December 1999 Newsletter:

By Fred Thompson

‘Twas the night before the New Year.  I’m out in the barn.
The horses were fed, all’s fine on the farm.
When up in the mow, I heard such a racket.
I ran for the door  while grabbing my jacket.
Before I could escape , I felt a big tug.
I swung around fast and saw a big bug.
What are you? I yelled, with a voice nearing soprano.
My eyes had to be the size of  tomatoes.
Millennium Bug is the name, don’t fear me dear man.
He quickly reached out and shook my right hand.
Why are you here? I said. What did I do wrong?
I don’t sleep in church and I sing all the songs.
Please settle down, Bug said.  You have nothing to fear.
I came to your barn to spread some good cheer.
Horses-I love them and this I will say.
Nothing will harm then in the up coming Y2K.
They have been here forever and forever they will stay.
If you give them fresh water and plenty of hay.
Be kind to your horses, and be a good friend.
There heart will be yours, right up to the end.
But midnight is coming and my life is nearly over.
He looked at my horse and threw her some clover.
Then in the darkness of midnight I saw a great light.
And as fast as he came he flew out of sight.
With my hands still a shaking I wiped away a tear.
And all I could say was-HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  I hope, after reading this, you will realize how hard up I am for
something to write about this month.  With the drives all over and the
annual meeting not until after this is due.  I was desperate.  PLEASE
FORGIVE ME ( I’m typing  this on my knees just to show my sincerity.).
  Anyway, with all this hype about Y2K and the Millennium bug , I
imagine some of these terms will last forever.  I wonder how many horses
born this year will be called Millennium or just Bug for short.  Enough
about year 2000.  I’m ready for it.  I’ve been practicing writing
1-1-00   1-2-00  1-3-00.  Anyway you get the idea.
   The only thing I could think about writing was how to put your
carriage up for the winter.  Here are some hints from Gary Gillfillan.
Don’t cover your carriage up with plastic.  Moisture will collect under
it and mildew will form.  Rust may also form on any unpainted parts.
Just use old sheets or blankets over the carriage to keep the dust off.
The most popular way to keep rodents out of your carriage is to use
mothball.  Some like to put them around the carriage and some like to
put them in the carriage.  Gary also said some people jack up there
carriage if they have rubber rimmed wheels.  If your seats and backs are
removable, it might not be a bad idea to remove them.
  Winter is also a good time to tear apart the harness.  This will give
you a chance to clean and repair or replace anything that needs it.
Lets hope that the winter is short and the driving season is here soon.
  If it does snows this winter, Gary Gillfillan also wants to extend an
invitation to anyone that want to go for a sleigh ride.  He said he has
enough sleighs and some ponies anyone can drive.  With 55 acres there’s
plenty of room to drive.  Just give him a call.  Thank Gary.
  One last thing to show you I have a variety of interest.  I would like
to share my receipt for gourmet Rum Fruitcake.  Just in time for the
Holidays .

Recipe for Gourmet Rum Fruitcake
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 cup dried fruit
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
lemon juice
1 gallon Rum

Sample the Rum to check for quality.
Take a large bowl.
Check the Rum again to be sure that it is of the highest quality.
Pour 1 level cup and drink.
Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again.
Make sure the Rum is still okay.  Cry another tup.
Turn off the mixer.
Break two legs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried  fruit.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a
Sample the Rum to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift 2 cups of salt. Or something.  Who cares.
Check the Rum.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain the nuts.
Add one tablespoon of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.
Grease the oven.
Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Trow the bowl out of the window.
Check the Rum again.
Who the eats fruitcake anyway?

  Well folks, this is the last report for this year and this century.
Just think about it—Year 2000.  Boy,  this is going to take me a while
to get use to saying that.
   I would like to take this time to wish everybody in the BLACK SWAMP