Since we moved to Northwest Arkansas (NWA) in March, I’ve been longing for our Kroger grocery store back in Cincinnati.  We have two grocery stores here – one’s the Beast from Bentonville (aka Wal-Mart) and the other is a small regional grocer.  They both serve the purpose and have their own good qualities, but Kroger has more assortment than either and there are things I just can’t seem to find at any other grocery store.  So, the day after the Forth of July I set out to find the nearest Kroger.  Where is it??


“It’s not up here”, Oliver says from our attic.  Crazy, curious cat.  He can climb a ladder better than I can (which may not be saying much).

Nor was it in here. . .



This is what was on the inside of a seriously dead tree that’s on the other side of our bedroom wall.


Good thing the tree guy got it before Mother Nature did.  That would not have been a good wake-up call.

But back on track . . . the closest Kroger according to their website was 70 miles away in Joplin, MO.  Actually, it’s a Dillon’s, which is owned by Kroger, but it’s still the same.  Since I had the day off, Khaki was getting her summer ‘do at the groomer and Bald Eagle had some work to attend to at home, I headed north to cross the state line in search of a decent grocery store.

Turns out Joplin has a lot of things I miss that Fayetteville doesn’t have.  Like Macy’s, Bob Evans, Michael’s Craft Store and a Chik-Fil-A that doesn’t have a drive thru line that circles the restaurant three times at all times of the day.  But it is missing one key thing . . . the Dillon’s.  Ends up the Dillon’s was a victim of the 2011 tornadoes that hit Joplin and all that’s left is the pharmacy.  Are you kidding me?!?!  Back to the internet, turns out there’s another Dillon’s in Pittsburg just under an hour away.  What the hay, I’d come this far and it was just now lunch time.

Next thing I know, I’m in Kansas!  I didn’t know I’d be crossing two state lines on this little adventure.  About 50 minutes later I found it.


Yep, that’s it.  Probably the smallest grocery store I’ve been in that wasn’t in a tourist town.  Still my resolve would not be shaken.  So, I grabbed my shopping list and headed in.  Twenty minutes later I had a half basket full.  Really only a few things from my list . . . it was only a third of the size of the Kroger’s I’m used to . . .but still as I drove away from the store I felt a little teary eyed.  I don’t know if I was disappointed that I’d once again failed on my mission to find Minute Maid Diet Lemonade in cans and the curry paste I use for chicken curry, or if it was a touch of homesickness.  Either way, it wasn’t a bad way to kill a Friday.

On a brighter note, Khaki’s summer ‘do looks great!  She’s ready for next week’s heat.


And on a yummy note, the day after I made Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler, our super awesome neighbor who’s also a gardener extraordinaire gave us some of her blackberries from her garden.  So this time I decided to make The Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cobbler.  It wasn’t better or worse than Mama’s recipe, just different and equally delicious.  If you don’t have or don’t care for ice cream with your cobbler (what’s wrong with you?!?!), I’d recommend this one.



It’s gooier than Mama’s recipe.  In this recipe the cobbler/blackberry ratio leans more toward the cobbler while in Mama’s the blackberries hold their own.  Neither are the traditional cobblers with the biscuit like puffs on top of an all fruit base.  I think you should just bake them both and decide for yourself which one you prefer.  That’s something only a crazy person (like me) would do!  🙂


Thanks for reading!

Baby Bluebird (aka Dayna)