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 random.org 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. Random.org 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.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Morning Has Broken

I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns lately at sunrise. It is so very dry here and for the most part our Autumn color suffers, but Wow! We have had some breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.

Yesterday’s morning view from the kitchen window

We have taken some fun little road trips over the past several weeks and, of course, the usual local Amish trips.


Mostly, our trips are nearby or along paths familiar to us.. like this wonderful Historical Event at Mexico, Missouri. Many eras were represented during “Walk Back in Time.”


I always admire this old service station along our weekly route.


A gorgeous sunflower field. Acres and acres of smiles on Highway 15 between Mexico and Paris. This was a few weeks ago.



I am about halfway through the Missouri Master Gardening course. Learning lots (now just to remember half of it)!
Did you know that gross, disgusting tomato hornworms turn into some really beautiful creatures? I’m going to reconsider feeding them to my chickens.. hmmm.

Sphinx Moth

Guess who will be celebrating their First Anniversary in a few days! We love this couple <3 By the way, if I haven’t mentioned it… since late Spring they have been our neighbors on the Farm!



Wishing you Happy Trails and many lovely sunrises and sunsets. (psssst… Come back next week for a Giveaway!)


Monday, September 28, 2015

Budding Talent at Flat Creek Farm

Presenting Goldie, our crooner.. but only to this song. Every day (when I have this local radio program on), she sings along. We love this girl.

Bill Kenny (formerly of the Ink Spots) – “Thank Heaven for You” via KWIX Radio

I will be back soon with a road trip post, then a giveaway soon afterward (My Mama wrote a book!).

Happy Fall to All.. See You Soon!


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Blacksmith

He is back at it! Forging, that is. Mr. W has a brand new shop, awaiting insulation (yay!). Till then, he is still forging Garden Trowels and other Good Things in his old Blacksmith Shop (my future She Shed, Potting Shed, etc.. yay for me too!).

Here is a little glimpse at what it takes to make a garden trowel from a railroad spike.

Only the best finished products are kept. That is a “scrapper” you see on the lower right.

finished trowel.. a keeper!

These are, without a doubt, the sturdiest trowels ever.. with a nice “feel” in the hand. Made to last a lifetime..  they make awesome and meaningful gifts for almost any occasion. Railroad Spike Trowels are always available in the Flat Creek Forge Etsy shop (with free shipping!).


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