Road-tripping, Rehab Ranch Style

Where do I start? First, I suppose I should apologize for being so delinquent in posting. But not much out of the ordinary has happened til recently. With summer approaching (read: pool is open), though, I suspect I’ll have more to write about. Last weekend I went on a road trip with My Cowboy (MC), Golden Child (GC), First Lady (FL) and my daughter. Still trying to decide on a nickname for her. As much as I’d like to call her Baby Girl (BG), after this weekend, I’m thinking Unimpressed and Diva (maybe UD) is better suited. 🙂 But I’ll get to that.

The Drive

So Friday evening was pretty quiet. Well for me anyway. I’d dropped my dog off at the vet for boarding, and was feeling quite lonely there at the real ranch. Let me explain…Rehab Ranch is located in the DFW area. There are always various assorted bullriders staying there at any given moment. The *real* working ranch is located about 40 minutes from Waco. After I got off work Friday, I headed over to the ranch to wait for everyone to get there. First Lady arrived first (naturally). 🙂 Poor thing drove in a horrid rainstorm and was drenched. Even worse, she had to listen to me talk her ear off because I was trying to keep my mind off my dog (1st time I’ve ever been separated from her) so I was horribly chatty. But she was as gracious as a real First Lady, so she let me rattle on while we waited. Our cowboys, MC and GC were in Paris (TX) at a bullriding. The original plan was to leave and head south as soon as they got in from the bullriding. Yeah right. They got in at 2:30 a.m. And after they got in, exhausted & sweaty & gross, they had to go out and find a calf. A cow had gotten separated from her baby during the bad storm and was bawling like crazy. So these 2 tired cowboys grabbed flashlights, got in the mule and took off searching. They eventually got the baby back to its mama and crashed around 3-3;30 a.m. I couldn’t go back to sleep so I read my library book (yes, I’m a nerd.). After a few hours sleep, we all got up and were on the road by 7 a.m.  We were headed to Orchard, TX for an Exclusive Genetics shindig. GC spoke to potential buyers about a deal EG had come up with….they had 3 bulls from Carillo Cartel and people had the opportunity to buy an interest in the bulls. The bulls will be sent to RP ranch and GC will raise them. We didn’t get to stay very long because we had to head to Uvalde and the weather was bad.  Junior Ranger(JR)  was sending us updates on the roads. JR and NV and a yet un-nicknamed new Rehab Rancher were sitting in traffic waiting for water to recede so they could get to the bullriding. After driving forever in the rain and after mentally contemplating whether we needed an ark or not, the weather finally subsided! Yay! We stopped in some town long enough for me to say “screw the diet” and get a Dairy Queen ice cream cone and to switch drivers. FL is the best backup driver ever, by the way.  This is the sign we saw as we drove through Hondo:

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God Bless Texas!! Once I saw that sign, I knew we were in the homestretch and almost there. We finally rolled into Uvalde and got to check into the hotel and spend a whole 15 minutes relaxing until we had to head to the arena.

Round 1

We pulled up in back of the arena and parked where the riders and stock contractors all park. We had to sit around for a few minutes because GC only got one companion pass for the evening. I’m not much for waiting around doing nothing, but in this case it was ok. We got to see other riders as they pulled in and got to chat with them. MC and GC got to talk to JW about the BIG BET (w/Bushwacker) coming up. A lot of teasing and ribbing was going on with that…  Anyway, 50 came up and gave all of us girls big hugs. I love it when the guys are nice to my daughter (the Unimpressed Diva, UD). She’s deaf, but that doesn’t stop any of these guys from trying to communicate with UD.  I couldn’t help  but grin and think to myself how many girls/women would LOVE to have 50 give them a big hug and how my daughter was completely unimpressed. ha! 50 and a couple other riders had made the trip alone, so we ended up with their companion passes and walked around to the front to enter after saying goodbye and good luck to the guys.

The arena was “fully covered” as JR described and pretty nice. But it was H-O-T. Ugghh. Oh well, such is the life… We got our seats and then one of the riders’ better half (BH) showed up with their son (love that kid!) and we all got ready to watch some bullriding. The event was good….except that GC had a piece o’ crap bull and didn’t even have a shot at riding it. He bucked off but other Rehab Ranchers represented well. After the event, the organizers of the event fed us all barbeque sandwiches—soooo yummy! Then we headed back to the hotel. Now I know some people think that bullriders always go out and party afterwards, and they all have individual rooms at the hotel.  This may be the case to some extent at the Big Time, but at this touring pro’s….yeah, not so much. They cram as many people into a room as possible. And after everyone drove through hell and high water (quite literally) to get there, NO ONE wanted to go out. lol I think we were all in bed and unconscious before 11 Saturday night. I know our crew was!

Sunday before the bullriding

On Sunday, MC, UD and I had breakfast fairly early. UD tried to go swimming for awhile, but it started raining. Again. <sigh> So UD and I commandeered the remote control from MC (a great feat, I assure you) and we watched ghost story shows on cable (it’s a weird bonding thing that my daughter and I do). MC took a nap. We eventually had to check out of the hotel but had several hours to kill. Being in Uvalde MC said “well, we really *should* eat Mexican food while we’re here…this close to the border.” So once again I blow my diet and say to heck with it! Our waittress at the restaurant knew very little English–always a good sign! The food was pretty darn tasty.  Afterwards, MC decided to take us on a drive to see some the infamous “Hill Country.” Oh my!!! Sooooo pretty!!!

We drove for about 40 minutes and then stopped and got out at the Rio Frio. It is a very aptly named river. It was freezing cold! I waded out to my knees and drug UD in with me. She did not appreciate my enthusiasm for the river. <ughh, teenagers!>

riofrio

So we continued onward. I asked MC if we could stop somewhere so I could use the restroom but he conveniently didn’t hear me. After making a few more unladylike remarks (“I gotta peeeeee. NOW!), he stops. I had made the mistake of saying I wouldn’t mind doing the hop-a-squat thing I had to go so bad. Sooooooo…..here’s where he stops:

hopasquat2

Stunning view!!! Absolutely breathtaking. But ladies, do we see anyplace for me to do my business? Nope, not there. So I looked across the road:

roadside

Very pretty….but nary a bush in sight for me find any privacy behind. <sigh>

So we get back on the road. The drive was so gorgeous. Well, what I could see of it….my eyes were tearing up terribly because I needed to go so bad. After MC passed 2 towns and several stores, he finally stoped in the middle of nowhere to go into this shop that sells summer sausage and jerky. I sprang out of the truck and almost hurtled a store employee to get to the bathroom.  After I finished up, I explored the shop a little. It was a neat place, and the staff was awesome. They gave us generous samples of this sausage stuff that was just delicious. As we checked out, I spied a baggie with “fire”-crackers in it. I looked at the cashier and said “Oh my! Are those firecrackers?” He said “yes ma’am.” I quickly snatched a bag up, saying “trust me, we HAVE to have some.” MC looked at me like I was slightly crazy but bought them for me anyway. 🙂 (He’s good like that.) So after getting on the road, he was like “what’s the big deal?” I just handed him one and let his taste buds do the rest. (I’ll post the recipe at the end of this blog. Trust me, you’ll love these.)

We then meandered along the back roads listening to classic country music, chatting about random favorite memories and enjoying the scenery. It was my idea of a perfect afternoon! We eventually got back to the arena and then waited for FL and BH. FL already had our companion passes for the night (cuz she’s awesome like that) so we went in and braced ourselves for the heat and round 2 of bullriding.

Round 2

I am not sure why round 2 seemed so much longer than round 1, but I swear it lasted 37 hours. JR and the announcer both did awesome jobs filling in the gaps and keeping things going. If it wasn’t for JR’s musical selections, I may have fallen asleep at some parts. Not during the riding, of course. There was just a lot of dead time between sections.  Here is UD portraying how she felt about the heat and sitting there in it:

notimpressed

She was NOT IMPRESSED. At this point, she wanted air conditioning and to go home. And this was taken BEFORE the event. Poor kid! Oh well, she toughed it out like the trooper she is and we settled down to watch the event.

Once again, the Rehab Ranchers represented. Unfortunately GC bucked off again. He seemed very frustrated. Which normally I would not think is a good thing. However, given his bet to ride Bushwacker, I think his frustration may be a good thing–he can take all that out on B-wack next weekend. Anyway, the bullriding was good…and then it was over. We all hung around for a bit afterwards chatting with different guys. MC broke out the summer sausage and everyone munched away. I had saved the last 3 firecrackers for FL and she chose not to share more than a bite with GC. hahaha  Once again, JW, GC and MC gathered to discuss the Big Bet.

bettinmen

I think they were discussing how JW was going to pay out – in 100s, 20s or nickels (as JW teasingly threatened on twitter later).

Driving Home

The guys finally quit chatting (they’re worse than a buncha junior high girls) and we got back on the road for the 5 hour drive home, leaving around 8ish. MC was listening to a classic country station that was doing a tribute for Memorial Day. The station was playing patriotic songs from the 50s forward. MC was entertaining us with stories of receiving his own draft notice and going through basic. We stopped once again at a different Dairy Queen. And yes, I once again said screw the diet and got a blizzard after eating my food. It was so delicious! We got back on the road, and MC continued to tell us stories about the songs that came on the radio. The highlight of the drive home happened when Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” came on the radio. MC made a point to tell us that they always used to say “it must be over…the fat lady’s singing” when he would hear this song as a young man <sigh>.  The highlight, though, happened as MC started singing in an overly dramatic falsetto. GC joined in. Then FL and I joined in just for the heck of it. So there we all are….singing at the top of our lungs in terrible falsetto. And then my *deaf* daughter shakes her head and starts messing with her ears like something is bothering her. While our falsetto voices were not high frequency enough to crack glass, we were apparently high frequency enough to traumatize my deaf child. lol!!  Poor UD!!! (Guess you probably had to be there to appreciate the moment.)

We eventually made it back after having to stop before Waco and let FL drive. I couldn’t keep my eyes open…neither could MC apparently, so the switch was made. FL got us home safely and I think we all fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow!!! It was about 2-2:30ish.

End Notes

Road-tripping was fun, but sheesh, we were worn out! We did NOTHING the next day. The life of a bullrider on the road going from touring pro to touring pro is sooooo not glamorous. So if any of ya’ll were thinking that is was, think again. It was an absolute whirlwind! It was fun, but furiously quick. I have a whole new respect for these guys. Maybe it’s easier on them because they’re younger, but I’m telling ya’ll, this sort of travel every weekend will make a person bone-weary. MC, GC and FL are off at a PRCA rodeo this weekend where GC is hauling bulls, not riding. I sat this one out. I’m still recovering from last weekend!!!  Hopefully I’ll write more now that summer is starting and, in theory, I have more time. We’ll see! Until then, make you some “fire”-crackers!

“Fire”-crackers –  I made a whole batch of these on Monday. Mine were even better than those we bought. 🙂

Saltines (I used 3 sleeves) – can be regular, whole wheat, reduced fat….whatever, they all taste good w/this recipe

1 to 1 1/2 cup oil (I used just 1 cup of olive oil since we’re trying to be a little healthier)

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 tsp each:  garlic powder, onion powder

1/2 tsp: black pepper

3 tbsp crushed red pepper (I used a little more cuz I like it hot!)

Grab either a large ziploc bag OR in a big plastic container with a good lid (I used a the plastic container I normally put my banana pudding in because we were out of ziploc bags). Pour the oil in and then all the seasonings. If you’re using a ziploc, shake it up well. If you’re using a plastic container, mix it up with a fork/spoon/whatever. Next, load it up with crackers. If using the bag, shake away. If using a plastic container, flip it up and down and side to side. Either way, make sure all the crackers are coated well. In theory, shake it up every 15 minutes and serve after an hour.

In reality, I barely got them all coated before MC and I were munching on them. I served them with slices of sharp cheddar and the leftover summer sausage. It was so unbelievably good. And easy. And we like easy at Rehab Ranch! Enjoy!!!

Top Signs You Are NOT a Bullrider and/or Cowboy

So My Cowboy (MC) and I recently went to a local benefit bullriding to watch Golden Child (GC) get on a bull for the first time. Well ok, he’s been on some practice bulls, but this was the 1st bull at an event. Granted, a small-time benefit bullriding doesn’t have near the quality of bulls as a PBR event, but ya gotta start somewhere. One thing I noted about this event (as well as other small time functions I’ve been to)–there’s nothing like a small-time rodeo to bring out all the wannabe bullriders and cowboys.

So instead of writing a year-end wrap-up blog (I’ll try to get to this before February!), I decided to write up my Top 5 Signs You’re NOT a Badass Bullrider and Top 5 Signs You’re NOT a real cowboy. We’ll start with the bullriders…

Top 5 Signs you’re really NOT the badass bullrider that you proclaim to be:

5.  You wear your chaps the whole time you’re at an event…way after you’ve bucked off and there’s no chance of you getting to the short go.

Appropriate use of chaps:

PistolChaps      

Look wannabe’s– it’s not hard….If you have no chance of getting into the short-go, ditch your chaps & help out your friends who still have a shot at short-round money:

backside

backside2

Crazy Lil Annie says: I know an additional use of chaps, but I don’t know if one would call it “appropriate”.

P.S. awwwwwwwwwwww, EL JAY!

4. Your jeans are clean and starched to perfection at the event

Do you see starch lines on the jeans in the above pictures?  (yes, I’m giving you another chance to stare at the above pictures—you’re welcome). And here’s another example:

notStarched

Nope, no extra starch there…

3.  You rode one time in a small-time bullriding event , so you call yourself a pro.  Seriously, I’m not super impressed that you won the Hicksville County Fair bullriding back in 2008.

CLA says: I think I’ve been to Hicksville. Got a cousin or two that lives there.

2.  You’re more interested in the after-party and the buckle bunnies than the riding itself.  This needs no explanation. We’ve all seen these guys at the after-parties skulking around hoping to find a buckle bunny that’s so drunk she believes he rode that night.

CLA: why come you gotta knock the after party?! And please, I’ve probably been that drunk.

1. You spend 98% of your bullriding career talking on twitter and FB about how much of a badass you are and brag about your oh-so-awful injuries from the night before but try to play it off like it’s nothing (though you keep going on and on about it).

THIS is a real bullrider after breaking both legs, splintering his spine, and running low on painkiller. Note that he’s not complaining but showing off the cookies a fan brought to him in the hospital:

pistolCookies

Here’s what a guy looks like who’s exhausted & tired of his crutches. Please note he’s not complaining…just trying to catch a quick nap.

pistoltired

CLA says: f*cking crutches.

You wannabe’s talking smack about your injuries need to take some lessons in humility and quit whining. You’re not even a fraction as tough as Golden Child.

And here’s yet another real cowboy making the best of things. He’s not complaining even though his hip is super jacked up in this picture:

Stage

CLA says: I…nevermind. Moving on…

Top 5 Signs You Are NOT a Real Cowboy:

5.  Your jeans are clean at the end of any given day.

This is the same as #4 above.  See below for a picture of what a real cowboy looks like as the day ends:

realcowboy

4. You don’t like Chris Ledoux and/or can’t quote Lonesome Dove.

lonesomedove

CLA says: “A man who wouldn’t cheat for a poke don’t want one bad enough!”

3. You wear spurs everywhere you go…even to the bar…especially to the bar (so you can pick up buckle bunnies)

(Appropriate use of spurs)

spurs

2. You don’t have good manner manners—saying yes ma’am and no sir, opening doors, etc.  I absolutely guarantee you that if you’ve ever met a real cowboy, they addressed you as ma’am/sir.

And lastly, my biggest pet peeve that wannabe’s never get right:

1.     You don’t understand when to wear a felt hat and when a straw hat is appropriate.

strawhats

Note that they are all wearing straw hats here (except for Harve, but he’s special, what can we say?). That’s because this event was at the end of May in Texas.

Here are pictures of cowboys at winter events:

DougieFelt

pistolFelt

Note the felt hats. Get it?

Some cowboys, as well as wannabe’s, don’t get this & go without hats:

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PLEASE put your helmet/hat back on Mike!

CLA says: make it stop.

And others skip the traditions and wear hard hats (while riding):

hardhat

And lastly, hatbands are acceptable any time of year….but only if you’re cool enough:

jbStrawhat

Actually I don’t really know or care about hatbands…I just love this picture of JB Mauney and thought ya’ll would enjoy it too!

Hope you enjoyed this…part of my inspiration for this blog came from watching PBR the past 2 nights on YouTube. Some of the fans at the event are dressed in their interpretation of what a cowboy is–leaving me to shake my head.  A lot of them look utterly ridiculous. Sooooo I think this blog is my Public Service Announcement to the poorly dressed wannabe cowboys at Madison Square Garden this weekend.

Adventures of Platinum Annie – the Ranch Hand….Ole!

popgun

(Popgun from the Ruthless Pistol Ranch.)

I was so proud that My Cowboy and I got the 2 young bulls loaded pretty easily this morning and got them to the vet and back without too much drama. I was finally starting to think I may be getting the hang of this ranch hand stuff. And THEN My Cowboy (MC) had to go and say “hey, let’s drive those bulls up and pen them before we go eat.” I started having flashbacks to a few months ago when we attempted to do the same thing and I failed MISERABLY at it.

So I mentally steeled myself and off we went to drive the bulls up to the pen. The bulls were in a 2 acre enclosure that has a big stock pond in it (just some background info here). Long story short…after several failed attempts–the bulls kept basically running a circle around the pond, we split up. MC walked and I drove the mule and we tried to cut them off. That didn’t work. I don’t drive as aggressively as MC would like me too apparently. So then he came and grabbed the wheel & started driving over bumps really fast. I didn’t saw anything, just gave him a look. He said “hey, if you don’t like how I drive, you can just get out.”

Soooo…..there I am, in the middle of the pasture in my cheap Walmart flats that are covered in bullshit. I’m wearing my bright red sweater and wishing for some midol & a heating pad. Sorry, I know that’s way TMI, but  those that work with male animals will understand why I mentioned this. Soooo anywho…..I saw Death again (see my facebook post about Crazy Jack). Only this time Death was several bulls. Instead of hightailing it anywhere else but where I was, I froze. Mentally I was thinking up my backup plan–to jump in the stock tank and start swimming. Mind you, I don’t know how to swim. But that’s the only plan B I could come up with on short notice.

Popgun is the lead bull running at me and I’m sitting here thinking “I can’t believe I’m going to die in cheap Walmart flats…I hope Crazy Annie drives down here and puts me in some 5″ heels before they do the autopsy.”  I feebly put up my hands out in front of me and said something brilliant like “Shoo….bad bull, bad bullies….”  And you know what? They went around me! Yay!!!  I’m a GREAT matador right?  Ole!!! OK, so MC’s driving behind the bulls turning them off course so they didn’t run me down *might* have had something to do with my escape from Death. But let me have my moment please.  MC also wasn’t too thrilled about all this because he wanted me to turn the bulls around and head them towards the pen. Yeah right.

Anyway, he then tells me to hop in the mule, so I did. I didn’t argue about his driving this time. We then had a *great* discussion about our strategy. Right. MC really just spouted off stuff I didn’t understand or couldn’t hear over the pounding of my own heart and the mule’s motor. Somehow, and I don’t even remember how, I ended up on foot again.  And again the bulls headed in their circle around the stock pond towards me.

This time I asked myself, “WWSD?–What Would Shorty Do?” SHORTY(Shorty Gorham is a professional bullfighter for any of you who may not be familiar with PBR. He’s my fave!)  I started waving my hands back and forth and talking smack to Popgun. I was also moving side to side with that little sideways 2 step that bullfighters and idiots like me like to do. MC said I almost looked like I knew what I was doing….for a couple of seconds. High praise.

Popgun and crew still got by me that time, but I was getting the hang of it. I was also getting ticked and cranky from the pms. So the next time they came around, I had my hands on my hips (mad-mama style) and yelled at the bulls. They stood there and looked at me like I was an alien from another planet. I told them they needed to behave or I was going to have them on the grill tonight for dinner with a glass of wine. I boldly told them I wasn’t taking anymore of their crap.

Lo and behold, they actually shuffled off to the pen!!!!!!!!!! Do I totally rock or what???? Ok, ok, so *maybe* the bulls were just friggin’ exhausted from so many trips around the stock pond and *maybe* it had something to do with MC behind them shuffling them along.  But let’s let me have another moment. Ole!

MC ran up and slammed the pen’s gate after the last one shuffled over there and I thought “I wonder if hydrocodone AND alcohol would kill me?” Oh wait? Did I write that out loud? I mean, I thought “Gosh, MC and I are working hard and learning how to work as a team finally.” Right. Honestly, I actually thought “How soon can I get out of this place? I want my heating pad! But not til after lunch. MC owes me lunch for all this work by golly!”

MC still had to sort the bulls in the pens but I just sat on another trailer and supervised. And by supervised, I mean I just watched with my phone ready to dial 911 if the bulls ran him over. I was so done.

In the end, I finally got my “free lunch” and headed home. I am now relaxing with a glass of wine, a heating pad and some cookie dough. Don’t judge.

5 Signs…

6 Signs you may be addicted to Cowboy Erotica:

1. Your Amazon suggested recommendations include nothing but Cowboy Erotica.

2. You feel like you’re cheating on your cowboys when your read Cat’s Red, Hot & Blue Series instead of her Studs & Spurs.

3. Your husbands (or significant others or even your friends) say “…all you need is a Cat Johnson/Lorelei James book and you’ll be set.” (not that I’m picking on Dee & Shannon here…hehehe)

4. The person you have nicknamed 50 Shades wears boots and rides bulls (when not shirtless & trimming trees).

5. While researching Texas land legal documents from the 1850’s at work, you jot down potential names for Cat & Lorelei to use for their cowboys in the future and make a mental note to tweet the names to them later.

6. You name your newest cupcake invention Cowboy Cocksucker. (Shannon!)

You Know You’re Addicted to Cowboys When…

  • Certain sounds turn you on–For example, spurs clinking as he walks across a room or the sound a Dodge Cummins engine makes when firing up,
  • While you may not like dipping as a general rule, you’re glad that the Skoal ring gives you a semi-legit reason to stare at his butt
  • Chaps…enough said.
  • You feel torn between your loyalty to Wrangler butts and Cinch butts.
  • <<<<insert your addiction here

Ok ya’ll, let’s play along. What turns you on about cowboy erotica or cowboys in general. Inquiring minds wanna know. So share away!

My take on 5 ways to beat the heat…

So I’m reading this story on cnn.com called “5 Tips to Survive Extreme Heat” (found here) I feel the need to re-work this from a Rehab Ranch point of view. So here’s the 5 tips listed from the article, with my interpretations:

1. Hydration is key

Hydrating at frequent intervals is critical, rather than waiting until you’re at your maximum thirst.

Platinum Annie’s take: Yep! We’re all for hydration here at Rehab Ranch. We recommend. We recommend beer, tequila, voka and rum as four major sources…

2. Drink cool – not cold – water

Platinum Annie: Water, wait what? Are we talking about the pool? Cuz yeah, you don’t want freezing cold water in the pool necessarily. Of course, I don’t recommend drinking pool water. At ALL.

(Seriously, though, we promote getting plenty of water here at Rehab Ranch. It’s the one healthy thing I possibly do…)

3. Start early

If you’re working outside, make every effort to start before the sun comes up or at least before it’s reached its peak.

Platinum Annie: I vote you just call in sick and go swimming if you have to be outside at all.

4. Stay wet

Platinum Annie: That’s what HE said to me last night… Wait…what?   Ohhhh….they were talking about how if you stop sweating, you may be getting heat stroke. Yeah that’s bad. Again, I vote for jumping in the pool and/or drinking a tasty ice-cold beverage.

5. Dress strategically

(The article discusses wearing long sleeved light colored clothing.)

Platinum Annie: We here at Rehab Ranch endorse running around half-naked as our dress strategy for the summer. Just wear sunscreen. And if any hot cowboys need me to rub it on their back…

And there you have it. You can read the article if you want the “experts” suggestions.  I think mine are better though. Anyone else have any suggestions? Please share below!