Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My how time flies

I can't believe it has been nearly a year since I posted. The 211 recently returned home from their stint in Afghanistan, everyone of them, thank you God. The year has passed so quickly I some days wonder where did it go. So much has happened in the past year. My husband Kelly's father died, after another bout of cancer. Daily round trips to Sioux Falls and back home with Harriet to see Ed while he was in the hospital. Then my mother-in-law Harriet was diagnosed with her third round of cancer. I have spent the past year taking care of these two wonderful people and feel privileged to have done so. We celebrated Harriet's 85th birthday in June and she died exactly one month later on July 22. We were able to keep her at home as she wished and with the assistance of Hospice cared for her. There were days I didn't know if we would be able to truly see it through but am thankful we did. We miss them terribly. We are now in the process of clearing out their house and selling their household goods. What a job. Once that is done I think I will feel some relief and sense of closure.

My youngest daughter graduated from high school in May and has now gone off to college...bittersweet for sure. I'm so proud of her. So I am in the empty nest stage of life, while son Josh has moved back home but he is old enough to fend for himself so other than an occasional meal I don't have responsibilities anymore!! So I am beginning to think about how to spend the upcoming years with the kids all grown. The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prayer Request for the 211th Engineer Company

Guardsmen with the 211th Engineer Company sent out a request to their family and friends last week for some spiritual assistance as they began their work in Afghanistan.

Bev Warns of Madison said a soldier with the S.D. National Guard unit had phoned home to ask for persons to pray for them as the guardsmen started their active-duty missions in the southwest Asian country. Warns, the prayer chain chairwoman for St. Peter Lutheran Church in Wentworth, said the call arrived at about 8 p.m. on Nov. 11.

According to Warns, the phone call from Afghanistan requested prayers for the safety, protection and success of the 211th personnel as the National Guard unit started its military mission.

After she received the request, Warns contacted many area churches to spread the word about the request.

The 211th Engineer Company from Madison and DeSmet was ordered earlier this year to complete a 12-month deployment. While in Afghanistan, the guardsmen will conduct operations to eliminate threats to U.S. and allied military forces from mines and other explosive devices. The more than 110 South Dakota guardsmen will perform route clearance operations by detecting roadside bombs. The soldiers will also provide area security that will protect friendly units from enemy attack and deter hostile forces from taking over parts of the country.

The soldiers with the 211th were activated for duty on Sept. 19 and left the next day for five weeks of premobilization training at Ft. McCoy, Wis. After their training was completed, the guardsmen left on Oct. 26 for deployment in Afghanistan.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Native American Day

In many places today people are enjoying a holiday from work and school, and typically it is known as Columbus Day. Here in South Dakota we celebrate Native American Day, a day set aside by our former Governor George Mickelson in his declaration of a decade of reconcillation. That decade has come and gone and I'm not sure how much reconcillation has been achieved but I am proud to have a day that celebrates my heritage. My Father was half Indian and my mother is white, which makes me a quarter Indian. I grew up on the Indian reservations in South Dakota and my family is from the Oglala Lakota Tribe. I grew up with a respect and love for a beautiful culture and have made an effort to learn about the traditions, beliefs and values of Indian people. It is with pride that I remember my ancestors on this day and think about the values and beliefs that shape my life. A belief that all things are sacred, whether it be the earth, the skies, the animals, or humans. That there is a circle of life, the circle is important in Indian culture, in early days their homes were made of a circle, the camps were made in a circle, just as the birds made their homes in a circle. The cycle of life is a circle and in Indian culture the values of the circle include belonging, mastery, independence and generosity.

Children were raised with a sense of belonging, whether it was within their immediate family or the extended family called a tiospaye, which played an important role in their lives. Children were sacred and cared for by the entire tribe, they had a sense of belonging. They were gently instructed and trained in skills to acquire mastery for themselves in areas of their lives; independence was encouraged and lovingly supported and finally in all things generosity. Indian culture does not value acquiring material possessions, relationships were far more important and they only took what they needed. Sharing food, your home, or belongings was and is common. Growing up I remember anyone who ever came to our home was provided a meal and I also remember my father literally giving the coat off his back to those less fortunate.

My life has changed dramatically from what I knew in childhood, I have moved away from the reservation and acquired an education as my father encouraged. For all intents and purposes I have been successful in my life and enjoy the fruits of my labor. But today, I remember those lessons learned and honor my family and my tiospaye (extended family). Mitakuye Oyasin - This Lakota phrase means "we are all related." Kinship with all creatures above, below, and in the water is a living principle that gives the Lakota a feeling of safety in the world, as well as a feeling of reverence for all lives, a sense of purpose for all things in the scheme of existence with equal importance to all, and above all an abiding love.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Bear, who is a beautiful black lab has been in our lives for the past 8 years. He has brought such joy and laughter to our home. We have loved him and he truly has been one of the best dogs I have ever had. Our other lab, Cordie, loved to lead Bear astray...Bear never left the yard or ran off when he was out of the back yard with us, but when or if he and Cordie got out together they ran, and ran, and ran. Sometimes they were gone for hours, we worried and we would be out looking scouring the neighborhoods for signs of them. They loved to follow the creek to the north end of town. Unfortunately Bear was injured on those wild outings, on more than one occasion. He tried hard to keep up with Cordie but she was a very fast runner and it was just too much for him. His back hip has bothered him for some time now and we took him to the vet last week, they said his hip is shattered and the ligaments and tendens shredded, we have spent the last 4-5 days trying to come to grips with the fact that it was time to put him down. The last two days for him have been difficult, he has cried and had trouble getting up the stairs, I hated to see him suffering so today my daughter, husband and I took him to the vet and had him put to sleep. It was very difficult to do but I am also glad he is no longer in pain.

I prayed that his good friend Abby, my daughters dog who died awhile back, was there to welcome him to heaven and that they are once again running, wrestling and playing together, pain free and enjoying the wonderful blessings of heaven. We will miss him terribly and it has been a very sad day for us.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Garden Harvest

The fruits of my labor!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Count Down

I can't believe the summer has gone by so registration is next week and we are counting down the days until Zac will be finished at basic training in Texas. We are going to drive down for his graduation, Jordan and I plus Zac's Dad...we leave on August 11th. We are looking forward to seeing him and having him back for awhile. He will have to leave again for his training and will be gone for a longer period of time so we will cherish the time we have with him.

I have been bugging Jordan all summer to get her bedroom cleaned and today finally decided to jump in or it is never going to get done....why do teenagers have to be so messy? We cleaned for 3 hours, 2 LARGE garbage bags later and 3 bags of clothes for Goodwill she made me quit for the day...she said and I quote "ok stop, you are making me mad and we just need to stop for today." I did find the floor and was horrified at how dirty it is. Never again will it get so bad!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter

I was able to take in the newest Harry Potter movie this week, saw it on Wednesday and again last is so good. I just love the series and it has been a love my dear darling daughter and I share, both the reading and the movies! Of course the movies are never as good as the books...but reading the book first and then seeing the movie allows you to fill in all the pieces and gives you a deeper understanding of the storyline. Anyway J.K. Rowling rocks!!