Tag Archives: ranch life

Stories from Our Readers: Patience with a “Traveler”

Sam and Traveler at the Sooner Cowboy Church, dedicating their flag pole.

Editor’s Note: What we’ve found as our readership has expanded is that the RDC Community is full of humans with interesting lives.  As our dear Earth turns on her axis, these folks are managing skyscrapers, scraping animal droppings, and dropping mail in everyone’s mailbox on their route.  One of our readers, who gave me permission to share a few photos on a past Silent Sunday post, is a sheriff.  He rides in the mounted patrol and his horse has an interesting story.  While recovering from recent shoulder surgery, he sent “Traveler’s Story” along for my perusal and I asked his permission to share it with you.  Have a story YOU feel needs to be shared?  We’ll read it and work with you if  it fits with our mission. ~ [kelly]

Traveler’s Story, by Sam Chestnut

edited by Kelly Roberts

The date was March of 2005. I was still recovering from a Prostatectomy due to Prostate Cancer.  I heard from a friend that a man not far from us had a good looking Tennessee Walker gelding for sale.  So Jean, our daughter Darla, and I went to check it out.

When we walked into the barn I saw a horse standing against the back wall of a stall with all four feet spread out, his nostrils flared,  with his eyes fearful and widely open.  I thought to myself, “Boy, something has just gone on here.”  It was clear the horse was terrified and near panic.  All of his hair had been shaved off with hair clippers and it was still early March; the weather still very cold.  He was in an unheated barn with no blanket or method of keeping himself warm.  He was somewhat skinny and not well kept.  There were no physical scars other than his shaved mane, but it was clear the horse had been ‘through it.’

Continue reading Stories from Our Readers: Patience with a “Traveler”

The Ranch Hand’s Guide to 2011

We’re just a few days into 2011, and I don’t mind admitting to you that I didn’t make any resolutions this year.  I didn’t last year either.  However, there are some general guidelines that I can list on one hand that help me enjoy my days here at the ranch. This list comes with a visual: a hand.  The hand starts closed, and as you read through the list, open one finger each time.  Start by opening your pinky first.  Go ahead.  No one is watching.  Just do it.

Start with a closed fist (most people approach new things that way anyway) and open one finger at a time as you read.

1.     Never wrestle with a pig.  You both get all dirty, and the pig likes it.

2.     If you can’t sing – dance.

3.     Some people grin and bear it.  Other people smile and change it.

4.     Ride the horse in the direction it’s goin’.

5.     You can’t keep trouble from visitin’, but you don’t have to offer it a chair.

At this point you’ve got an open hand.  Hopefully it will lead you to an open heart.

Open hand
You don't have to wear gloves, but let me warn you...this does not work while wearing mittens.

In the weeks to come I’ll be translating these “Ranch Rules” into “City Speak” for those of you who prefer to live there.  I’ll also be providing some examples of how these rules have been applied to my life out here on the ranch.

Now, there are a few of you who are pretty smart and can translate these all by yourself.  That’s great!  There are even more of you who will find a way to apply each of these after I give the examples.  Everyone else may just have to live through 2011 (and maybe 2012) before they realize these rules might just be better than resolutions.  In other words….

“There are three kinds of men.  The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation.  The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. “ ~ Will Rogers

2011 is here.  Let’s give it a HAND.


For “Ranch Hand Guide” Week #2 post, click here.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch: Running Through the Ribbons

Our wedding day....December 12, 1997.

When it comes to gifts, my husband has it pretty easy.  Even though I have received a few pieces of beautiful jewelry over the years, I don’t require these expensive gestures like some women do.  I got an upgraded wedding ring on our ten year anniversary.  It gets stuck in the fingers of my work gloves and it’s kind of annoying.   I prefer a card and/or  some quality time.  I already know that every day comes with its own gifts, and it’s up to me to “untie the ribbons”  (~Ruth Ann Schabacke).  Man, is this guy lucky, or what?

We had only lived in the country for three weeks when our seven-year wedding anniversary weekend began.  In our typical style, we decided to forgo “gifts”  (we were starting plans to build an entire house, after all), and we opted to go out to eat.  There were three restaurants from which to choose…

Continue reading Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch: Running Through the Ribbons

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: I’m Thinking Disney… Ranch

When I found out I would be visiting Disney World for a work conference, I was happy but not really excited about the trip.  It wasn’t until my second or third day (I’m a hard sell) that I really embraced all that was magical about Disney World.  Some people are “dreaming of a white Christmas.”  I can’t get the World of Disney off my mind.  What would it take for my ranch to be more like this magical land?

D-IVERSITY:  While at Disney World, I was able to sample all kinds of cuisine that I couldn’t sample any place else. I also interacted with people from all over the United States with differing viewpoints.  We have one Mexican restaurant, a Subway, a diner, and a barbeque restaurant in my town.    Dogs, cats, horses, goats and people live on my land. Is that diverse enough for Mr. Disney?

I-NTELLIGENCE:  The people in charge of various departments need to be skilled so that they appear intelligent at least in that one department.  There is no chance that my dog is going to learn to clean out a horse stall. She expresses no interest whatsoever and doesn’t even try to pick up a shovel.  That’s going to be my job forever.  I’m going to be the best “horse-stall-cleaner-outer” that I can be.  My dog can continue wagging her tail continually. She’s really good at that.  Mr. Disney likes this.

Doesn't this just want to make you throw trash away? I think I can build something like this for the ranch.

S-POTLESS:  Disney World is the cleanest place on earth.  One afternoon on the Board Walk, I walked past a tiny piece of paper on the ground.  I was scared to turn around and look back fearing the street would open up and engulf the small item.  Very creepy.  The overall absence of trash encourages visitors to throw away theirs.  It can’t hurt that all of the trashcans are decorated with flowers.  Have you ever seen a plastic bag trapped against a fence in the country?  That drives me crazy!  I make sure every piece of trash is picked up out here.  It would be easier if our visitors would stop throwing their trash out the window.  I’ll work on trashcans with flowers at the top.

Continue reading Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: I’m Thinking Disney… Ranch

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch: Pay it Forward

By Julie Allgyer

Julie and Mae
Julie & Mae

It has happened more than once.  A cold, wet, tweenage dog shivering on a stranger’s front porch. Who knows what goes through people’s minds as they toss the last of the litter out of their vehicle?

But what if it really isn’t that way?  What if the puppy owner is deliberately placing a dog on the porch of a stranger to Pay It Forward?

Mae joined our team as a walk-on in May of 2008.

Early one morning, I noticed something odd through the satellite windows at the front door … a scary feeling out in the middle of the country at 6AM.  I calmed my fears, smoothed my linen skirt, and opened the door.  A muddy puppy.  Hmmm.

Pay it Forward.

With three indoor cats already on the roster, we decided that Mae needed to be an outside dog.  However, she quickly worked her way into our hearts and into our home.

Over the past three years my “free” dog has cost me countless holes in blankets, a door, the window trim (she broke out of a locked kennel) and most recently a car radio.  But even as I sit here wearing shorts with part of the back pocket torn off, preparing to put on pajamas with one strap chewed in half, I can’t help but love this dog.

"Mom look at the SPIDER DOG!"

Mae went through a ten-week obedience class and barely passed…but she passed and she has the certificate to prove it.  She proudly donned a tarantula costume during the March of Dogs to benefit the Hardeman County Humane Society.  She performed flawlessly in the Christmas parade with eleven other rescued dogs.

A complete stranger gifted me the best dog anyone could ever hope to own.  I hope that I prove to her daily that my life has been changed for the better since her arrival.

Pay it Forward.

Last Friday my husband brought home two three-week old kittens that had lost their mother.  Within twenty-four hours they had a new mom…and it wasn’t me.

(Click photo below to see video of Mae mothering our baby kittens.)

Pay it Forward.