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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Flooding

Jess finally sent some photos of the flooding. She lives west of Grand Forks, ND, so her home won't flood, but she works in a building very near the river. Here's what her email said, "So these pictures are taken near Oslo, MN, just half an hour north of Grand Forks along Interstate 29. The river is now a little over 49 feet and expected to crest around 51-52 feet either Thursday or Friday. The last photo was taken on the roof of where I work. As you can see, the river runs right behind it. The tannish wall thing is the flood wall, although the city hasn't decided to put up the missing portion!"

The original email from the guy who took the pics:

"Attached is some pictures taken yesterday. The Warren crew along with Contractor putting 12 tandem loads of rock in holes in TH#1 along with on the inslope after some of these pictures where taken. We started using sand bags at first but rocks 8-10" that were crushed from 2' size was the better to use over sand bags."

This is the one taken from the roof of Western Polymer where J works. I think if you click on the photo you'll get the full-sized version. Jess told me on Friday that they'd started sandbagging around the building the day before.

These are just a few of the attached photos. If you want to see them all, lmk and I'll email them to you.

We're still praying for everyone to remain safe, and the weather to clear up. They were having more snow today...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Earth Hour

"Turn out. Take action.
Be part of this historic event.
March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time, the World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Warm Sweater Wednesday

Yes, it was a Warm Sweater Day, with a biting, chilly wind this morning. Oh Spring - wherefore art thou? Why hast thou forsaken us?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Garden Prep

Yesterday morning before the sun rose, I checked the weather online and saw that we had three days of rain in the forecast, but Saturday was to be sunny and 70-ish. We took full advantage of the beautiful day, and while it wasn't playing so much as working, we got the back yard all cleaned up so we can prep the garden. We raked and snipped and pulled up dead plants. I dumped pots of dead flowers, and gathered up broken containers and little bits of trash that have blown into the yard over the past windy months.
As I finished up the last puttery things, Greg got started on the raised beds. We're going to try a version of "square foot gardening" for our veggies and herbs this year.
Especially with the little bit of green, this version of the backyard looks lots better than what I posted recently. You can see back by the little fenced area where Greg dug up some of the peonies. Those will be divided and moved to new locations. The broken birdbath is gone (with a strong hint that a new one would be a welcomed gift...) and two of the new raised beds are done. They'll be relocated, but by the looks of them, I'm thinking I'm really going to like this gardening method.
I'll post more updates in the next few weeks, but first we have SNOW in the forecast.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Words for 3/20:
chocolate bunnies

3/21 game paused

colored eggs



jelly beans

May flowers

Palm Sunday

Daylight Saving Time
Spring ahead


Spring fever

baby chicks


morning dew

Spring Break

Good Friday

Mother's Day



Last Supper

bedding plants

Spring training

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Warm Sweater/Open Window Wednesday

I know I keep going on about the nice weather we're having, so I'll simply say that we had a beautiful "Open Window" Wednesday here today. Yippee!
Birds are singing, little green shoots are pushing up out of the ground, garden seeds are started, can our late winter/early spring snowstorm be far behind?...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Touch of Spring

The lovely warm temps we're having right now inspired me to put together this little centerpiece for the dining room table. I like it the way it is, but will add some candles and perhaps use it for a tablescape.
The jars are all thrifted and I didn't pay over $1 for any of them. They're filled with jelly beans and Easter M&M's. I especially like the colors in the tall jar - those are SweetTart jelly beans. I haven't tasted them - we're not big jelly bean fans - but they're fun to decorate with. (Did you see they have bags full of just BLACK jelly beans? I'm going to get some and save them for Halloween. I do like black ones!) The sweet little bunny bud vase was also thrifted for less than $1. The bottom has "Avon" printed on it. I filled it with my favorite fresh daisies this morning. I suppose it'd be cute with a candle, too, and maybe that was it's intended use. A pair of them with candles would be pretty.
Tomorrow the weather will go back to end-of-winter/early-springtime temps in the 50's, and I think there may be rain. That's okay. After yesterday and today we know that Springtime is almost here. My jelly beans say so.

Monday, March 16, 2009

You can call me...

Ray, or you can call me Jay, or you can call me Johnny, or you can call me Grammy!!
Yep, that's right, we've entered a new season in our family and I can finally tell you about it. Jessica is expecting our first grandchild in early October. This baby came as quite a surprise to everyone, but is very much wanted and we look forward to loving and snuggling and cuddling and spoiling it as much as possible.

Jess is doing well - she was very sick during her first trimester, but that seems to be subsiding. Today she got to see the little bean on an ultrasound, but they didn't give her a photo so I could show it off. Perhaps next time, though we won't know ahead of time the sex of the baby. That'll be a surprise kept for when it's born.
I guess that's about the biggest news I have to share today. I'll be heading outside to enjoy the sunshine and 70 degree temps while I putter in the garden. It's a good day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

'Tis the Season & Herb update

Yes, I know that officially Spring is still 6 days away. Unofficially, it's even farther than that, but I cannot help wanting to be out there, planning and preparing for the upcoming gardening season. You can see there is a lot of work to be done: That photo was taken at 7:45 a.m., before the sun came over the garage and everything was still frosty out there. You can see the piles of leaves I raked out from beside the deck yesterday. There is still lots more to clean up. This looks pretty bleak, I know, but there are teensy little tulip leaves poking out of the ground in front of the garden bench. You can't see them in the photo, but they're there...
This pile needs to be sorted and put away. It'll be a couple of months before I fill up the tipsy pots again, and I look forward to it.

These things will be employed to their fullest capacity, I'm sure. We could use another pair of hands - there are plenty of wheelbarrows... No, these kitty boys don't count. They'd just want to roll around in the leaves and chase birds.
They're excited about all the preparation that's happening, though. Think they read what's printed on this seed packet?

Herb update: Remember the little herb garden thing I got for Christmas? They were going along pretty nicely at first, but eventually the chives just shriveled up and I tossed them. A few weeks later the dill followed suit, even though it got little feathery fronds and I thought perhaps it might be saved.
That made me extra vigilant with the basil, and so far it's doing well. The package said I'd be harvesting it six weeks after planting, and that would have been about a month ago - you can see that hasn't happened. I have high hopes that these two plants will be the cornerstone of my basil crop for the summer, though. I'll continue to baby them inside until it's warm enough to introduce them to the great outdoors.
I just love fresh basil, don't you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Warm Sweater Wednesday

You know how we've been having these random days of Springtime, then Winter comes back in and takes over again? Don't you think Winter should be tired of the U.S. and getting ready to go to Australia? (Hi Kim!)
Well, today was definitely a Warm Sweater Wednesday, with temps in the low 20's and a negative degrees windchill. Hopefully this is the coldest day of the week, and things are set to warm up the next couple of days.

My friend Penny lives in the South, and has switched from WSW to Open Window Wednesday. I like that idea. I like it a lot.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Spring Ahead!

I think I'm in a club with a really small number of members. It's the "I LOVE Daylight Saving Time" club. Tomorrow morning when I awaken, I will happily go around the house and "spring ahead" all the clocks. Yes, we "lose" an hour, and my body will be dazed and confused for a few days, but the trade-off will be worth it. To have sunshine for an extra hour in the evening, proving that the days are getting longer, and Spring is on the way, is just what a person needs this time of year.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tablescape Thursday

One of my favorite blogging days is Tablescape Thursday when bloggers around the country post photos of their tables, dishes, and incredibly creative centerpieces. I've been following the tablescaping since this event began, and often find myself putting together my own placesettings in my mind, and looking around the house for centerpiece ideas.
This afternoon I started pulling out dishes to organize a cupboard, but instead decided to play a bit and join in the Tablescaping fun
March is my least favorite month of the year. Most usually it's cold, windy, and bleak. Winter just won't go away. This week we're having a couple of Spring-like days, though, so I played around with a couple of tablesettings that, to me, said "fresh" and "Springtime".
To start, a bowl full of green apples and yellow pears, along with a little bouquet of daisies make up the centerpiece.
I've said before that I prefer a simpler table, so I stuck to just the bowl of fruit and the tiny vase of flowers. It was a sunny afternoon, perfect for a light lunch with a friend. Who would like to join me?
I cannot even tell you where I purchased the placemats, but I do know they were on clearance. (Edited: placemats from Kohl's) I used a turquoise square plate as a charger, with a green dinner plate and a white salad plate to coordinate with the colors of the mats. The white napkins have a daisy design embossed on them, but that got completely lost in the art of my amateur photography.
You can see here some of the detail on the plates. The white salad plate is Mikasa French Countryside, the green plate was a clearance purchase from a small variety store, and the turquoise square plate is from Target.

Here's another look, using the same bowl of fruit and daisies for the centerpiece. Same napkins, glassware, flatware.

I just removed the turquoise plates and used the white daisy-embossed placemats that match the napkins. I folded and fanned the napkins and tucked them into the drinking glasses. Wouldn't this be lovely for a breakfast of French toast and fruit?
If you care to spend a little time looking at a myriad of tabelscapes to inspire you, go on over to Susan's Between Naps on the Porch and check out Tablescape Thursday. It's so much fun to see so many different beautiful tables all in one place!