Wednesday, May 2, 2018


Not much action here lately, but lots of changes coming. I have decided to put my heart back into AND we are opening a storefront for The Blackberry Barn in June. What does this mean for us? BIG changes!

Blackberry Winter Candle Co. will have a space in the shop as well as Appalachian Funky junk. I'm super excited to finally pull all these brands together and do what I love.
The Blackberry Barn will carry gently used furniture and home furnishings as well as some new products. Blackberry Winter Candle Company features 100% soy candles hand-poured in Mason jars as well as massage candles, tarts, tealights and warmers. BWCC also carries Firefly Lane an all natural bath and body product company. Appalachian Funky Junk features reused and repurposed products.
Our target date to open the shop is June 13th. This will follow a momma/daughter end of school trip to Fredericksburg,VA. We will be visiting Bex's Aunt Tracy and our Daughter In Law, Kat and granddaughters Fia and MiMi. Aunt Tracy is the proprietor of Firefly Lane, so new products could travel home with us!
After taking possession of the new building, I plan to make it into a sweet, cottagy environment that welcomes everyone in and entices them to stay.

I see morning glories and honeysuckle growing up an arbor and pots of flowers and plants everywhere.
Stay tuned for updates and pictures of the shop and trip.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Easter Up The Holler

Easter 2018 was so much fun. We had guests, Vinnie and Sassy, join us for the 2 weeks prior to Easter. Our Easter Up The Holler Dinner had 26 guests and take-outs to 4 more. We egged yards for our Relay For Life team, Patsy Jane's Girls. We attended the 195th annual Peters Hollow Egg Fight. It has taken me 3 days to recuperate, but it was well worth it!

Our Relay For Life in Carter County, Tennessee s held on June 22, 2018, at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology426 TN-91, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Check out what RFL does, join our team, donate or purchase a luminaria for someone you love who has been touched by cancer with our team, Patsy Jane's Girls, in memory of my mom, Patsy Jane. The first annual Patsy Jane's Girls Egg My Yard was held as an RFL Fundraiser. 

We delivered candy-filled Easter eggs the night before Easter, scattering them in the yards of those who participated. 

Being the Easter Bunny was so much fun! We all can't wait until next year! We have already been donated eggs to grow on! 

Our Easter Dinner was a success. We had 26 guests and take outs for an additional 4. All the staple Easter dishes, ham, potato salad, macaroni salad, mac n cheese, green beans, peas, corn, rolls, banana pudding, strawberry stuff, cookies, cupcakes, and drinks. Lots and lots of conversation, hugs, sunshine, and love. 

Our friend came to visit, Charles, the Easter Bunny. 

The 195th Annual Peters Hollow Egg Fight is a sight to see. Let's just say...I was impressed by the dedication of the fighters! Check it out here, more from me on that soon. 

Y'all come back now! 

Friday, March 16, 2018

3 Artists I Admire and Why

John William Waterhouse

The ethereal quality of the light combined with the beauty of the subjects give me a feeling of peace. I am especially fond of both "Ophelia" portraits.


I have an affinity for historical fiction, especially that of Greek Mythology, Celtic lore and the Scottish and English royal lines. Waterhouse's work takes my mind drifting into those realms.

Vincent Van Gogh

While I love both "Sunflowers" and "Starry Night" I often find myself drawn to Van Goh's "Almond Blossom" and "Long Grass With Butterflies"

I love how Van Gogh's "Almond Blossom" looks as if he was lying on his back under the almond tree looking up through the branches to the sky.

In "Long Grass With Butterflies" the springtime theme is continued. To me, it feels like a lazy day in the springtime sun. I can almost feel the sun on my face.

I also love the simplicity and innocence of  "Nature Morte, Branche d'Amandier"

I love the signature, "Vincent" at the top left-hand corner as if it is an elementary school art project.

Claude Monet

I love every single painting by Monet. Every.Single.One. There are a couple favorites, though. First, "Woman With A Parasol-Madame Monet And Her Son" is a beautiful tribute to mother and son.

I am swooning over the quality of light in this painting. It feels like a June morning, I can hear the birds, smell the bramble roses and honeysuckle and feel the sunshine. It reminds me of a day long ago walking in a field full of daisies with my mother.

The light in Monet's paintings is incredible.

Who is your favorite artist? Share in the comments and tell us why you love their work.

Till next time...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Word of the Year

Happy New Year! I hope this new year, 2018, finds you and your family happy and healthy!

Although I don't like jumping on the bandwagon, I do like to make resolutions. I have a few for this shining new year of 2018. I wasn't going to jump on the "Word for the Year" train, but my number 1 resolution is to become more connected to my family and friends. So it only seems right that my word for 2018 will be "CONNECT." By connect, I mean to communicate, travel to and with, and just generally, well, connect.

2017 has been a difficult year for our family. Death has taken a real toll on us as have cancer and other illnesses. We do have a whole new crop of young'uns to enjoy and what better way than to make an effort to connect more often with them and their parents, our children.

Then there are all those friends who live from here to the other side of the moon. I hope to meet up with some of them as well as see my local friends more often. Lunch, girls night, picnics, shopping days, spa days, paint night, and I'm even thinking about planning a girls weekend for a few of us.

I get the feeling that even though we are all "connected" 24/7, we have a gigantic, growing disconnect around us. We sit in a family gathering and every face is looking down at a phone or tablet. We no longer take the time to enjoy the world around us. We drive our cars, plan our vacations and go, go, go...but we don't CONNECT to anything or anyone.

When is the last time you actually made food and delivered it in person when your neighbor's mother passed away? Go to the actual funeral? How about a neighborhood block party? Anyone remember those? Kids playing at each other's houses, as a gang. First, this house, then down the street to that house after lunch?

When was the last time you made cookies with your granddaughter or taught your daughter (or yourself) how to sew? I'm jumping in with both feet. Join me in connecting in 2018. Connect with me in 2018!

I Quit

This post is reposted from my other blog Spring Into the Word. Originally posted oin April 2017. I was scrolling through Facebook today, and hit a post by a successful young lady who had locked herself into her bedroom to get away from her kids, family, life. I urged her to read it and I'm urging you as well. Just remember, we are a tribe. We need to help each other.

I quit! I did! What did I quit? My job? No. Volunteering? No. Gluten? No. Sugar? Carbs? Wine? All, no. I quit being a WIFE AND MOM! Yes. I gave up. I got in the bed and didn’t get back out. I stopped caring. I stopped cleaning. I stopped cooking(mostly). I stopped taking care of my daughter the way that I shoukd. I stopped taking care of my pets. It lasted a LONG time. A VERY long time. I. JUST. QUIT.

What happened? I vaguely remember wondering what would happen if I just quit, but it wasn’t really a conscious decision on my part. No picket line, no ultimatums. No, I just stopped. Everything. I couldn’t get up. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to lay in my bed or on the couch and do nothing. So I did.

The laundry piled up. Up and up and up. There is a gigantic pile of junk on my front porch. Strings of Christmas lights and a Halloween blow-up cat, dead plants, trash, and who knows what else. My daughter’s room is a certified disaster area, although her friends and cousin helped make this disaster, then skipped off into the sunset, leaving us to sift through the debris.

I completely failed for over a year at being a mom and a loving wife. Finally, late last year, I reached out to my baby sister. I cried to her, I told her exactly what was happening. She has been there. She instructed me what I should do. Then she checked up on me. Then she held me accountable. I needed that.

My husband was great. He wasn’t perfect every day, but he motivated me by making me get up and out from time to time. My daughter was challenging, but she needed her mom.
Puberty happened. The ‘tweens happened. Friends happened. Boys happened. School, absenteeism, tantrums, homework...her life went haywire and momma was barely there. 

Above all, I found a new church home with a new friend who is teaching me about the beauty of worship and showing love to others. My new friend, Kim, is the kind of wife and mother we all strive to be. I am learning from her to be quiet and gentle but to worship God loudly and unashamedly.

In I Samuel 6 God’s Word tells us that when David has the ark of the Lord brought into the City of David, “David danced before the Lord with all his might.” When Michal, the daughter of Saul saw King David dancing she “despised him in her heart.” In verses 21 and 22, David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel-I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

I worshiped. I prayed. I prayed some more. I went to the doctor. I saw a therapist. I increased my medication. On the other side of the great storm I was in, I see that the Lord led me through as He promised me in Psalm 23.
He quieted my soul and guided me in paths of righteousness. He let me make my own mess, then HE carried ME. 

He also tells me in Psalm 34:18-20 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” He absolutely saved me from my crushed spirit. 

I can see that I will need to work twice as hard to catch up. It will take twice as long to catch up as it did to fall behind. I’m ready and I’ve started. I’m moving. I’m up and physically moving. I’m caring again. I’m moving my residence.

I’m moving as a home school mom. I’m leading a women’s Bible study  (find it here).
I’m blogging again. I’m cleaning again. I’m pet mom again.

I’m back and it’s great to be here.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Chili on a Fall Day

Now that the temperature has FINALLY dropped, its a perfect day for chili. Long ago my former mother-in-law gave me this recipe and it has served me well throughout the years. The men in my life love it and you can't go wrong with chili on a cold day! I usually do a pan of fried cabbage and cornbread muffins with it and or serve it over rice. We often use the left-overs for taco salad or tacos. So two hearty meals for the price of one! Garnish with grated cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, etc.

Easy Everyday Chili

1-2 LB ground meat (hamburger, turkey, venison)
1 med. onion, chopped
3-15 oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained
3-15.5 oz cans chili beans
1-28 oz can whole stewed tomatoes, undrained, cut up into pieces
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp. salt

Brown and drain ground meat and onion in skillet. Mix beans, tomatoes, chili powder and salt in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add meat. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to M/L and simmer for 30 minutes. All done! 

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Grandpa

My sister posted this last week. I never knew it existed. I would have never known my grandfather to be so poignant. To me he was Shorty. My grandpa, who hugged me every time he left "big enough to last until I get back." There are no hugs big enough now, Shorty, but I'm saving a big one for when we meet again.  

Tracy wrote:
"I was going through some old papers tonight and came across a copy of a letter my grandfather wrote to my great-grandmother on this date in 1944 while serving in the US Navy during WWII.  I thought I would share his words some 73 years later.  Very thought provoking and I think his final words in the last sentence still ring true today as they did so very long ago.  Bear with me as this is long, but I feel led to share it tonight.
***Warning: these are his exact words transcribed from his letter to his mother....the wording, language, and syntax are his and his alone, and were common at the time. While bridges have been mended between the US and Japan now, at the time they were fighting each other and these were his emotions***"

Nov. 5, 1944
Dearest Mom,

     Some few days ago off the island of Leyte, (Phillipines) we were attacked by a portion of the Jap fleet.  From the deck I could see the flashes of their guns. All around us i could see where the shells were hitting.  It was morning.  We manned our planes and took off. Yes, I was scared. I don't believe any of us were sure of coming back. Our own small group was zigzagging about and firing back at the Jap ships. After we were airborne we could see the Japs had us outnumbered, But we still had the upper hand. We had our aircraft. After a raging sea & air battle. They were beginning to look more of our size. The shellfire of the enemy was very intense but their aim was very bad. They didn't get a hit on us.

     When we went in on our attack, Lt. Turner (my pilot) was talking to us. Cool as an iceberg. Me, I was scared as hell. W caught them flatfooted. We got what we went after. The anti aircraft fire that came up behind us was beautiful all different colors. It was strange that I should think of that then. The AA fire was very far off but intense.  and believe me Mom, it wasn't half as bad as I had imagined. Shortly afterward the little yellow bastards turned tail and ran.  we cam back to our ship safe & sound. Through out the day our squadron & other planes and surface units pressed home the attack. You can bet your boots they regret the day they ever saw our outfit.

     After we came back we under went an air attack. In this the Japs took a bathing. There were some near misses causing no damage. In face one was shot down so near the ship pieces of Jap meat were found on the deck.  Even he couldn't damage us. It looked like we were charmed or something. The almighty God was watching over us that day I know.

     The coolness and brilliant leadership of our officers, the quick cool deliberate action of our gunners, even too the lowest seaman was a thing of wonder.

     A well trained football team never clicked so well.  all hands were extremely relieved when at last after standing by their stations most of the day we could at last relax and know it was a job "well done" our nerves were ragged but everyone was laughing and talking what the other guy allegedly done in his skivvies.  It was more like a nightmare. When you see or hear the words Pacific fleet. Take off your hat to the greatest fighting force on earth.  Those few hectic hours (or days, it seemed to have been months), have done so much to wipe out Jap sea power.  Which means a weakening land power, and bring us all home eventually.

     Well mom, I must close now it is late and everyone is yelling to get the lights out.  If you could have seen this you would think as I think, that the Age of Miracles is not yet passed.
Love and Kisses,

Robert Tully Davis aom 3/c