Bless her heart!

Thursday evening, I let Jessie and the ‘sister wives’


out to eat some grass. I propped their door open and intended to close it once they went to roost.  However, I FORGOT.

Yesterday morning, when I went down to feed the chickens and goats, the sister wives were back out in the grass.  

Piper was with me.

He’s pretty good about helping me with chickens that are loose.  He herds them to me, then holds them down so I can catch them and put them back over the fence. The trouble is…he’s going to help whether he’s being helpful or not. Let’s just say that his heart is in the right place.

When he spied those red chickens, he went into helping mode. One missed her turn and went under a section of the barn that is up off the ground.

He went after her.  Of course she was terrified and tried to hide in and behind anything she could find.  I was not about to go in after her.  All I could do was cheer Piper on and hope beyond all hope that he would do the right thing.  

He rolled that poor chicken with his nose from one end of that place to the other before finally getting her close enough to the edge for me to reach her.

Besides being limp, muddy and missing a few feathers, she was alright. I put her in a cage until she could ‘come to herself’.

While she was in recovery, the twins discovered her.  One of them asked Joel, “What happened to Mammy’s chicken?  She looks like a zombie.”

Depending on the angle you were looking at her, she kinda did.

Later on that evening Nikki and I got the mud off her face and I put her back with the others.

This morning,


she still looked a little dazed, but she was fine.  As a matter of fact, the last time I looked, 


she was thinking about going back to work.  Bless her heart! 

Won’t bore you with the details

Yesterday was another beautiful day…not a cloud in the sky…cool, but not cold.  I opened windows and doors and left them that way all day.  Piper was free to go in and out, and mostly enjoyed the day

from the patio.

I made a fire in the fireplace and cooked on the hearth.  Another ‘go with the slow’ day.  I won’t bore you with the details of how it all went down, but I do hope you enjoy the process through pictures.



And yes, it was good.


Go with the slow

Someone once said, “Hurry is not of the devil…it is the devil.”  I’m pretty sure they were right.  Some things can’t be hurried, so you might as well enjoy and go with the slow.

For instance, Saturday was a beautiful day…a little cool, a little windy and a lot sunny.  That afternoon I decided to cook a roast.  So, I made a fire in the fireplace and opened the front door.

As the coals were getting right,

I added a little grill that I had made, and waited until it got good and hot.

Then I added my roast


and let it brown good


on both sides. After that, I put it in a black iron dutch oven with some onions and a little liquid,
and set it on the hearth.  I put hot coals on the lid, and swapped them out as they cooled to keep the temperature in my ‘oven’ where it needed to be to finish off the roast.  

All that took a while, but because the process could not be hurried, I had a very relaxing afternoon.  I didn’t multi-task, but focussed only on making sure I had plenty of good coals, and maintaining the oven temperature.  

After several hours of tending the fire, relaxing on the sofa, and enjoying the breeze blowing through the room from outside, my roast was done.

Yes, it was TASTY AND TENDER.  So, go with the slow…it’s a good thing.

Who’s your man?

For the past nine years, Joel and I have been grandparents.  And, the grandchildren have called us Mammy and Papa. But there’s always one

that walks to a different beat. For us, that would be Josie.  For the last couple of months,

she has called us Joel and Susan, which sounds really funny coming from a little girl in her mid threes.

Not long ago, she was at our house. The two of us were alone on the porch.  In the best grown-up voice and posture she could conjure up, Josie initiated this conversation:

Josie – “So, you’re Susan, right?”

Me – “Yes.”

Josie – “And who’s your man?”

Me – “Joel.”

Josie – “Joel, that’s right, Joel.”

I never cracked a smile, because I was trying to be grown-up too.

Then, last week, she was admiring my ring.

She said, “I love your ring.”  I thanked her and told her that it was my wedding ring. Then I said, “You know…Im married to Joel.”

With a bewildered look on her face she said, “Oh.  That’s so sad.” 

That time I didn’t keep a straight face.

Fifth Sunday 

 If you’ve been in Protestant circles, you know that a fifth Sunday is a good excuse for an eatin’ or a singin’ or both.  Such was the case last Sunday at 

The Church in the Valley in Wears Valley, Tennessee.  And we were there.  In fact, it was the reason we came back to Tennessee when we did.  You see,

Tim, down at Smoky Mountain Grocery knew we would be back in a couple of months, and asked if we could come the last weekend in January.  We could…we did…and


we sat on the row with him and his family.

We knew before we came that there would be dinner on the grounds…but what we didn’t know was that they had invited a bluegrass gospel group to sing.  The group was Ray Ball and Family, which consisted of Ray, his sister Annette, her husband Dennis and David.

I’ve always heard that everybody has a twin somewhere.  I found mine in 1993 on the Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Fransisco.  Ray probably has one too.  But if you need to make a positive identification, ask to see the left hand, because in December of 1958, Ray blew off three fingers with a dynamite cap.


Anyway…back to the group.
In true Appalachian style, they shared their music in soulful three AND four part harmony.  They were a blessing!


Then, after a short sermon, we went in the back for lunch.
Members of the congregation furnished the sides, and Dakota Jack furnished the meat. 

I regret that WordPress doesn’t come with a scratch and sniff feature, because words cannot adequitely describe the heavenly aroma of Jack’s bar-b-que.

After lunch, as everyone was going their separate ways, Joel asked Annette if the group had any cd’s.  She thought that there might be one in her car, so we followed her into the parking lot.  Sure enough, she emerged from the back seat with one in her hand. 


On the way to our car, we stopped to talk to Ray.  We held up the cd, and said, “She found one”.  He replied, “Oh good!  You know… they made them for us down at the funeral home.”

Far enough to make you hungry

A couple of years ago, Joel and I walked the eleven mile

Cades Cove loop.  We probably won’t do  it again…just sayin’.  We LOVE Cades Cove and hang out there a lot when we visit the Smokies.

Today was one of those days. The weather was perfect!

We drove about  half a mile past the Missionary Baptist Church and parked.  Our mission was to go for a walk and enjoy our surroundings.  Since Piper was with us, we stayed on the road, because in the National Park, dogs can only go where cars can go.

I’d like to share our journey with you.




We walked as far as the parking area for the Elijah Oliver cabin, and then walked back to the car. It was only a couple of miles…not far…just far enough 

to make you hungry.