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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Random Thoughts & A Day to Duluth

First random thought:  Monday night, Tom stayed in town, and so I made myself some good, ol'-fashioned cornbread for dinner alongside a homemade bison burger mixed up with lots of onions & other good stuff . . . and spicy HP sauce on the side.  Tom doesn't care much for cornbread (you can tell HE wasn't a Southerner in a previous life!), so, while the cat's away, the mouse will play!  Or . . . eat cornbread, as the case may be.

Second random thought:  I'm still fighting this rather exhausting cold.  I remember coming down with it on the 7th, the day after Tom's birthday, and here it is, the 27th.  20 days is TOO many.  I'm still blowing gunk the color of my well-used college highlighters.  Hmph.  Maybe I have walking pneumonia.  I'm doing everything right (Vit. C & D, plenty of juice & liquids, good food, blah, blah, blah).  I think the only thing holding me back is that I'm probably still not getting enough rest.  But, when you're a night owl by nature and then Life begins right away in the morning . . . it doesn't allow for a lot of sleep.  That's one of my eternal struggles:  to try to get to bed earlier at night.  

Tom and I were off to the big city of Duluth yesterday, 3 hours away.  Below are pictures I took as we were crossing one of the big bridges that separate Soup Town (Superior, WI) from Duluth.  This was our 2nd trip of the day back to Duluth from errands in Superior.  In the photos, you can see a couple of freighters - probably docking here for the winter.  Duluth is on the hills above the big lake.   

Fortunately and for ONCE, I was actually ready to leave when I'd planned to in the morning . . . which was lucky because I spent the next 30 minutes fighting with snow & weather-related problems until I HAD to go . . . or be late to our first appointment of the day two (large) counties away.  As a result, the chicken chores didn't get done, and they went without fresh water (among other things) for the day . . . the 3-gallon bucket of hot water I was bringing to them dumping completely over when I took an impressive spill while trying to both rush & maintain my balance out the last few steps of the house-to-yard path.  Note:  I WILL finish shoveling that path today despite the windy, already below 0 weather we are having.  At least there's nary a cloud in the sky, and the sun is beginning to feel noticeably warmer on my back as I work.

Following the spill of both chicken farmer & chicken water (pun intended) and getting the wood boiler EXTRA stoked for the cold, long day ahead, it was time to start warming up the truck.  Problem #1?  Getting into the truck.  When I'd parked after plowing on Monday, it was still warm out, so I knew the doors might be a little frozen.  But, with the use of a pry-bar and no small amount of pressure, I got three of the four doors open and the truck started.  

Problem #2?  Getting the rear driver's side door to STAY shut.  The locking mechanism on that door has never been terribly cooperative, despite visits to the mechanic.  But, in yesterday's cold, it simply gave up the ghost, and the locking mechanism detached from the handle.  Result?  No way to keep the door closed . . . without a ratcheting tie-down that I jury-rigged from the inside door handle across the back of the crew cab to one of the Oh Sh*t handles on the other side.  Did I mention that, since the dogs "live" in the back of the truck, the blanket put there to catch the majority of their (copious) hair had nicely transferred all those long, blond, filthy strands to my dress cords?  Sigh.  (And that's why a mini lint roller lives in my purse.)

At any rate, half an hour later than planned, but still (barely) within my time limitations, I was out the driveway, calling, "Sorry, guys!" as I passed the poultry yard.

Coincidentally, there were more struggles with locks yesterday, it being a cold one:  when we were at Target, with, of course, a FULL cart, the lock on the hatchback of the Yaris (which is what we drove down) refused to budge, so we had to load all the booty through the front.  And, we later discovered that my folks had gone out to run some errands & then get gas . . . only to discover that the truck's locking gas cap wouldn't accept the proffered key for love nor money.  Ah, yes, life in the North.

Random thought #3:  we got upwards of 8" of more of the heaviest, wettest snow I've ever tried to plow over the weekend.  FORTUNATELY, there are two groups of loggers working on our road this winter, and they are keeping the road plowed nice and wide with plenty of room remaining in which to push the rest of the winter's snow.  But, the distance from the end of our driveway to the closest of the loggers was rapidly turning into a narrow cow path . . . even a 9' blade on a 1-ton pickup not being the right equipment to push that snow far enough off the road.  But, yesterday morning I was greeted by a WONDERFUL surprise . . . someone had cleared the sides of the road all the way up to the end of our driveway!  I vowed right then and there to bake the boys some goodies today in appreciation, but now I'm not so sure just who did it!  See, there are also two guys from the Rez doing some clearing alongside the road for their PistenBully groomer to lay a nice track for the snowmobilers.  So . . . I dunno who did it!  I guess I'll just have to make TWO batches of goodies just in case I approach the "nope, wasn't us" guys first.  

Not so random thought #4:  I've diddled away enough of the day writing, so I feel that I need to get on to other things.  I could say that I'll return to this post later, but those of you who are regular readers know that I rarely follow through!  ;)  Anyway, suffice it to say, we had a productive day in Daloot, but it felt GOOD to be home last night as the moon shown so brightly upon the snow . . . even if it was 12:45 AM when I was in for the night.  (But, hey, I am a night person, right?!)  I took this last poor-quality-but-hopefully-illustrative shot of how bright the moon glow was from the bedroom window as I tucked in for the night.


  1. goin' to town... to Dalott! Superior, yeah, what a difference those two towns are! I had to laugh at your truck story, that sounded just like it came out of redneck VA :) You would do well to bake both batches for the road clearers, whoever it is not will probably do it now or the ones who did will keep on doing it! Hope you are feeling better soon, I hate not being able to breathe or taste food!

  2. Sounds to me like maybe you have a sinus infection - salt water flushes (neti pot) might help. Surely couldn't hurt!

  3. Erin, I didn't get to the goodies on Thursday, and I worked yesterday . . . and they (at least not all of them) work the weekend, so I'll make Monday be Treat Day.

    Jenyfer . . . duh, why didn't I think of that?! I think you hit the ol' nail on the head. Because, there's no other reason why I should STILL be so sick! Plus (Beth), I CAN smell & taste just fine . . . . So, I'm going to treat it accordingly (as a sinus infection) from today forward. Let's see what results that brings!

  4. Yup! That color cries of sinus infection. Get better soon - you have way too much to do.

    I selected the option - I learned something although I do wish I was living in the country - not off grid - too tough. What I mean is I like lots of the parts of your life but couldn't deal with all the things that happen and be resourceful enough to rig like you do. You go girl!

  5. So, for all of the inquiring minds, I started taking antibiotics, finally deciding this is (was) a sinus infection (thank you, Jenyfer!!), and . . . voila! Nice to have drugs when they DO make a difference!

    And, TJ, you are too sweet. You could do it, too, I have NO doubts. None. I'm beginning to believe that any of us can do just about anything we set our minds to!


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