28 December 2019 – 28 and snowing and snowing and snowing

Hey out there!  We had a beautiful and fantastic Christmas here at the Holler.  It was sunny and warm until about 5PM, then it started snowing.  Typical four-season day in South Dakota!

Cows eating across the stock dam as Rancher Dave brings Babe home.

December was so mild and both Dave and I were wondering where those temperatures were 3 years ago when we were living in the camper?  It was 50 degrees on Christmas Eve so I decided to open the beehive and tell them Merry Christmas.  Just kidding, I felt like I had to open the beehive because every time I had checked it recently, the entrance reducer was knocked out of place.  Upon closer inspection it had clearly been chewed upon.

Entrance reducer to the beehive with obvious teeth marks

We suspected a mouse caused the damage and this was confirmed by placing Dave’s game camera and a mouse trap in front of the hive.  Sure enough, there was a mouse that was burgling honey.  We caught him on camera and in the trap, but I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a nest in the hive.  Fortunately, the weather was mild so I put on my suit and tore the whole thing apart.  I did not find a mouse but the bees were not in the Christmas spirit and were quite angry about being disturbed so late in the season.  I put their house back together and said “Buon Natale!”  since they are Italian.

Dave smoked a standing rib roast on his smoker.  It was so dang good!  It was also pretty big so we will be eating leftovers for awhile.

Amazing prime rib…yummmmm

Santa was pretty good to us. (Although he did NOT bring a horse…..Dave says I probably have to behave much better next year to make the “Nice List” and them maybe I’ll get a horse!) One of our favorite presents this year was made by a good friend in Florida.  Another friend that visited here brought him  (at his request) a stick of firewood from the Holler.  From this he handcrafted these homemade pens.

Pens from Holler firewood! 

What a cool present!  Thanks so much!

The day after Christmas, we decided to take a ride through Custer State Park and see if they had any cool Christmas decorations at the State Game Lodge.  Unfortunately, the lodge was closed so we didn’t get to see any cool decorations, but we did take Joey for  hike and when we were driving we got to see some big-horn sheep!

Not a reindeer….but pretty cool.

Today we are watching it snow.  We fed the cows this morning and there was hardly any snow on the ground.  As the morning progressed, it just keeps coming and they have all decided to mosey on up into the barn stall that we call the Taj Ma Holler.

Valentine waiting outside the stall for supper, Hunny and Dozen staying in and nice and warm.

I think we probably have about 5 inches of snow so far, and it is quite beautiful, but it will make feeding in the evening all the more fun!  Also, we cannot keep the snow off the solar panels on a day like this, so we ran the generator to charge the batteries for about an hour this morning. I’ll probably scrape snow off the panels again after we feed this afternoon, although it won’t make much difference for power today.  It is just easier to keep up with rather than try to catch up with once they get a lot of snow accumulated on them.

Snowy panels with the snow rake in the lower right hand corner.  No point to keep raking when it is still snowing!

Fortunately, we are staying warm in the house next to the wood stove.  We passed the winter solstice on the 21st so the days are getting longer!  This is a big deal when you live in the northern latitudes and we celebrated with a local South Dakota beer called “Pile O’ Dirt Porter”  in hand painted Christmas glasses that my Mom sent to us.

Beautiful Christmas glasses…cheers, Mom!

We are looking forward to the new year.  This is probably the only time in life where instead of saying, “Hindsight is 20/20”  we can say “The future is 2020!” Ha ha! We have been invited to a friends for a Rocky Mountain Oyster party, so that will be a first for us. Other than that, we will probably be in bed by 9pm and up early for New Year’s Day.  Wild times on the Holler!

Heifers at happy hour.

We hope everyone out there had a Merry Christmas and that we see some of y’all in 2020.  Stay warm and take care out there in the real world!

Lucky says, “Happy New Year!”