Friday Night Gig

The Earls of Leicester were performing in the Historic Earle Theater in Mount Airy, N.C and I was fortunate enough to be in the house!


Ya’ll already know how much I love the Earls – I’ve posted about them before. They are the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Assoc. Entertainers of the Year. The founder of the group, Jerry Douglas, is the IBMA Dobro player of the year, Barry Bales is the IBMA Bass player of the year, and my dear friend Charlie Cushman is the IBMA BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR! A much deserved accolade. As you know, Charlie is the banjo player on our Simple Life CD – “Out of These Mountains.”  He also played guitar and bass for us, and although he is a master banjer picker – he plays guitar on all the old “Sacred” songs for the Earls too.



The Earls will be performing in my hometown of Galax, Virginia at Houstonfest, June 9th and 10th.  They will also be at Homecoming this year at the Museum of Appalachia in October.  If they are performing anywhere near you – make the trip to go and see them, and tell Charlie I said Hey!

Recent Travel Photos

Good Evening! I wanted to drop you a line and reassure you that I’m still going to post photos from my recent travels and upcoming magazine sneak peeks! I feared you might just quit me, thinking you have to see my mug being silly on video for the rest of your lives! ha! Naw …. while that is a fun way to communicate when I’m on the road, I can still be serious too, and give you lots of eye candy to look at, book recommendations,  and links to music and other fun things you might enjoy.

SO – while I was in PA, Lynne and I made a quick trip over to Washington’s Winter Headquarters in Valley Forge. What incredible hallowed ground that is. The home he stayed in was built in the 1760’s for Issac Potts.


General Washington was encamped here with the Continental Army during the winter and spring of 1777-1778.

Some of his army stayed in various cabins on the farm. If you’re ever in the area, this is a much needed visit.


This past Monday while on my trip to Michigan I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Jane Reed and photographing her incredible home. Last summer, Cheryl had been there photographing her gardens and she will be featured in the upcoming Summer issue of A Simple Life.




I had to share a photo of the wonderful spring basket of flowers that were waiting for me when I got home from Michigan. My dear friend Ginny Curry sent them from Ohio to surprise me. What a heartfelt blessing they were to receive! I love you Ginny! I’m not sure I have ever smelled anything so heavenly!


On a separate subject, I’d like to share a video link with my fellow Ralph Stanley fans. It’s about an hour long, so get settled in your chair when you have time and enjoy this wonderful tale of Ralph’s life. I think you will love it as much as I do!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by for a visit with me! I’m so fortunate to have such awesome friends to share my journey down life’s road with!  Until next time ….


Come along on my PA trip

Hello from PA tonight!  I had a real easy 8 hour drive today –  alone with my thoughts and music. I sometimes crave solitude so I can work out whatever is rolling around in my head or heart. I’m here setting up at the Market Square Wholesale show,  which is always a great time to see old friends and make new ones A lot of our shop owners have been with me for over 10 years so I know them well,  know their families, and it’s a great time to catch up.

SO, I’m trying something a little different today – I don’t want ya’ll getting bored and leaving me. So I’ve got a video report for you.

Thanks for traveling along!

Spring Issue Sneak Peek 2017




It’s just about time for our Spring issue to ship – approximately Feb. 1st!  All three of our homeowners were so great to work with! The time I was able to spend with them in their homes was such a blessing to me and so much fun.

Rick Fuller, Mary Elliott and I went to see Pat Linton in Ohio last year after the Simple Goods show. Pat was so easy going and even humored  me by taking us to Donatos  for pizza! Donatos is an Ohio based pizza place that is my FAVORITE!  I LOVE pizza – I mean really love pizza and I am always happy when my road trips take me to Ohio! My GPS knows the way to every one! Ok, back to reality or I’ll be hungry!  Pat’s was truly a wonderful home in every way. You are going to love it!  Her maiden name was Campbell so she has appropriately named her residence, “Campbell’s Tavern.”  Step inside with me and see why the name fits so well …..



It’s hard to say what is more impressive – that hornbeam or that BOWL! Thank you Pat for a wonderful day!

Also in Ohio, is my friend Andy Teter. We too had an awesome day together last year. Andy’s 1834 Stone house sits on two beautiful acres and you literally can see a horse and carriage pass by it’s so idyllic.  Andy has the best dry sense of humor and we laughed and laughed. She has a keen eye for special early pieces that have texture, form, and patina.





Sharon Clymer and I went to visit Michael & Vaden Crowley in Kentucky last summer. I remember it was a hot day! But Vaden’s  gardens were in all their glory! Her home is filled with wonderful early things that were hand-picked by Vaden for their soulfulness. It is so much fun when the stories and photos all come together and I get to look back on the time spent with such wonderful homeowners and reflect on how we are kind of similar in our taste – but also so very different indeed.




We also have a really neat article in the spring issue on how to cover your stove. Kris and Paul Casucci did an incredible job remodeling their kitchen recently and they share the directions with us on how to give it an authentic look.


I love old Gristmills and search them out all over the country when I travel. There is something so soothing about the water turning as you reflect on the amazing ingenuity of our pioneering forefathers who built these water powered mills with wooden parts.


ALL this and SO MUCH MORE in our upcoming spring issue!

I had such a wonderful day today, and I hope you did as well. I woke up to a very foggy morning with a slight drizzle but there was so much solace found in the barn. The warmth and dryness, and smell of hay and horses. Even though our beautiful snow is all gone and has left us a lot of M U D, I still found great pleasure in doing chores this morning.


On my way back to the house I stopped at the mailbox and found an unexpected surprise from a subscriber who means the world to me. I opened a box of Twin Bings and a cute spring note – how in the world did she know how much I was craving a treat? And to send all the way to Iowa for them … what a LOVE.


And while I was having one for breakfast, an old friend from way back in my past blessed me with this video in my inbox. I think if you give it a chance – you just might find a blessing in it too….

Winter settles in …

Well, I’m a tad late with my post –

Getting the spring issue to print and some internet issues kept me from posting my snow photos from about ten days ago or so. The snow brought bitter cold temps with it, and then afterwards we were in the 60’s!



I love the farm blanketed in snow. I know the cows look cold, but they really aren’t. As long as they are fat and in good health, they stay warm from the inside out. We feed them hay and grain every day too. Sadly, now, all this beautiful snow is gone and we have … MUD! But that’s ok – we need the moisture for all that strong green grass in the spring.





Work on the cabin is non-existent due to the weather and Todd preparing for a big horse sale in Oklahoma City (he left this morning), but since my latest cabin update we did get the sub roof on. In order for the tin to go on the roof, the chimney builders will have to erect the chimney that goes up between the two cabins. Aunt Cory’s log house had two cellars – one under each pen, and both were filled with rock. Tons and tons of rock! So the next step is to get all that rock moved here to the farm so the masons can use it for the chimney. Then the tin can go on the roof and so on.


If you know me, you know I’m not a great cook. I get by and we don’t starve, but it’s far from my favorite thing. And that is under normal kitchen conditions! Now with my microwave, single hot plate and crock pot – I’m seriously handicapped!  But I wanted to share a dip I made for New Years that is oh so good!


1 lb. bacon cooked             1 cup mayonnaise               1 cup sour cream

8 ounces cream cheese softened            1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese    1 tomato

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I used the toaster oven)

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, and cream cheese in a bowl and stir. Add cheese and tomato and mix well. Pour into a shallow dish or pie pan and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling. Garnish with additional tomato and bacon on top. Serve warm with corn chips.

On these dreary winter days you might be in the need of a good book. I rarely deviate from Historical Fiction but somehow stumbled on a writer that probably everyone on the planet knew about but me – Charles Martin.   He seems to be pretty prolific and has had several titles on the New York Times Best Seller list. He writes nothing about what I typically read, but I have to admit that after reading two of his books, “Wrapped in Rain” and “When Crickets Cry,” there were several occasions that I stopped and thought -“Wow,” and had to reread the sentence a couple of times because it was so poignantly put. I will indeed read more of his titles in the future.

blog-book-2  blog-book-3

I’ll be sharing sneak peeks of the upcoming Spring issue with you very soon – so stay tuned my friends! Thank your for stopping by to see me today!