I’m writing this column a few days before New Year’s Eve and I want to take this opportunity to say to all my readers that I hope they really enjoyed the extra-long year of 2016.
I read today that we all got to enjoy a full extra second of time during 2016. Because the Earth is slowing down its rotation, every once in a while scientists have to add an extra second to a year to make real-time coincide with atomic time.
At any rate, I hope you got a lot done during the extra time you had in 2016.
Now 2017 is upon us and it is sure to be an interesting time with a new administration taking office in a few weeks and facing a divided nation and multiple domestic and international challenges.
I sure don’t know how it will turn out, so all I can do — all any of us can do — is wait and see and hope for the best.
A few weeks ago, I was the beneficiary of a true windfall. My good neighbor, ol’ Harley Ryder, visited friends in Atlanta, Ga. While they were there, their friends noted that the house across the street had been sold and the occupants were moving.
As it turns out, the husband of the departing neighbors is a survivalist and had stockpiled a bunch of canned good in preparation for a coming apocalypse and a bunch of the stuff wuz outdated — the expiration date being 2011 and 2012. It seems the wive had put her foot down and refused to move the outdated canned grub to their new home and insisting that her hubby throw in away.
That’s when ol’ Harley intervened and said he had a neighbor back in Kansas who had a bunch of chickens and a bird dog that he could, and would, feed the outdated food to. The departing folks agreed so Harley loaded the canned good into his pickup and delivered it to me at Damphewmore Acres.
That’s the story of how I got about 50 cans of canned beef stew to feed to my bird dog Mandy and more than 100 cans of green peas, carrots, all kinds of fruit, and various forms of canned tomatoes and sauces to feed to my chickens.
They’ve been eating “high quality donation rations” for the past couple of weeks and the bonanza will continue well into January of 2017.
Speaking of my bird dog Mandy, she gave me a scare last week when she went off her feed and developed a big lump under her jaw that hindered her jaw from opening.
Alarmed, I rushed her to my favorite veterinarian, Dr. Polk Shotts, at Council Grove. Doc checked Mandy for an imbedded foreign object and could find none. Since he could find no cause, he said it was just an abscess or cyst. He gave her an injection of antibiotic first and then an injection of cortisone directly into the growth. Then he gave me a week’s worth or oral antibiotic for her.
Doc’s a miracle worker. The very next day the growth had shrunk by two-thirds and Mandy began to eat and drink. The next day she seemed fully recovered and the following day I took her hunting will no ill effects. She’s been her normal bundle of energy ever since.
I am continually amazed at the absolute, seemingly infinite, variety of foods in stock at big U.S. supermarkets. If you can think of it to eat, chances are you can find it to buy.
But, I also notice that processed foods greatly outnumber unprocessed foods. Which, brings me to this conclusion: We might all be better off eating more foods that grow on trees or plants, or eating food from tasty animals that eat plants and grains, than we will be if we eat mostly foods that are manufactured or processed in plants.
We’ve been invited to a New Year’s Eve party by our friend, ol’ Parker Loosely, who lives about 50 miles away. I know it will be a great party with a lot of good friends attending.
But, I still haven’t decided to go to the party becuz I hate driving very far at night. I guess that’s a sure sign of advancing age because 50 miles at night meant nothing to me when I was younger, spryer, and had better night vision. Guess I’ll wait for a closer weather report before I make a party decision.
A young rancher, ol’ E. Quinn Heard, finally decided to tie the knot with his longtime girlfriend. One evening, after the honeymoon, he was in his horse barn loading his horse trailer in preparation for heading/heeling congtest the next day.
His new wife was intently watching him. After a long period of silence, she finally speaks. “Honey, I’ve just been thinking, now that we are married, maybe it’s time you quit spending so much of your time out here in the horse barn. It might be a good idea to sell your horses and your horsey stuff so we can do more things together.”
Quinn gets this horrified look on his face.
His wife asks, “Darling, what’s wrong?”
“There for a minute you were starting to sound like my ex-wife.”
“Ex-wife!”, she screams, “You never told me you were married before!”
Quinn’s pointedly sarcastic reply: “I wasn’t.”
That story will probably get me into trouble right as 2017 starts. Guess that will make the new year a lot like the old year. But, what the heck? I hope 2017 is a good ‘un for you.