Home of Bucky & Jeannie Hess!

Coming to the 2019 Christmas Issue, the WV home of Bucky & Jeannie Hess! James Cramer And I had the privilege of spending two wonderful days with Jeannie this past week, in her wonderful saltbox home surrounded by the greatest early collection of antiques. I am officially inspired for the New Year!!

Jeannie and her husband got a new puppy for Christmas and James immediately became “Uncle Jimmie!”

Back at Seven Gates Farm Jimmie has a rogue chicken that lives on the back porch. As much as I’m afraid of feathered friends, I risked getting this cute pic! Ha!

This trip was the BEST start to a New Year – thank you Jeannie, and I love you Jimmie!!

Happy New Year 2019

Another year passed, and just like my mama promised- the older you get the faster they go. I was awake at 3:00 am ( but not at midnight!) reflecting on the passing of time. It seems I am guilty of always looking to the next ” thing,” and saying, when that is over, or when I finish that…. then I will slow down. Or then I will get my house in order …” and in doing that, I never enjoy the “thing.” At the start of November I had 7 weeks in a row of places I had to be. Suddenly it’s the end of December and all that is done and the holidays are over and I don’t think I even blinked, and now it’s gone.

A few years back I wrote a letter in the magazine about living in the moment. At the time, I thought I understood that. But I’m not sure I did. I feel it now more than ever and hope that this new year will be the one that I truly make that happen. I hope I enjoy my next photo shoot (this week by the way) instead of thinking, “when that’s over I need to….” I hope I enjoy my next antique show before I start planning what to take to the one after that.

I also hope to spend more time with you here on the blog in the coming months. I’ve surely neglected it. I want to use the excuse that my blog software isn’t working on my computer so I have to do all this typing on my phone and I’m a one finger phone typer at best! Ha! ( So the first thing I’m going to do tomorrow is call tech support and get that fixed!)

I wish I could wax poetic about all the things I wish for you in the New Year, but this quote by Neil Gaiman sums it all up so perfectly that I’m going to just share it:

The only thing missing is that I wish you Music- lot’s and lots of good Music!

I enjoyed a wonderful quiet two days in front of a roaring fire over Christmas. I enjoyed stringing beads, which gives me great joy and I usually don’t have time to just create for a whole day.

We didn’t have snow for Christmas, but boy did we get a doozy earlier in December! I was stuck in KY after a wonderful Christmas photo shoot and couldn’t come home because we had 17″ of the beautiful white stuff. No way my red rocket was making it up Walker’s Knob after that!

But boy did Folsom love his first snow!!

I had some incredible Christmas photo shoots this year (and one more on Thursday) that I’m excited to share with you in this year’s special Christmas issue. I was blessed to have snow for some of them!

Well my friends, a warm fire awaits me downstairs and so do some Iowa Twin Bings that a dear friend sent yesterday. So I’m going to enjoy this holiday, and live in the moment! That is also my wish for you. ❤️

A Simple Life 2018 Winter Issue Sneak Peek

The winter issue will be shipping very soon! So get your renewals, subscriptions, and Christmas gift subscriptions in soon! Call us at 806-748-0700, email us at: asimplelifemagazine@gmail.com, or visit our website at http://www.asimplelifemagazine.com

We have 3 incredible homes from the Lone Star State in this Issue!

The Houston home of Danny & Kathi Fagan

The Magnolia, Texas home of JC & Pat Evans.

The McKinney, Texas home of Cliff & Adrienne Dykes.


Last week James Cramer, Patsy Martin and Eddie Shoop came to Virginia for a photo shoot! You will see all our hard work in a future 2019 issue!

Yesterday I had a wonderful Christmas photo shoot in Kentucky at the home of Larry & Ruth Proffitt. What a FUN day! And actually I’m still in KY because I got snowed “out!” We have 16″ of the white stuff on Walker’s Knob so I can’t get home just yet!

But Folsom loves it and that’s all that matters!

Good grief! I’m still here!

My stars, how long has it been? Ok, just say it, “Since the end of September!” I knew it was bad but was afraid to look at the date on my last post.

Fall is no doubt my busiest time of year. And the season we all love. All the shows, festivals and open houses are great, and I’ve been everywhere and having a ball.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with love, family, friends and lots of pie! And ice cream!

I was able to sneak off to NM last week for a few days to see my dad, and my cousins and uncle joined us from California.

So tomorrow kicks off the Christmas photo shoot season and I’m heading to Illinois (up near Chicago) to the home of Phil and Mary DeBuhr. It promises to be a cold one but not looking like we’ll have snow for the outside photos.

I’m going to close for now and try to leave you with a promise of writing more often in the coming days. I think if I focus on doing short ‘hey, how are you?’ Notes more frequently I can do better!

I’m going to close with a photo from last weekend of our calf “Miracle” who is doing great and enjoying getting to know Folsom!

A Simple Life Magazine Special Christmas Issue

Our Special Christmas Issue will be shipping next week! It was such a fun issue to produce with amazing homes, loving homeowners and lots of decorating ideas!

Visit WV home of Dave & Dianne McWhorter! You are in for a treat! I always say I have the very BEST homeowners, and there seems to be something about photographing a home at Christmas time that really brings out the soul mates. I will never forget the magical two days I spent with this amazing and talented couple!

The early NH home of Dana Schwartz is the idyllic New England dream for the holidays! And we got lots of snow the day I was there to add to the festivities! You don’t want to miss it!

Just when you think it can’t get any better, the Simple Life Christmas issue sneak peek continues! Join us in visiting the NY home of John and Janice Elderkin, warm and wonderful for the holidays!

Visit the awesome Alabama farmhouse of Mike and Doris Luttrelll! It’s a home filled with love! I can’t wait for this issue to start arriving in mailboxes soon!

All this and SO MUCH MORE MY FRIENDS!!! A really great issue!! ❤️♥️

The loss of a special soul ..

Good afternoon,

I set out today to give you a sneak peek of our upcoming Fall issue, but as I was preparing, my mind kept thinking about the loss of an incredible woman in our antique family, Marge Staufer.  As you recall, Marge and her Ohio home were featured in ASL in our Spring issue.  A lot of people always asked why I never had Marge’s home in the magazine in the past nine years and I would always say, “It’s so incredible, it’s been featured a lot. I could not do it any better than it’s already been done…”  And then one day it hit me. I’m crazy. I need to do Marge’s home because of MARGE. Because Marge was such an iconic, pure, passionate person in our business who had such grace and was always willing to share her knowledge, inspire everyone she met and was so ahead of her time in everything she did. What a disservice I was doing her and our readers by NOT featuring her and her home. I will never forget the day we spent together. I truly came away from that experience so much wiser, much more caring, much more alive.  Our industry and the world lost a great one this week, but the angels are rejoicing and I know she has an early New England home filled with the very best in heaven and she is overjoyed to be reunited with her Al once again.  We love you Marge – until we meet again.


While it’s hard to do daily tasks when we’ve lost a loved one, I also know what Marge would say. “You show your readers those Fall photos and get that issue in their mailboxes!”

So …. I’m super excited that our Fall issue of the magazine has gone to print and will begin shipping in 10 days to two weeks. As you know, Fall is my favorite time of year and always my favorite issue. I enjoyed every minute putting it together, laying it out and reminiscing over last years photo shoots.

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We have four great homes to feature, starting with the Illinois country home of Robert and Sandy Thuer.

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Janet and Jon Wright have a wonderful Pilgrim era home in the Buckeye state!

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Here’s the awesome Connecticut home of Wayne and Sandy Peck!




And you won’t want to miss the Massachusetts home of Art and Vicki Martin! You’ll recall that their gardens were featured in our Summer issue.



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Last Fall, Jimmie Cramer, Eddie Shoop and I went to Michigan to work with Cheryl Jones on a “Harvest Gathering” article. It is one of my favorite articles ever produced by A Simple Life. It was a photographer’s dream!

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In Pennsylvania, at the cabin of Patsy Martin, our team got together and made scarecrows! What an inspiration! You will love this story!

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When I was a teenager, I fell in love with the photographic images of Dorothea Lange. She has been such an inspiration to me. A couple of years ago I was able to see some of her original work in a museum and I was literally balling the whole time. I’ve always wanted to do a feature on her for the magazine but never felt I could do her incredible photos justice with mere words. When Heidi Dangremond started writing for us, I knew she was the one who could bring Dorothea to life for everyone who has ever seen her work and for those who might not know about her. I am so proud of this addition to the Fall issue.




I hope you love the Fall issue as much as I do!