Updated to add: Anonymous, you are exactly right. We *do* have mountains in Oklahoma, and personally, I think this is a beautiful state to live in. In fact, I am most able to "breathe" when I'm looking out over hundreds of miles of flat farmland and can see as far as the eye can see! (wait, what? that was a stupid thing to say .....) I was just comparing our mountains to Farmer Gal's photos of her Colorado mountains, covered in snow. Trust me, I am a proud Okie, more than content with our surroundings, through and through. :)
Now that my day at the ranch is starting to feel less like a surreal dream and more like something that actually happened, I'm able to think back and appreciate the experience even more. Especially the part of the experience where I got to eat Smitten Kitchen's warm rhubarb crumb cake while listening to Pioneer Woman talk about how she got started in blogging. I mean, come on. In whose world is that NOT a great way to pass time???
And I've decided since they are probably the closest I'm ever going to get to meeting actual celebrities, I'm going to name drop them into every conversation I possibly can.
Fellow blogger: "Was that a picture of you of Pioneer Woman's site?"
Me: "Oh, yes. It was. Ree and I are very close friends."
Waitress: "Can I get you something to drink?"
Me: "Oh, yes, I'll have a Diet Dr. Pepper. My good friend Ree drinks Diet Dr. Pepper, did you know that?"
McDonalds guy: "Would you like fries with that?"
Me: "Of course. Do you read Smitten Kitchen? Deb is a close, personal friend of mine and she has a wonderful recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes on her food blog and so I'm sure she would want me to get the fries."
Total stranger: "How are you today?"
Me: "I'm fabulous. Did you know I'm practically BFF with Ree from Pioneer Woman? Just wanted to share that with you."
See? I'm sure NOBODY will get tired of me casually dropping their names into conversation at every opportunity. And continuing to rehash every detail of the day ... and committing every single moment to memory, so I can pull them out and caress them mentally (the memories, not the ladies) whenever I'm having a dull, boring day.
What's that, Blaine? What's that you say? You're tired of me dropping not-so-subtle hints about moving to the country and what? I'm *NOT* allowed to call the farm-estate agent back about that potential property????
Hhhmmmppppphhhhh. Some people are SO not adventurous.
Anyway, to answer a few pressing questions from the comments section:
I heard Ree say the other attendees were selected randomly. I think it has something to do with that random generator comment thing that I hear bloggers talking about whenever they have to select winners for a contest and there are too many entries to physically put everyone's name in a bowl. I should really check into that sometime. Of course, that would entail me actually having a contest and giving away a prize, and goodness knows I'm not that creative. Really, what could I give away? Autographed copies of my husband's pet scans???? Or maybe a pair of chewed up shoes, because we certainly seem to have enough of those around here thanks to the dogs ....
People, you most certainly do not have to move to Oklahoma to win a trip to the lodge. Saturday, she had guests not only from here (and really, would moving to Oklahoma be so bad? Sure, there's the occasional tornado you have to deal with, and we're at least eight hours from the nearest ocean, and no beautiful mountains or anything, but we also have giant lighted pop bottles in Arcadia, and the world's largest concrete totem pole in Foyil .... so see? Who **wouldn't** want to live here?!?) but she also had people from Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Yep, people drove from near and far for a chance to visit ...
Maesa, it was great meeting you, also! Can't believe how far you drove, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was worth every mile. I am pretty much an e-mail gathering-LOSER because I got your site, and Farmer Gal's, (which I'm pretty sure you already have, ha!) and Shea's. (who went home and has already made pretzels, she is clearly ambitious and makes me feel like a loser for doing nothing since *I* got home but sit around talking about how freaking fabulous the day was ....) and that's it. There was a list going around for blogs and e-mails and I'm very hopeful that it gets distributed ....
And lastly (and clearly most important!) I'm afraid the sad answer is no, Marlboro Man did not put in an appearance. I guess he was busy driving the herd or branding cattle or safe-burning the prairie or doing whatever he and the other cowboys do ... you know, what with running the ranch and all, since I'm sure it doesn't run itself just so he can take time to stop and have a piece of crumb cake. Although wouldn't it be awesome if it did?? Crumb cake for everyone!!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go start making matching friendships bracelets for me and Ree --- did you know we're practically sisters!!?!!