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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cowgirl Ingenuity…or A Particular Tool

While visiting with my family, at Christmas this year, we somehow got on the subject of ingenuity.  We laughed about my Dad and his teeth floating and they supplied me a couple of stories about cowgirl ingenuity.  Now, before I go any further it should be stated that there is not another profession in the world that celebrates their wrecks like those in any agriculture profession.  Just something about the hardy nature of these people makes them laugh at their own misfortune.  Along with the wrecks there is a healthy thought process to adapt everyday things into what a person might need at the moment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Christmas Story?

The two brothers, Silas and Malachi, had been in business together their whole adult life.  Malachi, being the older brother had inherited the shop from their father, when he passed away.  But, Mal had loved his brother very much and had insisted on making his brother a partner in the shop.  The shop itself wasn’t a smashing success, but they made enough to feed their families.  They made everything from dishes to furniture to managers, really anything a carpenter could make…they made it.  They didn’t always see eye to eye, but generally they got along about as well as brothers do.

Lately, though…Malachi had a bone of contention with Silas.  It had all started the day the centurion had shown up.  He had marched in like he owned the place, kicking and breaking furniture, costing them several shekels at the very least.  The centurion had been very arrogant when he spoke to them.  No, to be honest, he had started barking orders to them about what he needed and what he would pay for that need.  He had stated that this was a long term contract, and they would accept the payment offered and not ask for more.

Silas was pretty excited about the deal.  All Silas could see was the steady income and the chance to make more money.  Malachi was a little more hesitant, after all this was a contract with the Romans.  Dealing with the Romans always had strings attached.  The centurion had wanted an answer right then or “he would offer the deal to neighbors across the street, the Iscariots”.  So Silas and Malachi had asked for a few minutes to discuss the deal behind their shop.

As they stepped out of the back of the shop, Silas said “Think of the money we can make!”

And Malachi responded, “We need to be careful here, dealings with the Romans always have consequences.”

“But, think of the security this contract will bring.  We have struggled for some time now, just trying to feed our families.  That centurion said he would offer the deal to the Iscariots and you know how they would jump at this chance.  They are already doing quite well with their contracts with the Romans, isn’t it about time we got a piece of this action?” said Silas.

They had argued back and forth for several minutes and Malachi finally said, “Let’s at least go find out what he wants us to build”.

As they stepped back in the shop, they saw the centurion headed out the front and Silas started hollering, “Please don’t leave, we will build whatever you need.  Just tell us what it is and we will start immediately on the first one.”

Malachi was a little peeved at his brother and his panic mode response, but he was an honorable man and his brother’s word was his own.  So he said, “Yes, good sir, tell us what we are to be making?”

When the centurion spoke and said, “You will be making crucifixes”.  Malachi’s heart jumped in his throat.  The centurion followed this statement with, “They are to be used for punishing criminals”.

Malachi followed the word of God more closely than his brother did and everything in him was screaming “NO, we will not be involved in these instruments of death”.  But he considered himself to be an honest man and his brother Silas was already accepting the first order and payment.  As he watched his brother, a picture popped into his head and he felt a little bit like Adam watching Eve taking the forbidden fruit from the serpent.  He felt it was wrong, but he could not find his tongue to say no.  They were now committed to the deal and as the centurion left he ordered, “You will fulfill this contract as long as I so desire!”

Malachi was sick to his stomach and he looked at his brother and said, “What have we done?”

“We have signed on to make money, is what we have done”, said Silas.

Malachi turned from his brother and headed back to work on his current project, a manger for Jacob the inn keeper.  His stomach was twisted into knots and his head was spinning.

Silas, meanwhile, was whistling with anticipation.  He was toward the front of the shop selecting lumber, taking measurements.  Almost giddy with excitement!  He just couldn’t understand how his brother could be so moody.  Here was a steady income that was not depending on the locals.  After all the taxes they had paid in…they were finally getting something back!  He started thinking about all the things this money would buy for his wife and kids.  They would finally be able to have some of the finer things in life, live like the Iscariots did for once!  All for building something as simple as a crucifix, he felt a little twinge that maybe he was cheating the Romans.  But, he quickly pushed that aside.  It was the Romans after all; they deserved it…didn’t they?

When they stopped for lunch, Malachi could stand it no longer.  He said, “Silas, why do you want to build something that leads to death?  No good can come of this alliance with the Romans.”

Silas had finally reached the snapping point with his brother.  Malachi was always lording it over him, did he think that he was better than Silas?  Mal had been the first born and Silas had always felt like Mal had thrown him a bone when he made him a partner.  Well, by golly, this decision was his and they were making money!  They were partners and Malachi would treat him as such.

Silas said, “Why do you want to just do business with our neighbors?  Take what you are working on now.  How often does Jacob need a new manger?  Once every 10 years or so?  How much money do we make on that transaction?”

“But, Si” Malachi said, “My manger does not lead to death.  This manger can be used for life.  You feed animals in; if you line it with pitch you can store water in it.  It has so many more uses than your crucifix; you could even put a baby in it if you needed too!  There is only one use for your crucifixes!  Death!”

“Well, Mal” said Silas, “My crucifix will give us so much more than your manger will.  Just think what you can buy for your wife with the steady income that comes from selling these to the Romans.  Isn’t it about time we got something back from these Romans?  Aren’t you tired of always paying taxes, with nothing to show for it?  Look at all of the people in town for this census.  They all had to leave their homes and businesses to come here and be counted.  Are they making any money?  Isn’t only fair that we should be getting something?  We certainly aren’t from all the people here, they want a place to stay and to be fed; we do not offer anything like that.  We will make nothing from this census!  At least with the Romans we are getting some silver for our work.  As far as only offering death, the centurion said it was to be used only for criminals; they deserve to die anyway.  In the long run, we will make more money off of my crucifixes than we will ever make on your mangers!”

“In the long run!?!  In the long run!?!?  You plan on making these awful things for a long run?, “ Malachi said, shocked.  “What is a long run?  10, 20, 30 years?  You, and I, both know about dealing with these Romans.  Eventually this will come back to bite us, even if it takes 30 years!”

“ Oh, Mal, you worry too much.  Just think how much money we will make in 30 years.  What could possibly go wrong?” said Silas.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Minus 9 Degrees and 8 Bucks

About 3 years ago, the Queen and I surprised our girls the week before Thanksgiving and went to Denver for about four days.  The purpose was to show them some snow, as they had never seen the stuff before.  Growing up in Colorado I have seen plenty of snow and have come to believe that snow is highly over rated!  But, these are my kids and they wanted to see some real live snow….so….

We arrived in Denver and of course you get the city of Denver snow, after it has been on the ground for a while…gray and piled up on the curbs.  Not what the Queen and the Princess’s had in mind!  But we persevered!  We took them to the zoo, which I had not been to since I was a little button and which I will give a plug to.  Go to the Denver Zoo in the wintertime, it’s a little cold….but all of the animals are outside and like all animals in the crisp air….they were playing.  We enjoyed that for the day and fiddled around Denver for the next day or so…but still that request to see some white snow….

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oklahoma Kid's first Bow and Arrow set

I wish I had written this, don't know if I would have wanted it to happen to me....but it is way to funny not to pass on.  Enjoy, if you run across the guy that wrote...tell him he made me laugh!

Around age 10 my dad got me one of those little bad compound
bow beginner kits. Of course, the first month I went around our
land sticking arrows in anything that could get stuck by an
arrow. Did you know that a 1955 40 horse Farm all tractor tire
will take 6 rounds before it goes down? Tough “son of a gun”.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Legend of the Flowerdy Ghost

I had a request to tell this story from my sister and I said I would never tell it!  But, since my daughter asked for this story….I’ll tell it.  But, oh!  The mental scarring that will occur as I re-live this horrendous event in my life!  My life has been mis-shapen from this event and I don’t know if I will ever recover!  (HA!)

When I was growing up typically we did not get to do much of the Halloween thing for a couple of reasons:

1.      It cost money

2.     We lived a long way from town

Since it cost money to buy costumes, ours tended to be of the home made variety.  Normally we were cowboys (best costumes ever, right?), wore our hats and chaps, carried ropes and real live guns to school.  Heck, Dad would even take a black marker and draw some really cool looking mustaches on us (probably the only time in my life I was able to have a handlebar mustache on my face!) 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Me Gorg....Cavemen Cowboy

Once you start writing things down, it pretty funny what starts to come back into your mind.  There are just little statements that have a lot of meaning as time goes on.  This lead to the thought that there are some things I am comfortable talking about and there are some that I am not.  For example I am comfortable talking about horses, starting colts, my kids and especially my Bride!   The things I am most uncomfortable talking about have mostly to do with being in mixed company and bodily functions, the natural acts that man does.  If you didn’t understand that…I am talking about the “s” word!

Now my when my kids were about 5, as most kids that age do, they asked a lot of questions.  I once asked Faith why she asked so many questions, she said “Daddy, I just want to know lots of stuff”.  It’s hard to argue with that logic!  I think they struggled mostly with words that sounded the same, were spelled different and had a different meanings.  Words like bread and bred.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Lesson in Composure or...Was He Rotating Her Tires?

My beautiful bride told me I could tell this story, so before she changes her mind….I am going to get it out there!  This starts after one of her visits with the oncological surgeon, that doctor had sent us to another for the radiation consult (at MD Anderson).  He was very good and gave a scared couple a lot of reassurances, told us he would treat her just as if he were treating his mother or sister.  He said he had a very high success rate with radiating breast cancer.

The doctors at MD Anderson are very thorough and I noticed a patient basically loses all sense of modesty.  Every nurse, physician’s assistant and doctor that came in got to cop a feel!  My Queen joked that she has never gotten so much action in her life!  I am confused as to whether I should feel  insulted or not!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Yellar Outlaw

I had asked my buddy to write this story and haven’t seen anything yet, so…now he is at the mercy of my faulty memory and artistic license!  Guy has been mentioned in previous stories, nothing bad mind you….just some funny stuff!

As I’ve said in stories before, one of the requirements of where we went to college was to ride two year olds….sometimes an older horse snuck in, but generally it was only two year olds.  There were some folks who brought in a two year old dun mare and a three year old yellar mare.  Now the little dun mare (which I rode) did just fine, never really had any problems with her.  That yellar mare (yeah, that’s right we named her Yellar Mare, no one said we were original when it came to naming horses) was another story; she wasn’t really broncy, just a little twitchy….ok, a lot twitchy!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gunfight at the 3 Cross Corral

Some stories are just flat out funny….despite the circumstances!  Awhile back the church got broken into and some things were stolen, we had people from a neighborhood behind us cutting across the church property to use the driveway….just some things that were happening.  Well during Sunday School one morning one of the men (who shall remain nameless) told us this little story and I added some artistic license.

The un-named church member had a bad day a work, the traffic was bad coming home….he was not in a good mood.  As he drove by the church, he noticed what appeared to him to be, in the dark, a really tall man standing by the AC unit.  He drove on by and got to thinking about the break-in and such….and all of the sudden it just hit him wrong!  He was mad, here was a church and someone was trying to steal the AC!  So he reached under his seat and grabbed his pistol, turned around and headed back toward the church.  He was not putting up with this anymore….there was a burning righteous anger in his eye!  Ok, it wasn’t a righteous anger, but he was mad!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Am Just Like Sampson

Not in the killin’ a bunch of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, sleepin’ with prostitutes and tearing a lion apart with my bare hands kinda way.  It’s more in subtle than that.  Ride down this trail with me and I will get you there....

In Judges 14:2, Samson says to his parents,” I saw a hot Philistine woman in Timnah: now you go git her for me as my wife.” (Paraphrased, of course!)

Pretty arrogant, huh!?!  When I studied that verse, my first thought was….what a punk!  Com’on, what right does this punk have to make demands on his parents?  This is one of my pet peeves in the world today.  The only demands kids should have are a safe, loving home.  What kid needs a $200 pair of tennis shoes or an Ipad or their every whim supplied?

That said, my kids both have a cell phone and way more stuff than I did growing up.  BUT, they understand it can go away in an instant.  Everything we have can go away in an instant.  We are not promised comfort here on this earth; in fact the only thing that we are promised (if we belong to Christ) is that if the world hated HIM, it would hate us also!
Back to Samson, in Judges 14:3-4.  When his parents suggested some local girls, of his race, he said, “Git her for me.  She’s the one who lights my fire.”  (Again, paraphrased)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Burning of the Outhouse

Probably a lot fancier than I remember Bummy's
This story about my Grandpa Dennee, comes from my Dad.  We called him Bummy, which I have mentioned in a couple of other stories.  I sorta remember this outhouse and don’t know why Grandma fussed so much about it.  It was always painted a nice shade of blue with white trim.  But then, maybe I was an uncouth little kid!??!!?  So without further words, here’s Dad.

“My father-in-law was a jack of all trades. One of his many talents was being able to set a fire to burn off the ditches on his irrigated farm. He would throw a kitchen match on dry grass going 18 mph on his tractor. Most of the time this worked great and he never burned anything except what he want to. One time though, in the early spring, when the roadsides had lots of big grass, he set a fire to it and it jumped the ditch and created a big ol’ catastrophe for him!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Devil and a Barking Dog

There was a young man that lived with us growing up in Loveland.  He’s not so young now, in fact last I saw him he didn’t have a lick of hair on his head.  I’ll call him Jon P.  He was one of my Dad’s friends brother, and for various reasons, he lived with us until he finished High School.

One day we were hauling hay from the field and stacking it.  My Grandpa (we called him Bummy because as kids, my brother and I couldn’t say grandpa and he became Bumpa.  It was gradually shortened as we got older.) Drove a 55 Chevy pickup, and it was sitting in the field.  My Dad told Jon and Andy (my Mom’s brother), "one of you go back and get Bummy’s pickup”.  They were both about 15 and just learning to drive so the race was on.  They ran like rabbits being chased by coyotes.  Jon beat Andy and grabbed the door to the pickup.  Unbeknownst to the boys, Bummy's old dog Zeke was laying underneath the pickup.  No one touched that pickup without Bummy being there when she was around. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bein’ Where You Ain’t Supposed To

In the spirit of “Lookin’ Where You Ain’t Supposed To”, I thought I would write another about myself.  I commented to someone last week that sometimes a horse wreck ain’t about a horse.  Sometimes it’s about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But I give credit to Jake Hershey for reminding me about this, even if I didn’t want to.

A few years ago I was happily chugging along in my own little world driving from Waller TX to Tomball TX.  It was about a 20 minute ride, which isn’t long unless you have to relieve yourself of a couple of bottles of coke.  By the time I got to Tomball, my back teeth were floating.  So as I roared into the Wal-Mart parking lot on two wheels and screeched to a halt as close to the door as I could possible get, I was not paying a lot of attention to…well anything!  I was completely and selfishly focused on my issue.  I almost sprinted to the door and as I stood there I was thinking how slow these automatic doors were, but I finally got inside.  Luckily the bathrooms were right inside the front door.  So as I thrust my hand up, to push the door open, I could see between my thumb and forefinger the word “MEN”.  I made it in the nick of time….

As I was standing there, doing my business….I noticed there were no urinals on the wall….strange….after I had finished and pulled that door open….I noticed two ladies in the returns department laughing.  I was wondering what they were laughing about, until I finished pulling that door open and noticed that my hand had covered up the “WO” on the door.  Thank the Lord there was no one in there but me!  I ran out of there like I was being chased by a hog!

Flash forward a year or so.  We were coming back from visiting Felicia’s grandmother and I again had myself in a bind.  We stopped at a little convenience store in Many LA.  I bolt through that door like I’m on fire and go down the hall where there is a bathroom on the right and on the left.  I had my eyes down checking to see how dirty the floor was (that’s how you tell if a bathroom is clean or not, if you didn’t know) and just chose the door on the left.  Went in locked it and did my business…again no urinal…strange….

As I came out, I see my wife and this female clerk cackling like crazy ladies.  My wife had just related my Wal-Mart story to her and I had obliged them by recreating the episode!  GAAHHWWW!  Sound it out, I think I said that exact word.

Flash forward again….hmmm…seems to be a pattern here…..

We were at the Katy Mills Mall in Katy TX.  This time I’m not in a bind, just had to go.  You would think at this point I would pay attention.  I turned the corner and walked into a bathroom and there was a woman standing at the sink washing her hands.  My first thought was “this lady is in the wrong bathroom”.  I don’t know why that would have been my first thought, with my history and all….but it was.  I didn’t want to embarrass her, so I jokingly said, “one of us is in the wrong bathroom!”  She pointed over my shoulder at the door and said, “you are!”.  I turned around and there was that word again…”W-O-M-E-N”…  GAAHWW!

After reliving this….I don’t even know how to end this post.  I can’t even think of a biblical lesson that can be learned here…but I’m sure there is one….what do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lookin’ Where You Ain’t Supposed To

I have written some of these stories about others and some about myself.  The problem with this is most of the stories about me were highly embarrassing.  This isn’t a story about cowboy wrecks or horse training adventures.  Just one my wife told my kids about, they laughed for a while.  I was just embarrassed all over again!

My nephew, Clint, was the first grandchild, nephew and son in our family.  So he naturally got a lot of attention.  Felicia and I made several trips to Dallas to see him.  We told his parents it was to visit them, but let’s be honest here….it didn’t matter to us if they were there or not.  We came to see Clint.  It’s funny how that works, when my kids were born it didn’t matter if I was there or not, people came to see the babies.  We should have charged admission and had different costumes for them to wear….man, we missed an opportunity!  Could have paid for their college education!

On this particular trip (Clint was a few months old) we got there on Friday night and Clint was already in bed, so we had to visit with my brother and his wife.   They weren’t near as much fun as that kid.  The next morning I couldn’t wait to wake the boy, but they made me wait.  When he finally got up, I was able to get my hands on him.  Looking back, I don’t really know what was fun about him!  If he wasn’t cryin’ or a  poopin’, he was sleepin’!  But, I enjoyed him just the same!

Now to set the scene, Clint was the first baby I had ever been around.  So I was fascinated by everything about him (the cryin’ and poopon’ excluded).  Right after lunch my sister-in-law was sitting on the couch holding him while he slept….I thought…..she had a blanket over him and I just walked over and said, “let me see that boy!”  I jerked the blanket back and there they were……….He was laying there nursing!  There was no going back at that point!

I stood there for what seemed like hours, running through my head all the snappy one-liners that I could have said to cover my embarrassment.  But there was nothing there!  Just one red-faced cowboy and a new mother who was probably just as embarrassed!  After what seemed like 72 hours I turned and walked outside.  Ok, in all honesty….I might have sprinted…..

Now mind you, I have seen one before (a baby, that is)….just never like that before!  Which just goes to prove, if you can’t see where your  a goin’.  It’s best to slow down and review the situation before you just strap the saddle on and ride.  A wreck is a wreck no matter if it is a broncy colt or a breast feeding woman!

If had been a little more patient, I might not have found myself red-faced, trying to think of something to say that would make my “not stoppiin’ to think” actions disappear!

A person’s insight gives him patience, and his virtue is to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Horse Tradin' Terms

These are too funny not to pass one...

Glossary of Horse Terms

 Financial condition of all horse owners. 

Stall: What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way to a big horse show .

A Bit: What you have left in your pocket after you've been to your favorite tack shop.

Fence: Decorative structure built to provide your horse with something to chew on.

Horse Auction: What you think of having after your horse bucks you off.

Pinto: Green coat pattern found on freshly washed light colored horses left unattended for 2 minutes.

Well Mannered: Hasn't stepped on, bitten, or kicked anyone for a week.

Rasp: Abrasive metal tool used to remove excess skin from ones knuckles. (One of my favorites)
Lunging: Popular training method in which a horse exercises their owner by spinning them in circles until dizzy.

Gallop: Customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn.

Nicely Started: Lunges, but not enough health insurance to even think about riding him.

Colic: Gastrointestinal result of eating at horse fair food stands.

Colt: What your mare gives you when you want a filly.

Easy to Load: Only takes 3 hours, 4 men, a 50lb bag of oats, and a tractor with loader.

Easy to Catch: In a 10x10 stall.

Easy Rider: Rides good in a trailer; not to be confused with "ride-able".

Endurance Ride: End result when your horse spooks and runs away with you.

Hives: What you get when receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 1 donkey.

Hobbles: Walking gait of a horse owner after their foot has been stepped on by their horse.

Feed: Expensive substance used to manufacture manure. (Another favorite)
Dog House: What you are in when you spend too much money on grooming supplies and pretty halters.

Light Cribber: We can't afford to build anymore fencing or box stalls for this buzz saw on four legs. (is this one of mine?)
Three Gaited Horse: A horse that. 1) trips, 2) stumbles, 3) falls.

If you enjoyed these, check out Dan Roberts song "Horse Tradin".

If I was smarter, I could actually make the song play...but I ain't. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Used to Dress Myself

Just the other day I had a realization how much I have come to rely on my wife, when I had to ask my daughter if the pants I had matched my shirt.  It struck me then, I used to dress myself…..

In college I was a pretty snappy dresser, well as far as three pair of wranglers and four shirts is considered snappy.  I didn’t have a lot of choice, but I was happy with my limited choices.  You can hardly go wrong with wranglers, everything goes with them!  What others thought of my wardrobe?  I didn’t really care, I was a sharp dressed man and that’s how I choose to remember it!  I was happy with how I looked and that was all that mattered.
I don’t know when it happened; I started out selecting my own wardrobe.  Felicia would make a few pointers every now and then.  But I was in control of my clothing situation.  Over the last 22 years she has selected almost all of my clothes and has made lots of good choices.  I still wear wranglers, but there have been some changes.  It started when Wrangler came out with the Riata dress slacks, she got me one pair…they were black.  Then it was a khaki colored pair, if you had told me 20 years ago that khaki was a color….I’d have just thought you were making stuff up!  Khaki wasn’t even a word!  Then another color and some of those preppy cinch jeans (I had to start wearing those to work, didn’t want them to be the best looking pair in my closet!).   Before long, it was amazing how worldly my closet looked….well if you consider riatas and wranglers amazing.  It was amazing to me anyway.

I recently started a new job and after 22 years of wearing wranglers to work every day, I was told I had to dress business appropriate.  I thought I had been!?!?!?!  After all, my wranglers were starched! 

So we inventoried my closet and bought two more pair of riatas.  Now there are a couple shades of black and khaki, plus one pair of army green ones.  My wife has kept me color coordinated through the years and I never realized it was happening!  All of the sudden I am in a position of not knowing if something matches….I usually ask Felicia before she leaves for work… dress me for the day.

So there I was, walking down the hall in our house, asking my daughter if my shirt and slacks matched…..and it hit me….

I used to dress myself….

Maybe I am, and was not back then, such a snappy dresser?  Surely not……maybe I didn’t have a good sense of style back then….nah!  I dressed just like all the cowboys I knew, I was a snappy dresser back then! 
I just don’t have a clue about what goes together now…..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Big Chief and Some Crayons

A couple of days ago my girls were asking about a tablet and a nook color.  I started asking them questions about what they meant, and as near as I can figure…….

I need to buy a big chief tablet and some crayons they can color in the corner with. 

I thought this was a strange request, especially since they are fixin’ to be 8th graders.  But I am a dutiful and mostly wrapped around their finger father, so I started looking in the store for the items they required.  The big chief was more difficult to find than they crayons, but I persevered and found what was needed.  Heck I even picked up a pack of number 1 pencils, nothing but the best for my kids!  When I brought the items to checkout…my kids just rolled their eyes!  I don’t understand….

So I questioned them again, they just kept saying a tablet and a nook color.  I am starting to think my kids are a little ungrateful…I mean, come’on….it was a big chief and some crayons!  I still don’t understand why they want to color in a nook….and why can’t they just call a nook what it is…a corner? 

We discussed this for some time and I just kept coming back to the big chief and some crayons….I really like the idea of this.  It is fairly cheap, a lot cheaper than what some kids are asking for.  I mean, do kids really an ipad and one of those thingys you can read books on?  I think that is what is wrong with the world today, kids get what they want without putting out any effort.

Lucky for my kids, their wants are pretty cheap.  They are only going to have to rake grass once to pay for that big chief and the crayons.  If they had wanted one of those ipads or them book thngys, It might have meant the whole summer to pay off those!


I love my kids and want to supply their needs, but not without some effort on their part.  I did know what they really wanted, it just was a heck of a lot of fun to wander around in the store with them asking for big chief tablets and crayons.  Hmmm….maybe that is why they are a little embarrassed by me…naww!  That can’t be it.

How many of you know what a big chief is?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cowboy Ingenuity

My Dad can be a little old school and before I talk about what his latest thing is….I thought I would give a little background.

I grew up in Higbee Colorado, about 25 miles south of La Junta.  To say we were far from town was somewhat of an understatement.  The bus ride was about 4 hours per day, two in the morning…two in the evening.  A lot of things were learned on that bus, but that is another story.  Our bus driver lived down the road from us and she took the bus home with her for the school year.  One of the things that almost always happened was getting snowed in, every year.  As kids we all enjoyed this, probably not so much for the adults.

One year Dad was having trouble with a tooth, he mentioned that he was going to go to the dentist the next day.  But it was not to be, it started snowing that afternoon and by morning the roads were impassable.  For my brother, sister and I….this was a glorious day.  No school and we could break out our scoop shovel (for those that don’t know, we would ride it down the hill like a sled).  For Dad this wasn’t as much fun.  His tooth was hurting and he couldn’t get to town. 

There were still trails to be broke in the snow, so that the cows could get to the pond, and ice to chop.  So he took a dip of Copenhagen and headed out to saddle a horse at the barn.  By the time he was done saddling that tooth was starting to feel better.  He figured it must have been the dip, so he kept his tooth packed with Copenhagen for most of the week.  I don’t know if he got used to the pain or all that nicotine made it numb.  When he finally got to the dentist he sat in the chair expecting to get a numbing shot and have the tooth pulled.  He barely sat down and the dentist had just stuck his fist in there….and the dentist was done!  Dad asked him if he was going to give him the shot and the dentist turned around, showed him his tooth and said, “I’m done”.  Dad never even knew that he had pulled the tooth!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  We were out in Utopia, Texas for Mother’s Day.  We had a real good visit, probably not as long as anyone would have liked, but a good time was had by all.  Dad gets to telling us about a tooth he broke, said he took one of Mom’s nail files and just rounded it off so it wouldn’t cut the inside of his mouth.  That right….I said he took a nail file and just rounded it off!   No dentist, no plans on going to the dentist....just rounded that bad boy off!

 Price of Broken tooth:  $ painfull

Price of nail file:  $2.00

Actual price of going to the dentist:  $0

 A little cowboy ingenuity:  Priceless!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lessons from Chickens

When I was a kid and we lived in Higbee Colorado, there was a family that babysat us for one summer.  They were pretty rough and tumble, which fit in just fine for me and my brother and sister.  I won’t go into all the details (I have talked about that in a previous story), but I did learn some interesting things that summer.

A couple of them involved chickens.  Don’t jump to in conclusions here, it was pretty tame stuff.  The family in question probably had up to 200 free range chickens, give or take what the All Night Coyote Diner feasted on.  They were a great source of enjoyment to four wild boys that fancied themselves cowboys.  There were many an hour spent roping chickens.  For anyone reading this, you need to understand that roping chickens is much safer than roping geese!  As some point I will expound on that story, but the mental scars have yet to heal.

Anyway, we spent many hours improving our chicken roping skills and were actually quite good by mid-summer.  Needless to say, the chickens were a little skittish!  At one point there were no chickens laying eggs and we were banned from roping chickens.  Which led to about a week or so of moping around trying to think of something to rope….until my Dad showed us a couple of new tricks.

One of them had to do with catching and holding a chicken’s head on the ground and quickly drawing a straight line in front of their beak.  The goofy things would lay there for hours, staring down that line.  My Dad said he would drive in to pick us up and there would be 40-50 chickens laying on the ground staring down a line.  You would think that was a lot, but that was only 10 or so apiece.  That little trick was used for a couple of weeks, we used to see how many we could catch and hypnotize before the first one woke back up.  The other involved holding one and tucking their head under their wing.  I guess that had somewhat of the same effect.  Once you got them still, you could sit them on the ground and they would sit like that for hours.  Needless to say, we were easily entertained. This was probably some of the tamest things that we did that summer.  Who thought you could have so much fun hypnotizing chickens?

This leads to this thought:

Are we like those chickens in our Christian walk?  Dumbly staring down that line, leaving ourselves open to all kinds of attacks from satan?  Or are we studying and praying so that the devil doesn’t have a chance to grab us by the head and draw a line in front of us?  How about those of us who allow our heads to be tucked under our wings?  We don’t say anything to anybody about Christ; we just hide in the four walls of our church?  At different times I am both of these chickens.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring a lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

1 Peter 5:8-9

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life is Tough, are you for the horse?

It has been a tough couple of months in the Johnson house.  By tough, I just mean we had to put to two old friends in our horse herd down.  Not the way I envisioned us reducing our horse herd.

First was Tuff.  Tuff was an Appaloosa gelding named by my niece, Megan, right after the movie “8 Seconds” came out.  It fit him just right.  He came to us from our friend Marilyn Wachel.  In 1994, we went over to buy a foal and he was the first on to walk up to us, I decided that all things being equal…he was for us.  We took Tuff and his mama (ended up buying her, too!) to the house and the rest is history.  Once I started riding him, he spoiled me for riding two year olds.  I compared everything to him after that and nothing measured up.  After three days in the round pen I could take him out in the pasture and lope circles as pretty as you please.  He just picked things up really fast.  He also was a pretty good teacher.  I worked him over with spurs pretty good one time (pretty ashamed of myself after, I have taken them off and not worn any since) and he was still willing to do whatever I asked of him.  He taught me the word forgiveness, horses don’t have our thought processes…but I learned that if he was still willing after what I did to him……that was forgiveness!  Over the years he raised nieces, nephews and my kids.  He was always the faithful babysitter.  Never giving them more than they could handle, despite the legs flopping up and down on his sides!  My girls didn’t ride him as much, but he was always ready whenever they were…didn’t matter how long he had been turned out to pasture.  I could get on to ride and he was all vim and vinegar, ready to travel at whatever speed I needed. 

About five years ago he came home from my brother-in-laws with eye problems.  They had taken him to the vet and were told he had cancer around both eyes.  We cared for the issue, but over time it just got worse.  Last month I took him in and was told that they would have to take an eye out.  I really couldn’t see him wandering around with both eyes out, because I knew that would be the case eventually.  So Felicia and I prayed about it and in the best interest of an old friend, we had him put down.  He was 18 years old.

This last Tuesday, we took Showtime in with colic.  Showtime was a 2 year old miniature that Felicia says was for our girls on their 5th birthday.  Over time I have come to realize that it was just her moment of insanity, I mean who in their right mind would own a mini?  I laugh at that statement now.  When we first got him he was supposed to be a back yard horse (I know, redneck hillbilly), but he wore a trail on the back fence wanting to be with the other horses.  So one day, I just turned him loose with the big horses.  He never missed a beat and they never bothered him.  He ended up being our babysitter for any weanlings we had.  Annie was the first and they played together all the time.  He used to bite her on the knees and she would drop down on her knees to bite and play with him.  In fact the only problem I had with him was that I never could catch the little turd!  He would not touch feed if you were within 50 feet of him, always on the lookout.  The girls and Felicia could walk up to him anywhere, drove me crazy!  He ended up hanging with us for 8 years, a babysitting yard ornament.  Last Sunday, we noticed him rolling around a lot and since we had wormed him the week before we thought we better check on him.  Good thing we did, he was colicing.  We spent all day walking and putting mineral oils in him, to no avail.  So Monday morning I loaded him up and took him to the vet, where he spent until Tuesday.  Tuesday Dr. Ben told me things were not getting any better, so we went ahead and had him put down.  He was 10 years old.

Neither time was easy walking out of that barn, but we (as horse owners) have a responsibility to take care of them.  To make decisions based on their best interests and not our own selfish desires.  Tuff looked really good, but was in pain and constant irritation.  It was our responsibility to make him as comfortable as possible.  And if we couldn’t do that, then we had to put him out of his misery.  Showtime was a little easier decision to make because he was colicing, he was suffering.  I would encourage any horse owner to think of their horse first, make decisions based on what is best for your horse…not you!  Is it really fair to keep that poor, skinny 35 year old horse that you can’t keep any weight on?  What is their quality of life?  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all old horses need to be put down.  My point is, life is hard and sometimes hard decisions have to be made.  Make sure you are for the horse and not yourself.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Ballad of Mad Bob

Over 20 years ago, I worked for Sam Wilson back when he had Bob Acre Doc.  I never got to ride Bob, but in the 8 months I worked for him I rode every two year old on the place.  Ya, I know…eight months.  Not very long, but I think colt starters (especially young ones) are a lot like feedlot cowboys.  See I grew up with a Dad that was a feedlot cowboy most of my life.  The joke was that you didn’t have to fire a feedlot cowboy; he would be gone in 60 days anyway.  Don’t get me wrong, my Dad was an exception to the rule for the most part.  But I watched a lot of the younger guys come and go…like nomads, hence the similarities between young colt starters and young feedlot cowboys.  To bolster this opinion I have some scientific facts that I personally created.  When my wife and filed our taxes the year before we got married, she had one W-2….I had four.  That’s right, I said four.  Four jobs in one year….and still made less than $10,000 for the year.  No wonder I was so skinny, I was starvin’ most of the time!

But I digress, this is about one of the colts I rode for Sam.  We had a couple that looked like Bob, and being the creative minded guys that we were….we called them Bad Bob and Mad Bob.  The names had more to do with their temperaments than anything else.  Bad Bob was a nasty bucker, again the creative name.  Mad Bob, well you guessed it….he was an angry horse!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brothers Are a Pain

This is a guest post from my Mom, Cathy Johnson.  Which goes to show that the Johnsons' were not the only crazy people,  the Dennee's were right there on the edge of crazy!  can you imagine being so angry at your brother/sister that you could get where this story went....oh wait....I've been there.

Enjoy the read, check Mom and Dad out.  They do a good job helping peope with horses, Mom just didn't used to be so good with her brothers!

Here's Mom:

Even though I look like a pretty easy person to get along with, when I was a kid, I was quite the bossy big sister.  I was the oldest one in a family of four younger boys.  I helped my mother with all my younger brothers as they came along and it was just second nature to me to think my brothers had to mind me. 

I had two brothers, close to me.  Billy, who was about 8, and Phillip, who was around 6.  Phillip was the pain in my “you know what”.  He and I were forever at it, and Billy would egg him on.  Our parents had a rule about fist fighting, but that didn't even slow us down when we got out behind the barn or behind the haystack.  We were a pretty uncivilized little tribe.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Super Ninja Cowboy

There was a time in my life when I didn’t know what the word impetuous meant.  If you look it up in Webster’s, it says:

  1.  Marked by impulsive vehemence or passion
  2. Marked by force and violence of movement or action
As I’ve gotten older, I can look back and see that I was train wreck on a horse.  There were some things I did, that offered a good deal to a horse….and there were some things that if anyone was watching they would be thinking, “what the heck is he doing up there?”  This is a couple of those times…

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Cowboy Miracle

I don’t often mean to be preachy, but when I see a miracle that speaks to the cowboy, I feel it is my obligation to point it out!

If you know anything about starting colts, you know there is some work involved.  There are not too many operations left that just climb on and let ‘em buck.  As much fun as that was in my younger years, it turns out it was hard on me and hard on the horses.  A more sensible method has a person doing some ground work to prepare the horse for this big ol’ predator to crawl up on its back.

The groundwork now-a-days, at least for me, involves some desensitization (probably not as much as I should, my mind thinks I’m still 20 something….my body calls my mind a fool), driving, more desensitization….my point is this:  There are several days of groundwork before a person should crawl up on a colt. 
Young men are another story entirely and it usually involves being bulletproof and rubbery to the point of bouncing when they hit the ground.  But eventually all young men grow up and start doing some sort groundwork on their colts.

God pointed this out to me a couple of years ago one Sunday morning in Mark 11:1-10
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethpage and Bethany at the Mound of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.  Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks you, “Why are you doing this?” tell him, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly”.

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway.  As they untied it, some people stand there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?”  They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.  When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.  Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.  Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,


“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

The first thing I noticed was that God’s plan was so perfect, that the only question asked was “what are you doing, untying that colt?”  The (at the time) good people of Jerusalem just took the disciples response, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.”  And basically said “ok, no biggy”.

What did they disciples do next?  Why they took their coat and just flung them over that colt’s back!  I haven’t yet had a colt I could do that on the first day!  Then Jesus climbed up and sat down!  Again, not a cowboy out there, that I know, has been able to do that!  Mr. Bronc-y Colt never made a bauble as Jesus commenced to ride him down the road.  First ride, first day, people!  First day, first ride!  Does not happen at training centers or ranches!  On top of all of this the (at the time) good people of Jerusalem were throwing their coats and tree branches, in the road in front of Mr. Bronc-y Colt.  All the time they were shouting and carrying on:


“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David”

“Hosanna in the highest!”

All the colts I know would have been pitching like crazy, scared out of their minds!

That my friends is a miracle of Jesus!  Who takes an unbroken colt, steps on and rides him down the road with people throwing coats and branches on the ground in front of the colt?

The answer is pretty simple.  MY GOD!  MY KING!  JESUS CHRIST!

He died and became our sins!  Paid the price for me!  Doesn’t get much better than that!  I pray that if you don’t know Christ as your Savior today, you will accept this free gift.  He paid the debt we owed because we owed a debt we could not pay!

Praise JESUS!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wal-Mart Can Build A Kentucky Derby Winner

In some of my other stories I have mentioned the wild things that we used to do in college; most of them involve a practical joke or two.  Some were of the horse wreck variety.  But I can honestly say, for the group I ran around with in college, we abused each other….but still had a whoppin’ good time.

I attended Lamar Community College, in Lamar Colorado.  The course was called Horse Training and Management.  During our freshman year we were all assigned a colt to ride, some turned out better than others.  It was a learning experience, and I suspect that some of us learned better than others!  During my sophomore year a couple of buddies ((Guy and Marc) and I had some extra time during the day. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Suppository Writing

Some time back my daughters had a “bring your parents to school day”.  My kids didn’t want me to go, they are always afraid that I will do something that might embarrass them; I don’t know where they get that?!?!  I would have shown up like I normally dress, tall boots and my hat…..but, that is ok.  At some point all kids are embarrassed by their parents.  All that said, their teacher taught the parents something that night, which led to last night at our house.  The girls have been on spring break, which makes this so unusual (in my point of view).  I would not have been caught dead doing something like this when I was their age.  They were doing some….school work!  I know, I know….highly unusual, but we were not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Until I found out it was homework for me.  It turns out it is a way for the kids to teach their parents what they learned (relearned?) on the “bring your parents day”.  I felt a little like I was in England.  They were speaking my language, but the words didn’t mean the same things.  They were talking about pillers and suppository writing. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Peterbilt Mare

Since I saw the wording, I think I'll use it.  Here is a guest post from my Dad (Jere Johnson, of Natural Remuda Equine Learning Center), check 'em can learn a lot!

Here's Dad:

My dad was a horse trader and some of the horses he bought didn’t have the best dispositions.  One day, he came home from the sale with a sorrel horse in the back of the pickup.  (We didn’t have a trailer, just stock racks on the truck).  I was 16, had a date and was starting to leave when Dad arrived on the scene.  He stepped out and told me to grab my saddle.  He wanted to check out the horse he bought at the sale.  I mentioned that I had a date and he gave me that look.  You know the kind.  The one that says you better do as I say.  Besides that, he said three kids had ridden this horse into the ring.  Thinking back now, that should have been a warning sign.  Kid horses ridden through the sale will hurt you. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Graduate from High School

Another story from my Dad (Jere Johnson)….wisdom (???) in his own words.

My dad owned a nice sorrel mare. She had a nice colt and I named him Brandy.  He was given to me and Dad told me I could have him, if I would break him.  It seemed like an eternity before he would ever grow old enough to ride. When he was a long yearling, I got him up and went to messing with him.  

The first thing I did with him, I guess you would call pre-ride training. You know, saddle, drive, and desensitize him.  This went off without a hitch.  Well, I thought the next step was the harness.  I got to thinking about my mule driving days and decided I didn’t want a repeat of that (The mule driving didn’t go well at all.).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Shopping and Kids

Yesterday I went shopping with my wife and two daughters.  The girls are being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society and needed some new clothes.  Seems like everything they do nowadays, they need new clothes for the occasion.  As I trailed them through the store, I really tried to be interested.  But it is kinda hard when their taste in clothes is so drastically different than mine.  I am a boots and jeans guy and dressing up means I starched the shirt and jeans.  Felicia and the girls were talking about slacks (I thought that was what you pitched when you roped a calf!?!?!) and looking at flouncy shirts.  They asked me about some of them, but stopped asking when I started telling them how low cut I thought the shirts were….to be honest, my wife is pretty conservative too, and our girls don’t wear anything that is too low.  But, I am the overprotective Daddy and I want everything buttoned up high and tight!

All of this got me to thinking about what my life is has been to this point.  I live in a sea of estrogen.