Blog Heritage Holidays in Appalachia

Happy New Years

Blind Pig
This is the time of the year most folks figure out what they need to change in their lives and make a renewed effort to do so in the coming year-makes me think of wiping the slate clean and starting fresh.

While I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions (not that I don’t need to) I do like to look back over the year that’s gone and remember-especially when I think about the Blind Pig.

Over the last few days, I’ve been looking at all the different subjects I’ve written about during 2010. I’ve been surprised at the things I’d forgotten. I felt kinda overwhelmed when I looked at the posts as a whole-so I tried looking at them month by month and seeing what jumped out at me. (if you want to read any of the past posts-just click on the words in orange)


  • I was wrapping up my series of posts about hog killing. One of my favorites was Granny and Pap rendering lard. January was also the month Arley Phillips died-better known as The Wild Man of Cataloochee. The post about Mr. Phillips stands out-because he was a legend that was true-and now he’s gone. January was also the month the Blind Pig Gang was singing Merle Haggard’s Silver Wings. I still think Merle would enjoy our company no matter what Paul says.


  • We all debated the wisdom of canning sausage in the old time way-would it kill you-and if so why are so many folks still alive and still canning it that way? I was jamming to Paul and the boys version of Fergus County Jail-and all these months later-I still must listen to it at least 3 times a week or maybe an even dozen-it’s just that good. Especially when you think about it being recorded live-off the cuff at the end of one of our Sunday pickin’ and grinnin’ sessions.





  • I interviewed David Grier!!! Still can’t believe it. I had his voice on my answering machine for months “Hey Tipper it’s me David Grier” until someone erased it-though whoever did it still won’t own up to erasing it. We all had a good laugh at the first ever Blind Pig Gang bloopers video.








The year 2010 also brought some firsts for the Blind Pig & the Acorn:

  • The first Blind Pig & the Acorn Planting By The Signs Calendar for 2011-remember how I published a calendar each month last summer? I developed an entire calendar for the coming year-set up in a similar way-it’s easy to use-the best days for planting are marked along with pickling info, and weeding days. You can check it out by clicking on the LuLu buy now button in the top right of this page-just because you click on it doesn’t mean you have to buy it-but you can check it out and see if you’re interested.
  • I was interviewed on the blog radio program at Salt Creek Life  -I don’t believe they’ve got over my accent yet.
  • I made a joint Partnership with The Learning Center! called the Proctor Project-where the students learn about the displaced community of Proctor-visit the area on a field trip-write essays on the subject-and then the best ones are published here on the Blind Pig. The Proctor Project is a perfect way to ensure the heritage and history of western NC continues to the next generations.
  • I held a Spotlight On Music In Appalachia-and although I didn’t get the big sponsors I started out hoping for-I did get some really great folks to sign on-and giving the guitar Paul bought away was for sure one highlight of the spotlight. I’m still amazed at all the folks who pitched in by donating something, writing a guest post, allowing me to interview them, or leaving heart felt comments along the way. And as I look back over the spotlight-I think it turned out just like it should have-after all it’s everyday folks who make music what it is-not the big wigs at Gibson or Martin Guitars.
  • I introduced a facebook page for the Blind Pig & The Acorn-and it’s been a huge success. You can check out the posts from there-and other tidbits I share.
  • My Twitter followers and Youtube subscribers continue to grow.
  • The number of folks subscribed to the Blind Pig & the Acorn is nearing 1,000! I still can’t believe that-I remember when I first started in 2008 I was tickled with 10 subscribers-and most of them were family members.

While I can’t deny a little bit of pride at the things I mentioned above-the best part to me-is it means what I’m doing is working. I truly am celebrating the heritage and culture of Appalachia-and others are joining in on the celebration and that is something to celebrate in itself.

bus ride


But don’t get on the bus yet-the new year is just beginning and I’ve got some big plans. I’ll share 2 of them with you now:

1. Hometown Seeds has once again signed on to sponsor the Blind Pig Family’s garden and the 3rd Annual Blind Pig & the Acorn Planting by the Signs Test. So be deciding if you want to participate in the test this summer-and I’ll be gathering the details to share with you soon.

2. I’m looking for ‘make do’ recipes. You know when there’s nothing much left in the cabinets what do you cook? I know when Pap was growing up he said many is the night they had fried cornmeal mush for supper when there wasn’t much else to eat. Around here-an example of making do cooking-is scrambled egg sandwiches or a pot of Granny’s Soup. If you have a recipe to share-even better if you have a few words to go along with it-send it to me or leave it in a comment here.

Happy New Years to you and yours!! And thank you for helping make 2010 a banner year for the Blind Pig & The Acorn!



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  • Reply
    Janet Pressley
    January 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Love B. Ruth’s little ditty!!! Enjoy reading all your works. Nana

  • Reply
    January 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Anastasia-I feel the sameway about your blog : ) Thank you!!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    January 3, 2011 at 9:46 am

    happy new year, tipper and thank you for another year of WONDERFUL reading!!
    sarah xoxo

  • Reply
    January 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Reading your blog has been a wonderful experience for me and a great journey through your Appalachian heritage. Before reading the Blind Pig & the Acorn, all I knew about the Appalachians was that they form a mountain range in the USA!! Thank you so much for all these wonderful posts and may the New Year bring you and your family everything you wish for.

  • Reply
    January 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

    happy New Year to you and the whole Blind Pig crew!!
    I hope this year brings you MORE than you hoped for!!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Happy New Year, wonderful lady.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I didn’t realize it until later but, B. RUTH’S poem really knocked me out. That poem really said it all!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    It’s been wonderful, following your blog and enjoying all the mountain wisdom you share. You’re doing a great job and I look forward to more of your posts in 2011.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    January 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Tipper, I feel like a “mother hen” as I say how proud I am of all you have accomplished in such a short time. I appreciate all you have to done to help me and your support of Netwest and our writers’ blog. I relate to your writing but I also learn so much each time I visit Blind Pig. Just finished the Violet Jelly and it was awesome.
    I am envious of your energy and spirit.
    Hope 2011 is the year all your dreams come true.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    January 1, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for all the great posts, I really enjoy reading.
    Happy New Year and the best of everything to you and yours.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I’ve always been astounded by the volume of content-rich posting you do here. Looking at our wrap-up I’m convinced “Tipper” is like “Steely Dan” and you’ve got a team of twenty putting this together.
    Best to you all in the new year. Know that your wonderful reminders of how rich life can be has changed the way we’ve lived our lives over the past couple years (not as much as I’d like, but, hey, baby steps. . . .)

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    January 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Happy New Year to the Blind Pig Family! You certainly did accomplish a lot with the Blind Pig (in addition to being a very busy and caring wife and mother). One other very important accomplishment is that hundreds and hundreds of us had a richer life last year than we would have without the “Pig”! God bless you and your family richly in the coming year and keep up the good work.
    Rooney and Marolyn

  • Reply
    Uncle Dave
    January 1, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Tipper, Paul, Pap and all the family. Thank you for all the love and smiles you bring. May God continue to bless you and yours.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Thank YOU, Tipper. It has been so much fun following Blind Pig and learning so much! Continued Blessings!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

    We need to do another radio show. I won’t mention your accent if you don’t mention mine! Despite the total destruction of my blog, it’s been a good year. Plenty of friends and memories. What else is there? Thank you Tipper for all your stories and good hearted fun. Have a Happy New Year.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    December 31, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Tipper and Family, We wish you and your family a wonderful and blessed New Year. Can’t remember exactly when this past year, I was looking for a good recipe to make blackberry jam/jelly. It was then I discovered so many great and wonderul things on the Blind Pig…good music…good recipe’s and great stories and family sharing. Families are what its all about. There are generational families, church families, and of course in our times…internet families. “Aunt” Darla and I are sitting here with our kids visiting this week and enjoying some of Aunt Mary Jo’s apple pie…which got rave reviews. Just one of many things I’ve had the fun of putting together in ther past few months and looking forward to many more…
    By the way the snow has about all disappeared over here in Franklin on the other side of the mountain..

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I have enjoyed THE BLIND PIG alot this year. If it had not been for Mrs Ethelene Dyer Jones, I would never have known about it.
    I have always loved the mountains and the people there in. Somehow though, I had lost contact with Appalachia both physically and in my mind as well until that day I checked your blog. It gave me a mood change. There was a poem by Robert Frost I remember that described my experience best when I discovered this blog.
    Dust of Snow
    The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The Dust of snow
    From a Hemlock tree
    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued.
    Robert Frost
    Like that “Dust of snow ” the crow shook down on Frost in that poem, Getting to know The Blind Pig and all those folks has given my heart a “Change of mood ” and lifted my spirits and now I can’t wait to read the next entry . Thank you Tipper for giving us readers something of value to enjoy. Well, like I’ve said, the cream always rises to the top and it looks like you have.
    This next year will be even better, I feel.

  • Reply
    kenneth o. hoffman
    December 31, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Tipper: thank you so much for the blogs this last year, it has been like meeting some of our left over n.c family,i hope some of them enjoy you as much as i do. this new year might bring us back to tarheel, hoping so any way. blessing k.o.h

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 31, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Tipper, that is a full year! It has, indeed been a wonderful, pigful year. I have loved every post.
    Thank you for all you do to preserve our rich heritage.
    B Ruth’s poem is a fun end of the year offering!
    My all time favorite standby meal is eggs. I love eggs…..fired, scrambled, boiled, soft boiled, on bread, with soda crackers or just plain bare naked eggs….with salt, of
    Happy New Year to you, your family, and all your followers!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    December 31, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Happy New Year Tipper. In Hawaiian that is: Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I enjoyed your story so much about the Mountain Lions that it spurred me to write this little ditty…Phlagerized, as so many have done in the past, from the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore….use at your descrestion…
    Two Days After Christmas
    In Cougars we trust…
    Two days atter Christmas
    When all thru the woods,
    All critters where stirring,
    in our neighborhood…
    The stockins’ come down from
    the chimley whar warmed.
    In hope of a jaunt in the snowstorm.
    The young’ns were restless all tired of their sleds
    as visions of snow cream danced in their heads..
    And Ma in her kerchief since she lost her hat.
    Pa pulled on his bootstraps, he’ll find it ..I’d bet!..
    When out on the trail there arose such a clatter
    But it was just jawin’ from Chitter and Chatter!
    Away to the forked path, which way should we turn.
    Leftways or rightways we had something to larn…
    Them flurries they fell on the breast of the snow,
    Give such a glisten to limbs that hung low…
    When what to our wanderin’ eyes should appear,
    Trace of a cotton-tail, “Yes dear, right thar!”
    Tippers’ shutter was goin’ click, click, click!
    Deer hunter come up to them lively and quick!
    When huge paw prints come close into view,
    he whistled and shouted,
    “See here you two!”
    I’d say its a ‘Panter’ or ‘painter’, cougar or cat tracks,
    But I’m not too sure, let’s think about that..
    As he was lookin’ he called them by name,
    “No Stasher, no Boomer, No ‘coon, or Coyote that’s been lamed…
    Nor Br’er bear, ‘ner fox vixen or Civet, or deer
    “I’m bamboozled, but don’t panic, Ya hear!”…
    As thoughts of the animal swirled all about,
    The wind hit blowed thus with no doubt,
    Obstacles flew like the screams of the girls
    to mount in the sky and “boogered“ their curls!
    To the top of the ridge, to the top of the bald,
    “Stop eating the snow Chitter we have to go!”
    So onward they plod, the left course did choose,
    Pa shouldering his ‘smoker’ and skinnin’ knife too…
    And then in a inklin’ the paws they did cross,
    It had leaped ore the path a ways where they’d walked.
    As I drew in my breath and was turning around,
    In the curve of the roadway “spooked” prints did abound!
    Dressed all in fur, from its head to its foot,
    Tawny, long whiskered, long tail, hope it stays put!…
    A bundle of mystery was too soon forgotten.
    The crunch of the snow, made us tighten our ‘boggans.
    Their eyes how they twinkled, their words were so cheery,
    Remember White Christmas and hold to those dearly.
    Until the tracks again were drawn in the snow,
    They came from above us to stalk us below!
    A thought was inspired as Pa said tongue-in-cheek,
    “If hit’s an Ewah, it may have no teeth!”…
    Deer Hunter’s so funny, the girls laughed it’s chilly,
    The way to the house is long and its hilly.
    We jumped it I know n’since it has snowed,
    The tracks may foller us all the way home!
    A blink of her eye and a step on ahead,
    Tipper was footin’ it to tell Pap what’d been said.
    They spoke not a word as downward they worked,
    Hoping that no one would think them as jerks!
    And layin’ the questions aside for a pose,
    An aura gave nod up the mountain arose,
    A squall from the treetops encircled the earth,
    Away we flew home ending the search!
    No huntsman has seen one I’ve heard them explain,
    I’m sure that the spirit of Cougars remain…
    Fer when we retired and the coats were all hung…
    A ‘Paniters’ short hair was wedged on the heel of the gun!..
    “Happy New Year”
    From B. Ruth
    With a little mountain
    dialect it could use
    a good edit,
    Thanks Tipper!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    December 31, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year, Tipper. Keep up Blind Pig. It is truly appreciated. I think there is a great big audience out there waiting to discover Blind Pig. Maybe 2011 will be the year.
    I am also praying and hoping that 2011 is the year that we sell our house here in Florida and head for the mountains in Transylvania County!!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Happy New Year to you and all the
    Family. Just wanted you to know
    you all have been a blessing to me. Over two years ago my business
    director introduced the Blind Pig
    and the Acorn to me and of all the
    many blogs I’ve checked out, yours
    is the best. Thank you! As I began
    to read the very first blog, I was
    captivated by a young woman, with the sincerety of
    a little girl, crying out “be kind and save my beloved Appalachia…It’s My Home”…Ken

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Tipper, I as other have done make a list of things we want to accomplish and sad to say most of us don’t even finish that list, you have got to give us credit for trying though.
    Another year is ending and another is beginning, I’ll take it on and see what she offers and hope everyone else good luck in the New Year.
    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    December 31, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Happy New Year to you and your family. I can so am so glad I found your website and enjoy it daily. Takes me back to such a simpler time and relish the fact I grew up with knowing first and foremost love and not wealth. I truly believe those traditions passed sown to me have made me a survivor and successful in all I have set out to do. You help keep me grounded.

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Happy New Year Tipper and Family! May it hold for you only good things and God’s abundant blessing on you all. Thanks for all the great sharing through your awesome website!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    December 31, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Happy New Years to you and yours Tipper. I don’t know how I happened upon your blog, but I sure am glad I did. I really enjoy it and have learned a lot through it. Many thanks!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Tipper and the Blind Pig Family,
    I wish you all a Happy New Year, where your goals are met and happiness abounds!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Love it. You are so organized. Love coming by and sitting down and relaxing to read. Happy New Year to YOU!

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