March 31, 2009

View From Above

On Saturday we worked on cleaning out the drywall scraps from the upstairs. I found the easiest way to get the drywall outside to the trailer was to first throw them out the relite door.
It is a lot easier, and fun, to take the drywall downstairs than it was to haul it upstairs!

Promises Kept

Josh has been asking that I make him a Pudding Poke Cake. Since they require some ingredients I don't normally buy, cake mixes and pudding packages, I told him that once he started mudding and taping the drywall I would make him his cake. So last week I mixed it up for him. It is super easy and I thought I would share it with you if you are interested in something different.
1. Pick a normal cake mix and a complimentary pudding.
Josh chose red velvet cake with chocolate pudding.
2. Bake the cake as instructed on the box
3. Once it is done instantly poke it with the handle of a wooden spoon at 1" intervals.
4. Mix a large box of instant pudding, 8 servings, with 4 cups of milk.
(I used a 6 serving pkg.(store brand) with 3 cups of milk and it worked fine)
5. Pour 1/2 of the pudding over the cake.
6. Wait a few minutes and then use the slightly thicker 1/2 of pudding to "frost" the cake.
Chill in the fridge for 1 hour and then enjoy!

March 27, 2009

So Much Like A Finished Home

We recently had two wall cabinets given to us
We put them up in the "laundry room" and I actually was able to take my extra bed sheets out of a bag and put them on a shelf. Doesn't that sound so home like?
They still need doors. We looked at the stores in town and can't find them but heard that we can order a few maple doors sets when we order our kitchen cabinets later this year. Perfect.

March 26, 2009

Having A Plan

If you know me, you know I like to have a plan!
Last week Josh and I found kitchen cabinets that we both really like. We grabbed the store's "plan your kitchen" paper and brought it home all excited. The next day when I arrived home Josh had measured our kitchen space and drawn the outlets, windows, doors and oven vent. With that knowledge I went to town. Oh how much fun it was to draw all the little squares that will someday represent our kitchen. And a lot of little squares there was, 16 to be exact. On Sunday we stopped by the store and talked to an associate who used our hand drawn plan to create a 3D view on the computer. So cool. That and she gave us an estimate for the price. Usually this is when I would say, oh no, but not this time. It seems manageable. So with the plan in mind we are looking to the future. Cabinets, someday you will be ours!

March 25, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

This was the first day we were able to walk up our driveway.
The first vehicles parked in our parking area was the excavating equipment.
This is the first picture of the "house". We were using survey equipment to see how level the ground was.
Oh how excited we were not to have to walk through the trail in the woods to get onto our land. At this point we finally had connected our house lot to the road which meant access for deliveries and equipment. Of course this was just one of the first steps in this huge process of building the Klynstra home.

March 24, 2009

Go Ahead, Cover My House In MUD

I am super excited to report...
That the mudding and taping has officially begun.
Since the basement has heat from the wood stove Josh started mudding and taping under the stairs yesterday. Today he is doing the basement bathroom. I am so very excited.

This One Is A Keeper

Curried Split Pea Soup
~16 oz split peas, dried
~1 lb. sliced mushrooms
~1 bay leaf
~2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
~2 sliced green onions
~1 14 oz can coconut milk
~1 Tbl. Soy Sauce
~2-3 tsp. curry powder
~1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
~salt and pepper to taste
~4 cups chicken broth (I used homemade turkey broth)
~2 cups water
1. Add all ingredients to crockpot
2. Cook low 8-10 hours, high 4-5 hours
3. Sprinkle with fresh basil
I am always in search of a new gluten free meal (we have wheat free soy sauce) and I found this one last week. We tried it last night and it was really good. One thing Josh wished was that it had more bulk to it so maybe next time I will add a can of whole baby corn. Aren't crockpots the best!! Note this recipe is not from the crockpot lady, that is why I posted the recipe here on my blog. So if you have a desire for a easy yet great meal, give it a try and let me know what you think.

March 23, 2009

The Wait Is Over

As of 10:38pm Alaskan Time yesterday the Redoubt wait is over. She has finally blown!
Every Volcanologist's dream come true.
If you want to follow the additional eruptions or want more information check out:

March 20, 2009

The Wonder Of Doors

When Josh and I were going to school at UAF we each lived in dry cabins. It was a rougher life that we did well with. We lived with open shelves for our kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. We kept our lives more simple since there wasn't much room and everything was always exposed.
Honestly, living in our 1/2 constructed basement isn't much different.
We have reached the 1/2 way point on the house and after 1/2 way we start more of the "finish" work. This means cabinets and shelves with DOORS.
Over the past few days Josh as built a cabinet to go in our laundry room.
Yes it still needs a drawer plate and one more door but do you has shelves, a drawer and doors. How wonderful. Today it is getting several coats of wood clear to protect it from water.

I suddenly am starting to feel all grown up. This project we are working on will be a real house someday!!

March 19, 2009

A Day of Fun

While our friend Kevin was home on his R&R from Iraq we got to go out and experience a new Fairbanks activity, tubing and the rope pull. The military base has a tube run that is amazing simply because the hill is maintained and there is a rope pull so you never have to walk your tube back up the hill.
Kevin enjoying the ride uphill in true cowboy style.
Heather and I at the top planning the best route to take to beat the boys.
With not being super balanced my best runs were started when Josh would give me a push, otherwise I would trip over the tube as I started downhill, not a pretty sight.
The trip down was fast, windy and super fun
And with the rope pull we would just hop back in line and relax as we were taken back to the top.
To get to slide down again.
What a wonderful day to spend with friends.

March 18, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

After purchasing the land on April 12, 2007, (one day before our 11th month anniversary) we started cutting and clearing trees.
The first order of business was to build a fire pit. We cut trees from the house site and hauled them across the property to the pit area. This fire pit was essential for the first summer of building. The only way to feed more than two people at a time was over the fire. I have cooked more hot dogs and marshmallows over that fire than I could count, and I don't even eat hot dogs.
And even now, with a mostly functioning kitchen, we still love to spend summer evenings sitting by our fire pit, looking at our house that is growing and letting our minds and bodies relax.

March 17, 2009

And Then...

In our continued saga of working on the downstairs to get ready for water, Josh installed the drywall in the basement bathroom yesterday.
Of course everything in the bathroom was moved to the bedroom, but this is how things go when you live where you are building.
The utility sink that has been "temporally" in the bathroom for 18 months was moved to its permanent location in the laundry room, or at least what will be the laundry room someday. Josh stood at the end of our bed last night to brush he teeth and commented, "Wow, now this is convenient, I don't even have to go to the bathroom anymore to get ready for bed." Well Josh, we are all about convenience here, ha ha.
With the sun growing higher in the skies, the days being longer and now bright drywall in the bathroom, we are getting rid of any dark days of winter and moving towards change.
Just think, soon you will get to come visit and go to the bathroom where not only you will be able to flush the toilet but there may even be a door to close for privacy. Amazing!

March 16, 2009

Love is

Homemade mini meatloaves for my meat loving husband, made by me, the no meat for me wife.
You can tell me that there are many other ways to show your love for a husband but for me, only love can made me mix raw meat loaf meat with my hands.

If You Want To Have Water...

First you install the stairs steps
Then drywall under the stairs
Then you realize you want to move the utility sink from the bathroom to the future laundry room so that means you must move my clothes and the only place to put them is under Josh's clothes which has to be moved up.
And then if you want to get to the electrical source for the heat tape you have to move the bed, which involves removing everything that is under the bed. AKA 37 gallons of paint that were donated to us last year.
And then you must move the bed. And then sort everything that was under the bed
And of course, put it all back.
And by the end of the day you might have a clean organized room again.
But you have only completed the first steps. Now you must hot mud the drywall under the stairs.
And then....Stay tuned to the next step in getting ready for water.

Sorry Man, But If You Don't Dig Dirt...

So the driller came out to take a look at our property on Saturday.

With estimate in hand we walked through where the well would go, where the pressure tank would be installed, and where the waterline would be laid.

We were all happy.

When Josh asked how many trees needed to come down in order for him to dig the trench for the waterline everything took a turn.

Driller: "Umm, I don't dig the trench."

Me: "What then does the $2,800 of the estimate for the trench cover?"

Driller: "That is the copper line, heat tape and insulation."

Me: "Oh"

Driller: "I can drill the well in April and then have someone come back and dig the trench in May or so, after the road restrictions from break up are over."

Me: "Could we use our own person for dirt work?"

Driller: "Sure, I could just lay the waterline above ground for him to lay later."

Me: "But with copper costing $16-$18 per foot I don't really want you to have to loose the 10' of copper that would have to stick out of the ground for that to happen."

Driller: "I don't dig trenches"

Humm, I am a geologist, I love dirt and rocks. What does this guy have against dirt. I guess it isn't as much fun as drilling through bedrock for him.

So we set a date for him to drill, because it is easier to cancel than to schedule over the phone, and I called a second driller this morning.

This other guy will come out on Thursday to meet with Josh. So already the day is looking a little brighter because driller number two has a slightly cheaper estimate AND it includes the trench to the house.

Ahh, a driller who digs dirt. Our kind of guy!

Stay tuned, you never know when things will change around here!

March 13, 2009

Making Sure the Numbers Add Up

All of the estimates for our well drilling are in.

We have made our initial choice.

He is going to come check out the yard, the plumbing and the set up tomorrow.

Then he will redo the estimate to fit our needs exactly.

If all the numbers add up to something we like.

We will be setting a date for WATER.

So stay near your calendar and hold tight to your marker, we will let you know soon when the big day will be!

One Step At A Time

The next stage in getting ready for water is to prepare the area under the stairs in the basement for the Pressure Tank. Before the drywall could go up, the stairs had to be installed.
That meant for Josh ... a day of OSB, wood glue and screws.
Josh was so kind to let Zeke try the stairs out first.
He wasn't too happy about the trial.
Someday the hole in the floor upstairs will be cut open.
But for now we marvel at the fact that our house is
One set of stairs closer to being done!

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...