Appalachia Blog

Blind Pig & The Acorn Turns 12

collage of photos from Appalachia

Photos from my first year of blogging

There was another birthday yesterday besides Granny’s , the Blind Pig and The Acorn turned 12 years old. It’s hard to believe I’ve been sitting at my computer for twelve years typing out my feelings, thoughts, and findings about Appalachia.

Lots of things have changed in those years.

There’s been a least three computers if not four since the one I started blogging on.

I gave up my office at some point during the writing for Chatter to have her own bedroom, so now I type in a cramped space in my bedroom. After I moved my office I moved the entire blog from Typepad to WordPress.

My readership has reached a point I never dreamed it would. I remember when I was excited to have four readers, two of whom were friends from right here in Cherokee County and the other two were Paul and Miss Cindy.

The photo of my toes in the snow was absolutely the last time I painted my toenails so there’s that 🙂

We’ve uploaded a whopping 325 videos to Youtube, that’s a lot of music documentation. And thrilling to us, Pap is in many of those videos. In the earlier videos neither girl played an instrument and they both sang lead instead of harmony.

Speaking of videos, I was going to link to my very first Pickin and Grinnin in the Kitchen post and I can’t find it. It’s has somehow disappeared. Maybe during my big blog move a couple years back. I’ll have to investigate further on where the post went, but here’s the video.

The video makes me aware of even more changes.

My nephews are both married and gone from home.

The young girl filming and the young girl roaming around in the video with her own camera are both fine adult women with lives full of music and creativity.

Pap’s gone from us never to be forgotten.

Paul and I are both older, grayer, and I think wiser or at the very least more experienced with this ole world. (I’m sitting on the coffee table in the background of the video.)

I weigh about 30 pounds heavier, which is a good thing since I was way to thin from worry in those days.

I could go on thinking about changes that have taken place in the last 12 years, but there’s a lot of things that haven’t changed since I started blogging.

My great love and appreciation for Appalachia. The people, music, food, folklore, culture, language, towering mountains and deep dark hollers—I still love it all.

The great love shared in our family hasn’t changed one iota, in fact its probably grown stronger. As has our commitment to the traditional music of Appalachia.

You Blind Pig readers haven’t changed either. There may be more of you, but the fact remains that you ride beside me on this journey of celebrating and preserving Appalachian heritage and culture and cheer me on at every point.

I’m pretty sure Blind Pig and The Acorn readers are the best blog followers in the entire universe.

Every time a reader leaves a comment they leave a jewel for me to hold close to my heart and ponder on as I go about my day.


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  • Reply
    Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
    March 9, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Congratulations! I think I may have been here for most of those years. I don’t always reply, but be sure I’m reading. Sure helps this homesick gal get a little of “her” mountains on a daily basis.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Sorry Tipper, i hadn’t been on here in a while. I pulled a muscle in my back and hadn’t been feeling good. Congratulations on 12 yrs. Thank you so much for all you do. The love you have and put out there in every post for us. We appreciate it so much.

  • Reply
    Karma deGruy
    March 8, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Congrats on 12 years and here’s to many more!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 7, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    I’ve not been with you from the very beginning but almost. You have set my pace for most of my days for a long time. Until recently I was one of the first to read and leave a comment. Circumstances prevent that now but I read every post every day as soon as I turn on my computer. I am addicted! I don’t know if I could function without my daily fix of the Blind Pig. I hope your blog will be around at least as long as I am living. You and your family mean a lot to me! Please, never ever go away!
    Congratulations on 12 wonderful years!

  • Reply
    June Jolley
    March 7, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t get to read every blog, but love them when I can stop long enough to partake. You and your family are the jewels.

  • Reply
    Sheila Lowery
    March 7, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    I don’t remember how I came across your blog. While I am not from Appalachia, I enjoy the music and the stories of old, hard times but wonderful times as well. Congratulations on such a fine achievement!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Happy birthday to Blind Pig & The Acorn, so glad I found ya to listen in and learn and ponder… a sweet gift every day. …we too can relate changes over the years…..but oh the treasure of that Great Love you mention ,right in the center of it all…..Thank you Tipper for all you share…though I don’t live there , love hearing all about it, and also what others share in their replies. A sweet blessing .

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Congratulations Tipper, on another year of Blind Pig and the Acorn-ing! I don’t know how many years I’ve been following but I’m so glad I found my way here 🙂

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    March 7, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Your posts are the jewels.

  • Reply
    Ruth Binder
    March 7, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Your daily blog is much appreciated and I thank you for your love for Appalachia and sharing it with us.

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    March 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Congratulations on your website birthday! Yours was one of the first blogs I subscribed to almost 11 years ago when I launched Survivalcommonsense. As a wannabe fiddler and old time music enthusiast, I have really enjoyed all the music I can look forward to with each post. I also love the old time skills I read about. Keep up the good work, and here’s to the next 12 year!

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    March 7, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    In 2007 or ’08 when I first was introduced to Computers at Tri-County College, I got an e-mail from a a Business Person containing the “Blind Pig and the Acorn.” (Can’t think of her name right-off, but she’s your friend too.) That’s still the best thing about Appalachia I ever read, although at the time I thought you were down in Mississippi somewhere. I was surprised to find out you were in the same county as I was, about 30 miles from me. You and your family have been a huge Blessing to me and my girls.

    Your #1 fan-Miss Cindy has been with you from the start. I enjoy reading the Comments of others, because of you, they sometimes open-up, they’re the real deal. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the “BLIND PIG and the ACORN.” The years are slipping by fast. I can’t believe it’s been 12 years already.

    I appreciate you and Matt getting up so early and prepare the Blog for each day. I’m a lot older than you two, so I don’t get up as early. But I love the stories you told about The three Indian Princesses, Chitter, Chatter, Chetter, (April). …Ken

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Congratulations!!! Love your blog. There is nothing else as good as your site. Hope you can capitalize on it in the future for all your dedication and hard work.

    • Reply
      Kay Harrison
      March 7, 2020 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you for bringing me home every time I read your blog. I am way too far away now in Colorado…

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Happy Birthday to the Blind Pig & The Acorn! Granny too! As I read the comments, a common theme occurs. Tipper, you just plain out Make Us All Happy!!!

  • Reply
    Ray Sugg
    March 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Happy Birthday! Your blog is a treasure chest of Appalachian culture, and I agree with Jeanne – how about a book?

  • Reply
    betty stephenson
    March 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    thanks for the great info you give out i may live a long way from you in new zealand but its so nice to sit down in the morning with a cup of tea and read whats going on in your neck of the woods as we say here have a totally great week every one and thanks

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 11:18 am

    I’m sure you would have the start of a book, maybe a humorous book, with the ups and downs of 12 years of blogging. I haven’t been around for all 12, but I have certainly treasured the past about seven. You and your family have become my family. All your blogger friends hold you close. I hope you and your family can feel the love and caring that is sent your way every day. You have touched the lives of many across the world. Thank you for all your efforts and HAPPY BIRTHDAY BP&A!

  • Reply
    Allison B
    March 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Wow..Thank You, and Congratulations on your success. Blind Pig is one of the very-few-posts that I’ve kept visiting pretty much daily. Somehow you and your readers always share a perfect taste of Appalachia that I look forward. Glad you’ve been willing to share so much of your life with us.

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    March 7, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Happy Birthday, Tipper – and the whole Blind Pig outfit. I recall the first time that I ran across one of your blog pieces was when doing a search related to Cataloochee and found your 2010 piece on the Wild Man of Cataloochee. That led to a wandering back through your earlier work. I sent a note along to br’er Jim with a pointer toward your blog. I think both of us sent you notes at the time, and I recall one of us saying to the other “she’s the real deal” – i.e., not just someone writing about Appalachia, but someone who was the very embodiment of Appalachia.

    You and your family have been a blessing beyond measure to ours. I recall stopping off at Martin’s Creek School one day on the way home from some work I’d done in Alabama and sitting and chatting with Pap for an hour or so. I only remember a couple of the things we talked about, but one distinct memory that I have from the conversation is how thoughtful a man Pap was. I don’t mean thoughtful in terms of thinking of others – which also certainly applied – but thoughtful in thinking of things writ large – current goings on in the world and goings on in eternity.

    Of course one of the best discoveries which followed was that we were not only kin through our love of these old mountains, her people and ways, but through Ball ancestors from the Sandymush area. It was a great day when we found our way together there – along with Lonnie Dockery, whose shared love of Appalachia, calm demeanor and trails companionship I greatly miss.

    And let me say that your perseverance and dedication to making this a daily treat is just incredible.

    Congratulations, happy birthday, and best wishes for many, many more.

  • Reply
    Jim K
    March 7, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the blog Tipper, morning coffee wouldn’t be the same without it.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Happy Birthday!! Can’t remember how I stumbled on Blind Pig and The Acorn many years ago but I am sure glad I did. You usually start my day with a cup of coffee and normally bring a smile to my face as I remember something from my family’s life stories. Keep on posting!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Happy Blog Birthday! Your blog makes my day!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I am here for the long haul. I have read blogs through the years, but this is the only one I have hung in there with. There was once one called Appalachian Ink that I enjoyed, and she wrote stories typical of Appalachia. I never knew what happened when she suddenly quit writing and all attempts to google lead to dead links. Please always keep us up to date on your whereabouts, as most of us have been with you long enough to become attached.
    I so appreciate all these years of dependable devotion to not only sharing your family with us, but also bringing us daily and interesting Appalachian tidbits. It is my favorite subject, and I suppose History is my next. Genealogy is very close to my heart, and I love unraveling the stories of those who walked in our past. Just a thought, but I bet you can go back a couple of generations and find someone who was gifted with music. My 2x grandfather was a musician on the Union side during the Civil War. Sadly, neither I nor my siblings inherited this talent. I do have a first cousin that can just pick up any instrument, and within a short while he can play it. Thanks for all you do.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    March 7, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Happy Birthday Blind Pig! Thank you Tipper for the work you do. Reading your blog is the first thing I do in the morning. I like to start the day with something pleasant.

    You and your family mean a lot to me and my family. Alex, now 9, still loves the Pressley Girls and she watches their videos on YouTube on our “smart” tv.

    I’ve learned so much from you. You always manage to dig out a book I’ve never heard of and that sends me on a quest to find it and learn more.

    More than anything, you’ve inspired me to speak for my little corner of Appalachia. I don’t know how you do what you do. I’m just glad you do it.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 7, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Well us BP&A readers are glad to be blessing to you and to each other as you and yours are to us. I sent your February summary to my sister-in-law over Oak Ridge way and she has been enjoying it to. We are glad you persevered through four computers, a relocation and a major overhaul. All you all encourage me to believe America is not too far gone.

    Those changes, they sure do keep on coming.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 8:50 am

    Happy Birthday Blind Pig! And many more, please. My friends and family who miss out by not reading your post still get to hear, “Tipper said this or Tipper said that” nearly every day. Thank you for introducing your family, for the word enrichment known as Appalachian Grammar and the recipes that can make any gal gain 30 pounds. Today, under the section of ‘you might also like’, there is the picture of chocolate gravy. See what I mean?!

  • Reply
    Susan C
    March 7, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Happy Birthday, Blind Pig. What a difference you have made in keeping Appalachian ways alive and preserved for past, present, and future. Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Happy Anniversary and thank you for all you do. I think I’ve been reading for about 5 years, and often I click on the links to older posts. The Blind Pig is a part of my early morning ‘coffee and web surfing’. And — I credit you with helping to plant the notion in my mind of moving back to East TN after years and years away. So there is one ripple effect of your blog, and who knows how far your reach is!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Happy blog anniversary, sweet friend! If you and I had never started blogging, we would more than likely never have met, and that would have been a huge loss for me. I am so thankful for your and your family’s presence in my and my family’s life and send many hugs and blessings and much love to all of you today!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    March 7, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Happy birthday! And a big thank you for giving us both Appalachia and a family!

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    March 7, 2020 at 7:51 am

    I remember the first time I joined your readers. I think I stayed on for an hour going from Grannyisms to each post and felt so at home. So many memories and I could not believe that someone was blogging about my life. It is such a great way to start my day. In order I have coffee, The Blind Pig and a Krispy Kreme Donut. Couldn”t get any better. Please keep on
    bringing back the good old days. The only thing you could leave behind is the hard work. Until I retired I didn’t have time to think about the past. I was too busy trying to keep up with everything that had to be done. Now your reminders
    take me back to my childhood and all of those who affected my life and influenced me to be the best I could. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 7, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Happy blog birthday and congratulations on a milestone. You put a bit of needed pep in my step on a daily basis and your devotion to the Appalachian world and ways of yesteryear is exemplary. You also gave me both a chuckle and a boost this morning by referring to the lost Pickin’ and Grinnin’ in the Kitchen post. Similar moments of misplacement happen to me on a daily basis.

    Again, here’s a toast to years numbering a decade and two, Like others, I lift a salutatory glass to you.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    March 7, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Hi Tipper…..first off….Happy Birthday to Granny and Happy 12th Anniversary on your Blog….I enjoy it look forward to it each morning….great beginning to my day….so all good wishes in the next years of continuing on ….I am a Canadian girl and had not a lot of knowledge of Appalachia but must say I enjoy it so much keep on keepin’ on…doing a fine job. Be Well!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 7, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Wow and congratulations! I might be a little prejudiced but I think this is the best blog out there and it shines a true light on the heart of the real Appalachia….and it has done it every day for 12 years!
    Good job Tip and here’s to twelve more! You go girl!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 7, 2020 at 7:01 am

    May zI be the first to thank you for reminding how much I love this area. I read your blog first thing every morning

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    March 7, 2020 at 6:59 am

    Thank you for twelve wonderful years, Tipper. Your commitment to our mountain and Southern culture is something we all can applaud and cherish. Never stop……

  • Reply
    March 7, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Thanks for the last 12 years and I look forward to 12 more

  • Reply
    john t
    March 7, 2020 at 6:20 am

    Tipper, your blog is the greatest. I really enjoy reading it daily and Im glad I discovered it a few years ago.

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    March 7, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Tipper, Thanks for your time and devotion to share with us. The Blind Pig is my first order of the day.

  • Reply
    Don Byers
    March 7, 2020 at 6:04 am

    Keep on keepin’ on!!!!

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