A Queen No More….Navy Bean Soup

It’s January.   Winter of 2016 is here.  Looking to the left from my front porch…

Big Old Snow

Looking to the right from the same spot..

Big Old Snow 2

Definitely is God’s country.   However, there is almost a foot of the “devil’s dandruff” covering everything, and we’re stuck.  River, my beloved Little Man, has not ridden in his truck for days.  Can you imagine?    He’s going crazy.



We, and I do mean we as in “my people,” are wired to get prepared for snow including, strangely enough, cleaning house.   I understand the gathering of food, but cleaning house?   We’re the Stepford wives before a snowstorm; everything becomes spotless. Thursday night, in preparation for the storm, I even cleaned out my refrigerator freezer. People! This is sick!!

Stuff Eveywere

When I got up at 5:30 am Friday and there was three inches of snow and more coming down, I emailed my boss and said I would not be in.   How could I?  I had to continue cleaning!   By 5:35 am, I had a casserole in the oven.  Shortly thereafter, I mopped the floor.  I completed the laundry I’d started the night before and began changing the sheets. I was ironing at 7:00 am.  Ironed pillowcases–before daylight!   I thought about the beautifully written article  by Anna Wess about the Kings and Queens of Central Appalachia. Here it is. It’s true. Read it if you have a minute; you may relate if you’re from my neck of the woods. At any rate, as I completed my tasks, I knew I was one of the Queens of Appalachia. I could hunker down and withstand this storm for weeks, because I was a survivor–prepared, organized and efficient and my pillowcases were ironed.

Less than 48 hours later, today…Saturday at 10:30 am–my royalty is no longer a certainty. Perhaps I am not a Queen, but actually one of the People of Walmart.


As I look at all the piled up snow, I miss my people…the People of Walmart. I want to see the brightly lit store…shelves full of food.  I also want a Pal’s tea. My prince, River, wants to pee at his favorite spot.  We are not just sad.  We are bereft.

Here’s a recipe for some soup that tastes good on this cold, wintry day.   It’s Bear Creek’s Navy Bean Soup.  It is not from an Appalachian Queen who went out, slayed the bear by the creek and then came back inside to make soup with the beans she grew and dried this past summer.    It’s from me…a proud member of the People of Walmart.   Bring 8 cups of water to a boil and dump the mix in.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Boom!   Perfect navy bean soup!

Navy Bean Soup Mix

Not so fast.   Oh, crap…it actually didn’t thicken right, so I added another Walmart find.   I’m now wondering why I didn’t just open this can and add water and not even use the mix?

Campbell's Soup

It was not something a true queen would have served, but it worked.  Mike really liked it.



First Real Snow of 2016

I love snow.  It’s magic.   We had a little magic this morning!    Al Archer, the weather guy for WXBQ, said we’d have about one inch of snow.   We had anywhere from about two to five inches throughout the Tri-Cities.    I went into work and decided to leave at 10:00 am, because I was concerned about the slippery roads.   When I got home, I felt guilty because it stopped snowing!!   Later, however, I was really happy with my decision.

Here’s a picture that I took on the way home…Caney Valley.

Caney Valley 2

If you look closer in the picture above, you’ll see the big icicles…here they are up close…

Rock Ledge with Water

When I got home from work, I asked Mike to drive me down the road in the truck with four wheel drive.    We had a bit of a traffic jam…


We got through all this goat business and saw the river.  It looks cold!!   It reminds me of the funny weather forecast that Rita Quillen posted on Facebook.  Rita is a teacher, a poet, a musician and the writer of one of my favorite books “Finding Ezra.”   She’s an Appalachian Queen.  Here’s Rita’s weather update for Scott Count and surrounding areas..”Slicker-n axle grease on a pump handle.  Partly crashy with widely scattered KA-BLAMS this afternoon.  Caution is advised.”

Icey River 2

This is the North Fork of the Holston.    This is the river that runs through my world…Mendota and then Hiltons.  We love this river.   I double dog dare you to say she’s not beautiful!!

River With Ice

We are supposed to get a bunch of snow on Friday.  We’re all getting ready.  People of Mendota…Start Your Generators!! 


What’s That Higher Ed Building On Lee Highway Anyway?

Backside with Two Tanks

Did you play the Powerball Lottery?  Did you win anything?  I did.  One of my numbers was 10, and I won $8.   Here’s what I bought with my winnings.   I’m good with this prize.   I’m watching a tribute to Willy Nelson as I type this and wondering if he’s sick or something.  He’s getting such […]

[Continue reading...]

Boom! Ears Are Pierced!

Eva with Earring

I gathered all my courage and went into Epic Ink Tattoo today.   I asked for Scottie as I was told he was the best piercer around, and my 59 year old ears deserved the best.     These ears had seen a little action when I was 12 or 13 when Lisa Benfield Edwards […]

[Continue reading...]

Where Are They Now?

Pip All Grown UP

Do you remember this past summer when a cat that I named Lilly showed up and had five kittens?   I posted about those kittens off and on for eight weeks and then I stopped.    Something rather tragic happened to this mother cat that captured my heart… Three days after the last kitten was […]

[Continue reading...]

To Pierce or Not To Pierce

pierce cartoon

I’ve been wanting to get my ears pierced for years!   My best lifelong friend, Lisa Benfield Edwards, and I had some piercing activity when we were 12 or 13.   We stuck needles in our ears and put broom sticks in the holes to hold the holes open while they healed.  Mine got infected. […]

[Continue reading...]

Bristol On A Sunday Morning


Mike and I got up early and went to Brstol this morning.  We haven’t been going to church for about the last six months.  I think we’ll start again in the coming weeks, but, for me–and I realize there are many who might debate this–a bit of time away from church is necessary on occasion. […]

[Continue reading...]

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Me Just Started Losing Weight

Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions?  One of mine is to be more organized and in the process of being more organized, I lost the very cool picture I took of my closet getting organized.  Maybe I ought to rethink if I can really do that. Here’s my first resolution for the New Year. […]

[Continue reading...]

19 Days to Christmas!

River 1

We had some friends and family over and went to the Barter Theatre today.   River wanted to look nice for our guests so he got out a few neckties to look over. “I dunno,” I heard him say.   “Nothing really speaks to me.” He finally decided on green which was what I recommended […]

[Continue reading...]

Fixin’ Up for Christmas in Virginia


It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and I have started decorating.   I love a natural, country Christmas.   I started with the sled that I bought in Mendota for $15.    Paired with stems of boxwood and a velvet ribbon, I’m so happy with it.   It’s right by my front door. I am lazy about holidays. […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...[Continue reading...]