Archive - Oct 2006

October 14th


One of the benefits of winter is that the sun rises late enough for me to catch it. This morning the weather is cold and clear, and I am up drinking coffee next to my sunlamp, taking little breaks to go downstairs for more coffee and check out the sunrise. All is quiet but for the ticking of the clocks.

I am speaking in Bemidji later in the morning to a group of Lutheran women. To be specific, I am speaking to "Cluster 4" for the Cluster 4 fall gathering.


Readers Irene and Ruth immediately came to the rescue: Stri (pronounced "stree" with a rolled "r") is a Norwegian word which roughly means "strife."

My grandmother, who was Swedish, used the word to describe chaotic situations. I mixed the meaning of the word up with the English "strewn," as in, "after the tornado, our whole house was strewn about. It was such a stri."

Of course, a tornado would cause strife, so it would also cause "stri," or be a stri. But due to how my grandmother used the word, I will always think it means "mess" more than "strife."

October 13th


Yesterday, I played piano at the Halstad Living Center. When I was going around before hand greeting the residents, many of them wanted to talk gardening.

One of the ladies overheard the conversation. I don't know how with it she was, but when I got to her and asked how she was doing, she said, "Gardening is just a big stree!"

She pronounced it the Norwegian way, "Stdee."

I hadn't heard that word in a long time, I believe since my grandmother passed away. I recall that she would use the word to mean a situation was chaos. It was a "stree."

October 11th


Today, the weather turned very cold, hovering around freezing for most of the day. There was a dusting of snow this morning, and more dustings throughout the day as various squalls passed over. Between the squalls came brief periods of sunshine.

Torture of US citizen by his own government

Please read this account of the treatment given a US citizen suspected of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack, but not given a trial for three years to prove or disprove the charge.

October 10th

Napping weather

The weather turned cloudy and cold today. Lots of rain this evening. It all made me feel groggy. After a busy couple of weeks, I did nothing. It felt good.

And I took a long nap. This was no ordinary nap. It was one of those where I melted into the bed and didn't move. When I awoke, I didn't know what time of what day it was. Morning or night? No idea.

A person needs a day like that every now and then.

October 9th


One of my students is having difficulty. She is a sweet girl, and she tries to stay awake, and I tease her a little during class to try to keep her awake, but to no avail.

So, we met after class today. I asked her what the problem was. She was frank: "It is so boring!" She tries to do the reading, but when you have no interest, it is difficult to get through the first paragraph of the very heavy history text.

October 8th


When I pulled up to the drive-thru at Starbuck's in Grand Forks today, I had a Virgil Fox organ album blaring on my pickup's stereo.

The perky little blonde girl at the window smiled and said, "Great organ music!"

Wow! Somebody who likes organ music!

Turns out, she is studying opera, so has an appreciation for good music.

So, the world isn't going to pot after all.

The national comedy

Unfortunately, the national news is all about this Foley thing. We are fighting a war which probably isn't being run very well, our military people are dying every day, and the only thing which captures the imagination of the voters enough to get them upset is a very creepy congressman.

Who do you blame? The news organizations for filling their airwaves up with irrelevant but compelling trash? The audiences who are so interested in trash?


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