Well, for the record, July was icky.  Three of us Voights came down with a virus that almost did us in!  Randy made it through with just a glancing blow.  So I skipped July 2016.  Now it is August and we have been celebrating!

The youngest Willett grandchild, of 12, graduated this month from Arkansas Tech.  Whew, all grandchildren made it through college, which would certainly of pleased the grandparents.

Bucky graduates!

Bucky graduates!

Arkansas Tech Siblings

Arkansas Tech Siblings

Next, Randy and I celebrated 32 years of marriage.  We did have the waiter take a photo but it didn’t turn out too well, so I am also skipping that.  You just have to trust that it happened, even without a photo.

Emily was next on the celebration list.  She had a birthday last week and by all accounts, it was a good one.  Let’s take a look through the years:Untitled - 39

Randy and Emily

Randy and Emily

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First Communion

First Communion

Untitled - 11

Untitled - 13

High School

High School

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And next week James celebrates his birthday!  Another view through the years:

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James and Emily

James and Emily

boys best friend

boys best friend

First Communion

First Communion

High School

High School

Shopping in China

Shopping in China

 

Birthday?

Birthday?

Cooking for mom and dad

Cooking for mom and dad

And I cannot leave Patrick out:

The infamous covered wagon

The infamous covered wagon

The boys

The boys

Patrick probably wishes I had left him out!

We also celebrated Okra season with gumbo:

Okra gumbo

Okra gumbo

And the music and dancing at the Farmer’s Market:

Farmer's Market

Farmer’s Market

Absolutely love this next guy:

Dancing on the stage

Dancing on the stage

Okay, that is it from me!  Let me know what you have been up to.

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Well, over the last 6 weeks, I have made bags, bags and more bags.  I did my normal leather bags as well as some cork bags.  The cork fabric, AKA “cork leather”, comes from Portugal.  It is such an interesting textile to work with.  It comes in a variety of colors, but I am a bit hampered by its availability.  The woman I buy it from gets it by the pallet load from Portugal.  She has a handbag company and sells off what she doesn’t need for her production.  I fell in love with the “Ocean” green color but it is not available any longer.  I am disappointed.  Here is one of two bags I was able to make from it:

My favorite green cork that I cannot reorder.

My favorite green cork that I cannot reorder.

This textile cork is backed with a great fabric and is also treated with Scotchgard.  This gives it a waterproof, grease- and stain-resistant finish. The biggest problem, besides availability, is this textile is pricey.  The cost rivals or even exceeds the cost of leather.  However, it has been such a joy sewing this product and I think I will continue.  Here are a few other “Katie” bags I have made recently.

Gorgeous blue and silver cork fabric

Gorgeous blue and silver cork fabric

A rather nice burgundy cork fabric

A rather nice burgundy cork fabric

Black leather "Katie" bag

Black leather “Katie” bag

Hand stitched brown leather "Katie" bag

Hand stitched brown leather “Katie” bag

 

Natural colored cork bag

Natural colored cork bag

A great striped cork, might be my second favorite

A great striped cork, might be my second favorite

I also made several black and brown leather totes, which are my bread and butter.

My basic black leather tote

My basic black leather tote

Same tote, different handles

Same tote, different handles

A great basic brown tote

A great basic brown tote

And lastly, I made a few of my “Camilla” bags.  These are great little clutches, that can be slipped into a tote or carried on their own.

Brown Camilla clutch

Brown Camilla clutch

Black and Red Camilla clutch

Black and Red Camilla clutch

Just some trivial background information on my bag names.  The “Katie” is named for my niece, who turned me on to the design.  The Camilla is named for a lovely lady that lived next to my sons in Norman.  She gave James a painting and some prints when he moved.  We designed the clutch for her and she was thrilled with it!

I made around 30 bags in total and am having quite the time photographing them, writing descriptions and getting them up on Etsy.  I am hoping by the end of June to have the shop stocked.

My daughter, Emily, came to visit for 10 days!  That is the good news.  The bad news is the guest bedroom is also my studio space.  Suffice it to say it took me days to finish that transformation!  We had a lovely visit and a quick trip to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri.  We did some eating, some swimming and some shopping.  It is always wonderful when Emily gets home, but I get sad when she leaves!

You can read about our summers at Big Cedar Lodge here.

We have been in Fayetteville for 3 years this week.  Time has flown and we still love living here.  Here is a post from June 2013 that shows the house before it was finished!  That was a long 6 weeks of homelessness for Randy and I!

Well, 4th of July is just around the corner.  Everyone enjoy the holiday and stay safe.

Keep an eye on my etsy shop for new listings soon!

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Well, May and June have been pretty laid back, so all I have is bits and pieces!  The University emptied out the first week of May and we are enjoying the sleepy nature of Fayetteville in the spring.  It is a favorite time for us because everything slows down.

However, not everyone in the family has been sitting around on the porch.  Emily went on a 10 day hiking trip in Scotland.  She hiked the West Highland Way, which is 96 miles long.  The photos look gorgeous.  She met quite a few other hikers along the way, including a 78 year old man that “ate her lunch” going up a hill.  She was impressed!  I am hoping Emily will write a guest post about the adventure, but until then, here are a few photos:

Emily in Scotland

Emily in Scotland

Falling asleep on the banks of bonny Loch Lomond

Falling asleep on the banks of bonny Loch Lomond

Sheep!

Sheep!

Hiking the Highland Trail

Hiking the Highland Trail

Our youngest son, Patrick, went on a trip to New York City to visit friends and attend a 3 day concert.  I have only seen one photo and that was on Instagram!

Patrick at the New York City Football Club

Patrick at the New York City Football Club

And this is what he said about the photo:

What Patrick said about his photo

He said the trip was great and I still have hopes he will share more photographs.

Brandi, my niece, and her husband, Matt, went on a trip out west.  It was ambitious but sounded fun.  They were married one year ago!  I wrote about that day here.  Hard to believe a year has passed.

Painted Desert

Painted Desert

Randy went to Tulsa for a week to play general contractor at our house.  We had a new roof put on and several other projects that needed to be done.  The biggest visual project was getting rid of the utility chimney that sat squarely in the middle of the kitchen.  Having taken down two similar chimneys in our Fayetteville house, we knew what a huge job it was going to be.  It was worth it!

with the chimney

with the chimney

The old "focal" point

The old “focal” point

And the after photos:

The kitchen without chimney

The kitchen without chimney

another no chimney photo

another no chimney photo

On his way back to Fayetteville, Randy stopped at Natural Falls State Park west of Siloam Springs.  We have driven past it 7000 times and not stopped, so it was time.  He took some photos and it looks gorgeous.

Natural Falls State Park

Natural Falls State Park

Oklahoma is beautiful

Oklahoma is beautiful

Randy and I also went to the Block Party on Block Street a few weeks ago.  Block Street is only a couple of streets over and we always enjoy walking up the hill and back down.  Here is a crowd shot:

Block party on Block Street

Block party on Block Street

We went to George’s Majestic Lounge last week to see the Cate Brothers.  I am not kidding when I say it has been 35+ years since I last saw them play.  Pretty sure that was at the old Swinging Door.  If you are not familiar with George’s, you definitely need to check the link! I also linked a good blog post someone did on the Swinging Door.  It was a great concert and all the “old” people were there.  The dancing was phenomenal.

The Cate Brothers at George's

The Cate Brothers at George’s

That is it from me.  We are looking forward to all three children being in Fayetteville in a couple of days.  It only happens once a year in Fayetteville!  Let me know what you have been up to.  Bound to be more interesting then my recent life!

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Nine of us traveled to Big Cedar for the Legends of Golf Tournament for the second time and the course was gorgeous!  I am getting ahead of myself though.  Thursday night we went to the Worman House for dinner and that is when things got interesting.  My nephew, Bucky, is an avid golfer and during dinner he caught sight of two of the players.  After waiting until they finished dining, Bucky asked for photos and they gladly went for it.

Bucky with Gary Player

Bucky with Gary Player

Bucky with Rocco Mediate

Bucky with Rocco Mediate

Bucky was in golf heaven!  We also caught the sunset and took an obligatory photo:

Sunset over Table Rock Lake

Sunset over Table Rock Lake

On Friday we went to the actual tournament and the weather was perfect.  We followed Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Mike Hill for the first round.

The four players we followed

The four players we followed

Random players

Random players

We also watched Chi Chi Rodriguez and Fuzzy Zoeller in the afternoon.  I never got to see Tom Watson this year because he was on the Buffalo Ridge course the day we went.  Maybe next year!

Bucky also ran into Dude Perfect and got a photo with them.  I did not know who they were but you can watch them on youtube here.

 

Bucky meets Dude Perfect

Bucky meets Dude Perfect

Here are some more random photos of our day:

James and Bucky

James and Bucky

The Voight clan minus Emily

The Voight clan minus Emily

Voights, Liddekes and Willetts, OH MY

Voights, Liddekes and Willetts, OH MY

The course, chapel and lake

The course, chapel and lake

Sand traps galore

Sand traps galore

Gorgeous course

Gorgeous course

Another great view

Another great view

And my favorite which is the sinkhole that developed right after last year’s tournament.  It is impressive!

The sink hole is huge

The sink hole is huge

Another look

Another look

After a fabulous day of traipsing around the Ozarks, we went back to our lodging with overlooked the pool.

The best view

The best view

Uncle James grilled pork tenderloins and we put together a feast with decadent deserts that Charlotte brought.  We were happy campers.  A great trip was had by all.

Who wants to go with us next year?

 

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The main reason we traveled to Phoenix last month was to have a “Royal” good time!  Randy is a huge Royals fan and this is the second time we have gone to spring training.  The Royals and the Texas Rangers share a lovely little stadium and it is such a good way to catch a game or two.  We went to a day game and a night game.  The Royals won one game and lost the other.  This cute stadium has a large food court but I only ate peanuts, two bites of James’ hotdog and an Elephant Ear!  The Elephant Ear is a cross between fry bread and sopapillas, only much larger and covered in cinnamon sugar.  I was in food heaven.

This is the second year for Randy and I to go to spring training but it was James’ first time.  He likes to always know exactly where he is, so we took a photo:

James making sure he knows exactly where he is

James making sure he knows exactly where he is

Here is a link to last year’s trip in case you want to see old photos!

I took a few more photos of James, because I like him:

James!

James!

And Randy and I got in some photo action also.  They have a volunteer to take the pictures.  Yep, they have thought of everything.

Family shot

Family shot

We also were able to watch the Texas Rangers’ players warm up.

Watching batting practice

Watching batting practice

Not much more to say about the games but here are the rest of the photos:

Go Royals

Go Royals

Play ball

Play ball

National Anthem

National Anthem

Just talking it over

Just talking it over

Getting it done

Getting it done

The fans

The fans

Well, not sure if we will go next year, but let us know if you want to go with us anyway!  Such a fun time and so close to the team!  I might go back just for the Elephant Ears!

Next up is the second annual trip to Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf!  Stay tuned.

Where should we go next?

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The very sad news is that my beloved 2004 Acura MDX retired to the back forty.  Between the air conditioner breaking, a leak in the power steering and tires that needed replacing, it was time for a new vehicle for Cathy.  What you really need to know is the I LOVED that car.  We bought it from Randy’s sister, Charlotte, and it was a dream.  I didn’t even know what Acura was before I drove it.  Two other pieces of information is that Randy is a car person and I am not.  I had two requests:

1:  Any color but white

2:  One size smaller car than the MDX.  Think narrow driveway and 3 fewer children!

So, with out further ado, here is what we bought:

Our new car

Our new car

This is the only photo I have of the lovely gray Audi Q5 that Randy picked!

The truth is that I don’t love it yet.  After I figure out how to unlock it, start it and answer the phone, I am sure another love affair to remember will be happening.

Well, buying a car is stressful, so we went to Arizona for a vacation.  Our son, James, went with us and it was a great time.  We arrived in Phoenix at the crack of dawn, rented a car and headed to the Scottsdale Farmers’ Market.  We picked out some great treats, some tamales and the BEST Rosemary bread I have ever eaten.  After a quick trip to Target to pick up cereal, milk and the very needed sunscreen, we headed to the resort.

Easter Sunday at Sundown

Easter Sunday at Sundown

On Easter Sunday, we hung out at the pool and hot tub while waiting for our massages.  Who needs baskets of candy when a massage is near?  Most restaurants were closed Easter Sunday, so we ate delicious grilled cheese sandwiches on the rosemary bread.

Here are some photos we took from the resort:

Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloons

Horseback ride

Horseback ride

By Monday, an outing was in order.  We headed to the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, which is named  Taliesin West.  Taliesin West is also home to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.  Anyway, it was a gorgeous place to build a house.  Here is what the FLW Foundation has to say:

“In the winter of 1938, 70-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright purchased 160 acres at the foot of the McDowell Mountains in present-day Scottsdale to transform into his winter home and studio. Inspired by the southwestern landscape, Wright sought a ‘nobly simple’ architecture in Taliesin West. Primitive but elegant, Taliesin West’s monumental masonry feels as much an ancient ruin unearthed from the Sonoran desert, as the twentieth-century icon of modern architecture that it has become.

Wright’s winter camp expanded over the years to include studios, and residential, dining, and performance spaces, all which served the active community of the Fellowship.”

I really enjoyed the structures but know, without a doubt, I would not want to live in the house.

The triangle "pond" built for fire fighting

The triangle “pond” built for fire fighting

Another view

Another view

Inside the Living Room

Inside the Living Room

The desert was in bloom, so I grabbed this:

Gorgeous Desert Blooms

Gorgeous Desert Blooms

Frank Lloyd Wright also designed and built the furniture in the house.

James and Randy checking out the furniture

James and Randy checking out the furniture

My favorite part of the place were the sculptures and the antique Chinese ceramics.

Sprite

Sprite

Sprite

Sprite

Antique Chinese Art

Antique Chinese Art

Antique Chinese Art

Antique Chinese Art

I would definitely go back to visit and take some time to hike around.  At this point, though, it was time for lunch!

Must eat

Must eat

All the food we had was fabulous.  We also went to two KC Royals spring training games.  I will write about that next time!

Hope your Easter was happy and that you have been on vacation!

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In case you were wondering “where in the world is Cathy?”, I will enlighten you.  First, I am alive and well but my computer has been in the Apple hospital.  Some people think I gave up my computer for Lent and in hindsight, that would have been so smart!  After a month of going back and forth with the Apple hospital, I can hope that my computer is fixed and home for good.  I sure missed her and Randy can testify that I have been a bit cranky about the whole thing.

Speaking of Lent, I hope everyone has a happy Easter.  Hard to believe that spring has arrived, the birds are back and the trees are blooming.  I kind of love this time of year.

Well, that is it from here.  I will leave you with a few photos of a vintage Willett Easter Sunday and a random photo of a church.  Seems appropriate!

Easter 1960

Easter 1960

Check out my knees!

Easter 1960 #2 outside

Easter 1960 #2 outside

I kind of like that car.

Random Church

Random Church

Hopefully I will be back to blogging regularly again soon.  You know I need to blog to have those memories down the road when dementia sets in.

Happy Easter and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

 

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Well, I recently celebrated my birthday.  It was a fabulous time which included dinner out, a show at the Walton Center, and a “Willett Girls” trip.  Mary Jean, Liz and I went to Downstream Casino for massages and late night slot machines.  It was so late night that it slid into a new month!  We had a great time but I didn’t get any photos.  So, here is a photo of the 3 sisters and one brother at my first birthday party.  Hope it suffices.

My first birthday!

My first birthday!

This weekend we went to the annual Mardi Gras parade.  It was well attended and is always festive.  Here are a few photos:

Pink Cadillac

Pink Cadillac

Mardi Gras Parade

Mardi Gras Parade

Another Mardi Gras parade

Another Mardi Gras parade

As soon as the parade ended and our street reopened, Randy and I ubered out to Fossil Cove Brewing’s Frost Fest and met up with Liz and Charlie.  Why did we go?

Because it does!

Because it does!

There were over 20 beer companies and 1500 people!  The bad news is there was only one coffee company!  Luckily the weather was gorgeous for February and the beer was tasty.

Frost Fest Crowd

Frost Fest Crowd

Frost Fest two handed style

Frost Fest two handed style!

While we have been enjoying gorgeous weather here in Northwest Arkansas, the same cannot be said for Washington D.C.

Emily sent me photos from Winter Storm Jonas!  She seemed to have enjoyed it.

D.C. Snow days

D.C. Snow days

Snow day play

Snow day play

The poor cars

The poor cars

Emily and the Snow Panther

Emily and the Snow Panther

Snow night

Snow night

Randy’s birthday is in a week, so it all starts anew.  We are planning another dinner out, another show at the Walton Center and maybe Randy will spend an extra hour at the bar!  Stay tuned and let me know what you have been up to.

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Well, I have been feeling pretty squirrelly this 2016!  Here is proof:

Cathy 2016!

Cathy 2016!

This powerball mania stuff is getting nutty.  I sure hope someone wins soon because I am tired of seeing the lines at the convenience stores.  I have not bought any tickets because, let’s face it, I am not a lucky person!

Moving on.

We had a great Christmas with family:

 

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Charlotte and the gang at Big Cedar

The Voight Kids do Christmas

The Voight Kids “do” Christmas

Table Rock Lake in the winter

Table Rock Lake in the winter

Someone asked why I blog!  Well, that is easy to answer.  This is the journal that I will refer to when the dementia sets in!  And, it has photos to boot.

Here is hoping you are having a great 2016.  If you bought a powerball ticket and win, let me know.

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Randy finished his classes last Thursday, so we headed to Little Rock for Ray Parker’s Art show opening.  It was held at the Historic Arkansas Museum in conjunction with the 11th annual NOG Off competition.  On the trip down, Randy and I stopped at Wiederkehr Village for lunch.  We didn’t order any wine, but the food was fabulous!

Wiederkehr's Weinkeller Restaurant

Wiederkehr’s Weinkeller Restaurant

After we got to Little Rock and checked into the historic Capital Hotel, we managed to tour the Old State House Museum.  I was born, raised and lived most of my live in Oklahoma, which became a state in 1907.  The fact that Arkansas was a state so many years before that, always comes as a surprise to me.  The Old State House was obsolete before Oklahoma became a state.  It was fascinating to tour and learn about the history.

Old State House Little Rock

Old State House Little Rock

After that side trip, we headed off to the reception for Ray Parker.  The museum far exceeded my expectations.  It has 6 galleries and the exhibits were wonderful.  Ray’s friends, Wendell and Jackie, came from Memphis for the show and it is always great to visit with them.  The surprise of the evening was the unexpected visit of Ray’s former boss Bob.

Ray and his former boss, Bob

Ray and his former boss, Bob

Bob made the trip from Florida and certainly surprised Ray and Mary Jean.  Also at the museum was an egg nog competition.  The place was a mad house and the nog pretty good.  I cannot tell a lie so suffice to say that Randy and I had several samples of the nog.

11th annual Nog Off at the Historic Arkansas Museum

11th annual Nog Off at the Historic Arkansas Museum

After the show, we all headed back to the hotel for dinner.  Anytime you have Johnny Cash’s niece, an ad man from the Mad Men era and a bit of drink, you can guarantee the stories will flow.  Thanks Bob for dinner, it was such a fun time.  And thank you Ray Parker for inviting us to the show!  If anyone finds themselves in Little Rock before February 7th, you need to go see the show!

Historic Arkansas Musuem's promo photo

Historic Arkansas Musuem’s promo photo

On Saturday, we enjoyed our morning at the hotel, soaking up all the ambience!

Christmas Tree at the Capitol Hotel

Christmas Tree at the Capitol Hotel

The Capital Hotel is amazingly beautiful. The hotel has hosted many political and historic personages, including President Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, legend says that the Capital’s unusually large elevator was built to allow Grant to take his horse to his hotel room.  I don’t know if the elevator legend is true, but the elevator was as big as my childhood bedroom!

We also drove around Little Rock and saw the State Capitol.

The Arkansas State Capitol

The Arkansas State Capitol

The famous Little Rock Central High School was huge.  The shear size of the school is intimidating and makes you wonder where the Little Rock Nine found their courage.

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Randy has taken several Arkansas History classes in the past 3 years.  It is very enjoyable to visit these places with an expert!

Well, Little Rock was our last scheduled trip for 2015!  Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

I still have the EPIC October road trip and Thanksgiving trip to Kansas City to document but I am way behind.

Stay tuned!

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