Sunday, August 24, 2014

So, I was saying....

So, I was saying...

Keep up with me as I write about my day to day victories and failures with family, farming, gardening, cooking, crafting, travel and life in general at my new space on WordPress.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Getting away: Shellbanks

We have returned to Shellbanks.
This Ft. Morgan, Alabama vacation rental I found on VRBO 3 years ago has become our home away from home.  It seemed like the weeks leading up to our getaway just intensified our need to be here.  With trying to sell the house downtown, financially speaking going on this trip might not have been the most responsible thing but after being here for 3 days I know health wise we couldn't have done anything but.
My first evening sitting on the new dock, watching the sun set and listening to the waves in the Bay of Mobile as they hit the bank almost brought me to tears.  I hadn't realized how much longing for this week had built up inside of me.
I never feel like I have to do anything here to enjoy my time.  Sitting for hours on the back deck or on the sand at the near by Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge is all the entertainment I need.  Watching the pelicans and herons and gulls swoop down for the catch or fight over a seat on the old pylons of a former dock have me amused just fine.
We brought fishing poles for the first time and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed that.  Even thought they haven't caught anything.  Luke is determined and even as he gets frustrated and storms away from the dock you can always find him back out there eventually. 
Ben caught two small fish that we have use for bait in the crab traps.  We've had a steady diet of boiled crab.  No one is complaining.
Its always so quiet here.  The house is secluded amongst a forest of Spanish moss laden oaks.  They hug the house and deck and you almost forget the neighbors on either side until someone walks out on the their dock.  There are these pink flowers on tall bushes that sway and wave you out onto the dock.  I don't know their name but they smell divine.

I could honestly live here forever.  You know if it wasn't for the whole finding a job that pays the bills here and all/  For now we will just relish in our week of it being ours.  We will live the life of beach bums and Gulf Coasters.

If you want to see more pics as we enjoy our vacation follow me on Instagram and Twitter @JeanettaDarley.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

A glamping we will go

Hi ho the merry-o, a glamping we will go!

Take the natural beauty of Petit Jean State Park, the woodland fairy-like fantasy of twinkle lights, a treasure trove of vintage linens along with six bloggers and you have the inaugural Arkansas Glamping event.  I spent a weekend with some old and new friends trying our hand at glamping.

Glamorous Camping indeed!

We made things so pretty the Tourism department sent a photographer for a photo shoot!

The yurts at Petit Jean never looked so good after we got our hands on them.

While I do love campfire coffee my addiction requires swift action in the mornings so I was very thankful for the electical outlets to plug in my coffee pot.  I loved sitting quietly with my cup of coffee as the sun rose over Bailey Lake.

My retro styled bike and a crown of glittered stars suited our Glamping style just fine.

We ate and talked into the wee hours.  And we laughed uncontrollably when a HUGE bug flew into someones hair.  Oh the flailing that commenced!
Proper lighting is always key and when Glamping a chandelier is a must.

As well as pretty bunting.  Oh the bunting!

I think friendship is the biggest gift we all came away with from our first Glamping weekend.

Even when we were soaked through from a quick and heavy downpour, it didn't dampen our spirits.

This place really didn't need our help to be glamorous or beautiful.  I'm so proud of the natural beauty of my state.

It was the most fun!  And I think in the aftermath we all suffered a twinge of withdrawal. You can check out other post from our Glamping weekend from my fellow glampers:

Stephanie - The Park Wife
Heather - Heather's Dish
Whitney - Whiney Loibner Photography
Jerusalem -
Fawn - Instead of the Dishes

You can find out more information about Arkansas Glamping on Facebook & Twitter.  And you can see more pictures from our fabulous weekend on Instagram by following #GlampingAR or #FancyCamp.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wonder and Wander at Moss Mountain Farm

A few weeks ago when we were sure that the animals would be lining up two by two, I was invited to tour P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm. I donned my boots and my favorite sun hat which I figured could double nicely as an umbrella when the moment came.

Even though the yard was crawling with bloggers and those of the social media bent the land and home gave off quite a calm serene feel. As if you could just start walking without a care and let the mind wander.... and wonder. 

Meandering the garden paths in the mist and thunder.

Wishing you could waste the day on the sleeping porch as the clouds rolled over the river.

Pondering the vegetable patch.

And traipsing through wet fields and muddy roads to visit chickens.

I was especially captivated by an original painting of Allen's hanging in the front parlor. A larger landscape of rolling hills and pasture land.

This was his family's farm in Tennessee. If you stared long enough you could see the trees and grass almost sway with wind. And imagine the work happening on the homestead. I love pieces of art that hold personal history. 

The house is full of windows big and small that open up to a view that seemed to never end.

They all invited you to lounge on a cushion or rest your shoulder into a windowsill and just take in the drizzle and fog of the Arkansas River Valley.

By the time we were leaving I was damp and muddy and all my curls had sprung despite my big hat. But it was a wonderful, wanderful day.

"I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it."  -William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Walking the walk

I was rather sad Saturday morning. I knew I couldn't and didn't want to spend the day with my face in a tear soaked pillow. I had to find a project. Be productive.

I'm obsessed with keeping a clear path around my beds and through the yard. But I can't always get my landscape team (husband and oldest son) to be as proactive as I would like them to be. And there is only so much I can do with my weed-eater. So I have been researching (Pinteresting) all kind of garden walk ideas.

I finally found one that I liked and still looked very natural. Ben doesn't want full on sidewalks throughout the yard. And he rolls his eyes every time I mention pavers.

So on Saturday after a good cry I jumped up and started cutting some leftover wood.  I took a large cardboard box from the recycling at work to lay down over the knee high grass. Then fit the wood planks in snugly between the raised beds.

The plan is to fill in between the boards with river rock. There is a place in town by the river that sells it for $7 a ton. Awesome landscaping deal there.  Once the rock is down I'm going to sprinkle in concrete then spray it with water to set everything.

I can't wait till it's all finished!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I've never wanted pets because they were to easy to become attached to. And it's hard when they go. 

I've always said our goats walked a fine line between pets and livestock but for me Holly crossed over the line right into my heart.

She was my bottle baby since her mom didn't want her. I took her to work with me for about a month or more. Everyone was just in love with her. And how could you not be. She loved to jump and dance  like all baby goats. And cried when she couldn't find me. 

Working her back into the herd was hard. They never really accepted her but she was getting too big to carry to work everyday and too active to sit complacently in your lap. She wanted to run and jump and explore. A church office wasn't the best place for that. So we had to get her used to living with her goat family. That was hard. For me and for her I'm sure. She would cry and call for me. Making me feel like I'd abandoned her. But she started to learn her way. 

We had to put her down this weekend. Thursday she just wasn't acting right.  She seemed sad and depressed. She wasn't her usual talkative self.  Friday her head was drawing back to one side and she was walking in circles. I brought her to the office with me. Her ears felt hot and she would stand with her head pressed into something so that it didn't lead her in circles. She tried to fight it but eventually she couldn't. I sat on the floor and held her head into my chest until Ben could come at noon to take her to the vet. 

She stayed over night getting medicine and other treatments but nothing was helping. She had tested positive for worms and another parasite but had showed no signs that we were familiar with to indicate that was what was wrong. Even the vet said she looked fine. But we had been down this road with other goats before. And when she wasn't responding to the treatments we decided we didn't want her to have to suffer anymore. 

Saturday was tough.  I think that eventually we may get rid of all the goats.  For awhile.  I love raising them but I think we need to do a lot of updating to the pens.  But things we just aren't able to do right now.

Holly, I'll miss your sweet sweet face.

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