Mums | October 8, 2020

I absolutely love autumn’s orange mums, and I absolutely cannot keep those mums alive.  Every year I come home from the garden center filled with hope and a pot of chrysanthemums.  Using every bit of knowledge known to man and Internet, I lovingly care for my mums every day, and then toss out their withered and brown remains two weeks later.

This year after a vase of cut flowers lasted longer than my mums, I decided to throw in the trowel and replace our fall décor with something a little less likely to die.  Specifically, hay.

I came to this decision totally on my own when I was at home both browsing Pinterest and watching our neighbor hay his field.  My husband was in town, and so I called him up to, you know, “Say Hay.”  Here was our conversation:

Me: I’m going to decorate the front stoop with hay bales.

Kyle: Sounds great.

Me: I need you to pick me up some bales.

Kyle: No problem.

Me: They will probably have them at Michael’s.


Me: I’ll text you a coupon.



Kyle: Do you care if I get them somewhere else?

For some unknown reason, my normally very-easygoing-of-a-shopper husband will go out of his way to avoid stepping foot into Michaels (or any of its competing craft stores).  I can only assume he’s afraid the scrapbooking materials will become sentient, band together, and transform into some kind of papercutting Godzilla.  That, or he doesn’t like mini shopping carts.

In this case, though, his feelings on hay-related shopping had nothing to do with avoiding silk flower displays and everyone to do with the fact that he wanted the real deal: big, beautiful, genuine North Dakota hay bales.  Hay bales that we could use by the front door in the fall, and as seating at our outdoor hockey rink in the winter, and as ignition for a bonfire in the spring.

In less than an hour, he had found a hay bale hookup, and so we piled the whole family into the truck to take the 5-minute drive to Reynolds to pick up some hay (and ice cream).  We pulled into a farm site piled high with golden-green bales.  Kyle and the owner chatted a bit about harvest-y stuff while our five-year-old ran around to get out his sillies, and then together they loaded up as many $3 bales, no coupon required, as could fit in the truck bed.

Now our front door looks nice and cheery, I don’t have to worry about watering anything, our nine-year-old can (and does) use the stacks as an army base, and Kyle lives to tell the tale of another missed Michael’s trip.  A photo is above.

Speaking of nice, this week’s news has a lifesaving story that could be a scene straight out of a movie, Rugby’s first female driver, and a request for donated masks. Read on.

Grafton nurse Mary Jo Schapp was awakened by gunshots and immediately went out to help – first saving the life of Officer Lucas Campoverde at the scene and then driving the ambulance to the hospital. (Fargo Forum)

As if a new school year isn’t big enough news, the kids at Williston’s Lewis & Clark Elementary also donated 6,000 food items to area food banks. (KX Net)

Rugby’s Dale Niewoehner has honored Millie Holbrook with a gravestone marker to signify her role in the suffragette movement – as both a local business owner and the first woman to drive a car in town. (KX Net)

Students at Fargo’s Josef’s School of Hair, Skin, and Body cut hair for free outside of the area Salvation Army. (Fargo Forum)

Have any unused masks lying around?  The North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon is looking for 110 cloth masks for its residents. (KX Net)

Four Minot firefighters traveled to Oregon for three weeks to help fight the wildfires. (KFYR TV)

Did you know Highway 91 in Harvey is (probably) the shortest highway in the U.S.? (KFYR TV)

Dickinson State athletic trainer Colby Wartman is now one of only 130 Power Athlete Block One Coaches in the world. (Dickinson Press)

The UND Environmental Law Society will be showing 13 films for free from the annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival on October 22.  Register by clicking here. (Grand Forks Herald)

As you know, I love murals – and the latest Fargo mural is designed both for visual interest and to raise awareness in breast cancer monitoring. (KVRR)

Here’s an interesting fact: there are only three historic Danish Mills in all of the U.S. – and one of them is in Kenmare.  Last year, the inside of the Kenmare Mill caught fire, and the community came together to get it fixed up. PS – this is an older article, but now is the perfect time to go and visit this beautiful mill. (Kenmare News)

After a terrible harvest last year, it’s great to see that the 2020 sugar beets are coming in under perfect conditions. (Grand Forks Herald)

(Like the story above?  Check out last week’s tale of an Icelandic fishing trip.)

Nice news of the day – March 13, 2019

Did you know this is the third year that the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot has been open for the winter, and you can see cool animals such as Amur tigers, leopards, camels, and pandas? (And fun fact – it’s too cold for the Zoo’s penguins.)

And did you know today’s news is about an award-winning educator, a photographer raising autism awareness, and a whole lotta wheat?  Read on.

First-grade teacher Brittany Larson is one of only 33 people across the country to receive the Milken Educator Award. (Grand Forks Herald)

Photographer Amber Cummings has photographed 100 amazing children in Bismarck and Mandan free of charge to raise awareness of autism. (KX Net)

The National Wheat Yield Contest winner is growing strong in New England. (Dickinson Press)