Deep Thoughts And So Forth At The Ranch Pen


We had a blizzard this week–didn’t get much snow but with near forty-mile-per-hour winds, we got a lot of snow sculptures like the one above

The rotten weather has kept things pretty boring around the home place unless you are old and like to talk about the weather. Farmers and ranchers are weather oriented by necessity, and farmers and ranchers over forty are well on their way to glazing over the eyes of all their friends, family, and blog readers with weather observations. To guard against that on a boring week, I’ll talk about…hmm…

(The brain gears are creaking and grinding, thinking deep thoughts and so forth. )

Ah. I’ve got it, now. Okay. So a few days ago before the blizzard, Nellie and I took a long walk. We found a pile of duck feathers about a quarter mile south of our house in the wheat field–the remains of my murdered foul of a few weeks ago, no doubt. Nellie and I worked on her sheep dog commands. Lie down. Sit. Stay. C’mere, dummy! I mean, Nellie! and so on. We followed a bunch of coyote tracks down a draw. No feather piles. I took some bad pictures. The one below was the best of a bad lot.

Nellie covering her #2 job in her most ladylike fashion

And I found this picture taken at the grocery store a few weeks ago. (The little tee shirt kinda put me off soups, Stove Top, and deeply discounted after-Valentines Day yummies for a while.)


 About now, everybody is thinking, thank goodness I don’t pay for this blog.

But, enough nonsense. sends me an email every day offering an audio book at steeply discounted prices. I love Daily Deals and recommend if you like to read while you’re doing other things hop on over there and sign up. Sometimes I get hooked up with a real stinker of a book, but mostly I read stuff not offered at the local library, or newer model books that I normally wouldn’t try. A while back, I listened to a book by Winston Churchill called My Early Life. He wrote it in 1930, I believe, but it was a really good book, giving insight into the formative years of a great man. As a young fella, he was in the army and saw action as a cavalryman in Cuba, India, and Africa. He wrote a lot of war strategy and politics, but his dry sense of humor kept it interesting. (He called his blunders “boobies” and sometimes “ridiculous boobies”, which struck me funny, I don’t know why.)

At any rate, it reminded me of this great poem by Rudyard Kipling who lived in the same era of time. My sons memorized it in school and it still echoes in their characters. Enjoy.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

~Rudyard Kipling~


Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy Third Day tearing up Soul on Fire.

*These artists don’t necessarily endorse the blog, I just love their music.

4 thoughts on “Deep Thoughts And So Forth At The Ranch Pen

  1. Thanks for the chuckle. All of our kids have learned that Kipling poem as well. And.. you guys stay away from those dresses! ;0) My girls are stymied that Nervous Leon’s and the grocery store carry clothing. They’ve smirkingly suggested I get a dress. hahahaha Sorry about your duck.

  2. Nice assortment of pictures! 😄 I couldn’t help but smile at the grocery store shot. I’ve been encouraged to buy one of those dresses by the kids, while checking out, with Git ‘R Done making most of the noise.

    “If” is one of my favorite poems of all time. I saw a wood plaque with the poem burned into it, and debated about getting it for Gramp’s birthday. I didn’t, as you know. I didn’t want to embarrass him, and I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about getting home decor as a gift. Nevertheless, I think of him and a handful of others when I come across “If”. Then I’m always grateful that I’ve been blessed to know even one individual with the character described, much less more than one. Good stuff.

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