Dances with Wolves film locaton – a must see!

As a kid and still to do this day, I love a good western movie; True Grit, Lonesome DoCowboyve, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Dances with Wolves…all very good westerns.  But one of the things I enjoy most about watching a good western is the scenery; wide open vistas, rock formations and always plenty of horses.  It’s the simplicity of a good western, good guy gets the bad guy and the good guy always gets the girl, simple.  Well, most of the time.

A few years ago I got to go on the dream vacation of a lifetime, well one of my dream vacations, with my sister, children’s’ book author and travel writer.  We traveled to Rapid City South Dakota to see the West.  Actually the Northwest, but the film location for the movie Dances with Wolves.  Excellent!  We saw the Crazy Horse monument, Mt. Rushmore, Deadwood, Custer State park, the Badlands (outstanding western movie backdrop) and the Minutemen Missile historic site.  But the one thing that struck me most were the outstanding views!

Yes, that’s me with Ronald Reagan and Crazy Horse is reflected in my sister’s sunglasses, the wide open expanse of the Badlands and Graffiti Alley.  Graffiti Alley is an interesting concept and a must see destination in Rapid City.  The graffiti artists are encouraged to tag only in the 4 block long alleyway with their art and this unique idea is publicized throughout the city!  What a great idea and well worth the investment in local talent.  Oh and that’s me looking down at a missile, how awesome is that!

Being a fan of western movies, the trip for me, was incredible!  I would definitely revisit the area.  If you’re a western movie fan or just a fan of the west, I highly recommend adding Rapid City South Dakota to your bucket list of travel destinations and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Bucket List Buddy and Pail – the dolls

Great news!

I have contracted a doll-maker to create dolls based on my Bucket List Buddy and Pail designs.  As of today she is picking out fabric and the accessories needed to complete each.  I’ll keep you posted as she progresses.













Kimberly Lentz

Entrepreneurship – The Way I See Things

The way I see things my recent experience with downsizing has given me the time to consider my options for a career change.  I have spent my life crunching numbers and analyzing data, but my true passion has always been of a more creative discipline, photography.  I have decided that the opportunity to turn my passion for photography into a business has arrived, no more putting it off.  The most important bucket list item of my career has just moved its way into the #1 spot, entrepreneurship.

Here is an example of the types of slide shows that would be available.

I have spent a lifetime taking pictures of anything and everything and I absolutely love it!  I know some would say that the field is overcrowded but I believe that I have the skills and passion to give it a go.  I have maintained, for some time now, the web site “The Way I See Things” and it is a grouping of the various photos that I have taken over the years, please check it out.  The main focus of my work is going to be slide show photography and photographic stories, as I feel ones life cannot merely be summed up in a portrait.

Bucket List Item #1 – Entrepreneurship.  Wish me well!

Kimberly Lentz

Next up – the ride of a lifetime

It was the summer of 1990, I was stationed at Camp Atterbury in Indiana participating in my two-week training requirement for the Army Reserve.    At work one evening I met the pilot of a UH-1H Huey helicopter that also was there for his training.  While we were talking, he mentioned that in the morning the crew would be flying to a nearby airport to fuel up and asked if any of us would like to go.  Now I have to admit I was a bit hesitant at first, but I agreed along with a couple of friends to be there in the morning.  It’ll be fun, right?

We left work that morning and walked over to the clearing where the Huey was parked and met with the crew and climbed aboard.  If you’re not familiar with this type of aircraft, the Huey was the work horse during the Vietnam war.  During the war, the aircraft was equipped with 2.75 rockets, one on each side and .30 caliber machine guns.  The aircraft was used as a gunship to escort Army and Marine transport helicopters.

I picked the seat in the back referred to as the gunner seat and tightened down the Army issue green canvas strap.  Sitting in this seat, with the door open, my boot tips hanging over the edge I felt both exhilarated and terrified!  The Huey we were now sitting in had actually flown missions during the Vietnam war and several bullet holes could be seen in the cabin.  I was riding in a piece of history, how awesome!  The lift off was smooth and uniquely different from taking off in an airplane and the sound from the propellers was deafening!  Now if you have ever ridden in a Huey or have seen any Vietnam war movies, you surely will know what I am speaking of when I say the sound of the rotating propellers are certainly not mistaken. (see video)

Once in the air, the pilots decided to test our metal, so to speak and began banking back and forth just above the treetops.  I was sitting in the rear on the right and each time we would bank to the right, I would rise out of my seat just a bit, wind blowing in my hair and look over my boots at the treetops.  OoohRah!  Cruising at a speed of 110 knots or about 126 mph, I was shaking with excitement!  For the pilots this was just another day at the office, but for me it was fantastic!  The pilots were able to get one of the guys that had come with us to use the on-board barf bag and both seemed to enjoy watching him in agony as they continued banking back and forth above the trees.  Mission accomplished! UH-1H Huey

This exhilarating ride continued for about 45 minutes and I could not have been happier!  When we landed the crew invited us back for another flight tomorrow.  Excellent!  We had to go back the next day for another rush, minus one from our group, but it is a bucket list memory that has not been forgotten!  If you ever get a chance to ride in a Huey, go for it, there is nothing like it!

Bucket List item # 3 – surviving Basic Training

In honor of our Veterans, I thought I would take a look back at my experience in the Military.  I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1987 as a Private First Class and headed off to Fort Jackson, South Carolina on one very hot August day to begin Basic Training.

Ft. Jackson SC
Basic Training Photo

Now for any of you that have served you know what I’m talking about when I say it is quite a culture shock and very challenging!  Military life is unlike any other and there is only one way to do everything and I mean everything and that is the Military way.  Basic Training is up at 4:15 a.m. run a couple of miles, knock out an hour or so of physical training (PT) and then head to breakfast.  Then the day really begins.

You are trained in the Military way to clean, dress, speak, march, drill, salute, fire a weapon, exercise, teamwork…and a huge amount of time will be spent practicing standing around in formation.

Oh and don’t forget the enormous amount of hat brim to forehead in your face screaming, a Drill Sargent specialty.  Ah I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I have to admit I was not a fan of all of the cleaning, marching, screaming and endless standing around, but I did enjoy firing the many weapons.  I threw a couple of hand grenades, exhilarating and terrifying at the same time!  Fired a grenade launcher and hit a tank, excellent!  And climbed into a standing fox hole and got my hands on the M-50 machine gun.  What a thrill!  Of course there is a down side to combat training and with the Military what seems to be a blast one minute is surely agony the next especially when you are walked into a concrete building filled with CS gas and made to take off your gas mask.  This bit of training I know I could have done without!

Overall I did enjoy the challenge and rigors of basic training and after a while even began to enjoy the screaming and at times thought it was pretty comical.  Oh there were some that cried and some that left, but for those of us that graduated it is an experience that is never forgotten.  So for this Veterans day, I would like to say OOHRAH! to all of my fellow Veterans those here with us and for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice and those currently serving.  And to remind everyone that Freedom is not Free and acknowledge the sacrifice each of our service members have given past and present.

Thanks Again for your Service!

Bucket List items are different for everyone

As a graduation gift, my neighbor and close family friend, gave me a ticket to ride in a hot air balloon.  I was a bit anxious at first never having been off  of the ground, but I went and the ride was magnificent!

To anyone that has not left the ground, riding in a hot air balloon is literally up lifting.  The feeling is indescribable.  Standing in the basket waiting to lift off not knowing what to expect hearing the roar of the flame heating the air in the balloon and then…slowly the basket begins its climb.  Riding in a hot air balloon is not like riding in a plane or helicopter, it is something all together different.  The basket is open so the air brushes softly past your face and you are standing looking over the side to the ground below and see the perfectly laid out plats of land.  Slowly floating knowing that only the hot air from the flame keeps you airborne.  It is both exhilarating and serene.

Hot Air Balloon

It was quite an experience, one I have never forgotten.  I encourage anyone that has not had the opportunity to float in a hot air balloon to do so and  I look forward to reliving the experience.

Bucket List item #2 may be a rerun item.

I’ll keep you posted.

WOYBL Design

In case you were wondering where Bucket List Buddy and Pail had come from, well a doodle, plain and simple.  My sister is a travel writer and we were emailing each other and I attached Pail to the email and jokingly suggested that Pail would be a funny icon for one of her articles.  She agreed. So, Pail was painted and refined and decided that he needed a partner in crime to participate in the Bucket List items and Buddy was created.

The rest, as they say, is history.



Bucket List items are different for everyone

Recently I experienced what Corporate America defines as “downsizing”.  To any of you that this has happened to, we know it as losing our jobs.  Yes, I could be bitter but instead I have decided to accept it as a gift, a time to stop and smell the roses so to speak.  So, in keeping with the new-found bucket list craze, I decided to take a slow tour down memory lane to relive my bucket list items.

I decided to take a look back at all of the wonderful things that I have experienced over the years.  My first recollection took me back to my teen years when I went to my first major league baseball game.  As a teen I loved playing sports, watching sports and thinking about sports.  So on a hot June day in the summer of 75 I went to my first ballgame.  The Cincinnati Reds were playing the Atlanta Braves, Don Gullett was on the mound and the Big Red Machine was on the field.  It was a magnificent day!

1975 Big Red Machine

The Reds won that day 9-2, but I don’t remember much about the game, but what I do remember was walking up the ramp to our seats seeing the field for the first time, it was fantastic!  I heard Joe and Marty, smelled the hot dogs steaming and could feel the tremendous electricity of the crowd.  And I thought, what a beautiful site it was to see in person the guys that were the Big Red Machine.  It was a great day, one I still remember and an experience I will never forget and realize now was the start of my Bucket List.

Bucket List item #1 – have seen my first major league baseball game and happily experienced the summer of the Big Red Machine!

Pick a WOYBL design

The WOYBL collection – check it out!

Featuring Bucket List Buddy and Pail

What’s on your Bucket List?

What’s on your Bucket List? Badlands SD

10,000 Things to do before you Kick the Bucket