Fair Time

It is the busy time of summer again called, county fair. Both kids are active in a 4H group and projects had to be made and deadlines were looming. Fair time reminds me a tad of Christmas time. So much to get done and finished by a date were tons of people will gather to all look at your items. 

Henry brought a rock he had gotten from Crazy Horse, a painting he had done, dill pickles he helped make and a Lego creation. He was happy talking to the judges and getting ribbons. 

  
  
Greta brought a couple pieces of art she drew and painted, dill pickles and chair she painted and recovered. She also did two posters. One about hearing aids and one dealing with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. She did great with the judges and received some great ribbons. 

  
  
I also entered items in the fair. This year between art, photos and canned item I had 21 entries. I am not sure how I did yet. I am always hopeful for a grand champion. 

The next morning we went work our scheduled shift at the 4H food booth. It was Henry’s 7th birthday. Both kids loved serving the fair goers and taking the it all in. 

  
Before we left we checked to see if Greta had won a State Fair trip. Sure enough the girl won on two projects! Beyond proud of her. She choose to take her hearing aid poster. We have already been in contact with Starkey since her supplies for the poster came from them. They have some pretty awesome ideas of how they are going to come to the fair and support Greta. Tune in soon and I will share what happened. Just so excited for her. 

  
  

Scrambled Brain

  
I have embarked on a new adventure. I started a new job this week. It is something completely new, something I have never done before. I took a job as a part time radio operator and on air person. For anyone who thinks it is just sitting back and talking in a microphone, that is not it. There is so much to learn. I have only worked a couple days and I have learned more in the last couple days then I have learned in years. 

  
I have learned about FCC logs, channels and pots and buses which are all things on the board. It is so much information. Today we started training on recording a simple weather report. You might think again oh how simple just tell the weather report. Oh how wrong I was. First to get words out, then to make it flow, then to sound intelligent and the hardest it has to be 27 seconds. Not 26 not 28 it needs to be 27. It will take time and practice. It will come and one day become second nature but for now it is hard and it frustrates me some that it wasn’t perfect right away. 

I am learning and trying to be a sponge and soak up as much of the info I can during this time of training. I know what day will be my first alone. I am praying there will be no national disasters, severe weather, or glitches my first time alone. I pray I will remember what I learned and it will go smoothly.  

Now to train, read and retain everything I am taught. I am proud of learning something new. I am excited to start a new job which can change from a job to a career. 

  

Summer Life

Summer is busy, and summer seems to just get away from us. Day to day chores and obligations mixed in with family fun is what summer is all about. I can’t believe that a month is left. A mere month. I also can’t believe all we have fit in the summer. Family vacation, day trips, a trip to the zoo and relaxing at the pool. This was such an uncertain summer. I had many hours of lost sleep over this summer. A husband laid off and me who had a job only during the school year how was this to work, but it did. We had a great time. We traveled and laughed and played games and the list goes on and on. God will provide was made known to me this past year. Our needs were met. The summer isn’t over. We still have a son’s birthday and a family reunion, county fairs and the list goes on and on. We trusted and we survived and we rose even higher than we ever expected. Our family is blessed with wonderful family and friends that assured us all would be fine. 

A few pictures of family fun

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Don’t Give Up

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This has been a trying season in my life.  I strive to keep it all together but you can’t always have that brave face all the time.  Yesterday I broke, I let that one tear drop out which burst the dam of emotions open and the tear turned into sobs.  I had applied for a job and had the interview.  I felt it went really well I found out I didn’t get the position.  I wanted this job, I was well qualified and I had experience with every part of the job but it wasn’t meant to be.  That doesn’t make it any easier.

This spring my husband was laid off from his job along with the entire plant he worked at.  We were hoping for maybe a month.  Well it will be 3 months.  The date to go back has been pushed back a couple times, it is hard to not have your head leap to scenarios of what if or will the work last?  We are surviving and trying to have some fun this summer but it is hard to not have the feelings and emotions and thoughts of all that is going on.  The beginning of the layoff wasn’t so bad.  I am a sub at the school and I worked everyday of that month.  Summer hit and I am out of work.  I really enjoy working at the school, this past year was the best ever.  Problem is there is no pay till fall and since our district pays a month later and once a month my next paycheck will be October 20th.  I need something for my family and for my piece of mind now.

I am pushing 40 what do I do for a job.  Do I look for a job or a career.  There are a few things I would love to do and try to get into them.  I would love to get into some career that deals with deaf and hard of hearing.  I have tried to apply a few times to a hearing aid distributer.  That is not an easy business to get into.  They want someone that is already licensed but how do you get licensed if you aren’t in an office or an apprentice.  If anyone out there knows how to break into this please let me know.  I took a few audiology classes in college (communicative disorders major) and being a hearing aid wear and consumer I feel I would be good at this position.

I enjoy people all types of people.  I would love a job where I could help people that maybe need some help, maybe life hasn’t dealt them a good hand, or they need a helping hand to achieve their goals.  I would love a position that would incorporate these things.

I will get over disappointment and I will get over being sad.  I will pull up my bootstraps and keep going.  I won’t give up even though I want to crawl under the covers and escape but I will go back on my computer and send out those resumes.  I will do what I can for my family and for me.

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Waiting to Wake Up from a Dream

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This amazing day happened a year ago today. June 10th is a day I started a whole new being. It started me taking advocacy to a new level. It started me taking action with emails, phone calls and letters to the editor. I have truly been blessed to be a Hearstrong champion and all that that entails. I still love my Starkey hearing aids. I now have 3 series i110 RIC’s instead of the Xinos I had in this blog post. I love going to Starkey for a tweaking of programs or a fix of some sort. They are the most caring people I have ever encountered at a business. June 10th was a wonderful day, I hope I will have new things in my life soon and June 10th will be a great day for this year also.

Originally posted on Musings of a Momma:

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On June 10, 2014 I was invited to attend a ceremony at Starkey World Headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN.  I traveled the near 3 hours to the headquarters,  I was full of nerves, and excitement since I had no idea what I was to expect.  I was presented a HearStrong Award.  It was a wonderful honor and experience.  I hope I can get into words what I experienced and what transpired on that wonderful day.

HearStrong is the nonprofit that is held by the  company EarQ.  It honors individuals that have overcome hearing loss and decide to do something about it.  The way they heard about me is they happened upon one of my blog posts on the SWC Blog.  I was given a gold medal and a framed certificate from two great gentlemen from EarQ and from Tani Austin from the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  I was accompanied…

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Our Family Vacation Day 5&6- Driving and Driving and some sight seeing

Day 5 and 6 were days that got a little long and we drove a lot.  They were still good days but it was getting a little long for everyone.  Henry was really getting sick of the drive by this day so lots of movies were shown on these days.

We were up early and left Kadoka.  I drove today.  We didn’t get far and we stopped at 1880 town.  Now this was a fabulous stop and so glad we made it.  It is a town made up of old buildings.  There was a jail, church, little houses, a saloon and more.  There were lots of memorabilia from western movies and the movie, Dances with Wolves.  The best part was you could rent a costume and meander around the town in your 1880’s dress.  The kids were so excited for this part of the experience.  Henry decided he wanted to be an outlaw and Greta wanted to be a beautiful young lady.  Henry had boots and chaps and a gun, he loved it and played the part well.  Greta was given a beautiful dress, silk stockings, shoes, a choker and a hat.  They looked great and it made our walk through the town so fun.  Stopping in the saloon for a sarsaparilla and popcorn was a good treat.

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After playing dress up was done and yes there were some tears when the costumes needed to be returned.  We continued on driving and some more driving.  We stopped at Al’s Oasis near Chamberlain for lunch and then back in the van again.  We continued driving to Mitchell South Dakota to see the Corn Palace.  I was shocked of how big Michell was.  The Corn Palace is under major construction.  The large turrets on the roof were off and they were changing the scenes on the outside.  All these scenes are made of corn.  It is kinda amazing to think of the work to do these scenes and change them each year.  The inside was under construction also, a new lobby and museum is being made.  We did a little shopping and looked around briefly then we were on the road again.

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We made it finally to Sioux Falls.  We found a hotel got some dinner and did a little shopping.  Henry got his first pair of cowboy boots and the same for me.  I had kinda been holding out buying something on vacation and it hit me, BOOTS, that is what I wanted.  We both found a great pair and we both love them.  The kids stayed with their grandparents in the hotel room and played Crazy 8’s and I have heard conflicting stories that some cheating may have happened.  Chad took me for a drive around Sioux Falls.  We found where he used to work, he welded water towers.  We looked for where he lived but that whole area is all new so the house he lived in is most likely gone.  We drove and talked and it was nice.  It was a very nice 40 minutes or so of just us.  We also drove around and found the South Dakota School for the Deaf.  Heads hit the pillow and another day of driving would come soon enough.

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Day 6 came and it is the last leg of the trip.  I just wanted to snap my fingers and get home.  This was the hardest day for me.  My knee hurt riding in the back seat and I felt car sick all day.  I can’t physically snap my fingers so maybe that is why it seemed so long.  We stopped for a quick lunch in Marshall and then on towards home.

It was a fabulous trip and it is a trip I will always remember.  I hope it was a special time for the kids to travel with their grandparents and parents.  I hope they will always remember parts of this trip.  We all have our favorite parts of the trip.  I think Wall Drug was a favorite for both kids, they loved the donkeys and the prairie dogs.  The kids also love their new stuffed animals a buffalo and jackalopes.  I loved Crazy Horse and fascinated by the dream Korczak had and his family is continuing.  I loved the sheer display of nature we saw out there.  Chad had his favorites of the Air and Space museum, the Railroad museum and the Badlands and the knife he bought.  This blog and the pictures will be here to look at in the future and remember and smile of a wonderful week in our families lives.

Our Family Vacation Day 4- Dinosaurs, Planes and Rocks Oh My

Wake up was again early on day 4.  My husband seems to think between 5-6am is a good time to wake up while on vacation.  We were ready to go in record time again.  I tell you traveling all together I think we did dang good.  Chad, my husband, is now a pro at packing the pod.  It was packed and secured in record time.  We checked out of our Keystone Hotel and we were on the road again.

Our first stop today was the Cosmos Mystery Stop.  It is a cabin up on a mountain side where everything defies gravity.  You stand sideways, water runs uphill, drop a tennis ball and it goes uphill also.  It is a place of mystery or to my husband it is a place of trickery and everything is built on such exaggerated angles what you think up is actually down.  I don’t know all I know it was a steep walk up that mountain and when I got up there I was so dizzy I felt sick.  I have terrible balance and have a tendency to stumble on flat normal ground I thought for sure I was a goner up there.  My head was spinning and I was so dizzy I am really shocked I didn’t go down.  The kids and Chad laughed the whole time up there.  They did the experiments and had a grand time at the Cosmos Mystery Stop.

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The one “trick” or amazement not sure what to think was a supposed level spot where the kids stood across from each other and then switched spots and it looked like Greta grew and Henry shrunk.  I wasn’t quite so dizzy for this part so I enjoyed it.

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We left the dizzy producing fun spot and continued on to Rapid City.  We stopped at Dinosaur Park this was suppose to be a highlight for Henry and Grandma.  They were so excited to have a picnic in Dinosaur park.  Well we got there and there were about 500 steps to get to the park.  Ok maybe a little less than 500 but there were a ton straight up the hill or mountain.  My mother in-law is in a wheelchair/walker.  It wasn’t going to happen the dream of the picnic was over.  I felt soooo bad about the situation.  My in-laws stayed over at the gift shop/snack shop and we took the kids up the steps.  Afterwards we did have a little picnic at the snack shop at dinosaur park and got one picture with the grandparents and a dinosaur.

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We had a busy day planned for our Day 4 so we had to be On the Road Again…. We headed out of Rapid City and went to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.  This was Chad’s pick for the vacation and I think he was getting worried that it wasn’t going to happen.  It was really a good museum and FREE.  For me that doesn’t know one plane from the next it was interesting and I really enjoyed it.  Chad loved it and wants to go back and go on a base tour next time.  I took some pictures of the Korean War for my grandpa was in that War.  The Vietnam War exhibit for my uncles that were in that war and the B-52 planes for my Grandma who went to California during the war to work on these planes.

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We hit the road and stopped in Wall Drug again for some free water and an ice cream treat.  We really packed a lot in day 4 now writing it all out.  We hit Badlands National Park.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and it was beautiful.  The color of the rocks reminded me of Colorado Garden of the Gods or something like that.  I wish we would have hit this park a little earlier in the day.  This would have been a fun park to get out and explore a little more.

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We drove the park and ended up in Kadoka South Dakota for the night.  We stayed at an old Rodeside Inn.  There were a lot of famous people that had stayed there before, Charlie Daniels Band, the actors and crew of Starship Troopers etc… I just wonder what this town was in it’s hayday.  I saw a clean but old motel.  It had some dry rot on the wood and it was in need of repairs.  Chad and I drove the town and it was very rundown and old.  There were hotels and campgrounds completely overgrown.  It is like a major little town just gets jumped over now reminded me of the movie, Cars.  Kids ran around the grounds and played on some old horse swings probably from the 1950’s.  It was a good night in Kadoka that was population around 500.

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Day 5 would be one step closer to home.  We would head towards Sioux Falls.  I was excited to see where Chad lived and worked for a while before I knew him.  Another wonderful day that was packed full of fun.

Our Family Vacation Day 3- Wildlife, Mountains and Trains

No alarms are needed when we are on vacation I guess.  Everyone was up and ready for breakfast by 7am.  In fact I think it was about 8am when we were all loading the van again for a day of fun.  It was a beautiful day out cool but blue sky and we were surrounded by mountains and beauty.  A high point of this morning was no packing of the pod and the van.  We were able to just take our water, cameras and some snacks and we hit the road.  Today was going to be some driving loops through the Black Hills Forest and Custer State Park.  I was hoping to see Rocks, Mountains and Wildlife.  We accomplished all of those goals.

First we went to The Black Hills Forest and it was gorgeous.  There were hills, mountains and trees and a lot of it.  We made the switch back turns and the beautiful wooden bridges.  We climbed higher and higher.  My father in-law was a wonderful driver and maintained his composure wonderfully on those roads.  My husband always seemed to be on the edge side which he hated.  We stopped a few times and climbed some rocks, had fun and took some pictures.

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As we left this patch of wonder we entered Custer State Park.  Here we were excited to try and see some buffalo and maybe a prairie dog.  We were able to see more than that.  We took some time at a ranger station and looked at the exhibits and maps.  When we came into the park we came across a herd of Buffalo.  They are always amazing to see.

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We continued on to these rolling hills and we saw deer, pronghorn antelopes, and then wild burros.  Oh this was so fun.  We happened to be eating carrots in the van when we came across these donkeys.  They were not shy, they thrust their heads in the windows and wanted a snack and a pet on the nose.  They were just the sweetest things ever!!! Their noses were velvet and I just loved them!!!  We also came across a couple prairie dog towns.  There were tiny little babies that were frolicing around their holes and parents and grandparents always on the look out for their families.  Just wonderful!!!

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We left this wildlife part of the park and went for lunch in Custer City.  After a stretch of our legs and some food we headed back towards the park and headed towards Needles Highway.  Another place that took your breath away.  High towers of rock and narrow tunnels to drive through.  Only pictures will do it justice but they still don’t show all of the awesome works of God you see in real life.

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After Custer we continued on to Hill City where we visited the South Dakota Railroad museum.  There were some hands on items which the kids loved the best.  I loved reading the old menus and seeing the china that was used on the trains.  Another time that has gone from this country.  When I rode on Amtrak it wasn’t fine china. ***a footnote here, the movie is Dances with Wolves not Dances with THE wolves, get it right***

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The rest of the day was a little shopping in Keystone.  The kids had an old time picture taken with their grandparents and Greta got a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins.  We all went out to eat to the Powder Room in Keystone which was excellent.  The food was the best ever!!! Greta tried bacon wrapped tiger shrimp and she said they were WOW!!! Henry had his hamburger which was every meal out there.  Chad and I had sirloin and twice baked potatoes.  Just a great place and atmosphere.

The next day would be packing the pod and the agenda was Rapid City, Badlands and trying to get some miles on the van.

Our Family Vacation Day 2- Wall Drug and Carved Mountains

Day 2 started with rain and a lot of rain.  Packing the van and the pod is not fun in pouring rain but my husband stood on the step stool and just did it.  We headed west towards Murdo.  That was our first stop.  We had decided that we wanted to see and experience 1880 town.  When we pulled into the town it was raining and closed.  Oh Well we will hit 1880 town later in the trip.  So we kept plugging along in the rain towards Wall, the magical place of Wall Drug.  We got to Wall Drug and it wasn’t very busy and it was only 45 degrees.  Very cool but the rain had stopped.  The kids LOVED Wall Drug and I have to say I enjoyed it also.  It was a fun place to see and explore.  I learned later I missed half of Wall Drug but no worries we stopped again on the way home.

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We had a lot of fun in Wall Drug.  We of course had to take a picture with about everything.  We had some free water, and panned for gemstones.  Greta and Chad panned in a little stream and found some emeralds and a Ruby they were told.  Henry and I went into a very dark little mine and had headlamps and looked for polished rocks and fools gold.  It was fun and a little special time with each child.  While shopping Henry bought an ultimate grab bag.  For $10 he got tons of stuff.  Everything from a Sturgis hat to shot glasses and t-shirts.  He got well over $100 worth of items in that bag.  I think that is a highlight for Henry looking at everything in that grab bag it was nuts.

We were back on the road again.  We were headed towards Rapid City.  Stopped at a wayside rest stop and decided to head towards Keystone to stay for the next couple days.  We drove through mountains and hills and when we entered Keystone I was in love.  It was a beautiful town and just seemed like a magical place.  Little shops on a boardwalk and it was just lovely.  We found rooms at the Travelodge.  Greta looked outside our hotel room doors and exclaimed there is Mount Rushmore.  Sure enough the mountain was there in plain site.  I was getting excited.  We made it we are here and it is more beautiful than I ever imagined.  Our Hotel had a phone booth, I don’t think the kids knew what it was.  I find little things like that funny something that seems so ordinary they don’t know what it is.  The world is changing and fast.

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We were excited to see and explore.  We wasted no time and went right to Mount Rushmore a National Monument.  It was amazing and a very nice park.  It wasn’t crowded at all.  The kids could wander and check it all out since there were only about 20 people or so up looking at the mountain.  They had a nice museum and a movie that we watched about how it was carved and what they used.

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We finished up with Mount Rushmore and we decided or I guess I suggested we go to Crazy Horse.  So we rounded some mountains and came to Crazy Horse another mountain that was being carved.  I was in awe of this mountain and this project.  Crazy Horse really made an impression on me.  I really enjoyed this part of our trip and it is a highlight from my trip.  I think a big plus to Crazy Horse is the movie we went to see which talked about the vision and the project of Crazy Horse was Captioned.  I got everything out of the movie and I loved it.  When we were at the National Monument of Mount Rushmore the movie we watched was not captioned and that is government owned.  I was shocked by this but that is another topic.  We could pay a small fee and go right to the base of Crazy Horse.  Henry and I decided that we would do this together.  I love that he wanted to do this and he learned so much and was glued to our tour guide.  He also had to point out to me that our tour guide had hearing aids also.  We got to go right to the base of the mountain.  We heard so much history and saw so much and a beaver.  It is a memory I won’t forget anytime soon.

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Back from each mountain it was dinner at a restaurant that was right across from our hotel and off to bed.  I think as soon as our heads hit our pillows we were asleep.  Day 3 would bring mountains and wildlife.

Our Family Vacation Day 1- Pod People

IMG_0475This past week we were “Pod People” we were one of those families that travel across state lines with a big pod on the roof of the vehicle.  We were on a family vacation and it was wonderful.  I don’t know how many people will be interested in reading about our vacation but I thought this would be a good way to take all the swirling memories in my head and sort them on to the paper or aka computer.  About a year ago my in laws asked my children where they would want to go on vacation.  The kids decided they wanted to see the wild west.  Grandma and Grandpa decided that South Dakota would be a wonderful place to take the kids to see the wild west, wildlife and mountains.  During this last few months the farm economy took a hit and my husband who works for CASE IH was laid off.  Now that he was home for the summer we were invited to come with on this vacation.  I was excited about seeing part of the country I have never seen before.  I was asked if I was nervous about traveling with my in-laws and that was never an issue.  I believe we get along well together and we had a wonderful trip and no complaints from me at all.  The only issue I had was the unknown.  I like a plan and I have a problem with anxiety so not knowing what each day would bring for us was anxiety producing at first for me.  I had my little fit before we left our home of just the what ifs and why can’t we have a plan.  This trip went fabulous and made me realize that we can go where the wind blows us and we can have a great time with out an itinerary.  Not saying I want to do this all the time.

The first day we left Minnesota around 7:30am and hit the road.  Our first stop was the little town of Henry.  My son, Henry, loved that a town had his name.  It was like he was the president of a town.  He loved this claim to fame.

IMG_0478_2After we left my son’s town, Henry we continued on to Miller South Dakota.  We found a park and thought we would let the kids play.  Much to my amazement my husband joined right in.  He climbed and played on the slides.  We laughed and he laughed with the kids.  I loved seeing him have so much fun when this has been a very stressful time for our family.  It was a welcome break with lots of smiles and laughs.

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IMG_0482_2We continued on our journey and stopped in Pierre, South Dakota the capital of the state.  We found a hotel staying at the Governor’s Inn.  We all drove to the Dam that is in Pierre.  It was a beautiful area.  Huge rolling hills and so green.  A fun place to drive and take pictures.  A storm was rolling in and the clouds were memorizing

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We had dinner together and then Henry decided he should play cards with his grandparents.  I love that he wanted to spend a little time with them.  Chad and I took Greta exploring the capital.  We found the Capital and the grounds.  It was beautiful.  We explored the capital and the Flaming Fountain which is a hot spring fed fountain where the water is always a constant 92 degrees.  It was beautiful and fun to learn and explore together.

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Off to bed so we could start day 2 of our journey.  Wall Drug was uttering on the kids lips as they drifted off to sleep this first night.  They were so excited to get to this oasis of everything.  It was a good day 1 of our family trip.