We live in Charleston, West Virginia…quite possibly one of the best places on Earth. We keep bees, garden, tinker with the house, and spend as much time outside as we can. I am not exactly sure how this blog will go but I suspect it will be quite random!

For an explanation of why I named the blog, “My Home Among the Hills”, take a look at this post…in particular, the last video…

You can contact us via email: warren@MyHomeAmongTheHills.com

40 thoughts on “About/Contact

  1. You blog and the pictures are great. It is good to see a blog from Charleston. I am in Scott Depot and also have a blog. I love your Blogroll.

    Happy New Year

  2. i was wantting to make my own cookie tin banjo and i am trying to find the instrutions on how to do it but i cant find any i wa wondering if you knew of anyone that has the blue prints

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog, although I haven’t finished it yet. I also live among the hills a little north of you in lovely Pennsylvania. I’m a librarian and for some reason, I thought I’d recommend a book to you that I read recently, a novel, entitled American Rust. I thought you might enjoy it!

  4. Thanks for visiting Miss Sheila. I am a PA boy myself so I know the NW part of PA pretty well. I’ll have a look at American Rust. It gets good reviews on Amazon and your recommendation confirms them. I’ll get it when we get home from vacation!

  5. Hi Warren and Emily,
    We are sadly without any bees this summer. Only the rare one or two do we see in our garden.
    I have been fascinated by bees since our neighbor shared his beekeeping with me as a little girl.
    My dear hubby isn’t too keen on the idea of keeping them, but I’m hanging right on the edge of it.
    What do you figure getting properly started costs? Bee suit, hive, bees, books, honey equipments, etc……

    I am now paying $8 for 2 lbs. of local honey—which we go through rather quickly. Just wondering if the bees could ever pay for themselves in honey money I’d save. 🙂


  6. Hey Ceecee,
    About costs…it depends. I started without a bee suit or proper extractor. My only investments were in bees, hive boxes, and a cheap veil. To buy a complete hive, you will probably spend $100-$200 depending on who is selling. If you can find a swarm or a nice nearby beekeeper, you can get bees for free. The wooden pieces are fairly inexpensive…maybe $75-$100 depending on things. I sometimes make my own boxes but always buy the frames inside. It’s usually cheaper to buy everything though. I guess, what I am trying to say is that you don’t have to spend a lot to get into keeping bees, but if you aren’t careful, you can be led to believe you need lots of stuff and that can get expensive.

    You can get away w/o books if you don’t mind searching the internet. I like http://www.beesource.com a lot. It has tons of info. I never use a smoker though you may want to. It’s pretty much a religious debate among beekeepers. I find that if I work slowly and carefully (not THAT slowly) that I don’t need smoke at all and I can manage the bees very well.

    You can do cut comb honey (honey in the comb) or you can remove honey comb and crush the comb to extract the honey though you will get less honey over time as the bees have to eat a lot of honey to produce wax to replenish what you cut and crush. I built a homemade extractor that was pretty cheap (see pics on my site). You can also buy hobbyist level extractors for $150 or so. The other way to get started is get involved in a bee club and ask around. Most beekeepers can come up with someone who is selling equipment…

    Anyhow, I hope that helps. Holler if you have more questions!

    The price you are paying for honey is pretty typical by the way.

  7. Hey there. Glad you ended up at my blog & made a comment. I have enjoyed reading some of your stuff here — the pot post made me laugh out loud. I’m sure I’ll be back — it’ll be like visiting my home-state every now and then. 🙂

  8. So glad you came by also. For some reason, I just searched for My Home Among The Hills and saw your post. I love that song you posted…beautiful!

  9. Hi there
    I must have visited your blog at some point because it is in my “Fav Blogs” folder. Whilst looking for something to read tonight, I clicked on your link and have really enjoyed your posts.
    I have friends who live in your city (here is his blog: http://www.appalachianlifestyles.blogspot.com/) — met them when I moved to live in Morgantown for a few years.
    back home in Brisbane, Australia and loving being able to read your blog.

  10. Thank u for comin and gettin those bees and also for taken time to answer Logans questions. Don’t know if u are brave for catchin the braves or brave for answers all the question that my 5 year old was askin. Lol Thanks Again 🙂

  11. Hi, Warren!
    I was sent over to your blog through Tippy’s blog, Blind Pig and the Acorn. I am really enjoying reading about you all. I’m a WV girl myself living in Richmond VA now. I call myself an Appalachian refugee. My mother’s from St. Albans and my dad’s from Kingwood. Glad to see my homestate represented so well through your writing. Bless you and your family!

  12. Warren, I thought I’d look up venomous critters in your state and mine, since you sorta intimated that we are surrounded by deadly things here in the Great State of Texas. 🙂

    I won’t go into details.
    TX–10 venomous spiders–mostly variations on the themes of black widow and brown recluse.
    W’by God’ V–2 spiders. Both of the black widow variety.
    Okay, you’re right about this one.

    TX-4 venomous snakes
    W’byGod’V-2 venomous snakes.

    We both have mountain lions and bears.

    I will concede to actual numbers, but the trick is to stay the heck away from things that’ll eat you or send you to the ER. I’m not the one raising bees. 🙂
    Tell Emily hello from THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS.

  13. hi! i stumbled upon your blog while looking for a recipe for cushaw pie(yours was delicious, btw) and i was pleasantly surprised to learn that you live in wv. i’m from the parkersburg area and moved to middleport, oh(pomeroy/gallipolis area) when i got married last year. i am trying my hand at gardening and just making what i can at home from scratch and your blog motivates me to do just that. keep up the good blogging! 🙂

  14. Hi Jackie B! WV is home and I love it here! Glad you liked the cushaw pie. We prefer it to pumpkin any day! So, stop by again and let us know what you are into up your way!

  15. I’ve added your blog to our Web Link section under ‘myPeople’ at myWV.net.
    It’s very fun reading and your photography is superb. If you ever want to submit articles or photographs, we’d be honored. In the meantime have a great day!

    Todd Carpenter <

  16. Warren
    I am looking for the “value” of an old sugarcane mill – 3 roller made by the Chattanooga Plow Company Improved #13 made around 1917; it is 81 inches in width and 29 in length – larger one. We want to sell it ASAP. Please let me know ASAP as my husband wants to sell it tomorrow at an auction. It is in good condition and working order.

  17. Hello Warren,

    I have read all of your post about the “deluxe shed.” I am wanting to use the same peir and post foundation for a small cabin as well. I was wondering if you used rebar in the concrete piers and if so how you did that. I would greatly appreciate your response. Very good job on yours by the way.



  18. Brandon,
    I definitely did use rebar in the piers. I forget the details but the addition of rebar to concrete makes it many times stronger. I’d say you cannot build like this without rebar. As to how I did it, I read a lot on ideas on how to tie rebar and how it should be placed, etc. Do some good reading on the subject. Basically though, I wired together 4-5 pieces per pier in a cylinder shaped frame. The rebar extended the full length of each pier. Mainly, do some reading and ask around at a local hardware for more info (not the big box home improvement stores…or rather, maybe not at them. Their expertise will vary). I hope that helps

  19. I absolutely love your blog! I’m a 30 year old married mom raised in Charleston, went to school in Huntington and moved back to KC 6 years ago. You’re blog brings back memories and reminds why i love it here (no matter what outsiders say!). I stumbled across your blog while looking for old Stonewall Jackson High School pictures. I attended there when it was a Junior High and my mother when it was a High School (oh the stories of the CHS/SJHS rivalry continues today). I still remember seeing Charleston High a couple blocks down before it was torn down; we even have a memorial brick in the living room. If you are interested in a bit more history, check out the post on MyWVHome.com (another aweeeesome WV blog about the history of Charleston and surrounding areas). http://www.mywvhome.com/fifties/stonewall.html

    Keep this blog going. You’ve got my support!

  20. Hi April! Welcome back and thanks for the note! I am not a native but I absolutely love it here and love to learn about the area and its history. My wife is from here and all of her people have lived here for a long time so they know so many of these places. It’s a lot of fun to hear the old stories!

  21. I have a Chattanooga gp 4306 horse plow. I was wondering what was the original paint colors. I am restoring it. It is in very good condition.

  22. Hey Rodney,
    I do not honestly know but I have sort of heard that the main color was red with white lettering, but I have no idea if that is accurate. If you find out more info, please do let me know!

  23. Hello,
    Came across your blog on a google search for topo maps for Custalogatown.
    I am a Scoutmaster for my sons troop in Stow, OH. We go back every now and then to camp there.
    Anyhow, still have your dance clothes? We still powwow several times a year.
    Just thought I would stop in to say, Hello.

  24. Hey Mark – I have some pieces but lots of my stuff succumbed to the ravages of time. I am glad to hear you still keep up with it some…that’s really cool!

  25. Was very interested to see your article about the bumble bees. I grew up in ETexas where they were very common. My yard had a bordering hedge of Abelias and it stayed covered with bees of various kinds. I am 79 now and my favorite memory of childhood is of all our classmates catching bees, (the ones with white dots on their faces did not sting). We would tie thread to one of their legs and tie the other end to a safety pin. At school, we had spools nailed to the window sills where we parked our bees til school was over for the day then we would wear them home. We always turned them loose before dark so they were not injured. How the world has changed. Best wishes, Julia

  26. Thanks for the note Julia…my wife’s grandfather tells a similar story of racing bees when he was a kid…pretty funny to see I am sure!!

  27. Howdies Warren!

    Norm from Alabama checking in. Just for the heck of it I went looking for sorghum smashing pictures to send to a friend in Russia. I had just explained to him how I had planted half my sorghum seeds in cups and plan to direct sow the rest. I don’t have much to work with. This year the experimental crop will be sorghum cane to give the grand kids a taste of how it used to was.

    Anyway, your neat blog had the kind of pic I was looking for and I follered it back to here.

    Looks like you had all the fun with your syrup making experiment. And you sure satisfied my curiosity about ROI, return on investment. Ha.

    It is getting almost impossible to find the stuff around here and when you do demand always exceeds supply. I have one precious quart that I guard with ferocity for my rare pancakes.

    But that wasn’t why you did what you did. I get it and I’m jealous. Lucky to be you! Great family time!

    So jes wanted to say a thanks and great work!

    Norm way down in Alabama

  28. Hi. Warren

    This is Ron, from. Wheeling wv. Area
    you did a nice job on that place,I kept reading and I thought I was there
    Every time you started working, love to see a man build something.I’m retiring in Aug
    And I’m building a cabin to, starting this year,i was wondering what kind of cement
    You used in those forms,i know you mixed it .was it Portland? Or was it cheap mix.
    I’m thinking instead of using block, go your way, look more sturdy,keep building

  29. Hi Ron…thanks for visiting! I used plain old cheap mix from the big box stores. Nothing special at all. I was careful to mix it properly (i.e. not too much/too little water, etc) and I used proper rebar. It’s held up really well so far. I have no expectation that it will see any issues. I spent a good bit of time understanding how big my forms had to be to support the estimated weight of the house.

  30. Hello Warren and Emily, hope you are doing great. I stumbled upon your blog due to my search for info on canemills. We have two that we are trying to get back to working order but can’t seem to find any parts. Can you direct us to a website or a store that will have parts. It’s the Goldens’ New Model Three-Roller Horse Power X.
    Thanks in advance

  31. Hi Linda…I wish I had some help for you, but I have no idea. I think most people find a machine shop nearby to manufacture new parts, but finding them otherwise will be tough…sorry

  32. Warren, I have to say that I had not planned on spending an hour or so in a virtual West Virginia, but I’m into my second Pernod and have to say that you write a wonderful blog. I’ve been infected by the sorghum bug and started googling sorghum mills and eventually ended up here. So have you continued with the sorghum project since 2013? Are the mills still turning? If you ever decide to run I’m Milwaukee let me know and I’ll buy you and Emily a beer or three on your run’s eve. Wishing you all the best. Rob in Milwaukee.

  33. Really love your blog. My dream is a small WV cabin someday as well, we’ll see if I ever get there!

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