A Week at My Mom’s

That's my niece, capturing the excitement of our road trip to Mom's.

That’s my niece, capturing the excitement of our road trip to Mom’s.

Hello, everybody… I’m back! My week-long visit to Mom’s was most excellent. I picked up Big Sis and her daughter in Dallas and we beat cheeks north to avoid the thunderstorms that chased me from Houston all the way to Mom’s. From my door to Mom’s is about 9 to 10 hours, which made for a long drive, but it allowed us to get an early jump on Saturday morning. To add to our excitement, Sister #4 drove up from Dallas late Friday night to join us for our first weekend because in our family, the more = the merrier.

Saturday morning started with a trip to the farmers market in Fort Smith, which totally blew my mind. The variety and quality we found was shocking and wonderful, and this from someone who visits farmers markets in Houston and Austin. I’m telling you, these folks weren’t messing around. We hit that market like we were preparing for the apocalypse and ate like kings off our bounty for an entire week. We had bags upon bags of field peas, carrots, kale, squash, heirloom tomatoes, okra, Asian eggplants, honey, homemade bread and more. In fact, Big Sis and I ended up bringing some goodies home. She ended up with kale, carrots and assorted other veg. I brought back peaches, blackberries, blueberries and Thai bird chilies. Win/win all the way.

We also hit a vintage flea market at the fairgrounds and picked up a few great pieces for great prices. I bought vintage kitchen utensils and pans for blog props (of course), including an antique cake comb for my friend and fellow blogger Anne of From My Sweet Heart. She should be getting that box any day now. Then it was on to Van Buren for lunch and more antiquing. So fun!

Overall, our week consisted of way too much really good food, including that Blackberry Cake I made for Berry Week. It died a noble death. We also whipped up a few cocktails, got in a few rounds of croquet when the oppressive Oklahoma heat wasn’t trying to kill us, played more than a few board games chased with a few rounds of Mexican Train dominoes, and tackled some crafting. (I tried to crochet but failed miserably.) There were also visits from our Baby Sister and her son as well as a day spent with our oldest niece. Mostly, our week can be summed up as: we spent our week running Mom ragged by dragging her to every antique and quilt shop within a 100 mile radius. And it was glorious.

Here are a few snaps of our week in the country.

Typical sunset over Mom's place in the country.

Typical sunset over Mom’s place in rural eastern Oklahoma.

One of the many cottontail bunnies that live in Mom's yard and terrorize her attempts at gardening.

One of the many cottontail bunnies that live in Mom’s yard and terrorize her attempts at gardening. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Mom's yard is covered in these bushes - nicknamed Rose of Sharon.

Mom’s yard is covered in althea bushes – nicknamed Rose of Sharon.

Mockingbird eggs - there were four in that nest by the time we left.

Mockingbird eggs – there were four in that nest by the time we left.

A day trip to White Rock Mountain for a picnic lunch.

A day trip to White Rock Mountain for a picnic lunch.

Mom at the overlook gate at White Rock Mountain.  I'm comin', Ma!

Mom at the overlook gate at White Rock Mountain. I’m comin’, Ma!

Mom, Big Sis & my niece checking out the cliffs at White Rock Mountain.

Mom, Big Sis & my niece checking out the cliffs at White Rock Mountain.

34 miles to Fort Smith, Arkansas where I spent my formative years.

34 miles to Fort Smith, Arkansas where we spent our formative years.

Big Sis & my niece check out the treacherous drop at the overlook.

Big Sis & my niece check out the treacherous drop at the overlook.

A perfect peck of peaches from Poteau, Oklahoma. Gorgeous!

A peck of perfect peaches from Poteau, Oklahoma. Gorgeous!

What to do with a peck of perfect peaches - preserve!

What to do with a peck of perfect peaches? Preserve!

There was much, much more to our week – most of which I did not photograph because I was too busy enjoying it. We took a day trip to Eureka Springs, which was lovely and included a stop at an old favorite – Bubba’s Barbeque.

Photo of Bubba's taken by my Big Sister

Nothing says pulled pork like the pink pig at Bubba’s. Photo taken by Big Sis & used with her permission.

In the end, we had a lovely week and were thoroughly exhausted by the time we all got home; I can only imagine how tired Mom must have been. We totally wreaked havoc on her quiet country life for an entire week, but we had such fun doing it. We did it all – from feeding fruit to the cows to playing croquet with the bunnies. Our hearts and stomachs were full, even if our wallets were significantly lighter after all that shopping. Still, it was so worth it.

Since my niece kicked off this story, I’ll let her finish it. Even though she’ll most likely be horrified. Sorry, K. When you pose around a blogger, things happen.

The End.

The End.



Filed under Family Stuff, Travel Tales

19 responses to “A Week at My Mom’s

  1. Big Sis

    Bah ha ha ha ha!!!! Love the ‘ending’!! Glad you were quick with the camera!
    I’m still laughing….. It was a great week!! We will have to do it again soon!
    Love ya! Mean it!!! ;)

    • I don’t think Mom could take it if we did it again soon, but it is definitely worth doing again. Maybe next time we can crash The Baby’s house in Tulsa!

      • Big Sis

        Sounds like a plan to me!! By the way, I love your photos especially the one off of White Rock and the mountains in the distance.

      • I love that view. And I miss those mountains.
        Those drives through the Ozarks were fabulous.
        Related: Is shocking how flat Houston is again.

  2. Oh Jeanne…it looks like you had a fabulous time. What gorgeous scenery (yes, ladies included!). And your photos are wonderful! I love those mockingbird eggs….beautiful color and I think I want to make macarons that color! But my favorite part of your visit is the vintage cake comb! It arrived today and I just LOVE it! I am so touched that you thought to send it to me. And you know I will use it with love! Can’t wait to feature it in my next cake post! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are the best!

    • I would love to see you tackle those macarons! How would you accomplish the speckling? My first thought is a toothbrush and chocolate syrup.

      I’m so happy you love your new cake comb, and I cannot wait to see it make an appearance in your next cake post. So excited!

  3. Looks and sounds like so much fun! Love the photos. I’m in the middle of a visit with sisters, nieces and nephews too. Special times.

  4. What a wonderful trip. I have never been to Arkansas, but after seeing your pictures, I need to research and make plans to visit there!

    • Thanks, Kris. You should visit northwestern Arkansas, if you’ve never been. It’s beautiful there. I grew up in the Ozarks, but never really appreciated their beauty until I moved to far south Texas – where the land is flat and a driveway is the tallest thing we drive up. (Not kidding.) As a plus, Eureka Springs is a great little Victorian town and Branson is just a short drive away. Don’t forget all the gorgeous lakes & rivers to play in, too! A day long canoe trip on the White River or a swim in Beaver Lake is always recommended. Summers are hot, but fall is absolutely stunning. -j

  5. Jeanne it looks like you had a blast. My mom passed away when I was in my thirties and I miss her so much. I’d love to spend just one day with her now. And… you had to go taunting us with those fresh peach preserves didn’t you. Okay, I forgive you – ha ha!

    • Haha… sorry about the peach tease, Eileen. They were perfectly amazing. Can you believe we got a 28 pound box for $28? It was insane. We should have bought 2 boxes! I’m sorry to hear you lost your mother so young. I can’t imagine life without mine. I have four sisters, and Mom is the center of that universe. If I ever win the Powerball Lottery, I’m going to host a week-long Ladies Only retreat and invite all my friends who’ve always wanted sisters. We’ll do all the things that make up our annual Hoegarden Weekend – crafting, games, croquet, antiquing, mani/pedis, way too much food, and a bounty of fruity umbrella drinks. Wanna come?

      • Jeanne, $28.00 bucks what a steal! I’m surprised you didn’t get arrested – ha ha! Of course I’d love to come to the Ladies Only retreat. Sounds like loads of fun and you’ve covered all of the things that I completely enjoy. I’m hoping you win the lottery! Have a great weekend :)

      • There are probably a few things we should have been arrested for that week, truth be told. Ha! For the record, I was not one of the big winner’s of this week’s Powerball drawing. Oh well, back to the drawing board!

  6. awww….so much fun. Since I grew up w/ only brothers, (and now–as you know–have only sons,) I am pretty envious of the special girl time…It must be super special.
    It looks like you had an awesome time. The peaches stopped me in my tracks b/c that is one thing I miss SO much since moving to Hawaii. I did buy a decent box from Costco last week, but still can’t compare.
    Great “ending” by the way….hehe. Love your humor. (Even my boys would love that humor!)

  7. What a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures of all the fun! I am guessing you realize how special and UNUSUAL it is to have a family where not only do you all WANT to be together and enjoy each others’ company, but you actually make it happen!

    • Thanks, Wendy!
      It was a really fun week, and I’m aware how fortunate we are as a family. There are five girls + our mother + two generations of grandchildren/great grandchildren now, and we all truly enjoy spending time together. It’s a rare and wonderful thing, and I am extremely thankful for it! -jeanne

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