Friday, February 20, 2009

Bits and bobs

I have a bunch of little things I thought I'd post...

1. The weather
I experienced a bona fide prairie snow storm here Friday. It only snowed a little, but the WIND was AMAZING! It was going 20-30 mph, blowing the snow sideways when it was falling... and making it bitter cold outside last night. The wind chill was a few degrees below zero, but things should warm up early next week (upper 40s predicted for northern Nebraska, so it should be similar here).

Here is a photo of what it looked like while it was snowing:

2. A new scientific development
I seem to have caught Patrick's cold OVER THE PHONE! I have the same symptoms right now that he had last week--tired (wanting to sleep a lot), scratchy throat, and hungry all the time--and yet I'm a thousand miles away. ?? (I'm really grateful Mom was at my house last week so that Patrick could get some rest.)

3. An interesting factoid
The nearest McDonald's is 33 miles away. I think this is a good thing. (Needless to say, I haven't missed it.)

4. Advice for Dick Cheney
Dude. The next time you come to South Dakota* to bag pheasant, leave your guns at home and instead just drive on a state road around dusk. I have come thisclose to killing pheasant with this method at least half a dozen times without even meaning to. And that way you don't run the risk of shooting a friend in the face.

5. Here are some photos that I haven't posted yet...

More turkeys! I see them every time I venture out of Mission...

You thought we were odd for having a purple house? (lilac, really) Well, the town of St. Francis has a PURPLE CHURCH!

(Oddly enough, this Catholic church in St. Francis is not named after him; it was named something like St. Stephen Boromeo??) Apparently they let the kids choose the color; the kids, having good taste, chose purple. The grownups tried to talk them out of it, but no go. So they have a purple church.

Here is another colorful house on the rez:
According to a couple people here, the houses are painted these bright colors because the paint is FREE from the government. Who knew the US guvmint had such interesting taste in exterior paint colors! I find it refreshing, actually. I found a purple house, too, but the photo didn't come out; near Rosebud (the town) there's a row of alternating bright-green & bright-turquoise houses (again, photo didn't come out).

Here is a wall-o-beads at the Crazy Horse Memorial.

6. And finally: the big reveal!
Here is my project for Traditional Lakota Arts class: baby moccasins!
(Sorry for the bad focus in that first photo there.)

It was so exciting to have it all come together in a three-dimensional object as I was sewing it together (with *sinew*, thank you very much! but I used a metal needle rather than bone). I wonder: do Lakota people have second-moccasin syndrome? :) (Here's an explanation of second-sock syndrome for the non-knitters in the audience.) I took notes, so I hope I can finish the second one on my own... and then make eleventy-two billion more pairs. It was fun! And, thanks to the class, I know how these geometrical shapes tell a story. I've always loved looking at beadwork, but now it will mean so much more to me...

7. Progress in speaking Lakota
I'm just on the EDGE of being able to speak simple sentences in Lakota. (I can read them out of the book just fine; what I'd like to be able to do is speak them from out of my own head...) I'm getting how verbs are conjugated, where the different parts of speech go in the sentence, what the pronouns are... Now all I need is a) more vocabulary, and b) good recall. :)

8. Tempus fugit
It's official: less than a week from now, I will be back home in Ohio. Time has really flown by fast during this part of my sabbatical adventure. I'm really excited to be seeing my fambly soon! And yet I know I'll be sad to leave here. Such a crazy stew of emotions.

Be well, everyone,

*My mother-in-law has some funny stories about the "top secret" hunting trips Dick Cheney and friends have taken in the area--complete with circling miliary helicopters, a C130 (ginormous cargo plane), and 38-car motorcades. Yeah, that wouldn't be unusual out here... AS IF! I think cows outnumber people in this part of the state...