Archive for February 14th, 2012

Thank You!


Last week was an ordeal, emotionally and physically. At first, I couldn’t even talk (or write) about it because it was so overwhelming, then I needed to talk/write about it. I know so many of you have been through similar situations, and it was helpful to read your stories. I was afraid I’d never see Coco again, and I still find it hard to believe sometimes that she just showed up at the front door. There was the sweetest little old lady at a big cattle farm that I discovered on the other side of the ridge from my farm. I went to her door with a flyer. Her farm was one of the most likely locations where Coco might be spotted. There’s a lot of open pasture over there once you get down the ridge. She was so kind, if I’d stayed at her door another minute she probably would have invited me in for a cookie. She said, “We do love our dogs, don’t we?” And it’s true, dogs really get us in the heart. Anyone who’s had a livestock guardian dog also knows they are one of the very special kinds of dogs who truly take on responsibility for the whole family and all the animals that live there, so it’s terrible when you know they need your help for a change and you can’t help them. Not knowing is the worst. I know some of you have lost dogs and never seen them again. We lost Boomer that way. I feel so very lucky to have Coco back, and also so very fortunate to have so much support.

Me, still slobbering all over Coco on Sunday.

I’m sure she was wishing I would just stop choking her. I got really behind on my writing, and everything else, over the past week, so please bear with me as I try to catch up and get back on my usual schedule.

I also want to thank those of you who have helped to support my Kickstarter project. I’m at 69 percent! I’m starting to think I might actually make it. I’m hopeful!

See me on Kickstarter! Please spread the word!

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You Can Can (BBB)


I’ve been trying to get back into my regular BBB days since the upheaval of the move, but the upheaval just keeps coming! And here I was so hoping my life would be so placid that I would not have a sequel to the memoir. Anyway! I’ve decided to spice up the BBB giveaways for a bit by sharing some of the other great preserving literature that is available, so I’m planning some BBBs that are not actually BBBs. (Make sense? Confusing enough? Just keeping you on your toes here.) Up for grabs today is a copy of You Can Can!: A Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling, with 100 Recipes. What I love about this one is that it includes a LOT of photos, and if you’re a visual learner, this might be just right for you. (I love this one so much, I’ll be doing several upcoming giveaways with it, so if you don’t win this time, try try again!)

Note: I’m still setting up the posts as usual for a BBB giveaway, and you can still just put (BBB) in your comment to let me know you want it–just remember it’s actually a copy of You Can Can that the winner will receive.


Ball Blue BookIt’s a Ball Blue Book Project day! Today’s Ball Blue Book is sponsored by Vanessa Zumwalt in honor of Evelyn Lamont and Evelyn Lot.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. You can just put (BBB) at the end of your comment or otherwise note that you want to be in the draw. One winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive a copy of You Can Can. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tonight (February 14). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow (February 15). Return to this post to claim your book if your name is drawn (or check the BBB Winners List).

Find out more about the Ball Blue Book Project and become a sponsor.

NOTE: You must be registered to comment. If you’re not registered, you can register here. If you’re already registered but not logged in, go here to log in.

UPDATE 02/15/12: The winning comment number, drawn by, is comment #68, canthony. Email me at [email protected] with your full name and address for shipping!


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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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