Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Friday Funnies

September 29th, 2017

I have buffalo on my mind…for good reason. I’m getting ready for the 52nd Annual Buffalo Roundup today. I’ll report more on that Sunday. Until then, please enjoy this bundle of buffalo funnies:

Q: What did mama buffalo say when her youngest went off to college?
A: “Bison!”

Q: What do you find between the hooves of buffaloes?
A: Slow buffalo hunters.

Q: What time is it when a buffalo sits in your canoe?
A: Time to get a new canoe.

The devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a buffalo walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes.
He took the precious book out of the buffalo’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” “Not really,” said the buffalo. “Your name is written inside the cover.”

A man in a movie theater notices what looks like a buffalo sitting next to him. “Are you a buffalo?” asked the man, surprised. “Yes.” “What are you doing at the movies?” The buffalo replied, “Well, I liked the book.”

A policeman in the big city stops a man in a car with a baby buffalo in the front seat. “What are you doing with that buffalo?” He exclaimed, “You should take it to the zoo.” The following week, the same policeman sees the same man with the buffalo again in the front seat, with both of them wearing sunglasses. The policeman pulls him over. “I thought you were going to take that buffalo to the zoo!” The man replied, “I did. We had such a good time we are going to the beach this weekend!”

Old West Devotions: Cowboy Hat

September 27th, 2017

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1

The broad-brimmed hat concept was borrowed from the Mexican sombero worn by vaqueros. The invention of the first real American cowboy hat is credited to John Stetson, who created a hat with a high crown and wide brim used for protection from the sun, but it was also useful and functional to the cowboy.  On their cattle drives, the cowboys could signal with their hat and also use it to dip water out of streams when they were thirsty. Stetson set the standard for cowboy hats protecting cowboy’s from the elements.

Isn’t that what the Psalmist is saying our Lord does for us? His shadow is our protection from the world. It’s such a wonderful thing that the Lord is always there to shade us if we just stay close to Him. We can be shaded and dip into His Word and into the power of prayer and be refreshed in Him. Hallelujah!  And Yee Haw!

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

September 24th, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a solid sequel that contains just as much enjoyment and humor as its predecessor Kingsman: The Secret Service. One year after the events of the first film, the Kingsman’s spy headquarters is fatally attacked by an unknown entity. With most of the organization now dead, the surviving agents Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his trainer Merlin (Mark Strong) travel abroad to team up with Statesman, their American counterparts, in an effort to bring this mysterious new enemy to justice and save the world once again.

Featuring the same ridiculously over-the-top British spy action-comedy set to music, unique British style & charm, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a worthy follow-up to the 2015 film. The director’s slick, fast- paced action and use of slow motion editing showcases his talent for cleverly choreographed fight scenes and quirky comic relief, which few other directors would be able to replicate successfully.

The cast of characters, both new and old, lend themselves to some highly emotional and entertaining situations, including a hilarious performance from SIR ELTON JOHN (wow, Sir Elton John!) playing a fictionalized version of himself. The real stand-out, though, was Julianne Moore as the film’s villain that’s so playful it’s hard to take her seriously.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has all the action, attitude and appeal of the first one, but improves on its own formula by incorporating Americans. The gadgets and the fight sequences are as delightfully over-the-top and thrilling as the original, but the violence is (appropriately) just a shade less gleeful (no heads exploding into fireworks set to music).

For anyone considering watching this it isn’t meant for young children. Also if you haven’t seen the first part, please make sure you see it first so you’re in on what’s happening with this one.

PS: Elton John’s cameo was brilliant! Unconventional and brilliant.


Friday Funnies

September 22nd, 2017

It’s that glorious time of year when rural communities are planning their harvest festivals. I really enjoy country harvest fests and seeing all the vegetables, crafts and animals. We are fortunate to live in a country with good food security and jokes about it:

A Vicar at the Spearfish Harvest Festival had arranged all the vegetables in front of the Altar. He asked the children if they could name them. The replies were potatoes, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and rutabaga. So he asked if they could use one word to cover them all. A little boy held his hand up and replied ” Gravy”

A farmer turned up to evening service and discovers that he and the pastor are the only people there.  “What shall we do?”, asks the pastor. “Well”, replies the farmer, “If I goes to feed my sheep and only one turns up, I feeds her.” So after four hymns , two sung canticles, one sung psalm,  two lessons, prayers for everything under the sun  and a twenty minute sermon the service ends. “If I goes to feed my sheep and only one turns up, I feeds her”, says the farmer on the way out, “but I don’t give her the whole bag full!””

May your heart be filled abundantly this season.


Old West Devotions: Chaps

September 20th, 2017

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.  Psalm 119:50

Chaps are leather coverings for the legs of the cowboy.  They’re usually made out of sturdy leather and made to protect the legs. It’s important they’re sturdy leather because of the shrubs and vegetation that tear at the cowboy’s legs.  Like chaps, God gives us wonderful protection by providing His Word for us as His children.

When the world starts tearing at us and reaching out to grab us with all it has to offer, we can be refreshed and cling to the Word of God and find peace and comfort there.  We can take comfort knowing God provides protection that covers us in this world.

Friday Funnies

September 15th, 2017

In case you haven’t heard, wildfires have been widespread in most of the western United States and Canada this year. Not only do the wildfires bring untold damage and destruction to the area, but the smoke creates its own health and pollution problems to those of us close enough. Just today I heard about 6 fires in and around Custer State Park and Wind Cave. One of those stories was actually amusing enough to share:

One dark night last week outside Hot Springs a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.

When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, “All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact.” But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate.

As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company’s secret files.

From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company, composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone’s amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant. Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched as the Norwegian old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the Norse old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters. The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film, asking their chief, “What are you going to do with all that money?” “Vell,” said Ole Oleson, the 70-year-old fire chief, “Da first ting ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat truck!”




Old West Devotions: Horseshoe

September 13th, 2017

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Horseshoes are normally made of metal and designed to protect a horse’s hooves against abrasion and breakage.  They are fitted by a professional farrier, who specializes in the preparation of feet and fitting appropriate shoes. A horseshoe is also kept as good luck by some that hang it with the ends pointing upward to “catch” any luck that might be floating by.

We could say that God is our farrier. He prepares us, fits us and protects us by placing the Holy Spirit within us. He doesn’t just set us in the world and expect us to have all the friction and roughness of the world bear into us as we bump along in life.  The Lord is there for us to protect us… like our horseshoe.  And it’s not by dumb luck that we have His protection. We were invited as His children. Thank you, Lord!

Sunday in South Dakota: Homestake Mine & Tatanka

September 10th, 2017

High in the Black Hills, surrounded by Ponderosa pine forests, meandering trout streams and magnificent mountain meadows, are one of South Dakota’s most memorable twin cities: Lead & Deadwood.

Lead has been called the richest 100 square miles on Earth. Over a period of 126 years, miners pulled more than 41 million ounces of gold and 9 million ounces of silver from the Homestake Mine, the largest mine in the western hemisphere. Prospectors began arriving in the Black Hills in the mid-1870s. Very quickly, “Lead City” was transformed into a thriving community built around the gold-mining industry.  In December 2001, however, that limit arrived. Homestake mined its final ore and left behind more than 370 miles of tunnels from the surface to the 8,000-foot level. Today, those caverns house world-leading research by Sanford Lab that seeks to understand the riches of the universe.

The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center now is a modern and dramatic facility providing public outreach for the Sanford Underground Research Laboratory as well as interpretation of the history and cultural context of the Homestake Mine and the new underground Lab. A short video history brings it to life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrJtG_jLptg

After a physics lesson in WIMPS and Neutrinos, I followed the Bison to Deadwood to study the story of Tatanka. Amazingly, 30 to 60 million Bison once roamed the Great Plains of North America. By the close of the 19th century, it was estimated that less than 1,000 bison survived. I was very impressed by the hands-on education exhibits and 14 larger-than-life bronze sculptures of bison being pursued by Native American riders. I could almost hear the shouts of the hunters and the thunder of the buffalo’s hooves. Neutrinos are basically nothing. Bison, on the other hand, are inspiring, full of life and passion. Make this special place a “must see” stop in the Black Hills. Watch Kevin Costner talk about his passion for the Black Hills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgbaEzGIl2M

Friday Funnies

September 8th, 2017

In the midst of preparing for Hurricane Irma to arrive, a friend in Boca found it humorous that he had been so concerned for me being in South Dakota with rattlesnakes. This must be the only instance a person would say they were happy to be in a land filled with rattlesnakes instead of being on the beach in South Florida. It made me realize how important humor is at all times – so here are a few more hurricane jokes to keep us smiling while we wait for her arrival:

Q: What did the hurricane say to the palm tree?
A: Hang onto your leaves, this will be no ordinary breeze.

Q: Why do they call some storms Tropical Depressions?
A: Because it’s a storm that is suffering from a “Depression” because it couldn’t become a hurricane.

Q: What do you get if you a cross a card game with a hurricane?
A: Bridge over troubled water.

A hurricane blew across the Caribbean. It didn’t take long for the expensive yacht to be swamped by high waves, sinking without a trace. There were only two survivors: the boat’s owner, Dr. Smythe and the steward, Marcus who managed to swim to the closest island.
After reaching the deserted strip of land, the steward was crying and very upset that they would never be found. Dr. Smythe on the other hand was quite calm, relaxing against a tree.
“Dr. Smythe, Dr. Smythe, how can you be so calm?” cried Marcus. “We’re going to die on this lonely island. We’ll never be discovered here.”
“Sit down and listen to what I have to say, Marcus.” began the confident Dr. Smythe.
“Five years ago, I gave the United Way $500,000 and another $500,000 to my church. I donated the same amounts four years ago. And, three years ago, I did very well in the stock market, so I contributed $750,000 to each. Last year, business was good, so the two charities each got a million dollars.” stated Dr. Smythe.
“So what?” shouted Marcus.
“Well, it’s time for their annual fundraising drives, and I know they’re going to find me!” smiled Dr. Smythe.

Old West Devotions: Branding

September 6th, 2017

What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?   1 Corinthians 6:19

Labor Day marked the unofficial end of Summer, and end of Hymns. Time to move on to devotions. Since my family has always been fascinated by the Old West, I’ve decided to use the West as inspiration.  After all, I’m still in South Dakota waiting for the Great Buffalo Roundup.

I always enjoyed Saturday TV with all those old westerns with the shoot-outs and cattle drives.  I was thinking about those cowboys on their cattle drives recently and about the concept of branding. Branding was originally any visible mark that showed identification for livestock.

When we become Christians, we are in a sense branded for Christ.  He sets His mark on us and sets us apart.  When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, He has ownership of our bodies and us.

Come saddle up with me as we explore this concept over the next several weeks, using some of the objects found in the Old West. 

Sunday in South Dakota: Wounded Knee Museum

September 3rd, 2017

Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, was the site of two conflicts between North American Indians and representatives of the U.S. government. An 1890 massacre left some 15 0Native Americans dead, in what was the final clash between federal troops and the Sioux. In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee for 71 days to protest conditions on the reservation.

Throughout 1890, the U.S. government worried about the increasing influence at Pine Ridge of the Ghost Dance spiritual movement, which taught that Indians had been defeated and confined to reservations because they had angered the gods by abandoning their traditional customs. Many Sioux believed that if they practiced the Ghost Dance and rejected the ways of the white man, the gods would create the world anew and destroy all non-believers, including non-Indians. On December 15, 1890, reservation police tried to arrest Sitting Bull, the famous Sioux chief, who they mistakenly believed was a Ghost Dancer, and killed him in the process, increasing the tensions at Pine Ridge.

On December 29, the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry surrounded a band of Ghost Dancers under Big Foot, a Lakota Sioux chief, near Wounded Knee Creek and demanded they surrender their weapons. As that was happening, a fight broke out between an Indian and a U.S. soldier and a shot was fired, although it’s unclear from which side. A brutal massacre followed, in which it’s estimated 150 Indians were killed (some historians put this number at twice as high), nearly half of them women and children. The cavalry lost 25 men.

The conflict at Wounded Knee was originally referred to as a battle, but, it was a tragic and avoidable massacre. Surrounded by heavily armed troops, it’s unlikely that Big Foot’s band would have intentionally started a fight.

The troubles at Wounded Knee are not over – the wounds are still open for many. It’s a painful part of history, but Americans must remember so this doesn’t happen again.

The Wounded Knee Museum doesn’t only focus on the destruction but about what was destroyed: the rich culture, the intellectual accomplishments, the colorful tradition that was Sioux life. Their heritage, their unique value system, their contributions to the world are what we must remember along with our troubled history. These are the memories that will prompt us to effectively engage in the revitalization of Native American life. http://www.woundedkneemuseum.org/

Notice the collection of nearly 300 simulated eagle feathers suspended from a Lakota Medicine Wheel. Each feather represents a one of the 300 men, women and children killed by Seventh Calvary soldiers on that day.

Remembrance is the secret of redemption.


Friday Funnies

September 1st, 2017

Sometimes the funniest moments are posted all around us. For example:

·        A sign in a shoe repair store in Vancouver that read: “We will heel you. We will save your sole. We will even dye for you.”

·        Sign over a Gynecologist’s Office: “Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”

·        In a Podiatrist’s office: “Time wounds all heels.”

·        On a Septic Tank Truck: “Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels”

·        At an Optometrist’s Office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

·        On a Plumber’s truck : “We repair what your husband fixed.”

·        On another Plumber’s truck: “Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.”

·        At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee : “Invite us to your next blowout.”

·        On an Electrician’s truck: “Let us remove your shorts.”

·        In a Non-smoking Area: “If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and will take appropriate action.”

·        On a Maternity Room door: “Push. Push. Push.”

·        At a Car Dealership: “The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”

·        Outside a Muffler Shop: “No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”

·        In a Veterinarian’s waiting room: “Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”

·        At the Electric Company: “We would be delighted if you send in your payment on time. However, if you don’t, YOU will be de-lighted.”

·        In a Restaurant window: “Don’t stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up.”

·        In the front yard of a Funeral Home: “Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”

·        At a Propane Filling Station:”Thank Heaven for little grills.”

·        In a Chicago Radiator Shop:”Best place in town to take aleak”

·        And the best one for last…Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:”Caution – This Truck is full of Political Promises.”



Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.