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2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014. I'll say this for the climate here. It's not boring.


Wednesday afternoon: beautifully clear blue sky, sunlight on snow by the Coborn's parking lot. December 17, 2014.


Thursday afternoon: overcast, fog, hoarfrost decorating trees — and cars. Frosted branches in the trees were lovely, frosted roads: now so much. December 18, 2014.

We're into the fourth week of advent, and there's snow forecast for tomorrow and Tuesday. I'm pretty sure we'll have a "white Christmas."

Sunday, December 14, 2014. I've been under the weather this week, so there's just one picture.


Fog: all day. This picture's taken through my webcam, 9:55 this morning. December 14, 2014.

We had generous amounts of fog today: and there's still a winter weather advisory and dense fog advisory for quite a bit of central Minnesota. On the whole, I'm glad I stayed inside.

Sunday, December 7, 2014. There's a winter weather advisory out until midnight: a little freezing rain, a little sleet, a little snow. I'm sincerely glad I could stay inside for most of the day.


Holiday decorations are up on Main and Sinclair Lewis Avenue, near downtown. December 3, 2014.

The family has Christmas decorations up in the living room, Sauk Centre's garlands are in place over parts of Main and Sinclair Lewis Avenue: and I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep. See you next week.

Sunday, November 30, 2014. I see there's a Wind Chill Advisory for this area. I'm not surprised. A brisk northwest wind this morning let me know that winter is here as I went to church. It's more of the same tomorrow, only cooler.

Advent started today, some folks have Thanksgiving and Christmas yard decorations out, and the Knights of Columbus Nativity set gets lit up in a few days.

No photos this week. I've been been dealing with a 'nothing serious' bug: not enough to be worrisome, but quite sufficient to keep me inside except when really necessary. Next week should be better. That's the plan, anyway.

Monday, November 24, 2014. These 'Sauk Centre Journal' entries generally get posted Sunday evening. I thought there was something I was forgetting last night: and I was right. Now, following the 'better late than never' principle, is yesterday's entry. Except not it's today. And by the time you see it, it may be tomorrow, or the day after.

Never mind. Here's the one photo I took last week:


Lake access between Sauk Centre's campground and lakeside park. November 19, 2014.

We had snow, or rain, depending on what time it was, yesterday. This morning it was definitely snow: not much, but enough to notice.

Sunday, November 16, 2014. Winter started this Monday, when about nine inches of snow fell. Since then, it's been below zero, Fahrenheit, several nights, and we've had a few 'cat track' snowfalls.


Snow, about 1:30 p.m. on Monday. November 10, 2014.


By Tuesday, we had about nine inches. November 11, 2014.

I was sorry to see a 'going out of business' sign in front of Unger's Furniture, downtown. That place has been a landmark here since the start of the 20th century. Looks like they couldn't pay off the estate taxes. (September 27, 2011)

I'll remember the 'good times,' including Unger's participation in the 2008 Sinclair Lewis Days parade. (July 19, 2008)


Ungers: a Sauk Centre fixture for 113 years, going out of business. November 12, 2014.


The Hillcrest Motel on south Main is now Hillcrest Plaza: rental office space. November 12, 2014.

Another change in town: the Hillcrest Motel on south Main is now Hillcrest Plaza, an office park.

Sunday, November 9, 2014. I've still got "nothing serious." My immune system finally kicked in Thursday: fever, chills, the works. That's good news, since now maybe I'll be done with the bug: whatever it is.

I've heard that something like this has been going around town. I like to feel like part of the community - but could have done without this. Oh, well: as my Norwegian forebears might have said, "it could be worse;" and, now that I think about it, has been worse.

One of the advantages to logging the six-decades-plus that I have, is the opportunity to develop perspective. Enough of the philosophizing.

Thanksgiving is coming up, And - more importantly for me - Advent and Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing more holiday decorations, when I get out and about again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014. We set the clocks back an hour overnight: so it's darker earlier now. We'll do the same thing in Spring, going the other way.

Happily, my computer checks the 'official' time for me, so the 'clock' at my desk is 'legal,' whether I pay attention or not.

I've been feeling under the weather this week: nothing serious, just enough to make me look forward to not feeling this way. That limited how much I got out and about: so I missed the Friday night/Halloween Mass at St. Alexius in West Union - I was looking forward to that.

Next week there should be more here. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, October 26, 2014. Our Lady of Angels church had our yearly polka Mass today. I hope Nathan's Oldtime Band comes back next year.

Nathan's ... Band know their polka: and have the good sense to keep the tempo 'up.' They describe themselves as "Minnesota's youngest and most energetic polka/country band."


Before the polka Mass at Our Lady of Angels. October 26, 2014.

Halloween/All Hallows' Eve is this Friday. I'm looking forward to the trick-or-treaters.


An - owl-o-lantern? October 26, 2014.


Sunset. The sky lit up: just after I got back inside. October 26, 2014.

That sunset was mildly spectacular: right after I got inside and had the camera stowed. Oh, well: it's nice to know I've still got the old sense of timing.

Sunday, October 19, 2014. Some trees are ready for winter. Their leaves have turned color and fallen. Late starters, like on the corner across from my home, are pretty near their peak.


South Ash Street. October 19, 2014.

Some folks have their Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations out. I haven't spotted any Christmas displays yet, though. The yearly chow mein supper ended with a bit left over. The church is selling what's left at a few dollars a quart. Next week, if I'm reading the calendar right, we've got the polka Mass: and now I'm done.

Sunday, October 12, 2014. Previously-green trees started turning, so we've got a fresh set of autumn leaves.


South Ash Street. October 8, 2014.


Wildflowers, or weeds, by Sauk Lake: depending on your point of view. That's the band shell, in the background.  October 8, 2014.


A quiet backyard: ours. October 9, 2014.


Rummage sale across the street. October 10, 2014.

That's all for this week. Next week there'll be more: probably.

Sunday, October 5, 2014 Autumn is here. We've had rain and wind that blew most of the autumn color out of our trees.


My wife and kids may have invented a new game: ping pool? October 3, 2014.

Our granddaughter, son-in-law, and number two daughter, are visiting: which is a delightful distraction.

Sunday, September 28, 2014 There's a new(ish) business in town: Outpost Mercantile, near Lake Wobegon Trail and the Ding Dong Cafe. I gather that it's an eatery.


Seen from the north-northeast, their new sign doesn't stand out all that much. September 27, 2014.


Outpost Mercantile, seen from the west. September 27, 2014.


A little bit of 'everything:' the rear of Outpost Mercantile, someone's boat, and autumn foliage. September 27, 2014.


Fall colors, some trees still green, and lots of sunshine. September 28, 2014.


The corner of 9th Street South and Ash, this afternoon. September 28, 2014.

That's all I've got for now: see you next week.

Sunday, September 21, 2014 Oddly enough, yesterday's storms went by, mostly south of Sauk Centre, with nary an interruption of power. This afternoon, with little but cloudiness happening, power went out in our house: and stayed that way for what felt like fifteen or 20 minutes.

We may or may not get good fall colors this year. One tree near the north end of Ash Street is, as usual, getting a head start on one of its branches: but otherwise we're still reasonably green around here.

Help with computers, legitimate and otherwise, is in the Sauk Center Herald. That "Police warn of a computer scam" is the old 'tech support' scam, where someone calls a computer owner, talks the person into giving the caller remote access to the computer, and then demands money to get it "fixed."

That happened to someone here in Sauk Centre on September 11, and apparently it's been done elsewhere in the area. The computer owner wouldn't pay, and ended up with a virus getting installed.

I've gotten calls like that, myself: not often, and not recently. Happily, I'd read about that sort of scam: and knew enough about Microsoft to realize that their tech support staff wouldn't be calling me.

Before getting to a new business in town, these Wikipedia pages do a pretty good job of talking about common sense and today's tech: Technical support scam; Ransomware; Virus hoax.


From the Sauk Centre Herald. September 21, 2014.

"How safe is your computer from hackers" tells about Sauk PC Repair, a new business that's in the old Hillcrest Hotel Building on South Main. The folks there do quite a bit besides virus removal: like upgrades, making custom computers, and repairing laptops.

I wish them well: but happily, my son is a pretty good 'in house' tech support service for this family -- so we're already covered.

Sunday, September 14, 2014 Trees and grass are still green, but it's cooler: feeling more like autumn.


The view through my webcam, 1:15 this afternoon. September 14, 2014.

That's about all I've got this week. Next week there should be more.

Sunday, September 7, 2014 It's rained, we've had clear skies, and the Community Mural is taking shape.


Sauk Centre's Community Mural: in progress. September 3, 2014.

I like the old red-and-white design: but the new mural looks pretty good, too. One more thing: school is back in session, so there's a lot of traffic outside, just before and just after.

Monday, September 1, 2014 Labor Day Weekend. I heard thunder after supper today. Then, right around 6:30, the lights went out. Power was back 15 or 20 minutes later: but this household's Internet connection was out until 8:30 pm.

The hail I saw was pea-sized: not particularly damaging, but enough to make me happy to be inside.

Aside from that, though, it's been a beautiful day.


Yesterday evening's storms were mostly south and east of us, heading for the Metro area. August 31, 2014.


We've been getting the house painted. August 31, 2014.


Clouds this evening, as the storm was moving on. That odd little streak toward the left of the photo is a drop of water coming off the roof. September 1, 201


The hail I saw was pea-sized. September 1, 2014.


After this evening's storm: more of that pea-size hail, a wet driveway, and feet. September 1, 2014.

School starts tomorrow: which is an academic point for someone my age, except as it involves family members.

Sunday, August 31, 2014. Labor Day Weekend. I'll be back tomorrow evening, for a short post. Today, I'm taking a break.

Sunday, August 24, 2014. I've got a few photos left to share, from the Stearns County Fair.


Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: the duck in the water pan is okay. He's got his head underwater, looking for food. July 30, 2014.


Stearns County Fair, the midway: near sunset. July 30, 2014.


Stearns County Fair, near the Bingo booth: a family having fun with a high striker. July 30, 2014.


Stearns County Fair, midway: on my way home. July 30, 2014.

Meads department store, downtown, won't be there soon. I gather that the Meads are selling the store: and that another outfit will open a similar outlet in the building. I may know more about it next week. Then again, maybe I won't.

Sunday, August 17, 2014. School starts September 2, according to the Sauk Centre Public Schools website. They've got the usual announcements about Fall sports, open house, and school supply lists.

Looking back at the Stearns County Fair, I have more photos to share.


Stearns County Fair, 4H building: photography. July 30, 2014.


Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: new bird enclosure. July 30, 2014.


Stearns County Fair, Conservation building: fish pool. July 30, 2014.

I like what they did in the Conservation building: replacing cubicles displaying various birds on the south wall with a sort of bird run. The only disadvantage I saw with the new arrangement is that it's a bit hard to tell which labels go with which birds. Maybe next year they'll have photos, or sketches, to help.

Sunday, August 10, 2014. Sauk Centre's bowling lanes are closing. The Sauk Centre Herald article quoted the owners as saying that there hasn't been enough use of their facility, since the recession started. It's not the end of bowling, of course: places are still open in other towns.

On a happier note, we haven't had as many mosquitoes this summer: which made the mild weather a lot more fun to be out in.


Marian Garden by Our Lady of the Angels Church. August 5, 2014.


Flowers, grass, and ivy in the garden. August 5, 2014.


Garage sales: part of summer. August 8, 2014.

Our household teamed up with another this summer, with two rummage/garage sales. These were the third and fourth we've done. They take more effort to set up and run than I might have thought: not that I did much of the work.

Sunday, August 3, 2014. Stearns County Fair started this week.


Stearns County Fair's midway. July 30, 2014.


Knights of Columbus Bingo booth. July 30, 2014.


4-H Exhibits cover a lot of ground. July 30, 2014.


The Aerospace 4-H category is one of my favorites. July 30, 2014.

There's more, including the end of Sauk Centre's bowling lanes: but that will wait until next week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014. It got into the mid-70s today, rained a bit, punctuated with sunshine. Or maybe it was sunny punctuated by rain. Either way, it's been a pleasant day: not exactly typical for July, but this is Minnesota. Our climate has personality.

Stearns County Fair is coming up, starting Wednesday. The Knights of Columbus Bingo booth will start up sooner than we have in past years. I'm not sure why: apparently the Fair board told us that we would, and we're complying.

I've got quite a few photos of the Sinclair Lewis Days parade left. It's one of my favorite annual events here.


Sinclair Lewis Days parade: Some units fit on a small flatbed trailer.... July 19, 2014.


... others don't July 19, 2014.


Flowers in someone's front yard, and a small park. July 25, 2014.


Friday was more July-like. That sign is new since I moved to Sauk Centre: but it's not exactly new. July 25, 2014.

Thanks to the new schedule, I've got a different shift at the K. of C. Bingo booth. Since I'm retired, that's not a problem: can't say that I miss being locked into a nine-to-five routine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014. It's been a unusual week here. My son had surgery done: which went well. At the moment, the living room is doubling as a bedroom.

Sinclair Lewis Days was this weekend: including the Saturday evening parade.

I've been watching NASA's replay of video from the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landing. They're running it online, at www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/.

I used my webcam to get pictures of the parade this year: except for the one taken from across the street, of course.


Folks getting ready for the parade. July 19, 2014.


About 15 minutes before the parade started. July 19, 2014.


Sinclair Lewis Days parade begins. July 19, 2014.


Quite a few watercraft: including this one, on a trailer behind one of Sauk Centre's rescue trucks. July 19, 2014.


Farm machinery, too. July 19, 2014.

I'll probably share more photos from the parade next week. Right now, I want to get back to reliving the first Moon landing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014. Last week's Sauk Centre Herald had articles about two major transitions on the front page.

The Pizza Hut on south Main closing was news to me. Looks like their last day of operation was June 25. The paper said that the company that owned this Pizza Hut, Sky Ventures, filed for bankruptcy. Misery doesn't really love company, I've found: but nine other Pizza Huts had been closed earlier this year.

I'm not a big pizza person: but I'll miss knowing that the Pizza Hut is there. My kids and I celebrated by going there a few times.


Two transitions in last week's paper. July 3, 2014.

I wrote about Father Statz in A Catholic Citizen in America. (June 29, 2014)

On a brighter note: it's been a beautifully sunny day.

Sunday, July 6, 2014. I mentioned the Sauk Herald's "Mural project to spruce up corner on Main Street" article back on May 25, 2014. As I said then, I like the red-on-white paint job that the Belmont building has been sporting lately: but the mural could look good, too.


The 'umbrella fountain' at Sinclair Lewis Park. June 30, 2014.


Downtown Sauk Centre. June 30, 2003.


"Let's Get The Red OUT!" June 30, 2010.


The park by the Sinclair Lewis Museum. June 30, 2003.


Fireworks being sold from a truck. June 30, 2003.


North Dakota sky. July 4, 2003.

"North Dakota?" There's an explanation for that. My wife, son, and #3 daughter went to North Dakota over the weekend to visit #2 daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Elizabeth was fascinated by what was going on across the room when I had a camera handy: so I got a picture of her left ear.


Our granddaughter, Elizabeth. July 22, 2010.

That's it for now: but I'm pretty sure that there'll be something to show again next week.

Sunday, June 29, 2014. The household's Internet and phone service was out for most of the afternoon. Happily, Charter realized that something was wrong in this area, and we were connected again before supper. Then, a few minutes later, we weren't: but service was restored shortly afterward, and stayed that way.

I took advantage of the isolation to putter a bit with something that uses software and data in my computer: and even read a little of a magazine that came this week, Sky and Telescope. That was a Sunday afternoon well-spent.

Today was the last time we had Father Statz at Our Lady of Angels. He's been here for 13 years, quite a long assignment at one parish.


A crew from Charter, fixing Internet and phone lines. June 29, 2014.

I found some old photos while writing a post for my A Catholic Citizen in America blog: "'Just Routine, Nothing Special' Thank You, Father Statz." Two of them, at least, don't seem to have fond their way into this Sauk Centre Journal. There's a larger version of the photo from 2004 in that post.


Procession of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fr. Statz. June 14, 2003.


Mural in Our Lady of Angels, by Tom Kane, adapted from Tiepolo's Immaculate Conception. July 14, 2010.


Sunset: but not the colorful kind. July 22, 2010.

I don't have much more to say this week, so this is a good place to stop. I'll see you next week.

Sunday, June 22, 2014. It's summer: the season for rummage sales, sunburn, and the occasional tornado warning. We've had quite a lot of rain lately. After a little checking, I learned that July is the only month that hasn't seen snow in Minnesota: since we've been keeping records, anyway.


Conservation Park. I thought the river looked high - - -


- - - and I was right. June 18, 2014.

I saw this anatine pair Wednesday afternoon.


If I see two ducks, is that a paradox? June 18, 2014.


"Love is a many-splendored thing" - - -


- - - "and the world stood still." June 18, 2014.

On a more serious note, our Corpus Christi procession didn't get rained out.


Corpus Christi procession: first leg. June 22, 2014.


Not everybody participated, of course. June 22, 2014.


I'd say "we're approaching St. Paul's" here: but I was across the street, taking pictures. June 22, 2014.

I put other, larger, photos of the procession on my A Catholic Citizen in America blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2014. It's been one of those weeks: I haven't gotten much done, and took all week doing it. The weather isn't helping: it rained on three days this week. I've heard that crops around here are not looking good. Water is good for plants: but too much at the wrong time: not so much.


Thursday's Sauk Herald. June 12, 2014.

On a happier note, the Sauk Centre Herald put the new owners of Nic's Diner on the front page: Gary and Karyn Nelson. The paper says they're planning a Grand Opening for Sinclair Lewis Days.

Sunday, June 8, 2014. There's a flood warning for the Sauk River, around St. Cloud, effective until next Sunday. I can believe that. We've had a great deal of rain. At one point, some of the water outside got inside, into the basement. I don't remember that happening since the time we got an unusually heavy rain while the ground was still frozen.

Wunderground.com's almanac for our area shows rain or rain and lightning four days this week, clear skies for two days, and one undecided: that was today, with leaden overcast but no rain.


Lilacs. June 2, 2014.

Between heavy rain, wind, and their natural cycle, flowers on the lilac bushes have withered or been blown away. I noticed near-ideal light on them Monday, snatched my camera, and got outside when the clouds were reasserting themselves.

Sunday, June 1, 2014. We had a power outage in the small hours of Saturday morning, during a thundershower. Power was back around sunrise, happily. We've been getting rain quite a bit, which I like: as long as I can stay inside.


Gardening begins. May 27, 2014.


Lilac cluster. June 1, 2014.


Lots of lilacs. June 1, 2014.


The sky this evening. June 1, 2014.

Lilacs are blooming: I like the way they look, and haven't a clue how they smell. That sense doesn't work in me, which has come in handy when a particularly pungent mess had to be cleaned up.

The lilac blooms will be gone soon. Very soon if we have more heavy rains. No matter: I'm looking forward to summer.

Sunday, May 25, 2014. Memorial Day weekend. My wife, son, and #3 daughter went to Itasca State Park this week, meeting #2 daughter and son-in-law there. I'm told that they had a good time, and #2 daughter took some photos.


Itasca State Park. May 21, 2014.


Headwaters of the Mississippi, Itasca State Park. May 21, 2014.

The May 22, 2014, Sauk Centre Herald ran "Mural project to spruce up corner on Main Street" on the front page. Looks like there's a plan to paint a mural on the side of the Belmont building. I gather that's the one Nic's Diner is in these days.

Since the theme is "let's get the red out," the mural will probably go on the north side of the building. I like the dapper red-on-white paint job it's got: but the mural could turn out nicely, too.

The paper says that three artists will be involved: Roger Reinardy's developing the design, working with Minneapolis artist Carole Bersin, and Diane Schmiesing will get involved, too.

That's about enough name-dropping for one day.

I plan to spend the rest of this three-day weekend doing not much in particular: and be back next Sunday with photos I've taken.

Sunday, May 18, 2014. Our youngest child was confirmed today, along with 54 other young people in the three parishes: Our Lady of the Angels, St. Paul's, and St. Alexius in West Union. I also took a few photos this week.


Sauk Lake, and very green grass. May 14, 2014.


The 'umbrella' fountain and gazebo, Sauk Lake Park. The fountain isn't there yet, apart from the base. It's typically re-installed for Memorial Day Weekend. May 14, 2014.


Nic's Diner, downtown. May 14, 2014.


This house, and matching birdhouse, has been one of my favorite spots in town, ever since my family and I moved to Sauk Centre in 1986. May 18, 2014.


The birdhouse is a reasonably accurate scale model of the house. Someone had a nice idea. May 18, 2014.

I heard that 12 out of 19 days recently had significant rain. I believe it. It's been damp: and cloudy more often than not. This week it was cold, then warmish, then around freezing again: from one day's morning to mid-afternoon. Springtime in Minnesota: there's nothing quite like it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014. Mother's Day. Kids had their first communion at Our Lady of Angels church, and I've been a bit distracted by #2 daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter's visit.


Elizabeth Grace (in a dress bought by her great-grandmother, for #1 daughter: and now in its 2nd generation). May 11, 2014.

That's all I've got this week. The distractions are going home soon, so I'll probably have more next Sunday.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014. Main Street Theatre is celebrating their 75th year of operation. The Douvier family has operated the movie theatre since 1976.

This year, "In Conjunction with the 75th Anniversary of Main Street Theatre and the Sauk Centre Premiere of 'Walking with the Enemy' we are Announcing a Special Event for Opening Night on Friday, May 9. Meet one of the actors, Charles Hubbell, a Minnesota Native who will be available for a 'Q&A' following the showing of the film which will continue to run for a 2 week period!"


Advertisement from the May 4th Dairyland Peach.

I won't be there: I don't get out much. But don't let that stop you.

Dairyland Peach ran an article about Main Street Theatre, the Douviers, and a planned attraction, last year. (May 13, 2013)

Sunday, May 4, 2014. The ducks are back, daftly waddling through traffic. It's a wonder more aren't hit this time of year. Maybe they're paying more attention that is apparent Two unattached drakes had found themselves a puddle by the Sauk Lake boat ramp.


Don't worry, the one on the left is okay. He's at a duck's equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet. April 28, 2014.


Sauk Centre Herald's front page, bottom half, a week or so back. April 24, 2014.

The hydrant flushing notice is routine, but not the "frozen pipes" headline in the lower right corner. Even here in Minnesota, it's usually not that cold this late.

I'll have more next week, most likely. Good night!

Sunday, April 27, 2014. Divine Mercy Sunday. It's a 'dark and stormy night:' or a windy one at least. We finally got rain today: which should do more than just settle the dust. The folks from Kenya are still here. I heard that one of them got a chance to use a snow blower. Knights of Columbus did our 'Tootsie Roll drive' fundraiser this weekend, I spent two hours at Coborn's yesterday afternoon. That's about all I have this week.

Sunday, April 20, 2014. Easter Sunday. Some folks from Kenya are visiting our parish. I've wondered what they think of springtime in Minnesota.


Wednesday around 6:00 p.m., after more than a foot of snow fell. April 16, 2014.


A more reasonable facsimile of spring weather this afternoon. April 20, 2014.

That's about all I've got for this week. Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 13, 2014. Palm Sunday. That's embarrassing: I'd put "2013" as the year for every photo in March, and several in February. The good news is that it was an easy fix.

I saw my first two robins this week; some of the grass is not only visible: but turning green; and temperatures were above freezing today. Not much above freezing, but above nevertheless.

I don't want to start any wild rumors: but Spring may finally be here.

Our new granddaughter, Elizabeth, was baptized yesterday. ("Baptism: Elizabeth Grace," Through One Dad's Eye (April 12, 2014))


Elizabeth Grace, waiting: fairly patiently. April 12, 2014.

The house was anything but quiet yesterday afternoon, since we had some folks over to celebrate.


Palm Sunday at Our Lady of the Angels. April 13, 2014.


A sign of Spring: the street sweeper making its rounds. April 9, 2014.

I checked the forecast, which has no winter storms: so far. We do, however, expect snow and a bit of wind on Wednesday.

Sunday, April 6, 2014. I see I mislabeled last week's post "March 24." That's embarrassing, and has been corrected: but I've got an excuse of sorts.

I haven't been as ill as others in the household, but we've all been participating in whatever's going around town. We call it "stomach flu," although there's probably a more accurate term.

These three pictures, from my webcam, show what sort of a week it's been.


Tuesday, 8:40 a.m.: Springtime in Minnesota. April 1, 2014.


Thursday, 8:20 a.m.: snowing, again. April 3, 2014.


Friday, 8:56 a.m., and we're getting picture-postcard snow. April 4, 2014.

Thursday's springtime winter storm encouraged the public school to lock the doors at 4:00 p.m. and cancel all afternoon and evening activities. Or, rather, they cancelled the activities and then locked the doors.

Snow is off the yard across the street, and most other places with no drifts and exposure to sunlight. I've heard that we'll have highs around 70 next week. I won't mind a bit.

Sunday, March 30, 2014. It's springtime in Minnesota, with another winter storm due to arrive late Monday night. The parish priest joked that God gave us this climate, so folks living elsewhere wouldn't envy the natural beauty of central Minnesota.

Thursday's storm encouraged the public school to lock up at 4:00 p.m., and cancel all afternoon and evening activities.


About noon, Thursday. March 27, 2014.

I'm just about ready for summer. Most of the snow should be gone by then. Here's a quick look at the week's weather.


Wednesday, and the band shell benches are nearly free of snow. March 26, 2014.


Thursday, 7:47 a.m.: mostly rain. March 27, 2014.


Thursday, 10:29 a.m., and snow has started. March 27, 2014.


Thursday. 1:07 p.m., and we're getting picture-postcard snow. March 27, 2014.


Saturday morning: clear blue sky, sunshine, fresh snow, and the streets have been cleared. March 29, 2014.

I'll say this for this spring's weather: it's kept our snow cover fresh. Here's another look out the front window.


Springtime in Minnesota: noon, March 27, 2014.

I checked the weather, and now we're looking forward to ice pellets Monday night. Either way, I'll be glad to stay inside.

Sunday, March 23, 2014. Minnesota's weather isn't boring. Here's what my webcam saw at about half past noon on Tuesday.


Snow, wind, school's closed. March 18, 2014.

Same scene, about 12:45 Thursday:


First day of spring: in Minnesota. March 20, 2014.

And again, a few minutes before 7:00 this evening:


The grass isn't exactly green yet: but it's visible. March 23, 2014.

Tuesday's winter storm left us with another eight inches of snow, and no school that day. It's been above freezing during the day, for the most part, since then: so yards are starting to look more like lawns and less like snowfields.


Tuesday's snow, during Wednesday's melt. March 19, 2014.


No concerts at the band shell this month. March 19, 2014.


The boat landing, north of downtown. Those are snowmobile tracks: and a patch of blue sky. March 19, 2014.


That sign describes what sort of plants folks see in that low spot: or will see, after spring gets through melting. March 19, 2014.

I'm looking forward to "spring" days that are the sort of "flowers that bloom in the spring tra-la" thing I've read about: by which time it will probably be early summer.

Sunday, March 17, 2014. I've been a bit distracted this week. Our new granddaughter has been visiting, and her parents, of course. My wife set up a "Welcome" display in the front room/entry, spelling out "welcome A + S & Elizabeth."

Elizabeth is a little over a month old, so she won't be reading for some time: but it was a nice gesture. It's good to be a granddad.


Some folks shovel, some folks use snowblowers, and then there's more snow. March 11, 2014.

Meanwhile, spring is here: Minnesota style.


Mostly melting snow: and a suggestion of dirt and grass. Spring is here! March 12, 2014.


I doubt that any birds have used it yet, but some of the birdbath's water wasn't frozen. March 13, 2014.


Clear sky, sunshine, melting snow, water running in the gutter and — yes — a little grass. March 13, 2014.

Now I really should start catching up on sleep.

Sunday, March 9, 2014. We're letting water run from the kitchen faucet.


Leaving the water running: on purpose. March 9, 2014.

It's not our idea. PUC, the Public Utilities Commission, spread the word that we should keep water running through the pipes.

"Let your water run to prevent frozen pipes!"
Sauk Centre Herald (March 4, 2014)

"Notice to all Sauk Centre Public Utilities Customers, ... encouraging all customers to let their water run the size of a pencil stream; you should continue to run this water until the ice is off the lake...."

Looks like we'll only be billed for our average water use this month. We're pretty careful about not wasting water, generally.

But if it's a choice between frozen pipes and running a little extra water, I'll run the water. We've had frozen pipes, and it's aggravating, to say the least.

That's all I've got for this week. We've been happily distracted with the first visit from the youngest member of #2 daughter and son-in-law's family, and ours:

The snow in town has an interesting glaze, from the above-freezing weather, but I'm not sure how well it will photograph.

Sunday, March 2, 2014. It's chilly this evening: -9.6 Fahrenheit. There's the usual wind chill advisory. This time it's not all that cold, and there's no blowing snow to speak of, so schools will probably open on time.

I've gotten a few robocalls from the public school, with 'two hours late' or 'no classes information. I've lost track of how many of which happened. This is a winter when I've been very glad to not have an 'outside' job.

The first photo is from last week: but it's about the same scene I've seen out the window this week, too: and the week before last. We don't have a shortage of snow, and I've said that before.


Some folks shovel, some folks use snowblowers, and then there's more snow. February 21, 2014.

Our Lady of Angels church carved out more space for folks with wheelchairs. Whoever did the carpentry on the two pews did a fine job. It looks like 'it's always been that way.' A few indentations on the carpet tell a different story.


More space for folks with wheelchairs at Our Lady of Angels church. March 1, 2014.

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the kickoff event for Lent. I'm looking forward to that.


Snow, blue sky, sunshine. It's nice to be inside. March 2, 2014.

Like I said: we've got a lot of snow this winter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014. Going through some picture files, I found this sunset: from November 24, 2013.


A sunset from last year. November 24, 2013.

We've had another winter storm, and more snow. It's picturesque, but I won't mind seeing green grass again.


Snow sculpture. February 21, 2014.

This week's Sauk Centre Herald posted an article about Joe Frericks, John Metcalf and Joe Deters, who are retiring from the Sauk Centre Fire Department: "Hanging up their hats," Bryan Zollman, Sauk Centre Herald. (February 21, 2014)

That's all I've got for this week.

Sunday, February 16, 2014. I still haven't been in La Central Market and Isabella Boutique, unless you count their website: www.lacentralmarketmn.com. I did get a photo of the storefront, though. It's where Corner Drug used to be.


LaCentral Market and Isabella Boutique, at the corner of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main. February 1, 2014.


Shoveling Coborn's roof. February 11, 2014.


Sunshine, snow, clear sky, and the industrial park windmill. February 12, 2014.


New-to-me: Elmerz, west of Walmart. February 12, 2014.

We've had quite a bit of snow this winter. It's scenic, but means more work for folks with sidewalks, driveways, parking lots: and, in some cases, roofs.

ElmerZ restaurant and bar opened recently. It's where Gerard's used to be. The Sauk Centre Herald did a pretty good writeup on the new place: "Zimmer family to reopen popular establishment," Sauk Centre Herald. (November 8, 2013)

Sunday, February 9, 2014. Today was a warm day, compared to much of this winter. The high was zero Fahrenheit, about -18 Celsius.


Neighbors with a Valentine's Day yard display. February 9, 2014.


Brown's Park Build a Forest: planted in 2007 for the class of 2018. February 9, 2014.


It's been a good year for snowmen. February 9, 2014.

There's a new business downtown: La Central Market and Isabella Boutique, a Mexican meat market and fashion boutique at the corner of Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main. They've got a pretty good website: www.lacentralmarketmn.com.

I haven't been inside: partly because I haven't been outside much in the last few weeks.

Sunday, February 2, 2014. I wonder if anyone's made a calendar with "caution: forgetting Valentine's Day may be hazardous to your health" printed on February 14?

Then on March 9, Daylight Savings Time starts. I suppose we can be thankful that we're not required by law to get up at two in the morning to change our clocks.

Staying inside and not getting any cooler than necessary didn't keep me from getting a few photos of this winter's snow. Shoveling the stuff isn't much fun: but I like the way it looks.


Snow around the grill will melt, eventually. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the view. January 28, 2014.


Sunlight, clear sky, and shadows on the snow. February 2, 2014.

That's all I've got for this week. Next week there'll be more. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, January 26, 2014. A blizzard warning is on until midnight tonight. Sauk Centre schools won't open tomorrow: a welcome display of good sense. I heard that Interstate 94 is closed between Osakis and Moorhead.

I've spent the day enjoying not being outside, watching trees wave merrily in the wind.


Sunshine and snow in south Sauk Centre. January 22, 2014.


The Walmart parking lot, looking toward Coborn's and downtown. January 22, 2014.

The local Soo Bahk Do group was in the Sauk Centre Herald this week. The paper did a pretty good job of describing what our group does. I got the 'original' digital photo from the folks who gave the Sauk Herald a copy. Those are happy folks, after a tournament down in St. Cloud.


Soo Bahk Do in the newspaper. January 24, 2014.


After a tournament. December 8, 2013.

The last I heard, the blizzard is supposed to be over tonight. We don't seem to be getting any new snow, but any that's loose gets blown around. Then we're looking forward to a wind chill warning until noon on Tuesday.

I may stay inside tomorrow, too.


Sunday afternoon. January 26, 2014.

That's it for this week.

Sunday, January 19, 2014. Wednesday's and Thursday's weather was either a winter storm or a blizzard, depending on who you heard: and what time you heard the report. Either way, it retouched our snow cover.


Sauk Lake, Wednesday afternoon. January 15, 2014.


The corner of Ash and South 9th this morning. January 19, 2014.

Snowmobilers came buzzing by this morning, enjoying the snow cover of front yards on this side of the street. It may or may not be legal: but they were having a good time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014. It's warmer than last week, which wouldn't take much. Days are getting longer, but it's still sincerely winter.


In a few months this will be a bird bath. Right now, it's a lawn ornament. January 10, 2014.


Not quite fog, not quite clear. January 10, 2014.

This evening I saw a bit of blue sky, which was a nice change of pace from the last few days.

Sunday, January 5, 2014. It's cold outside here in central Minnesota: and quite a few other places, too. Public schools in Minnesota won't open tomorrow, thanks to a decision by the Minnesota Governor.

I've been staying inside quite a bit recently, for a variety of reasons. I took these photos on Wednesday.


The eighth day of Christmas at Our Lady of Angels church. January 1, 2014.


They're hard to see from this angle, but those wise men got closer this week. At least, I assume so. January 1, 2014.

My wife told me to stay inside today. I had no problem with that idea. Like I said, it's cold outside.

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