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Happy New Year! And a belated Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

The picture below is of Avery headed out to do her chores this morning!

It's a chilly -35 degrees with a good wind blowing this morning and I am sitting in my recliner with my cup of strong, black coffee, iPad, the TV on, and my feet in my foot-massager. Finally, the spirit moved me to write a blog. Yipes! I haven't done any since October. I think I have been just overwhelmed with projects, ideas, people, events and daily chores. But here I am, today, and instead of griping about the weather, I am enjoying it. Yes, I am not going outside, but that is partly why I am enjoying it and I do sympathize with those who have to go out whether they want to or not. Been there and done that for many years. When I didn't have to get out on the roads and drive to work, there were usually ranch chores (which I never really 'cottoned' to) to do. So, for me, a snow day or a day like this was a bitch, but not anymore! I will be 76 years old in a week, and now I have a family, a cozy house, (with a back up generator), a heated garage, a full pantry and fridge, internet, TV, cell phone, computer, hobbies, family, books to read, comfortable furniture. And to top it off, so far this winter, the weather here has been fantastic!

I see I posted about my driving adventures back in the 70's on April, 2022, but I don't think I will delete what I wrote today-we all need to be reminded to count our blessings.

This picture of Pepper and I on a four-wheeler ride was taken on November 15!

And this is my cozy living room....yep, I have it pretty nice these days and today I am working on counting my blessings and there are so many! I was looking out the window this morning and thinking about my drive to work ritual the first two winters we moved out to the ranch, They were the worst, no doubt about it, We had loads of snow, lots of wind and days and days of low temperatures. The first winter, Howard told me not to worry, he had never seen it this bad before-the next winter was worse! I was driving to Medora to work- I was the sole employee of Farmers and Merchants Bank, and I figured we had 'chosen' to move to the ranch and I had better get to work if I wanted to keep my job. It was 27 miles to Medora -10 miles dirt road and the rest Interstate. I had a 2-door Mercury Monarch to drive and a 4-year old little girl to bring along and take to day care. (She sat on the armrest beside me and I used the original seat belt method of throwing my arm in front of her.) We did not have cell phones, there was hardly any traffic on our road, no school bus, no other neighbors were driving to work, so the roads were barely maintained. Luckily, I was married to a native, construction equipment driving cowboy, who could usually, at least get me on my way.

We had no garage, so the car was 'plugged' in outside in the snowdrifts, which I waded through carrying a small child to get to. Then began the process of getting the snow and ice off the car and out of the yard. Since then, Howard has rebuilt our road, but back then, in order to get out of the farmyard, sometimes, after failing to make it up the hill, headed out, I would have to back up, all the way past the barn and then go like a bat-of-you-know-where to make it. Sometimes it took several tries and sometimes, I had to be pulled up the hill.

Then there was the 10 miles to Sentinel Butte-pretty much white knuckle driving, but that was the easy part. The railroad crossing in Sentinel Butte was almost always drifted shut, if I made it through that, there was the 'trap' headed out of Sentinel Butte to the Interstate. There was a 'S' curve there with only one lane of traffic open(sometimes) and the snowbanks were higher than my vehicle on both sides. I remember being stuck up there a few times with several other vehicles at once. I don't remember how I got out, some memories I seem to have blacked out.

Oh, I almost forgot about the drive down the Interstate-it was so scary-I was afraid to go fast, for fear of going in the ditch and afraid to go slowly, for fear of semis running me off the road...

People have heard me say many times that, "I considered it a good day if I only got stuck once!" Anyway, long story short, those experiences back then, make me feel like a queen today. I will not complain about this current weather, unless it hangs on and/or the snow gets deep. (I do have my limits!)

 I see I posted about my driving adventures back in the 70's on April, 2022, but I don't think I will delete what I wrote today-we all need to be reminded to count our blessings.

Moving on, these are the three quilts that I completed from the quilting retreat in Medora in October,

So that's part of what I have been up to. Then there was Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the trappings. Here are a few quick 'snaps.'

Vendor show at Turkey Trot in Beach

Telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas this year.

Krista modeling her new leopard hat with the band I made for it.

Christmas tree hunt

Christmas programs

Meeting the bus after school.

We also celebrated Howard's birthday on Christmas Day! Missing a few people here, but got most of us.

Oh, I almost forgot to give you may latest "tip" -our Christmas tree this year was too big for me to move by myself and I didn't want to bother anybody, but being the impatient person I am, while lying in bed one night, I came up with a brilliant idea. I got my big yard leaf bag and my pruner and after removing the decorations proceeded to "chop" up the tree to manageable pieces which I placed in the bag and took out to the ranger. I was pretty proud of myself!

And here is SIL-(I may get in trouble for this) but I think it shows how we all feel sometimes about the holidays! TTFN

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