Well, it has been an eventful couple of days to say the least.

On Saturday night, I called my partner, H, and heard a very definite slurring in his speech.  He thought he might’ve had a minor stroke, and was planning on going to the doctor in a couple of days.

I threatened him with every threat I could think of to get him to go to the emergency room right away, and headed south at about 2am in ten below temps and freezing fog.  By that time, he’d been slated to transfer to Sioux Falls, and it was clear that he had, in fact, had a stroke.

It was a little frustrating talking to the doctors because right away they assume that a stroke victim has been eating fatty, salty processed foods every day and that’s the whole story and cause–and until the lipid test came back, that’s what they assumed no matter what we told them.

But the reality check should’ve come when they saw he could barely stand to eat the hospital food.  I mean, Eww! I tried to help him pick out a few items from the menu that looked somewhat edible, and made a mental note to prepare something easy to eat for when he got out.

Picked up a few ingredients that evening and started making a big batch of lentil-vegetable soup for when H came home–which was last night.  He’s in remarkably good shape and good spirits, and seems from the tests to be in very little danger of a recurrence. And the soup was a flavorful joy after the bland, processed, and downright noxious institutional foods.

The roads were beyond frightening last night–the passing lane wasn’t as bad as the right lane–in which we were treated to the underside reflection of a semi we were passing thanks to the mirror of ice that had formed.

Probably for good reasons, Dakota drivers aren’t quite as phased by seeing ten or twenty cars that have slipped into the wide ditches as they are by seeing one vehicle upside-down in the median, which was another of the visual “treats” of that adventure.

Our hero driver (neither I nor H’s daughter were comfortable taking our somewhat marginal-in-bad-weather vehicles) made it up and back to drop us all off safely–I found out today he’d gone in the ditch on his way back to his house–though thankfully he was unhurt.

Today’s weather was better in one sense at least: it was clear and sunny instead of overcast and snowing.  But add in the brutally cold temperatures and north winds causing crazy wind chills and drifting, and it was just as bad.

Since I was here, I headed into town to shovel out my sidewalks (really don’t need to give the city another excuse to tag and bill me for snow removal).  Thankfully, my saintly neighbors had already done much of the work, so I didn’t have to be out in the cold for long.

I did get to pick up some organic and grassfed lamb, chicken, and beef down at the Upper Missouri Local Foods store and quite unintentionally but delightfully walked in on the tour and planning process for the local foods processing facility they’re working on in partnership with the Vermillion Area Farmers Market.

The tour and thought process behind the set-up is really helpful to me in thinking about our local foods group’s plan for the Clinton Cafe space–it seems a little ironic that this is moving forward more tangibly just after I’ve left Vermillion and am trying to help make it happen up north, but it’s really great to have that connection and information resource as well.

Also serendipitously, Grace, Angela, and I got to talk a little about our after-market education session on season extension coming up this weekend.  I agreed to help with that a number of months ago (I think even before I moved), so I will be running north and south a bit more over the next week.

Then, tonight, quite unexpectedly, I got an offer on my house here.  I ran into town, looked it over, counter-offered, and it was accepted!  My fingers will be crossed for the next few weeks while the details are worked out.  I joked with H that I knew there was a reason I’d come down here…



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