It Wasn’t Our First Rodeo

I feel like I need to book a couple of days at a five-star spa.  When the fellow behind the registration desk asks me if I’d like to sign up for the warmed-stone massage or the hot yoga, I’ll simply say, “No, thank you.  I’m only here to sleep in that bed with the luxury sheets.  I’ll just go on home as soon as I wake up.”

It might be because we had one of the busiest weekends on record, which, of course, came with very little sleep.  And then last night, I felt the need to stay awake until 11:00, because I was engrossed in some reality show on WHO WOULD BE THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR AND HAVE THEIR OWN TELEVISION SHOW?

Do I EVER watch the Food Network?

No.  No, I don’t.

It involves cooking on that channel, which is something that I don’t do.  I feel like the chefs there just mock me, as they insist that de-boning a duck or making lamb chops with a balsamic reduction sauce really isn’t difficult at all, when I’m simply happy putting frozen tater tots on a cookie sheet and punching in 425 on the oven.  But… for whatever reason… last night I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to function this week, if I didn’t know WHO WAS ELIMINATED FROM THE CONTEST.

Which chef would go home in shame, because they couldn’t cook??!!

Never mind that I haven’t seen the previous six weeks.

Nor will I see the remaining weeks and find out who wins.

Sometimes my brain just gets stuck on something, and that’s how it’s going to be, which explains why I’m still exhausted today.

People, the rodeo was in Small Town, USA this weekend, which is really a big deal around these parts.  We love ourselves some bareback riding and a good parade and BBQ beef contests and a shady carnival.  What we really like to do is pack all of that into three days, because why spread something out, when you can just GET IT DONE?

Hubs and I took the boys to the parade on Friday morning.  We also concluded that if you needed to knock off a house and burglarize it, Parade Friday would really be the prime moment to do so, because everyone in Small Town is downtown, waving at floats.

Plus, all the cops are riding their bicycles and driving their squad cars, cruising along at PARADE MILES PER HOUR, so there you have it.

IMG_6311 IMG_6314 IMG_6317 IMG_6318 IMG_6321 IMG_6322 IMG_6325 IMG_6328 IMG_6329 IMG_6327 IMG_6336This is the boy’s buddy, Eli.  Eli’s grandparents opened a little spot that rents Segways, right here in Small Town, USA!  I won’t lie; riding a Segway has been on my bucket list for a sweet forever.

We waved like lunatics at Eli, as he whizzed by us in the parade.

IMG_6332 IMG_6331 IMG_6333Thing 2 nearly ruptured a lung, hollering at Smokey the Bear.  Our toddler waved and waved and WAY-VED at that bear, as he tootled by us.

IMG_6343 IMG_6345 IMG_6348IMG_6337 IMG_6347 IMG_6352 IMG_6354We also spent a little time at the playground with the boys’ cousin, Miss A, this weekend.

Playgrounds are very useful for wearing Thing 2’s nuclear-type energy levels down just a titch.

IMG_6359 IMG_6363 IMG_6366 IMG_6367 IMG_6369 IMG_6370 IMG_6371 IMG_6375 IMG_6383 IMG_6385 IMG_6409 IMG_6417 IMG_6427 IMG_6428 IMG_6429 IMG_6430 IMG_6438And then, as gross as it sounds, Thing 2 made the archeological discovery of an old lid from a plastic water bottle.

He entertained himself for FOREVER with it, scooping and pouring sand in little, tiny amounts.

Hubs and I have some sayings at our house, and one of them is, “Don’t mess with a good thing, even if it involves GERMS.”

IMG_6446 IMG_6448 IMG_6468 IMG_6471 IMG_6478I think that’s what Germ-X is for.

Somehow, Hubs and I managed to have a BYE in the Carnival Tournament this year!  We couldn’t have been happier, because out of four entire days of it being in town, we didn’t have to go, and neither of our boys went, either!

A disposable water bottle lid that’s been found on the sly is one thing, but a shady carnival is another thing altogether.  Hubs and I did a little Happy Dance when the boy announced that YES and INDEED!  HE HAD GOLFED THE  MAJORITY OF THE DAY, AND HE WAS HOT AND TIRED, AND HE HAD NO REAL DESIRE TO ATTEND THE CARNIVAL IN THE 90-DEGREE WEATHER when we performed our Parental Duties of Extreme Sacrifice and invited to take him and his brother on Wednesday night.

Winner, winner… chicken dinner!!

We did, of course, have tickets to attend the rodeo on Saturday night with Sister and her family, and our friends, Keith and Carrie, who had driven all the way from Denver to be here this weekend.

It was going to be a giant, rodeo affair of moms and dads and kids, and we’d already worked the seating arrangement out in our minds, so that the dads would be on one end, with the moms on the other end, and all the kiddos would be packed in between us.

This would maximize the TALKING that we moms were going to do during the rodeo.

And then tragedy struck, because LOOK AT THIS:

IMG_2609That is Keith and Carrie’s younger son, Kellan.  And THAT is what happens when a Mosquito of Death bites your eyelid and squirts a little venom into your actual eyeball.

It required an ER trip.

And steroids.

Right before the rodeo.

IMG_2601 IMG_2606 IMG_2602So….

… Carrie announced that SHE would be attending the rodeo with us, while Keith took Kellan home to Grandma’s house, to let him sleep off the antihistamines and steroids.

Oh!  And don’t worry about Kellan, because two days later, THIS is what he looks like:

IMG_2654So, with Keith and Kellan out of the rodeo, our crowd was dwindling.

Enter MIGRAINE, stage right.

Yes, Hubs decided to host The Migraine of a Lifetime on Saturday evening, which caused him to say, “Go on without me, while I die here at home.”

That left three moms, one dad, and all-the-kids-minus-Kellan for the festivities.

(Also?  The boy and Enzo ate giant cheeseburgers.  And fried, deep-dish pizzas.  And funnel cakes.  The other kids ate corndogs.  And cotton candy.  And enormous, soft pretzels.  And kettle corn.  And funnel cakes.  And Dr. Peppers.)

(We needed the Costco-size bottle of Tums when we left the rodeo, for the sin of Junk Food Overload.)

IMG_6486 IMG_6488 IMG_6492 IMG_6495 IMG_6489 IMG_6558 IMG_6487The boy’s school principal, who is also a good friend of ours, sang the National Anthem with his brothers.

IMG_6507There were Indian pony races.

IMG_6515 IMG_6516 IMG_6526 IMG_6539And listen, people.

I’m pretty sure that I missed my calling in life, because I’m rather VERY MUCH POSITIVE that Jesus maybe meant for me to be a Rodeo Queen.

I think I would look just darling riding into the arena at a break-your-neck speed, carrying a flag and wearing a belt encrusted with more rhinestones than can be found in all the Michael’s, across America.

So, I’ve decided that it’s never too late to pursue a dream.  I’ve asked my friend, Mika (Rodeo Girl Extraordinaire), to coach me.  Never mind that I’ve only really ridden a horse about fifteen times in my entire life; I look good in cowgirl hats, and I’ve perfected my Flag Hold and my Crowd Wave.

IMG_6510  IMG_6559 IMG_6548 IMG_6560 IMG_6561 IMG_6567 IMG_6566Also, Carrie is JUST A TOUCH camera shy, but we’re coaching her on THAT issue, so that she learns to just smile a little when a Canon is pointed directly at her.

IMG_6568 IMG_6569 IMG_6570They also had a rodeo event this year where kids teamed up to catch and ride wild ponies.

Naturally, Mika’s kiddos were involved in this, because ADORABLE RODEO FAMILY, y’all.

There’s Tavy, waving at the crowd when she was introduced:

IMG_6575And there’s Mika’s son, Teegan, on the far right:

IMG_6572And there’s our friend, Jarrod:

IMG_6573The object of this was for one kid to hold the rope around the horse’s neck and DROP TO THE GROUND, where he or she would become a SOLID, DEAD WEIGHT that would slow that pony down.

The second kiddo would grab the horse and make every physical effort he or she could to get it stopped.

The third kid would jump on the pony’s back and needed to stay there for two seconds for the event to be completed.

IMG_6579 IMG_6584I may enter this contest next summer, too, but listen, y’all.  There’s just no way that I’m going to be the teammate who drops to the dirt as a dead weight that the pony has to haul.  I’m too old for that!  I just see that job as being one that INVITES a broken hip and a tube of Ben Gay the size of a horse trailer.

And THIS, folks, is why I’m not a professional photographer:

IMG_6591 IMG_6598Those would be snapshots of the bull riding.

BLURRY SNAPSHOTS.

Blurry snapshots that are SO BLURRY, they pretty much cause motion sickness all over again.

And then we wrapped up our weekend by fondu-ing dinner with Hubs’ parents.  The kids hadn’t been gathered around a fondu pot before, because they hadn’t grown up in the ’70s, so we decided to introduce them to a meal that you cook yourself in a vat of hot oil.

It was like RODEO FOOD ALL OVER AGAIN.

They loved it.

IMG_2614And then the boy, Cousin W and Miss A teamed up for an event called CATCH THAT FROG OUT OF PAPA’S IRRIGATION POND!!

IMG_2616 IMG_2620 IMG_2621 IMG_2622 IMG_2631V is for VICTORY!!

IMG_2625 IMG_2617 IMG_2639 IMG_2640Thing 2 even recruited Cousin W to drive him around the yard for the equivalent of SIXTEEN ENTIRE DAYS on the riding lawn mower.

IMG_2645And then we came home, people.

Because it was Sunday night, and because we were all exhausted.  We needed showers and ice water for dehydration and food that wasn’t deep-fat fried.

We needed sleep.

So of course it made perfect sense that I would stay awake until 11:00 last night, watching to see who would be the next Food Network star.

Let me tell you, it isn’t going to be someone who can fry a funnel cake up right.

Happy Monday, y’all.

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