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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Pie in Oklahoma

We’re going to Ree’s house!  This is the face Ellen gets when we go to Oklahoma to visit the Lodge and it stays like that until we leave.  We’ve visited Ree a few times this year each time we have a better time than the last.  Our family went out for a fun weekend in March and then we went with a group of friends in May and then this time which was very unexpected.

A couple weeks ago Ree, you know…The Pioneer Woman?  She emailed me and asked if I knew a lady from Oregon named Pam and if so, Pam asked if I could bring Ellen and come out during the pie workshop that Pam was teaching at the Lodge.  I was so excited!  I have known Pam online for years, but I never dreamed that I would get the chance to meet her in person and at the lodge!  So I casually responded, “Yeah, I know her, what of it?”  and, “Let me check my schedule.”  and, “Maybe, we’ll see what I can do, no promises.”

Then I screamed, “HELL YES!”

We had a heck of a storm Thursday night before we left that knocked out our power, so when I woke up Friday morning to pack for the trip there was no taking a shower because when the power is out, the well pump is out too.  Ellen and I pulled our hair back and dressed casually for the trip hoping we wouldn’t offend anyone with our ripeness.

This is me greeting Pam in the flesh.   Her first words to me were, “You’re not that tall.  I was expecting you to be a GIANT!”

I knew right then we would get along just fine.  She had been working hard prepping everything for the pie workshop.  Ellen and I jumped in and started peeling apples and washing dishes.  You should know that pretty much all the photos of me from the weekend look like this, the mouth is always running whether it’s laughing or talking.

This is Katie and little Evan.  Katie is Pam’s oldest daughter, she’s expecting her 3rd baby in about a month….no really, she’s pregnant, I swear that’s not a beach ball shoved under her shirt.  She is going to shoot me for posting this picture, but I think she’s just so cute that I had to.  I never looked that cute when I was pregnant.  I just looked like a large square person with an enormous butt.

Yes that’s a hole in the back of my shirt, my hair sticking out of a stained ball cap and a rubber band around my wrist.  I went all out to impress folks that day.


Ree and Paige came down with dinner and then we all went down to Josh’s house to ride horses.  I made Paige point to the poop stain on the back of the seat.  Yes, Paige drove us.  Speaking of poop,  Ree stayed at the Lodge and babysat little Evan so Katie could come with us to watch the horse riding, but she decided not to ride since she wasn’t too sure she was ready to give birth that day.  Little Evan had a massive blow out in his diaper that Ree got to change and she said, “I think he feels better, I know I feel better for him.”  Katie was rather pleased and thankful to have missed it.

This is my Ellen and Pam’s youngest daughter, Alyssa.  They were a bit stoked about getting to ride horses and they were both hoping that two strapping young cowboys would mosey across their paths while they were in Oklahoma.  They both have recently read Ree’s book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels” which has skewed their reality on romance entirely.  To say these girls became fast friends would be an understatement.  We’ll get back to them later.  Just know, they are not as innocent as they look.

Josh had three horses saddled to ride.  Did you know that Josh trains all the horses on the ranch?  He does.  Did you know that all the horses used on the ranch are born on the ranch?  They are.  Josh rides horses nearly everyday and not just one horse, he rides several horses each day to make sure they all stay in shape and are well trained to do their jobs.  All of  his horses are in various stages of training, some are younger, some are older.  He knows all their personalities, when they were born (without looking at the brand on their butt that tells the year) and how well they’re trained.  He uses different horses depending on what he’s doing on the ranch.  Some of the horses will work harder, some separate cattle better, some have more endurance, some are more stubborn and on and on.  He saddled these three because he had already ridden them earlier and knew they wouldn’t be anxious to run or work.  Josh matches the ability of the rider with the horse.  He wasn’t sure who was coming down to ride, so he picked horses that wouldn’t mind having an inexperienced rider on them.  He also puts everyone in the ring so he doesn’t have to worry about horses running off across the prairie.  The last time we visited the ranch Ellen may have had a little incident with a horse named Might Mouse that decided to sprint toward a pond…I’m just sayin’.  And Josh may have had ten thousand heart attacks when he saw her and that horse flying across the field….I’m just sayin’, that might have happened.

Anyway, when Josh saw Ellen and I he said, “Hey!  I didn’t know you were comin’!  We’re riding in the ring for sure, you scared the #%*! out of me last time!”

Poor Josh, stuck with all these women.  He tolerates it well.

And doesn’t he wear cool boots?

Every time I see Josh he has a new dog, that little blob of blond hair behind him is Maggie.  She’s a very fat Golden Retriever that Josh found dumped on the side of the road.  He’s been nursing her back to health, but swears he doesn’t need another dog.  While we were there I never saw that dog leave Josh’s side and I saw him treat a wound on her and give her a bath and brag that she’s lost some weight.  I don’t see Maggie going anywhere anytime soon.

Josh, Paige, Katie and I sat up on the observation deck and watched the riders.  Actually, Josh, Katie and I watched the riders, Paige picked on Josh.



“Paige….you better watch it.”


The pestering continued.  Paige took my camera to document her handiwork.  She was cracking me up with stinker skills.

“Josh, I think you have some trash on your hat.”

Josh took it as long as he could.  Then he threw Paige into the riding ring and buried her in the sand.  I’m kidding, he just flung her around and then sat on her and made her say, “I eat dog poop” and “Uncle” all with a giant smile on his face.  She got him back later though, I’m certain they will continue to pick on each other for the next 40 years.

Josh hopped on one of the horses to show off for a bit.  He can make those horses spin and stop on a dime.  They back up effortlessly for him.  Watching Josh on a horse is amazing.

I also took a turn showing off my horse skills.  As you can see, I can do all kinds of amazing things like making my horse turn his head to the left.  I can also make all my butt fat slide up on my back in order to fit in the saddle.  Nothing like a butt shot to make it clear that I’m not done dieting.  Geez.

More about the pie weekend later.

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