31 March 2009

North Dakota in the news

It's a big day when North Dakota makes national news. 

As I'm sure many of you have seen, North Dakota has been quite the a media darling lately. Too bad it's primarily about flooding and not something more cheery.

I've seen many of the news reports and through them all, there are two that stand out that I'd like to show off. Ironically, they both have CNN in common. The first is a documentary of what CNN found in Fargo, ND - a great story about the dedication and spirit of the people in Fargo. The second is a Daily Show segment that pokes fun on the CNN reporter in Fargo.

Happy viewing.

I just posted three more flood photos to this post. My friend Kara Speidel snapped the photos while helping sandbag homes in our neighborhood. Thanks Kara!

30 March 2009

Putting things into perspective

In the post I wrote earlier today, I talked about this book, "The Children's Blizzard." According to Wikipedia, "the blizzard came unexpectedly on a relatively warm day, and many people were caught unaware, including children in one-room schoolhouses."

Shortly after I posted that blog today, I got an e-mail from my Grandma Katy (my dad's mom) that said that her mom's mom (my great, great grandmother) was born in 1888, near Florence, SD, during the blizzard.

And she survived.


Here she is on her wedding day. Her name was Anne Jessame (she was Norwegian). She married Charles Murphy (an Irish fellow).

She was the oldest child in her (very, very large) family. I was told that Great Great Grandma Anne lived a long life (over 90 years) and passed away in Watertown, SD.

gram isabelle parents
I think I got her hair - wowzers. Lucky me. Ha.

How lucky we are that, today, when blizzards happen, they are a pain in the butt, but (thankfully) not normally deadly.

Buy the book on Amazon:

8:15 pm UPDATE:
I just cracked open the book. On one of the first pages is this quote:
"It was as if we were being punished for loving the loveliness of summer." —Willa Cather, My Ántonia

Oh how fitting!!! Last summer was fabulous!

15 March 2009

Español and embroidery?

I'm in the process of teaching two people how to quilt and three people how to knit. The three knitters-to-be were surprised that I was able to teach myself how to knit in one evening with a few YouTube videos. It is a pretty complicated craft, especially the start of a project. 

This got me thinking.

Are learning different sewing crafts similar to learning foreign languages? When I was in high school spanish class, our teacher - Señora Michaels - kept us motivated by saying that the first foreign language you learn is always the hardest. It's the most difficult because so much is new - from the concept of verb conjugation to the massive amount of new words. Similarly, is the learning curve for the first sewing craft steeper than the second of third? I believe so.

I learned how to quilt when I was a sophomore in high school, thanks to my high school boyfriend's mom (hello Mary Jo!). Last summer, when I learned how to hand embroider (thanks to my bonus mom, Andrea!), I already knew a few basic stitches and was familiar with needle and thread motions (thanks to quilting). When I learned how to knit, knowing basic knots (embroidery) and being familiar with how patterns are written (quilting) were instrumental in my understanding knitting.

So for all those that might be getting frustrated with learning a sewing craft for the first time ... keep going! It will only get easier. Learn another sewing craft when you master this one. 


Since I claim to be a sewer (ha!) ... here's what I worked on this weekend ...

A diagonally-knitted blanket - with stripes! I had started this previously, but had to take it out because I skipped a few stitches. It's two-tone pink with white and dark gray. Pattern here.

I'm plugging away at my improvisationally-pieced red/black/white quilt
I'm at a deciding point. To border in white? or not (see below)?

I made the bottom right corner block this weekend and I like the wider, simpler borders. Maybe I should make more like this? Or maybe I should scrap all the blocks (use them for the back of the quilt) except this one and make all the remaining blocks with this 'look'?

Any ideas?

Sorry for the horrendous photos.

12 March 2009

WNDF: Puppy Chow


In this installment of Weird North Dakota Food (WNDF), I'm featuring puppy chow.

The name of this sweet snack has always deterred me from trying it. Puppy chow? As in dog food? No thank you.

Today at work, (I work at a university) a student club was having a bake sale. At the bake sale was this authentic North Dakota food. My coworkers said it was delicious. How could I pass it up?! I had never tried it but I figured that if I didn't like it, Corey probably would. And even if Corey didn't like it, it could make a debut on my blog as a WNDF.

Turns out, it's not bad. It's a bit too sweet for my taste, but it's pretty addicting in small amounts. However, to eat this as an authentic North Dakotan, I think I'd have to eat it by the handful.

I don't know that this food actually originates in North Dakota, but it is so popular here, it might as well be from here. It kind of looks like dirty snow. We have plenty of that around here right now. How seasonal.

11 March 2009

Another day

There was a beautiful sunrise this morning. Beautiful, that is, if I was inside. Safe and warm. The frigid temperatures quickly ruined any beauty once I stepped outside to take this photo. It was -13°F and -33°F with windchill. It was darn cold. Especially for mid-March. I was lucky though, I only had to go outside twice today - first to get to work and secondly, to get home. 

I though for sure that there would be some fabulous sun dogs out today. But nope. No such luck.

Today after work, at work, I had my first session of yoga. A woman I work with was kind enough to share her knowledge of yoga with a few of us gals in the department. It was so much fun. I was happy to learn that I didn't have to twist my body into any crazy pretzel shapes ... or at least not yet. We'll be meeting every week through April. Once the weather gets nice enough to venture out of central heating, we may switch to some sort of activity outside. 'Till then, I'll be working on perfecting my lotus.

10 March 2009

North Dakota

Today was a big day for North Dakota.

We made headlines for our winter weather. Blizzards, lots of snow and frigid temperatures. It's March? Really? I'm 99 percent sure we had the coldest temperatures in the nation today, with highs near 0°F and windchill temperatures down to about -30°F. Burrr.

And tonight in sports news ... in its first year of eligibility, North Dakota State University (Corey's alma mater) is going to the men's NCAA basketball tournament. Way to go Bison! I especially like their mascot, surprise, surprise. Pick the Bison when picking your brackets for the tournament :)

TodayI found out that North Dakota is the only state to have never had an earthquake. This is only true when you factor in the age of the state and what magnitude of ground shaking qualifies as an earthquake. But, regardless, I find it to be a nice (and comforting) fact. I'll take blizzards in March if it means no earthquakes.

09 March 2009

Corey, the baldy

My sweetie pie husband is shaving his head for charity. Yep, he'll be shiny and bald as of February 17, St. Patrick's Day. He joked that he "doesn't have far to go" ... I would disagree. I'm sure going to miss his hair.

Anyway, the charity is called St. Baldrick's. It's a great organization. Their mission is to raise awareness and funds to cure kids' cancer by supporting cancer research and fellowships.

If you would like to donate Corey's campaign, click here.

Thanks so much!

After the event, I'll definitely post a photo (or two) of him as a baldy.

07 March 2009

My adventures in knitting continue

I'm knitting today. I've got two projects going right now - both scarves but totally different.

This first one (I've shown it here before) is getting longer and longer.

It's a series of knit 2, purl 2 (repeating) for two rows and then purl 2, knit 2 (repeating) for two rows. I'm using size six knitting needles. It makes a neat waffle pattern. 

I've had soem "learning experiences" with this scarf. About 1/2 way from where I am now, I realized I was using one size six and one size 10 knitting needle. Woops! I switched back to two size six needles. It made the scarf slightly narrower, but once it's worn it I don't think it will be too noticeable. 


The second scarf is made with bumpy orangey yarn. I'm making it wider and shorter than the scarf above.

It has a great texture. the yarn is 100 percent pima cotton, purchased at cedesigns & Yarn Shoppe, in Bismarck.

I found Ravelry last week. It's an amazing resource and network for knitters. My name on Ravelry is bisongirl - if you're on, look me up. I wish there was a Ravelry for quilters. How neat that would be.

I kind of feel like I'm cheating on my quilting. I've been spending so much time with knitting lately. I'm really starting to miss quilting. Next week I plan to quilt more.

I've been catching up on old girly classic movies. Wendy, the woman I share an office with, is loaning me some of her collection to watch. Last weekend I watched The Sound of Music. This weekend I'm loaning Mary Poppins. I can't believe I've never seen these movies before now. They're so fun! The Sound of Music is definitely my new all-time favorite movie. 


Thomas Sattler has been located. He's safe and sound. Thanks to those of you who looked for him or prayed for his safety. Short article here.

04 March 2009

Still Missing

Thomas Sattler (Corey's second cousin) is still missing - see image below. There was a report that he was spotted on the 101 freeway, directly two hours north of Santa Rosa, CA (my hometown). If anyone reading this is in or near Santa Rosa, please, please keep your eyes open for Thomas and his car (it should be easy to spot with North Dakota license plates). 

I can only imagine how hard this is for his family, here in North Dakota, wondering where their 16-year old son is, all the while praying that he is safe. It sounds like the police are doing what they can, but, according to an article in the Bismarck Tribune, "Police do not typically do large-scale searches for runaway juveniles unless they are labeled endangered or at risk, which Sattler is not."

A big public thank you to my mom and sister (my sister is on spring break and is visiting Santa Rosa this week). They printed off a bunch of flyers and have been distributing them to places like rest areas and campgrounds in Sonoma County. They've also forwarded the flyer to a friend in the highway patrol, who is passing it along. 

Thank you.

02 March 2009

A case of the Mondays

I've been knitting. 

This is going to be a scarf someday. 


I'm using the fancy schmancy yarn I talked about here. This is a multi-color, wool yarn. All wool. No acrylic stuff allowed. 

The pattern was originally cast on 26 stitches, then kit a few rows and then knit 2 purl 2, for two rows and then purl 2 knit 2, for two rows, and repeat the mixed rows. 

But just for fun, after a few (k2, p2/p2, k2) rows, I added a few rows of all knitting. However, now that I look back I wish I hadn't been so 'fun' and adventurous, as it really breaks up the waffle pattern. But I suppose I'll hardly notice it when it's finished and around my neck. I've had a few goof-ups ... mostly due to my bad memory, but (thankfully) no dropped stitches.

In quilting news, today I received my "you're in" letter from the Artists Celebrating Christ Art Show. Six Crosses will be on display from April 2-4, in Bismarck, ND. Read my archived post the quilt here. I'm pretty excited. Waiting for and opening the letter brought back memories of waiting for acceptance letters from colleges. I immediately felt very old.

I almost forgot to mention - I just posted a new Recipe over on BisonGirlCooks - Pork Wontons!

01 March 2009


click the image to see it larger
Thomas is one of Corey's second cousins, from Bismarck, ND. If you have any information, contact the Bismarck Police Department at 701-220-7628 or his family at 701-258-1465.

He was last seen headed west on the Interstate (possibly to California). I know many of my blog readers are in California, so I ask a favor of you – to please keep an eye out for him. 

Thank you.