Thursday, April 13, 2017

Granny's New Ride

Granny's New Ride
by Cinda Muench

The horse I'd had for twenty some odd years had served well, and done a great job,
but it was time now for me to get a new mount, and it couldn't be any old cobb!

No, I was getting up some in age, and I needed a ride who was steady,
one that I could just jump on and go, and he'd always be willing and ready!

I knew the right equine would be hard to find, so I researched and studied and pondered,
and thought about the qualities my mount would need, so I could ride till I reached a hundred.

First off, my mount couldn't be tall, cause getting on would be quite an ordeal,
and the cowboys we ride with, love to poke fun, so he'd also have to be able to kneel!

Also, I wanted a steed who'd grow old!  I wanted him to live to be fifty!
I didn't want to train one ever again... and, since I was dreaming, I added... he'd be thrifty.

Yep, cheap to buy, and cheap to feed, he'd be smart, and loving, and kind,
no shoes to replace, he'd be obedient, and of course, he'd be beautifully refined!

I'd teach him to pick things up for me, in case my back ever starts giving me pain,
he could retrieve the brush that I drop, or the blanket or bridle or reins.

...and if I'm riding out in the pasture one day and we stumble across nasty old trash,
I could just say, “Pick it up, my friend!” and he'd hand to me in a flash!

I smiled as I imagined the delight I'd see, in my precious grandkid's eyes, 
if I taught my new mount how to smile and kiss! Yes, this equine would be a fine prize!

Gas prices were soaring higher each day, so I decided he'd also pull a cart,
he could take me where I needed to go!  He'd be a masterpiece straight from my heart!

After months and months of research and thought, I finally found the right breed,
but I wanted to make sure he was trained from birth, so he could do each of the things I would need!

So we bought his dam and he was born on the ranch, he was a beautiful, leggy young guy!
Now I had to figure the perfect name, cause he'd be with me till the day that I'd die!

What to name, what to name, what to name, this fine beast, who'd take good care of me as I grow old?
I'd love him and care for him and treat him just right, like a son, in Spanish, the word is Mi Hijo!!!

So I had everything, but I still had to wait till he grew and was old enough to ride.
so I trained him to do each thing on my list, while I patiently waited with pride.

Now, everyone in my family can train a horse well, ALL are trainers supreme,
since blood runs thick, it makes perfect sense that I'd a horse training queen.

No, it wouldn't do for me to get any help, I needed to train him to the saddle,
and that fine day finally came last fall, when I climbed aboard all astraddle!

We were riding to find some lost baby goats, I was excited, but also uptight, 
but it was Mi Hijo, my son, he wouldn't hurt me! I guess was three quarters right!

We were riding along and having great fun, when suddenly he downed his head,
next thing I knew everything had gone blue and I was wondering what cues I'd misread!

My husband ran fast to come to my aid, and I said, “I guess Mi Hijo's a little bit bronc-y!”
Well, honey,” he said, “what'd you expect – when your fine steed is knock-kneed donkey?

The Best Cowhand

                                                    The Best Cowhand

The best cowhand arrived early that day though he'd worked to keep us safe all night long.

He was happy and smiling from ear to ear, and was helpful, and kind, and strong.

The best cowhand was quiet that day, vulgar words never slipped through his lips.

And he just knew when the others needed a hand, and was as close as their own fingertips.

And when the cows saw him coming, they knew right away they were beat!

You could see them tuck their heads down, in their eyes you could see the defeat.

When we stuffed our mouths full at dinner time, he patiently waited for scraps.

Then he offered to wash the dishes, "He's perfection," I thought, "perhaps!"

When we all jumped in front of the pick-up, he happily jumped in the back,

ignoring the cold wind howling, he just curled up behind all the tack.

When it came time to pay the Cowboys,he quietly slid away from the pack.

His needs were few, and he felt blessed with some kind words, some food, and a shack.

The best cowhand by far that day did twice the work of three,

and he always kept a watchful eye so he could help cover for me.

The best cowhand was a foreigner, part English and part Aussie.

It's true, he's only a mongrel dog, but not to praise him would feel like hypocrisy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I had to add a quick picture of the sisters. Tae is catching up to Ry!  She doesn't look like a baby anymore!  I'll have to post a picture of the brothers soon!

Random Ranch Shots

I have to be sneaky to get shots of Clay.  He and his horse are taking a break, while looking for cattle!

Ty is shutting a gap (below).  When I took the shot, I was thinking what a fine young man he has become.  I was also wishing I had a better zoom on my camera, but on second thought, I'd miss all that beautiful scenery if I did!!

I just thought Clay and Ty looked so rugged with bull whip wrapped around them, and below, with ropes ready. 
Tess is awesome.  She takes the place of 2 good cowboys.  She's an English / Aussie shepherd mix, and is by far the smartest dog we've ever had, not to mention the most personable!

Cowgirl / Donkey Chick!!

Ry and Ivory Jean
Helping gather cattle.

Sometimes working cattle involves waiting.  When that happens, Cowgirls know what to do! Ry crawled from her saddle to the side of the tank, took off her boots, rolled up her britches, and cooled her feet off in the water.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Madrona Home ... House of Whimsy

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of our little house.  Originally built in the '30's, it's newly remodeled, by Ryan, our talented Son -in-law.  I love the house, but I especially love that there is something in it from every significant person in my life.  My father made a little wooden bench, and my mother made some doileys, and crocheted blankets.   Teryn made lots of things.  I especially love the horse shoe toilet paper holders and towel racks.  I also have things that the kids made, Trish covered a clock with some roping ropes,.  There is a  candle holder cross on the wall that Teryn Lee gave me, and Clay made a beautiful railroad spike hat rack.  Ty even got in on it.  He made a gate latch for the house.  Teryn Lee once called me whimsical and he nailed it!  I love things that are a bit unexpected and make me smile.  I'm posting pictures of some of the whimsy at the house.  The door bell, my little flower garden that grew out of rotten cement, and some of the other items mentioned above.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

'Ketchup' at the Ranch

I love getting pictures of Teryn moving cattle with Tessie's help.  A good dog can take the place of a man, and Tessie is more than happy to help out.  Her intelligence amazes us! Above, she's taking a quick dip and drink before she continues with her work.

I also love getting pictures of Teryn using his bull whip.  The whip makes noise and the cattle move away.  It's another tool Teryn uses to help him get the job done with minimal help.

My Little Ballerinas

When we go see the kids, the little ones always treat me to their newest ballet moves.  What potential!  I don't want to be left out, so I'm working on my moves so I can do ballet with my precious babies!

Mission Trip to Mexico

What a week!  I guess the events of the week were a long time coming! I've always been drawn to missionaries, and wanted to be one - even when I didn't believe in God, or understand what they were!  This particular chapter however, started about a year ago when we met a family who are serving in Mexico. 

They were in Marfa visiting some friends who are missionaries in Morocco (home on leave).  After church that Sunday, as is our usual practice, we all went to DQ for fellowship.  That particular day, after lunch,Teryn and I were scheduled to go to the house of some other friends who were missionaries in Africa.  We invited the Morocco and Mexico missionaries to join us, and they did.  Teryn and I had the immense privilege of being in the midst of 3 different families of missionaries at once.  It was wonderful and amazing to hear their stories of sacrifice, hardship, and Godliness. 

As they all talked, I felt that familiar stir in my heart - I wanted to experience the mission field too!  Since Mexico is so close, taking trips there seemed pretty 'do-able', so I contacted Mark and Roxanne, the Mexico missionaries.  After several emails back and forth, they agreed to let me come and stay with them in San Juanito, a small town of about 8000 located about 30 miles from Creel MX. 

Initially it was going to be just me, for an extended stay.  Part of the plan was Spanish immersion to increase fluency.  But, as things progressed, we found that there hadn't been any Americans there in about 3 years because of turf wars between drug cartels.  We all felt that going would be safe enough because I would meet Mark and Roxanne in El Paso and go in with them in their van. 

Getting home would be tougher.  I would be riding a bus out.  Roxanne felt that it was safe, but it seemed risky to us, so we decided that it would be best for Teryn to come along on this first trip so we could both get a feel for the 'climate' of Mexico.

So plans were set, and we met the Davis family on April 30th in El Paso.  When we arrived, Mark and Roxanne were busy running errands and getting supplies.  So we visited with their daughters, Crystal (16) and Cassandra (15).  The girls were absolutely enchanting!  I was teasing them about the scary stories I'd heard about Mexico, and practically the first words out of their mouths were, “There's nothing to be afraid of, God is in control!”  I knew then that I would be learning a lot from this family!

We visited a while, had a quick supper with the whole family, then went to their El Paso church with them.  We were very impressed with the church and their obvious deep love of God, as well as their openness to change to accommodate their members, and their unity.   One of the things the preacher said that I wanted to 'hang onto,' was that we are not ________ (fill in the blank with job ... teachers, counselors, ranchers, etc.) who are Christians, but Christians who are ____.  Meaning that we are Christians first and foremost!  So true, and so important to remember.  This life is temporary, it's the next life that is eternal.  We need to keep that in perspective so that we can live this life with the right priorities!

The next morning we got up bright and early so we could clean the house we stayed at, and load the van.  We crossed into Mexico at Santa Teresa, N.M., because it is a safer crossing than El Paso.  We had no trouble there or any other place during the entire trip.  Roxanne explained that leaving was pretty much the same as going in.  We needed to stop on the MX side to get our passports stamped before crossing the bridge back into the U.S.

When we finished there, we traveled for an hour or so to Dia Alameda, where we got breakfast.  This village is known for Ascedero Cheese, for good reason!  Our breakfast burritos were fantastic!  We ate on the road and traveled on until we got to Cuataumoc where we got more burritos to eat on the road.  We also stopped there to drop off a part to one of the Davis' 'boys.' After a short visit there we were back on the road.

Drive time from  Santa Teresa to San Juanito is about 8 hours.  Mark got sleepy after leaving Cuataumoc, so Crystal, who is learning to drive, took the wheel for awhile.  When she finished driving, Teryn took over. 

While Teryn was driving, a few miles before Cebolla, the radiator hose sprung a leak, and the engine started smoking.  So we stopped.  Initially Mark thought we would have to pour the bottled water we were carrying to cool it down and to replenish the lost water.  But after some discussion we decided to walk around, and cross a fence because we thought there might be a stream about a ¼ mile from the road.  Sure enough there was!  While we were hauling water, Mark found an old inner tube that he wrapped around the radiator hole.  I took off one of my socks to sift the water back into the radiator, and we were back on the road in no time!  We traveled the rest of the way to San Juanito without incident, ate a bite, got situated and went to bed. 

The next morning we went to visit people in the Hospital.  I was surprised at the number of Tarahumara Indians there.  I was also surprised at the number of Mestizo (Tarahumara / Mexican mix).  When I first started learning about the Tarahumara, the research said the they were one of the purest races alive.  That was about 20 years ago.   I guess things have changed!

One thing that hasn't changed though, is the problem with alcoholism and all that goes with it.  The work the Davis' are doing is changing lives.  When the borrachos meet Christ, they want to give up alcohol, they have hope and purpose.  They begin to live for bigger and better things!

One of the people we met that exemplifies the above, was a young man who was drunk and had a devastating accident that left him a paraplegic.  The Davis' helped him open a Cybernet business, where people come to surf the web.  This young man could have been bitter about his paralysis, but instead he turned his life around and now he lives for the Lord.  What a way to turn his pain into God's gain!

When we finished with our visits, we went home, got a bite to eat, and then had music practice, and got ready for Youth Group.  I was so impressed with this family.  Last July, a missionary from several hours further south, came and stayed, and taught them how to play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.  The following week he had them playing for the congregation.   They took what they learned from him and flew!  Praise music is now a big part of their ministry, and they sound great!  When someone from their congregation wants to play with them, they require that they go through a Discipleship Class, so they they can learn more about God, and be a good witness for Him.

The Youth Group was really fun.  We started with Praise music, then played games, and ate.  I also gave my testimony (Roxanne translated).  I told the kids in part that my biggest regret was that I didn't find God sooner, and I couldn't give what I didn't have, so I was not able to lead my children to Christ.  I encouraged them to find out for themselves now if God is real or not, the evidence is there, and it is clear for anyone who is willing to take the time to investigate.  Hopefully they can prove to themselves that He is real, so that they might be able to do what I couldn't.

I was also very impressed with Mark and Roxanne, in the way that they disciple their 'flock.'  They weren't afraid to explain about modest dress, and behavior so that the members of their congregation can be good witnesses for Christ.  Additionally, there are lots of kids who just kind of 'stay' with them, and Mark and Roxanne include them as family.  But hold high expectations for the kids, and require that they follow the same rules that they have for their own children.   They said that sometimes people get mad and stay away for awhile, but most come back eventually, and Mark and Roxanne always welcome them warmly.

The next day, we went to Yeposo and Tallyotes.  These are tiny villages nearby where Mark and Roxanne started their ministry about 20 years ago.  They built churches in each community, and the churches are now led by people who followed them to Christ.  We met a couple who are pastoring one of the churches.  They were living for alcohol, but because Christ intervened, they are living a good life and leading others to Christ.

On one of our first stops, we went into a little log cabin and I saw a little hammock hanging above the bed.   I asked about it, and was told it was for a baby.  When the baby cries at night they can gently rock the hammock, or sit up in bed to get the baby.  I loved how most women exclusively nursed their babies, and how babies seemed to be born naturally and at term...a far cry from what's happening here in the states! 

Another picture below is of a boulder balanced on a rock.  I teased the owner of the property and asked him how he put that rock up there.  (Actually I mistakenly asked him how he put his leg up there ... I got pierna mixed up with piedra - one means leg and one means rock.  Thankfully Roxanne was quick to correct me)  He told me that God did it.  He believed that it is evidence of the Great Flood.  As the water receded, the rock was left in that position.  What a great answer... from someone who had no way of knowing God just 20 years earlier. 

Many of the homes in this area are made from logs.  You can see a picture below of a typical log home.  In this picture, the child was shy and hiding from us, but she was playing with the other kids (I think there were about 8 kids that came with us in the van) by the end of the day. 

The homes in these villages are just beginning to have electricity, and families still haul water, and cook on wood stoves inside the homes.  Some families have the old wringer washers, but many still wash clothes in the river.  I was lucky enough to see some women washing clothes, and get pictures.  Also I saw a couple of horse drawn buggies, but wasn't fast enough to get them.  Again, I just loved the old world feel of it all!

On Sunday we went to church.  I loved how the first 30 minutes was on 'your knees' prayer time.  That was followed by praise music.  When it was time for preaching, the children went to Sunday School classes, so that parents could concentrate on the message.  I again got up and gave my testimony.  Pretty much the same as before, stressing to parents to train their children spiritually while they have the chance.  When church ended, Roxanne had her discipleship class, and there were close to 20 people who attended.  The thing that stood out to me was the fact that food would wait!  These people were willing to stay until 2:00 and 3:00 because they were so hungry, only it wasn't food they wanted, it was the word of God they were hungering for.  

After church was over we took a load of kids and went to a beautiful man- made lake close by and just enjoyed the scenery.  A couple of the kids caught some fish, but mostly we just enjoyed each others company, and the beauty of the area.  Mark and Roxanne said that the area had been off limits for quite a while because of the cartels, but much of the violence has stopped, so it was safe to go now.

That night we built a small fire and sat outside.  Teryn made the observation that it was nice to be there with someone who knew the area so that we didn't accidentally go the the 'wrong side of town.'  Mark corrected him and told him that we were right in the middle of the 'wrong side of town.'  Mark went on to explain, that that was right where they needed to be so that they can minister to the ones who need Christ the most.  Right on cue, a fight broke out across the street, and a woman got knocked unconscious.  The police were called, and showed up with their semi automatics, and Mark took the woman to the hospital. The woman returned home a few hours later, but it emphasized what Mark said about bringing Christ to those who need it most!

Monday was a slower day.  Teryn and I did some very minor odd jobs around the place.  Roxanne had to catch up with the homeschooling, and Mark took us around town to get groceries and bus tickets for our trip home.  That evening, Roxanne cooked a special Mexican supper of Mole for us.  All I can say is YUMMY!  If you haven't had it, come see me, I'll make it for you! 

When the Davis'  eat supper, they frequently ask whoever is there to participate in speaking English.  We had a lot of laughs with that, and I added the rule that the Americans had to speak Spanish.  I'm sure that the Davis family, the only ones that were truly bilingual, had the most fun of all!  After supper, we got to sit and talk quietly for a short time because the kids were all outside.  Eventually they all come in, probably about 10 total.  They had made up a little dance that ended with them all saying “Come Back Soon!”  It was so cute and sweet for them to do that!

The next morning it was time for Teryn and me to catch the bus home.  It was a longer trip getting home because the bus stopped at various places to pick up and drop off people.  We were on the bus from 7:30 until about 6:00.  The bus trip couldn't have been more pleasant.  It was clean, it was never too full of people, and there were movies to watch.  The scenery though, was way superior to the movies, and that's what we opted to look at! I suspect that some of the prettiest country I've ever seen was between Cuatomoc and Chichuachua. 

When we arrived at the bus station in Juarez, we got a cab to the bridge, got our passports stamped, and walked across to El Paso.  Mark and Roxanne gave us the # of their American preacher, and told us to call him when we returned.  We did as instructed, and he had arranged for someone from his congregation to pick us up and take us to our car.  Turned out that the person who picked us up went to Sul Ross to get his certification as a counselor, so we had lots to talk about! 

After we got the car, we got a bite to eat and headed home.  We didn't get home until 12:00, and I had to be in Alpine by 9:00 for sessions.  So after a very short nights sleep, we got busy making up for time away. 

The trip couldn't have been better, and we really enjoyed getting know more about Mark and Roxanne and their family and ministry.   I asked Roxanne what their greatest need was, and she said “hands!”  Her kids help her a lot, and are in fact a vital part of their ministry, but when she does Bible School for the children, the mothers don't typically get involved.  She told me that even with my limited Spanish, I could help her immensely.  So there is a possibility that I will help her at times, going in through Ojinaga and riding the bus to San Juanito.  Traveling this way will shave about 4 hours off the trip we made this time.  We'll see how things pan out.  Even if we don't go again, we learned a lot and can apply that learning to what we do here in this area.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Transformational Love

My heart is near bursting with love for Teryn. He did something today to radically demonstrate God's love to Ty. Before I can explain what he did, I have to set the stage a little, so please bear with me!!

Ty got in trouble this week because he had been doing something to disrespect us. Our first reaction was punishment. He'd been doing it here at the ranch behind our backs. We thought the best thing to do was send him home. We thought if it is a privilege to be here, and he chooses to abuse that privilege he needs to just go home. We talked to some very wise and dear friends and shared how hurt we were, and how much we hated to send him home. They suggested that we just take some privileges away. We decided to do that instead, and Ty lost the experience of going up in an ultralight airplane, and a couple of other things.

We had wanted to do a coming of age ceremony with Ty for awhile, but kept getting sidetracked and it never happened. Teryn decided that he couldn't put the ceremony off any longer, so he and Ty developed a resolution about doing what is right and honorable, learning from mistakes, asking for and giving forgiveness, and being accountable to God. We had a special meal, and they discussed the resolution that I had typed for them, signed it and put it in a frame.

Then Teryn did something totally unexpected! He told Ty that Jesus died on the cross, to take our punishment for us. “In the same way,” Teryn said, “I love you so much, I want to do that for you! Since we are doing this resolution, I also resolve to take your punishment! Whatever punishment you get from here on out, I'm taking it too! I may not be able to take it away from you but I can share it with you. If you get in trouble at school and go to ISS, I will be there with you, not to embarrass you, but to share your burden. I will drop everything here at the ranch to be there with you, as long as it takes.”

After Ty went to bed, Teryn and I were talking. I asked him what would happen if Ty lost his phone due to misbehavior. Teryn said, “I lose mine!” I couldn't quite wrap my head around the concept, so I went on and on about Ty's possible consequences, and each time Teryn assured me that his consequences would be the same. 

The more I thought about it the more I realized all the ramifications of this resolution. Because Teryn is taking the same punishment as Ty, it becomes double punishment. Also, Ty loves his Pop deeply, if he can't make the right decision for himself, maybe he can make the right decision for his Pop. Maybe in a small way, Teryn can demonstrate to Ty what Jesus' sacrificial love is like. Maybe Ty will experience God through Teryn in a profound and personal way that paves the road to an enduring, committed relationship with God.

I could go on and on with all the possibilities, but I've said enough for now. So I'll just sit here a little longer, stunned by Teryn's extravagant love, amazed at his quiet strength, and astounded by his wisdom! What Teryn did tonight seemingly flies in the face of traditional discipline. But God himself assures us that the greatest power on the face of this earth is love. We are taking Him at His word. That feels so much better that our original choice of discipline! How much better to discipline with love rather than anger. How much more willing is a child to truly hear, when the one talking to them is willing to sacrifice for them rather than hurt them. That's the power of radical, transformational love!

Teryn's actions tonight taught me more than 10 years of college could have. He showed me a different, better way. A way I want to share! My prayer is that someone might read this tonight who is having trouble with a child, or even a marriage, and doesn't quite know how to handle it. Please consider radical love. I can't guarantee the results, we won't really know for a while, but I have faith that God would never steer us wrong. Please message or call me if I can help you and remember, you can never go wrong with unselfish, sacrificial love!!

Thank you Lord, though the lesson sometimes come hard, I am so grateful for what You are teaching us!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Afri / Tex Keyhole Garden

Take a look at the keyhole garden we're building. The weather conditions in parts of Africa are very similar to here, and the Africans are being taught to build these gardens as a logical solution to the drought, and their difficulties getting water. I looked up several sites and am doing a combination African / Texan garden.   Africans put rusty tin cans for iron, bones for calcium, lots of dried grass, broken pottery, twigs, compost, and manure.  Texan gardens have a lot of cardboard, phone books, even cotton shirts. I put ALL of the above. It was a really cool way to get rid of old papers. We had too many to shred, and we can't burn them because of fire hazards, if anyone wants them they'll have to dig through mounds of muck!!!! We will water via the compost basket in the middle of the garden. There will be a 6 inch slope and gravity is supposed to allow plants on the outer edges to drink. I'm sooo excited about my little garden! It combines many things that I value... conservation, art, and frugality. I also had been wanting to learn to dry stack rock...I guess I got my chance, and throughly enjoyed it!!! I'll post more pictures when it is planted.  The first picture is the completed garden.  The 2nd picture is a close up of the compost basket.  My husband thought that if I wove Spanish Dagger into the hog wire, it might keep the compost from drying out so fast!  I love the green in the garden, and the 'native' look!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our New Grand Twinkies

Hunter and Talynn were born about a month early, and were transferred to NICU, where they've been for the last 3 weeks. There were no huge issues, just maturity problems common with premies, and thankfully, they are doing great now! Hunter was already discharged and Talynn will be discharged within the next day or two. As you can see, they look about as much alike as day and night, but each equally precious!!! We can't wait to get them home to celebrate their birthdays and to welcome them to the family!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Yee Haw or maybe I should say Hee Haw!! I was finally able to help Teryn gather some heifers on my donkey!!! He (MiHijo) did soooo good! He was everything I was hoping for! At one point Teryn saw some cattle about a mile away. MiHijo and I stayed on top of a hill waiting. I didn't have to deal with any prancing or dancing, or neighing, or nervousness. MiHijo just patiently stood watching and waiting. It was awesome! I can't wait till we get to go again! Everything seems prettier framed by MiHijo's ears!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Home Away from Home

We stayed at an inexpensive motel called Mom's Motel. It was just 4 blocks from the beach, and was extremely clean, safe, and quaint! I absolutely loved every piece of our vacation! I loved that we got to explore the area using the 'collectivo' (the Mexican mass transit). I loved that we had to speak Spanish because we didn't have a tour guide to do it for us. I guess, I loved our vacation because we got to experience the true 'flavor' of the country, and do what we wanted, when we wanted to do it!


We went to an Eco-Park while in Mexico and these pictures show us zip-lining through the jungle! I had to put one up of my little buddy Ty, and my Monkey Man, and one of me as proof that I really did it! T