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.


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!).


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Get into the Groove

This morning’s Walkabout. 

I am trying to get back into the Blogging Groove! For me, a good ole Collage is the place to start :) I will have a post on the Blacksmith early next week. I have really missed blogging, and my bloggy friends!

Happy Weekend to All!


Friday, March 13, 2015

Old Friends, Reunited

Where does the time go? Do you find yourself asking that question – a lot?! Me too! I had mentioned posting an update on the Shouse (aka Barn-Cottage). Well, that didn’t happen. Yet. But soon. I have company coming over the course of the next couple of weeks, so that will force me into cleaning mode.. and therefore, I can see that would be a great time to take pics :)

Today I want to share a picture of my father-in-law, the Blacksmith’s Pops, our dear “G-pa.” He hasn’t been able to live at his home since last Summer (World War II Vet, in his 90’s). We see him pretty often, but hadn’t gotten around to getting his beloved dog the updated vaccinations so “Shorty” could go to the care facility and visit. Last week, I finally accomplished the vet visit. Over the weekend.. these two were reunited. Needless to say, it was a very happy moment! Had to share. There will be more Shorty visits in the near future.

old friends

Hope everyone has a great weekend! The weather is pure perfection here.. absolutely Spring-like, and the chorus frogs are singing like crazy. Happy happy!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

An Enormous Flock of Geese, and a New Donkey?!

We’re baaack! Let’s see, lots of things happening around here. We are {mostly} moved into the Shouse (aka Barn/Cottage). This weekend we hope to move the all-important kitchen appliances to our new abode. I will try to do an update with pics next week on the Shouse. Lots of tasks have been accomplished, but still many details to finish. Very happy with our little Barn/Cottage <3
So, what else is new? I have a new donkey.. but she needs some work. I will share a photo of “Opal” at the end of this post. {Teaser}
Our Gorgeous Trumpeter Swans have moved on, but they’ve been replaced in the same spot with the most ginormous flock of geese that I have ever had the pleasure to view!! It was impossible to show just how many geese were there, but here is a sampling. This group was mostly Snow Geese, but there were also Canadians and various others. It is pure eye candy for the Avian Lover, but probably not a welcome sight for the host (Farmer).


Now, about this new donkey. We were furniture shopping over the weekend, and next door was one of our favorite antique malls to peruse: Veranda Antique Mall. Opal appeared to me, like a vision, when I first walked in the door (after grumbling because no purses are allowed-- you must lock them up in a locker or take them back to your vehicle – I get it, buuuut, it’s a pain.. ok?!). There she was, my Beautiful White Donkey in all her glory, pulling a cart with loose wheels. It was love at first sight, in spite of a few flaws.. a loose tail and ear, some chips here and there, and the obvious.. wheels propped up on either side of the cart. She holds promise though.  Don’t you think? Best part is, Ruby and Gracie will not be jealous of Opal.. and she doesn’t eat much. Just an investment of Bondo repair putty and some artistic TLC and she should be good to go. I will update with pics as she is transformed.
Presenting Opal…
It is super cold again here in MO.. just a reminder that Spring has not arrived just yet. Have a Happy Valentines Day weekend, Folks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Natural History of the Chicken

Internet connection woes, computer monitor woes, and other issues have prevented me from blogging yet in 2015. So, I thought.. why not re-post one of my favorites? I previously blogged this post in March of 2010. As you may know, I did finally become a chicken mama (again) in 2010. 12 of those original 17 Ameraucanas remain, and are still doing pretty well. I am ready to watch this documentary again.. I just love it. The video and links below are to various youtube segments of the original documentary. Also, if you have Amazon Prime (and a faster internet connection than we do right now!), the full version is free to watch on Amazon. Enjoy!
Dear friends who love chickens (like myself)…
Have you seen this documentary? It’s been around awhile, but it was my first time viewing it on PBS this week. I loved every minute of it (although much of it is admittedly quite bizarre). My desire to be a Chicken Keeper again was strengthened ten-fold. (ummmm… Mr. W, get ready to build that chicken coop!).
A word of caution for Big Saps like myself… grab that box of Kleenexes. (sniffle-sniffle).
This is part 6 of 6 (my favorite), but if you want to view more, click here for part 1 and proceed through all 6 parts.
Back to taxes and purging…. Fun Times!
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