S.D. Professionals, LLC Director of Operations shares her stories from the mountaintop during the “safer-at-home” time.

Our Director of Operations, Amanda Webb has weathered the shelter-in-place recommendations at her childhood home in Southwest Virginia while continuing to work remotely.

A Note From Amanda Webb

To be terribly honest, I was already in a major season of change in my life before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. I truly thought I was facing enough uncertainties so how much more could I be expected to handle. This is why when the rumors started flying about enforced shelter-in-place mandates, I basically “headed for the hills.” I packed my kids, our 140 lb Livestock Guardian Dog and our necessities and made the trek to my childhood home. It’s
nestled in the protective mountains of Southwest Virginia.

Here, I find myself not only slowed down by the same things my co-workers in Sevier County and Knoxville are experiencing amid the COVID-19 outbreak but also carried back to a way of life that on a normal scale is much slower. Here a four-wheel-drive truck is way more important than an Apple Watch. However, it’s also way more conceivable for a family of four to own a horse, small goat herd or a couple of cows. These are normal things. For my sub-division friends to own a horse would mean pricey boarding fees at a stable with a drive time of 30-60 minutes. Growing up, I had a pony at age 4 and never once thought it was something only “rich kids” in the rest of the world had.

Staff Meetings And Egg Gathering

Each Christmas and summer I’m always reminded how easy it is to sip back into this slower, simpler life. Here inside, as Miranda Lambert would say, the house that built me life is carrying on much in the same way it always did. While I log in to remote staff meetings and conduct business online, dad makes a trip to the barn to gather the eggs and feed the chickens. On his way back he might bring in a bucket of coal for the heating stove that he maintains around the clock. He mined coal for 25 years of his life and instilled in his three daughters the highest respect for that profession.

My mom loves having all four of her grandkids under one roof. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yes, four kids ages 14, 11, 10 and 9. Three girls and one boy. We joke that we are nearing the 10 person gathering limit. But here we are, carrying on. Treating this shut-in much like the many blizzards we have weathered. This time around, thankful we have power and water and a nip of spring in the air.

What’s On The Menu

Mom is determined to blow any chance I had at giving a good report to my fitness coach back home. She makes biscuits (homemade) and gravy every morning along with eggs (from the chickens), bacon or sausage (or both) and pancakes! Every Day! Plus throughout the day she will make extra things like brownies, an apple cake and two sheets of cookies. But the creme de la creme was when she made her famous chicken and dumplings. I have over 40 first cousins on my mom’s side of the family alone. And don’t you know they are all jealous that I’m getting “Betty’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins” while they are left to fend for themselves.

So I’m left with only one choice – walk/run three miles every day to off-set the daily menu of Betty’s downhome mountain cookin’ that I can’t turn down even if I wanted to. And to carry on during this global pandemic by loving my kids, keeping the stress of homeschooling them at bay and enjoying these precious days with the best parents anyone could ever ask for.

Thanks for reading. I smell something cooking now, so I’m going to go have “second lunch.” Meanwhile here are directions to make my mom’s chicken and dumplings at your home. But beware, every time I ask her for this recipe it changes and I’ve never been able to replicate her special touch.

Betty’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins

  • Three chicken breasts
  • Two boxes of chicken broth
  • Cup of butter
  • Two cups of self-rising flour
  • Two cups of milk

Instructions

Cook the chicken breasts in the chicken broth until it’s done. While cooking, add one cup of butter and add salt and pepper. When the chicken is done remove it from the broth. Then bring the broth to a boil. For the dumplings, stir up the flour and milk. Dip out dumpling dough one tablespoon at a time into the boiling broth. (Tip, the smaller the dumplings the better.) After you add the dumplings let that boil for about 10 minutes until the dumplings are done.
Cut up the chicken and add it back to the dumplings. Serves 6-8 people.

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