Monday, September 30, 2013

30/31: third quarter update

When I started pushin' 30, it started pushin' back......and I compiled this Dirty 30 list . I'm now  3/4 through my 30th year. My progress report? Well, I'm starting to get nervous that my Dirty 30 is going to flow over into my 31st year. Does that make me a failure? Even though I reserved the right to change some things, these are things that I really kinda want to do so I think I might just fail the Dirty 30 and try to come up with a cool name for a 31st year. Eh, you win some, you lose some.

I'm adding on to my first quarter report (shown in brown) and my running totals after the second quarter are in green now the third quarter accomplishments are in red And remember when I reserved my right to change and amend my list....yep I'm doing that and those are in purple.

1. Hike a 14'er
2. Run Complete the Tower Rock 10K 5K
  • I made it, with very little no training (I do not recommend this training method, its painful), but its in the books! Thank goodness I had a little lake time with red beers waiting for me at the finish line or I probably wouldn't have made it.
3. Buy the person behind me's meal
4. Lose 30 lbs (7/30) (5/30)
  • This obviously isn't going as well as one would hope. Encouraging words appreciated (or possibly yelling at my lazy rear would be more appropriate). I'll report I'm down a few pounds....long ways to go! 
  • We will not be talking about this one at this time. 
  • Well crap. 
5. Save $6,000
  • What was the moral of the story about the tortoise and the hare?
  • BAM! Hit my goal way early in the year! Thank you tax return, "extra" paycheck in April (the icing on the cake of being paid every 2 weeks) and selling some unused items for cash. 
6. Finish TurboFire
  • It took me 8 weeks to finish the first phase of the plan (for your reference Phase 1 is 4 weeks long). I'm doing much better in Phase 2 and have missed only 2 workouts total in Phase 2!
  • Um, yeah this one is back on the shelf until fall. I know I suck. 
7. Finish Chalean Extreme
  • I'm finishing up the first phase and I must say I actually really like this workout program.
8. Golf 3 new courses
  • Checked this baby off all in one week. Click here for my professional review.
9. Learn to wakeboard
  • I get up more often that not and can navigate outside the wake now. Next up....turns and flips.
10. Brice Canyon
11. Zion National Park
12. Territorial Prison Museum
13. Meet my neighbors
14. Finish my will
15. Far-away friend of the month card/care package (3/12) (6/12) (9/12)
  • I have the best friends in the world! Click on Far-away Friend to read about some of my favorites who live way too far away from me! This quarter you met TC, Stretch and Military Friend
  • This quarter I introduced you to my amazing Far-away Friend Families! This quarter you met Oklahoma Cowboy family, Cowboy Family and Jeremiah Johnson Family.
  • This quarter you met "The Hubby", Football Fan, and the Birthday Weekenders'
16. Have outdoor Christmas lights
17. Have a blog  
  • You are here! Thank you for reading!
  • Moving up in the world, I have 8 followers now! Thank you! 
18. Go night snowboarding
19. Glow-in-the-dark golf tournament
20. Donate blood 3x (1/3) (2/3)
  • Click here to find out more about donating blood 
  • Click here to find out how I Bleed Orange!
21. Adopt a soldier program
  • Click here to read my letters
  • Well one of my guys is headed home, so I'm down to 1 soldier again. I even got a little shout out from him on Facebook for sending some super fun packages! And then my other soldier will be shipped home next month! I'll have to update on his final care package soon.
  • Both my soldiers have returned to the States, but then I got a special request for a whole unit of Duck Dynasty care packages. More on this big project coming up soon!
22. Volunteer at National High School Finals Rodeo
  • I'm scheduled for a midnight to 2 am shift next week :)
  • I got in the midnight to 2 am shift and then decided to come back to help with the final day since there was so many horses left. Miller Baby came with me and was a hit! 
23. Get my concealed carry permit and a pretty gun to conceal carry w/ a sweet shoulder sling!
  • I'm licensed to carry!
24. Take a Spanish class
25. Zip line 5 state road trip, just me, my car and the open road
  • I made it in just under 3,000 miles and Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
26. Finish my house projects - trim, yard, closet doors
  • I'm checking off the yard and my patio even is looking inviting. And I have a semi-great stand of grass in Tylie's backyard oasis.
27. Pay off my car.....again (which also means paying off the basement swimming pool removal)
28. Visit my grandparents (2/2)
  • Knocked this one out with the Really Big Road Trip. I spent a few days in Limon and visited Grandma M and then swung through KS to visit G&G D. I sure enjoyed it and I'm pretty sure they did too.
29. Make 12 new Pinterest recipes or projects (3/12) (9/12)(11/12)
  • Click here for the projects and recipes I've tested out for you! Remember exact measurements are optional (most of the time) This philosophy may have failed me once before.
  • I think I'm on track to finish this one before my deadline too....mostly all successes.
  • Lovin' all these checkmarks! Check out the Pin It tab for more on my Pinteresting. 
30. Read 6 new books (1/6) (6/6) (8/6)
  • Click here to see my library!  
  • Thanks to my flights to/from Cali, I have another checkmark on the ole' list
  • I'm going to be an overachiever (or a bad goal setter) in this one. I added a few more books to the read list, this is what turning off TV for the summer will do to you. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Soul Food Friday [September 2013] 3 year anniversary

Yes, you read that correctly....the single girl has a 3 year anniversary. Where's my cake?

And this anniversary feeds my soul. Grab the button (its at the bottom of my page), link-up and let us know what feeds your soul.

Tomorrow, September 28, marks the 3 years since I made the decision to become a Be The Match registry member. The registry is a connection resource to match donors with people with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

Assistant Pack Leader beat the hell out of Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a blood cancer and has been clear for just over 3 years now. While she was fighting, it made me realize how precious life is and how lucky I am to be in a position to help others. When they started talking bone marrow transplants for her, I knew I'd be the first to sign up to be tested for a match. The Drs. ended up using a procedure that utilized her own marrow, but I decided that I would sign up for the National Registry, you just never know when someone else might not be so lucky and need an outside donor.

Not much has changed since my last update on my membership to Be The Match. If I am called to donate marrow, I'll be scared, I'll be worried, but I could also save someone's life. And that's pretty darn cool!

Take some time to visit the Be The Match website and make an informed decision if being a member of the registry is the right decision for you. Who knows, I might become cool by association, if your donation saves someone's life!

The fact that I am healthy enough to sign up to support organizations and causes like Be The Match feeds my soul (cake feeds my soul too!)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

#15.9: Far-away Friend: Birthday Weekenders'

It all started with 3 girls in grad school + one high school friend, we decided that 3 Master's degrees + one in progress deserved a big vacation and Alaska '08 was born. From there we decided that we should get together every year to celebrate 'birthday weekend'. Birthday weekend doesn't have to be on the same weekend every year, but we do our best to make sure we do something fun! And we usually name our vacations and have funny quotes of each other, cuz we are cool like that.

Alaska '08
"Good show, young man, good show"

Birthday Weekend '09
"That's Jeri's tree"
 Arivada '10
"Do you girls just get together and party?" AZ State Patrol

Peaceful Mountain '11
The Wedding of 2012

Yeah, we are the fun ones!

And speaking of fun....don't forget to come back tomorrow and link-up with me for Soul Food Friday!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lost goat pizza

If you remember back when I was in Kansas and we lost the goats and we made lost goat pizza....well here is the delicious recipe, only slightly modified and by modified I mean that I added some more yummy ingredients.

1 pizza crust
1/2 c Skinny spinach artichoke dip
1 1/2 chicken breast
3 slices bacon
veggies - I used mushrooms, red pepper and red onion
1 c. low-fat mozzarella cheese

1. Prepare pizza crust according to directions on packages
2. Spread skinny spinach artichoke dip over pizza crust
3. Pan fry bacon, drain grease on paper towels
4. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook in 1/2 tablespoon of bacon grease
5. Spread veggies, bacon pieces and chicken onto the pizza
6. Spread cheese over the top of all toppings
7. Bake according to pizza crust directions.
8. Give thanks that the goats made it home safely and enjoy Lost Goat Pizza!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

#29.11: Skinny spinach artichoke dip

I love, love, love spinach artichoke dip, so when I found this recipe that is a bit better for diets, I tried it immediately. And its a go! I might have made a few modifications, that is what I do. And I forgot to take pictures, that is also what I do.
8 ounces neufchatel cheese, softened (do not use fat free)
1/2 cup light sour cream (do not use fat free)
14 ounces artichoke hearts, undrained
7 1/4 ounces roasted red peppers, drained - I omitted these as I didn't have any $ left in my grocery envelope
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly spritz a shallow baking dish (1.5-2qt) with cooking spray (Pam).
2. Using food processor, mix light cream cheese, sour cream and artichoke hearts by pulsing until even consistency.
3. Add roasted bell pepper and Parmesan cheese and pulse until creamy.
4. To bake dip: Place mixture into prepared baking dish; add spinach and stir until combined.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring half way through.
6. Dip is done when browned and bubbly around the edges.
7. To keep warm, lower temperature in oven to 250F and stir every 10 minutes until dip is served.

Enjoy! And coming up soon is another recipe using leftover skinny spinach artichoke dip!

Monday, September 23, 2013

#29.10: Weight watchers cheddar chicken bacon ranch pasta

I can't believe that this recipe is even remotely healthy or lower calorie because it is super, super yummy!!!!! I was so hungry cooking it that I forgot to take a picture of my own, so I'll be stealing one off of Pinterest for you to look at (you are getting hungry, very, very hungry!). Click here for the full recipe from Hope or take your chances with my abbreviated version.


1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (just use whatever you got in the cupboard)
4 slices bacon
1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones),  cut into bite-sized pieces, salt & pepper those babies
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 lowfat shredded cheese

1. Cook the pasta, follow the directions or just cook it however you want
2. Fry the bacon, drain with papertowels, keep 1/2 Tbsp of bacon grease  in the pan
3. Add chicken  and cook until its not pink anymore
4. Sprinkle flour and ranch dressing mix over cooked chicken and stir it up
5. Add milk, stirring until its bubbling and gets thicker
6. Add cheese and 1/2 of bacon (crumbled)
7. Cook until melted and mixed together good
8. Serve over the pasta, add 1/2 piece of bacon to the top
9. Enjoy this delicious treat!!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

InstaFriday #1

[Linking up with Jeanett @ Life Rearranged]

life rearranged

 Well here is a new link-up for me because I just learned about actually using Instagram....yeah I'm kinda an old lady when it comes to technology. I think InstaFriday is really supposed to be all in one week, but I really don't take that many pictures so this will catch you up on a couple of weeks. Hey, I do what I want! Here we go.

Who wants to marry me?

Buckin' horse race @ Sweetwater Downs

Rain on the Desert

G-Ride for the Day, Feathers and Cash: Miller Land & Livestock/67 Ranch Horses

2013 Goat
Minus the lack of food in the fridge, its been a pretty good couple of weeks!

Don't forget that next Friday is Soul Food Friday at Almost Gypsy Soul. Come by, link-up and be awesome!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

[Sweetwater Series] And they're off!

 photo 1303cb67-1c76-4d6f-b6e8-dc22cec6f642_zps9bbd79e9.jpg

Pre-game at my house complete with Mint Juleps, good thing The Retired Guy and Ma brought some Bud Lights. I can honestly say this was worse that the margarita contest concoction that I came up with. It was the worst drink I've ever had and I followed the recipe exactly. At least there was plenty of jalapeno poppers to take away the taste.

The races started out with me picking a long shot, who came out of the gate weaving....he was a long shot for a reason. Throughout the next few races it became quite clear that I didn't have any beginner's luck. Conversations followed like this:

"Jen, you can't just pick horses, you gotta have a reason why you pick them"
"I do have reasons"
"Well how come did you pick 1,7,5?"
"Well, 1 has an OSU orange bridle, 7 has a cool name and 5, well I just like him"

"Jen, who are you betting on this race? I want to make sure that I don't pick them"
"Hey! You better watch it, 5 is going to win before the day is over"...... "I told you 5 would win!"

Sweetwater Downs
Unfortunately for me, none of my exactas or trifectas ever panned out for me. I do like boxing them to give my bet a little extra umph, but you gotta be careful those dollar bets can add up fast, especially when you don't win very often at all. I'm considering asking the horse betting people for a new bet which would include picking a trifecta but is actually a 3 out of that is a bet that I would have won alot! Exacta and trifecta are the only bets that I made, I still have a lot of learning to do on the track.

On Sunday, we decided to take Little Boy and Miller Baby to the races. I think its safe to say that there isn't enough continuous action for little kids at the races. So we were going to stay for one more race so that I could snap a picture for my you see I said a, as in singular, as in one. And it was an exciting race.......Little Boy was so excited he could barely get it out "Aunt Jen, that race horse IS a buckin' horse!" And buck did he, where the picture was taken he was starting to buck a little as he made his way down in front of the grandstands, he cut in two. I was really surprised at how long the jockey rode him, but came off right in front of the grandstand, narrowly missing the rail. The horse flipped over, got up and continued to buck around to the back side of the track. Luckily all came away unhurt, but it was pretty western there for a few seconds.

Anyway, it was a good day at the track and a semi-affordable Sweetwater County activity. I wasn't betting on Sunday so it was alot more affordable!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

[Sweetwater Series] Hunting camp

 photo 1303cb67-1c76-4d6f-b6e8-dc22cec6f642_zps9bbd79e9.jpg

Last week was the week, I headed to hunting camp. As much as I enjoy a good week-long camping out/elk hunting trip, antelope hunting has inched higher and higher on my list of favorite gun activities. And here's why
  • It's warm
  • More likely to tag something
  • Easier on the out-of-shape-factor
  • It's warm
  • Hunting camp includes mattresses and my house
  • It's warm
Because I'm a procrastinator, I waited until the weekend before hunting season opened to make sure my gun was still sighted in....and it wasn't. 6 shots and I wasn't even on paper, in the next 6 I got it dialed in and my arm felt like it was going to fall off. I decided to take a break and come back the next day. We were right on track!

Only to find out that it was no longer sighted in on opening day. :( It was a hunting disaster, I had a couple of shots which I proceeded to miss quite big. I was so upset with myself, thinking it was just me. We headed back to the range and sure enough, completely off paper in less than 24 hours. After taking a few shots, we determined that something was wrong with my scope.  Switch guns and then a run in with the Game Warden, where someone might not have had all the paperwork that is supposed to be carried at all time. Luckily, he could call dispatch and make sure I had it all, but I was done hunting.....couldn't take anymore. A bad day of hunting still beats a decent day at work though!

FF to the next weekend, a new gun, a new attitude, a new hunting hat, all my paperwork and plenty of hunting provisions. Hunting provisions include things like Coke, licorice, Twix and maybe a bottle of water thrown in there. Since we were prepared for another disastrous hunting day, we were back at the house in time for coffee and breakfast.

I'm not going to lie, I'm very hard on myself when hunting. I don't like missing and I don't like wounding anything. I am very happy to report that after my disastrous opening day (where I was beginning to doubt my shooting ability) I bounced back. This gal was brought down with 1 clean shot, never even took a step. And that makes me one happy gal! I think the key was in the OSU orange hat (and maybe a gun that stays sighted in), that is the good thing about OSU it doubles as hunting gear! Out with the Boston Red Sox hat for hunting and in with my Cowboys!

And thanks to my hunting guide, The Retired Guy, I'll have some yummy antelope sausage in my freezer soon!

And since I love nothing more than good customer service, I emailed Leupold Optics about my scope and they said send it back to us, we will take care of it. After my Burton experience and now Leupold.....some things are just worth a little bit more money.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Damn you, Sports Illustrated

I really wanted to leave this 5-part series, "The Dirty Game" published by SI, alone, really I did but Part 5: The Fallout sent me reeling, flying off the handle if you will. I wanted to leave this story alone because I am an OSU Alum and I am proud to be a product of Cowboy Country and therefore some may think that my opinion is biased. Yes, I am proud to be a Cowboy. No, I am not a die hard football fan. gasp. In fact, most of the names in this "story" I didn't even really know who they were, but that does not change my opinion of the final part, The Fallout.

I'm not going to discuss my thoughts on the first 4 parts, The Money, The Academics, The Drugs, The Sex because I do not think that a legit investigation has been completed yet. There were definitely not enough facts presented by Mr. Dohrmann and Mr. Evans to convince me that the OSU Football program was, beyond a reasonable doubt, guilty of the accusations.

Now I will say this, I'll be disappointed in OSU if there isn't a legit investigation of the allegations. If NCAA rules or OSU rules were broken, there should be consequences. Why do I believe there should be consequences if allegations can be substantiated? Well because we are adults and adults are supposed to be responsible for their own actions and held accountable.

Now that being said, The Fallout, I do not believe OSU, the OSU football program, the coaches, the Resident Assistant, Pistol Pete or anyone else except the ex-players themselves are responsible for the sad, sad stories that have become their lives after leaving (for whatever reason) the OSU football program and ultimately OSU. I too left a collegiate athletic program, I am not hooked on drugs, I am not on unemployment, I do not drink too much, I am not a convicted felon, I am not in prison, I do not live off my Mother, I am not uneducated and I am not broken. If fact, I feel like I'm a mostly productive member of society.

Yes, as we head off to college as bright eyed, smart ass 18 year olds we aren't quite yet adults, but we aren't kids either. We are, however; old enough to know right from wrong. We are old enough to know that our actions have consequences. We are old enough to be responsible for our own decisions. We are old enough to know when to ask for help. Adults AND almost adults are responsible for our own actions, have consequences and make our own decisions. While I was playing college ball I was responsible for me...for me going to class, passing my classes, going to practice, completing community service projects, going to strength and conditioning, graduating on time in a degree of my choice, paying my bills, going to work, securing scholarships, jobs, loans etc to fund said education, feeding myself, passing drug tests. Just because you are a D1 athlete opposed to a D2 athlete or an ordinary student opposed to an athlete...why should you not be responsible for doing these things? And if you can't or don't know how.....ask for help!

We are ultimately responsible for ourselves and our decisions. I'm sorry that "credible" sources that SI found didn't make their dreams of becoming NFL stars, but fact is....a majority of college athletes do not become professional athletes. And just because you didn't make the starting roster, the NFL, or even the team for 4 years doesn't mean that your life is over. There are still hundreds, maybe even thousands, of good decisions you could have made to better your life, but you didn't. You chose drugs, you chose alcohol, you chose crime, you chose not to complete your eduction. YOU chose, not OSU, not OSU Football, not Pistol Pete, not Les Miles, not Mike Gundy, not your professor. You.

I hope after this 5 days of fame YOU are ready to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and Cowboy Up because where you go from here is YOUR decision. And where we go, as OSU representatives and an OSU family is OUR decision. I hope we can get to the bottom of this, dish out the consequences of past actions if need be and move on. 

Here's to making America's Brightest Orange, keep on shining. GO POKES.

Monday, September 16, 2013


So I found a pin on Pinterest about calling someone and pushing the numbers on the phone to "sing" happy birthday to the person on the line.....So, I'll be trying that out on the Assistant Pack Leader today as its her HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

Happy birthday Sister, I hope you have an awesome day!!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

#25 [RBRT] Colorado/Wyoming

WOOF! Hey there, Tylie checking into the human's blog. She is a bit more of a gypsy than I am, so I'm pretty thankful she dropped me off at Grandma's before she took this crazy 3,000 mile journey. I was a little nervous about staying at the ranch because Grandma got a new puppy, I don't really like puppies and would really prefer to be the center of attention and get all the pets. Hey I'm an only dog child. But, I concede....Lexi is alright. I had to set her in her place so she would know not to jump on me, but after that we got along great...we even switched food bowls almost every day! This is my buddy Lexi...she's a little bit bigger than in this picture. We are friends now.

My favorite thing that Lexi and I did was rake hay. We ran back and forth making sure Grandma drove straight. Sometimes we would get hot and thirsty so we would run down to the river and get a drink. Lexi is crazy, she likes to swim in the river....I just get in to my belly so I don't float away. The day my mom came back I was so tired that I could barely raise my head off the floor because we raked so much hay. Grandma thinks I ran about 10 miles.

The new owner at the ranch has a really annoying big black city dog. I didn't like him (he killed Grandma's calf this winter so I didn't like him even before I met him) He tried to come hang out with me and Lexi but I gave him the mean look and growled at him. I made sure to growl low enough that Grandpa John wouldn't hear me so I wouldn't get in trouble. I sure sent him running for the porch. Lexi thought that was awesome!

I think I was tired for 2 days after my vacation to the ranch. Mom thought it was really funny when we stopped at a rest area near Glenwood Springs and I headed straight for the river for a drink and a wade. That river was alot faster than the one at the ranch so I stayed close to the edge!

I really like the ranch, I sent a silent message to my mom that we should get a ranch. I hope she can swing that one for me....maybe Christmas? She always gets me cool things at Christmas.

Whew, that was alot of work....I hope the human doesn't want me to write every week! 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

#25 & 28.2 [RBRT] Kansas

Moving right along, my next stop(s) are in Kansas, my motherland! OKTrailerPark Friend and Mr. OKTrailerPark Friend have recently moved to Kansas and bought a new place and new goats to go with their new jobs! The Mr. was at work, but us grad school girls had a good time on our own! And those goats....lets just say its a good thing our schedule was WIDE open!

We let the goats out to graze the weeds while we held down the patio table with some ice cold Bud Lights when all of a sudden they were gone! And I mean gone, they didn't even come when OKTrailerPark Friend called them. We continued to stomp around the pasture in our flip flops...keeping a good eye out for snakes for about 4 hours, then we wished them luck in the dark of night and went to bed.

Morning resumed with breakfast and lost goat search, which we completed just in time for lunch!

Next stop, Grandpa's house! I found out that Grandpa and Grandma are moving to town in the fall and of course trying to get rid of some stuff before the big move. I came away with the prized possession of a Radio Flyer wagon...a real plastic there! My first Grandma bought it when my cousin and I were 3 years old and headed to Dodge City with Grandpa and Grandma, she thought it would be easier to corral us if we had a wagon to ride it! Grandpa and I went to the Co-op for coffee and we made sure to solve a couple world problems before we left.....Ok, ok really Grandpa just finalized his spraying order and instructions.

Up tomorrow? Back to Colorado and Wyoming.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#20.2: Bleed orange

So, you are probably tired of hearing me talk about giving blood and encouraging you to also give blood. FYI - one donation can save up to 3 lives, just sayin. As I was getting ready to leave on Really Big Road Trip, I received an email letting me know that I am eligible give blood again.

Then while I was in Stillwater on an unexpected stop in my road trip I saw a sign at Gallagher-Iba Arena that there was a blood drive. I went in to see if they had openings....side note, blood drives at OSU the donor always comes out with a free t-shirt...and apparently OSU alumni donors get 2 free t-shirts! WIN!

So instead of wowing you with a picture of a needle sticking out of my arm again, I'll share a few of the banners that were in my view while I gave blood this time. I opted for the whole blood donation this time because its a little and out in 45 minutes, including the interview!

And props to Oklahoma Blood Institute, they had Gatorade (in cans, never seen that one before) AND Nutter Butters AND pizza for after donation snacks. WIN!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#25: [RBRT] Oklahoma

By this point in the trip I can successfully say that I have no idea what day of the week it is and NO clue what number the day is. I rarely planned more than a few hours in advance, sometimes that worked for me, sometimes not so much. I anticipated not being able to go to Stillwater because I had several people that I wanted to see in other parts of Oklahoma, things didn't work out so I headed to Stillwater to catch up with some folks. High points the Okie portion of my trip....

#1 - NEW BOOTS! I've had my sights on these boots for a little over a year now. I talked myself out of them once and I thought I might be able to pass them up again until I got to Joe's in OKC Stockyards and found only 2 pairs in my size and one not in my size. Yep, couldn't say no. Should I have buyer's remorse? yes. Do I? nope! I LOVE them!

#2 - Friends Family I got to see tons of people that I miss very much!!!!! I am so thankful that so many people really made an effort to make time to see me even though it was smack dab in the middle of the week. One of the reasons that I love Oklahoma so much, the people are great!

#3 - Food. I ate Cattlemen's.....twice, Braum's and El Vaq. You are safe to assume that I brought back a few extra pounds with me.

#4 - Orange! I love Stillwater, its full of orange, its full of happiness. 

I had the opportunity to go to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, which I'm ashamed to say I never went to while I actually lived in Stillwater. What a neat museum and I saw a few folks who I know personally. What an honor to know great National Champions, plus I was informed (on Facebook that I am cool by association so that is even better!)

It really is God's Country.

Monday, September 9, 2013

# 25 & 28.1 [RBRT]: Colorado/New Mexico/Texas

A couple more marks on the Dirty 30 list!

It was a really busy few days in Colorado before "real" vacation started, but I wasn't at work so I guess technically it was still vacation.

I stopped by and saw Gypsy Friend and to pick up the horseshoes that he made for me to finish my wedding gift. We took a little drive around the farm before coming back for some BBQ before I hit the road to my Momma's. While we were surveying the quality of corn and the damage of the hail on some of it, I was inspired to snap this photo. Being the excellent photographer/blogger that I am, I even had to borrow Gypsy Friend's Iphone to catch it. That should make some good silage!

Tylie and I stopped for the night at Mom's and had beef and noodles waiting on us me for dinner. favorite. Tylie was nervous that I was going to leave her there, she usually has good reason to be worried. Mom and John have a newer puppy who loves to play. Tylie does not love to play with other dogs...she is nearly human and believes herself to be above playing with other dogs when I'm around. We did take a ride around the ranch in the Gator, where Tylie managed to pull a hammy jumping in/out. I hope the cool mountain air will be healing for her while I'm away.

The next morning I drove down to Colorado Springs and met up with Grandma Mauck for lunch and some catching up. Grandma has had a very hard year, losing both a son and Grandpa. She is always excited to see us grandkids, but I think it meant even more to her this time. We had an amazing burrito and some chat time before I had to head out for my dentist appointment (and pedi).

You are welcome for not taking any pictures. Vacation FAIL!

Then I picked up Devan in Pueblo and we headed south for the big wedding.

New Mexico
We added another state to the trip and was shocked by how green New Mexico was. Like so shocked that we felt the need to post on Facebook to see if this part of New Mexico is usually this green or if we had witnessed some sort of apocolypse. FYI - this is on the road from Raton to Dalhart....I know I have some New Mexican readers who can weigh in on the greenness question.

We went down a day early to hit up rehearsal dinner and some quality time with some old Gunny friends. And a big time did we have! Texas surprised me with cool tolerable temperatures to be able to function out of doors during all hours of the day and night. We stayed up a better part of the night with yard games, Lonestar beer (ok I might have been the only one drinking the best beer ever but hey not everyone is as cool as me), family, friends and tons of catching up. Again, no pictures. FAIL again. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was fun. I deem it the best wedding ever because they served calf fries at the reception. I'm here to tell you, it just doesn't get much better than that!

Congratulations Tyler and Shelby!!!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

BCF: Pillars of the Earth

[Linking up with Heather at Undercover Blonde]

41 hours......that is how long this book is on cd. I knocked er out on the Really Big Road Trip. It was recommended to me by a co-worker and I thought it would be perfect for this insanely large road trip that I was about to embark on.

I don't know if I'm proud of this fact or dismayed that I drove at least 41 hours by myself. ouch. And since I just got home from said 41+ hours, this is my dazed and confused book report.

Its good. Its about knights and earls and monks. Its 41 hours if you do the cd version which probably translates into alot of pages. I don't think I'll read it again, but I will read this author again. Its got fighting, losses, triamphs and 32 cds.

oh and did I mention It's 41 hours.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

[Sweetwater Series] Blues & Brews

The second Saturday in August is reserved for the Blues n' Brews festival in Rock Springs each year. Its a festival that I've wanted to check out since I moved here, but never had until this year! And I think I'll go back.

Blues n' brews is held in Bunning Park which is surrounded by trees so its nice and shady, which equals not hot. They bring in bands all day till about 10 pm and have food and brews from several different breweries from around the area. A lawn chair and some friends are pretty much required.

I don't own a single blues cd, but I just like live music and so it doesn't even matter if I don't know a single word or song for that matter. So reserve the second Saturday next August and come visit me!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#2: C25K

While the Couch-to-5K might be a great workout plan for beginning runners, if taken in the literal sense it doesn't work out very well. If you know me, you aren't wondering what I mean. I hate running. I want to like to run, hell I want to be addicted to running, but I hate it.

Signing up for a race = get my rear in gear and train. not.this.time. I was much too busy traveling and learning to wakeboard and _________(insert ANY activity here) to be bothered with training. Folks I'm here to tell you do not try this literal C25K training plan, it doesn't work. What it does do is inflict pain. At least they had little cinnamon rolls at the end. and oranges. and a banana. and brownies.

But I finished and I finished 6th in my age group. and we will not talk about finishing time. because it doesn't matter because I finished and I checked it off the Dirty 30 list. Did I mention they had mini cinnamon rolls and brownies at the finish line? AND we made the Vernal newspaper!


#2. Complete the Tower Rock 5K.....CHECK!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I had a little surprise on an old Letters to a Soldier blog post a few days ago, a comment from an anonymous user. Now I've had some spammy comments so I was a little unsure as to the validity of the comment, but decided to check it out.  I tracked down the FRG of this particular unit and asked about the validity of the deployment, names given, mail stop date etc. I quickly got a reply back that yes they were a real unit, those are real names and they were just deployed not too long ago.

So this is the comment that I received (with a little editing)


I included there sizes just in case.
I didn't tell any of these people that they would receive a care package just in case it doesn't happen.
You can also find our address on face book.

Now since I am currently without an adopted soldier I decided to take on this request and I'm asking you to enlist with my army of angels to get this one done.

There are 10 guys/gals in this unit and their Captain has requested a Duck Dynasty care package(s) for the entire unit. To see what I did in my last Duck Dynasty care package, click here. I would love to send something slightly different this time so if you have any ideas, send 'em on over!

Some first brainstorm ideas that I've had for this set of care packages are
  • season DVDs of Duck Dynasty
  • camo cupcakes
  • "squirrel" summer sausage
  • donuts
  • felt beards
  • rubber ducks and nerf guns
  • sweet tea/Uncle Si tupperware cups
  • mallow dogs (hot dog buns & marshmallows- a DD specialty)
  • redneck beans
  • camo tye dye t-shirts
  • shotgun shells with candy (painted toilet paper rolls)
Now where I'd like to enlist (hahaha....get it?) help because I'll tell you it isn't easy doing care packages for 1, let alone 10 deployed servicemen/women.....if you or anyone you know would like to contribute to this project Operation Duck Dynasty for B Co. Any contribution would be greatly appreciated! Ideas, money for postage and/or items for the boxes, items for the boxes, notes etc. You can contact me via the comments section or directly by email at If you would like to write a note, comment or email me and I will give you a specific name to address your letter to.

Thank you for supporting our deployed soldiers and Operation Duck Dynasty for B Co.!!!!!!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The barn by bryan [September 2013]

Is it really September?  Where did the summer go? But, I must say, fall is my favorite season; the air is brisk, hunting seasons open, fishing gets better, you can wear hoodies again, and college football is full swing… gotta love fall! So, head for the hills and watch nature take its course as it buttons up the hatches and settles in for the winter.

This is also the time where I head back to workshop and try to build things out of wood and metal (FYI, everything is for sale, wink, wink).  Now I’m rambling, let’s get to the music…

I am going all Wyoming on your a$$es this month (sorry Red Dirt faithful)

We should probably start with the best known Wyo artist, Chris Ledoux; Riding for a Fall

And then the lesser known, but up and coming Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band; Six Figure Job

Then back to Chris Ledoux; Powder River Home

Maybe one more Younger Bros tune; Country Music

And then then even lesser, lesser known Jared Rogerson; Peace, Love and Horses

Enjoy! Music Man