Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ranch Tour – The Dining Room

No self-respecting ranch would be complete without a ranch table, at which to serve up beans, biscuits, cobbler and strong coffee to a bunch of hungry cowboys. OK, so I don’t have a bunch of hungry cowboys to feed, but I bought this totally cool mesquite ranch table yesterday. It’s very narrow (22 inches), very long (7 feet), and VERY heavy. The base is made from oxen yokes.

In a pinch, I suppose it could serve as an extra bed for a tall, skinny person.

The table will seat 6 cowboys on these “Butt Benches” – seriously, that’s what they’re called!

You’d be amazed at how comfortable these benches are.

For now, I will sit at the head of the table and hold court in my comfy leather Louis XV chair. Whoa, talk about mix and match! But it’ll do until I find the perfect rancher-woman throne...something in cowhide perhaps?

Finding the table and benches was quite the adventure. My neighbor, her 9-year-old daughter, and I drove down to Ruidoso, NM, yesterday for some retail therapy. I was searching for new dining room furniture, to replace the formal, humdrum set I had owned since 1988, which looked great in a federal-style townhouse in Virginia...but not so great on a ranch 7 miles south of nowhere, New Mexico.

Ruidoso is a little town nestled in the Sacramento mountains and is a summer home for many big-haired, Hummer-driving Texans. It is rumored that George Strait has a vacation home in Ruidoso. Alas, our paths did not cross yesterday.

As we drove through the town of Carrizozo on the way there, we spotted an enormous building with lots of cheesy-looking, rusty metal burros out front. Perhaps they contained magnets, because my truck made a sharp turn into the parking lot. And there I found the ranch table and lots of other stuff I would have bought, but my truck is only so big.

We continued on to Ruidoso, where my neighbor had been many times before. She served as tour guide and navigator.I should have known something was amiss when we kept walking down the same block and she kept getting turned around.

Her daughter was as thrilled about going into every boutique as I was. However, I did make an extreme impulse buy in this little shop, called Rainwaters. If the tag is to be believed, I now own a 100% hand crocheted scarf made by hardworking women in Nepal who gather the scraps from their day’s work making saris and twist them into threads which they then crochet into unique hats, gloves, handbags and scarves. Yeah, right. But it is very soft and warm and I plan to make good use of it this winter...if Smooch agrees to share.

Share? No way! It matches my tongue!

In any event, we lunched in Ruidoso and were headed back home, when my neighbor spotted another cheesy-looking place called Casa Decor on the outskirts of town. She is used to shopping with her husband, who wouldn’t think of making a u-turn across the middle of a highway in lots of traffic to head back to a store that might contain a bargain. I, on the other hand, didn’t have to think twice. Sure enough, the place was a gold mine and therein I found my butt benches, and my neighbor found the garden bench of her dreams.

So now the truck is loaded with one mesquite ranch table, two butt benches, two night stands, one garden bench, and a partridge in a pear tree, and we’re headed for home...via the long way. Neighbor and navigator, who had been to Ruidoso many times before, got us lost and we went 100-some miles out of our way.

But it was worth it. Now if I could just find 6 hungry cowboys...


  1. Oh man, What a find!
    I've driven past that cool building with the metal animals and wooden wagons outside many a time on my way to Capitan, Alamagordo or to visit the Valley of Fires.

    I always wanted to stop. And, now because of you, next time I drive through, I WILL! :)

    That table is great! And the butt benches are so unique and rustic looking.
    Val and I aren't cowboys, but we'd love to try out those comfy looking butt benches in Rancher Woman's Royal Court, if you'll have us.

    Maybe next time you're in Ruidoso and you meet George Strait, you can invite him to dinner. But I bet you'd never permit anyone else to sit in the spot he sat his cute butt on. hehe

  2. I am loving the Butt Benches!!!! Sounds like a fun trip.

  3. ..."Seats six cowboys" clever girl you!!! I never would have thought that you were talking about a table!

    It sounds like you and your neighbor--and her reluctant daughter!!--had a great day of shopping and fun...or fun and shopping...or whatever!!!

    I'll have to take your word about the comfort of those benches, because man, they look hard!!

  4. Butt Benches...hmmm...interesting. I'll help you round up the cowboys!! =D

  5. What a great table and benches! No one will believe this, but I DID immediately think "dining table" - but for some odd reason I discounted that impulse thinking "why in the world would she want to take on FEEDING SIX COWBOYS?"


    How 'bout some cowGIRLS? I'll be happy to sit in one of those butt benches and drink 7MSN margaritas.

    I also LOVE that horse bench. Wow.

  6. Love the table, the benches, the cowboys...wait a second...I didn't see any cowboys. Next shopping trip, perhaps. Anyway, love the lost neighbour, and the rally car driving.

    Get any rain yet?

  7. Great benches and table. Loved the horse bench too and the scarf. If you are looking for a dining chair to hold court in check out the King Ranch catalog/internet company. You might find something in there that you like. Have fun finding the cowboys to feed!

  8. Sounds like you got out of Ruidoso just in time. Ranchman John just told me that Ruidoso had a major storm yesterday and had to evacuate over 300 people due to flooding.

    I'm glad you're home again safe and dry.

  9. Oh I love the butt benches. They look very comfy and should draw in many a cowboy. Sounds like a fun trip and I love the scarf.

  10. Linda - You wouldn't have a hard time finding 6 cowboys if you were seriously looking - just put on your boots, go to town and whistle. Getting their butts off those benches is what's gonna be the problem!