We had a wonderful group and although it did rain one day pretty hard, we switched up our schedule and went right ahead indoors. Due to a few folks’ emergencies, our intended fifteen attendees ended up being ten, but all were super fun and interested in everything. We had trouble cramming in all we wanted to teach into just three days! Canning was a class everyone wanted to participate in, so we spent extra time on that, canning both chicken breasts and ground beef. (No exploding canners and everyone was thrilled that it was so easy.) One woman went right ahead and stopped at a store and bought her very first pressure canner! Yea Mel!

Will explaining the materials he bought to make the 12′ x 16′ hoop house to our group.
Showing how to use some tools like the nail gun was sure fun and educational.
Everyone pitched in and took notes.

Will held a class on how to build a simple hoop house and everyone helped out, enjoying every bit. It was so fun to see folks try out some of our DeWalt battery powered tools like the driver, nailer, and drill. Will let folks try driving lag bolts in the barn pole uprights, both by hand, using a ratchet wrench and then a DeWalt impact wrench. Guess which was much easier? He also showed folks how to operate our bandsaw mill. We had people from Florida to just a few miles away, so it was a great get-together and I’m sure we’ll all keep in contact. What a neat way to make lasting friends. We’ll miss doing the seminars but due to my age (75) and energy level, it has to be our last. But it sure was fun!

Our spinning demonstration was lots of fun with Lori and Dara both teaching us.
And, of course, everyone enjoyed the meals our friend, Dara, put together.

Today it’s back to work. Will went out to cut hay as it had quit raining. Yes, we did get rain! We got more than an inch in two systems. Thanks God! The pasture is greening up and it looks like I may even have a lawn again. The gardens look great. The pumpkins are fantastic! There are truck loads out there. And I’ll be canning sweet corn soon. The bags we stapled over the Seneca Sunrise sweet corn have completely stopped the Blue Jays. Now I’ve got to get them over the Bear Island corn as they’re getting into that too. Hey, I put out corn for them and sunflower seeds too. But noooo, they want our special corn. Does that tell us something? — Jackie


  1. Hello Jackie, Will and all the ‘Seminarians’ 😀.
    What a blast it was in this awesome group. Sadly I only got the 2 days in.
    You both are such wonderful hosts and the amount of your knowledge and skill set is incredibly inspiring.
    The group was a lot of fun. Everyone was open minded, eager to learn and very engaged in the hands on tasks.
    You are amazing people and I hope I can soon put some of the skills you taught to good use here at home.

  2. Thanks Elizabeth. I’ve got a scar where the cancer was removed but, hey, I’ve got a lot of various scars. I’m not entering any beauty contests anyway. One thing I’ve learned is that you do what you can do. No more. And be glad you’re around to do that!

  3. I agree with Melinda and Sheryl; having been lucky enough to have attended previously, it brings fond memories for me too. I also think the notion this year’s group came up with, of having an alumni gathering would be great! Many hands make light work; we could help with a project and enjoy seeing you both again.
    Congrats on the seminar, the rain, and hopefully a bit of resting up!

  4. Those seminars sure looked like a lot of fun. It would be great to learn to spin! Maybe a retirement project for me, lol. Thankful you got some rain. Good luck with the corn and hay!

  5. NO WAY are you 75!!!! You sure don’t look it Jackie. I would have guessed my age…62. You look amazing!

    • I agree. I was so shocked that you were 75 when you mentioned it at the conference, that I wrote it down and circled it: “Jackie is 75???”
      You look at least 10 years younger, and I am beyond grateful that I was able to finally meet you after learning from you for 20 years.
      You and Will have a wonderful life, you’re terrific hosts and people in general, and I cannot wait to email you pictures of my first pressure canning foray…my birthday present this month is a pressure canner! :)

  6. I’m not surprised it was a successful seminar and would have loved to have been there a (spoiled rotten) third time. You and Will have so much to offer that it would take at least a ten-day seminar to get all the basics in. What a fabulous gift to all who were there.

    • Hey there Melinda! I was thinking the same thing. I’m also jealous that they got to spin! It was fun seeing the pics and has sure brought some good memories to mind. Sheryl

  7. Hey there,
    Just wanted to tell you to hang in there and don’t think about the number of years. It’s just a number and in my family, 75 is a spring chicken. Daddy passed away 1 yr ago at 94 and he fell off his ladder and died from a head injury. Mom is still alive and her younger sister is 85. So don’t think about age BUT do be careful! It’s hard to remember that you are older and can’t do some things safely anymore. My granddad was 97 so keep on, keeping on…True story, my brother thought Daddy was too old to repair loose tin on the barn roof so he went up, slid down the tin, got stuck and hanging, and Daddy, at 70 had to go up and rescue him.

    • So cool, JH! Mom and Dad were both in their mid 90’s when they passed away so I’m hopeful. I’ve got so much I want to do! Thanks.

  8. Jackie, I didn’t know you were 75. Oh My where have the years gone. But I think you do a lot for your age! You are an inspiration.

    I am glad your seminar went well. I look forward to all your post and articles! thanks!

    • Thanks Cindy. Yep those years keep flying by. When I recently read some of the old anthologies, I saw photos of David and he was SO little!

  9. Gee, it seems as soon as I hit 60 yrs old, the naps commenced. Even with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for the last year and a half, including supplements of vit. B and magnesium, the original energy can’t be replaced that way. Many, many good things have manifested from the therapy and I did have to be patient, so maybe the energy will return, pre-sixty years old. So, I feel for you, Jackie. How’s the arm where they took the spot off? We’re looking into moving and maybe becoming somewhat self-reliant, but not as much as you probably (livestock, etc.), at our age of 65. My birthday was in August. Thanks for a great blog!

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