St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Foggy Morning Tour

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.   Carl Sandburg 

The wren living next to the house scolded me awake as he voiced disapproval of a stray cat passing through the yard at 5:30 am.  It was the early morning pre-sunrise light and fog that makes me want to rub my eyes to clear them that pushed me into a trip around the neighborhood and photograph fog filterings.

Margo's father is adjusting well to his new assisted care apartment, so she headed back to Pine Island Wednesday to check on things and to drop into Mayo for a few tests.  I expect her to be back here on the back side of Bass Lake sometime in the next few days if all is OK.  

I am saving some things for her to do so she will feel needed (hoeing, house cleaning, and a few other things).   I go around the house and strew some papers, and mess up the coffee tables and sprinkle bread crumbs on the carpet just to make it look like I need help in keeping things in order.  I also leave a few weeds in the flower beds and garden just for her to pull so she knows things aren't perfect when she is gone.  A good husband has to make sure his wife understands she is a key part in keeping him from falling into complete rusticity and hillbillity.  

I have been on my own since the beginning of April.  My own level of housekeeping is somewhat more informal.  My underware don't complain if they aren't bleached and folded; my socks seem to get along without being paired (it helps to only buy black socks of one brand and style); I can live without seeing the table under my projects.  

I do have standards; foods that smell or have disappeared under fuzzy mold is tossed; muddy shoes rarely track past the kitchen; one pot of coffee per week (zapped in the microwave) is sufficient and my basic core food preparation principle:  "If you can't cook it in the microwave it probably isn't worth eating."  Only pizza's seem to be less than excellent microwaved--but I am working on a solution for that -- microwave them on the cardboard.  If you do it right, the cardboard flames up near the end of the zap and browns the bottom nicely.  

On my drive this morning with the "new" 99 Dodge Dakota, the driver's side window went down and refused to go up -- power windows.  The passenger side window goes down from the driver's side button but to go up you have to use the passenger side window switch.  After jiggling it around a little, it went up, so I have diagnosed a faulty switch.  Now to figure out the secret fasteners that secure the door panel (with strange star shaped screw heads) and remove it and replace the switch.  The '99 Hyundai has the old style hand cranks -- a much more robust system.  

My 1937 Chev Pickup that I had from 1960-2010 had hand cranks that still worked fine after 70 years, however the crank to open the windshield outward for really cool driving got stripped as I regulated this early kind of air conditioning too often as I tried to cool down my dates back in the old days.  

Have spent about 20 hours over several days copying information about George A. Nelson for a project I am doing with the Polk County Genealogical Society.  Still have a day or two left--I do 3-4 hours at a time.  

We picked the most famous Polk Countian of the first half of the 20th century that had disappeared from memory to do a research project on.  You can get the summary (although somewhat filled with errors) on wikipedia by clicking on George A. Nelson

His grandaughter, who lives nearby, has six large plastic tubs of old photos, political papers, newspaper clippings, letters and even an 1898-1900 journal George kept of his 2 years in the Klondyke Gold Rush in the Yukon.   Right now I am reading 20 or so newspapers from Dawson City that he brought back -- dated 1899-1900, yellowed, somewhat fragile, very tiny print and having the smell of vinegar -- old acid based paper.  I am photographing them too. 

George Nelson, left, with the Polk County, WI Fair Board outside the grandstand and main office.