Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, Day of Rest

One of the blogs I follow is The Pioneer Woman.Today, she gave some instructions for making chicken strips. They sound so good, I think I will have to try them this week. I always try to have some meat in fridge for Mr. Haugen because I often work late and don't want to cook when I get home or if I do get home he tells me he has been eating all day and isn't hungry so I don't cook. The chicken strips looked like a good thing to have for him to snack on with grapes or a salad. He often will make a salad during the day. Incidentally, the Pioneer Woman's blog was one of Time Magazines picks for a top blog. Quite a feat, I think.

I have been reading two books lately, The Man who Loved China and Jury of One by David Ellis. I couldn't put down Jury of One once I started got into it. I will be glad to get into a book that doesn't leave me wondering if it is one I really should be reading so am happy to have completed it. Now to read something that is uplifting!

My talk went well enough. It is always a relief when one finishes. Preparing is always a great spiritual feed though. Like they say, the teacher learns more than the student; this is true when preparing a talk for church too.

I am preparing to present a talk in church this morning. Should I be spending time writing on my blog? Probably not, but it was time to share a delicious Weight Watchers breakfast cereal. About 4 months ago, I bought a package of the Blueberry Harvest Instant Oatmeal. Yummy! I doctor it up with milk and added a little more oatmeal and about a tablespoon of dehydrated blueberries. It probably adds an additional 3 points to the breakfast, but it is filling and delicious and adds the bulk I need. Especially after just having a colonoscopy and finding out I diverticulosis.Physicals can be too revealing. My brother and I both have this problem. I don't believe I have had any attacks yet but he has been hospitalized a couple of times.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How wet is wet?

After receiving 3 inches of rain on Monday, we have come to the conclusion that we may not be able to seed any more this year. It is amazing to see how wet is it.

We are about as flat as land can get so when you look through those trees and you see the water you can recognize how we can flood. There are no hills in Roseau County to speak of, we tend to be pancake flat. We are saturated from our winter snow that didn't leave early enough and now the rain adds to that wetness. It will be a summer of cultivating fields when it gets dry enough.

Today we had the last student tour. A fifth grade class from Greenbush arrived eager to do the scavenger hunt. They always seem to enjoy it so much. Their enthusiastic is contagious. The children who live in other areas of the county don't get the opportunities to come again like the locals do. It is such fun to see them look and marvel at all the things we have. One young boy came around the corner and saw the Ojibwe a exhibit and couldn't help but get excited and call his friends over to look with him.

I am proud to live in a county and state that realizes how important our historic culture is to the next generation. With Minnesota passing the Legacy Amendment, the historical society climate may have changed a bit. Having the people of Minnesota decided that saving our state from deterioration, whether in the land and water area or the arts and history area, means that they care about how we approach taking care of the culture in our state. Minnesota has always been a forward looking state...the home of MPR, the Guthrie Theater, a Prairie Home Companion.

I look forward to seeing the improvements that may be provided to improved care to our collection due to the amendment. Perhaps in the future we will even be able to install the mobile shelving that I had planned for when we first designed the archive room. The archive room already seems too small. We can move some things into the research center if necessary. That will mean purchasing new file cabinets which are probably necessary due the type of file cabinets we now have. That would mean, we need to consider grants to provide this type of care in the future, the main purpose of the Legacy Amendment; provide funding for things that historical societies' normally can't afford.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Seeding and Rain

This weekend was good. The weather finally cooperated and Ardmore got the field on the highway cultivated and seeded wheat there. I mowed the lawn and even picked up the grass. The flower pots are all planted.

Today? Well that is a whole other story. Rain was predicted but our hopes were positive, it wouldn't be too much. That lasted until about noon when the rain came in earnest; now we have about 3 inches. Way too much when it is almost too late to seed in the first place. Something keeps saying you won't be able to complete the seeding this year now.

We have water standing all over in the yard, even in places where we usually don't.The wind is atrocious also, about 50 m/hr out of the east. The one positive thing is that this isn't winter so we didn't have a blizzard and there were no power outages either.

It was a good day to curl up and read The Man who Loved China. Although is it a great book, there are other things that must be done too so it is taking longer to read than it should. Needham's travels across China are filled with problems but his attitude is almost child-like. He takes break downs, floods, and running our of fuel for the truck they are using in such amazing ways. I just can't see him doing it the same today, but then it would be much easier today. The people he contacts, the places he heads to when there are break downs are so out of ordinary for most tourists, but he is on a fact finding mission so all things are necessary. One must read this book to appreciate what he goes through to learn what he desires. This is definitely a must read for anyone who is interested in China and their history.

How can one sleep with the wind howling outside of their window?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wet Spring on the Farm

This year reminds me of a year about 35 or 40 years ago when we lived in Hoyt Lakes. My hubby worked for Erie Mining Company at the time and farmed on his days off. Periodically at that time he had as many as 13 weeks of vacation a year, something unheard of today. This was before I became involved in the farm, we had little people at that time. Ardmore would go to the farm on his days off and during vacations to seed, harvest, and do all of the other duties involved with farming. On that spring he headed to Roseau with the intent of seeding. For nine days he waited for it to quit raining and dry up. It didn't quit until he headed back to Hoyt Lakes. Life on a farm is so unpredictable.

Here we are again, a wet spring. To date we haven't been able to even get in the field. Not only have we not been able to get in the field, we have been cold too. The fields just don't dry out under these circumstances. Last year we were completely done by May 22, we will be lucky to start seeding anything tomorrow.

One thing that has taken place this year is hauling grain.

Today a load of canola was taken to the elevator in our old GMC.
Now, if the price of grain would just become parity we could make a decent living and the farmers or their wives would be able to spend their time working on the farm not working in town as many of them do today.

The blog this year looks like a throwback from last year. This week, tours started at the museum in earnest. Today we had over 200 children visit the museum, four classes in the am and four classes in the afternoon. Whew, there were a lot of children in and out! To top it off they were exceptionally well behaved. To end the day, children towed in their parents exclaiming, "look at this, and this, and this, Mom." What enthusiasm!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A day in the City

Winnipeg has been calling me for several months but just haven't taken the time. Yesterday I was off and headed north the 100 miles to my favorite city in Canada, of course that is because it is so close. Funny thing about it is I never went north of Bishop Grandin. Driving is quite easy if one follows the main streets and has a decent Winnipeg map.Google maps are great if you are looking for some place special.

Our pantry needed some good bulk food. The one on Grant burnt down a few years ago. It was part of a chain store so decided to go to the one on Portage Avenue. Got a Google map and was out the door.

The drive was a wet one, it had clouded over on Thursday and was misting off and on the whole way up. I was surprised and delighted to find out that MPR could be hear all the way to Steinbach. Mid Morning is one of my favorite programs and this was membership week so the interview was a rerun of an earlier interesting one.

My first stop was the St. Vital Shopping Center on the south side of the city just off of Bishop Grandin. As I rounded the building there was a Chapters. With pen and paper in hand and walking several aisles reading the insides of jacket covers a list of five books filled one page. Charles will be challenged with some on this list maybe. Starbucks in Chapters had a tasty raspberry bread and great hot chocolate. The employees even told me of a closer bulk food store!

A premier showing of Angels and Demons with Tom Hanks was showing at Silvercity Cineplex in the mall. Could one ask for a better place to be on a wet, cold day than at a great movie with a box of popcorn and pop? The movie was enjoyable to say the least.

The bulk food store was a short distance way from the mall and had a great variety of foods, including nuts, candy, flours,cereals, spices, various butters, dried fruits, etc. I supplied our pantry with lots of goodies, including a chocolate hazel nut butter, almond butter, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and a wonderful variety of nuts, included my favorite, Brazil nuts. Now I am anxious to make scones with cranberries and blueberries and Brazil nuts.

It was also "Ladies' Night Out" for our church women. Another friend and I joined 7 other ladies and enjoyed an evening of fun and food with 7 other gals at Lake View Restaurant. It was a perfect evening for a perfect day.

Today is cleaning day, but after yesterday, it is easy to handle.

Thought for the Day:
"There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day."
~ Alexander Woollcott

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Minnesota History Contest & a Book Signing

Today we held our annual Minnesota History Contest. What a wonderful group these young people are, so well behaved and excited. We had seven school participate this year; Badger, Greenbush/Middle River, Grygla, Karlstad Tri-County, Lancaster, and Roseau. Warroad took first second and fifth place, Badger - third, Lancaster -fourth and Roseau - sixth place out of 28 youngsters. To qualify, the students must place as the top three in their grade on their Minnesota history test. Some schools have 100 students in a grade which makes it quite competitive. The top six students in our test receive $50 saving bonds with the top three also receiving trophies. The children love it. It is always a relief to have it done. Now we need to start the test all over again for next year.
Yesterday I attended the book signing at our public library for Dean Hedlund's book “Old Tracker Joe and the Stone-Hearted Smuglies.".The illustrations are by artist Marv Espe and I believe they are like nothing Marv has ever done before. I don't even know if he has done art work for a book at any time. This very colorful and entertaining book is scheduled for release next April. It was great fun to have my photo taken with these two.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainy Day, again

Last night the wind came up in a vengeance; within half an hour the rain started to fall. Again. Monday and Tuesday were wonderful, sunny days where walking and outside work were pleasurable. Today is a good day to go to work, the museum is one big black area without windows so one doesn't have to worry about what it is like outside.

Yesterday I went to a tourism workshop in Thief River Falls. I had a morning appointment so attend three sessions, but they were well worth the trip.One of the seminars was on internet usage for attracting attention. The internet is a valuable tool if used to ones advantage. It does not precede word of mouth though. Email has a definite place in e-commerce though. One the museum should use more often.

I started reading Simon Winchester's The Man Who Loved China after listening to an interview with him on MPR. The book may be a challenge to my limited time but is an excellent biography about Joseph Needham. Needham is a not so well know scientist whose interests were wide ranging. He has provided in depth information on the Chinese culture from the many years he served there under the English government. Winchester's book is a very good read that expands the vocabulary and the mind.

9:30 pm
Well, here we are with almost an inch of rain today. I have my doubts that Roseau County and most of NW Minnesota is going to see many crops planted this spring. That is very troubling. We will just pray for the best. I could hear it pound on the roof above me at work today; something I don't usually hear unless it is a downpour. When I left at 7:45 it was still raining. The gravel roads have really been tough to drive on this spring and our yard is a mess. Ardmore has added several loads of gravel but it needs to get mixed with the clay and then harden all summer before we will see any results. It is put the peddle to the metal and weave through the mud!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has been a nostalgic time for me. Our children live so far away that they do not come home for the holiday and so I miss them more than ever.Yesterday was a different. We recently discovered Skype and the video capabilities!

Michelle's children live within driving distance of her and her husband had arranged for them to make a surprise appearance. Bryce, who is in the Coast Guard had just returned from the Cuba area so it was extra nice for her and I. They called and we talked for about an hour or so. Later in the day I called her back and requested that she play one of the piano pieces she will be performing for her final in piano at Stanislaus. What a treat!

My granddaughter Breanne and I visited the most. She had brought my busy grandson, Damen so I was even more excited. We did a patty cake together and I just totally enjoyed our visit.

When they all decided to go play badminton in her back yard, Breanne and I had some one on one. She is a wonderful mom. She probably disappointed her husband's family as they had come over to spend the afternoon and go swimming. She had plans to spend it with her mother though, and Josh took her over there soon after they arrived.

Damen has adjusted very well to the new house. Breanne said he sleeps so much better and more now. He is sleeping through the night and even taking naps. It causes me to wonder if perhaps he had some allergies to something in the other house. He was so wild and didn't sleep well at all.

Farm things are all on our minds right now. Ardmore is taking our old Ford grain truck to have the transmission repaired. There seems to always be something that needs repair work on the farm. He has headed to the shop right now so I am going to pick him up and bring him home.

We are not ready to begin our farm work yet. It has been way too wet still. It seems to rain every three days and then for several days. It isn't always very much, but it is annoying as things don't get the chance to dry out. I have a nagging feeling that we are not going to get our crops in this year. Some fields won't go in, because they were too wet last fall and couldn't be worked. Others just seem to get wet and never have the opportunity to dry out. Time will tell, and it doesn't seem to be on good for Roseau County's farmers this year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Museum Workshops

These past two weeks have been very busy and still the busyness continues. Last Friday, the Minnesota Historical Society held a workshop for the Minnesota's Historic Northwest Consortium area at Shevlin. About 20 individuals from about 12 historical societies in Northwest Minnesota attended. It was very worthwhile as we covered so many different areas from Collection Care to website design dos and don't s. I thought it would be nice to share some photos of the museum and the attendees. These were taken at the Clearwater County Historical Society.

After all the training and other things that had to be worked on I finally decided it was time to complete some of the things that were planned for home. This was a good weekend to do it, seeing as how I also had Monday off. Saturday I recovered our dining room chair. This was something in the works for about a year and it is finally off the "list". Today the outside was tackled. The planters were cleaned out, the deck table scrubbed of all winter grim, the chairs hauled from the shed to the deck on the six-wheeler. Then it was scrub time again. The John Deere rider was backed out the shed for the first time and I mowed what I could of our very wet yard. Finally it was time to relax on the deck with a book.

Ardmore has been hauling in grain. He took three loads of wheat in on Friday, one of wheat and one of soybeans today. It is amazing the difference in price from one elevator to the next. Seems like they should all be the same but they aren't. At least the wheat was fairly dry now. Everyone in our area has wet wheat by the sounds of it. Ardmore ran the grain dryer all fall and still the grain is wet. It just doesn'tmake sense.

He has been repairing and painting the truck he bought when I was down at the workshop two weeks ago. I think it will serve us well enough. He is pleased that it runs well.

I am reading David Ellis' Jury of One. So far, it is ok. I just started it so don't know what I will think of it farther in. Lately with all that is going on, there hasn't been much time to read.

Tomorrow it is back to work, another busy week in store.