This won't be my typical Christmas letter, full of joyful news, as this year we mourn the loss of John's mom, Dorothy, the 90 year old matriarch of his family.
As I write this, it's a balmy -3 F. at Rawhide Flats. Everyone, including John's 'Big Yaller Dog', Belle are bunched up around the fire.
I think we'd have the horse inside too, if he'd fit - we're such bleeding hearts!
John's happily in control of the remote as it's time for the National Finals Rodeo and NOTHING gets between him and the NFR, (except the darned sat. dish blocking certain channels featuring the rodeo).
John has had a good year, with productive hours in the studio working on bears and fish, elk and horses - a good year of commissions.
He bought himself a new tractor so he's been digging up the sod to clear an area for a shed to protect and house his new toy and to enlarge the garden spot as we had such a good time being farmers this year.
Our worst trial was fighting the critters: voles, moles and mice galore. I shot a porcupine before he blessed Belle with a snout- full and a guaranteed trip to the vet; and to top the usual pests of skunks, coyotes, badgers and muskrats, we have acquired BEAVER, for crying-out-loud!!!
These little sweethearts chewed their way through most ALL of the creek willow and have defied the Fish and Game's traps and every attempt to eradicate or move them. They're holed up in their den, cozy and probably making enough offspring to ensure that Cottonwood Creek will have to be renamed, No Tree Creek.
To say nothing of the war between beast and (wo)man when they start to chew their way through the trees we planted around the property 27 years ago...
We feel blessed that we've had a fairly stable year and look forward to 2010 as an opportunity for us all - to be the best we can be - and to do good deeds and practice good will towards others.
If I could have what I want for Christmas this year, it would be that every person everywhere would have a full tummy and that everyone worldwide would share in the BLISS of a complete cease-fire and cessation of war for 24 hours
...And that it felt so GOOD that everyone would choose to go for a second day....
Call me a dreamer......
Merry Christmas to you ALL !!!! Miss Vic