Category Archives: The Adventure

Tales from our travels

Texas Interval

Although we won’t be doing an official SOWER project next month, it’s not really going to be one of those sit-back-and-relax months. It’ll be full of airplane rides, meetings, quilts, grandboys, and chickens. (Check out the “So Where are We Now” page for more details on that!)

But before we get started on that, here’s a little slide show of our trip from New Life Ranch, Frontier Cove (NW of Tulsa) to the SOWER Office (90 miles east of Dallas)) via Yukon, OK (just a bit west of Oklahoma City). The Yukon “via” enabled us to connect with friends from our ‘previous lifetime’ whom we hadn’t seen since we waved good-bye from the church parking lot in August ’04! So sweet to catch up with them!

Helper

This week we continued on with the streetlight refurbish project. Tuesday, as we were starting to install the beautifully refreshed lights
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I noticed that we had an extra helper.
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“Watcha doin’?”
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“Are you sure you want to put it that way?”
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“No….a little more to the right!”
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“If you’re not going to take my advice, I might as well just go on my way!”
It was fun having you along, but guess we’ll just have to muddle along with the two of us!
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The Home Stretch

It seems to always sneak up on me. Do we really have just a week left at this project? What exactly have we been doing for the last two weeks?
Inquiring minds want to know, right?

First of all – they let me drive a golf cart!
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Kinda crazy, right? Tamara and I were tasked with checking out the curtains in each building to see if they needed to be replaced. We had our clipboard and a master key, and we were off! It was so fun exploring all those cool buildings, especially since while a building might look like this on the outside
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it might look like this on the inside.
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Or this!
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Or even this!
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We also did a some post-retreat cleaning and laundry, so there was a nice variety to our work week.
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Sweeping away the spider webs on the outside
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and lots of fun games on the inside!
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And laundry. There is always laundry!

 

 

 

 

While we were scooting about in that golf cart or chasing down spider webs, the guys were working on replacing a set of porch posts that were beginning to show some serious wear.
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They weren’t replacing them with such fancy posts (think $$$), but rather something that would last, look pretty good and ALSO hold up the porch!
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Once the lights and corbels were back in place, those new posts seemed to fit right in!
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Seeing the ‘big picture’!
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Great job, guys!

But of course that only took the first week! After that they moved to disassembling/refurbishing/repainting/whatever was needed to some outside lights!
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And when I say ‘some’ I really mean between 80 and 100!! They all needed to be taken down, cleaned up, repainted, rewired and then reinstalled!
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They were working on batches of about 20 and pulled us girls off the golf cart to give them a hand!
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This apparently is the face you make when you’re learning how to strip wires!
There were globes to wash
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and plenty of spray painting and rewiring to be done.
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My job was to do the pre-painting clean-up, which did involve some live spiders and even some old wasp nests.
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No pictures of the actual cleaning, and no screams with the creepy crawly things, I’m happy to report!
The guys were able to get the first two batches back on their posts
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and when we checked out the finished result later that evening –
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my, they looked purty!!
With just four days to go, we’re hopeful to get another 40 down, refurbished, and back up! Although it seems that every time we turn around we’re finding more of them!

This is an amazing facility that New Life Ranch has only owned for the last three years. (Previously it had been “Dry Gulch, USA” , a ministry site from a large Tulsa Church that included not only a summer camp, but also a hugely popular Christmas Train.)  Although it’s always been a Gospel-centered camp, New Life Ranch is working hard to re-mold it into their ministry model! It’s been very exciting to be part of the process.  The train was sold before New Life purchased the property, but the rest of the campus is still largely the same! Here’s an older video from the “Dry Gulch, USA” days.

Thanks for coming along for the recap of the last couple of weeks. Man, they go by fast!
Steph

Mondays are for memories…Circles of Grands

Over the years I’ve tried my best (often to the annoyance of the subjects) to get a certain photo of the grands when I have them all together. It started with the three (2008)
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and then four (2011)
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then five (2013)
GrandkidsCircle2012
and before we knew it we were up to seven! (2013)
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By the next time we did the Grand Circle, we were at nine. (2015)
Grandkids 2015
We held steady at nine for the next reunion (2017)
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and this summer (2021) we bumped it up to eleven, only missing our Ellie B!
KidsCircle2021

This last picture the ages ran from 18 down to 1, so I’m not sure just how many more years I’ll be able to convince everyone to join the circle.

Or if I’ll be able to find a ladder tall enough to get everyone in!

But you know I’ll keep trying, right?

All things PW

That’s The Pioneer Woman, of course!
Long before HGTV, TV appearances, and her social media presence, I was a Pioneer Woman groupie! I entered her contests (along with thousands others) to win that Kitchen-Aid mixer or a fancy pair of boots, and thoroughly enjoyed her fun blogs about life on the ranch, homeschooling, photography and delicious ranch recipes! I even own her very first cookbook (though these days it doesn’t get opened very often!). Since we don’t get the Food Network with our little OTA antenna I’ve never watched more than a random episode of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, but I still check in with her blog from time to time. And of course, we’re Facebook friends. =)
Anywho – since we within tourist driving distance from Pawhuska, OK – home to The Pioneer Woman Phenomenon – we decided to take a little road trip for our anniversary! It was a pretty fine day all around!
We started at The Mercantile (a 100+ year old building that I watched her refurbish on her blog back in the day)
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Super fun store filled with lots of beautiful things that I totally resisted buying.
Can you see how I blended right in?
Matching suitcases
There were, however some pastries that were unable to be resisted.
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After our treat at the store we headed out to The Lodge – which was open for touring that day! Like the “Merc”, I had watched this being remodeled back in the day. Since it’s also the location of her cooking show, it’s not always available for tours so we were delighted that the day we picked was an open day! It was also surprisingly not busy!
The Lodge
The Lodge
Here we are, in the kitchen whey they film her show.
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So fun!!
The view was fabulous, even with the melancholy sky.
The Lodge
The Lodge
It was a stunning ‘guest house’, and so fun to see in person.
We returned to town for a final look around, and some very delicious lunch.
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And I had a very handsome lunch date to boot!
Lunch Date
(Fun Fact – the food was excellent and not outrageously expensive. But those glasses of ice tea and lemonade? 25 cents for a bottomless mug!)
With our tummies full, we began the drive home. We stopped in Bartlesville on the way to check out the ONLY skyscraper that Frank Lloyd Wright designed – the Price Tower.
Price Tower - by FLW
Price Tower
I can’t say I was enamored by it – but at least we can say we’ve seen it! (Another item to put on that bucket list so I can cross it off!)

Our sweet anniversary day was drawing to a close, but it had lovely ending – a beautiful bouquet and calls from all the kids.
Anniversary flowers

We don’t often have such flagrant touristy days anymore, so it was a great way to celebrate our 50th. You know I took more pictures, so if you’d like to see more of them, you can check them out HERE!

Thank you for all of the Happy Anniversary wishes and greetings! It was lovely to hear from so many of you!
Steph