Argenta farmers market

Don’t forget, locavores, Saturday is the grand opening of the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market in downtown North Little Rock (the 400 block of Main Street). The market has been open since May 3, but this weekend will have more hoopla, complete with a ribbon cutting, a live bluegrass band (no canned music for these fine folks), free beefalo burgers (free food — who could resist that?) and maybe even a few juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes. And all kinds of berries and other delicacies are expected. (If you didn’t see my article on Page 5A of today’s NLR Times, rush out and buy a copy now!)

Jody Hardin, Barbara Armstrong and the other farmers have been working hard to bring us fresh, locally grown, pesticide free, healthy produce and other items. One woman sells organic dog biscuits and a natural potion that stopped her dog’s itchies. It wasn’t in my budget the day I talked to her (and my dogs haven’t been scratching too much lately), so I haven’t bought any yet, but as soon as itchy season hits us, I’m all over that booth.

Do your part this weekend. Come out and say hey to your neighbors, support your local farmers and have a beefalo burger on the house (donations accepted, of course).

See ya there!

Share this post:
Share

Random things I say to my dogs

In any given week, you might hear one or all of these things uttered at my house, either to or about the furchildren.

“Poop!” (After finding a deposit on the carpet, five minutes after they’ve been outside to potty. This is our most frequent exclamation.)

“Who peed in the office?”

“Time to rassle!”

“Pepper, move over.” (In the middle of the night.)

“Salsa, calm down!!”

“Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty, and I’ll give you a treat. … Pepper, please go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Please potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. Hurry up. It’s cold [or hot] out here. Go potty. Go potty. Go potty. … Good potty!”

“Don’t lick me on the mouth!”

“But we like the mailman!”

“Who turned over the trash can?”

“Poop!”

“Who peed on the bathroom rug?”

“Don’t snatch! Be gentle.” (To Pepper, who likes to snatch her treats out of your hand.)

“That’s not very ladylike.” (To Salsa, when she flops onto her back to ask for a belly rub.)

“Dry your feet.” (Salsa’s signal to stop and wait for me when she comes in from the rain. They do have a little training.)

“Don’t bite me.” (To Salsa, who always bites my right index finger after I dry her feet.)

“Who peed in the laundry room?”

“Salsa, down!” (When someone arrives.)

“Who peed in the guest bedroom?”

“Salsa, chillax!”

“Pepper, you’re tiny.”

“Salsa, you’re pretty.”

(Whispering to Bruce) “Where’s the camera?”

“Salsa, you’re going to put my eye out with your tail.”

“Don’t bite me! I’m gonna bite you!” (During a rasslin’ match.)

“You have bad breath.”

“Don’t lick the window!”

“You stink!”

“Who needs a bath?”

“Anybody hungry?” (Just to see their joy as they race to the kitchen.)

(To both) “I love you.”

Share this post:
Share

It makes a difference

Many of the people in my circle don’t understand why I care so much about recycling, conserving water and other resources or how we use plastic and toss it away without a thought.

Why does it matter that sea life is harmed by the things we use and carelessly get rid of? For one thing, they’re all God’s creatures, just as we are. They may not have the “higher intelligence” that we humans possess, but He did create them, and He cares about each of His creatures. In fact, sometimes I’m not so sure just how much smarter we really are, when we can disregard another life just because we don’t understand it.

We are all part of the circle.

Click here to read how one woman changed her little corner of the world and how that small change started sending ripples throughout the world.

Go, Rebecca.

Share this post:
Share

Can't wait to share

Bruce and DJ at farmers market, May 3, 2008.

I cannot share with you the abundance of what Bruce and I experienced this morning — until next week.

You see, we went to the new farmers market in Argenta, but I was taking photos for The North Little Rock Times, because our reporter, Jeremy, had another assignment. He knew I was planning to be at the market anyway, so he asked me to take pics in his place.

Mayor Hays rang the opening bell, and, even though it was windy and quite chilly at 7 a.m., there was a good little crowd to christen the event.

It was wonderful, but I can’t tell you how wonderful for a few days, for two reasons: 1) Technically, any photos we publish in The Times will belong to my employer, so the ones I use for this blog will have to be ones we choose not to publish in the May 8 edition; and 2) Bruce says I have to do my homework first (my online accounting class, and I’m way behind). But I told him I at least have to write a paragraph! And, of course, I got carried away and have written much more than that.

But I had to tell you two things about my experience: 1) The Chudy Farms people got me to like honey. That’s huge! My dislike of honey goes back to some childhood memories of being force fed the stuff when I had the croup. But the Chudy Farms people offered me a sample of their honey on a biscuit, and I became an instant fan. 2) There’s a New Clean Plate Club started by nutritionist Penny Rudder that you’re going to love! I hope to write a sidebar for The Times about that, but I definitely will be talking to her in the next couple of days to get more details, whether it’s for the paper or the blog (I hope to do both).

Can’t wait to tell you more — and share more pics — next weekend.

Oh, and in the photo above is of Bruce (you know him) and D.J., former NLR Times reporter who’s about to start writing for an NLR blog in a couple of weeks.

Off to do my homework …

Share this post:
Share

Week of Color: The Explosion

Disclaimer: With the text wrap around the photos, some of the text appears to describe the wrong photos. It will wrap differently in different browser windows, so I can’t control how it displays for you. Please keep that in mind as you read. I hope you can identify which flowers are which all on your own!

I am a gal who likes color — bright color, as I mentioned on Day Yellow (speaking of which, I found another yellow photo, so scroll down to the Yellow post or click here. It’s from a “wedding” cake I made last year – really a 40th-anniversary cake modeled on the couple’s 1967 wedding cake).

Brown, pale yellow, light green and all that is nice, but I take after my mom in my love of bright colors, jewel tones in particular. Most of my flowers — annual or perennial — end up being bright reds, purples or pinks.

I’ll share some of them with you here. Let’s start with RED!

Three or four years ago, I decided to start growing roses. I carefully researched and bought five bushes, all different colors. The roses themselves are pretty easy to grow, but I am still pulling up grass in the beds, as I hate putting chemicals in the ground. But all the weed pulling is worth it, because it helps me enjoy these, the firstfruits …

 

red rose multi

red rose single

 

pale pink rose

 

pink rose deweyThe next one is a hydrangea that’s in my back yard. I have always loved hydrangeas. They’re so unusual, so beautiful and so versatile. I love that you can control the color by changing the soil’s pH.

This one came from a funeral arrangement after my uncle died nearly six years ago. We had hydrangeas in the front yard of the house I grew up in (in Batesville), but after my dad died, my mother moved. It was difficult for me to see her give up the house where my dad had spent hours and hours making the landscaping beautiful, so I was going to get a cutting from the house before she sold it. Well, in the chaos of the move, I forgot about it, but the new owners said I could get a cutting. However, by the time I actually made it back up to Batesville to get a piece of the bush, they had dug up the hydrangeas! How could they? (I wanted to cry.) So when my dad’s brother died and my aunt offered me a plant after the funeral, I chose the hydrangea. The picture is from an experiment I was trying with my photo software. (I think. Or it could have been that the picture just turned out that way. I can’t really remember! Either way, I like the hazy look of this photo.)

hydgrangea foggy

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

The next one is from one of the three Rose of Sharon bushes from my mother-in-law’s garden when Bruce‘s parents lived in Virginia. Bruce used to take his son, Courtney, to visit Courtney’s grandparents every summer. Sometimes I went, and sometimes I stayed home. One of the years I stayed home, Bruce brought me three beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes from his mom. One of the bushes has purple blooms, but i can’t seem to find those pictures. Enjoy this pink one.

Rose of Sharon pink

x

For something a little closer to purple, enjoy this clematis from my front yard.

clematis

x

x

x

xx

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

And this “purple coneflower,” which is actually less purple than the ones above and below it!

purple coneflower single

purple coneflower multi

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

I potted this purple flower on my front porch a couple of years ago. I can’t remember its name. Anyone?

purple flower wrought iron

purple flower double

I took the next two pictures pictures in Morro Bay, Calif., in 2006. I think this one is a lily.

Morro Bay flowers

And this is a jade plant. I loved the spider web!

jade plant spider web

I have two favorite flowers. My favorite simple, innocent flower is the daisy — just the plain white with yellow center. My favorite exotic flower is the bird of paradise, and I was so excited to stumble across this one at California Baptist University when I was there for a Crown retreat in 2006.

bird of paradise

The last picture is not of flowers but contains a bounty of color. When we were able to participate in the River Market’s Basket a Month program, we got this (and more) last summer. Doesn’t it make your mouth water?

BAM vegetables

I think I’ve had more fun with this post than any other. Thank you, Jerusalem, for your fantastic idea of a Week of Color. Along with being challenged to find ways to illustrate my color likes and dislikes, I have enjoyed all the creative ideas from you and your friends!

Share this post:
Share

How now brown blog

I told you I would have trouble with brown. I struggled to find pictures I had already taken. I didn’t want to go around my house looking for something to take pictures of (I thought of photographing something I deal with daily — dog poo on the carpet — but Bruce didn’t think that was such a good idea), so the file photos I scrounged up will have to do.

I made this pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving Day for a family from church when I was making money baking for people. The pecan praline topping was a little runnier than I would have liked but so good I wanted to drink it all up!

Click to see the apple pie I referred to in Crust-ophobic no more.

And saving the best for last: Below is Pepper in her sunny spot in the office. She appears mostly “black,” but if you look at her closely in the sunshine (in real life, not in this photo), you realize she’s really just very dark brown. And then there’s the obvious brown, which is the reason I chose her for Brown day.

pepper on Brown day

Want to know why I post more pics of Pepper than Salsa? Salsa is in perpetual motion. I told Bruce she is self-winding. In most of the pictures I try to take of her, she’s just a big blur. I still want Whitney to take family pictures of all of us for Christmas cards; we’re going to need someone professional to take the pictures while we try to corral the furbabies.

Whitney and I tried year before last to schedule a photo shoot but could never work it out. And last year Bruce was sick, and we didn’t really want to take Christmas card pics of him in his bathrobe on the couch. However, he used just such a picture for his blog.

Tomorrow is pick your own color. I’m going to surprise you.

Share this post:
Share

Yellow

Today’s color is yellow. I have to admit, it’s not one of my favorite colors — unless it’s BRIGHT, like these mums. Although my laundry-room story will seem to contradict that…

butterfly and yellow mums

My laundry room is bright yellow, although my plan was to paint it “butter yellow.” Bruce had decided to surprise me by painting it while I was in California for a wedding. Because of a mix-up at the paint store or a miscommunication on my part (or maybe just Bruce’s not knowing what I meant by “butter yellow”), it ended up being more what I would call canary yellow. But laundry rooms should be bright, right? So it has remained “canary yellow” for nearly eight years.

Sorry there’s no picture of the laundry room. You just get the mums today. (On White day, I linked to a similar picture.)

Tomorrow’s color is brown, quite possibly my least favorite color, although there are some wonderful browns out there nowadays. Still, it might be a challenge to come up with pictures to illustrate what I like about brown.

Added 03/08/08: I found this picture on the last day in the Week of Color, so I just had to add it. It’s a rose from a 40th-anniversary cake I made last year, modeled on the couple’s wedding cake.

yellow cake rose
Share this post:
Share

Going green

Today is green day in Jerusalem’s Week of Color.

The pictures I chose for today are a little more meaningful than the previous ones. The first is of cookies for my church’s Christmas Interrupted celebration year before last. I didn’t make the cookies — I think my friend Alicia did — but they depict two aspects of the holiday for me. Christmas cookies always mean fun, and Alicia made them just a little whimsical with the green candies (or is that icing?). But the star shape also makes me think of the star in the East, the one that guided the wise men to worship our Savior.

Christmas_interrupted_cookies3

The next picture, also from 2006, is of a park in Kerman, Calif., where my brother, J.T., played Little League baseball. My parents, my best friend and I spent many hours on those bleachers, cracking open bag after bag of sunflower seeds and dropping the shells down below us while we watched my brother and our neighbor boys play the sport I will always love.

In June 2006, when I had a business trip to California, I talked my mom into going with me. We met up with some old friends, and they drove us around our little hometown, which isn’t so little anymore. I took pictures of the first house I remember living in (on E Street); our church (First Southern Baptist Church and its mission, Primera Iglesia Bautista); the elementary school my brother and I attended (Kerman-Floyd); and Kerckhoff Park …

Kerckhoff Park June 2006
Share this post:
Share

It's not easy being green

It seems Jerusalem got sidetracked by the little snowfall we had overnight, so she has postponed her green post until Wednesday. I had just spent a few minutes picking out my green pics when I saw her note, so I am ahead of the game — a rare thing nowadays. I’m too tired to write about what my green pictures mean to me, anyway. So I will take a day off with Jerusalem and go green on Wednesday.

Share this post:
Share