Five More Days

We’re five days from the Third Annual Dale Jett & Hello Stranger Cemetery Benefit.  At breakfast this morning at Mt. Vernon UMC’s Sonrise Service, Dale Jett casually asked “do you think many people will come?”    Ohmigosh why did he ask  me?  Now I’m worried I’ll let him down.

Banners went up last night.  Mike and I put this one up on Rick Begley’s property in Gate City, so anyone coming into Gate City from Highway 58 should see it.   We’ve also put them up in Hiltons and in Mendota.   Next year, I’d like to put one up in Benhams and two more in Gate City.    We are so thankful for Pepsi for helping us with the banners.  I did not know who to contact this year since Pepsi Bottling of Lee Highway closed, but the store manager of Food City’s Euclid Avenue store, Raymond, stepped in and helped me out.  Naturally, I find that Raymond lives in Hiltons–no wonder he is a gentleman.

Dale Jett Show

We’ve mailed postcards to everyone in the 24270 zip code as well as handed them out.    I’ve got a little western theme going on this with postcard.

Dale Jett Card front


We’ve placed 75 posters around the Bristol/Abingdon/Gate City/ETSU areas.   Next year, I’m asking the Scott County Vocational School’s Graphics Department to design the poster.  I can’t wait to see what those young creative minds can do, and I’m hoping if Domtar helps us again, they could judge it. Just early ideas. By the way, we cannot say enough about Domtar Paper and Jeff Chamberlin for helping us with seed money for this event. We love them, and we stretch every dollar.


We’ve requested media help with our benefit.  Oscar interviewed with Joe Tennis who gave us a nice write up in the Bristol Herald Courier. Many thanks to Joe! Here’s the link.   We’ve also got an upcoming feature article in both the Kingsport Times-News and the Scott County Virginia Star. I’ll link those into this post when they publish this week.   Please look for them.

The Mendota quilt is almost ready, and the raffle tickets are here–done so professionally for me by the students at Scott County’s Vocational School.  Buying 1500 tickets in the past, with shipping, ran us right at $50.   This was much more affordable with our tiny budget.  I sold my first 70 to Laura Cash and Tracy Leonard.  Thanks ladies!    Oscar Harris, the Poor Valley Girls and I will be on WCYB at noon on Tuesday, April 22, and I’ll have this quilt with me as I”m going to ask the viewers to help me sell tickets in all 50 states.     I wonder if they’ll ask me to sing, too?  Ha ha !  Mt. Vernon also has a beautiful quilt made by Linda Nunley, but I do not have a picture of it.

Mendota Cemeter Quilt 3

Gerald Booher is President of the Mendota Cemetery Association and he’s been getting the food together.   There are a lot of details in putting together even a small benefit such as ours.   While we’re planning on grilling hotdogs, we’ll be serving food in the Mendota Community Center’s cafeteria.   I will need to make sure everyone knows to go into the cafeteria to see both Mendota and Mt. Vernon Cemetery Quilts and to purchase food.  I hope the smell of the hotdogs on the grill brings them down.  Today I made a…well...interesting…chalkboard to help direct them to the cafeteria.  Here’s some bits and pieces of it.

I Love Mendota

And…this is a true one. If you have a “boney” butt, bring yourself a cushion!

Seats are Hard

And finally…the disclaimer that we like to share with first timers to Poor Valley…


Thanks so much for reading RiverCliff Cottage, and I hope if you are reading this and live nearby, you’ll make the trip out to Mendota on Friday night.  Don’t dress up.  Come as you are.   The music is truly world class.


Seed Swap and the Infection in Poor Valley

I ran into an old friend a few days ago, and she told me that she enjoyed reading RiverCliff Cottage. I was swooning with happiness — I love it when someone tells me they actually read this stuff! However, she added…”it makes me want to just move out to Mendota.” At that point, I realized it wasn’t my blog at all…it was the “infection” that runs rampant in Poor Valley. “Once you get that Poor Valley mud on your feet, you can’t wipe it off.” The infection begins with thoughts like…”those country people…they are making farming seem kinda neat. They’ve got something going on.”

FarmT Shirt

“And it smells good out there with all that honeysuckle and hay.”

Square Bales

“What the heck? They’re getting together and trading around seeds and plants….starting traditions of sharing and community! Don’t they know it’s 2013?”

Plant Swap

“And they are interested in each other’s endeavors….like sharing lemon balm with that nutty blogger who keeps trying to keep bees.”

Lemon Balm

Oh yeah…you know you’re wanting to “find a little land, put a little cabin on it…do a little gardening…do a little fishing and hunting.” I recognize all the symptoms.


Inspirations and Pottery Barn

I received the new Pottery Barn catalogue a little over a week ago. I love looking at their catalog. Once in a while something on the pages either inspires me to try and replicate the look or reminds me of something that is already in my house.

Pottery Barn has been selling Mason jars (with handles on them) for drink glasses for the past few years.  At my house, we either drink from a real Mason jar or ones just like the ones from Pottery Barn.  I got them at the Dollar Store about ten years ago and paid $1.00 for two jars.     Home canning is a part of our Southwest Virginia rural life, and I like for my table to reflect that.  I’m happy that Pottery Barn is on board with this idea!

Here’s Pottery Barn’s very pretty glass..

Pottery Barn Mason Jars

And here is my very pretty glass…I stuck a pansy in it just to fancy it up. It’s got that “Poor Valley” water in it, and “once you drink the water from Poor Valley, water will never taste good anywhere else.”

Glass of Poor Valley Water

Right now when I open a home decor magazine for country homes, I see white.    Hmmm…obviously not from Southwest Virginia where we name our children “Clay”.   Pottery Barn still has rooms with a lot of color, and  I’m so glad!  It validates my love of color in the home.    I’m loving their red bar stool, and I’m gonna be spray painting mine red next week!

Pottery Barn Red Bar Stool

And lookeee here…oh yeah…Pottery Barn’s entertainment center rocks!

Pottery Barn Entertainment Table

And here’s the one in my den made from reclaimed barn wood…created from the American Chestnut, and it’s signed and dated by someone I know pretty well!   Thanks Michael!   Sorry Pottery Barn…I like mine better.  I hope you understand.
Barnside Entertainment Center

Really like the organic look of the wooden bowls…

Pottery Barn Wooden Bowls

But I love my bowl handcrafted by gnarled hands from Appalachia and purchased at the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon.  It’s signed on the bottom.

My Bowl

Here’s something I don’t have, but I want it! Maybe if it gets marked down a little bit…

Pottery Barn Pillow

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.






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