Arkansas


The weather has been beautiful the past few days!

Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s make for good walking weather.

I never use ear buds when I go walking. I like to hear everything around me–like cars!

I really enjoy hearing the leaves rustle in the wind and squirrels scamper up tree trunks.

Morning walks are a good way to sort through all the junk rattling around in my brain. Sometimes I even go on prayer walks and pray for the people in the houses and schools I pass along the way.

The other day, I decided to snap a few pictures while on my walk. I have actually done this before in hopes of starting a blog series. Well–here is your first installment of “Scenes from a Walk”. We’ll see if it becomes a series or not.

cracked sidewalk

When I was a kid visiting my grandmother, my sister and I would get bored with “grown up” talk. The city park a couple of blocks away was a welcomed escape. I loved climbing on the sidewalk that had been displaced by tree roots.

I reminisced about those days and climbed on the concrete just like I used to do. What you don’t see in this picture is me almost doing a face-plant about 10 steps past the broken sidewalk! Unfortunately, the car whizzing by didn’t miss it!

beginning of fall

We are just starting to see a little fall color here in Central Arkansas. I love it!

autummn leaves

fall leaf

architectural arches

I like seeing other folks’ fall decorations.

fall porch

pumpkin cut outs

skeleton cutout

Are you seeing fall colors in your neck of the woods?

Is your house ready for trick-or-treat festivities tonight?

Chip and I enjoy having a lunch date every now and then.

I have wanted to try out The Root Cafe for a while. It is on South Main in Little Rock, AR. The Root has several fun neighboring shops and restaurants.

The Root Cafe

The Root is all about “Building Community through local food!” They use as many products as possible from small local farms. Their menu even notes where items originate.

Locavore Sign

I arrived at the cafe before my date. There was quite a crowd, so I jumped in line.

The place is small. It used to be a dairy bar. Being elbow to elbow with other customers, I felt a little rude whipping out my phone to snap photos.

Keeping a sharp eye out for my date, I studied the menu while I waited in line.

I ended up having to let several folks jump me in line before Chip arrived.  Fortunately, we had studied the menu options on-line a bit the night before, so I knew what he wanted.

He showed up just as I was about to order his Deviled Egg Salad Sandwich and fries.

Deviled Egg Salad Sandwich

French Fries

The bread for the sandwich came from one of the fun neighbors I mentioned, Boulevard Bread Company.

I had the Praline Salad. It was full of praline pecans. The dressing was a spicy cumin vinaigrette and it was very yummy. The salad was served with “seasonal” fruit. So, yours might look different when you go.

Praline Salad

Dining indoors was a little cramped. We ended up on the side porch. There is also a front porch dining area as well as a small garden area. All were full!

porch dining

I really enjoyed the atmosphere at The Root. It felt very urban.

The food was really good. I loved the salad dressing on my salad. I stole a couple of Chip’s fries. They were quite tasty, too. I think next time, I will have a burger and sweet potato fries. I saw several being delivered to tables. They looked amazing.

Chip enjoyed the bread and the egg salad. However, being an egg salad connoisseurs, he was disappointed with the way the egg salad squished out of the bun. He recommends toast.

They had a display case full of lovely desserts. Sorry, no picture of the case. I did snap a shot of the HUGE Chocolate Chip Cookie we split.

Huge Chocolate Chip Cookie

After mowing down the cookie, we headed across the street to MOXY Modern Mercantile. It is a fun little shop with lots of unique gift items…

like this giant pencil!

Giant Pencil

 

The Root Cafe is a fun lunch date destination. Check it out!

Hooray! Time for college football!

I love fall–the back to school and eventual changing of the leaves. Nothing says fall in the South like a good college football game.

Last year I bought these fancy Jell-O molds.

The shaped jello was a huge hit.

Today, while awaiting the start of the Razorback game, I decided to conduct a little experiment: how would candy melts do in my jello mold?

The result: GREAT!

football treats

I had just a few red candy melts in my pantry-12 to be exact.

After heating the melts in a baggie in the microwave, I was able to cover 9 razorback wells.

I put the red candy in the pan then whacked in on the counter several times to get it to settle into all the cracks and eliminate bubbles.

Hog candy

You can see that the red part is not very thick. I used vanilla almond bark to fill in the rest of the mold. Since red and white are the Razorbacks colors, this worked great!

Remember to whack the mold on the counter again for the second color, if you use a second color.

Razorback candy

I was a little scared to try to get the candy OUT of the mold.

When I first tried to pop them out nothing happened. So, I stuck the pan in the freezer for a couple of minutes. They came out without any problems. I did not grease the mold.

These would be ADORABLE on top of cupcakes!

You can get other college molds here.

Have fun with these adorably delicious treats!

Wooo, Pig, Sooiee!

We take things for granted every day.

We are often so busy in our daily routines that we miss the beauty around us. It seems there is just no time to be still and observe.

Sometimes, however,  we are forced to be still and observe–like in the school pick-up line.

As I would sit and wait for the bell to ring, I started noticing things around me. One day there would be interesting cloud formations. On another day there might be a tractor plowing the nearby field. Sometimes a crop duster, en route to spray a field, would soar over the rows of cars.   I always wished for a camera on those days. Then I got an idea for a project.

Early project

The project was to take a picture of the field across from the school-from the same spot-every day of the school year.

I would remember my project idea around October every year. By then it was too late to start. Well, last summer I made my idea into a plan!

Just before school started I went over to the school and scoped out where to place my camera and such. I was so excited to finally be going through with my project.  I even had my husband take my picture!

before profile

 

Originally, the project was going to be called Project 360. I was going to take a picture in the morning and in the afternoon. I quickly decided Project 180 would do just fine. Besides, there was homework to do after school!

Here are a couple of things I learned from my long-term project:

•Plan. I had the idea for a long time. It wasn’t until I actually made a plan that there was follow-through.

•Be flexible. The field I photographed was not the field I had originally planned on shooting. I had done the planning for my shot in the afternoon. When I took my first picture I realized I didn’t like the way the shadows fell in the morning. I moved down to the end of the parking lot to find a different view.

•Use a tripod. I had a mono-pod (Photo says tripod but it was really a mono-pod.) It worked okay. There was a nice crack in the curb for me to plant the base every day.

chipped concrete

I had to line up my view finders on a tree in the distance to try to get the same view every day. Some days I just had to guess! A tripod would have provided more stability on windy days as well.

•Always carry business cards with your blog address on them. I can’t tell you how many times I would get stopped at the football games, the grocery store, the parking lot, etc. with people asking me what in the world I was doing. Friends would send me emails. Acquaintances and perfect strangers would drive by just to inquire. If I had a nickel for every time…I wish I had at least given them a card.

photographer

•Upload your pictures daily. This I did do, thank goodness! Being an amateur photographer, I took several pictures each day. I would come home and immediately upload my 12-30 photos. I had nice little file for each day. Then I would go through and pick the best one. The best one was considered “best” compared to the previous day. I was mainly looking to see if the photos were aligned. These photos were labeled according to their day and went into a “Chosen Ones” folder. BE SURE PHOTOS ARE UPLOADED BEFORE DELETING THEM FROM YOUR CAMERA!

•Involve others. My husband, a photographer,  was very excited about my first photography project. The kids…well, the jury is still out on their excitement. Poor Katie had to ride to school every day with the camera. She “affectionately” called it Cami. Then there was the day I almost shoved her out of the car so I could get to my place in time to capture the crop duster in the perfect spot. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the shot, but my child did make it to school safely.

•Love the subject. I was afraid I would get bored taking the same picture for 180 days! It really was fun. It was like I was seeing a different field every day.

Ecclesiasties3This project gave the change of seasons a whole new perspective. I suppose standing in 14˚F weather will make you look at ANYTHING differently. Yes, I stood in the same spot in the pouring rain, the 35 mph wind, the frigid cold and the beautiful sunshine–180 days!

I hope you enjoy this project as much as I did.

A big THANK YOU to my husband, Chip, for putting the video together for me and encouraging me all along the way!

Now, I present to you my photography project–Project 180…

 

After hanging out on the porch for a while at Moss Mountain Farm, it was time to go home.

Our soggy tour had been a blast, even if we didn’t get to go to the vegetable garden.

But wait….

as we headed toward the car, we realized the vegetable garden was “just right there”. We decided to take a speedy look before anyone realized it was past 3:00!

giant cabbage

I’m so glad we did. I think the vegetable garden was my favorite!

kale

chives

lettuce

onions

I love the “salad garden” planted in wheelbarrows.

wheelbarrow planter

Even the gardening sheds were neat to see.

garden path

garden sheds

potting shed

peeling paint

There was an extra second or two for us to see the stone-fruit orchard–

stone fruit orchard

and more chickens!

delux chicken coop

chicken coop

I hope you have enjoyed your virtual tour of Moss Mountain Farm. Trust me, it is even better in person! If you go, I want to hear all about it.

 

With only about 30 minutes left in our self-guided tour window, Mom and I made a mad dash for the Rose Garden. We felt like we had to make a decision between the Rose Garden and the Vegetable Garden. Roses won!

Rose Garden at Moss Mountain Farm

I so wished for my great aunt to be in the rose garden with us. She had the most beautiful roses in her backyard in Atlanta! She always sends gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and such wrapped in rose paper. The same rose paper! She must have a ton of it.

I’m sure Auntie could tell you the names of all these different roses. I just know them by color.

pink rose bud

large yellow rose

They were so sweet-smelling.

peach and yellow rose

yellow rose buds

red and yellow rose

Raindrop on roses–now one of my favorite things!

single pink rose

rain-kissed roses

The color and fullness of these double peach roses was incredible!

double peach rose

After the roses, we peeked over a fence to see the back-side of the vegetable garden. We still had the Summer Kitchen and Art House to see!

I failed to take any pictures of the art house. Wouldn’t you love to have a private little get-away place to go create?!

Wouldn’t you love to have a second kitchen?!

You may see a little reflection on these photos. I was shooting through the window!

Summer Kitchen

peeking through the kitchen window

Time was just about up on our Moss Mountain tour.

One last look at the roses on the side of the house. These are the same roses you saw from the upstairs bedroom here.

small rose garden

photographer

dinner bell

I guess the only thing we saw on the tour that we didn’t like was this…

garden snake

Yikes!

Move along!

Mom and I took some selfies on the front porch-which all turned out horrible! So, here is a picture of just Mom on the porch.

I love the coral benches. I would have never thought to use that color.

coral bench

Allen and Laura were busy heading to Allen’s next engagement. Mom snapped this picture of Allen taking a picture of peonies under the big tree out front.

tweet

Later I saw where he posted the picture that we saw him taking on Facebook. Kinda cool!

See it here.

As we headed toward the car, we stopped at the barn to take a picture of the carriage.

buggy

More cool lighting…

outdoor barn lighting

We enjoyed our tour so much. We were sad it was time to leave–

Moss Mountain Farm–or was it?

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Finally time for lunch. I had grown quite thirsty on our Moss Mountain Farm tour. I was starting to get a little hungry, too.

Our tour group was led into the barn for lunch.

barn

Each reserved table was set with lovely white roses.

white roses table arrangement

We sat with some nice folks from Little Rock, Conway and Fort Smith, AR as well as Atlanta, GA.

The barn holds some of Allen’s paintings from his Squash series.

squash paintings

It felt pretty fancy for a barn! If only I could get our shed cleaned out, I’d have a place just like this. HA! Okay, maybe not JUST like it.

barn lighting

I love how  antique farm tools were used as decoration.

antique farm tools

Lunch was a bed of fresh, mixed greens topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, and grilled chicken.

salad with grilled chicken, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers

I have a confession to make. I don’t like tomatoes. Tomato sauce, salsa, tomatoes cooked in soups I’m okay with all that. Well, as long as they are chopped up really small. I think it is a textural thing. When the plate showed up with all those beautiful tomatoes I got a lump in my throat knowing I was going to have to eat them. I tried not to turn my nose up too noticeably. Here I was, a food blogger, at a fancy farm! I’m supposed to love all vegetables, right? Sorry.

I decided to be a big girl and try my first grape tomatoes. Guess what–I kinda liked them! There was not as much slimy surface as on a slicer. I found them to be a little on the sweet side. Believe it or not, I ate almost all of them! I must say, I was proud of myself.

grilled chicken

I also felt like I HAD to eat my salad before I dug into my dessert!

pie

Buttermilk Pecan Pie with fresh whipped cream!

Here’s a closer look. Try not to drool on your screen, please.

buttermilk pecan pie

YUM!

As we finished our dessert, Laura, our guide, answered questions from the crowd while we waited for Allen to arrive from Little Rock.

We stepped out on the drive for our meet and greet time. Allen is such an expressive person, it is hard to grab a good picture of him.

chattiing with P. Allen Smith

I looks like he is telling us a fish tale here. More than likely he is telling us about his chickens and their “poultry palace”.

P. Allen Smith

Next, it was time for photos and autographs in the gift shop.

Mom and I still had to see the chickens, roses, and vegetables in a matter of about 30 minutes! We made a dash to be first in line. Fortunately, Mom had made her cookbook purchases when we first arrived at the farm.

Moss Mountain Farm gift shop

Mom with P. Allen Smith

We zoomed down to the end-of-the-earth to see the chickens.

They were chickens.

Poultry Palace at Moss Mountain Farm

It was interesting to see all the different varieties. It was dark, so that made it difficult to photograph.

rooster

red, white, and black

poultry in black and white

farm baby

I liked the chickens. I just was anxious to see the Rose Garden before our time was up.

We trudged back up the hill toward the rose garden. Allen was finished with autographs, so we stopped for one more picture. Earlier, I had only taken pictures of Mom. I decided I wanted one too.

Looks like navy gingham was a good choice!

with P. Allen Smith

 

On to the roses!

« Previous Page