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Rod McQuery. Met him many years ago at Elko and ran across him at different times afterwords. I had him and his lovely bride out to Devil’s tower on at least two occasions to recite poetry.

Buckaroo, Marine, all around nice guy and in my thinking a genius in the way he could write and remember and recite poetry.

He recited a poem he had written shortly before, at Elko on night and had one of his fellow poets rolling off the stage in gales of laughter. The Chicken Outfit. I learned it and recited it, but never as good as Rods did…tho’ he always told me to do it, saved him the bother. It would be interesting to know how many poems he had committed to memory.

Rod was married to a lovely lady named Sue Wallis, who their neighbors had the good foresight to elect as their state rep in Cheyenne.

This past summer and fall, Rod had some time to spend on the computer and if he saw I was on Facebook, a barrage of strange, exciting and memorable conversations were had. I would laugh until I hurt at some of his insights and observations!

Rod and Bill Jones put together a book of free verse poetry called Bloodtrail, about Vietnam and the war they were both involved in. Rod was very concerned about all of the Vet’s who were committing suicide, after they returned and it continued up to this time….he told me once that many vets told him that reading this book helped them more than anything else they had ever had access to.

Peace Rod. Hope you got a great one to ride on that side…and if you don’t, you’ll just make him into one….

This afternoon Hope and I took the kids over to the neighbors for sledding.
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Kind’a frosty out there this morning… something below zero. But the team started right up! I lured the cows in with feed and sorted a few more off that show a little thinness so I can feed them better. They are still in great shape, but it’s easier to keep one in good shape than to get one in good shape when it gets cold.. Praise the Lord the wind ain’t been blowing.
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I am fighting the continuation of or a new cold, so had a hard time resting last night. Got up and got my things together, Cindy had a cake baking we had to wait on then we headed over to Red Owl for Mass. Played music until time for Mass to start and between the incense blowing up and hanging in the choir loft and the cold making me light headed, I about fell out of the choir loft! Who needs pot! :-)\

When we got home afterwords, I bundled up, hooked up the team and went and fed the cows. They were all hanging just north of the house so it was a quick trip. Fr Tyler had arrived by the time I was done and then Tate and Kass came and Hope and Chance had already come down. We had merry confusion with everyone opening presents. We ate later and us menfolk all took a nap as we all seem to be suffering from sickness of some sort. All the kids have left with just Fr Tyler here now and me and Cindy. Ahh… back in the swing of things… hope you all had a Merry Christmas and here’s to a fantastic New Year!

I hooked the team up this morning (-10 below anyway) and me and the dogs hauled them some hay up west. I knew it was gonn’a get cold, but didn’t think it was gonn’a be that cold. I kind of think my cheap thermometer might have been lying as it didn’t feel that bad. Tho’ I was bundled up and there was no breeze. Amazing how the tractor that had been plugged in for a day and a half wouldn’t start this morning but the team just took right off. Didn’t even have to warm them up, so to speak!

When I got done, I cleaned up and Cindy and I made a trek to town to do some grocery shopping and a few odds and ends. Went and looked at the tractor we are dealing on. For it’s age it looks real good and like it’s been well maintained and taken care of.

When we got home about dark I checked and the tractor started so I let it warm up while we hauled all the groceries into the house then I bundled up and hauled another bale to the cows up west. Hey, it’s Christmas Eve! And gonn’a get cold again tonight. I will feed them a bale tomorrow after Mass at 9 am and they will be happy and well fed.

And speaking of Christmas and Christmas eve, so many forget that the words are Christ’s Mass, or a Mass to celebrate the birth of Christ, the most influential and greats person ever born on this earth. 2000 plus years later, we still celebrate his humble birth out amongst the livestock. Makes me glad I can take care of livestock on a cold wintry day and night. And yes, it’s cold and many probably wouldn’t enjoy it, but tho’ it’s a small sacrifice, it puts me in mind of the Christ child and the sacrifice he made for all of us. Please take time to thank him for this, in this busy season where all the media tries to get us to think of ourselves and that we must buy, buy, buy, to show our love. Nope, it ain’t so, but as with so many things, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it!

For Christmas Hope wanted to be moved into her OWN house. Looks like it will happen. Couple good friends came over and Tate drove out from Custer to help and they got it all insulated and skirted, water turned on and bam, they are ready! I cut insulation so they could fit it in and then went and hooked up the team and fed hay to the cows. After dinner I hooked them back up and hauled bean up to the cows. We had a lot of hoar frost so it was all sparkly and shiny when the sun peeked out. Sure is purty a bunch of red cattle coming in to feed across a white landscape…colder but still not to bad for this time of year.

Wasn’t even up to 20 at 10 am…supposed to stay in the teens or below for the next duration, be a cold Christmas day…took the team and hauled a heavy bale up west. Cows are staying up there and picking pretty good…

I woke up about 12:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep until 4:30…. real short night. Got the sniffles and feel like I am trying to get another cold or whatever crud is going around here. Makes me very angry! I thought I’d done my penance already!

Helped Chance on his trailer this afternoon and pulled a muscle in my right shoulder blade… damn, wish I hadn’t wasted so much of my youth on silly things….also let the cows out of the corral I am re-weaning and put the horses so they can come in the corral from the north to get a drink.

Found a tractor I am dealing on. More info when I get more done on the deal..

The Mayans… but then what do you expect from a bunch of people who thought eating each other for food was a good thing? 😉

Sunny, no breeze, just a real nice winter solstice or what ever it is. Least amount of day light anyway and the daylight hours start getting longer now!

Hooked the team up and hauled a bale up north west. still some grass up there and the tank is working so if i can convince them cows to go up there, they could get some more grazing. Then this afternoon after Gus got home early from school, he and Sam rode in the calf sled as i went back up with the lowboy and we moved the bean and mineral feeders and put some more bean in. The team got a pretty good work out today and so did I. Chance and Hope had to make a run to Punkin Center, so brought our half of the beef home. After I got it in the freezer I went up and helped Chance work on skirting their trailer. I’d worked up a sweat before that and came home a bit ago and was chilly. Just cutting 2×4’s wasn’t enough work to keep my engine heating properly….

Cindy still isn’t feeling up to snuff so won’t go in to work tomorrow. Chance was hackin’ and coughin’ while he was working. sure be glad when all this sickness is past…

I got most of my chores done this morning and then Hope andSam and I took off for the big city to get stuff fro their trailer house. We shopped for a few things, I took the laptop back I had got last week as it just wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. Got another used one and it will do more than my table top model. Newer, so it ought to. It’s a Macbook, I think….hey! I am old and dumb about these things. I am typing this on it. First time since high school my typing class has come in handy as I can type with all fingers the way I was taught. I never could before as I learned on a manual and when I tried to rest my hands near the spacebar as I was taught, a lot of weird letters would come up on these computers and electric typewriters……. I haven’t quite got the hang of whatI was taught, but I am using many more fingers than I would usually use!

Got up to 40’s in Rapid today. Not quite that warm here but nicer and supposed to be even nicer tomorrow!

Gus had his school Christmas program tonight. Sure more fun to watch all them kids than anything on TV!

Hadn’t got up to 20 yet when I looked and a stiff breeze out of the northwest today. I hooked up the team, took some bean up west and then drove around looking at grass and the tanks. One tank was completely frozen over, the other had an open spot on the up wind side. Chance is sick as a dog so came home from work today. Sure wish everyone would get healed up. Cindy called work and told them she’d be out for another day. I think Hope and I are going to take the trailer in tomorrow and pick up a bunch of stuff for their house that they don’t have.

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