Sunday, April 30, 2023


Yes, there were Northern lights and they were amazing.  I am so thankful I got to see them and my husband's phone was able to capture them.  This year has been a real milestone as it has been a dream to observe the lights from our cabin.

They pulsated and striated like crazy.  

My next milestone was finishing my niece's graduation quilt.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  Hope she likes it, as she is getting it next weekend.

I finished the quilt on Saturday, which left Sunday for gardening and that I did.  I can hardly move.

Things are starting to come alive.  My rhubarb and the crocuses. 
My daffodils are giving it their best shot.
My seedlings are doing great.  I even transplanted my tomatoes into the greenhouse.  I did a second round of starts.  These were flowers and squash, melons, and pumpkins. 
My house plants know it is getting closer to life on the porch.

I was able to overwinter my basil, parsley, and oregano.  Next weekend they will go to the greenhouse.

The greenhouse is planted with lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and gherkin cucumbers.
It was a long winter and I am a little leery about it actually being spring.  I'm sure we have one more snowstorm in our future.
Did you see the Northern Lights?  Have you ever seen them?  Are you in the garden?

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Maximum Effort...

 Happiness is a successful endeavor.  This weekend's major goal was to get my brother's Jeep, Maximum Effort, across the state.

Max is a 1976 CJ-7 and has not been reliable since my brother left.  My major goal was to get Max 52 miles to my brother, so he could take it the final 308 miles.  I won't lie.  It was a stressful trip for me.  I wasn't certain about the tires, steering, and wiring.  I made it, only went 48 mph, but I made it.  My brother is very mechanically inclined and within a day put on new tires, fixed the steering, got the fuel gauge working, and put in new turn signals.  
He had a very successful trip and enjoyed being reunited with his project.  I am certain Max feels the same.  
I worked on the graduation quilt, but not very successfully.  I'm coming down the homestretch, but it isn't an easy run.  I enjoy quilting, yet having a deadline takes some of fun out of it.

That is the extent of my weekend.  It was cold and snowed.  Hopefully, tonight will be clear as the meteor shower is supposed to be at its peak and there are rumors of Northern lights. 

 I hope you had a wonderful weekend and the night sky is brilliant.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Spring fever

 Spring fever has hit.  Today was a decent day and I took full advantage.

My rose bed is melted off.  That needed a good raking.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of the 3 wheelbarrows of pine needles.
Here it is clean, the bench is back, and ready for spring.  There is nothing better than the smell of fresh earth.

The Tomato Taj Mahal was accessable.  You know what that means?  I accessed it.  Lettuce and spinach are in the ground.
Every year I comment on my planting templates.  They really do make a difference.  I don't feel like I am wasting seed by planting long rows only to turn around and thin them.
My seedlings are doing great.  Hopefully the weather will hold and I can transplant them into the greenhouse soon.

We took Ella for a nice long walk.  I'm so thankful that she has made it through the winter.  She ran around all day enjoying the weather.

I finished quilting the first graduation quilt.  All that is left is the binding.  I took it out on the deck to stretch it out and clip any loose threads.  It should be done next weekend.

I almost forgot to mention that a fox trotted through the yard this morning.  He was trying to catch the turkeys unaware.  They were aware.  I'm surprised as they also have spring fever and are extremely competitive with each other and themselves.

To finish off the weekend I racked my wine and made chocolate peanut butter cookies.

The weekend is over.  Back to work tomorrow.  Did you have an exciting weekend?  Did you see any wild animals? Did you garden?

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Rocky is in the house... (Or pine tree)

It was a beautiful Easter weekend.  Friday night it was 49 degrees at 8:00pm.  I took advantage of the warm evening and had s'mores on the deck.  

I heard a ruckus in the pine tree next to the deck.  I looked up just in time to see two flying squirrels glide from one pine tree to another.  Wow. We knew they were around, as several years ago one flew into a transformer and was fried.  But to actually see them.   I was elated.  I did some research and found this wonderful article about the species of squirrels in South Dakota.  The first flying squirrel video looks just like what I saw.

Words cannot describe how overjoyed Ella and I were at being able to enjoy coffee on the porch after a very long winter.
I did have an agenda for the weekend and that was to get quilting.  Not only does the deck work for flying squirrel observations, but it also makes for a great quilting area.  I was able to tape down and layer my graduation quilt.  I won't lie thanks to my busy bird feeders, there may be a sunflower hull or two in the batting.
Somewhere in the middle of everything Ella got a muddy walk and then was promptly given a bath.  She wasn't happy with me for the rest of the weekend.
Generally, I dislike laying out quilts immensely, because I usually spread it out on the tile floor in the basement.  I cannot tape the layers to tile, so it is difficult and painful.  Crawling around on tile hurts. I am too old for hard cold floors.  Using the deck was perfect.  Enjoying the 53 degree day an added bonus.
I started some seeds, again utilizing the sunny deck. Two flats is a good start. Herbs, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and bunching onions are in for round one of planting.  Round two, next week will be melons and flowers.
I did more quilting.  This is the part I enjoy most.  I really miss hand quilting, but my wrists don't.
In the middle of all that, I may have enjoyed some sunshine.  Have I mentioned how much I love the new deck?
More quilting.  I'm chugging right along.
I even managed to bake a chocolate cake.  Not the prettiest, but it tastes great.
The end.  The snow is still here, but at least I was able to work around it.

How was your Easter?

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Perfectly perfect...

 This weekend was perfectly perfect.  My brother came out to visit.  It has been 19 long years.

He got to see where I work, meet my staff and students, and watched me give a graduation speech.  We made the most of the one nice day.  Snowshoeing in funny hats and sledding.  

He worked on his Jeep, as it always needs tweaking. We went on drives with the Roxar, his Jeep, and my Jeep.  We are kindred spirits when it comes to our love of all things Jeep.
For years we talked about sitting on the porch playing the guitar and singing.  He had our grandfather's guitar and I know Grandpa was there with us in spirit.
I pulled out my Grandma Hyde's baking best and my husband worked his magic on the smoker.  We played some pool and watched some movies.  Best of all we visited late into the night. He was even game for hot yoga and coffee after. Speaking of coffee he is the only person in my family that appreciates a nice strong cup.  Something our Grandma Gregg would have appreciated.

If I have learned anything in life it is don't take anything for granted.  Enjoy the moments and make the best of them.  I am grateful for such a wonderful brother and thoughtful husband. It was a perfectly perfect weekend.  

Who was your last long anticipated guest?  Are there any traditions your home has for visitors?  I hope you had as great a weekend as I did.