Day 27 -Spring Fever, it’s really a thing


Having had my walk and fixed up my favorite, non-weird, chocolate blueberry smoothie, I sit here and contemplate what I want to write. My thoughts keep turning to the seeds and the dirt that I bought yesterday. My favorite thing to do right now would be to plant those seeds, and spend some time in the sunshine fussing over them. That’s something I will be doing tonight. I have the pots, the dirt, and the seeds. I just need the time to plant them.

Yeah, I’ve got Spring Fever pretty badly. I’m really tired of all of the darkness and cold. I would really love to sit in the sunshine and soak up some heat and light.

Yesterday, I shut off my furnace and opened several windows. It’s so nice to get the stale winter air out, and I don’t care if it was only 8 degrees yesterday. At work, I am fortunate to have a working window. It faces North, so I don’t get any sunshine, but I do get fresh air if I need it.

Funny thing about my window at work – the pigeons like it too. One day I came back from lunch to discover that Bob the Pigeon had ducked into my slightly open window while I was gone. I was able to get him out again but, lesson learned, I always make sure the window is only open a crack now.

Here’s hoping you have lots of sunshine and fresh air where ever you are, and that your pigeons are less curious than Bob. Blessings all!

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Water, a blessing and a curse. But isn’t everything?


It’s 9:13am, and I am sitting here glued to my computer listening to the ongoing coverage of the efforts to fight the flood in my home town of Minot, ND, and all the little towns in the located up and down the Mouse River Valley.  It’s a little mesmerizing and I find that I’m having a hard time looking away, kind of like a mosquito flying toward the disaster that is a bug-zapper. Not blinking doesn’t help, and certainly doesn’t take you out of danger.

I read a post on Facebook from a friend of mine with a 5-year-old child that had to do with the fact that she wouldn’t watch her cartoons, or play. All she wants to do is watch the news and keep tabs on what’s going on with the flood, even though they aren’t in the affected area. I wanted to post back to my friend to shut the tv off for a while and give her little brain a rest. Then I realized that I was doing the very same thing. I’m so concerned that I will miss some important announcement that I just can’t seem to shut it off.

So, I shut it off.  The reports last night said that the water was expected to spill over the top of the dikes made me concerned so I got up a couple of times in the early hours of the morning to check to make sure the sewer hadn’t backed up into my basement. As things stand right now, my basement is dry and all is well.

It got me to thinking about how everything in life can be a blessing and a curse. Take the obvious example of water…it means everything when it comes to sustaining life, but it can just as easily kill you. Fire keeps you warm and helps cook your food, but it also burns. A nice breeze on a hot day is refreshing, but too much wind blows things over. The steady, grass-covered Earth is a wonderful thing to lay on in the sunshine, unless it’s heaving and moving. A nice cold beer with a pizza is a fabulous thing, but too many beers can poison you.  Hm…I could use a nice beer right now. Best leave that until after Noon, huh? lol…

So, instead of sitting static, focusing on what might happen, I think I will get up and organize something. Or, perhaps Older Son and I will go out and plant his herb garden. I know one thing…no more news until a regularly scheduled news time comes along. It’s going to be a nice sunny day, weather wise, and I think I will make the best of it rather than stew on a disaster than hasn’t occurred yet.

 

Walking barefoot in November…a bigger blessing than I would have imagined


Today is a good day. I’m done working at The Big Box Store for the day, and I’ve had my lunch. But that’s not the best part. The best part of today is that it is 61 degrees outside, and I walked to my mail box today in my bare feet. In November.

In North Dakota. That’s right…”We’re having a heat waaaaaave, a tropical heat waaaaave….” Whoo!!

Usually we’re shoveling show right about now. In fact, we already had our first snow storm of the year, but it has all melted away, and life is good again. Or at least it was feeling pretty good until they showed up.

My ex came to pick up Younger Son today, and just happened to bring his sleezeball girlfriend with him. After a year, one would think that I would be over having to witness the reality of this woman, but for some reason, it still messes with my head. This woman has some pretty big brass ovaries, shoving herself into my life and the lives of my kids. She’s probably going to want my grandchildren to call her ‘Grandma’…

…not while I have breath in my body. But, I digress.

Anyway, as I was saying, it was such a blessing being able to walk in the grass in my bare feet, and feel the sunshine and warm breeze on my skin. It doesn’t blot out the bad stuff, but it goes a long way to making me feel better. These warm days are precious and numbered. The Weather Guy says we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled weather program by the middle of the week. Time to get back outside and enjoy it while I can!

Digging deep…this morning’s blessings


With Autumn approaching, I find that I’m feeling hum drum, and just down in general. Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year with the beauty of the changing trees, the Autumn smells in the air, and just the fresh crisp feel of the season. It’s a beautiful time of year, and yet I find the specter of the coming Winter overshadows it to the point of making me feel some dread. I’ve been told that we should expect 2 1/2 degrees colder temps on average, as well as 4 more total inches of snow this winter. We had a hard time finding places to put it all last year, and I can’t imagine trying to store more of the stuff. Uff-da….

Anyway, in the effort to drag my attitude out of the basement and into the light, I’m digging deep, with my trusty snow shovel,  for whatever blessings come to mind this morning, and they are as follows:

1. When the ground freezes and the snow falls, there will be no chance that I will get leakage in my basement from a severe thunderstorm.

2. I am fortunate enough to have two strong sons to help me shovel out. I also have some extra cash I’m going to pay my neighbor with the Bobcat to clear my driveway when the snow is so deep it would take us hours to clear by hand.

3. I have a have a nice warm winter jacket, which I affectionately call the Big Brown Bear suit. It’s never failed me, except that the pockets have holes that need sewing up. After 12 years, if that’s the only malfunction that happens, no big deal. I have a needle and thread.

4. Snow really is pretty. There’s nothing more peaceful than when the land has a fresh coat of snow on it. Not only is it peaceful to see, but it lends an extra measure of quiet to everything that is like nothing else.

5. While Christmas, in all its commercial glory, is not my favorite holiday, I love how everything is covered with lights at Christmas time. When everything is so dark that we hardly get to see the sunshine, it’s nice to have those little lights twinkling in the darkness. Sometimes I take the long way to where I’m going just so I can take in some more of the holiday decorations.

6. I like holiday food. Some of the best traditional holiday food is only made in the Winter. Lefse is a good example. I learned how to make lefse last year, and I  plan on making homemade lefse for Thanksgiving and Christmas. No promises about Easter, it’s just too darned busy that time of year.

7. Speaking of holiday food, Thanksgiving is coming up. Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday. I live for roasting turkey, and making the whole dinner with all the trimmings. I love to have people over and make a big day of it. I can’t wait!

Well, I supposed that will have to be enough for now. It’s time to get the boys off to school, and me to work. I hope you all have a blessing-filled day.

What a beautiful day in the park…


Rental for a picnic shelter at the park for a day: $30

Chips, dips and beverages: $20

Availability of sunshine and nice breezes: Spot on!

Cost of good times with old friends, and new, on a lovely Sunday afternoon: PRICELESS!

Today, I met my friends at Oak Park, and some great new people joined in. It was a fabulous afternoon with lots of sunshine, bubble blowing, foot ball throwing, joke telling, and food eating. It’s been so long since I’ve had a nice day like that, I’d forgotten what it’s like to just get away for a while and forget about everything else. I feel so relaxed right now, I could just noodle out and go to sleep. In fact, I was so relaxed, I left completely forgetting to take my stuff with me! (thanks for grabbing my stuff for me Brea!)

Ah, but it’s back to reality time. I managed to get a little housework done before I left today, so now it’s time to get some more laundry rolling and get the rest of the housework done. Before I know it, Monday will have dawned and it’s back to the grind again. Oh, but it was a lovely time while it lasted!

The garden is in, and an early Fathers Day


The weather was gorgeous today, and so we went out right away this morning to finally put the garden in. Now, most of you are probably thinking to yourself, “shouldn’t the garden have been planted a loooong time ago?” Yes, it should have, but events conspired so that it just wasn’t possible to get the garden in before now.  No biggie. It’s better than no garden at all.

Older son helped me plant, starting with the onions. Younger planted the pumpkins, watermelons and cucumbers earlier, and they made it through the recent prairie hurricane that blew through (thanks for that, Brea. It’s an apt term given all the wind and water that came our way!) . We’re not quite done, though…the herbs and flowers, and two packs of peppers still need to be planted.

Here’s a quick list of what we have so far:

  • onions (Walla Walla)
  • garlic (left over from some a friend gave me from their garden last year. Hopefully they will take root!)
  • six kinds of  hot peppers (Jalapeno, Hungarian Yellow Wax, Anaheim, and I can’t remember exactly the other three at the moment)
  • three kids of tomatoes (Amish Paste, Sweet Cherry and Manitoba)
  • cucumbers
  • watermelon
  • pumpkins

I have more space to dig up, and I want to plant zucchini and spaghetti squash. I know it’s late in the season, but I’m hopeful that we’ll get at least a few squash by the middle of September.

Well,  we are off in a few minutes to go celebrate father’s day early with my Dad, since the kids are going with their father tomorrow. Oh…I forgot about what I got my Dad for Father’s Day…and I got some for myself too! When I was picking up the other vegetables, I ran across some Yellow Husk Ground Cherries. I have heard that they are very delicious and easy to grow.  I’m hoping that the seeds can be saved to make some more next year too! Here click HERE to read more about these interesting plants.

I’d post a picture of the garden, but the yard’s a big mess, and we’re not quite done yet. I’ll post one after we get it all done and cleaned up.

Oh well…off I go to order the pizza and get dressed for the day. It’s going to be a nice day at Mom and Dad’s with the boys.

Nothing like a bonfire and good company


I was invited to spend the evening at a friend’s house in the country last night. In this particular housing area every home sits on no less than two acres of beautiful North Dakota rolling prairie…gorgeous wide open spaces!

We stood outside trying to get the bonfire going, but then a storm rolled in and we had to go inside. That was ok, because we all had a good time just chatting, no matter where we were standing or sitting. There was a lot of good food and good company, and I was able to catch up with some old friends, which was fabulous.  Eventually, the skies cleared and we all piled back around the bonfire (which burned brightly through the storm).

It may sound a little silly, but it seems to me that there’s something very primal and essential about the activity of standing around a fire with other people. Yes, I said essential, and I used that word very purposefully. Sitting around a fire with others is something I used to take for granted when I was growing up, as we spent a lot of Summer weekends at a cabin and always had a fire burning.  I love the smell of wood smoke, and the sight and sounds of the embers burning and the sparks popping off the logs. I love the heat of it and how the luminescence of the flames lights up people’s faces. I love sharing a fire with others, whether we’re talking or not. For me a campfire is a total mind/body experience, and I thirst for it. I didn’t realize how badly I missed it until last night.  It’s been many years too long without.

So, I stayed until about 1am and drank in all the fire and good companion ship I could.  Being able to sit around with other adults in a non-work setting was a complete balm on my soul, and the fire was the big fat icing on the cake. I hear from my friends that they are planning to have a bonfire once a month, and I’m invited back.

I just can’t wait!