Monday, June 29, 2009

Regularly Scheduled Mountain Monday

This post has been delayed due to technical difficulities. ie, Blogger won't let my upload pictures! Grrr. Trying again.

Back to the way things are supposed to be! Sorry, that deal was just too good to pass up and pass on to my friends.
So much to catch up on here. Plus I still have some more pictures to share from South Dakota.
First, now that soccer season is done, I needed to find something else for the boy. I had gotten a letter home from his school about Special Olympics, swimming is one of the sports, so we thought it would be good for him. We started on Saturday. First off, let me express my gratitude to the wonderful and willing volunteers who work with the athletes. Little Man had a great time and I was beyond thrilled to sit on the side and just cheer him on.

Bald Man and I have made a commitment to get Little Man out and more active. So we took him for a walk/hike. It almost killed me, it was very steep at times. But, it also gave our boy the exercise he needs so much, to help him be more calm. And, it was BEAUTIFUL!

I was very lucky to catch this little birdy sitting still enough for me to snap his picture.

Even luckier to have a camera that I can crop the picture down enough for you to see this!
A hummingbird! He was so darling.

After a long, hot walk, cooling our feet off felt like heaven!

It wasn't easy, and there was some foulness on both the part of the parents and the boy, but we did it! AND he totally kept trying to fall asleep from 5:30 on, so whoo hoo! Swimming this week for all of us.

Now you don't think I will let you get by without pictures of my precious little ones do you?

Buttercup. Isn't she just breathtaking?

Guess who turned two? Our June Bug!!! She loved her cake, (Happy, as she called it)

Yeah, I know. I am blessed.

This is a test of your emergency

preparedness. If this was a real emergency, you would be running around like a crazy person trying to get all this stuff together. Why not buy it already put together for you? This kit includes a hand powered cell phone charger! All for under 30$ including shipping and handling. Do it!

Inexpensive Emergency Kit

Generally, I don't do this kind of stuff on my blog, but this deal is too good to pass up. It is worth almost 200$ and if you have any desire to be prepared, then this deal is for you!
You only have today to order this. So move it!
Be back later for your regularly scheduled Mountain Monday Post. This concludes this test of your emergency preparedness.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting In Touch With My Roots

More tales from the prairie.
I was very busy trying to keep Little Man out of my Bald Man's "hair" so my handy hubby could do some things for my mom. (He told me it was his delight and his pleasure to help my mom out with her projects. He is such a good guy!)

When my cousin, Turtle Woman, and my sister, Shutterbug were on our photo safari, my cousin pointed out that the plant growing right there was the Timpsula plant. I have spent my whole life being vaguely familiar with the "prairie turnip" but not intimately familiar.

It is no accident that, in the Lakota language, the month of June is called tinpsila itkahca wi, meaning the moon when breadroot is ripe.

This is a picture of the timpsula flower. The plant itself is fuzzy and has five fingerlike leaves. It is important you know all this.

After my cousin pointed out the plant, I was dying to dig up the turnip part. Turtle Woman warned me the root was really far down, and I had no shovel. I found a 12 inch long piece of a jack in my trunk and dug and dug and dug and dug. I decided my ancestors must have had better digging tools, because the calorie return was definitely in the negative by the time I got that thing out the ground!

Here I am with my hair blowing in the prairie wind, being a wild Lakota woman!

Here is a video of me with my white man tool and my digging efforts.

In my quest to keep the boy of my hub's way,on another day, I talked my cousins into taking me digging for Timpsula. It is pretty awesome, my cousin did a traditional prayer, thanking the Great Spirit for the food, and reminded me to put the chunks of dirt back to show respect for the earth. Sometimes, even I think being Native American is totally cool!

It was hot and very humid. I had sweat dripping off my face and down my back while we were tromping about on the prairie and digging. It was much easier to dig with a shovel. Little Man did pretty good, and my cousins were awesomely patient with him.

We dug a bag full of the timpsula, or prairie turnip as it is also known. I took it home, and then I had the fun job of getting the turnip part out of the thick brown woody part on the outside. It was a lot of work! As you peel off the outside, it also strips the long tap root of the brown part.

I chopped about 20 or so of them up, and boiled them in a pot of water with dried corn. Traditionally, it is also made with dried meat, called bapa, but I used turkey bacon which had been sauted with some onion. I fed it to my mother, who declared it to be delicous.

After they were all peeled, traditionally, the way to preserve the turnip for the winter, you braid the roots together and then hang it up to dry. When the turnips are needed, they are reconstituted in boiling water. My first braid is quite pitiful, but I am very proud of it, nonetheless.

It was very satisfying to be able to go out and dig up dinner, prepare it, eat it and then even preserve some for later. I don't how much more I can get in touch with my "roots", can you?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Prairie Monday

Once more, I am overwhelmed by that AMOUNT of pictures I have from South Dakota. I will do my best, and I still haven't told you one single story yet. But those are coming.

These first two pictures I took, I am standing the same spot, just two different views.

This picture I took as I was driving down one of the gravel roads

These next few are a prairie sunset. It was breathtakingly beautiful!

This one of the bumblebee is just for K, from K and J. Mwah dear!

Yesterday was Father's Day and we got to have all four of our granddaughters over. For the first time. The picture isn't a great one of me, but I love it all the same. It was so awesome to have them all there at the same time!

What more can I say? I am blessed!

Friday, June 19, 2009

To South Dakota and Back Again

Yes, I am home, and no I haven't died. Betcha you were wondering, huh? Sorry for the lack of posts. It was a busy trip and Little Man was my constant companion. There just wasn't any time for blogging. But fear not, I have many things to share with you. Stories, pictures.
Honestly I am overwhelmed by the sheer amount of pictures I took while I was there. I am still trying to figure out which ones are the best and how to present them. This first post is just about the first day we were there, but I am going to divide up subsequent posts into subjects too.
My cousin, Turtle Woman, and my youngest sister, Shutterbug (she was thoroughly delighted that she finally got a blog name!and I went on a photographic safari. I was completely delighted to find out that my sister shares my great passion for photography, so we had a chance to indulge ourselves. It was really awesome to have someone who totally "gets" the photography thing, and doesn't think that taking 20 pictures of a bumblebee is a waste of time.
Without further ado, my faves from that first safari.

Turtle Woman took us to this amazing natural rock bridge.

One of the things that left me just standing in awe was the sheer sweep of the prairie. While some might think the midwest is flat, South Dakota is made up of rolling hills. It looks kind of flat as you look over everything, so far you feel you can see the curve of the earth. But as you continue to move, valleys, creeks and hollows jump out of hiding. It was so incredibly beautiful.

I have lots more stories and pictures to share, so we will have a prairie monday instead of mountains.