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About Me

You have a friend in Bella Vista, Arkansas!


Hi!  It's great meeting you and I thank you for visiting my site.  I'm Dustie Meads and my husband, Ed and I and our four dogs, Pierre, Caffee, Sugars and Nookers, moved to Bella Vista in October 2002.  We fell in love with Bella Vista (Bella Vista means Beautiful View in Spanish) at first site.  We had decided to check out Northwest Arkansas after my son in law took our only daughter and moved to Bentonville because of his job.   They would eventually be starting a family and I wanted to be close to any future grandchildren.  We had discussed moving to an area near a VA hospital when my husband retired, and since there was one in Fayetteville (25 miles south), we decide that Northwest Arkansas might be a good fit for us.   

On the second day out we discovered Bella Vista and immediately knew that's where we wanted to settle.  It took another three weeks of heavy hunting before we found the home of our dreams.  Fortunately our previous home sold the first week we put it on the market, so two months later we were settled here in Beautiful Bella Vista!

My husbands trepidation about bringing four dogs into a community of so many retirees was almost drove him nuts.  He, in turn was about to make me nuts, as I was not abandoning any of the dogs (in the heat of the moment divorce was considered as an option!).  Fortunately his fears of angry neighbors were ungrounded.  Our neighbors are wonderful and 3 out of 5 of them are dog owners, with many having two or more dogs.  And they couldn't be nicer people!  Everyone we've met in Bella Vista have proven to be outgoing, friendly and very welcoming!   In fact, a friend I've made here shared a story with me of how her elderly father, when asked whether he knew what the name Bella Vista meant, responded, Of course, it means Beautiful People!  So true, and thus our marriage was saved and the dogs safe and our life in Bella Vista began.

After we moved in, I was "playing" on the net,  when I decided to begin a site about our new community, the kind of site I tried to find when I knew I was moving to this area.  I wanted a "personal" touch website where I would feel comfortable emailing and asking "dumb" questions.  I didn't find any sites like that, so I decided to build one for new and future residents of Bella Vista.  A site that would make them feel like they had a friend already living in Bella Vista, one that could help them find the answers they have about the area.  Through the growth of this site, I learned so much about the area, and it's my wish that you will too!

Welcome to BEAUTIFUL BELLA VISTA.COM and if you've any questions, please, don't be afraid to ask!




Well, we have been in Bella Vista over a year and a half now.  The dogs are loving it, we are loving it, and our second spring is BEAUTIFUL!  Last fall I planted over 100 tulip bulbs and had the most spectacularspring display (I bought the tulip bulbs on Ebay last fall!). 

Spring is no doubt the most lovely time of the year in Bella Vista.  I've never seen so many flowering trees, Forsythia, Red Bud, Dogwood, Flowering Crabapple, and ones I can't name yet.  Fishing is great, caught a few 3+ pound bass, although most have been small ones.  Went fishing in Beaver Lake, about 25 minutes to the southeast from here.  That's one really big lake!!!  My son-in-law went with me and we didn't catch a thing.  I always catch something in our Bella Vista lakes, so big isn't always better, at least not in this case!  When I was putting my boat in at the dock I told someone there that I usually fish in Bella Vista.  He said that I was spoiled...and I guess I am.  Our lakes may be a lot smaller then Beaver, but they've got FISH you can catch!

Golf courses are full of people playing and greener then green!  Someday I may even learn to play golf.  I can certainly use the exercise.  A lovely time of year is Spring...in Beauty I Walk!

Do we still love it here?  You bet!  


UPDATE Spring 2005

Still loving Bella Vista as much as ever.  Pretty well settled in.  My husband, bored of retirement, has taken a job with the POA (Property Owner's Association) as a Lake Ranger and is really enjoying it.  I divide my time working on the internet and being active in the Local Village Art Club (I built their website at www.villageartclub.net ).

The most exciting thing is about to happen in November.  It's the reason we moved to Bella Vista in the first place.  Our daughter is finally going to give us our first grandchild!   They recently completed their new home in Bella Vista and live only a mile away, so Bella Vista is going to become even more beautiful with the new addition to our family! 

In honor of our first grandchild I decided it was time to do the hardest thing in my life I've ever done...it was time to get rid of a 35 year old smoking habit!  Thanks to the internet and the quit smoking forum at about.com and the motivation of a grandchild, I quit on June 8, 2005!


MAKENZIE LEE KANABLE WAS BORN ON NOVEMBER 6, 2005.  A beautiful healthy baby girl, and native Bella Vistian! Not to many native Bella Vistians live around here, as most of us are transplants from somewhere else! YAHOO!  I DO LOVE BELLA VISTA..after all, my only grandchild now lives here!  Wonder if she'll prefer golf or fishing?  mmmmm........

Sadly though, our dear dog Sugar passed away this year.  She was 13 years old, and had hip dysplasia (common in German Sheppards) and kidney failure.  She had a good life, and was loved.  May I be able to say the same when it's my time to go.  She will be missed.


I've added a history page to the site, as well as expanded the Real Estate section to help those buying a home in Bella Vista.  Granddaughter is now 18 months old and a real joy!  We are all loving Bella Vista still, even though we've become an incorporated town rather then an unincorporated village.  We've seen no changes in the last 6 months since that vote and don't anticipate seeing many except maybe having to pay city tax eventually.

And I'm still smoke free, however, in my case, it came at a price.  I read where most people might put on a bit of weight when they quit smoking, but for some, about 10%, it can be a lot of weight.  Well, I found out I was one of the 10%.  I've traded the smoking habit for 45 additional pounds.  Rather then Granny in the Beverly Hillbillies, I'm now more like Aunt Bee of the Andy Griffith show fame.  Aw well, if it's not one thing it's another.


It's been a lovely spring and summer, quit rainy...if you watch the weather channel you'd think we have a climate more like Washington or Oregon state with all this rain we've been having.  But the rain has kept the temperatures very pleasant, not too hot.  And it's not been rain all day every day...it's been more like some cloudburst most days, but then sunshine and rainbows the rest of the day!  The building boom over the last few years has slowed, the market is overbuilt now, so it's a wonderful time for buyers coming to the area.  It's a buyer's market and will probably remain so for some time, at least until the overbuilt situation has been leveled by people still moving to the area.   


Well, we still love it here.  In fact, in six months, we will have lived longer in this home then we have in any of the previous homes we've owned in our 26 years of marriage.   

Another quite rainy season and everything here is so beautiful and lush!  This spring was the most beautiful spring that I can remember to date!  Tragedy struck this winter and I had to leave Bella Vista for a couple of months.  My mother was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and I spent January through March in Mississippi.  She died March the 15th and I brought my father back here to Bella Vista to stay with me for a few months.  The beautiful spring helped Dad in the healing process.  We spent hours fishing on the lakes and visiting the spring garage sales, both things my dad loves to do.  I credit Beautiful Bella Vista with helping myself and my Dad through a really tough time.   

It's a buyer's market here in Bella Vista, but that's not going to hold true forever.  Too many baby boomers are going to be looking to retire in an area such as this one, so if you're thinking of buying a home, now is the time.

Our first winter in Bella Vista....Believe me, this much snow is not the norm in Bella Vista, 
however, Sugar and Nooker sure love it!  Our second winter only saw two snowfalls.
The 1st didn't stay longer then one night and the other was melted in less then three days.
I went fishing 4 times the second winter in 60 degree temperatures, although the norm was 
probably in the mid 40's. Third winter...just as mild as the 2nd winter.  Haven't 
been able to use a new bought sled, purchased after the first snowy winter.

4th Winter, 2005...Total approx 7" snow all winter...

5th Winter, 2006...about 4" of snow all winter...

6th Winter, 2007...about 6" of snow all winter...
(finally used the sled, flew down the hill with my
2 yr old granddaughter and lucky we didn't break anything)

7th Winter, 2008... 5" of snow all winter and an ice storm

Visit the Weather page to learn more Bella Vista's climate.

Sugar went to rest in the arms of Angels in May of 2006.  Some Angel
sure has a great new friend.  She will be missed.

Nooker joined Sugar in heaven in 2008 so now that Angel has two great new friends
and Sugar has Nooker to romp with once again in a place even more beautiful then Bella Vista!


The winter of 2010 was a cold one, just like in much of the country.  Two large snows,
each around 10" deep, lasted a week or more, very unusual for Bella Vista.  We still
had some days through the winter where a light jacket was appropriate wear, but
not nearly as many as we usually have.

Our darling long hair Chihuahua died in the early spring from complications brought on by
undiagnosed diabetes.  She always was prone to overweight, though we tried to control her diet.  She was only 10 years old, and she is missed. 

A few months later we rescued a sweet Papillion mix, from the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.  We named him Radar and He's already become a dog of our hearts.  He get's along great with our 15 year old poodle, Pierre and is wonderful with my granddaugher carrying him all along. Radar even has my husband wrapped around his little finger.  Radar is definitely a little charmer and loves Bella Vista!

If you were thinking of moving to Bella Vista, and can get your home sold, now is the time
to move here.  Home prices are really low and with interest rates as they are, you can
find a lot of house for the money!  The recession isn't quite as bad in Northwest Arkansas
as it is in some parts of the country, but the area is not growing like it was just a couple of
years ago.  The economy may have slowed, but this is still a wonderful place to live
and my husband, myself, my daughter, my son in law and my 5 year old granddaughter,
are still loving it!   October we will have been here 8 years.

         Only Granddaughter, Makenzie                                         Radar, one of our current fur children

Update 2011

Working on our 9th year here and what a year we've had for weather thus far...record snowfall, record rains and, so far, unseasonably warm...and we're only half way through!  To learn more about our weather check the weather page on the links at the bottom of this page.

Sadly, June 3rd, our beloved Poodle, Pierre, crossed over the rainbow bridge.  Now all four fur kids who moved to Bella Vista with us in 2002 are all together again, romping and playing and keeping some angels quite occupied I'm sure.   Three weeks after Pierre passed away the Joplin Human Society announced they were having a special Adopt-A-Thon to try to find homes for over 700 dogs and cats left homeless by the devastating May 2011 tornado.  Radar hadn't been the same since Pierre died, so my husband and I drove to Joplin to see if maybe we find adopt a new dog.  We came home with our little JT (Joplin Tornado).  JT is about a year old and she and Radar quickly became fast friends! 

JT and Radar, our current fur children, being introduced...


Granddaughter will be going into 1st grade this year...hard to believe times gone so fast. In October we will have been here 10 years. Bella Vista has changed little with the passage of time. Traffic is a bit more congested, but we're hoping the Bella Vista bypass will be finished in a couple years and take care of much of that traffic. In the meantime, we console ourselves by knowing that traffic in the larger cities is much worse and when we do get home, we're in Beautiful Bella Vista.

Another unusual year for weather, not just here in Bella Vista, but in the whole USA for that matter. According to those in the know the first half of 2012 has been the hottest on record since records started being kept way back when.  Winter was more like fall weather and summer heat began in May and hasn't let up.    We're in the grip of severe drought and badly in need of rain.   Every year I grow tomatoes in pots, and this year it's a real challenge keeping them alive.  Despite daily watering, the plants are withering due to the extreme heat.  The leaves just can't seem to replenish the evaporated water quickly enough.  We badly need rain and some cooler under 90 degree weather.  Below is a picture of some of the ones I picked last year, but I'm not holding my breath for many this year.

Finally, end of July, we gave up on the tomatoes We managed a few, but nothing worth the energy expired.  It is still dry, still hot...record setting hot!   I found a little boat, one I can handle myself, and now spend two to three mornings on the lake with both my still and video cameras.  By mornings, I mean early...try to be on the lake by 6 AM since by 11 AM it's to hot to be on a boat...that's when I usually jump in the water rather then float on the water.  If you've not already, check out the video's I've taken of each lake for the lakes page.  I've taken so much video and see no end in site I think I'll make a movie with it all when I'm done and call it The Nature of Beautiful Bella Vista.

TwinToller X10 - Most Useful and Fun Boat I've Ever Owned

Here's my little boat after my husband and I spent a weekend painting it so it would better blend in with it's surroundings?  It has allowed me to sneak up on wildlife and take more pictures this way, like this one...  This boat is a TwinTroller X10 and I'll be glad to take you for a test drive if you might be interested in buying one. I'm so sold on this boat, I've become an official associate of Freedom Marine, the company that makes them.  If I show you my boat and you buy one, I'll get a small commission  A win/win for both of us!  Just tell Freedom Marine Dustie sent you.


AUGUST UPDATE:  After an unusually dry summer, August has brought some rain.  We've had about 2" in the last week, although we still need much more.  That rain was more then welcome though, believe me!

I'm still out on my boat as often as possible taking video of the wildlife I find at the lakes.  This is such a beautiful area.  Arkansas is called The Natural State for good reason, and the first city you enter as you cross from Missouri into Arkansas is Beautiful Bella Vista, a most natural place with it's 7 lakes and oak hickory Ozark forests covering most the area, and yet it's still a thriving city of 25,000+ people.  I heard the cry of the bobcat when I was out in my boat yesterday...I looked it up on the internet to give it a listen to make sure that's what I heard and it certainly was.  So I know he'd out there.  I'd so love to catch him on film at the lake!

UPDATE -In late September I did end up filming the bobcat.  I was so excited to see him I almost missed him.  At first I was shaking so much I couldn't video tape him.  Then when I was finally able to settle down I discovered my camcorder was on the camera setting. I had been taping a full two minutes before I realized it.  Any time during those minutes, had that cat noticed me, she would have bounded off into the wood and I would have missed her.  That would have called for a good cry for sure. 

Fortunately though, Mother Nature took pity on me and the bobcat came down the hill to the lake to get a good long drink (I've a dry summer and fall to thank for that).  I was able to get footage of him getting a really big drink and then walking off into the forest.  It was thrilling to see such an elusive creature so close.  I was no more then maybe 10 yards away, sitting stock still in my little camouflaged boat and he didn't even see me.  It was one of my exciting times in nature..


It's the 26th of February and it's been a VERY mild winter.  Most the lakes are still low from the 2012 drought year and below average rains/snow we've received since the end of summer is keeping conditions dryer then we'd like to see. We do know that spring around here can be wet though, so there's still hope for enough moisture to refill the lakes and rivers to capacity in Arkansas.

I've been working post production on my first video, The Nature of Beautiful Bella Vista, Lakes Edition and hope to have it ready by April!  Can't wait to start shooting footage for my next video, The Nature of Beautiful Bella Vista, Golf Edition (critters found on and around the beautiful Golf Courses we have here in Bella Vista).

Spring/Summer 2013

Turns out I had to put my video taping on hold.  April brought some very stormy weather and localized flooding to the valley along Little Sugar Creek and then I ended up having to take the rest of the spring off to help my elderly father.  I spend half of April and May in Ohio helping him get through a couple of bad illnesses.  He's well on his way to mending though, so now I can get back out and enjoy the bountiful nature Bella Vista has to offer.  Hope to get some good videoing done before the heat of summer really hits in.  The humidity isn't as bad here as in, say, southern Arkansas, but it's no desert climate either, that's for sure. 

I did finish my first video however, and have already given a half dozen presentations to various groups in the village showing my video.  It's been very well received!  Now I'm well into collecting video for my next Bella Vista nature flic!  It's been a very nice summer in Bella Vista, Ar!

Winter 2013/2014

After a beautiful fall with more warm days then cool we braced for what folks were saying was going to be a long cold winter.  They were right.  Not only for us, but for most of the US.  Winter storm after winter storm hit the US, dumping near record snows, including in Bella Vista.  Even now, with spring into full swing, the kids are still paying for all the extra "snow days" they took.  Two days gone during spring break and Saturday school, many saying the first time ever, were worth it if you ask the children.  They loved the snow days.  Here in Bella Vista, many didn't get out unless they had 4 wheel drives, however.  We'd definitely prefer not to see another such winter for many more years!

Makenzie's 8th winter in Bella Vista...and it's been the snowiest ever!
Being 8 though, she loved every bit of it!

2014 SPRING HAS SPRUNG...and thus far, the weather is delicious!
I'm busy out on the golf course, not golfing, but shooting wildlife!

Shooting video of wildlife, of course.  I have discovered it's harder to find mammals to video on or near the courses as the golfers keep them in a state of high alert most the time.   I am, however, finding scores of birds, many I've not take a lot of notice of in other area of  BV.  Perhaps it's just that I'm on the lookout for them, but there sure seems to be a lot more on the golf courses!  Does this mean GOLFING IS FOR THE BIRDS?  Maybe that should be the title for this current movie I'm filming rather then "The Nature of Beautiful Bella Vista, Golf Edition".  Probably has a lot to do with the wide open spaces, beautiful shade trees, blue bird boxes througout the courses, as well as the forests surrounding much of the course perimeters. I'm sure having fun enjoying the beautiful spring weather, as are all the golfers I'm dodging on the courses.  It promises to be as equally as beautiful summer in Beautiful Bella Vista!


Canada Geese and baby Baltimore Oriole chicks.
If these guys don't melt your heart, I don't know what will.

Spring and Summer 2015

It was a beautiful spring with beautiful weather this year.  No great storms but plenty of rain showers to being May flowers.  Temps were not to hot, not to cold, it was as pretty a spring as anyone could ask for.  Summer started off the much the same, untilJuly.  So what happened in July?  Oh, nothing too drastic, but lots and lots of rain!  More rain in the month July then this area had ever seen.  So our planet hasn't stopped surprising
us, that's for sure.  Fortunately it spread itself out with some dry sunny days between the record rainfalls, so there never was major flooding, like
happened in the spring of 2015.  August began with a couple of weeks of  90+ degree weather and with all the rain we'd had in July, the humidity ran high too.  The last two weeks of August were once again beautiful though, with average highs in the mid to lower 80s.  Good thing weather like that is not here year round though.   If that were the case, folks would flock here in droves and we'd lose our small town living atmosphere for sure!  Nope, I do love our spring, summer's and fall weather, and although I'm not keen on winter, it does does serve a good purpose.

Jump Ahead 6 Years...

Still loving Bella Vista and the weather here!  We've just had our warmest winter yet (2019/20)and the last two years we've had some really big water events (Lots of Rain with Sugar Creek overflowing it's banks.)  Warm winters are nice though, and the flooding doesn't cause many problems in Bella Vista, since 99% of homes are not in any flood areas.  To be safe, though, doesn't hurt to ask about a particular lot or home that's close to water about any flooding problem if there are heavy rains.

And Makenzie is 14 yrs old!  Hard to Believe!  Radar is still hanging in there, also 14, and we've a new fur baby thanks to Bella Vista Neighbor's Facebook page, 2.5 yr old Foxy...
I think a Chihuahua and Papillon mix.



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