Father Son Time
2 June 2023 | 2:04 am

 Justin has made an excellent adjustment to apartment living in Madison.  We are coming up on his lease renewal and putting together the paperwork to make that happen.  

He gets a small rent reduction because the developer earned affordable housing credits by offering a small amount of apartments at the 80% level for median income.  Of course, Justin receives way less than that in the form of Social Security income.  He needs to re-qualify each year for the rent subsidy, which is a paperwork pain but not an eligibility issue.  

We were hoping that he would qualify for either Section 8 housing or a Section 8 voucher by now, but fully accessible Section 8 apartments have a very long waiting list, even though Justin meets just about every "preference" possible for eligibility.   People don't generally leave those apartment until they die, locking in rent that is equivalent to 30% of the tenant's income or a similar voucher. 

Today was Justin's last day of work at a community center reception desk.  He is very proud of finishing the assignment after a rough start due to wheelchair issues.  He finally received a new wheelchair and has been putting it to good use by rolling home over four miles after work, if the weather is good.  He has applied for an Information Technology training and internship next, but that program won't start until fall if he gets past the interview. 

Thankfully, we had time to play after dealing with the paperwork issues.  We ordered pizza out.  I brought beer.  And we headed up to the rooftop patio.  The people residing in the penthouse next door are definitely market rate payers, but the roof patio is free to use for anyone in the building.  We're often the only ones up there.

The deep dish pizza was ordered from up the street.  My beer was Pulp Culture, an excellent hazy IPA from Working Draft Beer Company on the east side of Madison. The hose over Justin's shoulder is connected to a water bag on the back of the wheelchair.  Very handy and accessible for Justin, especially since he doesn't like beer.  

After stuffing ourselves, we took a walk in the park along the lake across the street.  Lots of people out on a hot and humid evening. 

Perot State Park
30 May 2023 | 12:58 am

After a long stretch of dismal weather, the skies turned blue, and we took the opportunity to hitch up the Brew Hut/Scamp and make our way to the shores of the Mississippi River for a mid-week vacant campsite at Perot State Park.

Wisconsin State Parks seem particularly busy this year.  Advanced reservations are required--even for the weekdays.  Weekends?  Forgetaboutit.  Many of the state parks are booked every weekend for the rest of the summer.  That's okay, we prefer mid-week getaways when the parks are just a little bit quieter.

We stayed for three days and headed home on Friday morning.

To get to Perot, we drove to La Crosse, Wisconsin and then north to the small town of Trempealeau.  Drive to the shores of the Mississippi River and turn right.  The campground is a couple of miles up the park road. 

The state park has a variety of hiking trails, but most of the ones near the river were closed due to flooding. That left the bluff trails, which are short but steep.

Brady Bluff trailhead

Some of the bluff trails were wooded; others were exposed and rocky.  The views were always good.

The generous spring rains brought beautiful spring flowers.

The Town of Trempealeau is fortunate to have a really fine historic hotel with beautiful views of the river, reasonable drinks, and occasional live music.


I think we all enjoyed ourselves and will be back again someday.

May Days
25 May 2023 | 11:42 am

We've had a cold and wet spring, not conducive to much enjoyable outdoor activity.  But better days have arrived in the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday, my "country neighbor" moved his young steers into the woodsy field next to our front yard. 

"Davey", the hardest working farmer that I know, has his own calendar for farm activities.  These calves kept the barn (and a wellhead) above freezing all winter long.  A couple of weeks after the last danger of frost, Davey scoops out the barn, spreads the manure on his 20 acres of corn fields, and moves these guys across the road.  

I'm not sure what triggers his date for planting corn.  All of the big farms have the corn planted, and it's coming up ankle high already.  I've seen Davey planting corn in early July some years.  I think it's highly dependent upon his old equipment working (which includes his body because he is in well into his 70's).  

After getting my golden geezer card for reduced camping rates following my 62nd birthday, we haven't done much camping yet this spring.  The good spots for reduced rates within a few hours are mostly along the Mississippi River.   Between campground "repairs and upgrades" and flooding, those campgrounds have all been closed and won't open this year until late June for the most part.  

We did make one Scamping trip last week to Perot State Park, which sits on high ground above the Mississippi River north of La Crosse, Wisconsin. That trip will be the subject of an upcoming blog post.


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