Bring it on, Winter. Bring. It. On.

It’s a long way from Texas to North Dakota.

And it turns out, an entirely different world once we made it home.

See, I wanted to tell you all about my trip down south today. I wanted to give you the details about how it felt to see one of the younger members of the Kitten Caboodle Club get married to her best friend and how much we laughed and cried and how the warm Texas sun shone on our faces and life was great and warm and green.

But in true North Dakotan fashion, this urgent weather report gets precedence over any other topic of conversation. I’ll save that story for tomorrow…

and hold that memory of 80+ weather with me for a few months, because it’s a long way from 80 here.

We touched down in North Dakota yesterday afternoon and the first full on blizzard of the year greeted us with open arms.

“Welcome Home!” said the weather as it pelted ice chunks at our exposed, tender Texas kissed flesh and we ran with heads down to our car and shivered and said things like,

“Wow, it’s freezing”

“Holy shit.”

“I almost blew over.”

“This sucks.”

That’s the thing about North Dakota. The snow alone is not so bad. In fact the snow alone is pleasant and peaceful and turns the landscape into a lovely snow globe as we put our arms around one another and let the light of the fireplace (or, if you roll like us, the TV flickering one of our favorite westerns) lull us to a blissful, cozy sleep wrapped up warm in our homes.

Yes, snow is accepted and welcomed in this form.

But sometimes it brings its BFF along for the ride (Wind. You heard of him?) You know, just for theatrical effect. And then all hell breaks loose.

Hold on to your tails!

That is what’s going on outside my window today as I sent husband out on the roads to work— a few pounds heavier due to the seventeen pieces of clothing he pulled over his body.

And for the sake of drama, which I clearly know something about, let’s count the items of clothing that made up his work outfit here, just to be sure:

1. underwear
2. long underwear pants
3. long underwear turtleneck shirt
4. socks
5. work pants
6. long sleeved shirt
7. buttoned up work shirt
8. vest
9. winter coat
10. Carhart coveralls
11. scarf
12. beanie (we call winter caps beanies. Is that weird?)
13. hard hat
14. gloves
15. boots resembling those that Buzz Aldrin wore on his quest to the moon
16. face mask


17. a big, goofy smile (cause he likes the drama of the storm too…and I wanted to make it to my estimated 17 items)

Yes, this outfit may sound excessive and it may bring to mind Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story.” But I tell you what, I bet husband is still cold with a wind that is shaking this tiny house this morning and working really hard to “sting the toes and bite the nose…” I mean, sitting here I am tempted to put on my beanie and mittens just out of sympathy.

I can guarantee every farmer, every rancher, every oilfield worker and every mom with kids who actually got to stay home from school today (because this is the first storm of the season and we’re not used to it yet) every office worker and every retiree is glued to the weather report today.

And thanks to the Internet, we don’t have to wait for the noon news to get the updates. We can obsess minute by minute and watch the storm pass over us in the form of a little green blob on our computer screen.

For example:

A weather update taken from

Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning…then slight chance of snow in the afternoon. Blowing and drifting snow in the morning…then areas of blowing and drifting snow in the afternoon. Visibility one quarter mile or less at times. Windy. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Total snow accumulation 2 to 5 inches. Highs in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to around 55 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent

Keep it together man!

And one from

A Blizzard Warning has been issued.

Expect low temperatures (below 20°F) and winds of 35+ mph. Also expect sufficient falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less.

And just to add salt to the wound, they have added this cute little “Climate Comparison” application on The Weather Channel website that features the 80 degree temperature in Acapulco, Mexico today.


Anyway, I could go on and on about what it feels like here as I sip hot coffee from my favorite cup, wrap up in a blanket and blow on my hands to thaw them out, but I think you need to see this for yourself.

So I have risked my life for you lovely readers. I have braved the blizzard to give you the promised play by play of life at the ranch.

Bring it on winter. Bring. It. On.

Because I love you.

But for those of you who are looking at this and thinking:


...oh why...

...oh why?

...oh sweet kibble why?

I have to tell you there is something about the remarkable weather changes that we experience here in the north that we all secretly love. Because it is so over-the-top. Because it is so predictably unpredictable. Because we know that now we have a perfect excuse to get together and snuggle up and hunker down under one roof and eat our soups and plan for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and wait it out with the people who we have in our lives for this very purpose.

To keep us warm on cold days.

Then we can count on them to fall in right behind our fresh footprints in the snow when the wind dies and the sledding and snowman and snow angel making is perfect.

And we know they won’t be mad when we throw a snowball at their head.

In fact, we can expect to get a bigger one smashed back at ours.

And we will laugh together knowing that we’ll be warm again soon, because in North Dakota, the only thing you can count on is a change of weather.

See, I just heard the weatherman say pleasant weather tomorrow.


It will probably be 70 degrees, or at least 50, and it will take us three minutes to forget this.

Because that’s how we roll in NoDak. If it doesn’t kill ya, it’s just another story of survival to tell at coffee.

Can we go inside now?

15 thoughts on “Bring it on, Winter. Bring. It. On.

  1. Thanks for reminding that I need to roll w/ the punches..take the weather for what it is, unforgiving as heck. Your pictures capture the beauty even if I snow here 🙂 Welcome home and have a great day.

  2. WOAH, that’s a lot of snow! The shock to my system is finally wearing off too; it’s amazing how quickly we forget what it can be like around here (and “winter ain’t even begun” yet!). Totally agree with what you said about us liking the over-the-top drama of winter around here. It’s like our own special branding: what makes North Dakota, well “Noorthdakooota”. Don’t forget to put the bread bags in your boots! Stay warm,

  3. Oh wow! I can’t even imagine coming home to that weather. Do you ski there in North Dakota? Might sound a silly question but that’s all I know about snow – ski fields.

    It looks absolutely beautiful. You can even sell the beauty of snow 🙂

    • Herby, we do ski a bit around here, but we lack major mountains, so most of our downhill skiing is done in Montana or Minnesota. Cross country skiing in the eastern part of the state is really popular though. I have yet to do it, but it is on my list of things to try this winter…

      The kids love to sled and snowmobile. Sledding was our sport of choice in the winter growing up and you can bet I still get out there when I can 🙂

  4. Glad you got home safely. We woke up to snow and the wind blowing. But do need some good weather. Still have some dahlias that I have to get into storage.
    Always fun to read your stories.

  5. We have snow in the forecast for tonight. Too soon. But not so much wind. I’m hoping it all goes another direction. I’ll accept snow on Thanksgiving, but think it would be best to wait till just before Christmas.

    What you want and what you get . . .

  6. I remember by first winter teaching at WHS, and when I walked down the main hallway after lunch, snowballs were flying everywhere, people were falling down and Mr. Mahaney was yelling at everyone to stop or else–didn’t work.

  7. Pingback: On a green January day… « Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

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