Nine Hearts, Multiple Cameras and a Lazy W Ranch Animal Choir: The Oklahoma Women’s “Blogger Ball”

My trusty GPS system had me in Marie’s driveway long before I thought I would have made it.  I didn’t have to look very long for the appropriate parking area as a whimsical sign guided me to a stopping point:

I put my car in park, grabbed my box of McLaren’s treats, and got out to look around.  It was an absolutely beautiful Saturday morning, and I was here at the Lazy W Ranch to meet some kindred spirits.

I was here to get to know other Oklahoma women who also wrote and managed blogs.  I was here…because it was time to build a network.

As I made my way toward the house, a car engine begin revving up a few times.  Vroom, vroom!  The metal garage from where the noise was coming was covered with an array of whimsical signage as well.  A flock of guinea fowl immediately began clucking all together in response to the car engine noises.

“Oh, man…” I thought.  “THIS is going to be a fun meeting.”

A large parrot greeted me as I approached the front door.  He was in his cage, taking in the sun. Geese led me down the sidewalk, their heads tilted straight toward the sky while their eyes were shifted forward.

Horses were observing the scene in a lot adjacent to the house and chickens roamed the grounds.

I rang the doorbell and waited a moment.  A man’s voice called from the garage where the engine noise was coming from, “Go on in…she’s getting lunch ready!”  As I gently opened the door and called out, “Hello?” a few more cars pulled into the driveway.

We had been planning for several weeks to find a date, and our meeting was about to begin.  I walked in, greeted our host, and the day began to unfold.

The Women's "Blogger Ball" cars invade the Lazy W. This is Luitgaard, my VW. She loves being parked by other women's cars who also write.

As women with a wide variety of interests and subject matter began to arrive, the ranch came alive with a chorus.  The animals began talking to their guests, and the guests were certainly talking to the animals.  Marie helped us make friends with the animals by providing Chips Ahoy! and Ritz crackers for the geese, horses, parrot, chickens and…one buffalo.

Marie, our beautiful hostess, looks on as her guests get to know the wide variety of animals on the ranch. Most every guest had a camera strapped around their neck, taking photos of the animals, each other and ... each other WITH the animals.

Rose Marie, Laura, Brooke, Allison, Dee and Sonya get to know the animals and each other.

I would guess we all spent a good half-hour saying hello to each other and to the animals.  It’s hard starting a meeting when the animals are so cool.  But we finally did…and I’m so glad we did.

As we filled our plates with food and settled down, circle introductions began.  Each person who came to the meeting knew at least two or three others who “should have been there.”  But we had to start somewhere.  As the discussion and introductions moved around the circle, thoughts emerged: How do I define who I am and what I do? How do I grow intentionally?  How do I balance what I do with my blog or writing with the rest of my life? What do you know about this technology…or THAT technology and how has it helped you?

Everyone in the room had something in common, and frequently the questions resonated across most of the group.

The gentle murmur of voices could be heard across the house as those attending the meeting filled their plates and cups in preparation for our discussion.

As I listened to each person, they began to become distinct, unique and real.  “This is good,” I began to think to myself.  “It’s cool to hear common threads of thought.”  I settled back in my chair, took another bite and listened some more.

I want to thank our hostess, Marie Wreath, of the Lazy W Ranch for graciously holding our first meeting.  I want to thank those listed below for attending and beginning a good conversation.  And I look forward to discovering ways we can support the projects and goals of each other as we continue to grow as a group.  And, I love the name Katie Johstonbaugh christened the group: “The Oklahoma Women’s Blogger Ball.” I also love that Dee Nash of “Red Dirt Ramblings” lists her fellow OK kindred spirits as “Red Dirt Sisters.”

The meeting was good. The discussion was good. And the animals broke the ice like nothing else could…

Thanks, “Blogger Ball Women who are becoming my Red Dirt Sisters.  I appreciate you.  More than you know.”

[kelly]

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13 thoughts on “Nine Hearts, Multiple Cameras and a Lazy W Ranch Animal Choir: The Oklahoma Women’s “Blogger Ball””

  1. It was superb fun. So nice to meet fellow Oklahoma bloggers. There are so many of us, and yet, we don’t make much contact. Thanks for the wrap-up Kelly. You put it all very nicely my Red Dirt Sister.~~Dee

  2. Katie!! What a lovely narrative. But I feel awful you stood at the front door waiting, I had forgotten the door bell battery was out. LOL!!
    Thanks again for organizing us. Hosting was the easy part. I gained so much from that one morning!
    xoxo

    1. Ha – now you’ve got the identity crisis disease! I must have passed it on you you… (Katie v Kelly 🙂 Dearest Marie, I was probably at your door maybe 15 whole seconds?? It ain’t no thang! I gained a great deal as well and am eternally grateful for time time together.

  3. As a long time fan of Marie and the Lazy W blog, I was so glad to hear that this “ball” turned out to be so wonderful. I love Marie’s blog, her insights, her thoughts and prayers AND her farm.

    Haven’t found a network here in SW Ontario. But I’m working on it so we can have our own ball!

    1. Heather – they’re there. Somewhere. My hope for you is that you find them very soon. Blessings on a faster ball, rather than a slower one!

  4. Oh Kelly! What fun that must have been! Enjoyed the animal pix – that one of the horse by him(her)self is priceless with his expressive eyes. Thx for sharing!

    1. Sara – it was a very nice day. I’m sorry we didn’t have the capacity to set up a Skype link or something. Take care, RDK

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