Peggy Poe Stern, Mountain Author: Ever so common, ever so uncommon

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Excerpt from #01, Heaven-high & Hell-deep
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Peggy's husband provides most of these postings. Most stories are adapted from ones Peggy loves to tell. The next time you contact Peggy, enjoy a storytelling version of your favorite.

February 28, 2011
Last sunset this February

March 7, 2011
Good morning

March 6, 2011
Ready for Winter to be over dance

March 06, 2011, A foretelling, yet to come true?


   In the fall of seventy-nine, the mountain area was in a recession. All through the seventies, Peggy had home-crafted dolls, quilts, and mountain toys; marketing them through the Blue Ridge Hearthside Co-op.

   One day, Peggy said, “David, since we don’t have a renter for the space in front of the office, let’s put our woodworking equipment in there. We can make things to sell through the co-op.”

   “Okay,” I responded, wondering how this endeavor would work. “What are you going to make?”

   “Glen let me have a pattern for a rocking horse. We can start by making those. They’ll sell at Christmas for thirty-five dollars apiece.”

   “The weather is bad, surveying is slow. We might as well try.”

After Christmas, we happened to run into Gene, a carpenter we knew from one of the surveying jobsites.

   “Hi Peggy, I bought one of your rocking horses,” he greeted.

   “Great,” she replied.

   “I probably made it,” I chimed in.

   “Don’t matter,” Gene said. “She signed the tag and she’s going to be famous someday.”


February 20, 2011
February 27, 2011
After the rain
February 26, 2010

February 27, 2011. The developer


   I’ve been editing Peggy’s latest book, “Served Cold”, as in revenge is best served cold. One of her characters reminds me of a former client.

   In the late sixties, Harold, a surveyor we worked with, had a client, Joe, who, with his good ole boy network, decided to mass grade flat all of the land in and around Boone as commercial property. At the same time, a real estate development family was turning Beech Mountain, the setting of Peggy’s first novel, into a ski slope, the Land of Oz theme park, and a resort community. Harold left to work full time for them, leaving his files, including Joe’s with us.

   Peggy kept asking, “Why are we doing Joe’s work, he’s a pushy and obnoxious drunk.”

   I would reply, “We’ve got his files and I feel obliged to continue working on his projects until Harold goes back into private practice.”

   Peggy was right though. If Joe was obnoxious on a good day, he was just plain belligerent when he had been guzzling the bottle. One time, Peggy was bending over a worker’s desk reviewing some survey documents with him. Joe walked by and smacked her on the derrière. Peggy’s anger flashed and she threatened him with bodily harm. She demanded he leave and never return.

   Disregarding her request, sometime later, Joe was back being pushy again. We were all trying to accommodate him, but nothing would appease him. Peggy told him to leave.

   Not knowing she was a black belt in Karate, had trained three times a week for ten years with a group of skilled men, and could take down a two hundred pound man in less than six seconds, Joe turned to Peggy and ordered, “You get back to the house before I slap you.”

   I couldn’t say that to Peggy, much less Joe say it. I knew what was coming and headed for Peggy. She crossed the room, had Joe backward over the desk and was going for the groin when I grabbed her in a bearhug.

   “Run, Joe, run!” I yelled, as I pulled her off him, hung onto her for dear life, while praying she wouldn’t turn on me.

   Being three sheets to the wind, Joe had no idea what would’ve happened if Peggy got to him again. The idiot reached the door, stopped, and started cursing her.

   “Get out!” I yelled. “Or I’ll turn her loose.”

   He left and went to Harold’s office bragging he should have slapped Peggy.

   Harold looked at Joe and said, “Don’t you realize she is trained to kill with her bare hands? Glenn breaking your jaw was nothing compared to what she would have done to you. You best go back and pay David what you owe him, for he just saved your life.”

   Joe went to pieces. Harold’s wife had to go out to his car and bring Joe his nerve pills before he could stand up and leave.

   Of course, Harold may have exaggerated a little, but Joe never came back.

   I was greatly relieved.

February 19, 2011
Moonset in the morning
February 20, 2011
Februar 15, 2011

February 20, 2011,  An inch is as good as a mile


   Back when Peggy had a kennel, she and her friend, Susan, from Wilkes County did a lot of trading. One hot summer day, Susan called Peggy up, “I read in the want ads there’s some birds for sale down in Moravian Falls. Let’s go look at them.”

   “Sure,” Peggy said, “I’d love to get some more birds.”

   Peggy picked up Susan and headed down Highway 421.

   “Watch out,” yelled Susan as a beat up pickup truck pulled out in front of them.

   “Whew, that was close,” Susan said as they swerved to miss him.

   Not realizing they would be trading with some Moravians who have customs similar to the Amish, Peggy and Susan showed up in tank tops and short cut off blue jeans. They caused quite a stir among the young men woodworking in the shop portion of a big barn. Their supervising elder, the seller’s uncle, scowled at their attire with obvious displeasure.

   On the way to the loft, passing through the animal section of the barn, Peggy noticed some large ears. “Do you have a mule in there, she asked.”

   “Shh,” whispered the nephew. “You’d best not call him a ‘mule,’ if my uncle’s listening. That’s his prized buggy horse.

   They traded for some birds and headed home.

   A couple of weeks later, the nephew had some rabbit cages to sell.

   Peggy drove the pickup and they headed out.

   “Watch out,” screamed Susan as the same beat up truck pulled out in front of them.

   “I can’t believe he was waiting for us again,” quipped Susan as they swerved.

   “Me neither, must be working an insurance scam,” quipped Peggy as they laughed.

   The nephew took them to another section of the farm to show them the cages.

   “I’ll take all I can get on my truck,” Peggy said.

   “Okay,” replied the nephew. “But, I have to leave before you get them loaded. Go back and leave payment with my uncle.”

   Peggy and Susan piled all the cages they could on the truck. Peggy found some bailing twine and tied them on the best she could.

   When she got back to the uncle’s place, he looked at her loading job. Even though Peggy and Susan were in their normal skimpy summer attire, his stern demeanor changed.

   He burst out laughing. “Looks like, I’ll have to reload your truck.”

   His wife sent out their daughter to chaperone while he restacked the cages and roped them down.

   On the way back, Peggy and Susan decided to go get a snack at Taco Bell. Peggy went bopping into the drive-through lane.

   “Stop!” Susan hollered. “We’re loaded too high for the clearance bar.”

   Peggy screeched to a halt under the bar. She stuck her head out the window. “Half an inch to spare,” Peggy said and went on her jolly way.

February 13, 2011
Almost thawed

February 13, 2010
Three Muscovy ducks

February 13, 2011 Grandmother Mountain
Carroll Gragg homeplace on Grandmother Mountain

February 13, 2010,  A Valentine plan


The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy! Robert Burns 1785


   In the Seventies, we rented office space near Boone. Peggy’s grade and high school classmate, Jerry, lived with his wife, Vivian, in one of the apartments above the office. Jerry was building a house on some steep ground nearby. After finishing the house, Jerry worked with us surveying.

   One winter day, Vivian came by and confessed to Peggy, “I cashed Jerry’s National Guard check and went shopping. He’s going to kill me.”

   Always being one for dandy ideas, Peggy said, “You need to get him in a good mood before you tell him.”

   “How am I going to do that?”

   “You know that big picture window on your new house that overlooks the driveway?”


   “It’ll be dark when Jerry comes home from work this evening. You ought to turn all the lights on and be standing stark naked in the window as he comes up that steep driveway. He’ll forgive you for anything.”

   Next morning when Jerry came to work, he was so mad at Peggy, he could hardly stand it.

   Vivian had followed Peggy’s advice. When Jerry looked up and saw her, he ran off the road. It took the rest of the night to get his truck pulled back up the mountain.

February 06, 2010
Peggy loves the smell of the blossoms on her little orange tree
February 06, 2010
Geese in sync
February 06, 2010
Peggy's got the cookstove burning - time for breakfast

February 06, 2011, Hay proposition


   One summer in the Eighties, it rained every day. None of the local farmers had been able to put up any hay. Some mid-west farmers heard about our plight and sent us several loads of hay. When the hay arrived for distribution, Peggy drove her car to the local stock market.

   “Since it’s raining, I didn’t think we’d be able to pick up the hay today. I’ll have to go back home and get the truck,” she told an assistant county agent.

   “No, you won’t,” Robert grinned. “If you’ll help me with the paper work, I’ll haul your hay in my new truck.”

   Robert must have had second thoughts about using his new truck, and conned Billy Bob into hauling Peggy’s hay by promising she would give Billy Bob a special treat for hauling her hay.

   After unloading Peggy’s hay, Billy Bob hung around.

Peggy was beginning to feel uneasy.

   Finally, Billy Bob asked, “Do you ever fool around?”

   Peggy’s red-hot temper flared. “No, I don’t,” she snapped. Then a thought occurred to her. Robert had a hand in this. ‘I’ll kill Robert for this,’ she thought.

   “I didn’t think so,” Billy Bob said, head hung, face dejected, and totally embarrassed.

   Peggy sought to ease the tension between both of them. “Do you?” she added.

   “Every chance I get,” he beamed. “If you decide to, will you let me know,” he asked eagerly.

   “Sure,” Peggy mumbled. “You’ll be the first I’ll let know.”


   The more Peggy thought about what Robert had done, the madder she got. When she confronted Robert for putting her in a difficult situation, he said, “You mean he tried?” and burst out laughing.

   When Peggy told me about the incident, I laughed too — but not for long, Peggy was about to cause me bodily harm.

January 30, 2011
Morning clouds from pasture
Sunday afternoon 1/30/11 at Whitetop, VA
Goats congregating in church yard
January 30, 2011
Willow tree still has some midwinter color

January 30, 2011, Foscoe phonics


   Although our teachers tried to learn us correct pronunciation, we still use our Appalachian dialect. One day when Peggy was at the local Extension office, she overheard one side of a maintenance workers’ telephone conservation.

   “I need some wiar. Can you bring me some down?”


   “Some wiar, I need you to bring me some wiar.”


   Then his dialect changed … “Will you please bring me some wire?”


   Saturday was our oldest son’s birthday, reminding me of a midwinter Saturday about thirty-three years ago when he was about eight. Because the weather was mild, I decided to saw some lumber on the mill. He went with me, but, when I tried to crank the power unit, it didn’t have any compression.

   “Shucks,” I mumbled to Trampas, “the valves are stuck. I’ll have to take the head off and free them up.”

   “Which one?” asked Trampas.

   “What do you mean, which one?

   “Which one,” he repeated. “A, E, I, O,  or U?”

January 23, 2011
Western sky at sunrise
January 23, 2011
Eastern moring sky
January 24, 2011
Moon set on a January moring

January 23, 2011, What can you say?


   When our youngest daughter, Amanda, was about five, Peggy was active in karate. When she left for class, she always said, “Bye bye, I off to play with the boys.”

   During that time, we had a Siamese cat that needed a tom. Peggy knew Gale had a Siamese tom and called him on the phone, “Gale, our cat needs a little loving.”

   Gale chuckled, “Well bring her on over.”

   “When would be a good time?” she asked as it was around suppertime.

   “Now’s a good time,” he replied.

Amanda and Caleb rode with us to Gale’s. Much to our surprise when we arrived, Gale had a house full of company. One of his relatives had passed away and they were having the wake. Didn’t faze Gale a bit. He and Peggy put the cats together down in the basement.

   “Let’s give them some time together,” he said. “Come on in the house and have something to eat while we wait.”

   His relatives and friends welcomed us in. Everyone was talking with each other, when Amanda piped up, “Which one’s your wife?”

   “She’s not here, we don’t live together anymore,” Gale told her.

   “Oh, she must be like mommy,” Amanda said. “She goes out and plays with the boys.”

   Gale’s relatives were shocked into silence as Gale and I burst out laughing, while Peggy tried to explain.

January 11, 2011
Calm before evening storm

January 16, 2011
My tree of life is on the right
January 16, 2011
FOR SALE, Jim Bob, the bull

January 16, 2011, Passive aggressive


   It was a dark and snowy night last Tuesday. Peggy and I had been to town earlier to mail books and pick up feed, making me late for milking. Since my work has been slow due to the economy and weather, I had been doing most of the farm work enabling Peggy to write more (she is 120 pages into her next novel). I had fed the bull, milked the first cow, and was giving them some hay when I noticed that the bull had pushed his feed pan outside in the snow. Earlier, when I had started doing most of the work alone he had been aggressive, needing reprimanded with a jab of the pitchfork quite often.

   Peggy had constantly warned me, “You watch that Jersey bull, he’ll get the best of you when you least expect it.”

January 16, 2010
Dawning of a new day
   Well, the bull and I had settled into a passive routine. I didn’t bother him and he didn’t bother me. Without hesitation, I went into his stall and out into the snow to retrieve the feed pan. Just as I got the pan, he butted me down, pinned me into the snow-covered ground, and crushed the breath out of me. He wouldn’t let me get away and started a routine. He’d catch his horns in my coveralls, flip me like a rag doll, pin me down, mash the breath out of me, and then push me through the snow across the pasture. I was helpless, and although I fussed vehemently at him, he just kept playing his game for fifteen to twenty minutes until he finally pushed me into a grove of white pines Peggy had planted 30 years ago for Christmas trees.

   The bull trapped me against the base of one of the trees. I gulped for breath. When he eased off to flip me again, I reached up, grabbed a limb and started pulling myself up in the tree. He butted my legs, but I managed to get up in the tree. The angry bull kept circling the tree. I thawed my fingers by putting them inside my coveralls for about five minutes until they had enough feeling to get the cell phone out of my jeans pocket and call Peggy.

   “Hello,” she answered.

   “Will you come make sure the bull goes to the barn, so I can get out of this tree?” I asked.

   “Where’re you at?”

   “Up a pine tree in the pasture.”


   About that time, I noticed the bull had quit pacing under the tree, so I climbed down, dragged myself through the pasture, scrambled across the fence, and headed toward home. I called Peggy, told her I was okay, but she met me at the creek and helped me the rest of the way.

   After she saw the condition of me, and my coveralls, she called our son, Brandon, to watch her back so she could finish the work. While waiting on him, she got her rifle, but couldn’t find where she put the shells.

   “I prefer we take the bull to the market," I told her. "I want some compensation for my ordeal.”

   When they got back from the barn, they had checked out the trail looping through the pasture to the tree and found my flashlight, hat, and gloves, but not my glasses.

   Peggy said, “You do remember what I told you about a Jersey bull don’t you?”

   “Yes … and now … I’m a true believer.

   “Got anything else to say?” she asked.  

   “I guess the old adage is right ... ‘If you’re born to hang, you’ll never drown’… and … I’m sure glad you planted that tree.”

   “It may have saved your life.” Peggy said as she examined my bruises. “Thank God and Carhartt, you’re not a goner.”
January 5, 2010
January sunrise
January 9, 2011
Great Pyrenees on the chase
January 9, 2011
Blossom and her calf, Bull-durham

January 9, 2011, She’s may be a Blackbelt, but hopefully she’s almost harmless


   On Friday morning after milking and feeding, Peggy and I were walking back from the barn where a new calf had just been born and Peggy’s four dogs were being extra protective.

   “Look over there,” she said. “Someone’s hunting in the orchard with dogs.  If my Great Pyrenees see them, those beagles are dead for sure.”

   “Nobody’s called.” I replied.

   “I’m going over and tell them to leave.”

   “Okay, I’ll go on to the house and split some wood for the cook stove.” I said.

   When I came in with an armload of wood, our oldest daughter, Tonda, had come to visit.

   “Where’s Mom?”  she asked.

   “She saw some hunters over in the orchard and went to check them out?”  I replied.

   Somewhat concerned, she asked. “You didn’t go with her?”

   “No, I think it will be all right. She’s gotten rather good at self-control. I’m pretty sure she won’t hurt them.” I said and went out to split more wood.

January 5, 2011
Clouds colored by the rising sun

   When I brought the wood in, Peggy was back.

   Peggy said, “Tonda was laughing when I came in and repeated what you told her. She couldn’t believe you were more concerned about those hunters than you were me.” Then Peggy asked me, “Did you really say that?”

  “Uh huh,” I admitted. “I thought Tonda was concerned same as when she was little and the Yankee owner of the horse barn confronted you and demanded, ‘My boarders have the right to ride on your land anytime they want.’ Remember how scared Tonda was? Although you were in your ninth month of pregnancy with our fifth baby, you tore the woman’s blouse and chased her back across the road leaving her with the warning she’d better never jump on you again.”

   Peggy remembered. Tonda was crying. When asked what was wrong, Tonda had said, “Mommy, I was afraid you’d kill her, then they’d come arrest you, and you would'nt be able to take care of us anymore.”

December 29, 2010
Blossom warming in morning sun
December 31, 2010
Granddaughter chucking snowball
December 27, 2010
Winter Evening

January 2, 2011, The bull went a courting, he did go


   In the mid-seventies, Peggy traded for an Angus bull. Ermiter seemed content with our farm until he caught wind of our neighbor’s cow, two ridges over. He just couldn’t resist the call of romance and took off .

   Spence called Peggy, “Have you got a black bull?”

   “Sure do,” she replied.

   “Well, he’s come a courting,” Spence chuckled.

   “I’ll get David, and we’ll come drive him back home.”

   We took a lead rope, headed over the ridges to Spence’s, rounded up the bull, and started back home, going cross-country. I was leading the bull and Peggy was bringing up the rear driving Ermiter with a switch, being he wasn’t anxious to leave his newly found female friend.

   We came through a clearing, went down a hillside, and were headed toward the creek when we ran into an old five-strand barbed-wire pasture fence.

   I stopped, “Uh oh… how are we going to get him through the fence?” Before Peggy could respond, the bull lowered his head, caught me in the rump, and rammed me through the fence, snapping the rusty wire.

   “Reckon he answered that question,” Peggy grinned, as she beat the bull off me.

December 24, 2010
Moonset in the moring
December 26, 2010
Home alone in the dark
December 25, 2010
Inside looking out

December 29, 2010, A sure cure?


   Picking up a high-blood pressure prescription this week, Guy, our pharmacist for forty years, quipped, “Peggy wouldn’t need this if she’d quit sitting on her butt writing all those books. She needs to get out and do what she normally does.”

   “I know, but she feels compelled to write during the winter,” I told him.

   Talking with Guy reminded me of an incident about thirty-five years ago. I had complained to Peggy. “I’ve been feeling kinda puny lately.”

   Having raised dozens of animals along with all the children, she was used to minor ailments. She looked me over and said, “You’re wormy. Go by Dr. Hagaman’s office and ask him to give you some worm medicine.”

   This was back when you could drop by the doctor’s office without an appointment. I happened to go by when he wasn’t busy.

   “What’s your problem,” asked Dr. Hagaman.

   “Peggy said I’m wormy.”

   Knowing Peggy well, he grinned. “Well, if she says you’re wormy, then I guess you are. I’ll write you a prescription.”

   I stopped by the drug store on the way home that evening.

   Guy looked at the prescription and a big grin brightened his face. “Wait just a minute,” he said as he went to fill the order.

   He came back with one great big horse-size pill and a cup of water. “Here,” he said, “I want to make sure you take this,” he chuckled.

   Much to his delight, I swallowed the pill down.

   To this day, I have no idea what I took, or what Dr. Hagaman wrote on the prescription. One day, maybe I’ll get the courage to asked Guy what tickled him so.

December 17, 2010
Morning color
December 19, 2010
Fun on ice
December 19, 2010
Christmas moon

December 19, 2010, We’ll be home for Christmas?


   One Christmas Tree season, Amanda, our youngest daughter had just started driving.

   She volunteered, “Dad, since school’s almost out, Linda and I want to take a couple of days off early. We can go help mom on the tree lot in Florida.”

   She and Linda, her childhood friend, just wanted an excuse to get some Florida sunshine, but they prevailed. Having car trouble on the way, they just barely made it before Peggy put out an APB for them.

   That season, Peggy kept the pickup truck with her to deliver trees. She had an accident.

   She called and said, “David, when I put the brakes on, they just wouldn’t stop the truck.”

   “Well, go get them checked,” I replied.

   She had them checked at the Sears store across street from the tree lot. They assured her they were working okay.

   Just before Christmas, I drove Peggy’s car down to pack up for the trip home.

   When I arrived, Peggy said, “Drive the truck and check out the brakes.”

   After doing a test drive, I told her, “They seem okay to me.”

   When starting back home, Peggy warned me. “Watch out, the truck brakes won’t hold when you brake hard.”

   She drove in front. Caleb, our youngest who had helped Peggy the entire season, rode with Amanda and Linda in the middle. I brought up the rear.

   Traveling I-75 through mid Florida, we came over an overpass onto stopped cars behind an accident. ‘Uh oh, Peggy’s right, I can’t stop in time.’ Crash, I plowed into Amanda, ramming her into Peggy. We managed to get the banged up vehicles off the road.

   A patrolman came up the center median and hollered at Peggy. “Is everyone all right?”

   Peggy hollered back, “Yes, they’re okay.”

   “Good, stay with them till I find a way over there.”

   He finally got to us, started doing the paperwork, then chuckled, “This is the first time I’ve had to do an accident report on three vehicles from the same family. The insurance company won’t be happy, but, at least, I don’t have to write a ticket”

   Peggy’s car was drivable. We rented a big U-haul truck, put Amanda’s car inside, and used the rental truck to pull mine on a dolly.

   When we finally got home, Peggy flashed that ‘I told you so’ look and quipped. “Bet you’ll fix the dad blasted brakes when you repair the truck.”

December 10, 2010
Across a frozen pond
December 12. 2010
December 12, 2010
Northeastern exposure

December 12, 2010, Aw shucks


  Just married, Saturday, March 13, 1965, Peggy and I were heading up Highway 88 dragging a bunch of tin cans behind the car.

  Peggy said, “Why don’t you stop at Mahala’s Store and get rid of those noisy cans. Get us some ice cream too.”

  I came back to the car grinning.

  “What’re you grinning about?” Peggy asked.

  “The clerk in there was about our age. When I was paying for the ice cream, he asked, ‘Who’d you marry?’.”

  “What’d you tell him?”

  “Told him, ‘I married the prettiest girl on Sugar Tree’.”


  “He kinda looked forlorn and said ‘Aw shucks… you mean you married Peggy Poe?’.”

  Of course, Peggy gave me that look I’ve come to know rather well, “You’re lying to me, aren’t you?”

December 5, 2010
Cold weather is back again
December 5, 2010
Late Fall snow
December 2, 2010
Late Fall Morning

December 5, 2010, Foscoe nightmare


  It was a dark and stormy night, late fall 1960. An Appalachian State College kid was thumbing back to school after his Thanksgiving break. His last ride had only gotten him to upper Foscoe, and it had started pelting rain, then sleet, and then snow. He was soaked and shivering, but no one was coming by.

  Finally, he saw some lights coming toward him. ‘Maybe, I’ll get a ride,’ he hoped. Oddly, the car approached at a creep, never changing speed. It got to him, but didn’t stop. He decided he couldn’t stand being cold anymore, so he walked with the car, opened the door, and got in.

  “Sorry to barge in like this, but I was freezing to death,” he said, turning toward the driver, but there was no one driving. ‘This is weird,’ he thought, ‘but staying here in the dry is better than getting back out in that weather.’

  Then he noticed that there was a curve in the road up ahead. He was just about to reach over and grab the steering wheel, when an arm reached through the driver’s window and turned the steering wheel... just about freaked him out. ‘Thank goodness,’ he thought, ‘I see some neon lights up ahead. I’m getting out of here.’ When the car got to the lights, he bailed.

  He happened to be at Wheeler Norwood’s café in Foscoe.

  “Give me something stiff to drink, I’ve just had an eerie night,” he told Wheeler.

  “Don’t you know Watauga County’s dry? Here’s some strong coffee,” Wheeler said, handing him a cup. “Now tell me, what’s got you all shook up?”

  The college student told Wheeler about his experience.

  “That’s spooky,” he said, “but there must be some explanation.”

  About that time, two locals walked into the café.

  “Hey, Roy Blaine… Isn’t that the crazy guy who jumped in the car while we were pushing it to the gas station?”

November 23, 2010 from Foscoe
Grandfather Mountain
11-10-28 from Grandfather Rd looking across Foscoe
Morning sunshine streaming in from Sandy Flats
November 23, 2010
Foscoe sunset

November 28, 2010, Thelma’s rooster


   This week, I got a call from an elderly unmarried woman who farms on the other side of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

   “David, can you come over and look at some land I need surveyed?” Thelma asked.

   “Sure,” I replied.

   Peggy rode with me and we got to talking about all the times she and Thelma have traded livestock, especially chickens.


   Once, Thelma called Peggy, “Honey… have you got any extra roosters? I need one.”

   “Not right now, but Margaret Taylor is coming over today. I’ll see if she has some extra.” Peggy said.

   Peggy called Margaret, and she had one. She brought it to Peggy in a 50 pound paper feed sack.

   Peggy put the sack in the back of her car, and after Margaret left, we drove over to Thelma’s.

   “I’ve brought you a rooster,” she greeted Thelma, and they headed to the chicken house.

   “Turn him loose in here,”

Peggy turned up the sack and dumped the rooster out.  Much to their shock, the feed sack had a plastic lining.

   “I believe he’s dead,” Peggy stared down on the rooster, completely at a loss for anything else to say.

   Thelma studied the expired rooster, and then turned to Peggy, “Honey… no one has ever presented me a dead cock before.”

November 21, 2010
Willow tree basking in the morning sun
November 21, 2010
Sunrise lighting a frosty valley
November 21, 2010
Full Beaver Moon

November 21, 2010, Miscalculation


   The Christmas tree season our youngest son turned sixteen, Peggy said, “With Caleb driving, I’ve decided we can truck our own trees to Florida this year.”

   “Uh oh”, I said, “We tried that once. Didn’t work out so well. The rented truck broke down on every trip I made.”

   “This time will be different, I saw a good looking red cattle truck on sale for $2000, the same as it would cost me to hire a semi.” she said.

   “You mean that vintage ’63 two-ton truck beside Highway 105. I’ll have to make too many trips — if it will even make the trip.” I complained.

   “No you won’t. Caleb can pull a trailer load with the camper,” she responded.

   I’ve since learned, it’s easier not to argue with Peggy. The ‘woes of the red truck’ is another story. Suffice to say, we got behind schedule and were traveling through South Carolina at dark the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving. I was in front, Caleb was in the middle, and Peggy was bringing up the rear.

   A trucker came over the CB, “That trailer loaded with Christmas trees just blew a tire. Watch out, he’s losing control.”

It took both lanes, but Caleb managed to hang with it. Finally, he slowed it down and pulled over.

   “What are we going to do now?” he asked.

   “We’ll have to take that wheel off and hope the remaining wheel will hold the load until we can get a new tire.” I replied.

   We removed the wheel and slowly drove to the next exit. Unfortunately, it was out in the country, and there was only a restaurant and gas station.  We decided to have some supper while we pondered our options.

   “The trailer takes a special size tire that we can only find at a tire store. I doubt any tire stores will be open tomorrow since it will be Thanksgiving.” I said.

   Peggy asked, “Anything else that will work?”

   “A wheel off a mobile home will work.”

   “I guess we’d better ask someone local if they have one to sell,” Peggy said.

   I saw some fellows standing outside the restaurant.

   “Hi, I’ve blown a tire on my trailer. You know anybody around here that might have some mobile home wheels to sell?”

   “Yes suh. I might have some. Wait here and I’ll be back in about fifteen minutes.”

   Looking dusty, like he’d been crawling under a trailer, the gentleman came back with two wheels.

   “Yeah, those are just what I need. How much do you want for them?”

   “Would you give $25 for one of them?” he asked?

   “I’ll give you $20 each for both of them,” I replied.

   “No suh. That won’t do. I have to have at least $35 for both of them,” he said.

   “Okay, you’ve got a deal,” I grinned while handing him two twenties. “Here’s your $35 plus a $5 tip.”


   A few years ago, one of Peggy’s friends had the job of introducing her at a meeting.

   “Peggy does things bigger than anybody else,” was one of the things the friend stated about Peggy.

   I tended to agree, but I didn’t think much about it until yesterday when I came back from an all-day seminar to find Peggy looking a bit tired and dirty.

   “What have you been doing?” I asked her.

   “Planting flowers,” she said. “And I’m exhausted. Will you cover them up for me?”

   “Sure,” I told her, got the shovel and rake and headed outside. How was I to know she had literally planted two thousand flower bulbs and had used the track hoe to dig the holes.

November 13, 2010
Frosty morning
November 13, 2010
Early morning sun on Grandfather Mountain
November 14, 2010
November color

November 14, 2010, About time


   Back when Peggy was tree farming, she was at the County Agriculture Extension office one evening. Robert, a feisty young assistant agent, loved to torment her. He pinched her on the rear, just for bedevilment.

   “Robert,” she retorted, “if you ever do that again, I’ll bust your mouth.”

   “You can’t bust my mouth,” he challenged while bouncing around the room. “I can block you anytime I want,” he teased.

   “Robert,” she warned. “You do realize I’m a black belt in Karate?”

   “Makes no difference,” he taunted.

   “Then you know what’s coming,” she replied, getting more aggravated.

   “Go ahead, just try to hit me,” he danced around Peggy trying to get her to hit him. She had enough.

   Smack! She backhanded him on the mouth before he knew what was coming.

   He started bleeding all over the place from a split lip and had to go wash up.

   The next day he was at the adjacent county office.

   “What happened to your mouth, Robert”, they asked.

   “Peggy punched me”, he admitted as if it was an everyday occurrence.

   A few evenings later, we were at the Farm City banquet.

   Our local Extension agent asked Peggy, “Did you really bust Robert’s mouth?”

   Peggy was worried that he would reprimand her, but replied, “Yes, I did.”

   The agent grinned, “What I want to know is why it took you so long?”

November 6, 2010
Evening at sunset
November 6, 2010
Skif of snow in the morning
November 7, 2010
Morning walk

November 7, 2010, The value of a compliment


   To assist farmers in the transition from growing Burley tobacco to Christmas trees, the county extension service purchased a tree planter implement to loan to the area farmers according to a sign-up sheet. When convenient, instead of making pick up and return trips to the agriculture office, the farmers would pick up the planter at the previous borrower’s farm. Peggy picked up the planter from a farmer on Three Mile, and used it for her allotted term.

   Moze, a quiet shy older bachelor from Altamont, was next on the list. He came one warm spring morning after I had gone to work and the children had gone to school. He found Peggy working in the garden in nothing but a tank top and cut-off blue jeans, as she was craving sunshine.

   “Howdy,” he said, “I’ve come to pick up the planter.”

   “Good,” she said. “The planter’s on the tractor up on the ridge where we finished planting last night. Ride me up there and I’ll get it.”

   He took her up to the tractor in his truck.

   “How are we going to load it on my truck?” he asked.

   “Meet me at the barn,” she told him.

When she got to the barn, she pulled under a hoist she had rigged on a beam in the barn hall, unhooked the planter, and then drove the tractor out of the barn. Moze watched as she hoisted the implement up in the air.

   “Back under it, and I’ll set it down on your truck,” she said.

Moze backed his truck under the planter and watched as she set it down in his truck bed.

   “Thank you ma’am”, he said and drove off.

Several days later Peggy was at the extension service office.

   “What in the world did you do to impress Moze so?” asked Bob, one of the agents.

   “Nothing that I know of,” replied Peggy.

   “Well, you must of done something special.”

   “Why? Want did he say”

   “He was really bragging on you,” grinned Bob. “Said, ‘You know… a woman like that would be worth a million dollars to a man’.”


   I’ve been waiting … but he’s never been by to do any trading. If you read this, Moze … she’s still worth, at the least, half that much.

October 30, 2010
Fall evening at yard pond
October 30, 2010
Witch hazel in bloom
October 30, 2010
Witch Hazel and bull

October 31, 2010, Animal Farm


   Authors and playwrights rely on our ‘suspension of disbelief’ to entertain us with stories that would otherwise be unbelievable. In Animal Farm, George Orwell’s farm animals behave just like us and our politicians — even the sheep and pigs end up walking on two legs.

   Back when Peggy had a dog kennel, she arranged to meet with a lady wanting to look at a puppy. The lady arrived early and waited in her car for Peggy to return from running some errands. When Peggy got back, Ziggy, our Pomeranian, came running out to meet her.

   Ziggy had always been Peggy’s special pet and she doted on the dog, and the dog doted on her.  When our daughter ran her car over Ziggy and broke his pelvis, Peggy carried him wherever she went. When she stopped carrying him, he still followed her – by learning to balance and walk on his front legs. When he was almost healed, he often walked on four legs until he hurt, then he would walk on his front legs again.

  The lady got out of her car and pointed at Ziggy. “That dog, he… he…” she stuttered in bewilderment, not knowing exactly what to say.

   “Was he walking on his front legs again?” Peggy grinned. “He dreams of staring in Animal Farm and has been practicing for the ‘two legs better than four’ scene.”

October 20, by PPS on adventure with sometimers
Linville River above Linville Falls
October 20, by PPS on adventure with past timers
Nobody's home - on the way to Wiseman's View
October 21, 2010
Hunter's moon

October 24, 2010, Similes and Metaphors


   One time, the High Country Writers invited an English professor to give a presentation on writing at their meeting. His topic was on similes and metaphors.

   To get started, he said to the group, “Write a simile starting with — Writing is like …”

   After awhile he said, “Now start over here and read them out loud.”

   Everyone took turns reading their sentences — “Writing is like cooking an egg; you try for sunny side up, but it comes out scrambled.”

   “Writing is like riding a bicycle; you’ve got to keep it balanced or it’s a wreck.”

  Finally, it came Peggy’s turn. She read, “Writing is like being constipated; I know I’ve got it in me if I can just get it to come out.”

   There was a moment of silence, and then the entire place filled with laughter.

   After they calmed down, the professor told Peggy, “I’ll never allow you to read out loud again.”

October 17, 2010
Moody Mill Creek

October 17, 2010
Autumn's glory
October 17, 2010
What's a matter deer?

October 17, 2010, Terms of embarrassment


   The husband of our current US Representative has always picked at Peggy. He often tries to get her in an embarrassing situation — just to challenge Peggy’s recovery response. Once, the Northwest Development Association held a meeting in a near-by county. During a break, Peggy was in line getting coffee and donuts along with a couple dozen men.  They were standing around chit chatting as they waited their turn. Tom came over and handed Peggy two dollars.

   Puzzled, she asked, “Tom, what’s this for?”

   Tom replied in his booming voice so everyone could hear, “Why Peggy, that’s for last night.” He paused, “And, frankly my dear, it wasn’t worth that much.”

   Peggy could feel the color rising in her face, but decided she wasn’t going to let Tom best her in front of the men. She handed him back a dollar.

   “You’re right Tom, it wasn’t.” She paused, “I only charge a dollar an inch, so here’s one back.”

   The men guffawed. One man, delighted, slapped Tom on the back, “I guess she told you, ole son.”

October 10, 2010
Turkeys gleaning after second cutting
October 10, 2010
Autumn scene
October 10, 2010
Autumn Morning

October 10, 2010, Mellow Yellow


   At a NC State Advisory Board meeting, everyone was taking a refreshment break.

   “What would like to drink?” A server asked Peggy.

   “I’ll have a Mello Yello,” She replied.

   “How come you always drink Mello Yello?” a fellow board member asked her.

   “Saves time,” she grinned.

   Puzzled he asked, “And — how’s that?”

   “It goes in and out the same color.”
"Blood Kin", Peggy's fifteenth novel, is available for ordering by calling (828-963-5331), e-mailing, or using the purchase books page here on her website. Be sure to ask her to autograph yours. She will also be distrubuting books to to her local outlets this week.

October 3, 2010
Some of Peggy's family at reunion
October 2, 2010
Early Autumn
October 1, 2010
Evening shadows

October 3, 2010, Good fences make good neighbors


At the Sugar tree Poe family reunion, a group was standing around swapping tales.

  “Tell us some of your stories.” Peggy said to her cousin.

  “No, I don’t tell my stories,” he said.

  “Oh, really? I’ve been talking to your daughter, and she says you have some good ones.” Then Peggy grinned. “I’ve heard you come up with some good ones myself.”

  “You have not.”

  “Yes, I have,” she couldn’t resist the challenge. “What was that Barton guy’s name that grew trees?”

  “Will”, he said, giving her a skeptical look

  Peggy continued. “We were in Boone at a Christmas tree grower’s meeting. A group of people were gathered around talking during break. One of the men looked at Will and asked him, ‘What’s this I hear about you suing a woman?’ Will became uncomfortable and explained a woman’s bull kept getting into his Frasier Firs and tearing them to pieces. She ignored his pleas to keep her bull off his land. The third time it happened, he took legal action.”

  Peggy put her arm around her cousin. “Remember what you told Will?”


  “You turned to him and said, ‘Will, if you’d helped her out a little, she wouldn’t have needed a bull.”

September 25, 2010
Early Autumn Sky at dawn
September 22, 2010
Last sunset of this Summer
September 25, 2010
Early Autumn Daybreak

September 26, 2010, Peggy's joke for the men


After the children were all in school, Peggy assisted me in the field by running the survey instruments. At the jobsites, she became just “one of the guys” swapping tales and jokes. Once on the way to a jobsite, we met with a developer and some of his representatives.  Everyone got to telling jokes. Peggy noticed that each of the men were losing their hair, and decided to tell a joke of her own.


  One day, this old country fellow named Lee went up to his neighbors leading his cow. “Hello, is anyone home?’’ he hollered the house.

  Gertie came out on the porch.

  “Is John home?” he asked, scuffling his feet, somewhat embarrassed.

  “He’s off to the mill to get some corn ground,” she explained, knowing good and well why Lee was there. “I can help you with the cow.”

  Lee thought it would be embarrassing to have a woman assist him. “No, no, that won’t be necessary, but if you don’t mind, I’ll take her to John’s bull.”

  “Suit yourself, he’s out there in the barn lot”, she gestured.

  Lee led the cow away.

  Gertie went in the house grinning and watched out the window. No matter what Lee did, the bull wouldn’t pay attention to the cow. Lee got some feed and tried to coax the bull near his cow, but no matter what he tried, the bull refused to put his mind on the job at hand.

  After a good spell of time passed, Gertie decided she would have to help. Ignoring Lee’s embarrassment, she ambled outside. “Don’t look like you’re getting anywhere. Let me show you how it’s done.”

  Lee didn’t have much choice, so he just stood there while Gertie grabbed up a fair sized rock and started bashing the bull on the head.  Hair and skin flew off by the hands full. Soon, in self preservation, the bull reared up and bred the cow.

  When the bull was finished, Gertie handed Lee the cow’s lead rope. “There you go,” she said. “Wasn’t so difficult.”

  “Well, I’ll be,” said Lee, “I’ve never knew that would work.”

  “Oh yeah, works every time,” Gertie told him. “Haven’t you wondered why there’s so many bald headed men?”

September 19, 2010
Dogwood in morning light
September 19, 2010
Goldenrod in morning light
September 19, 2010
Late summer morning


September 19, 2010, Bring up the radio


After moving to the farm in the Seventies, Peggy decided she needed to grow a cash crop to help on the payments. Wasn’t long till she was planting five acres of Burley tobacco. That fall, curing was slow, so she had to figure out how we could get all the tobacco graded and ready before the market closed. About that time, the market started accepting baled tobacco as well as hand-tied. Also, there was a new machine out that stripped the tobacco off the stalk and put it on a belt for grading. She had us build the balers from plans furnished by the Agriculture Extension Service. She also decided to purchase one of the stripping machines. Since growing the crop had tied up all her reserves, she went to bank.

  “Carroll, I want to buy a tobacco stripper,” she told the banker, who happened to be a neighbor and had known Peggy for years.

  “A stripper?” he questioned with a twinkle in his eyes. “How much does this stripper cost?”

  Peggy told him.

  “I’d have to see it in operation before I’d spend a dime,” he added.

  Peggy gave him a puzzled look. “The tobacco isn’t in case,” she told him.

  He was grinning. “I’ve got to get a look at this stripper in action.”

  “Here’s a picture of it,” she handed him a brochure showing the tobacco stripper across his desk.

  He chuckled and tossed it back to her, picked up the phone and called another banker downstairs. “Charlie, bring up a radio. Peggy’s here to borrow money on a stripper and I want to see it in action.”

  Charlie arrived with a radio and a huge grin. “I’m ready for the show.”

  Being stressed about the loan, Peggy was naive to their joke.

  Finally, after a bit of laughter and a few well chosen comments, Carroll said. “Ah hell, Peggy, if you’re the stripper, you’ve got the money.”

  Peggy came home and told what had transpired. One of the helpers looked at her and said, “Got the loan, didn’t you?”

September 12, 2010
Rafter of turkeys enjoying the morning
September 12, 2010
Cows grazing in the morining
September 12, 2010
Butterfly in the morning

September 12, 2010, Wherever we go, there we are.


It’s interesting to observe the infusion into local communities of people from off. Some were good neighbors where they came from and fit right in. Others just aren’t a good fit, here or there – evidently, since they left there to come here.


  Peggy was at the Carolina Mountains Literary Fest last week. One lady complained, “My folks are from here, but I’m not. I came back, and wrote a book about the area, but people here don’t accept me as a local.”

  A few minutes later, another woman showed up and commented. “This would be a good place to live, if it wasn’t for the locals.”


We moved to Foscoe, thirty-eight years ago. Our neighbor built a horse barn across the road to stable summer folks’ horses. He failed to realize the boarders had differing values than local country folks. Livestock were constantly getting loose because the riders left the fence gaps down. Finally, our neighbor had to limit the places the boarders could ride. Often, the process repeated whenever the barn’s ownership changed.

  Several years ago, a gentleman from one of the exclusive developments here purchased some property adjoining the horse barn so he could have his own private stable. He let a lady from the exclusive development board her horse at his barn. His farm didn’t have enough land to ride on, so she decided Peggy’s farm would make her a dandy place to ride. Peggy told her and the gentleman eight times we had enough trouble keeping the livestock in without their interference.

  One day Peggy happened to see her riding on the farm. Peggy called her that evening to explain why she should only ride in the public roads and on the trails maintained by the Park Service at nearby Moses Cone Estate.

  After a few minutes of polite conservation, the lady got haughty and said, “Obviously, you don’t know who, I am.”

  "I wouldn't care if you were the president’s wife. You're still not allowed to trespass."

  “Well,” the lady returned. “I see right now that I’ll have to take you to lunch.”

  Peggy replied "I don't care to eat lunch with you, but I do care about trespassers staying off my land."

  She then told Peggy which state she was from. "The people there are honored when I choose to ride on their land."

  "Then you need to go back."

  "I'll ride when and where I choose to ride."

  Needless to say, Peggy had enough and that red-hot temper of hers came to the forefront. She left few words unspoken – like the possibility of trespassers being pulled off a horse and having the crap beat out of them.

  The lady replied, "I've been recording everything you've said."

  Peggy said “Good. You’d best play it back until you believe every word.”


Peggy has completed the manuscript for her fifteenth novel, "Blood Kin". It should be available at the end of the month.

September 5, 2010
Morning flower
September 5, 2010
Morning mist rising
September 5, 2010
Morning will-o-the-wisp?

September 5, 2010, Chose your weapon


Last week, I overheard Peggy re-telling this story.


  About twenty years ago, Peggy, weighing in at one hundred and five pounds, had the appearance of being a petite lady. She raised small dogs and became friends with another little lady, Susan, from Wilkes County, who also had a kennel. One summer, they decided they would go look at some dogs in Fries, Virginia. If you mispronounce it, locals correct you with a twinkle, “Some think it's Frys in the summer and Freeze in the winter, but it's supposed to be Frees all the time.”

  They got to Fries okay, but got so lost leaving town on the winding mountain roads, they lost hope of finding their way to the kennel.

  Susan said, “What will we do?”

  Peggy said, “Looks like we’ll have to stop somewhere and ask directions. I’m about out of gas.”

  “Where at?” Susan asked. “We haven’t passed a house for miles.”

  Then out in the middle of nowhere, they came upon an unsavory looking tavern. One resembling every woman’s nightmare.

  Peggy pulled in.

  Susan grew concerned. “Do you think it’s wise to stop here?”

  “Sure, why not? We’re only going to ask directions.”

  “I don’t like the looks of things,” Susan objected.

  “Then wait for me in the car.”

  “Oh, no. I’m not staying here by myself.”

  They went inside. A bunch of rough looking customers were playing pool and drinking beer. They looked up, totally dumfounded at what had walked through the door.

  Peggy asked, “Can anybody tell us how to get to Hardees? We’re lost.”

  All of them burst out laughing.

  “No kiddin’,” replied a rough looking character sporting a beard, a beer, and a pool stick. He then told them how to get back to Fries.

  As they were walking back to the car, slightly un-nerved, Susan said, “That creeped me out. Next time we go some place, I’ll carry a gun with me.”

  Peggy flipped up the trunk lid of the car, pointed at her guns and asked, “Which one do you want, the rifle or the shotgun?”


Remember if you’re in the area at the end of the week, come by the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville. Peggy’s presentations are scheduled both mornings, Friday and Saturday, September 10th and 11th.

August 24, 2010 by Ree Strawser
- Carol came from Mississippi to get dumped by a hay rake at Shatley Springs in Ashe County, NC

August 24, 2010 by Ree Strawser
Carol (left) blogger of 'The Writers Porch' on adventure with Peggy, Bart, Grace, & Ree @camera
August 29, 2010
Grandfather Mountain with cloud cap

August 29, 2010, The good life?


Almost two years ago, Peggy figured if the economy got worse, she better prepare to ride it out by having her own milk cow again. She looked in the Agriculture Review, and found a Jersey in Mount Airy, due to freshen in the winter and guaranteed to have a full Jersey calf. Well, the seller was misinformed.   When the calf came, it wasn’t full Jersey, and the cow had previously had mastitis and was completely dry in all four quarters. Although she returned the cow, Peggy kept the little bull calf to raise on a bottle.

  She needed a fresh cow to feed the calf and heard about a diary in southwest Virginia. She called to see if they might have some cows they were culling out of the milking herd.

  “This is Peggy. Have you got a milking cow, you might sell?”

  “This is Jim. I’ve got one, not giving milk in two quarters, I’d be willing to part with. She’d make good cow for you.”

  She traded for ‘Jolene’ and, of course, another little bull calf  — which Jim put in a feed sack, with its head sticking out, to ride in the truck cab with us.

  Come Spring, Jolene pleased Peggy so much, she decided Jolene needed company.

  “David, let’s go back to the dairy and get another cow.”

  “Peggy, you’ve got to be kidding.”

  “No, if we’re going to milk twice a day, we might as well milk two cows ­— one for each of us.”

  This time she got three more little bull calves, to ride in the cab, and ‘Chessie’.

  ‘Chessie’ balked while being loaded in the truck.

  Jim cajoled her, “Git on in there girl. You just don’t know what a good life you’re going to have.”



  Peggy ended up with eight bull calves. She now has three cows, two heifer calves, a bull, and is hoping for another heifer calf soon. There’s nothing like a recession to give Peggy an excuse to get more animals on the farm.

August 22, 2010
Morning gaggle
August 22, 2010
A tourist
Sometime in the mid eighties
Peggy feeding fawns, taken by Brandon

August 22, 2010, An apparition


One early summer in the eighties, a farmer, who lives a couple of ridges over, came running down to Dave’s house. Dave is a local contractor we often work with.

  “Dave, you’ll never believe what I saw,” he blurted out, at bit pale and a lot excited.

  Dave asked, “What in tarnation’s got you so tore up?”

  “I was shooting the crows out of my corn patch. Killed one and it fluttered down. Just as it hit the ground, a big white deer stepped out of the woods, walked over and picked it up by the wing, turned and looked me right in the eyes. It had huge blue eyes. Mighty scary, I tell you. I swore to it, if it didn’t harm me, I’d never kill a crow again.”

  Chuckling, Dave kind of hated to take the man’s unnatural vision away, but thought it was best if he did so. “Now calm down, it was just one of Peggy Stern’s pet deer.”

  The neighbor didn’t seem inclined to believe Dave, so he explained. “The Wildlife people took some orphaned fawns over to Peggy and had her raise them on the bottle. One fawn got confiscated from a man who captured it in Pennsylvania. It was of bigger stock than our native deer and had blue eyes.”

  To this day, the farmer isn’t sure if Dave was “puttin’ him on” or telling the truth.

The schedule for the Carolina Mountains Literary Fest in Burnsville, NC has been posted.


August 15, 2010
August 14, 2010
Yard pond in August
August 8, 2010
August sunset

August 15, 2010, Cowboy’n the pond


  We moved here on the farm in the early seventies. The bottomland had been mined for gravel during the construction of our local highway. The old gravel wash pond is now our front yard, but at that time we lived up the hollow in a mobile home.

  One summer Sunday, out walking with the children, we heard a commotion going on down at the pond.

  “Whoopee! Ride ‘em cowboy”

  We hurried to see what was going on. A neighbor redneck and his buddies were racing horses through the pond. Just as we got there, Claude’s horse stumbled and went down under the water. Thrashing about, the horse got its front hooves tangled in the bridle. Claude’s friends waded in and dragged the horse out, but couldn’t find Claude.

  Directly, A cowboy hat started rising out of the water as Claude came crawling up the bank, coughing up water.  

  “I can’t swim — and — and — I've lost my false teeth.” Claude complained.

  The men joined hands and started pumping the horse’s stomach. After awhile the horse spewed out water and revived.

  “Thank goodness he’ll live,” Claude gummed, “but what’ll I do without my teeth?”

  “I guess we’ll have to drain the pond to find your ‘chompers’,” Peggy said.

  Next morning, going to work at daybreak, I noticed the pond had drained and stopped by Claude’s.

  “Morning, Evalee. The pond’s drained. Claude can go hunt his teeth.”

  “Claude’s already been up and found ’em — wouldn’t eat breakfast or drive his semi off the mountain without ’em.”


Upcoming event:

Thursday, August 26, 2010, 7:00-8:00 PM
Western Watauga Branch Library
1080 Old 421 Highway
Sugar Grove, NC, 28679
(828) 297-7805
Join local author Peggy Poe Stern for a book discussion of her book "Tamarack". Everyone is welcome!

August 08, 2010
Duck and ducklings
August 08, 2010
Geese in flight
August 06, 2010
August evening

August 8, 2010, Went to the doctor, the doctor said:


 Last fall, Dr. Miller reamed-out my plumbing. Peggy talked him into letting let her observe the operation. Watching the grinding procedure on the monitor fascinated her, especially when the doctor explained to her everything that was going on.

 This week, nine months later, I went back for the second post op check up. After Doc finished the bend-over exam, I said, “Peggy told me to ask you about my bursitis.”

  "What’s wrong?”

  “My elbow is swollen up and I have lots of joints aching.” I showed him my elbow.

  He examined it. “If you go to an orthopedic doctor, they will just drain the fluid off.”

  “I know. Peggy has already drained it once.”

  “If she does it again, make sure she sterilizes the needle with lots of liquor or moonshine. What kind of book is she writing now?”

  “One about vampires.”

  “She ought to write one about ghost stories. People seemed to be intrigued about ghosts”

  “She wrote a ghost story book last winter.”

  “She sure is diversifying,” he said. Then, returning to doctoring, “The ‘roto-rooter’ procedure worked. All your tests look good. You won’t need another check up for a year.”

  “Medicare will be happy about that. They should give you an award.”

  “Yeah they should.” he grinned. “You know — you’re in mighty good health for the condition you’re in.”

August 1, 2010
First foggy morning in August. Folklore forecasts number of February snows by foggy August mornings.
July 31, 2010
Pat, Martha, Peggy, and Carroll at Black Bear Books. Pat & Carroll traveled from Knoxville to visit.
July 26, 2010
What's going on behind the screen door?

August 1, 2010, The bang of the screen door


Summer weather is comfortable in the mountains. Traditionally the only barrier between the inside and the outside is, at most, a screen door. At our house, the ease of entry led to the habit of visitors just coming in — letting the sounds of the screen door alert their arrival.

  From the front door, you can also see down the hall and through the kitchen. Once, the UPS man was setting some packages on the porch and noticed smoke coming from the kitchen stove. He walked in, turned off the stove, and came downstairs to my office.

  “David, I turned the stove off. Peggy’s burning lunch again.”

  Mountain people are ‘just common’. Using first names is the protocol. Seldom, except for outsiders or medical doctors, is there distinction for age or status. We’re startled if someone addresses us as ‘Mr. or Mrs. Stern.’

  One summer morning about 7:30, I was downstairs doing office work. Wearing only her briefest undies, Peggy was in the kitchen cooking breakfast. The screen door opened. In walked Ted, a realtor with a British accent. He came down the hall to the kitchen.

  “Good morning, Mrs. Stern! It’s good to see you.” He beamed, turned the corner, and went down the steps to the office.

  Several years later, Peggy happened to meet Ted at the bank.

  His eyes twinkled as he said, “Good morning, Mrs. Stern!  I haven’t seen you in a while.”

July 25, 2010
Goat in crack of barn door

July 18, 2010
Summer evening at Moody Mill Creek

July 25, 2010
Sign reused as stall partition


July 25, 2010, Saving Peggy

The first year Peggy sold Christmas Trees in Naples, the younger children and I traveled down and helped her set up the lot.  We came back after Thanksgiving. She stayed on the lot in a pop-up camper. The police noticed she was all alone and kept an eye on her, as two other tree lots had been robbed. Bill, a young police officer, was very diligent to write his reports while parked on the tree lot. He and Peggy became close friends.

  At the end of the season, Peggy sold out of trees, and I flew down to help her clean up and drive back home. I arrived late in the evening. We were tired and went to bed just as it was getting dark.

July 25, 2010
Another sign now used as barn ceiling

  It wasn’t long until someone was beating on the camper door. “Peggy, are you in there?” came a man’s voice.

  Peggy replied, “Yes, I’m here.”

  “What’s going on?”

  “I’m in bed.”

  “Who’s with you?”

  “My husband.”

  “Open the door,” he commanded.

  Shocked by his order, Peggy told him, “I’m not dressed.”

  “Put your clothes on and open the door, now!”

  Peggy let him in.

  Trembling with adrenalin, hand shaking near his pistol, he came over to the bed and demanded, “Show me your driver’s license.”

  I handed him my license.

  Bill whirled around, went out to the squad car, got the speakerphone, and announced, “You can stand down now. He really is her husband.”

  Bill came back in and handed me my license."Good to meet you. We were afraid Peggy might be in trouble. Dispatch reported a strange man taking Peggy into the camper and not coming out."


Black Bear Books has invited Peggy to participate in their Grand Reopening and Customer Appreciation Day, Friday and Saturday, July 30 & 31. Our local Country Corner store is catering the picnic lunch on Saturday. See Calendar of Events page for details.

July 17, 2010
An utter rinse before milking time. Jolene, the lighter cow, had a heifer calf this morning.
July 18, 2010
Butterfly on butterfly bush
July 18, 2010
Partly cloudy morning

July 18, 2010, Whitefish

One Christmas tree season our son, Brandon, got his high-school buddy, Chris, to help harvest trees. While they were cutting trees, a young man showed up seeking work.

  He found Peggy tagging trees in another field, and said. “I need to earn some money. They told me at the store that you might need some help”

  “We sure could use some help.” She pointed to a tree patch. “Go up there. Get Brandon and Chris to show you what to do.”

  Chris and Brandon loved to joke around. They nicknamed the young man, ‘Whitefish,’ and teased him all day.

  In the afternoon, Whitefish asked Chris.  “How much money does she pay us?”

  Chris replied, “Oh, she doesn’t pay us money. She gives us a Christmas tree.”

  “But, I don’t need a tree, I need money.”

  “In that case, she’ll buy it back from you.”

  “How much will she pay for my tree?”

  “Not much.” Chris gestured at the field of trees. “She’s got all these. Why would she want to buy yours?”

  Whitefish got concerned. He hunted Peggy up. “Do you only pay in us Christmas trees?”

 "Where’d you get a notion like that?”

  He told her what Chris had said.

  “Chris is just teasing you.” Peggy chuckled, and told him how much she paid.

  “Durn him. Someday I’ll tie him to the front of a vehicle and ram him into a tree.”



Last week, Peggy wrote some; made books; picked blueberries, apples, beans, squash, cucumbers, tommy toe tomatoes; and canned a lot. She went to the Farmers Market in Asheville to buy peaches, okra, and sweet onions that don’t produce well here. Since her tomatoes and bell peppers weren’t quite ripe, she got some to add to the okra and onions so she could can a squash gumbo.  Seems we won’t go hungry this winter. Also, she says “I’m already tired of milking twice a day.”  

July 11, 2010
July morning

July 11, 2010
Geese and Lillies

July 11, 2010
Tina, the mannequin


July 11, 2010, “The ‘Tina’ mannequin”

When the children were small, Peggy took Karate classes to stay fit. After a while, she and Larry, her instructor, started playing practical jokes on each other. One day, Peggy went by Cato’s Dress Shop, where Tina, the only other girl in the karate group, worked.  For some reason, they walked back in the dimly lit stock room. Peggy saw the arms and legs of a mannequin sticking out of a trashcan.

  Peggy asked, “Why are you throwing the dummy away?”

  “She’s broken,” Tina replied.

  “Can I have her?”

  Tina got permission for Peggy to adopt the dummy. Peggy then noticed that the dummy resembled Tina, and they concocted a practical joke to play on Larry.

Many years ago
Peggy competing in karate tournament

  Tina and her boyfriend, Ron, had a stormy relationship. One night after class, Tina went home early. Peggy waited at the dojo for her to telephone back.

  Larry answered the phone, “It’s for you Peggy, sounds like Tina’s upset.”

  Peggy talked to Tina.

  Peggy told Larry, “Ron and Tina have been fighting again. Tina’s all tore up. She wants me to come over. Will you ride with me? I’m scared that Ron might come back?”

  “Yeah, it might be a good idea if I went with you”

  Larry and Peggy rode over to Tina’s apartment. The screen door had been partly torn off  by Tina’s, German Shepherd, dog.

  Larry said, “It doesn’t look good. Better let me go in first.”

  Larry opened the door and flipped on the light. There, swaying from the ceiling, was Tina with her dog shivering under her. Larry’s adrenalin kicked into high gear. Thinking, if he could just release the rope’s pressure around Tina’s neck, he might save her; he lunged in and caught Tina on his shoulder. The mannequin went crashing up to the ceiling.

  Larry wheeled around to face Peggy.

  “That’s mean. You’re mean!” Larry managed to get out as he slumped down in a chair.

  Through Tina’s and Peggy’s laughter, Peggy said, “I thought you would have killed me by now.”

  “Kill you? I’ve never been so relieved in my life.” After a short time of recuperation, Larry told her, “Let’s not play any more practical jokes on each other. I don’t think my heart could survive your next one.”


For reasons unknown, our son, Brandon, came by last week and decided Tina, the dummy, needed to be watching the garden. Reminded me of the dummy story — one of  Peggy’s favorite practical jokes.  Peggy did get some writing time in during the week, and, hopefully, will continue with more this week.

July 4, 2010
Morning Glory
July 4, 2010
Goat at the barn
June 29, 2010
June evening

July 4, 2010, "Hay Times"


Peggy’s brother arranged for her to pick up some hay out of a field in Virginia last week. I overheard them discussing the quality of the hay — it was late for the first cutting because of rainy weather.

  Peggy said, “The hay is overripe, there won’t be much food value in it.”

  Rick responded, “Maybe so, but come winter, I’m sure the animals will like it better’n snowballs.”


Reminds me of a time, about thirty years ago, Peggy bought some hay from a neighboring farmer. He volunteered to haul it home for her. Ray and Peggy loaded the hay on his truck.

  Peggy said, “Got any rope to tie it down?”

  “Naw, don’t need any. It’ll ride.”

  “Ray, I think we’d better tie the hay down. It’s a long ways from Mountain City to Boone.”

  “Naw, it’ll ride okay.  I’ve hauled hay like this for years”

  Peggy didn’t agree, but figured he was older and wiser than she was.

  All went well until they got halfway home. Sure enough, the hay fell off in the busy highway, blocking both lanes of traffic. Ray reloaded the hay, while Peggy got some twine from a lady living nearby. This time, Ray tied the hay down.


Another time during hay season, Peggy went by Bob Egger’s farm. He was an older man with no family living close. Peggy always made a point of giving him a hug.

  She snuck up behind him and clasped her hands over his eyes.

  “It must be Pag-gy”, he drawled in his mountain dialect. “I only get hugged twice a year, and both times, it’s by Pag-gy.”

  They exchanged pleasantries. Then Bob said, “Pag-gy, have you ever tasted white lightning?”

  “No. Why?”

  “I’ve got some hidden here in the hay. You need to taste a lit’le drap.”

  “Don’t think I want to.”

  “Yeah, everybody ought to taste it at least once.”

  Bob brought out a quart jar filled with what looked like water. “Now, only take a lit’le sip,” he warned.

  Peggy touched the jar to her lips and discovered there was no taste. She thought Bob was funning her, as he often did, so she took a big swallow. All breathing stopped as her face turned red and she began coughing violently— her throat was on fire all the way to her stomach. She was gasping desperately for air.

  Bob, held one of her arms in the air and pounded her on the back, “Now, Pag-gy”, he admonished. “I told you — just a lit’le sip.”



Last week in addition to the normal farming, gardening, and milking, Peggy went after hay, did some painting on rental property, made some books, and enjoyed lunch with the Linville gals. Our neighbors, Karen Hall, a TV screen writer, and her husband Chris Walker purchased the Black Bear Book store last winter. Their Grand Re-opening shindig takes place on July 30 and 31st.  Peggy is to perform the ribbon cutting. Peggy thinks she is somewhat caught up and will be back to writing this week.

June 26, 2010
Peggy's new porch, photo by Amanda
June 26, 2010
View from thrid level porch, photo by Amanda
June 26, 2010
Granddaughter's wedding, photo by Amanda
June 26, 2010
Peggy and calf milking
June 26, 2010
A husband's kiss, photo by Amanda

June 26, 2010, “Peggy’s porches”


  In 1972, we had a little home on a small lot in a subdivision. Although the developer let Peggy garden a vacant lot, she was miserable without a farm. We found one hundred acres adjoining Julian Price Park on the northern end of Grandfather Mountain. With no structures on the land, and too many payments to budget, we traded survey work for a salvaged singlewide mobile home.

  We multiplied with children, and in 1983 we started building a house, just as our oldest daughter was getting married. Although modest, the house was to have a wrap-around porch on three sides (the side porches were never roofed). The back area was enclosed with glass as southern porches for solar heating.

  Soon, the southern enclosed porches (basement and two living levels) weren’t big enough to overwinter Peggy’s plants. When she got her track-hoe, she dug out the basement level to enlarge the porches. We had to move out the southern glass wall and add a sloping glass roof on the upper level.

  One winter, a heavy snow load collapsed the unroofed eastern porch. Once again, Peggy started digging with her tract-hoe. This time she enlarged the porch and enclosed three levels with glass for three-season rooms.

  This spring, our oldest granddaughter asked Peggy. “Can I get married here? Outside, like mom and dad did twenty-seven years ago?  It will be a small wedding, we’re only inviting family and close friends”

  Peggy replied, “Of course, we’ll add a deck on the side of the lower three-season room.”

  After the deck was almost done, Megan told Peggy. “By the way, the almanac shows it might rain on our wedding day.”

  “No problem, we’ll just cover the new deck.”

  I asked, “How are you going to do that? You’ll block the light to your mid-level three season room.

  “Well,” Peggy said, “I’ve always wanted a greenhouse. We’ll cover it in glass, and I’ve decided it would be nice to have upper porches on the front side of the three-season rooms.”

  “Uh oh,” I said, “How are we going to do that?”

  “We’ll figure it out.”

  After starting on the glass roof and upper level front porches, Megan came back by to talk with Peggy.

  “We counted the invitations. There’s going to be a least two hundred people at the wedding.”

  “We’ll handle that,” Peggy told her. “For twenty-seven years, I’ve wanted to finish the western porch.”


June 26, 2010
Bride arrives in Peggy's truck

The porch episode reminded me of the time a local Appalachian writer, giving out another Book of the Year Award to Peggy, commented on Peggy writing so many books. “Peggy does things bigger than everybody else,” she said.


Last week, in addition to getting everything ready for the wedding — like painting two hundred eighty feet of new porch railings and mowing a couple acres of lawn — Peggy found time to garden, help put up hay, and start milking again — one of the cows had a little heifer calf.

  The wedding was great. We wish the bride and groom a wonderful life.

  This week Peggy says she intends to write – after she gets her acre garden hoed.

June 20, 2010
Daylillies starting to bloom
June 20, 2010
Hay going up
June 20, 2010
Peggy at the garden

June 20, 2010, “Stories from the conference”


To prepare for her presentations at the Appalachian Heritage Symposium, Peggy almost went out of character — she got her hair “done”. While at the conference, she attended another writer’s workshop. The instructor was intent on passing out his handouts, never speaking, while the participants were enjoying talking with each other.

  When he came to Peggy, she looked at him and said, “Hi there.”

  He stopped, looked at her, and surprised her by saying, “Hello beautiful!”

  Peggy chuckled, “I like you,” she said, “but you’d better get your glasses checked.”

  The instructor pulled down his glasses, peered over them, and silently continued on.


Peggy has always been one to like a good joke, especially good plays on words.


While eating breakfast at the conference, a fly kept buzzing around bothering her. She tried shooing it away, but it kept coming back. So trying to be discrete, she quickly caught the fly, and held her hand under the table, thinking no one noticed.

  A man leaned over and whispered in her ear, “Did you get it?”

  She nodded, dropped the fly on the floor, and stepped on it.

  Later, as she was returning from her car with books, another man came up to her with a twinkle in his eyes and said, “I heard about your talent with flies.”

  Peggy grinned and walked on.


During the luncheon, a man came over to speak to her.

  “You really raised six kids on a farm, and wrote all these books?”

  “Sure did,” Peggy said.

  “You’re prolific.”

  At which Peggy replied, “So I’ve been told.”


A woman there commented to Peggy about having so many children.

  Peggy said, “My husband wanted twelve. I told him I’d meet a man half way and have six, which I did.”

  “Did he help you with them?” the woman asked.

  “Well,” she replied. “In the beginning, he had a hand in it.”


The conference is over and was excellent. The camaraderie was tremendous, and Peggy was grateful to get to present a workshop and the keynote speech.

  An old acquaintance contacted Peggy last week and made this comment; “I’m so amazed at you, always packed more into your life than any woman I've ever seen.”

  This Saturday our granddaughter is getting married here on the farm. Hosting two hundred guests will be challenging, as that “packing” carries over to Peggy’s “treasure finds” which overfill our home.

June 11, 2010
Morning at the meadow that needs mowing

June 11, 2010
Morning - waiting for a dry spell to mow the meadow
June 13, 2010
Peggy dancing with Roy Wiseman at the Orchard at Altapass

June 13, 2010 “The cows are out — again”.

Friday night about ten o’clock, the dogs were barking, so I went outside to see what was causing the commotion. The cattle had torn through the fence gap several times last week.

I came back in and told Peggy, “I heard a cow bellow at the barn. The dogs must have been barking at the lightning bugs or the bullfrogs.

A little later, I got to pondering and said to Peggy, “My motor-scooter was knocked over.”

Peggy replied, “Uh oh, I bet the bull butted it over. We better check and see if the cattle are out.”

I went to the basement to get a flashlight. By the time I got outside, Peggy’s car was gone, so I went up to check the fence gap. Sure enough, it was torn down. When I got back towards the house, Peggy was tearing back up the driveway, and I could see blue lights flashing down the road.

Peggy said, “The cows are out, get a pitchfork and help me drive them home.”

As we drove, she told me this story:

"I saw the blue lights flashing and suspected someone had called the sheriff’s department because the cattle were out. Sure enough, two patrol cars had parked beside the road with several officers standing around with flashlights on. I stopped and asked if my cattle were out."

“Somebody’s cattle are out,” one officer replied. “What color are yours?”

I said, “They are Jerseys.”

“That explains it. — I’m familiar with Jersey bulls. He’s been chasing cars and fighting us.”

I apologized for the trouble and told him, “The bull has gotten roguish and developed a love of butting men. I plan on taking him to the sale tomorrow.”

“That explains it.” The officer repeated again, and grinned,” No wonder he ran away from home tonight.” 

Last week, Peggy wrote, edited, printed books, gardened, mowed, landscaped, and painted on some home improvements (notice the paint still on her arms in the picture with Roy). She did take the bull to the cattle sale yesterday, and enjoyed meeting with readers at the Orchard at Altapass today. This coming Friday and Saturday, June 18th and 19th, she will present a workshop on novel writing and then be the keynote speaker at the Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium at the Southwest Virginia Community College at Richlands. 

June 1, 2010
Geese in the morning
May 23, 2010
Tangled web

June 1, 2010
Cows grazing

June 6, 2010, “Piglets”


Around 1978 Peggy decided we needed to raise some hogs. A local farmer had some pigs to sell. Remembering her parents hauling tiny pigs, she put a huge box in the back of her car, a 1972 Mercedes and went after the piglets. 


The farmer asked; “How are you going to haul the pigs?”


“Put them in that box in the back seat of my car.”


“Are you serious?” the farmer asked.


“Yes,” Peggy replied, and stayed in the house with the farmer’s wife while he loaded the pigs.


Instead of ten-pound pigs as Peggy expected, the farmer had eighty-pound shoats. He tied them in burlap sacks with their heads out and put them in the trunk.


When Peggy got to the car, she was speechless. However, not knowing what else to do, she drove home with the shoats. It took her three weeks of cleaning before the smell was out of the car.


A couple of years later, Peggy was at an agriculture advisory board meeting with the county commissioners. At lunch, she was at a table that included the farmer, also a county commissioner. He started telling them his story about selling pigs to a crazy lady who hauled them in a Mercedes.


Delighted with his story, Peggy laughed.


The farmer said;  “Peggy, I know you don’t believe me, but it’s the gospel truth. I’m not making it up. The crazy woman really did bring a Mercedes to haul her hogs.”


Still laughing, Peggy said, “I believe you.”


“No, you don’t. You’re laughing too hard.”


 “Yes, I do. You see, the crazy lady was me.” She pointed through the window at the car. “Right there sits the Mercedes.”



Peggy gardened, wrote, and edited last week. Sunday, June 13, 1:00-3:00, she will visit with readers and sign books at the Orchard at Altapass beside the Blue Ridge Parkway.

May 25, 2010
South end of Grandfather Mountain (Rough Ridge)
May 30, 2010
Good morning
May 23, 2010
David, with two great-grandchildren. Going to meet school bus and get the third (photo by Peggy).

May 30, 2010 “He’s a goner”


Peggy’s cousin had a photograph of an older man in her handed-down collection of family pictures. She didn’t know who he was, so she emailed a copy to Peggy.  Peggy didn’t know who he was either. She printed it out to show her mother and step-father, Price; since they were coming over to work in the garden 


After the noon dinner, Peggy showed them the picture. “Do you know who this is?


Mom said, “No, I don’t recognize him, but he looks like he might have some Elder blood in him.”


Price looked at the picture, “I don’t know him either, and if God doesn’t know him any better than I do — he’s a goner.”


Last Week, Peggy watched the great-grandchildren, worked in the garden, edited books, and delivered books to AMY Regional Library.

May 23, 2010
Exbury Azalea in bloom
May 22, 2010
Where's the marshmallows?

May 22, 2010
Warmed milk before bed?

May 23, 2010, “Now it’s your turn, Meredith”


This year, Peggy is sharing her garden with her sister and their mother. Friday, they decided to get together and hoe in the garden. As always, Peggy got to telling stories, but wanted to get everyone engaged.


Having finished a story, She said to her brother-in-law who just recently retired, “Now it’s your turn, Meredith.”


Meredith replied, “Right now, I don’t recollect any of my own, but I’ll tell you one that Sam Phillips always told. Here’s how he told it to me when I was about ten.”


“When I was a young man, I decided to go out west and become a cowboy. Well, come Spring, we had to drive three hundred head of cows north across Montana. On the trip, we came to a river swollen by the spring rains. We rode up and down the river, but couldn’t find a place shallow enough to cross. Finally, we found a tree a storm had uprooted, and it had fallen across the river. We got to looking, and sure enough, the tree was hollow.


So, we herded the cattle together and drove them into the hollow tree. When they came out the other side, we counted-up the cattle.  Only two hundred made it across. We rode back into the tree looking for the missing cattle. Sure enough, we found them. They had gone up a hollow limb. It took the rest of the day to get them turned around and out of the tree.”


Last week, in addition to working in the garden, Peggy edited on some of her books. Mistakes seem to be like rocks in the garden, no matter how many you throw out, there’s always many more turning up. She got a book order from the Elizabethton Library. If you live in East Tennessee, be sure and check them out. Also, AMY Regional Library ordered some of her latest books for the Avery, Mitchell and Yancey County branches. If you get to Blowing Rock, stop by our daughter’s new shop, Tucker’s on Main, a bookstore and coffee shop at 1116 Main Street.

May 16, 2010
Glenda Beall and sister, Gay Moring at Book Fair
May 16, 2010
Water Lilies starting to bloom
May 16, 2010
Peggy checking out her garden with crow deterrent decoration

May 16, 2010 “Heat-spell”


When Peggy and her sister were growing up, their father grew market beans on rented land along the creek-bottom. They always picked beans just like the other work-hands. One night before the next day’s picking, Peggy set a pint jar of water in the refrigerator freezer.


She asked Shirley, “Do you want to freeze some too so you can have cold water tomorrow?”




“You’d better. If you don’t, you can’t have mine.”


“I don’t want any of yours.”


“Remember that when it’s hot tomorrow,” Peggy said.


Next day it got blazing hot. When Peggy went to get a drink, her jar was half empty. A worker told her Shirley was sneaking water from her jar. Peggy finished what was left and decided she’d get back at Shirley. She went to the creek and half filled the jar.


Shirley continued sneaking Peggy’s water, until it got even hotter and Shirley took a heat-spell. Everyone was fanning her, trying to cool her down. Shirley asked for water.


They got Peggy’s jar and gave her some water.


Peggy said, “You know where that water came from don’t you?”


“From home.”


“Nope. I drank what you left, and refilled it from the creek downstream of where the hogs were lying in the creek to cool off.”


“You didn’t?”


“Yes I did”


Shirley jumped up from her spell and ran Peggy through the bean field, “Wait till I get a hold of you.”


Peggy laughed, “Cured from your fainting-spell, aren’t you?”



Last week, Peggy, Shirley, and their mother hoed and planted in the garden. Wish I had taken a picture. Shirley worked really hard — only over-heated once.


Tuesday, Peggy enjoyed giving a presentation at the Mitchell County Retired School Personnel luncheon. They were a great bunch — Phil even brought a manuscript for Peggy to read. Saturday, Peggy enjoyed getting together with other writers at Asheville. A writer there, who lives near the farmer of last week’s story, said the eighty-nine year old man just had hernia surgery. After which he commented, “I’m too weak to even lift a petticoat.”


I’ve convinced Peggy that she needs to give a few presentations this year. If your group is interested in scheduling Peggy for a presentation, please contact us — before she changes her mind.

May 5, 2010
Thursday's sunset
May 5, 2010
Peggy, an evening till in the garden
May 4, 2010
Wisteria in the morning

May 09, 2010 “I’ve never met your youngest son”


In the Eighties, Peggy and I were surveying a family partition for the farmer who sawed the lumber for our barn and house. At noon, we enjoyed a big meal with his family.


While we were walking back to the job, Peggy was talking with him, “I’ve never met your youngest son.”


He replied, “Yes you have. He worked with us all morning and sat across from you during dinner.”


“But he’s blonde headed, all of your other sons are dark haired.”


“Well-l-l,” drawled the farmer with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “Don’t know if he’s really mine, but he was sure enough caught in my trap.”


Last week, Peggy edited on the "Hardnosed Advice" book, bound a bunch of books, delivered an order to the Orchard at Altapass, and planted some more of the garden.


This week: Tuesday 10:00 AM, Peggy will be making a presentation to Retired Teachers at Spurce Pine. Saturday, she will be participating in the Book Fair benefitting the Candy Maier scholarship fund for women writers:

Saturday, May 15, 2010 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Kenilworth Presbyterian Chruch

123 Kenilworth Road

Asheville, NC


April 29, 2010
Peggy enjoying greenhouse at Biltmore Estate
May 02, 2010
Partly Cloudy Morning
April 29, 2010
Strolling under the Wisteria at Biltmore

“You’re on your own” May 2, 2010


Several years ago at a book shindig, Peggy got to conversing with authors, Jack Pyle and Taylor Reese.  They ended up trading several books with each other.


Time passed, and they became good friends and writing buddies. Peggy has never been content with her writing and has always sought to improve in any way she could – be it writing classes or advice from other authors. She came to rely on Jack and Taylor’s advice derived from their many years of writing experience.  


One day Peggy asked Jack: “After reading some of my work, who would you recommend I study with to improve my writing?”


Jack replied, “From what I’ve read of your writing, Honey, from here on out, you’re on your own.”


This week, Peggy printed out the first draft of "Hardnosed Advice for Writing a Novel." Also some readers from Rutherfordton invited us to tour the Biltmore House with them. We had an enjoyable day getting to know them. The Orchard at Altapass invited Peggy to have some signings this Summer. We'll post the schedule when confirmed. Have a good week!

April 22, 2010
Spring's here

April 22, 2010
Two year-old great-grandson heading off to see the world.

April 25, 2010
Great-granddaughter swinging on the porch.

“Book bomb” April 25, 2010


Early one morning, last August, I got a call from the Boone postmaster.


“Is Peggy expecting a package from Roanoke, Virginia?” he asked.


“No,” I answered, “but Peggy is a writer and someone could have sent her a book. Why?”


“The Roanoke post office delivered us a package addressed to Peggy in a bomb proof container.”


“Why would they do that?”


“Well, it has five earmarks of a possible bomb. It’s a package weighing over 13 ounces, wrapped in brown paper, placed in a drop box, and has no postage or return address”.


“Uh. You’d better talk to Peggy”


Peggy and the postmaster talked. Even though Peggy volunteered to come and open the package, the postmaster determined it would be necessary for the Greensboro USPS bomb squad come to Boone and X-ray the package.


Later that evening he called back. “It wasn’t a bomb. If you’ll pay the postage, you can come get the package.”


We paid the postage and picked up the unopened package. It was a “Heaven-high and Hell-deep” book in new condition except the signature page was torn out. The book’s return was a mystery. However, there was a bookmark at the page where Laine, grieving over her baby brother’s death by bee stings, talks back to the preacher’s comment.  “… He had a reason for taking that baby. God always knows what’s best.”


Laine had replied. “If God let them bees kill Joey, I’ll never bend a knee to that &%^ of a */#<%.”


When serializing the Laine books, The Avery Post often cleans up some of the characters’ speech. Peggy reasoned Laine’s response offended some reader, so, after considerable thought, she edited Laine’s language a little.


This week Peggy wrote her keynote address for the Appalachian Writers Symposium and worked on her book "Hard-nosed Advice on Writing a Novel."  

April 15, 2010
Morning mist

April 15, 2010
Spring morning

April 15, 2010
Dog, Jackson and great-grandson, Zane

April 18, 2010


Peggy has always endeavored to write. Early on, she used a portable typewriter and it wasn’t long until she had several novel manuscripts typed. Since Peggy typed profusely, the typewriter had a habit of miss-using and miss-spelling words. Many of the mistakes were humorous and I would laugh when reading her drafts. She felt that I was laughing at her stories and would just keep shoving her work under the bed.


The advent of the computer changed things and Peggy started publishing novels. One day I was working in the office and a reader called.


“Can you send me some more books?”


I knew she had all of Peggy’s books because I had just sent her the latest, so I asked, “Do you want more of the last book I sent you?”


“No, I want I want some different ones.”


I told her she had all the published ones.


“But doesn’t she have any other ones?”


“No,” then I had said joking, “but, she’s got about forty drafts under the bed.”


“Good, send me those” she replied.


A few weeks later, she called Peggy, mad as a hornet. “Where’s my books?”


Peggy asked, “What books?”


“The ones from under your bed.”


This week Peggy said she had done "nothing", but I know better. The animals and I are well fed; even the yard is mowed.

April 9, 2010
Spring's progression
April 10, 2010
Evening vigil
April 10, 2010
Inside the greenhouse

April 11, 2010


Last Sunday on Easter, a bunch of the family came over to visit.


After lunch, Peggy asked our seven-year old great grandson. “Would you like to go to the barn and help me gather eggs? We can put them in the incubator when we get back.”


Xander asked, “Can I bring Hazel?” Xander loved Hazel, a Dachshund dog that was heck on our chicken population. We had to given her to our oldest granddaughter, and she had brought Hazel visiting with her.


Peggy said, “No, Hazel will have to stay here. She kills and eats the chickens.”


Cleo, one of the Boston Terriers, followed them to the barn.


Xander asked, “Won’t Cleo eat the chickens?”


"No, she doesn't bother the chickens."


“Oh," Xander paused, "she’s a vegetarian.”


Peggy has spent the week preparing her one acre garden for planting, writing a little, reading some, landscaping with the trackhoe, and started laying a rock wall along the foundation of her greenhouse. 

March 29, 2010
Morining mist
April 04, 2010
Geese at sunrise

April 04, 2010


Right after Peggy wrote her first book, she heard someone hollering in the front yard. The mother of our teenage granddaughter’s best friend had shown up.


Jackie said, “I heard about your book, and I've come to get one.”


Peggy replied, “I don’t have any right now, but I’ll print some up. You can come back tomorrow if you want.”


Jackie agreed and started to leave. She stopped, turned back. “You know, I don’t have a legacy for my daughter; so I’ve decided to write a book, too. If you can write a book, I know I can — I’m a lot bigger than you.”


Most of the week Peggy enjoyed getting out: cleaning off the garden, delivering books to Cutting Up in Spruce Pine, and starting plants in the greenhouse. Saturday she spent a day writing.

March 26, 2010
Sunset across yard pond
March 23, 2010
Sunrise across yard pond

March 28, 2010


Every November, back when Peggy was selling Christmas trees in Naples, Florida, she would call our banker to arrange a loan for harvest, trucking, and tree lot expenses.  By the time she got to the bank, Carroll would have everything ready.


One year she told Carroll, “I appreciate being able to come in and get a little whenever I need it.”


“Good gawd, Peggy! Watch what you say,” Carroll returned.


His assistant chuckled.


Peggy was puzzled.


“Libby, Tell her what she said.”


“Oh no, I’m not going there.”


Peggy still didn’t catch on, “But it’s true? Can’t I come in and get a little anytime I need it?”


Carroll sputtered, “Hell Peggy... it may be true… just don’t go spreading it around.”


This week Peggy was invited to speak to the Retired Teachers meeting on May 11 in Mitchel County.

March 17, 2010
Dogs in the morning
March 21, 2010
Triplets - Three new kids
March 21, 2010
Twins - Two more new kids

March 21, 2010

Last Winter’s harsh weather reminded me of an incident in the mid-seventies. We had several surveying employees at the time and were working in the office because of the bitter cold weather. A rush job needed some fieldwork completed. I asked, “Will anybody go finish the job on Rich Mountain?”

It sounded like we were in the Little Red Hen story, “Not me, it’s too cold.”

After getting the children off to school, Peggy came to work.  “I’ll go,” she announced.

Jerry downed his head and said, “If you’re tough enough, so am I.”

Several hours later, two ice and sleet covered workers returned to stand in front of the heater. Shivering, Peggy said, “Wish I’d worn a skirt. I wouldn’t have gone out in this weather.”

Jerry shuttered, “If I’d known it was that cold, I‘d worn a dress too.”

This week, Ceilia Miles invited Peggy to exhibit at a Book Fair in Asheville on May 15 to benefit the  Candy Maier Scolorship Fund for Women Writers.

March 11, 2010
Nina Sue Mann giving Peggy roses at Cove Creek
March 14, 2010
Peggy trying out her new seat

March 14, 2010


About ten years ago around New Years, a local grading contractor, Mike Eggers, asked Peggy, “What did David get you for Christmas ?

Peggy said, “I told David, I wanted a facelift or a trackhoe.”

Mike grinned. “Got the trackhoe, didn’t you?”


Saturday was our 45th wedding anniversary. Friday I asked Peggy, “What do you want for your anniversary?”

She replied, “Take me to tractor supply and get me a new seat for my trackhoe.”

While we were in Lenoir, I also took her through the drive-through at Wendy’s and got her a medium sized Chocolate Frosty as a special anniversary treat.


Peggy enjoyed meeting new friends and putting faces with readers at the Western Branch of the Watauga County Library last Thursday. On Friday, she delivered her newest book, Dream Lover, to Black Bear Books in Boone.


March 02, 2010
More snow
March 07, 2010
Companion planting? Daffodils & blackberries
March 07, 2010
Duck in urn

March 7, 2010

Western Watauga Library visit is this week: Thursday March 11 at 10:30 (a correction from previous posting)

A few years back, Peggy went up to Bulldog to do some chicken and duck trading with a farmer.  He gave her a good deal, so for extra boot she threw in a copy of “Heaven-high and Hell-deep”. He said he hadn’t read a novel since high school thirty years ago, but took the book for his wife. His wife read the book and insisted he read it.

The next time Peggy met the farmer, he couldn’t stop thanking her for the book. “It’s about us!” he kept repeating. “I’ve never read a book about us!”

He then told how each evening he would call his aunt and tell her what he had read. Finally, his aunt told him to hush-up, she wanted to read the book for herself. Which he promptly replied, “But, I have to tell somebody!”

E-mail Peggy if you have any comments, and be sure to enter the free book contest.

Thanks to Ron Neufeld for adding a link to the three chapter excerpt of Heaven-high and Hell-deep from The Read on WNC and to Carol at The Writers Porch for the reviews she posted on Amazon.

February 22, 2010
Vistors on a warmer day, for this winter

February 21, 2010
Skytrail at sunset

February 27, 2010
Peggy at seminar

February 28, 2010

This week, In addition to writing and binding books Peggy read a best seller, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and an Appalachian novel, “Bloodroot” by Amy Greene.

At the end of the week, Peggy attended a seminar “Writing a Bestselling Novel” taught by Susan May Warren. After reflection, Peggy e-mailed her “You are one of the best presenters and instructors I have ever had the privilege of experiencing. You were great and made the experience worthwhile!” The seminar was co-produced by an agent that does a great blog about his industry, although, he regularly has to defend, and sometimes humbly apologize for his candid remarks. He did a good job of running the seminar — aside from havoc created by last minute schedule changes.

As always, Peggy came back with another story idea based on her experiences — An aspiring author tries to overcome the publishing industry's bias about Appalachian writers. See Cat Pleska's Mouth of the Holler blog for some insight.

February 19, 2010
Morning in the barn
February 20, 2010
Peggy's bookmoblie - Poor folks have poor ways.

February 21, 2010
This week Peggy wrote on Blood Kin except when we were running a daycare center for the great-grandchildren; those days she wrote (when she could) on a non-fiction book on writing. Also, she managed to help print and bind books. Friday the weather was better and Peggy stocked books in Avery and Mitchel Counties.
Carol at The Writers Porch finished Above All and posted a very complimentary review of both of the Laine books. Thanks, Carol.
A couple of weeks ago Avery Post completed (took about three years) the serialization of Heaven-high and Hell-deep. They have now started on its sequel, Above All. Thanks, Bertie and Lydia. Let Peggy know if your community newspaper might be interested in serializing some of Peggy's novels.
Notice the the Free Book Contest page added this week. Thanks to Pat from East Tennessee for being the first entrant.

January 30, 2009
Geese walking on water
February 6, 2010
Bull in snow storm
February 14, 2010
Valentine morning

February 14, 2010
Peggy has started printing and delivering copies of Dream Lover:
Chessy Spade was born remembering her past life. After being punished and ridiculed for telling lies, she did her best to forget her memories. But her dead husband’s spirit was not willing to let her go.
Yesterday she delivered books to Twigs on the Roan at Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Many thanks to those who helped with the editing.
This week she hopes to deliver books to Warrensville Drug, Avery Post in Newland, Cuttin' Up in Spruce Pine, the libary in Bakersville, and  Black Bear Books in Boone. If readers want an autographed book, just order one directly from Peggy (free USPS media mail shipping).
Last week, Carol Murdock at The Writers Porch read Peggy's first novel, Heaven-high and Hell-deep. Carol then listed it as one of her top ten favorite reads. A gracious honor for Peggy. 
Currently Peggy is writing on a couple of new novels. One of them is Blood Kin: In the rugged wilderness of Pisgah National Forest a group of nine hikers stumble into mortal danger they never imagined existed. Colene Peters managed to escape. She is determined to warn others of the deadly dangers lurking in the wilderness.

Saturday morning February 6, 2010
Cows coming to get a drink after morning feeding

Sunday morning February 07, 2010
Peggy going to milk

February 7, 2010
Snow seems to have an affinity for our area lately. Many Thanks to all who participated in Tipper's contest for a copy of Heaven-high and Hell-deep on the Bling Pig & the Acorn site. Congratulations to the winner, Pat from East Tennesse. Peggy sure appreciated all the comments and getting to correspond with those interested in purchasing books. Mary from Mary's Writers Nook in Ontario ordered some books to review. Thanks to Vicky Lane's  newsletter, Carol from The Book House in Mississippi also purchased some books for review. Check out their sites as well as the other respondents on Tipper's site. Tipper also posted her interview with Peggy on The Read on WNC. Thanks again, for all the publicity.

January 25, 2010
Morning rainbow from front yard

January 27, 2010
Tipper over at Blind Pig & the Acorn site has published an interview with Peggy. She is also giving a chance to win a copy of Peggy's first book Heaven-high and Hell-deep by answering a trivia question from the excerpt on this site. Visit Tipper's blog as she provides interesting tidbits about our Appalachian heritage and culture.
Peggy, myself, and our oldest daughter have completed the first edit of Dream Lover. We will print out a few books tonight and let some other readers do some more editing.
If you need help convincing your library to carry Peggy's books, request some of her free excerpt/catalogs as an introduction to her work.
Peggy will be visiting the Western Branch of the Watauga County Library at 10:30 AM on March 11, 2010 (date change made March 04, 2010).
If you would like to comment about this post, send Peggy an e-mail. Comments will be moderated before posting.

January 19, 2009
Cover in Pink

January 24, 2009
Cover in Wine

January 24, 2009
Peggy finished her first draft of Dream Lover last Tuesday. She had been reading a romance in the evenings with a pink cover. I thought this book could be the closest to a romance that she would ever write, so I decided to print out the first draft in pink. Everything was okay, till I decided to edit the book in the doctor's office. Found out -- It takes a real man to read a Pepto Bismol pink book. Let Peggy know whether you prefer pink or wine.

Click to e-mail Peggy

Friday evening Peggy restocked Warrensvlle Drug Store with books, including her latest ghost story book: "Hunting the Haunted".

December 22, 2009
Morning Sky from front yard

January 06, 2010
Peggy at Powder Horn Mountaian Bookclub

January 7, 2009
Yesterday, Peggy had a great time with the Powder Horn Mountain Bookclub telling booger tales.
She's about 75% done on the first draft of the dream lover novel. One thing good about the sustained cold weather - it is condusive to staying in and writing.
Today, Peggy stocked books, including her latest "Hunting the Haunted", at Cuttin Up in Spruce Pine and the Library at Bakersville

December 6. 2009
Sunrise on left over tree from Peggy's tree farming

December 17, 2009
Peggy binding her newest: "Hunting the Haunted"

December 18, 2009
Merry Christmas everyone.
"Hunting the Haunted" subtitled "Booger Tales - One",  became Peggy's driving ambition last month. I got to milk the cows alone several evenings while she completed the book. Recently we have been busy editing, printing, and binding the book.  It is a collection of ghost stories and pictures, including some adventure tales of collecting the stories. Yesterday she stocked some at Black Bear Books in Boone, NC and Avery Post Newspaper office in Newland, NC.
Now she is back writing on the dream lover novel
Happy New Year

Frosty morning on the lower pond. Ridge in background is part of Julian Price Park along the Parkway

Morning moon over the yard pond. Sun is shining on the bench on Grandfather Mountain in background.

November 12, 2009

November’s here and the leaves are gone except for some of the beech and oak trees. We are still milking two cows and feeding way too many animals.

Booger stories seem to be capturing Peggy’s imagination. She is doing a lot of research and visiting intriguing places.  Her current scheme is to write about her exploits around the local area — relating haunting tales and other curious phenomena.  Let her know of any local ghost stories you would like to share.

The Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium has selected Peggy to present a fiction workshop and be the keynote speaker at their writer’s conference next summer. She felt honored at the selection and hopes she can put on an effective workshop and an entertaining presentation. Let her know, if you have any suggestions for the workshop or the speech.

Tipper at the Blind Pig and the Acorn blog e-mailed:

“I just stumbled onto your website this morning. I read the excerpt from one of your books and was mesmerized-I just can't wait to see what happens next.

I write about Appalachian Culture and Heritage at I am a native to western NC-I live in Brasstown near the John C Campbell Folk School.  

I feature Appalachian writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry on my site. I would love to interview you about your books-and point folks in the direction of your site.”

We've been visiting her blog as she is a contributor to The Read on WNC, which provides a regional site for literary interactions and happenings.

October 9, 2009
Geese enjoying evening weather break

October 9, 2009
A gaggle of geese planning this years trip

October 12, 2009
I snapped thes prictures from near the road looking back into the farm last Friday evening on the way with Peggy to enjoy some barbeque.
Peggy enjoyed reuniting with all her kin at the Poe reunion. The food was good too. She and her cousins are planning a get together to share and record the family ghosts stories. A Blew Ridge Ghost Tales book is already under way. Dream Lover is progressing and Peggy has also been painting pictures.
Contact Peggy (828-963-5331) if you would like for her to visit your book club or other function as she has no current events scheduled.

Click to email Peggy

Miss Charlotte at The Orchard at Altapass
September 20, 2009

September 26, 2009
Peggy enjoyed the book signing at The Orchard at Altapass last Sunday. This week (in addition to milking twice a day, canning more beans and corn, taking care of her great grand-daughter, and grading for a garage) she has been writing on her next novel, "Dream Lover". Today (Saturday) she is off to the cattle market to sell five of her bull calves.

Lane, Senehi & Stern with Club members 9-12-2009
Hell & Highwater Bookclub at Carolina Mts. Litfest

September 16, 2009
Peggy enjoyed attending the 2009 Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville. After the Bookclub Buzz session with the Hell & High Water Bookclub, she asked where she could get one of their T-shirts, One gal just peeled hers off and gave it to Peggy. Wow, what genorisity! Much appreciation is due the folks, like the Town Center, Main Street Books and DK Puttyroot, at Burnsville for hosting the festival. Special thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, and Malaprops Bookstore who made this a great event for both the participants and the presenters.

Elva Buchanan on her 90th birthday with Peggy at the Orchard at Altapass (July 26, 2009).

August 30, 2009
After reading Wild Thing, Elva told Peggy, "You've got to hurry up and finish the sequel. I have to know what happens to Raven."

So Peggy has finished the rest of the story for Elva which is novel number 13, Running Wild, a sequel to Wild Thing. She has been printing and binding them up and is ready to start taking orders.

Peggy has also canned 500 jars from her garden and is still going strong.

Our oldest daughter and her husband have moved back to Foscoe and have established the Blue Ridge Local Color shop at the Martin House in Blowing Rock. They sell local crafted items and paintings. Of course they also stock Peggy's books. 

Dream Lover may be Peggy's next book. It is really too soon to tell, maybe one of the other seven she is working on will becomme more assertive. We'll just have to wait and see.

She is looking forward to meeting readers at Carolina Mountians Literary Festival in Burnsville on Friday and Saturday, September 12 & 13th.

Peggy milking her cow, Jolene
February 15, 2009


April 6, 2009


During the winter, Peggy finished another novel, An Honorable Man (Surviving Daniel). Currently she is working on Running Wild, a sequel to Wild Thing. She has also gone crazy with her farming and now has two Jersey cows to milk twice a day. Now that spring is starting she has been busy starting plants in the greenhouse and prepping the garden and pastures for planting.


Peggy will be the guest speaker at this year's Young Authors Celebration on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 2:00 PM in the Sam Center Auditorium at Mayland Community College!  Dr. Gloria Houston founded this event in 1992 and it has been continued every year since.  The 2009 event will mark its seventeenth year.  The celebration is open to students of all ages within the tri-county area served by Mayland.  For more information contact:

Connie H. McKinney, CPP
Coordinator, Community Services Programs
Mayland Community College
PO Box 547, 200 Mayland Drive
Spruce Pine, NC  28777
(828) 765-7351 or 1-800-462-9526 Ext. 219
Fax: (828) 765-0728


Peggy has been invited to present a couple of sessions at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival on Friday and Saturday, September 11 and 12, 2009 in Burnsville, NC 28714. This year’s theme is “Mountain Mosaic”. The festival celebrates literature and literacy for lovers of books and reading everywhere. Most events are free and include a variety of readings, writing workshops, plays, seminars and other types of sessions devoted to writers, writing, and the writing life.  For more information: visit their website at


Happy reading,



Peggy's porch
Photo by Karen Hall, June 2008

October 19, 2008


After harvesting a large garden and canning over a 1000 jars, Peggy now gets to write longer each day. Tuesday and Thursday she takes care of her great granddaughter while granddaughter, Ashley, attends college classes at ETSU. The other two great grandsons are often here while their parents work.


Since (sort of) finishing Thunder Hole last month (final editing will be a work in progress for a while). Peggy is currently working on seven new novels: Running Wild, Surviving Daniel, I'm Frankie, The Mountain Hermit (Wilburn Waters), Ghost Stories, Killer, and Mountain Pearl.  She just asked me how to spell "chintzy". We'll just have to guess which one she is working on today. The characters from each novel seem to jump in and determine priority. Maybe one cast of characters will be aggressive enough for her to finish another novel this year.


Marketing hasn't been a priority as Peggy prefers to expend her time writing. We are working to perfect the process of making hard bound books. Hopefully, when she is ready for marketing, she can start with library sales. It's evident that they have the highest concentration of readers. If you want to help, call and ask for some of her "Free Novel excerpt" pamphlets to leave at your local library. They seem to stimulate reader interest in her work.


Last weekend Peggy enjoyed meeting readers at the Heritage Festival in Spruce Pine, NC. Hopefully, she intrigued some new readers to try her books as she sold over 3 dozen. A couple of teachers have asked her to give presentations for their classes in the next few weeks.


Peggy is still an avid reader. She buys a lot of books. Last week she reread "Gone with the Wind" for about the seventh time. She rereads quite a few books to better understand the authors' writing techniques. She also scanned a mass market romance (said it wasn't much). Now she is reading Nora Roberts (said it was well edited, maybe too polished).  


Enjoy your reading,


Have a good day

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