Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spring has sprung!

It has been a long winter for many who have lived here for the entire winter.  For us it really hasn't been the WHOLE winter season, but we did get our share of below zero temps!  I had an office mate tell me to enjoy every moment of beautiful weather you get.  Thank goodness she told me that...we had about 5 days of totally perfect weather.  No snow, wind or rain... Just perfect 75 to 85 degrees.  So I decided to seize the moment... Dug in the basement for the box of Summer shorts and Tanks and was so excited to don them and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin... I sat on the porch (Northwest facing) with a glass of wine, turned on Pandora and just sat... Now know that when I get home from work I don't just sit ...EVER... There is 4 little baby bird-like beings who are asking "Whats for Dinner", "Mom, Where is my..."  "Sign this paper for school" "Can you take me to..."  "Can I go to..." Well.. you get the picture. As well as the never ending pile of laundry that needs to be put away and the general running of the house that needs to be done.  But I took her advise and decided to enjoy the beautiful weather while I could.  It was incredible... 6pm and the sun was going to be up until after 10pm!  What a treat,  The kids were outside, riding bikes, the neighborhood had come to life,  Before that day we had never ever seen another soul out and about anywhere near our little house out in the country!  All of a sudden there were kids in the street playing ball etc... We had no idea there were any other kids in the hood much less 10+!  What a delight!  Before I knew what was happening we had 6-8 adults on the porch enjoying adult beverages introducing themselves!  Every one's mood was awesome!  I got a little insight as to why everyone I had met until now had sort of a negative vibe.  Everyone had put away their good moods and good cheer along with their warm weather clothes.  Everyone had gone into winter mood hibernation.  What a Revelation!

Fast forward to the following week... It is raining, There are muddy cars everywhere, lots of flowing water and foul moods!  It all came back once the weather changed!  I am not a sociologist but this is really becoming quite an experiment for me.  When you live in Sunny California your whole life you completely take for granted that everyone is in a somewhat cheery mood all the time.  I found that when it is cold and dreary many people have the "Gloom and doom" attitude least that's what Ray and I call it.  Some people immediately go to the negative or the worst case scenario first... especially at the end of winter... So now I am looking forward to the dog days of Summer... Beautiful Sun shining on the flowing fields of grain!!!  I can't if I could only train my children to do all the chores before I get home from work, then I would be the luckiest person in the world! 

So wherever you are, try to get out of winter mood and cheer up! Summer is almost here and we get 3 months of No snow!  WOO HOO!!!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The NoDak Dictionary!

I have learned a whole new vernacular living here in NoDak.  I wanted to share these with you and have a little chuckle knowing that some of the local and the new arrivals will love these tidbits of knowledge! 

  • Barbecue: The Midwest equivalent to Sloppy Joes, which are served at most picnics and usually in large quantities. Example: “Why don’t I throw together a little barbecue before the picnic this afternoon?”

    • Bison: (pronounced “Bi-zen”) A large and delicious animal and the mascot for NDSU. Example: “Let’s go watch the Bison play at the Fargodome.”

    • Bars: The name for any type of dessert that is not in cookie, pie, icecream or cake form that is often brought to potlucks. Many bars involve Special K cereal, Rice Krispies, chocolate and peanut butter.
    • Cheese curds: Fried cheese curds. Delicious and fattening. God’s little golden gifts to midwesterners.
    • “Feels like” Temperature: Take a cold temperature, add some windchill, and you will get the “feels-like” temperature. Example: “The high today is -30 but when you step outside it feels like -50 with windchill.”
    •  Glare Ice: The equivalent to black ice except for some reason it is called glare ice.

    • Hotdish: (pronounced “hawt dish”) A baked item, usually served at potlucks, that is similar to a casserole in other parts of the country. Most hotdishes usually contain a starch, a meat and vegetables (canned or frozen) with the most popular being a Tater-tot hotdish. Example: “I’ll bring some Special K Bars to the potluck, why don’t you bring a hotdish?”
    • Lefse: (pronounced “lef suh”) A flat tortilla-like treat, with Norwegian roots (as most things are in the upper Midwest), served usually with butter and sugar on top. Delicious!

    • Lutefisk: (pronounced “loo tu fisk”) Scandinavian dish made from aged whitefish or dried/salted whitefish and lye. It is gelatinous in texture and has an extremely strong odor. It literally means “lye fish”. Example: Person #1: “Hailey, would you like some lutefisk?” Person #2: “No thank you, I would not like some lutefisk.”

    • North Dakota: (pronounced “Nort Da-koe-tuh) The coldest state in the continental United States.

    • Oh: (pronounced “oooooo”) A word used in the majority of conversations in the upper Midwest.

    • Oh, I suppose: The phrase used in a conversation instead of nodding your head or saying “uh-huh” when someone is speaking to you. Can be shortened to simply, I s’pose. Example: Person #1: “I was driving down the road and I saw a deer.” Person #2: “Oh, I suppose!”
    • Oh, for cute: The phrase used to express how cute something/someone is. Example: (A small kitten emerges from around the corner) “Oh, for cute!”
    • Oh, for fun: The phrase used to express how enjoyable something is or sounds. Example: Person #1- “I went to the state fair this past weekend.” Person #2- “Oh, for fun!”
    • The Patch:  An area comprised of the Bakken shale where those work and play.  Many work in the patch.  Meaning the Oil Patch.

    • Plug In: The action required so that your car is able to start when the temperature is below zero. Plug ins can be found in most large parking lots and residential areas. When you install a plug in on your car, the cord hangs out resembling a small booger hanging out of your cars nose. (Sorry if that was graphic, I just can’t help thinking that every time I see one.)

    • Snow Birds: Upper Midwest residents, usually retired, that head south for the winter. Most Snow Birds head to Phoenix or another location throughout Arizona.

    • The Cities: The shortened name given to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Example: “I’m heading to The Cities this weekend.”

    • The Lake: The location everyone escapes to when the temperature reaches above 32 degrees F. “The Lake” is not a singular location. In fact, going to “The Lake” could be one of the 10,000 lakes throughout Minnesota or one of the many across North Dakota. Example: “Oh, I think I might just head out to The Lake this weekend.”
    • Then: A word used to signify a question is being asked. Example: “Are you headed to Fargo then?”

    • Thunder Snow: The weather phenomenon that occurs when it is snowing with thunder and lightening at the same time.

    • Uff da: (pronounced “oof duh”) An expression of Norwegian origin used in the upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used to express astonishment, surprise, exhaustion, frustration or relief. It can also be used as an alternate for most swear words (though of course I never use it this way). Example: “Uff da, look at all that snow outside that I now must shovel.”
    • You Betcha: The phrase used to mean: Absolutely, uh-huh, yes, certainly, or anything of that nature. Example: Person #1- “Do you want to head to the movies, then?” Person #2- “Oh, you betcha!”

    • 20-32 degrees above zero: This temperature marks the beginning of Spring and signals that it is now appropriate to put away your coat and walk around in a t-shirt and shorts, showing off your mayonnaise legs.