A Book, Really?


I love watching Glory Bee STEAL MY MILK.

Beulah Petunia often licks her butt while she nurses. How weird is that?

Anyway, I have thought of separating BP and Glory Bee for some period of time between milkings because Glory Bee is stealing so MUCH milk, but BP gets SO UPSET when Glory Bee is away from her, outside the electric fence, that I’m afraid BP will go ballistic. She is very aware of Glory Bee’s whereabouts at all times. Glory Bee is a toot and she can duck under the electric fence, run around in the yard, and shake her bootie at her mama from the other side of the fence. Beulah Petunia loses her cool and starts bawling then roaring. And Glory Bee just bounces around with the chickens and plays with the dogs and says, “I can’t hear you!” at BP and sticks her tongue out at her.

If you have any advice, let me know! And now–

Many of you who comment here have said to me over the (almost) three years that I have been writing Chickens in the Road, “You should write a book!” (As an aside, I’ve written 26 books–you can see them here–but I know that’s not what you mean.) But what do you mean?

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book based on Chickens in the Road–mostly, because you’ve asked me to so many times, and also because I’m in a never-ending quest to make a living as a writer and books are not unfamiliar to me. Yet I’ve stopped short of truly moving forward with a book for numerous reasons, one of which is that I’m already really busy, second being that I’ve been in the publishing biz and am not starry-eyed about it, but mostly because I can’t wrap my brain around why you’d even want to buy one since I give away my writing here for free every day. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

And so, as I tumble around the notion of actually moving forward with a book–or finally putting it to rest–I want to ask you if you really want me to write a book, if you’d actually buy a book, and what you would want that book to be?

What is it that you think of when you say you wish I’d write a book?

Why do you like my recipes? (Assuming that you do….) What do you think of when you think of my recipes (and crafts and stories)?

I have thought quite a bit about doing a book that was arranged seasonally because it relates to the undercore of what I’m trying to do–which is self-sufficient living (which can be done in the city or suburb as well as the country). Eating what’s fresh and in season, whether it’s from your garden or the farmer’s market, using what’s available seasonally for crafts. My stories are often also seasonal, babies in the spring, hay in the fall, and so on. Seasonal makes a lot of sense to me. (I can wrap my head around it.)

I’ve tried to think of the keywords that describe my website–farm, simple, animals, cute, crafts, country, vintage, old-fashioned, frugal, fun, adventure–to try to focus. Are those the same words that you think of?

And then I think again, whatever, I encourage frugality every day. Why would anyone buy a book? I give my writing away for free and encourage you to be frugal, too. Now I’m going to ask you to buy a book? Why would you do that?

Here are two polls!

[poll id=”19″]

[poll id=”20″]

If what you really wish I’d write isn’t listed, please tell me in the comments. And please answer as many of the questions I’ve posed in this post as you are willing to! If I write a book, it’s going to be for you. I want to know what you want (and why)! I’m on the verge of finally actually doing something about it–or forever holding my peace.

Please feel free to just say, SUZANNE!!! Shut UP! Like we’d buy a book from you! (Seriously. Be honest.)


  1. Luann says:

    A book that includes recipes,step by step into beginning of your homesteading experiences, for newbies, like myself, animals stories and hints, whater good or bad….anything homesteading would be a wonderful inspiration…thanks for asking our opinions, Suzanne.
    Oh and how to get wonderful repurposed things in Roanne County area instead of always buying new…I could go on forever….

  2. lizzie says:

    Suzanne, You alway’s make my DAY! I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful your site is and how much it inspires me. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy on a daily basis, I have tried so many new things, cooking, crafts, chickens, all because of this site, and have met so many wonderful people (via the internet) I would love for you to write a book and would BUY IT!!!!!! So this winter when you are snowed in and you can’t get out, you can write that :fairy: BOOK!!!!!!!!

  3. Janne says:

    I don’t know if others are having a problem, but I just voted in the polls and got a message that I had already voted in Poll 19 and then Poll 20. This was not the case, so there must be some glitch in the voting area. Also, it did not show how many votes there were for each selection. Might want to check this out.

  4. Michelle says:

    Goodness, gracious, Glory Bee is getting BIG!

    I wouldn’t buy a book because I don’t buy books — well, except homeschooling workbooks, which explains why I don’t have time for any FUN books. And since my 48-year-old husband recently had a heart attack, there are very few of your recipes that I would be able to make for our family. But I don’t think I’m typical; I think LOTS of people would buy a book of yours, because you are a very entertaining writer (as well as a SINFUL-rich cook!).

  5. Bev in CA says:

    Suzanne, a book would be wonderful! A book much like your site. Inspirational, recipes, love of animals, weather, family and your great sense of humor. A seasonal book dealing with everyday life.
    Sharing what it is like to live in your part of the world. I loved the Stringtown history. Also including your beautiful pictures. One of my favorite authors was Gladys Taber. She wrote about her home in Connecticut, gardening, recipes, her dogs. She used to write a column for the magazine Ladie’s Home Journal it was called
    “Butternut Wisdom.” So yes! A book I would gladly buy!

  6. Lisa says:

    I actually think that you should write a children’s book about your animals and their adventures. I think children would enjoy hearing about BP, Glory Bee, and all the other funny, crazy animals on your farm.

  7. jan~n~tn says:

    I don’t know anything about cows, so this may be completely stupid. But if you ever get the halter on GB, you might tether her somewhere close to feed and water for a period of time during the day. Allowing BP to know where she is, and yet, roam away from the sucking machine. Didn’t you say that GB needed some training, or she’ll be sticks her tongue out at you?

  8. Pam R. says:

    Suzanne, I’ve never commented before but I know what I like
    and I think you should think along the lines of the dog story

    I love when you talk “through” your animals. They are so
    darn cute!

    The reason I connect with your web-site is: I now live in a
    small city but own “county” property in another place.
    My husband and I own a small farm about 2 hrs. away. Athough
    we can’t have animals now. We do have the hope of retiring there
    and owning farm animals someday soon. I can see myself in you.

    If you’ve never read “Marley” read it. If you have read it,
    reread it. It has all the qualities I know you could incorporate
    in a farm animal book of your own.

  9. Julie says:

    I like the idea of a children’s book about your animals. Your stories here about them are funny and my children (all five!) and I love reading about them and watching the videos. I share those aspects of your blog with my kids and they thoroughly enjoy it. Well, there are a few posts I’ve skipped w/them. LOL I think you can probably guess which ones. I enjoy them, but I’m a prude when it comes to my kids. 🙂 I’ve also used some of your animal post and videos for educational purposes with my kids ~ the chicks hatching was one.

    I used one of your recipes last night. Your recipes are good, easy to follow, and I’ve yet to have something not “turn out”. That’s why I like your recipes. I’m not much of a cook, always follow a recipe (never anything w/out one), so I tend migrate to that aspect of your blog. I would buy a book with your recipes even though I can get them here (for free ~ and I AM frugal) because it cost me to print all those recipes (I could take my laptop into the kitchen and I have, but I don’t like to), and they would all be in one place!! The cost would even out in my mind.

    Including aspects of your life that lead up to this point would be of interest. What in your past lead you to even want to live a self-sufficient, green, frugal existence. I would love to do many of the things you do here when we move back to the US and have some land, but sometimes I wonder if I’d be able to do it. What lead you to believe that you could?

    I come here because I enjoy simple, funny aspects of life. Yours are enhanced by the land, animals, and amazing people around you. You have a way of seeing the true value of the folks around you and you bring that to the surface. Not everyone can do that. I sense that you don’t take the people in your life for granted. I like that.

    The idea of a seasonal book is interesting to me; seeing how to use what is in season, eat what is in season, can (put up) what is in season. Most of us who don’t live off the land (but would like to) don’t really have an idea of how to go about organizing life that way.

    Sorry for the long comment, but when I read, “I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book.” I thought, excitedly, “A BOOK! YES! YES!” I think it’s a great idea! Two books: One about you, and one children’s book about your animals!

  10. wkf says:

    “but mostly because I can’t wrap my brain around why you’d even want to buy one since I give away my writing here for free every day. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

    Because you like the cow, silly!!

  11. BP says:

    Maybe a cookbook (unique-interspersed with crafts, stories, pictures, etc) and a children’s book….maybe a series of children’s books using one of your animals as the main character….Clover? Go for it!! :snoopy:

  12. Snapper says:

    Some people (low teck folks like myself) need a paper and ink book. They need the portability, the wonderful whiff of a brand new book and the crack of a new spine. Also? I’d rather have my kiddos see me reading an actual book than only see the back of my head while I’m on the computer.

  13. Snapper says:

    TECH! Low tech…. Need. More. Coffee.

  14. Liz in Wis says:

    A childrens’ book written by you would be delightful. You give your farm animals great personalities/attitudes. Maybe this winter you will do some writing and see where it takes you. Have your ever seen the movie Julie and Julia? Julie’s blog, turned into a book and then a movie.

  15. Kathryn says:

    I wish to the dickens you would consider writing for children who are about nine through 12. Stories about the animals. Stories about the farm. About the people. About Stringtown. Stories of life and living it.

  16. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :snoopy: I WOULD BUY ANY BOOK YOU WROTE,because I like YOU..Your Life…Your Family!! When I was a small girl my at home life was not a good one. My grandmother took me on a bus trip to the Kentucky to meet her family and home. I fell in love with country life. I love chickens and now have about 49. I love to sew, cook,garden and just everything about simple home living!!! Your stories make my day and always put a smile on my face.
    Thank -you,
    Hugs Granny Trace
    P.s so a book about simple country life with your animals and some good recipes is my vote please!!

  17. Cynthia Stinson says:

    One of the best books I’ve ever read was about a beekeeper who told her story of rural life and her interaction with townsfolk and her love affair with her bees. It was arranged seasonally but it was not so much a tale of life on the farm, as it was a divulging of her heart.

    A book would allow you to reflect on things that you don’t have time to edit within a three day span that you normally turn around on your blog. A book reaches a different audience as well; one that does not come for a quick meal, and then gets up to leave. Blogs are sometimes like fast food. I want to dine on your words, nice and slow in a good book. You have depth, otherwise you would not have survived the harrowing and lonely circumstances that have brought you to Stringtown Farm.

    I have no knowledge of the publishing industry, all I see is a very industrious and brave woman. I admire what you have accomplished, and you continue grit it through on a daily basis. From ordering your kids to clean up chicken poo, getting knocked over by a surly ram, laughing when there was no other option….when you really didn’t feel like it.

    The author of the book is Sue Hubbel. It is called ” A Country Year”. She also wrote, “A Book Of Bees, And How To Keep Them”. It is more of a manual, so not as involving. Some of her stories are sad and scary, many are moving and made me smile warmly. You do that to me too but I would love to feel more of your heart and would gladly pay for paper with your name on it. Not just a paperback either, but a $25.00 hardback.

  18. judydee says:

    Yes, I would buy a book. I LOVE books, my house is overrun with books and still we bring home more. Like another comment said, I love the portability of books and I love the immediatness of books. I love to read and can read rapidly, so reading on the computer monitor for very long makes me queasy sometimes. Now, what type of book. I’m sure I would enjoy any type but your writing I most enjoy is the “how to”. How to’s such as recipes, but also how to make soap, candles, laundrey detergent–how to milk a goat, cow—how to incubate chickens—how to crafts–how to live on a farm. Plenty of pictures (gratuitous cute animal pictures included) are a definite must! Your how to posts inspire me and give me confidence to try new adventures. I would love to have them all compiled in one book!

  19. Sharon says:

    I think it could be the next Foxfire Series…you are such an inspiration to so many people. You are not afraid to try something and tell everyone how it went..the good, the bad and the ugly. So only, ONLY if you want to write a book but know that your everyday posts are something that I look forward to everyday. It’s up to you, whatever makes your heart smile is what you should do. Your email/blog audience will love you no matter what! :chicken:

  20. Kathy says:

    I think that you should write a book about life on the farm. I recently read a book by Lisa Scottoline that was a compilation of columns that she had written over the years. And I loved it! It was easy to read in short bursts, made me laugh and was generally uplifting. I think you could do a similar format based on what you have already written through the years. I know I would buy it!

  21. ulli says:

    If you do a book, I think you should write a children’s book about your farm and farm animals. I can see the illustrations–simple watercolor. I would buy it for my niece & nephew. :sheepjump: :cowsleep: :chicken:

    I have so many cookbooks, I wouldn’t buy another since I can get recipes online.

    Just my 2 cents worth…

  22. Carol says:

    Books are one of my very favorite things, and yours would be at the top of the list. Yes, I’d buy. I think you should write about your struggle to create your own farm, everyday life on the farm with recipes. keep as many intimate details as you can. I believe there are lots of people who dream of doing exactly what you have done. Years ago I dreamed of living off the land and being independent, as far as possible. Bought property on an island (I’d always wanted to live on one), learned to grow just about everything there is a seed for, collected: wood burning range, propane refrigerator, homesteading utensils and tools, etc. but it didn’t work out…Good luck with your book. With your style of writing, I think you should put your pen to paper. I love my computer but couldn’t live without hard copies.

  23. marylou/TX says:

    Oops, we didn’t get to select “all of the above.” I would love a book about getting back to basics, living the simple and frugal life, getting away from the rat rush, the joy and pride of making it yourself, forming lasting bonds with your children and the benefit of community. Who better to write it than you? (Where do I send my check for a first editon? :snoopy:

  24. Rachel says:

    I would definitely buy a book, and I’m sure some of the people who couldn’t afford to buy it but wanted to, would love to check it out from the library.

    I chose “a cookbook with sides of crafts and stories.” But more accurately, I think a book of stories with sides of crafts and recipes would be perfect. Stories about how you got where you are, the history of your land, your time on the farm so far, the animals (of course!). And the seasonal setup sounds like fun. You’d just have to make sure you had a good table of contents or index so we’d be able to find the recipes/crafts we were looking for within the wonderful stories.

  25. Angela P says:

    :wave: :wave: :wave: Suzanne :wave: :wave: :wave:
    Of course Id buy your book(s) BUT what Id like to see is a MAGAZINE!
    Take a look at whats out there. Fake, blah! blah! DOne that…
    Yes. You heard right…a MAGAZINE…Could I be a contributor? Id help in any an all ways! Seriously! :woof:

  26. Nic, SD says:

    I’m not a guaranteed sale, no offense meant. Trying to cut back on books (been selling them, actually).
    I’m not a guaranteed non-sale, either. I think your idea of a seasonal book is an EXCELLENT one, and I would definitely feel inclined to check that out. Recipes do interest me. I love your stories (I’m here just about every day!) Sustainability is VERY interesting to me… that sort of encompasses a lot of different things. I go back and forth on country-type crafts, but as long as it isn’t just a craft book, that’s not a huge hindrance.
    And PICTURES (who doesn’t love pictures?). A lot of books that have survived my purges are ones that are visually beautiful.
    I think your keywords are pretty much right in line with what I would come up with, too…
    So, yup. Seasonal. Sustainable. And pictures! Oh, frugal stuff is wonderful, too.

  27. Rachel says:

    Oh, and I agree with the others that have suggested a children’s book. Maybe even a series of children’s books. Clover could take the lead, since that’s what she does best and she could tell stories about all the other animals and “that lady” and all the cookies.

  28. carol langille says:

    Suzanne, one of the very best series of books I have ever read was written by the British vet, James Herriot. I don’t know if you have ever read them but they are absolutely wonderful. It’s a little bit of a biography but it’s also a history of how the people in his area lived, spoke, raised their animals and interacted with their home land. I laughed, I cried, I was amazed and I was eager for more.
    This is how it is with you, as far as I’m concerned. You chronicle your life, the life of your animals and of your family. You tell me how to cook good things, how to live simply, and I have cried reading your blog, and I have laughed and wanted to share you with my world. I have even wanted to live in your world!
    Whatever you choose to write about, I will read.

  29. jackie c. says:

    :yes: The niche left by Tasha Tudor could use filling. Except not necessarily writing for children.

  30. SusanD says:

    I would absolutely buy your book. I think I misvoted. I would like to see a cookbook with sides, stories and crafts. I think that was one of the choices. I really shouldn’t have voted until I had more coffee.

  31. Diane says:

    I always thought you should write a childrends book!! My goodness with all the animal stories you tell us. Kids would eat that up!! And the photos you have of all the animals. You have great art work and stories already written girl!

    I love the idea of a cook book. Sprinkle in stories of your farm and animals and family history.

  32. trudy says:

    A book about your life before the farm and how you came to live on the farm.

  33. Marcia says:

    About BP and Glory Bee…I leave my 3 mo. old steer calf “Chuck” with Jersey mom Molly all day, I put him up in a stall with hay and water about 6 or 7pm – he goes very willingly. Mom Molly can see him and actually sleeps in the stall next to him. I milk about 7:30 – 8:00 am – just my “half” of Molly completely out then let Chuck in and he nurses on his “half”. I have found that if I let him nurse for a couple of minutes, Molly lets down the rest of her milk into “my half” – I then pull Chuck off (BIG battle) and tie him up behind her and finish milking my half which is mostly cream. I have found by doing this I get at least a quart of cream on a gal. of milk. I then let Molly and Chuck (and big sister Andi) out to pasture for the rest of the day – works like a charm!
    About the book – a do-it-yourself homestead/recipe Carla Emory type with all your funny stories included.

  34. Becky says:

    As I read through the comments, I see much potential. I was thinking that one book would not cover what I want to see and I found I wasn’t alone. BOOKS, GIRLFRIEND, BOOKS!!! I love the idea of a series of children’s books on the animals with Clover being the star. But I’m selfish…..I want books too! I want to see the backstory. I want to see behind the scenes of the glimpses we get through your fabulous photography. I want to hear more of the history of the area and your family’s interaction with it. You have such a gift of story spinning or tale weaving that I would buy several books about your farm life. Probably a stand alone cookbook (with many photos of food and landscape) would be a big seller too! If you don’t want to go the super publisher route, check out the McClain Printing Company in Parsons, WV. I like the total West Virginia aspect of it.

  35. Wendy says:

    A book would be great, but I would hate for it to take any time away from this website. I look forward to reading it everyday. You are living my childhood dream of living on a farm….

  36. Eve Davis says:

    After contemplating on your question ” should you write a book and if so what type” I do believe that a book on the return of country life, simple living is a great idea. So many of our generation went off the explore the cities and the careers and discovered that you can never take the country out of a country girl! I was born in a small town, Victoria Tx. My mother is german and in Germany is where she met my father, I was approx 4 ish when he passed away. So for just a few years of my life did I become familiar with country life. I was told that we did not have indoor plumbing. After dad passed away my mother took my older brother and I back to Germany. Not until I was in my mid 20s did I become acquainted again with the Texas side of my family. To make this story short, I may have been physically taken from country life but my heart and soul still resides there. I garden, I bake from scratch, I raise farm animals, all things that my mother has not and will not do. My dads side are the farmers, the heart of the land. So therefore I am to! Maybe a book on the journeys we take in life just to end up back where we belong.

  37. Langela says:

    I’d love to see a book. Your site and stories are so vintage in feel. I’d love to see a book that showed how to live an “old-fashioned” life today. I like your site because it makes me think of days gone by. I would want to see recipes, crafts, and hear stories of daily struggles and triumphs, how-tos relating to milking, egg-cleaning, fence-building, gardening. Kind of a daily journal in modern day homesteading.

  38. Molly D. says:

    What if you wrote a Tasha Tudor styled book? She mixes recipes, crafts, stories (animal stories) and tips for living. Then you would get all of the great things in one book!

  39. Victoria says:

    I would like to see you write a beginner’s Homesteading style book with categories: one for making cheese, one for raising chickens, a chapter on goats, gardening, etc. with all your witty stories interspersed and photos. Of course there would need to be a huge recipe section or perhaps that’s the follow up book Cooking on Stringtown Farm. You mention that you would be writing this for “us” but let me remind you there a thousands out there that would love this book that have not yet discovered Chickens in the Road and I think this book would be a huge success.

  40. June says:

    Suzanne, how about a fiction series (let’s think big!)with the lead character getting involved in the local going-ons. This could include local mysteries, romances, etc. while incorporating your recipes, crafts, and how-tos as part of the background. Over the course of the series, the reader gets to know the main characters and each book could revolve around a different theme – cheesemaking or bread baking, etc.

  41. Jeanne says:

    You really need to get that halter on Glory Bee. Other than her coat color she is really starting to show her Brown Swiss genes. She has the the broader body, stronger legs and size of a Swiss calf. I would guess that you will be in a battle of wills with her now as far as haltering and tieing her up. Brown Swiss can be very stubborn about doing things your way if they don’t agree your way. The bigger/older Glory Bee gets the more she will resist. If and when you seperate them it is going to involve a lot of noise, keeping Glory Bee where Beulah Petunia can see her would help, even better if BP could touch her. Short periods of time to start if you don’t want to permanently seperate them. Also if you milk BP twice a day (don’t know if you still milk only once a day or not) she will up her production to meet the increased demand at this point in her cycle.

    As for the butt licking, I would put that in the same catergory as when you nursed your baby and stroked their cheek while they nurse. That is the cheek BP can reach. (Reality is that it most likely helps with digestion and elimantion.) :moo:

  42. BuckeyeGirl says:

    One of my all time, and all timeless favorite SET of books are the “Stillmeadow” books by Gladys Taber. They were about how she and her best friend who found a decrepit farmhouse and returned it to it’s former glory, grew a garden, got to know her interesting and a sometimes odd New England neighbors, tried new food, figured out new recipes, struggled with snow, heat, learned to socialize in a new environment… *cough* anything sound familiar? Did I mention her first one was in 1940 with several others to follow?

    Go find em, have a look. She wrote a little of everything you’re talking about. I was in Jr High when I first read them, and I can still remember the ‘feeling’ of them, as well as a few of the animals and characters she talked about. There were recipes and funny stories, some sad bits, some hilarious …some things are always relevant! Some things are timeless.

  43. Rebecca says:

    Suzanne, the guy runs the Simple Dollar website just published a book, although he’s letting folks download portions of it for free right now. I think there’s a huge market. Your story of moving to West Virginia and all of the struggles and wonderful days would made a truly wonderful book.
    The cookbook with stories would be wonderful as well. You can write! Your site is engaging, informative, and the first thing I look at every day. I’ve often thought you should do kids books based on the animals – with real pictures. It’s a really good idea. Really.

  44. joycee says:

    Pioneer Woman did ok with a cookbook about ranch life full of pictures…you could too. Your blog is chocked full of a life many of us dream about but never are lucky enough to live! And Glory, she’s just being a kid…giving BP gray hairs!

  45. Zusiqu says:

    The most enduring thing you could write for a book would be recipes. Also include the butter making and soap making and canning commentary that relates to what you learned that changed how you do things and why. Then sprinkle with photos and stories! That would make it a good GIFT BOOK.

  46. texwisgirl says:

    I’m not into recipes, don’t garden or can or even craft really. But I LOVE your animals and your love of your animals! I agree with the folks above that suggested you write a childrens book for the tween years. One of my favorite all-time books was Charlotte’s Web. You could write a story from the animals point of view of life in your barnyard. You have so much love and appreciation of their personalities and traits that you could fill a series of books!

  47. Pete M. says:

    If it were up to me to describe a book I’d want to buy it’d be fiction, sorry, zero interest in a cookbook or a how-to crafts book. Set your romance novels of the past in a different time and place, add the Stringtown experience for flavor. Add some adventure and excitement to lure the male reader.
    Whether its settlers settling the West or other settlers on a far away planet makes little difference, a story mostly about the people and the settling would do it. Farm animals and all the hands-on crafts add a sense of realism to the tale.
    Something a little bit similar to Allen Steele’s Coyote or Stirling’s Dies the Fire would sell, maybe even sell big. The hands-on settling parts of those tales were lacking, you could do even better, probably, since you’ve done it.

  48. Hlhohnholz says:

    Sometimes when separating cow from calf (but generally only if you’re planning on doing it permenantly), it can actually be better if the cow can’t see the calf (out of sight, out of mind. Even better if she can’t see or hear the calf. But like I said, it depends on if you want to permenantly separate them (in which case, you’d have to bottle/bucket feed GB, which is a pain in the butt). You could also use something called a weaner (see it here: https://www.cattlestore.com/p-1163-spiked-calf-weaner.aspx and here: https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/beef/facts/nostag.htm ), which is a simple, removable device that keeps a calf from sucking, but doesn’t interfere with anything else (eating/drinking/grooming). Basically, it pokes the calf in the nose when it tries to suck & makes it uncomfortable. But GB would have to figure out that she can suck when she’s not wearing it, and can’t when she is, which may or may not work. I’m afraid there’s no very easy way to partially wean a calf!

  49. lauren says:

    I vote for two books one with animal stories and then a cookbook/crafty seasonal one. Just when you thought you where just going to get by with one LOL

  50. lauren says:

    and yes I would buy both 🙂

  51. ayenbe says:

    I think you could simply publish your blog posts in paperback form and it would be an instant success! Your followers LOVE your style of writing, your stories and your animal commentary… and would LOVE to have easy access to your bloggings. I imagine myself picking it up to read a few quick stories before bedtime. 🙂

  52. Rhonda says:

    You have all these great things for a book here on your blog, how to pick and choose would be your greatest challenge. Even though I have been reading blogs for almost two years (slow starter) I still prefer books (a passion) because you can hold them in your hand, they are portable and you don’t have to sit at a desk-for all of us non laptop people. From grandmother bread and her story to BP and all things related to her milk. Cooking without a stove and country living. I like big pictures too. And don’t forget the aprons.

  53. TowLady says:

    I love your story about when you first moved to the slanted little house. Maybe start there, adding animal stories and recipes? I also think you’d have the best children’s books…I have a granddaughter who needs Clover and Glory Bee stories!!!

  54. Mary says:

    One of my favorite author’s was Gladys Taber. She had a great way with words. Her magazine column was published in the 60s or 70s… and oh, her books! I absolutey loved her writings about Stillmeadow. I kept her book Stillmeadow Calendar for many many years and just loved reading from it. I think you could still find some of her books at Amazon just to get an idea. She led such a simple life and just made you feel so good. You have such a wonderful talent for writing that I don’t think it has to be a particular theme as much as just your daily life and routine and the way you feel about it as you as you live it… more or less your philosophy of life or things that cross your mind as you are milking B.P. or making your cheese and candles. You have so much to draw from. Seasonly or monthly, like Stillmeadow Calendar might be a good way to go. I would definitely buy your book!!!

  55. Margaret says:

    Well, I’m definitely in the minority here, but personally, I am trying to simplify my life, and get rid of books (and file folders!!) I don’t need because the information is readily available online. I love your site, read you every morning, and refer to recipes. Thanks for your sweet contribution to my urban-longing-for-country life! But I would restrain myself from buying a book.

  56. Vicki Matheny Miller says:

    Put me on the list for a book. As a lover of animals, those stories give me my daily fix of animal humor and warm fuzzy moments. But more important to me are your recipes and ideas on self-sustaining and frugal living. Although I am now a country girl living in the city, you have inspired me to not only continue my way of living frugally that was begun while living in the country, but also to expand and grow in that lifestyle. You have shown me that it is possible to do things that I want to do, like canning much of my own food, even though I can not grow a garden here, but rely on Farmer’s Markets and sales at my local grocery. And I can try things new for me, like making soap, candles and cheese.

    The internet is a wonderful place, full of useful information and inspiring blogs. But my computer is not the be-all and end-all of my existence. There just is nothing like turning the pages of a real book and reading recipes to decide what to do with that bushel of tomatoes I bought at the Farmer’s Market, or reading step-by-step instructions on how to make cheese. I realize that I could do this from your website, but I can’t curl up in my favorite chair, wrapped in my favorite quilt, with my computer, now can I!? Well, I suppose that I could, if I owned a laptop, but it just isn’t the same as with a good book.

  57. ladychef says:

    The reason I chose “Maybe” instead of “Yes” to the question “Would you buy the book”, is because it would depend on which type of book you wrote. I absolutely LOVE the animal stories and could imagine you writing a great book along the lines of “All Creatures Great and Small”, by James Herriot.
    If, however, you just published a cookbook, I would probably pass. My family is on a very restricted diet and wouldn’t be able to make much of anything in it.
    Either way, I’m pretty sure you could be pretty successful at it. And now that you have such a large fan base here on your site, I bet you could do pretty well if you republished a small lot of your romances and made them available to us readers. I know that I would LOVE to have a copy of them!!
    Good luck in whatever you decide.

  58. Margie Smith says:

    Hey Suzanne,
    Yes by all means you should write a book about your struggles and accomplishments on the farm. I like to read about other peoples lives as they build them. I am a farmer at heart only, can’t seem to get it together to do anything, so I like to see how others get on with their farming life. :shimmy:

  59. Merlin says:

    Oh, my goodness! :moo: I’d buy the book(s) with YOUR authentic autograph in them!!!!!! :happyfeet:

    The commentors have left great ideas:

    Homesteading: The beginner’s Guide
    The Beginner’s Guide Homesteading (or Farming)
    The Good, Bad, and Ugly
    Stringtown Rising Farm Recipes (or is it “Rising Stringtown Farm?)
    Stories of your life….
    Children’s books on whatever….
    Too many more to list……

    Better git crackin’ on da book, ma’am!!!! :shimmy:

  60. greensborodailyphoto says:

    You do so well with taking the perspective of the animals, I think you could write a children’s story– short or full length. Rewatch those movies like Babe and Charlotte’s Web. Read Ferdinand the Bull. Immerse yourself in the Animal Classics and the world will start to roll off your fingers!

  61. Charlene says:

    For whatever it’s worth…

    If I am to be honest, I probably wouldn’t buy a book. I am of the “Why buy the cow” mindset. I suspect I am in the minority. Otherwise, all the cookbooks coming from the Food Network would be bombs.

    The main draw for me here are the animals and your delightful way of giving each one personality. Second would be your newbie farmer experiences and your seemingly ever-present enthusiasm.

    Now, were you to write a children’s book and I were to have grandchildren, I could definitely see myself buying such a book.

    Now, if I may state the obvious, even if you decide not to write a book now, I see no reason why you can’t revisit that decision later on. But then again, once you become a seasoned farmer, the charm and enthusiasm may not come through in your writing so naturally as it does now. I’ll shut up now.

    Another thought occurred to me, your publisher would probably promote your website as a means to ensure future sales of your book, which would increase your website earnings, so……..

    Best wishes to you always, Suzanne. Now, I’ll shut up. 🙂

  62. pdelainey says:

    A book that includes all of the above.
    Recepies, Crafts, how to start living self-sufficiently, how to start up your homestead, how to raise/care for your animals, gardening tips.
    I would definetly be interested in buying a book you wrote.

  63. Deanna says:

    I’m in the “cookbook with crafts and stories” group.
    Why? I can’t read your blog from my easy chair.
    I love to browse a cookbook and get inspiration or ideas.
    The seasonal theme sounds fantastic. Maybe with an additional index in the back by ingredient!
    Both cooking and canning recipes are at a premium when overwhelmed by one type of ripe produce (currently still-ripening tomatoes on my dining room table).
    Oranges in winter both for eating and crafts. You get the idea.

    I think a second children’s book about the animals (from their point of view) would be awesome. I just don’t have little ones right now.

  64. Blyss says:

    Way back when, once upon a time, when I had a farm, I had a WONDERFUL book by a WONDERFUL lady names Carla Emery. I even got to meet her and have her sign my book once. It was a book of simple, self sufficient living.
    When my life turned upside down and I moved with the kids off the farm (due to divorce, not desire) I let a friend borrow this book. She had a new farm and was trying to get going living the life she dreamed. I never saw her or the book again. *SIGH*
    I know I can get another copy of the book at Barnes and Noble, it’s on it’s gazillion reprint, but I will never get it signed. (Carla passed away.)
    When I found your site (make your own Hamburger Helper)I instantly fell in love. My kids and SO often roll their eyes when I go on and on about CITR this and CITR that! I read your stories to my daughter when she is home from college, and show her pictures… and she even said you should write a book!
    There are many reasons I would love a book. The main one being because it would be by you, in your words, with your unique spin on life that makes me want to move to WV and become your neighbor! Other reasons for the book, is even though this is a laptop, it is hard to have it in the kitchen and refer to it while trying to make soap, or pressure canning for the first time. A book I can cover with clear acrylic to protect on the counter… my computer, not so much! And, I can take the book with me places… read it on lunch at work… while waiting to pick up a family member, etc. I can’t always do that with what’s online.
    Also, even though I am no longer on my farm, we are still rural and have a LOT of power outages. It would be nice to be able to still find and use a recipe without needing the computer to do it. (Batteries on these things sure don’t seem to last long!)
    I think the idea of seasonal books would be awesome! It makes sense to me. And, if they are sold individually, it would be easier to acquire them all on a limited budget!
    Another idea is to have kids books published, with the animal pictures…. I would buy those for the grandkids I don’t have yet! LOL.
    Thanks again for this blog, Suzanne. I have met some amazing friends on here, and learned to do so many things… even without having my farm! I feel like something is missing if I don’t have a day where I “visit” with you!

  65. Pam johnson says:

    Farm romance! I think you could use your day to day stuff as resources for a great book!

  66. Miss Judy says:

    I love books! I collect cookbooks. I reeeealy like cooksbook with pictures and stories. I like the “homey” feel of this site. It reminds me so much of the way my grandmother lived.I would hope your book would have some of those things in them. Kind of like a cross of “Mary Jane”s Farm”(magazine)/”Gooseberry Patch” (cookbooks)/ Mary Engelbriet’s (books and magazines) and Debbie Mumms (quilting and crafts).Now that said…
    I would love to have you write Childrens books about your farm and animals. I teach reading to elementary children. Sometimes I will bring up some of your farm pics on our classroom computer(when we are reading a story about animals). They love them!You are a good enough photographer to do the words and pictures in a childs book.

    You write it and I will buy it! Even if it is a “country life” romance book (which I just don’t read too much of anymore).

    Suzanne, you are so talented.You have good instincts as to what we need and enjoy.Trust yourself…write about what you know. Good Luck and God Bless! :hug:

  67. Nancy says:

    Crafts, simple living and animal stories…THAT would be perfect in my humble opinion. I would buy one in a heartbeat. Probably three…one for me, my daughter and my neice! A cookbook, not so much. Edie Clark writes “Mary’s Farm” for Yankee magazine and I’m a faithful reader yet whenever she publishes a book I buy it! It’s so nice to read your day to day adventures online but nothing beats curling up with a blanket in front of a fire with a good book!

  68. Becky says:

    Ok I voted for the if I would buy your book and the answer is yes. But I did not vote in the 2nd poll as the answer I not listed. I would like a book with all of the ideas in it….
    A cookbook.
    A book about crafts and simple living.
    A cookbook with sides of crafts and stories.
    Animal stories.
    I love your stories about your life, your children, your furbabies, your adventures, your history all of it. My family gets so tired of hearing me laugh and say come look or read this (they don’t find it as pleasing as I do) I think if it was not cyberspace and I lived closer (I am in Iowa) we would be great friends. You and I think the same way about the animals and I love that!!!

  69. Jane says:

    If you wrote a cookbook I would give it to my daughter-in-law – she love new receipts, a childrens book would go to my granddaughter – she would love Clover, anything else would be mine (I would have to share with Mom she also reads CIR). I think any thing you write will sell. I hope you write the story of Stringtown & how you came back to it with stories of your friends, family & animals thrown in.

  70. marymac says:

    I like the idea of a childrens book of farm animals. You do such a wonderful job speaking for the animals, it always brings a smile , and sometime a tear to my face. You are a woman of many talents and what ever you decide I believe would be a sucess. I don’t think it should just be a cook book though. There is so much information you can find on the internet and not as many people buy just cook books any more. Maybe some ting for kids where they also learn about the simple things of living on a farm and also a recipe here and there for things like making butter from a cow’s milk and the eggs from chickens, wool from sheep and so on. it might turn into an awful long story though.

  71. marymac says:

    I forgot to mention, I would love to see you on the Martha Stewart show!!!!! Just a thought, and after you write your book that would be a great way to promote it!!

  72. John says:

    The other type of book I think would be cool is about the people who colonized/civilized your area, and how Walton grew up and became what it is today. There are all sorts of characters and history that doesn’t get told, that you do a great job with. That could possibly combine with some of your inspiration for simple living.

  73. Marianne G says:

    I like the idea of a cookbook, but I get most of my recipes from the internet these days. I love the idea of an animal book! Maybe your animals could be the characters in some sort of fictional story.

  74. Mintamichelle says:

    I also love your website and visit it daily. A book on self-sufficiency written from YOUR prospective. I come here every day to read about the things you are doing and your trials, errors and successes….I would cherish it in print.

  75. northcountrygirl says:

    Suzanne, I’m thinking a book like James Herriott wrote about his life in the Yorkshire Moors. This would be your life in the hills of West Virginia with your family and your animals. You could include between chapters, craft ideas and recipes. But mainly the book would be about you, your family, and your animals and farm life. “DOWNHOME COUNTRY” You have all those immensely popular animal stories with Mean Rooster, Clover, all the animal stories we’ve laugher about and cried about. Intertwined with your life going from “City Girl” to country farmer. There you have all those personal family stories we’ve laughed about and cried about. Such a rich treasure trove to draw on. The crafts and recipes could be “teasers” in between chapters. GO FOR IT!! You will be the next “James Herriott” or should I say “Jane Herriott?

  76. Treasure W. says:

    A book about your move from the city to the farm. Your life as a novice farmer, your learning curve and acquiring your animals. Not exactly a “how to” book but along those lines. Do not need the crafts or receipes.


  77. sondra says:

    I love the stories, recipes, and descriptions you post about your farm life. I loved the time I spent growing up in the country and really miss the farm life. I see your blog as the Tasha Tudor of farm life in these United States! My husband even enjoys reading some of your blog. ( He is a city boy!) I can’t read the blog every day but try to catch up when I can. If you do a book, please include lots of farm life pictures! Thanks!

  78. hershiesgirl says:

    I agree with others that said a book of STORIES (either as how-to, how-to-not, or just for entertainment) dotted with recipes and crafts.

    AND children’s books. Your menagerie would be great for teaching children about farm life…and when you think that there are many children that never go past city sidewalks, or suburban backyards….what a teaching tool (along with being interesting, funny, and enlightening) you could write!

    You KNOW we will all be here cheering you on, and most of us will buy your stuff……. “just because.”

  79. Heather in KY says:

    Several children’s books, becaue I have children that span in age from 10 down to 1. My 10 and 7 year old love chapter books, especially about animals. My 4, 3, and 1 year old love picture books, again, about animals and farms. You have such great material there at your farm to write all kinds of stories! Can’t wait for whatever you do!

  80. Senta Sandberg says:

    I would so buy a book. You didn’t say all of above so many of us Homesteaders would love a collections of your experiances. Then you could do a childrens book about animals.

  81. Senta Sandberg says:

    Oh by the way I would also buy one for 2 no 3 of my friends. My Stepmom and Mother-in-Law. 2 sister-in-laws and a neighbor. Then a couple more for Christmas next year.

  82. Linda Goble says:

    I think it should be a children book too. My grandson always wants to look at all pics. on the farm. and it would be nice to give him a book to look at and also a lot easier. Whatever book you decide to write would be wonderful. And I can’t wait. You might have time to do it this winter when no gardening takes up your time. I am excited :snoopy: Also I like the idea of your life raising 3 kids from the city an bringing them to the country. You have a lot to write about. :sun:

  83. Melissa Marsh says:

    Suzanne, you know that you’ve always been an inspiration to me in that you looked at your life one day and asked, “Am I happy?” and when the answer was no, you went and found your happiness. You inspired me to do the same! So I think if you choose to write a book, it should include that fundamental turning point in your life and how you went about finding your happiness. That in itself would make for a TERRIFIC read. Those of us who have been with you since the beginning (when you were writing romance novels) have seen this amazing transformation in you with your outlook on life and the life you’ve literally built from the ground up for yourself. It is an inspiring story and I think it would help a lot of people to go look for their happiness. 🙂

  84. su says:

    I’d love a book, kind of like this page. Bits of your life on the farm, the animals, and a little of everything else too!

  85. Ivy says:

    A simple book of farm living and anecdotes…pictures and crafty instructions…especially for the holidays!

  86. Val says:

    I would buy the book(s). I think you should write about yourself…your inner feelings and why you desired to live where it was definitely going to be harder on you. You could base the book loosely on your real experiences and make it one heck of a “real life adventure” type novel, with some back stabbers and bad apples thrown in for us to hate. Telling the bare bones truth about how hard things can be/are for you, if you ever feel lonely or that you’ve bit off more than you can chew, if you worry about the future and how you’ll maintain as you age. How the rewards of living where you do and cooking food home grown as well as frugally using things to save money cancels out any of the hardships. Spin-offs from this main book can be a cookbook or two and then several children’s books based on the animals living on your farm. Crooked hen, her love interest, Clover (of COURSE), and now BP and GB….not forgetting the lamb who started it all, Annabelle. (I miss hearing about her)….and your family of dogs and cats. You do have an audience, that’s for sure….so get busy lady. (as if you don’t already have enough to do) But seriously….maybe a good winter project. We’ll be anxiously waiting for it…because as its been said over and over….we LOVE YOU.

  87. Diane Gordon says:


    I think that if you compiled your recipes into a book (or had someone else do it),it would be a big seller. Also, a separate book about homesteading, simple living, etc. with all of your crafts and animal stories would be a hit!

  88. Jo says:

    YES!!! I would buy a book in a minute! I don’t care what it’s about as long as it’s about you, your life, your farm, your animals….

    I would like you to write book(s) about your animals. Little tales about each one: Boomer, Coco, Little Crooked Hen, BP, etc….(oh, and Clover haha). Children’s books about each one or a group story of your animals when you “talk” through them. You could do a set! A series! My boys are 12 & almost 10 but they have read your animals stories right here with me for over a year now and I would buy them just for the sheer enjoy of it!

  89. Barbee says:

    Well, Suzanne, it looks like you will be writing a book. :happyflower: I have read all the comments down to this one. I think more than one book is in your future. I hope one of them is a children’s book about the Crooked Little Hen. I would buy it. I like children’s books. I would probably buy your books and donate them to our library just to get your work out there where other people would find it.

    Gladys Tabor is a favorite of mine, too. She has been dead for years, but I still read her books over occasionally. Her magazine articles “Butternut Wisdom” was why I bought the magazines. Her Still Meadow books are priceless to me. As other readers have written, her books and articles were sprinkled with recipes, and “how to” ideas, and decorating with items from nature suggestions. Then she wrote two books about her kitten, Amber, that are delightful. One book is titled something like CONVERSATIONS WITH AMBER. I can see you doing something like that.

    Maybe start with whatever is easiest for you, then build from there.

  90. Patsy Melton says:

    I would buy your book, simply because I love books and I too like to look at them outside sitting in the swing in the gazebo. I didn’t want to choose which kind of book, because it should be all-inclusive just like the website IMHO.
    But I’d like to see a reality show. It’d be much better than any on TV ever. Can you imagine being followed around with a camera stuck in your face, in BP’s udders, in Clover’s face?

  91. Susie says:

    Have you considered a ‘coffee table’ type book?? Your beautiful pictures with small anecdotal blurbs beside them… perhaps with some of your recipes, or simple living ideas but definitely around your farm and beautiful area

  92. Gayle says:

    I’d like a book with all the above: animal stories, recipes, photos, crafts, interesting stuff.

  93. Sterling says:

    I find agreement with the comments above from Cynthia Stinson, judydee, Sharon, Kathy, Carol, and especially Rachel. I like June’s idea, too, for the novelty of it. Also agreeing with the comments of ayenbe, Mary, Vicki Matheny Miller, Margie Smith, pdelainey, Nancy, Becky and especially others like that from northcountrygirl.

    If you’re just doing one book, or a starter book to stick your toe in the water, let me be presumptous enough to say, please *don’t* make it a book for children. Keep writing for “the child in all of us” as you do so well, and parents can decide whether to share it with their kids or not. I would miss the very adult wink your animal tales often carry, and also basic farm-life stories such as when the pig squealed.

    I don’t much buy books anymore, but I’d buy yours even if it was a lot like the website. *Especially* if it’s a lot like the website, because this is the stuff that I keep coming back for since…2004? 5? Some good long while, anyway. Because of you, I’ve cooked and baked some tasty things, taught myself how to crochet, bought one of those submersible blender thingies, and fed my love of chickens in a most satisfying way. But most of all, I’ve had an enjoyable ride getting to learn about you, your family, your critters and the everyday WV farm life that acts as a catalyst to your very creative and magical way of living. You had a dream and piece-by-piece, you’ve been manifesting it into physical reality. I find that amazingly inspiring, well beyond any crafts or recipes. Your incredible dream is still emerging, and it’s great being able to “peek in” as it unfolds for you.

    I’m sure it would be just as good to see in hard copy as it is digitally. Maybe even better in some ways, as a book becomes a nice keepsake and makes a great gift.

  94. Sarah says:

    I don’t know if this has already but my favorite thing about this blog is reading all the animal asides. Like Clover and her attitude… and the silly chickens… I think it would be cool if you wrote a childrens book. Maybe with all the characters being animals from your farm. And they go on fun farmy adventures! I don’t know if anyone would buy it for themselves, but I’m sure they would certainly buy it for any children in their lives! I would buy it for myself though. 😀

  95. Kim says:

    YES!!! Please write a book! A recipe/simple living/homesteading book. Love the back to basics how-to’s… making bread, soap, candles, cheese, canning etc…. all that stuff that isn’t really passed down from generation to generation anymore. Certainly peppered with stories and pictures of the animals/country life/seasons.

  96. CATRAY44 says:

    I think this will be a first of many books about CITR. I hope you write 1)the great West Virginia novel, 2) Cookbook with the side dishes, 3) Children’s book (with the subtle nuances only adults will “get”! (That didn’t narrow things down much, did it?)

  97. Rachel from Maine says:

    I voted for “a cookbooks with crafts and stories, but what I really wanted to check was “all of the above. 😆
    Please, please, please write a book and I promise I will buy it and treasure it.

  98. Julia says:

    I enjoy your blog very much. What and how you write is perfect for the Internet. But I don’t think I would enjoy a book that was essentially your blog between covers. I don’t think it would translate well. If you wrote something else entirely, I might be interested, but I might not. I would certainly give it a try, especially if it would be animal stories.

  99. Miss Becky says:

    Suzanne I most likely would not buy a book and here’s why. I’m 56 years old and I don’t accumulate ANYTHING anymore. I purged purged purged and simply don’t want ownership of anything but the necessities in life. That would be food, a few articles of clothing, and my bed and camera. I would read your book if it was in the library but no ownership of THINGS anymore. that’s just who I am. The simple life. Perhaps to the extreme, but that’s how it is for me at this stage of my life. I enjoy your website; I live in the country vicariously through your photos and stories. It is paperless and I love that. Nothing to dispose of when I’m finished. Perfect :yes:

  100. queenymom says:

    I just read most of these comments and I love them all. It is too hard to just pick one type of book but I’m thinking for the older folks out there that don’t have the eyes to read any more would greatly appreciate an E-book. You can talk instead of type it.
    I have listened to some e-books before, but they put me to sleep, yours would not because your stories are so cute and humorous.

  101. Tammy says:

    I love your instructionals – whether it be cooking or crafts or raising animals or trying new skills. But there are lots of instructional books out there many of them by seasoned professionals. And honestly, I will never homestead. I think that the instrucitonal market is self-limiting. I come here every day not to learn “how to do” anything, but to be “inspired” to do things. Your first-person blog makes it very personal and it seems like you are talking to ME – so whatever you choose to write, I would definitely recommend that it be in first person – you are awesome @ that. And you are real. Whatever you do, please don’t photo “STYLE” anything – except putting a tiara on a goat that is. Now as to content. Again, the theme I see is inspiration. Also, about what’s really important… and real… old time lessons that many of us never learned. Animals die. Pigs are butchered. There is a price to pay for living on top of a hilly bad road. Plan ahead and buy lots of aluminum foil. Respect for the value of our history. And life in all it’s reality is still good and can be fun. Maybe it’s just that I’ve gotten used to the style of the daily posting, but I’d recommend a daily (or maybe weekly) inspirational book for real living. Reality TV is so NOT real, but CITR IS and that’s such a refreshing difference for so many people. Why not use what you’ve already written and supplement as you see fit? You know your audience loves the style. A weekly format would allow you to flesh out and add photos to more of a short-story approach. You could then follow your seasonal approach and have a book of 52 weeks of farm living. So, too long of an answer, but I’d recommend a collection of 52 weekly, seasonal, inspirational, short stories with non-stylized photographs. Kind of a TRUE Reality show on paper for LIVING. Oh, and all the recipes, etc. in the appendices.

  102. Linda May says:

    How about a book a stories involving the first few years in the “little stanted house”…..must have been a struggle with three city kids…..


  103. whaledancer says:

    I’d like to see you do a series of books for children (and adults), with your wonderful animal stories illustrated with photos. The kind of gentle, simple little stories you sometimes tell here (but the G-rated ones).

    I would like to read a book recounting the story of your first year on the farm. One that explains what prompted the move, why Stringtown, and most of all, what it was like learning to live in the country. Sure, I’ve read about it here, but like all good stories, I can hear it again and again. And each telling will be a little different.

    I would buy a seasonal cookbook, if it included your just-between-us-friends chats. It would be a refreshing change from the usual cookbook authors’ approach of “I am the expert and this is THE way to do it.” But even more, I think I’d like a book about to do things “from scratch” in general. A lot of the skills you’ve learned and shared here don’t require living on a farm. And I think that there are a lot of people who have no idea that you can do things for yourself, like making your own cleaning supplies or baking mixes. I suspect there are people who would like to live more frugally and/or simply, but have no idea how to go about it. You’re so good at describing those projects with enthusiasm that makes them sound fun and as if anyone could do them (like I didn’t know I wanted to make an apron until you started talking about them). Coupled with your photographs, I think that would make a great book. Something like, country living that anyone can do.

    So please don’t make me vote for one book. I want you to write a whole bunch of books.

  104. MJ Krech says:

    All I have to say is, Pioneer Woman! She’s doing it with great success. I ordered her cookbook early on, before it was available.

    Also, I follow Laurie at lifewiththreedogs.blogspot.com/ She’s just published a book based on blog posts of her early years in northern Minnesota as a cub reporter. She added more to the story and is currently on a book tour around the Midwest. I ordered her book way before it came out, too!

    It appears that savvy publishers are much more willing to buy a book based on a blog than you would think.

    Personally I would like to hear the beginning of the slanted little house story right up to the current house and your current animal-lovely life! But it wouldn’t have the same impact on me without the beginning. THAT is what drew me to your website in the first place. I followed your posts back to the beginning and started reading there. And LOVED it!

    I would love to see crafts, recipes, animal stories, etc. but mostly the story about how you carved out a new life for yourself and your kids in the home of your ancestors. Truly a WONDERFUL story!

    I say, GO FOR IT! You can count on me for a pre-publish purchase!

  105. Susan says:

    A book keeps everything in one place. I love books. What if the power goes out? How to I read about making candles, huh? I want a book. I want a how to book about leaving the city (man made expensive conveniences) and standing on my own two feet (having a happy, simple life with good food and friends on the cheap) written by a lady who knows animals talk.

    It would be very comforting to know how to survive if our present system does fall apart or if inflation hits. Times are scary here in the big cities yet you are always doing something for almost nothing, making a product you could sell, and having a darn good time doing it. I want to learn to live like that so just share your wisdom about real life.

  106. Kathy Felton says:

    Hey Suzanne,
    I would want a book that told the story of how you ended up at your farm and went from a suburb Mom to soap making, farm animal loving, simple living woman in just a few years:)

  107. Minna says:

    My vote goes to a cookbook with sides of crafts and stories. I would definitely find some way to get that book to my hands! Why would anyone buy a book? Well, at least I don’t care to read stuff from my computer screen in bed or take the computer to the kitchen.

  108. marymac says:

    After reading all these, sounds like maybe you should just keep the blog going. It covers everything , and how do you put everything in your life into 1 book any way? Every day is a little different than the day before. Now I just don’t see how you could write just 1 book and make every one happy, yet we all love to read about the stuff you post here. Good luck deciding.

  109. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Re: BP. I also think the butt-licking may help with digestion and elimantion. My cat did that with her kittens when they nursed.

    I voted “maybe” as I get my recipes from the internet nowadays (Yours look FANTASTIC, but DH and I are serious about keeping the weight off ), and crafts are also easily found online. I would, however, buy a copy of your up-to-the-move life “I Got Here as Soon as I Could,” followed by the history of and your experiences/love of “The Slanted Little House,” and another about your new life as a farmer. I’m agreeing very much with northcountrygirl. Your blogs about life in WV and the interaction with your animals and neighbors (Angry Angel, Steve the Builder, Georgia, etc.) make wonderful reading, and could easily translate into a book or series of books. Admittedly, this would take more time than a picture book, but I think would be satisfying as well as lucrative.

    Stories of WV farm life from the animals’ point of view for young readers seem to come naturally to you, and I’m sure would be well received, regardless of age group–picture books to chapter books. Might be more fun to write than the previous suggestions! I would buy one for whichever age grandson.

    I follow a blog where the aouthor links to her book sales from her site. Not a bad idea, huh? Upon request she personally signs the ones sold from her local bookstore.

    Now. All that having been said, I say to write about what you are passionate about. You are passionate about your new farm life, your children, your animals, your roots in WV, and so many other things… If you write it, they will come. And I quote with wkf in answer to your question: “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
    “Because you like the cow, silly!!”

  110. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Sorry, e l i m i n a t i o n. :wave:

  111. Woodwife says:

    I skipped a bunch of replies, which I’ll go back and red after I post this, so maybe this was suggested but I think your book should have it all.

    I love to curl up with a book in hand, especially when I need comforting and especially one with charm. One I can read over and over.

    Maybe you could write in diary form, like “A Year on the Farm” with an entry for everyday (or once a week) telling us a story about what the animals did (definitely with stories featuring the animals talking to the Woman), what you’re making that day, cheese, corn husk dolls etc, what recipe you’re trying. It would take us through the seasons and through your growth as a mother, farmer and the Woman.

    I’d buy it!

  112. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Sorry, I mean *elimination.*

  113. Jerry says:

    Suzanne, I have to agree with you: Why buy a book when the book is already here? I mean, it would be easy to cut and paste a book out of what you’ve written here… maybe tweak it a little bit. But you’d still have this website in book form.

    Now… if you could expand on the stories and articles here… sort of a “behind the scenes look”, and maybe talk about all the failures behind the triumphs, well then you’d have a book. People love struggle, because most of them are struggling. Most of them have failed many times and they appreciate that those they look up to have also. ( Identification and all that. )

    What would also REALLY be good is a background on yourself and how you came to this point in life. Not just a “I was tired of the rat race” etc… but the REAL story behind it.

    I guess my point is that while a ‘Fluff” book would probably sell, something more in depth along with the fluff would be key.

  114. B. Ruth says:

    Pleaseee, don’t write a book…..
    Make a DVD…of all the critters in unusal antics…
    I crack up every time I even think about Annabelle bouncing around with Boomer….so cute and hilarious….I watch it over and over..when I need a good laugh…
    You can almost hear what they are saying without using words…
    I think children would love it and I think any passionate animal lover would love it….Oh, and BP’s lovely eyes and expressions…

  115. kathy says:

    I’m sorry to say I didn’t have time to read the other 100+ comments. Wow, what a reply. But I did want to say yes, I would definitely buy a book. I know several folks who do not internet. I’ve commented about your site many times and I think a book would be a great gift. As far as buying the cow when you can get the milk theory, many of us read. I’ve picked up one of my say John Grisom or Harry Potter books and re-read them. Even if your book had things I’d read on the citr, it would be nice to have it in print, keep by the bed for a chapter or two. The thing that keeps me coming back is not the recipes (yum), the crafts or forum, or any one thing in particular. It’s the sum. I feel good when I read what you’ve written. Not that I’m qualified to give you advice on what your book would be, what I’d like to see most is 5 things. The animals, stories and a few pics (Clover). Weather related stories, seasonal. Food but not really recipes. More like cheese making or preserving. Your how and why. Life in the country. Sounds idyllic, but it’s not is it? Hardships such as no electricity or internet, much less phone. Hauling water, trips to town (not 15 min. away). And lastly, history. Your history, where you were raised, lived, are now. History of your family in WV, maybe some travels. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for asking.

  116. mom2girls says:

    i would most definitely buy a book, if it was along the lines of this blog. right now, i have a lot of your recipes printed off on printer paper in a binder….and they just won’t hold up with all their use over the long run, so i need them printed on stronger paper!
    i’m a thrify young mom trying to make ends meet in a one income household, so i appreciate your frugality so much. while i am an avid reader and get most of my books from the library, i will invest in cookbooks, if i know they will be good reference books, because i know they will be used again and again. if you wrote one, or even had a compiliation of recipes from this site, i know that would be the case.
    as a frugal and busy young mom, i really love your make ahead mix recipes and your homemade renditions of processed, from a box store bought goods(hamburger helper, cake mix, etc.). i would love a whole book just of those (ps. i would really love a homemade quick fix for those little flavoured instant oatmeal packets…my husband loves those but i just can’t swallow the price!)
    so thanks again, your site has been so helpful and you are an inspiration (i warned my husband, who is a very amateur woodworker that he’s going to be building me a chicken coup someday….and if not that, at least a homemade cheese press!)

  117. Deb says:

    I think you have quite a few books in you. Are you familiar with Mary Jane Butters of Mary Jane’s Farm? If not, I think you would enjoy her books (https://www.amazon.com/MaryJanes-Ideabook-Cookbook-Lifebook-Farmgirl/dp/B000CC49JY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1287274713&sr=8-2). I own all 3 and subscribe to her magazine. Her story is similar but different. She inspires me, as you do, because as a single parent she learned to live in the country and to be self reliant and to be as feminine as she is strong. I discovered her when I was also a single parent trying to run a farm alone. If you check out her books, I’m sure you’ll love reading them and get many ideas for your own. And yes, they will sell!

  118. Quietstorm says:

    For myself…. I’d like the cookbook, mostly your recipes but I guess some of the popular ones from the old “community cookbook” (bee’s cheeseburger soup comes to mind…), & from some of the old cookbooks you have, with a side of “how to’s” like how to make butter, firestarters, how to make cheese, canning info… all the stuff we love coming here for.

    Maybe you could make it something like an “encyclopedia” of country living, chapters of recipes, crafts, canning, how to’s, simple living, seasonal living…

    Id also like to see a childrens book about the animals for my new grandson.

  119. Elizabeth says:

    I mis-voted, I said I *might* buy a book. And then I read some of the comments and someone mentioned the old James Herriott books, and I realized that you have a voice and perspective that could touch people the way that his books did. My mom and I discovered his books when they were first published in the 1970’s; she is gone, but I have read and re-read his books literally more times than I can count. In fact, I have one of them on my bedside table still, and reach for it often on sleepless nights. Reading his stories is much like visiting old friends, and not unlike reading about Clover, and the crooked little hen, and Annabelle, and Coco, and your family and friends, etc. You ENJOY your life so much, with so much humor and goodwill, that I think there is a much broader audience out there who might love your writing as much as I do! BTW, I’m a long-time reader, first-time commenter!

  120. Bonnie says:

    You have so much wisdom and a book would be great. I admire your gift of writing I wish I could. I enjoyed your romances and this blog it is the best part of my day. Thanks for sharing your life with us. And yes I would buy the book,whatever you choose to write about will be enjoyed.

  121. Barbara says:

    To be honest I think you could write a book on all the subjects you have listed. I picked the animal one because I like your lighter side of life and sense of humor. I sure you wouldn’t want to be like James Harrit on All Things Great and Small. But that’s what I was think of. Most books I buy are how to books or a subject I am studing up on.
    You go girl. You can do anything you but your mind up.
    Write a book and they will read.

  122. Lynne says:

    I agree, a book for kids about the animals!

  123. TXLady says:

    I answered a cookbook with sides and stories but my answer would really be all about your quest to live the life you chose in the country, how you got there, the trials and tribulations, all that you have written about her, with sides of recipes and crafts etc….not the other way around…….

  124. Meghan says:

    Hi, Suzanne-

    My first thought when I read this post was children’s books, and I saw others mentioned that, too. The post where the Crooked Little Hen knocked over the dog food bowl and “saved the day for everyone” would be a great one! I’m 21 and in college, and I would totally buy it! I’m sure you have some other great stories already, let alone the new inspiration that will come to you (which Clover, I’m sure, will so mercifully grant you)!

    By the way, I would probably also buy a book on crafts and simple living, and… oh, let’s face it, I would even get your cookbook, and I hate cooking. But I love your stuff more than I hate cooking.

    Please think hard about this Chickens in the Road book stuff! And I’m sure you’ll come to the right decision, and go to a publisher.

    Thanks for much for brightening my day with your posts,


  125. Debbie says:

    I love your blog! I look forward to reading the new posts. I collect cookbooks and in the past I have wished that you did have a cookbook with all the wonderful recipes you post. When I read that you were considering writing a seasonal one, I thought that would be perfect. Please add a chapter with recipes and stories for Christmas.

  126. Mz E says:

    An anthology of short stories which capture the spirit of what you’re accomplishing within each venue on the farm – the food, the crafts, the animals, a return to the “old ways.” You have an enchanting writing voice, I hope your knowledge of the writing industry will make this project a reality. Good luck and keep us posted!

  127. Angelia M says:

    I love the idea of animal stories. We have 2-year-old twin granddaughters who love books and love animals.

  128. Emma Filbrun says:

    Regarding your problem with the cow and calf–that’s why we bottle-fed our calf from day one. We did put her back on the cow for 3 days at 2-3 weeks old, when we took a short trip, and again for a week when the cow was on antibiotics. Because of those two times, the calf still wants to suck her mama even though she’s been weaned for over two months. We’re looking forward to the day she forgets about it and we can have the two together–but that probably won’t be until mama is dry, sometime next year (she’s not bred back yet).

  129. Shelly says:

    You really should write a book, make it about what appeals to you so it comes from the heart. That will shine through and make it very interesting to others. I am a big fan of yours, I know it will be great. :sun:

  130. One Sunny Acre says:

    Don’t know if you’d want to go this route, but I think you should write a children’s book about your farm animals! Your critters are so endearing. :heart:

  131. Lana says:

    Suzanne, of COURSE you should write a book. Write YOUR book, the one that’s in your heart, and not what we suggest.

    That said, I would treasure a homesteading book of the seasons, a la Gladys Taber or Celestine Sibley.

  132. G says:

    I read books all the time about expats who move to Italy or Germany or Greece and- just live. What they do, what their days are about,how they remodeled their falling down houses, how they interact and what recipes they make (always important to me).
    An American one would be great and your life is just as foreign to many Americans as an Italian expats is to me, an American lving in Germany. Yes, I think there is a market, ut I think more for a book about your life including cooking, rather than cooking including life.

  133. Mim says:

    I have always enjoyed the “Fox Fire” books…..maybe you could start a series

  134. Wendy B. says:

    Suzanne~ I stopped reading after 80+ comments and agree with most, so I won’t be redundant. However, I must say a magazine sounds very interesting, it would probably make you some decent money, but then you’d have to deal with advertising, design, etc. on a monthly basis… Anyhoo, I just wanted to say that you inspire me, and you have already got me to try things that I thought about, but never did. I consider you a “WEB friend”, but wish we were real friends (the only other celebrity I feel this way about is Oprah 🙂 ) (And, yes, I did just refer to you as a “celebrity.”) Whatever you decide to do, I will read it.

    p.s. If you do decide a magazine is in your future….I can be your graphic designer 😉 !

  135. lavenderblue says:

    I have a confession to make. May even have “confessed” before, but I don’t read Romance novels. I’ve read a couple, figured out the ending long before I was through and decided that for ‘fun’ reading, I need a good mystery. Might I add that they weren’t your novels, though. If I found one of yours in a store I’d buy it. We don’t seem to have them around here though.

    I know I can order them from the link above but here is the point I’m getting to. When I buy a book it feels very expensive to me. I know when you factor in all the costs involved, print is probably quite reasonable. It just doesn’t “feel” that way. As much as I would love pictures of the farm and sweet stories and all, I feel I couldn’t justify it. A Carla Emery type book, I could.

    Now, as far as “why would we buy it” some one said because we like you. I think that’s been settled. You’re the younger sister in my case, older sister in others, who knows stuff. Knows how to do stuff. But when we go to do stuff, we’re in the kitchen or out in the yard or in the middle of a power outage and the computer is not handy or cooperative or even operative at all. Yet we still need to know what Suzanne and her readers said about drenching chickens or how much olive oil goes in that soap or starting a fire. Okay, me not so much as others here, but still I dream “someday”.

    In these instances, it would be real helpful to have a tangible, hard copy to hold and search through. I know Carla did one, but things have changed since even her updated version. And you have had different experiences, done different things and bring a totally different perspective to “homesteading”.

    And don’t forget, just because I love my conspiracy theories, the sun is supposed to knock out all communications some day. We won’t have an internet connection to Suzanne and then what will we do?!!! There will be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land. And elsewhere.

    Suzanne, you have, Good Lord willin’ and the crick don’t rise, the rest of your life on that land. You are a writer with many, many books in you. Many different types. I answered some of your questions but don’t feel pushed into anything, start with what you are ready for. If you write it, they will come. If you aren’t ready for publishing hassles, hold off a bit. We’ll still be here. That is, until 2012. MMMmmmwwah HAH HAH HAH!

  136. kellyb says:


    What type of book were you thinking about? I’d say go with your gut feeling. You’re the one with publishing experience. The reason I’m a fan of CiTR is because it’s real. You celebrate life, it’s ups and downs. That’s what my life is like. I don’t follow Hollywood types because I can’t relate to anything they do. I can relate to so much that is presented here. I love the great recipes, the attempts at learning skills that many have forgotten. I love that you are not ashamed to love your family even with the hiccups of raising children. Boy can I relate to that. The pictures and stories about your animals are delightful. I knew no one else that I could share my delight in the antics of my chickens with until I came here. I have read Carla Emory’s book cover to cover and it is very good. You bring a sense of humor to everyday life that is wonderful and refreshing. Trust your gut.

  137. iwannafarm says:

    When I think of a book from you, I think of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. That’s the type of book that I’d like to see, life on the farm with recipes interspersed with stories by time of year. A year on your farm. I would absolutely buy that book, I’ve read the other one twice already and I know I’d read yours multiple times.

  138. trish robichaud says:

    hi suzanne, i just want to say , i enjoy the farm stories and love watching you grow into the farmer you desire to become. my parents were children during the depression. my mother told us stories about the city dwellers and the bread lines.she wasnt on a farm but they went to stay with the aunt who was. the country folk were doing just fine.they made thier own things and baked. one thing i love about citr is you showing us how to make things for ourselves. it is not that hard to concieve that a nation that forgets the past are apt to repeat it, thanks to you im that much closer to saving my family if need be. that is the book i would buy. after all forwarned is forarmed.

  139. Kristen E says:

    I agree with several other posters – a homesteading-centric book that teaches people how to be self-sufficient! Recipes, instructions, crafts, etc. based on the things you do on your farm. How to make cheese, canning recipes, how to decorate your house cheaply, how to make an apron, homemade pop-tarts, and so on.

  140. EightPondFarm says:

    I don’t buy too many types of books, and unless you went for something truly unique, I probably would not buy one from you. Not that I don’t enjoy your writings daily on the blog; I do. You are an excellent writer. But a book is a whole different thing. Children’s books, recipe books, arts & crafts books, beginner homesteading, romance novels hold no interest for me personally. I tend to like books that are going to educate me, or maybe inspire me with someone’s experience and growth. Maybe something more like what led you to the lifestyle, the kinds of things that went wrong, what you did when you failed/succeeded at something, what/who helped/harmed along the way. More your story. The other things are just copies. Children’s books are what we suggest when someone writes “cute”; cookbooks are what we say when some one collects recipes. Cooking and Country living is reminiscent of a blogging Pioneer Woman-clone. Your blog is fun and light and easy; I am sure your life has not always been — so, look to what you can teach about living life.

  141. mariah says:

    I would definitely buy a book written by you, if it’s not a cook book. I love your recipes, but there are so many on your site, and so much is available generally online that a cook book seems sort of redundant. But true to life stories about your life, and your ideas for simple living, farm living, doing it alone as a woman. I know you’re not ALONE alone…you have your kids and family and friends and 52, but you made the decision to move to West Virginia as a single woman and carry the full responsibility of it all yourself. I think you are amazing and you inspire women everywhere, in every walk of life, single, married, with and without children, from city folks to country folks and everyone in between. I love that you are so independent but also that you love and appreciate and aren’t embarrassed to admit that you very much need the men who are part of your life. These is such a terrible push in society for women to do everything without men, which I think is very sad. You seem to have a wonderful balance about all that. It comes through in your day to day writing. I can’t put my finger on anything specific to demonstrate that, but your love of people and animals and life in general is so refreshing that I’d buy just about anything you published!

  142. trish c says:

    I would love a childrens book about your animals for my 3yr old grandaughter. Real pictures of course, no drawings.
    She loves Little Lamb, Little Lamb and we read it everytime she visits.

    Do you want to know her favorite pic??? It is the one of you in your chore boots!! She loves the pic of the farmer.

    I have read your “other” books and I would buy any book you wrote.
    Sorry I’m late with this comment, but my internet was down. boo hoo

  143. Gwen says:

    Suzanne, i would love to read a book of yours, especially about your adventures with the animals, but your life in general is amazing
    It is a dream of mine to live way you do, but not able to realise it due to circumstances, i rejoice in reading yours and visualize it a bit for myself
    I especially love the way you make it easy and accesable to read, like you could be my neighbour
    And now i said enough i thing 😉

    have a good day

  144. Chic says:

    :hungry2: Suzanne…I see you have 143 comments above mine so you may not even get to this one but I’d like to put my 2 cents worth in anyway. Why does it have to be reality? Why can’t you write a fictional story of life on your farm as you dream it to be? It could be something of an on-going thing where you write sequels or what ever. If that doesn’t sound like fun then why not childrens fiction books about Clovers day or BP or any of your critters? You’ve got an incredible imagination and a great sense of humor…you could come up with some REAL good ones. You could even write something about an Ornery Angel in the backwoods! I would buy books like that for my Grandkids. And you could go back and write about more adventures about each critter. I know you could come up with some GREAT stories that are based on your life there in the woods. Anyway…that’s my 2 cents worth for today. I wish you ALL THE BEST….you’ll be WONDERFUL! Maura

  145. Luann says:

    So…Suzanne, should we look forwaed to a book? I cannot wait to purchase one….. :fairy:

  146. Susan Moody says:

    Suzanne; I think a book would be wonderful. Seasonal sounds excellent!! BUT….. crafts… recipes….. stories….. animals……living frugal….. i love all of it. I don’t think I could narrow it down. when I open up your website I like to check into all of the topics & look for new pictures. Keep us posted no matter what you decide.

  147. tabbimama says:

    I consider myself a book fanatic. There is no computer that can compare to curling up with a good book (sigh). I love, love, love to read a good book. And my favorite GOOD books are about nothing. Just peoples day to day lives. Of course think James Herriot. With that said IMHO, I would say you have several GOOD books in you. 1. The story of how you got where you are, starting with whatever prompted you to make the change. 2. Stories about the animals for all ages. Please let the animals talk to us, we love them. 3. A cookbook. A book with your very best recipes along with a commentary for each. How about How to have a simple Christmas. OMG the list is endless. I wish I would write them. I wish I had all your good material. If you need help, I will move to WV and be your assistant/secretary. You do need one of those. Let me know, but I have to bring my husband, child, dog, cats, and hamster.

  148. tabbimama says:

    sorry to be a pest. I just reread The Slanted little house post. It was so good. Book idea: Title: obviously The Slanted Little House. The whole book could be a much loooooooonger version of that post. I have goosebumps thinking about how good it would be.

  149. JoAnn says:

    I read the farm animal stories and daily pictures to my children and they LOVE them! Please write a series of children’s books starring your beloved animals with your wonderful photography!

  150. melody says:

    a book about everything just like your blog.cooking,canning,crafts,kids,animals,crooked old farm house and all the funny stories of your aunts,and neighbors..and a lot about you from begining to now..

  151. melody says:

    I have no idea why i said crooked farm house I know its the slanted farm house. lol i love those stories..

  152. Nikki says:

    I would love a series of fiction where you tell stories from the animals perspective you know giving princess clover a voice. It could even be childrens books.

  153. Wendy Curling-Virginia Farmgirl says:

    The main reason that I would like to see a book from you is because I can’t always get online and I would live to be able to hold these wonderful recipes, stories and inspirations in my hand. I would buy a book for my mother as well because she doesn’t own a computer and doesn’t know what she’s missing. I know you must be crazy busy every day but I think that would be a great way to raise proceeds for a barn!

  154. andrea pierce says:

    I read your blog everyday at work, but I’m often interrupted by..well, work. I would very much like to be able to sit on my porch or curl up on the couch and peruse your recipes and stories at my leisure. I avoid the computer like the plague at home. Plus I have collected a number of books on self reliant living, farming, country living and what not, and your lifestyle fits in perfectly – not to mention you are highly entertaining.

  155. Gayle says:

    Hi, I would buy any book you write, but what I would like to read is a sort of memior. Starting at the beginnig when you first thought about moving to your family and all that went in to how and why. Why that piece of land. Why the animals you picked. Share recipes along the way. How you met 52. I know you have written about all of this for free. But is would be nice to recap and have it in an organized manner. Thanks for asking. Gayle

  156. Heidi says:

    WOW! Wall of text! I just wanted to say about your calf problem…my grandpa’s brother told me when they had cattle that they would tie the calf up to the tree, but I think that was to make sure the cow would come home in the evening. They didn’t believe in fences…they were obviously not real Texans. I would just make sure you get your milk in the morning before baby does. Separate them at night if you can.

  157. Ramona says:

    One thing your writing has done has made me go back to badly wanting a cow.

  158. Mary says:

    :wave: Hi Suzanne: Yes, please write a book that has recipes, some crafts and animal stories. I can live vicariously the slower pace of life in the country from the comfort of my city life. There are times I wished I had a porch like yours to sit on and just stare at the view and then other times when you have snow and floods and are low on dog food, etc. I am so glad I live in the city. What can I say–I love your free writing enough that I would buy a book that tells stories/recipes you haven’t published here. Go for it, Girlfriend!

  159. sherry says:

    A book would be wonderful, something like the Mitford books, certainly including recipes, seasonal observations, crafts, and the animals. An uplifting story that is your story. I could spend a month clicking around CITR but why would I wear my clicker finger out if I could just buy the book?

  160. Ashlee M says:

    Even though I can read your writing for free right here, I would shell out for an entire series based on your blog. I prefer books to any other media and would love to see your write a book about simple and or frugal living, good home cookin’ and (especially) your farming adventures! My husband and I are working toward purchasing a nice piece of land and starting a small farm from scratch. I absolutely LOVE reading your first-timer how-to accounts of everything that has to do with your farm. I’m also trying to scale down and live a more sustainable life style so please please please write a book so I can buy it and read it over and over again! :woof:

  161. FrannyP says:


    I could see you going in several different directions. One, a cookbook would be great. I love to collect cookbooks and sometimes it is easier to pull one out than propping the laptop open in the messy kitchen. Two, I could see you writing a memoir of life on the farm there in WVa much like the delightful books by Jeanne Marie Laskas and many others, such as Gladys Taber’s books about Stillmeadow Farm. Third, I think you could write a great series of fictional books based on your life. Think of the fun it would be! Follow your muse, gal, and keep on with the free reading here!!! Love it!

  162. Michelle says:

    What kind of a book to write? I think it should be more like a
    Little House on the Prairie grown up. I LOVED “Little House on the Prairie” when I was a kid! :moo: I still have the books, and even had a bonnet. But I digress. You tell the great stories, and then go into the details of how you baked the bread, make the cheese, made the soap, with recipes and pictures of course. What wonderful gifts a book like that would make, along of course with a CITR calendar!

  163. Tea4too0 says:

    I enjoy everything you write,Suzanne, but I would really enjoy a children’s animal/craft/cookbook. I read your farm to my grandkids and they sure get a kick out of the animals.

  164. IowaCowgirl says:

    Do I get to write the index???? hee hee what fun! (RidgeRoad Indexing)

  165. Beth Brown says:

    I’ve read lots of books that are cookbooks interspersed with stories, etc. I have to say by far!!!!!!!! your blog is way better than anything I’ve read. If you wrote a book, I would buy one for myself, my daughter, my mom, my sister-in-law, and a bunch of my friends!!!

    Beth aka oneoldgoat

  166. Kaladi says:

    You asked the question why “we” “I” want a book .. here is why to me and hopefully others might agree.. Your style of writing is unique, fresh and never gets old, I think you tell stories great and I like how you add your opinion (something is rarely seen in todays PC world) .. I would love a book that I can hold in my hands .. I love books, I want something I can hold in my hands, show my children, wear the cover worn and make the pages stained and ragged(not too bad)… Please write a book .. You have a great talent and I would love to own it about Chickens in the Road!!! Thank you for listening!!!

  167. Dot says:

    I never comment. Ever. I’m the archetypal introvert–even in the anonymity of the web. I couldn’t, however, let this one pass. Book? Who in their right mind said “book?” Who would limit you to one???

    We all know the internet is forever…but books are the stuff of eternity.

    “Stringtown Rising…the Saga Continues…”

  168. Mary Dunton says:

    :purpleflower: I do like the idea of the fictional farm story with sequels. Oh, and a good keyword you may have forgotten is “Country.” Good luck woman! I’ll even BUY one! LOL!! 8)

  169. lwb says:

    I keep the calf from my cow at night. I have a set of four gates (with mesh between the slots) that is set up where my cow eats. She can see her calf, but cannot feed her. This works great. However, if I am late to milk (late according to Clementine) she begins bellowing at the top of her lungs until I milk her and let Zelda out!

  170. Martha in KS says:

    No offense, but I prefer your daily blogs to a book. I never re-read a book, so once through & I’m finished with it. With your blog I get new insights & chuckles daily. Keep up the great work!

  171. Becky Whaley says:

    I see someone already posted what I was thinking as well…a new FOXFIRE series…only CINR…

    Kind of a cookbook, craft book, animal husbandry experiences (what works and what doesn’t), all rolled into one.

  172. Janet says:

    I would buy your book without knowing what was even in it because I know already that I would enjoy it. That said, I think the book I would like you to write would be how you came to move back home to Virginia. What was the before and after effects, if any. How did you make that decision to move? How did you meet 52? I think I might be your nosiest fan! LOL

  173. Cassondra says:

    Now you have to write all of the books you mentioned because you got me excited for a simple living book but it’s not winning the polls!!! 🙁

  174. Melanie L says:

    Have you considered writing e-books?

  175. Kris says:

    I think it should be TWO bboks. One cookbook (background and short antedotes sprinkled throughout), and then another one with essays like you have on CITR. (Kind of like David Sedaris essays in his books except without all the alcohol.) I’ve seen plenty of bloggers do it already with success.

  176. Debbie in PA says:

    I love reading your website, and I think what I like the best is how you live your day to day life.

    I would by a “return to the land book” ie, what led you to go in this direction in the first place, and how you have followed your dream, second thoughts you have had along the way, how it’s changed your life, the realities of living in a rural area (I think we all get caught up in the beauty and the funny stories, but don’t appreciate the hard work behind it all), how life is different in a small town community (from your previous lives) and what your hopes are for the future. Stories of the people you meet. That’s what I would buy, but maybe that’s too personal, especially with school aged kids!

    Hey, maybe something modeled after James Herriot’s stories? (If you haven’t read them, I think you would enjoy them) True stories of rural life, written with warmth and humor.

  177. Jenn says:

    Blogs are nice 😀 and I really love to read them but there is something amazing about opening a new book :snoopy: and reading an inspirational story. I love the feel and smell of a new crisp book. I love that I can just take my book anywhere and read. I don’t have to be hooked to the computer, or stuck inside. I have dreams of doing what you are doing and I am reading everything I can on the subject in preparation for our future farm life. I would be interested in a history of sorts, about how you got started and what your future plans are. Inspiration and advice on living a self sufficient life. I also love to cook and do crafts so that would be a great addition, as well as vignettes about the daily life of the animals, plants and people on the farm. :cowsleep:

    That is my 2 cents anyway. I am new to your blog and absolutely love what I am seeing. I have already been inspired by some of your ideas and wish I had someone to try the recipes on. :hungry:

  178. Suzette says:

    I think it would be fun to read a novel about someone who…let’s say…moves from the city to the country. Finds love. Conquers problems. You know…

    And dusted among the fiction (ahem) would be recipes that Our Friend takes to the school social…serves to the potential boyfriend…burns on the new stove… There would also be places for cheese and soapmaking stories (and recipes). Our girl could also learn about other country crafts. Sort of a Foxfire Meets Bodice Ripper. Sort of.

    I know you’ll keep us posted

  179. Lisa says:

    I’m a librarian, and if you wrote a book, I’d buy it for my library. Just FYI, blog-famous authors Like Pioneer Woman and Bakerella have books, and they’re in high demand at my library. I’d buy your book for my library no matter what it was about.

    But I’d buy your book for *myself* too, if you told me how to go about getting your life. Seriously. I think many people are stuck in the rat race, and would like to do what you’ve done. But we have a failure of the imagination. We are not able to imagine ourselves as the protagonist of a life like yours. Tell us how, Suzanne. That’s what us urbanites really want to know.

  180. Lisa says:

    To be clear, what I am asking for is an instruction manual. How much money does it take? How do you pick the community and the land? How do you get through those times where you just feel so incapable and want to sit in the mud and cry? How do you imagine yourself working that hard when you’re 75?

  181. Jen R. (emeraldsunshine.org) says:

    I’m not sure if I would buy a book or not. I read PW and Bakerella and I didn’t purchase their books. On the other hand, I bought books written by Jill Shalvis (hi Jill!).

    Most of the time I don’t need more how-tos. However, a simple non-fiction book or fiction book revolving around life on the farm and seasonal issues I think would be really neat. Less of a how-to and more of just a pleasure read. I’d love to read about what things you do in which seasons, what it sounds and smells like. I want my own hobby farm (and have for years), but I can’t afford to do it this second. Anything that reminds me of why I want that is always welcome! So, essentially, I’d really prefer stories with a side of anything else. 😀

  182. Emily says:

    I think you should write the story of Stringtown. A novel Taking all of your knowledge of the area, and maybe using real charachters. Tell us how they used to do things, and cook things, and live. Put recipies and instructions at the end so we can live that way too! Maybe you can write it for preteens, or young teens and then they can make stuff with their moms!

  183. Lisabeth Olson says:

    Suzanne, I would buy a book written by you, why, because it would support you, I HOPE!!!!!
    I feel we should give you the winter off, since in most farmer places that is when they get to sleep in or do their knitting. You asked on another post if you should write a book. I actually think anyone who expects you to is being, well, selfish because we are looking out for OLD NUMBER ONE 😆 as we have been trained in our lives to do. But, what about you, do we really think you don’t do anything but spend a couple of hours a day taking care of your animals and sit around the rest of the day doing nothing 😕 . I think if we do, we need to rethink the life you really do have. So, NO I don’t think you should write a book, I think you should rest. :turtle:
    You see, when my daughter (now 36) was a little girl I was part of the school PTF (Parent Teacher Fellowship) board. We did everything we could to earn money for the school as it was a Christian School and we NEEDED funds to keep solvent. I put together several BIG (for the area) events over the 8 years I served on the board and we earned lots of money for the school. However, when I did that I also had a full time business as a Professional Seamstress, and I ran my husband’s business for him when he was on the road (which was 6 days a week). I spent many nights up all night sewing so I could keep up. At the time I put together a cookbook for our school and before it went to print we were making money on it because I sold enough ads to pay for the printing, etc ahead of time. So, I know how this could turn out for you and would love to buy a book, but PLEASE, REST!!!!!!!!

  184. Erica in VA says:


    I think a book is a superb idea. Even a compilation of your most memorable posts… there is poetry in everything you write. Also, you take great pictures. Perhaps you should consider a photo book (I think city folk call it a “coffee table book”) that has little anectdotes or quotes with each photo.

    We love all you do, and with devoted readers for a BLOG, you know you have us on the hook for anything on paper. I mean, besides, being truly self-sufficient means having something to do when the power goes out and you can’t read chickens in the road… a book would make a great substitute!

  185. Chic says:

    Ok…I haven’t read the other comments but the kind of book I would love to see you write is one about your life story. What made you go to WV and living in the little crooked house. Maybe a compilation of your stories in chronological order. I started by reading from the crooked little house and I fell in love with your writing and your life in WV. I don’t care if I’ve read it before in your blog…I forget things and there’s stories I’d love to read again! Why only one book? Why can’t you do what James Harriot did and do a compilation of your animal stories also? You could fill these books with your beautiful photography. With your humor and witty writing I know the book(s) would be great. Go for it Suzanne! :hungry2:

  186. Remudamom says:

    You should do a book with it all. A new version of the Encyclopedia of Country Living type thing. Your story, recipes, crafts and animals.

  187. wormlady says:

    You should not worry about a book selling. People buy books. I can say this both as the mother of a newly-minted self-published author and as someone who used to work for a business that morphed from yarns and looms to books. One reason people would buy a book when they can get your stuff for free is that stuff in a book stays put. Your blog keeps changing. And it’s HUGE. As a new reader (cousin Mark clued me in a couple weeks ago), I would much rather catch up via a book than with all this clicking and then miss things because I have to leave & will never find where I was or will find myself always in the same place. Your devotees will recommend it to others. Hopefully they will not only buy one themselves, but will tell their libraries to buy one. And those of us who don’t buy books will still tell our libraries to buy one.
    And what to write — just gather your posts (all of them! — I was recently moved to write a goodreads review because I so enjoyed the chattiness of recipes in a murder mystery. And because I assume that a critical aspect of this life you’re living deliberately is to not so much compartmentalize, but be aware that it takes all the parts to make the whole.) in order until it’s a full book. As I said, this blog is huge, so I have no idea if you could get a whole year in or would have to do half-years or seasons. That incorporates the seasonal aspect, for which I think consciousness needs to be raised.

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