Renee Weatherbee

Renee's Ramblings


INTRODUCTION:  This section is dedicated to my personal ramblings – it can be about anything, from a favorite product or service, to an opinion I feel strongly about, to a personal essay, to an attempt at adding humor to my otherwise boring day.  Whatever posted here will be highly personal and is my feeble attempt at exposing myself to the world as a writer, something that doesn't come easy for me.  I welcome any comments from anyone who takes the time to read my ramblings and will respond back to you (unless you are being overly offensive, in which case, I’ll just ignore you.)  I don’t know if you’d consider this a blog – blogs are written by people who have a particular expertise in some subject – I have no expertise in anything.  Thus, my ramblings…

Any products or services mentioned here are my own personal opinion.  I am not currently being reimbursed or endorsed by any company for mention of their product or service (however, it’s not out of the question for this starving artist writer – oh, that’s right – I’m not starving, I’m living off my husband’s income).  Any personal essays or opinions on this site are my own and I am fortunate to live in a country where I have the right to write about anything I so choose.  You have a right to read it, or not.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back often!

Posted:  January 28, 2013

Memorial Stones

While listening to Joel Osteen talk about how the Israelites marked miracles and important milestones from God on large rocks, they called memorial stones, the idea popped in my head to create my own “memorial stones” as a reminder of all the wonderful things God has given me in my lifetime.

The search began for a product that would write on rocks and remain permanent.  We discovered that Sharpie produces a paint pen.  We purchased a packet with five colors – yellow, red, black, white, and dark blue.  Excited to get started, Al went around the house and picked up different river rock that might work.  He looked for stones that had a flat surface to write on.  He found them in all sizes and shapes. 

Then I began to “print” our personal miracles in paint onto the rocks.  We started with my daughters and Al’s sons.  Then we printed a rock for each of our ten grandchildren.  There is no greater miracle than the birth of your own child and grandchild, in my opinion. 

Then I wrote the names of people I’d prayed for who received a healing from God.  Karen, my closest friend, Jimmy – Al’s son, my aunt Marilyn, and baby Lawson, a friend’s grandson.   These answered prayers deserved a spot along with our other memorial stones.  I have some more healing stones ready to be added of other friends that I and many others are praying for – I am believing for even more miracles.

We created a rock to commemorate Al’s new job and our return to South Dakota – we feel God orchestrated these happenings in our lives.  I wrote a stone for Dakota, whom I believe God found the perfect family to adopt. 

I’ve been adding memorial stones each day as the memories of awesome God driven acts come back.  As I write this, I’ve remember seven more major happenings to commemorate.As soon as the snow melts, I'll collect more rocks and add to our pile.  I know that one day, my rocks are going to be piled so high I won’t be able to lift the basket I’m placing them in.  It’s been a fun project, one that can be shared with the whole family, and I recommend it as an exercise to remember to be thankful for what you have been given.  I look forward to my grandchildren's visits and when they question me about the rocks, I can tell them the true stories of God's blessings on our lives. 

While I am no artist – I wish I could get fancy and draw some pretty flowers and sunsets and birds and things of nature to really make the rocks pop, but I’m am happy to share a photo of my handiwork.  Actually, it’s God’s handiwork - this is just a way for me to remember to count my blessings.  Maybe you’ll want to create your own rock pile with   your personal memorial stones?   

Posted:  January 17, 2013


Happy Birthday to My #1 Fan!

Sometimes I wonder if keeping up this website isn’t a complete waste of time, but then it works great for things like honoring friends and family members.   Today, I honor my friend, Cheryl Hill, and wish her a very Happy Birthday!

Cheryl is many things to many people.  She puts others before herself, especially, her gorgeous, grown daughters, Jacque and Stephanie, and the love of her life, her grandson, Quade.  She’s passionate about family and she’s passionate about buffalo and their spiritual significance and importance to American Indian nations.  “I love the buffalo,” is one of her trademark phrases.

She’s a special friend to me.  From the day I met her, she has opened her arms to me and even though we don’t see each other much anymore, I know I’ll always be a dear friend to her and when we get together, it’s like it was just yesterday since we hung out.  She was my co-worker before she was my friend, but friendship came fast.  She immediately took me under her wing and taught me things about organization and computer skills that I hadn’t learned even in twenty-seven years of working for the State of South Dakota.  She willing shared with me her knowledge of Native American culture and history, even though I was the “white girl” in the office where we worked, InterTribal Bison Cooperative. 

She’s a born teacher and I had the honor of sitting through one of her buffalo box presentations to a class of sixth graders, where she would teach students about the significance of the buffalo to Native Americans and would demonstrate how they used every part of the animal.  She had them all enthralled, including me.  She shared what she knew and she did it with such class, and her warm smile, helped keep all eyes on her.  Normally, kids that age might tend to act up with a new adult in the room, but they were well behaved and even actually asked questions at the end of the presentation. 

She’s shared some of her hopes and dreams with me along with her personal history.  She’s a good listener and always has good, common sense advice to offer.  She’s a lover of music, especially the classics, and golf.  She loves to laugh.  She sometimes is too hard on herself, but I hope she knows that she is my main encourager when it comes to my writing and even in life.  She almost always comments on my postings and I take them to heart and I trust that she is speaking the truth.  She is often what keeps me going with my writing.  She’s my biggest cheer leader.  She’s beautiful inside and out and I’d like to thank her for all she’s done for me.  Here’s to the best birthday ever, Cheryl, you deserve it!  May all your hopes and dreams come true!


Posted:  January 7, 2013

Just Plain Rude

This afternoon, I spotted a bumper sticker that read, “If it’s called tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?”  The number on the license plate indicated that the owner of the vehicle is from Pennington County.  I couldn’t tell if the driver was male or female from the back, however, they were driving a newer model SUV, so I assume that they have had a fair amount of prosperity living in a county where tourism is the top industry and a state where it is the number two industry. 

The following quote is from Pennington County’s Auditor website: 



Tourism is the largest industry in Pennington County. Thousands view Mt. Rushmore each year, including tourists from many other nations.

This quote is also found on Pennington County’s State’s Attorney website.  I hate to correct them, but the truth is millions, between 2-3, visit Mount Rushmore each year.   In 2010, that translated into over $300 million dollars in visitor spending for Pennington County alone.  With that kind of economic impact, I doubt there is any kind of industry or career or job that isn’t directly benefitted from visitor spending in Pennington County. 

With these figures in mind, I have to wonder just how intelligent the owner of that SUV with the crass bumper sticker is.  I can only imagine what type of work the person might be in.  Obviously, he or she is not directly tied to tourism.  Can you imagine parking a car with that bumper sticker in the employee parking lot of Reptile Gardens?  My bet would be the person would be fired on the spot.  So, I think we can conclude this person does not work at a tourist attraction, restaurant, service business, such as gas station, or retail store, all businesses that rely heavily and are grateful for our visitors.  What’s left other than medical and legal.  I’ve got to believe that the people of the medical community have more brains and compassion for people than to post something like that.  Attorneys probably aren’t going to open up that can of worms.  I don’t know…um, what’s left?   Plumbing?  Maybe they are up to necks in crap so they got to fling some out…(no offense to plumbers…it’s an honorable profession and I’ve never met a plumber I didn’t like.)  In any case, their bumper sticker is just plain rude.  There are plenty of wide open spaces in South Dakota.  If they don’t like the extra traffic in the area, maybe they can move to Highmore.  No offense, Highmorerites!    

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