The Winter It Was Weird


These are some of the newer Blue Swedish ducklings (all grown up!) that I got a few months ago, along with the Black Swedish and Cayugas. This picture is from last week when we had around 3 inches of snow followed by a few days of single digit and teens temperatures. Then it was nearly 70 degrees. Then it was 40. And now it’s back to 50s and 60s, supposedly for the rest of the month. What is that about??? I’m not complaining, but this is not looking like the bad winter we were supposed to be in for. Of course, we haven’t had February yet, so maybe Winter is taunting us… The grass and the trees aren’t going to know what to do!

Meanwhile, finally recovering after the mad rush of Christmas on Etsy, and finding my way into a routine. My best shipping days (for baked goods and 1-3 day priority mail) are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, which gives me more “free” (ha) time in the second half of the week to work on other projects and get back into writing. (Just a head’s up to those of you checking in that I’ll be around more here the second half of weeks than the first.) This is a weird Monday–speaking of weird–because it’s a Monday holiday. No shipping today.

A couple notes to respond to questions: One, Precious is fine! And Pepper is a girl, FYI. I put a dress on her this week to help her feel more girly after so many people thought she was a boy! Also, update on the kids for those of you who asked–Weston is at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, over halfway through his stint in the Army. Ross is halfway through his first year in Morgantown at WVU, and Morgan is still at WVU. They’re all doing really well, and it was nice to have them all here at Thanksgiving, though Weston couldn’t come back for Christmas since he only had Thanksgiving leave.

Cows are bred, I think/hope, and new little layer hens are growing and in the big chicken house with the big chickens. The ducks are quacking in the non-stop puddles from all this rain, and the goats are mostly staying behind their fences. And I’m BAKING! A LOT!

How is your winter weather? Weird or as expected? I can’t figure out this winter.

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I Dream of Pepperoni Rolls


When I posted A Hand-Crafter’s View of Etsy a week ago (December 15), I’d had 160 sales in my Etsy shop. A week later, I’ve had 226 sales. Do the math, you know what I’ve been doing! All of those sales weren’t pepperoni rolls, but probably half of them were. I’ve never made so many pepperoni rolls in my life. I was determined to get everyone’s packages delivered by Christmas Eve. The post office’s last day to deliver priority mail to 3-day zones by Christmas Eve was Wednesday. From December 1 to Christmas, the post office runs two trucks. (Normally, there is just one truck per day.) I was worried about being on second truck on Wednesday. I was determined to be on first truck. I came home from the post office on Tuesday, took a short break to do farm chores, then started working, preparing boxes and labels, and by the middle of the night, I was baking. I baked all night long and into the morning, and was at the post office early on Wednesday to make first truck.

The kids were standing there when I put the last batch of pepperoni rolls in the oven. I told them, “The next batch of pepperoni rolls I make, you can eat them.” Morgan said, “THE HELL IS OVER.” Imagine how difficult it was for my kids to watch dozens of dozens of pepperoni rolls pass before their eyes and not be allowed to touch them!

I came home from the post office, made pepperoni rolls for the kids, fixed chili in a crock pot, and went to bed! For 14 hours!

But hey, it was fun. Even the all-nighter. I hope all those packages make it by Christmas Eve. I know I did everything humanly possible to make it happen. Today I took pepperoni rolls to the post office in Elkview, WV, and gave them to the employees. Apparently, I’m not tired of making pepperoni rolls, and I wanted to thank them for all their hard work and all the help they’ve given me in chatting with me every day when I’ve toted in my eight or ten or twelve boxes for the day, helping me understand shipping and packaging and how the post office works better–so that I can do better at getting packages delivered on time and at the best rate.

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are coming up! I’m taking this weekend off, but I’m taking orders even while I’m off (I’ll be back to work Monday morning, baking and shipping), and I can ship all the way to Wednesday, December 28, for 3-day zones. If you’ve got family coming in or you’re having a party, don’t you need some pepperoni rolls? Or fudge, or…. I’ve got about 90 other things for sale!

Visit my Etsy shop here, and you can find my pepperoni rolls here. My Authentic West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls are made with hand stick-cut pepperoni, mozzarella, and banana peppers if you like! You can choose banana peppers, or NO banana peppers–and, NEW, you can also choose hot or mild banana peppers. (I’ve made them up to now with mild peppers only, but I’m going to offer them with hot banana peppers now, for those who like it spicy, or mild if you don’t, and NO peppers if you just don’t want ’em.) You can also choose to have them made as 12 large rolls OR 24 party-size rolls. If you want them by New Year’s Eve or Day, get your order in early! Last day to ship to 3-day zones for New Year’s Eve/Day delivery is Wednesday, December 28. Last day to ship for 2-day zones is next Thursday, December 29, and last day to ship for 1-day zones (West Virginia only–except Morgantown, which is a 2-day zone) is Friday, December 30.

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  1. img_9627 December 15, 2016 - A Pinch of Pepper

    This dog is tiny, like the size of a pinch. A pinch of pepper–because her name is Pepper! I didn’t name her. Thank goodness, since the last dog I got, I named Precious. Heh. Pepper is a pound dog, though I didn’t get her directly myself from the pound, but from someone who got her from the pound and really wanted a … Continued…

  1. img_9460 November 28, 2016 - My Past Week

    ALL THREE of my kids were home for Thanksgiving. It’s been a year since I’ve had all three of my kids in the house at the same time. Now that Ross is out of the Navy and going to college at Morgantown, it’s a little easier to get all three of them together with just one (Weston) still in the military (Army). Ross is going to WVU, where Morgan is still attending, … Continued…

  1. img_9282 November 15, 2016 - Surfacing

    This picture has nothing to do with anything, really, but they look delicious, don’t they? (They are for sale, if you want some. Chocolate Snickerdoodles. You can find them in my Etsy store.)

    I’ve been buried deep stocking up my Etsy store along with getting the 2017 workshop schedule set up WAY ahead of time. I’ve got the schedule on my website here, and … Continued…

  1. img_9213 November 2, 2016 - All the Pretty Packaging

    I finally got my new packaging in last week and wanted to show off how my items ship out. Here are a few pictures of items packed and labeled and ready to ship.

    Everything is going out wrapped and packaged suitable for gifting.

    A handwritten thank-you note goes in every box along with soap samples. If anyone wants the … Continued…

  1. img_9152 October 31, 2016 - Valentina and Hickory

    Valentina and Hickory, sitting in (under) a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g! Hickory may be little, and young, and he may need a downhill start at it or a ladder, but he’s doing his best! He’s after Valentina all the time. He’s eager, willing, and appears to be able!

  1. img_9068 October 27, 2016 - Working On

    What I’m working on right now….. My homemade liquid soap shampoo and body wash recipe, with an herbal infusion. I’m getting ready to sell my made-from-scratch shampoo in my Etsy shop. (This is genuine liquid soap, made with potassium hydroxide by the hot process method, not a fake liquid soap from pre-fab ingredients. It’s the real deal, the whole way, and all … Continued…

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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