Sept. 30, 2015
The summer has passed and it's already September. We had a busy month in July, and a few visitors in August and September. The weather has been up and down - really hot, in the upper 90's, on some days and then cooler spells when we could work outside. The gardens and grounds look beautiful, I must say. It takes a lot of time to tend to the grounds but it is worth the effort. I've posted photos on my facebook page.
Drew and Jenna are making good progress on their earth-bag house. Their chickens are full grown and we expect fresh eggs at any moment. They eat well - all of our scraps from the kitchen (except onion and meat) and their diet is now supplemented by some chicken feed that will induce them to lay. We went to Tulsa for a friend's wedding a couple of weekends ago and we were all of us thinking that we might miss the first egg (like missing your baby's first step)! We didn't miss the event... four of the hens are now laying.
I am now a member of the board of directors of the Red Carpet Country Tourism association and I am excited about it. I attended board orientation and the first meeting of the board in Enid. It was so nice to meet new people who understand tourism marketing and are willing to work at it together for the benefit of all of the communities involved, not just the county each of them come from. RCC covers 16 counties in northwest and north central Oklahoma. I have already run up against roadblocks at the local Chamber of Commerce in promoting Watonga, but I'm not going to stress about it. Andy and I are still pushing forward with promoting the businesses and events that do want publicity for Watonga and understand the importance of tourism as a tool for economic development. We have a gem right here in our midst, the Roman Nose State Park, and I intend to promote the area by working with the local park management and State tourism office. Blaine County also covers the towns of Okeene, Geary, and Canton. I am excited about the potential.
The Roman Nose Hills Trail Ride was last weekend and we had a quiet weekend at the Retreat. We always give a gift certificate for a night at the Retreat for them to auction off, and also help by working one or two of the meals they serve. This year Andy was in Portland Oregon to visit Blake and take Itzel back to her; and I pulled a muscle in my lower back and was pretty much in bed most of the weekend so we were not able to help serve food during this ride. The ride was a success, with almost 100 registered, and the profits will go to Kiwanis for their summer school programs.
We've opened The Oven and have had several dinners, and held several House Concerts as fundraisers for Phoenix Circle Foundation. We've served up to thirty people without any problems. When the weather is pleasant, it is a wonderful experience to sit out on the patio and eat and visit with our guests. On October 17 we have the former Oklahoma poet laureate (2013-2014) Nathan Brown coming out to play guitar and read poetry. We've heard from lots of our friends that they would like to come. It will be a good experience for anyone who shows up, I am certain. Fundraising is a continuous job. I applied for a large grant through Chase Bank, which would have given us the funds to finish redoing the building on Main Street, but we didn't get it. I am always on the lookout for grants and I know the right one will come along.
The annual Watonga Cheese Festival is slowly coming together, and Andy and I are both SO glad not to be involved with it this year. There have been questions raised as to whether or not it will happen at all, but I do see occasional posts on facebook and on the Chamber's website about the Rat Race and the parade and I've spoken to a couple of the Chamber board members who assured me that there will be a Cheese Festival, though different from past years. I will be helping with a Red Carpet Country Tourism booth on both days, but will have time to explore and enjoy whatever entertainment there is, and sample wines!! It will also be an opportunity for me to hand out flyers and rack cards to promote our projects.