The Duck Healer (and other tales in Cherokee Home)

I was standing in the kitchen of the tiny farmhouse we lived in out on the prairie.  A small school bus turned into the winding dirt drive and proceeded towards the house.  Dust pulled up behind it as it bounced along.  I yelled to Doug in the next room, “Did we have a school group coming that I forgot about?”  He couldn’t remember one either.  I wiped my hands on my apron and stepped out the front door and waved.  The bus came to a stop next to the garden and through the windows I could see that this was one big family.  The children came bounding down the center of the bus and out into the fresh air.  A little girl held onto a large white duck.

“Something is wrong with his leg,” she said, looking up at me hopefully, “Can you fix it?”

“What’s wrong with that duck?” I asked, pointing to another one that they had brought with them.

“Oh nothing,” the mother replied, “the ducks can’t be separated or that one yells its head off!”

And so I went about healing the duck’s broken leg.

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My book, Cherokee Home, is my first fiction book, but as all good fiction is, it is nearly entirely based on true stories.

In my book, the main character is an herbalist and her stories are my stories.  The stories of the medicine man came from a medicine man. A dear friend of mine that I spent a summer writing down his stories with as he recovered from a stroke.

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My great grandfather was shot in a cornfield in Oklahoma gathering corn for supper one warm day.  My grandfather was only three years old but the family tale states that his father took his own life.  And perhaps that is so, but in that same time, in that same place, Cherokees were being shot or moved to California so that the oil companies could have their land.

I loved developing the characters who were as familiar to me as myself and my siblings.  I remember my mother reading to us at night as we colored in pictures of a coloring book, munching on homemade caramel corn.

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Cherokee Home came out last fall but I never really had time to promote it or to do book signings.  The other day I came across a picture of that duck from four years ago and smiled.

If you want to read a fun book that touches on history, culture, language, and real tales embedded in fun characters that is great for kids and adults alike, you can find it HERE.

All of my books are available at AuthorKatieSanders.com

(It is nearly impossible to get all typos out of manuscripts, but I sure try.  The one typo in the entire book is on the second page.  Lord, I am less judgmental about errors in books these days!)

Thank you all for supporting my writing!

Four Years Being a Farmgirl…and our new home

November 25, 2012- I had just learned what a blog was and was excited to try it.  Pages that would normally fill journals filled spaces on this web sized book.  To write stories that teach and inspire and make folks laugh while learning to farm and homestead was my idea.  A compilation of tales that I wish I could have found at the beginning of my journey.  I could have never imagined the amazing pieces of life we would be recording.

Indeed over the past year and a half you have put up with me pouting when we lost all that, started two more blogs, always return to this one.  I use my own blog so often to find recipes that I might be one of my best followers!  Over 110,000 times Farmgirl School has been read over the last four years.  I am honored.

When I found out that we were actually buying a house, my inspiration came flooding back.  Months of blog posts already half written in my mind.  Home.

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Our new abode come December 30th.

November 25, 2016- I can now use the skills I have learned about chickens and ducks, gardening, and decorating, cooking, and preserving, cooking on a wood stove, and intertwine them with new memories with my beautiful family, and all the things I want to learn, like Hugelkulter beds, and canning cranberry sauce to create many more years of Farmgirl School.  And all the things along the way that I will learn and share and our world-wide community continues.  We all share so may beautiful desires and wishes.  To return to homesteading life was certainly ours.  So here we go…

Clash of the Farm and City (true story)

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Okay, these things really happened last week.  This is how you know if someone is not a farmgirl.

1. Someone walked up to the booth and asked Nancy if our goat’s milk soap was moldy cheese. (Doesn’t look like Ivory soap, I guess.)

2. I have counted at least twenty people come up to the booth at the farmer’s market and ask, “What is that?”  The answer?  Lettuce.

3. I said to Nancy, “I wonder if the market is slow because the weather is 40% chance of dry thunder storms, 96 degrees, and wind at 12 miles per hour.”  “I don’t think anyone else looks at the weather as closely as we do.”  I still think it was slow because of the heat!

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4. Emily was walking our baby goat, Jovie, down the aisle at the farmer’s market and a family stopped and said, “Look!  A dog!”  Emily said, “No, this is a goat.”  They gave her a bewildered look and said, “Nooo, that is a dooog.”  “Okay.” was Emily’s annoyed answer.

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Now, how to know you are a farmgirl.

1.  Your feet are not clean from mid-May through mid-October.  Flip flops and farming leave very dirty feet.  Go ahead and take a shower, in five minutes you will be back in the dirt.

2.  A goat peeing on your dress is a regular occurrence and one you deal with with grace and dignity.

3. You throw diatomaceous earth on small black bugs eagerly eating your cruciferous vegetables and with an evil, uncharacteristic laugh, yell, “Die Bastards!!!”

4.  You know when the sun rises and are ready for bed when the sun sets. (But of course  you have way too much to do.)

5. The electricity going out excites and challenges you.

6.  You walk your goats into a bar. (True story.  Happened today.)

May we all find our inner farmer.