How do Danes get through the long, dark winter? Endless loop of “A Prairie Home Companion”? No. Hygge!

The highfalutin & simple pleasures
There & Here Division (or: Gaining everything in translation)

Cee Cee of Mahtomedi reports: “My daughter posted a picture on Instagram of the candles she lit in the snow on her deck. She ended the post with the hashtag ‘#hygge.’

“That was a new word for me, so of course I Googled it. Hygge, pronounced ‘hue-gay,’ is defined as ‘the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures … friends, family, graciousness.’ Further, it is to … ‘create well-being, connection and warmth…a feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other.’ It is ‘an old Danish concept that helps Danes get through the long, dark winter.’

“I spent a few hours with my daughter at her home yesterday. We had tea, fresh pumpkin bread and cookies straight out of the oven, and good conversation. It was definitely a day of hygge.

“I think this world needs more hygge.”

The simple pleasures
And: Our theater of seasons

The Gram With a Thousand Rules reports: “Jack Frost put a smile on my face when I looked out the window this morning.”


See world
Photography Division

Scott from Afton: “My wife got this spectacular picture of a cardinal taking flight on Sunday.”


Our theater of seasons
Including: Keeping your ears open

Al B of Hartland: “The wind had gotten its second wind and blew until it could blow no more. Then the aging day became peaceful and hushed.

“A crow flew over as darkness neared. In the quiet of the day, I could hear each wingbeat as it sliced through the air.”

Or: Department of Great Questions

SHRN in Woodbury: “It perplexes me! In this land of potlucks, buffets and smorgasbords, why are flatware and napkins placed at the beginning of the line? They do it on some riverboats and cruise ships, too. When I question others in line, the men say it’s no problem; they put them in their pockets. Women use their purses or pockets or just carry them in their hand.

“I’m just wondering.”

There, but for the slowpokeitude of …

Organizationally Challenged of Highland Park: “Subject: The tortoise wins — and so does the hare!

“At 5 p.m. today, I was puttering along River Road, doing 20 to 25 mph. It was already getting pretty dark, and there are deer around, so caution is always recommended —plus the speed limit is 25.

“A Jeep came zooming up behind me, then tailgated me. I just kept taking it easy. The driver got closer and closer. . . and then I saw them up ahead: not one but two dark unmarked squad cars, hiding on a little road that goes down to where Ford used to store the new Rangers.

“I smiled as I went my merry way, with no fear in my heart.

“The Jeep behind me slowed way down and backed off. He or she owes me a debt of gratitude for making it home without a ticket (presumably).

“On my return trip, I saw flashing red and blue lights, and a woman sitting in her car who was not so lucky as to have been tailgating a slowpoke. Her unhappy face was lit by her dome light as she awaited her speeding ticket.”

Not exactly what he had in mind?

Wednesday’s Bulletin Board included a note from Bicycle Babe of the Midway: “At my dermatologist’s office, there is a large-screen TV mounted on the wall in the waiting room.

“While waiting for my appointment, I watched the ever-changing display of information about skin conditions, as well as brief biographies of the doctors who practice at the clinic. Each bio featured a quotation from that particular doctor about why they chose dermatology as their specialty.

“One doctor’s quote was: ‘Dermatology is a diverse discipline and I enjoy seeing patients from all age groups and with a wide variety of diseases.’ I suspect that what he said isn’t exactly what he meant, but I found myself relieved that he isn’t my doctor.”

BULLETIN BOARD, WEDNESDAY, WAS UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT: “How could he have said it better?” we asked.

An email presently arrived: “Subject: Or, in other words.

“Raindancer of North Oaks, who used to commit public relations, would have saved the doc’s image by writing it: ‘. . . I enjoy providing patients of all age groups with relief from skin problems.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Well, OK, that’s simpler … but it eliminates what we see as the central point: the wide variety of diseases the doctor sees and treats.

So how about: “I enjoy providing patients of all age groups with relief from a wide variety of skin problems.”

And then another email arrived — once again written in the third person: “Sugar Babe‘s suggestion for the rewording of the dermatologist’s bio: ‘Because dermatology is a diverse discipline, I have patients from all age groups and with a wide variety of diseases. I enjoy being of help to them.'”

And from Walt of Wayzata: “Re: Dermatologist entry.

“The more diseases a doctor sees and treats, the better. I like a doctor with wide experience.”

The Workshop Chronicles (responsorial)
Or: Please release me!

Kathy S. of St Paul: “Subject: Note to IGHGrampa.


“Your project to make a bucket, as shown in the posting on December 13, immediately gave me an earworm: Now all I hear is the song ‘There’s a Hole in the Bucket,’ which was big way back when.”

The vision thing
Abbreviations Division

Papawilde: “I just cannot understand why an airport should have to advertise. If I want to fly to a particular city, I go to their airport. Yet TV seems filled with ads for the Los Angeles airport. Evening doesn’t go by without at least a couple commercials with people telling me ‘I love my LAX.'”

Built to last (responsorial)

Cookie in the Midway: “After the Second World War, when new appliances were available again, my dad bought a wonderful Thor Combination clothes washer/dishwasher for my mom.

[Bulletin Board notes: Here is a Thor advertisement we found at]


“I can remember seeing the tubs being exchanged and having the dishes washed in it.

“During the summer of 1949, my dad had the whole kitchen of our 1903 home remodeled. Our family went on a month-long vacation, and when we returned, the kitchen had all new Youngstown steel cabinets, new sink, stove and flooring, and the Thor was gone.

“There are a variety of YouTube posts of the Thor washer being admired by washing-machine geeks.

“The family vacation (two adults, three teens and a 7-year-old, in a 1949 Plymouth sedan for four weeks) is fodder for another post.”

Amanda from Chicago:The story about the old refrigerator reminded me of the microwave in my parents’ house that is older than I am. (I am only 25, so that’s not that impressive, but it still seems like a long life for a microwave.)

“My dad had the microwave in his house for a few years before he even met my mom, which was in the early ’80s. He brought it with him when they bought a house together.

“It is an old Amana microwave. It has a dial for the time, a start button, a stop button, and a dial for defrost or full power — that is it; no fancy popcorn buttons or anything.

“That 35ish-year-old microwave is still going strong, and my parents still use it to this day — though it is less powerful than modern microwaves, so it takes a little longer to heat up leftovers or boil a cup of water.

“I think my dad definitely got his money’s worth out of that appliance.”

South Side Gal: “I have one long-lasting appliance. It’s a hair dryer! I received it as a gift in 1977 or ’78. It has 1,250 watts of power and is still going strong. It is the only hair dryer I have ever owned.

“Of course, nowadays it has an easy life. My hair is short, and I rarely use the hair dryer to dry my hair. When the weather is warmer, I just towel-dry my hair, comb it into place and go.

“Because of the bitter-cold temperatures, I have put my little hair dryer back in use.”

BULLETIN BOARD MUSES: But not while sleeping, we trust.

Mix it up!
And: Know thyself!

Dragonslayer of Oakdale: “Multi-tasking in retirement seems to be a non-required achievement, to say nothing about my ability to accomplish simultaneous tasks. It seems enough to use several of my senses at the same time.”

The highfalutin … displeasures?

The Doctors’ Mom in Mendota Heights: “Not that I don’t love (almost) everything on Bulletin Board, but as I was reading it today, I wished it had a ‘like’ function à la Facebook. There are some posts that really make you smile or warm your heart. Loved the story and photo of the elderly chickadee! Sad to think their usual lifespan is so short.”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: There is, in fact, a “Like” button, at the bottom of every Bulletin Board — just not for individual items.

Of course, you could “Like” Bulletin Board as a whole at, if that would please you. It would please us.

And tell Mark Zuckerberg to read it, while you’re at it! And a billion Chinese eager to learn English, for that matter!

Chacun à son goût
Or: Our times

Grandma Pat, “formerly of rural Roberts, Wisconsin”: “I love the Sunday paper — once I have removed and recycled the annoying ads, that is. Now I enjoy it even more, because Bulletin Board is resurrected there. [Bulletin Board says: Don’t you have to be dead before you can be resurrected? Bulletin Board was never dead. Didn’t even take a day off before moving to!]

“At my age, marching along through my 80s, I find that I am just not that into the new technology. I know, I know, it has great power, and lots of advantages. As for me, though, I need to touch real paper. I love the ‘crinkly’ sound of pages turning, and I like to see more than a few inches of text at a time.

“I am working on accessing information in the new way. At the same time, I will stubbornly hold on to my preferences, thank you very much.”

The Permanent Granddaughterly Record (responsorial)

Nana of Many in Woodbury: “Subject: ‘There you are, Baby God’ (responsorial).

“When my niece and nephew (now in their mid-30s) were preschoolers, my sister bought them a very inexpensive Nativity set to use as a sort of dollhouse and keep them away from the ‘nice’ Nativity set. My nephew loved playing with the Nativity set and spoke for all the figures.

“One night, when my sister was getting the kids ready for bed, she heard her son saying: ‘Baby Jesus, you get into that manger and stay there — and don’t be wetting on that nice clean hay I just put in there!'”

Band Name of the Day: The Wingbeats

Websites of the Day: “Running Mike’s 1946 Thor Automagic in wash mode” and “Washing machine collectors awash with enthusiasm on laundry day.”

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