News Round-up

Shew!  Busy times.

Martha, Nancy, and I went over near Robards, KY to a new winery/restaurant, The Farmer and the Frenchman.  It is brand-spankin’ new and very well-done.  It’s a little far out there–and we got lost, thanks to my directions–but the decor and view are terrific.  The menu was interesting, but I stuck with a familiar Greek salad;  not the best I’ve had, but certainly good.  The wine was nice, sweet, but not syrupy.  They were out of their signature “dressed-up cowgirl red”, so I drank a glass of white — good enough to persuade me to buy a bottle.  I plan on dragging Casey down there and I highly recommend it to ya’ll, too…


Last Friday I drove over to my mom’s hometown, Grayville, IL, to visit with Aunt Shirley and my Compton boy-cousins.  Aunt Shirley is visiting from Melbourne, FL and I like to see her whenever she’s nearby.  We went over to Davina’s Country Diner for lunch–catfish fritters, green beans, and cucumber salad-


-and then came back to Jeff’s house to smoke and drink and play cards.  It was a blast.  There is no one else alive who I’d rather drunk with than Any of my Compton cousins, and the guys are real sweethearts.  Those boys roll their own tobacco and it is nasty, she says since she puffed up a pound or two of it.  I napped and waited for cousins Lana and Charley to show up for some cards–chit-chat–and won $4…beginner’s luck.  My clothes were stinking and I don’t want to talk about the hangover the next morning…

I bought a selfie-stick a while back, but can’t get it to connect to bluetooth, so I have to use the timer and somebody else’s arm to snap the pic…not an easy feat when you’ve been dancing with Jim Beam all day…

Girlfriend Luann is in town for her Mom’s 90th birthday party on Saturday, so we’re getting together this afternoon.  I’m going back to Grayville on Friday for a more sober visit and to say hasta la vista to the Auntie.

Saturday is the Birthday Party and I guarantee you the food will be the stuff of childhood memories.  Lu’s clan is full of interesting people to whom I like to pretend I’m related.  Still, there’s no Jeff & Jay in that fam, so they are missing out (but will probably live longer).

The first full week in October is always the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival, which I will avoid like the plague.  Ya’ll go on down there, though, and enjoy yourselves!  Olivia’s dance school is marching in the parade, but the other grandparents are covering it for me.  Lily King is the grand marshal and it will be packed–we are proud of our homegrown Olympic Gold Medalist.

Casey has the week off, so we’re planning some sort of adventure.  I’ll be perfecting my selfie-stick skills and be sure to keep you informed…

Till then…Peace…

Bring on Autumn…

It is the day of the Autumnal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and here at Sonnystone it is a beauty.  Not Fall-ish yet, but the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the humidity isn’t tooo bad.  You can feel the energy of the Fresh Astronomical Season in the air.

I’ve missed ya’ll, and am ready to return to regular blogging.  But not today.  Today, I’m just leaving you with pictures and a promise…

New Harmony Kunstfest  9/17/16

I look forward to cooler temperatures and warmer colors, mums and blooming pineapple sage.  It’s been a Great Summer, especially for the moonflower vine that I started from seed and the sweet potato vine that I put in an urn…

I hope Your Day is Terrific!  Peace…

Best of Sonnystone…Going the Distance

When Pope Benedict the roman-numeral-I-don’t-remember visited NYC back in 2013, I wrote a series of blog posts on the hats that the Catholic Patriarchy wear. (my daughter sang for for that Pope during his visit, admiring his perfect red shoes more than his particular philosophies)  The final blog episode featured just one hat, the capello romano.  To this day, that post receives a couple of visits a month from folks who have searched for that chapeau…or maybe they’re looking for Father Guido Sarducci.  At any rate, this post has the most stamina of anything I’ve ever written.

Warning!  This will make you want to look up Father Guido bits on YouTube…

Morning Hat etc… March 14. 2013

Trailer Travelogue Part Last

Thanks for following us as we trip on down the road!

I didn’t want to go back home the same route we came (especially that stretch of I44 in MO), so we took off early and pointed the Expedition north on a foggy road,  climbing  up into the mountains of the Sangre de Cristo range.  We felt like we were the only travelers out that morning, and that was on the Interstate!  About an hour out, we took an exit near Springer that put us on 2-lane highways for the rest of the 6-hour drive to Dodge City, KS.  We traveled over 2 hours without seeing a gas station, going through small-town blinking lights, cutting through a corner of Oklahoma, past grain silos, sharing the road with truckers,  making good time.  Taking the back roads always makes the trip more American-ish, and we found the gas in plenty of time.

Just as I had started studying the Anasazi years ago, I had also chanced on to Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, KS quite a while back.  Casey is a Yuuge Gunsmoke fan and I have to admit that I always fancied Marshall Dillon, too, so when I saw a campground named Gunsmoke Trav-L-Park, it was an obvious choice.  Since no one except us baby boomers even knows what Gunsmoke is anymore, I figured this was a sign to go while it’s still open.

The internet had promised dinner theatre at the Long Branch with dancing girls and shoot-em-ups in the “street” a couple of times a day.  Not.  The place was soo well-maintained, but that’s probably fairly easy since there was nobody else there most of our visit.  It was a logical stop on the way home, though, so I’m glad we checked it out.  I would have always thought I missed something, and it seems like it may have to shut down before too much longer.

The Museum had an elaborate diorama of the history of Dodge City, both before and after the Wyatt Earp Days (there was no Real Matt Dillon), including the Native culture.  They then segue into the Gunsmoke series with lots of autographed pictures and a re-creation of our 1950’s living rooms, where Casey felt right at home.

The RV park was also pristine, keeping the Gunsmoke theme going, and the sites were filled with campers and kids.   A dead snake was a big attraction and we got to meet some of our neighbors around the horses that were just beyond the fence that circles the perimeter.

Early to bed again that evening, after we caught these shots of the sunset.


We drove all the way home the next day, arriving back at Sonnystone by about 10:30 pm.  The ride was smooth and our GPS successfully saved us from another traffic jam, so we breezed on.

I’m already planning our next trip…

Trailer Travelogue Part 3

Welcome back!  Hope your week-end was a good one.  Our weather here was absolutely beautiful.   I do believe that we’re making the seasonal turn to Autumn—and that is very welcome.

Day 4

For years I have been fascinated by the history of the Anasazi Indians—the precursors of what we call Pueblo.  For your edification, a couple of years back we stopped calling them that (it was a word that meant “enemy”) and at the request of Pueblo natives began to refer to them as Ancestral Pueblo People.  Much better.

Human presence in the area has been dated to over 10,000 years before present. Permanent settlements by ancestors of the Puebloan peoples have been dated to 1150 CE; these settlers had moved closer to the Rio Grande by 1550.  Elevations range from 5,000 to 10,000 ft. Frijoles Canyon contains a number of ancestral pueblo homes, kivas (ceremonial structures), rock paintings, and petroglyphs. Some of the dwellings were rock structures built on the canyon floor; others were cavates produced by voids in the volcanic tuff of the canyon wall and carved out further by humans.
Visitors are delivered via shuttle from one visitor center in Los Alamos to another inside the park.   A 1.2-mile (1.6 km), predominantly paved, “Main Loop Trail” from the visitor center affords access to these features.  The trail first takes you by some kivas and long-houses on the ground, then climbs you on up to what’s left of the cave dwellings.  I would love to have seen what they looked like when they were intact.

We spent the morning wandering around the ruins, then set off for Santa Fe.   I loved Santa Fe—so much that I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.  First off, I was captivated by the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assissi.  These pictures are not nearly as beautiful as the Real Place, and there was a Vibe that I can’t capture in a photo or describe in words.  Something like Peace…

Second, I loved their Plaza, with the old Governor’s House on one side and plenty of room to roam around.  Their shops were quality, the choice of food was intriguing, and the air was as clean as it gets.  There’s a quality I can’t put my words to, but they call themselves “The City Different”.  I guess that’s it.

We strolled and sat and watched and finally ate a nice Tex-Mex dinner overlooking the square.  It was a wonderful day–no falls, no storms, no delays…    Relaxing on the balcony above the Plaza, I noticed a young lady on the corner, playing Real Good for Free…


 We were back at camp by sunset and got a good night’s sleep in preparation for our next adventure:  Dodge City, KS.

See you tomorrow!


Trailer Travelogue…part 2

Guys, I have been trying to get fancy and added a page to my blog.  I thought it would be real cool to have my travel stuff separate from the normal News.  Alas, I don’t like it, for various reasons, so I’m going to just post the Travel Tales here.  If you missed Part 1 of our trip to Santa Fe, click Here.

Day 3

 I had a plan to take the Low Road to Taos and the High Road back to Santa Fe.  I also wanted to check out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  The bridge is just north of Taos and I figured we’d go there first, so I punched the coordinates in the GPS and off we went.  Google took me off of the Low Road (though I didn’t realize it at first) and down some country roads, directly to the bridge.  It was kinda cool to see the farms and homesteads  as we drove,  but I had read about the gorgeous vistas on the Low Road and was sorry I missed them.  By the time we got to the bridge, I had to use the Ladies’ facilities.  As I returned to the Expedition, I tripped and fell…skinned my knees and hands, shook me up, and killed my buzz…   I did not take a picture of my knee, but it wasn’t pretty.  (healing well now, thanks)  I did get the pictures I came for, but was whiny the rest of the day.

We hustled into Taos, stopped and got some ice to make an ice bag for my knees and hands.  I started to feel better.  We pulled into Taos Plaza, a teeny-tiny-little plaza surrounded by shops and restaurants.  Going straight to a place called “The Gorge”, I ordered up a margarita and felt even better.  I guess I had greater expectations of Taos…it seemed a little like Gatlinburg, though not as trashy…and I kept thinking I missed something.  It just didn’t impress me.  I Was impressed by my Mozzarella Caprese open-face sandwich, served with a smile at the La Fonda.  The pesto was delicious and the chef shared that it was a little lemon juice that made the difference.  Gotta try that.  The chef entertained us with stories of his family, who have lived on the same land for 300 years, and indulged us with samples of his soups.  I am inspired to use more hot peppers in my cooking.

 The day just didn’t want to get any better.  Here’s what we saw when we drove back to Taos Pueblo…


Hmmph… That happens when there are religious ceremonies to perform.

The High Road south to Santa Fe follows the Rio Grande River…

We hobbled through a couple of wineries…

But mostly we just enjoyed the scenic drive…

You can see the puffy clouds floating through the blue skies, present for us nearly all day.  When we got back to the Park, it was raining somewhere, gifting us with a rainbow.  (This was the 3rd rainbow we’d witnessed this trip, including one in front of the previous day’s storm and a full, side-to-side bow that we literally drove through in MO)


I propped my feet up and felt pretty good.

Monday:  Bandelier National Monument and Santa Fe Plaza.

Best of Sonnystone 2012

While I take a break from blogging, every Sunday I will dredge up the Past, digging deep to find the most popular posts from each year since The News has been published.

Always nice to take a walk down Memory Lane…shall we?

3-days-filled-to-the-brim-and-spilling-over…January 1, 2012