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Ranch of Dreams, Fun, and Animals

The Fund for Animals is the largest and most diverse network of animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers in the country. Now you have the opportunity to schedule a tour at the flagship sanctuary, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, right here in east Texas. This facility is a world-renowned animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas that was founded in 1979 by Cleveland Amory, author and animal advocate. Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is located at 12526 CR 3806 Murchison, TX 75778. Tours this month are:

Regular tour individual adult tickets are $49, student/active military tickets are $39. Additional under 18 tickets are $20. Family package (two adults and four children) are $150. Children under 3 are free, as long as they can sit on your lap. All tours must be prepaid. Tickets are available at fundforanimals.org or call (903)469-3811.

Around East Texas

Edom & Ben Wheeler: Explore the Arts & Delicious Food

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Around East Texas

The Experience in Edom, A New, Groovy & Totally Cool Spot

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By Barbara Greenbauer

Open the front door to a cacophony of color, fabrics, and the most inviting space imaginable and you’ve entered “The Experience,” nestled in the heart of Edom, just a mere 25 miles from Tyler.

It’s an artisan’s dream come true, and is the vision of Kelli “Cayenne” Holmes and her husband, Don Hendrickson, longtime community collaborators and supporters of Edom. Moving into a much larger space across the main drag in Edom has given Kelli the room to enlarge, expand, and focus on her own personal style and passion; and grow “The Experience” into a space that embraces art, great food, and community. 

“I like to describe it as “fun-shui” says Kelli, who is a fireball of energy, humor, and huge personality combined. The space is definitely an outlet for Kelli’s creativity, love for life, and appreciation of everything with flair and funk. “It’s kind of a mix of 70’s Jimi Hendrix motif, and the signature vignette seating arrangements reflect a kind of bohemian, eclectic style,” explained Kelli.

The Experience begins on the outside patio space where you can grab a cup of coffee or tea and hang out to watch the goings-on in Edom. Beautiful metal sculptures by local artists Jan & Craig Blackmon are featured in the front area with loads of room to spread out and read or play games.

Inside is a tasty treat for the senses, with riotous artwork lining the walls; and the most inviting seating areas, including couches, settees, and an armoire filled to the brim with games and puzzles.

It’s definitely a space that is fluid and organic; every corner you turn has a different feature and feel. Kelli’s own “Buffalo Clover” assortment of frilly, whimsical garments feature repurposed vintage slips, gowns, and bedjackets re-envisioned into edgy, romantic outerwear that are truly masterpieces in themselves. Hand-dyed and lovingly fashioned, they are designed to bring out the feminine, funky version of yourself. You can choose a hat and match it with jewelry and a headband, or pick up a hand-dyed tie if the mood hits you. “No two pieces are the same,” Kelli said, “and I travel all over to find unique embellishments for each one.”

Friends and neighbors Sharon Thompson and Mark Mynatt from the Dallas area were “enjoying this new beautiful space. We have always appreciated Kelli’s taste, style, and uniqueness and are just loving the creativity and openness of this new place,” said Sharon. Sharon and Mark found a treasure trove of items they loved and left happily with original pieces of jewelry and a tie.

No space could be more perfectly named, from the ambiance to the offerings. You can soak up the atmosphere while feasting on some incredible edibles as well. Kelli and Don have brought in chef Michael Smith, affectionately known as “Chef Hobbles,” to work his magic with fresh, creative concepts and food fusions.

“The BrouHaHa Bistro food experience is a mix of Southern California meets East Texas,” explains Chef Hobbles. “It’s a wild and wonderful food adventure, almost a play with food, with lots of different taste options,” he said. Starting the day off with one of Chef Hobbles’ hand-made “Doe-nuts,” available at 6am, including taste sensations like mocha cappuccino, maple, and brown sugar cinnamon, will forever spoil you with their richness and flavor.

“We hope to have the first-ever drive-through in Edom in the near future, where travelers through town can pick up a doe-nut and coffee and start their day,” explained Kelli.

The doe-nuts are incredible, but wrap your brain around some other delights, like breakfast “trucker” tacos named The Three Little Pigs, The Tractor Pull, The Long Haul, and the Early Riser. Tempting Toasts may entrance you with options like Avocado, Green Tomato, and Sausage Egg and Cheese Biscuit. Chef Hobbles cooks all day and night and the neat thing about the menu is that he will cook you almost anything at any time. Fancying breakfast for dinner, talk to the Chef and he will make it happen!

Fresh and delicious sandwiches are what’s on tap for lunch, with fresh meats and cheeses and a soup of the day. Dinner is divine and on the menu are appetizers like sea pig crostini, brushetta, smoked okra, and loaded hummus. Main entrees are magnificent, including spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce, sage and garlic pork chop, chicken picatta or steak rolls. 

Chef Hobbles and Kelli are constantly cooking up new events to showcase their “foodie” ways, including a recent Father’s Day brunch featuring succulent Prime Rib and a “Whole Lot of Italian/Little Bit of Greek Feast with selections like Linguine with Greek Tomato Sauce and Bacon Carbonara. Currently, it’s a BYOB scenario with reservations appreciated for the special event dinners.

So, we’ve covered the art, food and wine…now on to the inner core and the serenity aspects of The Experience. Walk to the back of the space and you’ll be enraptured by the peace, calm, and beauty of the yoga studio.

Shanti Gypsy Yoga is offered in the quiet, calm space. Certified instructors Regie Williams and Linda Crocker offer classes in stretch, chair and gentle yoga that benefit everyone, from the beginner to the more advanced. The first class is free, and subsequent classes are only $10 a session. They can be reached at (281)433-8573 or (903)513-3490 for more information about classes. 

There’s another great space at “The Experience” to explore. An outside relaxing side yard makes for a great spot for live music and is full of plants, bird feeders, a star-shaped fire pit, and seating galore. Kelli has ambitious plans to create an old-time ice cream parlor (the original parlor chairs are already in place), and The Experience will be home to all kinds of hands-on art classes and cooking events in the future. 

Kelli and Don’s philosophy is always centered around giving back to the community, so you will see a variety of featured local artisans and exhibits within “The Experience” setting. “We want The Experience to be a gathering spot for everyone,” said Kelli. 

Take a break, get out of the rush and visit “The Experience” in Edom, Texas.

Take a look at upcoming calendar events on Facebook or call (817)721-7778.

The Experience hours are Wednesday-Thursday 6am-2pm, Friday 6am-9pm, Saturday 6am-9pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm, with brunch served till 3pm. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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