Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GJ/Jess Visit...continued

I apologize for being so pokey about posting! Summer is here and there is soooo much to do. Right now the boys and I (with Stella on my back) have been taking care of our friend's animals while she has been away on vacation. She has two pigs...we have to check their food & water and spray them with a hose if it's real hot. They scare me, so when I go in their pen I carry a big stick. I don't know why they scare me they just do...they're big and they snort...Tom says I should fit right in with them. She has two bulls...Ricky & Henry...they're very sweet and don't give us any trouble. Kyle's job is to go into the hen house and check for eggs...today he was proud to say that he saw the hen lay the egg and he brought it out to me right away...it was still very warm! Then there are the rabbits...about 8 adults and 15 or so bunnies...today Kyle saw 2 of the bunnies loose in the woods! They must have escaped their pen (I secured the latch tighter today). It took Kyle & Reeve all of 20 minutes to catch the two bunnies. The bunnies all get fresh water, rabbit pellets, and hay. All I can say is that I am sooooo glad we don't have animals to take care of...I have a hard enough time taking care of my garden.
I've also been working on a brochure for our solar & heating/ac business. This weekend we have a booth at our Local Energy Excellence Fair. I need to work on updating our website, but that will have to be another day.

So after our huge day of adventure in the Dells & Hustler we decided to travel down to Madison. First stop...State Street. It was Saturday, but we had missed the Farmer's Market, yet there were still a ton of vendors out. We were searching for a place to eat and I couldn't get over how crowded State Street was...then I saw a sign for Maxwell Street Days...a huge sidewalk sale event on State Street. Masses of people...I was searching for a tiny cafe called the Radical Rye for us to eat some yummy soup & sandwiches...I couldn't find it anywhere, so we stopped into the Land's End shop to ask...the cashier looked about 16 and she just gave me the most puzzled look, then a customer gave me another very strange look and said that the Radical Rye has been gone for a very long time...it was at that point it HIT me that I hadn't been to State Street in nearly 10 years! Whoa! The crowds and that shocking bit of reality sent me into a great confusion and we ended up walking down to the Memorial Union and eating in the University Rathskeller...we all felt like students. There were crazy frat kids runny around in goofy get-ups. After lunch we took a walk on Lake Mendota then went over to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. We got there at 4pm and most of it was shut down, so we had a walk around the beautiful gardens.

On Sunday we had brunch at the Fountain Chateau and listened to some jazz music by Simply JP.

After brunch we went to the site where Tom's been installing some solar hot water panels. The pic below was taken on a different day...Tom is the guy in the blue shirt holding the panel.

It's right on the Omaha bike trail which connects to the Elroy-Sparta trail. I thought the tunnel was a pretty close walk, but we met some bikers along the way that told us it was a couple of miles from where we were...so we just walked to the bridge.

Tommy took Monday off and we headed out to La Farge and saw where he helped install three large photovoltaic tracking arrays.

We went from there to Viroqua...a town we could very easily live very happily in...and we ate lunch at the Viroqua Food Cooperative. We took the scenic drive to the Mississippi River and up to La Crosse.
In La Crosse we went up, up, up to the Grandad Bluff and looked out over La Crosse and all the way over to Minnesota and Iowa on the other side of the Mississippi River.

We went across the bridge and walked around the park on the Minnesota side. It was a great day of travel.