Hello there!

My name is Jessie Knadler.H_039I live in Lexington, Virginia. I used to live in New York City, where I worked for many years as an editor for a bunch of women’s fashion magazines. I wrote and edited all kinds of stories, from fashion, fitness and self-empowerment articles to must-reads like “What Does He Think of Your Orgasm Face?” to “Discover His New Moan Zones with a Scarf.” I worked at a tabloid for awhile that was basically a pamphlet for showing stars looking gross in their bathing suits or having the audacity to appear in public without makeup. I lasted six months.
Around then, I was sent on assignment to write a story about a rodeo that takes place in the Badlands of Eastern Montana (Montana happens to be my home state) where I met this man…IMG_2186His name is Jake. He’d just been tossed from the back of a bull but stood up smiling. He said he was from Baltimore, a soldier in the Army Reserves and living out his dream of cowboying in the West.  Right after we met, he got deployed to Iraq for a year and a half. When he returned, we knew we were meant to be together, and moved to Lexington and eventually got married.  We bought a little cottage on eight acres and started growing our own food, canning vegetables, brewing beer and raising and slaughtering our chickens. I built fences, rode horses. I got some cowboy boots. I did some felting. I started this blog, an outlet for my DIY lunacy. This was in 2009.  I cowrote a cookbook called Tart & Sweet that was endorsed by Alice Waters and featured in the New York Times and Oprah.com.  Around that time, I began thinking about life’s choices, wondering whether it was wise to abandon my career for love and weighing the nature of marriage. An outgrowth of these questions was the publication of my second book Rurally Screwed, a love story of opposites about making marriage work amid differences and deployments that  NPR called a memoir of “unexpected, unpretentious and very funny heft.”

Around that time, this little chickadee came on the scene…

IMG_4248Nine months after June was born, Jake got deployed again, this time to Afghanistan. My year home alone with June was a time of trial and error, hardship and happiness but also a chance to make my country environment my own. With the help and financial support of my many wonderful blog readers, we were able to bring this little stray puppy home with Jake when his deployment finally ended.

DSC00227Her name is Solha. Solha was rescued out of Kandahar, one of the most dangerous provinces in Afghanistan. She can jump ten feet high and bust out of any enclosure. She’s tough and wily and sometimes I wonder if she’s part Mujahideen. But she seems happy here. There’s no Taliban in Virginia.

Then in December 2013, little Katie entered the picture.

IMG_6706My girls keep me very busy these days and I love it. As far as the blog, I write about all sorts of stuff: food, animals, moonshine, parenting, farming, marriage, decor, beef jerky, whatever strikes my fancy, really. When I’m not writing here, I write  for magazines, websites and newspapers. I’m a contributor to top parenting site Babble (my blog there is called Heartlandia) and am currently writing my third book. I still occasionally can pickles. And I teach Pilates part time.

Want to know more about me? Feel free to check out my professional website or contact me directly at jessieknadler at mac dot com.

Thank you for stopping by.

Jessie