Ellen Stimson is blessed with a wild pack of children; not-so-wild but completely adorable husband; and a very civilized group of chickens, dogs, and cats. Lately she’s decided that she really wants a pig. She writes about the whole catastrophe from an old farmhouse in Vermont. Please follow her on Facebook and check out her blog!
Come sit on the porch swing with Ellen...
After a getaway in gorgeous rural Vermont—its mountains ablaze in autumnal glory, its Main Streets quaint and welcoming—Ellen Stimson and her family make up their minds even before they get back to St. Louis: “We’re moving to Vermont!” The reality, they quickly learn, is a little muddier than they’d imagined, but, happily, worth all the trouble.
In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson’s transition from city life to rickety Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, pop. 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the country, she learns the hard way that “improvements” are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they’d always been. She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they’re boycotting the store. Why? “The bread,” they tell her, “you moved the bread from where it used to be.” Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?
Follow the author to her wit’s end and back, through her full immersion into rural life—swapping high heels for muck boots; raising chickens and sheep; fighting off skunks, foxes, and bears; and making a few friends and allies in a tiny town steeped in history, local tradition, and that dyed-in-the-wool Vermont “character.”
One vacation changed everything …
Now, having settled the family in Vermont’s rich muddy soil, they are faced with new challenges of raising kids in the paradise of this very small, very rural town. Good Grief tells the tales of the hopes and dreams of parents just trying to do their best—and not always succeeding. Good Grief is all about the inevitable moment right after somebody says, “What next?”
Ellen Stimson’s irrepressible optimism and good humor prevail as she, her two husbands, their three kids, and various much-loved pets face down real life, and even death and grieving, with good humor intact. This is life in a state where everyone knows everything, and everything is everybody’s else’s business
“Imagine Jerry Seinfeld and Annie Dillard on the dance floor, gliding gracefully from keenly observed humor to contemplative insight. As they glide by, you join them in a few pirouettes, and the challenges of your own life transform: you laugh at them; you understand them better. When the music ends, you feel grateful, lighter, and more compassionate. That dance is Ellen Stimson’s Good Grief—Good Grief taught me to laugh harder and love better—and to always, always choose compassion.” (BK Loren, author of Theft and Animal, Mineral, Radical)