Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. Let's all pray that 2009 will be a better year all the way round. I have much to be thankful for. In spite of all the bad things that happened in the country this year, storms, financial crashes and all the other stuff , we are still blessed to live in this country

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Update from Oklahoma

Hello, everyone, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! Things have been busy around here. Nothing much exciting, just routine things that keep the ranch going. We've been feeding the deer and turkey and luckily we haven't had to haul water for the dogs or horses but a couple of times. I LOVE those little deicers that fit in the water tubs for my boys. I'm getting one of those heated buckets for our dogs, Tony has figured a way to keep them from dragging it out and chewing it. Gunner is growing, last trip to the vet for puppy shots he weighed in at 35 lb. He is 1/2 as tall as Buddy and he is not yet 6 months old. I think we have a big boy on our hands. Tony has started his training and it is going well. He looks like a natural and has very good instincts. Buddy is enjoying duck season, that just started. Even if he is an old dog he still loves going after those ducks. This will probably be his last full season, Gunner should be ready to take over most of the load next year, Buddy can go on the easy days. I have a horse of Rachels' up here fitting him. She says I can do that better than anyone she knows. I think she just knows that I can get anything fat! Tony decided that we need to be able to grind our deer meat and make sausage so in addition to processing the steaks and other cuts, we now do the ground meat and have been experimenting with sausage recipes. Submit any you all might have.
In November we gave my Mom an 80th birthday party . That was fun and she really enjoyed seeing all her old friends and all the cousins that came by to say Happy Birthday. She has a digital picture frame and I scanned in a lot of really old pictures of family and that really made a hit.
Right after Thanksgiving Rachel and I started getting ready for our trip to Vegas. I had decided last year that I wanted to go the their 50th Anniversary party, so I booked rooms and got tickets.
Guys I have to tell you we had a blast in Vegas! As a matter of fact the whole trip was great. It had been a long time since my daughter, Rachel, and I had gone off just the two of us. We left Wednesday after she got off work and drove to Amarillo and stayed the night, then we went to the Quarter Horse Museum. We had planned to get to Flagstaff by evening and drive in to Vegas Friday morning. We saw a billboard for Mesalands Dinosaur Museum and decided to make a stop there. I had never seen bones that big before, we both wished for Josh, my grandson, he would have gone nuts over some of that stuff. After the dinos we took a quick drive by the Petrified Forest, unfortunately, they were closed for the day and we didn’t get to take a look there. We made it to Flagstaff with no problems and spent the night there, got up early and started on to Vegas. Of course we had to stop and take a look at Boulder Dam, another place we were wishing for Josh! Then it was on to Vegas. We liked to have never found the right way into the hotel, thank goodness Rachel has a great sense of direction. The construction there has the streets a little messed up. That was the only time we had bad traffic! We were staying at the New York New York and it is a little hard to miss. After finding the entrance and leaving the car in good hands, we got checked in a were off to our rooms. We grabbed a bite to eat at Gonzales y Gonzales and then went off to check out the sights. The strip was amazing and we spent the rest of the night walking in the hotels/casinos just looking at everything. We went by the Bellagio and watched the fountain show twice, once was a Christmas song and the other was a classical one. That was beautiful, the lights and the water dancing was great. We went through Caesars Place and found all kinds of stuff that we couldn’t afford, but it was fun looking. I found the most beautiful full length fur coat, it was $10,500 on sale for $ 5,000. Never say I don’t have good taste! Rachel found a tobacco, full quill ostrich jacket that was only $8500.00. I won’t even tell you about the Australian opals that we looked at. I could have had a pair of earrings for “just $700.00″. Needless to say we didn’t bring any of that lovely stuff back to Oklahoma with us. Too Bad. After the exhausting evening of looking–we went back to the hotel and hit the casino, high rollers that we are, we each had a 10 spot to stuff down the slots. Oh yeah, Rachel had a friend that sent an extra 20 along so Rachel could play for her. We won a little, but wound up like everyone else and left a little of our money in Vegas! Then it was off to the room, it was only after we had gotten into our sweats and settled down that we realized that we were thirsty and a soft drink sounded good. Now I’m going to let you all know how country I really am, I have never stayed at a hotel that didn’t have a drink vending machine some where on your floor. They don’t in Vegas, so we thought we’d get room service since we didn’t want to dress again and go down to the casino floor. Well let me tell you, Dr. Peppers are 3 bucks, so is a bottle of water, if that wasn’t bad enough, they wanted $4.50 to bring it up. We drank the tap water! We watched the 9th round of the NFR on the TV, and went to bed. We were still on Oklahoma time so we were up early enough to watch the sun rise over the mountains, and get an early start on the day. We ate breakfast at the American Cafe there in the NYNY and then we hit the Cowboy Christmas at the convention center and spent most of the morning drooling over the western clothes, art, furnishing, tack and anything else you might imagine. We had an adventure with the taxi driver on the way to the center, he tried to over charge us, which didn’t go over well with Rachel, especially when he ask for a tip! She told him that his tip was on the meter at the beginning of the ride and that was all he was getting from us. That’s my girl, you gotta love her. She made a point to tell the next driver all about it as soon as we got in the cab. He tried to get rid of us ASAP–it was probably the fastest cab ride made that afternoon! After we got back from the convention center we went to Mandalay Bay, where there was more Cowboy shopping. We ran into some friends from home, and Rachel bought a saddle. She has been looking for a year for one that she liked. Will you believe that the people she bought it from were just about an hour from her house down in Texas, in a town that she goes to pretty often. Had to go all the way to Vegas to find something that was just down the road. I will tell you that we got quite a few strange looks as she was carrying that saddle through the casino. The security guard even stopped and questioned us, quite politely. Everyone wanted to know where her horse was and was she part of the rodeo. We made it back to NYNY and fell down for a while, then we had to get ready for the rodeo. We decided to eat before we caught the shuttle over to Thomas and Mack. So we went to the MGM Grand and ate an early dinner at the Rain forest Cafe. It was neat. They have a lion exhibit right near the cafe, with real lioness I might add. We caught the shuttle and got to T&M right on time. We got to see the laser/fireworks and some C&W dude sing and they had a neat thing about the NFR history and bam off the rodeo went. Every event but barrel racing had the championship still on the line, so it was fun watching to see who would finally win. We knew some of the contestants from when Rachel used to youth rodeo, it was so neat to see kids that you knew when they were starting out doing their thing at the NFR. We ran into a lot of folks from Oklahoma, so it was a good thing that we didn’t do anything that we wanted to stay in Vegas, I think it would have followed us home! The sights were amazing and the rodeo was great, everyone was really nice, friendly and helpful. The only bad thing of the whole trip was that we had to worry about our rodeo tickets. Seems like I ordered them from a “scalper” site and even though they guaranteed delivery within 48 hours of your event, they didn’t get the tickets to us until 2:30 the day of the rodeo. So if you ever what to go to the NFR, be sure you get your tickets from pro or UNLV. We found out that those two are are the only “legit” places to get tickets. You pay a lot less too. But, it’s like I told Rachel, I was happy to get the tickets and we got to see the rodeo and it was worth every penny I over paid.
There were lots of cowboy hats and boots on the streets and most of the cowboys were cute. Being as I am an old married woman and Rachel is in a “committed” relationship, we just admired those cute Wrangler butts! Let me tell you if you are single and interested you could get into a lot of trouble out there.
We got up early Sunday morning,(still on Oklahoma time) and checked out, filled up and got under way home. We were on the east side of Boulder Dam before we started seeing snow. Not much, mostly just on the roadside. The roads were bad in a couple of places and we were glad that we decided to take the SUV it has 4 WD. We saw several bad wrecks, semi’s mostly, but we were there well after the fact. Poor Rachel did most of the driving, and we were both ragged out by the time we hit Texas. We did find the Cowboy game on the radio and listen in, that game helped keep us awake. We drove straight through, stopping for gas when we had to. We made it to Rachel’s at about 3AM Monday and I made it home about 35 minutes later. Tony was waiting up for me. I think he missed me, he even washed the dishes!
It was a great trip and I’d love to go again, just to see the hotels that we didn’t have time to get to!
When we got back, I found out that all of Tony's family was coming up here for our Christmas get together. Since I slept most of Monday that left 4 days to clean and cook. Being gone 5 days and having 1 husband and 4 dogs in the house needless to say there was cleaning to be done. Tony smoked all the meat so my cooking was limited to dressing and deviled eggs, which are a favorite of the Block kids. Everyone brought something to add and we had way too much food. We had a great time and I don't think anyone minded a few dusty corners!
If you are travelling, be safe and keep warm.
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.