Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sadness - Charlie Kitten RIP

After a sudden onset illness and two days of rapid decline, our Charlie passed away in my arms early this morning.

We aren't sure of the cause; but we did our best nursing her and keeping her as comfortable as possible. Ultra-low temperatures precluded us from making the 4 hour trip into Fairbanks to get her to the vet despite our continued efforts to get the truck running and on the road.

We adopted Charlie in 2007 from our vet while Odin was hospitalized the first time after being diagnosed with diabetes and chronic renal insufficiency. She had been abandoned by her previous owner and had been living in the vet's kennel for nearly a year at that point, so we have never been sure exactly how old she was.

Despite general crankiness, Charlie was a loving and adorable kitty. She was with us and provided comfort throughout Odin's illness and eventual death in 2008, and the death of his sister Celine in 2009 of massive stroke shortly after we arrived here. She valiantly survived a drive through Canada, two winters in wall tent and Ripley's puppyhood.

Charlie will be sorely missed, everyday, as I miss Odin and Celine.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Still Ticking

"Partly cloudy. Patchy ice fog. Lows 30 below to 45 below. Light winds."

Pretty much sums it up ;) Seriously, we get B-grade horror movie effects every time we open the door as the warm interior vapor rapid chills and forms a thick layer of fog across the floor when the cold air rushes into the living room. It's trippy.

We've been staying inside warm and cozy unless it's absolutely critical to be out and about. Even then, we try to limit it to as short a time as possible. Getting bits and pieces of projects done a little at a time... mostly depending on whether it's warm enough for the generator to run, or the truck to start. The poor ATV is hibernating, even a warm freshly charged battery and plugging her in on the generator won't get or keep her running most days. Not to mention that I keep having to either dig building materials out from underneath 4-5 feet of snow, or whatever I need is buried and hiding somewhere in the crap we have stacked up all over the house.

I truly loathe living in an active work space, and working in an active living space. The first 90 minutes of every project is moving everything "domestic" out of the way and gathering up/moving in all of today's materials so you can work. And the last 30 minutes, at least, are spent putting all the work stuff away somewhere and re-establishing domesticity so you aren't reaching over a 5 gallon bucket of paint while you're making dinner. Considering that we only have about 5 hours of sunlight these days, it doesn't leave a lot of time to get anything done that requires light and power tools. We can either have lights bright enough to work or have big power draws, but not both!! And I really don't want to try doing precision finish work with a headlamp or a handheld battery-op saw.  I admit it, I am just not that good (or maybe I'm just that OCD heee!).

We gotten the joy of being trapped inside the house because the doors froze shut. Not just a teeny bit of seasonal swelling, but actual creepers of ice sealing the jamb. T'was very special... we needed a heat gun, jimmy bar and deadblow mallet just so Ripley could go out for a pee LOL!  I think before next winter we'll need to get a different heater, and possibly a different stove, because the "unvented" models we have now are putting out just a teeny bit too much humidity (they're safe indoors, just create water vapor). Since the rest of the house is so tight, the condensation is icing up the windows and doors something chronic. Of course, we'll (hopefully) have everything properly installed, insulated, caulked, and painted as well as the arctic entry porches built... which should all help immensely. It will at least move the condensation and frost zone out a couple feet. Heck, I might even have curtains up next winter... gasp!!!!!

With any luck, I'll at least have the kitchen, pantry and bathroom squared away before break up. If I'm really lucky, it'll be done before it warms up enough for engines to run properly and we need to focus on getting in next year's wood. Because, really, the disorganized mess is driving me totally bug-nuts. Having Aspergers, I don't usually get cabin fever like "normal" people because I like to spend time cooped up by myself, but I do get a little freaked out when things in my space aren't organized and put away properly. (OK, a lot freaked out, so I'm spending a lot of time rocking in my recliner while window-shopping for organizers and pantry canisters online in an attempt to self-soothe).

But, all in all, we're doing well. Hanging in there and taking it a bit easy this winter now that we aren't freezing our tails off in the tent ;)