My grandnephew, Dylan Herr who is owner operator of the local Red Wing Shoe store, as well as several in Colorado. Recently, he posted a really cool video showing how work shoe soles are attached to the shoe. I thought the video was quite interesting, and we had a short conversation about it, in which he further explained the process and the fact that while the needle is pretty strong, the needle must be replaced every three days to a week. Then he added that the time frame depends on how good the operator is. I figure they would have to replace the needle several times a day, if they made the mistake of letting me try it, hahahaha!!

While Dylan’s business is work shoes, he also likes to play golf. In fact, golf is Dylan’s passion, and he is teaching their two-year-old son, Max how to play. Dylan’s wife, my grandniece, Katy Herr tells me that Max is getting pretty good, and in fact, Max already has a better swing than she does! Well, I can tell you that Max’s swing would be better than my swing too, because the people behind me are the ones in danger when I try to play golf, hahaha!! Dylan, however, is really good, and he has been playing in a lot of golf tournaments this summer. Dylan has also joined a basketball league this summer through the YMCA. He has really enjoyed that.

Dylan and Katy bought a house a while back, and Dylan has been busy taking care of the yard and making their home beautiful. He stained the fence the other day and fixed their garage door that randomly broke the other day! Ahh, the joys of home ownership!! Dylan doesn’t mind the work to make their home nice, because he is a dedicated husband and dad. Dylan loves to take his family out exploring the area, and of course, his son Max is his exploring buddy. They go everywhere together…shopping for home improvement supplies, checking out the rocks near a creek, seeing the beautiful colors of Wyoming, or just hanging out on the front porch. Dylan is also a great husband to Katy. They are so in love and so happy. I love seeing the smiles on their faces. They are a perfect couple…soulmates for sure, and that makes their families very happy too. Today is Dylan’s birthday. Happy birthday Dylan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My great grandnephew, Max Herr is such a sweet little boy. I ran into him and his mommy, Katy Herr at Walmart the other day. He was a little shy, because he was meeting me for the first time, even though I have known him since birth. Nevertheless, he was talking to his mommy and saying “Clues…clues.” Well, I didn’t understand what he was saying, so I looked to Katy quizzically. Then it became clear when she told me that Max’s very favorite show is “Blue’s Clues.” It all became clear then. While two-year-old, Max couldn’t quite say “Blue’s Clues” yet, he knew exactly what he was talking about and what he wanted…his new “Blue’s Clues” placemat that was waiting for him in the shopping cart…cute!!

Max loves his mommy so much, but his daddy is his buddy. If his daddy is doing something, it must be the most important thing in the world. Recently, Max has taken up golfing, because his daddy likes to golf. Max now has his own set of golf clubs, because he needs to learn the game, if he is going to play the game with his daddy. Golfing was never my game. In fact, the whole idea is beyond what I can see as a game of fun. Still, there are many people who love to golf, and fully understand the point of the game. My thought is that if you are going to play the game and teach it to your children, you should start young. They will learn it easily, and you can have a game to enjoy together.

Max loves to help with things. I don’t know how much help he is in the house, especially when it comes to picking up his toys, but he wants to help his daddy with the yard work, as well as any other work his daddy is doing. Max has a toy lawn mower, and he enjoys getting out there and taking care of the lawn, because after watching his daddy, he can see that the law and yard are very important. If his daddy works out there, it is a given that Max needs to as well. I just love the way little boys mimic their dads. Just like little girls learn nurturing from their moms, boys learn the work ethic from their dads. It isn’t that moms don’t work and dads don’t nurture, it’s just that maybe girls think like their moms to a large degree and boys think like their dads to a large degree. Max is learning so much from both of his parents, and he is turning into a wonderful little boy. Today is Max’s 2nd birthday. Happy birthday Max!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My brother-in-law, Mike Reed is a man who likes to stay busy. He is a supervisor for the Sinclair Refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming, and has been there for years. As his working life winds to a close, Mike and my sister, Caryl Reed are busy working of their ranch outside Casper, Wyoming, which will be their “retirement” home. I’m not sure how much retiring people can do on a working ranch, but with the right help, I think they will manage to be more retired than working. They board horses, but really that is something that takes care of itself, because the owners are responsible for their own horses. Mike and Caryl just provide the land for the horses to stay on. They are also in their second year growing crops. Last year they grew oats, which a neighbor purchased immediately. This year they are growing oat hay. Now I didn’t know this before, but to grow hay is a three year process. You can’t just go out an grow alfalfa hay. Who knew? Next year will be their year for alfalfa hay, and they are excited. Mike really loves working on their ranch/hay farm, and really feels so at peace when he is there.

Mike and Caryl also love traveling, so this year they bought a really nice motorhome so that they could be comfortable as they travel around. After his retirement, they plan to do a lot of traveling, but Casper and the ranch will always be their home base. Mike also loves riding their new trike, and feeling the wind in their hair as they travel down the road. With the motorhome and the motorcycle, they are ready for any kind of trip they will want to take. With his retirement will come more golfing with Caryl. They took a trip to Salt Lake City for some R and R at the Little America Hotel there. They played golf at the city golf course, and enjoyed some relaxation time. They also like to stay at the Little America in Sun Valley, Idaho. Some of the Little America Hotels have golf courses, like the Sun Valley hotel…so they don’t even have to leave to play golf.

Mike loves restoring old cars and trucks and has several he is working on now. One of the trucks he is planning to sell, but the other will become a family work truck. The cars he restores, often become show cars, and that makes for more traveling, so it’s a win-win. Mike may be retiring, but I don’t see Mike not “working” in the near or even distant future. He is a man who likes to stay busy, and that means more projects. The thing about Mike is that he doesn’t start a project and then never finish it. He sees his projects through, and his work is excellent. So while it isn’t going to be a do-nothing retirement for Mike, it will be a very rewarding one for sure. Today is Mike’s birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My brother-in-law, Mike Stevens loves all things sports. He really needs a dedicated sports television. I would like to say that the man cave he now has is that dedicated sports television, but my sister, Alena tells me that he “takes control of whatever television he is at.” Mike’s favorite teams are the Colorado Rockies and the Denver Broncos…smart man. Those are my favorite teams too. Mike also loves to watch NASCAR, golf, basketball, bowling, well…the list could go on forever. If it’s sports, he will watch it…or play it.

Mike loves to golf, and has golfed in Buffalo, Wyoming; Cheyenne, Wyoming; North Platte, Nebraska, and he has played in some of the nicest courses around the country when he has been on business trips. Mike’s business trips have afforded him a few other opportunities as well. He got to sit in a suite while watching the Dallas Stars play hockey, and was served catered “snacks”…which were amazing, from what I hear…and of course, the whole thing was free of charge, because they like to treat these guys well on the business trips. He has also gone to Avalanche hockey games.

While watching the games is great, Mike is a sportsman in his own right. He has bowled for years, and gone to many bowling tournaments over the years. They have also traveled for other sporting events, going to Las Vegas and Bristol, Tennessee for NASCAR, and of course, Denver for baseball and football. He played softball, in the position of short stop for many teams, but mostly for the Salt Creek Mudders. He played basketball on a City League for years. Mike’s love of all things sports has spilled over to his family, or maybe they just learned to love sports because there was nothing else on television. I doubt that was the case, because he isn’t a meanie, after all, they just got caught up in his enthusiasm, and learned about the sports too. Every year, the Stevens family has a horseshoe tournament during their annual family reunion at Boysen Reservoir. Mike is so good at horseshoes, that he is usually the champion of the tournament. He is so good that he used to get into tournaments in Midwest, Wyoming where he earned money for his ability.

Probably the biggest news for Mike this year, however, has been his new pickup. Mike has never has a new vehicle, and he has wanted a new pickup for years. This past year, that dream became a reality, when he got to buy a 2016 Ford F250 pickup. He is so excited about it, and his family couldn’t be happier for him. Getting a brand new vehicle is a very big deal. His daughter, Michelle tells me that the picture of his pickup has be his phone’s screen saver since his got the pickup. It wasn’t a birthday present, but it was exciting anyway, and his family thinks it was a vehicle that was well deserved. Today is Mike’s birthday. Happy birthday Mike!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

253_16278143633_6003_nIf you were to ask Garrett what he likes to do, you would probably find that his ideas of fun would fall squarely in the area of guy stuff. Garrett likes just about everything from golf, to hunting, to big trucks, and of course, Garrett loves sports of all kinds…and always has. Yes, I am aware that lots of girls like those things too, but to me they will always remain guy things…or maybe guy things that girls do too, sometimes.

Garrett also has a funny side. He loves to joke around, and especially to tease his sisters, Michelle and Lacey, and is sure to be the one goofing off at the exact moment that a picture is snapped. Anyone who knows Garrett has personally witnessed his goofy side, because it is simply not something Garrett can hide. It just bubbles out of him. One minute he might be serious, and the next he is busy making everyone laugh. When you think about it, that is a really great way to be.

These day’s Garrett is a grown up, with a job and all…not that a job changes the way he is. It’s not about whether or not Garrett is funny or whether or not he has a job though, in this case, its about what the job is. I thought about the fact that Garrett is a welder. That is what my dad was, and Garrett’s job reminds me that in many ways he is his grandpa’s grandson. Dad could be quite a cut up too. There are many things about Garrett that tend to remind me of my Dad. Mostly, I suppose it is a group of things. Mostly things that you can’t put your finger on separately, they just add up to a similarity, and that is an Garrett Cut-Upok thing. I like the way many traits pass down from generation to generation and from ancestors to generations of the future. It somehow gives us a sense of belonging to someone…of belonging to a family, and really, that is what makes us who we are. Bloodlines, DNA, and simply imitation of those we love.

Today is Garrett’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that you aren’t a kid anymore…especially when you are being a cut up, but I am proud of the man you have become. I hope you have a wonderful day. Happy birthday Garrett!! We love you!!

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