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Panhandle Poetry and Other Thoughts

Whatever comes to mind about the people, the places, current (or not so current) events, philosophy, culture, or whatever, that might in some remote way be related to the Texas Panhandle or other places that I want to talk about! (All rights to the conten

Updated: 2016-09-07T23:24:26.070-05:00


The Confederate Battle Flag Controversy


Racial tensions between blacks and non-blacks seem to be at the highest level they have been in many years -- at least according to our politicians and members of the media.  I haven't observed that heightened tension.  Is it because of where I live? -- deep East Texas where the mix of the skin colors is at a nearly equal level.  I recently spent several days in Virginia and North Carolina where

Coffee Jitters


I like a steaming cup of Joe To start my every day; It helps to clear the morning fog And send me on the way. Two cups before I head to work Seems just the thing I need; One won't do and more than two Sends my motor in high speed. But, days like this, so wet and cold Cause me to want to sip About a gallon of the stuff At a slow and stately clip. Then sometime 'long about mid-day It catches up

Thankful to be Inside Today


Rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow and a little thunder -- that's the weather report folks!  Just day before yesterday I was taking photos of a tree that is almost in full leaf.  So far the freezing rain has been on surfaces above ground -- like my windshield, the pickup door that I was barely able to open, the gate that was frozen shut -- but, not the streets.  Maybe it will stay warm enough

Rainy Weekend Forecast and My Real Focus


Working a full time job makes it hard to do the things I want to at the ranch.  It is worse when the weekend weather doesn't cooperate.  We have had beautiful weather this week, but starting today it is supposed to rain and continue through the weekend.  I can get some things done if it isn't too heavy, but if it is a "soaker" I am stuck indoors for the most part.  Part of my current job is

Getting Serious


There are a lot of weighty things going on in this old world.  If I began a list of them here, it would stretch for page after page (or, is that screen after screen?).  When I allow myself to dive into thoughts of all that is going on I become angry, or depressed, or I choose to "wall myself off" and focus on less weighty things.  But, the relevant question is, "If not me, then who?" Nothing

Brush and Thorns


I know that I have posted recently about clearing brush from fence rows on our place.  I am also clearing brush and junk trees from all over the place.  In fact, there is at least 40 acres of junk trees growing where it should be clear pasture with the occasional, scattered oak tree for shade.  It's a messy tangle of thorns where there should be grass. I could hire someone with a bulldozer to

A Little Travel


I spent a lot of years traveling for work.  I know that I've posted about it before, but it is what is on my mind.  For the past year, I haven't had to travel much.  It might be because I was semi-unemployed/self-employed/underemployed/whatever you want to call it.  But, with my new job, there will be a small amount of travel. I got in late last night from Milwaukee.  I attended a school for

Sleep Where Ar't Thou.....


Don't you just hate those nights when you can't sleep well?  It may be that it is difficult to fall asleep for some reason, or worse yet, you go to bed exhausted and fall immediately to sleep, only to wake up an hour later and toss and turn the rest of the night.  Yeah, that was my night last night. I was tired and went to bed at a reasonable hour.  I read some before turning out the light which

A Cold and Dreary Day


The sound of gentle rain Seeps into my consciousness As I awaken Moments before the alarm. A sense of dreariness, Much like the promised day, Permeates My still-tired body. The routine of shower, Breakfast, shave and dress Does little To break the spell of weariness. The mist is too light for continuous Yet, too much for intermittent Settings On my windshield wipers. The sound of tires On wet

Cattle Working Facility


Yesterday I posted about Progress.  One of the things that I mentioned was the progress on our new corrals/vet barn.  I thought today a few photos might be in order.   The support posts have been set for the roof of the structure that will cover the working area.   The pile of sand is for mixing the concrete foundation for the Vet Shack and chute/scales.   Here are the forms for

Random Thoughts on Progress


Yesterday the contractor started work on our barn/vet shed at the ranch.  It will take them a couple of weeks to complete the structure -- not because of size, but because concrete will have to dry.  It is just a simple structure, but important to our cattle working. It's good to see progress.  One of my co-workers rode out with me after work yesterday to check the progress.  As I drove him



Working a full-time job during the week means that I have only the occasional hour or so after work to devote to the ranch.  Of course, those snatched hours are dependent on being able to get away shortly after 5:00 which rarely happens.  I keep a change of clothes in the pickup just in case though.  I will be glad when the days get longer and there is more daylight in the evenings so that I can

Hurrying to Work


Yesterday, after I got off work from my "day job," I headed out to the ranch to try and accomplish something before the sun went down.  I changed clothes in the middle of the pasture and spent about an hour dragging and piling brush before it became so dark that I couldn't see anymore.  That might seem a little strange to some folks.  It in fact would have seemed strange to me once upon a time.



Yesterday I attended a Cattlemen's Conference along with the President of our bank.  We were a sponsor and had a booth.  Since leaving my last job I have missed doing that sort of thing.  I always enjoyed Trade Shows and Conferences.  Our purpose was to hopefully make a few contacts that could be developed into new business.  We came away with several.  It is now my job to follow up and follow

Plumbing Problems


Sometimes wisdom is knowing the difference between when to attempt the repair yourself and when to call in the expert.  On the surface it looked like a simple clog.  So, I unclogged it.  The problems began when I discovered a crack in the pipe.  I quickly realized it was old a friable and prone to break with little pressure.  It was no place for an amateur. We called a plumber.  I'm glad we



We recently purchased a piece of property that had been somewhat neglected for many years.  Much of the pasture has been allowed to be overtaken by trees and brush.  The fences are in extreme disrepair and grown up with trees and small shrubs.  The corral is still in decent shape because it was made of steel pipe, but it is poorly designed and appears to have been built in the 1960's.  The

Full Circle


It would be appropriate to say that my career has come full circle.  Although it was not my first job out of college, my first career choice was banking.  When I was at A&M, a very wise individual asked me the question, "If you could do anything for a career, what would it be?"  I answered, "Rancher." He then proceeded to ask me about resources that I might have at my disposal.  "Does your

Another Year -- And It's Going to be a Good One!


Another year is past.  Welcome to 2015!  When I wrote those words a few minutes after Midnight in a Facebook post, I followed them with, "Sounds like the title of a science fiction movie...."  If you are my age or older, you will understand. I can recall as a much younger person wondering if I would see the new century.  In 1978, I would have been 20 years old.  The new century was farther away



Memories of special Christmases cross my mind as I sit this morning in anticipation of having all of my children and grandchildren here later today.  I reflect on the where and the what and the who.  Some things that stand out in my mind are my first shotgun -- received at Christmas when I was 12 years old on a trip to my Grandmother's house in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.  From there we traveled to

Oh, What If I Am Wrong?


Sometimes making decisions Of the highly consequential kind Can drive a wedge of fear Into the unwary mind. It's the fear of consequences That might occur should I be wrong. But, fear can often bind us From reaching for the stars. It binds us to forever stand Within these earthly bars. Instead we wring our hands and cry, "Oh, what if I am wrong?!" While swirling 'bout our throbbing head

Heritage of Scotland


I have been interested in my ancient family heritage for years.  The McClure Clan, of which I am a member, is a sept of Clan McCleod of Harris.  I've done a little research, but not a great deal -- just enough to learn that the earliest McClure's to come to the New World came in the early and mid 1700's.  James and Andrew are two of the most common male names in the family tree and are still



What makes us tick? What gives us drive? What gives us joy to be alive? Is it the things we do each day? Is it our job that gives us pay? Is it our work that lights our way? What is our game? What sees us through? What is it that we want to do? Is it our family? Is it our home? Is it our friends upon the phone? What pumps our heart? What makes it beat? What puts the motion in our feet? Is it

Starting a New Business


This isn't the first time that I've found myself involved in a new business startup.  In fact, I have been involved in three at different levels.  The first was a local Veterinary supply business which was started in 1991.  I was hired as the first manager and I had lots of guidance and input from the owners.  It was successful and profitable and is still in business. The second was a new

Centrism and the Smell of Ozone


No matter what we do, or how hard we try, the world of each of us is centered on self.  We can't help it.  "I am the center of my universe" is true for everyone.  It doesn't matter whether one lives in the slums of Nairobi or in the lap of luxury, each and every day is all about "me."  What will I eat?  What will I do?  Even if we claim to help others, the first question we must ask is "How can

Hounds Come Home


  I don't know what came over me.....a pair of One-year old female Redbone Hounds now reside with us.  I have to plead temporary insanity.      We had a male Redbone a little over 10 years ago.  We called him Beauregard -- Beau for short.  I have written about him.  He may have been my favorite dog we ever owned.  I'm not sure why.  I think it must be in my blood to like hounds.  It was