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Sunday, December 29, 2013. Depending on how you see it, Christmas has come and gone: or we're at the fifth day of Christmas.

We had a white Christmas this year: complete with a little fresh snow. Weather announcements flip-flopped between calling today's weather winter weather and a blizzard, with a winter weather advisory from 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 6:00 p.m. today. This morning all that was left of that advisory was a weather statement about wind chill.

As someone said on my way to church this morning, it's been a crisp day. It's about -18° Fahrenheit at 9:00 this evening.

Christmas Eve at Our Lady of Angels. December 24, 2013.

Christmas lights. That snowman on the roof is new this year. December 27, 2013.

If my eyes were sensitive as a cat's and I could still see colors, back yards in my neighborhood would probably look like this. December 27, 2013.

This is pretty close to what I could actually see. December 27, 2013.

Finally, merry Christmas, and happy new year.

Sunday, December 22, 2013. If I was committed to buying a Christmas present for someone at the Rosedale shopping center in the Metro, I'd be crazy. I'd also have only two days left, since they're closed Christmas Day, Wednesday - and shut the doors at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Christmas Eve.

As it is, my family has our Christmas shopping done: including me, oddly enough. True to form, I haven't gotten my wife's present wrapped yet: and that's another topic.

I haven't been around town much since last week, but did get some photos. We're having a white Christmas this year: picturesque, but a bit on the chilly side.

Picture-postcard weather for the Christmas season, seen through my webcam. Snow kept getting 'refreshed' with new snowfall or frost. December 17, 2013.

Frost on the trees, Saturday morning. December 21, 2013.

Not much wind, so we still had a 'fairyland' at noon. December 21, 2013.

On the other hand, we have a warm spell that melts all the snow: unlikely, but this is Minnesota.

Sunday, December 15, 2013. This was one of those weeks when I got very little done: and took all week doing it. The "very little" didn't include any new photos, so here's a 'Christmas lights' selection from previous years:

Christmas is coming: one of Sauk Centre's more thoroughly-decorated yards. November 25, 2012.

Santa, maybe taking off - or landing - with a jet pack? Hats off to the folks who put that up, for a different angle on Christmas lights. December 7, 2011.

Downtown Sauk Centre: lighted garlands over the street, and Main Street Theatre's signs. December 7, 2011.

We've still got a very white cover of snow. It's nice to look at, but the below-average cold that came with it isn't universally popular.

Monday noon, and Christmas-card weather. December 9, 2011.

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

Sunday, December 8, 2013. The sounds of someone's snow blower are filtering in as I write this. That's a guess, actually. It's dark out, and I'm not going out to see where the sound comes from.

It's fairly warm this evening: about four degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. There's also no wind to speak of. There's a wind chill advisory from three tomorrow morning until noon, probably because the wind will be picking up.

Friday was clear, cold, and featured iced trees. December 6, 2013.

I took that photo through a window screen. It was a good angle to catch sunlight in the ice: and I wasn't thrilled with the notion of going outside just then.

My kids set up the Christmas tree this week. December 8, 2013.

Christmas is bearing down on us, around the corner, and less than three weeks away. I still have some holiday preparations to make, but plan to relax as much as possible.

Sunday, December 1, 2013. It's the first Sunday in Advent. More folks have their Christmas decorations out, and there hasn't been a serious snowfall yet.

This will look more 'Christmassy' when there's snow on the ground. November 28, 2013.

TFirst Sunday in Advent, at Our Lady of the Angels church. December 1, 2013.

On a more personal note, I'm successfully dealing with an antibiotic-resistant infection, and my son had to have his appendix removed yesterday.

I'm hoping for a comparatively uneventful December.

Sunday, November 24, 2013. We're almost halfway through the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas triathlon of holidays. We've had the usual Minnesota weather: warm, cold, clear, overcast, and a little snow. The snow didn't last, but it probably won't be the last of the season. It wasn't the first, either, come to think of it.

It was starting to look like winter on Thursday. November 21, 2013.

These folks started putting out Christmas decorations early. November 21, 2013.

Saturday was a cold day, with bright blue sky. November 23, 2013.

Neighbors putting up Christmas lights. November 23, 2013.

Sunset. November 24, 2013.

That's all I've got this week. See you next Sunday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013. "Thor, the Dark World," is playing at Main Street Theatre downtown, along with several other movies. #1 daughter and I went to the matinee this afternoon: and enjoyed ourselves enormously.

It's been a foggy few days here, and a windy Sunday. That's quite a contrast to how the week started, but I'm not complaining: at all. Folks Illinois and Indiana are cleaning up after tornadoes: and some didn't survive.

On a happier note, I took some photos of this week's pleasant weather.

Sauk Lake Park's gazebo. November 13, 2013.

Birds on Sauk Lake, Wednesday afternoon. November 13, 2013.

Same birds, a closer look. November 13, 2013.

The service I use to get my webcam and the Internet on speaking terms has been telling me that either the the Internet connection or my computer is slow. I've checked, and it's not my computer. The household's connection is a bit below-par now and then: mostly, apparently, after rain: or mist; or really heavy fog.

I tried reducing the video's quality, which kept 'we've got trouble' messages from coming quite as often: but also resulted in a view like this:

My webcam's view out the north window. November 11, 2013.

The picture's not bad, but it's not good either. the sky outside never has that pattern of little squares you see. So I put 'quality' settings back to something that looks presentable. Most of the time.

I'll be back next week, with something else. One of our neighbors has most of their Christmas display out, so I won't be lacking things to show. Now, if the sun will come out for a few minutes when I have a camera handy - - -

Sunday, November 10, 2013. It's harvest time, we've had rain, snow, and dry spells. The dry spells are good, since harvesting goes easier then: but the process kicks up an amazing amount of dust, grain, dust, and assorted respiratory irritants. That's probably why I feel like I've had a cold for more than a month now.

I'm not alone, but 'misery loves company' doesn't apply in this case. I'm looking forward to winter.

Southern sky, where Ash Street crosses Lake Woebgone Trail. November 4, 2013.

Just one photo this week. I'd been taking a walk, and caught one of our more interesting skies.

Sunday, November 3, 2013. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, I got an extra hour this morning. Sort of.

What an old Indian is supposed to have said about Daylight Saving Time is the best analysis I've heard: "Only a white man would cut a strip off the top of a blanket, sew it on the bottom, and think it makes the blanket longer."

My take on our biannual mandated jet lag and other goofy ideas:

The season's first snow came on Tuesday, and was gone almost as soon as it fell. Even so, the light snowfall kept going, off and on, all day.

You can't see it, but tiny flakes of snow were in the air. October 29, 2013.

Halloween's come and gone, the next big holiday is Thanksgiving, and that's about all I've got this week.

Jack-o'-lanterns at the rectory. November 3, 2013.

Next week I'll probably have more.

Thursday, October 31, 2013. Happy Halloween.

I'll be back Sunday, with something a bit closer to home.

Sunday, October 27, 2013. The Sauk Centre Country Club's changing hands. An article on WJON-AM's website says that a developer bought the Country Club property and plans to build homes along the 9-hole golf course, and a marina on Sauk Lake.

I drove by the Country Club Wednesday afternoon, to see what was happening.

Sauk Centre Country Club's southeast corner, Main Street and Country Club Road. October 23, 2013.

The Country Club's east side. October 23, 2013.

North side of Sauk Centre Country Club. Those trees have already been toppled. October 23, 2013.

A crew was pushing trees over on the west side of the golf course Wednesday afternoon. October 23, 2013.

Sauk Centre Country Club's clubhouse, and birdhouse. October 23, 2013.

Sauk Centre Country Club's current course layout, from the Sauk Centre Country Club's scorecard. Used w/o permission.

My guess is that the new owners looked at those trees, saw how old they are, and decided to push them over before one fell on someone. That makes sense, but I'll miss them.

That article says that the folks who owned Sauk Centre Country Club bought GreyStone Golf Course. Apparently folks who like to golf on that 18-hole course won't notice much difference, since the place will still be open to the public.

Assuming that the developer keeps a 9-hole golf course there on the north side of Sauk Centre, that'll make two 18-hole courses and a 9-hole course in or near Sauk Centre. Folks who like to play golf may have trouble deciding where to go, but I don't think they'll mind having options.

I did a little checking, and all three golf courses have websites, or are supposed to. I'd provide a link to the GreyStone course, but when I tried using their Internet address, the website's software started doing very odd things to my browser. It's probably a technical problem, related to the place changing hands. Searching Google or another search site for GreyStone Golf Course should give you some information about that place.

Here's where to find the other two online:

Finally, my parish's chow mein fundraiser went well: and Fr. Statz said that, contrary to what someone heard someone else say, he's not retired, semi- or otherwise. Today was one of those beautiful October days that poets and writers get excited over, and I'll be back next week. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, October 20, 2013. My voice still has a frog-like quality to it, but other than that it could be worse. Or better: but this way I feel the way many of this week's days looked. On a positive note, I'm getting my annual autumn cold out of the way, and should be done by Halloween.

Another damp autumn morning in Sauk Centre. October 14, 2013.

This morning's rain didn't look quite right. The drops were sluggish, and a bit too large to be realistic: for good reason. It was this season's first snowfall. The first one I've noticed, at least.

Sunday morning, a minute before 9:00. October 20, 2013.

Sunday morning, 9:15: about a quarter of an hour later. October 13, 2013.

The snow turned to rain, more or less, so we didn't get to keep the snow. Can't say that I'm disappointed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013. I'm still 'on the mend,' but my voice still has a frog-like quality to it. I sometimes feel as if I should be sitting on a giant lily pad somewhere. It's been two weeks since "I got what I asked for." (Through One Dad's Eye (September 29, 2013))

Some of what I'm experiencing may be allergies, or whatever a person who isn't exactly "allergic" to stuff kicked up by harvesting experiences this time of year.

It's afternoon as I write this: one of those beautiful, clear, October days.

There were some wispy high clouds earlier, but they're gone. You could check out current conditions on the webcam looking out my north window: or not. Your choice. Aside from the occasional computer crash and maintenance, it's on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Another autumn day, just before noon. October 13, 2013.

Local parishes have the annual chow mein supper later this week. It's a major fundraiser for the school. Folks around here don't get chow mein very often, so it's a change of pace from the more common sausage breakfasts.

Sunday, October 6, 2013. I feel better than I did earlier this week. As the old Minnesotan saying goes, "it could be worse." I've heard that quite a few folks in town have a bug.

My version sounds and feels like a cold, and isn't bad enough to warrant checking in with a doctor. Besides, the doctor would probably say something like, 'in my considered opinion: you/re sick!' This, I already know: and the usual 'rest and plenty of fluids' seems to be helping.

On a more cheerful note, I saw blue sky and sunshine today.

An autumn afternoon. October 6, 2013.

Over the course of the week, we've seen rain, drizzle, clear skies, and falling leaves. Next week will probably be more of the same, which is fine by me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013. A few days ago I expressed the desire that my body make up its mind: either be sick, or stop feeling slightly 'off.'

I got what I asked for: and have been inside, coughing, since the next morning. In a strange way, it's an improvement.

About 4:50 this afternoon. September 29, 2013.

We've had some beautiful, 'picture postcard' days this week. That photo is a pretty good example.

Sunday, September 22, 2013. The calendar tells me that it's the first day of autumn. The sky is right for that season: clear blue; but trees generally haven't gotten around to turning color. Not that I've seen, anyway.

My house has a yard, some folks have lawns, others maintain displays of landscape art. September 18, 2013.

First day of autumn. September 22, 2013.

My parish is organizing their annual chow mein dinner fundraiser. Folks keep coming back: possibly because not many places serve chow mein around here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013. I drove about 125 miles through more-or-less heavy rain yesterday afternoon. That's not my favorite thing to do, but we needed the precipitation. Today was more inclined to provide drizzle and finally clear skies.

Early evening, looking north from the St. Paul's church parking lot. September 10, 2013.

The end of a street on the north side. Most of the field there was green, happily. September 11, 2013.

Near a quiet corner on Sauk Centre's north side. September 11, 2013.

Not a particularly cheerful scene, at the corner of Ash Street and South 12th: but we needed the rain. September 15, 2013.

Grass on vacant land between (The Original) Main Street and Fairlane Drive. September 15, 2013.

It's starting to feel autumnal: which figures, since it's the middle of September.

Sunday, September 8, 2013. It's been a hot week, until today. I've been enjoying being inside most of today, watching the occasional rain showers.

Temperatures in Glenwood, from September, 2013.

School started, with the usual midafternoon exodus down south 9th.

Apart from that, I haven't noticed much going on in town. Not that I've been out much. It was that sort of a week.

Sunday, September 1, 2013. Labor Day Weekend. It's been a beautiful day here: not hot, a welcome change of pace from the rest of the week. We've had a heat advisory and then some storms. Here's part of what I saw on the weather page for Sauk Centre:

Minnesota counties involved in the heat advisory, Thursday afternoon. August 29, 2013.

Saturday afternoon, storms coming. August 31, 2013.

They were moving fast. August 31, 2013.

The storms had 70 mile an hour winds, and hail. I haven't seen more than a light sprinkling of leaves and twigs on streets and lawns here in town. I hope the much-needed rain didn't come at the expense of crop damage, or worse.

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer around here. I'm looking forward to a nice, comfortable autumn. What we actually get: we'll see.

Sunday, August 25, 2013. There's a heat advisory on for quite a bit of Minnesota. When I noticed it on Friday, Stearns county was on the north edge of the advisory area. The edge has moved northwards since then:

"Heat Advisory"
Statement as of 11:22 AM CDT on August 25, 2013

Minnesota counties involved in the heat advisory, Sunday morning. August 25, 2013.

I've been to the Minnesota State Fair a few times, but this year I'm glad I stayed home:

Dozens Treated For Heat Illness At Minn. State Fair
Stephen Tellier, (August 25, 2013)

"...Regions Hospital officials said there were a few dozen cases of heat-related illness at the fair on Saturday, and at least six people were transported to the hospital as a result...."

The article says that folks who got dizzy, felt faint, or otherwise needed medical attention had something in common. They hadn't brought water, or didn't get around to staying hydrated. I hope the hospitalized folks are okay.

It's about 90 F as I'm writing this, 5:00 p.m. - which isn't all that warm. The problem this week was that the nights weren't particularly cool. It was 64 at 7:00 Monday morning, and 49 at Friday morning, but we didn't have much of a chance to cool of the other nights.

Enough about the weather. The Fun Factory and the 'tractor' part of a semitrailer are all that's left of the portable portions of Stearns County Fair.

Leftover from the Stearns County Fair. August 25, 2013.

I've spent the week inside, staying cool, so the only other photo this week shows sun baked grass and some trees.

Blue sky, a few trees, and tan grass. Those buildings are on Main Street. August 25, 2013.

The heat advisory ends midnight, Tuesday. Not that it'll be particularly cool after that.

Sunday, August 18, 2013. #1 daughter and I went to Brookdale Cemetery this afternoon.

Brookdale Cemetery, northeast of Sauk Centre, Minnesota. August 18, 2013.

Fourteen folks or more are buried there: mostly babies and possibly a few young mothers from the old reform school. Grave markers were removed when the state abandoned Brookdale, years ago. Some members of the local Knights of Columbus started mowing the grass recently, and are trying to reconstruct burial records.

The Sauk Centre Herald wrote about Brookdale in June:

"...The reformatory school for girls opened in 1911. Pregnant girls were often brought in by train so they could give birth at the reformatory with the agreement that the baby would become property of the state and then put up for adoption...."
(Bryan Zollman, Sauk Centre Herald (June 19, 2013))

On a happier note, soybeans in the nearby field are lush and green: and a few have small purple flowers. I think they're soybeans, anyway.

Soybeans, I think. August 18, 2013.

Next week I'll either have more to say, and some photos: or not.

Sunday, August 11, 2013. It's been a cool summer: not good news for farmers, since crops aren't growing as fast as usual: and may not yield as much when it's time for harvest.

On the other hand, we've had some beautiful days.

("The Original") Main Street, near the Interstate. August 9, 2013.

A nice, quiet Friday afternoon. August 9, 2013.

I took those photos Friday afternoon, riding along with my son as he practiced for his first driving test. Being able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view while someone else drove was a treat.

Sunday, August 4, 2013. 'Tis the season for fundraisers. Holy Family School's Casino Night is next Tuesday, The Knights of Columbus and other groups have their booths at the Stearns County Fair, and households have rummage sales.

This used to be at Gerard's here in Sauk Centre, but since that place closed they're holding it in the Greenwald Pub. July 29, 2013.

I talked with Ryan, the young man who opened this shop near Our Lady of Angels church: and learned that longboards are sort of like long, wide skateboards. Also that longboards aren't used for stunts. August 1, 2013.

Rummage sale: there's always seems to be at least one going on in town during summer. August 2, 2013.

I enjoy seeing the Orient Express ride each summer at the Stearns County Fair. August 2, 2013.

Stearns County Fair midway. August 2, 2013.

Ice cream, cheese, and not a bit of tofu in sight. August 2, 2013.

Beer, Bingo, and - I think - brats: brought to the fair by the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, and Eagles, respectively. August 2, 2013.

I think this is the first time since moving to Sauk Centre that I missed my turn at calling numbers for the Knights of Columbus Bingo games. I arrived just a little too late. Embarrassing, but happily they had enough men there to keep things going. Next year I'll set off earlier.

Sunday, July 28, 2013. I got one photo this week, from the webcam.

One of Sauk Centre's street sweepers, making the rounds. July 25, 2013.

Some midway rides, still folded for transport, arrived this week and are waiting at the Stearns County fairgrounds. The fair starts in a few days. That'll give me some good picture-taking opportunities.

Meanwhile, here's more from Sinclair Lewis Days.

Pink Flamingos: big ones; inflated; two of them. July 20, 2013.

Catching up. I saw quite a few red-and-white caps. This year's parade theme was "Christmas in July." July 20, 2013.

That's the Knights of Columbus float, behind the black truck. July 20, 2013.

I don't remember who these fellows were: but they played a lively rhythm. July 20, 2013.

A flyover: probably not part of the parade. July 20, 2013.

This is one of my favorite floats: the Coborn's grocery cart. July 20, 2013.

I've got a few more photos from the parade, but haven't decided whether to post them later: or go straight to pictures from the Stearns County fair.

Sunday, July 21, 2013. A crew dug a hole in Main Street between South 5th and 6th on Wednesday. My guess is that they were doing some unplanned utility work.

That was quick. Main Street was patched up, with nothing to show for the previous day's work except a sandy patch and traffic cones. July 18, 2013.

Minnesota's four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and road work. Or, in town, street work. July 18, 2013.

The folks at Arvig had some sort of major get-together on Thursday. My guess is that it was part of Sinclair Lewis Days. July 18, 2013.

Sinclair Lewis Days ended yesterday, with the usual parade. There's a street dance on Sinclair Lewis Avenue, downtown, after that: but for me the parade is the grand finale.

Some folks have their spots picked and folding chairs in place by late afternoon. By the time the parade starts, at 7:00 p.m., the route is packed. July 20, 2013.

A somber start to the parade - - - July 20, 2013.

- - - followed by sunshine and clowns. July 20, 2013.

I've got quite a few pictures from the parade, but those will wait until another day.

Sunday, July 14, 2013. Sinclair Lewis Days started today. It's a week-long set of civic events, including a kiddie and pet parade, and Crazy Days downtown: that's when retail stores set up tables on the sidewalk by their storefront, and hope for sunny skies.

Someone called today's weather a "million dollar rain." We had drizzle or light rain most of the day: not good for picnics or outdoor shopping, but great for getting moisture into the soil.

I noticed some changes along Main Street, between the Lake Wobegon Trail bridge and the Interstate.

Hillcrest Motel on South Main. It really is on the crest of a hill. The slope is on the side away from Main. July 12, 2013.

A little north of Hillcrest Motel, on the other side of Main, a new(ish) building has occupants. July 12, 2013.

That building across the street from the Hillcrest Motel, the two-story one with tannish-brownish-gray siding, was under construction for a long time. Last September I'd guessed that it would be an apartment building.

The new building on South Main may be ready by winter: or, not. My guess is that it'll be apartments. or something else. September 8, 2012.

I still think it looks like a multiple-unit housing facility, but it's being used as a professional/office building.

At least two outfits, an insurance office, and "Dentistry for Children," have moved in. July 12, 2013.

Folks coming to town for Sinclair Lewis Days shouldn't have much trouble seeing where the pedestrian crossings are. We've got new paving and paint on some of the major near-downtown streets.

Friday afternoon near downtown Sauk Centre. That's St. Paul's church in the background. July 12, 2011.

I want to check out the parade route for Sinclair Lewis Days. It went by my house for several years: which made getting pictures very easy.

Sunday, July 7, 2013. Fourth of July/Independence Day weekend is almost over. I didn't hear as many fireworks outside this year as before. Maybe I wasn't listening hard enough.

Flags lined  ("The Original") Main Street and Sinclair Lewis Avenue for Independence Day. July 3, 2013.

We didn't see  quite as big a fireworks stand this year. July 3, 2013.

The 'umbrella fountain' - with new(ish) colors. July 3, 2013.

I don't know when the 'umbrella fountain' got new colors. The green and white are nice: but I liked the yellow and blue, too. The last time I can be sure I saw the older colors was two years back, just after that big storm.

What's remarkable is that the gazebo and the 'umbrella fountain' came through in one piece. And that nobody was hurt or killed. July 11, 2011.

Back to the present, and Sauk Centre's newly-painted water tower.

New paint on the water tower. July 3, 2013.

These folks do a nice job with their yard displays. July 7, 2013.

I'll be back with more pictures next week. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, June 30, 2013. The circus came to town on Thursday: the Carson & Barnes Circus. I saw the tent, but not the show. With the kids in their teens to 30s, going to the circus isn't quite the priority it used to be. It was fun, though, seeing the tent set up at the fairgrounds.

Carson & Barnes Circus tent on the county fairgrounds. June 27, 2013.

The circus was here: complete with elephants. June 27, 2013.

Aside from that, it's been a fairly quiet week. Folks are observing this year's Fortnight for Freedom at Our Lady of the Angels church; we've had no major storms; street work continues; and several days were wonderfully sunny, with just enough clouds to give the sky character.

Sunday, June 23, 2013. I've had an eventful week:

Coming back from Alexandria on the Interstate, I got a picture of transmission towers being built.

They're using a helicopter to string lines between those towers: but not when I took this photo. June 17, 2013.

Back in Sauk Centre, we're having a fairly normal summer.

Morning in downtown Sauk Centre. June 17, 2013.

Street work near downtown. June 17, 2013.

A strong line of thunderstorms - or is that a line of strong thunderstorms? - rumbled through Thursday evening. Folks south of us had a worse time than we did. I read that upwards of 130,000 people were without power on Friday.

Here in Sauk Centre, I watched trucks go past the house carrying parts of trees to the dump.

Someone found our birdbath bowl, leaning it against a signpost on the corner. Thanks for recovering and returning that. June 21, 2013.

This could have been worse: the tree fell away from the house. June 21, 2013.

That's a nest. It landed in our front yard. I hope the eggs had already hatched and fledglings left by the time it got, ah, relocated. June 21, 2013.

Friday evening, another line of storms was coming through.

Again, most of the excitement was south of us. 6:21 p.m., June 21, 2013.

I'm hoping for a comparatively quiet, uneventful week: but "hope" and "expect" are two different things.

Sunday, June 16, 2013. Father's Day. It's a little difficult to remember that I don't need to put on a sweater to go outside. I've even seen a patch of blue in the sky two days in a row: June is not like May was, and I don't mind a bit.

Actual, unretouched photo of the sky, taken in Sauk Centre. That's blue sky, something I'm glad to see. June 16, 2013.

All that rain and overcast seems to have suited the grass, though. Lawns are looking lush: even ours.

It's looking like summer. June 16, 2013.

Some lawns are beautifully maintained. Ours has more of a lived-in look. June 16, 2013.

I'll have more next week. Then again, maybe not. Sitting on the front porch and enjoying summer looks pretty good just now.

Sunday, June 9, 2013. I had planned to take photos of the Corpus Christi procession last Sunday, from Our Lady of Angels church to St. Paul's. Instead, I went to North Dakota to help my son-in-law and #2 daughter. Actually, my son did the helping. I just provided transportation. #1 daughter took photos, including these:

Corpus Christi procession. June 2, 2013.

A scheduled stop on the Corpus Christi procession. June 2, 2013.

It's been raining, or overcast, or both, most of this week. I suppose it's better than a drought, but it's not exactly mood-lifting weather.

Lilacs. June 8, 2013.

There seems to be something extra in the air, too: pollen, probably. My eyes are fuzzy, and I'm sincerely looking forward to a change in the season. Which, since this is Minnesota, will almost certainly include mosquitoes.

On a more upbeat note, the grass is very, very green.

Sunday, May 25, 2013. Memorial Day Weekend. Apart from going to church this morning, I plan to stay home this Memorial Day weekend. It's been a rather damp, dreary day today, anyway.

On a more upbeat note, I set out the hummingbird feeder today: in its usual spot near the webcam. Not that you'll usually be able to see much than a darkish blur when they stop by.

One of my daughters said the Sauk Centre water tower's tent looks like a shower curtain. May 19, 2013.

Minnesota's four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and street work. May 24, 2013.

Pi in the sky? May 24, 2013.

A small, but colorful, yard. May 24, 2013.

That's all I have this week. Next week there may be more. Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, May 19, 2013. The grass is green, the day was damp, and the tornado watch fizzled. I'm not at all disappointed about that last item: and hope that 'no news is good news.'

On the other hand, I stayed up Friday night - Saturday morning, actually - to see if the something besides half-dollar-size hail was in a line of storms.

By the time it reached Sauk Centre, the line had split. The first wave came with a satisfactorily house-shaking front edge, both had hail, but nothing out of the ordinary. Again, I wasn't disappointed. A little more about that, in my personal blog:

Looks like Sauk Centre's water tower is getting a new coat of paint. I don't know if they'll replace the most recent artwork, use a simple coat of white paint, or - hey, this would makes us stand out: decorate it with red and white stripes, like a candy stick.

The curtain's up for a while on Sauk Centre's water tower. May 19, 2013.

The water tower, in one of the afternoon's handful of sunny moments. May 19, 2013.

Gas prices. Enough said. May 19, 2013.

On a more serious note: Gas prices were, ah, not particularly low this week. I'm sincerely glad that most of my 'traveling' can be done on the Internet.

Sunday, May 12, 2013. Mother's Day. I still haven't set out the hummingbird feeder: maybe tomorrow, or the day after. Or sometime.

It finally looks and feels like summer: complete with green grass.

The water tower, wrap makes it an even more prominent landmark. May 7, 2013.

Same thing, seen from the north: more or less. May 7, 2013.

Street work, west of Main now. May 10, 2013.

Street work, looking toward the public library and St. Paul's. May 10, 2013.

I hope the street and (sewer? storm drain?) work wasn't put too far behind schedule by this year's 'spring' weather.

Sunday, May 5, 2013. Last Sunday looked like spring, except for the huge piles of snow here and there. These photos, from last week's entry, show what I mean.

Last Sunday: Most of the snow is gone. There's a bit left below this picture, near the north side of the house. April 28, 2013.

Friday: A closer look at the same pile. April 25, 2013.

That was then, this is now. I haven't checked everywhere, but if there's any snow left it won't be around for long. It's been above freezing all night: and the grass is more sincerely green.

Around sunset: and no snow!. May 5, 2013.

Tomorrow I plan to get the hummingbird feeder out.

Sunday, April 28, 2013. I've decided that it's finally spring. We've waited until nearly the end of April, but temperatures finally got up to almost 'room temperature' outside. Close enough for me to wear flip-flops for the first time this year, anyway.

There's been a fairly steady progression this week, some of which I caught on-camera.

Tuesday: a little more snow, but not quite enough to cover the grass. Not everywhere, anyway. April 23, 2013.

Wednesday: the street sweeper comes by again, stirring up dust; and picking up a winter's accumulation of sand. April 24, 2013.

Sunday: Most of the snow is gone. There's a bit left below this picture, near the north side of the house.. April 28, 2013.

Friday: this winter's snow from the Wal Mart parking lot. April 25, 2013.

Friday: A closer look at the same pile. April 25, 2013.

Friday: Coborn's parking lot, pretty much the same thing. April 25, 2013.

Friday: From here, the Wal Mart piles don't look quite so big. April 25, 2013.

Sunday: Even less snow. April 28, 2013.

Saturday was reasonably springlike, too. I spent part of the afternoon in Coborn's, near one of the entrances, helping with an  annual fundraiser where we ask folks to help support Camphill Village, Special Olympics, and some other programs for folks who have intellectual disabilities.

I think I heard thunder a few minutes ago, around 9:30 p.m. Or maybe a truck went by. Either way, it's a welcome change of pace from the winter storm warnings we've had this month.

Sunday, April 21, 2013. I was out of town most of this week. While I was gone, we had another winter storm with the usual trimmings: schools closed, travel not advised, and so forth. When I drove down South Ash Friday evening, someone had set a big Santa decoration in their front yard. By the time I got back with a camera, Saturday morning, the Santa was gone.

I did, however, get a few photos of springtime, Minnesota style.

A lovely spring day: bright sunlight, nearly-clear sky, about a foot of snow on the ground. April 20, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

A snow family: with plenty of snow left over. April 21, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

Brown's Park in south Sauk Centre. April 21, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

A weather forecast says there's a chance of more snow tomorrow, then maybe rain on Thursday. It might get above 60 Fahrenheit on Saturday. Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, April 14, 2013. Another day, another winter storm. It feels like that, anyway. Today's Winter Weather Advisory expires at 1:00 a.m. - by which time we're expected to have one to three inches of snow on top of what fell in Thursday's storm. (Sauk Centre Journal Blog, April 11, 2013)

The view through my webcam this evening. April 14, 2013, 6:45 p.m.

Sauk Centre schools didn't open on Thursday. A little closer to home for my household, Soo Bahk Do classes were canceled Thursday and this evening.

I'm sincerely glad I don't have to travel tonight. Temperatures are right at freezing, so the "light snow" that's falling has a good chance of melting on pavement: then refreezing to a high gloss.

I'm told that folks in some other parts of the country don't talk about weather as much as we do here. That's understandable. I've lived elsewhere: where the weather was boring, by my standards.

Sunday, April 7, 2013. The west side of Main Street ("The Original Main Street," as the signs say), between Sinclair Lewis Avenue and 4th Street South, is either opportunity or bad news. It depends on how you decide to think about two empty storefronts.

I've mentioned Serenity Studios before. They opened in late 2010, where Winter's Drug had been. I had hoped that an art studio could make it here: maybe another time.

Legend Insurance, on the northwest side of Main and 4th Street South, isn't in their old location: which is all I know about them.

I haven't been motivated to do much recently, apart from blowing my nose at intervals, and trying to not make my left wrist and fingers hurt. More about that my Through One Dad's Eye blog:

Sunday, March 31, 2013. Easter. This will be another short entry, partly for reasons I mentioned on my personal blog: "Easter Morning."

Snow and sunshine. March 31, 2013.

The Holiday Super Stop has a new layout inside. The make-your-own-meal section is smaller, and closer to the west wall of the store. It's roomier inside now, and seems brighter: probably because they've taken out that big circular lowered ceiling.

Sunday, March 24, 2013. Palm Sunday. Looks like Easter will look a lot like Christmas this year. On the other hand, maybe not. This is Minnesota, after all.

Springtime in Minnesota. March 21, 2013.

I've been sharing a cold with my family. Doing things together is supposed be good for family bonding. Somehow, though, this doesn't feel much like "quality time."

Sunday, March 17, 2013. St. Patrick's Day. I checked's weather history page for this area. The average high for today is about 36 degrees Fahrenheit, with 18 as the low temperature.

Since this is Minnesota, "average" temperatures are statistics that don't necessarily have anything to do with the weather. Statistics for the last five years show that Sauk Centre will definitely have a high and a low temperature on St. Patrick's Day:

March 17 Low High
2013 -4 F 23 F
2012 53 F 75 F
2011 34 F 43 F
2010 31 F 52 F
2009 -4 F 18 F

A more practical point is that we can expect blizzard conditions from late tonight through Monday evening.

(from National Weather Service, used w/o permission)

It looks like folks living a few counties north of us will have to make do with a mere winter storm.

The Weather Service says that we can look forward to another two to five inches of snow. That, and the 35 mile an hour winds and whiteout conditions they're promising, should make travel - - - interesting.

Previous experience tells me that we'll probably have accidents, when folks learn that what's a 'safe' speed during nice weather is anything but when the horizon disappears:

"...A condition of diffuse light when no shadows are cast, ... No surface irregularities of the snow are visible, but a dark object may be clearly seen. There is no visible horizon...."
("Whiteout (weather)," Wikipedia)

On a happier note, this storm will most likely give kids even more snow to play with.

Snowman: with plenty of snow left over, and more on the way. March 13, 2013.

That's it for me this week. Next week, I might even have something besides the weather to talk about.

Sunday, March 10, 2013. "Sleet, freezing rain, followed by snow ... That's springtime - in Minnesota. :)" I wrote that Thursday, March 8, 2013, on Google+, when we had a winter storm coming. It was a bit of an anticlimax: the weather, not Google+. Even so, I'm glad I didn't have to travel farther than St. Paul's Church, near downtown, on Saturday.

Morning frost. March 7, 2013.

The curved icicle and snowfall Saturday afternoon. March 9, 2013.

That curved icicle (curvicle?) was gone today, but there's a fresh set started in that corner.

St. Paul's Church, Saturday afternoon. March 9, 2013.

The biannual jet lag for folks who don't travel came last night. I'm not a fan of Daylight Saving Time, but there are worse things: like the Black Death; or finding nail clippings on your keyboard that aren't yours.

I hope to get caught up sleep tonight.

Sunday, March 3, 2013. We had enough snow this year to give us a more imposing late-winter melt than usual.

Melting snow and - stuff - on Ash Street. March 3, 2013.

One of the little ice sculptures near the curb on Ash Street. This one's only an inch or two tall. March 3, 2013.

It'll take quite a while for all the snow to disappear. Probably. Unless we have a really hot spring: which could happen. This is Minnesota, after all.

Snow piles by the Coborn's parking lot in Sauk Centre. March 3, 2013.

Curved icicle. My guess is that there was a steady wind while the curved part formed. March 3, 2013.

There's a winter storm on the way, which makes me glad I don't have to go out tomorrow. On the other hand, the six to 10 inches one forecast promised will refresh those wintry outdoor scenes quite nicely. Barring technical difficulties, my Small Town America: Central Minnesota webcam should be online throughout the storm.

Sunday, February 24, 2013. We had snow Friday, two inches in St. Cloud, about an hour down the Interstate. Minndot (Minnesota Department of Transportation) said driving was hazardous between Avon and Sauk Centre, and 124 accidents in the state make that seem plausible. Sadly, one of the crashes was fatal.

This is another week when I didn't get out much. I found that news at the St. Cloud Times' website:

One of the neighbors was out this morning, shoveling snow off his roof. Sounds like this was a good day to get that done. There's freezing fog in the forecast: "which may lead to slick spots," as a somewhat understated hazardous weather outlook put it.

This map shows where we can look forward to interesting driving tomorrow. "Look forward" may not be quite the right way to put that.

National Weather Service map, with the "Hazardous Weather Outlook" area shaded. February 24, 2013.

That possible freezing fog is fairly minor, compared to what'll be going on in northern Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere:

National Weather Service map, with the weather forecast areas shaded. February 24, 2013.

One of the stereotypes of life in small towns, at least in this part of the country, is that we're 'always talking about the weather.' There's some truth to that, although I don't think it's because there's nothing else going on. Towns like Sauk Centre are nowhere near as far removed from agribusiness as larger cities. Around here, weather affects crops and livestock - which directly or indirectly affects the rest of us.

Sunday, February 17, 2013. The hospital/nursing home lifted its restrictions on visitors, so apparently the flu season is over. The announcement said that we're still urged to stay home if we're sick. That seems rather obvious, I think.

We finally got snow: quite a bit. I like the scenery, and hope it stays cold enough to stay frozen until spring.

Snow, from the parking lot of Our Lady of the Angels church.  Scenic as it is, I'm looking forward to spring. February 13, 2013.

Ash Street South in Sauk Centre. We've got roughly a foot of snow, apart from drifts and piles left from shoveling. February 13, 2013.

Saturday morning, after most of the frost had blown off branches. February 16, 2013.

I see that there's a Winter Weather Advisory out for this area, from noon tomorrow to midnight. Blowing snow is the featured performer. Once again, I'm happy to have nowhere I need to go.

Sunday, February 10, 2013. The good news is that the flu seems to be fading in our area. The not-so-good news is the winter storm that came yesterday, and is forecast to run until about 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. We've gotten a bit over a half foot of snow so far:

02/10/2013 0600 PM
St cloud, Stearns County.
Snow m6.5 inch, reported by official NWS obs.

02/10/2013 0244 PM
2 miles N of Sauk Centre, Stearns County.
Snow m7.0 inch, reported by trained spotter.
(from Sauk Centre, MN;

About 9:50 p.m., from my webcam. February 10, 2013.

Right now, I'm told we've got north wind of about 18 miles an hour, and light snow. The snow must be quite light, since it doesn't show up on my webcam. A few folks have been driving in town today, and I've heard a snowmobile or two: but there's not nearly the usual traffic.

According to the radio, dodgeball and figure skating was cancelled today. The Sauk Centre Soo Bahk Do folks didn't have classes, either. My guess is that quite a few people are staying inside if they can.

Sunday, February 3, 2013. It's snowing, and fairly warm: several degrees above zero, Fahrenheit. I'm back in town, after spending most of the week in North Dakota, helping Spiral Light Candle get candles shipped to stores around the country. Actually, I took care of some routine data entry: so others could get their jobs done.

I haven't caught the flu, but seem to have picked up a cold. The nursing home still limits visitors to immediate family who are 12 or over. They're taking no chances, which I think is a good idea.

Between helping at a candle factory and blowing my nose, I haven't had much time to see what's going on in Sauk Centre. I think I'll be back to a more routine schedule next week: but I've thought that before, and been surprised.

Sunday, January 27, 2013. I still haven't caught the flu, and don't mind a bit. I hear that the nursing home is still limiting visitors to immediate family who are 12 or over.

The week's cold weather and bright blue skies turned to overcast and near-freezing temperatures. Also rain. The weather report said "ice pellets," so maybe it was colder outside town. Streets and roads are slick, and I've got driving to do tomorrow. That, I am not looking forward to.

School started two hours late on Thursday. My guess is that cold temperatures and colder wind chill had something to do with it.

I see in the Sauk Centre Herald that a gas leak obliged folks living in Fairway Pines, up on the north side, to leave the building on Saturday. That'd be January 23, I think. It was cold outside, but that's preferable to waiting to see if leaking gas meets an ignition source.

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

Finally, that photo, taken through my webcam, is what most of today looked like. Right now, there isn't much to see outside, apart from a street light and what's illuminated by light from the window. Tomorrow is another day, though: and around 3:00 in the afternoon there's quite a lot of traffic as school lets out.

Sunday, January 20, 2013. The influenza season is still affecting life here in Sauk Centre: restrictions on who can visit folks at the nursing home; no shaking hands in church; and, quite possibly, brisk sales of hand sanitizers. That last is just my guess: but it seems reasonable.

I posted these links before, but figure that it's about time to do so again:

Judging from a graph on the CDC page, America's flu epidemic is on the way out. I can't say that I'm disappointed.

(from Centers for Disease Control, used w/o permission)

Between a certain diffidence about testing my immune system against whatever bugs are wiggling around town, and feeling slightly less than chipper, I haven't gotten out this week, apart from church this morning. Not since Monday, that is. I went down to St. Cloud and had a tooth removed. Aftereffects of that process were a huge anticlimax. Again, I can't say that I'm disappointed:

The point is that I've got just about nothing to say about what I've noticed around Sauk Centre: apart from a cold snap this weekend.

We have a wind chill warning that's good until 9:00 Tuesday morning. (Wind Chill Warning, (Statement as of 7:05 PM CST on January 20, 2013, from

Sunday, January 13, 2013. This year's influenza is now an epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The January 12 post has links to resources from the CDC and National Institutes of Health:

Here in Sauk Centre, the hospital and nursing home still have restrictions on who can visit: quite sensibly, I think.

I haven't caught the flu, although my wife and some of the kids have had some sort of bug. Can't say that I feel bad about being left out.

Precipitation that apparently couldn't decide whether it was freezing rain or sleet put a nice polish on streets a few days ago. Driving in town isn't nearly as exciting, now that the street department has spread their sand-and-salt mix.

Another Christmas season, and the Knights of Columbus Nativity scene is up again. January 8, 2013.

The Ivy Brick Inn on Main Street is still in business. They're the old brick house that's attached to the now-closed Mar'cette Floral.

Ivy Brick Inn - open, definitely. January 8, 2013.

That's all I've got this week. I'm looking forward - if that's the right word - to having a tooth pulled tomorrow morning: but expect to be back with more about Sauk Centre next Sunday.

Sunday, January 6, 2013. Epiphany. I spent quite a bit of the weekend being with family, and wasn't feeling as chipper as I like during the week. Still, as we say here in Minnesota, 'it could be worse.' For many folks it's a great deal worse.

This winter's flu encouraged the nursing home to not allow visitors. That's been going no for weeks now. Happily, we've got telephones: so it's possible to 'visit' without actually visiting.

I heard on the radio that a hospital somewhere in Minnesota had a 'no visitors' policy now, again because of the flu. They were probably talking about the Sleepy Eye Medical Center: or some other place.

I found quite a bit of news about the flu outbreak, including these items:

"Flu death toll rises to 4 in Minnesota"
AP, via KEYC-TV, Mankato (January 6, 2012)

"State health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in Minnesota has risen to four...."

"Flu Season Hitting Hard"
Molly Miles, KEYC-TV (Updagted January 6, 2012)

"There's more evidence today of how dangerous the flu can be. The state's latest flu-related death, a 17-year-old boy who died in a St. Paul Hospital....

"So how do you avoid it? [Dr. Chris] Callahan, says for starters, get a flu shot, even if you don't think you are very susceptible....

"...After that, use fervor to avoid the fever.

"Callahan says, 'Wash your hands, good personal hygiene will go a long way in decreasing the transmission from people to people.'

"And if you aren't feeling well, stay home...."

"Sleepy Eye Medical Center Restricting Visitors for Flu Concerns"
Dan Ruiter, KEYC-TV ()

"The Sleepy Eye Medical Center has taken the rare step of restricting visitors because of the flu outbreak. That's according to the Sleepy Eye Medical Center CEO Kevin Sellheim.

"Sellheim told News 12 that the measure implemented this week is similar to what the Medical Center did back in 2009 during the H1N1 outbreak. That means until further notice, only immediate family is allowed to visit patients in the hospital...."

For more 'official' information about this year's flu:

Apart from that, there's a nice white blanket of snow. Skies are bright blue, except when they're not, and another year has gone by without the Christmas tree in Our Lady of the Angels church falling over. (December 25, 2005)

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