Friday, July 26, 2013


 For decades, I have driven by the sign on Highway 65 between north Arkansas and Little Rock, that pointed to the turn off for Woolly Hollow State Park  ( ).  A few weeks ago, I FINALLY took the time to drive down that road to visit this central Arkansas recreation spot, and I was not disappointed with what I found! 
 As I was driving along the entrance road that overlooks the blue waters of Lake Bennett, I became curious to know the history of this body of water.  I found out that Lake Bennett was constructed in 1935, during the Great Depression, by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and WPA (Works Project Administration).  It was the first Soil Conservation Service watershed project in the United States, built for the scientific study of the effects of water run-off, silt, and erosion control, from a specific watershed. 
 Since its designation in 1973 as a state park, many amenities have been added, to take advantage of the natural beauty and resources that the location supplies.  This fishing pier is wheelchair accessible, and barrier-free.
 Visitors can rent canoes, kayaks, and johnboats for use on Lake Bennett.
 This photo shows some of the interpretive plaques on the lawn between the paddle-boat dock, and the gift shop/park office.  In the summer, there is also a floating barge near the paddleboat dock for swimmers to use as a rest or jumping off area.   This will be the site of a big, FREE 40th Anniversary Celebration planned for Saturday, August 17th, 2013, from 11 am - 3 pm, to recognize the fact that Woolly Hollow became a State Park in the summer of 1973, and since that time has had over a million visitors.  On that day, visitors can enjoy free swimming, paddle boating, contests, music and reminiscing.  At the end of the day, a time capsule will be buried to tell about the good times at Woolly Hollow, for generations to follow. 
 This photo shows the wheelchair accessible path that borders the lake between the handicap parking area, the fishing pier, and the handicap accessible picnic tables.
 The shaded gazebo at the end of the fishing pier is also a relaxing spot to do nature (or people!) watching.
 This is an example of "waterside dining" available within the park. You can bring your own picnic, or in the summer months, snacks and meals are sold in the concession area.
 A pavilion can be reserved for group gatherings.  On the day I was there, a special lunch was being held for the park superintendent who was retiring. 
 Scattered among the trees near the lake are 30 Class AAA campsites.  They are equipped with water, dual-electric, and sewer hookups, as well as a table and grill at each site.  Camping is available here year round. 
 The 3.5 mile Huckleberry Nature Trail winds its way through the wooded scenery around Lake Bennett.  The trail was originally constructed in the mid-1930;s by the CCC, and was restored in 1981, by the Youth Conservation Corps. 
 The trail goes through woods and open areas, and uses various adaptations of "bridges" to pass over, and through, wetland areas.
 An interesting feature within the park, is the remains of a very old road (used in the early 1800's), that was the only land route connecting central Arkansas with sections of Arkansas to the north. 
 The park preserves the Woolly Cabin, named after the family of William Riley Woolly, that came to Arkansas in 1851.  They settled in "the Hollow", in 1859, which started a chain of events that led to his namesake being used a century later to name the park.  I had mistakenly assumed the name came from the area being "woolly" (which is Ozark talk for "scary").
 The one-room log home was originally located less than a mile southwest of the park, but was moved to its present site and restored in 1975.
 The iconic "wishing well" image can be seen beside the cabin.
 Behind the cabin, there is a well-marked hiking trail.
 The "Cabin Trail" goes through the woods, to connect the hiker to the Huckleberry Nature Trail. 
 A Wayside Exhibit in the campground told about an Artesian Aquifer that was discovered on the property several years ago.  These rocks and stream bed were constructed to direct the flow coming out of the artesian well.  The creation of this scenic stream bed area, Lake Bennett, and the entire park, are serving as a visual aid about another type of creation, mentioned in one of my memory verses for the next session of First Place 4 Health ( ).  It says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10).  Likewise, Lake Bennett is the workmanship of the CCC and WPA, created to do good work, which its planner, Dr. Hugh Bennett, prepared in advance for it to do!  If you would like to enjoy the benefits of their workmanship, start planning your visit to Woolly Hollow State Park in Greenbrier, Arkansas, by phoning 501-679-2098.  A visit to this picturesque park will give you "MILES OF SMILES"!  Tricia
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Thursday, July 25, 2013


If you have done much driving on our nation's highways, you have no doubt seen the big green and white signs along the way, announcing that large trucks must pull  off the highway so that they can be weighed, by highway officials.  There are several reasons for this practice.  One reason is that if the truck is too heavy, it can do damage to all the roads it travels on, as well as its own mechanical functioning.  The Weigh Stations serve as a "safety checkup" to assure that travel can proceed, allowing the truck to accomplish the purpose for which it was created---transportation.  In a similar way, we, as human beings need to pause periodically at a "Weigh Station", to find out how we are doing, in managing the loads we carry every day on our bodies.  Just as too much weight can damage how an 18-wheeler functions, so too much weight can damage our joints, and reduce the efficiency of how  our internal organs function. With that in mind, I want to announce that there will be a "Weigh Station" for those participating in the next session of the First Place 4 Health program at First Baptist Church, 400 Club Boulevard, in Mountain Home, Arkansas.  The "Weigh Station" will be in Room 1203 of the Christian Life Center (CLC), shown in this photo.    The time is 5:30 pm, on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.   Even though this blog post tells about the "Weigh Station Expedition" that will be taking place at the CLC building shown in this photo, keep in mind, that you do not have to live in the Mountain Home area to participate in a First Place 4 Health class.  This is a nation-wide program!  Simply go to their website ( ), and enter your zip code into the "Search Box", and you can find out where the closest class to your home is located.  Furthermore, if there is not a class located where you live, you can start your own group!  All the details of how to do this are listed on their website.
 The book we will be using for this session of First Place 4 Health is called "Confident Living", and is available on the program website,  ; it can also be ordered from major bookstores, or over the Internet.  The cost of the book is around twenty dollars, depending on where you purchase it.  First Place 4 Health is a Christ-centered, healthy living program, that has been used successfully by more than a million people.  It has an emphasis on weight management, but also focuses on the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of an individual, as well as their physical health.  Well-known Bible study teacher, Beth Moore, is quoted as saying "First Place 4 Health is a life-changing program with biblical integrity."  As a Registered Dietitian, I have found it to have all the necessary components for a successful weight loss program:  Accountability, Group Meetings, Food/Exercise recording, Reliable Nutrition Information/Recipes, and regular Weigh-ins.  The classes will meet weekly, on Wednesday evenings, from 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm, through mid-December.  The only charge to participants will be the cost of the book, which they order themselves.  If you would like to participate, you may email me at, or call the First Baptist Church office at 870-425-6961, for more information.  This is a program that will give you "MILES OF SMILES"!   Tricia
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


 The NBC Today show announced at the beginning of the year that the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art ( ) was the number one rated new attraction in the USA for the year 2013.  Therefore, I was delighted to have the opportunity to take my grandkids to this award-winning facility yesterday!
 Crystal Bridges is a gift to the citizens of the United States, and the world in general, made possible in large part through Walmart heiress, Alice Walton, and the Walton Family Foundation.  So a big THANK YOU to that foundation, and their partners, for their generosity! 
 This is just one of the hundreds of pieces of artwork, by very famous and well-known artists.
 You can look at the world through a lovely red lens, in one section of the gallery.
 And, you can look at the world through another circle in the ceiling, at one of the outdoor art installations.
 The reflecting pond between the various sections of the museum makes for pretty scenery, whether one is looking inside the galleries at the artwork, or outside the galleries at nature!
 The grandkids had learned about this famous Norman Rockwell painting in their art classes at school.
 A fun part of the museum is the education area, where you can let your creative juices flow to your heart's content!
 Jacob, being a true Arkansas Razorback fan, set to work to draw his favorite sports mascot, using the image on his phone as his guide.
 Great job, Jacob!
 Kaitlyn's artwork reflected her love for cheerleading for her high school --- Shiloh Christian.
 The kids cooperated when I asked them to smile for a photo from the puppet stage in the education area. 
 Those "Kodak moments" can start as soon as you get out of your car, as this photo was taken in the grassy area where we parked the car. 
 The outdoor sculpture trail is another fun area to explore. 
 Since Bentonville is in the heart of "Arkansas Hog Country", it is only fitting that this outdoor sculpture, is a popular photo spot for Razorback fans!
 The very first time I saw this lovely landscaped area, full of artistically placed natural stone, I knew I wanted to come back there for a group photo with the grandkids! 
 This gorgeous silver tree that greets visitors as they enter and leave the museum always makes me be in awe of its shining magnificence.
 When we were on the museum grounds, walking along this road, I was reminded of the verse in the Bible (Deuteronomy 5:7) that talks about the importance of us teaching God's word, when it says:  "Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."   I would encourage parents everywhere to take advantage of every opportunity to do just that, and if you would like for some of that "walking along the road" to be in a picturesque (and free of charge!) location, just log on to , and start planning your visit.  It will give you "MILES OF SMILES"!  Tricia
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Sunday, July 21, 2013


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