Thursday, October 15, 2009

Novel Dreams come true for local writer

At the tender age of five a little girl sat beneath an old apple tree; a place of refuge to escape a less than perfect childhood.
Alone with her thoughts she chased away the loneliness and boredom with stories she created from her imagination.
Years later, Janice Walters Rawlins would recognize those early attempts at story telling as where her passion for writing began.
“I was five years old when I realized I had a passion for story telling”, Rawlins said. “I can remember being made to sit under an old apple tree all day when I was a little girl, and that’s when I started making up stories to escape from a horrible childhood.”
Rawlins also remembers how she would tell stories to her cousins when she was a young girl.
“I was a story teller when I was young all my relatives can tell you that”. Rawlins said.
But it wasn’t until she was in high school that Rawlins started writing down her creative thoughts.
“I was a freshman in high school when I first started writing short stories”. Rawlins said. “Mrs. Well was my English teacher and she was the one who told me I had a very creative mind and that I should go to college to become an author.”
A life of marriage, children and working full-time put Rawlins dream of becoming a published author on the back burner.
With a Bachelors degree in Social Work and an internship at a shelter for homeless women Rawlins went about life as usual then came the discovery of cancer.
“When I found out I had cancer I started writing to help me overcome the depression of being sick”, Rawlins said. “That’s when I started to write my first book. I wanted to turn the negative into something positive through writing”.
Rawlins says her ideas for short stories come from keeping her eyes and ears open to life that is happening all around her.
“I am very creative and very open minded. My ideas come from things around me and watching people and listening to what people have to say. It does not take me long to come up with an idea of what to write”, Rawlins said.
With two books under her belt, Rawlins says the process has been a long and difficult road to travel.
“I have written two books. My first book is titled “Where are They”, which is a mystery and is being published through Trafford Publishing Company. My second book is called “Tattoo Granny”, a comedy dedicated to all grand parents who are raising their grandchildren in some way or another”, Rawlins said.
Publishing a book is expensive and time consuming. Marketing is another big part of promoting your book.
My books are short novels that I hope my readers will find to be interesting page turners.”
A native of Bath County Rawlins is the daughter of the late Austin Walters and Francine Anderson. She and her husband Lloyd Dean have called Menifee County home for the past 33 years and have two children, Jennifer Rawlins Sorrell and Joseph Rawlins.

Who's Cookin in Bath County?

Who’s Cookin’ In Bath County?
In the kitchen with Tina Wells Staton
From her first batch of homemade biscuits to learning to master the perfect meringue, growing up on a farm has defiantly influenced the way Tina Staton cooks.
The youngest of six children born to the late George and Christine Wells, this weeks star of Who’s Cookin” in Bath County grew up on a farm near Sharpsburg.
A country girl at heart, Staton says she loves to pamper her family with home cooking’ and baked goods.
“I loved growing up on a farm and learning to cook from my mother”. Staton said. “Mom was an old fashion cook and could fix a meal without having to measure anything”.
Staton says she learned to cook somewhere around her teen years.
“I guess I married kind of young so I started cooking at an early age”, Staton said. “I can remember the first meal I cooked by myself was breakfast. I fixed my husband Tim some homemade biscuits and gravy, and well, the biscuits turned out kind of hard.”
Family meals during the holidays are some of Staton’s fondest memories.
“Mom would always have homemade cakes, pies and candy during the holidays”, Staton said. “The one thing I really miss is my moms cooking”.
With her own children grown, Staton stays busy cooking up the same cherished recipes for here two grandchildren, Ava Grace who is three and four year old Bryson.
“My grandchildren keep me pretty busy these days”, Staton said. “I still bake a lot for Ava and Bryson”. “One of our favorites is a chocolate pie that I still make using moms recipe.”
Mom’s homemade Chocolate pie
1 cup sugar
3 1/2 tablespoon cocoa
2 egg yolks
dash of salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
Mix sugar, flour, cocoa, salt and eggs yolks together, add milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Pour in baked pie shell.
Meringue- 6 egg white and about cup sugar, beat until thickens poor over pie and back in oven until meringue browns.
If you would like share your memories of learning how to cook and a favorite recipe with our readers, send Kym an email at to schedule an interview.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pumpkin Pickin' time in Kentucky

Five year old Tristan Betterelli of Winchester, KY has a splendid time pickin' pumpkins at Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch in Bath County.

Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch offers local fall fun
By: Kym King
Pumpkins and fodder shocks and mums, oh my! It’s the harvest season and time to gather in some fall decorations from down on the farm.
Bushels of family fun are just waiting to be discovered on this 112 acre family farm the Webb family has called home for more than 100 years.
Since its humble beginnings in 1999, Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch has grown from a small patch of pumpkins sold on the “honor system” to a full-fledged business that keeps the family busy from daylight to dark for six weeks during the fall.
“I wanted to find some way to keep the family farm a working farm”, Andrea Webb- Smith said. “It seems God’s answer to my prayers was pumpkins. Our Agritourism journey began in 1998 with a vision to share the beauty of God’s creation through the life of a farmer”, Smith said.
More than just a place to pick out a jack-o-lantern, Smith and her sister, Alicia Webb-Trimble, have cultivated a special place where folks of all ages can enjoy the simple beauty of autumn’s harvest.
Visitors can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride or a tractor driven hayride, a corn maze, or a crawl through hay rolls as well.
Goats, chickens, calves and miniature donkeys can be found down on the farm as well.
In addition to a variety of pumpkins, Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch also offers gourds, squash, Indian corn, mini popcorn, fodder shocks and mums. Baled straw is also available.
For the Webb sisters, Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch began with a vision and became successful through faith, hard work.
“I believe that we have been very successful in maintaining our
family farm”, Smith said. “We began the agricultural diversification process 11 years
ago. Through hard work and God's abundant blessings we have seen the
visitors to our farm grow from a few hundred in 1998, to 15,000-20,000 in
There is, Smith believes, a future for the next generation of farmers.
“I think that with a vision and a love for the land, future
farmers can accomplish great things”.
Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch invites everyone to come share in the blessing of their fall harvest and to create a lifetime of memories with your friends and family.
You can contact Two Sisters Pumpkin Patch at (859) 585-8000 for additional information.
If you have stories of rural farm life to share with our readers you can contact Kym King at

Who's Cookin in Bath County?

This week I visited the kitchen of Patsy Craig Clarke, an Owingsville resident who has lived in Bath County her entire life.

“I love to be in my kitchen”, Clarke said. “I am as country as corn and when I am feeling stressed out by everyday life, I head right to my kitchen.”

With her Granny Craig’s farm near her childhood home in Slate Valley, Clarke had ample opportunity to learn how to tend to chickens, gather eggs and how to raise a garden.

“My granny Craig taught me a lot about cooking”, Clarke said. “I also learned quite a bit from four years of Home Economics under the guidance of Mrs. Betty Ruth Conley and Mrs. Ruby Riddle at Bath County High School.” “But it was at my grannies side that I grew to love everything about country cooking and home canning”.

One of Clarke’s earliest memoires of farm life was when her granny taught her how the fried chicken on the table came to be.

“I must have been around five years old when my granny took my little sister Carol and me out to the brood house to catch some chickens”, Clarke said. “I remember she taught us to grab the young chicks by their legs and we tied them with fodder twine. Then granny would hang the squawking birds on the clothes line where she would chop off their heads; then we dipped them in a cast iron pot of boiling before we plucked the feathers off.”

Fried chicken at the breakfast table is one of Clarke’s fond memories.

“Well, since granny raised a lot of chickens, we ate fried chicken for breakfast many a mornings”, Clarke said. “Granny would also stir up some homemade biscuits and gravy.”

When asked is she missed life down on farm, Clarke said, “In some ways I do, but farming is a lot of hard work, that I don’t miss. But I do miss having a bigger garden space.”

The following is one of Patsy Clarke’s favorite family recipes.

Homemade Apple Pie

“I like to use homegrown apples such as Granny Smith or Red Rome. October is the month for apple harvest....fall apples I should say. June apples are also good eating apples for cold salads and such.”


Patsy used Red Rome apples from her neighbor Mr. Earl Snedegar for her pie.

6-8 Tart apples

2-Heaping TBS. Cinnamon

1-tsp. ground nutmeg

2-cups sugar

1-stick softened butter

Wash, peel and slice apples. Mix apples with spices until thoroughly blended and pour into pie crust.

Cont. at bottom of page

Add top crust; cut 4 1 inch slits for steam to escape in top crust, flute side; brush with butter then sprinkle with granulated sugar.Bake in 350 degree oven 1 to ½ hours. (Oven tempts. May vary)


1-cup all purpose flour

Pinch of salt

2-Tbs.very cold water (may vary on water) ¼ -Cup Crisco

Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture until crumbs are coarse and granular.

Add cold water; mix quickly and evenly through the flour until the dough just hold together. Roll thinly on to lightly floured cutting board. Do not over kneed.

Roll dough about one-eighth inch thickness. Place in pie pan; allowing ½ inch crust to extend over edge.

Repeat steps for top crust.