Forgive me readers, for I have sinned. It has been two days since my last post. But I have a good excuse, really I do. Saturday marked the social event of the season out in these parts, so I was busy. Busy trashing my kitchen trying to replicate Pioneer Woman's Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Thingies.
There's a reason you don't see any cooking posts on this blog. I'm a kitchen slob. Just head on over to PW's site if you want to learn how to make them...and how they're supposed to look when you're done...unlike mine. 'Nuff said. But they tasted oh so good!
With my appetizer in hand, I headed on over to Frank's ranch for the big shindig. This is an annual event that has occured the last Saturday of September for as long as anyone can remember. Frank throws himself and his buddy Juan a big old birthday party.
This is Frank, standing in front of his windmill. I was hesitant to take my camera to the party, fearing the neighbors might think I'm even weirder than they thought already. But Frank seized upon the opportunity and wanted his picture taken at all the scenic spots on his property. Who was I to argue?
The decor at this party is not your standard disco ball and crepe paper.
Frank's and Juan's friends come from all over the state to enjoy the festivities. Many even bring their RVs and stay the weekend. Everybody puts on their dress boots and a clean pair of Wranglers, and they catch up on all the doin's for the past 12 months.
Kids are welcome, and there is plenty for them to do. Like exploring the umpteen antique vehicles that have accumulated on the ranch since time began.
My neighbor K, who has totally embraced her cowgirl lifestyle, looks forward to Frank's party more than all the adults put together, as there are dozens of new kids to play with.
You know the party is gonna be good when they haul in a flatbed trailer for the buffet table. And then, when the roasters come out filled with Daisy's Pinto Beans, Elma's Carne Adovada, and Mae's Posole, well, it just can't get any better. Here, Daisy and Frank's son, Lester, are carefully calculating how many roasters can get plugged into one power strip without causing a statewide blackout.
Everyone is always so happy to see each other at these gatherings. And no, the bottle of wine in the one woman's arm has nothing to do with that.
This is Cowboy Keith, my neighbor and K's dad. He was our designated driver.
This is neighbor Sue – K's mom – with birthday boy Frank. Keep track of all these relations because it's about to get complicated. Sue is Keith's wife. Frank's ex-wife Joanne (not pictured) was also at the party, as was his other ex-wife Joanne (also not pictured). How many people do you know with two ex-wives with the same name? Who is still cordial enough with both of them to invite them to his annual birthday party? Joanne #1 and Joanne #2 aren't so cordial with each other, but still. Frank has quite the reputation as a ladies' man.
Meanwhile, while Sue was being cordial with Frank, her daughter was being cordial with her new friend.
And the other birthday boy, Juan, was being cordial with his wife Daisy. I love it how couples can still be cordial after 60-some years. I believe this year marked Juan's 81st birthday and Frank's 78th.
Juan and Frank have spent a lifetime joshing with each other. My all-time favorite memory of them is when I was heading out one evening in my truck. It was about sundown, and I saw four men on horseback coming toward me on the road. I got closer and saw it was Juan, Frank, and two of their peers, all heading back to Juan's place after moving a herd of cows to a new pasture. I hope I'm still riding horses when I get to be their age.
I was losing the light and took a few more pictures of Frank before I put my camera away. The music was starting and it's hard to two-step with a camera hanging around your neck, you know.