Life Goes On At The Ranch Pen

Sunrise on an Oklahoma ice storm

Sunrise on an Oklahoma ice storm

It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything except my writing project during NaNoWriMo. I managed to crank out 50,000+ words during November, but it remains to be seen if any of them can actually turn into a story anyone wants to read. During that time, life went on just like it does, so I’ll play a little catch up this week before starting into the year’s most viewed posts at the Ranch Pen.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we had an ice storm. It rated about a five on my scientific Oklahoma ice storm scale that I just made up, with 1 being power outages for an hour or less, to 10 being power outages lasting weeks. We have lived through both. This time, however, we were only out of power for a day and a half or so, but others in southwest and central Oklahoma were out for several days.

The saddest part of so much ice (aside from the human tragedies on the highways and other related mishaps) is the toll it took on the few trees we have out here on the southern plains. The trees have been drought and disease stressed for years, plus the deciduous trees had not shed all their leaves and were unable to stand up under the sheer weight of the ice.


1 day into the ice event

Old elm tree on day one of ice storm

Old elm tree on day one of ice storm

Old elm on day two of ice storm

Old elm on day two of ice storm


The lilacs had a second bloom this year, and the blossoms were encapsulated in the ice

And on the Austrian pines in the windbreak

Austrian pines in the windbreak in front of our house


Ice is hard on livestock, including my poor mare, Sis, (above) and Nellie (below) who has been knocked up by a dog she barely knew and now lays around with a fat belly, wanting only to come inside and snooze on the couch beside the wood stove. Now, Gramps and I know some of the emotions parents must feel after their darling has been ravished by a nincompoop. The outrage. The helplessness. The sinking dread as we contemplate many puppies of below-average intelligence.


But life goes on. Other than the ice storm and the dreadful pickle Nellie finds herself in, we’ve been pretty slow for news. Not so with the police (pronounced POH-lice locally) at Norman, OK. (Home of Oklahoma University and the Sooners, if you follow college football. I don’t. Gramps has tried to explain the game to me approximately two hundred times, but my eyes just glaze. Why does it take and hour or two to go ten yards? Seriously.)


From News 9’s website

Norman, Oklahoma –

Police officers encounter unusual events on a daily basis while on-duty. But it’s not every day you see a donkey in the back of the police car. To ensure the safety of the animal, he helped transport the donkey to a nearby home for safe keeping until its owner could be located.


I take my virtual hat off to that officer and all the others like him. In the past year, our family has had reason to deal with several police, sheriffs deputies, firefighters, and the Oklahoma highway patrol, and they were unfailingly courteous and helpful. Those guys don’t get paid near enough for the jobs they do.

Until next time, when the fifth most viewed Ranch Pen post of 2015 shall be revealed, probably, God bless all y’all and enjoy one of my favorite Christmas music videos, The Piano Guys tearing up Carol of the Bells.


7 thoughts on “Life Goes On At The Ranch Pen

  1. At least Trace didn’t get Nellie into her current condition so there is always that consolation… It is great that you and gramps are allowing her to stay on the farm, a good support system is vital for these young single mom dogs. Though if you had disciplined her more as a pup maybe she wouldn’t have turned out to be such a shameless hussy… I’m not judging though

    • Oh, the guilt. Every day it’s “If I had just done this,” or, “that,” “been a better owner and dog trainer,” or, “kept some birdshot in my gun.” But, alas…too late! Too late!
      But as you say, at least it wasn’t Trace. There is that.

  2. Oh, I didn’t know about Nellie! Yikes! I must admit that even if one is not in Nellie’s current state, dozing on your couch near the wood stove is very tempting in chilly weather. =)

Leave a Reply to danni mcgriffith Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s