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?

Friday Funny Photography: Gracie Cat & Goose

Friday Funny Photography: Gracie Cat & Goose

Our Country Friday Funny Photography snapshot for October 31, 2014 was sent to us by Linda Pospisil of Sedalia, Missouri. Which one has the more intense expression?

Oct. 29: Today’s Words to Live By


Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a Modern Pioneer

Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a Modern Pioneer

Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a Modern Pioneer

Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a Modern Pioneer

Meet Georgia Pellegrini, a Modern Pioneer

    By Mary Dolan
    Associate Digital Editor

    The past is in the past, they say. But Georgia Pellegrini believes the past has a place right here in the present. That’s why this financier-turned-homesteader wrote Modern Pioneering, a guidebook for bringing back recipes and rituals of a simpler time.

    Pellegrini, 33, grew up in upstate New York, enjoying the wide open spaces of a farm that’s been in her family several generations. Life changed course when she landed a career in finance at Lehman Brothers. Pellegrini ultimately decided the big-city, corporate lifestyle didn’t suit her, however. “I realized I wanted to get back to my roots … to using my hands and being outdoors,” she said.

    Pellegrini, who now lives in Austin, TX, published Modern Pioneering earlier this year. It’s packed with 150 recipes, projects and tips for leading a more self-sufficient life in tune with nature. This is Pellegrini’s third book, and it’s part of her continued effort to show people – women in particular – that a simpler life, a life that embraces the outdoors and home-cooked meals is truly possible.

    After she left the world of finance, Pellegrini attended cooking school and worked in restaurants in Paris and New York. But this still didn’t satiate her hunger for being more in touch with nature. She’s spent the last several years leading excursions she calls Adventure Getaways in rural parts of the country — where she teaches women skills like falconry, horseback riding and cooking — and penning books about her back-to-basics, back-to-the-land lifestyle.

    “The thing that made me happiest was being in the outdoors and food and cooking,” Pellegrini said. Now, she’s using her hands to garden, to hunt, to concoct meals in the kitchen – instead of typing long strings of numbers.

    After leaving the world of finance, did you find greater happiness?
    “I think what was interesting (about the career change to restaurants) … it was the same crazy hours and not making as much money, but it didn’t feel like work in the same way,” Pellegrini said. “Going to work every day excited me.”

    Now what is day-to-day life like for you?
    “What’s so interesting about my life now is how varied it is,” Pellegrini said, noting how fun it is to plan her Adventure Getaways, update her website with posts like “How to  Start Composting” or forage for the ingredients for a new recipe to share with her readers.

    She updates her site regularly with new recipes and pioneering tips. “I chronicle these adventures that I go on,” she said. “I truly live the life that I talk about. …Gardening in my backyard or being in the wilds of Arkansas. Every day is literally an adventure.”

    What was the inspiration for writing Modern Pioneering?
    “For me it was the idea that I’ve been teaching women these unique skills for a while, but not everyone is going to have a Montana stream to fly-fish in,” she said. “But there are ways we can all (live this lifestyle).”

    (Her ideas: Grow potatoes on the fire escape of your urban apartment. Grow herbs in a windowsill planter. Upcycle items and use them for new and exciting projects.)

    “It brings you tremendous joy … the idea of self-sufficiency,” she said. “My goal was to create (a guide to help people) access the DIY, improvisational spirit of our grandparents. It’s truly a manual. It’s not meant to be a coffee table book.”

    What’s your advice for others?
    “We’re in a generation where children know how to use an iPhone, but they don’t know how to peel a carrot,” she said. “Live detached from the virtual information highway we all are surfing right now and get some dirt underneath your fingernails.”

    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!