St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Mom called from Cushing and said that Chuck, who rents the farmland we have, had spread the huge piles of turkey manure on the fields yesterday and chisel plowed them all up. It is at least a month early for that to be underway! She had Everett get a few pails of manure to put on her garden. Looks like people are going to try some early farming this year.

Mom, at 90, is enthusiastic at getting into the garden this year. Hopefully the exercise will get her stiff knees loosened up a little. She has been chiropractering for a couple of weeks with some mild improvement.

I turned 65 in December, and so far in my first year of officially being a senior, my health been mostly on my mind. Yesterday was an 8-week check on my CPAP breathing machine. The machine has a built in computer to record everything that happens each night. The sleep experts at Mayo downloaded the data and studied it and then told me everything was fine, after a very mild lecture on being careful as I had adjusted the machine to different settings other than what they had prescribed. I had upped the pressure the machine runs at to try to bring down the sleep stops from 8 per night to under 3 (it seems to have worked). I don't go back unless there is a problem for a year. The machine tells the doctor how many hours I use it each night and how many days I use it (average of 6.5 hours a night and 7 nights per week). If I don't use it enough, Medicare will take it back unless I pay for it myself.

The machine costs almost $1500 with the attachments. Medicare pays $110 per month rental for a year, when, if I am still using it faithfully, the machine becomes mine (rent to own). I am using it faithfully, because it makes my life better. I sleep good; feel refreshed, and best of all have a lot of ambition to do stuff, that I had pretty much lost before getting on the machine. It is actually quite a miserable thing to wear this mask and be hooked to the machine each night, but the rewards are worth it.

As I strive for better health with breathing, knees, and gradual weight loss, the next thing I need to work on is stamina. I had limited my walking so much with the bad knee for 2 years, that I am pretty much out of shape. So my next few months will be getting outside and walking and doing things. Too many things all built up and forced me to address them this year, however, now I am on the upswing with hopes of much improvement. I have a huge amount of maintenance to catch up on, being responsible for Mom's farm (I bought it from her), my Pine Island home, and the cabin on the Lake. All have suffered from my lack of mobility and ambition. I think I will delay the work on ladders for a few months ;)

I have the Sterling Picnic 75th book roughed out, but am in need of more stories and photos from the 40s-70s. Friday the picnic committee meets to plan this year's picnic. Scott and I are headed to Cushing for a long weekend to go to this meeting and others. I started going to the picnic back in the 1950s; my first job there besides cleanup, was to sell the pop, bottles floating in a big tub of ice water at 10 cents each. The Luck History Society newsletter is almost complete: the Sterling newsletter is underway, and I am 30% finished with the book on the Alabama folks settling in Polk County. I am trying to finish these off while I am still laid up.