Monday, January 6, 2014


The ole ranch hand has studied of late on memories from his grandparents place in Wright City.

Sitting on their front porch swing (or concrete porch steps) is a warm/fuzzy thought.

Sitting behind their house in the shade visiting or shelling peas or cooking bar-b-que or whatever is an experience I would love to repeat.

Walking down to Uncle Charlie's pond (next door) to angle for channel catfish or down to Uncle Reggie's pond in the back pasture to catch perch....priceless time for a young'un.

Thinking bout putting hay in Grandaddy's barn loft (he wouldn't allow doing it the easy way on the first floor of the barn....had to throw those 60-70 pound bales up in the loft from the unsteady footing of the hay trailer?)

Remembering helping G-daddy build a corral by the barn out of green oak lumber (that a lumberjack could not drive a nail thru)....the ranch hand could not for the life of him drive those nails without bending them so guess who had their hammer "retired"?

Going thru a barbed wire gate G-daddy built was a fine trial in strength and patience....he thought they were not functional unless as tight as a "fiddle"...and that made it a challenge to open for sure (and he would whip your butt if you left it "open").

Remembering them planting a few pecan trees beside their house and thinking even I would not see them bear fruit....and watching them pick carpets of pecans from the ground in short order.

Their incredibly productive garden, fat cows, pen raised quail, and G-mother's cooking was legendary.

.....and remembering that on the day of my mother's funeral my sweet sainted grandmother telling me that from that day forward she would be my mother....and loving her more that day that I could ever explain.

Damn I was lucky to have them.....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas elves and other such folk

The stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people.

This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or what they’re supposed to feel.

Then they think that they alone fall short. They judge themselves and feel like an outsider.

The ole ranch hand had this unfortunate phenomenon for as long as memory serves. No reason, no explanation, no solution.

Then he married the original SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.

This gal can out-Christmas anything ever and will not let anyone or anything stand in her way....How ya gonna be "blue" under that kinda pressure?

Been feelin' pretty darn Christmas-y lately and gotta give credit where credit is due....the CHRISTMAS ELF/WIFE DONE DONE HER THANG!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Indoor Picture Show

When the ranch hand was knee high to a Shetland, "going to the picture show" referred to the drive-in theatre in Turnertown.

We would go in the pickup, back it into a space, and Mom/Dad would sit in chairs in the bed of the truck while us young'uns would park wherever. Mom would bring a brown paper sack of home made popcorn and life was good.

Another, more rare, movie experience was available in Overton (the "indoor" picture show").

The Overton Theater opened in July 1938 and continued operation until 1965. For the price of a quarter, a Wright City farm boy could ease into a dark place of air conditioned comfort, sit in fancy cloth covered seats (with years of chewing gum plastered on the seat bottoms), and get lost in the adventures of Hollywood heroes.

Never mind that no one had money for refreshments from the snack bar (although we knew someone bought "cokes" because the floor was so sticky?).

Never mind that ya missed half the show when it was "scary" (The Blob, The Incredible Shrinking Man, etc.) due to having one's eyes closed. It was pure magic.

Scroll forward to modern times and the ole fat boy and his beautiful child bride decided to saunter to "town" to enjoy yet another "indoor picture show".

Smug with confidence and sufficient finances, the would-be film star splurged on two "cokes" for nostalgic pleasure. Hauled them puppies to our plush reclining ergonomic seats and settled in with our fellow viewers to wait for the "magic" to begin.

The lights dimmed, the theater became hushed, and the sophisticated cinema fan promptly dumped the entire contents of his ICE COLD drink into his lap.

Now imagine the difficulty of maintaining one's dignity while jumping up and down between rows of seats in a crowded theater while furiously slapping and brushing at one's "nether regions" and yelling, "SH*T", in high decibels.

Further imagine the look of confusion mixed with consternation on the face of the adjacent bride (not to mention the fellow theatre patrons).

Maybe the Lord was just taking care of that young farm boy in Overton by withholding the "cokes" to spare the fragile innocence of his youth?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Rattlesnake Wire

Barbed wire...or "bob woir", as it is pronounced in East Texas...has served the southwest well since it was first patented in 1867. As a relatively inexpensive method to pen cattle onto a chosen range, it took cows out of the driver's seat and allowed ranchers to control their movement (and stop "free grazing" by traveling herds).

The Tin Star is surrounded by a similar steel accoutrement. Four thousand feet of prickly loveliness that is singular in its willingness to "bite"!

Deer jump the top strand and wind it around the next strand down. Unwind that bow fiddle tight puppy and lose some hide and blood (ask me how I know)?

Tighten sagging stretches of the saber toothed one, let your tool of choice slip...and yep...more personal tissue/sinew/plasma sacrificed to the "god" of the bovine calaboose?

When the Hebrew tribes gave up their nomadic life and settled in Palestine in agricultural communities, the most important matter was the fixing of definite boundary-lines to separate the lands of the different tribes and of the families within the tribes. The importance of this is sufficiently shown in the Book of Joshua, where a careful record is made of the boundaries of the tribes and their families. No mention is made of "bob woir"...just "boundary markers".

However, Ecclesiastes 10:8 tells us that serpents delight to lurk in the crevices of such fences?

Given the ole ranch hand's number of scars, blood loss, and ripped would be a tuff sell to convince him that dang demon fence ain't part rattlesnake!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Retired Life

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)

The ole fat boy and his child bride ventured to the land o' the gator this past week in Orlando, Florida to "experience" DISNEYWORLD, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, and the KENNEDY SPACE CENTER.

Think bout walkin' from can till can' "wall to wall" people round ya?


Rode them "rides"....saw the "sights"...and ate/drank the good stuff in the theme parks and beyond.

Retired life is better'n is GREAT for old folks what got the health and mobility to enjoy it to the max!!!

LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Traitor

The ole fat boy and his gorgeous child bride sashayed into "town" this morn to allow the little woman to shop for shoes (Hell....anyone with near half a brain would know that 49,000 pair of shoes ain't near enuff for a ranch lady with only TWELVE (long) shelves full of shoes in her closet already?????)

Got that "mission of podiatry mercy" done and then decided to stop at the sis/law's house to see the young nephew/niece and have a bit of country "gab".

Bein' country rural....the ranch hand left the keys in the SUV (along with the wife's purse/keys)....

Got near half way up to the porch and heard "CLICK"????

Damn traitor vehicle LOCKED its ownself (just for spite I reckon??)

Spent the next hour going back and forth between the "traitor" and the barn/workshop gitten tools and "making" tools to unlock that BAST*RD and not do damage??? the door "unlocked".....and the damn horn started beeping such as Saint Gabriel would'a been proud!

Finally figgered out the combination to silence that abomination....and then found the eee-lec-tronic computer crap would not allow the car to be started...Next chance I get, gonna kick a computer nerd in the n*ts just for the sheer joy of it??

Is it only my old butt generation...or was life simpler when "computer chips" were not involved????

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Thanks to Ms. Eva

Ms. Eva creates a marvelously entertaining blog:

It is light hearted...entertaining...and "irreverent" to the point of "giggle"!

A recent jewel concerned TGIF ("Thank God it is Friday") and the totally irrelevant perspective of that phrase for retired folk?

The ole fat ranch hand and his child bride have multiple conversations bout....what day is this???....what day of the month??...hell...what month is this??

Such awesome bliss...To not care what "time" has to offer....To just enjoy the day...Whatever "day" it is??? double OK!

Thank you Ms. Eva for reminding an ole retiree bout the "good" stuff of not fighting the "job" sh*t ever day....!!!!

Monday, March 18, 2013


King Sisyphus existed in Greek mythology.

According to legend.....this gent was quite the rascal and the "gods" therefore sentenced him to roll a huge boulder up a steep hill. Before he could reach the top, however, the massive stone would always roll back down, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was to be an example for those lacking in tolerance and patience, no doubt?

This day, the ole fat boy and his child bride ventured to the "Greek" mythological land of "Joe's Crab Shack" and feasted therein on....well...crab.

Interesting adventure. First they bring ya "tools"....Oh hell yeah...what manly man would not want "tools"?

Then they brought a humongous "bib"??? OK...was there gonna be a hawg guttin'....or what????

Then the cretins of sick humor bring out a gigantic TUB of boiled/spiced crab and say with a lecherous smile, "All yall dig in"?

Well duh....They give ya got hammers, picks, pliers, and more "tools" than a New York butcher shop so "dig in" is kinda suggestive of "what"???

So...the ranch hand and the Gorgeous One...just started hammerin', sawin', mashin', GNAWING on that pile of crustacean like we was old pros.

Bottom line...we ended up with it in our hair, on our face, covering our our laps, on the chairs (and likely the ceiling).

Sisyphus...we feel your pain dude...just be glad they didn't give ya eternity to crack open crabs?????

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And Then There Was One (SOB!)

Where breathes the soul
At least if alive
Who does not worship

It's ethereal goodness
Is beyond compare
The taste, the fragrance
Well...just beware.

Sister "C" is the junkie
Who smuggles that narcotic rare
From its NM home amid mountain air

Nor meth...or crank...or cocaine
Do it be
But the deliciously ubiquitous

Fresh from Hatch
The town of renown
Where them grand hot peppers
Wear the kingdom crown.

Last visit from sister
That Saint brung two large jars of Heaven
(Still wonderin' why it wasn't SEVEN?)

One jar down
And one jar to go
Already wonderin' if sis
Will bring bro mo'???

Gotta love it
(and my baby sister)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Simple Pleasures

The best things in life are most often the simple pleasures.

Ain't much way to beat a good peach cobbler for soul satisfying "pleasure".

Yesterday last...the ole fat boy burned down some lovingly aged ranch oak firewood into chunks of flavorlicious coals.

Greased up the Tin Star cast iron dutch oven with the requisite lard....loaded that puppy with slice peaches, yellow cake mix, a stick of unsalted butter...and pixie dusted that "piece de resistance" with culinary quality cinnamon magic.

Plopped on the lid....loaded the cherry red oak coals over/under the cobbler delivery device....and simply vegged in blissful silence for 30 minutes while smelling the sweet flowery odiferous waft of peachy cinnamon goodness stewing within.

Hooeeee dawgeee...that stuff was slurp-i-li-shus wunnerful to this old man's taste buds when peeled outa the pan!!!!