Monday, September 9, 2019


As I sit here struggling with a possible meniscus injury to my left knee and searing debilitating sciatic pain down my left side I wonder how in Hell I'm going to get everything ready for winter here.

I'm on prednisone and muscle relaxers right now, have an appointment with PT on Wednesday, and should be hearing about an MRI to be scheduled soon. My right side has been compensating for the weakness on the left and so now that side is hurting too. Stairs really suck; and I have to traverse them many many times a day.

Despite all that, I'm am AMAZED at how much has been accomplished here over the past few months. With Nikki's blood sweat and tears, we (mostly Nikki) have continued to work on repairing and reinforcing the shed structure. The dog kennel is functional and almost done. The overhead electrical lines are scheduled to be buried this week or next depending on weather. The shed really looks like my very own She-Shed!

The basement is dry and organized and ready for re-plumbing and electrical work.

The yard is mostly cleared despite a little blow-down, and the remnants of the old barn have been revealed. This spot will be the repository of any and all dead wood and brush that needs burning this winter. It's of no use right now with unknown amounts of wire and trash half buried on the spot. My poor little lawn tractor took quite a beating and two of the tires had to be refitted with tubes due to run-ins with said barn detritus. Haven't taken it out for a spin yet since the tubes due to the terrible ergonomics which would not serve me presently. So what if the "grass" is approaching 8 inches tall?

The roof and siding on the house need a little repair before winter as well. To prevent further ice dam build-up and damage, I need to come up with a few hundred bucks for ice melt cables. I need to spray for cluster flies so that I'm not surrounded by that maddening buzz all winter again.

I now have a very tall aluminum ladder that will be propped against the house near the sewer vent to facilitate access if needs be. The hole in the chimney has been deconstructed setting a large brown bat free to find a new home.

I have touched every Goddamn screw and nail on the property and sorted until I'm in a stupor.

Four cords of wood have been delivered, but until I am more healed, it won't be stacked quite yet. It will hopefully be paid for by the end of the month.

The wood stairs that I fell down beginning of May which contributed to my current state of debilitation, have been straightened and adjusted. They now just need paint and grip tape.

The driveway was also graded to steer water away from the house and shed which is great, but it's also starting to wash out without the addition of additional pit run to round it out properly. Several hundred more bucks needed there as well!

I am now feeling like I really live here. I no longer have a PO box; I have a REAL mail box!

I have been to the Effie North Star Stampede Rodeo (my first rodeo). I've been to the Lost 40. I've been to Little American Falls. I've organized two Squatch Chats in the North Country, and am now looking at possible third! The people have been super interested and open about their experiences with Sasquatch.

I've had a great time meeting new people at Deer Lake Charlies; going to yoga in Marcell; doing some antiquing; attending events in Bovey at Annabella's and at The Edge Center for the Arts; along with the interesting activities of Women of the Woods group.

Alas, I am also getting to know the docs and staff at the Bigfork Valley Hospital due to this injury I'm dealing with. I'm grateful that there is a clinic and hospital so close to me that takes my insurance. They are all super nice and seem very competent.

I've seen a lot of one of my daughters, Maren, which has been wonderful (Thank you Nikki again!) and have even been visited by a couple of friends left behind Minneapolis. My ex-husband Dan has been up a few times as well, and it's really nice to know that we can still care for each other without being married.

The farthest south I've been is to Aitkin for Rainey's dad's funeral. Thanks Dan for dog sitting and making this possible! Hopefully I will be seeing more of Rainey soon too!

No overnighters or late nighters for this cowgirl. I have no desire to travel back to the city at all.  Even trips to Grand Rapids is something I try to minimize. I miss my horses a LOT, but am happy to see that they are being utilized. Although photos of Shawnee show that she needs more groceries. Always a concern that I have because she doesn't compete well for food.

We're talking about getting hens again next spring which will require building a coop of some sort and secure run. We'll see. It would be nice to have a pole barn to store the tractor and other farm related stuff and to attach a chicken coop to. Just need muscle and money. Both of which I'm personally short of right now.

Sadly, hanging out at the Effie Cafe and the Neighborhood Tavern has not been practical. The cafe is super busy during tourist season, and the tavern's stools are so difficult for my body to handle that it's just too painful. Besides, when Nikki is here we are working like crazy and really have little or no time for such nonsense.

The fall colors are starting to show now. It's beautiful and getting more so. The weather is getting quite chilly at night and I'm making a fire in the stove most mornings now. I want to put off getting fuel oil as long as possible due to budgeting.

There are still what feels like a million must-do items on the list, but I need to take a breather and reconnoiter with myself. With Nikki trying to get into her own house (which needs a lot of work too), and Dan in his own house now as well, I know that winter will be bringing more of the same solitude I experienced last winter. I do feel that I'm in a much better position now to deal with it given the people I've met and the resources I'm now aware of.

Just gotta get this old body to straighten up and fly right!