Archive - Mar 2007

March 20th

Retired Teachers

At noon today, I spoke to a retired teachers group in Grand Forks. Most such groups are pretty tame. This one was not. They were lively and fun.

I gave them a choice: I could give them the talk I have given other teacher groups about the value of teaching (it's more interesting than it sounds, at least I think so), a standard gardening talk, or I could talk about China. It was pretty much unanimous: China.


Lavelle E. Neal II writes a good piece on the issue of Carlos Silva.

There are times when pitchers just plain lose their mental edge and never get it back. I think that is what has happened to Silva. Don't feel sorry for him, he has a guaranteed $4.5 million contract for this year. He should be set for life whether or not he gets his edge back.

Twins blogs

In addition to the Star Tribune's excellent coverage of the Twins, I have been reading some of the weblogs that have popped up in the past few months.

Howard Sinker used to cover the Twins for the Tribune, and has now moved on to academics, but he has returned as a fan to register his commentary.

Joe Christenson is a good writer who covers the national baseball scene for the Trib.

March 19th

St. John's

Went to speak this weekend at a Master Gardener's workshop on the campus of St. John's University near St. Cloud. The building where the workshop was held was near the famous modern chapel at St. John's. 

March 15th

Winter returns

Went to Fed Ex in Grand Forks this morning to pick up some more plants, and boy, did it get nasty. I couldn't see more than an 1/8 of a mile.

I was pulling for the storm to hit at home so that more snow could melt off into my swamp, but I returned to find there were only four inches or so here. Pretty feeble.

March lurches onward.

March 14th

A pause in the melt

A little water ran today, but not much. The wind is from the north, and it cooled down. Frozen ridges of mud on the road, ice covered runoff in the ditches, a little too chilly to be outside with a t-shirt on.

March 13th

Visit to the Hilton

It was time for a visit to the Hilton again today. It was good to see that some of the residents who had looked in such tough shape last time I was in had perked up.

Aunt Olla has a new roomate, Bernice. They get along famously.

The sidewalks were melted off enough for us to go uptown for coffee and pie, then over the Encore for some used clothes and down to the grocery store for some cheese. Bernice brought in an icebox which she will share with Olla. Olla used to store her cheese down in the kitchen, but now she will have it right in the room.

Swans return

This morning, I heard the familiar honking and soon saw three stately swans circling the swamp. Alas, there is not enough water there for them to land in their old home. Right now, I think they are looking for blue ice. They poke their heads through and dig around the bottoms for plant roots. They can't do that if there's no water and the swamp bottom is frozen solid. Sad! I do hope the swans remember their old swamp when it fills up again.

March 12th

Days of slop

Ah, March in Minnesota. Excruciating, tantalizing, demoralizing--and dangerous! I nearly fell twice today on patches of ice, and this has been a daily occurance. I can't wait until I get brittle hips.

I decided to quit burning wood today after wading through ankle deep slop to load the stove. That's enough.

Heard the first geese overhead today. Not flocks, but just a few stragglers looking around for open water.

March 11th


Yesterday morning, I was due at nine in the morning at the Underwood school to speak to a master gardener program for Otter Tail County. I always manage to leave late enough so that getting there on time becomes a little dicey. It was a solid, two-hour drive, and the occasional fog made me go slow at times.

What a beautiful drive! Rollag, Pelican Rapids--beautiful area. The trees were covered with frost. The sun was breaking in and out of the fog. If I had brought my camera along, I wouldn't have made it in time to the speech as many of the scenes were dramatic.