Administrative note in response to a comment left on a recent post expressing distress over my lack of response to a question……. This blog is a work of love, not my fulltime job. I wish it was my fulltime job. I would love nothing better than for this blog to be my fulltime job. This blog is my passion. I willingly and unstintingly (and to my family’s detriment at times) devote time to this blog. I love writing this blog! I love to make people happy, and I think, in a way, maybe a small way, that I make people happy when they come here. That is what I want to do, and what I strive to do, every day. I am the type of person who finds personal fulfillment in making other people happy, so to that measure, this is a selfish endeavor. (Just sayin’. Not pretending this is some kind of selfless act.) I do this because it makes me feel good if I can make you feel good. That is why I’m here.

I get questions on a daily basis not only on current posts but also on older posts from people who come to my previously-posted recipes via search engines, as well as questions in emails. There is a lot of activity on this site that is not visible here on the main page of the blog. Sometimes I fail to answer a question in a timely way. Sometimes I even get distracted and COMPLETELY FORGET to answer. At all. This is not in any way a lack of desire on my part, but simply a factor of quantity vs one person. I am one person, with three goats and eleven chickens and two dogs and eight cats (EIGHT CATS!!!) and three children. I work from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night, in various ways and on various projects, trying to scratch out a living, and in between I take care of my farm and my family and my passion–this blog. Every comment, every question, every email, and every forum post is a blessing to me, even when–sometimes–it can be overwhelming, so this is no complaint, simply a reality check (for me, because I have refused to ask for help before now). There is no slew of people running this website. It’s just me.

I know that you are busy, too, but there is a way that you could help, if you would like to and are in the position to do it. There are six categories on the forum. The Farmhouse Table, Just Recipes, Primitive Crafts & Country Style, The Old Barn, The Country Garden, and Living the Country Dream. I read every forum post as quickly as possible because I am concerned about the potential for spamming or flaming on the forum. I would read every forum post anyway because I love the forum and it’s so much fun, but I put a great priority on monitoring the forum in an urgent sense, which is often distracting from questions in comments or emails, and generally tends to divide me in a dozen pieces and makes me forget to answer people. I get online and there are so many questions, emails, and forum posts–I’m trying to prioritize and I read the forum first to make sure everything is okay because keeping my forum a safe and warm and happy place is a responsibility I take seriously. Then I run out of time and forget that I had a question in email or the comments, and I have three kids standing over me demanding dinner. (They are so demanding when they’re hungry!)

If six people who are already active and involved on the forum would like to volunteer to help me monitor one category each (six people who are free enough to check in at least a couple of times a day so that they can read their forum category in a timely way and be responsible for monitoring it so that I could relax, knowing that if they spotted trouble, they would alert me), that would help me quite a bit. Then I could read forum posts without so much panicky urgency and give less distracted attention to the questions and emails I receive. Unfortunately, I can offer no compensation for this other than my undying gratitude.

Anyone? Six anyones? (If you’re willing, let me know in the comments on this post and also which category you would like to monitor.)

And if you emailed me or asked me a question in the comments and I didn’t answer, will you do me a favor? Ask me again. I want to answer you. I’m blessed that you would even ask me–that is my attitude. Attitude of gratitude is my goal, every day, in every way, especially about this blog and about each one of you. (Even the ones who lurk and I have no idea who you are–I am grateful for you, too! I love you, lurkers.) So please, if you ask me a question or send me an email and I don’t respond, give me the benefit of the doubt and ask me again……..

P.S. The chickens have been feeling very left out lately, so I must add this photo to show you how they decorated their coop for the holidays! Festive little devils, aren’t they?

P.P.S. Clover and I have endured our holiday photo shoot now and we both survived. (Pay no heed to those hoof prints on my back.) Don’t miss “A Very Clover Christmas” on Christmas Day!


  1. Patty says:

    Hey Suzanne, I’ve actually been a moderator for message boards, chatrooms, in-game support and other online Customer Service duties for 8 years, so I know what you mean. It *is* a full time job! I’d be glad to help out here for the good of the site and your sanity and family! lol I’ll let others take the 6 spots if they wish them first though since I’m not as prolific a poster as some are! lol If you have trouble filling that last spot, holler at me ๐Ÿ™‚

    I saw the comment you’re talking about, and actually you did answer it in your Manna from heaven blog post. *shrugs*

    Don’t stress over the forums, I’m sure the regulars would holler at you if we ever saw spamming or flaming going on anyway. I can’t help myself. I even tell my kids to stop trolling and flaming each other when they get smart-mouthed LOL!! We can help with answering questions in comments too if they are wondering about a recipe etc, if we know where to find that recipe/post, I’m sure we’d pitch in and volunteer the info.

    Chill lady and enjoy your holiday!

  2. Angelia M says:

    I’m not in the forums much, not much time, but this is the first place I go on the computer when I get the chance in the day.

    I just want to say THANK YOU for your blog. It always puts a smile on my face. I look forward to seeing what you have to say or show us each day.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Patty says:

    By the way, I LOVE the pic of Princess. She cracks me up. ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. ulli says:

    Hi Suzanne, Just stopping by to thank you for this blog. I read it first thing in the morning with a cuppa. I could never do what you’re doing. I do have a question–about your chickens. Is the coop heated? My neighbor has a chicken coop and years ago installed a heater that comes on when the temp hits a certain number. I can see the red glow from the heater (don’t know what kind it is) from my window–then I know it’s cold outside. Not knowing anything about chickens I’m just wondering if it’s necessary to heat the coop.
    My you and your family, and all your creatures great and small, have a most blessed Christmas.

  5. Patricia Herman says:

    Another thank you for your blog Suzanne. Life is real and I know it gets crazy. Your blog is the best. I love love the chicken house with lights. I am going to print it out for my mom – she raises chickens. Looking forward to the photo shoot of Clover and you (sorry about the hoof prints)!!!

    Merry Christmas to All!

  6. Heidi says:

    I have never been to the forum – I would be willing to help, just tell me what to do and how to do it. LOVE YA~~~

  7. Bee says:

    Can’t wait to see A Very Clover Christmas I’m kind of new here and asked you a question before in a comment. It was on an old post, too, but you got right back to me. Honestly, I was surprised that you did, because I figured you were pretty busy. I thought I might have to ask again.

    I’ve never moderated a forum before, but I’d be willing to help. I’m sure you’ll have lots of offers from more qualified people, but if not, I’m here.

  8. Barbara says:

    Whew, I confess I lurk daily. I enjoy your blog very much and appreciate the time given. I cannot commit to moderating as I do not spend much time in forums. I do hope you have a wonderful holiday and my advice to you is to take a deep breath and breathe. Merry Christmas.

    P.S. Don’t let the cranky web surfers get to you. You have a fantastic blog.

  9. Diane says:

    OMG I cant wait to see a Very Cover Christmas!!!!

  10. IowaDeb says:

    Count me in Suzanne! I’ll take any category, I read all messages posted.You do an excellant job answering questions.

  11. Suzanne McMinn says:

    ulli, we don’t have our chicken house heated. I don’t have anything set up for that. (They do have a light that comes on in the early morning hours.)

  12. Ann says:

    I’m a lurker! I love your blog and have gotten quite attached to ya’ll. Can’t wait to see your Christmas post!

  13. Snapper says:

    I’d be #6 if you need me. I don’t go to the forum on a regular basis, but had planned to. This may be a perfect arrangement. Just let me know….

  14. Sue says:

    Love you blog, your the first I read in the morning. Most always get a smile. I appreciate the work and time you put into your posts. Thank You.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours,

  15. Rose says:

    Suzanne, you make me (and I’m sure everyone else who reads this) happy every morning. When I read that response yesterday, I felt it was in very poor taste. I know that you try to answer every question, but I also know that you have other things to do (like making a living and taking care of kids and animals!). Keep up the good work. I am soo looking forward to your newspaper column!

  16. Peggy says:

    I am amazed at all you do. With the forum,blog,writing,family, and farm. I don’t have half that and never have enough hours in the day. I enjoy stopping by each morning before I start the day. My daughter and granddaughters gave us several dwarfs goats last year. Well one “Mandy” kidded a couple of days ago. When I ask Raigun my granddaughter to name the kid I was expecting a super hero as thats her thing now. She surprised me by naming it Christmas Cocoa. Though we call her “CC” I can’t help but think of your sweet Coco. Looking forward to your Christmas post and hope your Christmas is as special for you as you are to the blog neighborhood.

  17. Becky says:

    I don’t get to spend a lot of time in the forum. But if you find that you don’t have enough help. Let me know, I’ll see what I can do.
    Love the Chicken house Christmas lights! Do they have a little Christmas tree, too? tee hee
    Morgan is adorable in her Granny’s apron!

  18. cgRenogabbertcaro says:

    Please know, please KNOW, that I begin every single morning in Reno, NV with you, your children, your animals and your thoughts. They make me happy and remind me to look a little closer at my own world(1/3 acre,4 dogs, and friends) with a greater sense of humor and love.
    If, other than spare change to keep all your kids in “cookies”, I can provide in any measure help to keep this alive, I will give it my best shot!

  19. Rose says:

    Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas to you, your family, 52, Coco, Dookie, Clover, Honey, Nutmeg and all the chickens!!

  20. Nita in South Carolina says:

    I can’t WAIT for a Very Clover Christmas! Can you make the chickens do the Hallelujah Chorus? That would be awesome too! ๐Ÿ˜†

  21. MARY says:

    :butterfly: Suzanne, I would love to help, but don’t go online on weekends much. Your blog is obviously very hard work, and I’m sure the help would be a blessing. Very :treehugger: nice of everybody to volunteer. Now that’s the Christmas spirit!!!!! I know the chickens are feeling very festive and ready for Christmas. Very cool!

  22. JeannieB says:

    Susanne, you are a joy in my life, I can’t thank you enough fo sharing your world with all of us. When I leave messages like this, I don’t expect a response, I know that you will read it, but the most important thing is that I want to express how much you and all my friends here have meant to me. Merry Christmas lady!!!!

  23. Mandy in SC says:

    I love your site and it is the first thing I do every morning. I am a lurker (but only because I have a full time job and internet usage is monitored!) but I wanted to let you know that you do make people happy with your site. I am working on my own little farm and I get so much insparation from you (not to mention the laughs). I have 13 acres, two nigerian dwarf goats, two dogs, two small boys and I will have my first chickens in the spring. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  24. Mary Lou Middleton says:

    Suzanne, I want to add my thanks for sharing your life with us. I also read it first in the morning with my second cup of coffee sitting nearby. I often wonder how you do it with all of the other things on your to-do-list. You are amazing.
    Thank you for sharing and loving lurkers.

  25. Heidi533 says:

    Hey Suzanne, I didn’t read through all the comments, so I don’t know if you have your six yet. But I’m more than willing to help out. I’m here more than I should be, and if I were a moderator it would mean that I had to be here and then I could justify the time I spend reading here. I don’t have any preference category wise. I’ll help where and when I’m needed.

  26. Granny Sue says:

    52 probably knows better than any of us what it takes for you to maintain this site.

    My own blog keeps me busy, too, Suzanne, and I know better than to volunteer for anything else. With your loyal readership, I believe you will have many competent volunteers, and that will be a big help to you. I think you’re starting a new venture, actually-the Stringtown Rising Volunteer Corps or something like that?

    I didn’t get a chance to congratulate you on the newspaper jobs. That’s excellent! I’ll be looking forward to your columns. You really should look into writing some articles for Goldenseal too, about your family’s farm, heritage, etc.

  27. CATRAY44 says:

    Ditto Heidi533, lol! It looks like you have plenty of volanteers, but if ever you need another… count on me!

    God bless you and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  28. Sonshine says:

    I’m mostly a lurker but just have to speak up on how much I look forward to reading your blog every day! You are an inspiration of love and happiness, and I get to see my dream lived out day by day in your blog! :mrgreen: Somehow you emit a little energy my way when I don’t think I have any. Laughter really is the best medicine!

    I hope you, the kids, 52 and all the wonderful farm animals have the very best Christmas ever and may the New Year bring you nothing but happiness and prosperity in all your endeavors!


  29. Judy_in_GA says:

    I confess … I’m a lurker. I start my day with your blog and it’s NEVER wasted time. I found your blog back in the summer when I was searching for information on dairy goats. My husband and I were fantasizing about our dream house (acres out in the country with cows for neighbors). I had to go back and read all the blog entries and loved reading about your house construction and milking Clover…I had tears rolling.
    Well the house fell in our laps and we weren’t really ready to buy but we couldn’t let it get away. It’s less than 2 years old on 13.5 acres of woods and we have horses AND cows for neighbors … ok some people too but we can’t see them unless we really work at it. We moved just before Thanksgiving and our lives are still in wonderfull disarray … pinch me please. We have to drive across a small creek … the moving truck got stuck for 6 hours … that’s a story. Only our youngest in still at home … he started college this year, hence the reason we weren’t really ready to buy! I miss doing craft projects with my daughter … she lives out of state … cherish your time with Princess and the boys, they grow up too quick.
    Thanks to you and your blog, frugal Christmas presents will be wonderful! Baskets with Snickerdoodles mix in a jar, homemade vanilla (the big bottle method), citrus potpourri with things collected from our land, canned fruit sauces (with syrup leftover from making my own candied fruit).
    I’ll probably still remain a lurker except for this post but I will be a daily reader and supporter. You have renewed my interest in cooking and validated my belief that homemade and handmade is best. I’m scheming right now on where the chickens and the goats will play but that’s a project for next year as we will have to take down some trees…we’ll have to remember that chickens love Christmas decorations too!
    I didn’t mean to right a book …lots of comments stored up … please feel free to edit for length.

  30. Mim says:

    I know its hard to do but don’t let one person ruin/affect what you are doing. Use your energy on positive things…such as sharing your good life with us….

    Merry Christmas to you & yours.

  31. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Suzanne, I wish I had a tenth of the energy you put into your life! Thank you for sharing some of it with us. This post made me ready to trot over to the forum – I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done that yet. I feel like I know my fellow posters already, so I need to take the final plunge. Once I discovered your blog a few months ago, it was my first computer stop of every day until my daughter started a blog. I think you’ll understand that she’s now first, and you’re second! Thank you for sharing everything. :catmeow:

  32. Courtney KS says:

    I have faith you will get the help you need. I’m too inconsistent to commit, honestly.

    You are so awesome Suzanne!

  33. Kim W says:

    I need to get on the forums more. I’m bad – I keep forgetting about them. Yikes.

    Merry Christmas to you and your and to 52!

    Blessings from Ohio… :snoopy: :weather:

  34. Missy says:
    Hi, I just want to say that I am a regular lurker and enjoy your blog very much, I’ve never monitored before but will try to help you out if you need me. I could maybe do the animal one since we do have lots of animal. Or where needed.
    Your newest friend

  35. Suzette says:

    I am so looking forward to your Christmas post. I hope you find all your helpers!

  36. nursemary says:

    Suzanne, I am on here more times a day than I’d like to admit. I have administered and moderated forums and chat rooms for many years and understand how overwhelming it can be at times. When the dust settles, if you need me I would be willing to help. The little guy in this photo respectfully requests that I help out in The Old Barn forum where I might possibly learn a few things along the way:

    Thanks for all you do to bring some light and laughter into my day, everyday.


  37. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Mary – adorable goat with such a fancy head warmer!

  38. mycremacoffee says:

    Thank you for another year of wonderful postings!

  39. nursemary says:

    Too funny Nancy. That is not a head warmer, although it probably helps. He is recovering from dehorning done about a month ago. We take him to the school of veterinary medicine every ten days and they give him an injection if IV valium, knock him out, clean the wound
    (holes through the skull) and put on a new dressing. Hopefully on Friday the bandages will come off for good. But, you are 100 % correct about him being cute! Thanks for your kind words.


  40. Amy says:

    So, was Spartacus in favor of the holiday decorating???

    So glad you and Clover survived the photo shoot.

  41. Leah says:

    Sign Me UP!!! I’m all over this site everyday, at least a few times a day anyway. I’ll take the Farm House Table forum for you!!!Starting NOW! :hug:

  42. anne says:

    Hi Suzanne,

    Your blog is the first stop on my computer
    every day. I love to hear about your family,
    animals, recipes and your country life.
    Keep us posted. Love it!! :purr:

  43. Brandy says:

    Don’t feel guilty for being busy. The person who left that comment should have been more understanding. Can’t wait to see the pictures of your photo shoot with Clover!

  44. Estella says:

    I think you do an awesome job with your blog and the forums.
    The chicken house looks very festive.
    Relax and enjoy the holidays, Suzanne!

  45. Kelly says:

    : ) Have a Very Clover Christmas : )

    What’s in a name ?
    That which we call a Clover,
    by any other name,
    would smell as sweet !


  46. Helen says:

    What happened to Bluebell ?

  47. Susan says:

    I don’t know how you manage to do all that you do and still be sane! Your blog is the highlight of my day.

    All my warmest wishes to you, your family and 52 this Holiday Season!

  48. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Mary, I stopped back by and now have to laugh at myself – I’ve learned a lot about goats and horns and chickens and farms from this blog! Thanks. Just wanted to make sure I wished everyone a very happy Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate in Dec. The best of everything, Suzanne, to all of you. :catmeow:

  49. catslady says:

    How wonderful this blog is and all those willing to help. I haven’t made it to the forums yest since I spend way too much time on this computer. Looks like your disgruntled blogger actually did you a favor – now you will be getting well needed help and from those who are happy to help – nice for everyone. And I just love the decorated hen house!!I’m looking forward to A Very Clover Christmas too! :thumbsup:

  50. catslady says:

    sorry for the typo – that was yet and not yest :shocked:

  51. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Helen, Bluebell didn’t work out very well on the farm and we had to make a hard decision for the sake of the other animals. We found her a new home where she wouldn’t be dealing with so many chickens and cats etc. I miss her terribly!

  52. Darlene says:

    That is so cute! what a wonderful and festive idea. Bet the chickens love it too.

  53. Mary Kellogg says:

    Suzanne, you have a wonderful blog and we (your PUBLIC) are blessed that you contribute your time to making the blog funny, interesting, and a part of our lives. I would happily do monitoring but I’m stuck at a desk job all day (7 more years – it’s BIBLICAL!)

    You just ignore the few ugly people to get on you.

  54. [email protected]&Me says:

    I respect how much you DO get done.

    I’m afraid I have not answered every e-mail and I rarely get a chance to answer comments. Life gets too busy and then some of them just get away from me.

  55. Cranberry says:

    I ADORE this site as 99.9% of us do. I consider it a small gift every day to come on and copy a recipe, and delight in all of the animals and see what’s new. Keep up the very wonderful work you do, Suzanne, you put a smile on lots of faces every single day! Merry Christmas to All, even the sourpusses! :sheepjump:

  56. Patricia Herman says:

    If you need any help – I am a member of the forums – I read more then anything else – its just what I do. Just let me know. I do work a 40 hour week job but I am available at night and on weekends and every other Friday.

  57. Mikey says:

    Suzanne, you are simply amazing. I am in awe at all you do, and I can’t for the life of me figure out HOW you get it all done. Thank you for sharing all these amazing recipes and pictures. We’re big fans!!
    Hope you had the very best Merry Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Susan Elizabeth Phillips says:

    Suzanne, I’m a dedicated lurker. This is where I take my lunch break. Just had to come out of cyberspace to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

  59. Nancy Straka says:

    :thumbsup: I love your blog and I feel like I am coming home when read your blog. Thank you for all the hard work it takes to keep this blog going!! You are amazing!!

  60. LisaAJB says:

    As post number 67 I wonder if you’ll even find this three days after you posted, but I do read your blog everyday. I read it right after work, it’s my transition from school back to the real world. And it does make me happy. Thanks for keeping it up!

  61. Becky Jamison says:

    I call myself a “blurker” (blog lurker) :wave: and absolutely love your blog. I’ve told everybody I know about it. Your photos are beautiful, your stories are engaging and visiting you every day is pure delight! My husband’s family came from West Virginia and I feel like I’m visiting there when I visit you. I passed on your recipe for Drunken Rum Cake and the friend I sent it to made it and brought it to our Christmas Eve family party. It was wonderful. Thanks, Suzanne!

  62. Amanda says:

    Suzanne if you still need any help monitoring the forum I would be happy to help. I did take a few days away from the blog and forum due to a sick little one, super cleaning house, and having family in. I have missed the blog and forum and couldn’t wait to get back here. But I am back and will not leave again even through the before mentioned items!

  63. Birdi says:

    Don’t ever feel guilty for being busy! You are living a wonderful life. If there is anything I can do to help you…I’d be honored to do so. Just let me know. The chores of this lifestyle are worth all that is involved and its great to reach out for a help. Don’t stop what you are doing and may the New Year bless you with more farmgirl adventures.

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