“I highly recommend taking in a fair or festival this time of year.  It’s a great way to support our communities and have fun experiencing local flavor.”                                                    Erika Rueland

Clark Potato Days

August 2nd, 3rd & 4th was Clark Potato Days.  Unfortunately by the time we got there on Saturday the mashed potato wrestling was over.  But the drumline was playing on the baseball field and the food trucks and vendor booths were open and there were a couple of friendly dogs that had to say “Hi”. The car show a block away was in full force.  Some of the cars were really snazzy!  They had a DJ playing and that helped with the festival atmosphere.  

Later that evening we went to Zesto in Watertown and saw a couple of 40’s era tractors in the parking lot.  We got our ice cream and found the owners sitting outside.

Three men from Sioux Falls had driven up to be in the tractor parade.  They said they were going to stay the night in Watertown and head back to Sioux Falls in the morning.

They said their tractors were dirty because they took back roads and due to all the recent rain we’ve had, they were muddy!

One of the men had suped up his tractor and bragged he got it up to 45 mph before he got nervous and had to slow down because the front end was bobbing off the ground.  The tires were originally only made to go 25 mph maximum.  

The tractors usually average around 12-14 miles per hour so he slowed down to be with his traveling companions.

The most amazing part he reported was that by the time he gets home he will have gone 1,000 miles on that tractor this summer.  Wow!



My husband is a country boy at heart as much as I am a prairie girl.  We live in town but almost every weekend we spend some time exploring the countryside and I would encourage you to do the same.  Get out and explore!  You never know what you might see. 

This weekend we saw more animals than usual.  There were a lot of deer (one with a collar – first time we’ve seen that!), cows, horses, ducklings, partridge, pheasants, pelicans, cats, turkeys, gophers, a couple of toads, some meadowlarks, three snakes, a hawk, a jackrabbit (not in the same area thankfully) and a small skunk.  

I asked if it was a baby because it looked pretty small but my husband said it was juvenile.  My daughter joked and said “Do you know what you call a juvenile skunk?  A little stinker!”  LOL! 


It was so still last night that the reflection of the trees in the water was really pretty.  The wake created by the ducklings was neat too!


Here is a beautiful view of the countryside.  The photo was taken just before sunset and that always make the lighting ethereal. 

Dirt Road

Here is a view looking down the dirt road toward the impending sunset.  The  sky turned dark pink and dusky blue after the sun fully set.



I know it is autumn when the air turns cooler.  It gives me a giddy feeling of excitement.  On the first cool day my favorite thing to do is make gingersnap cookies.  There is something about the combination of molasses and sugar that bake into the perfect taste of fall. 

My tradition is to only make these once per year.  I look forward to that first cool day and this ritual continues to warm my heart when I take that first bite of a warm gingersnap cookie fresh from the oven.

Gingersnap Cookies

  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c shortening
  • 1/4 c molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt


“Fall is my absolute favorite season.  The cooler weather, changing colors and bountiful harvests make this the most wonderful time of year.”

Mix the brown sugar, shortening, molasses and the egg in a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour. (This is the hardest part!)

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheet lightly with shortening.

Shape the dough into small round balls.  Roll the balls in granulated sugar.  Please the balls about three inches apart onto the cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove the cookies from a cookie sheet and let them cool on a wire rack.  (I seriously doubt they will get this far.)

Drive In Movie: Skyscraper

Redfield, SD

Last Saturday we went to the Drive-In Movie one mile north of Redfield to see “Skyscraper”.

I hadn’t been to one of these since I was in grade school.  It was so much fun!

The lady at the gate was super friendly and gave us a run down on where to park, where concessions and bathrooms were and how to run the speakers.


Bug Spray

When we first pulled up there were kids running around playing baseball under the screen.

It was so nostalgic.  Right away my daughter found a friend from school even though we both live in Watertown 70 miles away.

Then the car that pulled up next to us was a former coworker of my husband’s.

Then my sister texted and said that she knew a couple who had gone there that night and we found them in just a few moments and took a selfie to prove it.

Starts at Dusk

An elder gentleman parked behind us was a wealth of information on the new owners and the renovations they had done.  You could tell he really loved coming to the drive-in.

He said that when they show children’s movies they try to have a character available for photos with the kids.

He also said that one time there was a car show in town and they all came over to the theater and the parking lot looked just how it used to when he was young.

After it was over he pulled up next to us to see how our kids liked the show.  We were happy to report their bellies were full of sugar and popcorn and they loved it!


So much fun!

Pheasant City Drive-In Theater is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The gate opens at 8:00 p.m. and the movie starts at dusk.


and on Facebook


I would highly recommend making the trip.  We didn’t get home until 1:00 in the morning but it was worth it to feel a sense of community and bring back memories from our childhood.

Pick A Time and Stick to It

You’ve probably already heard this Sleep Tip but if you want to get the most energy for your day this is a great way to do it. 

Pick a bedtime and a wake up time and stick to it, even on the weekends.

I know it is very tempting to stay up late on Friday and Saturday night and then wake up late the next morning.  But if you go to bed at the same time every night (remember we’re trying to get a full eight to nine hours of sleep) and also get up and out of bed and start your day at the same time every morning you will feel better.

Your body LOVES routines.  You may not believe it but why don’t you try this for three weeks straight – even through the weekends.  You will be amazed at how much energy you have when you stick to the same wake up and go to sleep time.  And that will be worth the sacrifice of going to bed early and waking up early.

Good job taking care of yourself!   Erika




Do something everyday that will help get you closer to accomplishing your goals. And the secret to accomplishing this that it probably won’t take you as long as you think.

I had started a project a little over a month ago.  It was a project that required a bit of construction building a stand for my camera so I could record art projects to show you.

I had it mostly done but it needed reinforcement on the bottom.  It took a trip to the hardware store and about fifteen minutes to put the brackets on the bottom that would make it stable enough to use.  Once I finished it and put it in my craft room it seemed silly that I left it undone in my garage for a month.  

It wasn’t that hard.  It was just a matter having the right parts and deciding to finish the project.  And now that it’s done I can’t wait to put it to good use and be able to show you how I create some drawings and watercolors.




I used to hate sweet potatoes until a couple of years ago but now they are one of my favorite things to eat.

Some of my co-workers say that they can’t stand sweet potatoes unless they are covered in brown sugar or a ton of butter or marshmallows, but I don’t think they are giving this vegetable the chance it deserves.

I beg you – give sweet potatoes a chance.

When you purchase a sweet potato choose ones that are firm, medium sized and have smooth skin.

You can store them in a cool, dark place but I usually leave them on the fruit and veggie stand in the corner of my countertop and they are just fine.

Sweet potatoes are fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol fee; low in sodium; a good source of dietary fiber and potassium and high in vitamin A & vitamin C, surprisingly.

To bake a sweet potato in the oven, heat it to 400° F. Poke a few holes on the top of them with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake for about 45 minutes until they are tender.

If you don’t eat them right away they store well in the refrigerator.  These will be a healthy compliment to any meat.


Steps to a Wonderful Facial

Steps to a wonderful facial include:








What to do:

You probably have some facial products in your bathroom cabinet that would be thrilled to be taken out and used tonight.

A gentle cleanser will remove dirt, oil and makeup residue.  Apply lukewarm water and a dime size amount of cleanser and work up a nice lather.  Then rinse with warm water and pat dry with a washcloth.

Use a gentle scrub to exfoliate for 30 seconds to remove any rough skin.

Run some hot water (but not boiling) and add a couple drops of your favorite essential oils.  Put a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for up to five minutes.  This should not be too hot!  You want to open your pores but not burn your face.

Next, massage your face with medium pressure with your ring and middle fingers.  Sweep up from your chin to your forehead and then beside your nose to your forehead.  Then sweep down by your hair and jawline.  Finish by making small circles on your forehead and cheeks.  Feels pretty good, huh?

Next you want to apply a deep cleaning or hydrating mask.  There are several recipes on Pinterest if you’d like to make one at home.  Otherwise there are a ton of fun ones you can get at your local store.

Time for toner!  Soak a cotton round in alcohol free toner and smooth it over your entire face.

Finally, use a moisturizer that is right for your skin type to replenish your skin’s natural oils.  

I am so proud of you for taking care of yourself!                        Erika


Best Closet Tip Ever

In order to Bless The World we need to let go of our stuff, right?  So today I’m going to give you the best closet tip ever!

Go to your closet right now and, leaving your clothes on them, turn all of your hangars around.  When you take an item out of your closet and wear it you can hang it up the right way again.  

After a couple of months you will be able to see at a glance what clothes you use and which ones you constantly skip over.


Now take those and let your best friend have dibs.  Sell them.  Donate them. Hide them.  Okay, don’t really hide them.  Let them go and bless the world.


I promise you will appreciate the space.  It will make you feel better.  


Good job taking care of yourself!  Erika