St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Margo is coming back!

Margo says she will be back from taking care of her Dad after his bypass surgery! She has been there with him since the beginning of March. He is back driving and doing quite well. She plans to be in Pine Island by the weekend and up at the cabin by Wednesday. So, I have to get the cabin ready for her.

 Today I took the electric water pump out of the garage and took it down below the cabin where I have a shelter for it. Since we are not here in the winter, we drain everything and dismantle it all. Normally it is pretty quick to get it all setup again. However, it appears I am getting forgetful in my old age. There are two plastic pipes coming up out of the ground to hook to the pump; one goes to the cabin and the other goes to the well. I don't have them marked, and normally remember which is which. Well, I couldn't remember this time! The two hoses each hook to the pump, one to the inlet on the pump and one to the outlet. Of course, I forgot which was which of those too!

 Anyway, I first hooked up both backwards and nothing happened but I could hear the faucet sucking air, so I ended up after a few hours of messing around, finally getting them all right and got water to the cabin and the hot water heater running all fine! This time I took a Sharpie marker and labeled everything and then drew a diagram on the wall of the building so next year, not matter how bad my mind is, it should be easy!

 While I was working on the pump, I checked out the spring that runs into the lake all year round. A few early marsh marigolds were blooming yellow with their green foliage making a nice contrast. The spring makes its own microclimate and keeps plants from freezing in the winter and gives them a quick start in the spring. Along the old River Road just off of Hwy 87 down the hill is a springy hillside too with some yellow blooms already there too mixed with bold green skunk cabbage leaves shooting up.

 Then I took a load of laundry out to the Cushing laundromat. Now it is haul my tools out of the cabin and back to the garage, vacuum it, straighten everything, dust a little, and clean all the wood chips and wood box so it looks really good.

 The funny thing is, after I go over everything and get it all cleaned and straightened out, the first thing Margo does is look around, head to town for some cleaning supplies and go over everything again. Guess there are different standards of neatness and cleanliness for different people.

 Checked the apple trees and some will have blooms this year, and some won't. You can see the buds forming now. Hopefully they won't bloom for a week or so, as we have frost predicted for a few nights yet. 

The last two mornings there was frost down on the flat by the lake, although not up the hillside where the cabin is. The cold air settles at the bottom of the hill. Walking down to the lake most calm evenings, you can feel the temperatures drop, even in the summer time.

 I had some work to do at the Luck Museum on the newsletter, so had a bagel and coffee at the Wren Cafe on Hwy 35 just north of Luck. The walls are covered with Gloria Adrian (of Cushing) paintings of sandhill cranes. There whole life history is beautifully done in large paintings. They cost $600 and up, so I just admired them. They really are worth a stop to see.

 I dug the garden by the cabin and took off a big load of rocks--just from 1/2 acre. I used them to make a fire ring down by the lakeshore. This year, ticks, mosquitoes, gnats, deerflies, bears, willing, we plan to watch the lake each evening rather than the TV. Of course, my wireless internet gets 2 bars reception down there, so we won't be totally stuck with just looking at the swans, loons, otters, ducks, geese, beaver, bald eagles, and Chuck taking a swim across the lake.

 For the first time in several years, I think we will get fishing licenses and catch some of the monster northerns in the lake (as Bryce says--they must still be there as nobody has ever caught one yet). Well, the vacuum is waiting.