I blinked and October had passed, November is quickly ending and Thanksgiving is upon us!  Every year, when October hits, I have a bout of melancholy.  My parents both died on October 15th, 25 years apart.  That, coupled with the days getting shorter and the wind blowing, can play havoc with my mind.  So, what’s a person to do?  In my case, I grabbed Randy, Emily and James and we headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico!  My sister and brother in law were out there for a month, housesitting, so off we went.  I went for the FOOD and others went for the galleries, the churches and the scenery.

We managed to cover everyone’s wishes.  We took a trip to Los Alamos, which we had not been to before.  Learned a lot about the Manhattan project and the many people who worked there.  James and Emily posed for insect photos, that seemed strangely out of place in a bomb factory.

Insect photo

Insect photo:  Kids will be kids

We also took a trip to Monastery of Christ in the Desert.  This trip was recommended by one of Randy’s friends.  We now call him “evil” Jimmy!  The one way, dirt road was 13 miles long.  Suffice it to say it was the scariest road I have been on in 20 years.  After we actually made it up to the Monastery, it was gorgeous!  Randy did tell me that they suggested using a 4 wheel drive vehicle, but we made it in the rented mini van.  Here are some photos:

The 13 mile road we might never forget. This part is misleading

The 13 mile road we might never forget. This part is misleading

More gorgeous rock formations

More gorgeous rock formations

Scenery in the desert on the scary road

Scenery in the desert at the end of the scary road

At Christ of the Desert

At Christ of the Desert

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Monastery of Christ in the Desert

Christ of the Desert Monastery

Christ of the Desert Monastery

After this “scary” road trip, we went to the rooftop bar at La Fonda to drink!

Emily and Randy keeping warm

Emily and Randy keeping warm

Rooftop bar at La Fonda

Rooftop bar at La Fonda

The sky from bar at La Fonda Hotel

The sky from bar at La Fonda Hotel

We also toured some galleries (probably 30!), a museum and several churches.  James was definitely into the art!

James with "face"

James with “FACE”

La Fonda art

La Fonda art

James

James

We also headed to Bandelier National Monument.  Randy, Emily and James climbed the ladder for this photo:

Bandelier National Monument hike

Bandelier National Monument hike

We packed a lot into 4 days and enjoyed every moment.  Thanks MJ and Ray for having us.

Randy and I are looking forward to Thanksgiving with our children and a pack of Voight relatives!  There is so much I am thankful for and excited to see everyone this week!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Let me know what your plans are.

In my other world, I have been making bags, bags and more bags.  Select shop at the top of the page if you want to see what I have created.

Until next time.

Photos are courtesy of Mary Jean, James and Emily.

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Well, before another day passes, we will have a new President Elect.  Who it might be won’t be known until tomorrow night, but for posterity sake (since this blog is for my dementia years) I wanted to note that I did vote.  I know, if you don’t have a photo it didn’t happen.  So here is my photo:

I indeed voted!

I indeed voted!

In my state, my presidential vote doesn’t really count because we are not a battleground state.  That has pretty much been the case my whole voting life.  I go, I guess, because I can and I should.  Also, there were some state and local races that I definitely wanted to support and some state questions that I cared about.

Anyone looking at my ballot, might conclude that I need to see someone about my mental problems!  I voted so strangely because I have evolved and changed in my thinking throughout my adulthood!  That is the best scenario for aging well; read, learn, listen and grow.  I am all over the place. I kind of hope that, by looking at my ballot choices, I don’t scream “old, retired, white, college educated female of European descent”.

My hope is that tomorrow night brings a close to this crazy 17 month campaign season with a minimum of whiskey drinking!

Happy Election day.

 

 

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Well, September was quite busy.  Randy and I went to Springfield, Missouri for the Mother of All Reunions.  The reunion covers the decade of the 60’s and all 6 high schools.  We have gone before and enjoyed it this time as well.  We went to the Route 66 Car Museum, which opened in June of this year.  The cars are absolutely beautiful!

The GREEN one!

The GREEN one!

We also saw great friends and family:

Randy and Sara

Randy and Sara

Then we had visitors from Kansas City and Tulsa for the annual Bikes, Blues and BBQ.  I am pretty sure everyone had a great time!

Randy at Bikes, Blues and BBQ

Randy at Bikes, Blues and BBQ

But the big event was a trip to Tulsa for James’ friend’s wedding!  The night before the wedding, they hosted a barbeque at their ranch.  The ranch was beautiful, the weather delightful and everyone was ready to fete the bride and groom.

There were horses:

Kathy's horses

Kathy’s horses

A great restored house with observatory:

The ranch house observatory

The ranch house observatory

And of course, every ranch has a TANK!  No seriously, this tank was awesome and you could drive it.  We all posed for photos:

The Tank

The Tank

James in the tank

James in the tank

James driving the tank

James driving the tank with his “serious” face

Patrick's turn

Patrick’s turn

My turn

My turn

The tank was definitely a hit

The tank was definitely a hit

There were plenty of other things to do at the party.  There was a mechanical bull, a cart for kids that was pulled by the most adorable mini horses and of course, great music, great food and great drink.  Patrick captioned the following photo for me:

Patrick's caption

Patrick’s caption

On Saturday, we got James out the door early for wedding photos.  The wedding was at Gilcrease Museum, in the garden, and the reception was held in the VISTA room.  Gilcrease is one of my favorites and makes a great wedding venue.

The lovely bride and her father

The lovely bride and her father

James paying close attention to the vows:

James, Max and the Judge

James, Max and the Judge

Tom’s grandfather was a groomsman and it was absolutely touching.

James feeling relieved walking Kyle back down the aisle

James feeling relieved walking Kyle back down the aisle

James looking fabulous

James looking fabulous

Another great shot

Another great shot

James and Randy:

The BOYS

The BOYS

Our table mates and the next to marry?

Max and Alyssa

Max and Alyssa

And last and least, James posing with me!  In a dress as mentioned:

James and Cathy

James and Cathy

It was definitely a wedding we will remember.  Hard to believe that James has friends that are old enough to marry!  Best wishes to Tom and Riley.  Thank you so much for having us at the celebrations.

Let me know what is going on in your world.

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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

Untitled - 25

First Communion

First Communion

Untitled - 11

Untitled - 13

High School

High School

IMG_2856

IMG_2864

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

Untitled - 40

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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