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Landing on My Feet

Nov
23

For the last few months, I’ve been very occupied with several projects. Today, I’m going to tell you about one of them.


I do not discuss the details of my private relationships on this website and I’m not going to start now, so suffice it to say that 52 and I have parted ways. I love Stringtown Rising Farm in the sentimental crazy way that a sentimental crazy person like me can love a farm that is one of the most inhospitable, inaccessible, and unmanageable pieces of land on the planet. I love it anyway, and for my love of it, I stayed there longer than I was happy in my personal situation. I couldn’t bear to leave the farm, but eventually I recognized that I had a responsibility to love myself more than I loved the farm.

As an alternative to leaving, I considered taking over Stringtown Rising Farm–of which I only owned half–on my own. I made a series of lists of what I would have to buy, build, change, and hire done (regularly) in order to operate the farm alone were I to buy out the other half. The farm is awkwardly laid out due to the terrain, and in the winter, it is at times barely accessible to completely inaccessible, in or out. There is no mail delivery. No trash pickup. The school bus doesn’t come. The closest school bus stop is a mile away across the river, or two miles away over the dirt (or ice) road. In the winter, the river is often either too high or iced over. The road the other way is narrow, icy, steep, with sharp drop-offs and no guardrails. There are also numerous issues with the well and the water supply that are beyond my ability to personally maintain. There’s inadequate fencing, inadequate pasture—-how much hay do I want to haul and handle by myself because of the inadequate pasture? How would I replenish the hay and feed supply in the winter? How much would it cost to build more storage for winter? How would I get Morgan to the school bus in the winter? There are often stretches of two to three weeks at a time from January to March when I’m afraid to even move my vehicle and can only get myself or Morgan out with help. The remoteness of the location, due to its inaccessibility, is extreme in the snow and mud months. Would I have to send my daughter away to stay with my cousin for three months of the year? I had always had help, and now I would not. The lists got pretty long, and expensive. Stringtown Rising Farm is an adventure fueled by manpower. To stay alone, I would have to fuel it with a huge infusion of cash for improvements and hired help. And money can’t buy everything to make a farm like Stringtown Rising more manageable. Money can’t buy out winter.

In spite of it all, I was determined to stay at Stringtown Rising Farm because I loved it so much, but common sense reared its pragmatic head, saving me from myself. To remain at such a farm alone was a stupid idea, and possibly even dangerous for a woman on her own. Stringtown Rising Farm would have to be put up for sale. It was a painful decision, but there are moments in life when you have to do what you have to do. I had to leave, and so I faced the next question–what now? Was this a disastrous ending, or could it be the beginning of something wonderful?

I chose the beginning of something wonderful and I looked for a farm of my own that would provide everything I needed to be independent and safe.

My new farm is about 10 miles away from the old farm, still in Roane County, West Virginia, in an area once known as Clio. It’s a 100-acre farm on a hard road. Not only is it a hard road, there aren’t even any potholes. No potholes! There is mail delivery. Mail delivery! A mailbox right in front of the house! And the school bus comes—right in front of the house! The house is a charming vintage 1935 move in-ready farmhouse that has been restored and maintained, and it comes with free gas to keep me warm in the winter. There is a separate studio in the back for my commercial kitchen for classes and farm stays. Under the studio is a large stone cellar. There is a mature cherry tree and several mature apple trees in the yard. On the land are wild raspberries, blackberries, sassafras, ginseng, and morels, just for starters. There are creeks and springs and a pond—and a sunny flat place for a garden.

Much of the 100 acres is cleared (and flat!) and fenced with quality, sturdy fencing primed for animals to move right in. There are many different fields with connecting gates to allow for rotational grazing, including a 35-acre (fenced) upper meadow. There is a large field near the house perfect for goats, and it comes with a goat house. There is a faucet at the goat field for water—no carrying water or running hoses! There is a good well, and public water is also available.

THERE IS A BARN. The barn is a vintage but sturdy 1890 red barn with a number of stalls, tack room, and paddock. A couple of the stalls are set up as horse stalls in particular, and some of the fields are fenced specifically for horses. Former owners of the farm have had wild Mustangs and Percherons. There is a water faucet at the barn, and electric. There are lights in all the stalls and the alleyway. There is a large hayloft with a winch. This farm is made for animals. (There was once an equally old farmhouse, of which only the foundation stones remain. A “new” farmhouse was built in 1935, which is the current home on the property.)

As you can imagine, I’m just slightly in love with it all, swooning from the luxury of a mailbox and a vintage farmhouse and 100 acres and a big red barn with water and electric not to mention a hard road. I feel like I just fell off the turnip truck into a bed of roses. And speaking of roses, the previous owners loved roses and there are numerous rose bushes around the house.

One of the first few times I went out to the farm, I noticed there was a telephone pole with a light by the road. I was standing by one of the fields across the road (yes, the farm spans both sides of the road, and holds the view in every direction), talking to the owner. I said, “Is that a streetlight?”

He said, “Yes.”

Me: “Does it come ON?” I’m sure that I sounded as if I’d just landed from Mars, but there is no such as a streetlight anywhere near Stringtown Rising Farm.

He said, “Yes. It comes on automatically every night.” He must have noted my excitement because he added, “There’s a light at the barn that comes on automatically every night, too.”

Me: “Wow.”

On the farm at the time lived two men and the sister of one of the men. She lived in the studio. According to her brother, she was psychic. After I’d been out there a few times, he told me a story. This beautiful farm had been available for two years. During that time, they’d had many takers. Every time, the sister said, “They are not the one.” They had offers, and deals, and deals that fell through. And every time, the sister had said, “They are not the one.”

After the first time I visited the farm, the brother told his sister about me, and she said, “She is the one.”

This farm waited for me for two years so that it would be there when I needed it. It was the only farm I went to see, and as soon as I laid eyes on it, I knew I would move heaven and earth to make it mine. It looked like it had fallen off the pages of a children’s storybook. It was just such a wonderful place. Magical, really. So I moved heaven, then I moved earth, and one month later, I held the keys in my hand.

The day I showed the farm to Morgan, I picked her up from the bus after school and told her I was taking her somewhere for a surprise. She bugged me with “What is it? What is it?” for a few minutes then I asked her if she still wanted a horse. OF COURSE she still wants a horse. She has wanted a horse all her life and for many years she took riding lessons. She started complaining about how she couldn’t have a horse because we didn’t have enough pasture or fencing or a barn.

I said, “What kind of horse would you have if you could?”

She chattered about different breeds of horses and which were her favorites and why for a few minutes then I reminded her that we didn’t have enough pasture or fencing or a barn. She told me that I was mean to get her talking about a horse when she couldn’t have one.

I suggested that she could put Jack and Poky together and they’d add up to a horse!

Then I got her talking about what kind of horse she wanted again, and as soon as she got going good I reminded her that she couldn’t have a horse because we didn’t have enough pasture or fencing or a barn.

We arrived at the farm and I pulled over to the side of the road and said, “Look at that! This road is such a nice road, isn’t it? It doesn’t even have potholes! And look at that! Is that horse fencing? And look, there is a mailbox. And do you know what else they have here? A school bus. And isn’t that house cute?”

Then I told her to get out of the car and I walked her up the (short and not steep!) driveway. I said, “Look at that! That’s a nice barn, isn’t it?”

She said, “Yes. Why are we here? Why couldn’t you buy a farm like this one?”

I had her pretty irritated at this point. I think she wanted to smack me.

I said, “Look at that house again, Morgan. That is your new house.“

She stared at me and said, “What?”

I told her again. “That is your new house. This is your new farm. We are moving here.”

She flipped around and looked at the barn again then she screamed. And she kept screaming and then she was screaming and running–to the barn! Her shoes flew off her feet and she ended up at the barn door in her socks, and she shouted, “This is my barn!”

She looked inside every stall (after she put her shoes back on!). She ran upstairs to the hayloft then back down to the stalls, examining and inspecting every stall all over again, chattering away about what she would need to clean out the stalls and prepare for a horse. Then she ran out to the fields and up to the hay meadow and just everywhere, running and running and screaming.

She’s going to get a horse in the spring.

I apologize for giving you so much information all at once and after the fact. I wasn’t able to handle public commentary about it on my website while I was in the middle of a very personal upheaval. Thank you for understanding that I needed to emotionally process this transition privately. By the way, when I took time off following the CITR retreat, it wasn’t because of this but because of a couple of other projects. It was the middle of October before I came to my senses and accepted the inevitability of leaving Stringtown Rising, and believe me, this past month has been a whirlwind. Because I held out on you for the past month about such a big thing, I’m going to give you a twofer here and tell you that the other projects involve writing some books, one of which is a memoir, another of which is a cookbook. I’ll tell you more about them when I have more information to share. I had to stop working on them in order to start packing and moving boxes and cows and chickens to a new farm.

This has been a difficult time, but it is now a joyful time. As always, writing for you is the greatest pleasure and privilege of my life. I’m excited about the future. Come with me as I take on this new farm on my own. It’s all mine. I will never again have to choose between my happiness and my farm.

And in case you’re worrying, yes, BP and Clover and Coco and Annabelle and Poky and the whole gang are here with me, including the chickens. Stringtown will always be rising in my heart, but I must be a real farmer now since I found myself capable of such a practical decision to make myself an independent woman. This is my farm, and I am home…..and I am happy. I’ve been packing for weeks and moved this past weekend, starting with the animals and finishing with the furniture on Monday, with so many friends and family helping me–my cousin Mark and his wife Sheryl, old high school friends of Ross, Debbie (those of you who were at the CITR retreat remember Debbie our cook), Jerry, Pete, friends of Weston and Morgan, down to the little old man who brought his livestock trailer to move the animals and hay, and said, “I’ll be there Saturday if I’m still alive.” (He was.) I’m spending our first holiday here with Weston, Morgan, and Ross (!).

Also, I want to tell you that I had NO IDEA my “pink and blue” clouds photo would inspire such conjecture! And I also want to say that one of the hardest things for me to leave at Stringtown Rising was the set of murals by Kelly Walker. (Had NO thought of leaving Stringtown Rising at the time she painted them.) I talked to Kelly privately after I made the decision and asked her if I could commission her to recreate the murals at the new farm and she agreed. And another also–I only just now got my internet hooked up here or I would have posted a couple days ago.

Once I’m halfway unpacked, I promise I’ll be back to posting at my regular schedule. I have so much to show you. For now, you’ll find some photos in the gallery here, some taken by me in the past few weeks (the fall and progressing toward winter shots), and some provided to me by the previous owners (the summertime shots). You’ll even see a few photos that I have already sneakily shown you over the past several weeks. (You’ll also see in the photos that the animals are all at the barn right now–this is temporary while they settle in.)

Welcome to Sassafras Farm. Explanation of the name: One, the word is just fun to say and makes me feel happy. Second, there is sassafras on the hill. Third, I’m feeling sassy with a farm all my own! It’s a beautiful farm, and truly something wonderful.

[portfolio_slideshow]

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 23, 2011  

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  1. 11-23
    11:01
    pm

    Have you counted animal noses a few times? Wouldn’t want anyone to be accidentally overlooked and left behind, like one of the chickens.

    What’s photo 3 of?

    Great roses. This whole thing sounds much more manageable.

  2. 11-23
    11:04
    pm

    I haven’t even looked at all the photos yet, but I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am for you and your new Sassafras Farm! And the animals! and the kids! And most of all…YOU! You should never put off finding your happiness, and I’m honored that you choose to share it with us.

  3. 11-23
    11:08
    pm

    OK – I just looked at the photos and I am so amazed at the beatuiful piece of land that you’ve got. It’s simply gorgeous and functional! You deserve this. Congratulations! And to Morgan, too, for being able to finally get her horse!

  4. 11-23
    11:14
    pm

    Wow…When I read your original description of how this “event” was making you feel, I had a hunch that something like this was coming. It’s so hard to move on – while at the same time a relief. So many opposite emotions all at once.
    How exciting for your new home! Thanking God at this Thanksgiving time for the new blessing and the future to come. (And those aren’t just words…)
    Happy Thanksgiving to your little family – looking forward to all the new adventures in your new home!

  5. 11-23
    11:17
    pm

    Suzanne…Words cannot express how absolutely tickled I am for you. First and foremost, I want you to hear how proud I am of you for making such a difficult decision, moving through it, and winding up on the other side a happy, whole, healthier person. Having been through my own relationship turmoil this year, that opportunity for growth & the sense of worth that follows is absolutely precious.
    Secondly, CONGRATULATIONS on your beautiful new (to you & us) place! It sounds like you will all be very happy there.
    Thirdly, thank you so very much for being willing to share your life with us. In reading some of the comments since you started talking about your surprise, I felt like some people feel like they own you, and own a piece of your life, and deserve to know everything that happens. I think people (I do this too sometimes, I admit) forget that you share with us freely, and that we are invited to follow your journey. I hope folks don’t forget what a privilege it is. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want ANYONE to follow my life as closely as some do yours (would hate for folks to see the skeletons in my closet). So again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening your life, experiences, joys, & struggles to us.
    Welcome to the next chapter of your life! I hope that it blesses you as richly as we are blessed by your sharing of it. *HUGS* I can’t WAIT to see it next year!!!

  6. 11-23
    11:27
    pm

    Wishing you a wonderful first Thanksgiving in your new home on your new farm. I love the name Sassafras . . . it really is fun to say. As the others have said, thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us. Be happy.

  7. 11-23
    11:31
    pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL farm!! It looks like a dream farm to me, I love ours, but not as much as I’d love THAT one I’m thinking. LOL So sorry you and 52 parted, but it’s great that you were able to get your own farm since you did…and a better one at that! :-))

  8. 11-23
    11:43
    pm

    Oh Suzanne, this farm is you! So happy for you and yours.And the gate…it was your gate.It sounds like you wrestled with this difficult decision and came out on top. You sound more confident…like you can now see you have the strength to attain contentment in your life.
    And you have moved in time for Thanksgiving! What a wonderful way to celebrate.

  9. 11-23
    11:45
    pm

    I am sorry to hear that you & 52 split up :(, but I am so happy for you that you got a lovely new farm that is beautiful & ready for you, your family & the animals! (I’m kinda jealous that you still have green grass & leaves! Our little bit of snow melted today :s.) Thank you for sharing this little bit of your life with us, complete strangers.

  10. 11-24
    12:03
    am

    It looks like a beautiful place! Thank you for continuing to invite us along on the adventure!

  11. 11-24
    12:05
    am

    Oh Suzanne. I’m so happy that through everything you were able to pull yourself up and do what needed to be done. Yep, you are a real farmer now. The new farm looks so lovely.

    Heidi

  12. 11-24
    12:08
    am

    How wonderful! It’s beautiful. Like many have said before, thank you for sharing your life with us, and even though I’m a relative newbie here, I was waiting eagerly for your news. This place looks like heaven! I’m looking forward to lots of news and pictures of your new life there! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours in your new home! :D

  13. 11-24
    12:12
    am

    WOW! I have been anxiously awaiting your return and praying that everything was okay. First of all I am so sorry for your losses. I echo your commenter that said it is a gift that you share your life and stories with us. While I missed reading about your daily life, I am so glad you pulled back and made the decisions that were right for you and your family without feeling any (additional!) pressure. And … just WOW. Your new farm is LIGHT, BRIGHT and so AIRY and BEAUTIFUL! I imagine that’s how your soul must be feeling. You are the ONE, indeed. I can’t wait to cheer you along on this new adventure and hope to see you in person at the retreat to give you a huge hug for all that you continue to give us through your love and passion. Bravo Ms. Sassy Sassafras!

  14. 11-24
    12:13
    am

    Oh wow I never imagined this. Well I thought maybe, but thought no, you couldn’t leave but oh my! The new place sounds wonderful and I’m glad you could take all the animals with you!

  15. 11-24
    12:18
    am

    You are an inspiration. :purpleflower:
    Thank you for sharing :happyflower:

  16. 11-24
    12:23
    am

    So very proud of you Suzanne! Congratulations. Enjoy the holidays on your farm. I will be looking forward to some upcoming new posts! Thanks for sharing.

  17. 11-24
    12:30
    am

    Suzanne,
    I am so happy for you. Sassafras Farm is beautiful. I’ve always been worried about you at Stringtown because as much as you love it there, it seemed like there was so much manual labor involved in your day. Now your farm chores will be so much easier, and you can enjoy having more time for the things you love to do. Looking so forward to seeing your new life come together. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family at your new home.

  18. 11-24
    12:35
    am

    Can my sheep and I come live with you? You won’t even know we’re there, and they are all nice sheep!….It just so green and pretty!! Good move…IT HAS A BARN. I’ld sell my sister for a functional barn!…..PS Whats up with the Poke baby situation? oh and can I live with you?

  19. 11-24
    12:41
    am

    Suzanne – Congratulations on your new farm and adventure! I hope that it is everything you hope and dream for. I’m sorry that things didn’t work out for you and 52. Even when it’s for the best, ending a relationship is hard and painful. Thank you for sharing your life and journey with us. I’m so excited to see what is in the future for you and Sassafras Farm. Wishing you and your wonderful family an amazing Thanksgiving and safe travels!

  20. 11-24
    12:44
    am

    AMAZING!!!! I’m so glad that you are ok. I was getting worried. You farm is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Betsy

  21. 11-24
    12:45
    am

    Dear Suzanne of Sassafras Farm,
    I am so sorry you had a time of heartache, but so happy you have survived and come out stronger.
    All I can say is,”Yay!” and “Praise the Lord!”
    My dear husband kept saying, when I would relate some of your various struggles in the past, that there was no way that whole place and situation were going to work out for you in the end. He felt you should walk away and move on. Will he ever be surprised, when I tell him in the morning, that you did just that.
    May God bless you and your family as you start the next part of your lives on this wonderful new place.
    Gloria of Golden Bucket Farm (Jersey Lady)

  22. 11-24
    12:47
    am

    Wow. Wow. Welcome back. Welcome home. Your new farm is beautiful, amazing, fabulous, perfect. It has fences! And a barn! Have we seen that barn before, or does it just look like the ones you love?

    Upheaval like that always difficult, but it looks like you’ve not only landed on your feet, you’ve landed in clover. And it seems like such a practical choice, you’ve got both feet on the ground.

    So many new adventures ahead. I look forward to hearing about them. The gang look like they’re already happy in their new digs.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Suzanne!

  23. 11-24
    12:47
    am

    Wow! Congrats! It sounds so wonderful. And how amazing it must be to have 100 acres. I only have 5…. 100 would be amazing. How many acres was Springtown Rising? Good luck in your new adventure.

  24. 11-24
    12:49
    am

    Hooray! I must say I’ve been keeping you in my prayers. I’m glad to see everything is going so well! Your post brought tears to my eyes.

    I actually didn’t know you didn’t own Stringtown Rising on your own or that there was a significant other.

    I’m just so happy everything is ok. Thanks for posting!

  25. 11-24
    12:53
    am

    You are such a strong woman! I am so sorry to hear about your recent losses, but am so happy that you were able to move on and find a perfect location for you and your family. Congratulations on your new farm!!! How fantastic! I am very envious and look forward to hearing all about new adventures as you, your family, and your animals adjust to the new wonderful surroundings. Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  26. 11-24
    12:55
    am

    Words escape me…..
    Wow…..
    Congrats!
    sad… but WOW!!!
    This is so perfect for you. Yes, the sister was right… you ARE the one, and your home is amazing, just like you! The animals look happy, but yes, of all your pictures the one that made me smile the biggest, is the ear to ear grin on Morgan. Material possessions are just that… material! Our family is our life! Happy family makes for a full heart.
    Happy Thanksgiving Suzanne! You deserve it, and thank you for sharing yourself with us… I am blessed and thankful for knowing you!

  27. 11-24
    1:03
    am

    Wow! Good for you! May you live well and prosper in your new home.

    Mary

  28. 11-24
    1:22
    am

    Good!

  29. 11-24
    1:34
    am

    I admire your strength, Suzanne.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving on your new farm!

  30. 11-24
    1:37
    am

    Wow!! It is beautiful, and the new farm just speaks YOU!! All of the animals look happy and content. The house is to die for…I just love the house, and I am just drooling looking at the photos and wishing I had one like it. Old farm houses have character, and your new house looks like it could tell a story.
    Congrat’s on the new farm, and I think this one is a keeper and will see you in your rocking chair on the front porch in your golden years!!

    When your farm stays are up and running, look for me to be there!

  31. 11-24
    1:37
    am

    Sassafras Farm is beautiful! I am sad for your hard times. So glad they have taken you to a ‘better place’.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Happy that Ross! will be with you for your first holiday in your new home. Welcome back…you have been missed!

    :heart: Pam

  32. 11-24
    2:44
    am

    It’s a gorgeous place, I am so happy for you! Congratulations~

  33. 11-24
    2:54
    am

    Happy Thanksgiving Suzanne! Welcome to your new home! I agree with the sister…..you are the one for this beautiful farm. Winter life has just improved 100%. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

  34. 11-24
    3:04
    am

    Awesome. God bless you and your beautiful farm!

  35. 11-24
    3:26
    am

    Hats, horns, confetti How wonderful for you! And Morgan…I’m sure Ross and Weston are happy to see that you will not be so isolated in winter. It’s always difficult to hitch up your pants and move on…but you have certainly made the best of it! Sound like it will take less time and effort to get the daily chores done, leaving more time for writing memoir and cookbook.
    After all this toe-tapping waiting for the surprise, I’m sure your readers have dozens of questions. Now that we know you are safe, it will be easier to wait and watch. Thanks for the slide show, tells a lot about why Sassafras is so inviting. Hmmm, I think I’ll look around for root beer recipes!

  36. 11-24
    3:33
    am

    I’ve tears in my eyes Suzanne, what a time of mixed feelings you must had had. I wish you all the peace and happiness in your new home, it certainly looks a very beautiful place – and a BARN!
    Hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving in your new home together :heart:
    With love and very best wishes
    Rose H

  37. 11-24
    4:40
    am

    Oh Suzanne, you are such a brave, strong, resourceful woman, so creative, so full of life, I thank you so much for including us on your voyage. Damn, you can write. This is a beautiful posting, and I am so grateful to you for sharing it.

    I am sorry that you and 52 parted ways, but I am so happy that you and Morgan have a new farm that sounds so perfect! And a horse for your girl!

    I thank you once again for sharing, and I wish you all the best, and, well, that’s all I have right now to say. You are amazing. Thank you so much. May the roads always rise to meet you. I look forward to continuing to read about your journey, your new farm, your new beginnings! Best of luck always and forever. Here, please accept my hug: :heart:

  38. 11-24
    5:56
    am

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Suzanne! What a wonderful new beginning for you – so thankful that you are my online friend :happyflower:

    Looking forward to seeing more photos!
    Beth

  39. 11-24
    6:09
    am

    Suzanne, I could not imagine what was going on. Sorry to hear about you and 52 but I have been down that road and you will be fine! First thing when I started to read was is she going to give up her animals? Whew! I love the new place! Stringtown was a gorgeous place but mostly for mountain goats.This place will be so much easier on you and everybody else! I am just thrilled for you but know there is still probably some heartache involved.Sorry for that dear heart! Bet the animals love their new home too and are probably exploring every inch by now. Congratulations Suz…you done good!!!! :snoopy: :hug: :happyflower:

  40. 11-24
    6:09
    am

    Congradulations on your new farm! its beautiful and perfect what a little slice of heaven!!:) Oh my gosh that picture of the cat moving with the chickens cracked me up! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  41. 11-24
    6:11
    am

    Your new place looks more than fan-tas-tic! I’m sorry for the emotional upheaval it took to get to this new chapter in your life.
    Have fun making this new place your very own, and happy, happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  42. 11-24
    6:15
    am

    I am SO happy and excited for you!! And for Morgan – I’m so glad she’ll get her horse! Congratulations!!!

  43. 11-24
    6:21
    am

    Oh Suzanne! I wish you every blessing as your new adventure unfolds. I haven’t been keeping up with your posts as much lately, and have missed quite a few, but I am so glad I didn’t miss this one. I read it with tears in my eyes – of both sadness and joy for you, and in hope that the future is just pure joy for you now. God bless you and your family. Many thanks for the generosity you bless us all with as we read along for the ride. X

  44. 11-24
    6:25
    am

    Sorry to hear about the split up, but good for you to find something that looks to be a 1000% better situation for you to be able to manage. That farm is beautiful. I am sure everyone will be very happy. And your boys will probably feel better knowing you and Morgan are somewhere accessible and safe.

  45. 11-24
    6:37
    am

    This farm looks so beautiful and not muddy! Best wishes on your new endeavor.
    Carol

  46. 11-24
    6:46
    am

    Susanne, What a day of Thanksgiving. I am sitting here reading, crying and “OH my-ing.” How blessed you are and how exhausted you must be. It is a site to behold and the animals look like they have been there forever. I am sorry for the personal turmoil but do understand your wanting to keep that part to yourself.

    Thank-you for sharing you new home with us. I wait with baited breath to see what is in store for you. OH, and all the kids will be home!!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Joy

  47. 11-24
    7:14
    am

    Congrats on the new farm!!!! Reading your story I was both laughing and crying. You have the ability to do that to me for some reason. lol. Sorry things did not work out between you and 52. Enough said about that. :)

    The new farm is beautiful!!! I only got to see the photo of the house. I will be getting another cup of tea and looking at the rest here in a bit. I am so happy for you that you found a place that will work for you. And that you will not be stranded in the winter, worry about it being cold and water and walking though the mud and getting down that drive way. So happy that you got all your animals to their new home.

    I so missed you posting. Its what I look forward to every morning. But I understand how you needed the time to work out the events in your life. Glad to have you back online. :) And Happy Thanksgiving.

  48. 11-24
    7:22
    am

    You go girl.

  49. 11-24
    7:30
    am

    :snoopy: That freakin’ barn is BEAUTIFUL !! Im so happy for you-Im running and screaming with Morgan. :woof: :woof: When I saw that barn before-I so wished you could have one like it!!~~Rain
    Peace be with you my friend!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  50. 11-24
    7:35
    am

    Sometimes the hardest journeys end up taking us home. Welcome home.

  51. 11-24
    7:35
    am

    It’s so beautiful – good for you, Suzanne!

  52. 11-24
    7:44
    am

    It’s never easy to end a relationship, so first let me say how sorry I am that yours ended with 52.

    Second, your new farm is beautiful and I wish you years of happiness and enjoyment on your new adventure.

    Welcome home and happy Thanksgiving!

  53. 11-24
    7:48
    am

    Wow! I had no idea.

    Congrats on the new place and comisseration on the changes requiring it.

    I wish you and yours WELL and I am THANKFUL you’re okay and still here (which is what I was afraid the announcement would be).

    Happy Thanksgiving! :sun:

    Judi

  54. 11-24
    7:53
    am

    Wow! What a surprise.
    Tears fell as I read this post.
    Well you know what they say about doors?!
    What a beautiful view you have from that window.
    Good luck to you, Suzanne!
    And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you at Sassafras Farm!!

  55. 11-24
    8:04
    am

    Suzanne,
    While endings are so very hard your new beginnings will be your cherished memories. Morgan’s response just made cry..she is so sweet.
    I have missed you terribly these past few days and I am so happy that you are back.
    I look forward to your new farm daily trial, tribulations and joys!

    Happy Thanksgiving

  56. 11-24
    8:04
    am

    My goodness… I’m so glad you got some happy to balance out the heartbreak, Suzanne. :hug:

    Sassafras Farm is an absolute vision! There may be some envy in there along with my happiness for you & your family. lol Happy Housewarming & Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  57. 11-24
    8:04
    am

    Oh Suzanne! Woohoo!! It’s a beautiful farm and I am more than sure that you will all be happy here. I’m glad you had the courage to make the changes that you needed to make. Not easy, but so worthwhile in the end.

    Love the barn especially and I’m thrilled for Morgan. Having just added horses back into my life after a very long absence I know how she must be feeling. My red barn is very cool but I’d sure trade you in a heartbeat!! :yes:

    Happy Thanksgiving. As always, there is much to be thankful for.

  58. 11-24
    8:07
    am

    I shed a few tears reading this, Suzanne, as I’m sure many of your
    readers did! At this stage of the game most of us have had to deal with similar situations and I personally have had to, and so I was right there with you, emotionally, through the whole story. Thank you so much for sharing with us! I am very happy about your new place. The pictures are lovely and I know that you will be very happy there. I look forward to what the future brings for you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  59. 11-24
    8:08
    am

    There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for. You are a very strong, brave woman! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  60. 11-24
    8:09
    am

    I can’t recall being happier for someone that I have never met before! Congratulations! That farm is perfect for you!

  61. 11-24
    8:12
    am

    What a beautiful farm! I love that little old house and the red barn! I’m glad that you are back on your feet and ready for the next adventure! Thank you for sharing with us. I really enjoy getting up in the morning, sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading about your latest adventure and animal antics.

  62. 11-24
    8:17
    am

    Fabulous! Just fabulous! I am so happy for you. So sad you had to go thru that, but so happy it is good now, and it sounds so much more than good. Fabulous!

  63. 11-24
    8:19
    am

    I had started a comment but lost it all at once. joys of computer. anyway I am newer to your site as you know. I read every word and am so happy for you and your new life..which looks better to me than your old one..even tho you loved it so. Youll love this one so much more. I love hearing about the farm and the animals and your girl and i admire you so. You have a life that most of us wish we had. Youre truly blessed and today of all the days is special for you im sure. The house is gorgeous, murals can be replaced and youre already happier. Congrats and as i have the past few months, ill be waiting to hear the updates as they come…you have lots of friends and computer friends who care about you. You go girl! Jeanne from Michigan

  64. 11-24
    8:21
    am

    Yay! It’s beautiful! Congratulations! Hope this is the first of many, many wonderful Thanksgivings at Sassafras Farm.

  65. 11-24
    8:30
    am

    Congrats on the big changes! Looking at the pictures all I could think of was Dorothy opening the door into Oz- black and white (old farm) to color (new farm). Thanks for sharing, and I know you will thrive.

  66. 11-24
    8:32
    am

    Sad and happy for you at the same time. I think you made the right decision. I know I dream about having a place on the family property in WV but much like your farm it would be very hard to get to. You are about 10years younger than me and believe me it doesn’t get any easier physically.

    Many happy and love filled days to you and your family.

  67. 11-24
    8:32
    am

    I just looked at all the pictures..so much room and love the one with cow and house …she looks right at home..all the animals look happier to me just like you do! I even teared up. Someday it would be nice for you and your fans to meet. The whole farm is gorgeous. Youve been thru it and come out smelling like one of those beautiful roses i see. again congrats.. JJ of Michigan

  68. 11-24
    8:34
    am

    WOW! What a whirlwind you’ve had! So glad that even through such hardship you have great joy in the now and future! I can’t wait to see the place!
    Gobble, gobble, gobble! Have a Great Thanksgiving!

  69. 11-24
    8:38
    am

    We’ll enjoy getting to know your new farm with you. I had thought your previous place offered many barriers even though I recognized it’s charm. My first thought as I began reading the story was “oh no, the family of animals is going to be broken up”….I’m glad all stay with you. We do become attached even from a distance and by a computer screen (I’m in Texas). To have lived on a farm is an irreplaceable experience. Good luck and best wishes…and I love the new name Sassafras, it’s one I often use as a user name myself elsewhere.

  70. 11-24
    8:45
    am

    congratulations!!!!!!!!! can’t wait to see more!
    cheers to STRONG WOMEN!!!

  71. 11-24
    8:47
    am

    :snoopy: That is the best Thanksgiving story I have ever read. And the best part is that it’s a continuing story!!Love the house and barn and all the views. Can’t wait to see inside that adorable house! You have truly been blessed and we get to share in all your blessings every day. As a cookbook lover, I am really looking forward to the cookbook and I hope it has every recipe from your site (will save me a lot of printing pages).As always, I look forward to everything you write. :snoopy: Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!

  72. 11-24
    8:51
    am

    The second I saw the new house, I knew you were happily home. I felt the excitement of Morgan when she realized she also was home. You deserve all the happines your new home will bring you. Congratulations.

  73. 11-24
    8:51
    am

    Amazing new place!!! The animals look so happy. The name, Sassafras fits you way better!!Thanks for giving us your heartwarming, inspirational story on Thanksgiving morning.

  74. 11-24
    8:57
    am

    Suzanne- Its a privilage for me to read and watch your story unfolding. You have touched me. Some of the changes you are making are changes I have had to make and some of the changes you are making are changes I only dreamed of. As you post, know that I will always be out here rooting for you and praying for you.
    All my best, Aprile.

  75. 11-24
    9:07
    am

    WOW Suzzanne! I had no idea you were going through such pain, but it was definately all worth it.Your new farm is gorgeous!You were so lucky to have found such a place and in only a month! It was meant to be. Congratulations and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  76. 11-24
    9:17
    am

    I’m so happy for you and all your babies (human and animal)! It looks like a wonderful place and I can’t wait to see it and PAINT it! Happy, happy, happy for you on this Thanksgiving Day!

  77. 11-24
    9:26
    am

    While I would never want a divorce to get one, you now own my DREAM FARM!!! Trying hard not to turn into a green-eyed monster here. ;-) I hope you can enjoy Sassafras Farm for the rest of your days.

  78. 11-24
    9:26
    am

    Just like many other posters, I had to wipe away a few tears. So sorry to hear your sad news. But, overjoyed that you found great news. Your new farm is breathtakingly beautiful. The sister was so right. And, Morgan can have her horse!! Thank you so much for sharing. :wave:

  79. 11-24
    9:31
    am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family on your new Farm and new adventures. Wishing you the best in every thing you do. You only come out a stronger person after going through what you went through.
    Can’t wait to see all you give us. Your blog is like a book we don’t like to put down. Looking forward to the adventure you take us on.
    Again HAPPY THANKSGIVING. and Thanks for sharing your life with us.
    Linda :sun: :happyflower:

  80. 11-24
    9:35
    am

    Oh Suzanne! What a gorgeous home you have now! And it is YOURS!
    My mom always said “make your own security” meaning don’t depend on a man to help you out. Looks like you are a strong, self-reliant woman. I wish I had the fortitude you have to exit from an unhealthy and toxic relationship.

    I look forward to your books, you can bet I’ll purchase them because they will be authentic, real and probably have some stellar recipes!

    Your readers love you, Suzanne, and want the best for you. Looks like this new place is a great place to start YOUR new life. Can’t wait to read your posts.

    Cograts to you and the kids (fur and human).

  81. 11-24
    9:38
    am

    Your new farm is beautiful! I wish you the best and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love your writing and look forward to your every post. Thank you for sharing !!

  82. 11-24
    9:40
    am

    Sassafrass Farm sounds like YOU,Suzanne.Many best wishes in this new chapter of your life. Thank you for sharing your life with us so some of us can live on a farm vicariously through you! You have such strength and sense of adventure.

    Can’t wait for more pictures of the animals and the whole farm!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING GIRL!

  83. 11-24
    9:54
    am

    Simply put Suzanne, “If you’re happy, we’re happy”! Congrats on your new farm.

  84. 11-24
    9:57
    am

    Suzanne your story is so inspiring. Your life at Stringtown was just a stepping stone to where you belong. Your hard work and all that you have learned over the past few years have prepared you for the future. Best to you and your family and friends. You now know the true meaning of Thanksgiving and know that you are blessed.

    I love the picture of Morgan with the farm in the background.

  85. 11-24
    10:00
    am

    Well, this was definitely worth the looooonng wait!!! I am absolutely thrilled for you. Everything appears to be perfect! I also love the name you chose for the farm. I’m glad you were able to get moved in by Thanksgiving and that Ross is home too. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL! :heart:

    (I’m just tickled to death that your back and ok!)

  86. 11-24
    10:02
    am

    Many congratulations!!! You are a woman after my own heart – your new farm is BEAUTIFUL – I especially like the pix of goats in the SUV – a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do.
    You will be so happy at Sassafras Farm – and a bit easier on you too – what a grand way to end 2011.

    I have been haunting this blog since you signed out – and so very glad you are back.
    You go girlie!

  87. 11-24
    10:05
    am

    Oh Suzanne, How God has BLESSED you. I have for the first time since I started reading your blog cried, tears of joy. I was so concerned for you this winter with the possibility of you having to haul hay from the bottom to the animals. I am overjoyed for you.
    You deserve this BLESSING. Oh I am so overjoyed for you. I am looking forward to the beauty of the new Sassafras Farm photos. I know you are going to do great things there.
    BTW I happen to love sassafras and would buy some from you.

  88. 11-24
    10:08
    am

    ok, you scared the crap out of me!! I cannot start my day without reading your blog so I was really worried when you had to take time off, but totally understand now that you told us!! and all I can say is WOW!! what a change in your life. I too went throught a big change like that 2 years ago, so I understand EXACTLY how you feel. I had to leave my house and start over, but I wish I had a farm like you got!! it is truly beautiful!! Good luck and cant wait to see what new adventures you have coming!! and so glad you got to spend the holidays with your kids!!
    thanks for sharing your life with us!!

    Jill from NY

  89. 11-24
    10:17
    am

    I almost screamed like Morgan but not about the barn. You’re writing a cookbook!?!? Yay! That is a good thing. Also, your barn is GORGEOUS, and I love the fluffy chicken butt. Glad you took something negative and made it a positive. The’s a less there for us all. :hug:

  90. 11-24
    10:19
    am

    Well! Big changes! What an absolutely beautiful place, Suzanne. I know you and your family will have many wonderful years there. Looking forward to many pictures of the inside of the house…love it! My favorite picture is #39 of the cow in front of the house.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and I wish you many many more happy times.

  91. 11-24
    10:22
    am

    First and foremost – I love your new Farm and the name is awesome! Kudos for family and friends that helped you with this move!

    Looking forward to your new life and all the happenings of new farm!!!!

    :sheep: :cowsleep:

  92. 11-24
    10:24
    am

    BTW I can’t wait for your cookbook! I have 100’s of recipes from your site all together in one place.

  93. 11-24
    10:24
    am

    You are a strong beautiful woman! You have had to make some difficult decisions, but have come through and triumphed. Enjoy every day of your new blessings and embrace your beautiful new life.
    Hugs to you and your family!!! :hug:

  94. 11-24
    10:31
    am

    And from the ashes a phoenix shall rise…. So happy you have landed on your feet. The farm is beautiful. Can’t wait to read the books you are writing. Sending you much love and light.

  95. 11-24
    10:32
    am

    We missssssed you!!

    Congratulations, will miss Stringtown, but everything happens for a reason and I sure you and your family will thrive here. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a WOUNDERFUL NEW YEAR to you and yours!

  96. 11-24
    10:36
    am

    Im sooooo happy for you and Morgan!!! Shes getting a horse! Jake and I will have to bring our guys to your farm and all of us go riding together! Wouldnt that be fun????
    Your new place just screams Suzanne! I LOVE it. And Im almost in tears IM soo happy for you all. I know it wasnt easy, but sometimes we go through the bad and ugly to get to a happier beautiful place. You are home. Welcome!

  97. 11-24
    10:39
    am

    :wave: Congratulations, blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Suzanne! I envy you your new place…it looks just beautiful.I’m sure you will all be very happy there.

    You go Girl! You rock!

    Mrs Turkey

  98. 11-24
    10:46
    am

    Congratulations, Suzanne, I’m so happy for you! The farm looks just awesome and the pictures of moving the animals are hilarious….looks like they took to the new place pretty quick.

  99. 11-24
    10:56
    am

    I am amazed how your post took me through, in a short time, probably what you have been feeling the past months. Shock, sadness, disappointment, more sadness and a few tears, amazement, wonder and excitement. You are an AMAZING woman. Strong, smart, a fantastic writer…. truly someone to aspire to. I am sorry for the pain you have surely suffered but look forward to hearing all the wonderful things this new life has to offer. With much love and best wishes, Happy Thanksgiving, Nancy

  100. 11-24
    10:57
    am

    Yep, “She is the one”. Won’t 2012 be some year? Congratulations!

  101. 11-24
    11:04
    am

    It looks PERFECT. I think that THAT is the farm and THIS is the life that you came to WV for. I have to say that I am quite relieved to know that the kids are all happy and well – that “unexpected event” post with the words “pink and blue” had me freaked out a little. I hope y’all have a great first holiday and first winter in your new HOME!!!
    P.S. And I can’t wait for the cookbook. 8)

  102. 11-24
    11:12
    am

    Oh, Suzanne, I’m so happy for you despite the tears and changes you’ve gone through. Thank you for sharing your life with us – I’m so grateful for the daily inspiration I receive from you and your site. Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to more details about your new farm!

  103. 11-24
    11:13
    am

    :happyflower:
    Dear Suzanne, congratulations on finally find your home. I am a firm beleiver in life lessons I have been with you since the beginning and saw what you accomplished, sometimes wondering why is she driving her self so hard, but there are ting we do in life to prepare us for where we are really supposed to be, Sting farm was a learing experience for you, you moved there after another difficult time in your life and you had things to prove to yourself, and you did just that. You gained so much experience and confidence, you made freinds that taught you many things, you taught so many how to fix every thing from soup to nuts, and now you are showing them how to fix their life. I think now that you are truly home and now it is all from your hard work. I hope your farm will bring you peace and joy for may many years and so much comfort in knowing it is all yours. “God bless the child that has it’s own.”
    Happy Holidys to you and your family.

  104. 11-24
    11:15
    am

    I had tears. Wonderful! Perfect! So very happy for you, and your children!

    Kirsten

  105. 11-24
    11:25
    am

    This is so beautiful, I teared up while looking at the pictures. Good tears- it looks like such a paradise.

    Congratulations on your move, (I want to insert here that giving what regular moving is like, moving an entire farm must be the exercise of a god) I hope settling in is going well.

    Thank you for all your posts, and amazing luck to you in this new chapter.

  106. 11-24
    11:32
    am

    I’m sorry to hear of the troubles you were having, but I am so happy for you that you decided to move on.
    Your new farm looks amazing!! I am so happy for you. I’m sure all the animals are loving it too! :moo:
    Congratulations on your new place.

    I can’t wait for the new cookbook. I love your site and I know I will love the cookbook too.
    Pat :clover:

  107. 11-24
    11:43
    am

    I’ve been a reader for close to 4 years I think. I’m so happy for you. To be starting over and to have such a wonderful place to do it in. Congratulations, you can surely do this on your own and on your own terms. The new farms seems to be a perfect match!

  108. 11-24
    11:54
    am

    From my husband, Chuck:

    Thanksgiving morning – I’m making my famous carrot salad. (I’m excited ’cause I’m using 4 different types of heirloom carrots!) While I’m preparing, my wife – Leah’s Mom – is reading your post out loud to me. (After about 25 minutes of trying to tell me what it was about, she decided to just bring in the computer and read the whole post.) And honestly, it was interesting enough that I was anxious to hear it. (I was already feeling the “warm & fuzzies”.)

    After reading the entire post, I stopped making the salad to look at all the great photos and the video over on “Inquiring Minds Want to Know”.

    What an amazing story. It gives me encouragement that some day in our future we’ll also be able to have our “country homestead”. (Right now we’re “on hold”, having moved in to live with my wife’s dad so that he can stay in his own home as long as possible.)

    What a great story to read on Thanksgiving morning.

    Thank you – and God bless you on your future adventures!

    Chuck (Leah’s Mom’s Husband)

  109. 11-24
    12:01
    pm

    When you posted about something happening, my first thought was ‘I wonder if she’s writing a book’, then I thought, ‘No, she said it sad too; I wonder if they’re ending it’. I’m so sorry; I know firsthand, twice over, how that feels. But I’m so happy for you that you got a farm you love (and might I add I’m so jealous I can hardly stand it), and I wish you all happiness and joy in your new home and all the best with your farm. Keep moving forward.

  110. 11-24
    12:11
    pm

    Good grief! You could have knocked me down with a feather at the surprise post telling of what has been transpiring in your life the last few months! However difficult it must have been, it has to be three times as exciting to be where you are now. Wonderful happy news and the pictures back all that up. Congrats on the new farm and new exciting adventures to come!

  111. 11-24
    12:23
    pm

    OMG is all I can say ! Geez I would never have thunk it. I am so sorry about your split but so so happy for you. This farm says yhou girl – it says This is Suzzane’s Farm and those animals look so darn happy. What a gorgeous place – the farm of all my dreams I’ll tell you. And that house is so adorable and an old red barn – you can’t beat it. I’m so happy for all of you and especially for the animals. They have so much space and such a nice warm protected sleeping place. Not that they didn’t have it before but this is like animal palace. I can’t wait to see more pics and hear more stories. I can’t wait for your cookbook and anything else you are up to. I have missed you blogging but it was worth the wait. You Go Girl!!!!

  112. 11-24
    12:35
    pm

    To Leah’s Mom and to Chuck (Leah’s Mom’s Husband), you will have crazy stress caring for Leah’s Mom’s Dad (how’s that for a mouthful?) but in the end, it’s the most wonderful thing you can do. I moved back to care for my Dad who turns 93 next month so he could stay in his home too, and as crazy as it can get at times, and as frustrating, difficult, and stressful as it can be, I am blessed to be able to do this, and I congratulate you on the decision you two came to. We need to honor our parents and grandparents more than we have in the recent past. It may not be an option for everyone, and it may not be the RIGHT decision for everyone, but for those that are able to do it, it is very rewarding. (and tiring, stressful, worrisome and crazy too!)

    As far as Suzanne’s move goes, while the decision was no doubt full of stress, now it’s nothing short of triumphant!!!! :snoopy:

  113. 11-24
    1:00
    pm

    I just want to say that you are an incredible, inspiring person, one of the strongest women I “know.” And I am so very very happy and excited for you! I still must look at your photos, but you’ve described the new farm so perfectly I can see it already! I must now go make my turkey for my family, but I had to stop here first in case there was news. AND THERE WAS NEWS!!!!! Congratulations many times over, Suzanne!

  114. 11-24
    1:04
    pm

    Dearest Suzanne,
    I have never posted anything in your blog but having been following your adventures for years now, today I could not remain silent anymore.
    I feel privileged for having found your blog and YOU, amazing, brave, resourceful, marvellous WOMAN.I just had to tell you, on this so very special step into the rest of your life, and having been there myself, how much I admire your courage. Brave girl!
    I am sorry for being so far away, on another continent, otherwise I would run and hug you, so strong it would hurt (!).
    I am certain you will have a bright and beatiful future on that gorgeous new “kingdom”.
    Being a farmer myself I woul kiss all those sweet muzzles (Coco, Casper, BP and her baby, Clover, Poky…the whole gang).
    And be aware that, even on the other side of the world, there are people who care and wishes you the whole best in your new adventure (now with the glorious Red Barn!) on that beautiful Sassafras Farm.
    I am so very happy for you!
    Wish you and your family all the happiness in the world.
    Hugs and love,
    Cris in Portugal

  115. 11-24
    1:05
    pm

    I am so happy for you! It looks like a truly wonderful place. I was worrying about you yesterday being stuck at home because of the high waters. :purpleflower:

  116. 11-24
    1:12
    pm

    My thoughts in the past few weeks is what’s going on? What is Suzanne up to now? I hope everything is okay.
    I know now, and mere printed words can never convey just how very HAPPY I am for you. I was looking at your pictures with tears and giggles and full on laughter for you and Morgan…and the boys of course.
    Oh My Goodness woman…YOU ARE AMAZING!!!
    Happy,Happy Thanksgiving!

  117. 11-24
    1:15
    pm

    And oh yeah! Sassafras Bark Tea…MMMM good!

  118. 11-24
    1:27
    pm

    First of all I would like to apologize for ever suspecting Mariah of being pregnant. When I read the up-and-down part of your posts I immediately went there because I’m the mother of a 15 year old girl, and that’s what I worry about more than anything else in the world. I should have known better than to assume your children are irresponsible.

    Second of all OMG HOW AWESOME! You’ve found a storybook farm and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more than you do – and I can’t think of anyone who will enjoy reading about it more than I will!

  119. 11-24
    1:29
    pm

    Oh Suzanne…..you are the one! Sassafrass Farm is heaven on earth! I’m sorry that you had such turmoil, but I do believe that you are rewarded!

    Enjoy the first days of the rest of your life!
    P.S. If you ever miss mud roads, no mail, remoteness, you’re welcome to come here for a visit…..any time! :heart:

  120. 11-24
    2:01
    pm

    Is that Rotunda in pic #30? She’s wanting to check out the new neighborhood McDonalds. Or better yet…..got pizza delivery?

  121. 11-24
    2:02
    pm

    This is amazing! I’m so happy you found a farm that fits your needs! The animals must be so confused, but they’ll be way more comfortable there. And you will too! And that long wait was well worth it. I can’t wait to hear more about the new farm.

  122. 11-24
    2:04
    pm

    Congratulations! The new place is beautiful–I have SERIOUS farm envy! I have always looked at your old place–the layout, the lack of pasture, the terrain, the lack of barns–and thought, “How does she do it?” Now I’m looking at the new place and thinking that it’s way nicer than mine! You’ll love the barn, the running water, the house, the fences–makes chores so much easier to have the proper facilities and layout. And horses–I always thought, “How does anyone have a farm without horses?” (I’m biased, being a rider myself.) Morgan will love being able to ride.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for sharing with us!

  123. 11-24
    2:08
    pm

    I wish you all the best and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  124. 11-24
    2:08
    pm

    I’m sorry for the chapter that has closed in your life, while so very happy for your new beginning. The new farm looks and sounds simply wonderful and far more manageable. I hope you have many happy years in your new farm.

  125. 11-24
    2:21
    pm

    I forgot to add: I am in LOVE with your new house!

  126. 11-24
    2:30
    pm

    :happyflower:
    I thought I remembered seeing the picture of the barn at the new farm several days ago and a caption saying “welcome to the farm” but maybe not I thought it was a photo of a barn you would like to have–litte did we know. We are all so very happy for you.

  127. 11-24
    2:37
    pm

    Good for you. You deserve a less stressful experience with everything you hope to accomplish. I know that you’ll be lonely for a while, but it’s better to be alone than in bad company. You go girl. :sun:

  128. 11-24
    2:56
    pm

    Oh Suzanne, I am SO HAPPY for you!!! Sassafras Farm is beautiful. Can’t wait to see pictures of Morgan when she finally gets her horse. :snoopy:

    And by the way, we all missed you. Glad you are back and that you are alright! :hug:

  129. 11-24
    2:57
    pm

    Suzanne, I have looked at the photos 3 times: They’re beautiful, but, and,
    Oh God protect those animals that they don’t get in the road!

  130. 11-24
    3:11
    pm

    Hello Susan,

    I love your new farm, it looks wonderfull and by the sound of it exactly what makes you happy….. and that is what you should go for.
    Cannot wait to read your new adventures in this beauty.
    Just one little question….. will you not miss ornary angel :)
    just kidding…. lots of luck and happiness in your new place, don’t forget to write…. i am waiting for it :)

  131. 11-24
    3:14
    pm

    and i almost forgot…. happy thanksgiving….

  132. 11-24
    3:29
    pm

    I have been reading and following your blog for years (it is my favorite), but this post finally made me register to comment. In the midst of upheaval, I am very happy that you are in a home that has access in the winter, it is just beautiful and it just beams with joy. I agree with a comment above that the best pic is Morgan’s happy face :-)

  133. 11-24
    3:45
    pm

    What a wonderful new adventure! A place to build new memories, a beautiful place in which to move forward. Happy Thanksgiving to the four of you, your animals and your extended family of friends and relatives.

  134. 11-24
    3:48
    pm

    Congratulations on your beautiful new farm!

  135. 11-24
    3:59
    pm

    I’m wishing all the best and a very good future! :purpleflower:

  136. 11-24
    4:11
    pm

    Well, I’m definitely glad to see there’s some joy in there with all of the upheaval!
    I hope life levels out quickly for you.

    And the book announcements are awesome!

  137. 11-24
    4:16
    pm

    Like many here have already stated…I have farm envy too. :bugeyed:

    We live on a tiny acreage in a tiny house. Our living space is somewhere between 800-900 square feet for the 6 of us, and our place is just short of 3 acres. We are doing okay with it, but seriously need more living space, pasture for all of our animals and adequate buildings for them and other things. You have found a dream farm, for sure. I think that you will be happy there. It is SO beautiful.

    As for us, we will keep dreaming and hoping and trying to look to the future. A full-fledged mixed organic farm with a view is our dream. If we could do a B&B too, all the better. We hope that one that suits us and our needs comes along someday. We watched what we thought was our dream place get sold last spring. We’d been working toward it for years, but somehow, it was not meant to be. I was devastated, but within a couple of days, felt at peace somehow. Since the place is no longer an option, we have discussed building a dollhouse scale model of our dream log home (that we wished to build there) out of trees from the back…hey, maybe even a playhouse size! We’d build a hip roof log barn to go with it too. If we never are able to move on, at least we can play with our kids there! :yes:

    Anyway, thank you for sharing with us. You will have a lot of new things to write about shortly, I am sure. Thanks for taking us all along with you on your journey. I look forward to your new adventures here! :hug:

  138. 11-24
    4:17
    pm

    Blessings on you and your family in your new home!

  139. 11-24
    4:55
    pm

    I had to come back to look through the pictures again. Your new farm is just so beautiful. I see in picture #30 that one of your little escape artists is already trying to break out of goat jail. Wait until they find out you have fences that don’t give way.

    I keep picturing you going for long tramps over your land. It will take years to explore all the nooks and crannies of the 100 acres. And as you do, you’ll be thinking “MY farm”. I look forward to seeing pictures of your daily discoveries.

    I don’t quite know how to express it, but I just have a feeling of rightness about this. Like this is the place you’re meant to be. You can tell by looking at it that this farm has been loved. With you, I think it will continue to be loved, and that the farm will welcome you and your family and your animals. And that porch looks like it was meant to echo with laughter.

  140. 11-24
    5:20
    pm

    I love it Suzanne. It’s just perfect.

  141. 11-24
    5:37
    pm

    What a beautiful place for you & your family to make a new start! How exciting! Congratulations! :woof:

  142. 11-24
    5:41
    pm

    Congratulations on your new farm! I absolutely love it. It is so beautiful. Love the star on the side and the red barn. Please post pictures of the inside. Does it have a fireplace? Hope you and your family will be happy there.

    Susan D.

  143. 11-24
    6:13
    pm

    you are amazing. you inspire me too. i love the barn. i love how you decided to put yourself in the position that you will not have to choose your happiness or your home. i’ve been there. apparently you made a good choice.

  144. 11-24
    6:41
    pm

    What a fabulous farm! It is just beautiful, Suzanne! I am so happy for you and your family. The animals look thrilled to be there too!! And Morgan gets a horse!!! Totally, wonderful!!!

  145. 11-24
    7:06
    pm

    Thank you for sharing what must be a painful time in your life, I’m sorry that you and 52 have split up. Your new farm (I was suprised to find out that you didn’t own Stringtown Rising on your own)is beautiful and I hope that you and the children (and the animals) will be incredibly happy there. I’m looking forward to reading all about the next part of your journey at Sassafras Farm.

  146. 11-24
    7:07
    pm

    Okay, I am anxious to see the inside of the new abode. I don’t care that there are boxes everywhere….pictures please!!!
    I can’t wait until you put your own little stamp on things and share it with us!

    Also, someone mentioned ^^up there in a previous post about a video under “inquiring minds want to know” Where is that??

  147. 11-24
    7:09
    pm

    I can’t believe it! It sounds so perfect for you, but I never in a million years would have guessed you would MOVE. Just… WOW!

    I’m thrilled for you and terribly jealous, and I can’t wait for you to get settled in and start posting every day again.

  148. 11-24
    8:41
    pm

    Hi Melinda. I was confused about that too. Over in the forum, there is a thread called “INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW” On the third page there is a video that shows pictures from the move.

    Hi Suzanne. Congratulations on your move and all that goes with it. What caught my eye was when you were talking about Morgan and how excited she was. “She ran upstairs to the hayloft then back down to the stalls, examining and inspecting every stall all over again, chattering away about what she would need to clean out the stalls and prepare for a horse. ” How grounded and practical in the midst of her excitement! She is a gem. But you knew that already.

  149. 11-24
    8:53
    pm

    After looking at pics, has GB lost that metal weaning flap? At least now she can’t get through those good fences to get to her mum. I am very happy for you.

  150. 11-24
    8:56
    pm

    Suzanne — strong women can survive, and you are a very strong woman. Your new farm looks wonderful. Flat land is a very good thing. Please keep us posted as you can, and as you choose. Hugs to you and Morgan as you carry on with your new life.

  151. 11-24
    9:57
    pm

    Suzanne, your story had me wondering what the culmination would be…would you completely leave farming? Leave your animals behind? How happy (and sad) I am at the things that have happened in your life. I can completely understand the difficult decisions you needed to make and I thank you for sharing with us, even though you needn’t.

    I feel so blessed and privileged to follow you as you live your life and as you share so generously with us. I have been a reader for almost two years now and while other blogs have come and gone…..I have bookmarked many and yours has always remained. I have never lost interest in your life.

    What a GORGEOUS farm!!!!! What a beautiful house! Can’t wait to see the inside of it!!! Looking forward to this new journey, Suzanne, and God bless you and Morgan richly as you transition.

    Joy

  152. 11-24
    10:05
    pm

    :sun: First of all I want to say your new farm is absolutely positively beautiful! This is a wonderful new beginning for you. I know how hard it is to leave what you have put your heart and soul into, but I thank God that he is faithful and brought you to a most perfect place for you. :yes: As you make this your own I know your heart will continue to heal. Thank you for allowing us to share your new beginning. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  153. 11-24
    10:13
    pm

    Nice warm hugs for you and the kids and the animals, and here’s to a new chapter in your lives!

  154. 11-24
    10:18
    pm

    OMG…(as all the young things say nowadays)…what a lovely entry to read today on your page…I dont mean the 52 part…but the outcome for you and your daughter. I dont think you realise how far your tales go, and how many people, worldwide, yes worldwide, hang on for the next exciting instalment in your life adventure.
    I live in Australia, actually Cookernup Western Australia, and currently rent a small property, along with my husband, and as he would say, “all those bloody animals”. We aspire to one day having our own dirt just like you. I have been visiting your pages now for over a year, and love everything about it. Bit of an escape for me really reading what goes on somewhere else in the world, I’ve never even been outside my own country..!!One day maybe…I will travel to Italy to see all the countryside, maybe even make it to the coutryside in your neck of the woods…Goodluck to you and yours..waiting for all the exciting news to come….Jill..

  155. 11-24
    10:18
    pm

    Dear Suzanne, congratulations on your new adventures. 30 years ago we bought land with nothing on it. After 31 years there was a house, small barn, fences, orchard, etc. We made a decision to sell and move. Our age, being so far from a town. An hour and a half, bad roads, electricity going out every time the wind blew. You know what it is like. You get so attached to a home and all the time you have invested in it. So many memories, the highs and the lows. Keep the memories of the good times. Embrace the new. Happiness to you and your family. Welcome back, you were missed! Hooray for the cookbook, I can’t wait.

  156. 11-24
    10:43
    pm

    Life can certainly throw some crazy things your way. I love the name of your new farm, been years since I had sassafrass tea. I knew the farm you were talking about immediately and so happy that it has become yours.

  157. 11-24
    11:01
    pm

    I am sorry for your splitting up but am so happy for your new beginning!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!

  158. 11-24
    11:08
    pm

    Suzanne, what a beautiful farmstead you have there! I have to say I was surprised, but wow, what a story and what a resilient person you are!

    I am looking forward to seing the rest of your new home. I love old houses, and this one is so sweet looking.

    Blessings this Thanksgiving day to you and your family.

  159. 11-24
    11:22
    pm

    Congratulations! Your new farm & home are beautiful. I can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures & I’m super excited about your cookbook project.

  160. 11-24
    11:47
    pm

    Suzanne, I’m so very happy for you and your children and all the animals. Your new farm looks like a dream and the house is positively charming. Although your breakup with 52 is so sad and traumatic I always say that “things” happen for a reason. In your case it’s a new chapter in your life to start anew and enjoy each and every day to the fullest. Not many people have the courage or opportunity to go forward. God bless you and your family and my sincere congratulations and best wishes. Looking forward to seeing more photos, too!

  161. 11-25
    1:02
    am

    A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    Sassafras Farm is beautiful.
    I am sorry that you and 52 have split up but congratulation on having the courage to make the decision that is best for YOU. You will always have the memories of the good times of the old place but you will catch yourself thinking “Think goodness I don’t have to do ______ anymore, this is so much easier. There were many times reading your post that I had thought to myself how does this woman do it?

  162. 11-25
    1:26
    am

    Oh, I am so dang tickled for you on the new farm (and the name).

    Sassafras is a special name for me and seeing it used someplace else is just wonderful.

    I look forward to lurking and reading more of your adventures on that beautiful land.

    Congrats!

  163. 11-25
    1:57
    am

    Sassafras Farm is GORGEOUS!! A “fairy tale” farm indeed. I wish you the best as you move forward, and am looking forward to the tales emanating from Sassafras Farm. xx

  164. 11-25
    4:17
    am

    Suzanne, I have followed your blog a few years, and I don’t think I have ever posted here since I had to register. Anyway… I am a long time farmer/crafter/bookkeeper/geek/writer and God only knows what else.. and worried about you for years. I knew that what you were doing was just wrong and too much. I am happy to say that YOU NOW HAVE A REAL FARM AND YOU ARE NOW A REAL FARMER! :) I’m so happy for you! I would also like to say: I am spreading your blog all over my facebook and other places like I hope many others are. YOU WILL DO GOOD THERE, I KNOW IT. WRITE THE MEMOIR, I wrote mine!!! IT WILL BE FABULOUS!
    OMG I had to read all the reply’s…I”m too old and sick for this! You guys are killing me!
    Your blog hurt me so many times when I knew you were just learning to farm. It used to break my heart. BUT, I know we all have to learn in our own way. You have learned. YOu got a real farm, and your post made an old sick woman cry and stay up all night to post here. It’s after 4:00 AM and here I am. Up sick with the flu (after a flu shot last month,..Oh don’t get me started on that).
    Every girl needs a horse! Congrats Morgan! Don’t forget to shovel the ____ out of the barn often :)
    And by the way…I married 3 times before I found the right man. You got to be brave to deal with men:) They can chew you up, and spit you out right on the farm you always wished for! OMG the men will eat you alive out there (they can get their cars there and everything!) on that beautiful place BEWARE MY DEAR, BEWARE OF MEN COMING WITH PRESENTS TO GET INTO YOUR…UH…BARN? :) I shipped mine in from Detroit, because I refused to mary another WV redneck :) Tell that son of yours he won’t be getting any deer either (there are dozens in my yard right now) because my husband is a city boy. He’s never shot a gun or gutted a deer…omg..shipping them in from out of state with a college degree is so much better than a redneck. Oh crap, sorry to go off like that….
    Anyway…Congrats my dear, I am proud of you. OH HAPPY DAY AND TREARS OF JOY FROM THIS OLD CRIPPLED WRITER FROM ‘HAUNTED ACRES’

    Brenda Radabaugh
    Haunted Acres
    Hazelton WV :)

  165. 11-25
    5:02
    am

    OMG, IT’S BLACK FRIDAY, I’M TO OLD TO SHOP, I CAN’T STAND IT ANY LONGER I AM STILL UP AT ALMOST 5:AM, FIXING THE FIRE, AND NEED TO KNOW ABOU THE HORSE! WHAT KIND OF HORSE? SHOW ME A PIC? I USED TO HAVE HORSES! I SWEAR I WILL NOT SLEEP TILL I SEE A PIC OF THE FREAKEN HORSE! I LOVE YOU MORGAN! IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE HORSE BY NOW, GET UP AND BUY ONE, IT’S BLACK FRIDAY, THEY ARE CHEAP!!! Seriously, there has been a lot of free horses on criags list lately. Beautiful ones. I wanted you guys to check on there. (If you haven’t bought one yet) I remember some of them were in Grafton, close to you. For God sake hurry up, I can’t stand it!

    ::SIGH::
    Wiff much love,
    Brenda, the crippled old hag…

    P.S. Suzanne, just think, soon you will be a grandma! A GRANDMA ON THE BESTEST FARM IN DA WORLD! I AM SO JEALOUS! I’m turning green, omg it’s getting ugly around here…

  166. 11-25
    5:12
    am

    Oh Suzanne, I’m so proud of you. I’m sorry you and 52 went your separate ways but you sound so happy and Sassafras (I love that word!) Farm is just lovely. I’m happy for you, your kids and BP well, everyone. Free gas, Mail & lights! Yay! Congratulations! May you be blessed with many years and many blessed memories at Sassafras Farm :heart:
    Amy

  167. 11-25
    8:54
    am

    What a beautiful farm! I am SOOOooo happy for you (and a tad jealous too,LOL! Some day my hubby & I will have a real farm too!) What a huge step you’ve taken but the farm seems perfect for you and your daughter. Best wishes and I’m looking forward to seeing LOTS more photos and to see how all the farm animals adjust to their new ‘digs’!

  168. 11-25
    9:49
    am

    So sorry and sad for you but wow so happy and ecstatic for you now too!!!! I know you can do it and what a plan God has unfolded for you with holding that farm 2 years for you. Be blessed!

  169. 11-25
    10:13
    am

    Now that is a FARM! It looks very lovely and seems so much more managable. Life at the old farm seemed very hard.

    I wish you the best in this new chapter of your life and eagerly look forward to upcoming posts.

  170. 11-25
    10:24
    am

    Tears,
    goosebumps,
    and a smile-a-mile-wide for you Suzanne!

    Blessings upon you and yours at Sassafrass.

    Hugs,
    Gem

  171. 11-25
    10:44
    am

    Lovely Farm!

  172. 11-25
    11:09
    am

    Hi Suzanne
    Congratulations to you and your family. Your new farm is beautiful.
    Linda D

  173. 11-25
    11:30
    am

    Absolutely love your new farm. These kind of life decisions are tough, but necessary. Life is too short to be miserable, as we all know. I wish you happiness at your new farm, and in your new life.

  174. 11-25
    12:34
    pm

    NEVER underestimate the power of a woman! It is life’s great challenges that bring the sweetest rewards. You had a guardian Angel watching for you in that sister who wouldn’t sell till you showed up. You are blessed. Many Happy Years to come at Sassafras Farms!

  175. 11-25
    1:24
    pm

    Wishing you much happiness at your New Farm!!! its just BEAUTIFUL! :fairy:

  176. 11-25
    1:25
    pm

    Suzanne, have to admit the Stringtown Rising never seemed right for you. Now I feel you have truly come home. The sister was right, you ARE the one. Enjoy this farm for many many years…..the adventure is just starting….and so is your peace of mind. :snoopy:

  177. 11-25
    1:44
    pm

    Dear Suzanne, what an amazing person you are!!!! You have accomplished so much with your life and still are. To think I came across your website accidently last year looking for a homemade yellow cake mix recipe and now it is unbelievable at what I have learned from you and fellow members! I can’t wait to start reading about your beautiful new farm!!!!

    pattyb

  178. 11-25
    2:04
    pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Fourteen years ago I went through a similar experience – although it was just me, and I didn’t have the responsibilities you have – and I know the pain, and the joy, that comes with making such a decision. Best wishes to you and your family as you start the next chapter of your lives.

  179. 11-25
    2:18
    pm

    Oh Suzanne you are such a wonderful resourceful woman, I am so very proud of you. I am sorry you had a sad time but they do say one door closes so another can open. Your new farm looks like a dream come true how sweet and loving of you to want to share it all with us so we can grow and learn with you. Have a lovely holiday exploring your new farm with your family you deserve some time to wind down and refresh yourself now. All love to you xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  180. 11-25
    2:51
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I read this a few days a go and then read it again yesterday and today. I am very happy for you with everything that is going on. I know from personaly experiances that when you leave, its hard, but you have a strong spirit and I am not worried at all. I am very happy for your new beginings!
    Leigh (mammaleigh)

  181. 11-25
    3:03
    pm

    Well, Suzanne, you’ve gone and done it again! I’m danged if you’re not the most amazing woman I know.I take my hat off to you, and wish you and all your family (both two and four footed) all the best in this world. In that beautiful farm, I think you already have it.

  182. 11-25
    3:38
    pm

    :cowsleep: :chicken:
    I was so worried when you posted about needing some time. I have come to think of you as a friend as I rush to read your newest posts as part of my morning routine :sun:
    I am sorry about your breakup. I am thrilled about your new farm. In a a word GORGEOUS and it looks so “you.” Love the front porches with the flowers, the barn, the grounds. It looks just like what I pictures a beautiful farm to be!

    I wish you so much joy and happiness in your new place and with all the new beginnings happening in your life. You richly deserve them all, as you brighten so many lives with your hilarious posts :sheepjump: LOL What no Clover jump roping image? LOL
    HUGS and congratulations!

  183. 11-25
    3:42
    pm

    Bless you, Suzanne!!! Happy Thanksgiving in your new home. Best wishes for many, many happy years and memories. Sending you all the happy thoughts and warm hearts possible! Pat in Eastern NC

  184. 11-25
    4:37
    pm

    Wishing you the best. What a beautiful farm! It looks like a real home, which I never saw in the photos from STF.

  185. 11-25
    8:31
    pm

    Wonderful news. I’m sorry it wasn’t working, but you will be so happy in this wonderful place, you will never look back. Goats love spent roses.

    Plus it is more practical in every way. How wild the sister wouldn’t sell until you got there.

    And so many new things you will have to write about here.

  186. 11-26
    12:53
    am

    I’m sorry that things didn’t work out between you and 52. I know how badly that hurts. I’m glad you’re strong enough to move on and not just stay on because you don’t know what else to do.

    Congrats on your new home. It is very lovely. All of the trials you’ve had and all the things that have broken have taught you how to fix things while there were people there to show you HOW to fix them. You now have the skill base (including knowing when to ask for help) to manage your farm.

    I’m so excited for you and you have made me excited for ME.

    I, too, am at a crossroads in life. The time of being Mama is gone, the kids have all moved away to live their own lives with their own little families and I have been feeling blue and trying to figure out what to do with myself. After being out of work for over a year, I’ve been wondering if at 58 all I have to look forward to is getting old by myself. Well, it may or may not be by myself, but there are old dreams that were put on hold that can now be gotten out and worked on. It doesn’t take someone “being there” to make dreams happen. It takes moving heaven and earth to get it done.

    Thanks for showing me that there is hope after loss. I’d forgotten that bit of knowledge for a while. Your happily infectious post has refreshed my memory that while happiness is not a never-ending emotion, neither is the pain of loss. They are both part of the circle of life and emotions can only hold us as long as we dwell on them – for good or bad.

    Good luck and God bless!

  187. 11-26
    1:41
    am

    I am sad for you and very happy for you at all the same time!
    I am very happy for Morgan she will be so happy in her new home.
    Hang in there you are a very strong woman.

  188. 11-26
    9:55
    am

    Wow. What an challenging time for you. I’m sorry for the sadness, but I love how you CHOSE to make something wonderful come out of this. When you’re in that type of situation it’s so easy to forget that you can CHOOSE to direct your destiny. Thank you for showing us that, and your new life. Everyone looks so happy on your gorgeous new farm! I wish you nothing but sunshine and lollipops from now on!

  189. 11-26
    9:56
    am

    Congratulations on your beautiful new farm. Sometimes I think it’s a test of your readiness – you are not allowed to move on to your next phase until you are willing to let go of everything and trust that you will land in the right place.

  190. 11-26
    11:38
    am

    I think I must be psychic too, because I told my husband “I think Suzanne and 52 are splitting up and she’s going to move”. Or maybe it’s just that I did the same thing 4 years ago and now I’m happier than ever! I am so happy for you and LOVE the pictures of your farm, how cute! I still plan to visit you someday…….. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!

  191. 11-26
    4:12
    pm

    Oh my GOSH, Suzanne, I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!! Also sad for the ending of a relationship – that’s always hard and I’ll be praying for you as you adjust to your new life. I cried when I looked through the photos of Sassafras Farm – I can’t wait to see how you make it your own. It’s truly a beautiful, magical place! I’m also awfully jealous, but I’ll get over that, since that farm is in West Virginia! I just need to find one just like it in Indiana or Michigan! ;)

  192. 11-26
    4:33
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I’m sorry to hear about you and 52. I hope it was amicable, he seemed like a nice enough guy. I am so happy I got to make it to the retreat this year so I could see Stringtown Rising Farm. This WAS a huge surprise! I couldn’t read the blog fast enough and read it outloud to my husband. I didn’t get to see it until we got back for Thankgsigiving. You new farm is beautiful!!! It seems very practical and after seeing, first hand, you other driveway and coming to your house the “rocky red not even a road” way, I can totally understand why you made this decision.

    The pictures of your new farm is beautiful! I am very happy for you and am excited to read all about the saga of being an “independent” woman farming all on her own!

    After I read this I went…”uh oh”. Previously, I didn’t have a good excuse to come out to next year’s CITR retreat. Now I do..I have to see your new farm!!

    I hope all goes well…good luck and congratulations!

    PS – I see that Glory Bee still has that crabby look on her face. Hopefully, this farm will be good enough for her so she will quit being the “bad baby”. But I doubt it…hahahahah!

    Carrie

  193. 11-26
    4:35
    pm

    Oh and PPS – I can’t wait for your new books to come out! Finally!!

  194. 11-26
    11:20
    pm

    “it’s all good”.

  195. 11-27
    8:14
    am

    I have been off the grid for a few days and just found this amazing post. Like the others I am sorry you had to go through the turmoil with 52 and the decision of moving. The new farm is perfect for you and Morgan. Congratulations. The move must have been incredible but if anyone can do it you are the one. Everything is beautiful and I am so very happy for you. You are a very strong capable woman.
    Euni in Colorado

  196. 11-27
    11:24
    am

    It’s been awhile since I visited CITR and whoa, what big changes have transpired in my absence! I’m sad that things didn’t work out for you and 52, but I sense from your writing that it’s truly for the best and that you’re following your heart towards even greater things and happiness. thanks for sharing your journey with us Suzanne. this one is bittersweet, but I think blue skies are overhead for you. this new farm is remarkably, undeniably “YOU”. I hope you’ll be very happy here with your menagerie of critters that we’ve all come to love. wishing you all the best. I’m looking forward to learning about Sassafras Farm and seeing its beauty unfold. happy day to you Suzanne.

  197. 11-27
    3:52
    pm

    All I can say is Wow! I go away for a few weeks and you’ve moved! Wow! Bless your heart, Suzanne. You’ve been through a bad time!

    That’s how the Lord works, you know. When it’s right, it just happens and all things fall into place. You have made a wonderful change, so much for the better in so many ways. He pushed and pushed until you gave in, and just look what He had in store for you! We have learned in the past couple of years to trust Him. He always knows best. Your new home is so perfect and wonderful! Such an improvement over what you had at Stringtown Rising.

    I know things will continue to go well for you and Morgan there!

    Congratulations on the new home!

  198. 11-27
    3:56
    pm

    :woof:
    I just went back to look at thr Slanted Farmhouse, and noticed some of the same small simularities, but then again old farm houses do look a bit alike. I just looks like home, a bit of a romantic look I think.

  199. 11-27
    8:46
    pm

    Suzanne, I have watched your site for a couple of years and love it. I had to set up a new sign-in, couldn’t remember the old and never got the email to log in, and had to post today :)

    I am sorry for your loss. I am so, so very happy about your new beginnings in your wonderful new home for you, Morgan, Weston, and Ross.

    I look forward to reading about all the new adventures. Bravo to you for figuring out what was the best and the greatest for you guys!

    Hugs to you and yours :) What a wonderful holiday season this is going to be!!!

  200. 11-27
    8:50
    pm

    Had to post again – LOL I just looked at all the pictures, oh my goodness, what a wonderful place! I am, again, so very happy for you!!!

  201. 11-27
    9:15
    pm

    OK, how ridiculous is it that your post made me cry?? I don’t *really* know you, I’ve never met you, and yet, your life can move me to tears.

    I had a feeling that the big unveiling would reveal something bittersweet. I can’t presume to know your feelings about you and 52 parting ways, but ending a relationship, no matter the circumstances, is always hard. Even though I’m an Alabama girl, born and bred, I’m just nebbish enough to want all the details, but I so, SO respect your decision to give only the information that is relevant to the readers of your blog. YOU, Suzanne, are class, personified!

    I don’t think I could put it better than Hlhohnholz did, so I’ll leave you with my very warmest wishes, and congratulations for determining the direction your life will take.

    I hope you know how much we all love you, Suzanne, and that our love will help to sustain you in the days ahead. :hug:

  202. 11-29
    6:40
    am

    God moves in mysterious ways. I am so happy for you. Praying for you as you begin this new chapter in your life. Things will change in so many ways, but for the good. :happyflower:

  203. 11-29
    7:54
    am

    Wow, Suzanne, alot of changes, but all for the BEST!!!! I’m sooo very excited and happy for you! Can’t wait to hear the new stories this farm unfolds through you!!! Congrats!!!!

    (I always wondered how in the world you managed on Stringtown Farm…been there, done that, and it was DIFFICULT even with help. Glad to know now you can just get busy living and not having to deal with stupid stuff like simply HOW to get down to whatever it is you need to get to…)

  204. 11-29
    1:28
    pm

    I wanted to say that I have been following you here for a few months. You new home is just beautiful many blessings to you and your family.

  205. 11-29
    7:15
    pm

    What a darling new place you have! It looks like a perfect fit!

  206. 11-30
    8:53
    am

    Oooh now I understand. I read the Sassafras Farm posting before I read this and wondered what in the world is going on here??? Best wishes for your new beginning.

  207. 11-30
    4:57
    pm

    I wish you all the best at your new farm. It looks perfect. I’m glad it “waited” for you!
    We had the same thing happen to us-we looked at a place that didn’t suit us and as we were leaving we saw a logging road that curved up through the woods. My husband and I both said at the same time: “Wonder where that goes?”. Two years later we know-to our little piece of heaven!

  208. 11-30
    6:20
    pm

    Ahh I’ve been too behind on posting AND reading!!
    A lot of changes, but here’s to staying on the bright side and seeing this as the opportunity for better things/chances/times ahead

    ::big hugs:: to you from Jersey

  209. 11-30
    7:11
    pm

    How could you NOT fall in love with the new farm? I’m in love and all I’ve seen is photos.

    Congrats and I hope you have many happy years at Sassafras Farm!

  210. 11-30
    8:30
    pm

    I’ve been gone far too long w/ my own personal upheavals. I just moved, too, to my own heaven. Congrats on your beautiful new farm. It sounds and looks awesome and is all around better for you. I’m so happy for you, Suzanne. I’ll try to stop by more often.

    Love the new name – Sassafras Farm. I’ve always loved the word “sassafras.”

    Cheers,
    Tracy

  211. 11-30
    9:18
    pm

    Congrats on your new home! May you find peace and happiest with your new farm!

  212. 12-1
    12:41
    am

    Love the new place and the house. An adjustment I am sure but it will surprise you how you will fit in with the spirit of the farm. Love love love the barn- the animals have a place to go in winter, with water and electricity and storage!!! It will be so much easier to take care of them and so close to the house. Nice deck too. Beautiful farm and land. You will enjoy the road, the light, the bus – a much better place I think. Much nicer grounds. great front porch to sit and view the farm.
    Glad you had the spirit in you to move on and do the best thing for you and your family. New chapters are hard but you know that.
    They help to make up the book.

  213. 12-1
    6:17
    am

    What a wondeful farm! I’m in love with your porch. I can see how you feel the farm was waiting for you. I feel the same about my property. I bought it sight unseen after it had been in the market more than 6 months with no offers. It was just perfect for me, not only was it larger than I expected, it had a carriage house (more like a very pretty cottage in the backyard) and the lot was large enough for me to grow much of what I eat, including fruits. The moment I stepped inside I felt it was always meant for me, even if the kitchen was scary. (I spend less than $3,000, including appliances to turn in into outstanding.) For me the plus was that it’s within walking distance of the Mississippi River, something I was not expecting. When I was a young girl, I always dreamed of living near that river. I think if we trust in our destiny we will end up where we are meant to be. I loved the photos of the animals making the move. I was adding captions as I went through the photos. My favorite, the one with the goat’s head sticking out under the gate. “Hey, I want to see.”

  214. 12-1
    8:45
    am

    I, like many others I see, had to sign up today to be able to comment. I have read and enjoyed your blog for a couple of years now and have never taken the time to do this. You make me laugh, and I love your pictures. I am a single mother of 3 girls. We lived on a farm, we had Icelandic Sheep, they are the most amazing animals ever. We also had fainting goats, and I had one Nubian…her name was Nana, and I loved them all so very much, but I just couldn’t do it on my own anymore, so we sold them all and moved to town. Sometimes I feel like I live vicariously through your posts. Thank you for that. I am so proud of you, going out on your own and doing what is best for you! That is AWESOME! Can’t wait to see what the future brings to you, your kids, and all of your crazy animals!! :sheepjump:

  215. 12-1
    11:20
    am

    Wonderful – so happy for you and your family and the whole place looks beautiful. Can’t wait to see inside pics.
    sandyz

  216. 12-1
    12:43
    pm

    congrats on finding “your” farm! Love how it “waited” for you! I’ll have to browse the pictures later, time to go milk my Sunny Belle (she says “Hi” to BP and GB). I can totally imagine Morgan running to the barn, cuz that’s the first place I’d be headed too!! Good for her! I’m envious, a real horse functional barn is one of my biggest dreams. And oh the choices of horses!! Can’t wait for the new adventures (including horses! hooray!)

    PS- You will love love love having the bus come to the end of your driveway. Our bus stop is about 2 city blocks length away from our front door. It’s soo nice to be able to watch the boys walk to the bus while drinking my coffee.

  217. 12-1
    2:28
    pm

    “I must be a real farmer now since I found myself capable of such a practical decision to make myself an independent woman. This is my farm, and I am home…..and I am happy.” I wish my mom were at this point…

  218. 12-1
    10:04
    pm

    I have only been reading your blog for a short time but, have always found it informative, funny, creative, interesting…… really GREAT in other words! I am so happy for you to have your very own farm! Congratulation! Thank you so much for sharing, you have actually inspired me to get going on my wish of turning my small 5 acre property into a mini farm with a few chickens, and maybe raise a beef cow and a pig. i am also going through a difficult time relationship wise, and by reading about your success gives me hope that i am capable and i will have what i wish for eventually. Thank you.

  219. 12-3
    12:04
    pm

    I’ve been trying to remember my user name and password so that I could comment. (it’s been quite some time since I visited last)

    I just wanted to say that your post came at the exact right time for me. I won’t go into details but you’ve given me hope that things will turn out as wonderfully for us as they have for you.

    Thank you for sharing this and may you continue to be blessed.

  220. 12-6
    8:37
    pm

    Please tell Morgan to look into Tenn Walking horses. They are wonderful and gentle and great all around horses. There is a saying why ride when you can glide. They are so smooth she would love them.

  221. 12-12
    10:09
    am

    Holy Cow Suzanne! I’m embarrassed to say that I haven’t been visiting many blogs the last couple of months but this morning I came looking for a recipe and thought I’d stay a spell and see what I missed. WOW! I was really sad when I first read that things didn’t work out for you at Stringtown but after reading on and most especially Morgan’s response to the farm I was happy for you. However..it wasn’t until I saw these photo’s that I realized what a wonderful decision you had made…Sassafras Farm is AMAZING!!!! What a beautiful setting…and I think you made the perfect choice for you and your family and your critters. This is a REAL farm and I’m so happy for you that your life will be much easier come this winter. I wish this was our farm ;) I can’t wait to see more photo’s and read all about your life in your little white farmhouse. LOVE LOVE LOVE that front porch!!! CONGRATULATIONS Suzanne…what a wonderful adventure you’re on. :hungry2: Maura (Chic)

  222. 12-22
    11:29
    am

    :woof:

    What a wonderful place to live! I’m so happy for you! Can’t wait to follow you along your new adventures here at YOUR new farm & home :) It looks amazing! Best of luck to you, Congratulations!

  223. 12-31
    2:34
    pm

    Suzanne, what a wonderful written description of a changing time in your life. I so share your excitement about your new abode for you and the farmy pals……
    I wish you well ….. and look forward to many moore posts and lots more wonderful recipes!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy New Year!

  224. 1-3
    9:32
    am

    What a surprise after not visiting for so long! This was a very brave move, Suzanne, and I’m so happy you’ve found such a beautiful place to “land on your feet”.
    Life brings us many ups and downs, but if we are able to find joy in our circumstances and accept the blessings that God bestows on us daily, we will always be able to endure whatever life throws at us.
    I wish you and your family peace, love and joy on your wonderful new farm.
    Happy New Year! xox

  225. 1-10
    6:28
    pm

    :sun:

    I’m so happy for you!! This is my first comment, but I’ve been reading the blog daily for almost a year until a few months ago. Just now, I thought, “I haven’t looked and seen what Suzanne is doing in a while…” And now you’ve got a new place. It is just perfect! I love it and I’m glad you’re happy! The house and barn are just picturesque!

  226. 1-25
    1:29
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I haven’t been here much lately because I promised myself I would spend more time writing a blog than reading them. I have delved into a writing project that means a lot to me. I found myself unemployed a few weeks before Christmas, so I’m working on redefining who Patrice is.

    I have just read this update. I had to go back a bit when I didn’t recognize the farm in your recent post, but this post answered everything. I am SO happy for you. I think the farm is perfect for you and I’m so glad that you are still “sassy”. Stringtown Rising Farm was a good teacher, but your new farm looks like it will have far less challenges.I’m happy for Morgan and her horse dreams. I miss coming here and will visit more often when time allows. I truly wish you all the best!!!

    Lauren is still painting and now has learned portraits. Amazing!
    Take care,Suzanne.

  227. 3-14
    10:26
    am

    So very happy for you, I live my dreams of one day having the farm animals through your daily stories….looking forward to hearing about all the GOOD stuff that’s gonna happen on your new farm….God Bless

  228. 3-15
    2:07
    pm

    This made me cry… When the lady said ‘She is the one’ That can be so powerful….
    Good things are in store for you.

  229. 3-27
    2:34
    pm

    Glad to hear of your new farm. I married The Farmers Daughter,(no not that one, that was her sister)I have not been able to give her a farm but we love everything farm like. As she started Collecting Ceramic chicken’s and when people found out and gave her more and more. We started putting them in the yard and I nicknamed our back yard, Joyce’s Ceramic Chicken Farm. Next I wrote her a poem by the same name. And it follows.

    The Ceramic Chicken Farm

    We grow taters and beans and miniature corn

    “don’t wear your good shoes wear the ones that are worn.”

    Grapes and lemons and thirty pound cats, we treat just like people they seem to like that.

    Done our best with our children, they’ve been a good crop to. We’ve fed them and loved them the best we could do.

    We raise real old rabbits and we don’t even try and Joyce uses pumkins in her real pumpkin pie.

    Some say we’re old hippies, we kind-a like that.

    We have peace, love and happiness and thats where it’s at.

    We plant rows that are straight, in lengths that we match

    and grow Ceramic Chickens their easy to catch.

    If you ask what is it, just come and visit, you’ll see the charm of Joyce’s Ceramic Chicken Farm.

  230. 3-31
    3:00
    pm

    Was looking for a story that I saw yesterday, to share with others – and should have put it in my Favorites because now I can’t find it :cry: but found this one … love it! Also looked at ALL 57 pics and love all of them, but … my most favorite? #20 :yes: Blessings to you, Suzanne!

  231. 7-24
    9:36
    pm

    Man oh man…..You surely have a beautiful place. We live on about eighteen acres in Erwin, Tennessee and love it. We don’t raise any animals of our own, but we do enjoy watching all the turkeys, deer, foxes and assorted grounhogs that visit us on a regular basis. Kudos to you and bwst wished for your continued success.

  232. 10-20
    5:04
    am

    read your book cover to cover, Suzanne. Please, keep writing. Love your blog and can’t wait to read your next book!

  233. 3-26
    9:36
    pm

    Sassafras Farm is stunningly beautiful!! So glad you and you daughter have this great home. Thank you for sharing photos with us and the update. We understand that you are very busy. I find it amazing that you can manage a farm, especially with with many different types of animals, and still somehow find the time to blog and write. Good luck with all you new acrerage! Kodi

  234. 1-15
    3:22
    pm

    Beautiful!! And what a wonderful story.:)

  235. 2-3
    12:53
    am

    I am happy for you, I have been where you was, sometimes it’s amazing what we will put up with to keep from being alone, I too am happier.. you new place is beautiful. I see long walks on that farm… and the Autumns , I bet are spectacular!

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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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