And just like that, Christmas is over. No more Hallmark movies, no more Christmas songs on Pandora, no more decorations and no more tree. Decorations went up the day after Thanksgiving, they come down the day after Christmas. That is the thing about Barb. Once she is over something, she is over it. She has moved on. No second thoughts, no mercy, the tree is tossed out the front door and she moves on. I just hope she never gets over me!
Christmas arrived with mild temperatures reaching a high of 38F. Balmy compared to the previous few days. The girls enjoyed opening the gifts Santapaws left them. Well, Zoey did. Dakota is much too mature and couth to lower herself to such over-commercialized displays of excitement.
I have a video for you this morning! The first part is Zoey meticulously opening one of her presents. I think she was more interested in the wrapping paper that what was actually inside. The entire process took several minutes so I sped it up. The second part of this video is of both girls when the spirit of Christmas finally got the better of Dakota and she just had to play with Zoey.
Zoe Belle true to her bratty nature would play with a toy, but when she saw Dakota enjoying one, she had to stop what she was doing and go take that toy away from Dakota. What a fun sucker, she is going to make someone a good wife someday!
That night, it was just the two of us. Barb cooked a fantastic meal and we both overstuffed ourselves.
The next day I woke up about 3am excited to see if Santa had come yet. He must have been running late. I saw that he had delivered Barb's presents but forgot to leave mine. Or perhaps I was on the naughty list?!?!? Later that morning when I was in the bedroom he came back and dropped off mine with a note that he got me confused with another Jim Nelson who was on the naughty list. Another drawback of having such a common name!
Santa brought me several Sitka hunting clothes items, some Kenetrek boots and a slew of ice fishing items! Jessica and Shane sent a vintage shotgun shell box and lures for my collection!
Forrest and Somer sent me a 1000 lumen flashlight for my apocalypse zombie killer. Watch out zombies, I am ready for you! They got Barb this precious ornament with photos of several of our past and present furbabies on it. Barb absolutely loved it!
That evening we went over to Kevin and Cheryl's. Cheryl made an incredible ham supper with corn pudding, cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole. They had gotten us some awesome engraved bar glasses!
Neighbors Jim and Carmen made me this awesome hat with our brand on it.
Jim is does incredible leatherwork making custom holsters, bottle and glass wraps, coasters and other leather items. Carmen has a laser engraver and is able to laser some incredible things with glass, leather, wood and other items. Jim sells some of his work at a local shop in Hot Springs which you can see here.
Last but not least on the Christmas parade is this visual evidence that I have paid off my debt to Dino. 2 cases on beer. I only owed him a case (plus 15 cans in interest). I sent Lisa money to buy 2 cases just in case the interest rate went up overnight!
We had a scary moment with Zoey this past week. I let her out to go to the bathroom. We usually go out the door and to the left, down the sidewalk where she steps off, does her thing and walks right back in. This time she turned right, rounded the corner and saw all the deer. The chase was on! The deer took off and she was hot on their tails. Up and over the hill and into the forest. She was out of my sight in seconds. I ran after her but could not catch up. If this was not bad enough, this was last Thursday. Yes, that last Thursday when the high for the day was still well below 0F. As I crested the hill, I saw a deer bolting to the left back out into the field and caught a glimpse of Zoey behind her. I yelled and ran that way. Luckily Zoey stopped. She just stood there exhausted, out of breath lifting one foot and then another. She was froze up. We have had this happen with two of our other old dogs; Daisy and Mario. They would just get too cold and freeze up, could not move. I picked poor Zoey up and started walking back to the house, she was shaking uncontrollably, huffing and puffing from her run. Barb held her in a blanket in front of the fireplace for about 15 minutes before she stopped shaking. We were a glimpse or a random turn away from her freezing to death out there. The entire incident took less than 2 minutes, and she was freezing up. She would not have lasted 5 minutes. Lesson learned!
Later in the week the weather was incredible with highs in the 30's and 40's! The snow is melting pretty quick and will probably be all gone in a few days. I got out ice fishing with Doug and his son Sam, it was nice having a 17-year-old along to pull the sled!
We fished for both perch and trout. The perch were a little on the small side, but Sam managed to catch a few bigger ones to make a meal.
The trout on the other hand were much nicer averaging in that 16-18" range. We came home with 6 eaters, I think I am going to smoke them this time.
The next day was in the 40's again so I hit the forest to cut some firewood!
In a first for us, we saw this buck show up on 12/27 who had just lost his antlers. Generally, they lose their antlers in February and March. I am wondering if the extreme cold weather had something to do with it. Nature has a way of adapting when energy/nutrients are needed elsewhere. It looks painful but it really isn't, the energy to maintain the antlers is just diverted so the joint between the antlers and the skull dries up and the antlers just fall off. I went out and looked for them but no luck so far.