Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Part 49

The books haven't just been practical, they've been entertainment to give me something to do with the hours when I am shut in due to storm or some other reason.  Some have taught me to cook the stuff around here.  Books like Wisconsin Wildfoods, Venison:  Fast and Foolproof Recipes, Sweetened Dried Cranberry Cookbook and Northwoods Cottage Cookbook.  Some have been educational like Catching Big Fish on Light Tackle, Grouse and Woodcock Hunting, and Exploring Trout Streams.  And others were simply entertainment like a couple of "diaries" from deer camps, biographies of famous people of Wisconsin, the Little House series of books, and a beat up copy of the cases of Sherlock Holmes that must have belonged to one of the staff.

There were some novelty food items too.  I lost what little appetite I'd had packing away a case of Pickled Poultry Paradise samplers ... containing garlic and onion pickled eggs, super hot pickled eggs, original flavor pickled eggs, and the piece de resistance pickled turkey gizzards.  I figured if nothing else I could use the turkey gizzards as bait but it turned out that my learning curve was so steep in the beginning that turkey gizzards saved me from starvation for protein.  Then there was a case of little bottles of maple syrup.  When I say those bottles were little I mean they were little; I'd seen Toddie put more syrup on one stack of pancakes that what each of those bottles held.

They'd already gotten their holiday items in and I found a box full of what I thought were bricks but turned out to be "Granma Ramsey's Brandy Soaked Fruitcakes."  I took them thinking they were bound to be stale but that they might be worth something.  Worth something?  Yeah, one of those things saved my life by keeping a bear busy long enough that I could actually sight on the thing and shoot it.  Yeah, I've learned to use a gun when absolutely necessary.  I'm still not real good at it but even a bad shot with a gun is a heck of a lot better than going against a bear with only an aluminum baseball bat.

The rest of the food was the kind of thing you'd expect to see in this state:  honey and honey flavored condiments, cheese spreads, quince and apple flavored stuff, cranberry stuff, and some smoked and canned meat products like elk and fish.  Nothing that would give me the kind of sustinance that I would need to survive winter; but, it would make what I could hunt for myself a little more appetizing that stringing unseasoned meat on a stick.  I took everything but the packaged smoked meat as most of that had gone over and was looking pretty furry and gross.

I wasn't finished with my casual raiding.  I also took some t-shirts and other things in my size.  I knew from bitter experience in the city that keeping things clean was gonna get interesting, washing clothes was even more interesting, and that most clothes couldn't stand up to that kind of abuse for long.  I looked through the stuff that the staff had left in the back but nothing was my size.  Girls used to ooo and ahhh over how small my feet are but let me tell you, finding shoes that didn't look like they belonged on a babydoll could be a challenge.  I wore flip flops and sandals when I could get away with it but that was not going to work here in the woods and I knew it, especially not in winter.

I had ... maybe still have ... a bad habit of when something gets too hard to think about I just shelve it and assume that somehow, some way it is going to get taken care of.  Well I did the same thing with the shoes and I wish with all my heart that there was a shoe store some place close by.  Maybe if there was I wouldn't have had to steal a new to me pair of shoes off of the body of a dead little girl.  How sick is that?

I wound up having to stick some of the stuff I had found in the passenger side floor board because I couldn't get another thing squished into the trailer.  I barely got the doors closed and even wound up leaving one of the empty gas cans behind when it wouldn't even fit in the camper top space of the truck.  I was hoping I wouldn't have to sleep in the truck but I wasn't for sure at that point.  Jace's warning about being an over packer played through my head but then I ignored it.  At the time I was still too mad at him to listen to anything his memory had to tell me.  I got away with it that time, but just barely.

Then I looked and realized how late in the day it had gotten.  It took me a moment to decide whether I was going to go or stay.  In the end I decided to risk it and go.  Nearly got myself killed doing that.


  1. Checked this and I was still caught up, checked Larkspur read it(YAY!) rechecked here and two post!Double YAY for you Kathy. All three post were great.