Country Life

July 6, 2019 - Ready, Set, Share

I spend more time baking than the average person. A lot more. My Etsy shop is incredibly (sometimes overwhelmingly) busy. In the three years I’ve been running my Etsy shop, I’ve learned so much. I’m a much better baker than I was when I started. Experience is, after all, the greatest teacher. I’ve developed so...
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September 13, 2018 - Camper Makeover: The Auction

Ever thought about redoing a camper? For yourself, or to flip it? I’m gonna give you the numbers! This is our 1984 13-foot Scotty camper. This is what it looked like before. This is how it looked after the remodel. You can see all the “before” pictures here and all the demo pictures here and...
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August 29, 2018 - Camper Makeover: The Reveal

It’s the big fat camper makeover reveal! This is our 1984 13-foot Scotty camper. Its amenities include a bathroom with potty, sink, and shower, a dinette area with benches and a table that convert to a double bed, a refrigerator, furnace, window a/c, and kitchen with sink, four burner stovetop, and oven. Of course, its...
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August 7, 2018 - Camper Makeover: Demolition

Demo time! Remember our camper makeover? Come inside! (See the “Before Pictures” here.) This is our 1984 13-foot Scotty “canned ham” camper. It’s seen better days, but I had a vision! A vision, I tell you! I spent weeks making design plans, researching camper remodels, searching Amazon–and shopping. Then we started tearing it up. Oh,...
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July 30, 2018 - Camper Makeover: Before Pictures

Here it is, our big fat camper project! This is a 1984 13-foot Scotty, a classic “canned ham”-style camper. (Because, like, it looks like the shape of a canned ham.) Rodney had told me about this camper for years, but I’d never seen it. Sleeps at least two, maybe three with the upper bunk, and...
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April 25, 2018 - Favorites for Mother’s Day

People are ten times more likely to send scones to women and biscuits to men, did you know that? I pick up on lots of almost useless information like that from my Etsy shop. But–Mother’s Day is nearly here! Looking for ideas? I’ve got ideas! In fact, I’ve got SCONES, and we know women love...
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March 30, 2018 - The Frisky 60s and Other Generational Cracks

Morgan and her best friend Jennie stopped by last weekend. (Some of you may remember Jennie–she lived with us for a time when she and Morgan were in high school, after her family’s house burned down.) Jennie lives in Kentucky now (and is expecting a baby!) and had been visiting with Morgan in Morgantown for...
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March 26, 2018 - A Forecast of Rambling with A Chance of News

A couple weeks ago, I was out on the driveway at the farm and saw a car driving by slowly. Then a few minutes later they drove back down the road slowly, past the farm. I’ve seen this sort of activity before and had a feeling about it, but I was busy and didn’t want...
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March 11, 2018 - Life, Love, and Life-Changing with Lessons

Spoiled brat. Glory Bee, waiting to be milked. I tried to tell her the time changed and I’m really not late if it was yesterday. Right? Several people have asked about Rodney. I don’t like to go into a ton of detail for the sake of his privacy, but I can give you an update,...
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March 28, 2017 - Of Chickens and Ducks and Eggs

Whenever I order chicks from the hatchery, they send a free “exotic” chick. You can say no to the free chick, which I try to tell myself I should do but I never listen to me because who can turn down a free chick? Yet I know the chick is always going to be a...
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February 23, 2017 - In the News!

Photo: Butch Cooper/Metro The article from the Gazette’s Metro Kanawha Travel & Tourism section is available online now! You can find the entire article here, and here’s the video! (It was SO cold that day. This was taken in January.) What do you think?

December 17, 2016 - Last Minute Gift Ideas!

Recently, someone made an order for an address about 15 minutes away. Instead of shipping it, I stopped by on the way to the post office and delivered to a very sweet older lady. I really enjoyed giving the box directly to the recipient, plus when I got home, I was able to refund the...
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November 2, 2016 - The Autumn It Was Ugly

West Virginia is known for its beautiful fall colors. Luckily, that fame is not predicated on this fall. This fall’s autumnal display putting Casper to sleep. Oh, sure, there’s the occasional spot of vivid color. But overall it’s quite disappointing. The leaves just turn brown and FALL OFF. That’s it. No colorful fireworks in the...
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October 17, 2016 - Tips For Training the New Milk Cow

Cows are not innovative trailblazers motivated to leap tall building or climb mountains, risking life and limb and stability to conquer new lands or reinvent the wheel. They’re steady, solid, dependable, stable backbones of family farming, born to graze here in the morning, graze there in the afternoon, chew their cuds in between, and vote...
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October 6, 2016 - Farm in the Fall

I went to Jackson’s Mill this week to speak to the “Purposeful Reading” group at a WVU Extension Service conference. They were a great group, very curious, and bought nearly every book I brought with me. If you’ve never been to Jackson’s Mill, it’s a neat place. It’s an historic 4-H camp, once the homestead...
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September 15, 2016 - The Poster Child

It was interesting timing that I caught this incident (which surprised me) on camera several days ago: I haven’t seen Moon Pie get under Glory Bee in a very long time. Generally, these days, how I wean is that I don’t wean. Once mama gets pregnant again, the older baby will give up to the...
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July 20, 2016 - For the Love of Hens and Chicks

I am loving having a mother hen with chicks running around the barnyard. There was a time or two back in Stringtown when a hen managed to hatch a chick or two in secret, but the chicks never seemed to make it. They’d be there one day, gone the next. Which made me not want...
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June 29, 2016 - The Flood

They are calling it the “thousand year flood” in this area, and I know many of you have seen the pictures on the news. It was the worst flood here in recorded history. We have been out of power until yesterday, and are trying to get cleaned up here and deal with the situation in...
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May 26, 2016 - Moon Pie the Baby Stealer

Life in the country is filled with strange and wonderful things. Animal things. That’s right. That’s Moon Pie letting two calves suck on her at the same time. And only one of them is hers. That’s Gingersnap, her real baby, on the left, and Pumpkin, Glory Bee’s baby, on the right! Sucking on Moon Pie!...
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May 25, 2016 - A New Complete Milking System

Got cows? Then you’ve got milk! And the baby doesn’t need all of it. You could use the original cow milking system….you know, your hands. After all, hand-milking is a low-tech operation. You need hands and a bucket. Clean up is as easy as putting the milk bucket in the dishwasher. But milking the cow…....
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April 22, 2016 - Cream of Moon Pie

Training Moon Pie has been quite the little adventure. Every day, she’s a little bit better at it. She’s got the memo now, she just has to stop and study it every couple of minutes so she can remember what she’s supposed to do. Every evening, we separate baby Gingersnap and put her in the...
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March 21, 2016 - Morning with Milk and Eggs

Hark, what new goat climbs on yonder gate? That’s Valentina on the left, and on the right– That’s Aranel! While Valentina is a full Alpine, Aranel is a 50% Alpine, 50% Lamancha cross. She’s also quite pregnant. She’s bred, due in May. She came from the same dairy in Pennsylvania where we got Valentina. With...
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March 14, 2016 - An Early Spring

The cows were down to their last round bale. It was set before their feasting eyes (and mouths) on Saturday. They promptly started demolishing it. While their attentions were distracted, I checked out their girly unders. Tried to figure out what was going on back there. I couldn’t really tell. And they’re not talking. But...
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February 26, 2016 - This Is the Life

Two strainer pots of chevre draining in my fridge. Can’t wait. I love goat cheese. I’m really enjoying having dairy goats again, especially better behaved dairy goats. And just as important as the cheese, the goats are filling a gap while Glory Bee is dried off awaiting her next calf. I like being able to...
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February 11, 2016 - Nobody Ever Said Winter Was Fun

We really didn’t have winter here until around the end of January when we got that foot and a half of snow. Snow always sounds so magical. Until it snows. It’s been snowing again this week, but at least it’s not that quantity. Just daily dustings, enough to keep the roads slick and make repeat...
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January 19, 2016 - Wrasslin’

My name is Suzanne and I watch wrestling. This addictive problem has become so evilly entrenched in my life that I attended a WWE live event at the Charleston Civic Center last weekend. Wrestling (or “wrasslin'” as it’s better known in redneck terms) is perhaps the most ridiculous pseudo sport on the face of the...
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December 25, 2015 - The Pup Who Stole Christmas

Everyone down in the goat yard loved Christmas…. ….a lot! But the pup who lived just around the farm in the little white house did not. Don’t ask why. No one knows. It could be her tail wasn’t screwed on quite right. Or her tutus were too tight. Or perhaps her little pup heart was...
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November 12, 2015 - Stories from the Workshops

I’m smack in the middle of a series of back-to-back workshops. There was one last Saturday, there’s one this Saturday, and another one the Saturday after that. Then I have Thanksgiving weekend off, and another two workshop weekends in a row in December. Then that’s it for the year. Since spring, I’ve held three workshop...
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