Thursday, December 12, 2013

Savin' Me

by Cassidy McGuire

When I was having trouble with my song paper for Intro to Literature, Mrs. K. helped me get it on by using Nickelback's "Savin' Me". Soon, I wrote the paper and sent it to her. I was inspired to do a video about it. Two days ago, I started to work on it and after a few tweaks I did yesterday, I had this video done.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Summer Job of Fun

by Bre Zierke

“Eww, that is so disgusting! Bre you’re the new employee. You grab it!” Being a staff member at eagle canyon hideaway I have many roles. First off, I have the role of being a maid. Also, I have the role of being a cook, and a cashier. Lastly, my favorite role is the role of being part of the family. The job may seem like you have a lot to do, but mainly I spend my time cleaning and helping out campers.

The role of being a maid is very time consuming.  I have to clean any of the seventeen cabins when they get dirty. There are eight small sleeper cabins. Then there is the Butterfly, Turtle, Lily Pad, Turkey, Whitetail, Eagle, Bear, Timber Wolf, and the Moose. Once in a while, when I’m cleaning, I will most likely find something. It was my first week of work, and I had to go clean the turkey cabin. I went in and went to the bedrooms to strip the beds and get the bedding in the wash. Well, once Sam, an employee, and I pulled back the sheets, we found two used condoms. We both argued on who was going to throw them away. She said, “Eww, that is so disgusting! Bre you’re the new employee. You grab it!”  I remember being so mad and refusing to do it. However, every now and then we find leftover alcohol. Sometimes the girls I work with drink it, or they’ll throw it out.

Another role I have to fulfill is the role of a cook. Whenever we are not busy cleaning cabins, we have to cook for the customers. A main thing people ask for is our pizzas and burritos. With our menu people are very satisfied, but the least popular food would have to be our Mac Bites. It’s macaroni with little pieces of bacon bits and jalapenos. If we have reunions staying at the camp ground, we are almost always swamped in the kitchen. We are normally running into each other trying to get the food prepared and out as soon as we possibly can. Almost every time I cooked, I burned my arm on the grill. One time, one of the employees, Lynn, was carrying dishes down stairs. Her arms were full, so she was unable to hold the railing, and she fell down a flight of stairs, and ended up breaking her nose and her arm. She was unable to work the rest of that summer.

The role of being a cashier comes with many responsibilities. I need to, of course, be able to work the cash register. But also, I have to stock shelves, sort items, fill the pop machine with ice, clean up the cafe room, and help campers with anything they need, and check in and make reservations for customers. Every day people will call and ask to set up a reservation. I must make sure I do all the paper work correctly and that the cabin they want is FOR SURE available. Many times this summer we had double booking, because people were being careless when filling out the papers. When that happens, we have to call back the people, and tell them that there has been a mishap and the cabin is not open.
I once had to call back a, let’s just say, very rude customer. I informed them that the cabin was already booked and that is was not available the weekend they wanted, and she started yelling at me. She told me that I was a dumb employee, who didn’t care about her job and that I double booked it on purpose. I calmly told her that we had another cabin available, but she didn’t want to hear it. Instead of listening, she hung up the phone. So I went and told my boss what was happening, and she called the lady back. However, the lady even yelled at my boss. Finally, after the lady quit yelling, my boss informed her that is was a mistake and that she was no longer allowed to come out to the camp ground ever again.

Whenever a camper needs assistance with anything, I must try to help them. Over the years, I’ve help people with many tasks. I helped set up a tent, hook-up a camper, show them how to start a grill, turn on the TV, and many other random tasks. One day, I was out cleaning the bathhouse, and a little girl came up to me crying, because there was a snake in the road. However, with me, I am terrified of snakes. Even the thought of a snake sends chills down my spine. But the little girl was very scared and we don’t want rattlesnakes around, I went and grabbed a shovel. I followed her to the spot where she saw the snake. Once I got to the spot, my heart was pounding. It was one of the biggest rattlesnakes I’ve ever seen. I carefully walked up to it and chopped its head off with the end of the shovel. The little girl was so thankful and ended up bringing me a s’mores that night. Sometimes, you even have to help reunions set up for their events. This summer we had one of our normal reunions come that dress up in matching costumes. This year they were cavemen. I ended up carrying clubs, spears, and rocks for them up to the rec room. It was probably one of the funniest costumes they worn so far. Over the years they’ve dressed as super heroes, fishermen, hunters, hippies, Indians, and many others.

Since I lived two hours away from my work and did not have a car, I had to live in the downstairs of the general store with my bosses. While staying with them, I played the role of being part of the family. I’ve know my bosses since I was in the third grade, and they have always felt like family to me. When I stayed with them, I lived in the storage room of the bathroom. It was a small room, but at least I didn’t have to sleep on the couch. I remember the first day I moved in. I asked, “Where’s my room at?” Julie, my boss, smiled at me and walked me into the bathroom and opened a sliding door to reveal a small room with a tiny twin rolling bed. Also, knowing that I had a fear of snake, Jimmy, Julie’s husband, had a dry snakeskin lying on my bed. I was so furious I didn’t talk to Jimmy for the rest of the day. One day, when I just got off work I went down stairs to go to bed. I walked into my room and started to get into my pj’s and all a sudden I say something in the corner of my eye. I looked over, and there was a rattlesnake crawling down from the air vent. I screamed so loud and quickly ran out of the room. It turned out one of the girls that worked at the store accidentally left the laundry door open and a snake got in and crawled down into my room. I made sure there was a sign on both sides of the door saying “CLOSE THE DOOR BEHIND YOU!” Everyone teased me after that. Another thing with living with Jimmy and Julie, is that you have to eat what they eat, or cook your own meals. And the thing is they are vegetarians. All summer long I almost eating pizza or Roman Noodles every night. Some of their meals are not too bad, for instance; the veggie enchiladas, or even the vegetarian hotdogs. However, I’m not a fan of the vegetarian bacon. Come on, who would want to eat vegetarian bacon or real bacon?

So again, being a part of the Eagle Canyon Hideaway staff, you’re going to be doing many roles. The role of a maid, cook, cashier, and part of the family. You also shouldn’t be afraid of snakes, unless you plan on getting Jimmy every time you see one. You need to know how to clean cabins, cook food, and run a cash register. You need to familiar yourself with the campground to know where everything is located. Be able to give directions to the campground, in case the campers get lost. Even how to check the chlorine and ph levels of the pool. It all many seem like a lot but it just depends on the person. Everyone has their own opinion on work and what is easy. As long as you love/like your job, that’s all that matters.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Just a Small Town Girl

..don't stop believing!  This song gets me singing very loudly every time.  It's one of my top favorite songs and it fits me pretty well.  Hi, I'm Lacey.  I'm the editor for The Yard Rake this semester.

I grew up in the country surrounded by small towns in Eastern Nebraska.  The town to the east had a population of around 300, and to the west, a town with around 50 people.  To the northwest was a town with about 2,500 people, where I went to school and graduated from in 2007.  From there, I went on to study Graphic Design in Milford through Southeast Community College.  During college, I met a man who [at that time] I never thought I would be married to!  I graduated in 2009 from SCC and a few years later got married to my cowboy and moved to the Sand Hills.

A few years ago, I started my own Graphic Design and Photography business.  I have designed logos, business cards, posters and much more for friends, family, coworkers and some acquaintances.  I redesigned the banner at the top of the page here for this blog!  My last post was some of my photography that I took early this summer at a friend's branding.  I really enjoy the photography side more than the design side, but I still like them both!

I want to share with you my favorite photograph I took while I was at SCC.  It is the original and has not been edited at all. It was featured in SCC's Illuminations book that is published with students' work. Enjoy!

© Copyright Lacey Sabatka

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Branding Day

Photography by Lacey Sabatka

All corralled and waiting for the irons to get hot


"Hold'em still!"


Organized chaos

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Photography Collection

by Christifer Lines

Nevada Sunset

Cathedral Redwoods

Lightning-Struck Redwood

New Life

Brookings Coast

Friday, October 25, 2013

Safe Haven

By Cassidy McGuire

My father was an abusive aristrocrat. He always left my face alone because it “reminded him of my mother.” Any B’s or C’s on my report card and he’d go nuts, force me into a dark room called “Happy Rock,” and lock it. I would sit in that room until he came to get me. Sometimes I would be in “Rock” for a few hours—sometimes a few days depending on the “severity.” He would always apologize, saying it “won’t happen again,” but it always did. I always knew he was lying. My father, if drunk, belted my hands, ribs, and legs; even then, he was in a fury.

My mother left me when I was six. Whenever I asked my father, he told me to leave the subject alone.

I was running away when a man found me.

“Hey, kid, you don’t look too well.” He was friendly, caring, and almost too sympathetic. I turned to run because of my fear. After the malicious treatment my father gave me, I developed a deep distrust of men.

He smiled in sympathy, but I tensed. “I don’t trust men.”

“Hey, come on, kid. I can be trusted! What’s your name, kid?”

He kept calling me “kid,” which I took as a pet name. But I was still not convinced. “How do I know you won’t return me to my father?”

“Because one of my friends distrusts men, too. Come on, kid. Put a little trust in me.” He patted my right shoulder, one that wasn’t treated by abuse, and smiled. “What’s your name?”

“I’ll only tell you my first name. It’s Brett.” I tried to jerk away when I realized I was really hungry. My stomach was growling for all the city to hear.

“’Hungry, Brett?” He was shadowed, because he was wearing a hat, but he assumed a confident air around me.

“Starving. I haven’t had a decent meal since I was ten.” That was the year that my father turned abusive, and four years after my mother disappeared. My father, the care-free but firm man, turned into my worst nightmare.

“Come on, kid. I bet Red Lobster is open.” He pulled me to his car. It was a purple Chevrolet with red velvet faux-leather seats. Needless to say, I was impressed.

“’Like it? This baby’s a fuel-injected four-wheel drive with turbo twin engines, 638 horsepower, and one fuel tank to go 65 miles per gallon.”

I got in immediately, food on my mind, threw my stuff in the backseat, and buckled the seatbelt.

“’Ready for the first real meal in years?” he asked, getting in through the driver’s side.

I eagerly agreed as we sped off to the restaurant. After a hearty meal—four bowls of shrimp scampi and two pounds of snow crab legs—we headed off to a small two-bedroom house with a garage.

He parked his car outside and led me in. It was dark, almost dragging me back to my days in “Rock,” when he turned on the light.

“Make yourself at home, Brett,” the man smiled.


After I turned ten, Dad barred me from TV and phone, and only homework research was allowed on the computer.

But I wasn’t in my father’s clutches anymore. So, deviously, I turned on the computer and searched up a YouTube video. It was what a girl in my class blabbed about often. It had the song “Blessed” by Christina Aguilera on it. She must’ve loved the song and it hooked me in an instant.

I loved the freedom this Samaritan gave me. It was true to the word free. Sweet relief swept through me as I knew I could trust this man. He gave me a home away from the lifestyle I went through. He was a human-training Dog Whisperer.

I saw something white and wiry out of the corner of my eye. I wondered, with a hint of fear, what it was.

“They’re headphones. Use them when you feel like it.” His eyes were a sapphire blue.

“By the way, you never told me your name,” I smiled.

“It’s J.J.G., James J. Gordon.”

That solidified the first friendship I had since I was ten. I started to regain my childhood. Over the weeks, James took me out to all types of restaurants to help me get back to normal weight. He took me to an acupuncturist to help me learn to relax around men. On Wednesdays, he had to work 11-2:30 as a therapist; then we would play videogames until dawn.

A month of safe haven later, I was starting to fill out a little. My arms were still bruised, but they were healing and I was able to trust men again, especially James.

It was obvious my dad didn’t give a hang about my absence. There were no Missing Person’s reports about me anywhere. The news showed nothing on Brett Adams’s absence. The internet or the papers didn’t show any sob stories.

But that Wednesday, everything changed.

James, I call him “Uncle J. J.,” had to go to work, but I knew he would be back to go head-to-head with me later. As long as I was with Uncle J. J., I was safe. As long as I was in his humble abode, no one could touch me.

I had made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when the mail came. After I ate, I noticed a letter addressed to Brett Adams.

Heart pounding, distrust starting to peak, I opened the letter, It read, in a very messy scrawl:

You know you can’t feel safe forever. I’m coming to get you.


But there was no signature. My dad always signed his letters, so I could deduce that it wasn’t his writing. Uncle J. J. also signed his letters, so I was left with the suspicion that someone was out to get me. And my agony would make it hard for my newfound trust.

To keep my mind off the mysterious letter, I searched up that “Blessed” video again. It was a good video and it helped to ease my fears.

At one o’clock, I heard a knock at the door. Thinking it was my acupuncturist, I went to answer. She always came on random days, except on Sundays, when she would go to church.

It wasn’t her.

Instead, a big hulking man with furious beady eyes was there. It wasn’t my father. Nor was it Uncle J. J. Shaking and sweating, I tried to take a few deep breaths. It might be time to fight, but he was huge and bulky, and I was small and ribby. Deciding that fighting his guy was no option, I ran up to my room, got in the closet, closed the door, retreated to one wall, and tried not to think of “Rock.” My whole body was shaking and shivering so much I heard my ribs rattle. The sound almost masked the
sound of the door breaking. I tried to push myself against the wall on one side of the closet, trying at the same time not to whimper.

A few minutes later, it seemed like the person left the premises. But I was not about to open the door just yet. All of a sudden, the door opened and I retreated further. I didn’t have much stuff, so not much noise emanated from my retreat. I got only to the wall.

“I know you’re in here. You can’t hide forever.”

There was one other choice. When the hand was near, I kicked it. Gunfire followed as the man was caught off-guard. As he fell backward, I jumped over and raced for the door.

I fell down at the door. Looking behind me, I saw a dart in the crook of my knee. I tried to pull the thing out, but I was paralyzed.

I heard heavy footsteps.

“When Uncle J. J. finds out,” I fought against the sedative’s effects, “you’re going to need a lawyer…”

As the darkness wrapped all around me, I had a bad dream. It was of my father dragging me to “Rock” again.

I felt someone tap my unbruised shoulder, and I shot up, hitting my head on something hard. “OW!” I also realized I was awake. Dad wasn’t dragging me to “Rock,” Uncle J. J. was probably looking for me; and my dream was all it was—a sick, twisted, evil nightmare brought on by a drug or fever.

“Geez, dude, calm down!” someone told me. I didn’t know who the voice was, but it was a bit squeaky.

I panted. “Just a bad, fever-induced dream,” I whispered.

“Uh, I think you mean drug-induced. That sedative knocked you out for several hours, man,” I heard another say. It was a boy’s voice, more like those stereotypical voices you might hear on television, often given to the guy of African American descent.

I stretched a bit. “Well, I’m awake now. What’s going on?”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mid-Plains Student writes MLP Fan Fiction

(Editor's Note: Adult enthusiasts of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic are part of of growing community, featured in a recent documentary. Click here to read an article about the "Brony" community)
 Hello! My name is SilverTopHat,
I attend MPCC, but due to my shyness and hesitation I do not feel comfortable revealing myself at this time.
I, however, offer you a chance to view my creative work: Wayward Hearts. Even though it is still a work in progress (WIP) I encourage you to leave comments so I can read them!
Forewarning: If you do not like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, this is not for you. It is rated Teen for a few intense adventure scenes, I assure you it is work friendly, and mild if anything language.
This is my page on
And if you want to Personal Message me, the site has that function.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! Who knows, I might make a sequel!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Our Heros

On the evening of Tues., April 2, a group of NPCC students came to my aid, to help locate my elderly husband, who was unfamiliar with the campus.

We'd been attending a class that released about 8:45 p.m. He uses a walker, and often left ahead of me, and would wait at the north Handicap doorway. That night, he was nowhere to be seen. After checking the car, I returned to the building, and the teacher of our class helped search the Men's restrooms, classrooms, and all the hallways.

I realized he may have exited from another door, but feeling helpless, I approached a group of male students in the concession area. They immediately offered their help, and spread out to all the exits to help look for him. The teacher and I returned to the north doors. The car was within sight, and I saw my husband and a "Guardian Angel" - a student by the name of Ariel Easton. My husband must have exited from the South handicap door, and got disoriented. He'd followed the sidewalk around, but stepped off the curb with his walker, and fell into a sitting position (no injuries). As Ariel slowly drove past him, she first thought he was waiting for someone........but she backed up and went to check on him. Thank God for Ariel !! The temperature was dropping and he only had a light sweater on.

As they walked back west, he recognized the car, and that's when we were reunited. I couldn't be more thankful for Ariel, and for the willingness of the young men to offer their help. Ariel's compassion, and the quick response of the other students, speaks volumes about the inherent goodness of the young people attending our great Mid-Plains Community College. 

With sincerest gratitude,

Cynthia McGuire