Jul 29 2019
Jul 9 2019
I just returned from a stimulating trip to Prescott yesterday and was sharing my adventures with a friend from grade school, now in Kansas City. He had gone to college at U of A and had very successful work appointments in Tucson, though just recently he took a job in Olathe and moved to Overland Park to be closer to his family.
We often talk of what we are doing now, what we still hope to do, and in my case, if I’m having enough fun before I die, or at least before I lose the motivation to have fun. Fun IS work.
I had mentioned that I hit the closest Starbucks, parked, walked the square where I listened to the orator speak about history, this country, religion and other things. It’s on my facebook page, public, FYI.
Then, I went to a rodeo where unfortunately I ‘FOLLOWED THE RULES AND DID NOT TAKE ANY PICTURES’ (except the one below in the dirt lot with me in my new hat). That’s a large horse trailer in the background (in case you thought they had a Rem Koolhaas fairgrounds building).
Anyway, I mentioned to my friend of my parents research of alternate living situations, my friends from church of the same age that are moving back to New York to be with their family, and then said, ‘as much as I enjoy Tucson, I didn’t really move here (at age 55) for the same reasons that others retire to the desert.’ I didn’t quite use those words, and I maybe just thought it. I mean…we’ve all gotta go someplace…somewhere…sometime.
And, I did touch upon the stress on the medical community in this area and how my Five Star Hospital Indemnity plan (of the perpetually self/part-time employed/cash pay person…it’s not bad, out of Nebraska, I believe, BUT…) was apparently ‘lacking a bit’ of status with the current mindset of providers and staff, though they HAVE been capable, efficient in filing, and kind. Maybe the tide will turn, though a friend at 65 said to me (she was just turned away from a chosen Dr.) ‘none of them are taking medicare anymore.’ Youth, you may have a chance!
But this is what has given me a chuckle since our conversation earlier. He said, “A lot of people retire in Prescott.” I didn’t bristle or address this, I just thought about it. Now, to my other friend, I had just mentioned that before I was job-seeking, I had been considering renting something in Paris or Bourges for a year (or 6 months…but it CAN take some time to get your WI-FI all setup…at least here). So, his perception of my glamour aside, I realized why that idea seemed so funny.
That is, I thought to myself, ‘it would have to be for Love.’ And, it is true…Prescott is a charming town, good restaurants, the historic Hassayampa Inn, just the limited amount of shops + limited big box that I love, there’s even The Home Depot! Way more than we had in Liberal or Dodge. And, I know I’d get a LOT more productive work done than I have since I moved to the city.
But I thought, I’ve done this. I know in the depths of my heart from where that expression comes in ‘western’ venues (Venii??). (I mean ‘Been there, done that’, and in case you haven’t heard this one either…‘where’s the Beef?’ [in Kansas]). But, back to topic…
- yes, Done it, In Action,
- 28 years on the High Plains,
- 30 miles from a town of 15,000, 55 miles for 14 years pre…
- painted, crafted, non-profited, loved, designed, cooked, had ‘family and neighbors’ more in 5 years than I may ‘do’ for the rest of my life. But that’s okay. We all get tired.
So, back to thoughts of how perhaps, I MIGHT retire to Prescott. Hmmm…
- maybe if he looked like Richard Gere…naawww, that’s usually not enough criteria.
- Well…maybe if they built a Eurail (I guess they would call it something like an AzCalMexRail, but of course, more clever) and had a stop in Prescott. That might be nice. But…not likely in my lifetime.
- Or This! Maybe if the SME class of 1978 (or any class is fine!), or at least a sprinkling, retired in the area. With Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Jerome…all kinds of cool RV and mobile home parks…and beautiful properties in Sedona…well, it’s an idea...there’s something for everyone…
Anyway, there’s no real summary here. I’ll have to give it some thought. But, if you do go to the Starbucks as you enter the downtown area, take a minute to enjoy the view. Noooo, not that view (as lovely as it is). I meant the gents having coffee in the 60s+ crowd having coffee and reading. All I can say is…
‘they must work out.’
Nov 13 2018
Where She Goes
Even with eyes cloudy
Where She Goes
Likes at times Be rowdy
Where I go
She is always my guard
What I think
And she protects my yard
Soup bones the best
That is why them I buy
That she’s the Rose
Love! love! Makes me cry.
Nov 12 2018
Why the website?
A woman from a Topeka design firm, that once filmed ‘the boss’ for an ad, described it in saying, “one need’s 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.”
Oh? The Rancher’s wife thing? Yes, there was and always will be impromptu cooking and Branding and weaning and the need to be always there. That’s not a full-time job after the critters were ‘done grown up and gone.’ And, in a family business with three brothers….well, it’s important to remember where a wife’s business ends and where another person’s business begins. At least at the XIT.
So we began with full support. My personal first “real” website designer Shawn took all my pages of what is called “cartooning”. This was the site menus and my numerous page layouts. I was attempting the urban cowgirl architect edginess, my (at-that-time) completely wrong words. 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 now 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 that was their own and not their husbands]. This is what I did, but it was teaching and design.
- 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.
- Beef was why we were there, not health or lifestyle.
But, relative to my work of feeding the crew,
…branding was only once a year. I thought.
Nov 11 2018
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 my neck. I can remember an evening of several hours and numerous bourbons, shared by all, re-writing two sentences when I damn (sorry) 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 by both clients, Rancher and Wife, who gave it joint efforts. For that I am grateful.
- For me, the task was to attempt to whittle down the story of a hundred year history of kin and kinder kin. I was editing the reasons why any person, white man or Native American, could survive and thrive in this harsh and beautiful landscape. So, I feel there were two and would do this in as few words as possible.
- Cattle, specifically beef production.
- One father-to-sons-to-children-to sons-to children’s relationship to pieces of land surrounding the house where we lived.
Within the larger website, the fact that it would be a multi-function destination was just one of those ‘efficient wife attempts’ to get the whole dog and pony in one place. It would have to be a shingle for E-V-E-R-Y-thing. 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 paleontologists 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! Et comment-est-ce que le temps à Barcelone et votre famille?”
- And, if 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” and they would go to
- Tack Shop/
- adornment. and of course, I would (altogether now!) flip out a card.
So, the website was putting it all in one place for the buck spent. I felt it was a pretty nice little paintin’.
That being said…
I understood it might not really work in a functional sense in terms of generating design income, though it served as a portfolio (Tackshop). I didn’t want e-commerce at that time 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 amongst web designers were that another local pioneer’s last bells and whistles had a +$30,000.00 tab. Gotta sell a lotta chicken fry to pay that tab, and she does…..but, design wasn’t recipes…I hadn’t even quite figured out what was the rainmaker!
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. It’s called “historical continuity” in the trade.
And, what was to fear? For 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, ‘a 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.
Oct 30 2018
People know the part I’m playing
Pay for every dance selling each romance
Ooh, I could say
When news will pass away
What could they say about me
There were just the bungalows
Right, ‘Cause for the Right Fee.
Oct 26 2018
Yes, we know, we forgot the circumflex , but it IS in the drawing below. Another wordpress language thing we haven’t mastered. Rose, the current Prairie Pug, isn’t the slightest concerned.
But, a friend’s (Charlotte) post (a guessing game we played re: her least favorite thing to clean in her house) prompted me to think of my own oven.
That is, what I was currently cooking in my own oven that was smoking up the house, le poulet roti. Well, it wasn’t really the chicken smoking, but my lack of housekeeping dans la cuisine (in the kitchen). I refer to this as ‘seasoning.’
It’s the “o” that has the circumflex, but I didn’t get so far as to read how this affects the pronunciation of the word. I pretty much just say ‘ro’ pronounced (as we say in my western Kansas family word say-isms), “that’s a hard row to hoe.” We’ll work on ‘r’s’ later.
Now to get specific (as I have said this is Prairie Pug’s French lesson who is intending to make this a gig), I’ll break iti down.
It’s first ‘le’ pronounced like ‘look’ but without the ‘k.’ And yes, it means “the” which they use before nouns, no more info required at this point.
Then it’s ‘poo’, no explanation… Prairie PUG.
Next, ‘lay’, easy. Sleeping dogs do not, but I do think maybe sleeping Princess Pugs do. Did I get this right?
Then ‘row’ ‘tee’ (as in tee-shirt).
Le poulet roti. If you know how to get the accents or French in wordpress, please let me know!
Oh? The recipe…WWJD (what would Julia do?) Two lemons, rosemary, salt and pepper the outside, 325 until it’s close like an hour 45, then higher to finish. Bon Appetit! (yes, I know I’m missing the accent…) Madame Speidel would be ashamed…
Oct 25 2018
Made in America with Loving Hands….
…still in production BUT available for Christmas!
Oct 25 2018
Catherine, Catherine! What a wonderful evening at The Cinemark.
I have to apologize for our late response
in expressing our praise and gratitude
for your efforts
in the groundbreaking arena of
Women’s Directorial Debuts.
I had to just take this upon myself, as Paula has been cyber-ly overwhelmed.
I have to say that the handsome picture of Tucker the day of the event
gave me pause…(paws?)…that is, what to wear.
He must have been busy helping you or primping as I had no response,
so I chose the Red Boa.
And, I’m so pleased with the t.
It expresses exactly my philosophy,
that we are feminists
because we feel we have something to say that will make a contribution
Not what we wear, it’s how we participate.
And personally, I like a little diversity, new blood.
So, to Hollywood’s Uber Director, Catherine Michon
and her team of Tucker and Bruce.
And soon, of Tom (Rooker) with your next flick filmed in ‘his home town’ Kansas City.
Now, what can we do to make this a great city in which to film a movie?
I can tell you that we MUST have better lighting.
We will roll out the Red Carpet and put down a Star, for you have earned yours.
Thank you for the effort.
Oct 23 2018
Sometimes for a Cowgirl…
there must be risks
…that one takes
…with one’s actions
…that were never a conscious thought…
but, it might just be
that it was worth the risk
…despite the costs…
to get ‘The Boot‘!
God has a plan
….put on your boots
and cinch up the straps…
ladies… we’re going for another ride...!
-Paula Elizabeth Graves, July 9, 2013.