Hiya, Sunday Letter friends!
This past week has been a mixed bag of weather here in northwest Arkansas. From 75 degrees to rain and hail to frozen precipitation—I suppose there’s always something for everyone. Unless, that is, you prefer your atmospheric conditions served up on a consistent basis.
Some of our shrubs look to have given up on this life. The first cold snap back in November really did a number on lots of plants. Our Schip laurels look to have been sprayed with bronzer. But come spring, they should revive and put on new growth. Plants suited for a particular growing zone typically survive even the craziest arctic events because their deep roots continue feeding and providing starch until warm weather returns.
Still I worry over them. The blooms on Schip laurels provide an incredible amount of much-needed early spring nectar for bees. And I love our bees.
During the winter I pacify my gardening itch by working on my ever-growing collection of succulents. Until last week I had quite a few babies growing on top of my succulent pumpkin.
Oh yes, the pumpkin was past ready for the compost, but the succulents were thriving.
Two pots I rummaged from the garage, a bit of succulent potting soil, a sprinkle of water—seriously, this took me twenty minutes, max.
As you can see in the photo, I crowded the plants inside the pots because mainly I just wanted to get them into soil. For now, they are happy. Later, when they have grown larger, I will move them into more spacious homes.
Beginner gardener? Succulents provide the perfect starter houseplant requiring very little attention. Every part—a bit of root, broken stem, single leaf—will grow into a new plant if placed in soil.
Earliest Signs of Spring
This time of year I like to search for early signs of spring in our backyard. And the signs are there already.
With a little over sixty days until spring(!), so much is happening. Clematis buds and daffodil blades are appearing. Tiny sprouts have formed on our serviceberry.
Have faith, everyone. As we wait and watch for the light of spring, nature is mighty busy. We just don’t always see the work happening.
Girls Gone BBQ
Last week, we had lunch at Girls Gone BBQ. We’ve been wanting to try this place since it opened a few months ago, but one thing or another kept us away (and the one time we went it was closed).
Let me tell you, the wait was well worth it.
Girls Gone BBQ was founded by pitmistress, Dana Neely who hails from Des Arc in the Arkansas Delta. Yes, everything we devoured was ‘slap yo momma’ delish.
My pulled pork was mighty tasty, but if I am being honest, I am all about the side dishes. The smoky black-eyed peas and grilled greens (collards and kale) will have me returning in no time. And the generous serving of cornbread? It wasn’t quite as good as my mommas, but it was pretty dang delicious. I ate mine with a drizzle of spicy rye honey—oh my!
Why yes, I’ve had green and peas twice already this year. I’m expecting big things from 2023.
And can we talk about the decor of the place? Done up in 1970s kitch, it took me right back home to my childhood. To the left of the front door, there’s a console television complete with a spin rack of classic country 8-tracks on top. Black and white photos of delta fields reminded me of the view from our home place. Even the bathroom was well-appointed with art from the time.
Remember when owls in shellacked wooden frames were all the rage?
Oh yes, I will definitely return to Girls Gone BBQ. There are many other dishes on the menu I still want to try.
Tomorrow we honor Dr. Martin Luther King for his role in leading the movement for racial justice. King helped bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And he brought about great change via peaceful protests.
This week, let’s all honor his life by trying to spread a little peace.
Forgive. Apologize. If you are angry, count to ten before speaking. Be a better listener. Be kind. Smile. This article from Uncustomary provides 50 Ways to Promote Peace.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Things Momma Says
I’ve decided the only thing I can make anymore is cornbread.
Alrighty, friend. Another Sunday Letter in the books. Thanks for reading!
And guess what? Tomorrow John and I celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary!
Happy anniversary to us! 💕
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.