Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking Forward to New Year's Eve

Sunday, December 30, 2012. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I'm debating whether or not to follow my usual habit, staying up to watch the festivities in New York City's Times Square. I don't think I've got the flu, but I've also felt better than this.

This winter's flu seems to be quite popular: it's been held over for another week here in Sauk Centre. I think they'd have closed the schools, if we hadn't been on Christmas-New Year's break.

Aside from that, there's a beautiful snow cover outside and clear skies. At least there were. Right now, about 7:30 p.m., all I see outside is a lot of dark.

Here in central Minnesota, we've had bright clear days, a winter storm, and just about everything in between. For Minnesota, that's about par for the course.

Christmas Eve in Our Lady of the Angels church. December 24, 2012.

I didn't get out much this week, but expect that next week will be different. Now that's a very safe prediction.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Little Christmas Eve: Photos from Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Sunday, December 23, 2012. Today is lille Julaften (pronounced "yule-aften"), or little Christmas Eve. There's a lot of flu going around town, which encouraged the nursing home to restrict visiting. Happily, we've still got telephones, so it's possible to stay in touch without actually touching: so to speak.

Early morning fog, or something close to it, left frost on twigs last Minday. December 17, 2012.

I like the frost patters we get on some evergreens. December 17, 2012.

Not exactly picture-postcard weather: but definitely one of the variations on winter, Minnesota style. December 17, 2012.

That's a happy snowman. Quite a few folks knew what to do with recent snowfalls. December 18, 2012.

A quite - calm - snowman. Minnesota. December 18, 2012.

One of the nativity scenes folks set up in their yards. December 18, 2012.

This display should really brighten up the yard at night. December 18, 2012.

And - yep, another snowman. December 18, 2012.

I'm looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think it helps that I haven't been planning or preparing anything elaborate.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mid-December, Distracted

Sunday, December 16, 2012. I don't have much to say this week, apart from some thoughts about the mass murder in Connecticut:
Here in central Minnesota, we've had bright clear days, a winter storm, and just about everything in between. For Minnesota, that's about par for the course.

Thursday morning in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. December 13, 2012.

Half past noon, Saturday, from my webcam. December 15, 2012.

I trust that I'll be back next week, with something happier. Also photos of outdoor Christmas displays.

Murder in Newtown, Connecticut: a List

I'll have the weekly post ready later this evening.

You probably know about the mass murder in Connecticut. The crime quickly became international news.

Newtown, Connecticut, was home to 27,605 people in 2010. (Welcome to Newtown, CT ( the town's website)

That's nearly seven times as many folks as live here in Sauk Centre: but it's still a small town by American standards.

I haven't seen the sort of 'how could this happen in a small town' editorializing that followed earlier school murders. Maybe folks have gotten used to the idea that small town America isn't immune to what troubles the world.

Murder is Wrong

I'm angry and upset about what happened: but ranting about wouldn't, I think, do any good.

This is just a suggestion but many folks in and around Newtown, Connecticut, are hurting: and prayer is an option.

So is contributing to a support fund:
I know nothing about that fund, apart from 'what I've read in the papers.' I recommend checking out any charity before giving.

A List

Killed Friday morning, December 14, in Newtown, Connecticut:
  • Mother of killer
    • Nancy Lanza
      • Female
  • At Sandy Hook Elementary School
    • Students and staff
      • Charlotte Bacon
        • Female
        • February 22, 2006
      • Daniel Barden
        • Male
        • September 25, 2005
      • Rachel Davino
        • Female
        • July 17, 1983
      • Olivia Engel
        • Female
        • July 18, 2006
      • Josephine Gay
        • Female
        • December 11, 2005
      • Ana Marquez-Greene
        • Female
        • April 4, 2006
      • Dylan Hockley
        • Male
        • March 8, 2006
      • Dawn Hochsprung
        • Female
        • June 28, 1965
      • Madeleine F. Hsu
        • Female
        • July 10, 2006
      • Catherine V. Hubbard
        • Female
        • June 8, 2006
      • Chase Kowalski
        • Male
        • October 31, 2005
      • Jesse Lewis
        • Male
        • June 30, 2006
      • James Mattioli
        • Male
        • March 22, 2006
      • Grace McDonnell
        • Female
        • November 4, 2005
      • Anne Marie Murphy
        • Female
        • July 25, 1960
      • Emilie Parker
        • Female
        • May 12, 2006
      • Jack Pinto
        • Male
        • May 6, 2006
      • Noah Pozner
        • Nale
        • November 20, 2006
      • Caroline Previdi
        • Female
        • September 7, 2006
      • Jessica Rekos
        • Female
        • May 10, 2006
      • Avielle Richman
        • Female
        • October 17, 2006
      • Lauren Rousseau
        • Female
        • June 1982
      • Mary Sherlach
        • Female
        • February 11, 1956
      • Victoria Soto
        • Female
        • November 4, 1985
      • Benjamin Wheeler
        • Male
        • September 12, 2006
      • Allison N. Wyatt
        • Female
        • July 3, 2006
    • Killer
      • Adam Lanza
        • Male
    (source: Connecticut State Police, via and Associated Press;
Related posts, in another blog:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Garlands Downtown, Slick Streets, Blizzard: Fairly Routine

Sunday, December 9, 2012. I missed last Sunday's entry, but I've got an excuse. I was out of town, on a family trip to North Dakota. Today I've got some catching up to do: mostly photos.

First, good news. This area has gone from 'blizzard warning' to 'light snow fog/mist and breezy, according to Echo Press, Alexandria. I'd planned to drive my wife and #3 daughter to a Soo Bahk Do tournament in St. Cloud today: and was relieved when it was cancelled, due to the weather.

About 8:00 p.m., we got a 'robocall' from Sauk Centre School's automated system. School will be two hours late tomorrow. Smart move!

Part of Echo Press weather statement this afternoon. December 9, 2012.

Holiday decorations were up, right on schedule, downtown. November 26, 2012.

Yep, it's definitely the holiday season. That banner says so. November 25, 2012.

Some business owners put on more of a show than a few garlands. This is P's and Q's computers, on Main Street. November 26, 2012.

Now it looks more holiday-seasonal. December 7, 2012.

Tiny flakes of damp snow started Friday. While driving to the Post Office, I noticed that the front of the van was drifting to the right, the speedometer had dropped to zero: but trees and houses were still going by. Sauk Centre already had trucks out, spreading sand near intersections: but they hadn't gotten to that particular street yet.

Sauk Centre this morning, seen through my webcam. December 9, 2012.

I'm looking forward to a tranquil, uneventful, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary few weeks. Somehow, I don't that's going to happen.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Busy Week, or, Christmas Season's Started

Sunday, December 2, 2012. First Sunday of Advent. I got home around mid-afternoon today, after taking the Sauk Centre Gills up to the Red River Valley of the North. My son has been 'on loan' to #2 daughter and son-in-law this week, helping them at Spiral Light Candle.

Meanwhile, here in Sauk Centre, Main Street Theatre has those free Saturday Matinees: a cooperative effort by Sauk Centre merchants, and a good opportunity to see movies like Ice Age.

An article in the Sauk Centre Herald says that western Stearns County has a low unemployment rate, another that the Community Thanksgiving Dinner served 244 people.

Closer to home, my wife and #3 daughter now have a black belt in Soo Bahk Do: or, rather, each of them has a belt, that's actually more of a midnight blue than black. There's a bit of celebrating in this household today.