Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a . . . Happy New Year!

The close of 2007 is almost upon us, but as well the new beginnings of 2008 are around the corner. A new year to make new strides of improvement with our cattle and with ourselves. For me it has been one of the longest years I've lived in perhaps the last decade of my life. That may seem an odd thing to say, but it seems to me that the events of a given year in our lives sometimes have a sort of rush about them, or sometimes an agonizing delay.

I lost my Mom in early October, and I want to thank every one for the kind words of sympathy, and I pray and believe she is in God's Loving Care now and the stresses of the world are behind her. I also lost a cousin this summer and now this past week it seems I've lost my dog, Gabbie, who was a joy to be around, always a happy girl. She looks somewhat like a coyote, and I found out yesterday that many are being found around deer stands shot dead in their tracks. While I understand the need to control the population, I'm not so sure I agree anymore with this tactic.

I had the opportunity to see a humanely captured coyote napping in a trap in the back of a pickup yesterday. It will be taken to a hunting dog operation for use in training. I hope my Gabbie somehow has shared that same fate and someone will realize that she is a good dog, not a killing coyote. At the same time, I wonder, and perhaps hope just a bit, maybe hope really a whole lot, that the loss of Gabbie is my number '3' for this string of deaths in my family, and all will be well with those I love for many years to come.

That's an old saying I grew up with -- that death comes in threes. But I hope Gabbie is alive and well, and her disappearance is enough to count as my family's number '3'.

We had a really great annual meeting at Halliburton Farms in Bells this past month. Amazingly, a large number of people travelled great distances to attend. I don't think they were at all disappointed, and the level of enthusiasm and interest in the breed was contagious and heartening.

The speakers were both excellent and the attendees listened raptly and with great interest in their discussion. Perhaps best of all, everyone there got a bursting full large bag of what look to be perfect pecans from Morris and Jean Halliburton's very old and very prolific pecan trees. Lucky for me, Mike won the bidding as well on two bags of shelled ones which we are quite enjoying.

Not to be left out is the excellent catfish prepared by Morris' family. I could have eaten plate after plate if I'd just shut up long enough -- but the conversation was good and those who know me, know I get started talking and sort of lose all track of time and awareness of what's around -- though I did get a last piece from Dan Herrell sitting next to me -- sharing good catfish is something I consider tops on my list of good people traits.

Fortunately, Dan also let me have a warm cap he had extra with him, and on Sunday morning it was firmly on my head keeping me warm and dry as the sky fell out with a pounding rain and the air cooled down to high 30's, if not lower. Brrr. . . it was surely cold. Thanks Dan, and thanks to everyone who made the meeting a memorable one for all.