Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feeding Some Cows

Saturday morning found us awake bright and early so that we could scoff down some leftover rolls before heading out with MM and their eldest daughter to feed the wild mustangs. It was a cloudy day with occasionally sprinkles, but thank goodness the rain held off until we were safely back at the Lodge.  These gorgeous views were from our bedroom door, which overlooks the wrap-around deck, by the way.

We separated into two trucks with Ashely, Dani, my Mom and I as MM's passengers and everyone else with their 12 year old daughter in the brand new F-150.  Yeah, up here we can't even get near a steering wheel until we're 17!  She's awesome sauce, though.  Riding in the feed truck with MM was seriously fantastic though, he took the time to answer all our (often ridiculous) ranch related questions.

Here's my mama!

Once we got to the cow pasture, we were able to get out.  I was goaded into petting a cow, but sadly they ran away from their delicious breakfast once they saw me coming.  Apparently you have to be *sneaky* to pet/tip/probe cows.


Check out Charlie on the back of the F-150...  more on this later.


I'm so in love with this place, because you can see so far in any direction.  I am partial to mountains, which we also don't have around where we live, but they had enough hills here to satisfy my need for high spaces.  How can you not love all that flat though??

The cows were just about as happy as I was, but more for the protein pellets than the gorgeous views.


How adorable is Ashley?  I just want to put her in my bag and take her home forever.  Plus, she cooks and ice fishes and cures deer meat and milks cows and pretty much is a cowboy's dream girl.  And my dream girl!

We weren't outside for very long, because it is cold on that prairie!  Not the bitter stinging New England cold, mind you, but still quite chilly and we were happy to get back in that truck and watch through the windows while pestering MM with asinine questions like... what do you do with horses when they keel over?? (They dig a big hole and drag the deceased into it).

Notice Charlie milling around.  He was in his element... he was even giving the cows the evil eye and keeping their pacific bovineness in check.

Charlie doesn't bark... he just exudes this attitude that says, "Rawr."  Take heed, guys.


And then it was off to see some wild, wild horses.

First Night at the Lodge, Continued...


As I mentioned before, after dinner everyone pitched in a hand to help clean up.  Except me, of course, because I was busy being annoying and taking pictures of it.  Charlie also snuck his way back inside, skunk-smelling and all.  We'd already eaten, so who cares, right!

Did I already mention how in love I am with this kitchen?  I'd followed the whole Lodge re-do, but I literally gasped out loud when I walked in to its magnificence.  Ahh-may-zing.

Gratuitous Charlie pictures warning!  He was definitely the celebrity of the weekend.  And it may not look like it with those teeny little legs, but this dog can jump!  Here he is mid-air after trying to get up on someone putting away bacon-wrapped meatloaf.

Even though he was stinky, people just couldn't keep their hands off him.  It's a hard life for Charlie, with beautiful women falling over each other to nuzzle him or rub his belly.

The Lodge also has industrial KFC-sized sinks in the pantry, perfect for spray washing dishes or having weird bubble bath situations like the food chain workers do.  We stuck to washing dishes, even after a horrified Ree tried to chase out her guests/food service workers.  It's just such a joy do do anything in this place!

I was content to go back to snapping pictures, and mmm, check out the rosemary rolls... trust me they taste even better than they look sitting there all nestled in warm garlicy rosemary goodness.

I have some dough currently sitting in my fridge that's destined for a similar fate... but I don't think they'll make it to the two day mark like these barely did.

Charlie was weaving in and out of people this whole time, until finally he got enough attention, flopped down and didn't move until Ree and her daughter dragged him out by his soft little ears.


This dog just soaks up love like a sponge.   A very floppy-eared, sad-eyed sponge.  And he loves every last second of it!

After our amazing hostess left us to get some sleep, we took a moment to gawk around again and then all headed straight to bed.  It was a LONG trip for most of us (Gina and Sara... they had it easy), and we had to be up bright and early the next day so that we could pretend we were cowgirls.  None of us had these, though:


Ashely and Dani are being very nice and turning off all the lights and lamps and candles before we head off to dreamland.

Of course, before bed I had to get all googly-eyed over the bathroom, which is *gorgeous* like everything else.  I've stayed at fancy-pants hotels and really, none of them are as comfortable as staying here.  Not to mention the beds, seriously, most comfortable things in the universe.  Did I already mention that?

My mom mentioned being able to fit seven people and a breakfast table in the shower, and she was right, it's HUGE.


Hi, it's me!  Who else loves mirror shots?  I know Ashley does, because girl has this same picture on facebook!

Just one last bathroom shot!  Okay I'm done.  For now.


Oh, and these cow skin thingies?  SO soft and actually adorable.  I was a little iffy on if I'd want these instead of rugs, but I am a convert.  Sadly I don't think they'd go great over our brick-red carpet here in Massachusetts.  

And then... to bed!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Lodge: Suppertime

Alright, so I wasn't serious about putting up 34 separate posts, but since I really need to get my behind to bed, here are just a few from supper the first night.  Once we 'landed' so to speak, we met Ree and her lovely eldest daughter who had been cooking and re-cooking our meal all night, trying to keep things warm for us.  They showed us to our gorgeous, amazing, hotel-like rooms and I had approx. 2.4 seconds to snap a quick shot before we ran back out to enjoy a delicious feast and shyly tell our entire life stories around mouthfuls of buttery rosemary rolls (or maybe that was just me).

For dinner, well, go check out PW's post with pictures and stuff.  It was amazing, I almost died when those rolls hit my mouth, and I could NOT at all get enough of the sweet tomato ketchup sauce that went with the meatloaf.  Make that stuff, you'll be famous in your home!  For dessert, I managed to come out of my food coma and pick up my camera again.  Let's just say these apple dumplings were SO amazingly good (thanks to Mountain Dew of all things) that there is currently a fresh-made pan sitting on my kitchen table.  Well, only three are left, actually.  Make these too!  Also, please note the cowgirl napkin on my lap.

Now that the cameras were out of hiding again, I felt not too weird snapping pictures of everyone and everything.  Before they got up from the table I managed to capture Dani and Ashley.  Midwestern girls are ridiculously sweet and pretty, let me tell you!

I also caught Ashley and Paige, mostly because they were situated directly in front of me and could do nothing to avoid it.

We lingered over the delicious apple turnovers for a while, because they really deserve lingering over.  Make sure you don't forget to sprinkle the cinnamon on top, by the way... it makes a huge difference.  Not that anyone in the following picture did something like that yesterday...

This big smile is in spite of the fact I gained two dress sizes over the weekend.  Can't win 'em all.

After dinner we all tripped over each other to help clean up, mostly to avoid having to talk more about ourselves I think.  It didn't work though, Ree is a masterful expert at coaxing detailed histories out of people (if only my background check company had half her skill!)

Oh, and can we all look at Ree's eldest offspring for a moment?  She's the one twice my height wearing a fashionable scarf.  My mom and I are pretty sure she's going to become an international model if her parents ever let her off the ranch... which certainly isn't as wholesome a life as a cowgirl so I think it's good they've got her in the middle of nowhere.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention those unfortunate guests who were not welcome at the table, and were therefore salivating with hunger just outside the door for hours and hours and hours.  Poor dears.


Yup that's Charlie above.  There's more Charlie to come.  And on the left down below is Hooker.   I always assumed she was titled after a 'Lady of the Night' and Cowboy Josh just had some weird sense of humor... but actually she's named for a town that's called the same thing.  And she HAS been fixed, after a single litter of puppies... and if I were you I wouldn't bring it up.

Alright, there's a ton more to come, see you tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Voyage to Oklahoma

Our long journey began in an airport in Paris in the 1940s: just two women, alone save for a hoard of pastry, facing the beginning of a dusty road to the very far west.

That's a 'Get Smart' style Russian walkie talkie, not a cell phone

Our spirits were high, though the miles before us were long, and the warm sun greeted us cheerfully from behind the industrial plate-glass.

It being Paris in the 40s and all, I am exclaiming something to the effect of 'Ooh la la, sacre bleu! Je suis une bibliotheque chevre au vin!'  Basically I was swooning with excitement to get on the plane.

Finally, about 70 years later, we arrived in Oklahoma!  Cue this video please.  Actually there was no one singing in the airport when we landed, but once we spied our limo our hearts sure were!  We met Shelley and Paige first, and all decided no dementors/party poopers would be allowed in, or at least wouldn't be given complimentary mini soda cans.

Of course we weren't disappointed, everyone who came was amazing, fun, sweet, and a joy to be around.  This was the best group of ladies anyone could have wished to be stuck with in the middle of no where for an entire weekend.  Here's Ashley (NOT Emily) and Dani who are sisters from Idaho and the last to fly in.

After we rounded everyone up, William our driver took us to downtown Tulsa (it's a real city, with big buildings and running water!) to pick up Gina and Sara.  We may have been chanting loudly as they walked towards the limo- we're a rowdy crowd.  Once we snagged Gina away from her cute new hubby, we all took off on the loooong drive out to the ranch.  On the way of course, someone had to use the little girl's room, so William pulled us over at... this place.  Now previously, I had the impression that Oklahoma was a wholesome, family-friendly state, but, well... see for yourself what kind of establishments they have littered all over:

Now not only do they have these ... "gas stations" all over the place, they sell merchandise so people can advertise their proclivities to the whole world.  Look, they even sell BOXERS with the logo pasted all over them.  Just saying.

Now before you guys go judging me and my fashion sense... let me just say that I heard it from the horse's mouth that a certain single cowboy whose chaps you have all likely enjoyed drooling over has *this very same hat*. 

Cowboy Approved.

Once we finally pried ourselves away from this establishment, and drooled over the Sonic next-door (which we resisted, based solely on the powerful motivation that Ree was at home slaving away over the stove for us), we spent another 6 hours getting to know each other while traversing dirt roads and tumbleweed deep out into the pitch-black prairie.  It was so dark, by the way, that when we finally saw the blazing lights of the Lodge looming ahead, William was so excited that we all nearly flipped seven times down a cliff in our giant limo.
So happy to be alive!

Of course, he was much too skilled to lose control, and we all gratefully clawed our way out onto solid ground to begin our fabulous weekend!  Stay tuned for more...

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