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I am getting another cold! Man, I tell you, if you ain’t got little school kids around you bringing all these home, count your blessing! Well, yeah, it’s great to have them around, but Gus seems to bring every new cold home from school. All during Christmas vacation, nothing and bam… just as soon as school starts up again, here come the germs! I think it’s because of all these antiseptic hand products and such. Heck, we all need bacteria… just not always the bad kind. We will be wiped out as a human race not from wars, but thru’ germs! Mark my words!

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Here is a photo of Gus after he had been watching Ironman 2 and of my latest leather project, a cover for one side of the little case I carry my books and CD’s in… Cindy had been pestering me to make it look more snazzy, I hope this is snazzy enough!

I ran Cindy in to town for a dental appointment this morning and I felt so poor we just grabbed a bite and came home after…

I will be in Iowa near New Hampton doing music and poetry with Bob Peterman and Rod Nelson on the evenings of the 25 and 26 of this month. I think the actual show is at Lawler and not sure if there are any tickets left. Marty Blocker will be there as host/MC, so we will have a great time. Hope the weather is good, that is a long drive on poor roads…anyway, if any of you are close and interested in the show, give me a holler and I can find out about tickets. It’s a fund raiser they do every year back there. I am taking my buddy Paul Larson’s place as he messed up his wrist and still is not able to play the guitar good enough to perform, but he will be back at it in no time!

I will be performing in California in the first part of February and seeing my buddy Mike, who has come visited me a couple times in the past. Gonn’a be a blast! Again, if anyone is interested in going where I am going, let me know and I will get you more info…
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That is what today represents for me…. 55, double nickles…because by the standard calender, that is what I turn today… 55. Who would have guessed? 🙂

Part of me is shocked to realize I have walked this earth for the past 54 years…I was sure I’d be dead now and Lord knows there have been a few incidents in the past where it came pretty close…. a man could almost get cocky and think he was never going to die!

I suppose I should be a year wiser at this point from last year at this time…but for the life of me and I can not think of one single thing I learned this past year, that was a new revelation, on something, tho’ I am sure I did…

All in all, I feel pretty lucky. I have a wonderful wife, 3 sons I am very proud of and two daughter in laws who I would pick to be daughters if I was given the choice and 7 wonderful grand children who delight me on a constant basis…

I look forward to a wonderful year and I guess the one thing i do think I have learned or at least came to a better understanding in the past year or years, is to quit worrying about the little things that I do not really have any control over. We had the driest year on record this past year and I could worry it will be as bad or worse next year, but I will let the Good Lord worry about that. Seems like we made it thru’ this one and all the ones in the past. Soooo… I guess I shall just do my best to enjoy this life… I am going to try and let tomorrow take care of it’s self, while doing my best to plan for the eventualities that will come and be prepared as best I can…and if I die today, Hell, I go out a winner!

Lots of wind and it’s pretty cool out there. I don’t trust this new thermometer but it said we never got over 2 or 3 today. I left the tractor plugged in last night when I fed the cow in the hospital bunch their grain and Chance started it on his way down here this morning. Said it fired right up. Hydraulics were pretty slow….We put out more feed than normal but even so i see the cows went up west to pick… they must not thinks it’s that cold….course, the probably got a belly full of water out of the tank that was probably 50 degree’s or better before they walked up there. Supposed to stay this way, with a little less wind for another day and then start warming up and more wind…never hardly got any snow….

Gabe and Lige had their first wrestling tourny today is Sturgis so Gramma went to that. She evidently is staying in town again tonight as she ain’t home….oh well, I got a steak broiling and leather to pound on and TV to watch…

Looks like tomorrow at this time we should have 5 or 6 inches of snow and winds picking up tonight and gusting into the 40’s by tomorrow…whee, can you say blizzard boys and girls? 🙂

Delbert and Clint came over and put my tractor tire chains on. Obviously they have had more practice than me cuz’ they went about it in a much more efficient manner and I didn’t even hardly get to help. I drove forward and backward and we got another link shortened up. Then this late afternoon I went out and dug the bottom of the floor in the shed now, so the tractor just barely squeeks under the door. I hauled the extra gravel up and put it over Hope and Chance’s exposed phone line where people will park and while I was at it I smoothed out their gravel pile a bit so it will be better after the storm. Probably in the spring we will have to do more and will probably have to add more gravel anyway…

Then I went and fed the cows an extra bale in case it gets real tuff in the morning.Got another link in the chains shorter also…

Moved Chances trailer out of the way of causing any more of a drift and also mine. Got my pickup backed in so I can get out afterwords in case of an emergency…now, seeing as I got a couple new movies in, I will take them up and make Hope feed me and we will watch movies. By the way Hope and Chances last digits in their phone is 5415, same as they had before when they lived out here…

I guess I am prepared as best I can be. Chance should come rolling in later so he will be here to help with the feeding and aftermath. Heck, I might just sleep in and tell him to handle it! 🙂

Got up over 40 today and a south stiff breeze so lots more snow got squished down…I don’t know if it is the weather coming in or what , but I just couldn’t sleep last night…kind of dozed and then was awake so i got up and watched TV for awhile…. finally went back to bed and hardly laid there and i could tell it wasn’t going to happen so i got up again and watched more TV. Ended up watching a couple movies and parts of movies… I was still awake when Cindy got up and finally got a little snooze in until Hope called to see if she was supposed to send Sam down. I told her to hold off a bit until I called back and tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn’t happening, tho’ I was plenty tired… so I called her back and in awhile here come Sam. He was supposed to go feed with me and kept pestering me as I tried to wake up all the way, finally I put on my coat and hat and away we went. I have Knighted him and dubbed him Sir Talksalot… chatters away like a little bird and i understand about as much as the bird talk, we got the team harnessed and cows fed and I dropped him off at his house and came in and perused the interwebs… before i knew it her he come with his damsels, his mom and sister, and reminded me I had promised him pancakes…so Sam and I ate pancakes while the ladies watched and visited as hope had eaten a big breakfast and Addy Bear gnawed on a cold piece of pizza left over from the night before. She is not a pancake lover evidently…rest of the days was spent idling and thinking about work until Cindy came home. She brought me tractor tire chains so I went and unloaded them and the dog food that was left in the car from the day before…came in and started drawing out a pattern for my small case I carry books and CD’s in when i go to gigs..now I am waiting on supper and then back to leather work…bet I sleep tonight!

I had some today. Sam and Gramma went along to feed with the team as it was such a beautiful day. No breeze to speak of and around 30. supposed to get a couple of 40 degree days the next few. We’ll see, seeing as the wind is going to howl tomorrow, I guess you could say it’s a Chinook…probably make some ice. glad I got the team shod. Hope and Sam went to town later this morning and left the mean little blond girl with us. Her and Gramma watched a movie until nap time. Then I went and got Gus off the bus and he and i took the team and flatbed up the creek and got a tank for bean and a couple mineral barrels. Gus rode in the calf sled behind the wagon. The tongue got a bad spot crossing the creek so when we got home, we started the tractor and got it out of the way in the shed and pushed/pulled the wagon in and I welded on it. I may feed with the tractor tomorrow and see if the bale unroller on it will work. I need to get some new ears welded on that stick out farther as this tractor has bigger tires and the 3 point arms don’t set back as far and the unroller want’s to rub on the tires if you raise it too high…I found some chains for it and Hope has to go to town tomorrow so she can pick them up for me…here is a poor photo of the new tractor

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For the thaw… Laramie came and shod the team today. so now it can get warm which will cause the snow to melt, but eventually it will freeze and leave ice, but I don’t give a dang now….

Sam and Gus went with me to feed today, then when we got done me and the team pulled them around on their runner sled until the rope broke… so I guess I will have to fix that….

Was real nice today, no breeze to speak of, up to or over 30. Cooled off quick this evening tho’….

May have the new to me tractor coming in tomorrow…

Cindy had left her car to get fixed and had been driving the old Ford that i usually spurt about in… but her car got fixed and so we needed to get the other cart home, so I was up before the crow pee’d as Delbert sez’ and I hauled her in to town and then came back. I was back home before 7, even stopped and got a few things at the grocery store.

When I went out with the team and a bale to feed, I go between Chance and Hopes house and a barbed wire fence. A big piece of plastic that had originally had insulation in it had gotten away from them and was hanging off the fence. Ron barely looked at it, but Roz was pretty wary, tho’ it wasn’t even on her side. By the time we came back she was all a twitter and worried and I decided she ought to just walk by it. Ron, again, was not bothered, but this time it was on Roz’s side and she threw a fit, holding back until he was dragging her and then she threw herself towards him and forward. Silly girl! I got into the yard and went to slow down and realized she had broken the pole strap which is how the team holds the wagon back when they stop or slow down or go down hill… well not just the pole strap, but it is an integral part of the system. So I stopped, unhooked, drove them over to the horse trailer and tied them. I unhooked the broken parts and brought them in the house, made the repair and was back at work in just a matter of moments. Now, if the braking system on my tractor had failed in a similar manner, if I even survived the wreck, I damn sure wouldn’t have had it fixed and been on my merry way in minutes…. and that, ladies and gentlemen, is just one of the reason’s I prefer to feed with my team! 🙂

The groceries I got today was the fixin’s for an omelet. Made me think of quesadilla’s, so this evening I took a tortilla, smeared some butter on it, sprinkled it liberally with grated cheese, put some whole mushrooms on it, green peppers and diced onions and diced tomato’s on it, covered that with more cheese, sprinkled some salt on, stuck it in the microwave and ate it. Damn, it was good! Made another half of one, ate it and now I am stuffed!

Let’s see….. how to sum up the past year….

Frustration, achievements, loved ones lost and gained…as always, pluses and minuses…

Mild winter and a dry summer, driest on record around here. We ended up with around 8 to 9 inches of moisture. the old grass left over from the year before carried us thru’ and is still helping as I am not feeding a full feed yet, except to a few cows sorted off and they are getting extra bean also…

We gained a new grand daughter in May. Welcome CC. We lost some old acquaintances and friends…RIP.

Cattle market was good, so it seemed, but then everything we have to buy costs more, so it is hard to see that we are any better off.

The election in November was not as I would choose, but then, I am not in charge and that is probably a good thing.

Chance and Hope and kids moved home this fall and finally got their trailer all set up and moved in for Christmas eve..it will be fun to have three little grand kids underfoot this coming year.

Dustin is back in the area and I am looking forward to getting to hang out with him and have him ride some horses for me.

Everyone is healthy and fat, for the most part in the family, so we are blessed with that.

I have some upcoming gigs with friends in the new year and am looking forward to that also. A trip to perform and get to play with friends on the West Coast in February is something I am looking forward too.

When I take a tally, it seems we have fared well, much better than many. I have much to look forward to and little to really worry about in this new year. Here’s hoping the same can be said for all my friends…may the Good Lord bless us all…

This afternoon Hope and I took the kids over to the neighbors for sledding.
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