Category Archives: Weather

Bonding over Books

This morning at the library, as I was picking up my held books, I overheard a budding friendship in the next aisle over. Two five-year olds had an extended conversation about what books they were getting, visiting their grandparents, puppies and like all good Minnesotans, the weather.

I met my best friend on April 16, 1983, in a small room 4 floors below the IDS Center. It was my first day at the soon-to-be-opened B. Dalton IDS. Since I was new to B. Dalton, there were several training modules that I had to read through and then take corresponding tests. Sara was transferring over from another store and needed to do some paperwork as well.  We talked while we worked, about books and pets and husbands and boyfriends – probably the weather as well.  Then we went to lunch across the street at Eddingtons where we discovered we also shared a deep love of bread and cheese.

We’ve been friends ever since, through weddings, divorces, parents’ deaths, kids, home purchases, health issues, money issues – you name it. I can only hope that the kids at the library this morning can continue a friendship that started with books!

Where did you meet your BFF?

The Wind Died Down

Last Friday, Husband and I left Jamestown, ND after playing hand bells at an Eastern Star convention. (That is a post in itself! ) We left about 7:00 pm.  It was still pretty light, as far north as we are.  By 8:00 we ran into the worst rain storm I have encountered on the road.  We could see the storm coming for miles, a rotating cloud of blue black, with white wind clouds on the fringe, threatening hail.  We learned later that the wind was blowing at 70 mph in this storm. The storm hit with a hard punch, and the rain was torrential. I pulled over and put my emergency flashers on,  since I couldn’t see the road, anything that was in front of me, or any exit from the interstate. It took a good 20 minutes for the storm to diminish and for us to cautiously proceed on our way home.  I found I  was only 20 yards from an exit, but it was obscured by the rain and wind. We saw a pickup and trailer in the ditch not far from where we pulled over. There was no hail, I am happy to report.

We have lived with the wind for 30 years out here.  It is a force to contend with.  Our house is perpetually dusty.  On Saturday, the wind blew steadily at 35 mph with gusts up to 45. The tomato and pepper plants  tossed all day.  They were wind whipped and twisted. They amazingly recover every time this happens.  We chose to stay indoors and dust and clean.  It was so unpleasant to even step outdoors.  One of my secretaries said they were branding calves on Saturday and they had to close the barn door because the wind was blowing dust all over the food for the people helping them.

The wind finally died down on Saturday night. It was such a relief.  Sunday was calm, and we watered and  recovered from the gusts of the days before. In  Giants In the Earth, Rolvaag writes of women going mad with the wind in Eastern South Dakota.  I can relate to them.

Tell about memorable storms. Tell about stories and poems of the wind.

Another Spring Planting in the Books

Today’s post comes to us from Ben.

It went pretty well; no serious mechanical issues and, once I finally got going, wasn’t delayed by the weather for more than a day or two.

I planted oats on May 6 and 7th. Then it rained for a few days but that’s OK because I was dealing with commencement at the college anyway.

Then I did anhydrous fertilizer on the 17th. Had college events the 18th and 19th. Started to plant corn on the 20th and finished on the 23rd. (Well, really the 24th, but the field I planted on the 24th is at the neighbors and it’s for the deer so it doesn’t really count).

Started soybeans on the 24th, did get rained out for a day and finished on the 28th. Now all that’s left is cleaning up machinery and putting it away until next spring.

There was the one incident with the valve on an anhydrous tank but it was pretty minor. Spilled really very little. No one was in danger and no property was harmed.

There were 3 fire trucks, our local ‘CAT’ (Chemical Assessment Team) the Incident Command Vehicle, two sheriff deputies, Gold Cross Ambulance, The “Incident Commander” and his car, a call to the State Department of Agriculture, another call to the state Duty Officer, a visit from the local anhydrous dealer, six fully clad firemen, and, a few days later, an inspector from the State Department of Agriculture.

Everyone was very nice and very professional and the firemen gave me a Gatorade when it was over.

But really. It was just a little vapor from a valve that hadn’t sealed.

And no breeze so I couldn’t manage to get ‘up wind’ and just enough leakage that I wasn’t comfortable trying to get back up there and try to tighten the valve myself.

I thought if I could just get 1 guy with a respirator, they could close the valve tighter. It wasn’t supposed to turn into a big deal.

But anhydrous is dangerous and can’t be taken lightly. Just today I talked with a guy whose brother got a burst of anhydrous and inhaled just a little. He’s got a couple small, minor burns (freeze burns) and was hospitalized for a couple days because of issues with his throat from inhaling that bit. He’s lucky too.

I pushed my luck a couple times this year. And I wasn’t even trying! But that’s a story for another day.

 Had any experience with the fire department?

Sugar Loaf in the Cool of the Morning

To stay cool this Sunday, we got up early to explore the trail up to the base of  Sugar Loaf ,  Winona’s major landmark rock. Nice woodsy switchbacks on the way up, well groomed trails esp. at the base of the rock, and of course, the higher up we got, the more spectacular the views. Besides seeing downtown and East End Winona, we could (once we got high enough) see West Burns Valley, and some of Pleasant Valley. There are lots of valleys around here, and I still have trouble keeping them straight. We even saw the barn and silo of the “hippie farm” Husband live at in the 70s.

Here are some of the sights:

On the way down (9:30-ish) we met several people headed up, and thought “You’re going to be warm up there”.

How have you been staying cool this weekend in the 90 Plus temperatures?

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring – We All Fall Down

It’s raining and thundering right now. The Irish Setter is burrowing into me on the bed, shaking and panting.  The shepherd mix is also on the bed, eyeing the other dog carefully.  As soon as the setter moves, the shepherd jumps up to police the situation.

What did your parents tell you about lighting and thunder when you were a kid?

Winter Wontons

Like half of southwestern Minneapolis, on the day before the big storm two weeks ago, I stopped by the store to “pick up a few things”. Just two weeks before that I had come across our wonton presses in the back of a drawer, so when I saw the wonton wrappers in the produce section I quickly put them in the basket.

When YA was younger, we used to make wontons more often, but these days our meal schedules don’t cross much and things like wontons have fallen off our schedule. But when YA came home and saw the wrappers, she was excited to make them.  On Saturday her work was cancelled and she immediately decided we should do the wontons right then.

She made the filling, filled the wontons and then I did the frying. It was snowing like crazy outside and it was a great hour of cooking with YA.  They were yummy and didn’t last too long.

Here’s our recipe for Vegetarian Fried Wontons

Ingredients
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 package of vegetarian crumbles (we use Morningstar)
2 Tbsp. tamari
1 package wonton wrappers (we use the round ones)
Vegetable oil (for frying)

Directions

  • Saute green onions and garlic in olive oil
  • Add crumbles and mix thoroughly
  • Add just enough tamari to moisten the mixture
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wontons; moisten edge of wonton w/ water
  • Squeeze wonton closed in wonton press (or close wonton and crimp edges w/ a fork
  • Fry three or four at a time in hot oil; drain on paper towels (if you prefer, you can boil)
  • Enjoy! 

What’s a good “last storm of winter” comfort food for you?

Say It Ain’t “Snow”

I moved to Minnesota in 1974 and at the end of my first Minnesota winter, it snowed 11″ on April  8.  At Carlton we celebrated by having a snow sculpture contest on The Bald Spot.  So I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked that it’s snowing right now.  But really?

What trend are you just finished with?