One day at The Ranch Store I realized that I had not written a love letter to you, my dear reader, in over 2 months. Please forgive me. I have kept you in my thoughts and now once again at my finger tips.

So did you have a happy holiday season? I certainly hope so. Now is the time of year for new beginnings and resolutions. I am a weakling, no willpower whatsoever, so I don’t usually make resolutions. I fear failure. Last year I did give up chewing gum. Now, you may say, “big deal”. Let me tell you, it IS a big deal. you may have no idea how many people have badger breath and don’t know it. Dealing with customers, I never want to be one of those people. What got me to give up gum was how I looked chewing it. I actually watched myself in the mirror one day. Heaven forbid I concentrate on myself while eating a meal. I might become anorexic. Anyway, chewing gum gone, breath mints in. One bad habit exchanged for another.

Are all resolutions an exchange? For me, maybe. Let’s ponder a few that may be for the better. Better for me and The Ranch Store anyway. This year and from now on I will sincerely TRY to not judge people by the clothes or lack there of that they choose to shop in. Instead I will mentally picture myself in these pieces of attire and laugh at myself. Heaven only knows how many people laugh at the way I dress anyway.

I will TRY to listen to the whole problem without thinking, “just shoot it”.  After all I can’t sell feed to people without animals. Heaven only knows how many people laugh at the silly problems I choose to share with them.

I will TRY to be less of a control freak. This is a big one for me, and I scratch my head in a very annoying way when I am contemplating doing something I really have NO intention of doing. Just writing these past two sentences has given me a bald spot. Yes, I know The Ranch Store is not a one person operation, but someone has to be the surgeon, right? I know without any reservation that anyone can do what I do, but no one can do it the WAY I do. That is my basis of my problem. So here’s the trade, give me ME and I will delegate more. We will have twice the fun we do now.

Let’s go for four, just because I have problems with odd numbers. (They can be so lonely.) I will TRY to give up some of my paranoia and superstitions. Already I can see a fail on this one. Yes, I am one of those who has lucky underwear and won’t pick up a penny if it is face down. On the other hand, I am a true believer of Karma. What Karma has to do with a likeness of good old Abe Lincoln kissing the pavement, I’m not sure. Could be a warning to keep my eyes straight ahead so I do end up kissing the pavement. Heaven only knows how many people laugh at me for knocking on wood CONSTANTLY.

Ok, now for somethings I have no intention of changing. I am going to laugh every day. I am going to try to lighten any burden that is shared with me. I am going to be thankful for EVERY THING.

Last thing – Tights aren’t pants and real men don’t wear buns

And from The Ranch Store, all the best to you in 2016.

©Ginger Ranch 2016


Vacant Thoughts

One day at The Ranch Store , well it was really wasn’t a day at all,  I was actually nursing a hangover on my back porch. Still, I think about the Ranch Store all the time and share stories with the people in my life , including you faithful reader. I hope you have been as entertained as they seem to be when I tell my tales.

One such story happened on a Labor Day weekend. A long time customer came in on Sunday, and we chatted about his plans for the last day of the Holiday weekend. He said he had to go to a local lake that is very popular with fishermen and skiers to look for his bother-in-law’s leg. I was horrified and asked how he lost his leg in the first place. This is how our conversation went , “He was water skiing and it fell off, the impact with the water took his leg off.”  Oh my gosh! When did this happen? My customer was far too calm, in my opinion, but maybe he doesn’t like his brother-in-law all that much. “Yesterday. We marked the spot with a buoy, and will go back after lunch and get it. We have a fish finder (a sonar device fishermen use to locate fish and missing limbs) and diving equipment. It shouldn’t be too hard to recover.” Holy crap! Don’t you think it’s too late too reattach? Don’t you think that it has not become fish food by now? Is your brother-in-law going to be ok? My customer is trying to compose himself as to not embarrass me. “Ginger, my brother-in-law lost his artificial leg. They are too expensive to replace. We HAVE to find it, and we will.”

We still laugh about that conversation, and no, I did not go fishing or skiing on my on my day off.

And that’s all from The Ranch Store .

©Ginger Ranch 2015

Help, my chicken can’t poop !

One day at the Ranch Store we were talking about how the chicks we sold in the Spring are all grown up now ,  most are laying their first eggs or are in freezers .

As I have mentioned before, for chickens there is only one exit for anything that passes through their bodies. They tend to have problems in that area from time to time, and we get calls to help customers help their chickens through these difficulties.

Baby chicks can experience stress from shipping. When they arrive, we give them a special cocktail of warm water mixed with sugar, vitamins, electrolytes and probiotics. They usually arrive early in the a.m. after being in a box travelling on several different flights for 2 or 3 days. They would probably prefer Bloody Marys  I’m just making an assumption, if I were in their place, I would want alcohol.

We give them that special mix to prevent poopy or as I like to call it, gunky butt. This is a condition where poop sticks to the fuzz of baby chicks or feathers of adult birds to the point where it accumulates and hardens then will eventually plug the vent (hole). If this does happen, the only treatment is too soften the poop with warm water, clean it off, dry the bird so the other birds won’t pick on it and continue with probiotics in their drinking water.

Last week, a customer was more than concerned when she called to ask for help with this problem on one of her adult hens. With adult birds this happens most often they are fed more treats in the form of kitchen scraps, bird seed or other feed not intended for chickens. Feed producers have these rations figured out, they just don’t throw a bunch of stuff in a bag and call it chicken feed. They want your animals to be healthy and produce to your expectations because it’s best for the animals and for their business. We all need to remember that treats are just that, treats.

To help her alleviate her stress, I walked her through the process of soaking the chicken’s butt in warm water until the poop softened enough to be removed. Then told her to be sure a dry the bird then apply some Vaseline to the inflamed area to protect it and sooth the soreness. Cause that shit hurts, and a bunch of shit is going to come out once that hole is cleared.

She called back a few minutes later to say that she still was having trouble removing one glob of poo. I told her she might have to cut it off. She said she was afraid she would cut blood feathers and her chicken would bleed to death. (Blood feathers are pin feathers that replace mature feathers once a bird goes through the natural molting process and can bleed.) I explained to her what to look for and what not to cut away and assured her that her chicken would be fine.

She called back a few minutes later to say that her chicken was pooping white poop. I did not have the composure to ask her what color poop her other chickens were making. Once again, I assured her that everything would be alright and that she needed to come see us for some probiotics and a complete commercial laying ration for her flock. She asked if she could give her chickens yogurt. Of course you can, but how about we try a more concentrated form specifically produced for CHICKENS?

Who knew raising a family flock would be so hard? In my next post I think I will teach you about what to do when your hens get egg bound. Bet you can’t hardly wait.

And that’s all for this day at the Ranch Store.

©Ginger Ranch 2015

What Can We Get for You Today

One day at The Ranch Store I was contemplating other retail places where customers place orders at a counter. Of course, I am froth slave and worship at the feet of the black elixir of life  , well one of them anyway  ( elixir of life comes in several forms  ) .

I would think that some of the most common complaints there would be:

The customer who steps up to place an order and has not made up their mind before hand ” Give me a large no medium , no large , skinny , no keep the whip cream , no skinny,  soy mocha with 2 no 3 no 2 pumps of hazelnut …”

The customer who has such a long list of special requests for one drink that the coffee person (barista cracks me up. Maybe I’m a hayista. That’s probably something really nasty in Spanish. I will look it up later.) will never remember it all, Let alone get it right. Then when their order comes out wrong they come up and complain , it’s just coffee people so what if it cost you $6 , just drink it .

The one who wants 3 ice cubes in her coffee not 2 not 4 but 3 .

The guy who wants black coffee , why are you here ?

People who order off the secret menu ( google it and then try it )

How about the one who, sorry Ladies, digs through their purse or wallet FOREVER looking for the right change to pay for their order once it has been placed. Hey lady it’s 2016 use your phone , no not the landline in your house , why are you here ?

I’m sure there are other customer peeves for the employees at this type of establishment, these are just what I would consider to be among the top ten.

Keeping that all in mind and I have gone off on irritating customers before, I think that it explains one of my biggest gripes. This would be the customer who comes to the register to tell me that they want 3 bales of grass hay, a bag of equine senior, a wheat bran, a rice bran and a trace mineral block. I start to ring up the sale and the customer walks away to do more shopping . This isn’t Amazon you can’t walk away from your cart and come back in a couple hours to check out .

We do NOT have a coffee pot available to customers, although it has been suggested. Me, a barista, bahaaha . Off to get a venti nutella mocha with soy milk and 3 ice cubes .

And that’s all for this day at The Ranch Store.

©Ginger Ranch 2016

Will trade for …

One day at the Ranch Store I was looking over the bulletin board. Every store like ours has one for people who want to buy, sell or trade just about anything you can imagine. This can include sex ( animal stud services).  I was condensing, rearranging and removing out of date ads. There was some pretty funny stuff there ….

“Looking for a place to move 7 goats. A pen or corral that will be temporary while we look for a new place to live. We will provide the feed. Please call..” Once they drop off the goats and one bale of hay, you will never see them AGAIN. Their phone number will mysteriously not be in service, and you will be the proud owner of 7 goats. Heaven forbid you sell or give them away. That will be the exact day the original owner DOES come back to claim their goats.

For sale or trade bombproof kids horse , you can do anything with him , he’s seen it all and done it all . Will trade for firewood or snow plow blade , no 420 ” . Bombproof kids horse means he is at least old enough to drink , probably has special needs and has no teeth .

“Free feral kittens and cats perfect for children , you catch , bring your own gloves and sack ”

“Will trade 7 goats for 420 ”

“Please help. My wife left me and took my truck and dog. Her name is Liza,  she is  beautiful and has been with me for 4 years.  I know I have been such a fool and now I have to get her back. She was last seen in a black 2012 F350 with personalized plates “BRD DOG”. She may be with a snanky, blue eyed, bleach blonde tramp named Tammy. If you see her please call me at XXX-XXXX, or the police.  ” That’s an old one but a good one .

Then there are the “looking for a good home” ads, people want to be assured that their precious chicken, rabbit or goat doesn’t end up on someone’s dinner table (Most people who raise pigs and cattle, know these animals will be consumed.) Well guess what people, once these animals leave your care, you have no say in how they end up. If your want them to live until they die of old age, keep them. Don’t try to dictate to people who are doing you a favor by taking your unwanted animals.

We have service ads too. Farriers, pet sitters, poop removers, mobile slaughter and butcher service, fence builders, dog groomers as well as real estate agents and people selling scented oils.

I have seen a couple of personal ads over the years. There are a lot of lonely people out there.  ” Worn out clerk who gets an employee discount at the Ranch Store seeks hot young dude , with a tight body and a weak mind , animals ok ,  NO MAN BUNS

And that’s all for this day at the Ranch Store.

©Ginger Ranch 2015

The Mikes

One day at The Ranch Store I was thinking about all the guys I know who are named Mike. It could be my age or that I blackout when I drink too much but there are a lot. This must have been a very popular name about the time I was born. We talk about customers and we are descriptive so we know who we are talking about.

It is a proven fact that most people when describing someone else, start with their sex, then age, race and distinguishing characteristics. Like this, a guy around 45, white, glasses, balding, big mustache and has a wooden leg. We just take it a little bit further. For instance, there is one Mike that is referred to as MY Mike. There is not much that makes him stand out, he is not a pain in the ass, he’s not a flirt. He is just a friendly guy who happens to prefer me, his name happens to be Mike.

Let’s talk about a few of the others. There are 2 Mikes that are farriers, both are great guys who we call Michael with their surnames. I know this seems very formal but  again these are just nice customers and this is the best way to tell them apart. We then have Wild Bird Seed Mike, because he only buys , you guessed it wild bird seed. We have 2 couples that are Mike and Pam,  one is Mobile Mechanic Mike and the other is Carpet Installer Mike. We have Big Blue Ford Mike, Red Bearded Mike. We have one Mike that travels 90 miles one way to see me shop with us, he lives in a rural part of the state , we call him  Alfalfa Mike. As before, a lot of these guys are named for their jobs, Roofer Mike, UPS Mike, Realtor Mike (he’s intense), Trucker Mike, Roper Mike, Policeman Mike.  There are no Magic Mikes, that I am aware of but then we all have our secrets and fantasies. The list could go on forever longer than this but you get my point.

What makes this most interesting is the fact that I have NEVER, honestly NEVER, met a person named Mike that I haven’t liked or got along with . I can not say the same for the female counter parts such as Michelle or any other variation.

So to all you Mikes, keep it up. You have always made me feel special and I hope I have returned the favor . As for the Steves and Garys who are in the same age group, you guys have some work to do, but that’s another story or two.

And that’s all for this day at The Ranch Store.

©Ginger Ranch 2015

Rainman of Retail

One day at the Ranch Store a co-worker commented that I am the Rainman of Retail , (ok she really said idiot savant ) I seem to be able to recall esoteric details about people and items . I haven’t memorized the phone book and I don’t add numbers in my head but I do have pretty good recall .

To prove her point she asked me a bunch of questions that went something like this

Who is John’s wife ? “Which John , Smith , Jones , Thompson ?” John Brown ” Well his first wife was Renee , his second wife was Lupe and his current wife is Irina who he mail ordered from the Ukraine . 

What would you feed a lamb to get it ready for the fair ?  Nutrena Showmaster Start to Finish

My dog has ring worm ? Use Fungasol shampoo and ointment and don’t let it roll in cow shit .

I want to preserve my deer hide for the taxidermist ? Sprinkle it all over with fine salt

Who won the men’s World Cup in 1978? Argentina (I’m not even a futball fan, unless Manchester as competing with Manchester. Doesn’t happen often enough)

My hog has worms? SafeGuard multi species deworm pellets

Can I vaccinate my horses for West Nile? Yes

My dog eats poop! Potty Mouth (this is an actual product used to treat coprophagia fancy word for shit eating)

Do you have a protein supplement for cattle? Purina AR tub

How can I attract owls? Raise chickens or cats.

Can I control flies in my horses poop? Fly bait or feed through with Simplifly ( try cleaning their pens )

What kind of horse feed does Jane buy? Jane Smith , Jane Brown or Jane Chavez?  Jane Smith ? Rice bran pellets, beet pulp pellets, Strategy GX

What’s the best seed for pasture where is no irrigation available? Dry land pasture mix

My horse lost a shoe on the trail ? Tell Horny to quit looking at your boobs and put in enough nails to keep the shoe on .

What is the square root of 729? 82  (I told you I don’t do math in my head )

Can I take Fish Mox? Why not ?

What color is my underwear? You aren’t wearing underwear.

How did you know I wasn’t wearing underwear ? Your pajama bottoms slipped down your ass when you bent over to look at Fish Mox ( it won’t cure STD’s ) .

I have answered so many questions most are pretty common place. It takes a lot to stump me but it can be done. Just this week I had someone ask me how to dehorn a mature goat with no bleeding.  You can’t even YouTube that ,  so there. Any other questions?

And that’s all for this day at The Ranch Store.

©Ginger Ranch 2015