Bringing Appalachia To Your Livingroom

Find appalachia at blind pig and the acorn

Earlier this week someone asked me how long I had been running the Blind Pig. Without hesitation I answered "March will make 5 years." Then I sat there and thought wow 5 years! I thought about the friends I've made-about all the fun I've had since I stood barefoot in the snow on a cold March day in 2008.

I remember how excited I was to start my endeavor of celebrating and preserving my Appalachian Heritage through a website. I studied on my idea for a good 6 months before doing anything. I wanted it to be a success-I wanted it to be right.

I'd tell people about my plan and folks would look at me like I was crazy saying things like "well that sounds real nice" then they'd change the subject. But I had supporters too-people who were as excited about my plans as me: Paul, Miss Cindy, Granny, Pap, Beverly, Dana, Cecilia, Jamie, and of course The Deer Hunter.

As I look back over the years, I realize I've reached the Promise Land-if there is such a thing in the world of blogs. I haven't gotten rich in monetary terms-but the wealth of friendship, love, and camaraderie I've found far exceeds my greatest hopes of being a successful blogger.

I'm not good at tooting my own horn. I mostly keep compliments to myself, pondering them in my heart, using them as a fuel of encouragement to keep my fingers busy typing for you.

All my blog related thoughts this week reminded me of a post a fellow blogger, Cassie Sanford Clark , wrote about me a while back. Cassie is a genealogist who blogs at The Sanford Family Misfit. Cassie has several NC lines in her family, and you can read about the purpose behind her blog by going here.

Here's what Cassie had to say about the Blind Pig & the Acorn:

Blind Pig & the Acorn: Bringing Appalachia Into Your Living Room written by Cassie Sanford Clark

Two years ago during some research I stumbled across a blog called Blind Pig & The Acorn. At the time I was missing home pretty badly. My daddy had been gone for less than a year and I found myself wondering when I would ever go home again. With both my dad and papaw having passed away and mamaw living with family in Wilmington – there was no longer anyone in Haywood County for me to go home to. I felt like half of myself had disappeared along with my daddy, because who was left that understood anything about bluegrass, clogging, hiking, fishing, or loving a place as viciously stereotyped as Appalachia?

The Blind Pig & The Acorn turned out to be exactly what I needed to make myself feel better that night. I scoured Tipper’s blog for hours. I watched video after video of her daughters clogging, I listened to every bluegrass song on her playlist, looked at every photo she had posted, and read pretty much every post that she had written. I sat in front of my computer screen that night soaking in every tiny bit of heritage that Tipper offered up and didn’t go to bed until after the sun had long since risen. I continued this trend for a couple of weeks until I felt inherently whole again.

It was around this same time that I began to consider what all of my genealogy research was leading to. Ultimately, it was the Blind Pig & The Acorn that supplied me with an answer. I wanted to share everything I knew, I wanted to reconnect with my roots, and I wanted to do the one thing I knew I was good at:  write. I’m infinitely grateful that I ran across Tipper’s blog that night for many reasons, but mostly for inspiring me to do something.

If this is this first time you are hearing of Blind Pig & The Acorn – I’m telling you that you have to check it out. It’s an incredible blog that has a wonderful way of bringing Appalachia straight into your living room.

————————

I may never get rich from the Blind Pig & The Acorn-but my dream of preserving and celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Appalachia is now a reality. Not just because of Cassie-but because of her and all of you who offer your support in a multitude of different ways-as you walk the steep mountain ridges and the deep dark hollers of Appalachia with me.

Tipper

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52 Comments

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Wow, talk about coming back home!
    Just A Closer Walk With Thee is playing right now. Thank YOU!
    When I was a girl in the 60’s, our family get togethers and church suppers sounded sounded like your playlist. Except that we all sang along.
    I hail from Huntington WV. My mom was the first generation to grow up without the gardening and canning. My grandmother remedied my lack in education and so did my Sunday School teacher who lived a couple of doors up the street. Those ladies grew up during The Great Depression.
    I reckon, it’s in our genes to some extent.
    Came to FL during the Recession in the 80’s. Couldn’t even get a job at McDonald’s back then, so I came to FL and worked construction.
    I am now in FL. Raise my own critters and garden and can.
    There is something healing about this site. I am lonesome for a past that can’t be reclaimed. The old folks are gone except in my memories.

  • Reply
    mike echols
    September 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Tipper
    Your site is habit forming !! But in a good way. I don’t post often but I read it every day.
    DON’T WEAKEN

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    September 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Congrats Tipper.. You really do a justice to our area and the people everywhere.. I can tell by the many lives you’ve touched.. Sure glad I found it… It’s right up my alley…I may not get to read it everyday Like I’d like but I sure do enjoy every post..Keep up the great work..

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    September 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Tipper you are great, everything you write is great, so glad someone sent me this blog. It is fun to read every day. you are so pretty and your daughters look like you. You make my day, every day. Peggy L.

  • Reply
    quinn
    September 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Well, I’m very glad you started and grew this blog – thank you, Tipper! – and I’m very glad I stumbled upon it. As a newcomer AND a northerner, I may not be your typical reader; most Blind Pig commenters seem to be longtime followers with long roots in your neck of the woods. But…the woods I live in don’t seem all that different from the woods you live in, and I’ve often found that good hearts make neighbors out of folks who have never met. I think of your blog as a very neighborly place, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Sherry
    September 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Oh, Tipper, I can just say “ditto” to all the comments, especially to my sister, Charline’s. Your blog strikes a chord way down deep and it resonates with love and warm feelings of home. (And..B.Ruth, I grew up in Anderson Co. too!)Thank you, Tipper for sharing the mountains with us.

  • Reply
    kathryn Magendie
    September 15, 2012 at 7:59 am

    . .. and I am so glad you did this!
    I can’t even remember how you and I “met” here on social networking – !
    How else would I have ever known about gritted bread and wished I had a Pap and Granny as you have!

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    September 15, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Tipper,
    I have always thought that you didn’t quite “toot your horn” enough…Oh, I am sure you do when someone “bows up” in front of you…like on your post a few weeks ago.
    I knew after reading a few posts in the beginning of my visits here that you were rather layed back, shy, and taking this task on was quite a challange for you.
    Soooo, that is why I always ended my comments or try to, with Thanks Tipper, I loved this post
    or Great Post, Thanks Tipper for what you do…One time I believe you said you where a shy girl, backward in the way you had to warm up to people as a child…
    That’s just the mountain way, girl. You had it in you and you have gotten it out…helping all of us open up with our stories and heritage…
    I grew up after being transported from Madison county to Anderson county, Tn…A new city was being built, teachers brought in from other parts of the country. I had some thru the years, that tried to change our grammer and did to a point. I thank you for letting me occasionaly use my Queens English, so to speak when commenting..I feel like if I don’t want to “high-grammer it up”
    I can feel free to “high-mountain” it up…
    Thanks Tipper, for all you have done…I so look forward to your blog. Before Mother died I told her of your blog. She so enjoyed the stories from here and would agree on a lot of the posts….Saying “Yep, that’s the way we did it, and so on! It sure makes me wish I had written down the many things about the family tales…eventhough I do remember a lot of them…
    Well, Thanks Tipper, I am proud of you and love your blog. I don’t know how you do it. Your ideas are flowing, so please don’t ever quit, I love to read your blog and am amazed how our paths have crossed…
    Thanks again….Oh, did you know that all the Mute Swans in Great Britan are owned by the Queen?

  • Reply
    Ferne K
    September 15, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Tipper: Congratulations on continuing to write such a wonderful daily blog. You have become an important part of my life as you help me to focus on the truly important things in life, and away from the disasters in the world. You and your family are a blessing to all of us.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    September 14, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    The day I stumbled upon the Blind Pig was certainly a lucky one! I was going through a rough patch & you helped keep me grounded to what was true & real in my life. Thanks Tipper-there are stars in your crown!

  • Reply
    Darlene Kimsey
    September 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for posting Cassie’s story. I, too, feel very lonesome at times for Martins Creek and the way I grew up. Even though I’m just over the mountain, there are days it seems I’m thousands of miles away from people who know me and love me the way your family and other families from the Murphy area do. I have one friend here who grew up in the Ducktown area. She was visiting me the other day when a fly came in. She asked me where my “fly flap” was. I nearly fell off my chair! I haven’t heard that expression since I was a small child. Your Appalachian vocabulary lists take me back to my home town and the people I love. Thanks so much Tipper and thanks to Cassie for sharing her thoughts.

  • Reply
    Bob & Inez Jones
    September 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    We will be forever grateful to a friend for sending us your site. She thought we might like it! We love it and although we are not far from the beginning of the Appalachian Trail,we feel so very connected when we receive each day”s blog. We missed so many and always enjoy going back to read the old ones and always enjoy the music so much. We notice many of your ways and sayings,etc., are very much like our own in this area.Congratulations Tipper, you could not have a more rounded blog.To you and the rest of the music makers in your family and of course the Deer Hunter, thanks for the enjoyment. God Bless.

  • Reply
    Charline
    September 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    My comment disappeared-and it was so good!

  • Reply
    Charline
    September 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    The Blind Pig enriches my life in a way that is hard to explain to anyone not familiar with it, or what it represents to a certain niche of folks who are, in fact, very widespread. A heritage shared by those who passed at sometime, through narrow valleys and over high view-rich ridges, aching to be discovered still.
    Thank you, Tipper, for ‘bringin’ it home’ to us all.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    September 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Tipper… thanks for sharing these comments. Your blog is amazing and although I’m not from Appalachia, at least not the part you’re from, I find your comments and history fascinating. Thank you and keep on going!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    September 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Tipper – you’ve done a fine job, and I am proud of you, also. I keep things to myself quite often and don’t comment as much as I should. Your input is important to many as you can tell by the many heartfelt comments. Keep it on! Nanner

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    congratulations, and here’s to another five years of Appalachia at its best.

  • Reply
    Bradley
    September 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I had a situation similar to Cassie’s. A friend told me about The Blind Pig several years ago and I was hooked after I saw it.
    I can’t find the words most of the time to say what I want so it usually goes unsaid. However, Cassie and Miss Cindy said it for me. Before I leave I would just like to say once again, you are the best Tipper.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    September 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Blind Pig and the Acorn has been a greatly anticipated daily event since I discovered you in about 2009, I think. Congratulations, Tipper. I continue to be amazed at how you are able to come up with enough ideas to write about and then create them each day.
    Thanks for what you do!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Tipper, I just had to come back this evening to see what others said about your post. I believe Jim calls this double dippin’ when one comments twice in one day.
    Just had to say bless Ed Myers for the comment, ‘yours is a life worth living something few of us will ever achieve.’
    That is as fine a compliment as I’ve ever heard!

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    September 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I’m not from Appalachia, born in & never left Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Cleveland is the flatlands, and hasn’t been rural in close to 200 years. I married into Appalachian culture, and It took me only a short time to realize the city wasn’t where I belonged. Family ties and work have kept me here. But I like these little visits, much like visiting Mrs. Wanda’s family, who have been very welcoming all these years. And I have heard songs, sometimes by artists I never heard, on the playlist here. The music was the first thing to draw me, even before we were married. But it never did make the radio here, so a lot is still new. Thanks for the education!

  • Reply
    Ken
    September 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Tipper,
    I am so proud of you and what you
    stand for! Your “Blind Pig and the
    Acorn” is the first (and still the
    Best ) blog I was introduced to
    right after you started. I’m glad
    to be a friend to all your family.
    You made the right decision to
    share Appalachia straight from the
    heart. Thank You! …Ken

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    September 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    S-W-E-E-T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply
    Ethel
    September 14, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Indeed you have more than succeeded!
    Cassie’s beautiful words express what so many of us feel about you and this precious space where you have given all of us a voice.
    You and the other readers have informed me, made me think, made me laugh and brought me to tears, and always kept me in touch with my history and the history of my people and culture.
    Thank you Tipper, and bless you!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    September 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

    There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t make sure I read the daily postings. I even took my computer on a recent trip to Tipper’s area so I could read the day’s words. I shared her site with friends I had not seen for a couple of years. I am a city girl and my original motive was to learn about the heritage and the area. Tipper has given more than I had hoped for. I am shaking her hand and wish her continued success. Hats off to you!

  • Reply
    Wanda
    September 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Good job!!! Your blog is part of my morning routine–check email & then visit the Blind Pig.
    I’m from very rural southern West Tn. & find so many customs & language the same as yours–maybe immigrants from Appalachia?
    Thanks for many pleasant mornings!!!!

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    September 14, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I enjoy your blog and yall’s music so much. It’s the highlight of my morning. I love the green dishes in your cooking and canning pictures you post. My Granny has those green dishes too. :-)))

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    September 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Though I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or the rest of the Gang through your Blog I have found so many points of commonality that I feel I’ve found some lost relatives. As native Applachains would say “You’re from around here” which is their way of saying you’re real and “good people”. Keep it up,your blog helps show those who were not lucky enough to have been raised in our mountains and culture how wrong so many writer’s sterotypes of native Applachain folks are.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    September 14, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Tipper, I am many miles and years from North Carolina. Each morning, I am anxious to get to the computer to see your subject of the day. A connection to the world of my youth.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    September 14, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I’m glad you started this blog too. I only get to visit the area once a year and miss it the rest. I love hearing about your family, about traditions, and love reading the comments from everyone. I look forward to reading this blog everyday. I’m one more on the list of those who are glad to have found you.

  • Reply
    Rush
    September 14, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Tipper,
    Even though I have not been receiving the Blind Pig and the Acorn for very long and although I am not originally from NC; it has become my delight every morning to join you over a cup of Joe! Your blog is the first thing I read in my inbox and it helps to make my day get off to a better start. You have become a fun resource for a lot of good recipes, history, music and laughter too. 🙂 I do hope that you will continue to delight and inform me with your well crafted words for a long time to come and congratulations on a job well done!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    September 14, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for blogging!

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    September 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Tipper,
    As I’ve said before, I admire you for what you are doing to keep this particular flame alive.
    And, as I’ve also said, yours is a life worth living, something few of us will ever achieve.
    Rich? You are already.

  • Reply
    Marianne
    September 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I am so happy that you started this blog, though my “roots” to the area are way back I still feel so connected with the area. Your writings on the language and sayings are what I grew up hearing my relatives say. The music is a blessing to me, I start my day with your blog so I may hear some of my favorites, makes my day start off happy, good music and a hot cuppa coffee!! Life is grand!!
    Thank you for your time and efforts to write this blog, I along with many others are blessed by you every day!!

  • Reply
    warren
    September 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

    This may sound goofy but you might consider pulling things together into an Appalachian heritage book. I know there are others out there but none as readable as what you write!

  • Reply
    Lise
    September 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Congratulations on such a milestone! Seems to me you have very toasty feet now:) I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog each day, and greatly appreciated the support you have given me as I started my own blog! Here’s to many more years of bringing Appalachia into our living rooms…

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    September 14, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Tipper, There is a time and place for everything under the sun, and your Blind Pig & the Acorn was definitely one of those “The Time Is Right” appearances. I think you can only imagine how many of us who have found your blog (and you) have been enriched by your research, writing, experiences, pictures, the comments your readers have made, and you, yourself, so sincere and positive in your approach to presenting and saving a portion of our beloved Appalachia that is too rapidly fading away. I for one have been greatly enriched, and thanks seems far too small a word to show my appreciation. Like the food that nourishes my body daily, your blog is part of my daily food for thought and consideration. Thank you, too, for including so many of us in your offerings. We love you, we love the Blind Pig Gang and their music, we love Appalachia! God bless you for thinking of this five years ago, and even though you had “cold feet,” thanks for walking right on ahead anyway! Best wishes to you, and keep the daily food coming! We all enjoy the feast!

  • Reply
    Sandy
    September 14, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I don’t think you have any idea how important you are. I can’t be the only one who truly knows your value. Your blog has gotten me thru a lot of things. Thank YOU is not enough.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    September 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

    My day would not be complete without The Blind Pig. It exemplifies all that I am and ever will be. For a short while each morning, I can once again walk through these mountains in my mind and explore all the treasures nature has waiting. I can now ponder and keep as a treasure the tiny toy elephant I plowed up in my garden. Then, alas, I must jump into my day by paying bills and catching up on world news. But, for that short interval each morning I can be who I truly am.
    I am sometimes called eccentric by those caught up in the rat race. LOL Life is good when one thinks and speaks Appalachian. Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    '
    September 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

    God bless America, God bless Appalachia, and God bless all of you for all the good you do for us.

  • Reply
    MadSnapper
    September 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

    you already know you blog flips me back into my past like a time machine. and i enjoy every moment and every memory that your blog stirs up from my past. God bless you and your family and the hills of Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Belva
    September 14, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Tipper, I am not from Appalachia, but I find that that your blog reaches out to people way beyond that area. So much of the folklore is shared with rural people all over the country and I so enjoy reading and learning about that that I am not familiar with. You have such a warmth and sincerety that transcends through the computer screen that it makes your readers feel like that they have known you all their life. The music that you and your family does so beautifully is so heart warming to me, because it is the music that I grew up hearing. I love hearing about your garden and all the great recipes that you share here. I love the stories that you share about your wonderful and talented family. Chitter and Chatter are such beautiful girls and are lucky to grow up in a home where family values are important. I also enjoy reading the comments from your other followers and guest bloggers. I am so glad I found this site and I hope you know what a blessing that you have been to me and to to so many others!

  • Reply
    Sallie Covolo
    September 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Love the name of Cassie Sanford Clark’s Genealogy page(The Sanford Family Misfit), and love the way she writes, too. She expressed what all the transplanted Appalachians feel, perfectly. Your blog is wonderful, Tipper. It frees me to feel proud of my heritage, and as Cassie expressed, “It does bring Appalachia into our living rooms, and family rooms, too. You brighten my day with your blog.~

  • Reply
    kat
    September 14, 2012 at 7:57 am

    It was my lucky day when i found your blog and am so proud of you for the courage to start it. It starts my day to read what you have to post. I’m not from your area but it brings me back to more simple times of my raising.Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    September 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Great job with this blog it is usually the first thing I look at when I get on my computer. Go girl.

  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    September 14, 2012 at 7:43 am

    That’s a fine tribute. You’ve done a fine work here, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 14, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Tipper, what a great commentary on what you do and what you give to all of us. Thank you Cassie for articulating so well the true gift of Tipper and yes, Cassie, I think writing is what you are meant to do.
    In a world of plastic, Tipper, you are the real deal. In a world where things don’t make sense, I can read the Blind Pig and find things that are real, solid and true and straight from your heart.
    Had I gone looking for a wife for my son I could never have found a match as good as you. Every angel you have ever painted was a self portrait, even though you didn’t realize it.
    I sing your praises often to the people I know and to some I don’t know when I’m telling them about the Blind Pig.
    I’m so glad you posted Cassie’s words. Be sure to read them often and know that this is how much we all love you and appreciate what you bring to us every single day!
    It’s almost five years, that’s a long time. It just seems like yesterday that you started talking about a blog and thinking of names for it.
    I bet your readers don’t know that in addition to writing the blog you did all of the design and computer set up AND that your computer skills are self taught as you produced the blog then added the music.
    It really is a Herculean task that you accomplished AND taking care of your husband and the twins.
    Thank you, Tipper and thank you Cassie!

  • Reply
    justjackie
    September 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I am so proud of you and your blog. Not only has your blog grown and bloomed but you have, too. So glad you are my friend.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 14, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Tipper-Do you know what a Godsend is? Go look in the mirror!

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    September 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I along with many others here are thrilled that you decided to take on this task of blogging about things that are near and dear to our hearts, life has a way of changing things in ways that we never thought would, and being able to go back in time to that stream or that meadow or a song that reminds you of some good times, really means a lot to me and others here. So for all the hard work and dedication we applaud you and your family for giving us such good times and bring back memories…

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    September 14, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I am thankful I found your blog also. Interesting and inspiring!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    September 14, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I for one am so proud you started this blog and that I found it.

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