Wednesday, November 13, 2013

TOS CREW Review- At Home in Dogwood Mudhole

It makes my heart smile to get to say my last review for this TOS Review season ends with a book! Seriously!  You all know how I love books, right?  And At Home in Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats?  What a book to end on!

 photo Franklin_Deal-300x451_zpsb3f59745.jpgMeet author Franklin Sanders!  Father of seven, husband to Susan (who I am pretty sure has the patience of Job), and writer turned agrarian.  For 17 plus years, Franklin has written The Moneychanger Newsletter, telling stories and teaching his readers on everything from money to history to farming. Now those published articles have been collected into three volumes for your reading pleasure. I had the honor of reading the first in the series-  At Home in Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats, which sells for $22.95. Volume two, Best Thing We Ever Did, will be available to order on November 15th, just in time for Christmas.

It would be a fair assessment to say I begged for this review because I dream of farm living!  I know, I am crazy like that.  I tend to read everything I can get my hands on to learn about that way of life so when the Good Lord takes me to the farm, I will be ready.  It is also fair to say this book has given me second thoughts! ;)

OK, not too many second thoughts but a few.  (Farming is HARD ya'll!)  Firstly, this is NOT a how to book.  Instead imagine yourself sitting down with a friend who tells you all about their day to day adventures.  That is what the book feels like to me.  A chat with an old friend.  A funny friend!  I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion, sometimes every other paragraph, and have made my poor family listen to me read aloud several times.  Franklin's witty, dry sense of humor is not only fun to read but I am sure has been what has gotten he and his family through a few rough spots- like being put in jail for not taxing the exchange of silver and gold.  (Crazy tale!)

The threat of Y2K drove Franklin, his wife, children and their spouses and grandchildren to the farm, but it is not what kept them there.
"...just behind the edge of every minute lurks some glorious surprise..." Page 378

Don't you love that?

Let me tell you what else I loved-

This book has animals- Franklin has a love- hate relationship with chickens.  He keeps buying them, the dogs keep eating them.  Easy for us to laugh because the stories he tells are funny, after the fact, I am sure. But funny, none the less!  And dogs...well let's just say that he may be more of a sucker for dogs than I am. Some not so smart ones either.  And horses!  And cows!  And pigs! "I named them 'Pork' and 'Chop' to give everybody the hint that their residence with us was not a permanent arrangement.  I'm not supporting a petting zoo."  p.172

This book has restaurants- The man likes to give credit where credit is due.  When he talks about a meal they had while on the road he will describe it in great detail and then give you the name, address and phone number of the restaurant...some all over the country!  You could take this book on a sightseeing adventure and be guaranteed good food!  Some of his descriptions had my mouth watering.

This book has History-  One of the things the Sanders family enjoys in their free time, not sure when that is exactly, is historical reenactments and history.  Sprinkled throughout the book are tales of their ancestors and tales of the south- and trust me Franklin knows how to tell a story!

This book has family- Family is obviously precious to Franklin and you can tell.  Stories about his children and grandchildren will make you smile and warm your heart. "There may be something better than being a grandfather, but I haven't yet figured out what that might be. " page 132  Did I mention that Franklin and his whole family moved to the farm? Together? For a while in one house?  Yes, they are a brave and devoted family.

This book has God- Franklin is a Christian and it shows.  Occasionally he asks for prayer, occasionally he shares a prayer and throughout the book his faith is woven in. "The best part of  living in the country is that daily the mighty works of God are played out before your eyes." p. 211

No, it is not, but it sure sounds like a place I would like to visit!  If you yearn for a simpler life, love history or just want to snuggle under a blanket this winter and giggle, ponder and relax, then I recommend you get this book and join Franklin Sanders and his adventures at Dogwood Mudhole!



  1. I long for simpler times here in my mind and heart! Might be a great read for me :)

    1. We really liked it! Simpler times is on the top of my list!

  2. this book has a whole lot of things in it doesn't it? :)

    1. For sure! I think that is why I enjoyed it so much! One minute I was laughing about chasing chickens and the next contemplating a serious thought he shared.


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