5 Things

1. Canning and preserving knowledge is being passed along to the next generation at our house this summer. It makes me happy that at least one of the girls is interested enough to start her own putting up notebook. She can share it with her sister, if the desire ever strikes the other one. Alternately, I suppose she can feed her sister for the rest of her life.


2. Sometimes blackberries free for the picking can be found alongside schools and other business areas. Sometimes the caretakers even mow right up to the briars like they knew you were coming.

3. Wondering. Could I have made it living back in the old days? I wouldn’t have to leave home for work, my work would have been right there waiting for me every morning. My hands would have produced, cared, and created for my family all day long instead of in stolen moments. On the flip side there would have been no endless supply of books to read and music to hear. Not to mention no Blind Pig readers to communicate with.

4. Listening to Gene Watson sing Love in the Hot Afternoon almost makes me want to go back to New Orleans. Just listen yourself and see. Sigh…one of my favorite voices.

5. All the sudden supporting the rich colorful language of Appalachia is all the rage. I’ve only been talking about it for the last 8 years-what took everyone else so long?



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Please wish your Dad a Happy Birthday for me. Yesterday was my sister in law’s. She is one day older than Pap. She has been fighting cancer for a couple of years now. Her doctors said they thought all of it is gone. She just recently had her last feeding tube removed and was well enough to get to go to Pidgeon Forge last week. She still can’t swallow very well and sometimes it’s hard to understand her speech. She is a tough bird too, just like Pap.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    The reason I mentioned Roundup and blackberries it because around here Duke Power sprays instead of trimming the rights of way and the State does the same along some of the roads. They do it without warning anybody. Those two places are where I find the best blackberries! If it was just me, I would just wash them good but I fix them for my grandsons. I ain’t about to risk feeding them something that kills blackberries, honeysuckle, kudzu and wild roses.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

    To Ken: sorry to hear about the damage but glad you are out and about after the storm.
    To Eva Nell: my Mom made it to 92. Dad and his twin will be 95 next week.
    To Jim Casada: love to read your comments – you are an artist with words.
    About “can to can’t”: hadn’t heard that phrase but know the concept well. At 95 my Dad still does that. And don’t forget that old Harvest moon that allowed folks to work through the night to get the harvest in!
    About those blackberries and round-up: think I’ve shared this story before but my daughter and family were visiting Maine, sampling blueberries as they enjoyed walk. One of the folks they encountered on their walk dryly commented, “you know people walk their dogs here. . . ” as he passed by . . . .
    Make it a Wonderful Day. You and your readers always make it a wonderful day for me.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Guess who I just heard on our local
    Radio Station? yep, The Pressley
    Girls singing “In the Garden”.
    Then Donna Lynn played another
    by the Pressley Girls…Bury Me
    Beneath the Weeping Willow Tree.
    WKRK 1320 is on the Internet and can accessed by typing “” in your Insertion

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 9:38 am

    I chose this more quiet type life
    style and I like it. I can lots of things and I’m living proof freezing is not the best way, at
    least for me. I have lost everything that was frozen due to
    this Tornado that hit Topton and
    Robbinsville. When I went to check on things yesterday, there was trees laying everywhere. I pulled in behind 5 big outfits, replacing broken poles, and men
    (at least 12) were running their
    powersaws and wenching trees out
    of my driveway. I’m hoping to go
    home this evening…Ken

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Sounds like your legacy is going to be passed on through family. Great!
    I thank you for sharing parts of your legacy and the language of Appalachia. I am learning so [email protected]

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 16, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Tipper and Pinnacle Creek–While I’m delighted that outsiders are finally recognizing the rich, expressive nature of “mountain talk,” there have been those who were aware of this for some decades. Joe Hall was certainly a pioneer, but folks like the Campbells and the Foxfire School folks recognized the importance not only of language but the whole span and scheme of Appalachian life. Even earlier, the likes of Horace Kephart and Muriel Shepphard also latched onto mountain culture, but sadly they did a great deal of damage on the national scene by misrepresenting many aspects of our folkways. Their problems, among others, were giving way to sensationalism to sell books and the fact that while they were IN the mountains they were not OF the mountains. There’s a huge difference when it comes to perspective. Tipper is blessed by her roots and a life of grounding in mountain culture.
    The interested goes beyond blogs and the occasional scholarly study. A magazine for which I write on a fairly regular basis, “Smoky Mountain Living,” is devoted to just what the title suggests,and there are others. That being said, Tipper has a special niche for what I perceive as several key reasons: (1) Her passion for the subject matter, (2) A highly creative mind, (3) She’s of the “do it” persuasion and is always looking for new information or digging deeper in the past, and (4) She’s genuine as an ear of Hickory Cane corn and fetching as a bowl of butterbeans.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 16, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Glad you, and others, are passing on the knowledge. Our ancestors knew how to be self-reliant and that had a lot to do with the form of government we started with. We may have to go back to that self-sufficiency just any time now.
    I think myself that to call a lady a ‘homemaker’ is a very, very high complement. It goes far beyond supplying material needs to include the emotional, intellectual and spiritual atmosphere; those intangibles that are an integral part of what we mean when we say ‘home’. That is not to say Dads don’t have a part, but it is a different one.
    Today is tomato canning. The Cherokee Purples out-produce the Rutgers. The color takes a little getting used to though.
    Blessings to all the BP&A folks.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    July 16, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Regarding #5- now see what you’ve started?

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Great that the Appalachian language is catching on. FB has many Appalachian sites. Tipper, nobody has your knack for portraying Appalachia in such an accurate and interesting way. Your other child will make you proud in some great way. I always loved anything to do with the earth while one sister hated it.

  • Reply
    July 16, 2015 at 7:50 am

    I love your posts. We have been canning pickles, kraut and pickled corn this last week. Of course we always do it as my grandmother did and pickle by the signs. The older I get the more I love learning and trying to hold on to my grandparents customs. Hopefully, I can instill the love of this into my daughter. Thank You!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 16, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Tipper, how does it feel to start a trend?
    I saw the big bucket of blackberries at your house yesterday. I know that means jelly is coming. I hope you will remember me with a jar of it.
    It’s good that one of the girls is learning to put up food. I was learning to cook at her age but it was a few years later before I learned about canning. The Deer Hunter was a baby when I started putting up food. I used the Ball Jar Canning book and asked my mother in law a lot of questions.
    Canning was fun them and it is still fun today. It is a creative activity for me.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    July 16, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Hey Tipper:
    This is a strange post which brought back sweet memories for me. My Mother lived the kind of way you described – making everything we had – as we had no other way of acquiring things we needed. It might seem rough but it was a healthy way to live – up to age 95 for my mother and age 104 for her sister! Can anyone beat those ages?
    Kindly, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Pat Shumway
    July 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Tipper, for many years I’ve treasured a phrase I read in a book. It was so long ago that I don’t remember the locale or time period of the story. Now I wonder if the phrase might be one you’ve heard here. It seems a farmer worked “from can to can’t”. This was explained as meaning from light enough to see to too dark to see. That has probably always been the custom of all farmers everywhere !

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 15, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I think I might have gotten this a little early but I can’t wait to respond.
    1. We can only pass on what our children will accept. We are only obligated to give what we have. They are obligated to receive what they will.
    2. I’m afraid to pick the easy blackberries because I don’t know if they have been sprayed with Roundup.
    3. No doubt you would have thrived in earlier times. That’s when books didn’t have to compete with Facebook, video games, television and smartphones. Reading was a joy. You not only read, you saw the movie in your mind.
    4. I can imagine Gene Watson singing “Making Love on a Cold November Night!”
    5. After my trying to suppress the Appalachian language for 2 thirds of a century, you and your blog have allowed it to to once again flow free. Be as proud of yourself as I am of you!!
    Sometimes we have to just stop and let the rest of the world catch up!

  • Leave a Reply