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Hat Tips


January 5, 2018


I hope you had a Merry Christmas! And I hope you will have a Happy New Year! And as long as I’m hoping, I hope we have warm, gentle rains next spring. And I hope the winter is mild, there are very few storms, and cattle prices go up. You can always hope. Hope is good.

I am glad the Christmas season is over. You know that I am somewhat of a Scrooge when it comes to the Christmas season. I’m hoping to be better. There’s that word again. Hope is good.

Shopping frustrates me. Shirley does it for the kids and grandkids. We give more gifts than Santa does. I never have any idea what are in the packages until they are opened. But she does put my name on them so the kids all think I’m a pretty good guy.

So the only gift I have to buy, like I said last week, is for Shirley. And she never really wants me to get her anything. But she is somewhat demanding. This year she wanted me to straighten up the windbreak that blew over in the mares pasture. Now that is asking a lot. I would have to borrow a skidder from the neighbors. And I would have to get out and open and close the gate twice! Have you ever watched an old, fat man get in and out of a skidder? It is not a pretty picture.

She asked me to weld up the panels in the calf pen. I’ve had them tied up with the lead ropes from her colt halters for a couple years now. I’m not a good welder. And the halters seem to be working quite well.

Then she suggested that I build a gate, or buy her a gate, to put on the end of the alley. So we don’t have to start the loader tractor and park it there when we sort calves. Sorting calves with your spouse is not good. You can only hope. That word again.

Then she said it would be good if I stretched the fence up in the bull pasture. So number 86 would quit getting out and rubbing on the trees that she planted 17 years ago and has faithfully hoed and watered for all those years. Replanting many each year. Because the bulls get out and wreck them.

It was a big list of Christmas wishes. Too many for one husband to fulfill. Looking at the list of her wishes, I was envious of men who can go out and buy their wife a necklace, ring, or coat.

So I bought her something we could share. A bottle of Jack Daniels.

All this Christmas talk made me think of our neighbor girl years ago. Karlee. Her mother said she could see that Shirley had spent as much time with Karlee as she herself had. Karlee said all she wanted for Christmas was “diamond spurs”!

Later, Dean


I hope you had a wonderful and safe News Years celebration. I’m not too much on a new year. It seems, that as I age, the years speed up. I know they still do the polka in New Hradec, and they still do the waltz in Tennessee, but do they stay up until midnight to do it? Inquiring minds want to know. I can’t stay up late enough anymore to find out. That’s sad.

But Shirley still insists that I try to find resolutions to break as we start a new year. I hope you notice that I most likely will break any resolution that I make. It is a sad history of unfulfilled resolutions.

Some of them I really try to make a reality. But on many, I do not try very hard.

Everyone resolves to lose weight. How is that going for you? I mean, after the holidays, and the ham, prime rib, fruitcake, chocolate, sour cream pie with whipped cream, Tom and Jerry’s, wine, steak and eggs, I mean it is pretty easy to lose weight for a week or two. Just begin eating kind of normal again. You will lose weight like a cow in a blizzard.

But once you kind of settle into your normal routine, your weight will stabilize at forty or fifty pounds over what the doctor says you should be. At least that is my finding.

So losing weight is out. I am going to try to stabilize at forty pounds overweight. That is my comfort zone.

I resolve to not smoke. That is pretty easy one for me. Since I haven’t smoked in sixteen or seventeen years. Unless you count a cigar at Thanksgiving when it is sixty above zero and we are sitting on the deck.

I am going to take Shirley on a trip. We will probably go south. Maybe to Reva or even Rapid City! That will be a nice break for her.

I am going to pull the summer shoes off the mare I was riding last summer. You are supposed to reset or pull shoes off in about six weeks. Not six months.

I am going to clean my pickup cab out a bit. My Dad, who is 92 years old, says it is the dirtiest pickup he has ever seen. And in 92 years of farming and ranching, he has seen some terribly dirty pickups. Usually mine.

I am going to buy my cats some canned cat food. Just to whet their appetite a bit and keep them hanging around the tack room. I don’t care for cats. But I abhor mice.

I will try to make my annual operating note at the bank last more than three months. Four would be a record. Everyone from my banker to my wife would appreciate an effort like that.

And last, but not least, I will try to write one article ahead. So on the day of the deadline, I do not have to sit in front of a blank screen, with a blank look on my face, and scream at Shirley, “Help me here! I don’t have a thing to write about!”

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Later, Dea


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