Take my hand and let’s go back into in southern West Virginia’s history; we’ll walk with Henry Lake, grandson of slaves, as he quenches his thirst for learning and becomes “somebody.”

For the last two years, it has been my great pleasure to piece together the life of a man who lived a bit before our time (I was 4 years old when he died) just around the mountain from us on Peters Mountain near Lindside, WV. Henry Lake Dickason’s life, from a rough cabin to the President’s mansion at two colleges, was one of success in spite of the obstacles placed in his path by society.  I was driven to tell his story, mostly because it was inspirational and partly because his story is not well-known even in his hometown. A reader commented recently that as she read, she began turning each page gently, as though it was sacred. That’s the way I felt as I wrote. 

Let me introduce Stella, a West Virginia mountain woman. She’s faced down a bunch of troubles that life has thrown in her way. Did it all with a pretty dramatic flair, too. She’s complicated. Even though she taught Sunday school for years, from time to time she packs a “Pink Lady” pistol. She dearly loves her animals, but nearly shot her own brother, in church, no less.

You can’t meet Stella without meeting Jonas, either, a big bearded Inupiaq guy that just swept her off her feet. Together they try to do right, seek God in their lives, take care of family and be as honest as they can, which is a challenge. After waiting nearly 30 years to marry, they travel to the Arctic for Stella to meet his family. And what a family! If Jonas’ family wasn’t enough of a handful, Stella’s brother Timmy Lee and his meanness continues to plague the daylights out of the happy couple.

So far, there are two books in this series, Tales of Stella and Jonas, and one more to go. The two books that are published, Drunk on Peace and Quiet and Hung Over with Grandma are available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble (links below) or if Hung Over with Grandma coveryou’re anywhere near southern West Virginia, message me and we’ll figure out a way to get you an autographed copy.

Y’all come back, ya hear… stop by any time and holler at me (leave a comment).

Dickason Cemetery & Boy Scouts

We live near an old slave cemetery high on Peters Mountain that needed tending.  During the Boy Scout Jamboree, there were inquires for work days for the thousands of troops visiting north of here.  We applied, troops from middle Tennessee cam to work in the summer...

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Lambs, Lambs, Everywhere…!

In the last two weeks or so there have been over 25 lambs  (I've lost count) born out in our red barn. Some have died in their first hours and some have been rejected and became bottle babies but far more have survived and are darling. We have learned that a healthy...

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Indies Award

Good news!  Hung Over with Grandma has been named a finalist in this year's Indie Awards! It was honored in the   Multicultural category.  The winners will be announced mid-May. Knowing that my story got the attention of such a prestigious group is very rewarding....

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Serendipity?

This past weekend, a wild, unpredictable storm hit the northeast.  Sporadic rain, sleet, snow, and high winds pounded this end of the country followed by low, low temperatures.  Weather predictors had trouble pin-pointing snow accumulations or exact locations but they...

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RIP Big Al

I'm sad to report that our pet alpaca passed away last week.  The dreaded worm that attacks the nervous system, for which there is no cure, stuck our farm again. Meningeal worms are spread by deer.  The deer aren't harmed, they just carry the worms who leave the deer...

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Another basketball season ends…sigh

For four months, we were daily companions, practicing about two hours every weekday.  The Peterstown Lady Pirates were an agreeable group of girls this season, few in number but big in heart.  When they ordered sweatshirts with "5 players, 1 heartbeat", I didn't know...

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Happy News!

HAPPY NEWS! This email came last week: "Dear Ms. Crabtree, We are excited to announce that the book "Hung Over with Grandma" has won the Gold/1st Place award in the 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program for the Best Women's Fiction category! Congratulations! We had...

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Sequel to Drunk on Peace and Quiet

The second book in the Stella and Jonas series, Hung Over with Grandma, is being printed!!  We expect to have it in hand next week! The book opens with a wedding: Stella says “I do” to Jonas (at the Lindside United Methodist Church) and discovers quite the surprise—a...

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Peterstown Heritage Festival

The Peterstown Heritage Festival was held on a rainy day, but there was a good crowd and lots of vendors and fun. I was set up in Market Street and Co. formerly the Terry Department Store, which is in the beginning phases of renovation.  The Civil War Era Love Letter...

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