“…if ya don’t say it’s a Fine Mornin’, I’ll shoot-cha!” The Sheriff of Mission Farms.

by admin

Sun’s comin’ up over the waterin’ hole…

concrete’s a-mixin’….

Rye’s pies a-bakin’

Concrete’s a-churnin’….

An’ I’ve a yearnin’ to share my story….


I never needed resumé or an interview, I just knew it was mine.

I actually knew that this general area was my calling where I lived before, except I had a different badge.

Here’s a picture of that perch. I think Rose really felt she had to patrol most of the time, but I still put out my shingle. I’ll put her picture first, as she’s always telling me I’m stealing her show and probably correct.


Can you see how I wore it?


Here, I’ll zoom in….


Who wudda’ thunk after never working my way out of the Prairie Village kiddie pool complex, that I’d end up by this Village?

Right here by the pool and grills… 2nd floor just right to somewhat ‘see and only kinda’ be seen’, close enough to leap if I saw the need? Chuck Beatty my old boss would be proud.

I mean, I barely passed the written Red Cross Test at PV Pool and quite certainly failed the near-drowning carry. Yes, my diving pool rescue drew blood upon the back of my victim as I hoisted (scraped-drug) him across the pool gutter to the safety of pavement.

Yet here I was again, at a different Village Pool, now in a very HIGH chair, my sign in place. Like the kiddie pool, it needed a Small Woman around to Keep Order.

Actually, to be honest with you, the Prairie Village Kiddie Pool really could have used some guy guards…

David and Mike tired of that hike down from the basket room when Dirty Old Flasher showed up in his loose ones, ‘goin’ Cowboy’ as my sister from Rochester, New York sez’. We never used that term on the ranch. 

And, I’m thinking it might have been mutual enjoyment for the young mothers to have them around. Or at least, they might not get a dirty look when doing the job.

I averted many a resusci-baby, [carefully watching & waiting so as not to overstep my bounds or cause embarrassment], but was always ready for the occasional

swoop underwater uplift rescue with a cheeryup-seeee!”‘

inadvertently interrupting an intense ‘moms’ conversation. We’ve all been there, it’s in no way a criticism

  • but my point is that one must have broad shoulders to do important work.

Now, I’ve already gone off on a tangent,

…but sometimes one must stop along the way to adequately fill in the blanks on the resumé

in the event that someone questions that I’m qualified

…to self-appoint my-self as

The Sheriff of Mission Farms, East side.

I won’t get into my responsibilities on the West Side of Mission, that’s another story. But, to vaguely reference, sometimes one has to put one’s boot in my mouth to understand exactly what motivated me to hang that PV Pool Plaque.

Let’s just say that

  • unless one is there in an Official Capacity (no one was really aware of this at the time when I lived there)
  • and even if all kinds of events like Father’s Day and the 4th brought dads, kids, families to the complex
  • that it’s best not to say to the cute girl on the elevator, “is this your dad?” no matter  how similar the resemblance. (honest mistake, I think she had a floatie)
  • Trust me on this one. It got ugly a few nights later on the back streets of 105th when I was confronted by her dad & young buddy drinking some beers….appears I’d seriously ‘messed that one up’, but that wasn’t the word.
  • I’d apologized, and this wasn’t good. Best to stop talking, so I will on that.

But this was a sign, this first sign, that was pointing me in this direction of my new Post, Sheriff East Side. And upon my departure, Doug & Anne, high school friends, rented my place: #206. It was important that I’d been in this position first, why else would they have taken over as Scouts if it weren’t also to urge me to head East?

So, I’m now here, have been for six months. And a few weeks ago, I received this email.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 7.40.01 PM

We corresponded for a few days, about art, making stuff, writing, SME Halls, families, firecrackers at graduation (yes, Greg did it), work, and belt size.

And, a few days later this arrived by way of his brother’s salon in Old Overland Park, fitting.


KC Kid. Belt by Greg Lyle, Old Wheel Gun Shop, Seattle.

KC Kid. This was all it took, the Job was Mine. I was needed back East.

So that’s the story of how I became

  • The Sheriff of Mission Farms, (Leawood Patrol).
    The Sheriff of Mission Farms.

    The Sheriff of Mission Farms.

But, of course, there’s more to the story…

And more beautiful pictures of my Decoration: the Holster, Star badge, bullet loops…

And always some ‘learnin’ me’, as Henry would say. Gun 101.

Ya’ll stay posted….

I’ll be at mine.

Thank you, Greg.  

When Santa came to visit and I wasn’t wearing any underwear.

by admin

Look at my hands! I'm terrified!


I actually have quite a few very vivid memories of Santa in person. It seems like many of them are jarring, so I’ll just start with the one that always comes to mind first. Don’t get me wrong, I do love and believe in Santa Claus.

There is really no reason why I shouldn’t just adore to be with Santa in person and here are 10 to support that statement.

  1. He’s a man.
  2. He’s always so up.
  3. He wears my favorite color.
  4. I love black boots and wear them often.
  5. He’s got the perfect wife.
  6. He has always written me great thank you notes about the green wreaths and nutty nougats we left with our lists by the fireplace. That is, he has beautiful manners.
  7. I love his haircolor.
  8. I admire a man who can manage a factory such as he does and like that he favors little people as workers.
  9. I, too, wore stocking caps with pom poms on the end.
  10. Think he was very progressive with the faux fur.

So, that being said, here’s the story and I’ll make it kind of shorter at least:

We were in Hays at my Grandparents house down the street from Fort Hays University. It was picture perfect setting, 60s contemporary stone fireplace across one end of the living room with bar hidden within the paneling, a beautiful huge tree in their tall-ceiling living room library. And nightgowns hand-made by my other GrandaMartha in Kansas City.

I think the man who channeled Santa Claus’s name was Ed something. Maybe my mom or dad will post his name.  I remember the doorbell ringing. And in he walked. He looked probably the best I have ever seen him look. And I was excited in a good way. Until he came in and sat down on that chair. Then I knew something was making me uneasy.  You can see in this picture that I am wringing my hands.

I often have a hard time identifying my emotions until way after event, sometimes even years, fear in particular. So, we talked to Santa for a bit. I answered his questions and made it through my performance anxiety syndrome which flares up whenever I get put on the spot, practically anytime I am with people.

And then it was time for the picture. He was crouched in front of the tree and I was standing by his knee, closest to Santa.  Santa put his arm around me and placed it on my hip. And then I knew why I was so nervous. Being taught that it was more healthy to go to bed without panties, there was really only this thin flannel membrane between me and Santa’s hand. I think he had even taken off his glove.

I do know I made it through without losing my composure. And honestly, it’s only just now after having flashbacks of this for years that am understanding why and linking together these images and feelings. So I have no real conclusion to this story. But, I do think that I was ahead of my time in sensing when to be leery of men. I am my parents’ daughter and it has served me well on most occasions. I am not suggesting any inappropriate behavior by this Santa; this was in the early 60s and things were different then. Or not.

So while there is always a time for a mother to lecture, “Lacy, you CANNOT wear any underwear with that red dress,” there is also a time for mother’s words at Christmas.

advice: to girls, young and old,

on Christmas Eve and when visiting a shopping mall

where Santa might ask you to sit on his lap. 

Wear your big girl underpants. 

And, if Santa exhibits any inappropriate behavior,

tell him to keep his hands to himself.

Addenda, as that was a bit too harsh.

How about, “Santa, just keep it above the waist?”

-Mama Paula

Adventures of the Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street.

by admin

The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from N. Wells Street was born into the Adams Family on a trip to Chicago in the summer of 1999.  John and Paula Adams were there on a summer trip. I think Jack and Lace were on this trip, because I remember Jack playing with a ball on the steps in front of Nicole Miller. We also bought a black Barbie silk vest for Lacy that I think she wore once, but it will be great for dress-up.

The cumulative total of Balls attended respectively by John and Paula Adams at this time was three.  John Adams had attended the Jewel Ball in 1979.  He had been solicited to escort, but had mistakenly felt he could be absent from parties in June for two weeks to fulfill family roundup and branding responsibilities on the XIT Ranch in western Kansas. When he returned, he had been demoted to the floor committee.  “What on earth were you thinking?,” was my comment when he still seems a bit injured. The other two Adams ball attendances were Paula Graves BOTAR Debut in 1982 (1) with John Adams as her escort (2).

I like to go on record here that John Adams, though he went to Pembroke-Hill, was from Wabaunsee County.  He was living in Lawrence finishing his last semester in business school while Paula was first working at Hallmark as design coordinator and then working at Halls in retail.  Because a BOTAR could choose her escort if she as engaged, John Adams as fiancé was her GOTAR. It tends to be a bit of a family competition at times which holds social rank: being the BOTAR from Kansas City or being the demoted Jewel Ball Escort from Wabaunsee County.

There were two dresses, one a bit more expensive than the other, both very pretty. The less expensive was a crinkly black fluffier number that would look very good on someone about 5’4″ and taller.  The other was this dress pictured below.

The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells St., Paula, John, stucco fireplace.

The structure:

It was column-like with a bit of a flare at the pedestal base. Not enough to be anything tent-like, which is how small women can feel when wearing a floor-length dress. Just enough to make it easy to walk, and more important, in which to dance. The bodice is boned.

The sheathing:

Textiles always do it for me.  Handy Dandy’s skin is an aubergine silk that is cross-woven with black. It is crushed into very flat wrinkles.  This gives her a faintly iridescent appearance. It reminds me of an old swakara (persian lamb) coat I have of my grandmother’s or bird’s-eye maple or anything very intricate, but naturally patterned in a tight, small design.

Anyway, after trying on this dress John Adams said, “that’s the one.” For a man who never appears to have any interest in or spends any time shopping, he has a good eye. But, his maternal Grandfather was an artist and had a sign company. And, his father had a good look.  As well, John Adams always looks pretty dapper.

Adventure One-Debut at the 50th Botar Ball:

The 50th Annual Botar Ball.  My friend Betsy, whose taste in fashion is impeccable, called me a trophy wife. That was nice, being that I had young children and was slaving through that last semester of architecture school so I could get the job in Wichita for Lacy to go to the big city school. Neither John nor I were feeling like there was any trophy at the end of the tunnel of marriage, children, and attempting to live rural and urban lives driving thousand of miles and eventually getting Lace educated in secondary school 200 miles from home where I would work for SJCF Architecture. It was grueling, but we were moving towards doing it, and we did it. So, feeling like a prized heifer got me through.

Handy Dandy does the Meade Eighth Grade Graduation.

Adventure Two-Second Appearance at Meade 8th Grade Graduation:

Handy Dandy appeared on stage at the Meade High School for the Meade Eighth Grade Graduation with Lacy Amelia Adams when she graduated from Junior High.  This is a formal occasion, not uncommon in smaller rural towns.  I think my mother told me of wearing a white long dress to her eighth grade graduation, or perhaps this is someone else who grew up in a small town.

I have included the picture of Lacy as she walked down the aisle with the flower that all the girls held.  A local member of the clergy was the guest speaker.  He spoke of Christian values, which at the time I found jarring, wanting separation of church and state education.  But, I’ve lightened up on this and feel it was a reflection of common values that we all held in that room. It was just clothed in a language that was probably not offensive to many, if not most, of the people in that auditorium in Meade, Kansas.

If you will look at the bottom picture of the lineup, you will notice how all of the kids turned so nicely to look at me when I took their picture.  Amanda West is the “even more petite than Adams women” girl to Lacy’s left.  She and Lace get the prize for most effervescent.  Lacy is seen having lost all composure at the occasion.  This happened on several occasions at Meade Grade School performances, at times even taking down the group. But, she was forgiven and loved for her transgressions and has since learned to handle public appearances in full control of her mirth.

Adventure Three-The Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street at the 62nd Annual Botar Ball, Oct. 22, 2011.

When Lacy Adams was asked to be a BOTAR in the summer of 2011, the BOTAR Mother pondered, “what to wear?” Because this frock had traveled across the state and was in the possession of Lacy Adams, I asked if I could borrow it back.

Though I had been instructed from my friend Betsy,”You will not cut off that beautiful dress,” I ignored the advice. I hauled it to my stylists at Brick’s in Wichita, and asked for a second opinion.  “Where will you ever wear a long dress, or more pointedly, where will you ever want to wear a long dress?” they said.  Good point. Not only are they not conducive to climbing stairs, they are not height inducing for the Lillputian. A little bit of leg helps.  And, they don’t show the killer shoes I intended to wear that were also recycled from the Governor’s Inaugural Ball.  Oh, I guess I forgot that, I guess the Adams are at 5 Ball occasions.

Tuxedo and the Handy Dandy Ballgown with Jack and Paula Adams.

I won’t get into more details or show you pictures of the shoes.  (though please notice how cute my BOTAR Governor’s Pin looks on the little cutout in my dress at my left breast.) But, I will tell you that I was very proud of myself for recycling this classic dress for it’s second appearance at a BOTAR Ball. I could never have found a dress that I liked as well as this one. And I bragged about this to everyone who would listen.  The men, of course, weren’t listening though if they were, I think they would have commended me for my practicality.

One female friend commented, “No one will even notice.” Completely missed my point as I wanted to tell everyone in the room. I am the kind of woman who thinks it’s fun when someone buys the same dress that I have purchased and plans an event where we can wear them together like twins, hoping for a third woman to join in on the fun for a Couture à Trois. Of course, if anyone should think I am too practical from living the rural life, I do have to confess that I spent as much or more on my clutch and bracelet.

So that’s it for now for the Adventures of the Handy Dandy All-Purpose Ballgown from Wells Street. I will keep you posted.

I fully intend to wear if it I ever have a Granddaughter who is either living in Kansas City, or has the opportunity to attend or be in the BOTAR Ball if she has any desire for me to lurk in the lobby and peek in.

And if this seems too far off and murky relative to anyone wanting me in attendance or me wanting to be in attendance, I’m sure I can stay this size for one of my potential grandchildren’s 8th grade graduation, circa 2035.





Calving Part III: Anomalies in Agriculture at the XIT Ranch.

by admin

My last and perhaps best Paul Anka selection. Distracting and counter-intuitive to my motives, but makes the post, hang in there until 1:05 at least. But then, you won’t want to leave.  And what mutual conclusion did John and Paula have about Anita, Paul Anka’s singing partner in Europe, after viewing her forearms…? So I think we were right on with Paul being big with the drag queens.

Tonight’s essay is about anomalies. The boss (only works part-time on Sundays) threw me a bone. He helped me with organization of my thoughts and photos. So, you can thank him for connecting the dots that were related in my brain to identify my point before I had one.  Yes, it very often works this way with the Adams…

Sink and mini hot water heater station in calving zone of barn.

John pointed out the hot water heater Friday night.

Paula: “That’s so nice of you, I bet they like the warm water.” But I hadn’t ever noticed any post-labor rinse-off for the girls before…?

John: “That’s for me.”

I was sympathetic after other night in the pens when it was below freezing. There is only a small space heater in the barn, and this was only added in about 1996 when we moved to the west ranch.

I guess cold water is a real shocker after all that hot pV$….well, I don’t say these words, my father might be reading, let’s just say steaminess. See Part I.

So, hot water heater in the barn is anomaly one. Like a rancher with a cadillac, this is pretty high status for the XIT.

Mother and baby twins, born Jan. 22, 2011.

Anomaly Two: Baby twins were born Saturday night.
This is always fun. But, the mother cannot nurse two children, so John’s brother-partner brought over a cow from the e. ranch who had lost her baby. This is so the extra calf can “mother up” to the mother who no longer has her calf.

Anomaly Three: That girl is a freak.


John is speaking about a cow that never had any contractions. Being on the same team (females) as the cow and two weeks overdue with my own children, I have other theories for this. For example, she is such a good mother the children don’t want to leave, the calf might actually need more time in the womb, or she’s tired of men pushing her to fit their schedules and going to be difficult.

The point is, for rancher this is a pain:

Inconvenience: he has to stay up in the middle of the night either way.  He can

  • haul the girl himself to Ashland (72 miles one-way), wait for the c-section, then drive her home the other 72. This is probably a good 4-6 hr time commitment in the middle of the night.
  • Or bother the people you value the most, his great vets in Ashland, to do a housecall at the ranch.

The vet is expensive (to John the money guy). And a word about vets…The Ashland Veterinary has the best large animal and K-state grads in the region, and also great for cats and dogs.  And cheapest, maybe $175 for labor, $75 for mileage and time. It would be twice as much from Liberal.

  • One of a Cowboy’s many fine motor skills at the XIT is that he can stitch. They can handle a prolapse. This is when everything in the region from where the calf resides falls out. It gets shoved back in, she is stitched up and her life goes on.  If life at stake, the vet called regardless, even if she’s going to town to the auction block the next year or the next day.

And if there is any perceived harshness about mothering tendencies in the video, it’s not perceived; if you’re barren, you’re out after the first year.

Last, I just couldn’t figure out the hanging stirrup from the ceiling conundrum from Part I. If you’ll remember the visual stirrup of a horse and word connection reminded me of the OB/GYN so I was really trying to figure out how she got her legs way up there by the ceiling…Finally, as I did with so many engineering confusions I had in classes at KU, I had to ask.

John illustrates the function of the stirrup in the last frame.

Anyway, anomalies are good. I wouldn’t want life any other way.

Tales from the XIT: The Broken-d!ck Bull.

by admin

My children have had absolutely no sex education whatsoever.

And in 1997, they were 6 and 9.  So I’d say it was pretty much unnecessary in any home with a TV and grade school-age children to have to get into it. Most kids were probably relieved. They knew it already, and it’s always so embarrassing and gross when parents talk about sex.

But my point is, our children in 1997 were not only introduced to sexual relations by Mr. President himself, they learned some new techniques with all the surrounding dialogue.  In fact, the class was entirely eliminated from the Meade Grade School curriculum.

But mainly, they were raised on a ranch. And there’s a good lesson from this story.

It has been said that, when a man dies, he can only hope to come back as a bull on the X I T.”


Not The Broken-d!ck XIT Bull.

But then, there was The Broken-d!ck Bull. So here’s the story…

One day I was riding with the boss past the pipe pens and noticed a bull with a particularly misshapen member.

“John! What is wrong with his hangin’ johnny?” I exclaimed. (this expression is actually George Carlin’s, I think I used the proper anatomical term.)

So this was his ‘splanation in my words, my best shot as I don’t really listen to all the details.

As I’ve overheard some male friends say, “men are pigs.”

So, the same goes for bulls when it comes to sex, “bulls are pigs.”

Whereas female bovines, unlike other mammals, only desire the “pig bull doggy style” during a particular time period.

If the bull chooses to mount when he is unwelcome, the female has her own internal weapon of defense.  I didn’t get into specifics, but I envision it as something like a very, very strong o-clamp.

And, I’m sure this must cause ‘some kinda pain’ for the unlucky Taurus. Little does he know as he tries to escape, hell has only just begun.  He probably would have been better to gnaw it off himself like those animals with their leg caught in a bear trap.

So, that’s the story of The Broken-d!ck Bull.  And, I apologize for having no photograph. It just seemed like a triple insult to document his plight.

And, a word from the mama-money makin’ machines on the XIT.  I would re-phrase the expression to say when a man dies, he can only hope to come back as a SMART bull on the X I T.”

And if some dumb bull slipped through the cut, and didn’t hear it the first time,  he’ll find out just what part of “NO” that he didn’t understand.  And, there he goes.. to town…completely jobless…good for nuthin’ but burgers, cowboy caviar and swingin’ beef.

To my memory, I’ve only seen one Broken-d!ck Bull on the X I T.

Robin Macy, the original Dixie Chickie, Kansas Treasure, soil and soul sister of Mother Earth at The Bartlett Arboretum, Inspiration.

by admin

I have to begin the concerts at The Bartlett Arboretum with Robin Macy.

Robin Macy & Paula Adams. Jimmy LaFave 17 July 11. The Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine, Kansas.

The First Encounter

I first met Robin at some kind of architectural function where musicians were playing (maybe architect musicians?). Robin was attending because Mike Siewart, her architect for her home and co-creator at The Bartlett Arboretum, was there and I think was maybe playing.  I didn’t know anyone and was new to Wichita, newly working for SJCF Architecture and my daughter Lacy just beginning her 3 year jaunt at Wichita Collegiate.

There was wine. And Robin refused it saying, “I have to speak to the parents at Wichita Collegiate about the Honor Code and it probably wouldn’t be good for me to be slurring my words.” She had this wild blond platinum curly hair that reveals her soul piled high and some knockout attire that completed the picture, but in no way detracted or distracted from the spirit within. And, a few days later I met her at Parent’s Night. I learned that she was head of the “Go girls” (can’t remember name…kind of a find your light and let it shine in whatever context or era women are born in) group.  And, blessed, the next year she was Lacy’s geometry teacher.

The Angel Professeur at Wichita Collegiate Graduation, May 2006. Wichita, Kansas.


So I better get to the basics since I don’t know if anyone really reads this stuff anyway which are the following:

  1. The Bartlett Arboretum, links to Robin’s site, description of Lacy and Paula’s first visit, pictures.
  2. The XIT Ranch, Robin and Kenny’s visit.
  3. Robin’s beautiful poem to Lace at Sr. Graduation.
  4. A recent pic from Jimmy LaFave concert at the Bartlett Arboretum. These concerts from her summer series and music will be in separate posts.
okay one
The website has most about The Arboretum as Robin doesn’t talk much about herself, but if you ever see the video on early Dixie Chicks, she is in that and here’s the wikipedia link to Robin.
This is Robin singing[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UicERus50Ig[/youtube] 1992. She is the lead singer and guitar, voice like honey.
  • Go here for the site’s  history of The Bartlett Arboretum, the 100+ year old 15 acre planned landscape started by Dr. Walter Bartlett as an avocation in the city of Belle Plaine.
  • He also contributed to the community in the form of ballparks and public spaces in part motivated with his fatherly interests in son Glenn’s pursuits.
  • The next generation carried on with his son Glenn becoming a professional landscape architect and horticulturist. He took it to the next level with his introduction to French gardens and landscapes as Company Commander in the 1st Division in France during World War I.
  • As life would have it for those with Kansas roots, while completing post-graduate work at Columbia in NY, Glenn encountered Belle Plaine native Margaret Meyers. She was an artist, fashion designer for magaines, a university instructor, flower arranger and garden-club organizer. So Kansas was blessed for them to return, bringing everything they had gathered while away back with them to share with Kansas and Kansas to share with them.
  • Their daughters, Glenna and Mary along with Mary’s husband Bob Gourlay carried on until 1995 when they finally decided to sell to Robin “this cute little blond elf…[who] came knocking at the door. …we gained another daughter.”So Robin’s work began.
  • The site has all the rest, the soil sisters, all the people who make it happen, concerts, etcetera. She says it best.
The Buildings
But, one last word about design.  I can’t talk much about the landscape, out of my element. And a picture is worth hundreds of letters I use, so I hope to add more photographs later and edit a little here.
I’ve seen Vaux le-Vicomte, Versailles, Green Animals and lots of other stuff, but this little jewel in Kansas is most special because it is ours: a product of Kansas midwestern work ethic and lots of planning and perspiration.
The house:  Mike Siewart’s design (Wilson Darnell Mann, Wichita) built a second level upon the simple several room brick dwelling that was originally on the property.

Robin Macy and Emmanuel Magisson with classic expressions. Pictured to actually show the original house lower level in the background.

The Kitchen: This  joint creation of Mike and Robin’s has wonderful stained white concrete counters with weathered patina in the tiny L-shaped workspace. There are only the cabinets that one person needs (husband Kenny has a separate house…the perfect setup), with several doors of antique glass spool cabinets. These were memorable to me as I have a few of these in which I use as drafting tabourets.
The Upstairs: It is kind of a loft space, so the steps are the grand ascent to her bedroom with footed tub and sink.
The Closet:  should be in a period museum and is a painting in itself of boots, petticoats, urban, rural, high, low, cowgirl, play area that is how I imagine a movie costume room to be for a Merchant Ivory Movie except it would be a different movie, maybe Wade’s Even Cowgirls Get the Blues meets Daisy, Mattie Ross, and Coco Chanel. But, never a costume on Robin. She always looks like someone who just transcends time.
The Guest House:  this is where Robin offered for Lace to live her Sr. year. I lived in Wichita for two years, but went home the third. I think it was the old chicken coop. It was really too far for her to commute with activities, but Robin was such a supporter of our family to make this loving offer.  It takes many mothers…or maybe she was Lacy’s sister since Lace didn’t have one. Anyway, Robin helped raise the Adams family.

Robin's guest house and some kind of former outbuilding.

Hmmm..only on two? I’ll make this one brief.
The kids and I were gone from the ranch that day, but Robin and her then boyfriend now husband Kenny were on a road trip one day and said, “I think Miss Lace lives around here.” They whirled up in a cloud of dust at the XIT Ranch on the Cimarron River in this dashing convertible to drop in and say “hey” to John Adams. This is always, always appreciated. Kenny is the guy mentioned above who is a musician among other things and lives with his son in the other house on the property at The Bartlett Arboretum.  He is darling with curly curly hair, too.
Here’s the cute pic, I’m so proud of John or whomever took it since the usual photo lady not there. Thank you Robin I’d say. 

Robin and Kenny in front of XIT Ranch Headquarters where the John Adams family all raised themselves together: John, Paula, Lacy, Jack.

Three:  Robin’s poem toasting Lacy at the Sr. Graduation Dinner at Wichita Collegiate School.
Comin’ outta shoot No. 2, weighing in at 101, no stranger to a saddlehorn or a pair of running sneakers, we now toast our Curly Girl.
Miss Lacy Amelia Adams journeyed the furthest to be with us tonight.
Born and reared on the histori working XIT cattle ranch in Meade County, Kansas (Daddy, John, met me at the cattle cross last year wearing spurts and sweat) this fourth generation cowgirl has much to yodel about.
Our Lacy rode a school bus 60 jies to attend a rural elementary school before her parents decided to send their Little Girl to the Big City for some AP-style “edumacation.”
She has been a very courageous woman, living without her family all year in order to make this dream-come-true.
Lacy was born smiling, from wrist to wrist. She calls ’em like she sees’em and knows all the words to Back in the Saddle Again. Mathematics did not always coe easy for Lacy but she was true to her upbringing:  tenacious and disciplined.
Qualities she surely learned while mending fence or building feed bunks in the summertime- alongside her beloved ranch hand and constant companion, brother Jack.
She was a mainstay in my classroom after schol during her Geometry tenure and I am grateful for those times together.
 Always a style-setter this fun-loving madrigal singing trackster nevr said an unkind word about anyone.
No wonder Lacy is loved and adored by her classmates and teachers.
Like her hair, Mrs. Stokley says her vivid writing and note taking is wild and magical.
Lacy heads off to the University of Kansas in the fall where I’m certain she’ll continue to be wearing her sweaters backward and with her infectious laughter, continue to be the life of the party and proving to all who are lucky enough to know her that some of the best cowboys are, indeed, cowgirls.
You can see, life will never be long enough for Robin to refill the pitchers she pours for us all,  sharing so many gifts that she taps into from one moment to another. Her focus on the big picture, caretaker and co-creator of a beautiful landscape, leaves Kansas with her footprint and those of so many others. So, she lives on and will always, putting her energy back into the soils of the earth in one way or another, always with Robin’s soundtrack as backup.

Lace, mr. diCaprio, and Greensburg

by admin
"We love creative minds"

We love creative minds

Breaking the rule about my children with this one.  Lace was with Leo from the very beginning. She is also a psych(o) major.

Lace about the time of Gilbert Grape

Lace about the time of Gilbert Grape

She’s always had your back.

Mother:  “But what’s the deal with the models?”

Lace:  “He’s just going through a phase.”

Mother:  “But be careful what you wish for, it’s not always what it seems, look at Katie & Tom, look at Kelly & John.”

Lace: “Who’s talking about marriage?”  (see a girl child’s fear of rings)

Branding June 09. Jack and Lace, Kevin Lewis, the crew.

Branding June 09. Jack and Lace, Kevin Lewis, the crew. Lace is the one whose horse is pointing north.

And, we have some connections in Greensburg where we really appreciate your support.


The Men’s Scrapbooking Project. Wichita Final Fridays, 27 May 11.

by admin

Final Fridays, Wichita. 27 May 11. total fun.


This was the Men’s Scrapbooking Project. And one woman. Hang in with the photographer. It was a warehouse dock alley, trucks driving by, and no lighting on back metal building.


Beautiful reproduction condom petal gown. Aidswalk Benefit. $$?

Comic Bodice Dress. Aidswalk Benefit.

Two lovely frocks from Positive Directions Gallery.

More music with Dez and Hosue on trumpets. Dez in silhouette. Unknown Drummer.



Schwin re-built. cowhide seat. old leather pouch on handlebars.

Schwin re-built. cowhide seat. old leather pouch on handlebars.

I put $5 in the raffle for 5 tickets. If I win, I will let you know so if anyone wants a bike.

This is to advertise show

“Art of the Bicycle”

7th annual bicycle art show at the Go Away Garage.

Opens July 22.

Open during Final Friday July 29. 508 S. Commerce, se of Sprint Arena.

Downtown Wichita.


My First Painting Purchase. May 27, 2011. Kathy Gordon, Idaho.

The high plains has no trees. And, it says Paris. And, it’s a cool technique with layers and relief and urethane and will be examined.


Wichita OIlman.

Wichita has more per capita millionaires than Johnson County. I’m hanging with the homeless.


Elizabeth at Fisch Haus.

Night time run with rover.

Swan symbolism.

swan is a bird that is a symbol of gracefulness and calmness. Swans are graceful as they float atop the water in ponds, and they are calm creatures. Swans also symbolize sensitivity, love, and beauty.


Genocide, arson, torture…


Genocide, arson, torture…






Wagons Ho! Quinter, Kansas.

by admin

Go West, young woman. Bring your samsonite. Paula à la Horace Greeley Adams.

I know that if I was ever on a Wagon Train across the Prairie in a former life, I most certainly would have had a large trunk labeled “outfits west.”

This is a story to be added to, for the good Kansas girls for whom it was a rite of passage are climbing out of the sideboards. So far, Sally Malley Stevenson, Barb Goolsbee Bollier, Ginna Getto, Linda Warwick Manco and Terry Beach & R. A. Edwards daughters with whom I have to follow up.

I only know how I got there. My grandmother, Mildred Evelyn Lee Ward grew up in Hays, where her father was a professor at Fort Hays State University. This was one of numerous Kansas History outings we took, a few others being the Garden of Eden in Lucas and fishing at Juan Madden Lake though I think it now has another name. There were two other driving trips to southern California and Texas, but many, many to Santa Fe and Taos.

If you’re new to Kansas, skip this next.  Unless, as my father Dean Graves would say, you like to follow Kansas family history as you would a sporting event. He’s very good at it, I might add. I do it because my mac tech guru understands better than I that perhaps my only “point” is in fact some people and relationships and places recorded at a given time in Kansas through the eyes of one woman, though who really cares?

The first year we went with Marianna Kistler Beach of the Museum with the beautiful Chihuly chandelier at Kansas State University. She and Millie were friends and friends of art. My grandfather was the young lawyer partner of Ross Beach, Sr. and then Marianna’s husband Big Ross who passed away last spring. Ross was, among many, many other things, Jerry Moran’s first campaign manager. Anyway, Marianna’s grandgirls were a bit older and we didn’t know them before, but Terry Beach married R.A. Edwards, Lawrence. For the SMEasters, Senator Harry Darby’s four daughters were Radar Evans’ mom, Mary Alford’s mom, Harriet Darby Gibson who’s husband my father worked for at Darby Steel Corporation in college, and Joanne Darby Edwards who married Roy whose family owned Rudy Patrick Seed Co.

Millie Ward, Marianna Beach, and the Graves and Edwards girls.

Millie Ward, Marianna Beach, and the Graves and Edwards girls.

Gina Graves, Millie Ward, Paula Graves

My grandmother looked like this all the time, though this was a “sport” dress of sorts. I mean, we all slept in a covered wagon in sleeping bags, so how she pulled this off I’ll never know. I don’t think she was wearing any pantyhose, though. The Lee women were pretty ahead of their time on that one, ask my mother.  I don’t think she had a pair of slacks until she was in her 90s. More about Millie later.

But, she has that determined look on her face and I know she was thinking, “I’ll see to it that one of these girls ends up in Western Kansas working in the arts and history before she moves to her apartment on the Plaza (or house in Santa Fe) to watch the lights and go to parties with artsy people.”

Already trying to get attention from the wrong men.

But enough about me for a bit and a little about the clothes…we’ll see how wordpress likes this, may have work out the quirks….you could also re-post these in the blog or be guest poster bloggers but that’s a lot of attention to ask of you for posterity.

Ginna Getto I was about 12 or 13 also and went with my mom and a family friend. I remember there was an old, old cowboy who had a horse who did tricks. There were people from all over the world on our trip. I remember feeling kind of sorry for the folks on the trip who weren’t actually from Kansas. I wore a dress and sunbonnet and whole deal one day, but what I most liked was riding along side of the wagon train on a horse.

8 hours ago · 

Sally Malley Stevenson I went in 73 and I wore the “little House on the Prairie Dress I really thought I was Laura Ingalls!!!!! Remember how scarey the Indian raid was??????

11 hours ago · 

And below, just for the record I got like triple mileage out of my prairie dress with the Hays Centennial, Wagons Ho! and some other historic event I can’t remember. I’m hoping Ginny saved it so my great granddaughter can wear it for the parade by the Toon Shop when Prairie Village celebrates its centennial in the marketplace in 2057.

But enough about me for a bit, the Hefners were the family who started Wagons Ho! primarily Ruth Hefner.

Letter from the Hefners delivered by pony express expressing concern for the "little pioneer friend" carried off by Indians to "still be with us at the end of our trail."

I just googled and it is interesting when I think that she was just a bit older than I am at 53 in this picture. I wanted to be their beautiful daughter Barby who played the guitar. What they provided in terms of capital outlay in wagons alone, access to private property, assembling the cast, music, food, sweat equity, family, and love cannot be described in pictures, just people whose lives they influenced.


Deceased Name: Ruth C. Hefner
Ruth C. Hefner, 89, Oakley, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, at Logan County Manor, Oakley.

She was born Feb. 28, 1916, in Dighton to James and Angeline (Wristen) Coberly. She graduated from Dighton High School and attended Fort Hays State University.

She married Frank C. Hefner on Aug. 13, 1939, in Gove County. He died May 6, 2004. She was a homemaker and founder and operator of Wagons Ho, Gove.

Survivors include two sons, John Hefner, Newport Beach, Calif., and David Hefner, Gove; two daughters, Ann Bowman, Hutchinson, and Barbara Hefner, Santa Fe., N.M.; a brother, Glenn Coberly, Gove; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday at United Methodist Church, Gove. The body was bequeathed to the University of Kansas Medical School for anatomical research.

No visitation is planned. Memorials are suggested to the Wagons Ho Historical Record, Quinter, Logan County Manor, Oakley, or Modern Homemaker’s Club, Gove, in care of Schmitt Funeral Home, Quinter.
(Hays Daily News ~ September 16, 2005)

Yes, Sally, that Indian Raid was super scary.

As I said on facebook, the picture still scares me.

I have this note from the first trip in my sketchbook with the Indians.

Blounds have more fun.

Secretly, I was dying to get carried off by those ethnic bad boys….took me a while but I got’her done.

I've never received anything like this kind of attention from cowboys.

Watch out for that one, Millie never warned me that cowboys can dress up like Indians.

And last here’s a picture that my Grandfather Paul took of me with Rosie, he was ever the photographer with trusty Leica.

This makes me sad because I rode her when I was 5 and then again later in this picture. My old friend that I'd returned to has long since died but we will meet again.


It was my pleasure. Thank you Hefner Family for that moment in time.




Just last year? A fun night with our groovy new Kansas guv and KC people.

by admin
"Sam Brownback" "Mary Stauffer Brownback" "Inauguration" "Kansas"

Mary Stauffeur Brownback and her husband at Paula Graves Adams and her husband's wedding reception....I don't know....doesn't look like a social conservative to me...

I thought I’d begin the story here. Mary Stauffer, Carol Zachery, Karen Majors, Kitty Wilson, Linda Warwick, Joy Plavidol, Leslie Yearick, Lisa Dickhaut and my older sister, Gina Graves, were the rat pack of Highlands Elementary School and all that entailed from girl scouts to teepeeing houses to ice skating on brush creek. Mary moved to Topeka after grade school but we re-connected when she was a Pi Phi at KU.  She hung out in my bedroom at the Theta house with my pledge mom, Karen Majors, also my sister’s best friend and the main reason why I chose to plant myself at that pad. Mary then attended law school at KU with Diane Worthington Simpson where she met another classmate who she married, Sam Brownback. ‘Tis such a small world in Kansas.

"Mary Brownback"

A very nice speech. Alongside a great woman is a great governor.

I won’t go into the parents’ connections or Adams’ connections but as in the big scheme of life, we’re connected, and particular to this night, we’re Kansans.

Lots of people were all in Topeka at the Ball. My evening and experience of living in Kansas told me who was at the party. All religious denominations, political parties, fiscal philosophies, races, genders and gender preferences, states, ages, the business-creatives, all Kansas family, together for the gala event. The media labels…social conservatives…liberals…blue state…fundamentalists…were not here at this party, if they even exist?  We were all celebrating in one way or another, all optimistic about Kansas past, present and future.

"Sec'y of Commerce Pat George" "Paula Adams" "John Adams" "Ed and Pam Condon" "Lori George"

Paula, the honorable Sec'y of Commerce Pat George, John Adams, Ed and Linda Condon, Lori George

The guy to my left invited us to the party. He was one of,  and I think a head honcho of the party planning committee though he’d never say this, and he did all the tables. He is Pat George, Governor Brownback’s newly appointed Secretary of Commerce and a native of Dodge City. He is a businessperson and entrepreneur, a former football player, and a friend and business partner of Reggie Jackson, just to name a few things about Pat.

I became acquainted with Pat because he is a 2nd generation family friend of the Adams. He and his father sold us our first car, a sporty grey Buick wedding gift from my father-in-law Raymond Adams. He also gave us our first hunting dog on the e. XIT where we lived, George Lapsley Waugh Adams (see Tack Shop-Painting-his dogs for Lapsley’s portrait). Lapsley was a German short hair’d pointer puppy acquired in a car deal by Pat’s dad. Pat hunted on the ranch where I lived and we pal’d around together in the 80s in Dodge, eating burgers and calf fries (technically these were more like bull fries for they were cut into strips before the batter dip) at Cowtown on E. Trail Street.

He is everything you would want in a politician, a businessman and a fine person.

I don’t know how Pat and his friend Ed Condon met for Pat knows everybody, but Pat hooked us up with a great table of KC folks. A story: Ed’s license plate says CVN77, the tenth and final Nimitz-class supercarrier of the United States Navy.[1] named for the 41st President of the United StatesGeorge H. W. Bush, who was a naval aviator during World War II. Ed’s admiration of the Bush family connected him to George W. Bush who said of his father that if Ed were to get his signature that he’d have the autograph of a great man.

Ed’s wife Linda is an executive but currently serving as professeur to children she homeschools in Leawood. Only the best for the Condon kids and she is it. Not every family has this level of in-kind services.

I was so pleased to meet Lori George and her great crew that evening.  She is beautiful, funny, and completing another degree in secondary education while holding down the fort for the George contingency. We shared a part-time gig, substitute teaching. She’s also good at sports, volleyball her forté

"Lori George" "Ed Condon"

Ed Condon on 3rd try to hold kiss long enough for the picture

Ed wanted a picture giving a kiss to Lori George. “Hold it” ….”longer”….”don’t stop”….”there’s a delay between flash and photo” is Paula trying to educate her subjects with yet more information.

Here's Lori, exhausted, sometimes you just have to walk away with from the job but with a smile on her face.

Lori, exhausted. Sometimes you just have to walk away from the job but she does it with a smile.

We never got it, but the thought is there and we all felt the love, though I can’t speak for Lori.

We sat with Frank and Robin Sterneck and the Condons thanks to Pat, but I have no picture with the Sternecks. We were friends from our children together at Pembroke Country Day. Their son Trent worked on Governor Brownback’s campaign and Trent, Jack Adams, and Pembroke intern to Sterneck Jake Myron were high school buddies in KC. Some common family business ties to Tulane people and New York places and family and kids and education made for great conversation. Robin came to KC as major GE exec but I knew this from others, she never said a word. She serves on the Board for Pembroke Country Day and could not be a better addition.

Sterneck Capital Management, Conestoga Energy, southwest Kansas and Kansas City and Kansas ties make us all bedfellows that were able to meet, re-connect, have fun, and celebrate that evening. Thank you, Pat, for the invitation to the party and great piece of real estate at the function.

"Conestoga Energy"  "Rock and Stephanie Ormiston"  "Nick and Lisa Hatcher"

The Conestoga Crew.

Now we’re all neighbors, but here are our next-door neighbors and I cannot be more literal about that: Stephanie and Rock Ormiston, second from the right-front-to-back, décolleté and surfer blondie.  Steph and I got to dance (women are always the best partners…we both get to lead and to follow in perfect sync) and we all looked mahvelous. Nick and Lisa live down the road and we were able to meet all of the Conestoga people.

"Andy Brownback" "John Adams"

John Adams and Andy Brownback

I spotted this handsome man right away from the Christmas card my mother had sent on to me the day before, a very sophisticated and artful card I might add. He has all the looks, poise, grace and charisma of his parents and the Stauffer grandparents that I know, I’m sure his others as well.  He is working on a PhD in finance in California and could not have been nicer to take the time to connect with us, the “we know your parents” unknowns.  I met his beautiful sister and when looking for Mary, his dad hooked us up with another young smiley Brownback who graciously ushered me on a search for First LadyMom at 10:45 who we never found. You know you’re in Kansas when the band stops playing at 11:00, so if I were her, I’d have been getting my wrap.  They make it look easy, but I can only imagine the energy it takes to give of yourself to community, state, country and to serve in public office and raise a family. Mary gave a wonderful speech which I have in video but my cinematography so poor I’ll not post to utube.  Here’s the point about the governor and first lady:

“If you mess up your children, nothing else you do really matters.”

Jackie Onassis

Family starts at home and this first family’s children are lovely and spirited and will carry it on as will their children and their children.  We all have children and are children in one form or another.

Now, just a bit from Diana Vreeland.

Best dressed duo at the dance.

I am embarrassed that I do not know who this is at the time of print, but they could not have been more a more handsome and gracious couple to the woman with the camera. For anyone whose made it this far, please post.


Award to person who liked their party shoes the best: Paula. An honorable mention to Rock Ormiston.

And last, some credits to the wardrobe committee done by phone and email with project managers Genevieve and Erin, Brick’s, Wichita.  It’s not easy getting dressed on the Cimarron River in Meade County, but this team of colleagues all get the job done. They open-mindedly listen to the funky suggestions of high maintenance creatives like suede boots but shape it into a tasteful and fashionable closet item(s) to last well beyond the event or year.

Thank you for the help.

And my last word about Kansas and politics and people and work and getting the job done and family…

“We’re all the same.”  “We will meet again.”

-Butch and Dee, Taos Reservation, December 2, 2010.


"sunflower" and "Z-Bar Ranch Headquarters"

Helianthus annuus and Steve Jones lovely home at Spring Hill-Z Bar-Kansas Tallgrass Prairie Reserve

Dear Governor and Mary Stauffer Brownback and Secy’ Pat,

Thank you for the evening to remember.  We enjoyed your good film, good food, good friends, good funk, good fun, good family, good future, good favor: Love the postcard and the sunflower lives on in Kansas.


Paula and John Adams