Friday, July 3, 2009

Trip to Our Cabin

Our cabin. Part 1.

We have a rustic cabin up north. This first photo is just behind our cabin, and is part of the acreage that we had harvested, some years back, under a managed forest law. It's really grown back quite nice! The loggers road is still visible and I wonder if we'll ever build up there... certainly there must be someplace within the 80 acres where we could live?

Last weekend we decided to go up north to our cabin, to prepare to sell it. I travel well and slept 3 out of the 6 hours... not too bad. I needed to catch up on some sleep, since we left at 4 am and I went to bed at 2 am. Indeed, I am too old to do an "all-nighter".

The kids slept and then they talked non-stop. Livi wanted to talk, but - Nick just wouldn't stop.

As we got up to Burnett County, I thought saw a cow in the woods. I know, it sounds strange... and it was. In fact, I made Hubs turn around and go back -- just in case I imagined it. Well, here's the proof! A cow in the woods. Weird. What's even weirder is that I had to ask her to stop chewing her cud and look up at me to take her picture: and she did! I knew right then and there that we were going to be in for a long weekend.

I had no idea what was to come though. I was thinking about the bears we always see. Or, maybe we'd get woke up in the middle of the night by crazy raccoons, playing tag on the roof of the cabin... or worse yet: maybe we'd run into a family of skunks! Those would have been too easy. Way too easy...

Guess what I saw next? How about another cow? Uh-hugh. Cows in the forests... odd. These were the only 2 cows I saw.

We drove through the newly re-developed town of Siren, and couldn't believe it was the same town that I had last visited in 2000. NOTHING was the same since a tornado went through in 2001, destroying the whole town... and it was the only tornado in history to touch down in Burnett County, or so they say.

We were almost to our cabin and Hubs saw a garage sale sign. Who cares! He cared. He pullrd in to a garage sale, in the middle of the forest and went inside a barn to "browse"... and a yellow lab ran out of the barn and stared at me. Just starred... and the poor thing was covered in burrs... and he just kept looking at me, like he knew how obsessive I am about keeping our dogs all brushed and groomed... there wasn't anything I could do but get out of there. This too, was a "sign" of what was to come... odd things.

We were driving along... about 5 minutes from the cabin and as we went around a bend in the road, I saw two large dogs - standing in the middle of the road. No houses, farms, no nothing around but woods. Of course, they come over to my side of the van... and I have to get out and check their collars. It was hard, but - I did manage to get a phone number off one of them and wouldn't ya know... no reception up in the Wisconsin northwoods... dang. We drove to the nearest house and the woman who lived there, well - she recognized the dogs and we left them with her. Poor things... they were hot, wet and smelly. But, very nice and well-behaved dogs, I must add.

We did finally arrive at the cabin. While I unpacked and made the beds, Hubs decided to mow the lawn, just in case we would come across ticks. We have never seen those nasty little arachnids in the summer or fall -- only in the spring. I was looking forward to a nice little fire that evening and the incredible stars that come out, only up north. Millions and millions of bright and incredible twinkling stars...

Go Hubs - Go!

Yes, that is an old outhouse at the back of the side yard. It was usable until about 11 years ago... and the carpenter ants took it over back then. We steer clear of it. Maybe someday I will hang a grapevine wreath or something on it... maybe. If I ever go back, that is.

Hubs took Liv out for a hike to the lake, at the very back of our property, while Nick and I settled in for a few games of Mancala. We kept in touch with our 2-way radios, a.k.a. "walkie talkies".

I cleaned and sprayed fresh lavender essential oils everywhere and the place was starting to look tolerable and smell pretty good.

When Hubs and Liv got back, I did what I always do after someone has been hiking in the woods: I ordered a tick inspection. No way were they going to bring ticks into the cabin where we were going to be sleeping and I hate bugs anyway. So, I told Hubs to take off his shirt and let me just quick check the back of his neck.

The next thing I know, both kids are screaming their heads off and hubs is lighting matches like a pyromaniac! Oh, it was so gross and I couldn't scream or I would have freaked the kids out even worse. Hubs was covered with ticks! I mean there were dozens of them on him and a few were nearly in him. Yuck.

I ran for my make up bag and retrieved my tweezers. There was just no way I could yank that many off Hubs' hairy chest and back. ((You do know that bald Italian men are always hairy, right?))

In case you've never dealt with more than 3 or 20 ticks, let me assure you that they move FAST. They crawl and jump faster that you can light a match. And, they chomp into your flesh pretty fast too, which is odd, because Wisconsin wood ticks are rather slow eaters. Anyway, it was just as gross when he took off his pants too. I'm so thankful he did not wear boxers that day! Dear me...

We had a little tick bonfire in an ashtray and hoped that we had gotten them all. Everyone seemed to be doing fine except for Nick. Every single time my boy looked down, he had one crawling on his arm. This happened 6 or 7 times and I lost him. He just sat on the couch, crying, totally freaked out and there was little I could do. He was gone.

I can't say that I blame him. And, he tried; he really did. I distracted him by having him try to play with his hermit crabs, which we did bring along. I tried to play board games with him. No use - every time I looked over, there was a new tick on him! For a child like Nicolas, who can so easily obsess, this was rough. It was rough on me, and I can usually control my mind, or at least 97% of the time.

Finally, after a couple of hours of hearing him freak out, we packed up and started our 8 hour journey home. It took 8 hours because we were both too tired to drive and pulled into a McDonald's parking lot and slept for almost 3 hours. It was creepy to wake up at 1 am and have an entire town, dark and vacant all around. I have no idea what town it was.

We stopped to get something to drink at the next town, and the local gas station was hoppin'! Where did all those people come from and why were they all at the same gas station as we were? In the middle of the morning? It was odd...

We pulled in to our own driveway just before 4 am, a mere 24 hours after we started our little drive up north.

I still have a huge garbage bag tied up with clothes inside. I think there are still ticks alive on the inside of it. Hubs pulled a pair of boots out yesterday and guess who showed up? Mr. Tick. I hate ticks. I really hate pulling them off of people; and I really just hate ticks. Even now, I feel as though I can feel them crawling on me.


Oh, and I do need a new camera. Each time I turned it off and on, it (the camera) changed the date. Sometimes it would not take a clear picture and others, well - it just kept changing the date. This was really odd. Fit in with the whole 24 hours, as odd as it was.

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