Hurricane Harvey

My heart is heavy tonight with thoughts and prayers going out to my fellow Texas friends in the path of the hurricane. Reflecting on all the wonderful people and their homes and collections I’ve had the honor and privilege of photographing over the past ten years, for the books and the magazine. Sending love to each of them, prayers for their health and well being and prayer for the protection of their homes and collections. Calvin & Carol Cobb, Carol and Rich Wiegard, Nealene and John Ziebell, Eileen and Steve Evans, Pat & JC Evans, Doug and Dawn Hodges, Joan Lee, Kathi and Danny Fagan, Jean and Roy Doty … just to name a few. And also some of our best Days of the Pioneer show dealers also being affected – Jim and Sandra Sheffield, Myrleen and Shelton Harper, Lifting you all up. And continued prayers for EVERYONE affected by this powerful storm, along with all the animals and livestock …

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Could Fall Be Far Off?

The first half of August has felt like fall with all the cool temps we’ve been having in the woods! The days are shorter and the air feels different! Fall was definitely in the air in Shullsburg, Wisconsin last weekend – at Donna Shephard’s cabin, “Mother O’Leary’s!”

As you know Donna’s Log Cabin shops are featured in the current issue of A Simple Life, and when I was there last year doing the photography, we made a date for me to join her during her 2017 Fall Open House. I had the time of my life with Donna, her sweet family and wonderful customers!  I felt like Queen for the day!!!

Donna is on the right and her trusty helper, “The other Donna” is on the left!

One of the highlights was Donna’s “Make & Take” Scarecrow Workshop!!

My blessed weekend in Wisconsin continued when Donna Shepherd treated me to a stay at the historic Gratiot House Farm B & B in Shullsburg. This 1835 stone house was built by Col. Henry Gratiot and loving restored to its original glory over the past 6 years by Inn Keepers, Chris and Heather Price.

Photos Courtesy of Heather Price


It was an incredible experience and Chris & Heather are the best hosts you could ask for. The claw foot tub was heaven with homemade lavender bath salts, and the farm is home to Shetland sheep, chickens, 3 hives of bees, Lucky the duck, and a SOULFUL dog named Daisy.


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Heather is a WONDERFUL cook, and I had the best breakfast I have EVER eaten! The only thing better was the company!

If you find yourself in the Shullsburg, WI area, Galena, IL, or Eastern Iowa – this is a MUST STAY. Or make it a destination vacation for a weekend getaway – stay with Chris & Heather, visit Donna at her Log cabin shops, and visit charming downtown Galena, IL!!!
Visit their website to read the interesting history of the house, the Gratiot family, and the Price’s painstaking renovations.

This is also a wonderful article:

It was such a great weekend, I hated to leave Wisconsin, so I didn’t get home until 4:00 in the morning on Monday!! Whew!  But when I got up, I had to go down and see Erasmus!  He is a big boy now and doesn’t really need his bottle (he gets all the nourishment he needs from his mama) but we still like giving him his bottle to keep him friendly and gentle. Well, ok, it’s mostly for OUR benefit! Ha!  But apparently he had already had his breakfast because he wasn’t very hungry- but Mama wasn’t going to let good milk go to waste!!!



Antiques and Cattle Cesareans !

The last time we talked I promised you a video and photos from the Texas home of Clifford and Adrienne Dykes, and I let you down! It’s literally because my mouth got in the way! Ha! Adrienne and I have met several times and I had even been in her home before, although it was probably close to 13 years ago. But we had never “really” talked! Well, we made up for it last week when I photographed her and Cliff’s wonderful home. It was like we were sisters, connecting on every level. So the point I’m getting at is… I talked too much and forgot to take some photos for you with my phone so I could upload them to the blog from the road! And after arriving back in Virginia, my computer has been in the hospital! But never fear! HERE are a few sneak peeks of this incredible home, filled with so many great antiques! What a special day I had with this special couple!

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Adrienne is an avid rug hooker and wool dyer. She gives classes all over the United States in rug hooking and has a wonderful collection of early rugs we’ll share in her article!

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It’s been exciting on the farm since I returned home. We had a way overdue heifer calve and her baby was breech and way too big so we did a cesarean – four hour surgery in the dark near the barn. Mama is doing well but sore, and her bull calf wasn’t able to stand on his own for a couple of days. His back legs went through a lot of stress and strain while trying to pull him before the C-section. We were milking mama and he took right to the bottle. He is like a gentle dog – SO SWEET! His name is Erasmus.

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Yesterday we took him to the vet clinic for x-rays to make sure nothing was broken and he got a good report! Just severe ligament damage which will heal as he gets stronger! He got two new casts to help support him in the meantime!

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And today – he is doing so much better!

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Tomorrow it’s back on the road for me! I have a great photo shoot lined up with an old friend in Illinois on Thursday, and Saturday (the 12th) I will be with Donna Shephard at the Tailings Country Store located inside Mother O’Leary’s Cabin, for a Fall Open House and Meet & Greet! Donna’s wonderful cabins are featured in the fall issue of A Simple Life! She is also hosting a Scarecrow Making Workshop, so if ya’ll come out – I promise to help you with your creations! It’s going to be a WONDERFUL DAY! Come see me in Shullsburg, Wisconsin from 10:00 to 4:00!

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