Appalachia Blog

Blind Pig & the Acorn 2013 In Review

Blind Pig

Every January I take a look back at what I’ve written during the course of the year. It helps put things in perspective for me. I’m always surprised at the various subjects I wrote about-many of which have completely fallen through the cracks of my mind by year end.

I’ve listed my favorite posts for each of the last 12 months below-one regular post, along with one post from my Appalachia Through My Eyes series. (if you want to revisit any of the posts-just click on the words in orange)

Oconaluftee church smoky mtn park

January-My favorite post for January was Lufty Baptist Church. What an amazing time me and the girls had! Traveling back in time to perform in the historic church was something we will never forget.

My life in appalachia waters of the mighty deep

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Waters Of The Might Deep is my favorite of the photo series for January. I’ve always been fascinated by waters of the mighty deep and this has sure been the year to dwell on those mighty waters. Now if I could only get some of that moisture to fall in the form of snow!Smokemont baptist church swain county nc

February-My favorite regular post was The Story Of The Lufty Baptist Church. After we visited the church I was hoping a story would come to me-like the story I was inspired to write after we hiked back to the Little Cataloochee Baptist Church. In the end I wasn’t inspired to write a story, however I was given deep insight into the sense of place most Appalachians share.

My life in appalachia Food you put up

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Eating Food You Put Up is my favorite of the photo series for February. I’ve followed through on the prediction I made when I wrote the post. Every jar of vegetables, fruit, jelly or pickles I’ve opened has reminded me of the day I put them up-the hot sunshine-the squeak of clean jars in the sink-the vibrant smell of freshness-and the satisfying sound of each lid as it popped sealed.

March-My favorite post was Good Company Shortens The Road. The old saying is so true-and the whole Blind Pig family pitching in to clean off the front bank is but one example of good company making the rough patches of life or hard tasks seem shorter and more pleasant than tackling something alone.

My life in appalachia sisters in appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Sisters In Appalachia is my favorite of the photo series for March. Hard to say if Chatter and Chitter are so close because they’re twins or because they’re the only kids we have. But close they are and grateful are we. This new year of 2014 will take the girls to a new and exciting part of their lives-college. I’ve tried to enjoy every single moment of their senior year of high school-even the annoying ones-because I know change is afoot and headed speedily towards us.

blind man's bluff

April-This month was full of childhood games. We talked about pretty much any old game you can think of. My favorite was Blind Man’s Bluff. Its one of those childhood games that always end in someone getting hurt-I dreaded playing it when I was a kid. But I was fascinated to discover it is considered one of the oldest children’s games and has been documented all across the world.

My life in appalachia mountain hoosier

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Mountain Hoosiers was my favorite post from the series. The term was a new one to me-but the definition of the saying fit my bunch perfectly.

Killiekrankie square dance song

May-My favorite post for May was Killy Kranky. We learned the song on a trip to Berea KY and discovering the song came all the way from Scotland was just amazing. Why was it amazing? Because I love it when I discover something historic is still alive and well in Appalachia.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats was my favorite from the series for May. You can see the happiness on my face-happiness to know my hard work paid off and I finally graduated from college. I’m still inspired by the speech given that night.

Dogs hate baths

June-The month of June was all about cleaning. The girls even chimed in with a song about the cleaning chore they dislike the most-giving the dog a bath. If you missed the video of their song-it’s a must see-so go back and watch it.

My life in appalachia mamaws sprinkler

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Mamaw’s Sprinkler was my favorite from the series. I only have a few items that belonged to Mamaw-and having her sprinkler makes me happy.


July-My favorite post from this month was actually a re-post of one I wrote when I first started the Blind Pig back in 2008. I wrote the poem, I Am From Canning Jars, by using a writing exercise that leads you through a series of steps. Re-posting my poem led more than a few Blind Pig readers to write their own poems about where they’re from.

My life in appalachia spoiled with love

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Spoiled With Love was my favorite from the series for July. The girls are still benefitting from things they learned at Dance Musicians Week-all because someone spoiled them with love.

My life in appalachia the traveling arrowhead

August-The Little Green Valley post was my favorite from August. I enjoyed discovering the history of the song-but mostly I just liked hearing Pap and Paul sing it. It’s one of those songs that really showcase their tight harmony.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – The Traveling Arrowhead was my favorite from the series. The story of the traveling arrowhead is one of those serendipitous happenings of life that make me smile.

September-My favorite post was Clate & Mary Mason. I loved how the elderly couple from my childhood bubbled up in our present day lives. And Mary’s Apple Butter has been especially good this winter.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Mountain Views From Brasstown was my favorite from the series. Ever since I read the quote from the Foxfire magazine-I can’t get the imagery of the Earth being like a quilt pulled up in places to make mountains.

My life in appalachia white and yellow octobers

October-Kentucky was my favorite post this month. As before-the history of the song was interesting-but listening to Pap and Paul’s harmony is what made it extra special.

Appalachian Through My Eyes – White And Yellow Octobers was my favorite from the series. I love Granny’s old fashioned leggy white and yellow mums that bloom in the fall of the year. I also love the photo I snapped of them for the post-it seems modern and old fashioned all at the same time.

My life in appalachia Jack Roberson

November-Apple Pfannekuchen was my favorite post for November. I’m still loving the recipe-so easy-quick and tasty. I’ve been thinking of trying it with savory ingredients-I’ll let you know how it works out when I do.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Jack Robinson was my favorite from the series. Who wouldn’t love those faces? And I love knowing the old saying is still alive here in Appalachia.

December-I still can’t get over how unbelievably good Pap and Paul’s Songs of Christmas cd turned out. While I love all the songs on the cd-We Three Kings Of Orient Are blows me away every time I hear it-and that made the post about the song my favorite for December.

My life appalahcia take a notion

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Take A Notion wins by default as my favorite from the series for December-it’s the only one I posted during the entire month. Even though it was the only one-I did especially like it. Teenage girls who still believe there is magic in the woods is pretty cool.


I thank you-Blind Pig readers-for going along with me on my journey. I thank you for your seemingly never ending support.

I’m hoping each of you stick around for 2014-because it just wouldn’t be the same without you, because without you there’d be no reason to write.


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  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    January 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Thank you Tipper and all the participants. This post has given me many warm(sometimes teary eyed) memories this year. It has made the loss of my Mother and Father In-law softer because of all the memories this post churns in me. Thanks again to all.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    January 5, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Beautiful pics Tipper! Much talent in your word and camera. I miss you all.

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    January 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you for your stories, your thoughts, your initiatives, your trips, your recipes, your attitude, sharing your family, sharing your friends, your persistence and mostly for sharing yourself, you are a gift! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Phyllis S
    January 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    How lucky I am to be a subscriber
    even tho I live in the Pacific NW.
    Thanks for all your creative work.

  • Reply
    Spoon R. Ism
    January 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    To my wonderful writer friend Tipper,
    The post today, “just shows to go you”, that the “storal to this mory” is from “All toaks little grow-corns ache”…
    In other words even if “hits read backerds or ferwords tis good readin'”!
    Work up the good keep!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    January 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks for all the interesting posts
    of 2013, all that hard work is
    appreciated. The way you addressed
    life in Appalachia, mostly with your
    family, is amazing.
    When I went home last night it was
    hard to see the road, with all that
    wind blowing the snow. I had to use
    4-wheel drive to get home and woke up
    with 3 to 4 inches. My Jeep was just
    a big White clump…Ken

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Highlight Of Reading Your Blog:
    Paul’s flat-pickin’.
    Your Daddy’s high tenor harmony.
    The girls’ learning to play music.
    The tapestry you weave with words.
    Your memories of times past, which conjure up memories of my time in the mountains so many years ago.
    The remarks by your readers as they recall how things were ‘back when’.
    Songs I haven’t heard in years, songs I’ve never heard, songs I’ve heard with different words; Paul and Pap were singing “Poor Man” and the line “McKinley, he hollered, McKinley he squalled, the doctor said “McKinley, I cain’t find the ball…” pops into my head.
    The evidence that somewhere there are kids/young adults that still have a sense of values, and respect for their elders. Your tale about Chitter (I think it was she) begging to keep a rooster cracked me up, I absolutely howled with laughter at her logic.
    The video about the tree full of heads; one of the girls said “That’s what ah heard”, and the dialect took me back 30 years. I had forgotten what I’ve been missing.
    And now, the good news: The Mountain Woman, who was born in Denver KY, and I have been laying plans for over a year now to move ourselves back to the mountains. Her daughter has invited us to share a corner of her home for the rest of our days, a most generous offer and a guarantee that we will never spend a day in a nursing home. I’ve seen and lived in several areas of the Eastern US and I truly cannot thing of anywhere that could be closer to Heaven than the mountains. Truly!
    Anyway, don’t stop what you’re doing, sending these daily reminders of what we’re missing; I’d like to see/hear two things in 2014:
    1. Chitter playing double-stops on the fiddle before she sneaks off to college.
    2. You playing a dog-house bass. You’d enjoy it, I gar-on-tee, and I swear they aren’t to learn. Been there, did that, loved it.
    And..keep on, keeping on, don’t change a thing, y’all..

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    great review — and it was just as interesting/fun reading them all over again. Here’s to a wonderful 2014 (and you sharing it with us).

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I had a beautifully complimentary post, and stayed away too long doing laundry. I’m having to repost. I cannot believe those little girls are all grown up and ready for college. This fact eluded me while I drank coffee, made Kraut, and just generally got lost in Blind Pig land each morning. They are so pretty, talented, and obviously bright-they will do well.
    Meanwhile we have lots of snow and cold temperatures here, so it is going to be a soup bean day. I think,instead of shoveling, I will just stare out the window at it and look at seed books.

  • Reply
    Susie Swanson
    January 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

    They are all favorites of mine as well. Thanks for the journey, looking forward to 2014.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 11:35 am

    What a pleasure and a privilege it is going along with you on this wonderful journey that is Appalachia!Looking forward to more stories and recipes in 2014. Hard to believe the Pressley Girls will be going to college already!Have they made their choices of schools and majors?

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    January 3, 2014 at 11:00 am

    We thank YOU — for the journey

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for providing a “rising tide” to your readers. Your blog encourages: appreciating the simple things, acknowledging our history (even if it isn’t Appalachian), and being comfortable in our own skins – – that helps keep us all afloat.

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    January 3, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I enjoy every post and the music. I hope 2014 is full of health and happiness for all. Every year has its valleys and peaks. An older preacher that went to our church use to quote Psalm 30:5 a lot “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” That has always stuck with me and always comes to mind when things are not so well. I look forward to reading your post everyday. Thank you for the time you put in your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Tipper, I enjoy reading your blog every day, and I’m looking forward to sharing 2014 with you:)

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Tipper, I am so glad I stumbled upon The Blind Pig post while I Googled for information on the Sarvis Tree a few years ago. If I miss a day reading your post, I always catch up the following day. My New Years resolution should have been to stop trying every single recipe you post. Someone has to eat it…
    One of the most touching stories I have ever read was A Hardscrabble Christmas. I ordered the book and told a house full of guest about it on Christmas Eve. When the girls go to college, I hope they will find time to add new songs to your playlist. Sometimes I just turn the volume up and listen to the music.
    Thank you for all you do!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Some of your favorites are also some of mine, Tipper. But gosh, there’s such a wealth of posts to choose from on Blind Pig – I could never choose just 12!

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull, PhD
    January 3, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Tipper: My first thoughts when reading your post today, were to choose from your twelve posts just one special post. But I was too impressed with all of them. HOWEVER, I can relate to YOUR GRADUATION EVENT in the most heart-felt way. I also graduated with the HIGHEST DEGREE two years after we lost our sweet Joey (age 17). As we gathered for lunch, I could not hold back the tears – which I HOPED everyone would think was tears of joy. THANKS FOR A MEANINGFUL POST!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

    We use to have an Elderly Pastor that would say “Now that was rich” when someone would get up and testify or do a good job teaching, I didn’t get to read all the post this year because of our internet problems, but this year “was rich”,and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. God calls us in life to do things, it’s up to us to answer that call, and Sister this is one you’ve answered.. Good job,, We never know what the next calling will be…

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Thanks some good stuff! Thanks Tipper. And Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    January 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

    So many moments, so many memories, so many fine times with family. I think I’ll take a page from your book, Tipper, and do a review of the past year. It is good to look back and appreciate the blessings in our lives.

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I loved this review; it made me remember many of the posts you have presented. I loved so many of them. The girls will enjoy their new venture next fall, but without them home, that is if they head out of the area, will bring you a different life. The quietness, smaller meal planning, and whatever daily traditions become different. It’s a new life for you and them. May the new year be just as wonderful as your previous years. I look forward to my daily dose of Blind Pig…!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 3, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Wow, it was a year full of memories…good memories. I had forgotten some of these posts. My life would be different without the Blind Pig to give me something special to look forward to every day.
    Thank you Tipper! I don’t know how in the world you come up with new ideas every single day, but you do and for that I am grateful!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 3, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Thanks for the favorites from the Year in Review! We just appreciate all you do to keep this post alive, well and enticing us! My day isn’t complete unless I’ve accessed Blind Pig! You have more than a “covey” of faithful, appreciative readers (listeners, too, to the music!). And we thank you!

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