Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Few Old West Tidbits

Over twenty years ago, we built a sauna in our back yard. The sauna room was finished, it’s all cedar-lined and has running water. The outside was also completed—it’s covered with barn wood we salvaged off an old barn that was being torn down. However, the changing room—the room you first walk into, was just left roughed in. I don’t know why we never got around to finishing it, but over the years, even though we used the sauna part, the changing room became more of a storage spot, as did the rafters above both rooms. Last fall, the girls decided they wanted to use the changing room as a club house. So we cleaned it out—a large percentage of what was in it went into the dumpster—and since then, they’ve spent many hours playing in it. Over the winter, Papa would build a fire in the sauna stove so it was nice and warm for them—which worked out well, because then it was ready for us to take a sauna after they went home. This spring, he decided we should finally finish the changing room and turn the upper area into a loft for the grandkids to play in, so after cleaning out the rafters, he bought the lumber and somehow convinced me to be his carpenter helper. 

This picture is of the outside, I haven’t taken any pictures of the inside, yet. Will do that when it’s all done. I plan on decorating it with a few of the antiques I’d forgotten were stored in there. When we built it, the spruce tree in front of it was only about six feet tall, now it towers over it and hides half of the building.

Why am I telling you all this? Because, between the weekday day job, being hubby's helper every weekend (including this weekend), and a November 1ST deadline for my next book, I’m running short of time. Therefore, I’m making my life easier and reusing a short post I’d used on another blog a few years ago about tidbits from the old west.

  • ·         The Santa Fe Trail came close, but never actually made it to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • ·         As partial compensation for his lost territory, in 1905 the United States Government gave Geronimo a Cadillac.
  • ·         After committing a robbery, Charles E. Bolton would leave a note signed “Black Bart”. He was almost sixty when he started robbing stages.  
  • ·         It’s said Mail Order Brides did more in taming the west than any law or lawman.
  • ·         Clay Allen pulled out a dentist’s teeth after that dentist had pulled one of Clay’s—the wrong one.
  • ·         The Dalton Gang met their fate in Kansas in 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at the same time.
  • ·         Billy the Kid was also known a Billy Bonney, Henry McCarty, and Henry Antrim.
  • ·         Jesse James’s nickname to his close friends was Dingus.
  • ·         Ben Kilpatrick, one of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch known as the “Tall Texan”, loved riding bikes and only ever ordered ham and beans to eat because he couldn’t read.

My next release will be in October/November. (Harlequin releases the print version a couple of weeks before the ebook version.) Unwrapping the Rancher’s Secret is a Christmas story set in Colorado. 

A ghost of Christmas past… 

Heiress Sara Johnson is shocked when the stepbrother she believed was dead returns to Colorado to claim his inheritance! It might be the season of goodwill, but Crofton Parks seems determined to destroy his late father's empire. 

Sparks fly as Crofton and Sara are forced to work together, and soon she begins to uncover the secrets behind his disappearance and need for revenge. But a far more unsettling discovery is the desire he awakens in Sara. This roguish rancher might just claim her heart by Christmas!


  1. And so, this is why we save everything we write. Even posts for other blogs from way back when may come in handy some day. This post--I'm really glad you saved it, for it is quite interesting.
    All those tidbits were new to me. The government gave Geronimo a Cadillac? Now, there's something I certainly never knew, nor did I know the Santa Fe Trail never made it to Santa Fe.
    Thanks for the little story about the sauna. That was fun to read, too.
    Congratulations on your new release.

  2. I think it's fantastic you have a beautiful building like this that you made yourselves in your yard. A sauna seems like such a luxury. Making a place for the kids to play in one of the rooms that can be heated by the sauna is just genius.
    I loved the list of western tidbits. If all I could order was ham and beans, I would have done my level best to learn to read--even if it was just a menu.
    What! The Santa Fe Trail didn't actually make it to Santa Fe? Another "bridge to nowhere."
    An entertaining blog, Lauri. I wish you all the best.

    1. Thanks, Sarah. We really enjoy the sauna and the grandchildren!


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