Friday, March 26, 2010

KKO to retire

KKO will indeed retire at the end of the school year. She wants the world to know. She also wants her own headline. Der ya go den.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

An Island of Diversity


Twenty-five years ago Pelican Rapids was known for its excellent music program. The band students that showed up at competitions were some of the most skilled players in the area. I vowed that if I ever could raise my kids some place, I would give that town first consideration.

Fast forward to 2004, and I was back in the area looking for a place to live. Pelican's housing looked inexpensive. I asked the real estate agent, and he referred me to some parents who had children in another school.

"Oh, I don't know if I would send my kids there," they warned me. "They have had a whole bunch of ethnic groups move in, and I've heard there are gangs in that school."

We settled on a different town, but I missed the diversity I had grown to love in the cities in which I used to live.

Today I heard the truth from people who live and work in Pelican Rapids.

"I absolutely love this district," said Stephanie, a new co-worker of mine. "My kids' lives have been so enriched with all of the different cultures. Our house after school is filled with a rainbow of colors."

"I love Pelican, too!" said another woman across from me. She proceeded to talk about how she felt more at home in that town than in the bigger city near her. It was the friendliness of the people that attracted her to the community.

Pelican has become an island of sorts. In a state of oodles of homogeneous villages and towns, Pelican has embraced diversity. A Mexican supermarket caters to some local residents. Other racial groups mix on the street. Ethnic cooking classes have broken out; and a Mexican restaurant has begun to win over local palates.

This is remarkable in an area of the country where some whites will still refer to anyone of a different race as, "You people..." This is the land where people will say that a town has really gone downhill because there are people of other colors moving in. This is the area of the country where seeing a black person on the street will spark someone to say, "Gee, what a shame." For some reason the residents of this community has leaped past the bigotry to find peace and harmony.

There's no doubt that bad moments exist. Recently a white student roughed up another student of color, took his backpack into the bathroom and urinated on it. The mother who told me this wrinkled her nose in disgust. "If there is bullying, it's from the white kids to the others," she said. Perhaps it is true, and perhaps not. Bad things happen between same colored students all the time.

There will be the usual growing pains when cultures collide. But as long as good events are springing up, such as the International Friendship Festival planned in June, the area has hope. No doubt those students who emerge from that school will be much better prepared after graduation for the real world beyond their little town.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eat local

We are changing up our CSA program a bit this year. We continue to have a "regular" CSA share ($400) where you receive a delivery of a mix of produce every week, but we've also added a couple other options:

* The "every-other-week share" ($225). The name kind of says it. You get a delivery every other week and we're starting this especially for couples who get overwhelmed by a regular share. Chet and Paulette Nettestad of Pelican Rapids were our every-other-week trial run last year, and, from talking with them, it seemed to be a good amount for two people and worked out well.
* The "a la carte share" (increments of $100). This is a customized delivery every other week, and, like an a la carte menu, you choose what you want from our online order system ( earlier in the week and we deliver on Fridays. Think about it as having a tab with us. You put in $100, $200, $300 at the beginning of the season and we keep track of what you order and let you know your balance monthly. On our site we also carry Organic Valley dairy products, meats, and eggs you can order too. This is a "use it or loose it" option. You will have from now until December to use your tab and whatever is leftover will be donated to Lutheran World Relief, because it's a little harder for people around the world to feed themselves than for us here...I like their approach to sustainable rural development and I'm a Lutheran.
* The "chicken share" ($60). You receive 6 chickens (5-6 lbs) in three deliveries from late summer to early fall. The chickens will be whole, frozen, and plastic wrapped just like a whole chicken in the store.

So, if you are interested in becoming a member of Lida Farm, please get in contact with us. Our e-mail is and our phone is 218-342-2619. Call with won't be bugging us. Our brochure about our CSA program and the order form are linked below. But please make sure we are not filled up for the season and you're in our delivery area before sending in the order form.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009


Friday, September 18, 2009

One week in September

Swine flu confirmed on Wednesday.
Zebra mussels on Thursday.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Headin' home

For Jordy

And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day

by Michael Blumenthal

Things are not as they seem: the innuendo of everything makes
itself felt and trembles towards meanings we never intuited
or dreamed. Take, for example, how the warbler, perched on a

mere branch, can kidnap the day from its tediums and send us
heavenwards, or how, held up by nothing we really see, our
spirits soar and then, in a mysterious series of twists and turns,

come to a safe landing in a field, encircled by greenery. Nothing
I can say to you here can possibly convince you that a man
as unreliable as I have been can smuggle in truths between tercets

and quatrains on scraps of paper, but the world as we know
is full of surprises, and the likelihood that here, in the shape
of this very bird, redemption awaits us should not be dismissed

so easily. Each year, days swivel and diminish along their inscrutable
axes, then lengthen again until we are bathed in light we were not
prepared for.


His and hers

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Seriously Mrs. Sundberg...are you for real?

The View From Mrs. Sundberg's Window
In this feature, regular listener Mrs. Sundberg shares her thoughts about Saturday's show.

September 8, 2009

Come on in here and tell me

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I think I could listen to "Unchained Melody" all day and all night for a month of Saturdays. My gosh, what a lovely song. I feel like being quiet every time I hear it and I couldn't tell you why. Just do. Something about the whole notion of someone waiting for someone. They always do come back, but sometimes it takes a good long while and when they do they smell like a pool hall or they've dropped out of school and decided to grow apple trees instead or they have grass stains all the heck over their brand new jeans. There's always a story to hear.

The kids went off to school today, and I watched them go. I waved from the front porch like I always do, and they turned and waved back and blew a kiss or two. I watched them climb on up into the big yellow bus and watched the door close tight and then they were gone. I sat awhile on the porch and felt what it feels like to be alone. That took about fifteen minutes, and then I got going on all the things I pushed to the side over the summer. I wrote some thank you notes, cleaned under the stove and refrigerator, wiped down the pantry, sorted through the books in the library (which consists of a few shelves in the living room) and put about half of 'em in a bag for the community library. I swept the sidewalk, and hosed down the trampoline just for the heck of it.

When I thought to look at the clock a few hours later it was nearly noon, and the kids would return in only three hours. Imagine that. Not even half a day had passed and I'd found myself wondering when they'd be coming home. It's like that, you know, when you love someone. They go away and you busy yourself with dusting and such, and you might even get a notion to paint the hallway or start writing that book you've envisioned yourself publishing one day. But whatever you come up with, part of you is listening for footsteps, for the rush of the door opening, for a voice calling out your name. "You'll never guess what happened today," the voice calls out. No, I won't, my Dear One, you whisper, and then you call back, Why don't you come on in here and tell me.

Monday, September 7, 2009

In My Next Life

I will own a sailboat sleek
as fingers of wind
and ply the green islands
of the gulf of Maine.
In my next life I will pilot a plane,
and enjoy the light artillery
of the air as I fly to our island
and set down with aplomb
on its grass runway.
I'll be a whiz at math, master five or six
of the world's languages, write poems
strong as Frost and Milosz.
In my next life I won't wonder why
I lie awake from four till daybreak.
I'll be amiable, mostly, but large
and formidable.

I'll insist you be present
in my next life—and the one after that.

from Waiting for the Alchemist by Mark Perlberg

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

How did we get here?

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friendly flamingos and bags of books

We are selling the flamingos donated by Wes Schierman at a silent auction next week at the library and on line. People can find them all photographed and listed at

End of the Season Used Book Sale for Friends of the Library

Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 9 – noon at the Book Truck in Trinity Church parking lot
We provide the bags; buyer fills them!
$5/bag – adult books $3/bag – children’s books

Sunday, August 23, 2009

....or a tree frog?

Growing up in a small town,
we didn't notice
the background figures of our lives,
gray men, gnarled women,
dropping from us silently
like straightpins to a dressmaker's floor.
The old did not die
but simply vanished
like discs of snow on our tongues.
We knew nothing then of nothingness
or pain or loss—
our days filled with open fields,
turtles and cows.

One day we noticed
Death has a musty breath,
that some we loved
died dreadfully,
that dying
sometimes takes time.
Now, standing in a supermarket line
or easing out of a parking lot,
we realize
we've become the hazy backgrounds
of younger lives.
How long has it been,
we ask no one in particular,
since we've seen a turtle
or a cow?

"Straightpins" by Jo McDougall, from Satisfied with Havoc.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Concours des courgettes

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lida Farm stand now open

How to get there? How much longer for the sweet corn?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer is a hummin' right along


"The ads and lobbyists seek new mandates, tax breaks and subsidies. Wind promoters want to quiet opponents long enough to get energy and climate legislation enacted — before Americans realize how it would drive the price of energy still higher, kill jobs, curtail living standards and liberties, and raise the cost of everything we eat, drive, heat, cool, grow, make and do."

Paul Driessen in Investors Business Daily

"If Obama can't do this, nobody can. If Obama can't do this, America's poor are screwed. Sure, America's got talent, but it's also got some of the most unpleasant, uncompassionate, unerringly ruthless people on the face of this planet. Boy will that boy need some luck."

Christina Patterson in The Independent

Thanks Harry

In memory of Harry

On Sept. 22, 1917, Patch was wounded in an explosion that killed three of his friends, said the London Daily Telegraph. “By the time he was fully fit again, the Armistice had been declared and he only wanted to forget.” A plumber in civilian life, Patch began talking about his experiences after his 100th birthday, at the request of historians. Although proud of his service, he hated everything the war stood for. “At the end, the peace was settled round a table, so why the hell couldn’t they do that at the start without losing millions of men?”

"I am the only one that got through
The others died where ever they fell
It was an ambush
They came up from all sides
Give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
I've seen devils coming up from the ground
I've seen hell upon this earth
The next will be chemical but they will never learn."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Libro de las Preguntas

Dónde está el niño que yo fui,

Sigue adentro de mí o se fue?

Friday, July 31, 2009

To learning much inclined

"The Blind Men and the Elephant" by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was 6 men from Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
May satisfy his mind.
The 1st approach'd the elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! But the elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The 2nd, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, - "Ho, what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp
To me 'tis mighty clear.
This wonder of an elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The 3rd approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The 4th reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this might beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he,
"'Tis clear enough the elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The 5th, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The 6th no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, siezing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each of his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and long,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an elephant
Not one of them has seen!