Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8/31/2011 Back When I Was 13……

……I sat at our table in the kitchen with one of my junior high school friends, holding two ice cubes on either side of my ear lobe. When my friend thought it was sufficiently numbed (stupid girl was WRONG!) she poked a sewing needle through my ear lobe with a long thread on it. When the needle was through she then took the thread at either end and pulled it back and forth through my newly pierced ear. I screamed. Its truly a wonder I ever got the other ear done. I shudder just thinking about it now.

When I first approached my mom about this she was ok with me getting my ears pierced. She did, however, warn me that it would be painful and that if my ears got infected I was not to come crying to her. Let me say here and now that my mother’s ears are NOT pierced.

I took good care of my new holes in my head, cleaning with peroxide every night and every morning. I never got infected.

I proudly wore my ladybug earrings, my fake ruby birthstone earrings and little pumpkins at Halloween. I was thrilled with the earring tree my grandmom gave me for Christmas with what I thought for sure were real diamond earrings. Grandmom loved me, just not that much. I would arrange my earrings on this earring tree by color, then by holiday, then by size, it was ever changing.

Then for some reason I lost interest. I stopped wearing earrings and discovered some time later that the holes had closed up.

My interest in earrings had come back in my early 20’s, I think I discovered Avon jewelry, and I wanted my pierced ears back! No way was I going to sit at the kitchen table again with two ice cubes though. Of course, by now, all the locals malls had kiosks in the middle of the aisles that sold jewelry and would pierce your ears for FREE when a pair of their more expensive earrings were bought. I had seen little tiny babies get their ears pierced this way and little toddlers and I thought to myself that this would be a simple way to get my holes reopened. Or so I thought.

The day for my re-piercing had arrived and I drove to mall and readily picked out the earrings I wanted to purchase. So far, so good. The young woman donned plastic gloves, swabbed my earlobes with alcohol and took notice of where the closed up holes were. She explained the procedure to me and I took a deep breath. With my new earring in the chamber, she lifted the gun up to the position and I screamed STOP! I had broken out in a sweat and felt dizzy. I told her I needed a minute and would let her know when I was ready again. Within minutes a young mother with a months old infant came to have the baby’s ears pierced. The girl explained she would have to wait as I was getting mine done but I quickly assured her that it would be OK to do the baby’s first as I was in no rush and had all day. The mother and baby left in no time at all and the child didn’t so much as whimper. Well alrighty then, I was ready!

I am such a wimp when it comes to pain. It took two more attempts before I finally let her get on with the business at hand. I could tell she was losing patience with me and I was afraid she would throw my money back at me and tell me to get out. Yeah, it hurt, but it was quick and I got through it.

I was working and had money to burn so my earring collection grew by leaps and bounds. I had graduated from an earring tree to a velvet lined, sterling silver earring box by this time.

And then for whatever reason I quit wearing them again. Once again the holes closed up. About ten years ago I had them reopened once again but the earring wearing didn’t last long that time either.

By now you are probably wondering why I’m telling you all this.

Valerie, my friend here in the FamCamp, has some of coolest looking earrings. It got me to thinking that maybe I would like to wear earrings yet again. I had tried clip-ons over the years but I really don’t like them. A couple of weeks back Valerie and I had even looked into getting my holes re-opened at a jewelry store for FREE if I bought a forty dollar pair of earrings. I balked at that.

Valerie had the great idea that SHE would re-open the holes in my ears. She assured me that there was no reason to be scared that she knew what she was doing and then I could go on an earring buying spree! Well, alrighty then!

So today is the day. I had to go into the house for a phone call and Valerie said that she, Dianne and Joy would get set up for me while I was gone. Set up for me????

When I came out of the house I was escorted to a chair that was set up in the shade and I got to see Valerie in her full ear piercing attire.


A lab coat of sorts?

I passed a picnic table with an array of tools displayed but I really didn’t pay too much attention. Maybe I should have!


Witch Doctor Roux Valerie suggested so that I didn’t end up with two holes in one ear lobe that it be best if maybe she just strapped me into the chair…..


She also suggested a mild relaxer since I seemed a bit nervous.


This was just a bit too real for me!


Long time readers know I HATE needles!


Nurse Dianne held the tools of the trade for Witch Doctor Roux Valerie.


She tried everyone for the best fit!



I think Witch Doctor Roux Valerie was getting carried away and was thinking she was supposed to perform a frontal lobotomy!



Holes finally opened it was time for earrings. Of course they had to sterilized first and there’s just nothing better than a cold Dr. Pepper for that!




Witch Doctor Roux Valerie, taking my pulse, making sure I made it through the ordeal.


Me, with my new earrings!


Actually, a couple of weeks ago, Val tried one of her earrings on me and with just a little push the earrings went right in. I hadn’t worn earrings in about ten years and for all intents and purposes the holes were still pretty much open! Wonders never cease!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

8/30/2011 SIXTY THREE!

Today is Bob’s birthday. His sixty third birthday. He certainly did have a good one!

Early in the day Dianne, Valerie and I went downtown to take a tour of a Black Hills gold jewelry making factory. Well that was a bust! I was very disappointed that I couldn’t take pictures and that not very many people were working to begin with. We ended up just looking at the jewelry cases of expensive jewelry and leaving.

On the way back to the base we did stop at Border’s book store. Like the one near you, this one is going out of business. I wanted to see if how much discount there was on the BluRay DVD’s and I was happy to pick up four movies for Bob at 60% off. I also picked up one of the last gift bags they had so that I had something to put them in when I gave them to him at his birthday dinner.

Dianne noticed this hitchhiker on our way home. This little fella is holding on to the windshield wiper for dear life!


When we got back to the base we played a game of Mexican Train to while away the afternoon.


Soon it was time for Bob’s birthday dinner. Oh the food we all pitched in to make! If anybody went home hungry it was their own fault.

We had grilled chicken….


Copper Penny Salad….


Cole Slaw…. (I think I got a little too close for this one)


A squash and tomato dish….


A tossed salad….obviously this pic was taken before the actual tossing took place!


Garlic Bread….


and of course….HOT DOGS!


Bob took his turn at grill duty.


Someone must have tickled Dianne’s funny bone.


I wonder what Valerie is thinking about…..


Dinner over, it was time for cake and gifts!

Joy made the cake, a devil’s food cake with chocolate frosting!


I have to tell you, we had to improvise on the numbers on the cake. That is really a nine turned upside down. They were all out of sixes at the store.

Of course when it came time for the lighting of the candles we could only light the three because the wick of the “six” was sitting in the cake.


Bob took a deep breath to blow out the candle and managed not to spit on the cake either! You go, Bob!


Bob checking out his new movies.



Our buddy Jerry, we enjoy our new friend so much. Actually, Val was in this picture too but it wasn’t a good picture at all so I just cropped her out. Sorry, Val!


Joy & DeWayne looking on as Bob opens his cards and gifts.


So Bob’s sixty third birthday has come and gone but it sure was a good one!

Monday, August 29, 2011

8/29/2011 Devils Tower & Deadwood

Our plan was to get up early this morning, get ready, and hit the road, early.

Wanna guess if that happened or not? We didn’t count on a dark, rainy day! We were so disappointed because this is one trip that we all wanted to make. We were making a trip so that we could each have OUR own close encounter with a really big rock.

Bob came in from outside and said, “Let’s go, it isn’t raining where we’re going.” I have to be honest, I really had my doubts about that because I too had looked at the weather radar but obviously Bob has a super duper site that he looks at.

So at eleven we take off, three hours later than we planned. We had a two and half hour drive and we even crossed another state line.


Not too far into the state we passed through this and I was only hoping that this isn’t what we were going to see after traveling over a hundred miles.


Luckily, we were in and out of it in no time.

We were thrilled at our first glimpse of it.


The scenery was just beautiful.


Our first really good look at Devil’s Tower National Monument. This climber’s challenge is surrounded by Indian legend. The tower, a stump-shaped granite formation stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River Valley. In 1906 President Theordore Roosevelt proclaimed that this be the first national monument of the USA.



This is like seeing Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty or the Grand Canyon for the first time. Your skin turns to gooseflesh and you have a smile you can’t wipe off your face and your eyes just can’t look anywhere else.


The stone pillar is about 1,000 feet in diameter at the bottom and 275 feet at the top and that makes it the premier rock climbing challenge in this area.

Who doesn’t think of the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when they look at this geological wonder?


First stop was the gift shop. Take notice, it isn’t raining, the sun is trying to poke through and there is even small patches of blue here and there.


When we pulled into the gift shop parking lot we couldn’t help but notice that people were taking a picture of a car rather than Devil’s Tower. Granted, it was a nice car and then I thought, “Oh heck, join the crowd and take some too.”



I wonder if Dianne knows what’s over her head?


The nice fella behind the counter suggested he take our picture together under the big guy.


We walked out to the other side of the gift shop and took yet more pictures of the Tower.


You have no idea how many pictures I now have of Devil’s Tower. It was like I possessed and couldn’t stop!


As with so many things Devil’s Tower has its legends. One of the most popular is as follows:

According to the Kiowas, who at one time are reported to have lived in the region, their tribe once camped by a stream where there were many bears. One day seven little girls were playing at a distance from the village and were chased by some bears. The girls ran toward the village and when the bears were about to catch them, they jumped to a low rock about three feet in height. One of them prayed to the rock, “Rock, please take pity on us.” The rock heard them and began to elongate itself upwards, pushing the children higher and higher out of reach of the bears. When the bears jumped at them, they scratched the rock, broke their claws and fell back upon the ground. The rock continued to push the children upward into the sky while the bears jumped at them. The children are still in the sky, seven little stars in a group. (the pliades) According to the legend, the marks of the bears claws could be seen on the side of the rock.

I could have sat and looked at this rock all day long. Dianne and I were just mesmerized by it. Bob, eh, not so much.

It was finally time to say we came, we saw, we photographed.

On the way out we passed this steer (???) with some really crooked horns!



We decided to take a ride through Sundance to see if we could find Robert Redford. We didn’t but the scenery was nice on the way.




So we get to Sundance, weren’t all that impressed…..


No signs of Redford, no film festival going on, so we said the heck with it and headed back to South Dakota.

Once again, the scenery was beautiful.


Back to South Dakota….


…..and the scenery got even more breathtaking!


We were in the Black Hills, can you tell?



We decided to stop in Deadwood so that Dianne could at least say she was there.


Di taking in a display at the old train station.


Dianne met this guy on the street and just had to have her picture taken with him. I think she was really smitten.


By now tummies are really rumbling and we decided it was time to eat! Our first choice of restaurants wasn’t open so we settled for the next on our list. I wish we had kept on looking.


The flies were terrible! My meal was terrible! Bob and Di seemed to like theirs but mine left a lot to be desired. Bob ordered chicken fried steak, Dianne had the shrimp and I ordered the worst thing on the menu,,,,pot roast! Nuff said.

I did take notice of this section of flooring hung on the wall.


Of course there is a story to go with it and it is as follows:


Twas a balmy summer evening and a goodly crowd was there

Which well nigh filled Cy’s barroom on the corner of the square

As songs and witty stories came through the open the door

A vagabond crept slowly in and posed upon the floor

“Give me a drink – that’s what I want – I’m out of funds you know

When I had the funds to treat the crowd this hand was never slow

You laugh as though this pocket never held a sou

I once was fixed as well, my boys, as any of you

I was a painter – not one that daubed on brick and wood

But an artist and for my age was rated as pretty good

And then I met a woman – now comes the funny part -

With eyes that petrified my brain and sank into my heart

I was working on a portrait one afternoon in May

Of a fair haired boy, a friend of mine, who lived across the way

And Madeline admired it and much to my surprise

Said she liked to meet the man that had such dreamy eyes

It took not long to know him and before the month had flown

My friend – he stole my darling and I was left alone

Give me that piece of chalk that marks the baseball score

And you’ll see the lovely Madeline upon the barroom floor

Another drink – with chalk in hand, the vagabond began

To sketch a face that might well buy the soul of any man

Then as he placed another lock upon the shapely head

With a fearful shriek, he leaped and fell across the picture