Jody Payne

1 08, 2019


By |2019-08-01T11:06:01-05:00August 1st, 2019|Guest blogger|3 Comments

A Blog by Guest Blogger – Jody Gilmore Payne

I’m from a long line of readers and storytellers. I can’t remember a time my parents and grandparents didn’t have an open book nearby. I realize now the value of the legacy and thank them for the memories.

~I have ignored Papa’s frowning and eloped with a Browning.

~I have fought beside Travis in the Alamo.

~I have discussed cabbages and kings with a walrus.

~I have crossed a vast desert with an Englishman in Arab robes.

~I have dined with a fat king and wept for his queen.

~I have grown older and wiser on Washington Square.

~I have excavated a site for antiquities of ancient cultures and dug a despot from a hole in the same ground.

~I have journeyed through a wardrobe into a land of eternal winter.

~I have advised presidents and a man who would be king.

~I have been horrified to watch Othello give his trust to Iago.

~I have permitted murderers to go free on the Oriental Express.

~I have disagreed with a Medici when he claimed the end justifies the means and then listened with horror as our leaders now quote him.

~I have learned about relativity from a genius and taught him how to tie his shoes.

~I have knit my way through the French Revolution and sought justice for my people.

~My beauty was celebrated, but I was cast aside when I couldn’t give a French dictator a child.

~I have sailed the seven seas on a schooner and navigated across a continent on a sea of grass.

~I have followed an ideal and founded the best government known to man.

~I have hiked the Inca Trail to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu.

~I have drawn lines in the Nazca desert so long ago no one will remember their origin.

~I have built great pyramids in the Valley of the Kings and left a Sphinx to guard them.

~I have descended a mountain carrying stones etched with the sacred words of God.

~I have slain a giant with five smooth stones and changed history.

~I have set giant stones in a circle to explain the miracle of the heavens.

~I have caught words as they slid from the pooka’s mouth and meditated on power.

~I have listened to the caged bird sing and soared above the Grand Tetons with the proudest of all birds, the American eagle.

~I have been betrayed by a man and his church and worn an A on my breast.

~I have roamed the dark forest with werewolves and fled from vampires.

~I have thrilled to my first kiss many times.

~I have crossed the Delaware with brave men to follow the most virtuous of leaders.

~I have fought a war with my brothers and watched Atlanta burn.

~I have composed ballads with a poet and dreamed of returning to Mandalay.

~I have partaken of a moveable feast and baked blackbirds in a pie.

~I have watched in horror as barns burned through the night in Mississippi and found peace at dawn on Walden’s Pond.

~I have flown through space and walked on the moon.

~I have ridden a thoroughbred in the Derby and cried for the fate of a warhorse.

~I have bowed before a lowly donkey carrying a virgin with an unborn God.

Lucky me, I can read.

Jody Gilmore Payne is an author, a blogger, a horsewoman, an animal lover, and now a transplanted Texan …

I’ve always believed in the inescapable order of fate, but I can’t think of one good reason I wasn’t born right here in Texas. Oh the time I wasted wandering around looking for home!

Well, I’m here now and embrace it with open heart and welcoming arms.   

If my writing takes on a decidedly southern cadence, it’s understandable. I write about what I see and what I believe to be good and true.

You can visit Jody on Facebook or her website or her blog

13 07, 2015

A Charmed Life, Are You Sure?

By |2015-07-05T19:52:12-05:00July 13th, 2015|Guest blogger|3 Comments

 A Guest Blog by Jody Payne

Do you watch Hollywood stars pose in gorgeous gowns covered in sparkling sequels and believe they live charmed lives?

They just stand there looking beautiful and actually get paid for it. Big bucks. Do you wonder where you went wrong? How can life be so unfair? Would you gladly trade places with them?

Are you sure?

Are you willing to travel to Africa to adopt a child just so you can stay in the headlines? Remember that your fans will lose interest, and you’ll need to go back to get another one or try something else. A child is forever. You can’t use him as a prop and then put him away until the next publicity crisis comes along.

Do you honestly believe a fifty year old model looks as good as a twenty year one? Not without help. A lot of help. A nip here. A tuck there. Pretty soon, you’re in the hospital for a complete overhaul. Are you up for it?

Are you sure?

If you have the cosmetic surgery and a lengthy convalescence, who will cook dinner for your family? Carpool the kids? Even if you can afford to pay someone to do these things, would you really want to forfeit the time with them just so strangers will admire you?

Are you sure?

I don’t know about you, but I’m no Angelina. My life isn’t glamourous. I don’t dine on champagne and caviar. I don’t even own a spandex dress trimmed in sequins. All that glitter would scare the horses. It doesn’t take a lot of shiny stuff to set a show horse off, and me stuffed into spandex is something you probably don’t want to think about.

There is this: We actually know nothing about the lives of these famous women. They may have been sitting up all night with a feverish child. They may be trying to balance a checkbook that refuses to cooperate.

For all their great looks and glamour, their relationships don’t seem to last very long. Maybe they dream about forgoing the rigorous life of strenuous exercise and makeup before peeking out their front doors costumed in the latest fashions from Paris.

When I walk about on my ranch in my old jeans and t-shirt to watch the sunrise, I’m not greeted with flashbulbs. Instead, the cattle saunter up to the fence and look for handouts of range cubes.

My bull, Billy Clinton, probably outweighs my John Deere. He’s that big. To a city person, he looks downright scary, but he’s pretty predictable, even if a little fickle. (Hence, the name.)

This time of year, the cows bring me their calves for inspection, and my heart is filled with the love of the animals, the land, and the God who gives me these blessings.

To me, this is the good life. However, I will admit this, I wouldn’t refuse a small tin of that caviar, but I wouldn’t trade places with any movie star in the world.

What about you? Would you trade? I mean, you know, other than the caviar.

 Jody Payne is a writer (fiction and non-fiction), a horse woman (dressage, no less),an animal lover (just ask Katrina rescue dog Jane Austin or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),and most of all she’s southern through and through.

You can find her on FB: or her website:

26 06, 2014

Mother by Mother. Battle by Battle.

By |2014-06-26T06:00:31-05:00June 26th, 2014|Guest blogger|3 Comments

A Guest Blog by Jody Payne

June. Time to shop for a swimsuit. Sob! But that’s another blog for another day. Don’t ask. I can’t discuss it. Not until I lose about a thousand pounds.

Anyway, a friend and I decided to face the inevitable and support each other through this tragedy of middle-aged shopping. We were determined to find swimsuits that showed off our awesomeness while hiding the bulges that go with it. There must be one out there.

swimsuit shoppingBy the way, don’t put this off until school is out like we did. It’s intimidating shopping next to a hundred pound eighteen year old. We found ourselves at the swimsuit rack standing next to a mother shopping with her teenage daughter.

The daughter had a lot to learn about respect, but frankly, so did the mother. It was pitiful and the argument escalated until it ended with the mother saying between clenched teeth, “Just who do you think you are?”

I understood the woman’s frustration. Her daughter was determined to buy a bikini that would have made the average Brazilian blush while doing the samba on a nude beach.

My friend and I glanced at each other with a mutual cringe. I happen to know that my friend has heard this demeaning phrase more than once from her own mother.

My first response was to get out of there. Quick. I glanced around the room looking for the nearest exit.

However, my friend put her hand on the teenager’s arm and said, “I’ll tell you who you are. You are a beautiful young woman with a beautiful body. You have every right to be proud of it. Just remember this, it’s yours, and yours alone. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. Because you do have a beautiful body, other people are going to want to possess it. Control it. Don’t let them. Don’t give it away. Don’t let them use you. What is yours is yours and yours alone. Their greediness is their problem, not yours. Take a tip from Gypsy Rose Lee who said, ‘Always leave them wanting to see more.’ That woman was a famous burlesque queen who left the stage modestly clothed amid standing ovations from hungry eyed men.”

The girl was stunned into silence. So my friend used the reprieve to pull several more suitable suits (pun intended) from the rack and hand them to the girl. “Try these on. They’ll look great on you.”

I think the girl was too shocked to argue with these clueless adults so she took the suits and stomped into the dressing room. Probably just to escape us.

After a few minutes, she pulled back the curtain from the dressing room and she peeked out timidly. I realized I was holding my breath. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because when she emerged there was an audible exhalation of relief from all three of us.

She looked gorgeous. The one-piece suit covered her very few flaws and made the most of her admirable assets. When she saw our reaction, she lost her hunched over posture. Her head came up and her shoulders back. A wide confident smile replaced her surly frown. Princess Di would have been envious.

The mother burst into tears. She turned to my friend and said, “You nailed it. Why couldn’t I have said that?”

My friend shrugged, “Because you’re a mother. Your job is impossible. Mine is a whole lot easier. I’m a stranger.”

The mother whispered, “How can I ever thank you?”

My friend grinned. “Just pass it on to the next stranger who needs help. We can win this war. Battle by battle. Stranger by stranger. Mother by mother.”

As we exited, I looked back to a beautiful young lady hugging her mother. Tears streamed down their faces. I hope to see either those two or someone like them when my own daughter tries on her first adult bathing suit.

And so, pass it on, okay? Battle by battle. Stranger by stranger. We can win this one. Mother by mother.



Jody Payne is

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.


You can find her on FB:

Her website:

12 06, 2014


By |2014-06-12T06:00:01-05:00June 12th, 2014|Guest blogger|1 Comment

A guest blog by Jody Payne

Sh-h-h, please don’t let on about this.

I was never a big fan of football before moving to Texas. And I admit I still don’t completely understand the game itself.

Okay, that was a lie. I have no idea what is going on out there.

A friend of mine, David Patton, way up in New Jersey, that’s someplace north of the Mason/Dixon Line, told me to watch Friday Night Lights.

We went to high school together and sat through many football games on Friday nights. He watched the games, and I hid my eyes and held my breath every time I heard that horrible crack sound of bodies crashing into each other.

But I’m older, and hopefully, made of sterner stuff now. I can take it without sobbing out loud as long as I see the player get up and walk again.

CLEAR EYESThe thing is this: Friday Night Lights is dead on. Who wrote the script anyway?

Everywhere I go in Willow Flats, people are talking about the chances that the high school team might win the game next Friday night.

Coaches get free haircuts if they will just make a few quotable comments.

Women with blue hair are delayed trying to get their grocery shopping done at the grocery store because they’re interrogated about their grandson’s chances of being able to start on Friday night.

At the feed store, farmers discuss the value of certain plays.

Plays? There are formal plays? It always looked to me like the whole idea was just to get the ball through that H shaped thingy at the end of the field. Apparently there’s more to it than that. It’s not that easy. Who knew?

I spend every Friday night sitting on a cold, hard bleacher. I watch my breath in the wind of a blue northern that has made it all the way from Canada with the sole intention of to drying up my lips and making sure I will have a sore throat when I wake up Saturday morning.

Maybe that’s the takeaway life lesson. Life isn’t always easy, but it can be a lot of fun.

What I like about the game down here is what it does for communities. Does football teach our boys that if you want something bad enough you have to endure a few bruises? That some things are worth the effort?

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read somewhere that Texas contributes more than its share of soldiers to our military. I wouldn’t doubt it. These people are descendants of hardy pioneers, and they strive to teach their children to do their best.

Here in Texas, living on the welfare of the government for generations is something to be gotten over with as fast as possible. Of course, sometimes it’s necessary to get a boast up, but then a Texan is expected to become self-sustaining as fast as he can and give the next person a hand up. It’s passing on the good stuff kind of society in the Lone Star state.

I’m proud of the people in my new hometown, and as much as I love to travel, I know I will always come home to Willow Flats, TX.

I can’t miss the big game on Friday night.


 Jody Payne is a writer (fiction and non-fiction), a horse woman (dressage, no less), an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster), and most of all she’s southern through and through.jody

Visit her on FB:

Her website:

27 03, 2014

The Truth about Southern Snakes

By |2014-03-27T07:06:09-05:00March 27th, 2014|Company's Coming|0 Comments

 by Guest Blog Contributor Jody Payne

The truth is: Snakes down here are very dangerous. One nearly drowned my cousin, twice removed. It’s true. I swanee.

cotton mouthThis cousin, twice removed, was out fishing on the bayou one evening when a snake dropped out of a tree and landed in his boat.

When he heard the thump and saw that white cottonmouth gaping open at him, he grabbed his shotgun and shot the filthy thing.

Killed him dead.

He’s a good shot. I’ll give him that.

Unfortunately, the bullet went right through the snake and made a good size hole in this boat. It wasn’t until he felt the water up to his knees that he realized what he’d done.

Don’t tell my aunt I told you this because she’s trying to keep the whole incident quiet, but frankly, no one down here is surprised. We’re inclined to think there was beer involved.

At least, I’m hoping so. His drinking problem can be cured. Stupid is another matter.

Oh come on, you don’t have a cousin like that? ‘Fess up. You don’t have to use his real name here, and you’ll make us all feel better about our own kin.

Your aunt will never know.


jodyJody Payne is

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

Visit her on FB:

Her website:


13 03, 2014

Olympians desire to change the world?

By |2014-03-13T06:00:12-05:00March 13th, 2014|Company's Coming|2 Comments

torch twoA guest blog by  Jody Payne

Tonight I crept out of my writer’s cave to hear an interview with an obvious non-athlete at the Olympian Games. He talked of the athlete’s desire to change the world.

Excuse me? Are you kidding?

I have worked with some extraordinary athletes in the horse ring. Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near their quality. I just happen to know them.

To my knowledge, the ones I know are not out to change the world.

These dedicated human beings don’t waste a lot of time thinking about the State of the Union, what the Dow is doing, or which way to the nearest photographer.

Do you honestly believe when a skier is standing at the top of an obscenely high mountain looking down and waiting for the signal to descend she is thinking about changing the world?

Get real. She is visualizing the perfect run. They know there has to be luck on any particular day, but they also know they are so incredibly good that today this run can prove they are the absolute best in the world.medals

That’s a horrible, exacting standard to live with. However, somehow, these particular athletes get up every morning and face it.

Let’s don’t strap them with changing the world too.

Here’s the takeaway for this particular tirade: If each of us put the effort into being the best we could possibly be, if every morning we rolled out of bed and did the absolute best we could at what we do, we might just change our own personal world.

Of course, that doesn’t always happen. Rolling out of bed is the most some of us can handle some days. Just showing up is a major victory.

Been there. Done that.

Tomorrow is another day. Do better.

It’s tough, this reaching for perfection. And now we expect our athletes to change the world?

No wonder ballplayers take drugs.

Before you start with the hate mail, I’m not condoning drugs. Far from it. Let’s just make a deal with them.

You do your best, without drugs, and we won’t expect you to change the world.

Does this sound like a fair deal to you?

I’m just saying…


Jody Payne isjody

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

You can connect with her on FB:

Her website:

27 02, 2014

Don’t look down!

By |2014-02-27T06:00:54-06:00February 27th, 2014|Company's Coming|10 Comments

Welcome with me our first guest blogger for Company’s Coming Thursday. Her thoughts on life resonate with me. I’m thinking they will with you too.

Don’t look down!

by Jody Payne

Don’t look down. But it’s okay if you hold your breath while looking up. That’s what I’m doing today as I post this on Judythe’s blog.

I have to admit I have no idea why anyone would give a hoot about my opinion of anything, but I’m always willing to give an opinion.

Jody's blog 02-27-14Sometimes, I see myself as one of those pebbles you find on the beach.

I’ve been washed and polished and tossed ashore. Then, just as I start to feel the sun on my face, I’m thrown back into the ocean by a wave with the force of a tsunami.

However, next thing you know, there I am on the beach again basking in glorious sunlight.

Is this how you see your life?


I do know this much; life, with all its troubles, all its anguish, is a miracle.

Yep, life is a total miracle to be enjoyed even when we’re in the deep, way over our heads and wondering if this time we’ll ever surface again.

Do this for me, for yourself and everyone you love: Vow to take time to understand you’re being cleansed and polished.

Trust me; next time you are tossed ashore, you will discover you are stronger and your life will be more beautiful than ever.

What’s going on in your life right now?

Can you remember a time when your life was at its darkest? And then, voila! You were thrown back on the shore to rest in the sun.

If you’ve never been in the depths of real trouble, never been afraid this time you’d never get a happy life again, I’m thrilled for you.

I also think you’re lying.

Tell us the truth. We’ll all feel better. I’m just sayin’…

jodyJody Payne is

a writer (fiction and non-fiction),

a horse woman (dressage, no less),

an animal lover (just ask her two rescue dogs Annie and Janie or my two four-legged boys, Toby and Buster),

and most of all she’s southern through and through.

Want to visit with Jody more? You can find her on FB: or her website:

24 02, 2014

Company’s Coming – An Invitation

By |2014-02-24T06:00:08-06:00February 24th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Spring is coming. Officially, the season arrives on March 20.

Here in our Colorado mountains, we can feel springtime in the air as the temperatures warm above freezing. Soon it will be time to sit on the porch and visit.

In anticipation of the season, there’ll be a new category on my blog called Company’s Coming for guest blogging.

Company’s Coming is not a Texas-ism or a Judythe-ism, as my friend calls my made-up words.

The idea is from an old Porter Wagner country western song. Never heard it? Have a listen.

My favorite line in the song is
We’ll run out to the henhouse and wring a neck or two
We’ll have chicken and dumplings and some yellow gravy too

As a little girl, whenever anyone was coming over to our house for a visit, Daddy would say it was time to go out to the henhouse. I was very confused because, you see, we didn’t have a henhouse. I thought chickens grew in the grocery meat counters all wrapped in cellophane!

I’ll not be wringing chicken necks, but I will find a welcome mat and spread it out with cheer for guest bloggers.

Guest blogging is writing for someone else’s  blog in case you’re unfamiliar with the term. I guest blog from time to time for other blogs hoping to gain exposure for my books and traffic for my blog.

But guest blogging doesn’t have to be limited to authors or those with something to sell.

We all have stories to tell. Stories we share in conversations all the time. Why not in a guest blog post?

Company’s Coming is an opportunity for anyone to share their thoughts and opinions like my daughter, Chicken Wrangler Sara, does on the Miller Farm Fridays.

Whether you’re an author or a reader, a mom or a dad, a teen or a senior citizen, you can write a guest blog. Simply compose an article or an essay on any topic and submit.

There are only three guidelines to be a Company’s Coming  blog guest.

  1. Blog MUST be your work. (Please don’t send an old blog or something you’ve posted on another website without updating.)
  2. Blog must be between 500 and 700 words in length. (Shorter is better.)
  3. No controversial or political topics.

Once you’ve decided on a topic, follow the specific directions on the BE MY GUEST page here to submit.

You can email me or use the comments section below with any questions. I’m looking forward to some exciting company and great blog conversations.

Like Porter Wagner says, change your apron, shine your shoes, and put your new dress on we got no time to lose because our first company on the porch will be this Thursday, Feb 27.

Stop by and meet my friend and fellow writer extraordinaire Jody Payne

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