A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

More Awesome Nephew Pics

I thought posting pictures of my little nephew Jacob would be an occasional thing, but I wasn't aware how many cute photos I'd get from the family.  So this may have to be a semi-regular series through the years.  I guess I also underestimated how much of a proud Uncle I would be.  Here's my awesome nephew with his baby brother.  Pretty cool. 
Around the homestead...well there have been drastic changes.  Extensive snowbanks melted in mere days under near 70 degree temps over the weekend.  Buds are swelling on trees, sporadic individual grass blades have turned green, tulips and other bulbs are poking up through the soil, and there are just general signs of life in the yard.  I'll grab the camera, capture the late Spring and report back to you ASAP. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

The River Also Rises

We're wrapping up a doozie of a week here at the homestead, way too much work and work related stuff.  How was your week? 

The frigid winter temperatures finally appear to be somewhat subsiding and we're in for a major heat wave starting today (mid 50's) through the weekend where mid to upper 60's are forecast.  This is fantastic for us so we can start to thaw out from winter and maybe even begin some long over due winter clean up chores, but it's bad for the flooding situation to get so warm so quickly. 

We won't have any flooding problems here in Grand Forks, but they may in other parts of the state.   The river is only expected to crest at 43 feet (we're protected up to 60+) here so we're not worried.  If you're a weather geek like I am, or if you just like graphs and numbers and such, you should check out the National Weather Service/NOAA website.  It has the projected river crest, flood predictions, and lots of other cool stuff related to weather here in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

National Weather Service - Grand Forks, North Dakota


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Longest Winter Ever - Seriously It Might Be a Record

From the Grand Forks Herald:
Grand Forks is forecast to break a 109-year-old local record: the latest 50-degree day. National Weather Service forecasts for the next seven days do not call for 50-degree temperatures in Grand Forks, and the current record is April 21, set in 1904. Fargo broke its record, set April 17, 1881, on Wednesday, and is still without a 50-degree day.

The city and its residents may not find relief from the cold for another week or longer, according to Vince Godon, weather service meteorologist.

“It’s always tough to tell this far out,” he said. “If we get clouds moving in, that throws it off. Every day, it gets a little bit warmer.”

This year’s late start to spring contrasts with last year’s early spring. Grand Forks set its earliest 50-degree day on March 11, 2012.

Crazy.  We went from the earliest 50 degree day ever last year to almost-soon-to-be the latest 50 degree this year.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Delayed Yet Again

Our thoughts of Spring arriving here in North Dakota got a square kick in the teeth when another 4 to 5 inches of snow fell Sunday night and Monday. We didn't fare too badly compared with other parts of the state, the state capital Bismarck got 18 inches, yikes!

The snow was the heavy, wet snow of Spring and it stuck to everything.
The wind came from the North and East, so the half of the tree trunk facing that direction were covered with a layer of fluffy, sticky snow.  It was interesting to see half a tree trunk completely white, while the other half was it's normal woody brown.
We're back to having a foot plus of snow bank in the yard.  Just when we were seeing some bare ground (see Delayed Spring), we're back to snow covered mud yet again.  Oh, and there's more snow on the way in a couple of days.
Our local weatherman noted the other day that our average high temperature at this time of year is in the 50's, but that we have yet to hit the 50 degree mark at all this year. 
 
Maybe the best thing to do is just bury our face in our paws/hands until things take a turn for the better. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Delayed Spring

Part of the lack of posting has been a result of the lack of Spring related news. Other lucky gardening folks may have crocuses and others blooms popping in their yard, but all we have is winter.  Old Man Winter has one tight stranglehold on the homestead.  The Grand Forks area has been 10 to 20 degrees below normal for the last several weeks, the snow has been slow to melt and there is talk of even more snow on the horizon.
Shaak Ti tours the snowy, muddy environs of the backyard.  There's still a good foot plus of snowbank over much of the yard and with temperatures in the mid-30's (at best) for the next week and some additional snowpack possibly on the way, Spring may be a long way off.
Even the pups tottering through the yard have torn up the dormant turf, it looks like a herd of buffalo sauntered through the yard. Sure a month from now, it'll be nice green grass, but for now, it's ugly.  And muddy.
There's still a lot of snow in the back yard.  Thursday night and Sunday are supposed to yield additional snow, we'll see what the future brings.  That future might just include a even further delayed Spring. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More Easter Bunny Malfeasance

The Easter Bunny that scared my awesome little nephew may have terrified a poor little kid, but he/she was just doing their job (see Easter Trips and Bunnies of Terror).  At least they were an Easter Bunny in compliance with the law. 

But in San Diego the other day (just a few miles from where I used to live), the Easter Bunny got pulled over by a California Highway Patrol Officer. Seriously, I'm not kidding.  He was on a motorcycle (the Easter Bunny, not the officer) without a helmet, which is against the law in California.
Photo Courtesy of California Highway Patrol
Read the full story and see video

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Trips and Bunnies of Terror

Alycia and I traveled the Friday and Saturday before Easter down to Minneapolis/St. Paul with some errands and "big city" type tasks.  We spent most of our time in St. Paul and enjoyed the almost-but-not-quite Spring weather.  It was in the 50's both days, pleasant enough that yours truly wore himself some short pants, it was magical. 

We made it home and promptly left Sunday morning for Easter in bustling Cavalier, North Dakota.  There was much ham and fixings and deserts and the typical holiday meal deliciousness.

We didn't get visited by the Easter Bunny, but my awesome nephew back in San Diego did chat a bit with the big bunny himself.
As you can see it was less of a chat and more of a tear-filled encounter of pure terror.  The report was that he cried the whole time, at least until he was a safe distance away, 25 or 30 feet, at which point he waved repeatedly at the Easter Bunny.  Little brother James was as stoic and calm as you can get when confronted by a seven foot tall rabbit in a dinner jacket.
Jacob was a much happier camper when he realized the awesomeness that the Easter Bunny leaves.  Each plastic egg had all of one M&M in it, but he still thought it was pretty cool.