Lately, I’ve gotten so behind on email. I have 5,692 excuses. However, I do read every single email that is sent to me at my contact email. When you get a response, it doesn’t come from a Betty Crocker actress, it’s me. I try to respond to every single email. Sometimes I’m reading emails and I get distracted. I remember I have milk heating in my cheese pot or that it’s time to go help a goat feed her baby. But the most important thing I want you to know is that I read your emails. I also read every single comment on my blog. I love your emails and I love your comments. I love that so many of you are way smarter than me and have so much good advice. I don’t know what I’d do without you. I also love your stories. And I love that you tell me that I brighten your day with my posts.

It would be impossible for me to highlight every person who writes to me or comments, but I want to take a moment today to highlight Dennis. Dennis didn’t actually write me. His wife did, and gave me permission to use this picture. Dennis found my site when he was recovering from heart surgery last spring, and he reads it every day. Dennis and his wife have a small farm in Arkansas, filled with goats, emus, chickens, ducks, and geese. In the photo, you can see the milk house he built, along with a nice deck out front with a ramp where his wife can pull her wagon up and cart buckets of milk back to the house. She describes the milk house this way: “This milk house is unique, with two small goat doors, an IN and an OUT on the pasture side, and a wide people door in the yard. This has completely eliminated the fight at the door when people, buckets, goats, cats, dogs, and kids all try to scramble through the same door at once.” They have seven goats, but it’s their old Alpine, Flo, that is pictured above along with a very affectionate emu.

She also described her husband as so tender-hearted and loving, and said how much my blog meant to him while he was at home recuperating. Her email really touched me, as do so many emails that I receive. For all of you who to write me, or comment, or just come, I want you to know how much that means to me. Thank you. You make MY day.



  1. Lindsay says:

    That milk house is pretty awesome. I hope Dennis is fully recovered now and able to enjoy it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I started reading your blog maybe a year ago, and yours is one of the reasons I started mine. I love that you share your life with us, especially since you get to live the kind of life I want to someday.

    Normally I wouldn’t get the feeling of knowing that people have read your work, but the other day I posted that people looking at my blog made me happy (it was on your Happy Card post), and a ton of your readers gave it a look. I cried I was so happy. It was just such a sweet thing to do.

    I love this blog and I’m so happy that you do this every day. You’ve built an amazing site and a great forum with wonderful people. It gives me such inspiration and comfort. Thanks Susanne!

  2. glenda says:

    Suzanne, that is a very wonderful tribute to your blog!

    I am so glad to see it is staying pretty much the same as when I first discovered it. When they become too commercial, I seem to loose interest.

    Yours makes me feel like I am talking to the neighbor down the road.
    It makes me remember when we first became “farmer’s back in 1976. I did have my Dad back then to guide u s along, but we were true city folk. We can look back and smile now but at the time, it was serious business!

    Keep up the good work. I head here with my first morning coffee!

  3. patrice says:

    I’m so glad to hear you aren’t a “Betty Crocker actress!”

  4. CindyP says:

    Betty Crocker has nothing on you!

    What a great milk house, Dennis! Hope you’ve recuperated well. A huge change of life after heart problems…mostly for the good though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Beecie says:

    I’ll be honest…I came for the cheese ;). I saw there was a drawing here for cheese making gear, and hopped over. But then I started poking around, and now I’m hooked. And I have to say I really do hear you in this post….I love your posts, and I’m enchanted by the goats! But now I love going through the comments. It’s a fabulous blog that seems to have attracted an equally fabulous community around it. You’ve planted a good seed here.


  6. Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:

    I love it here! One of my first places to go in the morning and so happy when there’s a new post to read (almost always is, unless I was up way too late on the computer and up too early ; ) ). And…Betty Crocker has nothing on you! We love the down to earth advice, stories, dreams, and just plain ‘ol fun! The kiddos do, too! (Well except for the occasional PG-13 romance novella about a dog or goat. LOL!) Love this place!! :heart:

  7. wvhomecanner says:

    Hello to Dennis and his wife from FREEZING WV :wave: :snowman:


  8. Miss Judy says:

    Thanks Suzanne,this is my first morning stop (after I make coffee). A good dose of friends, family and the “pursuit of happiness.” How else would I want my day to begin?

  9. carla says:

    That is milk house heaven. Such a logical thing to make the extra doors!! Hope you are well on the road to recovery Dennis!!
    I love your website Suzanne. There is too little common sense in the world today, and this is one website to find that. I start everyday with a stop to your website, turn on the computer, get a cup of coffee and come back to you. I love it and everyone here.

  10. holstein woman says:

    Sounds like Carla is living in my house. I do the same since I found this site. I am even considering a blog of my own, but where do I find the time.
    I love the milk house and wait with bated breath for mine. I was promised 2 years ago. But he is disabled and I have had to take over some of his animal care so I will wait and be happy with what I have. Thank God for men like Dennis who can and do get things done.
    I also hope he is well!
    I have a friend who has a situation for her cows where they go in one door and out the other and it works so well for her. That is an amazing setup. One at a time and no fighting for their space. HUMMMM…

  11. Karen Anne says:

    I hope Dennis is well. Maybe he or his wife can start a blog, I would love to see what they do.

  12. Mary says:

    I’m sitting here again with my morning coffee as always. I have been coming here since you were moving into the new farmhouse. I’m so grateful for the day I found you while searching for a kahlua recipe. Now my sister, daughter and husband all love your site. I especially love it because of your true gift for writing…eg. kindling in the snow. I’m impressed with Dennis’ goat house too..even though I have no knowledge of such things. I love the picture of Dennis with his farm animals…wives do the nicest things sometimes. May you recover quickly, Dennis, and may 2011 be a healthy and happy year for you.

  13. claudia w says:

    It’s nice to meet Dennis. I hope that he and his wife are doing well!
    Love the milk house, great idea!
    Thank you Suzanne for bringing us to your home each day and sharing your family and life. I love to see what is going on there every day!

  14. alyce shane says:

    You have inspired me, as well. I thought I was the only crazy woman out there running a small farm like a homestead and loving every critter on it like it was family. Glad I’m not the only one! When I tell someone about an event I read about on your blog, I habitually refer to you as my “friend”. The day you posted Dr. Pepper’s birth I said to my class of first graders, “My friend’s goat had her baby. Wanna see it?” and we watched it as part of our Natural Sciences class. I have started a blog myself and put your site on it as the top link. I hope to make it as entertaining and informative as CITR. Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Jane says:

    Hi Dennis, I hope you’re feeling better! You and your wife sound like lovely people, and I wish you continued health and happiness.
    Suzanne, I can’t put into words how much I admire you and what you’re doing. I don’t know you except through this site, but you make me want to be a better person (and less lazy;).

  16. CATRAY44 says:

    I have to say I usually read while my coffee is brewin! Then I go through the FB and Forums while I drink it. :woof: Sometimes, on a Friday or Sat. night, and we have stayed up late to watch a movie, I will stay of a few minutes longer, just a little past 1 a.m., for the new day’s posts and pictures, lol. :shocked: You are a big part of our lives, Suzanne. We surely appreciate all you do!

  17. Sue Nugent says:

    :snuggle: Yes,Suzanne,we love you and your blog,and all that you bring to the table.Australia has Rhonda and the United States has Suzanne.Keep up the great work of educating us all in how to live a more simple,more satisfying and sustainable lifestyle for ourselves and our families.You are a shining example of what can be achieved.

  18. texwisgirl says:

    Dennis and his wife sound like good people – anyone who can get an emu to give you a hug like that has to be. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have a milk house like he’s got (or goats or emus either) but I do have that same red wagon/cart!

    I think we should all chip in, pay for Dennis to fly to W Va so he can build you a milk house like that one! I’m always so impressed by handy people!!! Thanks for sharing this nice man with us today!

  19. Gen-IL Homesteader says:

    What a neat story! Yes, Suzanne, your blog is one of those that touches people. I found it and was instantly hooked! It’s the only blog I read somedays. I CAN”T miss it because it’s so enjoyable! A great mix of humor, sweetness, handiness….it’s just fun and perfect!

    I agree with texwisgirl’s comment. Let’s fly him to your place so he can build the milk house!

  20. Brenda E says:

    You need and deserve that milk house. What people like about your blog Suzanne is that you keep it REAL. Nothing phony – everyday things that normal people do and we love that about you. Well maybe not normal – HAha – just kiddin’ – I mean not normal for us city folk but envious we are – uh huh.

  21. lavenderblue says:

    Yep, we certainly are a lot of WOMEN here. The man has just had HEART surgery and we’re makin’ plans to fly him all over the country and start building us all milk houses. :bugeyed: We’re just kidding, Dennis, we wouldn’t really do that to you or your wife.

    But, gee, that is a good lookin’ milk house…

  22. northcountrygirl says:

    How can we not appreciate someone who brightens our day; introduces us to numerous crafts and projects; enlightens us on everyday events in her life; and is just plain wonderful!! Words cannot express how much of a difference you’ve made in my life. Seriously! I’m sure there are many others who would agree. You’re loved, Suzanne! :heart:

  23. Shelly Messier says:

    That is such a nice post you wrote about him and to us readers. I also read your post every day and look forward to it (even though I live in the city) it’s like a little vacation for me. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handy man or two 24 hrs a day! Your farm is really growing. Us readers really appreciate CITR and all YOU do!

  24. lilac wolf says:

    You can have that milk house…isn’t that one of your annual goals? I don’t mind if I don’t get a response to a comment, I read enough blogs that I rarely go back and look over the comments on them…except my own. So I know what you mean. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Ginny says:

    You need that milkhouse!! :moo:

  26. Linda Segerson says:

    Nice story…..Hope Mr. Dennis is doing well. I agree…you could use a milk house like this. I bet Sprite would like it too!!!
    I enjoy your blog and it gives me inspiration!


  27. Luann says:

    It is easy to get hooked on Suzanne’s blog. I was introduced to it by a friend who knew I would love it and then had many sleepless nights because I kept reading and reading, telling myself just one more entry…lol Love your blog suzanne and have learned so many new things here. You are a wealth of information and I love that you also blog about things that do not turn out how you wished. This shows you are human and anything is possible.

  28. Lynne says:

    Love the milk house! It would make a great addition to your farm and make everything so much easier. Wishing Dennis a quick recovery! :purpleflower:

  29. Grammie Earth says:

    Great milk house! Dennis, I wish you the best of health. I too would assist in getting you to Suzanne to build such an awesome miling house, but I’m sure between 52 and friends they can build it themselves… if you send them more specific pics! Suzanne will take pics of it coming to fruition and we will all be thrilled to look and read!

    I know nothing about emus other than they are not yellow like Big Bird and they lay big eggs! This lovable one is too cute. A comment made me think they are not always so nice…? Do you need a couple of emus Suzanne?


  30. Jessica says:

    Love the milk house!

    I am subscribed to a lot of blogs, I love blogs, don’t judge me. (wink). But your blog is #1 in my book. I love your writing style, the personality that comes out through your blog and of course the pictures. Yours is a pretty unique blog and you have a lot of subscribers, but you still hold true to what your blog is about.

    (Unlike those “big box blogs” that got too big with subscribers and seem to only talk about their sponsors and have sponsor giveaways… that used to be good blogs with actual content.)

  31. Dennis' Wife says:

    Greetings all! Dennis’ wife here. I’m his official typist. (He’s my official sweetie.) First, thank you so much, Suzanne, for your kind words. He woke me up at midnight to tell me how surprised and amazed he was to click on the title YOU, and it was HIM. He said it was like seeing himself on TV (in a good way). Reading the comments and well wishes was terrific fun. It doesn’t hurt that they are all from the ladies! And I agree, he IS the best (did he tell me to write that? you decide…) He is doing very well, in no small part due to the gumption animals demand with always something else to go do. More on the goat house if you are interested: The doors are just large enough for one goat to squeeze in. They latch from the inside, and open in so I can ‘squeeze’ out the next one and keep it from following. There is a big window on the pasture side, which is the south side. He also installed a ‘screen door protector’ over it to keep the goats from jumping on the glass and screen. It’s quite breezy and cool in the summer shade and warms from the sun in the winter. It has linoleum floors for easy clean up. That is all. Thanks all, and keep up the wonderful good work you do, Suzanne.

  32. katherine jenson says:

    :happyflower: What an awesome story. So glad he is doing better. I also love the milk house. My sister would have loved to have had one like that as well!!!

    This blog just makes my day. Due to RA and other health issues, I rarely leave the house. Each day, I start off with your site and savor the recipes, stories and pictures! Thank you! :fairy:

  33. kay lee Kelly says:

    Your blog gives me a warm feeling and a big dose
    of happy- ness. Thankyou!!

  34. Debbie says:

    :sun: :happyflower: I love to read your blog. My mother told me about your blog a year ago and I look forward to reading everything and I mean everything you write about!

    I have cooked a lot of your recipes. My husband and son (who are very picky eaters) love the Ultimate Breakfast Casserole, cooked it for Christmas morning and I want to make your Burnt Sugar Cake.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life! :snoopy:

  35. Cousin Sheryl says:

    Great story about Dennis and hope he is well now!

    Keep up the good work, Suzanne!

  36. Ramona says:

    It’s really nice. You need one!

  37. Shauna says:

    what a beautiful picture!! I love Dennis and his affectionate emu!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. Elaine says:

    Ah Suzanne, you and your blog are so much fun! Dennis, you are an artist!!!

  39. lattelady says:

    What a sweet posting.

  40. Sandra says:

    I love your family and farm…all fur babies included. I have shed tears over ones that passed even though I knew them only from afar. Keep up the wonderful work. Dennis, prayers from Texas that you’ll continue to heal and have a long life a head of you

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