WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE

This election is all but over.  Was it influenced?  In my opinion yes, but not so much by outside sources, but within.  Is this the first presidential election to be influenced by inside sources – probably not.  In my life time we can examine John Kennedy’s win, was it influenced,  much points to the mob in Chicago run by Sam Giancana.  There are many articles written coming down on both sides, will we ever know the truth, probably not, but as the old saying goes, “where there is smoke, there is fire”. 

Even before President Trump was sworn in, the Democrats, leftists, main stream media(MSM) was calling for his impeachment, getting him out of office, totally against him.  Why was this, multiple factors, he was not a politician, not of the Washington Swamp of whom during his election he vowed to drain.  He was rich, could not be bought, not like most of those running for office.  Most of  them depended greatly on money from others, probably in exchange for favors – which is usually how it works.  Trump paid for his primary himself, he could not be bought.  As a wealthy businessman he knew the ins and outs of business.  All of the above had many of the Republicans In Name Only (RINOs), wealthy, and MSM running scared because he could effect their wealth sources as well.  Also there was lots of money from outside sources put into Clinton’s campaign, supposedly for favors, not those favors could not be met.  This is the main reason Trump won the election, he was not like the others.  He also said what he thought.  This was a two bladed axe, many times working for him, sometimes not. 

We also learned in time how the Democrats, to include President Obama, VP Biden, plotted against him.  We learned how Hillary Clinton was the backing of all the so called Russian collusion fiasco which lead to a phony impeachment attempt.  If Hillary had won, we would have never learned how the leadership of the FBI was also used against Trump by the Democrats.  Corruption was at it’s highest peak, whay, because those with MONEY and POWER were scared of Trump and would go to any lengths to get rid of him.  During his term President Trump and his family were constantly harassed, subject to false claims and snubbed.  Never in my life have I seen the MSM so biased in their reporting.  This was very evident during the campaign for reelection.  Facebook took it upon itself to censer users who were for Trump, right along with Twitter.  No more do we have a free and fair media.  No more do we have free and fair elections.  The very fabric of our nation, The Constitution was stepped on, abused and trashed all in the name of the last ditch effort to get rid of Trump.

The Constitution spells it out, each State’s Legislature has the sole responsibility for setting each of their times, rules, laws for presidential election – not the Governor, not the Courts, not the Attorney General.  Yet some states, when the Legislature would not change voting laws to suit the Democrats, side stepped the Legislature, going to their State Supreme Courts to get the laws changed.  When taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, they would not get involved at the time, thus letting the Constitution be thrown aside.  Look who was running the States, Republican Legislatures with Democratic Governors and courts.  Added to this the fact that in some Democratic cities Republican observers were not allowed to observe the counting procedures.  If there was nothing to hide, then why not follow the laws set forth?  This brought forth the biggest fiasco in our voting history.  By throwing aside the Constitution, the courts failing to “protect and defend” the Constitution as they swore to do has for ever lowered the United States to the standards of third world countries who have had phony elections.  Never again can the United States talk about another country’s elections being dishonest or corrupt. It has also brought forth the fact (even if you don’t want to see or admit it) that big money, MSM can and will influence our elections when ever they want. 

Yes there are a lot of people very upset about the election outcome.  If the Constitution had been followed, we would not have had the mess.  No not like in 2016, you don’t see people screaming, crying, rioting, burning, looting as the Democrats/Leftists did.  It does make you wonder why mostly in Democratic cities was BLM, Antifa allowed to burn, loot, tear down businesses and wreck citizens lives?  Why didn’t the Democratic leaders of these areas put down the violence?  There are lots more issues to be discussed, but I am going to leave it right here.

Yes, I voted so I have the right to post my opinion, hoping the media does not censer me.  Yes, I will give Biden honor and respect, just the same as President Trump was given.  After all I took an oath many years ago to “PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.  This oath never runs out!

BACK IN TIME

This morning was a trip down memory lane. Last night got a call from Jonna McCabe, she has a western training stable about an hour and fifteen minutes north of me. I remember the time, many years ago she first called me. Her current farrier was no longer able to take care of business and ask if I wanted to. I told her I would drive up and we could talk about it, so we had our interview, I agreed and our working relationship began.

I don’t remember how many horses she had as the time, but there were days I felt the list was as long as my arm. Along with the western training she also had riding school, so I would also be taking over the riding school horses as well. It was a fair about of work for me to take on, plus it was way out from my usual working area. My biggest concern was giving the service I wanted to give, if they lost a shoe, something came up before a show or whatever, but I figured I could handle it. I got her address plugged into my GPS, so no matter where I was, I could always find the shortest route there (used it a few times).

I had a few individual customers who were into reining and the western world. I had attended a couple clinics in the States solely on shoeing reining/western horses so I felt I could handle the work. Along with this, I ordered a couple videos from one of the top notch western farriers so I could review things as needed, they were a great help as well. My biggest problem I soon found out was scheduling. With so many horses I needed to be there every 7-10 days. Working in with my current clients was a job. I quickly learned what to do: I got my calendar, sat down with Jonna, we worked out our schedule for an entire year! Yes, there were still a few dates to clean up, ones around shows and such, but it worked out just great. Best thing was I never took a summer vacation, it was the middle of my high season. I always waited until winter time when things were a little slower.

Sometimes the work was almost more than I could handle. One time she took on an additional trainer, so this almost added a third more horses I was required to do. I was lucky in some respects as I had set my Fridays as my optional work day, so I was able to use it as needed with her. She also had a place for me to stay, so sometimes it was a two day event. In the beginning it was before my computer days, billing was all hand written. Jonna always provided me with owners addresses and such. I would set in her kitchen writing out bills, she would hand deliver to them, worked great for me. She told me right from the start if I ever had a problem with payment just let her know. I never really had a big problem, maybe a few times she had to step in, which I promptly received my money.

Soon we were in a routine, we had my parking place (inside) worked out, work area set, so each time I arrived I opened the door, drove in, set up and ready for work. I knew the times they fed, turned horses out, so her stable help and I worked together as to not get in each other’s way. In my work area was a chalk board with a list of horses needing done. With me being there so much I soon got the horses worked into a schedule. Many times I never did all four hooves at the same time. Depending on the horses, what they did, set their schedule. Once Jonna was comfortable with my work and how I did things, I soon had a fixed schedule for each horse. In my daily calendar I would write each horse’s name, and what I did, this way I could always look back and double check each horse. This made it great for scheduling them as well as billing. Even today I still use the old fashion paper calendar to schedule. You have no idea how many customers contact me saying their telephone has messed up and they lost their appointment date. I like it also, it is so easy to review the year.

Jonna was great to work for (except when we got to butt heads once in an while). After I was set up, I went into the kitchen where she and her staff were usually having breakfast. I would grab a cup of coffee and get any special instructions (having already done a once over on the list), or if I had any questions. After coffee it was nose to the grindstone. I never looked at the clock, just worked. Sometime later I would look up and head in for a cup of coffee. If no one was there, no problem, if coffee wasn’t made no problem – I learned where the fixins were, I was expected to make coffee, especially if I took the last cup! After the day’s work, Jonna and I sat down maybe had a bite and did the billing. After I got my computer program, she then provided all customer info which made things easier. Sometimes if I received an emergency call, after doing the work, there might be supper. I remember her doing Thanksgiving (the only ones I ever had here in Denmark) dinner, she was a class act. Yes I was always on call for shows, when she had shows at her place I was there, usually spending the night nearby ( her place was real busy so I never stayed there during a show). Jonna made the statement a lot, “I got to take care of my farrier”. She understood how important my service was to her work, which in turn I gave her my best service (which I do to all my good customers).

Yes, there was some driving involved. Traffic in some places was terrible. There were a few winters the roads were really bad. Denmark, in the winter time uses lots of salt on the roads, thus they have lots of problems with black ice, the salt melts, runs off, roads are wet and then freeze back (they have yet to discover the advantages of sand, which works longer). Yet through it all I had a great working relationship with Jonna and her customers. They learned to value my opinions and trust my work.

But then I began to have problems, my body started to tell me I wasn’t a young guy any more. During the last year I worked there, I was wearing knee braces. Every time I returned home from Jonna’s, just to get to sleep it was 2-3 very strong pain pills just to get relaxed. I ended up going to the doctor’s to get looked at. I learned the cartilage in my knees was gone and needed replaced. I had orthoscopic surgery on my right knee. After the operation the doc came in, showed me some pics, revealing the bare bone in my knee. He said he might have taken care of 10% of my problem, but I required knee replacement. I got home, told my wife. At that time she said, “Don’t you think it is time to let Jonna’s place go?” She knew how much pain I was in when I got back from every appointment. I said yes. I broke the news to Jonna. It was hard to give up such a good place, good customers, but my body was telling me I wasn’t that young guy anymore and needed to slow down. I helped Jonna find a new farrier she is happy with. I was with him a day, explaining some of the horses and we worked together on many of them.

Last night I received a call, looked at the name popping up on the screen, it was Jonna. My first words were, “What the heck are you calling me for”? She laughed, expecting nothing less in the greeting. She asked how my golf was and how I was doing, then she hit me, with “Are you still shoeing horses?”, to which I replied, “When I need to.” She then explained her farrier was on vacation and had a couple horses needed quick attention due to a clinic this weekend. I am guessing she remember I kept Fridays free for emergencies and took the chance. So here I am at the coffee shop where I used to stop and read and write because I usually got here early to beat the traffic. Had a lot of time to think on the drive up. Many good memories, lots of work. Will be good to have a cup of coffee with them again. Guess the old man is up to bat, so better get to work.

NO FREE LUNCH

I may be over thinking the situation, I may be looking at the negative side of the over all picture, but I do believe in the 6 “Ps”: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!!!

Who ever wins the election this fall – we probably have lost. By we I mean the American People. If the Democrats/leftists win, well you can see we have lost. If the Republicans win, we have lost as well – look at the first two years of Trump in office. All the RINOs wasted two years trying to get rid of him, in house fighting and such they got nothing done. So the way I look at it, it will be the same when he gets reelected and the Republican regain the house. What concerns me and the reason I say we have lost is the economy.

Our country was already so far in debt before the Chinese Virus hit our shores and our leaders found a good excuse to ruin our booming economy. Congress then passed a five trillion dollar bail out to help the average person, yet so many jumped in and grabbed the money. If you want to look, you can go to Michael Savage’s home page and find a complete list of those who took the PPP money. Regardless of who took it, we added the additional money to our debt. Now they are planning another stimulus package which will put us ever further in debt. All you understand one thing – THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH. This has got to be paid back at some time. Until the election, or maybe just before “they” will keep the economy propped up, but I see it tanking out with in six months or so after the election (this is just my thinking from what I have read, heard). So what are we to do?? In addition to this, who will pay it back? You look at so many States, they have been held back, many of the small businesses are gone, then on top of this, so many city mayors and state leaders have let the riots tear apart, burn down so many businesses they will never recover. As this form of terrorism is let to continue, how do you expect the common person to recover when everything they have worked for is lost? Remember the government has no money!!

Here is my plan of action: Don’t trust banks. Yes, we all use them and need them, but we don’t have to trust them. 2013 the Nation Bank of Cyprus went tits up. As part of the bail out, the bank went and took a percentage of the depositor’s money, depending on how much they had in the bank. Boom over night people lost money. For me, I am keeping the minimum amount of money in the bank, the rest is cash or investment. If you got your money, they cannot take it. I have people tell me, “Oh that was Cyprus, that cannot happen here”. I learned in life, never say never. Invest> I have and will continue to invest in gold, silver, land. I get my gold and silver in different sizes/weights. This way I will have more versatility in using it. My father told me once, “There will come a time when it will take a wheelbarrow full of money to by a loaf of bread”. Watch out. The deeper in debt we are, the more they print money, the less it is worth. Just think if you have money in the bank, it looses its value and on top of that, the banks take some of it?? Land> Is something that will always be there (unless you live on the coast line). If you own land and the economy tanks, well, you will have a place you can go to live. It will always be worth something, if not money, it can be used for trading to better your situation. One can never go wrong with land. The big lesson is: don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

For me I will stay away from stocks and such. There maybe some stocks who are safe. Sure for a period of time their value will tank, but maybe in the long haul it will come back, you can decide. Electronic money like Bit Coin: Again it is just ones and zeros in a computer. Pretty worthless if electronics are down (along with credit/debit cards, instant pay on mobile phone or computer). You and I go into the market to buy our daily needs. We come to the counter to pay, you pull out your credit/debit card or electronic from your phone, the internet is down, no power to the terminals. I come behind with my cash in hand – who do you think is going to walk out with food to feed the family?? So now you walk over to the money machine, put in your card to with draw cash, you now find out your account doesn’t have as much in it as there should be due to the fact the bank took money, that is if the system is up and running and there has not been a run on the bank causing them to shut down or severely limit the amount you can get. But if you have planned ahead, got the emergency stash at home or some place you can get your hands on it, you can now feed the family and probably give yourself some breathing room to get things figured out

Just remember no one cares more about your and your family than you do, especially those we have elected to represent us in Congress. They are there for themselves, they have already proven this. If you don’t plan ahead you will be screwed. It may not be today, tomorrow or six months from now, but it is coming. – just open your eyes and think for yourself for one minute. If you can’t see there is a planned change the powers to be want to happen, then I feel sorry for you.

But hey, I am just a retired Sergeants Major who learned to “read the tea leaves”, learned to have “Plan B”, and to the best of my ability take care of the troops. On the bright side: If nothing happens, you can always look back and say, “ What a crazy old man”.

HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED

How times have changed. This past week I had someone ask me when did I move to Denmark. I thought for a bit and replied, “December 1992”. After answering I then calculated how long this has been – 28yrs this coming December! Then I got to wondering where all the time had gone and how things have changed.
My brother and I are very close, so when I moved to Denmark it was very hard for me not to have the access of communication with him. Phone calls were very expensive, so I limited myself to one call a month, sometimes calling him, sometimes others I needed to contact. Next was the pony express (mail). From the time I wrote a letter to Larry (brother), send it, him to receive, sit down and write, it was somewhere around 3-4 weeks for a turn-around, sometimes longer. It was better than nothing at all and so I began to write more than I ever had.
After moving to Denmark, I transferred to the 7th Army Reserve Command in Germany, my job entailed me learning how to operate a computer, so I convinced the wife we needed to buy one. We bought the latest, greatest available. It had about a 540 megabit hard drive – big for the day. I remember Windows 3.1 came on 6 discs. A couple years later we got e-mail. When sending mail, I would first prepare the message and address. Then disconnect the phone, hook up the computer, dial up the connection and send. It was superfast for the day. I evolved right along with technology. Today I just click an icon on my computer screen, connect through a wireless connection to the internet, if Larry is home, he will hear his computer ring and we can talk just like over the phone, except there is no phone cost. Better yet, if we want, I can click on a button while talking to him and it will activate a camera in my computer, transmitting a live video so we can see each other while talking. Reminds me of a cartoon I use to watch as a kid, “The Jetsons”. They were a futuristic family who when talking on their phone could watch a video screen seeing who they were talking with. At the time, this was so “out of this world”, but fact today! If we take a look, many things in our lives have changed many for the better, but sometimes I wonder if some are not so good.
When I first started to ride the train to Germany for Army Reserve, mobile phones were not so present, especially those which could connect to the net. Then, I would read a book most of the trip or just watch the country side go by. If someone sat down beside or across from me, it was not hard to strike up a conversation (if they could speak English). Today, I notice hardly no one talks with others. First thing after sitting down the smart phone or laptop computer comes out, they are instantly connected with the world and who cares about those around them. We as a whole have become disconnected with those around us while we are connected with the bigger world around us. I notice many time when the wife and I go out to eat, so many people around us, the mobile phone is sitting on the table and most can not let it go, they must pick it up every once in a while and see who has sent a message, who has posted something on one of the social sites so many watch. It is amazing to watch people sit at the same table, next to each other and yet they are so distant from each other they hardly talk to each other. I do have to state an exception: the wife and I went to a farrier friend of mine for dinner. We sat at the table and enjoyed a good meal. About half way through the meal, his girlfriend went to the kitchen to get something and also came back with her smart phone, sitting it on the table. The first time she started to look at it, my friend reached over took it stating: ”We have guests, there is no place for a phone on the table”. Inside I smiled, thinking at least someone has good sense. There is also the flip side.
Today so many people are able to work from home because they can connect with the world from their computers. This is allowing parents to spend more time at home if they have this type of job. For me, I am able to send my bills out the same day over the net instead of writing it out, spending money to send through the mail. Then if someone is late paying, I no longer have to repeat the process costing me more money, I just hit “send” and out it goes again. Churches have benefitted from the internet as well. With this Chinese virus thing going on and members are not able to attend, many have turned to “Video” church. Amazingly enough I get to attend church in Boise, Idaho. Yea, the time difference is such that I don’t get to see the live feed, but they have the sermons posted so I can watch when ever I want. We are able to make appointments, do shopping, go places on the internet. So many things have been made easier, more accessible, easier to communicate worldwide. Those who were kids in the late ‘90s will never know a world without instant communication, unless the net goes down.
Some things which will never change internet or not. Going outside on a nice warm morning, listening to the birds sing, feeling the morning warmth on your body as you enjoy the smell of a nice cup of coffee. Standing on a mountain top on a clear summer day as you slowly turn around seeing the full scope of the world presented around you – oh yea, you can see it on the internet, but you are also limited to the size of the screen, you cannot feel the sun on your body and let all your senses sample the time and place. And just the small thing of communication. Yes, you can see someone on the video, but there is still the ability of one’s senses to sample every facet of the environment around as you converse. The internet, hi-tech is great, but unless you step outside this “virtual” world and really live life, one will never really experience life.

2019 IN REVIEW

I started the year just like a one – legged man in an ass kicking contest, well not completely, just had my left knee replaced November of last year. I was lucky a customer loaned me her stationary bike, so I was doing lots of rehab at home along with going to the local gym to keep the rest of my body in shape. I attended a rehab center near me until the first of February when I got the good to go. Along with this I started some work in the shop, getting my shoe making skills back in shape, swinging the hammer. Physically my hands, arms and body got out of shape for work so needed to get back in shape. Finally my knee was in shape enough to drive, work, and do, so the first of February I started shoeing horses again. I chose the easiest, ones only needing front shoes, those needing just trimming and so I began. Yes, I lost some customers, and really in the end it was a good thing. I now have enough work to keep me busy and allow me to play a little more golf!

Spring and summer rolled around with great golf weather. Had a lot of fun whacking the little white ball. My handicap went down a few points, so guess I am getting better. Jette kept up with her horses. Between horses, Gabby and the house, Jette kept pretty busy. It is nice she doesn’t have to go out to work every day. She also keeps me straight as far as the book work end of my business goes.

This year was different as I went back to Idaho for the first time in the fall since I moved to Denmark. I had forgotten how great the fall colors are, it was beautiful to see. My brother and his wife picked me up at the Boise airport after a very long day’s flight. Thursday, we spent getting some of my business done and getting ready to leave for his kid’s place in Newberg, Oregon. Friday morning early, we departed. Even though we talk often on Skype and e-mail, we talked constantly for the next four hours until we stopped for gas and a bit to eat the west side of Pendleton, Oregon. It was a beautiful, sunny day for a drive and as we entered the Columbia River gorge, Mt. Hood was standing snow – capped, tall in the clear, blue sky. I could write a book about the visit, but I will just say I had a fantastic time with Larry’s kids and grandkids. I was really shocked how much all three of his grandkids have grown. Tabitha, Larry’s oldest daughter hosted us and Traci who lives about 15 minutes away. Traci has a new house and car, great to see her and Gabe are doing so well. I am really proud of Larry for raising two fantastic daughters, who in turn both have fantastic families to be around.

Larry and Sue went home, I rented a car, continuing to visit relatives with whom I spent a lot of time talking and catching up. We keep in contact, but it is never the same as visiting in person. After family, it was time for my best friend Dan and his wife Chris. Also had dinner with a school mate, was geat. Several time Chris would shake her head and say, “Just like having his twin brother here”. I guess it is the fact Dan and I know each other and no matter how long it is between times we see each other, we fall right in step as if we had been together all the time. I do metal work, Dan does wood work, so we hit his shop. Dan set up his lathe and got me to do a project, my first. It came out pretty good. I found lathe work is a lot like my metal work, only faster. We had a great time. Took a couple days see the sights, we went to a couple different places and really had a great time.

Drove the interstate back to Idaho, stopping in Hermiston, Oregon to visit an army buddy. We talk all the time on the net, but was good to shake hands and see the real face. Over the Blue Mountains, past La Grande and Baker City, Ontario and stopped one more time to say goodbye to Larry and Sue. After a couple hours it was to Greenleaf to visit Del, a good friend. We always have a lot to talk about. The next day Del and I visited a couple mutual friends, was good to have a good navigator as so much of the Valley has changed. It is always good to visit Greenleaf. I was a little disappointed as the School (GFA) was closed for a few days. So, it was off to Boise. The weather was great, so I couldn’t resist 18 holes of golf. Booked a tee time at the course near Star, Idaho. They put me with three other guys I never met, but we had a great time. They were great in explaining the course. I didn’t play the best, but had a great time. Sunday afternoon had dinner with a bunch of school mates living in the area. Big thanks to Becky and Karen for contacting everyone and to everyone for coming. Was fun to talk about some of the old school days and times we had together.

Monday was to my cousin’s place in Boise for a couple days. Gary and I took a drive to their place up in the mountains. It was great to see some of my old stomping grounds. After a visit with them it was on the plane and back to Denmark. I needed another week as I was not able to get to Salmon and visit all the people I know there. Work was calling and I had customer’s horses waiting for me.

That’s pretty much our year. My knee has been doing well, I do have some pain in it, but accept it will probably have some. Jette just some good news about a horse she wants to get. One more test to go and if it passes looks like she will be getting another one this spring. Spending some time in the shop and doing a few things around the house, just waiting for the good golf season to get here again. I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I refuse to be politically correct, and if this offends any of you, GREAT, get over it.

REFLECTIONS, MAKING MEMORIES

Sitting here drinking my morning coffee I get the chance to reflect on my vacation. It has been good, but I am ready to get back to work.
I talk with my brother all the time on Skype, but getting down to it, there is nothing like the real thing. It was so great to be met by him and his wife at the airport. The following day he took me to get my business done and when we got back to his house, we continued what we had done the whole day – talk. The following day we drove to his kid’s place south of Portland, Oregon, we continued to talk almost the whole way. We had a fantast weekend with his two girls and three grandsons. On Monday after the kids had gone to school, we got a few games of pinnacle in. Has been years since I played, yet didn’t take long to come back to me.
Had a great visit with cousins who have been a large part of my life. One whole day we sat in the kitchen and talked, it was 2200 that evening when we finally went to bed, yet we never talked the same subject twice. Like the rest of us, they are getting older and I wonder if I will see them again. This is the same thought I have with everyone I visited this trip. We all know there is no guarantee in life, so every time I come over, I take it special, like it is the last time I will see them, until the next.
My best friend in school, who is my best friend in life, got to spend a few days with him and his wife. It never matters how long since we have been together, we can pick up right where we left off from last time. We fall right into life as if we have never been apart. His wife continually made the statement, “Just like having a double here”. I think she never gets over the fact we are two peas in a pod.
Leaving his place, I made the trip back to Idaho on the interstate through the Columbia River Gorge, making a stop in Hermiston, Oregon. Had to visit a Brother from another mother. Those of you who have never been in the military will never understand how this family is, especially this family – we are all 11 series – INFANTRY. Even though many of us have never met, we are tied by the bond of the rifle, the fact that ties us together for the rest of our lives. It was a great time meeting a brother I had never met, then surprised to meet two more. Even though it was the first time we physically have met, we had a bond which can never be broken.
After leaving his place, the drive was fantastic, a clear day. Looking way over to the west north west, I got to see a snow – capped volcano, Mt. Hood sticking up like a guiding beacon. It was beautiful, I have never seen this before. Up over the Blue Mountains, down in to LaGrande. Looking to the mountains to my left, they were all dusted with snow. Climbing Ladd Canyon, I remembered so many times driving truck up this stretch in the snowy, slick winter having to get out and chain up. It was a beautiful day all the way past Baker City, down the Burnt River Canyon to the Snake river, into Ontario, Oregon. Had to take a brief stop to say goodbye to my brother who was getting ready to go elk hunting.
The Treasure Valley, where I grew up, but no longer a home I recognize. It has grown up so much with so many people. After a couple night with a good friend living in Greenleaf, Id, visiting friends, enjoying the great Café in Greenleaf, I went to Boise to get some business done. I drove around the valley some, just looking. Yes, I did get a game of golf in with three guys I didn’t know. They were great to guide me around the course.
One thing I loved, this is the first time since I moved to Denmark I have been back in the fall. I love the fall colors here, one thing I miss in Denmark. I was blessed with fantastic weather, clear sunny days to enjoy the beautiful colors God has blessed the Treasure Valley with. Along with the colors was the smells and sights of fall; Crisp aspens, the sugar beet factory in Nampa, corn in the fields ready for harvest, lawns filled with leaves, empty irrigation canals, the reds, yellows against the green evergreens. Yes, I took pictures, but pictures can never replace what I seen with my eyes and are now burned in my brain.
My last Sunday I drove to the Owyhee Mountains. God blessed Idaho with some of the most fantastic country on earth. My Dad introduced me to this country when I was very small and instantly fell in love with it. I have covered lots of this country horseback. Hunted much more. One has to experience it to really appreciate it. To end a great day, I was blessed to have dinner with many of my school mates. To fantastic ladies, Karen and Becky contacted those still in the Valley and we got together for Mexican food in Caldwell. It was great, lots of stories of our younger years with smiles and laughter. God has truly blessed me with these friends I went to school with. I looked around the table, not seeing the older men and women we are, but the kids of our youth because memories are strong and they never age.
Two days remaining, will spend with my cousins in Boise. When is the next time I get back – who knows. Will everyone I have seen this time still be on this earth – God knows. I am so glad for the memories I have made this trip. The friendships I have renewed. Today it is not like it was 27yrs ago when I moved away. Back then it was snail mail, today we reached “The Jetsons” age, seeing who I talk to, half a world away. Yet there is nothing like being able to see the person, shake the hand, give a hug. After our dinner Sunday we were just standing outside the restaurant, not really talking. I shook hands and hugged around, then we stood there not really wanting the moment to end. Finally, we said our goodbyes again and departed. Love you all!

TRIP BACK IN TIME

Tuesday I got done late with my last horse. Just rounding a turn in the road here was a 1959 Chevy Apache Fleetside sitting in a guy’s front yard staring me in the face. I just had to back up and take a picture. As I backed up, here the guy was looking over his yard fence. I yelled out, “Great looking Chevy”. He started out the yard gate so I parked, got out, we shook hands and started to talk. He gave me the low down on how he acquired it and told me about a get together of American car owners in the area. Of course I had to tell him my Dad owned a Chevy Apache, which we used on the farm, and how I learned to drive in it. I then went to talk about my first car – 1969 Chevy Camaro. Finally I had to go, so we shook hand and off I went. Now my drive home was a trip back in memory lane.
It was metallic purple with black interior. When I got finished I had rebuilt the top end with a 4 barrel carb, new headers, high lift cam, you know, all the goodies needed to get some more horses under the hood. I only had a 283, but I got as much power as I could get from it. Bought a set of deep dish slotted steel wheels (chrome finish), L60’s for the rear, 70’s for the front. Air ride shocks all around. Inside I decked it out with a brand new Craig eight track power play, with Pioneer speakers, two almost filling the back deck. I was real proud of this car. Also I had my CB radio mounted under the dash, my handle was “Purple Pirate”.
My best friend Dan had a ’68 Malibu. We soon learned girls took money away from the things we “needed”, plus it was much more fun “cruising “ down town Boise without gals, also a lot cheaper! One weekend I would drive my car, Dan would buy the food and drinks. The next weekend he would drive his car and I would buy. Great deal and was a fantastic time.
It was the ‘70s. The movie “Happy Days” had played and the TV series of the same name was still playing. Down town Boise was the place to be on a warm summer Saturday evening. There were two, main one-way streets at that time. Both streets would be lined with people, teenagers, young adults to watch the cars cruise the streets. Every once in a while a couple would line up and drag from stop light to stop light. I never remember any trouble, everyone was there for a good time. It was a fantastic time to grow up, have a great car and enjoy a good summer weekend.
It was usually after midnight when Dan and I would head home. On the way many times we’d stop at the Hong Kong in Nampa. One time we ordered a meal for “4”. The waitress didn’t want to order it for us, but we said we’d pay the rate for 4. She looked at us kind of strange, especially when Dan ordered extra portions of hot mustard for the pork & seeds. Later on as we sat back, after finishing a Chinese meal for “4”, the waitress came and shook her head in disbelief.
Yes, those were the care free days of our youth. Later on after Dan moved back, south of Portland, Oregon, I made a trip out after rebuilding my engine. I got it tuned up on the way out. I told Dan to find a good, straight road with no traffic, I wanted to see how fast she would go. The speedometer went to 140mph and I pegged it, so I figured it was fast enough.
I turned into my drive way, looking up I can see my dog Gabby came out to greet me as usual – back to reality. Slowing driving my VW Transporter up to the parking spot I collected my computer, phone, work calendar, opened the door and was greeted by a good looking dog. We gave our greeting and headed for the house. Yep, I’m back to reality, but it is sure great to have those memories in my head and get something to trigger them every once in a while, just so I don’t forget them.

COCO

When she came, she was a little ball of fur, but what we got was unexpected. Coco was to be the most independent, self-willed dog we ever had. She was never submissive to an older dog and most of all, she loved to play BALL! Shelia had her hands full keeping Coco in line, but she was a good “mom” and did her best.
From the very start Coco was hole hog when she played, ran or whatever. Coco was a very over active dog. If she was lying down, and Jette or I got up, she was up in a flash with a ball headed to the door. It wasn’t until after she was three or so, when I just moved in my chair, her head would raise up to see what was going on, I’d life my hand, palm facing her, telling her to stay. Soon she learned this and I could get up without her exploding to the door. She would chase a ball and many times end up rolling on the ground with the ball. From the beginning she was very hard on herself, never slowing down, never accept second best, and she was a talker! In her whole life she never showed any pain, as if pain was something she never felt.
When it was time to go for a walk, she was so excited she was jumping up and down, and talking. It wasn’t a bark, more a combination of a bark and a yowl. This was something she never lost. In the mornings when it was time to get up, she started, I never needed an alarm clock. She would coming running upstairs and make sure I was up. She would run down stairs and wait for me, banging away with her tail on everything. She was so happy I was up, her tail going, moving between my legs I could hardly walk. Even if I had to piss like a race horse, I had to take that time to pet her, hundred percent focused only on her. When she was satisfied, outside she’d go, and I got to pee. Coco very rarely licked me, instead if I was lying on the couch she would come up and touch her nose to mine, that was her greeting to me. She knew me and I knew her.
The ball was her lifelong joy and pleasure. No matter the time of day, she loved to play ball. If I was sitting down, she’d come set down with a ball in her mouth. One thing at the beginning I never reached down to pick a ball up, she was so lightening fast she’d nab it in a flash of light, no matter if my fingers were there or not. I learned early to step on the ball first, then she’d back off a bit. But best of all was to have two or three balls at the ready. If she had one in her mouth, she’d cover the second one with her paw, pressing so hard it was almost impossible to get it free.
Yes, Coco was the most challenging dog we ever had, but despite all the problems and such, we loved her very much. The last couple days after her passing, I have found just how empty my life is without her. No more waking me early in the mornings. No more greeting me when I come home. As I said she was very vocal, her special sounds and language – the house is silent now. She knew our routine. She knew when I was going to work. Mornings I’d play a little ball with her, she was so keyed up. All I had to say, was “Bye-bye Coco, I got to go to work”. Immediately she’d drop the ball, come smiling, wagging her tail to me so I could pet her for a while, then it was ok for me to leave. As I would drive off, I’d look back and see her laying in front of the door on her blanket watching me drive off.
I remember when Shelia passed on, Coco grew up over night. From being a puppy to “Head of the house”. For two months she was on her own, but it made no difference to her, she was a little calmer being the only dog, but her love for play and being never changed. When we got a new puppy to replace Shelia, it was a big problem – she wanted to attack her. It was a very difficult, challenging week or so. We couldn’t let both of them free at the same time. We had a divider in the house to separate them and I had to make a fence down the middle of the yard. With them on each side of their yard, she could get use to the new puppy. Finally she gave in and it was ok. I was surprise how submissive she got to Gabby – Coco turned into a puppy again. When Coco came to Gabby she’d automatically wash her face – this never stopped, she continued right to the end.
When we got Coco, Shelia was older and didn’t really play as much with her, now Coco turned into a puppy playing with Gabby. She would lay on her back and allow Gabby to be the “Aggressor”, teaching Gabby how to attack and defend in their play. At first Gabby cared nothing for a ball, but soon she learned from Coco the “Ball” was good. These two would chase each other through the house – around the chairs, under the table. Finally Coco would fall to the floor, roll on her back and allow Gabby to “attack” her at the end.
Yes in a way some of Coco still lives on in Gabby because of all the things Gabby learned from Coco. This is one thing we always liked, how the new one learned from the old one. But Gabby is the wife’s dog, she hangs on her, like Coco hung on me. I love Gabby, but I got a very big empty place I my life with Coco gone as she was my dog. Coco, you will always be missed every time I come home, getup in the mornings, get out of my chair, go out the door. You knew my life, routine, everything. You felt my love for you and gave so much, I will never forget you – even if you were a real pain in the ass. Good-bye Coco (Aug 2013 – Mar 2019), you will forever be missed, and always loved.

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Finally, after a long winter I am back to work and play! 12 November last year I received a new left knee. It wasn’t major surgery, but it is taking a long time to recover. Even now I am not up to full work, only about half time, but it is great to get out of the house. Worst part is I got my two dogs spoiled. They now think every morning I should devote at least twenty minutes or so playing ball, then every afternoon the same.
I was given an injection in my back, deadening me from the waist down, so I was able to hear the entire operation. Saw, grinder, hammer, chisel and staple gun. I figured out I got all the tools for to do the right knee, just need to contact my local vet to see about getting some drugs.
The guy in the bed next to me had his right knee done right after me. Later in the afternoon he suggested we take a walk, so we got our walkers, threw a robe on and headed for the elevator, down and out side. It was great to get some fresh air, my partner needed a smoke. Was a good walk, best part my left leg was still dead – then it woke up.
Didn’t get much sleep that night. They gave me some pain pills, but they did no good. The one thing that helped was ice. I kept the nurses busy all night getting cold packs which was great. The next morning the nurse told me I could take my walker, go up the hall to where they had breakfast ready. I got my walker started out. I got about three quarters of the way there and all of a sudden started to feel funny, oh no, so I backed my walked up to the wall, set the brakes, turned around, sat down and passed out. I woke up with four or five nurses standing around me, I was still sitting. They had my bed there and got me back in. The nurse in charge of me asked if I was in pain, I said yes. She asked if I had taken any pain pills, I said just what they gave me. She asked why I didn’t say something. I told her what was pain? I have lived with pain, worked with broken bones so I just dealt with it. Now she really got pissed off. She said this was the reason I passed out because my body said enough and just shut down. They got me back to my room and gave me two little blue pills. I guarantee I took a trip and never left my bed!
The other thing which helped me get through the long night was I thought ahead, brought the charger for my mobile phone. I knew they had free internet, so I was able to plug in a couple of my favorite talk radio stations, KBOI and KFSO – great listening to talk radio to help pass the time of night. First time I was thankful for a smart phone.
Getting into the car for the ride home was tough, but great to get out of there. I will have to say the food was good. Jette fixed up the couch/sofa in the office for me to sleep at nights so I didn’t have to go up stair. She was great in support. Guess the best part is for the first time since I have been living here she fixed breakfast for me. Not a real breakfast, just the Danish type, but who am I to complain. Probably the best for me, as if I’d had a real breakfast every morning I’d have gotten real fat! Even now she still does it for me, so no complaints here!
After the New Year, I started riding out with another farrier a couple days a week, just to get out of the house (I think Jette was glad as well). Twice a week to the rehab center plus the stationary bike one of my fantastic customers loaned me, I put myself to work. As the old saying goes, “No pain, no gain”, I must have gained a whole lot. Having our riding hall was great as well. During rainy weather I was able to get out and walk without getting soaked. January I also got access to my shop to train up my hands, arms and muscles for work. Then came the first of Feb – back to work.
It was tough the first few horses and I am so thankful to my customers for being very understanding. I also want to thank all the other farriers who supported me and cared for my customer’s horses. Everyone I have been out to has been so supportive and glad I am back. I enjoy getting back to work on their horses, we talk, have some coffee and a general good time while I am working.
Yea, I have lost some customers. Some have taken on the farrier they had do their horse, well that’s their choice and I respect it. What I don’t respect is the fact some have refused my calls, text messages and such. I don’t know what is so hard about telling me they took someone else – people.
Best of all I have been able to hit the golf course again, started out doing a few swings and such. This past Friday I did my first 18 holes, the longest I have walked since the operation. Yea I was pooped, in fact I was kind of struggling through the back nine, but I wanted to complete it. I played probably the worst game I ever played, but a good score wasn’t the goal. Goal was completing the course. My body was so sore afterwards, but I was surprised my knee wasn’t swollen more than normal. In two weeks my course opens up and I know I will be struggling as it is pretty hilly, but looking forward to it. Saturday a friend and I played around a nine hole course. It was flat and not as long as a regular 18 hole course so we went around twice. I actually played pretty good.
By no means am I to full speed but I am gaining every day. I will be increasing my work as time goes along as well as my golf game. Best thing is spring is just about here, longer, warmer days to play more golf. My rehab instructor told me golf was a great sport to play as it is one where I can go at my own speed. I am also looking forward to the point in time when all the pain and swelling are gone. I was told before the operation it could last six to eight month afterwards, so I am still ignoring the pain. Best part is everyone I have talked to say after the first few months they are so glad to have had the operation. This is the time I am looking forward to.

2018 in Review

And so another year has slipped by, kind of makes a guy wonder where it all goes.
This year has been good and also different. I really got into the game of golf. If you would have told me a couple years ago I would love the game of golf I would have told you you’re crazy, but it is great. Another reason I took up golf was for the exercise. Since my knees have gotten bad and I knew replacements were needed, I needed the exercise, thus another good reason for golf. I’m not all that great, handicap is 31.5, but I am having a great time. I have also met some really great people on the course as well. In June I went to Sweden to compete in a farrier competition with a good friend, Tom Williams, who competed as well. We just happened to take our golf clubs with us and daily after the competition we hit the course for 18 holes. It was great in Sweden because it didn’t get dark until about 2300hrs, so it was fantastic.
Because of my knees I have cut down on my work. Cutting down has helped a lot. Before I cut down, many nights I’d get home and couldn’t hardly walk, it was a real chore to get up the next morning and go to work. Yes, this year, after playing 18 holes of golf my knees were sore, but it was needed as I had to keep up some good exercise, as we say, “No pain, no gain”.
Before my knee operation I took my annual trip to Portugal. I didn’t get a vacation last year because of my knees, so it was greatly needed this year. It was a good time with mixed weather. Lots of rainy days, but we also had some good weather as well. The most important thing was I had a great time with an old friend.
This knee operation has been the hardest thing I have ever faced. I never really knew what my pain threshold was until now. I’ve walked out of the mountains with broken bones in my foot, worked with broken toes, had horseshoe nails pulled through my body, kicked in the face by horse, but this is the first time my body shut down because of pain, at least that’s what the nurse told me after I passed out the morning after the operation. I’d walked up to get my breakfast and boom, out I went. Later on the nurse proceeded to chew me out for not taking enough pain killers, she then gave me some and I took a trip and never got out of bed. It’s a little over a month ago since the operation. I am now walking most of the time with no crutches, still have some problems sleeping at nights because of the aches in my knee and leg. Before the operation I was hoping for about the first of January to get back to work, but now I think it might be more to the end of January (I hope).
Jette had decided to trade off her truck for a smaller horse transport. Because of all the rules and regulations coming out, it will be much more cost effective to down size. She has also decided to down size on horses as well. I don’t know all the ins and outs of her decision but I also know we are not 30 no more and I have a feeling she wants to cut down on all the work.
Weather this year has been different. Jette said she has never seen a summer so hot and dry as we did this year. Lot of crops dried up, I know our pastures did. Many who have horses and cattle began to use their winter feed during the summer (I know we did). Lot of farmers began to slaughter their cattle early as they couldn’t feed them all winter. Will be interesting to see how things end up this coming spring. We are now into a typical winter. We had a bunch of rain this fall and now we got freezing weather. One thing I have always hated is the long, dark winter days here. It doesn’t really get daylight until the morning is about half over and it gets dark about mid afternoon. I can’t wait until 21 December passes (shortest day of the year). I think it should be a holiday and we can celebrate days are getting longer.
Our two dogs, Coco and Gaby are now sleeping, relaxed as we just got in from our morning game of ball. Being home the past month I take them out and play ball every morning, then go for a walk as the beginning of my rehab training. Jette and I have always had two dogs and love them very much (as we never had kids). They are both very different and special in their own ways.
I am wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I am not politically correct and hope I never am, so if anyone is offended, I really don’t care. You all be good and remember: It is only you who takes the step away from God, He will never step back from you. I hope you all have a great Holiday Season and the coming year if full of joy and love.