Well continuing our autumn road trips, we headed east to the Buffalo National River area.  You can read all about this National River here.  We drove a southern route through a beautiful area that was devoid of people and cars.  We headed to Jasper for lunch and ran into 30-40 Porsches parked around the square.  It was the 28th annual North Texas Porsche Club tour of the Ozarks.  Those cars were gorgeous!  After lunch we headed to Ponca, Lost Valley and ended up at the Steel Creek Campground.  The trees were beautiful, the river was gorgeous and the bluffs were the icing on the cake.  Here are some pictures:

Buffalo National River

Buffalo National River

Steel Creek Campground on the Buffalo River.

Steel Creek Campground on the Buffalo River.

Middle Ordovician Everton Formation - I think

Middle Ordovician Everton Formation – I think

Buffalo River at Steel Creek

Buffalo River at Steel Creek

As we were heading towards home, we found out that Randy’s Corvette would be delivered in two days.  The car had been at the “CAR DOCTOR” for 15 months.  Here is the car right after it got delivered:

Randy's '62

Randy’s ’62

The Red Corvette

The Red Corvette

I have always referred to this car as Randy’s FIRST Mid-life crisis purchase.  We have owned it since the kids were toddlers.  Randy had to add seat belts back then in order to load the preschoolers in the car for Saturday morning breakfast runs!  During the 15 months the car was being worked on, it got new leather seats, refurbished carpet and LOTS of nuts and bolts type work.  In fact, Randy got a bag of bolts that showed the wear and tear of 50 years of driving!  Welcome home red!

Yesterday was the LSU-Arkansas game, played here in Fayetteville.  The weather forecast was so dismal that my sister and her husband decided not to attend.  Well, James jumped at the chance to use their tickets and Randy joined him.  They were dressed in 100 layers, heat packs in their pockets and money for hot chocolate.  I dropped them fairly close to the stadium and wished them luck.  Well, they must be good luck charms for the Razorbacks as we won!  WPS!

Take a look at my unusually pudgy guys:

The Razorbacks "Good Luck Charms" headed to the Arkansas-LSU game

The Razorbacks “Good Luck Charms” headed to the Arkansas-LSU game

They definitely enjoyed the game and the whole town was on Dickson street after the game celebrating the win.  Suffice it to say it was a LOUD night.  Today we hibernated in the house while it sleeted and snowed outside!  Hope it is warmer where you are!

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Well, because we are retired, we took another trip and this time we went caving on a warm fall day!  James was visiting us, so we ran up to Table Rock lake for a few days.  We did some eating, some listening to great music and some relaxing.  On our way home, we made a couple of stops to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather and foliage.  We took a cave tour and had a wonderful tour guide.  I had not been in a cave for many a years and I enjoyed it, bats and all!

Here are the pictures:

 

James + Cave = Joy

James + Cave = Joy

Gorgeous

Gorgeous

More Cave

More Cave

Yep, a couple of interesting people

Yep, a couple of interesting people

James in the gulch

James in the gulch

Cave "artifacts"

Cave “artifacts”

BAT!!

BAT!!

Cave

Cave

Cathy in a cave

Cathy in a cave

James!

James!

We also went to War Eagle Mill for a visit and lunch.  I had not been there for 20-30 years!  Luckily the crowds from the annual craft fair had all gone home!

War Eagle Mill

War Eagle Mill

War Eagle Mill Is on War Eagle Creek and it is a working mill.  I must admit that our lunch there was excellent.  We took a few more pictures and then headed the car towards home.

Bridge of War Eagle Creek

Bridge of War Eagle Creek

War Eagle Creek

War Eagle Creek

That is most definitely all I have!  Hope your fall is wonderful also.

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Well, October has been full of crazy emotions, sports and gorgeous leaf watching.  To start off this post let me tell you that melancholy, baseball and cooking are not normally in my lexicon.  This October has brought all three of these to the forefront.  Let’s start with the melancholy.  Mid October is a bit of an emotional time in my life, as both my parents died in this month.  October 14th is my dad’s birthday and then, WHAM, the 15th brings the anniversaries of their deaths.  My dad died three years ago on the 25th anniversary of my mom’s death.  While that may be hauntingly beautiful, combine it with an incessant blowing wind and you get melancholy!  Wind has the ability to make me restless.  It always suggests to me that the world is unsettled.  I guess we all have our weird sides!  Anyway, on a windy October day, my thoughts turned to my parents.  When my mom died, dad decided to stay in Tulsa and help us raise our newborn daughter.  Little did he know that he would, eventually, help us raise three kids!

Papa and the kids!

Papa and the kids!

My parents' graves Check the dates!

My parents’ graves
Check the dates!

Luckily, after 24 hours, the melancholy moved on!

Randy is a HUGE Kansas City Royals fan.  Suffice it to say that the World Series win 29 years ago was the beginning of our decision to start a family.  So, the Royals being in the World Series after that many years means we are GLUED to our television.  Now if you know me, you know I despise baseball.  In the spirit of being a loving wife, I am watching the series with pleasure.  GO ROYALS.

When your sisters ask you to go to cooking school, you go because you can spend time with them.  There are three things for me to say about cooking:

  1. I know how to cook
  2. I am a pretty decent cook
  3. I hate to cook!

In fact, when we were remodeling, I did not want a kitchen.  Randy had to pick out the appliances and he did a fabulous job!

The kitchen

The kitchen

In other news, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous!  Well, I am off to cook dinner and watch the Royals but no melancholy until next October!

What in the world have you been up to?

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Well, there are two guys named James in my life, one my brother and one my son.  This blog is about both of them and what they have been doing lately!  Let’s start with the trip the elder James and his girlfriend, Christy, took to the Osage.  The occasion was to enjoy the National Indian Taco Championship, which is held in our hometown of Pawhuska.  They like to stay at the Whiting Bed and Bath overlooking downtown and the festivities.  They also took in the rodeo, the Prairie Preserve and Woolaroc Museum.  Here are the pictures they shared with me:

Indian dancers

Indian dancers

Dancers

Dancers

Beautiful

Beautiful!

Great shot

Great shot

Group shot

Group shot

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was looking good and the Bison were enjoying the day.

James in the wild

James in the wild

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The Bison

The Bison

Gorgeous shot of the prairie

Gorgeous shot of the prairie

And here are the cowboys:

At the fairgrounds

At the fairgrounds

On Sunday, they headed to one of my all time favorite places, Woolaroc Museum!  One of the strangest exhibits at the museum has to be the “shrunken heads”.  I kid you not and here is the picture:

Shrunken Heads

Shrunken Heads

We all have nightmares dating to our childhood visits to this exhibit!

Thanks James and Christy for sharing your trip and your pictures.

Well, enough about THAT James and his trip.  Let’s move on to the other James, my son.  He is visiting us in order to help me in the studio.  So far we have managed to make 6 to 7.5 bags, 3 half finished wine carriers and one credit card case.  In case you don’t believe me, here is the evidence:

Clutch for Camilla

Clutch for Camilla

Bags to sell at the Four-Legged Bird

Bags to sell at the Four-Legged Bird

New Bag Experiment with James doing a fabulous job of modeling

New Bag Experiment with James doing a fabulous job of modeling

Need to finish these wine totes!

Need to finish these wine totes!

And after two days of hard work, we headed to the Corvette show in Eureka Springs.  We also added some sight seeing, as James had not been there for years.

The one and only Corvette picture I managed to snap

The one and only Corvette picture I managed to snap!

A visit to the historic Catholic Church in Eureka Springs

A visit to the historic Catholic Church in Eureka Springs

James at the Crescent Hotel

James at the Crescent Hotel

Beautiful, but cold, fall weather

Beautiful, but cold, fall weather

And we managed to eat a couple of meals over the three days.  We had breakfast at Little Bread Company and James’ favorite dinner, chili dogs, at our house.

Little Bread Company

Little Bread Company

James loves my chili

James loves my chili

OH, did I tell you that Randy is the most loyal fan that the Kansas City Royals have?  Well, he is.  Suffice it to say that we are watching!

Okay friends and foes, that wraps up the multi James edition of my blog.  Are you enjoying the fall weather where you live?  Hope so

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Well, Bikes, Blues and BBQ 2014 is in the bag.   It is 4 days of crazy right outside our front door!  The annual rally consists of 400,000 people, too many bikes to count, music and food.  Vendors started setting up at 6 am Monday morning to be ready to open on Wednesday afternoon.  Many, many residents of Fayetteville head way out of town during this event.  The noise is LOUD, the traffic is crazy bad and a lot of local stores close down.  This is our second year of BB&BBQ and once again we managed to survive and even thrived.  The hardest part is not being able to get to our house if we drive the car, so walking was the primary mode of transportation.

We also had some visitors during the first two days of the rally.  Randy’s brother Pat and sister-in-law Martha came down from Kansas City.  My brother, Rogers, was in town for a night for work and our son James came to visit.  We had a really lovely dinner on Dickson street.

My brother Rogers

My brother Rogers

Pat and Martha

Pat and Martha

Besides great food, which included a scrumptious dessert, there was lots of great conversation.  Main topics were vintage cars and classic rock and roll music!

After dinner, several people went down to the main stage to hear some music.  Other people might have stayed home!  Next day we went in search of the BBQ portion of the rally.  We were not disappointed!

Going out for BBQ

Going out for BBQ

Checking out the food

Checking out the food

We found what we were after:

The BBQ part of the rally

The BBQ part of the rally

Life is good when the BBQ is wonderful.

Of course, the main focus of the rally is the bikes.  Let me tell you that there were literally every brand, type and color of motorcycle that you might imagine.  We took a few pictures:

My speed

My speed

Another Bike

Another Bike

More bikes

More bikes

Bikes

Bikes

Bikes

Bikes

It is all about the bikes and people watching

It is all about the bikes and people watching

Dickson Street

Dickson Street

People watching bikers

People watching bikers

And the music venue was huge:

The main stage 2 blocks from our house

The main stage 2 blocks from our house

The “official” saying of the rally should be “I can’t hear you” or “What did you say”!

Well, that is a wrap.  If you are planning to come for 2015, remember to get your reservations in early.  Our two bedroom fills up early!

Hope your weekend was a tad bit quieter.

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James finished his degree at OU at the end of August, so off we went to celebrate his accomplishment.  James, Randy and I met up with Randy’s sister, Charlotte, at Big Cedar.  You know it is our GO TO place!  The weather was fabulous, the company great and the food was excellent.  That is my idea of a great celebration!

We went on the golf cart tour at Top of the Rock, which takes you through a cave which comes complete with a bar!  It was a beautiful morning for a drive through the Ozarks.  Here are the pictures of some of the views and a few of the viewers:

Beautiful Ozark scenery

Beautiful Ozark scenery

One of several waterfalls

One of several waterfalls

Enjoying nature

Enjoying nature

Our gang

Our gang

And there were several Amish built bridges over the ravines.  They were stunning:

Amish made bridge

Amish made bridge…just don’t look down!

We also went back to Top of the Rock for dinner at the Osage Restaurant, which was as good at is gets.  At sunset we went to the bar for the scenery with some spirits!

Randy and I

Randy and I

You go for the sunset

You go for the sunset

The happy grad!

The happy grad!

Since the 3rd week of June, we have been on the go!  I think it is time to stay home for a bit and maybe clean the house and do some grocery shopping.  However, if Charlotte calls and wants to travel, we will be ready.  Congratulations James on your graduation!  Thanks for joining us to celebrate.

Did your summer go out with a bang?

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Well, as you know, we bought a house.  It is a really cute house but it does have some hmm, shall we call them issues?  Yes, issues work.  Here is a picture of the master bedroom:

Can we say 80's?

Can we say 80’s?

Patrick wanted to know if this wallpaper was EVER in style.  After I broke the news that yes, people liked it once upon a time, I offered to remove it!  Can we just say “Cathy is so STUPID” but nice!  I scheduled two days to get it down and in shape for paint.  HA HA HA.  I started on the north wall and managed to get one strip off the wall.  LO and Behold, there was another paper under this one.  The only thing I can say is the design of wallpaper in the 60’s was better than the one in the 80’s.  As I proceeded to remove a navy blue plaid from the same area, I hit an orange painted wall.  Success!  Or so I thought.  The paint was coming off in sheets because….it was painted over yet another wallpaper.  After removing the paint and 80 year old glue, we hit plaster!  Woohoo.  There was even some carpenter’s notes written in pencil on the wall.  Okay, 1 strip down and 40 to go.  I called in the big gun, aka James to help me.  That went pretty well but still too slow, so Patrick and Randy joined in the fun.  Here is the room after 1 3/4 days of wallpaper and glue removal:

Corners are the worst!

Corners are the worst!

And several ladders come in handy!

And several ladders come in handy!

Two of my removal heroes.

Two of my removal heroes.

Getting there.

Getting there

Suffice it to say, if you are thinking of putting up wallpaper, just say NO!  80 year old glue was everywhere and wet gluey paper was sticking to places it should not have.  So, just say no.  There are two other, smaller areas with wallpaper and it will be a cold day in hell before I tackle that or it might be next week!  I am wishy washy like that.

The two other bedrooms were painted a shade of something that could have been orange or peach or pink or something.  The funny thing is the master paint we pulled down was the same color.  Someone really, really liked that color OR maybe during WWII it was the only color available?

Take a look:

Bedroom color in two rooms.

Bedroom color in two rooms

James is moving in this week, so Randy decided to paint before the furniture arrived.  He had paint helpers for part of it.  James and Patrick helped when they could.  In progress:

Randy painting James' room.  Check out the beer cans.

Randy painting James’ room.

Looking better

Looking better

Tools of the trade including beer!

Tools of the trade including beer!

This paint is called FIG and is a pretty cool color.  The leftovers might be used for the other bedroom.

Well, in other news, Randy started back to school last week.  Pinterest says I MUST take a picture of the first day, so here it is:

FALL 2014

FALL 2014

Doesn’t he look sharp and ready to hit the books?  Here are some random pictures of our three kids and some of their first days of school.

James and Emily to Mayo and Patrick to Marquette

James and Emily to Mayo and Patrick to Marquette

The Brothers!

The Brothers!

James and Patrick to Mayo and Emily to Thoreau

James and Patrick to Mayo and Emily to Thoreau

The END.

What have you been up to?

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Well this is a post full of news, views and my two pair of shoes!  First off, we took a trip to Chicago and met up with Emily.

We took a trip

Randy and Emily ran around Chicago like they lived there.  They rented bicycles and rode the metro and generally were able to see and do a lot of things.  Here are a few pictures of their adventures:

Dad and Daughter Day at a Cubs' game

Dad and Daughter Day at a Cubs’ game

Randy marking Wrigley Field of his bucket list

Randy marking Wrigley Field of his bucket list

Randy loves baseball

Randy loves baseball

Randy is in Cubs' heaven

Randy is in Cubs’ heaven

More Wrigley Field

More Wrigley Field

They also went to the Field Museum and really enjoyed it.  Here are the pictures:

Field Museum 1

Field Museum 1

Field Museum 2

Field Museum 2

And what would a summer trip to Chicago be without a bike ride to the lake shore?

Emily and Randy at the lakeshore

Emily and Randy at the lakeshore

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan

They went on a boat trip and ran around downtown.

Downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago

Beautiful Chicago

Beautiful Chicago

Well, you might ask, where was Cathy?  I went to shoe school to hang out with Sara and make shoes!  I made 3 pairs and quite a few patterns.  I was in “Cathy” type heaven.

Red and Blue Shoes

Red and Blue Shoes

Well, we had not been back for 12 hours before we headed to Tulsa to buy a house!  Yep, we bought a house in Tulsa but we are not moving there.  Patrick moved into the house a few days ago and James will move there in a few weeks.  James finished up the last of his classes at OU and is now a graduate!  We are so thrilled and proud of him.  Way to go James.  Here is your “present”:

Front of the new house

Front of the new house

Living Room

Living Room

Okay, just kidding about the present but not that we bought the place.  Interestingly enough, this house is one block from the first house Randy and I bought when we married 30 years ago!  Can you say full circle?

Last, but certainly not least, 5 of the 6 Willett children were in the same place Friday night.  So, we celebrated by going out to dinner and had a wonderful time and some great food!  Sorry Roggie, we will go again when you are here.

So, to wrap things up, here are the dinner pictures:

Willett Family Dinner Randy, James and Bucky

Willett Family Dinner
Randy, James and Bucky

Brandi and the boys

Brandi and the boys

Deep in conversation

Deep in conversation

5 out of 6 Willett kids in one place.

5 out of 6 Willett kids in one place.

We celebrated the opening of my brother James’ new liquor store by toasting him with Willett Whiskey.  Seemed appropriate.  Of course, he brought the bottle.  A great time was had by all.

Let me know what you have been up to please!

 

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Well, in the case of Randy and I, you get to go out to dinner to celebrate 30 wonderful years of marriage.  Yep, we made it 29 1\2 years longer then most people would have bet money on.  I will share the secret to our long years of wedded bliss.

Are you ready for the magical answer?  Can you handle it?  Okay, read ahead for the sage words of how we did it.

We put one foot in front of the other everyday.

It is really that simple.

At this point I should show you pictures from the actual wedding.  There is a slight problem though.  I can tell you where the photo album was located in 4 of our 5 last houses.  In this house, no clue.  That’s right, Cathy has lost her wedding photos!  Yep, sounds like something I would do!

So, as to not disappoint my 5 readers, let’s play a game of pretend, shall we?  Here is a picture of what Randy and I look like now.  Just take 30 years off me and 10 years off Randy (he hasn’t aged) and put me in a white dress and Randy in a black tux.

Cathy and Randy

Cathy and Randy

And in this game of pretend, let me tell you a quick story.  When we first got our wedding photos, I had a hard time looking at them because I was my mom.  I looked just like her.  So here is a pic of her wedding portrait to help the game:

Mom's wedding portrait

Mom’s wedding portrait

If I ever locate the wedding album, I will share some pictures.  I should also, probably, find my wedding ring.  That is a story for another day.

Well, that is it for now.  We are going to go to dinner!  I think we will get dessert, we might have earned it!

Oh, feel free to give us the secrets of a long marriage.  We have 30 more to go.

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Well summer continues to be busy, fun and full of family.  We went to Kansas City to enjoy the 4th of July.  We got to see quite a few of Randy’s family and his friends from high school.  James came up the day before the 4th and we took him and his friend, Randi, out to dinner.  James went with us to Kansas City and we had a wonderful time!

Here are the very few pictures I took over the 4th as the lake is not conducive to carrying a camera!

And the "girls" from high school

And the “girls” from high school

Randy's high school friends

Randy’s high school “guy” friends

Back to the trip to Table Rock lake, we went to Dogwood Canyon to ride bikes.  It is such a gorgeous place and I always enjoy visiting there.  Okay, take a look:

Dogwood Canyon

Dogwood Canyon

Gorgeous

Gorgeous

Dogwood Canyon waterfall

Dogwood Canyon waterfall

Creek at Dogwood Canyon

Creek at Dogwood Canyon

And since we saw all the above on bikes, here are the dynamic trio:

Emily

Emily

Randy

Randy

Patrick

Patrick

And the trio’s selfie:

The Bikers' selfie

The Bikers

We wrapped up the day with s’mores and a bonfire.  It just doesn’t get any better!

Fire

Fire

S'mores!

S’mores!

Pretty sure there are going to be more adventures this summer.  Stay tuned.  Let me know what you have been up to.

 

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