Nothing Wasted

On the long drive from the South Dakota Black Hills
to our house in North Dakota
we had a bucket list discussion.

Where would you like to go?

What are some things you would like to do?
Well, the children's answer's just needed to be recorded
for future comparison:

Bronze Statues of Past Presidents greet visitors in Downtown Rapid City

Big Brother said:

Food Critic
Graphics Designer
And Nothing Outdoors

Little Sister said:

BMX Course Rider
Bucking Pony Rider
Dolphin Rider
Rodeo Trick Rider 
Dog Trainer
But NOT a Race Car Driver - I might DIE!

What?  An Art Gallery in an Alley in Downtown Rapid City?

Do not ask that your children live up to your expectations.
Let your kids be who they are,
and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit.

Time spent with children is never wasted.


Six in Six

 Family Vacation Pictures!
Leave now while you still can!

This trip was somewhat of a re-creation of a long ago trip
with two girls who were about the same age as the grandchildren.

It fulfilled the mama's dreams for her children to see it too.

We picked them up at the Billings, Montana Airport.

We were 

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Our first night
("How many nights are we staying here?")
 was at Gardner, Montana - 

the north entrance to the park

Where we had a close encounter

with some wildlife

as we meandered 

through on our way to

Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

We spent the second night across from the elk preserve.
("How many nights are we staying here?").

 The beauty and grandeur 
of the Grand Tetons took our breath away

where Papa decided his favorite thing was being old enough

for a lifetime pass to any National Park.

We headed back to Yellowstone

for an Old Faithful afternoon

and seeing everything along the way 

to our 
next hotel in West Yellowstone, Montana.
("How many days are we staying at this hotel?")

The next day we drove through the

Gallatin Mountains

to another hotel room in Billings, Montana
where the daddy flew back to Texas.

On the fifth day we stopped at The Little Big Horn
National Monument
and ate Indian fry bread just outside the entrance
at the Trading Post,

on our way to the Black Hills 
where our next night was in Custer, South Dakota
("h o w  m a n y  n i g h t s  a r e  w e  s t a y i n g  h e r e?").

Day six was spent seeing as much

of the Black Hills sights

as we could possibly


in one day.

Then we drug, dragged, drugged
our tired booties to the next hotel
in Deadwood, South Dakota
("How many.....?")

These well traveled children saw
One breathtaking view after another
Two grizzley bears
Three dozen geysers
Four National Parks
Five states (counting Texas and North Dakota)
Six hotel rooms
Six Days

If you haven't seen all this beauty in person,
get there as fast as you can!

You are a true friend if you made it to the end of this post.

Thanks for stopping by 
and thanks for staying!

p.s. there are still 633 more pictures!


Designing on a Dime

It's true - 
If I worked every day like I do when I am getting ready for a trip
or for company coming
I could get a ton of stuff done.

So getting ready for both of those events 
really got me in gear on a project.

There was a room upstairs that was full of building supplies
so I moved them out, patched the cracked plaster,

painted the walls, oiled the wood floors,

and wished for those DIY folks to show up and help me.

Then I rounded up some old furniture and worked it over.

Old Gert's iron bed
(as in "did old Gert leave any of her homemade chokecherry wine
 in the rhut cellar?")
got a new coat of metallic gold spray paint.

The dresser I bought for $15 was too low to use as a dresser,

so I re-purposed it into night tables.

The art deco brass drawer pulls were the best thing about the dresser.

Off-white spray paint covered a lot of ugly on this chest of drawers.

After about 2 weeks, 

 it all came together 

with the help of a few rummage sale and thrift store finds
 I'd been collecting for this project.

It was truly  

Design on a Dime room

 fit for a Princess!


Norwegian Ten Commandments

Amazing to me is the fact that North Dakotan's know their heritage - which is mostly Scandinavian - specifically Norwegian.  They know if they are full Norwegian or Norwegian/German.  Also amazing is that their grandparents came across on the boat to homestead on free and almost free land without knowing a word of English. They suffered unbelievable hardships in their first years here and they stayed.

About all I know about my grandparents is that they went from Oklahoma to West Texas in a wagon.

Last Sunday, at a community church service, under a tent on main street, an area Lutheran pastor read the Norwegian Ten commandments.  Unless you are from North Dakota, you might not understand, so I'll include a few explanatory notes.

1.  Der's only one God, ya know.
     (Yes, you really hear der's and ya know's.)

2.  Don't make that stuffed walleye on yur mantle an idol
     (I've not been offered one bite of walleye.) 

3.  Cussin' ain't nice.
      (Come to think of it - I haven't heard any.)

4.  Go to church even when yur up nort.
      (Any further nort than this is almost Canada.)

5.  Honor yur folks.
     (The old family homestead is also highly honored and kept in the family)

6.  Don't kill.  Catch and release.
     (Maybe that's why I haven't had any walleye.)

7.  There's only one Lena for every Ole.  No cheatin'.
      (There's a little house on Main Street called "Lena & Ole's".)

8.  If it ain't your lutefisk, don't take it.
     (In fact, don't take it if they GIVE it to you! It's fish preserved in lye, which turns to gelatin and is served annually at local events.)

9.  Don't be braggin' 'bout how much snow ya shoveled.
     (Then what would we talk about?)

10. Keep your mind off yur neighbor's hot-dish.
      (As in "I hope I don't miss Glenda's Krumkake")

Speaking of Lutefisk - here's last year's Norsk Hostfest poster.

North Dakota, 
I'm startin' to feel like one of ya, you know!
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