What I’m Reading


The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Now this is definately a book that I am going to keep, re-read, gift, encourage and give to people in my life.

It’s that good.

It’s like 40+ little chapters that you can read one a night before bed and dream and ponder on. They are the successful habits and principles of highly effective and successful people. And as you read this book, you just can’t help but have these “ah-HA!” moments constantly. You get it. You see how things REALLY work. You learn some of the secrets behind people you admire and wish you could be like. And you realize that it’s not just fate or some magic fairy dust, it’s hardwork, dedication, positive thinking and focus…

I’ve been a super big fan of positive thinking for about a year and a half now. It’s totally turned my life around. I used to be well, at times, pretty self mired in my own dark thoughts. Now, forget it. I’m a total believer. Good happy positive actions get you through this life and out the other end with a content and wonderful life to remember when you’re sitting by the throne of God in heaven. That’s my goal. And to make sure that others that encounter me and blessed with my excess happiness and contentment. A giving spirit and a happy one, too!

So go and get this book. It’s absolutely phenominal. I can’t to get to the end so I can start it again. I tried reading it fast, many chapters at a sitting, but to be honest, its a lot more effective one chapter at a time so you can soak it in and think about it and try to adapt it to your life. Sure, a few chapters won’t suit you and your place in the life journey. But there are so many gooooooood ideas and thought provokers… you’ll get your money’s worth 5 times over. READ IT!!!!


The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Got this at the Goodwill a while back, and I read it once before about 5 or 6 years ago. Really good book for you creative types out there…. some good positive insight into how to keep yourself creative and not burnout.


Reading the Self Sufficient Homestead by Charles Sanders
and Black Swamp Farm by Howard E. Good

Got each of these on ebay… my favorite source for cheap books that I know I’ll want to keep. The library is my second source for lots of reading material…. but well, can’t keep that. I’m pretty careful about just buying the books that I know I really want and will use as a resource for further life adventures.

The Self Sufficient Homestead is really cool. Lots of good up to date information in there. I like reading some of these older books, but it’s also nice to see a book that talks about current situations and includes the internet as a source for information, connection and such. Still working through this book… it’s so juicy packed with information that it takes my brain a little down time to sort through it all and lock it away where it needs to be!!!

Black Swamp Farm, this is a very interesting book to me. I actually live in the region of Ohio that they call the Black Swamp. It’s neither really, not any more. During the turn of the century, the huge ancient swamp was drained and turned into some wonderful farm land. And the interesting thing that caught my eye first is that this book was written by a gentleman who lived in the area at that time, written in the 60’s. And there is a pretty good chance he’s a relative!! My great grandfather came from the very area that he was talking about… Van Wert County of Ohio, and he was a “Good”, the same as the author. From what I’ve learned through my geneology skills of some years ago, most of the Goods were related in some manner. He’s not my great grandfather, for sure, but he could easily be a uncle or cousin or something. So that was an extra bit of nifty reading in the book, thinking that this was how my relatives lived!

Great book… really enjoyed it. Lots of information on how they did stuff and how they lived. Makes you appreciate just how EASY we have it now! Just 40 years ago, it was a lot harder.


A Small Farm in Maine
by Terry Silbe

I just finished this book…. got it a few days ago and consumed it in no time. It will definately stay in my library as it was a wonderful and honest book about moving to a farm and starting a business and sustaining one’s self in agriculture/business in today’s climate.

However, I am so sad this moment. I just found their website and found that the farm is now closed, that the author, Terry Silber, she passed away in 2003 from cancer. And a few years later, they finally closed down, her husband and son moving on. They said it was just too sad to try and continue the farm that she was so a part of. And vibrant to make it work… sad. Only 63 years old. I would have expected that she was still working her beloved farm and with grandchildren to teach and a place to grow old and hand down to her next generations. Sad.


Re-reading one of my favorite books…

One Man’s Wilderness.
About the life of Richard Proenneke

This guy just up and moved to Alaska… built his own cabin, wrote detailed journals and just lived simply… it’s just a charming book… he’s a simple man, but it’s with such insight and just beauty I think I’ve read it now about 5 times…

Here’s a cool link all about him…. Richard Proenneke





April 2009

Oh my gosh!  Another NEW BOOK!!!

I have been following several blogs by homesteaders and this one is one of my favorites…. It’s Jenna Woginrich’s Cold Antler Farm blog

Well… she wrote a book!   Called MADE FROM SCRATCH… Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life.


Of course… when I get a book that is written by a graphic designer into websites, who wants a farm and critters and to live simply and is into bluegrass and old time music????   My gosh… you know I am SO into that.  HAHAHA… She’s like my little twin sister!

(okay, maybe not twin, cuz I’m pretty sure that I’m about oh 15 years her elder… but hey, it could happen…. )

Well imagine my surprise though…. when I was reading it through and I get to the part in the book where she is talking about music and jams and I see a reference to music jams online… and then I turn to the back index and…

OH MY GOSH…. She has listed MY website in her BOOK!!!!!  Yes!!!   I OWN www.BluegrassMusicJams.com along with about 12 other bluegrass websites!!!  My partner Rob is the one that maintains the site and I just had to get up and out of bed at 2 am and email him and tell him all about it!!!  We were so excited!  (Well, okay, I was.   He was excited in the morning when he woke up and get the email! )

HOW COOL IS THAT???   The world is really a small place.  I gotta write to her soon and let her know how thankful we are that she knows about us!  I know she has one of our little banners on her blog, that is so nice….





BACKYARD HOMESTEAD by Charlene Perkins

I’m reading a new book….  Backyard Homestead by Charlene Perkins…. and I love it!!!  Imagine that.  It’s so fascinating…. yeah, some of the stuff I already knew… but it’s got a lot of good stuff in it and it’s all in a handy format.  I like the fact that it’s not something for like total sustenance…  but more for the joy and delight of just doing it in whatever space you may have.   I live on a mobile home plot and I believe that I can really grow a good deal of stuff on my little plot… and this book will definately be a steady and hand reference for me!


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What I’m Reading — 2 Comments

  1. Great choice of reading material Sherri! I think I’ll check out ‘Made From Scratch,’ and ‘Backyard Homestead.’ They look like two very interesting reads. Nothing better than to be more self-reliant in an age when everything costs so bleeding much. Sheesh!

  2. I absolutely LOVE the Backyard Homestead, and own it. The Self-Reliant Homestead is a great book too!

    Currently, I’m re-reading Steve Solomon’s “Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times”. Awesome book that cuts to the frugal chase about gardening on a shoestring. Some seriously great information in this book! How to make your own (cheap and organic) fertilizers, how to basically make-do and make that garden grow! Hint: forget about that “intensive foo-foo gardening”. LOL

    A book you might like, Sherri, is: “Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Depression”, by Mildred Kalish. Wow what a great little memoir. I got it at the library. I grew up on a farm (I’m not as old as she) but it brought back memories for me. And her detailed explanations of old-time remedies, how they did things back then are priceless. http://www.little-heathens.com/

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