Sunday, March 13, 2011


Before breakfast I let the dog and cat out, started a fire in the wood furnace, added another load in the washer, went to the woodshed in my carpet slippers for small pieces of maple while fending off a wild dog who thought we were going for a walk, crushed a half dozen Japanese beetles walking the window sill and hauled more wood in the basement. 

At breakfast Dawn told me she reset all the clocks.  Daylight saving time, again? 

On a lark yesterday, I went with Jorge to the big city.  My wallet is thin from all my truck trouble-two towing bills @ $80 a pop, but he said the magic word, "free".  Not that he would charge for going along with him to Lacrosse.  I can't resist anything free.  In the deepest recesses of my mind I'm thinking he's up to something.  Jorge is generous to a fault. Imagine this.

A couple of years ago we took a trip for supplies. He wasn't feeling well and wanted to get out of the house.  It's 90 degrees and I need to go in the big box store for caulk.  He sits outside (in the heat) on a bench.That is very weird.  At the employee owned grocery store he says he'll wait for me in the front entrance.  Jorge's decision to forgo  a chance to ogle Darcy, his favorite checker, spells trouble.   He reclines on the wooden bench in the entryway next to the free newspapers and gumball machines.  Several people come out and ask him if he's OK.  Mind you, they're not sure if the black man lying on the bench is drunk and homeless or just one of those group home people who sit in the front of stores nursing a cup of coffee, watching the world go by.

I'm seriously worried.  I ask, "Should we got to Gunderson Lutheran?"   "No," is his emphatic reply.   When we get back to his place, he gets out of the car and walks to the pole barn.  He comes back out with a new cardboard box containing a gas camping stove, hands it to me without a word and walks into the house.  Two days later he's in Milwaukee for an operation to relieve swelling in the lining of his heart. That camping stove took on a different light after that. 

My free trip costs $140 for groceries, caulk, a bathroom rug and 4 paint rollers.  The groceries are all basic needs-no processed food.  Pork loin ends have dropped 40 cents per pound. I buy 30 lbs.  It's a key ingredient in my sausage.  Decent 85/90 ground beef is only $2.50/lb.  I stock up on butter, whole wheat pasta, fresh vegetables like cabbage(St. Patty's Day), asparagus and broccoli.  Prices are considerably lower than in our area where the stores and Wal-Mart prey on consumers because of the lack of competition.

On the way back we get to see an eagle's nest along the highway while the mom (or pop) soars the field adjacent to the highway. Mandy acts like I've been gone a week. I tell Dawn we'll fixing the Canadian Walleye for dinner.It's a splurge item because of the cost.  Then again, the breaded fish in the end cap at Wal-Mart is cheap Pollack, Swai ( Siamese Shark) is a new seafood item here. I learn that US catfish farmers lobby to disallow Vietnamese to use the title catfish, which Swai is similar.  Tilapia I'm told is a fish grown in fish farms after the bass are removed from the pond to clean up the bottoms.

The walleye, fresh asparagus and sweet potatoes were delicious.

The ham steak and bacon I've been curing have gone through the equilibrium process and ready for the smoker.  I find a recipe for country sausage and will begin a new batch of my own recipe breakfast sausage.  I've got to make time for a walk with my girl.  I need that hour back today. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your writing, Gavrillo. It seems to come from a place of quiet contentment and a love of just doing the simple things. I could imagine sitting on your porch just looking, not talking. I also love that I can picture the places you speak of. My ex's family is from LaCrosse - through countless trips to the "big city" from the bigger one - Minneapolis - the memories of the scenery are still very much with me. A beautiful place, Wisconsin. Have you been to Spring Green?