Where in the World are Renee and Chris

I am borrowing shamelessly from VS by posing this riddle for Baboons to consider.

We are not in ND.  We are at an elevation of 6200 ft., but the only mountains are far in the distance. The air wherever we walk  is filled with the smell of roasting meat and vegetables, as well as burning herbs and wood smoke.  It is  center of art and culture. Nearby there are 4000 to 5000 visiting archeologists. It has been a center of government for centuries.

Where do you think we are?

Libraries – A Love Fest

Yesterday was the anniversary of the opening of the first free public library, the Peterborough Town Library in 1833. The decision to purchase books and open a tax-funded library happened at the Town meeting and for the first sixty years, the books were housed in the general store.  In 1893 they were moved to the current location and there have been two expansions since then.

Here are a few fun library quotes:

“Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.”  Zadie Smith

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” Albert Einstein

“Libraries: The medicine chest of the soul.” Library at Thebes, inscription over the door

“My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.” Peter Golkin

“I have always imaged that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Jorge Luis Borges

I’m a complete library junkie. One of the biggest selling points when I bought my house was that it was a block and a half from the Washburn Library.  On the average week I am there twice.  I know the hours by heart, am friendly with the librarians.  I even have my library card number memorized.  Twice I’ve had the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the Central downtown library in the upstairs reading rooms – times when I wanted to read resource material that they don’t allow you to check-out.  It was warm and wonderful; so relaxing that I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave at the end of the day.

Tell me about your favorite library memory?

 

Cruel April

I just read the NOAA weather map for later this week. Oh my! Minnesota Baboons may get a lot of snow! Son and DIL could get 20 inches in Brookings.

It has warmed up sufficiently here that people are jumping into yard work, cleaning flower beds and mowing lawns (which they oughtn’t do yet as it is too early).  Husband and I are waiting to do any yard work until we return from a trip next Sunday.  We first plan to prepare the garden for pea, lettuce, and spinach seeds, which we will plant later in April.  Husband tilled last fall, so we won’t need to do that now. The tomato and pepper seedlings are coming along under the grow lights, Tulips are up and crocuses are blooming.  We have pruning and flower bed cleaning to do, too.

I always find April a chancy month to garden. One April many years ago I was awaiting the first blooming of some tulips I had planted in the fall, when, on April 28, we got 18 inches of heavy wet snow. The tulips had flower buds just ready to open, and there they were, frozen solid just above the snow line. I had to wait another year to see them bloom.   April is the cruelest month. Sometimes March is just as bad, though.

What are your favorite and least favorite months? Any favorite T.S. Elliot poems? 

 

Quantity Cooking

On Saturday night I finished baking the last of the 10 dozen sweet rolls for our hand bell choir’s Easter breakfast. We plan to serve sweet rolls and egg bakes to our congregation on Easter Sunday as the first fundraiser for our trip to New York in November when we play at Carnegie Hall.  They are quite large, and can be cut in two for an astounding number of rolls.  The other bell choir members are supplying the egg bakes.

The rolls are in our freezers and just need to be thawed and iced on Easter.  I will set them out to thaw in the church kitchen on Saturday when we rehearse with the brass quintet that is accompanying us on one of our pieces. We have two ovens in the church kitchen and we can have four egg bakes cooking and four keeping hot all at the same time.  It will take some coordination as we play at both the 9:00 and 10:30 services and will need to bake and serve and play bells, since people will be eating from 8:30 until 10:30.  I think we will be exiting and entering the sanctuary all throughout the services in between playing.  I just love doing things like this.

In true Lutheran Church Basement Ladies fashion, members of the funeral service committee have volunteered to help out.  It will be an exciting day.

What is the largest meal you ever helped prepare? What would you serve a crowd? 

I’m Melting!

For most of my life I have felt too tall. I reached 5’9″ in Grade 6.  I felt like a giantess, even though I was one of the shorter women in my extended family. My mother was 5’11 and her mother was 6 feet tall.

Husband and I remodeled our kitchen about 15 years ago, and the contractor was concerned when we replaced the soffits with cupboards extending to the ceiling that it might detract from selling the house in the future.  “Not everyone is as tall as you and your husband” he warned. “Some people could have trouble reaching those top shelves”.

Well, “some people” now includes me. I am 1.5 inches shorter than I was 15 years ago and the top shelves are a real stretch.  For the first time I regret losing some of my height.  That inch and a half has made quite a difference in my reach. My doctor isn’t too concerned. I have a good diet rich in calcium.  I get exercise. I often call on husband to get down the things I need. I make good use of tongs and grabbers. I haven’t yet resorted to a kitchen stool.  For some reason, a Joni Mitchell song keeps going through my head whenever I have to get something down from the top shelves in the kitchen:

What didn’t you know you had until it was gone? Ever done a remodel you regretted? What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?

April Fool

One of my children is very adept at pranking me on April 1, usually with plausible texts about rash decisions or changes in career that I fall for every time. This year I turned the tables and it was satisfying, albeit subtle.

On Monday morning I sent the following text :

In honor of today I thought of sending you a text asking you to please not play an April Fools trick since my newly diagnosed heart condition couldn’t handle it, but I thought that would be a mean thing to do, so I didn’t.

I got the following response:

Hahahahaha“.

Then, after a few seconds I got the following text:

So, no heart condition I’m assuming?”

I assured the recipient (someone who is always concerned about  my health) that no, there was no heart condition, but thought to myself “Yes!! I got them!!!!”

Tell about neat tricks you played on someone or tricks someone played on you.

Big Splash

We live very near to an important geologic area called the Hell Creek Formation.  It covers parts of western North Dakota, Western South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. It contains some of the richest fossil beds from the Cretaceous period, the era that ended with the death of the dinosaurs.

Recently, two paleontologists published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  titled “A seismically induced onshore surge deposit at the KPg boundary, North Dakota”,  outlining just what happened in what is now North Dakota in the minutes following the crash of an asteroid in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This was the asteroid that is thought to have killed all the dinosaurs.

Based on what they found in a grey/ black layer near the top of a butte on a ranch near Bowman, ND, about 80 miles from my town, they estimate that in minutes after the asteroid crashed in Yucatan, seismic waves of water and molten rocks smashed into what is now the Hell Creek Formation.  Molten glass particles filled the air, choking any living thing.  Fish (salt water and fresh water), trees, rocks, dinosaurs, and beads of molten glass were swept up into a jumbled mass, preserved in the mud and debris for the modern paleontologists to find.  The fish fossils in the KPg boundary dig  were so well preserved that they could see that their mouths were open, gasping for air.  It triggered fires within 1500 miles of the impact and formed a plume of fire that rose halfway to the Moon.  They estimate 70% of the world’s forests burned.  Almost all life on the planet died.

Well, I find that pretty awe inspiring and amazing.  I like it when scientists can make things real and exciting.  Yucatan is a long way from where I live. That must have made a really big splash when it hit.

What has amazed you recently? Would you want to be a paleontologist? Did you ever do cannon balls?

 

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