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Just got this in an email and thought I ought to share. Hope you get as much from it as I did. Thanks, Twyla.


May the Spirit of Christmas inhabit your heart and your life every day is my prayer.

~ A Baby’s Hug ~
We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a
high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking.
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby
hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his
mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose
pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of
would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and
unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose
was so varicose it looked like a road map.
We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands
waved and flapped on loose wrists. ‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy.. I
see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks,
‘What do we do?’
Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man.
The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal
came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake?
Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for
Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row
bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went
to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man
sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before
he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned
my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing.
As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s
‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled
himself from my arms to the man.
Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their
love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission
laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed,
and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime,
pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No
two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.
I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and
his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding
voice, ‘You take care of this baby.’
Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were
in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am,
you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’
I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran
for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik
so tightly, and why I was saying,   ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’
I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny
child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a
mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind,
holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing
to share your son for a moment?’ when He shared His for all eternity.
How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom
of God , we must become as little children.’
If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes,
it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always
remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we
feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or
the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you
treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.
This one is a keeper.
‘It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who
people think you are……’

No not the weather, me!

I have been trying to stave one off now for several days, that I think Cindy brought home. Eating Echinasia and L Lysine pills. It never quite takes a real firm hold, but then every once in awhile I feel run down, stuffy and tired. Wake up in the morning with a sore throat from being stuffed up and snoring and got some body aches. Oh well, this too shall pass. 😉

Ran into town yesterday to do some stuff. Cindy was sick Tuesday night so didn’t got to work Wednesday morning, so she rode along and brought her car home. Don’t know what it was, but it passed fast.

Been very nice warm weather. Up over 50 today and even got some rain. Not sure if that has ever happened in my memory, on the 29th of December!

Lige and I ran the horses in, hooked up the team and fed a bale to the thin cows and calves. We hauled some more bean down south to the other bunch and they had finally moved south of the tank to graze.

I will try and remember and load some pictures of Christmas and stuff on here in the next day or two.

Cindy had to go in to work at 1:30 Christmas morning as one of her co-workers was sick. But the good part was, she got to get off earlier. So I left here about 8:30 and got into town about 9:30 and picked her up and we headed down to Rapid to Fr. Tyler’s. After awhile Tate and Kass and family showed up. I let Kass and Gabe play cribbage with me and I was nice enough to not whup them. 😉

Then later on Chance and Hope and family got there. Some time in there I got in a short nap. We all visited and everyone opened the present everyone had gotten each other. Fr Tyler was kind enough to buy all the little boys harmonica’s and he thought that was really funny! Not so much., the parents!

Gabe and Lige got boxing gloves and blow up boppers, which are huge boxing gloves. Man,did we have fun with them! Gus and Sam got cap guns. Did you know they make them out of plastic now? And i thought them pot metal ones we used to get were cheap! Seems like some of the adults got a little tired of hearing the pop, pop, pop!

I got a new book and a silk wild rag and Cindy got a Kindle. I also got a small mp3 player I had ordered about 6 months ago and when it came Cindy just hid it and wrapped it up! She is going to get it! Not sure what she is going to get, but there will be sweet revenge! This little deal is made to put a card like goes in a camera, only you can put all kinds of music on it and then it will play over the radio in a vehicle. I suppose they have made them for years, but it’s the first I was aware of them when my buddy Mike came to visit this early fall and told me about them. I hope it works!

Probably the best present I have gotten is the weather. It sure has been nice. Supposed to be up in the 40’s all week. The wind is going to howl today, but when it’s this warm, this time of the year, who cares?

We brought Lige home with us last night to spend some time without any other grand kids around. Probably ruin the poor kid for life!

Lk 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven,
the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go, then, to Bethlehem
to see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

But still just as true today, other than the temps.

The Gift

It had been bitter cold, for three long days
The wind blew sharp and swirled snow
So I bundled up, with lots’a clothes
‘Cause I had somewhere I needed to go

I caught and harnessed my work mares
The harness was so stiff, it wouldn’t bend
I warmed up the bits, ‘fore I hung ‘em on
On a cold day, you’ll do that for a friend

And them ol’ mares, are good ol’ girls
They give me, everything that they’ve got
Not too many friends would go willingly outside
Then line right out, in a trot

Those hungry cows was sure glad to see us
They went right to work, on their hay
You know, when it’s 24 below and breezy
You ain’t just feedin’ them cows for the pay

At least not the pay that the bankers loan out
But there are rewards, in the job that you do
So I drug out extra feed, ‘cause it’s Christmas eve
And I hummed a Christmas carol or two

When the cows were fed, we jogged on home
I poured a good feed of grain for the team
Most folks wouldn’t enjoy my kind of lifestyle
That’s okay, ‘cause I’m livin’ my dream

And I think about a babe in a manger
As I fill my manger full of hay
I think about all the people in the world
And how they all celebrate this day

Some folks enjoy Christmas, because of the gifts
And I sure don’t think that’s all wrong
But most’a the gifts they give and receive
Are forgotten, ‘fore the New Year comes along

The gift that I’m most thankful for
Is gettin’ to ranch, not punchin’ a time-clock
And strangely enough, goin’ out in the cold
With a good team to feed my hungry stock

Robert Dennis 1993

Here’s a poem Bob Peterman sent me. Bob is a whale of a singer/songwriter/poet. He and his lovely bride, Kay, live up in eastern Montana. Hope you enjoy this one also. thanks Bob.


It’d been a long cold Christmas eve and Santa needed rest.

He was headin North, a-goin home, from somewhere way out West.

He was over the big Montana Plains, where the ranches are scattered and few,

When he saw a yard light twinkling from a cow ranch that he knew.

He’d stopped at this place in the past to let his reindeer blow,

There’s a shed to hide em under, to get em out of the snow.

The old couple had gone to their grand-kids, they told him they’d be gone,

But they said “That don’t matter, you just make yourself at home.

There’s grain and hay to feed your deer, the doors don’t have no locks,

There’s a pot of coffee on the stove, and firewood in the box.”

So Santa landed there and fed his deer, and he went on inside,

To warm his feet, and relax a bit, before he finished up his ride.

He found some Christmas cookies and a pot of coffee, like they said,

Then as he looked around, some things he saw, warmed his heart and filled his head,

With thoughts about these ranch folks, that old cowman and his wife,

How they were blessed with what they have, and how they lived their life.

He saw some Christmas cards on the table, that came from all their friends.

Showing manger scenes, and Angels, and “Peace on Earth, Good will to Men.”

Then he saw a Bible opened to Luke –Chapter 2, and the story of a Savior

Sent to save the World and make it new.

The tale of the first Christmas, and how it all began,

And the greatest gift of all, that came from GOD to man.

Then it was time for Santa to leave and get home before break of day

The sky way over in the East was already turning gray.

He got his reindeer headed out, then leaned back in the sleigh.

Like good old saddle horses, those reindeer knew the way.

Santa let his thoughts drift back to all those folks who live out on the land,

And he said “Those folks have got it right, and they sure do understand.

They all go help each other, no matter what the task,

And how they’re going to get paid back, they never even ask.

They’ll help a stranded traveler, and send him on his way

They’ll feed a hungry stranger, and never ask for pay.

If everyone around the World, lived by their cowboy code,

It would make my job lots easier, and lighten up my load.

I could concentrate on orphaned kids and folks with real need

And not be just delivering stuff, to satisfy people’s greed.

Now I know tomorrow, Christmas will be safe again,

Not because of toys and Santa Claus, but from what’s in the hearts of man.”

Bob Peterman.

Elizabeth Ebert is a friend, lovely lady and one of the best, if not the best, cowboy poets of all time. Someday I think we will erect a monument to this fine lady and her body of work. She sent me this in an email and graciously allowed me to share it here.


They’re playing Christmas music
Everywhere I go
The jingle bells are jingling
They’re dashing through the snow.

Crosby’s Christmases are white
Elvis is still blue.
Reindeer ran over Grandma
(Please tell me that’s not true!)

Nick’s coming down the chimney.
The chipmunks are in tune.
Mama’s kissing Santa Claus
( I hope dad gets home soon!)

They’re cranking up the decibels
They’re blasting left and right.
It may be Christmas music
But  I long for silent night.

Written by Elizabeth Ebert

We have a nice wet snow falling. A little wind out of the north northwest, but the snow is wet enough it won’t be able to blow around for a spell. The cows can get all the moisture they need for grazing without having to walk to a tank, tho’ some probably will. I took bean down south this morning and then went and checked the tank. Cows are enjoying all the left over grass from this summer.

Fr Tyler is here and we were out trying to sight in his new rifle, a 30-06. Got it pretty close at 100 yards so he should be good at about 175 sounds to me like.

I went and checked the tank this morning and it was full with about an inch and a half of ice on it. then I ran the horses in from up west, caught up Mijo and Gramma helped me and we sorted off the new cows in better flesh, kicked hem in with our other cows and moved them down south to the full tank, which they went to drinking from. Lots of grass down there and if I have time yest today I will haul some bean down to them. Bart is supposed to be here in a minute or two to butcher a beef we have been fattening on. Still need to get back in the leathershop and finish up the project. We are supposed to go down to Custer on Thursday for Arri Cat’s first birthday. If I have the project done by then I can take it along. We also need wood pellets. I have some hard wood ones, but they screw up my pellet stove. Dammit!

Another beautiful day and awfully nice for this time of year!

I had a tank down south that wouldn’t work. When I messed with it a few days ago I got it to try and put out water, but then it quit. I decided it was the electrical problem at the well. fixed that and it still did work, so Chad, my water and well guy, ran down. He told me that it was all working at the well. Evidently what happened was that after I got it going, the electrical quit and the water did not drain back so it froze up at ground level that night. The next day when I fixed the electrical, it acted like it wasn’t working because there was no draw from the tank. Took Chad to figure it out for me. Maybe I ought to stick to windmills! At least I understand them! He suggested I borrow his steamer, a device that will unthaw frozen pipes and such. Chance had told me about building one so I called him and he explained how to make one. I did and after some modification, wow! Sure seems pretty simple, but steam will really thaw things out.Now if I can just keep it going! I will try and move cows down there tomorrow. Might even get Gramma to help. If so I bet she rides Purple, the wrangle horse, as Mike calls my little purple Suzuki that I use for a 4 wheeler. She has a nasty cold and even stayed home from work on Sunday. It takes a lot to get her to stay home from work, but this one was whipping her. Some of us went up and Christmas caroled at a neighbor last night and Cindy didn’t even go along. I am leaving here after bit to go over to another young neighbor couple and some of us are going to practice playing and singing the music for Mass, Saturday night. Another nice day out there, tho’ only up in the 30’s.