Archives for June 2009

Resisting The Urge To Title This Post “Where The Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down The Plain”

Yesterday Melanie, Shannon and I embarked on a little road trip to visit Ree. Even though the four of us have emailed back and forth and forth and back for what seems like forever, we’ve never gotten to sit down and hang out and talk nonstop and eat bacon. So yesterday we hopped in the car, drove out to the middle of nowhere, turned right and left and left and right and then drove a bunch more miles. Then we waited for a horse to cross the road. And then we drove a little farther. And when we finally caught our first glance of this wide expanse of land, we gasped.

Seriously. I still have not found the words to describe how gorgeous it is. But when I find the words, I will share them.

Anyway.

Last night Ree told us that we were going to get up early today, “work cattle” and maybe even ride a horse if we wanted to. Melanie was all about some horseback riding, but since the last time I rode a horse my forehead had an unfortunate mishap with a tree limb, I decided that I’d pass on the horse-related activity. Shannon agreed. So we both woke up this morning after Melanie left to make her acquaintance with Peso The Wonder Horse, and we donned our ranch-y shirts and blue jeans. While we hummed “Oklahoma.”

Because cliches are important to us.

Oh, and I should also tell you that last night, when one of Ree’s daughters told Melanie that she was going to be riding Peso today, I misheard the horse’s name as “Queso” and spent the better part of twelve hours absolutely delighted that Melanie was going to get to ride a horse named Cheese.

If I ever write a book set in the Wild West, I think that will be my title: A Horse Named Cheese.

Anyway, Ree picked up Shannon and me around 6:30 this morning, and we rode out to a pasture where there were a lot of cowboys and lo, even more cows. As soon as I saw Melanie I knew that her horseback riding experience had left an indelible imprint on, well, the top half of her legs, but she perked up when she realized that I had her sunglasses with me (I’d impulsively picked them up on my way out the door because it was so stinkin’ bright outside). Apparently even cowgirls need their tortoiseshell Jackie O shades.

For the next couple of hours we watched the cowboys (and Missy!) brand and vaccinate calves. We tried to stay out of the way and in the blessed shade, but the whole process really was fascinating. Those men work HARD – I mean, they essentially wrestled livestock for the better part of the morning, and it was so evident within the first five minutes that they absolutely love what they do. It was hot and they were covered from head-to-toe in I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-what, but they were a happy bunch. So were the kids. And everybody was so nice to us, especially considering that my obnoxiously large sunglasses coupled with my Adidas tennis shoes practically screamed, “HELLO! I AM A TOURIST FROM ANOTHER PLANET! I HAVE COME TO WATCH YOU WITH YOUR COWS AND YOUR HORSES IN YOUR PASTURES!”

I tried to take lots of pictures, but let me tell you: it is HARD to take pictures of cows. There’s virtually no shade in the middle of the pasture, so the sun beats down on everything and creates a glare and renders my little point and shoot camera pretty much useless. Plus, cows move. They move a lot. So I have a new level of appreciation for Ree’s photography, because suffice it to say that I didn’t really get the same results that she does.

For example.

Stunning, isn’t it?

Oh, I do have a gift.

There was so much memorable stuff about the morning – the sound of all that cattle, for one thing, because WHO KNEW THAT COWS WERE SO NOISY – but I think what I loved more than anything was just watching how everybody interacted, everybody helped out, and everybody managed to have fun doing some seriously dirty work in the midst of some seriously mind-numbing heat.

And the kids found a baby turtle.

And somebody was maybe a little on the sleepy side when he put on his boots this morning.

And finally: do you think I could fit this little one into my luggage?

Because if so, I’m totally taking him home.

I Think I Can I Think I Can I Think I Can Get A Rose

Well, there was ever-so-much on the line in tonight’s episode of The Bachelorette: two individual dates, one group date, and the five remaining guys get hometown dates next week. So basically it’s a reality television pressure cooker.

We began the episode with Jillian and the bachelors taking a train ride. The first individual date went to Robby, who started off their time together by showing off his sah-weet bartending moves. He followed up the bartending by throwing down a serious train-related pun (“I think I’m on the right track”), so clearly he is now one of my favorite people in the universe. He went on to tell Jillian that yes, he’s 25 years old and hasn’t been in a relationship in a while and doesn’t really have a job right now, but love has no age and love has no job.

Words to live by, my friends.

Words to live by.

After Robby shared his wisdom, he and Jillian (JILLIAN AND HIM) walked into another part of the train so that they could hang out on some sort of fur-lined daybed. Robby then told Jillian that he’d had lots of ideas for his career but nothing had really come of any of them. Jillian was understandably underwhelmed by his career uncertainty, she didn’t give him a rose, and THEN THE TRAIN STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE AND ROBBY HAD TO LEAVE.

I guess love also has no ride.

And then.

AND THEN.

Our resident snake-in-the-grass, Wes (I’m sorry if he’s your friend. He’s probably a wonderful person in real life. But in pretend-reality-TV life, he’s the most manipulative bachelor ever), confessed that he has a hidden agenda (YA THINK?) because he’s working on an album and craves the fame that he’ll take away from the show (note to Wes: considering I have watched every single episode of this show and cannot name even one rejected bachelor from any of the previous Bachelorette seasons, I THINK YOUR PLAN HAS SOME FLAWS). Then he snuck off to Jillian’s room and snuggled up to her and I had to look away from Snaky McCreeperson before my eyes started to bleed.

After Wes went away, Jillian and Jake spent some time together. Jake seems like the sweetest guy, but he comes across like he’s reading from a script when he talks – if there’s such a thing as overly sincere, Jake is it. In fact, he’s the Patty Simcox of The Bachelorette. He’s SO nice – to the point that it doesn’t seem real. Or maybe I’m just cynical. And it’s probably that last thing.

Jillian and Kiptyn also got to spend some time together, and it became crystal clear that with those two conversation is just a formality they have to endure so that they can justify making out. They have some chemistry.

And then.

AND THEN.

Tanner P cornered Jillian and they sat down in front of a fireplace and HE PULLED OUT SOME LOTION AND RUBBED IT ON HER FEET. There’s no way I could possibly chronicle everything that was COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY DISTURBING about Tanner P’s reactions to Jillian’s feet, so let me just say that I was particularly troubled by his comment that her feet were a 9 1/2 but would be a 10 if she painted her toenails with Mango Mango instead of red.

Well sure. Sure they would. And it’s not at all weird for a guy to know the names of nail polish colors. That is completely normal.

Afterwards Jillian talked to Jesse and Michael, Tanner confessed to the guys that he told Jillian that someone had a girlfriend, and Wes told the group that since he was going to get the publicity from six episodes of the show, he’d pretty much gotten what he came there for.

Such a charmer, that Wes.

Jake went to Jillian and confessed that he was crazy about her, and Jillian responded by giving him an awkward kiss on the hand. He tried to kiss her, but she moved to the side and went in for the hug. Afterwards she had a one-on-one date with Reid. They went snowboarding and then had cocktails in the middle of some ice sculptures on the top of a mountain. Watching them sit in the middle of those ice sculptures reminded me of my absolute favorite thing about The Bachelorette: IT’S SO REALISTIC.

Then Jillian and Reid went to dinner, and I have to say that they had a quirky little chemistry in their conversation. I liked that he didn’t automatically say what he thought she wanted to hear. He wasn’t afraid to disagree with her (even to the point of saying he was “kind of against fondue” – ???), and that was a nice departure from the Bachelorette norm. Yay, Reid.

Once the rose ceremony rolled around, it was pretty clear that Jake and Tanner P were going to get the Bachelorette boot. But Jillian threw a curve ball and told the guys she had a few questions she needed to ask, and she pulled Michael aside to express her reservations about his age.

So do you know what happened next?

Jake and Tanner P got the boot.

And Wes made it another week.

But according to the previews, Jake – along with his pilot uniform and his roller suitcase – will be back next week to set the record straight about Wes. It’s a confrontation that’s sure to be fueled by common sense and level-headed thinking.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s totally going to be FRAUGHT WITH THE MELODRAMA. Not to mention record levels of incorrect pronoun usage.

I can hardly wait.

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 06.22.09

So I haven’t posted any links in, oh, a couple of weeks? A month? A span of time far too lengthy for someone who used to post links daily?

But it’s summer. And summer’s aa little on the hectic side. A thousand pardons.

Anyway, today I thought I’d share a few. Links ahoy!

– Veronica’s post about when her husband cooked pork chops is really about so much more. Loved it.

Amanda’s post about marriage is a good’un. Oh mercy is it ever.

Jon’s post about a reality show reminded me to climb down off of my soapbox, already.

Lisa sent me this link – and I HOWLED. It would be BEYOND perfect for Martha – she would adore it.

Have a great Monday, y’all!

Crystal Light Challenge, Day 17

One thing I’ve thought about a lot over the last three weeks is that whether we admit it or not, most of us have something about our diets that we’d like to change. Since the beginning of the year, really, I’ve been super mindful that I put way too many carbonated beverages in my body every day. And I’ve wanted to do better. But I haven’t done better. Old habits are hard to break, etc. and so on and so forth.

I’m really grateful for the Crystal Light Water Way Challenge because it’s given me a jump start on fixing something in my diet that has needed to be fixed for a really long time. I’m not saying I’m all the way there, mind you – but I’m in such a better place than I was when I started. And I feel encouraged to make some other overdue changes.

Maybe the next thing Crystal Light should do is to encourage us to reduce our fried chicken intake.

I’m just sayin’.

Crystal Light Challenge, Day 16

Now that I’m heading into the home stretch of the challenge, I can tell you three things FOR SURE:

1) I’m drinking way more water than I was before the challenge started.

2) I still find Diet Coke over ice to be one of the most delicious treats known to man. But I’m no longer enjoying the delicious Diet Coke treats all day long.

3) I’ve also grown really fond of several Crystal Light flavors. Here are my favorites:

– Strawberry Orange Banana
– Pomegranate Lemonade
– Iced Tea with Lemon

What about you?

Crystal Light Challenge, Day 15

For the last couple of days I’ve been at my parents’ house, and tonight, when Mama was getting supper ready, she asked me if I wanted a Diet Coke.

“I don’t think so,” I replied. “I think I’ll drink some water.”

And then I went back to checking my email.

Apparently my little boy had been listening Mama and me, because after a few seconds he said, “Mama? You know what? You ALWAYS drink water.”

Y’all. THAT. IS. HUGE. Because I’m pretty sure that for the first five years of that child’s life there was a glass of Diet Coke over ice within my reaching distance at all times.

So for the last few hours, I’ve been enjoying the realization that I really have made progress with cutting back on my Diet Coke consumption over the last few weeks. I’m drinking a lot more water. I’m choosing water over Diet Coke a lot more at meals. And I’m craving water so much more that it’s a little shocking to me.

Yay, progress!