Appalachia Blog

A Big Change For Me And The Blind Pig & The Acorn

Tipper sitting in Granny's yard

2020 wasn’t the greatest year for the world, but in many ways it was an exceptionally good year for us at the Blind Pig and The Acorn house.

A series of good events started in 2020 and just kept on going right into 2021. The blessings have given me an opportunity I’ve dreamed about for over 13 years: to focus full time on celebrating and preserving the culture and heritage of Appalachia.

Today is my last day of work at the Folk School. I enjoyed my time there. I met a lot of people, grew and learned so much, and on top of that had the great fortune of working for the best boss I’ve ever had—Keather Gougler.

Leaving Keather was as hard as leaving the Folk School itself—she’s that smart, kind, and knowledgable. After I had been working at the Folk School for a short time I clearly seen Keather was the driving force behind the Folk School’s world wide fame.

I have so many plans I want to accomplish with my extra time: things I want to research, things I want to write about, videos I want to make, interviews I want to conduct, places I want to visit, and more 🙂 I feel beyond blessed by God to have been given 40 extra hours a week to focus on my passion for Appalachia.

I hope you’ll continue to follow along with my endeavors of celebrating Appalachia!


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  • Reply
    June 14, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    I have followed you and your family for many years…enjoyable years, filled with laughter and tears…tears of joy and tears of nostalgia. And I’m not one to tear up. But you, Ms. Tipper, Chitter, Chatter and The Deer Hunter are the beating heart of why so much has been good in this world. Nestled in the most beautiful of God’s creation you all hang onto the honesty, innocence, virtues and morals that were necessary, yea, mandatory for our country to become as great a country as it has become. When a man’s word was truly his bond, hard work was a reward and the only thing sweeter was that which was accomplished with one’s own two hands at day’s end. The ‘sayings’ and traditions become my childhood as I close my eyes and listen to you read or your family talk about feeding chickens, crocheting a pattern not found in any book, learning how to sharpening knives by just doing it, finding God, Solace and True Peace at the top of the ridge or next to Stamey Creek. The unconditional love you all have for each other and being genuinely, sincerely tirelessly humble in your knowledge that all that surrounds you is precious, delicate and the expression of The Creator, to be respected and never taken for granted. These are what keeps this world turning.
    Your selfless sharing of that love reminds so many of us where we come from providing the path for us to get back to what is missing within us.
    God bless and keep you all.

    • Reply
      Era Servis
      June 17, 2021 at 4:31 pm

      Hello Tipper,
      I wish you joy in your expanded work about Appalachia.
      I was watxhing “Call the Midwife” on Netflix and I remembered that I had my baby girl in Providence Hospital in Murphy NC and there were Nuns assisting at the birth. I started to wonder about the Order they were in and how they came to Appalachia. So many women must have recieved their care up there. Do you know anything about them?
      Thanks for all you do and share.

      • Reply
        June 17, 2021 at 8:07 pm

        Era-I don’t know. I wonder if the Cherokee County Historical Museum might have information about them? Thank you for the comment 🙂

      • Reply
        June 22, 2021 at 1:27 pm

        I’m sorry I don’t know anything about them, but my older brother Steve was born there too 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    June 11, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    All Good Wishes to you Tipper in your ‘new’ life doing what you love and we all enjoy the hard work you do so very much…..may each day be a Blessing to you!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    A big step, Tipper! Congratulations and good luck!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Congratulations Tipper and God bless you as you go after your dreams.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Congratulations Tipper. I think I can speak for everyone, as long as your here, we’re not going no where. God surely has Blesses you. God is so good.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    Early retirement by choice! Congratulations, Tipper! I’m looking forward to seeing how God leads you in this new adventure.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Congratulations Tipper!!!

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    June 10, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    You have been blessed to have had a job you enjoyed and to have worked for people you admired and respected. The best part is ahead of you. You will be doing the things you really love. All your readers will benefit from your change. I am really looking forward to something that is already wonderful being even better!

    Dennis Morgan

  • Reply
    Julie Adams
    June 10, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    You might enjoy the latest Irish Music Stories podcast by Shannon Heaton about folk song collectors, especially Olive Dame Campbell.

  • Reply
    Sherry Whitaker
    June 10, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Happy New Adventures! The Blind Pig is a happy spot in my day. I just add my “Amen” to all of these comments. You & your family are absolutely part of our family forever.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Congratulations! You will love the extra time. I’m retired, and it’s great to have time for the things I love.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 10, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    I knew it! I expected it! It’s not retirement. You’re just directing your interests toward what your interests really are.

    • Reply
      June 10, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      Ed, this is the perfect song for Tipper today. And it brought a chuckle to my day. Thank you.

      Tipper, congratulations!! I am so very, very happy for you. This is one Acorn that can’t wait to walk down this new path with you. Can’t wait to see all the new and exciting things you’re going to share. May all your dreams come true!! (And thanks to your family for sharing you with us)

  • Reply
    Jackie (Bailey) Stauch
    June 10, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Congratulations Tipper. I know you will bring us more folklore to wonder at. The Appalachia culture holds a special place in my heart. So many questions that I didn’t get a chance to ask my grandparents when they were alive and now am discovering with you and my own research.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Congratulations, Tipper! I am so happy for you and can’t wait to see what new doors God will open for you in this new season! Many blessings to you and your dear family.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    My Dad said, “He’d never worked so hard in all his life then after he’d retired, but working at things he wanted to do.” Enjoy the works of Love.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    June 10, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Big milestone! Enjoy every minute of every day God gives you. We can’t know how much time that is, but think of life as a baseball diamond. At 25 you’re on first base and rounding second at 50. On average we will be safe at third when 75. I’m well on my way to home plate, but a couple of health issues have me caught in a rundown, so I’m not at all likely to score. Nonetheless, my team is winning, and that’s a happy thought! Congratulations, Tipper. You go, girl!

  • Reply
    Dan O’Connor
    June 10, 2021 at 1:15 pm


  • Reply
    Sherri Jones
    June 10, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Congratulations . Love your blogs. Look forward to my email from you every day. The YouTube videos are awesome.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Please add my congratulations and joy as you continue your adventures! Though, I’m not sure ‘retirement’ applies in your case, we all look forward to sharing the ride. Thank you for being open to all God has for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Donald Wells
    June 10, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Tipper, so happy for you that your going to have more time to spend on your hearts desire and passion,for Appalachian History and culture. Wishing you the very best in your endeavor.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 10, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Wonderful news! Congratulations!

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes Moreno
    June 10, 2021 at 11:30 am

    God’s blessings on your new adventures!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Congratulations Tipper!! Take a breather before you start your list of what you want to do. God bless!

  • Reply
    Gina Lee Smith
    June 10, 2021 at 11:10 am

    Congratulations and of course will continue to follow you! It’s become a happy habit!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    June 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Tipper, I couldn’t be more excited for you! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. You are in a unique place to further the appreciation and preservation of a place we both love. I will be praying for you sweet friend.

  • Reply
    Alice Somich
    June 10, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Enjoy your new chapter, Tipper! I have learned so much from watching you on You Tube. I love your work! It gives me so much pleasure!! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Tony Petersen
    June 10, 2021 at 10:08 am

    Congratulations, Tipper, on making the change that will enable you to Live Your Dream more fully.

  • Reply
    Celia Miles
    June 10, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Tipper, just keep on keeping on what you’re doing and more. You’re just about the best thing (or ambassador, champion, storehouse of knowledge, spokesperson, etc.) that Appalachia has. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sharon Cole
    June 10, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Congratulations!! Retirement is wonderful.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 9:51 am

    Sounds like a good move to follow your passion. Congratulations! We followers of your blog will be the beneficiariJes of the additional time you will now have to research, video, and write.

  • Reply
    Betty Hopkins
    June 10, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Congratulations, Tipper, on this new season in your life! Can’t wait to see what it brings you! I retired early, too, and have never looked back. You’re gonna love being retired and doing what you want to do, not what you have to do. Enjoy it to the full!!!

  • Reply
    Brenda Schenck
    June 10, 2021 at 9:28 am

    Congratulations on being able to fulfill a dream…..I’m sure the school will surely miss you, but i look forward to seeing what adventures you come up with and share with us all..hugs

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 9:13 am

    What was meant for harm God worked out as a blessing for you!! So very happy for you and look forward to walking with you on your new journey!!
    Many blessings on your new adventures:)

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    June 10, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Congratulations Tipper,keep up the good work that you love to do.

  • Reply
    Lewis Kearney
    June 10, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Congrats on your time at the school and for what’s ahead!

    • Reply
      Pastor Lon
      June 10, 2021 at 12:03 pm

      Wow! That’s Awesome Tipper! Congratulations on your new chapter in life and we are so glad for you and for your family! We are so thankful that GOD has blessed you with this extra time to enjoy your life and we are excited also that you can bless us , as well as SO MANY others by living your dream and sharing and CELEBRATING APPALACHIA!!!! GOD BLESS PRESSLEY MANOR!!!!

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    June 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

    You will be greatly missed at the Folk School and leave a difficult void to fill. I couldn’t agree with you more about what a wonderful person Keather Gougler is and how fortunate the School is to have her. At the same time, I am excited about what the future will bring to you in your new, full-time, effort to champion Appalachia. I look forward to our continued collaboration. All the best to a most deserving person.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 9:02 am

    I think Granny may benefit more than one can imagine. It was difficult for me to be available for my parents when they needed help of any kind. Only in retirement did I feel I was fulfilling the role the Lord wanted me in. I spent blissful years caring for my Mother and babysitting my grandson. I was amazed at how much money was saved without constantly having to eat out and fill up the gas tank. May the Lord bring you every blessing, as you begin this different journey.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 8:59 am

    I can’t wait to see where your next journey takes you! No doubt it will be an exciting time for your readers as well.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    June 10, 2021 at 8:48 am

    Congratulations, Tipper! Enjoy, and dont forget to relax every now and then.

  • Reply
    Pat Dobbins
    June 10, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Congratulations …. and the best of luck on your new endeavor! I’m looking forward to follow along and can’t wait to see what you bring us. And I thank you for what you have given us so far. From a Texan who’s never been to Appalachia before you bring it to me. Thanks again….

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I am so excited for you and the new adventures to come!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 8:37 am

    So happy for you Tipper. Early retirement is great. I was very blessed to experience it myself. Good luck in the next chapter of your life. God bless you and your wonderful family.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    June 10, 2021 at 8:37 am

    Wow, Tipper! Congratulations! This is such exciting news. Good for you and I couldn’t be happier for you.

    Like everyone here, I’m excited to see where you go with this next and I’m 100% here for whatever comes next!

  • Reply
    Buz Salmon
    June 10, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I will be thinking of you today and the days ahead. If I might suggest today write down your feelings and everything you want to do then seal it up and revisit it next year to see if you have accomplished everything.
    I am excited for you. God bless you Tipper.

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    June 10, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Wonderful news, Tipper…..Congratulations and Blessings abound!….It is good to know the my new forever friends will be still be forever through your writing and posting….Thank You!

    • Reply
      Kenley Redditt
      June 10, 2021 at 8:40 am

      Congratulations on your new season of life!!!

  • Reply
    Jeffrey H. Brown
    June 10, 2021 at 8:16 am

    You know as well as I do, God is going to put you were you need to be. We think we are in charge, but not so much. I am happy for you. It’s nice when we are in sync with the Lord. I love your channel and I appreciate all you do for our folk culture. As a side note people in far eastern and south eastern Ohio frequently use yew ‘uns and drop the g in “ing”.

    God bless you and yorn. – Jeff Brown

  • Reply
    Donald Allen
    June 10, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Congratulations on your next chapter!!

  • Reply
    Sallie the apple doll lady
    June 10, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Congratulations. How blessed to be able to change by choice. Wish you the best and look forward to reading more on your blog.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    June 10, 2021 at 8:02 am

    I’m happy for you Tipper, your hard work has paid off!!!
    You will burn up that extra 40 airs (hours) and need some more.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 7:56 am

    Congratulations on your new chapter. I’m definitely going to stay tuned. Blessings to you and yours.

  • Reply
    Patricia Price
    June 10, 2021 at 7:35 am

    Praise God! My older grandson loves to “go on adventures.” All of “your people” out here in cyberspace look forward to seeing and hearing about your adventures as you step out the door into the next part of your life.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 10, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Free at last! I am beyond happy for you! I know that head of yours has been near to busting with all you’ve done and all you want to do and now you can! God is Good……..NOW FLY!!

  • Reply
    Wanda Robertson
    June 10, 2021 at 7:24 am

    Congratulations! Exciting times ahead.

  • Reply
    Gina Huwe
    June 10, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Awesome God is so good!!!!! I can’t wait to see all the great things that you do!!! God Bless!!!!

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 7:23 am

    YOU QUIT YOUR JOB!!!!!!!!! GREAT…. good start. now be flexible, follow the wind. now you GET to do things, not HAVE to. i know, but don’t be afraid to charge people. i actually got fired from my last job in 1964. you can live by your wits. ask me. matthew 6:26. you are listening to your god. peace out. raz

  • Reply
    Donna S Justus
    June 10, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Congratulations! I am ever so thankful I found your page years ago, it brings me so much enjoyment.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    June 10, 2021 at 7:21 am

    Happy retirement. Following your new life will be fun and I am sure it will be educational as well. Enjoy!!!

  • Reply
    Sandra Harrison
    June 10, 2021 at 7:20 am

    Congratulations…that’s an American dream to retire early!

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    June 10, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Congratulations on your “things to do” change. I’m sure the Folk School lost a loyal employee.
    I hope all the items in your bucket list materialize now that you are going to be the captain of your time ship.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 7:03 am

    Tipper, I hope you can accomplish all of your plans and dreams. I think you are doing the right thing by starting on them now while you are still young and have a chance to do them. Best of luck to you.

  • Reply
    Charles S Rasmussen Sr
    June 10, 2021 at 7:03 am

    My decision came in November of 2018, best decision I ever made. This will be your best decision, also !!! ENJOY !!!

  • Reply
    John Hart
    June 10, 2021 at 6:58 am

    I’m with YOU!

  • Reply
    Denise R
    June 10, 2021 at 6:53 am

    Congratulations!!!! I don’t know if you will call it retirement from your prospective, but we are semi-retired and love it tremendously. Having those extra 40 hours free from our full time jobs is wonderful and you will fill it doing those things you love, now that you can do it!!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    June 10, 2021 at 6:28 am

    Congratulations on starting a new chapter in your life. I hope you get to do all the things on your list. I’m looking forward to more good stuff from the BP.

    My wife and I will be in Brasstown this weekend at the Crown Restaurant and cottage.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 6:23 am

    Congrats Tipper!

  • Reply
    Robin in VA
    June 10, 2021 at 6:20 am

    Happy Retirement…I can’t wait to read about all your new adventures!

    • Reply
      Margie G is for GO FOR IT
      June 10, 2021 at 7:58 am

      Congrats on your decision to move on in life’s adventure! It’s not the end, just a NEW beginning as you put the school in life’s rear view mirror. It will always be a fond memory for you. I am excited to see exactly what you’ll do next. I figure you may roost about your nest a week or so and gather your thoughts in a non rushed way before you set out on your next set of bold endeavors. I wish you a time of relaxation, sitting on the porch and really just stopping to breathe it all in!!! For me, my plans are sidelined because of AUTOIMMUNE disease. I’m just glad to be alive most days. God bless you, Miss Tipper, as you take the path less traveled at the fork of life’s road!

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