Happy belated Independence Day to my American compatriots! I hope you all enjoyed your celebrations and that you were safe. My dad attended a first responder call that didn’t end pretty and it always makes me sad to see fun times end in pain or tragedy.
Which is why I always enjoy these types of festivities from the comfort of a lawn chair or blanket. I like to make sure I have room for a clean getaway. Bad experience with one of those chasing bees that you light up when I was like 5-years-old. That year I watched the rest of the show from the other side of the patio door.
We arrived fashionably late and there was already quite a crowd gathering around. We moseyed on into the house to drop off the food we brought and chat with our hostess for a minute. It wasn’t long before the big feed began. There was a huge spread in Ree’s kitchen for the adults and a kids’ table outside for the younger ones…or people who prefer burgers over steaks. I think you know where I stand as far as steak goes.
The food, as you can probably imagine, was incredible. Steak, Ree’s Twice Baked Potatoes, and more yummy side dishes than I could ever list. And the salads? THE SALADS. As you’ll see below I was much more concerned with eating the food than taking pictures of the food and I had already polished off most of the steak and The Best Salad in the History of the World before I thought to take the photo. The missing salad was made up of avocado, red onion, cilantro, and mango. I’m on a search for it. Ree, if you know who made it, seriously, I’ve got to know the recipe for this thing.
We wandered in after the crowd had moved out and I snapped this quick shot of the carnage.
Let me go ahead and tell you that her kitchen is my dream kitchen, only I want my kitchen windows facing east so that the place is flooded with morning light.
Now this next bit…my friend Jennifer accompanied us to the ranch and she brought s’mores. We thought with the blazing summer heat that they would be all melted and glorious by the time we finished the 2.5 hour drive if we left them in the back window of the car. Not so. But Jennifer had the ingenious idea to pop them on the grill. We wondered over, Jennifer asked Marlboro Man if he would mind us borrowing a corner of his grill, and found a chivalrous cowboy (Julie’s – Another Chance Ranch – McD!) to help get the s’mores flipped over.
Why am I not helping? Someone has to document this!
Psst…ladies…Cowboy Josh alert.
After the s’mores got all melty and delicious looking they were loaded back onto Jennifer’s tray and placed at the kids table where they were mostly gobbled up before the end of the evening.
We headed back over to our chairs in the shade and waited for the show to start. Now, the kids were already setting stuff off when we got there and one rogue cartridge managed to pop me in the backside while we were taking care of the s’mores situation. It fell from the sky and who knew something falling from the sky (which is above and not below) could hit you in your backend and hurt that bad? I think I need to do some squats. Hmm. But do you see that setup they have over there? We knew we were in for something crazy or exciting or both. Mostly crazy. I mean, you have to possess a certain level of insanity to do that.
My husband, probably texting the Mahler.
Right about that time we noticed Ree walking across the lawn, carrying some quilts out to the grass, and being followed by the film crew for her TV show. We knew they were going to be there beforehand, but I didn’t tell Jennifer until we got about 50 miles up the road. She only bounced a few times as she tumbled out the open car door, but we managed to catch her and tie her to the roof of the car so there were no further incidences on the ride up.
She spread the quilts out with the help of her daughters and some of their friends and we knew it wouldn’t be long until things got started.
Jennifer and I posed for a picture on the rock wall in front of the house (it wasn’t that dark yet, but flash was necessary at this point so the background is dark for that reason). We were glowing and looking a little windblown at this point in the evening, but who cares when you are having a good time. And by Oklahoma standards this was not wind, just a very, very light breeze. It was welcome too, thanks to the temperatures. As we were posing, Ree caught my eye across the way and motioned for us to join her.
Off we went to sit on some comfy quilts and watch fireworks with the Pioneer Woman. (You may spot us in that post sitting on a quilt, but if you don’t feel like playing Where’s Waldo? with me — in blue stripes instead of red — I’ll just tell you it’s the 24th picture from the top.)
The show was pretty remarkable and I was very impressed with what those menfolk put together.
What is it with guys and blowing things up?
It was a fabulous evening and we had so much fun! We ended it with my husband showing Ree the surprise he’d been working on for her for 7 months now. It’s not quite finished, but when it is I will post a photo of it for you. It involves Charlie
Thanks for having us, Ree! You sure know how to throw a party!