Friday, April 27, 2012

Sky Watch Friday ...

When you visit me on The Prairie I'll take your photograph by the Pheasant located on Highway 212 in Tinkertown, South Dakota.  We'll be on our way to The Double R in Henry for a fantastic dinner.  

We are in Spearfish for a long weekend with the Wentzell's.  It's rainy and we may see a snowflake or two million.  Not to worry ... we are hunkered down for the maiden voyage of their double slide out Timberline Riverside with a Maid.  There are five cell phones in the house, 5 computers, one Kindle Fire, an Eden Pure, a great stereo system and a cherry cheesecake.  The only thing missing is HDTV.  I think we'll live. 

Check out the rough life of another Sky Watch Friday friend who thought of you with every click this week.  PS ... I'm the Maid.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Forever Yours, Dick ...

My Uncle Dick, a retired United States Air Force Colonel, was buried here at Mount Hope Cemetery on Monday.  When I read in his Obituary that the Honor Guard from Elsworth Air Force Base would participate in his graveside service I knew it was important to us as a Family.  What I didn't know was just how important my Uncle Dick was to the USA.

My cousins, Kathy and Doug, decided on circle seating which included Dick's coffin and family friend, Pastor Steve.  Kathy opened with a story of her Father skipping out on his farm chores to sit out on The Prairie, and how he decided to be a Bus Driver after a Greyhound went by.  We went on to sing, share stories, laugh, and cry.  My Mother said that one could not ask Dick the time of day without hearing how his watch was made.  I spoke of our shared love of Photography and his sense of class in everything he did, including the measurement of the trunks of all of our cars and the suitcases that had to fit inside after road trips to Dayton, Ohio had come to an end.  Ron mentioned the model planes displayed in his office that he had made of each of the 54 planes he had flown during World War II.

Kathy read a letter written to my Grandmother by Dick's Commanding Major General when it appeared Dick would complete rigid training and win his wings.  He wrote that it took an "inherent something" to fly for the Air Force, and that in addition to precision, "daring and coolness" would be a major factor in the success of the entire war effort.  Dick went on to fly dangerous missions over Europe.  He flew the President of South Korea to President Kennedy's funeral, and took President Nixon somewhere he couldn't talk about.  When we grilled him as both children and adults on the Air Force's UFO files he would smile, say he didn't know a thing, then cast a grin that said he did.

When we arrived at Mount Hope the Honor Guard was positioned for their detail, a precision march and pall bearing sequence, to the back of the herse where upon opening the door, the Corporal Lead Guard said "He is ours now".  After bringing him to the open gravesite, the six men performed the flag fold and a three volley rifle salute.  A lone bugler played the perfect Taps and the flag was then presented to Kathy by the Lead Guard who said, "On behalf of the President of The United States and a grateful nation I wish to present you with this flag in appreciation for your Father's service".  I've heard this statement many times but it seemed I was hearing it for the first time.

War is out there.  Too many reasons prompt power hungry nations and greedy people to fight.  As today's War takes on a smoke screen posture of dying down, other issues gain momentum that will likely lead to destruction and death.  I know I would feel much safer if my Uncle Dick was still in the air.  May he rest in peace, Forever Ours.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Growing Sunflowers ...

For some fantastic reason I am a World's reference for growing Sunflowers. Many people do internet searches on the topic and land here. I take this job seriously. Here we go again ...

Last Thursday evening I spread three packets of seeds out on this "Luxurious Dinner Napkin" ~ an inside joke between my Husband and I. One brand of these handy naps actually says this on the package and for the past 30 years when we're out of them, whoever puts them on the grocery list writes it out exactly like that : )

These particular Sunflower Seeds are the Mammoth Gray type, also referred to as Hellanthus Annus. A few fun facts: We're talking about the genus of plants comprising 52 species in the Asterascae family, all of which are native to North America. Some species, Helianthus Annuus, the Sunflower, and Helianthus Tuberosus, the Jerusalem artichoke, are cultivated in Europe and other parts of the world as food crops and ornamental plants. It's good to know these things. Thank you, Wickipedia.

After spreading them out and covering them up within the napkin I gently sprayed them with pretty warm water and put them on an indoor shelf that gets direct sunlight from a southern exposure for about 4 hours per day. I sprayed them again both Friday and last night. They will be ready to plant in another few days or so ... you will know when it's time. I'm going to plant mine in tall black pots outside, except for a few, which will go in a pot on my Sun Porch. I usually plant 5 seedlings in my pots which are 12" by 12" square. Once planted in a very sunny spot you will care for them like most outdoor potted plants in Summer ... water before they totally dry out with Miracle Bloom sprinkled lightly around the top of the soil, give them a nice light shower occasionally, talk to them, tell them you love them. They will grow from 7 to 9 feet in pots and 9 to 12 feet in the ground.

Please let me know if I can answer specific questions. I love my Job. And watch for more photographs and updates. Love from The Prairie ...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rejoice, It's Sky Watch Friday ...

It's a rare day on The Prairie when the wind doesn't blow in some fashion. On calm days I look for water. Our amazing clouds reflect so beautifully.

So when I parked off of Highway 212 this week and walked back up towards what is now a small lake due to heavy flooding last Spring, I was mesmerized by these two trees. All I can see is two Ladies dancing ... their arms are also their legs and they even have little heads. I love them. They are rejoicing, totally.

Sky Watch Friday ... from my world to yours.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sunny Side Sky Watch Friday ...

Big Windmill and little Moon ... I came away from what remained of that Homestead with a question. If I were still in Houston what would I be passionate about photographing ? Here on The Prairie I tend to worry a bit that I will run out of Sunrises and Sunsets, run out of Flowers and Fields, and eventually run out of everything that's cool to look at.

From the highway it appears to be just a weather beaten House and a rickety Windmill. It wasn't safe to walk into, yet it seemed to be wide open. There was no glass in the old window frames so I was able to lean into the pastel colored walls and feel the love.

Her stove was still standing in the soft yellow kitchen. The living room was a vibrant turquoise blue. The bedroom was a soft pink. She painted the rooms while he was in the field.
I began to see it through her eyes, beyond it's present state, which was also quite beautiful.
Wherever she is now, I love her.

I'm not going to worry ever again that I won't continue to find beauty in everything I see. Now go find another story at

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sky Watch Friday ...

Grace Luthern Church's neon cross is lit from behind by the moon this Holy Week. It's a simple but very beautiful landmark just a few blocks from the house I grew up in. I looked up then and I look up now ... nothing has really changed.

Yes, it's about the Bunny and it's also about the chocolate and the eggs, but for Christians the weekend marks the anniversary of Christ dying on the cross and rising again. And Sky Watch Friday will keep you looking up.