Behind the Scenes


I’ve been working on some functionality improvements on my website for awhile, particularly in regard to the archiving of posts. For a long time, I’ve been manually archiving recipes and other posts through my category pages. I added buttons for my category pages on the menu bar recently, and added a “latest post” feature on each of those pages to make it easier for people to find what’s new in each category if they’ve missed something. But wait, there’s more! I had to do a little more work behind the scenes getting older posts properly sub-categorized, and now that I have, I’ve added a “recent posts” feature as well, highlighting, along with the latest post, the four most recent beyond that and also a new and improved automatic archiving system. Manual archiving was time-consuming, and the new automatic archiving not only saves me time but allows me to provide a more complete archive.

It also made it really clear what I’ve been doing for the past year and where I’m behind. You can see on The Farmhouse Table page that I’ve been doing a lot of cooking! (The Farmhouse Table page was the best manually archived page because I always tried to keep the recipes up-to-date and available, though I’d been slacking recently!) And on The Old Barn page, you can see I’ve been playing with farm animals quite a bit. On the Country Living page you can see I’ve been, well, doing a lot of living. The Country Garden page and the Primitive Crafts & Country Style pages show me up for not doing much gardening or crafting, but immersed as I am in the first year of a farm, I suppose that’s not too surprising. I hope to write much more on those topics in the coming year! I’m going to be the best gardener ever next year! I’m gonna hoe and plant and hoe and not whine about it! (I’m so making that up…. Well, the part about planting. I’ll do that. Not sure about the hoeing, but if I do hoe, there will definitely be some whining.)

With automatic archiving, a number of posts from the past year and beyond are available now in the archives that weren’t available before. However, all the posts on my site aren’t there and probably won’t ever be there because some of my much older posts just aren’t, well, archive-worthy! I started my blog in December 2004. Back then, I can remember having to explain to people what a blog was, and hardly anyone I knew had one. The blogosphere has certainly grown since then! My first post was on Christmas Eve and it was a picture of Princess putting reindeer snacks out on the front stoop before she went to bed. I was using a different blogging platform then and when I later moved to WordPress, I didn’t move the entire archive (laziness), so the archive existing here doesn’t go back quite that far. For the first few years of my blog, I mostly posted about writing topics, books I was reading, books I was writing, and I had a lot of book giveaways. Most of my early archive is not only completely unrelated to the topics of my blog now, it’s boring, so I didn’t recategorize all those posts to work with the automatic archiving. However! Many of the posts from the past year or two that are more topical but were previously hard to find are now available in the new automated archives on the category pages, so check it out! You might find something you missed.

Going through all those posts, I found this cute photo of baby Coco who couldn’t go down the stairs and I just about died of love for her cuddly giant puppiness. Look at her here at two months.

She’s six months old now, still a puppy, and proving every day that she is truly a GIANT one!

She’s got that stair-stepping thing down pat now.



What a good Giant Puppy!! (I know, it’s hard to believe this is just a six-month old puppy, isn’t it? She looks like she’s twenty years old. What can I say? Life is rough on the farm! All that….napping. It’s killin’ her.)

One last note–if there’s something I haven’t done with my site that you wish I’d do, or something you’d rather see more or less of, let me know. I want to hear what you think!


  1. hawkswench says:

    Well if you are going to be the best gardener next year its starts now with all those nice leaves into a compost pile, and turned under the garden you did this year. Its hard to believe that Coco is only 6 months old.

  2. Tressa Nelson says:

    Chicken Spy Cam
    Smell-0-Vision for the Kitchen

    Otherwise, just keep doing what you are doing. I love your site!

  3. Julie says:

    I love your post!
    My family and I will be moving to our new farm home in about 3 weeks so keep all the farm news coming. You’re just about to make me go get a goat first thing!

    It was a cold(for South Carolina) wet day yesterday so I tried Grandmother Bread (plain and cinnamon swirl). Yummm!Hardly any left but no one will admit to eating almost all of it! Next – savory style.

    Keep the down home recipes coming!

  4. Shari C says:

    Thank you for all your hard work in making this site so easy for us now to navigate; it is great and so easy to find things. I certainly enjoyed looking through some of the past posts.
    Cannot believe how Coco has grown in the last six months. What a great comparison of photos to show how truly ‘giant’ and cute she is.
    Love your site and thanks for all your work to simplify things for us readers.

  5. robin says:

    Whew! It is a wonderful blog experience…have to have my fix as soon as I can get on the computer after work…love sharing
    the photos and food recipes with husband. Thanks for all the hard work… :snoopy:

  6. Gail says:

    You have accomplished so much! It must be so gratifying to look back and see it adding up to a beautiful farm and life. Your fan club sure appreciates all that you’ve shared
    and it has been fun for us to be part of that journey. Your blog is the absolute best and my personal favorite! The recipes and step by step instructions inspire me to try new things. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and your family through your blog. The humor you inject with the goat and chicken stories have us laughing and brighten our day. The forums are great and provide a way for us all to participate in “farm life” and share ideas.Keep up the
    wonderful creative work!

  7. mmHoney says:

    Please keep it simple.
    Some of us “folks” can’t navigate all of the new fangled set-ups. Thanks.

  8. Claudia W. says:

    WOW! I feel lucky that I can get a picture up on my blog! You are so talented in some many areas!I’m inpressed.
    I like everything you are doing now. I am sure that you would think of any other things long before I do. More pics of the Giant Puppy, chickens, goats. I love your critters, can’t wait tiol I get my chickens…gotta build a fully enclosed,raccoon proof area for them in my backyard first.

  9. Sandy says:

    As long as I can still find your recipes ….I will be happy :mrgreen:

  10. catslady says:

    I think its :purr: fect!!

  11. Peggy Fraser says:

    Hi Suzanne. I just wanted to say thankyou, thankyou, thankyou for your blog. I just love it. I live on Vancouver Island, off the west coast, and I have to say West Virginia compares, but I think it gets way hotter in the summertime, and a bit more snow in the winter.
    Good luck on the gardening next spring. I’ve be out there with you, but mid-july I quit. everything can duke it out with the weeds by then, and I just harvest and pick flowers.
    Peggy F.

  12. Gloria Jean says:

    Good Morning! (Well, it’s still morning here in California.) I’d love a provision to print just the text of recipes as my computer is on a different floor than my kitchen and I currently end up scratching out a semi-shorthand version of the recipes, usually omitting some salient instruction, leading to creative results. Loved the pepperoni lasagna, and love your blog!

  13. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Gloria Jean–there is! If you’ll look at the bottom of each recipe post, there is a little icon of a printer and it says Printable Recipe next to it. If you click on the Printable Recipe link, it gives you a page that displays ONLY the text of the recipe, no photos, and you can print that. All of my recipe posts have the Printable Recipe feature.

  14. Jean says:

    I think your blog is perfect – it’s how I start my day. I love that you have such love and respect for the history of your farm and area and that you are enjoying so much making your own life there. Someday your children and grandchildren will come back and talk about the great life you have there and will pass on the traditions, recipes and love. Thank you so much.

  15. Brandy says:

    I like your posts just the way they are! Especially these photos of Coco the Giant Puppy. *G*

  16. Tori Lennox says:

    Hey, you could have a live webcam of the chicken coop for your readers to tune and watch the chickens. Or the goats!

  17. Estella says:

    I think your bolg is an excellent representation of your farm.
    Love the Coco pictures!

  18. Susan says:

    Yikes! I didn’t realize I’ve been coming to your blog for so long. I remember lurking around for months because I was to shy to post. :fryingpan: You have a wonderful blog and I can’t think of anything you could possibly add except a photo of 52. :yes:

    My goodness, Coco sure has grown! :heart:

  19. Jodie says:

    I love Coco the giant puppy best when she was a 2 month old but I’m sure she’s still a puppy now even though she looks full grown. I second the request for either a goat-cam, a chicken-cam or both. I don’t know if it would work with your slower speed satelite internet connection, but it would be very cool. Those chickens and goats have provided lots of entertainment for those of us that are city folks reading your blog. THANKS!

  20. DeeBee says:

    I love your blog and I love your bread. I finally made the Grandmother bread yesterday and it was so fun and delicious. I posted about it and linked back to your blog. Now I’m going to go make some cinnamon toast with my freshly baked bread. Mmmmm.

  21. Patty says:

    I love your blog! You’ve inspired me in so many ways. Thanks for all you do!

  22. Susan says:

    Love your blog!

    My husband and I are the proud parents of seven dogs – FIVE of them Great Pyrenees. They are all rescues and live in the DFW metroplex – so they are couch potatoes. I don’t think they’d have it any other way! My Millie Jean (six weeks old when she and her four siblings were found tossed out on the side of the road in Abilene) is now 10 months old. They sure do grow fast!

    If you are looking for another Pyr, our rescue group places both pets and LGDs – check them out at Most are pure bred Pyrs and we find transport nationwide.

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