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 To Live With Purpose

Having promised you a lot in my blog’s  intro description with statements like: How can you live with purpose? How can you know why you are even spinning around this globe? The time has come for me to deliver.

You may already know the answers to the aforementioned questions. But, maybe, you are like me when I began to think introspective, deep, whats-the-purpose-of-my-life thoughts. I had no answers to my questions. All I knew at the time was:

work hard, be nice, have fun.

In my fun-seeking quest, I found myself at a Christian retreat center on a crisp Autumn  weekend, my sophomore college year.


The speaker told a bible story I had never heard. (Which was not difficult because I knew like-zero bible stories.) The story was about two sisters called Martha and Mary. The sisters were working hard (High value for me!) to prepare for dinner guests, and Jesus was one of the guests (Yikes! Work even harder!)

Martha was my kind of woman. She was getting after the preparations. She was moving down her to-do list like a boss. She was cleaning and cooking and making floral arrangements and checking Pinterest for cool tablescapes. Suddenly, she paused, looked around, and her sister Mary was no where to be found.

A Pinterest-Worthy Tablescape of which Martha Would Have Approved

Sweat was pouring down Martha’s face. (Kitchens must have been super hot in those days.) And when she finally found her sister, Mary (the slacker!) was seated at Jesus’ feet listening to Him teach. Martha’s head nearly exploded. She probably would have given Mary the Martha- Evil- Eye, but Mary wasn’t in a position to see it, so Martha decided to appeal to Jesus instead. (Oh… this was gonna be good.)

Martha was beyond trying to appeal to Mary. She went straight to the top, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?” (No need to wait for Jesus to respond. After all, it had been a rhetorical question asked to make a point. His answer, of course, would be “Slacker Mary, get to work.”)

Martha continued,”Tell her then to help me.” I imagined Martha giving Mary a very smirky smile.

The Lord answered Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”


Now MY head was exploding. How in the world would anybody  eat when everybody is just sitting around? How would the table be Instagram-able? Martha was my hero. She was…


This story made no sense to my I-am-building-my-resume, I-join-every-club, I-am-a-perfectionist-over-achiever mind. Martha would totally get the best job upon college graduation. Martha probably ran the entire community with panache. Martha was so good she made work seem like a cinch.

How could Jesus have praised Mary… over Martha?

The speaker’s application that fine autumn Saturday was for each of us to take some time alone to ponder our life’s priorities. He challenged us to make a list of the top ten things in our lives. (Cool! I lived for lists!!!)

So, into the woods I went. And while sitting on a log, with my notebook and red Flair pen, I began to make my list.

Rifle Paper Company is My Fave Place for All-Things Paper

Let me pause right here and ask you some questions:

1.) When was the last time (if ever) that you have taken time away from your busy and very noisy existence to evaluate your life? Not time away to make your “to-do” list but time away to evaluate “your entire life trajectory” list.

2.) Before I return to finish this story, now would be a good opportunity. I encourage you to take a very introspective look at your life. Make a top ten list of your life’s priorities. Most importantly… be honest.

Come back next time to hear about “the list” and how I began to answer some tough life-altering questions.

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Sweet View from the Mountain

Gotta Love This Character!