Small Town Living

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel.  It is by far my favorite hobby.

But anyone who knows me well knows that I love coming home too!

I live in a small town…well actually, I don’t live in the town but outside of it, in a small county in the Heart of Appalachia (and a little help with this pronunciation – App-ah-latch-an because if you say App-a-lay-sha you’re wrong).  The county is made up mostly of small family farms and the population is under 30,000.  I would wager to say that we have more cattle than people and that’s just fine with me!

calm before the storm

The mountains and farmland make for some great views!  I shot this just before a summer storm rolled in a couple of years ago.


Scenes like this are commonplace.  I took this yesterday morning on my way to work.  This is a Main Street intersection with one of our five (count ’em…5!!!) stop lights (not traffic lights y’all, stop lights!).  Across the road in the green roofed building is town hall.  It’s just as common to see a tractor or cattle trailer coming into town as it is to see a car.

I feel so blessed to be able to call this place home.



Mother’s Day Cooking Class

Gotta start off the post with some cuteness!


Saying “Mommy!” when I was leaving.

For Mother’s Day I reserved two spots at one of the Cooking Along the Crooked Road cooking classes at the Higher Ed Center.  This one focused on heart healthy vegetables.


Me and Mom before the class began.

We made a fruit salad, a green salad with Asian dressing and chicken stir fry with rice.

The vegetables that we used that are currently in season locally came from Deni Peterson’s farm (one of the class instructors).  She is the Learning Landscapes Education Coordinator for Appalachian Sustainable Development.

Our other instructor was Kim Evans who is a local personal chef.  Her company is Moveable Feast.





Aren’t these bell peppers beautiful?20150601_185625



We were in charge of cutting the bell peppers.20150601_192225

We also had to chop the garlic and mix up the thickening agent for the stir fry.20150601_183507

I think I could have eaten this whole bowl of fruit.  It was delicious!20150601_195243

My fruit salad and regular salad plate.20150601_195837

The stir fry and rice.  It looked prettier before I plated it! haha20150601_202102

When we came out to get in my car we saw such a pretty rainbow.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.signature

Busy Week & Weekend

Short weeks seem so crazy around here.  I don’t know what it is but it is more hectic on a short week than a regular week.

I entered some photos I had taken in the Clinch River Days Photography Contest.  Thursday would have been the awards ceremony but I couldn’t make it.  Our week has been so crazy that I just couldn’t leave work early enough.  I don’t think I won anything because no one has called but I feel good to have just entered.  I’ll check on them this week and see when/where I can pick them up.

Friday we did a 5k Fun Walk/Run called a Glow for a Cure.  We just walked.  Mom wanted to do it and we agreed to do it with her.  We hadn’t trained or anything for it but it was fine and always good to spend time with family.  There was a good turnout, probably 75+.  I was silly and didn’t get a single picture!  Can you believe that?  Anyway, we had us three, Mom, Bets, Larry and my aunt Heather in our group.  I hope they do it again next year.

Saturday we went kayaking at Adventure Mendota.  Christina’s birthday was last Tuesday so this was her (slightly late) birthday present!  We had such a great time!

20150530_123251We didn’t intentionally match…but it happened!  


The owners even made sure to personalize our trip.  They seem like nice, genuine people who are very passionate about their new business venture.  I really think they’ll do well.  Anyone interested in some SWVA kayaking should check them out!


Sunday mornings don’t get much better than this!  We all slept in and Rylan and I had some extra cuddle time.  It was perfect.

We stayed home to work on some projects and getting ready for the week to come as well as some rest.  I had to move a lot of things around so that we could get our walls textured and ready for paint.  It has been hard to deal with everything out of whack but it will all be worth it when it is finished.  I’m trying to decide on a wall color right now.  I have an overall plan but picking the perfect wall color is hard sometimes.  I’ve gotten so many paint swatches and I keep looking at them in different lights at different times of day.  Its quite a process.  I want this to be the last time I paint for quite some time.

I worked on a sign for our dining room.  I love the way it looks so far.  I hope to finish it up soon.


I also painted my dining room table.  I had painted the chairs earlier.  Now I’m ready to reupholster them and my table is FINALLY finished!

I hope to be finished with it all soon.  This process is definitely love/hate.  Maybe when I get done I’ll do a post on it.  I love being able to look back at everything we’ve done.


33rd Annual Plumb Alley Day

The Abingdon Kiwanis Club organizes Plumb Alley Day every year.

You will find arts, crafts, antiques, food, spices, agricultural products, jewelry, photographs, authors, singers, bands and kids activities.  If you like that sort of thing and are able to go you won’t be disappointed.  It is a great event and it benefits at great cause.

The Abingdon Farmer’s Market was open during the morning and as always had great vendors.  I forgot to get any pictures here because I kept running into people I knew.  Maybe next time!


Rylan enjoyed people and dog watching.  Everywhere we went he’d find someone to say “hey” to!20150523_112240

There were a lot of people here getting in on the good deals.

I found a local author that had some interesting books.So farm it has my attention!  His name is C.S. “Chuck” Thompson and he writes mystery books that are set locally.   I bought “The Night the Wolves Escaped from Bays Mountain” and I’ve just started it.   I’m anxious to really get into it.  He was a super nice and interesting guy.  If you’re interested in buying any of his books or learning more about him or his books you can visit his website HERE.20150523_110927

I bought some goats milk lotions and body butters from The Bates Family Farm.  They’re located in Jonesville, VA and their lotions are divine!


Appalachian Highlanders Pipes & Drums Band


Our traditional “selfie”!20150523_112826

Balkan Bakery

I looked at these and gained weight!  Yum!

Revolutionary War Re-Enacters at Yeary Cabin on Plumb Alley20150523_114126

The Re-Enacters are always ready to answer any questions you have and are so passionate about the Revolutionary War.  I love getting to talk to them.

We started getting hungry and we found the Bone Fire Smokehouse tent.bbq sundae

Christina got the BBQ Sundae!  That is cornbread, baked beans, pulled pork, slaw and barbecue sauce.  It looked great!20150523_120540

Apparently it was great!20150523_120544

I stuck with a traditional pulled pork sandwich.  It was delicious!  I put the Memphis Barbecue Sauce on it.  They had a spicy one but I was in the mood for sweet sauce.  Rylan literally ate almost half.

After we saw everything there was to see we decided to head to Babycakes Cupcakery for a sweet snack!

I wish I could have gotten a better picture of their display case, it was so beautiful.  I wanted to get one of every thing!  They have so many flavors to choose from!


It is such a cute store!20150523_131156

They even have Pup Cakes for your dog!


Our Babycakes: Wedding Cake (Christina), Chocolate Birthday Cake (Rylan) & Red Velvet Cake (Me)

When we finished our cupcakes we thought we would take a ride to Mann Farms since we had some time before we had to be back.  They had strawberries for sale by the gallon.  I bought the last three and they’re now waiting in my freezer until I get time to make some strawberry preserves!


They sell fruits and vegetables at their farm as well as to our regional grocery chain Food City.strawberry fields

Strawberry Fields


On our way home we saw a lot of people mowing, raking and baling hay.  This weekend was honestly perfect for it.  This is one of my favorite sights.  To me, the first cut of hay signifies that Summer is right around the corner!