A frozen and lazy Sunday

Faithful Readers, I write to you today from my favorite spot to blog from, with a full belly, and a relaxed heart.

Relaxation doesn’t happen very often, so I’m going to revel in the moment a bit. I don’t often have a Sunday to myself. Either I’m working, or spending the day with my parents. Both of those activities are great, but to have a day just for me is really a treat.

Where’s The Flirt today? He took me out to breakfast at Ebeneezers (best breakfast in town!) and then went hunting. So, when I say I have the house to myself, I really have the whole thing to myself.

<happy sigh😊>

Mom text me last night and said not to come to their place today. We had lots of rain, and then we got snow on top of that. Yesterday, I went out to run some errands, and when I got out of my car, I slid all the rest of the way down the parking lot toward the road. Not good! I managed to stay out of the road, and was able to get up to the business and back down to my car without falling, but it was a little scary. I’m content to sit home today.

The ice played havoc with the roads, but it did some fun things in my yard:

The way the ice covers everything is so beautiful. Dangerous, but beautiful.

Today, I will putter around the house. I do have things that need to be done, but there are also things that I just want to tinker with. We will see what gets done. When I get hungry, I have plenty of leftovers to pick from. My favorite, though, is well buttered lefse with ham rolled up inside.

Lefse is a Norwegian flat bread made from potatoes. It’s also my favorite thing at Thanksgiving. I found Aunty B’s recipe, and I think I will try to make it sometime. I just need more countertop space. Rolling lefse takes a little bit of elbow room. More about that later.

Well, now the puttering will commence. I look forward to a nice quite day of everything I feel like doing, and maybe not much at all.

Here’s wishing you all a nice quite day, to fill (or not) in whatever way that pleases you and feeds your soul. Blessings all!

Let the Thanksgiving games begin!

Wow, it’s been quite a whirlwind since I last posted. Not only has The Flirt moved in (more about that later) but I have gone back to my seasonal job at The Big Red Box Store on top of my regular day job. I have been on the run, and it’s not going to slow down until after Christmas. Uff da…

Anyway, Thanksgiving is next week and I am getting ready to go grocery shopping for everything we will need that day. After many years of cooking Thanksgiving dinner, we have this down to a science. I cook the stuffed turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and provide the pickles, veggies and lefse (Norwegian flatbread), Cookie Salad, and anything else I feel like making. Mom brings the Green Bean Hotdish and sweet potatoes, and our friends will bring homemade bread and desert.

OMG… my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Lots of work to do between then and now, the biggest of which is the shopping. Today, I’m sitting in my favorite blogging spot with the recipe box, my favorite recipe book, and a cup of tea. The Flirt is sleeping in, so I’m enjoying this quiet meal planning ritual. Very soon, though, I’m going to have to start laundry, and then shopping. I made the mistake of sleeping in, when I should have been up and had most of my chores done before first light. Oh well…there’s that darned “should” again.

Here’s hoping you are all enjoying doing some small thing that makes you happy, whether it’s a daily, sometimes, or annual thing. Life’s too short not to just stop and do happy things, even if you have to shoehorn them into an already busy schedule. Blessings all!!

On remembering how to Winter

Before I walked out of the house this morning I realized I’d forgotten to start my car, which was covered with a light coating of frost. So, I had to start the car and wait for it to thaw out.


After having so many months of warm weather, it’s hard getting back into the swing of how to Winter. Yes, I did use that as a verb.

Winter is not only a season, but it is also a state of mind, and a very specific mode of action. There’s light as the sun is rising later, and setting earlier. It’s a completely different way of being.

There is a whole different protocol for dressing, and for survival. It requires warmer clothing and footwear, as well as a whole extra set of outer garments. You also need what feels like a truckload of extra equipment. If you don’t have windshield scrapers, a shovel, and a winter survival kit just for your car, you aren’t prepared. That’s not to mention shovels, ice choppers, snow blowers etc. that you need for your house.

There are some people who do can enjoy Winter with relish and an enthusiasm not unlike that of a kid in a candy store. There are others, like me, who watch Winter approach with dread and much trepidation. I don’t enjoy the struggle and survive factor.

Why do I live where the precipitation can bury me, and the air hurts my face?

This is home.

And, the cold keeps most poisonous and venomous creatures away, which is an unarguable benefit.

While I definitely have designs on living somewhere warmer in my retirement, I’m content to stick it out a while longer to stay close to family and friends. My favorite mantra is: Spring is coming, Spring is coming, Spring is coming…

Today the weather will be back up to 60, and most of the snow is gone from our early snowstorm. But, it’s time to get prepared, and be ready to Winter again.

Here’s hoping you all have a smooth transition getting back into the swing of whatever seasonal changes you have coming. Blessings all!

Snowmageddon 2019-Part 2

Our 2nd storm arrived, and dumped significant amounts of snow across the High Plains yesterday. Parts between Minot and the Red River Valley got more snow than anyone needs in a year. Last night it was reported that Langdon, ND got 27 inches of snow, and it was still falling.

27 inches of snow in one day. (Gasp!)

We got 4 inches of snow in Minot on Thursday, but it all melted the next day. Today, I wake up to this:

All of my windows are blocked for the heavy wet snow that was driven into the screens. Well, I guess that’s just a little more insulation, right?

The storm that pounded everyone east of us finally moved into the area around 8pm last night, and the wind howled like the roof was going to come off.

I took this picture overlooking the football field at sunset, and you can see the leading edge of the storm pushing in across the top. It was a beautiful sunset, and I wish my crappy iPhone did a better job at taking pictures. This one just doesn’t do it justice:

I got a call from my friend “A”, who was going to go to an event downtown with me this evening. She lives in a neighboring town and can’t get out, but I imagine it will be canceled anyway. Such is Winter in the High Plains. All plans are tentative until proven otherwise.

Today will be about housework, laundry, and baking. The Flirt said he will be coming over today to help with some organizing in the basement. He won’t have any trouble making it with his big truck. Until then, I get the house to myself and will enjoy the peace and quiet, punctuated by high winds and snow removal backup beepers.

Here’s hoping you all are having better weather that we are. If not, do the best you can to enjoy your time inside. Blessings all!

Snowmageddon 2019-part 1

Holy buckets, Faithful Readers, it looks like Old Man Winter is arriving early and is making quite the explosive entrance.

Between now and Sunday it looks like my beautiful state, which is so pretty in all of its fall splendor, is going to get completely hosed with a thick blanket of heavy wet snow.

Areas in the green are going to potentially get 2 feet or more. Good grief… it’s only October!!

I know, I know… we are definitely in the window where snow can happen. However, we’ve been really spoiled with late snows, and short winters the last few years. It was a gift, and now we are back to our regularly scheduled meteorological program.

Here’s the good news… all of this stupid snow is going to melt away next week as it will be in the 40’s for a goodly enough stretch of time. Yeah, it will be inconvenient for a few days, but it will go away.

Thank goodness! I’m just not mentally ready for winter. I’m hearing the same thing from a lot of others. Longer winters can be so demoralizing, and nobody likes that.

Here’s hoping that this is just a blip in the landscape of a potentially long and beautiful Indian Summer, and also that you have tolerable weather wherever you are. Blessings all!

That last beautiful gasp of summer…

It feels like it’s still summer outside, even though the leaves are starting to really turn beautiful fall colors. At 8pm my snarky weather app tells me it feels like 61 degrees outside.

I’ll take it.

I took this picture on the way home tonight. I couldn’t help but pull over and take this picture, and how lovely to do that while standing outside on a warm, breezeless evening. The weather is perfect, and the sunset was some really lovely frosting on that cake.

When I look back at this picture, I will remember how the evening air felt on my arms, and how good the air smelled. I wish I could bottle that fall smell in the air…there is nothing quite like it.

Starting tomorrow, my beautiful High Plains will begin to be covered with snow. Quite a lot of snow, especially for my friends who live in the Red River Valley. Thank goodness it’s supposed to warm up next week again.

It’s quite a High Plains thing to want to get out and clip your grass short right before the snow comes, and God forbid you have and leaves on your lawn! Our leaves haven’t fallen yet, so I expect that they will come off in huge, still green clumps after the storm goes through. How sad to not make it all the way through fall before the snow arrives.

That’s ok… there’s always next year for leaf raking.

Here’s hoping you can make the time to stop and take that picture you know you want to take. Just a few moments is all you need. Just a few… and they might be the few moments you needed today.

Blessings all!

Accumulating changes

I was hoping for a whole lot of down time and quiet after returning from The Great Road Trip of 2019. But, no. Silly Sparrow… lol.

Work as been harried, and that is to be expected since I was out for two weeks. After this week, it will quiet down quite a bit, especially since we lost a valued and favorite member of the team to a better opportunity. Our office will not be the same. We will hire someone to fill that spot, but who knows how that will change the dynamics of the team. I am more than sad.

I tell my kids to appreciate the good times when you are in the middle of them because, just like bad times, they don’t last.

At home, it’s a little different story. Recently, The Flirt helped me move some large defunct appliances out of my basement, and helped me get my workbench put back together. Today, someone is coming with a truck and a friend to take away an old couch. I’m finally getting my basement space cleared out and will be able to work on it periodically through the winter. It will be a good project for weekends when it is just too cold to do anything else.

So many changes all at once, they seem to accumulate like sticky snow.

Speaking of, it looks like cold and accumulating snow are arriving early. Supposedly we are even going to see some bitter, below zero temps coming up soon. It’s only October and, while we are in that window where snow can happen, I’m just not mentally ready.

Winter is coming to the High Plains, but not today.

Today I will enjoy the crisp fall weather, and the changing leaves. I will enjoy an unencumbered visit to my parents’ house, not having to drive through any snow or ice. Today I will take my time and just be, for tomorrow I jump back into whatever Monday brings me at work.

Here’s hoping you are able to enjoy some good weather before winter comes, and don’t worry about the changes. Life always levels out at some point. Blessings all!

RIP Granny

I spend most Sunday afternoons with my parents, and today was no exception. On the surface of things, it was a normal Sunday visit.

The exception to today’s visit is that my Mom’s mother passed away this evening.

Granny turned 96 years old this summer, and she hadn’t been doing too well though she’s been living at home with my cousin’s help. This week she quit eating or drinking and ended up in hospice care pretty quickly. After several days of being unconscious, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Before you feel too badly for me for having lost my last remaining grandparent at the advanced age of 50, let me tell you what else made this visit to my parents today even more exceptional.

I don’t feel any grief for her death. I know she lived a good long life, having outlived my Grandfather by 20+ years. She had a tough time in recent years health wise, and struggled to be able to stay living at home. I know that she is at peace now and I don’t have any sorrow about that.

The grief I feel is that I didn’t get a chance to get to know her, or my Grandpa, very well. They lived half a country away, and we weren’t close to that side of the family. I was very close to my Dad’s family because they were right here.

Distance makes a difference, especially when your Mom is semi-estranged from her family. I don’t even really know my cousins on that side of the family either.

If I could go back and make any changes in my life, if would be to make a better effort to really generate, and maintain, a relationship will all of the folks on that side of the family. It might have been a little difficult, but it would have been worthwhile to do.

There is no point in crying over spilt milk, but I can feel grateful that Granny isn’t suffering anymore, and I can feel grateful for my Mom (who feels a lot of things about her mother) that relief seems to be the topmost feeling she exudes, if so very subtly. We will see how that bears out in the coming days.

Faithful Readers, I’d like to propose a toast to my Granny, who loved to drink… Swift journey and safe passage on the way to the Hereafter.

…and another for my mother, who isn’t a drinker at all… here’s to she who endured much at the hands of her own mother and survived to see this day.

Blessings all.

Don’t look behind the curtain…

Greeting Faithful Readers, and happy Saturday. Today was lovely… in a slacker sort of way.

Not only did I get to sleep in, but I got to spend some time with a friend going to one of our farmer’s markets, and chatting over lunch at a local restaurant called The Starving Rooster. I also ran into another friend and her husband. I shopped and ran errands. Then, I slacked off and did nothing of any consequence for the rest of the afternoon.

It’s been a long week, and I thoroughly enjoyed all of that.

Part of my afternoon slacking included reading articles and sifting through news about what’s going on with the impeachment. I ran into this in reference to that…

That’s right folks, nothing to see here. Please don’t look behind the curtain, or even at the curtain. Shoot, there might even be something lurking in the curtain rod. Good lord…

I feel exhausted already, and the impeachment process has only just begun. It’s been a long road ahead of it, and it’s not going to get any shorter. I’ll try not to talk about it too much, but today it’s on my mind that our allowances for lawlessness, really reckless endangerment, will be our undoing. I think it might be too late at this point. Hopefully not.

Having entertained myself and “rested”, now I will do some chores. Here’s hoping that you all leave room for yourselves in between all of the things that need doing. Lazy Saturday blessings all!

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