St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Moving Forward

   Gardening here on the Hanson farm got a boost with nearly 4 inches of rain the past week, one of them being a 3 inch soaker.  The strawberry crop was poor, the raspberry crop good, the blueberries a few handfulls from 4 plants, and the apples set on only some trees.  The late spring freeze seems to have hindered things this year.
Our garden had raspberries and blueberries for Margo's 4th of July cake -- from scratch

    We have a pumpkin garden at the lake cabin, a squash garden on the farm, the fruit farm on the farm with some lettuce, beans, peas, etc., and a water melon farm on the sand land along the River Road.  They seem to be doing pretty good, setting fruit and so far we have kept the weeds in check.
The squash garden has small squash on the vines.  Had to ring it with an electric fence as the deer ate the blossoms.

    Scott and I put a new porch roof on the cabin.  Back in 1975 we built it and a year later added a porch with a roof made of plastic panels. Forty years later, it had sort of deteriorated from sun, wind, and branches dropping on it.  We tore off the old panels and supporting boards and then completely replaced the roof, this time with steel panels screwed to new treated wood rafters and cross boards.

    Barring wind and tree falls, it should last 40 years too.
   Monday afternoons each week for the past several years, I have volunteered at the Luck Museum Ravenholt Family History Research Center to help folks find their family roots.  We have free drop-in help, and also get email requests through our website and local museums.  I spend about 8 hours per week in doing computer searches, local record lookups and other genealogical research as a volunteer.  An interesting detective job that lets me use some of my computer experience and knowledge of local history.

     A request from last week via an email:  "My great grandfather lived near Luck for a time in the 1920s.  Can you find where he lived and how long he was here?"  Usually we get a name, a birth date or death date, and maybe some additional family names.  This time it was that Mr. Iver Iverson, wife Anna and 10 children.  We found them in the 1920 census on, then in the 1924 platbook in the museum, and then Anna and 5 of her children's obituaries in the Luck Enterprise newspaper digital obits file at the museum.  Sending all of that to the California requester, we got a thankyou that said -- the information in the obituaries gave the information they wanted, and that if they got here on a trip, they would like to see the farm.  In the meantime we will photograph it for her.

   It has been 4 years since Margo found out she had breast cancer that had spread to some lymph nodes.  She had a checkup this week, -- all clear and for the future, she can go back to normal yearly mammograms and doctor visits.  Her initial prognosis was 85% likely to be alive in 5 years, and after a year of harsh treatments, she is doing fine cancerwise.  She has to have some heart checks next time as they have found out that radiation treatments to the chest can damage the heart.  No symptoms, but an echo-cardiogram to see.

 Her back surgeries of 2 years ago are mostly healed.  They left her much weaker than before in leg strength and balance.  Most of the sharp pain is gone, but still some chronic pain.  She has been going to physical therapy weekly and will soon finish with that.  She walks now on even surfaces without a cane, but feels safer with one outside. The surgeries were necessary to stop some very serious damage happening in her spine, so that really wasn't a choice.  Adjusting to lowered physical abilities has been tough, but it helps that she has had continued progress and is likely to continue to improve.  She is able to do some of the things she likes to do, and along with many ibuprofen, aspirin and tylenol, can cope with the pain.  Getting older is not always pleasant, but after 4 years, we are eagerly planning a trip south again in January!

An addition to the garage -- a roof for a tractor or car

The 100 year old barn needs paint, but even more a new roof