Monday, April 27, 2009

Lil' Bit Cowgirl

I'm a little bit country, and I'm a little bit cowgirl too. Love rodeos, westerns, country music, target shooting, camping and the outdoors. Don't have any cows, don't own any horses either. But I have friends here in Oklahoma City who do. That is the best of both worlds!

One friend is a horse whisperer, and that is an amazing thing to watch. His horses don't understand "Giddyup" or "Whoa Boy". This animal master utters soft little sounds, kisses and commands. He uses hand signals and bales of love to train his gorgeous babies, including wild mustangs. Rode horses with him and his assistant once, and my ride's name was Lightning. Uh-huh, that's what I said. Now SOME things just ought to give you pause. Maybe , just maybe I shoulda asked if there was a horse named Pokey, or Molasses. Perhaps I should have wondered about his name just a tidge more. Like why would a beautiful chesnut, quarter horse be named after something that is white hot and travels 3,700 miles per second? Instead of pondering that obvious bit of nomenclature, I just climbed right on, took three tries to pull myself up but hey! that's what happens when your biceps have migrated south and can tell you the wind speed and direction on any given day in Oklahoma. (I don't go sleeveless in public anymore. Last time, the wind caught me just right and it sounded like my blue SCHWINN from childhood when I used to attach my Old Maid cards to the spokes with clothespins. You can hear it can'tcha?) OK, so I was ready to re-live the life of Annie Oakley or Calamity Jane. (Some people would say the second persona is more apropos for me if you've ever seen me behind the wheel...but that is a post for another day!)

After WALKING the horses for what seemed like days on the trail, really about 15 minutes, I made the mistake of asking "Hey Bailey, we gonna ever change gears?" Well he turned around and had the nerve to grin this evil smile at me and then, being the horse whisperer that he is, said something sotto voce in equine-eeze and oh man! We changed gears alright.....we downshifted right into second, laid some hoof, and I started catching air between my denim-wrapped aspirations and the leather saddle that was firmly getting my attention. I learned right quick that it is more than possible to ride with one boot-clad foot tippy-toed in the stirrup and one knee not-so-gracefully draped around the horn (it doesn't honk by the way- and who is the big, fat, goat-head that named it the "HORN" anyway?!?) Oh, and I let fly a beautiful one-word prayer straight up to my Lord and Saviour. And He heard me. People in Cleveland heard me, 'cause I yelled it loud and proud.

If only I would have had on a sequined be-fringed jumpsuit with big ol' country singer hair and a belt buckle that could double as a dinner plate...I bet I coulda hired on at the local rodeo as "Rip Roarin' Rhonda June- Stunt Rider Extraordinaire". Yeah, alright- I'm kidding. It was pretty comical, pretty sure even the horses were laughing.

My horse was so well trained that any little vocal nuance was a type of "go-command", unbeknownst to me. A well-oiled machine like that means you have to be reeeeeally careful. An itty-bitty cough or soft glottal stroke and you could end up in Dallas before you know it. I was hanging there , in my hindsight dangling gracefully really, off the side of that saddle, pulling on the left rein. So we just kept riding in a BIG circle to the left. Lightning problably thought my blinker was stuck. And all the grunting and groaning I was doing from the saddle horn torture was obviously a language Lightning understood, and it meant "Hyah!!!!"

I leave you today with a savvy piece of advice from this little-bit cowgirl: If you have never ridden a horse, try it at least once in your lifetime. And the walking gear is just fine. If you ever get a chance to ride a "whispered horse" named Lightning, and you're posing for a picture? For Heaven's sake don't blow a kiss to the camera, 'cause that'll getcha 0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds! Don't EVEN ask me how I know that....I just, uh...anybody seen my hat? How about my dignity? Hmmm? Anybody??? Now how 'bout that?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mute Monday Topic: CLEAN (from a nurse's perspective)

Lil' Bit Country

Hey Ever’body,

Time for my first, real post. The first one was a test of the not –so-emergency BLOGcast system, beeeeeeeeeeeeep………. beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep………… Some of you know me as Heather Cherry's Mom, others as Rhonda or RJ, and one sweet little angel (my first grandchild) who will be born in July, will forever know me as Nan-Nan. So to those of you who just walked in the door, welcome to Nan-Nan’s Place. Come on in and set a spell. Please take a moment and read my profile, just so you can get to know me just a smidgen. Like my Home Page proclaims, I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit cowgirl, and whole lot Southern. So today's post is all about being a little bit country y’all (pronounced “yawwwl”).
I wasn't raised in the city. Dorothy wasn't the only one born in Kansas, then I moved to Alabama when I was 3 and grew up in a rural country town called Albertville (pronounced "Arr-vull", yeah really). This was a place where we liked simple things like swap meets, church dinners and homemade toys. We always had a tree swing. A simple tree swing, one rope suspended from a high tree branch, with a round piece of wood for the seat, and the rope went through a hole in the middle and was knotted out the bottom. The object was to sit astride the seat and someone would give you a good push and you would swing and twirl for a good long while. That is unless I was the swinger and my sister, (5 years older) was the pusher, then I would go careening into the big ol' oak tree trunk about 100 miles an hour. I can STILL hear that one-of-a-kind sound. Now that was FUN!!! But not as much fun as huntin' crawdads and tadpoles, target shooting with my dad or making clover flower necklaces in summer.
Being a little bit country means you value family and friends. It means you can cook so dadgum good, your stove will stand up and dance. It means you don't call anyone after 9 PM, because that's just not done. It means just seeing a service man or woman will choke you up because someone served for your freedom. It means sitting in the porch swing is the best thing for high blood pressure. It means saying things like "For cryin' out loud!" and "Now how 'bout that?!" It means being kind to others, even when you don't feel like it. And it means laughing, with abandon, with every ounce of your self, because there is no other personal emotion that is so rewarding, other than love. But love can be yours whether you are country or not. Thanks for stoppin' by. See you tomorrow on Mute Monday. And the next time after that for "A Little Bit Cowgirl"....Now how 'bout that?!