If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading my Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories blog. You can also read about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas II in Austin 2013


Christmas II in Austin 2013

Our Christmas in Austin was a few days after Christmas - but that just spread the joy!!

Took this early photo of Alex, for Allison, back in Branson. Alex will be 10 in April. ;-)


And, took this one of Kaylee... just to get us started. She was 6, in November! ;-)


The night before we opened presents in the afternoon, Alex had a "overnight" birthday party with a good buddy - he was so soundly asleep, he laid their all the time we opened presents... he opened his after his 3 hour nap! ;-)


Annette and Larry got some "concert chairs" from Ben and Arrion - off of their Wish List!


Arrion liked her Ree Drummond cookbooks, from Allison, even though the flash didn't go off! ;-)


Kaylee liked the book, and bookmarks, she got from Allison, as well. We all like books!


Ben shows off the accessory for his dashboard and iPhone - nice tree back there, as well!


When Alex woke up, he really liked the iTunes Gift Cards we got him. Can you tell?


Alex has come to really liking to play board games - this is the new one he got.


Annette shows off the purse Allison got her from her Wish List, as well.


Kaylee was tired out, but very happy, after handing out everyone's presents... How sweet! ;-)


Thanks for stopping by! ;-)

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 2013, Snowstorm



December 6, 2013, Snowstorm


Had the shovel ready, but didn't expect this - this early! ;-)


The pretty view...


Measure the snow on the car...


After snow removed...


The drive ready to be "cleared"...


Getting started...


That's enough, for now! I can get out, if necessary! ;-)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 in Austin


Thanksgiving 2013 in Austin



Wednesday we continued finishing puzzles. Arrion was very proud of the Dragon Castle Puzzle she had done.

Nancy working on her computer, after another one was finished.


Ben playing Triple TicTacToe with Kaylee and Alex.


Arrion was preparing dressing - more proud of her new refrigerator.


Arrion caught a photo of me playing with Kaylee.


Kaylee in her Turkey Crown from school - kindergarten.


Thanksgiving eve dinner - noodles, fresh rolls!


Arrion cooked the turkey, but let Ben cut it.


We ate buffet style... here, Nancy is choosing her turkey... yum! yum!


Leftovers were good,  today, as well... and, good planning, all gone!  ;-)

Having a great time in Austin! ;-)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Night in Austin


First Night in Austin


Two puzzles were underway as we arrived for our holiday visit. What fun!


This was Arrion and Alex finishing Arrion's dragon puzzle.

Kaylee had started on hers on the table... Grandma was anxious to help!


After Pizza, and lots of Grandma "help!" -  Kaylee was happy to see it done!


Ben got back from Belgium, relatively uneventful trip, so that was a positive as well! ;-)

It was a very good day!  ;-)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday Meal at Broken Spur, and More


Sunday Meal at Broken Spur, and More



Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse is a motel, restaurant and convention center that sits on a ridge, above, and just to the east of Torrey. We'd driven past, to see their scarecrows - see one on the horse, above, and then heard that Sunday would be end of their season at the restaurant - so a perfect time to go.


Looking south, you see Boulder Mountain. I have another photo or two from inside, with some interesting views in this direction.


Moving right, more Halloween decorations, another scarecrow, and the entrance...


Very much a Cowboy theme... this is our host. Sign in to the motel to the right; restaurant behind the host, to the left. Gift shop immediately on the left.

Nice variety of Cowboy pictures of all kinds around the halls, lobby and restaurant - I sort of favored this one in the restaurant... can't show you the 'nice ones' in either the men's or ladies' rooms - Sorry! ;-) Daughter, Allison, would especially enjoy those in the ladies' room, according to Annette's descriptions...  ;-)


Ok, back to the story... Annette and Larry used to come up to the parking lot here, they said, because it is one of only two or three places in the valley where you can actually see their house, up in the canyon, on the mountain. Here is the view from the restaurant window...


Looking closer, below, just right of center, there are three 'reflections' - the middle one is theirs. Sun low in the western sky, reflecting off the metal roofs. The Wilson's house, at the top of the road to their place, is to the right. Annette and Larry's is the upper one nearer the center, with one a little lower into the valley, below, and a little to the left. This is also a good reminder, that even though they are at 7,200 feet, there is still a lot of mountain above and behind them!!  ;-)


Here we are, awaiting our scrumptious meal - excellent chef, perhaps the best in the area, according to many. It showed, today! Once the food came, enjoyed every flavorful morsel... no more photo taking time. Among us, if you look a the menu, we had: The Combine, Wrangler, Fishing Hole and Mustang! ;-)


But, before the food arrived, one more 'out the window' view... to tell "the rest of the story!"


This photo is a bit to the left of the earlier one, and focusing on two parts of the valley, down below. To the right of the trees is a pretty pasture, with horses!
Near the center of the left half, you can see the large green roof, with cupola, of Cougar Ridge Ranch - a very high end, western vacation resort (an occasional movie star, or two, that we don't know about, is on-site, from time to time, if you get the idea). Their theme, you can see the whole web site at the link, is: Peace, Adventure, Knowledge and Luxury... let your imagination have a field trip!

On Saturday night, they hosted, in the main lodge, the "FriendRaiser" for the end of the summer season of the Entrada Institute - Celebrating the Colorado Plateau -  here in Torrey. Over a hundred folks attended, all the 'movers and shakers' in the area, including many of the part-timers that come down from the Salt Lake Valley regularly during the season for the weekly musical performances, lectures, and other presentations that the Instutite has provided over the past 19 years. Needless to say, FriendRaiser = Fundraiser, and if attendance was any indicator, they should have done fine. Larry and Annette are both on the Entrada Board, and arranged the excellent programs this year, with their fellow volunteers.

When we got back to the house, following a swing by the Cougar Ridge Ranch, the sun was about to set. I liked the way the shadows hit the Capital Reef National Park Waterpocket Fold mountain formations. I shared this one on Facebook, earlier.


I love the valley below as much as the mountains above, myself. Now that I look at it, again, you can actually see the ridge above Torrey - just about the very center of the image, where we were at the Broken Spur, and took the reflection images of the house - where I'm standing on the deck to take this one! Small world, huh!

Another great day in Wayne County, southern Utah!  ;-)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Oreo the Cat in Utah


Oreo the Cat in Utah



This afternoon, Oreo, the Cat, decided to come watch the four of us in the living room. Yesterday, he was stalking a ground squirrel. So, of course, we stared back. ;-)

I don't usually do sunrise, but I happened to catch this one. I was awake, thinking about the press release to write for my new novel, "Christmas at the Homeplace," that will be available at Amazon.com by or on October 25, 2013.

Just before sunrise, looking east, from the deck:



It was another very good day!  ;-)

Oreo and Snow in Utah


Oreo and Snow in Utah



Two important events yesterday (Tuesday, I think)... I got a photo of Oreo in the daylight!

Oreo is a feral tom cat that 'adopted' Larry and Annette... the cat is nice to have around, to keep the population of ground squirrels (a bit of nuisance) under control. After some consideration, they borrowed a 'cat trap' - made a visit to the vet (now an 'it' and properly medicated). After a few days of 'thinking about it' - the cat Oreo seems to have decided to stay around. They have a protected 'house' for him on the porch, when he chooses to use it. They provide a little food, twice a day, and some water. He seems to have learned the routine. But, he is still VERY cautious. This one time is still, after nearly a full week, the only time I've seen him out in the open.



Late yesterday afternoon, here at over 7,000 feet on the side of the mountain... we had a nice snow flurry... for maybe twenty minutes. It was still about 42, so no sticking! Kinda' fun, that way! ;-)

We had a quite day, today! ;-)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Benefit Concert last Saturday Night with Mary Kaye and Mike Moutoux


Benefit Concert last Saturday Night 
with Mary Kaye and Mike Moutoux

We were privileged to attend the Benefit Concert at the Bicknell, Wayne County, Utah, Community Center including performance by the fine Western entertainers Mary Kaye and Mike Moutoux.

Mike led off the evening with Cowboy Poems and Western Music that were both entertaining and inspirational. We were not able to attend Mike's Entrada Institute performance earlier in the year, and it was a real pleasure to both meet him and enjoy his performance.


The benefit was for West Taylor, a local horse trainer, and good neighbor to the folks out here. It had been seven weeks since his face collided with that of one of the horses he was working with. Doctors performed miracles with this face, as you can see, but they also ran up some very big bills, thus this benefit concert and some other efforts.


The featured performer was Mary Kaye. She is an award winning Western Musician, Song Writer, and Story Teller. We saw her perform at the Entrada Institute last year... I did this article on her then.
[Be sure to click on her name, above, to see her newest album, "The Dawn and The Dusk," and a neat list of her awards, as well.]


Since we saw her, she has performed in 15 states and Canada this year. It was a real privilege to get to see her in this intimate, benefit, community building setting. She is a friend of the Taylor family.

Here we are, watching her perform. Mike Moutoux took this photo and kindly shared it with us.


During her set, Mary Kaye had her two daughters, who were with her on this trip (they live about an hour and half away, in Manti), to sing a song with her. Excellent music!  ;-)


Mary Kaye's husband and manager, Brad, was there, as well, but he stays in the background. ;-)

After the concert, I got a photo when Nancy and Annette were talking to the girls, congratulating them on their fine performance.


Before and after the performances, as meal, they held a silent auction of many donated items.


Among us we ended up with a western painting, a couple pieces of jewelry and a copy of Mary Kaye's latest CD... all proceeds went to the Benefit totals.

I most pleasant evening. Great entertainment. Good food. Many new friends.  ;-)