Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Ultimate Tin-Foil-Hat

Installing the Radiant Guard on the roof made a HUGE difference in how much wood I need. This material is awesome! It's so light I can easily lift a 1000 sq ft roll. It cuts easily and doesn't rip when I drag it under the rough spruce beams. The makers claim it reflects 97% heat, so just to check it out, I stood in front of a roaring fire blasting heat on my face and put a sheet in front of me. It totally blocked it. I am sold on this stuff. I'm putting it on the floor now too.

I've been cooking on a woodstove for over a year now. This summer I found this little stovetop thing at Dean Wilson Jr.'s garage sale. As lifelong Alaskan trappers and an outdoor sports family, they had a lot of neat, quality stuff (and lots of little boy clothes). I was already really happy with all my goodies and gifts for Nordie and Freddie, but this one item has changed my life out here.

I got it right before my pregnant daughter arrived, and she needed good meals. Now alone, I drink coffee and smoke cigarretes and mostly eat oatmeal and top ramen. In the past 2 months I've made 2 self-rising pizzas, biscuits, red salmon, pork chops, meatloaf, baked potatoes, steamed-baked veggies and cheese rye crisps in my Camerons' Stovetop cooker.

So...hmmm.. will it bake a cake too?

The recipie said 25 to 30 minutes cooking time. It was fully baked on my stove in one hour and 40 minutes. Had to keep the new front door open cause I had to keep a HOT fire going, but it was worth every trip to the woodpile. It turned out so good and it's gone... and that's the real "sign."

Next I'll try bread and cookies. Come on up Kath! We be cookin' now! Bring shorts and flip-flops... this is practically a bath house.

Laying the last of the floor corners and not doing a very good job, but only because it's thin plywood and I didn't lay enough beams.

This will work if it's done right. Because I built it, everyone who comes over has to walk softly, heh.

Even out here I have a steady flow of traffic. We had daily guests all summer.

This is our friend Lisa with Freddie. I trained her to wait tables at Gilpatrick's Hotel Chitina last summer. Lisa is 19, cousin to our buddy Roger who convinced us to come out for an extended "visit" last year, worked for Sharon up here at the Merc this summer. It was always nice to go up there and see her friendly, smiling face. She's a mommy too and soof course she had to rush over to see Freddie right away.

Here's our friend Catherine Gilbert outside Gertee. She's a picker on her way outside to make baskets and study plants across America. Her new blog will chronicle her adventure and catalog plants and herbs and baskets she makes along the road.

We just met a family from New Hamshire who are spending the winter with us. They are really good kids, he's a hard worker and she's a smart, dedicated young mother. their son is adorable and they're also good Catholics raised to understand the dialectical transformation of their Church. We liked them immediately and want to see them make it out here. Plus, he's a carpenter and a logger so I don't have to worry about wood anymore.

I made a door out of a window I found and a few 2x4s, a 2x6 and some leftover wall slats. I tried to be "traditional" and covered the whole outside like the Mongolians do, but I wanted light. In the bottom right of the picture on the far left is my new Rubbermaid garden cart with a dump. It's making my life a lot easier, I use it to haul supplies, water, laundry and wood.. and the other day I took it back in the woods with my chainsaw and started cutting up spruce logs. I can do it!!!!! But... it'll be nice if I don't have to in 40 below. It's about 30 above today, so it's still pretty nice out.

Lots of local meetings coming up, I keep finding them wherever I look. I'm going to start a calender in about 2 weeks. We're going to Anchorage to place another order with the printer and will have books mailed asap. Our apologies for the long delay.. our printer is 250 miles away and they won't deal with us via email or phone... very frustrating, but now we know.

I've been invited back to Darren Weeks' radio show. He's one of my favorite people I've met from my ACL work. Darren keeps up on current events, so I'll learn a lot and it should be a nice chat. Hope some of you can join us. I'll post the time and how to listen in when it's confirmed.

Thank you to all the people who have offered to send us supplies. It's nice to know we haven't been forgotten. The current address is HC 60 Box 229R, Copper Center, Ak 99573.

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