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Got new wheels today

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

To celebrate Memorial Day, yesterday, Jack and I each got to do something we wanted to do.  First we headed for a casino.  What?  I have no interest in casinos, but Jack was on a mission.

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He was on the hunt for a couple of $1 poker chips.  He uses them for the center of some of his pine needle baskets.  Some of you may remember our escapades around Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR when we went out hunting longleaf needles when he visited me in 2012.  No longleafs around here, but there are casinos.  I think it takes about eight hours of work to weave a basket this size.  Of course, that doesn’t include the finding of the needles or their preparation for weaving.  This is an old Native American craft, and I think it’s rather poignant that these baskets are a melding of the old and new Native American culture.  Kind of sad to me.

After lunch at the casino, it was my turn to enjoy a different kind of hunt.  We went back to the refuge to try to find some morel mushrooms.  I have spent many an hour looking for them, but have never been successful.  Morel hunters won’t tell you where to find them, and it is a real social no-no to ask. 

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I did find some unusual looking mushrooms, but sorry to say, they were not morels.  Shucks!  I struck out again.  I believe ideally there should be rain and warm temperatures.  I did see a refuge visitor with a mesh bag of morels a few days ago, but that was right after our 3” of rain.  I’m not giving up though.  This could be the year I finally get to fry up some tasty morels that I’ve found myself.  The going price for them right now is $25/pound!

As for my new wheels?  It was back to work for me today, and as I attended the weekly staff meeting, I asked if I needed special training to operate a riding lawn mower on this refuge.  The grass is getting pretty long around the RV sites, and I offered to cut it.  Several eyes lit up around the table when I said that.  The deputy manager asked if I could start mowing today.

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So here is my new, to me, set of wheels.  I’ve never ridden a Deere before.  Winking smile With a big celebration planned for Saturday with lots of big wigs arriving, they were thrilled that I could help spruce up the place.  I’ve never minded mowing as long as I can ride and not push.  So now I guess I’m the new groundskeeper for RV pads, bunkhouse, maintenance area, and temporary headquarters for the duration of my stay.  Sure beats being inside!  Of course, there was some training involved… mostly in the safety area.  I put on my boots, safety glasses, and ear protection plugs, and off I roared.  I think the area is looking pretty spiffy!  (and I can drive home for lunch!)

After work, I drove to Detroit Lakes to meet Jack for a fare thee well dinner.  No Waffle House this time!  The Ice House Restaurant had linens on the table and cloth napkins.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about!  I had the garlic steak with wine cooked mushrooms while Jack had the broiled fresh Red Lake walleye.  Very tasty, indeed.  We had a nice visit this go around with lots of fun activities.  I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

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When I got back to the rig, I sat outside with Emma for a while and replenished the new addition to the Hard Rock Bird Café.  I bought an oriole feeder the other day, and boy has it been popular with the locals!  You can see how they’ve attacked the orange half, and Ms. Baltimore Oriole finds the grape jelly irresistible.  Seems like it might be about time to hang out some string pieces for the orioles to use to build their nests.  Maybe tomorrow if I get the chance.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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