Sunday, November 13, 2011

Calendar by committee...and a chance to win one

There are many reasons why I dislike the month of November. Chief among them are short days, cold nights, and the pressure to decide which photographs to include in the coming year's calendar.

If you've been hanging out around here for the last three years, you already know about the annual calendar. If you're a new reader, there's not much to tell other than I publish a calendar with favorite photographs from the previous year's blog posts and make it available for whomever wants to buy one. No big deal. No sales pitch. I'm not in it to make money. It's just that some people have come to enjoy and expect being able to write their appointments under one of my photographs (Hi, Mom and Dad!). So as long as I'm publishing calendars for my family, I might as well make them available to my extended family (Hi, everybody who reads this blog!).

The 2012 calendar will be available through Lulu.com, an online book and calendar company that does really nice work. It will cost around $15, including shipping. I will post the link as soon it's finished, which should be this Wednesday. There's one outstanding decision to be made about the calendar, and for that I need your help. Which photograph should appear on the cover? Will you help me decide?

Below are the 12 photographs for 2012, in no particular order. Tell me in the comments which one you think should be on the cover. One lucky commenter will be selected at random to win a calendar.

p.s. Click on any of the photos to browse through them at an extra-large size in a slide show format.














TO ENTER Answer the following question in the comments:
Which calendar picture should go on the cover?

THE RULES One entry per person. No entries after 7 pm Mountain time on Tuesday, November 15. Winner will be chosen at random and announced Wednesday morning. If you post your comment anonymously, please include your name or initials in the comment so I can identify you if you win.

THE PRIZE A 2012 7MSN Ranch Wall Calendar from Lulu.com

Good luck, and thanks for your help.

179 comments:

  1. Number 11, of Hank at sunset, is an awesome picture!

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  2. Holy cannoli. These are awesome. The cover goes away so quickly but I'd be saving the calendar forever & a day so I'd want Hank.

    #11 captures the essence of 7MSN perfectly. And bonus! It's Hank. It gets my vote.

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  3. Karen from Rochester11/13/11, 4:29 AM

    Definitely number 9 : ) Love love her ears!!!

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  4. I love them ALL but 7 really touches me!
    ♥'s
    Sherry

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  5. The calendar picture for the cover? My first choice was the picture of Hank silhouetted by the sunset, because I love sunsets. But the first photograph of Lucy and Hank tugs at my heart. So # 1 it is for me.

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  6. I love them all, but number 11 says "calendar cover" to me.

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  7. I love #8...but all 12 of your pictures are beautiful, 7MSN!

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  8. Definitely #8. What could be better than four footed beasties and purple flowers (four o'clocks?, primroses?).
    And, I will check out Lulu. I have some photos of the Smoky Mountains (a few thousand) where I live and.....
    Mary Anne Rudolph
    Cosby TN

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  9. #4 is my pick. (But it was a hard decision!)

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  10. After a long decision-making process including a big cup of coffee and scrolling up and down this post again and again, my decission is made. It´s Number 3 because it makes me smile from one ear to the other.

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  11. #10 - You are personally being invited to buy this calendar.

    Heidi K

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  12. #6 ( love all of them. ) Bev.

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  13. ha ha ha! Number 9 should most definitely be the cover! :)

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  14. #11
    *because it's Hank
    *because it's sort of a generic picture without a whole lot of "story" going on, which strikes me as just right for the cover
    *because it imparts the sense of "seven miles south of nowhere"

    But I had a very very hard time deciding, so any of them would be perfect. :-p

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  15. Definitely No. 3 because I would hate for anyone to have their feelings hurt by not being included on the calendar!

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  16. I like picture number three, it shows the whole gang together. That leaves the inside pages for the rest of the beautiful pictures!
    ~Pam in Glynn~

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  17. For the cover I like number three because it shows the whole group.

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  18. What a difficult decision! But I think the cover should be colorful and really stand out. So I pick Number 11. I love the silhouette against the colors of sky.

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  19. Estella from Co.11/13/11, 6:04 AM

    Which calendar picture should go o n the cover? Darn girl friend, stop taking so many OUTSTANDING pictures. REALLY JUST ONE!!!! Let's see 1, 3,9, or 11....I guess I'll go with Hmmmmmmmmm number 1. How sweet this that :) It really doesn't matter which one they are ALL very good. Thank you, can't wait to purchase one. Hugs to the kids.

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  20. I vote number 1...precious!

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  21. I will purchase my annual calendar regardless of who from 7MSN is on the cover - but I just love #8. Something about it just keeps drawing me back. Love all of the photos and look forward to writing my appointments under them every month.

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  22. #8. If I was walking through TSC looking for a calendar, the colors would catch my eye but yet it is so incredibly different than the norm. Good shots... ALL of them!

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  23. I'll go with #11. It's such a great photo! (but then they all are...)

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  24. Number 4. Beautiful picture of George. Number 1 was second choice. Hank and Lucy look very nice.

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  25. Number 9 with Lucy in the middle. or should I say... Queen Lucy :)

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  26. Number three because everybody is in it except for my awesome smooch :) And everybody is showing their own personality.

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  27. Oh, boy. Decisions, decisions.
    Ok - if I must - 2. No, 8 - no, 11- no.....okay I'm back to 2 and I'll stop now.

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  28. I like number 3 because it shows the whole gang (and then some!)...although I have a soft spot for #1. Carson, how DO you decide? That's a tough one!

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  29. Number 3: The play date!

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  30. The calendar will be wonderful! My favorites for the cover are in this order:

    #11 --spectacular!...this is it:)
    # 4 -- beautiful expression against that blue sky
    # 8 -- love the scene with the guys playing and the color of the flowers


    Laurie

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  31. No. THREE! Yee Haa!!!! It's a new year! Let's celebrate!!!

    (but it was a difficult decision)

    Marguerite in Wisconsin

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  32. For a cover I would go with 11 but they are all great.

    Mary R.

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  33. Tough call as they're all so good, but I think 7

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  34. Number 11 should be the cover photo.

    Shirl in Virginia

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  35. Keeping in mind that calender covers need room for writing, I'd say 11. Outstanding photo.

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  36. I like 11 because it says it all without a face but rather the iconic image.

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  37. My choice is #1 ... such a tender shot ... Hugs ... Marcia in CO

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  38. I like # 3, Hank looks like he is happy to see his friends too.

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  39. I think I like #6... George: "Where ARE we?"
    Lucy: "Seven Miles South of Nowhere!"
    Allan: "Oh. Okay."

    I think #1 should be for February (Valentine's Day and all!)

    And I think you should put whichever one you pick for the cover only on the cover, then add a 13th photo inside of SMOOCH! And what about Wynonna and the Ladies? Oh dear--We need more months!

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  40. I think that seeing as how this calander is for friends and family it should show the whole gang and the extended family i choose number 3. On a side note i have been a long time lurker thank you for letting us all join you at 7MSN to visit everyday.

    Cathy R.

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  41. 5 or 11 should be the cover, and I hate to say this, but I really don't like #10...because the background looks so desolate. The others are so lush and colors so vivid, it just stands out to me negatively, kinda makes me sad. The Hank/Lucy love shot is terrific. I didn't know Hank had any soft spots except for you!

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  42. All terrific images but definitely #3', you gotta show the whole herd.

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  43. You know that #3 is like my favorite picture of all time, but my vote for the cover is #9.

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  44. #11 definitely!!! They are all terrific!

    Raymona P. (aka WasSoggyInSeattle)

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  45. I like #8. Those two are in deep conversation with a hint of Hank in the background munching away.
    What's the secret discussion all about? All the shots are beautiful, Carson
    Best always, Sandra

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  46. Photo #9 made me giggle. So funny.

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  47. Oh - what a hard decision. All the shots are beautiful. I see why you need some assistance :)

    #1 - pure love

    #3 - play date with the whole gang represented

    #11 - Great shot to incorporate type

    Guess I wasn't that helpful after all - good luck Carson!

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  48. I like #7 -- probably not the most "artistic" but it represents the "feel" that I love about your blog.

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  49. I think #1 with Hank and Lucy. It's their year.

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  50. My vote is for #5-Hank is such a gorgeous creature. I might add that Smooch, the girls and Wyonna (UFO) may be dealing with some feelings of rejection this morning. Perhaps you could post a group photo of them as a way of helping them through their emotions of rejection and abandonment. If you choose the group photo approach, I suggest you start by putting Smooch in the harness. After that, you are on your own. If you can build a gorgeous hutch, certainly you can figure out a group photo.

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  51. I think #11, but it was a *very* hard choice! I'm with EvenSong, tho--what about the rest of the critters?

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  52. My favorite is number 1. Shows the love everybody has for each other.

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  53. my favorite is #9 but I think it should be #3 cuz it has the whole gang!

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  54. They are ALL beautiful pictures - but #10 would be a great cover for the calendar with look saying, "Come on in and look at us!"
    #3 - June for school is out!
    #7- Feb. for Valentine's Day
    #8- April or May for spring flowers
    #9 - Aug. or Sept. for hot - no water
    #11- BEAUTIFUL Shot - Dec. end of the day/calendar

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  55. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful photos and daily experiences with others. I definitely will be buying a calendar. My vote is for #1 for the cover but there is no wrong choice available :).

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  56. Northern AB gal11/13/11, 8:32 AM

    Tough choice, but #11 gets my vote.

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  57. Photo Number 9. Love them all!

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  58. After a long thought...it's number 3 for me. All of them are great!

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  59. I thought this would be an easy contest to enter. I was wrong. They're all lovely. Since I can only pick one, it's going to be number 8.

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  60. Well it is certainly hard to pick just one, but I finally decided on photo 4 for the cover. It lends itself to the cover not only because it is a great photo, but you have some nice space to put whatever copy/words you would like to put on the cover. Thank you for the wonderful photos you post all year. They are so fun to look at.

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  61. I'm glad I'm not making this decision on my own. They are all so wonderful. I have to vote for #8 as it really says what your blog is often about - the animal conversations.

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  62. They are all wonderful pictures. It was a hard choice between 5, 11 and 12. My vote for cover pic would be #11. But you can't go wrong with any of them.

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  63. Okay, I've been agonizing since 6:30 am and I can't take it anymore........ It's #11... so beautiful and, after all, Hank IS the leader so he should 'lead' off the calendar :)

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  64. Gee, they're all so purdy! But the one I think looks the most cover-y
    is No. 8. The flowers make such a nice contrast!

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  65. Oh this is so hard...But like someone else said, Number 11 would catch my eye on the shelf too! The colors and silhouette just depicts the 7MSN Ranch.
    #1 is sweet and Hank looks so content.
    #2 It is all about the ears, but this only has One set of ears, and as a follower, you have several sets of ears on your ranch.
    #3 I first picked this one because it has everyone in it. Although Hank is awesome in this photo, for some reason it is out of place.
    #4 Beautiful picture, but why should only One get center stage? You know that will cause a huge argument between George, Alan and Lucy! Teehee....
    #5 Then Again, Hank is the senior citizen and this would be a nice cover too.
    #6 This also would make a nice cover but it is missing Hank.
    #7 This one does show the LUV! But I think this year should include Lucy, because it is a big year for you and her.
    #8 has awesome color to catch ones eye, but once again, It is missing Lucy.
    #9 Missing Hank.
    #10 The sepia coloring, to ME, feels a bit drab, although it is nice picture.
    #11 I choose this one. The silhouette depicts all at the ranch.
    #12 This is just to cute of Hank, and is my second favorite picture, but once again, it is spot lighting one of your family.

    I love all your pictures. And choosing one is very hard to do. As a faithful reader of your blog, I think the cover should be something that makes a statement about all your WHOLE family. I love the header of your blog, and would like to see that on the cover of your calendar.

    Just my two cents worth. I can't wait to see which one you choose.

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  66. My vote is for #11. But I really like them all. They are all so happy!

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  67. Number 7.....donkey lips because they are our favorite thing in the whole wide of the world. We seriously love us some donkeys because of you, Justina and Danni...the three donketeers. Casa de Cuckoo

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  68. Ohh, pick me! Pick me!! Er, I mean, I think you should put number " 3 " on the cover!

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  69. What a tough call, I think I have to go with #8. Definitely eye-catching and distinctive. It would certainly get my attention if I walked past it in a store.

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  70. Twelve smiles later, and many return visits to each photo, I vote for number seven.

    That was one of the toughest decisions I've made all month! And I hope there is a spot somewhere on the calendar for photos of Wynonna, Smooch, and the girls - maybe on the back cover? Or a footer along the bottom of the front cover or the bottom of the date page?

    And thank you for your wonderful blog - I look forward to it every morning.

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  71. #3 It's my favorite.

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  72. I vote for #11...because Hank is the patriarch of the herd and his gorgeous pic deserves the cover this year.

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  73. Tough choice but I am going with #5. Cam

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  74. I think a calendar cover should be minimalist. One object and one background, crisp can clear. That would be #4 or #11.

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  75. This was a super tough decision but after going back and forth several times, I think #11 would be a great cover.

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  76. Wow...look how many lurkers there are here! :)

    After going back and forth between 7 and 9, I'll settle on 7. To me, they both show what life is about at the 7MSN, but the colors on #7 draw the eye more.

    But most of these would be wonderful for a cover. I wonder how long it took you to weed it down to these 12!??

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  77. I like #3 with #9 and #11 tied for second place

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  78. Tough decision but I am going for 3 because all the equines and their equine friends are in it.

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  79. Although its not my favourite pic of the bunch, #7 is my choice for the cover.
    That one of Hank at sunset makes me drool though :)

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  80. No. 11
    Classic shot. No question.

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  81. 5. Vision of the future!

    http://www.sharpsaddles.com

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  82. I was all set to vote for number 1 until I saw 11. Go for 11! To me it symbolizes the beauty of the choice you made many years ago.

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  83. Number 9.
    Otherwise Lucy won't speak to you and will be very upset. You know how she demands to be Number 1!

    Jill

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  84. Oh, my. All these pictures are absolutely fantastic. When I first started browsing through the photos, I thought #3 would be the best because it has all the buds. Then I got to #9 and I had to change my choice. Something to do with the ears...
    #9 is my choice.

    Linda in Tucson

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  85. I like # 9 the best but it needs a touch of photoshoping, get rid of the cones and watertank. Such great composition otherwise with the ears, (couldnt plan that in a million years) the even color of the background and the faces. Love them.

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  86. Love, love, LOVE these pictures! After looking through them several times I think I would go with

    #11 for the cover, very dramatic.

    They are all really wonderful. It was hard to decide between #1, 3, 4, 7, 12 and 11. Beautiful!

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  87. #11 for me. Super sunset shot :)

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  88. I think #3 as it encompasses all the equine players at 7 MSN and Morning Bray...

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  89. Number 3 is my first choice. Hank 'jumpin for joy with your guests from from MBF :)

    2nd choice would be Hank's silhoutte, but #3 really gives you an idea about the contents of the calendar.

    Mary Ann in NC

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  90. Another lurker crawling out of the wood work....#11!

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  91. You know. It would be easier to choose a picture if they weren't all so terrific!

    That said, I would suggest the first image. It shows the tenderness and personality that makes your herd as delightful as it is.

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  92. I have to go with number 3 !

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  93. #1. it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

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  94. All great pics, but #9 gets my vote for the cover.

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  95. #7 is the one I like by My Man likes #11 best.

    Rita and Gerald from Texas

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  96. #12 i am not a donkey in case you
    cant tell

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  97. kayceebeebee11/13/11, 3:07 PM

    #11 or 8. I really like 7, too.

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  98. Very, very hard choice...but I've decided on #11

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  99. #1 on the front.

    And though you didn't ask #9 MUST go on the back. Perfect spot for the bad-ass gang! It still brings tears from laughter to my eyes every time I see it.

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  100. They're all really great, but I have to vote for #11.

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  101. Number 7 please. The inter-Burro relations are so touching.

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  102. 5, just gorgeous of Hank!!
    4,
    8,
    Those are my fav's!!

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  103. All 12 are stunning, but I think the one that should go on the cover is "Reunited", filed under the For You tab on your site.

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  104. well, this is like being asked to pick your favorite child! i have to go with #7 for 7MSN AND, they are just begging to be on the cover =o)

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  105. Almost impossible to choose, but number 8 really stands out!

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  106. Its a tough choice, but #5

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  107. You do make things difficult for your regulars, don't you?! lol

    I have made my decision and I'm glad to see that the Tennesseans favor the same photo for the cover. I choose #11 of Hank in front of one of your lovely sunsets.

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  108. I vote for Number 1 -- took my breath away.

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  109. I love them all!!!! 2,3 and 11 are my favs if thats possiable! good luck picking

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  110. Oh it has to be # 4! He's so personable and regal and beautiful! It's all in his eyes!

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  111. There is something very poignant and dignified about #2

    Number 11 is an "oh wow" photo'

    Number 3 is adorable because the whole gang (visiting friends) is there and it makes me laugh.

    Number 4 is stunning too.

    So... drum roll... I'm looking at them all again, and holding my breath, and waffling... and it will be

    2

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  112. #4 I love how George is so alert and the beautiful blue sky behind him.

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  113. So many beautiful photos, but number eleven is extra special.
    Chris in Mn

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  114. I'd vote for #11, because being a silhouette & so different from all the others, really stands out. Plus, it doesn't give too much away from what's inside! Kinda like a teaser!

    #9 would have to be my second choice. Great "placement" of all the characters (which the exception of Hank!), plus the cones knocked over, the water trough, Lucy's ears "covering" her co-horts ... all tell a story, and I'll bet it's a doozy! ;p

    However, great photos all around.

    — Bonz

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  115. I vote for #8- but they are all lovely!

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  116. A very hard decision! I kept changing my mind, until I reached #11. The sunset epitomizes your beauitiful state, and the glorious silhouette is a prize of all your equines!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

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  117. You have no idea how happy I am to find that you haven't finished your calendar yet. I thought I was SO behind the 8 ball. I'm only getting started on my calendar (the one I wanted to have completed last year - yea, that one).

    I love all your photos, but #1, #7 and #9 are my favourites. I think #9 would make a most excellent cover.

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  118. Wow, tough choice! I like #8 overall for the most number of positive attributes, sky, some flower color, depth, but the deciding factor was the open mouth, where one animal appears to be talking and the other listening. It goes well with the anthropomorphic dialogue that you wonderfully give your cast of marvelous characters.

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  119. I like #11 the best. Can see your logo on it.

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  120. Number 3 because it shows Hank's Lipizzaner side (airs above the ground) and has the whole herd besides.

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  121. It was EXTREMELY difficult to pick just one! I think as a cover, I like number nine as it introduces the whole herd. I love the symmetry as well, but that's just me ;-)

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  122. Oh geez, Carson. You know how I feel about Hank.

    #1. But I love having my worlds collide in #3 it's like a star trek and star wars special episode!

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  123. Gott'a be #11....tough choice..!!

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  124. #9
    After thinking about it for 24 hours, #9!

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  125. I vote for #4. The eyes have it!

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  126. Definitely #1 the sweetness just oozes off the page and two of my favorites (meaning all of them) are there....Hank and Lucy :D

    It just touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes, which made my son leave the room cause his momma is a weeper.....

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  127. What a difficult choice. But my pick is #4.

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  128. #1-Most precious
    #6-How'd u get them to do that?
    #9-Most hilarious
    #11-Most beautiful
    My pic for cover is #9. Shows the 7MSN family's personality!
    Patti from NYC

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  129. Simply put... Lucy! She is definitely worthy of gracing the 2012 cover :D

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  130. #5

    I love the light and the colors in that one, and it would be easy to superimpose text on it.

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  131. Diane from NC11/14/11, 7:24 AM

    I like them all but I am really loving # 11. Hank is such a handsome fellow and you captured him is such beautiful light. I think it will make a great cover.

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  132. Torn between number four and number seven. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........FOUR!!

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  133. I do love No. 11 of Hank in the sunset but I have to vote for No. 12. Hank's face is so beautiful it just draws me in.

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  134. There are several pictures that capture your ranch in a single frame, but I pick #5 because I LOVE Hank.


    GreeneHood

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  135. This is such a hard decision. I love #1...but I think #11 is my final pick.

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  136. #10--Looking at a New Year

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  137. #1 and #3 are so perfect BUT I have to say #4 or #11 are cover pix. Handsome Hank sure embodies that name!

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  138. # 11 is stunning and would make a wonderful cover

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  139. I like #4. It is bright and colorful and his expression just makes me want to know what he is looking at!

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  140. I purposely didn't look at any of the other votes so I wouldn't be influenced. I vote for the beautiful silhouette in number 11.

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  141. All nice photos but #4 is my favorite.

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  142. I like #11, it really gives a feel of what it is like there. Not that I have been there to know what it feels like but when I saw this picture I went Whooo!

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  143. I love #1, way to welcome the newbie to the calendar!
    Laurie

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  144. #7 I just want to lean over and kiss those lips.

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  145. I love all of them, of course, just like I love all of your kids, but there is something special about #2. It looks like an important moment, somehow, with him contemplating the possibilities waiting out there in the distance but also being very aware of the comfort and safety of his mom being nearby and watchful.

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  146. #11 - it's a gorgeous photo, it's Hank, and it has room for you to put whatever words need to be on the cover as well.

    #2 is actually my personal favorite, but I don't think it's as strong a cover shot as #11.

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  147. That is one tough choice. But number 9 does it for me.

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  148. I love them all, but number 4 stands out. What a lovely picture. Patti H

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  149. Going with #11. The colors are NM and Hank is well...Hank,the center of it all. He reminds me of life and Lyle.

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  150. Sandy Edmiston11/14/11, 6:45 PM

    #1.... LOVE... see the LOVE in both Lucy's eyes and also how Hank is loving Lucy's touch and security of her neck...

    ALL of the pictures are wonderful, but you had me at #1!

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  151. I vote for #2!

    Thanks!

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  152. My very very favorites are 3, 7, and 9. I love them! I can't decide which I love best. I think I'll have to choose 7. That face! It kills me!

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  153. I like number 6.
    I just do. I think its beautiful and whimsical.

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  154. Well, it's obvious that this is very difficult by the number of us that have differing opinions.
    I vote for #11. It's got such beautiful colors and captures the calm that you often share with us regarding your life at 7MSN.

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  155. I love #3. It illustrates the fun and silliness that is the 7MSN Ranch!

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  156. #1 for the cover - burro and horse love - that's the 7MSN ranch in a nutshell.

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  157. Number 7? Number 9?

    Hmmmmm. I say Number 9!

    -nec

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  158. #8, what a cool picture!!!

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  159. Tough decision... but I would go with #7! Seriously, though, could you make it any harder to choose?

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  160. #3 for the cover, and #1 simply MUST be February - the month of Valentines!

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  161. LOVE them all, but number 7 just makes me smile :)
    Reb

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  162. Number 1 is the one that should be on the cover because Love and Friendship is what 7MSN Ranch is all about.

    Janice in San Jose

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