Happy New Year to all of you. It’s been especially cold out here on the farm. Those blowing winds are causing drifts of snow to form on our long driveway. Luckily, we have gotten to come inside the house to sleep at night. I guess we’re stinkin’ up the Mud Room, cuz Corinna says she can smell us when we’re inside. Felt a little under the weather last week too. I think it was some bad chili — Corinna had it too. But then I found a rabbit, and after a good old-fashioned hunt, (I am a retriever after all), I enjoyed a feast of fresh rabbit. I took it to just outside the electric fence boundary, so Sienna got to watch, but not touch. Drove her crazy. The family went sledding off a hill in Elmore after the snowfall. I wish I could have gone. I have a silver medal in the bobsled, you know. The Bench’s Christmas was pretty magical. Our Christmas tree has real candles on it each year (from Corinna’s German side). Josiah liked to pick the candles out of the candleholders every day. Grandma always has us over to make Christmas cookie cutouts, which are hung on her tree. Josiah ate some of those right off the tree during the gift giving session too. The boys have enjoyed blissful days (cont’d p. 4)      of playing with new Christmas presents like the kitchen set (for Josiah) and of course lots of tractors and implements. Uncle Torsten came to visit for 4 days just before New Years. He spent most of his time building a fantastically complicated and cool Lego Mine Kit with Jed. And then there were a few pillow fights squeezed in here and there. Out on the farm, Kurt spread some leaf mulch on the garlic beds to insulate them from the cold. It was just in time before the big snow too. He’s been busy planning what to put in your boxes next year, and putting in his seed order. This is the time of year when Corinna is very busy with farm accounting. Closing the books, setting up new invoices and collecting payments, making new membership spreadsheets, and creating marketing materials for February/March. In the midst of all this, K and C got a new IPOD TOUCH, which is some kind of fancy technology that lets them play music without CDs. (Remember CDs? Your farmers still use them). Apparently, they are moving into the digital generation. We need to pray for them — they are not very good at it.  I think they’re also planning a trip to Pokagon for some toboggoning in January. And then there’s the pending arrival of Cousin Louis in Texas — a nephew due January 6th. They’ll be taking a week to visit the new baby in January. That means a plane trip for Jed and Josiah! Yes, we’re busy at it out here. Never a dull moment. I’ll be writing a bit more frequently this winter than usual. We’re going to try to write a newsletter every 2 weeks. I’m working on a book deal too — a compilation of my doggie wonders and adventures since I was a pup. Would you buy it? Stay groomed, and keep your ears clean. —Montana

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