It’s been how long?

A few weeks ago in the mail I received a membership renewal for the Better Barrel Races association. Knowing what it was I didn’t even open it. The thought of me not riding my mare and going to barrel races hit me the wrong way that day, so I just tucked it away and forgot about it.

I have been a member of the BBR for a number of years, and have attended their World Finals in Oklahoma City several times. Last year I renewed knowing that I was already pregnant with Chance. I intended on riding after he was born, like I did with Shaun. I did ride most of the summer, but the last barrel race I went to was Labor Day 2013. My mare got sore after that and we didn’t get her feet figured out until nearly fall. By that time I was big and fat, so I didn’t get back on my mare until April of this year.

Now it’s already mid-August, and I can’t tell you the last time I got to ride. Between two kids, a full-time job and other activities, there’s plenty of room for excuses. Not to mention my horse is missing shoes, and I’ve missed the horse shoer the last three times he’s been here. I don’t know that she’s missing getting rode, but I know I am missing getting to go to the jackpots and rodeos. I look at the rodeo results and photos and think back to the last 10 years or so when I went to the Kansas Pro Rodeos. Now I wonder if I will ever have a horse to take to the rodeos.

My old mare is 22 this year, and deserves the best. Shaun keeps asking which horse is his and I tell him they are all OUR horses. I just can’t let go of that brown mare quite yet. I really don’t want last year’s run to be our last together, but she’s given me 16 great years and doesn’t owe me a thing. So if that run was our last together, I can accept that. She will have many more runs with Shaun and Chance hopefully.

2013 BBR World Finals, Oklahoma City, OK.

2013 BBR World Finals, Oklahoma City, OK.

Red dirt

No, I’m not talking about the kind of red dirt under your feet, but instead a kind of music. Some even call it Texas Country. I heard an interview on the radio this morning and the DJ said they were one of the few stations in the state of Kansas who play Texas Country. It made my heart sing a little.

I was introduced to Red Dirt music more than 10 years ago. I was attending K-State at the time, and my sister was at Oklahoma State. She had a CD of Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and one weekend when we were together, she put it in my pickup’s CD player. I was hooked, and she barely got her CD back.

In the spring of 2000, I headed to enroll in Oklahoma State University for the following year and visit my sister who was already living in Stillwater. We had tickets to attend the annual Tumbleweed Testicle Festival as well. The event now features a number of red dirt artists and is still held every April at the Tumbleweed Dance Hall. It’s coming up this weekend, April 26, 27 and 28.

While living in Stillwater, we had the opportunity to see a number of bands as they were starting out, and it sure is good to hear some of them on the radio now, mixed in amongst the crappy mainstream “country.”

My favorites still remain the same, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Cross Canadian Ragweed (now defunct, but Cody Canada and the Departed are touring), (the original) Great Divide, Gary Allan and now I’ve added: Randy Rogers Band, Eli Young Band, Casey Donahew, Stoney Larue and many more.

The local station, 96.3 the Marshall, has a couple of hours on Fridays dedicated to Red Dirt. Sure makes me happy to hear “Pearl Snaps” or another Red Dirt song that takes me back to Stillwater, Okla., and College Days.

Red dirt and green grass

Driving through northwest Oklahoma the last two days made me miss it an awful lot. There is nothing prettier in my mind than red dirt and green grass. The stark contrast between the green and red along with the blue skies makes my mind feel at ease. Heck even the brown/gray grass of winter paired with red dirt is more interesting to look at than the soils around here.

Here’s a couple photos I took several years ago. Enjoy.

The view near Alabaster Caverns in northwest Oklahoma.