Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Laundry Part III AKA Washateria

Taking over the Washateria
Well at this point I think the answer to the laundry issue this winter is going to be hauling the clothes in to the Washateria 16 miles down the highway in Manley Hot Springs. It's $2.00 per load to wash and another $2.00 per load to dry. I won't be drying them there just washing them. Then I'll bring them home and hang them on the line inside the house. The Washateria is in a small Atco style building that also houses the village clinic. It boasts 2 washers, 2 dryers and 2 washrooms with a shower($1 for 20min), sink and toilet. They also have Wi Fi but I haven't taken my computer in. When we go in we pretty much take the place over. I put a picnic blanket on the floor for the kids and bring snacks like muffins or homemade breakfast bars. It also gives us a chance at a hot shower which is a real treat. On the same property is also the village council building which has a small store with conveince store fare. When it's open I splurge and have a can of Dr. Pepper ($.75). I'm working on setting up a visit time along with the laundry by meeting up with Ms. Connie on the days that she goes in for her wash. My next trip in was going to be Tuesday but it snowed alot Monday night and I wasn't sure if the roads would be ok. When I went in on Friday we left the house at 7:40 am and it was -5 out. Driving in it was still pretty dark and with the headlights the entire road side was covered in sparkles from the frost it was really beautiful. Lisa said it was frost ferries. On the way home the views of the mountians covered in snow was amazing. I stoped just before the bridge at Baker Creek about 2 miles from the house. It's almost all frozen over accept on the lower side of the Beaver dam. There we little rabbit and squiral tracks in the fresh snow on top of the frozen creek. It was a nice peaceful drive home with 3 sleeping kids.
Washateria/Clinic Building


My dad will be making a trip to the lower 48 in November to spend time with my Grandpa who is having heart issues. The house is pretty much done accept the back porch. Will post some more pics of outside and inside shortly once the back porch is finished. The past 2 days our Cow Moose and her calf have been hanging out right around the house. I wasn't able to get pictures because my camera battery went dead and I couldn't find the charger. I finally found it this afternoon so now it's charged and ready. Hopefully it will be a regular morning visit and I can get some shots tomorrow. Heres hopin. I'm hoping my next post will be a little more exciting. We're trying to plan at least on more trip into Fairbanks but were debating on weather or not the kids and I will be going or just Ken. If we all go we'll get a hotel room for the night. Not sure what we'll do about the dogs yet though. Someone would have to let them in and out of the house. We have a long list of things that we need before we're stuck here. We didn't really get our vehicles set up with heaters and such so I think there will probably come a point were they wont start.

The boys are doing well with the potty training and were actually able to keep their undies dry away from home for 4 hours. Again, sorry this isn't a more exciting post I'm hoping that the next one will be. Hopefully it will have some nice close up shots of the Moose by the play house just outside the livingroom window. I swear the little calf was starring back in the window at the three little kids lined up standing in chairs watching them. It was great!

Blessings to All,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Doing Laundry Part II

Before jumping into the laundry I would like to say that we had a great visit with some friends from Fairbanks on Saturday Lori and Georgeanne. They brought us a bunch of treats little things that you miss when your 160 miles from a grocery store: Oranges, cheese, pizza, pumpkins for the kids, M&M's, etc.. The kids love their pumpkins and keep carrying them around with them. Wyatt likes to give his little kisses.

Sunday we set up the kids play house that we hauled up with us from Arizona so they had a good time on the slide. The boys did really well climbing up the ladder and going down the slide. They didn't care for the tire swing though.


Ok on to the new laundry situation. As you can imagine having the washer outside the line eventually froze inside the machine. So, we waited for it to thaw and moved it into the house. Ken set it up so that it could drain out into the grey water tank. It's plugged into the solar set up. Sounds nice huh? Having the washer inside? OH NO!! When it was outside I had the luxery of filling it with the hose. Now water must be hauled about 5-7 gallons at a time and poured into the washer. It takes about 22 gallons to fill the washer for each of 2 cycles. Thats 44 gallons and aprox 9 trips carrying a heavy container off ice cold water with the weather in bellow freezing temps and up at least one small flight of stairs. Also you have to watch it closely so that you can get it filled fast enough on the rinse cycle to it doesn't burn up the motor trying to fill the tub with no water flow through the pump. Needless to say after one load on Friday I took the other 6 loads in to the washateria in Manley Hot Springs and washed them there. I also took advantage and the kids and I had a warm shower. While it was no picnic keeping the kids entertained in the washeteria it was alot easier than hauling all that water. I'll try to limit laundry to a load a week for as long as I can haul the water. When temps get too low it will not be possible as the water will freeze comming out of the hose. At that point I guess we will be forced to use the washeteria. It's not terrible but it is about a 14 mile drive each way and then $2.00 a load to wash and $2.00 a load to dry but they don't actually get dry in one spin. I didn't dry all our loads after the first came out still damp. We have line strung upstairs and are hanging cloths there. For now I guess I'll hope that the potty training stays on track and reduces the amount of cloth diapers, peed clothes and cleaning clothes. Any tips on teaching little boys to keep their little weenies down while sitting?

Washer under the stairs

  While talking about the basics of washing clothes I thought I would mention a little about refridgeration. We have a nice fridge that we brought with us from Arizona. It was an ice maker that does cubes, crushed or filtered water. It is being used to hold canned and dry goods. It makes for a fancy pantry. Instead items are kept cool in a cooler wich is cooled using plastic juice and milk containers that are filled with water and frozen in the chest freezer. These are rotated every other day to keep things like Mayo and other dressings cool. Now that it's freezing out we will probably stop using the freezer space for the jugs and just start putting them outside.

Ken is still doing some work for John Dart on the thermal energy greenhouse that he is building. I'm not sure how much work he will have left this season, I would imagine that they will have to stop working once it gets too cold or starts to snow. Check out the website bellow. It really is interesting the greenhouse will be powered and run completely off of thermal power from the local hot spring. Growing up my goal was to work in hydroponics in the Biosphere II project so this is really interesting to me. I also included a link for the Biosphere II project.

Blessing to all and as Tiger would say "Ta Ta For Now"