Sunday, January 31, 2010

My tribute to Sam Conn

I lost a friend yesterday.

Readers lost a beloved story-teller. Sources lost a reliable ear. Bad guys lost the one person who would find the truth out about them. Homeless pets lost a compassionate soul.

And the world keeps turning in an obscure town in southwest New Mexico who lost a celebrity, an advocate, a truth seeker, a brave man.

His name is Sam Conn and he is my friend.

I still can't refer to him in past tense.

Denial, maybe? Or maybe I'm still living in those glorious days of 2009 when I packed my bags in Kentucky, moved 1,200 miles to Silver City, New Mexico to start a job I wasn't even sure I could perform.

Sam was waiting for me. I was nervous. How would he react to a young journalist coming to town to be his "boss"?

Technically, I was his boss. But after day one when we discovered our shared love of animals, our passion for truth and impeccable story structure, and our burning desire to fearlessly expose the truth, we were partners. Partners in our daily fight to uncover, uncover, uncover.

We were relentless.

Sam taught me what I know about real-world journalism. Always walk through an open door, meet people face-to-face, second-guess what they tell you, don't be afraid to ask the hard questions, don't trust someone just because they say you can, request documents, back-up your facts and always double check.

With his 30 years of journalism experience in Texas and New Mexico and my knowledge of newspapers, we dominated coverage in Grant and surrounding counties. Miles were the end to a means and we weren't afraid to travel them. We spent hours together in our closet-sized office, poring over our computer monitors until he'd say, "Come on, let's go for a walk." And we'd walk through downtown Silver City, strategizing, planning, talking. Then we'd go back to our computers.

On weekends, we'd usually be traveling all over New Mexico for stories for our respective series, his On the Trail and my Ranch Tours.

He listened attentively and watched furtively as I scratched our stories out on the gigantic whiteboard in our office. Sometimes he made fun of my obssesive-ness.

We ate at the SAME hole-in-the-wall fast-food Chinese place at least three days a week. It was our default. "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care." "Chinese?" "Yeah, sounds great."

We argued with people, we questioned their motives, we sat in endless meetings whispering back and forth about the obvious bullshit we were listening to. We got in some scary situations but managed to always escape and laugh about it later. We were two steps of the detectives in several homicide cases. Our stories caught state and national attention. A few people quit talking to us; our feelings weren't hurt. We didn't balance work and play; it was all work, all the time. We cursed and yelled at the phone. We wondered what we would uncover the next day. We shouldered the toll of bad news, sometimes not so well. We wished that we didn't have to write about fraud, murder, missing persons, animal abuse, school violence, layoffs, drive-by shootings and governmental crimes every day. We wanted a break; we wanted people to behave.

He was quirky and made bad jokes that I pretended to laugh at. Or just told him it was a terrible joke. He wanted me to find love, a cowboy. We talked about being business partners after our days at the paper were over. He counted on my opinion; I needed his. We drank endless pots of coffee. He chewed untold numbers of smokeless tobacco. Wintergreen. The kind that smells good. He was thrifty and helped me to be more frugal. He introduced me to Red Box. After work, we'd meet at Wal-Mart and raid the Red Box machine. He helped me pick out, test drive and negogiate the price for my car.

My last day in the office, he wasn't there. He made an excuse to be gone.

The day I left Silver City he asked me to not stop by his house. He said he didn't want to cry. He said he'd never attached to someone so quickly or so hard as he had with me. He said he didn't want to hurt that bad.

It's painful now that I can't remember the last time I saw him.

Maybe it's better that way. It was probably just like any other day in the office. His "good morning, Hailey" greeting (an inside joke), both of us gravitating to the coffee pot, punching our computers on, reading the day's paper, outlining what we were doing that day, making phone calls, eating lunch, writing, writing, writing....aware, always aware, of the deadline.

I talked to him on the phone not too long ago. We chatted, I was revived by our conversation, we were brainstorming again. I had to go, I told him I'd call him back, I never did.

We chatted on Facebook a week ago. He e-mailed me a couple days back.

After I left, we always talked about how much we missed those days in our cramped office in an old bank building.

Now I miss them even more.

Sam Conn.

I'm proud to have known him, to have worked beside him, to have been his partner in crime.

I miss my friend. I still can't believe he's gone.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

2 a.m.

Isn't there a song about it being 2 a.m., still being awake, writing a song?

I thought so.

I forgot to tell my mom good-night tonight before I left her house and came to mine so she called me to tell me that. Only I missed her call because I was in the shower. But it was in the shower that I had this massive brain explosion and when I saw I'd missed a call from her, it gave me an excuse to call her back.

"I was just calling because I didn't tell you goodnight before you left."

"Mom, I had a brain explosion!"

"Are you okay?"

After I explained that it wasn't a literal brain explosion but was just a metaphor for light bulbs going off in my head, she asked if I wanted her to come over so I could share.

Um, yes! How can this woman read my mind?

So she did and she sat here at my kitchen table with me while I scrambled around looking for my little plastic map of the United States, and a Sharpie, and then I forgot where I put the map and then saw it laying on the table, right where I'd put it.

We brainstormed together for a little bit and then I started writing names out on our tablet of paper.

"I'm going home," she said and added something about how she couldn't see inside my brain, which basically just meant that she'd helped me brainstorm to the point where now it was up to me to start putting it on paper.

"I'll bring coffee in the morning because I'm pretty sure you're going to be in the same spot as you are now."

Again, how does she know?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anonymous Commenting

Several readers have indicated they'd like to comment on posts but can't because they don't have a Google account.

Well, now you can! Who knew there was a button called "comment moderation" that allowed me to make that slight adjustment?

When you comment, you'll be listed as an "anonymous" individual so it'd be great if you could leave your name so I know who you are. :)

Happy Commenting!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Politically Correct - ?

How do you politely explain over the phone to your mother that a bull's *ahem* thing is in grave danger, that it looks like, um, something crawled inside of it and turned the whole thing inside out and now what resembles two baseballs are dangling off the end of it?

And that earlier in the day you noticed it was enlarged but you thought he was just, you know, pleasuring himself?

Oh, and after you made the discovery with your little brother who was almost puking, you crept around bent over, looking at all the other bull's, uh, ding-a-lings, to see if anyone else was having....problems.

And then, you took a picture?

How do you politely explain that?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Funny People

Funny things happen all the time at my/mom's house and while I don't consider myself the funniest person in my family, apparently I provide entertainment in my sleep.

Don't let your imagination run wild with that.

But anyway, last night was impromptu-sleep-over night at my house, Elsie in bed with me and Micah on the mattress on the floor next to my bed. Elsie came to bed later then I did and while I remember her crawling in next to me, I also remember struggling for about 2 hours before I could go to sleep. My leeggggssss.....

I woke up this morning and Elsie was gone. I realized this while laying diagonally across my queen-size bed. I figured my kicking and punching had driven her elsewhere.

Only later did I find out that she had woken up around 2 with her heart racing and she had shaken me repeatedly while nearly yelling, "Holly, wake up! My heart!"

My concerned response?

A solid sleep-filled "Yup!"

(I have no recollection of my sleepy reply)

Last night Mom, Elsie and I were watching a Lifetime movie, "Where The Heart Is," and while I was laying on the couch watching the repeated advertisement for the "Pregnany Pact", I had an ephiphony-like revelation.

"Mom!!!!" I yelled and sat up, interrupting her in the middle of something she was saying. I can't even remember what it was now.

"I know why you're so fertile!!!!"

She kinda looked at me, waiting for my insight.

"Because your name is in PREGNANCY!!!!!!"

Honestly, I can't remember the last time we laughed so hard - till tears, really.

"I never even thought of that before," she laughed.

That explains everything.

And while this post was titled "funny people" and both stories happened to involve me, I in no way claim to be the funniest member of my family or even in the top five of the funniest people in my family. It's really just ironic, that's all.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I don't feel good.

A lot of people, including me, were worried about how I would do with the physical work here at the ranch. I've surprised myself, really, with the amount I've been able to do while still feeling good to okay.

I remember reading an article saying that even though patients with Lyme Disease feel so sluggish and can hardly find the energy to walk across the room, it is essential to their health to exercise and keep their muscles and joints moving.

I think that's why I've been able to keep up with just a few limitations.

I still have persistent symptoms. Things like inability to sleep without medical aid, nights where my legs are bouncing off the bed in involuntary muscle spasms, and medium brain fog.

But starting last night and through today my back, left shoulder, and right hip have just been aching. Deep, bone, tissue ache. It kept me from sleeping last night. How can you get comfortable when your left shoulder and right hip keep you from laying comfortably in any position? It was definitely a night for my heating pad, which I do love.

Today the ache has extended into the right side of my neck, my right ear, my left temple.

I hope, I really hope that this only lasts for a day and that tomorrow these migrating symptoms will have migrated themselves gone.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today we weren't cattle-ranchers or students or employees.

We were like all the other fools who come out to the Lincoln National Forest with one purpose in mind - to enjoy it. The only difference between them and us is we step out our front door, mount our 4-wheelers and take off. They usually have to travel here.

The kids didn't have school today and it was Elsie, Micah and I who withdrew ourselves from the work atmosphere of home and took advantage of a sunny beautiful day and the 32,000 acres we live in the middle of.

We are so glad we did.

It was Micah's first long ride on his dirtbike and the clay-ish mud made it slow going but I'd rather he take it slow then be stupid and wreck. Elsie and I were on our respective 4-wheelers and Skye ran free. She was in her element. At one point, she flushed out 5 cow elk from the woods and got a hold of the back leg (twice) of one. She ran it into a fence, heading straight towards us but at what seemed like the last minute, they veered off. Skye chased it for about seven minutes and then circled back.

Eight miles later, we were back at the same place and ran into a flock of about 45 turkeys. She chased them too.

There wasn't much conversation on our trek given that we were all on seperate vehicles but we were content with our own thoughts and the sun shining on our faces.

I'm still picking mud from my hair.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Sometimes, just listening to my family makes me content.

Sometimes I like to be a fly on the wall. Sometimes I like to withdraw, inwardly, or to another room as I am now and I like to listen.

Sometimes I don't want to be a part of every conversation. Sometimes it's a relief when I realize I don't have to be (did you know I'm opinionated?!)

Sometimes what I hear makes me smile or even laugh out loud, as I'm trying not to do now while I listen to Elsie and Micah on the couch.

Sometimes I realize how blessed I am to be a part of this family.

Sometimes I want to run away.

Sometimes I want to interject so bad with my opinion or worse yet impose my opinion as the absolute truth. But how inconsiderate would that be? I'm not always right, you see.

Sometimes I can't believe they're having the conversations they're having. No topic is off-limits in my family. Someday I'll prove that to you.

Sometimes I can't hold myself back any longer and go join them.

Sometimes I yell at them to quiet down.

Sometimes, like now, I bid them goodnight and retire to my bed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Winds of Change

I can feel them, you know, these winds of change. It's January 14, 2010 and just two weeks into the year, these winds have been blowing.

Why is it that it takes stormy wind to motivate me? I don't just mean physical wind. I mean, it's windy outside right now and I'm feeling no motivation (zero!) to go get done the million of things that are surely beckoning me. But I'm not listening to them right now.

Stormy winds are like people staring me in the face saying, "You could never do that."

My reaction? "Oh yeah, wanna bet?" and then I find a way to get it done. It runs in my family and according to my mom, I've had this endearing trait since I was a toddler. "Holly, don't step on the floor I just mopped." foot over the line.

That's what we do, we push the boundary of what's socially acceptable. And we aren't the first in our lineage to do that.

When we look at my family's heritage, it's little wonder we are who we are. Pioneers, Indian chiefs, horse thief-turned Christian, mountain men, missionaries.

Are you surprised I interpret stormy winds as a challenge? With this background, it's little wonder we're not afraid to traverse new territory, live adventure, reach the world and view failure as an integral part of our learning experiences.

It's in our blood.

When I was in college every semester was a challenge to outdo my performance from the previous one. Every class was a clean slate for an A.

I'm thinking of this year the same way.

2010 is going to be a great one and in a lot of different aspects. I'm ready to brave the unknown waters of business and utilize my talents to earn a living, make a difference, impact the world.

"Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bears, Mountain Lions and Coyotes

I have a very real fear of being mauled to death by a mountain lion.

My fear of bears can usually be killed (no pun intended) by reassuring myself that bears generally think humans are scary and they don't like the smell of dogs. So since I can become scary if need be and since I generally have at least one dog with me while I'm in the wild, I chalk myself up in the surviving category.

But see, mountain lions typically aren't scared and dogs are prey.

We have a couple cow pastures I try and get to about once a week or so and everytime it's an exercise of my will to go. Yesterday I went with Elsie and Micah, two four-wheelers and lots of feed. There's one stretch of road with rock cliffs on one side and I can't look.

I am terrified I'll see eyes or worse yet, just be swept off my four-wheeler in unforseen fury and then eaten.

Some thoughts that go through my mind during these trips are:

1) I'm glad we have a gun
2) I'm glad we have the axe because if worse comes to worse (and in that situation, I'd TOTALLY be expecting worse to indeed come to worse) I can hack the creature off my dog or siblings. (and the fact my dog was listed before my siblings is no indication of priority or anything.)
3) Hurry up!!!! I don't want to stop in these canyons to wait for you.
4) Can a mountain lion swoop on top of me if I'm going 25 mph? I'm not sure but it's worth a try.
5) Seriously, how awful to die like that.
6) Will I see one standing in the road waiting for me around this bend?
7) Are those mountain lion tracks?
8) I don't want to die like this!

You can see the paranoid progression of my thoughts. Yesterday I had to mentally grab ahold of myself and tell myself to 1) STOP looking at the tracks in the snow because my imagination WILL make them lion tracks even if they aren't and 2) just stop thinking lions period. PERIOD.

We got to the first pasture and fed the three cows who were there.

"Guys, I think we should go up to the Big Green. It's not that much farther and I want to check their water and see if we can call some cows there," I said. We have sirens attached to the four-wheelers that the cows are trained to come to/follow, etc. I also find that they could possibly be good deterrents in letting creatures of the attacking nature know that we're coming. I blew my siren the whole way.

Neither Elsie or Micah were really excited about going to the Big Green.

"What? Why don't you want to go?" I grilled them. They just kinda shrugged.

"You guys. Is it because you're afraid there's going to be a mountain lion or a bear?" (I mean, that's the main reason I don't like going to the Big Green. Too many rocks and good hiding spots)

"Holly," said Micah. "I really think you're the only one who's worried about that."

He's right.

(and yes, we went to the Big Green and would you believe it?! We survived!)

So hearing coyotes around here is not unusual and hearing them behind them the house isn't out of the ordinary either.

But seriously, last night there was one (or two, or maybe a whole herd!) that were IN OUR YARD!

The scary part is that I'd left Skye (my German Shepherd) in the garden pen all afternoon, a place I know she can't get out of and where she doesn't have to be tied up because, well, Skye likes to kill sheep. So last night I went over to my house about 10:30 and realized I needed to go to the garden to get Skye for the night. The garden is probably about 150 yards from my house. I thought about getting someone to go with me but decided to put on my big girl panties and get the job done.

I didn't have a flashlight with me so I lit the oil lamp I still had leftover from when we had no power, took Jada (my Aussie) and went to the garden.

I was not eaten.

But AS SOON as I got back to the house, this coyote started in. And seriously, he or she was RIGHT OUTSIDE. I locked my door and called mom's house.

And the reason I locked my door was because sometimes it doesn't shut and can be pushed open. I will not be eaten by a coyote in my own living room.

My brother Daniel said he heard it too (obviously) and that he'd check it out. He and Micah went down to the barn with the rifle to check on the sheep but as soon as they opened the front door, the coyote(s) were gone.

So naturally my overactive imagination started and I realized that, quite possibly, the coyotes had been calling each other into the garden pen where Skye was so they could eat her. And that maybe, just maybe, when I went out there (alone and unarmed) they'd been RIGHT THERE but I just didn't see them. Then, when I took their dinner away, they got angry and started howling.

I mean, it's likely, right?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Girls Work

It's always a gamble, you know, when we hire day work to come out and help us, especially when it's people we've never met before.

What do you think they think?

It's not a burly mountain man who greets them at the door, it's a girl with a coffee cup who invites them in to meet another woman, another girl and a 12-year-old boy. And (P.S.) you're not just meeting them, you're working with them. And perhaps even worse, they're giving the orders.

Yesterday was a day of catastrophe here on the ranch. It's been freezing cold here and as a result our water lines have frozen and refrozen many times over and yesterday it all climaxed when we tried to pump water from the well to the house tank and water bubbled and gurgled from beneath the ground.

Broken lines. And a very important one. Without that, we have no water at the house or barn and to make things better, the house tank was empty. We made this grim discovery at 1 yesterday afternoon.

We were able to call Chris, a day-work regular here who we all really like and work well with. He lives an hour and a half away so by the time I met him in the driveway and picked him up (he was driving his car), it was 4:30 by the time we got back to the house and nearly 5 by the time we started working on the lines.

It took us about 3 hours. By us, I mean Chris, Micah and I and later just Chris and I as the ten-dgree cold drove Micah to the house about 7.

When dark fell, we hauled the generator and construction lights out there where we finished digging to the pipe with the backhoe, fixing it and covering the hole. Sounds so easy. But it's so not.

We finished about 8:30 and it was 4 degrees. We had that leak fixed but were still unable to pump water to the house due to frozen (exposed) lines.

Micah and I drove Chris to his car about 10:30 and when we were on our way back, I heard a clunk on my side and looked out the window to see our left rear tire flying by us and landing about 25 feet in front of us. Thankfully, we were within walking distance of the house.

Today, we expected Brian, day-help we hired to help us continue fixing the water pipes to the house and to drinkers at the barn. We had never met him before.

But I'm amazed at how people, (namely, men) respond when they're working with us. It becomes a team effort.

"I think we've got the line fixed," he said, on our third trip back from the pump, after we'd melted the ice in the exposed lines and watched water run freely through it.

"Yep, we've got water," he continued, when we listened at the house tank to see if water was flowing in.

The verdict on the truck was less promising. The lugnuts (all of them) had been stripped and cut off meaning the only way to get them out is to remove the differential plate, the axle and the spindle that holds it all together.

We're having it towed Monday and taken to the tire place who replaced that tire earlier this week.

Basically, we're praising God that the tire didn't spin off on the highway or further down the driveway, given Micah and I a much longer walk last night.

Brian will be back tomorrow to finish some of the other lines. And I'm not worried. We worked together just fine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Boys and Babies

I've been convicted lately about a lot of things and one those is "boldly blogging," talking about real life issues instead of just glazing the surface. So I'm choosing an issue today in my life to boldly blog about (there are so many to choose from right now!) so here goes.

Most of my adult life from about age 19 to now has been motivated by some sort of direction or plan that I've followed quite religiously. Until March of 2009, I was living that plan, accomplishing the clear and definite goals I'd laid out for myself and finding pride in my accomplishments.

Boys were never in that equation.

Now, I wish they had been.

Because really, I don't have many options in the man-pool when it comes to good, quality husband material and I do blame myself for that in some moments. In college, I was so focused on studying, making good grades, getting those degrees that I never pursued a relationship. Post-college, I spent so much time developing my talent and pursuing my career that I never took the time to "be" in the same circles as single men.

Now here I am.

I'm 26, I have two college degrees, I have passions, I've had a career and now ... I would like companionship. And I really want to be a mom.

Don't misunderstand. I have no regrets. I've lived my life in such a way that even mistakes aren't regrets to me because every event, situation and circumstance have been woven together to make me the person I am today.

But I am pursuing my man options.

Or, as pursuing as I can be right now, which includes taking advantage of eHarmony's Free Communication Weekend and signing up for the ten-day free trial at Christian Cafe and even browsing CraigsList personal ads.

All of these things are .... good, I suppose, because I'm out there, I'm browsing (and yes, when looking at hundreds of profiles, it is considered browsing or *ahem* shopping, especially when my sisters are involved in the hunt with me.) But it's hard over the internet, you know.

An immediate turn-off! for me is consistent improper grammar and spelling. I can't handle that. I know I'm not perfect but I don't see myself with someone who doesn't know that the contraction of "you are" is spelled "you're" and not "your."

I communicated with a guy but we exchanged pictures and I had zero physical attraction to him and as mean and conceited as that sounds, I had to admit that I couldn't pursue a relationship where there wasn't some sort of physical attraction.

Being an outdoors person is important to me. I mean, I do live on 32,000 acres and even though I might not be here for the rest of my life, I will always have some sort of hand in the country.

Also, there's something about being a single child that's a slight turn-off for me (over the internet, anyway) because with my family as big as it is, someone who's been raised as the center of attention will probably feel lost when surrounded by my family. And that conjurs up feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, insecurity and selfishness that I'm not really interested in.

Can you see why finding the right person is difficult for me?

So, you're probably asking, "what type of person do you look at?"

Profiles are attractive to me when they include things like:

- good grammar and sentence structure
- an education
- outdoorsy
- faith-filled
- wants children

Oh, speaking of wanting children, I WANT CHILDREN!

To the point, that I don't see a man as a necessary part of the process of becoming a mother, much to the debate of friends and family. In my baby-crazed opinion, I view adoption as a serious consideration for someone my age, single or not.

I want to be a mom.

And I'm trying really hard to do this the conventional way. Find a man, get married, start a family.

But I'm stuck (STUCK!) on the finding a man part and I've never been one to wait around on a man for something I want.

(this is my attempt at boldly blogging, despite how self-centered and feministic this whole post may sound.)

I don't need encouragement or phrases like, "The right guy will come along" or "You'll find him someday" or "Just keep waiting, he's right around the corner," because, honestly, I don't believe in blanket statements like that and do you really know that? Have you seen him around the corner, waiting for the right moment to POP out at me? Have you seen the future to know that I will find him someday or that he will (eventually) come along?

I am (trying to) rest(ing) in the fact that God is in control of my future. Yes, that is, indeed, a blanket statement but it's one I'm sure of. I'm not saying that the fact I'm still single is a direct correlation of his will. It could be because my own wounding kept me from seeing or engaging in a relationship that God may have wanted me to see or engage in. It could be that I wasn't in the right place at the right time.

It could be that my fear of being rejected kept me from taking risks.

So I'm asking for His grace over that season in my life and now that I am heal(ing) from those wounds, that I will live and take the right risks that lead to blessing.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


So I've been hacking for four days now. And my lungs burn and gurgle.


Because Skye got lose four days ago while I was down at the barn feeding the cows. I was bending over, lifting a bale of hay onto the 4-wheeler when I caught a blur of brown, an explosion of sheep running and barking - lots of barking.

The sheep took off across the cattle guard, into the yard and through an open gate that feeds into a large (very large) pasture.

For some reason, I ran after them, yelling, SCREAMING Skye's name at the top of my lungs.

She never even acknowledged me.

For whatever reason, the sheep circled and ran back the way they came, back down to the barn.

By this time, my lungs were on fire. For those of you who know me best, you know I don't run. But combine running, the altitude and piercing cold, and you have my lungs.

I managed to run/hobble to the barn where Skye had a ewe by the back leg, trying to drag her down. I ran over, the sheep got an extra burst of energy and jerked free and Skye knew her moment of fun was over. She cowered over to me.

I couldn't even speak, much less scold. Or walk, much less kick the shit out of her, which is what I really wanted to do.

So I grabbed her leash, stumbled to the 4-wheeler, barely made it in the door and collapsed on the couch. I couldn't even speak to explain what had happened - Micah just looked at me and kept asking if I was okay.

That's when the coughing started and it hasn't stopped.

Why, oh why, must I own an animal who INSISTS that chasing and killing sheep is fun? It's not only fun, it makes her so proud.

And why, oh why, do I love her anyway?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Me and two-thirds of my family left the ranch yesterday to head to El Paso for the sole purpose of meeting Mom and John there to celebrate her birthday. We managed to get the house cleaned and all the animals fed and put where they belonged and leave IN TIME. Props to us on that one.

Then ... the driveway. We've got about 2 feet deep ruts in places where the sticky mud lives happily during the day and freezes at night. So it was a rough trip but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until we got out of the five-mile long driveway and onto the main road. And I noticed a hard knocking "thump-thump" sound and I stopped.

And said, "That doesn't sound good. Do you think it's the mud flying out from underneath the truck?"

No, no it wasn't.

It was this *ahem* little problem.

Here's the thing. We all were dressed in our cute going-to-town clothes and shoes, except for my knee-high rubber boots that I was still wearing with my dress slacks tucked into them. Sexy, uh-huh.

So Micah and Katie get to work on getting the jack out and getting the truck jacked up. We decided to just leave the truck where it was in the middle of the road since we were in plain view of oncoming traffic from both directions.

Elsie's reaction was classic. She started walking up the hill with her cellphone trying to get service until I said, "Elsie, even if you get service, who are you going to call?"

"Um, I don't know," she replied. And she walked back. I loved her reaction because it is totally something I would do.

As for me, well, I stood there with my phone and took these pictures. Micah even commented about how I was going to blog about this later. He is so right!

The next picture depicts Micah's concern with Katie's shirt riding up while she was bending over to try and get the spare tire out from underneath the truck.

"Katie, we don't want people stopping for other things besides trying to help us," was his reason, which I thought was quite funny. So while she bent over, he held her shirt down and looked at the oncoming car.

Someone stopped! It was someone who had (sped) by in the opposite direction and then turned around and came back. Let me just say - we weren't helpless! Yeah, we got stuck a little bit on lowering the spare tire out from underneath the truck and we were glad the man did it for us because it was MUDDY and none of us felt like getting THAT dirty. So here is the kind man who helped us and got us back on the road.

Despite the severity of the tire, we were back on the road in 30 minutes, thanks in part to the gentleman who stopped.
We went onto El Paso and had a marvelous time, ate wonderful food and visited a mall where I have more pictures to share with you but that will wait till tomorrow.