Good Friday At The Ranch Pen


For Gramps and me as Christians, Easter weekend is the best time of the year at the Ranch Pen. On Good Friday, we reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins by suffering on the cross, dying, and descending to the tomb. Then on Sunday we rejoice because Our Lord didn’t stay in that grave, but arose and is living still. That means everything to us. As we celebrate that empty tomb, our prayer is that God will bless all y’all this Easter weekend.


Listening At The Ranch Pen

red tulipsAs a Christian, Easter week is my favorite time of year. I always find my words sounding pretty lame leading up to the day we remember the resurrected Savior, so I’ll just post Geoff Moore singing one of my all time favorites, Listen To Our Hearts.

I’ll be closing my eyes and listening.

Until next time, God bless all y’all.

Celebrating The Dudes At The Ranch Pen

Son #2, Gramps, Son #3, Son #1

Son #2, Gramps, Son #3, Son #1

Father’s Day is approaching this weekend and I’ve been blessed in my life to know literally tons of good dads. Thankfully, four of the best I know are pictured above, m’dear Gramps and our three sons.

For this week’s post, I just had a few bullet points on traits I’ve noticed in good dads.

  • These dads will show up at work even if they’re half-dead to provide for their families. They accept their responsibilities. They shoulder their loads. They don’t move back in with their mom and grandma and play video games in the basement all day while someone else feeds and clothes the children they’ve sired.
  • These dads aren’t hypocrites. If they tell their kids not to lie, cheat, and steal, they don’t lie, cheat, and steal themselves. They might sometimes yell dadgummit! and throw the hammer when they hit their thumbs, but they know the synonyms for the word honorable: honest, moral, ethical, principled, righteous, right-minded, decent, respectable, estimable, virtuous, good, upstanding, upright, worthy, noble, fair, just, truthful, trustworthy, law-abiding, reliable, reputable, creditable, dependable.
  • These dads face the same temptations as other men, but they guard their honor,  keep their marriage vows, and do one of the best things they can do for their children–love their kids’ mother.
  • These dads sometimes laugh at their own jokes and break wind at the dinner table, causing wives to squawk, daughters to roll their eyes, and sons to imitate, but by golly, they are there. The kids’ eyes might be watering from Dad’s noxious fumes, but they know he’s always got their backs and if the need ever arises, he’ll unhesitatingly take a bullet for them.
  • And, finally, even though the world all around them screams differently, these dads know they are accountable to God for the way they raise their kids. They take their kids to church. Their children see a humble man bowing to Someone mightier than himself and have confidence his prayers are as good as his word.

So, to my crew and all the rest of you good dads out there, thank you. We love you. We need you. We sometimes wish you weren’t so gassy, but you’re not expendable in our families–no matter what anybody tells you.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy David Wesley singing, How Deep The Father’s Love For Us.


Happy Fourth Of July From The Ranch Pen


happy 4th of july from the ranch pen

We’re off celebrating our American Independence Day in the US this weekend, so God bless us everyone, and if you don’t live in America, God bless all y’all, too.

Remembering Our Vets At The Ranch Pen

image via

American combines harvesting in Montana. image via

Normally, on Memorial Day weekend in southwest Oklahoma we are harvesting wheat, but this year the drought and freeze plagued wheat crop isn’t ripe yet.

This weekend in the USA, we are remembering the military service members who have died doing what they needed to do, enabling all of us out here on the American farms and ranches to keep doing what we need to do. The sacrifices our service members have made are deeply appreciated at the Ranch Pen.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and enjoy the Gardiner Sisters doing an awesome job on God Bless the USA (even though it’s not the Fourth of July).


*These young ladies don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love their singing.

If My Nose Was Runnin’ Money, Valentine, I’d Blow It All On You

Sweethearts by Frederick Morgan

Sweethearts by Frederick Morgan

An Ode To My True Love, Gramps

When I was six and you were nine,

we were together much of the time.

You drove me crazy,

I made you mad,

Wow. What lively fights times we had.

After that: Valentines, we two,

At least when I was speaking to you.

Well, it must’ve worked out okay:

Forty-two years later, we’re kinda grey,

but we are still, like,

Hey, Hey!

M’dear KG, if my nose was runnin’ money, I really would blow it all on you.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and your Valentines and enjoy Aaron Wilburn, his very funny jokes, and of course the song, If My Nose was Runnin’ Money, Honey, I’d Blow It All On You.


*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just think he’s hilarious

Merry Christmas From Southwest Oklahoma

merry christmas

and Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus.

I’ve included a playlist of Jonathan Firey’s beautiful acoustic Christmas songs in the sidebar.  Have a listen if you’ve got time and God bless all y’all today and always.

The Phony Meat Project In Southwest Oklahoma


A tofu “turkey roast” with wild rice stuffing

A Very Blessed Thanksgiving

I trust all my readers in the US enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving holiday this past week. Gramps and I certainly did with our family. We had everything to be thankful for, including a rich selection of delicious food.

Phony Turkey Anyone?

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, when I began to plan the meal I wondered: What do non-meat eaters eat on turkey day? Well, to those of you who don’t wonder about those things, I’ll tell you anyway. Some of them eat a turkey replacement processed from tofu, which is a soybean product.

As beef producers, the ideas behind militant vegan-ism and animal rights are a source of indigestion for Gramps and me, but as a writer, I decided to do some research into the topic of phony turkey meat before I just tossed it off as no account. I called up my super secret source in the health food industry and he hooked me up with a tofu turkey “roast”.

Gramps Didn’t Just Fall Off The Turnip Wagon Last Night In The Dark. Hello

Gramps once told a sandwich person trying to talk him into trying turkey ham: “Listen, lady. I live on a farm. I have seen turkeys naked. They don’t have hams.” Likewise, turkeys don’t have roasts. Especially not fake turkeys. But I digress.


What Gramps thought of the turkey-like “roast”

Should’ve Stopped At The Stuffing

I honestly approached my fake turkey with an open mind, however, the more I chewed the bigger it seemed to get, sort of like chewing on a sponge. The smell reminded me of moldy grain dust, and the meat-like portion tasted like salt and things cooked in a primordial soup. The wild rice stuffing was pretty good, though.

You Can’t Fool Kids Or Dogs

The next morning, I gave our border collie, Nellie, a slice to see what her reaction was to fake turkey. The result is captured and badly edited in the following video.


Now We Know For Sure

After Nellie made clear her thoughts on the subject, I carried the remains of the “roast” to the chickens. They pecked out the stuffing first, but finally did manage to eat it all, proving my late father-in-law’s contention:

You cain’t poison a chicken.

The Results

So, there you have the results of The Phony Meat Project. I tip my hat to anyone who can actually eat that stuff in spite of the horrible taste and the uncomfortable aftereffects in the digestive tract. And I sincerely hope no one ever succeeds in banning real meat for those of us who choose to eat it.

Until next time, God bless all y’all and as we start into the Christmas season, (a few months behind Wal-Mart,) enjoy this guy from The Piano Guys tearin’ up Carol Of The Bells on his cello.


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