The Bourbon Social Instagram Giveaway |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

It’s that time again to do another giveaway! This time the giveaway will be done on Instagram since the last one was focused on Facebook. I will be giving away two tickets The Bourbon Social’s Main Event on October 10th. Any of my fellow Bourbon lovers will absolutely love this shindig, where people come from all over to celebrate the kick-assery that is Kentucky Bourbon Culture.

The Bourbon Social is an eleven day celebration of Bourbon craft and culture. Located in the heart of the Bluegrass, mix in a little Kentucky hospitality and foods we are known for, and you’ve got one helluva party! Guests can choose from 13 events carefully crafted to keep the Bourbon Lover in mind! The Bourbon Social is a place where newcomers and enthusiasts alike come together and celebrate all things KENTUCKY.

Events

  • Bourbon Crawl
  • Bourbon Brunch
  • VIP Progressive Dinner
  • Beer, Bourbon & Bacon Garden Party
  • Bourbon Camp
  • Bourbon & Bites; A Taste Outside the State
  • Keeneland Tailgate
  • VIP Pre-Event & Cocktail Competition
  • Seminar Series
  • Main Event
  • Distillery Brunch

For details, dates, times and location, and information on where to purchase tickets, please visit here:http://thebourbonsocial.com/

The MAIN EVENT

October 10th

7PM

Location: The Campbell House

The Main Event will host the best of the best in the food industry across the state, as well as the best bourbons that Kentucky has to offer! Guests will travel from room to room nibbling on Kentucky, Bourbon or Southern inspired fare, as well as tastings of American Native Spirit. Live music, signature cocktails, book signings and giveaways, plus the announcement for the 2015 Cocktail Competition! Cash bar is also available!

To enter to win tickets to The Bourbon Social’s Main Event, head on over to Instagram, screen shot TBSM’s Featured Image (the picture with me holding a bottle of Bourbon in the woods, because don’t all KY girls take the alcohol for a walk?) and share on your IG page! Next:

1: Tag @thebourbonsoakedmom

2: Share your favorite brand of Bourbon

3: Tag two other friends who love Kentucky Bourbon Culture!

I will be announcing the winner on October 1st, so hurry and enter!

Cheers!

Attention: Please be sure that you make your Instagram account public so that I will be able to see that you have entered. You WILL NOT be entered to win by sharing on Facebook. This is an INSTAGRAM only contest! Thanks guys!

 

Quotes About Kentucky That Will Make You Proud Of Your Heritage. |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

“I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky and I learned, early on, that Habitual Domination was a natural way of life.” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

Soon after, I returned home to my family, with a determination to bring them as soon as possible to live in Kentucky, which I esteemed a second paradise, at the risk of my life and fortune. -Daniel Boone

 

“Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” -Daniel Boone

 

“I love Kentucky people, but you’ve got to get on the inside before they accept you.” -Margo Martindale

 

“The first time I managed to pick up a basketball I knew I was destined to lead the UK to another National championship. … Even now, so many years later, I still believe Kentucky will go undefeated in March & win everything.” -Hunter S. Thompson

 

“I have never in my life seen a Kentuckian who didn’t have a gun, a pack of cards, and a jug of whiskey.” -Andrew Jackson

 

“Gusts of snow blew in front of the car as he felt his way toward Man o’ War Boulevard …. The snow-covered fields made him think of the desert. Black fences rimmed with snow created a grid against the blank, vanished ground. He saw five snow-blanketed horses huddled under a clump of trees …. He was surprised they weren’t lolling on feather beds in their climate-controlled barns. Racehorses got better care than some people, he thought.” – Bobbi Ann Mason

 

“Bourbon, Kentucky bourbon especially, is like Dante’s Inferno in a glass, fire walks down your throat, lungs, and heart and everything in between with an unpleasant after-taste. We got along just fine.” -Bruce Crown

 

I never met a Kentuckian who wasn’t either thinking about going home or actually going home.” -Happy Chandler

 

“To be born in Kentucky is a heritage; to brag about it is a habit; to appreciate it is a virtue.”-Irvin Cobb

 

 

“Kentucky wasn’t a place you could just be in. You had to be from there, or everything about you was strange.” Anne Patchett

 

“If these United States can be a called a body, Kentucky can be called it’s heart.” -Jesse Stuart 

 

A Thank You to My Grandparents on Grandparents Day |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

I will always remember the excitement I felt when I would get to go to my Grandparents house. It was otherworldly, enchanted, almost mystical. My heart would skip beats when my Mom would pull up the graveled drive, and I couldn’t wait to swing open the car door and run inside, catching a whiff of whatever delicious my Grandmother had planned on cooking us, (by us, I mean the swarm of cousins that usually accompanied me) and skipping to the living room to see what Western my Grandpa would be forcing us to suffer through that day. It was routine, and perfect, and so predictable, but I absolutely loved everything about seeing my Grandparents. I am lucky enough to also say that I STILL love everything about going to see my Grandparents, even if work, and time do not allow me to visit as much as I should, as much as I want to.

My Grandparents have taught me many, many life lessons in the 25 years that I’ve been on the earth. A lot of who I have become, and who I am still becoming can be attributed to them. They had an avid hand in raising me, in disciplining, and maybe spoiling me just a little bit. They have felt my losses, my triumphs, my major life moments just the same as my parents. Such an integral part of me is also part of them.

I watched last week during Grandparent’s Day at Robinson Elementary, as the kindergarten kids I work with, welcomed their Grandparents who had come school to eat lunch with them. I watched them glancing at the clock during reading lessons, or peeking a look at the door to see if Mamaw had finally made it. I recognized myself in all the flurry of excitement and pride. I recognized those little hands that clung to skirts, who looped fingers in Papaw’s belt. I recognized a lot of love that was passed around at the lunch table, both from Grand-babies and Grandparents. From a Mother’s perspective, it was a very beautiful, and special thing. One great thing about Eastern Kentucky is how close our families are, especially our Grandparents.

I talk about my Grandparents a lot on my blog, but I believe that Grandparents day is a fitting holiday to write a little tribute for Cleatice and Argene Jones and let those two wonderful people know how glad I am that God chose them to be my Grandma and Grandpa, and how thankful I also am that they’ve not killed, excommunicated, or exiled me along the way. Thank you, for always loving not only me, but all of your Grandchildren unconditionally, even when we most definitely did not deserve it. I could list a million reasons why I am thankful for my Grandparents, but I have narrowed it down to the most important ones to me. If I listed them all, I’m afraid we’d be here all day. So here’s to all you Grandparents out there, like mine, who have such a tight grip on the heartstrings of your grandchildren, and who have made such a lasting impact on their lives.

Thank you for teaching me about marriage.

My Grandparents have been married for over 60 years now. True testaments to a time where you worked on things, and divorce was not an option. I’ve heard them bicker, but I’ve never heard them fight. Ever. I’ve watched for 25 years as they’ve grown older together. Helped, and taken care of one another. I’ve watched them through unimaginable losses, illness, depression, and sadness. I’ve watched them through happy times, good times, real times. I’ve watched them embrace another title together, becoming Great-Grandparents, and showing the same amount of love to my children as they did to me. They’ve never faltered from one another. They’ve never given up on one another. They’ve set an example for me of what a marriage should be. Hard work, compromise, honesty and forgiveness. They’ve set the standard in my mind, on how to love another person, and I am thankful to them for giving me such a great example to mold my marriage by.

Thank you for teaching me about parenting.

My Grandparents had six children. Six very crazy children, my Mom included. Even better, four (very beautiful) girls, and two (very rambunctious boys). I love all of my Aunts and Uncles dearly, but I can’t believe that raising six kids could be something that is an easy task. Especially on a teacher’s salary in the 60’s and 70’s. My Grandparents taught me that sacrifice and hard work for your children are what is important in life. It is so important to put your children above anything else, which is what my Grandparents always did. My Grandmother worked long hours in a department store, and my Grandpa taught school (beginning in a one room schoolhouse) to make ends meet. My Grandmother sewed her own clothing, gardened, farmed and made sure her children never went without. Never. By all accounts, my Mom, Aunts and Uncles had a storybook childhood. Lots of love and laughter. Money may have been tight for them, but none of the material stuff mattered, and my Grandparents always stressed the importance of hard work, education and responsibility. Traits, and characteristics I hope to instill in my boys.

Thank you for teaching me about good times and bad times. 

My Grandmother always taught me to enjoy the good times because times wouldn’t always be good, and push to get through the bad times because they wouldn’t always be bad. Life is a roller coaster where you’re not always up and you’re not always down. My Grandparents taught me to be gracious and thankful during the ups, and even more so during the downs. There is always something to be thankful for, even when you really have to look hard to find what that may be. There are so many wonderful things to enjoy about just living. Be sure to always look for them.

Thank you for teaching me the old ways. 

My Grandma is hands-down the best cook on the planet. I would choose her cooking over any 5 star restaurant on Earth. REAL, Authentic Appalachian cooking is my favorite. You can taste the decades of recipes that have been handed down, each generation adding some special twist or quirk to help perfect it. I’m thankful my Grandmother taught me how to cook in that regard. I am not only speaking about cooking, but also about our old Appalachian way of life. I only wish I had paid more attention when she was teaching me to crochet, how to use the sewing machine, and how “knitting isn’t all that hard.” Maybe, just maybe, we can pick that up where we left off.

Our generation can get so caught up in the business of this world, that we forget our roots. My Grandmother taught me the importance of watching the hummingbirds at the feeder in the morning, the art of porch sitting, and how to tell a good “haint story.” My Grandpa taught me the lost art of perfecting your “Annie Over” throw, and how to pick out the best walking stick from the woods. Collectively, my Grandparents taught me the healing powers of driving the back-roads, the scenic byways, and how Bluegrass music on the radio can make anything seem contently pleasant. How a thunderstorm is just God turning over his tater wagon, or how if you see a certain colored wooly worm at a certain time, you’re in for a bad winter. I am thankful to have Grandparents who taught me the value of a garden tomato, who still have me over the sole purpose of stringin’ beans, and all but force feed chicken and dumplins down my throat every chance they get. That, is something special.

Thank you for teaching me that the fundamental things haven’t changed. 

I am thankful, above everything to have Grandparents who are salt of the earth people. Grandparents who have taught me that the fundamental things in life have not changed. That working hard, being kind, and helping people is so, so important in this life. Being a good, decent person is so, so important. Deep down, we all know what is truly right. We all know how to do the right thing. I am thankful to have two people who helped raise me to ALWAYS do the right thing, even if it costs or does not benefit me. I’m very lucky for that.

Thank you for being there for me, always. For loving me, always. 

Thank you for always loving me no matter what kind of idiotic venture I was on at the moment. Thank you for being kind, patient and understanding with me, especially when my parents were just the opposite. Thank you for always being my voice of reason, and knowing exactly how to lead my down the right path without even saying a word. That alone saved me a lot of heartache. I am very thankful for that. Thank you for always accepting me, as me, and loving me despite my flaws, shortcomings, or misadventures (I had a lot of those). I am understanding just how accepting and loyal my Grandparents really are, especially since I’ve become a Mother myself.

Without my Grandparents, I’m not sure the kind of person I would be today. I have great parents, but my Grandparents also hold a very large part of my life, even today. I am so thankful that I have gotten to spend 25 years with them, and that now my children are getting to spend their childhood with them as well. Life would have been a lot more boring, and less colorful with them, and I am so glad they are still around to help me through, and guide my way. 

If you are lucky enough to have your Grandparents still with you, do not forget to thank them and visit them on this Grandparents Day. Cherish them. Celebrate them. Never forget to thank them for all they have done.

Windy Corner Market. Rustic Dining with No-Nonsense Food. Bryan Station, Kentucky.|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Nestled delicately (and abruptly) along a country back road on Bryan Station Road, The Windy Corner Market is a rustic, and no nonsense eatery serving up delightful country cooking, and no fuss breakfast foods. Situated quaintly right slap in the middle of horse country, the scenery and atmosphere not only coincide with the restaurant theme, but actually makes the food taste better, the lemonade fresher, and lead you to be even more proud that you are from the Bluegrass state.

Fashioned after an old country store, Windy Corner is authentic as they come without being decades old. Bead-board on the walls,red tin roof, reclaimed barn wood flooring, antique pictures adorning the walls with a screened in porch out back and fields of wildflowers on all sides. One of the aims for Windy Corner is to provide a market for local farms and farmers, and boy, do they provide.

 

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A part of the “buy local” movement, Windy Corner purchases the majority of their food from local farms. Everything is fresh, the vegetables brought in from nearby gardens, the catfish farmed locally in nearby ponds, even the beef is Lexington cattle. You can taste the difference in terms of freshness and quality. Situated between some of America’s most celebrated and famous horse farms, Chef and owner Ouita Michel aims to create another legend with a restaurant that honors local farmers and great food.

My favorite menu item has to be any of their “Po’Boy” sandwiches, on locally made brioche. The menu is not limited, Windy Corner is about variety, including the country ham, a local favorite, and fried catfish dinner. My husband’s favorite. Dinner specials range from meatloaf to steamed lobster, with many “Kentucky” favorite wines and beers to accompany your meal.

I am a country eater, and I always have been. I am a fan of anything that I can use my hands to eat, and anything that automatically comes with a sweet and tangy pickle on the side. Comfort food is what I was raised on. As delicious as the food is, and great as the atmosphere might be, there is another added bonus. Windy Corner offers a wide variety of locally made, or hand crafted gifts or edibles. Jams, jellies, cook books, table linens, glassware, and soaps just to name a few odds and ends. The Bourbon honey and Bluegrass Horse tumblers were my favorites.

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I feel familiarity at Windy Corner. I feel very comfortable, and at home. Every time I have visited, I’ve felt that this restaurant is a place for everyone. College students sit outside, wayfarers and UK gear in tow, on the farmhouse picnic tables and sip their craft beer, or Kentucky Ale. Elderly couples wander in, hand in hand, usually regulars, and order themselves Ale 8’s and a slice of delectable homemade pie. Families huddle in corners, waiting for a table big enough to seat their brood, the Dad in a visor and golf shirt, holding a jovial toddler and cocking his ear for his name to be called. Young, old, rich, poor. Everyone frequents Windy Corner, and everyone seems to love it. Always a smile when you pass, despite how crowded it usually is. Always a friendly “Hello” to be exchanged from table to table, forks clinking and ketchup running down hungry chins. Windy Corner is undeniably Kentucky, which is one of the most beautiful things in the world, to me anyways.

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Stop in and enjoy Windy Corner Market, and experience a true “Kentucky Proud” restaurant.

For more about Windy Corner, the menu, and hours of operation, click the link below!

http://www.windycornermarket.com/about-windy-corner-market/

 

 

National Breastfeeding Month & Adventures in Breastfeeding. By Jarron Clemons|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

In honor of National Breastfeeding month, I wanted to reach out to someone who truly has experience and education in the area of breastfeeding. I see so many young Moms reaching out to one another on social media, or support sights to share their knowledge about breastfeeding and encourage and help one another, I saw these photos of my friend, and local lactivist and breastfeeding guru, Jarron Clemons, and I found them to be both beautiful and empowering. 

There is nothing more natural than a Mother feeding her own child, and even though some put a stigma on breastfeeding, I think it is a beautiful and rewarding thing. Even though I chose not to breastfeed my children (not for lack of trying) I wanted to highlight how special the journey of breastfeeding is for the Mothers who undergo the task, and make a success of it.

It’s easy to look at beautiful images like the ones I’ve posted and forget about all the knowledge, education, hard work, pain and love these women go through to feed their children every single day. It’s easy to forget how tired they are, how much they sacrifice and how much it means to them to be able to give their child a breastfeeding experience.

I wanted to honor those Moms by having someone who knows and understands the journey, and has lived it herself for the last several years. Now, I hand over the reigns to my dear friend, who is an inspiration and help to so many of our local Moms, whether it be advice, a helping hand or simply a few words of encouragement.


 

 

Someone once told me that when you have children, the days are long but the years are short. When my first daughter was born I kept telling myself to take it day by day. As many people as I talked with and as much material as I read, I still wasn’t prepared for what was to come. For about the first month, all the baby did was nurse. Seriously, ALL. Day. Long. I can remember thinking that I wasn’t going to meet my breastfeeding goal of one year because I couldn’t do anything without this kid attached to my boob.

My fiancé had never experienced breastfeeding relationships. I affectionately say the plural of relationships because I now know the importance of the people around the mother and child to support them. He was uncomfortable with me nursing in public and the baby hated a cover over her head while trying to eat. The anxiety and tears started taking a toll on me but reading about all the benefits lead me to stick with it.
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courtesy of Natasha Raichel Photography

Like reading a good book I couldn’t put down, I was excited to learn everything about breastfeeding and hear about other journeys. In the beginning of posting breastfeeding information on social media, it was for me to be able to go back and read later when I had time but the posts started attracting attention. I had pregnant mothers ask me where they should begin, seasoned mothers who previously formula fed but now want to nurse, and moms with breastfeeding problems all asking for my help. Somewhere along the way of helping these women and constantly educating those around me by the discussion of the world of breasts in which I now inevitably lived, my fiancé crossed over.

There have been agonizing times of breastfeeding where I didn’t think I could go on another day. When my first daughter was almost 6 months old I began having flu like symptoms, tremendous pain from within my breasts and cracked, bleeding nipples. I knew I had an infection called mastitis and needed medical attention but had no primary care physician. After hours of waiting to see an actual MD who was frighteningly clueless about breastfeeding, a nurse practitioner at another facility prescribed me the correct antibiotics. Our breastfeeding relationship lasted one month after her second birthday.

My second breastfeeding adventure is still in full force with my 9 month of daughter. Our agonizing days were in the beginning with her mild lip tie and tongue tie. I knew something wasn’t right with her latch because it became uncomfortable for me and Breastfeeding should not hurt. Every time she latched on to my nipple I imagined the tip had been clipped off and then sandpaper had been rubbed over the edges of the open wound. Excruciating would have been an understatement to describe the pain. Without the help of a nipple shield I don’t know that I could have continued. After seeing her pediatrician, a dentist, and two specialists because of conflicting beliefs on weather or not to clip one or both ties, we saw a lactation consultant who finally fixed our latch. I had my mind made up that we were going to solve the problem and continue breastfeeding no matter what I had to do.
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Breastfeeding is the natural biological norm but there are many more benefits to it. In respect to society and the environment, some examples of how breastfeeding helps us all are; being a naturally renewable source that doesn’t put off any waste or pollution with no need for packaging, a natural form of birth control, it can reduce the cost of healthcare from insurance companies, create a healthier child who doesn’t need as much medical attention therefore not using government health benefits compared statistically to non breastfed babies (even as the child grows into an adult), breastmilk is free and thus saving the parents and or the government anywhere from $800-$1200 on artificial milk, and there is a reduction in taxes for children who are breastfed. There are also other benefits to the mother and baby besides the frequently discussed nutritional values. Breastfeeding has been linked to lower the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancers, it reduces the risk of anemia, it causes the uterus to contract and aids in control of bleeding after birth, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day and therefore get a woman’s pre pregnancy body back more quickly, the act of breastfeeding also releases feel good hormones which also lower a woman’s risk of postpartum depression, and breastfeeding promotes a special bond between the mother and baby.
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Nursing has been quite the experience. My world revolved around it for 2 years and it threw me in to what I now know is the attachment parenting method. I usually leave my youngest daughter on two hour time frames or just take her with me wherever I go. We don’t take trips without our kids but look forward to the days when we can. My most difficult yet rewarding adventure in life has been raising my children. Breastfeeding will only be one small chapter while our family’s story continues on but it will always be significant to the foundation of which my children got their start in life.
 All photographs published with permission from Jarron Clemons.
Featured image courtesy of B&K Photography.

Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn. Wendover, Kentucky. |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Many folks around Eastern Kentucky are familiar with the name Mary Breckinridge, due in part to the hospital in Hyden, named in her honor, and while Mary Breckinridge may be a name synonymous with Leslie County, it goes to say that not all Kentuckians, or even Americans, know and realize the true impact this remarkably determined, educated and brave woman had on our region, and our country.

Last weekend, I traveled, upon invitation to the beautiful & historic homestead of Mary Breckinridge, and epicenter of Frontier Nursing Service, for a personal tour and to learn more about this great lady who selflessly contributed so much to the people of Eastern Kentucky. Wendover, or “The Big House” as it is called, is not only a cultural and historical shrine, but is also a wonderfully “Kentucky” bed & breakfast. Complete with lots of down home food, beautiful views, and a lot of wonderful history.

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Born in 1881 in Memphis Tennessee to a prominent political family, Breckinridge was the daughter of Congressman Clifton Rhodes Breckinridge, who also served as Minister to Russia (who was notably present at the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II & Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna ) under President Cleveland. She was the granddaughter of John C. Breckinridge, who is known as the 14th and youngest ever Vice President of the United States, who was later expelled for joining the Confederacy (and becoming a General) after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. (The first and only person to ever be charged with treason by the senate & congress) Breckenridge was also the Great Granddaughter of Cabell Breckinridge, the Kentucky Secretary of State, as well as the Great-Great Granddaughter of US Attorney General (under Thomas Jefferson) John Breckinridge. Impressive, if not completely extraordinary all in itself, but what matters the most is how Mary Breckinridge used her privilege and birthright as a way to selflessly help others, and modernize an entire area.

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Arriving to the rough and ready foothills of the Appalachian mountains, with the idea to educate, inform and help provide the people of Eastern Kentucky with accessible and affordable health care, medicine and most specifically midwifery, in the early 1920’s. Breckinridge built her home, Wendover, the basis and epicenter of her vision, in rural Leslie County in 1925.

In those days, Eastern Kentucky was much like that of a third world country, meaning it was extremely rural with basically no healthcare or knowledge of modern medicine. The Infant mortality rate was among the highest in the country, and Mothers often died in childbirth, or of child bed fever due to lack of care. Having lost two small children herself, Mary Breckinridge made it her personal mission to help save as many mothers and children she possibly could by using her midwife training, and to help educate the area in health care, hygiene, and train nurses and staff who could easily access those who may not be able to make it to a clinic or hospital. Until she died, Breckinridge counted her work as her sole purpose in life, and worked to do everything in her power to better the quality of living for those (especially women, mothers and babies) who lived in the area that she made her home, East Kentucky.

Modern midwifery was an area of medicine normally practiced in Great Britiain. Having been educated in Russia, and later trained in midwifery in France and England, Mary Breckinridge brought with her many English customs, as well as her education and passion for widwifery. She is credited as being among the first to bring midwifery to the states.

Since no midwifery course were then offered in the United States, Breckinridge returned to England to receive the training she needed. She was then certified by the Central Midwives Board. She returned to the U.S. in 1925 and on May 28 of that year founded the Kentucky Committee for Mothers and Babies, which soon became the Frontier Nursing Service. In 1939 she started her own midwifery school. There, Breckinridge conducted Sunday afternoon services using the Episcopal prayer book. In 1952 she completed her memoir “Wide Neighborhoods” which is still available, penning her novels from her bedroom at Wendover. She continued to lead the Frontier Nursing Service until her death on May 16, 1965, at Wendover.

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The “Big House”

 

Mary Breckinridge founded the Frontier Nursing Service in Leslie County, only a few miles from the county seat of Hyden in the early 1920’s. She chose this area because there were no roads, there were no vehicles, most people relied on horseback to travel from place to place, and thus was born the nursing “courier”. Nurses and trained physicians would ride out on horseback to tend to those afflicted, or to deliver babies in nearby homesteads. Some rode grueling miles over rough, mountainous terrain, in inclimate weather year round, all to provide quality nursing and midwifery skills to those who would have more than likely perished without professional care. A vision and life goal of Mary Breckenridge.Nurses would pack everything they needed in their saddle bags and head “over the mountain” in hopes to save a life, or heal the sick. What an arduous and unnerving job this must have been for those who found themselves trekking up the untamed and vapid Appalachian mountainside. FNS Nursing Couriers would include the likes of famous fashion designer Lily Pulitzer, and one of the Rockafellers.

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The Garden House

 

A looming log & cut rock structure, the “Big House” as it is called, is a true testament to it’s times and a wonderfully preserved gem, filled to the brim with all the charm and authenticity of a home that has been masterfully kept (in most part) the way it was when Ms. Breckenridge was still residing in it. A famous portrait of Breckinridge still hangs above the mantle. Her collection of novels, medical journals, and favorite literary works still line the book shelves. Photographs of “Breckie” the child she loved but lost to appendicitis at the age of 6, peeps over the drawing room, a reminder of the cause for the great work this lady accomplished. Every inch of decor is authentic, whether it be true to 1920’s era, or a piece of cloth, photograph, or knick knack from Mary Breckenridge herself. If you want to be transported back in time, Wendover is a great place to do so, and now you can stay here and enjoy the “Big House” as a bed and breakfast.

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“Dog Trot” Dining Room

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to Wendover for breakfast, a tour and lunch. I have always loved historical places, and Wendover is one of only a few Nationally registered historic landmarks in Eastern Kentucky. It is very easy to see why this place is so perfectly preserved and cared for. Not only is Wendover a mecca for artifacts very precious and dear to the medical field, especially midwifery and nursing, but a true gem in terms of what a rarity it is to have such a wealth of artifacts and resources so perfectly stored and looked after. A Russian tea urn is kept neatly in a case. A letter from Queen Elizabeth is locked behind glass. Such history, and so many things to see that you would never imagine would all be gathered under one roof.

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The breakfast consisted of country cooking. Fried apples, with scrambled eggs, cat-head biscuits, bacon, and homemade-from-scratch gravy. All brought out family style on blue willow china and placed on a farmhouse table. Our view overlooking the Kentucky river, just as the morning fog was lifting from the valley. Lunch was just as delicious with fluffy chicken and dumplings, garden green beans, and corn with a salad and sweet tea. Desert was a rich concoction of “Coal Miner’s” cake, a sweet & hearty blend of cherries and dark chocolate fudge.

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Apart from being able to sleep in the actually bedroom of Mary Breckenridge (where she penned her novels) there is also an outdoor sleeping porch, a roaring fireplace, and several other upstairs bedrooms that can accommodate other guests. The grounds offer a spectacular view, with terraced off gardens, and a walking trail with some extremely peculiar, but beautiful trees. The river bank is a great place to fish and hike, and only a stones throw away from Wendover, complete with a rope swing and dammed up fishing hole.

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While on the tour and speaking with our wonderful host, and one of the keepers of this beautiful estate, Micheal Claussen was kind enough to give me the play by play of the transformation of Wendover from not only a historic landmark but also to an operating bed and breakfast.

Wendover became a Nationally registered  landmark in 1991. The Bed & Breakfast was actually opened in 2002, as a way to bring revenue and attract tourism to Leslie County, and also bring special attention to the Frontier Nursing University, a post graduate school dedicated to midwifery. Many celebrities have spent the night between the logs, from supermodels and movie stars.  Many people travel from all over the United States to enjoy the simplicity, tranquility and seclusion of spending a couple nights at Wendover. Local folks also enjoy all the special amenities, history and beauty that the “Big House” holds. Many local dignitaries, government officials, offices and organizations hold monthly meetings, dinners, parties and showers here. Wendover is a certified Bed & Breakfast Inn, and includes 16 guestrooms, 4 in the Big House, 6 single rooms in the Garden House Suites and 4 double rooms in the Barn Apartments. All stays at Wendover B&B include a hearty breafast served in the “Dog Trot” dining room.

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If you’re looking for a glimpse into the past at days gone by, a place full of rich history, Appalachian charm and down home, southern food, Wendover is the place to go! If you’re passing by just for a day, a week or simply to pay homage to Mary Breckenridge, the great lady who started it all.

It is so important for us to not only know about special places like this, but to also educate others about why and where these places are in our area. If not only to boost tourism and revenue, but to understand the importance of places like Wendover, and what the Frontier Nursing Service meant for the families then, and how even now, FNS has helped to modernize, and educate an entire area of people. I had no clue about the significance that Mary Breckinridge played in modern family nursing and midwifery, and it’s amazing to me that it all started right here in the Appalachian foothills.

For more information about booking & room information, click on the link below:

http://www.frontier.edu/wendover

Special thanks to Mr. Claussen for the invitation, hospitality, wonderful company, and opening my eyes to such an integral part of Eastern Kentucky history and heritage.

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