Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I walked around the property today and found some lettuces starting to come up in the garden. Also, tulips. It is a nice day today, warm but windy so I won't be raking leaves. Yesterday Andy and I went to OK City for "Municipal Government Day at the Capitol". Andy had participated in a Citizen Leadership Training course and received a certificate from State government officials (the Governor wasn't available). We also met with Tom Ivester and Mike Sanders, our representatives in state government, and reiterated our town's need for their support and involvement in helping us get the local prison reopened and possibly get a DOC work center here. A work center has been helpful in other western OK communities in providing manpower to get some cleanup work done that our city employees don't have time to do. Andy never stops trying. I am meeting with the high school principal later this afternoon to see if we can get some local students interested in an art program I read about in the paper. Gotta run!

Monday, March 25, 2013

EXCITING NEWS! Andy and I and the director of the Chamber of Commerce met with our rep from Staplegun, an Oklahoma ad agency we worked with last year, in preparation for this year's Cheese Festival. He was excited to tell us that the new logo they came up with last year for the Cheese Festival won an ADDY, an award given by the Advertising Council, as one of the best Festival Logos submitted! We are excited that we all chose well when presented with the various logo options given us.

Spring Update

Life in the small town's been a rough winter for me but we are now at the change of seasons and I see light at the end of the tunnel. We had a few visitors this winter and I really enjoyed the company. Andy was out of town working in Omaha, Nebraska, in November and December, and returned to Watonga in early January. Since then we've been getting caught up on things that needed to be done both in town and around the hdouse. We are ready for spring guests!! The weather has been nice on some days and then back to cold on other days-- we can't predict what next week is going to be like so it's hard to plan outdoor activities. But April 1 is the "average last freeze" date in our area, so hopefully the weather patterns will even out a little bit after that date. I am so looking forward to regular nice days. We had a week of pleasant weather a couple of weeks ago and I got our vegetable garden ready for planting, and even planted some carrots, lettuces, cilantro, and arugula. Other seeds (tomato, peppers, eggplant) have been planted in bedding trays and put in the small hotbox at the end of the house. They should be ready to put into the ground in about two weeks. We had a nice blanket of snow in February, left by a blizzard that dumped over 12 inches of snow. We were without electrical power for three days but kept cozy in our bedroom with the fireplace burning nonstop. We used all of the wood Andy had cut up over the last few years, so this spring we have to replenish the wood piles! But with the bad weather, we have lots of dead wood laying around ready to be cut up. Now it is almost the end of March and the leaves on the ground need to be raked up. We have a very large bonfire pile ready to burn, which we will do when the wind dies down (is it ever NOT windy in Oklahoma?) The daffodils and crocus have been blooming for a week or more, and I see redbud trees putting on little buds. The grape hyacinth are just now starting to bloom. The quince is just now starting to put on buds so it will be a late bloom for them and for the currants that are about at the same stage. I'm hoping for a long spring. Drew and Jenna have been up to visit us several times in the past few months. Drew participated in one of our LIQUID ART events and he and Jenna both produced a nice piece of art. We have our next Liquid ART evening scheduled for a Friday night, April 12. More on that later. Andy and I are thinking about building an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven off the back patio. We are still in the research stage but so far it looks like a good venture for us to do here at the Retreat. We will be going down to Texas to visit a place called Ancient Ovens to get some final advice before we jump off the cliff toward that new adventure. I have to thank my friend Sandi from Coppell for the idea! Will keep everyone posted on our progress. Our goal would be to be open by summer.