Homestead Improvements

The summer has been flying by, and temperatures have been HOT! Most days, temperatures hovered in the mid-high seventies if not eighty to eighty-five degrees. Normally, the dogs sleep through the hot days, basking in the warmth. Of course, that means when it’s finally a bit cooler around 1AM-3AM, the yard becomes alive! The dogs start barking, playing with their neighbors, and bouncing off the walls. We’re all looking forward to when the temperatures drop again and darkness returns. Our saving grace has been the Chena River. Several nights a week, a big group of pups and I head for the river to swim, fish, or cool off. Typically we meet Amanda, Janelle, Saeward, or the Borealis Peony gang for a massive dog party!

During the past two weeks, we’ve also had father-in-law (and Ryno Kennel Founder), Rick, at the kennel to help with projects. Our primary focus has been:

1- Building an uber-insulated battery shed

2-Staining and chinking the cabin

Lazy workers

Rick- with a Founders shirt that’s still in good condition!

The shed before Tyvek. We’ll then add siding and a pole barn over the top. The structure in square in an effort to decrease any wasted space (like the peak of a roof).

The shed before Tyvek. We’ll then add siding and a pole barn over the top. The structure in square in an effort to decrease any wasted space (like the peak of a roof).

This past year, we’ve been turning on the generator whenever we need power and shutting it off when we’re finished. That means any time we needed water (except for a brief period when our pipes froze and we had to get water from the Chena River in the middle of the winter… oops), work on the computer, use a vacuum, or do anything energy related, we had to turn on the generator. I don’t like to turn on the generator for simple tasks (like charging a computer), so I’ve mostly just done without (which I’ll blame for my lack of blogs this year). Excitingly, in the near future, we’ll have a battery bank and solar panels!! We can’t wait!! Solar panels should cover all our energy needs from March-October, but we will have to turn on the generator during the dark winter months. However, with the battery bank, we’ll be able to store any excess power generated, rather than waste the extra output when all I needed was to work on the computer. Our main energy needs will be water, lights, washer, dryer, computer, and phone charging. Our fridge is powered with propane as is our oven. Having a 10-inch thick insulated shed for our battery bank, generator, and inverter is going to be a ginormous improvement for us!! Anyways, I was explaining all this to say that our battery shed was one of Rick’s main focuses during his “vacation.” A big thank you to Rick for helping building the shed!

Once the battery shed was complete (save the siding and pole barn over the roof), Rick started chipping away on the main cabin. On the to-do list for this summer is staining and chinking the cabin. Rick scraped all the old bark that was stubbornly hanging to the logs and began staining. Wow is it looking excellent! Now just imagine chink, a big porch with a rocking chair and dog couch- it’s going to be heaven! Can you spy Kindi in her favorite sleeping spot?

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