Been just above freezing for the highs the past week and some below temps, at least at night, then thew wind blows to the windchill is pretty cold. Been feeding quite a bit of hay, pushing some snow and staying warm. Sounds like we may get up in the 20’s tomorrow and then back to single digits for the rest of the week for highs and perhaps one more snow. Got some pretty big drifts and we’ve been pushing trails out. Cows are all close to the buildings so it’s pretty handy to feed. Wish I had a bale unrulier that would handle these heavier bales. Need to re-build the one I’ve got so the front don’t pop up in the air when you hook on to a bale and then make these fat horses do some work. The tractor wouldn’t run right the other day and it was ice in the water evaporator or separator or what ever. Had to run to Rapid and get a new fuel filter and it’s run fine ever since… sure glad Chance and Tate are better mechanics than I am! We put in a new tank just north of the new house and got it hooked up last fall, but the tire is too big and has too much rise in the center so it’s hard to keep enough water over the float and enough water circulating as cows drink it, to keep it working like it should. That is on the to do list for next summer… put in a smaller tire tank and make it work better.. may even cover it so it has less chance to freeze… this one has a cover on the cement ring in the middle where the inlet comes in, but it just isn’t deep enough, so twice a day at least, you go break ice so it will work right… sure am appreciating this front wheel assist tractor!

Well another 365 wrapped up, about. Not sure where this year went. We had a good calving season, pretty nice summer, tho’ we’d have taken more rain, pretty good fall and winter held off for awhile, tho’ it’s dang sure here now. Blizzard on Christmas day, knocking out power for a few days. Got some dandy drifts around. I’ve been moving snow on and off most days after feeding, worked on the basement a bit yesterday afternoon, worked on insulating the float in the tank north of the house today as there is a cold spell coming on. Hope we get a long January thaw that lasts until about mid May! Then it can get real nice! Cattle market sucked this fall, about half of what we got two years ago.. or would that be three years ago.. oh well, we all know that what goes up is bound to come down, but it’s not fun when your short on what you planned on… life goes on and so do we, hope that next year is a great one for everybody. I am about to go to Mass and then a dance at out new hall at Red Owl. Chance and I and Caden are going to jam a bit and hopefully a few others will bring some musical instruments and we all have a great time watching the New Year come in. “Should auld ………..……”

We saddled up, moved some cows a short ways and then I drug the kids around on the calf sled thru’ the snow. Hope got some great photo’s. The new header image is one she took. I am thinking there will be some art work come from some of these.

Supposed to get some snow late Saturday night thru’ Sunday and winds gusting to 70 mph Sunday night. Can you say Blizzard boys and girls?

They don’t phase us much this time of year when there ain’t baby calves being born. We can put out plenty of feed behind shelter for the cows… deals like this is why we have planted and tended to so many tree shelter belts and built windbreaks and then I just pray and ask God to protect all the poor creatures out in the cold. HE’s real good about that.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember the reason we celebrate at this time of year. Hug your family and tell them you love them and call old friends and visit.

Been cold and got some snow. Been feeding the cows a bit but there is a real cold snap coming, so we got the cows in this morning and sorted off the thinner ones to a groups by them selves so we can take better care of them.. still haven’t sold the open ones yet… need to get that done one of these days. Found a few gaps i didn’t get closed up before the cold in the house, but finally got both pellet stoves working and installed so it stays pretty nice in here now. I knew we were kind of up on a hill in the wind but you don’t realize it until you live in one like that.. good thing about it it mostly blows the snow clear! Guess we need to get some trees planted out here on the upwind side next spring.

Setting here, watching the first snow fall of the season… I don’t think it will amount to too much and we can always use the moisture… I went and helped neighbors the other day, gathered their cows, sorted them for age, poured them and started hauling them home.. when I got home I rode down south and brought the cows home we sold calves off earlier,. in case this first snow was a bad blizzard.. amazing how events like Atlas make you remember things and prepare…. this morning Cindy and I drove down south, hauling out garbage  and then checking tanks.. I didn’t have  a wrench I needed so went back later and let all the water out of the big above ground storage tank and a windmill.. there was a little buck chasing a doe around.. haven’t seen to many deer around this year, tho’ I did see a nice back the other day on the way to a neighbors. Yesterday was Loren and Florence Morelands auction.. pretty fair crowd and I got a few things.. one is an old fashioned wire stretcher, that still works.. I had an old rusty one that didn’t work, but you couldn’t use it.. this one could still be used.. it will look good hanging on the wall. Got a couple of lite fold up beds with thin mattresses.. ought to be handy when their is extra company around and when we go camping.. got some iron eveners for the team.. enough for a four abreast set up, tho I only have two Haflingers at the moment. sold a couple this fall..plans and preparations are underway for this years Thanksgiving.. got all the boys and kids coming and a few extra’s perhaps.. first big event in the new house.. speaking of.. I did a bit of chinking for Cindy this morning.. need to get some more buckets of chink, so told Tate to pick some up next time he goes to Custer… went down by Hill City  a few weeks ago and got the first song recored for the new album.. I need to keep after that, but seems there is always something going on that takes precedence… got an open house for the new hall at Red Owl this Sunday, starting at noon. We will feed people and give them a little entertainment. It looks real nice. We are shipping the rest of the calves on Tuesday.. looks like the market has gotten better a bit since the last ones we sold and hopefully these will have put on weight. Preg testing the next day. We got some hay in, I may have a plan for the upcoming winter and summer and if it works will have to get more hay in.. Chance is working on a fencing job with a buddy south of here that should keep them busy for quite awhile.. a bunch of buffalo fence.. got a bunch of dirt and gravel hauled in, in front of the house so it is better and flatter for people to park in front of the house…deer season opened last weekend and I have a guy who is supposed to be out one of these days.. I told him we might find a doe for him, but there weren’t many deer around.. we shall see…

Got the extra screws we needed and Chance got them in the new windbreak today. So it’s done.. 10 foot high, 96 feet long on each wing… got a guy coming with a scraper to work on a dirt windbreak I started years ago… hopefully he can get it built up and shaped up so it works even better. Seems to me if you make it right, out of dirt, it should last almost forever… might do some other odd jobs while we got him here… we found prairie dogs and they are smart and Chance has forgot how to shoot evidently.. he’s cussing himself because he keeps missing and he’s only shooting about 350 yards! 😀 LOL

Got up in the 70’s today. I chinked on the small places that needed it on the outside of the house yesterday. Still got some to do on the inside but it’s hard on my hands.. still got to get it done. We got a tank installed this afternoon, if the cement holds and doesn’t blow out in the bottom. It’s about 12 foot across and real shallow where the water line is, so we couldn’t just pour cement flat but had to dip down where the water inlet is and float so it is less likely to freeze up in cold weather… hopefully it works and all we will have to do is finish filling it up. We may put a top on it and insulate it for a winter tank. Sets just north of the new house. I had a big cement ring to set around the float and over flow pipe. When I went to tip it over it busted.. sorry cement in it evidently so I will have to get a new one of those… hope this nice weather holds for awhile.. looked at the cattle yesterday and didn’t find any sick calves. I always worry about them when we get these warm days and cool nights… wish the market would perk up. We are supposed to go with the bulk of the rest of them in a few weeks but think we will hold off awhile.. market keeps wanting to go down so we need as many pounds as we can get on them…. got good feed for them and the cows are in good shape, so keep them on awhile.. most of these were born after the first of May, so they really aren’t that old…

Chance and I laid out a big windbreak the last couple days. Went and got I beams for the posts and Cindy helped us square it up. We got the holes dug and most of the I beams put in yesterday. Sam and Gus helped us too. We had the skid steer and Gus hauled the posts and dropped them by the holes and Sam got to move a few that way also. They both helped square the posts and get them plumb and tamp the dirt back in the poles.. hopefully we will get the rest up today. Maybe go get the boards and tin for it. I have to go pick up a load of cows tomorrow. Sure been nice weather, gets up about 60 each day. We’ve been checking the cattle, looking for calves who may be getting sick. They are all doing good at the moment. Probably ship another load of calves next month. Almost halloween. Time flies! I am supposed to go and start recording a new album. Hope to get some of my friends involved who play good musical instruments. Also got some projects in the leather shop, not to mention things that still need done on the house.. guess it’s good to always have something to do. Keeps me from getting bored!

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Addy Bear came and got me at the house where I was chinking, yesterday, to ask if I was ready to ride… so i quit and we went and saddled up, and rode out and moved some cattle further south. Windy, but fun. Really windy today. Helped a neighbor ship calves this morning and it was nice but then this wind whipped up and it’s a booger!

Cindy and I took off about noon on Friday, went to Rapid and did a few things then on to Hot Springs for the Badger Clark Gathering… we had nice audiences and lots of fun. Sure wears you out having all that fun. But we are doing it again this weekend at Ft Pierre for their gathering…ought to be just as much fun… hope it’s not as tiring! 😀

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