rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Rancherette”

Not Our First Rodeo

So, the big day came and went. To which big day am I referring? Why, the South Texas Classic Poultry Show in La Grange, Texas. I thought all folks knew about that event. Well, chicken folks in the state of Texas for sure. We were looking forward for several weeks to the trip and finally the day came. It was about a four and half hour journey in the truck with eight birds in the rear seat all properly resting in their properly vented traveling lounges properly fitted out with feed and water. Why do we call chicken feed, “feed” and dog food, “food”?  Or, cattle feed, “feed” and cat food, “food”.  Just wondering.

There were two roosters and six hens, separated much as if one would separate two or more siblings who insist on asking the proverbial question, are we there yet? If one can understand chicken talk, then those are exactly the phrases coming from the mouths of these birds. The only good thing (If you can call it good) is they did not mention having to go to the bathroom every ten miles. Well, maybe they did and I just ignored them. I recall that with my children back in the day.

The two roosters, named Zorba, the Silkie and Cowboy, the Cochin, were dueling tenors. The hens were the backup singers for those two. They covered all the chicken hits in alphabetically order, beginning with, “Ain’t Nobody Here but us Chickens”. A couple of times I had to quiet them down, once when they began doing the “Chicken Dance”. It was way too crowded for that. Try getting that earworm out of your head. Long before we arrived in La Grange, I just about had it with chicken songs. I decided to mention a phrase I have used before. “CHICKEN NUGGETS”, I yelled. They thought it best to refrain from any more musical interludes and remained silent the rest of the trip. I did hear a bit of mumbling back there, but I was calm.

Upon arriving, we ventured to the Fayette County fairgrounds to “coop in” as they say. You place each bird in a separate cage with your identifying number on a card, furnish them with gourmet feed (or is it food) and small containers of water. They are now bedded down for the night. And, luckily, we adults did likewise, at a local hotel, (I won’t use their name, however the chickens had it better).

At precisely Nine A.M., the next morning, the judges begin their job of inspecting each bird in the building. That was an exhausting all day affair. However, it did have its rewards.

If you recall from a recent post, A Day at the Spa, the “Rancherette” invited her fine little Silkies and Cochins to a day at the spa. That was a significant ceremony for it worked wonders on these fluffy birds. The “Rancherette” outdid herself, three 1st place awards and a Best of Variety prize.  One had a comb tht leaned a bit to the right. I wonder if we should have combed her wattle or wattled her comb. Needless to say the”Rancherette”was happy, I was happy. Having spent a couple of days at the Fort Worth Show, (with awards) the “Rancherette” and the “Rancherwriterpoet” were old hands at this. One could say this was not our first rodeo.

After a brief tour of the La Grange area, a visit to Walmart, (That should be on everyone’s traveling list) a meal at a local BBQ stable, tailgating in the parking lot with the birds, resting a bit and afterwards heading home. The birds gloated all the way home. I was calm, I just let them have their say; after all, they were winners. All in all, it was a great trip. Who can argue with that?

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A Day at the Spa

Around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch, things have been hectic, hence the silence from this writer about such. The first of the year we ventured to the Fort Worth Live Stock Show.(THIS THING IS LEGENDARY)

In addition to all the sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and swine, the poultry show also displays several different breeds of poultry and waterfowl.  I might add this includes Silkie chickens of which the “Rancherette” proudly raises. She wanted to “show” some of her Silkie birds. This was her first show and it gave her the incentive she needed to explore the world of “showmanship”. It was a successful endeavor. With first place ribbons in hand the task turned to preparations for the next “Big Shew”. The pressure is on.

Now the “Rancherette” has been very busy lately, what with the chickens molting and such. It seems one cannot deal precisely with a molting chicken when the goal is to get them ready for the “Big Shew”. If feathers are falling out, (a natural process) then there is not much you can do as far as grooming a chicken for the “Big Shew”. For those of you who may not have knowledge of such a venture, it involves quite a bit of effort on the part of the “Rancherette”.

Such efforts should be rewarded with a day at the spa. You know, the place where one can be pampered, massaged, a new hairdo, nail polish, skin rejuvenation, and whatever else one can get added to the procedure. Well, that is exactly what the “Rancherette” desires. Sooooo,

Each prize winning little Silkie will have their personal day at the spa. Around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch, pampering is quite normal for these birds, especially, since they have won ribbons. The first thing they are pleased to enjoy is a bath. Giving a chicken a bath is not quite like washing a dog, but somewhat better than washing a cat. It is more like washing a dust mop. In fact, we have a Silkie rooster named Dust Mop. However, he is not intent on having a spa day. He has other interests on his mind. Especially, after the little hen comes home from a day at the spa. Granted, cats and dogs do not have the same physical features of Silkies, beyond that, however, there isn’t much difference in the procedure. Feathers or fur, it is pretty much the same.

Apparently, since chickens are notorious for taking dust baths, being submerged in water is no big deal. They enjoy, so I have been told, having their little feathers stroked with all sorts of bath washes. The smellery the better (I know, it is not a word).

The “Rancherette” works her skills around and underneath the feathers to ensure each part of the feathery physique is manipulated. (This is the skin rejuvenation) The wattle must be combed or is it wattling the comb? Whatever, the color must be enhanced. Having enjoyed this, the chicken begins to cackle her appreciation. Soon thereafter, the little fluffy fowl will be wrapped in a luscious bath towel. Then, the Master Blaster is utilized. This is a device especially designed to remove water by the application of warm air to the body. Some folks call it a hair dryer. This particular one is a smaller version than that used for the dogs.

After the water is removed, the little hen looks lovingly at the masseuse as she begins to work her magic. She stretches the little wings here and there, above and under, around and over and then repeats the process, Who doesn’t like a massage every now and then? I am not sure when the nail polishing takes place; however, talcum powder is generously applied for a brightening effect. It has a smellery aroma as well. This addresses the “hairdo”.  Pampering, that’s what I call it.

At this point, I am not sure who receives the most pleasure from this experience, the little Silkie or the “Rancherette”. I do notice that the other feathery creatures are standing in line, cackling, “I’m next”, envious of the first one. I also see where the dogs in the kennel were creating a ruckus, howling and agitated. I think they want their turn in the spa as well. That is, except for the Airedale. Thankfully, we have no cats around the Fuzzy Chicken Ranch.

The “Rancherwriterpoet” might as well stand in line, too. He could use a little spa treatment, perhaps after the “Big Shew.”

That’s How My Day Went

Various situations have occurred the past two months, preventing any posts to my blog. I will not elaborate on those circumstances. I am just picking up the past two weeks, starting with how my day went.

Day One.

So the “Rancherette” and I are sitting around discussing what new projects we can accomplish around the old homestead. Having constructed the last of three chicken coops, our attention turned to some, much needed, repairs to our little farmhouse.

“It needs new paint”, I said. (The “Rancherette” moonlights as a painter.)

“It needs a complete makeover”, she said. We should hire someone to put new siding on the house, she said. “You can supervise”, she said.

So, the plan began to take shape. Except, I said, “I can do it, myself” (not the staining part). Famous last words”!  she said.

I immediately sprang into action. Got out my measuring tape, my quarter-inch scale pad, a sharp pencil, and engaged my brain. Must have a materials list, you know. I walked around the house, measuring and visualizing the steps that will be required, writing down the information as I went. That was how the Sunday afternoon went.

Day Two.  

Pardon me if I go off subject for a moment.

Around our little Silkie chicken ranch, we have several roosters. They all have names, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, Dust Mop, Bloopety Blue, Goldfinger, and Tallyho. Goldfinger was once Goldilocks and Tallyho was once Tallulah, until we heard them crow. And speaking of crowing, they will crow on command, Seriously! Except for Mick and Rod, who refuse to crow at all.

So after my morning session with the “boys”, I turned my attention to the “running” of the dogs. Their daily constitutional is of utmost importance. It requires less attention to the sanitation of the kennels if they are allowed some freedom each morning.

While I am closely monitoring the canines, the “Rancherette” is tending to the “girls”, the female gender of chickens, who also have names. Just to name a few,  Sassy, Beauty, Baby Splash, Frosty and Rag Mop, who coos when the “Rancherette” sings R-A-G-G… M-O-P-P…, RAGMOP.

The “Rancherette” visits with each little hen every morning andthen  turns her interest to the two groups of baby chicks. They are kept in separate pens, the “Pre-K” chicks that are about two weeks older and the “Toddler” chicks, kept in their toddler pen. They do not have names as yet.

So, Monday morning, after the chores of tending to the chickens and running the dogs, I suggested we make a lumber run to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. I grabbed my list and off we went to the big “Blue” box lumberyard. Did I mention I also needed a new air compressor? 

After spending a couple of hours (and X-amount of $$$), we returned home, feeling exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. That was how Monday went.

Day Three.

Bright and early Tuesday morning and very excited to get started, I rushed through my chores with the animals and turned to the process of transforming the exterior of our home. I began by unloading some of the lumber and arranging the siding for the “Rancherette” (AKA, painter-deluxe) to start the process of staining prior to installation. She was spending her “girl-time” with the very friendly little Silkie hens and waiting on me. Sorry to say, I had to interrupt her session, as you will see next.

At this point, I will not go into describing each and every step, however, the first step of demo involved removal of some rotted wood. This being accomplished, I set up the table saw to rip a board into what is called a “water table trim”. This item can be purchased, however, it is quite expensive. Thus, I decided to manufacture this trim myself. About 10:30 A.M., The world changed dramatically. Without noting the graphic details, I was ripping the “water table trim”, and my little pinkie and ring fingers on my right hand, made contact with the table saw. Fifty plus years I have been around power tools, never having an accident of this nature. I must tell you, no matter how experienced you may think you are, it definitely is not enough if you do not remember to be SAFE!

Thanks to the “Rancherette” for her driving skills to the emergency room, the doctor thinks I will not lose my fingers, or perhaps only the tip of my pinkie. I will know for sure next week. It would appear that I am lucky  to keep the digits on my right hand. It has been quite a Summer to remember, what with new skin (Skin Cancer removal),  new eyes (cataract surgery) and now in the Fall a couple of finger repairs, I feel sort of like the “Bionic Man”. Rebuilt and even better than new.

And that was how Tuesday went. I can’t wait until Day Four. It will be here before I know it. In the short-term, I think I will go spend some time with the roosters. They may give me something to “crow about”.

Be safe out there.

Poodle Home Security

So during the past few months, I have had a tooth pulled, finished the 3rd chicken coop, gone through cataract surgery, (hooray, my vision is excellent), experienced flooding from the May rains, (now back to the August drought), and gained a new resident, (not counting all the chickens that come and go). I have much for which to be thankful.

In the meantime, I got behind on my writing. Not having the ‘muse’ sitting on my shoulder, I must take action and determine a subject for another fine piece of literature. Then it comes to me, I mean literally, he comes to me. Apollo, our Standard Poodle, places his head in my lap, looks at me with his big eyes and says, “Write about me, Dad”. He calls me Dad through the voice of the “Rancherette”.

Apollo firmly believes himself to be the dominant character in this household. He has rules, his rules. Several years ago, he became a business owner. He established Poodle Home Security. He is the CEO and the lead investigator. He is quite adapting at fending off the UPS and/or FedEx drivers. He allows no cars to enter our driveway unnoticed. The weekly refuse truck should not tarry long or perhaps suffer the consequences. He wards off squirrels, bunny rabbits, gophers, etc., which threaten us from time to time in our yard. Even evil spirits are subject to his menacing bark. Occasionally, when the cattle in the pasture across the road begin to chase their food truck, he hurries them along. And, we always know the comings and goings of our neighbors.

Once a day, he makes his rounds in the back yard. He checks his PeeMail, for messages, and replies if necessary.

PeeMailHe also inspects the kennel dogs and their surroundings, much like a drill sergeant with his recruits. He is constantly barking orders. Some recruits are a bit more stubborn than others are. This only increases his authoritative nature.
He alerts us to storm threats, issuing warnings of severe thunderstorms and comforts the “Rancherette” when there is lightning followed by thunder. Yes sir; we have the finest Poodle Home Security money can buy. Life could not get any better, or so Apollo thinks.
Enter his new trainee, Alfie the Airedale. So named for she looks like Alf, the alien from the TV series in the late ‘80’s. Notice the eyes.

AlfAlfie the Alf

Unbeknownst to Apollo, he is going to have to work overtime to shape this “recruit” into a lean fighting machine. She already has one strike against her. She is not a Poodle. That can be assuaged as long as she takes her training seriously. I dare not forget, Apollo is an  equal opportunity employer.He does not discriminate when it comes to hiring.  However, if she expects to wear a detective badge for Poodle Home Security, she must immediately realize this is serious stuff. The offenders that drift into Poodle Home Security territory do not necessarily have treats in their pockets. They do not have squeaky toys under their arms. Not everyone she meets will come bearing gifts.

She does have the ability to keep the little Silkie chickens in line, as long as they stay on their side of the fence. That is fortunate, a good first step. However, I’m thinking that the Silkies do not pose any threat to the Rancher or “Rancherette”. She is also good at urging the lawnmower along, digging holes, and chewing doorposts or any other inanimate object that gets in her way.
She is smart, already learning from Apollo that water tastes better with ice cubes in it. Not bad for a rookie. She has quickly become adept at frisking pockets. In case you have something in there that is not allowed, like doggie treats, she will promptly confiscate any items not allowed. Occasionally, for training purposes, certain objects are left in the bark of trees and other locations for her to find. She is very good at searching out those items. I might add, they smell like cheese and her smeller is superb. However, I think Apollo must work with her on her attention span. She has so much to learn before taking her place in the barking order.

I have heard that when life deals you lemons, you should make lemonade. I am not a lemonade aficionado; however, I suppose I could learn. I can use rainwater to make the stuff if it ever rains again. That is, if Alfie hasn’t stolen the lemons. We probably should have done a background check before “hiring” her. Apollo, you still have work to do. Poodle Home Security 2

The Bookstore Romance

Today, the “Rancher” and the “Rancherette” celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary. At my age, it is important to celebrate any day, but especially the day when two people became one. An encounter in a Barnes and Noble bookstore and a Starbucks coffee with a double shot of espresso evolved into a romance. They fell in love, thus rewarding themselves with vows of devotion to each other. The “Rancher” wrote the story the day following this occurrence and named it “The Bookstore Romance.” It is a romance story never before published. Based on a true story and told from the perspective of the clerk who shall remain anonymous, it is rather lengthy. I apologize for that. However, I do not apologize for the romance.

The Bookstore Romance

I spend much of my day helping people find a particular book. As I am in the business of service to people, I find myself observing them and their actions. Let me explain. I am a student at the local university working as a clerk in a large bookstore chain. English is my major so working in a bookstore is a plus for me. I prefer to call myself a librarian, but in reality, I am a clerk. I really enjoy my work for it is intellectually stimulating. Honestly, I do know more about books than many librarians do. But I also know quite a bit about people. Read my thoughts about two individuals I met today.

The older gentleman was deep in thought as he searched through the World Atlases and the many maps we have in stock in the World section. He had previously asked me to direct him to the map section. Since we do not have a separate section for maps, I escorted him to the Atlases.

I noticed that he looked up each time somebody walked through the door. It was as if he were waiting for someone. I became busy with other customers and forgot about him.

A Few minutes later, my co-worker said to me, “Melody, Watch that old man.” “What do you mean?” I asked, He replied, “Just watch.”  The old man would look at the clock on the wall, then the door and back to his reading. He did this several times.

Then, a very attractive woman walked through the door. She stopped at the desk and asked my co-worker where she might find the latest novel by Nicholas Sparks. He directed her down the middle aisle to the Romance section on the right. This happened to be on the opposite side of the aisle from the World section where the old man was reading from a map book of the Gulf waters.

When he saw the woman, his eyes covertly glanced at her. He quickly returned to the page he was reading. I could see what my co-worker had meant. This may become interesting.

The old man kept looking from the corner of his eye at the woman, but not really wanting to make eye contact with her. I could tell she fascinated him. She certainly looked charming and smart, smart as in smart looking. This seemed to go on for a period of time. My co-worker and I busied ourselves with our job, but kept watching as best we could.

Now, we saw that the scenario was becoming more curious. The very alluring woman was casting glances of her own toward the older gentleman. Her glances, too, were discreet. But it was obvious, that something was going on.

The gentleman with the multi-toned grey and white hair was carefully taking in all her shapely figure and curves, leaving out not one detail. I know this because I have seen how most men look at women. Being female myself it isn’t hard to understand how a man looks at a woman he admires. He was definitely admiring the beauty of this woman. She had a presence about her that signaled just the right vibes. I’m not sure they would call it vibes; maybe chemistry would be a better word.  I believe he picked up on that rather quickly.

And she was not much different. Her quick looks at him became obvious to us. You could see her eyes giving him the once-over. She was watching his every motion, noting every detail about him; his hair, slightly rumpled, clean-shaven except for a small mustache. It was also turning that same multi-toned grey and white. She was taking in every aspect of the distinguished looking man. He was not necessarily the best-looking man I’ve seen, but she certainly had her eyes on him. Even the starched creases in his trousers caught her eye. His boots, western in style, although old, were sharply polished. But still, her eyes avoided his.  Have you ever watched someone trying to avoid eye contact? It is rather humorous, for the more you try the more it becomes obvious. They were not very adapt at avoiding avoiding eye contact.

Now I cannot tell you what she may have been thinking, I can only observe what I saw. I imagined that she imagined herself running her fingers through his hair. This was better than any movie. This was clearly poetry in motion. Finally, he made a move.

He walked over to her and spoke. She replied in agreement. Almost like teenagers. I can attest to that, not being far removed from teenage years. I am glad we did not have any customers waiting to check out. We would be missing this bookstore romance right before our eyes.

Very quietly, I maneuvered myself into listening range of their voices to eavesdrop. When he spoke, her eyes met his. I could see her green eyes sparkling. He looked old enough to be my grandfather and she perhaps my mother but I was hooked. And this old guy had been smitten. He began stumbling with speech and stuttering a bit. Feeling guilty for encroaching on this moment in their lives, I started to walk away.

I heard him say, “I don’t think I need this ‘map book’”. I wasn’t sure just exactly what that meant, but she laughed aloud. She said, “Let’s go find a jigsaw puzzle”. They headed for the mall entrance, she holding the rose with one hand and his hand with the other.

I am now left wondering, are they entering a fantasy world? If it is, it is their fantasy, and fantasies are real to those who dream. It surely seemed very real to me. I hope it works out for them.  I hope my dreams will happen something like that, too, a budding bookstore romance.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful “Rancherette”

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Complaining, However…

I approach this posting with delicate sensitivity. It includes what some might believe to be private information. I could be embarrassed by this. You could be embarrassed by this. It is possible it may even be censored. Even in the United States.

Then there are those who might say this is TMI. However, it is a story is that IMT (I must tell).

First, let me say upfront, the “Rancherette” is an excellent housekeeper. And, as such, she always keeps a variety of cleaning agents around our home. She does such an outstanding job In spite of the “Rancher’s” habits because she is always up-to-snuff with the latest cleaning equipment and supplies.  The vacuum cleaner is a top line machine. There are mechanized mops and dust rags and  even a especially designed gadget for cleaning ceiling fans.The “Swiffer WetJet” contraption certainly is an excellent device for hardwood and ceramic tile floors. That same company also makes a dusting tool with top quality materials. And, I dare not forget the polishing resources. Then, there is the famous “scrubbing bubbles”, my favorite. I can only imagine what these little fellows could do if they really put their mind to it.

However, I do have one complaint about an item in the “Rancherette’s” repertoire.

Allow me to explain. I do not know of a single person who does not have a phobia about something. The very definition of phobia in the Greek language means fear. Consequently, everyone I know has a fear of something. In one of my earlier postings, “Pogonotomy-A Male Rite of Passage”, I spoke about the fear of beards. If you do not believe you have a fear of anything, then take a stroll through Google for an indexed list of phobias. You are sure to find one that fits your situation.

So, this is where it could get embarrassing.  In the closet in my bathroom is a plethora of the aforementioned cleaning supplies. While the “bathroom toilet bowl cleaner” is certainly one of the cleaning tools, it is not in the closet.  It is placed strategically (by someone who shall remain nameless) beside the toilet bowl. Accessibility, I suppose. It is there in plain sight. I think it should be in the closet. It stands all alone within my view. I swear I believe it watches me. There are times when one desires a bit of privacy. This is one of those times. Now you must be thinking I am a nut case. What could possibly be so weird about a bottle of “bathroom toilet bowl cleaner?”

Here is my problem. That bottle of “bathroom toilet bowl cleaner?” Well, it greatly resembles a gnome in my opinion.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner   Gardern Gnome

I do not like gnomes. I do not like gnomes that watch me. I do not like the everyday garden gnomes that people place in their gardens. I do not like gnomes that hide in dark places waiting to scare the bejabbers out of me. I guess you could say it was the little gnome that could. I do not like gnomes that ‘travel’ from place to place. It is only a matter of time before they team up to slaughter humankind. I have Gnomophobia.

I believe the only cure for this phobia is to put that ugly gnome-a-cleaner in its place.

05-gnome4

 

Hope you have a gnome-free day.

Shopping is So Exhausting

Yesterday morning, the day began much as every day begins. Up at the crack of dawn (only because I had to go to the bathroom), letting the new kid on the block, Alfie, the heirdale, outside along with her mentor, Apollo, the Poodle, then waking up the rest of the Poodles, Italian Greyhound and the two Cairn Terriers. After all, they need their time out of their kennels for their morning constitutional. 

Next, I check on the Silkie chickens. We have seven four-day-old chicks in the brooder, one chick healing in sickbay, nine juveniles in the condominium, which they share separately with four adults. Nine teenagers reside comfortably in the mansion on the hill. Much of this happens before I have had a full cup of coffee. It was an exciting morning, and all before breakfast.

So, finally, I’m sitting down to a bowl of cereal and a banana, (potassium, you know) before the television watching GMA. They have a segment called Deals and Steals, where various products are featured with the prices usually cut in half or more.

The “Rancherette” perked up.

“I must go to lunch with my best friend, “Rosie, the Realtor”, today,” she said. Bear in mind, she was not asking for permission, it was a statement of fact. It did not require a permissible acknowledgment from me. Nothing the “Rancherette” does, requires any sort of permission. In fact, I suggested that lunch with “Rosie, the Realtor” would be the thing to do. It is my duty as a loving spouse to support any endeavor the “Rancherette” attempts.

So the requisite phone call was made, plans were discussed and somewhere during the course of the morning, the “Rancherette” dressed in her finery, (she always dresses in finery.) Soon thereafter, the “Rancherette” left for her luncheon date with “Rosie, the Realtor”. I cannot speak to whatever transpired after the “Rancherette” left. I realize that when “Rosie, the Realtor” and the Rancherette” get together, all bets are off

.Gloria's

And so, on for lunch.

Food

Me, I had exciting plans of my own. Since I am supposed to be a writer, my plan was to sit down before my computer and begin punching away at the keyboard. Occasionally, I form paragraphs that make sense. However, earlier this week, a small storm invaded my backyard. The grass has been growing at a record pace since we have had so much moisture this winter. I am not complaining, for we need this and more. I empathize with those of you who are in dire circumstances. But the grasses grow with all this much rain. And to think, I fertilized this past winter and early spring. As I sit at my office window and look outside, I can almost see the grass growing. However, it is too wet to mow with my riding mower. Unfortunately, it is not too wet for the small push mower. You can probably guess how my day went.

After a day on the town,   the “Rancherette” returned, home. I witnessed the trunk of the SUV open. It opened wide. There were packages inside. Many packages. Hmmmm, I thought, this looks like much more than lunch. Besides, lunch has been over for several hours. It was time for dinner. 

Poor girl, she struggled with bringing in all those packages. I could not help for I had to restrain Apollo. He wants to bound out the front door each time it is opened. So, in she came, lugging all those packages. One would have thought it was Christmas. As I recall, there were two purses, shoes, clothing, (the “Rancherette” does dress in finery) a new pillow, and not to leave out the dogs, two new toys. They were very excited. The “Rancherette” was excited. I was excited.
I can only imagine how excited “Rosie, the Realtor” must have been, and Bob, her unassuming spouse.

Later that evening, the “Rancherette” commented, “Shopping really wears you out,” Silly me, I had not noticed. At least, she has a new pillow on which to lay her head.

Me, I’ll stick to push mowing the entire backyard. It is not nearly as exhausting as shopping. 

Patience is a Virtue

I copied this from Wikipedia. Certainly sounds exactly like me.

        “Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, persevering in the face of provocation without acting on negative annoyance or anger. It is also used to refer to the character trait of being steadfast”.

I also copied this from Wikipedia. Not being repetitious, it  sounds exactly like me. 

        “Virtue is moral excellence. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness.”

They, whoever “they” are, say that patience is a virtue. I accept that. However, it can also be a challenge. Take, for example” the “Rancherette” and the tail (pun intended) of the “hitchhiker”. I am approaching the ripe old age of, well; let’s just say the ripe old age. Until now, I was unaware that a fourteen week old puppy could unlock the front door of my pickup, jump into the front passenger seat, make herself comfortable, and upon arriving at my home, have the audacity to exclaim, “she brought me here against my will, I was dog-napped.”.  I know Airedales are very smart, but that is ridiculous. I have difficulty opening the door to my pickup.

However, I can almost hear the conversation that went on with the “hitchhiker” sitting in my passenger seat in my pickup truck.

The “Rancherette”— “what am I going to tell the “Rancher”?
Alfie— “You’ll think of something. Tell him I hitchhiked a ride.”
The “Rancherette”—“I’m not so sure he will believe that.”
Alfie–-“If he is as gullible you are, he will.”
The “Rancherette”-— “OK, I’ll give it a try,”
Alfie–– I’m pretty sure he’ll love me once he gets to know me”
The “Rancherette” —“But what if he don’t?”
Alfie— “I think it will be fine; I can handle the “Rancher”. He will be a pushover for my endearing eyes. All I have to do is Just blink twice, he’ll be hooked”. it worked on you didn’t it. Besides, I’ll be eating out of his pocket before you know it.”

Pocket 2

As you can see, this is me, practicing patience, the part where it says persevering in the face of provocation without acting on negative annoyance or anger. And this is me, practicing more patience.

.resized Alfie and Houseshoe

Alfie practicing virtue.

Alfie practicing Virtue

These enduring eyes started the whole “Patience is a Virtue” thing.Enduring Eyes

It is going to be a challenge for me to practice “Patience is a Virtue” but it is a challenge I accept. Now if I can just get the eight Standard Poodles, the two Cairn Terriers and the one Italian Greyhound to also accept the challenge. That may well try my patience and destroy my virtue.

Uses for a Pickup Truck

So there I was, resting in my recliner on a nice Saturday afternoon. Apollo was content beside me. I was watching my favorite golfer, Jordan Spieth, as he birdied to take the lead in the Houston Shell Open. It was a nice peaceful afternoon. At least, until I heard the horn honk. It was the “Rancherette” returning from her day at Canton First Monday Trade Days.

If you have never heard of Canton First Monday, I suggest you Google it. And, if you live close enough, you should visit the place at least once in your lifetime. Put that on your bucket list. It is the “world’s largest” flea market. They sell everything and I do mean everything. New, used, from antiques to pure junk, tools, you name it, from birds to farm animals to elephants, (well I never have seen an elephant at First Monday. Should you want to bring one, it will probably sell.) However, this story is not about First Monday, but, without First Monday, it would have not been possible.

The first thing, for which one should take note, is the “Rancherette” was in my truck. It is never a good sign when the “Rancherette” wants to take my pickup anywhere. She doesn’t even like to ride in it. There are numerous places where we usually take my truck. For instance, I always have some sort of project going on around here where I need certain materials. Thus, I make a trip to the big box DIY store.

I take my truck when we need to pull the boat. I take my truck to pick up animal supplies. I take my truck, occasionally, when we need to go to the market and the roads are wet. I take my truck when I need to haul something that will not fit inside the SUV. The truck is a work truck, not generally meant for leisure. So, you can see my consternation when the “Rancherette” wants to take my truck to First Monday Trade Days. It probably means she will buy something that will need to be hauled and will not fit in the SUV. It stands to reason; I will probably have to put it together. Nothing comes put together nowadays. But that’s another story.

In addition to raising her purebred Silkie Chickens, the “Rancherette”, in a former life was also a Show Dog Fancier. Having raised Standard Poodles and showing them in competition for a number of years, she is an expert.  As I said, in a previous life.  Today, the eight Standard Poodles are living out their retirement in a favorable atmosphere, here in the country, secure in their kennels. And, of course, the Silkie chickens have their space as well. They also are very content in their luxurious Chicken Condo on the plain and the “Mansion on the Hill, living the life of Foghorn Leghorn, while the hens are laying a few eggs a day. All is well, or so I thought.

Until Saturday afternoon. Until the horn honks. My truck horn. Until Apollo barks.

Apollo is the Standard Poodle who lives inside the home. When the horn honked, he stood at attention. He barked. He usually barks when a vehicle pulls into the driveway. Usually, when the horn honks, it is an indication that the “Rancherette” needs help unloading something. Like a good neighbor, or in the case a good “Rancher” I am eager to help.

I bound out the door, enthusiastically, to provide my services. I always am enthusiastic when the “Rancherette” comes home.

Her words, “I have a ‘rider’”. My words, “did you pick up a hitchhiker?” “Yes, sort of”.

I was very excited that I did not see anything in the pickup bed that needed put together, so I’m guessing it cannot be too bad. I’m thinking she found a chicken she just could not live without. And then, I see “it”. It ain’t no Silkie. It ain’t no chicken at all.

We are now the proud possession of the newest addition to our zoological garden or should I say “circus”. Do you remember the television show, “ALF”, about the alien creature from outer space? Well she landed in our yard. Her name is now “Alfie”. This new Airedale puppy will be just fine as soon as the Poodle makeover is complete. Apollo has already begun the training.

In training

Me, too. Training Alfie to pick pockets, that is.

Pocket 3

I also have an idea about not loaning out the pickup to the “Rancherette” when she wants to go to First Monday Trade Days next month.

Fashionable

Yesterday, the “Rancherette” and the “Rancherwriterpoet” went to get their monthly hairdo. The 2nd Tuesday of every month we make this trip. She goes to the hair stylist, while I go to the barber. Please understand, the same person who does the actual work on each of us is one and the same. Angie has been cutting my hair for over five years and the “Rancherette’s” for much longer.

While the “Rancherette” gets her hair fixed, mine only gets cut. It is a scheduled part of our routine. Since I get mine cut first, we go in separate vehicles, because I do not want to wait for two hours when she sits in the chair. They have no TV in the waiting room and even if they did, it would probably be tuned to the “View” or WE network or, even worse, Oprah. Not that I have anything against Oprah, but I would rather watch ESPN and you know I am not about to change any channels in a beauty shop. But, like I said they do not have a TV.

The only magazines on the table are those that are more directed towards the female gender. I think they share magazines with my doctor. People Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, you know the type.  I do not know why they can’t ever have a Sports Illustrated, or NFL magazine even a Super Hero comic book would be nice. But then again, all the hair stylists/barbers in this establishment are female. Most of their customers are female. I do not have a problem with that.

The problem I do have is that I always get the feeling the women are talking about me. They snicker and talk in low tones. They share pictures with each other on their “smart” phones and not with me. I have no idea what they are sharing. Not that I am curious or anything. Occasionally someone will laugh out loud. I smile as though I know what they are talking about, but …

I never see anyone pointing at me, but I notice that there are eyes sometimes looking in my direction. Talk about being paranoid.  Of course, I could always go to a “real” barbershop. But, then, I do like my haircuts. And you know us old folks, we don’t like change.

Well, this trip to the hair stylist/barber was a very interesting time. We are in the middle of spring break and the teenage grandson is spending time with the “Rancherette” (AKA, Memaw) and me. He knew in advance that we would be going for our monthly “do” so he would be going with us. Later, he would go shopping with his “Memaw” for school clothes.

I was to go first, as I always do, then she would follow with Kyle riding with her. Here is where things began to get interesting. He asked the “Rancherette” (AKA, Memaw) if he could get a ‘mullet’. Her reply?  Not in Memaw’s world. She said she was not going to be responsible for sending him home looking like that. She reminded him that his mother would likely not approve of that, either. So, the “Rancherette” (AKA Memaw), texts the Mom. Her reply?  “not no, but **** NO!” (You don’t know, it could mean heck.)  No, he cannot have a ‘mullet’! End of story”.  Not quite.

th

He asks, “Memaw, can I borrow your phone?” “What for?” “To call my mom.” “Why?” “To ask her if I can get a ‘mullet’.” The “Rancherette” (AKA Memaw) relents, being the kind and gracious Memaw any kid would be proud to have. He calls his Mom. When he hangs up, he says, “Mom said I could get a ‘mullet’.” Around here, we are accustomed to speaking the truth.

I mullet-cartoon-i8 asked the “Rancherette” if I could get a ‘mullet’. Her reply? Not no, but **** NO! (You don’t know, it could mean heck)

I am always interested in the hairdo the “Rancherette” gets, but me not so much.

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