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Miyazakigyu @ Crazy Samurai
Text by Amanda LaFevers

A lot has been going on at Crazy Samurai, which has a nifty new parking area now that the widening of Central Avenue South is complete. Chef Patrick Oh is preparing to serve up his famous Miyazakigyu Steak Special Dinner once again for those who wish to experience award-winning beef from Miyazaki, Japan. Lucky couples will have the opportunity to enjoy the “best beef in the world” along with other special treats at Crazy Samurai.

Chef Patrick selects the finest ingredients for his regular sushi and hibachi menu; his sushi creations are in a word…. magnificent! And for the special limited dinner, this commitment continues. The main course, Japanese raised beef (Miyasaki Wagyu) has won three consecutive first-place titles at the Wagyu-Olympics, therefore earning the title as the best Wagyu in the world. What is Wagyu? The wa (和) stands for all things Japanese, whereas gyu (牛) translates to beef or cow making it a term used for Japanese beef. Only four breeds of cow qualify to be sold as Wagyu: Japanese Poll, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn and Japanese Black. In order to be deemed authentic and the highest ranked Wagyu, the cow must be born and raised in Japan. Like Kobe beef, named for the Japanese city, Miyasaki is also a city in Japan. Breeders provide their cows with beer to drink, which creates the exceptionally high score of marbling. These cows also listen to classical music and receive massages; Miyazakigyu Steak comes from happy cows!

This exclusive beef is characterized by the high level of marbling (beef with filigree fatty filaments veined throughout) which imparts tenderness and distinctive flavor. Scored from 0-12, the Miyasaki Wagyu beef that Chef Patrick prepares is ranked a “12.” It is also lower in cholesterol and higher in monounsaturated fats, and omega -3 and -6 fatty acids.

Chef Patrick’s five-course Miyazakigyu steak dinner will be offered nightly for four days, at a price per couple of $220 – $230, with seating limited 15 couples during this event. Chef Patrick will also serve an Italian/Japanese fusion style of Ossobuco, a classic braised veal from northern Italy. Additional delectable items will be served to accompany the main course. Reservations are required for this dining experience for connoisseurs. To see Chef Patrick’s wide range of tempting menu items, and/or reserve your seat at the Miyazakigyu table, visit Crazy Samurai’s Facebook page @ Crazy Samurai Hot Springs. ∞

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Point Cedar’s Oasis in a Food Desert Celebrates its 5th Year!
Text by By Denise White Parkinson

Arkansas cities too often contain “food deserts” – neighborhoods where grocery stores close down, leaving inner-city residents to face daily challenges. But what about the state’s rural food deserts? For far-flung residents of the scenic hills around Point Cedar, Arkansas, the challenge is real: no grocery stores within a 30-minute drive, period. Hope Outreach Food Pantry grew out of a need to serve struggling families, and 2019 marks five years of success.

“We began with a shelf of groceries in Hope Outreach Thrift Store,” says Linda Jordan, cofounder of the project with husband Tim Jordan, longtime pastor of New Beginnings Outreach. From a single shelf the project expanded to a 400-square-foot storeroom. Folks came from miles around, some walking for hours to get there. When the Jordans met Hot Springs philanthropist Dorothy Morris at a nonprofit event, they shared their vision of a community center-style modern facility. After a whirlwind fundraising campaign led by the Morris and Munro foundations, construction began on the 4,000-square-foot building in Point Cedar.

The all-out effort included a half-dozen church congregations from Bismarck to Amity and beyond. Folks cut trees and milled their own lumber, installing handsome plank-wood paneling that frames a poured concrete floor. They created light fixtures by repurposing antique wagon wheels and vintage red lanterns (cool chandeliers), plus Mason jars and heavy-grade rope (rustic pendant lights). Hunters donated trophies for the fireplace mantel in the spacious “Point Cedar Room,” which seats 150 people. The Arkansas Food Bank and Hunger Relief Alliance donated refrigerated storage; a Sturgis Foundation grant provided a nifty forklift.

“We feed 200 families per month,” says Linda as we tour the hilltop grounds located just off the junction of Arkansas highways 84 and 347. Folks within an 11-mile radius travel from Garland, Hot Spring, Montgomery, Pike and Clark counties. From 9 a.m. til Noon every second Thursday and third Saturday, volunteers distribute groceries. Every fourth Sunday, the pantry opens from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. for families who drop by after church. “Thanks to our executive director, Glen Shuffield, we offer a Summer Feeding Program,” Linda says proudly.

The Food Pantry’s green hill is also home to a ½-acre Community Garden and a large greenhouse, constructed by Team Hope thanks to a grant from Arkansas’ Blue & You Foundation. “We also use hydroponics and raised beds,” explains Linda. To see the amazing fool-proof methods Team Hope uses, Google “Mittleider Method” and “Kratkey Hydroponic Method.” Fresh produce—peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs, okra, squash and much more—is available in season. “Glen uses leftover produce to make delicious green smoothies, so nothing is wasted!” adds Linda.

Hope Outreach Food Pantry celebrates its 5th growing season June 15th with an annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Volunteers are always welcome—message Team Hope online via Facebook at Hope Outreach Food Pantry and follow for inspiring updates. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to New Beginnings Outreach (with “Food Pantry” in the memo line), P.O. Box 426 Bismarck, AR 71929. “We also rent the space for weddings, showers, birthday parties, memorials,” says Linda, adding, “Our building is debt-free!”

The next phase for Team Hope is constructing a wraparound covered porch to keep the rain off clients and staff. I can already picture a row of locally made rocking chairs lining the veranda. Happy Birthday, Hope Outreach Food Pantry! ∞

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Hot Springs entrepreneur Cathy Caver launches Splash Wine Bar downtown.
Text by By Amanda LaFevers

When Cathy Caver was growing up in a small town in the mountains of Northern California, her role model was Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci. “She was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the Olympics,” Cathy observes. “I wanted to be an Olympic Champion—but my coach said I would only reach the nationals! I was in ballet and gymnastics, which helped later when I was on stage doing illusions with Maxwell Blade—I still perform with him on occasion.”

Cathy’s training and discipline have come in handy for her latest undertaking: restoring an iconic downtown structure to create Splash Wine Bar, opening May 16 at 325 Ouachita Avenue. “I’ve been searching for the perfect space for 12 years,” she says, beaming. The circa-1913 building, once home to a tile and plumbing business, is in the heart of the up-and-coming Ouachita Avenue Historic District.

Cathy’s father, a forestry official in California’s wine country, was originally from Hot Springs. “He moved the family here when I was a teenager. I’ve lived all over the country, but Hot Springs is so beautiful—the mountains, trees, water,” Cathy says. After obtaining her medical spa licensing, Cathy spent a decade working in the corporate world before launching her business, Chrysalis Day Spa, in 2005. A mom of two accomplished daughters, Gabby and Lexi, Cathy notes that things will come full circle later this year:

“I’m opening the second location of Chrysalis in the space adjoining Splash Wine Bar,” she explains. A nod to her Napa and Sonoma roots, where wine bars and spas pair well together, the building renovations are in full swing. “It’s been a total gut job. New roof, new heating and cooling, new electrical,” Cathy says. “We restored the old brick and original pressed tin ceilings, the hardwood floors.”

Splash Wine Bar will feature live music on weekends, with a digital baby grand piano providing soundscapes on weekdays. A selection of wines and charcuterie boards, plus coffees, pastries and smoothies will be available. Drop in and raise a toast!

Life & Home asked Cathy to share some of her thoughts and inspiration about being a woman in business:

What is something you would tell your younger self: I do believe everything happens for a reason and my life experiences are what made me who I am today. But I would say that, even if you think (as a teenager) that you’re all grown up and want to be out of your parents’ house, you might want to wait.

What is some advice you’ve been given that was helpful? I have had people say to me: “I don’t think you can do that” or “I don’t think you should do that,” which makes me want to do something that much more. My rebellious side has been an asset at times.

Looking ahead, how do you view Greater Hot Springs’ business community: I think great things are on the brink of happening in our city, and I am excited to be super involved downtown!

Do you have a favorite “life hack” or personal routine that keeps you energized? I love mountain biking on the Northwoods Trail because the trails are amazing! I also love weight training with Miranda Goff at Flex Fitness—she’s a beast!

Personal motto or favorite quote you’d like to share? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12, New Testament, the Bible) ∞

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Text by Amanda LaFevers

Terri Clark is a mother of six, grandmother of 15 and, as of recently, a great-grandmother of one. She is also a local minister, counselor and author, and has been happily married to husband Harvey Clark for nearly 30 years.

I have known Terri for 35 years, and in 2012, through Terri’s ministry I began sponsoring an 11-year-old girl from Uganda. Terri’s program connects sponsors with children who face barriers to schooling due to poverty. When I first saw my sponsored child’s photo on Terri’s website, the little girl was barely looking at the camera, her face expressionless. Now, when I receive photos from Nakalema Winnie, her teenage smile glows enough to light up a room. She writes to me several times a year, sharing fascinating stories about her life.

Recently, Terri visited Uganda to meet with some young adults from her original sponsorship program. They discussed how sponsorship had changed their future. One young man explained how as a teenager, he had lost hope that anyone would sponsor him at his age, when a couple selected him. He told Terri how being sponsored had given him hope and changed his life. He is now a successful architect with a company in Uganda. Another woman, Maria, shared how she came from a poor family in a village. She went on to excel in school and became one of the top students in the nation. Now a successful attorney, she works for a judge and drives her own car, something almost unheard of in Uganda. She now sponsors two children herself!

Terri’s inspiration for her nonprofit ministry sprang from her involvement more than a decade ago with a church in Uganda where she helped found a medical clinic known as Ray of Hope Medical Center. She saw a young girl playing in the mud outside and asked why the child was not attending school. Terri learned that in Uganda, education is not provided by the state for free, as in the USA. Families that are poor simply cannot afford school fees. “My heart broke for them because a lot of them do not have any hope of a chance to go to school,” Terri recalls. “Uganda has small schools which are poor, yet they focus on education and actually have trained teachers.”

In 2005, Terri’s sponsorship program began with a structured plan to help children go to school. The children who receive sponsors from American families go to schools closest to where they live, called day schools, then to boarding schools in higher grades. With Terri’s program, a director takes the money to each school to pay the fees. With this system, the child never has to worry about being chased away from the school because a parent stopped paying fees. Terri explains her sponsorship ministry: “There are a lot of child sponsorship programs here in the US which sponsor a child’s physical needs. In this program, it’s based upon providing an education. We’re helping a child get from a place where they have nothing to an opportunity to receive an education.”

Terri also guides teams to Uganda periodically for medical missions which include doctors, dentists and optometrists. So far, 600 children have benefitted from the program. Once children are registered, they are put on the website www.terriclarkministries.org. People and organizations can go online and choose a child (boys and girls ages three through 20) to sponsor for $25 per month, which covers school fees and medical care.

Terri has a passion for ministry to women of all ages, backgrounds, social groups and cultures. In 2004, Terri published her first book, Tying the Family Knot, which grew out of her own experiences when she and Harvey united their blended family. Her marriage-and-family ministry offers family conferences, seminars and workshops, as well as numerous radio interviews. Her second book, Fanning the Flame, was released in October 2017.

Today, Terri continues to teach at her local church in Hot Springs and is currently finishing her third book. She also meets monthly with a women’s writing group in Hot Springs, to work as a mentor. She loves to spend time with her family and grandchildren, and enjoys taking off on road trips on her Can Am Spyder with Harvey and their friends. Learn more about Terri Clark and her ministry at www.terriclarkministries.org. ∞

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Text by Denise White Parkinson
Photos by Jon Yoder Photography

When Joe Lacy met Mary Wolf at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, it was 2005 and they shared a Communications class. Joe, who grew up in El Dorado, recalls “We had a class together and then went our own separate ways.” After graduation, Joe joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s risk management agency, which oversees crop insurance for farmers. Meanwhile, Mary graduated and began working in veterinary emergency medicine. “I did that for 11 years,” she notes, “and I am now working as a spinal implant representative and really enjoying it.”

Fast forward to 2011, when Hot Springs native Mary reconnected with Joe in Dallas, where they were both pursuing careers. “We had some friends pushing us in a dating direction,” laughs Mary. “Some matchmaking friends from Arkansas.” Two of Mary’s good friends happened to be dating two of Joe’s good friends, so their first “official date” was as a festive group: “We went to see the Christmas lights,” recalls Mary. Its sheer poetic justice that Mary and Joseph would fall in love at Christmas.

The hardworking couple dated for several years, together adopting a rescue dog they named Finley. Mary explains, “She looks like Falcor, the dog from the movie The Never-Ending Story. Solid white with a wiry coat, like a smaller version of an Irish Wolfhound.” Like most rescue dogs, Finley is a sharp cookie who almost gave away Joe’s secret proposal plan—almost!

The Proposal
“It was a proposal long overdue,” states Joe. “I would like to think it was a surprise but Mary saw it coming. I had the engagement ring in early February, 2017, and it ate a hole in my pocket for nearly three weeks.” Joe says he didn’t want to be “cliché” and propose on Valentine’s Day, so he planned a picnic for the 17th at a favorite scenic spot: a hill overlooking White Rock Lake. “The weather wasn’t cold, Dallas being Dallas,” recalls Joe. “We were at Boy Scout Hill, and the park has a view of downtown.”

Unbeknownst to Mary, Joe had arranged for some friends to disguise themselves and wait for his signal, at which point they would pop up like paparazzi. “They wore wigs,” laughs Mary. “But Finley recognized them!” Luckily, Mary was too busy enjoying the picnic to pay much attention to Finley’s signals, and Joe’s plan worked like a charm: “It was a very nice day and we watched the sunset. I did take the knee!” The answer: a resounding “yes.”

Mary had spotted a beautiful sapphire and diamond ring in an online gallery, a custom design. “She saved this design and told some friends about it,” says Joe. “But she never sent the photo of the ring to me.” Mary explains, “I assumed it wasn’t possible.” Joe got word about the ring from one of Mary’s bridesmaids and sprang into action, contacting its designer, Heidi Gibson. He commissioned a second ring in the same design. “The ring Mary has is the only second one.”

“I pretty much had a shock when I saw it!” notes Mary of the beautiful diamond solitaire bordered with tiny diamonds and sapphire baguettes. “Heidi’s style is a more personal, modern approach to Art Deco design. A lot of people ask if it is an heirloom.”

The couple envisioned a May 2018 wedding, but news came of an emergency in the family: “My sister Amanda, who was my Matron of Honor, and my brother-in-law (married to my sister Myssy) were both diagnosed with cancer,” Mary explains. “Our family surrounded them with love and support during their rigorous treatments, which put the wedding on the back burner, pushing the occasion to September.” Confronting the challenge as a family brought everyone even closer together.

Mary’s chosen venue, St. Mary’s of the Springs Catholic Church, has been her family’s home church for generations. “My grandmother used to sing in the choir there,” says Mary, “and my father was raised in St. Mary’s. Although I grew up attending both church and school at St. John’s, I felt an importance to feel as much of my father’s presence on my wedding day, which is why we chose St. Mary’s.” John Wolf, Sr., passed away from cancer in 2009. 

The Wedding
Mary and Joe’s family and friends made a happy throng at St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church on September 29th of last year. “Father George was supposed to officiate for us, but he was due to have his first grandchild that day,” explains Mary. “But Deacon Joe Harrison is a longtime friend of the family—as they said at the wedding, the Wolfs bought the Harrisons’ firstborn child his first pair of cowboy boots! That was 50 years ago,” marvels Mary. “The Harrisons are very close to our family.”

Her wedding dress was exquisite in its simplicity: “I was going for a bohemian chic look,” says Mary. “That’s been my style as long as people can remember.” She found the ideal bohemian-style wedding gown while shopping with her mom and sisters in Dallas. The off-the-shoulder design features a scalloped lace hem and lace overlay. Sapphire blue bridesmaid dresses in flowing Grecian style complemented blue-and-white print dresses of Mary’s nieces, who acted as flower girls. “The material for the bridesmaid dresses picks up the light like an indigo,” notes Mary. Joe wore classic black, while his groomsmen’s tuxedoes were navy blue with a black lapel.

Kelly Efird created opulent bouquets for the bridal party. Says Mary, “I told [wedding coordinator] Randi Slick what I wanted and I don’t think it could have turned out more perfect! Ever since I took a mission trip to India years ago, I love dahlias. I wanted greenery and dahlias, plus a deeper tone to complement the navy, also blush roses. I was drawn to different textures; I didn’t want something structured.”

The wedding party occupied two top-floor suites at a downtown hotel, complete with large common rooms, seating areas, kitchens and dining areas. Everyone enjoyed a bridal luncheon and then the party spent the day getting ready. “We had catering and champagne brought to the room,” says Mary. “It was fun and we took things relaxed, slow and easy.”

Continuing the relaxed ambiance, Joe and Mary decided they didn’t want a structured, seated reception. They both love to cook and when they met with Chef Diana Bratton of Taco Mama, they were impressed. “We thought it was cool that she was a chef in Dallas before moving to Hot Springs,” notes Mary, who realized her brother Vince Wolf had worked before with Chef Diana’s husband. “We asked her what she’d personally like to serve to her own guests,” adds Joe. “And we picked everything Chef Diana suggested!” As Mary sums up: “We can’t say enough good things about Randi and her team. She pulled out all the stops and made a very relaxing day for us and everyone.”

The Lacys enjoy coming to Hot Springs often to visit family – “I’m one of seven siblings,” notes Mary. Joe adds, “Some of our Texas friends want to get a house on the lake.” This month, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Lacy will embark on their honeymoon: “We’re going to Portugal,” Mary explains. “Our friends—the couple with us on our first date—are getting married there. The bride is one of our ‘matchmakers’ and I’m her bridesmaid. Since it’s such a big trip we are going to turn it into a honeymoon. There’s always a list of people waiting to keep Finley when we go out of town – she’s a good houseguest.” Bon Voyage, Mary and Joe! ∞

RESOURCES

WEDDING COORDINATOR
SIGNATURE EVENTS
501-520-1976

RECEPTION CATERER
TACO MAMA
501-624-6262

RECEPTION VENUE
HAMP WILLIAMS BUILDING
HAMPWILLIAMSBUILDING.COM

REHEARSAL DINNER
PORTERHOUSE CLUB
501-617-3070

WEDDING CAKE
TASTE OF EDEN
501-321-0999

WEDDING FLOWERS
KELLY EFIRD FLOWER EVENTS
501-617-5679

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Greater Hot Springs Beekeepers Association keeps Arkansas pollinated.
Text by By Denise White Parkinson

With summertime upon us, bees are out and about working their magic, helping crops, gardens, flowers and trees grow and bear fruit. These powerhouse pollinators deserve all the help they can get, so let those dandelions grow and lay off the lawn chemicals—after all, Arkansas is the Natural State.

To bee-keep or not to bee-keep? That is the question. The answer: Yes, please do! The Greater Hot Springs Beekeepers Association can show you how. And for Lee Coatney, newly elected president of the Greater Hot Springs Beekeepers Association, beekeeping is definitely a family affair. I caught up with the Coatney fam at one of their three “bee yards” – an enclosure amid a wildflower meadow in the hills of Fountain Lake. Lee and his wife Martha arrived with son Zach and daughter Hayleigh, both kids wearing “I’m a Keeper” tee shirts and everyone ready to suit up in protective gear.

“I had to place an electric fence around this bee yard last year,” explains Lee of the enclosure holding dozens of hive boxes. “I came to harvest honey and a black bear had emptied 24 hives. Scattered them like a deck of cards!” Considering that each full-sized hive can hold 30,000-60,000 bees and produce 60 pounds of honey per hive, the lucky bear that gorged himself (honey, bees, comb and all) has fortunately not been seen since. Maybe he got a toothache!

Lee, in addition to working full time, has been a beekeeper for seven years. He markets wildflower honey under the brand “Arkansaw Bee Man” at Hot Springs Farmer’s Market and in Bismarck at the Happy Tree and Frontier Pharmacy. The Coatneys bring along an “observation hive” to educate Farmer’s Market visitors on the splendor of beekeeping. Fourteen-year-old Zach helps sell the honey: “I lost my freckles at the age of 10,” he grins. “So I work now!” Zach is also on the Fountain Lake football team; you might say he is a busy bee. Sister Hayleigh, a pro at age seven, dons her beekeeping suit and grabs the hand-held smoker, ready to calm the bees so we can check on their honey-making progress. “Mom and I painted the hives,” she says proudly.

“We’ve made creamed honey,” notes Martha. “You can add cinnamon and nuts to flavor it too—it’s so good.” Other products in the planning stage include lip balm and lotion. The Coatneys witnessed firsthand the awesome benefits of wildflower honey when Hayleigh developed allergies that led to daily breathing treatments. “We mixed our honey in with her milk when she was three,” explains Martha. “And she stopped needing the breathing treatments.”

Lee uses organic solutions for varroa mites (the bane of bees and beekeepers) and advocates planting white clover—a crucial Spring food plant for bees. Originally from Northeast Arkansas, Lee is concerned about the latest threat to Delta-area bees and beekeepers: “Use of the chemical Dicamba is killing off redvine, a native food plant for bees,” he observes.

“When we bought our first home and I mowed the lawn for the first time, I only mowed the grass in strips and left all the patches of clover,” Lee recalls. “Martha wondered what I was doing—I had to spare the bee’s food.” White clover needs no spraying or mowing, makes a carpet ideal for bare feet and is an example of “one man’s weed is another man’s wildflower.”

As we enter the enclosure, a musical hum greets us. Hayleigh aims the smoker at a hefty wooden hive box and Lee opens the top, pulling out a slender frame covered with bees. The bees, intensely focused on bee-ing, ignore our intrusion. Lee initially bought a commercial beehive and studied its design. He now builds all his hive boxes, large and small, out of pine, spruce or cedar. The smaller hives, called “nucleus colonies” or simply “nucs” are like starter kits, a mini-family of bees. “There’s a bee supply store in Russellville and Cabot, and we like Bemis Farm near Wrightsville,” notes Lee. “Bemis Honey Bee Farm hosts the Arkansas Honey Festival every October.”

Beekeepers also order bees through the mail, and with “nuc” hives, beekeepers can grow their own queens to expand their yards or sell to other beekeepers. Film star Morgan Freeman famously converted his Mississippi farmstead into a bee sanctuary—and his “nucs” came from Arkansas beekeepers! Lee can put up a “swarm trap” to capture bees when they swarm. “If you see a swarm, don’t try to handle it yourself,” he advises. “Contact the Greater Hot Springs Beekeepers Association.” Find a swarm catcher at www.greaterhotspringsbeekeepers.org. Some superheroes don’t wear capes, they wear beekeeping suits!

Lee is looking forward to a great year with the Association. Its longstanding mission is simple, direct and profound: to encourage beekeepers and educate the public on the importance of protecting, preserving, and expanding the honeybee population in the Natural State. “Beekeeping is animal husbandry,” muses Lee. “It’s important not to get discouraged after your first year if some of your bees die.” The Association’s 70-plus members have amassed a wealth of information and experience to share with the community, plus they’re a fun and hospitable bunch.

Meetings of the Greater Hot Springs Beekeepers are held every last Thursday of the month at Lake Hamilton Church of the Nazarene, 200 Lockhaven Point, off Albert Pike Road in Hot Springs. Visitors are always welcome, so check out the buzz! ∞

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Local group brings blessings to Hot Springs & Hot Springs Village.
Text by Denise White Parkinson

“We began our outreach in December 2017 with several projects in mind,” says longtime Hot Springs booster Tim Looper. Together with co-founder Charles Williams, the two launched Blessing Box Arkansas after noting the success of similar programs in other states. Just as the trend of setting up “Little Free Library Boxes” that allow people to take a book and/or leave a book, a Blessing Box is all about the bottom line: food, personal care and clothing items. “We actually have a Little Free Library Box over at Oaklawn School. It was built in honor of a student who lost her life. We donate used books there.”

The first Blessing Box that Tim and Charles constructed is a glass-fronted wooden box with two shelves, with the philosophy painted on the glass: “Take What You Need, Leave What You Can.” “The location is at 3638 Highway 7 North,” says Tim. “It’s at CLW Solutions where the Healing Outreach Ministry of Equality is located. There are several others locally.” 

Tim and Charles discovered a few pre-existing boxes that had fallen into dis-use, so they adopted those Hot Springs locations, expanding the network box by box. “There is a Blessing Box at Pullman Heights Methodist Church and a HSSD Trojan Box at the Jones School Building,” says Tim. “Together with anonymous donors and known donors, we supply the Cobra Box at Fountain Lake Schools, and we help with Lake Valley Community Church’s Mission Box.”

In addition to non-perishable foods, the boxes supply personal hygiene products and hats, gloves and coats for those in need. “It takes a community to pull off this kind of mission,” says Tim of the all-volunteer effort; the organization is a grass-roots effort and not a registered nonprofit. Over the past year, thanks to word of mouth and online networking via the Blessing Box Arkansas Facebook page, a team formed to help keep the boxes stocked. “We have more than 20 online donors, plus 10 local families who meet up to donate,” says Tim. “Team member Keaton Davidson stepped up to take on responsibility personally for the One Refuge Church location off Albert Pike Road–the old Wonder Bread store. He helps us as an assistant and is a real blessing too!”

“We recently learned of another Blessing Box location that we are going to help stock. It’s behind the Cutter Morning Star Campus at the old car wash property. We’re looking for information on the history of this box.” Join in the treasure hunt and add your non-perishable foods and supplies at any of these locations–Tim says the turnover is constant!”

“We absolutely love what we’re doing. And it’s unconditional.” For more information, contact Tim Looper or Charles Williams on Facebook, as well as the Blessing Box Arkansas group page. All donations are given freely and are available to anyone in need. ∞

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A Hot Springs designer’s stylish retreat combines “renovating and re-souling.”

When Arkansas-born Terri Box began looking at property in Hot Springs seven years ago, she sensed the Spa City was ready to bloom into the exciting destination we see today. After three decades living in Texas, she sought a special place where she could settle and someday retire. Terri lived in the Dallas area, renovating homes for several years as an investor. 
Terri states, “I’ve always had the knack from moving in one area of Dallas to another and seeing where the next little hot area would be. When I was looking for my ultimate destination to settle, I asked myself: where do you want to live? Here in Hot Springs you have lower taxes, beautiful scenery and amazing amenities — the perfect choice. In Hot Springs we’ve got crystals, music festivals, the documentary film festival, unique architecture, nature and the lakes.” The healing elements os spring water also attracted her to the Diamond Lakes Region.
Terri moved in March 2017, to what is now her Hot Springs Yoga Retreat, giving up a lake view in Texas for a stunning view of Lake Hamilton. She transformed the property, adding landscaping, a water feature, and many amenities for her guests. Terri began practicing yoga and Perfect Health in 2012 through the Chopra Center for well-being and now teaches Ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda incorporates the ancient study of life and health, yoga and meditation. 

The property, a 60-year-old lake house, had been on the market several years. Terri visualized what the house could become; she also owns property on Burchwood Bay and in Quapaw/Prospect Historic District.
“The land and the trees and the house all kind of grew in time together over 60 years,” Terri notes. “To tear it down and build something would not have been as organic. When I saw the view, I bought this place. The benefit is that it has been able to unfold into what I needed by my spending more time and living in it. But also, it has been very stressful. I don’t advise it. If people can live out of a home and remodel…do it!”

In 1981, interest rates were 22 percent and Terri was looking for a way to get ahead financially. She watched the TV series, Dallas, and noticed that money never seemed to be an issue with the characters in the show, which led her to believe moving to Dallas was her next move. The irony of this is that her husband’s parents owned the Original Southfork Ranch, the house featured in the show. Terri inherited original furniture and decor from the Ranch, incorporating pieces throughout her home to mingle with antiques and bright colors. The home’s eclectic design reflects tranquillity and travel, while Terri ‘s collection of hand-carved Balinese furniture adds a peaceful Zen atmosphere.


Terri added square footage, resulting in two new kitchens and two and a half baths. Her home now consists of four bedrooms, four and a half baths, two laundry rooms, and three kitchens. The Dragonfly bungalow and Yoga Casita can be booked through Airbnb.com or as part of her customized retreats. Both suites include a full bath and kitchen. 
Terri’s living area on the main floor consists of two and a half baths, two bedrooms and a bonus sitting area called the Green Room. The kitchen, dining and living room consist of an open floor plan which feels larger due to creative placement of furniture and décor. About 80 percent of the home enjoys gorgeous lake views.

An example of creative use of space concerns Terri’s space-saving designs in the Green Room and Yoga Casita room. Two extra-long twin beds in the Green Room are utilized as a long wall sofa, and in the Yoga Casita she installed an Arkansas-made mirrored wall bed or Murphy bed. When Terri first moved in, the only people she knew were tradesmen. She recalled of her early days in the Spa City, “If you didn’t have something to do with remodeling, I did not know you!” Nowadays Terri is involved in the community, volunteering with HSDFF, the Valley of the Vapors music festival, and local film production.

After remodeling around a dozen homes in her experience as a realtor and investor, Terri has advice for those who want to invest in and remodel older homes. First, consider any EPA issues such as mold and asbestos. Owners need to ensure the building has a good roof, utilities on, and a termite contract to keep expenses down in the long run.
The main bathroom in the house retained its original tile from the 1960s, while the new additions received porcelain tile. The main area of the home features hardwood flooring and new rooms incorporate low-maintenance vinyl top cork-backed flooring. For kitchen countertops and bathrooms, the Yoga Casita showcases quartz while the Dragonfly room and main kitchen have sealed marble. 

Colors and décor in the Dragonfly, Casita, and Yoga rooms share a combination of soothing shades of blue and white. Terri emphasizes the importance of paint color: “Paint is the least expensive and most dynamic thing you can do to improve your state of mind.”

As a Terri wants to help people visualize what she sees when she walks into a home. She said that someone could ask her to come look at a home before remodeling, and she can tell exactly what needs to be done to have the home look new in a way that suits the property owner. Terri states, “I’m extremely visual, so I visualize what I can do to remodel a property by seeing what exists and how I can improve upon it. When I remodel a home, I complete it how I would want it, while always keeping resale value in mind. When you’re investing in real estate to remodel, you don’t want to buy the best house in the neighborhood, you want to buy the worst house in the best neighborhood.”
 One major concern Terri foresees is that many tradespeople are Baby Boomers who are aging out of the business, resulting in a shortage of trained, skilled tradesmen. If we don’t come together as a community and encourage younger generations to become tradespeople, there could be a shortage. Terri’s goals include conducting more yoga retreats, plus becoming a licensed realtor in Arkansas. Another desire is to work locally with people through the “emotional freedom” technique, also referred to as “emotional tapping,” an effective method for reducing and managing stress. Terri’s focus is on balancing spiritual work (meditation/yoga) and physical work (remodeling) to maintain equilibrium.
“I feel like my purpose is helping people heal. One of my renters in Dallas told me, ‘Terri, you’re not just a remodeler of homes, you’re a remodeler of souls,’ which I felt was poignant to what I want to accomplish.”

An enviable kitchen boasts two massive islands, providing the ultimate in prep space, entertainment flow, and counter-top dining. Glass tiles reflect the scene outside, and coordinating cabinetry keeps the space interesting.
The couple’s master suite is simple, low maintenance, and clutter-free. A bathroom with his-and-hers design offers heated tile floors and accesses the laundry room, ultimately leading back to the pantry and kitchen.
The guest wing is complete with three bedrooms — one being their grandsons’ bunk room — and two baths. Zoned heating and cooling systems allow conservation of energy. The wing can stay closed off when unoccupied.
Paul, a reluctant retiree from CJ Horner Co., now spends his early morning hours admiring vibrant sunrises rather than prepping for 4 a.m. concrete pours. He enjoys relaxing on the large covered porch overlooking the water.
Like any big project, the couple decided to name their home, which alludes to a time in Paul’s history when he tended bar at an edgy Hot Springs oasis, The Black Orchid. He grins at the memory and says, “My specialty was The Stinger.” Reminiscent of those brow-raising nights slinging drinks, Paul decided to name their lakeside retreat “Last Call.” The name has a bit of a double meaning, since the couple does not intend to relocate again.
Often, events in life tend to loop back into one another, making a circular reciprocity. Some call this repeating similarity of happenings “coming full circle.” Whether hunting or fishing at their lodge, Catfish Point, or sitting on the dock of their bay, Paul and Judy Horner are happily and vivaciously spending time.

By Amanda LaFevers

Photography by Jeff Rosinbaum Photography

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We sometimes dream of successful lives full of attainment, service, and change. Thoughts of our futures involve mixtures of anticipation of what will be and remembrances of what has been. History does tend to repeat itself, though times and people change. Changes also bring about a yearning to preserve pieces of our pasts, knowing all the while we are writing our own histories. For Paul and Judy Horner, their home is where history is ever-present.
Judy grew up on a tranquil bay on the shore of Lake Hamilton. Her father, a local veterinarian and voracious fisherman, had chosen to settle in Hot Springs because of the lakes. She and her brother often spent their days angling with their parents, delighting in the quiet solitude of the bay.

Now a thriving metropolis, year-round residents on Lake Hamilton were more sparse throughout the 1950-1960’s. As Swing music gave way to Rock-and-Roll and Motown, the lake’s horizons changed. Judy’s penchant for fishing waned as she spent time at Hot Springs High School, becoming a typical teenage girl. She reveals she had a secret hankering for a particular boy in her class of 1965.

Paul, his quiet appearance deceptively masking a never-ending supply of family lore and whopping tales, denies any knowledge of his wife’s then-crush. He had been preoccupied having fun and working after school in his family’s business, CJ Horner Company.
Judy remembers the two spent some time together cruising and singing with friends upon hearing of Otis Redding’s tragic untimely death. But, other than being at the same social gatherings occasionally, the two didn’t mingle until New Year’s Eve in the 1980’s. In 1992, after more than 10 years of dating, Paul and Judy married.
Judy had inherited her childhood lake home in 2007. Knowing she did not want to rent or sell the property, the Horners removed the structure and retained the lot. It wasn’t until they tired of the upkeep on their 20-acre property in 2017 that plans began to change toward building on the lake property. Reciprocity would abound within the residence, the entire property echoing familial ties.

The home’s elevation now sits well above ground level, lifting it above the floodplain. Paul labored over the engineering of the design, having a lifetime of experience with concrete. He decided to raise the home and turn it at an angle to get maximum usage from the lot.
Judy says, “ We wanted the master suite on one end of the house and guest rooms in their own wing on the opposite side. We also wanted an open concept and all one level because this is our forever home.”
After drafting custom plans, the Horners enlisted Ron Formby to build their home. The choice held personal significance, due to their long friendship. “Ronnie guided and supported me every step of the way,” says Judy. “I could not have done it without him.”
Absence of walls in the kitchen/great room combination allows maximum views of the lake and kaleidoscopic sunsets that fill the entire space. Large casement windows with transoms above wash the space in light, giving the room a feeling of freedom. Lack of window treatments means none of the view is compromised. Twelve-foot ceilings, wrapped in pre-finished, stained tongue-and-groove, make a handsome crown. Forgoing sheetrock, walls are wrapped in shadow-gap siding, nostalgic of a rustic farmhouse, washed in a delicate shade of eggshell. Drawing the eyes away from the water is a corner, floor to ceiling fireplace. “That was Ron’s idea,” says Paul of the heady stone look. “It turned out great.”

A split cypress log mantle above holds an interesting Horner family relic. According to family rumor, the age-old pool cue was a gift from one Bayer family pool shark to another, JG Roth-circa 1893. A built-in niche for an artist’s canvas caps off the space. Evoking a feeling of serenity with sunset hues, Paul and Judy admit the project was anything but peaceful, involving measurements, reconfigurations, and multiple outings to the craft store. “It took us eight hours to hang the Delta Sunset by artist Carole Ketchum,” Judy laughs.

A craftsman style built-in bookcase anchors the other half of the living space, serving as both a work of art and gallery for conversation pieces the couple has collected. Walls are adorned with framed art, family heirlooms, and nods to Hot Springs nostalgia, an unmistakably cool vibe.
An enviable kitchen boasts two massive islands, providing the ultimate in prep space, entertainment flow, and counter-top dining. Glass tiles reflect the scene outside, and coordinating cabinetry keeps the space interesting.
The couple’s master suite is simple, low maintenance, and clutter-free. A bathroom with his-and-hers design offers heated tile floors and accesses the laundry room, ultimately leading back to the pantry and kitchen.
The guest wing is complete with three bedrooms — one being their grandsons’ bunk room — and two baths. Zoned heating and cooling systems allow conservation of energy. The wing can stay closed off when unoccupied.

Paul, a reluctant retiree from CJ Horner Co., now spends his early morning hours admiring vibrant sunrises rather than prepping for 4 a.m. concrete pours. He enjoys relaxing on the large covered porch overlooking the water.
Like any big project, the couple decided to name their home, which alludes to a time in Paul’s history when he tended bar at an edgy Hot Springs oasis, The Black Orchid. He grins at the memory and says, “My specialty was The Stinger.” Reminiscent of those brow-raising nights slinging drinks, Paul decided to name their lakeside retreat “Last Call.” The name has a bit of a double meaning, since the couple does not intend to relocate again.
Often, events in life tend to loop back into one another, making a circular reciprocity. Some call this repeating similarity of happenings “coming full circle.” Whether hunting or fishing at their lodge, Catfish Point, or sitting on the dock of their bay, Paul and Judy Horner are happily and vivaciously spending time.

By Jennifer Olson
Photography by Jeff Rosinbaum Photography

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Imagine stepping into a state-of-the-art, Frank Lloyd Wright-style lake home with an almost 360-degree view of Lake Balboa. Danny and Holly Berry recently built their vacation home in Hot Springs Village, and it could certainly win awards for design and architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural designs emphasized organic architecture in harmony with humanity and the environment, an ethos that never fails to inspire.
Danny and Holly Berry decided a few years ago that they wanted to build their dream vacation home on the lake in Hot Springs Village. Their home is basically on its own private island, with fantastic views of the lake and other natural surroundings. The dramatic outside entrance consists of a mixture of various ornamental trees and large rocks situated amid modern lighting.

Immediately upon entering, one senses the home’s use of natural light thanks to multiple windows at differing heights, a primary characteristic of this type of modern architecture. A huge industrial-style custom chandelier greets visitors overhead while nearby, a double-sided fireplace flickers with multiple flames. What initially feels like one large living room is arranged as two distinct seating areas within a spacious main living area. The first area features light-toned, natural hued furniture and a breathtaking view of the lake, while the additional seating arrangement centers around the fireplace and a large flat screen television.

One primary reason Danny and Holly chose Hot Springs Village is because they love to golf, and Hot Springs Village is a golfer’s paradise! Another consideration in their vacation home’s layout was to create a space which could entertain multiple grandchildren at the same time. The Berrys married seven years ago and together have over a dozen grandchildren.
Utilizing transitional décor throughout the home, the Berrys chose modern fixtures for kitchen and bath purchased locally in Hot Springs; they also selected unique artistic lighting fixtures. For some reason, I have always been a ceiling geek, so I immediately noticed the light natural wood-paneled ceilings in the living area and kitchen. These natural elements serve to soften the space and bring the outdoors inside.

The spacious kitchen contains fabulous marble countertops along with every possible modern convenience that a true cook could dream of having. Cabinets are pure white with nearly a third of the upper cabinets glass-fronted. The walls in the kitchen are porcelain tile.
The kitchen is completely free of any type of countertop appliances and usual utensils due to space-saving features Holly had installed: A large bottom drawer opens to show a uniquely compartmentalized space for knives, utensils and other kitchen necessities. Holly explained she had an identical, equally handy drawer in her home kitchen in Texas.
The stovetop would make any foodie, including myself, overly excited with its reversible cast-iron burner grates which can be flipped over to accommodate cooking with woks. Also, the stovetop’s centerpiece contains a multifunctional layered griddle and cutting board section. The blender even stows away inside a cabinet in the kitchen island, equipped with a moveable counter extender tray for easy storage without the worry of putting away a heavy appliance.

The grandchildren’s bunk room is the first bedroom I visit, and it is every grandparent’s dream! This room contains four queen beds on one side of the room, two on top of two, with each bed having its own privacy drapes. On the opposite wall is a tall ladder leading up to a loft containing two twin beds. In total, this room sleeps 10 people. There is a lake view guest bedroom with a queen bed and en suite bath as well.
The Berrys’ master bedroom contains a king-sized bed and sitting area with floor-to-ceiling windows. Instead of a master bath, the Berrys opted for a his-and-her bathroom with their own walk-in closets. Holly’s is a spa bathroom with a soaking tub and an additional room attached for a spa table. The soft lighting accentuates textured light-reflecting wallpaper and a porcelain tile floor. Danny’s bathroom features a steam sauna shower which includes a fold-down seat and floor-to-ceiling porcelain in the shower and walls.

The dining area lies adjacent to the kitchen and enjoys a soothing view of the water. The dining table was custom made in Italy, and the room includes an inline fireplace on the far wall, similar in style to the living room fireplace which lies between the entryway and the living area.
Several large designer art pieces are on display throughout the home, all by international artist Jeremiah Palecek. These pieces are made with sustainable natural materials and work in multiple styles, from nautical to transitional. One eye-catching art piece hangs on the wall in the living room. Made from coconut fibers, the artwork forms a unique texture of swirled designs.

The Berrys installed surround-sound audio for entertainment throughout the home. The placement of flat screen televisions provides convenience for music and visual entertainment in almost every room, including an outdoor lounge patio. The entire 4,300 square-foot home took approximately one year to build and another year to design. The outdoor patios contain two lounge areas: One is covered and includes an extra-long gas, wood and stainless-steel grille and flat screen television. The second area is uncovered and features a fireplace built into the outer wall of the house.
The home’s abundance of textural, natural fibered furniture and décor creates a mellow ambiance throughout. Décor highlights which especially caught my eye include several selenite crystal pieces in the home which harmonize with the style of the architecture. The home’s array of modern and artistic light fixtures complements ultra-modern hardware on cabinetry, doors and multiple storage areas. Every room offers a lake view, except Danny’s master bathroom and the den situated near the entry of the house.

Impressed is not a strong enough word to emphasize the visual impact and creative beauty of this home. Multiple level ceiling heights and numerous windows give an open and appealing impression to the senses. This house is the perfect getaway vacation home set amid peaceful natural surroundings; I think the Berrys’ grandchildren will be thrilled!

By Amanda LaFevers
Photography by Jeff Rosinbaum Photography

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