Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a great day! Washed the car this morning (!), November 24, 2011, in North Dakota! And at 2:30pm, it is 54'F. Hard to believe. Pumpkin pie is cooling; window is cracked open. Turkey breast is in the oven. I'll make mashed potatoes in a bit. Watched the dog show - saw a new dog - Xoloitzcuintli, from Mexico. Amazing hairless but the one shown was gorgeous. And the Packers just won. again. Sun is shining. Except for the mouse that I'm trying really hard to not like, life is very very good.

Happy Thanksgiving, Yanks!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


If it's November 22, there are 33 days until Christmas! 11-22-33. Sweet, huh?

And it's a month until the days start getting longer. So I guess winter is almost over! (HA!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Grandma Van!

Pumpkin pie from scratch by fiberbrarian
Pumpkin pie from scratch, a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

And here is a picture of my made-from-scratch pumpkin pie. Made it this weekend with my newly fixed KitchenAid stand mixer. I'll probably stick with canned pumpkin but this was an interesting experience. The pureeing of the pumpkin was a hoot - pumpkin goop all over the place. Okay. Cross one thing off the bucket list. :-)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

First weaving - finished!

Rigid heddle weaving - a scarf - finished! A good first experience that gave me plenty of ideas for the next one. Next up will probably be handtowels. Or not. I'm going back to quilting for a while.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

80', in OCTOBER.

Surely something is wrong. The summer we didn't have this year (or last) is showing up in September and October. It's EIGHTY DEGREES! and tonight's low will be 60'. Tomorrow will be even warmer. And tomorrow night going down only to 60'. This is crazy.

However, the weatherman tonight said this is the last of the warm temps we will see until next spring/summer. (I did shudder a bit at that thought.) This weekend temperatures will return to normal - 60's days, 40' nights (I think).

I had a passing thought of plugging the air conditioner back in this afternoon and turning it on. Tuesday, October 4, 2011. What a crazy thought! (I didn't do it.) I'm not looking forward to the horrible vile lasts-too-long cold of winter, but I will be glad when we lose the 80's. Bring on the flannel shirts!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last of the harvest

016 by fiberbrarian
016, a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

Here are the last of the tomatoes and cukes to come out of the summer 2011 garden. Forecast of 26' tonight. I picked everything that even looked like it was beginning to ripen but left the solid green rocks on the vine. We'll see what survives tonight. We're supposed to warm up and stay above freezing for another couple of weeks, but I'm done. Time to pull out the rest of the plants and switch over to bird feeders.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sept. 11, 2011

Sept. 11, 2011 by fiberbrarian
Sept. 11, 2011, a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

Another picture perfect summer day in North Dakota. Ending in a full moon.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hyles lineata (white lined sphinx)

Just stunning. I flushed it when I moved a tomato plant to find any ripe tomatoes. Didn't really notice it until it was flying from salvia blossom to blossom, pulling out the pollen. A hummingbird! That's why I'd planted so many red flowers (salvia and tobacco), but then I noticed its antennae. Eventually it slowed enough that I saw at least four legs. That's when I figured out that it must be a hummingbird moth, something I'd heard about.

Found it on an NDSU moth page: Fauske, G.E. (Sept. 7, 2011) Hyles lineata (Fabricius 1775) in Moths of North Dakota: an online identification guide.
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Monday, September 05, 2011


One hundred eleven days until Christmas. Recent mornings have definitely been chilly but the forecast is for several days of highs in the 80s - even a 90' on Friday. And no rain. You know what that means? That my tomatoes are going to get thirsty! There's no way I can keep them watered enough to have their thirst quenched. I'll continue to try, but still.

Anyway. I admit I'm getting a bit tired of this summer stuff. I want a few months of cool, clear crisp air - falling leaves - nice sweaters. That's what I want.

But this is North Dakota. There's no telling what'll happen next.

Except that there're 111 days until Christmas. That's good enough for me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My New Baby!

JonesHandCrank by fiberbrarian
JonesHandCrank, a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

Jones Hand Crank sewing machine. 1920s, Manchester, England. Shipping from Texas.

Now I'll be able to attend my first ever TOGA (Treadle On Gathering).

Monday, July 04, 2011

92' with a 74' dewpoint

Fluff & Spin by fiberbrarian
Fluff & Spin, a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

and we lost two minutes today. How's that for an Independence Day?! We're paying for it. Temps will be paid for by a huge storm that's already around us. And the lost minutes will be paid for by winter that's just a few months away.

The fiber stuff is from this year's Tour de Fleece. I washed some fleece yesterday and managed to get a bobbin spun today between errands and dissertating.

There are garden pictures, too, but I'll add them another day. My cucumbers are blooming! Tomatoes are stout and hearty. Sweet basil, grown from seed, is prolific. (Very tiny seeds that I didn't measure out well.) Cilantro, chives, onions, and assorted flowers and plants: all well. Except for the pansies and the poppies and the larkspur that got eaten by a mouse or slugs, the garden is going well.

Hail in the upcoming storm. We'll see how we look tomorrow.

Happy Independence Day, USA!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Good News & Bad News

The Good News: If you missed that winter wonderland picture this winter, you've got another chance.

The Bad News: It's SNOWING on April 15. Not unheard of but I've heard the words demoralizing and disheartening used to describe the event.

I feel the need to start knitting more mittens.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

8:00am March 23, 2011

8:00am March 23, 2011 by fiberbrarian
8:00am March 23, 2011 a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.


.5 inches of snow officially. Started out with a bit of sleet but temps were so warm that nothing stuck. We were at the very northern edge of the storm. Manville, just 15 miles north of us, got nothing. Mayville, a half hour south of Grand Forks got 19.5".

Kind of disappointed since I was all ready for a big (BIG) storm, but since that didn't happen, I hope this is the end of winter. Let's move on to the flooding season and then summer. I want some sun and heat!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Road Conditions - 10:30pm

Tonight's road conditions around the state. Not much going on around here. The storm has tried to get up here but hasn't really succeeded. We stayed warm enough to get more rain than snow, which means we'll have plenty of ice when the temps drop. Oh, well. Another weather story to add to our queue!

Calm before (another) storm...

8:00am March 22, 2011 by fiberbrarian
8:00am March 22, 2011 a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

Last week was so nice. As you can see from this picture, much of the snow has melted. There are (hardy) plants coming up on the south side of buildings. So nice. And now there's another big storm to come. Still south of us (Hillsboro) at this time - but the western part of the state is getting hammered. Anyway. This is my benchmark photo. 8:00 am this morning at the front corner of the Soaring Eagle Garden. I'll take another photo tomorrow (if I can get in) or Thursday to show you if the storm materialized or not. Wait and see.

Friday, March 11, 2011


March 11 - around noon by fiberbrarian
March 11 - around noon a photo by fiberbrarian on Flickr.

Couldn't tell it by this picture taken around noon today. The morning dawned bright and sunny. A little overcast at noon. And tonight - at 8:30 - I decided I'd better take the garbage out while I could, and WHAM! The blizzard had started. (I heard it inside but thought it was the train going past. Should have figured out that the train eventually moves past.)

This further emphasizes to me that I'd never have made it as a pioneer. First - if I'd landed on the east coast, I would never have crossed the Appalachians. When I saw a soddy (house built of sod) at DeSmet, SD, and remembered the blizzard/winter scenes from Giants in the Earth, I knew I would've gone insane, too. And then today comes around. Beautiful sunny morning - great day to go out exploring. WHAP! Caught in a blizzard.

I'm so fortunate that strong people came before me.

However, the lights are flickering, so it's time to grab the blankets/sleeping bags and the wind-up flash light. Charge the cell phone. Get out the chocolate.

I'm a Pioneer in my own right.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Definitely January!

January is a cold month up here. Very cold. January is also a month of incredibly bright - almost glaring - sun. There are days, though, when it's cold and although the sun tries, sometimes it only appears - not bright, glowing, glaring - but it does show up. I have those days, too.

This shows my extension cord/engine plug-in system. I used a shepherd's hook last year to hold my plug-in out of the snow and it was great...until we got the record 24" snow fall. At that point, the 6' hook started getting covered in snow from the sidewalk and parking lot. This year I bought a 7' hook and it's working so far. We haven't had any big snow dumps, which is a help.