St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Early Spring on the Farm

Margo has been home now for her 3rd day.  She can walk around some with a walker, but still needs help getting dressed and getting out of a chair and bed.  However she is improving some each day.  She is still in a lot of pain, but it is different from the pre-surgery pain and we are hopeful that this is just the pain left over from major surgery healing.  She had much work done on her back and neck!   Thursday we take her to Barron for an outpatient occupational therapy session and an outpatient physical therapy session.  OT is getting back to the daily functioning to be independent and PT is regaining lost strength.  It is likely to be a year-long recovery, but coming along good so far. 
WiFi reaches the porch where Margo enjoys the outdoors

For the past two days, with the very mild weather, Margo sat for several hours out on the porch and enjoyed the birds, cars driving by, farmers working in the fields and some visitors who dropped in to see how things were going.  "Much more interesting than in a hospital room and bed!"  We put on the little porch to the east to give Dad an outdoor place when in his last 2 years parkinsons limited his ability to get around. The old motorized recliner/lift chair has sat there for 15 years and plugging it in -- still works!   We picked it up for free as it was not all there, and converted the missing electrical transformer to a 12 volt battery and Dad used it for his outdoor port into the world. 

A busy week ahead for me with two reunions scheduled.   I am helping out with the Duncan Yo-Yo employees reunion on Thursday afternoon at the Luck WI Senior Citizens Center, a block away from the old Duncan Yo-Yo plant.  The plant closed in the early 1960s and so we expect employees from about my age up to Edna Lawson at age 99.  

Edna was promoted to a job something like office manager and when asked by her fellow employees why she was promoted over many others who had been their longer, stated "I got the position because the distance from my navel to the floor is exactly the length of a Yo-Yo string."   I think that probably shushed the complainers as they pondered this fact.    

My 98 year old neighbor, Jennie Iverson Nelson also plans to attend.  "I was the fastest string cutter/twister in the whole plant" back in the late 1940s or early 50s.  Should be a fun time with folks reminiscing about a business that employed 1000s of people and offered women a good job too, something hard to find in those days.  The plant started in about 1946 and lasted until 1964.   
Jennie and Margo visiting a few years ago--Jennie shows some handwork.  She crochets, knits, writes poetry and recently renewed her driver's license at age 98

The other reunion is at the college in River Falls, UWRF, for those who went through the physics program.  About a dozen years ago I nudged the physics faculty in River Falls to put on a physics reunion and the 25 or so of us who showed up from all different years had a good time as well as donated a little money for the department. The faculty decided to try again and Friday and Saturday have invited former students to a picnic, tour, visit etc.   I looked at the attending list and see at least 5 students from my era.  I think most of us from my era will be retired, except for my friend Reg Ronningen from Frederic WI who wraps up a long career helping to run a cyclotron at Michigan State University this fall.   (A cyclotron is something like the cyclopes of Greek mythology)
Not sure if this is a cyclotron diagram or not, but it looks scientific and it came from MSU.  Below is a pair of glasses for a cyclopes.  

Farming and gardening underway in the farm with our renter digging up the fields.  He plans to plant some soybeans, wheat and alfalfa and corn this year.  I think he heard about Margo maybe getting a herd of beef calves as a rehab activity and is planning to help out!

 Planning to move our pumpkin and squash garden from the cabin to the farm this spring.  Two garden tractors breaking up the sod west of the yard.  

Skunk Cabbage and Marsh Marigolds in the springs along the St Croix River north of the falls.