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Warm, very little wind. My saddle making apprentice came out this afternoon and we got a good start on saddles. I am making one and showing him how I do it. Then he does the work on his saddle. He will be back next week it sounds like. He lives about 85 miles away and has chores and cattle to feed so it’s kind of hit and miss.

I am heading to California tomorrow so won’t be blogging for a few days unless I borrow my buddies computer. I will try and take lot’s of pictures to share.

See you in a few days…

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 I am waiting on supper and then back to leather work…bet I sleep tonight!

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…

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





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…

Got a new keyboard today so I am back at my usual pace… 😉

Read this out loud for best effect…


You’d never guess from looking
the name they hung on him at his birth
I guess it wasn’t what you’d maybe expect
it was Johnathan William Hinklesworth

Now, that’s a purty long name
for just a tiny little feller
maybe he got it when Doc whacked his butt
cuz’ he let out a big man’s beller

Johnathan William was an elf
guess that sort’er maybe explains his size
but other than that and them pointy ears
he looked like one a the guys

He was like most little tykes
fightin’ with siblings and goin’ to school
runnin’ an’ wrasslin’ with his buddies and friends
actin’ rowdy and thinkin’ they’s cool

But the thing about ol’ JW
well… that’s what he called his self
was that he wanted adventure and action
more than your typical elf

He yearned to head down west
see… he lived way up north
he wanted to ride broncs and rope wild cattle
rodeo on the Fourth

There’d never been no elf cowboys
heck, they don’t run cattle way up there
horses was scarce as hen’s teeth
just snow and cold arctic air!

Like a kid raised in the city
he got by with books and TV shows
watching Roy and Gene and Lash LaRue
frustrated by cold and the snows

Made do with what he had
forged spurs from old rusty metal he found
built chaps out of a ratty ol’ walrus hide
Mama had left layin’ around

Asked Santa Claus for a Stetson
got it for Christmas, the very next year
order’d him a pony, but typical cowboy
his check just didn’t clear

You can’t keep horses at the Pole
there ain’t no hay or oats or grass
he got a Bruce Grant book on how to braid stuff
just to help the time pass

Braided a reindeer reata
70 foot long and it was a dandy
and after he practiced quite a spell
I tell you, he got plumb handy

But then he got into trouble
he was caught ropin’ ol’ Santa’s deer
snubbin’ ‘em up to an old sled runner
that had frozen up that year

Pleaded his case with St Nick
told him, cowboyin’ was all he wanted to do
so Santa thought it over for a spell
made JW stew

Then Santa made an announcement
said he was just callin’ a spade a spade
nothin’ to do but send him him down south
he could learn the cowboy trade

See, Santa knows lots a cowboys
they all owe Santa a great big debt
so he made a few calls and shipped the boy out
learn to cowboy, you bet!

That’s how it come to be
this little feller from way up at the North Pole
learned to rope and ride from the very best
too bad he learned to chew Skoal!

Now JW’s back up there again
ropin’ and trainin’ and swallerforkin’ ears
only difference ‘tween him and his southern friends?
he’s doin’ it with reindeers!

He’s finally found his niche
Buckaroo boss on the North Pole spread
mostly ropin’ and trainin’ them reindeer
to pull ol’ Santa’s sled

But now he’s got a new plan
called me last night, he’d been drinkin’ beer
put in an order for a custom made saddle
and it’s got’a fit a reindeer!

It’s got to be the right size
better be tuff, but light as air
bet he had a gleam in his beady little eyes
he’s gunn’a rope him a polor bear!


Robert Dennis 12/12
Picture by Lee Stevens