Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fifth Annual Jean's Boots Christmas Letter

We received what I believe to be our last Christmas greeting of the season in the mail yesterday. I was so happy to see it; it granted me one more day to get this deal out.

Let me be the first to wish you 
Happy New Year!

2015 was a good year for the Sankeys. We traveled, gardened, celebrated, invested and survived. What more could you ask for? We spent much of our energy growing beef, watering a garden and killing mice. It’s an enchanted life.  

BSG beef, Sankey garden grown tomatoes and chives

For the sake of everyone's time and interest, let's just hit the highlights:

We traveled to South Dakota in March to see Cody’s sister and her family – including niece Bayler who changes so much each time we see her. The verdict is still our on which is bigger: Her personality or her eyes?

Alaska in August allowed us to see some of America’s most beautiful sights. And experience things we hoped never to. Like a 6-hour rough water boat cruise where nearly half of the boat’s occupants fell ill. Ever been trapped on a boat with folks losing their boxed lunch left and right? We landed ourselves smack dab in the middle of a real-life Hunger Games and nowhere to go but overboard. I had to sit in a booth with my head down, counting as far as I could in Spanish. It was somewhere around “jota” that Captain Miserable allowed us to go outside and sit on the deck. I’ve never wanted to swim with the humpbacks like I did that afternoon.

The good news is we made it to the next day and traveled to Homer Brewery where we met this fellow. We must have been obvious tourists because he came over and told us his compelling life story – having made a career by welding ship propellers. This dude was wildly interesting.

Stout lager gave him that crazy look in his eye.

It just wouldn’t be a Jean’s Boots Annual Holiday Letter without a cat update.  Single-26-year-old-me can’t believe I even typed that.We have yet to own a cat that devotes its life to ensuring no mouse enters our home. Still, we allow them to free load. Wilson (finally) had a run in with something bigger than himself,  and walked around for two days with things that belong on the inside dragging on the outside. He succumbed to his injuries. While we were at the NAILE in Louisville my dear friend Krista threw a random cat - she had found at her place  - into a barn at our farm and quickly slammed the barn door shut before driving off. What are friends for? Said cat (Shadow) is a female and kind of sleazy. We anticipate a growing cat herd in a matter of days.

Jean’s Boots Are Made For Talking gained some national exposure after I had the opportunity to speak at the Ag Catalyst conference in Kansas City  in October and then the 103rd Kansas Livestock Association Convention in December. I thoroughly enjoyed both experiences and the folks I met along the way. My in-laws were at the KLA convention and I still got invited to Christmas. WINNING.

In October we welcomed niece Georgia to the family. She is tiny and smiley and just wonderful. She’s also a brunette, which my side of the family may not be accustomed to. She is a perfect fit to our puzzle.

The Original Jean and Four Bowman Great-Grandkids

In early December I did something silly and took it upon myself to order Cody a new recliner to replace the broken down (/broken in – it depends on who you ask) one he’s had for years. Have you ever surprised a man with a new, supportive recliner to replace the one he’s spent years in? I wouldn’t recommend it. After nearly three weeks of online shopping, shipping logistical nightmares (it wouldn’t arrive by the 25th if delivered to our rural address, so I had to get creative) and second-guessing my bold decision to replace ol’ trusty I clicked “confirm purchase” and Christmas was over. Cody walked into the living room to find the leather recliner with a big red bow and calmly asked, “You didn’t throw out my other one, did you?” Apparently buying a recliner for someone without an opportunity for them to “test drive” is like buying a new car for them without them knowing. I didn’t see the problem? Anyway, he fell asleep in the new recliner for the next four nights. 

We traveled to Kansas last week for Christmas. Our return trip was interrupted by winter storm Goliath so we loaded up our rented sleigh and steered the red sled all the way back to Indiana. Our path included tumbleweeds and a closed I-70 interstate system due to flooding; an obstacle course of sorts. Twenty white knuckles and 24 hours later, we made it back to Indiana.

Can you believe I’ve been writing this annual letter to you for five years? I have a hard time committing a cereal for more than a week and somehow I’ve found the appetite to write this deal for five solid years. I guess only once a year helps. 

It's hard to believe 2015 is nearly a memory and 2016 anxiously awaits. We wish you all the best in 2016 - please do keep in touch!

Happy New Year, 

The Sankeys

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