Good Neighbors Blog

From quirky extras that didn’t make it into the magazine to behind the scenes looks into the making of Country – we’ve curated photos and stories we think you’ll enjoy. Won’t you be our neighbor?

Country Extra: Nov. 2014

Country Extra: Nov. 2014

Subscribers should have the September issue of Country Extra in hand now or should be receiving it very soon! If you’re not a subscriber to Country Extra, here’s how you can be, so you don’t miss a thing!

As always, we’re happy to offer our online readers a few of our favorite stories from the current issue. Let us know which ones you enjoy most!

Memories of Grandpa and His Unexpected Soft Side

Thanksgiving Problems Made Holiday a Memorable One

Hershey Bar Was One Special Horse


Our best scenic road picks for 2014!

Eastern Sierra Scenic Byway

Driving the Kanc in New Hampshire

Drive Mount Hood in Scenic Oregon

Driving Through Monument Valley

Outer Banks Scenic Drive

Michigan Scenic Drive Exploring Keweenaw Peninsula

Scenic Road Trip Through Washington’s Palouse Region

Mount Evans an Unmatched Scenic Colorado Drive

Driving Through Wyoming’s Grand Teton Loop

Take a Scenic Drive on South Dakota’s Highway 240

Friday Funny Photography: Dog & Duck

Friday Funny Photography: Dog & Duck

Our Country Friday Funny Photography snapshot for October 24, 2014 was sent to us by Ted Rose of North Manchester, Indiana. Keep an eye on that duck, pup!

Some of the Oldest Living Trees Found in White Mountains

World's Oldest Trees


Story and photo by Dan Blackburn

The White Mountains on California’s eastern edge are home to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, site of the world’s oldest living trees.

These trees, some of which are more than 4,000 years old, were growing when Ptolemy ruled Egypt. The oldest of them—aptly named Methuselah—has been here for over 4,700 years.

I have hiked and skied among these trees and camped beneath their branches. Their age-wrinkled bark and twisted limbs have sheltered me from the storms that sweep across these rarely visited mountains. In winter the temperature can drop below zero, and in summer the heat of the sun bakes like an oven. But the trees seem impervious.

As you walk among these oldest living trees, the sense of antiquity literally surrounds you. It seems as though ancient voices are whispering in your ears. Their words may be muffled, but the ages of time embrace you.

Simplify Your Life: 8 Household Tips




  • Remove buildup at the bottom of narrow-necked vases by pouring in some coffee grounds. Add water and swirl.
  • Use baby oil to remove grease, paint or glue from your hands.
  • Get rid of odors in your antique chests by placing a box of dyer sheets in the bottom drawer.
  • When painting inside, a little bit of vinegar in a jar in your workspace will help neutralize the odor.
  • Stretch a thick rubber band across the top of your open paint can and use that for scraping your brush instead of the side of the can.
  • Keep empty feed sacks. They make great winter mats for scraping those dirty boots.
  • Fill a clean sock with table salt or dry beans and warm briefly in the microwave for an instant heating pad.
  • Cut off the foot of an old ribbed white sock, and use the remaining portion as an elbow or knee bandage.

How to Paint a Barn Quilt


How to transfer a 12” quilt block to an 8’ x 8’ board (actually two  4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood):

  • Measure each section of the quilt block and multiply by 8.
  • For a simple nine-patch quilt, each section will measure 4” on the 12” block, 4” x 8 = 32” on the 8’ plywood square.   32” x 3 = 96” or 8 ‘)
  • For a more complicated quilt block, copy the pattern onto a 6 inch square of 1Ž4 inch graph paper  (24 squares x 24 squares).  Each square of the graph paper is equal to 4 inches on an 8’ square of plywood. Transfer your graph paper grid and pattern to the plywood square.

Be sure to read our story about a barn quilt-raising in Wisconsin!