My four-year-old likes to say the blessing at mealtimes, usually repeating the same short prayer: “Thank you, God, for this gracious food. Amen.”
One evening, however, he thanked the Lord for the birds, the trees, each of his friends, and asked God to watch over his family and help them to be good. I was thrilled that he was finally praying from the heart.
But after the “Amen,” he took a spoonful of stew, gasped, then dropped his spoon into the bowl. “I should have said a longer prayer,” he said. “My food is still too hot.”
HEAR YE, HEAR YE
During a revival meeting, an evangelist asked the people in line what they needed.
One man’s request was for his hearing. The evangelist spit on his finger, put it in the man’s ear, prayed for him and then asked him, “How’s your hearing now?”
He said, “I don’t know – it’s next Tuesday.”
While waiting in line at the bank, a co-worker developed a very loud case of hiccups. By the time he reached the teller’s window, the hiccups seemed to have worsened. The teller took my friend’s check and proceeded to run a computer verification of his account. After a minute she looked up from her terminal with a frown and said that she would be unable to cash his check.
“Why not?” my friend asked incredulously.
“I’m sorry, sir,” she replied, “but our computer indicates that you do not have sufficient funds to cover this amount. As a matter of fact,” she continued, “our records show your account overdrawn in excess of $5000.”
“It can’t be!” he cried. “You have to be kidding!”
“Yes, I am,” she answered with a smile, counting out his cash. “But you will notice that your hiccups are gone.”
Not expecting to do well on the economics exam, Bill was heartened by the first question: In any given year, and to the nearest ton, how much wheat did the United States export?
Smiling confidently, he wrote, “In 1492, none.”
Farmer Jones was telling a story about milking cows by hand. On one occasion as he was milking, a fly was flying around his head. As he shewed it away, it flew up to the cow’s head and right into her ear.
And as he was milking, he saw a fly drop into the bucket. He figured it must have gone into one ear and out the udder.
Random Robby Thoughts
People think “icy” is the easiest word to spell… Come to think of it, I see why
Grocery store product sign: Take lettuce from top of stack, or heads will roll!
Why did the bacterium cross the microscope? To get to the other slide.
What do you get if you cross a turtle with a porcupine? A slowpoke.
Not wanting to stub his toe when he kicked the bucket – Aha – That’s why he wanted to die with his boots on…
I think I figured out why my dog, Corgi is such a bad dancer – two left feet
The Gift That Keeps Giving
My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods.
We’ve discovered that when I’m in a good mood, it turns green. When I’m in a bad mood, it leaves a big red mark on his forehead.
Maybe next time he’ll buy me a diamond. Stupid man!
Hold Your Powder
A tough old cowboy from South Texas counseled his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gun powder on his oatmeal every morning.
The grandson did this religiously to the age of 103 when he died.
He left behind 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great-grandchildren, and a 15-foot crater where the crematorium used to be.
TESTING POSITIVE (In the Old Days)
A little boy sent a “get well quick” card to his grandfather in the hospital. Inside the card he wrote:
Mama tells me that you went to the hospital for some tests. I hope you get an “A”!
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back country.
As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost; and being a typical man, I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left, and they were eating lunch. I felt bad and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down, and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man. And as I played “Amazing Grace,” the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.
As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”
Why can’t men just ask for directions?
The gladiator was having a rough day in the arena. His opponent had sliced off both of his arms.
Nevertheless, he kept on fighting, kicking and biting as furiously as he could.
But when his opponent lopped off both feet, our gladiator had no choice but to give up, for now he was both unarmed and defeated.
Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married. One broom was, of course, the bride broom and the other the groom broom.
The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely. After the wedding at the wedding dinner, the bride broom leaned over and said to the groom broom “I think I am going to have a little whisk broom.”
“Impossible!” said the groom broom.
“We haven’t even swept together!”
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. “Is that a dog you got back there?” he asked.
“It sure is,” I replied.
Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, “What’d he do?”
This Chuck Wagon Chef Followed His Heart—and His Stomach
He’s dedicated his life to keeping the art of cooking for cowboys alive and well.
by Kent Rollins From Guide Post – Posted on Jul 27, 2020
Texas’s Palo Duro Canyon gets mighty cold in December. Especially at 3:45 in the morning. My hands, my whole body, felt frozen as I rolled out of my 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon. I could barely hold a match to the lantern, the wind blowing from the north. “God, let this catch,” I muttered.
The cowboys were still asleep, though they’d be stirring before long. It’s my job as cook to be up first, firing up Bertha—my 385-pound, wood-burning camp stove—and get enough eggs and bacon going to feed a small battalion. An army moves on its stomach, they say. A cattle drive is no different. Without a hearty breakfast…brother, we’ve got problems. It’s all riding on me.
I gave up a good-paying, secure job to become a chuck wagon cook. At the time, it felt like what I was meant to do. But on mornings like this, a warm bed sure did seem inviting. I went to the barrel to get water for coffee, but it was frozen solid. I’d have to chop it to get some in the percolator. Lord, what am I doing here? I wondered. Just then, the lantern blew out.
My whole life, I’d been around cowboys. I was the youngest of four children, and my daddy ran about 250 cows on a small ranch in southwest Oklahoma, some of the most beautiful and desolate land on God’s earth.
When I was eight, I went on my first cattle drive, moving a herd 10 miles. Just like here in the canyon, it was still dark when we saddled our horses and led them out of the pen. We paused, and Daddy said, “Let us not forget we all have Someone beside us, Someone to help us as we ride along. So let’s cowboy up and get it done.” It was a long, hard day, and there were times I wanted to quit, not that I ever let on. The next morning, my entire body was sore. Still, I stood a little taller that day, even if it made my muscles ache more.
There came another day when I awoke and the temperature was barely five degrees, the wind blowing something fierce. Daddy and the other cowboys went about their chores regardless, but my mama held me back. “Why don’t you and I make a chocolate cake today?” she said.
I took another look outside, the men bracing themselves against the cold, and quickly agreed. Mama told me the ingredients I needed to find and began spooning flour and sugar into a bowl. “How do you know how much to use?” I asked. I’d never seen her look at a recipe to cook anything.
“Each ingredient has a purpose,” she said. “It’s like a team that works together. It’s about finding the right balance. You’ll make mistakes at first, but that’s how you learn.”
Soon the house was filled with the sweet aroma of rich, velvety chocolate. The heat from the oven was warm and welcoming.
“You know what comes next?” Mama asked me.
“Eating!” I said.
Mama laughed. “First comes cleaning up,” she said, filling the sink with hot soapy water. Hmm, even fun jobs required hard work. “The joy of cooking isn’t about the eating. It’s about seeing the smiles on people’s faces.”
I didn’t quite see how a smile could beat a piece of chocolate cake until I was a few years older. I was 15, and Daddy, my brother and I were pitching in at a friend’s ranch, an annual custom called neighboring up. Around midday, I heard an old feller, sweat running down his face, say, “We better get paid well today.” Wow, we’re getting cash money, I thought.
Then I looked up to see car after car coming down the driveway, wives and moms bringing platters of fried chicken, breaded pork chops, salads of all kinds, cakes and pies. The cowboys were grinning from ear to ear. To this day, I remember how good that food tasted after a morning of hard work.
That afternoon, the cowboys worked twice as hard, laughing and cutting up. Me included. I thought about what Mama had said about why she liked to cook. To be able to give folks that much pleasure, well, that seemed pretty special. I knew there were men who specialized in cooking for cattle drives. I set my mind to figuring out how I could do that.
That’s how I found myself on cattle drives in places like Palo Duro. Now the lantern was lit again, and it was almost toasty with Bertha throwing out her mesquite-fueled loving. The cowboys gathered round the table, warming their hands on cups of coffee. “Let’s bow our heads,” I said. “Dear Father, we thank you for all you’ve given us. Bless this food and help us get through this day without any bad accidents. Amen.”
The fellers ate quickly. When they were done, they tipped their hats. “Mighty good,” one cowboy said. They mounted up, the sun barely peeking over the horizon. “Let’s hit a trot,” I heard someone say. “We’re burning daylight.” I felt a tinge of sadness watching them ride off. As important as I know breakfast is, it still seemed like I was on the outside looking in. How much could a plate of eggs and bacon really matter?
My first chance to cook for cowboys came after high school. An uncle in New Mexico who worked as a hunting guide invited me to cook for his clients. I jumped at the chance. I didn’t have Bertha then. I cooked over pits I dug in the ground. The wind blew dirt and burning embers over me. And I quickly learned how much I didn’t know about cooking. Such as how elevation affects how dough rises. Where we were camped was more than 3,000 feet above sea level.
One morning, I made biscuits for breakfast, the way Mama had showed me. But they hardly rose at all and tasted like shoe leather. “Is this flatbread?” an old-timer asked.
“It’s the only bread we’ve got,” I said. I felt like a failure. Still, hadn’t Mama said mistakes were part of learning? I tinkered with the ingredients, and the next time they came out better, still not perfect but more recognizable as biscuits. Cooking was hard work, but I loved the camaraderie with the other men, seeing their smiles as they dug into breakfast.
But Daddy was getting older and needed my help at the ranch. I moved back home. There was no time for cooking, especially after Daddy was diagnosed with cancer. Running the ranch fell to me. I worked 20-hour days trying to keep things together.
After Daddy passed, the pressure on me only grew. I took a job operating a road grader for the county highway department to make ends meet. The pay was good and came with a retirement pension. I wasn’t happy, though. I missed cowboy culture, the joy I got from cooking. But how could I give up the security of a government job to chase after a dream? Besides, cattle drives weren’t exactly common anymore. Maybe I’d just been born at the wrong time.
I told Mama everything I was struggling with. “You need to do what makes you happy,” she said. “We’ll trust God with the rest. He’ll see us through with the ranch.”
It was nearly dusk in Palo Duro. It had been a long day for all of us. We’d moved the herd 10 miles, no mean feat in freezing temperatures. In the distance, I could see the cowboys coming back into camp. Bertha was throwing off a ton of heat, the hickory logs inside her crackling. Soon she’d be cooking platters of chicken fried steak to perfection. I already had potatoes and blueberry pie going in my Dutch ovens.
My menu offerings had grown more sophisticated since my days in New Mexico, cooking over open pits. My world had changed dramatically. Word had spread, and I was traveling all over Texas and Oklahoma, cooking for cowboys. The governor had named me the official chuck wagon of Oklahoma. Still, every meal I cooked felt like a new test. Especially in these conditions. The cowboys rode in. One of them—a crusty sort—dismounted and shuffled over to me, sniffing the air. The other men would be following his lead.
With no warning, he wrapped his arm around my neck. “You sure do make a feller feel at home,” he said.
Home. I couldn’t have imagined a bigger compliment. We were nowhere near the comforts of civilization, and yet through my cooking, I’d done my part to create a feeling of family, of belonging. A reminder, that even on a cold December day in Palo Duro, we had Someone helping us as we rode along. God would see to it, just as Mama said.
“The pleasure’s all mine,” I said.