Sunday, September 30, 2012

Gordon Fire Tower Trip

Saturday I took off with my camera and a cooler and headed North.  My intent was to climb the fire watch tower in Gordon.  I had started up this tower on Wednesday but got wobbly knees so chickened out.
My first stop was the Red Cedar River right up the road from where I live.
Red Cedar River
The trip North was really colorful.
Driving North on Highway 53
Once I got to the tower, I put on my camera bag backpack and started up the steps.
I counted 18 steps between landings and stopped at the 5th landing.
I am guessing I was about 60 feet from the ground and the tower is located on a ridge, so I was far above these trees below.
Looking North from platform #5, Fire Watch Tower, Gordon ,WI
 I had not really thought about seeing any birds on this trip, it was mostly about the fall color.
Then I saw a little bit of bright white off to my right.
This guy was perched in a spot that was almost out of my view.
Patience is easy for an eagle
I waited for almost an hour before he flew off.

This was pretty exciting, I have never been higher than an eagle before.
I was pretty excited, happy I could remember to click the shutter button.
Heading West

Off he went
Out to the West, this guy teamed up with a pal, and the two of them came back and did a fly over.

Nice bank turn
Downtown Gordon, WI
St. Croix River Flowage West of Gordon
Steps back down to terra firma
A little closer on these pointy pines and bright colors
I wonder what is in these cars.  The hopper cars could be barley or malt I suppose.
View East from tower
 From the tower, I went West on County Road Y, to the Gordon Dam.

 Nice park and fun that you can walk out on the dam.
There were two fishermen there, but I saw no catches.
Red sled at Gordon Dam parking lot
The road out of the Gordon Dam Park area.
I stopped at the Sandcastle to switch the memory cards on my trail cam, 
then took a new route home on County Road G.
This pretty girl was standing on a side road, and patiently waited for me to stop, back up and snap her portrait.
 Lots of buzz about Harvest Moon this week.
I was heading South and saw this "moon over fall trees over water" and had to stop.
The sun was hitting the trees as the moon was rising.
And the reflection on the water was a bonus.
 It was a very nice day and I enjoyed spending the time with only my camera.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hot chick in the bathtub

On Friday, I saw this guy getting his weekly bath.  Seems like the birds are taking more baths this fall than what I saw all summer.
He really got into his bath.
You could argue whether this is really a bath or a shower.
He gave me a crusty look as if to say...Privacy Please!
and then went right back to his work
making sure to clean under his arm pits.
When the bath is over he looks a little worse for wear.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Less Swelling, More Smiling

I took a break from the updates so I would not start telling you so many details 
that I boring you all to death.  
In short, this was a good week.  

Wednesday I took off for Up North and left the folks here to have a little time to themselves.  

Thursday we had a visit from Occupational Therapy.  My eyes have really been opened to what these folks do.  (By the way, I must have been completely out of my mind to think we did not need home health care when we were leaving the hospital!  I am so glad that one of the Physical Therapists caused me to rethink turning it down.)   Our Occupational Therapist is trained & certified in a  treatment called Manual Lymphatic Drainage.  It is a form of gentle massage that encourages the drainage of fluids which circulate through the body's lymph nodes.  The first time she did this massage on Dad's arm, last week, I really thought it was a complete waste of time, as it did not look like she was doing much of anything.  The very next day, Dad's arm had started to return to normal color and the swelling started to go down.  

From Wikipedia:  Manual Lymphatic Drainage was pioneered by Danish Dr. Emil Vodder in the 1930s for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other immune disorders. While working on the French Riviera treating patients with chronic colds, Dr. Emil Vodder and his wife Dr. Estrid Vodder noticed these patients had swollen lymph nodes. In the 1930s, it was considered taboo to tamper with the lymphatic system due to the medical profession's poor understanding of this system. The Vodders were not deterred by this, and in 1932 began to study the lymph system, and developed careful hand movements to cause lymph movement. In 1936, after four years of research, they introduced this technique in Paris France. 
Yesterday, our Occupational Therapist applied some Kinesiology tape to Dad's arm.  I'll attach a photo.  This is intended to lift the skin to provide 'channels' for the fluid to move back up to his lymph nodes.  This morning Dad's hand is normal size without swelling for the first time in a long time.  The OT also gave Dad an elastic sleeve to wear on his arm to provide light compression to also help reduce the swelling.  All of this work is making a huge difference in Dad's arm.  

And of course, once the arm is healed, we can once again try to use the anticoagulant therapy.  As long as Dad's heart is out of rhythm, there is a risk of blood clot/stroke since the heart is not pumping the blood as it should.

This morning we had a visit from the Home Health Nurse.  Dad had noticed some soreness in his mouth and she believes he has thrush, a fungal infection, often caused by inhalants.  Dad has been using both the nebulizer and Advair.  We didn't realize how important it is that he rinse his mouth out after each of these treatments, so that has caused this infection.  Luckily it can be treated with a mouth wash type of medication and I will run to pick that up at Walmart later today.

Our Physical Therapist came today too.  She put Dad through his paces.  He got on my recumbant exercise bike for about 5 minutes.  Once on the bike, he was able to ride quite easily.  He had him work through his other balance and leg strengthening exercises too.  It is pretty impressive how well Dad does, and today our PT said that she could really see improvement in Dad's overall condition.  Yay!

The best medicine today, was a nice visit from Angie and her boys.  Owen gave Dad several balloon animals to keep, Owen was blowing up the balloons and making them into shapes, very clever.  He said that one was a sea monster.  Ivan gave us some nice smiles and Ev got some time holding him while he was sleeping so sweetly.  

Now it is nap time here.  It is a beautiful warm day, 
and if the folks are up to it, we will go out for a short drive later on.

Tomorrow Glenn and Kathy are coming to spend the afternoon with the folks.  
I am planning a trip with my camera to take some photos of this beautiful fall weather.
Hard to beat what is in my own front yard though.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Up North

Jeri Bitney and I had lunch at Mary Jo Nelson's today in Gordon.  
It was a very pretty drive up there.  The leaves have really changed in the last couple of days.
I did a wellness check at the cabin, where all was fine.  
I was sorry I had not brought my things to spend the night.
A few fall photographs from Up North.

Sand Road looking East
Red sled at the Sand Castle
Whoooo are you?  

Leaves by Solon Springs

Gordon fire tower steps
I really thought I might walk up to the 2nd or 3rd landing of the Gordon fire tower, 
but once I got to the first landing, 
I had wobbly knees and headed back down.
I got one photo through the pines of the color below.
I can only imagine the view from higher.
I read that it is 110 feet to the top.

Taken with wobbly knees.
Dad and Ev had a day off from me meddling in their business.
It was a very pretty day, I hope that Fall days like this keep coming.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Instant Trees - Ta! Da!

Today, 4 twelve foot trees were planted in my yard.  
Three Frazier Firs in the area around my garden, between the garage and the county road.  The fourth is a Blue Spruce that is planted in my back yard.  Caleb and Michael from spent the morning here and wow, what a change.
Here come my trees
Big holes are dug and ready for trees
Here comes Mr. Blue Spruce

Ev did some supervising of the work.
Blue Spruce in place, Ta Da!
Tree number 2 going in the ground
Before and after - Frazier Firs
Before and after - Blue Spruce
I am truly delighted with the new trees.
Caleb and Michael did a great job and the trees look fabulous.
The maples on the SW side of my house.  


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