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A Girl, A Loaf of Bread, and A Goodbye

Aug
13

Morgan, packed and ready to go back to Morgantown, this time–basically–for good. School starts at WVU next week.
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I was thinking about clinging to her ankles or throwing myself behind the wheels of her car so she couldn’t back up, but I’m pretty sure she would have kicked me out of the way then run over me. (Just kidding. I think.) She’s excited, eager, and ready to go. She’s a good girl, strong and confident and competent. HOW DARE SHE.

She started out in the world under six pounds, a tiny baby girl, and now she’s all grown up and going to college. I don’t know how that happens, but once somebody figures it out, I’m sure we’ll put a stop to it.

I asked her when she was coming back.

Morgan: “Thanksgiving.”

Me: “That’s not the right answer.”

Morgan: “October for the Black Walnut Festival?”

Me: “MORGAN!”

Morgan: “September? I’ll come home once a month. Okay?”

Well, okay, I suppose I can live with that. Then I cried and clung to her ankles and threw myself behind the wheels of her car and she kicked me out of the way then ran over me.

She’s actually been back and forth to Morgantown quite a bit this summer, and had already moved most of her things. She’ll be living in an apartment. She loaded the last of her boxes of things in her car yesterday and I packed in a fresh loaf of homemade bread.
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Can’t move in to a new place without some homemade bread, right?

Morgan is my last little chick to fly away from the nest. I knew it was coming. First Ross, to the Navy, then Weston, to college and then to the Army, and now my baby. I’ve had a number of questions as to how I feel about it. I’m proud of all of them. Morgan is the only one who has lived full-time in this house here with me, and on this farm, and she’s always been a good helper and my sidekick whether in dressing goats in costumes, cornering a calf (she HATES cows!), or trying out whatever latest greatest from-scratch concoction I’m creating, always willing to pose for pictures and tell me how crazy I am. She’s also pretty funny. I will miss her so much. But she’s coming back once a month, ha.

Meanwhile, there’s actually a lot going on here. I’ve got three retreats coming up in the next couple of months, and there is always a lot to do around here to keep me busy. And, I do have my own personal private life that has nothing to do with being a mother. There is a certain freedom, after 23 years of being a mother, to stretching my wings again as a woman. Nobody to buckle into a car seat or run after to sports practice or cut up their food. It’s time for me to dance on the town, so to speak.

I’ll try to stay out of trouble.

P.S. In less than two years now, Ross will be out of the Navy and he plans to return to Sassafras Farm. Eventually he’ll be starting a family of his own here. I won’t be alone on the farm long!

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CITR in WV Living Magazine

Aug
5

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I’m in the summer 2014 edition of WV Living Magazine! You can find the article online now–click here. Of course, this is part of the little spate of publicity centering around the book, which is coming out in paperback soon (this October), don’t forget!
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Back cover copy from the hardcover:

It was a cold late autumn 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.”

Thus begins former romance writer Suzanne McMinn’s wild ride into self-sustainable living halfway up a hill on one of the most remote dirt roads in West Virginia, with a cast including her children, an enigmatic partner, the “rural neighborhood” of quirky characters, and a whole slew of ridiculous and uncooperative farm animals. An unlikely adventurer, the suburban born-and-bred author tackles one daunting challenge after another on her new 40-acre farm, from hatching chickens and milking a cow to herding sheep and making her own cheese. Whether she’s trying to convince a goat to accept its baby or just get her ornery neighbor to move over and let her pass on the road, every page of her adventure is fraught with laughter, passion, drama, and the risk of losing it all before she figures out why she’s doing it in the first place. And when she does lose it all, she discovers a triumph she never expected–along with the truth for which she’d been searching all along.

Based on her long-running, wildly popular blog, Chickens in the Road, Suzanne McMinn brings country life to vivid color with all the candor, comedy, and danger of a rollicking good adventure.

Put on your chore boots and jump in.

You can see the video book trailer:






And get a free peek at the first chapter here.

You can read more about the book, including reviews, here.

You can Pre-order the Paperback Now!

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  1. IMG_2677

    July 28, 2014 - An Army Graduation

    One 2500-mile round trip later….. I’m back! Let me just state the obvious. IT IS HOT IN OKLAHOMA.

    Fort Sill is a huge, sprawling, and not very attractive base, but we were thrilled to see it, as if we had arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Weston was there! Army graduations are different from Navy graduations. When Ross graduated from boot camp at … Continued…

  1. pdf2

    July 11, 2014 - Coming in Paperback!

    My book is coming out in paperback this October. Check out the paperback cover! What do you think? (I love it!)

    In case you don’t know what it’s about, here’s the back cover copy from the hardcover.

    It was a cold late autumn day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow … Continued…

  1. IMG_2509

    July 5, 2014 - The Tractor and I

    For the past few days, I’ve been driving my tractor. Really. I’ve had my hired men, Robbie and Rodney, here helping me with fencing and some other jobs around the farm, and they kept using the tractor. Because that’s why I have it–for other people to use it.

    Waitaminute.

    Why don’t I use it?

    If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know the story. My brother was killed on a tractor (before I … Continued…

  1. IMG_2483

    July 2, 2014 - The Goings On

    This is being a busy week on the farm. I have Robbie and Rodney, my two hired men, here a few hours every day getting things done. That is what summer is for on a farm–getting it all done, and I have a long list.

    First, they worked on this new field for the goats. The reasoning for this field is two-fold. One, I don’t want to mow this useful expanse of fabulous … Continued…

  1. IMG_2392

    June 17, 2014 - A Letter from A Cat

    Today’s letter to Weston at Army basic training, from his Beloved.

    To My Boy,

    How are you doing? I am just here, pining for you. I’ve been shedding more lately. Pretty sure it’s because I miss my boy and the emotional duress is taking its toll on my beautiful coat. When I am bald, you will know how much I truly loved you.

    I remember the first day you found me under the porch at … Continued…

  1. The-Andy-Griffith-Show-download

    June 2, 2014 - Order in the World

    Here in the Charleston area, The Andy Griffith Show comes on every day at 11 a.m. for a full hour, two episodes. News and talk shows come on before and after. If I don’t watch anything else, I try to watch Andy. I would rather watch a 50-year-old TV show than find out what’s going on today. A little Andy makes every day better…. 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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