Monday, October 24, 2011

Short Snorts

I skipped breakfast this morning.  Instead I poured the dregs of the Shurfine honey bottle into 3/4ths cup of coffee and cut off a hunk of zucchini bread.  I wanted to catch up on a few blog friends. Nice dog Jimm.

Last night's rain turned into this morning's fog. The sidewalk around the north end of the house is dry at the edges. I had Dawn check out the NWS site for the low temps forecast overnight.  The weather guys said it'd get down to 39 Sunday night and 40 on Monday.  I didn't cover the kale because the semi-permeable row cover will stunt the growth of the stuff,  if kept covered for long periods.  Besides, a rain will do it good. It's been so dry of late that the farmers harvesting soybeans churn up billowing clouds of dust.  Great for us asthma sufferers.

Scattered showers for our area Sunday afternoon give us a break from chores.  "Wanna go for a ride?" causes Mandy to race to the property line in excitement.  She hears cars coming down the highway and races them along a weed covered fence line at the highway edge. Not to worry, since she's never gone into the weeds. When she was little she had an encounter with a hot wire on the neighbor's property and has a healthy respect for all wire.  You never heard such caterwauling.

Dawn needs new shoes.  To entice me, she promises lunch at Fiesta Mexicana in south Lacrosse. She'll also pay for the gas.  It's a sorry situation when we have to travel 130 round trip miles to buy shoes.  The local store has two locations-one 20 minutes south and one, the same distance north.  On a trip to the Chinese take-out restaurant in Richland Center, Dawn wants to check their prices on shoes.  While she stalks the shoe aisle, I walk over to work boots.

I can't find a pair of Red Wings similar to the ones I got a year ago May.  A staffer asks my name. They see a potential sale coming. She enters it into the sales computer and tells me I have Red Wing boots-model #656. On the shelf there's a boot with a higher back.  Another staffer saunters over.  I ask, "Are you the owner?"   He says, " No , but I oughta be.  I been here 37 years."  Then he tells me ,"They no longer make your shoe."  I look at the price tag on the new model.  It's ( the price tag) orange with a yellow inside.  The price written with a pen (mistake no.1) is crossed off twice. The latest price is $113.He says that it's not unusual for the prices to increase twice in the course of a year.

Yow!  I'm pretty sure my boots cost $89.  Then again, I don't remember what I had for breakfast.  My boots are in terrific shape, but the heels are getting worn.  I ask the salesman if there is a shoe repair person locally.  He answers in the affirmative and tells me that the store is a drop off place for repairs to Ernie's Shoes and Booze.

A trip to Lacrosse is at least a half day journey. Highway 27 from Westby and  20 minutes later ,a short jaunt down I-94 gets you to Onalaska-the north side of Lacrosse.  Forty years ago when I lived in Trempeleau County, Onalaska was a little burg on the north side of the city.  Now, it's a maze of strip malls and a North Country Buffet.

If you take highway 14 from Viroqua, 35 minutes of annoying travel behind someone from Ioway driving below the speed limit gawking at the scenery, gets you to the south side of Lacrosse.  From the south side all the way to Onalska there's bumper to bumper traffic 25 minutes through Lacrosse proper, anytime except early Sunday morning.  Fiesta Mexicana is at the furthest point south right before Mt.Lacrosse, this city's version of Vail, CO.

I am forever indebted to the Mexican bistro when  Dawn and I dropped off a truck rental across the street late one Sunday night.  We'd just moved onto the farm. I was close to near starvation.  All the waitstaff was having a family meal in the bar area.  As I usually do in a Mexican joint, I order Chile Rellenos ( spell check suggests "repellants"). If the restaurant is worth its salt, the rellenos will be a proper poblano ( really good restaurants will serve it whole stuffed with Mexican cheese).  Oh, how I wish I could eat at Casa Cardena outside of Prescott, AZ again.

The poblano is lightly fried in a an egg batter. Although they cut it flat so that it can be pre-made and quickly cooked, it is tasty enough for me to order it again.  The nachos are homemade and the salsa is spicy hot.  The waitperson recognizes us with a "long time no see" comment.  I don't launch into a diatribe about the north side route around Lacrosse, eating at North Country Buffet, smelly, fat old gummers and Jorge's vegan diet. 

Dawn is ecstatic. She finds a pair of gray running shoes. I rummage through discount pants.  For $19.95 I can buy a pair of jeans that look purposely worn, worse than the paint smeared pair I'm wearing at the moment.  I try on a pair of uniform type gray cargo pants. So what if I look like the Sears repairman.  They'll only get covered in manure.


okjimm said...

Ha... used to run hwy 16 into Lacrosse before the interstate. Onalaska was just a bump... nothing there... but I surely do remember making the run over there, watching the submarine races atop Grand Dad's Bluff. o, to be young.

T. Roger Thomas said...

I went into a store recently here in the heart of civilization to find digital displays listing the prices for clothing items.

Anonymous said...

It's so bizarre to hear you describe those places in Wisconsin. Seems just like yesterday - without all that new traffic. How sad. I remember driving through the hills around LaCrosse and thinking there was no better, no greener, no lovelier paradise. To come across those little towns and villages was such a treat! Even downtown LaCrosse was just a sleepy little haven. My ex's parents live on a bluff outside of town overlooking the river and that large park area across the train tracks. I envied their spot, but now I imagine they look down on a lot more civilization.

Gavrillo said...

So, Jimm here was watching submarine races on the same bluff as SDS's in-laws? How funny. The next time I buy cargo pants( sometime in the year 2020) will I need an app for the prices and the phone to go with it? Fiesta Mexicana is right on the tracks south outa Lacrosee. Across the street is a storage facility. Behind the storage place is a fancy subdivision at the foot of a bluff. I'll take the camera next time I take the southern route.