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Kind of cool out there this morning, but they are claiming we will hit 40 in a few days… All the kids and grandkids were here for Thanksgiving.. had a couple extras also.. Chances kids didn’t get here until late in the afternoon as they had been with their mother… Tate tried to cook a turkey in the ground, but found out they didn’t have enough coals so we had to finish it in the oven.. still had bit of a smokey taste to it… I tried smoking a couple of turkey thighs and they would have been good if I hadn’t followed the directions, cooked it too hot for too long.. tasted good but very very dry and hard.. I will remember for next time… weather has been great.. went to Red Owl yesterday morning for a brunch at the Hall and most of the water was ice free on the dam.. we have a light dusting of snow out there this morning… not much of a breeze… cattle have plenty of grass to eat, so it has been a good fall… maybe winter is going to hold off until what the calendar tells us is the first day of winter, Dec 21…We have our Cowboy Christmas Concert coming up at Lead in a couple weeks, and a couple of there young ladies of this area , Shilo Hewitt and Sarah Moreland and I will be doing a Christmas concert at the Hall on Dec 21.. we have practiced a bit but need to get together another time and work on the songs a bit more.. should be fun. Hope everyone is having a good fall and early winter!

Not real sure, seems like there is something to do every day, but really can’t seem to remember what I did.. After Mass today, Tate and I hooked up to Chances flatbed and headed to Custer and on thru’ a bit and got a load of logs for Tate to mill on his sawmill… we got home after dark, but still got them unloaded… not sure what I am am doing tomorrow… yesterday, Cindy and I took off early, picked up Gabe and hauled him to Sturgis for a wrestling match… he had 3 matches and won them all, the first two by pins and the last one by points… he is improving every year… getting so tall! Dang kid stole my saddle and didn’t even have to change the stirrup length! And he’s only 13! Warmer today…got up into the 40’s around here, a bit cooler in the Black Hills according to the thermometer in there pickup…and that is about all for now.

Ground was frozen this morning, so didn’t have to worry about mud… the roads had dried out a lot over night from the wind that blew all night. Went to a close neighbors and shipped his calves this morning… went well, but was a wee bit nippy out there… I bought a set of insulated riding boots this fall and wore them and my feet stayed warm, but my fingers got cold… these boots are not the best to ride in as they have gris on the sole so hard to get you foot in and out of a stirrup easily.. sure wouldn’t want to wear them on a bronco horse… they don’t make boots for cowboys much, anymore.. I like leather soles that slide in and out of stirrups as they were designed to be, years ago… but by golly, these were warm!

Went up north to help a neighbor.. started catching and saddling in the dark at 5:30 this morning and then drove in 4 wheel drive most of the way up there, because evidently our county can’t afford to put decent gravel on the rural roads… gathered the first bunch, then gathered the second bunch, sorted and weaned the calves and then pregged all the cows.. got done just at dark, which comes pretty early according to the clock, now! Sam and Gus and Chance went along and them two boys worked hard and look the place of two men.. dang sure earned their keep today and there was 4 pretty tired horse in the trailer on the way home. Gus rode Beauty and she was cheating him pretty bad, so Chance swapped horses with him and the poor little mare found out a kid wasn’t on her back! I rode Pard and he done good, he is getting soft in his face and responding to leg cues and the bosal better and better.. I like him…I am tired. Man, it is heck to be old and fat…. ┬á ­čśÇ

But we have ben doctoring sick calves…lost a couple… not sure why we go through this every fall.. seems like everybody does… we caught and doctored 7 yesterday and 7 today, tho’ one of those was a steer we cut last week and his bag was stolen up huge… almost looked like a foot ball down there, we split his healed over bag open and I pulled lots of clots out.. when we let him loose he was bleeding a bit out omit so evidently we got it, I hope.. gave him an antibiotic… couple we caught to day just seemed to be getting it… but we decided we were there and it wouldn’t hurt them.. this has been going on for about a month.. hopefully the shots we gave a week ago will kick in soon and stop all this.. other than that, it has been warmish, windy the past few days and supposed to start that u again tomorrow and go for at least part of this week… hard to complain when it is nice as it is and as much grass as the cows have to eat..

Got up to 60 or better today, south wind blew, but wasn’t bad… I did some jobs around here this morning, getting ready for cattle working on Saturday, had to go get some special bolts for the chute so drove Teddy and got his oil changed.. been over a year.. not sure how many miles, but not a lot as he seldom leaves the ranch…I even filled his fuel tank… he is ready for another year… came home and ate a bite then gathered horses and me and Bit went down and moved some cattle out of a couple assures… I go help a neighbor ship his calves in the morning, then will probably move the cows even closer in the afternoon… then we won’t have to big pasture to gather on Saturday.. I go up and help a neighbor do some cow work on Monday, then another neighbor to help ship calves on Tuesday.. looks like the weather is going to be nice for the next week… lots of green grass in the cool season grasses.. calves are looking good and growing…other than that, not much going on.. oh, I did take the big young draft mares down to Hermosa yesterday and a young lady worked with them and pulled their shoes off and trimmed them.. she did a great job and there was some training involved…they ought to be real good when we need to re shoe them,,, probably when it gets icy this winter…

Cool, trying to rain… we have doctored on some sick calves, so it must be fall… we spent most of the day at school with Gabe and Lige for grandparents day… it was fun and interesting to see what they are learning and how they are teaching them.. hope this rain keeps up.. we are seeing some grass greening up.

Woke up yesterday to about 2 inches of rain in the rain gauge. Praise the Lord! We sure wanted some and tho’ it made muddy roads it sure helps the country…

I have been fighting pain in both my feet for years and Cindy has mentioned (some might call it nagging, I won’t!) that I should go see a podiatrist…that’s a doctor who specializes in feet, for you ol’ cowboys who don’t read a lot… so I did… nice young man.. x rayed my feet and what I had thought and fought or quite a few years is arthritis… the big jones for the big toe n both feet are all mangled and nothing between the ┬ábones, just bone on bone… he injected them with cortisone, or some such.. hurt like the dickens, but all of a sudden the pain was gone… I felt like a little kid.. I had fought it for so long, I didn’t remember what it was like to not have the pain.. he tells me at some point I will need to have those bones fused together and on my left foot, my body has been trying to do it on it’s own… by yesterday evening they were pretty tender again, but feel great this morning… he gave me some special pads (well, no, he didn’t GIVE them to me, I had to pay for them…) and I am sure glad that Esteban ( the feller who has been making my last pairs of boots) made them loose…they will put more of my weight on the arch so that is supposed to help also… heck, I may be able to go hike again!

They say travel broadens a person… dang sure easy to broaden when you travel like we do and eat like we do, tho’ this morning when I weighed myself I was a few pounds lighter… sure could have fooled me as we drove over 2000 miles and mostly just sat, ate or slept (sure wish motels believed in providing softer beds… must have some mattress company in cahoots with chiropractors or something!)

Cindy and I took Fr Tyler and Chance and headed out on Sunday in ‘ol Blue, we met Tyler in Rapid City about 1 pm and headed south by slightly west. We camped at a motel in Colorado Springs that night.. the next night, after not much sleep (by me anyway) we went to Royal Gorge and checked it out, Cindy’s second time there, my third and the first for the boys… everyone thought it was cool… followed the Arkansa river west from there with Fr Tyler drooling over the fly fishing available, but he wouldn’t bring his fly rods and didn’t want to stop and rent the stuff… we turned south and headed for Toas (which I had always wanted to visit) ┬álate enough and beings it was Labor Day most things were closed, tho’ we found a fly fishing shop and the boys had a nice visit with the young man running it who also guided fishermen and hunters in fall.. he showed us a lot of cool photos of trophy racks taken by people his guide service helped… not cheap, but looked like if you wanted to spend the bucks they would sure try and get you a good trophy. Left there and headed on down to Santa Fe, got a motel room (with a bit softer beds tho’ Chance didn’t like his) and went and ate at a restaurant within walking distance, Cindy and Tyler had eaten at a few years ago,

Tuesday morning we went off and looked at the first church built in the US, about 1500 and some, so it said.. cool little church with a cool bell you were supposed to whack with a rubber mallet.. I did and supposedly that means it will bring you back.. I hope so, lots to see and do there, but sure is pricey… then on to the Lorretto Chapel.. the story is that when the nuns got it built they realized they had not left room for a staircase leading up to the choir loft.. so they prayed a Novena to St Joseph for a miracle and lo and behold a feller walked in one day carry carpenter tools and went to building the stair case.. he made it a spiral, but it has no central pole… when it was finish and the nuns went to pay the man, he was gone.. he had only his bed and board while building it.. the wood has been analyzed is not the wood from anywhere close by and no one has ever figured out how he managed to do it.. you can’t touch it but you can see it up close.. Chance and I marveled over his craftsmanship, when you consider the few tools he used to make it… the nuns think it was St Joseph himself who came and built it and then disappeared.. I believe in miracles so I sure won’t argue it… we then visited the basilica which is much larger and ornate and a beautiful building on it’s own, tho’ much more modern,, we then went in search of art galleries, but we were directed to the old part of the city which has narrow windy trails and not conducive to a Dodge Dually pickup.. we found lots of galleries, but no near by parking and my feet were hurting already so we said adios to Santa Fe ad headed towards Durango Colorado… managed to stay at the same motel I had stayed at a few years before that I thought was sketchy and high priced.. this time it wasn’t so sketchy, or high priced (goes to show to stay away from Priceline dot com and them others like that .. they charge too much for their fee!) Went to the Straiter Hotel, an old hotel, downtown, for supper.. kind of a cool place where much of the goings on at the Durango Cowboy Poetry gig takes place in October.. I had been there the last two years.. waitress was over run so service was slow, but it sure wasn’t her fault so she got a good tip… went to bed and got up and headed out the next day headed for Mesa Verde.

Mesa Verde is a place I had always wanted to see and we didn’t spend nearly enough time tho’ we did see most of the high point and got some good photos.. I might try and post some on here if I can figure it out… I sure will on Facebook and Cindy already has… it is amazing that people lived there longer than we have been a nation and not much left to show where they went or why they left.. we left there about noon and headed north and a bit west then back east and spent the night in the town where Doc Holliday died… Glenwood Springs. Marty and I had camped there for a night the previous year on our way to Durango.. we passed thru Paradox valley, which was another place I always wanted to see… and came by Moab with Canyonlands, which we found out was once called Robbers Roost on the old Outlaw trail… also saw the place or close to it where Butch and Sundance blew up the train car, scattering money every where, as they used to much TNT to what ever explosive they used…

Got up Thursday morning and headed east then north and got to Kremling Colorado a bit before noon.. followed our directions and went to see Caitlynn Taussig and her mother Vickie and sister Cameron and father Jim… had a great visit, got to play a few songs together and then headed out and got out of their hair.. cool looking country, really wide open and not cluttered up with trees like so much of that region. They call them parks and they do look like it, in the bottoms of the valleys. We got out of there about 2:30 and headed towards Walden and got a bite to eat there and headed north and east again, going thru’ Laramie were Cindy got a couple lugs of Colorado peaches (we couldn’t find any fruit stand near Grand Junction as your on the interstate and it was late when we went by the evening before..). sat up straight and throwed the reins at ol Blue but a nice feller along the way with a badge on his chest stopped there runaway and warned ol’ Blue to keep it to a lope instead of a run away…we turned off at Mule Creek junction and discovered our State loves to slow people down with road work along the way we went but finally got to Rapid, dropped off Tyler and got back home about 12:30 last night.

It was a great trip and everyone seemed to have a good time… ol’ Blue wasn’t even tired tho’ he did eat quite a bit of feed on our over 2000 mile trek.. he’s a good one.

Went to a horse sale last weekend. Bid on a couple colts but evidently my taste is too good in horses as they went higher than I was willing to pay. Went to another one today… part of it was a dispersion sale… mares went pretty high and again colts were higher than what I was willing to pay… went up and checked cows at the summer pasture yesterday morning.. everything looked copacetic… drove the big percheron girls and hauled some bales this past week, ran here and there… summer is slipping away and I still got summer type things to do. Chance and the boys rode along with me last night and we went to a saddle bronc match.. good show…got hot this week, so we are hoping for some cooler temps and some rain..