Friday, December 2, 2011


Driving the 3 short miles from town to home leads me to these thoughts. 
The landscape is so brown and dreary.
We have no snow, and as you look around you see bare brown trees with no leaves.
The fields and farm yards are full of brown bales and stacks of brown bales, some waiting their turn to be hauled to the farm feed yard for winter forage.
The brown and crispy grass in the pastures has long been eaten down and dried up.
The brown ditch grasses that grew tall this summer are waving bravely rustling in the wind. 
The amber brown corn stalks, now stripped of their crop of ears, stand at various heights in their fields.
The remaining corn leaves flutter across the brown gravel road.  
Another corn field has its stalks turned under by machinery back into the ground, so black dirt is the main attraction there.
Farm yards like ours are brown as well, the grass and creeping jenny in hibernation.  
Even the cedar and pine trees lose most of their color, and look a dark greenish brown. 
No relief or color anywhere you look as you drive along.
I will welcome snow to give some relief to the sights of the brown countryside in South Dakota.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veterans Day

Our small town honored the Veterans with a program at the School.  It was inspiring.  All the students were in attendance, watched the Color Guard post the colors, honoring all the Veterans in attendance.  The very small children came down front, and led the crowd in the Pledge to the Flag.  The middle school band played 2 patriotic pieces, the High School band played the Star Spangled Banner, the drum and the cymbals giving us goosebumps on this day. The HS choir sang a beautiful song, and the oral interp kids read 3 poems written by one of them about her brother, who is serving overseas.   A young man gave an account of how he went into the service, got an education working on airplanes, and also graduated from an Auto Mechanics schooling.  He came back to our town, and is working here, along with his wife.  The grade school students were paying attention, esp the boys, as they asked questions about the airplanes, what he did, did he like it, and so on.  They asked impressive questions. The emcee filled in with several informational tidbits.  It ended with retiring of the colors, and I think the students and the crowd learned much about respecting those men, and the flag they carried.
Thank you to the Veterans and those serving and giving their lives for USA!

4 Generation Quilt

Referring to the quilt we made a couple of weeks ago.  This picture shows Kim, with 96 yr old Grandpa Jim, after she clipped all the seams and put through the washer and dryer to blossom and bloom.  It looks great.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bucket List

Do you have a Bucket List?  My daughter has one.  On her list was a wish to make a quilt with her Mother, her Grandmother and her Daughter.  This week she was able to cross that wish off her list.  We four all got together at 96 year old Grandma Belle's house.  On Thursday night, after BLT's, we dove into a big sack of flannel, and cut 232--8-inch squares and 116 flannel squares, 6 inches. The next AM, after breakfast and coffee,  a beef roast and trimmings in the oven for dinner, we fired up sewing machines and got started sewing.  We made several visits to 96 year old Grandpa Jim at the Manor, and he wanted to know why we were slacking off!  That was in the AM, in the PM we also took a break and had coffee and cookies with him.  We laid it out on the floor, sometimes not getting all the squares back where we started, but by 6PM, we sewed the last seam. Amy has not done much sewing, and spent the day at the machine, as well as helping with the design decisions. I became the machine technician, the "layer outer", did some sewing.  Kim sewed, did the final sewing all around the outside, with Grandma Belle did the ironing, helped with putting squares together, and made the final seam.  Kim has to clip all the raw edges yet, and run it through a washer so it will end being a "raggy" quilt.  A good day of memories!  This picture is before the fringing has been done.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Troy, Kimmie and Alex left on Sunday after a weekend of hunting. To leave from here means a rough ride for 1 1/2 mile where the road is torn up to make a new road for Liberty Grain Co.

They were gone about 5  minutes, when Roger saw 2 knives on the end of the counter.  We had been kidding about them all weekend as both Troy and Roger have one, but Troy's was here in a drawer and he thought Roger was claiming it.   Troy had taken his birds uncleaned, so he would have needed or could use the knife when he got home.  Roger called him, Troy said,  “No, I’m not coming back for the knife.”

Roger and I looked around again, and more minutes go by, and I notice on the kitchen table, Troy’s contacts and eye solution.  I call Troy.  “Troy, you forgot your contacts.”  Troy says, “Oh, oh, well I don’t wear them much during the week, I am not coming back.”

So now, Roger and I look around again, more minutes go by.  Suddenly we look down, and there lies Ruger, Troy's hunting dog, on his rug by the living room, totally relaxed and stretched out after his hard weekend of hunting.   We say together,  “Oh my word, they forgot Ruger!”

Ruger looks at us with his big brown eyes, but does not move.  Roger and I cannot stop laughing.

We call Troy. “ Now what did we forget!?” Troy says.  I say, “Well,  Ruger is laying here looking at us!  I hear Kimmie say,  “We forgot Ruger??!!”   Troy says, “We will come back.”  So back they come, through the construction.   They must have been 15-20 miles away by that time. 

Troy picks up his knife, his contacts, and we rouse Ruger for the ride home.  Ruger stretches, gives Troy a look as if to say,  "I worked hard all weekend and you go off and forget me!"

As they drove down the road, Roger and I were still laughing at the sight of Ruger watching us walk around the house looking for “forgotten” items.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pheasant Hunting in SD

Family Day at our farm.  Hunters and Troy's dog Ruger had a great time. The weather was ideal, and they got their limit!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Fun with pumpkins!  We picked our Big Max pumpkins, that got no care except for the rains we had this season.  We had 3 that were 50#, others that ran close to that size.  We put some on the front step, Alex and his Dad took some to their house. I painted faces on them, we brought in a big round bale and some cornstalks, and arranged a display near our well traveled road.
Next year, hmmm.  I heard suggestions to use some Miracle Grow, and to scratch a name on the fruit when it was small and watch it grow.  Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Welcome to the rain we have had the past two days!  A slow drizzle, now amounting to .90 inches, and it is soaking into the ground.  The fields have been so dry as they combined soybeans, sometimes the dust was blinding on the nearby roads.  All the corn is still in the field, except for what has been cut for silage, but the now dried up husks are protecting the bright yellow kernels, yet to be combined and sold.  A fire at the edge of our small town on the day before this rain was a scare for everyone. Several farmers took tractors and dics to the site, and helped the firemen by blackening the dirt beyond the dry cattail slough, and cutting into the ground where the burn was, put a stop to the danger to the nearby houses.  The fire was apparently started by a spark from a vehicle passing by on the nearby interstate. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apples and Tomatoes

Yesterday I took care of the ripe tomatoes.  I still have them trickling in, a few at a time.  Some vines, for some reason have not frosted yet, but they only have small ones left on them.   Just cooked up a big pan, sieved them, and stuck them in the freezer.  Will taste good this winter, as I use tomatoes in a lot of dishes, mmm, chili, rice or macaroni dishes, stews, soups.  I also had a 5 gallon pail of apples.  They are a variety of Red Delicious, and wind blew every last one of them off the tree.  (It was a small crop this year!)  The deer stop and munch every day on their trek thru the yard, too.  I put the good ones in the frig, and the rest I ran thru the peeler, doused them with a little sugar and cinnamon mixture and put them in the dehydrator.  Really made the house smell good.  They are ready this AM to be jarred up.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Beet Pickles

Harvest from the garden--a row of ruby red beets.  They were all sizes, in a raised bed, so the watering on them was inconsistent.  I cooked, peeled, and then cut them up.  I made a brine of 2C vinegar, 2C water, 2C sugar, added a couple of cinnamon sticks, a dozen cloves, 2 small onions and 2 t. allspice, cooked for 10 minutes or so and jarred them up.  I did not process them, so put in 3 tight lidded quart jars in the refrigerator.  Beets are not my favorite vegetable, altho we have eaten several meals of buttered beets.  However, they are good for your body, so even with the sugar on them, they should make a good addition to a winter meal.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dry Fork Station

Dry Fork Station, currently under construction 7 miles north of Gillette, WY, is a coal-based electric generation power plant owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Wyoming Muncipal Power Agency. This picture was taken on June 14th, 2011 after a thunderstorm by Dennis Thorfinnson, plant engineer.