The House that Owns Us

the house that owns us - vintage doorknob

I’ve come to believe we don’t own a place, a place owns us. Oh sure, legally we make payments and claim ownership even when the mortgage company may share in the title. But as we scrape and paint every corner and memorize each creak of the floorboards, the place becomes part of the fabric of our family, the place where memories are made and held like a family photo album.

Our Worth Street home celebrated her 104th birthday this year. Our twelve years here is only a flash compared to the families who came before us.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of visiting with Mark and Betsy Hults, the prior owners who sold us Worth Street and called this place home for eighteen years. Mark and Betsy did MAJOR renovation to the home. And they prove my point of a place owning us. After they heard the house was on the market, they asked to visit, to see the home one more time. I was thrilled. I needed to talk to someone who once felt the exact angst I am feeling.

the house that owns us

the house that will always own us


We walked through each room, shared family memories and tales that come with living in a historic home. Although we don’t know each other that well—communicating only a couple of times since they sold the house to us and moved to Atlanta—our house gives us an instant bond. Both our families love this place and always will. (They raised a son and daughter here too.)

Places touch us. We do the best we can while its ours. We trust the next owner will continue caring for her, maintaining, improving and loving her. She’s part of us.

Visiting with the prior owner of our home.


Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Here are a few pictures of our home before and during the Hults’ renovation. 

5119 Worth - back of house

5119 Worth – back of house before renovation (1984)


5119 Worth - original kitchen

5119 Worth – original kitchen


column restoration - 5119 Worth

column restoration with plaster and horse hair

Musical Pairing:

Boston, More Than a Feeling


Stephen King should help pay for our move.

What’s everyone doing this weekend?

I’ll be packing. I’ve been packing for two days, and I’m still packing books. How ridiculous. And yes, I’ve already driven a trunk load to Half-Price Books. Stephen King or John Grisham or some author whose work is filling our shelves should pitch in for the cost of our extremely HEAVY moving truck. Yes, we are book hoarders. Always have been. Always will be.

Stephen King should help pay for our move.


I read that you should only move books that are a) rare, b) have sentimental value, or c) will be read again. With these rules in mind, we still have enough books to lay end to end from Dallas to Fayetteville. That sentimental value rule gets me every time.

The process is sloooowwww because I find books that necessitate stopping, reading, studying.  The old book pictured below came from the Keiser High School Library. Obviously I didn’t steal it because according to the due date card, the return date was “Never Ever” (mysteriously in my handwriting).

old Keiser High School Library Book

Do you remember the post “Things I Don’t Need More of Even If I Live To Be 104″? Add to the list Christmas Cards! I have discovered sacks and sacks of brand new cards stuck away in closets or cabinets. I snagged them at after-Christmas sales. A word of advice…buying something on sale never to be used is not a deal.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Smashing Pumpkins, Drown


Rice Pineapple Tropical Pudding

Before I get to my Rice Pineapple Tropical Pudding recipe, I want to tell you I spent the past few days with a group of phenomenal Arkansas Women Bloggers (and a couple of dudes) at our annual blogger conference. The entire event was outstanding and inspiring, and I’ll no doubt be blabbing about it for a while. Riceland Foods, one of the primary sponsors for our weekend conference, deserves a huge shout-out.

Riceland was sooooo generous, providing gift bags of rice, rice bran oil, recipes and on and on and on. I’m not kidding, y’all. Once I got back home I dedicated an entire pantry shelf to my Riceland goodies. See?

Yes I love rice. Why do you ask?

The fabulous ladies who planned the blogger conference asked me to provide a dish to share with the group, a dish highlighting Riceland Foods. Let me say right off, this Rice Pineapple Tropical Pudding recipe is simple, but making anything in a new (to me), poorly stocked kitchen (we are in the process of moving) was a foodie challenge.

This was my first cooking attempt in the new kitchen.

I only had one pot. Here it is.

cooking in a new kitchen is interesting!

I discovered rather quickly, three of my four burners have one flame temperature. HIGH. Still, I managed to make the rice, and it turned out perfectly.

And when you only have one pot? You wash it out repeatedly because the same pot is used to make whipping cream.

I love my new deep sink!

Can I just tell you how much I love my new deep sink?

I love my new deep sink!

making homemade whipped cream

making homemade whipped cream


Rice Pineapple Tropical Pudding

I only had one bowl too. A large wooden salad bowl.


Even though I wagged my dish from home and stored it in the Embassy Suites refrigerator to be eaten TWO DAYS LATER(!), lots of folks asked for the recipe. So here it is. Simple, tasty, not too sweet and a great way to support Arkansas farmers. And we do love our Arkansas farmers, right?

Rice Pineapple Pudding in small servings.

Spooned into little cups so everyone could have a taste.


Rice Pineapple Pudding

This recipe will serve a crowd depending upon serving size.


  • 6 cups cooked white rice
  • 4 cups chopped pineapple (or 32 oz.)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups toasted coconut
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans


  1. Drain pineapple. Chop into smaller pieces so it isn't too chunky.
  2. Mix pineapple, rice and powdered sugar in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together cream, vanilla and cinnamon to stiff peak stage.
  4. Fold whipped cream into rice mixture. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Serve very cold topped with toasted coconut and almonds.
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Rice Pineapple Tropical Pudding!

Doesn’t it look yummy?

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

(Although Riceland Foods sponsored the blogger event, this recipe and opinions are all my own. I was not compensated for this post and made this recipe prior to receipt of all the rice goodies pictured above.)

Please watch this heart-warming Riceland Foods video. You will not be sorry (but have your tissues handy).

Martin Farm Story: