Where Are We?

Not in Kansas anymore Toto, or further south in Oklahoma! We are back in the land of Oz though – Australia that is!

After a few flights and some fun in Los Angeles we arrived back in Australia to Brisbane last Sunday.

We headed to Burpengary to stay with wonderful friends Pearl Starr and Chuckwagon for a couple of nights! Sensational, plenty of talking, more than a few drinks for the boys, plenty of laughs and catching up.

I enjoyed my mornings with Pearl immensely, getting up early and going for a half hour walk, followed by a lazy swim in the pool, breaky on the patio all before 9am. Feel good moments with my besty – priceless! Didn't want to leave after a couple really nice days with her.


We left them on Tuesday mid morning and went a little further North to the Warbirds Museum in Caboolture. John our guide was funny and very knowledgeable with his pet love, and of course had been his mechanic life, the F111's.


We saw some of the guys working on restoring a Mustang and a Gypsy Moth with a Dak standing outside waiting it's turn. When the Dakota is done it will be taken over to Normandy and a flight recreation of the battle of Normandy will take place. Check out the nose cone art!


They do joy flights here in the old planes and I think Jack should just bite the bullet and go for one. He's been talking about it for long enough so maybe July for his birthday is going to be a good time to do it.


A small Museum with big hearts/big kids running it.

Heading down to the Gold Coast, we spent a couple nights with Dug Deeper and Trixie. Catching up with them is always fun while discussing shoots, holiday destinations, laughing, chatting and more! You guys still work too hard and need to come play more. We very much appreciate you looking after things and having us over.

With doctor visits, trips to the unit, and some shopping done we are off to Lawrence along the mighty Clarence River for a quick catch up with Paddlewheel and Emerald and of course the pup-ettes – the dogs, Bundy and Coke!


It's always a joy to sit and talk with them and make sure they are doing okay. Our discussions often include outfits, sewing, shooting and where we will all meet up next or places we've been, there's never a shortage of conversation.

We will see them again next week as we come back to look after the pups while they are away.

Back in the car we get and its down to Newcastle to see the grand girlies, Jack's son and daughter-in-law and on Sunday we will also see Jack's daughter. It's been a while and will be great to catch up with them all.

That's it on the travel and family front at the moment. It's a busy week ahead and we'll be shooting the following Saturday! Woohoo!

Have a wonderful wedding tomorrow Ace McKenzie and Scarlett Assassin!

Kat xo



Australia Day

26th January indicates Australia Day, a day off, a long weekend full of beaches, barbies, drinks, games, fireworks and concerts.

During community events and reenactments, citizenship and awards ceremonies take place along with Australian of the Year.

It officially marks the landing of the First Fleet in 1788. I don't recall thisduring history lessons at school but apparently they saw it necessary to go and form a penal colony in the then, New Holland, after the loss of the Thirteen Colonies in North America. So Australia got all the convicts (yes, I descend from one)! Haa haa haa.

Anyway I'm not giving a full history lesson today. Whatever you decide to do for Australia Day, I hope it's a good one and let me know who gets Australian of the Year.


Cheers big ears! Onya mate! Break out the esky, thongs and the terry towelling hat! Throw another shrimp on the barbie and have a lamb cutlet!

Kat xo

For our American friends –


  • Cheers big ears – an Aussie salutation when having a beer
  • Onya mate – slang for 'good on you mate', mate – friend
  • Esky – NZ, chilly bin, US, cooler
  • Thongs – you wear on your feet, flip flops
  • Barbie – not a doll, short for barbecue





Happy Thanksgiving!

It's thanksgiving here in the US and believe it or not, including the likes of Canada, Liberia, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Leiden (in the Netherlands)m Norfolk Island just off Australia also observes this tradition.

As I sat this morning (I know, highly unusual for me to be doing jack $*#!) drinking my coffee and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I can say I am thankful for all our family, the friends we've made around the world and the chance to explore what this world has to offer.

I wondered, as I'd done the past couple of days, where the tradition had originated. This lead me to Dr Google of course finding many an explanation on Wikipaedia and other sources.

Of course most everyone knows it is observed with the likes of turkey, side dishes, pecan (lol, make sure you pronounce it as 'Pi-carn') or pumpkin pie, wine, family, football and more! It's a day for family gatherings for the holiday weekend (where as Christmas is our big to-do in Australia).


A long tradition of prayers and thanks in particular for previous year's crops and the harvesting thereof, tabled for all to enjoy. As early as the 16th century English traditions around thanksgiving and blessings came from acts of God, disasters and the end to wars etc, the most notable event relating to the US however was the landing of the new settlers into Plymouth (Massachusetts) 1621 and Virginia in 1619. And there's a whole lot more to that you can find on Wikipaedia

One must think back to whom the Pilgrims encountered when the arrived on the shores of Plymouth or Virginia and to that – the encounters with the Native American Indians. The Wampanoag had a great influence, giving thanks was a way of life to them on any given day. They were a part of ensuring survival of the newcomers whilst they learnt the ways of the land and how to produce crops in different regions.

There is a great school resource I found regarding that on an education site.


In any case, Jack and I rounded out the day with a couple of drinks, a dead chook, potatoes and peas. Topped off with caramel apple tartlets – when I get to making him a cuppa in a sec!


Wherever you are, I hope that besides the food etc it doesn't hurt to every now and then stop and give thanks for what we have.


Love and hugs to all

Kat xo


Into The Woods

…lf you go down in the woods today, you better go in disguise……

Well this wasn't no nursery rhyme and you might say we were in disguise….if you call a weekend away in 'normal' clothes, disguise! Haa haa!

What a great weekend of down time spent with our very good friends Texas Mac and Texas Flower at their little ranch and I do say little with tongue in cheek.

It might be a cosy little old farm house but their surrounding 'woods' as Flower calls it, is not so little at all!

We arrived Thursday to a warm afternoon. Still in shorts and tshirts we were able to enjoy Margarita's on the deck before enjoying steaks from the grill – a revamped, repurposed old wood stove!


Friday morning it had turned chilly, so suitably dressed, the four of us ventured (on the ATV) out after a hearty breakfast into the woods, checking Mac's hog traps, learning of the history of the property, checking out the cows and looking for deer.


Now Tinder or e-Harmony has nothing on Scrapings! The dating service for deer. (I learnt this on our little exploration) Bucks will rub glands under their eyes against an over hanging branch along a path, scrape the ground clear and urinate in the middle of the spot. Doe's will come through and if so inclined, will follow the trail to the Buck. We saw many scrapings along the way through all Mac's trails.


After visits to old house sites, Mac's storage, to me was just a divine old run down house with spectacular timbers, (Thought of Bertie Winchester and her woodworking but that's another story to follow) we then headed down to the pond and back around to the house for late lunch.


The afternoon followed with chatting about costuming and the men folk doing a bit of shooting in the back yard. Flower and I eventually ventured out to see what they were up to and tested out the new .22 rifle and had a go at shooting outlaw!


Soon it was time for Margarita's although we didn't spend too much time outside this evening.

Baseball and more costuming chats ensued after dinner.

Saturday, after breakfast we took a trip into Coldspring. It's Trades Day which is a weekend of markets with anything from handcrafted items, homegrown cosmetic creams, quilts, jewellery, horseshoe items, you name it. We walked the stores around the square of which almost all of them are still the original buildings and marked historical.


We lunched at 'The Mason Jar' and headed to the historic jail and hanging tree. Being Halloween, the jail was not open to the public unfortunately, and I hear it still has the original trap door and hanging rope in there but it is set up as a haunted house for people to visit of an evening.


A quick stop at the store and we headed to a friend of Mac and Flower's who has an awesome collection of Roy Rogers, John Wayne and other western memorabilia. Thank you to Wayne and his daughter Gail for allowing us to come visit his own little 'museum' and showing us his wife, Barbara's antiques and her special pieces in their home. Wayne was such a fan of Roy Rogers that he had actually got to meet him as well and we were able to pour through his photo albums and marvel at all the pieces he had collected over time. Really appreciated that visit!

So a much cooler evening made it necessary for the chimenea to be lit if we were going to enjoy the fresh woods air and margaritas outside. It was now down around 50F.


We ate dinner inside but later went back out to enjoy our first S'mores experience!! You heard it right, we had not had S'mores before and I for one was not leaving no matter how cold it was, or how full I was from dinner, without experiencing one. Funny thing! Jack hadn't even roasted a marshmallow on an open fire!?! So firsts all round!


What a great weekend with the Butler's in their little slice of country heaven. It was great to be able to spend more than a few hours with you both.

Kelli xo


Special Treasures

I would safely say I have truly been blessed with meeting so many wonderful people, crossing paths along the way throughout my life during Cowboy Action shooting.

Not only for the commraderie, healthy competition and learning but also being able to assist in passing on my knowledge and skills along the way.

I have been extremely grateful in the past that some have found me worthy of little treasured presents.

This weekend I was given some plaid fabric by Annie Hicock that would make a great 1890's walking dress….so the thinking cap has gone on for that, time for a new dress in my future – in amongst everything else at some point!


Idaho Sue from Texas also brought me some fabric she was clearing out of her stash and in amongst it I think is the blue I'm looking for for my next formal gown! Holy cow! Excited much!


The jewel in the crown however, was when she came to me at the banquet last night with 3 little 'gems' that just blew me away for the much appreciated gift. She had seen 3 ivory handled button hooks at an antique store and thought I might like them. I don't know how many times I said thank you but it doesn't seem enough.


They are in the cabinet with my Fred Harvey 'gems'!


Thank you ladies, you made my weekend! Hugs!

Kat xo


Clear Lake, Iowa

Iowa was another new state to visit and on the way home from Minnesota we headed into Clear Lake.

You'll love this one Mum! We stopped in at the Surf Ballroom where in February of 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper had been performing. (insert great 50's music, Bobby socks, swing skirts and slick backed hair here)

However, in the early hours of February 3rd, they were all killed when the plane they were on crashed. A monument was erected at the crash site honouring the legends in 1988.

Unfortunately being Sunday and we were there early, the Surf Ballroom and Museum was not open until 1pm. We missed out on seeing that which was a shame but we did however make the half a mile walk into the paddock to see the memorial!


……..Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue, oh how my heart yearns for you – Buddy Holly

……..para bailar La Bamba, (it's amazing I never knew the right words for this song!!) – Ritchie Valens

……..chantilly lace and a pretty face, and a pony tail a hagin'down, that wiggle in the walk and giggle in the talk – Big Bopper

RIP music legends

Kat xo


Kansas to Minnesota

This morning after a fabulous breakfast and great hospitality from our hosts, we hit the road again and headed out for Kansas City.

We are visiting Union Station, just across the border in Kansas City, Missouri.

What a grand old lady is Union Station, with beautiful architecture, ornate ceiling rosettes, grand chandeliers AND Harvey's – a restaurant that once upon a time was a Fred Harvey house. I have a bit of an obsession with Harvey Houses.


Now there is Science City and a current exhibit of Mummies showing but we headed for the 2nd and 3rd floor history exhibits.

Union Station as it is today, replaced a smaller Union Depot that had served the city since 1878. The bigger station was built in 1914 on a new site away from floodplains just south of the central business district.


Just a few facts:

  • Jarvis Hunt, Architect was hired in 1906 for the building of Union Station.
  • When it opened in October, 1914 it was the second largest train station in the country.
  • It takes up 850,000sq ft/79,000m2 of real estate
  • Each chandelier, of which there are 3, weighs 3,500pds/1600kg
  • The Grand Hall clock face is 6ft/1.8m in diameter
  • The ceiling height in the Grand Hall is 95ft/29m high
  • In 1917 during WWI peak train traffic numbered 271 – 1945 during WWII peak passenger traffic was 678,363
  • 1933 Union Station massacre made headlines Frank Nash (notorious gangster, bank robber and escaped convict) along with 4 of his hit men attacked the men who had come to take him back to Leavenworth. 5 men including detectives and FBI agents were killed.

There are fabulous old photographs, information boards and displays of artefacts on the two levels overlooking the Grand Hall.


Mementos from special exhibitions are also on display along with information regarding the National Memorial and WWI Museum. The view across the lawn and fountain area to the Memorial is mighty fine. Landscape designer, George Kessler, indeed planned a beautiful city back in the late 1800's-early 1900's.


With a visit to Harvey's for extra breakfast (lol, don't need lunch! Have a go at the size of Jack's pancakes!!) we rolled out the door and back to the car to head further North through Missouri and into the state of Iowa.


Iowa is another new state to visit. We took a quick pit stop at Lamoni at the Welcome Centre and Amish store. I thought the buggy and horse were a statue when I saw the buggy parking sign! Lol! The horse must have realised the blonde needed an acknowledgement and with a turn of his head I realised it was real!


How fabulous Amish stores are with all their homemade and harvested fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices. Jack scored some Fig Jam and we got some awesome licorice wheels, YUM!


I head to the other end of the store where there is a neat little cafe set up and more goods. In the meantime, Jack perusing the information stand, finds the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum brochure. Winterset here we come!

Born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907, John Wayne is one of the most recognised western actor's history has seen.


This small museum has a theatrette, a gallery with costumes, guns and other items used in films he starred in. It has one of his last customised cars on display, a buggy and beautiful panels from the ballroom in The Shootist.


The wax statue and painted scenes of Monument Valley are excellent. Monument Valley lends the perfect western landscape to many movies. Director John Ford made John Wayne a star in 'Stagecoach' in 1939. John Wayne directed and starred in 3 other films in Monument Valley – 'Fort Apache', 'She Wore A Yellow Ribbon' and 'The Searchers'.


John Wayne starred in 152 movies! (200 actually, including cameo appearances)


The sweet little 4 room house and birthplace of John Wayne sits on it existing site just round the corner on the same block as the Museum and Gift shop. It has been restored and includes period furniture of 1907 when he was born.


Then it was back on the road!

We need to be in Faribault, Minnesota y'all!

Kat xo