Category Archives: RDC News & Updates

A Reason for Seven

Editor’s Note: This article is being reprinted with permission from the author. The original post was deployed on her personal Facebook page around midnight this morning.


By Faith Phillips

“Then she told us how times were tough and about how she was thinking about

Bumming a ride back to from where she started

But ya know, she changed the subject every time money came up

She said, ‘Welcome to the land of the living dead’

You could tell she was so broken hearted

She said, ‘Even the swap meets around here are getting pretty corrupt.’ ”

~Brownsville Girl, Bob Dylan

Water Protectors.

A family of four, soon to be five, runs in and out of a flimsy tent on a grassy North Dakota plain. The eldest daughter, Josephine, age 4, wears a pink tutu and wraps herself in a sleeping bag decorated with characters from Frozen, the popular Disney movie franchise. The youngest girl, Charlie, is two. She is a determined force. The entire family remains vigilant to safely contain Charlie’s energy. Their quiet mother manages the camp with an air of humble authority. She wears her waist-length hair tied back at her neck. The father enjoys discussion with relatives when they happen by. He is interrupted here and there to change a diaper and to occasionally yell, “CHARLIE!” when his youngest seizes an opportunity to bolt. The family gathers around a small fire in the evening when Charlie’s energy diminishes at last. Josephine sits on her father’s lap, satisfied to have earned his sole attention. She tosses her head back and laughs, delighted with each joke he tells.

This family’s camping experience differs somewhat from the typical American one. They are surrounded on all sides by a thousand others, gathered together in a field bordering the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. They speak an ancient language with each other, but politely switch to English in the presence of a non-speaker. Perhaps the most telling detail of this story is that the family can’t say exactly how long they’ve been camped here. Neither do they know how long they will stay, for they have no expectation to leave. This Lakota family of the Sioux tribe, along with thousands more Native Americans, constitute an unprecedented gathering determined to protect the main source of water for their tribe and for millions of other Americans downstream.

Continue reading A Reason for Seven

EPOTM Visits NonDoc in Essay Over Truths


When you glance left, then downward just a bit on our Red Dirt Chronicles homepage, you’ll notice a small section we’ve entitled: “RDC Recommends.”  And, we do.

We choose our recommendations carefully, sharing those we feel not only fit with our mission, but provide a quality read.

One site listed is on our minds especially today.  NonDoc, a site and mission dedicated to quality journalism and “the public good,” launched a series today highlighting broader themes collected through our Every Point on the Map project.

In the kick-off essay entitled “Oklahoma Blog Seeks Beauty from Every Town in the State,” I’ve written about how both food AND wine provide moments of Truth with our discussants (in vino et cibo veritas).

I do hope you’ll take a moment to visit NonDoc, read our essay, and think about where it is you find your Truths.


Happy Birthday to Us. We’re FIVE Years Old!

Day 28: It Was So Loud, I Couldn't Hear Myself Praying
A quote written in the UK that answered a need I had at the time. Now, I’m finding stillness in rural, suburban and metropolitan Oklahoma…one discussion at a time.

In July of 2010, I left for a 40 day educational trip to Oxford and other parts of the United Kingdom. Having never traveled abroad other than to Canada and Mexico, I began researching the world of blogs.  I warmed up my writing skills with a Google “Blogger” based platform entitled “Red Dirt Kelly.”

A week or so later, I left for my journey and began what was basically an online journaling exercise to document my trip.  This series, entitled 40 Days in the UK, helped me realize the benefits of daily writing and perspective sharing.

Women on hand cart treks in NE OK pulling carts back up the ridge to safety.

In the past five years, bloggers have been called out for their lack of journalism credentials, heralded for their insightful research and posts, and been in the courts for cases involving informational sources and classifications.  And while the days of online journaling still exist, the All American Blog has certainly developed in its own right.

Case in point: The Red Dirt Chronicles (RDC).  A month post Oxford, I began to think about whether to keep my blog or evolve the project into something I still cared about now that I had returned to Oklahoma.  These dreams eventually carried me to recruit eight content authors and for almost three years they wrote on a regular basis covering their area of expertise with an Oklahoma perspective. At that time I moved to a WordPress (WP) platform and although the RDC has had four different “faces,” all our history is stored on very large WP servers and for that I’m grateful.

At the point when I began toward the homestretch in my doctoral program, I raised the issue of “slowing down” the RDC production and almost simultaneously all authors agreed they, too, would like a break.  For another year while I dug deep into my dissertation research, Alisa Hines at Oklahoma Horizon TV deployed video posts covering their work with either her notes, or the notes of other journalists.  I am grateful for our former authors, and for Oklahoma Horizon producing Oklahoma cultural content deployed through the RDC.

August prairie grasses. Photo by Rachel Apple

Our RDC content is now much more focused on revealing Oklahomans and their cultural diversity.  Most of this work is done through our Every Point on the Map (EPOTM) posts.  In some ways, EPOTM is like a ten-year ethnography.  The work of our team feeds my social research side as well as my love for Oklahomans and all they encompass.

To our readers who have continued to check in with us through the past five years, I wish to say “thank you.” To those who have joined along the way, I appreciate your presence and thoughtfulness. And, to the work we have yet to produce, I can only say, “We’re ready. Whomever we meet, and whatever they say…it’s our pleasure to hear their stories and share them with our readers.”

Happy five year birthday, RDC!

~ Red Dirt Kelly


Super Fan 5K: Sign Up TODAY!

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Note from Red Dirt Kelly:

Dear RDC community – I’m so glad to spread the buzz about this year’s Old Hat “give back’ event:  The Super Fan 5K!  You might remember we highlighted Old Had Creative in years past.  We’re still big fans of them, their work, and especially their hearts to help children who have been abused and their families.  If you love to run, please check out the information on this crazy-fun event…hope to see you there! ~ RDK


2013 Old Hat Super Fan 5k


Saturday, May 18th, 2013
The Railhouse, 102 West Eufaula, Norman, OK

Put on your sneakers, tube socks, and gameday jersey, because on Saturday, May 18th, we want you sporting your best game face for the Super Fan 5K! Come out for the first annual run to support the Mary Abbott Children’s House and the Norman Public School Foundation.

The run will start and end at Old Hat Creative Headquarters located at 102. W. Eufaula Street in Norman. Following the event, runners and spectators are welcome to kick back and relax at the Super Fan 5K Tailgate!

Be sure to check back regularly for special guests, race day information and events happening in the community.

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One Thousand Blessings – The RDC Sends Out Our 1000th Post

Yesterday when I was sending out my “Starbucks line standing” post, I noticed that we had just hit number “one thousand”… one thousand posts since the RDC was started 2.5 years ago.

1,000 posts, almost 225,000 visits, about 500,000 words and about 18 different contributors over that time period = wow!

I’m not sure how many t-shirts we’ve given away, or how many messages we’ve posted or answered on FB.  I’m not sure how many Tweets have gone out, or how many times the information or essays on our blog have been shared, or ridiculed…we just can’t know.

What we can know, however, is that the mission of the RDC – – to write about Oklahoma culture – – is made better because of you.

Thanks readers and our RDC community.  Even when we’ve waxed and waned with family commitment, school, failed experiments, and sometimes just really cool stories, we have always appreciated you.

Take care –

Red Dirt Kelly, and the RDC Contributor Team from day one until now

Monday Morning Differences

This is me, playing with a hulahoop in Walgreens the evening after I finished my last doctoral coursework assignment a couple of weeks ago.

Letter to the RDC Community:

When I started the Red Dirt Chronicles two years ago, I had one primary purpose in mind:  to develop a project that was positive and honest that highlighted snapshots of Oklahoma culture.  Two years later, I think that has been done… to the degree that someone can who has the help and support of very special contributors and about 20 hours per week to donate to a project.

That same 20 hours per week was dedicated for five years prior to the start of the RDC in a different way. I worked with the Oklahoma Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in the capacity of President Elect and President, helping to run the volunteer organization and promote the profession of Marriage and Family Therapy within the state and the nation through advocacy.

Now, however, I’m going to be working on a different project very soon that will again take about 20 hours per week, and as the title of the Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson film says, “Something’s Gotta Give.”  I’ve completed my doctoral coursework required for my particular degree program over the past four years and it is now time to begin my dissertation.  And while working on coursework can be a bear, it’s also cyclical.  It ebbs and flows along with the required reading and assignments.  My upcoming dissertation work, however, will not.  It will be a slow and steady work until the final page is written.  And, will take approximately…?  You guessed it: 20 hours per week.

I cannot create time that doesn’t exist any more than I can ask reality to change into fiction for my life.  After thinking over solutions for approximately two months prior to today, I’ve decided that if I’m going to complete my academic and professional goal of writing my dissertation, then I cannot continue to manage the RDC.  The reason I know this is that if there is an academic deadline and a RDC deadline, I’ll choose the RDC every single time.  I love it too much and I care about the RDC community too much.  And what THAT means is, my work on this project could keep me from completing my dissertation work.  It’s that simple…and I know myself too well to think that I would do things differently.  I’m 48 so I’ve had a while to get to know myself.  I love to work on this project, and would choose it almost every time – pushing back my dissertation and slowing down that work until I timed out all my extensions.

Therefore, I’m writing this post to let you know that very soon we may be having a “difference” here on the RDC.  I’m not sure what that will be – it could be that someone else will take it over.  It could be that I will “suspend” it for a while.  Or, it could be that posts will slow down or it will become a single contributor project.  But “something will give” and it will happen soon.  And, we’ll let you know as soon as we know what that will be.



Good News: Announcing Our Partnership With “Oklahoma Facts”

Editor’s Note:  Since this article was written, Oklahoma Facts changed their platform.  Rather than recode our website, we decided to remove it from our masthead but can point you to this Facebook location where you can find updates: OKLAHOMA FACTS ~  You can also find their link on our “suggested links” at the lower right-hand corner of our site. Thanks, RDK


About six months ago, I started noticing a few cool trivia tidbits blipping over the Twitter radar.  They were put out by an entity called, “Oklahoma Facts.”

As I monitored them, I continued to think things like: “That sounds like something I would put out myself to our readers,” or “I’m glad they’re doing this kind of thing.”

So, I called them and spoke with their founder, Tim Berry.  Who is Tim Berry, you might ask?  Well, I have the answer for you providing by the dude himself:

“Tim Berry is a fourth generation Oklahoman.  His great-grandfather was the first of his family born in Colbert, Indian Territory.  Tim was raised in Poteau, OK and received his B.A. in History from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.  He started Oklahoma Facts in August of 2011.  With the help of high school friend Jason Green, the Oklahoma Facts website was created in September of 2011.  With impressive growing trend of FB and Twitter followers, Oklahoma Facts has seen much development in less than one year’s time.”
Tim said he got the idea from the popular OMG Facts project, and wanted to do the same thing (on a local scale) for Oklahoma.
So what do I say to that?  Cool!  And, I thought it was so cool I decided to add them to the Red Dirt Chronicles as a partner by building them a page.  You can find it on our front page in the center, and the button to get there looks like this:
It’s white, with the little Oklahoma State logo image.
The Red Dirt Chronicles is basically a cultural “all things Oklahoma” site.  And, we want to partner with projects and people who can help tell the story of Oklahoma in ways that are generally positive, but also – always – as truthful and clear as possible.  And, Tim’s Oklahoma History pieces are an interesting read.
So, I encourage you to visit their site, and also check on their posts or Twitter feeds from time to time, simply by using the tool we’ve built here to take you straight to the source.
I hope this Wednesday brings you peace and good tidings.  I’m trying to calm myself right now because I have a root canal and crown process waiting for me this morning.  I have dentist-phobia.  I really, really hate going.  So – I’m also wishing myself peace and good tidings!
Adios, [kelly]

Spring Cleaning…Our Blog

(Note: I wrote this post a full two weeks ago but never posted it. Now, I actually AM cleaning up links, videos and other messy stuff.  However, you might be curious why there has been a little less activity on the RDC for the past few days…Well, wonder no more. Just read this post and you’ll understand.  Spring Cleaning is icky. ~ RDK)

I have been a bona fide blogger for approximately seventeen months. Between the time I set up my first “Blogger” site called “Red Dirt Kelly” through today I have grown the project through three different platforms and four different structures.

Further, I’ve deployed 1.997 posts per day since I began for a total of 910. That calculation doesn’t include the four sitting in the “draft” status on my queue. My plan with our current “online magazine” (I’m trying to decide whether I want to change to that language…it was used in the introduction for our recent TV appearance) was right at that reported level of content.

I knew that if all the contributors split up the work, then we would only have to write 1-2 times per week. THAT part of the plan hasn’t panned out as well as I thought, but a fully operational volunteer blog with twelve people who are willing to write on a volunteer basis is tough to muster. I think about advertising all the time.  I know that I personally would be more willing to write on a scheduled basis if I were being paid.

But aside from reflections about growing the RDC, I’ve been having thoughts about MAINTAINING the RDC.  What do I mean by that?

Well, take for example this illustration:  Yesterday I was perusing back through the content I’ve written and posted quite a while ago.  I smiled when I saw a post I that had included a funny song from YouTube.  That song was just so quirky to me I decided to rewatch the video.  I was surprised, but not shocked, when I got this message:

“The Singing Nuns …”
This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement from claimants including:

  • Web Sheriff
  • SOFA Entertainment
  • Web Sheriff
Sorry about that.
Oh, YouTube Sheriff, SOFA Entertainment and Web Sheriff Number Two, you’re not THAT sorry.  You’re just doing your job according to the law.
But now I’m torn.  Do I take that post down?  Do I leave it just as it is for a message to any potential readers that should they wish to hear the song they may need to purchase it? Or, do I modify the post and put in a note about the video no longer being available? Continue reading Spring Cleaning…Our Blog

We’re Doing Our Best to Keep You Informed and Here’s How…

The Red Dirt Chronicles has one standard for what we decide to publish:  Anything of value related to an aspect of Oklahoma culture.

That’s it; that’s the standard.  And, in the spirit of that standard, we’re always trying to keep a balanced blend of informative posts mixed with the more personal or thought provoking posts written by our contributors.  So, it wasn’t by accident that Red Dirt Kelly met up with David Blatt and another Oklahoma Policy Institute wonk at McNellies last Friday to talk.

What were they doing that we could share with you?  Well, come to find out…quite a bit. So that’s what we’re going to do…Share. The Oklahoma Policy Institute team is going to be putting together a summary-type post beginning next week.  The post will cover information pertinent and timely to Oklahoma politics, law, policy, taxes, other fiscal issues, etc.  We’ll probably deploy this piece on Fridays at noon.  We’ll let you know for sure when our first piece comes out.

Until then, just know this.  If you want to talk Oklahoma politics at McNellies in Tulsa, the beer is great.  The crab cakes – only so-so.

Take care, and have a great Friday evening,


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


At the end of this post, you’ll find a photo of Julianna. She was one of my students during her undergraduate years.

She then decided to serve her internship in Oaxaca, Mexico doing really cool work for an important program that served needs in that area.

Then she became a marriage and family therapy student; I filled in as Interim Clinical Director for that program over the course of a few months. I also supervised the students for about two years while they grew into new professional therapists.

Then I began working with her side by side in order to provide a portion of the services provided in couples retreats for vulnerable and stressed populations.

Then she became one of our RDC contributors, writing a series called the “Not So Newlyweds.” Julianna is an excellent writer. She’s better than me when it comes to constructing sentences, form, consideration of her subject, etc. I love it that she’s a stronger writer than I…it makes our blog a better project.

So today, I was looking across the room at what is now my eighth year of providing couples services at these retreats, and there she was – looking over the first file and preparing for her session.

Julianna is a strong, beautiful and thoughtful woman…and I feel happy and sentimental to have watched her grow into that person.

Julianna – you’re extra cool.  And I just wanted you to know that I think so.




“Red Dirt Dining” and “Red Dirt Dives” ~ What’s the Difference?

“Great minds think alike,” right?  Well, that seems to be the situation for at least a couple of issues here at the Red Dirt Chronicles.  Let’s take food reviews, for example.

We’ve been doing eating establishment reviews since our inception.  We have ten restaurant reviews in various parts of the state archived now, as well as posted on the Oklahoma Urban Spoon website.  These restaurant reviews get readership every day because people are out there, driving around in our state, looking for a great place to eat.  Makes sense, right?  We also created, however, a series called Red Dirt Dives.

In February of this year, we rolled out our first Red Dirt Dives post with a commentary on Railhead BBQ in Guthrie.  Next was The Rock restaurant in Stroud.  Our Red Dirt Dives series creator is now working on a piece  about a “dive” in Perkins she enjoyed.  And, we have another contributor who wishes to be a part of this series as well.

However, about 6-8 weeks ago, Channel 9 News rolled out a series called “Red Dirt Dining.” Amanda Taylor is the host and the premise of their series is to put on video what we’ve been putting in writing.  Are you starting to see why some people are confused?  Let me add to the confusion just a bit more…

In Oklahoma there is a Red Dirt Cafe (in the books, but now out of business).  And, you’ll never believe just how many things can get mixed together on a Google search when it comes to Red Dirt and food in Oklahoma.  Or maybe you will…

Regardless, I thought perhaps we should publish this post because now we’re beginning to get mail (for Amanda) suggesting places Channel 9 News should cover for their fourth Red Dirt Dive feature…I mean Dining… wait – what??

What I mean is…right now, we’re just going to continue what we do and how we’ve been doing it until “something has to give.”  Hopefully that won’t happen.  But if it does, we’ll let you know.

Situations like this aren’t uncommon.  We found out a couple of months ago that although we’ve been running a series called “The Imaginary Family Project,” which is really cool by the way, since January there is now a potentially confusing situation with This Land Press. Continue reading “Red Dirt Dining” and “Red Dirt Dives” ~ What’s the Difference?

Wanted: A New Crop of Farmers and Ranchers

Editors Note:  We’re not normally a venue for news or announcements.  However, there are occasional pieces of information that seem to fit so well with who we are that we’ll use our energy to spread the love.  This announcement happens to be one of those.  I’ve spoken to many individuals or couples over the last two years who are “thinking about farming,” “considering buying a piece of land and moving to the country…and maybe farming,” etc. and I’m wondering how many of them actually have.  So, my friends, if YOU are a new farmer or have recently purchased your new ranch or farm and are ready to roll…perhaps this program could be helpful for you.  Good luck!


If you’ve been farming or ranching for less than ten years, the KerrCenter has got a deal for you: a year-long course in sustainable farming and ranching, with tuition and materials covered by scholarship.

Applications for the Oklahoma Beginning Farmer and Rancher program aredue October 21. Space is limited, and early application is strongly encouraged.

The program’s purpose is to assist “beginning” farmers and ranchers with training, resources, and mentoring. It provides an in-depth, year-long training course at the Kerr Center, with instruction in business and whole-farm planning. Participants choose either a livestock or horticulture track. Continue reading Wanted: A New Crop of Farmers and Ranchers

RDC Tall Tales Contest ~ “A Fish Tale Whopper” and “When Big Crow Came to Town”


Dear RDC friends ~ In August, we sponsored a “Tall Tales Contest” wherein the winner earned a his & hers Annie  Oakley fragrance set purchased from the Cherokee Trading Post.  The competition was enjoyable, and we decided to award the runner-up a gift from the trading post as well.  Then Red Dirt Kelly went to China…and to a conference…and we’re FINALLY publishing these Tall Tales! We’d like to thank every one who participated in writing these fun little stories. We have a penchant for Tall Tales around here, and are so glad our reader friends do too. Special congratulations goes to Robert Stemmons, the author of our winning essay, and Mary Bone, author of the runner-up essay.  Enjoy! ~

A Fish Tale Whopper

by Robert Stemmons, aka “The Whistler”

Just earlier today I was fishing with a buddy. We hadn’t caught much except for one small one (by him) and three or four state records and one national, by me.  Even after all that fishing success, however, I was feeling a bit down because of my weight. Continue reading RDC Tall Tales Contest ~ “A Fish Tale Whopper” and “When Big Crow Came to Town”

Silent Sunday: RDC Remembers

Dear Red Dirt Chronicles friends:

For the sixth time in the last week, I’ve gone through a security line in the airport and have been reminded of the changes we’ve encountered since the tragic “9-11” event ten years ago.  These small inconveniences, however, are nothing compared to the tremendous burden our government agencies, leaders and employees are shouldered with each and every day as they consider how to better keep our citizens and our visitors safe.

Today is a difficult day.  For me, I wrestle with strong feelings of sadness, anger, gratefulness, wistfulness and humility.  We still have troops overseas in Afghanistan, the first of whom were deployed only weeks after our Twin Towers in NYC pummeled to the ground. One of those troops is a friend of mine – William Joshua Howard, a former music minister in my church, father of four girls and husband to his wife, LaNisa.  Another is a friend in Sunday School.  Another WAS a friend in Sunday School but luckily he returned home for the last time a couple of years ago.

The thoughts of our troops in harms way as a result of the events taking place after 9-11 isn’t all I’m thinking of.  There are literally thousands of lives touched by loss in either the planes that went down or those lost in the Twin Towers.  I’ve listened to some of the documentary books about this event on tape as I drove to work over the last seven years.  I’ve listened to some of the recordings of the surviving family members.  I’ve read stories about the rescue personnel struggling with lung diseases and other issues due to harm incurred during the rescue efforts.  I’ve seen the replay of President Bush reading to the children in school…slow-motion played over and over the change in his face when he heard the news of the first hit.

I guess I just wanted you to know that I feel comfortable speaking for all our contributors when I say, the Red Dirt Chronicles remembers.  And we’re honoring all the lives changed by 9-11 today by writing words to them on our usually “Silent Sunday” post.


[kelly] and the RDC Team of Contributors

Ch-ch-ch-aan-GES! What’s Up, What’s New, What’s Soon

Lot’s of things are happening at the RDC and occasionally we put out News posts to let you know about them. HOWEVER, “The RDC News” is basically our first announcement…  Next week we’re going to give you the ability to subscribe to a bi-weekly, one-page newsletter.  This will keep you up to date with the goings-on of our contributors, what new features we might be sharing and stories or essays we plan on publishing.  This way, if you WANT to know, we’ll tell you.  If you don’t, we won’t!  We’ll have a “subscribe to the RDC Newsletter” feature on our front page so you can do it, pass it along, or let it fly right by.

Next, Rob Loeber our sports editor is putting together a joint venture with one of his friends to cover Oklahoma high school sports.  Right now he’s doing an interview with Barry Sanders, Jr. so his sports post won’t be up ’till later this weekend or on Monday.  We’re excited about the possibility of not only cross-promoting each other’s work, but also by having even more ways to share the stories of Oklahoma right here at the RDC.

Contributor news ~ Julie’s taking a break for a bit, and we’ll see her again when she’s got the new school year all settled in. Her school district is lucky to have her; she does such cool things with the students!

What we’re working on right now: Continue reading Ch-ch-ch-aan-GES! What’s Up, What’s New, What’s Soon

Little Green Lies: Fibbing for Budget’s Sake

**Editor’s Note: I chose this for another “Throwback Thursday” post ~ great reads from last year I’m not ready to archieve w/o one more pass. Enjoy!

I’m an honest person. In fact, I hate lying and am usually terrible at it. I’m the kind of person you should never ask “if your butt looks fat” in those jeans. While I wouldn’t be heartless about it, I’d probably say that we “can find a more flattering style.” So knowing this about myself, I was shocked and appalled by my recent behavior on a shopping trip to a local specialty store.

My friend Cristy at work has the coolest little loose leaf tea pot. I fell in love with it as she kindly made me a cup of tea one afternoon when I was feeling under the weather. So, after some internal deliberation about spending money for something that I wanted but did not necessarily need, I knew that I simply had to have one, too.

Before I went shopping, I estimated that I would probably spend about $30 on a tea pot and a couple of ounces of tea. I knew from the moment the sales clerk opened his mouth that my carefully planned budget had met its match. This guy knew more about tea and tea accessories than Bob Barry knows about Sooner football.  He was simultaneously incredibly helpful and terrifying.

I was firm on only spending a set amount in this store and he was the czar of cross selling. I picked out the tea pot and then moved on to tea. I already knew which type I wanted so I asked for two ounces. He reminded me that you ‘get a better price break if you buy four.’ I was still feeling strong at this point and stuck to my guns. “No, I’ll just start with two ounces, thank you,” I said.

Then, he threw the first curveball my way. “You’ll need a tin to store it in. Otherwise it will rot. Would you like the small one or large one?” My mind started racing. Rotten tea? Well, I can’t have that! I had no choice but to buy the tin, right? So, I weakly said, “I’ll take the small one.” Score one for the tea king. Continue reading Little Green Lies: Fibbing for Budget’s Sake

RDC Tall Tales Contest Announcement!


We were sitting around the other day wondering about this question: What would be a fun contest for our community?

So, not really being able to mind-read or anything, we polled our Facebook audience.  Little did we know they would pick “TALL, TALL TALES CONTEST” as their choice for a little good, clean fun.  That is, if you call writing a whopper bigger than your competitor good, clean fun!

So, how big can you cook ’em up? What will you win if you DO manage to convince our judges of the biggest, widest, deepest of all bald-face-lie stories?  Glad you asked! We have a his and hers cologne set from Annie Oakley fragrances for the winner.  Since you’re probably going to send in something pretty stinky, you might need the prize to cleanse your aura again…or just plain smell good.  And believe you me, they DO smell good…and THAT’s NO LIE!

To enter, send in your best “Tall Tale” to the Red Dirt Chronicles e-mail address by next Friday, August 26th, at midnight.  We’ll have our judges read them over the weekend, then announce the winner on Monday, August 29th. You can do this by going to our “Contact” form, or by sending your entry directly to:

Rules:  You are limited to two entries per person, and although there is no length limit, we’d appreciate them being at least ONE PARAGRAPH long, and no more than 1500 WORDS LONG. Okay – so we have a length SUGGESTION…limit, suggestion…semantics. Meh!  In other words, size of the entry doesn’t matter that much – – size of the whopper DOES! Remember…entries close Aug. 26th by midnight.

If you’re not quite convinced, here’s a sexy, Western-looking photo to entice you for the prize!  Bonus?  This gift was purchased from the Indian Trading Post in Western Oklahoma, so it comes with a special secret bonus gift we won’t reveal ’till we announce the winner.  We’d love to publish the winning entry, so be ready to say “YES” to our request! (P.S. The “Tall Tales” artwork is by Angie Treat Lyon.)

~Love and Kisses and Whopper Inspirations to YOU, the RDC Contributor group

Throwback Thursdays: Our Contributors Write About Health Struggles

Our first Throwback Thursday will involve a few of my favorite essays submitted by our contributors over health issues. As mentioned previously, “Throwback Thursdays” are recommendations from our Year-One content that I believe are worth reposting.

The first was called, “A System Worked and a System Failed: How Illness Impacts our Dear Friends…and Us.”  It consists of a health-status journal entry written by a friend, and a post by another friend.  One with a happy ending, and one without.  One story about the “history of hair” from someone who never really had any to begin with, then lost what she had.  The second story is from a medical student who observed a history of her best friend being misdiagnosed, and thinking through her death at a later time.

The second: “A Kairos Moment at Culp’s Hill.”  Contributor Josh Bottomly recounts his struggle of being unable to help the fact that he and his wife could not bear their own children.  During a brief encounter with history on a professional training trip, he finds what he needs in order to turn his perspective from despair to hope.



My third recommendation was written by our Woman2Woman contributor, Kendy Cox.  She is especially empathetic to various stories of parents with ill children and writes reviews those stories, and highlights the blogs she follows, in “Chicken Soup for the Blogaholic’s Soul.”  The power of an online journal where people can write through their struggles is clear in this post, and I appreciate her sharing the stories of others who want to help their children get better. Continue reading Throwback Thursdays: Our Contributors Write About Health Struggles