About Debbie

DiningWithDebbie headshotOwner: Dining With Debbie
Co-Administrator, Food Editor and Event Planner: Arkansas Women Bloggers
Food Editor and Event Planner: Megaphone Summit
Brand Ambassador: Riceland Foods, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, Petit Jean Meats (current)
Featured Contributor: Only in Ark, THV11 This Morning

Born:  During a snowstorm a week before Christmas in a rural south-central AR town at a small medical “clinic” that also served as the doctor’s home.   I always seem to make things complicated.   Or at least interesting.

Raised:  Arkansas has always been my home.  I choose to be here.  I’m proud to be from here.  I did spend a year in California after which my mom said that was when I picked up my stubborn streak.  I really think I came by that naturally – a maternal inheritance most likely.  My Nonnie would definitely agree with that.

Lineage: I have dirt under my fingernails from grandparents whose family farms exceeded several acres and a great grandmother who loved flowers and thought grass was a weed.

  • Mamaw taught me how to make homemade potato chips and the best chicken and dumplings; she also taught me how to wring a chicken’s neck and how to make paper dolls from a Sears catalog. 
  • Nonnie taught me to love family and traditions, how to slather myself with nasty sulfur rub before heading out to pick blackberries, and why composting is good for the garden.
  • They both taught me that faith and prayer are privileges to be nurtured and exercised.  I’m pretty sure they both believed “spare the rod, spoil the child” was created just for me.
  • Pa taught me how to snake a sewer line and how to roof a house – skills I hope never to use again.
  • From Papaw I learned about gee and haw, but I never learned how to convince a mule that it couldn’t quit.
  • They also taught me that good men come in all shapes and sizes and show their strength by how well they treat their spouses and love their families.
  • I grew up knowing all of my grandparents, a great grandmother, surrounded by tons and tons of aunts, uncles and cousins and in a two-parent home.  Yes, I was fortunate. And loved.  And secure.
  • I’m named after my mom’s baby sister, Aunt Sue, the kindest soul on Earth.  I did hear her say sh*t one time.  She was so embarrassed that she almost passed out.  I can’t ever let her let her find out that I told you.
  • My little sister is not as old as I by five years. Bless her heart; she paid for that.  She had a gray streak by the age of fourteen. I’m glad she got those genes.  She’s wild; she drives a red Corvette and rides motorcycles. We both love convertibles- hers is red; mine is black.

Educated: Graduate of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a B.A. in Speech Pathology and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway with a M.S.E. in Learning Disabilities.  Don’t ask me how I spent over twenty years teaching English and Pre-AP EnglishTo middle schoolers no lessAnd no, I do not have lots of patience.

Hubs: I’ve been hanging out with this special guy for over forty years—technically longer than that if you start counting from the day I met him.  He’s a trained chemist turned lawyer turned prosecutor turned circuit judge.  I suspect his next turn will be golfer or fisherman.  I’ll keep you posted. You can call him Gary; our grandchildren call him OoHoo – it’s a story for another time.

Responsible for: regularly telling Hubby each spring that we need more garden space and that the “weed” he just pulled up was a peony, a pea or a petunia .  I also think I am responsible for making a difference in the lives of my students.

Day job:  I work rather diligently at being retired these days.  Some days it’s a tough job. I never pass  up an opportunity to have play dates with my grandchildren.  Their kisses, hugs and laughter are  worth more than dollars any day.

I show up fairly regularly for tiny segments on THV11 This Morning hoping to share some of the kitchen knowledge and skill I have. It’s all lost on host Rob Evans, believe me.

Blog(s): Dining With Debbie where I write about food, faith, family and fun.  I hang out as a co-admin for Arkansas Women Bloggers, a phenomenal group of over 800 Arkansas ladies plus a couple of gents.  I work along side Stephanie Buckley (aka The Park Wife) to plan Megaphone Summit, specifically the Foodie Friday segment of that conference.

Other passions: My perfect grandchildren, A.K.A. Perfect Boy and Perfect Girl , since you asked.    Occasionally, I watch The Food Network (they follow me since you asked that as well) or The Cooking Channel or Julia Child on P.B.S. I love holidays and holiday decorations, especially fall and Christmas.  I dearly love warm summer sunshine, a homey fireplace in autumn, a pristine snowfall in the winter, the green of new spring growth and the beach anytime of the year.  Any beach.  Anywhere.   Oh, and I’m crazy about white pumpkins.

Favorite author/books:  That’s like asking who’s your favorite child.  Impossible.  You’ll never guess how many cookbooks I own.  That’s impossible as well.

Favorite blogs:  It depends on what the day brings; it’s probably yours.  I love it by the way.

Dream vacation:  I’ve never met a vacation  I didn’t like.  Hubby once surprised me with a birthday trip to Italy.  That was pretty dreamy, especially the hot air balloon ride over Tuscany.  I’ve skied blue slopes at the Continental Divide (not blacks – I’m no fool), zip lined through a jungle in Costa Rica, swum with the fishes in the Hawaiian and Cayman Islands, stood in awe on the rim of the Grand Canyon and cried at Ground Zero.  I’ve seen the Crown jewels and shared a picnic at Mont Blanc and a croque monsieur on the steps of Sacré Coeur.  Ireland, Scotland, and Australia — they’re on my list.  A few weeks in the South Pacific wouldn’t be too shabby either.  Hey, it is my dream after all.

  • On the Twitter: @diningwithdeb @arwomenbloggers
  • Email: diningwithdebbieblog AT gmail DOT com
  • Where else to find her: Facebook at Debbie Horton Arnold and Dining With Debbie and at Pinterest and Instagram  Oh, there’s Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Foursquare Get Glue, Gowalla, Path and…my head hurts just thinking about it.  I may need intervention.
  • What to contact her about: Interested in writing for Arkansas Women Bloggers for Foodie Friday?  Do you know about an interesting farmers’ market, food festival or foodie event?  What about a small Arkansas specialty farming operation?  Have you written a cookbook, ebook or otherwise?  Contact me at diningwithdebbieblog AT gmail DOT com and let’s get you scheduled.

Otherwise, contact me for lunch.  At your place.  With you cooking.  Thank you very much.

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