Friday, January 26, 2018

January 2018 - Busy Month

After recovering from the real flu and taking time to get my strength back over the holiday season, on Jan 15 I challenged myself and went out in 28 degree weather to give a hiking tour of the Three Springs area at Roman Nose State Park to two visitors from Norman, OK.  Even in the winter, the scenery in the park is beautiful and peaceful. I couldn't help but give a little history on the Park, talk about the Native American culture and the Civilian Conservation Corp.  Our faces were frozen by the time we finished the hike from the Shelter to the swimming pool bath house and back up to the parking lot.  We drove to the Lodge and walked down the hallway to look at the current and historical photographs. This part of Oklahoma really is special.

On Sunday, Jan 14, the first Oklahoma House Concert of the year was held at the Chaparral Retreat.  A young, sweet, and very talented musician, Abbigale Dawn, from Norman, OK put us all under her spell with her lovely lyrics and vocals.   She was referred to our place by Oklahoma singer/songerwriter Dylan Stewart.  Phoenix Circle Foundation organizes these house concerts not only to support musicians, but in the hopes that we will also be able to raise a few dollars to go toward the Foundation's mission of bringing arts opportunities and experiences to an underserved part of rural Oklahoma.  It is a win-win proposition for everyone - musicians, the Foundation, the audience, and of course Andy and I.  We win by getting exposure for the BandB and by not having to drive an hour for entertainment and fun.  We so much appreciate the musicians who are willing to come out here, and the people who come out for the concert.   We already have several concerts lined up for the first half of this year!

We've been busy with the Friends of Roman Nose State Park Assoc. and the new management at the park in organizing the annual Trout Derby, scheduled for the first weekend in March.  The FORN group will be working with the Chamber of Commerce and we hope to have a good turn-out.  The FORN group is also working on getting a reprint of the book by Dr. M.C. Weber, "Roman Nose State Park--A History" that the group sells as a fundraiser.  The book is the essential guide to the history, geology, and culture of the Park.

We are also excited to hear that the Chamber of Commerce has hired a new admin director!  That should  mean some good things happening in Watonga in the coming year.  I know that Andy and I and Phoenix Circle Foundation personally  have some plans for new and fun activities once we get the Arts Center open .... and on that front, we are thankful and happy that the Phoenix Circle Foundation has been awarded  a grant from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful to put towards the redo of the building on Main Street that Andy has been working on all year.  The money will allow us to finish the front of the building with new windows and an awning, and that will complete the block on the northeast end of Main Street (i.e., all of the storefronts are attractive and have businesses in them).   Once that is completed, Andy can then turn his attention to finishing the inside of the building. specifically to a heating and air conditioning system before the summer.  I'll be looking for and requesting donations and grant money for that equipment and installation.  I'll also be sending in a Press Release to our local newspaper in the next week or so to let the public know where the money is coming from -- a great organization called KEEP OKLAHOMA BEAUTIFUL that has lots of conversation, litter cleanup and recycling programs, and even art projects that repurpose, recycle, and reuse things that might otherwise be thrown away.  I hope to work with the Chamber of Commerce and the local schools on a couple of thesenKOB  projeects to keep Watonga and the State Park  looking good.   

The road we live on, Hwy 8A, is only a couple of miles long and leads right into Roman Nose State Park.  It is amazing to me how much trash and litter is thrown out of cars that use that road, both coming and going from the Park.  When Dr. Max and Marjorie Barrett lived here, they walked along the easement every day and picked up trash from the roadsides for years.  It was great exercise for them, and kept the highway free of litter that would otherwise be blown by the wind onto the properties of those who live along the highway.  I think that would be a great project for a 4-H group or Boy Scout group, or even an after-school project for elementary and middle school youth. 

This week our new puppy Sadie (named after the Beatles song Sexy Sadie) went in for her spay operation.  She is young--eight months old-- and will heal quickly.  The first day after surgery she was lethargic, ate but then threw up her food, drank little water, and pretty much just rested though her puppy instinct was to jump and play. We kept her subdued for the next couple of days and she is getting more frisky and active every day. She loves to run and jump through the woods like a gazelle.

 Sadie is trying to make friends with KikiDee, who I have been allowing to come into my bedroom in spite of my allergies.  She doesn't stay long but when she is inside my bedroom she room she explores a little, tolerates the puppy's playful advances, and then ends up curled up at my feet.  Sadie tries to engage with her, and Kiki Dee responds with little love bites on Sadie's feet and neck.

Andy and I are planning to take a vacation and Drew and Jenna will take care of the house and animals while we are gone.  We haven't had a vacation in 3 years other than a weekend visit here and there, so we are going to "sell the stock and spend all the money" [ from Sting's "Brand New Day"]  and celebrate Andy's birthday with long-time loved friends--I don't know all of the details but I've heard rumors that there will be a limosine involved.  Hopefully in a warm climate! 

I think our next House Concert is in February, maybe around Valentine's Day. Right now it is happy hour and I'm settled in (google the Finnish term "kalsarikannit") so I won't be able to give any more information until the morning.  We have some very sweet guests staying with us this evening and I have a special breakfast planned for them in the morning, so I'm shutting down the computer for this evening.  WISHING ALL A HAPPY FRIDAY AND HAPPY WEEKEND!!

Looking forward to comments on this post!!

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