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Granny Sue's Blog (28)

A Simple Thought

I found a little book in an antique shop last week called Flowers from Dickens. It is not in great condition, but the lithographs are beautiful, on heavy off-white paper and accompanied by quotes from Charles Dickens' many books. The book opened to this quotation:…


Added by Granny Sue on September 30, 2010 at 12:06pm — No Comments

It's here! Beyond the Grave: Ghost Stories and Ballads from the Mountains

My newest CD, Beyond the Grave: Ghost Stories and Ballads from the Mountains, is getting some good reviews. You can read about it on Appalachian Lifestyles and on… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on January 13, 2010 at 10:21pm — No Comments

New Year's Bonfire

Every year my family lights a bonfire on New Year's Eve to light in the new year. As part of our tradition, we write down the things we're worried about--health, money, family, work problems, etc--and we toss those troubles into the fire.

The first year we did this, we invited family and storyteller friends to email their troubles to us to burn, and many did just that. This is the 9th annual bonfire I believe, and once again I invite my friends and family to send troubles for the… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on December 28, 2008 at 9:04pm — 2 Comments

Christmas Ghost Story

While researching mistletoe, I came across an interesting ghost story. Check my blog to read the story and its many incarnations as ballad, play and more.

I would be interested in hearing any folklore, sayings or legends that others would like to share about mistletoe.

Added by Granny Sue on December 17, 2008 at 9:02am — No Comments

A Christmas Story: The Silver Pine Cones

Still looking for some new stories to add to your Christmas storybag? The Silver Pine Cones is a simple tale, easy to learn, and gives a storyteller or librarian the opportunity to either make silver pine cones as a craft activity with children, or give out silver pine cones as a program favor. You can find the story by clicking here. Enjoy!

And while you're visiting my blog, do… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on December 11, 2008 at 7:30pm — No Comments

A Christmas Story: The Jar of Rosemary

I found this story in an old collection of tales by Maud Lindsay called the Story-Teller. It's no longer under copyright, and might make a good addition to a Christmas program. It's a little on the sweet side, but counterbalance it with something funny or strange--or it might be useful for Sunday school classes. You can access the story by clicking here. . Leave a comment on my blog to let me know if you… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on December 1, 2008 at 1:24pm — 4 Comments

Holiday Stories, Recipes, Folklore and more

Over the past year I have written many blogposts about the holidays, from cooking to natural crafts to family and Appalachian traditions and folklore. To make all of these posts more accessible, I listed them into one post. I though people on this list might like the quick references for stories and other ideas.

Click here to go to more information about these topics:

Mincemeat and… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on November 25, 2008 at 9:37am — 2 Comments

Raw Head Bloody Bones

Two visitors to my regular blog asked about the saying "ol' rawhead blody bones will get you!" I've heard the story from several sources, so I went looking online for more information. What I found was so interesting, I wrote a whole post about it. You can read it by clicking here.

Have you heard the story or similar tales? Where is your version from? Is it a tale you tell, and why or why not? I think I… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on November 17, 2008 at 2:00pm — No Comments

the Clean Plate Club

(from my blog at

Yesterday I went out to lunch because I had a headache, my peanut butter sandwich didn't appeal and I wanted a break. What I ordered was good (a turkey-dill omelet) but not quite to my liking--there was something sweet in it although I never discovered what it was.

But being raised to eat everything on my plate, I ate it all. And told the waitress it was good. Why? Because I've been a lifelong member of The Clean Plate… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on November 15, 2008 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

Booger Hole: A Book Review

The title itself was enough to make me want to read this book. I'd read it several years ago actually, by ordering a copy via interlibrary loan. It's not what you might expect from the title, but it's interesting local history.

During the Civil War there were marauding groups of men who referred to themselves as "home guards" in Clay County, West Virginia, as well as in many other locations in the state. In some places these groups were probably honestly patrolling their homeplaces… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on November 14, 2008 at 7:58pm — No Comments

Thinking about Happiness

A friend asked on her blog about the difference between happiness and being happy. Is there really a difference? Her question has stayed with me all day.

I would describe myself as a happy person. I feel happy even when things aren't going well. It's not a thing so much as a way of being. An optimist who believes people are what they tell me until they prove otherwise, I prefer to see the best, to seek the light in each day.

But do I possess happiness? Is it something we… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on November 12, 2008 at 10:18pm — 5 Comments

Natural High

I'm on a natural high, the kind that comes from knowing that what happened was exactly right and perfect and could not have been better. Ah, what a feeling!

The audience was a group of developmentally challenged young adults, aged 17-27. The place was a weeklong summer camp that included classes, sports, and entertainment. I was tonight's entertainment.

I've told for similar groups a few times, and each time has been pure pleasure. These guys know how to listen to a story.… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on August 7, 2008 at 3:58pm — No Comments

The Bounteous Season

All's right in the garden. (Except for a few weeds, that is. More than a few, actually. A lot, to tell the truth. But then I'm a storyteller, so who knows what the truth really is?)

Bounteous--what a great word. Liberal, generous, munificent. That describes this time of year precisely.

The gardens are laden with produce. We share easily with the pigs, assured that more will replace what we give. Friends and family leave laden with food--potatoes, cucumbers, squash,… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on August 4, 2008 at 7:24am — No Comments

The Greenbrier Ghost

A poetry forum suggested writing a ballad as a writing prompt. The Greenbrier Ghost is West Virginia's most famous ghost story, and seemed like a good topic. Here's my ballad:

The Greenbrier Ghost

Zona was a maiden lovely

Just sixteen years of age

When murder stole her sweet young life

By her cruel husband’s rage

Trout Shue the smith was dark and strong

And handsome, some would say

But his true nature showed itself

One January… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on July 22, 2008 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

A Perilous Journey

I left yesterday on a storytelling trip to eastern West Virginia: three gigs in two days, all for 4-H camps. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?

I live on the western side of the state, so I would be driving all the way across West Virginia, almost to the Virginia border. Traveling across such mountainous terrain can be...exciting. Fortunately I built in extra time; I needed it.

I had not left my hollow before I met the first obstacle. Recent flooding had clogged ditches and… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on June 10, 2008 at 9:06pm — 3 Comments

Home from Iraq!

My son is finally home from his second deployment to Iraq (not counting his deployment in the first Gulf War).

If you'd like to read about the return of his unit and see photos from yestreday's event, please visit my blog at

Just wanting to share the joy with my many friends!

Added by Granny Sue on June 8, 2008 at 7:00pm — 3 Comments

Storytelling Trip--a tale of telling

I just completed the last post about my six-day storytelling journey in West Virginia and Virginia. Lots of photos and commentary on my blog.

Every time I tell stories, I am reminded of the value of what we do--connecting people to each other, their past, their place, and their hope for the future. From private school to low-income school to library audience, everyone has the same needs: to know that others share their experiences and… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on April 30, 2008 at 10:06pm — No Comments

Reading: Train Stories

Always there is something new that catches my fancy and I have to explore it. A few years back my husband and I took a wrong turn and ended up going through a mile-long tunnel at night. This tunnel was arched, lined with brick and water dripped on us as we drove. Halfway through we met another vehicle coming from the other way--the traffic light that controlled traffic wasn't working that night. We were at an impasse until my husband convinced the other driver to back out--one half mile of… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on April 13, 2008 at 10:28pm — 1 Comment

It's Coming! The First Mountain State Storytelling Institute

It's almost here! The first ever Mountain State Storytelling Institute

is this weekend at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, West

Virginia, just south of Morgantown.

Registration has been good, with over 85 people registered to attend.

The WV Storytelling Guild will have available a book of our state

storytellers (complete with profiles, photos and stories) hot off the


Can you tell I'm excited? We've talked about it for years and… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on April 1, 2008 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Juggling and Storytelling--what they have in common

I bet there are a lot of us out there--trying to keep a full-time "other" career while we tell stories whenever we can. Sometimes it can feel like there are too many balls in the air! And other times I think I'm juggling flaming swords and about to get burned.

So how do you do it?

What are your tricks of the trade for keeping it all organized, finding time for your family, catching chill time, and generally keeping up with the many demands of two… Continue

Added by Granny Sue on March 17, 2008 at 9:12pm — 5 Comments



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