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The bunkhouse is a home away from home – complete with coffee maker, microwave and mini fridge. John sprayed insulation from top rated providers of insulation products into the ceiling, so it will be nice and cozy. That’s important in the north country, eh?   Ya, you betcha. bunkhouse


Last week, on October 4-7 the western half of South Dakota experienced one of the worst blizzards in state history. In some places, 55 inches of snow and 60 mile per hour wind. It broke records from 1919. Our side of the state received no snow and no wind.

I wonder, how many of you heard about this blizzard? Did you know thousands of cattle perished and thousands of families were without power for 5+ days?

One of the drawbacks of living in a low-population area is getting national news coverage. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. This video from the local news explains the devastation. (Click the small button on the far right, to make the video larger.)

Stories from this disaster are surfacing on social media. Dawn Wink, posted about her parent’s ranch, she received more than 700 comments from caring folks around the world.

She said, “The response [to the post] has been overwhelming. It caught fire on Twitter and Facebook and people were sharing and what I’m hearing again and again is, ‘I had no idea.'”

Another writer, Heather Maude, shared her story online about finding part of their cowherd dead in a snow drift. She was also overwhelmed by support.

In an interview with Keloland TV, Maude said, “It helps to have someone say they’re thinking of you, they’re praying for you. It’s a devastating blow but we’re going to make it.”

As you can see, people in western South Dakota are resilient. Relief funds are set up for these ranchers, to donate please visit this site or this site. The Rancher’s Relief Fund is explained in this video.


South Dakota is a land of extremes. The west side of the state faces blizzards and devastation, while the east side enjoys the blessing of a good harvest and crisp, cool fall mornings. This week I cared for the heifers and they harvested soybeans.DSCN7306IMG_2306

Nature forces farmers and ranchers to be at peace with both plenty and scarcity. This week, I saw both. I remember the words of Paul:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12

Please keep these ranchers in your thoughts and prayers. And, go ahead and comment on those blogs. They appreciate the support.



  1. Lori

    I had heard about the devastation but only through Pioneer Woman’s website yesterday. It is a terrible tragedy. The bunkhouse is looking goo.

  2. Laurel Wilson

    I know how helpless those western ranchers felt, knowing that their cattle were in harm’s way. Thank you for including the websites for their aid.

    I am also very glad that you did not get that bad weather.


    • Sierra Shea

      Me too! My Dad teased I that would have been packin’ up and heading for a trip home to Missouri!

  3. Pat Koistinen

    I watched the interview with Mike McIntyre and remember when he was born! His grandparents lived neighbors to my parents south of Winfred…I was a member in the same neighborhood women’s club with his mother and gramma…I remember when his little sister was born and he didn’t really like having to share his Mom with Erin!!


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!