Renee Weatherbee

June 2011 - Renee's Ramblings 

Posted:  June 27, 2011

Bigalicious Flavor at Big Time Pizza 

My sister, Carrie, and her husband, Brad, staggered into Big Time Pizza in Keystone, SD, on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2008, searching for a restroom after downing massive quantities of green beer.  Smelling the tantalizing aromas of the restaurant, we decided to stay and order a pizza.  We asked the waitress what she recommended, and, thus, began our love affair with the Ultimate Supreme.  Mary, who turned out to be the owner as well as our server, warned us that the large size weighed a ton.  We weren’t put off, we ordered the biggest they had. 

When our pizza arrived, I wasn’t too sure about it.  It looked very appetizing, but it had thick crust, something I usually dislike.  It looked like it had just the right amount of cheese for my taste.  Brad dished us up each a piece and the first sounds out of all of our mouths were, “Ummmm.  Ummmm.  This is really good.”  We’ve been saying that every time we eat there for the past five years.   We stop in one to three times a month when they are open and wait impatiently for season opener after a long winter.  We all personally tell our friends and acquaintances about Big Time Pizza and recommend that they order the Ultimate Supreme.   If memory serves me, there are eighteen ingredients, all delicately chopped and blended, each flavor complimenting the other.  The crust is cooked to a dark, golden brown, just perfect.  There is no doughy taste and no grease like many supreme pizzas.  Some of the ingredients include green and banana peppers, diced tomatoes, pineapple, onions – besides the pepperoni and sausage.  I’m not even sure what else adds to the flavor, but it is, well, too sum it up, both big and delicious.   It’s bigalicious!

We’ve grown to be friends with Mary, and her daughter, Christie.  Robert, Mary’s husband, is the chef.  There are other items on the menu, which we can’t vouch for, as we haven’t tried anything else.  We talk about it, but the Ultimate Supreme always wins out. 

Big Time Pizza is located next to the Roosevelt Inn (near Rushmore Tramway).  Google for directions - I promise you won't be disappointed.


Posted:  June 22, 2011

Oh, My Goodness Snakes!

Last week, I had the misfortune of nearly stepping on a baby rattlesnake, just two feet off our patio.  The snake froze, stretched out across the grass, his body straight and sporting a diamond back pattern.  His head was up off the ground tilted back toward me and though I couldn’t see his beady little eyes, I am certain they were on me.  I couldn’t see the tip of his tail either and didn’t hear any rattling, but I assumed he hadn’t developed any yet.  As time stood still, I reasoned maybe it wasn’t a rattler – he certainly was small.  I plugged into my memory to picture a garter snake.  Nope, that wasn’t it.  The only other thought was maybe a bull snake, but that diamond back pattern kept nagging at me.  Being a South Dakota prairie girl, I’ve always been watchful for prairie rattlers, but this is only the second time I’ve come across one in over fifty years and it had been many years since the first time.  Now, I was in the Black Hills area and hadn’t expected to find this dreaded demon so close to our house. 

I looked around for something I could grab to kill the poisonous pest.  All there was some heavy patio furniture.  I didn’t think it would do me much good to swing a chair at him.  I’d surely miss and he’d probably hiss after me.  I don’t know what that thing was thinking, because he didn’t move either.  I made the decision to turn around and go back into the house and fetch a shovel from the garage.  I was going to come back and chop his nasty head off, providing he was still waiting for me when I got back.  I worried all the way that when I got back he would be in a different spot hiding to lash out at my ankle as soon as he got the chance, but there he was in the exact same spot waiting for me. 

First, I took the blade of the shovel and smashed it down between his neck and head hoping to chop it off.  The blade was dull and it did nothing.  Then I got angry and just started smashing it repeatedly with all my strength, until at last, I took a breath and surveyed the damage.  He was still in one piece, but obviously dead.  I felt better, but wondered how many relatives were close by and especially wondered if his mom would be lurking in the grass to retaliate.  I left it laying in the grass unwilling to scoop it up for fear it would come back to life.  I got a close look and could see its tiny fangs sticking out in a menacing way. 

I went to the Internet to research rattlesnakes and confirmed that it was, in fact, a rattlesnake and not a bull snake.  I viewed a picture of a baby prairie rattlesnake and this one I just killed could have been its twin.  I was relieved to learn that mommy rattlesnakes usually desert their young, so maybe, if I was lucky there wouldn’t be adult snakes creeping around my yard or drilling a den under my patio.  I learned that baby rattlesnakes are about three times as venomous as an adult.   I also learned that most people get bit by trying to kill them and that it is best to leave them alone and let them go on their merry way doing the business nature intended like eating ground squirrels, prairie dogs and mice.  Hard to do when you find one in your own yard in a developed area. 

I learned that if I should get bit, I should remain calm and keep the bitten area below my heart and find someone to drive me to a doctor’s office.  Okay, well, I’ll try to remember all this next time, but I’m quite certain if one enters my property, I’m going to smash it.  Besides, now my grandsons all think I’m cool, because I can kill rattlesnakes.  That was worth all the stress I underwent during this whole ordeal!  I guess I should have started this story with, "Last week, a rattlesnake had the misfortune to run into me..."


Posted:  June 20, 2011

Those Creeping Doubts

Writing is what I do best.  Sitting at my keyboard letting the words flow from my mind to my fingertips is when I feel the most blissful, the most complete, the most me. 

I remember in the fifth grade I decided I wanted to be a journalist, until I realized I would actually have to talk to people.  Plagued by a debilitating shyness, I scratched that idea, but it’s always been lodged there in the center of my soul waiting to get out.  It’s been about forty-two years since I first experienced the writing bug.  This God-given desire of mine to write just won’t go away.  So here I am in my fifties, working at building a career in writing, any type of writing, as long as it’s writing, will do.  Fortunately, I have a husband who thinks I have talent and is willing to let me indulge in this fantasy of mine. 

For some of my close friends who have been asking me to write a novel about my own personal experiences in life (and you know who you are)…I’m not ruling it out, but seriously, why would anyone want to read about my life.  (Never mind, don't answer that!)  But you never know, there may be something brewing there…I may just pop up as some crazy character you won’t even recognize in some crazy, mixed up story about some crazy, mixed up girl.  Oh, maybe you will recognize her.

As any writer, I often feel doubts creeping up about whether I should be doing this or not.  I doubt whether I am good enough, whether I have the self-discipline it takes, whether I have any talent and most of all I doubt whether I’ll be able to sell myself to a publisher one day.  Most of all, I doubt whether I’ll be able to do the self-promotion required of writers.  One of the hardest things for me to do is talk about me or to sell myself and my good qualities to a prospective employer or, in this case, publisher. 

I do have to admit that getting one travel article published and two personal essays almost accepted for publication (both essays are being held for future publication) in two different anthologies in my first year of serious writing, is reason to feel a sense of accomplishment.

For now, I will sit here on my computer fighting those demons of doubt and continue on.  Where I end up isn’t as important as just doing it.  I have to write. 

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