Saturday, August 20, 2016

Peaceful Garden Tour

Hi there Bloggy Buddies! Once again, it has been too long.. but alas, I am back again.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of touring a beautiful garden with a local garden club. This lovely paradise, with so many painstakingly gorgeous details, happens to belong to my BFF’s sister Beverly and her husband Wayne. They have both worked diligently on this project, for years.. perhaps. I will share (way too many) pictures I took from that morning.  It is the most peaceful and serene garden I have ever been in. Can you feel it? Also, pieces of their families’ history are intertwined into the space. I just love Rusty Stuff when it is used so creatively!






















I will close with a little story. Beverly and Wayne live next to Bev’s old “homeplace.” One time when I was staying overnight at their house, Carol (my BFF) suggested we (including her two sisters) trek out across the “wilderness” to her grandparents’ place. We did, and eventually got there. However we got lost on the way back home. I would say Carol and I were about 10 or 11 at the time and we were the older chicks in the group. It was traumatic.. but exciting! I would say it was only an hour or less we were “out there” finding our way, but it seemed like forever to four lost girls. We all had on boots which became very caked with mud while walking through the pastures. By the time we finally got back to their house, the boots were so heavy we could hardly walk. And Carol’s Mom was livid! “You girls could have been killed by the mean bull in the pasture!” said She. It is a great memory to me though, and I will remember it always <3 You see, at that time, I was still a young innocent small town girl who thought country life was the bestest thing ever!

Thanks for coming along on the tour. See you soon, I hope!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Warm Springs Ranch ~ Love those Clydesdales!

Yesterday, Mr. W and I took an “us” day. We spent the morning at Warm Springs Ranch near Boonville, Missouri. We then did some antiquing, followed by shopping and a late lunch at Cracker Barrel. I have been yearning to visit Warm Springs since 2008 (the year the Ranch moved just a little over an hour away from us). I was not disappointed, and cannot wait to return!

I will share our tour with mostly photos and very little “talk!” Pic heavy I know.. but, well, I am making up for lost time.. haha!

The tour began with a short video that was just a glorious celebration of the Clydesdales, and included in the mix was a snippet of my favorite Budweiser commercial.. which brought tears to my eyes. I am such a sucker for the Clydesdales, and when they throw in my favorite little equine.. well… it’s a winning combination for me.

Let the tour begin…

Such a beautiful ranch!

Bonus birdwatching while waiting for tour to begin: Great Blue Heron

Mr. W…

Mrs. W…

Our tour guide, Cindy.. she was the best!!

Pregnant mare in Exercise Paddock

Young ‘un – big enough to play in the pasture

Duke, sweet retired Clydesdale (photo creds to Mr. W on this one!)

Clydesdale shoe in Mr. W’s hands…

Baby born on Cinco de Mayo.. 1 of 3 very new foals we had the honor to meet.


Needless to say, I would highly recommend visiting Warm Springs Ranch. You have to make your reservations quite a while in advance, but once you are there I guarantee you won’t regret it! Take this link to see if any tickets are available this season.

Hope all is well where you are!


Monday, April 4, 2016


It took something Owl-some to bring me back to the blog. Some thoughtful friends took me on a little owl adventure this morning to see a nest of two baby owls. There are no words for this kind of cuteness! (edited: at first we thought these might be Barred Owl babies, but they are Great Horned Owls). That “baby down” can throw you off!


Great Horned Owl Babies

Happy Spring to all!!


Monday, November 2, 2015

“Papa Jim” Giveaway Winner

Thanks to those who put their names in the hat! And also for sharing some sweet and precious memories of your own. Loved the comments.

I went to and it told me “#1” today. 

So, drumroll please, the winner of my Mama’s book, “Papa Jim” is Julie of Dog Trot Farm. If you haven’t visited her lovely blog, please do! I have never visited the state of Maine in person, but I certainly enjoy my virtual trips via Dog Trot Farm. One of my very favorites!


Thanks again, Everyone! Wish I had more “Papa Jim” books to send each of you. Red heart

The Blacksmith wants to do a giveaway very soon also. Perhaps, a Railroad Spike garden trowel.. or..? This will give me a good opportunity to do a blog post about his brand new Blacksmith Shop.

Have a great week.. hope to see you soon!


Monday, October 26, 2015

Papa Jim

Several years ago, I recall my Mother saying she was compiling a few short stories about her life growing up – the first several years in the country, and then her family’s move to the small town of Perry, Missouri in her early teens. She mentioned someday, oh, she might just print it out for her girls (my sister and me) and for her grandson (the Fiddler). Years passed and she continued to write a few stories from her memories here and there. Several months ago she contacted Daydream Books and Arts and after talking with them, she decided she would go ahead and publish. After all, it was going to be little to no monetary investment and this would be a way to preserve and share these precious stories. Per my Mom, Daydream was a joy to work with. She sent them her stories – they (Stephanie) proofed, edited, and did several other things to help with the process. A few short months later, Papa Jim became a reality and was published.

Stephanie, who owns and runs Daydream Books and Arts, began the business a couple of years ago after publishing her first book. She enjoyed it so much that she wanted to help others do the same. Per Stephanie, “I wanted to help people embrace their creativity, promote it, get their work and their name out there to the public... to share their daydreams.” And so began Daydream Books and Arts in a little town called New Cambria, Missouri – not all that far from where we live.

Of course, I treasure this book. I can remember Papa Jim a little bit (he passed when I was only 2). The man I remember is a strong, tall, gentle, caring, soft-spoken man. All of my life I have heard wonderful stories of Papa and Mama (Grandpa and Grandma W to me). Grandma, in fact, moved to Paris and lived right behind us from the time I was about 8 years old. Sister and I would run those few steps to Grandma’s whenever we needed a little TLC (many times in the form of warm cookies or hugs or just a listening ear). She was a dear and priceless treasure to us. So, you can imagine I was pretty happy that these precious stories of days gone-by are now preserved for generations to come.


Here is a summary of Papa Jim, per Stephanie of Daydream Books and Arts:

“Charlotte Utterback has written these stories of her family and childhood over recent years. She wishes to share her memories with her remaining family, and anyone else interested in reminiscing of a simpler, more peaceful time. Be ready to meet her family, celebrate their joy, feel their heartaches, and learn from their way of life.”

Mary Margaret and Baby Charlotte

At only 120 pages, it is a fairly short read. Papa Jim is a wholesome, innocent book. It is also sprinkled with warm humor in the simple joys, and hope through the heartaches. While reading, you can journey back to rural and small town life in the 40’s and 50’s. This was a time when nothing was wasted, families were treasured, and things were oh-so-much simpler.

I am giving away one autographed copy of Papa Jim. You may enter by simply leaving a comment below – tell me a happy memory from your childhood if you wish. If you’re a follower, please leave a second comment telling me that you’re a follower, and your name goes in the hat twice. will pick the winning number on Monday, November 2nd and I will announce it soon thereafter. You have until Monday, November 2 at 8 a.m. CST to enter.

If you would like to order Papa Jim, it is available at Daydream Books and Arts and Amazon. Also, if you are in the North Central Missouri area, Daydream is hosting the 1st Annual Daydream Expo of Missouri Writers and Artists on Saturday, November 7th, 2015 in Macon, Missouri at the Macon County Expo Center. There will be books to purchase, and many other vendors, creative works, and entertainment to enjoy.

My Mom is 74 and has always been a very determined person with a strong faith. I have always admired her ability to accomplish things and follow a project through. I am very proud of her. She is an inspiration!


We all have a story to tell, so find a way to preserve your stories and memories and share them to the world.


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