5 Things Appalachia

5 Things


1. We had a wonderful Christmas. There was much Merry making and more than enough good food to eat. You can see one of the best gifts of the season in the photo above. Several weeks ago it was pouring the rain and I needed to take something down to Granny’s. I decided I would drive because it was so wet. Right when I was going out the door I thought I better change out of my around the house sandals I was sporting with a pair of socks, but thought naw I’m only running in and out at Granny’s. As I was leaving Granny’s I fell down the rainy steps in my slick sandals. It happened so fast I didn’t even know I had fallen until I was laying on the ground. Granny heard the commotion and come out to see what was going on. When I heard the door open I hurried up and headed to the car yelling back that I was okay I had just fallen and that it was my fault because I didn’t change shoes. I didn’t want Granny to worry, but by the time I got home I knew I was in for some pain. Luckily I landed the best way you can, right on my rear end and even luckier I didn’t break anything. It was just last week that I was finally able to sleep through the night without cringing in pain every time I turned over or able to sit in a chair without pain. Miss Cindy gifted Granny a box of nails and a bag of shingles in the hopes that no one will ever fall down the steps again and after dinner The Deer Hunter made short work of putting them down. I bet I could wear my slick sandals in the rain and not fall now, but I promise you I won’t be trying to find out for sure.


2. The Pressley Girls are headed up way up north. They’ll be doing a series of concerts in Michigan with our friend David Kaynor. They’re looking forward to seeing a lot of snow, playing a lot of music, and they’ve even dusted off their clogging shoes to take them along for some dancing. If you’d like more information about the venues/dates email me at [email protected] and I’ll fill you in.



3. Blind Pig reader, Gregory Smith, introduced me to Luke Winslow-King and Esther Rose. I’ve been listening to this song pretty much ever since he pointed me in their direction. And now I’m a wishing I had a washboard to play.


4. And example of the things that come out of The Deer Hunter’s coat before I wash it.

Appalachian Cooking Class at JCCFS

5. The Folk School recently sent out an email about my upcoming class “Mountain Flavors – Traditional Appalachian Cooking.” The email also has information about other Appalachian classes being offered at the school during the coming year. You can follow this link to find out more about my class and you can follow this link to see the email (be sure to pay attention to the scholarship information in the footer of the email or go here to visit the scholarship page of the Folk School website).


*Ruling day 2: Low 35 High 58 No Precipitation

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  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    December 28, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    How exciting for the girls on their concerts and first flight! I am so sorry you fell but happy you were not seriously hurt and that the problem is fixed! I fell several weeks ago when it snowed but braced myself against the wall coming in the door. My wrist and had has been bothering ever since, don’t know if it is from the fall or using the mouse for the computer.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, Tipper. A fall like that leaves you sore for ages. I remember Mama finding worms in my brother’s pants pockets when we were kids. I’m excited for your daughters.

  • Reply
    Frank Vincent
    December 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Tipper, so sorry to hear of your spill… Ingenious preventive measure with those shingles… Prayers to you for a speedy recovery and for the young lady’s safe return… God Speed and a Blessed Happy New Year to all!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    December 27, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Glad you’re recovering! It’s awful to fall–especially the kind that feels in slow motion. My most spectacular fall was on ice in our driveway. During our youth we had a red Firebird and I slid almost all the way under it! I was a lot thinner back then.

    I claim everything that ends up in the washer & dryer and also loose change left lying around. They have been warned!! But I do donate my change jar to any family member going on a trip so they’ll have a little extra to spend.

  • Reply
    Ellen Broening -Texe
    December 27, 2018 at 11:24 am

    In my childhood, my brothers would leave frogs in their pockets
    I would find baby spring peepers in their dungarees Some escaped onto the sump pump and frog songs echoed in the washroom throughout the springtime

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    December 27, 2018 at 11:15 am

    A fall like that is no fun. I am glad there was no lasting damage–and that the steps are now slip-proof. Exciting to see the girls moving on with their music! We will be able to say we knew them when. And pockets! My husband is the king of weird pocket stuff! Well, whenI am working in my booths or on furniture I admit I’m just as bad.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Sure glad you didn’t break a bone and you are feeling better now. As we get older, falls can really mess us up. I know the girls must be excited about the tour and you are going to miss them. TMC is correct in these crazy times, I pray they stay safe! I looked at your cooking class and if I lived close i would enjoy taking it. The school offers a lot of interesting classes and the accommodations are really nice. Who ever gets to participate will be blessed.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    December 27, 2018 at 10:16 am

    #1 The Shingles – I did the same thing. My walk has river pebble concrete with landscape timber cross pieces. The timbers are slick when wet. While I was trying to think of how to fix that a work truck flying by some time when we were gone dropped off a bunch of shingles and a step ladder in the road in front of our house. They didn’t come back for them so I nailed the shingles on the cross timbers. Have not slipped since.

    #2. Congratulations to Chitter and Chatter. But I expect their Mom has mixed feelings.

    #4. Looks like guy stuff to me. Is that a rock for one of the girls in the mix?

    #5. Please let us have a behind-the-scenes look at the cooking class. Are leather britches on the menu?

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 10:08 am

    So sorry that you had that fall, we can sure relate to falling at times … my husband and I both. Remember well the all of a suddenness of being on the ground and at the same time wondering if you were broken anywhere……. and also the interim between , pain sore, and better . So glad you are getting better. Those strips on the porch are a great idea .

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    December 27, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Going to have to check with you, Tipper! The girls are going to be right in MY neighborhood. Hope we don’t get too cold for them. Am I the only person who still doesn’t understand how the Ruling Days translate? I’ve been keeping track since Christmas (and your post), but don’t quite know why. Help?

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    December 27, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Tipper, glad you are ok. I’m also awful proud of the girls for getting the recognition they deserve. They are great keepers of Appalachian folkways and fine ambassadors to a world who see us through the lens of bad movies and JD Vance. Although I’m in Ohio, I’m also glad UofM saw what talent they are.

    Coat pockets are a wonderful thing. They are like time capsules. I’d love to hear the story behind each of those items. I bet there is a perfectly good reason for each.

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The back side is not necessarily the best place to land! I was holding my young grandson’s hand as we made our way to the car along an icy sidewalk and down I went. I had to go back in the house and lay down, as I almost passed out from pain. The doctor said there wasn’t a thing he could do. It took forever to heal! It was the busiest time of year at work, so I bought a bottle of Advil and gritted my teeth as I walked a mile to get to my work area every day.
    Michigan is a good place to visit, but five years of living there was enough for this hillbilly.
    A washboard music maker? Interesting.
    Look through The Deer Hunter’s pockets thoroughly. My son-in-law emptied his pockets of change and put the contents in a little crystal bowl where my daughter put her custom made ring she doesn’t wear to work. He scooped it all up the next morning and made a donation from his pocket to The Salvation Army later that day. The director said the ring hasn’t been found.
    You are definitely the best candidate for teaching a traditional cooking class. Let us know if you need any taste testers.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    December 27, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Congrats to the girls for spreading their wings. So glad to hear they are adding clogging to the show. Hope your aches go away quickly.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 27, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Tipper–That Miss Cindy is sharper than the point of one of those nails she bought for installing skid-proof shingles at Granny”s. She doesn’t miss a trick.

    As for the girls venturing up Michigan way, they can have my part of that section of the world in winter (never mind that my sister lives there). More to the point, it looks like that first thing you know I’ll be able to say “I knew the Pressley Girls back before they became famous.”

    Glad you folks had a grand Christmas.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I’m glad you’re healing up but sorry you took such a bad spill! In the past few years I’ve become way too experienced in that department, but generally due to a combination of ice and always carrying an armload of something so I can’t see exactly what’s in front of my feet. I love that Miss Cindy came up with the perfect gift and the Deer Hunter got right on the installation – this is my idea of a perfect present!
    I laughed at the pocket picture, because on laundry day I try to empty my pockets outdoors to keep a million tiny bits of hay, a couple of wizened carrot pennies, and a few fragments of peanut shells from adding to the random mess already in the house. Carrot pennies and unsalted peanuts in the shell are the goats’ favorite treats – when I need a goat to come to me, I can crack a peanut shell and heads turn from 50 feet away 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 27, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Those are all five special things! No one else falls n the slick steps, The Pressley Girls make their first flight, new musicians, the wonders of men and what they put in their pockets and last but certainly not least….Tipper is teaching another class at the Folk School! Big things going on in Brasstown.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    December 27, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Oh I am so sorry you fell. But glad it got tjose steps taken care of so you don’t have to worry about Granny falling. Congrsts to the girls on their tour. Jave a wonderful New Year

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 5:51 am

    I fell exactly the same Oct. a year ago, this was slick porch steps from algae build up but when I fell my feet flew out from under me and I landed on my back shoulder bones then the rest and slid on down, knocked the breath out of me and it was almost a year before it got better, probably cracked something but it’s all better now. Exciting news for the Girls and I hope they have fun and stay safe, don’t take any candy from strangers, it’s weird times we are living in.

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