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!



Memorial Day 2018

Happy Memorial day weekend!  While of course we all enjoy the time off, and the picnics and parades, we also look back on the lives of loved ones gone and celebrate the duty of our military, and armed forces.  Sadly, in April I lost my beloved Charlotte. Many of you have heard about her over the years. She was my mentor in the antiques business, my dearest friend and soul mate. I met her when I was four years old and she was building her historic Royal Barry Wills Gambrel in N.M.  She had a wonderful antique shop on her property and as soon as I was 16 and could drive, I spent many a weekend with her. Our relationship only grew stronger over the years and I built her Gambrel home on our property in Central Texas. I would not be in the antiques business, the magazine business, nor would I know any of the people I know today if it weren’t for my Charlotte. She introduced me to Cheryl Jones and Jimmie Cramer. Jimmie and I always said that she was really our mom and he and I were brother and sister.  But she was ready to go in the end and be with Jesus and her beloved Tom. This photo is from last June when we had such a wonderful visit. So next week I will go “home” to New Mexico and say goodbye for the last time and get some things that she left me. Until we meet again my dearest – I know you are with me and continue to guide me through this journey of earthly life.


A couple weeks ago I made my annual trek to Ewing, VA with my friends Josh and Gary and Todd to see the Raid at Martin’s Station.  Once again it didn’t disappoint. Lots of you who follow this blog see my photos each year, so I will only post a few here. It is one of my favorite events of the year!

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My boy, Folsom, continues to be a great blessing. He is so smart and fun and funny! He has taken to farm life like he has been here since birth. He loves to do chores, ride in the 4-wheeler and eat cow feed!

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Lets see, what other news do I have? Not much really.  Lynne, Jimmie, Patsy Martin, Eddie Shoop, Annie Conlow and I had a great time last Monday up at Patsy’s new-old log cabin in PA making scarecrows for the upcoming Fall issue. We laughed so hard and made some great specimens! And of course we ended the day at the best ice cream shop in nearby Shippensburg, PA.


On that note, the Fall issue is coming along very nicely and sneak peeks will be coming your way soon. The Fall issue is easily my favorite issue!

Lynne and I have been having fun making lots of new jewelry and added LOTS of necklaces, bracelets and earrings to our website last night. Take a look over the holiday weekend if you get a chance!

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It’s raining here this quiet Saturday afternoon … a perfect cool day for a …. NAP! Hmmm….  if only ….



Saturday Evening

Good evening!  I think it’s official – Spring never existed!  I believe we went straight from Winter to Summer. Although, with that said, I think we are going to have a cooling next week. Sad to see so many are suffering from severe storms across the country though.

The recent Simple Goods show was a huge hit! I had a wonderful time and want to thank everyone who came out to see us at our new location in Berlin, Ohio. Berlin is a quaint town in the middle of Ohio Amish Country. The new facility was spacious and incredible. If you missed the spring show – be sure and put the fall show on your calendars for Nov. 3rd. Here’s just one corner of the Simple Life booth!


That reminds me too, that discounted admission tickets are now on sale for our Days of the Pioneer Antique show on Sept. 14th and 15th! As you know, all the money raised at this event goes directly to support the museum. This is going to be our best year yet so I hope you’ll join us!

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I always like to share good things I’ve found or experienced like books, movies, events etc. Although this is not historical or primitive – I’ve been binge watching six seasons of the television show, “Parenthood.”  It is so great and while I saw (and cried through)  the final episode last night, today I feel like I lost a dear friend! Check it out on Hulu. It’s wholesome and so real – you’ll find yourself reliving many moments that have probably happened in your own families. The excellent sound tracks throughout all six seasons is an added bonus!

After Simple Goods, I went up to Alliance, Ohio and picked up our newest family member! Meet “Folsom!”  I met Folsom last fall at a book signing event at Bridgewater Primitives. Lesa, the owner, knows I love dogs and support dog rescue so she had their local shelter bring a dog for the event and encouraged guests to bring food to donate. I fell in love with this boy – but was not in a position to get him then.  Sadly we lost our senior dog in January and as our hearts mended, we knew we were ready for a new boy on the farm.  “Opie” was his name at the shelter and sadly he had been there for over 3 years.  After watching him at the open house last fall I knew he was a wonderful dog that was well socialized. The owner of the shelter told me that Opie made other dogs better and that they always put dogs with severe anxiety in with him and they always got adopted but he didn’t.  Well Folsom is now the love of our lives and we absolutely adore him. He is perfect! Please friends, when considering a new pet for your home – go and save a life at your local shelter. So many amazing animals are in need of your love! And you might just find that they end up rescuing YOU! I know Folsom rescued ME!


Lynne and I are having a huge update on our jewelry website this evening! Stop by if you get a minute, we’d love to have you visit!

Have a beautiful evening and special Sunday tomorrow! Thank you for dropping by for a visit!
Until next time,




Summer Issue Headed your Way!

Our 2018 Summer issue will be shipping at the end of next week! Here’s a few sneak peeks! To renew your subscription, subscribe, buy a single issue or find a shop near you, visit our website at http://www.asimplelifemagazine, or give us a call at 806-748-0700!

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We’re honored to share the AMAZING home of John & Annette Tom. It’s a privilege to share one of the best collections in our industry as well as one of the finest dealers in the pages of A Simple Life.

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The awesome Illinois home of Rachel Engel!  A great story about a labor of love!
Rachel restored her home with the help of family – to make a warm and welcoming home for her three boys.
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he home West Virginia home of Vernon and April Santee is filled with love and decorated with April’s wonderful touch! 
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Visit the Massachusetts gardens of Bud and Louise Villa (TOP) and Art and Vicki Martin (BOTTOM) !!
Join us for an informative article on 
Water Witching, Making Biscuits, Gardening and so much MORE!