Growing up and living in Fairbanks I expected moose to be around. After 30+ years it never got old seeing them. If possible I’d pull over to take some pictures or just watch them from the living room windows. I always respected the moose and never followed or crowded them. They can be dangerous if provoked but I never felt scared really. Here in Valdez there aren’t moose, they have bears and that scares me.

When I lived here for 4 years, 11 years ago, I never saw one bear and I was fine with that. Having been back now for almost 2 months I’ve seen 5 bears. The first one was running along the tree line and I said “Look at the doooo…that’s a bear!!” Next time a mom and baby ran across the road one vehicle in front of me and the last time Scott and I were headed home from dropping off the boys at school and these two biggies were hanging out by the side of the road.

A lot like the moose in Fairbanks, seeing these creatures won’t get old. I’m just scared! These are bears!!

Appliance Issues

We didn’t budget for new appliances. We wrongfully assumed all the appliances would be in tip top shape. This is the fourth house we’ve purchased together and you’d think we’d know better by now.

Scott recently returned from a quick trip to Anchorage with a new dryer and my much desired and anticipated dishwasher. Much to Scott’s dismay neither install was easy. We pulled out the old washer and discovered it was hard wired in. Neither of us had seen this before. Gratefully Scott knew how make a plug and I had added white outlets and plates to our last Amazon purchase so we had everything we needed.

After the wiring set back Scott had an issue with the washer hookups. He ran around town trying to create the part he needed cursing Bosch for not including the part with the machine. Turns out the hose he bought for the dishwasher had the attachment piece he needed. He was not happy with himself.

And there he is. All shiny and new. I have no plans to remove the sheet of wrap that protects it. Maybe when we move or the kids move out.

That same night Scott tackled the dryer. The deal with the dryer was that we had to covert it to propane rather than the natural gas it was set up for. We had to take apart the entire machine to get to the part that we needed to change out.

Scott contemplated going to appliance school since this job went smoothly despite all the labor involved. He did good! Everything went back together nicely. No odd screw left over.

So now I have my “not really needed” dryer working perfectly. If you don’t know what I mean about the “not needed” statement you’ll need to read my dryer vent post from a week ago.

So hopefully all the appliances are good for now and I can focus on painting. These vaulted ceiling are taking up some time and paint! I’ll post some before and after pictures soon.



We Took a Break

Scott and I have been working hard lately so today we took the kids to school and headed north a few miles to Thompson Pass and picked some blueberries.

It was a beautiful day!

We didn’t find the mother load but we got a gallon bag filled which is good for us.

There were lots of pretty streams with tiny waterfalls. Those fall colors make my heart full.

We brought Linus with us. He had a great time and found that he loves blueberries!

After berry picking we drove home and rested (I took a nap) before picking up the kids. It was a nice relaxing day. Tomorrow we’ll get back at it.



Dryer Vents Part 2

My lint eater turned out to be more useful and more expensive then I thought. After cleaning out my vents the dryer started throwing out gang signs. E46, AP…eek! Error, error, error. The dryer started smelling really hot too. It’s a propane dryer and it makes me nervous because I’ve never used gas before. Only electric. Crap! And guess what…SCOTT WAS GONE!

I assumed it had to do with my duct tape job so I undid it and continued to use it however my house was super moist and the laundry room had lint sticking to the walls. If I didn’t explain before the dryer didn’t have a dryer hose. The duct from the dryer was just rest near the duct from the wall. Scott duct taped it together until we bought a hose but I undid it to clean out the vents and dryer. When I was finished, I taped it up again. Now fast forward a couple days, Scott comes home with my new dryer. We assumed like every other appliance in the house the dryer was dying. We (as in he) converted the dryer to propane and hooked it up. It worked but the room was still really humid (I used humid because I know my friend Abby appreciated me not using the M word). We came to the conclusion there must be a clog. It’s possible the old dryer does work. Oops!

Scott traveled into the crawl space which was a blessing because we discovered that we really need to get that area fixed up. It’s a wet land mine down there. He undid part of the dryer ducting and saw a huge clog. I put my handy dandy lint mover together and went outside to push the lint out. Omg it was BIG and smelt like nasty laundry detergent. It was wet which is exactly why I didn’t get it out the first time because I didn’t take any ducts apart and was using the wimpy brush not the heavy duty one.

Sooo, the old dryer really wasn’t broke 😬

But we can sell it. Not for the price of the new dryer 😬 but maybe a quarter of it. And my new household fixer item proved it’s worth again!!

We are tackling more projects this Labor Day weekend so I’ll post some more pictures later.

First Day of School 2017

This day did not go as planned. I wasn’t prepared for the morning routine and in hind sight I should have had a mock trial run the day before. The drive time, the earlier start time…ugh. There was lots of yelling and hurrying going on. Certainly not the normal first day of school routine we are used to. I even forgot to take pictures before we left the house.

Barrett started 6th grade – middle school!!

Merrick started 3rd grade!

And Kierran was home alone with mom. After dropping off the boys he said, “Now what am I supposed to do without my brothers?”

Gratefully, he started Kindergarten the next week!

I was a wreck! Saying good bye to him I was really crying. I tried to hold it in for fear he’d cry but I couldn’t hold it in. Kierran was so good to me. He said, “Mom, give me a butterfly kiss. Now give me a bubble kiss (we blow up our mouths with air and kiss). Now Hugga Mugga” (rub our noses together like a bunny kiss). I then ran and hid in the bathroom to chill out for a bit before I joined the other parents at the Boo Hoo Breakfast. After the school sponsored breakfast I went out with another friend who orchestrated a Beers and Tears breakfast at a local restaurant. I got to meet some local peeps and have BREAKFAST!!

Then to celebrate having no kids in my house for 7 hours M-F (after 11 years of dreaming) I got a gym membership!

Cheers to a new chapter of mommy hood!!

Lint Licker!

I’ve been lusting after a dryer vent cleaner for a while now. A few years ago a friends dryer caught on fire due to the amount of lint in the trap which made me a little paranoid. Sadly it’s been that item in the amazon cart that keeps getting saved for later. During this last amazon purchase I threw it back in the basket. When Scott went to hit the purchase button he questioned my item. I almost relented but stopped myself and said, “No! Buy it.”

My new toy arrived in the mail and I was so excited to use it. This is the one I bought, the LintEater Rotary Dryer Vent Cleaning System. I didn’t get much out of the dryer itself but a lot out of the hose.

My assistant for the day even offered a helping hand.

YUCK! The grass was from me grabbing the lint off the ground but the rest is from the hose. The house we moved into is about 10 years old and if there was a good time to clean out a lint trap it’s when you move in to a “new to you” home.

My lint build up wasn’t as bad as some of the photos on the packaged box or posted by others on the amazon page but I’m still happy with the product and happy to have clean dryer vents. I think I’ll try to clean the fridge coils now!