Late Fall View from the Mountain

First of all… Can I talk about my first eggs?!!!

Six months ago, when I began my chicken-keeping journey, I had no idea how exciting it would be to unexpectedly discover these three eggs!

Hen house building materials + sweat equity provided by my awesome husband makes these eggs worth about $1500 each.

Wow. I’m afraid to eat them.

My First Eggs!!!


Our first hard freeze was coming, and  I wanted to winterized one raised bed. Under the great set-up (pictured below) are my arugula plants. Yummy!!!! I am obsessed with arugula and spinach salads.

My Best Arugula Salad Recipe:

To the arugula and spinach mix add seasonal fruit (blueberries, pears, apples, or strawberries…usually just one type of fruit) + glazed pecans or a packet of mixed nut salad topper + blue cheese (or feta or goat) crumbles + creamy balsamic dressing (No HFS dressing! I like Paul Newman’s because it is easily found in most grocery stores.) and, for a more hearty meal, add chicken.

Here’s a great hint: Place salad ingredients in a large bowl, add a small amount of dressing and toss. This method allows me to eat tons less dressing, and it tastes much better than dressing-drenched lettuce. Arugula is so flavorful, I can eat it plain.

A great testimonial from a girl who eats M and M’s with regularity.

I  feel like a murderous gardener when forced to pull perfectly alive and growing plants out of their beds. With the 2018 summer growing season officially ending at HC Farm, the question became:

What to do with green tomatoes left on the vines?

My son fried the BEST fried green tomatoes (My first!) which tasted very close to fried pickles, slightly less sour. I learned the secret is to slice the tomatoes as thin as possible. Next, I canned green tomato pickle relish.

Which brings me to the 1995 fruity-tile in my kitchen. With each Fixer Upper episode, I fervently prayed for Joanna to help me out, ” Please do fruity-tile. Please do fruity-tile” was my chant. My daughter-in-law, too young to remember the fruity-tile era, tells me they are not so bad.

But… I know the truth.

I also know the truth of the back-breaking removal of these tiles. Ain’t gonna happen.

Green Tomato Pickle Relish + Vintage 1995 Fruity-Tile

Enter Anna Bond.

Behold, my new Rifle Paper Co. Loloi runners. They perfectly match the dark blue color I had just painted my kitchen island + look at that awesome fruity-tile pairing.

This runner makes my kitchen look as amazing… as a 1995 fruity-tile could hope to look.

Unless… Joanna would do a kitchen with fruity-tile.

With the recent announcement  the Magnolia duo will return with their own cable channel, it could still happen! I’m holding out for my fruity-tile miracle.

Rifle Paper Co X Loloi Runner

And… here are my green children safely tucked in for the winter. They usually do quite well on my enclosed, climate-controlled porch. I love my herbs!

My Green Children

What is this???? We had a dusting of snow and sleet, Highly unusual for an Arkansas November. Winter seems to have hopscotched over autumn.

The end of Daylight Savings Time spirals me into my yearly seasonal sadness. All the light goes away. I am less productive.

I think about M and M’s more than I should.

Time to consider organizing my house + Drinking more green tea + Painting the last of the 1995-era-color bedrooms + More calligraphy practice + Teaching Mr. Kite (the Art Studio Bunny) a new trick + Dreaming of that Peloton Bike


Whaaaaa??? Snow in November!

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How You Can Alter Your Life’s Path

Forty years ago, almost to the day, I went into the woods with a blank sheet of paper, my trademark red Paper Mate Flair pen, and a willingness to open  my life to truth.

I have been known to save the most obscure things of my life. Somewhere, that blank sheet of paper, thoughtfully filled with red-ink honesty, is buried inside an attic foot locker.

I did, however, find the notes from the speech which prompted my life-altering introspection.

Life Changing Notes

The perplexing (at the time) story of Martha was a true lesson for my young college self. According to the notes I had taken that October day, I had been challenged by the Fall Retreat speaker to:

1.) Look up scripture.

2.) Ask Jesus for action points to change my life.

3.) Tell God about higher priorities (than Him) in my life – Ask God to make me want to   change.

So, I made a list of my most important “life things”. And, all I remember is that God did not make it to the top ten. I remember being surprised at the honest results of my “self survey”.

Honesty has a way of illuminating things we don’t truly want to face.

Sitting on a log, in the woods, with no one else around, I began to prayerfully relinquish my life’s most important priorities one-by-one to the God who already knew what a self-centered wretch I was. I truly don’t remember this relinquishment being a painful exercise. I had already been through some depressing days of realizing how futile my earthly life had become.

Pause here.

Does anyone in our fast-paced, self-absorbed, living only-for-the-moment Instagram universe even ask any more, “What is the purpose of my life?” and “Why am I even spinning around this globe?” Sadly, I think not. But, if you are taking the time to read this post, maybe you are one of the few left who even cares…

to live a life of purpose beyond yourself.

Please, please, PLEASE do not think I am better than any one else because I pondered the meaning of life and someone else has not. This chapter of my life was a long process which God Himself led me through; it had nothing to do with me. Trust me. If I had to look at that list right now, I would most likely gag at my superficial, self-centeredness. And, for real, if you saw my list, I don’t know if you would ever read another word I ever write.

Whew. Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?

Pause again for a beautiful symbol of God’s light illuminating my dark, purposeless world.

Beautiful Fall Morning

Back to the log: Simply put, I  admitted to God what a pitiful job of running my own life I had been doing and asked Jesus to take control. On that autumn day, I understood that Christ had paid for all the sinful, self-centered attitudes of my heart when He died on the cross. I also understood that as I was accepting His payment for my sin debt because, no matter how good I could be or how hard I could work (Ahhhh… back to Martha again.), I could never earn God’s favor, and I would always fall short of God’s perfect standard.

(Refer to previous blog post.)

Did you do the homework of making the list of your life’s priorities?  Now is the time to take an even more honest look at your, hopefully, already honest assessment.

I encourage you to prayerfully give all that stuff to God. Ask Him to take it all and bump Himself up to the top.

I have no idea what your list contains. Some of it might be awesome, great things! Everything in my life took on a new purpose when I let it all fall beneath the great plan that Christ has for me.

Paul sums it up much better than I ever could in Romans 12:1-2:

“I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

What a beautiful October day it was when I realized I needed to present my life before Christ!  I was changed from the inside out and was finally able to know God’s good, acceptable and perfect will for my life. I finally understood why I was even living and breathing!

The actual photo from that actual day… and, yes… my mouth has been wide open for 40+ years… sorry.

October 21, 1978

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2Corinthians 5:17

Guess What??? If you haven’t noticed already, I have A LOT to say that will really help your life.Let’s get you up the mountain so YOU can enjoy the view.

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My Current View from the Mountain

My Little GF
More Fall Splendor
Arriving at HC Farm
From The Upper Veranda
2018 The Lovliest of Falls