About Me

I am a 40-something-year-old mother of three daughters ranging from grade school to college age. My husband and I have been married for more than 25 years. While we don’t make our living in agriculture, we make our home on part of my husband’s family’s cattle ranch about 5 miles from town in western South Dakota.

I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in the early 90s, just before the Internet explosion. I have completed all the coursework (sans thesis) for my master’s degree in journalism through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s distance education program. Throughout my professional career I have worked:

*    as a newspaper reporter and copy editor,
*    in graphic design and commercial printing,
*    in public relations and marketing,
*    and as a college instructor of Mass Communication.

I currently own and operate my own graphic design and marketing business from my rural home.

My husband works in the finance industry. My kids have been active in sports, debate, band and 4-H.

I work hard to parent my kids, be a companion for my husband, maintain our household, manage my own business and continue my education. It’s an interesting juggling job sometimes, especially when it involves making two or three trips to town most days. Life is just a bit different for those of us living in the country – so I thought I’d write about it here.

7 thoughts on “About Me

  1. What a beautiful picture on your home page of the 3 girls. Sometimes we forget what a beautiful area we live in and to take advantage of the outdoors as much as possible. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Country Mom,

    What a great blog. My husband and I live in SC and we also work a 46 acre farm after our full time jobs. I’m a 5th grade teacher and he works for a land developer. My husband starts horses for a second job and we also have cattle.

    I’m seeking some advice from a country lady. We are considering having our first baby. How do you do it and run a farm? Today in SC it was 29 outside with a windchill of 18. I know that SD is much colder. What do you do when you have a baby and you have chores to do outside in that kind of weather? During the week, we both have to work together to get chores done before it gets dark, so I just couldn’t “stay inside with the baby.” We live a long way from family, so I can’t drop them off at Grandmas. Did you just put them in a snowsuit with lots of layers and keep going? I guess we are just worried about trying to start a family. We really want to, but we are worried about the logistics. As you can see, we are a little scared, but I figure if I can take care of horses, cows, and 70 fifth graders everyday, surely I can manage. How did you do it? I would really appreciate your advice.


    • The ortho mentioned that she did/does have some sort of “tilt” to her knee caps that predisposed her to this problem. However, he emphasized that it took a major “hit” before she actually starting having problems, and according to research, few people ever require corrective surgery on both knees.

  3. Reading your story on your middle daoughters injury and surgery is like writing it for my own daughter. She is 16 years old and in March suffered her first pattellar subluxation. She was in a straight leg brace for 4 weeks and 6 weeks of PT. She played one summer basketball game and did great! The 2nd one, she twisted (while wearing her brace for PT) and she felt it come out. Not to the extent as before but caused pain and swelling. Went back to PT and he did the electrical thing with ice. Three weeks later it still hurts, She can’t get up from a squat position and still very much afraid. She wishes there was surgery that would fix it. PT and original Ortho dr. said she is predisposed to this as her knees are hypermobile and very very loose. We live in West Virginia and would love more information on the surgery since we would not be able to go to where you are. Who is the doctor? Is he aware of others near me that also perform this surgery? We are looking at a 2nd opinion now? She loves basketball but doesn’t want to play, get hurt, be out for several days and repeat the process. She had very strong quads and glutes which is why the doctor said it hadn’t happened previously but she has very loose joints. I would sincerely appreciate any information you can send me and, as a mother, I really appreciate this information. I could just cry watching her go through this and don’t want her to continue activity that could harm her later on but hate to see her give up something she is passionate about. Thanks for your information. Robin Smith

    • Hello Robin,

      It sounds like my second daughter had the same issue as your daughter — loose joints to the point of hyperextension. The surgery has helped her, but she has struggled to regain her quad muscles. She isn’t as committed to therapy as my oldest daughter was, but the physical therapist said there are other factors involved in terms of how she is built that have made it easier for her to compensate with her hip and butt rather than forcing her to use her quads. But that’s another story.

      Overall, we have been very satisfied with the surgery for both of our daughters. We would do it again both times if given the choice. The surgery is called an MPFL allograft, which involves replacing the MPFL ligament with a cadaver ligament to stabilize the knee. When my oldest had the procedure done four years ago, the doctor we used in Rapid City, SD, was the only one in the area doing this procedure. I have since learned that another one or two doctors in this area now also perform the same surgery. I’m not sure if the clinic would be of any help finding a practitioner in your area, but you might be able to call around to the orthopedic practices and ask the question before you schedule an appointment. Most doctors are extremely hesitant to recommend surgery on a teenager, so you might have to jump through a few hoops with a new doctor (such as more PT), but it could be worth it.

      If you truly want the doctor’s contact information, let me know and I will email that to you.

      Thanks and Good Luck!
      Country Mom

  4. My daughter will be having MPFL surgery in 2 weeks with a possible lateral release and scope. We are going to Wake Forest Hospital so I feel very comfortable with that. He is going to use SHelby’s hamstring. We are a little nervous and anxious but excited about her future at the same time. Basketball started here a couple of weeks ago and it has been a struggle for her watching the other girls play but she know next year she will be out there. I appreciate all the information you posted. We feel better about this surgery. Thank you.

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