Friday, December 23, 2011
SYLVESTER CHRISTMAS TOME 2011
Tromp, tromp, tromp time marches! We kick the heels of 2012, while glancing back at 2011. Cowboys will tell ya, “When you ride into the hills, look back often. Knowing where you came from, will help you from getting lost.”
Scanning over the calendar months of 2011, cluttered with scrawled reminders of when, where, and what time we were supposed to “do something,” brought a visions a plenty. Some terrific, others – not so good.
As we mad dash from one situation to another, Chuck and I point at one another and kid, “I thought YOU were retired?” Then we call Philip. Philip is my oldest son turned Mr. Sylvester Farm Caretaker. Without his multiple talents and reliability, we wouldn’t be able to budge past the computer far enough to fire up a tractor or feed the horses, much less leave the state! Philip can design, build and bake anything.
January: Went to multiple events throughout the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. Chuck thinks retirement is grand in that he can finally be one of the 600,000 “visitors.” Not having to worry about hooey and Louie, we just hang out with friends. After 2 weeks of Kevin McNicolas’s succulent BEEF, we have pan fried chicken with Kent and Cory Rutledge.
With the Round Up Riders of the Rockies (3 R), Chuck rode “Wolf” in the annual NW parade in downtown Denver. The photo grouping came undone when a few “well cantalouped girls” strolled past. Yes! When the flag’s dropped, a senior guy’s memory can go from “What’s that guy’s name again?” to speeding across the finish line with grins that can’t be scrubbed off with Lava soap and cactus rope!
Welfare Cowboys, born January 14th is still in the works: www.WelfareCowboy.Blogspot.com
Activities scattered throughout include Godfrey Ditch, T-Bone, Wings over the Rockies, Chuck’s Wyoming runs, Denver Ag, 3R, Farmer’s Union, Cattlemen’s, farm sales, Farm Bureau, Rodeos, Attorney and political meets, phone visits with brother Stuart (whose life written would be a best seller), delightful dropper-by visits, Veterans Day Parades (Chuck is honored to escort Veterans in his `42 Ford Army Jeep) along with “Gee we’re sure healthy for a couple old geezers!” doctor appointments.
We used to go to a lot of property rights meetings, but decided after years of going to what I now call “Choir Practice,” it was time to perform to audiences that need to hear the songs. So we suit up and go out to show folks how to use our State and U.S. Constitutions to resolve the seemingly un-resolvable.
Please take a look at Land And Water USA www.LandAndWaterUSA.com. You’ll see where I spend a good junk of my time and Social Security check. Frankly, I can’t think of a better use for either! It’s an honor to learn from the amazingly bright, ethical, talented great Americans who share their knowledge – without compensation – with LAW USA.
February: Got a Valentines present in the form of a complaint against my office. “Anonymous” got stressed that these old farmers just HAD to be engaged in un-permitted activities on our Ag zoned private property. We assured every building inspector ever born, “All is well.” And so far it seems to be.
We’re glad we have this little building now- in these sub-zero days, for it’s the perfect place for buckets of beet mash and crimped oats to ready for our Geriatric Equines.
We took a run to Wyoming to meet with BLM – again – regards DOI’s failure to remove the Forage/AUM stealing excess feral horses. I pray for the day Government stops funding eco-criminals and animal rights radicals whose only goals in life are to destroy every resource provider in America.
February finished nicely with the Weaver Bull Sale, Ag Forum, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson.
We like Union Colony Theater in Greeley. They bring in the best darn talent, and our seats are close enough to breathe in and out with Maria Osmond, Riders in the Sky and Willie Nelson.
March: Had a hoot in Laughlin, NV! Many of Chuck’s old Rodeo buddies were there - at the 50th C.S.U. Rodeo Club Anniversary. Didn’t realize that’s such a pretty area. We became “true sight seers,” honking around the London Bridge, then on to CA. I dropped Chuck off at LAX, spent some time with my daughter Lea and her significant other David Lauer, then drove back to LV where I caught a plane home.
We met Herman Cain, and decided him to be a grand man. Still think he’s a grand man. We’re kinda of the reverse of today’s “sentence before presenting evidence” fad, in that we believe people are “innocent until proven guilty.” Besides, I remember 45 years ago as though it were yesterday when I asked Reverend Marsh, “Would it be alright if I get a job as a Cocktail Waitress?” He replied, “Ronita. If anyone asks that you be brought before the church for judgment, I’ll then ask for all the gossips, backstabbers, jealous (you get the gist) to join you. I guarantee you the entire congregation will be standing up there with you.”
April: The “Putting of the Water” (So named by Glenn Werning.) in the 1870 Godfrey Ditch. Philip spoiled the “Godfrey Bottom Boys” with his fancy “made from scratch “PEHZAAH!” Pizzas,” after they cleared the ditch and opened the gate.
In keeping with his new “Trail Rider” career, Chuck had “FUN!” on the weeklong Sombrero Ranch ride, the few days on the “Rim to River” ride, and a smattering of one day trail rides.
May: After hearing Condoleezza Rice at C.S.U., we made the run to Wyoming for another Granite Mountain Open Tour. Chuck stayed on so he could indulge in his other new career - helping whoever lets him rope, ride and brand on either of his ranches (he leased out), or, any neighboring ranches. After dallying with youngsters like Steve & Mindy Garland, Bess & Trent Johnson & the Cameron’s, he brings home smiles that light up the farm and me!
One of the happiest dang things we got involved in was the filming of a 42 second spot in a documentary named Truthland. Chuck kept the whole film crew and - his jaded old wife laughing-out-loud the entire day! Truthland (factual counter to Gasland) should be out soon.
Our Illinois friends, Jeff and Leslie McManus, held their Heartland antique tractor sale at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Jeff did a champion restoration of Chuck’s ’37 John Deere A.
Leslie writes for Farm Collector. Together, they make a formable team, always interesting to listen and learn from. To find out about a Heartland Auction near you, please go to: www.HeartlandAuctions.com
June: Scooted back to WY for Wyoming Stock Growers, then hit the Grover Rodeo en route home. Had to forgo the wedding of our dear friend’s, Warren and Rita Thompson, to attend an emergency meeting about Gas, Oil and Mineral (GOM) rights. It’s a long stupid damn story that’s cost us nearly three years and a couple bucks. Let’s just say a title company agent failed to transfer our clearly written retaining of GOM rights from the title/sale documents onto the deed. The only good thing that will come out of this mess is Colorado legislation Chuck’s initiating that will require the necessary language on deeds.
In addition to being strapped to that darn unfair GOM deal, Chuck has incurred tremendous loss of income just because the excess feral horses. Now you know why I’m so happy he has his trail riding, cowboying, and all his BIG toys on the farm to play with. That boy has earned and deserves such respites!
Sweet Chuck was “my driver” to Saratoga, where I addressed the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming. These hardworking, honest, decent Cowboys and Cowgirls teach me more than I could ever give them. We believe our self-reliant, charitable neighbors should be treated with utmost respect. Instead, eco-terrorists and government employees constantly jump out from behind every tiny rock and hard charge at them with crushing litigious blows. While they try to peacefully raise useful cattle and terrific children, government financed jerks busy themselves filing frivolous, un-warranted suits (It’s called stealing.) against these good people.
July: Chuck packed his BIG trunk, and trailered off with the boys on the BIG ride. Having begun in 1987, Chuck’s looked forward to the 3 R for 25 years now. I thought it was a “rough deal,” until I overheard one of the boys say to Chuck, “Wasn’t that great lobster and steak!”
Our TX friends, John and Leahray Wroten came up here, and the guys went on a ride at Estes Park – while we ladies sinned by gossiping and eating too much.
Chuck and I had to split up our engagements again at the Colorado Independent Cattlemen meet in Colorado Springs, where I stayed and he ran back north to Clint Werning’s wedding.
A real treat was seeing longtime cherished friend Evie Schaafsma, who I hadn’t seen for over 8 years. We’ve been friends since our pregnancies with our now 35 year old daughters.
Chuck & I hit the Cheyenne Frontier Days finals – then Toby Keith. We LOVE Toby Keith, but decided that big venues are too young and loud of our old psychics. So, we made the decision to hereon stick with the small rooms – with close in parking - like Union Colony, DCPA and Budweiser Center. Too bad, because I just found out Brad Paisley and Band Perry are playing TOGETHER at CFD next July. Oh well. At least we saw Paisley at Fiddlers Green. But… we could see that talent a million more times! So…maybe…uh…gee…uh…oh shoot!
August: A slam bam full month! Chuck went to Wyoming while I stayed home and took care of the farm, fund raiser, and packing for NE. Papillion H.S. had a 10 year reunion I simply could NOT miss. Kiddos from classes between 1960 and 1969 were bouncing around the hotel ballroom like some kind of hybrid Mexican Jumping Bean whirling dervish of rollicking humans.
Some of us, like Genne, Lyta & Cindy, can’t remember when we first met; maybe when stringing beads in the Methodist Church nursery?
My Bell Farm neighbors – Roger and Joy Leaders, took us on a tour of the Missouri River flooded areas around Bellevue, Nebraska. If only the Army Corps of Engineers had appropriately let that water out in increments. They’d have kept the water balance, and the flooding wouldn’t have been near so devastating. More so these days than ever before, some government employees are ratcheting up odd, squirrelly, un-reasonable activities that escape sound science, ethics, the law and common sense. It’s as though they’re (whoever THEY are) hell bent on getting us (resource providers) off our land!
Sheila Ash Barker (Best co-worker, egg raiser and cookie baker ever!) came over often enough to put together the first Out of the Chute art show and sale, here, on the farm. An exceptional, eclectic mix of about 20 artists came together and showed and donated their works to raise money for Hailey Texeira, a 5 year old cowgirl diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. Internationally known artists Sue Hollis (TX), Shalah Perkins (CO) and David Lauer (CA) shared their sage experience with the debuters. Joe Fanganello donated a slug of antique original paintings and with auctioneer extraordinaire Scott Shuman’s immeasurable talents, the live auction brought nearly $6,000. Thankfully, Hailey is doing really well now You can learn more about the event and Hailey on www.ToLoveAmerica.Blogspot.com
The weekend after Out of the Chute, we had our Bunch Quitter Soiree. My feisty “adopted sis” Margret Korzus stayed with us both weekends and helped. Margret and I celebrated 20 years of a friendship that began riding the canyon lands in Escalante with the Cowboys Griffin!
Weld County D.A. Ken Buck and Sheila Ash Barker were honored as the Jack Kisling Gentleman and Lady Bunch Quitter of the Year. They personify Bunch Quitter in their independent thinking, honesty and self-less contributions back to the community. Thank God for folks like them!
September: Susan and Jim D’Angelo (TX) stayed with us, and together we hauled up to Estes Park for the Tattoo. If you’ve never been to a Scottish Festival, you better get on your kilt and go a bag-piping!
Steve Garland, the young man who leases Chuck’s NT Bar Ranch, married Mindy McIntosh in a luscious field along the Sweetwater River in WY. It was a slice in the day of America. Wish everyone could have the opportunity to see, touch, smell and taste such an exquisitely Americano day.
One evening we saw “Temple Grandin” WITH Temple Grandin at C.S. U. Talk about an interesting experience. First time I met Temple was at a seminar where she demonstrated her corral designs. She’s one fascinating lady who proves if one determines to stay awake, pay attention and be alert, they can take whatever God gives them and achieve amazing things.
October: Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis and her husband Rod McQueary stayed
with us a weekend. OH MY GOSH did we laugh through it all! Both are Cowboy Poets! We credit Sue for nearly single-handedly getting the Horse Slaughter ban riders lifted to such extent there’s basically no ban. They live clear the heck north on the MT/WY border. In July she drove all the way down so we could meet with staffers for Senator’s Udall and Bennet and Congressman Gardner. Sue gave them the best presentation I’ve ever witnessed.
Chuck‘s grandson Charley came over several times to fix Chuck’s Michigan Front loader, help tear down the old horse chewed wood fence, and put up a new pipe fence in the corral. Only 19, this fine young man is already a good hand! Philip really enjoys working alongside Charley.
November: After a year’s absence, my old buddies, Jo Borg and Verna LoFaro, and I finally managed to get together. Every year since 1973, the three of us girls have celebrated our birthdays and Christmas. We figured it out; since we’ve known each other we’ve dealt with the birth of one child (my youngest Lea), four divorces, at least 304 glasses of wine, 152 filet mignon’s, one Frank Sinatra, 9 grandchildren, lost-count-of-crème brulees, five husbands, several dogs, Jo’s hand drawn Tulips and Verna’s homemade Pizzelles. EEEE HA!
After the last wind storm, we had huge broken trees and branches everywhere. I stabbed Barbie Tractor in her tire and made her bleed badly. Here’s how: Chuck had knocked down some massive broken branches with the front loader, and Barbie and I thought we should creatively use her grader blade to “bunch them.” It’s a miracle we’re both still “up and running!”
C.S.U. President Tony Frank, Dr. James Pritchett and Rick Brase came over to initiate talks about the South Platte River. Along its banks, water is rising non-historically and probably due to a perfect storm of Big T water and shut down of over 2,000 wells. Property is now being flooded and crops are rendered useless. Stay tuned. Hopefully we’ll be able to report in next year’s Christmas letter that Governor Hickenlooper declared a state of emergency and opened wells, allowing the re-balancing of the water table. The litigious ones are going to sue regardless what the hydrological engineers recommend. That’s a given. So, may as well save people’s private property since suits are going to fly anyway.
We went to the most bizarre child custody hearing in Ft. Collins. An absentee (about 7 years) biological father appeared out of nowhere and sued to get custody. Although the mother “Stacy Lynne,” is a wonderful Mom, she’s also an investigative reporter who’s been peeling the lid off Agenda 21 and ICLEI. Stacy’s representing herself – and articulately in our view. Last we heard, the judge demanded Stacy do something?? - or serve jail time. This whole thing is grossly unfair…mainly to the child. Regardless the outcome, the absentee father made a conscious decision to scar his son for life.
As a lean-against-the-wall-and-observe-it-all gal, I’ve noticed a definite pattern emerge: Any who dares question, demand facts, or expose the corruption surrounding matters including conservation easements, water trading, Agenda 21, EPA, ESA, BLM and climate change are ruthlessly attack and destroyed. Sadly, the courts hum right along with the destroyers, for – as mentioned earlier herein- they have government funding and support under their belts.
Unless governors exercise their Constitutional authority to protect everything and everyone within the boundaries of their states, whoever’s pulling the strings on our puppet bureaucrats will control America. And believe me, they’re not the kind of people you’re going to want taking over your life. I’ll end with that. My rants are on www.RoniBell.Blogspot.com
We spent a weekend in Denver as Weld County Farm Bureau delegates, and gained a lot of great hands on experience we hope to use to bring good into our community.
Speaking of community, Good Neighbor Law is gearing up to do more forums. Led by Colonel Mark Trostel, Dr. John Maulsby, Kimmi Lewis, Marna Dowling, Scott Shuman and Ken Keil, this impressive Board of Directors works hand in hand with LAW USA to implement the sum and total of the Good Neighbor Law; “To use your own so as not to harm another.” You won’t want to miss the next GNF!
December: NFR (National Finals Rodeo) we stayed the entire six days at Southpoint. Seems most of the Stock Contractors stay there, which makes it ever so enjoyable for Chuck, as he’s known most since the late fifties. Our seats were splendid Gold Buckle, third row, middlish but closer to the timed event box.
All and all 2011 has been quite the year for personal growth. Chuck’s my best mentor, tutoring me to become a good public speaker. It’s not something I want to do, but feel a duty to do.
Our children and grandchildren are – thank God – all fine. If you want to know about them, well heck, just check either of our Facebooks.
And YES, Missy Sue Hollis! You have my promise to finish writing “The Magic Saddle” so your glorious illustrations can illuminate each page!
Chuck & I love working together. Particularly with our tractors. Every spring I harrow the pastures with the Ford 4000. Then Chuck puts a blade on it so I can do the heavy grading.
He keeps the blade on Barbie (Ford Workmaster) year round, for she’s proven to be a terrific little “finisher” of big Ford’s rough cuts.
OK. Confession. Chuck has an OLD tractor for every piece of equipment so “I don’t have to hook and unhook all the time!” His Ferguson has the weed sprayer, International 800 has the “big wide fork for cleaning up the branches,” Case 420 Backhoe excavates, John Deer R pulls the ditcher and disk, International 960 feeds the big bales to the horses, Michigan Loader scopes stuff, 37 John Deere A “stays in the shop and smiles pretty, or hooks onto the wagon and takes dogs, young and old children for rides on the woods trail.
Then there are “those trucks:” Dodge Ram -to haul 26 thousand pounds of concrete jersey boards and Aggie May, `93 Chevy flat bed – all purpose farm truck, `74 Chevy dump truck hauls everything, and the `72 Chevy and `68 Dodge are “stack yard ornaments.”
The only new piece of equipment is our 62” Dixon lawn mower. Chuck figured “Roni, you need it to mow yard and, ahem, the house paddock and uh…maybe the silo pasture too?”
Life is good. We walk or sometimes ride our horses on our trail. Chuck will hop on the front loader and me on Barbie and we work as a team re-sculpting the earth and clearing thickets. We’ve cleared many new areas where Chuck tries futilely replacing the weeds with grass.
We rise up our many blessings…way high over everything else! Rich in having such a cozy home, super horses, comedic family members, Miss Aggie May, Seek and June the cats, good health and loving friends truly gives us Heaven and Earth to be thankful for.
Ya’ll, come on up! Anytime. Just drop in! God has been good to us, and we enjoy sharing his abundant blessings.
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Chuck & Roni
at 8:16 AM