Top Five Ranch Pen Posts Of 2013–#5

Everybody is racing around like chickens with their heads off this time of year in preparation for gatherings of family and friends, and so am I. I’ll need a little time to pull everything off, and an occasional nap in my recliner beside the wood stove wouldn’t hurt anything, either. So, in deference to my advancing age and early bedtime, work load, and limited brainpower, for the rest of December instead of just not showing up on the blog, I’m posting the top five most viewed Ranch Pen blog posts of the past year. If I get a sudden stroke of inspiration I might write a new one, but that’s unlikely.

Next month should be exciting, however–I plan to interview Son #2, and Gramps might do a guest post–as long as I have full editorial privileges. I have no desire for him to start a riot on the Ranch Pen with his radical views. Gramps’ blog post may look like this by the time we’re done:


While we look forward to all that, check out #5 from February, Duncan Oklahoma Horse Fair and Ranch Rodeo and the Passing of a Great Guinea Pig.

This post surprised me by making the top five. Do the readers love guinea pigs so much? Was it because Blondie couldn’t sleep and Gramps’ life was hanging by a thread?  Did elite chefs check out the picture of fried rodent and wish so much I had included the recipe?  I don’t know. Maybe people just like the rodeo team, Three Fats and a Railer. I know I did.

Whatever the reason, here we go. #5:

A Post of Three Parts

  • Wherein we attend the Duncan, Oklahoma Horse Fair and Ranch Rodeo
  • Wherein we receive sad tidings
  • Wherein we discover Gramps’ life could be in danger

 1. This past weekend Gramps and I, and some of the kids, grandkids, and the sister’s crew trekked to Duncan, Oklahoma for the horse fair and Chisolm Trail Ranch Rodeo.

Cow Dog Trials
Cow Dog Trials

The weekend kicked off on Friday with a new event–Oklahoma Cow Dog ClassicTrial. Each dog and handler have an alloted time to herd three calves through the course. I wish our dogs could have attended, as well. They could’ve used some lessons from those good working dogs.

The Littlest Cowboy
The littlest cowboy out there warming up the horses with Dad.

Ranch rodeo differs from just plain old rodeo in that the contestants are working ranch hands and the events are real chores done on a ranch: stray gathering, wild cow milking, branding, and ranch bronc riding.

Twelve teams competed each night. Each team consisted of four contestants. The first night I rooted for team Empty Pockets because I fully identified with their unfortunate plight. They did pretty good out there, too. I was proud.

Duncan Ok Horse Sale

The next morning, we attended the horse and mule sale. Didn’t buy anything but enjoyed watching.

Grand entry Chisolm Trail Ranch Rodeo
At the grand entry
Branding Event
Branding Event

The next night, I rooted for team Three Fats and a Railer, because, really…how could I not with a descriptive title like that? They put the skinny guy on the saddle bronc and ended up doing pretty good for three fat guys, (and proud of it,) and a scrawny one. We left before they’d figured all the scores, so we don’t know which team won.

2. At the rodeo on night one, Son #2 delivered sad tidings. Rusty, the great and noble guinea pig and long time pet of grandkids, Blondie and Git ‘R’Done, had passed away.

Not an actual picture of Rusty, but close enough.
Not an actual picture of Rusty, but close enough.

(Seriously, I found the below image while searching for a guinea pig photo. I hope I’m never hungry enough to look at it and say, “Mm…that looks pretty tasty.” Ew.)

Cooked Guinea Pig
Happy to say Rusty avoided this fate.

Okay, so I’m getting a little off target.

3. We expected tears from six-year-old Blondie and we got ’em for a while, but she recovered quickly. That night in the hotel room with Gramps and me, she woke me with her weeping, however.

Nana: (mumbling) Why are you crying, Blondie?

Blondie: (Crying harder.) I can’t help it. I’ve been trying not to all night.

Nana: (mumbling harder) Get up and go to the bathroom, see if that helps…

I guess it did because I didn’t hear her anymore, but the next day I asked Gramps if he’d heard her. He hadn’t.

Blondie: I wasn’t crying because of Rusty, Nana. I was crying because of Gramps snoring. I just wanted him to stop…

So, Gramps, sleep with one eye open. A little girl might be approaching your head with a pillow and crying into the darkness, “Make it stop! I just want it to stop…!”

So What do y’all think?

  • Is Three Fats and a Railer a good team name, or what?
  • Would Rusty have tasted like chicken?
  • Should Gramps worry?

Thanks so much for reading and God bless all y’all with peace, health, and safety throughout this Christmas season. Enjoy Casting Crowns singing I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day.


*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love ’em.

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