December 28, 2018
"Another cold December day, and there are no singing sparrows" -from my book of poems
Ah, time to catch up, before another year begins. 2018 has been busy. Since my last post we've had several house concerts, got some ink in the state tourism magazine OKLAHOMA TODAY about our place as the home of OKLAHOMA HOUSE CONCERTS, had visits from friends, visited friends in Tulsa and in Dallas, and made new friends. We opened the WATONGA ARTWORKS building in town, celebrated our 38th anniversary, won an Environmental Excellence award from Keep Oklahoma Beautiful for PHOENIX CIRCLE FOUNDATION, got through another Cheese Festival. I survived a brown recluse spider bite with only a small scar, and we have all stayed healthy through the year other than minor colds and viruses. We had to replace the HVAC unit in the main house this past summer. The
gardens were lush and beautiful all spring and summer and into October, and the sheep helped cut down on some mowing down at the front of the property. I post updates and photos regularly on facebook (under Linda Barrett and Chaparral Retreat & Guesthouse pages). We ended the year on an "up" note overall. Scroll down this page for photos.
We finally opened the arts center, named it WATONGA ARTWORKS, and Drew has designed a logo for a sign. The interior space isn't totally finished yet but the front half, the gallery area with a stage, is done and we have art on the walls from a local artist. We hosted a musician one night during the Cheese Festival in the building and have a couple more shows already scheduled for 2019. We get lots of referrals from musicians who have played at our place, and the article in the tourism magazine gave us a big boost, so we are splitting shows during the year between our house, the local winery, and the ArtWorks stage. I think 2019 is going to be a fun year.
With the help of an author from Tulsa who happened upon our B&B, we organized an afternoon of readings from some books about Oklahoma history: Cimarron, Red Dust & Broadsides, The Town Herd, and A Catalogue of Common People. Together with that we held a creative writing contest for high school students and gave awards to the kids who participated, thanks to donations from our local telephone company, Pioneer Telephone. Besides our work with the Phoenix Circle Foundation, we're still involved with Friends of Roman Nose State Park and have helped with a couple of events held out there.
Drew and Jenna spent the December holidays with Jenna's family in Tennessee and Maryland, so Andy and I had a quiet December here at the house by ourselves. The weather hasn't been too bad this winter so far -- cold and windy but no ice or heavy snow (yet).
We hope everyone had a good year in 2018 and we look forward to another good one in 2019. I hope all of our friends will keep in touch!!
January 2, 2019