Welcome to Rat Camp

Howdy Y'all!

I hope this can be a place for us all to share our ramblings. The curse of 'Giddiyup!' (and the modern lifestyle) has placed us all far from the old ranch house (aka. Rat Camp), but if you're like me your heart still resides there.
Com'on y'all, show us what you're made of!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Exciting News

Hello all,

I just wanted to post a quick note about some very exciting news. Soon, (roughly 6 months or so from now) there will be a new little Hayes in the world. In case that's too cryptic, Tracey is pregnant with our first child! I will post more as we learn more.

Love to everyone,

Jed and Tracey Hayes

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our Veterans

A slideshow of our family members who served our country in the Armed Forces. We thank you and remember you!
Scroll over the lower left corner of the picture and click on the link to see larger sizes, or click on the speech bubble to see captions.

Active Service Members

Here is a slideshow of our current active Armed Forces members, Patrick Luadzers and Brad Grant. Scroll over the picture and click on the link to see larger sizes and captions.

Alexander Family pictures, circa 1930

Here is a slideshow of some old family pictures taken at or near Rat Camp.
Scroll over the picture and click on the link to see larger sizes and captions.

More (recent) pictures

I got a request for some more recent pics of the family. Here they are--scroll over the picture and click on the link to see larger sizes.
I use a mac notebook computer-it has a built-in camera over the screen. These pictures are 'funny face' pictures we took one recent weekend morning.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Greetings from HOT-HOT-HOT Arizona

With the help of my younger son, he got me signed up. Whenever I tried, Google did not like it. I am Technologically Challenged. I hope everyone is well.

Marc and I just returned from a week long trail ride in NM around Quemado Lake. It was really beautiful and cool there. No cell phones worked! It was wonderful to get away from that and just relax.

I have a busy week with 4 auctions and have to spend the night Thursday night in Las Vegas, NV. Then, Sunday we are going to Tucson to help Jed celebrate his birthday. On Monday, I catch a flight to NM to spend time with Mom (Billie) and Sally (my sister). I can't wait.

I spoke to Casey this morning, all is well in Germany and he will be coming back to the States on August 3. I am excited that he is coming home, it has been a long year without him here.

I have sent the invitation out to a number of relatives that were not on the list, i.e. Kevin Alexander (Leon's son), Skip and Mel (again), so hopefully they will contribute as well. I love reading all of the posts from everyone. Until next time, Carolyn Lee

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's working for me

Thanks for the recent posts, kinfolk. And thanks to Auntie Carol for kicking some but! to get it started again.
Just wanted to say it's been great to connect with a cousin I haven't heard from in decades (literally), and a pair of cool brother-cousins I haven't ever really had a chance to get to know. It's fascinating to note the old family tone in their writing--interesting how we perpetuate ourselves (as a family character). And fun to know there's another of us enjoying the love/hate affair of living abroad.
Thanks to the others of you who have sent me emails of interest--hope you'll be posting here soon, too!


From Leipzig

Hello all,

I am glad that Auntie Carol shamed a few of us into writing more in the blog...good stuff. I am currently enjoying the nice weather in Leipzig and sweating the fact that I fly back to the states in about 43 days. Mixed feelings all around. I am definitely excited about seeing my friends, family and homeland, and the prospect of eating some REAL mexican food make me just about explode with excitement, but I have to leave someone special behind. Maybe just temporarily, but who knows.

Nothing new to report and no new pictures. Keep the posts coming. I am off to the Bierbörse tonight - sort of like a beer festival. It is taking place at the monument for the Battle of Nations which was fought here in 1813. On the winning side..Germany, Austria, etc., on the losing side France (Napoleon) and Saxony, which is where Leipzig is located. SO...we have a monument commemorating the winning of a battle located in a land that was one of the losers. I feel that it is a little humorous. At any rate, the monument was erected in 1913 and represents a typical Imperial German style and sensibility. Yeah.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello from Leesville, South Carolina

Hi family,
Just a quick note before I head off to teach an "extended school year" session with one of my students and then off to Charlotte, NC (we actually have a house in York, SC which is just outside of Charlotte). We (my husband, Randy and I) are going to see Toby Keith tomorrow night. We are fine here. Staying busy - as usual.
Randy is a retired English teacher and is currently working on our houses. We plan to sell the one in Leesville and move to York to be closer to his parents. I am still teaching students with severe autism at Lexington High School and am close to finishing my Ph.D. in special ed administration - and much like Casey - what the heck did I do this for. But hang in there Casey. It is worth it.. I think.
I am going to Albuquerque on June 25 for 2 weeks to visit with mom (Billie) and Stephen (my son). they are fine and I am really looking forward to seeing them. My other two sons: Dustin is in Clarksville, TN working and planning on getting married soon and Patrick with his wife, Mary, and step-son, Zack, live in Washington state. He is in the Army and will be deployed to Iraq on Oct. 26. I will keep you posted about that and I will send this information to all of the boys in hopes they will join in.
Take care and this is so GREAT!!
Love you all, Sally

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Greetings from temperate (yeah, right) Tucson. Here's my update:

I live here in Tucson with my wife Tracey and our dog Gracie. I am very fond of both of them and I hope they echo such sentiments.

I'll go way back for those of you who may not know of my past few years. I got my MFA in Playwriting from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television (Francis Ford Coppola's alma mater) in 2004. I write as much as I can - but there are not, as it turns out, too many job options for us playwrights. Following our move to Tucson in 2005, I taught high school Drama and English for one year before going back to school. In 2007, I received my Master's degree in Education (with distinction, I might add) from Northern Arizona University's Tucson Campus and have been teaching Middle School Drama, English and Humanities. I also tutor several students from various grades (K-12) in Reading and Writing.

I am currently working on 3 new plays at one time - some times the Muses really smash me down. My future goals (aside from finishing these) are to start a youth theater, and a community educational outreach program. Hopefully I can accomplish these things in the next couple of years.

My wife Tracey just completed her Master's in Education in Counseling (also with distinction) also from NAU. She works for NAU in student services, and plans to continue on for a multi-disciplinary PhD in physiology and psychology (among other things).

Our wonderful dog Gracie spend many laborious hours perfecting her snoring techniques and generally loving us unabashedly. She enjoys walks, stealing our recliners, waking us up early, and being a very spoiled only-child.

I'm not sure really what else to add. One can never tell exactly what the future holds. Perhaps we will chuck it all and move to French Polynesia. If so, you're all welcome at our Tahitian hut.

Good wishes,
Jed, Tracey and Gracie Hayes