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Flooding of the Mighty MO!

Mr. Wonderful and I recently took a short trip into Kansas.  If you live anywhere near South Dakota or the Missouri River for that matter, you are well aware that many, many people’s homes, farms and businesses have been nearly washed away by the flooding of the Mighty MO this summer.

The flooding began as the Corps of Engineers increased the flow at each of the dams along the Missouri River.  For more information and a vast collection of flooding pictures along the Missouri River in South Dakota, check out the South Dakota Disaster Recovery site.

Mr. Wonderful and I drove south on I-29 through Sioux City, IA.  My camera was buried in the back seat at this time so I have no images to share with you of the flooding in the Sioux City area.  We were soon detoured through numerous small towns in Iowa.  The river had claimed parts of I-29 forcing the Department of Transportation to close the Interstate.  When we emerged from the detour at Rock Port, MO, this is the view that greeted us.

This is the closed entrance ramp onto I-29 North at Rock Port, MO.  As we headed south, I captured these images through my window.

Water for as far as you could see.  At this point, the Missouri River is more than four miles from the Interstate.

Those are telephone poles along a road on the way to someone’s home.

Yet another farm under water.

I have no idea how long families have been out of their homes along the Missouri throughout the midwest.  In South Dakota, flood waters forced families from their homes the end of May.  It’s now the end of July and the Corps is announcing their intentions to decrease the flow from their dams.  Homeowners are still out of their homes and will be for some time to come.

If you are so  inclined to help flood victims along the Missouri River, please visit the Sioux Empire Red Cross for information on how you can make a small difference in the lives of displaced families, farmers and business people.

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Flying With Jim!

My cousin Jim recently flew in on his way to the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI.  EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association.  Jim’s family has been involved in aviation for as long as I can remember.  My uncle, his father, spent his career in aviation through work in the U.S. Navy as well as United Airlines.  Jim and his brother Dave – better known here on the blog as “Baby Davy”,  have also spent their careers in the aviation industry.

I picked Jim up at the general aviation terminal and headed for home.  We enjoyed catching up over a great dinner of Cowboy Rib-eyes, sweet corn and potatoes.  In the morning, Jim took Thing 2 and I for a flight around the area.

Jim had Thing 2 as his trusty co pilot while I held my breath in the back seat.  Thing 2 actually lifted the plane off the runway!  Whew!

We flew over our home.  Can someone tell FEMA that there is no way this little bitty creek is going to flood my house.  Please!  That’s Willow Creek by the way.  You’ve heard me reference it several times here on the blog.

 Pay no attention to what may appear to you to be weeds in my garden!  They are simply figments of your imagination!

 Then it was off to fly over Thing 2’s future in-law’s home.

 On the way back to the airfield, we flew over my dear friend Karin’s Grandmother’s farm.

A view of the small city of Crooks, SD and the surrounding area, looking to the south.

The view as Jim brought us in to land.

Safely on the ground once again.  This quick flight was so much fun.  Our visit with Jim was even more precious.  It’s amazing how quickly time flies.  I had not seen Jim since my father passed away in 1999.  Eleven years is simply too long!  Thanks so much Jim for flying in to see us!

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Date Night with Thing 2!

Thing 2 and I recently had a chance to catch up and bit and have a mother daughter date night.  We’ve both had a busy summer, her with her internship with the Sioux Empire United Way, me tackling the weeds in the garden and running my photography business.

We headed out to Strawbale Winery to take part in their Summer Porch Series.

There was wine tasting, Monkey Balls, Fire Roasted Pizza and good conversation.

So, raise your glasses to having a date night with someone you love soon!

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Surviving the Party!

We have partially, if not fully, recovered from the graduation party that we hosted here at Willow Creek over Memorial Day Weekend!  The occasion was to celebrate Thing 1’s graduation from college and Thing 3’s graduation from high school.

We’d been planning the party for quite some time so were fortunate to have family from across the country here with  us to celebrate.

My cousin, Baby Davy is closest in age to me.  He and his incredible wife Suzanne spent about four days with us helping us prepare for and recover from the party.  There is a history of photographs of Baby Davy holding Thing 1 on his lap since she was about 6 weeks old and we were all together at Mr. And Mrs. Who’s wedding.  Now, every time we are together, a picture must be taken of the two of them!

Mr. Wonderful is a great party planner!  He planned our wedding!  The family erected the tent in the yard the day of the party.  We’d been having quite a bit of rain prior to this and getting the stakes in the ground at just the right angle was the key to keeping the tent up!  The first attempt at tightening the straps pulled stakes out of the ground and the whole thing came down on top of Baby Davy.  He’s unharmed – it’s ok!

I had intentions of taking lots of pictures during the day……  I managed to get a few of Thing 3 – she was fairly uncooperative:)  After I snapped this shot, I changed gears and started getting food lined up and ready for our guests to arrive.  I never grabbed the camera again, so, there are no pictures of guests, Thing 1, Mr. Wonderful, or anything else.

I cooked for days with help from the Dragon Lady while My Dragon Lady helped out with the mowing.  We smoked 40 pounds of pork shoulder for pulled pork and about 30 pounds of beef brisket.  It was the first time I’d done any thing like that so I was incredibly nervous about how the meat would turn out.  Everything was fabulous!  I’ve always been a pulled pork fan.  It’s usually what I order when Mr. Wonderful and I go to BBQ restaurants.  My brisket may have changed my mind.  It was juicy, tender, flavorful.  It almost melted in my mouth.  Yum!

Thing 3 grabbed the camera and got photos of the plethora of cupcakes that the Dragon Lady and I baked.  Baby Davy, Thing 3 and Suzanne helped frost and decorate.  Mr. Wonderful, not to be left out, helped with quality control.

We had a wonderful time with family and friends.  Some of our guests never went to bed and were still up playing games in the garage when I got up to put lots of coffee on to perk!  Oh, to be that young again!  It’s been a week and a half and I still feel like I always need a nap!

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Thing 3 and the Cap and Gown!

It’s been a busy spring for our family. Thing 1 graduated from college during the first few days of May quickly followed by Thing 3’s high school graduation the next week. Here are a few of the shots from the day.

The class chose pink Gerbera Daisies as their class flower.

Thing 3 held hands with her classmate while they sang for the final time with the choir.

The diploma, at last!  Yes, it’s signed!




One last time together!

With Mom!

Congratulations Thing 3!  We are very proud of you!

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Thing 1 Graduates from College!

Our oldest daughter, who we affectionately refer to on the blog as “Thing 1” graduated from South Dakota State University this past week.  What a feeling of success it is to have her education complete and a bright future in her chosen career ahead of her.  She has signed a contract to teach Agriculture and advise the FFA Chapter in a school district in north central South Dakota.  It’s exciting to have her following in my footsteps in a career that we share such passion for!

Here are just a few of the photos that I snapped to commemorate the occasion.

We’ll be celebrating a lot of  graduations in the coming days.  Thing 3 will graduate from high school as will the senior class at the high school where I teach.  It’s a time of celebration, reflection, and most often, a bitter sweet time of good byes to special people who have brightened my classroom and my life for so many of the past weeks and months.

You can see the collection of photos from SDSU graduation here.

Best wishes to you all!

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Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Our drama department recently put on the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  Here’s a sampling of pictures of the cast and pit orchestra. You can see the entire collection here.


The pit orchestra.


Our fabulous lighting and tech guru!


The brothers and Milly.


Hurry up Gideon!


Dorcas and Benjamin.


The brides and Adam.


Three of the brothers.


Our leads, Adam and Milly.


The show was fabulous!  Thanks to all those involved for putting on a great production. More photos coming soon!

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Things 1, 2 and 3 in Pictures


Things 1, 2 and 3 together, recently showered!  An accomplishment in and of itself.

When The Dragon Lady and Hula Grandma informed me that the most recent photos they had of the girls; Thing 1 was about 12 I decided it was time to get some new pictures of them.


It was snowy and cold!  Thing 2’s shoes were not exactly appropriate for tramping around in the snow.


I could not resist a “Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil” pose.


They fight like crazy but they do love each other.


Thing 2 was about to fall out of the little opening she’s leaning through.


My beautiful girls!   Thing 3 had to wear her hunting coat.

See more photos at Inspirations Photography.

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Frosty Morning on Willow Creek

This is what it looked like here at Willow Creek on the morning after Christmas.


We’d had some early morning fog, which, combined with very cold temperatures, produced this lovely thick frost on everything.


Certainly not near the amount of snow we had last year at Christmas, but wintry and beautiful just the same.  The only thing we were missing this year was Cony!


Cony wrote to say that she spent the day after Christmas at the beach.  I guess the weather in Chile is a bit warmer than it is here!

We hope you all had a fabulous holiday season!

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