One of my all time favorite songs is Judy Collins’ rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s song “Send in the Clowns”.  You can go read all about it on wikipedia here.  This song always makes an appearance in my mind when I cannot control a situation!!  This last weekend we had a winter “storm” with ice, snow and dark of night.  In true Fayetteville fashion, that means everything closes down.  We had reservations at a restaurant a block away and the restaurant called my sister to say they were closing early.  Everything came to a screeching (pun intended) halt.  My sisters and I had plans to attend a wedding shower for my niece and BAM we could not get there.  In addition to the shower, my plan was to eat lunch out, go to shower, go to “good” grocery store and pick up enchiladas for dinner.  Suffice it to say we had soup and cornbread.

Well, with plans run amok, I read a couple of books.  The one below was good and a “gift” from MJ.  She was going to buy the book for me for my birthday present but then she remembered that I don’t like to keep books once I have read them.  So, being the brilliant person she is, she wait listed a copy at the library, checked it out when it came in and delivered it to my front door!  So glad she did this because I really needed some reading material during the storm.  Here is the book she thought I should read and I enjoyed it!

Good read

Good read

While I didn’t like the cold, these cardinals in the tree sure did!

cardinals in the tree

cardinals in the tree

Those red birds were certainly a bright spot in the landscape of white.

Well, that about wraps up our life recently.  They are calling for another storm midweek and maybe that will be the last of winter.  In the meantime, I am just going to keep humming “Send in the Clowns” and particularly this verse:

Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought that you’d want what I want…
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here.

As an aside, I wanted this song performed at my wedding, but alas the harpist said NO!

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Well, February has been fabulous so far!  The weather has been wonderful and we have taken full advantage. Randy and I went to Wilson Park on a gorgeous 70 degree day.  Between the college kids playing frisbee and soccer, we took a walk around the park.

Randy

Randy!

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Those trees look like they are ready to dance!

Randy had a birthday and we celebrated in style.  We went out to dinner two nights in a row and had dessert!  Randy also went to a home show and brought home barbecue for our dining pleasure.  We are pretty passionate about our food.      If you know me, I am not a very passionate person.  Must be the down to earth, realist in me.  Other than food, I guess you could say I am passionate about my first cup of coffee everyday, but that might be it!

Speaking of passion, Valentine’s day came the day after Randy’s birthday.  He hit the ball out of the park with his gifts to me!  Since I am not a real “lover” of gifts, I am hard to buy for.  This year, Randy got me the cutest little card from the Fine Art’s department at the U of A.  I loved everything about it!  It was tiny, handcrafted and not a hint of mass production was found.  Here are the pics with a normal size card for scale:

My Valentine card

My Valentine card

Inside Valentine's card

Inside Valentine’s card

He also had a parade in my honor!  Okay, I jest.  The parade was for Mardi Gras and it was wonderful.  We walked the 1/2 block to the parade route and met up with our neighbors.

Randy and our neighbor enjoying the parade

Randy and our neighbor enjoying the parade

Our neighbor Judy enjoying the show

Our neighbor Judy enjoying the show

Friends of ours were on one of the floats as King and Queen of their krewe.  Took me quite a few minutes to recognize them!

Steve and Lisa playing King and Queen!

Steve and Lisa playing King and Queen!  Steve is hiding behind the heart.

And there was music:

Parade music

Parade music

And Roller Derby:

Roller Derby on Parade

Roller Derby on Parade

Cool Trucks:

Great truck

Great trucks

And more:

Colorful

Colorful

We finished up the day with a gorgeous sunset:

Valentine Sunset

Valentine Sunset

Well, as I write this post we are experiencing sleet and expecting several inches of snow.  It has been such an easy winter up to this point that I suppose I can handle a short winter storm!

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and come visit us!  We are always up for visitors.

 

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Well, for the past two years, I have been cobbling (yep, pun intended) together a life in retirement.  I am here to tell you that it hasn’t been easy finding my way post career.  What has been easy is not having to set an alarm clock!  I have spent time working in my workshop down the road since we moved to Fayetteville.  The workshop location shared a parking lot with the store that sold my leather work.  It was downright convenient to have Four Legged Bird right there as my neighbor.  Unfortunately, they made the decision recently to close!  I have been in mourning.

So what is a person to do?  Well if you are me, you buy a couple of sewing machines!  Because everyone needs 6 sewing machines.

My "Viscount"

My “Viscount”

My "new" Singer 401A

My “new” Singer 401A

I am probably going to shed shoemaking and move my workspace home!  I plan to stock my ETSY store in the near future.  I will let you know when that happens.

In other news, Randy and I spent my birthday visiting the KC Royals caravan!  I do not like baseball but Randy loves the Royals.  Here are the pictures:

STEVE PHYSIOC and JOHN MAYBERRY

STEVE PHYSIOC and JOHN MAYBERRY

Christian Colon Second Baseman

Christian Colon
Second Baseman

Dave Webster the historian and the Tropy

Dave Webster the historian and the American League Championship Trophy

So now we are looking forward to going to spring training in Arizona.

Emily went to OMAN for a 12 day business trip and here is a photo she sent us:

Emily's pic somewhere in the Middle East

Emily’s pic somewhere in the Middle East

She had a wonderful time and Muscat was much warmer than D.C.!

All in all, it was a very quiet January.  Hello February.

 

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Well, our new year started with a bang, actually two!  As 2014 rolled into 2015, fireworks went off on the Fayetteville square and watched them from the porch.  This is fast becoming one of my favorite events.  Feel free to join me on the porch next year, let’s say around midnight on December 31, 2015!  The second bang happened a few days later.  I hit a wall with my car.  I did not even realize I was going to hit the wall, so I was quite surprised when the resulting sound was a very loud BANG.  Oh well, life goes on.

Moving on, Emily spent New Year’s eve in Tulsa with her brothers.  A good time was had by all but I only have a picture of James and Emily.

Emily and James on New Year's Eve

Emily and James on New Year’s Eve

We also took a trip to Crystal Bridges Museum to see the State of the Art exhibit.  You can click on the link and read about it.  The process the museum went through to pick the 100+ artists is fascinating.  The show runs for another week if you want to go see it.  Here are some pictures:

State of the Art #1

State of the Art #1

State of the Art #2

State of the Art #2

State of the Art #3

State of the Art #3

State of the Art #4

State of the Art #4

State of the Art #5

State of the Art #5

This exhibit will not go down as my favorite but I was certainly glad I went to see it.

Every time we go to Crystal Bridges we are so happy that we live so close.  Even though it is winter, the grounds were gorgeous and the sun was shining.

Gorgeous grounds at the museum

Gorgeous grounds at the museum

Emily enjoying the sunshine at Crystal Bridges Museum

Emily enjoying the sunshine at Crystal Bridges Museum

Emily’s 3 week visit zoomed by and before we knew it, she was headed home.  Right before Randy took her to catch her flight, we went out for one more meal.  My sisters and their husbands joined us and there might be pictures.

We "did" lunch

We “did” lunch

Apparently there was some great conversation going on at lunch

Apparently there was some great conversation going on at lunch

January is in full swing.  Randy, James and Patrick start classes this week and Emily is headed to the Middle East for a business trip.  I am looking forward to driving the carpool or as Mary Jean calls it, the Cathy Cab!  Life goes on after the thrill of Emily’s visit is gone.

Hope everyone’s 2015 is going well so far.  Fill me in on your hopes and dreams.

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Well folks, this will go down as a December to remember!  Having Emily home for 3 weeks was fabulous and we tried to fit one of everything into the schedule.  We hit museums, restaurants and did a wee bit of shopping.  Since Patrick wasn’t able to join us for Christmas, we made a quick trip to Tulsa to take him out for a holiday dinner.  We also got to see siblings, cousins and friends.  Here are a few pictures:

Emily and Carla after running the Jingle Bell 5K

Emily and Carla after running the Jingle Bell 5K

Camel rides in downtown Fayetteville

Camel rides in downtown Fayetteville

a few of the many lights from LIGHTS of the OZARKS

a few of the many lights from LIGHTS of the OZARKS

Some of us also went to Brats and Brews and others went to a Razorback basketball game:

Randy, Bucky, MJ and Ray went to see the Razorbacks play!

Randy, Bucky, MJ and Ray went to see the Razorbacks play!

Once James got to Fayetteville, we loaded up the car and headed to Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake for several days.  Just like the past 6 Christmas Eve’s, we headed to the Worman House for dinner.  Patrick, I missed my dance partner but managed to have a great dinner anyway.  Christmas day we woke to the sun shining over the lake.  I called it a Christmas miracle since the dreary days have been the norm this month.

The sun shining on Christmas day.

The sun shining on Christmas day.

While we were up in Missouri, we ate much, hiked some, toured some and drank a bit of holiday cheer.

My attempt at cooking Christmas dinner

My attempt at cooking Christmas dinner

Hiking the Ozarks

Hiking the Ozarks

The vistas are gorgeous in the dead of winter

The vistas are gorgeous in the dead of winter

Southern Missouri

Southern Missouri

I was in rock heaven

I was in rock heaven

Randy braving the waterfall in 32 degree weather

Randy braving the waterfall in 32 degree weather

James as tour guide

James as tour guide

It was really, really, really cold!

It was really, really, really cold!

Gorgeous views

Gorgeous views

Obligatory Cave picture

Obligatory Cave picture

Mom with kids picture

Mom with kids picture

After we took the golf cart ride, we were ready to move inside and have some warm libations.

James inside the Top of the Rock with bony friend

James inside the Top of the Rock with bony friend

Warm drinks for all!

Warm drinks for all please!

Emily and James also tried out the new spa at Big Cedar Lodge and were pretty impressed.  Nothing like massages and steam rooms to make a trip complete.

We are back home in Fayetteville and still have some December left to fill.  Planning a trip to Crystal Bridges Museum and hopefully a few more wonderful meals before Emily heads back north.  Going to miss that child of ours but so glad she brought merry and bright to our holiday time.

And last, but certainly not least, the Razorbacks will play the University of Texas on Monday night!  Let’s just say “Woo Pig Sooie” and leave it right there.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and hoping your holidays were great.  Fill me in with details if you want to share.

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The “Holiday Season” is in full swing around here.  We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving in Kansas City on the Plaza.  James and Patrick were able to join us but alas, Emily was not there!  It was a Voight fest for sure.  Brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews rounded out the group.  Sadly for us, Pat and Martha were “feasting” in the Florida sun.  We missed them and several others.  We ate, we drank, we watched football and we did that over and over.  Thanksgiving night was spent at the 85th Annual Plaza Lighting Ceremony.  It did not disappoint.

Plaza Lights and Fireworks

Plaza Lights and Fireworks

Randy and James Selfie

Randy and James Selfie

On Friday we did a little bit of shopping and headed to round 2 or 3 of  Voight Family food fest. Saturday morning found us at a breakfast buffet doing what we seem to do best!  When we did leave the table, a trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to see the Plains Indian exhibit.  It was packed but a wonderful show.  Here are the pics:

The Plains Indians exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Plains Indians exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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The exhibit was large and these pictures do not do it justice.  We also went through part of the first floor permanent exhibit.  These pictures below are for my daughter:

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And we also got a shot of the lawn that was peppered with TIPIS!

The lawn of the Nelson-Atkins

The lawn of the Nelson-Atkins

We managed another meal at the River Market that was fabulous.

The River Market in Kansas City

The River Market in Kansas City

I am stopping here because I am hungry!  Just kidding but figured you were worn out by now.  Hope your holiday season is going as well as ours, let me hear from you!

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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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