September 30, 2008

The big debate

Fox River Socks


Smart Wool Socks
I like Fox River.
Heather likes Smart Wool.
Which do you prefer?

Mark the Date

Our local chapter of Habitat for Humanity has a great resource that I believe all of my Fairbanks readers really need to know about.
It is their Resale Store.
This Resale Store is a place where contractors around the area donate unused building materials from their different jobs. Habitat collects these and sells these materials at an extremely discounted price and all of the proceeds go to buying things that are needed for building our local Habitat Houses. Since the building Habitat houses isn't to code for being a store they just have an on going "Garage Sale". This coming weekend, October 4-5, will be the last sale of the year since the building isn't heated. They are going to reduce their prices even more to move as much inventory out as possible. This store sells a variety of things from paint, tile, building materials, doors, cabinets and lots of hardware (cabinet door knobs and such). So even if you are just thinking of changing the appearance of a room, this is for you. Plus, you just never know what else you might find. So MARK YOUR CALENDARS for this Saturday and Sunday. Stop by the store between 11am-5pm either day. Plus if you come between 11am-1pm on Saturday you will see Josh and me since we are working then. The store is located on Philips Field Rd in the old Meat Packing building across the street from Ace hardware and the railroad industrial portion of town.
See you there!
(Sorry for all the colors, bogger wouldn't let me make new paragraphs for some reason today, so strange!)

September 29, 2008

First snow of the year

This weekend was a great weekend at the Klynstras. We started Saturday with working in the yard before the fore casted snow could fall. We worked 5+ hours and although we got cold it was wonderful to see all that we got done.

I worked on moving our split wood into the shed and when Heather called and found out what I was doing she was over in a 1/2 hour and helping me out. So wonderful to have the help of a friend! Plus Josh used the trailer on the Jeep to finish moving a few more loads of the rounds that were still down the driveway.

So before the snow could really start we had all of the split wood moved, Josh had built a shed for all of the birch bark that had ripped off, the spruce wood for next year was covered and the rounds were stacked and waiting for another day when will will split more.

The house is coming along well. Josh and I took a strict look at our calendar and have marked a weekend that we can dedicate to putting up drywall. My job is now to call around and price a lift and Josh is going to get as much of the domestic water done as possible. The hope is that we will be able to get all of the lid done and the exterior walls. Less than two weeks to go...

But the most exciting part of the weekend was our first snow. Winter has arrived.

Such a clean yard, not piles of unsplit wood.
The shed now holds a little over 6 cords of wood. What a comforting thought.

No it isn't a ton of snow but it isn't melting. I am just taking a wild guess but even with the little bit that we have we probably still have more than you do. And for the record, yes I did make cookies on Sat. My tradition for the first snow of each year.

September 26, 2008

Third Time is a Charm

We are picking up another tube of black death tonight (real name - acoustic sealant) and will try and finish the windows again. Third time is a charm right!

Thumbs Up

No I don't know these people but they make me laugh as I feel super excited about getting to tell you how well our inspection went. The inspector (or investigator as Heather likes to call him) came over and gave our vapor barrier and insulation a look over last night. He did let us know one or two things that would help us but besides that we had a thumbs up report.

Josh asked him what was the next step we need him to come sign off on and he doesn't need to come back until the house is DONE. I mean completely done, trim and all. How wonderful for my nerves! We don't have to see the guy for a few more years, ha ha I mean for a little while.

September 25, 2008

Holding on

Let the cold days and nights come.

Let the fall leaves fall off of the trees.

Let the snow fill the sky and cover everything outside.

I have a little piece of summer growing upstairs and that makes me happy.

Keeping the moisture inside.

I am happy to report that the vapor barrier is done. The plastic is all up on the walls and is staples, taped and black deathed into place. The inspector is coming to give it a look over tonight!

As I said I would, I cut out the windows a few nights ago. I labeled each window's plastic first and then folded it and tucked it in between the glass and screen so it will be available when we need to cover the windows again during mudding and taping of the drywall.

Because of two very different, but both very tragic, accidents involving black death, we still have three and half windows that need to have some black death applied around the edges. So not from a lack of trying, there are a few things here and there that are still keeping us busy.

September 24, 2008

Look at this

Our entire list of "things to do before drywall" is done. Each and every item has been crossed off the list. Oh how wonderful. (domestic water wasn't on the list and no, it isn't done, but it is being worked on.)

September 23, 2008

The race is on

These past few days have been full of work. Heather came over twice and has helped me move a ton of our split wood into the shed where it will stay dry, finally! And vapor barrier is coming along great. We worked hard over the weekend and last night with getting the plastic up on the walls, and we can already feel the difference.

Yesterday I called the inspector and he is coming out on Thursday evening to check the insulation and vapor barrier. If we pass this then we have a go for drywall!! I will give you an update on Friday how that goes.

Here are a few pictures of our progress and the work that is going on. The clock is ticking.

Under the stairs is hard place to reach. Josh did a great job.

In addition to hanging vapor barrier we are fluffing each piece of insulation to ensure it is fix correctly in place. Soon we won't be breathing in anymore fiberglass.
I am going to work on cutting out the windows tonight.

Only the edges of the huge gable end still need to be finished. We are almost there, yeah. In order to get to all of the exterior wall for the barrier we had to move everything (drywall, plants, tools, light fixtures) into the middle of the rooms. A lot of cleaning and sorting has taken place of the last few days!
We are so excited to have been able to work hard and fast through this building step. Sunday morning was the beginning of having to scrap ice off of our windshield, oh my.

Let there be a light in the darkness of night

Over the weekend Josh ran an electrical line from our power pole to the woodshed. He installed:
1. a motion light, great for when we are moving around the yard
2. a light in the woodshed, needed for when we want to get wood during the winter
3. a power post at the edge of the driveway to plug in the jeep

The mornings have been so dark that the motion light is actually coming on when we leave for work already, what happened to our long summer days?

September 19, 2008

Getting Ready for the weekend ahead

Just a little Friday update from the Klynstra's. We worked hard last night on Vapor Barrier and were able to get all of the third floor done!

The forecast for the weekend and into next week is rain so tonight we are going to work outside on things that have to be done. Our friend Heather is coming over to help us out and she and I are going to spend time moving as much wood as we can into the woodshed. Once that rain turns to snow, as they are predicting, it won't be any fun to move wood. Josh is working on installing an electrical post at the edge of the driveway for plugging the car in and a light switch on the woodshed for a motion light.

Saturday is going to be an indoor day to work on vapor barrier on the main floor of the house. Right now we have drywall resting against most of the walls so in order to get the vapor barrier up we have to move a lot of drywall. Soon it will all be on the walls, lights will be in place and bathroom cabinets will be installed, we won't know what to do with all of that floor space once it is available!

So have a great weekend. Enjoy the days away from work and with friends and family. I will post an update on Monday.

A big thanks

A big thank you goes to mom Klynstra. I received a wonderful box last night full of things I can eat and add to my diet. It is going to make preparing dinner easier and more fun. Thank you for the rice crackers, gluten free pancake mix, gummy candies I can eat and especially for the egg free, gluten free, dairy free brownie mix. The night I make that will be a special occasion indeed!

So thanks mom for thinking of me and sending me such a great surprise.

September 18, 2008

Vapor Barrier Part 2

Last night we finished vapor barrier on the study and master bedroom's walls. Over 1/2 of the upstairs is now done.

If you are wondering why the windows are still covered...we are going to take the time to cut them out and black death the edges after all the walls are done. Getting the walls done first before the frost is the priority.

Potato Harvest

As of this week the last thing to harvest from our community garden plot was our potatoes. We stopped by Tuesday evening to find out how they had grown. We had planted them in tires so that it was pretty easy to dig them out. Josh just flipped the tires over and we dug out the vegetables. It was like a big treasure hunt.

We had planted Yukon Golds and Blue Potatoes, that are very purple in color and properly called Delta Blues. What a fun selection to harvest.

September 17, 2008

Vapor Barrier

This past weekend Josh and I started installing our vapor barrier. For those of you who live in warmer, wetter environments you might not have vapor barrier in your house, or if you do it is on the outside to keep the moisture out. But it is super important here in Alaska where the winters are so cold and dry to have vapor barrier on the inside. It helps to keep the warm, moist air that we generate inside the house and thus help to keep the house heated.

Wikipedia's definition for Vapor Barrier is: "Vapor barriers resist moisture from penetrating through the barrier and the moisture will instead remain on the side of the barrier where the moisture originated."

We have been able to finish all of the Lid, aka: the ceiling. Tonight we will start in on the walls. We need to finish this up before we have a hard frost that will draw the moisture out of the house and crystallize along the outer walls. Mother Nature's clock is ticking.

First Josh fixes the insulation that is in place. He makes sure that it is fluffed and all of the corners are tucked in where they need to be. He also cuts the insulation to fit around the electrical wires and boxes that have been installed.

Second, the Black death (acoustic sealant but is called black death because once it is on something it never seems to come out) is applied around the edges to seal the vapor barrier. Third the vapor barrier is stapled down to keep it in place.

One part done and we are moving right along.

Love is...

A double batch of oatmeal cookies for my hard working husband...

Putting Food By

This summer was my first summer with my own garden and really, my own house that we are able to live in more and more each day. So I stretched my boundaries and started figuring out the best form of food preservation for the long winter. So from the planting, growing, picking and then preserving to date I have:

Canned: Rhubarb sauce, high-bush cranberry jelly, high-bush cranberry syrup, and raspberry jam

Dehydrated: Chives, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Bananas (from the store), zucchini, peaches (bought on sale) and rhubarb. The popcorn in the back is also store bought. We are just buying it in large quantities now that salted popcorn is one of the nightly snack I can eat, thus we can enjoy together.

Frozen: Shredded zucchini, strawberries, spaghetti squash, rhubarb, raspberries, low-bush cranberries, high-bush cranberries and blueberries.

Cold Storage: Potatoes that we harvested from the garden last night (I will post a picture soon)

So even with today's grocery stores and food available year round, do you put food by? Do you think it is worth it? Do you think it is fun or too time consuming. Let me know your thoughts.

September 16, 2008

Our Wonderful Mini-Vacation

Our mini-vacation to Denali was great. We hit the road Sunday morning and arrived into Denali village in just under 2 hours. I love that we live so close. Our first stop was to secure a camping site for the night and then we went to buy our road permit for the next day. After settling in, we checked out the Visitor's center and decided on a little hike. We headed up Mt. Healy. It was a wonderful day. Cool but warm when we were moving and the colors were amazing. It was so nice to be free of all work, responsibilities and obligations except to have fun and enjoy each other.

I have published 4 different posts, this is the first, today to document our trip. It was hard to narrow down the 227 pictures we took in 36 hours but I hope you are able to enjoy each picture I was able to share. The following images are from our relaxing Sunday in Denali. What a wonderful day to move slow before getting on the road at 6:45am the next morning.

The beauty of Denali National Park

What an amazing day. Our God is such an amazing artist, it brings tears to my eyes. Around mile 64, when we could first see Mt. McKinley, I asked Josh if this is where we could build out next house. I just didn't ever want to leave.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...