they had some sinus problems too, and I know they weren’t sleeping here in the room with us.