Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jesus is Coming and Boy is He Pissed ... Just in Time for Sky Watch Friday ...

Today's title phrase is from a bumper sticker I saw many years ago. I throw it out there whenever I have the opportunity, which isn't often, but I believe it with all of my heart.

You may have heard about the wind storm which blew across three towns north of here at 5:30 this morning, Webster, Waubay, and South Shore ... up to 110 miles per hour. I took this photo at 7:00 AM and it looks to me like it's the tail end of that Vicious Mama.

I'm not sure what I have here by way of capture. I saturated the color a bit, sharpened it, and softened the grain. I love the way the horizon meets land and how it developed a type of seam between the two. It almost looks like two photos spliced together. Abe Lincoln, my Photographer Idol and A Half, if you are out there checking my post today, does it really matter what I saw, shot, or enhanced ? And do you love it ?

More skies around the world at

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pretty in Pink ...

I love this little pink house ... especially the porch. I am anxious to see it covered in snow this winter. I haven't seen the owner puttering in the yard yet, but the flowers are fun, fresh, and well tended. Again, I am amazed at people in my home town, and their flare for color and individuality. It's very refreshing after having lived the Big City life and self imposed pressures of conformity.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Nieces Pieces ...

Meet Bear Girl and the Jade Bomb ... we are crazy around here with our pet's names like that. They belong to my niece, Cat, making them my Great Nieces. I lub 'em. Jade is Bear's Mama and they are hunters extraordinaire.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where Credit is Due ...

This is one of Ron's two gardens. I call them his because I have done absolutely nothing to contribute to the vegetable farming this summer. I have watered the tomato plants in the other garden, but that's it ... he gets all of the credit for these beautiful potatoes, cucumbers, squash and corn. Boyfriend stays very busy keeping up with his projects. It takes 8 hours to mow ... and we've had plenty of rain. A year and point 5 ago he went to work in a suit and tie to look for oil and gas. I think he was carrying gardening books in his brief case.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Lion in Summer ...

P Diddie got a new hair style last week. It's the lion cut and he is very happy with it. In addition to the tail and mane, his legs are hysterical ... he actually looks like he's wearing pirate boots. Didders wouldn't slow down to pose so I had a hard time capturing the look. I'm sure you can use your imagination. Thank you, Kristen's Custom Cuts, "Where All Cats and Dogs are Welcome".

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giddy Yap ...

People here are into trailers. Perhaps because so many of them have Harley's. I don't have the feeling; however, that this one is home to a Hog. I've decided, or rather, it's been suggested to me, that this gorgeous piece of art on wheels holds gear for a race horse. But why then, is the horse's name not on it ? Was it on the other side ? It was so beautiful from where I stood it never crossed my mind to check and see if they matched. I think I just flunked Investigative Blogging 101. Wouldn't Mr. Ed just have my "a dubble s" for lunch ?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sky Watch Friday CDP Style ...

We live in one of the most unique physiographic regions of Eastern South Dakota. It's called the Coteau des Prairies and it measures 100 miles wide by 200 miles long. It's composed of glacial sediment from numerous glaciations ... Hey, I love that word.

This spot is a well kept secret, I hope. I am going to take my Geologist Guy there for a sunset picnic. It's an optical illusion of sorts ... notice how the clouds are level with the trees. That's because I am standing on a nice big hill, courtesy of the Coteau des Prairies. It's cool to realize today, that what's going on below the ground here is just as amazing as what's going on above it. I get a real kick out of my newly found interest in the Earth Sciences. And having an incredibly intelligent husband doesn't hurt. Thanks, Punkster.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sled of the Day ...

I'm such a girl. I took fifteen photographs of this lovely ride and did not even look at it's emblem. I was so astounded by it's length that I didn't concentrate on an aspect other than that. I'm a bit embarrassed. Boyfriend will be humiliated for me. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess it's a mid 50's Cadillac.

He and
I have a car game called Sled of the Day. We totally made it up lots of years ago. If we see a terribly lonnnnnggggg car it's dubbed the Sled of the Day. That's all ... just a little something that one of us came up with and we've been playing at it since. If I had to estimate just how often we see one, it would be only a few per year. This one was parked in front of a cute house and looked as if it hadn't been anywhere in a while. I drove past it every day for a week and it didn't budge. I wondered what it cost to fill it up and I wondered how many miles it got to the gallon.

And I wondered how many young, energetic hormone driven couples had sex in it. I think the number is waaaay up there. I'd also bet quite a few older, less than energetic, mature couples have had their way with each other in it too. The back seat was the size of a twin bed. This baby screams sex to me ... no wonder I forgot the emblem. Sled of the Day, you rock. Ha ! In more ways than one, I bet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow ...

I'm into relationships. When I do relationships I do them full speed ahead. Pedal to the metal. I like to get there ... where we know each other. If you are human, I will know you just as quickly as you will allow me to. I enjoy asking questions and I would be a great stand in for Barbara Walters. I'll be as interested in your answers as I am in what my own would be. If I didn't care I wouldn't ask them. And I'll answer yours.

And if you are a place, a place that I love, it's pretty much the same. I haunted this Barnes & Noble every day while in Sioux Falls. It's not laid out like my old store on Holcombe/Bellaire Boulevard in Houston, but I could seriously man the Information Desk like nobody's business. And I could manage the employees and do their evaluations ... First I'd make them all wear green shirts. I'd also fire the brat dude that cut me off in the Fiction/Literature isle, without an "Excuse Me". Incidentally, I have zero tolerance for poor manners in employees anywhere. Pure stupid I can handle ... bad manners ? Who are your parents and where do they live ? They need the living shit knocked out of them. And if you are 10 or over, figure it out, then knock the shit out of them yourself for both of us.

This Barnes and Noble provided a tremendous need I had while in Sioux Falls. Escape. I could get Mom settled for her long, deep, drug induced naps and head over there, knowing I'd be entertained as much or as little as I pleased. One day I looked at a ton of books on the Tudor's, as a follow up to watching the Showtime series. Another day I focused on gardening in the region. I learned to let your vegetable plants hit the ground, spread out, and wander. I learned that on the day Ron told me he had jut finished pruning the lower branches off of everything that was doing just that. I didn't tell him. He's a fan of "Dear County Agent" in the Watertown Public Opinion. I'm not even going to mess with that. Another afternoon I curled up in a sunny window and absorbed some tips on improving my photography. And another day I just people watched. On my last day I bought a sketch pad, charcoal and colored pencils. I think there is something in me that I need to assemble. It has to do with my sister who passed away, Wendy, photos of her and some of her things.

We are home now. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that I love love love Barnes and Noble. I thank them for being there. I have been down a mysterious path regarding my relationship with Mom and it isn't all good ... I've got some issues I need to work on and work out. She's the patient from hell, and knows it. I'll miss you, B&N, and when I see you again I'll be in the Middle Child Syndrome isle.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Loving Life Again ...

It's been a very difficult weekend but it appears Mom will be released tomorrow. It will be a week then, since the surgery. I've learned alot about her and even more about myself. Reflections to come, once I can wrap my brain around them. Thank you from my heart's bottom, all of you who reached out to us, offering prayers and thoughts. We love you back ...

Friday, July 11, 2008

First Let's Run With the Bulls, Then We'll Get Our Nails Done ...

That's where I was last night. Yep ... running with the bulls in Pamploma, Spain. The drugs are hardcore here, hence the fantasies. Here are a few more she shared, right along with the RN and anyone else who came in the room:

1. I don't treat my husband very well and I make him do all of the housework.
2. She has no idea who I am but Kathy Someone gets the loveseat that pulls out.
3. The hospital needs to wash their walls.
4. There are flocks of birds going by her window.
5. There are big black bugs on the wall but no roaches.
6. We took her Doctor's twin daughters to a movie yesterday.
7. We went to dinner at a shitty restaurant and she had to buy.

So around 11:00 last night, when I reached the totally frazzled point, I lied and told her that Dr. Larson in Watertown, whom she refers to as our handsome family doctor, called, and he told me to tell her to close her eyes and go to sleep, she said:

"I've been trying to rest for a couple of hours now". I was wondering when you were going to shut up". "And when we get back to my place, don't you worry about where you are going to sleep. You worry about those bulls".

She was out in five, so I gave her a manicure.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Don't Make Me Laugh ...

I had to chuckle when I saw this on Mom's ICU bulletin board. I'd say we are at about an 11. But bless her heart, she is doing very well and is being moved to a room later today. I am in the Valley Inn just across the street and within just a few minutes of a Barnes & Noble, a Bed, Bath and Beyond, a TJ Maxx, a Mall, a big screen Movie, and SUSHI !!! Let me not forget why I am here ... to be a dutiful daughter and keep her smiling. Which is actually pretty easy when, after all, it's for her.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Road Trip ...

Off to Sioux Falls for Mom's surgery ... she's having the aneurysm behind her belly button : ) repaired, as well as some blockage in both legs. Catherine is coming along too. The Doctor says there will be no slowing her down when she's all fixed up. She's pretty spry as it is. Please keep her in your prayers ... she has a big hunting trip coming up !

Sanford Hospital has wireless internet so I'll be posting. Mommi Muser, thank you for the awesome blog award. I will get that that passed on just as soon as I am up and running. I should have us all home by Saturday. xoxo.

Monday, July 7, 2008

This Old House Soon to be All New ...

So ... enough of the houses around town ... this is OUR house. Not much to look at these days but give us another couple of months and Nate will be very impressed with my architectural and interior design skills !

This is the first sliding glass door to go in and faces east for the sunrise. There is decking to the left that will be extended along the remaining front. Another sliding glass door was put in Saturday on the west side for sunset. It will lead to a groovy screened porch. Adding theses doors seemed to invite our beautiful evergreens right into our living room ... which is huge. We took out the office and guest bedroom walls, as well as the guest bath and opened it all up for living space ... working, sleeping, and flushing are not living : ) And we are remodeling our master suite and kitchen.

The basement is finished and we are moving in this week. My new bathroom is a wonderful haven. I used a Celtic pattern of tile trim around my bath tub and shower, and Celtic Cross pulls on my cabinets. Wendy was the Celtic Queen so that's a fun reminder for me of her ... Baby Swister. I also have a fabulous huge walk in closet that will be a walk in scrap book when I get all of my photos, momentos, etc. up. Forget about the clothes, shoes and bags ... it's shorts, tee shirts and flip flops around here !

Yesterday I organized and cleaned the laundry room. That was pretty exciting ... the last of the sawdust and texture over sheet rock dust. Just as I finished Ron said, "Just what you needed ... another 1,700 square feet to keep clean" ! My heart sank at the sudden realization ... so I turned around and looked back and took it all in. It's so perfect, and we really did a great job bringing it to it's full potential. I knew this was the right place for us when we bought it ... and I definitely know that now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Clematis Gratis ...

A first for me, even with my vast gardening experience ! This is a clematis and it's going crazy out there in my flower bed. I have it wrapped up around a trellis that looks like a stained glass window. I bought the trellis in Kentucky, near Loretta Lynn's home, about 10 years or so ago.

These blooms are about 6 inches across ... it came up and got going so quickly I could measure it's progress on a daily basis. I love the maroon mixed with the traditional blue ... it also comes in a very light blue as well as a white. The second photo is what the blossoms look like in the winter and early spring ... they are actually it's seeds. Thank you, Wickepedia !

I read a gardening article recently about a woman who restored a farm. She had her clematis growing all around a huge, very tall corn crib. You don't know what a corn crib is ? Yikes ... I'll have to add that to my list. All in a days work !

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Knee High ...

by the fifth of July, and doing very well. We have had lots of rain so the corn is just magnificent. It's a great feeling to see the summer fields come to life. This land is owned by Arlene Lukenon and she rents it out. Her boys have their own farms to keep up with. I used to ride the country school bus with Arlene's children. Her oldest, Debbie, and I are still great friends.

There is no irrigation system in this field so it's totally dependent on Mother Nature ... and her boss ... which would be God.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sky Watch Friday High Five on the 4th ...

I shot this photo fom the shores of Stoney Point on Lake Kampeska outside of Watertown, where my Mom and Dad used to roller skate at the Spider Web. Now ... how cool is that ??? Happy 4th of July, 2008 ... life is good! Our menu consists of Queso Salsa w/ Red White and Blue Chips, Sloppy Joe's, Mom's Mac Salad, Two Bean Salad, Nola's Deviled Eggs, Auntie Lois's Hershey's Chocolate Brownies, Apple Pie, Cherry Pie and Blue Bunny Home Made Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream, and Pistachio Bundt Cake!!! Ask me for this recipe ... Dinner at 7, Fireworks at 10!!! Thank you, George Washington ...

Baby Sister ...

Today is the two year anniversary of Wendy's death. These anniversaries are tough reminders of the details. Like our first reactions; the phone call I received from my brother, Randy, the message on my cell phone from her daughter, Catherine, my first conversation with my Mother, and the calls I had to make myself.

Wendy died suddenly, at about 3:00 in the morning. She and Catherine lived next door to each other. Cat didn't get a response from Wendy that morning as she was leaving for work, either on her phone or at her door. She had to let herself in the widow of the bedroom where she was lying across her bed. The Medical Examiner said it was all quite instant, and that there was no indication of her suffering. An aneurysm ...

Wendy rented and watched two movies that night, The Pink Panther and Syriana. She loved Steve Martin and she had a major love crush on George Clooney. So I like to think of her spending her last evening with those two. We talked last around 6:00. We usually talked 4 or 5 times every day and for some reason we didn't speak before bed. That day she went to see my Great Aunt Ruth and she also went to my Grandparent's graves, where we ended up burying her ashes.

I photographed Wendy all of her life. This photo is one of my favorites because her personality comes through so clearly. We were celebrating my 50th at the Palm in Houston and I had asked her to take the place right across from me as I knew she would want lobster and I had to get the photo.

That birthday coincided with Thanksgiving that year so we had a two week visit that included Mom. That was her last trip to Houston, our last Thanksgiving together, and my last birthday with her. That afternoon of my birthday we went to the Princess Diana exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts with a group of friends. She and I left together and drove through Jack in the Box for her favorite, Monster Tacos, on the way to MGP2 to have birthday cake.

That was not the last time Wendy and I saw each other. My Aunt Lauretta died the following April so I came to Watertown for a week. Wendy's fibromialgia was really kicking in terribly and she was not in a good place. She also had a very serious urinary tract infection so we spent a night at the emergency room and then I stayed with her. The last time I saw her was when Catherine, Mom and Wendy dropped me off at the airport in Sioux Falls. Saying good bye was always hard. I was so far away for so many years.

After I send this to press, I am going to go out to my garden to pick an arrangement for Wendy's grave. I have many of her favorite flowers planted. I am going to go pick Mom up to come along. I will go out there again later today with Catherine. The 4th of July is a huge celebration for our family. Mom and I will go get our groceries then and spend the day preparing our traditional foods ... Pistachio Bundt cake included : )

I really love Wendy's headstone. The verse is from a refrigerator magnet that Wendy gave to Cat a very long time ago. How appropriate and comforting these words are when we visit. Wendy was an expert on Irish mythology and our family's roots. Catherine designed the Celtic cross and we put her initials inside of it.

A safe, happy and blessed 4th of July weekend to all of us ... many things to mourn, but more to celebrate !

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bessie ...

Girlfriend is moving to North Dakota. She made a pit stop here at Prairie Stop. Diddy Diddy Doo Wop Bop ... She's spending the 4th of July at her Grandmother's, along the way.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Picking Rocks ...

Here on the prairie, a family farm activity is picking rocks. Basically, you walk the field with your siblings and friends, and remove the rocks for the purpose of easier and better farming. It's very common to see piles of rocks in the fields here. They are all sizes and all rounded, thanks to the glaciers that were here 15,000 years ago.

A clever individual thought these stones would make a great front porch. They were right ... this house rocks !