Buy me some peanuts and Whiskey Jacks | June 17, 2021

Our nine-year-old played two sets of double-headers last Friday and Saturday.  On Sunday, we naturally decided to detox after hours upon hours of baseball by taking our two sons and a friend to a Wheat City Whiskey Jacks baseball game.  The Whiskey Jacks played the Badlands Big Sticks at Kraft Field, which is apparently known to our family as “that place with the concession stand” because the boys ate their way through the entire experience.

In the first inning, the Whiskey Jacks and Big Sticks each scored two runs.  We had come to the ballpark directly from dinner – and by “directly” I mean that one of the kids was still chewing it as we found a parking spot – and so the three boys got six two-for-$1 Freeze pops for dessert and I had a frozen Snickers because I was standing in line anyways.

In the second inning, both the Whiskey Jacks’ and Big Sticks’ pitchers hit a batter with a ball.  While getting beaned by an errant pitch is certainly nothing new in nine-year-old baseball (one of the kids on Nine’s team had the luck of being hit twice during a single game the previous weekend) the kids were beside themselves with excitement that it could happen to the big boys, too.  Shouting “OOOOOOOOH” and “THROW STRIKES, PITCHER” made our six-year-old thirsty, so Kyle stopped by the stand to buy him a bottle of water.  Six went along “to go to the bathroom” and came back with a bag of popcorn.

In the third, the Whiskey Jacks’ second baseman got a double and did a little celebration dance on the bag.  The dancing made our sons’ friend realize that if he didn’t spend the $5 his mother had given him, he would still have $5.  Fortunately, the concession stand was willing to trade it for a soda and a bag of chips.

In the fourth, a different Whiskey Jacks pitcher hit one of the Big Sticks with a wild pitch after a contentious “was it, wasn’t it” foul ball situation.  The boys’ friend had trouble yelling, “OOOOOOOOOH” with a mouthful of chips, which reminded Six that he was “starving.”  When offered a hot dog or a hamburger, Six revealed that he wasn’t that starving, “only chippie hungry.”  It was also in this inning that Nine and the friend gathered enough research to determine that the handful of fly balls that had left the playing field had tended to go in every direction except the one in which we were sitting.  When I pointed out that most people prefer to be away from the path of fly balls, Nine and Friend decided to leave the park and hang out around the concession stand in order to nab one.

“What are you going to do if you catch a ball?”  I asked.

“Play with it,” Nine said.

“But we have a whole bucket of balls at home,” I reminded him.

“Ugh, Mom,” he said.  “These are different.”

At the top of the fifth, the Whiskey Jacks took out the Big Sticks 1-2-3.  A little boy sitting in front of us was eating a giant hot dog.  The hot dog had other ideas, and slowly slid out of the bun and onto the ground.  The little boy took a look at it, shrugged, and went back to eating his bun.  Nine had returned briefly to initially announce that he, too, was “only chippie hungry” – elevating his declaration after the hot dog incident to “maybe hot dog hungry.”

In the sixth inning, the Whiskey Jacks’ batter hit a drive directly to the Big Sticks’ pitcher, who caught it for the third out.  This gave us a chance to talk about how much that must have hurt, and how dangerous it is to be a pitcher, and how maybe I was “maybe hot dog hungry,” too.

We left at the seventh inning stretch because Six had circled around the concession stand menu and was hinting strongly at both another Freeze pop and a need for sleep.  Nine and Friend did not catch a foul ball, so they had to settle for bringing home only good memories.

“What was your favorite part?”  I asked as we got in the truck.

“I liked when the catcher got to run down the runner at third,” said Nine.

“I liked the home run,” said the Friend.

“I liked the baseball game,” said Six.

“And I liked when the pitcher didn’t realize it was a live ball,” Kyle said.  “What was your favorite?”

“The Snickers,” I said quietly.

The photo above is from the game, which ended 8-6 in favor of the Big Sticks.

This week’s news is about a really big garage sale, a pride of lions, and Pie Day.  Read on.

The 19th annual “Highway 21 Treasure Hunt” kicks off today (June 18) and includes 100+ rummage sales along a 100-mile route, going through Flasher, Carson, Heil, Elgin, New Leipzig, Mott, Regent, and New England. (Dickinson Press)

Grenora’s Ron Laqua and Joanie Ledahl have put together an online record of the stories of everyone buried in the local cemetery. (Fargo Forum)

Hillsboro displays 500 flags up and down the boulevard in honor of Hillsboro Days, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriots Day, and Veterans Day. (Jamestown Sun)

Bottineau’s Lauren Vad has lived in South Africa for the last 6.5 years, and is now opening her own wildlife sanctuary (with four new lions!), named Warriors of Wildlife. (KX Net)

The Fargo Memorial Honor Guard will be honoring Navy veteran Brian Gordon Johnson, who served between 1976 and 1980 and will be the fourth veteran to go unclaimed and buried by the organization. (KVRR)

Seven-year-old Cooper Craig got to be a Dickinson police officer for the day (and stop a bank robbery!), thanks to Make-a-Wish North Dakota and the Dickinson Police Department. (KX Net)

Hillsboro’s Elise Jacobson is headed to Arkansas to compete in the Miss College America Pageant. (Hillsboro Banner)

Pie Day is back at the Valley City Barnes County Public Library. (Valley City Times-Record)

North Dakota Nice News of the Week | August 6, 2020

Time to go sunflower chasing!  According to the USDA, more than 20% of North Dakota’s sunflowers are blooming – and you can find a map of the best views here.

But before you go, check out this week’s news – about restaurant bros, Whispering Oaks, and 100,000 masks. Read on.

This is such a North Dakota Nice story that KX Net even titled it as such.  A Bismarck restaurant named Butterhorn is donating a portion of its weekly sales to help keep its restaurant neighbor, Noodlezip, in business. (KX Net)

You know I love me a good building mural! (Fargo Forum)

Norsk Hostfest may be cancelled this year, but one of the musicians, Daniel Starks, is putting on an outdoor concert to raise money for the Greater Minot Concerts. (Minot Daily News)

Sanford Fargo’s Wanting Huang reached out to her native country of Taiwan to get 25,000 masks donated for her fellow coworkers. (KVRR)

The Manvel community has come together – to the tune of about $150,000 – to save the Whispering Oaks Golf Course, which ended up with $200,000 in damage after all of the rain this year. (Grand Forks Herald)

This is a short but sweet read on the beauty of growing up a North Dakota farm family. (Fargo Forum)

The 701 Auto Enthusiast Club is cruisin’ in support of the Amen Food Pantry. (Dickinson Press)

Minot’s Catori Sarmiento has won the Literary Titan’s Silver Award for her science fiction horror novel, “Carnival Panic.” (Minot Daily News)

And speaking of winning, congratulations to Thompson’s Ashley Rae Klinger for being crowned Mrs. International 2020! (Grand Forks Herald)

It’s my favorite news time of the year: Country Neighbors! (Bowman Extra)

Fifty inmates at the James River Correctional Center in Jamestown have made 100,000 masks for those in need around North Dakota. (Grand Forks Herald)

For the 25th year in a row, the Sunrise Rotary Club of Minot is filling a bus with school supplies for more than 200 children. (KFYR TV)

After two years of volunteer planning and fundraising, Mott has a new nature trail. (Dickinson Press)

Nice news of the week – April 30, 2020

All of our North Dakota food banks are being stretched thin as more and more people need their services.  If you can, deliver up some North Dakota Nice by donating non-perishables and hygiene products!

And speaking of North Dakota Nice, this week’s news is about a family that cleans together, a gaggle of lawyers, and beans beans the musical fruit.  Read on.


McKenzie County has put together 14-day meal kits for anyone who has to self-quarantine. (KX Net)

Fargo businesses have been stepping up to help Golden Drive Homeless Kids collect food, hygiene and safety items, and clothing for families. (KVRR)

The Larson family of New Rockford spend every spring picking up garbage. (New Rockford Transcript)

Here’s what some of our awesome nurses and doctors are doing to keep spirits up while they take care of our fellow North Dakotans. (KX Net)

Making lemonade (or burritos) out of a difficult situation: the North Dakota bean market is doing whatever it can to meet the new demand. (Williston Herald)

My husband is a lawyer, which means I know a lot of lawyer jokes like this: “Why don’t sharks eat lawyers?  Professional courtesy.”  Lawyers in Ward County are going against their (often unfair) stereotype to donate lunches to essential workers. (KX Net)

Seventy-five Twin Towners (Wahpeton and Breckenridge) took a community stroll together in social distancing style. (Wahpeton Daily News)

South Prairie teachers and staff held a socially-distanced Ice Cream Social for their students and families. (KFYR TV)

You can build your own at-home movie theater experience with a little help from Mott’s Playhouse Theater. (Grant County News)

The Grand Forks Senior Center is providing weekly – not once a week, but enough food for seven days – meals to allow vulnerable area residents to stay home. (Grand Forks Herald)

Volunteers in Michigan revived their now award-winning ambulance service. (Grand Forks Herald)

The photo in this week’s post was taken by Steve Silverman. It is called “Maah Daah Hey Trail.”