12/12

Another nice day, tho’ the wind blew a little.

Worked with another yearling filly this morning and then a yearling stud and my draft mare this afternoon. Also unloaded and stacked a trailer load of bales. Even got Cindy to drag most of them to the end of the trailer for me!

My draft filly was real good. I hobbled her front legs and threw an old harness on her and then led her around with the tugs dragging and it sure didn’t bother her much. I guess the next step is to drive her and her brother together without pulling anything and then when they have that figured out, hook them up to a sled or something and go for a spin! Should be lots of fun. Anyone want to go along for the first drive? LOL

I sent some more pictures of horse to Donna to put on the website. She’s done a lot on it and updated some stuff, so if any of you haven’t looked at it in awhile, go check all the different pages out. http://www.dennisranch.com

Hope you had a good day too.

12/11/06

Tyler came home with Cindy last night, as they planned to go back in today and shop. They talked me into going, so we took my pickup and trailer and dropped the trailer at Dusty’s so when we came back thru’ Sturgis, we could go get a load of small square hay bales.

We ate dinner at Red Lobster and then they hit the stores! I bought a book and waited and read!

We got out of Rapid and back to Sturgis, dropping Tyler off and went out and hooked up to the trailer and drove about a mile to a feller who is selling hay. He had some from last year. Cost $2.50 a bale and they probably average about 65 pounds per bale. I had bought some earlier from him, of this years hay. Pretty good stuff, but cost $3.25 a bale. Figures out to about $115 a ton. See what it cost to have horses around? LOL

Now if I can just get Cindy to help with the unloading tomorrow……….

Hope you had a good day.

12/09/06

Man! What a beautiful day! Must have gotten up to 55 or so. Little to no wind. Just wonderful!

I worked with a couple of pretty young ladies today. One was my yearling draft horse filly and the other was my favorite Quarter Horse, yearling filly. LOL

Both were real nice. I saddled my QH filly and she is really something special. I call her Sweety and she sure fits the description. She is one we raised, out of my favorite mare. She did so good that I saddled her up, but talked myself out of riding her. She is still pretty young and not real big, so I’ll wait for Chance or some other younger, lighter and probably better hand at starting colts, to put the first few rides on her. She is just so lite and sensitive. Sure am glad I bought her mother and raised her. She ought to be real fun to ride and raise me some nice saddle horses, down the road.

I’ve been running back and forth to Gillette since I last wrote. Hopefully, Dustin can find a smaller bucket for his trackhoe and bring it out here and I will run it, digging cable for awhile. Then maybe he’ll find some work, a little closer to home.

One of these days I am going to have to go to building saddles and stuff. The orders and repair work are starting to pile up and I just got a new saddle tree in, so maybe pretty soon I can go back to being a saddle maker instead of a dirt worker!

I’ve only missed one night of watching the National Finals, in Vegas. For those who don’t know, it’s the World Series of the rodeo world. We have 6 guys from SD in the saddle bronc riding (the only event I really care much about and enjoy watching). We also had the horse who was voted to be the best saddle bronc of the year, from Korkows who headquarter out of Blunt, SD. We sure are proud of our bronc riders. And it looks like we will have one crowned as the world champion, from our state. Yeehawwww!

Also a good young bronc rider from close to here has ridden all but one of his horses. And there have been some real tuff’ ones, too! Quite an achievement. So he, JJ Elshere, will probably win the average, which is the person who rode the most and won the most money or points, at this rodeo. Tom Miller, a neighbor, did it 3 years in a row, back when he was going down the road. Only one other guy has ever done that. Rod Warren, of Canada.

The last performance is on ESPN tonight at 7 pm. So I am going to quit writing and get all set to watch it.

Hope you had a great day!

11/29/06

Brrrr! I came home last night from Gillette, as it was cold and windy there yesterday and supposed to be the same today. It’s pretty hard to do much dirt work, when it gets that cold. Oh, I guess you can do it, but the guys who do the cement work, don’t want to pour walls on frozen ground, so there is no sense in digging the basement and then having to cover it back up, until it warms up enough for them to pour cement.

Dusty had dug three basements, side by side and we had to go in and cover up some of the places about 6 to 8 inches deep, with dirt or straw, to keep the ground from freezing. Did you know that straw bales cost 6 a bale?!

Now we will have to go back and re-dig and repack the ground. Wonderful! It’s always fun to do over something you’ve already done.

I did go down and help dig some ditch on Sunday afternoon, over east of here. I think Chance is going to go help them for the next couple days, until he has to leave for his new job down in the hills.

Stay warm!

11/25/06

OK, maybe it’s time to re-think the big Tonka toys.

I have just spent the past two days, setting in a backhoe and digging up cable, from the old missile base sites. I started at 7 yesterday morning and didn’t quit until 7:30 last night. Then today I started at 8 (slept in until 6:30 as I waited up for Cindy last night and so didn’t get to go to sleep until about midnight) and I quit this evening at 6. I was going to go until 10 tonight, but I was almost out of fuel in the backhoe and the guy who brings it wasn’t around. Oh well, 22 1/2 hours in 2 days ain’t bad.

But I think maybe I need to go back and help Dusty, cuz’ when I run his equipment, I get to get out and do other things, once in awhile.

Less setting, less boring.

I guess you just can’t please some people! 🙂

Chance and Hope borrowed my pickup and trailer and moved their stuff to Hill City, to an apartment they will be renting from Hopes Dad. Chance starts work as a framer on Monday of next week. So we have two more, farther away. Life goes on.

Hope you had a good day.

Thanksgiving evening

I hope you all are in as much discomfort as I am, at the moment. I’m almost 50 years old. You’d think I would be smart enough to know not to eat so much! Oh well, it’s just a good thing Thanksgiving comes just once a year!

All of the kids came home and we ate our meal about 5 or 5:30 this evening. Tate, Kass and Gabe came about 10 this morning, so we hauled the trash out and drove around and checked on the horses and cattle, as it’s been awhile since I looked at them. I guess we need to set a date and sell the few calves we have. I’m kind of sorry we didn’t sell them earlier, but as they were later born, they were just too small to sell, when the prices were better. Oh well, I never figured to get rich raising cattle, and so far my plan has worked out exceedingly well!

Hope you all had a wonderful and Thankful holiday with friends and/or families. We sure did.

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Hope you had yourself a happy one. We are supposed to get all the kids home today, and of course the grandson and the grandson to be, will be coming with his mother and father.:)

I spent the first 3 days of the week in Gillette, again. Sounds like I might become a resident, this winter, as long as the weather and the work hold up.

I’m getting more used to it. Even getting to know where and when to eat, for faster service.

Gillette reminds me of an old town in the west, or at least how I assume it would have been, in spirit. A lot of hustle and bustle and almost twice as many men as women. Everyone is in a hurry to get something done, or to be somewhere. Traffic is kind of fast and furious, and you soon learn to drive like they do, or get left behind.

It’s good to be home and away from the hectic life. I guess that is what I am most thankful for, today. That and living in a country where we get to come and go as we please and pretty much do as we want and say what we want.

So Thanks, all you past service members, and also the present ones, who have worked and died for us, to be able to live in such a grand country. Even with all of it’s flaws, I think it must be the best one out there. Otherwise, why would so many be trying to get here?

And as to the person who wrote me and said I should update this blog daily, well all I can say is, I’ll try, but it’s pretty hard when I don’t have access to a computer, in Gillette. And I still want some of those big Tonka toys, for Christmas, if any of you have me on your list, this year. LOL And remember, when it comes to Tonka toys, bigger is better! 😉

Hope you had a great day!

11/18/06

It’s been a long week. Dusty called and wanted me to come to Gillette and help him out for a couple of days. A “couple of days” turned into a week!

It was kind of fun. I sure like playin’ with them “Tonka Toys for big boys”. Especially the trackhoe. I do believe I could comb someones hair with it now!

Dusty had me take it to a spot where someone had dumped a bunch of piles of dirt mixed with broken up rocks and asphalt. I got on top and pushed and pulled it until it was all level. Sure helped my finesse.

I don’t imagine I could keep up with him, but I can sure hold my own. I got to dig up a water line and of course, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be, so I cut it in two with the backhoe bucket. Good thing it wasn’t hooked up to the water yet!

Gillette is about like an anthill that someone has kicked over. Too many people and not enough cafes and restaurants. You wait in long lines wherever you go and wait to be waited on and served. It gets old, fast!

The weather was real nice. Had to take my coat or vest off during the middle of the day.

I’m supposed to go back on Monday, so maybe I’ll get to work with horses for a day and then back to the coal mine! LOL

Hope you’ve been having good days also.

Oh, and I’m supposed to say Hi to Becca, in California. So HI, Becca! LOL

11/1/06

Vetern’s day.

I hope we all remembered to give thanks to our vets. Without them and their sacrifices over the years, we would not be enjoying most of the privledges we do.

I always try and remember to thank a vet for their service, whenever I meet one. I got to talk to an old Marine last summer, who was in some of the bloodiest battles of the south Pacific, when he served during WWII. He acted very surprised when I told him I would like to shake his hand and thank him. That’s to bad. It meant that no one else had done it. At least not for a long time.

My father and one of his brothers were turned down from the Army during WWII because of disabilities. Funny, they always seemed to be able to fight pretty good, as I remember!

The younger brother, Wayne, did serve and was awarded several commendations and medals. No one in my family ever told me about this. Just that he had served. What a shame. A hero who I personally knew and never had the chance to discuss it with him.

So if you know a vet, whether from WWII or any other war or conflict, thank them. They served so we might have freedoms. I wish this country would treat them better!

On the lighter side, we awoke to 3 or 4 inches of wet snow Friday morning. At this writing, it is about gone. I’m sure thankful for the moisture and hope it keeps this cycle up, this winter. A little snow, a little sunshine to melt it. Then in the spring, it can get real nice and just rain a whole bunch! LOL

I went to Vermilion and had a great time. If any of you are in the area, I advise you to stop in at Valiant Vineyard, on the west side of town. A real neat place, whether you drink wine or not. (I didn’t as I had to drive afterwords.) It’s also a B&B. Wish I had know that earlier, I might have gotten a room and sampled all their wines! LOL

Had a great crowd and a good time. Sold lots of books and really enjoyed the ladies of the WIFE group, who I was entertaining. A very good group who are trying to improve and lobby for, agriculture. Any of you who are involved in ag, should look into this group. If we don’t speak up for ourselves, no one else will.

Thanks ladies, I sure enjoyed your company!

And I had a great time. And thanks Bob and Sue, for putting up with me and saving me the cost of a motel room, with a hard bed. Like Goldilocks, my bed at your house, was juuusssstttt right!

Hope you all had a good day. 🙂

11/9/06

We had some snow on the ground this morning, but it melted off pretty quick.

I’m headed out to Vermillion, SD tomorrow to do a show for a group. Should be fun as we are holding it at a vineyard! And there is supposed to be a wine tasting! 🙂

I worked with some of the colts some more the other day. We are all learning a lot. They are getting better and the job is about done. Then they go home and I get paid. It’s a wonderful incentive system!

Thank you all who responded. It’s easier to write these things, when I know someone is reading them. I sure appreciate it.

On cowboypoetry.com they have a deal that is called the Art Spur program. They have a picture or painting and everyone is supposed to write and submit a poem about the picture. It’s intended to “spur” you on, I guess. I was the subject in the last picture. I was leading a spare horse behind me so they called it, “Leading a spare.” They got some real good poems for it.

This time, the picture is of a guy on a horse who is dragging a Christmas tree home. Here is the poem I submitted.

Draggin’ in the tree

It’s gettin’ to be that time of year again
To be thinkin’ of ol’ Santy and such
To be thankful for what all we’ve recieved
I sometimes wonder how we got so dang much

Oh, I know that Thanksgiving is over for this year
and it’s Christmas that’s right around the bend
No, I ain’t got my seasons mixed up
You must think I’ve lost my mind, ol’ friend

See, some folks think Christmas is all about recievin’
and maybe that’s true for some
But for me Christmas is a lot more about givin’
and bein’ thankful for where I come from

Out here in cow country we’ve sure got some problems
But they ain’t nuthin’ we ain’t faced before
But drought, low prices and politics are the usual
‘Course this time, we got folks off to war

Them soldiers are fightin’ for all of us
and so others might have what we’ve got
Democracy, it’s about the greatest gift we can give
and the price has sure cost us a lot

So I cut this ol’ tree and I’m draggin’ it in
When I stand it up and look at it, I’ll pause
I’ll reflect on all them fine soldiers over there
Passin’ out this gift, playin’ Santy Claus

Hope you all are having a good day also.