Minnesota and Back

The best states in which to buy gas between the northern East Coast and MN are Ohio and Iowa.  Hands down, at least 20-30 cents/gal. cheaper than the other intervening states.  Weather on the way out sucked; on the way back, it was glorious.

The family reunion went off without a hitch.  My M-I-L was happy to see all of us.  With her poor health, it might be the last time we get to see her.  We got home after being away for nearly six days, and the cats were fine.  Fetched the dog from our neighbor who agreed to take in in while we were gone, and all is well.  Our neighbor’s dog and our get along fine, plus we look after their chickens when they’re gone.  We just need to bring them a bottle of wine and a batch of freshly baked cookies with a Thank You note.  I’m not baking those cookies until tomorrow, though.  Forty hours round trip on the road, even w/o delays, takes more out of you than you’d think.  I need to decompress.

My B-I-L and I had a good discussion about rifles, and things that look like them, but aren’t.  He saw a raccoon out in broad daylight, acting really funny, so it probably was rabid.  He went into the house and came back out with is .22 LR.  I asked to see it, since it looked exactly like the ones I had used when I was a kid.  Looked like it was from the ’50s, and the ones I used as a kid were probably that old, too.  Bolt action, single load only.  Mine’s a LOT newer than that, but the main difference is that mine has a standard 10 round magazine, which I don’t have to use, if I don’t want to.  Then, when I handed it back to him, he went and picked off that problematic raccoon.I wasn’t trying to impress him

Then, we moved onto BB guns and CO2 pistols at a later discussion.  We both have some.  He got a nifty find at some yard sale that was a Crossman BB gun made to look like an M-1 carbine.  He got it for $2 because it had a broken stock, and the guy who tried to sell it for $5 didn’t know how to load it, either.  B-I-L snagged it for the $2, looked it up online for the owner’s manual, figured out how to load it, and knew he could make a new stock for it himself.  SCORE!  I asked him to send me a picture of it when he’s done repairing it.

I wasn’t trying to impress him, but I think he had no clue we have firearms, plus other things that look like them in our household, and that I know how to use them.  Nobody else there among their guests would have even been interested.

A few cribbage games broke out.  My M-I-L is the queen of those, but the rest of the family is pretty good, too.  I’ve never learned how to play, and have no desire to, but it’s still interesting to watch.

For a side trip on a free Saturday morning/afternoon, we went to Four Daughters Winery for brunch, and a couple of sampler flights.  One was mixed reds, whites, and rosés.  The other was of their various flavors of “Loon Juice” hard cider, which they only make using Honeycrisp apples.  Bought a 6-pack of our favorite Loon Juice, brought it over for the Sunday party, and it was a hit with people who knew what it was.  oh, and the food at Four Daughters was really good.  I was impressed.  The place is out in the middle of nowhere at the northern end of Spring Valley, as 63 does its zig-zag along 16.

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