The four oldest grandsons and the two granddaughters have been in and out at the home place quite a lot over the summer. The quality of the blog posts might’ve suffered, but we’ve had a lot of fun and some interesting conversations.
Here are a few snippets:
Grandson: Nana, I’m kinda like a toad, or a frog. I really wanna be a toad. No, a snake. Do snakes eat toads?
Grandson: I’m a snake, then. Not a toad, or a frog.
Danni: Hey! Don’t sword fight Ladybug (youngest granddaughter).
Grandson: (with a look like hello?) Well, she’s got a ball bat.
Grandson: I’m gonna shoot a baby deer.
Granddaughter: (gasps) No, you’re not! That’s mean.
Grandson: Nuh, uh. They’re for somebody’s lunch.
Grandson: (striking pose, sword outstretched) I’m Feodore Roosebelt!
Grandson: Y’wanna know why I’m draggin’ my feet on the carpet, Gramps?
Grandson: Cause I got pee on ‘em.
Danni: Stop biting her! You’re not a real vampire bat!
Danni: Listen, pal. Don’t poke holes in my noodle.
Grandson: Hey, somebody scratch my back.
Then at the dinner table there was the dead silence from the grandkids that said more than words…after watching the bulls get semen tested.
But possibly one of my favorite conversations was the one below. *Red Alert: If you’re an animal rights activist–or a rat lover–I recommend you stop reading, now.
Six grandkids tumble into the house, sweating profusely and all talking at once.
Grandkids: Nana, there’s a sick rat in the barn. We’ve gotta help him or he’ll die!
Danni: (thinking, hallelujah, that rat poison is good stuff) Oh, I think y’all should leave that rat alone.
Granddaughter Blondie: But he’s really sick. We’ve got to nurse him back to health.
Danni: Um, no, honey. I’m sorry, but I won’t save a rat’s life.
Blondie: At least, can’t you put it out of its misery?
Danni: Just let it alone. It probably got in the rat bait. It’ll die in a little bit.
Blondie: (beginning to cry) That’s mean, Nana. We have to do something.
Danni: Honey, all I can do is hit it on the head and kill it.
Four grandsons: Yeah! Hit it on the head!
Grandsons rush back to the barn en masse. Granddaughters follow. Danni groans in her spirit and arms herself with pliers. Contrary to popular belief she doesn’t actually enjoy striking rats on the head. Except for the occasional two-legged rat. In the barn, the rat has crept beneath a pile of junk. Grandsons capture it. Danni picks up rat by the tail with her pliers. Stuffs it in a plastic cup. She has forgotten the hammer. Heads back to the house with grandsons leaping and shouting for blood like French Revolutionists mobbing the tumbrils of guillotine-bound aristocrats. Granddaughters trail behind in mourning. A thought strikes Danni like a sack of bricks on the head.
Danni: Hey, I know. I’ll throw the rat into the chickens and they can kill and eat it.
Blondie: Augh! No! Please. That’s cruel don’t do it!
Danni: You’d rather I hit it on the head?
Grandsons: Yeah! Hit it on the head! (They fetch the hammer.)
Danni groans in her spirit again, clears grandson heads out of the strike zone and dispatches the rat with a quick tap. A crowd of happy grandsons lead the funeral procession to the chicken pen. Grieving granddaughters follow.
Blondie: (crying) Nana, please put the rat where I can’t see the hens eat it.
Grandsons: We wanna see! Can we see…?
So, what is the point of that tale? I don’t think it has one except…if someone thinks there is no fundamental difference in boys and girls except their plumbing and environmental factors, I’d have to beg to differ. (And to anyone interested: The hens gobbled up the poisoned and head tapped rat with apparent enjoyment, suffering no ill effects afterward. It must truly be as my late father-in-law always said: “You cain’t poison a chicken.”)
God bless all y’all, have a great weekend as you go about your “rat killin'” as we say out in the country, and enjoy the young ladies of Red Roots singing Christian Country Girl.
Here at the Ranch Pen, we love books whether they’re the old fashioned paper kind, the electronic reader kind, or the audiobook. One I’ve been re-reading in audiobook format, and can’t recommend enough, is C.S. Lewis’ classic, The Screwtape Letters. Brilliant.
Another type of book I recommend are the graphic novels for children called the Illustrated Classics. These books are classic literature in an abridged, comic book format that appeals to kids. Books like The Call of the Wild, Oliver Twist, The Scarlet Letter, Kidnapped, and even the story of the guy with the big honker, Cyrano de Bergerac, are broken down in a way kids remember and helps them untangle the original classics later on.
Recently I was honored to receive a pre-release copy of my writer friend, Erin’s, book Surviving Henry to read and review.
Surviving Henry is in bookstores as well as online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble where you can grab a copy for yourself or to give as a gift.
From the back cover:
Sometimes you seek out love. And sometimes it broadsides you.
You don’t always know what you’re getting into when you bring home a puppy. You hope for laughs and cuddles, long walks and a wagging tail. And sometimes you get . . . Henry.
Henry is a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did wrong that God would send this dog to derail her life.
But this rogue torpedo of a dog wasn’t sent to torment his owner–well, not just to torment her. Through all the hair-pulling and questioning of her own sanity, Erin learns something very powerful from Henry, a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.
Through his laugh-out-loud antics and jaw-dropping escapades, Henry will careen into your life and steal your heart.
Erin and I compared naughty dog stories throughout the time she was working on Surviving Henry, so some of the events I already knew about, but I laughed out loud anyway. Erin is hilarious and a super nice lady who I’m sure never deserved a dog like Henry. I’m a dog person, but the book is really for anybody who has been tempted to give up on a dog, a spouse, a kid, or any other difficult individual one is committed to. And Erin quoted me in her book…I’m so excited! Watch for the rancher friend unfortunately experienced in electric shocks.
As always, thanks so much for reading. Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Casting Crowns tearin’ up their awesome song, Thrive.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love their music
Danni and Gramps stopping for a selfie while hiking at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Would the ancient Chacoans be snorting their iced tea up their noses at the sight of these aging Okies–sweating profusely and clutching iPhones with no signal–hauling themselves over their ruins? The guess would be yes.
We believe in miracles at the Ranch Pen. Why? Gramps and I have arrived alive back home from a series of excellent adventures in spite of…er–well, let’s just say Gramps comes from farm country where most of us drive around with our blinkers on–or don’t use them at all–go fast and then slow, then even slower, and gawk at the neighbors’ crops and cattle while crossing the center line. We hardly sustain a dent. However, when we get out on the crowded interstates of our great country, gawking at crops and cattle nearly gets old farmer dude AND HIS WIFE killed. So, yes. I believe strongly in miracles. (And if y’all were driving anywhere between Oklahoma and Colorado recently, you should, too.)
The old brains are still adjusting, but I’ll try to blow the dust and cobwebs off the blog in the next few days. Until then, I’m happy to report only one calf died while we were away and he had been sickly from birth, our border collie, Nellie’s, broken leg has vastly improved since her cast removal a few days before our trip, and we got some greatly needed rain.
Nothing more thanks-worthy to Okie cattlemen than rain and green grass in August
Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Steven Curtis Chapman’s Glorious Unfolding.
*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love his music
The Ranch Pen blog posts will be a little spotty or maybe even altogether absent over the next few weeks as Gramps and I tend to business and take a break to visit family and friends. So until next time, God bless all y’all and I’ll leave you to enjoy this great Norman Rockwell painting, Gone Fishing, and David Wesley singing Here By the Water.
*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse the blog, I just love his music.
Walls full of pithy sayings
And, finally, the picture that caused Gramps to hurt himself laughing, but which is also a serious crime against tired women everywhere who inadvertently sit down beneath that sign
(And, yes…bad as I hate to admit it, that is ol’ Danni resting her eyes at the end of a long day)
Until next time, God bless all y’all and…grouches of the world let us unite! If we try hard enough we can wake up and find a way to make canned cheese taste even worse than it already does. While we are contacting our local yellowish plastics company for help, enjoy The Johnson Mountain Boys with Alison Kraus doing a song about an old cowperson called Let Me Rest.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse the blog, but I love ‘em anyway.