Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Corn Souffle Sky Watch Friday ...

Beat 3 eggs with a whisk, add 2 cans cream style corn, 1 can whole kernel corn, 2 cups herbed stuffing mix, 1 cup milk, 3/4 stick of melted butter, 1 cup grated cheddar, 1 jar of chopped pimeto, 2 tablespoons minced onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper. Mix together and let sit for 15 minutes. Pour into casserole dish and sprinkle another cup of cheddar on top. Bake in a 325 degree for one hour. Cool and cover with Saran to keep it moist.

More gorgeous skies at

Monday, November 24, 2008

1928, War, and Tom Jones ...

This beautiful architectural touch is mounted over the back door of our Court House. This is a spot that I love ... maybe because there is a box at the back door called the "Flag Drop" where you can put your old flags. How cool is that ? The piece is really very intricately carved and you should enlarge it for it's details. I always look up at it when I go up or down 3rd Avenue, SE.

I'm always on the lookout for things to blog about so there isn't much that I miss. But I did try to photograph 3 deer in front of the Ethanol Plant yesterday evening. It was the perfect shot ... the sky was awesome, the cold temps have an effect on the steam and how it billows out, and I was going to call the post "Alien vs. Predator", my friend Julie's favorite movie. My card was full ... I was pissed.

A few facts about the Year 1928: Hoover was President and Coolidge was elected, the cost of a stamp was .02, the Yankees beat the Cardinals 4 to 0 in the World Series, Reigh Count won the Kentucky Derby, Alexander Fleming invented penecillin, Walt Disney released Steamboat Willie and Galloping Gaucho, their first cartoons with sound, the Academy Awards were handed out for the first time with Wings winning Best Picture, the first TV, a Daven, was sold for $75, and a television picture was beamed for the first time from England to the US. Oh, and the first urine pregnancy test was developed.

And my favorite is this one: 65 Nations signed the Kellog Briand Pact in Paris to outlaw war. We've come a along way, 1928 Baby ... you had the right idea ... and I can't help but think of Edwin Starr's song "WAR ... Who Is It Good For ? ... even though Tom Jones is on GMA singing "It's Not Unusual" right now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad Sepia Sky Watch Friday ...

Sometimes I see my sister Wendy's spirit sitting in the clouds. It's the honest, to God, truth ... and this is what it looked like the night before last.

I now have all my momentos of her in one place, and again, I am putting together a display of photos and objects. My niece, Catherine, gave back many of the things I gave her Mother during her life. And I have everything she ever gave me. I also have many of her clothes and all of her music and books. I have two of her cats. And I have Catherine.

When Catherine first gave me these things it was an absolute trip to come across so many things, from so many places, and over so many years and occasions. Going so far back in time and reviewing a history of my giving, from places she would never see ... a pair of silver Guatemalan Quetzal earrings, a strand of beads from the French West Indies, a bracelet from Hawaii. It was amazing and rewarding both, to see the care she gave in keeping these things safe and special.

So as it turns out ... when I was giving these gifts to Wendy, I was actually giving these gifts to myself, not knowing she would die at 46 and I would have almost all of them back.
I would trade every one of these things, except Catherine and the cats, for one more day with her. It's obviously still very painful. And it doesn't seem to get better. It just gets different ... and farther and father away from the way it used to be.

In some ways it was much easier when the pain was fresh ... and shocking.
I think I liked myself more when she was here. I should work on that. But I like having my identity all tangled up in hers.

More Sky Watching around the world at

First Communion Boys, Sister Bianca And The Infamous Laura Blais ...

This is a photo of an Immaculate Conception First Communion Class. These handsome boys graduated from High School as the Class of 1971. My friend, Jeff Thronson, who is in the back row with only part of his face showing, sent this to me. It's a wonderful subject, but a bad line up. Jeff is trying hard to show up in the photo, bless his little Catholic heart : ) My brother, Randy, is four heads to his left ... the one standing the tallest, holding his candle the straightest, and his little hands are clutching that Bible like ... well ... I just don't know. Really, I do, but I'm not going to say it.

There are so many funny things going on in this photo. But I have to tell you about Laura Blais, on the left. Don't let the smile fool you. She's dead and gone now so I'm going to put it out there. Laura Blais was our Abusive Gym Teacher, and I feared her more than I feared Sister Nancy. And that was big time fear.

As you can see in the photo, Laura Blais was not a physically fit person. She was a torture chamber on two feet and she had all of the equipment at her disposal, necessary to scare the shit out of any child. And the things she expected of us ... Good Lord!

We went to the gym, several classes at once, boys and girls. There was a trampoline, a balance beam, uneven bars, and one of those leather buck things. And this was not about fun. Laura Blais never really explained or had demonstrations on technique or how not to hurt yourself. She merely lined us up, blew the whistle she wore around her neck, and said "Go".

And if you didn't run, grab the high bar and mount those unevens, swing your legs up on the low bar, extend your right leg, bounce it three times to gain the momentum to do a backward summersault over the high bar, and dismount, standing, you got your ear torn off of your head in front of 50 of your closest friends. Thank you, Mrs. Blais. I now have a Black Belt in Therapy.

Left to right, front row to back: ___ Remily, Ken Mernaugh, Russell Lampy, Lee Fortin, Steve Reifenberger, Tim Brist, Not Sure, Tim (?) Fox, Rodney Lindner, Chuck Schucard, Maurice Woolven, Jim Majusiak, Bob Mooney, Gary Cordell, Laura Blais, Melvin Reichling, Mike Sears, Randy Brandriet, Rodney Mack, John Larson, Ross Kranz, Jeff Thronson, Steve Sears, Dan Leddy, Mike O'Hara, Ron Brandriet (my cousin), Joe Wagner, Terry Murphy, Roger Schwanke, John Richter, and Sister Bianca.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mary Kay Cadillac ...

How much Mary Kay would one have to sell to be able to drive this Pink Cadillac ??? Word up ... the owner of this car is a Man. I have not seen him driving it, but that's the story I got when I asked around. He was parked at the Extension Building on Election Day.

The original 9 skin care products were from a tanner's recipe. HE had much smoother and clearer skin than HIS age would indicate. Mary Kay Ash does not test her products on animals and PETA celebrated another victory when she stopped giving fur coats as incentive awards to her sales force.

I'll take two Jet Black Mascara's and one Revitalizing Spray ... and I wonder ... is Mary Kay really a Man ?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lake Kampeska And AM Radio ...

I took this photo of Lake Kampeska from Jackson Park last week ... but it was Lover's Lane back then, to us. A popular spot for kissing boys in their parent's cars, AM radio played a major role in our exploration of the sexual senses. Us and Our as in ... well ... my crowd.

It was KOMA - Oklahoma City until 11 PM, then KAAY - Little Rock for the Underground Music program called Beaker Street ... as in ... Why Don't We Do It In The Road and Samba Pa Ti. I have many facts, legends and stories that revolve around Lake Kampeska. For now; however, I'm going to leave it at this.

Everyone knows the Beatles did Why Don't We Do It In The Road. But tell me ... Who did Samba Pa Ti ? And don't you just love it ? It's a favorite of mine and you will find it on U Tube if you need to.

Friday, November 14, 2008

True Blue For Sky Watch Friday ...

Some snow, a fence, more snow, a shelter belt, a farm, some clouds and a beautiful blue sky. For you ... on Sky Watch Friday. Weekend Love from The Prairie. xoxo.

To see more skies around the world ...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jet Trails Over Lake Pelican, Ice, and Fire ...

Lake Pelican is about a quarter of a mile from our place. You can't see it through the trees when they are leafed out, but this time of year there are several good views from our front deck. We live between Lakes Pelican and Kampeska. They are both in the process of icing over. The ice fishing houses will start popping up next month. I'm not big on the idea of driving in a vehicle going over a supposedly frozen lake. Mom, Wendy and I used to do it, to take lunch to my Dad and Randy. But today I can Just Say No.

We are snow/sleet/iced in today. Our schools are all closed so I feel like I'm getting a free day to do anything I please. But I am going to press on with this huge project of unpacking boxes that came with us from Houston. Knowing we were remodeling, but needing to live in the house for a year certainly complicated the settling process. We lived on the main floor while the lower level was being built out, then lived there while the main floor was remodeled.

I committed Ron and I to hosting The Pelican Township Christmas Bash this year. I did so with motives ... 1) to be good neighbors and reciprocate the love that goes on around here, and 2) to light the necessary fire under my ass that will finally make this awesome house an awesome home.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Puffie Chairs and Shoveling Snow ...

It's 12 degrees ... and while it feels great to have been totally prepared for snow, I just realized that I am the Snow Shoveler this year. Shit !!! Ron may be doing fantastic, but after all, he's still recovering from a broken arm and ribs, in addition to his brain injury, so he won't be allowed out there. I think he even has a prescription from both his Orthopedic Doctor and his Neurosurgeon, that says, "No Shoveling Snow This Winter".

It's been a very long time since I shoveled snow. I don't even have memories of shoveling snow. It's highly likely that my brother, Randy, was in charge of keeping the paths to the house, front and back, clear and safe. We would not give Randy that responsibility now
: )

I've already learned my first DO NOT ... do not wait to shovel. Shovel right away, Goof Ball. Because when it warms up during the day, the snow melts, which then turns to ice. There is no such thing as Ice Shoveling. It's called Snow Shoveling for a reason. Love from The Prairie ... and building arms like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. xoxo.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Big Sioux River Snowfall ...

One of my favorite photo days now that I live here, is when I can capture the Big Sioux River, Lake Pelican, and Lake Kampeska, with snow, before they freeze. I just realized this yesterday.

The Sioux River flows all the way through town. This is where it goes under 10th Street at the foot of Saint Anne's Hill, where she watches over the tobogganers and the frisbee golfers.

The River rises just north of Watertown and flows past Sioux Falls, where it drops and spills 20 feet over huge boulders. It's beautiful. I guess The Native Americans knew Sioux Falls would sound better than Sioux Spill. But now that I'm thinking about it, I'm kind of liking the Sioux Drop thing.

The Big Sioux then flows another 420 miles into Iowa where it meets The Missouri River. But this is my favorite fun fact: Between Sioux Drop, SD and Sioux City, Iowa, it forms the boundary between Iowa and South Dakota for about 80 miles ... and while the corn is growing on it's east side, there are cattle being raised to the west.

Thank you ... and love from The Prairie. xoxo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sky Watcheth Friday ...

For the past few weeks I have seen a US Military Jet or two rising with the sun. And the pattern has been: Beautiful Sunrise ? ... Fire That Baby Up ! So I chilly footed it out to the road on Monday morning, when I saw from my Living Room windows, what they saw. I was wearing my Ethnic Loungewear from Africa. (See Monday, November 20, 7 Facts About Me). AlI I can see is an African Umbrella Thorn Tree ... the clouds are obviously the foliage.

As for the jets, that's just our tax dollars at work. Works for me ! I'd much rather have them f ing around and having some fun as opposed to bombing some Country. This does not mean that I am opposed to bombing and/or seriously punishing any individual who despise America, everything about us, and wants to do us harm.

And just so you can go around saying, "I learned something today ... " ... The African Umbrella Thorn Trees are almost in bloom over there right now, it's summer, and it's a white puffy clump of dense snow ball thingies. The branches make awesome spears, and the trunk makes a great wagon wheel.

Speaking of snow ball thingies ... that first blizzard last night was incredible and it's so beautiful this morning, but it's like 35 degrees with 5" on the ground. Photos to follow ... Check out Weather Pixie Chicklette. You know you are in a South Dakota morning when you check on your cattle ... before you check on your kids. More gorgeous skies around the world at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ruby Thursday ...

She voted for Obama, she's proud of it, and I was able to catch her last night while she had The Vision Thing going on.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Me And My President Behind The Wheel ...

Have I mentioned that I love the Dashboard of our Jet Black Subaru Outback Sedan ? Ron calls it the Scalded Dog ... don't you just love that ? I've been fortunate enough to have been able to pick out quite a few brand new cars in my life ... not because I'm a spoiled brat, but because I have worked for that luxury. Point being ... I have never bought a new car without test driving it at night ... strictly because I'm into Dash Boards.

This morning I'm thinking about other things too. I'm also into President's. Thomas Jefferson is my favorite. He sent Lewis and Clark on an awesome hike and he had a great pony tail. And you know I'm thinking about Barak Obama behind the wheel. He's got to drive it at night now. In addition to his plan, I'll also be measuring the length of time it will take for his hair to turn gray ... another thing I am into : )

I watched the Mya Angelou interview first thing this morning. I love her dearly. She got my attention in that calming way she is so good at doing. She softened me somewhat, about things I don't need to say ... other than I love my Dash Board. And I want to love my President.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't Ask Me Who I Voted For ... Ask Me About My Grand Babies ...

It's Election Day ... Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Ask me about my Grand Babies, Liliya and Ian. This photo was taken while they were little Houston Hurricane Ike refugees, living in San Antonio with relatives.

I opted for this photo instead of the other in their Halloween costumes, The Little Mermaid and The Pirate of the Caribbean. This shot is just so peaceful ... which is what I am searching for. This election has been exhausting and I'm just a fortunate American with the right to vote. I can't imagine what McCain and Obama must feel like. Maybe tomorrow they will take a nap. I'm hoping so ... they both need a nice, long one.

God Bless America ... Love from The Prairie. xoxo.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Día de los Muertos ...

I'm sure many of you know that for Catholics, today and tomorrow are Holy Days ... All Saint's Day and All Souls Day. These two days are celebrated in many countries around the world, but in Mexico they are incredibly important, and they are known as Day of the Dead. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died.

Not many people here on The Prairie are aware of this. No ... there will not be hordes of people out at Mount Hope and Saint Mary's today, scrubbing and polishing headstones, and then gathering back there tonight with a bazillion candles, marigolds to attract the spirits, blankets and pillows to spend the night, and the favorite meal of their loved ones. Now there isn't much I wouldn't do for my sister, Wendy, but whipping up a dutch oven of Chicken Alfredo just isn't on my list of things to do today. Sorry Chicklette ... maybe next year. I love you dearly and miss you madly.

Catrina, shown above, is the most famous Mexican figure commemorating The Day of the Dead. I have been to many parts of Mexico, my favorite; however, is San Miguel de Allende, and she is everywhere ... just like Freida Kahlo and her eyebrows : )

Ron and I have quite a collection of Catrinas and other Day of the Dead Christmas ornaments. And over the years we have put together an impressive collection of art from our travels. But if I were asked to choose a favorite piece in our house, it would have to be my Dia de los Muertos shadow box of The Beatles. I bought it in San Miguel while on a wonderful trip with my best traveling girl friend, Kelly, the map reading chicklette from Heaven. The Fab Four are skeletons, dressed in those suits and skinny ties, on a stage, with their instruments and microphones, and little Beatle wigs painted on their skulls. It's not even that big, and since they are behind glass it doesn't photograph well. But you can trust me on this ... it's the sweetest piece of art we own.