Archive - Mar 2004

The Winter of the Mice

I wondered below where all the mice came from that Cat is catching. Well, apparently it was a good winter for mice. The phone rings every day with people who have discovered, as the snow receded, that mice (more probably, voles, a critter halfway between a mole and a mouse) have chewed off the bark of the young trees.

Sunshine and moderate warmth

The spring is proceeding nicely. We have almost escaped March, a month which is apparently designed to build character. The sun gets up early and sets after supper. It is a different world from the past six months.

Roseau had a flood scare yesterday, and parts of NW North Dakota had troubles as well. These problems were unanticipated. The forecasters said the snow didn't have enough moisture to cause much trouble.

Golden Gophers

While visiting friends last night, we were directed down to the big screen TV where the Gophers women's basketball team was playing the #1 ranked Duke team.

What a fun game! Lindsay Whalen is something else. She plays like a bulldog. The whole team was fun to watch. I love their fast-break style of play--you always feel as if the wheels are about to fall off the machine, but then they score and it is all okay. The Duke team was very tall and very strong--the Gophers were more short and compact. But the Gophers led the whole game.

March 29th

Spring Mania

Although the weather was winter-like today, I had a good burst of spring-time energy. Lots to do at the nursery. Today, I worked on the advertising campaign for the season. The first ads go in the papers this week.

You have to figure out what to advertise. You don't want to promote something you don't have and can't get ahold of. You don't want to promote something that's no good, no matter how much of it you have. And you don't want to promote something nobody wants.

March 28th

Concert goes just fine

Brother Joe and I played piano today at Concordia church. Several high school ensembles also entertained. The concert went just fine.

Of course, while I was watching Joe play, I sat there not able to imagine hitting a correct note.

But when I sat down at the keyboard, it all came back. I had a couple of goofs, but actually it went better than it ever had in practice.

Cat catches, torments, kills chipmunk #1

With the yard now nearly clear of snow, the cat ventured farther afield today in its hunting expedition. I looked out the window mid-morning to see Nemo blithely watching a half-dead chipmunk trying to escape.

The cat was arrogantly confident that the animal wasn't going to get away and took a sort of perverse pleasure in letting it get its hopes up before cruelly dashing them with a flying paw.

March 27th

Twins Report

The cloud hanging over the head of most Twins fans right now is the uncertainty over whether the TV broadcasts will be on most nights like they have been for the past few years. I am not even listening to the furor because I suspect it is a big corporate game that will resolve itself right at the end.

To Fergus Falls and back

Went down to teach two classes at a Master Gardener Spring Festival at the college in Fergus Falls. They had about 450 people in attendance. Many classes offered, plus vendors selling blooming plants.

My class was on trees and shrubs, so I brought some slides. People are color-starved, so the slides were popular. People ask good questions. Once they get going with questions, competing with each other for the floor, there is no longer any need for an outline. Just go with the flow. The morning class was lively, the afternoon class needed a shot of coffee.

March 26th

The melt; spring-time ethical dilemmas

It is happening! Spring is advancing, the snow is disappearing, the forecast looks warm. I don't care how long I get away during the winters, they still seem long, and I can tell on the people who have been here all winter that the cold is wearing thin.

Walking through the greenhouses is a particular pleasure on these warm days--the temperature gets up into the 80s in the greenhouses which are not yet in use. In the ones which are full, we have to vent them to keep the temps down or else things will stretch out.

March 25th

Piano Concert

I had been practicing for the piano concert brother Joe and I are going to give at Concordia Church in Fertile this Sunday as a part of an art's festival put on by the Fertile Area Arts Council. It should be fun. Joe has been practicing hard--he has some big pieces to play. I am playing pieces I should be able to play through in my sleep, but when you get in front of an audience, all bets are off.

They didn't put much notice of the concert in the paper, so perhaps the crowd will be unintimidatingly moderate in numbers. I wouldn't mind.