Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Park Wife and The Ranger - Possibilities

Our first date was magical; I knew that he was the one. But, I was not sure that I had made the same impression on him. I had my work cut out for me.

First, I had almost starved the man and secondly because he had been out of a serious, long-term relationship for only a few months and I was about the last thing he needed. That did not deter me a bit though, surprise. I have never been one to back down from a challenge. Was that what this was, a challenge, or was there something different about him?

I knew the answer to that already because every time I thought of him my heart beat faster and it gave me this overwhelming giddy happy feeling. All I could think about was him, of how handsome he was, how he smelled (a little like an airplane, but his manly smell overpowered airline peanuts), those beautiful eyes and the smile that lit up the room. Now, Big Buckaroo is not the one that would be the center of attention at a party, he is not loud or overbearing. He has a strong inner peacefulness and confidence that exudes from him and partnered with his good looks, yep, I could not let him go.

I was walking in the clouds on Monday when I went to work. Of course, Pat had to have all the scoop and she was genuinely glad that I was happy. Then, in her motherly love for me cautioned me to be careful, she had watched me go through some dead end relationships that she predicted early, oh the wisdom that woman has.

I spoke to him on the phone that next week and invited him to come back whenever he could. The next Tuesday, nine days from our first date, he agreed to come to Memphis for the day. Maybe I had made an impression on him, but I had to promise to feed him this time. But, I could not cook, what was I to do?

He drove three hours to get there, not complaining at all about the long trip. It is amazing that I have been an event planner in my past career because, yet again, I did not have a plan for his visit. So, when he arrived at my apartment, he came in and there was an awkward moment of what in the world are we going to talk about? That passed very quickly after we sat down on the couch and started talking. This date began our date pattern, sitting for hours talking on my couch and later, well, that is for another installment. Now, get your mind out of the gutter!

It was getting late and I offered for him to stay on the couch so he did not have to drive back so late, he looked at me with a strange look, the one I now know is the “I can’t believe that came out of The Park Wife’s mouth” look and quickly let me know that would not be appropriate and he loaded up his Wrangler wearing behind and headed back to his mountain park.

Things were going well, but could I soften his hardened heart from the only real relationship he had been in that was full of hurt and pain. Was he ready for me?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh, How I Love A Parade!

The Fair is here and of course, there is a wonderful small town parade to celebrate. Now, it was not quiet Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it had firetrucks, tractors, and pretty Fair Queens, everything you could ask for!

The Grand Marshall led the parade in style.

I so love our veterans! I look at these men and see wisdom, pride for their country and thankfulness. What wonderful examples of the American spirit.
Speaking of veterans that I respect and admire and will be voting to lead our country, Go McCain!

The Divine Miss M with Little Buckaroo. This child's spirit and behavior is just as beautiful as that sweet face. I am blessed to have such a wonderful, Godly family in my life.

Although it has been a bit cooler, the high school band did not wear their uniforms, um, people we live in the SOUTH!!!!

What is a parade without pretty girls? And, don't you just love the fact that they are sitting on hay bales with a local farm cattle brand behind them. Small towns rock.

O.K., this is the worst photo attempt of the day, but with one child in my lap because of the loud firetruck siren, this is the best I could do. It was my favorite float of the day. The white haired lady in the red top is the Fair Queen from the local nursing home! How much do you love that? It gives me hope that one day I will wear a tiara.

If I don't get to wear a tiara, I can always wear a red hat! These women have FUN! For those who don't know about the Red Hat Society Ladies, it is an over 50 women's society who encourage fun, silliness, creativity, and friendship in middle age and beyond. I am going to pre-register for membership!

Littlest Buckaroo's favorite part of the parade... TRACTORS!!!!!!

The parade gang!

Fun was had by all, we are looking forward to the holiday parade now!

Stay tuned (all 3 Park Wife readers) for our rodeo fun details and The Love Story continuation,
The Park Wife

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain

We are back from a weekend at our land! Yeah!

Although hurricane season has really dampened (sorry for the pun) my spirits about our land, progress was made. Due to a very wet August (in the South, "wet August" is an oxymoron) we have not been able to have the bulldozer guy work on our road. That means that we have to ride the 4-wheeler in the mile from our road to cabin/campsite. That does not sound too bad, right? Well, don't forget that we have to take in all our bags, camping equipment, oh, and let's not forget the kids. Plus, my in-laws along with a nephew who tagged along for this trip. We were glad they went with us and so were the chiggers who had a wide variety to choose from with our guests there. Needless to say, my MIL who is more of the spa kind of lady will not be going back until the cabin is built. You were quiet the trooper MiMi.

Big Buckaroo and my FIL were able to get everything ready for hunting season and we put stakes in the ground for the cabin. We staked out 2 locations that are very close to each other, but there are many factors that have to be addressed before we make the final decision, like which oak tree provides the maximum amount of shade in the summer, which place will face the old homesite best (where we will build an outdoor patio/kitchen where the fireplace remnants are), where the road will go (in front of or behind the cabin) etc.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. It is a bit overwhelming at times because I am one of those Norman Rockwell minded people. I want all our holidays to look like one of his paintings on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. So, every decision about the cabin has to fit into this mindset. Now, Big Buckaroo has much different, um, logical reasons for the actual decisions, but hey, I have to put in my Rockwell two cents here and there. Does it really matter where the solar panels are going or is it more important that where the table goes makes Thanksgiving Dinner evoke those old time feel good feelings? Well, alright, I am willing to compromise a little bit as long as we have power.

The Little Buckaroos amaze me at what troopers they are, they never complained about the bugs or riding in and out or the bugs, did I mention the bugs? It was a wonderful trip, but I was happy to be home in my own clean, bugless bed!

I have been pressured, I mean asked politely by a few of you to continue Big Buckaroo and my love story. So, watch over the next couple of days and you will get a brand new installment of The Park Wife and The Ranger. Get up to date if you are new around these parts here.

Until then,
The Park Wife

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All Is Well

Hello Everyone-
We are all fine from Ike, thanks for all of you who sent messages of concern. The wind was ferocious resulting in many limbs down in the Park and in our little town and a power outage until mid-afternoon. We spent most of the morning helping our neighbors with limbs, so we did not miss the electricity too much. When the power came back on, the Buckaroos were a bit disappointed, they thought it was fun!

On Saturday afternoon, the day the hurricane weather was arriving (it did not get bad until during the night) our Park had an event celebrating state park's anniversary. So, we dressed up and went to the old courthouse for the event. Big Buckaroo did a great job on his speech and introducing the head of state parks. I was so proud to be there, as the Park Wife (naturally to support my hubby and the Park staff) and as a recipient of the incredible work that state parks does for our state. We have an extraordinary state park system with many beautiful parks. I urge you to visit the parks in your area and create memories that will last a lifetime, I am going to!

We concluded the celebration at the park restaurant where there was cake and ice cream, and well, cupcakes for the kids. Now, I do try to serve our family the healthiest food possible~ we have a garden, raise pastured poultry (meat chickens) and layers for fresh eggs, pigs (no I am not talking about Tonto) and there was even the goat meat episode (that will never happen again!). But, just to show you I am a cool mom, look at how much Littlest Buckaroo enjoyed his cupcake.

I am one rockin' mom!
The Park Wife

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

9/11 ~ This set of numbers needs no explanation. They are filled with horror, sadness, and the resilience of the American spirit. Most people above 5 feet tall could probably tell you exactly where they were 7 years ago today when the first plane hit the WTC, I can. As a country, we were united, people clung to one another, wept, and PRAYED. They put others before themselves.

There are countless stories of heroes that emerged that day~ firefighters, first responders, policeman, the mayor, the office worker that sacrificed for their co-worker, the list goes on. The epitome of COURAGE.

I am going to share again one our favorite quotes as an inspiration to you and as a reminder to me.

"It is not the critic that counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
-Theodore Roosevelt (Paris Sorbonne, 1910)

Let us never forget and may God Bless America.
The Park Wife

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Moving On From Politics (for now)

McCain-Palin 2008!

Moving on....
I know I have not blogged as much lately, but no worries, we are doing great, just busy.

Little Buckaroo is excelling in his schoolwork (homeschooling is GREAT), Littlest Buckaroo is all about having fun and enjoying life, and Big Buckaroo is making some wonderful progress at work despite the opposition from those who are against him.

We know that being here at this Park is God-ordained and is being used to break (at times) and refine us (just think what it is doing to others!). I know that it is not about our brokenness but how we respond to it. And, let me be the first to admit, I fail daily. I am thankful for the amazing amount of grace He has poured out in our lives and the blessings that are flowing.

We are planning a trip to our land soon. It has been too wet to build the road which is the first step to getting started on our cabin. We bought 25 windows from an old farmhouse and have been working on scraping and preparing them for the cabin. So, we are doing something toward our dream cabin despite the hurricane season rainfall.

As for me, I am having my first Spa Girl weekend with one of my dearest friends soon, am going to paint my kitchen and make new curtains! Plus, I am thinking of putting Tonto up for bid on EBay. Any takers?

Thanks to all my bloggy friends for your friendship, support, and kindness. It is like water in the desert.

The Park Wife

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Park Wife Gets Political

I know, I know, you guys are used to me writing about living on a state park, pictures of our little Buckaroos and baby pigs, chickens and the occasional horse. And, now I am going to go off and get political with you. Well, be patient with me, or just sit back, have a Dr. Pepper and put up with me because you are my bloggie world friends.

From the beginning, I knew I was going to vote for Senator John McCain, I am a conservative Christian and frankly, the alternative is very scary to me. But, I did not have an enormous amount of gusto about it.

I planned to vote for McCain because he is pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-life and pro-America, wow, we have a lot in common. He is committed to protecting our children and preparing them to succeed ~um, so am I. He supports parental choice regarding education (whew! homeschoolers rock) and has vowed to place parents and students at the center of the education process. That is refreshing/comforting for a homeschool mom because believe me, I am right in the center of my children's education process at the moment.

Then, Kaboom! Exploding on the scene is Sarah Palin....I will wait for the applause to die down...o.k. here we go. I really like her! Did you expect that from a conservative Christian mom who chose to leave the business world behind and focus on raising two little Buckaroos?

Palin appeals to me for many reasons ~ her strength, grace and humility to name a few. I feel like she is one of us ~ she has a real family that isn't perfect, whose husband is a blue collar union member, a hockey mom who has the courage to speak her mind. Change that to a state park ranger and a soccer mom and we have so much in common! Well, except that I don't have an office in a Capitol building nor do I run marathons, nor shoot moose, um, I am not really a "maverick", well, o.k. we don't have a ton in common, but we are both moms who love our kids dearly.

I know everyone is giving her grief about her oldest daughter being pregnant, but all I have to say is be careful judging people. Bottom line is, she, with her newest arrival, and her daughter both chose LIFE. On the flip side, a quote from Obama, "Look, I got two daughters - 9 years old and 6 years old,” [Obama] said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby." Oh my, did he call a baby punishment?

A statement from Gov. Palin released after she gave birth: “Trig is beautiful and already adored by us. We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed.”

Enough said on that topic!

She seems very down to earth, as Governor, she drives herself to work, put the previous Governors jet on e-bay, and fired the chef. Now, I would have kept the chef, but that is just me wanting a night off from cooking for the family. She took out Alaska’s corrupt power structure and is a champion of ethics reform. I think she might have a Superwoman outfit in her closet, if she doesn't, I bet she can sew too.

So, she chose to have a job outside of the home, boy, look what she is doing with that choice. She wants America to be a better place for her kids and for ours.

Vote McCain-Palin 2008!
The Park Wife

I am off my political soapbox for now, but it could happen again. Remember, this is my blog, I respect others opinions, so please respect mine (or at least pretend to by just clicking to another blog rather than leaving me an ugly comment, hehehe.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tonto and Little Buckaroo Win Blue Ribbon Despite the Rain

The rain finally let up yesterday afternoon and of course, I let the boys go play in the puddles.

Tonto and Lucky the dog were not far from them, they are such good guard animals, well, except for the fact that the pig has rooted the majority of the yard and then there is the smell, ugh!

We lost a beautiful crabapple tree so the guys had to inspect the damage by climbing all over it. Oh, look Tonto rooting up the yard, surprise.

Later in the day, we waded through the typhoon to get to the Fairgrounds so Little Buckaroo could show Tonto. Aside of the fact that we were told he would show her at 6:00 and did not until 7:30, all went well. Now, the Buckaroos go to bed at 8:00 every night, they have since they were born (I got a little overzealous on the Baby Wise program). So, around 7:15 (at that point I was kicking myself for teaching Little Buckaroo how to tell time) Little Buckaroo decided that 4H might not be for him because "they keep you up too late" and he was hungry.

Finally, he got Tonto on her leash, yes, he had her on a leash and she walked on it pretty well. Is she a dog or a pig? Or is she a pig that thinks she is a dog?

He won a blue ribbon and was smiling from ear to ear (not in this picture), I think it was because he had so much fun showing the pig, or it could be that we were going to take him out for a celebratory dinner, no, we did not have pork.

He said he wanted to try raising a goat or calf next year. Next year, oh no! Maybe he could just play a sport or something! I guess it is better than bull riding though.

The Park Wife

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav Cometh!

We are in the path of 'ole Gus and are battening down the hatches. I am sure we will lose power. When the wind blows during a minor storm, we lose power here at the state park, so I imagine that 30 mph winds will knock it out pretty quick.

For all Tonto the pig fans, do not worry she will be well protected in her own little barn with Lucky by her side to comfort her. The Buckaroos are very excited about playing in the rain, Little Buckaroo's science lesson tomorrow will be on the Beaufort Scale which is used to measure wind speed. Hey, we are hands on homeschoolers, I will put him out in the wind and ask him to try to measure it as he is flying from the house to the barn. Now, I am kidding people! Maybe we will just watch The Weather Channel, um....until we lose power.

We hope all our bloggy friends are safe and I will keep you guys posted on how we are when we get power back.

I am going to plan our hurricane party now! Come on over if you are in the area, well, come before the rain starts please.

Take Care and God Bless,
The Park Wife