Mama’s Got a Squeeze Chute…

by admin


Mama’s got a Squeeze Chute she wears around her chest, and when Daddy comes home never gets no rest…

…in and out and in and out and in and out again…

…”Cause she’s playin’ all night,
and the music’s alright….”

…Well the kids don’t eat
and the dog can’t sleep.
There’s no escape from the music
in the whole damn street…

She goes, squeeze me, come on and squeeze me

Come on and tease me like you do
I’m so in love with you…

-Pete Townshend.



Why the website? Chapter One. Branding.

by admin


Why the website?

A woman from a Topeka design firm that once filmed John for an ad described it in saying, “you needed a presence.” She was familiar with rural systems, and she knew where I was coming from.

On a dark day I might say it this way,

“I just might die out here and no one will ever even know I existed!” 

**note: many women with photo albums who take the pictures feel this way. I’m confident I’d never be in mine if it were not for my mother, and now my sister and daughter taking photos, though Jack’s now good for a few.

A city slicka’ lak mahself bein’ or-rig-on-alee from kan-sa sidday mahgt jes add,

“I just might die of boredom out here if I don’t find my next project.”

So my personal first “real” website designer Shawn took all my pages of what is called “cartooning”, the menus and my numerous page layout attempting urban cowgirl architect edginess, my at-that-time completely wrong words, and he visually twanged it up a bit. He said,

“I get it, Paula. Edgy, urban, slick cowboy design-architect thing, but no one wants to go ‘back at the ranch’ for that. Everything that you have brought in and laid out is like a scrapbook, a journal.  See it as that.”  He did not even know me, my web way albums, my French sketchbook, architecture school. Poor Guy, he didn’t know what he was in for, nor did Tracy when he quoted that bargain price of $1200.00 over the phone.

And, at the end of a day I am a classicist, old school, whether it is in Paris or on the Plains. And aren’t Levis actually ‘de Nimes’?  It’s only as simple or complex as we want it to be at the moment….So, I came full circle and I know he is brilliant. 

So, the quest for

  • the next client (Steve Revare…any churches you need to adaptively re-use…?),
  • the next historic building along a Kansas highway (Citysearch…Susan Ford…KDOT…, you there?)
  • the next “egg money” as my mother from Hays termed the income that rural women around Hays, Kansas earned in town to get some spending money that was their own and not their husbands which is what I did. My contributions to family were more in the way of driving, cooking, sweat equity with house maintenance, and in choosing an unorthodox lifestyle, not something that floated the boat. The beef was the reason for being out there. 

the website

it was pretty simple. Or, at least as simple as we all are different but the same.

We thought the fact that it could serve as as an interim XIT Ranch History website was also handy. Yes, we. Trust me when I say it takes longer to write a Master’s Thesis than it takes to write anything with Cowboy Owner-Editor breathing down your neck. I can remember an evening of several hours and numerous bourbons shared by all re-writing two sentences when I damn near walked out on the job.

But we both were pleased with the result. That is, I knew what ‘NO’ meant and it was permitted, paid for, and given time to do well by both clients who did give it their joint efforts. For that I am grateful.

  • For me, an attempt to whittle down the story of a hundred year history of kin and kinder kin. Editing the reasons the reasons why any person, white man or Indian, could survive and thrive on this harsh and beautiful landscape  to two.


One father-to-sons-to-children-to sons-to children relationship to pieces of land surrounding the house where we lived.

The fact that it could be a multi-function item for me is just one of those efficient wife attempts to get the whole dog and pony in one place. For example….

  • Flipping steaks on Memorial Day to promote Stew Leonard’s Naked Beef for US Premium Beef and distracted with personal questions, flip out a card.
  • Inviting friends for a weekend or even those in town for dinner for the first time, flip out a card.
  • Sending that link to the paleons in Boulder and Barcelona for their annual dig on the ranch,

“Paõlo, s’il vous plaît, envoyez-vous ce link à Sophie in Paris?”, ‘I so cherished la soirée a l’XIT avec tous. La challenge de parler en français quand préparant le dîner pour vingt-six personnes étaient justement ce que je l’aime.’

  • Someone admired my necklace in a Wichita store and offered me a $125 (this happened), I would just say, “take this one. and if you’d like another, here’s a card.”

So, the website was putting it all in one place for the buck spent on what I felt was a pretty nice little paintin’.

That being said…

I understood it wouldn’t  really work in a functional sense in terms of generating design income, didn’t want e-commerce nor would I be generating inventory to sell. As with so much on the internet and with social media, it would be more of a marketing tool to “show the whole dog and pony”.

But on the other hand, it would not require expensive and unnecessary re-designs of site. I’d asked around about that. Rumor had it that Ree’s last bells and whistles were a +$30,000.00 tab. Gotta sell a lotta cookbooks to pay that tab and I hadn’t even figured out my big moneymaker to sell yet.

I’m a historian, a dedicated fact gatherer to the level that can best be done given the project, one who documents place and time and a story teller.

And like a good book that’s hard to put down, if it’s my life’s story then I can’t just go back in there and re-arrange it all the time, it had to have a start based on my perspective at that time and then just go one.  It’s called “historical continuity” in the trade…unfortunately I need to hold my cards closer,

but who really cares enough to read much these days anyway…my path in life was to learn, unlearn, and re-learn again.”

-quote: Reverend Paul Rock,2nd Presbyterian Church, 55th & Oak, 8:15 am, 26 Aug 12 in the context of “21st c. literacy.”

So, that’s the long story about the why the website.

I’d lived out there for 28 years, a third more than I’d spent in Kansas City or with my parents.

I needed a Brand.