Sunday, June 20, 2010

Duuuuuudde...

Well. We're home. The family dude-ification of 2010 has been declared a success. It should be noted, I am not a neophyte when it comes to the ins and outs of dude ranching and suchlike activities. Are you kidding? I watched "Bonanza" fer cryin' out loud. And every summer my husband's family has a reunion up at Sun Valley where roughly 7,000 relatives from all over the solar system invade a harmless 4-H camp and engage in more wilderness communing than Bear Grylls and Cougar Stovetop AND Angry Squirrell Rice Cooker ever dreamed of. So yeah, I'm practically Elly Mae Clampet these days. I'm a gal who can now use the word "varmint" and mean it, so you'd best watch yourselves.






I don't like to brag, but I was pretty much the star of the whole weekend. Whenever one of the wranglers said, "Time for the next activity," I was all, "I'll be in charge of this one, Junior."  We started with a trail ride.

You can't see me cuz I'm the foreman of the whole operation. I'm standing in my window hollerin' helpful things like, "Hey! If you're facing tail at least one of you is gonna have a rotten day." The wranglers appreciated it. They took turns showing me their mister digit hand puppets, which I'm told is cowboy for "Thumbs Up!"




While the riders were out on the trail, facing the right direction thanks to me, I figured I'd have to rustle up some grub for lunch. Long experience working with cowhands and horsefeet and sheepbums has taught me that when they all come in from a hard day of picking straw out of their teeth and farm pastries out of their boots, they are good and hungry!  Unfortunately, all of the buffalo and wild baked potatoes have been hunted to near extinction in south central Utah, and I was only able to use my trusty bow to shoot, in order, a lump of dirt four feet in front of me, a bale of hay upon which was sitting Nick or Mick, the least lucky wrangler in them thar parts and whose nickname immediately became "Perf", a large tree I was pretty sure was getting ready to charge, and finally the edge of a plastic target.  So of course, what choice did we have?  We ate the target.  What?  Like we were going to eat Perf after he'd gone all gamey?  There was dirt in that little arrow hole.  Ick.




Next it was my turn to show the land lubbers or posers or whatever you call people whose entire experience with a calf is limited to footwear and driving gloves just how you tame a wild cow.  These were miniature cows, and they were terribly upset at having been gypped in the growing up department.  So I had to get on that cow and ride it until its attitude changed and it began exploring the advantages of smaller stature in activities like, as a ferinstance, figure skating.  Then I leaned over to my right to take a dangerous Evel Knievel turn before the drag chutes burst out of the cow's bum, which totally frosted him let me tell you, and I daringly leapt to safety.  I know one of you is going to say, "DeNae, I don't mean to be rude, but I'm pretty sure that's a picture of your husband's nephew, Jordan Winder."  I know!  The resemblance is absolutely uncanny, huh?  But no, that's me all right.  You can tell from my short blond hair and the fact that I'm 6'2" and so thin I have to take darts in my skinny jeans.






Now, what's really interesting is, this is also me.  Look at what a STUD I am in this picture!  No hands, you poor little wannabees!  See how everyone is gathering around me, begging me for an autograph and miniature cow riding lessons and stuff?  My niece Lauren tried to do this, too, but she just couldn't compare with my style and finesse.  So we printed off her picture, then deleted it from the disk, then stuffed her picture between two marshmallows and a couple of graham crackers and then ran over the whole shebang with the hay wagon.  It seemed the most humane thing to do, given the circumstances.




The food was really terrible.  Goodness, you never saw such terrible food.  Salad and warm rolls and lasagna, lulling you into this false sense of security, and then BAM!  Out come the Pigs in a Blanket.  Well I think Pigs in a Blanket is a Gastronomical Crime Against Humanity, and I flat refused to eat that damn pig, blanket or no blanket.  So we went looking for food, and drove into Circleville, a town named for such a load of nonsense I called BS at Wikipedia and just decided to give it a brand new history.  So from now on, Circleville is called Circleville because there are exactly 3.14 actual residents, and roughly 496.86 folks who check "Other" on the 'species' line of the census form.  There.  That makes a lot more sense.  Anyway, apparently Circleville has another adventuresome chapter to its story.  Word on the street had it that Butch Cassidy had his dry cleaning done at Stan's Merc and Tumble Town.  There's a picture and everything, of Butch arguing with a Chinese guy sporting a nine-foot braid.  The caption reads, "Butch hates starch in his spats; throttles dry cleaner with own hair."  Those were scary times to go into the public laundry business, it seems to me.




Anyway, there were more adventures to be had at the Dude Ranch, but I valiantly napped through all of them.  I did lead the group in the Boot Scoot Boogie, as well as the Flip Flop Fandango and the Fuzzy Slipper Slide.


   


Some of the kids were better students than others.  Eric, Sarah, Vanessa, Lauren, and Corinne were all grounded for this sassy rendition of the Viennese Waltz.  Seriously, jazz hands in a waltz?  That is SO two centuries ago.


Finally it was time to pack up and head home.  In my husband's family, this is the signal for everyone to pull out their cameras and shriek, "WAIT!  We need a hundred million shots of the exact same pose taken from every camera in our possession because we have all the time in the world and besides, there is no other possible way for us to share pictures in this crummy digital age!"




This then leads to a rousing chorus of, "Where is Jacob? Where is Tiffany? Did they leave? Someone go find them. E-I-E-I-O."  And I practice my LaMaze breathing because, in my family, it's *snap snap we'll call that a keeper*.  37 seconds from "Hey, should we take a picture?" to "I just emailed it to you all."

  


The grandparents and whatever grandkids got the memo were loaded onto the stairs for the purposes of making memories.  That sound you hear in the background is the revving of the parents' engines, as checkout time was 20 minutes ago and the staff is adding a dollar for every minute we continue to breathe their air.


And there you have it.  The DeNae and Cute Guy Up the Street family, posing on the stairs while our Yukon is being towed away and sold for scrap.  Look how happy we seem, totally oblivious that we'll be taking the hay wagon back to Las Vegas.  We're a little bruised, a little burned, a little saddle sore.  But all told, none the worse for wear, and feeling a lot closer to the clan.

Now, I propose that the next bonding extravaganza involve ocean liners and sandy beaches and folks lining up to keep the virgin pina coladas coming.  Nothing personal, my dear inlaw family, but THAT'S the great outdoors that calls to ME.

34 comments:

Lisa said...

Wow! Tremendous trip and oh so entertaining for those of us not blessed to be a Dude.

annie valentine said...

We're so lame, we just go to my parent's farm for our family reunion. And the cows are NOT friendly.

Jessica said...

Dude! That is totally my everyday life here in TX! What a fun family reunion you had, we just don't reunion in my family.

Becca said...

I'm snorting a little about Farm Pastries. Also, I waved toward LV as we sped past on the freeway (twice) last week.

Lara said...

DeNae! I'm so impressed! Not only did you survive a dude ranch (not so sure this girl could do that) but you uploaded pictures to your blog! So we could see your amazing survival skills and fun family.

Kimberly said...

For some odd reason I'm imagining all the smells associated with such a weekend. I think I'll focus on the lasagna.

Welcome home and happy recovering!

Melanie J said...

Huh. I don't think there would ever be a more appropriate time for me to say "Dude, where's my car?" than if I found myself on a dude ranch. Horses bite. And I mean that every way that I possibly can.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

Dude, you're my hero.

Stacy said...

I'm still laughing about poor Perf.

And I'm with Lara- look at all the pretty pictures! I'm so proud of you. Our little DeNae is gowing up! *sniff*

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Looks like a rompin good time!!! Seriously, I would love to have done a DUDE ranch.

Looks like a fun reunion!

Kazzy said...

Look at that purty family! I love the picture of you bowing and arrowing. We get to see those lovely legs and get a little sense of your Indian side.

AS Amber said...

Where the crap is my comment??? Waaaaaaah!!! I hate it when I make a fantastic comment & don't realize it didn't work & go on my merry way thinking I'm all commented & stuff! Lame.

Hmmm....lemme think. What did I say? I think I said I bet the kids had a blast. And it looked like it really was fun. And I was so proud of you for showing them city slickers how to roll in the country. And that my fave was the picture part & I was sure you were refernecing the picture you initiated at Thanksgiving that literally was 47 seconds which included Harley wrapping up his phone call & the exorcism of Carsen.

I, too, am so proud of you for all these pictures! I especially love the ones of you & Romeo & the one of all of you! Love you all so much!

AS Amber said...

Oh suuuuuuuuuure. The comment with the typos shows up. Figures.

Cheeseboy said...

I think the appropriate comment for every one of those photos is: great form!

Molly Doe said...

I hope you got to come home to a nice long warm bath. Or something equally soothing.

Nice job on the riding though...I love how the animal you're on makes you look taller!

Zach said...

Oh man, Cheese Boy beat me again!I'm a slacker...but only by about a little over an hour though, not too bad. Hey DeNae the real truth behind the rumor of mormons having horns will never be able to be dispelled because of the last picture on here. Flower shirt girl forgot to cover hers up! You must ground her for being so careless with those things! I'll never hear the end of it from the primary kids,"When do I get my horns?? Huh huh huh??? Can I have mine? I want em! I want em! I want em!"

And then the chanting will begin!(to the tune of 'Follow the Prophet') "I want my ho-orns, I want my ho-orns, I want my ho-orns, I want them toda-ay...."

Take care Denae, sounds like a good time was had by all. Thanks for sharing with us!
~Zach~

P.S. My verification word is "blemo" HA!

AS Amber said...

Ok I know I've been on here twice already but I'm kinda wiggin out.

WHERE IS KRISTINA P.????????

Has anyone put out the APB?

And I didn't even notice V's horns! That's hilarious!

Connie said...

What would they have done without you? Great family picture of your obliviousness.
Thanks for the laugh!

M-Cat said...

Dude! That just looks like fun. NGL - I would do that in a heartbeat.

The Woolsey's said...

I actually live about 20 minutes from Circleville in Panguich haha. My sister in law lives there!

Kristina P. said...

So, your sister texted me today to make sure I wasn't in a Hoff-induced coma, since I hadn't commented on this post yet.

I told her that it popped up in my Reder, but when I clicked over, it said that the post didn't exist, so I think you hit Publish too early, and it never popped up again.

Anyway, after reading this I have to say I am a little sad now about missing out on the Pulsipher family reunion this weekend, to hang out with you. I expect a game of charades where we act all these out.

Rebecca said...

I can't stop laughing about the horns just so perfectly situated on that cute girl.
Anyway, loved the post and the descriptions of you shooting those arrows...sounds like you have some dangerous aim!

One Cluttered Brain said...

So it looks like you had a good time. It feels good to be home again doesn't it?
Love the picture of you on the horse (was it) and your hands are in the air.
LOVE it.

Your description of the duuuude ranch reminded me alittle of the movie City Slickers.
Have you seen that movie with Billy Crystal in it?

Motherboard said...

Your family reunion looks fun!

My reunion this weekend consists of a baseball game in the tacky park and a gross potluck with all the cousins who just got out of the pokey.

Shoot me now, please.

Qait said...

HAhahah, you know, I wonder if I've had a family reunion at the same place...maybe not, but it's SO very much the same! :D
You're so funny!
Whoa, what? The wv for this is "fatopsy." A new word for liposuction? I like it.

Qait said...

Um, so my doctor jargon is rusty...I guess what I was thinking would be more like fatotomy or fatectomy, but so what. Fatopsy's cool.

DeNae said...

Motherboard! You have to call in 'sick' or 'lost' or 'Vegas-ed' to your reunion and come with the girls! Do it now, before you're sucked into the baseball game / potluck vortex!

wendy said...

Ah Ha....welcome to my world. Cattle wrestling, bow hunting, trail rides and..........you get the idea.
That last picture almost looks like my parents house. Seriously.....they live in this awesome log house with stairs just like that and all the BIG log poles and such.
Sounded like alot of fun. Hitching up with the kin folk and all

Debbie said...

I bet you are the most fun person to vacation with ever! And Circleville sounds like a wonderful place. You should spend a whole week there next year.

AS Amber said...

Motherboard!! Someone has hijacked your blog and changed your picture from a purple silhouette to someone totally adorable!!! Please to be joining us in Las Vegas.

Garden of Egan said...

There's a country song that comes to mind, try imagining a western twang if you will..... (I know you love those)

"ONE HOT MAMA!" I don't any of the other words.

Looks like you had a blast. I'm sorta jealous. Nothing says I love you like dust and manure.

websweb said...

That just looks like fun

http://www.websitesweb.co.cc/

Thanks

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh. My. You are quite the adventurer, aren't you!? And you know I laughed my ass off all the way through your post! But, in the end, you are right. It's all about getting "closer to the clan"!

Lisa Loo said...

I had to reload this post a couple of times cuz when I saw the pics i was pretty sure I had clicked the wrong button.

Camping and ranching and forced family bonding--all in one summer?? Is that even legal??