HELLO ARKANSAS!

img_20161105_193252.jpgLook where I am! Far, far away from my home in Arizona and now I’m in a totally different part of the country. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven as I breathe in the clear air in this lush, and forested mountain range of southwest Arkansas, known as the Ouachita mountains. Twenty-five plus years,  hubby and I have made the desert our home, and we surely have loved and appreciated just about every moment of our time spent there. But now we live in good ol’ Arkansas, known as the Natural State, and I’m super excited to share my future adventures and photos of this beautiful part of the country with you. Construction will begin soon on our new house too (so excited!) Stay posted, more to come!

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Snorkeling 101

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHave you snorkeled? I never had before in my fifty plus years of living until my oldest child convinced me to snorkel with her during a recent vacation last November.

How could I turn down the chance at an underwater experience like that in the lovely azure waters of the Caribbean?

I was a bit unsure of my amateur ability, but my daughter assured me that even a fourth grader could do it. We rented the necessary gear – fins, mask and snorkel and with items in tow we made our trek down the pier and “suited up”. Daughter already in water waiting for me as I awkwardly waddled my way to the ladder. She was in absolute hysterics laughing at me totally making a buffoon of myself, surely a good show for the lazy sunbathers on the beach.

I finally mustered the courage to step into the depths of the water imagining what kind of bizarre sea creatures may be waiting below.

Again my grown child encouraged and cajoled her childlike mother to just get in the water, which was only about chest deep, and start snorkeling. “It’s so easy to do!” she said half exasperated as she held out her hand to me.

“Ow! What was that?” I exclaimed nervously. Some unseen force poked me sharply in the belly. I immediately jumped a couple rungs back up the ladder in feeling a hint of fear at this point.

“Come on mom!”

“Okay” I told her and eased cautiously back in the water.

“Ouch! Ouch! What was that?!” It got me again in the same place. Something was definitely getting me! It was time to run like a coward and head to shore, or face my current fear head-on. I gritted my teeth, turned around to the great watery expanse and dove in following the exact instructions my ever so patient daughter had given me on snorkeling 101.

The attacks ceased (turned out it was just a harmless little curious fish called a Sargeant Mejer who thought the mole on my stomach was a small morsel of food.)

The two if us (me and kid, not fish) spent a good part of the afternoon skimming along the tranquil waters exploring its usually unseen depths like kids in a candy store. I felt like a little kid again, exploring a whole new world of sea creatures for the very first time. The Sgt Mejers swam along with us hoping for a possible food morsel and happily escorted us around in their wonderful, watery world.

I can now honestly say that I am ‘hooked’ on snorkeling, no pun intended!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance

The Old Mill endures
The Old Mill endures
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The Old Mill – Pigeon Forge, TN

 

I visited this place for the first time when I was just a teenager (many moons ago.) The Old Mill has been functioning since the 1800’s, which provided a grist mill for the townsfolk in Pigeon Forge. It also provided electricity for the town until 1935. The giant-sized water wheel continues to harness the flow of the Little Pigeon River as it did back then.

This is a wonderful place to visit and shop if you’re ever in the area. These photos are from two years ago when I was vacationing back east. I couldn’t resist going back to this beautiful and enduring place!

The Old Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you go to their website at http://www.old-mill.com, you’ll discover a delectable assortment of stone ground grains, baked goods and handmade pottery items for sale online.