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A Sweet Kentucky Tradition

I grew up making sorghum each fall on Kingdom Come Creek in Letcher County, at an event called a stir-off. I honestly loved the stir-off time more than Christmas! We kids would get to ride the sled out to the…

Hoe cakes, bee songs, and play pretties…

Anybody who knows me knows that I practically worshiped my grandmother. She was born in 1898 in a tiny holler outside Oneida, Kentucky, and she was pretty much a walking encyclopedia of How To Do Stuff. I followed her around…

Dear Fear: A Letter

After reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic, I was inspired to write this letter to fear. I wrote it at a moment in my life where I was on the cusp of being brave enough to finally REALLY embrace the…

Big Mommy: Mountain Matriarch

This is my Big Mommy. Her name was Emma Wilson Hensley and she was from Oneida, KY. (Her name was pronounced "Emmer", for those of you who didn't grow up speaking mountain!) She was my Granny's second cousin by marriage…

Granny & The Bees

"A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay." 


This is a suburban tree, in a suburban yard, in the suburban neighborhood where my Appalachian family moved after my dad lost his job with the coal company…

What My Mom Taught Me About Making A CD

So, my mother didn't know anything about making albums per se, but something she DID teach me helped me get through a recent challenge we encountered while making the latest Zoe Speaks CD. See, we found out a few weeks…