Monday, May 18, 2015

Alaska's Two Seasons: Winter and Summer

Ahhh... a pitched roof at last
 Remember our mold issue?  My husband and son had to tear off sheetrock from walls and ceiling, remove foam, panels and eventually the ceiling joists, or what was left of them.  Some of the ends weren't even there, they had rotted away; blackened stubs.  All because of a little drip we spotted in the window when the snow was melting.  It turned out that this damage was happening over a long period of time.  There was no pitch to the roof over our bedroom, just flat.  At least the rest of the house has some pitch to it. 

Recalling the story of Noah, we rejoiced that our Pastor and his contractor friend finished putting the tin on the day before it rained.  Our roof was open for a month without a drop.  Isn't God amazing?  Not to mention the Pastor and his friend donated their time and money to help.  We couldn't have done this without their help.  We are feeling very loved and blessed right now.
How we haul water when our supply runs out....
 A few days ago we ran out of water!  It would happen after my fireball drained his entire bubble bath with a bazillion soap bubbles left on himself and in the tub.  All the while little sister had arisen from bed, freshly bathed, and night clothes on.  Perhaps fireball offered her a dose of bubble bath for the top of her head, or she helped herself, but she was happily smearing it around when I entered in.  The facet was spitting air and reddish looking water and I kept collecting and dumping it just enough to rinse everyone clean.  It was nip and tuck!  Suddenly everyone got very thirsty.

We have a well at 1.5 gallons/minute.  There are 3 holding tanks in the basement so that it can catch up to itself as it doesn't produce very fast.  Many people have to haul water to their homes up here.  A lot of the water simply can't be consumed, some just tastes awful and it is scarce.  It is pretty dry up here, unlike the Southern part of Alaska.  We are considered the Interior of Alaska with mostly tundra like places and birch/spruce forests here and there.  So these giant looking marshmallow water tanks are what people use for water.  There are many water stations around town and you just pull up like you would to buy a coffee or gas, except no one is there manning the little station.  You put in your money and fill up.
Can I see me?
 Our baby soon will no longer be the baby... she's 2 1/2 and is aware that a new baby is coming.  She is jumping on a giant trampoline that the previous owners left. 
Guess what I found growing in my garden?
If you guessed rhubarb, you're right.  It grows huge and beautiful here with all the summer sunlight.   It's stays light later than I stay up now and is light by 5:00 in the morning. (I don't always get up at 5:00am)  Wild rhubarb and wild raspberries also grow here as well.  I'm not fond of rhubarb pie... is there anything else that you can make?  I just noticed in the picture all the moose poop to the left, just in case you noticed or are wondering what it looks like.
A diminishing wood pile.... very comforting
 Comforting in that it is diminishing into our cut and stacked wood pile under the porch.  The boys spend a little time each day working on this and sometimes the girls help too.  It's not so daunting when worked on a little every day.... kind of like any large task at hand, including home schooling.
The view of our house from the uphill greenhouse steps...
We feel so blessed to have been able to buy this place.  It's on 3 acres and a hillside and is just so cozy nestled into the Birch woods.  We have enough space to level out several RV pads for future guests.... hint, hint for anyone considering visiting this far North....


  1. What a beautiful spot you have! I was glad to hear that the work got done before the rain - that was a real blessing too! I understand the deep need for water, having just gotten our well drilled, and how thankful we were to get it. How long does it take your tank to refill? Enjoy the two seasons of Alaska, lol... :)

  2. I'm not sure how long it takes. The pump comes on with a timer every couple hours. It's hard to measure because we're always using water. It has been very dry so far and already there's been a grass fire on a ridge not far from us. We often think of Alaska as being very wet but up here in Fairbanks there are always lots of fires in the summer.

  3. It's such a beautiful life! We found more wild rhubarb this year too! I vowed last year to use it more (but we don't like to use sugar, and we don't like rhubarb). We developed a rhubarb juice recipe that we all love! It's a great way to use the young ones. We use the bigger ones to make jam.
    Winter and summer...Isn't that the truth? :-)

  4. I would love to have your rhubarb juice recipe. Is it posted on your blog? My mom would make a sauce like thing from rhubarb and I remember liking it on waffles and pancakes as a child. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to make some of your rhubarb juice soon.